The Ebonyi Government in its bid to totally eradicate cultism in the state, has taken its campaign against the deadly menace to secondary schools.
Chief Chika Nwangele, the Special Adviser to the Gov. David Umahi on Internal Security (South), told the Nigeria News Agency on Friday in Abakaliki, that the campaign woukd be holistic.
Nwangele said that students in schools such as the Urban Model Secondary School and Okpaugwu Abakaliki, Holy Ghost Secondary School, Abakaliki among others across the state, would be enlightened on the dangers of cultism.
“During this campaign, we discovered that most cultists, especially students are not actually happy or comfortable to be cult members.
“Many of them admitted to have joined these deadly groups due to group or friendship influences characterised with indulgence in hard drugs consumption and other indecent behaviours.
“We discovered that secondary schools are the breeding grounds of these nefarious groups as students are indoctrinated to join them without knowing the consequences,” he said.
The special adviser said that his office’s collaboration with the police and other security agencies, had yielded fruits with the anti-cultism message spreading to the desired destinations.
“This campaign has resulted in the genuine repentance and denouncement of cultism by over 2, 000 indigens of the state, mostly youths.
“Most of the repentant cultists denounced in churches and receive spiritual edification not to rejoin such groups but be useful in life.
“We know the essence of God’s divine touch on such persons as it is only an abnormal individual that would decide to kill another person in the name of cultism,” he said.
He said that the various empowerment schemes of the state government had assisted youths to be gainfully employed and not resort to vices such as cultism, armed robbery and kidnapping among others to earn their living.
“This campaign is in conformity with the state governor’s grace to cultists to repent and denounce association of such groups before being faced with punitive measures.
“We are also collaborating with the state government’s floated security outfit — the Neigbourhood Security Watch — to stem incidences of crimes in the bud.
“We will soon start impounding motorcycles and vehicles which operate without number plates because they aid criminals in perpetrating their dastardly acts of child-theft and trafficking and kidnapping, among others,” he said. (NAN)
(Edited by Nick Nicholas/Peter Ejiofor)
Revised NDC will impact Nigeria’s climate, economic development, says Environmentalist
An Environmental Expert, Prof. Chukwumerije Okereke, says the revision of the nation’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) has the potential to impact Nigeria and Africa’s climate change policy and economic development.
Okereke, Director, Centre for Climate Change and Development (CCCD) at Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ebonyi State, made this known in a statement in Lagos on Monday.
He stated that the ongoing revision of NDC would produce a robust document that could help to drive sustainable green economic development for the country.
According to him, there are several environmental experts that consider Nigeria’s original NDC quite ambitious.
“Some might say that Nigeria ought to demonstrate leadership by increasing its ambition.
“Others might say that the priority for the country for now should be on rebooting its economic growth.
“A critical question to ask is to what extent Nigeria has actually implemented the NDC that it pledged in 2015?
“And what are the environmental, social and economic benefits that have accrued to the country as a result.
“It is important to ensure that Nigeria is not simply making commitments it has no intention of achieving simply to please the developed countries that are financially supporting the NDC revision process,” he said.
Okereke stated that some experts asserted that the preparation of the original NDC, which started in late June 2015, was rushed to meet the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) deadlines.
“One implication was that some of the data and analyses on which the NDC was based relied on grey literature and are judged very suspect.
“For example, in the absence of a national emission registry, the emissions from most of the key sectors (energy, transport and forestry) on which the NDC was based were best guess projections,” he said.
The professor added that the previous NDC preparation process had limited public engagement, thus hindered the country from receiving inputs from critical stakeholders like business moguls, parliamentarians and sub-national actors.
“Till date, many of these stakeholders have remained largely unaware of or had limited involvement in the implementation of the NDC.
“Moreover, with limited public awareness of, and engagement with the development of the original NDC, there was not much from the civil society in the way of monitoring the implementation (or lack) of the NDC following its ratification in 2017,” he said.
Okereke said that in the original NDC, Nigeria committed itself to make 20 per cent “unconditional emission reduction” of its Greenhouse Gas emission by 2030 compared to the 2010 levels.
Okereke noted that Nigeria further committed that it would increase her emission reduction to 45 per cent by 2030 if help was received from the international development partners.
He stated that Nigeria’s NDC was built on the appealing philosophy of pursuing socioeconomic development while reducing carbon pollution.
Okereke added that NDCs are voluntary documents that governments agreed that parties to the UNFCCC would submit to show what each government had committed to do in order to tackle climate change.
He, however, said that though the submission and commitment are voluntary, once a country submitted their NDC, they were expected to keep the commitment or pledge made.
Okereke noted that Nigeria started the process of revising her NDC in March 2020 and would be due to conclude the exercise in November.
Edited By: Sam Oditah/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)
Breastfeeding : Ebonyi Governor’s wife guarantees optimal feeding for survival of children
The Wife of Ebonyi Governor, Mrs Rachael Umahi has pledged to bridge the gap of breastfeeding in the state for survival of children.
Mrs Umahi made the promise in a statement to newsmen on Monday in Abakaliki, to commemorate the 2020 World Breastfeeding Week with theme: “Support Breastfeeding for a Healthier Planet”.
The governor’s wife expressed sadness that in the state, only four in 10 children benefited from exclusive breastfeeding.
According to her, the situation is similar and sometimes worse in several other states.
“It is no doubt, therefore, that one in four children are stunted and stunting has long life impacts, reflected in both childhood: during learning and adulthood in economical outputs.
“The same condition worsens birth outcomes and persists across generations.
“When malnourished children become adults, they are more likely to suffer from chronic diseases, making populations vulnerable to pandemics, like we are currently faced with.
“I pledge to bridge the gap for the survival of our children, and subsequently, a healthier planet.’’ she said.
She called on mothers, fathers and Local Government Areas (LGA) caretakers to join in the renewed call for appropriate feeding as one pathway to mitigate environmental degradation that started with correct breastfeeding.
“For a healthier state, nation and planet, we need every support to ensure appropriate feeding, from the beginning,’’ she said.
Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Maureen Atuonwu (NAN)
COVID-19: Nigeria reports 304 fresh infections; death toll hits 888
Nigeria reported 304 new confirmed cases of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) as the death toll jumps to 888.
Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) made this known on its official twitter handle on Sunday.
The centre noted that five deaths were recorded in the country.
It added that till date, the country recorded 43,841 confirmed cases, 20,308 discharged and 888 deaths in 36 states and the FCT.
It showed that the 304 new cases were reported from 15 states, namely Lagos (81), FCT (39), Abia (31), Kaduna (24), Rivers (23), Plateau (16), Cross River (13), Ebonyi (12), Ondo (12) Ekiti (11), Edo (11), Benue (10), Nasarawa (10), Ogun (6) and Gombe (5).
The health agency noted that a multi-sectoral national Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), activated at Level 3, would continue to coordinate the COVID-19 national response activities across the country.
The NCDC said that Nigerians risk of the virus would be higher if they were less than six feet from people at a crowded public place or if they freely share equipment and not practice social distancing and other habits to stay healthy.
Edited By: Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu (NAN)
FRSC cautions against claiming of right on the road
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has cautioned motorists against insisting on their right of way because such moves do lead to accidents on major roads in the country.
Udoma spoke after monitoring some major road corridors within Enugu, Abia and Ebonyi states as part of his supervision on the ongoing “Operation Safe Journey’’ for the Eid-el-Kabir celebration nationwide.
Udoma, who is in-charge of Abia, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo states, said; “The motoring public and every other road users should ply the roads with restraint and accommodation of others.
“At times a fellow motorist may be making a mistake and infringing on your right of way; the best approach to avoid accident and build up traffic is for you to be patient with the erring driver and give him a minute or two and you go your way peacefully.
“The little patience and accommodation we display on the roads usually help our journeys to be smooth and hitch-free,’’ he said.
The zonal commander urged motorists to apply defensive driving and start their journeys on time to avoid the temptation of driving on high speed to make up for lost time.
“The best journey is the one made and the people at the other end, which is your destination, can comfortably welcome you alive as well as hale and hearty,’’ he said.
On the outcome of his monitoring, Udoma said that FRSC got enough personnel as well as patrol and other special vehicles for evacuation and rescue deployed at strategic locations within the zone.
“So far, the transport companies and fleet operators that convey passengers has maintained carrying only 50 per cent of their normal passengers in line with the COVID-19 Protocols although with their fares increased.
“Terminals (parks) owners have fully complied with provisions of hand washing facilities and alcohol based hand sanitisers; while wearing of face mask is made mandatory for all passengers as well.
“From general assessment, the operation has been smooth and hitch-free within the zone and stakeholders are also up and doing,’’ he added.
NAN reports that “Operation Safe Journey’’, which was flagged-off on July 29; would terminate on Aug. 8.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)