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Kogi inaugurates 100 forest guards to cub illegal felling of trees

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Kogi inaugurates 100 forest guards to cub illegal felling of trees

By John Akubo,

Kogi State Government has inaugurated 100 forest guards it employed early this year to help regain forest control for utilisation of forest produce.

The inauguration of the guards to compliment the work of existing forest officers would help to reduce illegal forest activities to the barest minimum.
Bello, who was represented by his Deputy, Elder Simon Achuba, at the ceremony on Tuesday urged the newly recruited forest guards to be responsive to duties and ensure that all the forests in the state are well policed and protected.

He challenged the guards to resist the pull to compromise the rules of engagement in pursuit of financial gains or personal comfort.

“Deforestation is a great social and national evil which should be checked on priority basis for which you have been employed to do.

“I congratulate you on your recruitment and successful two weeks training on strategies of effective policing and related security functions across the state,” Bello said.

The governor, however, appealed to various host communities to cooperate with the forest officers by reporting and refusing to accommodate persons engaging in illegal felling of trees in their areas.

Bello also reiterated his determination to enforce the provision of the law compelling the planting of ten trees in place of one tree cut down by those who have the permit to log for commercial reasons.

Earlier, the State Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, Mrs Rosemary Osikoya, indicated that the recruitment of forest guards by the government was necessary for the state to take charge of its forest reserves.

She added that it would also ensure protection of endangered species of both flora and wildlife, and sustainable utilisation of forestry produce.

“The challenge towards regaining forest control is comming against the backdrop of high level commercialisation and laxity by immediate past government.

“Today, history is made in Kogi with formal inauguration of forest guards which is one of the critical components of rebuilding the state promised by Gov. Yahaya Bello.

“One in which the environment is safe for the enjoyment of unborn generations where the totality of Kogi resources work for the totality of Kogi people,” Osikoya said

Speaking, Kogi House of Assembly, Mr Alfa Imam, said the legislators would work with the executive to ensure that the forest guards succeed in their assignment.

Represented by House Committee Chairman on Environment, Mr Rabiu Momoh, said the house would give the needed legislative support to ensure that Kogi forest reserves are preserved, protected and conserved.

The Acting Conservator General, National Parks Service, Mr Abdullahi Hussain, said that in addition to providing ecosystem services, the initiative would also assist in maintaining peace in the state by controlling the activities of miscreants using forest as hideouts.

He appealed to Kogi people to support the efforts of the State Government by being responsible citizens who abided by the established forestry laws that regulate deforestation activities.

Confluenceupdates reports that the forest guards received two weeks intensive training in protected area management held at Kanji Lake National Park and Old Oyo National Park, at Niger and Oyo State respectively.

Other stakeholders present at the inauguration include heads of all security agencies in the state, commissioners, representative from Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN), National Park Service, Kogi Acting Head of Service, among Government officials.

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Yueltide: FMWH reopens closed section of Murtala Muhammed Bridge in Kogi

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Yueltide: FMWH reopens closed section of Murtala Muhammed Bridge in Kogi

By Friday Idachaba

The Federal Ministry of Works and Housing has reopened the closed section of the Murtala Muhammad Bridge, Jamata on Abuja-Lokoja highway to ease movement of traffic movement during the Christmas and New Year festivities.

Engr. Kajogbola Jimoh, Federal Controller of Works in Kogi State disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Lokoja.

Kajogbola said that though the rehabilitation work on the dual carriage bridge was yet to be completed, a substantial part of it on Lokoja-bound portion had been done and could be reopened to traffic to address heavy vehicular movement during the festivities.

According to him, what remains for the Lokoja bound bridge to be completed is to change the damaged expansion joints which have to be ordered from abroad adding that the contractor has some constraints in this area.

“Presently, all other works are completed and we have asked him to cover the edges of the old expansion joints so that when the new ones arrive, he will simply remove the old ones and replace them with new ones.

“If the closed section is not opened, Nigerians will suffer during this festive period and that is why we are insisting that they should open it for now till when the contractor is able to get the new expansion joints”, he said.

Kajogbola said he collaborated with Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Corridors Commander, Sector Commander and other officials to remove the barricades and redirect the traffic all in the presence of the contractor’s representative.

He pointed out that the reopening was an interim arrangement saying, “This is just temporary reopening, the work is for two years and the contractor has not spent up to a year.

“So, it’s just to let Nigerians know that the Federal Government cares for them and that we are working and to tell them what stage we are on the project.

NAN reports that the bridge which is currently under rehabilitatinon/ maintenance work, being handled by Hallekem Ltd., had only one functional 2-lane carriageway in use before this reopening.

The Controller appealed to motorists to be patient, resist temptation to drive against traffic and to keep their vehicles in good condition to avoid break down. (NAN)

FDJ/

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Senator Opeyemi lampoons Buhari over refusal to sack service chiefs

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Senator Opeyemi lampoons Buhari over refusal to sack service chief

The senator representing Ekiti Central Micheal Opeyemi Bamidele has asked President Muhamadu Buhari to respect the resolution of the National Assembly that he should sack the service chiefs without further delay.
The senator while contributing to the motion on the beheading of 67 farmers in Borno, by Bokoharam insurgents: Need for Urgent, Decisive action pleaded with the service chiefs to voluntarily resign based on national interest.
He said they can then wait to be appointed as Presidential Advisory Panel on security.
“For me the number one resolution that I will like to reemphasize on this floor of the senate is for the President to allow the service chiefs to go, they have done their best, they have worked so hard, the best anybody can give is his best.
“You cannot give what you do not have and if the President believes so much in these service chiefs he should remove them as service chiefs and constitute them as Presidential advisory committee on security matters and they will still be there to be advising him and let the younger ones take over as service chiefs to move the country forward.
He said, “It is yet another moment when we run the risk of Nigerians looking at us as a group of elected representatives who sit in the red chamber to shed crocodile tears but we know that is not what we do.
“We are victims of certain circumstances that make it look like that. There is probably nothing any of us could say here today that has not been said, the only thing that is new is that more people have been killed in most barbaric manner. Yet we have to say something as representatives of the people.
“We are unhappy about what happened in Borno, Katsina and Niger States and some Northern parts of the country. Even in the South South, south East and south west where people are being kidnapped, there are some forms of insurgency.
“In Ondo State just last week a paramount ruler was killed. My own contribution is this, let us stand on existing resolution, in addition of course to the prayers that the mover of this motion made clear to us.
“Fighting Bokoharam cannot be something we do by habit, it cannot become part of our national life, it cannot become what we budget for year in year out as a routine.”
He lamented that the war was becoming a routine adding that there is a need to bring it to an end as lives are being lost on a daily bases.
He also made refrence to a constitutional provision in section 14(1)b which defines the primary purpose of Government to be the welfare and security of the people.
“We all agree that this is not being fulfilled and where a Government is deemed to be in breach of section 14(1)b the Government is also automatically seen to have breached section 32 and 34 of our constitution which provides for the right to life, right for personal liberty, and life against torture.
“These are things that goes together once you fail to fulfill the provision of section 14(1)b so what are we talking about let these service chiefs go.
“If the President would not remove them we call on these service chiefs in the interests of the public to resign and look forward to being appointed as members of Presidential committee on security. So this is one contribution that I really want to make.”
He also made reference to the budget of over N800b set aside for all of the armed forces, whereby more than 60% of it is specifically tailored towards prosecuting the war against insurgency.
“I believe before this budget is passed it is either the president come to address this parliament on the way forward on how to address the security matter or we hold a joint session and do a public hearing and allow Nigerians an opportunity to also speak to this issue.
“I dont think it should be a question of us sitting down to pass this budget it should not be business unusual.”

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Buhari tells mothers to admonish their wards on need for dialogue over #EndSARS

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Buhari tells mothers to admonish their wards on need for dialogue over #EndSARS

 
Apparently piqued by the growing youth restiveness which engulfed parts of the country in the last few weeks,
President Muhammadu Buhari has urged women to engage with children and youths on the need for dialogue that would yield better understanding.

The President spoke on Thursday while hosting the representatives of women at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He said Nigeria remained committed to ending violence against women and girls in Nigeria and the rest of the world.

According to him, although the country had not achieved the 35 percent affirmation on the participation of women in governance, the current administration intended to exceed the benchmark.

“I want to assure you that this administration remains resolute to not only meet the 35 percent National Gender Policy, but to exceed it across key decision-making role in government,” he said.

He restated his commitment to end child marriage and boost girl child education in all parts of the country.
The Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, earlier appealed to President Buhari to ensure that the issues responsible for the ongoing strike by university lecturers were resolved amicably, to enable universities reopen and students go back to school

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