Mr Elias Manza, Executive Chairman, Zangon-Kataf Local Government Council in Kaduna State, has identified high expectations from the people amidst limited resources as his greatest challenge.
“The members of the public expect a lot from us, which is just normal. We also want to give them our best which is what we promised, but the resources at out disposal are too meagre,” Manza told the News Agency of Nigeria , on Monday in Zonkwa.
“We are doing our best to meet the yearnings and aspirations of the people, but paucity of funds has continued to slow down the pace of development,”’he said.
Manza said that the Internally Generated Revenue of the local government, which was supposed to augment revenue from the Federation Account was not much and was usually slow in coming.
He also said that the local government was also battling with the payment of allowances to the 40 staff of District Heads laid off staff by the state government, and described that situation as “a huge pain in our lean purse”.
The Chairman, however, said that his administration had recorded some achievements in spite of the financial challenges.
“We have provided electricity to some rural areas and constructed culverts, while boreholes were drilled to boost water supply.
“Others include the provision of drains, renovation of some health facilities, construction of feeder roads and renovation of staff quarters.
“We have also constructed market stalls, renovated the local government secretariat complex, and also purchased electric transformers which have been installed.
“We also constructed fertilizer stores and bridges, while also training and retraining of youths in various trades,” he said.
He commended the people of the area for the opportunity offered members of the council to serve, describing their support as “heartwarming and encouraging”.
Edited by Ifeyinwa Okonkwo and Ephraims Sheyin
France holds delayed municipal elections, Macron’s party faces challenge
As COVID-19 epidemic indicators keep improving in France, some 16.5 million voters are called to cast ballots on Sunday in the second round of municipal elections under strict health protocol.
Of France’s 35,000 cities, towns and villages, about 30,000 had already elected their mayors in the first round held on March 15.
The second round of mayoral elections was originally planned for March 22, but the worsening coronavirus outbreaks and the anti-virus lockdown had forced the French government to postpone it.
TURNOUT IS MAIN UNKNOWN
TURNOUT IS MAIN UNKNOWN
TURNOUT IS MAIN UNKNOWN
Sunday’s voting is taking place in 4,827 municipalities, as well as in the districts of Paris, Lyon and Marseille, where the councils were not elected in the first round.
For the voting, the French Interior Ministry recommended voters should keep a safe distance from each other, wear a mask at polling stations and bring their own pens to sign off their vote.
At a polling station in Paris’ northern suburb of Parmain, staff workers are wearing face masks. Stickers on the ground mark out where people should stand while waiting for their turn, and hand gel is provided upon entry.
“I am going to carry out my civic duty. This time, the context is different owing to the epidemic but it does not prevent me from doing what must be done. Certainly, we should adapt to this situation but we keep on living,” Mathilde, a 67-year-old pensioner, told Xinhua.
Another voter, who gave her name as Nathalie, abstained in the first round due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In the second round, things are improving, and the situation is better even if the virus still circulates. But I’m not afraid. With my gloves, mask and pen, I think I can vote in security,” she said.
Since early March, 29,778 people in France had succumbed to COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. As of Friday, 8,886 COVID-19 patients were still hospitalized, of whom 634 were in intensive care units.
Since May 11, France has eased restriction measures step by step after a months-long nationwide lockdown.
“The turnout is the main unknown of this election. It is difficult to know what will happen. The campaign, the longest in the 5th Republic (of France), had low intensity and struggled to gain momentum due to economic concerns and renewed health concerns,” said Frederic Dabi, director of the IFOP opinion institute.
“What is certain is that we will not be at the same level of 2014,” he added, estimating Sunday’s turnout to be at 42 percent.
In the first round elections, only 44.3 percent of voters came to polling stations due to the risk of contamination, as against 63.5 percent in 2014.
CHALLENGE FOR MACRON’S PARTY
CHALLENGE FOR MACRON’S PARTY
CHALLENGE FOR MACRON’S PARTY
Facing his first domestic mid-term vote challenge, President Emmanuel Macron had bet on his La Republique en Marche (LREM) party — which he created in 2016 — to win control of major cities to anchor power at local levels, and offset losses in the rural zone where his party faces criticism of “doing little” for the working class, local media reported.
“Efforts by LREM to build grassroots support have fallen short, with most of its candidates failing to make it past the first round of voting on March 15,” said state-owned international news television network France 24.
The good news was that Prime Minister Edouard Philippe finished first in the port city of Le Havre, winning 43.6 percent of the vote and consolidating his chance to win the runoff.
“Philippe, whose popularity has soared over his handling of the COVID-19 crisis, also faces a close fight to regain his mayor’s seat in the port of Le Havre. A loss by Philippe would almost certainly force Macron into a broad reshuffle of his cabinet,” France 24 said.
Opinion polls projected that the ruling party’s candidates would fail to re-conquer any big city, which would be a blow to Macron’s plan to build a local power base he needs to extend his stay at the Elysee Palace for another five-year term.
With 44 percent of vote intentions, the incumbent Socialist Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, had been viewed to be comfortably ahead of conservative rival Rachida Dati’s 35 percent. Macron’s official candidate and former health minister Agnes Buzyn was deemed to be in third place with 18 percent, a recent Elabe survey showed.
Candidates from the European Ecologists and the Greens (EELV) are expected to gain control of key cities, such as Lyon and Bordeaux, after a surge in the support they reported in the first round.
Kaduna Attacks: Association wants more security deployed to Zangon-Kataf
A Fulani association, Bandiraku Fulbe Youth Association of Nigeria, Kaduna State chapter, has called on the Kaduna State and Federal Governments to urgently deploy more security to Zangon-Kataf to protect lives and property of innocent citizens.
This is contained in a statement issued to newsmen by Mr Abbas Julde, the association’s Acting Chairman in the state, in Kaduna on Saturday.
He said: “It is with deep sense of mourning that the Bandiraku Fulbe Youth Association of Nigeria, Kaduna state chapter, issues this press statement today over the wanton attacks, killings, maiming and destruction of the innocent lives of its members in many areas of Zangon Kataf local Government Area of Kaduna state day before yesterday which continued yesterday.
“It is on record that the crisis started as a dispute between farmers of Atyab and Hausa extractions close to Zango town over a piece of land.
“We therefore wonder why innocent Fulani pastoralists, women and children are subjected to heinous, deliberate, unprovoked and premeditated attacks.
“The association condemns the attacks in totality, they are totally unprovoked and we view same as premeditated and provocative as previous attacks by some blood sucking disgruntled Atyab youth whose thirst for innocent bloods has since remained well known and noticed, not only in Nigeria but the world over.”
Julde claimed that some youths believed to be blood thirsty attackers were mobilised, brainwashed and sponsored by an association in Southern Kaduna.
While lamenting the recent attack on Fulani, Julde however said the innocent Fulani pastoralists had been living peacefully with their Atyab neighbors for several centuries.
The acting chairman said the present ongoing attacks on Fulani pastoralists in Zangon-Kataf is part of the sponsor’s grand agenda of hate and plot to eliminate all Fulani pastoralists in the entire Southern Kaduna zone.
“Our members in Zangon Kataf have been targeted with violent attacks and killings since 11th June, 2020, which attacks and killing have continued to next day unabated.
“In the process several Fulbe communities and families have been subjected to violent attacks and killings by their attackers and killers who are the Atyab disgruntled youth and their neighbouring conspirators in different villages around Zangon Kataf.
“So far, we have received several distress calls and reports from numerous Fulbe individuals, families and communities recounting their ordeals, losses and deaths in the hands of their attackers since yesterday.
“While the Association acknowledges the efforts of government and security agencies thus far in its effort to calm the situation down and rescue several individuals and families from the jaws of their attackers, more needs to be urgently done,” the statement read in part.
“We call on the government to deploy more security personnel to reinforce and complement the ones already on ground who are apparently overwhelmed due to the magnitude of the crises on ground and the geographical size of the area coupled with the difficulty involved in accessing certain areas where attacks are still ongoing, ” Julde urged.
The acting chairman expressed concern that despite the proactive measures put in place by the Kaduna state government by promptly declaring a 24-hour curfew in the affected local governments of Zangon Kataf and Kauru, the attacks continued.
He said the attacks were launched by brainwashed Atyab youths and their partners in crime against innocent Fulani pastoralists and other muslims in several villages across Zango Kataf local government area.
Julde identified the places of attacks to include Tak-Nje, Angwan Wakili, Mabuhu, Angwan Jaba, Gora and Mate, among others.
“So far, several human lives have been destroyed, varying degrees of injuries inflicted, valuable properties destroyed, houses razed and several men, women and children still missing and unaccounted for.
“At the moment, the association is still trying to compile report of number of human lives lost, those injured and properties destroyed, we will issue another statement in due course,” he said.
Besides, the acting chairman appealed to Zango-Kataf Local Government Council, Kaduna State and Federal Governments to immediately deploy more resources in the area in order to effectively bring the unprovoked attacks under control and to rescue several families that are still trapped in several villages.
He called on members to remain calm, law abiding and cooperate with the relevant authorities in order to arrest the situation.
Julde further urged government and well-meaning Non-Governmental Organisations to immediately mobilise resources, come to the aid of the victims of the attacks and provide humanitarian services to displaced individuals, families and those who sustained injuries during the attacks.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Kaduna state government had on Thursday imposed a 24-hour curfew in the affected areas to arrest the situation.
Edited By: Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)https://nnn.ng/kaduna-attacks-association-wants-more-security-deployed-to-zangon-kataf/
KDSG extends 24-hour curfew to entire Kauru, Zangon Kataf LGAs
The Kaduna State Government has extended the 24-hour curfew imposed on Thursday on two chiefdoms in Kauru and Zangon Kataf Local Government Areas (LGAs).
The Commissioner of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr Samuel Aruwan, made the announcement in a statement issued on Friday.
Aruwan said the extension of the curfew was to the cover the whole of the two local government areas – Kauru and Zangon Kataf.
“Security agencies are working to contain the situation that star ed as a clash last week over a farmland in Zangon Kataf.
“Extending the curfew is part of the necessary steps to manage the tensions and restore calm in the areas,” he said.
Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu (NAN)https://nnn.ng/kdsg-extends-24-hour-curfew-to-entire-kauru-zangon-kataf-lgas/
Roundup: Italy’s active coronavirus cases down further, inter-region movement reopening expected
Active coronavirus infections in Italy dropped to 46,175 on Friday, after a decrease by 1,811 cases was registered over the 24 hours, showed the latest data from the Civil Protection Department.
It marked the lowest figure since March 22, when active infections in the country stood at 46,638.
Of these infections, 475 patients are in intensive care units, down by 14 compared to Thursday, the Civil Protection said in its bulletin. Another 7,094 patients are hospitalized with symptoms (down by 285), and 38,606, or 84 percent — are in isolation at home because without symptoms or with mild symptoms.
Up to 2,240 new recoveries were registered on a daily basis, which brought to 152,844 the total of people cured since the pandemic broke out in late February. Meanwhile, 87 new fatalities were reported, pushing the country’s death toll to 33,229.
The total number of assessed cases stood at 232,248, including active infections, fatalities, and recoveries.
MOVING BETWEEN REGIONS “CRUCIAL CHALLENGE“
On the same day, a top health official warned the easing of restrictions on people’s movement between regions — expected to come into effect next week, although yet to confirm — would be a “crucial challenge” for the country.
“We have overcome the peak of the infection, and we are now on the downward side of the curve… this phase requires particular attention in terms of early detecting new suspected cases,” Silvio Brusaferro, president of Italy’s National Health Institute (ISS), told the lower house.
“Next week, we will be facing an even more crucial challenge, with the liberalization of mobility between (Italian) regions, and the international one,” he warned.
After some restrictions on people’s movements imposed since March 10 with the lockdown were gradually lifted in recent weeks, traveling within the same region of residence was allowed only from May 18. The next step in the government’s official schedule would, in fact, be to reopen moves between Italian regions by June 3.
However, this date was yet to be confirmed by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte‘s cabinet, which announced it will make a final decision after analyzing the latest data over the weekend (May 30-31) and after discussing it with local authorities.
In a scheduled meeting with all regional governors on Saturday, the cabinet would submit two possible options, namely reopening the inter-regional people’s travels by June 3 as planned, or postpone it a week later, according to local media.
As for the continental context, temporary non-essential travel restrictions imposed between the European Union (EU) countries are set to expire on June 15.
NEW INFECTION WAVE IN AUTUMN POSSIBLE
In his hearing before the Chamber of Deputies, the ISS chief also said the second wave of coronavirus infections in autumn was possible in Italy.
“In terms of scenario, we imagine that a disease such as (caused by) Sars-COV-2… can be more easily transmitted in autumn, and it could be confused with other respiratory symptomologies,” Brusaferro noted.
He explained that autumn, as always, would bring colder weather, so people will generally tend to spend less time in the sun and in open-air overall, and stay more indoor.
These normal behaviors would represent a factor possibly impacting negatively on the pandemic trend, in a context in which the coronavirus still circulates in the country.
“The hypothesis of the ‘second wave’ is based on this factor, which is — from a scientific point of view — an objective data,” Brusaferro said.https://nnn.ng/roundup-italys-active-coronavirus-cases-down-further-inter-region-movement-reopening-expected/