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We’ll protect Nigerians’ rights regardless of religious, ethnic origins – Shettima

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Vice President Kashim Shettima has assured that the rights of all Nigerians, regardless of their religious and ethnic beliefs will be protected under President Bola Tinubu’s administration.

Shettima made the pledge in Lagos on Saturday at 6th Nigeria World Maulid Anniversary National Conference and special prayer organised by the Jam’iyyatu Ansariddeen Attijaniyya of Nigeria in honour of the teachings of Prophet Muhammad.

He told the gathering that President Tinubu was guided by the message of the day, and was committed to protecting the rights and freedom of all Nigerians, regardless of their beliefs.

“The teachings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) serve as a compass guiding us through the complexities of a multicultural world.

” He (prophet Muhammad) left us a template to manage a diverse society fairly. He taught us ways to build peace and resolve conflicts through dialogue, through kindness and through tolerance.”

Delivering his keynote address on the theme, “Searching For A Compass In A Multicultural World,” Shettima expressed gratitude to Secretary General of the Ansariddeen Attijaniyya for the exemplary guidance and dedication to preserving moral values.

He called for accountability in deeds and actions, urging all individuals to uphold the Prophet’s message of fairness and inclusivity in their daily interactions.

“The teachings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) offer a beacon of light navigating the complexities of our multicultural world.

” The Holy Prophet left behind “a roadmap for managing diversity with fairness, building peace through dialogue, and resolving conflicts with kindness and tolerance.”

On challenges faced by the nation, Shettima acknowledged the burden of trust bestowed on President Tinubu by the Nigerian people.

Shettima, who called for reflection and prayer for the President and other leaders, urging all citizens to remember their purpose in a world filled with trials and distractions.

” On behalf of the President and Nigeria’s over 200 million people, we deeply appreciate the special prayer session held by the Jam’iyyatu Ansariddeen Attijaniyya, where the Quran was recited 4,444 times for Nigeria and its leader.

“In our diverse nation, it is our duty to ensure every Nigerian can practice their religion freely without fear or discrimination.

” We extend a hand of friendship to the Jam’iyyatu Ansariddeen Attijaniyya, commending your efforts in promoting peaceful coexistence among different religious communities.”

Shettima also spoke about the importance of internal transformation as a prerequisite for societal change.

” As Allah instructed in the Qur’an, we can only guarantee change in our condition if we change that which is within us.”

He urged all Nigerians to lead by example, recognising their intellectual, spiritual and moral capabilities.

” We are all in search of our roads to redemption. Here, we are offering to build a nation that upholds the dignity of each person, recognizes the rights of each group, and emphasizes the essence of tolerance.”

He urged Nigerians to join hands in the spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood in fulfilling the nation’s obligations to its people and embracing the Prophet’s timeless teachings.

“Our road to the place of hope is strewn with our commitment to building a nation with the bricks of compassion, justice, and fairness.

” The miracle of this dream rests on our adherence to the teachings of Prophet Muhammad, and I urge all Nigerians to join us in the spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood on our long walk to fulfil our obligations to the people.”

Earlier, President General of Jam’iyyatu Ansariddeen (Attijjaniyya), Khalifa Muhammadu Sanusi Lamido Sanusi II, implored Nigerians to support the Tinubu administration to move the country forward.

Specifically, the 14th Emir of Kano and Khalifa of Tijjaniyya in Nigeria called on politicians, the business community, religious scholars and traditional rulers to focus on Project Nigeria, and work towards rebuilding the nation.

“We are aware that you have taken over this country in a very difficult time, and at this time all Nigerians need to come behind you to end politics and face governance and move Nigeria forward.

“Every year on this occasion we try to complete at least 4,444 recitation of the Qur’an, with the sole intention of praying for the peace and stability of our country, for the protection of our leaders and our people.

“On behalf of the members of Jam’iyyatu Ansariddeen I must recognize and acknowledge all the cooperation and support we have been receiving from the Federal Government, the Vice President, Kashim Shettima, and President Bola Tinubu.”

Sanusi particularly thanked the President and the Vice President for the donation of an edifice to the Jam’iyyatu Ansariddeen (Attijjaniyya) in Abuja.

“We will not forget it. We pray to Allah to guide our leaders to give good direction so that they are able to implement policies that, as a nation, will move us forward,” he said.

Also, the International Secretary of Jam’iyyatu Ansariddeen (Attijjaniyya) Worldwide, Sheikh Mohammed Lamin Inyass, stressed the need for unity among the Muslim community, adding that Islam commands all Muslims to honour humanity irrespective of tribe or religion.

According to him, a true Muslim is a brother to his fellow Muslim, irrespective of their sect or whatever understanding.

Dignitaries who attended the event include Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos, National Secretary of Jam’iyyatu Ansariddeen (Attijjaniyya), Yahaya Al-Qasim, former Chairman, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Mukhtar Mohammed; Sheikh Siraj Inyass and Sheikh Maulud Murtania.

Others are Sheikh Buba Inyass, Sheikh Tijjani Auwal, Khalifa Danlami Agege, Sheikh Adenekan Khulafa (South West), Sheikh Faruq Almiskinubillah, Sheikh Abdullahi Uwais, Khalifa Aminubillah Akoshole, Sheikh Nuruddeen Inyass, and Sheikh Shehi Maihula, among others.

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NASENI lauds Gov. Idris for allocating land for Agric. Institute construction

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The National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure, (NASENI), has commended Gov. Nasir Idris of Kebbi for donating 10 hectares of land to the agency for the construction of an Agricultural Machinery Development Institute in the state.
The Director of Procurement of the Agency, Dr Muhammad Aliyu, gave the commendation after formal allocation of the land to  NASENI by officials of state government on Sunday in Birnin Kebbi.
Aliyu, who thanked Idris for providing the land at a choice area, explained that the  project would commence within the next two weeks.
H e assured that all engineering, architectural, civil and electrical designs had been completed.
”We have the bill of quantity ready and every approval needed from the government for the project has been obtained,” he said.
The director affirmed that funding for the project had been captured in the 2024 appropriation bill already assented to by  President Bola Tinubu.
”We will start with what we can accommodate this year and we will continue next year.
“We have funds to begin the basic infrastructural construction,” he assured.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Cabinet Office, Alhaji Dahiru Zaki, who led other state government officials to hand over the 10 hectares of land to NASENI, explained that the land was earmarked for the agency in 2022 for the construction of the agricultural machinery center.
”The machinery center is to serve as a Regional Office for the production of agricultural equipment and we are happy that today, we have handed over the land to NASENI.
“I believe that Kebbi was selected in the North-West region because of its huge potentials in agriculture, particularly rice production and other crops,” he said.
Zaki expressed appreciation for the governor’s  kind gesture to the agency, tailored to provide job opportunities to youths and further bolster agricultural production in the state.
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Lassa Fever outbreak at Army Hospital sparks response 

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The recent outbreak of Lassa fever at the 44 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital, Kaduna, prompted a collaborative response with Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital (ISTH) and Federal Ministry of Health.

Prof. Reuben Eifediyi, Chief Medical Director, Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, and lead of the response team, said this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday in Abuja.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC), confirmed that Lassa Fever was responsible for the death of three health workers and one patient at the 44 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital, Kaduna, (44 NARHK).

Four of the six blood samples from suspected cases at the hospital sent to the Bayero University Teaching Hospital, Kano, were confirmed for Lassa Fever.

While 25 close contacts of all the cases were being monitored and were placed on prophylactics (preventive medication). 

Eifediyi said that the outbreak resulted in the deployment of a specialised emergency response team, which was made up of experts in Lassa fever management and infection prevention.

He said that though there were initial challenges, including inadequate resources and staffing, the response team successfully contained the outbreak through real-time laboratory testing, isolation, and treatment of confirmed cases.

“Real-time PCR testing was conducted, leading to the identification and treatment of confirmed cases.

“Three confirmed cases were successfully treated and discharged, with no further fatalities, “ he said.

He said that the incident underscored the importance of effective partnerships and rapid mobilisation of expertise in addressing public health emergencies.

He said that health workers at the hospital went through training on Infection Prevention and Control (IPC), measures.

He recommended structural improvement, staffing, training, equipment provision, and hygienic measures.

He also made recommendations for capacity building and the establishment of a biosafety molecular laboratory at the hospital.

 Lassa fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic illness transmitted to humans through contact with food or household items contaminated by infected rodents or contaminated persons.

Its symptoms include fever, headache, sore throat, general body weakness, cough, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, muscle pain, chest pain.

In severe case, there are unexplainable bleeding from ears, eyes, nose, mouth, and other body openings.

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Why some airlines are avoiding Nigeria’s airspace – NAMA

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Many airlines are avoiding Nigeria’s airspace because of difficulties encountered in communication with air traffic controllers, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) confirmed on Sunday in Lagos.

Its Managing Director, Mr Farouk Umar, told newsmen at Ikeja that the agency was consequently eyeing more investments to rejuvenate the communication systems to match emerging air traffic trends.

He explained that there was the need to improve the weak communication system, which had been demand-saturated as the industry grew and more routes were opened.

He said huge investments were required of the Federal Government as more routes opened needing more stations to have signals to cover the entire country.

He added that the presidency recently budgeted N40 billion to address some of the issues at the airports, but the money had not been accessed.

Umar assured that as soon as money was made available, the agency would tackle critical safety challenges at the various airports.

“The entire communication network has been re-designed to ensure that every blind spot is covered because if one system fails today, air traffic controllers would not notice.

“We realised also that our radios are working well and well-positioned and we have addressed the challenges we met on ground, but then, we are still having issues.

“The issues have nothing to do with our radios, but with electricity supply which had been a national challenge that government had been working assiduously to fix.

“We have decided to deploy solar energy to some of our facilities to complement electricity supply from the national grid and from generators so that they can function well,’’ he said.

Umar noted that the International Civil Aviation Organisation frowned at even a second’s blackout at any airport and Nigeria could not afford to flout the regulation.

“For an average electronic system, the lifespan is about 10 years. Most of the communications electronics at the airports have been working for the past 15 years to 20 years. Their performance would be below standard, expectedly.

“We are replacing some of the equipment and we have done almost 80 per cent. The contractors are still working, however,’’ he assured.

Umar also told newsmen that Terminal Control Centres (TRACON) were still having challenges because since 2014, there had not been enough spare parts to fix the obsolete equipment there.

“The Federal Government has approved the modernisation of the TRACON system. 15 per cent of the fund has been paid and we are hopeful that more installations will start soon.

“We are also hopeful that at the end of it all, the system will go back to optimal performance,’’ he said.

Umar lamented that NAMA had been charging airlines N11,000 as navigation fee per flight since 2008 when fares for local flights were N16,000, whereas airfares had risen to N150,000.

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