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Envoy to push for establishment of  Nigerian Cultural House in Italy

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Nigeria and Italy Flags
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Nigeria’s Ambassador to Italy, Mfawa Abam has pledged to push for the establishment of a Nigerian Cultural and Information house in Italy to further promote the country’s rich culture.

Abam made this known on Sunday during the 2021 Edo Carnival organised by the Edo United Union in Rome, Italy with the theme: “Promoting Culture, Tradition, social Integration and Cultural Diplomacy”.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) covering the two-day event virtually reports that the annual carnival is organized to showcase and preserve the rich Edo in diaspora.

This is also as Abam pledged the collaboration of the Nigerian Embassy in Italy to promote the course of Nigeria and Nigerians living in Italy in a bid to strengthen bilateral ties.

“Diplomacy in a way can be enhanced through Culture. That is the reason we have Culture and Information Centre in some countries of the World.

“Nigeria as a country is blessed with very rich culture, considering our over 200 ethnic nationalities that form Nigeria. Indeed our diversity and rich cultural heritage is a huge advantage to Nigeria.

“The Embassy will not relent in its effort to collaborate with any cultural group in promoting our rich culture to the outside world, and in particular to our Italtan friends.

“It 1s my intention to open discussion with our Ministry of Culture and Information and relevant Italian authorities to work out the possibility of having a Nigerian Cultural and Information House in Italy during my duty tour.

“This will afford our Children born here to learn about their culture. Such Centre will also assist Italian students interested in African Culture and Literature to have a practical appreciation of our Culture”, Abam said.

Abam further urged Nigerians in Italy and other countries abroad to remain united, law abiding to host countries as he commended the Italian government for its hospitality and favorable living conditions to Nigerians.

He commended the Edo United Union for organising the event which he described as a great platform to showcasing the rich cultural heritage of Nigerians to the Western World.

“It is heartwarming to know that, though we are thousands of kilometers away from Nigeria, we have not forgotten our home.

“I commend the orgainsers of this carnival for bringing the rich culture of the Edo people to Italy. Edo is known all over the World as one of the custodian of the rich culture of Nigeria.

“The Edo artifacts are all over the World and Tourists to Nigeria will never end their tour without purchasing Art works of the Edo people.

“Over the years, the Edo people and in particular the Benins have refused to adulterate its rich culture that our forefather handed over to us. I am a deed proud to be a Nigerian”, Abam said.

Speaking, Mr Edwin Omoregie, President, Edo United Union said the annual Carnival is organized to showcase the Edo cultural Heritage and also to intergrate with the host Country, Italy.

Omoregie said the Italian government has made Italy home to Nigerians, an example which can be seen by the attendance of the Sindaco Roma (Governor of Rome) at the event.

He added that Nigerians living in Italy would not allow anyone jeopardise their relationship with the Italian authorities as they have never been maliciously targeted.

“Because the Italian Authorities are very good in hospitality, this event will bring more integration between us Nigerians and the host country.

“And again I also pray that our children will learn and know about their heritage, that they are from the African Continent and to preserve our tradition”, Omoreige said.

NAN also reports that the event was attended by representatives of the Oba of Benin’s Place and the Governor of Edo. (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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