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River Kaduna dredging project mitigated flooding – Official

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The Kaduna Capital Territory Authority (KCTA) says the dredging of River Kaduna has helped in checking flooding in Kaduna metropolis and its environs.

Hafiz Bayero, Administrator, KCTA, told newsmen in Kaduna that the dredging became necessary as the river could not contain the mass of water flow, resulting in flooding in the past years.

He said the initiative was yielding the desired result as Kaduna metropolis and its environs recorded few cases of flooding in 2022.

The Administrator said dredging of rivers around flood-prone communities would be a continuous process in order to avert flooding in the state.

He mentioned the flood-prone communities as Hayin Danmani, Kamazou, Kabala West, Rafin guza and other flood plains within Kaduna North, Kaduna South, Chikun and Igabi Local Government Areas.

Also, Dr Haira’u Umar, Director, Municipal Waste Management, KCTA, said that the agency’s proactive environmental sensitisation programmes had enhanced the sanitary habits of residents.

”The result of this positive impact is that the state experienced only flash flooding during the year,” he said.

On his part, Mr. Yusuf Muazu, a Director with Kaduna State Ministry for Environment, said the state was collaborating with stakeholders to check flooding.

He said the ministry, in collaboration with Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP), had installed Automated Flood Early Warning System and Weather Station as part of efforts to mitigate flooding.

Muazu stated that the stations were installed in Kaduna North, Kaduna South and Chikun LGAs to build resilience to disasters.

On its part, Kano State Government said it had made adequate emergency response plan to mitigate flooding as the rainy season drew closer.

Executive Secretary, Kano State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Dr Saleh Jili, told newsmen in Kano that the agency would meet with stakeholders to map out strategies.

He said SEMA would embark on sensitisation campaigns across the 44 local government areas of the state, to encourage the clearing of water ways to minimise flooding.

Jili also assured that the Agency had set aside, funds and relief materials to provide the needs of victims should disasters occur.

He explained that last year, flooding and windstorm claimed the lives of 23 persons, destroying 20,399 houses in 25 Local Government Areas of the state.

“In addition, 20 persons were injured, 14, 364 farms and N2.1 billion worth of properties were destroyed”, he claimed.

On his part, the Territorial Coordinator of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in Kano, Dr Nuradeen Abdullahi, called for strict enforcement of environmental regulations to mitigate flooding.

He also advised residents to avoid using substandard building materials that could not stand the test of time, noting that such materials were responsible for collapse of buildings whenever windstorm or flooding occurred.

Also, Kano State Commissioner for Environment, Dr Kabiru Getso, said the state had adopted proactive mechanisms to mitigate risk and disaster across the state.

He called on members of the public to adhere to building codes and environmental regulations, clear blocked water ways, and desists from dumping garbage in drains.

Meanwhile, Katsina State Government, World Bank and French Development Agency, have constructed 2.5km road from Danja to Bazanga to Nahuce in Danja Local Government Area.

According to the Permanent Secretary, State Ministry for Works, Alhaji Abubakar Gene, the project will aid smooth flow of traffic and address some environmental challenges.

Also, the Ward Head of Inwala Jarbango in the state, Alhaji Muhmmad Musa, advised residents to desist from dumping Refuse in culverts.

Musa explained that such habit was partly responsible for flooding and erosion.

Reports state that the authorities in Kaduna, Kano and Katsina States, were responding to enquirers on their level of preparedness to address the challenges of flooding this year.

This is against the backdrop of prediction by NIMET that the rainy season might commence early in some states of the Federation this year.

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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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