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Yuletide: fun seekers throng leisure centres in Ibadan

The News Agency of Nigeria (NNN) reports that there were crowd at many of the fun spots in Ibadan metropolis.

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By Chidinma Ewunonu-Aluko
Ibadan, Dec. 25, 2018 (NNN) Leisure centres in Ibadan, including the popular Agodi Gardens and shoprite were beehive of activities as many fun seekers thronged the venues in celebration of Christmas on Tuesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NNN) reports that there were crowd at many of the fun spots in Ibadan metropolis.

At the Agodi Gardens, there was a large number of people at the entrance in spite of the N500 entrance fee.

Also at shoprite, many parents brought a good number of their children in spite of the N300, N500 amount paid by the children to access the playing ground.

A father, Mr Victor Eze, who brought six children said he went the extra mile to ensure that his children celebrated the season.

“It is not easy at all but we did our best to make sure that the children were happy to an extent.

“Things are really hard this year compared to other years and that is because the economy is not favourable. The costs of virtually all food items in the market were high.

“The government should please do all it can to improve our economy to help us, ‘’ Eze said.

Also speaking, a business woman, Mrs Shola Adigun, who brought three children and Christmas accessories to sell as well, said this year’s Christmas was not as interesting as the other years.

“I managed to bring my children so that they can at least have fun with others because I don’t have a choice. Truly, this Christmas is not filled with fun as before because of financial issues.

“I had to reduce the prices of the Christmas accessories just to lure people to buy. The good thing is that we are alive and have to do all we can to join others and celebrate,” she said.

Also, Mrs Rachael Adebeku, who brought two kids, thanked God for the gift of life.

“We have more fun this year than last year in spite of the hard economy. The period gave us time at least to be with our family and friends; so have to appreciate God.

“We really pray that the government improves the economy because if the economy is improved we will enjoy ourselves more,” she said.

One of the operators at the children’s RidesRus playground, Shoprite, Miss Lizzy Abiona, said operators made brisk business.

“We really do wish and pray for such festive periods because we always have a large number of people who patronise us.

“There is no dull moment this period at all. As you can see, people are really trooping in and will continue to come even after Christmas day.

“With the patronage, we are sure of receiving salary as the end of the month,’’ she said.

NNN reports that many fun seekers were also sighted at Bubbleplus, RingiiRingii as well as other recreation centres in Ibadan metropolis. (NNN)
CC/FF/AJA
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Edited by Fela Fashoro/Adeleye Ajayi

 

Agriculture

How corrupt dealers ruined our yuletide with stone filled rice – Residents

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Some residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, have expressed displeasure over how stone filled rice ruined their yuletide.

The residents spoke in separate interviews with the Nigerian News Agency in Abuja on Sunday.

They decried that some unscrupulous Nigerians took advantage of the season and border closure to sell poorly processed rice which were packaged in beautiful bags to unsuspecting customers

They complained of how one in two or three bites had stones while chewing, adding that beside stones the rice was not properly de-husked.

While commending the efforts of the Federal Government that the border closure and other measures had encouraged consumption of locally produced goods, they expressed disappointment with people who took advantage of the situation to defraud other Nigerians.

According to them, some of the bags carried brand names of known and reputable rice milling companies in the country but decried that the contents were appalling.

Mrs Auta James, a business woman said the rice she prepared for the family during the yuletide was abandoned because they could not stand the stones in the rice.

She commended the Federal Government for encouraging local production and consumption of locally produced commodities, however, berated some Nigerians who instead of supporting government’s effort decided to defraud Nigerians.

According to her, border closure and other measures being put in place by government to develop the economy is what every Nigerian has been clamouring for and wondered why anybody should jeopardise such effort.

She said, “The Federal Government has done so well in terms of support to rice farmers through the Anchor Borrowers Programme and other programmes.

“The rice I cooked during the yuletide was a gift from an organisation and it was well packaged with the logo of a supposed reputable rice milling company in Nigeria.

“Little did we know that the rice was full of husks and stones. We were so disappointed.’’

Mrs Janet Johnson, a house wife narrated how the rice her husband brought home for the yuletide was abandoned because it was not properly processed.

She noted that the packaging of the rice was beautiful, adding that no one could have suspect that the content of the bag was different from the label.

“This year’s Christmas and New Year celebrations were the worst for us in so many years.

“We all know that one of the things that make the season enjoyable is the fact that families take their time to prepare  meals especially rice.

“I suspect that some people decided to take advantage of the border closure to repackage poorly processed rice and sold them to unsuspecting customers because of the season.

“I feel something drastic should to be done to identify people that are into this shady deal and they should be punished.

Stephanie Ugwu, a student told NAN that the last yuletide was “a nightmare’’, noting that the rice they prepared had so many stones that they could not chew.

She said, “we usually prepare very clean and stone free rice during celebrations but this December, my parents said government is encouraging consumption of local rice.

“Unfortunately the rice we got was full of stones. Subsequently my mum tried to remove the stones but we still bite stones while eating.”

Mr Umar Ibrahim, Chairman, Kano State Chapter of the National Association of Nigerian Traders(NANTS), decried the development, saying he could feel the pains of those affected by such dishonest act.

He said the association would not rest on its oars in sensitising its members to desist from such despicable act.

“Whenever you buy rice, try to check the expiry date, the company and other details so that when there are complaints, they can be channelled properly.

“The association does not take such cases for granted, particularly when it has to do with our members, we insist on three ‘Rs’, when any of our members sells bad products to customers and they are Refer, Refund or Replace.

“We engage on periodic awareness creation on the dangers of any sharp practices and where we find anyone culpable we sanction them by suspending them from bringing goods to the market for a period of time,’’ he said.

He called on those involved in such act to desist, saying “they should not make people see the border closure, which is a blessing, seem like a curse.’’

National Deputy Secretary, Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Iliyasu Awodi said, “there are millers or sellers that will buy from local producers and sell them like that. But our RIFAN rice is branded.

“We call it fresh rice. This is high standard. We have a lot of integrated farms in Nigeria like OLAM that give quality rice.

“Nigerians want to make a lot of money and can do all sort of things to achieve that. They are sabotaging even the public-will, which we are not yet there and that is not good for Nigeria.”

He further said, “why should we repackage our rice, we should not be ashamed of our rice.”

He noted that rice mills were being established by individual companies and state governments across the country to help produce clean rice for consumption.

While calling on those involved in such act to desist, Awodi urged Nigerians not to lose hope in government’s effort to grow the economy.

Edited by: Grace Yussuf

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General news

Yuletide: Road accidents claim 31 lives in Ogun

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The Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps (TRACE) in Ogun, said that no fewer than 31 persons died in various road accidents across the state during the Christmas and New year period.

Mr Babatunde Ajayi, Director, Traffic Planning, Research and Statistics, TRACE, made this known in a statement in Abeokuta on Saturday.

Ajayi noted that the accidents which were recorded between Dec. 15, 2019 and Jan 15, 2020, involved 11 private cars, 10 private buses, 13 commercial buses, 15 commercial vehicles, six motorcycles and one tricycle.

He added that the accidents also involved 12 medium articulated vehicles, 11 heavy trucks and 13 other vehicles.

The director explained that during the period, 291 persons were involved in road traffic accidents, out of which 160 persons (96 males and 64 females) sustained various degrees of injuries.

He stated that 31 persons, consisting of 15 males and 16 females died, while 100 persons were rescued unhurt due to prompt response to 47 emergency calls received by the corps.

According to him, 41.93 per cent of the accidents were caused by excessive speed and 23.78 per cent by dangerous driving.

Ajayi noted that 10.99 per cent were caused by bad tyres; 3.33 per cent by driving against traffic; and 19.97 per cent by other causes.

The director said that 88 vehicles and 39 motorcycles were apprehended for 163 offences,” he said.

He noted that the statistics generated was as witnessed by the corps in areas it covered.

Ajayi said that the corps had resolved to reduce road accidents on all roads in the state and as well prosecute traffic offenders.

Edited by: Joseph Edeh/Adeleye Ajayi

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General news

NEMA lauds FG for making Southeast roads motorable during Yuletide

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The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has  commended the Federal Government for making major roads within the Southeast suitable for use by motor vehicles during the Yuletide.

NEMA South-East Coordinator, Mr Fred Anusim, gave the commendation while speaking with Nigeria News Agency on factors that contributed to a successful NEMA’s “Operation Eagle Eye’’ in the zone.

NAN recalls that NEMA inaugurated the operation on Dec. 24, 2019 and it lasted till Jan. 4.

The operation’s patrol and surveillance covered major highways, which included Enugu-Awka-Onitsha, Enugu-Port Harcourt, Enugu-9th Mile Corner, Onitsha-Owerri and 9th Mile Corner-Nsukka-Obollo Afor Roads as well as the Head Bridge, Onitsha.

Anusim said that major and palliative works quickly done on major highways resulted in quick flow of traffic, general reduction on road carnages and zero accident record.

“Due to the motorable nature of the roads, all thanks to the Federal Government, there was little or no traffic gridlock.

“However, we had little traffic slowdown in 9th Mile Corner and Head Bridge, Onitsha during the Christmas Eve.

“We recorded no accident in all our day and night patrols and we got maximum cooperation from Nigerians travelling from one point to another during the period under review.

“We enjoyed superb cooperation and synergy with law enforcement agencies especially the Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC) who are the lead agency in road disaster management,’’ he said.

The NEMA zonal boss, however, lauded the commitment of officers of the agency that contributed to the success of the operation.

Edited by: Chioma Ugboma/Isaac Aregbesola

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General news

Imo records zero casualty during yuletide – NEMA

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The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said there was no casualty recorded in Imo during the yuletide.

Mr Evans Ugoh, NEMA Head of Imo/Abia operations, said this in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Sunday in Owerri.

According to him, the milestone was achieved through diligent collaboration among disaster stakeholders.

He said the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and other disaster outfits braced up to road challenges during the period, which he said was the major reason for the zero casualty.

Ugo said that both NEMA and FRSC deployed their men to strategic places in Imo and Abia states and were also visible in rural communities.

He expressed NEMA’s readiness to sustain the disaster management proficiency in 2020.

“We have reviewed activities during the yuletide and we recorded zero casualty in Imo and we are ready to sustain the milestone this year.

“I want to, specially commend FRSC command in Imo, for its doggedness during the period and I assure of NEMA’s willingness to sustain the already existing collaboration among disaster stakeholders,” he said.

Ugoh commended NEMA Director General, Dr Mustapha Maihaja for his numerous support to the Imo/Abia office of the agency.

He mentioned some of the areas covered during the period to include Owerri-Onitsha Expressway, Owerri-Port Harcourt Expressway and Owerri-Aba Expressway.

Edited by: Chidinma Agu/Ali Baba-Inuwa

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General news

Availability of fuel, local rice at Yuletide excite Oshiomhole

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The National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Adams Oshiomhole, has lauded the Buhari administration for ensuring the availability of petroleum products and locally produced rice during the Christmas and New Year festivities in the country.

Oshiomhole made the commendation when he addressed State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Thursday.

He said the president’s decision to encourage local production of rice in particular, has made it possible for Nigerians to patronise home grown rice during festivities, like the yuletide season.

”Few years back, people were always afraid of what will happen during the Christmas season, all your money, all the little money you are saving to take back home to celebrate with your people, you end up patronising ‘Black Market’ to buy a litre of petrol at two, three, or four times the value and sometimes it is adulterated.

”And we see pictures of people who are stranded across the country because they cannot access petrol.

”I also think that we ought to celebrate the fact that we are able to celebrate Christmas and New Year and people have rice everywhere that were not imported from other countries – Nigerian made rice.

”Now if we can sustain this policy for another one year or two years and Nigerians get used to eating Nigerian rice and our farmers get a ready market for rice, obviously, that aspect of food security would have been put behind us.

”I believe it is something that we should commend the President for what he has done and the courage to put Nigeria first before any other sentiment.

”So, we can say that we can see a gradual revolution taking place in the agricultural sector,” he said.

The APC chairman observed that Buhari’s 2020 New Year message was unique and has given a lot of hope to Nigerians.

He said: “We also thought that giving the reactions of some oppositions, we reassured Mr President that there was nothing wrong and we are indeed happy with the New Year message to Nigerians.

”The responsibility of every leadership is to inspire hope. Life is sustained and driven by hope and the challenge of leadership is not to join the people to lament that things are terrible, to give up and join the people in wallowing in self-pity.

”The principles of leadership is to inspire people, give them hope and in this case, in line with the principles of accountability and democracy, democracy is not only about voting and everybody goes to sleep.

“It is all about explaining periodically what he is doing, what he is going to do differently and what he hopes to accomplish within a given time. And I think that is what the President’s new year message sought to do.”

Oshiomhole assured Nigerians that going forward in 2020, the APC would ensure that ”it takes into account all the mistakes it made in 2019 so that the party will be more stronger, more coherent and more peaceful”.

Edited by: Muhammad Suleiman Tola

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Defence/Security

Yuletide: Police arrest 26 suspects in Benue

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The Police Command in Benue says it has arrested 26 criminal suspects for alleged kidnapping, armed robbery, theft among others, during the Christmas and new year celebrations.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Mukaddas Garba, made the disclosure while briefing journalists on  Thursday in Makurdi on the security situation during the yuletide celebration.

Garba said the festive season was relatively hitch-free with pockets of incidents in parts of the state.

He identified lack of effective information flow as the major challenge faced by the command in 2019, adding that the situation,however, improved during the festive period.

He said that the collaboration with  sister security agencies and Benue communities had improved so much  that the people now had tremendous confidence in the force and, therefore, shared confidential information with it.

The commissioner said the partnership  further resulted in the arrest of 26 suspects for alleged kidnapping, armed robbery and theft among other crimes, as well as  recovery of 205 live ammunition, one car and nine motorcycles during the yuletide season.

“Actually, the major challenge we had when we came on board was lack of information,  but with the synergy we have with our sister agencies and communities the situation has changed.

“The information flow during the festive period was perfect and you are all living witnesses to the hitch-free celebration. We had no major incident that could have disrupted the activities of people who came home for the celebration.

“And I think there is significant improvement in the relationship we are having with members of the public. Information flow was our major problem but now there is no hitch. People are having confidence in us because we gave them assurance that their information would be treated in confidence,”he said

According to Garba, the command received a complaint that “an unknown person who introduced himself as Gana boy threatened to kidnap and kill the complainant if he doesn’t send money to him”.

He said that investigation led to the arrest of one Aondona Gbakaan, a politician and his boys; Sughen and Terkimbi Orjime who before their arrest had already collected N200,000 as ransom from the complainant.

He said the command also arrested Usman Saleh and Ibrahim Usman on Dec. 27, 2019 with 200 rounds of  live ammunitions during a Stop and Search operation at Tyomu, village, while they were on transit in a red Toyota Corolla car conveying other passengers.

The commissioner also said that the command had on Dec. 30, 2019 arrested Yogbo Terhile, Samuel Iorbee and Tyoor Aondowase who were specialists in snatching motorcycles and robbing commuters in Gboko.

He said investigations  further led to the arrest of  Msughue Kpechir, Paul Ianna, Aondowase Avishi, Terkimbi Bai and Terfa for receiving stolen property and Doosuur Uba, a lady, for being in possession of a motorcycle master key for the gang.

He further said that the command had on Dec. 24, 2019 arrested one Matthew Aondongu with a stolen Hyundai Elantra car with registration number: NC LSR 922 DR.

According to the commissioner, the car was allegedly stolen at Von Garden, Airport Road, Abuja, and was seen heading toward Benue, adding that the suspect was arrested at Jato by officers in Aliade, Gwer East Local Government Area.

He also said that the command had on Dec. 31, 2019  arrested one Louis Tyovenda, who was caught vandalising street lights in Makurdi and was almost lynched by an angry mob.

He commended the Benue Government, traditional/religious leaders and the entire people of the state for their support toward making Benue safe for all.

Edited by: Isaac Ukpoju and Abdullahi Yusuf

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Defence/Security

Yuletide: Police arrest 26 suspects in Benue

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The Police Command in Benue says it has arrested 26 criminal suspects for alleged kidnapping, armed robbery, theft among others, during the Christmas and new year celebrations.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Mukaddas Garba, made the disclosure while briefing journalists on  Thursday in Makurdi on the security situation during the yuletide celebration.

Garba said the festive season was relatively hitch-free with pockets of incidents in parts of the state.

He identified lack of effective information flow as the major challenge faced by the command in 2019, adding that the situation,however, improved during the festive period.

He said that the collaboration with  sister security agencies and Benue communities had improved so much  that the people now had tremendous confidence in the force and, therefore, shared confidential information with it.

The commissioner said the partnership  further resulted in the arrest of 26 suspects for alleged kidnapping, armed robbery and theft among other crimes, as well as  recovery of 205 live ammunition, one car and nine motorcycles during the yuletide season.

“Actually, the major challenge we had when we came on board was lack of information,  but with the synergy we have with our sister agencies and communities the situation has changed.

“The information flow during the festive period was perfect and you are all living witnesses to the hitch-free celebration. We had no major incident that could have disrupted the activities of people who came home for the celebration.

“And I think there is significant improvement in the relationship we are having with members of the public. Information flow was our major problem but now there is no hitch. People are having confidence in us because we gave them assurance that their information would be treated in confidence,”he said

According to Garba, the command received a complaint that “an unknown person who introduced himself as Gana boy threatened to kidnap and kill the complainant if he doesn’t send money to him”.

He said that investigation led to the arrest of one Aondona Gbakaan, a politician and his boys; Sughen and Terkimbi Orjime who before their arrest had already collected N200,000 as ransom from the complainant.

He said the command also arrested Usman Saleh and Ibrahim Usman on Dec. 27, 2019 with 200 rounds of  live ammunitions during a Stop and Search operation at Tyomu, village, while they were on transit in a red Toyota Corolla car conveying other passengers.

The commissioner also said that the command had on Dec. 30, 2019 arrested Yogbo Terhile, Samuel Iorbee and Tyoor Aondowase who were specialists in snatching motorcycles and robbing commuters in Gboko.

He said investigations  further led to the arrest of  Msughue Kpechir, Paul Ianna, Aondowase Avishi, Terkimbi Bai and Terfa for receiving stolen property and Doosuur Uba, a lady, for being in possession of a motorcycle master key for the gang.

He further said that the command had on Dec. 24, 2019 arrested one Matthew Aondongu with a stolen Hyundai Elantra car with registration number: NC LSR 922 DR.

According to the commissioner, the car was allegedly stolen at Von Garden, Airport Road, Abuja, and was seen heading toward Benue, adding that the suspect was arrested at Jato by officers in Aliade, Gwer East Local Government Area.

He also said that the command had on Dec. 31, 2019  arrested one Louis Tyovenda, who was caught vandalising street lights in Makurdi and was almost lynched by an angry mob.

He commended the Benue Government, traditional/religious leaders and the entire people of the state for their support toward making Benue safe for all.

Edited by: Isaac Ukpoju and Abdullahi Yusuf

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Foreign

Zambia records 101 road traffic accidents in yuletide

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Zambia on Thursday announced that a total of 101 road traffic accidents were recorded in the country during the New Year holiday, the police said.

Police Spokeswoman  Esther Mwaata-Katongo, said the road traffic accidents recorded during the holiday decreased, compared to 120 accidents recorded during the 2019 New Year period.

Mwaata-Katongo said 13 accidents were fatal and resulted in 13 deaths.

She added that Lusaka, the country’s capital, recorded the highest number of road traffic accidents with 38 cases.

Edited by: Yahaya Isah/Silas Nwoha

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Defence/Security

Yuletide: FRSC records zero road crash in Plateau central

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The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) said it did not record any road accident in Plateau Central during the recent Christmas and New year celebrations.

Mr Nnamdi Ikeh-Akabogu, Assistant Corps Commander (ACC), Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Pankshin Unit Command, made the disclosure in an interview with  Nigeria News Agency on Thursday in Pankshin.

Ikeh-Akabogu said,  “this feat was achieved within the hinterlands of the Plateau central due to the route lining of our officers along dangerous bents and accident prone areas.”

“Lives of both motorists and commuters are so precious to the Nigerian Government and as such FRSC took it upon herself to ensure that accidents on our highways are avoided.

“Our first step within the Plateau central was launching of commencement of the 2019 EMBER MONTHS Special Patrol Operations from Dec. 15.

“The theme is ‘Road Safety is a State of Mind, Road Crash is Absence of Mind, Stay Alert, Stay Alive’ and we followed it with series of sensitisation campaigns in motor parks, Churches and Mosques as well as Communities, ” he said.

The Unit commander said  that special patrol operations focused on excessive speed, dangerous driving, wrongful overtaking, lane indiscipline and use of cell phone while driving

Others include: seat belt violation , overloading violation, speed limiting device violation and passenger manifest violation by commercial vehicles.

He said that 125 personnel, comprising Regular and Special marshals were deployed to oversee traffic activities on highways within the Plateau Central Zone, especially along Halle/Mangu, Mangu/Gindri, Mang Township, Panyam, Kerang/Chip corridors.

The commander said places such as Mararaba Pushit, Pankshin, Chigwon, Amper/Dawaki, were also manned by the command’s Staff with diligence.

“Motorists traveling during this period to celebrate with their loved ones are advised to be extra careful while driving along the Corridor. They should pay special attention to Corner Machiji and Corner Kuka .

“Accordingly, motorists arrested for contravening driving regulations during the period of ember months were meant to be impounded till after the celebrations.

“We were glad that Motorists were able to demonstrate love to fellow road users by obeying traffic rules to arrive home safely to celebrate with their loved ones, ” The unit command boss noted.

Ikeh-Akabogu further stated that what worked for the corps was its threat that any motorist apprehended flouting traffic rules would be treated as driving dangerously and risk being prosecuted.

He called on motorists to continue to maintain the good spirit of prudence and carefulness on the highways to avoid crashes and deaths of innocent souls.

Edited by: Joseph Edeh and Abdullahi Yusuf

 

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