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Border closure: Rice smugglers divert to pineapples

Border closure: Rice smugglers divert to pineapples

Rice smugglers, whose illicit operations were affected by the closure of land borders, seem to have found a way out of their present predicament by diverting into a new line of business; the smuggling of pineapples. Despite the eagled-eyed security operatives deployed to man the boundaries since the closure of the land borders, the smugglers are having a field day, away from the prying eyes of the law enforcement agents.

 

Checks by Saturday Telegraph revealed that the diversion of pineapples into the country is the new moneyspinning business that smugglers engage in, as they have resorted to the use of locally-built vehicles, popularly called fayawo, to convey the products and fast-track their illegal businesses. According to some of the smugglers, who confided in our correspondents, the new trade, which was necessitated by the border closure, has started yielding dividends, as some of the smugglers now smile to the bank. On August 19, this year, the Federal Government announced the closure of all land borders across the country in order to check the increasing smugglings of prohibited goods and services across the country. The action, which has now been circumvented by the smugglers, was to assist, among other reasons, in checking the smuggling of rice, cars, petroleum products and other goods into the country from neighbouring countries, especially Benin Republic as well as curb human trafficking. Our correspondents gathered that the new trend in smuggling and the diversion into the prohibited pineapple business was occasioned by what some smugglers, who spoke on condition of anonymity, described as their “inability to remain idle” in the wake of the border closure. One of the smugglers, simply referred to as Oga Ben, said he and colleagues decided to venture into the new line of business so as not to go hungry in face of their dwindling economic fortunes.

 

“We cannot afford to be idle. Since the Federal Government has closed the border and we need to feed our families, the development is our only resort to stay in business regardless of what is happening presently in the country.” While the government order is receiving mixed reactions across the country, statutory agencies saddled with the task of checking these arbitrary practices, such as the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), appear to be discharging the presidential directive with all sense of responsibility. Recently, there were reports of remarkable improvement in government’s revenue profile, according to the NCS helmsman, Col. Hammed Ali (rtd), who said his agency was raking in close to N5 billion on a daily basis, while others on the divide, such as the manufacturing sector believe the effect of the border closure was impacting on their businesses with the sum of N2 billion been lost every day since the action commenced. To underscore the enormity of this huge financial loss, particularly the productive sector, it was reliably gathered that there have been intense pressure on the part of the Organised Private Sector (OPS) to appeal to the conscience of the government of the day to soft-pedal on its border closure in the overall interest of the nation. This, it was learnt, was to help ensure that Nigeria does not infringe further on the ECOWAS protocol on trade liberalisation in the sub-regional sector.

 

Beyond this, however, is the fact that while government appears to have taken the fight to the doorsteps of the smugglers, a new smuggling dimension may have resonated with smugglers now diverting to pineapple smuggling businesses. Market checks Further checks by Saturday Telegraph revealed that, in many markets, especially those in Lagos, traders are of the belief that imported pineapples are more delicious and more nutritious than those grown locally. However, some local farmers have argued that they are not willing to plant the fruit because it takes time to harvest, aside the lacking of inadequate facilities to produce quality fruits in Nigeria unlike in some neighbouring countries where fruits are planted. A trader simply identified as Madam Osayemi, who sells pineapple at Ogba Market in Lagos State, expressed sadness over the lull in the business, saying that the situation has not been encouraging.

 

She said: “It has not been easy for us to get pineapple because the border is closed and we buy it at high price. Before, we buy it at N200 and I sell it at N250 but now I sell it at the rate of N350. I have no choice than to increase the price of my pineapples because I have to pay shop rent and other bills in the market”. Osayemi boasted to Saturday Telegraph correspondents that she sells imported pineapple which is from Bende in Cotonou, Benin Republic, with other fruits since the imported pineapple are more enjoyable than the ones produced locally. “Pineapple is one of the best-selling fruits in Nigeria that one can sell and make quick profit and it contains vitamins and more nutrition for the body. Over 70 per cent of pineapples smuggled into the country daily are sweeter than the locally-produced fruit, but due to the border closure, there had been price increase in pineapple.” In the line of fire Another young man in the line of the business, who identified himself as Joseph Shobowale gave a clear description of how they smuggled pineapples into the country, narrating how they perfect the illegal act before transporting it into the country. “Most of the pineapples we see in Nigeria are foreign pineapples because they are more nutritious than Nigeria’s pineapple.

 

We pass through Golo, and from there, it is transferred to the border, where the Customs officers collect ‘pass’ (bribe) from. “The ‘pass’ they collect allow us to be able to situate those goods in Idiroko garage. From there, we get a car to deliver these goods to different locations in Lagos and Owode in Ogun State”, he said. On his part, Olawale, a major player in the illicit transaction, said, he faces a lot of hurdles in the hands of Customs officials, as such he has to work according to their dictates. “We give them details about the goods and the car in order to bring them in; if we are caught, we are urged to pay a huge amount of money because the goods are contraband. Now that the border is closed, we take risk in bringing those goods in.

 

“Most of the time, we have some routes in the bush and that is why goods are more expensive because they don’t allow them to pass through the borders. Custom can collect it and not release it because the border is closed for now and we are not obeying the laws of the country.” Smugglers’ haven He further said it depends on the road as it takes a lot of weeks before they could deliver the goods to different locations. We used different cars to bring in these pineapples. We use Mazda, Peugeot, and curve 3 double   doors commonly known as ‘fayawo motor’ (smugglers’ vehicles). “Most of the pineapples are from Germany, India, China and Benin. It passes through the sea and lands in the border at Golo in Nigeria. We leave immediately after we deliver the goods because it possible for us to get another person who may want to deliver these. “The reason we bring in pineapple is because it is fast selling and cheaper and it is very beneficial to our body system. 50 per cent of our fruits in Nigeria are imported and smuggled into the country.”

 

Another smuggler, Mr. Wale Adeogun, also expressed his worries on the challenges he faces while passing through the border that was locked to deliver goods to the market women. The smuggler who spoke to Saturday Telegraph, during a visit to the Agege market recently, said: “While I was coming today, I paid N10, 000 just for my goods to be released because the owners had called earlier but there was no chance to pick the call, because I was locked up but was released around 6am with my goods. I have no choice but to pay the bribe.”

 

He added that there was a high demand from traders from the North, because the pineapples are fast-selling product and it is more nutritious than localised fruit. That is why it’s been sold abundantly in Nigeria by all market women and the molars. Another trader, Mrs. Adeshina Rofiat, at Jakande Ketu Market, said there was no difference between Nigeria’s pineapple and the imported ones but ‘’Nigerian pineapple is seasonal,’’ from imported ones. She, however, preferred to sell Benin Republic’s pineapples because it has a good taste and it is fast selling. “I sell my pineapple at the rate of N300, which was not so before,” she added. She further said: “The pineapple is expensive because the border is closed and the customs don’t allow the smugglers into the country; even if they were allowed, they would have to pay a huge amount of money so that the goods can be brought into the country.” Customs on the alert However, Customs Officer, at Seme Border, identified himself simply as Husseini, told the Saturday Telegraph, that: “I don’t think there is any genuine reason why they (smugglers) bring in pineapple since it is planted in the country. There is no point, but he thinks they do it just to earn a living.”

 

He, however, said when they (smugglers) were caught, they were meant to face the full wrath of the law and would be punished accordingly to the law. He said: “Now that the border is closed, they still find a way to manoeuvre the goods into the country but with all their ruses, we are still ahead of them no matter what. “But there are known solutions to challenge the nuisance that smuggle pineapple into the country”, he said, advising that “they should desist from all evil acts and find a legitimate means to earn living.” Reacting the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS)’s Public Relations Officer at Ogun I Area Command, Abdullahi Maiwada, said 654 bags of coconuts were seized among other Items from smugglers. He explained that coconuts were intercepted at Ipokia axis and other illegal routes at the border, while denying the smuggling of pineapple fruits through the Idiroko Border.

 

Abdullahi said: “Our borders, both approved and non-approved are properly manned as no right-thinking smuggler could think of smuggling such item in large quantity. “The intention of daredevil smugglers was to smuggle such into Nigeria in defiance to Federal Government’s directive on partial border closure. Smuggling of whatever item is suppressed in Ogun Command to barest minimum.” Nutritionist, doctor comment Meanwhile, a nutrition expert, Dr. Olusola Malomo, has warned Nigerians that food safety could become an issue if they don’t watch the rate of consuming the imported pineapples.

 

In an interview with Saturday Telegraph, Malomo said: “Number one, one major issue we need to consider with the importation of pineapples is food safety because pineapple is a highly perishable product and the time of transition=, if you look at it, between one place and another, it would have started spoiling. “But because of nature of the bark, that is the skin of the pineapple, you would discover that it still looks greenish. But it is by the time you peel it that you would see it has started decaying and if care is not taken because at the point where it starts changing its physical features could harbour microorganisms so food safety issue is one of them.” As far as Malomo is concerned, there are other issues that have to do with content and the perishable nature of the pineapples and how long they might spend in transit.

 

“There is also the fact that it is sugary and that apart from the transition and perishable nature, even the vehicles they use in transporting them do not conform to the hygiene standards and could expose people to food poisoning and contamination. And that will now depend on how soon it is purchased by consumers, you know by the time they get to the major markets. There is also the issue of its content. If you check, you will discover that our own local pineapples are bigger and the level of fluctos, that is what the sugar level in pineapples are called, is higher in these imported pineapples so people tend to consume more of these imported ones more than our own conventional pineapples which are bigger and have more fibre,” he added. A medical doctor, Dr Doyin Ogunyemi, also weighed in, saying she doesn’t see any issue with the pineapple as fruit except if genetically-modified or not processed properly. “Pineapple is a fruit. For starters, I don’t know if there is an increase in the importation of pineapple, you would know that. But fruits are vegetable that are generally healthy; they only become a problem if they are either not properly processed or not if they are genetically modified. I can’t tell that either but essentially, fresh fruits, nutritionally grown, naturally grown and hygienically prepared are generally healthy to eat.”

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Earthquake rocks Southeastern France

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Earthquake rocks Southeastern France

An unusually strong earthquake hit southeastern France on Monday, seriously injuring at least one person, authorities said.
The quake, with a magnitude of 5.4, was felt in a vast area between the cities of Lyon and Montelimar which are about 150 kilometres (93 miles) apart, the national seismological office said.
“I was leaning against the oven in my mother’s bakery when I felt the tremor,” said Victoria Brielle, a resident in Privas, some 25 kilometres from the quake’s epicentre.
“A customer’s crockery toppled over and everything broke,” she said.
Another resident in the area, Didier Levy, who lives in a 15th century castle, told AFP that “chandeliers were still trembling” several minutes after the quake, reports France24.
Levy, who said his dog starting barked even before humans felt the tremors, added: “I have never experienced anything like it, I could feel the trembling even though these walls are one metre thick.”
One person was seriously hurt when a scaffolding collapsed, the regional governor’s office said.
Three other people in the neighbouring Ardeche region were slightly injured, AFP reported.
The regional governor’s office added that there was no serious damage recorded in any nearby buildings — and no damage at all at the nearby nuclear power plant of Tricastin.
According to messages posted on social networks, a slight jolt was felt in Montpellier, Lyon, St Etienne, Grenoble, Avignon and Marseille.

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Damaturu killings: Army begins investigation

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Damaturu killings: Army begins investigation

The Nigerian Army Monday, said a board of inquiry has been established, to unravel the circumstances that led to the death of two persons in Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, on Sunday.
It was reported that a military truck driving fast, had hit a tricycle, killing two of its passengers.
But, the Army, while regretting the development, said the Sector 2 of Operation Lafiya Dole, had set up a inquiry board over the incident.
The Sector’s spokesperson, Captain Njoka Irabor, who made the disclosure in a statement, said a toddler and a female student of the Federal Polytechnic Damaturu, were killed in the incident.
“…the Sector has since conveyed a Board of Inquiry to unravel the circumstances that led to the unfortunate incident,” Irabor said.
According to him: “The Acting Commander Sector 2 Operation Lafiya Dole, Brigadier General Ibrahim Sallau Ali, on behalf of Officers and Soldiers of the Sector, wishes to most sincerely commiserate with families of victims of the unfortunate road traffic accident involving a tricycle and a patrol vehicle that occurred on Saturday 9 November 2019 in Damaturu.
“The unfortunate accident is highly regrettable, especially that precious lives were lost – a toddler and a female student of the Federal Polytechnic Damaturu lost their lives.
“The Sector wishes to use this medium to express our deepest sympathy in this trying time to the families of the deceased and also to wish other victims who are still recuperating in the hospital speedy recovery.
“Additionally, this Headquarters has since paid a condolence visit to the deceased families and all those civilians involved in the accident.”

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Former Minister of Petroleum, Tam David-West, dies at 83

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Former Minister of Petroleum, Tam David-West, dies at 83

Sola Adeyemo, Ibadan

The renowned Professor of Virology,Tam David-West is dead. He was aged 83.

Confirming the demise, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the University College Hospital (UCH), where the social commentator breathed his last, Mr Toye Akinrinlola, told New Telegraph on Monday that the don died at exactly 11.05 a.m.

His words: “Professor Tam David West was brought in here over a week ago and was admitted to the Private Suite of this hospital. He died at 11:05am today,” Akinrinlola said.

New Telegraph’s checks revealed that West’s remains have been deposited at the hospital’s morgue.

A family member, who guided the deceased to the hospital while speaking on a condition of anonymity, said: “We took Baba to UCH precisely 11days ago. The deceased had spent 11 days at UCH before he breathed his last. He was rushed to UCH when he fell sick. His children are already on their way to Ibadan.”

In a statement on Monday, President Muhammadu Buhari expressed sorrow at the passing of his ally whom he called “the indomitable Tam David-West.”

David-West was Petroleum Minister when Buhari was the Military Head of State between 1984 and 1985 when oil prices slumped to about $10 a barrel.

Before his ministerial appointment, he served as Commissioner of Education in the old Rivers State. He was also Minister of Mines, Power and Steel under former Military President, Ibrahim Babangida.

“He had an indomitable spirit, stood resolutely by whatever he believed in, and was in a class of his own,” Buhari said of David-West.

The President condoled with the deceased’s family, the people of Buguma, Kalabari Kingdom of Rivers State, the academia, and all those who loved David-West.

Buhari prayed for eternal rest for the deceased’s soul, urging all who believe in David-West’s ideals to approximate same for the betterment of Nigeria, and humanity in general.

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Hong Kong police officer shoots protester in early morning clashes

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Hong Kong police officer shoots protester in early morning clashes

Hong Kong police opened fire and hit at least one protester, during a fracas broadcast live on Facebook, as chaos erupted across the city during rush hour on Monday.

Footage showed a police officer drawing his weapon in the eastern district of Sai Wan Ho as he tried to detain a masked man at a road junction that had been blocked by protesters.

Another masked man then approached the officer and was apparently shot in the chest area, quickly falling to the ground, clutching his left side. His condition was not clear, reports al-Jazeera.

Seconds later, two more live rounds were fired by the officer during a scuffle and another masked man went to the ground, although the footage was less clear as to whether he was struck.

Police could later be seen detaining the two men on the ground. The first man had a pool of blood next to him and his body was limp as officers moved him around and apparently tried to tie his hands.

The second man was conscious and talking.

Al Jazeera’s Sarah Clarke, reporting from the area where the incident took place, said more people were beginning to gather as protesters attempt to shut down the city.

“This is a general strike targeting road and the transport system so major thoroughfares, highways have all been blocked,” she said. “There have been huge traffic jams across Hong Kong. Tensions have frayed. The crowds are building. They are gathering because of the escalation in anger after the student was shot this morning.”

The officer involved in the shooting appeared to be from the traffic police, she noted.

Weekend chaos

A police source, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed to the AFP that live rounds were fired at more than one protester in Sai Wan Ho and that a statement would be issued.

Police said earlier radical protesters had set up barricades at multiple locations across the city and warned the demonstrators to “stop their illegal acts immediately”.

Hong Kong protests getting more violent as anger at police grows (3:13)

Services on some train and metro lines were disrupted early on Monday, with riot police deployed near stations and shopping malls. Many universities cancelled classes on Monday and there were long traffic jams in some areas.

Hong Kong has been convulsed by nearly six months of huge and increasingly violent rallies, with protesters demands including an independent investigation into alleged police brutality.

Activists blocked roads and ransacked shopping malls across Hong Kong’s New Territories and Kowloon peninsula on Sunday during the 24th straight weekend of anti-government unrest.

The latest violence comes after a student died in hospital last week from injuries sustained in a fall as protesters were being dispersed by police.

The protests started when the government tried to push through a controversial and now-shelved extradition bill, but have evolved into a wider call for greater democracy. Many worry that Beijing is meddling in the former British colony’s freedoms, which are guaranteed under the “one country, two systems” formula put in place when the territory was returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

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Australia urges evacuations ahead of ‘catastrophic’ fire threat

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Australia urges evacuations ahead of ‘catastrophic’ fire threat

Authorities in Australia’s eastern states of Queensland and New South Wales declared a state of emergency on Monday as the region prepared for “catastrophic” fire conditions.

People in areas deemed at the greatest risk were urged to evacuate before Tuesday when unprecedented hot and windy conditions are forecast. Officials worry the combination of extreme heat and wind will fan fires already burning.

Three people were killed and more than 150 homes were destroyed over the weekend in bushfires in northern New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland.

Officials said the state of emergency – giving firefighters broad powers to control government resources, force evacuations, close roads and shut down utilities – would remain in place for seven days, reports al-Jazeera.

Bushfires are common in Australia’s hot, dry summers but the current outbreak, well before the summer peak, has caught many by surprise.

“Everybody has to be on alert no matter where you are and everybody has to assume the worst and we cannot allow complacency to creep in,” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters in Sydney.

Australia’s most populous city avoided the worst of the weekend conditions, but authorities have raised the forecast for the greater Sydney region to catastrophic fire danger for Tuesday. It is the first time the city has been rated at that level since new fire danger ratings were introduced in 2009.

Temperatures in greater Sydney are set to soar on Tuesday to more than 34 degrees Celsius (93 degrees Fahrenheit), with strong, dry winds.

“Tomorrow is about protecting life, protecting property and ensuring everybody is as safe as possible,” Berejiklian said.

Climate policies

Home to more than 5 million people, Sydney is ringed by large areas of bushland. With next to no rain in recent months, much of it is tinder dry.

NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons urged people to evacuate before conditions worsened, warning that new fires can begin up to 20km (12 miles) ahead of established fires.

“Relocate while things are calm without the pressure or anxiety of fires bearing down the back door,” he said on Monday.

Authorities stressed that even fireproofed homes would not be able to withstand catastrophic conditions.

Fitzsimmons said an additional 400 firefighters on 50 trucks were heading to NSW from the neighbouring state of Victoria to assist local authorities in tackling the 18 fires across the state, two of which have been deemed out of control by authorities.

In February 2009, Australia’s worst bushfires on record destroyed thousands of homes in Victoria, killing 173 people and injuring 414 on a day that became known as “Black Saturday”.

The current fires come weeks ahead of the Southern Hemisphere summer, focusing attention on the policies of Australia’s conservative government to address climate change.

Environmental activists and opposition politicians have used the fires to call on Prime Minister Scott Morrison, a supporter of the coal industry, to strengthen the country’s emissions targets.

Morrison declined to answer questions about whether the fires were linked to climate change as he visited fire-hit areas in northern NSW over the weekend.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack on Monday accused climate activists of politicising a tragedy.

“What we are doing is taking real and meaningful action to reduce global emissions without shutting down all our industries,” McCormack told Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio.

“They don’t need the ravings of some pure, enlightened and ‘woke’ capital city greenies at this time, when they’re trying to save their homes, when in fact they’re going out in many cases saving other peoples’ homes and leaving their own homes at risk.”

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Call EFCC, Police to order, lawyer tells FG

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Call EFCC, Police to order, lawyer tells FG

A civil rights activist and president, Association for Good Governance, Justice Uhuegbu has called on the Federal Government to quickly intervene in an alleged unbridled criminal activities of the officials of the Nigeria Police Force and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Imo State.

 

Speaking during a press conference in Owerri on Sunday, Uhuegbu accused the officials of the two agencies of turning the state into their cash cow where they milk residents through intimidation and armed harassment of innocent citizens in their criminal bid to make quick money.

 

He noted that inspite the orders of Mr. President and the police hierarchy that police officers should stop searching people’s phones; the policemen in Imo State have been harassing and intimidating innocent citizens into parting with huge sums.

 

 

“I have handled a number of cases against the police and currently I have three cases I’m handling in the court which involves police intimidation and extortion. Their mode of operation is to stop and arrest innocent citizens with trumped up charges.

 

They even compel people to go to banks to withdraw money via ATM to buy their freedom. And this is done at gunpoint”, he said. He expressed sadness that the police in the state had taken over the job of the courts, whereby they usually pronounce suspects guilty without charging them to court.

 

“Their sole objective of doing this is to extort huge sums of money from them”, he said. Uhuegbu also condemned the activities of the officials of the EFCC in the state, saying that since they started arresting suspected internet fraudsters, the anti-graft agency had never prosecuted any of the suspects.

 

He described their invasion of the state as merely a shakedown.

 

“Rather, what they do is to collect money from those boys they tag ‘Yahoo Boys’ and release the boys into the society. So, it happens that on weekly basis, they come to Owerri to raid students hostels and arrest innocent citizens who they also make to pay huge sums of money before they’re released.

 

“So, the EFCC has literally opened offices in students’ hostels in Owerri where they collect huge sums of money by simply intimidating and arresting people”

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APC chieftain, Gbazuagu, hosts Ugwuanyi, Chime, others at daughter’s marriage

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APC chieftain, Gbazuagu, hosts Ugwuanyi, Chime, others at daughter’s marriage

A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and governorship candidate in Enugu state, Chief Gbazuagu Nweke Nwazuagu popularly known as ‘GNG’ at the weekend played host to top political actors across political divides in the country as he gave out his daughter in marriage.

 

Notable politicians in attendance included the Governor of Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi; his predecessor, Sullivan Chime; former Governor of Borno state, Modu Sheriff.

 

The traditional marriage between Gbazuagu”s daughter, Adaora Chidinma and Mr. Azubuike Chukwunweike Arah, took place at Obinagu Akpugoeze community, in Oji River local government area of Enugu state. The marriage was also witnessed by key members of both families, the Gbazueagu family in Obinagu Akpugoeze and the family of Chukwuemeka David Arah of Onitsha in Anambra state.

 

However, the traditional outing turned a political gathering of sort as friends of Chief Gbazuagu from all walks of life visited to celebrate with him. Other dignitaries in attendance are who attended included Senator Chukwuka Utazi who is the current senator representing Enugu North senatorial district and Cornelius Nnaji, representing Enugu East/Isi- Uzo federal constituency witnessed the occasion; Senator Hyde Onuaguluchi and Senator Ben Collins Ndu.

 

A former Minister of state for Foreign Affairs, Chief Dubem Onyia as well as former and serving members of the Enugu state executive council including the state Commissioner for Environment, Chijioke Edeoga, Gab Onuzuluike, Hon Manfred Nzekwe and others attended were in attendance. Similarly, some chieftains of the APC including its National Vice Chairman South East, Chief Emma Eneukwu were also on hand to show solidarity. Gbazueagu while sanctioning the traditional wedding between his daughter Adaora and Azubuike as they knelt down before him prayed for God’s wisdom and prosperity for the couple.

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Sanwo-Olu promises relief to Oko Baba fire victims

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Sanwo-Olu promises relief to Oko Baba fire victims

The Lagos State Government says it is handling the fire incident at Okobaba, Ebute Metta by Jebba, so as to bring some succour to victims. Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said this yesterday while on visitation to the site of the incident to commiserate with the victims.

 

Sanwo-Olu was represented by the Commissioner for Finance, Rabiu Olowo, that of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Idris Salako and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Civic Engagement, Aderemi Adebowale-Owoeye.

 

They were accompanied by the Chairman, Lagos Mainland Local Government, Mrs Omolola Essien. The governor, who spoke through Olowo, described the incident as unfortunate, noting that it destroyed houses and businesses.

 

He said that the presence of the Special Adviser on Civic Engagement was to ensure continuous dialogue with the people on ways to bring them happiness.

 

The governor also said that the presence of the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development was to understand the situation of the environment, all with the aim of bringing lasting solution.

 

“It is learnt that there has been cases of fire incidence for three times within three months, which is too much. ”I have asked my aides to come and have on the spot situation and report back to me.

 

”We are here to see exactly what happened, how bad it is, in a bid to understand the present situation so that we can also learn what we can do to bring some succour to the people affected.

 

”It is not very good at sight, what we will hope to do is to understudy the root cause and we are going to attack it from the root cause, so that this kind of thing will not happen again. “We are not here to displace you,” he said.

 

At least, one person was confirmed dead while others sustained injuries in a communal clash that broke out on Sunday in Okobaba, Ebute-Metta, Mainland Local Government Area where the fire gutted on November 8.

 

Violent clash was said to have broken out in the early hours of yesterday between a group of truck pushers who specialised in scraps business, mainly Hausa youths and some Odua People’s Congress (OPC).

 

However, personnel of the Denton Police Station, Lagos State Command raced to the scene of the clash, later and restored peace and returned normalcy to the area. Narrating to the government team how the clash happened, Mr Hassan Ibrahim, Leader of Hausa Youths, Okobaba, said trouble started when some of Hausa Youths went to buy scraps from the burnt shanties.

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Investment: Tambuwal meets Islamic Devt Bank, rallies Dangote, Gates

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Investment: Tambuwal meets Islamic Devt Bank, rallies Dangote, Gates

S

okoto State Governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, over the weekend led a high-powered delegation of the state to a meeting with the board members of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) in Jeddah Saudi Arabia.

 

This was disclosed in a statement issued yesterday the governor’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Muhammad Bello.

 

The statement said the Governor and his entourage were received at  Jeddah by  Dr Mansur Mukhtar, Vice President (Country Programs and Sector Operations), Islamic Development Bank (IDB) in Jeddah.

 

The meeting, which focused on agriculture, health, education and infrastructure funding was described as “very fruitful,” by the governor.

 

According to the governor, “the IDB meeting is tailored to benefit Sokoto state very soon.”

 

On Friday, before the marathon meeting at Jeddah, Gov. Tambuwal alongside his delegation headed to the holy city of Mecca where they observed the Lesser Hajj (Umra).

 

Meanwhile, the governor and some members of his entourage will depart Saudi Arabia for Seattle, United States of America to meet Bill Gates and Alhaji Aliko Dangote. The duo are chairmen of  Gates and  Melinda Foundations as well as the Dangote Foundation.

 

During the Seattle parley, the state government will explore developmental issues relating to education and water supply, particularly accessibility, conducive environment for teaching and learning, as well as quality control with the two foundations.

 

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NYSC dismisses 2 female corps members from Ebonyi orientation camp

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NYSC dismisses 2 female corps members from Ebonyi orientation camp

The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Ebonyi has dismissed two corps members currently undergoing orientation programme for refusing to wear the statutory camp shorts and trousers.

 

The dismissal was made known in a statement made available, on Sunday, by Mrs Ngozi Ukwuoma, Information Officer, NYSC Ebonyi. She gave the names of the affected corps members as Love Okafor and Odji Oritsetolaye.

 

According to her, the duo were spotted by the camp Director, Mrs Josephine Isu and her team during the routing morning inspection wearing white T-shirt with white skirts.

 

“They were accosted and upon interrogation, they disclosed that they could not wear white shorts and the trousers given to them by the NYSC because it was against their religious belief.

 

“Efforts made by the camp director to make them see the need to obey the camp and NYSC’s rules and regulations proved abortive as the matter was then officially reported to the authorities.

 

“The ‘de-kitting’ proceedings then commenced and the affected corps members were queried and subsequently faced the camp court,” she said.

 

Ukwuoma said that the duo were found guilty after stating that they were ready to bear the consequences of their actions.

 

“The court’s recommendations were submitted to the camp management and the camp director was directed to ‘de-kit’ them in the presence of security agencies.

“The security agencies then accosted them to the gate as they left the camp,” she said.

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