The National President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Samson Ayokunle, has blamed the increasing security challenges in the country on the way government handle the matter.
The CAN President stated this while speaking with newsmen in Maiduguri shortly after his arrival on Monday.
Rev. Kunle said; “The leaders in the community supervised by the government should be patriotic and bold enough to expose bad elements in their communities for us to have peace.
” I am in Maiduguri to add to the joy of our Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) during the coming Easter celebrations, I will talk to them to know that God is aware of what happened to them and He will be on top of their problems ”
” we should not deceive ourselves it is not yet Uhuru, we have not defeated the Boko Haram or won the war, but their end is in sight. We would not say we have won the war until all the IDPs have returned to their places of abode and are living peacefully,” the CAN President added.
He frowned his face on how unwanted elements rising up and nothing is being done, stressing that all this thing should have been hipped in the bud.
He said non of the denomination was not affected by the insecurity in Adamawa, Borno, Yobe, Plateau, Zanfara, Enugu among others but EYN was the worse hit, as it has a dominance in the Northeast.
From corn roasting to philanthropy
The stories of 33 young ladies and men changed, not just with skills to make an impact on society, but with the needed empowerment to lift them out of poverty and enable them achieve their dreams. REGINA OTOKPA reports
“No matter your condition today, it does not determine your future. Keep believing that you can make it, work towards it with honesty; no stealing, no cheating, no corruption of any kind and God who sees your heart will know how to uplift you.”
Those were the words of Evang. Elizabeth Praise, the founder ISHIBA Development Empowerment Centre, Abuja. She is one out of many women who refused to allow their condition stand as a limitation to climbing the ladder of success despite the hurdles, to achieve their destinies.
For many years, she struggled on the streets of Lagos roasting corn to sustain her family made up of seven children, eating garri and groundnut to survive. However, things took a turn for the better in 2000.
“When hardship came upon me so much, God was telling me he was going to use me to get so many people out of hardship I thought he was joking but when he started uplifting me from the year 2000, gradually, that was when I realised he actually wants to use me to make lives better.”
Speaking to Inside Abuja, Elizabeth noted that with God by her side, she broke the chains of abject poverty and answered a call from 30 years ago to live her life wiping off tears from the faces of the vulnerable and poor struggling to survive.
According to her, ISHIBA since it begun operations as a Non Governmental Organisation, has assisted over 200 people to start off a business, carried out health outreaches and has so far invested over N50 million on empowerment programmes.
One of such was the recent graduation and empowerment of 30 young ladies and three men, pioneer students of ISHIBA fashion school in Kuje, a suburb in Abuja, after a one-year free entrepreneurial training. For their personal startups, each student got two sewing machines and the sum of N100,000 to rent a shop in any location of their choice.
Beaming with smiles, an excited Elizabeth who said she got the vision to be a philanthropist about 30 years ago, explained that her experiences years back helped to ignite her passion to cater for others, especially the poor and needy.
“Without God, there is no ISHIBA. He gave me the vision about 30 years ago when I was in abject poverty, when we were unable to feed.
“I thought he was joking but when he started uplifting me from the year 2000 gradually, that was when I realised he actually wants to use me to make lives better.
“I know the meaning of the word poverty and even though it has been deleted from my life, I am now using the blessings to cater for others. This is a pinch of what I want to do for the less privileged; I only pray God to bless me with more resources to do that he has asked me to.
“I am not rich but the little I have, I use it to empower people and I am happy. It is not about how much you have in your accounts, no matter how little it is, use it to impact on the lives of others.”
Addressing the graduands, Elizabeth whose motivator is her mum, sternly warned against mismanagement adding that the Centre would monitor the progress of each person empowered.
Resident Advisor Entrepreneurship and Youth Development, Sultan Maccido Institute for Leadership, Peace and Development Studies, University of Abuja, Prof Onyeke Onyeke, stressed on the need for entrepreneurial centres in rural areas, churches and universities across the country.
He encouraged the graduands to embrace good communication, be resilient and honest if they want to excel.
“You need to market yourself well enough. We need you to impact positively whereever you find yourselves.”
The overall best student, Margaret Emmanuel, who didn’t find the training easy, said constant research helped her to stand out amongst others.
“It wasn’t easy for me from the beginning but along the line, I discovered that anything you want to do is all about determination. I was even surprised because I didn’t know I would come first.
“One thing I have learned from here is that it’s no longer just about sewing, but you need to be creative.”
On her part, Otor Comfort, who clinched the second position, said hard work is the best. She looks forward to emulating her benefactor by using her resources to cater for others
“I left my business to learn this because it can sustain you. I bake but I am adding fashion designing and I am still going to learn more. When I see mummy doing things like this, I pray to God to make me a giver like this because it is one thing to have, it’s another thing to have the heart to give.”
The Etsu Kwali, Kwali area council, Dr. Shaban Audu, who commended ISHIBA for the free training and empowerment, said one of the ways Nigeria could fight poverty was through entrepreneur skills.
“The idea of training you is to have a multiplier effect on society. This is one of the things important for development in this country to fight poverty and hunger and ISHIBA has trained you to be able to use your skills from being poor and hungry,” he said.
Fire-fighting: Catching them young
A forthright ago, an indelible mark was made in the memory of students of Junior Secondary School, Pasali, in Kuje Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory on fire-fighting techniques. CALEB ONWE reports
The students were not just excited seeing a team of fire fighters from the FCT Department of Fire Service, led by the Director, Mr. Opetunsin Julius, in their school but showed quite an unusual enthusiasm watching a demonstration of how tackle a fire outbreak or prevent one.
The team of fire fighters, who were in the school as part of its fire disaster prevention enlightenment campaign held both students, teachers and other spectators spellbound with some firefighting skills.
Inside Abuja observed that for close to two hours that the campaign lasted in the school, academic activities were temporarily suspended, as the students and staff of all categories struggled for space to catch a glimpse of all the demonstration.
The brief lectures encapsulated important tips on what both adults and children needed to know and do about prevention of fire disaster at home, school and offices. But these talks were not as fascinating as the practical demonstration of how to fight fire.
Some brave and courageous students even volunteered to participate by handling some of the firefighting equipment which they were probably, seeing for the first time.
Highlight of the campaign was the announcement of the names of some boys and girls who were recruited to form the pioneer Fire Safety Club in the school.
The distribution of reflective jackets with yellow and orange stripes to members of the newly formed club was even more exciting to the children as many of them received it with joy.
Inside Abuja‘s interface with two members of the newly formed club revealed more about the gains of the enlightenment campaign.
Rufus Jessey and Victoria Ogale, both in Junior Secondary School 3, could not fully express their joy for being among those selected as pioneer members of the club in their school.
While Jessey said he had learnt a lesson that he would encourage his parents to imbibe in fire safety, Ogale, a teenage girl, vowed to help other students internalize the importance of safety measures.
“I have learnt some things which I will go home to teach my parents on fire safety. I will also encourage them to do the needful in providing some necessary firefighting equipment at home”, Jessey said.
Inside Abuja gathered that the fire safety enlightenment campaign in the rural areas was aimed at preventing fire disasters in view of the fast approaching harmattan season.
Director, FCT Fire Service, Opetunsin Julius, said the enlightenment campaign was designed to educate young people about basic safety measures to forestall fire disasters in the community.
Julius noted that the spate of fire disasters had become alarming not only in Abuja, but across the country and some proactive measures needed to be taken against it.
While inaugurating the Fire Safety Club , he stated that FCT Minister had given the Fire Service Management a marching order to ensure that the effects of the harmattan season was properly mitigated in the territory.
He also explained that the idea behind the fire safety clubs in schools was to arouse the consciousness of the children and make them agents of preventing fire disasters in school and at home.
According to him, the Service would replicate the club in most of the schools across the territory, especially in the rural areas, to inculcate fire safety in the children, who will also assist their parents in the preventive measures.
“Prevention is better than cure. With the incessant fire outbreaks in the country now, we have to do something about fire prevention, especially as harmattan season is approaching and we all know that the rate of fire outbreak during harmattan is very high than in the rainy season.
“We have to be very proactive by bringing this enlightenment programme to the people at the grassroots. I advise parents to be very vigilant at home. They should ensure that there are firefighting equipment, like fire extinguishers and blankets. They should also take some necessary safety measures to prevent fire outbreak.
“Residents should not compromise fire safety for security. They should learn how to always create emergency exits at homes so that in case there is fire, occupants would find a way of escape”, Julius noted.
In his remarks, Vice Principal, Academic of the school, Mr. Yusuf Bisalla, noted that the enlightenment campaign was an imperative measures needed to forestall fire disasters.
He also commended FCT Fire Service for the School Fire Safety Club initiative, which he said would go a long way in orientating the children for the future.
Kubwa traffic: Task team to close Gwarinpa U-turn
Federal Capital Territory Administration Traffic Management Task Team says it will close the popular Gwarinpa U-turn as part of measures toward resolving the festering traffic lockjam in that axis.
Chairman of the team, Mr Ikharo Attah, who made the disclosure while briefing newsmen on Friday in Abuja, said that the decision was in tandem with the resolve of the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, to ease traffic flow in the territory.
Attah said that traffic bottleneck on the roads as well as rising accident ratescin had reached alarming levels.
He explained that the Executive Secretary of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), Malam Umar Jubrin, acting on the minister’s directive, mandated some engineers to ensure that the traffic team’s request was fully carried out.
“After over two months of study of the situation during peak periods, we discovered that the major cause of traffic gridlock on the Kubwa expressway is the Gwarimpa U-turn located close to the Charley-boy route.
“We have tried to manage the situation for several weeks through the Federal Road Safety Corps by putting men and vehicles on the ground during peak periods.
“This yielded very little result as the traffic bottleneck is caused by those negotiating at the U-turn.
“This is a tough decision particularly as it will affect those entering Gwarimpa from the expressway, but we must not shy away from addressing the plight of millions plying the other northern expressway (Kubwa road),’’ he said.
He said that motorists would have to use the EFAB Metropolis interchange (flyover), to connect with the service lane that leads to Gwarimpa Housing Estate.
According to Attah, while the engineers will seal up the U-turn, officials of the Federal Road Safety corps would be on ground to direct motorists and ensure the work is done without disruption.
Ijaw, Itsekiri tournament winners bag CEPEJ’s N2.2m
The 2019 edition of the popular Peace and Unity Football Cup competition between Ijaw and Itshekiri in Delta State has ended in grand-style with winners of the tournament coasting home with N2.2 million cash awards and other consolation prizes.
The donor, National Coordinator of the Centre for Peace and Environmental Justice (CEPEJ), Sherrif Mulade, said the competition, which had been trending for over two weeks, was designed to foster unity, peace and progress among the youth of the two ethnic nationalities.
Ijaw and Itshekiri engaged in life threatening intra-ethnic dispute over a decade ago, which left dozens of persons dead and maimed.
For Mulade, “Football game, the world over, has the capability of promoting peaceful co-existence among the youth from the three ethnic groups, using sports to cement relationships and attract investments.”
The round leather game, which took place in Warri, finally came to an end with spectators at the Benikrukru Township Field cheered Ajudiabo FC and Kunukunuma FC, which locked horns for the third place prize, as well as Ogidigben FC and Okerenkoko FC, which had a titanic clash for the star prize.
Ajudiabo FC thrashed Kunukunuma FC four goals to one, while Ogidigben an Itsekiri community, beat Okerenkoko FC by 5 to 4 through penalty shootouts after 1 -1 at full time.
Ondo uncovers 51 ghost workers on payroll
Head of Service, Ondo State, Mr. Dare Aragbaye has disclosed that no fewer than 51 ghost workers were discovered at the Local Government Service during screening exercise to prevent wage bill from being loaded with non-existing staff.
Aragbaye gave the disclosure yesterday while briefing newsmen at NUJ Press Centre, Alagbaka, Akure, the state capital on 2019 Public Service Week celebration programme with the theme “ICT and Innovative Governance: Panacea For Youth Unemployment and Migration.”
According to him, 51 workers on the payroll didn’t show up even after extending the screening exercise by about two weeks.
The HoS, however, said that the state government has stopped salary payment of the discovered ghost workers due to their failure to appear for the last verification exercise conducted for its workforce.
Speaking on the new minimum wage for workers in the state, Aragbaye said that consultations were ongoing with labour leaders in the state to work out the modalities on the implementation of the new minimum wage.
He, however, revealed that Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu was eager to hear what the final outcome of the consultations in order for him to append his signature on the implementation of the new wage.
According to the HoS, Akeredolu had on May Day celebration promised workers in the state that he would pay the new minimum wage.
Aragbaye said: “I want to assure the workers that as Mr. Governor promised on May Day, Ondo State government will pay the minimum wage.
“Mr. Governor had been reminding us what we’ve been doing about it in order to get his approval.
“We have been meeting all stakeholders and we are meeting again this week so we can quickly agree. I can assure you, there will be no problem.”
Osinbajo: Why I missed Wole Soyinka Award ceremony
The Office of the Vice President has made public the letter which Vice President Yemi Osinbajo wrote to the organisers of Anti-corruption Defender Award of 2019.
The letter made available to newsmen on Monday in Abuja indicated that the vice president had given two reasons why he would not be able to attend the event held on Monday in Lagos.
Osinbajo said his first reason was that he would be in Abu Dhabi for an international meeting under the auspices of the government of the United Arab Emirates where he was the keynote speaker.
The vice president’s second reason was that he thought it insensitive to attend the ceremony in view of the recent developments on Friday in the Sowore case, reports the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
“I am extremely grateful for the recognition and award of the ‘Integrity Specialty of the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism’s Anti-corruption Defender Award of 2019’ to me.
“The award, I note, is for our justice reform efforts in Lagos State. I had accepted the award with pride on behalf of the excellent Justice Sector team we had.
“However, two reasons explain my absence. First is that I am currently in Abu Dhabi for an international meeting under the auspices of the government of the UAE where I am the keynote speaker.
“Second, in view of the developments on Friday in the Sowore case, I think it would be insensitive and inappropriate to attend the ceremony.
“Please accept my heartfelt apologies and extend the same to the other members of the organising team. God bless you,” the letter reads in part.
Soyinka, Jega task FG on anti-graft war
Until the murders of a former Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, the late Chief Bola Ige, and other high-profile individuals were resolved, the fight against corruption in the country may remain a “futile” exercise.
This was the position of Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, at the United Nations Anti-corruption Day, which held Monday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The late AGF was assassinated in his home in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, on December 23, 2001.
This was a former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, tasked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on the need to show that there were no sacred cows in the ongoing anti-graft war.
In his estimation, Ige and others were victims of “forces of corruption”.
“What has happened to the investigation of such high profile murders of Chief Bola Ige and others?
“If we do not resolve them, fighting corruption would be futile because they were murdered not because of political rivalry but by forces of corruption,” Soyinka said.
Speaking on the re-arrest of the Convener of #RevolutionNow Movement, Mr. Omoyele Sowore, the renowned playright underscored the sanctity of free speech, stressing that the “wark” against corruption, signify the “long walk to freedom”.
He said: “If I say revolution now, am I going to be thrown into prison because those in charge are afraid of the word revolution?
“Let the walk today between the citadel of anti-corruption and the seat of the executive arm of government be the long walk to freedom. What we are doing now is revolution somewhere or the other.”
Also speaking, Jega stressed the urgency in revvying-up the fight against corruption by anti-graft agencies.
Millions of Nigerians not bothered about Sowore’s rearrest —Presidency
The Presidency has said that millions of Nigerians are not bothered about the rearrest of SaharaReporters Publisher, Omoyele Sowore, at the Federal High Court in Abuja last Friday.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said this during Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme on Monday.
Adesina was asked to react to the outrage that greeted the violent rearrest of Sowore.
He said the Presidency stands by the claim of the Department of State Services (DSS) that the video circulating did not reflect what actually transpired in court.
The President’s spokesman added: “I don’t particularly agree with you when you say a lot of Nigerians (are not happy), you know that all this noise has been coming from less than 100,000 Nigerians. And the noise will be so loud that you think it is the whole country.
“It is a country of 198 million people. When just 100,000 are making noise in the social and traditional media, you would think the whole country is in an uproar. There are millions and millions of people who are not bothered.
“There are millions of people who know what the issues are. So, you cannot just seek the opinion of a local minority and then conclude that the country is in an uproar.”
We can’t trust our security forces, if we allow corruption to ruin our institutions – ICPC
The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has stated that corruption is the fastest route to the destruction of the nation’s institutions.
Citing examples of the effects of corruption on institutions, the ICPC Chairman, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, in his message Monday at the 2019 United Nations International Anti-Corruption Day, noted that “when a country’s institutions are weakened by corruption for instance, its security forces would not be trusted, its borders would become porous, criminality will fester and its insecurity may be internationalized.”
He, however, warned that the days of impunity were over in Nigeria and that all corrupt persons must be ready to face the consequences of their actions.
His words: “As we explore the option of collaboration and cooperation in the fight against corruption, we shall intensify activities to detect and investigate acts of corruption, embezzlement of public funds and abuse of office. The days of impunity are over. The warning must be given, loud and clear, that the corrupt will be dealt with firmly, and with the degree of ruthlessness that the law permits.”
Kwara: Ahmed’s administration left N100bn debt, says AbdulRazaq
Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has disclosed that the immediate past administration incurred a debt of about N100 billion as against the N30 billion it handed over to his administration.
AbdulRazaq, who disclosed this on Monday in Ilorin, the state capital, during a rally commemorating the United Nation’s Anti Corruption Day, commended the EFCC for preventing the removal of about N4 billion from the treasury of the state by the immediate past administration at its twilight.
The governor noted that corruption is a cankerworm that affects all and sundry and the fight against it should be embraced by every member of the society, if there would be meaningful progress and development in Kwara state and Nigeria as a whole.
He said: “The anti corruption laws should not be seen as punitive but an effort to guide the people to do the right thing.
“Corruption is a cankerworm that is detrimental and it drastically retards socioeconomic growth and development of the people, the state and the nation.”
He, however, promised that his administration would effectively collaborate with the anti graft agency so as to make the state better.
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