Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi has expressed his administration’s commitment to the development of the education sector as the key to high-level human capital development needed for emancipation of the people.
Bello made pledge in his remarks on Thursday at the inauguration of the reconstructed 30-bed capacity Hajia Hauwau Bello Health Centre, a Security House, perimeter fencing and renovated lecture theatre at Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja.
The governor said that, even though he considered the economy sector to be important, it was no secret that he held the education sector in high esteem in view of its foremost position in development.
“Quality and affordable education is the key to high level of human capital development, which is in turn the access code to unlocking keys needed for breakthrough in all other sectors,” he said.
The governor said that, in spite of the distractions arising from the court cases over his re-election, his government had successfully completed the legal and regulatory frameworks for establishment of the Confluence University of Science and Technology, Osara.
“In the same vein, we have also upgraded the college of Agriculture, Ochaja, to a Diploma awarding institute in order to provide career prospects for students.
“As a government, we shall continue to nurse Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja, for maximum functionality as well as all the primary, secondary and tertiary institutions in the state,” he said.
Bello, who also confirmed Dr Salisu Ogbo Usman as substantive rector of the polytechnic, praised the rector’s development initiatives which had transformed the institution.
He commended what he described as the creativity, competence, resourcefulness, foresight and capacity of the rector, adding that under straining financial circumstances, he had turned lemon into lemonade within a short time.
“This can-do attitude; the attitude of it-is-doable; the attitude of it is possible; the attitude of we will get there; we will get the job done is the soul and spirit of our new Direction Agenda,” the governor said.
Earlier, Usman commended the governor for finding him worthy and giving the Polytecnic the enablement to execute the projects.
He said that the education sector under the Bello’s administration had recorded monumental growth in policy direction and infrastructure, due to the governor’s resolve to alter the negative narratives of the past.
Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Felix Ajide
Foundation donates food, other gifts items to widows in Abuja
News Agency of Nigeria reports that at the maiden edition of the foundation’s meeting on Saturday in Abuja, the widows were full of praises to the foundation.
Major items such as rice, spaghetti, indomie, seasoning, vegetable oil, salt, bread, Ankara materials, shoes and cash were distributed to widows.
Mrs Bukola Adewumi, founder of the SASF, said empowering widows was a dream come through for her, adding that her mother was also a widow and knew what she went through during the period, until she passed on.
”This is like a burden to me, my mother was a widow, I knew what she went through, the struggle and I have nursed this ambition from my university days and also given the little I had then,” she said.
Adewumi said she had been giving her widow’s mite before now, but that it was time to establish a foundation that would be readily available to cater for their needs.
She noted that her greatest joy would be to see the widows smile, stressing that it was the essence of establishing the foundation to assist widows.
According to her, SASF will not only be about sharing food items, but would also ensure that the widows are trained on entrepreneurial skills, in other to have a ready source of livelihood.
She explained that the foundation would acquire land and build a widow’s home, in a bid to have projects running there.
”Whatever money we make as proceeds will be plough back to the widows,” she said.
Adewumi said the foundation would have a data base where the names and details of all widows would be saved, for possible support, adding that widows, who register with her foundation, would no longer be a liabilities.
She then called on public spirited Nigerians to contribute to the foundation in the drive to help the widows out of doldrums, adding that their financial support would help cushion their plight.
Mrs Elizabeth Aledare, a resident of Lugbe Airport road, lauded the foundation, adding that the gesture was a divine intervention for her as she and her children had nothing to eat at the moment.
She said that one of her children was billed to return to school come Sept. 21, but that the fear of getting her food had overwhelmed her, until the foundation intervened.
Aladare, 53, from Kogi, who had been a widow for 12 years, said she would remain grateful for the swift intervention by the foundation.
Mrs Chinese Ozor, one of the beneficiaries, a 40 -year-old widow from Enugu, who lost her husband in 2016, commended the organiser, describing the initiative as a timely intervention.
She said such gesture would linger in her memory, while calling for support from Nigerians for the foundation to be able to reach out to other widows.
Mrs Binta Aminu, another beneficiary, 42, from Katsina, who lost her husband in 2018, said the intervention by the foundation was heartwarming.
Aminu said she could not believe her eyes with the items provided by the foundation, while commending the organiser for the kind gesture.
Mary Adeyemi, 23, from Oyo, who lost her husband in 2019, described the gesture as huge and wonderful.
The young widow urged other public spirited Nigerians to join hands with SASF to reduce the burden of widows in the country.
Edited By: Chinyere Nwachukwu/Felix Ajide
The Smile Attaracts Smile Foundation (SASF) distributing food items on Saturday in Abujahttps://nnn.ng/foundation-donates-food-other-gifts-items-to-widows-in-abuja/
Gunmen invade relaxation spot in Kogi, kill one, injure many
Three gunmen attacked Royal Garden Relaxation Spot in Egume, Dekina Local Government of Kogi on Friday, killing one person and injuring many others, the police said on Saturday.
Accordding to state police command, the armed men shot sporadically into the premises of the relaxation spot at about 7:45 pm on Friday.
A statement by the command spokesman, DSP William Aya said that the attackers later fled the scene.
The statement did not disclose whether the armed men robbed their victims, but said the Divisional Police Officer in Dekina mobilized operatives to the scene immediately after learning about the incident.
“He met one yet to be identified body lying in pool of his blood and moved him to a nearby hospital where he was confirmed dead.
“The body was deposited at the hospital for autopsy,” the statement said.
According to the statement, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Ayuba Ekpeji has deployed a team of operatives to hunt for the hoodlums.
He assured that the police will arrest the attackers and prosecute them.
The commissioner advised members of the public to be observant and report suspicious movements or objects around them, as well as activities of criminal elements within their neighbourhoods, to security agencies.
Edited By: Maharazu Ahmed
FEMA alerts Abuja residents of severe flood
The Director-General of FEMA, Alhaji Abbas Idriss, issued the alert in a statement on Saturday in Abuja.
Idriss said the red alert became necessary following rainfall and repeated floods being witnessed in different parts of the country and around the FCT,
Idriss said though FCT was not on the red alert, but could be at the risk of heavier flooding because of its closeness to neighboring red line States.
He assured that the agency was prepared to handle any eventuality that may arise.
“As we speak, about nine rivers in nine countries are discharging their contents from their rivers which will eventually flows into River Niger and settles at Lokoja,” he said.
He called on residents living around the riverine and flood-prone areas of the FCT to move to higher grounds, clear their water channels and drainages.
Idriss also enjoined the residents to avoid dumping refuse on water ways and avoid walking or driving through flooded water to keep safe.
“What we are about to witness from now on is ‘river flooding’ and this is going to be heavier and more forceful than the flash flood we experienced earlier,” he warned.
Idriss, therefore, stressed the need for residents to take personal responsibility of the safety of their environment, saying ” disaster management is an all-inclusive effort from both the government and the governed.”
He assured residents of the agency’s efforts to work with all the relevant stakeholders to mitigate any possible effect of flooding in the FCT.
The DG said that the agency had strengthened its Ambassadors (FEMA volunteers/Vanguards) in all the area councils to be able to sensitise their people using town criers and other indigenous means of communication.
” This will enable them to drive the message home, in the bid to minimise loss of lives and properties.”
He added that FEMA had also mounted reflective billboards at various flood prone points warning off and cautioning residents from these danger areas.
Idriss challenged religious leaders, community heads and well- meaning Nigerians in authority to take responsibility of the public education and sensitisation of people around them.
” Especially those living close to flood prone areas to move to higher grounds for safety and to always call the national toll-free emergency number 112 for prompt response of any emergency.”,he said.
He said flood could catch up with anybody, anywhere, citing the example of the victim of Trademoore Estate ,Lugbe, a visitor in the Estate that was swept off by flood water.
Edited By: Buhari Bolaji/Sadiya Hamza
Edo Election: Yiaga Africa to adopt PVT methodology to check credibility of election results
Yiaga Africa, a civil society organisation says it plans to deploy its Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) methodology to assess the credibility of the Sept. 19, Edo Governorship poll.
Mr Samson Itodo, Executive Director, Yiaga Africa said this in a statement on Friday in Abuja.
He said the group through its Watching The Vote citizens movement, would also deploy 500 observers to monitor the election.
According to Itodo, the PVT is an advanced election observation methodology that employs well-established statistical principles and sophisticated information technology in providing timely and accurate information on conduct of elections.
He added that the process will monitor accreditation, voting, and counting, and it will independently verify the official governorship results as announced by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“The PVTs are not opinion polls; Yiaga Africa citizen observers do not ask voters for whom they cast their ballot; PVT relies solely on official results from polling units.
“This tested and proven election observation methodology has been deployed in over 50 countries worldwide, including Nigeria.
“Yiaga Africa deployed the PVT in the November 2019 Kogi and Bayelsa governorship election where it detected fraud and manipulation of results collation and declined to verify the official results declared by INEC.
“In a statement jointly signed by the Chair of Yiaga Africa election observation mission for Edo, Dr Aisha Abdullahi, Nigeria’s and Yiaga Africa Executive Director, Samson Itodo, the organisation said it would deploy 500 stationary observers.
Itodo said that the observers would monitor the conduct of the process and provide systematic, accurate and timely information on the Election Day process.
He said specifically that Yiaga Africa would provide accurate information on the quality of the Election Day process and ascertain if the official results announced by INEC reflected the total votes cast.
Itodo explained that since the PVT was based on official results from a representative random sample of polling units, Yiaga Africa would estimate the state-wide results for the governorship election within a narrow range based on well-established statistical principles.
He said that if INEC’s official results fall within Yiaga Africa’s estimated range, then the public, political parties and candidates would have confidence that the official results reflected the ballots cast at polling units.
Itodo, however, said that if the announced results have been manipulated and do not match the polling units’ results, Yiaga Africa would oppose it.
He said that the PVT was a component of Yiaga Africa’s comprehensive election observation methodology spanning the electoral cycle.
“Therefore, in assessing whether the 2020 Edo governorship satisfies the electoral integrity test, Yiaga Africa will consider a range of issues such as shortcomings in the pre-election period.
“The quality of election day processes and the scale and scope of critical incidents.’’
Itodo said that on Election Day, Yiaga Africa would receive 4,500 text messages containing approximately 56,000 individual pieces of information about the election.
He added that the messages would be reviewed and analysed to ensure that the information was complete, authentic and accurate before dissemination.
Itodo said that after poll, Yiaga Africa would issue its estimated projections based on its preliminary data.
He added that on Sunday, Sept. 20, the group would share its preliminary Watching The Vote findings on the conduct of setup, accreditation, voting and counting.
Itodo said that immediately INEC announce the official results for the election, Yiaga Africa would hold its news conference and issue its statement on the election result.
“Yiaga Africa Watching the Vote is “Driven by Data for All Nigerians Beholden to None!”
Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Ali Baba-Inuwa