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Defence/Security

Sultan suggests home grown solutions to security challenges

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The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, has called for the development and adoption of home grown solutions to the security challenges facing the country.

Abubakar, made the call in Sokoto on Monday, during a Town Hall Meeting on Security Matters organised by the Sultanate Council in collaboration with the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Sokoto State council.

Abubakar, who is the President General of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, decried the rising security threats in the northern region.

He emphasized the need for a strong partnership between political leaders and traditional rulers towards finding lasting solutions to the challenges.

The Sultan expressed disappointment over the alleged involvement of some traditional rulers in the activities of armed bandits in parts of Zamfara.

He advocated prosecution of any traditional ruler involved in the supporting banditry and other criminal activities.

Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto called for the strengthening of all law enforcement agencies and other institutions that promote peace in the country.

Tambuwal lamented the shortage of manpower in some of the security agencies, stressing the need for a total review of the nation’s security architecture.

He also called for more funding and proper intelligence gathering as well as collaboration with the traditional institution for better results.

Nigeria News Agency reports that three key speakers; Gen. Ishola Williams (rtd), Emir of Zamfara, Alhaji Muhammad Attahiru-Ahmad and Prof. Tukur Baba of Federal University Birnin Kebbi presented papers at the meeting.

The lecturers dwelled on the need for drastic approaches to security matters, overhauling of security structures, community involvement in tracking security breaches, increased professional training and viable economic empowerment at all strata of the society. (NAN)


HMH/KKA/IS

Edited by Kola Adeyemi/Ismail Abdulaziz

General news

FEC okays N1.7bn for consultancy on 2nd runway at Abuja airport

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The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the sum of N1.7 billion for consultancy services on the construction of second runway at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, briefed State House correspondents on Wednesday after the virtual FEC meeting anchored from the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa.

The online meeting was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“Today in council, a memo from the Ministry of Aviation was considered; and it is the consultancy services for the construction of second runway here in Abuja.

“The contract went to a consortium of consultants for the total contract sum of N1.7 billion.

This includes 7.5 per cent VAT and also the exchange rate for dollar component of N360 to one dollar.

“And this is what caused the seeming increase in the last estimated figure,’’ he said.

Sirika said that the consultancy part of project was for a period 12 months.

He said that a lot of work had been done in the procurement consultancy services, adding that it would be fast-tracked.

According to him, the ministry looks forward to achieving the second runway if awarded, before the end of the administration.


Edited By: Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Defence/Security

Banditry: Sultan seeks recruitment, funding of security agencies

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The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, has urged the federal government to recruit more personnel and properly fund security agencies to tackle insecurity in the country.

Abubakar made the call on Saturday while receiving the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar in his place in Sokoto.

The Sultan decried the increased cases of banditry, kidnapping and other security challenges leading wanton loss of lives and properties.

The Sultan expressed concern with the recent killings of 74 persons in Sabon Birni in Sokoto State and called for more measures to end the menace.

He also appealed to the federal government to provide law enforcement agencies with modern gadgets to promptly track down the criminals.

He advised the security agencies to strengthen their coordination and synergy for a more efficient result, adding that government response would improve citizens’ hope on security.

The Chief of Air Staff said he was in Sokoto to assess the situation and scale up operations in the area.

Abubakar said the visit was also to introduce more suitable security techniques to end the security challenges in the area.

He said the operations against banditry and insurgency were going on in Katsina and Sokoto states as directed by the President.

He underscored the importance of residents volunteering intelligence information to security agents for the success of the fight against banditry and other challenges in the area.

Meanwhile, the Air Chief met with Gov. Aminu Tambuwal behind closed doors at Government House as well as held a meeting with heads security personnel.

He was briefed on the situations in the affected areas and also inspected facilities at the Sultan Abubakar International Airport Sokoto.

Edited By: Shuaib Sadiq/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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Sport

Wanted in Hollywood: COVID-19 consultants to help keep sets safe

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Along with hair stylists, camera operators and hundreds of others who make magic happen for TV and film, Hollywood is counting on a new supporting member for future productions: COVID-19 consultants.

The coronavirus pandemic has prompted producers, movie studios and workers’ unions to seek expert advice on how to safely reopen film and TV sets, which shut down worldwide in mid-March.

In demand are epidemiologists and other public health specialists to provide detailed strategies for dealing with large crews who work in cramped spaces, makeup artists who get face-to-face with stars and actors who kiss, hug and fight on set.

The shutdown has taken a severe financial toll across the industry, as well as on cities such as Los Angeles that benefit economically from production.

Restarting is important to companies, including Netflix Inc, Walt Disney Co and others, which need fresh programming to engage audiences.

While sets remain empty in the United States, productions are ramping back up in South Korea, Australia, Sweden, as well as New Zealand, where James Cameron’s “Avatar 2” is restarting this week.

People who work in the industry expect to see smaller crews, regular testing, hand sanitisers everywhere and the use of computer-generated imagery to create big crowds on screen when work resumes.

Writer-director Tyler Perry has taken the lead on getting cameras rolling again, announcing plans to begin shooting two BET television series on July 8 at his studio complex in Atlanta.

Perry’s 330-acre self-contained lot offers housing where people can be isolated to help prevent spread of the novel coronavirus, which causes a sometimes fatal respiratory illness called COVID-19.

In a 31-page outline, Perry said “it took a village of staff, medical doctors, epidemiologists, lawyers, union reps, talent and their reps, crew members, insurers, and a lot of other great thinkers” to develop safeguards.

One was Dr. Carlos del Rio, an infectious diseases expert at Emory University, who said he advised that all cast and crew be tested at the start and at least once during the two weeks they remain sequestered for a shoot.

Del Rio also made recommendations on hygiene and other protections, though he noted nothing offers a 100 per cent guarantee.

“It may fail” to keep coronavirus completely out of the set, he said.

But I think it’s also not feasible to say we’re going to wait until the virus goes away, or we have a vaccine, because then we might as well not work for the next two years.”

Unions representing actors and set employees, including SAGAFTRA, IATSE and the Directors Guild of America, have hired experts from Harvard and the University of California to help develop guidelines.

All are looking to California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is taking input from labour and industry representatives and said he is aiming to release protocols for film and TV shoots as early as this week.

Actors are watching closely. Actress Anna Kendrick, in an interview promoting her HBO Max series “Love Life,” said some ideas she’s heard sound like they’re from “somebody who’s never been on a film set.”

“In my experience people on film sets, as opposed to people in an airport, we all know we’re on the same team, we’re all just trying to keep each other safe,” she said. “I think it can be done, but I haven’t seen super great solutions yet.”

Handling the coronavirus is complicated in television because many workers are freelancers, said Dr. Paul Litchfield, an occupational physician, who helped develop guidelines for TV networks in Britain.

“People are moving in and out of your bubble to other productions with other companies,” he said. “So it’s making sure that the guidance is consistent across (TV) companies.”

Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Silas Nwoha (NAN)

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General news

Eid-el-Fitr: Sultan declares Sunday May 24, as 1st Shawwal 1441AH

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The Sultan of Sokoto Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, has declared Sunday May 24, as the 1st day of Shawwal 1441AH.
Abubakar said this in a statement by Prof. Sambo Junaidu the Chairman of Advisory Committee on Religious Affairs of Sultanate Council in Sokoto on Friday.
“The Sultanate Council Advisory Committee on Religious Affairs working in conjunction with the National Moon Sighting Committee did not receive any report of moon slighting in the country.
“This means that Friday May 22 is the 29th day of Ramadan 1441AH. Therefore, Saturday May 23, is the 30th day of Ramadan 1441AH.
“The Sultan of Sokoto and President General, Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs has declared Sunday May 24, as the first day of Shawwal 1441AH,” Junaidu said.

He felicitated with the Muslim Ummah and wished them Allah’s guidance and blessing.
Junaidu urged the Muslim Ummah to continue to pray for peace, progress and development of the country, while celebrating Eid-el-Fitr.

Edited By: Ali Baba-Inuwa (NAN)

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General news

Buhari cancels Sallah homage, to observe Eid prayer at home as directed by Sultan

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President Muhammadu Buhari says he will be conducting his Eid prayers with his family at home as directed by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, who is also the President General of the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI),

The President, in a statement released by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, in Abuja on Friday, said his decision to observe the Eid prayer at home was also in line with the protocol against mass gathering issued by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

According to him, the decision is also in observance of the lockdown measures in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, put in place “to save lives and protect people from all dangers.”

He said: ”This is also in line with the directive of the Sultan of Sokoto and President General of the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III suspending Eid congregational prayers across the country as well as the protocol against mass gathering issued by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

”Further to this, the President who has traditionally shared the joyous moment with top government officials, political leaders, community heads, Muslim and Christian religious leaders and children, will not be receiving these homages in a bid to stop the coronavirus from further spreading.”

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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General news

Eid-el-Fitr: Sultan directs Muslims to look out for new moon of Shawwal

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The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, has directed the Muslim Ummah to look out for the new moon of Shawwal 1441 AH from Friday May 22.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Shawwal is the 10th month in the Islamic Calendar and the month in which Muslims celebrate Eid-al-fitr after the compulsory fasting month of Ramadan.

Abubakar made the call in a statement signed by Prof. Sambo Junaidu, Chairman, Advisory Committee on Religious Affairs, Sultanate Council, Sokoto, and issued to newsmen on Thursday.

“This is to inform the Muslim Ummah that Friday, May 22, 2020, which is equivalent to 29th day of Ramadan 1441 AH, shall be the day to look out for the new moon of Shawwal 1441 AH.

“Muslims are, therefore, requested to start looking out for the new moon and to report its sighting to the nearest district or village head for onward communication to the Sultan,” the statement said.

However, in another statement signed by Prof. Junaidu, the Sultan also directed Sokoto District Heads, Village Heads and Imams of Juma’at Mosques to lead Eid-el-Fitr prayers in their respective mosques while Eid field should remain closed.

Abubakar said the directive is to enable the people maintain the social distancing been advised by professionals in order to curtail the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic across the state.

“Moreover, there should be no gathering or traditional celebration during the period, as such people should remain at their respective residences to celebrate,” he said.

The monarch further called on all Muslims to continue to pray for the end of COVID-19 across the globe and prayed for Allah’s help to all as the people discharge their religious duties.

Edited By: Modupe Adeloye/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Health

Consultant psychiatrist advises Nigeria on mental health to avert depression

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A Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr Grace Ijarogbe, has advised Nigerians to take care of their mental health to avert depression and other mental problems, after effects of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Ijarogbe, who works at the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba, Lagos, gave the advice on Monday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.

She said COVID-19 was likely to leave many families and individuals mentally devastated and unstable.

Ijarogbe advised people to make their mental health a priority by doing everything possible to remain mentally fit.

According to her, many Nigerians will have depression and mental problems after the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is due to hunger, financial challenges, unwanted pregnancy, lost of loved ones, domestic violence, unmet needs, lost of jobs and businesses,” the consultant psychiatrist said.

Ijarogbe said that the situation might in turn increase the risk of suicidal attempts and drug abuse, among others.

The expert urged Nigerians to strive to make themselves happy, stay positive and always share their thoughts with positive people to enhance their mental health.

According to her, there cannot be health without a good state of mental health, one should be surrounded with positive people for wellbeing.

She said that being happy would impact on one’s level of productivity at workplace.

Ijarogbe said that happiness also impact on relationship with people, lengthen one’s lifespan and could help one enhance healthy blood pressure level.

“If one is in a happy state, it means less of troubles, less of stress and better wellbeing.

“But, if one is unhappy, there will be depression, suicide tendencies, anxiety, stress, mental disorder and evil thoughts.

“Depression is a significant problem that has affected many Nigerians, particularly youths which has made them to be drug addicts.

“Depression is the most common psychiatric disorder in people who die by suicide.

“About 50 per cent of individuals in high income countries who died by suicide have major depressive disorder at their time of death.

“But, constantly surrounding yourself with positive people will help manage stress and depression, overcome challenges and be positive in life.

“We need to create time for relaxation and look beyond the effects of the COVID-19 and economic situation of the country; we need to focus on positive in every bad situation,” Ijarogbe said.

The consultant psychiatrist, therefore, called on stakeholders on mental issues to scale up the campaign and awareness on mental health matters.

She said that it would assist in inculcating positive thoughts in people.

Edited By: JaneFrances Oraka/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

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Judiciary

Public can view Lagos virtual court proceedings online – consultant

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An Information Technology (IT) firm, Global T & T New Solutions Ltd., which partnered  Lagos State Ministry of Justice on virtual court proceedings, says  the public can view the proceedings online.

Mr Musbau Famuyiwa, the Managing Director of the firm, told the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday in Lagos that the proceedings could be viewed through www.lagosstate.remote-court.com.

NAN reports that online or remote court proceedings was introduced by the state government to decongest the courts and prisons in this era of COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Famuyiwa, members of the public can only view but cannot partake in the proceedings.

“Members of the public in Lagos are expected to go to www.lagosstate.remote-court.com, especially those individuals who do not have the remote hearing details such as the user ID or password.

“They are expected to go to the site and watch the live stream but they will be unable to participate in the proceedings,” he said.

Throwing more light on how the Lagos State Judiciary can  be more accessible online to litigants, Famuyiwa said that the dynamics of every case had its scheduled solutions.

He said the schedule would give the court the opportunity to shortlist a case online and communicate with parties remotely without the parties being physically present in court.

“It gives courts the opportunity to contact the remote court registry to get information on upcoming cases that will be scheduled for remote hearing.

“It also provides the court with a diary of all the cases that the court will  hear remotely.

“The system in place helps with prison and court decongestion while the location barriers caused by the pandemic has been taken care of by the schedule,” he said.

The consultant said an indexing system had also been provided to enable Lagos State Judiciary staff to gain easy access to documents online.

He noted that while creating the remote court system for the Lagos State Judiciary, the Zoom App was deployed for convenience because a number of the judges and parties already had the app.

“So far, it has been a success, and I hope that courts of other jurisdictions will adopt this system,” he said.

Famuyiwa added that Global T&T New Solutions Ltd. had helped to provide a case management system called Global Case Manager currently being used by the Lagos State Ministry of Justice to manage cases online.

“There is also the Lagos State Criminal Information System, which is a database of people within the criminal justice system of Lagos State, including current, suspected or convicted criminals.

“It provides their biometrics information, their cases in court, the type of offences, data on areas with high criminal activity within Lagos, as well as the states of origin of those people,” he said.

Edited By: Joe Idika/Ijeoma Popoola (NAN)

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General news

Sultan declares Friday 1st of Ramadan

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Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, the Sultan of Sokoto has declared Friday April 24, 2020 as the first day of the Ramadan fast in Nigeria. Abubakar announced the sighting of the new crescent in Sokoto on Thursday in a radio and television broadcast.

He said the new moon was sighted in different parts of the country and that report of the moon sighting were received from Muslim leaders and Organisations across the country.

“ After due verification and authentication by the national moon sighting committee and states committees’ confirmation, as well as routine scrutiny, I hereby announce the sighting of the new moon of Ramadan signifies the end of Sha’aban 1441 AH.

”In accordance with Islamic law, Muslim Ummah are to commence fasting on Friday accordingly,” he said.
He enjoined Muslim faithful to devote themselves fully to the worship of Allah throughout the holy month urging them to use the period to pray for the progress, peace and prosperity of the nation.

“We further call on Nigerians to continue to live peacefully with one another irrespective of religious and tribal difference,” he said.

He urged Muslim faithful to use the period to pray against the coronavirus. The Sultan further urged wealthy individuals to assist the poor and stressed the need for increased religious tolerance and brotherhood in Nigeria.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar in which Muslim faithful observe one month fast.
Fasting in the month of Ramadan,  is a compulsory religious obligation on all adult Muslims.

Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Ali Baba-Inuwa (NAN)

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