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Maku still in Nasarawa governorship race – APGA

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Election

Chimezie Anaso
The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), has said its candidate in the Nasarawa state governorship election, Mr Labaran Maku, was still in the race.

Dr Victor Oye, National Chairman of the party, said this in a statement issued in Awka on Thursday.

Oye said that Maku had not withdrawn from the race, and described reports to that effect as untrue.

The chairman said that the rumours were being spread by political detractors out to mislead the people.

Oye expressed confidence that Maku would defeat his opponents and clinch the governorship seat in the March 9 elections

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APC/AOS

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Eid-el-fitr: Sen. Al-Makura urges continuous compassion for the needy

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Sen. Umaru Al-Makura (APC, Nasarawa South) has congratulated Muslims across the country on  completion of the 30 days mandatory fasting and urged them to continue to show compassion to those in need.

This is contained in a statement signed by the senator and made available to newsmen in Lafia on Saturday.

He commended Muslims for their resilience and commitment in fulfilling one of the basic obligations of Islam, despite the harsh effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Al-Makura urged them to sustain and put to use  all the teachings of the Ramadan.

“Ramadan fasting teaches us the values of love, justice, equity and unity among other cherished virtues.

“As the Holy Month of Ramadan comes to an end, Muslim faithful should assess their conduct and align their behaviors to the teachings of Islam, ” he said.

Al-Makura explained that an important aspect of the adherence to the teachings of the just concluded Holy Ramadan was  the continuous compassion for those in need.

He, therefore, enjoined the Muslim faithful to continuously assist and show compassion for the needy, especially those badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As a result of the lessons which  bequeath to us through Ramadan fasting, we are expected to continue to demonstrate understanding and tolerance toward one another and show compassion to those in need,” he said.

The senator also urged Nigerians to rally round the administrations of President Muhammadu Buhari and Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State to enable them to succeed and deliver more dividends of democracy to Nigerians.

“I want to solicit for fervent prayers from all my supporters and well wishers to enable me translate my mandate into true and fair representation,” he said.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

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New Chief of Staff will be highly resourceful, says Sen. Al-Makura

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Sen. Umaru Al-Makura (APC, Nasarawa South Senatorial Zone) says the newly-appointed Chief of Staff (CoS) to President Muhammadu Buhari, Prof.  Ibrahim Gambari, will be highly resourceful to the President and Nigeria.

Al-Makura made this known in an interview with newsmen in Lafia on Monday.

He noted that Gambari had an impressive portfolio of public service in and out of Nigeria.

Al-Makura congratulated Buhari for the choice and described Gambari as a perfect replacement for his predecessor, Late Malam Abba Kyari, who died recently due to coronavirus complications.

He explained that Gambari would bring to bear his vast experience in diplomacy and public service among other exploits to assist the President fulfil his political promises and change the lives of millions of Nigerians for good.

“His appointment has given every Nigerian who knows him a great sense of hope because this is a man who wears different caps that this country at this particular time needs.

“He is a scholar, a diplomat, a peacemaker and most importantly, he is a highly resourceful person.

“Somebody who is vastly experienced and who has seen it all from the local environment in Nigeria to the international level.

“To get someone that is so versatile at this point in time to be part of the decision making mechanism for this country makes everyone happy and with great hope that the leadership of this country now has added value, ” Al-Makura said.

The lawmaker, however, frowned at Nigerians who criticised the appointment due to the age of the appointee.

“I think his response indicating that his loyalty is to Mr President couldn’t be a better statement than that because the office of the CoS is not a creation of the constitution but the discretion of Mr President.

“Mr President in his own wisdom gave the position to someone he is very comfortable with and who will be totally dedicated and loyal to him.

“I believe the pedigree, records and antecedents this man has accumulated over time is not something one can generate within a youthful age.

“I think that is the right age for the occupant of that office; so he can bring to bear all his experiences to add value to the governance of this country,” he said.

Al-Makura urged all other political leaders in the country to emulate the president by overlooking sentiments and engage competent and vastly experienced Nigerians who could make useful and positive contributions that would help their principals activate their goals. 

Edited By: Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

 

 

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COVID-19: Al-Makura distributes palliatives to people with disability in Nasarawa

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Sen. Umaru Al-Makura, (APC– Nasarawa South), has donated cash and rice to persons living with disabilities in his constituency to cushion the effect of Coronavirus pandemic.

Al-Makura told newsmen in Lafia on Saturday shortly after the exercise that besides the donation, sensitisation to prevent contracting COVID-19 was also carried out to enlighten the disabled on steps to take to prevent spread of the virus.

According to the senator, the palliatives and sensitisation will offer the disabled relief and reduce their vulnerability to the virus hence his decision to reach out to them.

He added that he had to also support them given the restrictions imposed by the state government to curb the spread of the virus.

“This category of people has been deprived of substantial and enough sensitisation and enlightenment against this very dangerous disease.

“It makes me feel that people with disabilities are highly vulnerable to this disease because some of them don’t have enough information and enlightenment.

“Some of them don’t have the means to distance themselves from this disease like you can see,  quite a number of them are beggars.

“They go to beg  in order to live and now we are in a period of lockdown in a state where movements are not allowed.

“So they are not likely to have any opportunity to provide for themselves for the day.

“I feel it is part of our responsibilities as a society and their representatives that our support, enlightenment and sensitisation should be all inclusive.

“That is why I decided that this sensitisation and support should be specifically for the blind, lame, leprous, deaf,  the crippled and those with autism,” he said.

Al-Makura explained further that the gesture was in continuation of his commitment to give back to his constituency and to support all groups of people in his constituency irrespective of class, condition, religion or ethnic background.

He urged well meaning Nigerians especially those who had the means and from Nasarawa South senatorial zone to lend a helping hand to the people in the zone especially  the old and vulnerable in terms of sensitisation and material support.

“I feel the most vulnerable group as it is now are the people with disabilities.

“I feel we should come to their aid by giving them enough enlightenment and support as much as we can so that they will also be protected against this deadly disease,” he said.

The senator added that as long as people  in his constituency were advised to restrict their movements,  the distribution of palliatives by his office would continue to meet the yearnings of the people of his constituency.

He said it would also reduce the hardship instigated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is my constituency. There are people with disability that I cherish so much. They are so dear to my heart, that is why I make a priotrity to share these items to them,” he said.

He also called on Muslims in his constituency to be their brothers keeper during the Ramadan in terms of supporting one another, given the restrictions in place.

“My Ramadan message to people of my constituency and people of Nasarawa state is to be our brothers keeper.

“The Ramadan this time around is quite a difficult task because the lockdown is in place and enforced, so the opportunity of earning a living is becoming difficult daily.

“So I feel we should extend some kind of charity to our neighbours, to our brothers, to our constituents and especially people who are disabled.

“So I believe the Ramadan period is a time to reflect and see how much goodwill we can extend to the less privileged,” he said.

News Agency of Nigeria , reports that the Senator had also recently donated 3,000 bags of rice to people of his constituency to cushion the effect of COVID-19 pandemic.

Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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Defence/Security

NAF @ 56: TAC, Makurdi donates palliatives to host communities

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The Tactical Air Command (TAC), Nigeria Airforce, Makurdi, has donated palliatives to some families in its host communities to cushion the effects of the COVID-19 partial lockdown in the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the food items distributed included yams, groundnut oil, salt and rice, amongst others.

The four benefitting communities were: Fiidi, Ugondo, Abinsi and Ter Makurdi.

The Air Officer Commanding (AOC), AVM Olusegun Philips, who shared the palliatives on Thursday at four locations within the host communities,  said they were meant to cushion the effect of the lockdown.

Philips said the distribution of the food items was part of the celebration of NAF’s 56th anniversary which was low-key because of the ravaging effects of Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the AOC, the distribution of the palliatives is the initiative of the Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshall Sadiq Abubakar.

He explained that a total of 78 families would benefit from the items from each of the four host communities.

He described the host communities as “peace-loving people” and commended them for their cordial relationship with the command so far.

According to him 45 families are benefiting from each community while 38 widows will also receive items.

He said NAF was also producing face masks for use by its officers across the country.

In a remark on behalf of Abinsi community, Chief Christopher Danjuma, commended NAF for the magnanimity to the host communities.

Danjuma congratulated NAF at her 56th anniversary and prayed for its long life and prosperity.

“On our part, we as a community congratulate NAF at 56 and pray God Almighty to grant you good health, safety, long life and the wisdom to take the Nigeria Air Force to higher levels.

“We are also committed to complying with government directives on the lockdown, including social distancing, hand washing and staying at home.

“We will do our best to augment the efforts of both the Federal and State Governments in stopping the virus from spreading,” he said.

Also speaking, Mrs Anthonia Philips, wife of the AOC and Chairperson, Nigeiran Air Force Officers Wives Association (NAFOWA), said the association was partnering the NAF to support the poor within the communities.

Mrs Philips who also felicitated with NAF at its 56th anniversary, commended it for remembering the needy at this crucial time.

A beneficiary, Mr Emmanuel Shachia, said he was overwhelmed with joy for receiving the items from NAF.

He described the items as ” manna from heaven”.

Another beneficiary and 81-year-old widow, Mrs Christina Mohammed, thanked NAF for coming to their aid at this period of the lockdown.

Edited By: Ejike Obeta (NAN)

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General news

Easter: Sen. Al-Makura calls for collective prayers against COVID- 19

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Sen. Umaru Al-Makura ( Nasarawa South), has urged Christians to use the Easter celebrations to pray collectively for divine intervention on the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria and the world at large.

Al-Makura made the call on Saturday in a statement he signed and made available to newsmen in Lafia.

He said that Easter was a time for Christian faithful to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ and His exploits while on earth.

He however pointed out that giving the timing of the celebration and the outbreak of the COVID- 19 pandemic, it was also an opportunity for sober reflection and collective prayers for God to heal Nigeria, Africa and the world of the pandemic.

“Let me appeal to all of us to be sober at this moment of temptation and collectively pray against Coronavirus,” he said.

The senator also called on Christians to use the opportunity of the Easter celebrations to pray for President Muhammadu Buhari, Gov. Abdullahi Sule and other leaders across the country in their efforts to protect every Nigeria from the COVID- 19 pandemic and ensure enduring peace and progress continued to reign in Nigeria.

He also enjoined the people of Nasarawa south senatorial zone and the good people of Nasarawa state to be passionate about the society and extend love to people around at this period.

“The lesson of Jesus’ death and resurrection as explained in the Holy Bible is a demonstration of love and selflessness and as beneficiaries of his undying love, we must extend same to our fellow humans.

“We need to be passionate and always make meaningful contributions toward positive development and progress of our dear state and the country at large,” he said.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Grace Yussuf
(NAN)

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Health

COVID-19: sellers of sanitizers witness high patronage in Makurdi

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Sellers of hand sanitizers in Makurdi said they have witnessed huge patronage of the product following health expert advice for its usage to check the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.

A cross section of the dealers on the commodity told the Nigeria News Agency on Friday in Makurdi that the demand had doubled lately.

Mr Ugochukwu Obi,  owner of a  supermarket, said that sales of the product had been impressive in recent times.

“The business is booming as a result of the advice by health personnel, particularly the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) which encouraged people to use it frequently, to avoid contracting the disease,” he said.

Also, Mr Uchenna Ndubuisi, said that people were not buying the product in past but the advice has changed people’s mentality towards its usage.

“I sold all the sanitizers that I had last week. As we speak, I do not have a single one in my shop.

“I placed order for more. They will soon arrive. I have not added money to the cost. I still sell them at the prices I was selling before. Even at that, I am making reasonable profit because of the high turn over.

“Their prices are not same. But the least goes for N1,000, while the highest in my shop goes for N1,500,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Tivfa Agber, a civil servant,  said he did not buy sanitizer because the advice did not restrict people to only sanitizers.

“Soap is a very cheap alternative and I go for it. I believe many people are also making use of the alternative.

“I make sure I wash my hands more often. I carry with me a soap in a purse anywhere I go.

“Most people are using soap to wash their hands because they do not want to spend money on sanitizers,” he said.

Mr Atime Jor, who is a business man, told NAN that the economy was so harsh that people could not afford the money for sanitizers, instead they go for soaps, which are very cheap.

Edited By: Ifeyinwa Omowole and Isaac Ukpoju
(NAN)

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Education

Army College matriculates 683 students in Makurdi campus

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The Nigerian Army College of Environmental Science and Technology (NACEST), Makurdi,  on Saturday  matriculated 683 students into its 21 programmes for the 2019/2020 academic session.

Speaking at the ceremony in Makurdi, the  School’s Rector and Commandant, Brig. Gen. Aminu Abdu  said the institution has been ungraded to polytechnic.

He said the school was running a total of 21 programmes, adding that all students were well trained in different skills to be job providers and self-reliant.

The Rector further disclosed that NACEST is a college under the Nigerian Army School of Education (NASE), with its headquarters in Sobi Barracks Ilorin, Kwara State.

Abdu said that the school which was initially Nigerian Army Institute of Technology and Environmental Studies (NAITES), a monotechnic, has been upgraded to Nigerian Army College of Environmental Science and Technology (NACEST), a polytechnic.

“The transformation from NAITES to NACEST will enhance the pursuit of academic excellence in teaching, research, and service to the society,” he said.

According to him, the vision of the institution is to become a centre of excellence through the provision of quality education that will engender the production of entrepreneurial graduates capable of impacting positively on the environment and the society at large.

He warned all matriculating students that the school had zero tolerance for anti-social lifestyles such cultism, hooliganism, corruption, examination malpractice amongst others.

“You should bear in mind that the oath you are taking today is to be of good conduct and obedient to the Rector and all constituted authorities in the school.

“Any breach of the oath taken today will definitely attract appropriate sanctions,” Abdu added.

The Rector, therefore, pledged that despite the paucity of funds, the school would continue to improve on its service delivery to both staff and students.

Brig. Gen. Abdu urged the students to always take security issues seriously and report same to all the appropriate authorities within the school.

In his address, Gov Samuel Ortom called for cordial relationship between the school and the State Government.

Ortom, who was represented by the  Commissioner for Water Resources and Environment, Engr. Dondo Ahile urged the school to find solutions to environmental challenges facing humanity.

NAN reports that high point of the event was the administering of oath to the matriculating students by the school Registrar in company of the Legal Adviser.

Edited By: Abiodun Esan and Isaac Ukpoju
(NAN)

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General news

Al-Makura donates 120 power generators to boost COVID-19 enlightenment

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As Nigeria battles to check the spread of the dreaded Coronavirus diseases, Sen. Umaru Al-Makura (asarawa South), has distributed 120 power generating sets to traditional rulers in his constituency to boost enlightenment in the rural areas.

Al-Makura, while distributing the items in Lafia on Sunday, said that the gesture was to assist the traditional institutions on the critical roles they were expected to play toward mobilising their communities.

“With the outbreak of the dreaded coronavirus in Nigeria, the generating sets will power public address systems to be used for mass enlightenment and sensitisation in rural communities that have no electricity,” he said.

According to Al-Makura, local government offices of the All Progressives Congress (APC) would also benefit from the gesture.

He added that apart from the power generating sets being distributed, plans were underway for an economic empowerment scheme for his constituents where 2,000 beneficiaries would get N10,000 each.

Al-Makura also revealed that he recently bought special books and other materials worth over N4 million for pupils at the Comprehensive Special School for the Physically Challenged in Lafia.

In his remarks, Gov Abdullahi Sule lauded the people-oriented disposition of Al-Makura routed through his various intervention programmes for his constituents.

He said that his administration was leveraging on Al-Makura’s  legacies and would continue to do so for the benefit of the people and development of the state.

Meanwhile, Executive Secretary of the Border Communities Development Agency, Capt. Junaid Abdullahi, hascommended Al-Makura for his people-oriented policies.

Represented by Sadiq Isah, Deputy Director, Public Affairs, Abdullahi said that the agency had concluded arrangements to construct two blocks of classrooms at Kwandere and Kanje Primary Schools to support Al-Makura’s constituency interventions.

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Science & Technology

NBTI DG inspects incubation facilities in Lafia, Makurdi

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Mr Mohammed Jibrin, Director-General (DG), of National Board for Technology Incubation (NBTI), has embarked on inspection of facilities at Lafia and Makurdi incubation centres.

Mr Reuben Shagu, Head of Media and Public Relations, NBTI, made this known in a statement on Monday.

Shagu said Jibrin had on Friday, paid a post commissioning visit to Lafia centre and a pre-commissioning inspection visit to Makurdi centre on Saturday.

According to him, the purpose of the Lafia visit was to inspect the facilities that were commissioned in September 2019, in order to ascertain the level of operations and areas of improvements.

The media aide said the visits accorded the DG the opportunity to familiarise with the “areas that needed more attention and areas he felt entrepreneurs needed to be guided.

“Most especially, Jibrin hinted on the need to begin to train the entrepreneurs on how to write their own business personal plans.’’

The DG said if entrepreneurs wrote their own business plans by themselves, it will enable them know best methods of implementation, rather than have their business plans written by someone else.

He tasked the centre manager in charge of the Lafia technology incubation centre, to ensure things worked out well so that entrepreneurs could be up and doing in their businesses.

According to Shagu, Jibrin also inspected the incubation unit facility which enables entrepreneurs start a business, and also helps them nurture the business to grow and become competitive.

He said the DG also inspected the mechanical workshop, the laboratory and the electrical workshops, which were all well equipped according to global best practices.

“These workshops assist the entrepreneurs who do not have the money to go outside the centres to do what needs to be done, like analysis on the products they are to carry out, among others.

“The mechanical workshop is there for entrepreneurs who are into fabrication, who do not have some certain equipment that they can make use of in their fabrication.

“These equipment are there in the centre and they are availed the opportunity to use this equipment free of charge by the Federal Government,’’ he said in the statement.

The NBTI DG also urged staff of the centres to make judicious use of Federal Government’s investments in their respective centres.

The high point of the visit on Friday was a courtesy visit to Gov. Addullahi Sule of Nassarawa State.

Sule expressed appreciation over the visit by Jibrin and his team of Directors.

The governor expressed his government’s willingness to give maximum support to the technology incubation centre in Lafia for the benefit of his people.

The directors on the DG’s entourage were Dr John Oni, Director, Post Incubation and Extension Services and Mrs Hussaina Bakari, Deputy Director in charge of Operations, Shagu disclosed in the statement.

Edited By: Nyisom Fiyigon Dore

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