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Lokoja people were not the miscreants that stoned Gov Bello

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Lokoja people were not the miscreants that stoned Gov Bello say traditional leaders

The traditional leaders of Lokoja yesterday have debunked allegation that the hoodlums jpthat stoned Governor Yahaya Bello penultimate Friday at a Jumat prayer were youths of Lokoja adding that they have been a peaceful people that have high regards for constituted Authority.

Speaking at the Lokoja Day Celebration to mark the anniversary of the city that was founded 12th September, 1860 the Walin Lokoja Rear Admiral Ibrahim Idrisu (Rtd) told the gathering that the people have never had any course to disagree with any Governor to the extent of throwing stones at him.

 “Lokoja people are not trouble makers, because they believe leadership comes from Almighty God

“If for any reason your son becomes a leader please follow him because if you don’t the Almighty God will course you. So we have no reason to stone any Governor. It is not in our character. We have never stoned any Governor.”

He reiterated the fact that it was not Lokoja people that stoned the Governor, but miscreants and criminals.

In the same vein a former permanent secretary in the State Alhaji Aliyu Lawal Biya, said “This year we are celebrating the Eid El Adha which was the sacrifice that was done by prophet Abraham in obedience to God and we are using this opportunity to admonish everybody to be obedient to God and constituted authority.”

He said Nobody will occupy any position without the knowledge of God who appoints hence the people must be obedient to them and to God.

The former permanent secretary indicated that they were using the event also to rally support behind the Governor as they have been preaching all along about loyalty and obedience to constituted authority from the ward to Local Government and to the State level and national level.

“Voting is immaterial it is God who appoints so we should be obedient to God.”

He said the people owe a duty to be obedient by respecting constituted authority adding that if the leaders betray the trust which God has bestowed on them then it is God that will determine their fate not the people.‎

Buy a who is the Durnbi of Lokoja admonished the youths to be creative so they would not be sitting idle at home as the idle mind is the Devils workshop.

“They should go and learn skills to employ themselves and others. They should not wait for Government employment. Days for waiting on Government for employment are over. “Even University graduates are now going to learn skills in carpentry, aluminum works, printing and so on to keep body and soul together.”

He said they should not wait on anybody to give them job as they can employ themselves.

“Being a graduate does not make you not to look for additional skills. We should be very peaceful. Our youths should not be too aggressive. Whatever we get or not should not make us to be violent as power comes from almighty God.”

“As people of Lokoja we will continue to pray for peace, we would pray for our leaders, the President and the Governor and our Maigarin of Lokoja”

He explained the significance of the celebration from two perspectives; the celebration of the anniversary of Lokoja which was founded 12th September, 1860 which takes place every 12th September.

Biya said the current one was shifted to 13th of September because Sallar coincided with it. ‘We used to converge here to celebrate so because of Sallar we shifted it to 13th.’

He indicated that the second celebration is the Sallar parade day on the same day.

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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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More than 200 households square up for battle with CBN over clinic conversion to COVID-19 center plans 

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More than 200 households square up for battle with CBN over clinic conversion to COVID-19 center plans

Apparently piqued by what they referred to as insensitivity on the part of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) over plans to convert its clinic to a Covid 19 treatment centre, more than 200 households in a CBN estate in Abuja have vowed to square up for battle with the Apex Bank.
As parents and owners of homes in the former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) estate in Garki II of the Federal Capital Teritory, Abuja, they are worried for their families about the trauma such an action would bring to bear on them.
More so, that the CBN sold the homes in its former Estate to the new owners 14 years ago.


The residents are saying the Apex Bank no longer own the estate solely hence it has no power to unilaterally take such decision without recourse to the other stakeholders, since it ceased to be the sole owner of the estate after it sold homes to former occupiers.
They therefore sent a protest letter to the Bank management stating that,
“Our attention has been drawn to the recent decision of the Management of the Central Bank of Nigeria, to convert their old clinic building located at the CBN I & J Estate one Garki II, Abuja to a center for the treatment of Covid-l9 patients.

“We, the Residents of the Estate are hereby constrained to write to the Management of the Bank to draw your attention to the following facts and express our displeasure over such plan as it shows total disregard to humanity.
“CBN is not the sole owner of the Estate by virtue of the sale of the Estate to occupiers in 2006 in line with the approved guidelines issued by the Federal Government in respect of the sale of Federal Government houses in the FCT.
“By the said sale, the Bank ceases to be the sole owner of the Estate and therefore cannot take any unilateral decision that will affect all patties.”

The residents have also sent letters of protests to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Federal Capital Territory Department for Development Control, seeking to stop the conversion of a clinic to a Covid-19 centre.
The Residents’ Association vowed to go to any length with the bank, starting with the courts, if the “unpopular and arbitrary” decision to convert the CBN Clinic in the Estate to a Covid-19 Isolation Centre is not reversed
According to the association, in a statement, “The Central Bank of Nigeria CBN has planned to convert its clinic inside the estate in Garki 2 as covid treatment centre. The Clinic Doctor and CBN Management staff had met officials of the estate association to brief them of the proposed plan but the residents are vociferous in their resistance.

The association is at a loss as to why the clinic inside an estate where more than 200 families live should be converted to treatment centre saying the risk can only be imagined.

“If executed the estate will have only one entrance instead of the normal two as expected by law. The association intend to approach the court should CBN insist on converting the estate into covid treatment centre.”

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