As the world celebrates Happiness Day on March 20, some residents of Jos say they are not aware of the event.
The day was originally conceptualised and founded in 2006 by Jayme Illien, the Chief Executive Officer of the United Nations New World Order project, to promote happiness among people of the world.
But the residents of the tin city told Nigeria News Agency that they were unaware of the existence and celebration of such day.
Mr Isaac Abaa said that this was the first time that he was hearing about the day.
Abaa, however, said that happiness was a relative term,depending on the situation one found himself.
“I am not happy because of the situation in the country, but I am making deliberate efforts not to be sad,”he said .
He said that eating his wife’s special delicacy and answering challenging questions from his children after school were the only things that were making him happy.
Another resident, MrJeremiah James, also said he was not aware of the day, but that the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) was making him sad because schools and places of worship were being shut down.
“The spread of coronavirus has affected the level of my happiness because we heard that, school’s and places of worship will be shut down and it is a thing of concern,” he said.
But Miss Blessing Gokum says she is happy for being alive to celebrate her sister’s graduation from nursing school.
“I am very happy today because today is my sister’s graduating from nursing school.
“Happiness is free, therefore I try to be happy and also make the people around me happy,” Gokum said.
Miss Shantel David, a student of Plateau State University, Bokkos, said that she was sad because of the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
David said that the ASUU strikes were making students to stay in school beyond the expected period.
She further said that the fear of the Coronavirus and the attendant economic downturn were causing untold hardships to her.
Miss Cynthia Mancha on her part, also said said that the coronavirus had affected her state of happiness as many innocent people were losing there lives to the disease.
“Today is World Happiness Day, but as I am talking to you now I am mourning, mourning the innocent souls that lost their lives around the world because of the disease.
“The fast spread of the virus is really causing chaos and anxiety in our society today.
“I am advising people, especially those being quarantined not to lose hope on life and to also to focus their energy on being happy,” Mancha said
Edited By: Abdullahi Yusuf
Motorists decry deplorable roads in Southern Kaduna
Motorists and other road users in Jema’a, Sanga, Kaura and Jaba Local Government Areas in the South of Kaduna State, have decried the deplorable state of roads in their locality.
The motorists, who spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria on Saturday, cited the Kafanchan-Kagoma-Kwoi, Kagoro-Manchok and Forest-Sanga-Akwanga roads among those in dire need of attention.
Malam Audu Balarabe, a commercial driver, stressed that the poor condition of the roads had forced commercial vehicle drivers in the area to jerk up their fares.
“A journey that is supposed to take a small amount of time, takes several hours owing to the terrible nature of these roads.
“This has caused commercial operators like me to increase our fares because of the stress we go through, driving on our roads,” he said.
Another commercial driver, Bobai Monada, who regularly plied the Forest-Sanga road, spoke of how he took his vehicle to the mechanic for repairs at least twice a week because of the bad road.
“The better part of the money one makes is spent on one repair or the other every time because of the potholes on the roads.
“It is really a pathetic situation down here because we are suffering and we don’t know when all this will be over,” he added
However, some repair works could be seen going on at the Forest-Sanga road when our correspondent visited.
On his part, Sunday Kuyambana, noted that the deplorable state of the roads was impacting negatively on the local economy of the people in the area.
“This Kagoma to Kwoi road has really brought us untold hardship. It is hindering our social and economic activities.
“It is rather sad that we are still grappling with issues of basic amenities like roads in this age and time when others countries have gone far,” he said.
Godwin Bala described himself as a victim of the bad roads in the area, noting that he was lucky to have survived an accident on the Kagoro-Manchok road in 2019.
“Last year, I was traveling to Jos on that road when I was involved in an terrible accident with another vehicle.
“If not God, maybe I would have been long gone by now but here I am, talking and sharing my experience with you on the state of our roads.
“The bad condition of the road contributed very greatly to that accident and the road is still the way it has been all this while,” he added.
Bala called on the elected representatives from the region to use their good offices to attract the intervention of the relevant authorities.
For Haruna Sani, a passenger, he blamed the worsening condition of the roads on the movement of articulated vehicles carrying overloads of liquids and dry cargoes.
Sani called for the creation of alternative routes for articulated vehicles to move cargoes.
According to him, articulated vehicles carrying more than 45,000 litres or 35 tons of dry cargo should not be allowed to ply those roads.
Others who spoke to NAN called on governments at both the State and Federal levels to come to their aid by reconstructing or rehabilitating the roads.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/ Maharazu Ahmed
Troops rescue 22 kidnapped victims in Zamfara, Katsina
The Nigerian Army troops of Operation Sahel Sanity fighting banditry and kidnapping in the northwest region have foiled bandits’ attacks and rescued 22 kidnapped victims.
The troops also recovered arms and ammunitions in various operations in Zamfara and Katsina States.
Gen. Bernard Onyeuko, the Acting Director, Defence Media Operations, made the disclosure in a statement issued in Gusau on Friday.
According to him, troops deployed at Moriki and Jangeru, responded to a distress call on Sept. 13, and folied a planned bandits’ attack on Mai-Zuma village in Zurmi Local Government Area of Zamfara.
This, he said, followed severe shoot out along Kayawa axis forcing the bandits to withdraw and abandon three motorcycles recovered by the gallant troops.
Onyeuko said on Sept. 12, troops deployed at Dandume in Katsina State rescued two young girls kidnapped by bandits on August 18, adding that the bandits abandoned the victims after a hot pursuit.
He said that on Sept. 17, troops also rescued 8 kidnapped victims from suspected bandits at Fankama and Sabon Layi area in Faskari LGA of Katsina.
“Troops on patrol at Chabas Chabas, swiftly rescued a truck driver, 11 women and children, on their way to Batsari Market but blocked by suspected bandits along Shimfida – Gurbi Road in Katsina State,” he said.
The Acting Director added that troops deployed at Forward Operation Base (FOB), Dansadau arrested a suspected bandit named Bello Ibrahim riding a motorcycle on his way to Dandalla village.
Onyeuko noted that the troops recovered one Pump Action rifle and three live cartridges from the suspected bandit.
He said: “On Sept. 16, troops deployed in Faskari arrested a suspected bandits’ informant named Isah Indo while spying on troops’ location.
“Following credible information; troops deployed at Yankara arrested a suspected bandits’ collaborator named Idris Isah from Yampa village in Faskari LGA of Katsina, who is engaged in illicit activities with bandits.
“Also on Sept. 16, troops deployed at Magami arrested Yaya Rabiu at Magami checkpoint, the suspect was identified to be a member of a notorious bandit gang.”
According to him, the bandits recently attacked troops location at Ruwandawa-Kwankele village in Gusau LGA of Zamfara.
Onyeuko reiterated commitment of the Nigerian Army to protect lives and property, and urged the people to provide credible information on suspicious movements and persons in their communities.
Edited By: Josephine Obute
Women affairs minister urges Ebonyi Govt. to check early girl-child marriage
The Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen, has urged the Ebonyi Government to check incidences that resulted to early girl-child marriage in the state.
Tallen spoke on Friday in Abakliki during a visit to Gov. David Umahi as part of her visit to the state to flag-off national cooking gas and tree planting exercise.
The minister said that incidences of early girl-child marriage was high in several states of the country, saying that education was one of the ways to check the anomaly.
“We appeal to Ebonyi Government to ensure that girls not only go to school but are retained to complete it, at least attain secondary school level.
“I am not saying that after secondary school they should go into marriage but they should be given opportunity to attend university and even up to master’s degree level.
“Educating a man is just for himself but educating a woman is inevitable because she is a mother, teacher and community leader.
“Every family can testify to the fact that the girls never abandoned parents even at old age and so, to enjoy old age, the girl–child should be educated,” she said.
She commended the government for its efforts in checking Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF), noting that the establishment of National Obstetrics and Fistula Centre in the state had been of assistance.
“We want to commend you for domesticating the Child’s Right Act but it should be implemented to ensure that no child will be on the streets, at home and no incidence of VVF.
“We also commend the state government for the appointment and election of women into governmental and political positions of which the state is vastly developing due to this development,” he said.
Tallen said that the national cooking gas and tree planting exercise would enhance the well being of families and also aesthetics of Ebonyi and beyond.
Gov. David Umahi welcomed the minister to the state and lauded her for being the pivot for implementing programmes which touched the lives of people at the grassroots.
Umahi represented by the Deputy Governor, Dr Kelechi Igwe, said that Tallen propagated the message of Global System for Mobile- Communication as Minister of Science and Technology during former President Obasanjo’s administration.
“You should not worry over the distribution of the cooking gas as we will adopt the same policy used during the distribution of COVID-19 palliatives.
“We brought all the political parties together under the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) to decide ways of sharing the palliatives and equitably distributed among all the political parties in the state,” he said.
He said that the state had attained over 50 per cent affirmation for women by ensuring that they occupied the vice-chairmanship and secretary positions of the local government areas, commissioners and governmental aides.
Edited By: Josephine Obute/Peter Ejiofor)
Whirlwind Bayern Munich dismantle Schalke 8-0 in season opener
Treble winners Bayern Munich crushed Schalke 04 8-0 with a hat-trick from Serge Gnabry and a superb debut from Leroy Sane on Friday.
It was a sensational start to the new Bundesliga season and the win sent an ominous warning to potential challengers.
Also, it was the biggest opening win in Bundesliga history.
Bayern Munich showed they had lost none of the sharpness which helped them to lift the UEFA Champions League trophy less than a month ago in dominant fashion.
Gnabry grabbed his first goal for the hosts with a fine turn and shot in the fourth minute in what turned out to be a one-sided affair.
It stretched Bayern Munich’s unbeaten run to 31 games this year, having now won the last 22 matches in a row.
Schalke 04, without a league win in 17 consecutive matches since January, were helpless against Bayern Munich’s lightning-quick game.
Leon Goretzka found plenty of space to drive a low shot past goalkeeper Ralf Faehrmann in the 19th minute.
“You can see that the team was already strong last season,” said Sane, who joined from Manchester City. “The team is still hungry in spite of winning the treble last season and to have such a start is outstanding.”
Bayern Munich finished their season in August when they added the Champions League to their Bundesliga and German Cup titles and then had only a short preparation for the new season.
Last season’s top goalscorer Robert Lewandowski found the net with a 31st minute penalty kick to become the first player to score in 10 successive appearances against the same Bundesliga opponents.
Gnabry then scored twice from Sane’s assists in the 47th and 59th before Thomas Mueller made it half a dozen after Lewandowski set him up with an impressive rabona kick.
Sane then capped his superb Bayern Munich debut with a fine finish from a counter attack in an empty Allianz Arena.
This was after the city had banned spectators due to rising coronavirus infection numbers in the region.
A little later substitute Jamal Musiala drilled in goal number eight to become the youngest ever Bayern Munich goalscorer in the league at 17 years old.
The result piled more pressure on already-embattled Schalke 04 coach David Wagner, who has been under intense scrutiny during their winless run this year.
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)