IDPs Situation; A Blessing In Disguise To Nigeria – Sen Tejuosho

Sen_TejuoshoThe Chairman Senate Committee on Health, Sen. Lanre Tejuosho on Tuesday said the situation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States is a blessing in disguise for Nigeria.

Speaking on Sunrise Daily, he noted that  “before the IDP issue started, Nigeria was losing 1, 200 children daily due to malnutrition. That is about 36, 000 children dying every month.

“If you go to all the federal hospitals, the pediatric wards, you will see malnourished children all over. It is from there you get the statistics with United Nations and Federal Ministry of Health”, he said.

He further maintained that “what is happening in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe is just a blessing in disguise for us to actually do what is right for malnutrition in this country”, adding that malnutrition is responsible for 53 per cent of deaths of children under the age of five.

Despite this chilling statistics, he lamented the low income being budgeted for tackling malnutrition in the country, revealing that “a meagre N2.4 million” was allocated for nutrition purposes in the 2016 budget “that was not properly done” due to time.

Sen Tejuosho said malnutrition reduces the immunity of a child, which will make the child vulnerable to other diseases, adding that “a malnourished child will die earlier on a simple case of pneumonia”

He insisted that malnutrition is the “real thing to tackle to ensure that any human being is not vulnerable to such diseases”.

He proposed the composition of a Nutrition Department in the proposed 10, 000 Primary Health Centres, “to be introduced in the next two years”, as a way of curbing the menace.

The United Nations has warned that some 50,000 children could starve to death this year if nothing is done.

However, the Federal Government has expressed readiness to welcome a global partnership that would ensure a concerted and focused international response to the humanitarian crisis arising from the insurgency in the northeast.

Over two million persons have been displaced in the northeast, a fallout of the over six years of insurgency by a terrorist group, Boko Haram.

“It is very important that you chose to come and offer some partnership. This is great and we are pleased…Partnership is certainly the way to go,” the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said on Monday, while receiving members of the ONE campaign led by the international rock star, Bono, and Africa’s richest man, Mr Aliko Dangote.

He said no matter how prepared a country could be, handling the kind of crisis in the northeast with over two million displaced people including children, as a single country “would be irresponsible”.

“A global partnership to address the situation should be coordinated and more focussed on what is required to be done, for instance, in addressing the issue of malnourished children and not attempting to do too much things at once,” he told the gathering.

Earlier, the Irish born artist, Bono, said he had visited some of the IDPs.

“We want to be useful to you,” he said, explaining that what he saw in the region was “deeply disturbing”, he maintained.

Courage Beyond Insurgency: The Story Of A Corps Member In Yobe

corpsOne of the cardinal objectives of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme in Nigeria is to ensure corps members involve in meaningful Community Development Service (CDS) in their host communities.

Their service has not excluded the troubled northeast, as the region ranked tops among areas needing development in the nation.

In recent past, the Boko Haram insurgency in the region has deprived most states of this rear privilege, forcing many corps members to choose or request for redeployment. Some even refuse to report to camps in fear of terror attacks.

With the gradual return of peace in some troubled areas, some courageous corps members have commenced CDS projects in the unstable states to contribute their quotas to the reconstruction and development of their places of primary assignment.

‘Refused To Be Persuaded’

A female corps member, Miss Uddin Rita Oluwatosin, despite pressure from her parents to redeploy to other safe states in Nigeria, insisted to offer her national service to the volatile Yobe State.

“My deployment to Yobe State was strongly opposed by my family who did everything possible to compel me to seek redeployment, considering the security challenges bedevilling the state but I refused to be persuaded, having been instructed by God not to influence my posting in anyway,” she told Channels Television’s correspondent, Jonathan Gopep.

Her commitment is unique in the region where many employees working within the insurgency states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe had long abandoned their various places of work and took refuge elsewhere for “safety”.

But Miss Oluwatosin dares the Boko Haram insurgents to perform her National Youth Service Corps shceme in Yobe State.

Yobe-Youth-corps-Udin-Rita-Oluwatosin-training

Within the period, the extra ordinary corps member trained 60 students cut across public and private schools in the state capital and also designed zebra crossing in six different schools.

“I have successfully taken these students through the theoretical and practical processes and procedures of cake making and decoration and I have urged the school authorities to systematically take steps in engaging these young minds to train the rest of their mates and ensure its continuity.

“The zebra crossing and the road signpost CDS project were undertaken to enhance the safety of pupils and students of the benefiting schools whose parents do not have the wherewithal to comfortably and safely bring them to and from school thereby having no choice but to trek daily in search of education,” Miss Oluwatosin explained.corps

This training and community development projects put together by the corps member have attracted lots of encomiums from the NYSC community, the Federal Road Safety Corps, academia and the Yobe community as a whole.

During the grand finale, those who excelled at the various training sessions in catering and skills acquisition were presented with prizes while the zebra crossing design in front of school premises were commissioned by the NYSC and the state Ministry of Education officials.

Miss Oluwatosin on her part expressed joy for excelling in Yobe State despite the security challenges bedevilling the state.

Her exemplary performance is worthy of emulation by all Youth Corps Members in the strife for oneness and development of Nigeria.

Police To Commence Restoration Of Civil Authority In Recaptured Territories

PoliceThe Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, has commenced preparation for the restoration of full civil authority in the recaptured territories of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states Northeast Nigeria.

This followed the deployment of the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of operations, Mr. Sotonye Wakama to three states with a view to map out strategies for re-establishing civil authority which has over the years been altered by the dreaded sect group, the Boko Haram.

While in Yobe state, the DIG was received at the quarter guard of the Command headquarters in Damaturu the state capital.

The DIG briefed officers and men on the role of the Police in the re-establishment of government institutions in the recaptured areas, where he said the present administration is determined to restore peace across the country, stressing that Police is the key to its actualisation.

The DIG told the police officers that the restoration of the civil authority in the war devastated zone will be a huge task that must be achieved and assured that the police structure in the troubled areas will be reorganised with a view to meeting the present challenges.

On the issue of promotion and general welfare, he said the police has long taken decision to encourage the officers and men in the war zone, with promotions as an incentive to encourage them to work towards ending the insurgency.

He commended the operation know your neighbour as launched in Yobe state saying he will ensure similar programme is launched in Adamawa and Borno states.

The Yobe State Commissioner of Police Mr Zannah Ibrahim on his part said policing Yobe during the insurgency era has been a huge task but the command  has been striving to improve the security situation against all odds.

The CP observed that the morale of the police in the state has been generally low and solicits for motivation as a key factor that will boast the morale of the police in actualising the re-establishment of civil authority in the war ravaged areas.

He also said the command under his leadership has worked assiduously towards restoring the image of the police force.

He revealed it had gone a long way in improving the synergy with the civil population.

The CP also called for deployment of more officers and men to the Yobe command as many of the officers posted to the command has worked their ways back to safe areas.

Crisis Trails PDP Congresses And Primaries

PDP22Just as Nigeria enters the heat of the political session, with major parties holding primaries for elective positions, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party still has to contend with issues arising from past congresses and primaries in Rivers and Adamawa States.

Elder statesmen of the PDP in Rivers State on Saturday called for all PDP congresses in the state to be cancelled.

Meanwhile, elders of the party from Adamawa State applauded the decision of the party’s leadership, announcing that all primaries for Adamawa State will be conducted in Abuja.

In his remarks, the National Secretary of the party, Professor Wale Oladipo, said the decision was taken in the interest of party members in Adamawa, Yobe and Borno States which have been under emergency rule for over one year as a result of sustained attacks by members of a terrorist group, Boko Haram.

Elders and leaders of the party in Rivers State, met in Abuja to deliberate over the ongoing political situation in their state.

They said the meeting was necessary to ensure that the political atmosphere in the state was made as peaceful as possible.

Spokesman, Rivers State elders, Alabo Horsfall, stressed that the national leadership of the party must take several steps to guaranty a peaceful atmosphere.

A party chieftain, Edwin Clark, who was also present at the meeting, said the party must adhere to the principle of zoning.

The party will still have to contend with more of these issues, as primaries for the seats in the national assembly take place this weekend.

Borno Elders Doubt If Ceasefire Agreement Is With Genuine Boko Haram Leadership

Boko HaramElders in Borno State, in north-west Nigeria have expressed doubts that the ceasefire agreement the Nigerian government reached with the Boko Haram sect was with the genuine leadership of the of the group.

Answering questions from Channels Television in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, spokesman of the Borno Elders’ Forum, Dr Bulama Mali Gubio, welcomed the development but expressed doubt if the Federal Government actually negotiated with the real Boko Haram.

He was of the opinion that if the real Boko Haram members were contacted in the peace deal, then the attacks staged after the peace deal would not have been carried out.

“I am doubtful if Federal Government actually negotiated with the real Boko Haram. If not, the arms would have all been surrendered during the exercise while the Chibok Girls would have also been released.

“If real agreement has been reached, then the immediate attack and the recent taking over of Abadam and the killings in Dzur and Shaffa of Hawul Local Government in Borno state would not have been carried out by the insurgents in the first place”, Gubio queried.

He questioned why governors of the three north eastern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe as well as traditional rulers among other well-meaning people of the zone were not involved in the negotiation process.

The spokesman also asked the Federal Government to spell out the relocation process of those displaced, while government should regain the territories earlier captured by the sect members.

The legal adviser of the Civilian Joint Task Force, Mr Jibrin Gunda is also pessimistic of the ceasefire agreement because of the non-inclusion of the needed stakeholders in the peace deal. While hoping the ceasefire agreement will achieve the desired objectives, he also called on the Federal Government to make towns ceased by the insurgents habitable and safe for the people to go back to their various homes to carry on with their legitimate business.

Some displaced persons at the transit camps spread across Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, also saw the need to dispossess the insurgents of their arms without which they can still take up the arms anytime they so wish.

They also called on the federal government to declare total war on the insurgents by crushing them in their various hideouts as they have killed so many innocent souls in the affected areas.

Borno Seeks Divine intervention In Fight Against Insurgency

 Abubakar-Ibn-Umar-Garbai-El-Kanemi-of-BornoThe paramount ruler of the Borno Emirate, the Shehu of Borno, Abubakar Umar Garbai Ibn El-Kanemi, has directed all residents in the state to embark on a three-day fasting and prayers for God’s divine intervention in ending the continuous attack by the dreaded terrorist group, the Boko Haram.

Insurgency in the North-east region of Nigeria by the group has left many dead and military operation ordered by President Goodluck Jonathan is yet to quell the insecurity.

The three states in the region – Adamawa, Borno and Yobe – have of recent come under severe attack by the group, a situation the monarch said deserved God’s intervention towards ending the killings and destruction of lives and property.

The monarch’s directives, is contained in a statement by his spokesman, Mr Abba Ali, made available to reporters in Maiduguri, the state capital on Monday.

The statement said the three-day fasting will commence on Tuesday and end on Thursday to be followed with Juma’at prayers in mosques and other places of worship across the state.

“I am appealing to all residents of the state to observe a three-day fasting to seek Allah’s mercy toward ending this crisis facing us. I believe we should continue to seek for Allah’s help toward restoring peace in Borno State and the other affected states in the Northeast sub-region of Nigeria,” the statement read.

He however stressed that it was time to seek God’s intervention to the problem and urged residents to commence the fasting on Tuesday.

The ruler also directed that special prayers be held in Mosques and Churches across the state to seek God’s help and urged residents to remain prayerful even after the fasting, so that peace would be restored in the state and the country as a whole.

Reps urge Jonathan to release LG funds

The House of Representatives has appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan to direct the release of funds to the 15 local governments’ councils where the state of emergency is imposed.

The president had in December 2011, declared a state of emergency in three northern states of Niger, Borno and Yobe in the wake of bombings and killings by the Boko Haram sect in the local governments.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal said the aim of the emergency rule in the councils is to facilitate the restoration of security and orderliness and not to starve the councils of their allocations.