Group urges budgetary increase for malaria programmes in Niger



The Association of Civil Society Organisations for Malaria, Immunisation and Nutrition (ACOMIN) has called on the Niger state government to increase its budgetary allocation for malaria intervention programmes in the state.

Mr Kolajaiye Olasunkanmi, the State Coordinator of ACOMIN made the call on Monday in Minna while briefing newsmen on some of their activities in the state.

Olasunkanmi said that the measure would go a long way towards tackling the menace of malaria in the state and the country in general.

“We want to use this medium to call on the Niger state government to increase its budgetary allocation for malaria intervention and recruit more human resources for most of its health facilities.

“This will go a long way in tackling the issue of malaria in the state and the country at large,” he said.

He also advised Local Government Councils in the state to come up with budgetary allocations for malaria intervention programmes in order to take the campaign to the grassroots.

The Coordinator said that the group had resolved issues such as stock out of drugs and long lasting insecticide nets in some Primary Healthcare Centers (PHCs) in the state.

He also said that ACOMIN had resolved community conflict that was affecting uptake of health services in Global Funding supported health centers across the state.

Olasunkanmi said that in spite of these achievements, ACOMIN was faced with challenges of inadequate funding by the state and local governments as well as insufficient health officials.

Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz


Bring oil thieves to justice, Gov Wike urges to security agencies



Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers has appealed to security agencies to ensure that those who sabotage government’s effort to eliminate bunkering are brought to justice.

Wike made the appeal on Monday, when participants of the Naval Warfare College Course Four paid him a courtesy visit at Government House, Port Harcourt.

He noted that bunkering which affects the socio-economic development of the country negatively, should not be allowed to thrive.

The governor said that his administration had given necessary support to security agencies, particularly the Nigerian Navy by providing six gunboats to secure the waterways.

“We are also procuring more gunboats for the Navy to fight pipeline vandalism and oil bunkering in the State.

“The issue of security should not be politicised as crime and criminality is not synonymous to a particular state.

“No Country or State can say that they do not have insecurity. Here in the State because we are working in synergy with security agencies, insecurity has reduced.

“Let me appeal that the efforts you put in to apprehend those who attack your personnel should also be applied to prosecute those who affect our economy,’’ he said.

Wike called on the Federal Government to implement the report that would be submitted at the end of the study visit.

He urged the participants to use their visit to see the developmental strides in Rivers.

“We are constructing five flyovers simultaneously. The Mother and Child Hospital is at furnishing stage and the Real Madrid Football Academy will soon open for academic activities,’’ he said.

Earlier, the Commandant Nigerian Naval War College, Rear Adm. Adeseye Ayobanjo, commended the governor for hosting the course participants.

He said: “The theme of the Course is: `Curbing Pipeline Vandalism Towards Enhancing Socio-economic Development in Rivers State.

“In choosing to carry out this study, we note that the Rivers  Government and other security agencies have been doing so much to curb the menace of pipeline vandalism.

“The participants of the War College will interact with the people and make recommendations to the Nigerian Navy for implementation.’’

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza
Source: NAN
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Edo poll voter turnout decline worrisome in spite of credible conduct — CDD



Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), a pro democracy civil society organisation, has  said that in spite of the  general peaceful and credible conduct of the Edo election, it was worried over the  decline in voters turnout for the election.

The group in its final observation report signed by CDD Director, Ms Idayat Hassan, and Head, Election Analysis Centre (EAC), Prof. Adele Jinadu, said that the credible conduct of the election was a refreshing development.

“The decline in voter turnout is pointed out as a trend, which would not augur well for the robust participation of the electorate, including marginalised groups.

“Backing this assertions with figures, CDD noted that in 2003, voter turnout stood at 78 per cent of 1,432,891 registered voters; In 2020 however, only 25.2 per cent of voters turned out to cast their ballot out of a registered number of 2,210,534.

CDD figures similarly showed a consistent decline in voter turnout from 78 per cent in 2003 to 40.5per cent in 2012, and further down to 32.3 per cent in 2016.

CDD, therefore, expressed worries that the further decline in voter turnout in 2020, which came down to a low of 25.2 per cent could be read as a steady loss of faith in the electoral process, as well the entire democratic system of governance.”

Hassan said that CDD rated the conduct and outcome of the Sept. 19, 2020 governorship election in Edo as relatively credible, in spite of the challenges and infractions, which dogged the process.

She said that CDD deployed 250 stationary and roving observers to keep a close eye on key processes in the election and handed down its verdict in a final observation briefing.

She said that the Centre noted that the election was relatively peaceful when compared to other polls recently conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in spite of high vote buying .

“The peaceful conduct points the way away from the “degeneration” that has historically been the country’s sad experience with electoral outcomes, and towards outcomes that significantly reflect the mandate of the electorate.

“In this respect, the election potentially augurs well for the future of democracy and development in the country.

“This is particularly in view of the determination shown by the electorate to protect their mandate and ensure that it counted in the critical penultimate months to the election day. ‘’

Head, Election Analysis Centre (EAC), Prof. Adele Jinadu noted that the credible outcome of the election was due to the activities of various strategic stakeholders, particularly INEC and  the peace-keeping efforts, the Oba of Benin and the Abdulsalam Abubakar-led National Peace Committee.

Jinadu said CDD, however, warned that there remained certain anomalies in the process, which if left unaddressed could turn the current euphoria into a mirage that would precipitate a reversal to the status quo ante.

He listed some of the issues as the controversial modality used for selecting the governorship candidates and the abuse of the power of incumbency for partisan party political advantage.

He added the general poverty in the state and the high unemployment rate that resulted in vote selling among others.

He said that although the group pointed out some malfunctioning of smart card readers, however, it acknowledged that the overall performance of INEC was smooth across the state.

He said that the group commend INEC for the introduction of the result viewing portal in improving transparency and accountability of the collation and declaration of results.

This, he said, enhanced citizens’ trust in the electoral process.

He said that generally, the COVID-19 Protocols that INEC outlined in its guidelines for the elections, particularly social distancing, were not complied with.

Jinadu said that CDD urged INEC to concentrate on the dual purpose of implementing its protocol on conducting elections during COVID 19 and improved voter education programme especially for other elections.

He said that there was need to reform the country’s party system to strengthen internal party democracy.

“This measure will ensure that political parties pay more attention to the nomination of women and the youth as candidates and have equal access to leadership opportunities within party organisations.

CDD further called on government and citizens to push to encourage compliance with Chapter II of the Nigerian Constitution and achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in order to curb poverty in the country.

Edited By: Donald Ugwu
Source: NAN
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NGO warns against monoculture plantation, illegal logging in C/River



An environmental Non Governmental Organisation, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria, has warned multinational companies to desist from the practice of monoculture in other to save the biodiversity.

Dr Godwin Ojo, Executive Director of the organisation, gave the warning on Monday in Akampka local government area of the state during an event held to mark the 2020 International “no to monoculture” day.

Ojo explained that Sept. 21st was observed globally every year to draw attention to the impacts of monoculture plantations on the environment, conservation and livelihoods concerns of rural communities.

He, who was represented by Dr Matthew Olory, the volunteer coordinator of Community Forest Watch, said that “monoculture tree plantation is bad because of the high level chemical inputs such as herbicides and pesticides which put the world food system at great risk”.

He added that monoculture was also displacing small scale local farmers growing crops such as yam, cassava and plantain.

“The Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria and its allies stand in solidarity with social movements, networks and communities to raise our voices of resistance against monoculture expansion that is increasing on a daily basis.

“No matter what, trees of similar species cannot make a forest. Therefore, the rich biodiversity associated with natural forests is lost in the case of monoculture such as oil palm plantations.

“The expansion is also endangering biodiversity such as butterflies and bees.

“Also, the pandrillus monkeys and chimpanzees in Cross River and the slaters guenon and elephants in Okomu forest reserve in Edo have come under severe threat due to palm oil plantations.

“We also raise our voices of resistance against the increasing illegal logging of trees.

“The appropriation of community lands by government to make way for monoculture agro commodities that serves the interest of big agribusiness multinational companies and to the detriment of the impacted communities,” he said.

He urged government at all levels and multinational companies to put “people first” rather than profit.

Speaking, a Director from the state Forestry Commission, Dr Ekpeyong Ita, said the issue of monoculture has been a major threat of biodiversity in the state.

Ita stressed that if monoculture is allowed to go on, it would destroy the biodiversity and make the state lose its virgin forests.

He called for a concerted effort from all individuals and stakeholders in protecting the forests.

The Controller of National Park in Cross River, Mrs Caroline Olory, said that the state has the largest of the remaining rainforest in Nigeria.

Olory, who maintained that forest preservation should be collective, called for the sustainability in the fight against deforestation in the state.

Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Ismail Abdulaziz
Source: NAN
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Darey Art Alade drops new EP ‘Way Home’



The Multi-platinum selling artiste, songwriter and entertainer, Darey Art Alade, shocked fans on Monday when he released his new Extended Play (EP) project, ‘Way Home’.

The ‘Pray for Me’ crooner had been dropping new music projects back to back since August when he broke his five-year hiatus with the hot single, ‘Jah Guide Me’.

Leading the EP is a tune with Patoranking titled ‘Jojo’ which is available to stream on all online platforms.

Announcing the project in an endearing message to fans via his social media, Darey said, “After a lot of sweat and sleepless nights in the kitchen, my brand new EP, ‘Way Home’ is finally ready.”

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that in August, the singer released a Pheelz-produced single, ‘Jah Guide Me’.

Speaking on the inspiration behind the song, he said, “Just like many of you, 2020 has so far, brought a handful of uncertainties on my way.

“But the fact is that God isn’t surprised. So I guess it’s up to all of us to submit and be led,” he wrote on his Instagram page.

Darey’s last released two singles ‘Asiko Laiye’ (Remix), featured Olamide and ‘Pray For Me’ featured Soweto Gospel Choir in 2015. Both tracks were instant hits.

Darey released his fifth studio album titled Naked in October 2015.

The 13-track album comprised afrobeat, soul, and R&B collaborations with Asa, Olamide and the multiple Grammy award-winning Soweto Gospel Choir.

The ‘Not the Girl’ singer is also a coach on singing competition, The Voice Nigeria.

The seasoned vocalist will officially join other music stars such as Waje, Yemi Alade and Falz on the panel.

He also runs Livespot, a Lagos-based integrated Communications firm with offices in Abuja, along with his wife, Deola.

Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Donald Ugwu
Source: NAN
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Okowa mourns Emir of Zazzau Bring oil thieves to justice, Gov Wike urges to security agencies Resumption: FRSC tasks school owners, managers on safety, COVID-19 guidelines in bus system Edo poll voter turnout decline worrisome in spite of credible conduct — CDD Bayelsa begins 2021budget process, pledges citizens’ participation World Peace Day: NGO organises arts exhibition to promote peace, peaceful co-existence NGO warns against monoculture plantation, illegal logging in C/River Attack on police officers in Sokoto ‘ll not be left unaddressed – AIG Darey Art Alade drops new EP ‘Way Home’ Emir of Zazzau’s demise, big loss to Nigeria – Kalu Club’s server collapses over demand for first Bundesliga game in 11 years NIBCARD Games to represent Nigeria in world’s largest game exhibition Nasarawa SDP lawmaker defects to APC Russian, WHO discuss cooperation in fight against COVID-19 Dutch Prime Minister tells cheering football fans to shut up Nasarawa NYCN gets acting Chairman, secretary Vote Buying: CSOS urge NASS to expedite passage of Electoral Offences Commission Bill Lawmaker donates 5 motorised boreholes, promises more COVID-19: Plateau surveillance team attacked in communities – Commissioner Ogun schools resume for 2020/2021 academic activities, comply with COVID-19 protocols FRC leads agencies to pay N1.8trn into Consolidated Revenue Fund – Official Mali to instate civilian president for 18-month transition period – Source International Peace Day: Onyedimma, others advise youths to shun violence COVID-19: Organisation to empower 500,000 vulnerable Nigerians Bavarian premier warns of risk of mass infection at UEFA Super Cup Hematologist states benefits of blood donation Market leader tasks LASG on incentives to encourage youths on fish farming in Epe Police arraign man for allegedly abducting girl in Ado-Ekiti Carpenter in court over alleged breach of trust, cheating Motorcyclist in court over alleged breach of trust, misappropriation FG frowns at companies’ inability to resolve consumer complaints, feedback Resumption: Schools comply with COVID-19 protocol Italy to host Netherlands in Bergamo in honour of COVID-19 victims Gov. Bagudu lays foundation of $1.19m first FIFA stadium in Nigeria 53 security personnel forces killed as violence escalates in Afghanistan Navalny demands Russia return his clothes from day of poisoning Italy introduces compulsory virus testing for travellers from France Civil society election observers say INEC neutral in Edo poll Leyton Orient players test positive for COVID-19, Spurs clash in doubt EFCC witness contradicts self in ex-Minister, Turaki’s trial New Tariff: KEDCO pledges better service delivery Bayern Munich fans undergo Super Cup coronavirus tests, Munich premier concerned 2 arraigned for allegedly receiving stolen car, accessory AIB releases Lagos helicopter crash report Ekiti govt. tasks teachers on dedication to duties as schools resume Anambra residents express confidence in Buhari on Edo election Nasarawa Assembly passes investment and development agency bill Northern Ireland groups warn Brexit bill could harm peace process Educationist cautious parents against children’s unguarded internet use NAS celebrates 2020 reading session with orphans, donates items