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Saturday, June 11

Ambode appoints 57 sole administrators for LGs

Ambode appoints 57 sole administrators for LGs


…To Swear-in new appointees Monday

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Saturday approved the appointment of new sole administrators expected to oversee the 20 Local Governments and 37 Local Council Development Areas in the State.

In a statement issued on Saturday by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello, Governor Ambode would on Monday, June 13, 2016, swear-in the new appointees at the Banquet Hall, Lagos House, Ikeja.

Those to be sworn-in are: Ayeni A. Babatunde; Adebayo Taoheed; Adekunle Julius; Samuel Ojo; Jacob Kent; Mrs. Bashorun Bolanle A.; Gbenga Abiola; Olumide Olayomi; Mrs. Yeyintola D. Agaba; Isa Abiola Jubril; Yusuf Temitope; Alh. Musa Nasir A.; Ogunleye Gbolahon; Babatunde Adetunji; Olu Ogunniyi; Sola Akande; Alh. Wasiu Sanni; Abiola Kolawole Esrom; Muyiwa Okesanya and Shukura Okeowo.

Others are: William Lawanson; Label Raji; Ibrahim Adigun; Mrs. Samiat O. Raji; Segun Anifowoshe; Sherif Balogun; Ilelaboye Rasaq; Mrs. Stella Kokumo; Yinka Kazeem; Quadri Ganiu; Princess Abiodun Elegushi; Mrs. Doyin Y. Salami; Ms Soikoya Abimbola; Bolaji Adele Solomon; Mrs. Animawun Adejumoke; Shefiu O. Osinnuga; Adefuye Bayo; Biodun Agbaje; Genesis N. Williams; Engr. Biodun Taiwo; Okinurudeen Bamidele; Gokef Ona Olawale; Abdul Adewale; Femi John; Sanya Oshijo; Ipaye N. Adeleke; Hon. Tunde Alao; Are B. Abiola; Samson Akerele Oloyede; James Agboola; Princess Aderemi Adebowale; Rotimi Ogunwuyi; Olufemi Okedeyi; Rojaiye A. Olayemi; Surakat O. Idogun; Emmanuel Aguda and Habib Aileru.

The Statement added that the 57 sole administrators after being sworn in would take charge of their various councils pending the conduct of elections at the Councils.

It would be recalled that Governor Ambode had last Thursday approved the immediate dissolution of Caretaker Committees following the resolution of the Lagos State House of Assembly relieving the Executive Secretaries of the 57 Local Governments Councils and Local Council Development Areas in the State of their responsibilities.

The Governor had also directed the Executive Secretaries to hand over the reins of administration to the Head of Administration in each of the Council Areas.
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See What Obiano Said At The Burial Of Richard Okeke, His Deputy’s Father

See What Obiano Said At The Burial Of Richard Okeke, His Deputy’s Father

The governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano at the funeral service of late Chief Richard Okeke, who happens to be the father of his deputy Nkem Okeke. The governor when called upon said  the late Chief Richard Okeke, Ezuo of Enugwu-Ukwu na Umunri, father of his Deputy, was a

great man who died leaving a legacy worthy of emulation by all. Governor Obiano stated this in a brief eulogy today at Enugwu-Ukwu, Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra State.
Governor Obiano noted that Ezuo Enugwu-Ukwu na Umunri lived a devoted life to the course of the church, family and society and died at a ripe age of eighty-eight years.

Said he: “Ezuo, achieved a lot for his immediate family and community. I recall a few times I met him and he always remindd me to always work well with my son. I can tell you that Nkem and I work like brothers, and most of you know, Nkem is a bright and reliable man. I wish to recognize Nkem’s mother, a very dedicated woman who looked after the husband and every woman should emulate her dedication for leaving every other thing to stick with her husband until his death.”

Obiano urged Nkem and his siblings to uphold the legacy of their father who served the church well and called on Enugwu-Ukwu people to be proud of their great son. He also commended the Bishops who turned out in large numbers for the burial service of the late Ezue.

Earlier in his Sermon, the Dean Church of Nigeria and Archbishop, Metropolitan, Ecclesiastical Province of the Niger, the Most Revd. Christian Efobi, called on many to learn some lessons from the life led by Late Chief Okeke and called on all to be ready for death at all times by forsaking their sins, loving God and their neighbour.

He enjoined the Okeke family to remain united in purposeful fellowship. The Archbishop Efobi reiterated that God-ordained destinies for men will surely come to pass, saying that God crowned the late icon’s efforts with success.

Responding, Deputy Governor Nkem and his brother, Emeka Okeke thanked Governor Obiano among others for their support towards the funeral rites, and noted that the ceremony was a celebration of a good life full of legacies, adding that being proud of their roots, they would forever miss their late dad.

A retinue of Archbishops, Bishops, Council of Knights, APGA Stalwarts, Traditional Rulers, Enugu State Governor, Deputy Governors of Kogi, Ebonyi, Enugu, Delta and Cross River, among others also attended the service.

Immanuels Anglican Church Enugwu-ukwu, Njikoka Local Government Area, venue for the burial service was filled to capacity for the ceremony which the deceased’s son, the Deputy Governor described as wonderful.

The road from Late Chief Okeke’s residence was heavily gridlocked as the pall bearers as well as the Deputy Governor in Company of his family members and friends took off on foot bearing his late father to the church.

Late Chief Richard Okeke was finally laid to rest in his residence in Awovu village, Enugwu-Ukwu.

Click to see photos
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After 11 months, work resumes on Lagos-Ibadan expressway

After 11 months, work resumes on Lagos-Ibadan expressway

Two construction giants – Julius Berger Nigeria Plc and Reynolds Construction Company (RCC) – have returned to site to resume work on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.

Work was suspended on the ever-busy road in July as a result of some issues with the federal government.

Back then, Julius Berger relocated some equipment from its site yard near the Sagamu Interchange, and also downsized some of its workforce.

However, a NAN correspondent, who took a trip on the highway on Saturday, said officials of both Julius Berger and RCC were seen moving heavy equipment to sites with their men already mobilised to work on the various sections.

The correspondent said investigations revealed that Julius Berger began work on Friday, while RCC moved to site on Tuesday.

The report said piles of crash barriers were observed  at Wawa, which is part of section one from Lagos to Sagamu interchange, being handled by Julius Berger.

Also, officials of Julius Berger were seen using earth moving equipment to carry crash barriers to demarcate construction zones.

An engineer, who did not want to be named, said the demarcation was for effective traffic management.

“The New Jersey Barricades (crash barriers) will be moved to the other carriageway when we finish work on this side, it will speed up our work and at the same time help to traffic control,’’ he said.

On Section two of the project which spans from Sagamu interchange to Ibadan, RCC surveyors were seen on site, while earth moving equipment were scarifying some sections of the road.

A surveyor, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said survey works to determine heights and depths of the highway along Km 91 on the expressway had been on for two days.

“We have covered one kilometre so far,” he said.

Also, officials of the firm were seen deploying their equipment at Alomoja to grade the road. One of them said: “We are grading, then we will remove the rubbish and give the road stone base and mill the road.”

It was also observed that work was in progress around Oni Garri, close to the Ibadan old toll gate and other sections of the highway.

A ministry of works official, who was monitoring resumption of work on the road, expressed satisfaction with the prompt compliance of the firms to return to site.

“Serious work has begun and hopefully by Monday laying of asphalt will begin on the second section.”

In 2013, the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan awarded the rehabilitation of the expressway at a total cost of N167 billion.
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Abolish 36 states if Nigeria must develop

Abolish 36 states if Nigeria must develop

The Rosicrucian Order, otherwise known as the Ancient Mystical Order Rosae Crucis (AMORC) has told President Muhammadu Buhari-led government that, for Nigeria to develop and sustain its political and economic growth, the six geopolitical zones and the 36 States must be restructured and replaced with 12 geo-economic zones.

Delivering a lecture Saturday in Kaduna on the topic, “National Integration for Global Peace” organised by Northern zone of AMORC, the Secretary/Treasurer, National Board, AMORC, Nigeria, Johnson A. Ikube, noted that the country was not integrated in the true sense of integration.

Ikube said Nigerians should move from the idea of, “a country of let the popular rule, to a country of let competent men and women with good character and value rule.”

He suggested that the proposed 12 zones should be manned by renowned successful entrepreneurs who will drive the economies of the zones to perfection.

He added, “I foresee a situation where this 12 zones structure should replace the State structure at which time each of these zones can be headed by say a Vice President so that together with the President, we will be having a 13-member executive council.

“Ministers, special assistants and presidential advisers will necessarily be rationalised and streamlined.

“Every zone with clear vision and strategic clarity can, should and will add value as they tend the Nigerian light”.

However, he expressed worry that the country cannot claim to be succeeding with national integration in the face of rising economic crisis, disrespect for human life, corruption ridden polity, and rising separatist movements, amongst other evidences.

He noted, “Manifest conflicts resulting from trial, ethnic, religious, political, gender, ego, power and cultural differences have increased the level of our disintegration, resulting in militancy and terrorism, the push for cessation, the violence in State and national assemblies, among others.

“Our great country, Nigeria has all the resources it needs to be truly integrated and great. The country has men, money, minds, materials, etc. God help us as we travel the path to true sustainable integration and greatness and with which we can more effectively support the integration of other nations and the realisation of global peace”.

Earlier, in his address, Grand Administrator and Director Supreme Board of AMORC, Northern zone, Chief Kenneth U. Idiodi, blamed global conflicts on the advent of internet and mobile telephony which he noted, has brought the world to one environment known as cyber space.

He added, “This is true particularly in Nigeria which is currently facing serious diversity management issues arising from its multi-religious, multi-ethnic and multi-linguistic characteristics that have resulted in disturbing political and social differences”.
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Tompolo: Soldiers desecrated my shrine… seized the gods’ symbol of authority

Tompolo: Soldiers desecrated my shrine… seized the gods’ symbol of authority

Government Ekpemupolo, ex-militant leader better known as Tompolo, has alleged that the military seized the symbol of authority of Egbesu, a deity of warfare of the Ijaws, during the invasion of Oporoza, headquarters of Gbaramatu kingdom in Delta state.

At the height of attacks on oil installations soldiers laid siege to the community to arrest members of the Niger Delta Avengers, the group that orchestrated the attacks, and Tompolo, who has been declared wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The avengers claimed that Tompolo has fled to Libya, but the former commander of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) refused to affirm or deny the allegation, he only advised the militant group to accept the amnesty offer of the federal government.

Tompolo said his people have not known peace since the recent upsurge in destructions of oil of oil assets in the region.

“I wish to once again write the members of the Niger Delta Avengers to embrace the federal government dialogue option as a way out of the brewing crisis in the Niger Delta region. As I have said before now, I do not know you and how to reach you except through the mass media, therefore it is high time you stopped the bombing and destruction of crude oil facilities in the Niger Delta region,” Tompolo said in a statement issued on his behalf by Paul Bebenibo, his spokesman.

“One thing you guys may not be aware of is that, you have not only succeeded in militarising the Niger Delta region now, but also succeeded in given birth to so many negotiators and political jobbers within the government circle, who are very serious rumour peddlers in the country now.

“As for the people of Gbaramatu kingdom, they have not known peace since you guys started the bombing of oil facilities as they have been harassed, intimidated, violated and invaded on daily basis by the Nigerian Military under the guise of looking for members of your group (Niger Delta Avengers) and my humble self, who they have criminally and wickedly linked to the Niger Delta Avengers.

“Presently all communities in Gbaramatu kingdom have been disserted by residents for fear of a repeat of the 2009 military invasion, which still leave the communities in shambles. Even till now, the military has not returned the symbol of authority they took away from the Egbesu Shrine and other valuables in Oporoza community during the May 28, 2016 invasion.”

He said the level of alleged military intimidation in the Niger Delta cannot be compared to that of the north-east “where Boko Haram has been killing innocent people”.

Tompolo said his close associates have also been wrongly linked to the avengers, denying the reports which he said had been trending on social media.

“It is pertinent to state that I have not heard and seen in any part of Nigeria, even the most volatile north-eastern part of Nigeria where Boko Haram has been killing innocent people, the way and manner the military desecrated the traditional worship centres in Gbaramatu Kingdom,” he said.

“This is a clear oppression and intimidation of the peace loving people of Gbaramatu Kingdom

“Another dangerous dimension my traducers have introduced into this issue is the allegation that some of my closest men are coordinators of the Niger Delta Avengers. And this is currently trending in the social media that Benji Ekeremor, Super and Owomor aka VIP are the coordinators of the Avengers.

“The truth of the matter is that I can no longer endure these blackmails from my traducers, as I have seen that they are not resting in their oars, as they have vowed to implicate me by all means necessary. God forbid! To set the records straight, these are responsible men who had had skilled training under the Presidential Amnesty programme that are currently using their acquired skills to eke out a living.”
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Oshiomhole has endorsed me as best person to succeed him – Deputy

Oshiomhole has endorsed me as best person to succeed him – Deputy

Dr Pius Odubu

Edo Deputy Governor, Dr Pius Odubu, on Saturday said Gov. Adams Oshiomhole had rated him as the best candidate for the Sept. 10 gubernatorial election in the state.

Odubu, an aspirant to the governorship position on the All Progressives Congress (APC), made the claim at a reception organised for him by his team of supporters in Benin.

He said that he had understudied the governor since their assumption of office more than seven years ago, and that th3e governor had groomed him for the number one seat.

“I have been in school; I have been in Oshiomhole’s school of governance and he, himself, has rated me as the best.

“We need a governor that will hit the ground running. We need a governor that is game-ready and not one with potential.

“We will bring to bear, all that the governor has taught us, and our expertise. We will do the greatest good to the greatest number of the people within the shortest time possible when we get there.

“By His grace, I know and I believe that I am the man that will take over from the governor,’’ Odubu said.

He urged APC’s delegates for the June 18 primaries of the party not to be coerced into voting against their preferred aspirant, stressing that they must freely choose who would govern them.

On alleged massive buying of Permanent Voters Cards (PVC’s) by a particular aspirant, he advised that voters must protect their PVCs.

He said, “my good people of Edo, I hear they are collecting your PVCs; please, your PVC is your property, it is your right, don’t sell it, don’t mortgage your future.

“You have to freely choose the man or woman that you want. You must choose who will govern Edo of your own free volition,’’ the aspirant said.

He announced that he had been cleared for the primaries by the party’s screening committee and appealed to his supporters to remain steadfast and conduct themselves peacefully before, during and exercise. (NAN)
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IN PICTURES: Aisha Buhari Hosts Former First Ladies, Others At Aso Villa

IN PICTURES: Aisha Buhari Hosts Former First Ladies, Others At Aso Villa

Wife of the president Aisha Buhari yesterday hosted wives of former Nigerian Heads of state including Justice Fati Abubakar Abdulsalami, Hajiya Hadiza Shagari, Mrs Balewa, Mrs Aguiyi Ironsi , Hajiya Maryam Abacha, Mrs. Victoria Gowon and Mrs. Alex Ekweme -to a colorful meeting at the presidential villa.

Also present at the meeting was the wife of senate president Toyin Saraki, wives of APC governors, wives of army officers and other women.

The first lady urged the women to support her where she needs assistance and also used the opportunity to distribute her book she wrote on improving the perfect woman.

See photos:

IN PICTURES: Aisha Buhari Hosts Former First Ladies, Others At Aso Villa

IN PICTURES: Aisha Buhari Hosts Former First Ladies, Others At Aso Villa

IN PICTURES: Aisha Buhari Hosts Former First Ladies, Others At Aso Villa

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SHAME!!! What my father told me about death before he died - Amodu's Son

What my father told me about death before he died - Amodu's Son

The eldest son of the late technical director of the Nigeria Football Federation, Abdul-Aziz Amodu, on Saturday, revealed his last moments with his father.

The 26-year-old graduate from Igbinedion University, Okada, said that his last conversation with his father before his death was on Friday morning, when we discussed plans for the National Youth Service Corps programme later this month.

“I am to go for the NYSC programme this month. So, I called him yesterday (Friday) to just discuss concerning the programme. He didn’t pick my call; he called me back and told me that he was very busy and I should calm down and that he would get to Okpella today (Saturday), so that we could see and talk. That was the last thing he said to me.”

He also told our correspondent that his late father had informed him that he should be buried immediately according to Islamic ‎rites if he died.

“He briefly said something about death, because I asked of Stephen Keshi; I know Keshi. When I asked of him, he said that he (Keshi) was not buried immediately due to the fact that he was not a Muslim.

“He said that he hoped I knew that if he died, nobody will wait for anybody; he would be buried immediately. I told him yes. He told me to be patient until today, before they broke the news to me.”
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Discos now distributing darkness to Nigerians – Senator Sani blasts Fashola

Discos now distributing darkness to Nigerians – Senator Sani blasts Fashola

Shehu Sani

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Domestic Debt and Loans, Shehu Sani has expressed deep concern over the darkness being experienced across the country.
He stressed that no excuse by power stakeholders was cogent enough to substantive hardships that Nigerians were passing through.

Describing the drop in power supply as unacceptable and embarrassing, he called on President Muhammadu Buhari to rethink his way towards appointing a Minister who is not only an electrical engineer, but who has the knowledge of the industry.

“We are in a state of paralysis, and there is urgent need to appoint a reputable electrical engineer to manage the affairs of power, independent of other responsibilities”, he said.

Sani added: “Distribution Companies (DISCOs) were now distributing darkness despite increment in electricity tariff; private power investors have failed the nation by moving manageable power epilepsy to a complete paralysis.”

He called for a review of defunct Power Holdings Company of Nigeria assets, noting that privatisation of power regime had brought untold hardship to Nigerians.

While suggesting for the setting up of energy task force responsible for immediate technical and financial intervention in generation, transmission and distribution, he urged government to invest in renewable and non renewable energy.

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I have been the best in the world for 20 years now

I have been the best in the world for 20 years now

Cristiano Ronaldo

Portugal national team captain and Real Madrid forward, Cristiano Ronaldo, fresh from winning the UEFA Champions League with the Spanish giants and a favourite to win the 2016 Ballon D’or, says if his achievements are considered, then he’s the best player of the last two decades.

Ronaldo made the claim while speaking to Italian magazine Undici, saying that he would rate himself as the best.

The forward said, “Where would I rate myself amongst the top players of the last twenty years?

“Thinking positively, then I believe with what I’ve achieved, I’m the best of the lot.”

Ronaldo is currently on international duty with Portugal ahead of their Euro 2016 opener against Iceland on Tuesday, and added that he is “proud” to be an “inspiration” to Portuguese people.

“I feel like I’m a citizen of the world, but also a Portuguese man who loves where he comes from and is proud to represent my country at the highest level.

“After Euro 2004 I’ve felt responsible for being part of this great generation. I know a lot of boys and girls look up to me today as an inspiration.”

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Northern Governors must secure lives, properties of Christians – CAN Chairman

Northern Governors must secure lives, properties of Christians – CAN Chairman

Sequel to the recent killing of Christians in some Northern States of the country, the Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria in charge of the 19 Northern States and the FCT, Rev. Yakubu Pam has charged State Governors from the North and President Muhammadu Buhari, to put in place adequate security measures to bring to an end the killings and attacks.

Pam in a press statement issued yesterday in Jos, said it was unacceptable in a country such as Nigeria under the current dispensation for some group of persons operating under the guise of defending their religion to hack a woman to death.

According to the statement, the recent hacking to death of Bridget Mike Agabahime in Kano and Methodus Chimaije Emmanuel under the guise of accusing them of blaspheming against Prophet Mohammed is unacceptable.

The statement charged Northern Governors to brace up to their responsibilities as Chief Security Officers of their respective States, by providing adequate security measures to the lives and properties of Christians in their states.

The Cleric also insisted that Nigerians have equal rights to live in any state of the federation to carry out their businesses lawfully without any one causing harm to them.

The statement described the recent ugly incidents in Kano and Niger States as “regrettable and uncivilized”, maintaining that it should not be tolerated by people of good will in the country.

Pam added that perpetrators of these evil acts must be fished out with their gangs and made to face the full wrath of the law to serve as deterrent to others who might be nursing such ambition to carry out dastardly act in the nearest future.

He also cautioned Northern Governors not to rush into committing parts of their land for grazing reserves or grazing route for cattle herders, without going into consultation with the people of their respective states who own the land.

“Unless the interest of the people they govern is taken into consideration before embarking on any policy, it might be counter productive at the end of the day”, the statement warned.

According to him, “This period in the history of this Nation calls for prayers and understanding among the diverse people of this country for peace to reign in all parts of the country.‎”

The statement commended the federal government for accepting to go into dialogue with the Niger Delta Avengers, all in a bid to give peace a chance in that region, stressing that through dialogue, most of the crisis rocking different parts of the country could be resolved.

On the state of affairs in the North-East of the country, the Northern CAN Chairman called on the security operatives to intensify efforts to bring to an end the activities of Boko haram in the affected states so that the displaced persons can return to their homes.
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Grazing reserves policy is anti-people and should be rejected – Senator Jang

Grazing reserves policy is anti-people and should be rejected – Senator Jang

Gov. Jonah David Jang

The immediate past Governor of Plateau State and Senator representing Plateau North, Jonah Jang has condemned moves by the Governor Simon Lalong led administration to implement grazing reserves policy in the State.

Jang made the condemnation in a press statement signed by his Media Assistant, Clinton Garuba, made available to journalists in Jos yesterday.

It reads, “The attention of Senator Jonah David Jang has been drawn to a news item variously carried in the print and aired on electronic news media to the effect that the Plateau State Government has not only endorsed the issue of the grazing reserve but has gone ahead to initiate plans to designate some areas for that purpose.

“At a time like one in which we currently live, it is imperative to state in unequivocal and unambiguous terms where one stands with regard to the issue of the grazing reserve.

“The Lawmaker wish to inform his constituents and all peace loving Plateau people that he does not and will not support any grazing reserve either on the floor of the senate or any forum/platform where the issue is discussed.

“The issue has generated a lot of controversy amongst plateau people because government has decided to play politics with issues that affect the very fabric which defines the heritage of our people, their culture and their land.

“Plateau people regardless of creed, party affiliation or ethnicity, must rise against any subtle attempt to cede their land for the purpose of satisfying the selfish and egotistical whims of a few who are hell bent on disturbing our collective peace.

“One wonders how a government which has not shown any interest in developing agriculture in the state in the last one year has suddenly woken to support a policy which is neither in the interest of plateau people nor that of public good for that matter”, the statement added.

It further stated that, the immediate past administration had set a good example of how those who want to rear cattle or any livestock should go about doing so by establishing a ranch for the Butura Milk farm in Bokkos.

“Let it be on record therefore that the distinguished Senator strongly rejects any attempt by the Plateau State Government to introduce any form of grazing reserves in Plateau State.

“The statement calls on all Plateau indigenes who have any herds of cattle to create ranches for them within their localities and any other person who also rears cattle should do same within their locality so that nobody keeps their herd on anybody’s land.

“The surest way to resolving the issue of grazing reserve is to have everyone who has herds of cattle to ranch them within their locality or any acquired land of choice; this is the best practice worldwide.

“For the Federal Government which owns no cattle, to connive with willing state governors to impose a grazing reserve policy on hapless citizens who have suffered the brunt of rampaging herdsmen in the no distant past is not only an abuse of their rights but an assault on their already battered psyche. This must vehemently be resisted.

“Worse of all, to show disdain for their people, some state governments, that of Plateau inclusive, have gone ahead to start implementation of the policy without any form of consultation with the people. This is clear indication that the government of the day, has no vision but is only playing out the script of some masquerade somewhere. It is common sense that he who pays the piper, dictates the tune.

“Why would a government which claims that its greatest achievement in the last one year has been in the area of peace on the one hand, be courting a policy that has the capacity to reverse all that gain, if any at all”, the statement asked.

“It is unfortunate that plateau people have to bear the hardship meted out on them by the present government but we call on them not to despair as there is always light at the end of the tunnel.

“Those who wish to further emasculate the people in spite of the untold hardship that currently pervades the land, by introducing policies and programs that create more tension should continue to do so but Senator Jang and people of like mind are on the side of the masses. The clear message Plateau people want to send to those within and outside the state is; Plateau people say NO to Grazing Reserves.

“As a people who have experienced the atrocities of those who seek to take over their land by whatever means, Plateau people must be resilient in rejecting any law or request that seeks to tamper with their heritage, not even the involvement of the Government of the day should deter them”, the statement stressed.
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We voted for a president but we now have an evangelist – Apostle Suleman

We voted for a president but we now have an evangelist – Apostle Suleman

Fiery preacher and founder of Omega Fire Ministries, Apostle Johnson Suleman has decried the rate at which president Muhammadu Buhari travels.

The Auchi-based fearless preacher likened president Buhari’s junketing nature to that of an evangelist who moves from one place to the other.

Suleiman made this comment at the just concluded Holy Ghost Convention tagged God of all flesh in his church’s national headquarters in Auchi, Edo State.

Speaking during the conference, God’s Oracle, as he is fondly called, said Nigerians were tired of the calls for patience by the president.

He said, “People are suffering and you said they should be patient. It is not fair. We voted for a president but we now have an evangelist.

“We need to pray because I also heard that someone’s ear is blind. May God help us,” he added.

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June 12: Osun declares Monday public holiday

June 12: Osun declares Monday public holiday


Osun State Government, yesterday declared Monday public holiday to mark June 12 celebration.

This was contained in statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti.

The statement quoted Adeoti as saying: “In line with its established policy of observing June 12 of every year as Democracy Day, the State Government of Osun has declared Monday, June 13 as public holiday.”

He stated that the public holiday became imperative in view of the fact that June 12 this year fell on a Sunday.

The June 12, 1993 presidential election was believed to have been won by late Moshood Kashimawo Abiola.

The election was, however, annulled by the then military head of state, General Ibrahim Babangida.

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Abike Dabiri replies ex-Indian Minister calling for ban on Nigerians

Abike Dabiri replies ex-Indian Minister calling for ban on Nigerians

Abike Dabiri-Erewa

Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, has described the statement by Ravi Naik, a former Indian Chief Minister, on Nigerians as “condescending and unacceptable”.

In a statement by her Special Assistant on Media, Abdur-Rahman Balogun, Dabiri-Erewa said the call by Naik for a ban by the Central Government of India on Nigerians from entering the country was rather unfortunate.

Naik had reportedly referred to Nigerians as “Negroes causing problems in Goa and other parts of India.”

“They create problems everywhere. We do not want Nigerian tourists.

“The Nigerians should be asked to leave India, we don’t want Nigerian tourists.

“The Government of India should ban Nigerians from entering India”, he had stated.

The SSA said though the statement of Naik was personal to him and does not represent the Indian government, such comment was demeaning and condemnable of a former high ranking government official.

Dabiri-Erewa said: “As Nigerians, we respect humanity and will not descend so low to use derogatory words even for Indians in Nigeria who are involved in illegal activities. Rather, we will allow the law to take its course.”

She, however, reiterated her calls on Nigerians in the Diaspora to be law abiding as any Nigerian found guilty of breaking the laws of any land will have to face the consequences.

She stressed that Nigeria will not tolerate any condescending comments on her nationals as respect begets respect.

Kiran Kandolkar, Goa spokesman, has demanded an apology from Naik over the controversial statement.

“Ravi Naik should tender an apology. The statements made by Naik are insulting and uncalled for,” Kamdolkar said.

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London Opens First N*ked Restaurant Where Staff Wear 'Nothing' (Photos)

London Opens First N*ked Restaurant Where Staff Wear 'Nothing' (Photos)

A restaurant where the waiters attend to customers unclad has opened in the United Kingdom with a big bang.

Two Journalists at the Bunyadi restaurant
London's first n*ked restaurant which boasts 46,000 people on its waiting list opened its doors last night in a secret location in south east London.

The head chef of London's newest out-there dining experience said he hoped that being n*de will help diners concentrate on their food and encourage them to 'try new cuisines'. Only open for three months, Bunyadi claims it offers 'pure liberation', offering the experience of eating in its 'purest' form. But will the £69 tasting menu be the sole thing on everyone's mind?

Two MailOnline journalists who visited the restaurant for the first time share their experiences:

"On the way to the restaurant I realise I'm feeling pretty intense nerves, like first date nerves, which is weird because I never get naked on first dates.

"Being n*de doesn't bother me at all - I'm more than happy with my body - and I'm feeling a sort of thrill knowing I'll soon be swanning around as n*ked as the day I was born.

"I picture myself as an ethereal creature, casting off my clothes and prancing around like one of Joseph Tomanek's Nymphs Dancing to Pan's Flute.

"There are certainly some Dionysian vibes in The Bunyadi. The waiters and waitresses are naked despite some leaves and flesh coloured underwear covering their most intimate parts. It's all very Ancient Grecian.

"However, my lofty ideals of bohemian public nudity didn't quite come true.

"Walking into The Bunyadi - a dingy-looking, unmarked pub decipherable thanks only to the body guard at the entrance - I'm hit by a wave of humid heat (perhaps to encourage me to strip).

"Immediately my head begins to bead with sweat and I'm torn between a refreshing cocktail and hearing to the changing rooms - where I'm given a locker, a fluffy dressing gown and white slippers.

"It's unbearably warm I think, as a whip off my skirt, so much so that I don't think I've ever been so excited to get my clothes off - sorry ex-boyfriends.

Once in my robe I slink into the dark, labyrinth like restaurant. While I - the exhibitionist - am expecting an open and lit space, the layout of the restaurant evokes a cocooning and soothing atmosphere thanks to the private dining booths, encircled by bamboo.

"I dined with a female companion (trust me, there is nothing more depressing than failing to get a date when a precursor of the night is that you will be n*ked) and the experience felt a lot like the relaxed spa experiences I'm used to with my female friends.

"While I can't imagine two blokes, however much the best of friends they may be, stripping off to enjoy Tartare together, nudity among female friends feels natural.

"We go to toilet in front of one another in nightclubs - topless dining is nothing"
See more photos:

London Opens First N*ked Restaurant Where Staff Wear 'Nothing' (Photos)

London Opens First N*ked Restaurant Where Staff Wear 'Nothing' (Photos)

London Opens First N*ked Restaurant Where Staff Wear 'Nothing' (Photos)

London Opens First N*ked Restaurant Where Staff Wear 'Nothing' (Photos)

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Actress Uche Ogbodo speaks about her personal demon in new interview

Actress Uche Ogbodo speaks about her personal demon in new interview

Popular actress, Uche Ogbodo, has not been as vibrant on the television screen as she used to be some years ago. Prior to now, the screen diva was in virtually all movies released till she got married and subsequently got pregnant.

Unfortunately, her marriage did not last up to a month before it crumbled like a pack of cards. However, before her fallout with her husband, she got pregnant. In interviews she had granted, the damsel said the marriage crashed due to frequent lies her husband fed her.

In a chat with Saturday Beats, the actress who recently celebrated her 30th birthday spoke about her personal demon. She said that marriage is not a priority for her but she would love to be in a relationship because she gets lonely sometimes.

She said, “Sometimes it gets lonely because there is nobody to talk to. Not that there are no men but because of all the hurts and disappointment I have been through, it is not easy trusting again. Like I say to some of my friends, it is no longer as easy as it used to be for me to trust a man again. Dating is easy but being in a proper relationship is very difficult.

Once beaten, twice shy. It is so hard for me to trust someone, to know if he is coming for good and he is not going to betray my trust and hurt me. It is hard that I don’t have a friend even though there are so many men out there. But then, to get that right person that makes you feel he is your friend; someone that would never hurt me and would be there for better and for worse and I can open my fears to, is difficult and I miss that.

I am also not in a hurry to have that because I am too scared to trust a man. It is a personal demon now. Marriage is not the first thing on my mind because I am not stable emotionally but I want to be in a relationship because I want to be loved. I want to have someone pray for me, talk to me and relate with me. I would love that so much but it is so difficult finding that person and if care is not taken, you can just keep going in and out of relationships without knowing the right person.”

The mother of one said that ever since she got pregnant, she had not heard from the father of her child and because of this, they do not have any form of relationship even though it seems her child misses having a father figure around.

“I don’t have any relationship with the father of my child; we don’t talk. One would think that because we have a child we would be cool with each other but in reality, the case is otherwise. I have not seen any effort from him to reach out to me or our child. Ironically, my baby’s first word was daddy. Maybe she misses having a father figure in her life but I know she will adapt, I am strong and my baby is a strong girl,” she said.

The screen diva told Saturday Beats that motherhood is very lovely but it has been quite challenging being a single mother, especially the expenses involved in raising a child alone

“There really isn’t any challenge in motherhood; the main challenge is in being a single mother. As a single mother, you are doing the job of two people on your own ranging from the financial aspect to raising a child. The challenges would be that sometimes I am not able to do some things that I would if I were not with a child as a single girl; now I have to consider my child first. Sometimes there are some extravagances that I am supposed to indulge in but I cannot.

It is just like when I had my baby, because I had to pay for my trip to the US and also foot my medical bill, I could not get the latest car that I wanted to drive then. It is one of the challenges that I faced, if I had someone to support me, like a partner, the financial burden would have been less. There is no challenge in nurturing my baby because she gives me so much joy. She sees me through the day and when I think about all the things we do together, it keeps me going. It makes me want to struggle the more because I want to give her the best in life,” she said.
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Afenifere asks Buhari to publish result of June 12 election

Afenifere asks Buhari to publish result of June 12 election

The Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG), a socio-political organisation in the south-west, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to publish the result of the June 12, 1993 election, won by the late MKO Abiola.

Olawale Oshun, chairman of the organisation made the demand on Saturday, saying as a “beneficiary of a ballot revolution” Buhari owed Nigerians the duty of declassifying the result of that election.

Oshun said the election which ushered in the current administration mirrored that of 1993.

“June 12 is no longer a struggle but now an obligation. The people have played their own part. It is now the obligation of the beneficiaries of that struggle to set the country on a truly democratic path by deliberately replacing every stamp of military rule on Nigeria’s nationhood, including the imposed governance structure and constitution, through democratic rights and tenets. There is no alternative way to deepen democracy in Nigeria,” Oshun said in a statement.

“Let nobody be deceived. Until the federal government takes conscious steps to restructure Nigeria, the country will continue to wobble from one crisis of nationhood to another. To continue to ignore this necessity is a tacit support by elected officials for everything that transpired during the military era and this is why military rule has transited to ‘do or die’ politics and citizens now believed they have a right to take up arms against their country.

“ARG therefore called on President Buhari to see himself as best poised to help Nigeria make this transition. This can be his best legacy and the starting point, we dare say, is to release the June 12 presidential election result and its winner appropriately recognised and honoured.”

By Sunday, it will be 23 years since that election, which was adjudged as the best in the history of the country, took place.

Ibrahim Babangida, the then military president, annulled the exercise, which led to a crisis that ended with the coup of Sani Abacha, former military dictator.

Abiola was incarcerated, and he died exactly a month after the death of Abacha, who ordered his detention.
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Six- year-old girl burnt to death in Lagos church

Six- year-old girl burnt to death in Lagos church

The Lagos State Fire Service said a six-year-old girl was burnt to death in a church in the early hours of Saturday in Egbeda area of the state.

The Director of the service, Mr. Rasak Fadipe, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the incident occurred at about 2:00am at Faith Revival Church.

Fadipe said the inferno affected the church boys’ quarters while a vigil was going on at the main auditorium.

“We met the fire raging when we arrived. It was after the fire was put out that we discovered the little girl’s burnt body in one of the rooms.

“The church authority was yet to ascertain the cause of the fire. We finally put out the fire at about 5:00am,” he said.
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Militants declare ceasefire, demand immediate release of Dasuki

Militants declare ceasefire, demand immediate release of Dasuki

The joint revolutionary council of the Joint Niger Delta Liberation Force (JNDLF), which claims to be the highest organ of “all the freedom fighting body” in the Niger Delta, has declared ceasefire.

The group had earlier threatened to launch six missiles in the region and to also shut Nigeria’s airspace, but it said it decided to do otherwise after the federal government offered to dialogue.

However, JNDLF said government would have to comply with its demand if it wants the momentary peace to be sustained.

Some of the group’s demands are the immediate release of Sambo Dasuki, former national security adviser (NSA), reversal of the order to freeze the bank accounts of Government Ekpemupolo, better known as Tompolo, establishment of Matitime University in Okerenkoko, Delta state, among others.

The group said Niger Delta governors are its representatives and threatened “to go after them if they betray the region”.

“We shall continue to engage in dialogue if our demands are met. Our representatives for the dialogue, especially the governors and others will not betray our demands with the federal government. Any betrayal on their own part shall be viewed as betrayal of the entire region and we shall go after them immediately as they know our mode of operation in which they will not escape from us,” JNDLF said in a statement.

“There is no gainsaying that we made our earlier promise to launch six missiles simultaneously against some targeted areas. But this was waved aside as a result of appeals made to us through email by the federal government and some international nations to open talks with Buhari.

“We saw some genuine aspiration on the part of Buhari, who made several contacts to us to see reason with them over the issue of under-development of the region. And since he (Buhari) had set the ball rolling for a clear negotiation with us, there is no problem without solution. We have therefore declared ceasefire in order to negotiate with the government if it is a true reflection of what they have in mind to develop the Niger Delta region.”

The group said it was more interested in negotiating with the government on the basis of developing the Niger Delta rather than giving out monetary compensation.

It also demanded the implementation of the report of the 2014 national conference, and the removal of Paul Boroh, coordinator of the presidential amnesty programme.

“We are not ready to negotiate with the federal government for the sake of monetary benefit to us but how genuinely the government will develop the region is at the centre of our discussion and anything less than that we will continue our struggle without further warning to the federal government,” the statement read.

“We demand the immediate implementation of the report of the 2014 national conference report, failure of which Nigeria will forcefully break-up. Oil-polluted lands in the Niger Delta must be cleaned up, while compensation should be paid to all oil-producing communities, e.g. Chevron fire outbreak of gas explosion in Koluama, Bayelsa state and Bonga Oil Spill in 2011;

“We also demand the immediate release of the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd) and Dr. Nnamdi Kanu.

“We also want the removal of Brigadier General Paul Boroh (rtd.) as  Amnesty Coordinator. He does not understand the programmes and policies of the Amnesty and does not know us to the grassroots. “Hence he should be replaced with Dr. Felix Tuodolo who has been in the struggle of non-violence since 1980 and he was the designer of the amnesty programme.

“We carried out all these attacks on oil and gas pipelines in the region because of the statement made by President Buhari that he will develop those areas that gave him 95% votes during his presidential election last year. We, the Niger Delta people only gave him 5% hence we vowed that our oil money will not be used for the development of any other region.”

Despite the declaration of the JNDLF, the Niger Delta Avengers, the group which has led the attacks on oil installations since the resurgence of militancy, blew up pipelines in Bayelsa state on Friday.
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Nigerian Actress, Tonto Dikeh Rocks on Her 31st Birthday Party (Photos)

Nigerian Actress, Tonto Dikeh Rocks on Her 31st Birthday Party (Photos)

Tonto Dikeh and Churchill Oladunni

Tonto Dikeh who has added weight due to the toll of child birth has celebrated her 31st birthday in style with her husband, Churchill Oladunni.

Light-skinned Nollywood actress, Tonto Dikeh shared these photos on her Instagram handle as she celebrated her birthday that was organized by her hubby who happens to be the nephew of former president, Olusegun Obasanjo.

The birthday came as a surprise to her, as she tendered this lovely message to her husband. Read below and checkout more photos of the event as shared by the former DB records music artiste:

"My husband you are a source of joy,Calm and happiness in my Life..

I can't thank you enough for being a friend,father,Lover and a shoulder to lean on..

My Awesome Partner you make/Made me proud,Thanks for taking out time outta your busy Life to show me Kindness and Love..

Thank you so much for being such a Great impact on my life and for CELEBRATING Me..

You are my WonderMan,My HeartBeat and Strength,God bless you richly for your Love




Nigerian Actress, Tonto Dikeh Rocks on Her 31st Birthday Party (Photos)

Nigerian Actress, Tonto Dikeh Rocks on Her 31st Birthday Party (Photos)

Nigerian Actress, Tonto Dikeh Rocks on Her 31st Birthday Party (Photos)

Nigerian Actress, Tonto Dikeh Rocks on Her 31st Birthday Party (Photos)

Nigerian Actress, Tonto Dikeh Rocks on Her 31st Birthday Party (Photos)

Nigerian Actress, Tonto Dikeh Rocks on Her 31st Birthday Party (Photos)

Nigerian Actress, Tonto Dikeh Rocks on Her 31st Birthday Party (Photos)

Nigerian Actress, Tonto Dikeh Rocks on Her 31st Birthday Party (Photos)

Nigerian Actress, Tonto Dikeh Rocks on Her 31st Birthday Party (Photos)

Nigerian Actress, Tonto Dikeh Rocks on Her 31st Birthday Party (Photos)

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Nigerian Customs Arrests Chinese Nationals for Smuggling Elephant Tusks

Nigerian Customs Arrests Chinese Nationals for Smuggling Elephant Tusks

Officials of the Nigerian Customs Service have apprehended Chinese nationals in the illegal trafficking of elephant tusks

Attempts by two Chinese nationals to smuggle 678 pieces of elephant tusks and other prohibited items out of Nigeria failed on Friday as they were arrested by the officials of the Nigerian Customs Service at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos.

The other prohibited items seized from the suspected smugglers included eight sacks of pangolin weighing 381 kilogrammes.

The suspects’ action was said to have contravened Schedule 6 of the Nigerian Exports Prohibition List, which prescribes as illegal any attempt to export wild animals and endangered species.

The Customs Area Comptroller, MMIA Command, Frank Allannah, however, said the suspects had been remanded in custody pending further investigation.

Allannah said the impounded items would be handed over to the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency.

Allannah said, “Eagled-eyed Customs officials at the Export Shed of the MMIA intercepted the prohibited items while they were being taken out of the country by the Chinese who claimed ownership of the items.

“Upon physical examination of prohibited items, the Chinese were subsequently arrested and are still being held in custody.”

He added that the elephant tusks were in two compartments of 387 unprocessed pieces, while 271 had been processed into combs and hand bangles.

The Customs boss, however, did not give the street value of the prohibited items, saying Customs personnel in the relevant units were already carrying out the monetary assessment to ascertain the value.

Allannah said, “We do not intend to give the names of the Chinese nationals yet. They have been arrested and are in Customs custody. They will be handed over to the relevant security agencies.”
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Actor IK Ogbonna’s Wife Sonia Shares Collage Of Her Post Baby Body Journey To Encourage Ladies

Actor IK Ogbonna’s Wife Sonia Shares Collage Of Her Post Baby Body Journey To Encourage Ladies

Actor Ik Ogbonna’s wife, Sonia is one celebrity wife that is definitely proud of her post-baby bod and she continues to shove photos of her adorable body in our faces. But this time, she claims to be using it to educate the ladies. She explained that her amazing post-baby bod isn’t based on good genes but good management of her life and body.

This is how she captioned the photo below:

Actor IK Ogbonna’s Wife Sonia Shares Collage Of Her Post Baby Body Journey To Encourage Ladies

I know how most of us ladies live in fear that pregnancy will ruin our bodies forever. We see women,even celebrities,that never look the same again after childbirth and we wander “what can I expect?” Sometimes we justify everything with good/bad “genetics” acting like it determines our destiny and that kind of thinking help us make a peace and comfort with being uncomfortable in our own skin.

And I’m talking out of my own past experiences and wrong attitude that made me forget I have an absolute charge over my own life. But then….
1)Pic : Exactly 7 days postpartum 2)Pic: 15 days postpartum 3)Pic: 40 days postpartum To make it clear,I have never done any surgery and I have never ever put myself through radical dieting nether I ever starved myself.

That’s an extra reason I have a need to make you understand that it’s not that hard and it doesn’t take any extreme measures to look the way you always wished.I want to share all my secret recipes,products,drinks ,all my ways and routines that helped before and after my pregnancy to feel good in my skin and get the maximum out of my body. Remember,the goal is not to look like someone else,it’s to look like the best possible version of yourself!Stay tuned,To be continued loves!
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SO SO SAD!!! Amodu Shuaibu set to be buried amid tears (photos)

SAD: Amodu Shuaibu set to be buried amid tears (photos)

Nigerians are still trying to come to terms with the death of Amodu Shuaibu, ex-coach of the Super Eagles and technical adviser to the Nigeria Football Federation. The NFF had announced the death of Amodu Shuaibu in the early hours of today, June 11.

SAD: Amodu Shuaibu set to be buried amid tears (photos)

However, NAIJ has gathered that Shuaibu was said to have complained of heart problems yesterday and was prayed for in the afternoon. He drove his car do drop a friend, went to sleep and was discovered dead about 4am. His body is being moved from the Stella Obasanjo hospital in Benin to his home town in Okpella.

He will be buried today according to muslim rites in his home town, Okpella in Edo state. See photos of his body from the Stella Obasanjo hospital in Benin.

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States not ready for Buhari’s national school meal project scheme …say no fund to implement scheme

ot ready for Buhari’s national school meal project scheme …say no fund to implement scheme

The much-touted Federal Government’s national Home-Grown School Feeding Programme launched in Abuja on Thursday may suffer a setback as many state governments complain of lack of financial resources to embark on the project, investigation by Saturday PUNCH has revealed.

The school meal programme is one of the cardinal campaign promises of the ruling All Progressives Congress. While the Federal Government provides sixty percent of funds for the scheme, state governments are expected to provide the  remaining forty per cent as counterpart funding.

The programme, expected to be of benefit to about 5.5 million primary school pupils in the first year of its operation, is part of the N500bn social investment plans of the Federal Government.

The plan will run till 2020 and will form the cornerstone of the nationwide Home-Grown School Feeding programme which when fully realised will provide a meal a day to over 24 million primary schoolchildren.

However, findings have shown that state governments are currently incapable of sharing in the financial responsibilities with the Federal Government due to paucity of funds.

Some state government officials, who spoke with Saturday PUNCH, said the feeding programme was not their priority. They explained that their governments have been struggling to pay salaries since the drastic drop in their allocations from the Federal Government following the global oil slump.

The Special Adviser on Media and Communication to the Bauchi State Governor, Alh. Yakubu Ibn Mohammed, said the school feeding programme was not a priority for the government at this time with the rot in its education system, particularly in infrastructure.

Yakubu said, “We in Bauchi State are a part of the All Progressives Congress and we share the dreams and aspirations of the Federal Government.

“The issue, as laudable as it is, is not the priority of this administration because, in the first place, the whole educational system in the state has been left to rot.

“The priority of this administration is to restore educational infrastructure in the state. When this is done, incentives to get pupils to school like the school feeding programme, will then be given due and necessary attention.”

Yakubu said it is only when there is good infrastructure in place for the sector to perform optimally that the government can think of giving incentives to school pupils.

“You can only give incentives to attract pupils when you have necessary infrastructure which were almost nonexistent when we took over,” he said.

In the same vein, the Plateau State Governor, Mr. Simon Lalong, said that he would not be able to implement the free school feeding programme as requested by the Federal Government due to paucity of funds.

The Director of Press Affairs, Mr. Samuel Nanle, told Saturday PUNCH that, “The governor has said the state is willing to support the scheme but given the present financial predicaments, it cannot. The state is however working on a modality to see how it can stimulate school enrolment and primary education in the state.”

He added, “The Special interventions in that sector will see to the recruitment of about 5,000 teachers, supply of free basic books, uniforms and then supplemental feeding subject to improvement of funds for the first two or three levels of the primary schools.”

For example, the state’s N1.1bn allocation from the federation account for April 2016 is below its monthly wage bill.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, during a recent visit to President Buhari, said it had become difficult running the states in the face of the dwindling economy.

He said it was necessary to do something drastic whenever financial inflows do not tally with fixed costs as it is currently the case in many states of the federation.

Buhari himself had earlier lamented that two-thirds of the states of the federation could not meet their salary obligations despite the recent bailouts approved for them by the Federal Government.

It was recently rumoured that some states had asked for additional bailout from the Federal Government to enable them to fully offset salary and pension arrears they owed their workers.

The Cross River State Government, which got N967, 494,955.43 allocation for April, said funding a feeding scheme under the current economic situation in the country was not feasible.

The state government said in the meantime, it would be relying on the Federal Government to fulfil its 60 per cent funding and that it would need a loan to fulfil the remaining 40 per cent required to feed all primary school pupils in the state.

The state Commissioner for Education, Mr. Goddy Etta, said without the Federal Government’s support, it would be difficult for the state to commence the programme.

He said, “Without the Federal Government, it will be difficult for states to start under the current economic condition. I doubt if states can start because we do not know when the Federal Government will remit its 60 per cent funding.

“We already have plans on ground but no money to start it. If we can get a commercial bank to bankroll our 40 per cent, we will start. If the money comes, we will empower the farmers who will supply us with the food stuff. Farmers will farm and we will buy from them.”

In its reaction, the Ekiti State Government said it had no plans to heed to the Federal Government’s call on states to feed Primary 4-6 pupils as part of its school feeding programme.

The state Commissioner for Information, Youths and Sports Development, Mr. Lanre Ogunsuyi, said President Muhammadu Buhari should be held responsible for failing on its campaign promises and that states should not bear the burden of failed promises.

He said, “Under the Nigerian Constitution, states are sovereign and not subservient to the Federal Government. At best, Buhari can only issue such a directive to the All Progressives Congress-controlled states.

“We have our own stomach infrastructure programme, so, the Federal Government cannot force its own plan on us.”

Similarly, the Ondo State Government, which condemned the school feeding programme for school children, said it was not part of its education programmes for the state.

The state Commissioner for Information, Mr. Kayode Akinmade, said the state government never promised to provide free meals for primary school pupils.

Blaming the APC-led Federal Government for failing to do proper analysis on the feasibility of the scheme, Akinmade said, “It is not in the PDP government’s manifesto to provide free meals for the primary school children; our own programme is to provide quality and affordable education for our school children.

“That is why our government is investing heavily in education. We are making sure that education is free and we also provide free transportation that will be taking our children to and from the school every day. That is our own belief and our philosophy. APC is a party that promises and never fulfils it.”

Speaking further on the Federal Government’s free feeding programme, the commissioner said, “ Before making promises, the APC didn’t do their arithmetic right, the issue of school feeding should not be a policy or ideological programme of a party.

“What they are supposed to do is to make education affordable and compulsory; the parents too will play their own roles. If you have a child in school you should be able to cater for him or her,” he added.

The Bayelsa State Commissioner for Education, Mr. Markson Fefegha, said the responsibility of catering for primary school pupils rests with the local governments as the third tier of the government.

Bayelsa State, which got about N2.1bn allocation for April, owes civil servants four months’ salaries and pensioners seven months’ arrears.

Fefegha, in a telephone conversation with Saturday PUNCH, however, said, “As the law specifies, primary education is the responsibility of local government councils as the third tier of government not the states. I think that is the appropriate place to address it.

“We have been giving subvention as a  state to support the system so that our education system will not fall. But now that the economy is hard, let us look at the realities in the state.

“The states that can implement the policy will do so but I have not got the directive yet to speak on that matter.”

However, the Oyo State Government said it would respect the President’s proposal and go along with feeding pupils in primary 4 to 6 in the state.

Special Adviser to the Governor Abiola Ajimobi on Communication and Strategy, Mr. Yomi Layinka, told one of our correspondents that the state government was already working out modalities to ensure the success of the project. He added that the state was working with the office of the Vice-President to ensure its success.

Few weeks ago, a three-day stakeholders’ meeting on Oyo State Home Grown School Feeding Programme, was held, where the state Governor Abiola Ajimobi, said the Federal Government’s decision to revive the school feeding programme was a demonstration of its commitment to tackling the problem of malnutrition among school-age children.

According to the governor, the programme was a collaborative effort between the state government and the FG with support from Partnership for Child Development.

However, a senior government source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the state government could not afford to participate in the scheme yet as it still owed many of its workers December 2015 salary.

“The truth is that the state government cannot afford it now,” the source said. “Workers in all secondary schools in the state, teaching and non-teaching, are still being owed their December 2015 salaries and do not know when they will get paid for the work they have done for this year at all. How can such a state afford to feed primary school pupils?”

Oyo got about N2.2bn allocation for April while its wage bill runs to about N5.6bn monthly.

The Consultant on Information to the Osun State Government, Mr. Sunday Akere, said the state had been feeding pupils in its public elementary schools since Governor Rauf Aregbesola came into office.

He said the school feeding programme was inherited by the administration and the scope was extended to enable more pupils to benefit from it.

He, however, said that the state would be relieved if the Federal Government takes over the feeding of pupils from classes one to four.

Akere said the school feeding which cost the government N3.8bn annually had boosted agriculture in the state because the food was sourced from local farmers.

He said, “This administration has been feeding pupils in elementary schools since inception. We provide free meal for all pupils from class one to class four.

“I don’t think the administration has any plan to feed those in middle schools. But if the Federal Government takes over the feeding of pupils in elementary schools then it will free more money to be used for development projects.

“We spent N3.8bn yearly to feed the pupils and this has led to increase in school enrolment. We have received commendations from everywhere on this and despite the financial challenge, the governor did not think of stopping it because it impacts the lives of the majority of the people of the state.”
Page 6
The state, which has had to slash its workers’ salaries by at least half, received about N131.5m for April from the Federation account.

Aregbesola, while sharing his state’s experience during the inauguration by the VP, said the Osun State Government currently “feeds 252, 793 pupils daily.”

He said his government engaged the services of 3,007 vendors for that purpose.

El-Rufai also disclosed that “the Kaduna State Government feeds 1.5 million pupils daily.”

He also said the scheme had made school enrolment in primary schools to rise by 64 per cent.

The six aspects of the social intervention programme of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government are the Teach Nigeria Scheme; the Youth Employment Agency; Conditional Cash Transfer; Micro Credit Scheme; Home Grown School Feeding; and Free Education Scheme for Science Students.

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, on Thursday, inaugurated the Federal Government’s national Home-Grown School Feeding programme at the old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, recently said that part of the N500bn approved for special intervention to lift millions of Nigerians out of poverty would cater for the Federal Government’s school feeding programme for Primary 1 to 3 pupils.

He said the expectation of the Federal Government was that the state governments would cater for pupils in Primary 4 to 6.

The Federal Government had said that N93.1bn had been appropriated for the first phase of the scheme to take care of 5.5 million pupils in 18 states from three geopolitical zones.

Meanwhile, statistics from the new Road map for Nigerian Education Sector shows that there were 54,434 public primary schools in the country based on figures adapted from the 2006 National Personnel Audit of the sector.

Also according to the road map, there were 24,422,918 pupils in all the primary schools in Nigeria.

Though efforts to get the current number of primary school pupils in the country from the Federal Ministry of Education, Abuja, proved abortive, experts said the number must have increased.
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