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Wednesday, May 12, 2021/ Ramadan 30, 1442 AH

2570 Days after Malam Wada Maida (1950-2020), founding Chairman, Board of the Peoples Media Limited

Vol. 36 No. 067 N200



. . . putting the people first

The nation awaits rescue of the remaining abducted Chibok schoolgirls

Police uncover shallow graves, bodies of kidnapped victims in Benue page 2

Buhari okays new measures toAs tackle insecurity Security Chiefs vow to change narrative, restore law, order page 5

Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Lucky Irabor (R) and Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru arriving for a Security meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Tuesday (11/5/2021)

Ramadan fast continues on Wednesday, Eid-el-Fitr is Thursday - NSCIA >>Page 2 NSCDC to deploy improved FG denies imposing Sallah: KAROTA 2023: INEC has no excuse on electronic transmission deploys 1,000 personnel technology to monitor crimes new COVID-19 during Sallah celebrations of results, says PDP on Kano roads restrictions pAGE 5

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PEOPLES DAILY, WednesDay may 12, 2021


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Politics 15-17 Health






World News


Africa News


World News


Police uncover shallow graves, bodies of kidnapped victims in Benue From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi


enue State Police Command has discovered a shallow graves in Katsina-Ala Local Government Area, where two(2) males and three (3) females were buried. Two of the eight suspected kidnappers of Benue State origin arrested in Osun State last Friday for kidnapping led Police to the graves where six dead bodies were buried. The dead bodies discovered in

the shallow graves also included that of one kidnapped victim, Catherine Akishi. Two of the suspects who led team of police to the site in Katsina Ala are; Aondoaseer Terseer alias Bob Tsetse, 23 years old and Orkashima David alias Cash money. The suspects were said to have confessed that they killed their wives in January and April this year. One of the suspects, Aondoasen Tertse, said his wife died following

misunderstanding between them after he mistakenly threw a wood at her and it pieced her neck. The other suspect, Orkashima David said that his wife’s death was instigated by his father after he alleged that his wife was trying to set ablaze his house by calling security agents. According to him, with the help of his two other gang members, they killed and buried her in a shallow grave. The suspects further gave six names of their gang syndicate who

are deceased to include; Umangu Ihuman alias Aka, Agwe alias Banga, Aondover Ihom alias Diver, Luper and Yaryon alias Snake. While confirming the discovery of the shallow graves, Benue State Command spokesperson, DSP Catherine Anene said that she was still expecting details of the operation the men carried out in Katsina Ala. Anene said, “yes, I can confirm the report but I am still waiting for details.”

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PEOPLES DAILY, WednesDay may 12, 2021

Ag News Editor, Tobias Lengnan Dapam News Eid-el-Fitri:Ortom Nigerians NSCDC to deploy improved technology to urges to pray for monitor crimes during Sallah celebrations peace, security By Tobias Lengnan Dapam


he Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) Ahmed Audi, has firectef the zonal commanders to beef up security in all the state commands under their jurisdiction by deploying improved tactics to maintain security before, during and after the Eid-elFitr celebration.

NSCDC revealed that it has set up a technology called Integrated Electronic Arrest Reporting System (I-EARS) to make collation of security data and information concerning all manners of crime seamless in the face of planning and ochestration of strategic action for security operations by the Corps. A statement issued on Tuesday in Abuja by the Director, Public

Relations, DCC Olusola Odumosu, said the directive became necessary following threats of attack by miscreants and bandits in different parts of the country which as a matter of necessity must be forestalled to guarantee a peaceful and hitch-free Sallah celebration. The statement said: “There is need to deploy different scientific approach to combat insecurity at this time, hence, his resolve for

tactical deployment of conventional and specialized personnel with appropriate operational equipment to strategic locations such as Eid praying grounds, recreational centers, motor parks, shopping malls, markets and other Critical National Assets and Infrastructure while surveillance personnel be deployed for covert duties with a view to gathering credible intelligence.”

FCT Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, signing the condolence register of former Minister of Women Affairs, late Sen. Aisha Jummai Alhassan, yesterday in Abuja yesterday, with her is the current Minister of women affairs,Paulen Tallen.

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enue State Governor Samuel Ortom has called for sustained prayers to end insecurity in parts of the country. The Governor who made the call in felicitation message to Muslims in the celebration of Eid-el-Fitri, stressed that with prayers and commitment on the part of government and the people, the wave of killings, kidnappings, herdsmen attacks and banditry will be surmounted. He maintained that the peace, security and unity of the country must be placed above personal and sectional interests, adding that keeping Nigeria safe and united is a task for all its citizens. The Governor urged Muslims in the state to promote the values and lessons of Ramadan such as piety, generosity, peaceful coexistence and justice. He acknowledged and appreciated the prayers made by the Muslim community for the State any time it is confronted by challenges. Governor Ortom assured Benue people that the security of lives and property will remain the priority of his administration.

Delta Govt advocates public, private sector partnership

Photo: Mahmud Isa

Saraki backs APC Senator on Electoral Act

From: Uche Nnorom, Makurdi

By Nosa Akenzua Asaba

Ramadan fast continues on Wednesday, Eid-el-Fitr is Thursday - NSCIA


he Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs has said that Eid-el Fitr festival would hold on Thursday. The Council said in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja that Muslims in the country should observe the Ramadan fast on Wednesday. It said the crescent had not been sighted to end the Ramadan fast.

The statement was signed by the Deputy Secretary-General, of NSCIA, Prof. Salisu Shehu. The NSCIA said: “The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) – under the leadership of its President-General and Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Alh. Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, CFR,

mni – wishes to inform the Nigerian Muslim Ummah that there was no proven report of the sighting of the crescent of Shawwal, 1442 AH on the 29th of Ramadan, 1442 AH. “Ramadan fast will therefore continue tomorrow Wednesday, 12th May 2021 as the 30th day of Ramadan. “Consequently, Thursday 13th

May, 2021 is hereby declared as 1st of Shawwal, 1442 AH and the day of Eid-il-fitr. “The Council prays that Almighty Allah accept our fasting and other virtuous acts in Ramadan and grant us all peaceful and blissful Eid celebrations. “Wassalamu alaikum waRahmatullah.”

PDP youths attack Yahaya Bello, say collapsed Kogi Bridge Indicative of poor leadership

By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja


ogi state Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, has come under a huge attack from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, youth for saying that Nigerians are better off under the APC-led administration. The youth wing of the PDP specifically described the Kogi state Governor as a huge disappointment to the youth demography in Nigeria. The PDP youth, in a statement yesterday by Hon. Sunday Udeh Okoye, the National Youth Leader of the PDP, also knocked Governor Bello over the collapse of a bridge built by his administration just after one week of construction. The youths wing noted that such is indicative of the shambolic state of governance in the state under an imprudent and manifestly misguided

leadership. They asserted that the behavior, values and standards being manifested by the Kogi state governor, particularly in always seeking to justify the national retrogression and decay as well as failing to add his voice against the escalated violence under the APC administration, shows Governor Bello’s irredeemable insensitivity towards the plight of Nigerians, especially the youths. According to the youths, in the statement, “It is shameful that Governor Bello chose to live in juvenile foolery and turn blind eyes to the fact that under the APC, our nation is plagued by a frightening 33.3 percent unemployment, out of which over 40 percent are youths; that Nigerians can no longer afford the basic necessities of life; that over 40 million businesses have closed shops; that our nation is fast becoming a large killing field overran

by terrorists and that compatriots have become so despondent that they are now resorting to suicide and slavery mission abroad as options. “Moreover, it is most disgraceful that Governor Bello, who is going about with a pipe dream of governing Nigeria come 2023, could reportedly construct a bridge in his state with 10mm rods and still wants Nigerians to take him seriously. “Under Governor Bello, Kogi state has remained stagnated and the governor cannot point to any landmark development project he had conceptualized and executed since the inception of his administration. “What we now witness in Kogi are executive rascality, financial recklessness, economic hardship; a despairing citizenry and uncoordinated government. “Governor Bello’s activities in government constitute a colossal disservice to the youths as he has only

succeeded in creating a huge doubt in the minds of Nigerians about the capability of our young ones for leadership position. “The PDP youths however implores Nigerians not to judge the Nigerian youth from the examples of people like Yayaya Bello. “Nigeria has a vast reservoir of resourceful, organized and focused young people that are excelling in diverse fields of endeavor and who are being rallied on the platform of our party, the PDP, for service to our nation at various levels”, they said. The PDP youths demanded that Yahaya Bello should face investigation at the appropriate time for using substandard materials to construct a bridge, thereby endangering lives in the state. They advised that Yahaya Bello should also end his “unnecessary Presidential showboating, which in any case, is nothing but a comic series for his leaders in the fizzling All Progressives Congress (APC)”.

S President Muhammadu Buhari (M) the outgoing Ambassador/Head of European Union to Nigeria and ECOWAS, H.E Ketil Karlsen, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama and Chief of Staffrn Prof Ib rahim Gambari during a farewell audience at the State House Abuja. PHOTO; STATE HOUSE

FG to conclude Nigeria@60 celebration with special awards in September — Official


he Federal Government says it is set to wrap up the Nigeria@60 celebration with a National Special Awards for Achievement and Recognition of Exceptional Nigerians in Abuja in September. Mr Olakunle Fasina, Director, Public Affairs and Bilateral Relations/Secretary, Ownership Sub-Committee on Nigeria @60 Project said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja. NAN reports that on Oct. 1, 2020, the country celebrated its 60th years of existence as a nation. President Muhammadu Buhari had on Sept. 16, 2020 declared that the anniversary celebration would be observed for a whole year, ending on Sept. 30, 2021. The theme for the year’s celebration is “Together,” aptly chosen to forge a more united and cohesive Nigeria. Fasina said that the awards

was targeted at recognising and honoring patriotic Nigerians making positive impact across all sectors within Nigeria and in the Diaspora. Fasina said that the event would be attended by top government officials chairmen and managing directors of multinational companies, foreign mission ambassadors to Nigeria as well as Nigerian celebrities. He said that President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila would be expected to grace the occasion. “Performances at the award include cultural displays showing major cultural dances and music renditions by popular Nigerian artistes. “There will also be a brief documentary showing the resilience of Nigerians across all sectors as

well as a poetic brief history of Nigeria’s independence and our unity in diversity, intermarriages and cultural heritage,” he said. Mr Femi Oyelade, the Managing Director, Say It Loud Limited, the Consultant/Organiser of the event, said that the awards would be witnessed by no fewer than 500 million viewers within and outside the country. “The Nigeria @60 Jubilee Special Awards enjoys over 500 million viewership within and across the globe. “It will also be streamed live on a dedicated YouTube Channel, Facebook and IG Social Media Platforms respectively for viewing across the globe,” he said. Oyelade said that the organisers embarked on a strong sponsorship drive ahead of the event and called on the public/private sectors as well as financial institutions to come on board. He added that a website would also be launched at the end of the

month where people would have the opportunity to nominate possible recipients for the award. “The Nigeria @60 Jubilee Special Awards Independent Assessment Panel will access from the information contained in the submission and any other information available in the public domain. “There will be 10 categories of awards, each having its own specific subject area, but all the Special Awards are underpinned by the overarching qualities of transparency, integrity, determination and achievement. “Also, there will be more than one recipient per category cutting across the six geopolitical zones of the Federation. “The categories include: Services to Arts; Business; Community; Education; Healthcare; Industry; International Achievement; Volunteering and Charitable Giving; Sports and Life Time award,” he said. (NAN)

ecretary to the Delta State Government (SSG), Mr Chiedu Ebie has advocated more partnership between the public and private sectors with a view to providing more social services to the citizenry. The SSG made this call Tuesday at the flag-off of the ‘Test and Treat Malaria Charity Outreach Program’ sponsored by the WABIO Foundation at his office in Asaba. Ebie said that testing for malaria before treating will bring about the right diagnosis of the treatment of malaria. “We must encourage it, especially those of us who are fortunate enough to be enlightened, exposed and educated to continue to tell our people to follow the right path which is to carry out test before treatment for malaria,” he stated. Mr Ebie commended the donor partners for their support, even as he assured that the partnership would be strengthened. “Collaborative efforts like this from the private sector is what we need and we will continue to encourage people to embrace it and we will continue to run along with It,” he added. The Commissioner for Health, Dr Mordi Ononye, noted that the initiative of the WABIO, NESH and Ibru Foundations was a step to show that people weare thinking on how to assist government. He said that the government alone could not provide all the health care initiatives needed to bring every resident of the state ‘to a place where we can say our mantra Health for all Deltans’ has been achieved.’



Stolen artifacts: Oba of Benin disowns impostors


he Oba Benin, Oba Ewuare II, has disowned two groups which he described as “impostors“ fronting for the return of artifacts which the British looted from the palace in 1897. This was contained in a statement jointly signed by the Secretary to the Benin Traditional Council (BTC), Mr Frank Irabor, and the Secretary, Oba Ewuare II Foundation, Mr Dennis Osaretin on Monday in Benin and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). The statement reads in part: “The individuals and persons who parade themselves as official representatives of the “Legacy Restoration Trust“ and “Legal Restoration Trust“ were neither known nor authorized by the Oba of Benin.” The statement affirmed the Oba of Benin as the original owner of the looted artifacts and the custodian of Benin customs and tradition. It cautioned that anyone caught engaging in such unwholesome activities would be treated as a fraudster and perceived as an enemy working against the interest of the Benin Kingdom and the Benin people. The statement particularly warned one Enotie Paul Ogbebor, his agents and privies to stop their unsolicited activities. The statement entitled: “The renewed call for the return of looted Benin artifacts“ noted that the Oba of Benin or his duly authorized representatives or body corporate could interact or have dealings with any foreign donors or missions or any other international institutions globally in respect of the looted Benin artifacts. “For avoidance of doubts, His Royal Majesty, Omo N’ Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare II, Oba of Benin remains the legitimate custodian of all insignia, symbols and such other artifacts depicting the rich cultural heritage of the Benin people”. The statement emphasised that “the Oba of Benin, in conjunction with the Benin Traditional Council, has set up a very robust framework and body corporate to midwife and coordinate all efforts aimed at retrieving the looted and stolen artifacts from all over the world. It added that and the only recognised legal entities for this remained the Oba Ewuare II Foundation and the Benin Traditional Council. (NAN)

PEOPLES DAILY, WednesDay may 12, 2021

FG denies imposing new COVID-19 restrictions By Mashe Umaru Gwamna


he Federal Government has debunked reports in the media that it has reintroduced new restrictions on COVID-19. Peoples Daily recalls that the Head of Technical Secretariat of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19, Dr Mukhtar Mohammed, told newsmen on Monday that the curfew, will be from 12a.m to 4a.m. He added that night clubs, gyms and others would remain closed till further notice. But the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji

Lai Mohammed refuted return of curfew at a meeting with Online Publishers in Lagos, adding that there were no new restrictions. He added that the Presidential Steering Committee on Covid-19 only reiterated existing regulations to control spread of the disease. The minister, a member of the steering committee, said the committee’s national incident manager Mukhtar Mohammed was quoted out of context during the briefing of the committee on Monday in Abuja. He said the only thing that was newly introduced was that anyone, including Nigerians travelling from Brazil, Turkey

or India, must go through compulsory quarantine. “What we did was the need to remind people of the existing extant regulations on Covid-19. “Government has not introduced anything new. You can still travel by air or road or any other means but ensure you wear your face mask. “We have not opened night clubs, the regulations on social distancing, social and religious gatherings, use of face mask are still in place. “The curfew between 12 a.m. and 4 a.m. is still on and we are saying people must obey the existing protocols,’’ he said. The minister said the

emphasis became imperative because Nigerians were taking things for granted and behaving as if COVID-19 had gone. He said India made the same mistake and they were paying dearly for it at the moment “This is the mistake that India made when they actually boasted they had conquered Covid-19. “They were holding political campaigns and religious festivals when a new variant of COVID -19 surfaced. “Today, they are recording more than 400,000 case per day and about 4,000 lives lost daily. “This is why every citizen must know where we are going,’’ he said.

Teachers of Ogbia Local Government Primary School who allegedly miss the promotion examination, queue to submit their credentials for consideration at the school, in Imgbi Road Yenagoa Bayelsa State on Tuesday (11/5/21).

Sallah: Secondus urges Muslims to pray for sincere leadership to save Nigeria By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja


he National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Prince Uche Secondus has urged Nigerians to use the period of Eid el Fitri to reflect on the situations in the country and pray specially for sincere and genuine leadership to save the country. Prince Secondus said the country is in serious trouble because of the glaring absence of leadership at a time it’s most needed. The PDP National Chairman, in his Sallah message to mark

the end of the 30-day Ramadan fasting period by the Muslim faithfuls, pointed out that the nation’s democracy and indeed the country, more than ever before since 1999, is under heavy stress that need all hands to be on deck for its survival Prince Secondus said in a statement from his media office signed by Ike Abonyi that six years after the nation’s democracy was handed over to the ruling All Progressives Congress APC indicators are apparent that it is under such pressure that need prayers and commitment of Nigerians for survival

According to Prince Secondus, the end of the Holy month of Ramadan should provide ample period for positive attitude from those in position of authority to underline the lessons of sacrifice and brotherly love, warning that our actions as leaders must not negate the fundamental prescriptions of our faith. His words, “Most of the problems confronting the ordinary people would have been solved if leaders absorb the lessons of Ramadan and allow it influence their conduct in and out of office. “The only way the last 30

days of fasting and prayer will be meaningful in our lives as a nation is if we allow the solemnness of the period influence our thoughts and actions in relating with one another”, he said. He appealed to Nigerians of all faith to continue to maintain their harmonious inter-faith relations, for the attainment of the desired peace without which we cannot achieve good governance, as he cautions leaders to mind their utterances. Prince Secondus wishes all Nigerians a happy Sallah celebration.

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PEOPLES DAILY, WednesDay may 12, 2021

2023: INEC has no excuses on electronic transmission of results, says PDP By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja


he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will have no excuses not to use the electronic direct transmission of results in the 2023 general elections and other coming polls. The party said this in a statement yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan in Abuja. The party’s said that its position is predicated on INEC’s announcement of its readiness to conduct online (electronic) registration of voters for future elections in the country. The PDP noted that since INEC is now in the position to deploy technology to conduct online registration of voters, which entails electronic transmission of voter’s data to its central server, the commission can also conduct an electronic transmission of results directly from the polling unit to its central server. According to the main opposition party, “Our party calls the attention of the commission to the fact that it no longer has any excuse not to employ the direct transmission of results from polling units, which will ensure credible elections by eliminating manipulations, alterations, switching and disappearance of election results during manual collation processes. “The PDP insists that if INEC can use the electronic platform for registration of voters it could as well deploys the same technology for electronic transmission of results in future elections including the 2023 general elections. “Our party however urges INEC to ensure that the online registration of voters is credible, transparent and not open to the manipulations of desperate politicians, particularly in the All Progressives Congress (APC)”, it said. The PDP also called on the APC leadership in the National Assembly to know that it has no further pretext to continue to sit on the Electoral Act amendment bill and frustrate genuine effort to ensure credible, free and fair elections in our country. The party invited Nigerians to note that the only reason the APCled administration as well as the APC leadership in the National Assembly have been using every available means to frustrate the electronic transmission of result, is that they have realized that there is no way their party can win in a transparent, free and fair election at any level in Nigeria. It added, “We therefore urge Nigerians to intensify their efforts in the collective quest to rescue our country from misrule by adding their voices to the demand by our party for electronic transmission of results in future elections and particularly, the 2023 general elections”.


Buhari okays new measures to tackle insecurity As Security Chiefs vow to change narrative, restore law, order

By Egena Sunday Ode


resident Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday approved new measures to tackle insecurity in the country, especially in the South East and South South geopolitical zones.. The decision to focus on the two geopolitical zones may not be unconnected with the spare of violence and attacks on government facilities in those areas in recent times. Acting Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba made the disclosure to newsmen at a briefing held along with the National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno (retd), Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor after Tuesdays security meeting President over by the President at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. The security meeting, however, resolved not to make public the measures to be deployed to tackle insecurity in the country henceforth so as to ensure a more effective result.. Recall that President Buhari has presided over three security meetings in less than a fortnight. Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, who joined the Security Chiefs at the briefing on the outcome of the meeting, said President Buhari’s decision to preside over the security meeting three times in less than

two weeks was an indication of the premium the President and the administration has placed on issues of security. According to the Acting IGP, the Security meeting, which took place three times in 11 days assessed the situation in the country generally, especially the Southeast and SouthSouth, as it bothers on law and order. He said: “we have some measures that have been approved by the Council to check …We have some measures which we have outlined and have been approved by the Council and we’ll see how we can change the narrative within the quickest possible means to restore law and order and restore peace in that area. “We solicit all law abiding citizens to work with us to identify and deal with the situation. That is that, I may not go into the details of how we will do that.” On his part, Gen Monguno said the meeting explored the need to address the general challenges in the country particularly those that have arisen in the last few months. The NSA disclosed that the President at the meeting, also, gave matching orders to deal with the emerging problems physically. He said: “The first two meetings were inconclusive, but today’s meeting is the final of the three meetings. Again, Mr. President’s concern at the growing trend of

insecurity has been highlighted and the meeting, basically, was briefed by the National Security Adviser, the Chief of Defense Staff and the Inspector-General of Police. “I briefed the meeting on strategic issues in relation to security, while the Chief of Defense Staff briefed on operational issues, and Inspector General of Police briefed on constabulary matters. On my part, I briefed Council on the enablers of crime and the need to find quick responses with a view to mitigating the growing threats to society. “These enablers are discussed in detail and Mr. President has already given directive on how to deal with them, specifically issues of drug abuse as propellants for crime; how to make the criminal justice system much more effective, as well as looking at issues of unemployment, which of course, the Federal Executive Council had given an approval, through previous memos on how to get 100 million people out of poverty, that was also discussed. Then, again, the lack of an effective crime reporting system. “Again, the President has given direction on how to make these things effective. Already, the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) has been given certain instructions on how to deal with this, but by and by Council has agreed that the level of insecurity in the country, especially in the

last one month, is something that has to be addressed with the immediacy that it requires and at the operational level, of course, the Chief of Defense Staff has been working with the service chiefs and the recommendations they’ve made to the Council are already being handled.” Also sparking at the briefing, Gen Irabor noted that far reaching decisions were taken to help boost the operations of the security agencies. His words: “No doubt, farreaching decisions were made. On our part, just as the National Security Adviser indicated, I briefed on various measures that the Armed Forces, in partnership with other security agencies, the measures we’ve taken to stem the tide of insecurity across the country. “The council was pleased with the actions and of course, the prayers that were made, which Council has also graciously undertaken to look into. These, of course, have to do with manpower development, training and equipment issues, and thankfully, the glow on my face should, of course, give you an indication as to the graciousness of the National Security Council, in relation to the briefings that we’ve given in this regard and I believe that going forward, we shall be translating that and it will have some great impact on the security disposition across the country.”

Editor-In-Chief of NAN, Mr Silas Nwoha(R), presenting a souvenir to the Elejesi of Ife Kingdom in Osun State, HRM Awosunle Tokunbo, during the latter’ visit to NAN headquarters in Abuja on Tuesday (11/5/21)

Buhari lauds EU’s humanitarian support to Nigeria By Egena Sunday Ode


resident Mohammadu Buhari has lauded the European Union (EU) for being of help to Nigeria in diverse ways, including humanitarian and trade relations. The President spoke Tuesday at

the Presidential Villa, Abuja, while receiving in a farewell audience, the Ambassador and Head of the EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, His Excellency Ketil Karlsen. He appreciated the fact that the EU remains the largest trading partner with Nigeria, while members of the

Union equally remain the largest investors. President Buhari thanked the outgoing Ambassador for facilitating the visits of French and German leaders during his tour of duty, noting that it was during Prime Minister Angela Merkel’s visit that the door to relationship

with Siemens of Germany on power was opened. Ambassador Karlsen who spent four years in Nigeria, said he enjoyed “excellent collaboration” with President Buhari, and with Nigeria, saying the cooperation included trade, military, humanitarian assistance, and many others.

PEOPLES DAILY, WednesDay may 12, 2021



FG, organisation launch project for mentally disordered people

By Paul Efiong, Abuja


he Federal Government in collaboration with Sunshine Series Organisation (SSO), on Tuesday launched Mental Health Helpline project, aimed at assisting mental health patients to receive medical and psychological attention. Speaking at the event in Abuja, Sen. George Akume, Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs said the project called Mind Wheel Project, was a “Toll-Free Line112”, Akume said the core objectives of the initiative was to offer help to mentally disordered persons to reduce mental distress resulting from the effects of COVID-19 pandemic in particular. “ This historic launch of the Mind Wheel Toll-Free Line is aimed at providing a sustainable social change and development in mental health and well-being of Nigerians. “This is a collaboration with the Ministry of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy and the private sector, “ Akume explained. According to him, the burden of mental health challenges in Nigeria is enormous, especially during the coronavirus pandemic era. He said his ministry among others and the SSO was set to provide Nationwide free telecounselling services, following the adverse and worsening psychological effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on persons infected and affected. Akume said the World Health Organisation (WHO), has welcomed the initiative and was ready to support the objectives of the MWP. “According to WHO, one in every four Nigerians, comprising about 50 million people are suffering from one form of mental illness or the other, “ he said. Miss Aisha Bubah, the founder, Sunshine Series Mind Wellness Organisation, said the project which began in 2020, has reached over 5,000 Nigerians, directly and indirectly through counselling, capacity building, online webinars and psychic educational materials. Bubah said the project needed more partners as mental health had suffered severe underfunding globally, especially in low and middle-income countries. “The world economy loses up to $1 trillion US dollars in productivity due to common mental disorders like depression and anxiety, “ she said. Also, Brig.-Gen. (Rtd) Muhammad Marwa, Chairman National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), commended the founder SSO for the efforts to address mental health in the society.

Sallah: Motorists risk fines as KAROTA deploys 1,000 personnel on Kano roads By Mustapha Adamu, Kano


ano Road and Traffic Agency (KAROTA) said it will deploy 1,000 personnel across the state in collaboration with sister security agencies. It said the decision is part of its mandate to ensure free flow of traffic during sallah festivities. In a statement by its spokesman, Nabilusi Abubakar on Tuesday, KAROTA said it deemed it necessary to deploy large number of personnel during the festivity period, considering large turnout of

vehicles and other road users expected to be recorded during the period. The officers, according to the agency, had therefore been charged to ensure motorists and other road users comply with all the state laws with regards to driving and the use of roads so as to prevent unnecessary traffic hold-ups recorded during such festivity in the past. According to KAROTA, traffic offences including disobeying traffic, punishable under section 16 (4,7&8) paragraph 12 of KAROTA Law 2012 attracts N15,000 fine.

Also, underaged triycle riders are liable to N20,000 fine, a punishment under section 16 sub, 4,7&8 Paragraph 2, 3 of KAROTA Law 2012. KAROTA therefore warned that the it would not hesitate to arrest and prosecute anyone who violate traffic laws during the season, noting that “some unscrupulous persons have made it a habit to engage in dangerous driving the time endangering their lives and those of others.” “The Managing Director of KAROTA, Baffa Babba Dan’agundi admonished parents

to desist from the habit of giving their underage children vehicle to drive especially during this period as any child caught driving would be arrested, fined and have his vehicle seized just as Reckless Driving and Over Speeding would also be dealt with. “The general public and all road users are therefore advised to adhere strictly to all traffic laws before, during and after the Sallah Festive holidays to avoid unfortunately incidences that could lead to injury, loss of lives or ppropertie,” the statement reads in parts. From left: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Mrs Solabomi Sasore; Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Mr Olalere Odusote; and Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, during a news conference to commemorate Gov. Sanwo-Olu second year in office, in Lagos on Tuesday (11/5/21)

Delta partners UNESCO on women, girl-child empowerment From: Nosa Akenzua, Asaba


elta Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, on Tuesday said his administration would continue to give priority attention to programmes and projects that would empower the girl-child and women. Okowa stated this when he received the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Multisectoral Regional Officer, Mr Lamine Sow, and his delegation at Government House, Asaba. He remarked that the girl-child and women were relevant in every society and thanked UNESCO for considering Delta as one of the

states to benefit from its women and girls development programmes. He said that the state government would ensure that the programme was successful in the state. According to the governor, Third World countries are always confronted with the challenge of relegating women to the background and I am confident that the move by UNESCO will reverse the ugly trend. He said that a lot of programmes have been initiated by his administration towards empowerment and economic emancipation of women and the girl-child, coupled with the creation of the Girl Child Development Office in the state.

He advocated for concerted efforts aimed at giving women and the girl-child opportunity to realise their potential in the society, stressing that any investment in the lives of women had the tendency to affect the society positively. “Let me thank you for considering Delta as one of the three states currently involved in the project implementation and it is important to us because of the huge role women and the girl-child usually play in the family. “I am glad that out of 36 states in the country we are among the three participating and what makes it more imperative for us is that you actually picked a segment of the society that is more oppressed.

“Although here in Delta, they have not been relegated but to some extent we have not paid attention to them and to that extent, anything that will help to ensure that they are better positioned in the society makes a lot of meaning to us. “I say this because from all studies done, if you empower women, we are more likely to truly empower families; we are more likely to have very stable families and more likely to have a very responsible society and that, you can’t take away from women because of their God-given talent,” he said. Okowa regretted that the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the economy of the nation has put women in more danger.

Buhari sends delegation to Taraba, says we will miss ex-minister Jummai Alhassan By Egena Sunday Ode


resident Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday joined the people of Taraba State in their moment of grief as they mourn Hajiya Aisha Jummai Alhassan, former Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, saying that her death has left a huge void in Nigerian politics. Represented by a delegation led by Engineer Abubakar Aliyu, Minister of State, Works and Housing, President Buhari told her bereaved father, Alh Abubakar Ibrahim OON, Sarkin Ayyukan Muri, the Emir of Muri, Alhaji Abbas Tafida and the Taraba State Governor, Architect Darius Ishaku

that the nation has lost a woman leader. A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, quoted Buhari to have said through the Minister: “We lost a great leader with an indomitable spirit with people, especially the womenfolk at her heart. The late Aisha Alhassan was strong, bold and people-oriented,” said the President. He prayed to Allah to repose her soul. A brother of the deceased and former Senator, Abdulaziz Ibrahim who spoke on behalf of the family thanked the President for making their sister a minister and assured

that they will continue to be with him. The Emir on his part described death as inevitable. He prayed for the deceased and thanked the President for his support to the people of the state. He urged him to remain calm and steadfast and act decisively to deal with the enemies of the state who he blamed for the security challenges facing the nation. Governor Ishaku described the late Minister as one of the closest persons to him: “Once she is committed to something, she remains consistent. She was a great mobilizer. She served well as minister and did not speak lies.” The Governor expressed the

appreciation of his administration to the President for the confidence he has in him. “We appreciate Mr. President. He cares about us,” said the Governor and expressed his happiness that he did not disappoint the President by bringing back peace to the Mambilla plateau. “Mambilla is peaceful today,” he said, hoping that the solidarity and friendship between the state and the centre will continue. Other members of the delegation were Barrister Mohammed Hassan Abdullahi, Minister of State, Science and Technology and the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.


PEOPLES DAILY, WednesDay may 12, 2021

Sallah: Police deploys 4,500 personnel in Nasarawa From Gambo Ahmed, Lafia


n a move to ensure a successful Eid fitr celebration, Nasarawa the State Police Command has deployed 4,500 personnel to cover major towns, Eid praying grounds and other pubic places in the state. The State Commissioner of Police, CP Bola Longe made the disclosure in a press statement signed and made available to newsmen on Tuesday in Lafia. According to him, “We have deployed 4,500 personnel to cover major towns, Eid praying grounds and other public places across the state in order to ensure a hitch-free Eid fitr celebration. “Undercover operatives have also been deployed to nooks and crannies of the state for surveillance and information gathering”. Government, Kwara. Adebayo died as a result of gun wounds sustained from the sad incident. ”The whereabouts of the Chairman of Yagba West LGA is still unknown but security agencies in both Kwara and Kogi, as well as local security services are working hard to ensure the safe return of the chairman”, Fanwo said. He noted that in spite of the incident happening on Saturday, the Kogi Government had been circumspect in making official statements in order not to do anything to throw into jeopardy, the efforts of security agencies on the matter. ”But it is also incumbent on a responsible Government like ours to speak to our people and assure them that Kogi will spare nothing to remain the safest in the country. ”We also wish to caution those making statements which are capable of undermining the security of the state to desist from such an unpatriotic wish for anomie. ”It is high time we came together to make our nation safe, secured and governable. ”The Government and the people of Kogi are also determined to make Kogi peaceful and safe. Our Government has the backing of the people and the security agencies to keep Kogi safe”, Fanwo said. He further commiserated with the family of the late Solomon Adebayo, the people of Yagba West and the entire Kogi Pension Commission over his demise. He described the late pension board commissioner as a hardworking and patriotic gentleman who contributed immensely to the state’s Pension Administration Revolution, saying he would be sorely missed. ”We thank all good spirited agencies and private individuals who have stood with us in this dark time. ”As a government, we will recommit ourselves to collaborating with neighboring States to ensure security of lives and property”.

News NDLEA seizes 1,721.508kg of Cannabis sativa, arrest 86 suspects in Kaduna From:Femi Oyelola, Kaduna


aduna State Command of National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has made seizures of 1,721.508KG Cannabis sativa, and arrested 86 suspects from January to date. The State Commander of the

Agency, Uche Iyke Samuel made the assertion while parading suspects in kaduna, yesterday. Mr. Samuel, however, said success of the command was in the month of May when a suspect was arrested with 86.8 kilogrammes of cannabis, while the major break-through came on the 7th of the month with

the arrest of two suspects with seventeen bags weighing 162.8 kilogrammes of same substance in Kudandan industrial layout of Kaduna. He added that on 8th of the May 2021, another person was apprehended with 68.5 kilogrammes at Dutsen-Wai, yet on 9th of same month

being Sunday, a suspect with 10.2kilogrammes of Cannabis was apprehended at Kasuwan Magani, totaling 328.1 kilogrammes within the 10 days in May. According to him, the success as recorded was made through the painstaking efforts of the gallant officers of the Command and public awareness.

From left: Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Lucky Irabor; National Security Adviser, retired Maj-Gen Banagana Monguno; Acting Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba and Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina briefing State House Correspondents after a Security meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Tuesday (11/5/2021)

Insecurity: Nigerian women give Buhari 2-month ultimatum By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja


isturbed by the festering level of insecurity in the country, a group, Nigeria Women Elders’ Council, (NWEC), has given President Muhammadu Buhari two months ultimatum to convene a national conference to address the security challenges. The NWEC, at a press conference yesterday in Abuja threatened to lead Nigerians in “a sit-at-home” protest if its demand was not met. The council, which has Chief Felicia Sani, President of Market Women Association,

as president, equally revealed that the women will embark on a two-week fasting and prayers to seek divine intervention and guidance. In its address at the press conference read by Mrs. Chika Ibeleme, former Commissioner for Works, Anambra State, the council said the national conference “will afford Nigerians from all walks of life and the different sections of the country the opportunity to ventilate their grievances or express their views on the situation of the country”. Continuing, she said, “The conference will also afford the

government the opportunity to bring every section together towards a lasting solution to the myriads of problems confronting the situation.” The council, which warned that Nigeria may implode sooner than later, decried a situation where security agencies seemed overwhelmed “such that foreigners take advantage of the situation to wreak havoc on the country.” It noted that at no time have the nation’s fault lines been visible than now, adding, “All the geo-pilitical zones are engulfed in one crisis or the other with lives and property

being threatened on a daily basis with insecurity at its peak. According to the group, “Nigeria Women Elders’ Council is tired of watching precious Nigerian lives being wasted on a daily basis as Nigeria as a nation reaches a tipping point and our children are used as pawns in the hands of powers seekers,” The council demanded that Buhari should address the nation and not through his surrogates. A former Minister of Education, Prof. Chinwe Obaje, who is also a member of the council, was among those in attendance at the conference.

Police begin investigation into Ohafia INEC fire — Abia PPRO


he Abia Police Command says it has commenced full investigation into Sunday’s fire at the Ohafia office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, SP Godfrey Ogbonna, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Umuahia on Monday that available information showed that the attack was carried out by miscreants. Ogbonna said the assailants attacked the facility at about 10pm on Sunday. “The people in the neighbourhood said the attack was carried out by unknown miscreants.

“There was no casualty because security men guarding the office ran into the 14 Army Brigade barracks for safety, when the attackers arrived at the place,” he said. The PPRO said the miscreants were however repelled through the combined efforts of the police and army.A NAN learnt that the attackers razed down the office building together with the electronic gadgets, official documents and office furniture. NAN reports that Mr Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education

Committee, in a statement on Monday in Abuja, stated that the burnt facility was recently renovated. Okoye stated that the commission would convene an emergency meeting of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security to discuss the attacks on its offices in some parts of the country. (NAN) Government, Kwara. Adebayo died as a result of gun wounds sustained from the sad incident. ”The whereabouts of the Chairman of Yagba West LGA is still unknown but security agencies in both Kwara and Kogi, as well as local security services are working hard to ensure the safe return of the

chairman”, Fanwo said. He noted that in spite of the incident happening on Saturday, the Kogi Government had been circumspect in making official statements in order not to do anything to throw into jeopardy, the efforts of security agencies on the matter. ”But it is also incumbent on a responsible Government like ours to speak to our people and assure them that Kogi will spare nothing to remain the safest in the country. ”We also wish to caution those making statements which are capable of undermining the security of the state to desist from such an unpatriotic wish for anomie.

PEOPLES DAILY, WednesDay may 12, 2021



AfDB urges economic diversification for growth


rof. Oyelaran-Oyeyinka Oyebanji, Senior Special Adviser on Industrialisation at African Development Bank (AfDB) says diversification of Nigeria’s economy is the only viable way to survive the current global economic uncertainty. Oyebanji stated this on Monday in Okada, Edo while delivering the 22nd Founder’s Day Lecture of the Igbinedion University, the first private university in Nigeria. He said the diversification of the Nigerian economy had become important for it to respond favourably to the emerging challenges of the 21st century. According to him, the country cannot progress unless it hastily industrialise its economy from the current overdependence on exportation of crude oil. Oyebanji, who was the Guest Speaker at the occassion. regretted how all industries established in the early post independence Nigeria had become moribund. He noted that nothing had exposed the danger inherent in the country’s reliance on monolithic economy of petroleum exportation than the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic that crashed price of crude oil at the global market. “In pursuit of long-term recovery and sustainable development, Nigeria needs urgent economic diversification. “Nothing is more poignantly demonstrative of the danger of overreliance on a single or narrow range of commodities than the recent crash in oil price we saw in 2020 due to the COVID-19. “Economic diversification entails a shift away from a single income source (oil and minerals) toward multiple income sources from an increasing spectrum of sectors, products and markets,” he said. The guest speaker said South Korean economy, which was on the same pedestrian with the Nigerian in 1960s in spite of being non-resource based, had performed incredibly strong through export diversification whereas Nigeria hardly diversified. “Nigeria got locked-in into petroleum export for export earnings to the detriment of value-added agriculture and manufactures. “The result is low contribution of the manufacturing sub-sector which fluctuates between 5% to 8% to aggregate output in Nigeria compared with its peers in Asia (Korea about 39 per cent in the 1990s) is staggering,” he noted. Oyebanji also stressed the need for the country to invest in infrastructure, saying economic diversification requires investment in infrastructure as the estimate Nigeria’s infrastructure deficit stands at 100 billion dollars annually. In his address, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion, the Chancellor and Founder of the university, said that the institution, established in 1999, would continue to be a centre of academic excellence and research, as education remains the veritable tool for social mobilisation and bedrock for development. Igbinedion, who was represented by his son and a former governor of Edo, Lucky Igbinedion. said he founded the institution because education sector could not be left in the hands of government alone, amidst growing admission seeking population.

Malnutrition: Kaduna acquires N100m RUTF I From: Femi Oyelola, Kaduna

n its bid to intensify the campaign against malnutrition, Kaduna State Goverment has acquired 3,450 cartons of Ready-To-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) worth N100 million for the treatment of malnourished children in the state. The State Nutrition Officer Mrs Ramatu Musa disclosed this while speaking with the media in kaduna yesterday. According to her, the RUTF

was bought with the N100 million recently cash backed by the state government. Mrs Musa, added that RUTF had been handed over to the State Primary Health Care Board for distribution to Primary Healthcare Centres and Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) sites. She explained that the government recently approved N500 million for the procurement of additional RUTF considering the number of Severe Acute

Malnourished (SAM) children in the state. Similarly, Mr Umar Bambale, Programme Manager, Kaduna State Emergency Nutrition Action Plan (KADENAP), said that the government was doing everything it could to treat all malnourished children in the state. Bambale told correspondents that KADENAP was working to ensure the release of the N500 million to procure additional RUTF. He said that the state government had treated 66, 980

out of the 90, 228 SAM children admitted in various CMAM sites between 2017 and 2020. He said that 11, 983 were treated out of the 17, 979 admitted in 2017, while 17, 124 were treated out of the 21, 996 admitted in 2018. “Also, 20, 861 out of the 26, 192 admitted in 2019 were treated, while 17, 012 were treated out of the 24,061 malnourished children admitted in 2020. “So far, 11, 292 malnourished were undergoing treatment in CMAM sites as at March 31.”


PEOPLES DAILY, WednesDay may 12, 2021



SPECIFIC PROCUREMENT NOTICE (SPN) DATE: 12th May 2021 LOAN NO: 2100150015645 1. This specific procurement Notice follows the General Procurement Notice (GPN) for the sub-programme which appeared in 6. the United Nations Development Business (UNDB) No. 709 of August 31st, 2007.

the provisions of the African Development Bank Standard Bidding Document for the Procurement of small works, September 2010, revised 2018. Interested bidders may obtain further information from the Programme Manager, Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Programme, yobe. rwssp@gmail.com and inspect the Bidding Documents at the Address given below, from 8:30am – 4:30pm on working days.

2. The Federal Government of Nigeria has received financing from the African Development Fund (ADF) towards the cost of the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation 7. A complete set of Bidding Documents which contain detailed specifications of the work Sub-programme in Yobe State and intends may be purchased by interested bidders on to apply a portion of the proceeds of the submission of a written application to the loan to eligible payments under contracts for address below and upon payment of a nonthe Rehabilitation of 248 Nos of Motorized refundable fee of Twenty Five Thousand Naira Boreholes, Rehabilitation of 45 Hand Pump (NGN25,000.00) for each lot and ten thousand Boreholes and Laying of pipe line in LGAs of Naira (NGN10,000.00) for additional lot under Yobe State. a contract. Payment should be made to the project account below; 3. Yobe State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Programme now invite sealed bids from bidders for the following construction works: Bank: First Bank Nig. Plc, Damaturu Branch Nigeria Account Name: AfDB-Assisted RWSSP LOT ITEM DESCRIPTION QUAN BID SECURITY COMPLETION SITE LOCATION No. TITY (NGN) PERIOD Account No: 2016956258 (MONTHS) CONTRACK PACKAGE 1

Aerial view of gridlock as people shop at Sabon Gari Market, in preparation of the Eld el-fitri celebration in Kano on Tuesday (11/5/21).

Eid-el-Fitr: Gbajabiamila enjoins Muslims to pray for Nigeria, ensure peaceful coexistence By Christiana Ekpa


he Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, has urged Nigerians, especially Muslims, to use the period of Eid-el-Fitr and pray for the country to overcome her challenges. The Speaker said after supplications during the just

concluded month of Ramadan, it was incumbent on the Muslims to pray that the Almighty Allah brings peace to our land. He said Nigeria faces challenges at the moment, “which is why as citizens, we should pray to our Creator for solutions even as leaders try their best to address the issues.” Gbajabiamila congratulated Nigerian Muslims for the

successful completion of fasting in the Holy Month of Ramadan, praying that Allah would accept their acts of ibadah during the period. He urged Muslims to internalize the lessons learnt during the month of Ramadan for a better society. In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, the Speaker

called on Muslims to ensure peaceful coexistence with their neighbours. He said the Islamic religion emphasizes peace, which is why every Muslim must be peaceful in their conduct wherever they find themselves. Gbajabiamila wished all Muslims a peaceful Sallah celebration, calling for vigilance and caution while celebrating.

Court declares Jahun as Commander General of VGN By Usman Shuaibu


he Court of Appeal in Kaduna State has declared one Dr Usman Mohammed Jahun as an authentic Commander General of Vigilante Group of Nigeria (VGN) with Appeal No: CA/K/253/2018. This was contained in a press release signed by the Secretary General of Vigilante Group of

Nigeria, Gwagwalada chapter, Hon. El-Usman Adamu and made available to Peoples Daily on Monday. The release said the Kaduna Court of Appeal had declared that one Navy Captain Umar Bakori (rtd) was no longer the National Chairman of Vigilante Group of Nigeria. The release further pointed out that Vigilante Group of

Nigeria Gwagwalada Chapter would not allow one Ali Sokoto to operate an illegal Vigilante office situated along Doma fueling station in Gwagwalada based on the judgment of Court of Appeal Kaduna State. According to the release, “the members of Vigilante Group of Nigeria under the leadership of Dr Usman Mohammed Jahun, Gwagwalada chapter wish to

inform the Government and security agencies to intervene and close the so-called Ali Sokoto Vigilante office in Gwagwalada”. “The Board of Trustees and the National legal Adviser of Vigilante Group of Nigeria expressed Joy as Dr Usman Mohammed Jahun was declared as the Commander General of Vigilante Group of Nigeria”, the release stated.

LOT 1 Rehabilitation of Motorized Boreholes



LOT 2 Rehabilitation of Motorized Boreholes




Yusufari LGA


Yunusari LGA

LOT 3 Rehabilitation of Motorized Boreholes



LOT 4 Rehabilitation of Motorized Boreholes




Geidam and Jakusko LGAs


Damaturu and Tarmuwa LGAs



Machina, Bade and Karasuwa

CONTRACT PACKAGE 2 LOT 1 Rehabilitation of Motorized Boreholes


8. Bids must be delivered to the Programme Manager at the address stated below by 11:00am on the 9th June, 2021, and must be accompanied by a security of the amount stated in the table under paragraph 3 above.

LGAs LOT 2 Rehabilitation of Motorized Boreholes




LOT 3 Rehabilitation of Motorized Boreholes




Yunusari LGA

Gujba, Gulani and Bursari LGAs



9. Electronic bidding will not be permitted. Late bids will be rejected.

CONTRACT PACKAGE 3 LOT 1 Rehabilitation of Motorized Boreholes


Fika, Nangere, Potiskum and

Fune LGAs LOT 2 Rehabilitation of Hand Pump Boreholes



5 Yusufari, Yunusari, Bade, Nguru,

Karasuwa, Potiskum and Machina LGAs LOT 3 Laying of pipeline from Kukayasku/ Konkomma to Ngabarawa, Gujugoro


5 Machina LGA

and Ngibiri Communities; installation of 100 KVA Transformers in Kukayasku; and Construction of Bulk Reservoir

4. Interested Bidders may bid for any contract or combination contracts, or any lot or a combination of lots. However, Bidders submitting multiple bids must present separate Bid Security for each lot. Combined bid security for more than one lot will render the bids nonresponsive.

10. Bids will be opened in the presence of the bidders or their representatives who choose to attend in person at the address stated below on 9th June, 2021 by 12:00pm. • The Conference Room of Yobe State Secretariat (IBB Secretariat) located along Maiduguri – Gashua Bypass adjacent to Yobe State House of Assembly Complex, Damaturu.

The Programme Manager, Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Programme, Flat A6 & A7 300 Housing Units, Maiduguri Road, Behind NNPC Mega Filling Station, Damaturu, Nigeria Email: yobe.rwssp@gmail.com 5. The provisions in the Instructions to Bidders Telephone: 08132435577 and in the General Conditions of Contract are Signed: Project Coordinator

PEOPLES DAILY, WednesDay may 12, 2021



Children now more interested in entertainment than reading – Akpokeneme


r Tony Akpokeneme, the Convener, Abuja Book fair, has described as worrisome Nigerian Children’s preference for entertainment events than reading and scholarship. Akpokeneme said this while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Tuesday, in Abuja, against the backdrop of the maiden Abuja Book fair and exhibition by Flomat Book Ltd. He said that over the years, the priority that should have been allotted to education and health was not adhered to as such the two critical sectors fell below recommendations. While growing up, it was a thing of pride to cite the numbers of books and titles one had read over the holidays, he noted. “But, what we have today is the latest gadget, latest Samsung, I-phone and the latest movies on Neflix which are the types of discussions we have these days from our children. “No wonder in essays, our children and even adults do not make proper statements like “four”, instead they write “4”, “you” is now “U”, and tenses are mixed up, due to lack of reading culture,” he lamented. He stated that when some University graduates spoke, one would wonder if they actually went to school as they claimed, adding that this was the challenge the country was presently faced with. Akpokeneme said that the country could not afford to fold its arms and allow things to degenerate, stressing that he would contribute his quota by educating the nation through the book fair. He said that the business of selling books go hand-in-hand with the business of educating a nation and that was why he was passionate about the need for a reading culture in the country. Akpokeneme said that because it remained a national dilemma, and not just limited to children, the issue should be confronted headlong. He stressed that education would go down drastically in the country if it was not prioritised, the aftermath of which would be a total lack of readership. “A situation where lecturers strike incessantly and they do not see it to stop the bleeding, there will definitely be a general decadence of a reading culture. “It is entertainment we see companies and individuals struggling to sponsor, therefore it is time for us to put our action where our mouth is,” he said.

Ramadan: Tambuwal urges Islamic scholars to continue praying for Nigeria, Buhari


ov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State has urged Islamic scholars in the country to sustain the tempo of prayers for peace and progress of Nigeria. Tambuwal, in a statement by Muhammad Bello, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, gave the task when he hosted the Ulama to Ramadan breakfast at the Presidential Lodge of Government House, Sokoto, on

Monday. The governor, while recognising the uncommon efforts the scholars have been making in ensuring that peace reigned in the country, also appealed to them not to give up praying for President Muhammadu Buhari. “God knows that both in private and in public, we have the President’s safety and wellbeing at heart. We will continue to pray for his good health so that

his wisdom and ability to pilot the affairs of state will not wither or flounder. “The efforts that you have been making in spearheading prayers for peaceful coexistence and harmony is not lost on government and many in society. “You’ve been doing well in sermonising and sensitising the people of the state on the prerogative of peace and security. “You have also been assisting the

state government in prosecuting its policies and programmes. “We all are aware of what is happening in the country. In the situation that we have found ourselves, prayers are key. The country is at crossroads of insecurity and economic distress. We need prayers for things to return to a harmonious normal. “Nothing will alleviate our collective problems except prayers,” he added. (NAN)

PEOPLES DAILY, WednesDay may 12, 2021


Happy Eid el Fitr

oday, Wednesday, May 12 is the first day of Shawwal, the 10th month in the Islamic calendar. It marks the beginning of Eid el Fitr, also called ‘Festival of Breaking Fast’. It comes up at the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. In the spirit of the festive season, the Federal Government has declared today and tomorrow public holidays.

and the young. Indeed, the first three days of Shawwal are spent in celebrations. For the young, in particular, it is an occasion for a fashion parade, when they strut in their new fineries. For them, no Eid el Fitr is complete without donning brand new attires to impress one another and the ‘competition’. Sadly, at a time when all Muslims should be cheerful, they are not. The mood is somber, no thanks to the Covid-19 global pandemic that has killed over two million people across the world. The death toll is rising by the day. Nigeria’s infection cases have overshot140,000, with over two thousand deaths. The silver lining is that more than half of infected persons have recovered fully and rejoined their families. However, the signs are all very clear that the Sallah day celebrations in the country, in general, but the North specifically, may never be the same again for a long time to come.

A press release by Dr. Shuaib Belgore, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Interior, quoted the minister, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, as calling on “all Nigerians, at home and abroad, to use the period of this year’s Eidul-Fitr celebrations to pray for peace, stability and economic transformation in the land.” It said Aregbesola noted that “development cannot thrive in a rancorous atmosphere,” and so, he urged “all Nigerians to be law-abiding and embrace the spirit of love, self-discipline, kindness and tolerance, as taught The minister by the Holy Prophet Mohammed” (Peace Be assured that Upon Him). He also called the resolve on all security agencies to of President be more courageous and Muhammadu patriotic to surmount the ongoing battle against Buhari’s resurging insecurity and administration to activities of criminal end the scourge elements.

of crime and

Insecurity: Women group calls for national conference By Ochiaka Ugwu


n interest group made up of women of 60 years and above under the auspices of Nigeria Women Elders Council otherwise known as Mothers of the Nation (MOON) has President Muhammadu Buhari to as a matter of urgency convoke a national conference that will address the rising insecurity in the nation. This was conveyed in a press conference addressed in Abuja Tuesday by the secretary of the group Mrs. Chika Ibeneme. Ibeneme who was a former Commissioner of Works in Anambra State flanked by the President of the group, Chief Mrs. Felicia Sani noted that Nigeria is currently at a crossroads and

its unity questioned by very happening across every section of the nation. She said at no time has the nation’s fault lines been this visible with all the geo-political zones engulfed in one crisis or the other with lives and property being threatened on a daily basis. “Nigeria Women Elders Council therefore calls on the Government to convene a National Conference where Nigerians from all walks of life and the different sections can have the opportunity to ventilate their grievances (if any) or express their views onthe situation of the country. “The conference will also afford the government the opportunit to bring every section

together towards a lasting solution to the myriad problems confronting the nation. “Nigerian Women Elders Council condoles with families that have lost loved ones as a result of the insecurity in the country and also expresses solidarity with families whose loved ones are currently in custody of various anti-people groups inflicting pains and anguish on Nigerians especially mothers. “We hereby put the Federal Government on notice that after two months of this call for a National Conference, if nothing is done, Nigerian Women Elders Council will commence a twoweek fasting and prayers to seek divine intervention and guidance for further action.

“After communing with God Almighty we will lead Nigerian Women on a Nationwide Peaceful Protest. Furthermore, if the government remains adamant, Nigeria Women Elders Council “NWEC will lead Nigerians in a sit-at-home action until the Nigerian Government and the Political class convene a “National Conference” and agree on workable solutions to the numerous challenges bedeviling the country. “Nigerian Women Elders Council is tired of watching precious Nigerian Lives being wasted on a daily basis as Nigeria as a nation reaches a tipping point and our children are used as pawns in the hands of power seekers”.

Niger NAWOJ prays for Nigeria to overcome insecurity

From Yakubu Minna



he Niger chapter of NAWOJ held a pray session for God’s intervention in Nigeria, following increase in banditary,

kidnapping and insurgency in the country. The event which held at the Niger NAWOJ Secretariat in Minna, was aimed at bringing women journalists together to pray against banditry, kidnapping,

rape and other criminal vices in the country. Speaking during the prayer, a former Chairperson of NAWOJ Niger state Chapter and Chief Press Secretary to the state Governor, Mrs Mary Noel-Berje

expressed concern over the security situation in the country which mostly affect women and children. She stressed the need for Nigerians to intensify prayers for God’s intervention.

Letter to the Editor


A cross-section of stakeholders during a briefing by the Resident Electoral Commissioner, INEC in Cross River, Dr Emmanuel Hart, on the Expansion of Voter Access to Polling Units exercise, in Calabar on Monday Photo: BJONAN


In spite of this new global public health challenge, we urge the Muslim faithful to not give in to fatalism but do their part in the fight against Covid-19. This requires that everybody conforms to the safety protocols given by the health authorities. It also means that our Muslim brothers and sisters pay more than perfunctory attention to what Eid el Fitr requires of them. This is an occasion for honoring God and serving humanity.

The minister assured criminality in that the resolve of the country and President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration restore peace to end the scourge of to every nook crime and criminality in and cranny of the country and restore Nigeria was peace to every nook and “sacrosanct” cranny of Nigeria was “sacrosanct”. He said, “This administration will not be deterred in its efforts until every Nigerian and resident of the As we bid farewell to the holy country is free to move around month of Ramadan, let us welcome without fear of any threat to his/her Eid el Fitr with a renewed attitude life and property. We are, therefore, of gratitude and forgiveness in our putting necessary measures and hearts. In particular, we should strive strategies in place to strengthen the to inculcate the lessons of the month stability of the country as well as in ourselves and give peace a chance ensuring economic prosperity of our in our dear nation. We want to use dear nation.” this opportunity to once again call on our leaders to change their ways of In normal times, the Eid doing things and put the nation first is an occasion for celebration, and always in both their deeds and characterized by feasts and general utterances. We wish all Muslims in merrymaking by both the old Nigeria happy Eid celebrations. OUR MISSION


“To be the market Chief Operating Officer place of ideas and /Editor, the leading player Hameed M. Bello, PhD in the industry by putting the people first, upholding the Manager, administration Hassan Hammanyaji truth, maintaining the highest professional and ethical standards while HEAD, ADVERT delivering value to patrick UGAMA our stakeholders”


“To be a reputable, profitable, innovative and technologically reliant media company offering world class services and products”

Amaechi Vs Hadiza Bala: It’s Not the First


he Rotimi Amaechi and Hadiza Bala Usman Fight is a personal one and a power tussle. In 2016, Hadiza’s appointment as Managing Director (MD) of Nigerian Port Authority generated some grumbles from some quartersmany people suggested that, Hadiza was appointed because of the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s influence – and President Buhari will always give the duo whatever they wanted. In 2021, things have changedAmaechi is now accusing Hadiza of being disloyal. He has been complaining that she is arrogant and he would cut her wings one of these days. And he did- by getting her to ‘step aside’ to allow for a probe of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA). The probe-panel has already been inaugurated with some wide mandates which include examining and investigating the administrative policies and strategies adopted by NPA’s Managing Director, Hadiza Usman, and confirm compliance with extant laws and rules from 2016 till date. Many officials of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration and some members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have also accused Hadiza of being arrogant and often displays an attitude of ‘The Lady of the House’. Notwithstanding this accusations against her, Hadiza has brought some extraordinary development in the NPA and in its activities- she saved the SHIN’s fabrication and integration yard of which $270 million was borrowed for the project, the stoppage of INTELS’ monopoly of oil and gas cargo and the compliance to TSA, the stoppage of the contract scam- SAA fees on the Calabar dredging, She has also sanctioned LADOL for violating the terms of the land lease at Tarkwa Bay, near Light House Beach in Lagos- all these are Hadiza’s notable achievements in four years plus. The fight between Hadiza (a head of an agency) and Ameachi ( a Minister)is not new in the APC government led by President Muhammad Buhari.

There was that of: Dr. Baffa Bichi of TETFUND and Mallam Adamu Adamu, Education Minister. Ibrahim Magu of the EFCC and Abubakar Malami SAN Minister for Justice and Attorney-General. Gur Muhammad Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and Engr. Sale Mamman, Power Minister. Saleh Dunoma of FAAN and Hadi Sirika Aviation Minister). Munir Gwarzo SEC DG and Kemi Adeosun Former Finance Minister). Prof. Usman Yusuf NHIS and Isaac Adewole Former Health Minister). As well as many other in-house fights that haven’t been in the public. The big surprise is-None of the heads of the agencies survived their minister’s onslaught. Would Hadiza survive Ameachi’s hammer? On the other hand, heads of Agencies should learn the art of balancing of loyalty and powersharing, while Ministers should also allow heads of agencies to their jobs. President Buhari is a man that seems not to have an interest to interfere in such ‘fight’ to save the heads of agencies. If Ameachi succeeds in removing Hazida as MD of NPA, we may see many of this kind of ‘probe’ by Ministers. If Hadiza succeeds in returning back, she may be more ‘disloyal’ to Amaechi and not forthcoming to those who have earlier accused her of being arrogant. And, In the long end, the fight between Ameachi and Hadiza would definitely translate into bigger political and supremacy battles between many parties both in and outside the APC. There is already talk of a petition to the EFCC to look into contracts awarded by the Niger Delta Development Commission to Ameachi’s wifeDame Judith Amaechi. In fact, Nigerians should sit akimbo and enjoy some political dramas as events unfold. However, the big picture isthis is a big low for the Buhari government in terms of public image and politics of the APC as the ruling party completing an 8year mandate with the hope to retain power. Zayyad I. Muhammad writes from Abuja. 08036070980, zaymohd @yahoo.com


PEOPLES DAILY, WednesDay may 12, 2021


Of poverty eradication: Our betterness now and the future By Salim Yakubu Akko


ight from our childhood days, the word sound of the ‘poverty’ and it great evils to humanity are familiar to our eyes. Upon realizing and experiencing the meaning of the word, I used to asked my self questions like “ why can’t we stand on our feet to become the soldiers of life to fight against the molten magma’s rain of this great monster, poverty. It has been said that if we do not fight against poverty in this country, then it will surely crushed us all! It can even lead us to our graves unprepared at tender ages. And if we look at the matter in general, considering the situation we are now in this country, it is undoubtful that we are at this juncture of loosing surrendering to the evil will of Poverty. In one way or the other, we are all witness to how this deadly disease lead our youth to engaged in some social vices that are today hunting the Country badly. Unlike other countries, the disease of poverty in Nigeria is quite different. Nigeria was ranked among the most poor countries in the world in 2015. About six

years with the ranking, it seems like the policy makers have not yet made a sound policy to tackle the disease to a minimal level or even eradicate it entirely!. It is even considered worst the poor are always getting poorer and the rich are also becoming poor! Are we not yet matured enough to think of how we can unchain ourselves from the shackles of this deadly disease? Moreover, some countries are struggling to contain the spread of the deadly Corona Virus Pandemic. But, unfortunately, in Nigeria, COVID-19 is not the main disease killing the populace, but a portion of the viruses. This disease is the mother that gave birth to our current woes. It gave birth to insecurity, corruption and some other vices that were emanated from negative thinking of the Youth. So far, considering the realities on ground, we can deduced that this disease was caused by so many factors. Amongst are; bad governance. This is easily understandable considering the causes of bad governance to a particular country. Today, we measure the performance of our elected

leaders with the amount of money shared to the society not with the amount of works done by them on ground. And usually, the politicians that involved In this act are those that clinched the mantle of leadership not by merit, but through vote buying. Albeit, there are some individuals and civil society organizations that took it upon themselves to create awareness on the dangers of this habit, but seems like their calling is in vein! Usually, when a politician is elected for the money he shared, his first achievement in office is to recover all the amount he shared to the populace, as a result, he’ll overlooks his major role and fished out how he can developed himself and his errand boys leaving the masses wallowing in abject poverty. Furthermore, another factor that should be looked up, is the indolence attitude of our youth. Their idleness is obvious, as we are all witness to how they fall victims of some ponzi schemes, such MMM, UWORK, INSME and so on. Youth of today are afraid of engaging into agriculture or any of it is chain, because of their love for free meal. They loved to earn

without working for it, that’s why they left the agricultural sector to the aged parents. While, before the discovering of Oil in commercial quantity in Nigeria, agricultural sector was the major contributor to the GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT. But as we know, there is a popular quote that says ” there’s no problem under the sun that has no possible solution” what then should be done to eradicate the abject poverty or take it to minimal level. Nigeria, North to be precise, is blessed with a huge fertile land for agriculture. Therefore, government should create another programs that would create awareness to the youth on the blessings surrounding the sector. Also, create an avenue that will boast the agricultural output of the rulers dwellers, thereby given them access to agricultural inputs in subsidized amount. With this, employment will be created, as a result, Youth would be free from any form of negative thinking since that they are all in possession of what to keep them busy. Government should create new industries or give room to private

individuals to create, this will also create employment. Injecting in the Agricultural sector would benefit the country through diversifying the country’s economy. As such, Oil would be the only high source of revenue of the nation. To the masses in general, they should open their eyes and vote for a candidate that would give them the actual dividend of Democracy, not a money distributor. In addition, Youth should channel their attention to being creative. Thereby inventing things that would assist them financially and their country. With all heart I rigorously believe if all the measures I have mentioned are taken, the high rate of poverty bedeviling this country will be massively reduced and will instantly and totally be eradicated.

that he does not believe the reason people sell their votes is Poverty! On the surface, one could very well agree with his line of discuss. However, I beg to differ. I say yes, it is Poverty that propels a person to sell their vote which is the greatest tool of societal development! It is the same Poverty that makes a person with ten houses already, to go after an eleventh house at the expense of the enhancement of other persons and at the cost of our commonwealth. (Please note, that I am not saying do not build your ten houses or more if you have made your money through legal and hardworking means and that is your choice way of spending your honest toil yields). It is Poverty, that will make a Federal Minister who already lacks nothing, divert the monies meant for national projects in his Ministry, to his personal account. It is Poverty that will make a boarding house Principal, to sabotage a solar power project that can supply steady electricity so that he or she keeps buying diesel at an inflated price not minding that the epileptic power supply is affecting the learning of the Nigerian leaders of tomorrow. “The Nigerian Rice” is a metaphor for any form of inducement at all levels in our country. So, for those who called my mobile to tell me how the corrupt Independent National Electoral Commission official did not need rice, to create “kaleidoscopeisomers” of original election results, read in-between the lines. Read in between my lines and see how this Poverty which is the foundation of the bane of Nigeria’s problem, is not “Physical Poverty”. No, it is a special kind of Poverty. It is one I term “Poverty of the Mind and Soul”. This is a Poverty type that

wreaks havoc in double proportions. It is an exceedingly difficult kind of Poverty to cure. Suffice it to say, it is a malignant type of Poverty. One that is different from the benign “Physical Poverty”. In my book, titled My Father’s Daughter, I explained how incredibly early in life, my father taught me about these different types of Poverty. He taught me how to guard my Mind and Soul from becoming infected while selfguiding myself to paths that evade societal stereotypes which promotes “Poverty of the Mind and Soul”. He always said to me “Physical Poverty is easy to correct my daughter. However, Poverty of the Mind and Soul is something that mortgages men and women for eternity. It prevents their growth, limits the use of their talents, and stunts the actualisation of their true potential for the upliftment of humanity”. To truly actualise your calling in life, you must levitate above “Poverty of the Mind and Soul”. My Father taught me the basic tenets of delayed gratification and the joy of taking pride in the works of our hands. “Poverty of the Mind and Soul” is the reason why an unemployed child will come home with a brand-new Lexus Jeep and build a mansion in three months to the shouts of praise and thanksgiving to God from his parents. These shouts are then chorused by his community members with the ancestors as backup singers. “Poverty of the Mind and Soul” is the reason why several mothers will send their female daughters on exile to prostitute in foreign lands while the fathers, shamelessly await the dividends of the ungainful employment monthly. The same “Poverty of the Mind and Soul” is why our many young men and women do not understand that they can become anything they set

their hearts to be and work diligently at making a living for themselves without having to sojourn through the deserts or drown in the Mediterranean. It is this same “Poverty of the Mind and Soul” that will make some Ministers of God and keepers of religion turn the congregation to their Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and cash cows, manifesting questionable miracles and healing styles at the expense of the poor in spirit. Our society is the vortex of the “Poverty of the Mind and Soul”. It is where we create catalyst stereotypes. These catalyst stereotypes are the societally imposed standards which persons are pushed to fulfil. Majority of us struggle to fulfil these pseudostandards that lack substance so that we can feel a euphoria that “we belong” in the whirlpool of our selfinflicted aliment of the mind and soul just to please ourselves without consideration for our collective patrimony. “Poverty of the Mind and Soul”, is sadly, an easy one to induce, despite the difficulty of curing it. People who have a hollow filled with silica for where their hearts used to be, exploit “Physical Poverty” strategically using it as the remote control to catalyse “Poverty of the mind and Soul”. Following which they then perpetuate it by feeding it with all manner of inducements metaphorically represented by the Nigerian Rice phenomenon. Like every other malignant tumour, this kind of poverty, requires radical resection, powerful chemotherapy, and maximum dose radiotherapy to manage it. Liken the resection to each Nigerian, cutting out the lack of value for human life and the worship of all things superficial which we engage in. The chemotherapy is an infusion

of an all-new mindset that erodes immediate gratification and flows into the crevices of our minds to cause a change in paradigm that resets our minds to be true to ourselves, remain tenacious, work hard, and be dedicated to duty. The radiotherapy of course will be a sledgehammer dose of us re-learning how to celebrate excellence and propagate measures that enables us to interrogate leadership while holding it accountable right from our family unit to the national level. As with all malignancies, treatment works best when caught early. The reason we must catch them young – those who will be the liberators of our Nation from this terrible form of poverty must be groomed in airtight family units filled with self-esteem and steaming with hearts, minds, and souls devoid of poverty. This is where you and I have a lot of work to do as mentors of our youths and keepers of the future of us. For Nigeria to evolve, each of us must resolve to take us back to those days of old. Those days we now read about how there was a Nigeria where “Physically Poor” persons had dignity in labour. Where items for sale were left outside, people took what they required and left the money beside it. Our society valued “a good name more than riches” and the people stated facts alongside interrogating issues without the fear of being seen as dissidents. Until we employ the measures above, we will remain poor not because of material lack, but rather, because of the void in our minds and souls, selling not just our votes but the very essence of our Nationhood.

Salim Yakubu Akko is a Nigerian writer, a poet and essayist from Gombe state. He is a member of Gombe Jewel Writers’ Association, Creative Club Gombe State University, and Hilltop Creative Arts Foundation.

Poverty of the mind and soul

By Loretta Oduware OgboroOkor


n April 2021, I wrote a commentary on the “Nigerian Rice” and how it is a key player on the political horizon of our Nation. I explained how it is a game changer, vote inducer and civic right derailer with special powers to sway elections in our country, in favour of the highest rice sharer. Many persons sent me rejoinders…telling me how certain hospital management executives are not hungry for rice and yet they wallow in corruption the most. Others asked me why some Surgeons who can already afford a decent lifestyle operate on patients that do not require surgery. Yet some more pointed out how many already rich men and women who become Local Government Chairpersons embezzle monies that could shame the budgets of other countries. How about several State Governors who do not understand that paying the salaries of the workers in their States is more important than amassing wealth for their generations yet unborn who may likely wage world war four over their inheritance? Were these Governors hungry for rice too? Celey Okogun, PhD, wrote recently in his “We the People Series” how a wellknown Nigerian once complained that those whom he had paid their children’s school fees were among those with the lowest threshold to be lured away. They were quick responders to the rice and other financial inducements distributed by his opponents during the moneysharing-rice-disbursing event otherwise called elections in Nigeria, for which he contested. His central message, like those of some of the respondents to my initial article is

Loretta Oduware OgboroOkor is the Author of the Book My Father’s Daughter


PEOPLES DAILY, WednesDay may 12, 2021


Students, set the pace for your future By Bello Idris Opeyemi


ou see, whenever I think of students of the 19th Century and compare them with the ones of the 21st Century, I see that a whole lot has changed in the way they do things. What do you even want to say about the system, environment, technology, or a level of distraction for the student nowadays? Like, what one of our lectures tell us is that before they finish their studies, some company will be waiting for them to come and work with them or at least do an internship with them. Is that thing still happening today, but then, let me ask why? I believe as students nowadays, we need to change the narratives and be valuable assets that are always ready to do the task. There is this question that we

need to always ask ourselves: What do you want to do and what value do you have to offer after graduation? So answering that can prepare you ahead. For instance, being an accountant that is going into the finance world after graduation, you need to research the relevant skills and necessary knowledge that is expected of you right from school so that you can get an inkling of what is expected in the real world. But to my greatest surprise, when I asked some people what they want to do after graduation, some say they want to only look for jobs. But the question is, at what place when you haven’t prepared for it? Also, some don’t even know the depth of their careers. And year in, year out, graduates of higher learning are churned out in droves. This ought to be a thing of joy. Why? Young intellectuals are

armed with academic knowledge, bringing fresh ideas and creativity to society. But students up till now have not proved all these things to them and demonstrate them to a large extent. We only blame the system and we need to work very hard to make the system change for us to have a better future. In my own view, these are the things we need to know or get before graduation. One of them is that as a student you should have a LinkedIn account, which is a professional Facebook where you can connect and network with people. Having that is going to help you a great deal in the career and field you want to pursue. The other thing is to always know what you want, so that you would look for an opportunity in that area and in the right places. And with the advantage of the new

normal, which makes corporate work go remote, you can get a virtual internship that is going to help you more to practice the theoretical aspects of what you are taught in class and beyond. It pays off to start building your CV early and right from school with the necessary skills and knowledge you already have. The truth is that you can do it, and then, keep updating it as you move ahead. For instance, a person that is a finance enthusiast has to learn Microsoft Excel and the proficient usage of other digital tools to help him in financial model, budgeting, market analysis, audit and others. However, to succeed after graduation requires you to do a lot from school by broadening your knowledge in reading and getting a good class of degrees. All these very matter the most. And trust me, it

is the passport to the door of any opportunity as you move ahead in your career journey. Jarus, the career mentor, said in one of his presentations that what you have upstairs is going to get you your first job. No organization is ready to babysit people nowadays. They always believe you ought to have known this because of competition we have. So, I urge us to change the narrative together by ourselves. I wish everyone reading this all the best in career and life endeavours.

aptitudes. The CDS said he would advocate for competence, skills and experience, diligence and commitment, decisiveness, honesty, integrity, trust and passion for service. According to him, expected results are best achieved out of a clear vision of success and a well-articulated plan of action. This, he said, shall involve a controlled system of shared and expanded responsibilities across the entire system, but pinnacled at the office of the CDS. He stated: “Devolving from national grand-strategic direction, I shall give military strategic and operational guidance to the AFN.” “In this regard, the broad outline of my leadership focus shall be “To foster a Professional Armed Forces capable of effectively meeting constitutional imperatives”. This broad focus shall be anchored on PEARL as tenets going forward. “I shall seek to build the AFN which is Professional, Effective, Agile, Result-oriented and Loyal to the constituted authority as emplaced by the Constitution (PEARL), in concept, shape and outlook. “I am convinced that the AFN under my leadership can

and will emplace a suitable security environment in the shortest possible time, if we act collectively, decisively and clearly with passion, commitment, integrity and perseverance to achieve our aims and objectives.”

departments, agencies and organisations in aggregating our overall national resource endowments to comprehensively deter, counter, overcome or resolve all security challenges across the nation requiring military intervention.” Stakeholders have also met during a one-day ‘National Defence and Security Summit’, at the DHQ, in Abuja to chart a way out of the security challenges.. The CDS at the summit with theme “Promoting Kinetic Operations as a major Plank for Counter Terrorism and Counter Insurgency in Nigeria” need for kinetic operations to deal with prevailing security challenges, confronting the nation got the nod of the participants. Again, the DHQ, under Irabor, recently endorsed the Armed Forces Gender Policy, clearly targeted at giving female military officers and soldiers optimal regard and consideration in both recruitment, and promotion exercises, together with leadership appointments in the armed forces. Taking a humanitarian perspective, the Armed Forces has also pledged support to organisations working towards programmes that will enhance troops’ physical, psychological

and mental wellbeing. The physical and psychological well-being of the officers and men of the military, without doubt will make or mar ongoing operations. Therefore, the initiative of Defence and Police Officers’ Wives Association (DEPOWA) towards executing humanitarian programmes that would be beneficial to families of military personnel is highly welcomed. Prime among these projects are the establishment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) centre for military personnel and families, as well as a Diagnostic centre in honour of Dr. Stella Ameyo Adadevoh, who diagnosed the first Ebola case in the country. No doubt, personnel who face traumatic experiences will feel happy with the proposed PTSD project, which would significantly shore up the fighting spirit and psychological well-being of military personnel. In crisis times, both troops and their families undergo emotional trauma in the task of defending and protecting the nation against adversaries. The morning after Gen. Irabor’s emergence as CDS did not see to the swift extermination of lingering security challenges bedeviling our country, but it has seen the advent of deliberate and intelligent measures evolved to address insurgency, kidnapping and other sundry crimes. It is only a matter of time before the results become evident. Till then, he needs the support of not only the officers and men of the armed forces, but the fervent prayers of all patriotic Nigerians. Abubakar Gimbya is Convener, Nigeria Safe Group (NSG)

Bello idris opeyemi is an opinion writer and finance enthusiast. He is also a 300L student at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. He can reach via email at Belloidris6@gmail.com

How the Military is fending off new forms of attack By Abubakar Gimbya


he service chiefs appointed more than a hundred days ago by President Muhammadu Buhari met an alarming level of insecurity and social tension across the land which had bruised and mercilessly battered every sector of the economy. Reason the Defence Minister, Gen. Bashir Salihi Magashi (rtd) was quoted as saying, “the nation is bleeding”. So terrible is the state of affairs, that President Buhari’s did not mince words when he told them to speed up actions towards liberating the country from the current grip of insecurity. He said they have a short time to deliver. With a very clear understanding of their mandate, visits were made to the NorthEast where they met with Governor Babagana Umara Zulum, senior government officials, traditional leaders, troops and other key stakeholders, where they had brainstorming sessions with a view to finding solutions to the insurgency. The military has also been geared towards a new ‘leadership philosophy’ laden with the potential to rebrand approach towards contemporary issues. The philosophy of the CDS envisages a knowledge-driven, skill-based, object-focused, fiscally responsible, systematic, creative, forward-looking, ethical and citizen-minded, conscientious and caring armed forces. He said he is looking forward to a defence organization where personnel contribute on the basis of their knowledge, hard and soft skills, as well as humane

In view of the transnational nature, scope and implications of many contemporary national security challenges, Irabor assured that he will promote international military cooperation and collaboration, as well as combined responses and action, through proactive and virile defence diplomacy. In all theatres of military engagement, he pledged to consult with relevant stakeholders to set Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound military objectives. He also vowed to promote synergy and mission command as essential elements for operational planning and execution for all security challenges requiring military intervention across our dear nation. His words: “I shall also promote active cooperation and collaboration between the military and other relevant stakeholders, key players,

“In this regard, the broad outline of my leadership focus shall be “To foster a Professional Armed Forces capable of effectively meeting constitutional imperatives”. This broad focus shall be anchored on PEARL as tenets going forward.


PEOPLES DAILY, WednesDay may 12, 2021

N ews Insecurity: IPCR DG calls for multi- Eid-el Fitr: stakeholders’ intervention Niger gov. By Ochiaka Ugwu


n a quest to find lasting peace in the nation, Director General of the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR), Dr. Bakut Bakut has called for multi-stakeholders’ synergy to end insecurity. In a press statement released Tuesday in Abuja by the Institute Media department, signed by Esther Ndukwe, it noted that Bakut has expressed concern over the security challenges of the country and urge Nigerians to cooperate, support efforts of the government and relevant authorities to curb the ugly situation. According to the statement,

“As a government Institution with the mandate of promoting and building peace, IPCR frowns at the continued bloodshed, acts of terrorism, kidnappings and banditry as they constitute factors capable of destabilizing the internal security of the State and externally, projecting the nation’s image in bad light in the global community. “We therefore condemn these acts and call on their perpetrators to desist from orchestrating these dastardly acts but give peace a chance. “From our conflict tracking assessment, the state of security in our nation today shows that virtually all sectors of the economy has been

negatively affected by the growing insecurity. “This no doubt has occasioned mutual suspicious and strife that is shaking the core of our diversity and impeding the developmental drive and policies of the Buharled administration. “Therefore, the way out of this precarious situation, is for all citizens and various stakeholders (both the leaders and the led, government and the governed), to come together to dialogue for durable solutions that would make Nigeria a better place for all. “IPCR salutes the courage of the military, the police and other security agencies who have laid their lives in the line

of duty in order to forestall peace and strengthen the bond of Nigeria’s unity. “While we assure our gallant security forces of the IPCR’s continued support, we urge them to up their act as there is no amount of sacrifice that is too much to rid-off Nigeria’s current security challenges and restore it back on the path of sustainable peace and development”. Bakut commended President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment and the political willingness he has demonstrated by joining forces with other African leaders to end the spate of insurgency and general insecurity not only in Nigeria but the Africa at large.

felicitates with Muslims

From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna


iger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello has felicitated with the Muslim Faithful in the country on the occasion of this year’s (2021) Eid-el-Fitr celebration and the successful completion of the Ramadan Fast. In a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mary Noel Berje, the governor said the occasion calls for sober reflection and fervent prayers in view of the prevailing security challenges in the state and the country. The governor used the opportunity to call on all citizens to keep faith with the government as it finds enduring solutions to the problem of insecurity affecting the state and the country as a whole.

Sallah: Police deploys 1,207 persons in Adamawa From Umar Dankano, Yola

L-R: Acting Secretary, Health and Human Services Secretariat Dr Muhammed Kawu, FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, Chief of Staff to FCT Minister, Malam Bashir Mai-Bornu, Chief Imam, Abuja National Mosque Dr Mohammed Kabir, Chairman, FCT League of Imams Initiative, Dr Tajudeen Adigun following the meeting on modalities of Eid El-Fitr prayers, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Group advocates appointment of career civil servants as Permanent Secretaries


he New Era for Sustainable Leadership and Accountability Initiative (NESLAI), an NGO has urged the Federal Government to appoint career civil servants as Permanent Secretaries for efficiency. The Executive Director of NESLAI, Mr Edwin Olorunfemi, made the call at a news

conference on Tuesday in Abuja. According to Olorunfemi, appointing career civil servants that have grown through the ranks will lead to efficiency and commitment in service. “It is important that at this point of our national life, we must ensure we make the right decisions as opportunity geared toward national growth and

development presents itself. “Being a responsive, concerned civil society organisation with keen interest in the entrenchment of good, efficient leadership in our public institutions, we have embarked on an independent research, and analysis. “We done a critical appraisal of the process of selection and

appointments, many of which have kept the country running and moving in a circle without achieving anything. “It is imperative to note that we cannot continue to do same thing all the time and expect different results. This is a common trap we all as Nigerians have all fallen into,” he said.


n an effort to ensure hitch free Eid El-fitr celebration,the Adamawa state Police Command has deployed 1,207 personnel across the 21 Local Government Areas. Commissioner of Police,Mr. Aliyu Adamu enjoined citizens to go about the celebration without any fear or apprehension, noting that measures to ensure the safety and security of the public have been enhanced strategically. CP Adamu who dropped the assurance through a press statement issued by the spokesman of the command,DSP Suleiman Nguroje, stressed that frequent surveillance and visibility policing by police personnel would be conducted.


PEOPLES DAILY, WednesDay may 12, 2021

Constitution review: Zonal public hearing holds May 26, 27 - Senate By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


he much-awaited zonal public hearing on the review of the 1999 Constitution would hold from May 26 to 27, the Senate has stated. The upper chamber, in a statement released yesterday by the Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to the Deputy President of the Senate, Yomi Odunuga, said the event which would simultaneously hold across 12 state capitals in Nigeria, would witness two public hearings per geopolitical zone. It said also that a national public hearing is expected to be held in Abuja, according to the

Chairman, Senate Committee on Constitution Review and Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, who made this disclosed in Abuja while hosting members of the Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEPAD) in his office. It said Senator Omo-Agege called on those who have already submitted memoranda to speak to the documents at the events. He pointed out that while Jos and Minna would host the public hearings in the North Central Geopolitical Zone, that of North East and North West would hold in Bauchi and Gombe as well as Kaduna and Sokoto respectively. Similarly, that of South East

would hold in Owerri and Enugu, even as South-South and South West would be hosted in Port Harcourt and Asaba as well as Akure and Lagos respectively. Represented by his Chief of Staff, Otive Igbuzor at the visit, the Delta Central lawmaker assured that women’s interests in the new Constitution Review would be protected. On the inclusion of Affirmative Action in the constitution, he called on the group to reach out to elected representatives and groups from other geopolitical zones in the country, noting that they were key in determining if such demands could scale through in the ongoing constitution

amendment exercise. “You will have also observed that on each of the Constitution Review that has been done in the past, Affirmative Action and increased women representation have always been on the agenda. But in the past we have not been able to muster the numbers required to effect constitutional change. “However, in every exercise, we have seen increasing numbers of legislators’ support the process. So, the challenge is how to reach the critical threshold during this process. “Your work is quite cut out for you. But rest assured that we are partners in this business,” he said.

Earlier, the National Coordinator, Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEPAD), Chino Obiagwu (SAN), called for increased women participation in politics. According to him, the group has already submitted six proposals to the panel, explaining that if passed, women would occupy their rightful place in both elective and appointive positions in the country. “We solicit your support and leverage on your influence in advocating for constitutional amendment and other legal reforms geared towards increasing women’s political participation in Nigeria,” he said.

Nigerians have lost confidence in government at all levels CUPP By Christiana Ekpa


he Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) has expressed concern that Nigerians have lost confidence in the country, even as it urged Nigerians to pray for the country saying that with collective efforts, Nigeria shall be great again. A Salah message issued yesterday by the Chairman of Contact and Mobilization Committee of the CUPP, Olusegun Peters, said the state of the nation today is very bad, adding that Nigeria is at a crossroads of its existence with unprecedented insecurity and bloodshed across the country. While lamenting that the nation has been turned to a killing field by terrorists, insurgents, militants, bandits, gunmen, hoodlums and kidnappers, the CUPP said “The citizens are no longer safe, security agents are killed daily, private and public buildings set ablaze, and a security breach at the supposed impenetrable Aso Rock, where the residence of the Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari was burgled on Monday 10th May 2021. It is indeed a trying time for our nation.” While felicitating with the Muslims on the occasion of the 2021 Eid-el-Fitr celebrations which mark the end of Ramadan, the Coalition said “There is no doubt that the monthlong fasting afforded our Moslem brothers and sisters the opportunity to rededicate themselves to God and prayed for the nation in this period of political upheavals, economic recession, social discontent, religious disharmony and insecurity across the country. “CUPP enjoins Nigerians to imbibe the virtues of love, peace, tolerance, forgiveness and hard work as we renew our faith in the fatherland and build a strong, united, progressive and decent democratic society.”

Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Lucky Irabor (R) and Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru arriving for a Security meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Tuesday (11/5/2021)

Why power rotation is a must for Nigeria - Ex Power Minister By Musa Baba Adamu


ormer minister of Power during President Goodluck Jonathan administration, Professor Chinedu Nebo, has said that rotation of power is crucial for a country like Nigeria with a huge population and diverse ethnic groups that remain perpetually suspicious of each other. He said unfortunately, Nigeria is yet to produce leadership at the top that is totally detribalised and committed to building a virile nation with all the components treated as equals.

According to him, the past several years have seen Nigeria drift apart more than in any other part of our history, adding that so many things had been put in place earlier to ensure national spread in appointments, amenities, education and infrastructure. “Sadly, though, these principles have not been respected, especially in the last several years. The entire Federal Character principle has been abandoned while sectarianism, ethnicity and religious bigotry have been exalted to a place of prominence.

“It is therefore crucial to rotate political power so as to give each federating unit a sense of belonging. Equity, Justice, and Fairness are sinequanon to peace and national unity. Nigeria is currently on the brinks of collapse, with many groups feeling aggrieved, neglected and marginalized. “Rotation of power will certainly go a long way in calming frayed nerves and restoring a semblance of nationhood”, Prof. Nebo said in a statement he issued to journàlists in Abuja. He said in the face of the

current unprecedented security challenges, the federal government needs to engage and involve citizens at the grassroots to stem the tide and prevent Nigeria from becoming another Somalia. “The level of perceived anarchy is terribly worrisome and frightening. We have become a nation at war with itself and we must tackle the situation with everything we have. This has indeed become an existential challenge for Nigeria. Failure to solve this problem would most probably destroy Nigeria”, he said.

PEOPLES DAILY, WednesDay may 12, 2021


POLITICS NPA inquest: PDP unfit to criticize Buhari government over corruption fight - APC

By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


he All Progressives Congress (APC) has said the opposition People Democratic Party (PDP) is unfit to criticize or point accusing fingers against President Muhammadu Buhari’s government in the ongoing fight against corruption. APC said this in a statement issued yesterday by the National Secretary of the party’s Caretaker/ Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), John James Akpanudoedehe, in response to the accusation by the PDP that the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi and the suspended head of Nigerian Port Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman, should be sacked and investigated. The ruling party said PDP is corruption personified, considering that it is a known fact that after many years of being in control of the NDDC, several PDP government officials, their family members and cronies salted away the enormous funds that accrued to the NDDC that was meant for

the development of the Niger Delta region. While urging the PDP to allow it (APC) focus on cleaning the daunting mess they left behind in the Niger Delta, like most facets of our country, the party said “We read the nonsensical statement by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against prominent party leader and the Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and the suspended Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman in connection with the routine administrative inquiry approved by President, Muhammadu Buhari into the activities of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA). “We also note the shameful attempt by the PDP to libellously drag the spouse of Amaechi (who has never held public office and is not a politician) into the realm of politics, and libellously malign her with their fictional tale of looting the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). Even for the totally debased PDP, that was a whole new low!

“Apparently, the PDP is still living in their alternate reality in which corruption, aided by their family members and cronies was approved statecraft. For the PDP that looted everything in sight during the 16 years it held this country to ransom, it is understandable that it is still unable to understand a routine administrative probe. “While inaugurating the panel on Monday to probe the activities of the NPA, the Transportation minister was abundantly clear that no one has been indicted of anything. And the probe is in line with the routine discharge of the duties and functions of the Ministry of Transportation’s supervisory mandate over the NPA. “The fact that the APC-led government of President Buhari approved the probe of the NPA is a clear testimony of the President’s belief in transparency, good governance and adherence to the rules in public service. It further reinforces President Buhari’s zero tolerance for corruption in his administration.

“Compare and contrast this with the years of PDP and all anyone would find are 16 years of plundering of our collective wealth, the desecration of our public institutions and their values. No public institution was spared. “Shamelessly, the PDP was quick to mention the spouse of Amaechi, over a phantom story of imaginary money looted from the NDDC, concocted by one of their own, a known PDP sympathizer. “It is an irony that the PDP whose public officers’ family members and cronies collectively looted our country with many charged to court for financial crimes and money laundering offences, would based on fiction, slander the spouse of an APC public official. While we do not intend to go low as the PDP, we want to remind them that Nigerians still remember vividly the billions of Naira, millions of dollars of stolen state funds that were either recovered or confiscated from immediate-past PDP public officials, their family members and cronies”.

President Muhammadu Buhari in a farewell audience with outgoing Ambassador/ Head of European Union to Nigeria and ECOWAS, H.E Ketil Karlsen during a farewell audience at the State House Abuja. PHOTO; STATE HOUSE

Gwagwalada APC chairmanship candidate meets party executives, seeks support By Usman Shuaibu


he flag bearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Gwagwalada Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Hon. Abubukar Jibrin Giri, yesterday met with the party executives at the Gwagwalada party office, where he called on the members to co-operate and support the party in the 2022

chairmanship /councillorship election in the area. In his speech at the meeting, Giri pleaded with the aggrieved members to work for the victory of the party in 2022, even as he advised party loyalists/members to visit wards to solicit the cooperation of the electorates for the success of the party in 2022. He said he would continue to relate with the executives of the

party both at the local government and ward levels in order to achieve the desired result, even as he donated funds to the party executive members for Sallah celebration. Addressing the gathering earlier, the Abu campaign DirectorGeneral, Alhaji Mohammed Sani Kasim, called for co-operation of every member of the party in 2022. Also speaking, the chairman of

the party in Gwagwalada, Ahmed Baba, charged all the members/ supporters to work towards the success of the party in the 2022 election. Meanwhile, some APC Chairmanship aspirants, ward caretakers, youth leaders, elders of the party and women leaders have vowed to support the APC Chairmanship Candidate in the 2022 election.

Southern Governors ban open grazing, ask Buhari to address Nigerians By Musa Baba Adamu


overnors of the seventeen Southern States on Tuesday called on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently address the country over the worsening security situation across all parts of the country, saying the President’s silence was aggravating the situation. The governors also charged Buhari to, as a matter of urgency, convoke what it described as ‘national dialogue’ as part of efforts at healing the seeming divide in the country. They pointed out that it was only through dialogue that the widespread agitations for greater inclusiveness in existing governance arrangements could be resolved. The Governors further expressed fears that delay to convoke a national dialogue as a matter of urgency could result in further calamity and snowball into more problems. The governors stated this in a 12-point communique issued after a crucial security meeting on the state of the nation in Asaba, Delta State capital. Chairman of the Southern Governor’s Forum and Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), who read the communique on behalf of colleagues to journalists, said addressing Nigerians would help douse the current tension across the country. The forum, which particularly condemned the rising spate of insecurity, expressed worries over the activities of armed herders, criminals and bandits into the Southern part of the country and called for a ban on open grazing in the region. Akeredolu said, “Consequently, the meeting resolved that open grazing of cattle be banned across Southern Nigeria.” The Ondo governor reiterated that the ban on open grazing in the southern region would be enforced to stem the tide of insecurity that is gradually creeping into the region to save lives and property of its people. He said the population growth in the southern region has put pressure on available land, and increased the prospects of conflicts between migrating herders and host communities. The communique emphasised that the people of Southern part of the country were committed to the unity and indivisibility of the Nigerian State but on the “basis of justice, fairness, equity and oneness and peaceful co-existence between and among its peoples with a focus on the attainment of shared goals for economic development and prosperity.”


PEOPLES DAILY, WednesDay may 12, 2021


2023: It’s time for Yoruba muslim presidential candidate – Group tells Obasanjo


he Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has said the next Yoruba presidential candidate should be a Muslim in the interest of fairness, justice and equity. MURIC made the call amid rumours that former President Olusegun Obasanjo was trying to draft the current President of the African Development Bank (ADB), Akinwunmi Adesina, into the 2023 presidential race. The Muslim human rights organisation based its stand on the fact that while three Yoruba Christians have occupied Aso Rock villa, no single Yoruba Muslim has held the post of president or Vice President since independence. MURIC stated this in a statement signed by its Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, Director and made available to journàlists on Tuesday. According to MURIC, “ExPresident Olusegun Obasanjo is reportedly making attempts to draft the current President of the African Development Bank (ADB), Akinwunmi Adesina, into the 2023 presidential race. We object to this move. Obasanjo wants to waste all the efforts put in place by the Nigerian government to get Akinwunmi Adesina to that continental position. “We remind the former president that as a Yoruba Christian, he has led Nigeria twice. He spent 3 years and 258 days as a military head of state (1976 – 1979) and another 8 years as a civilian president (1999 – 2007). Two other Yoruba Christians have also occupied Aso Rock. Chief Earnest Adegunle Oladeinde Shonekan was the interim head of state from 26th August 1993 to 17th November, 1993. The current vice president, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, is also a Yoruba Christian. “Obasanjo’s attempt to drag Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina who is also a Yoruba Christian into the presidential race negates the principles of fairness, justice and equity. It is an attempt to rob Yoruba Muslims of the presidential slot and it violates a cardinal principle of democracy, namely, inclusiveness. “It is an open secret that Yoruba Muslims who form the majority of the population in the South West are being denied their Allahgiven fundamental human rights. This has led to complaints and court cases initiated by Muslims across Yorubaland over political and religious persecution. Yoruba Muslims are at the receiving end of deprivation of civil liberties. It is our contention that another Yoruba Christian presidency will usher in another opportunity for Christian hegemony and the marginalisation, stigmatisation, repression and persecution of Yoruba Muslims.

From President Muhammadu Buhari, the outgoing Ambassador/Head of European Union to Nigeria and ECOWAS, H.E Ketil Karlsen and other EU Delegation during a farewell audience at the State House Abuja. PHOTO; STATE HOUSE

PDP, Sowore blast Gov Bello over Kogi collapsed bridge By Christiana Ekpa


he opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kogi State has taken a swipe on Governor Yahaya Bello over the collapse of Ozuma Bridge, in Okengwe, under Okene Local Government. The PDP, in a statement signed on Tuesday by the Director Media and Communication, Dayo Onibiyo, described the development as sad and dangerous, noting that the collapsed Bridge in the home town of Governor Bello was unfortunate. He said the collapsed bridge, which was allegedly constructed with substandard materials gulped several millions of naira under

another wasteful scheme. The collapsed bridge according to the PDP had further exposed road users’ lives to unnecessary dangers, rather than serve the purpose it was constructed for. “It is unfortunate that the administration of Yahaya Bello could not point to any completed project since it came to power, five years ago. “We, therefore, advise Yahaya Bello to borrow a leave from the PDP in the state on how it successfully completed the notorious Meme Bridge and others, without exposing the lives of our good people to any danger,” he said. Onibiyo called on the Standard Organization of Nigeria, (SON)

and Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) to come to the aid of Kogi State and to avoid other impending dangers. He also called on the relevant authorities to investigate the failed bridge and ensure that standards were complied with in execution of projects in Kogi State. “We are afraid that the supposed ongoing flyover, under construction at Ganaja junction Lokoja is at same heavy risk, if not worse, if a mere bridge can collapse under a week of its assumed completion by the same government,” he said. Similarly, a human rights activist, and pro-democracy campaigner Omoyele Sowore on his Facebook page also mocked

the Kogi State Government saying “Gov. Yahaya Bello and his Deputy, Edward David Onoja are the worst leaders to govern any state in the world. They constructed a bridge in Okene that collapsed in less than a week. What did Kogi people do to deserve these cruel men in the helm of their affairs?” Sowore in another Facebook post blasted the government for their poor infrastructural development in Kogi State. His words” This is the road in Ankpa area of Kogi state that Chief Edward David Onoja recently commissioned with one of the rogue legislators representing the state, who did Kogi people offend to have these characters as ‘leaders.”

Saraki backs APC Senator on Electoral Act By Musa Baba Adamu


ormer Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has agreed with the Senator representing Kebbi South, Bala Ibn Na’Allah (APC), on the need for Nigerians to engage their representatives to get the Electoral Act signed. The opposition, several individuals and organizations believe the amended Act will strengthen the electoral process and the conduct of elections in

Nigeria. Saraki commended Na’Allah, a one-time Deputy Majority Leader in the Senate, saying that legislators must always put the needs of the people, over the interests of their party. He said “I commend my former colleague, Sen. Bala Ibn Na’Allah for his courage, conviction and his comments regarding the passage of the #ElectoralAct. “It is inspiring to see a ranking

member of the Senate and the ruling party, the APC, speak in a statesmanlike manner regarding the need to pass an amended electoral act in order to give the country a free and fair electoral process. “By calling on Nigerians to engage their representatives to pass the Electoral Act, Sen. Na’Allah has shown that being a member of Parliament is about weighing the long-term interests of the nation, above the short-

term considerations of your own political party.” At a meeting with United Kingdom officials in January, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said though the All Progressives Congress (APC) was a beneficiary of a credible election, it has not been able to conduct free and fair polls. The National Chairman, Uche Secondus, accused the ruling party of abusing the electoral process and frustrating the efforts of Nigerians to further amend the Electoral Act.


PEOPLES DAILY, WednesDay may 12, 2021


RTEAN Invasion of presidential Villa hows Buhari launches can’t secure Nigeria, says PDP accident T insurance scheme, begs FG for Bank By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja

he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said on Monday that it is alarmed by the invasion of Aso Presidential Villa by armed robbers, saying the development further points to the collapse of security command structure under President Muhamamdu Buhari’s watch. The party said this in a statement yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan in Abuja. The PDP pointed out that the reported assault on the

residence of the Chief of Staff to Mr. President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, within the precinct of the Presidential villa, is too close to home and has heightened apprehensions over the capacity of the Buhari Presidency to secure the nation. The main opposition party stated that all over the world, the Presidential Villa, as the seat of power and national sovereignty, is the fortress of the nation that ought to have impregnable security. “As such, any breach of security, particularly by outlaws

and in sequence, sends a clear danger signal to the overall security of the nation”, it said. According to the party, “It is imperative to state that such security infraction, that gave way for outlaws to invade the Presidential villa in sequence, inspite of its perceptibly secured ambience, can only happen under an absentee President, who have not demonstrated the required capacity expected of his office”. The PDP recalled the security breaches in June last year, involving shooting, violent combats, raids and free use of

From left: Guest Lecturer, Dr Daud AmaoAlaga; Deputy Governor of Oyo State, Mr Rauf Olaniyan; and Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Oyo State, Mr Mutiu Agboke, at the 2021 Ramadan Lecture/Iftah organised by INEC in Ibadan on Monday (10/5/21) evening. PHOTO: Timothy Adeogodiran/ BJONAN

By Usman Shuaibu


he management of Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) has launched Travelers Accident Insurance Scheme (TAIS) for the drivers across the country, while the National President of the association Alhaji Muhammed Musa called on the Federal Government to establish Bank of Transportation in the country. In his address at the occasion, Musa also pleaded with the Federal Government to privatize the federal roads so as to enable the private investors to come in, so that the budget allocated for the construction of roads could be channeled to other meaningful ventures that would bring development to the country. He said: “Travelers Accident Insurance Scheme which is targeted to benefit Millions of Nigerians who travel across the country in our major parks and garage that accidentally have an accident which required emergency respond towards medical attention”. According to him, “millions of Nigerians depend on transportation as a source of their livelihood and we are ready to do more, which this programme can create huge employment opportunities”. He charged the members of the association across the country to be law-abiding citizens at all times, adding that they should obey the laid down rules and regulations guiding the COVID-19 pandemic in the area of their operations. The RTEAN president also advised the entire members of the association to support the government of the day in fighting crime in the country.

firearms within the precinct of the Presidential Villa, arising from a bitter squabble between members of President Buhari’s family and some security aides. It added, “Our party is worried that if President Buhari cannot guarantee the security of the Presidential villa, then his capacity to secure the entire country is no longer assured”. The PDP therefore urged President Buhari to wake up from slumber, review his security architecture and take decisive steps, beyond his lethargic body language, to secure our nation.

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PEOPLES DAILY, WednesDay may 12, 2021

PEF awaits workable framework to equalise price of cooking gas

By Etuka Sunday


he Petroleum Equalisation Fund (Management Board) on Sunday disclosed that plans are being made to equalise the price of liquefied Petroleum Gas (cooking gas) in the country. This, it said, would encourage availability, affordability, accessibility, usage and help add value to the economy; just as it urged oil marketers to start moving Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol by rail. Speaking at a Media Parley in Abuja, the Executive Secretary, PEF, Ahmed Bobboi said, the agency awaits a workable framework to equalise price of cooking gas. Bobboi said PEF(MB) was considering the plan because of the huge success recorded in the over 45 years of petrol price equalisation. The PEF boss said, “We are trying to introduce the bridging

- urges Marketers to transport PMS by rail

scheme to gas because government has declared this year till 2030 as a decade of gas. “And we say if this (petrol price equalisation) is working for the economy for over 45 years now effectively, if we can extend the practice to gas we believe that it will add value to the economy in so many ways in the value chain. “It will help in getting the consumers in many areas to accept the usage of gas and abandon the age-long use of firewood and its attendant problems and health hazards and cut down on deforestation. “It will also make the product available because we have huge gas reserves. It will make gas affordable to the people, because if you can incentivise the marketer through his transportation, he will take it to

the last mile”. He explained that the consumer would also be incentivised because the marketers would bring down their prices and the product would be affordable and accessible to the consumers. Meanwhile, he disclosed that the agency was working on how to get oil marketers to start moving products by rail. “We are looking at the possibility of getting marketers to transport their products by rail because government is reviving many of the critical rail lines. “And we think that if marketers will patronise the railway system, that will reduce the pressure on the roads and increase the turn-around volume because one rail journey will take 20 or more wagons of product. “And if you can do that, it saves

a lot of cost and reduces pressure on the roads. Most state governments are complaining that heavy duty vehicles are destroying their roads. It will also reduce the cost of road maintenance for government”, he said. Bobboi also explained why there was delay in the implementation of the N9.11 kobo recently agreed as petrol price bridging rate for tanker drivers, saying that it was put on hold following the opposition by labour that its implementation would lead to a hike in petrol price. According to him, the labour union demanded that the government should put in place measures that would reduce the hardship which the adjustment from N7.20k to N9.11k would have on the masses. He said, the government was

Minister of Science and Technology Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu (middle), receiving the Report from the Chairman, Ministerial Technical Committee on Job Creation in Nigeria, Dr. Ekanem Udoh (right) while the Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Science and Technology Mr. Edet Sunday Akpan (left) looks on, during the Presentation of the Technical Committee Report on Job Creation in Nigeria: Contributions of the Federal Ministry Science Technology (FMST). held yesterday inm Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-owo

ECOWAS Court women’s forum share food items to indigents in FCT


he ECOWAS Court of Justice Women Forum on Tuesday donated food items and other materials to some indigent citizens and less privileged persons in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The forum led by its Chairperson, Frances Ibanga,

donated the food items when the group visited the Human Rights Radio in Abuja on Tuesday. Speaking at the station, Ibanga said that the donation was done in the spirit of Eid-el-fitr to assist those who could not afford food items during the festive period.

“We are here in the spirit of Eid-el-fitr to share the little we have with those that are less privileged. This forms part of our project for the year. “We have series of projects and this is part of it: reaching out to people and helping out in whatever

way we can. “Today we have come to Human Rights Radio with food stuff and other items so that we can share with those that may not be able to afford so that they will be able to put smiles on their faces,” she said.

FCT: Gwagwalada PDP candidate promises to take everybody along By Usman Shuaibu The Chairmanship Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for 2022 in Gwagwalada Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Hon Rabiu Adamu Saba, has promised to carry everybody along irrespective of the party’s affiliation. Saba stated this while speaking

to newsmen after he won the Party Primaries election on Thursday in Gwagwalada. He called on the PDP supporters/members to deem it necessary to work for the progress of the party in 2022 election in the area. He appealed to the aggrieved members of the party to accept the outcome of the election in good

faith. The Gwagwalada PDP Chairmanship Candidate, however, said if he wins the 2022 Chairmanship election, he would focus on the People’s oriented programmes in the area. Also speaking, the state PDP Deputy Chairman, Alhaji Muhammadu Baba, advised the entire members of the party to co-

operate with PDP candidate for the overall development of the party. Declaring the election result, the Secretary of the Electoral Committee, Mr Dalhatu Ezekiel, described the conduct of the election as free and fair election. Meanwhile, Hon. Rabiu Adamu Saba scored 218 votes to defeat Hon. Mustapha Yohanna who has 12 votes.

still looking at measures to cushion the effect of the increase, adding that this had made the approval for the new rate to be put on hold. The PEF(MB) boss also emphasised that the agency would not pay the bridging claim of any market who dispense petrol above the regulated N165/litre price, adding that dealers had been made to understand this. PEF(MB) is an agency of the Federal Government under the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources with the main mandate to ensure uniform prices for petroleum products across the country. The fund also ensures the reimbursement of petroleum companies on any losses in Nigeria arising from the distribution of petroleum products nationwide.

SEC issues update on CMOs Registration

By Etuka Sunday


he Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued an update on registration by all registered Capital Market Operators stating that CMOs yet to renew their registration at the expiration of late filing which is May 31 2021, shall not be eligible to operate in the capital market. This was stated by the SEC in a circular dated May 10, 2021 and signed by the Management of the

Commission. According to the SEC, in line with the requirements for renewal of registration, all CMOs were required to have completed the renewal process on or before April 30, 2021. Consequently, the Commission stated that all CMOs are expected to note that late filing for renewal of registration shall only be entertained from May 1, 2021 to May 31, 2021, while the names of CMOs which have renewed

their registration shall be published on the SEC Website/ National Daily Newspapers and communicated to the relevant Securities Exchanges and Trade Associations for their notification. Recall that the SEC had on March 23, 2021, issued a circular to the general public and CMOs in particular, of the reintroduction of the periodic renewal of registration by Capital Market Operators. The Commission stated that

the reintroduction of renewal of registration is premised on the need: to have a reliable data bank of all CMOs registered and active in the Nigerian Capital Market, to provide updated information on operators in the Nigerian Capital Market for reference and other official purposes by local and foreign investors, other regulatory agencies and the general public, to increasingly reduce incidences of unethical practices by CMOs such as may affect investors’ confidence and impact negatively

on the Nigerian Capital Market and to strengthen supervision and monitoring of CMOs by the Commission. Consequently, the Commission said it has amended its rules and reintroduced the requirement for yearly renewal of registration by all CMOs. This process will be carried out electronically in order to ensure efficiency All CMOs were directed by the SEC to complete the process of renewal of registration for 2021 on or before 30th April 2021.


PEOPLES DAILY, WednesDay may12, 2021


NDPHC To Boost power supply, economic activities in Delta Community

By Etuka Sunday


he Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) has begun the construction of a 1x7.5MVA, 33/11kV injection distribution substation in Orogun, Delta State to boost power supply to the community. Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony at the weekend, the Managing Director/CEO, NDPHC, Mr. Chiedu Ugbo said the injection substation which is an NDPHC/ National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) intervention project would also boost economic activities in the community. The Head, Communication and Public Relations, NDPHC, Olufunke Nwankwo in a statement said, Ugbo explained that the project, a 1x7.5MVA 33/11KV injection substation, will step down power from the already existing 33KV line to 11kV, disclosing that the project involves the construction of 4km of 11KV line to distribute the power to the community. He said seven distribution transformers will be installed also in the community. He stated that, with the injection substation in place, faults on the down stream line will not be allowed to trip the entire network. He noted that the project followed the “passionate” intervention of the Deputy Senate President, Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege to have the project in the community. “Following the intervention of the Deputy Senate President, we at NDPHC in keeping with our mandate to improve electricity infrastructure in Nigeria

visited Orogun community for location inspection and discovered that the community electricity supply is being fed by old Agbaroh-Abraka 33KV line which transverse swampy terrain. “We also discovered that it is not adequate for the community hence this purposeful intervention by Niger Delta Power Holding Company at the instance of the Deputy Senate President”. He added that NDPHC has been engaging the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) and has been assured by the DisCo that the project aligns with infrastructure upgrade in the community. Also speaking at the event, Deputy Senate President, Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege, said President Muhammadu Buhari was making significant efforts to end energy poverty in Nigeria by facilitating the provision of electricity to rural communities across the country. Omo-Agege said “the objective has been to ensure that the number of people who use modern energy should increase to reduce social costs and to increase social benefits”. He noted that the establishment of the power substation was one of the several initiatives of the administration aimed at addressing energy poverty in the country. “Substations play a critical role in power industry. Substations support the transmission grid in moving power from generation sources to customer’s load, while electrical utilities use them for system protection, switching capabilities and

more importantly, voltage transformations. “It is thus my hope that the construction of the injection substation will boost access to energy in the region and consequently bring about enhanced economic activities and poverty reduction through enhanced income, health, education and improved environment”, he said. He then called on the Benin Electricity Distribution Company, BEDC, to make good use of the facility when completed to boost power supply to the communities,

urging the utility to ensure that meters are provided for individual customers. Earlier, the General Manager, Distribution, Engr. Gadzama M. Mele who gave details of the project stated that the project involves the construction of 7.5MVA, 33/11kV injection substation and 4km of 11kV lines with installation of 7nos 300KVA, 11/0.415kV Distribution substations and construction of 2.5km of low tension (LT) lines to take power to the door step of the community. Engr. Gadzama also stated

that benefits to derive from the project include but not limited to voltage control, localisation of faults and creation of job opportunities for the community. Also speaking, the President General of Orogun Kingdom, Chief Benson Ndakara thanked both the Sen. Omo-Agege and NDPHC for coming to the aid of the community, saying “when the power station is fully completed and starts functioning all the knotty power problems and challenges in Orogun and environs will be resolved once and for all”.

Right to left: MD/CEO, NDPHC, Mr. Chiedu Ugbo; Deputy Senate President, Sen. Ovie OmoAgege; General Manager, Distribution, NDPHC, Mr. Gadzama Moses; Mr. Godspower Odenema (Representing the President General of Orogun Kingdom) and Chairman, On Point Resources Nigeria Limited, Mr. Ibe Lawson during the Ground breaking Ceremony of NDPHC/NIPP Distribution Intervention Projects at Orogun Town in Ughelli, Delta State on Saturday 8th May 2021.

CBN Unveils First Maize Pyramid, Vows To Resist Importation

By Etuka Sunday


he Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele has urged youths in Nigeria to embrace agriculture, declaring the Bank’s readiness to support youths that are willing to engage in agriculture. This is even as the Governor reiterated the Bank’s opposition to the importation of maize into Nigeria. Mr. Emefiele made the declaration in Katsina on Thursday, May 6, 2021, during the unveiling of the first maize pyramid and flag-off of the 2021 Maize wet season farming under the CBNMaize Association of Nigeria (MAAN) Anchor Borrowers’ Programme. He expressed belief that Nigerian youth could leverage their talents, along with technological tools to improve farm productivity and delivery of agricultural produce to markets. While noting that agriculture offered significant benefits for the youth, Emefiele reiterated that the Bank had put in place several measures to improve access to credit for youths interested in Agriculture under the Anchor Borrowers Programme and the Agri Business Small and Medium Enterprise Investment

Scheme(AGSMEIS). According to him, groups of youth with contiguous land for farming are eligible to seek the Bank’s support through the CBN prime anchor arrangement. “The CBN will not only provide access to credit for these youths but will also provide guarantees that their produce will be purchased by a prime anchor at agreed prices,” the Governor assured. Meanwhile, Mr. Emefiele said the CBN would resist attempts by those who seek to continually import maize into the country, noting that maize farmers in Nigeria had what it takes to close the maize demand gap of over 4.5 million metric tonnes in the country. “With over 50,000 bags of maize available on this ground, and others aggregated across the country, maize farmers are sending a resounding message that “we can grow enough maize to meet the country’s demand,’” he declared. Speaking further, Mr. Emefiele explained that the maize unveiled at the ceremony would be sold to reputable feed processors, adding that this would in turn impact positively on current poultry feed prices, as over 60% of maize produced in the country are used

for producing poultry feed. Justifying the Bank’s continued strategic intervention in the value chains of focal crops, he said the CBN was leading the revolution, because the impact of our monetary policy measures would be limited, if the monetary authority in collaboration with the fiscal authorities failed to address some of the structural constraints that limit productivity in key sectors of our economy such as agriculture. Specifically, he said the Bank’s intervention was in line with its mandate and aims at ensuring price stability as well as improved availability of staple food items. He disclosed that the Bank and MAAN sought to increase the target hectarage for 2021 to 500,000 ha from the 2020 target of 250,000 ha, adding that to achieve the target, the Bank sought to introduce the use of contiguous land, high yielding seeds, mechanization, leveraging technology for land mapping and monitoring as well as expanding the Strategic Maize Reserve (SMR). So far, he said the Bank had released 100,000 metric tonnes of maize to the market, through the major producers. Emefiele therefore urged all stakeholders to sustain the current

efforts to galvanize agricultural production to meet the requirements of Nigeria’s growing population, stressing that the nation could not continue to dwell on the neglect of past years if it was determined to realize the national target of producing what Nigerians eat and eating what is produced in Nigeria. Also speaking, the Katsina State Governor, Rt. Hon. Bello Masari, said that the state had suffered a setback in agriculture as over sixty thousand hectares of farmlands were uncultivated due to insurgency, which hindered farmers from gaining access to their means of livelihood. The Governor of Kebbi state Senotor Atiku Abubakar Bagudu who represented President Muhammadu Buhari while unveiling the pyramids, reassured the farmers, processors and other value chain participants, of the support of government towards ensuring that they perform optimally. Hence, he said availability of inputs like high yield seedlings and fertilizers were being made available to farmers adequately in addition to prompt offtaking of produce. He further assured the people of the area that government was taking the security challenge with every seriousness and had resolved to stem it.

He therefore commended the resilience of farmers for quantity of maize produced amidst the insecurity. In his remarks, Governor Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa state recalled with nostalgia that the historical groundnut pyramids he read about in history books were today being seen physically in rice and maize across the country through the help of the Central Bank of Nigeria. He also encouraged youths to take to agriculture for wealth creation by embracing the schemes put in place by the Bank. Speaking at the event, The Emir of Katsina, AbdulMumin Kabir, bemoaned the security situation in the area and therefore pleaded for serious interventions in order encourage farming activities and sustain the success recorded so far. Commending the CBN for injecting N50billion into the Commodity Exchange initiative, the President, Maize Association of Nigeria (MAAN), Bello Abubakar, said MAAN had recorded about 80% loan recovery rate since the association began to participate in the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme in 2017. He nevertheless urged farmers to repay their loans to enable others also benefit from the scheme.

PEOPLES DAILY, WednesDay may 12, 2021

NSCDC deploys 3,000 personnel to beef up security in Abuja By Stanley Onyekwere


he FCT Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps has deployed 3,000 personnel to beef up the security level in Abuja, the nation’s capital city during the period of Eid el-Fitr celebrations, and even beyond. Making this disclosure, Commandant Matthias Ohiemi explained that the trained officers were deployed to strategic places, in order to enhance security in the Territory. He said: “It’s no gain saying that the crime rate in the entire nation is on the rise, it is therefore the responsibility of the security agents to improve on security strategies so as to checkmate the activities of criminals and hoodlums in the Territory. “It is on this note that we have deployed 3,000 trained officers to strategic places in the Federal Capital to strategically enhance security in such places and the FCT as a whole”. The Commandant assured of the selfless discharge of duty of his officers and men in order to keep the people and the territory secured. He therefore urged the citizens to go about their duties and businesses, ensuring total compliance to rules and regulations; obeying traffic orders, living in peace harmony and decorum. He also called on the general public to work hand-in-hand with the NSCDC and other security agencies by providing necessary information that will help ease up discharge of duties. While wishes everyone a peaceful Eid celebrations, the NSCDC boss said: “Security is everyone’s business”.


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Sallah: Muslims urged to observe Eid-prayers in Juma’at Mosques By Stanley Onyekwere


s Muslims in Abuja today join their counterparts across the world to mark Eid el-Fitr celebrations, they are enjoined to hold Eid prayers outdoors within the premises of their neighborhood Juma’at mosques. Consequently, there will be no Eid prayers at the National Eid prayer ground along the Umaru Musa Yar’adua Expressway (Airport Road). Also, all other Eid celebrations and activities should be confined to homes as all public parks, recreation and entertainment centers are to be closed; and

religious authorities are advised to regulate the flow of people entering and exiting places of worship with only 50% of installed capacity. The directive was part of the guidelines issued at the end of a meeting of the FCTA and delegation from the FCT League of Imams Initiative led by its Chairman, Imam (Dr) Tajudeen M.B Adigun, which was chaired by FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, on Monday. Bello, in his remarks, thanked the religious leaders for their cooperation in the course of the battle against COVID-19 in the FCT. He noted that having gone

through a first wave of the pandemic and a second wave that caused more fatalities and had increased number of positives, it was imperative to prevent a possible third wave as is being witnessed in some countries across the world. The Minister explained that the guidelines were issued based on presentations made by officials of the Health and Human Services Secretariat of the FCTA and the Implementation Guidelines for Phased Restriction of Movement issued by the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19. He added that part of the guidelines is that all nonpharmaceutical intervention

protocols of facial cover; eligiousings, physical distancing and hand washing are to be observed. On his part, Chairman of the FCT League of Imams Initiative, Dr Tajudeen Mohammed Bello Adigun, said “In Islam, you listen to experts, those who are specialists and those who have actually discussed with us are experts in the field of medical sciences. In Islam, you also abide with the commands of leadership”. “Based on this and what we are convinced of, we urge Muslim Ummah to also respect this stand of the Administration of the FCT by observing our Eid prayers within our localities”.

FCT Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, signing the condolence register of former Minister of Women Affairs, late Sen. Aisha Jummai Alhassan, yesterday in Abuja.

Photo: Mahmud Isa

Insecurity: FCTA apprehends 150 beggars By Stanley Onyekwere


s part of its renewed commitment to rid the Federal Capital City (FCC) of nuisance and enhance security in the Territory, the FCT Administration has apprehended over 150 street beggars. Chairman, FCTA Ministerial Taskforce on City Sanitation, Comrade Ikharo Attah, made the disclosure while briefing newsmen, after a combined operations with other relavant agencies, yesterday in Abuja. It was gathered that the

agencies involved in the operation are; the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) and Social Development Secretariat (SDS). Attah explained that the FCTA had observed with dismay the alarming rate of beggars in the city throughout the Ramadan period due to high level of arms giving and charity by individual and corporate organisations. He said: “In the last two days over 150 beggars have been apprehended across the city and more arrest is still going on”. According to him, those apprehended were taken to the

Bwari Area Council Center for Rehabilitation, adding that FCT have a functional rehabilitation and training centre for such persons. “Sadly, very few of them stay there and get full rehabilitation, while many others find their way to run and sometimes they request to be allow to go back to their states. “But what is very fundamental and cardinal some of this persons are being brought by other persons into the FCT. You will see young people guarding blind aged men, we felt that is not what the

city should be. “We also felt for them that is why the FCTA is investing resources to train them. However, we are targeting very strongly the syndicate that always bring them to into Abuja in large number from states across the country. “We realized that the syndicate drop them at strategic positions in town to make money for them. FCT is going all out to get them and ensure that they are prosecuted”, Attah stressed. On his part, Head of AEPB’s Monitoring and Inspection, Kaka Bello, begging was

nuisance related, adding that AEPB was determined to rid the city of all kinds of environmental nuisance. He explained that the activities of beggars was a kind of nuisance that was suppose to be abated, assuring that the operation would be sustain. We have a matching order by the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello to ensure that the movement of beggars within the city is check and stop. “That is why we are working all round both day and night to ensure that no beggar is allow to move in the city,” Bello said.

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world news Russia school shooting: Children


and teacher killed in Kazan


even children and two adults have been killed in a shooting at a school in the Russian city of Kazan, officials say. Twenty one other people, mostly children, were injured. A 19-year-old suspect was detained. The attack happened in the capital of the republic of Tatarstan, 820km (510 miles) east of Moscow. Russian PM Mikhail Mishustin spoke of “great sorrow” while Tatarstan’s leader Rustam Minnikhanov described the attack as a “major tragedy”. “We are deeply saddened that this has happened,” he said. Responding to the shooting, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he would review the country’s gun control laws.

School shootings are relatively rare in Russia. One of the last major incidents happened in Russian-annexed Crimea in 2018. What do we know about the attack? Mr Minnikhanov confirmed the deaths of seven children - four boys and three girls - as well as a teacher and a female school worker at School No 175. It is believed the children were eighth graders (aged around 15). Eighteen children and three adults were being treated in hospitals for gunshot wounds, fractures and bruising, Mr Minnikhanov added. The attack began at about 09:20 local time (06:20 GMT), a source in the emergency services told Russian news agency Tass. The first signal from a panic button at the school was sent five minutes later. “Everyone started panicking and saying ‘shut the doors’,” a student who witnessed the attack told the Mediazona news website. “About a minute later the head teacher started yelling: ‘We’re shutting the doors!’ “We got out about 15 minutes later, not out of the windows. I wanted to do that, but the teacher closed the window immediately and said no.” Footage shared on social media shows some children jumping from windows to escape as well as injured people being

Emergency services gathered outside the school

Heavily armed police and emergency vehicles responded to the incident. evacuated. Russian TV reported that two of A Kazan resident outside the school the children had died after jumping from a told Moscow Echo radio station that people second-floor window. there were hysterical. “Parents are crying,

medics are giving out medicine,” she said. What do we know about the suspect? Reports initially said that there were two gunmen and that one of them had been killed. But officials later said there was only one suspect, named locally as Ilnaz Galyaviev. Russian investigators say he is a Kazan resident and it is believed he once studied at the school. Mr Minnikhanov said the suspect was a registered firearm owner. According to Russian MP Alexander Khinshteyn, the suspect received a firearms licence only recently, saying it was for a semi-automatic shotgun. Officials did not comment on the possible motive for the attack although Mr Minnikhanov called the attacker a “terrorist”. The suspect went on social media before the attack, posting that he planned to kill a “huge number” of people before shooting himself. Screenshots of his account, now blocked, show him wearing a black mask with the word “god” written across it in red. A video on social media captured a teenager lying on the ground apparently being detained outside the building. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter What has the reaction been? Authorities have called for all schools in Tatarstan to be inspected and have their security stepped up. A day of mourning will be held on Wednesday to honour the victims. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said President Putin had ordered the chief of Russia’s National Guard to “work out as a matter of urgency new regulations on the types of weapon that can be in civilian circulation and that can be owned by the public”. The instruction was issued “given the type of firearm used by the shooter”, Mr Peskov said. “The fact is that sometimes types of small arms are registered as hunting weapons, which in some countries are used as assault rifles,” he explained.

Death toll mounts as Israel-Gaza violence escalates


here have been more casualties in Gaza and Israel, as a heavy exchange of fire between Palestinian militants and the Israeli military continues. Militants have fired more than 300 rockets towards Israel since Monday night, killing two Israelis. Israel says it has hit 150 targets in Gaza in response. Health officials say 26 Palestinians have been killed. The international community has urged both sides to end the escalation, which follows days of unrest in Jerusalem. The militant group Hamas, which controls Gaza, said it was acting to defend Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque from Israeli “aggression and terrorism” after the site, which is holy to Muslims and Jews, saw clashes between Israeli police and Palestinians on Monday that left hundreds injured. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Hamas had “crossed a red line” by firing rockets towards Jerusalem for the first time in years. After a meeting military chiefs on Tuesday afternoon, Mr Netanyahu warned that they had agreed to increase both the strength and the frequency of the Gaza strikes, adding that Hamas “will be hit in ways that it does not expect”. The past few days have seen the worst violence in Jerusalem since 2017. It followed mounting Palestinian anger over

the threatened eviction of families from their homes in occupied East Jerusalem by Jewish settlers, fuelled by a month of altercations between protesters and police in the predominantly Arab part of the city. The open wound of an unresolved conflict

The fundamental reason for the renewed violence does not change. It is the open wound of the unresolved conflict between Jews and Arabs that has blighted and ended Palestinian and Israeli lives for generations. This latest episode has happened because of tension in Jerusalem, the sharpest part of the conflict. The holy sites in the Old City are national as well as religious symbols. Crises affecting them have often ignited violence. The triggers for what has happened this time include heavy-handed Israeli policing of Palestinians during Ramadan and controversial efforts in the Israeli courts to evict Palestinians from their homes. But other events could have had the same effect. This was a crisis waiting to happen, in a conflict that, once again, has been left to fester. Leaders on both sides have concentrated on safeguarding their own positions. The biggest challenge, of making peace, has not been addressed seriously for years. What’s the latest on the ground? The violence did not abate overnight and the

sounds of Palestinian rocket fire and Israeli air strikes continued to echo across the region on Tuesday. At dawn, rockets hit two homes in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon. Israeli medics said a 40-year-old man suffered serious injuries. His wife and two children were also hurt. On Tuesday afternoon, medics said two women were killed in another rocket attack on Ashkelon. One other person was seriously injured and five more suffered light injuries, they added, bringing the total receiving treatment in hospital to 84. Hamas said it had fired 137 rockets at the city and nearby Ashdod in only five minutes, and warned that it had “many surprises” prepared if the fighting continued. Before that latest barrage, the Israeli military said more than 300 rockets had been fired by militants since 18:00 (15:00 GMT) on Monday, and that 90% of them had been intercepted by its Iron Dome missile defence system. The Israeli military said it had struck 130 “terror targets” in Gaza overnight in response, including two attack tunnels being dug under the border with Israel, a Hamas intelligence facility, and weapons manufacturing and storage sites. Later, the military and the Shin Bet security agency announced that they had also killed the head of Islamic Jihad group’s special rocket unit, Samah Abed al-Mamlouk. Islamic Jihad confirmed the deaths of Mamlouk and two other

senior figures. “We intend to continue to hit Hamas and all of their military components because of their blatant aggression against Israel,” Israeli military spokesman Lt Col Jonathan Conricus told the BBC. The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza reported that at least 26 Palestinians, including nine children, had been killed in Israeli strikes and more than 120 others had been injured. It said a 59-year-old woman and her disabled son had died in an attack on Tuesday morning. On Monday night, seven members of one family, including three children, died in an explosion in Beit Hanoun. The cause of the blast was not clear. The Israeli military said at least 15 of those killed had been members of militant groups and that it took precautions to minimise possible harm to civilians. “We do whatever we can in order to use the most precise munitions against militants and militants only. But the situation is almost impossible on the ground. Hamas and other terrorist organisations are embedding themselves within the civilian population,” Lt Col Conricus said. He also said that about one in three of the rockets fired by militants landed inside Gaza, potentially causing damage and civilian casualties inside the territory. Source: BBC

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Kenyans bemused over traditional brew’s UK market


enyans are bemused by the news that a traditional alcoholic home brew which is not sold commercially at home is being sold in the UK. UK-based businessman King’ori Mbaki Othaya, originally from central Kenya, is behind the move to sell a bottled version of muratina, a drink enjoyed by Kenya’s Kikuyu community The fermented brew’s key ingredients include honey and a sausage-like fruit called muratina, which gives the drink its name. It is being marketed in the UK as a wine spiced with honey - and Kenya’s High Commissioner to the UK, Manoah Esipisu, tweeted the news: Some Kenyans online have said they are happy to see muratina appreciated at last even if it will not be by lovers of the drink at home. Other are upset that the bottled muratina will not be available in supermarkets at home. “Instead they should be very ashamed of themselves that a shopper in UK can buy muratina in a supermarket but not in Kenya,” one person tweeted . The drink plays a significant social and cultural role among the Kikuyu community, including during ceremonies to mark rites of passage. But it has not been without controversy, and like other home brews its legality has been contested by the authorities. In 2018, a judge ruled that the brew was legal as it was part of Kikuyu traditional customs - though no commercialised version of it is for sale in the East African nation.

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Presidential bodyguard returns after 50-year absence T

he Ugandan VIP protection officer was thought dead A former head of security for late Ugandan President Milton Obote, who was presumed dead, has returned to home to Uganda after 50 years. Vincent Obodo, 81, who had once headed the VIP protection unit at the president’s office, was reunited with his two wives and children on Friday. His relatives had not seen him since January 1971 - when Mr Obote was overthrown in a coup led by Idi Amin. Family and friends sobbed and cried

with joy as Mr Obodo was escorted home by staff from the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), the privately owned Daily Monitor reports. Mr Obodo, who had been living in exile in neighbouring Tanzania for the last five decades, told the state-owned New Vision newspaper that he was happy to return. Obote was overthrown by the army while on a visit to Singapore for a Commonwealth conference. Mr Obodo said he had been at Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport awaiting Obote’s return from Singapore when he learnt of the coup.

Obote went into exile in Tanzania, which is how Mr Obodo ended up there, remaining in the East Africa nation even when Mr Obote regained power in 1980 though he was overthrown again in 1985. “Life in exile has been a thicket of thorns,” Mr Obodo told the Daily Monitor. His journey home had been made possible through the co-operation of both Uganda and Tanzania governments, UNHCR’s Carol Kibuka Musoke told the paper.

Eritrean forces replaced them, it says. After this forces loyal to the TPLF, together with youths from the area armed by the group, attacked them from their nearby base, the statement says. In an-eight hour battle that ensued with the Eritrean troops 93 individuals “many of whom were fighters despite wearing civilian clothes” were killed, the attorney general’s office says. Another five civilians were killed in shelling and one other civilian in an attempt to enforce curfew, the statement says. But witnesses speaking to Amnesty International and the BBC have described the killings of hundreds of people taking mainly over two days. In retaliation for the assault by between 50 and 80 poorly armed pro-TPLF fighters on an Eritrean position on a hill overlooking the city, witnesses say soldiers went on a rampage, shooting at unarmed civilian men and boys who were out on the streets. An eyewitness told the BBC how bodies remained unburied on the streets for days, with many being eaten by hyenas. Amnesty says its interviewees provided

the names of more than 200 people they knew who were killed. Two other people interviewed who were later assisting with burials have said they believe the number could be as high as 800. Eritrea has dismissed accusations of the abuses detailed in Aksum as “preposterous” and “fabricated”. Meanwhile, the attorney general’s office said it had identified Ethiopian soldiers and police officers accused of sexual assault after 116 cases of sexual violence had been registered with police during the conflict. Prosecutors in Tigray would investigate accusations against members of the police; soldiers would be investigated by the army and those found guilty court-martialled, it said. The conflict in Tigray is in its seventh month and although the government claimed victory at the end of November, fighting has continued. Around 1.7 million people have fled their homes and rights groups say atrocities were committed by all sides involved.

Rebels not civilians killed in Aksum - Ethiopian AG


any of the people killed in November in Ethiopia’s sacred city of Aksum, described by rights groups and witnesses as a massacre, were local Tigray rebels not civilians, prosecutors say. The remarks by the attorney general’s office contradict earlier reports by rights groups, including the state-appointed Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC). The EHRC’s report described the killing of more than 100 civilians in Aksum, which is in the northern region of Tigray, by Eritrean troops fighting alongside Ethiopian defence forces. They were both backing an Ethiopian government offensive started in early November to oust Tigray’s former ruling party, the TPLF, from power after its fighters had captured federal military bases. The attorney general’s office says its findings are based on its own investigation on the ground. On 27 November, when Ethiopian troops left Aksum for another mission,

Moussa Marega: Mali striker on his life reflected by his new Saudi club


ali striker Moussa Marega says he and his new Saudi Arabian side Al Hilal share a couple of things in common. His comments came as he sealed a move to the three-time Asian champions from Portuguese giants Porto. The 30-year-old, whose Porto contract runs out at the end of the 2020/21 Primera Liga season, has signed a three-year deal to join from next season. “In 1991, I was born in the French city of Les Ulis and in the same year, AlHilal won their first continental title,” Marega said during his unveiling. “These two stories continue to excite and they crossed again in 2020 when Al-Hilal won a hat-trick [domestic treble] in Saudi Arabia and I did the same in Portugal (with


Porto from rivals CS Marítimo in January 2015 and has since scored 72 goals and provided 33 assists in 190 appearances for the Dragons. His successful spell at Estadio do Dragao has earned him the 2018 Porto player of the year, two league titles, the 2020 Portuguese Cup and Super Cup. The subject of a racist abuse in February 2020, he scored six goals in the 2018-19 European Champions League to emerge joint-third highest scorer that alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Aguero that season. At international level, Marega has three goals in 25 appearances for the Eagles of Mali and represented the West African nation at the 2017 and 2019 Africa Cup of Nations tournaments.

also send between 200 and 300 soldiers to Mozambique on a training mission, the bloc’s top diplomat Josep Borrell said in an interview with Portugal’s Radio Ranancenca published on Monday. Recent attacks by jihadists on the coastal town of Palma have led to deaths and triggered an exodus

that included workers on a liquefied natural gas project, led by the French oil and energy company, Total. Insurgents have been carrying out intermittent attacks against some districts of Cabo Delgado province, some of them close to the border Tanzania since late 2017. Source: BBC

Mali striker Moussa Marega will leave Portuguese side Porto to join Al Hilal in Saudi Arabia at the end of the season

Porto). “And






destination is Saudi Arabia.” France-born Marega moved

Portugal to train Mozambique forces in terror fight


ortugal is to train Mozambican troops in an agreement aimed at boosting ongoing fight against an Islamist insurgency in the north of the southern African country. The agreement was signed in Lisbon on Monday by Mozambican Defence Minister Jaime Neto and his Portuguese counterpart João Gomes

Cravinho. The training is part of a five-year plan that will see Portugal increase its number of troops in Mozambique to 80 to train Mozambican soldiers, share intelligence and help the country use drones to track the militants’ movements. The European Union (EU) could



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Chinese farmers’ income goes up as high-quality development pays off By Gao Yuncai, Chang Qin, People’s Daily


he average per capita disposable income for Chinese rural residents reached 5,398 yuan ($839) in the first quarter this year, up 16.3 percent in real terms, according to statistics released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). Rural economy has maintained sound operation, with the value added of the country’s primary industry exceeding 1.13 trillion yuan, up 8.1 percent year on year. “I made a right decision to return home and start a business, given the huge development potential of the countryside,” said Sun Zhongling, owner of a ranch in Sunzhuang village, Guandu township, Zhongmu county, central China’s Henan province. Establishing a stock cooperative and inviting agricultural experts to the village for training sessions, the man is quite confident about his future development. According to Liu Jianyu, a villager that works for the ranch, he can earn 50,000 to 60,000 yuan a year. Now, the ranch has become an important vegetable supplier for Zhengzhou, capital of Henan province, and is offering 400 jobs for rural residents. It is estimated that every startup project initiated by entrepreneurs returning to rural areas can create 6.3 stable jobs and 17.3 flexible jobs, said Ye Xingqing, director-general of the Research Department of Rural Economy of the Development Research Center of the State Council. A total

A woman picks tomatoes in an agricultural park in Deqing county, Huzhou, east China’s Zhejiang province, May 8, 2021. (Photo by Wang Shucheng/People’s Daily) of 19 million returnees to the countryside have secured jobs near their homes, he added. As technological innovation is upgrading agricultural production, the income of many farmers is on a rise. In the fields of Qingyihu township, Shuyang county, east China’s Jiangsu province, 30 agricultural drones are employed by grain grower Teng Yunfei, who has contracted over 13,000 mu (867 hectares) of land. Thanks to technologybacked grain-growing, the man made more than six million yuan last year, with each mu of land generating an income of 500 yuan. Green planting is also benefiting many farmers

including Zhang Jian from Wangji township, Siyang county, east China’s Jiangsu province. By replacing chemical fertilizers with organic fertilizers, and pesticides with sticky traps and bug zappers, Zhang’s peaches were certified as green products and put on the shelves of major supermarkets in Shanghai. “Greenness is a golden signboard that makes our peaches more valuable,” Zhang said. Chinese people’s demand for quality and green products is growing even stronger as they embrace a better life. It is reported that over 97 percent of agricultural products have met or exceeded quality standard

in the first three months of this year, and there were over 53,800 types of green, organic and GI (geographical indication) products available on the market. In order to better meet the demand of the upgrading consumption, the country will advance the green development of agriculture from a higher level and on a broader range, said Zeng Yande, head of the Department of Development and Planning of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs. Apart from green products, improved rural environment is also leading to prospering rural tourism. For instance, a modern agricultural park in Cangxi county, southwest

China’s Sichuan province, is visited by nearly 10,000 tourists on a daily basis. “There are 86 B&Bs and hotels in the township, and all of them are almost fully booked,” said Duan Yongxi, a local villager who runs an agritainment facility and had once received more than 200 tourists a day. Duan’s agritainment facility is jointly run by himself and his son and daughter-in-law who quit their urban jobs and returned home. “It’s really great to operate the business together with my family,” he told People’s Daily. Duan is not the only one that’s benefiting from the business. By running B&Bs and restaurants, each local household has increased annual income by 30,000 yuan on average. The rapid growing leisure agriculture is expanding the functions of the countryside and increasing added value for relevant industries. Last year, the sector generated total revenue of over 600 billion yuan, and 150 tourism routes and 200 tourism villages will be built this year. The high-quality development of agriculture is injecting new vitality into the countryside and driving the income growth for farmers, said Zhang Hongyu, deputy dean of the China Institute for Rural Studies, Tsinghua University. Giving priorities to ecological progress and promoting high-quality development will only make even stronger impetus for increasing farmers’ income, he added.

India Covid: Dozens more bodies wash up on Ganges river bank


ozens more bodies have washed up on the banks of the Ganges in northern India as the country struggles with a second Covid wave. More than 50 bodies have been discovered in Gahmar, Uttar Pradesh over the past few days. On Monday, at least 40 bodies were pulled from the river some 55km (34 miles) downstream from Gahmar. How the bodies got there is unclear, but it is thought they are Covid-19 victims. Their identities are unknown. On Tuesday, a local journalist told BBC Hindi that bodies have been washing up on embankments in the village of Gahmar for several days. Locals claimed they had been complaining about the smell for the past few days but authorities had only taken action upon hearing the news about the bodies found downstream in the state of

Bihar on Monday. Police in Gahmar have been pulling bodies out of the river with sticks. About 25-30 heavily decomposed bodies have been pulled out and buried since midnight. Ghazipur District Magistrate MP Singh said an investigation has been launched into how the bodies got there, NDTV reports. “We got the information, our officers are present on the spot and an investigation is under way. We are trying to find out where they came from,” he said. On Monday, officials confirmed at least 40 bodies had washed up on the banks of the river in Buxar, on the border between Bihar and Uttar Pradesh states. Some media reports said as many as 100 bodies had been found, and that their condition suggested they may have been

in the river for several days. An official said the remains would be buried or cremated. A second wave of the virus is ravaging parts of India, with deaths rising significantly in recent weeks. Most of the country’s crematoriums have run out of spaces. India is now the epicentre of the global pandemic and has recorded more than 22 million cases and 249,992 deaths. However experts believe the real death toll could be far higher. This is not the first time bodies have floated up in rivers in India during a pandemic. “The River Ganga was swollen with dead bodies”, the famous Hindi language writer and poet, Suryakant Tripathi, better known as Nirala, wrote about the 1918 outbreak of Spanish flu in his village in a province which is now India’s Uttar

Pradesh state. The writer himself lost his wife and members of his family to the flu, which killed between 17 and 18 million in India alone, more than all the casualties in the World Wars. A report on the pandemic by British official Norman White reported that “numberless bodies were thrown into the rivers of the province” since supplies of firewood to cremate were scarce. “The Ganga, lifeline of major civilisations, flowed with death in its midst. So great was the problem that, along with managing the flu, medical authorities had to ensure that water purification systems of cities along the clogged rivers worked well and that no harm was done by this ‘most objectionable practice,’” writes Chinmay Tumbe, an economist, in his book The Age of Pandemics. Source: BBC


PEOPLES DAILY, WEDNESday, may 12, 2021


From left: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Mrs Solabomi Sasore; Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Mr Olalere Odusote; and Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, during a news conference to commemorate Gov. Sanwo-Olu second year in office, in Lagos on Tuesday (11/5/21)

Why public housing schemes fail – Expert A

bout 70 percent of Nigerians can own houses in the cities with ease if innovative strategies available to some experts are accepted and adopted by the federal and state governments. According to a group lifestyle Hub pushing mass housing with cheap funds headed by an expert, Alloy Emeka China, who goes by the business name the Mayor of Housing, social funding strategy can deliver top houses cheaply to over 70 percent of Nigerians. Speaking at a seminar in Port Harcourt on Sunday, China said a public private partnership (PPP) arrangement where the housing scheme is driven by the private expert will do the trick. He said state governments can participate in the solution lifestyle Hub has discovered by giving civil servants the N2m minimum contribution required per contributor to access the scheme. “This is between the Rivers State Government and ReefCourt Estate. Governments can be dynamic in how they execute public housing schemes,” China said at ReefCourt Estate where the

first 10 units of 4-bedroom duplex with swimming pool on top would spring up in the coming months. “Why housing projects fail is because governments handle it themselves because it is not profit and value-driven. Our people have how they handle government projects, but when it is privately and value-driven, the people will drive it more. So, instead of the government to do it, they should look out for companies that have proved themselves and give them the execution to handle. “Instead of the people paying the N2m on their own, the government can give all the civil servants in Rivers State a loan of N2m and they pay back gradually through their salaries and each person would end up owning luxury apartments in the city. Government should be more proactive and more diligent and choose companies that deliver value like ours,” he said. The Mayor of Housing said his own houses in the scheme are worth N1bn and explained the concept of social funding as different from crowd funding. “Social funding is something I

am excited about because that is the first time in the history of the world that people can play in the playground of the rich. You can own a duplex in a highbrow debt free and mortgage free in a city centre. You can own N150m worth of buildings in a city centre. This system is designed for workplace professionals because we notice that people work for over 15 years without owning a land or house. Mortgage penetration in Nigeria is just 0.5 percent against 82 percent in South Africa and some other places. “We are doing this just to make sure that people can access real estate. With social funding, 70 percent of Nigerians can access home ownership. I usually say that any solution that is not affordable is no solution,” he said. On why the company seemed to focus on highbrow centres, he said, “This is because this is our premium package of 4-bedroom smart apartment targeted at the professional working class. Later in the year, we launch our lowcost package of two-bedroom, one bedroom, and even self-contained apartments in lower residential

areas. We will be the first company in Nigeria to sell such. They would be located in some other areas to represent such perspectives. “We are very different and unique in multiple ways. First, we are not selling houses but solution. The plan is to give you a house worth N150m at N85m at first instance and make savings of N55m. Then, we have strategies to sell same house at different amounts of entry points such as N2m, N4m, or N16m. But, we are not selling house or land but education, selling collaboration and cooperation, which was Nigeria’s early practice. “We are bringing dreams to Nigerians so they can play in the real estate sector. I had a dream and I started with a mere N1.5m three years back. With hard work, I am worth N1Bn from eight houses. We are turning your rent into a home, or the money you would use to buy land outside the city to now own a duplex in the city centre with same amount. “Our houses are very unique because we came up with two innovations plus value. We are the first company in Nigeria to render

commercial buildings with rooftop swimming pool. We are the first to build inter-terrace linkage. Others are not linked and you would need to go around to access your backyard. It comes with fully automatic goggle smart system, full fire and burglary insurance. It comes tastefully finished as never before.” Urging Nigeria to return to the practice of cooperative business that built the nation, he said everybody deserves a home and Nigerians are smarter than they are made to believe. “The prosperity of Nigeria came on the back of cooperative system. The biggest house in Nigeria then (Cocoa House in Ibadan) was built by Cooperative. The groundnut pyramid was the sweat of cooperatives. If we look within, we can do it again. Collaboration is the new competition and we have that spirit. Sprits don’t die. They only get dormant. We can activate it again, and with social funding, many problems in Nigeria would be solved’,” he said. Source: Africa housing news

PEOPLES DAILY, monday, may 12, 2021




India Covid: Hospitals overwhelmed as deaths pass 200,000 T

he real number of fatalities is thought to be far greater, with many not being officially recorded. Oxygen supplies remain critically low across the country, with the black market the only option for some people. Crematoriums are operating non-stop, with makeshift pyres in car parks. There have been at least 300,000 new infections every day in the past week, with more than 360,000 new cases in the past 24 hours on Wednesday. Overall, more than 17.9 million cases have been registered. What are other countries doing to help? Foreign aid has started to arrive from the UK and Singapore. Russia, New Zealand and France have pledged to send emergency medical equipment, and even regional rivals Pakistan and China have put aside their differences and promised to help. On Thursday, the US said it would start delivering supplies worth more than $100m, in addition to individual US states and private companies also readying oxygen, equipment, and supplies for Indian hospital. However, experts say the aid will only have a limited effect in a nation that has a population of 1.3 billion. A government website where Indians can register for a vaccination programme crashed soon after it launched on Wednesday, as tens of thousands of people tried to access it. And in the state of Assam, a 6.4 magnitude earthquake damaged hospitals which were already under intense strain. People ran from their homes and other buildings in panic. How bad is the situation in India? The numbers we are seeing are staggeringly high - but the real number of fatalities are thought to be much higher. Mortality data in India is poor and deaths at home often go unregistered, especially in rural areas. There are reports of journalists counting bodies at morgues themselves, to try to get a more accurate number. In Uttar Pradesh, health officials said 68 people had died on one day earlier this month across the state. But a Hindi newspaper pointed out that officials also said there were 98 Covid funerals in the capital, Lucknow, alone. Crematoriums continue to work throughout the night to keep up with the number of bodies arriving, and many families are facing long waits before their loved ones can receive funeral rites. Some say they were asked to help speed up the process by piling the wood themselves. In the southern city of Bengaluru, one doctor told the

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With most hospitals at capacity, many people are seeking help elsewhere, including this woman outside a Sikh temple in Ghaziabad BBC people were panicking. It is one of the worst-hit cities in India, with some estimates saying there are about 300 active Covid cases

per square kilometre. “We were not prepared for this second surge,” the consultant said.

“For the first surge it was well organised. This time there are more cases, it was more sudden, and the situation was not

Crematoriums continue to work throughout the night to keep up with the number of bodies arriving, and many families are facing long waits before their loved ones can receive funeral rites. Some say they were asked to help speed up the process by piling the wood themselves. In the southern city of Bengaluru, one doctor told the BBC people were panicking. It is one of the worst-hit cities in India, with some estimates saying there are about 300 active Covid cases per square kilometre.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported in its weekly epidemiological update that there were nearly 5.7 million new cases reported globally last week - and India accounts for 38% of them. It also said that the B.1.617 variant of the virus detected in India has a higher growth rate than other variants in the country, suggesting increased transmissibility. Are people getting vaccinated? India is carrying out the world’s biggest vaccination drive, but less than 10% of the population has so far received an initial jab and there are concerns about meeting demand. The US is helping India with the raw materials it needs for vaccine production, after India’s biggest vaccine maker, the Serum Institute of India, complained of shortages of specialised imports from the US. Meanwhile, the first batch of the Russian vaccine, Sputnik V, is set to arrive in India on 1 May, The New Indian Express reports. It has not yet been revealed how many doses will be delivered. What is the government doing? India is heading towards state elections, and there is increasing anger towards both state authorities and the central government for the handling of the pandemic. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been accused of ignoring scientific warnings to participate in election rallies and allowing a massive Hindu festival to go ahead in northern India. Dr Navjot Dahiya, the vicepresident of the Indian Medical Association, called Mr Modi a “super spreader” who had “tossed all Covid norms in the air”. The prime minister said he had held three meetings on Tuesday to discuss ways to increase oxygen capacities and medical infrastructure, including the use of trains and military aircraft to speed up transport of oxygen supplies. The BBC’s Yogita Limaye says many people are asking why the military and disaster response teams have not been put on a war footing to build field hospitals. “There is a sense of abandonment in the country, of people being left to fend for themselves,” our correspondent reports. State and union territory governments, from Delhi to Karnataka, have been criticised for allowing Covid protocols to lapse and failing to prepare for what epidemiologists say was an inevitable surge in infections. Source: BBC

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prepared for.”

India has reached the devastating figure of 200,000 coronavirus deaths, with the pressure on many hospitals showing no sign of abating amid a surging second wave.


PEOPLES DAILY, WednesDay may 12, 2021


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WEDNESDAY, may 12, 2021

Tokyo 2020: Sports Ministry Will Help Ayanacho To a Podium Finnish – Sunday Dare T o motivate and encourage Elizabeth Ayanacho to a podium finish at Tokyo 2020, Minister of Youth and Sports Hon. Sunday Dare has reiterated that the ministry will do everything within his capacity to assist her. The Minister on Tuesday visited the Teakwondo fighter in her training as she intensifies preparations for the ancient games. The 22 year old Elizabeth is the only Nigeria in 16 years to have secure Taekwondo qualification to the Olympic. “I am happy with the intensity and level of training that I have seen here today.” “I want to assure Elizabeth that despite the constraint of resources expressed in recent times, the sports ministry will extend all possible support to ensure she achieves her podium dream in Tokyo,” the Minister said. The Minister further

thanked the national champions that attend the special camp, urging them to present a formidable

resistance to Elizabeth which will improve her training and readiness. “I thank all the national

champions here today. Your role is important. I want you to train hard and help Elizabeth prepare, so when

she gets to Tokyo, she will be ready for her Olympic opponents,” he told the federation media.

Chelsea Vs Arsenal: ‘Arteta should beg Tuchel for small soap’ – Orji Kalu FIFA relegates

Kenyan club over match fixing

By Amaechi Agbo


head of North London derby between Chelsea and Arsenal this week, former Abia State Governor and Current Chief Whip of the Nigerian Senate, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu has asked Arsenal Coach, Mikel Arteta to beg his opposing coach Thomas Tuchel to “cut small soap” for him. Kalu who is Pillar of Sport in Africa after he led Enyimba International FC to back-toback CAF Champions League wins in 2003 and 2004 as Abi governor, made the remark on Sunday morning ahead of the big clash between the two rivals “Cut soap for me” is a new Nigeria slang that means “Help me” or seek for help. Chelsea will host Arsenal on Wednesday night in a North-London derby and many believe with Chelsea’s current form, Arsenal could be in for humiliation. “At this point Aterta should beg Tuchel for small soap,” Kalu said on his official Facebook Page Sunday morning. “Happy Sunday dear sports loving friends! “What do you think?,” he asked In late 2020, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, declared his intention to purchase a 35% stake in Arsenal Football Club. “As a pillar of sports in Africa, I am considering an investment in football, and I will buy a 35 percent stake in Arsenal football club. Our target is to lift the Champions League and Premier League back to back as we did with Enyimba. “Our success with Enyimba between 2000-2007 has continuously increased my


Orji Uzor Kalu passion for football. Doing what you love and loving it is where greatness lies. I need 35 per cent of Arsenal to bring back trophies,” he said. In the past 5 meetings since 2018, Arsenal have defeated Chelsea 3 times against Chelsea’s one win and a draw. However, under Thomas Tuchel, this is the first encounter between the two since the German took over at Chelsea in January after Frank Lampard was sacked. Tuchel has gone on to rejuvenate Chelsea who have recorded impressive performances at present including reaching Champions League final at the expense of Real Madrid. On Saturday, Chelsea defeated

orld football umpire, FIFA has relegated a Keyan club side, Zoo FC over match fixing. The Kenyan Premier League club has been relegated to the second division by the world football body. According to Fifa, between 2018 and 2020, Zoo FC violated articles 8 and 18 of the Disciplinary Code. The body accused the club of having fixed several Kenyan Premier League matches. The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has found the Kenyan club Zoo FC guilty of having been involved in “a case of matchfixing in violation of the FIFA Disciplinary Manchester City 2-1 at Etihad to propel them Code (2019 edition)”, according to the world football governing body. to 3rd place in the EPL log. In the statement made public on its This is in contrast to Arsenal’s form lately. The Gunners on Thursday failed to progress website, FIFA then explains that, “the to the Europa League final after they drew disciplinary measure stems from an blank against Spanish Villarreal to crash out investigation conducted by the FIFA on 2-1 aggregate loss. Integrity Department. In cooperation with The loss meant Arsenal will for the first time in 25 years not play continental match the relevant stakeholders and authorities. In accordance with the mandate given to it next year. The Gunnar’s on Sunday defeated West by the Kenya Football Association and the Brom 3-1 and consequently sent them back to Confederation of African Football.’’ Despite this relegation, Zoo FC can still Championship The Chelsea Vs Arsenal match on appeal to the FIFA Appeal Committee in Wednesday will kick-off by 8:15pm Nigeria accordance with Art. 56 of the Disciplinary time Code.

Manchester City withdraw and Chelsea prepare to follow

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PEOPLES DAILY, WednesDay may12, 2021



ANOCA conifers highest honour on sports minister

By Albert Akota


inister of Youth and Sports Development Mr Sunday Dare has been honoured by the Association of National Olympics Committees of Africa with the Highest Order of Sports Administrator Award for his immense contributions to the growth of the Olympics Movement and Sports in Africa. Conferring the Award

on the Minister during a courtesy visit to his office in Abuja yesterday, President of ANOCA Mr. Mustapha Berraf said “ANOCA is happy with the role you played in ensuring the completion of our headquarters in Abuja, we are very proud of all that you have done for sports Development in Nigeria and Africa. We hereby present this award to you for your great work and contributions to sports Development. We are very

proud of you and look forward to an enduring relationship for the future of our sports” In his response, Mr. Dare said “Thanks for this honour and award which is quite special. When I met you in Morocco few months on assumption of office, the chemistry was spontaneous because of our love for sports Development in Africa. Since I met you, I’ve learnt alot about sports in Africa and it’s bits of politics.

You need an undying spirit to succeed in sports. ANOCA has grown from strength to strength and we are proud of hosting ANOCA office on our soil. We sincerely thank the IOC President and yourself for the role you played in making Nigeria the Olympics Capital of Africa. Thank you so much for the partnership you offer us.” On the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Mr Dare said “Your visit is timely, coming at a time

we are preparing for the Tokyo Olympics to use the power of sports and give hope to people that sports can conquer covid-19. As we look forward to Tokyo, I wish that as Nigeria excels, Algeria can also excel so that we all can celebrate Africa’s success. I look forward to the invitation to the ANOCA meeting in Cairo, Egypt as well as the African Atheletics Championships in Algiers.”

Nwakali Denies Dumping Nigeria For Another Country


igeria international and Alcorcon FC of Spain midfielder, Kelechi Nwakali, has denied reports flying around in some sections of the media that he’s planning to dump Nigeria for another country. Reports emanated said that Nwakali is on the verge of dumping Nigeria’s Super

Eagles for another nation after is yet to secure opportunity of representing the country at competitive game. Nwakali via his social media handle denied the reports and emphasised is commitments to corning the green and white of Nigeria. “Contrary to the reports circulating in the media, I

remained committed to serving my country. It is always an honour to wear green and white of Nigeria and it’s my dream to do so. “I categorically denied these reports and i will continue to work hard until i am called upon. I am hugely proud to have represented Nigeria at various levels and am grateful

to have had these opportunities in my career so far. “I have never considers playing for another nation and continuing to play for Nigeria at international level remains my priority,” he said. Nwakali has played for Nigeria at U17, U20 and U23 level but to play for Super Eagles in a competitive game.


PEOPLES DAILY, WednesDay may 12, 2021


The ruinous pathway to national collapse: The yearning for reversal Cont. from page 32

terrors looks more of an impractical task for the country, not because the capacity is lacking but because the perpetrators are the same people who profess to own the country and might even, in disguise, be involved in the processes and attempts at ending the menace. How could governors and leaders who benefit wholesomely from perpetrated insecurity in their backyards contribute sincerely to the fight against insecurity in the country? Our fight against insecurity in Nigeria must be reviewed off the book to reflect the unique realities of events and contributions as much as personalities involved in the act of insecurity in the country. We are at the critical corner where we must set our minds at speaking the truth and facing realities of the state of our nation; failure to address issues as they are for whatever reason has forever cause us more harms in this country, and we cannot afford to continue to deceive ourselves hiding under whatever cloak of pretence and hope that things will sort themselves out for us. Who are the perpetrators of all these insecurity against the country? Are they not Nigerians, are Boko Haram, the bandits, the kidnappers across the states and communities, the ESN, the unknown gunmen and the other nonchristened, non-state actors of terror not from among us? Those that are joining to swell their ranks daily, are they not coming from among us? Are Nigerians not the ones who choose daily to join the cliques of kidnappers as means to earn a living; who see the evil menace and the panicking and agony their enterprises cause us as nothing but a money making venture? Don’t we know that the population of these deviants is increasing on a daily basis as Nigerians are swooping out to join the forces crippling the country? Lest we forget, INEC’s offices have become a frequent target of late, particularly in the Southeast and Southsouth by unknown terrorists and thereby putting the Commission in frantic mode to secure itself including assets. If we are to begin to kill them all, how many would they be? How many of our own people across all regions would be killed because our attackers are also our people. This is an irony of a nation seeking growth and development in the midst of self afflicted attacks. We also have to deal with the theoretical insinuation that there are powers and individuals beyond the shores of the country in alliance with others from within who have overtime bent on seeing the country shaken and collapse. This might not be totally untrue and strange; we have seen it happening in several other nations that are currently in unsolvable chaos, but we cannot be destroyed except we accept to be destroyed and work in tandem with those that want to destroy us. The deep conspiracy against the country and its wealth would only play out if

and when Nigerians play into the hands of the enemy. Whoever or wherever the conspiratorial actors against the country could be, will not lift a finger against us directly but through our own who chooses to join the league of the destroyer of the country for promised rewards or whatever other ends; and altogether, they will not succeed at their enterprise except we, Nigerians on the streets, turn our back on the country, to watch it crumble, without a fight for her soul. It is all about us. When we sort ourselves, the country would be sorted. This is our story now. We are our own killers, both literally and indirectly; we are the force that sets against the progress and survival of the nation; we are the terrors that are bent on pulling the nation down for all the reasons. Today, there is nothing associated with Nigeria that is as potent as terror; nothing that is as potent and worrisome as insecurity. Nowhere in the country is safe any longer; not the road, the streets, the workplaces or the farms. Nigerians are being killed in their numbers daily without cause, farming communities are totally shut down across the country, and Nigerians are groaning under the immediate consequence of growing cost of food items; and government responses, as pronounced and wellintentioned as they may be, are becoming less effective and inadequate compared to the sustained frequency of attacks with a direct consequence of attention being taking off most other necessities of state, with a grand effect on a nation that is already struggling. And yet, despite these bolded realities, we are still the same people, who prefer hiding the truth to please either selfish interests or protect some selfish investments somewhere. We are still the same people who would refuse to ask pertinent questions; we are the same people who play politics with everything, concluding that there are untouchables in our midst. How could we, with all our intelligence gathering capacity, not have been able to or rather choose not to be able to identify, arrest and convict only one individual in the history of terrors against Nigeria. In a state where romance with the enemies of the country is a feat to be celebrated; where the likes of Gumi can make contact with every sect and groups attacking the country at will, and yet the nation quickly accepts that as normal. How could individuals from the onset have direct access to these groups and the entire nation’s security authorities and attack forces do not? Is it a new normal that some people should become celebrities by speaking for the oppressors of the state? The very way we do everything but attempt to unravel publicly the forces behind the bandits and Boko Haram in the country; the very way the Southeast is becoming as terror-filled as the Northeast, and we are not making commensurate efforts to unravel and decimate the powers behind the newly developed and growing terror forces.

Rather than do the needful, we are more mindful of our political tones and implications of every move and reaction we take. We are more inclined to associating the attacks in the North to religious fanaticism and tribal conquering as much as we have now totally linked the onslaught in the Southeast with sectional deprivation and even threatening a more vicious action in the event of a member of the section of the country not becoming president in the next dispensation. The killings we see, the kidnapping of innocent school children that are becoming more of a pastime now, the increasing cost of market goods, especially foodstuff in the country among the endless list, doesn’t care about our political rhetoric or of our tribal or religious oversensitivity; they are national universals that touch the poor and the rich alike, hit the politicians and the masses alike, and make the country unlivable for us all. If the politicians would not at this time recognise the sacrosanct need to separate politics from national need for security and the massive political foot soldiers on the streets and on social media would not recognise we are at the breaking point as a people and a nation, we are doomed. The solution we seek is not rested on the government alone at this material time. This has blown out of the capacity of the state to overtly restore peace in this country. We have gotten to the point where we would all agree and decide this madness has gone far enough and must stop. We are at the point when all our actions and reactions must speak one language, in one direction; the language of rescuing Nigeria from the grip of those that are bent on destroying it. Our institutions, the religious, traditional, the civil society and the citizens all together, must be set to disown all past side-taking and to fight against the scourge of insecurity in the country. The best the government could do for the country and its people at this point is to furnish the public with the names of individuals and groups behind the various terror groups terrorising the country. We are at the point where we must choose between the disintegration of Nigeria and the preservation of individuals; nothing will save us as much as flushing out the masterminds and serving them commensurate punishments for their atrocities against the state of Nigeria. The era of attempts to play political cards with the national response has expired; the only option on the table is the truth and a full force attack on the terrorists and their collaborators. The government, this time, must have to work with the citizens. We must find a way around to unite Nigerians to defend the country. Beyond and above every other response, the potency of uniting Nigerians to present a singular front in the country’s counter-attack against the vicious national insecurity is the most singular workable strategy at this point. The citizens must be rallied

to stand up for, and with the country against all uprising against it; the current divisiveness in the country while we are simultaneously confronting enemies from different quarters is a major war greater than whatever potential external wars we may face. Our case as a nation is the story of a house divided against itself. I have said this again and again, it is time the government brought the people together through whatever means that is feasible to rescue the country. If this is not done now - with a sense of urgency - to get the people actively involved in the nation’s responses to the onslaught against the country, we might realise too late that this is just the beginning of the woes and wanton destruction permeating the country. If we fail to address the insecurity now, the planting season will end without Nigerian farmers being unable to plant, and the capacity of the nation to feed itself would further deteriorate plunging the country into yet another new level of crime-brewing hunger. Right now, a measure of garri has risen above five hundred naira from just two hundred naira and a measure of beans to above seven hundred from two hundred and fifty within two years; all because farmers could no longer go to farm. The fallout of not stopping this madness even at this moment might be too much for us in the next few months or a year. The government will continue to amass opposition from across the masses; the opposition parties will mostly likely continue to devise more strategies to benefit from the apprehensions on the street; the enemies of the country will get stronger and bolder to operate in our hatred-filled disunited communities and streets; and the nation will continue to deteriorate in all forms, except we do the needful to salvage the situation. But we are the cause of all the agonies and pains that we have gone through, and if there is any solution, it is with us and in us. The question now is are we ready, are Nigerians ready to abandon the hate rhetoric of the social media, to abandon the created and cherished religious and tribal dichotomies that we value above national patriotism; to abandon non-productive gyrations and academic display of theories that only put more stolen monies in the pockets of corrupt officers and begin to, in unison, reject the terrors that inflict our land. This is the time that we should all from our little corners begin to do something to end the form of attacks against the whole in our vicinity. Maybe, if we commence and intensify this, we might end the year 2021 with some measure of quality peace and serenity. And finally, this is the time this nation needs its leadership more than ever. The President must go out of the normal and regular to give Nigerians more reasons to rejoice in the shortest time possible; whatever has to be done, must be done, and the time is now. We must redeem Nigeria. GOD BLESS THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA!

SPACE FOR SALE SPORTS The ruinous pathway to national latest collapse: The yearning for reversal . . . putting the people first

WednesDay may 12, 2021

European Super League: Fifa boss Gianni Infantino ‘strongly disapproves’ of breakaway league


ifa president Gianni Infantino “strongly disapproves” of the breakaway European Super League and says the 12 clubs will have to “live with the consequences” of their decision to join. Premier League clubs Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham are part of the proposed league. “There is a lot to throw away for maybe a short-term financial gain for some,” said Infantino. “Either you are in or you are out.” Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson met with the Football Association, Premier League officials and fans’ representatives on Tuesday, after which the government said it will take “whatever action necessary”, including legislative options, to ensure the proposals were stopped. Johnson’s stance is supported by Labour and the Liberal Democrats. A statement released after a meeting between the Premier League and the 14 clubs not involved said they “unanimously and vigorously” rejected plans for the competition. It added that it is considering “all actions available” to stop the competition and asked the six teams to end their involvement immediately. The Football Supporters’ Association has met with the government and the Labour Party to discuss the impact of the breakaway league. Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin called on the English clubs to “come to your senses” Real Madrid president Florentino Perez said the new league was needed to “save football”

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n many fronts, Nigeria has been on a ruinous path. The superbly blessed nature and potential capacity of the country have now fast become a shadowed space of grief and agony, filled with woes on countless fronts simultaneously without any substantial respite yet, despite government’s series of actions. From taking scores of decisions over the decades by politicians and opportune individuals, to harnessing the wealth and resources of the country for personal usage, to the resulting consequences of the underdevelopment of Nigeria by Nigerians; the incapacity of Nigerians of various nationalities and persuasions to live peacefully, develop as humans collectively, and access national resources legitimately for personal developments, the unavailability of basic amenities over the last sixty years, the national loss of capacity to provide employments for its citizens via dearth and forced closure of businesses and companies in droves by administrations in the past, the failure of the nation’s education system to meet the demand of the new global cravings for total child and nation development through education, the dilapidating structure of the nation’s healthcare system, social infrastructural fabrics and the enthronement of tribal and religious sentiments as the hallmark of national identification, has taken away from the country the potentials to grow and develop at a commensurate rate with it potential. On the economic front, it is a sour story of national struggle amidst citizens’ poverty; regardless of efforts, over the past thirty years, over sixty percent of Nigerians live below the poverty line. Survival, for most Nigerians, has been an uphill task; the number as well as the veracity of the effects of poverty on the people has always been on the increase, as the need for improvisation to survive becomes a commonplace. Crime and criminality become readymade survival alternatives; the

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USSIJU MEDANER info@medaner.com, justme4justice@yahoo.com streets have become littered with youths-turned criminals and have increasingly become unsafe by the day until we get to the point we are today. While politicians, also Nigerians, were becoming super rich at the expense of the lot of the citizens who are condemned to watching opulence nearby without access, there were warnings of what is to come when the people would no longer hold the inbuilt poverty induced anger, but we are all careless and unbothered that the bottled leopard will one day broke free. The youth came out of school and returned to the streets searching for nonexisting jobs, watching as their mates’ part with as much as a million naira, to secure as low as a teaching job in their own country, to government officials. For decades corruption has been thriving in the government sector. It is not hidden that less than two percent of the population controls the bulk of the riches of the nation, stashing money, flashing the wealth with reckless abandon and systematically turning the streets against itself to protect themselves by diverting attention from their ills against the country. They simultaneously took all the elements of unity away from the street, turned the people against each other on all feasible fronts and have been ostentatiously enjoying their

public loot in “peace” until now. And now, that the nation needs some unity to confront its problems, it is unavailable and more nearly impossible to reinvent. Beyond the economic woes arises the more troubling proliferation of insecurity in the country. Gradually and finally, we got to the point where the citizens, a set of Nigerians, choose to rise against the system that has forever neglected their welfare and careless about their survival within the national enclave. It becomes too easy to enlist Nigerians in terroristic acts against Nigeria, because the system has repeatedly disowned them. Now, we have a probable case of Nigerians destroying Nigeria and Nigerians on all fronts. It was Boko Haram, then kidnappers and then bandits; we know in part why Nigerians could be turning against Nigeria but couldn’t understand what other factors made some of these deviants to carry arms against the country. Then we have ESN, IPOB, the unknown gunmen and several other pockets of armed uprisings against the state of Nigeria. We failed to grasp what they truly represent till today as much as in our initial and most critical responses to them, and continue to rear issues where we shouldn’t have had any. But we know they were Nigerians, who have chosen the part of hatred

They simultaneously took all the elements of unity away from the street, turned the people against each other on all feasible fronts and have been ostentatiously enjoying their public loot in “peace” until now.

against the country, or rather exploiting cracks in the fabrics of the country to carve out a livelihood in terror. As much as we choose to blame and perfect chosen rhetoric of blaming whatever groups, individuals, tribes or religions for what has obviously become the woes of our nation, the realities would sink in now that we are all in a state of lethal security distress, and under attacks that are not from alien forces but our own citizens; Nigerians, who have become careless about the hurt they wreck on the nation and their fellow Nigerians for whatever reasons they have chosen the path they follow. I have written non-stop on this abnormality in our national history. I have somehow believed in the past that at some point, we will get past these moments of insanity that disposes us to the wanton destruction we continue to cause on the country; but how wrong I have been in that innocent presumption that we will get to the point where we will choose to do the right thing for the country in the spirit of patriotism. Rather than having a respite and getting off the street and ending all animosity and terrors against the state, we have only perfected methods to intensify the attacks and multiply the woes of the citizens and government from the many devastating life destructive, economic crumbling and social life dilapidating terrors against the state. At this point, ending the Cont. on page 31


Katsina Govt. insists no ransom paid for Kankara school boys’ release - News

Is anybody doubting?

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Wednesday, May 12, 2021 Edition  


Wednesday, May 12, 2021 Edition  


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