Lagos AD alleges destruction of candidates’ posters
By Bolaji Buhari
Lagos, Dec. 19, 2018 (NNN) The Lagos State chapter of Alliance for Democracy (AD) on Wednesday alleged that campaign posters and banners of its candidates were being destroyed across the state by unknown persons.
Ajayi said the party was concerned about the development as it amounted to a violation of the democratic rights of the party and its candidates.
He said the posters and banners of the party’s governorship candidate, Chief Owolabi Salis, had been destroyed or pulled down by suspected political thugs.
The chairman said the party had petitioned the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, on the development, but that the destruction of posters had not been checked.
“We are alerting the good people of Lagos State on the continued destruction of the posters of our various candidates across the state, particularly that of Chief Owolabi Salis, our governorship candidate.
“This has been happening for some time and it has not abated. We have petitioned the police authorities on this development but the practice is still going on.
“Just two days ago, we woke up to see all the banners of Chief Salis on the Third Mainland Bridge and other parts, pulled down and destroyed.
“This is clearly a suppression of our democratic rights as a party and we urge the police and the relevant authorities to intensify efforts to unravel these anti-democratic forces in the interest of fair play,” he said.
Ajayi accused the Lagos Signage and Advertising Agency (LASAA) of not doing enough to give all political parties a level playing field to display their posters.
He urged LASAA to stay out of politics and collaborate with police and other agencies to stop the destruction of campaign posters.
The chairman said doing this would promote peace and fair play ahead of, during and after the elections.
NNN reports that the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Mr Jimi Agbaje, had made several complaints about the destruction of his campaign posters. (NNN)
(Edited by Fela Fashoro/Idonije Obakhedo)
‘We were scared upon inauguration in office’, says Lagos Deputy Governor
The Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, on Tuesday revealed how Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and himself were scared of the huge challenges and high expectations from the residents on assumption of office.
Hamzat made the remark during an online interactive session marking the one-year anniversary of Gov. Sanwo-Olu-led administration.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the session, tagged ‘Covinspiration’, was moderated by Mr Dayo Israel, the Special Representative to the United Nations, and British Council Global Change-maker.
Hamzat explained that upon the inauguration of the administration, the governor and his team were intimidated by the challenges of people’s expectations from them.
“Truthfully, I was scared.
“So, the emotion was not necessarily that of happiness, but I was scared as the expectations were high regarding what we need to do to make sure that we do not disappoint.
“I knew that we had been tutored very well; we have been in government and understand the geography and policies of the government.
“We knew who to call within the civil service to various challenges, but also knew that we are living in a difficult time when leadership is faced with trust deficit. What do we need to do to reduce the trust deficit?
“We knew the extent of the work, but how quickly can we solve some of these problems for our people?
“So, it is a serious job, but we were praying, working and planning every day to make sure that we resolve some of these issues so that the people could see themselves that this is a government that actually has a plan,” he said.
Hamzat said that the state’s challenges were giving Gov. Sanwo-Olu and himself “sleepless nights every time,” adding that the challenges “could be daunting”.
He revealed that the administration often called for advice, where necessary, from ex-governors like Bola Tinubu, Babatunde Fashola, amongst others.
“We don’t shy away from that. We call for advice; ask people even the private sector, on what to do on various challenges and how to prioritise.
“We don’t act like people who think they have a monopoly of wisdom, but we call on people to make sure that we have better understanding before we come out with any policy,” he said.
According to him, the government has provided employment for a good number of youths and working hard to enhance the capacity of the private sector to provide employment through Small and Medium Enterprises.
Lagos recruits 3,000 teachers in 12 months
The Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folashade Adefisayo, announced on Tuesday that 3,000 primary and secondary school teachers had been recruited by the State Government in the past 12 months.
Adefisayo said that training and workshops had also been organised for 4,400 teachers and social officers drawn from various education districts in the state.
According to her, six blocks of 92 classrooms have been completed in some primary schools while 54 classrooms in some secondary schools have been upgraded to ease classroom congestion.
“The State Government under the Universal Basic Education Commission and State Universal Basic Education intervention projects has commenced delivery of 10,164 furniture and 60,000 chair-table units to public schools.
“In the past one year, the ministry instituted better school governance and administration by launching Eko-Excel (Excellence in Child Education) programme, which are operational in 300 public primary schools in the state.
“These have improved the capacity and welfare of students who have continued to emerge tops at several national and international competitions like the JETS competition, World Robot Olympiad, held at Edutus University, Gyor, Hungary and the Chinese Bridge Proficiency Competition to mention a few.”
She said that a total of 135,445 pupils were being fed one meal a day in 976 schools across the state through the Home Grown School Feeding Programme.
Lagos govt trains 2,200 vulnerable females
The Lagos State Government said it had trained 2,200 vulnerable women and young females to be financially independent and self-reliant in past one year.
The Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs Cecilia Dada, made this known on Tuesday during the 2020 Ministerial Press Briefing to commemorate the first year in office of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
Dada said that the series of programmes were to improve status of women and make them economically independent.
”Short-term Vocational Skills Acquisition Training Programmes were organised to tackle unemployment situation of women and young female adults and widows, indigent/vulnerable women.
”The programmes were to tackle unemployment situation of women living with health challenges and disabilities.
”This was done with the assurance that the skills acquired to create income-generating ventures for beneficiaries,” Dada said.
The commissioner said that the training programmes, which spanned for four weeks, included areas as hair braiding/weaving, tie and die, event decoration, cakes and snacks production, soap and pomade making.
She said that at the end of each training programme, which held in Victoria Island, Ebute Metta, Ojo, Ajeromi-Ifelodun, Badagry, participants received start-off packs to help kick-start their businesses.
Dada said that in a bid to sustain the general wellbeing of the female gender in the state, the ministry organised medical screening for 500 women and young adults.
According to her, the medical screening are on cervical screening, breast screening, sugar level examination, eye tests and provision of eye glasses, where necessary.
She said that the screening was carried out to ascertain their health status and checkmate bigger challenges that might arise in the future.
COVID-19: Lagos Assembly reduces state’s 2020 budget to N920.5bn
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Clerk of the House, Mr Azeez Sanni, had read a letter by Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu requesting the reduction in the size of the budget on the floor by the House.
The Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr Sam Egube, said the reordering became necessary in view of the slump in oil price in international market as well as the reduction in Internally Generated Revenue.
Obasa, at the plenary, directed that the House Joint Committees on Budget and Economic Planning and Finance to reduce the budget size of the state for year 2020 from N1.68 trillion to N920.5 billion.
The speaker said the committees were to report back to the House within one week.
He said, “Based on the governor’s request, the House will work assiduously to review the budget to refocus, reorder and take into consideration the current challenges.
The House also paid tributes to a former member of the Senate, who represented Lagos Central Senatorial District, Alhaji Muniru Muse, who died on Tuesday at 81.
“I want us to observe a minute silence for him and write a letter of condolence to his family,” she said.
The requests were later granted as the Speaker directed the Clerk of the House to write a condolence letter to the family of the deceased.
The House later adjourned sitting until Monday.
Homegrown food distribution, a success in Lagos State – LASUBEB
The Lagos State Universal Education Board (LASUBEB) says it has recorded success in the ongoing Homegrown School Feeding Programme launched in Lagos on May 21.
This is contained in a statement by Mrs Eniola Adewunmi, Public Relations Officer of the board, in Lagos on Tuesday.
Adewunmi said the targeted 37, 589 households of pupils in public primary school. one to three had been concluded.
She said the programme also supported by the Lagos State Government through LASUBEB was designed to see to the continued sustenance of primary school pupils in spite of the schools closure.
“Immediately after the flag-off, the distribution of Take-Home Rations to households of pupils started in earnest in 202 centres across the 20 Local Government Education Authorities (LGEA) in the state.
“During the exercise, the Executive Chairman of LASUBEB, Hon. Wahab Alawiye-King, Board Members, and the Board Secretary effectively monitored the distribution exercise.
“At most of the centres visited, the chairman expressed satisfaction with the conduct of government officials at the various centres as well as the orderliness of the parents being attended to, describing the exercise as transparent,’’ she said.
COVID-19: Doctors donate palliatives to IDP Camp at Eleko, Lagos
A Lagos based NGO, Doctors Health Initiative (DHI), has donated some palliatives to families in the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp at the Eleko Beach in Lagos, to help cushion the harsh effects of COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr Anabel Ozo, who made the donation on behalf of DHI, said on Tuesday in Lagos that the COVID-19 pandemic had created ripple effects on the livelihood and hygiene of vulnerable families and communities.
DHI is a human rights organisation of medical doctors and other professionals committed to using medical, scientific and social means to serve and develop the society through the family.
It is committed to serving human life by building healthy, free and just societies; their services are aimed at the development and maintenance of healthy families; the fundamental units of societies.
“ They reside in settlements along Eleko Beach area.
“They were mostly farmers and have been forced by the Boko Haram insurgents to flee their homes and farmlands and find new skills and livelihood.
“As at five years ago, most of the children were malnourished and suffering from all forms of treatable illness which their parents and guardians couldn’t afford to take them to the hospital for basic healthcare.
“ You can imagine their plights in the unstable and violent situation created by COVID-19.
“The Doctors Health Initiative (DHI), through the caring hands of well meaning individuals, organisations and families sought to make a difference in the lives of the families in the IDP camp of Eleko Beach.
“We generated over 600 bags of palliatives consisting of staple food, hand sanitisers, sanitaries and beverages for 600 families living in the IDP settlement.
“DHI offers medical and counselling services free of charge to the vulnerable and undeserved communities with a special focus on women and children,” she said.
Responding, Chairman of the camp, Mr Jonah Jonah, commended the gesture of the doctors.
COVID-19: Lagos govt says churches, mosques remain shut
The Lagos State Government on Tuesday said that churches and mosques in the state might not be reopened soon for worshippers.
The Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Anofiu Elegushi, said this on the sideline of the 2020 Ministerial Press Briefing commemorating the first year in office of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
The Federal Government had on Monday, June 1, lifted the ban on mosques and churches in the country, based on guidelines and protocols agreed with state governments.
”Even before the pronouncement by Federal Government, we have been having meetings with the religious leaders, we even had one with Safety Commission, looking at the possibility of reopening of religious houses.
”We also had one with the leaders of the two faiths and I want to tell you categorically that at that meeting, possibility of reopening religious houses was ruled out totally.
”They claimed that they cannot take such responsibility of ensuring that only 20 or 50 people are praying behind them.
”Like an Imam said, he doesn’t know what is going on at the back immediately he is leading a prayer. He said if more than 20 or 50 people are staying at his back he is not going to take responsibility for their presence.
”So, in the meeting, we ruled out in totality the issue of reopening the religious houses until we have a clear coast for us to do so.
”The Federal Government mentioned it, but it never ruled out the state in achieving that pronouncement, so all states will have to look at possibility of doing so in their respective states.
”We all know Lagos is still having more figures. So definitely that will speak to our decision,” he said.
The commissioner, however, said that the governor of the state would come out with further directives on the matter.
Swine fever virus kills pigs worth N7 bn in Lagos farm-AFAN
The All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) Lagos State Chapter, says swine fever virus has killed pigs worth about N7 billion in the Oke-Aro piggery farm during the COVID-19 lockdown in the state.
Dr Femi Oke, AFAN’s Chairman told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Tuesday, that the farm was stricken by the swine fever before the COVID-19 lockdown.
African swine fever virus is a large, double-stranded DNA virus in the Asfarviridae family. The virus causes a hemorrhagic fever with high mortality rates in domestic pigs.
Some isolates can cause death of animals as quickly as a week after infection.
African swine fever is the biggest threat to commercial pig production the industry had ever seen, according to the World Organisation for Animal Health.
Oke said due to the restriction of movement by both the Federal and State governments, many of the affected farmers were unable to visit the farm to attend to the animals which resulted in the death of the animals.
He said some of the affected farmers were now dead, while others were bed ridden due due to the huge loss in their business and source of livelihood.
He said very few were now struggling to revive the farm which was now in ruins.
“They tried to contain it and treat the animals but because of the inability of our people to go to the farm during the lockdown, they were not able to treat the animals very well.
“The situation resulted in the death of many of the pigs in the farm and the loss is very huge investments.
“It is a very huge loss to the sector and some affected farmers died of shock.
“Oke-Aro market is one of the largest piggery market in the country.
“Many of the affected farmers borrowed money from the banks and have not been able to pay back since the incident occurred.
“We have lost some of our farmers due to the incident, some are in the hospital as we speak and some are still battling with the losses,” Oke lamented.
The AFAN’s chairman said Swine fever virus was a major killer of pigs any outbreak and almost all the pigs would be dead.
Oke described the piggery value chain as very huge, with Nigeria having the biggest producer in West Africa.
“The Oke-Aro piggery farm is in ruins. Our farmers are in pain because they have lost all their live investments,” he said.
“Members breed top quality pigs for local and export consumption.
“We are still trying to relate the situation to the Federal and State government, the Lagos state government is aware and have been to the farm, as I was reliably informed,” he said.
“We want to reach out to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development through AFAN, to see what the federal government can do in terms of grants and compensation for the affected farmers.
“We are looking at compensation from the government despite the fact that some have died and others are still battling to revive the farm.
“The loss is very huge and it will have huge effect on the piggery value chain and the farmers for a long time,” he said.
Food security: Lagos vegetable farmers seek access to fertiliser at affordable cost
The farmers told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos that lack of access to fertiliser during the previous planting season contributed to shortage and high cost of vegetables in markets.
He said that the price was too high for most subsistence farmers in the state.
Azzare said that not less than 23 bags of 50kg fertiliser would be required to ensure good harvest from his farm.
According to him, many farmers have resorted to the use of organic manure from animal waste to enrich the soil to enable them to break even.
“The organic manure application is cumbersome and requires much labour unlike the NPK inorganic fertiliser application that even gives better yield.
“Many of us did not plant this period because of our inability to get inputs at reduced price; that is a threat to food security in the near future,” he said.
Azzarr added that if government could help by bringing the price down, more farmers would cultivate during the late planting season and ensure availability of vegetables all year round.
Dogo, who said that he hired 15 labourers to assist him in his two hectares, said that fertiliser was essential to enable him to engage them all year round and make profit.
“I want government to sell fertilser to us. I have been going to the government warehouse at Ojo Agriculture Inputs office for the product but there is non there.
“The last time we got fertiliser there was two years ago at N5,000 per bag. It is much better than the rate at the open market,” he said.
The farmer said that availability of the product would encourage many of his colleagues to cultivate more, gainfully engagg more people and make vegetables cheaper in the market.
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