Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has pardoned four prisoners in commemoration of Nigeria’s 62nd independence anniversary, which was celebrated on October 1.A statement from Sir Kashim Ibrahim Government House, Kaduna, on Monday, said the governor’s decision was based on the powers conferred on him by Section 212 of the 1999 Constitution.
It listed the pardoned prisoners as Abdullahi Haruna, Usman Ahmed, Mohammed Sani and Khalillullahi Mohammed.
The statement explained that Gov. El-Rufai acted on the recommendation of the state’s Advisory Council on the Prerogative of Mercy.
“The pardoned prisoners were serving sentences of three years and above, and had six months or less to the end of their prison terms.
“Gov. El-Rufai urged the pardoned prisoners to be of good conduct as they reunite with their families and are re-integrated into the larger society,‘’ the statement added.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it will work with relevant stakeholders to track campaign finances, vote buying and other anomalies before, during and after the general elections.
Mrs Hauwa Kangiwa, INEC Administrative Secretary in Sokoto State, said this at a stakeholders meeting on Monday in Sokoto.
She assured that all updates and arrangements, identifications and invitations will be done to carry all collaborating agencies along.
The administrative secretary, however, disclosed that a total of 124,963 Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) were yet to be claimed in the state.
She explained that 86,446 of the unclaimed PVCs were from 2019; 25,380 for those registered in 2021 and 13,137 for those that transferred their voting centres.
According to her, 148,446 new PVCs have been sent to the 23 local government areas for distribution.
Kangiwa told the stakeholders that the commission had received 3,991 units of Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) to be used during the 2023 general elections in the state.
According to her, the BVAS will be configured and assigned to polling units across the state.
She added that INEC staff members were being trained in effective handling of the BVAS ahead of the elections.
The administrative secretary assured that the commission was ready for the elections, and would continue to interface with different stakeholders, as part of its voter education programme.
“The commission is well prepared to conduct the 2023 general elections, the preparation will take the commission up to the day of elections and beyond.
”All departments and local government offices are working tirelessly to make sure that our constitutional duties are carried out effectively, ” Kangiwa said.
Mr Ibrahim Abdullahi, Chairman, Coalition of Non Governmental Organizations in Sokoto state, expressed fears that the “alarming” rate of vote buying may affect the outcome of the general elections.
He therefore urged INEC and security agencies to take decisive action to check the disturbing trend.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that presentations were made by personnel of the National Orientation Agency, Police, and Department of Security Services, as well as representative of political parties.
The stakeholders meeting was attended by political parties, the Army and other law enforcement agencies, civil society organisations, physically challenged persons, students and others.
Amb. Isaac Kigbu, the President, Eggon Youth Movement (EYM) Worldwide, has described sports as a veritable tool for promoting unity and peaceful co-existence.
Kigbu, a philanthropist, stated this on Monday during the inauguration of EYM Indor Sports Centre in Nassarawa Eggon Local Government Area of the state.
He said that sports, apart from enhancing physical fitness, also promote love and tackle youth restiveness in the society.
“I have decided to provide this Indoor sports centre to keep our youths and other people busy as an idle man is a devil’s workshop.
“As this will also tackle youth restiveness and boost their fitness,” he said.
Kigbu assured of his continuous commitment to promote sporting activities among the youths.
“I have organised football competitions for the youths and supported sporting competitions at different levels.
“I will continue to do that in order to promote unity and peace among the youths and other Nigerians,” he said.
He appreciated Mr Ovey Bashayi, NNPP House of Representatives Candidate for Eggon and Wamba Federal Constituency, for identifying with the centre.
He also thanked youths and other well wishers for gracing the occasion and prayed God to grant their objectives of peaceful co-existence and physical fitness.
Kigbu however urged youths and other Nigerians to continue to live in unity and co-exist peacefully for the overall development of the country.
Inaugurating the centre, Bashayi commended Kigbu for providing the youths of the area with the social and sports centre.
He said that the gesture would promote unity and peace among the youths and other people of the area.
The politician pledged to give sporting activities, youths and women empowerment topmost priorities, if voted into the green chamber of the National Assembly in 2023. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Snookers, Drafts, Ludos and Whoot playing facilities, among other games, were provided at the centre.
President Muhammadu Buhari has charged the Nigerian Police to evolve measures in tackling the nation’s internal security threats as they may impact negatively on the peaceful conduct of 2023 elections.
Buhari gave the charge on Monday when he declared open a three-day retreat for senior police officers in Owerri.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the theme of the conference was “The Imperative of a Nigerian Police Strategy Plan for Peaceful Elections.
” The president, who reiterated his commitments to democratic values and strong democratic institutions, also charged the police to remain apolitical, firm and loyal to the nation’s political values.
According to him, no nation advances its democracy and attains its socio-economic and developmental growth without effective policing system.
Buhari said his administration had prioritized critical reforms in the Nigeria Police Force to effectively review the internal security and democratic governance mandate.
He said he assented to the Nigerian Trust Fund Bill to provide legal framework for enhanced funding regime for the force.
The president added that he assented to the Nigeria Police Force Academy Bill to grant statutory recognition for the institution to attain its futuristic manpower development programmes.
“I also approved a new and befitting salary and welfare regime that align the remuneration of police personnel with the state critical functions while also approved and released fund to recruit 10,000 police constables annually to address the wide manpower gap in the force.
“In addition, I approved the adoption of the community policing model as an internal security strategy of the country.
“As part of the re-engineering programme of the force, the Federal Government is currently working with some development partners towards strengthening the police reform agenda.
“My desire is to restore the primacy of the police force in building public trust and professionalism.
“My vision is also to bequeath to the nation a police force that is not only modernized but well-funded, suitably equipped, and appropriately re-orientated to effectively police our democracy and guarantee a stable internal security order under a citizen-led, technology-driven rule of law guided by intelligence-based policing,”.
Buhari commended the professionalism exhibited by the police internal operational standards as reflected in the Edo, Anambra and Osun states elections.
He therefore tasked the Inspector-General of Police to sustain his leadership standards to guarantee a level playing field and secure public space for the citizens to freely exercise their franchise.
He said the outcome of the elections should bear the true reflection of the people’s choices.
In his welcome remarks, Gov. Hope Uzodimma of Imo, expressed delight that the state emerged the preferred destination and host for such security event.
“There is no doubt in my mind that hosting these events will help to re-assure both residents and visitors that Imo state is safe again for businesses and tourism.
“I believe that the presence of the top bars of the police and other security forces in the state will help fortify our security and safety as a people,” he said.
Uzodimma lauded the cordial relationship between his administration and security agencies as well as containment of insecurity in the state.
He promised to remain an advocate of free, fair and credible election but advised against violence or heating up the polity.
The governor urged the conference to find lasting solutions to the threats which elections losers pose to the peace of the country.
He suggested that the strategic plans of the conference should include a recommendation that all the candidates in the elections must undertake an oath to denounce violence.
“They should also commit and sign an undertaken that all disputes over election results can only be challenged through court processes and that the parties to the disputes must be bound by the process,” he suggested.
He noted that post-election violence contributed a major threats to the nation’s democracy.
He appealed to government and private sectors to support the police, noting that the protection of lives and property should be a concern of all.
“Assist them with operational, communication, logistic and technologies needed for greater policing efficiency,” he appealed.
He reiterated his unflinching support to the security agencies to make their job easier, safer and more efficient in the state.
Also speaking, the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, commended President Buhari for his support and approval of all his requests in ensuring safety of lives and property in the country.
Baba noted that the retreat would enable participants discuss issues relating to the role of the police and internal security process towards ensuring a peaceful, secure, free, fair and credible 2023 general elections.
In his remarks, the Chief of Defense Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabo pledged to give greater support to the Nigeria Police in tackling internal security in the country, especially during the 2023 general elections.
Also speaking, the Minister of Police Affairs, Alhaji Mohammed Dingyadi, urged the leadership of the Nigeria Police to see the persistent call for creation of state police as a persuasive desire on the federating units to enjoy more robust policing.
NAN reports that dignitaries that attended the opening event included Gov. Mai Mala Buni of Yobe state, service chiefs, heads of anti-graft agencies, INEC officials, retired DIGs, AIGs, I-Gs, as well as traditional rulers, among others.
Professor of Educational Psychology and counseling, Mrs Mercy Okonkwo, said that the role of Guidance Counselors in Universities and other Educational bodies is to ensure youth development.
She said that the need of the counselors are far reaching in building great youths through formation of committees to handle identified anti-social vices and advise the youth against involvement in anti-social conducts in schools, especially co-habitation.
Okonkwo, who is a University Guidance Counselor at the Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu University, Anambra, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Awka on Monday, that anti–social conducts among students are numerous with their attendant challenges.
She said, however, that guidance counselors should apply expert ideology to achieve reformation needed amongst the students.
Okonkwo said “we should create an enabling environment for the guidance counselor and students which will expose students to the dangers of the anti-social conduct they unknowingly engage in.
” She said that the most practiced anti-social conducts amongst students is co-habitation.
Naturally male and female students see themselves as friends and think that this alone qualifies them to co-habit.
“They consider their action of intimacy as friends and fail to see the negative implication of such relationship and possible negative outcome that may lead to stoppage of their academic pursuit.
“This is where the cardinal job of a guidance counselor plays its role because such students would be talked to in a manner that his or her self esteem is not damaged and quality admonition achieved,” she said.
Okonkwo listed other anti-social conducts amongst students to include drug abuse, suicidal thoughts, eating disorders, rape, prostitution, addictive disorders, feeling sad or down and depression, Also, she said, this behaviour reduces ability to concentrate, restlessness, extreme feelings of guilt, extreme mood changes, withdrawal from friends and activities amongst others.
She said that the guidance counselors should step in immediately the students exhibit these signs while in school.
Okonkwo said that the students rarely visit the guidance counselors’ office, therefore to handle the challenge the counselor should identify these students who are young adults and are confused in who to speak to.
She said that most of these negative conducts of the students go unnoticed by their parents and these young people carry on wrongly without being aware of the negative effect of their actions.
Okonkwo said that these anti-social conducts could be reduced if parents pay greater attentions to the feelings and actions of their children and holds regular heart-to-heart talks and discussion with them.
She said that parents should always speak nicely to their children and allow them to show who they have become after peer group interactions, adding that parents should make noticeable corrections and watch them grow.
“Shouting, comparison, nagging, will scare the young adults away from parents and guardians but warm words make the child to be open minded which gives room for correction and confidence building,” she said.
NAN reports that Okonkwo is in charge of counseling and human development centres of the university campuses at Igbariam, Uli and Awka. She is also the immediate past Vice president of the Counselling Association of Nigeria (ANACASSON), Anambra chapter.
Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara has approved immediate construction of perimeter fencing around the permanent orientation camp of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Yikpata, Edu Local Government Area of the state.
AbdulRazaq announced this on Monday at the state Security Council Meeting in Government House, Ilorin.
The governor said the perimeter fencing would enhance security in the axis, while various security agencies were also deployed to the area.
The security council meeting was also attended by Deputy Governor of the state, Chief Kayode Alabi; Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Mamman Jubril; and Special Adviser to the Governor on Security Matters, retired Brig.-Gen. Saliu Bello.
Others are the Emir of Ilorin, Dr Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, and all the security chiefs in the state, including the Police, Army, Navy, Air Force and DSS.
The security commanders unanimously said Kwara remains relatively safe compared to its neighbours, saying isolated incidents of illegal mining activities, cultism, flooding and its aftermaths, drug abuse and opportunistic abductions are being tackled head-on.
They called on citizens to be alert and to volunteer actionable intelligence to security agencies to prevent crimes, urging political parties to play by the rules and avoid violence of any kind.
The council, among other issues, also extensively discussed the security challenges around Gaa Osibi-Alagbado and Oko Olowo area of Ilorin, Edu, Patigi and Kaiama Local Government Areas of the state.
The council noted that the Army have been deployed to parts of Ifelodun, Edu and Patigi to check threats, while the Police and NSCDC are working hard to check the activities of land grabbers and other criminals around Oko Olowo and other areas.
The council also advised the state to carefully profile and register all okada riders in the state, especially in Offa and Oyun axis, following new influx from other states.
The security commanders also said joint operations and intelligence sharing are being done to prevent criminals fleeing Northwest from hibernating in the state.
Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan on Monday announced the east African nation’s latest population as 61,741,120 people.
Hassan made public the country’s latest population in the capital Dodoma, following the National Population and Housing Census held from Aug. 23 to Sept. 4, this year.
A statement by the Directorate of Presidential Communications said out of the 61,741,120 people, 59,851,347 people are in Tanzania mainland and 1,889,773 people are in Zanzibar.
The head of state added that out of the 61,741,120 people, 31,687,990 are women and 30,053,130 are men, according to the statement.
Hassan said the population has increased by 16,812,197 people in 10 years since the last population census was conducted in 2012 when the population was 44,928,923 people.
She said Dar es Salaam region was leading with 5,383,728 people.
The announcement of the results of the population census went in tandem with the launch of special guidelines on the use of the 2022 census results by the president.
Hassan urged government leaders to use the results of the population census in planning for the country’s economic development and improving the welfare of the people.
The Federal Government on Monday says it is set to institute an environmental task force on oil pollution, and vowed to hold International Oil Companies (IOCs) accountable for massive pollution of environment.
The Minister of Environment, Mr Mohammed Abdullahi, said this at the 12th National Regulatory Dialogue on Implementation of National Environmental Regulations, organised by the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), in AbujaAbdullahi said that the essence of the dialogue was to address certain gaps and produce a sufficient regulatory framework that would deal with emerging and ongoing environmental challenges.
“The federal government is conscious of the state of environmental degradation in the country and is making strong effort in addressing the situation.
“The federal government is also making efforts toward effective management, conservation and protection of the biological resources in our environment for sustainable development.
“Accordingly, the federal government will henceforth hold the international oil companies accountable for the massive pollution of our environment and its ecosystem.
“Government is set to institute an environmental task force, especially on oil pollution, and will monitor, track, evaluate and sanction these erring companies and their local collaborators.
According to the minister, “pollution follows the frangrant abuse of our coastlines, mangroves, natural habitats in the guise of prospecting or exploiting of our biodiversity resources.
“Government will apply the principles of the polluters pays’ to help in remediation efforts of polluted communities,” he said.
Abdullahi said that the Federal Government has put in place institutional framework and regulation to ensure effective environmental protection and implementation of national policy on environment.
He said that the NESREA has developed 35 national environmental regulations across difference sectors of economy.
He said the 35 regulations have been gazetted and are being implemented across the country.
He said that the agency had reviewed eight regulations to bridge the identified gaps.
“These regulations are not designed to stifle economic and industrial development but are put in place to safeguard human and sustainable use of the environmental resources.
“I, therefore, call on everyone, most especially the IOCs and industry operators, to carefully study these regulations and comply as government will not hesitate to sanction defaulters.
“As we strive to evolve and adopt different approaches and strategies in solving our environmental challenges, I wish to plead with us to work together to review these regulations.
“The effort will enable us protect our environment for future generation,” he said.
The minister expressed worry over unprecedented environmental challenges, especially pollution, climate change and biodiversity loss.
He said that the loss of global forests is at an alarming rate of 350,000 to 400,000 hectares per year.
He, however, urged stakeholders to advocate strongly on the national regulations as much as possible, adding that compliance starts with awareness and sensitisation.
The Director-General of NESREA, Prof. Aliyu Jauro, said that the dialogue is an annual programme to delineate responsibilities, share experiences and fashion out best practices to support the promotion of effective environmental compliance monitoring and enforcement in the country.
He said that the government has put in place environmental monitoring tools such as the regulation, standards and guidelines to guide the regulated community and other citizens.
He called on relevant stakeholders to comply with the regulations and policies, adding that the regulations will be constantly reviewed to respond to emerging environmental challenges.
Pastor Emmanuel Adisa of Christ Apostolic Church, Ajah Zonal Headquarters has called for sober reflection and purposeful living as panacea in achieving a great nation.The cleric made the call on a sideline of the thanksgiving service and birthday celebration of Mrs Comfort Adebowale, Leader, CAC Good Woman Association, CAC Ajah Zonal Headquarters.Pastor Adisa who spoke on the best time of a man's life said birthdays should be utilized in reflecting on the past and resolving to living a better life.The Cleric said mistakes of the past can disorganise many things and that now is the acceptable time for sober reflection and living an exemplary lifestyle."A time like this reminds us to connect ourselves with God, correct our past mistakes and control our destiny. This is by controlling our tongue, our thoughts and our temper."A time like this reminds us to count our days, commit our ways unto the lord, contribute our quota towards humanity and live a purposeful life."You re witnessing your present age for a purpose. There is a purpose for your creation, calling, redemption and existence," he said.Adisa urged the congregation to embrace living a life of purpose as achieving a peaceful society and a great nation is the responsibility of all.Mrs Comfort Adebowale however added that parts of the secrets of living an exemplary life is putting God first and been hardworking."Parts of the secret to living a healthy and exemplary lifestyle includes making God your companion, eating healthy and creating time for your family."You should also rest well and exercise regularly. Don't worry about the things you have not had. They will come at God's ordained time. Create a life plan for yourself." she said.The community leader advised youths against succumbing to peer pressure to do drugs adding that mothers should ensure they monitor all the activities of their children."Churches should organize seminars and symposium creating awareness about the adverse effects of drug abuse. Churches can also be a succour to idle youths by bringing them together to teach them in the ways of the lord."Mothers as the keeper of the home should ensure they monitor their children, know their whereabout and the type of peer groups the children keeps."Government has over the time been sensitizing the youth about the menace of drug abuse. They can do more by constantly creating workshop, training centers, advisory bodies and creating reasonable means of livelihood for the youth that can keep them occupied." she said.
The Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) and its Joint Venture (JV) partners, on Monday delivered food and essential commodities to some 260 communities impacted by flood in Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta and Imo states.
A delegation of the JV began distribution at the host communities of Gas Plant after meeting with their leaders.
NAOC expressed its empathy with the host communities, saying the gesture was to reinforce the existing collaborative relationship that had existed with the communities since 1962. The company said the mutually beneficial partnership had become more important at the time of the disaster.
The communities of the area, represented by His Royal Highness Louis Iyasira, Prime Minister of Ogba Land, expressed appreciation to the JV for the timely support.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that NAOC JV shareholders are NNPC E&P Limited (NEPL), Eni’s subsidiary NAOC and Oando.