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NDLEA seeks more collaboration with military to tackle hard drugs in Borno

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The Borno Command of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), has called for sustained collaboration with the military in the fight against hard drugs in Borno.

The State Commander of the agency, Mr Joseph Icha, made the call in Maiduguri on Thursday when the new Theatre Commander, Joint Operation Hadin Kai, Maj.Gen. Ibrahim Ali, who paid him a courtesy visit.

Icha said enhancing the existing collaboration was necessary to ensure maximum result in the fight against insurgency.

Icha who announced the seizure of 759 kilogrammes of illicit drugs by the agency in January, said the feat was achieved with the support of the army.

He explained that the seizures made in January alone was more than the 267 kilogrammes of illicit drugs seized in the whole of 2022.

“This quantity of drug seizure is far more than what we seized last year.

“Last year we seized 267kg, but this year in January alone we have seized 759kg with support of the army.

“It was the army that assisted us to carry out some interdiction activities,” Icha said.

He also announced that in 2022, the command arrested 509 suspects for various drug offences and counselled 259 persons with drug issues, while 29 were admitted into its rehabilitation facility.

“We have charged 203 persons to court and so far achieved 39 convictions.

“Our work is in two aspects, supply suppression and demand reduction.

“Demand reduction is reaching out to those who are likely to fall victim and those who are victims, to see how we can manage them to come off the challenge they have.

“These activities have been successful that in 2022, the command was given the award for excellence in demand reduction,” the commander said.

Earlier, the Theatre Commander, said he was at the agency as part of his familiarisation tour of security agencies for more collaboration and synergy.

“I want to build on the collaboration you have with my predecessor so that we can achieve better results as a team.

“The NDLEA is a key partner to us in achieving our mandate, as most of those terrorists are involved in drugs to facilitate their illegal activities,” Ali said.

He noted that while in Jos as General Officer Commanding 3 Division, he collaborated with the NDLEA and would do the same in Borno.

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Ortom urges Alia to work with SGF for more democracy dividends in Benue

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By Titus Atondu, Makurdi

The former Governor of Benue State, Chief Samuel Ortom, has called on his successor, Governor Hyacinth Alia to work in synergy  with the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, (SGF), Sen George Akume for sustainable democracy dividends to the state.

 Ortom made the call in Makurdi  while speaking at the public lecture organised by his former aides on the occasion of his 63rd birthday.

Ortom described Sen George Akume as a true father, his leader and mentor and attributed all his achievements in life to the SGF.

He  also thanked Governor Hyacinth Alia for his good will message on his birthday and warned that Benue state has not had the position of SGF in the past and called on Governor Alia to embrace and work with him to enable the state to benefit from the position.

“Benue is our state, we have no other state and no one will come from anywhere to bring peace to Benue.

“Alia must sheathe his sword and find ways to work with the SGF so that all of us can enjoy the dividends of that position,” Ortom maintained.

He noted that elections were conducted and won, litigation were entered and God gave him victory saying, “It is his responsibility to do the needful so that Benue state will be at peace.”

Ortom expressed worry  that Benue is under siege and the governor alone or the SGF and himself cannot fight it alone without working collectively. He therefore noted that, “We are available if we are called upon to support or add value to the peace efforts of the government so that our people can live and enjoy the dividends of democracy.”

He  enjoined Benue people to pray for their leaders, Ortom said, “If I had my way, I would have given everyone the opportunity to be the Governor even in a few days.

“The challenges are enormous. You would not understand the challenges we go through but when you are there, you will understand the issues better.

“Nigeria is passing through very difficult times and that was what I was fighting against and I’m happy that people appreciated what we were doing,” he explained.

He appreciated his former appointees for organising the celebration of his 63 birthday anniversary in his honour.

“I’m very humbled by this special lecture on my 63 birthday celebration. This is not my first but this is the first time I’m witnessing a lecture and I must say that I’m pleased and enriched with all that was said here.

“I was taken unawares. You have made me know that I am appreciated. I thought I was used and dumped. I’m grateful to God for the eight years in office. I did everything with the fear of God, with equity, justice and fairness.

“I must have stepped on toes and those I know and those I didn’t know, I ask for forgiveness. I am humbled by this programme and further encouraged by your presence, kind words and prayers,” Ortom testified.

Guest Lecturer, Prof Samuel Aghalino, in the department of History and International Studies, University of Ilorin who is also the President Historical Society of Nigeria said, “Ortom was that Governor with a face cap. Anyone with a face cap is a revolutionary.

“Ortom played a significant role in extending politics beyond the borders of the state.

“He is one of the few politicians that stood in defense of his people, and was passionate in standing for human value while also demonstrating uncommon leadership.

“He was committed to the wellbeing of his people and stood vehemently, against the then government for murdering justice, fairness, equity and accountability, adding that Ortom expressed a rare readiness to cooperate with the investigations.

“He was a servant leader at a great cost to himself. At a time, during the Buhari administration, the doors of Aso Rock, the seat of power was shut against him for speaking the truth to power and holding the powerful accountable. I wonder how he survived.

“Ortom believes that politicians do not have to strive to be perfect to provide good governance to the people because only God is perfect. In his mind, you only have to love the people, therefore when it comes to democratic considerations, Ortom represents the school of thought that existence must take precedence over essence in governance.”

He said Ortom will be remembered by his people for the numerous things he has done and still doing.

Nigerian NewsDirect reports that the lecture was graced by prominent personalities like the former Attorney General of the federation and minister of Justice, Mike Aondakaa, Speaker, Plateau State House of Assembly, Gabriel Dewan, Member representing Apa-Agatu Federal Constituency, Pastor, Ojotu Ojema, Former Deputy Governor, Engr Benson Abounu, representatives of the Tor Tiv, Professor James Ayatse, Ter Gwer Dominic Akpete, the Ochidoma, Ogabaidu John Elaigwu represented by Dr Chris Ijale among others

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Katsina Gov. tasks corps members on nation building, cultism

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By Matthew Denis

The Governor of Katsina State, Mallam Dikko Umaru Radda has tasked National Youth Service Corps members deployed to the State for the one year national service to strive towards nation building.

This is contained in a statement signed by Director, Press and Public Relations, Eddy Megwa, to the governor and made available to journalists on Wednesday.

He also lauded the immense contributions of successive batches of corps members to the socio-economic development of Katsina State over the years, especially through corps members community development service projects and also increasing the manpower needs in schools and in the industrial sector across the State.

Governor Raddah disclosed this at the NYSC Katsina State Orientation Camp, while speaking through his Deputy, Alhaji Farouk Lawal Jobe during the swearing-in ceremony of the prospective corps members deployed to the State.

The Governor urged the corps members to embrace the opportunities of the orientation course to prepare themselves for leadership responsibilities.

“I challenge you to live up to the standard already set by your predecessors. It is my belief that the orientation lectures will stimulate you to strive for the socio-economic development of our country.

“I urge you to see the opportunity of your call to service as a rare opportunity and your commitment to the Oath of Allegiance to your fatherland”, he said.

He also advised the corps members to shun cultism, political and religious intolerance with other forms of anti-social behaviour.

The NYSC Katsina State Coordinator, Hajiya Aisha Muhammad in her address stated that the orientation course is the first among the cardinal programmes of the NYSC, which was designed to prepare corps members for the challenges of the service year and beyond.

She added that the orientation course, which is a regimented environment has over the years been able to inculcate in the youth, the spirit of positive citizenship, leadership values including the ideals of commitment to national assignment, patriotism, integrity, diligence and loyalty to the fatherland.

“I enjoin you to obey all camp rules and regulations as any erring corps member will be referred to the Camp court for appropriate sanctions in line with the provision of the NYSC by-laws,” She added.

The Coordinator also said a total of 1,410 prospective corps members comprising 715 males and 695 females were deployed to the State.

The Director General of National Youth Service Corps, Brigadier General YD Ahmed who was among the dignitaries that witnessed the swearing-in ceremony earlier in the day implored the corps members to take full advantage of the NYSC Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) programme and acquire at least a skill while in camp.

The DG added that skills acquisition is the remedy to the increasing youth unemployment in the country.

General Ahmed who urged the corps members to be security conscious at all times also advised them to obey the cultural beliefs of their host communities.

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Poisonous meat: KWSG buries confiscated meat

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By Saka Laaro, Ilorin

The Kwara State Government yesterday buried all confiscated meat from the poisonous animals slaughtered for public consumption around the Kwara State College of Arabic and Islamic Legal Studies (CAILS) in Ilorin.

This follows several measures already put in place to prevent people from consuming the suspected meat from the poisonous animals in the state.

In a statement released by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mrs. Funke Sokoya recalled that the State Government through the collaborative efforts of the Ministries of Agriculture, Health, Environment, and the State Environmental Protection Agency, in partnership with other concerned stakeholders, including the Iyaloja of Mandate Market, all agreed to suspend slaughtering activities for three consecutive days beginning from Monday, to allow for proper fumigation of the slaughter slab against any residual effect.

Meanwhile, a preliminary investigation on the incident shows that the cause of the ugly incident was as a result of grazing on contaminated grasses around the area.

According to the statement, the Ministry of Agriculture would intensify its surveillance at different abattoirs in the state, especially the private and government abattoirs.

In his submission, the Director of Veterinary Services, Dr. Olugbon Abdullateef Saliman said, “Private slaughter slabs as it is going, will have to reduce their number to the level that the Ministry could manage. Any slaughter slab that the meat is not  inspected will not be allowed to go out. If the slaughter slab is not following our standard it will be closed down, and those closed down will be directed to the government slaughter slabs.

“Any private slaughter slab that is close to the government slab will be directed to go and slaughter at the government slaughter slabs. By this standard, we will be able to monitor what they slaughter and give to the populace,” the statement added.

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