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Monarch calls for more EU, UNICEF engagement on community dev’t



The Emir of Argungu, Alhaji Sama’ila Muhammad, has called for more engagement with the European Union and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in the area of community health development.

The emir made the call on Tuesday when he received a team from UNICEF, led by Rabiu Musa, UNICEF Communication Specialist, in his palace in Argungu, Kebbi state.

Muhammad, who commended the organisations for their various intervention programmes, said the intervention had transformed healthcare delivery system in most hard-to-reach communities in the state.

“Under the programme we have enjoyed a lot of extension and improvements in our facilities; from buildings to operators and staff and several others.

‘’The intervention has also made it possible for us to build a strong relationship with health workers and also community mobilisation efforts which has made our people to accept routine immunisation the more.

“Also, the provision of motorcycles has made it easier for health workers to move from one place to the other, especially the hard to reach areas so as to ensure that our women and children receive healthcare assistance.

“The population is increasing by the day and demands for healthcare services are also increasing, facilities are becoming insufficient for the population and interventions like these are the only way states can meet their citizen’s health needs.

“We are most grateful to UNICEF and EU for enduring to work with us for many years now. And the goodwill has helped a lot in mobilising resources and making sure that what is given is delivered to where it is supposed to make the best impact”.

He also charged the donor agencies on more engagement with traditional and religious leaders for community development, saying that was an effective way development of communities can be fast tracked.

He appealed that as facilities are being built, accommodation for service providers should also be added.

“Wherever health facility is built, it is important that accommodation is made available for service providers.

“In some of the rural areas facilities are available, but it is most inappropriate that officials will be living very far from their working areas. Child delivery can happen at any time and there is need for doctors and nurses to be around 24 hours.

“So just as you are providing equipment, it is also important to provide accommodation for workers. There is also the need to intensify community engagement with traditional and religious leaders.

“They need to work very closely not just for provision of interventions, but to also know what the needs of the communities are.”

Speaking earlier, Musa appreciated the cordial relationship between the organisations and traditional rulers in the state, adding that this had helped in meeting the target of improving the health of especially women and children.

He said that communities in the state had also been very cooperative in the acceptance of programmes and project initiated by EU through the UNICEF.

‘’Kebbi had been a model for us in our target of improving the health of women and children as well as pregnant women. The programme of reaching out to the hard to reach community has been successful and accepted by the communities.

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Okitipupa LG boss appoints monarch as Chairman, Chieftaincy Committee



Mr Abayomi Adesanya, the Caretaker Chairman, Okitipupa Local Government Area of Ondo State, has approved the appointment of Oba Gbadebo Bajowa, the Rebuja of Osooroland, as the new Chairman of the Local Government’s Chieftaincy Committee.

Adesanya disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Okitipupa on Monday.

He said that Oba Bajowa’s appointment was done in compliance with the directive issued by the State Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.

The directive was contained in a letter dated May 28 and signed by Mr Segun Odusanya, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.

The letter reads: “The Chairman Okitipupa LGA Chieftaincy Committee should henceforth be rotated among the three grade-A Obas for a period of two years.

“Necessary machinery should be put in place to ensure that Oba Faduyile who has been holding the position for a very long time should handover the position to any of the two Grade-A Obas for a period of two years in consonance with the practice across the 18 LGAs in the state.”

According to Adesanya, the directive states that the Chairmanship of Okitipupa LGA Chieftaincy Committee be rotated among the three Grade A traditional monarchs.

“These monarchs include, Abodi of Ikoya, Rebuja of Osooroland and Jegun of Idepe-Okitipupa, in accordance with the principles established in the extant Chiefs’ Law of (2006) in the state,’’ he said.

The position has hitherto been held by Oba Babatunde Faduyile, the Abodi of Ikoya.

Adesanya congratulated Oba Bajowa, describing the development as the will of God and the reward of his exemplary leadership.

“I urge Oba Bajowa to use his wealth of knowledge as the custodian of cultural and traditional values to reposition the traditional institution to better the lives of Ikale indigenes,” he said.

Meanwhile, Oba Bajowa expressed delight at his appointment, saying he returned all glory back to God Almighty.

Bajowa, who was enthroned in Nov. 26, 1977, said the new position would avail him the opportunity to use innovation to move the traditional rulers and the council forward.

“I thank God and the state government and pray that God will grant me the wisdom to use new innovation to move the obas and the council forward,” he said.

Edited By: Oluyinka Fadare/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

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COVID-19: Monarch seeks lockdown extension



The Chairman of the Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers told the Federal Government on Sunday to extend the current lockdown as the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Nigeria nears the 10,000 mark.

Eze Samuel Ohiri made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja, saying the lockdown extension was necessary to avert rapid spread of the deadly virus in rural communities.

Nigeria has currently recorded 9,855 confirmed cases of the virus, 553 of which were recorded in the past 24 hours.

Two hundred and seventy five deaths have also been recorded with 2,856 people discharged after recovering from the disease, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

On March 4, President Muhammadu Buhari announced a nationwide lockdown to check the spread of the virus and extended the lockdown on May 4.

Ohiri, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Hi-Tech Diagnostics Ltd., noted that the lockdown had isolated the deadly virus to only metropolitan areas.

“Any plan to relax the lockdown at this time is not advisable because it will trigger community transmission from the metropolitan areas to rural areas.

“Nigeria at the moment has lost over 200 lives to COVID-19 and we cannot afford to lose more. So let government not relax the lockdown for now.”

The monarch also lauded the Federal Government’s efforts so far in containing the virus, urging State Governments to sustain the restriction on inter-state movements.

According to him, as soon the lockdown is lifted, inter-state movements will commence and community transmission will set in.

“A country like Ghana recorded unprecedented 60 per cent increase in COVID-19 infections after relaxing their lockdown.

“This disease is very deadly that even the survivors still suffer damage of one organ or the order, especially the lungs.”

The royal father, however, described speculations of conspiracy theory on COVID-19 as unfounded rumours, saying that proper education was required to prepare people against the virus.

He emphasised the imperative of collective responsibility in the fight against the virus, saying that total adherence to safety measures was key to reducing spread.

Ohiri disclosed that his firm had manufactured testing kits for COVID-19 and that the kits were capable of showing results in five minutes.

Edited By: Angela Okisor/Silas Nwoha (NAN)


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Gov. Abiodun has changed Ogun narrative — Monarch



The Olu of Itori, Oba Abdulfatai Akamo, says Gov. Dapo Abiodun of Ogun has changed the narrative of the state and advanced the well-being of its people.

Oba Akamo said this on Thursday, in a congratulatory message to the governor, ahead of his 60th birthday coming up on May 29.

The royal father, according to a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media, Yomi Gbadebo, in Lagos, described the governor as the best thing that had happened to Ogun in recent times.

“I wholeheartedly congratulate you on the auspicious occasion of your 60th birthday, which coincides with your first year in office as the Executive Governor of Ogun.

“You came on board at a time Ogun needs a touch of corporate professionalism and superlative governance.

“You have shown unparalleled competence in the management of the scarce resources in the state,” he said.

The monarch said the governor had embarked on many life-transforming projects that had rekindled the hope of the common man.

“You have since changed the narrative as a true leader, committed to the advancement of your people, as the fifth democratically elected governor of Ogun,” he said.

Oba Akamo said that he had absolute conviction in the governor’s ability to lead Ogun to the promised land, despite its limited resources.

According to the traditional ruler, as the governor celebrates his diamond jubilee, he joins the league of one of the finest in the Gateway state.

“Your daring tendencies and resolve to lead your people at this period of our shared history, speaks a lot about your background as a consummate businessman and accomplished entrepreneur.

“As a prince of Remo Kingdom, you have carried yourself with panache and style.

“On behalf of myself, my darling wife and the good people of Itori-Ewekoro land, I join millions in the world over to celebrate your exceptional feat at 60, and your meritorious accomplishments in your 365 days in office.”

Edited By: Folorunso Poroye/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

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Abia monarch raises alarm over erosion threat to Imo River Bridge



Eze Philip Ajomiwe, the Traditional Ruler of Oriendu Autonomous Community of Abia, has raised the alarm over the impact of erosion threatening the Imo River Bridge situated in the area.

Ajomiwe, who conducted newsmen round the bridge on Wednesday, expressed concern over the washing away of some portions of the bridge by erosion.

He feared that the facility might collapse “soon if urgent steps are not taken to arrest the menace.

“I appeal to both Abia and Imo governments to save the bridge from imminent collapse,” he said.

The monarch said that the bridge helped to shorten the transportation time of goods and persons between Ohuhu axis of Umuahia North Local Government Area (LGA), of Abia and Ihite Uboma LGA of Imo.

He said that the bridge was constructed by the Niger Delta Development Commission in 2004, during the tenure of Chief Onyema Ugochukwu, an indigene of the area, as chairman.

He said that before the bridge was constructed, his people usually travelled to Umuahia town to board vehicles whenever they wanted to travel to their neighbouring Ihite Uboma communities.

“The bridge made it easy for our people to travel straight to Ihite Uboma and Owerri within few minutes without going through Umuahia.

Ajomiwe described the bridge as a great asset to both Abia and Imo, saying that it facilitated rapid development in the neighbouring Abia North and Ihite Uboma communities in Imo.

He further decried the alarming rate of gully erosion in the Southeast, saying that available statistics showed that Abia alone had about 1,000 active erosion sites.

He said that the menace had wreaked havoc in many communities in the zone, rendering many people homeless.

The monarch, therefore, called on the federal and state governments to urgently address the erosion problem in the zone.

Edited By: Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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Children’s Day: Monarch’s wife donates palliatives to school for blind in Ekiti



Wife of the traditional ruler of Apomu in Osun, Olori Janet Afolabi, has donated face masks and noodles to the children of Government Special School for the blind, Ikere-Ekiti.

Presenting the items on Wednesday in Ikere-Ekiti, Ikere Local Government Area (LGA), Afolabi said many families find it difficult to feed their children following the effect of the COVID-19.

She explained that her decided to focus on the children was because of their plight, especially at this time of the COVID–19 pandemic, ravaging the world.

Her Royal Highness said that many communities in Apomu Land, in Isokan LGA of the state had benefited from the gesture.

“I decided to extend the kindness to students of the School for the Blind, Ikere-Ekiti because of their special needs.

“We have distributed cartoons of noodles to indigent children in Apomu community. The packages were given to the children in their various suburbs.

“We are also extending act of kindness to some blind children in Ekiti today by donating 100 face masks and cartoons of noodles to Government Special School of the Blind in Ikere Ekiti,’’ she said.

She, however, assured the school that the gift package was not a one-off exercise, adding that it would be done intermittently.

“As we celebrate 2020 Children’s Day, we should remember children in need and put a smile on their faces. We should give them hope for a greater tomorrow,” she added.

She also tasked parents and caregivers on the need to keep their children safe during this pandemic, urging them to educate their children on regular hand washing and social distancing.

Receiving the items on behalf of the students, Mr Funso Olajide, the Secretary of People Living With Disabilities (PLWD), Ekiti chapter, thanked the donor for the gesture.

Olajide, who is also the Coordinator of an NGO, Disability Not A Barrier Initiative (DINABI), promised that the items would be used for the purpose they were meant for.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Felix Ajide (NAN)


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COVID-19: Gov. Obiano’s aide commends monarch for distributing palliatives to PWDs




Mr Chuks Ezewuzie, Special Adviser (Disability Matters) to Anambra Governor, Chief  Willie Obiano, has commended the Traditional Ruler of Ifitedunu, Igwe Emeka Ilouno, for gifts given to Persons With Disabilities (PWDs).

Ezewuzie gave the commendation during the presentation of COVID-19 palliatives by Ilouno in Ifitedunu, Dunukofia Local Government Area of Anambra on Monday.

The governor’s aide recalled that the governor recently constituted Disability Community COVID-19 Response Team to ensure that every class of persons in the state was not left out in the COVID-19 palliatives.

He said the gesture shown by the monarch would go a long way to reduce hardship associated with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the lives of persons resident in Ifitedunu.

“These food items, bags of rice and tubers of yam from Ilouno would sustain the special persons well enough to be thankful to God. It is well appreciated,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that other items distributed at the event, courtesy of World Ebony Network,  were face masks, farm inputs,  fertiliser, lime, maize, cucumber, watermelon seeds.

Ezewuzie appealed to other traditional rulers in the state to seek People Living With Disabilities in their communities and support them in order to give a meaning to their lives at this bad times.

He said that the monarch had remained in the forefront to support policies and programmes of the government, especially as it affected disabled persons.

Earlier, Ilouno said the step was taken in response to the need to help the disabled persons in the community to cushion the effect of coronavirus challenges.

He said that some individuals, as well as community efforts, helped to make the event a success.

The monarch reassured the group that his community would not relent in showing kindness to them at all times.

He encouraged the people to religiously observe preventive measures issued against the virus and advised the group to embark on subsistence farming to enable them equally cushion postCOVID-19 effects.

Ilouno said that he was confident that the Anambra government would successfully manage all COVID-19 cases in the state.

Some of the beneficiaries, Stanley Obi, Arinze Nwafor and Innocent Okafor, commended the traditional ruler for his kind gesture toward the group and assured him that they would observe the preventive measures.

Obi, who is the Co-ordinator of Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities in the state, said that life had never been easy for people living with disabilities.

He said that they would ever remain grateful to the monarch for his kind gesture to their members.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

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COVID-19: Kwara Monarch postpones 10th year anniversary celebrations



The Olomu of Omupo, Oba Yakubu Buari, in Ifelodun Local Government Area of Kwara, has postponed all activities for his 10th year coronation anniversary celebrations until further notice.

Dr Monisoye Afolabi, the National President, Omupo Descendant Union (ODU), announced the postponement of all activities in a statement obtained by News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday in Ilorin.

According to him, on the 12th day of June 2010, Oba Yakubu Buari (Ilufemiloye II) was formally enthroned as the Olomu of Omupo Land in Ifelodun Local Government of Kwara.

“Consequently, June 2020 marks a full decade of that auspicious event in the life of the people of Omupo Land, which thus calls for a big celebration of thanksgiving for a peaceful and progressive reign.

“To all intents and purposes, plans for the celebrations had commenced.

“However, in view of the prevailing global health challenges, arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and its attendant advisories by the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and relevant international organisations, it has become expedient that the celebrations could not be held as planned,” he said.

Afolabi, however, stated that to mark the occasion, and to show his love for the wellbeing of his people, the Olomu of Omupo will carry out some of the following activities which include formal launch of the ‘Omupo People’s Empowerment Programme’.

According to the National President, the monarch will also distribute the second round of palliatives to his subjects living in Omupo.

Afolabi prayed the Almighty God to grant the traditional ruler long, peaceful and prosperous reign, and to all residents happy celebrations.

The monarch was also quoted to have wished all his subjects happy Eid-el-Fitr, saying they should imbibe the lessons of the Ramadan, which included love, sacrifice, perseverance,  tolerance, among others.

Edited By: Felix Ajide (NAN)


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Eid-el-fitri: Ekiti monarch urges Muslims to celebrate with caution



The Chairman of the Ekiti State Council of Traditional Rulers, Oba Ajibade Alabi, has told Muslims to celebrate the Eid-el-Fitri with caution because of the ongoing COVID– 19 pandemic.

The monarch made the call in a congratulatory message to Muslim faithful in Ekiti and Nigeria in general, issued on Saturday in Ado-Ekiti, to mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

Alabi advised Islamic adherents to celebrate Eid-el Fitri, marking the end of 30 days fasting by observing laid down rules set out by government in the fight against COVID-19.

The monarch stressed that all religious leaders must also ensure that they worked in tandem with government to fight the deadly disease.

”The measures put in place by government like social and physical distancing in places of worship to stop the spread of COVID-19 are in the interest of the people. Only the living will continue to praise God,” he said.

Alabi reiterated the need for cooperation among Nigerians to check the spread of the disease, praising the efforts of Gov. Kayode Fayemi and Ekiti traditional rulers for their efforts to curb the spread of the disease.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Silas Nwoha (NAN)



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



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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