Senate Postpones Ministerial Screening Of Obanikoro, Others

sen obanokoroThe Senate in Nigeria at Wednesday’s Plenary, has set aside the screening of Senator Obanikoro and four other ministerial nominees till Tuesday March 10.

President Jonathan’s nomination of Senator Obanikoro for a Ministerial appointment, had angered some opposition lawmakers in the Senate who vowed to oppose his confirmation as a Minister.

It was not, however, clear if the postponement had anything to do with their resolve to oppose the confirmation.

Before the screening commenced on Wednesday, lawmakers were said to have gone for an indoor meeting for about two hours.

A source, who requested that he should not be named, told Channels Television that the issue discussed in the private meeting was the confirmation of one of the nominees, Senator Obanikoro.

Some lawmakers have kicked against the nomination of Senator Obanikoro for Ministerial appointment.

The source told Channels Television that APC lawmakers were reluctant to shift ground in confirming Senator Obanikoro as minister.

The APC caucus in the Senate had told journalists last week that they would reject the confirmation of Senator Obanikoro as Minister.

However, a PDP lawmaker, who demanded not to be mentioned also, said the APC had no cogent reason for refusing to confirm Senator Obanikoro, as he did not commit any crime neither has he been convicted by any court.

Four Ministerial nominees were , however, screened by the Senate.

Senator Patricia Akwashiki from Nasarawa State, Professor Nicholas Ada from benue, Rtd Colonel Augustine Akobundu from Abia State and Mr Fidelis Nwankwo from Ebonyi State were those screened.

The Senate postponed the screening of Senator Musiliu Obanikoro from Lagos, Mrs Hauwa’U Lawan from Jigawa, Mr Kenneth Kobani from Rivers and Senator Joel Ikenya from Taraba State.

Their screening is expected to hold on Tuesday March 10.

PDP Is The Party To Beat – Governors

PDPGovernors on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) say the ruling party remains the party to beat, as the 2015 elections draw closer.

Speaking after a meeting in Abuja, the Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, Governor Godswill Akpabio, said the governors reviewed the state of the PDP and were confident that the party remained the only national party in Nigeria.

The meeting had 14 state executives present with Governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido and his counterparts from Gombe, Delta, Ebonyi, Enugu, Benue and Ekiti noticeably absent.

The Akwa Ibom Governor, who explained the absence of the governors, blamed it on flight problems caused by bad weather.

Dame Patience Urges Women To Aspire For Leadership Positions

Patience JonathanNigeria’s First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan has urged Nigerian women to always aspire for leadership positions in order to contribute to the overall development of the country.

Dame Patience made the call in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital while launching the state chapter of her non-governmental organization, Women for Change and Development Initiative (W4CDI).

She also distributed empowerment materials and foodstuffs to womenfolk in the state.

She said gone are the days when women were believed not to have capabilities to hold higher posts or be saddled with higher responsibilities, adding that women appointees under President Jonathan have proved the cynics wrong.

Dame Patience who distributed bags of foodstuff and working materials like hair dryers and sewing machines to women across the 16 local governments of the state urged them to continue supporting the Jonathan administration for more dividends of democracy.

The wives of the governors of Kogi, Benue and Cross River also lauded the initiative of the wife of the president which they said has positively touched the lives of millions of women in the country.

NYSC Has Taken Adequate Measures To Protect Corps Members – Anthony Ani

Anthony_AniThe Director of Mobilisation of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Mr Anthony Ani, on Tuesday, allayed the fears of parents whose children have been deployed to various parts of the country for the compulsory service scheme.

“I assure all parents and prospective youth corps members that the NYSC has taken adequate measures to ensure that these camps are well protected and their lives are also protected.

“There are four states where we don’t have orientation going on; these are Borno, Yobe, Adamawa and Gombe, because of the security challenges that we are having in those parts of the nation”, he said on Sunrise Daily.

He, however, noted that the corps members who have been deployed to those areas are going to have their orientation at a later date outside those areas. “This is to ensure that we are in tune with what is happening,” he said, adding that security has been provided by all security agencies for all other camps across the country.

He added that those deployed to the security challenged areas would have their camps outside the states where they do not have security challenges. The camps will be in Nasarawa, Plateau, Benue and Niger States.

“For those deployed to Borno, they will be having their orientation in Keffi (Nasarawa). For those deployed to Gombe, they will be in Niger, while for those who have been deployed to Adamawa, they are to have their orientation at Benue and those deployed to Yobe will be in Plateau.

“These special orientation will run from November 26 to December 15,” he said.

Mr Ani further noted that corps members posted to those states have the choice to seek redeployment after the orientation to other locations in the country, although he maintained that “there is no cause for alarm” and that “the NYSC is very alert to it’s responsibility”.

He also said that the “NYSC will be teaching the corps members Martial Arts and have invited security experts to speak to them on security tips around all the camps”, adding that “as part of our training, by the time the corps members finish their service, instead of roaming about the streets looking for paid jobs, we will now make them entrepreneurs; so we have introduced a skill acquisition programme”.

He said every corps member is asked to choose a skill and during the orientation is exposed to this skill and the training continues after the orientation.

Police In Kogi State Parade Robbers

Nigeria policeKogi State police command has paraded seven suspects who committed various crimes, ranging from armed robbery, rape and possession of weeds suspected to be Indian hemp.

The state Acting Police Commissioner, Abiodun Odude, who paraded the suspects at the state police headquarters in Lokoja, said that all the suspects would be charged to court at the end of the investigation.

The suspects were said to be arrested at different locations in the state, and some of the items recovered from them were displayed by the police.

Mr odude,  told reporters that Femi Simon and Vincent Ogwuche were among the six robbers who robbed and raped the wife of one Mr Asema Titus of Ogugu centre in Olamaboro Local Government Area of Kogi State.

The police also paraded one Friday Abamba who they said was intercepted by the police special anti-robbery squad while on patrol with  a truck load of over 600 raps of weeds suspected to be indian hemp hidden under packs of tissue papers to deceive uniform men at any checkpoint.

The suspects, Vincent Ogwuche, 22 and Femi Simon, 20, owned up to the allegation, saying they were invited by their friends who never told them they were going for a robbery.

Vincent stated also that six of them carried out the operations, that four of the gang members were at large.

Friday Abamba, 38, from Abia State claimed he wasn’t the owner of the truck and that he was only assisting in driving his friend to Benue State who told him he was transporting electronics and tissues. He also said that had no knowledge of what was in the truck..

The Police has promised to apprehend in due course all others who were at large.

NYSC Announces Changes In Deployment To Safeguard Corps Members

Anthony AniThe Director of Mobilisation of the National Youth Service Corps, Anthony Ani, on Friday announced changes made by the agency to protect the lives of Corps members posted to the crisis-prone areas in the country.

During a conversation on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, he said; “The NYSC has taken precautionary measures to make sure that none of our corps members is affected in the security situation that is taking place in some parts of the country.”

Hence, the Youth Corps members posted to Borno State will have orientation programme in Nasarawa State, the official disclosed.

“Those deployed to Yobe will be having the orientation at FCT. Those that have been deployed to Adamawa will be having theirs in Niger State.” He added that a recent decision was also taken to ensure that corps members deployed to Bauchi have their orientation in Plateau State, while those deployed to Jigawa State move to Kaduna, and those deployed to Kano head to Kogi State.

Over 97,000 prospective Youth Corps members have been drafted for the orientation programme set to commence on August 5, but for Corps members who have been re-posted to the aforementioned States, the programme would commence on September 1, after which, those originally posted to those states would have completed their programme, on August 26.

According to him, all security agencies in the country have been informed about the changes and they had started monitoring all the camps.

Ani explained that changes have been made to “safeguard all prospective Corp members”. He added; “We want to avoid any incident that will result in the loss of life or any injury on our Corp members.”

He also stated that all Corps members would be adequately sensitized about security situations wherever they are and given the phone numbers of the DPOs, Commissioner of Police, and other agencies, in case of security threats.

Ani disclosed that the agency had set up a distress centre in Abuja and distress calls made to the centre would be connected to the nearest security agency. In addition, all security agencies have been told that Corps members’ lodges and other accommodations must be protected.

The host communities have also been sensitized to treat the Corps members as their relatives.

Nasarawa State Police Arrest Suspected Kidnappers

The Police in Nasarawa State have revealed plans by suspected kidnappers to set up a base in the state capital, Lafia.

The State Police Commissioner, Mr Ibrahim Idris, told a news conference in Nasarawa on Friday of the police’s effort in tackling the activities of criminals in the state. The Police paraded two siblings, Vincent and Onyeka Nwankwo, who are suspected kidnappers.

The Police Command also paraded 39 other robbery suspects for inter-state robbery between Benue and Nasarawa state up to the Federal Capital Territory and illegal possession of firearms.

Agency Warns Of Flooding In Yobe, Sokoto And Parts Of Niger Delta

nigeria_flood_victimsNigeria’s Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe, has presented the 2014 flood outlook for the country.

The Minister made the presentation during the annual flood outlook organised by the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

It was the second time the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency was issuing a flood outlook for the country, since it was established.

The Federal Government had established this agency in 2013, after twenty-seven states across the federation experienced severe flooding that killed over four hundred people and displaced about two million people in 2012.

The mandate of the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency was therefore to provide advance flood warnings, in other to prevent such disaster.

The agency, on Monday, announced that Sokoto, Yobe, Benue and parts of the Niger Delta basin were high flood risk areas for 2014.

Presenting the 2014 flooding forecast, the Minister urged Nigerians to take the forecast seriously and also called for inter-agency collaboration in other to be effective in preventing, controlling, and responding to cases of flood across the country.

While some officials at this event, like the MD, Lower Benue River Basin Development Agency, Roseline Chenge, suggested the evacuation of citizens from risk prone areas, Guest Lecturer at the event, Adebayo Adeloye, advised that putting necessary infrastructure in place was key.

Agency Warns Of Flooding In Yobe, Sokoto And Parts Of Niger Delta

nema_floodingNigeria’s Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe has presented the 2014 flood outlook for the country, which warns of impending floods in Yobe, Benue, Sokoto States and parts of the Niger Delta.

The minister who urged citizens in these areas to take the forecast seriously, made the revelation during a presentation organised by the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency in Abuja.

This is the second time the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency is issuing a flood outlook for the country, since it was established by the Federal Government in 2013.

The federal government had established the agency after  27 States across the federation  experienced severe flooding, that killed  over 400 and displaced  about two million people, in 2012.

The Agency was therefore established to provide advance flood warnings, in order to prevent such disasters.

The minister also called for inter-agency collaboration in order to be effective in preventing, controlling, and responding to cases of flood across the country.

Reps Mandate INEC To Extend Voter’s Registration By 7 Days

house_of_repsThe House of Representatives has directed the Independent National Electoral Commission to extend the duration for the continuous voter’s registration for another 7 days to enable all eligible voters register properly.

This was following a motion raised by a Lawmaker, Hassan Saleh, on tuesday, under matters of urgent national importance.

Mr Saleh said many persons, who had previously registered in different states, did not find their names in their registers at the points of collection.

Mr Saleh representing Ado/Okpokwu Federal Constituency of Benue State also noted that machines deployed for the exercise failed to work in many units making it impossible for many voters to meet up with the last extension of June 3 given by the electoral commission.

INEC Extends Voter Registration In 10 States By Two Days

inec_ogutaThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Nigeria has extended the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) taking place in 10 states by two days.

In a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman,  Kayode Robert Idowu, the commission said the extension was in view of the huge turnout of prospective registrants, and it is intended to give a fair chance to all eligible persons.

The exercise, which was originally scheduled to end on Sunday, June 1, will now run till June 3 in Taraba, Gombe, Zamfara, Kebbi, Benue, Kogi, Abia, Enugu, Akwa-Ibom and Bayelsa.

INEC called on eligible persons in the states that were yet to register as voters to use the opportunity of the extension to do so.

The Commission reiterated, however, that the CVR was for only persons who turned 18 years after the last registration, persons who were 18 years at the time but did not present themselves for registration and persons whose data were not adequately captured previously and for whom PVCs were not produced in the last distribution exercise.

It further clarified that the exercise was not for everyone, including people wishing to transfer their registration data from where they previously registered.

The commission warned that it would amount to double or multiple registration, which is an offence punishable under Nigerian law, for anyone who was duly registered previously to present himself/herself for registration during the CVR.


Fulani Herdsmen Seek Collaboration With Government To Tackle Menace

Fulani fightsFulani cattle herdsmen across the country have resolved to work closely with the Federal Government and other relevant authorities in finding solutions to the incessant cattle rustling and killings in the northern part of Nigeria, at the same time preaching message of peace in their localities.

The resolution was reached on Saturday after a meeting in Kaduna on Saturday.

Their resolve stems from continuous cattle rustlings and gruesome killing of innocent people by gunmen and alleged involvement of Fulani herdsmen in deadly attacks in some states like Benue, Taraba and Kaduna, amongst others where many lives and property worth millions of Naira have been lost.

Cattle herdsmen have been in the news for the wrong reasons, with several accusing fingers pointed in their direction as being responsible for causing mayhem in different communities across the country.

Uncomfortable with the development they said had marred their image, they have called for the meeting. To ensure that no form of casualty was recorded in this gathering, routine searches were carried out on the members before the meeting commenced to ensure they were not in possession of dangerous weapons

Although they insist they are peace loving and law abiding people, the cattle herdsmen say they are fully prepared to partner with the government in tackling the menace of cattle rustling and deadly attacks on rural communities across the country.

This position of theirs is supported by natives of Southern Kaduna who have at different times had altercations with them.

The essence is to make sure that they first of all purge themselves of all the allegations levelled against them over the years, and at the same time come up with practicable recommendations that will assist the government in tackling the menace of cattle rustling and deadly attacks allegedly perpetrated by cattle herdsmen.

Therefore, with their readiness to partner with the government to find a lasting solution to the problem, many believe such decision will go a long way in stemming the tide.