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Inaugurate NDDC board now, Urhobo youths urge FG

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The Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) Youth wing worldwide has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to inaugurate a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) without further delay..

The youths made the appeal in a statement by its President, Umukoro Efemena, which was made available to newsmen in Abuja.

Efemena said that inauguration of substantive board for the commission would bring rapid development to the Niger Delta region, not stagnation, deprivation and marginalisation.

He recalled that the NDDC was created in response to the demands of the people of the region, a populous area inhabited by a diversity of minority ethnic groups
Emefena said the UPU Youthwing worldwide was worried that the Federal Government appointed a sole administrator instead of constituting a substantive board for the NDDC.
He recalled that President Buhari forwarded a letter dated on Oct. 18, 2019 to the Senate for confirmation appointments of a 16 – member board of the NDDC.

“Specifically, Mr President in the letter sought the Senate’s confirmation of the former Edo State Deputy Governor, Dr Pius Odubu, as Chairman of the NDDC; and Chief Bernard Okumagba as Managing Director and 14 others as board members.

“Accordingly, the request, which was read on the floor of the Senate on Oct 22, 2019 by its President, Ahmad Lawan, was given expeditious consideration by the upper legislative chamber.

“The Senate then directed its standing committee on NDDC, to carry out screening exercise on all the nominees and report back within a week.

“The Senate’s standing committee headed by Sen. Peter Nwaoboshi (PDP Delta North), carried out the screening exercise on 15 out of the 16 nominees on Oct. 31, 2019, upon which the Senate confirmed their appointments on Nov. 5, 2019 based on report tabled before it by the committee,” he said.

Emefena said it was worrisome that after the screening was concluded the board was yet to be sworn-in.
He said that constituting a substantive board, rather than keeping a sole administrator for NDDC, would return development to the region, and remove the concerns of the people of the region that their rights were being shortchanged.

“We are calling on Mr President to inaugurate the board as soon as possible  for the region to have rapid development not stagnation, deprivation and marginalisation.

“It is a clear fact that the NDDC can never live up to its potentials as an agency set up for the development of the oil rich region with a sole administrator.

“The UPU Youthwing worldwide called on President Buhari to sack the sole administrator and swear in the substantive board already screened and that has the backing of the NDDC Act with immediate effect.”(NAN)

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Over 20 persons living with disabilities register for JAMB in Nasarawa

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From Umar Egbunu Muhammed, Lafia

No less than 20 persons living with disabilities as well as vulnerable persons have been registered for the forthcoming Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), in Obi local government area of Nasarawa state.

This was disclosed by a Group under the ages of the Organizer Foundation in Nasarawa State during the unveiling of billboard in Lafia, the state capital on Sunday.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with the NationalUpdate shortly after the unveiling of the billnoard, the chairman of the group, Mallam Mohammed Ja’afar-Adi, said the gesture was as the result of COVID-19 effect and also to assist the needy for what he described as adding value to the less privilege in the society who have been neglected.
He said: “20 Physically challenged as well as vulnerable persons have been registered for the forthcoming Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and some applicants were also given money to register WAEC who could not afford to pay their fees.”

The group, however, called on Dr. Musa Adamu, who holds a traditional tittle as Sarkin Matasan Obi to run for the seat of the House of Representatives Lafia/Obi federal constituency come 2023.

According to the leader of the group the community has been lacking potable water to drink, saying that it was Dr. Adamu who sank eight boreholes across Obi and Lafia local government areas of the state.
He explained further that Dr. Aadmu distributed bags of rice, cartons of supergeheti, sugar and some cash as a palliative to cushion the effect COVID-19 pandemic, saying that school fees were also given to some students who could not afford it.

The foundation which cut across all the 23 wards of Lafia /Obi federal constituency promised to support him for the 2023 elections by coming out en masse to ensure his success at the polls for effective representation and accountability.

He, however, disclosed that scholarships have already been disbursed to undergraduate students.

He assured the House of Representatives aspirant that the organization will do everything within their power to ensure that victory is assured.

Earlier, Barr. Mohammed UmarZanwa who is the chairman of the central working committee on behalf of Dr. Musa Adamu, thanked the organizer foundation for the love and support adding that he has accepted to contest for the house of representative to represent the good people of Lafia/Obi federal constituency.

He thanked the Organizer foundation for the honour bestowed on him as he assured them of quality representation, just as he promised to carry everyone along if given the mandate come 2023.

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Disability commission boss decries high rate of out of school children living with disabilities

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The Executive Secretary National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD) Mr James David Lalu has expressed concern over the high level of out if school Children living with Disabilities.

The Head Media and Publicity of the commission Mbanefo John Michaels in a statement issued in Abuja quoted the Executive Secretary to have indicated that the commission is leveraging on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (UNESCO) support for the Commission to take the children back to school.
Lalu spoke recently in his office during a meeting with representatives of the UNESCO Abuja Regional Office.
He said that the Commission is quite interested in collaborating with as many pertinent organisations as possible to ensure the achievements of its statutory mandate.
The Executive secretary explained further that the Commission’s zonal Rehabilitation Centres will be established in each State to enhance easy access and connection to various localities.
He however, indicated that some States like Kaduna, Gombe, Kwara and Kogi have been visited by the Commission adding that they were prevailed upon to kick-start the process at that level.
Lalu reiterated the commission’s commitment to carrying out its mandate of collation and proper follow up of bills to ensure creation of State offices is achieved

While commending the ES for his efforts towards putting the Commission on the cause of progress, the Officer-In-Charge of Social and Human Sciences, UNESCO Regional Office, Abuja, Mrs Nneka Okafor pointed out that UNESCO is in support of the creation of State offices which will improve the lives of Persons with Disabilities.

She prayed that the commission will attain greater heights to positively advance the wellbeing of Persons with Disabilities in Nigeria.

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Vatsa Community asks Buhari to use June 12 to Grant Late General Vatsa State Pardon

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From our reporter in Minna

Vatsa community in Lapai Local government area of Niger state has appealed to President Mohammadu Buhari to use the occasion of the June 12 democracy day celebration to grant their son, late General Mamman Jiya Vatsa who was executed in an alleged coup in 1986 a state pardon.
The appeal by the community is coming 35 years after the late General Vatsa alongside nine other Military officers were executed by the Military after two different trails for an alleged coup plot meant to overthrow former Military President, Ibrahim Babangida in 1986.
The spokesperson of the Community, Mallam Isah Aliyu Vatsa who made the appeal on behalf of the community and the entire Vatsa family while briefing newsmen in Minna said that the state pardon if granted by the President will heal the wound inflicted on the community 35 years ago following his execution.
The community pointed out that though March 5th every year is set aside to marked the killing of their son, and with sadness and sorrow by the family, granting him pardon like the way other Nigerians who had enjoyed such gesture will enable them do many other things in his honor.
“Every 5th of March, is always a dark day for the entire Vatsa Community and the immediate family. We mark the day with sadness and sorrow. We know that something was taken away from the family and the entire community.
“We believed that granting him a state pardon will enable the community and the family run a foundation in his honor. We can not do that if he is not granted pardon”, he submitted.
He pointed out that just like other Nigerians who were implicated in coup plot but granted pardon, the entire Gulu Vatsa Community and the family of General Vatsa are appealing to President Buhari to rewrite history and forgive their son and grant him pardon.
“Even though our son was alleged to have plotted a coup, the family is passionately appealing to President Buhari to consider him for a state pardon as it has been done to other Nigerians who found themselves in similar situation in recent time”.
According to him, “The same way that former President Olusegun Obasanjo, General Oladipo Diya, Late MKO Abiola and many others were all granted state pardon and integrated into the society, President Buhari should also consider our late brother and grant him state pardon.
“As a former Minister for Federal Capital Territory, our late son contributed immensely to the development of Abuja. As at the time he was implicated in the alleged coup, he was a minister of FCT and the architect of the present development of Abuja”.
He admitted that since the execution of late General Vatsa, life has not been the same with the family and the community, adding that “his death created a lot of setback in the family and the entire Vatsa community because so many people depended on him for everything”
“We are therefore appealing to all his friends still living to support this cause so that he can be granted pardon. This June 12 democracy day is good opportunity for the President to wipe out our tears”.

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