Delta Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu, says contrary to claims in some quarters, Sen Ovie Omo-Agege, of the All Progressive Congress (APC), has no hold in the state.
Aniagwu said on Thursday, in Asaba that it would take a miracle for the deputy senate president, Omo-Agege to win the 2023 governorship election in Delta.
He said that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was very strong and popular in the state despite the current court tussle over the party’s guber candidacy.
The commissioner said that over the years the PDP had done quite well in the state having progressively won elections in all senatorial districts in the state.
According to him, the greatest disadvantage the APC has in Delta is not only the fact that Omo-Agege is not truly on ground but largely because of the very ineffective performance of the APC at the National level.
“Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege is someone I have immense respect for and he knows it because I can actually call him a senior friend because once in a while we interact.
“He has all the rights to contest but he knows that when it comes to Delta, that it will take a miracle for him running on the platform of the APC to be able to win.
” This is because apart from the fact that Delta is almost synonymous with the PDP, the performance of Governor Okowa in the last seven and half years has dealt a very big blow to the APC.
“And the chances of APC in Delta has been further worsened by the abysmal performance of the APC at the National level especially in the area of the economy, education, security and their inability to manage our diversity.
“In 2019, they had federal might yet we taught them a lesson, a bitter one at that.
“In 2015, Okowa won 21 local government areas out of 25 and in 2019, in spite of their strength with Omo-Agege, Ogboru, Emerhor and all of them put together, Okowa won in 23 local government areas.
“He didn’t just win them in Delta North and Delta South, he went to their stronghold in Delta Central and won in six LGAs out of eight LGAs and what that tells you is that the PDP has continued to expand and deepen its roots across the state,” Aniagwu said.
On Atiku-Okowa’s inroads to Northern Nigeria, Aniagwu said that the return of Ibrahim Shekarau to the party was a good omen recalling that the former Kano state governor had lots of influence in the state.
On David Edevbie challenging emergence of Oborevwori in court, the Delta Information Commissioner, said the party does not begrudge him because it was his right to seek redress.
“When somebody feel aggrieved and decides to go to court to seek redress that is not a sharp disagreement, it is within their fundamental human rights to so do.
“One good thing about Edevbie’s case in court is that he’s not challenging the sanctity of the primary election that produced Sheriff Oborevwori as governorship candidate.
“He clearly admitted that the election was well conducted and that Oborevwori carried the day and what that tells you is that to a very large extent, the PDP in Delta was able to reason in one direction.
“He decided to raise other issues which is within his own rights as a contestant and those of us in PDP are not begrudging him for doing that.
“We believe that in the course of time he may either see reasons and decide not to proceed to the Supreme Court but even in the event that he proceeds to the Supreme Court, we will also not begrudge him because it is his right to so do.
“But at the end of the day the party will not just take part in the 2023 governorship election in Delta, but the party will work as one party to produce a governor that will preside over the affairs of Delta under the platform of the PDP.
” Aniagwu said.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has awarded fully funded scholarships to 39 Nigerian youths with an opportunity to work in Japanese companies and bring in the expertise to develop Nigeria.
Mr Matsunaga Kazuyoshi, the Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, and Mr Yuzurio Susumu, JICA’s country representative to Nigeria, disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja during the sendforth of the beneficiaries.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the 39 students would be benefitting from three different programmes, including Africa Business Education Initiative and SDGs Global Leader Programme.
The third programme is on Partnership for Building Resilience against Public Health Emergencies through Advanced Research and Education (PREPARE).
Matsunaga said that the initiative seek to strengthen the Japanese-Nigerian universities and to foster Nigeria’s development across all sectors.
“Japan and Nigeria have trade volume annually of nearly 1 billion US dollars, however I feel more potentially to have more Japanese companies coming here.
“To invest and collaborate with other governments and also UN agencies to assist Nigeria to develop more.
“We have many Japanese companies with many technologies but the problem is that they do not know very much about Nigeria because the news media just release Boko Haram and how many people are kidnapped.
“But when I was posted to Nigeria, I see the big potential in Nigeria so my role is to promote more to know that Nigeria is attractive and let Japanese companies know more opportunities to come to Nigeria.
“Today we will send 39 very talented Nigerian youths, I really expect them to be good Ambassadors, to promote and to strengthen Nigeria, Japanese relationship,” Matsunaga said.
On his part, Yuzurio said that the initiative seek to extend development beyond the public sector to the private sector which plays a critical role in the development of every nation.
“This initiative is very important for African countries not only to develop, not only the public sector but also the private sector.
“The important thing is how to collaborate with domestic and international companies which have expertise towards the Nigerian companies.
” At the programme, they have enormous opportunities to work with Japanese companies, and exchange networks, and bring them to Nigeria and work with them.
So it has very significant impact in Nigeria’s development,” Yuzurio said.
Mr Bitrus Chinoko, the Director-General, Centre for Management Development (CMD), appreciated the government of Japan for the opportunity given to Nigerian youths to learn from Japan to come back to impact positively in Nigeria.
Chinoko, who was represented by Mrs Dorothy Esiri, a Director in the centre, said the programme was an investment of knowledge to the country.
“This time around, it is being a huge number of participants which is a very huge investment in knowledge and education.
“Each of these participants will come back to Nigeria and impact in the different sectors of research which they will be carrying on while in Japanese universities.
“We cannot appreciate the government of Japan enough represented here by the Japanese Ambassador and the Country representative of JICA,” Chinoko said.
Mr Aliyu Bawalle, the President, KAKEHASHI Africa Nigeria Initiative (KANI), co-organisers of the event and ex beneficiary of the programme, said they were excited at the growth of the programme in Nigeria.
Bawalle said that the programme, which is in its 9th edition, has seen an increase with 39 beneficiaries this year which is the highest since its inception.
“We are ex-beneficiaries of the programme and the role we are playing is to facilitate the process of recruitment of Nigerians to also benefit from the programme.
“This year we have the highest number ever, 39, and I know that our role played a significant increase to that, we were 22 in 2016. “The expectation is for them to be a good ambassadors and representatives of Nigeria in Japan, and the second expectation is for them to go and learn the skills, knowledge, competence and attitude they can bring back to Nigeria.
“And I am sure the knowledge they will go to learn will be very much needed in our economy appreciation to the government,” Bawalle said.
Akachukwu Football Academy, Aba have emerged the champions of the 2022 Federated Youths Soccer Club (FEYSOC) U-13 tournament.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Golden Eagles and Lionaires FA, Enugu won the U-16 and U-18 categories, respectively.
Akachukwu FA defeated the Young Stars Academy, Aba 3-2 on penalty after 1-1 draw at full time.
Golden Eagles defeated Faze One Football Academy, Imo 4-2 on penalty to win the trophy in the U-16 categroy.
Both teams played a 1-1 draw at the 90th minute.
Also, Lionaires Youth Club defeated Young Stars of Aba 2-0 to emerge champions.
The goals came from Ugochukwu Edeh and Chidalu Onyema after the interval.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the winners were rewarded with medals, trophies and undisclosed cash prizes.
The runners up went home with cash prizes and medals.
Speaking after the match, Coach Christian Ibe of Lionaires FA expressed satisfaction with the organisation of the torne and dedicated his team’s victory to God. He rated the this year’s competition high and commended the spectators for their large turn out.
He also pointed out that the teams were better organised than the previous years.
The coach hailed the organisers for maintaining discipline and ensuring that the teams played according to the rules and regulations guiding the tournament.
He also commended his team for their sterling display of soccer at the tournament, which gave them the trophy.
Ibe also gave kudos to their opponents (Young Stars of Aba).
He said, “the team did well and we would not have won the game but for God’s grace.
The Federal Government on Thursday says it is hopeful the ban on Nigeria agricultural commodities by the European Union, United States of America, will be lifted.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, said this during the briefing by the Standing Inter-Ministerial Technical Committee (SIMTC) on Agro Zero Reject Initiative on Thursday in Abuja.
The SIMTC was inaugurated on Feb. 28, 2021, with the mandate of ensuring that the ban by European Union (EU), on export of Nigerian beans was lifted and that Nigeria never again suffer any reject on her agro commodities in the export market.
It would be recalled that in 2015, the EU banned importation of Nigerian beans on account of containing high level of pesticide, considered harmful to health.
The minister made the statement based on the current effort of the committee to ensure Nigerian agricultural produce were accepted at the international market.
Abubakar, after being briefed by the SIMTC, said Nigeria’s potential on agricultural commodities export was huge, adding that the Nigeria Integrated Export Control Plan (IECP), should be put together meticulously.
“There is no doubt that Nigeria cannot realise its potential unless we do the right thing; work together first of all, and also realise and understand dealing with other agencies, private sector and governments across the world.
“It is not an easy task doing export business, there are a lot of regulations, and unless you start by putting your own home well, you will not be able to work outside.
“If we want to make headway we must come down and learn to work with one another, and that really needs to be done to achieve success.
“It is not about trading but getting Nigeria out of being banned from Europe, America and other countries.
“We should have seamless export transaction.
We will do what it takes to do the right thing,” the minister said.
He commended the inter-ministerial committee for working hard to put the document (Action Plan) together.
Abubakar also lauded development partners for ensuring the document was put together whereby it would lift the ban on Nigeria’s agricultural commodities export.
Earlier, the Director, Federal Department of Agriculture (FDA), Mr Abdullahi Abubakar, said the essence of the SIMTC, which was inaugurated on Feb. 28, 2021, was to ensure that the ban by the EU on export of Nigerian beans was lifted.
Also that Nigeria never, again, suffer any reject of our agro commodities in the export market,” he said.
“Before the ban, several unheeded notifications were sent to Nigerian authorities.
“To lift the ban, EU wanted Nigeria to control her export and provide substantial evidence that the necessary food safety requirements and protocols are put in place,” he said.
He said the IECP is a 5-year action plan to all the Sanitary and Phyto- Sanitary (SPS) agencies and critical stakeholders.
“Also, to provide substantive guarantee required by EU that the SPS bodies in Nigeria put Food Safety protocols in place in line with the International Standard.
“Few private companies have agreed to key into the implementation of the pilot Action Plan that would get the ban on our beans lifted and pave way for admitting Nigeria produce for export,” he said.
The director, FDA, was represented by Mr Bernard Ukattah, the Director, Tree Crops, FDA.
UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) says new data shows that 98 million children and youth between the ages of six and 18 worldwide are still out of school in Sub-Sahara Africa.
This is as the new school year begins in many parts of the world.
UNESCO, in new data published online on Thursday, shows that Sub-Saharan Africa remains the region with the most children and youth out of school, with a total of 98 million children.
“It is also the only region where this number is increasing, out-of-school rates are falling more slowly than the rate at which the school-age population is growing.
“The region with the second highest out-of-school population is Central and Southern Asia, with 85 million,’’ it stated.
Globally, the new UNESCO data shows that 244 million children and youth between the ages of six and 18 worldwide are still out of school.
“No one can accept this situation,” Ms Audrey Azoulay, the UNESCO Director-General said, underlining the need to respect every child’s right to education.
“In view of these results, the objective of quality education for all by 2030, set by the United Nations, risks not being achieved,” she warned.
“We need a global mobilisation to place education at the top of the international agenda.
” Azoulay will renew her call at the landmark Transforming Education Summit on Sept.19, at UN Headquarters in New York. UN Secretary-General António Guterres has convened the Summit to mobilise action and solutions, including to reverse learning losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic On a more positive note, the UNESCO data has confirmed that the difference in the rate of girls and boys out of school has closed worldwide.
Back in 2000, the gender gap was 2.5 percentage points among primary school age children, and 3.9 percentage points among their upper secondary school counterparts.
These gaps have been reduced to zero, although regional disparities persist.
Relatedly, four million boys and girls in Ukraine are facing the start of an uncertain school year, the head of the UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF, said on Thursday.
Catherine Russell concluded a three-day visit to the country, where she met students, parents and teachers scarred by the war, now in its seventh month.
“Children are returning to schools – many of which have been damaged during the war – with stories of destruction, uncertain if their teachers and friends will be there to welcome them.
“Many parents are hesitating to send their children to school, not knowing if they will be safe,” Russell said in a statement.
Thousands of schools across Ukraine have been damaged or destroyed due to the fighting, with less than 60 per cent deemed safe and eligible for reopening.
Russell visited a rehabilitated primary school that had been damaged during the early weeks of the conflict.
Only 300 students can attend at any one time due to the capacity of the school’s bomb shelter, representing a mere 14 per cent of the school’s pre-war capacity.
A new pan Northern group, Arewa Movement for Good Governance (AM2G) was inaugurated on Thursday in Kaduna to unite and seek political direction for the region.
Thr Chairman of the group, Dr Usman Bugaje, said the AM2G platform would also focus on strengthening unity among Muslims and Christians, to enable the region demand for good governance.
He added that their target was also to push for fair and just leadership that has kept the country together since independence.
Bugaje explained that the charter for good governance drawn by the group was informed by the issue of insecurity and collapse of the region’s economy.
“We also want to unite Muslims and Christians in the North to agree on a regional renewal programme by harvesting the talents and human resources at home and diaspora and promoting entrepreneurship and skills acquisition.
“We want to strengthen and sustain Northern unity and deploy it to find for the North a political direction that will eventually secure its corporate interest and promote its development,” Bugaje added.
He appealed to Noththners to use their instinct of patriotism and survival to mobilize the people to build a critical mass of citizens capable of driving real and effective social, economic and political transformation.
Also, Rev. John Wuye, said the group would prevail on religious leaders in the region to preach unity and compassion for one another irrespective of any affiliation.
He said leadership was about faith, and without faith there would be no future for any nation, and added that the Holy Books contained principles of leadership that should guide all leaders.
“The Bible said you should not elect, select or crown a king over you that has many horses, chariots and stables, a leader should be the one loving the people and not opposite,” he said.
He explained that the principle of leadership include accountability, transparency and honesty, which the North must upheld with high esteem in electing leaders at all levels.
Wuye stressed that the North has numerous challenges which would only be surmounted through unity and sense of responsibility.
He therefore said the region must elect leader that are credible and have religious leaders that will work with them and not for them.
Also, an Imam, Malam Nura Ashafa, said Northerners must work together to overcome all the challenges in the region.
He also said they must create avenues and programmes of dialogue, reconciliation and healing, in order to face the real challenges confronting the region.
“That we focus on the North does not mean we don’t care about Nigeria, indeed it is precisely because we care.
“It is well acknowledged that the North has certain level of commonality that once strengthened can be a national asset for development,” Ashafa said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that some of the core values in the AM2G charter included ethics and probity in leadership, knowledge and competence, patriotism and selflessness in service.
NAN also reports that there was a presentation on the “Principles of leadership snippets from Islam and Christianity”.
The Police in Jigawa have arrested a 37-year-old man for alleged murder of his parents in Gagarawa Local Government Area of the state.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Jigawa Command, DSP Lawan Shiisu, confirmed this in a statement in Dutse on Thursday.
Shiisu said the suspect was arrested after he allegedly attacked his father, mother and two others with a wooden pestle.
Those attacked by the suspect are, Ahmad Muhammad, 70, Hauwau Ahamadu, 60, Kailu Badugu, 65 and Hakalima Amadu, 60. The PPRO said that a team of policemen evacuated the victims to Gumel General Hospital, where Ahmadu Muhammad and Hauwau Ahmadu were certified dead by a medical doctor due to the injuries they sustained in the attack.
Shiisu said the other two victims were on admission at the hospital for treatment.
“Today, at 11:30 a.
m., information received had it that one Munkaila Ahmadu of Zarada-Sabuwa village in Gagarawa LGA of Jigawa, used a wooden pestle and attacked the following persons: “Ahmadu Muhammad, the village Head of Zarada-Sabuwa, Hauwa Ahmadu, Kailu Badugu and Hakalima Amadu, all of Zarada -Sabuwa village in Gagarawa LGA.
” He added that preliminary investigation revealed that the deceased were the biological parents of the suspect.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Aliyu Tafida, directed for discreet investigation into the case, after which the suspect would be charged to court.
Amb. Olufolake AbdulRazaq, the wife of Kwara governor and Founder, Ajike People Support Centre, has called for world class healthcare and intensive research for better treatment of sickle cell disease.
Mrs AbdulRazaq made the appeal at a programme to commemorate the 2022 sickle cell awareness in Ilorin on Thursday.
She said the awareness month was a time to acknowledge the challenges faced by people living with the disease.
She assured that her office and the Ajike People Support Centre was commitment to continued partnerships with organisations and multi-nationals in supporting people living with sickle cell disease.
She commended the effort of all government and non-governmental organisations championing the advocacy.
The governor’s wife reiterated commitment to increasing advocacies that would ensure that they are able to access quality and affordable treatment, support and care.
“An estimated 150,000 babies born annually with sickle cell anaemia in the country, Nigeria accounts for almost half of the share of more than 300,000 babies with severe haemoglobin disorders born globally each year.
“In many cases sickle cell disease cannot be cured, so lifelong treatment and monitoring are needed.
“While research and innovation have led to medical advances that provide a wide array of treatments for improving the prognosis of children living with sickle cell disease, many can be used only for a specific subset of patients.
“Far too many patients who could benefit from treatments such as stem cell or bone marrow transplants are not identified until they have already experienced a debilitating medical episode that causes irreversible organ damage; incidentally most of these treatment options are not accessible to most sickle cell warriors.
“It is in this regard that my office and the Ajike People Support Centre have adopted sensitisation and awareness of our people towards ensuring that they are equipped with knowledge about the disease and its management, while sustaining a continued campaign for genotype testing.
“This year has seen us amplify our awareness on the disease and increase significantly our support for sickle cell warriors through the procurement of additional 100 units of health insurance cover during the 2022 sickle cell day in June in addition to the ones procured in 2021 to support the care of people living with sickle cell diseases,” she said.
Mrs AbdulRazaq appreciated the efforts of the Kwara government for its favourable disposition to the support and care of people living with the disease.
The guest lecturer, Prof. Ayodele Ojuawo, said religious leaders have important roles to play in tackling sickle cell disease.
Ojuawo called for more sensitisation by religious leaders, adding that this will increase the awareness, foster prevention and help reduce the burden on the existing victims.
He implored parents to always give proper attention, good nutrition to their children, and ensure the qualified medical personnel attended to their sick children.
In her address, Sickle Cell Warrior and Founder, Pearls Sickle Cell Foundation, Mrs Titilayo Bamidele, said Nigeria accounted for higher number of sickle cell disease in the world owing to ignorance and over spirituality.
She advised warriors to keep their hopes and dreams alive, calling on the public to desist from stigmatising sickle cell disease carriers.
One of the participants, Mrs Aderonke Adeniran, told the News Agency of Nigeria that the programme was enlightening, adding that she will begin advocacy and awareness in her community.
“I felt bad listening to one of the sickle cell warriors story.
Indeed the disease can be avoided.
“In my own little way, in my community, in my place of worship I will tell them everything I learnt here today.
“I really appreciate the governor’s wife for putting this programme together, may God bless her,”,she said.
Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, on Thursday said his administration had put in place several people-friendly platforms that would facilitate economic growth and development in communities.
Akeredolu said this at the 2022 maiden edition of Ondo Development and Economic Summit, held in partnership with Performance and Project Implementation Monitoring Unit (PPIMU) and Hessmac consulting in Ondo city.
Akeredolu, who lauded the organisers for the summit, said that his administration was vigorously pursuing projects that would further consolidate on the economic development of the state.
The theme of the summit is, “Exploring global investment and opportunities.
”The governor, who was represented by his Deputy, Mr Lucky Aiyedatiwa, said his administration would continue to create enabling environment that would attract investors to communities and cities in Ondo State.
“The key areas of this summit are in no doubt in consonance with the focus of our administration as encapsulated in our agenda which is tailored towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
“The strategic plan of our government is to create an enabling environment for industrial and infrastructural development through collaboration with credible private sector investors.
“These efforts led to the development of Ore Industrial Park on 1000 hectares on able friendly economic and industrial zone land, in partnership with other development partners,”he said.
In his keynote address, Member representing Ondo East and Ondo West at the House of Representatives, Mr Abiola Makinde, urged residents to fully participate in the electioneering process,He charged them to do so by electing the right people to formulate policies for development.
The Director General, PPIMU, Mr Babajide Akeredolu, said the summit aims at democratising economic growth in the communities for sustainable productivity.
The Managing Director, Ore Industrial Park, Mr Femi Akinkuebi, said the initiative was part of strategic efforts to plan for the future through industrialisation.
The Chairman of Ondo State Internal Revenue Service (ODIRS), Mr Tolu Adegbie, said the programme was futuristic in nature and government would benefit from it.
The Osemawe of Ondo kingdom, Oba Victor Kiladejo, lauded the state government for the initiative.
He said that Ondo kingdom had always been at the forefront in promoting small scale businesses.
UN Secretary General António Guterres says the United Nations (UN) Police is a cornerstone of the organisation’s work as well as the vision contained in its Common Agenda.
Guterres said this while delivering remarks to the third UN Chiefs of Police Summit (UNCOPS) in New York on Thursday.
UNCOPS brought together ministers, police chiefs and senior representatives of regional and professional policing organisations from 90 countries.
According to him, the police officers from more than 90 countries who serve at UN operations around the world represent “multilateralism in action”.
“Since the first deployment of United Nations Police in 1960, they have continued to embody the promise, hope and optimism of our Organisation,” he said.
The UN chief said UNCOPS2022 was being held at a critical time where the world is facing highest number of violent conflicts and COVID-19 pandemic.
UN Police, who work in the service of peace, are deployed in what the Secretary-General called “an increasingly complex and challenging environment – sometimes in places where there is no peace to keep”.
He said UN peacekeeping operations were increasingly being targeted by violent extremists and “peace spoilers”.
In response, the UN launched the Action for Peacekeeping initiative in 2018, aimed at making missions stronger, safer and more effective.
“We are able to deploy new military and police capabilities more quickly, and to include more women peacekeepers, police and civilians in our operations.
“Action for Peacekeeping Plus, which was launched in 2021, aims to accelerate implementation.
” The UN chief stressed that specialised policing expertise is needed “more than ever” to keep the peace and maintain public order, but also to fight increased organised crime and natural resource trafficking and advance environmentally responsive policing practices.
“As societies emerge from conflict, violence and instability, rule of law institutions, including the police – which is the first element of the justice chain – are essential for preventing relapse into conflict and paving the way for sustainable peace, stability and prosperity.
” The secretary-general said one of the measures of success for UN peacekeeping is a “timely exit”, which means that host countries can undertake primary responsibility for security and protection.
“Time and again, we have seen the power of the United Nations Police to achieve this – for example in Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia and Timor-Leste,” he said.
Guterres thanked the policing officials for providing their best officers to the UN, particularly women officers, which has helped the organisation to surpass gender parity targets and ensure policing is gender responsive.
He also urged countries to increase their technological support so that UN Police could keep pace with needs, both now and in the future.