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FG home grown school feeding to cater for 376, 000 pupils in Kogi

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FG home grown school feeding to cater for 376, 000 pupils in Kogi

At least 376,000 pupils in 2100 schools in Kogi State have been selected among beneficiaries of the Federal Government home grown school feeding program in public primary schools.

Mr Adoga Ibrahim, The Special Adviser to the Governor on Multilateral Donor Agencies and Special Projects/Focal Person on Social Investment Program gave the indication yesterday during a stakeholders’ meeting on basic education as SUBEB office in Lokoja.

According to the Governor’ aid, the federal government would cater for a meal per day of 191000 pupils from primary 1 to 3, while Kogi state government in its wisdom decided it will feed 181000 from primary 4 to 6 in public schools across the state.

“The State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, in his magnanimity has offered to feed all pupils in primary 4 to 6, since they are not included in the federal government plan.

He indicated that they would deploy technologies that will drive the program in the 21 Local Governments to make it possible for the State to have the best home grown school feeding program.
Ibrahim disclosed that his agency in the nezt few weeks, is sending its working and technical committee to Osun State to understudy what they are doing there to enhance their performance in Kogi.

“We will have a good structure that willl enable our children to be well-fed nutritiously, and ensure that ghost children are not captured,” Ibrahim said.

Mrs Kadijat Karibo, Head of Home Grown School Feeding Programme, Kogi State, pointed out that the aim of the programme is to revive public schools, encourage farmers at the grassroots and reduce poverty.

According to her, the programme will encourage more parents to enroll their children in public schools thereby reducing illiteracy level at the grassroots.
She added that being homegrown the farmers would benefit as the food items would be purchased from their farms.

Earlier, Mr Sunday Tolorunleke, Kogi Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, said education at the basic levels in the state was set to receive a better attention.

“This government will be providing free set of schhol uniform and pair of sandals for the pupils in batches, starting with the state capital,” he said

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N’Delta APC youths, amnesty beneficiaries tackle Dikio for hobnobing with PDP

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N’Delta APC youths, amnesty beneficiaries tackle Dikio for hobnobing with PDP

A coalition of youth leaders and beneficiaries of the Presidential Amnesty Program (PAP) who are members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari to disengage the sole administrator of the PAP, Col. Milland Dixon Dikio (retd) for appointing opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members as aides.
At a news conference Wednesday in Abuja, National Coordinator of the coalition, Perekeme Joseph, said Dikio has been runing the program like a personal estate without consulting with traditional rulers and leaders of the region.
The coalition also challenged Col. Dikio to immediately clear all the students yet to be cleared by the Verification Committee in order to save them from further embarrassment as most of them have already been thrown out of school.
It also demanded the immediate payment of all Vendors and Contractors “most of whom borrowed money to execute their jobs but have not been paid”.
The coalition stated; “We wish to draw the attention of Your Excellency to some basic and specific areas: Col. Dikio’s appointment of his biological younger brother George Dikio whom he has entrusted unimaginable powers.
“Strategic and indirect hand over of the Presidential Amnesty Programme office to former Governor Henry Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State who hates APC and its members with so much passion. 
According to him, the sole administrator also appointed two of the closest aides of former Gov. Dickson in the persons of Fidelis Soriwei the Chief Press Secretary of Dickson who wrote so many unprintable things about the APC led federal government and who is now the Head of Media to Col. Dikio.
“The second person is Alfred Kemepado who was Special Adviser to Dickson on Youths. 
He is now one of the Special Advisers to Col. Dikio. As we speak, both of them are still very active members of the PDP. 
So, is Col. Dikio saying that there are no APC members in Bayelsa State that are qualified to be appointed to those sensitive offices? 
“Col. Milland Dixon Dikio’s total disregard for elders, leaders, stakeholders and the real owners of the programme is provoking. It is unbelievable that he has spent close to two months in office but has never deemed it necessary to go to the Niger Delta to meet with traditional rulers, religious leaders, youths and ex-agitators who are the real owners of the programme. The worst is refusal to give audience to visitors. His younger brother George Dikio and his cronies harass the owners of the programme daily that they cannot have access to Col. Dikio who was appointed to serve the people”. 
They asked Dikio to as a matter of urgency draw up a meeting schedule with all critical stakeholders in the Niger Delta, saying such meetings would help to douse the growing tension in the region.
The coalition however demanded “The immediate removal of Mr. George Dikio who is the biological younger brother of Col. Dikio. We say the above because there are so many qualified Niger Deltans that can be appointed as Personal Assistant (PA) instead of his direct blood brother who does not understand the workings of the programme and does not also have any regard for the owners of the programme. 
“The  Presidential Amnesty Office came as a result of the sweat and blood of our people and it cannot be reduced or turned to a family affair.
“The Presidential Amnesty Programme was not formed for former Governor Henry Seriake Dickson; a chieftain of the PDP who has hijacked Col. Dikio and the Amnesty and in his usual characteristics, will use proceeds from that office to fight APC members in Bayelsa State and the Federal Government. While we acknowledge the fact that the close allies and aides of former Governor Dickson are also Niger Deltans that are entitled to benefit from the Presidential Amnesty Office, we know that there are competent APC members who can man those very sensitive positions. 
We therefore demand the immediate disengagement of those aides and engagement of qualified APC members. The above is very important because of the hell APC members went through in the hands of Dickson and these his same cronies. APC members till this moment are treated as orphans in Bayelsa State”.
When contacted, Mr Soriwei did not immediately respond to media enquiries.

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Omo-Agege grieves over death of 9 persons in Delta communal clashes

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Omo-Agege grieves over death of 9 persons in Delta communal clashes

***Sue’s for peace in Isoko land

The Deputy President of the Senate (DSP), Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, has expressed shock and saddenness over the reported killing of 9 persons, including a child, in Oleh, Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta State.
At least nine people were  reported to have been killed in Delta State following a resumption of hostilities between two neighbouring communities involved in a boundary dispute.
The incident happened at a boundary between Oleh and Ozoro communities.
The two communities which are in Isoko South and North local government areas of the state are presently embroiled in renewed hostilities.
Senator Omo-Agege in a statement issued by his special adviser on media Yomi Odunuga said urgent and pragmatic efforts must be made to prevent further bloodletting.
According to him, respected political, traditional, religious, women and youth leaders within and without Isoko need to preach restraint, de-escalate the situation and help to quickly restore genuine peace to the land.

The deputy president of expressed the believe that it is by divine order that Isoko and Urhobo are historical good neighbours with strong filial, marital and lingual affinities.
“Whatever touches Isoko touches Urhobo, and vice versa.”
He is therefore genuinely concerned about the reported killings and bloody violence, and is ready to do whatever that is necessary for peace to reign.
The DSP recognised the all-important duty of the Delta State Government to maintain internal security in the State.

To this end, he chalkenged the Delta State Governor, Senator (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa and his team, to work diligently to ensure that acts that are capable of leading to more bloodshed or violence are responsibly, urgently and sustainably curtailed.

He  therefore appealed to all our people who may be involved in the crisis one way or the other to embrace peace, no matter the provocation. “There is no alternative to peace. Where there are perceived injustices or wrongs, lawful processes should be followed. “Isoko’s unity and progress are on trial and it is the duty of all responsible leaders and stakeholders to ensure these common interests are not sacrificed on the altars of violent reprisals and in-fighting.
“Let all persons involved in this matter cooperate with both the Local and State governments as well as relevant federal authorities to restore and maintain the peace in Isoko.”
Omo-Agege said he is ready to engage with Distinguished Senator James Manager representing Delta South Senatorial District and other leaders on the matter for the overall good of our people.
In the meantime, he has directed his Senior Special Assistant on Security Matters, Col. Melvin Usman (rtd), to immediately liaise with relevant authorities and stakeholders on the de-escalation of the situation.
“This is to enable him (Omo-Agege) to get more informed briefing on the matter and for him to better support peace efforts on the ground.”




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Over 70 communities submerged as River Niger overflows its banks in Kogi

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Over 70 communities submerged as River Niger overflows its banks in Kogi

By Bukola Giwa

No fewer than seventy Kogi communities have been submerged under water as the River Niger overflows it’s bank due to three days of torrentian rainfall during the week.

Consequently, over 50,000 people have been displaced from their houses in different parts of the State.

Residents of some of the communities who spoke in Lokoja, on the sidelines of a stakeholders sensitisation/advocacy meeting on 2020 flood said that the flood had wreaked havoc in the affected areas.

They indicated that the communities had been experiencing massive flooding in the last five days.

The one-day meeting was organised by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in partnership with the Kogi State Emergency Management Agency (KOSEMA).

One of the residents, Mr Ibrahim Abdullahi, who is also the Desk Officer in charge of ecological and emergency matters in Kogi Local Government Council, said that 66 communities had been submerged by flood in the area.

Abdullahi said that over 50,000 people had been forced to evacuate their houses and were now being accommodated in schools, filling stations and other makeshift buildings.

He said that some of the victims in Edeha and Koton Karfe communities had been sleeping on roads and other open places, co-habiting with mosquitoes and dangerous reptiles.

He said that schools had been closed as they had been converted to temporary camps for the victims, calling for urgent intervention from the State Government and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

The desk officer said that the victims had lost their means of livelihood to the flood, as their farms and livestock were also washed away by the rampaging floods.

Similarly, the Chairman of the Flood Committee in Ibaji Local Government Area, Mr Omonu James, said that floods had sacked thousands of residents from their houses in the area.

James said that the problem of the victims were compounded by the area’s terrain as it had no upland for them to relocate to .

Accordingly, he said, all the 26 schools in the council had been converted to camps for the displaced persons but said that the camps lacked basic facilities.

He said that one death, that of 17-year-old Michael Egwuaba, had been recorded since the floods started, but that the number could rise if urgent measures were not put in place to mitigate the effect of the disaster on the people.

In Lokoja metropolis, many residents living along the bank of River Niger and other flood paths have been forced out of their houses by the floods.

The situation is said to be very grim in the suburb communities of Egan, Konami, Buzih, Ebwa, Even, Lagan Budan, and Gbuje where residents had been forced to relocate to the neighbouring Niger State.

They appealed to the government to quickly come to the aid of the displaced persons, especially in the area of provision of water, drugs, blankets and mosquitoe nets for the victims.

Gov. Yahaya Bello who declared open the meeting said that substantial amount of money had been released to purchase drugs, food, water and other relief materials for the victims.

Bello, who was represented by his deputy, Chief Edward Onoja, also directed that 21,000 youths recently engaged under the Federal Government’s public works programme be deployed to help in the rescue operation.

He said that maximum security would be provided for the personnel involved in search-and-rescue operation, promising that more succour would be provided for the victims.

The NEMA Director in charge of training, Mr Mohammed Usman, said that incessant flooding had become a serious threat to the country’s efforts at becoming self sufficient in food production.

Usman said that nine local government areas in Kogi were among the 102 in the country that had been identified as highly probable risk areas for flooding in 2020.

He called on the state government to urgently take preventive and mitigative measures to reduce the impact of the flood on people and the economy of the state.

He said that NEMA would also, in line with the Federal Government’s directive, assist the victims to find their feet and go back to farms as soon as possible.

Stakeholders at the meeting, including, the Red Cross, Navy, Civil Defence, Police, NIMET, fire services and the media all expressed their readiness to make their services available to the government.

The Navy, marine police, civil defence, Red Cross and the fire services assured that they had enough men and equipment on ground to confront the disaster.

Mr Julius Mejayan, Executive Secretary, KOSEMA, said that highlands had been identified and camps established across the nine local government areas prone to the disaster.

He listed the council areas as Bassa, Lokoja, Kogi, Omala, Idah, Ibaji, Dekina, Ofu and Igala-mela, warning that residents must be ready to move at any time from now.

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