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Kwara Govt providing palliatives worth billions since COVID-19 outbreak — SA

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…Describes Prof. Aderibigbe as myopic

By Matthew Denis

Special Adviser on Media to Kwara State Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, Alhaji Bashir Adigun, has stated that the State Government has been providing billions naira worth of palliatives in cash and food items to residents since the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020 and has continued progressively to reach out to all segments of state.

In a statement made available to Nigerian NewsDirect on Tuesday, the Special Adviser has described the allegations put forth by Prof. Tella Aderibigbe as baseless and malicious acting on ignorance.

Speaking on some of the key achievements of the Governor, he said, “Contrary to his shallow knowledge of our dear State,  the State Government has been providing billions naira worth of palliatives in cash and food items to residents since the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020 and has continued progressively to reach out to all segments of the society and parts of the State.

“Kwara is a trailblazer in the Social Investment programme. Kwara is the first to enact its Social Investment programme as an Act of Parliament.

“The State Government’s home grown ‘Owo Isowo,’ (equivalent of Trader Monei under the Federal Government’s Social Investment Programme), has supported hundreds of thousands of traders in the state while the ‘Owo Arugbo,’ a conditional cash transfer for the poor and the elderly has provided succour for the aged and the vulnerable in the State. There is also Kwarapreneur, a business pitch programme providing financial support for indigenes of the State with innovative business ideas. It’s the first of its kind among states in Nigeria.

“In Agriculture, Kwara State was incorporated into the Cadre Harmonised Food and Nutrition Analysis under the National Programme for Food Security in January, 2023. With the full support of the state Government, two Food and Nutrition Security analysis has been done in the State.

“The analysis has resulted in the establishment of working synergy between the Kwara State Government and all the Agricultural institutions, agencies and parastatals (such as the Lower Niger River Basin Development Authority (LNRBDA), National Centre for Agricultural Mechanization (NCAM), Nigeria Stored Products Research Institute (NSPRI) and others in the State towards improving the Food and Nutrition Security of the State.”

According to him, there are ongoing interventions for 9,150 farmers in Kwara State by the National Programme for Security.

He said, “The state has completed processes and requirements for the establishment of a Special Agro-Processing Zone with dairy farming as main focus in partnership with the African Development Bank (AfDB). Because of this, the French government has shown interest in supporting the actualization of the Special Agro-Processing Zone (SAPZ) by assisting in the upgrading and modernisation of the pasture production, breed improvement, meat processing and irrigation systems in Kwara State.

“The State is now disbursement ready, with the Islamic Development Bank adopting the funding of the State’s SAPZ project on behalf of the AfDB. The project kicked-off in April, 2023 .

“As a professor, is Aderibigbe unaware that the food crisis in Nigeria is impacted by the security problems around the country, recent mass exportation of Nigeria’s food products into some neighbouring  countries, thereby compounding food scarcity?

“One wonders if Prof.  Aderibigbe truly made the remarks or was misquoted; either way, a clarification is necessary. I am confident that other state Governors will address him in due course, provided they even consider it necessary to dignify his generalisation. We take exception in Kwara state because he expressly mentioned the state.

“We really wonder if Aderibigbe is not induced by ulterior motives or other extraordinary considerations to make such ignorant and sweeping remarks in his assessment of developments in Kwara State, so unbecoming of an academic.”

Recall that Prof. Aderibigbe at an event in Lagos and published by a national newspaper accused Governor AbdulRazaq as one of the Governors sabotaging the efforts of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

The Professor had pointed out that the Governor is investing a whopping sum of N17billion for renovations of Kwara state Owned hotel which is not the priority of the people considering the level of poverty and untold hardship on Nigerians.

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Rivers: Court outlaws LGA chairmen tenure extension

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By Barth Ndubuwah, Port Harcourt

A High Court sitting in Rivers State has ruled against the recent extension of Local Government Chairmen’s tenures, declaring exercise by the ousted 27 lawmakers of the State House of Assembly as invalid.

 The case, Hon. Enyiada Cookey-Gam & 6 Others vs The Governor of Rivers State & Others (Suit No. PHC/1320/CS/2024), was presided over by Hon. Justice D.G. Kio  in Port Harcourt.

Justice Kio declared that Local Government Law No. 2 of 2024, which sought to extend the Chairmen’s terms by six months, conflicts with the 1999 Constitution and Section 9(1) of Rivers State Local Government Law No. 5 of 2018.

The court affirmed that the lawful tenure for Local Government Chairmen and Councillors remains three years, as stipulated by the 2018 law.

The judge emphasised that the attempt to extend the tenure was not only unlawful but also violated the officials’ oath of office.

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Emir of Kano to visit Awujale of Ijebuland today

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The Awujale and Paramount Ruler of Ijebuland, and President, Ijebu Traditional Council, Oba Dr. Sikiru Kayode Adetona CFR, GCON, JP, Ogbagba II, will today play host to the revered traditional ruler, the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, on a royal visit along with eight officials of the Kano Emirate.

In a letter titled Notification of Our Visit to Ijebu Ode Kingdom, dated 19th May 2024, with reference number KEC/HH/CORR/OOW/VOL.I/768 and personally signed by the Emir of Kano, the purpose of the visit is to pay “respect to His Majesty with intention to strengthen the cordial relationship that has been in existence for several years between Awujale of ljebu-land and our father, the late Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, of blessed memory.

The letter read, “I humbly write to notify His Royal Majesty the Awujale of ljebu-land of our resolve to pay a Royal Visit to ljebu Ode Kingdom, Ogun State, on Wednesday, 22nd May, 2024 with an entourage of 8 officials of Kano Emirate.

“The purpose of our visit is to pay our respect to His Majesty with intention to strengthen the cordial relationship that has been in existence for several years between Awujale of ljebu-land and our father, the late Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero of blessed memory.

“At the same time, we will seize the opportunity to felicitate with His Majesty for attaining the age of 90 years, as well as been on the throne for 64 years.

“While we pray and hope the trip will be successful, and we meet Your Majesty in good health, please accept the assurance of our esteem regards.

 ”Allah Ya kare mutuncin mu da addinin mu. Allah Ya bamu lafiya da zaman lafiya (May God protect our honour and our religion. May God grant us health and peace).”

The visit will hold at the GRA Ijebu Ode residence of Kabiyesi Awujale between 12.00 noon and 2.00pm

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Domestic violence: Speak out, don’t suffer in silence — Lagos Commissioner tells women

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By Sodiq Adelakun

The Lagos State Government has urged women experiencing violation of rights to speak out as they can only receive help when they do so.

This was disclosed by the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA), Mrs. Cecilia Dada, at a ministerial news conference in Ikeja, Lagos on Tuesday.

“Speak up, speak out on domestic violence, there’s help! Come to the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation. If you cannot come, call 767. 767 is a number to call if you need help,” Dada said.

Also, she revealed that a total of 662 domestic violence cases were reported in the last one year, with 592 women and 70 men affected.

According to the commissioner, 592 women reported battering and violence against them by their husbands, while 70 men reported being beaten or battered by their wives within the same period.

She said the cases were reported directly to the WAPA ministry or through its toll-free line 767/112.

Further breakdown showed that 27 men and 247 women reported domestic violence directly to the ministry, while 43 men and 345 women reported spousal violence through the toll-free line.

In response to the growing concern, she revealed that Lagos State Government is constructing a Domestic Violence Survivors Shelter at Agidingbi, Ikeja, which will provide a safe and secure refuge for survivors of domestic violence.

Meanwhile, Dada added that the domestic violence unit created in 2015 in order to handle gender based violence cases that occur among intimate partners, relations, neighbors, among others had done a lot.

She said the domestic violence unit is saddled with the responsibilities of ensuring zero tolerance to gender based violence in the state.

The commissioner stated that the unit had been able to offer social intervention which involved advocacy (sensitisation and awareness creation programs on GBV), counseling, mediation, rescue, social investigation, empowerment, referral, medical assistance, collaboration, psychosocial services and follow up.

“The Ministry also partners with MDAs, International organisations and other relevant stakeholders to curb cases Of gender based violence in the State,” she said.

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