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CSJ pays “MANTRA” Project Advocate visit to Cash Transfer Office in Kogi

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CSJ pays “MANTRA” Project Advocate visit to Cash Transfer Office in Kogi

By John Akubo

Center for Social Justice (CSJ) Abuja, has paid an advocacy visit to the Cash Transfer Office in Kogi State with the aim to monitor the use of the recovered looted funds.
The Federal Government had made commitment to utilizing the looted recovered 322 million dollars Abacha loot through Conditional Cash Transfers (CCT) to 302,000 poor households in 19 states which commenced in July.
The CSJ working in partnership with African Network for Enviroment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) and other civil society organizations in Monitoring of Recovered Assets in ‘Nigeria through Transparency and Accountability’ ‘MANTRA’ is a subset of the Anti-corruption in Nigeria (ARCON) project that is supported by the Department for International Development (DFID).
Speaking during the visit, the lead director, CSJ, Eze Onyekpere indicated that the advocacy visit is aimed at sensitizing the public to be aware and knowledgeable on how to hold the government accountable on the issues of recovery and management of looted assets.
According to him, “The objective of the project is to enhance the capacity of CSOs and citizens to effectively monitor the use of the recovered $322.5m Abacha loot, $900, 000 Alamieyeseigha loot and other looted assets recorvered.
“We intend to monitor the disbursement of the $322.5 million Abacha loot under the cash transfer program of the Federal Government.
To achieve that he said they are determined to promote a robust civil society movement to be actively advocating for a policy framework that will engender transparent and accountable recovery and management of looted assets.
Onyekpere said they are collectively monitoring the implementation of Nigerian’s commitments from the London Anti-corruption summit and the principles of the global Forum on Asset Recovery (GFAR) as well as societal and Behavioural changes against corruption.
According to him, “MANTRA hopes to achieve these objectives by carrying out a number of activities. We have had a policy dialogue and a discussion/session with Government agencies on assets recoveries at the National level.
The state head of cash transfer unit, Razak Falilat Yinka said the beneficiaries were carefully selected through a community based project based on poverty map ranking approved by the world bank.
She indicated that the selection was done by Youth Employment and Social Support Organisation (YESSO), Kogi state.
He said disbursement had been on since 2016 for beneficiaries across the 21 Local Government of the State.
She said 21000 beneficiaries have been getting the N5000 stipends across the Local Government.

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Zamfara gives Sahara Reporters 7 days to retract libelous publication or face litigation

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Zamfara gives Sahara Reporters 7 days to retract libelous publication or face litigatigation

Zamfara State Government has threatened to institute a court action against Sahara Reporters over alleged libelous report against the state government and the personality of the Governor of Zamfara State Bello Muhammad Matawalle.

Commissioner for Justice, Barr. Nura Ibrahim Zarumi who issued the threat letter to the editor of the media outfit on Tuesday evening in Gusau, gave 7-day within which the management must publish a retraction and public apology on “your online publication and in two other national dailies”.

The commissioner warned that it will amount to “suspicious gamble” if the letter is threated with levity, adding that the state government would take every step necessary to fight the matter to it’s logical conclusion.

“It is our mandate to intimate you of this grievous breach on the image and hard-earned reputation of the state with patent collateral damage on its people,” the commissioner noted.

The letter further reads: “Be informed that the state has not only suffered an infinite loss of Goodwill but also confronted with unbearable disgrace from within, outside the state and across the globe as a result of your publication. The state is alive to it’s right both law and equity, but it disposed to afford you an opportunity to undo the evil you have already done by retracting the same unwholesome remarks on the same platform it was published and apologize in two other national dailies”.

“The whole scenario becomes bewildering after reading your publication and the description of the state is totally out of place and libelous.

“Having regard to your previous publications against the state government our state has come to the conclusion that your publication is both malicious and libelous.”

The Commissioner insisted that, the state government will swing to action if Sahara reporters refuse to act according to the instructions of the state on this very important issue.

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Buhari says the good family name left by Sam Nda-Isaiah is worth more than gold

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Buhari says the good family name left by Sam Nda-Isaiah is worth more than gold

***As Leadership Alumni holds candle light for him

The good family name left by Sam Nda-Isaiah is worth more than gold, President Muhammadu Buhari has declared.

He urged the family to do whatever it takes to uphold it.
This was contained in a letter he wrote to the bereaved family. President Buhari said: “On behalf of the Federal Government and my family, I sincerely express my condolence on the sudden transition of my friend and ally, Mr. Sam Nda-Isaiah, the publisher of Leadership newspapers.
“Indeed, Sam’s untimely passage filled me with shock and sadness to the point that I was short of words when the news reached me.”
Presidential aide, Garba Shehu, delivered Buhari’s letter to the deceased’s younger brother, Abraham Nda-Isaiah.
This was coming just as Leadership Newspaper Alumni held an evening of tributes and a candle light in his honour at the NUJ, FCT council secretariat on Tuesday.

At the session session, he was described as a man of many paths and a bridge builder who had finished his course.


The chairman of the NUJ FCT Council, Comrade, Emmanuel Ogbeche described him as “A man, many Love to Hate and Hate to Love”
A former editor of the paper, Sadiq Abdullateef said he was more than a boss, but like a father and big brother to all Alumni.
“He taught us a lot about leadership and journalism, no amount of words or eulogies can appropriately describe what chairman meant to all of us.
“He made us what we are today, so we can’t thank him enough for giving us the opportunity to grow on this job.
“Personally, a few days before he died we spoke on the phone and a day before he died I missed his call and I have been asking myself what that conversation would have been.
“It so sad, we will continue to pray for him, his family and Leaderhip as an jnstitution.”
He said he edited the newspaper from 2012 to 2016 as the longest serving editor of the paper.

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Humanitarian minister tasks media on awareness creation on the ills of drug abuse

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Humanitarian minister tasks media on awareness creation on the ills of drug abuse

The minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Sadiya Umar Farouq has charged, the Nigerian Mass Media on the need to educate the public on the ills of drug and substance abuse.
She made the call at a Media Orientation on National Awareness on Drugs and Substance Abuse held at Merit House, Abuja on Tuesday.

The Minister described the Media as a major agent of socialization as well as a viable tool for disseminating information on the ills of drug and substance abuse.

“The role and importance of media as a viable tool for informing and educating people across groups and demographics especially on Drugs and substance abuse in our society cannot be over emphasized.
“As you are aware, substance abuse is increasing at an alarming rate, deteriorating the health of nations, increasing crime, hampering productivity, destroying relationships, eroding social and moral values and impeding the overall progress of societies”.

Umar Farouq noted that young people were increasingly becoming victims of substance abuse, hence the urgent need for the mass media to propagate the disadvantages of the use of substances and hard drugs.

“The potential power of the mass media has helped in solving social problems. Television, radio and print advertising have been used overtime to influence our ideas, values and behaviour. “The continuous abuse of drugs has led to a situation of drug addiction and criminality. “The effects of drug abuse is detrimental not only to the individual but to the society as a whole, therefore, the use of campaigns by the mass media to reduce health and other related social problems in the society is very critical.
“The potential of mass media campaigns lies in their ability to propagate simple and focused messages to large audiences repeatedly, over time, at a low cost per capita.
“It is also assumed that they are able to reach a large and heterogeneous proportion of the population”.

The Minister also urged the media to remain steadfast in the accurate reportage of helpful information that will promote peace and unity of the nation.

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary Bashir Nura Alkali reiterated the negative consequences of substance abuse on the society especially on youths.
Alkali who was represented by the Director Human Resource Management, Mr Abdulrahaman Babatunde Jaji urged the mass media to join hands in stamping out substance and drug abuse.

“The abuse of alcohol and other drugs by youths may result in family crises and jeopardize many aspects of family life, which sometimes result in family dysfunction.
“Therefore, the collaborative effort of all stakeholders is needed as no one alone can control it.
“The  problem is on the increase especially in the conflict zones of the country which is a serious threat to our national sanctity. Based on these findings, prevention advocates would look to the mass media as an important aid in addressing the problem of Drugs and Substance abuse”.
In her closing remark, the Director Social Development, Dr Dorothy Nwodo thanked the participants and other stakeholders for their contributions in ensuring a robust  awareness on drugs and substance abuse. She also implored  the media to keep up efforts towards projecting and actualizing the Ministry’s mandates.

Other participants at the Media Orientation on Awareness on Substance and Drug Abuse were representatives of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, the Nigerian Correctional Service, Nigerian Immigration Service, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency and the Media.

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