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    Environmentalist tasks oil firms on onshore pollution cleaning
    By Nathan Nwakamma

    An environmentalist, Dr Nnimmo Bassey, has urged oil firms in the Niger Delta to clean up polluted onshore sites before moving their activities offshore.

    Bassey made the call in Yenegoa, on Friday at an oilfield dialogue with the theme, Building Community Resilience against Fossils Extraction.

    The event which was organsied by Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) for oil communities in Bayelsa was held at the banks of Taylor Creek, Agbia, Yenagoa.

    The environmentalist noted that the Niger Delta region enjoyed clean and natural environment before the discovery of oil about 60 years ago.

    He said oil firms gradual shift to offshore posed greater danger to the fishing vocation of people.

    Bassey said Niger Deltas rich biodiversity with freshwater and marine ecosystems such as rivers, lakes, streams and creeks had become more threatened.

    According to him, no fewer than six million persons may be pushed out of their fishing occupation due to the activities of the oil firms in the region.

    It is of national interest to protect the artisanal fishing industry. It is, however, regrettable that most fresh water bodies have been lost to oil pollution, he said.

    Bassey further expressed worries that many international oil firms were already divesting from their onshore assets and moving their operations offshore.

    Their claim is that the Niger Delta no longer suits their business model. They are trying to avoid responsibilities arising from their environmental misbehaviour.

    They are leaving after sucking the region dry and destroying the environment, if this pollution is replicated offshore, the impact will be very tragic, he said.

    Also speaking at the event, Mrs Alas Talani, described the damage on the freshwater bodies as colossal.

    I started fishing at the Taylor Creeks as a young girl, I got married and continued fishing with my husband, we used to have bountiful catches.

    Fishing was rewarding before the oil pipelines were laid, all one needed was to throw the net and tie it across, a few hours later you have a full net.

    Things have changed, as the oil leaks continued, fishing activities here at Taylor Creeks produced little or no catch, we are endangered, Talani said.

    Also speaking, Chief Washington Odoyibo, a community leader and fisherman, accused oil firms of indulging in unfriendly environmental practices.

    Oil spills have rendered us unproductive, the pollutions from oil exploration and production did not also spare our farmlands, Odoyibo said.

    In her contribution, Chief Ayibakoro Warder, a woman leader, commended HOMEF for organising the dialogue, describing it as well intended.

    We commend you for organsing this event, it has educated us on how to deal with the environmental challenges that have been affecting us for a long time.

    The call for the cleanup of polluted sites on the land and the need for stiffer penalties to conserve the environment is in order, Warder said. (NAN)

    Source: NAN News

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    Bingham University matriculates 1, 376 for 2020/2021 Academic Session
    By Naomi Sharang

    Bingham University, Karu, Nasarawa State on Friday matriculated 1, 376 students for the 2020/2021 Academic Session.

    The Vice-Chancellor of the Institute, Prof. William Qurix, who administered the Oath of Matriculation on the students, noted that the event was the 16th since the inception of the school.

    Qurix said that a total of 2, 364 candidates applied to the university to study various courses out of which 1, 376 were granted admission.

    In the same vein, today (Friday) also marks the matriculation of 387 of our postgraduate students into various postgraduate programmes offered by the university, he said

    He said that since the commencement of academic activities in 2006, the university had maintained a steady academic calendar and continued to churn out high-quality graduates into the nation and world labour market.

    The vice-chancellor said that the institution currently operated 64 academic programmes with 46 established in the last three years.

    On the rate of insecurity in the country, Qurix called on the Federal Government to pay special attention to schools to curb the menace of kidnappings.

    We pray that they will pay special attention to schools to enable normal academic life to continue.

    Security measures are not measures you tout around in the open. We are conscious of the happenings around society. We are also doing our best to secure the students, he said.

    In a paper presentation, Prof. Raymond Bako, Faculty of Education, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria urged the students to reflect on their lives and make a renewed commitment to serve God and make the right decisions that would make them succeed in life.

    He spoke on the topic Balancing your academic, social and spiritual life on campus.

    Bako also called on the students to shun all social vices including sexual immortality and get-rich-quick activities.

    One of the students, Tuta Joseph, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) appreciated God for leading him through primary, secondary and now university.

    At 17 years, I feel honoured. Its a great privilege to be in Bingham University, he said. (NAN)

    Source: NAN News

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    Sultan, shariah council want solution to indigene, settler crisis
    By Jessica Onyegbula

    Some prominent Nigerians attending a Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) organised symposium in Abuja have called for the resolution of the recurring indigene-settler crisis in the country, while reiterating that the unity of the nation was non-negotiable.

    They made the call on Friday, at a two-day symposium jointly organised with the Supreme Council for Shariah in Nigeria (SCSN) and Jamaatu Nasril Islam (JNI), under the theme: Threat to the unity of the Ummah and the future of Nigeria, citizenship and nationhood.

    The NSCIA President and Sultan of Sokoto, Dr. Muhammad Saad Abubakar III, represented by the Emir of Keffi, Nasarawa State, Alhaji Shehu Chindo Yamusa III, said that the unity and peace of the nation was important for its survival and the wellbeing of its citizens.

    All deliberations must be harmonised without bias. All conflicting factors must be addressed and resolved. We must contribute in such a way that it would be positive for the development of the country, he said.

    Visiting Associate Professor, Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Baze University, Abuja, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, spoke on The Nigerian Federation and the management of our diversity: A critical evaluation.

    Baba-Ahmed said that any responsible discussion on basic identity in Nigeria was bound to stumble around the irony that it is the one issue which today represents a major impediment to the nations progress beyond the precarious stage where it seemed to be stuck.

    Which is that, virtually none of Nigerians chose his faith, ethnicity or region, is also the basis of much of the most damaging conflicts in which the citizens are engaged.

    Violence and threats remind us that our politics have failed to engineer a citizen, and leaders who benefitted from exploiting identity politics are incapable of containing its expanding influence.

    Indeed, they are riding harder on our weak points, and they leave many of us to wonder how they plan to govern a wrecked country, assuming that they even manage to keep the country together enough to have elections in 2023, he said.

    Elder statesman and the candidate of the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC) in the annulled June 12, 1993 presidential election, Alhaji Bashir Tofa, urged Nigerians to elect the right people in forthcoming elections.

    Tofa, who was the chairman of the event, said, We have polluted ambitions, you know the ordinary Nigerian wants to live a life quietly and pursue their daily bread.

    But politicians and elites are the problems of the country. We have to realise that and do something about it. Next time, elect the right people, he said. (NAN)

    Source: NAN News

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    Pinnicks position in FIFA beneficial for Nigerias football devt  Buhari
    By Ismaila Chafe

    President Muhamamdu Buhari says membership of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President Amaju Pinnick into the FIFA Council will provide benefits that will lead to the advancement of football in Africa.

    The president stated this on Friday in Abuja, when he had an audience with the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare and Pinnick, at the State House.

    He, once again, congratulated the NFF boss on his election victory into the strategic body that sets the vision for global football, assuring him of Nigerias support in his new position.

    The position on the Council of the worlds football governing body, FIFA, comes at a time when Nigeria is determined to turn the fortunes of her sports development around through better infrastructure, more investment both public and private government incentives.

    Without prejudice to the continental nature of your assignment at the Council, I urge you to use your position to ensure Nigerias sporting image receives a boost.

    I know this position will assist Nigeria get technical and financial support from FIFA; and your position should create a platform for other Nigerians to enter into the FIFA family and other international Sports Federations, he said.

    While emphasising his belief in the potential of sports to promote peace, unity, enhance good health and stimulate the economy, Buhari said: One of the greatest sports is football and Nigeria is a great football nation.

    I am myself a keen follower of football.

    On his vision for Nigerian football, the President told the minister and the NFF President:

    I want to see Nigerias football develop and move in a more dynamic trajectory from football administration to youth and grassroots football, talent hunt and use of Nigerias home based talents.

    Nigeria also needs a more privatized and better organised football regime that can rival others in Europe and America, he said.

    The president, therefore, urged the NFF to work with the Sport ministry and football stakeholders to provide Nigeria with a 10-year Football Master Plan that would ensure youth football development, in line with FIFAs commitment.

    He urged corporate organisations to invest in sports development, and pledged his administrations commitment to turn sports into business.

    He added that the expected reviewed Sport Industry Policy will be the catalyst that turns football activities associated with it into key contributors to the national economy.

    In his remarks, Dare thanked the President for his support for sports development in the country, and for approving the reclassification of sports as business, instead of mere recreation.

    He promised that a new draft policy on the sports industry was almost ready, as well as a 10-year master plan for football at all levels.

    The new FIFA Council member, Pinnick, equally lauded President Buhari for his support for football, saying: without you, I couldnt have won election into the FIFA Council. Your name is highly respected across the continent.

    Pinnick pledged to be a worthy Ambassador of the country, adding I will use the office to build Nigerian football, in conjunction with the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.

    He was on March 12, elected into the FIFA Council after a landslide victory, defeating Malawian FA President Walter Nyamilandu by 43 votes to eight at the CAF General Assembly held in Rabat, Morocco.

    He becomes the third Nigerian elected into the prestigious council after Oyo Orok Oyo (1980-1988) and Amos Adamu (2006-2010). (NAN)

    Source: NAN News

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    FIFA Referee urges youths to be focused, dedicated to goals in life
    By Stanley Nwanosike

    A Nigerian-born FIFA Badge Football Referee, Ndidi Madu, on Friday urged Nigerian youths to be focused and dedicated to the pursuit of their goals in life.

    Madu gave the advice when she paid a courtesy call on CSP Ebere Amaraizu, National Coordinator of Police Campaign Against Cultism and Other Vices (POCACOV) at the POCACOV Resource Centre in Enugu.

    According to her, hard work, dedication, discipline, focus and defining your goals early in life have a lot to do for one to be a champion in his or her field of endeavour.

    Madu, who is a POCACOV Ambassador, urged youths to shun cultism, substance and drug abuse as well as other negative tendencies that usually derail them from remaining focused and making it as champions.

    Becoming a champion has a lot to do with adequate discipline, dedication and focus.

    As a person, you must marshal out and define your goals in life and pursue them with the right mindset to become a champion, she said.

    Madu, who recounted her sojourn into the football referee duties as an athlete, said that today, her exploits had made Nigeria and indeed African proud.

    She urged all to join hands with the Nigeria Police through POCACOV to stand against cultism and other vices in the country for strategic leadership direction and self-discovery for youths.

    This is a nice programme by the Nigeria Police Force for the youths and we need to fully support it, she added.

    Responding, Amaraizu, who also doubles as the South-East Director of Nigeria National League One, appreciatedMadu for her hard work and dedication which had taken her to the FIFA level.

    He encouraged her to maintain the tempo as it is not easy to get to the top and to remain there.

    The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Madu is an Enugu-based female referee of the Nigerian Football Referee Association that has made marks for Nigeria and Africa in football officiating hence her badging by FIFA.

    She has also been appointed by FIFA as a football referee to officiate at the up-coming Tokyo 2021 Olympic in Japan. (NAN)

    Source: NAN News

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    SWAN North Central congratulates new FCT chapter exco, as NAN staff emerges Fin. Sec.
    By Emmanuel Afonne

    The North Central Zone of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), has congratulated the newly-elected executive members of the FCT chapter of the association for emerging victorious at its elective congress held on Friday in Abuja.

    The message was communicated in a statement jointly signed by the Zonal Vice President, Danmusa Mohammed, and Secretary, Abubakar Hassan.

    They applauded members of the FCT SWAN for the maturity exhibited throughout the process and for reelecting Ndubueze Chidoka and Ikenna Okonkwo as Chairman and Secretary respectively.

    The statement added that the reelection of the two Full Council members by Members of the chapter was an indication that they have performed well in their first tenure which paved the way for their emergence.

    The Leadership of the North Central zone of the Association called on the new executive members to carry all members along and to also intensify efforts to reach out to the aggrieved members of the association who were misled to bring them back on track, but with caution.

    It also urged members of the chapter to support the newly-elected officials to move the association to greater heights, as they can hardly achieve meaningful progress in the chapter without the support of all members.

    The statement also called on all stakeholders and partners of SWAN in FCT to give the FCT SWAN leadership every necessary support and cooperation that would enable them to succeed.

    It would be recalled that Ndubueze Chidoka, a sports manager with the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), was re-elected the chairman of Sports SWAN FCT chapter.

    The election which was supervised by the SWAN national body, led by Honour Sirawo, saw Chidoka defeating his opponent, Bumi Haruna of Nigeria Info, by 76-4 votes.

    Also reelected was an Online Editor with Blueprint Newspapers, Ikenna Okonkwo, who returned as the Secretary.

    Okonkwo polled 78 votes to defeat his rival Chris Onokpegu of The Hunters Magazine, who garnered only one vote, while Muhyideen Jimoh, a Sports Editor with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), emerged the Financial Secretary.

    Jimoh got 77 votes to beat Omo Unubun of Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) who picked three votes.

    For the post of Vice Chairman, Salifu Usman of the Leadership Newspapers secured 78 votes to defeat Maxwell Nwachukwu who secured only two votes, while Albert Akota of Peoples Daily polled 76 votes to snatch the Assistant Secretary seat from Remi Solula of the Cable.

    The Treasurer position went to Ayomide Makinde of the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) who defeated Uche Nwudoh of Kiss FM 75-4.

    Busayo Olowokere of the Nigeria Customs Broadcasting Network (NCBN) was elected unopposed with 80 votes to occupy the seat of Welfare Officer.

    The newly-elected executive members were immediately sworn-in for a three-year tenure.

    SWAN Vice President, South South, Bonny Nyong, Vice President North Central, Danmusa Mohammed, and Foster Chima, an ex officio, were the SWAN national officers who supervised the election.

    However, a faction of SWAN members that abandoned the electoral process, organised themselves at the secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), and elected Bumi Haruna as Chairman, while all the failed contestants at the other election were elected.

    NAN reports that the group, led by former Chairman of FCT SWAN, Kayode Adeniyi, protested the involvement of the Sirawo-led national SWAN leadership in the FCT election.

    They also claimed that the SWAN Electoral Committee (SWANECO), led by Ezeocha Nze, was not transparent in the conduct of the election. (NAN)

    Source: NAN News

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    Facebook suspends Trump for 2 years
    By Cecilia Ologunagba
    Facebook has suspended former U.S. President Donald Trump on Facebook and Instagram platforms for two years effective Jan. 7.

    Facebook, in a statement by Nick Clegg, Vice-President of Global Affairs, cited severe violation after Capitol Hill riots of January 6 and that Trumps accounts would only be reinstated if conditions permitted.

    Last month, the Oversight Board upheld Facebooks suspension of former U.S. President Donald Trumps Facebook and Instagram accounts following his praise for people engaged in violence at the Capitol on January 6.

    But in doing so, the board criticised the open-ended nature of the suspension, stating that it was not appropriate for Facebook to impose the indeterminate and standardless penalty of indefinite suspension.

    The board instructed us to review the decision and respond in a way that is clear and proportionate, and made a number of recommendations on how to improve our policies and processes, it said.

    We are today announcing new enforcement protocols to be applied in exceptional cases such as this, and we are confirming the time-bound penalty consistent with those protocols which we are applying to Mr. Trumps accounts.

    Given the gravity of the circumstances that led to Trumps suspension, we believe his actions constituted a severe violation of our rules which merit the highest penalty available under the new enforcement protocols, Facebook stated.

    We are suspending his accounts for two years, effective from the date of the initial suspension on January 7 this year.

    At the end of this period, we will look to experts to assess whether the risk to public safety has receded.

    We will evaluate external factors, including instances of violence, restrictions on peaceful assembly and other markers of civil unrest.

    Facebook stated that if the Oversight Board determined that there was still a serious risk to public safety, Facebook would extend the restriction for a set period of time and continue to re-evaluate until that risk had receded.

    When the suspension is eventually lifted, there will be a strict set of rapidly escalating sanctions that will be triggered if Trump commits further violations in future, up to and including permanent removal of his pages and accounts, it added.

    In establishing the two year sanction for severe violations, we considered the need for it to be long enough to allow a safe period of time after the acts of incitement, to be significant enough to be a deterrent to Mr. Trump and others from committing such severe violations in future, and to be proportionate to the gravity of the violation itself.

    We are grateful that the Oversight Board acknowledged that our original decision to suspend Trump was right and necessary, in the exceptional circumstances at the time.

    But we absolutely accept that we did not have enforcement protocols in place adequate to respond to such unusual events. Now that we have them, we hope and expect they will only be applicable in the rarest circumstances.(NAN)

    Source: NAN News

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    President Buhari extols late Gen. Dogonyaros virtues
    By Ismaila Chafe
    President Muhammadu Buhari has extolled the military qualities of late Lt.-Gen. Joshua Dogonyaro, a one-time Chief of Defence Staff, days after describing him as one of the finest soldiers the Nigerian Army has ever produced.

    Malam Garba Shehu, the Presidents spokesman in a statement, said Buhari made his feelings in a funeral oration read on his behalf by the Minister of Defence, retired Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi, at the burial ceremony of the late Dogonyaro in Lantang, Plateau, on Friday.

    Buhari said Dogonyaro was an icon of professionalism, bravery and discipline as amply demonstrated in the attributes he displayed in his national and international military assignments.

    The late general was a reference point for us and will remain a source of inspiration for several officers, serving and retired.

    He was a great son of Nigeria, widely known for his uncommon loyalty to his country, a virtue which at this critical period of nationhood, Nigeria needs from all of us.

    In a letter of condolence delivered by the Presidential delegation to Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau State, Buhari said:

    Laying down ones life for the country is one of the greatest sacrifices any citizen can make to his country.

    His (Dogonyaros) many contributions will be remembered for years to come.

    I pray that Almighty God will grant his family and the entire people of Plateau State the fortitude to bear the loss.

    Speaking on behalf of the family, one of the late Generals children, Ibrahim thanked the President for his love and care for the Dogonyaro family.

    Accompanying the Minister of Defence in the Presidents delegation were the Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen and the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu. (NAN)

    Source: NAN News

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    FG suspends Twitters operations in Nigeria

    By Rotimi Ijikanmi

    Twitter had removed a post by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari for violating its rules.

    The tweet referred to the 1967-70 Nigerian Civil War and to treating those misbehaving today in the language they will understand.

    It follows a recent spate of attacks on offices, mainly in the south-east, blamed on regional secessionists.

    Nigerias information minister called Twitters move unfair, labelling it double standards.

    This is the first time a tweet from the president was deleted.

    Buhari tweet on Tuesday reads:Many of those misbehaving today are too young to be aware of the destruction and loss of lives that occurred during the Nigerian Civil War.

    Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand.

    A Twitter spokesperson said the post was in violation of the Twitter Rules.

    The account owner will be required to delete the violative Tweet and spend 12 hours with their account in read-only mode.

    The statement gave no further details.

    The minister of information had said that Twitter may have its own rules; its not the universal rule, adding that if the president felt concerned about a situation, he is free to express such views.

    He said Twitter had not banned incitement tweets from other groups.(NAN)

    Source: NAN News

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    Sulaiman-Ibrahim assumes office as head refugees commission
    By Aderogba George
    Mrs Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim, former Director-General of National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), on Friday assumed office as the Federal-Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI).

    The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that her assumption of office followed the directive by President Muhammadu Buhari on May 27, that she should swap with the former head of NCFRMI, Sen. Basheer Mohammed.

    The President had in a statement issued by his spokesman, Mr Shehu Garba, approved the movement.

    The statement read: President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the swapping of positions by two heads of agencies under the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.

    This is to realise and sustain the governments abiding desire for effective and efficient service delivery in the two organisations.

    Sulaiman-Ibrahim, speaking while being received by management and other staff of the commission in Abuja, promised to compliment all efforts that had been put in place to move the commission forward.

    The Federal Commissioner also pledged to work as a team and family to achieve the goals of the commission.

    I will work in peace and harmony, equity and justice to achieve our mandate as a team and as individuals.

    My expectation is to compliment the efforts of those I met on the ground to ensure we strengthen our effort as commission, on behalf of the country.

    Expect equity and fairness from me, we will work with stability and we will double up effort, she said.

    Princess Gloria Akobundu, National Coordinator, New Partnership for Africas Development (NEPAD), who was at the event, described Sulaiman-Ibrahim as a good team player.

    Akobundu called on the management and staff of the organisation to play their role to make her stay successful.

    She also described the refugees commission as a friendship organisation, adding that her experience with it had been pleasant.

    Everybody must play their role, refugees commission is a strategic department, challenges must be identified promptly for us to solve, the Federal Commissioners stay will be a comfort for all of us, she said. (NAN)

    Source: NAN News

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