Igbo group displaying their culture
By Emmanuel Afonne
A pan-Igbo cultural organisation, Ekwe Igbo International, has launched a campaign for the promotion of Igbo language in private and public schools in the country, especially in the south-east.
President-General of the organisation, Chief Chinedu Onwudinjo, said this in Abuja on Sunday at an event to mark the groups 14th anniversary.
Onwudinjo said the organisation decided to embark on the campaign in schools as most parents no longer speak or teach their children Igbo language at home.
We are also calling for the sustainability of Igbo language in schools curriculum to encourage younger ones to speak it and to avoid it going into extinction, Onwudinjo said.
According to him, the group will be touring the five south-east states to engage with school authorities on how best to promote Igbo language amongst pupils and students in the zone.
With our effort, there will be change.
We were in Anambra two months ago and we met with the governor and we told him our mission which is the promotion of Igbo language in schools.
He assured us that learning the language will be a must in schools in the state, he said.
Onwudinjo, who blamed most parents for the gradual extinction of Igbo language, noted that the language was compulsory during their school days but wondered what had gone wrong in recent times.
It is unfortunate that most of our kids dont speak Igbo language, it is a shame for the parents.
We plead with parents to speak Igbo language to their kids the same way they speak English to them, whether in London or America.
It is a known fact that without speaking Igbo language, he or she cannot compete favourably with others in the south-east in different fields of endeavour, Onwudinjo added.
He used the opportunity to congratulate Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, the newly-appointed President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, and urged him to ensure that the rights of Igbo people were not trampled upon.
He also urged him to always stand on the truth and the unity of the country.
We urged him to hit the ground running immediately because there are plenty of works to do which were left undone before the demise of the late President-General, George Obiozor.
Also speaking, the Publicity Secretary of the group, Chief Ekenechukwu Aloefuna, said Ekwe Igbo International has members and branches worldwide but wanted to make an impact at home first before highlighting our achievements abroad.
Aloefuna said the group had been preaching oneness and peace just to help unite Nigerians after the 2023 general election that almost divided Nigerians among tribal and religious lines.
He also urged the youths to shun the attitude of getting rich quick through dubious ways and other social vices as the group would not hesitate to expose such people to law enforcement agents. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Vincent Obi
Source: NAN News
Otunba Segun Runsewe, Director General of National Council for Arts and Culture
By Emmanuel Afonne
The Director-General of National Council for Arts and Culture, Otunba Segun Runsewe, has commended the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) for playing leading role in enhancing peace and unity in the country.
Runsewe made the remarks in Abuja at a dinner to celebrate three fellows of the institute who were promoted to a higher level in their various field of endeavours.
The fellows included Wale Adeniyi, who was recently promoted to the rank of Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and Comrade Mohammed Ibrahim, newly elected as National Internal Auditor of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).
The other fellow, Osondu Ohaeri, was elevated to the position of Deputy Corps Marshal of Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC).
He said NIPR had promoted unity in the country through its various policies and activities.
The Institute puts the peaceful co-existence of the country at the forefront in all its activities and I urge similar professional organisations to borrow a leaf from NIPR in advancing the campaign for brotherliness in Nigeria.
Runsewe while congratulating the newly promoted fellows urged them not to relent in giving more in service to their fatherland.
Also speaking at the event, the President and Chairman of Governing Council of the NIPR, Malam Mukhtar Sirajo, attributed the exploits of promoted members to hardwork, dedication and commitment to principles of Public Relations.
The NIPR President urged the celebrants to remain good ambassadors of the institute and continually uphold dignity in their service to the nation.
Council Member representing the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) at the Institutes Governing Council, Dr Ike Neliaku, said it was crucial to recognise and celebrate their achievements in order to teach others the value of excellence.
Neliaku stated that a nation that thrives in excellence excels in success, emphasising that those who have demonstrated success in their endeavours should be celebrated while alive.
The celebrants who could not hold their joy expressed gratitude to the NIPR family, friends and associates for coming in their numbers to identify with them.
The event had in attendance, Senator-elect, Imo West Senatorial District, Mr Osita Izunaso; House of Representatives Member-elect (AMAC/Bwari, Federal Constituency, FCT), Mr Joshua Obike, and Chairman, United Nigeria Airlines, Prof. Obiora Okonkwo among others. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Vivian Ihechu
Source: NAN News
By Yahaya Isah
The Federal Government says it spends N1 million annually to cater for each of the inmates at the correctional facilities in the country.
Sola Fasure, the Media Adviser to the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, made this known in a statement on Saturday in Abuja.
According to the statement, the minister said this while inaugurating a 20-bed COVID-19 Crisis Intervention Fund Hospital and Equipment at the Maximum Security Custodial Centre, Port Harcourt.
The minister said that the project would be an enduring legacy and a testimony of the utmost importance the Federal Government had so far taken corrections, the welfare of inmates as well as the staff.
Aregbesola added that President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration had, to a large extent, addressed the problem of inmates contracting diseases in custodial centres.
The custodial centres were frighteningly centres for contracting diseases like scabies and tuberculosis, among others.
Happily, this has been addressed by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration and is now a thing of the past.
We not only have well-manned clinics and well stocked pharmacies, the inmates at the custodial centres now have access to excellent medical cares beyond the centres, he said.
The minister also decried the enormous challenges of running correctional services with huge demands for infrastructure, equipment and maintaining the welfare of inmates.
He, however, assured that the Federal Government had provided long term solution to the challenges.
This centre in Port Harcourt, with a capacity for 1,800 inmates, presently houses about 3,067 inmates. This is just a reflection of the situation in most urban custodial centres where we have congestion at the moment.
The facilities and even the personnel are overstretched, but we are coping and providing long term solutions to this challenge.
One of such solutions is the construction of mega 3,000-capacity custodial villages in six geo-political zones of the country. The one for the South-South is in Bori, not far from here in Rivers.
The ones for the North-West in Janguza, Kano and the North-Central, in Karshi, Abuja, are ready. Hopefully, we shall inaugurate the one in Kano in a few days, before our departure.
Even work is steadily going on in the others and has reached appreciable level.
Let me also reiterate that the Federal Government will stop feeding inmates incarcerated for breaching state laws. As you commence your budget process for next year, include feeding of your inmates, he said..
Aregbesola said that he had no doubt that the facility would go a long way in addressing the medical concerns of inmates and correctional service personnel.
The minister commended the management and staff of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) for working hard to keep the virus away.
He added that the new hospital was an intervention aimed at making robust healthcare for those in custody and the NCoS staff.
Aregbesola said that the beauty of all the interventions in consonance with other reforms in the NCoS would obviously translate to security, peace and tranquility in and around the centres and ultimately the entire country.(NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Dianabasi Effiong/Idris Abdulrahman
Source: NAN News
By Gami Tadanyigbe
Secure-D-Future International Initiative (SDF), an NGO, has advised Nigerians to embrace periodic mental health check-ups to help tackle the increasing suicide and depression rate in the country.
Mrs Saadatu Adamu, the Founder of the organisation, gave the advice during the second Abuja Counsellors Summit and Expo in Abuja, titled Assessment, Method and Application of Counselling.
Adamu said counselling was very important as it tends to focused on helping deviants in the society and tackles the increasing suicide and depression rate in the country.
According to her, mental health comes in any form and leads to depression, suicide and self-harm.
It is important for Nigerians to embrace mental check-up and engage in therapy.
Counselling is very important because counsellors work in rehabilitation centres, welfare offices, schools and hospitals in our communities.
If you hear the stories we get regularly from schools, you will know that there is a need to really have these professionals around us.
We hear stories of dysfunctional families, where children pick little things they see from other children and begin to act on them.
I believe that counselling is very important in every aspect of our life; parents and children needs counselling and we need to shun stigmatising mental health patients, she said.
However, she called on parents to develop a good channel of communication and relationships with their children to enable them know their mental health status for a better future.
The founder also said there were lots of mental health issues in the society, hence the need for government to come up with policies that could address same in the country.
The Chairperson, Summit Committee, Mrs Hasiya Adamu-Biu, said there was a need for every Nigerian to always consult a counsellor whenever they are faced with challenges.
Adamu-Biu maintained that there are issues in Nigeria that affect our mental state, that are temporary which could be addressed by visiting a mental health counsellor within us.
According to her, there is a new mental health and counsellors Act aimed at teaching the counsellors how to use their profession to help address mental health challenges in the country.
The Head of Department, Guidance and Counselling, FCT Education Research Centre (ERC) Laison Officer, Mr Yahaya Abdulawahab, said the summit was aimed at training counsellors to meet world best practices in the profession.
Abdulawahab said the government has developed an Occupational Interest Inventory in FCT schools, where counsellors use to admit and place students to their appropriate subjects. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Dorcas Jonah/Muhammad Suleiman Tola
Source: NAN News
Some of the returnees at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, on Saturday in Abuja
By Ruth Oketunde
The Federal Government has so far evacuated 2,371 Nigerians stranded in war-torn Sudan.
Dr Onimode Bandele, Director of Special Duties, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) gave the figure in Abuja on Saturday when 125 stranded Nigerians arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the batch was the 15th set of Nigerians the Federal Government airlifted back to the country.
They were airlifted from Port Sudan.
Bandele, who welcomed the returnees on behalf of the Federal Government, said there were no more stranded Nigerian women and children in Sudan.
He said arrangements were already made to airlift the remaining Nigerians stranded in Sudan who are mainly male, adding that another batch of evacuees would arrive later on Saturday.
Representatives of the Ministries of Humanitarian Affairs, Foreign Affairs, NEMA, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, among others were on ground to receive the returnees. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Yakubu Uba/Alli Hakeem
Source: NAN News
An Iranian journalist was shot dead in the countrys south-western province of Khuzestan, Tasnim news agency reported on Saturday.
Akbar Limuchi, the Chief Editor of the Tavsa-e-Jonob (Expansion of the South) newspaper, was killed by a gunman who entered a cafe in Izeh city and opened fire on him.
The attacker managed to flee after the shooting.
Police have launched an investigation to identify the culprit.
Attacks, the motives of which remain unclear, have increasingly been reported in the country in recent weeks.
In April, a senior police investigator and his wife, as well as a senior Iranian cleric, were killed in separate attacks.
In addition, two religious students were injured in a car-ramming incident.
Iran has been gripped by unrest since last autumn, following the death of an Iranian-Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini, in police custody for allegedly violating dress codes. (dpa/NAN)()
Edited by Halima Sheji/Ijeoma Popoola
Source: NAN News
Gov Nasir El-Rufai (middle in white), government officials and adolescent girls during the official inauguration of the Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment (AGILE) project in Kaduna on Friday
By Philip Yatai
The World Bank has commended the Kaduna State Government for taking ownership of its supported Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment (AGILE) project.
The Banks Country Director for Nigeria, Mr Shubham Chaudhuri, gave the commendation at the official inauguration of the project in Kaduna on Friday.
Chaudhuri, who was represented virtually by the banks Senior Education Specialist, Aisha Garba, also praised Gov. Nasir El-Rufai for the support to ensure the success of the project in the state.
Describing the project as a huge success in Kaduna State, Chaudhuri said that supporting women and girls in Nigeria was at the top of the World Bank agenda.
According to him, AGILE is one of the biggest projects in the bank with .2 billion.
This is to demonstrate the commitment of the bank to the development agenda of enhancing education opportunities and empowerment of young girls and women in Nigeria.
We appreciate the full cooperation and partnership of stakeholders, and we will continue to support the government of Kaduna state in achieving this important agenda.
Earlier, the National Project Coordinator, Hajiya Amina Haruna, explained that the AGILE project was the initiative of the Federal Government with funding support from the World Bank.
Haruna said that the project aimed to ensure adolescent girls access quality secondary education, through enhanced learning, digital literacy and life skills which empowered and assured better life chances and experience.
She said that the project, which disbursement began in February 2022, was being implemented in Kaduna, Katsina, Kano, Kebbi, Ekiti, Borno and Plateau states, adding that the project would be extended to other states soon.
The national project co-ordinator said that so far, Kaduna State made a giant stride towards the achievement of the project objective and commended the State Project Implementation Unit for the efforts.
She urged the relevant stakeholders to support the implementation of the project for the beneficiaries to reap the full benefits of the project.
Inaugurating the project, Gov. El-Rufai pointed out that the talents of girls were being wasted either by not educating them, getting them out of school, or subjecting them to early marriages.
He explained that his decision to appoint many women in his cabinet as deputy governor, commissioners and head of departments and agencies was not by accident.
According to him, the step was a deliberate effort to inspire young girls to be whoever they aspire to be.
He explained that the AGILE project was specifically designed to encourage and promote girl child education, which he equally described as one of the most successful World Bank financing projects in the state.
On her part, the Commissioner for Education, Hajiya Halima Lawal, said that the project has currently reduced gender disparity in secondary school to less than one per cent.
Lawal, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr Haliru Soba, added that the project had equally reduced the distance to the nearest secondary school to less than a kilometre.
She added that enrolment of girls in secondary school had equally improved due to the project.
A virtual presentation of the achievements recorded so far by the State Project Implementation Unit showed that a 779 classrooms were renovated in the state.
The report also indicated that 2,629 Water Sanitation and Hygiene facilities were constructed and rehabilitated in schools, 46,252 sets of furniture provided, while five schools have fully fenced and five currently ongoing.
It also showed that the project equally renovated Government Girls Secondary School Kawo, and renovation of Barewa College Zaria, is ongoing, while 155 new secondary schools will be built.
The project is establishing safe spaces across 142 schools with girls being trained in leadership, self- agency, nutrition, menstrual hygiene, safeguarding against gender-based violence, reproductive health and climate change and action.
Also, a total of 6,250 students are currently participating in the projects digital literacy programme while 35,575 girls have received scholarships.
AGILE project is also supporting 550 secondary schools with information and communication technology infrastructure and devices for the delivery of digital literacy, the report indicated.
The Project Coordinator in the state, Hajiya Maryam Dangaji, ascribed the successes recorded so far to teamwork, stakeholders collaboration, and the overwhelming support from Gov. El-Rufai and his Executive Council. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Idris Abdulrahman
Source: NAN News
By Olayinka Olawale
The Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) on Friday held its National Executive Council meeting in Lagos to discuss the Paris club refund and other critical issues affecting the association.
In his welcome address, Mr Alabi David, ALGONs President and Chairman, Bariga Local Government, said that the NEC was to take critical decisions on the report of the committee assigned to look into the issues.
According to him, those issues are the comprehensive primary health care centres built in local governments, and the intriguing legal matters particularly the pectoral of cases that confronts the association.
The committee for breast cancer case transaction will also have to present its findings and recommendations in the course of todays deliberation.
The status of the ALGON American hospital is also part of what we have to discuss today.
The issue that is also in the kitty that we also want to discuss is the Paris club refund and also our income from our investment infrastructure bank.
Among what we also have to discuss is the transition programme, he said.
The president charged members of the association to demonstrate affable astute disposition and the need to eschew violence, bitterness and bigotry in the country.
David said that the daunting task ahead required collective responsibility and cooperation to further intensity efforts in clamping down all manner of social vices which indeed had monumental consequences in our various communities.
You are welcome to this important meeting, the very first holding after the 2023 general elections
Significantly as it were in many ways and in spite of the precarious impliction and presumptuous instability occasion by the just concluded elections.
Let me retreat my special appreciation to you all in your obligation to ensure predictability and peaceful coexistence In our various communities within the grandiose of loving our neighbors as ourselves.
With nostalgic thought, however, I am not unmindful of our colleagues who had emotionally invested their time and resources in quest to strife to higher grounds in public service.
They were unfortunate in this by the unexpected circumstances of the elections.
On the other hand, I seize this opportunity with the utmost humility to convey my warm felicitation to our colleagues who were victorious by the will of God and the propensity to drive their thoughts for the betterment of Nigeria.
Hearty congratulations to those my colleagues that triumphed, he said.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mr Gidado Abdusalam, ALGON Chairman, Adamawa, said the meeting was to strategise and give reports on various states as well as discuss the outcome of the 2023 general elections.
According to him, the association is seeking very good working relation with all state governments in the incoming dispensation.
It is a routine activity as chief executive or security officer of our various local governments, we have an obligation to meet time to time to review issues.
Most especially the elections that was just held, there were some issues in some other states and the transiting programmes that are transiting to another government.
Hence we see the reason to come together and strategise and give report of our various state and local government.
We are always determined to make impact in our peoples lives as local government chairmen, grassroots mobilisers and grassroots politicians, in making good efforts particularly in terms of security and welfare, he said.
Also, Mr Isah Taifeeq, ALGON Chairman, Kogi, said that members of the association were at the meeting to discuss and dialogue on how to bring good dividends to the people.
He added that the association would maintain the perfect relationship with state governments and the incoming administration.
Speaking on local government autonomy, he said that with the coming of the president- elect, Sen. Bola Tinubu, Nigerians should expect very good governance.
Tinubu is a democratic, Nigerians should be expecting good governance from the president-elect, he said.
He commended the ALGON president for his leadership style while assuring him of continuous support.
ALGON has never had it so good, like this present regime, this is the best president this association has ever had.
He is a fantastic leader. We are giving him all the necessary support, Taifeeq said.
Edited by Folasade Adeniran
Source: NAN News
Chief Osita Chidoka and family members during the burial of their mother, Deaconess Nneka Chidoka in Obosi, Idemili Local Government Area (LGA) of Anambra
By Chimezie Anaso
Former Nigeria President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, led dignitaries who joined Chief Osita Chidoka to bury his late mother, Deaconess Nneka Chidoka in Obosi, Idemili Local Government Area (LGA) of Anambra on Friday.
Late Nneka died on April 3 in her Obosi home at the age of 75 years after a protracted battle with cancer.
Others who joined the Chidokas for the funeral were; Mr Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of Labour Party, Gov. Chukwuma Soludo, Senators Mike Ajaegbo and Anyim Pius Anyim and Uche Ekwunife.
In his homily, Most Revd. Henry Ndukuba, Primate of Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, reading from Rev. 21: 1-8, said the bereaved family should take solace in the fact that their matriarch lived a good life and gone to be with her maker.
Ndukuba, represented by Most Revd. Dr Ali Lamido, Dean Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion who celebrated the funeral service at St. Andrews Church, Obosi, said death was an inevitable end, as man would not live forever.
He said Christians did not need to fear death as God would come in due time to take away every burden of their lives and wipe away their tears.
Any life that is not lived with service to God, Church and humanity is a wasted life.
Mama served God and served the church, this is the kind of death people should strive to die, dying in the Lord Jesus Christ, he said.
The Primate prayed God to comfort the Chidoka family, especially their 96 years old patriarch, Ogbueshi Ben Chidoka, and charged them not to let the good legacies of their mother to die.
In a remark, Soludo commiserated with the family, the people of Obosi and Anambra in general for the death, which he described as painful but a celebration of life.
He welcomed visitors who came to Anambra for the condolence and commended the Anglican Diocese on the Niger for adhering to Anambra law on burial brochure by producing a standard funeral programme.
He urged youths to shun criminality and contribute positively to the growth of Anambra as no known criminal had been able to shoot his way up to 75 years of age.
In his message of appreciation, Osita, ex-minister of Aviation, said their deceased mother battled cancer for 15 years because she had a positive attitude.
He said the family of Chidoka was setting up the Nneka Chidoka Outreach as a mark of respect and in memory of their mother.
He said the Outreach would screen, treat and conduct surgeries on women with cancer free of charge.
Our mother meant everything to us, she is our refuge, she fought for us and defended us.
We want to tell people that cancer is not a death sentence, it is preventable, curable and need not kill any woman.
We are importing HPV vaccine for treatment of cancer patients, he said.
Osita who took time to recognise those who came to commiserate with them, said they would continue to contribute to the Anglican Church and the society.
Others were; Mrs Josephine Anenih, Chief Obiora Okonkwo, Managing Director of United Nigeria Airways, who was represented Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Mr Tony Nwoye, a Senator-elect among others. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Vincent Obi
Source: NAN News
Hajj 2023: NAHCON and Service Compact with Allahs Guests
A news analysis by Ismail Abdulaziz, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)
In a few days, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) will start the transportation of Nigerian intending pilgrims to the Holy lands of Makkah and Madinah in Saudi Arabia for the performance of the Hajj, the fifth pillar of Islam, mandatory on all adult Muslims with sound mind and financial capacity to perform, at least once in a lifetime.
No doubt, the services to be performed by NAHCON are both spiritual and temporal in the sense that it must abide by the Constitution of the country as well as meet the criteria of the faith. It is, however, a yearly spiritual programme carried out over the decades, except for the two years interruption because of the COVID-19 pandemic that gripped the world between 2020 to 2022.
The task before NAHCON is fulfilling the service agreement the Federal Government has with Nigerians as succinctly articulated in the SERVICOM charter, whether within or outside the country. SERVICOM is an acronym for Service Compact with all Nigerians. It was established in 2004 as the outcome of a Three-day Special Presidential Retreat on Service Delivery.
The most outstanding responsibilities of SERVICOM is to provide quality service to the people, set out the entitlement of the citizens, ensure good leadership, educate the citizens (customers) on their rights and to empower public officers to be alert to their responsibilities in providing improved, efficient, timely and transparent services.
However, educating the citizens (customers) to their rights is part of the various challenges encountered in the course of carrying out these responsibilities. Education is a way of reducing the communication gaps likely to lead to misunderstanding and friction during the course of providing services by government agencies directly or indirectly involved with citizens.
The NAHCON, over time has been a beneficiary of the religious aspects that does not allow for pilgrims to make unnecessary complaints or show contempt towards the efforts made by its personnel in handling pilgrims affairs, before, during and even after the pilgrimage. This does not, however, foreclose the fact that proper enlightenment must not be jeopardised on the altar of complacency.
It is noteworthy that the NAHCON has always had a robust media team in each of its yearly operations. The team has the mandate to liaise between the pilgrims and NAHCON officials. This had largely led to enhancing understanding between them before, during and after the exercise.
A large percentage of the challenges of Hajj can be attributed to flight schedules, take off time and returning dates, as well as feeding and accommodation arrangements in Madinah, Makkah and Mina. These duties are shared responsibilities between NAHCON and respective State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Boards.
The Hajj media team has been able to handle these challenges by taking to task relevant authorities on their responsibilities. This should be maintained by the team during the 2023 pilgrimage. The media should at all times serve as the watchdog of the society, and all hands must be on deck to ensure that the NAHCON media team plays this role effectively and efficiently. Nothing should be spared on this.
The 2023 Hajj operations must not be an exception to the rules. The tradition of having a robust media team in the exercise would continue to ensure that pilgrims have effective channels of communication between them and Hajj officials at both states and federal levels.
The media and government officials must therefore ensure that the guests of Allah are properly taken care of by those charged to provide services to them, and which the pilgrims have paid for. This should be done unreservedly to not only attain the boundless grace of Allah, but also satisfactorily deliver the service compact Government has with the pilgrims. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
**If used, please credit the writer and the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).