“It is very sad and unfortunate for the command, losing our men just like that. An investigation has commenced, we will do everything to get the bandits arrested and face the wrath of the law,” Joseph said.
President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Abuja advised Christian and Muslim leaders, and preachers generally, in the country to give more attention to issues that strengthen the family, and build the society, describing them as “custodians of our values and of social ideals’’.
Speaking at the Joint National Conference of Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and Future Assured Initiative on Repositioning the Muslim Family for National Development, President Buhari said the family provides the bedrock for any society and deserved more attention in Nigeria.
“In this endeavour, our religious leaders and organizations are the most important catalyst. They are the custodians of our values and of our social ideals. It is, therefore, commendable that the Nigerian Supreme Council in collaboration with the Future Assured Initiative has risen up to this challenge.
“I, however, wish to call on all our religious leaders and organizations, both Christian and Muslim, to follow suit by redirecting important elements of their preaching and teachings on family issues with a view to broadening the sensitization of people at the grassroots level,’’ he said.
The President said the government would also put more effort in ensuring economic support, and empowering of family members for more stability.
“We have been conscious of the havoc poverty is wreaking on the family. We, therefore, believe that poverty alleviation is central to safeguarding the integrity of our families.
“Our administration introduced a number of economic empowerment and poverty alleviation schemes. Some of these directly impact on families while others have an indirect effect on families through their multiplier effects.
“The first, and most robust programme, is the Social Investment Programme, which serves as a very broad framework for availing Nigerian families at the grassroots level different forms of economic support,’’ President Buhari added.
According to the President, many homes had benefitted from the Conditional Cash Transfer, while trader-moni and market-moni schemes have also been impactful.
“The school feeding programme has assisted immensely in supporting poor Nigerian families in getting their children enrolled and sustained in school,’’ he said.
On flagging-off of marriage counselling projects across the country, President Buhari noted that the search for national rebirth, efforts at fighting corruption, indiscipline and struggle for attitudinal change must all begin from the family unit.
“While we appreciate the significant role of the mass media and other public enlightenment channels and outfits in propagating and promoting positive values, we just have to acknowledge the fact that all these build, after all, upon the foundations that must have been laid down at home,’’ he said.
The President said most of the challenges affecting the family fall within the mandates and jurisdictions of the state governments, urging the governments to rise up to the challenges and do their full parts in the effort for social regeneration.
President Buhari commended His Eminence, Sultan of Sokoto, Sultan Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar and Future Assured Initiative, under the leadership of Her Excellency, the First Lady, Hajiya Aisha Muhammadu Buhari, for the projects on marriage and family.
In her remarks, the First Lady said the project will identify critical marriage challenges and suggest relevant instruments for addressing them, which include sensitizing relevant stakeholders on their responsibilities.
“We have succeeded in assembling an array of Islamic scholars to further deliberate on these matters, with the belief that they will do justice to the issues,’’ she added.
The Senate President, Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan, said the Universal Basic Education should be fully implemented to compel parents to send their children to school, assuring that the National Assembly will work with the Executive to ensure compliance.
In his keynote address, His Highness, Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, admonished men to take full responsibility for their marriages, especially in economic terms, by marrying only when they can take care of a wife, and having children they can cater for.
President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Abuja reassured that the Federal Government will continue to support efforts by the Plateau State government towards a peaceful, prosperous and tolerant society.
Receiving Governor Simon Lalong and other stakeholders from Plateau State, President Buhari appealed to residents and indigenes of the State to support the governor’s development agenda.
‘‘Plateau is strategic to Nigeria. It is geographically unique with its diverse environmental and huge economic potential. This clearly shows the State’s incredible potential in tourism, agriculture, and mining.
‘‘It is, therefore, our collective duty to ensure these potentials are fully harnessed by providing the right policy support,’’ the President said.
President Buhari told the delegation he was very pleased with the progress made on security, provision of social services and infrastructure development under the leadership of the present governor.
‘‘These are the critical pillars of having a prosperous and inclusive society. I will, therefore, take this opportunity to urge all citizens of Plateau to encourage and support your Government in delivering on its mandate,’’ he said.
Commending Governor Lalong for his steadfastness, patriotism and successes achieved so far, President Buhari declared: ‘‘Plateau State has been transformed by the work you have done.’’
On the requests by the State government, including the dualisation and construction of some federal roads, upgrade of the Potato Research Centre to a full-fledged Institute, a special grant for reconstruction and rehabilitation of victims of attacks and crises, among others, the President assured the delegation that his administration would do its best to support where possible.
In his remarks, Governor Lalong expressed deep gratitude to the President on his unflinching support to the State, saying ‘‘you have shown that, indeed, you are a father to all and a true leader whose passion for development and peace is unquestionable.’’
Presenting the requests of the State government, the governor appealed to the Federal Government to refund outstanding monies expended in the construction of some federal roads.
He also called for the establishment of a Federal Polytechnic in the State as well as the upgrading of the Nigerian Institute of Mining and Geosciences to the University of Mining.
On security, the Governor told the President his administration had made tremendous efforts in building institutional and legal framework in engendering peace and security in the last four years.
‘‘Sadly, however, in the last two months, we recorded two incidents of killings in Kulben, Mangu Local Government and Kwatas in Bokkos Local Government where lives were lost, property destroyed and people displaced,’’ he said.
The governor announced that some arrests have been made and investigations ongoing, pledging that the state government is ‘‘determined to get to the bottom of this in order to affirm the message that criminals cannot take us back to the days of agony.’’
A Lagos High Court sitting in the Ikeja area has convicted and sentenced a former part-time lecturer, Afeez Baruwa, to 21 years imprisonment for raping an 18-year-old girl who was seeking admission into the university.
Baruwa was convicted on one count of rape leveled against him by the state government.
The convict was said to have raped the victim inside a study room when she was seeking admission into the university.
Justice Josephine Oyefeso who delivered the judgment on Thursday held that the prosecution has proven its case beyond reasonable doubt and, therefore, found the defendant guilty of the charge.
The defence counsel, in his allocutus (plea for mercy before sentence), said that rape was an offence of life imprisonment if found guilty.
He, therefore, asked the court to temper justice with mercy.
He also said that the convict was a first time offender, a married man with four kids and aged parents, all of whom he has to cater for.
In her sentence, Justice Oyefeso said she “cannot begin to imagine the emotional trauma of the girl”.
“The convict offended his family, the victim, the society and God,” she said.
The judge subsequently sentenced the convict to 21 years imprisonment.
The prosecution had alleged that the former lecturer raped the teenager at 9.25am on July 23, 2015, in Room 8 at the Faculty of Business Administration Annex building of UNILAG.
The victim’s father who was a friend of the lecturer had sought his help to secure admission for his daughter into the institution.
The rape was said to have occurred when she was in Baruwa’s office to make arrangements for her admission into the university.
Four prosecution witnesses had testified during Baruwa’s trial, including the complainant, her father, a medical doctor, and the investigating police officer.
The prosecution closed its case against the lecturer on January 23, 2018.
Baruwa testified solely in his defence, claiming that the complainant was his girlfriend and that he had consensual sexual intercourse with her.
The European Commission has announced the allocation of €80,000 (N32 million) in humanitarian funding to assist families affected by the outbreak of Lassa Fever in Nigeria.
The commission announced this in a statement by a press officer with the Delegation of the European Union to Nigeria, Modestus Chukwulaka.
According to the statement, the funds will go towards supporting the Nigerian Red Cross in promoting hygiene practices and disease transmission control, as well as contribute to the identification of suspected cases, supporting contact tracing, and providing psychosocial support.
The commission was hopeful that the humanitarian aid would directly benefit communities in areas most affected by the outbreak.
It explained that the funding formed part of the EU’s overall contribution to the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
“In the two most affected states, Ondo and Edo, the main actions will focus on health education on signs and symptoms, prevention measure and behavioural change in food storage and handling; pest control activities, such as the distribution of rat traps/rat glues; and psychosocial support to affected people and their families.
“In another four states (Bauchi, Ebonyi, Taraba and Kano), awareness-raising initiatives will be launched for the general public, including the distribution of educational material and informative radio messages,” the statement read.
Lassa fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic fever (VHF), transmitted by rodents to humans, who become infected through contact with the excreta of infected rats, contaminated surfaces or food, and body fluids of infected persons.
While about 80 per cent of the infections go with no symptoms, other patients develop severe multi-system disease, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said.
Since the first week of January 2020, no fewer than 680 suspected cases have been reported by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), of which over 250 were confirmed as positive.
A file photo of the Minister of Interior, Mr Rauf Aregbesola.
The Nigeria government has called on the United States of America to consider the long-standing relationship between the two countries and reverse its visa restrictions on Nigeria.
The Minister of Interior, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, made the call on Wednesday when he received the American Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Leonard, and her team at his office in Abuja.
According to a statement from the ministry, the government of Nigeria believes that the cooperation with the United States will help address immigration and consular issues in control of persons seeking to enter both countries through the issuance of visa, passport, and other travel documents.
It recalled the role of Aregbesola as the chairman of the Presidential Committee on Citizen Data Management and Harmonisation.
The minister revealed that Nigeria has complied with most of the issues of concern raised by the US, stressing that Nigeria is not a pariah nation.
He listed some of the issues raised to include the uploading of over 700 stolen and lost passports on the database of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS).
Aregbesola, therefore, appealed to the US to review its visa validity to Nigerians from two years limit to at least five years.
He also called for the establishment of a third office in the country, in reciprocity with Nigeria which has establishments in Atlanta, New York, and Washington DC.