Anambra Assembly seeks intensified fight against rape, support for victims



The Anambra State House of Assembly on Friday urged Gov.Willie Obiano to intensify efforts in the fight against rape and paedophiles and ensure improved support services for rape victims.

The resolution followed a motion moved under Matters of Urgent Public Importance, by Mr Cater Umeh, representing Aguata l Constituency.

Umeh said there was the need to ensure improved means to counselling and rendering health, mental, psychological, financial and legal support to victims.

He said such support services would help them to reintegrate into the society.

 “The reports of rape and paedophiles have been on the increase in our society. There are stories of how young kids were sexually abused, molested and aspiring women made to face horrifying experiences.

” It is a barbaric act against everyone; young or old, male or female, though it has a higher rate of occurrence among the female folks.

“Rape is an act that hurts the victims physically, psychologically and sociologically. Victims of this act suffer depression, panic attack, self- blame, isolation, aggression, feeling of shame and suicide.

“They also experience health problems, such as vaginal bleeding or infection, hyper active

sexual disorder, unwanted pregnancy, vagina inflammation, and even death occur as a result of this act,” he said.

Umeh noted that many laws and penalties such as imprisonment, castration, payment of fines were already suggested measures to curb the menace in the country.

 He, however, said that the welfare and future of the victims should be considered equally.

Also speaking, Mr Smart Okafor (Nnewi North), called for steady media awareness through the state Ministry of Women and Children Affairs on the dangers of rape and the need for victims to speak up.

The Speaker of the House, Mr Uche Okafor, also described sexual violence or rape as a crime against humanity and infringement on the rights of the victims.

“Due to rape, many victims committed suicide, their impression about life has changed and they have found it difficult to reintegrate into the society. This is an issue that calls for concern.

“As legislators, we have to support the fight against this babaric act because it could happen to our daughter, sister or anybody close to us, “Okafor said.

Meanwhile, in another resolution, the House urged Gov. Obiano to direct the Ministry of Works to call back to site the contractor handling Oyeagu Abagana/Nimo Road in Njikoka Local Government Area.

The resolution followed a motion also moved under Matters of Urgent Public Importance, by Dr Pete Ibida, representing Njikoka l Constituency.

Ibida said that the deplorable state of the abandoned road project was causing flood and deep erosion, thereby generating untold hardship to the residents and road users.

Edited By: Edith Bolokor/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)



CLO urges INEC to consolidate on gains of Edo polls



The Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) has advised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to consolidate on gains of Edo governorship election ahead of the forthcoming Ondo pols.

The Chairman of the CLO in Anambra, Mr Vincent Ezekwueme, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Enugu on Wednesday that INEC needed to uphold and strengthen the areas it did exceptionally well in the conduct of the Edo polls.

The Ondo governorship election is scheduled to hold on Saturday, Oct. 10.

According to Ezekwueme, the commission needed to understudy areas it performed below average in the just-concluded election and brace-up on them.

“I appeal to INEC to consolidate on success recorded on Edo governorship election the fast approaching Ondo governorship election and next year’s Anambra polls.

“This envisaged continuous improvement will rekindle people’s faith, hope and confidence in the electoral system and discourage voters apathy and under nourishment of our democracy.

“The greatest threat and impediments to our democracy is subverting the will of the people and god-fatherism,’’ he said.

The CLO boss also extolled Edo people for their peaceful conduct before, during and after the election.

CLO call on losers to display political intelligence and sagacity not to engage in unnecessary litigations as losers today may be winners tomorrow.’’

Ezekwueme also commended all stakeholders that made it possible for INEC to have conducted free, fair, credible and generally acceptable election in Edo.

CLO also applauded President Muhammadu Buhari for ensuring that political wishes of Edolites were respected.

It also gave kudos to security agents as well as USA and British governments.

“It is only justice that precipitates peace, unity and progress.

“I appeal to Gov. Godwin Obaseki to be magnanimous in victory and constitute reconciliation committee to reconcile all aggrieved citizenry, especially members of Edo State House of Assembly,’’ he added.

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde
Source: NAN

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Obiano inaugurates 18-member task force on human trafficking, irregular migrationar migration



Gov. Willie Obiano of Anambra has expressed concern over the growing number of indigenes falling victim of human trafficking in the state.

He spoke on Tuesday in Awka during the inauguration of an 18-member task force to curb human trafficking and irregular migration in the state.

Obiano, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Solomon Chukwulobelu, described the development as “a serious subject matter in the state which we are already aware of.

“The trend seems to be growing that occasionally, the matter comes up at the state Security Council meeting,” he said.

He recalled that efforts were made in the past to receive evacuated indigenes of the state in Lagos and Port-Harcourt, who were rescued and repatriated back to Nigeria from different countries.

According to him, they were later rehabilitated and reintegrated successfully into society.

Obiano lauded the efforts of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and pledged to donate a property to serve as the state command of the agency.

In a remark, the Director-General of NAPTIP, Dame Julie Okah-Donli, described human trafficking and irregular migration as a national concern with a large number of Nigerians trapped in other African and European countries.

“This is apart from hundreds that continue to die in the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea,” Okah-Donli said.

She said that more worrisome was the case of young girls, being trafficked from the South-East and neighbouring states to Mali, Burkina Faso and other countries in the West African sub-region.

She said that 528 indigenes of Anambra were rescued by NAPTIP between 2004 and July 2020,  consisting of 426 females and 102 males.

Okah-Donli said the victims were mostly from Onitsha North and South, Anambra East, Anaocha, Awka North and South, Idemili North and South Local Government Areas.

“These victims were subjected to child labour, domestic servitude, recruitment for foreign travels, sexual exploitation and sales of babies.

“Between 2017 and 2020, the International Orgaisation for Migration (IOM) returned 34 indigenes of the state from various parts of the world, comprising 29 females and five males,” she said.

The NAPTIP boss, therefore, said the task force had a pivotal role to play in ensuring adequate sensitisation at the grassroots and among vulnerable groups providing services and support to victims.

She, however, called for strong political will and budgetary provisions by the state government, in addition to the commitment of traditional institutions, religious and community leaders to deal with the phenomenon.

Also, Mrs Ruth Mbugua, the Protection Officer of IOM, said coordination and operationalisation of the task force was key to tackling human trafficking.

Mbugua said her office had supported the establishment of six task forces in Rivers, Cross Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Lagos, Ogun and Oyo states since January.

“Task forces create a strategic, coordinated and collaborative framework for a more effective response to trafficking in persons,” she said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that members of the task force were drawn from the Police, Civil Society Organisatiosn, Immigration, Federal Road Safety Commission, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps  and youth groups.

Others were individuals from rights groups, Ministries of Women Affairs and Justice as well as offices of the SSG and Government House.

Responding, Dr Obianuju Nwogu, the Attorney-General of the state and Chairman of the task force, pledged the commitment of the state judiciary to the fight.

“We have able lawyers and we are expanding the number for the purposes of this job.

“We have all the apparatuses it will take, including regular courts, the Child’s Right Courts and the Administration of Criminal Justice Law to carry out the task,” she said.

Nwogu, who is also the state Commissioner for Justice, was represented by Mrs Ngozi Iwouno, the Director, Civil Litigation.

Earlier, NAPTIP was received by Mr Benjamin Okoye, the Traditional Prime Minister of Awka, when the group paid a courtesy visit to Obi Gibson Nwosu, the Traditional Ruler of Awka Kingdom.

Edited By: Sam Oditah
Source: NAN

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40 coys bid for NEPZA constituency projects



The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) says a total of 40 companies have expressed interest to execute some of the country’s constituency projects earmarked for 2020 to be midwifed by the authority.

A statement by Mr Martins Odeh, Head, Corporate Communications NEPZA on Tuesday in Abuja said the opening of the tender for the projects was conducted via zoom with representatives of companies that submitted their bids in participation.

The projects include empowerment of girls and women on entrepreneurship and skills in Ogoja Iyala/Bekwara,/Obudu/Obanliku in Cross River North and entrepreneurship training/ grant provision for women in Osun East Senatorial District.

It includes training on Construction/Rehabilitation of Roads in Anambra North Senatorial District while the authority’s direct projects include Environmental Audit for Kano Free Trade Zone and Environment Audit for Calabar Free Trade Zone respectively.

In his remarks, Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, Managing Director of NEPZA, assured the participating companies of continued transparency and fairness until the process wasconcluded.

Adesugba, who also doubled as the chairman of the event, said NEPZA had always conducted its bidding process in line with the procurement rules, adding that such consistent positive posture had won the authority some laurels.

“This is the first time the authority is conducting this exercise via zoom and we all know why this is so.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to reduce physical contact as much as possible. But let me assure you that the process will remain transparent and fair.

“The opening of expression of interest kicks off this very important exercise that would see us engaging the most qualified companies to handle the projects that we had advertised.

“Those that have expressed interest would have the opportunity to ask questions from this moment until the final day when winners would be announced.

“Be rest assured that we would be ready to provide answers to your questions,’’ the NEPZA boss said.

Meanwhile, there will opening of tender for projects on the: Provision of Learning Materials including Science Equipment and Text books to various schools in Cross River North in October 12.

Opening of tender for Provision of Computer Set/Printers and Backups in various Schools/Purchase of Laptops and Training of Youth on Repairs in Cross River North, and Supply of Empowerment Materials for Youth and Women in Zamfara West Senatorial District will also hold in October 12.

The event was witnessed by external observers which included the Bureau of Public Procurement and a number of non-state actors.


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Anambra coordinator of African Cleanup Initiative advocates environmentally responsible citizens




Miss Funmilayo Adeniyi, the Anambra Coordinator of African Clean-Up Initiative, an environmental non-governmental organisation, has called for conscious efforts in the country to raise environmentally responsible citizens.

Adeniyi, who is also a lecturer at the Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Awka on Tuesday.

She said that the main mission of the group was to raise environmentally responsible citizens that would be active in keeping a healthy and safe environment through right environmental attitude.

She said: “We started the picking of plastic waste off the streets of Anambra on September 21 on the mock basis and will be rounded off on the Sept. 26.

“Our action and success will help in assess the quantity gathered during the mock in order to create room to plan for more during the main project in November when it will be done across the country.

Adeniyi said that the broup had partnered with Anambra State Waste Management Authority (ASWAMA) and many other organisations to embark on a project, tagged five-million plastic challenge.

She said that the project was initiated by a non-profit organisation, Humanity Nigeria in collaboration with Recyclers Alliance of  Nigeria, to rid Nigeria of plastic litter challenges.

Adeniyi said that the body would  attempt to set new world record by picking five million plastic bottles off the streets, gutters and drains in five days across Nigeria.

She said that Anambra had registered to be part of the project and Team Anambra would be led by Mr Amaechi Akorah, the Managing Director of ASWAMA.

Adeniyi appealed to the public to be environment-conscious and always ensure that all forms of plastics were removed from the gutters, drains, streets and other places of waste.

Edited By: Emmanuel Nwoye/Sam Oditah
Source: NAN




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