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PIB: South-south forum asks Buhari to hold Dickson responsible if violence breaks out in N/Delta

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The South-south Emerging Leaders’ Forum (SELF) has told President Muhammadu Buhari and all the Niger Delta leaders to hold former governor Seriaki Dickson responsible in case of any outbreak of violence in the Niger Delta.

The forum also described as irresponsible and disgraceful the accusation made against the Minister of State for Petroleum Chief Timipre Sylva by the former governor of Bayelsa state over the recently passed Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).

The South-south forum said “as water flows from a keg, so lies flow from a non-performing Senator.”

Dickson had accused Sylva of proposing 2.5 per cent operating surplus to Host Communities against President Muhammadu Buhari’s 5 per cent in the Petroleum Industrial Bill when he addressed the National Assembly over the contentious bill.

Dickson asked the host communities in the region to hold the minister responsible for the 3% approved for them.

Already, a militant group, Niger Delta Revolutionary Crusaders (NDRC), has threatened to resume hostilities over the three per cent allocated to host communities in the recently passed Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) by the National Assembly, which it describes as unfavourable.

But responding to Dickson’s accusation through a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Comrade Benjamin Kolowei, and made available to newsmen Saturday in Abuja, SELF warned the former governor to stop playing politics with the PIB issue.

The forum accused the former governor of being behind the move to destabilise the South-south using the PIB as a cover.

According to the group, Dickson must explain to his constituents why he abandoned the meeting where the contentious bill was being discussed for frivolous reasons.

The statement also accused Dickson of contributing nothing to the realization of the PIB and development of host communities even as a sitting governor, saying the former governor was only interested in his village with derivation funds.

The group said: “The likes of Senator Dickson are ingratiate. Under the PDP administration, with President Goodluck Jonathan from Bayelsa, Dickson as sitting governor, Alison Madueke as Minister as Minister of Petroleum and the PDP dominated National Assembly, the PIB could not see the light of the day.

“The likes of Senator Dickson should berry their heads in shame and by now be answering questions on their ignominious roles instead of heaping blame on patriotic Minister of state for Petroleum.

“A witch cried last night and the a baby died this morning, who doesn’t know that the witch killed the baby. Senator Dickson should be held responsible over the latest move to threaten the peace of the Niger Delta region.

“We will henceforth hold Senator Dickson and his types responsible for any breakdown of law and order in the Niger Delta, because Dickson has openly incited, instigated and called for violence through his recent statements.”

The forum advised Senator Senator Dickson stop instigating violence in the peaceful South-south region.

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Community rejects polio vaccine to protest agaisnt theft of Hospital equipments

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From: Ahmed Rufa’i, Dutse

Jikas community in Gwaram local Government area of Jigawa state have rejected polio vaccination and other routine immunazation to protest theft of equipments the only hospital in the town
It was gathered that the community rejected the polio vaccine over the weekend to protest the alleged anti people action by the medical officer in the village.

Youths in Jikas town and sorounding villages the NationalUpdate learnt held a peaceful demonstration in the town when the vaccinators arrived while trying to carry out their mandate in the town and villages

One of the protesters identified as Malam Sogiji Malagadai Jikas said “We will not allow our children to take the vaccine until the state Government carry out an investigation on a female medical officer in the primary health care clinic who was alleged to be brain behind theft of some medical equipments of the PHC

According to him “Some very important medical equipments worth over one million Naira and a deep freezer had been stolen from the clinic and we are suspecting the medical officer”.

“The equipment got missing since June. So findings indicated that she is guilty. We reported the matter to the authorities, but no action”.

He added that they have formally sent a letter of complain to the chairman of Gwaram local government council, ministry of health and department of state’s security but no action”.

Malam Soji Malagadai Jikas “a delegate for elder of this ward had gone to the ministry and met the top official lodged complain and the ministry promised to take action. But the women is still in the hospital, she did not even been transferred talkless of investigating her”.

“After a serious pressure the chairman of the local councils and some our people agree to force her to pay back by deduction from her monthly salary till she paid in full”.

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Disability commission prioritises education, moves to establish 6 model schools in 6 geopolitical zones for PWDs

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The Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities, Mr James Lalu, has disclosed that his commission was set to establish six model schools for Persons with Disanbilities (PWDs) across the six geopolitical zones of the country to take care of their righ to education

Speaking on Wednesday during a pres conference to mark the one year anniversary of the Commission in Abuja he explained that the Commission was making effort to ensure that PWD enjoys free education from primary to secondary school across the federation.

“In 2022, scholarships would be provided for PWD who are qualified to study within and outside the country. Our commitment to this makes us to talk to British Commission for support.

“Some PWD are preparing to leave Nigeria and a lot.of them will be leaving to UK next year on scholarships.

“Our commitment to this has led us to open partnership with two universities in the United States to provide education for PWD from Nigeria.

“Similarly, our commitment to international technological transfer is tied to education. We strategising how we can push our people do go and learn technical skills that they can bring back to help the disability community,” Lalu said.

He pointed out that 55,000 persons with Disability (PWD) have been enrolled in the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP)
He also lauded President Muhammadu Buhari and Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development for making the dreams of PWD come true.

“While 50,000 of PWD are set to be incorporated into the Conditional Cash Transfer, 40,000 have been integrated in the N-Power, all under the NSIP.

“Since Nigeria got it independence in 1960, we never had a President who love PWD like President Buhari. He shown inclusive governance and the disability community will never forget about him.

“Also, we commend Farouq, who fought to ensure that the Commission came into existence and achieved a lot in the past one year. She has been keeping us on our feet by asking questions and effective monitoring.

“However, the Commission is committed to ensuring that accessibility of minimum standard is integrated into the National Building Code across the country. The capacity of engineers would be build on that regard,” Lalu said.

He said the Commission was partnering with the Nigeria Police to enforce the law on discrimination of PWD, adding that discrimination against PWD is a crime and will be delt with in all police formation across the country.

According to him, the police officers will be trained in sign language to ensure communication and effective enforcement of the law and how to help PWD who are discriminated.

“Let me quickly add that while the sign language in the northern part of the country is different, the ones in the eastern and western regions are also different; we are going to harmonise them and have a single sign language for Nigeria”.

Lalu said the Commission was making effort to ensure the effective domestication of the rights of PWD across all states of the federation.

He added that the Commission would also push for the provision of mass housing for PWD via Federal Housing Authority, Federal Mortgage Bank and the FCT Minister.

Lalu said the commitment of the Commission to ensuring that five per cent ratio of employment in government ministries, departments and agencies were allocatesd to PWD could not be over-emphasised.

He expressed appreciation to the media as he enjoined them to continue to propagate the activities of the Commission.

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Toluwanime: An artist’s touch that lifts Jabi Lake community

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By John Akubo, Abuja                                    

In what she tagged Mercy Project, a Nigerian-born UK-based Gospel Singer, Ibiso Eleoramo, popularly called Toluwanime in partnership with African Centre for Environmental Protection (ACEP) reflected on the squalid living condition of inhabitants of a community by Jabi Lake and decided that a clean up of the lake and its surrounding would give them a new lease of life.
Prior to the clean up programme by the artist, the community had been inundated with strange diseases whereby children were urinating blood, which was attributed to their intake of unsafe water from the lake.
The three-day sanitation project tagged “Mercy Project’ was designed to help promote wholesome living in Abuja community.

The singer said she came to the sad reality that some inhabitants of FCT are so exposed to danger associated with taking untreated lake water that is unsafe for consumption with all the refuse, debris and the attendant health challenges.
Describing her effort as a form of Corporate Social Responsibility, Toluwanime declared: “A couple of months ago I came here to do a music video titled Mercy and we shot the video on the water scene and when we did that I could see dirt and debris in the water so I was inspired and I said okay what can I do, just to contribute my own little quota to making Nigeria a better place and I am so happy that we could put this together and start this mercy project,
“I decided to come here working with a non profit charity organization called African Centre for Environmental protection based in the Niger Delta. I am actually originally Rivers by birth. “The organisation has club that teaches people how to keep their environment clean and safe and how to plant trees to conserve the environment.
“What we are doing here is we have to work with the fishermen to encourage them because if you leave them they may not do it. We asked them to come out this morning 7am and because of the heavy downpour, which I will refer to as showers of blessing, we could not make it at 7am.
“We came to clean the water and not just the water but the surrounding of the water.

“If refuse and debris are thrown into the water, obviously it is going to disrupt the ecosystem of the water, you are going to have polluted water and even the oxygen in the water would be distorted as a result of the waste.”
A major partner in the project, Femi Adegoke, described Mercy Project as a very laudable one that is important to take care of the environment, and water.
“As we all know that water is life, this is a water body that the community depends on so it is important to make it clean. It is important that they desist from dumping waste in the water to prevent it from being polluted.
“There are economic activities going on here in the Lake like the fishing, they depend on this water body for their livelihood including maybe drinking but we hope they don’t drink directly but in the event they do we hope they boil the water before drinking.
“The project might seem seemingly small but it has a huge impact. I have done evaluations of similar projects like this and what I find very interesting is the unintended outcome of doing very small things like this.
“What they want to do is that they want to clear all the sourounding to move all the disposable material from the water. They want to enlighten them about why not to put refuse very close to the water body.
“These are some of the initiatives, clearing all these refuse and also ensuring that going forward this doesn’t happen again. Ideally, they should dispose their refuse far away from the water body because the refuse when they get into the water they cause more harm than good.

“This type of initiative can also reduce conflict and build peace within the community because if you look at the partway it is a small one, I am sure that by the time peoples boats collide there would be conflict and they can start fighting but with the clearance that would not be.
“I am excited about this project. It might look insignificant but it is very impactful and I am proud to be associated with the launch of the three-day activity.”
He said the fishermen in the community have been commissioned to do the clearance, saying they will be taking a picture before the clearance and come back on a later date to see what the difference would be.
A medical practitioner of 15 years experience, Dr. Adaora Keazor commended the sponsors of the project describing it as a good initiative as she prayed God to bless the Mercy Project.
She pleaded with the inhabitants of the community to ensure they don’t consume the water without boiling.
“So please anything that will go into the mouth, water must be boiled properly, fruits and vegetables have to be washed and prepared well, nobody should eat anything that is half cooked so that whatever germs inside can be taken care of.
“We are near the water, there would be mosquitoes and all, we should try and wear things that cover up to reduce the mosquito bites, anybody not having anything to do with the water should not be playing around.
“Even where we sleep, there are different ways of getting rid of mosquitoes so we need to protect ourselves from all these things that make us ill. A clean environment will definitely produce a healthy community,” she said.

The traditional ruler of the community, Alhaji Adamu Isah, said they have been using the water from the lake for their domestic activities since there was no other source of potable water.
While explaining that they are from the Agatu speaking tribe of Benue State, he added that they have been living in the community for more than three decades.
“Our major problem is that our children urinate blood because of the effect of the water,” he stated, adding that some persons and many organisations that came were told of the peculiar challenge, but with no positive response.
However, he pointed out that a women group came to give the children some injections against the health challenge of urination with blood.
The monarch promised sustaining the sanitation exercise so as to make the environment clean all the time, even as he appealed to the government to come to their aid.

Culled from the Guardian

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