The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has called for urgent sensitisation in communities in the frontline states to relocate immediately as the operators of Lagdo Dam in Cameroon have began the discharge of excess water from its reservoir with a likely flooding of 14 states in Nigeria.
The Director -General of the agency, Dr Garba Abari, made the call following the alert already issued by the Nigeria Hydrological Agency (NIHSA) with prediction of consequential damage to many communities on the coast of River Niger and Benue.
He recalled the 2012 flooding which cut off some roads in some parts of the North Central and North East regions of the country and displaced many communities.
”The report from NIHSA indicate that the Lagdo dam operators in the Republic of Cameroun have commenced the release of excess water from the reservoir by Sept. 13.“We are aware that the released water cascades down to Nigeria through River Benue through its tributaries, thereby inundating communities that have been already impacted by heavy precipitation.
“The released water complicates the situation further downstream as Nigeria inland reservoirs, including Kainji, Jebba and Shiroro are expected to overflow between now and October ending”.
According to Abari, NIHSA has also reported that Kainji and Jebba dams have already started spilling excess water from their reservoirs.
““This will have serious consequences on frontline states and communities along the courses of Rivers Niger and Benue.
“These States include Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Niger, Nasarawa, Enugu, Kebbi and Kogi.“Others include the Niger Delta states of Edo, Delta, Anambra, Cross-River, Rivers and Bayelsa States,” he said.
The director-general urged NOA directors to create awareness on the need for State Governments to “identify safe high grounds for evacuation of communities at risk, preposition adequate stockpiles of food and non-food items.
Others, he said, are portable water and hygiene and provide safety and security to enable them have fair level of comfort during periods of possible displacement.
He urged the Community Orientation Officers to identify other partners that will help to support communities at risk with necessary information that will assist them to move to safety.
The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has called on stakeholders to promote the contents of National Ethics and Integrity Policy (NEIP), and Constituency and Executive Projects Tracking initiative (CEPTi).
The ICPC Chairman, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, made the appeal on Tuesday in Sokoto at a one-day sensitisation dialogue organised by ICPC in collaboration with the National Orientation Agency (NOA) and the state Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.
Owasanoye said the participants were considered important toward the full implementation of the ICPC’s projects in recognition of their proximity to people.
Represented by Mrs Hannatu Mohammed, a Board Member, the ICPC chairman said the efforts was part of the commission’s drive toward the emergence of a new and better Nigeria.
“Therefore, as leaders closer to the grassroots people your pivotal roles in the fight against corruption, demonstrated in the implementation of our strategies are highly invaluable.
“As such your various roles and how to support these platforms were expantiated in details at the sensitisation dialogue proper,” he said.
The ICPC chairman further thanked the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, for his fatherly role in ensuring the acceptability of the initiatives.
He commented the Sokoto State Government and the NOA for their support and cooperation toward the success of the dialogue.
The Sultan of Sokoto, who was represented by Alhaji Jabbi Kilgore, the District Head of Kilgore, said the Sultanate Council is fully aware of the ICPC’s project and would continue to be part of the exercise.
He appreciated ICPC for their commitment to anti-corruption fight in the country, adding that the commission’s activities will no doubt aid in achieving the required goal in fighting corruption.
“This activity will moreover address the security agencies commitment toward fighting insecurity, indiscipline as well as behavioral change among the society,” he said.
The state Commissioner for Local Government, Alhaji Abdullahi Maigwandu, also appreciated ICPC for its commitment in fighting corruption.
Maigwandu, represented by Alhaji Shehu Garba, the Director Administration in the ministry, assured that the state government would continue to support ICPC toward the success of its mandate.
Alhaji Mustapha Shehu, the Chairman, Sokoto North Local Government Council, who spoke on behalf of the 23 LGAs chairmen, said the dialogue came at the right time.
Shehu, who is also the state chapter Chairman of ALGON, urged the National Assembly to enact a law in which implementation of constituency projects must involve states and LGAs. “This is in order to make the projects more beneficial to the general public without any discrimination of which political party one belongs to,” he said.
Earlier, Mr Garba Idris, the Resident Anti-Corruption Commission, ICPC Sokoto Office, stated that the gesture is in order to sensitise the society on the ownership of government project executed in their constituencies.
“The programme is aimed at fighting corruption by sensitising the stakeholders in order to fight corruption in public procurement and achieve value for money in government projects,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that participants at the training include local government chairmen, traditional and religious leaders as well as Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).
The National Orientation Agency (NOA) Ebonyi State chapter, has intensified campaign against corruption among school children as part of its bid to purge the nation of its menace Dr Desmond Onwo, NOA’s Director in Ebonyi, announced this to the News Agency of Nigeria in Abakaliki on Monday, He said that an Integrity Club was established in schools to target the integrity of the young ones and inculcate the virtues of National Ethics.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Integrity Club Competition for Secondary Schools across the country was also established by NOA in collaboration with the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) in 2021. The Director said that it was to enlist the youth in the anti-corruption vanguard in the country.
“It is to eradicate social vices among students such as lateness to school, disrespect for teachers, cultism, stealing and prostitution amongst others.
“The maiden edition of the competition was held in 2021 and many schools participated all over the country.
“About 30 schools in Ebonyi were part of the first edition but only six succeeded and went on to the national level, Abuja,” he said.
He noted that in 2022, “we came up with the second edition and the theme for this years competition is titled: “Integrity Pays,” Onwo said.
The Director, however, said that the programme tended to engage the school children early in the anti-corruption campaign.
“NOA is embarking on the second edition of the Integrity club competition in schools to follow up the 2021 maiden edition.
“As at now, we have 30 secondary schools that have registered in Ebonyi, both public and private schools.
“We wish to have more schools cutting across the three senatorial districts in the state.
“Now, the registration is ongoing; it started from Sept. 8 and will end on Sept. 22. We urge schools to register and participate in the 2022 competition.
“The inagural competition was held last year (2021).
Model Comprehensive Girls Secondary School, Ugwuachara in Ebonyi emerged winner of the maiden edition of the Integrity Club national drama-video competition for the state,” he said.
NAN reports that some schools that participated in the first edition included Abakaliki High School, Presco, Nnodo Boys Secondary Schools, Girls Secondary School, Azuiyioku.
Onwo expressed the hope that programme would help the schools to engender the spirit of patriotism, honesty and togetherness towards nation building.
On the competition, the NOA Director noted that it was usually a one minute drama sketch, poetry or in form of citation.
Youths in the Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) in Abuja have asked Nigerians to intensify prayers for the peaceful conduct of the 2023 general elections.
They made the while speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria at the Abuja National Mega Praise, organised by the church on Sunday.
Miss Temilade Gideon, a youth from the Gwagwalada District of the church called on Nigerians, particularly the leaders to ensue all forms of differences that could stand as hindrance to the success of the election.
”We need to pray to God to guide us as we move towards the 2023 general elections.
”The youth want progress for this country.
We are calling on Nigerians particularly our leaders to ensure we have a free and fair election.
”We are also praying along this line to make sure our dreams come true,” Gideon said.
Also, Israel Pius, CAC Karu District, called on the National Orientation Agency (NOA) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure adequate voter education before the 2023 elections.
“We are optimistic that with adequate sentisation from NOA, our youth would shun any forms of violence.
”We are eager to see a Nigeria that is working .
A Nigeria where other Africa countries will like to learn from,” Pius said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the INEC announced Feb. 25 as for thepesidential and National Assembly elections while governorship and state assembly elections will now be held on March 11, 2023. The INEC Chairman of the commission, Prof Mahmood Yakub, said the new dates followed the signing of the amendments to the Electoral Bill by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The commission had earlier announced Feb. 18 for the presidential election.
The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has disclosed that the Federal Government was committed to increasing the beneficiaries of the National Homegrown School Feedimg Programme in Ebonyi.
Dr Desmond Onwo, Director, NOA in the state, disclosed this while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria , on Friday in Abakaliki.
Onwo explained that the programme would get to all the public primary schools across the 13 local government areas of the state.
He added that the agency would soon embark on sensitisation to create awareness about the scheme “That is, primary one to three pupils.
We are embarking on a sensitisation campaign to ensure that people from the Grassroots are aware of the scheme.
“We shall be meeting with the critical stakeholders in the state, including the traditional rulers, market women, parents and even teachers, among others.
“Some schools have been captured in the 13 local government areas by the enumerators and the government is trying to increase the number of beneficiaries so that it gets to all the public primary schools,” he said.
The director explained that the essence of the programme was to deliver school feeding to young children with a specific focus on increasing school enrollment, and reducing the incidence of malnutrition.
“The scheme will help promote nutrition, education and better eating habits and also encourage the diversification of production with a special emphasis on local crops.
“It is a Federal Government funded initiative; it was introduced by President Mohammadu Buhari in 2016. “It is free for all the beneficiaries.
The objective is to improve the nutritional and health status of primary school children.
“It will also boost the income of farmers and provide empowerment opportunities for women,” he further said.
Onwo explained that the programme had created significant economic impacts on local agricultural production, benefited communities and the children.
“We urge parents and all stakeholders to support us in the awareness campaign to ensure that the messages got to the people, especially the rural dwellers,” he added.
NAN recalls that the Federal Government had in 2021, promised to enroll more than 67,307 primary school pupils into the programme in the state.
The government in 2021 also said the programme would capture about 561 public primary schools across the 13 local government areas in the state, covering primary one to three in public schools.
The National Orientation Agency (NOA), Kaduna Directorate on Thursday urged Nigerians to support and protect the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP).
Zubair Galadima-Soba, State Director of the programme told the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Kaduna that it has numerous benefits to school children.
“The NOA in collaboration with the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development has begun a sensitisation campaign to enlighten communities on the benefit of the programme.
“The sensitisation exercise is ongoing across the 23 local government areas of the state by Community Mobilisation Officers (COMO) to create awareness on the programme and its benefits,” he said.
He said the objective of the sensitisation exercise was to clarify some misconceptions about the programme which included the use of funds and the recruitment of cooks.
The director noted that the state government recruits the cooks but the federal government pays them directly adding that the feeding cycle was 20 days per month.
He explained that the school feeding programme was free for pupils and the menus were deliberately designed to optimise child nutrition which should be followed strictly.
According to him, communities were expected to own the programme and become conscious of the benefits to the community which included child nutrition, empowerment of local women in the area.
Galadima-Soba added that the programme would improve the local economy by giving local farmers and traders the opportunity to supply food items for the programme.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that NOA was part of the team that distributed enumeration forms to various schools enrolled for the programme.
NOA also assisted in enumeration at hard-to-reach areas and difficult terrains in the state.
Stakeholders have called on relevant institutions and citizens to be responsible towards information dissemination to avoid misinformation that causes chaos in the society.
They made the call at a panel discussion on Thursday at a one-day dialogue with key election stakeholders which focused on “Disinformation in Elections 2022” in Abuja.
The panel discussion focused on “Disinformation as a Tool for Voter Suppression:Role of Election Stakeholders.
” Mr Ismaeel Ahmed, Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on National Social Investment Programmes said that some political parties leverage on misinformation as propaganda.
Ahmed said that it was the job of the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to educate the populace on bearing the right information.
Mrs Tari Oliver, ex-presidential aspirant, Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), said that while political parties thought of winning elections,they should be responsible as well.
“As a political party and with our interests,while thinking of winning elections,we should be thinking of governance.
“We also need to engage our institutional and religious leaders because they have a way of moulding the opinions of the people towards elections,” she said.
The Public Relations Officer,Nigeria Police,CSP El-Mustapha Sani,said that misinformation affected the polity which could make or mar the system.
Sani said that at the peak of the EndSARS protests in 2020,the Nigeria Police realised that people, especially the youths accessed information on social media, which spurred them to create accounts to counter false information.
“Our doors are open to the youths and those studying criminology and crime related courses on their internships and we are trying to change the narrative of misinformation about the Police.
“We are taking steps for strategic planning that will help eradicate misinformation within the polity.
“It is also important that our political parties,politicians have a sincerity of purpose during elections,” he said.
Mr Kunle Lawal,Executive Director, Electoral College,in his opinion,said, ”to curb disinformation,we need to identify where it started from.
”We have a gossip culture and that is what is happening on social media where lots of disinformation is taking place.
“We need a general political education because people lack the knowledge of the political system.
”Mr David Akoji, Special Assistant to the Director-General of NOA,identified that political players do not consider the impact of disinformation on the society while driving their interests.
Akoji said, ” we need to equip the citizens with basic fact-checking skills and NOA is collaborating with CJID to train 37,000 Nigerians.
“We want to have at least one person from every community that can check information.
”The dialogue was organised by the Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development(CJID) and funded by the National Endowment Fund (NEF).
The event was part of CJID’s effort,through its Media in National Elections (MiNE) and fact-checking (DUBAWA) projects to ensure the provision of accurate information to Nigerians before,during and after the 2023 elections.
The Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID),House Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other stakeholders have warned against the impact of disinformation ahead of the 2023 General Elections.
They gave the warning on Thursday at a dialogue with key election stakeholders which focused on “Disinformation in Elections 2022” in Abuja.
The dialogue was organised by CJID and funded by the National Endowment Fund (NEF).
The Executive Director of CJID, Dr Tobi Oluwatola categorised information disorder into misinformation,disinformation and misinformation which had the capacity of causing harm in the society.
He said studies had shown that misinformation thrives in communities that were emotionally charged.
Oluwatola said that it also do so in places where people have a need for internal consistency that makes them more likely to believe arguments that reinforce their emotions and beliefs.
“The advent of social media technology velocity and volume of information had weaponised information disorder with grave harm to individuals, businesses and democratic communities.
“Almost in every country today, organised industry now exists to spread disinformation and policy makers,while the world grapples with the question of how to curb information disorder.
“This is why perhaps the only solution is to manage the demand side by empowering the average person to discern information disorder through media literacy and fact checking,” he said.
Oluwatola recalled that the Nigerian Communications Commission estimated in January that Nigeria had almost 150 million internet users, while active social media users excluding Whatsapp were approximately 32 million.
He said: ”The average Nigerian social media users spend up to four to five hours on social media, making them susceptible to the popular views on the platforms regardless of the veracity or credibility of sources.
” Oluwatola said information disorder posed security risks to elections, could suppress turnout, discredit results of a free and fair election, hence inflaming the polity.
He,however, said that information disorder spread faster than fact checked or verified information, adding that INEC, NOA, media and political parties had a role to play in projecting the truth.
Sen. Aisha Dukku,Chairperson,House Committee on INEC, said that the spread of fake news on the internet was usually caused by the preference of speed over accuracy.
Dukku said, “because Internet content providers and distributors are in a zero-sum,winner-takes-all battle for attention and advertising revenue.
” She added that the new Electoral Act Section 123 had established that anyone that publishes wrong information was liable to N100,000 fine or six months in prison or both.
Dukku said, ”every Nigerian has a role to play in ensuring the curbing of fake news.
” Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege,Deputy President of the Senate said that electioneering umpires like the INEC were exposed to cyber attacks no matter how minimal.
Represented by Dr Chuba Keshi, he said that misinformation could be caused by laziness or mistakes by relevant media systems.
He advised that the election umpires should build on their technology systems to protect against attacks that could disrupt the processes.
Mr Dapo Olorunyomi,Chief Executive Officer of Premium Times, while conducting a training on Disinformation and Fact-checking in Elections, said the transition from analogue to digital form of media had affected information dissemination.
Olorunyomi advised that relevant stakeholders should follow standard guidelines of election like the African Charter on Democracy, Election and Governance.
He also suggested that the government should allocate sufficient funds to the NOA for political education to address disinformation.
The event was part of CJID’s effort, through its Media in National Elections (MiNE) and Fact-checking (DUBAWA) projects, to ensure the provision of accurate information to Nigerians before, during and after the 2023 elections.
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in collaboration with the National Orientation Agency (NOA) have solicited stakeholders’ support in the fight against corruption in the country.
Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, Chairman of the Commission, made the call at a one-day stakeholders’ engagement in Minna on Tuesday.
The theme of the event is: ”Driving Behavioural Change through National Ethics and Integrity Policy, Constituency Executive Projects Tracking Initiative for National Development”.
Represented by Dr Abdullah Sai’du, ICPC Board member representing North Central Zone, Owasanoye said the dialogue was to sensitise traditional and religious leaders as well as Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).
According to him, the enlightenment will also help to rejuvenate Nigeria’s lost core values of honesty and integrity among the people.
He said the stakeholders’ opinion would create awareness among people in the reorientation of moral values as a vital tool to fight corruption.
“As character moulders and champions of integrity and national development, traditional and religious leaders as well as CSOs play crucial roles in the development of our communities.
“You are to return to your various communities to help teach moral values and discipline so as to bring corruption to the barest minimum,” he said.
The ICPC boss described traditional and religious leaders as people whose opinions were respected by their subjects, and urged them to help in initiating and sustaining behavioural change in the society.
He noted that corruption was linked to some vices such as lack of home training, morals and discipline.
”Therefore, only traditional and religious leaders close to the people at the grassroots can assist in making sure Nigerians operate and uphold core values to reduce corruption,” he added.
Also speaking; Mr Zayanna Dan-Musa, ICPC’s Resident Anti-Corruption Commissioner in Niger, said the programme was aimed at instituting behavioural change and socio-economic rebirth in the society.
Dan-Musa said the role of the stakeholders was key in driving behavioural change and good governance hence the need for their support to fight corruption.
For his part; Alhaji Yahaya Gbongbo, Acting Director, NOA, said stakeholders contribution is imperative towards revitalising core values such as integrity, patrotism and self-reliance people to achieve national development.
In their seperate remarks, representatives of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) promised to sensitise their members against corruption, and work to promote unity and religious tolerance.
The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) will on Sept. 21, join the world to mark the United Nations International Day of Peace.
This would be carried out through the institution’s Department of Peace and Conflict Resolution.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday, Chairman of the Media and Publicity sub-committee, Abdur-Rahman Balogun, said the theme for this year’s celebration is “End Racism, Build Peace”.
Balogun disclosed that highlights of the Peace Day include a lecture by Prof. Uwakwe Abugu, Vice-Chancellor, Ave Maria University, Piyanko, Nasarawa state at the Convocation Arena, NOUN Headquarters, Abuja.
He said other activities lined up for the day include: Peace walk,, workshop, HOD’s Awards presentation and launching of a book on Peace Building and Nationalism.
The Chairman of the day is Dr Ahmed Audi, Commandant-General, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.
Prof. Umaru Pate, Vice-Chancellor of Federal University, Kashere, Gombe state, and Prof. Oluranti Ojo of the Department of History and International Studies, University of Abuja, will be the main discussants.
The duo of Prof. Femi Peters, Vice-Chancellor, NOUN, and Dr Samuel Opeyemi, HOD Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution, NOUN, will be the Chief Host and Host, respectively.
Other expected guests are Prof. Ibrahim Maiqari, Chief Imam, National Mosque, Abuja, and the Most Rev. Peter Ogunmuyiwa, ArchBishop of the African Church, Abuja as Spiritual Fathers of the Day.Malam Musa Bello, FCT Minister, Dr Garba Abari, the Director-General, National Orientation Agency ( NOA) and Dr Velita Bashir, Director- General, National Centre for Women Development (NCWD), Abuja will be Special Guests of Honour.
Also expected to grace the occasion are Dr Nuhu Sanusi, Emir of Dutse and Chancellor, Sokoto State University and Alhaji Ismail Mohammed, Sarkin Karshi, FCT, Abuja as Royal Fathers of the Day.