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Unknown attackers kill Masquerade, 3 persons at Eche-ane festival in Kogi Central

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Unknown attackers kill Masquerade, 3 persons at Eche-ane festival in Kogi Central

Unknown attackers have allegelly killed a masquerade and 3 persons during the annual Eche ane cultural festival which started in the early hours of yesterday in Kogi Central.
Several other members of the community were reportedly injured in the attack.

According to eye witness account the masquerade that was detailed to announce the commencement of the festival as tradition demanded was allegedly attacked at Inike in Okene town by rival clan group opposed to the take off of the annual event.

Various dangerous brands of lethal weapons were allegedly deployed by the clans either to protect themselves or otherwise attack their assailants. 
The injured were taken to hospitals within Okene and environs where they were receiving treatments as at press time.

The Eche ane festival known for its propensity for catalysing clannish violence as means settling old scores was banned by later Prince Abubakar Audu who was Governor then to pave way for peace in the area, but due to its history and cultural significance to the Ebira as a race, stakeholders and politicians impressed it on the current government to lift the ban.

Though at a stakeholders meeting convened by the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Shuaibu Gamboat at the state police command headquarters in Lokoja, the leadership of the Ebira people assured that this year’s festival would be devoid of rancour and promised to conduct it in a peaceful manner it has turned the other way round.
At the meeting the DIG was also invited to witness the “most peaceful”Eche ani.

In a swift reaction, the Administrator of Okene local government Hon Abdulrazak Mohammed announced the ban and immidiete stoppage of the festival so as to forestall further destructions of lives and properties.

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Senate tackles FCDA over leaking roof of National Assembly complex

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The Senate has blamed the Federal Capital Territory Authority (FCDA) for the embarrassing situation on Tuesday when the roof of the complex caved in after a heavy downpour
It therefore called on the FCDA to expedite action on the renovation of the National Assembly complex to stop the leakages in the roof as the rainy season persists
President’s had approved the sum of N37 billion for the purpose of renovating the National Assembly Complex in the 2021 which caused uproar among many Nigerians.
The renovation work the NationalUpdate gathered is the mandate reserved for the FCDA.
Senate Committee chairman on Services Sen. Sani Musa gave the charge on Tuesday in Abuja.
The situation caused senators some delay in resuming plenary after about 10 days break.
Cleaners quickly moved in to rescue the situation.
But Musa was reacting to the general decay at the complex, especially leakages from the roof after a downpour.
He urged the FCDA to commence renovation of the complex within the shortest possible time.
“The building needs to be worked on and if you recall, we proposed the renovation of the complex which the president graciously approved is in the budget.
“And we have done the needful. Instead of the national assembly management to handle this project, this project was domiciled in the Federal Capital Territory Authority (FCDA) because they are the owners of most of the public buildings in Abuja.
“We know that the complex was handed over to the national assembly management but yet we requested that the renovation should be undertaken by FCDA.
“The FCDA has done the needful; they have called for bids; they have done all the necessary things; they have gone to Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP) and no Objection Certificate has been issued,” he said.
Musa added: “Surprisingly however when it got the Federal Executive Council (FEC), one of the ministers made a remark which made the president ask for the review of the whole process and today, you can see what is happening with the complex.
“It was flooded, everywhere is leaking. I will call on the FCDA, I will call on FEC to take a look at our submissions and do the needful.”

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ActionAid trains, empowers 750 youths with N38m in Nasarawa

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From Abel Daniel, Lafia

As parts of efforts to curtail youths restfulness, unemployment, ActionAid has trained and empowered 750 youths with skills and start up kits handed to the trainees.

Speaking at the Presentation of the items to the beneficiaries in Lafia on Friday, the country Director Mrs. Ene Obi said that two years ago ActionAid flagged off the “System and Structure Strengthening Approach against Radicalization to Violent Extremism (SARVE II) Project in Nasarawa State.

She stated that ActionAid did promised to support vocational skills training for 750 youths and thereafter provide starter packs for them to start up their businesses.

“Today, that promise is being fulfilled as ActionAid Nigeria together with her Nasarawa partners, Global Peace Development and Beacon Youth Initiative, under the supervision of the Nasarawa state government will be handing over 6 vocational skills equipment worth N38,000,000 (105,555.555 USD) to 750 youths in Nasarawa State”, she stated.

According the country director, the beneficiaries were trained across 6 vocational skills namely: tailoring, hairdressing, shoe and bag making, ICT, phone repairs and Carpentry from 12 communities in 6 Local Government Areas which are Obi, Akwanga, Nasarawa Eggon, Nasarawa, Toto and Lafia.

She stated further that while young women and men seek opportunities to invest their potentials, they are often negatively affected by poverty, marginalization, unemployment, and under-employment, and often find themselves lacking the necessary literacy competencies, capabilities, and skills to overcome these issues.

She noted that if care is not taken young people can become vulnerable target of recruitment by violent extremist groups who exploit their frustrations and vulnerability.

She however warned that youths in the state stand the risk of being vulnerable with Nasarawa State’s 29.83% unemployment rate and 31.06% underemployment rate according to the Quarter 4 of 2020 report of Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

“Given this, ActionAid Nigeria, and her partners with funding from the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund, (GCERF) took steps in reducing the vulnerability of these youth, through the provision of vocational skills training to boost their income generation and making them entrepreneurs as a panacea in the prevention of violent extremism in Nasarawa State”.

“Some of the results achieved through the SARVE II project include 1,614 persons (youth-600 young men, 505 young women: 509 adult women) reached, with useful life skills to keep them engaged and away from the influence of extremist groups”.

“The capacities of 30 police officers were built to respond to rising issues of violent extremism through the crucial Human Rights-Based Approach (HRBA) while working closely with community policing structures that already exist.
“In the same vein, 6 Local Government Conflict Management Alliance (LOCMA) structures were established in 6 LGAs in Nasarawa State to prevent conflicts from the communities and promote peace in general.”

She assured that ActionAid remained dedicated to the fight against poverty with its vision of ‘A world, without poverty and injustice, in which every person enjoys his or her right to life with dignity.

The country director congratulated the beneficiaries and urged them to utilize the items presently to improve their economic and Carriers.
In his remarks, governor Abdullahi Sule who was represented by the commissioner of youth and sport, Usman Bala commended ActionAid for choosing Nasarawa state and for investing hugely on the youths.

Sule urged the beneficiaries to take advantage of the rare privilege of being part of those selected as he urged them to use the skills as well as the start up kits to establish and improve their living.

He however cautioned youths in the state to remained focused and shun thuggery and all forms of criminality

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They call me demolisher for not sharing money, expect more from my successor’

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Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has pre-empted that his successor would be deadlier in demolishing houses in the State to give facelift to urban development.
Reacting to some residents of the state who were allegedly referred to him as a demolisher he said they should not celebrate that demolition will end with his tenure as he assured that the next governor would do more for the development of the state.

El-Rufai spoke on Friday on a radio programme in the state capital.

According to him, some residents who understand their motives, now appreciate the urban development being executed across the state by his administration.
According to him his critics are attacking him for not sharing money to them, stressing that developing the state was worth more than sharing of money.

“When we started working on school construction they said we are not providing roads now we are working on roads they said we are not empowering people.

“If sharing money at night is what they mean by empowering people, they should keep insulting us.

“The masses who we are working for appreciate what we are doing for them.

“You know the election is approaching and they see me as a demolisher “Mai rusau” so they think that maybe the next person that will come after me will not demolish but he will demolish more than I do, God willing,” he said.

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