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Kogi Environment commissioner sensitizes Lokoja residents on the benefits of clean environment

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Kogi Environment commissioner sensitizes Lokoja residents on the benefits of clean environment

By John Akubo

The Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, Kogi, Mrs Rosemary Osikoya, on Saturday whipped up religious believes of residents to make them safeguard their environment by keeping them clean and safe.

The commissioner who spoke after the monthly environmental sanitation exercise in Lokoja, challenged the residents to take responsibility of cleaning their environment for a heathy living.

“We look forward to actual implementation of those belief system in the way people conduct themselves, manage their wastes and environments
“God has given us the responsibility to look after our environment; if we as a people can live by the tenets of our religious beliefs, then Kogi will become sustainably clean.
She solicited the support of religious leaders, traditional rulers and the media to sensitise the people about the safety and cleanliness of their environments.
Osikoya expressed the optimism that more groups at all levels in the State would devote their time to
community service.

The commissioner commended the ministry of education and SUBEB Chairman for mobilising school children to fully participate in this month’s cleaning exercise to mark the Children’s Day celebration.
“I feel excited because it shows that the cleaning exercise is sustainable if we can get the next generation to learn good values and attributes of what we want our society to be, then, we have succeeded.

“Though there are pockets of resistance in compliance but then it is understandable because human beings will always need lots of time to adapt to new things particularly cleaning culture.”

The State Prosecutor, Mr Samuel Adewuyi, indicated that two Mobile Courts were on ground to prosecute sanitation offenders, buses to convey them, option of N1000 to N2, 500 as fine.

According to him, 27 sanitation offenders were prosecuted, out of which 24 were convicted and 4 persons were warned and discharged.

Mrs Florence Joseph, the General Manager of Kogi State Sanitation and Waste Management Board (KSSWMB), said the level of compliance was an improvement on the previous Months.

“Individuals are expected to clean their surroundings, cut the grasses and clear drains to ensure free-flowing of waters to prevent flooding and transmission of diseases.

“We are appealing to the people to make sanitation a continuous habit by keeping their environment clean and green always because, ‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness’.” she said.

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Islam abhors child marriage-NSCIA

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Islam abhors child marriage -NSCIA

Islamic religion frowns, forbids early girl marriage and would not support it, Haroun Muhammad Eze, Deputy National Legal Adviser of Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) has indicated.

Eze, said this at the NSCIA Headquarters in Abuja yesterday, during a courtesy visit by Wanda Adu Foundation, a civil society organization that is partnering with the Council on ways to prevent sexual abuses on the girl child in Nigeria.

Receiving the Foundation on behalf of the Chairman of NSCIA; Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto, Eze, expressed the readiness of the body to always support all efforts to tackle child sexual abuse in the country.

According to him, “Islam abhors forced marriage, Islam frowns at early marriage of any girl-child. Islam will not support any of these and as Muslims who know the teaching of Islam, we will stand with any organisation, whosoever, that promotes upright society..

“It is quite unfortunate that these social vices you have enumerated are also prevalent in the Muslim community where we have laws in the Quran and in the practices of the Messenger of Allah (SAW).

“That only we should abide by those laws, by those rules and regulations we will not see even one case of sexual abuse, of child abuse, of forced marriage, of infant marriages whether by consent or otherwise.

“We need to go back to our laws and as Muslims we need to go back to the laws of the Almighty as enshrined in the Quran.

“We are with you and we hope that this partnership will propel our nation in the right direction and will help to reduce the spate of incessant occurrences of these menaces we are seeing in the society.”

Furthermore, he said that Islam frown at force marriageof infant girl child, adding that people misunderstood the quoran when they said that prophet Mohammed married one of his wife Aisha at the age of 9 years.

And that in Islam a girl child must not be married until she gets to maturity age, stressing that it’s only at maturity age that the child can give her consent.”. That’s telling you that a child must not be married if the child is not matured.”

Earlier, the Executive Director of the foundation Wanda Ebe, who led a team from the organisation on a visit to NSCIA , said the move was to solicit the support of Islamic leaders on the protection of children from sexual predators in the society.

“We know that religious leaders play a very vital role in our society and we deem it fit to use them as a tool for awareness creation and advocacy as well, because everyone respects his or her religious leader.

“We have also discovered a lot of sodomy going on in different communities and are not limited to a particular religion or tribe. It is a universal issue, we can all tackle it together,” she said
Wanda said the Foundation has taken similar campaigns to Christian’s organisations, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), among others.

“The whole aim of this meeting is to see how best to protect our children from sex offenders, from paedophiles, from persons who derive pleasure in defiling children, and we have been able to meet with the NAPTIP, the Nigeria Police, we have met with Christians Association of Nigeria and community leaders.

“We have also carried out street campaigns, community campaigns on what people need to do when there are cases of child sexual abuse to prevent all of these things.”

She said that, the Foundation is partnering with the International Centre for Investigating Reporting (ICIR) and Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) on the Child Sexual Abuse in Nigeria Project, even as she expressed hope that fight would gain more momentum with the support of NSCIA.

Furthermore, she lamented the rising incidents of child sexual abuses in the country, said many people are being sexually exploited in communities across the country.

“Sex should not be forced, consent should be given, and of course, children are the most vulnerable because with just N10 sweet, a child can be lured and be defiled,” she said.

Adding that they have come to solicit for the support of Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs in their fight against girl child sexual abuses.

“We are tired. In a year, there are over 1,000 cases of sexual abuse and violence in Nigeria and when you check, you see that only two or three have been prosecuted,” she said.

Mr. Lemmy Ughegbe, Director of Make a Difference Initiative, speaking during the visit noted that rape used to be a virus in Nigeria but now has now become a pandemic capable of swallowing future generation.

He said that they are glad to use the NSCIA platform to rob minds and share their thoughts on how they can also help to support each other to raise their voices to find an end these pandemic.

Stressing that rape pandemic is worse than the COVID-19. “In our veiw child sexual abuses has become a pandemic which is more serious than COVID-19. If you look at the average of death, the percentage you find out that many people get infected with COVID-19, we have over 85 percent recovery rate.

Most people get infected and come out okay later, but with child sexual abuses the psyco socal consquences is so great that the child is damage for life.” Ughegbe, said

Lemmy, cited recent cases of child sexual abuse in the nation’s Federal Capital Territory, said there is a need for the government to do more in the area of prosecution of offenders and rehabilitation of victims.

End

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Civil servant refunds N1.7m excess salary Civil servant refunds N1.7m excess salary

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Civil servant refunds N1.7m excess salary

By John Akubo, Lokoja  

Mrs. Husseina Mohammed, a level seven accountant attached to the Teaching Service Commission (TSC) in Lokoja returned the sum N1, 780,500 paid in excess of her March salary to the coffers of the state government.

Despite the economic hardship, some Nigerians still stand out in their disposition to honesty. Recently, a civil servant in Kogi State, Mrs. Husseina Mohammed, a level seven accountant attached to the Teaching Service Commission (TSC) in Lokoja returned the sum N1, 780,500 paid in excess of her March salary to the coffers of the state government.

The screening exercise embarked upon by the Governor Yahaya Bello administration generated so much controversy and confusion, with the accounts of some workers who were not owed any salary arrears credited in huge sums, while some owed as much as 15 months waited in vain for alerts crediting their accounts.

Mrs. Mohammed, who could not contain the surprise package delivered to her account, was cautious, even with the knowledge that her spouse, also a civil servant, was cleared in screening exercise, but still waiting payment of his 16 months salary arrears.

Her phone received an alert one early morning indicating that her account had been credited with almost N1.8million as her monthly salary, which is approximately N34, 000. The message read: “Salary for the month of March, 2017.”

Husseina, who was surprised, read the message severally and on getting home, narrated her excitement to her husband. They had a brief family meeting to consider the implication and decided to refund the money, convinced that it was the right thing to do.

The decision to refund the money was not unexpected, especially being an accountant and knowledgeable of the implication of spending the money. Though a difficult decision, especially with outstanding school fees of their children running into the entire session, but the spouse would not be tempted to do otherwise.

She quickly rushed to the Director General, Bureau of Information and Grassroots Mobilisation, Alhaji Abdulkareem Abdulamlik, explain that she received an alert from her bank in the afternoon of May 21 and discovered that a huge sum had been credited in her favour.

She said she started the process of returning the money to the state government on May 22, adding that the money was paid into the government account with the Lokoja branch of the Zenith Bank Plc.

She then handed over the bank teller and other documents used in paying back the money to Abdulamlik. She pleaded with government to reciprocate her good gesture by paying her husband’s outstanding 15 months salary arrears being withheld over discrepancy in his age declaration, which she said had since been rectified.

Abdulamlik commended Mohammed for her honesty, saying with people like her in society, Nigeria was sure of winning the ongoing war against corruption.

He urged other civil servants and residents of the state to emulate her, adding that her good conduct would not go unrewarded and would be recorded for generation yet unborn to learn and emulate

Culled from the Guardian

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Late Senator A. T Ahmed: 11 years after, leaders advocate replication of his ideals

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Late Senator A. T Ahmed: 11 years after, leaders advocate replication of his ideals

From John Akubo, Lokoja

The 11 years anniversary of the late Ahmed Tijani Ahmed held at the Ebira day ground in Okene Saturday became a rallying point for politicians irrespective of party affiliation to discus issues of common unity for the progress of the State and how to replicate his ideals.
Just like the late Ahmed fought for the agenda of peace and all-inclusive governance in Kogi State every speaker spoke on the critical need to align with the essence of his struggle.
To many, Senator A.T Ahmed, as he was fondly called, was a liberal progressive politician with populist political ideology and burning desires for equity, fairness and justice. These they argued, formed the fulcrum of his political agitation and struggle before his untimely death.
Former Governor Ibrahim Idris who eulogised the late political bridge builder challenged all Kogi people to always know that power comes from God even as he rallied support for the Incumbent Governor Yahaya Bello for progress and developmento
In his words, “I will like to give a simple advice that power is being given by God, it is only God that have such power to give power to whoever he wishes and whoever have been bestowed with such power there is need for us to respect him. In that vein I want to say there is need for us to respect our leader of the day so that there would be peace and development in our State.,”
The Deputy Governor Elder Simon Achuba who represented Governor Yahaya Bello commended the organizers of the 11th remembrance anniversary for the event which he described as well thought out as reward for service delivered.
He indicated that Ahmed was an icon that is adored by the Ebira nation any time any day,
“Even though Ahmed is no more but he is alive not walking on the streets but alive in the minds of the people. He stood firmly for what the Ebira people believed, he fought their battles and he stood in for them.”
According to him, the late icon contested and pushed for power rotation or shift but God in his way of doing thing was not willing to answer his prayers and the battle he fought at that time.
“God has his way of rewarding people and he will always do so at a time he feels it is matured and so he fought for power rotation but today without a fight God has answered that prayer, without a word an Ebira man has become the Governor of Kogi State and of course the question I will like to ask all Ebira people is; what else do you want?
“You now have a Governor why are you fighting amongst yourselves. I want to urge you all to come together so that you can get the benefits of what God has done for you.”
Achuba said there is no society without issues but when they come they must be handled maturely.
He call on all of Ebiras to come together irrespective of party affiliations so that they can take the full benefit of what God has done for them.
“We are are here celebrating what Ahmed stood for, my question is what do you stand for? Are you going to hold the Ebira together like Ahmed has done or you are going to scatter the Ebira like others.
“I want to admonish you that you drop every spirit of fighting and be united amongst yourselves so that you can benefit both from the federal Government and the State.”
He said no matter the political disagreement there should be some room for reconciliation

“Somebody who is your enemy today in politics can be your greater supporter tomorrow.
He recalled his political stance against the former Governor Ibrahim Idris, “I remember there was a time I took a very strong campaign against him that Kogi People should not allow him to win again but that was my wish however he won because God wanted him to come back for the second tenure that does not make us to see ourselves as enemies.”
He admonished the Ebira nation to see the game is a matter of choice and to learn from the friendly disposition of the Igalas in politics.
“I cannot in any place disrespect Alhaji Ibrahim Idris, I cannot disrespect former Governor Idris Wada it is not possible. For one even if I am the Governor for age sake they are my seniors and so we must respect them. I want to let us know.”

On his part, Elder Idris Anako, the Coordinator of the forum called on Kogi State political class to translate the love they have for the late leader into making sure that the state is taken out of the woods.
Hon. Lawi Ahmed, a member representing Okene 1 constituency in the State House of Assembly said aligning with the populist and progressive political views of the late leader in the affairs of the state is the utmost respect that could be given to him.
Hon Lawi who is the son of the late political icon argued that being blind to ethnic and religious sentiments can fast track development and make Kogi State envy of others in the country.

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