The leadership pf the ymposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) has challenged political leaders to live up to their pledge to end violent conflicts on the continent .
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that in 2017, the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council adopted the roadmap of steps to ”Silence the Guns” by 2020. The call is contained in a statement by the Cardinal Elect and President of SECAM, Bishop Richard Baawobr on Wednesday.
The resolution came at the end of the 19th plenary assembly of SECAM held in Ghana.
The SECAM also recognised that the loss of life and displacement of thousands of people, as well as the challenge of terrorism and extremism in some parts of the continent, are serious concerns that require further efforts by African Union (AU) member states.
The bishops urged social, political stakeholders and decision-makers to take the responsibility of the management of countries within the continent.
“We invite all our peoples to be alert to the situations of insecurity and collectively seek solutions to the problem, the Church must take an important part in this search.
“This is why the Church must play its prophetic role, by firmly, clearly denouncing situations of insecurity and their causes.
“We urge leaders and socio-political decision-makers to put in place the structures and conditions that discourage irregular migration: good governance, employment opportunities, multifaceted security, among others.
“We also urge transit and host countries to respect the rights and human dignity of migrants.
“Intending migrants, especially young people, who seek to exercise the right to migrate, should do so in a manner that is administratively acceptable, youths shouldn’t lose hope but hold on to God through a life of holiness.
“We urge Christian communities to develop an active pastoral care for migration which can be broken down into four steps of actions: welcome, protect, promote and integrate,” it stated.
They enjoined the church to hearken to the call of Pope Francis and live a synodal process of reflection on its vocation to promote communion, participation and mission.
“We are now entering the continental phase whose assembly will be celebrated in the month of March 2023, we invite all faithful to support this dynamism and make theirs through prayer and lifestyle.
“We urge you in the spirit of synodality, to listen to the cry of the poor and earth by caring for the environment, fighting against climate change and promoting social justice for the needy and the poor.
“As a family of God in Africa and Madagascar, we remain committed to engaging the world of media through the traditional, modern and social means of communication and the new discoveries of the digital era.
“We shall intensify the ethical and technical formation of the professionals and practitioners of Church communications while engaging with the philosophies and ideologies that underpin contemporary media institutions, practice and expertise inorder to help make them agents of communion, reconciliation and peace,” it stated.
The clerics further thanked God for helping them pass through the hardships linked to COVID-19 and giving SECAM the intelligence and strength to continue working.
“We express our deep gratitude to Pope Francis, for his message of encouragement.
“We are sincerely grateful to the Ghanaians, all the members of the SECAM Secretariat, and all the bodies that contributed to the success of this 19th SECAM Assembly.
“We express our gratitude to the outgoing executives of SECAM led by His Eminence Philippe Cardinal Ouedraogo.
“We wish the incoming executives led by Bawoobr success in the great mission that the Church has entrusted to them,” they said.
FCT Fire Service has called on residents to stop littering drainage channels with solid wastes.
This, it said, was the panacea to blockages and flooding.
Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Abuja, its spokesman, Mr Tauheed Muhammad, said current rainfall pattern demanded that drainage channels be kept clear.
He observed that blocked channels had resulted in the water-logging or flooding of some roads in the territory in recent times.
“One of the major causes of potholes and puddles on our roads is avoidable water logging, ‘’ he said.
Muhammad added that the Fire Service, one of emergencies first responders had the responsibility to rescue flood victims in conjunction with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other sister agencies.
He also told NAN that residents needed to understand that road drainages also referred to as “gutters’’ in street parlance, were solely for the purpose of liquid waste passage to avoid flooding.
He noted that floods could also damage vehicles and lead to avoidable accidents and advised road users to avoid flooded or water-logged areas.
Muhammad said rather than engaging in flood rescues, it was imperative to proactively sensitise residents on preventive flood measures.
At least 87 women have been hospitalised after a gas leak at an apparel manufacturing plant in India, local media reports said Wednesday.
The workers complained of nausea and vomiting at a plant in the Atchyutapuram district of the southern state of Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday night.
No deaths had been reported and the situation was under control on Wednesday, broadcaster India Today said.
The hospitalisations follow a similar accident in June when around 200 women fell unconscious after a gas leak in the same area, broadcaster NDTV reported.
In 2020, at least five people were killed and hundreds were hospitalised after a gas leak at a chemical plant in Visakhapatnam, an industrial port city in the same state.
In 1984, India witnessed one of its worst industrial disasters in history when gas leaked from a pesticide plant in Bhopal, a city in central India.
Around 3,500 people living around the plant operated by Union Carbide died in the days that followed the leak.
People continue to suffer its effects of it to this day.
Children are still born disfigured, with webbed feet and hands, and stunted growth because of the gas that affected their mothers.
The Adamawa Government has spent N2.8billion to offset liabilities of state pension and gratuities owed retirees in the state Mr Solomon Kumangar, the Director-General, Media and Communications to Gov Ahmadu Fintiri told the News Agency of Nigeria in Yola on Wednesday.
”The liabilities of state pension and gratuities were inherited from 2012. We were left to face this challenge.
”Gov. Fintiri paid N1.5 billion in 2021 and N1.3 billion in 2022. The governor will not relent in priorising the welfare of the civil servants especially payment of entitlements and capacity building for those in active service,” he said.
Kumangar added that the Fintiri-led administration has constructed no fewer than 1,000 housing units in Malkoni community in the metropolis for civil servants.
“We have also fully implemented the payment of minimum wage by paying N32,000 to workers on GL06 and we strive to ensure timely payment of salaries.
”We have since implemented the consequential adjustments to workers on GL07 and above,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Adamawa government in January unveiled a contributory pension scheme for the people.
The pensioners alleged that they are being owed over N27 billion by both the state and local government.
The ECOWAS Commission, in the framework of the project Organized Crime: West African Response on Cybersecurity and fight against Cybercrime” (OCWAR-C) and in collaboration with the Council of Europe and INTERPOL, held a training of trainers workshop on E- Evidence and First Responders in Praia, Cape Verde, July 25-29, 2022.
Reliance on information and communications technology is more pervasive in society, with increased use of personal devices across the region.
This has necessitated the need for law enforcement entities to develop the necessary capabilities to ensure that the efficient investigation and handling of digital evidence is carried out to appropriate standards.
In her opening remarks, Ms. Folake Olagunju Senior Program Officer Internet, Cybersecurity and Electronic Applications at the ECOWAS Commission on behalf of Mr. Sediko Douka, Commissioner for Infrastructure, Energy and Digitization, underlined the importance of having a coordinated approach and towards a more secure ECOWAS cyberspace.
She highlighted the need for participants to share their national perspectives and experiences, as this was an opportunity to build bridges and lay the groundwork for cooperation regarding future partnerships.
Although she wanted the training to be interactive, she ended up emphasizing the need to build human capacity in a consistent and harmonized manner throughout the region.
The deputy head of the EU delegation in Cape Verde, Ignacio Sobrino Castello, recalled the objectives of the OCWAR-C project, which is to support the strengthening of the cyberspace of the beneficiary countries and the capacities in the fight against cybercrime.
He spoke about the EU's ongoing developments in Cape Verde on cybersecurity and on the fight against cybercrime and on the digital economy in general.
He highlighted the need to improve cooperation between ECOWAS member states and the ECOWAS commission and international partners.
He ended by encouraging everyone's active participation.
On behalf of the Secretary of State for the Digital Economy of Cape Verde, Mr. Joel Almeida, Advisor to the Secretary, welcomed all participants to Cape Verde and reaffirmed Cape Verde's commitment to play its role in the cyber ecosystem of the region.
He indicated that Cape Verde's national cybersecurity strategy contains concrete implementation actions that are in line with the ECOWAS regional cyber strategy adopted in 2021.
He also stated that the national cybersecurity center and the CSIRT-CV are underway.
Finally, he praised the organization of the upcoming first ECOWAS Hackerlab Regional Challenge scheduled to be held on October 10-12, 2022 as a great opportunity to bring the community together to spark interest in the current challenges of keeping our region cyber-secure and as a means to find young talent who are ready to be the next generation of skilled cybersecurity workers.
Prior to the face-to-face training workshop, which consisted of advising and understanding the contents and principles of electronic evidence collection for first responders, participants participated in a short three-week private online course to equip them with the knowledge and skills to design and evaluate learner-focused training following INTERPOL training standards.
The week-long training program built the capacity of law enforcement representatives from Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.
The OCWAR-C project is funded by the European Union and the objectives are to improve the resilience and robustness of the information infrastructure in the Member States; increase the capacities of the relevant stakeholders in the Member States in charge of fighting cybercrime.
Rep Essien Ayi (PDP-Cross River) has pledged to take up the sponsorship of Calabar Rovers in their campaign for the 2022 Aiteo Cup. The lawmaker, who represents South Federal constituency, made the announcement on Wednesday in Calabar.
Ayi, who is also the State FA chairman, said the need to support the club became necessary for it to have a successful campaign in the competition.
He stressed that it was also important since the club had already secured qualification for the round of 32 without government support.
The lawmaker added that the need to support the club was hinged on its place in the country’s football history.
He recalled that Rovers under his watch as Team Manager, was a household name in the Nigeria football league and promised to do everything within his powers to help the team regain its lost glory.
“Whenever I watch other football teams in some states like Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Abia, Ondo, Kano and many others, I feel so much impressed about it and attributed the setback of Rovers of Calabar to poor funding by the government.
“I call on the Cross River State Government to take a critical look at the current situation of the Rovers Football Club and take up the challenge of repositioning it.
“We must put sentiments aside in order to find a possible means to revamp the Rovers Football Club,” he stated.
He urged well meaning Cross River citizens to join hands with government in uplifting Rovers Football Club from its current situation.
The newly appointed Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Hon. Norbert Mao and the member of parliament for the eastern city of Soroti, the Hon. Herbert Ariko have been sworn in as a Member of Parliament.
Mao was recently appointed by President Yoweri Museveni to the cabinet following the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Democratic Party he heads and the National Resistance Movement.
Ariko, for his part, was re-elected Member of Parliament in a by-election after the Court of Appeal annulled the election of Moses Attan of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC).
The two were sworn in on Tuesday, August 02, 2022 in a session of the House presided over by the Speaker, Anita Among.
Ariko, who participated in the candidacy of the National Resistance Movement (NRM), obtained 9,407 votes against 8,771 for Attan.
The Uganda People's Congress (UPC) candidate, Pascal Amuriat, received 115 votes.
Mao and Ariko took the oath of allegiance, swearing to "preserve and protect the Constitution of Uganda".
AUDIO Chairman Mao Anita Among welcomed the new Justice Minister and said that her appointment comes at a time when the House calls for the establishment of the Constitutional Review Commission.
“Hon. Mao, his appointment is more historic than we have an opposition member as Minister of Justice.
We have human rights issues, political prisoners, and we hope to bring out the best in you,” Among said.
AUDIO Speaker Among She also welcomed Ariko back to the Chamber.
“Be an effective representative of the people and continue to be a servant leader,” she added.
AUDIO Speaker welcomes Ariko
The Yobe Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Alhaji Goni Lawal, is dead.
Spokesperson of the ministry, Alhaji Tijjani Ciroma, confirmed the death to the News Agency of Nigeria NAN in Damaturu.
He said Lawal, 57, died in a car accident on Potiskum to Azare Road at about 7:30 p.
m. on Tuesday.
Ciroma said the deceased was on his way to Kano to board a flight to Abuja for an official function.
The spokesperson said funeral prayers for the deceased would hold by 11 a.
m. at Yobe Islamic Centre, Damaturu.
NAN reports that Lawal was appointed as a commissioner in 2019. He was a member of House of Representatives from 2007 to 2015. Lawal is survived by two wives and many children.
The PDP in Gombe State have prayed a Federal High Court in Abuja to disqualify Gov. Inuwa Yahaya and his Deputy, Jatau Daniel from contesting in the 2023 Governorship Election for alleged submission of forged certificates.
The party and its Governorship Candidate, Muhammad Barde sought the disqualification in a Suit No: 13012022 between PDP & two others against the INEC & others .
In an Originating Summons filed by two Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Chief Arthur Okafor, and J.
J. Usman, on behalf of the plaintiffs, the party relied on on series of Supreme Court decisions.
The PDP said that Yahaya and Jatau, having deposed to FORMS EC-9, the said forms constituted Certificates and making false statement in them amounted to submitting forged certificates.
This according to the party is a disqualifying ground under Sections 177(d) and 182(1)(j) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as Amended).
In the court processes, the plaintiffs alleged that Jatau bears multiple names in his certificates to wit :Certificate of primary Education (Manassah Jatau) “West African examination Council School Certificate (Daniel Manassah J); University of Maiduguri Certificate (Manassah Daniel Jatau) and National Youth Service Corp Certificate (Daniel Manassah), without a deed poll and any valid change of name attached to his Form EC-9 submitted to INEC.
” The plaintiffs alleged that in 2022, Yahaya submitted FORM EC-9 (Affidavit of Personal particulars of Person seeking election into the office of governor of Gombe state).
The plaintiffs alleged that Yahaya stated in the form that he worked in the Bauchi state Investment Company Ltd. in 1984, A.
Y.U & Co. Ltd. between 1985-2003 as against what he deposed to in 2018 as working in Bauchi Investment Company Ltd. in 1985, A.
Y.U & Co. Ltd between 1980-1990. “That Yahaya in 2018 while presenting his personal particulars to INEC to participate in the Gombe state governorship election, stated in his INEC FORM CF001 that he worked with A.
Y.U & Co. Ltd. from 1980 to 1990. That, however, in 2022, the same Inuwa stated in his INEC FORM EC-9 that he worked with A.
Y.U. & Co Ltd from 1985 – 2003. “The governor by his INEC FORM CF001 has stated under oath that in 1980 -1990, he worked with A.
Y.U. & Co Ltd. “However, in 2022, the same Inuwa stated again on oath via his INEC FORM EC-9 that he worked with the same A.
Y.U. & Co. Ltd from 1985 – 2003.” According to the plaintiffs, Yahaya’s deputy attached his Certificate of National Youth Service Corps dated the July 31, 1980 which stated thus: “This is to certify that Daniel Manassah 796201 has satisfactorily completed one year of the national Service from Aug. 1, 1979 to July 31, 1979 in accordance with section 11 of the national Youth Service Corps decree No. 24 of 1973” The plaintiffs further contended that, the deputy governor who claimed to be working with the Nigeria Army from the period of August 1979 till July 1980 submitted an NYSC discharge certificate with contrary information.
The plaintiffs alleged that the NYSC discharge certificate stated on its face that Jatau commenced his National Youth service in August 1979 and completed same in July 1979. The plaintiffs also contended that from the paragraph D of the Jatau’s INEC Form EC-9, he claimed that he worked for the Nigeria Army from July 1979 till August 1980 and his reason for leaving the Nigeria Army in July 1980 was for the National Youth Service.
The plaintiffs contended further that in Jatau’s INEC FORM EC-9, he commenced his NYSC after he left the Nigeria Army in July 1980 but submitted an NYSC Certificate that stated he commenced his National Youth Service in August 1979 and ended in July 1979. The PDP argued that FORM EC-9 being an affidavit on oath, both Yahaya and his deputy, haven made false statement therein, had committed forgery and therefore not qualified to contest the state election.
No date has been fixed for hearing in the suit.
The Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, was in Kinshasa on July 28-29, 2022 to meet with partners of the UN Mission in the DRC, including the Congolese authorities, following violent demonstrations against MONUSCO that resulted in casualties among UN peacekeepers and the Congolese population in North Kivu. The head of the UN Department of Peacekeeping was accompanied by the UN Police Commissioner, Louis Carrilho, and the military adviser, General Birame Diop. Mr. Lacroix met with the presidents of the two chambers of the Congolese Parliament: Bahati Lukwebo of the Senate and Mboso Kodia of the National Assembly.
In this context of crisis, Jean-Pierre Lacroix and these senior Congolese officials discussed ways to defuse tensions, strengthen the partnership between MONUSCO and the Congolese government, and rebuild trust between the actors to prevent similar incidents in the future.
"The path of peace and mutual support must be privileged to achieve our common goal, which is the reestablishment of the authority of the State," said the head of the UN Peacekeeping Department at the end of his meeting with the Congolese authorities.
Joining forces To prevent similar incidents in the future, Mr. Lacroix spoke of joining efforts to achieve the common goal of neutralizing the enemy.
“It is important that we redouble our efforts in transparency, in liaison with the authorities, that each one does their job.
There is work to be done on our part, there is work to be done on the part of the Congolese authorities who recognize that we also communicate in a united and coordinated manner, that we fight with all our might against hate messages, fake news and disinformation.” Mr. Lacroix also discussed with the Congolese authorities the importance of supporting ongoing regional efforts, both within the framework of the East African community, the Nairobi process and the efforts led by Angola.
He added that, more fundamentally, restoring trust at the regional level requires deepening dialogue between the authorities of different countries.
“All these efforts are reflected in the concrete realization of the measures that have been taken and decided, in particular with regard to the disarmament of armed groups, for which there is also the PDRRS-C program in the Congo.
The deployment of the regional force, the establishment and strengthening of security and verification mechanisms, as began at the meeting of Heads of State in Luanda”, he insisted in an interview with the press.
Learning from the past The head of the UN Department of Peacekeeping also exchanged with the heads of UN agencies, funds and programs.
During this "One UN" meeting, he called for unity and solidarity.
"It is important to learn from what has happened and to make sure that we continue to work in the UN system in full unity," he said.
Jean-Pierre Lacroix recalled that the objective assigned to the UN Mission in the DRC is clear: the restoration of State authority throughout the national territory, which will allow MONUSCO to withdraw from the DRC.
"We hope that the conditions are met and in particular the return of state authority so that Monusco can fulfill its mission as soon as possible and give way to other forms of international support" Mr. Lacroix also had a tête-à-tête with the diplomatic corps accredited in the DRC: "This mission concerns us all.
Some of your countries are contributors to the UN budget.
I urge you to join your efforts to combat hate speech.
We count on our partners, both regional partners, as also all the organizations that can support the appeasement efforts to transmit the necessary messages," he pleaded.
Finally, he offered his condolences to the families of the fallen peacekeepers and to the Congolese families who have suffered the loss of one of their own.