The Nigeria Police, Kogi command, has promised to ensure unbiased and highly effective coverage of the Nov. 16, Governorship Election.
Mr Hakeem Busari, Commissioner of Police in the state, said this was aimed at ensuring free and fair election; as well as credible and acceptable results.
Busari made this known in Lokoja, while addressing more than 500 youths from across the state, who held a procession to sensitise voters on a non-violent poll in the state.
The youths were bearing placards with inscriptions such as “Vote Not Fight’’ and “Election No Be War’’.
The police commissioner, who commended the youths for the initiative, said the police and other security agencies would ensure security of lives and property before, during and after the election.
“We will deploy enough personnel because we are going to have adequate support from the Inspector General of Police (IGP) from the Force headquarters.
“The polling booths and the wards are going to be properly policed and enough policemen will be on patrol. So we do not have anything to fear as far as the Nov. 16 election is concerned,’’ Busari said.
He advised politicians and other stakeholders to “play the game according to the rules’’ and conduct themselves in a peaceful manner to make the work of security agents easy.
Earlier, Prof. James Apam, state Resident Electoral Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) pledged that the commission would do nothing short of ensuring free, fair and credible election.
Apam, who was represented by Alh. Ahmed Bagudu-Biambo, Head, Voter Education and Publicity, Kogi INEC, also commended the youths for the initiative.
He noted that election violence had far-reaching consequences, as the vulnerable, women and children were affected, and many electorate were often disenfranchised.
Presenting their “Vote, Not Fight’’ youths position, leader of the group, Mrs Gift Omoniwa, said it was time to end the cycle of using youths as thugs to perpetrate electoral violence.
Omoniwa, who noted that youths constituted more than 60 per cent of the state’s population, and also represented majority of registered voters, had regrettably remained marginalised and under-represented in decision making.
“When election violence occurs, the youths, their mothers, sisters and persons living with disabilities are the first victims. Today, we have come to say no to electoral violence.
“We hereby state our firm resolve to shun violence in the Nov. 16 2019, Off Cycle Governorship Election in Kogi State. For us, non-violent and peaceful election is non-negotiable.
“We remind all the political parties and their gladiators that the legitimacy of any government lies in its emergence from a peaceful, free, fair and credible election,’’ she added.
Nigeria News Agency reports that the programme was organised by the Participation Initiative for Behavioural Change in Development (PIBCID) in collaboration with 2Baba Foundation and others, with support from ActionAid, National Democratic Institute, Enough is Enough, USAID and UKAID.
Edited by Nyisom Fiyigon Dore
Cross River ultimate beneficiary of school feeding programme – FG
The Federal Government says that Cross River State has benefited immensely from the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme(NHGSFP).
Justice Bibiye, Communications Manager, National Social Investment Office (NSIO), in a statement on Monday in Abuja, said the multiplier effect of the social intervention programmes and the potential for creating wealth could best be imagined.
Bibiye said the NHGSFP successfully commenced implementation since November 2017 in Cross River with 362,870 pupils being fed by 3,706 cooks in 1,430 public primary schools across the state.
He said the NSIO’s attention had been drawn to the views expressed by the Prof. Ben Ayade in which he decried what he considered the dearth of presidential and Federal Government interventions in Cross Rivers.
Bibiye said that Ayade, particularly mentioned the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme(NHGSFP), claiming that his state was not getting the desired push from the centre to leverage on the commercial opportunities of the programme.
He said that such assertion by a governor, whose state was benefiting immensely from the Federal Government’s Social Safety Net Initiatives, was rather unfortunate, unfair and perhaps based on insufficient knowledge of the impact of the programme.
“NHGSFP is a key component of the SIPs launched in 2016 by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The main objective of the programme is to provide one nutritious, balanced meal each school day to pupils in classes 1 to 3 in public primary schools across Nigeria.
“In addition to improving nutrition, the programme also increase enrolment rates by mopping up the huge numbers of out-of-school children in Nigeria.
“The NHGSFP also develops an agricultural value chain by creating jobs for the cooks and a sustainable income for small holder farmers, thereby engendering a ripple effect in the rural economy.
“The NHGSFP successfully commenced implementation since November 2017 in Cross River State with 362,870 pupils being fed by 3,706 cooks in 1,430 public primary schools across the state.
“The enrolment of children in the state has increased significantly, while the cooks in the communities have been empowered by direct payments of monies into their accounts, for the purpose of feeding.
“Indeed, since inception, the programme has continued to boost the health of the children, who have become more diligent in class, as a consequence of the nutritious meals availed them in school.
“The children’s menu comprises a carefully designed balanced and nutritious diet, consisting of locally available and affordable food components such as eggs, bread, chicken, fruits and ‘tom brown’, a meal made from groundnut, soybean, maize and millet.
“Indeed, when the programme commenced, the poultry required by the cooks in Cross Rivers State was being sourced from neighbouring States, but over time, the state itself began providing the poultry requirements, as the need for developing the sector quickly became evident.’’
Bibiye said that the menu components continued to be sourced and supplied from the local communities in line with the policy direction of the NHGSFP, which aimed at supporting small local farmers by providing a sustainable income and ready market for them.
He said that in monetary terms, since the commencement of NHGSFP in Cross River, over N2 billion Naira had fuelled the rural economy of the state, with the local farmers and cooks, as well as others that were part of the ever-increasing value chain.
“Undoubtedly, the ultimate beneficiary of the school feeding programme is Cross Rivers State.
“Its children’s improved learning outcomes is becoming assured; Its cooks being empowered and agro industries thriving, all of which outcomes have emerged from a well-thought-out Federal Government social intervention programme, that is currently feeding over nine million pupils in over 32 States across Nigeria.
“Indeed, it is a misconception to believe that the school feeding programme was structured to effect payments directly into the coffers of any state government, as appears to be the perception held by Ayade.
“Rather, the programme is designed to strategically benefit the farmers, women and children of the State, also assuring of an increase in financial and social inclusion, as well as the steady growth of the State’s rural economy.’’
He said 12,198 young people in Cross Rivers were currently enlisted in various components of the Federal Government’s N-POWER programme, with over 10,000 beneficiaries of the cash transfer programme across 18 LGAs of the State.
Bibiye added that no fewer than 25,000 traders and artisans had received MarketMoni and TraderMoni loans, from the Government Empowerment and Enterprise Programme, across the state.
Edited by Felix Ajide
Buhari’s ex-aide advocates gender desks at police stations to address rape
An ex-aide of President Muhammadu Buhari, Mrs Juliet Ibekaku-Nwagwu, has called for the introduction of gender desks in the various police stations across the country.
She said such desks would be saddled with the task of handling the rising incidences of rape of young girls.
The Nigeria News Agency (NAN reports that Ibekaku-Nwagwu was the immediate past Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Justice Reform.
The legal consultant made the call in an interview she granted NAN on incessant increase in the rape of minors across the country.
She said that the incidences of rape involving minors are quite unfortunate, adding that the police needed to do more in handling the menace.
She said, “The current situation is getting worse day by day, and this problem should be better handled by specialists on feminine matters because women are at the receiving end.
“The police should set up what we call gender desks in the various police stations across the country to prosecute and handle cases of rape.
“We do not have such desks in most of our police stations at the moment. We need people who understand that we have to prevent something from happening before it happens,” she said.
She said that in other countries, they have what is called the National Sex Offender Registry that provides the public access to sex offenders’ data and prevents sex offenders from touching or coming close to children.
“Unfortunately, we do not have such a registry in our country. Therefore, we need a re-assessment of our system because some of those things are happening within the schools and at our homes.
“We need to understand the mindset that leads people to commit such acts and find ways to prevent them from happening at again,” she said.
She said that the only way to reduce the ugly trend was to make sure that offenders were convicted; and were never allowed to come close to children.
“The victims should be severely dealt with to deter other would-be perpetrators from committing the same act in future,” she said.
She urged parents, religious bodies and schools to constantly educate their children against embracing attitudes that would likely make them become victims of rape.
“As our children are growing up, let them know that most of the people around them are not as good as they think they are.
“There must be a way to make children understand that they should not allow themselves to be touched by elders at their age for any reason.
“Parents and guardians should introduce sex-education to their children, especially the girl-child, and let them realise that it was for their good,” she said.
She advised children to always speak out whenever their uncles, neighbours or teachers began to exhibit certain strange behaviours around them.
She said that she was currently working on some anti-corruption issues as well as looking at issues of injustice against the female gender.
World Bank, Kogi govt, expend N9.7m on borehole, clinic, in rural area
Kogi government on Monday flagged- off commencement of work on N9.78 million clinic and borehole in Tuturu, Kogi Local Government Area.
Speaking at the occasion, Malam Momoh Dauda, General Manager, Kogi State Community and Social Development Agency (CSDA) said the project was being executed in collaboration with the World Bank, under the World Bank Community and Social Development Project (CSDP) Additional Financing.
Dauda, who was represented at the occasion by Mrs Berida Ebunola, Acting Manager, Finance and Administration of the CSDA, said the health centre and water projects would gulp N4.85 million and N4.93 million respectively.
He explained that the group had approached the agency for intervention on the projects in October, 2018 to address challenges encountered by vulnerable people in accessing social amenities.
According to him, all due processes have been followed before the approval, culminating in the flag-off, adding that the group will contribute five per cent of the total sum.
He said the project is expected to be executed through the Group Project Monitoring Committee (GPMC), within eight weeks.
Presenting a cheque of N1.3 million as first tranche of the N4.8 million for the health centre to the group, the General Manager said he was hopeful that the project would be completed on schedule.
In his remark, Chairman of the GPMC, Mr Sunday Okuegha, promised to see to the successful completion of the project.
“The problem is that once anyone of us is sick or there is an emergency, the only place we can go from here is either Koton-Karfe or Lokoja, which is quite a distance from here.
“By the grace of God, we will build the clinic and sink the borehole; government will provide us with personnel to man the centre and we will be very happy”, Okuegha said.
We need basic infrastructure, community tells Niger govt.
By Aminu Garko
Minna, Aug. 19, 2019 ( NAN) Some residents of Sauka ka Huta and Mendala communities in Bosso Local Government Area of Niger on Monday decried the lack of basic infrastructures which they claimed had crippled development in the area.
Some of the residents who spoke with Nigeria News Agency in Sauka ka Huta and Mandela said that government had abandoned their community without road, water, hospital and electricity.
Alhaji Lukman Mohammed, a community leader in Sauka ka Huta, said that portions of the road which leads to the building materials market were almost impassable.
“Maneuvering and dodging of potholes by moving vehicles, tricycles, impatient commercial motorcyclists, often leads to accidents on the road on daily basis.
“As if that is not bad enough, one of the transformers that supply power to Sauka ka Huta has blown off with no positive response from the power supply.
“We are calling on the Gov. Abubakar Bello to urgently attend to the deplorable state of building material market and Sauka ka Huta Church roads and provide the community with new transformer.
Ishaku of Mandela road said that the level of insecurity in the area “is another cause for concern.
“Shops are being bugled on daily basis, not less than seven shops are bugled on daily basis during the wee hours.
“This has continued for a while unabated, shops owners are being attacked are rubbed of their valuables.
“There is no police outpost as it is almost impossible passing that area anything after 7p.m. without being attacked and robbed.’’
Musa Kabiru, said that lack of potable water supply and security remained a big challenge to people of the area.
“We are calling on Gov. Abubakar Bello to come to our aid through the provision of basic amenities that will improve our well-being,’’ he said.
Another resident, Alhaji Ahmed Abdullahi stated that during the last election, the people of the area did not only vote for the ruling party massively but defended their votes to ensure that Gov. Bello secured his second term in office.
“This is not the change we voted for, we want things to change through the provision of social amenities that will take us to the Next Level’’, he said.
Also, Alhaji Bello Abdukarim a resident regretted that politicians would always come to the community for campaigns and promise better days for the residents but never fulfill their promises.
“When election is approaching, politicians will be visiting and making promises to the community to provide the people with infrastructure, but once we have voted them and elections over, they forget us.
“No hospitals, no potable water, no road especially in Sauka ka Huta Church road and Mendala to Building Material road,’’ he said.
Abdulkadir appealed to the governor to provide basic amenities in the community to bring about the desired development.
In his view, Mr Josephine Isa, a resident said that there was no presence of government infrastructure as we can only be remembered during election.
Isa appealed to the state government and legislators representing the area to look into the possibility of providing basic social amenities to the community.
NRC to fence new standard gauge rail line in Lagos — Official
Mr Jerry Oche, NRC Lagos District Manager, told the Nigeria News Agency that the fencing would stop human and vehicular accidents along the rail line.
“The standard gauge is going to be fenced. When there is a barrier, it will prevent people from encroaching on the rail line.
It will be faster and people will be prevented from indiscriminate intrusion,’’ he said.
Oche said that with the barrier in place, it would be illegal for people crossing the blockade for any reason at any point in time.
“It will not be business as usual. It won’t allow suicide mission and we wouldn’t want that to happen.
“That is why we are warning people now before the operation start,” he said.
The district manager said that barricade initially built for the old narrow gauge rail line was pulled down by the people around the corridor.
When completed, the standard gauge would travel at 150 kilometers per hour.