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Ekiti goes tough on rapists, pushes for castration of offenders

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In addition to life jail, the Ekiti State government, in collaboration with the office of Wife of the Governor, is making moves to amend the gender-based law to carry capital punishment such as medical castration of rapists and defilers.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that wife of the governor, Mrs Bisi Fayemi, is seeking amendment of the Gender Based Violence (Prohibition) Law, 2011 at the State House of Assembly, to deter the perpetrators.

NAN also reports that a public hearing on the GVB amendment bill was held at the state House of Assembly on Thursday, in Ado-Ekiti.

At the public hearing, the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Wale Fapohunda, said the amendment to the bill might include medical castration, compulsory psychiatric test and disqualification of offenders from benefiting from government’s social investment programmes.

“We plead with the Assembly to have expeditious and holistic consideration of the amendment to the bill, because it is to provide legal framework for the present administration’s zero tolerance for all forms of gender violence.

“The increasing cases of rape and defiling of little children in Ekiti require urgent attention.

“The amendment being sought may include imprisonment and medical castration of offenders, among others not stipulated in the existing law”, he said.

Mrs Fayemi, in her address, said that her office had since 2018 been overwhelmed with complaints bordering on all forms of violence, particularly against women.

According to her, the amendment of the bill has become imperative to give the victims voices and for offenders to be held accountable.

She added that the worst form of injustice in any society was for offenders to be let off the hook without justifiable reasons, assuring that strengthening the law would ensure punishment for violators and allow people to take ownership.

“To make the law effective, we are going decentralise the referral centres and all the local governments will have one each. You don’t need to come to the state capital before lodging your complaints.

“The GVB management committee has been brought back to attend to complaints. I felt distressed to hear when we returned back last year that the committee didn’t meet for four years after we had left.

“I’m not the owner of the law; it is for men and women in Ekiti. We only championed it. It is to protect us, our families and the society against all forms of discrimination so that we can all live life of respect and dignity.

“Violence against women keeps increasing in Ekiti. We appeal to the House to pass this law expeditiously”, Mrs Fayemi said.

The Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Mr Funminiyi Afuye, and the Chairman, House Committee on Women Affairs, Mrs Adekemi Balogun, said the law, when amended, would elevate gender issues to a human rights matter in the state.

Afuye added that there was the need for people to be proactive to ensure that gender-based violence was banished from Ekiti.

“Rape and defilement have become epidemics in our society. This bill will be given expeditious passage. Gender violence must not be tolerated in Ekiti.

“Our state must be a barometer to gauge how Nigeria is fighting the scourge and in doing this, we have to be proactive”, the speaker said. (NAN)

FFB/WAS

Edited by ‘Wale Sadeeq

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Group tasks corps members on selfless community service

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Project One Production, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has tasked membrs of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) on selfless community service during their one year compulsory service to the nation.

Mrs Bisayo Busari-Akinnadeju, the Executive Director of the group, gave this advice on Monday in a statement issued shortly after her visit to the NYSC Permanent Orientation Camp in Abuja.

Busari-Akinnadeju urged the corps members to be dedicated and committed to their one year service to Nigeria, by exhibiting virtues of patriotism.

She said that service to Nigeria was service to oneself and that such service could not be overemphasised.

“When we sing the national anthem and we talk about the labour of our heroes past, the labour starts now and not in the future because the future is now.

“We must all learn to watch out, identify and provide solutions to problems, these are the first steps to becoming heroes in the future to be reckoned with,” she said.

She challenged them to take pride as ambassadors of Nigeria anywhere they found themselves, adding that they could not be first class citizens anywhere else in the world except in Nigeria.

The director also urged the corps members to be nation builders and embrace their entrepreneurial spirit by enrolling and participating fully in the Skills Acquisition & Entrepreneurship Department (SAED) programmes organised by the NYSC.

“There are no other ways of becoming rich than to become innovative and seek new skills, ideas and polish old talents to remain relevant and produce wealth later in life.

“I believe the SAED programme is a very good platform to get equipped for the life after the one year service and I encourage all corps members to take active part in it,’’ she said.

Busari-Akinnadeju also cautioned corps members against getting involved in social vices after they exit the orientation camp.

Project One Production is an organisation, with the agenda to instil in the Nigerian youth the right leadership and political values,  appropriate for national development through political education, mentorship and scholastic awards.

Edited by Dorcas Jonah/Yemi Idris-Aduloju

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Perm Sec, pregnant wife, 2 kids burnt to death in Benue inferno–Police

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The Acting Permanent Secretary, State Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology, Mr Seker Akaa, his pregnant wife and two kids were burnt to death in a fire incident in Makurdi early hours of Monday.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in Benue, DSP Sewuese Anene confirmed the inferno to the Nigeria News Agency in Makurdi.

Anene said the fire started at about 2.40 a.m at Kwarafa Quaters, Makurdi.

NAN reports that three other flats were also burnt including the resident of Evangelist Daniel Unongo, Chaplain of Benue Government House, who is also Senior Special Assistant to Gov. Samuel Ortom on Religion.

Anene said Mr Akaa, his pregnant wife, Linda, two children; Sender and Tertsegh Akaa, all occupants of Flat 1 were burnt to death during the fire disaster.

She said that the dead bodies had been deposited at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Makurdi mortuary.

The police spokesperson said the cause of the fire accident was yet to be known, saying “investigation into the matter had already commenced”.

The Deputy Governor, Mr Benson Abounu, who immediately visited the scene, expressed shock at the level of destruction and loss of human lives.

According to Abounu, it is black day for Benue and the state has lost a prized asset in Mr. Akaa.

He prayed God to give the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.

“We cannot undo what has happened. At the moment, government will take responsibility for their burial and assist the other families to relocate. We warn against any looting of property.” Abounu said

The Commissioner, Energy, Science Technology, Dr Godwin Oyiwona also confirmed the incident and expressed the ministry’s deepest condolences.

NAN gathered from an eyewitness, who refused to be named, that the fire started in flat 1 the residence of the late acting permanent secretary.

He said the perm sec and his family would have been saved but because of the incessant cases of armed robbery recorded within the neighborhood the neighbours thought it was armed robbers that were operating again.

“Actually the fire started at Mr Akaa’s house, we would have saved him and his family but we thought it was armed robbers that were again attacking us.

“You see armed robbers attack us here regularly. So, we have adopted ways of self-defense by providing burglary protection on the doors to prevent them from getting easy access inside, that too caused delay of getting to them on time,” it said.

The witness said fire fighters from Benue Government House, Makurdi, came to the scene on time but they had little to do to save them.

NAN reports that though the cause of the inferno remained unknown, eyewitnesses said it might have been caused by electrical fault as it razed down the entire house and extended to three other houses.

NAN further reports that the fire was still burning as of the time of filing the report.

Edited /Maureen Atuonwu

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Varsity students to hold maiden cultural festival in Nasarawa

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The Students of Nasarawa State University, Keffi, are to hold the maiden edition of a cultural festival in February 2020.

The President of the Students Union Government (SUG), Mr Victor Tsaku, told the Nigeria News Agency on Monday in Keffi that the festival would be tagged: “Nsuk Carnival”.

He said the event was aimed at promoting peaceful coexistence, cultural integration, tolerance, and reawakening of the cultural values considered to be going into extinction, particularly among young people.

“We expect that all registered cultural and tribal groups in the university will participate in the festival.

“The event is put together to promote peace, cultural integration and to enable young people get acquainted with their various cultural values.

“We believe that when people get to know more about other people’s culture, they will tend to appreciate it and embrace tolerance as well to enhance peaceful coexistence in our society.

“The festival will hold second week of February, 2020,” he said.

Tsaku said the students body is working with the department of History of the institution to produce a book on the history of Nasarawa State and the university, adding that the book would be presented at the festival.

He also said that the SUG would use the event to lay the foundation for its secretariat.

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Prince tasks kingmakers on choice of Oluyin successor

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Prof. Tunde Falodun,  a contender for the vacant throne of Oluyin of Iyin- Ekiti has urged those involved in the kingship selection process to be circumspect and diligent about their choice for the peace and development of the town.

Falodun, a Professor of Communication Physics, Department of Physics, Federal University of Technology, Akure, (FUTA) gave the advice in an interview with Nigeria News Agency, at Iyin-Ekiti in Irepodun/Ifelodun local government area of Ekiti.

Oyinyosaiye Uyin Ii.

who joined his ancestors in September, after 14 years on the throne, was the pioneer Chief Judge of Ekiti state and former administrator of the National Judicial Institute, Abuja.

Falodun said that the footprints of the late monarch transcended Iyin-Ekiti as he was “a dependable adviser to various organisations and government at various levels which regularly sought his words of wisdom”.

The prince noted that it would be in the best interest of the town to chose a successor that woul sustain the trend of development laid by Ajakaiye.

e late Oluyin may have joined his ancestors, but the outstanding achievements recorded during his reign would remain watershed in the annals of history of Iyin-Ekiti and his memory will remain evergreen.”

“Oba Ajakaiye, brought a lot of progress and development to the town and lifted the stool of Oluyin to a greater height both within and outside the country”

“He was a reliable and creative leader, available at all times not only for the development of the town, but also for his subjects..

“Oba Ajakaiye’s successor, therefore, must be a bridge builder, a good listener, level headed individual with capability for right judgment, educationally and traditionally intelligent, God fearing and a down-to-earth community mobiliser.

“We cannnot afford to trivialise the process of the selection of the new Oba because a lot depends on it for the sustainable growth of the town,” he said.

He commended the Council of Chiefs, community leaders and all Iyin indigenes for their steadfastness during the period of the transition of the late Oba.

He expressed happiness with the selection of Princess Adeola as the Regent of Iyin and prayed God to grant her the wisdom to pilot the affairs of the town in her regency.

Falodun, a Prince from the lineage of Oba Agboun, Oketagidigidi Ruling House of the town said he had been selected and endorsed by his people to contest the exalted stool of Oluyin.

The don recalled he contested the thronel with the late Oba Ajakaye when it became vacant in 2004.

Edited by Ese E. Ekama

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OTrike unites Jos people, says Planner

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The Marketing Business Planner of OTrike (an Online Transport Service) in Jos, Mr Collins Nzeribe, says the service is uniting residents of the city through its operations.

Nzeribe said the company had been providing service to people of the area through Keke Napep operators called “Riders”.

He told Nigeria News Agency on Monday in Jos that the Riders were able to ferry passengers to places in the Jos metropolis which were perceived as “No-go-areas” by different groups, because of the religious crisis that bedeviled the city some time ago.

He said the initiative had helped in re-integrating the residents of the area who are of different faiths, as the riders did not have choice of whom to pick,from what locations and to what destinations.

He said the practice had removed fear and feeling of restriction among the people.

The planner said the riders were freely ferrying passengers to such places as Angwan Rogo and Bauchi road, Tundun Wada and Agwan Rukuba, irrespective of their religions.

He said that OTrike had also provided a platform for both riders and users to relate in a conducive environment.

He said the service was technology-driven, accessible via the OPay app – a super app that was available on Android and iOS, with features that catered for variety of lifestyle demands.

Nzeribe said people of different tribes and religious believed they could sit, discuss and relate well without fear, using the service.

He said Plateau needed unity and peace and OTrike was helping to achieve such through its own operations.

Some of the users and riders spoken to said they enjoyed the absence of restriction in their movements.

One of the riders, Usman Abubakar, said he enjoyed moving around to pick passengers unhindered, and thanked OTrike for the oppotunity.

Another, Anthony Uche, said,“before now, there was serious division as there were boundaries people could not cross into places any how” .

Uche said that he go would to as far as Bauchi road to pick people now and that was not his route before.

‘’The Opay App connects us to our users and since it is done on line, it is impossible for one to say no to some locations,” Uche said.

Mrs Ene Okoh, a passenger, said a rider who belonged to a religion different from hers could pick her in her area and take her to the destination of her choice.

Amina Ibrahim also said she liked the accessibility of the service which enabled her to freely visit all parts of the city.

Edited by Abdullahi Yusuf

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Lai Mohammed commends Nigerian actors for their creative prowess

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The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed on Sunday commended Nigerian actors for their creative prowess in acting and inculcating morals in the public through plays.

Mohammed gave the commendation late on Sunday night after a stage play entitled: “Man Enough” at the Terra Kulture Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos

He said that the efforts of the Nigerian actors were appreciated based on their positive impact on fellow Nigerians and the creative industry.

” The talents I have seen so far in Nigerian actors and actresses render them capable to compete favourably with their colleagues in other climes.

” The play was well presented, am quite impressed with the presentation and the morals a lot of people must have benefited from today.

” This is a play that present the challenges men go through on a daily basis and solutions were proffered to managing such challenges,” he said.

The lead actor of the play, Gideon Okeke advised Nigerians to imbibe some virtues in the play in order to impart positively on people.

He said some of the virtues were: effective communication, expressing brotherly love to people around and care more for others.

According to him, an act of kindness or love expressed towards a fellow human being could go a long way in improving an individuals’ life.

He also advised that people should learn to communicate effectively while they listen more.

” People in the society react to issues differently and we are faced with different forms of challenges which could be resolved or trivialised by a neighbour’s act of love and care.

” We should learn to be our brother’s keeper and render helping hands to the needy because this could help others from being depressed, committing suicide or some other bad things,” he said.

Edited by Sadiya Hamza

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