The Northern Governors Forum (NGF) has condoled with the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Rev. Matthew Hassan Kukah, over the passing of his mother, Janet Hauwa Kukah.
Chairman of the forum, Simon Along, who is also Governor of Plateau, described her passing as painful in a condolence message by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Dr Makut Macham on Saturday.
Lalong further described the death of the Bishop’s mother as a great loss to the entire Kukah family, the people of Kaduna State, and particularly to Kukah.
“We share in this hour of grief over the departure of Mama Janet, who lived an exemplary life and also demonstrated the fear of God and respect for humanity throughout her life.
“She dedicated herself to raising children in the way of the Lord – children, who have turned out to be major contributors to their immediate communities and the nation as a whole. She will surely be missed,” he said.
Lalong condoled with Kukah, who had always acknowledged his mother as a pillar of support and guidance in his spiritual responsibilities and passion for human rights, justice, and peace building.
The Plateau governor prayed God to grant eternal rest to the soul of the deceased mother of the Bishop and also comfort the family.
Edited By: Nkiru Ifeajuna/Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)
Kaduna State maternity, paternity leave bill to be ready by end of 2020- El’Rufai’s wife
Wife of Kaduna State Governor, Aisha El’Rufai, on Tuesday said the bill for Maternity and Paternity Leave for workers in the state would be ready by the end of 2020.
El’Rufai made this known at the Save the Children Nigeria World Breastfeeding Week Webinar on Innovative Strategies for Improving Breastfeeding and Nutrition in Nigeria.
She said that the bill was to be enacted to among other things encourage breastfeeding among working women and also make provisions for paternity leave so men could support their wives for exclusive feeding.
“The bill will get a legal backing soon for effective implementation; the zero draft will be presented to stakeholders for their input and hopefully by the first quarter of 2021 the bill should be ready for ascent.
“Breast milk is the best nutritional choice for infants so supporting the practice of feeding babies only milk for the first six months of their lives will go a long way to make them grow healthy.
“ Kaduna state knows the importance of breast milk that is why it is introducing various policies and strategic documents developed to promote exclusive breastfeeding and improve nutrition of women and children in the state.’’
El’Rufai urged governors’ and local governments chairmen’ wives to encourage exclusive breastfeeding among mothers to enhance infant’s development.
She also urged the government to enact laws to support breastfeeding and promote breastfeeding campaign to achieve nutritional balance.
Also speaking, Mr Ibrahim Oloriegbe, Chairman, Senate Health, Secondary and Tertiary Committee, said that the six months’ maternity bill at the Federal level had reached the third reading.
Oloriegbe said that the National Assembly was amending and introducing bills to enhance maternal and child health.
The lawmaker, who encouraged stakeholders to promote breastfeeding and invest in it, said it was also a way of human capital development.
Mr Innocent Ifedilichukwu, Advocacy, Campaign and Policy Manager, Survive Programme, Save the Children, called on governments at all levels to increase funding for various nutrition programmes.
Ifedilichukwu said that nutrition was key to human development thus the need for government to build and equip crèches in all offices so working mothers could be close to their babies for effective breastfeeding.
Ms Karina Lopez, Nutrition Adviser, Save the Children Nigeria, said that mothers should be discouraged from feeding their babies with any form of liquid or solid except breast milk within the first months of their existence.
This Lopez said this would lead to good nutrition for healthy development of babies.
She said that the webinar was organised as part of activities to mark the 2020 World Breastfeeding Week with the theme “Support Breastfeeding for a Healthier Planet.’’
Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Isaac Aregbesola (NAN)
Kaduna govt spends N16 bn on security in 5 years – El-Rufai
El-Rufai, who made the disclosure at a meeting with the Council of Emirs and Chiefs, on Tuesday in Kaduna, explained that the money was used to support security agencies and acquire technology and infrastructure to fight insecurity in the state.
The governor noted that the money would have gone into developmental projects if the people had chosen to live in peace.
He therefore, called on all the traditional rulers to help persuade people to choose to live peacefully, and address misleading narratives on current communal conflicts in part of the state.
He noted that, part of the misleading narrative on the current crisis in Southern Kaduna, was the false claims of genocide and land grabbing.
The governor emphasised that the claims had no basis whatsoever.
“As governor, I authorize any traditional ruler to please tell the media about any inch of land within their domain that has been forcibly grabbed or illegally occupied by anybody or group and I assure you that security agencies will be there the next day to flush them out.
“But as far as I know – and I receive security reports every morning, there is no such incidence that the State government is aware of.
“But we don’t know everything, you know more than us because you are closer to the communities, so please report where indigenous people have been displaced by bandits or anyone else”.
El-Rufai assured that goverment will continue to support security agencies to restore calm in the affected communities.
“To make this sustainable, we call on the traditional institution to collaborate with the security agencies to expose and report criminals in their communities.”
He assured the Council, that the government would review and upgrade the chieftancy system, to protect the traditional leaders from administrative and executive arbitrariness.
The governor added that a new law would be enacted to protect the traditional institution and ensure that, before any emirate or chiefdom is created, “it will pass through the State Assembly where the representative of the people will have the opportunity to vote and support it before it is done.”
“The reform will also seek to amend the traditional institution as an enabler of inclusion in the diverse communities.
“It will place the Chiefs and Emirs in charge of geographic areas not tribes or ethnic groups, making them the leaders of everyone that lives within their domain.
“It is our intention in this law, to specify the functions of traditional leaders and provide for situations under which traditional rulers can be deposed not just because the governor wants to depose the person he doesn’t like”.
On his part, the Chairman of the Council and Emir of Zazzau, Dr Shehu Idris appreciated the government for its support of traditional institution in the state.
He also commended government’s efforts in the fight against banditry and other forms of criminalities, especially in taming the recent killings in some areas in southern Kaduna.
Edited By: Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)
Sokoto: BESDA pledges to enrol 300,000 out-of-school children in 4 years
The Committee on Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA) in Sokoto State says it will enrol no fewer than 300,000 out-of-school children in the state in the next four years.
Alhaji Shu’aibu Gwanda-Gobir, Executive Chairman, Sokoto State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), gave the assurance while briefing newsmen on Tuesday after the committee’s meeting with the State House of Assembly Committee on Education.
Gwanda-Gobir said that the committee had achieved a lot in training the children, using the Tsangaya learning centres and the employment of qualified facilitators as teachers.
“We have been able to enrol no fewer than 71,000 out-of- school children back in school in our various centres.
“However, our target is to ensure that before the end of the four-year programme of the committee, no fewer than 300,000 out-of-school children are fully enrolled back in school,” he said.
The BESDA Chairman, Alhaji Bello Guiwa, noted that the committee was committed to ensuring the success of the programme in the state.
“In Sokoto State, we have over one million children that are out-of-school.
“However, with the initiative of the BESDA programme, we have been able to enrol no fewer than 71,000 children in our various centres.
“Moreover, we have already planned under the BESDA programme to establish over 100,000 centres across the 23 Local Government Areas of the state, to enhance our training programme,” he said.
The Chairman House Committee on Education, Alhaji Buhari Haliru (PDP– Sokoto North I) said that the meeting was part of the assembly’s commitment to ensure proper protection of the people’s mandate.
He said that the assembly would continue to support the programme generously, to enable the state government excel in its commitment to education.
The Bank approved a credit of $611 million for BESDA Programme aimed at bringing out-of-school children into classrooms, improve literacy, and strengthen accountability for results in basic education in Nigeria.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)
Plateau PDP set for state congress – Acting chairman
Mr Yakubu Chocho, Acting Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Plateau, says all is now set for the state congress to elect new leaders of the party in the state.
Chocho told News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Jos that arrangements had been put in place to receive the national officers of the party who would conduct the elections.
Consequently, after the expiration of their tenure on May 10, the state executives of the party were constituted into caretaker committee to act for three months.
The acting chairman said that the party had received directives from its national secretariat that the congress would hold on Aug. 8 or Aug.12.
According to him, the state is waiting for the national body of the party to conduct the congress.
“We will also ensure that all delegates keep to social distancing , wearing of face mask and washing of hands. Efforts will be made to provide adequate security for peaceful congresses,” he said.
Chocho added that the party was ready to receive the elected leaders who would be in-charge of its affairs without interference from the state officials.
Edited By: Chinyere Bassey and Abdullahi Yusuf (NAN)