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Gov. Bello inaugurates social rehabilitation centre in Niger



 Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger has inaugurated a Social Rehabilitation Centre renovated by the Northern Governors’ Wives Forum.

Inaugurating the centre in Minna on Wednesday, Bello said  government was worried about the increase in drug abuse by youths in the state.

Bello said he had constituted a committee to mitigate the sale of illegal substances by owners of patent medicine shops.

“Drug abuse is everybody’s concern; government and stakeholders should be more concerned about the well-being of our children,’’ he said.

Also speaking the Chairperson of the Northern Governors’ Wives Forum, Dr Amina Bello, said the centre was part of efforts to equip states in the Northern part of the country to handle drug abuse.

According to her, the forum is committed to ensuring that each state has a treatment and rehabilitation centre to cater for youths who are addicted to drugs.

“We have participated in several workshops and organised workshops and training in our various states.

“Our advocacy has led to the renovation and creation of drug rehabilitation centres in Kogi and Sokoto States respectively,’’ she said.

According to her, the United Nation’s Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) Survey in 2018, revealed that the prevalence of psychoactive substance use in Nigeria was 14.4 per cent with prevalence in North Central region where Niger was situated being as high as 10 per cent.

She said the statistics showed that one out of every four drug users was a woman, with the highest drug use being among young people of between the ages of 25 to 39 years.

The chairperson noted that the forum was ready to contribute its own quota to the fight against the menace.

She said that no nation could progress if its most productive age group was affected by drug abuse.

In his comments, a former Director of Pharmaceutical Services in the state Ministry of Health, Ahmed Mohammed, said that the centre started operations in 1996 with 4,232 patients.

Mohammed said the centre had created awareness on drug abuse and Mental Health and also served as industrial training base for students.

Edited by Philip Dzeremo/Adeleye Ajayi


Edo: Gov. Fintiri chairs PDP Ward Congresses Electoral C’ttee



Gov. Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa will chair the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Ward Congresses Electoral Committee for the Edo governorship scheduled for Tuesday.

The party’s National Organising Secretary, Col. Austin Akobundu (rtd), disclosed this in a statement on Saturday in Abuja.

Akobundu said that the nomination of the party members and leaders to serve as members of the ward congresses electoral committee was approved by the PDP National Working Committee (NWC).

“The mandate of the committee is to elect three Ad-Hoc delegates in the 192 wards of the state for the upcoming governorship election.

“The exercise is scheduled for Tuesday June 9 across the state,” Akobundu said.

Other members of the committee are; Gov. Diri Douye of Bayelsa;  Mrs Mobolaji Lamuye, Hon. Chukwuka Onyema and Sen. Samuel Anyanwu as Secretary.

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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Former world athletics governing body chief Diack faces court over corruption




The former president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (now World Athletics) Lamine Diack will go to court here on Monday, facing a potential 10-year sentence on charges of accepting millions of dollars to cover up Russian doping tests.

The 87-year-old Senegalese was charged with “giving and receiving bribes,” a “breach of trust” and “organized money laundering” for obtaining 1.5 million dollars to cover up doping cases of 23 Russians, so they were allowed to compete at the 2012 London Olympics and the 2013 World Athletics Championships in Moscow.

Diack was in charge of the world athletics governing body during 1999-2015. He was under investigation since 2016, facing a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a heavy fine. Diack’s former legal advisor and former IAAF anti-doping chief will also appear on court.

Papa Massata Diack, son of Lamine Diack, was accused of playing a “central role” in the network of corruption. He was implicated through the payment of 450 thousand euros from Russian runner Liliya Shobukhova, allegedly to have her blood passport case delayed in order to compete in the 2012 Olympic marathon, as revealed by German TV station ARD in 2014. Diack refused to leave Senegal despite two international arrest warrants issued by France, the Senegalese authorities said they will not extradite him.

The case is due to run for six days. It was postponed in January because of procedural problems.


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Churches, mosques across Jordan reopen as gov’t eases measures against COVID-19




A Jordanian Catholic wearing a face mask attends a Mass at a Catholic church in Amman, Jordan, on June 6, 2020. Churches and mosques across Jordan reopened on Saturday as part of the government’s plan to ease the measures against the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Mohammad Abu Ghosh/Xinhua)


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Roundup: Libya’s UN-backed gov’t takes over western Libya, advances to control Sirte




The spokesman of the UN-backed Libyan government on Saturday announced launching an offensive to take over the city of Sirte, some 450 km east of the capital Tripoli, from the eastern-based army after it withdrew from western Libya.

The spokesman said the UN-backed government’s forces launched five airstrikes on the eastern-based army in Sirte that destroyed military vehicles of the eastern-based army.

Mohamed Gonono on Friday announced taking over all of western Libya after controlling Tarhuna city, the last stronghold of the rival eastern-based army in western Libya that is located some 90 km southeast of the capital Tripoli, following withdrawal of the rival eastern-based army.

The spokesman of the eastern-based army of Libya, Ahmad al-Mismari, on Friday said the eastern-based army had withdrawn from western Libya due to “international pressure.”

Munther Al-Zawi, a military commander of the UN-backed government’s forces, said that Tarhuna was the biggest threat to the UN-backed government in western Libya, which the eastern-based used as a major hub for military operations.

“Currently, we are chasing the remnants of the militias of Haftar (commander of eastern-based army) fleeing southeast of Tripoli. We will not allow any of his forces to remain in western Libya. Now, things have changed and we will not allow threats from eastern Libya, where Haftar’s is based and launches attacks,” Al-Zawi told Xinhua.

“We do not have any problems with our people in the east, unlike the godfather of chaos Haftar, who caused the loss of thousands of Libyan lives in a losing war only because of his greed for power at any cost,” he added.

Libyan parliament member, Mustafa Abu-Shagour, confirmed that the UN-backed government had defeated an “international coalition” that supported the eastern-based army.

“The 14-month epic fight of Tripoli ended with victory of the defenders of the country over the international coalition that brought mercenaries from all over the world to support Haftar, who wanted to destroy Tripoli and destroy the hope of the Libyans for a state. The Libyan freemen presented convoys of martyrs to repel this brutal aggression on their capital,” Abu-Shagour said in a statement.

The eastern-based army launched a military campaign in April 2019, attempting to take over Tripoli from the UN-backed government.

The fighting killed and injured hundreds of civilians and forced more than 150,000 others to flee their homes.


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Kebbi Governor donates N5m to victims of bandits attack in Sokoto



Gov. Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi has donated N5 million to victims of recent bandits attacks in Sabon Birni Local Government Area of Sokoto State.

A statement issued in Birnin Kebbi on Saturday by Malam Yahaya Sarki, the governor’s Special Adviser on Media, said that the donation was announced when Bagudu visited Sokoto on sympathy visit on Friday.

Bagudu noted that the obnoxious mayhem unleashed on innocent victims had left many people injured and multi-million naira worth of property destroyed.

He extolled the commitment, proactive actions and foresightedness of Gov. Aminu Tambuwal in addressing the security and social needs of Sokoto citizens.

He recalled the recent visit by Tambuwal to President Buhari where he intimated him on the sad development.

”We are happy that President Muhammadu Buhari has since directed the Armed forces and other security agencies to urgently stem the tide of bandits’ nefarious activities.

”The condolence visit is also, to express support and solidarity to the government and people of Sokoto State.

”I prayed to Almighty Allah to repose the souls of the deceased and grant their respective families and the state government the fortitude to bear the irreparable losses,” he said.

Responding, Tambuwal commended Bagudu for the visit and the uncommon show of love, support and solidarity.

He appreciated Bagudu’s style of leadership in Kebbi and as Chairman of APC Progressive Governors Forum.

He also said Sokoto and Kebbi States were one and would remain inseparable and that whatever affected one affected the other.

Tambuwal said that the Federal Government had responded to the ugly development in the state and other neighbouring states.

He restated his commitment to securing the lives and property of the people of the state .

Similarly, Gov. Bagudu, accompanied by Tambuwal, were at the palace of the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, to condole with him over the sad incident.

Bagudu said: “We are at this prestigious and highly revered palace to offer our sincere heatfelt sympathy on behalf of the government and people of Kebbi State.”

He also acknowledged the role played by the Sultan in taking decisions to curtail the spread of the raging coronavirus apart from providing plausible solutions to the recurring security challenges in the country.

Respnding, the Sultan, thanked Gov. Bagudu for the visit, describing the relationship between Kebbi and Sokoto states as cordial.

While praying for the souls of the deceased, Sultan also harped on the need for sustained unity amongst the two states.

The Sultan acknowledged the ongoing concerted efforts by the governors to bring to an end the obnoxious acts of banditry in the region.

He said: “We will continue to play our role as leaders and offer useful advice to leaders, to serve the people better.

“Let me reiterate that COVID-19 is still around the corner, I am appealing to the Governors to continue to take plausible measures to contain the spread of the disease,” Abubakar said. 

Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)

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Land dispute: Kwara Govt sues for peace between 2 communities



The Kwara Government has called on the two feuding communities in the state over a land tussle to sheathe their swords and ensure peaceful coexistence.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the people of Edogi Dukum and Tako Gabi in the Lafiagi Emirate Council of the Edu Local Government of the state had engaged in a clash on Tuesday over the land bordering the two communities.

More than five people were seriously injured in the fracas.

The state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hajiya Aisha Ahman-Pategi, during her visit to the area on Saturday,
urged for calm while the government proffer a lasting solution.

She said that the visit was to strategize with members of the two communities on how to find a lasting solution to the conflict.

According to her, the government would ensure that both sides involved in the dispute come together as one family.

According to her, peaceful resolution of the age-long land dispute between the two communities is paramount because Kwara is known to be a peaceful state.

“I wish to plead with everyone to forgive and forget the past and show love to each other.

“This singular gesture will further assist in lifting up the communities for better future and positive development,” she said.

While expressing her happiness at the current situation on the ground, she stated that Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq would be very happy with the peaceful resolution to the land disputes.

She also expressed delight that the warring factions had come together and agreed to find a common ground and proffer permanent solutions to their dispute.

The commissioner told the Boundary Committees of both communities to report back to her office on the final outcome of the matter.

Briefing the commissioner on the situation, the Representative of the Office of the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Yahaya Mohammed, said that the Emir of Lafiagi and the State Boundary Committee have agreed on a permanent solution.

Mohammed, who is also the Director, Special Services, said that security operatives, the warring communities, as well as other relevant stakeholders, have similarly agreed on a permanent solution.

According to him, this require a visit to the site and the demarcation of the land by the State Office of the Surveyor-General with clear indications on what belongs to each community to forestall future reoccurrences.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will also be signed by all the parties,” he said.

The director commended the timely visit of the commissioner and assured her that the detailed MoU agreement would be forwarded to her office for record purposes, signed by all parties to the agreement.

Earlier, the commissioner had paid a courtesy call on the Emir of Lafiagi, HRH Alhaji Saadu Kawu Haliru (OFR) to brief him on the purpose of her visit as well as to seek his royal blessings.

She thanked the royal father for the maintenance of peace in his domain and his support for the present administration in his policy drive for a better Kwara.

The Emir, in his response, thanked the commissioner for the visit and her zeal in seeking first-hand information about the dispute.

The royal father also stated the disputes had been permanently resolved with the demarcation of the disputed land.

The Director, Personnel Management of the local government council, Prince Timothy Adeyemi, disclosed that amicable grounds had been agreed upon and assured that such incidents would not be repeated.

He also commended the royal father for his fatherly role in ensuring the parties agreed to allow a permanent and peaceful resolution.

Adeyemi assured the commissioner that the council would make available the details of the MoU to her Ministry and relevant stakeholders.


Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Felix Ajide (NAN)

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Gov. El-Rufai urges FG to transfer Ecological Funds to Environment Ministry



Gov. Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State on Saturday canvassed for the transfer of the Ecological Fund to Federal Ministry of Environment, which has the expertise and national reach to manage the fund more efficiently.

The governor made the call when the Minister of Environment, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, presented one million seedlings to him in Kaduna, for planting across the state, to mark the World Environment Day.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the theme of this year’s World Environment Day is ‘Bio-diversity, time for nature.’

El-Rufai said that it was only proper for the Ecological Fund to be domiciled with the Ministry, because the fund was meant to fight environmental issues like erosion, deforestation and desertification.

“Apart from that, the ministry has the knowledge, technicality and expertise as well as the national reach to better manage the fund and utilise it for the benefit of the entire country,’’ he said.

El-Rufai revealed that he headed a committee during the first term of the Buhari administration, which recommended the transfer of the Fund to the environment ministry.

According to him, the matter was further tabled before the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and a decision was taken on it, but the resolution has not been implemented.

The governor regretted that Kaduna State has lost a lot of its forest in the last few years before the coming of his administration, adding that the state is being re-forested again.

‘’In the last five years, we have been planting 1.5 million trees every year. Only about 50 per cent of the trees survive, but we have not given up.

“It is an investment that we are willing to make for our children and grandchildren,’’ he added.

El-Rufai promised the minister that the state will plant the seedlings and ensure that at least 90 per cent of it survive.

“We will match the number of what the minister donated to the state; in Kaduna state, when we promise to do something, we always deliver on our promise.

“We will invite you next year so that you will see what we have done; you will then know that your donation was not in vain,’’ he added.

Earlier, the minister said that his ministry had promised five million seedlings to Kaduna state in fulfilment of President Muhammadu Buhari’s pledge to plant 25 million trees across the country.

Abubakar said that the ministry decided to commemorate this year’s World Environment Day with the state because of Gov. El Rufai’s commitment to environmental issues and support to the ministry.

The minister promised that the balance of four million trees will be delivered to the state.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)

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Lebanon sees violent anti-government protest




Hundreds of protesters demonstrated on Saturday in Beirut’s downtown area calling for the overhaul of the political system in Lebanon, MTV local TV channel reported.

Protesters threw stones at security forces and destroyed shops’ windows near the Parliament.

Meanwhile, security forces who were deployed in the area closed streets in the downtown while riot police fired tears gas at the demonstrators.

Some protesters demanded the disarmament of Hezbollah and the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1559, which sparked anger among supporters of the two Shiite parties prompting them to run toward a crowd of protesters.

The Lebanese have been suffering from dire economic circumstances in the past few months due to successive failing policies adopted by previous governments which led to an accumulated public debt of over 89 billion United States dollars.


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Foundation lauds Gov Fayemi’s enforcement of lockdown directive in Ekiti



The CLEEN Foundation on Saturday lauded the efforts of Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti on the enforcement of lockdown directives to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in the state.

The Foundation gave the commendation in a communique at the end of Ekiti State Administration of Criminal Justice Working Group Bi-monthly meeting in Ado Ekiti.

The communique was signed by Ms Rita Ilevbare, Founder, Gender Relevance Initiative Promotion (GRIP), Ms Yetunde Kolawole, Ministry of Justice and Mr Osubu Ojo, Police Command in Ekiti.

It also commended Mr Olawale Fapohunda, the Attorney-General’s issuance of periodic statements, calling on security agents to respect the principles of human rights in the enforcement of the lockdown directives.

The foundation said review of progress of the implementation of ACJL in Ekiti, as regards compliance with the State Government directives on COVID-19, revealed that both the conventional and state security outfits were not trained before being deployed to enforce the COVID-19 lockdown directives.

It commended the substantial compliance with rules of engagement and ACJA by the security agents, particularly the police and the NSCDC in the enforcement of the COVID-19 lockdown directives.

The foundation said Ekiti witnessed minimal human rights violations by security agents, including no record of extra judicial killings as witnessed in some states

It decried the use and involvement of the military in the enforcement of the COVID-19 lockdown directives.

“This is against the tenents of civil engagements, as some of the human rights violations witnessed in the state were mostly perpetrated by the military and the state’s security outfits,” the foundation said.

While commending Courts’ sittings during the COVID-19 lockdown it, however, alleged that violators of the lockdown directives, were denied legal representation.

“This negates the principles of access to justice; particularly, the right to fair hearing as preserved under the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended).

“That following the gradual ease of the lockdown by the government and the full return to work, that Courts has commenced full sitting in all cases, including corruption cases,” the communique said.

It said that in case of future special duties, security agents, both conventional and state security outfits, should be specially trained by the government before deployment.

The communique said that the military personnel should not be involved by the government in the enforcement of special duties, which were entirely civil in nature.

It said that goverment should categorise lawyers as essential workers, should there be need for future lockdown.

The communique also proposed a training session on ACJA for security agencies, particularly the Police and NSCDC.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that CLEEN Foundation, with support from MacArthur Foundation, was implementing the Project, “Promoting Accountability and Transparency in the Administration of Criminal Justice System in Nigeria” in Ekiti.

It reports also as part of the project activities, CLEEN Foundation set up a State Working Group to monitor the effective implementation of Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL) in Ekiti.

NAN reports that the stakeholders were in the justice sector and meet bi-monthly to deliberate on the effective implementation of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law.

It is to explore strategies for collaboration with partners toward the attainment of the ideals of ACJL in Ekiti.

It reports that the usual Bi-monthly meeting could not hold due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in the state.

Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

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