Victims Support Fund supports 2,300 Adamawa farmers in 2018

Support By Uche Bibilari Abuja, Feb. 20, 2019 The Victims Support Fund (VSF) says no fewer than 2,300 farmers  in Adamawa have benefitted from its distribution agricultural inputs and farm equipment in 2018. The farmers were said to benefitted the gesture at the local government level during the rain-fed, dry season farming and livestock production. […]




By Uche Bibilari

Abuja, Feb. 20, 2019 The Victims Support Fund (VSF) says no fewer than 2,300 farmers  in Adamawa have benefitted from its distribution agricultural inputs and farm equipment in 2018.

The farmers were said to benefitted the gesture at the local government level during the rain-fed, dry season farming and livestock production.

The Executive Director, VSF, Prof. Sunday Ochoche, made the disclosure in a document made available to the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Abuja.

He said “in 2017, 1000 farmers were supported with agricultural inputs for dry season farming, in Michika and Hong LGAs.

“In 2018, 2,300 farmers were supported with agricultural inputs and farm equipment for rain-fed farming, dry season farming and livestock production in Madagali LGA,1,000 rain-fed, Gombi LGA, 1,000 dry season and Mubi-North LGA, 300 livestock.”

Ochoche said that its agricultural projects had assisted in addressing redundancy in conflict affected agrarian communities through engagement of returnee households in meaningful agricultural practices.

According to him, these agricultural practices will re-establish their food production capacity and ensure food security.

He said that most of the insurgency victims in the North-East depended mainly on crop agriculture and livestock for their food security and income.

Ochoche said that between 2015 and 2018, 3,300 households were directly reached with support for rain-fed farming, dry Season farming and livestock farming in four local government areas.

Meanwhile, he outlined some of the challenges that mitigated the implemnation of the project to include poor storage facilities to preserve the increased produce and lack of access to the larger market by the farmers.

He also listed inadequate irrigation facility in targeted communities to complement VSF support for dry season farming.

The executive director however, noted that VSF was working to promote community reconciliation, reintegration and peace recovery through peace building activities.

According to him, VSF conducted an analysis of salient issues on insurgency, terrorism and attendant effects on communities through conflict analysis workshops in collaboration with key stakeholders.

He said that between 2015 and 018, VSF conducted analysis of conflict issues associated with the Boko Haram Insurgency.

He also added that the fund had conducted assessment of communities affected by the insurgency in Adamawa.

“The assessment covered Madagali, Mubi North, Mubi South, Michika, Maiha, Hong and Gombi LGAs,’’ he said.

Edited by Kevin Okunzuwa/Julius Toba-Jegede


Delta: Victims of Ogbeogonogo market fire disaster get FG’s assistance



A statement by the information unit of the ministry quoted the minister as telling the traders to be consoled by the fact that no life was lost in the inferno.

Signed by Mrs Rhoda Iliya, Deputy Director (Information), the statement further quoted the minister as expressing deep shock over the incident while commiserating with traders who lost wares in the fire.

Among relief materials given to the traders were 120 pieces of sewing machines, 100 pieces of hair dryers, 80 pieces of grinding machines, 625 bags of 12.5kg rice, 625 bags of 12.5kg maize and 625 bags of 25kg beans.

Others included 31 bags of 20kg salt, 63 kegs of vegetable oil, 85 cartons of tin tomatoes, 56 cartons of seasoning, 1,875 bags of cement and 300 bundles of roofing sheets.

Also delivered were 625 bags of 3 inches nail, 750 pieces of ceiling boards and 300 packets of zinc nails.

It quoted the minister as expressing her appreciation to the state governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, for providing immediate relief.

It said that the minister also commended the officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) for their prompt response and the immediate activation of the Crisis Response Protocol, adding that the ministry would support efforts to ascertain the cause of the fire.

The Ministry, in consultation with relevant agencies and stakeholders, is evolving new strategies for an ‘All-Hazard Approach’ that will prioritise fire prevention and mitigation to avert these fire incidents,” Farouq was further quoted as saying.

Delta special duties commissioner Pirah Omamofe, who led the minister and her team through the burnt market, thanked the federal government for the prompt response, urging the minister to consider more support for persons affected by other disasters.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the inferno, which gutted the market on Tuesday, June 2, reduced the popular Ogbeogonogo Market, Asaba, to ashes.

No life was lost as the market had been under lock and key since the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic in the country.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu and Ephraims Sheyin (NAN)
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Lagos gas explosion: Victims continue to count losses as scavengers cart away fortunes



Some victims of the March 15  gas explosion at Soba in Amuwo Odofin area of Lagos State on Saturday continued to  count  the losses they experienced as a result of the incident.

They spoke in separate interviews with the Nigeria News Agency   who was at the site of the gory incident on Saturday for another round of an on-the-spot assessment of the situation.

A correspondent  of NAN  at the  site of the  explosion seven days after it happened reports that  it was not a sight to behold  as the debris of devastation and despair could still be seen everywhere .

NAN  also observed  a  heavy presence of security personnel there. They comprised: members of  the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and Lagos Neighbourhood Safety Corps (LNSC).

NAN also noticed that the  Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) had  mounted a tent at the scene where it was engaging the community in its enumeration .

The Director of Operations, LASEMA, Mr Olatunde Akinsanya, told NAN , “What we are  trying to do is a detailed enumeration of affected properties around the corridors.”

NAN noticed that at first glance at the site, it seemed like everyone was working together to bring order to the chaos that was evident in the environment.

It observed that some earth moving equipment were  bringing down buildings that had been badly affected  by the explosion and workmen were removing what was left of roofs, rods and furniture from houses.

NAN , however, observed that the tapes used to cordon off the areas affected by the explosion to prevent unauthorised persons from gaining entry there  were either down or hanging loosely on the poles.

NAN  saw scavengers, uncountable, who had found their ways past the areas condoned off  and were busy collecting items such as roofing sheets, iron rods and wood from the site.

“A few of them carted them away while those who didn’t have a means of transporting them, carried them away in their arms.

“Security agents were seen chasing, whipping some of them all to no avail as they always came back.

“Residents and landowners going through the enumeration process, watched without stopping them, seemingly oblivious of  the situation.”

A landowner, who spoke under anonymity, told NAN  that there was no need stopping the scavengers because they would come back at night to get the things.

“I’m just grateful to God that I did not lose any member of my family.

“I had to roof one of my shops to store the things I could salvage; we sleep in a self contained room in my compound.

“Some others don’t have anywhere to sleep,” he told NAN.

Chidi Okems, another resident of Soba, told NAN that  having to pass by  the site of the explosion daily when going for his daily activities always left him sad.

“Our building did not collapse, only its doors were pulled off during the explosion.

“We have not had power supply since Sunday because the high tension wires were affected and we don’t know when it will be fixed,” he said.

NAN gathered that more troubles were looming for the landowners as the Federal Government was planing  to reclaim the lands from the indigenes of Soba Community.

The acting Managing Director (MD) of the Federal Housing Authority (FHA), Mr Umar Buntu, during a visit to  the site on March  17 was quoted to have  said  that the parcels of land spread across Ojo Cantonment up to Trade Fair, including Soba belong to the Federal Government.

The indigenes, however, claimed  that the lands were theirs because the government compensated them with it after destroying farmlands they inherited from their forefathers, to build houses.

Another landowner, Mr Francis Duru, said that it was unfortunate that the MD of FHA chose to break the sad  news to them at a time when others were sympathising with them over  their losses.

Duru, who is also the Secretary of Soba Landlords and Residents Association, lost his two-storey building  to the explosion.

“We are not happy over that comment; the state governor and every other person that came to this place sympathised with us.

“They said things that will make us happy because we are in agony over what we lost,” he said.

In his remarks about the lands, Duru said: “We have been going to Abuja to finalise the documents; for them to tell us now that they don’t know we exist is a lie.

“It is the area the Federal Government allocated to the indigenes that we paid for.”

Edited By: Emmanuel Nwoye/Peter Dada
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Abule-Ado/Soba explosion: Victims seek govt’s assistance 



Some of the victims of Abule-Ado Soba explosion in Lagos have appealed for government’s support to enable them rebuild their property to avoid being vandalised by miscreants.

The residents spoke in separate interviews with Nigeria News Agency during the enumeration exercise for victims in Lagos on Thursday.

NAN reports that the enumeration exercise was being conducted by officials of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA).

One of the victims, Mr Adeniran Iyiola, who resides at No, 3, Kehinde Oyerinde St. Off Ganiu Adams St., said his house roof had been blown off, water tanks, scaffolding and cars were affected by the explosion.

Iyiola said the odour of the dead bodies still pervaded the environment, saying that the incident had also affected power supply and water supply in the area.

He pleaded with the state government to support his family with any form of assistance.

Another victim, Mrs Angela Isaac, urged the state government to provide security alert in the area in the event of similar disaster in future.

Mr Paul Efon, another resident, said the explosion came unexpected, saying that the entire roof of his building had been destroyed.

Mrs Chinwe Odemezue said that she had been devastated since the incident occurred, thanking God that all her family members were still alive and safe.

Former Vice Chairman, Landlords Association of Soba area, Abule-Ado, Mr Femi Ekundayo urged the affected tenants and landlords to cooperate with LASEMA officials by providing necessary information during the verification exercise.

In his response, Director of Operations of LASEMA, Mr Olatunde Akinsanya, said that detailed structural enumeration of the affected structures was being collated with representatives of all affected streets in the area.

NAN reports that a total of 16 streets were affected by the explosion.

Among the affected streets were Basil Offia, Bishop, Abegbeji, Ganiu Adams, Kehinde Cele and Philips Obun, among others. .

Edited By: Abigael Joshua/Wale Ojetimi
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UN Chief, Deputy mourn victims of Sudanese plane crash



UN Secretary-General António Guterres and his Deputy, Ms Amina Mohammed, have expressed sadness over Thursday’s plane crash in Sudan that reportedly killed no fewer than all 18 people.

Reports say four children and three judges were among the dead in the accident involving a Sudanese military plane.

“The Secretary-General is saddened at the tragic loss of lives in the airplane crash yesterday near El Geneina in Sudan.

“He conveys his heartfelt sympathies to the families of the victims, including those of a staff member of the World Food Programme (WFP).

“The UN Chief also extends his condolences to the people and Government of Sudan on this tragic event,’’ he said in a statement in New York.

Later in a tweet, Mohammed joined Guterres “to convey heartfelt sympathies to the families of the victims of the plane crash, including those of our colleague from the WFP’’.

Edited by: Muhammad Suleiman Tola
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