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Peace Corps to curb communal clashes through peace advocacy

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The Peace Corps of Nigeria, on Wednesday pledged to partner with security agencies to end wanton and senseless killings in the country through peace building and advocacy.

National Commandant of the corps Dickson Akoh, gave the assurance during a news conference in Abuja, to launch a National Peace Campaign tagged; “Let’s Give Peace a Chance’’.

Akoh explained that the campaign was in response to the 100 days countdown message to the 2019 International Day of Peace, by the United Nations (UN) Secretary General António Guterres.

He expressed concern over violence that was manifesting in the form of ethnic and communal conflicts, hate speech, farmers and herders clashes, political and religious violence, kidnapping and other forms of banditry.

“The gory tales of senseless killings and increasing waves of violence being reported on daily basis in our country calls for an urgent need to pursue, institutionalise and preach peace.

“As the global community prepares to celebrate this year’s International Day of Peace with the theme; “Climate Action for Peace’’, we must remind ourselves that peace cannot be attained in the midst of avoidable crisis, the kind that we are witnessing in Nigeria,’’ he said.

Akoh said that the youths could be mobilised to play an active role in peace and conflict resolution by forming a new phalanx of peace missionaries and NGOs at the grassroots.

He expressed the determination of the corps to build the culture of peace and a near violence and conflict free society through peace advocacy.

Akoh, therefore, called on all individuals and organisations to initiate support and promote ideas, programmes and actions to encourage global peace.

Nigeria News Agency reports that Peace Corps of Nigeria is a civil youth NGO that is committed to promoting national creativity, peace and youth development.

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Rainfall: Flood destroys worship centres, farmlands, houses in Kuje

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Rainfall: Flood destroys worship centres, farmlands, houses in Kuje

, reports.

Among worship centres affected were “Omega Fire Ministry” belonging to Apostle Johnson Suleiman, and White Garment Church.

The flood, which followed a heavy downpour that started on Sunday, Aug. 18, and ran into the early hours of Monday, Aug. 19, also affected a bridge linking unto Kuje-Gwagwalada road.

Our correspondent, who visited the area, found that the flood had taken over most of the roads, forcing residents to either remain indoors or move through the water to their destinations.

Some of the residents, who spoke with NAN, said that flooding was a recurring decimal in the community that was situated close to a riverine area.

Mr Zaka Tukura, whose house collapsed, told NAN that he was asleep when water submerged his house.

“I was asleep when water submerged my house. I had to quickly move my children to a neighbour’s house.

“The level of destruction is devastating; it is quite unfortunate that the flood has affected many people in this community,” he said.

Another resident, Mrs. Sarah Musa, said she could not sleep with her family throughout the night due to the heavy downpour,

.

“We could not sleep throughout because of the downpour. When the rain kept persisting, we knew we were in danger and started removing our property from the building even when we were not sure which area could be safe,” she said.

She said that her family members succeeded in moving some important household items before the house collapsed.

Mrs. Machbery Modupe, Head, Department of Works, Kuje Area Council, told NAN that the council was already assessing the situation.

“We are already assessing the situation to ascertain the number of houses affected by the flood. The aim is to see how the victims can be supported,” he said.

Edited by Ephraims Sheyin

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Humanitarian Day: Foundation calls for increased support for aid workers

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Aspire Foundation, a non-profit organisation, has called on the Federal Government to provide adequate support to aid workers, especially in the north eastern part of the country.

Mrs Racheal Odulami, the president of the foundation, made the call in an interview with Nigeria News Agency on Monday in Abuja to commemorate the World Humanitarian Day.

Odulami noted that it was important for the government to put adequate measures to protect the lives of those who bring succour to those in distress.

She added that concrete sanctions as well as punishment be meted to anyone who attacked or caused harm to any aid worker in the country.

“Every aid worker must be protected in terms of security as well as providing environment that is conducive for them to work effectively.

“Some time last year, three aid workers were abducted and eventually killed by the insurgents in the north east. This does not portray the country in good light to the international community.

“I urge the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency, provide adequate protection and security to those in humanitarian service,’’ she said.

The World Humanitarian Day is celebrated every year on Aug. 19 and the theme for this year’s celebration is “Women Humanitarians’’.

NAN reports that the day seeks to promote awareness as well as pay tribute to aid workers and those who lost their lives in humanitarian services.

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SGF tasks ministers` designate on consistent harmonious working relationship with Buhari

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The ministers` designate have been urged to maintain harmonious working relationship with the presidency to enable the administration fulfill its promise of taking Nigeria to the next level.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, made the call a two-day induction programme organised for the ministers` designate and other top government officials in Abuja on Monday.

Mustapha explained that the task of governance required patience, dedication and total commitment to the objectives of government especially in realisation of the yearnings for quick delivery of the dividends of democracy.

According to him, the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has in the last four years done a lot to revamp the economy, achieve a corruption free society and provide adequate security for the people.

Mustapha stated that Buhari had laid foundation while taking bold steps in transforming the country and liberating Nigerians from the shackles of poverty, hence, the need for collaboration to achieve more of such dividends.

“We must ensure a consistent harmonious work relationship to serve responsibly, transparent in our conducts and accountable to the people we serve, if this administration must fulfill its promise of taking Nigeria to the next level.

“The tasks ahead of us are to consolidate on the gains of the last four years of the administration, identify the remaining areas that need to be addressed and remain committed to improving the lives of Nigerians.

“This could be possible by confronting the emerging challenges in the country, ranging from the issue of climate change, resettling displaced communities, and dealing decisively with the new flashes of insecurity across the country,“ he said.

He stressed the need for those given office of responsibility in government to live above board, eschewing every conduct, private or public, that could tarnish the good image of the administration.

“We must also reconcile with ourselves that the next four years of our lives would be effectively and efficiently dedicated to the service of our fatherland’’.

Mustapha also advised the ministers designate not be discouraged by the enormous challenges facing the country, adding that they should see their appointments as an opportunity to contribute positively on the citizens.

“I therefore urge all of us to prepare our minds and be ready to support Mr President’s commitment to transforming Nigeria through the vehicle of efficient and effective public service delivery.

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Buhari tasks Ministers-designate on nation’s challenges

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday challenged Ministers-designate to reflect and assess the country’s position in 2015 and now so as to chart a course for the country for the foreseeable future.

The president gave the task when he declared open the two-day Presidential Retreat for Ministers-designate and Federal Permanent Secretaries at the State House conference hall, Abuja.

He explained that the purpose of the retreat was, among others, to familiarise the in-coming ministers with their colleagues at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) with whom they would work closely for the next four years.

President Buhari reminded the ministers-designate that they were appointed to assist and advise him on running the country efficiently.

“I congratulate all the new comers who the country has chosen above others to join the first term ministers whose performance has been outstanding.

“All of you are appointed to assist and advise the president in running the affairs of our country.

“At the end of the retreat, it is hoped that all of you will be in tune with the roles and responsibilities of positions you will occupy in government. Many national issues require unified decisions.

“It is a great privilege for you to be called upon to serve in these geat offices of state and you must grasp the chance with two hands and put in your best efforts as Nigeria today needs top managers to handle our numerous challenges.

“There will be long hours and you must be prepared to live laborious days if we are to serve our people optimally,’’ he said.

The president, who also spoke on the looming demographic potential of the country, charged the in-coming ministers to join hands in finding solution to the frightening threat of population explosion of the country.

He said: “By average estimates, our population is close to 200 million today. By 2050, UN estimates put Nigeria third globally, behind only India and China with our projected population at 411 million.

“This is a frightening prospect but only if we sit idly by and expect handouts from so-called development partners. The solution to our problems lies within us.’’

President Buhari told them that the first term of his administration had identified three salient areas for close attention and action – to secure the country, to improve the economy and to fight corruption.

“None but the most partisan will dispute that we have made headway in all three areas

“First, we have rolled back the frontiers of terrorism; we are actively addressing other challenges such as kidnappings, farmer-herder violence, improving the safety of our roads, railways, air traffic and fire control capacities.

“Second, we are steadily turning the economy round through investment in agriculture and manufacturing, shoring up our foreign reserves, curbing inflation and improving the country’s infrastructure.

“Third, we have recovered hundreds of billions of stolen assets and are actively pursuing control measures to tackle leakages in public resources. We will not let up in fighting corruption,’’ he said.

He told them that he would rely on them, his advisers and Nigerians willing and able to contribute to the administration’s policies, programmes and projects to lift the bulk of the citizens out of poverty and set them on the road to prosperity.

According to him, his administration’s eight years will have laid the ground for lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.

“This outcome will fundamentally shift Nigeria’s trajectory and place us among the world’s great nations,’’ he added..

He told them that as ministers, they would be responsible for the development and implementation of policies, programmes and projects in their various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in line with government priorities.

According to the president, the ministers must also ensure that agencies under their ministries are effective, efficient and accountable in the discharge of their responsibilities.

“Honourable Ministers-designate, we must work as a team. Although you have been chosen to represent your states as a constitutional imperative, it is vital for all of you to work as Nigerians.

“Also, working as a team demands that we know what the next person is doing. You must open communications with your colleagues. Lack of communication leads to lack of cooperation and sub-optimal performance.

“Finally, although this is called a retreat, I would like to think this is a preparation for an advance to the next level,’’ he further said.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, said the two-day presidential retreat was meant to be in sync with the policy direction of government, and contribute to the attainment of the next level goals.

“The objective of this retreat is to prepare the new Cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari’s second tenure, having been chosen to drive and coordinate the affairs and activities of the various socio-economic and political spheres of our nation.

“This assembly will afford participants the opportunity to familiarise themselves with their roles and responsibilities as cabinet ministers, an understanding that will help to shape and streamline efforts towards achieving the delivery of dividends of democraca,’’ he said.

He expressed hope that the outcome of the retreat would set a strategic agenda which would define the course of action for the next four years of the Buhari administration.

Mustapha added that it was meant to set achievable targets and identify basic strategic options that would assist the new cabinet realise the goals for which the administration was elected to achieve.

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Buhari presides over Presidential Retreat for Ministers-designate, Perm. Secretaries

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday in Abuja presided over 2-day Presidential Retreat with Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, some State Governors and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha in attendance.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the event was being attended by all the Ministers-designate as well as Permanent Secretaries and heads of Federal Government agencies and departments.

NAN, however, observed that the Head of Service, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, who has been listed as one of the resource persons at the retreat was conspicuously absent at the venue of the event.

Oyo-Ita was reported to be on medical leave after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) quizzed her over an alleged contract scam to the tune of N3 billion.

NAN also observed that acting Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, would be presenting paper on anti-corruption efforts of the Buhari administration at the retreat later today.

SYC/AFA

Edited by Felix Ajide

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