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UN raises concerns over sectarian killings in Borno, Kaduna



Danjuma to address British parliament over killings Kaduna govt reviews 24-hour curfew

Shola Oyeyipo in Abuja, Martins Ifijeh in Lagos, Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri and John Shiklam in Kaduna

The United Nations (UN) has expressed grave concerns over the sectarian killings in Borno and Kaduna States.

The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) has also raised the alarm that the killing of 12 farmers in Borno State may aggravate the food crisis in the North-east.

A former Minister of Defence, Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (rtd), will however, in January 2019 address the United Kingdom Parliament over incessant killings in North-central part of the country.

This is coming as the Kaduna State Government yesterday reviewed the 24 hours curfew imposed last Sunday in Kaduna metropolis following outbreak of violence.

A statement issued at the end of the state security council meeting said the curfew had been selective and varied following reports of security threats in some parts of the metropolis.

A former Kaduna State Governor, Senator Ahmed Makarfi has also condemned the violent clashes in Kasuwan Magani and Kaduna metropolis, saying it is a setback in the quest for lasting peace in the state.

The UN in a statement issued yesterday by its Nigeria’s Resident Coordinator, Edward Kallon, said the attacks in Borno and Kaduna States need to be checked immediately by the Nigerian Government.

He noted that over 90 lives were lost in attacks in both the North-east state of Borno and the North-west state, Kaduna.

Kallon said: “I would like to express my grave concern over news of renewed killings by the armed insurgent group, Boko Haram. It has been reported that close to 40 lives were lost in separate incidents over the last few days, when the group attacked civilians in Borno State.

“While numerous efforts are underway to bring the crisis in the North-east to an end, I would like to appeal to the government of Nigeria and security forces in the region to scale up their efforts aimed at protecting civilian communities especially in areas where sporadic attacks have been recorded recently. These attacks, if unchecked, may reverse the gains made so far in securing lives and property in the region.”

He added that: “I have also learned with sadness, the loss of over 50 lives following communal clashes in Kasuwan Magani area, South of Kaduna State. I urge authorities in the state to seriously look into circumstances leading to these clashes, which have become too common. I appeal to all stakeholders to commence processes to amicably address their underlying causes and bring the perpetrators to account.”

He, however, said: “On behalf of the UN family in Nigeria, I wish to express my sincere condolences to the families and friends of the bereaved. The UN remains ready to support the government and people of Nigeria in seeking sustainable solutions to related national challenges.”

Meanwhile, the Kaduna State Government has selectively reviewed the 24-hour curfew imposed on Sunday in Kaduna metropolis following outbreak of violence.

A statement issued at the end of the state security council meeting said the curfew had been selective and varied following reports of security threats in some parts of the metropolis.

The statement signed by Samuel Aruwan, media aide to Governor Nasir el-Rufai, said following the review, the security council recommended that the 24-hour curfew in Kasuwan Magani and Kujama areas is relaxed to begin from 6 a.m to 5 p.m

However, the security council noted that in view of seeming security threats in places like Kabala West, Kabala Doki, Sabon-Tasha, Narayi and Maraban Rido, the 24-hour curfew is to be sustained.

“The state Security Council determined that threats continue in Kabala West, Kabala Doki, Sabon-Tasha, Narayi and Maraban Rido within Kaduna Metropilis where attacks on places of worship were either attempted overnight or contemplated.

“Therefore, the Security Council has decided that the 24-hour curfew should remain in these places and will be vigorously enforced.

“Any individual that violates will be arrested and the security agencies directed to engage any hoodlums or unauthorised groups with appropriate force” the statement said.

It noted an improvement in security in the rest of the metropolis and decided that a window of time from 1 p.m to 5 p.m on Tuesday is allowed for residents to be able to restock food stuff and other essentials.

Meanwhile, some lawmakers in the lower chamber of the National Assembly have traced the killings, abductions and destruction of property in Kajuru and Chikun Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Kaduna State to incitement by religious and traditional leaders.

Speaking with newsmen on the dastardly clashes that took place in Kasuwan Magani, a community in Kajuru LGA on October 8, and a retaliatory attack on Kujama town in Chikun LGA, the Minority Whip and House of Representatives’ member representing Chikun/Kajuru federal constituency of Kaduna State, Hon. Yakubu Umar Barde, said the disturbances were caused by unverified rumours.

However, a former Minister of Defence, Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (rtd), will in January 2019 address the United Kingdom Parliament over incessant killings in North-central part of Nigeria, especially between herdsmen and farmers.

Danjuma was earlier scheduled to speak to select leaders of the British House of Lords on September 5, 2018 at the instance of two high ranking members of the parliament – David Alton and Caroline Cox, both life peers from Liverpool and Queensbury.

A source close to the former army general told THISDAY last night that the earlier invitation rattled the Nigerian government that it hired foreign lobbyists to scuttle the meeting.

The source added that Danjuma, with the help of some international organisations and former President Olusegun Obasanjo reignited their lobby, which has made it possible for Danjuma to have an opportunity of speaking to the entire members of the House of Lords next January.

The source said the scope of Danjuma’s address will no longer be limited to the herdsmen and farmers clashes, but has now been expanded to include issues of gross human rights violations and targeted attacks of Christian minorities in the Northern region of the country. The sources said the Danjuma group, the Westminster Institute, Open Doors USA and other prominent leaders from North-central Nigeria have increased their lobby for action on the situation in the country.

Also billed to speak alongside the former Nigerian army chief was the Anglican Archbishop of Jos, Ben Kwashi.

Newsmen gathered that the pressure on the House of Lords may have finally led to the rescheduling of the hearing on the insecurity in Africa’s largest democracy.

A spokesperson for Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), which coordinated the event and circulated invitations for the postponed event had told a newspaper that the “event was postponed, which is why there have been no reports about it and no record of the event appears on the UK Parliament website.”

Killings along communal and religious fault lines have become recurring decimal in Plateau and Benue States.

In March 24, Danjuma said during the maiden convocation of the Taraba State University in Jalingo, that the Nigerian Army and the police are complicit in the deadly violence. “The armed forces are not neutral. They collude with the armed bandits to kill people, kill Nigerians,” the retired General said. The military, however, denied the allegations but set up an investigative panel to look into the claims.

After nearly a month of investigations, the military said there was no truth in the allegations.


FG to deploy 100 electric buses



President Bola Tinubu has said Nigeria is taking a significant step towards a sustainable and eco-friendly future by introducing a pioneering initiative to deploy a fleet of 100 electric buses.

The President spoke at a high-level meeting with stakeholders and investors on the Nigeria Carbon Market and Electric Buses Rollout Programme on Saturday in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on the margins of the COP28 climate summit.

President Tinubu explained that the strategic initiative is aimed at significantly reducing Nigeria’s carbon footprint and modernizing the country’s transportation systems as part of a larger effort to position Nigeria and Africa as the pioneering frontier of green manufacturing and industrialization with a focus on natural gas as a transition fuel alongside other renewable energy sources.

To spearhead this transformative plan, the President announced the appointment of the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Zacch Adedeji, and the Director-General of the National Council on Climate Change (NCCC), Mr. Dahiru Salisu, to co-chair the Nigeria Carbon Market Activation Plan.

”This initiative stands as a testament to our dedication to environmental stewardship as clearly exemplified through our collaboration with the Africa Carbon Market Initiative. Our visionary plan is a strategic guidepost, directing Nigeria towards becoming an investment-friendly destination for carbon market investments.

”We recognize the imperative of fostering an environment that not only attracts investment but also upholds standardized and sustainable industrial practices. As a manifestation of our forward-thinking approach, we are actively looking to implement robust, enabling policies and frameworks that will serve as the catalyst for the burgeoning growth of the carbon market within our national borders.

”In further driving my commitment, I have recently approved an Inter-governmental Committee on Carbon Markets to be chaired by the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service and the Director-General of the National Council on Climate Change to drive this visionary plan,” the President stated.

The President assured prospective investors that this initiative transcends being a mere pilot project.

”It is a concrete manifestation of our unwavering dedication to a carbon-neutral future. I assure you; this is only the commencement of our ambitious plans, with many more impactful initiatives on the horizon,” he said.

President Tinubu, while acknowledging the pressing need for a comprehensive global collaboration on climate-related challenges, called on global partners to join hands in accelerating collective efforts towards a net-zero future.

”As we unveil our initiatives, I challenge other nations to emulate our strides in mapping out their sustainable futures with a clear understanding that Africa is a beacon of innovative solutions to climate-related challenges.

”In this pursuit, we acknowledge the pressing need for comprehensive global collaboration, and we reiterate our commitment to being an active participant in international efforts.

”Nigeria’s plans for a greener and cleaner economy can serve as an inspirational narrative for nations worldwide. Our comprehensive approach, rooted in visionary leadership and pragmatic action supported by our technical partners, is poised to become a blueprint for countries aspiring to also develop and catalyze their markets for sustainable growth,” the President concluded.

In his remarks, FIRS Chairman, Mr. Zacch Adedeji acknowledged the visionary leadership of President Tinubu as the guiding force behind Nigeria’s commitment to harnessing its vast carbon potential.

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At COP28, Sanwo-Olu seeks funding to address supply of clean water in Lagos



Governor of Lagos Babajide Sanwo-Olu has sought global support for funding in Lagos state to be able to provide clean water.

The Governor speaking at a side meeting with the theme: “Valuing Water: A Lifeline in Climate Transition”, organised by Business and Philanthropy Climate Forum and Sustainable Market Initiative at the ongoing 28th session of Conference of Parties (COP28) at Dubai Exhibition Centre pitched a sustainable funding proposal in order to raise private and philanthropic funding in addressing inadequate water infrastructure and supply shortages in Lagos.
Sanwo-Olu disclosed that Lagos, with 22 million population, has a daily demand of 700 million gallons of portable water, but said the State could hardly supply 210 million gallons per day due to shortage of infrastructure. 
The Governor said, although provision of clean water had been generally considered a social service, it was an essential element of economic necessity, given its importance to keeping humans healthy. 
Lagos, he said, is challenged by increasing demand for clean water. Sanwo-Olu said the inadequacy of supply infrastructure could raise disease vulnerability in underserved communities, pointing out that the State, despite being surrounded by abundant water bodies, could only manage to utilise 40 per cent of its installed water facilities.
He said: “Lagos has an investment of about $2.8 billion in water infrastructure, but there is a burden on the huge population, as we need to create an ecosystem where we can have access to basic needs in the 21st century. Given our meagre resources, it is really a challenge but we certainly cannot continue to give excuses. This gap is being felt by underserved communities and the risk to the public is high.”
“We have continued to allocate resources to this sector from our budget, but the intervention is hardly enough to serve the needs of the residents. Four years ago, I gave a commitment of $100 million, but this is like a drop, given the number of investments required to fully explore the potential in the sector. We have huge infrastructure that is not being utilised, making us to operate at less than 40 per cent of the installed capacity.”
“Out of the $1.7 trillion needed globally to address the gap in clean water adequacy, Lagos requires less one per cent of the funds to provide safe water. It is my belief that this conversation would lead to sustainable solution that would meet the needs of millions of people that want water adequacy. Our goal is making committed partners believe in economic viability of their investments.”
Sanwo-Olu listed the country’s energy crisis as another factor slowing down the provision of clean water, stressing that irregular power supply rendered resources allocated to the sector inefficient.
The Governor called for equity in global investment towards accelerating water adequacy, noting that humans, regardless of their gender and geographical location, need equal access to clean water.
With 65 per cent of its population made up of young people of under 30, Sanwo-Olu told the funders that Lagos remained an African asset on which viable investments could be made.

The side meeting, which was moderated by the Secretary General of Insurance Development Forum, Ms. Ekhosuehi Iyahen, had seven other panelists, including Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of WaterAid, Tim Wainright, Chief Sustainability Officer of PepsiCo, and CEO of Dalmia Cement in India, Mahendra Singh.
Others are Chief Operating Officer of, Vedika Bhandarkar, Managing Partner of AquaForAll, Josien Sluijs, Assistant Director General of Food and Agriculture Organisation at UN, Maximo Torero, and former CEO of Mars, Incorporated, Grant Reid.

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COP28: Gov Eno joins President Tinubu in Dubai



Akwa Ibom State Governor, His Excellency Pastor Umo Eno, is part of the delegation led by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR at the ongoing COP28 climate conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Delegates from nearly 200 countries, leaders in business and finance, and representatives of civil society are gathering in Dubai from November 30 to December 12 for the COP28 climate conference, aiming to fast-track the transition to a clean-energy future.

COP28 stands for the 28th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), occurring annually.

Also in the President’s entourage are the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas), Rt. Hon. Ekperikpe Ekpo, President/Chief Executive of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Group CEO of NNPCL, Mele Kyari and the newly appointed Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, Mr. Okokon Ekanem Udo, among others.

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