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Communal Clashes: Senators Sue for Peace in Benue, Ebonyi

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Worried by the lingering communal Clashes among people of some communities in their States , Senators Abba Moro ( PDP Benue South) and Sam Egwu ( PDP Ebonyi North) , have sued for peace.

The two senators at a joint press conference on Wednesday in Abuja , said the warring communities across the two states should cease fire by allowing the National Boundary Commission to wage in as far as appropriate demarcation of territories are concerned .

The jointly signed press statenent by the Senators reads : ” As the Senators representing Ebonyi North Senatorial District and Benue South Senatorial District, we are here to brief you on recent security concerns that have substantially threatened the peace and development of the people of Ohaukwu and Ado LGAs in our Senatorial Districts.

“On Monday the 12th day of April, 2021, alleged herdsmen invaded Umuogudu Akpu Community, Ngbo, in Ohaukwu LGA of Ebonyi State and gruesomely killed over 12 innocent indigenes, burnt/destroyed over 56 houses and kidnapped 5 persons.

” While we were mourning our people and trying to identify the extent of damage, we were surprisingly greeted with a statement by the Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, without any form of investigation, that the attack was carried out by Agila people, and not Fulani herdsmen.

” This claim, which has the potential of heightening the tension between the two communities has long been refuted and denied by the Chairman of Ado LGA and the Government of Benue State. The people of Ado LGA who have been victims of herdsmen attacks in recent times couldn’t have hired the same people to carry out an attack on their behalf.

“There have been sustained efforts on our part to finally settle the land dispute and restore lasting peace between Ngbo people in Ohaukwu LGA of Ebonyi State and the Agila people in Ado LGA of Benue State, which have lingered over the years. Motions have been raised on the floor of the Senate, resolutions passed by the Senate and efforts sustained at the State and Federal levels to ensure that lasting peace is restored between the two communities.

“We urge security operatives to move into the affected communities and secure lives and property of the people. We know that both communities have embraced the proposed rebeaconing and delimitation exercise by the National Boundary Commission.

” We therefore urge that the exercise should be carried out with dispatch to finally put to an end all the boundary-related crises in our Senatorial Districts”.

The two federal lawmakers also proffered similar solutions for the Ezza/ Effium crisis .

They said : ” On the Ezza/Effium crisis, which started in Effium community in Ebonyi state and spilled into Ado LGA in Benue State because of the presence of Ezzas/Effiumites in Ado LGA, it is regrettable that the crisis is yet to be contained, leading to the relocation of some Efium and Ezza people to neighboring communities both in Ohaukwu LGA of Ebonyi State and Ado LGA of Benue State, thereby creating apprehension in those neighboring communities.

“The alleged abduction of Five Elders from Odum Community of Ulayi District, Ado LGA before Easter Sunday has heightened the tension between the affected communities. However, the timely intervention of the government to contain the situation has prevented any form of retaliation or reprisal attack. It was resolved that the Traditional Council of Ado Local Government should reach out to the elders and traditional leaders of Ohaukwu LGA to broker more peaceful negotiations and resolution of the matter.

“We therefore call on the Governments of Benue and Ebonyi States to put in greater efforts and in collaboration with relevant Federal Government Agencies to take immediate practical steps to ensure immediate of all adopted persons and restoration of lasting peace between the affected communities.

“We urge our people in the affected communities to please apply restraint, avoid all forms of violence, maintain peaceful coexistence and rest assured that we will do everything within our power and influence to ensure the restoration of lasting peace in the affected communities” .

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Legislature

Senate probes NIMC Over violation of Public Procurement Act on Award of N229m Contract

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Senate has commenced Investigation into Non- compliance with Public Procurement Act on award of N229 million by National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) over

Senate Public Accounts Committee chaired by Senator Mathew Urhoghide based its querry on the 2017 report of Auditor General of the Federation which is currently being considered by the lawmakers.

The query reads,” Audit observed that capital payment vouchers reference number: NIMC/LS/IGL/1/11/105, dated 25th October, 2017 for ₦229.7 million showed that NIMC procured 22 units of HP blade servers for Morpho BSS upgrade.

“The items were supplied. There was no evidence of Ministerial Tender’s Board approval, thus, negating the mandatory ‘Open Competitive bidding. Public advertisement in at least two national dailies, as required by Financial Regulation 2907 (1) and section 251(ii) of the Public Procurement Act was absent.

“There was an initial payment of ₦103.4 million vide payment voucher number NIMC/01/016 CA/18 dated 19/01/18, representing 45% of the contract sum as against the mobilization fee of 15%. The other subsequent payments were not also backed by an interim performance certificate as required by Section 35(2) of the public procurement Act 2007.

“This is an indication of weakness in the internal control system at National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).

“This could lead to poor value for money and possibility of misapplication and misappropriation of funds. Management’s response No response was received from management at the time of our report. Recommendation The Director General is required to refund the sum of ₦229 million.”

However, the Director General of NIMC , Aliyu Abubakar Aziz claimed that the contract falls within the threshold of the Commission’s Tenders Board because it is classified under ‘works’.

He said that all the servers had been supplied before the initial payment of 45 percent which represent part payment and not mobilization due to paucity of funds.

Abubakar further informed the committee that the amount was meant to procure 22 blade servers to accommodate 20 million enrollment Records .

He also said that the contract was a continuation of procurement of Enterprise Servers and Storage Solution and Equipment which was awarded in 2012.

The director added that the Commission has registered N57 million as at today and 90 servers are needed to register 100 million Nigerians .

He said the Commission will on Wednesday submitted N25 billion proposal to buy more server in order to take the whole population.

But, the Committee chaired by Senator Uroghide said that it is wrong for the Commission to continue 2012 Procurement process in 2017.

The Chairman said, “We are supposed to do status enquiry on your Commission because it looks like all your documents are muddled up.”

The Committee therefore mandated to reappear next week Thursday and come with more documents to back up their claims .

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Legislature

Senator Abdullahi Adamu distributes multi-million Agricultural equipments to farmers

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Senator representing Nasarawa West Senatorial District has distributed multi-million Naira worth of Agricultural equipments to farmers in his Senatorial district to boost thier productive capacities.
The equipments and agricultural inputs which includes, agricultural machinaries such as processing  machines,water pumps, eletric generators, fertilizers among others were given directly to the Farmers that cut across five Local government areas that made up the senatorial district.
Senator Adamu who is the chairman Senate committee on Agriculture stated that the gesture was in fulfilment of his campaign promises to support the Farmers especially in his Senatorial district to boost thier productivity with a view to enable them enhance thier socio-economic activities.
He stated that the beneficiaries/farmers were carefully selected from the crannies of the Senatorial district in such a way that it would reach the real farmers directly.
Adamu who is also into modern  agricultural productions alongside his political activities urged the beneficiaries to make the best use of all the agricultural equipments and imputs provided for them.
Adamu who is the forst civilian Governor of Nasarawa state and the Turaki-Keffi, expressed his delight with the people of his senatorial district for their support to the present administration of president Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa state.
He urged them to continue with such  spirit to enable them succeed in taking both the country and the state to the next level of peace, unity and prosperity.
Speaking on how he was able to generate the funds to execute such project and many others, Adamu stated that they come directly from his income and constituency projects.
He assured them that he would  continue to do his best for his Senatorial district in accordance with his convenant with them so that thier socio-economic lives can be improved significantly.
In his remarks the Emir of Keffi Alhaji Shehu Yamusa who is also a beneficiary thanked Senator Adamu  for what he described as a wonderful and encouraging gesture that would support the Farmers to boost their  productive capacities in agricultural activities and also enhance  their socio-economic well being.
The Royal further urged the farmers to make the best use of the agricultural equipments and farming inputs provided for them with a view to enable the state and the country achieve food security and self sufficiency in that regard.
He however used the occasion to appeal to parents to also ensure that they enrol thier children in schools to enable them have education to become useful members of the society and contribute meaningfully to various aspects of developmental activities.
Contributing, the state’s acting chairman of the All progressives Congress (APC) Mr. John Mamman who is also a beneficiary and a farmer described the gesture by senator Adamu as a welcome development.
He said the gesture cut across all divides such as religious, political and otherwise.
He said it focused only on Farmers as the target beneficiary saying it id highly encouraging .
While commending him for such gesture, he tasked the beneficiaries to make the best use of all that they were given with a view to boosting thier farming activities to enable the area  achieve food security and create  employment and wealth opportunities.
Meanwhile, some of the beneficiaries which includes Male and female Farmers from across the Senatorial diatrict who spoke with our reporter expressed their gratitude to Senator Adamu for the gesture as they assured him of thier determination to make the best use of all what they have recieved with a view to boosting thier outputs in agricultural productions
.

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Legislature

GBV: NGO urges Kogi Assembly to present VAPP Bill for assent

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By Friday Idachaba

A Non-Governmental Organisation, Challenged Parenthood Initiative (CPI), has charged the Kogi House of Assembly to, without further delay, present the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Bill to Gov. Yahaya Bello for assent.

Executive Director of CPI Ms Eunice Agbogun, who made the call while addressing newsmen on Sunday in Lokoja, said the bill was passed by the House on March 21.

She said there was an urgent need for the VAPP bill to be assented to by the governor and gazetted without further delay to curtail the prevalence of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in the state.

Agbogun said the law, when operational, was expected to serve as a legal tool for the protection of the people from all forms of violence.

She added that it was no longer news that violence and other forms of offence against persons in public and private life were at their peaks, making life unsafe in the state.

According to her, existing legal frameworks do not cover all forms of offences in the state and that is why most perpetrators of violence are not properly prosecuted and many individuals can not access justice.

She noted that the impunity with which perpetrators were carrying out violent activities necessitated the advocacy for the passage of the VAPP bill as a legal tool for protection.

“The VAPP Bill is to eliminate violence in our private and public lives, prohibit all forms of violence against persons and provide maximum protection and effective remedies for victims and punishment to the offenders.

“We are being faced with cases of GBV. We need the VAPP bill to be assented to law and gazetted,” she said. (NAN)

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