Prominent Nigerians, including the First Lady Aisha, Buhari and Edo Deputy Governor Philip Shuaibu, have bagged the Maiden Ambrose Alli University (AAU) Pillar of Sports Award, for their role in youth and sports development.
The awards presented by Prof. Ignatius Onimawo, Vice-Chancellor, AAU, Ekpoma, Edo, also saw billionaire businessman, Prince Ned Nwoko, Osun State Governor, Mr Gboyega Oyetola and former Oyo Governor Alao Akala, honoured with the same award.
Other awardees were Mr Gideon Ikhine, a PDP Governorship Aspirant in Edo, Speaker of Edo House of Assembly, Mr Frank Okiye, and Chief Ken Imasuagbon, Proprietor of Pace Setters Schools, as well as Mr Brown Ebewele, former Edo Commissioner for Sports.
Prof. Onimawo said the awardees deserved to be honoured going by their pedigree and contributions to sports development in the state and in the country.
“We looked at their pedigree and what they have been doing for sports; take the case of deputy governor of Edo State, as a deputy governor he plays for Bendel Insurance FC of Benin as a team member.
“Is it Brown Ebewele? This is someone who has contributed his quota in sports as commissioner for sports; Ned Nwoko is building stadium somewhere.
“These individuals have done so well in the area of youth and sports development when you look at them one after the other.
“Chief Imasuagbon, popularly known as the `Rice Man’ is supporting sports everywhere in Edo State, so we don’t just give award because somebody has money; if it were for money, we know people to contact.
“Some of them are not sportsmen but they like sports and they contribute to its development, so, they deserve the award,” Onimawo said.
Onimawo, who was decorated with a special belt by the Karate Association in Edo, also commended the awardees for donating to the university’s N500 million endowment fund for the construction of a mini stadium.
The stadium, the vice-chancellor said, when completed would have an indoor sports hall facilities and also a tartan track for athletics.
“We will have an indoor sports hall where we can play badminton, table tennis and then, develop a new arena for hockey, volleyball and handball, these are things we want develop.
“My vision is that by the time we are leaving office, all round development of sports must have taken place,” he added.
The PDP Governorship Aspirant, Ikhine, who dedicated the award to the youths of the state, noted that sports epitomises so many things in the development of many nations, especially when taken from the grassroots.
He said that sporting activities usually determined the progress, tenacity and focus of any individual.
“Like I always say, what makes up for a great nation is the ability to fail and rise from the failing; people don’t really see the dignity in failing because each time you fail it builds up your muscle to remain focus in what you are doing.
“Sports is not all about winning, sports is all about taking off, failing and rising to win. The greatest of men in sports, Mohammed Ali was not Mohammed Ali because he kept winning all his fight but how he always comes back each time he was knocked out.
“So, we should train our children, especially in the University to be able to retrace their steps whenever they fail; that is what builds up the muscle for a great nation and as sportsmen and sportswomen, we must train and retrain ourselves to remain very competent for any competition.”
Prof. Felix Okokhere, who received the award on behalf of Aisha Buhari and Mr Okiye, the Edo House of Assembly Speaker, said the award was an indication that sports development and people go hand-in-hand.
“This university is located in a place where talents abound; Super Eagles players Victor Osihmen and Odion Ighalo are from this environment and we want to encourage more of their likes to come up.”
Okokhere, who is a member of the award committee, said the award is not about grandstanding but bringing development to the grassroots.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that businessman, Dr Fola Akinsonun received the award on behalf of Gov. Oyetola.
(Edited & Vetted By: Peter Ejiofor)
Plateau State University to open zonal offices for research, community services
The Plateau State University (PLASU), Bokkos, is to open zonal and sub-zonal offices within the state in order to expand the scope of its activities to realise the “Plateau Dream”.
The Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Yohana Izam, disclosed this on Monday when he led the Management of the institution on a courtesy visit to the Mishkaham Mwaghavul of Mangu, Da Nelson Andak Bakfur, and the District Head of Pankshin, Nde Danjuma B. Dimlong.
According to a statement signed by Mr John Agam, the university’s Public Relations Officer (PRO), Izam said, “we have embarked on the first leg of a site identification visit to Pankshin headquarters of Central Senatorial Zone and Mangu to shop for suitable locations for would-be zonal and sub zonal offices”.
“Already, some management teams have inspected four possible sites for the university’s zonal offices.
“PLASU’s focal areas of operation are: teaching, research and community service, which explains our desire to have zonal and sub-zonal offices in the state.
“While the teaching component has been achieved, the research and community service components are yet to have the desired impact on the state,” he said.
The vice chancellor said that the establishment of the zonal and sub-zonal offices would provide the platform for better interaction that would enable the university to leverage on such proximity to find research solutions to problems associated with establishing and sustaining businesses in rural communities and poor farming practices which results in low yields.
According to him, “by next year when the zonal offices come on stream, the community service component mandate of the university will impact positively on the rural communities; thus giving the people a sense of belonging”.
He also said the opening of such offices would make the activities of the university’s alumni visible as the facilities would serve as a feedback mechanism for constant touch with the people of the state.
Izam thanked the traditional rulers for their support to the PLASU project, saying that when new faculties such as Law, Health Sciences, Environmental Sciences and the Postgraduate School came up, they would increase the number of programmes offered by the university.
He also commended Gov. Simon Lalong for bringing stability to the institution as a result of which he said, 13 additional programmes being ran by the university had been accredited; thus facilitating the formation of Plateau State University Alumni association.
Responding, the two Paramount Rulers, Bakfur and Nimlong, lauded the initiative and promised to support the university in order to realise the Plateau dream.
They also commended the vice chancellor for the innovation, which they said would transform the institution in no distant future and be ranked among the best universities in the country.
Edited by: Saidu Adamu and Abdullahi Yusuf
CCT: FG spends N52m in Jigawa LG
The Federal Government on Monday said it has spent over N52 million on vulnerable women in Guri Local Government Area of Jigawa under the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Programme.
Alhaji Abubakar Dan-Barde, Social Investment Programme Co-ordinator in the area, disclosed this to Nigeria News Agency in Guri.
He said each of the beneficiaries received N5,000 each as stipend for November and December.
Dan-Barde, however, said 1,210 of the women, who were either pregnant or breastfeeding, received additional N10,000 each.
The co-ordinator called on the beneficiaries to use the money judiciously to improve their living conditions.
The CCT is a Federal Government Programme aimed at reducing poverty and making welfare programmes conditional upon the beneficiaries actions.
The conditions include: showing evidence of immunization, antenatal attendance and environmental sanitation.
Edited by: Ismail Abdulaziz
Gridlock: LASG cautions operators of events, religious centres over traffic gridluck
The Lagos State Government on Sunday cautioned operators of event centres, property owners, religious centres and other places of attraction to desist from compounding traffic gridlock on roads around their locations.
The Commissioner for Transportation, Dr Frederic Oladeinde, read the riot act to owners of event centres and places of attraction to desist from activities that could obstruct free flow of traffic.
The commissioner specifically cited the Lekki-Expressway where several man-hours were lost on Saturday due to traffic gridlock and apologised to residents for the road blockage occasioned by activities of the event centres.
‘’Henceforth, any social event where the number of expected visitors exceeds 50, organizers of such event must notify the General Manager of LASTMA in advance, especially, if it is perceived that their property would not accommodate large numbers of vehicles that may be brought by their guests.
“The LASTMA authority will be on hand to advise them on what to do rather than allowing their visitors to block roads as this will attract stiffer penalties if caught.
is never repeated.
“Let me, therefore, warn all event centres managers once again that they are now under obligation to notify the LASTMA Authority of their scheduled events plans so that LASTMA can as well plan for efficient traffic flow in the area, failure to abide by this regulations, will attract stiff penalty.
The commissioner said the administration of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu was poised to tackle the menace of traffic gridlocks.
He urged the residents to continue to support the 6-pillar development agenda of the state government for a traffic free flow and more prosperous Smart City Lagos.
Edited by: Okisor Angela/Wale Ojetimi
Over 100m Nigerians threathened by desertification, deforestation, erosion – Ohakim
A former Governor of Imo, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, says over 100 million or 50 per cent of Nigerian citizens are directly or indirectly threathened by desertification, deforestation and erosion.
Ohakim made this known in a paper he delivered at the 2019 Public Service Lecture and Award Series of the University of Ibadan Alumni Association, Imo State Branch.
The lecture which held in Owerri had the theme: “Nigeria: The Leadership Question”.
Ohakim said that the annual rate of deforestation in Nigeria stood approximately at four per cent or about 400,000 hectares to 450,000 hectares.
According to him, out of 909.890km2 of the country’s land area, about 600,000km2 or 65.94 per cent of the total land area had been lost to desert encroachment.
“Over 100 million people or 50 per cent of our citizens are directly or indirectly being threatened by desertification, deforestation and gully erosion,” he said.
Ohakim called on Nigerians to cooperate with governments in curbing deforestation by stopping what he called “people’s bizarre behaviour such as refuse madness, indiscriminate cutting of trees, open defeacation, over grazing and others in the midst of climate emmergency”.
“It is an inescapable fact that we have gotten to the point of profound disconnect from our environment and one another.
“We have behaved in a shortsighted way, dealing heavy blows to the environment, and the environment is fighting back,” he said.
The former governor said that leadership transcends politics, adding that Nigerians must take serious acount of leadership at the family, community, church, institutions and organisational levels ‘otherwise those at the helm of affairs would excape scrutiny’.
He described leadership as the ability to inspire change and make a paradigm shift, urging that leadership must promote change, move a people or an organisation to the next level.
According to him, a leader must be a man of courage and convinction if he must change the status quo as well as be visionary to effect the desired change.
Ohakim added that leadership was essentially a selfless enterprise often with a heavy price to pay.
” The urgency of our situation demands a new, clear and different structure through which our people will be organised to face the 21st century challenges,” he said.
The Chairman of the occasion, Mr Mike Okiro, a former Inspector-General of Police, represented by Amb. Pascal Asor, hailed the alumni association for the programme.
He urged the members of the association to live up to people’s expectation by bringing their wealth of experience to bear on the development of the country.
The Chairman of the state branch of the alumni association, Mr Richmond Amaechi, noted that the lecture was the second edition.
He said that the first held in 2018 with theme “Restructuring and National Development in Nigeria”, was delivered by Chief Jerry Alagbooso, Member representing Orlu, Osu and Oru East Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives.
He said that the association, had through the lecture been contributing its quota to nation-building and sustenance of democracy.
Amaechi said that the assocation would give honour to Nigerians who had distinquished themselves in their chosen professions.
He hoped that the lecture and responses from ir would add value to the nation’s quest for good leadership.
Other recipient are Chief Ikedi Ohakim, who also recieved the Leadership Award of Excellence as Founder of Clean and Green Africa Initiative, Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta and Sen. Theodore Orji, a former Governor of Abia.
The received Alumnus Award of Execellence.
Ohakim, on behalf of the award receipients, thanked the association for finding them worthy of the award, and promised to continue to support it.
Edited by: Ijeoma Popoola
Wake-up to delivering democracy dividends, Gbadamosi urges Sanwo-Olu
The Action Democratic Party (ADP) Governorship candidate in the 2019 Lagos State Gubernatorial Election, Mr Babatunde Gbadamosi, has urged Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu to “wake up” to the challenges of delivering dividends of democracy to Lagosians after 200 days in office.
Speaking during a media parley with editors in Lagos, the ADP candidate scored Sanwo-Olu low across all sectors of governance, saying that “the governor could have done better”.
“Sanwo-Olu needs to find his spine, he needs to find his backbone, he needs to find his will and execute what he said he will execute if elected the governor of Lagos state when we had that famous pre-election debate.
“The governor needs to wake up and sort out the lowest of the low hanging fruits,” Gbadamosi told the editors in Lagos.
The ADP chieftain said that Sanwo-Olu could achieve a lot more and a lot faster and in the strategic area of road construction.
In the area of transport development, the ADP candidate said that the governor was not doing what he should be doing as the average Lagosian spends seven to eight hours in traffic every day.
“The Lagos -Badagry Expressway is a shame to 20 years of civilian governance in Lagos State despite the support received from the Federal Government and partners to redevelop the road.
“It is a shame to all of us Lagosians that we allow that road to get to such a deplorable state,” he said.
He said that the Lagos State Government could afford and should actually be paying N100,000 as minimum wage, considering the high cost of living in the state.
According to him, his mission is to help the incumbent government in office by pointing out how to get things done in a workable and practical way.
“It is not just about criticising and pointing out the flaws, it is about pointing out how well to achieve what we all want, which is good governance.
“So, we have to do whatever we can do to help the incumbent government to achieve good governance,” Gbadamosi said.
According to him, there are still very many green areas which are not built up in Lagos State because there are no roads to open up such areas.
“And the reason they are not built up is because there is no road. For instance, the Lekki -Ajah axis is still largely undeveloped. There’s no road; no coastal road.
“Imagine if we put a 10-lane expressway along the coastline, the area will develop; and if you build solid infrastructure in Lagos, you make money,” he said.
He called on all stakeholders to join hands in building a partnership for prosperity and good governance in Lagos.
“The partnership I am talking about is one where we come together to build a society for which all of us can benefit without necessarily dipping our hands into the state coffers.
“Lagos is my focus, if we can fix Lagos, the rest of the country will be playing catch up,” Gbadamosi said.
Edited by: Peter Dada
Yuletide: FRSC deploys 1,500 personnel to Kano highways
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Kano State Command, has deployed no fewer than 1,500 personnel and 21 patrol vehicles to major highways in the state to ensure effective traffic management and enforcement during the Yuletide.
Similarly, the command had deployed two ambulances and a heavy tow trucks to the highways in addition to Regular and Special Marshals for the Christmas and New year celebration.
This is contained in a statement signed by the FRSC Sector Commander in the State, Mr Zubairu Mato and made available to Nigeria News Agency on Sunday in Kano.
According to the Mato, “The FRSC personnel will be deployed along the routes leading to all the highways, especially on Kano-Wudil-Takai and Kano-Zaria because of the heavy traffic density.
“This arrangement is in order to curb the excesses of motorists and to minimize road traffic crash through aggressive enforcement of traffic laws and regulations, including mobile courts deployment for speedy sanctioning of rules violators during the festivity.
“The command will equally deploy 24 hours standby teams for emergency rescue services and a heavy duty tow truck for prompt removal of obstructions during the festive period.
“Operation zero tolerance 2019 has commenced nationwide from Dec.15 and will last up to Jan. 19, 2020 and shall target excessive speeding, dangerous driving and overtaking, tyre violations, road obstructions, overloading violation, lane indiscipline and route and seat belt violations among others,” Mato said.
The FRSC Sector Commander advised all motorists and other road users in the state to obey traffic rules and regulations as well as to be patient at all times.
He also called on stakeholders in transportation business to assist the Command in their respective domains to achieve the zero road traffic crash fatality targeted by command in the state for the period and beyond.
Edited by: Tukur Muntari.
ACF condemns killing of aid workers by Boko Haram terrorists
The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has condemned in strong terms the Killing of aid workers by Boko Haram terrorists in Borno.
The aid workers were abducted by terrorists in July 2019 on their way to a remote community in the northeast to provide humanitarian support to victims of Boko Haram violence.
This is contained in a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the Forum, Alhaji Muhammad Ibrahim and issued to newsmen in Kaduna on Sunday.
He said ACF was shocked and saddened by the sad news of yet another killing of four aid workers including a woman by the Boko Haram terrorists in Borno.
“It would be recalled that sometimes last year two female aid workers with International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) were abducted by the terrorists during an attack on the military base in Rann, Borno State,
“They were subsequently executed by the terrorists on the grounds that the Federal Government failed to meet up some of their demands,” Ibrahim said.
He said the recent action of the terrorists to say the least was callous, barbaric and inhuman and totally against the tenets of Islam and humanity.
According to him, the killing is clear desecration of Islam which preaches sacred inviolability of the individual.
“The Federal Government’s assurances that it has been working with some friendly countries and other international organizations to save the lives of the innocent aid workers and other kidnapped female students have not yielded the desired result.
The Forum, therefore, urged the Federal government to review its negotiation strategy with the terrorists and ensure that all kidnapped persons still in the captivity of the Boko Haram including Leah Sharibu and the Chibok girls are rescued and released to their families.
“ACF urges the Federal Government to intensify its rescue operations in order to assuage the fears of Nigerians of what may happen to those still in captivity.
“ACF extends its condolences to the families of who were brutally executed by the terrorists for serving humanity and equally commiserates with the families of those still in captivity,” he added.
Edited by: Tukur Muntari.
Shun evil, move closer to God for peace, unity to reign in Nigeria- Cleric urges Nigerians
A cleric, Prophet Adewale Adekoya, has urged Nigerians to move closer to God and shun all evil acts as an individual and as a nation for peace and unity to reign in the country.
Adekoya, who is the Senior Pastor, Christ Apostolic Church, Mountain of Mercy, Jehovah Jireh in Abule Egba, Lagos, made the plea at the Church’s Annual Thanksgiving Service on Sunday in Lagos.
“If Nigerians can go back to God, there will be peace in the country.
“Hardship as popularly said by people has been in existence for many years even, before we were born.
“It will continue, unless we move closer to God as an individual and as a nation in general,” he said.
The cleric said that God was willing and ready to end the sufferings of Nigerians, only if they could move closer to Him.
According to him, God will put an end to all the challenges facing the country in as much as we citizens are ready to trust and rely on Him.
“What people are after now is money, money, not the will of God, that is why the country is facing so many challenges of banditry, insurgency, money rituals and kidnapping.
“And these are the signs of the end time according to the word of God; it is only God that can bring solutions to all the challenges in the country and Nigeria is going to be great,” he said.
In his remarks, Pastor Dapo Owoeye of the same church, said that majority of Christians have shifted their focusses from God and turned to miracle seeker.
“The Bible says seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all other things shall be added unto you”, Rather than seeking Kingdom of God, people are only after the wordly things.
“Today people leave what God said and follow their selfish interest that’s why the society is full of ritualists, kidnappers, bandits among others.
“God has not changed; ours is just to obey all the righteousness and follow His steps and instructions for blessings and favour to be our portions,” he said.
Speaking, Mrs Funmilayo Okunnu, the Chairperson in charge of the 2019 Annual Thanksgiving thanked God Almighty for giving the church the opportunity to witness another thanksgiving service.
Okunnu urged government at all levels to assist the masses by formulating policies that would create job opportunities for the teaming youths.
“Majority of people in this country are living below a dollar per day, which is not supposed to be so; the standard of living is low compare with other developed countries.
“We urge the governments to assist farmers to ensure adequate food supply for the benefit of the masses.
Edited by: Olagoke Olatoye
Sokoto Govt. disburses N6.5m for free treatment of needy patients
The Sokoto State Government on Sunday disbursed N6.5 million to health facilities it engaged to offer free treatment to needy patients in the state.
The chairman, Zakkat and Endowment Commission, Malam Muhammad Maidoki told newsmen that the money was disbursed to the special committees set up by the Commission to manage the grant.
“Today like all other months, we are disbursing the sum of N6.5 million to our various partners for the treatment of needy patients across the state.
“As such, I want to urge our partners in the hospitals and pharmaceutical shops committees to remain committed in ensuring proper utilisation of the funds allocated to them,” he said.
Maidoki urged wealthy individuals and organisations to complement government effort in bringing succour to the needy, especially those requiring urgent medical care and attention.
While commending Gov. Aminu Tambuwal for sustaining the free healthcare initiative, the Chairman restated that the assistant is not for the indigenous alone but all needy residents across the state.
Nigeria News Agency reports that the benefitting hospitals committees include, Kware Psychiatric Hospital, Usman Danfodio University Teaching Hospital, Specialist Hospital, Sokoto and Wamakko Orthopedic Hospital.
Others are, Maryam Abacha Hospital, Iman Hospital and W.C.W.C Hospital, while the Pharmaceutical shop include, Binji, Zumunci, Rauda Iman and Maigobir pharmacies respectively.
Edited by: Okisor Angela/ Tukur Muntari.
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