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Health

Group takes Hepatitis B campaign to Kaduna market, harps on prevention

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The Kashim Ibrahim Fellows (KIF), on Wednesday, took their five-day long awareness campaign against Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) to Sheik Abubakar Gumi Central Market in Kaduna.

KIF, leadership training programme of the Kaduna State Government, on Monday began a five-day community service tagged: “KIF against Hep-B” to educate, sensitise and counsel the public about HBV and how to prevent and spread the virus.

One of the KIF fellow, Mr Abdulhakeem Miko, a human anatomist, explained during the campaign rally at the market, that the measure was necessary to bridge the awareness gap.

Miko said that creating the needed awareness was the entry point for testing to know one’s status, vaccination and ways to prevent contacting and spreading the virus.

According to him, not much will be achieved on curbing HBV prevalence in the country without massive enlightenment campaign to educate the people on the health risk associated with the virus.

“HBV can be transmitted through cuts or pricks from contaminated sharp objects and needles especially among healthcare workers.

“It could also be transmitted through blood transfusion of unscreened blood and blood products and through mucosal membrane of mouth, nose and eyes among others.

“The virus can also be transmitted through semen and vaginal fluid during sexual intercourse, while infected mother can equally transmit the virus to her baby at birth,” he said.

Miko identified individuals at high risk of contracting HBV as infants, drug abusers, hairdressers, barbers using unsterile kits and people who tattoo and acupuncture their bodies.

“Others are sexually active persons and people who share unsterile medical or dental equipment,” he said.

He said that 257 million people were currently infected with chronic HBV across the globe out of which 27.2 million were Nigerians.

“There is no known cure for chronic HBV. This is why we are here today to sensitise as much people as we can about the virus and how to protect themselves from becoming infected,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the KIF had on Monday, sensitised and counselled about 500 students of Kaduna Polytechnic of which 300 were tested.

The KIF also on Tuesday trained 120 hairdressers and barbers on universal precautionary measures and international best practices to curb the spread of the dreaded virus.

Philip Daniel Yatai: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

Politics

COVID-19: Group inducts volunteers to create awareness, prevent spread

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An NGO, Society Committee Against COVID-19, (SOCOCOVID), on Tuesday in Abuja inducted volunteers to help create awareness against the COVID-19 pandemic in communities.

The National Coordinator of the group, Mr Kenneth Ibe-Kalu, said the move became imperative to curb the spread of the virus in the wake of community transmission.

Ibe-Kalu said the group took the campaign against the virus to Gbagalape community in Nynanya, Federal Capital Territory as its contribution to support the federal government in the fight against COVID-19.

He said the group distributed some palliatives and hygienic materials to the community, designed some jingles and hand bills to serve as constant reminders and guidelines to stay safe.

“We launched the One House, One Bucket Rule as a means of containing community transmission of Coronavirus thereby kicking it out of Nigeria.

“We believe that constant hearing of messages activates the reality to the hearer.

“Therefore, the essence of the volunteers is to keep playing the jingle until it gets to the ears of both adults and children within the over 20,000 population of residents in Gbagalape community, FCT Abuja,” Ibe-Kalu said in statement.

He said the NGO would pay stipends and provide batteries for the megaphones every month and enjoined the volunteers to see the work as a service to humanity rather than a paid job.

“The group is also calling on the government and private sector organisations including the international community to supply Society Committee against COVID-19 (SOCOCOVID) megaphones and other materials, which include posters for communities across the country.

“Our target is 20 million posters for Communities,” he said.

Ibe-Kalu called on the government, the paramount leader and his chiefs as well as opinion leaders to use native laws to enforce the One House, One Bucket Rule to get rid of community transmission of COVID-19.

Chief Robinson Ezife, one of the patrons of SOCOCOVID, in his goodwill message encouraged the people to always adhere to the instructions from the government on how to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Ezife praised the paramount ruler of Gbagalape for his ability to gather his people for the all-important COVID-19 awareness programme by SOCOCOVID and also advised the residents to always listen to their chief whenever he summoned them.

In his response, the chief of the community, Kenneth Chindo-Rabo, said SOCOCOVID was the first NGO to bring this kind of gesture to the community and expressed profound gratitude.

He thanked the organisation for donating palliatives and hygienic materials and for choosing Gbagalape to launch the awareness campaign.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Salif Atojoko (NAN)

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Education

KWASU Chancellor: Group commends Kwara Govt for appointing Adewumi

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Chief Gbenga Awoyale, President General of Orisun Igbomina, has commended Gov. Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq for appointing Dr Thomas Adewumi, as new Chancellor, Kwara State University (KWASU), Malete.

Orisun Igbomina is a socio-cultural group for the people of Kwara South.

Awoyale gave the commendation in a congratulatory message issued on Monday in Ilorin.

He said that the appointee was a highly reputable educationist who would build on the existing achievements in the institution.

The group’s president said that the choice of Adewumi remained one of the best things to have happened in the state.

”The new chancellor will use his connections within and outside the academia to add values to KWASU in the areas of valuable research and scholarship.

”I congratulate Adewumi as KWASU Chancellor; his contributions to educational development in the nation over the years is remarkable and unprecedented.

”There is no doubt that he will be good Ambassador of Igbomina land and contribute his quota to the progress of the school.

”He will also provide more insights and modern approaches to university management in a bid to assist the Abdulrazaq-led government,” he said.

Awoyale, however, thanked Abdulrazaq for his choice of Adewumi and prayed that his tenure in office would be beneficial to the university community, government and the people.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Adewumi was announced as KWASU Chancellor on Monday with immediate effect for a single term of five-years.

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Felix Ajide (NAN)

 

 

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Foreign

Gambari: U.S.-based group lauds Buhari, congratulates Nigerians

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U.S.-based Organisation for the Advancement of Nigerians (OAN) has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the appointment of Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, as his Chief of Staff. 

In a statement signed by its President, Mr Solomon Bakare, on Monday, OAN said Gambari was the man for the job, given his “superb administrative, organisational, diplomatic and leadership skills”.

The body congratulated Nigerians for the appointment, which it said came at a time the president needed such competent hands to actualise his vision for the country.

“We have no iota of doubt that Gambari is equal to the Herculean tasks ahead.

“We are confident that he will give the president his complete loyalty, wise counsel and good guidance.

“He will bring his native wisdom and superb administrative, organisational, diplomatic and leadership skills to bear on the running of the Federal Government of Nigeria,” it said.

OAN is the lead coordinator of the Nigeria Independence Day Celebration in New York City, the largest platform for Nigerians in the Diaspora for showcasing their culture and national pride.

The group recalled the support of Gambari to the Nigerian community while serving as the Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations between 1990 and 1999.

“Our organisation benefited immensely from his guidance and unparallel love and passion for Nigeria.  

“In fact, there is no way we can talk about the success of the Nigerian Independence Day Parade in New York City without mentioning Gambari’s name.

“It was he who advised us to move the annual celebration of Nigeria from its original route in Harlem to Second Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, where the Nigerian House is located, to make it one of the most prominent annual ethnic parades in New York City. 

“Gambari backed his wise counsel up with moral support, enlisting the participation of his influential friends in the Nigerian Community, including Amb. Aminu Wali, to ensure the continued success of the annual parade. 

“Today, it has grown to an annual carnival that gives Nigerians in the United States, the platform to showcase our cultural pride and accomplishments,” it stated.

“We respectfully advise him to discharge his duties to our president and our country with truth, honor, loyalty, fairness, compassion, and uncommon courage,” it added.

Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye (NAN)

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Politics

Autonomy: Group endorses Buhari’s anti-corruption crusade

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Chief Ugochukwu Nnam, the National Coordinator, Initiative for Leadership Development and Change (ILDC), has endorsed President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption strategies.

Nnam told the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Abuja that Buhari’s signing of Executive Order No. 10 of 2020 was demonstration of his courage to strengthen the judicial and legislative independence.

He said the steps taken so far are winning public trust and confidence for Buhari’s commitment to stamping out corruption in the country.

NAN recalls that the president on May 22, signed into law an Executive Order to grant financial autonomy to the legislature and the judiciary.

Executive Order No. 10 of 2020 makes it mandatory that all states of the federation should allocate and fund the legislature and the judiciary in the first-line charge of their budgets.

Nnam described Buhari as a visionary leader whose goal was to completely eliminate all forms fiscal dependence capable of causing fear or favour in discharge of legislative or judicial functions.

“Some the state governors have turned the lawmakers and judges to errand persons just to do their whims and carprices because of lack of fiscal autonomy.

“With this order, state lawmakers and judges will do the needful by being fair because their fund will be coming to them without interference from state executives,” Nnam said.

The ILDC leader called on Nigerians to continue to support Buhari, noting that the president is determined to redeem his campaign promises on corruption.

According to him, Buhari is actually transforming Nigeria with silent laudable policies that some past leaders lacked the courage to do.

Nnam therefore urged Nigerians to jettison destructive criticisms which he said was inimical to development.

NAN reports that the order also mandates the Accountant-General of the Federation to deduct from source amount due to state legislatures and judiciaries from monthly allocation to each state for those that refuse to grant such autonomy.

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Economy

Group backs senate’s call for suspension of electricity tariffs increment

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A group, the Energy Consumer Rights and Responsibilities Initiative (ECRRI) on Monday backed Senate’s call for suspension of increment in electricity tariffs by electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos).

Mr Sural Fadairo, ECCRI National President, told the News Agency of Nigeria   in Lagos that the tariff increment billed to commence on July 1, should be suspended due to prevailing economic realities.

NAN reports that the Senate, had during  recent plenary advised the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to suspend the increment to mitigate economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Nigerians and businesses.

Fadairo said the move had shown that the lawmakers had the interest of ordinary Nigerians  who are being subjected to exploitative bills by the DisCos at heart.

He said: “We, as an electricity consumer group have been against any form of increment in tariffs because we feel it is not justifiable.

” Now with the economy being ravaged by Coronavirus, it is only proper that any move to increase tariffs be put on hold because Nigerians are struggling to survive.”

The ECCRI president also commended the Senate for its ongoing probe of the privatisation of the power sector.

He urged the lawmakers to do a thorough job that would help put the sector back on track.

Fadairo said: “It is our belief that the privatisation of the power sector has failed because the nation is still struggling to provide electricity for  citizens.

“We believe that the procedures and processes which led to it must be reviewed if Nigerians are to enjoy quality supply of electricity.”

According to him, the privatisation model of the telecommunications sector which has made the industry vibrant today should be emulated in the power sector.

“We have to look at increasing power generation,  transmission and distribution to end users and also examine whether those currently saddled with the responsibility have the capacity of actualising that.

” It is not good enough that a nation of almost 200 million people generates  less than 5, 000MW of electricity.

“We cannot achieve economic growth and national development under this situation, “Fadairo said.

—————-

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

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Foreign

Irresponsible armed groups clash leaves 10 dead in N. Afghanistan

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At least 10 persons were killed as two irresponsible armed groups clashed in the northern Takhar province on Sunday, a security official said Monday but declined to be named.

The clash took place Sunday morning when two irresponsible armed groups clashed in Kalafgan district of the province, resulting in the death of 10 men and injury of four others from both sides, a police official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

The clash ended after police forces arrived at the site.

Countless armed groups exist in the conflict-battered Afghanistan which often create law and order problems.

Similar clash between two irresponsible armed groups in the restive Baghlan province on Sunday claimed six lives.

(XINHUA)

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General news

Group urges Tiv people in Nasarawa to remain law abiding

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Mr Boniface Ifer, President, Tiv Development Association (TIDA), Nasarawa chapter has tasked Tiv people in the state to be law abiding and desist from taking laws into their hands.

Ifer made the call on Sunday in  Agyaragu, Obi Local Government Area (LGA) of the state shortly after meeting with LGA officials of the association.

The TIDA president said, he had consistently cautioned Tiv people in the state to be calm and law abiding despite provocations and unwarranted attacks on their communities.

Ifer said that Tiv communities in Obi, Keana and Awe Local Government Areas of the state have recently witnessed series of attack allegedly over land.

He said that TIDA had notified the relevant authorities about the situation with a view addressing it.

He noted that the Tiv people are peace-loving, law abiding and would not engage in acts capable of breaching the peace in the state.

Ifer, however, explained that there was no crisis among the Tiv people, especially in the association, urging the public to disregard any claims of disharmony.

He commended Governor Abdullahi Sule and the security agencies for their efforts toward securing life and property in the state.

Similarly, Dominic Kunya, TIDA Chairman Obi LGA, who spoke on behalf of others officials, passed a vote of confidence on the state president of the association.

He said that Ifer has provided leadership that has prevented a lot of crisis between Tiv and other ethnic nationalities, hence the need to support him. 

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo and Isaac Ukpoju (NAN)

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Education

NECO: Group hails Buhari on Prof. Obioma’s appointment

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A group, African Students Education Support Initiatives (ASESI), has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing Prof. Godswill Obioma the Registrar of National Examination Council (NECO).

In a statement signed by its Executive Director, Mr Chinonso Obasi, in Abakaliki, ASESI said that the appointment was a right decision.

It described it as putting a round peg in a round hole.

Obasi said that Obioma would bring his wealth of experience in education to reposition the examination body.

He also said that the president would leverage on Obioma’s impressive track record of achievements in the nation’s education sector as well as his anti- corruption lifestyle to improve NECO.

Obasi noted that Obioma was an INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Ebonyi.

 

According to him, Obioma is a  Professor of Mathematics and has  performed well in his previous assignments.

 He expressed  confidence in his  capacity to move  NECO to the next level.

He noted that  Obioma was a specialist in monitoring, evaluation, curriculum development and education management.

“His choice as NECO boss is one of Buhari’s best decisions.

“We in ASESI believe that the appointment is in order, considering Obioma’s track record in the education sector and his excellent performances in his previous appointments.

“It is on records that Obioma performed creditably well when he served as the Executive Secretary of Nigeria Education Research and Development Council and also as Director of Monitoring and Evaluation of the defunct National Primary Education Commission.

“He showcased his prowess as Director, Research and Statistics National Business and Technical Examinations Board and Director, Monitoring and Evaluation at Universal Basic Education Commission, among others.

 “We recall that in 2019 General Elections when he served as the INEC REC in Ebonyi, ASESI was an independent observer in the elections.

 “We were amazed by the uncompromising actions of Prof. Obioma on issues bordering on complaints before and during the elections.

“He is a strong advocate of anti-corruption and a progressive to the core.’’

Edited By: Johnson Eyiangho/ Ijeoma Popoola (NAN

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General news

COVID-19: Group distributes palliatives to 120 women in Kwara

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A Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), Global Hope for Women and Children Foundation (GLOHWOC), has distributed palliatives to no fewer than 120 women in Kwara, in the bid to cushion the effect of the lockdown occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic.

Mrs Christy Abayomi-Oluwole, Chief Executive Officer, GLOHWOC, an NGO, said during the presentation of the palliatives at Omu-Aran that it was geared toward improving the living standard of the beneficiaries.

The GLOHWOC boss said the palliatives tagged: “GLOHWOC COVID-19 Relief Package”, which targeted the vulnerable, was also part of the organisation’s efforts toward curbing the community spread of the deadly virus.

Each of the beneficiaries were presented with some food items such as beans, semolina, groundnut oil as well as preventive materials such as bottles of hand sanitiser, liquid soaps, disinfectant, and customised face masks.

The intervention was supported by the Global Affairs Canada under the WVL Nigeria Project in partnership with ActionAid Nigeria.

The beneficiaries were also sensitised and treated to a demonstration on the basic rudiments and tips in maintaining personal hygiene through regular washing of hands in order to stay healthy.

Abayomi-Oluwole advised the beneficiaries to always imbibe personal hygiene through regular washing of hands in order to stay safe and healthy.

The GLOHWOC boss said that the part of the 120 beneficiaries were those earlier selected by the organisation for its larger empowerment project plan in Irepodun and Ilorin-South Local Government of the state in collaboration with ActionAid Canada and Global Affairs Africa.

She said the empowerment project tagged: “Gender Equality and Women Empowerment scheme,” had reached an advanced stage and was temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to her, the said empowerment project, which is coming soon and aims at providing moral and financial support to the beneficiaries in their businessess.

She explained that the 120 women were carefully selected by members of the project steering committees in the two targeted councils.

She added that some unregistered cooperative groups were also included for moral and financial assistance under NGO’s  women empowerment initiative few months ago.

“Each of the selected beneficiaries had earlier opened individual accounts and grouped with the cooperatives as part of the empowerment process in collaboration with Global Affairs Canada and ActionAid Nigeria.

“The beneficiaries were scheduled to attend an entrepreneurship development and skills training in collaboration with Landmark University in April when the programme was halted due to the advent of COVID-19.

“So this distribution of palliatives to the selected beneficiaries is just our own little way of remembering them at this critical period of COVID-19 pandemic.

“The whole essence is to sensitise them on the need to maintain personal hygiene and at the same time to ameliorate, to some extent, whatever negative effect the lockdown had burdened on them,” she said.

Oba Abdulraheem Adeoti, the Olomu of Omu-Aran, in his remarks, described the gesture by GLOHWOC as unprecedented and a welcome development.

He called on other individuals and groups to emulate the exemplary and philanthropic leadership style of the organisation geared toward promoting equality and human capital development, especially among vulnerable women.

Chief Abiodun Owolabi, the Chairman of the Irepodun Local Government Steering Committee of the empowerment initiative, thanked the organisation for being at the fore front of women transformation and emancipation.

“The distribution of the palliative to this category of beneficiaries today is a testimony of GLOHWOC’s commitment and determination toward ensuring the desired recognition, equality and human capital development envisioned for the womenfolk,” Owolabi who is the Legan of Omu-Aran said.

Mrs Fatimoh Adam and Mrs Folakemi Oluwasesan, both beneficiaries, in their remarks, thanked GLOHWOC and other collaborating agencies for their magnanimity, generousity and dedication to promoting gender equality among women.

Edited By: Angela Okisor/ (NAN)  Felix Ajide

 

 

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Some of the beneficiaries of GLOHWOC COVID-19 Relief Package pose with their items during the presentation in Omu-Aran, Kwara on Saturday.

 

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Economy

Group lauds Kaduna Gov’t over palliatives to 32,000 households

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The Kaduna Social Protection Accountability Coalition (KADSPAC) has commended Kaduna Government for the distribution of N352 million worth of food items to 32,000 vulnerable households in the state.

Chairperson of the coalition, Ms. Jessica Bartholomew, said in a statement in Kaduna on Saturday, that the measure would significantly reduce hunger among vulnerable households caused by the Coronavirus lockdown.

Bartholomew recalled that the state government had in April,  distributed N500 million worth of food items to low income households in nine Local Government Areas of the state to cushion the effects of the lockdown.

“And on Friday,  the government announced the commencement of the second round of the distribution to 32,000 vulnerable households in the remaining 14 LGAs. This is quite commendable.

“This do not only show the responsiveness of the government, but its resolve to ensure that the vulnerable population are  supported to improve their resilience to the current hardship and hunger,” she said.

She also commended the state government for addressing some of the concerns raised by the coalition, particularly the  involvement of party officials and other anomalies that characterised the distribution in the pilot LGAs.

She lauded  the government for providing detailed information on the exercise to help civil society organisations and the media to adequately monitor the distribution to ensure transparency and accountability.

According to her, disclosing what each benefiting vulnerable households is expected to receive, will prevent the committee members from indulging in sharp practices and short changing  the beneficiaries of their entitlements.

“The pilot distribution was marred by poor planning by the cluster committees, as the food items were either hijacked by politicians or shared among people not in need.

“People living with disabilities were largely schemed out of the process, while the distribution was not orderly in some locations, leading to complete disregard to social distancing.

“But we are glad that some of our recommendations are  considered in the second round of the exercise with steps taken to improve the process,” she said.

Bartholomew  commended the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Malam Balarabe Abbas, who doubled as Chairman of COVID-19 Relief Distribution Committee for  steps taken to make the process as transparent as possible.

“The SSG equally said that lessons learnt from the pilot exercise have been incorporated in the second phase of the exercise, so as to accommodate more of the target group. This is laudable,” she added.

She also called for collaboration  with the coalition in the spirit of Open Government Partnership (OGP) to complement government’s efforts  in all social protection interventions in the state.

She urged the state government to strengthen feedback and complaint mechanism for timely response to complaints by beneficiaries and concerns from civil society organisations.

The chairperson added that KADSPAC would monitor the exercise in all LGAs to ensure transparency and accountability as well as generate feedback on citizen’s satisfaction.

“We want to believe that the new approach will ensure that no one is left behind, especially the targeted poor and the vulnerable, including the socially excluded groups.

“These groups include the disabled, aged, people living with ,  mothers and children suffering from malnutrition among others,” she said.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls  that the SSG  in a statement on Friday, explained that a package of food items per benefiting household cost N11, 000.

He added that the package comprised of 10 kilogramme (kg) of Rice or Spaghetti, 5.0 kg of beans, 10 kg of Semovita or cassava flakes (Garri) and a carton of noodles and  three litres of vegetable oil.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma and Isaac Ukpoju (NAN)

 

 

 

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Metro

Group decries Canadian Government’s refusal of landing right to Air Peace

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The Aviation Safety Roundtable Initiative (ART) has decried refusal of the Canadian Government to allow Air Peace landing rights to transport the stranded Nigerians in Canada.

Mr Olumide Ohunayo, the group Spokesperson, registered the association’s displeasure in a statement issued in Lagos on Saturday.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the stranded Nigerians had sought permission to return to Nigeria due to the prevalent global lockdown caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, said the airline was denied landing rights by the Canadian authorities on the grounds that the Nigerian carrier did not have licence to undertake commercial flights into the country.

Onyeama said the Federal Government rejected in totality, “the nebulous safety concerns conveyed by the government of Canada”.

Ohunayo, however, said the group viewed the Canadian Government’s action as not only an unfriendly act, but an unwarranted discriminatory and anti- competition acts bordering on avoidable aero-politics.

“The demand of our common humanity at these challenging times posed by the ravaging COVID-19 requires maximum cooperation of all.

“We, therefore, request our government, especially the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Aviation to stand firm against this discriminatory and unfriendly act.

“Air Peace remains Nigeria’s flagship, duly authorised by Nigeria for the evacuation mission of its distressed citizens in Canada,” he said.

Ohunayo said in the diplomatic spirit of respect and cooperation among nations, the initiative urged the Federal Government to persuade Canada to review its position and bring succour to the stranded Nigerians.

NAN reports that the Federal Government had so far evacuated no fewer than 600 Nigerians from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) United Kingdom (UK) and United States (U.S).

This was part of the measures to bring back 4,000 Nigerians from all over the world willing to return to the country following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

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Judiciary

Prosperity will remember President Buhari for executive order on legislature, judiciary autonomy – Group says

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An Interest Group, Vanguard for the Independence of the Judiciary (VIJ) on Saturday, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for effecting the Financial Independence of the Judiciary, in the new executive order signed into law.

It described the order as one which cannot be forgotten in a hurry, adding that posterity will remember this administration for this landmark development.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that President Muhammadu Buhari, on Friday, May 22, signed into law, an Executive Order to grant financial autonomy to the legislature and the judiciary at the state level.

The Attorney-General of the Federation , Abubakar Malami, SAN, in a statement in Abuja, said that the Executive Order No. 10 of 2020, made it mandatory that all States of the Federation should include the allocations of both the Legislature and the Judiciary in their Appropriation laws.

According to the AGF, a Presidential Implementation Committee was being constituted to fashion out strategies and modalities for the implementation of financial autonomy for the State Legislature and State Judiciary in compliance with section 121(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as Amended).

In a statement made available to NAN, signed by convener of VIJ, Mr Douglas Ogbamkwa, the group thanked the executive for such feat, adding that such convictions will be remembered by posterity.

“The Vanguard for Judicial independence greatly commend His Excellency, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Mohammedu Buhari, for the courage in giving effect to Section 121 (3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria ,1999 (As Amended),thereby granting Financial Autonomy to the Judiciary in Nigeria.

“Posterity will remember Your Excellency for this epoch making decision in signing Executive Order No. 10, which now directs the Accountant General of the Federation to.pay any monies standing to the Credit of the Judiciary, directly to the Heads of Court .

“This decision is a watershed in the Administration of Justice in Nigeria and it will change the dynamics and dialectic of Justice Administration in Nigeria,” he said

He urged the executive not to relent in taking the nation to greater heights.

“The next phase of the trajectory to ensure the total Independence of the Judiciary in Nigeria, is to amend the Constitution to provide for the Outgoing Chief Judge to swear in the incoming Chief Judge of a State and to make it automatic for the next most senior Judge irrespective of any other considerations to be Sworn as the Chief Judge of a State,” he said

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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Economy

Group launches coop society to aid food production in Southwest

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A pan-Yoruba Socio-Cultural group, Yoruba Ko’ya Leadership and Training Foundation, on Friday in Lagos launched a Multipurpose Cooperative Society to help entrepreneurs and boost food production in Southwest.

The Director of Finance and Investment of group, Mr Olakunle Osuntokun, said the multipurpose society would be used to propel knowledge-based entrepreneurship, food production, trading, and vocational training among the youth.

Osuntokun said the multipurpose society, also known as Ijinle Development Multipurpose, would also be used by market men and women in the Southwest geopolitical zone.

According to Osuntokun, the organisation is worried over the abysmal level of food production, high level of poverty and hunger in the zone.

He said the group, therefore, resolved to launch a formal platform through which residents of the zone would be empowered financially without any burden.

Osuntokun noted that the Ijinle Development Multipurpose would help in promoting a culture of savings among the market men and women.

He said it would help both existing and aspiring young entrepreneurs in the zone and boost their savings through loans that attract only five per cent interest payable in one year for growth of their businesses.

“We are focusing on food production; Science, Technology, Engineering and Medicine (STEM); vocational trainings; agriculture value chain; and digital wealth.

“Our vision is to build an industrialised Southwest, which is strong in commerce and knowledge-based economy.

“The reality is that any nation that lacks the capacity to feed, at least, 70 per cent of her people will lack true peace.

“Today, the Southwest cannot feed 5 per cent of its people; which is a worry to us,” he said

According to Osuntokun, the Ijinle Development Multipurpose is going to bridge the gap and with consistency, the zone shall get there.

In his address, the convener of Yoruba Ko’ya, Deji Osibogun, said he was worried that the Southwest which used to be a haven of agricultural production in the First and Second Republics now rely heavily on other parts of the country for virtually all food.

“Reports have shown that this COVID-19 pandemic has really exposed the zone as a weak entity in terms of food security and agricultural production.

“Also, the pandemic has opened our eyes that every nation must promote and develop knowledge-based entrepreneurship otherwise known as Science, Technology, Engineering and Medicine (STEM).

“Therefore, Yoruba Ko’ya, through Ijinle Development Multipurpose will be promoting our innovative and creative young men and women on knowledge-based entrepreneurship,” Osibogun said.

In his speech, the Ikeja Area Officer of the Directorate of Cooperative in the Lagos State Ministry of Commerce, Cooperative and Industry, Mr Olusegun Odedina, said many nations of the world, including South Africa, are now strengthening their economy.

Odedina, who inaugurated the multipurpose cooperative society in line with Lagos Coop Law Cap of 2004, said nations were building wealth and creating employment opportunities for their teeming population through Multipurpose Cooperative.

He charged Yoruba Ko’ya to remain committed to its vision and dream of making the Southwest part of the country a producing entity, rather than a consuming land that it is at the moment.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

 

 

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General news

COVID-19: Vulnerable groups, low income earners get palliatives in Kaduna

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The Kaduna State government has commenced the second phase of palliative distribution to low income earners and the vulnerable members of the society, in compliance with Gov. Nasir El- Rufai’s directive.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Malam Balarabe Lawal, made available to newsmen on Friday.
He said that the relief materials were aimed at ameliorating the effect of the lockdown imposed on the state to check the spread of coronavirus.
“In this phase of distribution, 14 local government areas will be covered, with 32,000 households, representing 32 clusters.
“Trailers conveying food items like rice, beans, semovita, maize flour, garri (cassava flakes), spagetti, noodles and vegetable oil have already arrived most of the local governments.
“This exercise will leverage on the successes recorded in the earlier distribution of the palliatives to the beneficiaries.
“In addition, lessons learnt in the first exercise have been incorporated in the second phase so as to accommodate more of the target groups and minimise human discretion in the exercise,’’ he said.
Balarabe, also the state Chairman of COVID-19 Relief Distribution Committee, said that the aim was to make the distribution as transparent as possible and to reach more low income earners and the vulnerable.
He said that the package was much bigger than the earlier exercise, with variety of food items, to enable the beneficiaries have balanced diet.
Balarabe said that the list of the beneficiaries was generated by the committees of the 32 clusters across the 14 local government areas and the Social Investment Programme (SIP) register of the Federal Government.
“The various lists were transparently generated by the cluster committees, which comprises two women, two clerics, a representative of the traditional institution, one councilor and one charitable organization,” he said.

Edited By: Chidi Opara and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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Health

COVID-19: NIMR commends Olam Group for donating PPE, other items

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Prof. Babatunde Salako, Director-General General, Nigeria Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Yaba, Lagos, has commended Olam Group for donating Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other items to support its COVID-19 activities.

Salako, through his verified twitter handle, on Friday said the donation was midwifed by Mobihealth, an international innovative telemedicine and digital healthcare platform.

“Grateful to Mobihealth who midwifed donation of PPE and other materials by Olam Group to support our drive/work through testing.

“We appreciate the support of Flour Mills of Nigeria, Sterling Bank, Daystar Christian Church, UTL Trust and others,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the director-general of NIMR had on May 15, announced that the institute would be partnering with Mobihealth to commence Teleconsultation COVID-19 home swab test.

NAN also recalls that the institute started a drive-through testing of people for COVID-19 on March 30, in partnership with Lifebank, led by Temie Giwa-Tubosun.

NIMR was established in 1977 to conduct research on diseases of public health importance in Nigeria.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Olagoke Olatoyel (NAN)

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Security: Group wants governments to strengthen community vigilantes in South East

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An Enugu-based group, Igbo Oriental Think Tank, has urged state and federal governments to strengthen community and local vigilantes to help check continuous influx of strange youths into the South East.

The Coordinating Secretary, Chief Kenneth Anozie, made the call during a press conference in Enugu on Friday.

Anozie noted that continuous influx of these able bodied youths into all nooks and crannies of South East was becoming worrisome.

According to him, South East is over populated already and that government is choked already as its resources could not cater for the endless streaming of full, able bodied men with no beneficial skills.

”These people having been classified as Almajaris come in long trailers, usually hidden among goods and cattle have become a source of serious concern to South East people.

”Some of these people who were apprehended by some local vigilantes cannot even speak English and have foreign passports of countries like Guinea, Niger and Sudan.

“This is not only the problem, many are clutching AK47, machetes and they ran into bushes when confronted.

“We want to use the medium to call on the federal authorities especially the security agencies to ensure that they are working for the people of Nigeria irrespective of tribe, religion, ethnicity or creed.

“We call on the security agencies to immediately halt the movement of these able bodied youths  immediately as these acts are capable of breaking up the country if it is not checked.

“We also call on South East Governors, senators, leaders and other stakeholders to engage the federal authorities especially the security agencies to stop this export of suspicious and dangerous weapons which is not rampant to the southeast and other parts of southern Nigeria,” he said.

Anozie said that there was need for the authorities to work with community and Local vigilance groups to flush out these dangerous elements currently inhabiting inside bushes in various parts of the country especially in the south East.

He said that these period was a time for people, able bodied, herdsmen and other dangerous elements flocking into south east should be made to stay within there area, if not anything, to contain the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

”Research made on the casualties caused in the South East in March and April alone by these able bodied men are more than 16,000.

”More than 100 people have lost their lives while about 24 people had been kidnapped with more than 12 women subjected to sexual abuse,” he said.

Anozie called on South East Governors to ensure that community/local vigilance and security outfits, were properly trained and adequately equipped to be able to face the existential threats posed by these development.

Edited By: Chidinma Agu/MNA (NAN)

 

 

 

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Foreign

Kenya raises 42,609 USD at biodiversity event organized by YILI group, Chinese Embassy, UNEP

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Kenya raised 4.56 million Kenya Shilling (42,609 U.S. Dollar) of both PPEs and cash donations at a donation ceremony organized by YILI group, Chinese Embassy to Kenya and United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) on the International Day for Biological Diversity which falls on Friday.

It is the first online livestreaming cross-country donation event between China and Kenya with key information delivered “to be good to nature is to be good to ourselves”.

During the live stream, Chairman of YILI group Pan Gang said YILI group always believes in biological diversity and sustainable development. YILI has been working to promote biological diversity by its own capacity and collaborations with other authorities for the past 14 years.

Max Gomera, the representative of UNEP, states that the YILI group has shown its commitment and action to help our youngsters to understand nature and their awareness for sustainable development.

Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Wu Peng said that the YILI group will not only help wildlife conservation in Kenya but also promote our great nature of diversity in Africa.

(XINHUA)

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General news

Group petitions CP over alleged harassment, intimidation by monarch in Anambra

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Some aggrieved indigenes of Awba-Ofemili, Awka North Local Government Area, Anambra, have petitioned the Commissioner of Police, Mr John Abang, against their traditional ruler, Igwe Ezekwesili Maduagwuna.

A copy of the petition made available to newsmen on Friday in Awka was filed through their Solicitors, G. C. Enekwechi and Co. (Grace Chambers) and signed by Mr Obinna Nnajiofor.

The petitioners copied the Inspector-General of Police and Public Complaints Committee of the National Assembly.

The petitioners, Chief Solomon Ozuah, Chief Reuben Iloka and Chief Matthew Nwaobu accused Maduagwuna of harassment, extortion and intimidation of indigenes.

They also accused the traditional ruler of threatening peace and stability in the community and using local security guards to intimidate and assault indigenes.

“Igwe Maduagwuna has for a long time unlawfully laid claim to people’s lands and claiming same to be communal land, unlawfully appropriate to himself the powers to dispose of those lands at his whims and caprices.

“He operates an illegal dungeon where the citizens are unlawfully detained, tortured and treated inhumanly,” they alleged.

They further accused the the traditional ruler of using the local guards to extort N5,000 from Aguenu youths before accessing their farmlands or harvesting produce, among others.

They also appealed to the state commissioner of police to intervene and settle the crisis rocking Awba-Ofemili community allegedly instigated by the traditional ruler.

Meanwhile, the traditional Prime Minister of Awba Ofemili, Chief Benard Nwanelo who spoke on behalf of Igwe Maduagwuna dismissed the allegations.

Nwanelo said: “nobody intimidated or extorted the people for going to farm.”

“Our monarch is peace loving and has never got involved in any land dispute with his subjects. There has never been any mayhem of such in Awba-Ofemili as quoted in the petition.

“The only problem is that some people who lost out in the kingship contest with Igwe Maduagwuna have vowed to displace him, but we won’t allow that to happen.”

In the meantime, the state Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr C-Don Adinuba, has appealed to the people of the area to remain calm, saying efforts were on to settle the crisis.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Ejike Obeta (NAN)

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Anambra group commend govt over enforcement of facemasks for motorists

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Anambra-based Sociopolitical Group, Anambra Democratic Vanguard (ADV), has commended the State Government’s commitments against the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in the state by enforcement of use of facemask by motorists.
Chief Zacheaus Onah, leader of the group, gave the commendation during its courtesy visit to Dr Christian Madubuko, Anambra Commissioner for Transport in Awka on Friday.
Onah said that the professionalism and ingenious manner employed by the commissioner to make the passengers and motorists comply with the directives was commendable.
“You applied the skill of persuasion and convinced the motorists on the dangers associated with non-use of facemasks either by passengers or the drivers; you were very tactful and we all keyed in.
“The compulsory use of the facemask measures helped to reduce the deadly and infectious community transmission of COVID-19 pandemic in the state,” Onah said
Onah said that the group’s visit was to commend the ministry’s effort in the fight against COVID-19 and making it not to spread to the villages.
He said that the group encouraged the commissioner not to relent in his effort to better the transport sector as well as to correct the differences recorded at initial time of the lockdown.
Onah said that the group was also very appreciative of the waiver on levies by all categories of buses and tricycle operators in the state, commending the commissioner for appealing to the governor on their behalf.
“The waiver of various levies for the motorist has greatly helped the drivers to cushion the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
Onah appealed to the commissioner to look more closely at some illegal operators who still took money from articulated vehicles and lorries carrying goods at Owerri road and Bridgehead on a daily basis.
In his response, Madubuko assured the group that his ministry would not relent in its service to the people and urged them to be good ambassadors of the state.
He said that he was challenged to do his best to improve the transport industry in the state not minding distraction by some individuals.
Madubuko, however, advised drivers in the state to abide by the directives against COVID-19 pandemic by maintaining physical distancing and the continuous wearing of facemasks as measures to contain COVID-19 spread.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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Foreign

Civilian shot dead by armed group in Indonesia’s Papua

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A 35-year old civilian identified as Sakeus was shot by an armed group and found dead on Thursday in Timika, Indonesia’s easternmost province of Papua, the provincial police’s spokesman Ahmad Kamal said on Friday.

The victim with wounds on his belly and neck was found around a mining area of mining company PT Freeport Indonesia in Papua’s sub district of Tembagapura, Kamal was quoted by Indonesia’s Antara news agency as saying.

The incident was reported by a joint police-military force’s personnel who heard the burst of gunfire, he said, adding that following the report police personnel went to the location of the incident and rushed the victim to Tembagapura hospital.

The victim does not belong to PT Freeport Indonesia or a mining company consortium, said Kamal.

(XINHUA)

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