General news

Catholic Bishop of Lafia tasks Nigerians on God’s grace



Bishop Matthew Audu, the Catholic Bishop of Lafia Diocese has urged Nigerians to always rely on the grace of God in their endeavours for them to succeed in life.

The Bishop gave the admonishment on Sunday in a mass in at ST Peter and Paul Catholic Parish Church Lafia in honour of priest of the church, Mathew Ofoku who celebrated his silver jubilee in priesthood.

Audu said that the grace of God was sufficient enough and capable of helping people surmount their challenges in life.

He noted that given the increase rate of problems in the country there was need for everybody to seek God’s intervention.

He said that it was the grace of God that kept the celebrant moving in the vineyard for 25 years.

He added that he worked closely with the priest in the last 25 years and noted that he had impacted so much on the church and its members.

“On behalf of the clergy, religious and lay faithful of Catholic Diocese of Lafia, I congratulate you on the occasion of your 25th Priestly anniversary.

“The entire faithful are happy to cerebrate you because of your immense contribution to the growth of the diocese,” the Bishop added.

He therefore urged the celebrant to remain steadfast in order to end well in the vineyard of the Lord.

Similarly, Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State, represented by his Deputy, Mr Emmanuel Akabe, congratulated the celebrant for his 25 years in the vineyard of the Lord.

He said government was happy that the role being played by clergymen was responsible for the peace and unity in the society.

Sule said government would continue to partner with the clerics and urged them to continue to pray for the administration to succeed.

On his parts, Ofoku, thanked God for sustaining him throughout the years in the vineyard.

“Priesthood journey is not easy, but we thank God, for his grace and mercy that is still keeping us going,” he added.

The celebrant was ordained as a Priest on Sep. 6, 1994.

Edited by: Ali Baba-Inuwa



Flood: NEMA tasks Nasarawa State Govt on proactive measures



The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has called on  Nasarawa Government to take proactive measures to mitigate the impending flood disaster in the state as the rainy season peaks.

NEMA’s Director-General, retired AVM Muhammadu Muhammed, made the call on Wednesday in Lafia during a flood advocacy visit to the state.

Muhammed, represented by the agency’s Deputy Director for Finance, Mr Sani Jibba, said that  Nasarawa State is one of the probable states to witness flooding going by the 2020 seasonal rainfall prediction and the annual flood outlook.

He said that the flood prone Local Government Areas in the state were Nasarawa, Toto, Nassarawa-Eggon; Keana, Doma, Karu and Awe.

“Nasarawa is known to be one of the major food producing states in the country with its citizens largely engaged in farming activities, but floods have continued to threaten this potential,” he said.

The NEMA boss, while noting that climate change had been blamed for flood disaster, said that it was the responsibility of the government and people to minimise losses through adherence to warning alerts, early preparation and proper response.

He, therefore, urged the state government to direct its Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), frontline local governments and other response agencies to put in place measures to mitigate any disaster.

He also emphasised the need to intensify public enlightenment campaign targeting vulnerable communities to undertake mitigation actions and prepare for evacuation to safe grounds.

Muhammed further advised the state government to identify high grounds for possible Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps to provide shelter for evacuated communities.

He said government should make efforts to clear drains, canal and rivers of refuse and silt to ensure free flow of flood waters, and organise state humanitarian coordination forum to prepare all stakeholders for mitigation and response.

Receiving the delegation on behalf of Gov. Abdullahi Sule, his deputy, Dr Emmanuel Akabe, thanked NEMA for its support to the state over the years.

Akabe said that the state, through SEMA, had taken necessary precaution to mitigate floods following the 2020 prediction by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet).

He said that the state was proactive as it started preparation for the impending flood since January, even to the extent of making arrangement to procure boats for rescue operations where necessary.

He said that government had identified flood prone areas as well as high grounds for possible evacuation of the people when flood occur.

Akabe said that government was working to ensure that the high grounds to be used as temporary camps were habitable with all necessary facilities “so that we don’t move people from disaster to disease”.

He also said that government had intensified public enlightenment campaign through the media, using various local languages and jingles to reach the people, especially in the flood prone rural communities.

Akabe, however, called for continuous partnership with the Federal Government during emergency situations, saying that the state could not do it alone with its limited resources.

Edited By: Dianabasi Effiong and Ephraims Sheyin
Source: NAN
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General news

Nasarawa adopts private sector approach on HCD – Gov’s aide



Hajiya Hadiza Suleiman, Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Nasarawa State Governor on Human Capital Development (HCD), says the state has adopted a private-sector approach to actualise the HCD agenda in the state.

Suleiman, who is also the state’s Focal person on HCD, stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lafia on Friday.

NAN reports that HCD is a national agenda under the National Economic Council domiciled in the office of the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo which seeks to accelerate growth and development through investment in people.

The National HCD has three thematic areas which are: Health, Education and the Workforce, but Nasarawa State has added three more to include: Social development of the youth, local government and community development.

According to Suleiman, the private-sector approach is the best strategy to implement the HCD agenda and achieve its goals in the state.

She said that the approach is result-oriented, time-conscious and produces optimal results that would lead to increased human capital development through acquisition of knowledge and skills for the development and economy of the state.

“The good thing for Nasarawa state is that the administration of Gov. Abdullahi Sule is an administration that is focused on this vision and very much determined to grow the people.

“The governor believes very much in the private sector and its approach. This is because in the private sector every minute counts. There is no time for redundancy. There is no time for laxity.

“That is the kind of approach we stand to bring to the public sector and which we believe will maximise the gains of the HCD agenda in the state.

“Moreover, the people in the private sector are key to HCD, because at the end of the day, they are the ones that will help us guide and set practical examples on how we can merge the two,” she said.

She explained that the private sector is one that often open doors for more knowledge, new skills, new innovations and always prioritises maximum human productivity.

Hence, the lure to embrace its approach in actualising the HCD’s six thematic areas adopted by the state.

Suleiman added that the private sector background of the state governor was another factor that led to the adoption of the private sector approach in actualising the HCD agenda in the state.

“The governor’s background and vast experience in the private sector and the fact that he is a leader who believes and understands the HCD was an added advantage.

“For instance, we have had interactive sessions with Commissioners, heads and officials of the state Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) on how we can bring in the private-sector approach and how to domesticate the HCD agenda in each organisation.

“So, the political will is key,” she said.

Suleiman said the major challenge facing the agenda is lack of understanding of the concept of the HCD agenda by “a lot of people” in the state.

“That is why we embarked on a lot of enlightenment activities to let people understand what the HCD concept is and to get many people to key in into the agenda.

She then urged the Federal Government to prioritise HCD so as to reap many benefits from the millions of human potentials abound in the country.

“For Nigeria, we need to understand the concept, domesticate it and make it a priority.

“If the country can adopt it as a priority, it will go a long way in improving a lot of our indices. It is going to have a positive effect on the growth of the country both socially and economically,” she said.

The SSA also lauded the Chairman of the HCD Council in Nasarawa state, Dr Emmanuel Akabe, for his dedication, commitment and support to the HCD agenda in the state.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo and Isaac Ukpoju
Source: NAN
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Oyo APC stakeholders pledge to work together, assures Badaru committee



The All Progressives Congress (APC), stakeholders in Oyo State have pledged to work together toward building a strong and formidable party in the state.

This is contained in a statement signed by Yekini Nabena, the APC Deputy National Publicity Secretary and made available to newsmen on Friday in Ibadan.

The News Agency of Nigeria , reports that the party’s leadership and stakeholders from Oyo State had met on Thursday at the Plateau State Government lodge in Abuja.

The statement said that the meeting was aimed at ensuring genuine reconciliation, lasting peace and unity among the stakeholders.

The stakeholders assured the Gov. Abubakar Badaru-led reconciliation committee that they were ready to work together toward achieving the desired peace and successes.

Present at the meeting was the committee Chairman, Badaru, and other members of the Imo, Ogun and Oyo States reconciliation Committees.

The committee members are: Gov Simon Lalong of Plateau, Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State and Gov. Muhammed Yahaya of Gombe State.

On the list of stakeholders from Oyo State are: former Gov. Adebayo Alao-Akala, former Deputy Governor of Oyo State,  Otunba Moses Adeyemo, Sen. Teslim Folarin, Sen. Abdulfatai Buhari and Mr Segun Odebunmi.

Also present are Minister of Youth and Sports Development Sunday Dare; former Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu; Sen. Ayo Adeseun; Sen. Rilwan  Akanbi; Sen. Olufemi Lanlehin; and the State APC Chairman, Chief Akin Oke.

Others are: Alhaji Fatai Ibikunle; Mojeed Olaoya, Bimbo Kolade, Shina Peller, Dr Yinus Akintunde, Chief Bayo Adelabu, Mr Joseph Tegbe and Mr Zacchaeus Adedeji.

NAN recalls that Gov. Mai Mala Buni, the Chairman, APC Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary National Convention Planning Committee had recently inaugurated the reconciliation committee.

He said that the committee was inaugurated in line with its mandate to achieve peace building, true reconciliation and give every member a sense of belonging as well as fairness.

Edited By: Benson Iziama/Donald Ugwu
Source: NAN
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General news

Rehabilitation: Army hands over captured B/Haram family members to Govs.



The Nigerian Army on Monday handed over 778 family members of Boko Haram terrorists captured in Toto Local Government Area of Nasarawa state, to governors of 16 northern states for rehabilitation.

Maj.-Gen. Moundhey Ali, Commander, 4 Special Forces Command, handed over the refugees on behalf of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai,  at the command headquarters in Doma, Nasarawa state.

Ali said the terrorists’ family members were captured from Uttu community in Toto LGA of Nasarawa state during a recent  joint military operation codenamed “Operation Nut Cracker” carried out by the Army, Nigeria Air Force, Nigeria Navy, the Nigeria Police Force as well as the Department of State Service.

He explained that the operation was conducted to clear out terrorists and bandits camps in Ugya, Panda and Uttu forests and contiguous hill in Nasarawa state, as well as Zagana, Makpa, Agbuchi and Barada in Koton Large LGA, Kogi state.

According to the commander, the operation as directed by the Chief of Army Staff, followed several complaints of killings, kidnapping for ransom, abduction for sex slavery and cattle rustling among others in the region.

He noted that the Boko Haram terrorists in the North Central region had established camps in  Nasarawa and Kogi communites over the years, from where they unleash mayhem on victims along Okene-Lokoja, Lokoja-Abaji, and Toto-Umaisha roads, adding that they had made social and economic activities in the area almost non-existent.

Ali said that  the feat was a product of seamless cooperation and professional execution based on detailed preparations.

“I therefore, present to you these captured 778 women and children, family members of Boko Haram terrorists that came from 17 states of the nation who have decided to terrorise this nation,” he said.

The commander listed their states of origin to include Niger, Kano, Kastina, Sokoto, Kebbi, Kogi, Kaduna, Bauchi, Borno, Adamawa, Zamfara, Nasarawa, Jigawa, Gombe, Kwara and Yobe states and FCT.

He added that the women were fully involved in the act of terrorism as they were responsible for indoctrinating new kidnap victims and also serve as bankers of the spoils of kidnapping and armed robbery acts of their husbands.

He said that items recovered from the destroyed terrorists camps include improvised explosive devices, ammunitions and materials for producing rockets.

According to him, intelligence had proven that the explosives were prepared to cause mayhem in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Ali attributed the success of the operation to the Commander-in-Chief of Armed Forces President Muhammadu Buhari, the Service Chiefs as well as the people of the region.

“I must reiterate that, the people of North Central region have proven beyond doubt, that indeed even in the 21st century, terrorism can still  be defeated when the people reject the terrorist.

“This brings to fire that, once the people reject the terrorist as done by the people of North Central region, the terrorists’ will have nowhere to hibernate. This is a food for thought to our people in the North Eastern and North Western part of our dear country” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that three states governent were present at the handing over ceremony

Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa and his Niger state counterpart,  Abubakar Bello were represented by their deputies, Dr Emmanuel Akabe and Ahmed Ketso, while. Gov. Yahaya Bello of  Kogi was represented by his Senior Special Adviser (SSA) on security, Doru Jerry.

Governor Sule in his remarks, lauded the security agencies for the feat.

He advised the fleeing terrorists to take advantage of the widow of opportunity provided by the miliary to surrender themselves in order to be reintegrated into the society for the sake of peace in the state and the country at large.

Similarly, Gov. Bello of Niger assured that the women and children of the dislodged terrorists would rehabilitated.

Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi, on his part, urged security agencies to sustain the tempo of the onslaught against the terrorists in the area.

Edited By: Isaac Ukpoju (NAN)
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