The FCT Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Aliyu, has promised indigenous people of Tunga-Maje in Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) that the problem of their disputed parcel of land allegedly encroached upon by the Nigerian Army would be resolved amicably by the highest authorities.
Aliyu, made the promise when she visited portion of the disputed land.
Mr Austen Elemue, Special Assistant on Media to the Minister, said this in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.
The minister also assured the people that justice would be done to both parties.
She commended the community for not taking laws into its hands and assured that adequate compensation would be made to the natives, if it was eventually discovered that the disputed land had been allocated to the Nigerian Army.
“I must sincerely extend my appreciation to both the chairman of Gwagwalada Area Council and Abuja Municipal Area Council for calling on FCT Administration and the trust that the administration can resolve this lingering land dispute.
“I must also appreciate the Agura of Zuba and the indigenous people of Tunga-maje for your calm conducts. You have demonstrated that you are indeed law abiding citizens.
” From the narration of the Agura, it has been a painful moment, but hopefully this time around, we will be able to take it to the appropriate quarters where the needful will be done.
“If indeed the land is allocated from the federal authorities to the Nigerian Army, of course consideration must be made for a new place to relocate to and of course to settle you by compensation.
“But before then, we will not jump the gun. Therefore, we want you to be law abiding as we go back to revisit the issues. Justice must be done. I want to appeal to you to be law abiding because the matter is not beyond the authorities to handle,” Aliyu assured.
Earlier, the Chairman, Gwagwalada Area Council, Mr Adamu Danze, said that since his inauguration as chairman of the council four years ago, the battle to reclaim the disputed land from the Nigerian Army has been vehemently resisted with its attendant casualties.
Danze, said that in spite of the intervention of the National Assembly through various public hearings, innocent lives had been loss.
The council boss, therefore, appealed to FCT Minister of State and other relevant authorities to use their good offices to resolve the issue.
” We have been battling with this issue to the extent that lives are loss. We are in pain over this matter and we are appealing to you to take further action,” he said.
The minister was received by the Agura of Zuba, Mohammad Umar Bello.
Edited By: Ali Baba-Inuwa
S. Korea’s Unification Minister visits estuary to renew commitment to inter-Korean cooperation
Unification Minister Kim Yeon-chul is to visit an estuary of the Han River near the border with North Korea on Wednesday in an effort to renew South Korea’s commitment to jointly using the waterway with the communist nation.
Under a military agreement signed at a 2018 summit between President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, the two sides agreed on the joint use of the Han River estuary along their western border and conducted a joint waterway research.
But the project has stalled since the no-deal summit between the North and the United States in February last year.
The unification minister’s visit to the estuary is seen as aimed at sending a message to the North that it remains committed to the project.
“The visit has been arranged so that (the minister) can see for himself the site of the Han River estuary and follow up on the inter-Korean agreement, and to hear the voices of the local government and related authorities,” the ministry said.
The Han River estuary is a waterway along the inter-Korean border that allows, in theory, civilian ships from the two Koreas to sail freely within the area according to an armistice agreement that halted the 1950-53 Korean War.
But military tensions between the two sides have since made it realistically impossible for the joint use of the waterway, the ministry said.
The ministry said it will push ahead with the project and transform the estuary into a site of peace, given its ecological, historic, and economic value, despite the impasse in inter-Korean relations.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)
Yemeni defense minister survives ballistic missile attack
Yemen’s defense minister escaped a ballistic missile attack on his ministry’s headquarters in the central province of Marib late on Tuesday, local government security officials said.
The attack targeted a meeting attended by Defense Minister Mohammed al-Maqdashi and other military commanders in the Defense Ministry’s headquarters in Sahn al-Jin camp.
At least seven soldiers were killed and ten others hurt, they told Xinhua.
One of the security officials in Marib blamed the attack on the Houthi militia. However, the Houthis have made no comment yet.
Yemen has been mired in civil war since late 2014, when the Iran-backed Houthi group seized control of much of the country’s north and forced the internationally-recognized government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi out of the capital Sanaa.
The five-year war has killed tens of thousands of people and pushed the country to the brink of famine.
Romania to take new relaxation measures from June 1: minister
Romanian Health Minister Nelu Tataru announced on Tuesday that new relaxation measures will be taken as of June 1.
According to the official, the authorities will assess the first period of 14 days of relaxation after the end of the state of emergency and then announce the new relaxation measures.
“For now we can say with a quite high degree of certainty that we will reopen terraces(of restaurants)… We’ll keep the same social distance,” Tataru told local broadcaster B1TV, quoted by the official Agerpres news agency.
“There may be other measures too, but we’ll proceed to the assessment at the end of this week,” he added.
According to the minister, beaches could reopen from June 15 and from July or August, the Romanians could lead “a quasi-normal life.”
As the first batch of relaxation measures after the end of the state of emergency, residents are allowed to travel locally, but mask-wearing is mandatory in enclosed public spaces and on public transport. Meanwhile, parks reopened, while shops with access directly to the street, barbers, beauty salons, dentists and museums resumed business.
Romania reported its first COVID-19 case on Feb. 26, which involved a 20-year-old Romanian national infected by an Italian visitor. The country announced 146 new confirmed cases on Tuesday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 18,429, with 1,216 fatalities.
Kenyan gov’t to clear 50km traffic jam at border into landlocked Uganda – Minister
The Kenyan government says it will clear the traffic jam that has been choking the flow of vehicles at its border into landlocked Uganda as soon as possible.
The country’s transport minister, James Macharia said this on national television on Tuesday.
The approximately 50-kilometre-long traffic jam has been slowing down the movement of goods on one of the most important transport corridors in the Great Lakes region for days.
The road links the port of Mombasa to landlocked Uganda.
Trucks have been stuck on the Kenyan side of the Malaba border.
The country’s transport minister blamed a group of disgruntled truck drivers.
“We had a few elements who came to incite the other drivers,” Macharia said.
He was joined by Adan Mohamed, Secretary for the East African Community and Regional Development, who said truck drivers had complained about hostility when driving in Uganda since the coronavirus outbreak.
Drivers have reported that their vehicles have been pelted with stones, that Ugandans have refused to sell them food and have referred to them as “Coronas” suggesting that they carry the virus.
They have also said that the coronavirus testing they were made to do in Uganda was painful.
Mohamed said the snarl-up was becoming a security threat and would be cleared in the next four to five days.
“Mombasa port serves the whole of the region,” Mohammed said, adding that the Malaba border was important to Kenya.
The Independent, a media outlet in Uganda, reported on Friday that more than 500 trucks were stuck at various entry points in the region because of issues around COVID-19 testing.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)
Swedish digital minister sees no problem in Huawei used in 5G: report
Anders Ygeman, the Swedish Minister for Energy and Digital Development, saw no problem with equipment from Chinese tech giant Huawei being used in 5G deployment, according to a report by TT News Agency.
He also reportedly said on Monday that the Nordic country’s legislation is not aimed at a particular company or country.
Tele2, a major Swedish telecommunication operator, launched its 5G service on Sunday with a mix of telecommunication equipment including those from Huawei. Telia, another major operator, launched its 5G service on Monday without Huawei equipment.
File photo taken on Jan. 28, 2020 shows a Huawei 5G mobile phone testing speed in Huawei 5G Innovation and Experience Center in London, Britain. (Xinhua/Han Yan)
File photo taken on Jan. 28, 2020 shows a Huawei 5G mobile phone testing speed in Huawei 5G Innovation and Experience Center in London, Britain. (Xinhua/Han Yan)
Ygeman was quoted as saying: “You have probably already used Huawei if you are now surfing on 4G. There has been quite a lot of equipment from the company. Then the question is how the operators choose to use different components in different parts of the network, depending on the security priority level of the specific part of the network. That question should be directed to the operator, because the suppliers are not who the legislation is aimed at.”
Ygeman was referring to a new Swedish legislation this year, which strengthened security requirements for telecommunication operators.
“Swedish legislation is not aimed at a particular company or country. There will be a lot of different components in the structure of the 5G network just like in the structure of the 4G network, including all the major world suppliers. Then the operators must be able to show that they are safe and reliable,” Ygeman said in the report.
Huawei, Sweden’s domestic supplier Ericsson and Finland’s Nokia, are the world‘s three leading suppliers of 5G equipment for telecommunication operators.
A visitor experiences Huawei’s 5G Mate30 Pro at a press conference in Shenzhen, south China‘s Guangdong Province, Oct. 23, 2019. (Xinhua/Mao Siqian)■
A visitor experiences Huawei’s 5G Mate30 Pro at a press conference in Shenzhen, south China‘s Guangdong Province, Oct. 23, 2019.
Minister donates May salary to secure release of 5 inmates
The FCT Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Aliyu, has forfeited her May, 2020 salary to secure the immediate release of five inmates who could not pay for their fines at the Kuje Correctional Service.
She made the donation while felicitating with the inmates as part of activities to celebrate this year’s Eid al-Fitr.
Aliyu in a statement by her Special Assistant on Media, Mr Austine Elemue, on Tuesday in Abuja said the donation would further go a long way to decongest the Correctional Service already overcrowded with inmates in view of COVID-19 pandemic.
Aliyu described the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, as a God fearing man and a man with the heart of gold who believed in good governance.
“I will not only support the reduction, but I will also lend my voice in the reduction of prison inmates by picking up some bills.
” I will carry out the campaign and speak to well meaning Nigerians because you cannot leave the burden of good governance to government alone.
“We know that some of you are awaiting trial, we know that some have not been tried at all, but provided there is law, we will not be lawless.
” We will go by the law and get in well meaning Nigerians and pay up the fines. This will also go a long way to reduce the number, besides government pronouncements.
“Government pronouncement as we all know do not come easily in every nation.
” If government pronouncement comes very easily, then definitely, the name correctional centre will be misplaced. We know Mr President recently spoke our minds when he spoke about the need to decongest our prisons.
“And I know my minister, a God fearing man, and a man with a heart of gold, he will certainly send message across. God willing, FCT administration will make moves to decongest our prison based on merit.
” I in my own capacity, I stand here personally on this Sallah day, I want to donate my salary for the release of 5 inmates,” she said.
Aliyu affirmed that the correctional service had been positioned to refine the inmates in the rebuilding of a better society, noting that they could make the best out of the experiences gained at the service.
“There are times in our life that we erred, but to err is human, and to forgive is divine.
” There are times in our life that we are put to test, sometimes, we pass the test, sometimes we fail.
” For various reasons, we may have found ourselves at the correctional centre. But you know what, you can make the best out of it.
“As we appreciate you, we pray for you to come out to be better citizens that will give us a Nigeria of our dreams.
” Somebody else cannot give us Nigeria of our dreams and you cannot give us Nigeria of our dreams from outside, you can only give us Nigeria of our dream from within and I know you are already at the preparatory stage.
” When you leave here either by amnesty or whatever pronouncements, you can only become better citizens,” Aliyu stated.
Earlier, The Comtroller, Correctional Service, FCT Command, Mustapha Atta, who commended the minister for her visit, expressed displeasure over the number of inmates awaiting trial.
Attah revealed that 70 per cent of the inmates are on awaiting trial list, adding that Kuje correctional service with a capacity of 560 inmates, now accommodates no fewer than 866 inmates.
He appealed to relevant authorities to work toward the decongestion of the correctional service.
The minister donated 250 packs of cooked jollof rice, 500 bottles of soft drinks, 500 bottles of table water, 1000 face masks, 50 bags of rice, 50 cartons of spaghetti and 100 cartons of indoomie noodles to the inmates.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)
Australian domestic border closures has “crippling effect” on tourism industry: minister
Australia’s Tourism Minister asked the state and territory governments to come up with clear pathways to remove their border restrictions on Tuesday.
The governments of some states and territories have resisted calls to ease their border closures, which were set in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Simon Birmingham, minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, told in an interview on Channel 9’s Today Show on Tuesday morning that border closures were exacerbating the economic impact of the pandemic on the tourism industry.
“I hope that the states and territories can come up with clear pathways to remove their border restrictions,” Birmingham said.
“Our tourism industry employs around one in 13 Australians.”
“And now obviously, there are no international visitors coming in at present and if we continue to have the situation where interstate travel is limited as well, then it has a crippling effect on those small businesses and the jobs they generate,” he added.
As at 3:00 p.m. local time on Monday, a total of 7,118 cases were reported in Australia, including 102 deaths and 6,532 recoveries from the COVID-19, which means the number of active cases fell below 500, according to the Department of Health.
“We now have over five consecutive weeks of days in which the growth rate of new cases in Australia has been less than half a percent,” said Greg Hunt, minister for health, on Monday.
Turkey “neutralized” 1,458 PKK-YPG members in cross border operations this year: defense minister
Turkish security forces have killed 1,458 members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in cross border operation, defense minister of the country said on Monday.
“A total of 1,458 terrorists were neutralized as a result of the operations carried out in the framework of the fight against terrorism in the north of Iraq and Syria since Jan. 1,” Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said while visiting a military post in Central Anatolian Kayseri province.
“The Turkish Armed Forces will continue this struggle with determination until the last terrorist is neutralized,” he said.
Turkish authorities often use the word “neutralized” in statements to imply the “terrorists” who surrendered or were killed or captured.
“Everyone should know that we are performing our duties in five operating regions with great determination, and that we are performing these activities completely under the law and that all these activities are transparent and open to all kinds of audits,” he stated.
Turkey continues efforts to maintain the ceasefire and stability in Idlib after an agreement with Russia sealed on March 5, he said.
“Although there are some minor violations there, the ceasefire is generally observed. As a result of the ceasefire provided, approximately 300,000 Syrian brothers and sisters returned to their homes safely and voluntarily,” the minister stated.
Turkey sees the YPG as the Syrian branch of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
The Turkish army launched Operation Euphrates Shield in 2016, Operation Olive Branch in 2018, Operation Peace Spring in 2019 and Operation Spring Shield in 2020 in order to create a YPG-free zone along its border within Syria.
Turkish security forces have long been conducting operations against the PKK targets in northern Iraq where the group has hideouts.
The PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the EU, has fought a 30-year war against the Turkish government, claiming the lives of more than 40,000.
China won’t relax ecological, environmental protection: minister
China will not relax its ecological and environmental protection in the next five years, Minister of Ecology and Environment Huang Runqiu said Monday.
“In the 14th five-year plan period, we will continue to improve ecological and environmental quality by reducing pollutant emissions, and vigorously promote ecological protection and restoration,” he said on the sidelines of the annual session of the national legislature.
China should further adjust the industrial structure, advance the transformation toward low-carbon development, promote green lifestyle, and provide the public with more eco-friendly products, he said.
Ecological and environmental protection goals set for the 13th five-year plan period (2016-2020) are being accomplished in a smooth manner, Huang said, adding that seven of nine binding targets set for evaluating the protection work have been achieved, such as the emission control of major pollutants.
By the end of 2019, the average concentration of PM2.5, a major particle matter pollutant, in cities that previously did not meet air quality standards dropped 23.1 percent from the level of 2015, he said. ■
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