NYSC members urged to be patriotic, play active role in uniting Nigeria

National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members should remain patriotic, loyal and play active role in the pursuit of the common goal of a united, strong and indivisible nation.

Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State gave this charge at the orientation camp, Asaya, Kabba, at the closing ceremony of the 1,725 corps members deployed to the state for the 2017 batch ‘A’ stream 11.

Represented by the commissioner for youth and sports, Arome Adoji, Governor Bello advised the corps members to respond faithfully and selflessly to the clarion call to make positive impact in the project of nation building and integration.

The governor commended the corps members for their good conduct, resilience and focus throughout the period of training, saying it would open them up to fresh opportunities and challenges.

“I have no doubt that the orientation programme has prepared you adequately to play such noble roles to impact positively on the lives of the good people of Kogi State.

“It is our hope that the skills acquisition and entrepreneurship development programmes which the scheme has exposed you to will spur you towards self-employment.

“You should not be found treading the path of crime and corruption; indeed, we expect you to join the war against corruption. Let the change begin with you,” Bello advised.

The governor assured the corps members that his administration would create conducive environment to enable them render effective services to Kogi people.

Earlier, the state coordinator, Ngozi Nwatarali, urged the corps members to play role models to their host communities and make the people economically vibrant and self-sustained.

“The vision of NYSC is to develop a sound and result oriented organisation that is committed to its set objectives, particularly national unity, peace and development; a source of pride and fulfilment to its participating graduate youths.

“The clarity of this vision places the corps members and the scheme in a very unique position, which we strive to uphold. We build for the future,” Nwatarali said.

She urged them to excel and become the next generation of achievers and leaders who would be committed to selfless service to their host communities and nation at large.

Taofiq Isa, administrator of Ijumu Local Government Area, urged the corps members to be diligent, faithful, patriotic, and humble and support the government of the day, saying it required humility to serve the nation.

Isa, who doubles as the state’s ALGON chairman, revealed that the state governor had been very supportive to the corps members and the NYSC camp officials.

“Even, as a host administrator, I have been given them the necessary support; all the local government administrators in the state will ensure the safety of the corps members in our respective domain,” he said.

All the camp officials have been very inspiring and cooperative most especially the coordinator, I wish other states’ coordinators emulate what is happening in Kogi,” Isa said.

However, Tafiq Isa urged the corps members to be peaceful, friendly and cooperate with the people of their host communities and their leaders.

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Borno sets up boarding schools for children orphaned by Boko Haram

The Borno Government on Saturday said it had constructed two model boarding primary schools to enrol children orphaned by the Boko Haram insurgency.

The Commissioner of Education, Musa Kubo, told newsmen in Maiduguri that the school projects, located at Ngomeri-Barwee and 303 Housing estates in Maiduguri, had been completed.

“Foreseeing the problem of the orphans left behind by the Boko Haram insurgency, the state government embarked on the construction of boarding primary and junior secondary schools.

“The government is going to replicate the gesture in areas ravaged by Boko Haram insurgency,” he said.

Kubo disclosed that the government had constructed 16 classroom blocks in Maiduguri under its school integration programme, designed to integrate children and adult into a formal school system.

The commissioner added that the government had constructed various two-storey building schools with 30 classrooms each, to address congestion in primary and secondary schools.

Kubo said the structures were built at Government College Maiduguri, Government Girls College Maiduguri, and Yerwa Government Girls College.

Others were Government Day Secondary School, Zajeri; Junior Secondary Schools at Bulabulin, Ngomari and Bulunkutu.

Kubo explained that the state government spent over N200 million on the projects and provided e-learning facilities to other schools in Maiduguri, Kaga, Konduga and Jere local government councils.

He revealed that the government had also embarked on massive construction and rehabilitation of schools ravaged by the insurgents.

The commissioner added that 22 mega school projects were still ongoing in liberated communities, pointing out that each of the school was designed with a 2, 000 pupils capacity.

“All boarding schools which closed down for two years were re-opened and commenced operation for normal academic activities.

“This year, the state government is paying N278m for indigent students sitting for the National Examination Council and Senior School Examination Certificate”.

According to him, the state government in collaboration with UNICEF has conducted psychological training for teachers traumatized by the insurgency.

Kubo said the government would implement the State Education Programme Investment Project in partnership with World Bank, to enhance community participation in school management.

Over 15, 000 classroom blocks were destroyed by the Boko Haram insurgents in the 27 local government areas of the state.

Hundreds of students and teachers were also killed or abducted by the insurgents.

(NAN)

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FG constitutes committee on safe use of acid in foods

The Federal Government has set up a national technical committee to examine recent court judgment on the rejection of some soft drinks exported from Nigeria to the United Kingdom.

Head of Public Relations of Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Mr Bola Fashina, made this known in a statement in Abuja on Saturday.

A Lagos High Court had declared that National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) negligently failed Nigerian consumers by allowing manufacture and sale of soft drinks that were unfit for human consumption.

Although the Federal Government later declared that the products of the Nigerian Bottling Company were safe for human consumption, it encouraged bottling companies in Nigeria to insert advisory warnings on their products as necessary.

Fashina said that the committee was set up after a meeting of the Department of Food and Drug Services, Federal Ministry of Health; NAFDAC and SON.

He said that the terms of reference for the committee was to determine the safety of benzoic acid in foods and if its use in food could be replaced.

“The committee will ascertain if the level of benzoic acid in carbonated drinks can be further reduced below 250mg/kg in Nigeria and determine the frequency of monitoring of the safety levels of benzoic acid in foods.

“They will also give any other advice that the National Technical Committee may deem necessary,’’ Fashina said.

He said that members of the committee were drawn from the Department of Chemistry, University of Lagos, the Food and Drugs Section of the Ministry of Health, and SON.

Others members were from NAFDAC, Consumer Protection Council, Association of Food, Beverages and Tobacco Employers and representative of Civil Society Organisations.

Fashina said that the committee’s findings would form data for consideration in future review of the Nigerian Industrial Standards for carbonated drinks, which provided the benchmark for products’ quality in the country.

He added that the committee had two weeks to summit its report to the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole.

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Buhari arrives on board Nigeria Air Force One jet

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has returned from London on board Nigeria Air Force One jet, after spending more than 100 days receiving treatment.

The President who left Abuja on May 7, for the British capital to receive medical care arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International airport in Abuja on Saturday and walked briskly to the podium to receive the national salute.

Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, his Vice, who acted as president during his absence led the delegation that received Buhari at the crowded airport.

Others at the airport to receive him are service chiefs and members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), including some governors.

Senate President Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara were also at the airport.

He touched the ground at 4.30 pm to the waiting hands of a large crowd of supporters.

Dancers took to their feet to entertain the President.

Buhari is expected to speak to Nigerians in a broadcast by 7am (0600 GMT) on Monday, August 21.

In a telephone conversation relayed live by Channels TV, information minister Lai Mohammed explained that Buhari inspected the guard of honour and also walked to see the Fulani dancers.

The president’s prolonged absence in the country was causing tensions with some calling for him to resign or return.

The 74-year-old leader took his first medical leave in Britain in January this year, which lasted nearly two months. He returned in March saying he had “never been so ill”.

Last June, the president had been to London seeking treatment for what his office said was a persistent ear infection.

While in London, for his second medical leave, the president received many visitors including Mr Osinbajo, and the ruling party and opposition politicians. In most visits pictures were taken and shared with the media in an attempt to quell public anxiety over his health.

Others who visited the president include Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and renowned Nigerian pastor Enoch Adeboye of the Redeemed Christian Church of God.

The news of Mr Buhari’s return has elicited plenty of reaction on social media with some Nigerians thanking God for sparing the life of their president.

Others have castigated those who had been calling for his resignation.

Nigeria’s ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) welcomed President Buhari back home to Nigeria after his medical vacation to the United Kingdom.

In a statement by Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, the publicity secretary, the Party thanked the Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo for his competent leadership in the absence of President Buhari.

The party especially commends him for his effort to unite the country and drive the recovery of the national economy.

The APC also thanked all Nigerians who had prayed ceaselessly for the speedy recovery and safe return of the President, assuring them that the APC-led Federal Government is poised to fulfill all the electoral promises the Party made to Nigerians.

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Daura, Buhari’s home town in jubilation

Residents of Daura in Katsina State, are in an upbeat mood over reports of President Muhammadu Buhari’s return to Nigeria after his medical vacation abroad.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that those interviewed on Saturday expressed gratitude to Allah for the Presidents recovery and return to Nigeria.

Alhaji Salisu Haro, a civil servant, said the President’s return represents a ray of hope for the nation and prayed that Nigerians would support him to deliver quality leadership that would take the country to the next level.

He commended a section of the media for keeping Nigerians abreast of Buhari’s condition throughout his stay in London, adding that objective journalism would help to accelerate national development.

Alhaji Abdumanaf Daura, APC Northwest Organizing Secretary, described the report as encouraging, saying it has put all those spreading rumours of Buhari’s ill health and death to shame.

He berated those he called unpatriotic elements using the president’s ill health for politics and spread of baseless rumours, saying they should atone for their sins.

The politician thanked Nigerians for their resilience, prayers and understanding during the trying moments of the nation, stressing that Buhari was back into the country for good.

Nura Usman, a civil servant, expressed the hope that Buhari would continue with his reform agenda.

“We are solidly behind his crusade on corruption, insurgency and every other evil that derailed the progress of this nation.

“We have been praying for his well being and God has answered our prayers,” Usman said.

Alhaji Nura Habu, a local farmer, said the residents would organise prayers to celebrate the return of Buhari.

Mr Chukwu Emeka, a trader, danced on hearing the news, saying he had prayed fervently for the president’s recovery and return.

Emeka who has lived in Daura for over 20 years with his family, said God has put to shame those wishing to see the president dead.

Malam Musa Zango, an Imam, attributed the return of the president to God, “because of Buhari’s good intention to the nation.”

He pledged that the residents would organise special prayers to thank God and protect the President from all evil machinations as he as he steers the affairs of the nation.

(NAN)

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Sultan directs Muslims to watch out for new moon of Dhulhajj

The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, has urged Muslims to watch out for the new moon of Dhulhajj1438AH from Tuesday Aug. 22.

The Sultan said this in a statement issued by Prof. Sambo Junaidu, the Chairman, Advisory Committee on Religious Affairs, Sultanate Council, Sokoto on Saturday.

“This is to inform the Muslim Ummah that Tuesday August 22, which is equivalent to 29th day of Zulki’ida 1438AH, shall be the day to look for the new moon of Dhulhajj.

“Muslims are therefore requested to start looking for the new moon on Tuesday and report its sighting to the nearest district or village Head for onward communication to the Sultan,’’ he said.

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Ortom to Fulani Herdsmen: Don’t quit Benue; ranch your cattle

Apparently taken aback by a weird notice by a group in the state to Fulani herdsmen to quit the state with immediate effect, Benue State Governor, Dr. Samuel Ortom, has distanced himself from the notice and asked the herdsmen to ignore the order.

Rather than vacate the state, Ortom has asked the herdsmen to ranch their cattle and continue with their trade in the state as provided for under the state’s anti-grazing law recently assented by him.

The governor, who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, said the said quit notice was of no effect to the people of the state including the Fulani herdsmen.
The statement said, “The attention of Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has been drawn to the quit notice reportedly issued to herdsmen by the group called Middle Belt Renaissance Forum, and the Governor states categorically as follows:

“The Benue State Government distances itself and the people of the state from the quit notice., as it will not have any impact or effect in Benue State and it should be disregarded by all Benue people including Fulani herdsmen living in the state.

While directing the security agencies to urgently investigate the matter and apprehend those behind the quit notice, the governor pointed out that Benue State has enacted a law prohibiting open grazing to pave way for the establishment of ranches and the implementation of the law is scheduled to commence in November this year.

“The law however does not provide that herdsmen should leave Benue State. It rather encourages herdsmen and any other individual who wishes to rear livestock in the state to do so within ranches.

“Governor Ortom urges the people of the state to remain calm and go about their normal businesses as anyone found to be fomenting trouble on account of such a quit notice will be arrested and brought to justice.

He called on Nigerians to imbibe the spirit of coexistence as the constitution allows all nationals to reside anywhere in the country provided they don’t constitute threat to security.

The Governor also emphasized the need for Nigerians to shun hate speeches capable of plunging the nation into unnecessary crisis.

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