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Nigeria

2023: Igbo community raise panel to evaluate governorship candidates in North

The Sun News - Ven, 30/09/2022 - 1:45pm
From Agaju Madugba, Katsina Ahead of the 2023 scheduled general elections, leadership of Nd’Igbo in the 19 states in the North has raised a committee to scrutinise and evaluate the governorship candidates of all the political parties, a development which the group says will guide the Igbo resident in the area on their choice of candidate for each state. “We decided at our July 2022 general meeting in Abuja that considering the large number of the Igbo resident in the northern parts of the country, there is the need for the Igbo and their business interests to be protected,” Spokesman for the group, High Chief Ikechukwu Chukwunyere, said in Katsina on Thursday evening. He spoke at the formal Igbo community endorsement of the Katsina All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate, Dr. Umar Dikko Radda, for the polls. He explained that Radda’s choice was part of the outcome of the task of the screening committee, “after a rigorous job and unanimous endorsement as the best candidate for the position of governor of Katsina State in 2023.” The community also conferred on Radda an  honorary title of “Nd’Igbo Ambassador.” According to Chukwunyere, “We have carefully examined Radda’s visionary leadership qualities, forthrightness and uncommon courage and believe that he will surely lead the Katsina youth and the state to greater heights and out of economic peril. “It is in the light of this that we call on all Nd’Igbo, stakeholders and the good people of Katsina State to support him to ensure victory for the APC in Katsina during the 2023 governorship election.” In his response, Radda said, “I am delighted to be honoured by the leaders of the Igbo from the 19 northern states. “It is also a thing of joy that they have endorsed the Katsina APC governorship candidate. “They must have done their homework before reaching the decision to support our candidature. “This decision has further affirmed my faith that Nigeria will remain united and one country, More so, to see the Igbo resident in Katsina and in the 19 northern states to find me worthy of this endorsement. “The only thing I want too tell you is that, I want to be a governor for everybody, not governor for people who have lived in Katsina for 500 years but for all the people who live in our state, irrespective of your state of origin or tribal and religious affiliations. “We assure you of your protection, protection of your houses and businesses and protection of your places of worship. “God created all of us and we worship the same God in different ways and if you are Muslim, you cannot be a true worshipper of Allah if you do not believe in Jesus Christ. “We will ensure justice for everyone because the backbone of every leadership is justice.” Radda was the SMEDAN Director-General before he resigned the position to join the Katsina governorship race.

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Categorie: Nigeria

Group rates security Army, others  high on anti-insurgency war

The Sun News - Ven, 30/09/2022 - 12:55pm
From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja Centre for Human Rights Advancement in Africa ( CHRAA) has rated the Nigerian Army and other security agencies  high in the fight against insurgency and other security challenges in the country. CHRAA,  in its midway year report, signed by its Country Director,Princess Ajibola, said the Army and other security agencies have taken serious measures to tackle security challenges  across the country. The report noted that there are different forms of  security challenges across the six geo-political zones, ranging from farmers-herders clashes, kidnapping, insurgency, banditry, separatist agitation in North Central, North East, North West and South East respectively, as well as kidnapping in the South West. However, it noted that the Army under the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Faruk Yahaya, and other the security agencies have recorded a huge  success in combating the security challenges and enhancing the peace of the affected areas. According to the report, “the military has given its best in tackling and responding to general insecurity in Nigeria. The stability experienced across the country’s six geo-political zones did not just come about; it took painstaking effort to guarantee.” Nevertheless, CHRAA noted that it is imperative for the security agencies to continue to intensify efforts to rid the country of criminality and other forms of insecurity.   “To achieve this, there is need to allow the military and other security agencies the autonomy of purpose without interference from the high and mighty in government to deal decisively with collaborators effectively, informants and various accomplices to Boko Haram, bandits, kidnappers and other criminal elements,” CHRAA stated.

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Categorie: Nigeria

Edo First Lady, Betsy fumes, vows to pursue justice for physically challenged man locks up for seven days

The Sun News - Ven, 30/09/2022 - 12:43pm
From Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin

Wife of Edo State Governor, Mrs. Betsy Obaseki has vowed that family members who locked up a physically challenged man, Mr Lucky Osarenkhoe for seven days without food would face the full wrath of the law.

Mr. Osarenkhoe was allegedly locked up by his family over his refusal to sale a parcel of land belonging to his sister.

Mrs. Obaseki who visited the visually impaired Lucky Osarenkhoe at the Oredo Primary Health Centre in Benin City yesterday, assured him that his family members who locked him inside the family house without food for seven days will be made to face the full wrath of the law.

The Edo First Lady who was accompanied on the visit by the Commissioner for Youth and Gender  Mr Andrew Ewanta Esq. said when she heard about the issue, she insisted that he be rescued immediately adding that the case is now between the State Government and the family of Mr Lucky.

Earlier, the visually impaired man, Mr Lucky Osarenkhoe who narrated his ordeal to the wife of the state governor, said his problem began when he refused to connive with his family members to sell a house belonging to his sister in the diaspora.

He said he has been threatened and beaten repeatedly by his family members before they left him to die, locked up in the family house alone.

The Edo State Gender Based Violence Management Committee mobilised a team to rescue the visually impaired man on Monday following a report by a member of the committee.

Caption: Betsy Obaseki with the physically challenged man in the hospital in Benin City

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Categorie: Nigeria

Group conducts 227 surgical VVF clients in Taraba, Gombe

The Sun News - Ven, 30/09/2022 - 12:38pm
Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo The ECWA Evangel VVF Centre has conducted over two hundred and twenty Seven free surgical operations for women and girls with obstetric Fistula in Taraba and Gombe states. Professor Sunday Lengmang, project Coordinator for the Comprehensive Women’s Health Project at the Center disclosed this at a stakeholders Biennial meeting on Prevention, treatment and elimination of Obstetric Fistula in Nigeria held in Jalingo. The stakeholders meeting comes as part of activities for the free medical outreach of the centre held at the UMCN hospital in Jalingo where several women and girls were successfully operated. Lengmang said the project funded by the Australian Aid through other development partners aims to run for a period of three years with a target to at least treat three Hundred and thirty cases. He said the centre was also anchoring mentorship program where other persons also have the opportunity to learn from the skills so as to decisively tackle the menace of Obstetric Fistula in the country. “This project started in 2020 and is expected to run till December ending this year. We have various parameters to measure our level of progress especially with training of personnel, engagement with relevant stakeholders, skills transfer and of course, the actual treatment. “As you are well aware, the COVID-19 pandemic affected our work at the initial stage but I can assure you that we have done tremendously well. We have already overshoot some of our targets and in areas that we still have shortcomings, we hope to close the gap before the end of the year. “The joy of it all is that, despite the challenges of insecurity and others, we have been able to reach a good number of people and have changed their lives for the better. We just hope we would be able to continue to do even more beyond the program lifecycle” Lengmang said. Mr Rita Denise, a beneficiary who contracted the condition during childbirth told our correspondent that her life had turned to that of a very miserable and lonely person since she could no longer relate with people freely knowing her condition. She commended the centre for the initiative and pleaded that the Centre should extend their services as a lot of women are suffering from the same condition in silence. Other stakeholders at the meeting also commended the centre for efforts at ensuring that public places are built with the consideration for those with disabilities. Our correspondent reports that the ECWA Evangel VVF Centre is currently the only VVF centre in Nigeria that provides urinary diversion surgery for inoperable fistula and other essential Fistula related treatment.

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Categorie: Nigeria

53 Kuje, Suleija inmates register for WASCE

The Sun News - Ven, 30/09/2022 - 12:31pm
From Isaac Anumihe, Abuja About 53 prisoners from Kuje and Suleja custodial centres will write the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE). In a statement, the Superintendent of Corrections, Public Relations Officer, Humphrey Chukwuedo, said that during the final online registration of the inmates in Kuje Custodial Centre, the Controller of Corrections, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Command, Ahmed Musa Ahmed, advised the inmates to shun examination malpractices and make themselves available for the ongoing intensive preparation classes in order to make good grades as that is imperative to their smooth reintegration after serving their terms of imprisonment. Ahmed added that the centre is known for producing candidates with excellent results while urging the candidates to look beyond incarceration and see the hope that education brings, and not let the efforts of the service be in vain. The leader of the inmates who were registered for the examination appreciated the Controller of Corrections for the effort of the Service in ensuring that they attract both faith-based and non-governmental organisations toward improving inmates’ education.  He promised on behalf of others to do their best as their target is to gain admission to study various courses in the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN). The officer-in-charge of Kuje Custodial Centre, Deputy Controller of Corrections, Shehu Ibrahim, appreciated the non-governmental organisations that volunteered their resources and time towards making the registration a success.  He further called on the Federal Government to assist in making both West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and National Examination Council (NECO) examinations free for inmates just like the National Open University of Nigeria has done. This is to allow for more inmates to be enrolled for the examinations.

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Categorie: Nigeria

Coke Studio excites fans with Pasoori remix 

The Sun News - Ven, 30/09/2022 - 11:51am

By Henry Akubuiro

 

To deepen its philosophy of creating magical moments for music lovers, Coke Studio made a journey to Pakistan as foremost Nigerian singer and songwriter, Reekado Banks, jumps on the Coke Studio “Pasoori” remix, featuring Pakistani singer, songwriter and composer, Ali Sethi, and Egyptian rapper and producer, Marwan Moussa, to deliver a catchy rendition to fans.

 

The “Pasoori” song has transcended boundaries, leaving a global audience stunned with Sethi’s soulful vibe, with his blissful voice enhancing the beauty of the song even more, alongside the inclusion of Reekado Banks in the remix, giving it an African fusion for fans.

 

Coke Studio is a music collaborative reality show that seeks to bring together continental and intercontinental artists to celebrate the diversity of music and talents, and this track is coming weeks after Reekado Banks, popular Nigerian singer and songwriter teamed up with renowned South African music group, Juluka, on an amazing tune; “3All” (Coke Studio Africa).

 

This comes after the first ever Coke Studio global film with African superstar, Tems, and seven global artists who teamed up to remix the iconic British rock band, Queen’s 1986 track “A Kind of Magic”, to signify the start of this year’s Coke Studio, with a view to promote devotedness, closeness, and collaboration with friends and family at all times.

 

According to Bunmi Adeniba, Coca-Cola’s Senior Marketing Director, the magical, musical mash-up was brought to teeming fans by Coke Studio, whose goal is to create a unifying experience for teens across Africa, enhancing their meet-up occasions in ways that only Coke can.

 

She affirmed that the collaboration came about as a result of the special kind of magic that happens when artists from across the globe collide, and this is a chance for music lovers to get a taste of what Coca-Cola has been conducting behind the scenes with Coke studio.

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Categorie: Nigeria

Ambassador MK Ibrahim’s diplomatic odyssey 

The Sun News - Ven, 30/09/2022 - 11:45am

By Bukar Usman

 

With Heart & Might, MK Ibrahim, Parresia Publishers Ltd, pp. 473,

2021.

 

The book, With Heart & Might, by M.K Ibrahim, a former Nigerian diplomat, was written to achieve triple objectives. His first goal was to narrate his personal experience in the diplomatic service of Nigeria and, via his story, point to some lessons which may be helpful to future generations. Secondly, he sought to see how the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) could be improved upon to discharge its responsibilities more effectively. His third aim was to contribute ideas on how Nigeria’s foreign service could be further tuned towards the attainment of Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa’s declared dream of having in place a professionally competent foreign service that reflects the towering image of Nigeria.

 

Amb. Ibrahim, who was socialist inclined in his student days, had difficulties choosing a career after graduation. Abandoning journalism and banking, having worked briefly in a bank, he settled for diplomatic service. He enlisted as a junior officer in the Nigerian Foreign Service and retired as an ambassador. His 33-year diplomatic service (1978-2011) saw him posted to several countries in Asia, Europe and Africa with intermittent posting to the headquarters where he ended his career. His schedules of bilateral and multilateral dimensions and the opportunity of working under inspiring leaders over the years solidified his position in the diplomatic service. As such, he is not only competent and adequately informed but also confident to share his experiences.

 

He gave a run-down of episodes upon episodes he encountered at home and at his various posts overseas. He recounted in detail some unfortunate disasters, including the ill-fated plane crash of the Nigerian delegation to Sao Tome and Principe (1980), the fire incident that burnt down the headquarters of the Nigeria’s Foreign Ministry in Lagos (1981) and the Koko toxic waste (1988). He also related some nightmares of Nigerian diplomatic service; they include delays in communication to posts about the arrival of VIPs, composition of delegates on official and state visits as well as attendance of conferences. Such delays and incomplete composition of delegates lists caused considerable unease as they upset protocol arrangements and arrival ceremonies in host countries, to the disappointment and embarrassment of all concerned. Even menu preferences of delegates were enough to cause concern. There were equally concerns about allocation of ‘haunted’ official residential houses locally and overseas. The faint-hearted and superstitious dared not occupy such houses. Remarkably, Amb. Ibrahim had risked the occupation of quite a few of such houses in Nigeria and overseas during his diplomatic career.

 

Amb. Ibrahim discussed and bared his mind on several other matters, such as the need for better collaboration between MFA and the academia, better understanding between the professionals and political heads of MFA over staff deployments, due attention to foreign threats to dismember or weaken Nigeria in the West African sub-region, and sensitivity to ethnic composition at posts. Others include misfortunes and health challenges leading to death of officers at posts, the hazards of sudden retirements, African Caribbean and Pacific Countries and the European Union (ACP-EU) dreams of fair and equitable order, dreams of a continental government and single army for Africa and the ambition of certain leaders to lead a United States of Africa. He discussed the welfare of Nigerians and the hazards of being called upon to witness execution of fellow citizens in foreign prisons, as well as the incidence of free flow of arms across borders and carriage of illegal items in diplomatic bags.

 

As a member of the international community, Nigeria is required to fulfill its bilateral and multilateral obligations. These are legions, and they demand careful handling. Amb. Ibrahim discussed and expressed opinion on such issues. On ACP-EU relations, he stated that, after several years of serious engagements, ably led by seasoned Nigerian diplomats, it is unfortunate that the ACP countries continue to be exporters of raw materials to the EU with no foreseeable reversal of the unhealthy lop-sided relationship. He denounced the practice whereby some countries deliberately deny visas to delegates attending UN Assembly meetings contrary to diplomatic etiquette, while some others unduly interfere in bilateral relations of other countries.

 

In the field of human rights, while Nigeria continues to file its annual returns to the Human Rights Council in discharging its obligations, it has rightly resisted attempts to force on it the recognition of homosexuality and same-sex marriage as human rights and the abolition of death sentence. Equally, the challenge of the constitutionality of the Sharia laws and the prescribed punishments has rightly and successfully been defended.

Amb. Ibrahim proposed that more steps should be taken to give practical effects to Nigeria’s much-publicised policy of regarding Africa as the centre of its foreign policy. Nigeria should equally sustain a clear demonstration of the concentric relevance of that policy by giving more attention to its neighbouring countries more than ever before.

 

The retired diplomat noted a few but disturbing incidents of Nigerian officials flouting presidential directives on voting on resolutions. He recommended greater analysis and consultation in the selection of candidates and campaign strategy for election to international posts. He also suggested that qualification for recruitment should extend beyond the traditional preference for bias in arts and social sciences, adding that it will also be an asset for officers to speak two or more languages. There should be a review to remove duplication and overlapping of portfolio and ensure effective synergy between MFA and relevant agencies in areas of research and training and in aid administration. He also recommended the creation of an independent foreign service commission.

 

The narrative style of the book is quite engaging and its discourse of diplomatic challenges and foreign policy administration of Nigeria quite informative.

 

* Bukar Usman is a former permanent secretary in the Presidency, Abuja

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Categorie: Nigeria

Fayemi inaugurates clinic for sexual assault victims

The Sun News - Ven, 30/09/2022 - 11:36am
Wife of Ekiti Governor, Mrs Bisi Fayemi on Thursday, inaugurated more  sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARC) to victims of sexual assault. Inaugurating the centres in Ikole-Ekiti and Ikere-Ekiti, Fayemi emphasised the need for community dwellers to expose violators of sexual assault laws no matter how highly placed. She reiterated zero tolerance for Gender Based Violence, (GBV) most especially sexual assault, with the assurance that anyone found culpable would not be spared. Mrs Fayemi explained that the centres were established to offer free services for survivors in the area of medical assistance, legal, psychological, law enforcement, among others. In their remarks, the Commissioner for Health and Human services, Dr Oyebanji Filani and his counterpart in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology , Dr Adebimpe Aderiye, thanked the governor’s wife for her support for victims. They that the centres would serve the North and South senatorial districts where they were located, noting that traumatised students are adequately provided for in the arrangement of the facilities. Also,  the State Coordinator, Sexual Assault Referal centres, Mrs Rita ilevbare, charged staff of the two centres to see their duties as a call to national service which required due diligence, empathy, utmost confidentiality and at times personal financial cost. She appealed to security agencies to support the functionalities of the centres to achieve success. NAN reports that apart from, Moremi referral centre at the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, (EKSUTH) , Ado-Ekiti, the newly inaugurated centres were located within the premises of the specialist hospitals in the towns. Dignitaries at the inauguration include: Deputy Governor-elect, Chief Monisade Afuye, Wife of Ekiti  Governor-elect,  Dr Olayemi Oyebanji, among others. (NAN)

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Categorie: Nigeria

PDP:CUPP reiterate call for Ayu’s sack

The Sun News - Ven, 30/09/2022 - 11:33am
From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja Coalition of United Political Parties ( CUPP) has reiterated call for the sack of the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) National chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, over the crisis rocking the party. The CUPP, in a statement by its spokesman, Ikenga Ugochinyere, on Friday, called on the PDP National Executive Committee ( NEC) to reverse the vote of confidence passed on Ayu at its recent meeting. The crisis in the PDP assumed a new twist, on Thursday, after some members of the NWC returned over N100million allegedly  paid to them by the party as “housing allowance”. Ugochinyere implored the opposition party NEC to sack Ayu and the national secretary, Samuel Anyanwu, as a way of unifying the PDP ahead of the 2023 polls. According to him, “Ayu and Anyanwu continue stay in office is creating more crisis, disunity in the party and will hamper PDP chances in 2023. The duo’s sack will not only benefit and unite the party, it will also enable all aggrieved members to come together and work for the party’s victory in 2023. “I call on the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, to press it on chieftains of the party and Ayu on the need to save the party from further polarisation and loss of our base in the South. This can be achieved by ensuring that PDP National Chairman,  Senator Ayu quits the party now alongside the National Secretary, Anyanwu.”

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Categorie: Nigeria

Nigeria ratifies ILO convention 190 to end violence, harassment in workplace

The Sun News - Ven, 30/09/2022 - 11:30am
From Adanna Nnamani, Abuja President Muhammadu Buhari, has signed the Instrument of Ratification for ILO Convention No.190 on Violence and Harassment and the document is set to be deposited with the Director General of the International Labour Organisation by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment. The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Ms Kachollom Daju, made the announcement at the opening ceremony of a 2-day Regional Sensitization Workshop on ILO Convention No. 190 on Violence and Harassment and Eliminating Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in the Workplace for Professional Officers in the three Northern Geo-Political Zones. This was contained in a statement issued by Olajide Oshundun the Ministry’s Head, Press and Public Relations on Thursday. Daju noted that Nigeria is the fourth country in Africa and the eighth in the world to ratify the Convention. She added that the Ministry has already inserted prohibitions on violence and harassment, Including sexual harassment in the just concluded review exercise of the National Labour Bills. According to her, the ratification comes with an enormous responsibility and reporting obligation for Nigeria. She called on labour Officers in the states to put their best foot forward as it is their duty to implement, intercept and intervene in all cases of violence and harassment, and other related unfair labour practices in all workplaces after the convention is domesticated. “The Ministry’s Headquarters will also be depending on you to generate and gather data that will be used to develop a comprehensive First Report of Nigeria’s implementation of the Convention to the ILO when the time comes” she said.. The permanent Secretary appreciated the ILO Regional Office in Abuja, and the International Labour Office, Geneva for providing the technical support for the workshop, and for its support in ensuring that Nigeria’s Labour Administration System operates in line with international best practice. Earlier in her welcome address the Director, Productivity Measurement and Labour Standards, Mrs Juliana A. Adebambo, said that in order to facilitate wide spread and acceptance of the Convention, the Ministry with technical support from the ILO had convened a series of preliminary activities across the six Geo-Political zones in the country and the 2-day workshop was first in the lineup. The opening Ceremony had in attendance very important dignitaries including the Country Director of the ILO office for Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone, Mrs Vanessa Lerato Phala.

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Categorie: Nigeria

NSF: Edo Athletes Trials Begin As Taekwondo,Athletics Pick 32,70 For Camping

Nigerian Observer - Ven, 30/09/2022 - 6:26am

Ahead of the Delta 2022 National Sports Festival, Edo Sports Associations under Edo state Sports Commission have commenced trials for athletes with Taekwondo and Athletics Associations selecting 32 and 70 athletes respectively for camping,preparatory to the November 28,2022 Delta Games.

The Taekwondo Association after their highly competitive engagements at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, selecteda 32 athletes from both men and women weight categories.

According to the head coach Arthur Adjurin,the 32 list of athletes invited to camp will be pruned to sixteen after the camp trial. He said that the sixteen best that will emerge after the camp trials will be the representatives of Edo state at the National Sports Festival in Delta state.

Coach Adjorin revealed that his team has been organising trials for their athletes,that the one that produced the 32 for camping was the concluding part of the third Quarter Trials.

“First and second athletes in each weight category will qualify for camping and go for the final trial in camp to get one person in each wight category, , eight male and eight female respectively.

Some of the successful athletes in the combat sports include: Kabiru Momodu and Brian Osahenoma in the male Welter Weight; Razak Musa and Aigbozena in the male Ligh Weight . Others include Benjamin Okuomose and Olumuyiwa Tofunmi in the men Heavy Weight categories.

In the women category, Judith Usifoh and Esther Jegede were successful in the welter Weight while Ovbokhan Egbon and Favour Ugwu made it in the light Weight.

Ameze and Divine Blessing picked the slots in the heavy Weight category.

Meanwhile, a total of seventy athletes have been pencilled down for camping in the Athletics Association after a 2-day eventful trial at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin.

According to the Assistant coach of the Edo athletics, Sogbayi Ayopo,the trial which is organised for the selection of Edo team for the National Sports Festival in Delta state later this year,will be concluded during the camping final trial which is expected to reduce the team to 48 that will represent the state.

Coach Ayopo said that his team is working hard to ensure that they overthrow the track champions Delta who were dominant in Edo 2020 Games in Benin with 11 Gold, 9 Silver and 12 Bronze while Edo settled for the second spot with 9 Gold,6 Silver and 3 Bronze medals.

The 2022 Delta Games have been rescheduled to begin November 28 and end December 8,2022

Categorie: Nigeria

Tourism: Edo targets 1million visitors per annum, says Edo Head of Service

Nigerian Observer - Ven, 30/09/2022 - 6:18am

The Edo State Head of Service and Chairman of the state’s Tourism Steering Committee Anthony Okungbowa Esq has said that the state’s vision is to rebuild the fundamentals of Edo’s economy by harnessing the potentials of its history, heritage, arts and culture.

Okungbowa who disclosed this at the lanch of the Edo State Tourism Master Plan as part of activities marking this year’s Tourism Day said the idea was to rekindle the creative spirit that inspired our forebears to create valuable artefacts in time past, stressing that the state also wants to revitalize its infrastructure to support and sustain the new economy.

This he said would be achieved by making Edo State the tourism destination in Africa such that would boost tourism traffic into Nigeria which currently stands at less than 50,000 range per year compared to the 70,000 recorded in one month in Kenya.

He stressed that the target of the tourism project is to attract no less than 1 million visitors per annum from international, regional and domestic markets to Edo State.

The state’s vision he explained is to rebuild the fundamentals of Edo’s economy by harnessing the potential of our history, heritage, arts & culture; rekindle the creative spirit that inspired our forebears to create valuable artefacts as could be seen in most major museums globally.

Okungbowa posited that the development of tourism as a foreign exchange earner in the state becomes compelling now that Nigeria, a one time largest oil revenue earner in the world has in recent times suffered loses in the production and distribution chains leading to poor revenue inflow despite the high cost of crude oil at over $100 per barrel today,

“Nigeria’s revenue is at crucial levels due to crude theft, pipeline vandalism, fuel subsidy payments and a very huge debt portfolio at the Federal level. Consequently, Revenue allocation to States is dwindling and this makes it imperative for States with foresight to seek alternative revenue streams and investment in tourism becomes handy.

“As a State, we are tapping into our unique advantage of being blessed with a rich history, arts and cultural dynamics, we want to revitalize our infrastructure to support & sustain this new economy. This gives a direction of tourism “Beyond the Bronzes” as it is a careful design to make Edo the destination centre in Africa in the next few years. We are planning to do this in collaboration with you our corporate and private stakeholders with full grassroot and community support” Okungbowa explained

Research he said has shown that the total contribution of travel and tourism to the global economy is about 5.81 tr USD stressing however that the launch would provide the needed impetus to sustainable economic growth and viability in the tourism sub-sector.

He commended the State Governor Godwin Obaseki for the great vision and the opportunity to steer the committee to birth the masterplan including his alternate Chairman and all members of the Steering committee who have worked tirelessly to ensure that this vision comes to fruition.

September 27, every year is celebrated Globally as World Tourism Day and the theme for 2022 is “Rethinking Tourism” and Nigeria marked this year’s edition with a World Tourism Expo in Lagos Nigeria which indicates that indeed Nigeria is beginning to get a seat on the Global Tourism Table.

The Head of Service said that before the United Nations World Toursim Organization released this theme, Edo had proactively envisioned this when in December 2021 Governor Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki inaugurated the Tourism Steering Committee to spearhead the development of a masterplan to actualize the vision in the State.

He commended the expertise of the consultants Financial Derivatives and Verakki for their support in driving this great vision to fruition just as he thanked the Honourable Commissioner and Permanent secretary of the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Tourism with their level of input and support to the Committee.

Categorie: Nigeria

Child Right Law: SOS Children’s Villages Laud Edo State Govt

Nigerian Observer - Ven, 30/09/2022 - 6:18am

The Project Coordinator of the, SOS Children’s Villages, World Wide, Monica Kleck has commended Edo State Government for the commitment to strengthen the rights of the children with the child right law.

Making the commendation during a meeting with the Ministry of Youth and Gender in Benin City, Kleck who is from the German office of the Organization expressed appreciation for the result achieved so far in the state

“We have come to appreciate the government for their role to achieve result and we want to further that collaboration to reach more children through the technical working committee set up to advance that agenda”

“As we speak, we have made remarkable results. We are quite happy at the level of commitment that Edo state has shown in this process and on that note, we are coming to appreciate government for their role, commitment and support to achieve the expected results.

According to her the first phase of the project ends in December and there are plans to organize a launching of the guidelines of the project which has been embarked upon all over the world.

“We are hoping to extend the project for another four years to ensure that the vulnerable children be in a good family foster parent, prevent child family separation, implementing family strengthening and so far, we have 1600 children from 400 families in the last four years,” she added

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Youth and Gender, Dr. Peter Osagie, who expressed optimism that more can be achieved through advocacy and enlightenment noted that there is room for expansion in the new project.

According to him,” Edo state want to make sure that the vulnerable children are no more vulnerable by advancing the care reform and we are looking forward to the launching of the alternative care guideline.”

He assured the organization that the Governor of the state, Mr. Godwin Obaseki is interested in leaving a legacy after his tenure in office and in doing that he is not just interested in activities but want to put things in place that whoever comes after him can run with it.

“As soon as your guidelines gets to the governor, I can assure you that it would be given attention because he thrives in putting policies in place. Let us have your guidelines in black and white for him to see and understand the direction you are going about the project.

“I can assure you that the Ministry will vigorously pursue the launching of the guidelines and we will gladly work with people like you with clear cut objectives,” he noted.

He disclosed that while waiting for the guidelines of the organization, the state already has the Child right law in the state, undergoing review to protect the right of every child and the state is building structures and having your guideline to what we already have will further help us solidify the structure on ground.

Categorie: Nigeria

FRSC Enlightens The Public On Ember Months

Nigerian Observer - Gio, 29/09/2022 - 7:47pm

BENIN CITY- Edo State Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps, (FRSC), Mr. Henry Benamaisia has stated that the Executive Governor of Edo State, His Excellency, Mr. Godwin Obaseki will flag off the FRSC Ember months activities at the Tipper Garage, Ikpoba Hill on October 26, 2022, with members of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN,) National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW,) affiliate unions and other critical key stakeholders  in attendance.

Speaking on the activities scheduled for the ember months by the Edo State Sector of the FRSC, he said the line up of activities for this period is based on a research carried out by the command which include acts of indiscipline, intolerance and impatience by drivers as direct causes of road traffic crashes (RTC) in Benin City.

Cautioning drivers to drive with care during the rainy periods, especially now during the “Ember months” which are the four last months of the year, the commander pointed out, that “During this period, the traffic situation all over the country is heightened. As a result we all in the Federal Road Safety Corps put a lot of machinery in place to take care of the traffic. We also put machinery in place to take care of crashes.”

He blamed three factors responsible for RTC’s in our environment which are the human factor, which is responsible for ninety percent (90%) of RTC (driving on bad road and still go on excessive speed); the mechanical factor which has to do with vehicle condition while the environmental factor has to do with rain.

He insisted that the Ember months are not evil months because bad things occur to people due to misplaced priorities and they want to show off during the Christmas period hence the precautionary measures put in place by the Edo Sector Command to, “Put our vehicles in strategic places so that our visibility would be massive.

“Also, there would be ambulance points and two heavy duty tow trucks would be sent to the roads on standby to remove obstruction so that there would not be traffic jams. We will be backed by the Tow Truck Association which would deploy their tow trucks to places we cannot get to.

“We have earmarked or delineated the state into twenty one (21) areas where we are going to have our men taking care of critical points and places. Apart from the traffic control which we will be doing, men will be on standby to man the entry and exit points of the state” he added

The ember months enlightenment, advocacy visit and rally would go on simultaneously in the state, he said, adding, “We also have church and mosque visitation because we believe that most of these persons that drive on our roads belong to one religion or the other. We also visit other critical government organizations and private stakeholders.

He noted that the FRSC will not be working alone during this period but in synergy with other sister agencies such as the Civil Defense Corps, the Nigeria Police, and the Immigration within the period.

Making a review of RTC  cases for Year 2021 for the months of January to August against Year 2022, with same months in review, he put out figures thus’.

“As of last year, 2021, the number of deaths from January to August was 105 while there was a total number of 21 minor cases in which there was impact on vehicles without recorded physical injuries. For the same months in review for 2022, there were 99 death cases with 28 minor cases.”

“No doubt, comparatively,  these figures are clear pointers that there are lesser death cases this year with a slight increase in minor RTC cases when viewed with RTC data for last year,” he added

He encouraged drivers to engage themselves more with defensive driving through the adequate use of side and inner mirrors to look at all sides and directions, learning to give braking or accident distance between them and other cars while driving, backed by the mindset that the letter ” L” which stands for “Learner” could also stand for “Lunatic” hence the need to avoid road rage to stem incidents of RTC.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categorie: Nigeria

Yobe North Senatorial Candidacy: Lawan Accepts Court Judgment

Nigerian Observer - Gio, 29/09/2022 - 7:10pm

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan has said that he would not appeal the judgement delivered on Wednesday by the Federal High Court, Damaturu, in Yobe State with respect to the forthcoming Yobe North Senatorial District elections.

Lawan said in a statement which he personally signed and released on Thursday that he has accepted the judgement of the court which disqualified his candidature and participation in the elections.

The statement titled: “Court Judgement on Yobe North Senatorial District Candidacy” reads:

“Yesterday, Wednesday, 28th September, 2022, the Federal High Court in Damaturu delivered judgement on the rightful candidate for Yobe North Senatorial District for the 2023 National Assembly elections.

“The said judgement disqualifies my candidature and therefore my participation in the elections.

“After due consultations with my political associates, supporters and well-wishers, I have decided not to appeal against the judgement. I accept the judgement.

“At this juncture, I deem it appropriate to thank His Excellency, Senator Ibrahim Gaidam for the leadership role in the APC political family in Yobe State. I also thank His Excellency, Governor Mai Mala Buni for the support and brotherhood.

“To my constituents, I thank you all for your unflinching support, loyalty and unreserved committment to the course of building our people and Yobe North Senatorial District and indeed Yobe State.

“I want to assure you that I will continue to serve you in my personal and any other capacity at all times.

“We journeyed together for a long time, and this journey will remain a life long journey. It has been a wonderful relationship and it can only get stronger. I am indebted to you all. Alhamdulillah.”

Categorie: Nigeria

NFF election: Aspirant Yusuf demands explanation for disqualification

Nigerian Observer - Gio, 29/09/2022 - 7:07pm

As the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) election holds tomorrow (Friday, September 30th, 2022) in Benin City, one of the presidential aspirants Paul Yusuf, from plateau State(North Central Zone) has demanded an explanation from the NFF electoral committee over his disqualification from the electoral process.

The NFF electoral committee was reported to have disqualified Paul Yusuf for what they called invalid nomination from his constituent Football Association (Plateau State FA).

Speaking to Sports journalists at the Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium Benin City, the aggrieved aspirant,Canadian based Ex-International said he was surprised that his name was excluded from the cleared list of aspirants without any correspondence regarding the NFF electoral committee decision.

According to him: “I am in Benin City for the NFF election which is expected to hold tomorrow,and my name is not on the cleared candidate list. If I am disqualified,the reason for it should be made known to me. Up till now,no body in the NFF electoral committee has called to tell me why I was disqualified and I need an explanation. They can’t knock me out of the contest without giving reasons for such it. I paid to enter the contest and I feel it is natural reasons for disqualification is given. As a matter of fact,I followed the process as contained in the booklet they gave to me. I want an explanation to why I was disqualified so as not to make similar mistake in the future “. He reacted,adding that his visit to the NFF electoral committee secretariat to get explanation did not yield any results as the place was deserted..

The former goalkeeper of Bendel Insurance FC, El-Kanemi Warriors,Enyimba FC and Rangers International vowed to drag the Aikhunegire Anthony Malik NFF electoral Committee to any length in seeking redress.

All efforts by our reporter to reach the chairman of the NFF electoral committee Aikhunegire Anthony and his committee members proved abortive.

Categorie: Nigeria

EDSIEC shifts local council election to May 2023

Nigerian Observer - Gio, 29/09/2022 - 7:02pm

The Edo State Independent Electoral Commission (EDSIEC) has shifted the date earlier fixed for the Local Government Elections from Thursday, January 19, 2023 to Saturday, May 06, 2023.

In a statement by the EDSIEC Administrative Secretary, Sunday A. Osayande, the electoral body said the decision is sequel to the fear of threat to peace and security over apprehension that many electorates will be disenfranchised if the Commission is unable to get an updated Voters Register from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The statement reads, “This is to inform members of the general public and all the Eighteen Registered Political Parties in Edo State that the Board of the Edo State Independent Electoral Commission at its meeting held today the 29th day of September, 2022 resolved to shift the date earlier fixed for the Local Government Elections from Thursday 19th January 2023 to Saturday 6th May, 2023 throughout the 18 Local Government Areas and the 192 Wards of the State.

It further noted, “This decision is sequel to the fear by the Commission of threat to peace and security as there is perceived apprehension that many electorates will be disenfranchised if the Commission is not able to get an updated Voters Register from Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as what has been released to the Commission so far is the Register used in the 2019 General Election by INEC.”

Categorie: Nigeria

Campaign against land grabbing: Edo govt to compensate persons with authentic title documents

Nigerian Observer - Gio, 29/09/2022 - 6:55pm

The Edo State Government has said it will compensate persons with authentic claims to landed properties in the 1229 hectares of land repossessed from land grabbers for the state’s new town development project.

A taskforce of the state government, on Thursday, as part of stepped up campaign against land grabbing in the state, embarked on a repossession exercise, reclaiming over 1229 hectares of land along the Irhirhi-Obazagbon-Ogheghe Road.

Addressing journalists after the exercise, the Edo State Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Christopher Nehikhare, said the campaign is part of Governor Godwin Obaseki’s renewed effort against land grabbers, aimed at restoring sanity in land administration in the state.

Nehikhare noted, “The Edo State Government is dislodging land grabbers in the state and has reclaimed over 1229 hectares of land along the Irhirhi-Obazagbon-Ogheghe Road for the state’s new town development project.

“The dislodging of the area has become necessary to pave the way for development of a new town. The Edo State Government has designed a properly laid out plan for a new city modeled after other cities across the globe.

“The state government acquired the land as far back as July 2017 when the project was conceived in preparation for the town. Land grabbers and speculators began to sell the land to unsuspecting members of the public and even built on it themselves, damning the consequences of their actions.”

He continued: “Developers didn’t believe that the government would take this kind of measures to take back its land. The curfew declared was for this purpose and the operation is ongoing smoothly without casualties.

“Government officials entered the areas last night at about 3a.m with the full complement of security agencies to possess the land and no casualty was recorded as the operation is still going on. The government has taken possession of all the houses at the Ogba Forest Reserves and removed all the buildings demarcated by the government.”

Noting that several efforts to engage the land grabbers on the said property, proved abortive, the Commissioner explained, “The government has tried in engaging the four communities involved but they have always rebuffed the government. The hostility and wide spread encroachment have made it difficult to commence the enumeration and compensation assessment. However, when the repossession is complete, the enumeration exercise will commence and payment made to the rightful occupants who were there before the possession of the land.”

He added, “The total structures marked today is 106 but 24 will not be demolished but used as offices of the government as the project goes on. People are victims because they don’t take the government seriously despite several warnings from officials on the dangers of encroaching on government property.

“Benin City is choking and needs to be expanded, and the government has chosen this area for the expansion. The government is building a new city here.”

Categorie: Nigeria

2023: Parties signs Peace Accord as Campaign Kickstarts

Nigerian Observer - Gio, 29/09/2022 - 6:35pm

…INEC reiterates commitment to monitor activities of parties.

Ahead of 2023 General Elections, political parties have signed the peace accord to abide by the rules and regulations guiding campaign activities and elections, as INEC reiterates its commitment to monitor activities of parties.
This was made known during the signing of the Peace Accord organized by the National Peace Committee (NPC), chaired by former Head of State General Abdulsalami Abubakar in Abuja.

INEC chairman, Professor Mohamoud Yakubu in his goodwill pointed out that, in line with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022 and in the Commission’s determination to play the role of a regulator, it will vigorously monitor compliance to ensure that parties shun abusive, intemperate or slanderous language as well as insinuations or innuendoes likely to provoke a breach of the peace during the electioneering campaigns.
He also noted that the Commission will also closely monitor compliance with the limits on campaign spending under the Electoral Act.

“Political parties and candidates should study and familiarise themselves with the electoral legal framework to avoid any infraction of the law and the unhappy consequences that will follow any act of misdemeanour”.

“The Electoral Act 2022 provides for campaign in public by political parties to commence not earlier than 150 days before polling day. Accordingly, campaign by political parties for the 2023 General Election officially commenced yesterday Wednesday 28th September 2022. This will continue until 24 hours before polling day i.e. 23rd February 2023 for national elections (Presidential and National Assembly) and 9th March 2023 for State elections (Governorship and Houses of Assembly)”.

“Every constituency is important. Every election is important. Therefore, the commitment to peaceful and issue-based electioneering campaign should resonate beyond the 18 Party Chairmen and Presidential candidates present here today. It is not enough to simply sign the Peace Accord. What is more important is to abide by its letter and spirit. You should similarly pass the message to all your candidates, members and supporters across the country for compliance. This will be your own way of showing appreciation for the work of the NPC and an affirmation of your contribution to electoral peace in Nigeria.

“You may recall that, twice in 2015 and 2019, political parties and candidates have committed themselves to peaceful elections by signing the national Peace Accord organised by the NPC. The success of the national peace accord at the national level for General Election led to demands by stakeholders for the devolution of the same effort to major off-cycle elections at State level. In response, the NPC organised the peace accord ahead of the Governorship elections in Edo in September 2020 and subsequently in four more elections. The result is not only the peaceful conduct of these elections, but the process keeps improving one election after another”, he added.

The Chairman also thanked the convener and chairman of NPC Excellency General Abdulsalami Abubakar, and members of the Committee, for its partnership with INEC for the conduct of a peaceful elections nationwide.

Present at the signing are: Chairmen of Political Parties, European Union (EU) Ambassador to Nigeria and other Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Presidential Candidates for the 2023 General Election, the Inspector General of Police and Heads of Security Agencies.

Categorie: Nigeria

EDO GOVT, ICPC, NOA SENSITIZE CRITICAL STAKEHOLDERS ON NATIONAL ETHICS FOR BEHAVIOURAL CHANGE

Nigerian Observer - Gio, 29/09/2022 - 4:37pm

Edo State Government in collaboration with the Independent Corruption Practices and Other Related Offences Commission ICPC, National Orientation Agency NOA and MacArthur Foundation has held a One-day sensitization dialogue with Traditional Rulers, Religious Leaders and Community Based Civil Society Organizations on National Ethics, Constituency and Executive Tracking Initiative for Positive Behavioral Change towards curbing corruption in the State.
The Commissioner, Ministry of Local Government, Community and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Monday Osaigbovo in his address at the New Festival Hall, Government House in Benin City, appreciated the  ICPC and  NOA for putting up the programme in collaboration with the Edo State Government and the Local Government Administration.

While noting that ICPC was known for its constant fight against corrupt practices in the Country he added that the program was timely and would address a host of issues and bring about behavioral change hence the need to meet with critical stakeholders in the State as they are closest to the people and have an influence over their followership and the constituents have confidence in them.
“As Government, we have continued to enjoy robust collaboration with you as promoters and sometimes enforcers of Government Policies, Projects and Programs in your domain, and wish to sue for more collaborations.
“We all have a responsibility of supporting Government in promoting accountability, integrity and transparency in the design and operations of constituency projects and programs as well as in the protection of projects,” he added
He admonished on the need to reawaken the conscience of the general public to their role in ensuring best practices are adhered to and ensuring communities are free from all forms of corrupt practices through efforts to revive the values of integrity, forthrightness and hard work.
In his welcome address, the Chairman, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye (SAN) who was represented by Hon. Grace Chinda noted that the design and implementation of the National Ethics and Integrity Policy (NEIP) recognizes that the Traditional Rulers, Religious Leaders and Community Based Civil Society Organization play vital roles as character molders and champions of integrity and National development.
Commending the Stakeholders as positive role models, nation builders, socio-economic and development influencers. He added that the presentations and dialogues will reveal the Constituency and Executive Project Tracking Initiative embarked on by the ICPC.
“These revelations, I believe will underscore why every core value of the Ethics and Integrity Policy should be imbibed, practiced and upheld by all and why you as leaders should deepen your partnership with the ICPC in diminishing corruption and using your good offices in building a better Nigeria for all of us. You have followership, you have influence and command respect, use these to bring about enduring positive behavioral change amongst our people,” he noted
Mrs. Okwong M. Ese, who lectured on ADVANCING THE CORE VALUES OF THE NATIONAL ETHICS and INTEGRITY POLICY (NEIP) FOR BEHAVIOURAL CHANGE: THE ROLE OF TRADITIONAL/ RELIGIOUS LEADERS AND CSOs said that The National Ethics and Integrity Policy, was developed by ICPC in collaboration with OSGF and NOA, to enhance values and integrity and tackle corruption in the society.

According to her, It was developed in response to the many damaging effects of corruption in both public and private sectors, with a view to help restore and revitalize these sectors.
On Education, she said that ICPC had earlier developed a National Values Curriculum (NVC) for teaching of values in schools to young Nigerians, adding that the National Ethics and Integrity Policy builds on the basics of the Curriculum, to entrench positive values in the society.
She further expatiated on the roles of the critical stakeholders in the society to imbibe the values of the Policy, teach others, and collaborate with ICPC, NOA and OSGF, ICPC as they cannot do this work effectively without the cooperation and input of all stakeholders.

She added that, “it is not a job for the Federal, States and Local Governments alone, neither is it for the ICPC and NOA alone. It is a job for all of us as all hands must be on deck for the Policy to succeed.
Present at the sensitization programme were Traditional Rulers from Edo Senatorial Districts; the Representative of the Christian Association of Nigeria; Chief Imam of Edo State; NASFAT; Religious Leaders; Community Based Civil Society Organisations amongst others.
ICPC TOLL FREE LINES: 08031230280-2; 07056990190-1, 0800call icpc; Smart Line: 080022554272 Websites:www.icpc.gov.ng;info@icpc.gov.ng;www.facebook.com/icpcnigeria;www.youtube.com/icpcnigeria;twitter.com/ICPC_PE(@ICPC_PE);acan.icpc@outlook.com;academy@icpc.gov.ng; www.icpcacademy.gov.ng

 

Categorie: Nigeria