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Senator Ogembe accuses Gov Bello of sposoring thugs to disrup/destroy empowerment program/materials

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Senator Ogembe accuses Gov Bello of sposoring thugs to disrup/destroy empowerment program/materials

The senator representing Kogi Central senatorial district has accused Governor Yahaya Bello of the State of sponsoring thugs and Policemen to destroy over N200 million worth empowerment materials meant for distribution to his constituents.
Ogembe said his multi-million Naira empowerment programme at Ageva on Okene-Ogori-Magongo road that included
cars, motorcycles, sewing machines and other materials for empowerment was disrupted last Saturday by political thugs alleged to be sponsored by the Governor.
Ogembe who made the accussation while speaking with newsmen in Lokoja described the situation as dangerous saying that it would only create anarchy in the state if not checked.
He said the intimidation and harassment of opposition party members in the State was becoming unbearable saying that it will result to breakdown of law and order if the Buhari Government fails fail to call Bello to order.
Ogembe called on the Federal Government to wade in and address the incessant harassment and intimidation of members of the opposition party in Kogi.

He explained that before the commencement of the empowerment program at Ageva on Okene-Ogori-Magongo road disrupted on Saturday he applied and got approval from the Inspector General of police (IGP) for security.
He said h also notified the Commissioner of Police in the state as well as the Divisional Police officer in the Local Government.

“We also sent letters to the Commissioner, the area Commander and the DPO and we have the acknowledgements. We discussed on phone and they assured us they will provide enough security.

“The DPO did his best but the Area Commander messed up the first empowerment program, I was talking to him almost on a daily bases about three times.

“But after putting up the rostrum they came in the night before the programme and burnt the vehicle we used in conveying the rostrum to the venue around 1:40am.

He said that the matter was reported to the police and the Area Commander said there was tension in the place only for the Local Government Administrator to come later to say the senator did not seek the governor’s permission and neither was he consulted before holding the programme.

The senator said it took the intervention of the military to quell the hostilities between the people and the thugs however, most of the materials meant for the people were stolen by by the armed thugs.

“I only brought empowerment to my people to make sure I shared the materials so that everybody can leave with their own items and they came to disorganized the program and they started stealing and vandalizing the materials”, he said.

Ogembe wondered what would happen by the time the ban on political activities were lifted, “Are they saying we must go and get permission from the Governor before we can hold rally? It has never happened.

The senator stated that the State Government was conniving with the police and the thugs to intimidate opposition and called on the Federal Government to stop the dangerous trend.

“After any program they will go to PDP members houses and start stoning and harassing them, that is what the Administrators of Adavi and Okehi are doing basically now. The Governor should know the extent of his power.

Reacting to the allegations, Jibril Abu, APC state Publicity Secretary, said It must be recalled that sometime in March, this year, similar thing happened and the State Government did not only condemn the act but sent delegates to appease and pacify the aggrieved and Sen. Ogembe over the unfortunate incidence.

“One will however question the sanity of anybody that will link such kind of act to Governor Yahaya Bello. Senator Ogembe was given a red flag by the security operatives when the information got to them that he was coming to Okene to conduct empowerment program.

“However, Sen. Ogembe decided to trust his thugs and act against a clear warning from the appropriate authority. One is shocked that a law maker would go out of his way to promote and encourage lawlessness in his constituency.

“From the insider report, PDP thugs loyal to Sen. Ogembe manipulated the volatile security situation to cause mayhem in order to attract public sympathy to their principal”, he said.

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Women farmers decry low budgetary allocation to agric sector, call for review of policies

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Women farmers decry low budgetary allocations to agric sector, call for review of policies


By Friday Idachaba


The Small Scale Women Farmer Organisation in Nigeria (SWOFON), Kogi chapter, has called on the state government to review existing policies and framework on agriculture to fast-track the diversification of the state economy.

The spokesperson of the organization, Ms Halima Sadiq who is also the Executive Director, Participation Initiative for Behavioural Change in Development (PIBCID) made the call at a press conference on Wednesday in Lokoja.

She decried the persistent low budgetary allocations and equally dismal releases of such allocations saying that there had been fluctuating budgetary provisions for the agriculture sector in the state since 2016.

Reading from the release signed by Hajia Safiya Yahaya, state Coordinator and Mrs Esther Audu, Secretary of SWOFON, Sadiq held that the development contravened the 2003 Maputo Declaration saying there was need for review of existing policies.

“Nigeria is a signatory to the declaration and it promised commitment to providing at least 10 per cent of its annual budget to agriculture under the Maputo declaration of 2003 and as such upholding the commitment in this COVID-19 era is crucial.

“It is imperative that the Ministry of Agriculture reviews existing policies and prepares a coherent policy framework that incorporates the Change Agenda of the administration which will provide a good anchor and basis for budget formulation and implementation.

“If Agriculture is to serve as a means of diversifying the economy of Kogi State as promised in the New Direction Blueprint of the government, then allocation to the sector is grossly inadequate”, she said.

She added that there was need for rationalisation and streamlining of mandates of the Ministry of Agriculture to achieve greater value for money so that resources would be channeled to capital expenditure alongside salary payment and overheads.

Sadiq therefore called for at least 80 per cent releases across budget line items in the approved agricultural sector budget for 2021 and specifically, 100 per cent release of Women In Agriculture budget to its members across the 21 LGAs in the State.

SWOFON among others, called for enhanced legislative oversight to the sector, inclusion of climate change mitigation in the budgetary provisions, concerted participatory Youth and Women In Agricultural policies and increased funding for agricultural Finance/Credit as well as funding for extension Services.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that SWOFON is coalition of women farmers from a across Nigeria working together to promote women-friendly agricultural policies and increasing women’s access to land, farm inputs and funding aimed at improving agricultural productivity. (NAN)

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Gender inclusiveness: Kogi to empower, train 30,000 women on political participation

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Gender inclusiveness: Kogi to empower, train 30,000 women on political participation


By Friday Idachaba


Kogi State Government has concluded plans to train and empower 30,000 women across the 239 wards of the State to actively participate in politics and drive gender inclusive governance.

The programme to be executed under the System Resilience Building Approach to Women Leadership of the state Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is expected to increase the number of women in elective and appointive political offices.

Mal. Nasir Ohiani, Special Adviser to Governor Yahaya Bello on SDGs disclosed this on Tuesday in Lokoja at a two-day training workshop for women in elective and appointive positions in the 21 Local Government Councils in the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the training workshop organised by the state SDG in collaboration with Centre for Women Studies and Intervention (CWSI) had 21 Vice Chairpersons and 21 Council Leaders from the 21 Local Government Councils.

Ohiani who was represented by Mr Henry Chinweuba, his Technical Assistant, said the training was part of the SDGs’ office initiative to build women leadership in the state and foster it under the “System Resilience-Building Approach to Women Leadership.

“We have broken down the Kogi State structure into 1,000 communities and we are planning to empower 30 women in each of the communities to give us 30,000 women.

“If we have 30,000 new women active in Kogi State politics, that is a huge number. That is our destination and today is the beginning of that journey”, he said.

Executive Director, Centre for Women Studies and Intervention (CWSI) Rev. Sister Ngozi Francis Uti, in her welcome address, urged the 42 local councils duty bearers to ensure that they use their positions to place women in their rightful places.

“In Nigeria, the people of Kogi State have demonstrated their zeal to promote women participation in political leadership by electing 21 women as vice chairpersons and 21 Council leaders of the local councils in the 21 local government areas of the state.

“The governor, His Excellency, Yahaya Adoza Bello, during the swearing-in ceremony emphasized his desire to uphold the 35 per cent Affirmative Action for women in elective and appointive positions as envisioned by the National Gender Policy”, she said.

Dr Ifeyinwa Okolo of the Dept of English, Federal University, Lokoja with Specialty in Gender and Sexuality in African Literature, called for not just awareness but sensitization on gender equality and uniformity in decision making space.

Okolo who spoke on “Gender Equality in Leadership”, said it was expected that at the end of the capacity training, they would be able to function effectively in their new positions, understand the imbalance better and take steps to bridge the gaps.

Mr Hamza Aliyu, Executive Director, Initiative for Grassroot Advancement (INGRA) in his paper, “Constitutional Functionalities in Local Government Administration” charged the women to function excellently, be efficient and effective.

In her contribution, Ms Eunice Agbogun Executive Director, Challenged Parenthood Initiative (CPI), a Non-Governmental Organisation, urged the women to have healthy self-image and use the office to bring positive changes to the state and the country. (NAN)

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Photonews: 53 NSTA abducted passengers also regain freedom

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Photonews: 53 NSTA abducted passengers also regain freedom

Cross section of abducted 53 NSTA passengers release on Sunday by their abductors at the government house in Minna.

Recall that passengers on board a bus belonging to the Niger State Transport Authority (NSTA) were all kidnapped along Minna-Tegina road in Rafi local government area.

The incident occurred at about 3:00pm in the afternoon at Kundu village, about 200 meters to the famous Zungeru bridge when the passengers who were said to be returning from a wedding at Rijau, Rijau local government area of the state were stopped and taken into the bush by the bandits numbering about 40.

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