Oche-Onoja expressed surprise at the players’ disqualification based on age, adding that the association had been training with the kids ahead of the competition.
“I have been working with these players, I know their ages.
“I am not a cheat and cannot present over-age players for the competition, because I know the consequences,” he said.
According to the coach, the youth games organisers might have been deliberately targeting the team which had won gold back to back in previous editions of the games.
“We have won gold medals back to back at the Youth Games, and cannot be disqualified just like that because of over-age players.
“There is no trophy in cricket in this country that we have not won, and we have not experienced disqualification until this year.
“I am very surprised to see them being disqualified because these players are gold medalists.
“If they doubt us, they would have come to the club and see how younger kids are training on the pitch.
“We cannot train players and then come and be screened out for nothing sake; it shows they have something against us.”
Edited by Folorunso Poroye/Maharazu Ahmed
Rep.member gives N2m grant to 150 constituents in Ondo state
A member of the House of Representatives, Mr Tajudeen Adefisoye, representing Idanre/Ifedore Federal Constituency has disbursed over N2 million grant to no fewer than 150 traders in Idanre Local Government Area of Ondo State.
Adefisoye of Social Democratic Party (SDP), who presented the money on Monday in Idanre, said that the grant was the first tranche, adding that he would soon extend it to Ifedore Local Government Area of the state.
He urged the beneficiaries to ensure judicious use of the N15, 000 grant given to each of them, assuring them of higher amount in 2020.
The lawmaker said he would soon build a mini-stadium in Idanre to provide avenue for youths to be engaged in sports.
This is the beginning of better things for the good people of Idanre. This is not a repayable but a grant for our traders.
But, I will insist that this grant must be channeled into your businesses. I can assure you that all traders that judiciously use this grant will definitely get a higher one in the first quarter of 2020.
I can also assure that what we have captured in the 2020 budget alone for our people is far more than what have been doing in the last 18 years.
All round development will soon be witnessed in Idanre.
There is an assurance that failed roads in Idanre will be reconstructed and potable water will soon become available for the use of our people, particularly the rural dwellers.
Nigeria News Agency reports that the Community Grant Disbursement, a quarterly support for traders across the two local government areas that make Idanre/Ifedore Federal Constituency, kicked off in Idanre.
The event was witnessed by leading traditional rulers in Idanre, State Executive Council members of SDP, party members and supporters of the lawmaker.
One of the beneficiaries, Mrs Oloniyo Aina, thanked Adefisoye for not reneging on his electoral promise of providing a better alternative for them.
Also a trader, Mrs Kemi Aladetuyi lauded the legislator for putting smiles on the faces of women in the town.
Edited by: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Dada Ahmed
EFCC recovers N300m from corrupt persons in Akwa Ibom in 2019–Official
The Zonal Head of the Commission, Mr Garuba Dugum, disclosed this at the sensitisation programme to mark the International Corruption Day in Uyo on Monday.
“From January to date, we have recovered over N300 million from corrupt persons and this is small zone compared to other places, yet we are trying our best to see that we move forward.
“The commission has arrested so many corrupt officials in the state. We have convicted over 60 persons in our records from January to December in Akwa Ibom,” Dugum said.
The zonal head of the commission said that the theme of the event was “Zero Tolerance to Corruption’’ adding that the commission collaborated with stakeholders to sensitise the public on ills of corruption.
Officials of the commission carried placards with inscriptions such as “Say no to Corruption, “Every no counts”, “Let’s break the chain of corruption”, “Join in the fight of corruption”, “Corruption is a cancer, Let’s kill corruption now”, “Let’s stand against corruption.”
Other inscriptions are: “A better society free from corrupt is possible through collective actions”, “Combating corruption, a sustainable path to Africa transformation”, “Walk against financial flows”, among others.
“If they allow corruption to go on, they will not be able to get the impact of development,” he said.
Dugum, who noted that suspected “yahoo boys“ who were arrested in Akwa Ibom for deceiving so many people, disclosed that some of the suspected internet fraudsters had been arrested in the state.
He said while some of the suspected had been prosecuted and convicted, others were awaiting trial.
“If we allow corruption to continue in our country, it will reach a point where it will backfire and if it backfires, we will now know the consequences of it“,” he said.
Edited by: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Dada Ahmed
Yobe Commissioner pledges improvement in water supply
The Yobe state Commissioner for Water Resources, Sen. Alkali Jajere, said that the water challenges of the state would be adequately tackled during his tenure.
Jajere, who stated this on Monday in Damaturu while taking over the affairs of the ministry, said: “I am conversant with the challenge people are facing even here in Damaturu, the state capital, I have been buying water myself.
It is very unfortunate that the challenge has been lingering up to this moment. However by the grace of God we will provide solution to water supply in the state,” he said.
While saying that it was not easy to provide water in the Sahel region, Jajere urged staff of the ministry to cooperate and support his administration to achieve its set goals.
“So, we need to put our hands together with you as experts, and myself as a political head to bring a holistic approach to the water system challenges in the state,” he added.
Edited by: Razak Owolabi/Ismail Abdulaziz
Commission empowers 860 persons in 4 states
The commission, a transnational organisation, has its secretariat in Njamena, Niger Republic.
Its National Co-ordinator, Land and Resource Management, Dr Ismaila Abdullahi, disclosed this in Hadejia Jigawa, on Monday at the launch of Small Scale Drip Irrigation and Goat Rearing Projects.
According to him, 215 persons have been selected for the projects, from each of the benefiting states.
He said 75 of the beneficiaries would receive drip irrigation facilities, while 140 women would get goats to breed.
Abdulahi said each of those receiving goats would get two she-goats and a he-goat, while each beneficiary of irrigation facilities would receive pipes.
Other beneficiaries, he said, would receive fertiliser, herbicides, tomato seeds, water pumping generators and one third of a hectare of land to develop.
The national co-coordinator said the essence of the programme was to empower the people to become self-reliant.
He listed benefiting local governments to include Hadejia, Miga, Taura, Mallammadori, Babura and Maigatari.
Abdullahi said two solar-powered boreholes were drilled to tackle shortage of water in Garin Mallam Sadi and Fadifara in Birniwa and Babura Local Government Areas, through the intervention.
He recalled that the commission, had in 2017, constructed four fish ponds and stocked them with 5,000 fingerlings in Baturiya, Hadin, Garun Gudanya and Yakasawa areas.
Responding, the Chairman, Hadejia Local Government Area, Alhaji Abdullahi Mohammed, commended the commission for the intervention and promised to support its activities at all times.
He called on the beneficiaries to use the facilities effectively to improve their living conditions.
Alhaji Baffa Magaji, on behalf of the beneficiaries, promised to use the facilities judiciously and appealed to the commission to increase the number of beneficiaries.
The commission was established in 1964 with the mandate to regulate the use of water in the basin, preserve its ecosystem and promote peace, security, regional integration and development in member countries.
Members of the commission are: Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Aljeria, Libya, Sudan and Central African Republic.
Edited by: Ejike Obeta/Dada Ahmed
Gov. Yahaya approves additional N550m for payment of gratuities to retirees
Gov. Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State has approved the release of additional N550 million for the payment of gratuities to the state retirees.
Mr Ismaila Misilli, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the governor, said this in a statement he released on Monday in Gombe.
He said that the governor had directed all relevant agencies in the state to commence payment of gratuities to their retirees with immediate effect.
Misilli said that the recent approval made it the second time that the governor would be releasing funds for the payment of outstanding gratuities to workers who had retired from its civil service.
In August, Gov. Yahaya approved the release of N1.1 billion for payment to 504 retirees, who left the service in 2014.
All verified persons or dependents, as the case may be, are to come to the State Treasury Headquarters from Wednesday, Dec.11 along with their relevant documents,” he said.
Misilli added that the governor had demonstrated his commitment to the welfare of both retired and serving civil servants from the state.
Edited by: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Peter Dada
Anti-Corruption Day: MURIC hails Buhari on anti corruption fight
MURIC Director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, said this in a statement on Monday in Lagos.
We salute President Buhari. He has emerged as the undisputable hero of the war against corruption and the indubitable champion of transparency campaign in Africa.
We continued to wobble and tumble until the emergence of this president who dedicated his life to prudence, austerity and high level discipline.
In the same vein, we pay tribute to his foot soldier, Ibrahim Magu, and his gallant men in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
”Equally worthy of accolades is Nuhu Ribadu, the pioneer head of the commission who put the team’s feet firmly on the path of dedication to the war against financial crimes,” he said.
Akintola said that the elimination of ghost workers had saved Nigeria more than N200 billion while Treasury Single Account (TSA) swelled FG’s account to a whopping N10 trillion as of July 2019.
Expectedly, the TSA policy led to the closure of more than 20,000 illegal accounts.
We also laud the courage of a few judges who have stood up to be counted in the anti-graft war.
We solicit for more support from the judiciary in general. We also urge the civil service to give all necessary support to the war against corruption.
“In particular, we call on the National Assembly (NASS) to waste no time in enacting a bill on special courts to try corrupt public officers,” he said.
Edited by: Modupe Adeloye/Ali Baba-Inuwa
Catholic Congress recommends dialogical approach for church reformation in Africa
The Pan African Catholic Congress has resolved to use dialogical approach for the renewal and reform of the church and her institutions in Africa by identifying with the downtrodden.
The conference made the resolution in a communiqué issued in Enugu on Monday at the end of the first ever Pan African Catholic Congress held in the state by the church.
The principal convener of the conference, Rev. Fr. Stan Ilo signed the communiqué which was read by the Chairman, Communiqué Drafting Committee, Rev. Fr. Ifeanyi Enwerem.
Ilo explained that dialogical approach included doing theology through the experience of women and other marginalised group, enculturation and being in dialogue with other religions present in Africa, social science and other disciplines.
He noted that dialogical approach demanded reading, understanding, interpreting and responding to the signs of the times adding that they declared the commitment to be with God’s people in their places of fear, pain, joy and hope.
The professor of Theology said that they gathered to reflect on the future of the church in Africa and their roles as theologians and scholars in developing the prophetic role of the gospel in the continent.
Ilo said that the congress created a sacred space of palaver where it celebrated and shared in the joy filled stories of their people’s faith in Christ, manifestation of love to one another, the hopes and dreams of their youths.
He pointed out that the anxieties of the people and the groans of one another in Africa, for many lives being lost through avoidable deaths, preventable wars, food insecurity, immigration, endemic diseases and poverty continued to take a huge toll on Africa.
We propose a new way of pastoral praxis in Africa. This entails a vision of shared leadership, participatory ministries, pastoral solidarity, mutual sharing in each other’s talent and gifts beyond the present clerical, hierarchical and patriarchal structure and system.
We propose a dialogical praxis between church and society; to do this, we must develop among other things, greater historical consciousness and deepen our understanding of the contemporary cultural, religious, socio-political and economic realities of our people as well as deepening our understanding of the traditions of our church.
We identify with the cries of God’s people in their continent, the poor, the voiceless, the marginalized, the unloved and the forgotten.
We commit ourselves to work with the church leaders and peoples in the search for concrete and transformative proposals for the renewal and reform of the church and her institutions.
We identify with the plan of the church in Africa to realise the goal of missionary conversion set out by Pope Francis so that the church in Africa would truly become the spiritual lung of Catholicism on an integral mission of Africa and beyond.
We, therefore, affirm at this congress unfailing desire to accompany the church family of God in Africa by seeking together the ways and means through which Africa theology, pastoral plans and projects in our dioceses, parishes, religious communities, catholic social agencies and all channels of evangelism in the continent,” he said.
He expressed dismay that the hopes of their fathers and mothers for the church and society in Africa was far from being realised.
Ilo noted that things were getting worse as there was a growing gulf between their faith, life, rich and the poor in their church and society.
He also noted that it was evident at the congress that the church and continent were facing signs of fragmentation and disconnection at both the level of intellectual and spiritual lives.
Ilo said that the congress, observed that things continued to fall apart in the quality of life of Africans in spite of the fact that the continent had the highest growth rate in the Catholic Church.
He said the congress acknowledged that sometimes their theologies had been far removed from the contexts and had not helped to deepen the faith of their people and the transformation of society.
As members of the family of God in Africa, we pray and resolve to form a pan African catholic theology and pastoral network that will meet biennially to assess our journey,” he said.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that no fewer than 700 participants including clerics, laity, women and men as well as the youth from various African countries attended the conference which held in Enugu from Dec. 5 to Dec. 8.
The theme of the congress is `What must we do to perform the works of God’.
The congress was convened by the Symposium of Episcopal Conference of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) established 50 years ago.
Edited by: Maureen Atuonwu
Human trafficking reducing in Edo, says NAPTIP
The Edo Zonal Command of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons (NAPTIP) says human trafficking in the state has reduced marginally.
The Edo Commander of NAPTIP, Mrs Ijeoma Udak, said this on Monday at a human trafficking workshop organised by an NGO, PHEW Foundation, in Warri.
Uduak represented by Mr Ogunrinu Muyiwa, said the programme with the theme “Recognise the Sign’’ was organised to educate motorists and passengers on the dangers inherent in human trafficking as well as how to identify culprits.
The current percentage of human trafficking as at 2018 in Edo was 60 while in 2017, it was 65 per cent.
It is invariably reducing but that does not mean we should fold our hands, we will not rest until it is maximally reduced.
The feat should not be attributed to NAPTIP alone, but to our partners such as NGOs,” Uduak said.
Uduak advised people, particularly the youth, to avoid greediness and be patient and be disciplined.
Earlier, the CEO of PHEW Foundation, Mrs Uche Chigbo, said that drivers were also critical stakeholders in the fight against human trafficking.
According to her, drivers were the ones that transport the traffickers unknowingly.
We are trying to make drivers the advocates of human trafficking. We believe that by our partnership with drivers, we will be able to curb human trafficking to a very large extent.
Most of the human trafficking must have been transported through vehicles.
The essence of the workshop is to tell them how to identify suspected human traffickers and report same to the NGOs and government for proper actions,” she said.
Mr Perkins Awourude who represented Mr Francis Ariyo, Chairman of Effurun Motor Park, commended the NGO for the awareness.
“We will spread the message to our members so that together we can eradicate the scourge,” he said.
Edited by: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Peter Dada
Wike approves enrolment of more pensioners on payroll
Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers has approved the inclusion of 2,673 additional retirees into the monthly pension payment scheme of the state government.
According to a statement on Sunday by the Director-General, Rivers State Pension Board, Ijeoma Samuel, the approval followed the completion of biometric data capture of the new pensioners.
This is in addition to the 15,400 pensioners currently receiving monthly pensions, the statement said.
According to the statement, the State Monthly Pensions Payroll now has 18,073 Pensioners while the biometric capture was ongoing for public servants retiring between August and December 2019.
It said that an ICT Department would soon start the biometric verification exercise for the next batch of retiring public servants.
The statement commended the governor for giving the pensioners a ‘new song’ for the Christmas. and New Year.
(Edited by: Mufutau Ojo)
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