The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Niger chapter, has prayed that the completion of the Ramadan fasting by the Muslims translates into peace, good health and wealth for the state and Nigeria.
Rev. Mathias Echioda, the Chairman of CAN in the state, offered the prayers in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday in Minna.
Echioda called for true love among Nigerians and wished the Muslim faithful a happy celebration.
“The Niger chapter of CAN congratulates the Muslim faithful for the successful completion of the Ramadan fast.
“We pray that the benefits of the fasting will translate into peace, good health and wealth for both Niger State and Nigeria,’’ he said.
He appealed to residents of the state to always wear face masks, respect the social distancing and take other precautionary measures put in place to control and contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Edited By: Johnson Eyiangho/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)https://nnn.ng/eid-el-fitr-can-prays-for-peace-good-health-wealth/
Olowu condoles with COAS, says Col. Bako’s death a national tragedy
Oba Adekunle Oyelude, the Olowu of Kuta in Ayedire Local Government area of Osun, has described the death of Col. Dahiru Bako as a national tragedy.
The Olowu, in a statement on Tuesday, said he received the news with shock and deep sorrow.
The monarch, therefore, condoled with the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.- Gen. Tukur Buratai, and the entire Nigerian Army on the loss.
He stated: “The fact that the Colonel was said to have died in an ambush called for concern because an ambush suggested that the enemy knew of the movement by the officers and men.”
Oyelude prayed for the repose of the soul of the dead and called on Borno elders and Nigerians in general to actively support the efforts of the military in order to put an end to insurgency
According to the monarch, enough is enough.
The Olowu Kuta suggested the use of locals for credible intelligence, adding that anyone caught spying on troops should be treated like mutineers.
Edited By: Dianabasi Effiong/Wale Ojetimi
Navy deploys 6 warships for special military operation in 4 states
The Nigerian Navy on Tuesday deployed troops on board six warships, including 60 gunboats, in a special military exercise to tackle pirates, oil smugglers and other criminalities in the nation’s waters.
Rear Adm. David Adeniran, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Naval Command (ENC), Calabar, announced the deployment at the flag-off of the exercise in Onne, Rivers.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the operation was code-named, ‘Exercise Sanga Sung,’ meaning ‘Safe Transit’ in Ibibio dialect.
Adeniran said that the two-day exercise, aimed at consolidating on similar Exercises Bekan Mmon I and II, would hold on the territorial waters of Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ebonyi and Rivers states, under the ENC.
“Exercise Sanga Sung is one of the numerous operational engagements that the Eastern Naval Command (ENC) is currently undertaking to safeguard the nation’s maritime environment.
“The purpose of the exercise is to check the state of preparedness of our fleets and training of our personnel,” said the naval chief.
He said that personnel of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nigerian Immigration Service and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) would also participate in the exercise.
Others are the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Nigerian Customs Service.
“The other security agencies are participating in the exercise knowing that safety and security of our maritime environment cannot be provided by a single security agency.
“Also, there are so many personnel involved in this exercise from our naval headquarters, Defence headquarters, Western Naval Command and Central Naval Command, among others.
“However, physically on ground, we have six major ships that would be going out to sea as well as 60 gunboats participating in Exercise Sanga Sung,”he added.
The FOC said that Operation “Bekan Mmon” conducted in 2018 and 2019 recorded successes, including the arrest of over 600 suspected oil thieves and pirates and the destruction of over 200 illegal refining sites.
According to him, no fewer than 11,000 metric tonnes of stolen crude oil as well as over 15,000 metric tonnes of illegally refined diesel were recovered during the exercise.
“In addition, we also intercepted and recovered about 25,000 bags of 50 kilogramme of par boiled rice during Exercise Bekan Mmon I and II.
“So, going by the successes, it became imperative that we consolidate on the gains recorded with exercise Sanga Sung,” the FOC added.
Adeniran called for the support of stakeholders to ensure a secured and peaceful maritime environment and warned criminals to desist from maritime crimes.
Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Wale Ojetimi
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
Barbados tourism expert advises African operators on innovation
Jamie-Lee Abtar, Executive Director, Black Asian and Minority Ethnic Women in Travels from Barbados, on Tuesday urged innovativeness among African tourism practitioners to enhance speedy recovery from COVID-19 pandemic losses.
Abtar gave the advice during the youth tourism conference session of the 16th AKWAABA Africa Travel and Tourism Market, organised by Mr Ikechi Uko, with the theme: “The Role of the Youth in Restoring Tourism Growth in Africa”.
She said that being innovative distinguished a leader from a follower, urging tourism practitioners across Africa to turn their visions into products and services.
According to her, innovators understand that innovation never happen in a vacuum.
“To be able to recover from the losses of COVID-19 pandemic, we must be inspired to be innovators, leaders, collaborators, digital disruptor and be distinctly different.
“The characteristic of a great innovator is that they see a space others do not and they invent something new, they don’t just listen to what people say but they take initiative.
“These are virtues we must imbibe to scale through this critical period; as tourism practitioners, always be prepared for change and be active in making the change happen.
“To be distinctly different can be challenging but essential for your business to thrive,” she said.
Mel Tlhapi, Managing Director, Mel Prods South Africa, advised African governments to allow youths participate in tourism policy creation to generate experienced and unique ideas.
Tlhapi urged the youths involved in tourism business to always upgrade themselves academically to stay relevant in the industry, advising them to stay fearless regardless of the negative effect of COVID-19 pandemic on the industry.
She urged practitioners to solely embrace an aspect of the tourism value chain and remain vibrant in it instead of embracing so many chains without being professionals.
“I advise the youths to create niches for themselves in the industry, be fearless and embrace just an aspect of the tourism value chain, be well grounded in it and do not be a jack of all trade,” she said.
Chiamaka Obuekwe, Managing Director, Social Prefect Tours, spoke on the importance of collaborations to promote intra Africa travels.
Obuekwe said that personal rebranding, reputable business arena and mentorship were very essential to restoring tourism growth in Africa, urging tourism practitioners across Africa to take them seriously.
She said that Africans must consciously rewrite their stories to correct the negative perception of the international communities, going by the challenges of insecurity, poor infrastructure and other social vices projected to the world.
According to her, the negative perception could only be corrected by beginning to tell beautiful stories of Africa and rebranding the continent.
” The youths have a lot to do in tourism development across Africa but African governments must create the needed infrastructure to woo investors and tourists.
“I advise that we in Nigeria create a tourism package to showcase our tourism potential, just like we have events like Magical Kenya, Remarkable Rwanda and Incredible Ghana.
“I suggest we have a tourist festival like “Great Nigeria” or “One Nigeria” to showcase our rich cultural and tourism endowments which will be an annual event,” she said.
Carmen Imbili, Chief Executive Officer, Xceptional Tourism Services from Namibia, said huge confidence must be displayed by operators to forge ahead, be innovative in order to achieve post COVID-19 recovery in the tourism industry
Imbili urged practitioners to explore the power of technology and invest hugely in it as a way of life.
She called for collaborations across tourism practitioners in Africa for speedy recovery of the industry.
Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Wale Ojetimi