Sultan Of Sokoto Commends Aregbesola’s Leadership Style

Osun Internally Displaced Pensioners Are Ingrates – AregbesolaThe Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar has commended Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun, for what he called his commitment to the development of humanity regardless of socio-economic, political and religious differences.

Abubakar, who doubles as the President General, Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs stated that the leadership of governor Aregbesola has demonstrated high sense of fairness to religious organisations in the state.

In the Bureau’s statement signed by the Director, Semiu Okanlawon, the Sultan stated that Governor Aregbesola has demonstrated to the world, the sterling quality expected from whoever holds the office of the Governor.

He further said, the purpose of his visit to Osun state was to entrench the relative peace, unity and love among Nigerians, which according to him remains the only channel to national growth and development.

“This visit makes the 6th time of being in Osun and we are here in a large number as one family under the umbrella of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, which is the Apex body for Muslims in Nigeria to further register our determination to unity, peace and tranquility of Nigeria and Nigerians.” Abubakar said.

He then applauded to the Governor for playing an active role in propagating peaceful cohabitation between and among the existing religions in the state.

Gov Aregbesola in his response said the impact of the Council had been tremendously felt in engendering peace, unity, love and togetherness of humanity along religious lines.

“I am very glad to receive the Apex Islamic group in Nigeria, just as I am delighted in the fact that the Council had played a significant role in promoting peace and unity not only in Nigeria but in the whole world”. The governor said.

N-Power: Ahmed Lauds Scheme, Engages 5,553 In Kwara

Abdulfatah-AhmedThe Federal Government has engaged about 5,553 graduates through its N-Power job creation scheme in Kwara State.

The state governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, disclosed this in Ilorin, at the stakeholders’ forum on the implementation strategies of the Federal Government’s special intervention projects.

He also informed that the home-grown school feeding programme for primary school pupils, will soon commence.

The N-Power is the Federal Government’s Programme, designed to drastically reduce youth unemployment, with focus on providing young graduates and non-graduates with skills, tools and livelihood to enable them advance from unemployment to employment, entrepreneurship and innovation.

The governor applauded the Federal Government for its special intervention projects, which he said, had enhanced the quality of lives of the beneficiaries.

“Let me begin by commending the Federal Government for its social intervention projects across the country, such as the conditional Cash Transfer Scheme (CCT), and the N-Power programme.

“These have been designed to restore livelihoods, economic opportunities and sustenance for the poor and impacted positively on the lives of Nigerians.

“I note with pleasure that about 1,080 households in 360 communities spread across 12 Local Government Areas of the state, have benefited from the first phase of the ongoing Federal Government Conditional Cash Transfer Scheme (CCT).

“We have launched various programmes to guarantee that citizens of the state thrive in their various endeavours”, Ahmed said.

I Consider The Budget Process A Joke – Utomi

budgetA Nigerian economist has stated his opinions about the 2016 national budget presented to the National Assembly on Tuesday.

“Putting it in a very awkward position, I consider the budget process a joke,” he said.

Professor Pat Utomi was on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Tuesday morning, few hours before the presentation of the budget by President Muhammadu Buhari before a joint session of the National Assembly.

He further said that “January 20 years ago, I was one of those who began to analyse the budget, and by December, there were issues with implementation.

“We somehow do not have the discipline of the budget process, we go through budget as public relations exercises because they are supposed to be done and decision makers go ahead to do whatever they want to do,” he said.

Low Energy In Leadership

Proffering solutions to the problem of budget implementation, Professor Utomi said that “the goal is to achieve an execution premium, but if those who are responsible for it (the budget) really had no plan whatsoever to follow the budget, then, you are wasting your time.

“When those who are responsible for it, do not see long term goals in which the budget is just a piece in an unfolding set of activities that would reach a certain goal, there is no point of it.

“I think what has happened to us is that we got to a point of disconnect between the leadership elite, the political class, the bureaucratic elite and development aspirations of the Nigeria people,” he said.

Professor Utomi further said that the major reason why the budget isn’t working in Nigeria is ‘leadership’.

“There is low energy in leadership. we are not leading the country in the right direction.

“What the country is dealing with is a huge financing gap; we used to earn so much and now, we are earning this much, if we pretend that nothing has changed, then we would go into an economic spiral”, he added.

While stating that the 2016 budget would focus on addressing youth unemployment and cater for the vulnerable, President Buhari said that Nigeria remains committed to diversification to build and reflate the economy.

Ebola Anniversary: Friends Set Up Adadevoh Health Trust

adadevohThe family and friends of late Ebola heroin, Dr Stella Adadevoh, have set up an initiative in her name called, the Dr Ameyo Stella Adadevoh Health Trust.

The initiative has been designed to help Nigeria to better prepare and plan ahead of any possible infectious disease outbreak in the country.

This is to mark the one year anniversary of the containment of the deadly virus in Nigeria.

Adadevoh was the lead doctor that initiated the diagnosis and restrained the index Ebola case from going into the larger public space and spreading the virus in Nigeria.

Many Nigerians have said that the best way to immortalize those who lost their lives to Ebola in Nigeria and celebrate the survivors is the institution of an effective and efficient disease control mechanisms in most parts of the country, thereby improving and advancing Nigeria’s healthcare system.

It was a trying time for Nigeria and her health system between July 20, 2014 when the Liberian-American, Patrick Sawyer, imported the Ebola virus into the country and October 19 when the spread of the disease ended.

First Consultant Medical Center in Lagos, the hospital where the index case landed, bore the most impact.

Four of the hospital’s doctors and nurses, including late Dr. Stella Adadevoh, lost their lives defending the nation’s public health. The total number of deaths finally stood at eight while 12 other people who were infected survived.

The World Health Organisation declared Nigeria Ebola-free on October 20, 2014 and many worldwide have been trying to learn from Nigeria how it contained the deadly virus.

However, the WHO declaration stated that education and training on infectious diseases influence policies to ensure better quality healthcare for all patients.

It also highlighted the need to promote local research into causes and treatment of infectious diseases, which would assist in the prevention and control of infectious disease outbreaks and epidemics.

Reps Recommend Scholarships For Ebola Heroine, Adadevoh’s Children

EbolaThe House of Representatives has urged the Federal Government to give scholarships to the children of late Dr Ameyo Adadevoh for her sacrifice in preventing further spread of Ebola in the country back in 2014.

This followed a motion by Rep Akinade Taofeek, who also urged the federal government to consider a posthumous national honour for the late doctor in recognition of her heroic sacrifice.

Rep Taofeek also said that the “effort, courage and sacrifice of those persons who lost their lives in the course of treating Patrick Sawyer need to be acknowledged, including the management and other staff of the hospital.”

The lawmaker said that the sacrifice of Dr. Adadevoh saved the country from further spread of the deadly disease, which calls for a gesture from the federal government to her children.

A movie, ’93 Days’ has been produced to demonstrate the bravery of the late Dr. Adadevoh and her colleagues from their encounter with the late American-Liberian, Patrick Sawyer, who was the index case of the Ebola Virus in Nigeria.


Burundi Expels Rwandan Diplomat As Tensions Rise

burundiBurundi has expelled a senior Rwandan diplomat, officials said on Wednesday, in what is the latest sign of tension between the Central African neighbours that share a history of ethnic conflict.

Burundi was plunged into crisis six months ago, when President Pierre Nkurunziza’s announcement that he would seek a third term ignited weeks of protests and a failed coup. Nkurunziza went on to win a July 21 vote, but opposition groups have accused his government of a violent crackdown against them.

Rwanda, which endured a genocide in 1994, has expressed alarm about the situation in Burundi and its regional implications.

A Permanent Secretary in Burundi’s Ministry of External Relations and International Cooperation, Salvator Ntacobamaze, said that the diplomat, Desire Nyaruhirira, had been expelled but declined to give any further explanation.

Government spokesman, Phillipe Nzobonariba, said that the expulsion was most likely due to the diplomat’s alleged contacts “with putschists hosted in Rwanda”.

“It is not a problem with a country but a problem with an individual since he is reported to be in permanent contact with coup plotters,” he said.

Rwanda had no immediate comment.

Opposition groups have accused Burundi’s government of launching a crackdown since May, when crowds first took to the streets saying Nkurunziza’s bid for a third presidential term was unconstitutional.

Burundian security personnel have been accused of conducting frequent raids in parts of the capital Bujumbura that are known to be opposition strongholds.

A row broke out this week at a prison in central Burundi after police tried to move 28 prisoners tied to efforts to topple Nkurunziza into isolation. Inmates blocked the police from entering, while opposition leaders said they feared for the prisoners’ lives.

The police on Wednesday succeeded in isolating the 28 prisoners, prison officials said, with no deaths reported.

Greece Election: Syriza Party Wins

Alexis Tsipras- leader of syriza partyGreece’s left-wing Syriza Party has won its second general election in less than nine months.

Leader of the Party, Alexis Tsipras, said that Greeks face a difficult road and recovery from the financial crisis that has engulfed the country in recent time.

Syriza won just over 35%, slightly down on its previous result while Conservative New Democracy won 28%.

Still short of a majority, Syriza is expected to form a coalition with the Nationalist Independent Greeks.

Sunday’s snap election was called after Syriza lost its majority in August. This followed the signing of an unpopular new financial bailout deal with international creditors.

Critics wondered whether it was worth holding a contest which left Greece with the same government as before. But Syriza’s leader, Alexis Tsipras, is now in a stronger position, his decision to accept austerity measures in return for bailout cash apparently vindicated by the result.

Yet celebrations have been muted with hundreds not thousands gathering to sing, dance and wave flags. The country has tougher times ahead; tax rises, perhaps further cuts to wages and benefits.

Before the election, Tsipras said that he had put his country above his party, adding that had he not agreed to the three-year bailout, Greece would probably have had to leave the Eurozone.

Nigeria, Cameroon Strengthen Border Patrol

Muhammadu-Buhari-of-Nigeria-and-Paul-Biya-of-CameroonNigeria and Cameroon on Wednesday agreed to strengthen Border patrol and open communication among Border States to make more information available to both nations, as they tackle the Boko Haram Terrorists in Nigeria’s north-east region and northern Cameroon.

The agreement was reached at a meeting between the Nigerian President, Mr Muhammadu Buharia and his Cameroonian counterpart, Mr Paul Biya in Yaounde, the Capital of Cameroon.

President Buhari arrived at Yaounde at about 11:00 local time and held talks with the Mr Biya, with both leaders seeking ways of strengthening the counter-terrorism operations in their common border.

On arrival, President Buhari was welcomed by the 82-year-old Cameroonian President at the airport in Yaounde.

The Special Adviser to President Buhari on Media, Mr Femi Adeshina, told Channels Television, that both leaders met and agreed that there was the need to strengthen the countries’ borders and contribute troops for the Multi-National Joint Task Force, expected to begin operations next month.

Six Nigerian governors, also met with five of their counterparts in Cameroon, where they agreed to open communication among Border States, build more infrastructure to secure the borders, operate common border patrols and share intelligence and surveillance.

The Cameroonian government has scheduled a state banquet on Wednesday evening for the visiting Nigerian government officials.

President Buhari is on a two-day visit to Cameroon for talks with the officials of the Cameroonian government, aimed at deepening cooperation between both countries in the counter-terrorism operations.

He will also meet with Nigerians in Cameroon before he ends his visit.

President Obama Addresses African Union In Ethiopia

obamaThe US President, Barack Obama, says he has fulfilled his pledge to deepen ties with Africa.

Addressing the African Union in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, on Tuesday, President Obama said that there was no doubt that Africa had a major role to play in global peace and prosperity.

The US President who is the first leader of the United States to address the African union also called for greater food security on the continent, access to public health and improved electricity.

“Cancer Of Corruption”

President Obama also called for an end to the “cancer of corruption”, saying it took money away from development.

“Nobody should be President for life.

“I don’t understand why people want to stay so long, especially when they have got a lot of money.

“Democracy existed in name but not in substance when journalists were jailed and activists were threatened,” President Obama stressed.

The US President stated that corruption was “draining billions of dollars” from Africa.

“The money could be used to build schools and hospitals.”

The rapid economic growth in Africa was changing “old stereotypes” of a continent hit by war and poverty, he said.

“But unemployment needed to be urgently tackled on a continent whose one-billion people would double in a few decades”.

“We need only look to the Middle East and North Africa to see that large numbers of young people with no jobs and stifled voices can fuel instability and disorder.”

The address,  however, marked the climax of Mr Obama’s five-day trip to Africa.

President Buhari Pledges Polio Eradication In Nigeria

PolioPresident Muhammadu Buhari says his administration will do all within its powers to ensure that no Nigerian child is ever infected with polio again.

The President made the statement on Saturday, in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory.

Speaking at a brief event in the Presidential Villa to mark Nigeria’s successful completion of one year without any reported case of the wild polio virus, President Buhari pledged that the Federal Government would mobilize and deploy all necessary resources to efficiently complete the task of eradicating polio from the country.

“Today, 25th of July, 2015, Nigeria has successfully completed one year without any case reported of the wild polio virus.

“Achieving this feat has placed us firmly on the path to eradicating this paralyzing disease from our land.

“I seize this opportunity to call on governors, our traditional and religious leaders, the private sector and our mothers and fathers to redouble their efforts to ensure that every child and every new born baby is vaccinated with the polio vaccine and other lifesaving routine vaccines,” President Buhari said.

The President personally vaccinated one of his grandchildren against polio at the occasion to demonstrate his commitment to eradicating the virus from Nigeria as well as the safety and efficacy of the polio vaccine.

President Buhari thanked all Nigerians and foreign partners who have supported the country’s polio eradication programme in several ways.

He said that he looked forward to the formal declaration of Nigeria as a polio-free country in 2017.

Experts Call For Vigilance As Nigeria Marks One Year Without Polio

nigeria marks a year without polioNigeria on Friday, July 24, marked one year without a fresh case of polio infection.

Medical experts had, however, warned that only sustained and more stringent efforts would ensure appropriate interruption of polio and eventual eradication.

Despite the feat, a former Chief Executive of the National Programme on Immunisation, Dr Dere Awosika, said Nigeria had a future without polio but must keep an airtight vaccination and sustained systematic coordination.

Dr Ado Mohammed of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, said that with zero case for one year, the next step would be to ensure coordinated efforts toward eradication.

The achievement was a result of various strategies, such as: routine and supplementary immunisation, surveillance and targeted mop up campaigns.

But experts said it was not yet time to celebrate.

The  polio endemic areas in Nigeria are: Yobe State, Bauchi State, Kano State and Borno State, which were identified as main flash points.

But officials of Polio Emergency Centres said it was history.

Nigeria is the first country to conduct a house to house immunisation for polio and is the only country yet to procure its vaccines from UNICEF.

An Expert said “if you don’t immunise one child, you put 200 more children at risk”.

But maintaining momentum in Nigeria is crucial for a polio free Africa and with the right political will, Nigeria would celebrate a future free of polio soon.

Polio is a crippling and potentially fatal infectious disease which  invades the brain and spinal cord to cause paralysis.

It has no cure but there are safe and effective vaccines which, when given to every child from birth till age five, can prevent infection and lead to eradication of the disease.

The programme on polio eradication commenced actively in Nigeria in 1998.  There were up to 800 cases of polio annually with little or no structure, system of operation or trained personnel to conduct the vaccinations.

In 2005, less than 10 years after, over 20 million children from 0-5 years were vaccinated yearly against the polio virus. As at 2014 only six cases were recorded across Nigeria.

It is the responsibility of the World Health Organization (WHO) to certify Nigeria as having uninterrupted polio and this can only be confirmed when two remaining samples in the lab which have undergone series of tests for months, are cleared as negative.

WHO, however,  gave Nigeria the clean bill towards interruption, three months ago.

Obiano Set To Transform Awka To World Class City

AwkaAnambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, has given the task of creating a world class city like the Dubai Model City to the Nigerian Institute of Architects, NIA, Anambra State chapter.

They will, in partnership with the Awka Capital Territory Development Authority, ACTDA, develop an effective urban master plan for the Awka Capital Territory, in addition to building high class and modern architectural structures to add to the beauty of the state.

Speaking to members of the Nigerian Institute of Architects, Anambra State chapter, who visited him at the Governor’s Lodge, Awka, Governor Obiano charged them to be more innovative in their drawings and designs.

The Governor harped on building an orderly and sanitized environment as well as finding the best way to manage environmental waste.

He tasked the NIA members to find solutions that will ensure orderliness and environmental sanitation that would propel sustainable development.

He also asked that they develop a system that would help control land use and institute compliance with space standards and approved designs.

Responding, the State Chairman of NIA, Peter Okpala, commended the Governor for his outstanding commitment towards transforming the Awka Capital Territory.

He also lauded him for ensuring that while transformation was going on, priority was also given to the safety of the lives and property of the people through the Governor’s handling of the problem of building collapse which erupted in the early days of his administration.