Nigerian Air Force Engages Personnel In Combat Sports

Nigerian Air Force Engages Personnel In Combat SportsThe Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has described physical fitness as the cornerstone of military combat readiness in confronting insurgency.

Air Marshal Abubakar stressed the need for personnel to maintain a high level of combat readiness, through constant training and keeping fit always.

He said this while addressing officers and men of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) at the opening ceremony of the Second Inter-Command Combat Sports Competition in Jos, the Plateau State capital.

The Air Force Chief also emphasised the importance of capacity building through physical fitness in creating a secure and stable environment for development.

Not undermining the importance of physical fitness in preparing personnel towards discharging their constitutional responsibility, he tasked participants to always remain fit in readiness for the challenges ahead.

Also speaking at the event, Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, who was dressed in a military uniform, commended the Federal Government’s efforts in tackling insurgency.

Participants at the event were drawn from the NAF Headquarters, Abuja; Tactical Air Command, Makurdi; Special Operations Command, Bauchi; Mobility Command, Bayelsa; Training Command, Kaduna and the Logistics Command, Lagos.

Medals were awarded to winners in the combat relay race for men, as the Training Command, Kaduna emerged winners to pick the gold medal ahead of other commands.

The Air Force Commands are participating in seven sports including boxing, judo, taekwondo, swimming, obstacle crossing, combat race and shooting range.

NDLEA Re-strategises On War Against Drugs

NDLEA Re-strategises On War Against Drugs The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), has convened a summit to enable commanders of the agency brainstorm and strategise on improved ways of combating the drug menace in Nigeria.

Chairman of the Agency, Muhammad Abdallah, in his address during the 2016 command officers’ summit held at the Regional Academy for Drug Control in Jos, said the agency is committed to the war against illicit drugs as well as the syndicates involved.

“Furthermore, I desire an agency that will be highly proactive and intelligence driven.

“An agency that is committed to the dismantling of drug syndicates and the provision of best treatment and rehabilitation services to problem drug users.”

The convergence of NDLEA officers for the 2016 command officers’ summit with the ,

The event themed: ‘Change Begins With Me: Repositioning NDLEA For Effective And Efficient Performance Towards A Drug-Free Nigeria’, had many dignitaries in attendance.

In his address, Plateau state Governor, Simon Lalong, challenged the agency to strengthen its collaboration with other agencies in the fight against illicit drugs in the country for maximum impact.

“Let me however challenge the agency to ensure that as part of its preventive measures, it strengthens its collaboration and cooperation with vital ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government that would help the war to succeed.”

The United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Symington W. Stuart also tasked commanders of the agency on best global practices in counter-narcotics campaign with an assurance that America is firmly behind Nigeria in the campaign to eradicate illicit drugs from the country.

“I am delighted that we have started and we must continue to work together and talk to stakeholders of our collective responsibilities.

“If you think of any problem to tackle, I trust you to come up with a way to do it better. Whatever efforts you are making in the drug war will not end with you because the benefits are for your children, generations unborn and the world at large,” the ambassador stated.

With the new strategies being put in place, Nigerians are looking forward to a drug free society as the commanders begin to exhibit the strategies adopted at the summit in exterminating illicit drug trafficking and consumption.

Commission Of Inquiry Probing Jonah Jang Submits Report

jonah_jangThe Commission of Inquiry looking into the activities of a former governor of Plateau State, Jonah Jang has submitted its report to the current administration.

The report contains several volumes of findings, exhibits and recommendations on the indictment of the erstwhile administration.

In his remarks, Justice Stephen Adah, who headed the Commission, stated that the members during the public hearing had 35 days of public sitting in which everyday was a revelation through referendum, witnesses and exhibits which informed the report compiled by the six member panel.

The eight-year period of the former governor of Plateau State was put under scrutiny, with focus on the government’s activities between May 29, 2007 and May 28, 2015.

With over 100 memoranda submitted to the commission, Justice Adah said everyday was revealing and tasking before arriving at the report.

“We called for public hearing and we put in 35 days of public sitting and everyday was a new revelation of what actually informed our report. And so we thank God for the cooperation of everyone that submitted referendum and attended the public hearing.

“What we have are what the people told us. We had 195 witnesses who came and took oath before us and gave evidence we also admitted composite exhibits totalling 181 as well as our own counsels and solicitors that came to defend notable citizens mentioned during the sitting,” he explained.

Right The Wrong

Receiving the report, Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, assured the members of the panel that the report would not be thrown into the dustbin like any other report, but stressed that the findings and recommendations would be put into use for good governance and accountability.

He said: “Those who think it is a waste of time and resources might be right to some extent, because over the years, reports of this nature have been stock piled on Government shelves and to say the least, consigned into the waste paper basket of history.

“This, I assure you, will not be the same with this report.

“In establishing the Commission, we took account of the outcry and groans of our people. We felt their pulse and for certain, we heard their cry. What they desired was for us to get it right and getting it right, will mean knowing where the past made a mistake, so we avoid it. Getting it right, will mean knowing where the past got it right, so we continue with it; and getting it right, will mean where the past government got it wrong, so we right the wrong for the good of the people.

“Our thrust under the good governance policy is to ensure the commonwealth of the people is rightly accounted”.

With the submission of the Commission of Inquiry on the eight year activities of former government of Jang, the people are looking forward to the white paper and implementation of the report in order to right the wrongs of the past administration.

FG Takes Sensitisation On Counter-Terrorism To States

Counter-Terrorism, ONSAThe Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) has embarked on sensitisation for the implementation of the National Counter-Terrorism Strategy across Nigerian states.

The ONSA says the sensitisation was part of measures to enhance the Federal Government’s onslaught against insurgency.

Speaking at the launch of the National Sensitisation Workshop in Jos, the Plateau State capital in north-central Nigeria, the Coordinator of Counter-Terrorism Centre (CTC) at the ONSA, Commodore Yem Musa, said that the fight against terror should not be left with the government alone.

He said that it should involve every Nigerian, which is the reason they were involving the citizenry in a united action.

Commodore Musa said that the programme, which was first in the series, is to consciously awaken the people on the need for a collective approach, as well as blend with security professionalism and government agency collaboration.

He explained that it involves civil relations in sustaining the successes achieved so far in the fight against terror.

Musa informed the audience that the sensitisation programme was not limited to states alone, but would also involve local government areas, organised private sector and the public.

The Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, who declared the workshop open, recounted government’s efforts in prosecuting the war against terrorism.

He expressed joy that the effort has been yielding positive results with the recent military onslaught on the terrorists’ stronghold.

The event was attended by security operatives, civil servants as well as civil society organisations and non-governmental organisations from Plateau, Nasarawa, Bauchi and Gombe states.

Lalong Constitutes Judicial Commission To Probe Former Governor

Simon Lalong, Plateau State, Jonah JangThe Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, has established and constituted a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to investigate the financial spending of the two tenures of former Governor Jonah Jang.

In a press statement by the Director of Press and Public affairs to the Governor, Emmanuel Nanle, the Judicial Commission of Inquiry is to be chaired by a Justice of the Port Harcourt division of the Court of Appeal, Justice Stephen Adah.

Members of the commission include Prof. Mrs. Bibiana Bawa, Prof. Ekoja B. Ekoja, Engr. Samuel Onu Agamah while Alhaji Sani Yahaya Mavo is to serve as Secretary.

The Terms of Reference given to the Commission are:

(1) To ascertain all financial transactions, done or entered into by the Government of Plateau State of Nigeria or through any of its Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs), or official acting in its name from the 29th day of May 2007 to 29th May 2015.

(2) To ascertain and establish all financial allocations, funds, grants or monetary interventions and revenues which accrued to or in the name of the Government of Plateau State of Nigeria. Departments, Agencies (MDAs), Officials or Agents from the Federal Government of Nigeria or any International Institutions or Donor Agencies from 29th May 2007 to 29th May 2015.

(3) To ascertain and establish all loans granted to or obtained by the Government of Plateau State of Nigeria through any of its Ministries, Departments, Agencies (MDAs), and the purpose for which such loans were obtained and whether the loans were used for such purpose.

(4) To ascertain whether any property belonging to the Government of Plateau State or any of its Ministries, Departments, Agencies (MDAs), Parastatals and Institutions which were sold or in any way concessioned to any person(s), or institution(s), by any Government Ministry, Department, Agency (MDAs), or officials between 29th May 2007 and 29th May 2015, followed due process or procedure and whether the proceeds of such sale or concession were paid into appropriate Government coffers.

(5) To ascertain whether any property or properties purchased or acquired for or in the name of the Government of Plateau State were purchased in line with due process and procedure.

(6) To ascertain all contracts awarded by the Government of Plateau State or any of its Ministries, Departments, Agencies (MDAs), Parastatals or Officials between 29th May 2007 and 29th May 2015, the process or procedure followed in the award of such contracts, the value of each contract (including any variations and whether such variations were necessary and done in good faith), the level of execution or completion of each of them and the amount paid to the contractor as at 29th May 2015.

(7) To ascertain the total amount paid by the Government of Plateau State as salaries and allowances of serving and retired State Civil Servants, Local Government Employees and Political Appointees from 29th May 2007 to 29th May 2015; And to further establish whether any person or employee of Government received multiple payments of salaries or pensions, and the role played by any person(s) toward such payments

Nigerian Varsity Heads Seek Solution To Tertiary Education Challenges

Tertiary Education ChallengesVice Chancellors of Nigerian Federal, State and Private Universities are holding an annual conference of the association at the University of Jos in North-central Nigeria.

Top in the agenda of the meeting of the Association of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (AVCNU) are challenges facing universities in Nigeria and possible solutions.

In his keynote address, the Vice Chancellor and Principal of the Witwatersrand University, Johannesburg, Professor Adam Habib observed that under-funding of tertiary institutions across the African continent, especially in Nigeria, had resulted in inequality and structural poverty at the universities.

He said it had also affected the quality of graduates produced from the institutions.

It is the 31st annual conference of the association with the theme: “Quality Assurance and Global Competitiveness: a challenge for Nigerian Universities” and issues of quality as well as standard practices and procedures in the universities are also being discussed.

In proffering solution to the challenge of funding, the Professor of Political Science suggested that the Vice Chancellors should consider the option of approaching the banks towards an Educational Fund System that would create opportunities for students to have access to quality education.

While declaring the conference open, Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, urged the Vice Chancellors to use the conference in finding solution to the challenges of tertiary institutions, especially frequent industrial actions prevalent at universities.

As the Vice Chancellors across the country gather for the annual conference, there should be concerted efforts in proffering solutions to issues of funding, quality infrastructures as well as curtailing the frequent industrial actions at the tertiary institutions in order to produce quality graduates that will contribute meaningfully to the development of the society.

NBA Restates Readiness To Partner Government, Agencies In Corruption Fight

NBAThe Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has expressed its  readiness to work, partner with the government and willing agencies in the on-going corruption war.

President of the association, Augustine Alegeh, while reinstating the association’s commitment towards the fight against corruption and corrupt practices in the nation, stated that the fight against corruption should be approached and tackled within the ambit of the law without infringing or breaching any fundamental rights or breaking the law of the land and will also ensure the delivery of justice to all and sundry.

The Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, and the Local Organising Committee Chairman, Solomon Umoh, both expressed concerns over the conduct of lawyers believing that members of the profession are currently under scrutiny, especially now that the war against corruption has been intensified by the Buhari administration.

Governor Lalong Visits IDPs Camp In Plateau

Plateau-idpsInternally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Plateau State have been assured of reunion with their extended families and ancestral homes from where they were driven by insurgents.

This cheering assurance was given by the Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, during a visit to one of the IDPs camps in Plateau, as part of the Yuletide celebration.

Governor Lalong said the relocation of the IDPs to their home states is in accordance with the Federal Government’s directives.

Also part of the team led by the governor to visit the Zang Commercial Secondary School camp was the Super Eagles vice captain, Ogenyi Onazi.


Reps To Table Lawmakers’ Allowances Before Nigerians

reps to revel legislators' allowancesNigerians have been assured that legislators’ allowances that is generating controversy will soon be put across to the people for discussion with a view to finding what will be appropriate as allowances to the lawmakers.

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, told Journalists that the House will be conducting a legislative needs assessment by competent Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in conjunction with development partners, to discuss the issue of allowances received by the legislators.

Dogara, who spoke to Journalists in Jos, North Central Nigeria, after visiting the Governor of the state, Simon Lalong, explained that the salaries of the legislators were fixed by the Revenue Mobilisation Fiscal Allocation Committee (RMFAC), while the allowances are subject to discussion.

The Speaker also addressed issues of the economy as it affects states owing salaries which he believes would soon be properly addressed in spite of the economic depression.

With the stability enjoyed by the out-gone National Assembly, the newly elected Speaker gave an assurance that fairness and justice would be ensured at the zonal and state levels, in order to stabilise the Lower Chamber.

APC’s Azi Emerges Speaker Of Plateau State Assembly

PlateauThe candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Plateau State House of Assembly, Honourable Peter Azi, has emerged the Speaker of the assembly.

In spite of having majority in the state House of Assembly, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) conceded the position of Speaker to the APC in the rescheduled election of the Speaker and Principal Officers on Wednesday.

Honourable Azi was elected unopposed, as the PDP rival, Istifanus Mwansat informed the Clerk of the house that he had agreed to step down after consultations with his party and in the interest of moving the state forward.

The Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, had earlier directed that the inauguration of the state eight house of Assembly be postponed, owing to the deadlock in the emergence of the Speaker and security challenges.

Reading the Governor’s message on Tuesday to the elected members following the deadlock, Clerk of the House, Ayuba Gonku, explained that Governor Lalong was acting under the compulsion of duty and on security advice as to the likelihood of breakdown of law and order, had directed an adjournment of the session indefinitely.

Election of principal officers and the Speaker to the Plateau State House of Assembly had never generated much interest, with a sharp division between the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC).

In the Wednesday election, while the PDP has majority members, 13 of them, the ruling party APC can boast of 11, which made the APC trailing with three vote margin.

After the proclamation for the dissolution of the 7th assembly by Governor Lalong through the Clerk, the House convened for the purpose of the election of the speaker and other principal officers to precede the inauguration.

Two nominees were presented for the Speakership seat – Peter Azi from the APC and Istifanus Mwansat from the PDP. After their nomination, the 24 members went into voting to elect the Speaker.

After voting, both candidates polled 12 votes each, which was a tie.

However, with the Clerk commencing proceedings for the rerun, Mwansat informed the House of the far reaching decision to step down for the APC candidate.

Similarly in the other election for the Deputy Speaker, Yusuf Gardi of PDP emerged winner over his fellow party man, Amos Kumtul which paved way for the two parties to share the spoil.

With the emergence of the Speaker and his Deputy at the state House of Assembly, observers are looking forward to seeing how the ruling party would manage its minority posture against the opposition numerical strength.

Governor Lalong Appoints Five Aides In Plateau

PlateauPlateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, has approved the appointments of five aides into various positions of the State Government, to set the machinery of the government in motion.

In a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary in charge of Policy and General Services to the Plateau State Government, Izam Azi, the Governor appointed Rufus Bature as the Secretary to the State Government and John Dafa’an as the Chief of Staff.

He also chose the former Vice Chancellor of Plateau State University, Professor John Wade, as the Director General Research; Cyril Tsenyil, as the Accountant General of the state and Emmanuel Nanle was appointed as the Director of Press Affairs.

The Governor said that the appointments, which were with immediate effect, are in line with what effective governance required.


Jos Bombing: Governor Jang Orders Local Security Outfit Take-Off

jonah_jangThe Plateau State Governor, Jonah Jang, is asking the people of the state not to be cowed by the spate of bombings being launched by terrorists in the state, but to be courageous and hopeful for an abrupt end of the insurgents.

In order to provide additional support to other security agencies in the state in countering terrorism, the Governor announced the immediate take-off of a local security outfit to be known as ‘Neighborhood Watch’ in the state.

Governor Jang, who spoke at a special interdenominational service at the Church of Christ in Nations, COCIN, in Jos, the Plateau State capital, said that the state would overcome the atrocities of the insurgents if the people put their trust in God.

At least 76 persons were killed in two bomb blasts in the central area of Jos, the Plateau State capital on Tuesday, May 20.

The explosions, believed to have been caused by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED), occurred around the busy Jos Main Market, between railway terminus and also at the temporary site of the Jos University Teaching Hospital.

Few days after, about three people died in another bomb blast on Saturday night along Bauchi road, close to a football viewing centre by University of Jos.

The blasts came as the Nigerian authorities continue the search for more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram in April 2014.