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Security challenges: Nigerians in U.S. engage State Department

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The Nigerian-American Diaspora Community has held a discussion with the U.S. Department of State on ways to address Nigeria’s security and economic challenges.

The discussion, which was coordinated by officials of the Nigerian-American Public Affairs Committee (NAPAC), said the Biden administration was interested in ensuring a stable Nigeria.

President of NAPAC, Dr Nelson Aluya, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in New York, that the department was interested in concerns expressed by Nigerians about creating a stable country back home.

“They (U.S. officials) recognised that there are multiple problems in Nigeria and they recognised the potential of the Nigerian-American Diaspora Community in the U.S. in solving those issues.

“They are ready to work with us on those key issues; we are concerned and frustrated with ineptitude and lack of leadership in security because of the way people are dying.

“They did tell us that they are working with the Nigerian government and they are in direct contact to help out in the context of national integrity and autonomy,’’ he said.

Dr Nelson Aluya, President, Nigerian-Americans Public Affairs Committee, at a Listening Town Hall with U.S. Department of State officials
Dr Nelson Aluya, President, Nigerian-Americans Public Affairs Committee, at a Listening Town Hall with U.S. Department of State officials
Aluya explained that NAPAC was working with other stakeholders to build a strong, united, indissoluble and indivisible Nigerian community in the U.S.

“Our goal is to pull Nigerians in the U.S. and across the globe together, into a strong and formidable force, so that together, we can collaborate with other Nigerian associations.

“We need to work together and do greater things in Nigeria so that we can elevate the youth to foster dialogue for peace and negotiation, as well as taking active steps to engage the government,’’ he said.

Aluya said the essence of the interaction was to bring Nigerians in the U.S. together on a platform to listen to what the U.S. could offer Nigerian–Americans in their quest to provide help and resources.

In addition, he said, the meeting also provided an avenue to tell the U.S. officials what Nigerians in the U.S. could offer them and the possible avenues for collaboration.

“We can collaborate to do the job of diaspora with the help of the listening ear of the State Department to directly impact on good governance in Nigeria,” he added.

Aluya said the group would organise more town hall meetings to interact with the U.S. and Nigerian governments to brainstorm on ensuring a prosperous and peaceful Nigeria. (NAN)

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International

Ruto Sworn In As Kenya’s President

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William Ruto takes Oath of Office as New Kenya President
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William Ruto was sworn in as Kenya’s fifth post-independence president at a pomp-filled ceremony on Tuesday, after his narrow victory in a bitterly-fought but largely peaceful election.

He was sworn in by the Chief Judge, Martha Koome, on Tuesday at a ceremony held in the packed Moi International Sports Centre in Kasarani.

Amid cheers from the excited crowd, Ruto swore an oath of allegiance and another oath for the execution of the functions of the office.

“I William Samoei Ruto, in full realisation of the high calling I assume as president of Kenya, do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the public of Kenya, that I will obey, preserve and protect this constitution of Kenya,” he said.

Ruto beat his rival Raila Odinga — who had been backed by outgoing president Uhuru Kenyatta — by less than two percentage points in the August 9 poll.

The 55-year-old rags-to-riches businessman, who once sold chickens on the roadside, now faces a daunting task to steer a polarised country gripped by a cost-of-living crisis and punishing drought.

His rise to State House has been closely watched by the international community, which looks to Kenya as a reliable and stable democracy in a turbulent region.

Foreign allies and independent observers praised the conduct of the vote, which was largely peaceful and free of the violence that has marred past elections in the country of 50 million people.

Ruto won by only around 200,000 votes out of 14 million but the Supreme Court on September 5 upheld his victory, dismissing his opponents’ claims of fraud and mismanagement.

Outgoing head of state Kenyatta, who in a stunning turn of events had backed his longtime arch-rival Odinga in the election race, has promised a smooth transfer of power.

Kenyatta finally shook hands with Ruto at a meeting at the presidential residence on Monday after pointedly failing to publicly congratulate his deputy for several weeks.
Ruto has struck a conciliatory tone, extending a “hand of brotherhood” to his rivals and their supporters.

“We are not enemies. We are Kenyans,” Ruto said after the court’s decision.

But Odinga turned down an invitation to attend Tuesday’s ceremony and instead travelled outside the country, charging in a statement that the election body did not conduct a “free and fair” poll.

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Queen Elizabeth II dies at age 96

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Queen Elizabeth II
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The United Kingdom’s longest serving monarch, Queen Elizabeth II has died

The Queen died at Balmoral at the age of 96, after reigning for 70 years.

Family members gathered at Queen’s Scottish estate after concerns grew about her health earlier on Thursday.

The Queen came to the throne in 1952 and witnessed enormous social change.

With her death, her eldest son Charles, the former Prince of Wales, will lead the country in mourning as the new King and head of state for 14 Commonwealth realms.

A statement by the Buckingham Palace said: “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon.

“The King and the Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”

All the Queen’s children travelled to Balmoral, near Aberdeen, after doctors placed the Queen under medical supervision.

Her grandson, Prince William, is also there, with his brother, Prince Harry, on his way.

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International

Pakistan Flood: Death Toll Tops 1,000

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Pakistan Flood: Death Toll Tops 1,000
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The death toll from monsoon flooding in Pakistan since June has reached 1,033, according to figures released Sunday by the country’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

It said 119 people had died in the previous 24 hours as heavy rains continued to lash parts of the country.

The annual monsoon is essential for irrigating crops and replenishing lakes and dams across the Indian subcontinent, but each year it also brings a wave of destruction.

Officials say this year’s monsoon flooding has affected more than 33 million people — one in seven Pakistanis — destroying or badly damaging nearly a million homes.

The NDMA said more than two million acres of cultivated crops have been wiped out, 3,451 kilometers (2,150 miles) of roads destroyed, and 149 bridges washed away.

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