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Lawan, Senators mark 2nd anniversary with IDPs

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… Tasks FG to Provide Health Care for IDP Camps

…donates truckload of items worth N10m

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan has called on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency provide proper health care, means of livelihood and other forms of relief for Internally Displaced Persons living in the Federal Capital Territory.

The Senate President, made the call on Thursday when he led a delegation of Senators on a visit to the Wasa IDP camp in southern Abuja to commemorate the 2nd year anniversary of the ninth Assembly.

Lawan stated that the Senate will work to ensure governance is improved and Nigerians continue to enjoy diversity with the hope to achieve legal framework for good governance at all levels.

On the delegation were: the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi, Deputy Leader, Ajayi Boroffice, Deputy Minority Leader, Emmanuel Bwacha, Chief Whip, Orji Uzor Kalu, Deputy Whip, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, Minority Whip, Philip Aduda, and Deputy Minority Whip, Sahabi Ya’u.

Others include: Senator Ibrahim Shekarau (APC, Kano Central), Senator Abubakar Kyari (APC, Borno North), Senator Bello Mandiya (APC, Katsina South), and Senator Sani Musa (APC, Niger East).

Also, personalities present during the visit were the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mohammed Musa Bello, the FCT Commissioner of Police, Bala Ciroma, Honourable Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, Mrs. Iman Sulaiman-Ibrahim, and Deputy Director and Head of IDPs Department, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, Fatima Daura.

The Senate delegation during the visit donated food items and other materials worth N10 million naira to the Wasa Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Camp.

Senate President said the planned visit to the IDP camp was a conscious and collective decision of the upper chamber.

He called on those in leadership position across the country to show empathy to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) by ensuring that their lives and dignity are protected.

Lawan said, “This is an Internally Displaced Persons Camp. None of our sisters and brothers in this camp wanted to be here or wish to be here.

“All of them are forced to be in an IDP camp, and those of use especially in leadership positions are supposed to show empathy and commitment in ensuring that while there our compatriots are in this camp and, indeed, any other camp, their life and dignity is protected.

“[And] of course, I’d like to mention here, that we must ensure that these Nigerians who are in this camp and other refuge camps, who are vulnerable in so many ways, receive what is due to them from government.

“That is to say, there must be sufficient security presence here and, indeed, across the country to protect them.

“[But] they also need government to do what is right. We are supposed to as a government provide some livelihood here. We must be able to give them something to eat, and we should do so responsibly.

“When I use the word responsibly, I mean not to throw some few things and leave them to eke a living, because it is going to be impossible for these people here to eke any meaningful living on their own.

“This is a price we have to pay because of the security situation we have found ourselves. Food alone is not enough.

“So, we will take particular interest on the health facilities available to this camp and, indeed, others.

“We would like to know the details of how and when they fall sick from a major sickness that would go beyond the capacity of primary healthcare – that requires a secondary health care intervention.

“We have a national policy on refugees and people in camps like these, how are we up-to-date with the implementation of the provisions of that national policy? It may sound to hard, but they are necessary questions and we owe these people.”

The Senate President added that the amendment to the Electoral Act by the National Assembly seeks to provide an electoral climate that would enable Nigerians elect their leaders and representatives.

He explained further that the Review of the Constitution by the ninth Assembly is aimed at  ensuring that governance is improved in the country.

According to him, this can be realized through the provision of a legal framework that would provide for good governance at all levels of government.

He disclosed that the National Assembly has been working closely with the executive arm of government to provide more resources to the armed forces and security agencies in the fight against insecurity.

Lawan gave the assurances of the National Assembly to expedite action on the request when received, so as to ensure the return of internally displaced persons to their respective communities across the country.

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Nationwide Strike : TUC Faults NLC

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NLC and TUC logo
NLC and TUC logo
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The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has raised alarm that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC)  not carry it along before declaring a two-day nationwide industrial action planned for February 27 and 28, 2024.

TUC Secretary General Nuhu Toro, in a letter to the NLC leadership dated February 19, 2024, expressed disappointment that the Joe Ajaero-led labour group did not carry the Festus Osifo-led trade association along before declaring a planned strike despite that the two groups unanimously issued a 14-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to implement its agreement with the Organised Labour and address the mounting economic crisis of survival in Nigeria.

The TUC said the 14-day ultimatum will expire today (Thursday) and both centres ought to agree on the next step but the NLC on February 16 declared a two-day protest to commence after the expiration of the 14-day ultimatum it jointly issued to the government.

The TUC general secretary said, “It is important that this is the third time that such unilateral declaration is happening under your leadership, we are therefore constrained to formally put this on record as various discussions, communications and interventions have failed. First and second time could pass as human error but a third time would in our opinion translate to an intentional act to undermine us.

“Also note that we are not averse to the issuance of your resolution because our members equally feel the pain, even if it’s a weeklong national strike, but we have a huge problem with the unilateral declaration for a process we both muted and agreed, because our members are equally concerned about the rising cost of living and not particularly the ultimatum, why can’t we see through the ultimatum that expires within the same period before jointly addressing other issues of mutual concern or at worst consolidate them?

“For the avoidance of doubt, we fully understand that NLC is an independent labour force centre that has the right to take independent decision, it is pertinent that when such decisions are taken unilaterally, there is need to go ahead and implement unilaterally.”

The Department of State Services (DSS) has since urged the NLC to shun the planned strike, pursue dialogue and negotiation, instead of engaging in actions that could escalate tensions but the Ajaero-led group has insisted on going ahead with the industrial action.

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National Assembly To Consider Fresh Legal Framework For State Police – Bamidele

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Senate Leader, Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele
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The National Assembly has disclosed that it will consider a legal framework for the creation of state police and for the gathering of local intelligence about the activities of bandits, kidnappers and terrorists.

The legislature also challenged the local government council authorities, traditional rulers and community leaders to mobilise local vigilantes, hunters and able-bodied youths in defence of their communities and territories.

The Leader of the Senate, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele made these remarks on behalf of all the recipients of honorary doctorate degrees at the Federal University, Oye Ekiti on Saturday.

Apart from Bamidele who received Honorary Doctorate Degree in Private Law, the university conferred similar honours on Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriations, Senator Olamilekan Adeola and Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Navy, Hon. Yusuf Daji, among others.

Speaking on behalf of all the awardees, Bamidele revealed the resolve of the National Assembly to develop a legal framework and support local intelligence gathering to tame the tide of banditry, kidnapping and terrorism.

Specifically, the senate leader pleaded with the critical stakeholders – traditional rulers, community leaders, vigilante groups and able-bodied youths – on the need to provide useful information to the state security services on the activities of criminal elements disrupting our national peace.

According to him, all the state security services require community, group and individual support to decisively confront the menace of banditry, kidnapping and terrorism across the federation.

Bamidele said: “More than ever before, the National Assembly is working tirelessly to provide the necessary legislative framework to strengthen community policing and multi-level security architecture.

“Developing such a legal framework has become imperative at this time in our history. This plan is in the overriding public interest of safeguarding the security of lives and property, the stability of our democracy and the progress of our fatherland.

“The cases of abduction, killings, maiming, population displacement and disruption of socio-economic activities in Benue, Ekiti, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Nasarawa, Ondo, Plateau, Sokoto and Zamfara in recent times have called for an urgent and decisive action by all state actors and other stakeholders.”

He expressed dismay with spate of insecurity in the country, saying Justice would duly be served to those were complicit in the recent abduction of pupils of Apostolic Faith Nursery and Primary School, Emure-Ekiti and their teachers and the gruesome killing of two of two traditional rulers – Onimojo of Imojo Ekiti, Oba Olatunde Olusola and Elesun of Esun-Ekiti, Oba Babatunde Ogunsakin in the Oke-Ako area of Ikole Local Government.

He further warned that the day of reckoning “is already at hand for those behind abduction, maiming and killing in Ekiti and other states of the federation. None of them will escape the long arm of the law. In Ekiti, we are peace-loving people. But nobody should take our spirit of good neighborliness and accommodation for granted for any reason.

On the economic crisis, Bamidele reassured Nigerians that relief is already in sight soon considering strategic reforms the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been taking to revive the economy.

Also at the convocation, Adeola vowed to give priority to the country’s educational sector, especially where and whenever he had the opportunity to make such contributions.

Adeola, currently representing Ogun West in the Senate, thanked the leadership of the institution for bestowing the honorary doctorate on accountancy on him.

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Uba Sani Blames Poverty, Hopelessness, Others For Insecurity In North-West   

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Kaduna State Governor, Uba Sani
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The governor of Kaduna State, Uba Sani, says poverty, unemployment, hopelessness and lack of education are the major reasons insecurity is festering in the Northwestern part of the country.

Sani, who was a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Wednesday, monitored in Abuja  said that the issue of banditry and kidnapping in the North-west is different from that of insurgency in the North-East.

“The North-West crisis has to do with banditry and kidnapping, it is economic problem. When you look at the situation critically, you will agree with me that most of those bandits always kidnap innocent people and ask for ransom and whenever they are given money, they will release the victims in many cases and some cases when there is a delay they end up taking the lives of those victims.

“And when you look at the situation, you also look at the problem of poverty, unemployment, hopelessness and lack of education particularly in the Northwestern part of Nigeria, that is the reason why a lot of these incidents happen,” Governor Sani said.

The governor maintained that statistics has proven that greater percentage of people living in the North-West are living below poverty line, adding that a lot of out of school children in the country are also from the North-West zone.

“The last time I checked, and you can confirm from the SDGs recent report, you would agree with me that about 80 to 90% of the people living in the Northwestern part of Nigeria are living below the poverty line and of course if you look at the statistics of out of school children, you can see that a lot of the are from the Northwestern part of Nigeria,”he said.

Governor Sani said that bringing the criminals and pardoning them when they surrender is only one aspect of non-kinetic approach of ending the insecurity which according to him, is not the most important aspect.

The most important approach to ending the menace as he noted, is looking at the condition of the people generally which includes the poverty, unemployment and hopelessness.

 

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