500 emergency volunteers to tackle disasters in Lagos

At least, 500 Emergency Management Volunteers, EMVs, are to complement the efforts of the Lagos State Government in battling environmental disasters in the state.

The EMVs began a two-day training on Monday at the Lagos State Relief Camp, Igando, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria to prepare them for the work ahead. The volunteers are drawn from 57 Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas, LCDAs of the state.

Commissioner for Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Relations, Seye Oladejo flagged off the training on Monday, saying that the volunteers were being trained to effectively manage disaster such as fire, flooding, collapsed building, automobile, boat or air crash, among others.

He said timely response was crucial to their management and the extent of damaged caused.

“As a result, there has been remarkable improvement in the management of disaster and emergencies as demonstrated by various occurrences recorded recently in different parts of the state. The LASEMA Response Unit and the sophisticated equipment such as tow trucks, crane, fire trucks, ICU ambulances, forklifts etc., which most times are dispatched to various emergency intervention such as fallen tanker/containers, automobile accident, and removal of stationary vehicles especially at night has tremendously reduced as well as mitigate emergencies that would have claimed lives in the State,” he said.

The commissioner stated that the current administration had continued to invest in disaster and emergency management infrastructure, saying this was not only to safeguard the multi-billion naira investments that dotted thee state’s landscape, but that the effort was part of the strategies to make the state investment friendly and boost the confidence of thee investors in the state.

“It is very important to note here that emergency/disaster management requires adequate, proper training and professionalism, this is important because minor injuries, if not properly attended to by competent hands could lead to complications, or rescuers without proper training could turn into victims.

“It is therefore believed that the engagement of these volunteers and capacity building as emergency responders will enable us have thee advantage of local knowledge of emergency scenes and the ability of our responders to be properly guided in their rescue efforts as well as improve prompt and adequate response during emergency/disaster, thereby improving the response time as well as reduce disaster risks at the community level,” he stated.

Oladejo solicited the support of all in making the state a safe haven for people living and doing business in the state.

General Manager, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, Adesina Tiamiyu, said the emergency management volunteers was primarily conceived to reduce and manage disaster risk through capacity building of local inhabitants of the state, saying the volunteers could also help other residents in their areas to save more lives and properties in the state.

“The whole idea is to bring emergency management to the communities, in realization of the fact that it is the communities that bear the real brunt of the emergencies and disasters. Based on this realization, it is only wise that a solid foundation should be laid for effective emergency/disaster management at the community level and also ensures that our communities and the grassroots people become sufficiently equipped, sensitized and enlightened on issues of emergencies/disasters prevention, response and management,” he said.

According to him, “Lagos State as a mega city, with high population density and peculiar topography, as well as high concentration of industries, has become vulnerable to many types of disaster, especially the man-made ones, like collapsed building and automobile/tanker accidents with accompanying fire and loss of lives and properties.”

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Kwara govt to reorganize markets

Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State

The Kwara Government said it would open new markets and re-organise existing ones in the state to create specific commodity-based markets.

Alhaji Mohammed Rifun, the state’s Commissioner for Commerce and Cooperatives, said the plan would create competition of various commodities and services and decongest the already existing markets across Ilorin, the state capital.

Rifun listed the proposed markets to include the motor spare parts market on Oke Oyi-Share road, motor dealers on Okolowo road, abattoir at Sobi road, while the mechanic village would be located on Airport- Eyekonrin road.

“Presently the state has concluded plans to establish a motor dealers’ market, spare parts market, mechanic village and abattoir, among others.

“We are going to arrange the various markets so that customers can easily identify where to get particular goods and services,” he said.

He stated that the ministry would soon consult various market associations to fine-tune the arrangement.

Catholic sister blames sex scandal on failed parenting

The National Coordinator of the Association for Universal Moral Education Nigeria, Rev. Sis. Therese Nwodo, has blamed failed parenting for the alleged sex scandal involving a beauty queen in Anambra.

Addressing newsmen in Awka on Monday ahead of the second annual conference of the association billed for Abuja from Nov. 1 to Nov. 4, Nwodo described the development as unfortunate.

She said that such behaviours signaled social malfunctioning where morals and values were no longer strong due to failed parenting.

She said that poor family orientation made youths susceptible to societal and peer influence and called for a stronger relationship between the family and the child.

The Catholic sister called on the Nigerian public not to traumatise the beauty queen the more by dramatising her situation but to offer her psychological and spiritual succour to overcome the crisis.

“The lesbianism story about the beauty queen is unfortunate; it is symptomatic of what is going on in the society now. Our values have gone down; parents are no longer available to teach their children what is socially acceptable.

“Whatever the case, whether she was lured or coerced, if the values were there she should have had the character to say no but because society itself rewards such act, she fell for it, so we must look at our value system again.

“But this is not the time for a blame game. Somebody is now traumatised and we should make effort to bring her back into the society to become a normal human again,” she said.

Nwodo said the conference with the theme “Gardening the Mind as a Way Toward National Unity” would address some of the moral issues facing the society.

She said the conference would dwell largely on corruption, violence, sexual immorality and other forms of moral decadence.

The reigning queen was allegedly involved in lesbian acts following video clips which have gone viral on the internet.

Army, police plan joint operation in crisis areas

The Nigerian Army and the Police are planning joint operations in crisis areas such as the North East, the Niger Delta, the North West and others.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, said effective synergy between the Army and the police would ensure enhanced security in the country.

Buratai made the comment when he led the leadership of the Army to pay a courtesy call on the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Idris Ibrahim, in Abuja on Monday.

He said the Army was involved in internal security operations in all the states of the federation in pursuit of the responsibility of the police to have a peaceful society.

He said, “I know the Nigerian Army and the Nigerian police have been working together for a very long time. And once we are together, I want to say that we are going to have a very secure and indeed a very peaceful country.

“We have been performing internal security operations, virtually, in all the states.

“And we really need to come together and synergise more than ever before at this very trying period especially during the series of communal crisis, the issue in the Niger Delta and indeed the North East and the farmers-herdsmen clashes in the North West.”

Buratai called for inclusion of policemen in some of the special military operations in some parts of the country where the services of the police were needed for the success of the operation.

Speaking also, the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, said the idea of a joint operation was important as it would enhance relationship between the services.

He said the police authorities were making efforts to reopen the police training facility in Gwoza, Borno State, which was vandalised by the insurgents.

He commended the Army Chief for doing “a great job in the North East.”

USAID partners with Cross River on maternal health

Saving Mothers, Giving Life Initiative has concluded a week-long, global team-building meeting sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development in Calabar, Cross River State.

The five-year, $18m US government initiative is a public-private partnership that addresses the three primary delays associated with maternal and newborn health: the delay in seeking services, the delay in reaching care, and the delay in receiving high-quality care at a health facility.

In 2014, Nigeria became the third country to adopt the initiative after successes were reported by the programme in Uganda and Zambia.

The meeting, organised by the Cross River State government in partnership with USAID, brought together national and regional partners and key stakeholders to share updates on the progress of activities in Uganda and Zambia and guide inputs on expansion in Nigeria.

The US Consul General, John Bray, USAID acting Mission Director, Aler Grubbs, and the Governor of Cross River State, Benedict Ayade, participated in the opening ceremony.

According to a statement issued by the US embassy in Nigeria, the SMGL team members worked together to provide solutions to problems, share lessons learned, and lay the groundwork for increased collaboration and technical assistance.

“Health challenges in Nigeria are not always a result of limited access to facilities, but access to enough skilled professionals and quality services within those facilities.

“Saving Mothers, Giving Life Initiative is helping to reduce both maternal and neonatal mortality. We will continue to support and encourage the Cross River State Government in its efforts as we look to expanding the programme into other areas in Nigeria,” Bray said.

The statement added that a woman dying from pregnancy and childbirth-related complications is a major challenge in Africa and reducing maternal mortality has become a global priority.

“In Nigeria, the probability of a maternal death occurring is one to 13. In partnership with host countries and non-governmental organisations, the US government has been working to not only reduce, but also end preventable maternal and newborn deaths globally,” it said.

Kidnapping: Bauchi, Jigawa govs seek Buhari’s help

Bauchi State Governor, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar, and his Jigawa State counterpart, Alhaji Badaru Abubakar, on Monday sought Federal Government’s help in tackling the spate of insecurity in the two states.

They made the appeal during a meeting they held with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

In an interview with State House correspondents, the two governors said they were concerned about increasing cases of kidnapping as well as insurgency in their states.

The Bauchi State Governor said although the military had been working in the affected areas, the efforts needed to be coordinated by the two states.

He said, “We have come to confer with Mr. President but as you can see, I am here with the governor of Jigawa. As you know, we share a border with Jigawa, we have come to discuss some security concerns with the President to solicit for his support for us to effectively ensure security in the two states. This is basically what we have come to discuss.

“We are concerned that the spate of kidnapping is increasing and anything that will touch on the security of our states is a matter of grave concern to us.

“That is why we have rushed here before it becomes endemic and we have conferred with the President and we have his support.

“The military  is conducting exercise in the area but what the excercise lacked before is coordination between the two states. So, there is a need for us to cordinate and for us to do that,  we require the seal of the Commander-in-Chief.”

Jigawa State Governor said since the two states had been fighting insecurity individually for long, they had decided to wage the war collectively.

“We have been fighting insurgency and criminal elements in our individual states but we believe we need a coordinated fight between Bauchi and Jigawa to finally drag them out of the forest and finally put rest to the problem there. The President is willing to assist us and certainly we will see some actions,” he said.

Ex-minister, Daukoru bags Mandela leadership award

A former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Edmund Daukoru, has been awarded with the prestigious Nelson Mandela Pan-African Exemplary Leadership Award 2016.

The award was bestowed upon Daukoru, the Amanayabo (His Royal Majesty) of Nembe Kingdom in Bayelsa State, by youths from 25 African countries comprising Nigeria, Mali, Ghana, Togo, Republic of Benin, among others.

The award ceremony, which took place at King Koko Square in Nembe, witnessed a large crowd of dignitaries, well wishers and subjects of the Mingi D Xii.

The youths, under the aegis of African Youth Global Network, based in Ghana, said Daukoru was carefully selected for the award having met the criteria through his excellent public service and leadership acumen.

The Country Representative of AYGN, Mr. Paul Kekeh, said  the honour given to the septuagenarian was to promote excellence by encouraging individuals, institutions, organisations and public office holders in various human endeavours.

Kekeh also said it was an award for leaders with overwhelming records across the African continent who had distinguished themselves convincingly through quality services to humanity in the country and the continent.

In similar vein, Daukoru also received an honorary Ph.D award from ISFOP Benin University, Republic of Benin.

The President/Vice-Chancellor of ISFOP Benin University, Prof. Marius Dakpogan, said the conferment of the Honoris Causa was due to the monarch’s outstanding leadership in the field of education and humanity.

In his response, Daukoru said he was humbled by the two  prestigeous awards coming almost at the same time, noting that they would only spur him to do more for humanity.

He urged leaders across the continent to always place premium on the youth, saying that ignoring the youth would spell doom for the future.

King Daukoru, who doubles as the Chairman of South-South Traditional Rulers Council, said he was elated that youths, who were always more critical of the elders, decided to honour him.

“It is humbling that the youth, who are quite more critical of elders are honouring me today.

I will continue to be one of you and to work for the welfare of you. To ignore the youth is to say bye-bye to our future,” he said.

In their separate speeches, former military administrator of Delta and Ebonyi states, Walter Feghabor,  and former Commissioner for Information in Bayelsa, Chief Nathan Egba, both of whom are members of Nembe Council of Chiefs, said they were proud to have Daukoru as their King.

They extolled the virtues of the monarch, saying that he (Duakoru) had promoted the Nembe Kingdom beyond Nigeria and Africa.