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FG, NASS to Improve IDPs’ Plight

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Femi Gbajabiamila
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By Orkula Shaagee, Abuja

The Executive and the legislative arms of government are working to ensure the improved living condition of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the country.

Speaker of the House of Representatives Rt.

Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, who disclosed this on recently during a visit to Maiduguri to assess the conditions of the IDPs, said the Federal Government was more than committed to ensure that all IDPs were reunited with their families.

Gbajabiamila said as the Speaker of the House, President Muhammadu Buhari was aware of his visit to Maiduguri and that as a government, they would work together to see an end to the issue.

“If you see me if you see the House, then you see the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I want you to take it away. I stand here as the Speaker of the House, but we’re one government. The president is aware that I’m here. We’re one government, and we speak with one voice. Whatever is comes under my voice, is coming from Mr. President.

“We will work together as one government. We have come with principal officers of the House. That tells you the importance that we attach to this assignment, including the Minority Leader and opposition leader of the House, Ndudi Elumelu, is here. That tells you that the issue of IDPs, the issue of terrorism is not an APC thing, it is a joint task between all parties, and Insha Allah (by the grace of God) this will become a thing of the past.

“To all the internally displaced persons, all I can say to you is to keep hope alive, that government is here to support you, the government will do whatever it needs to do to make sure that whatever you’re going through now in a very not-too-distant future will be a thing of the past,” he said.

“We have brought our little token of support, which is two trucks of rice, that is 1,200 bags of rice‎,” the Speaker said, adding that “It’s not even near enough, but they say little drops of water makes an ocean.”

“We will continue to provide whatever we can provide to support you, most importantly, legislation. I want to thank you again for receiving us,” Gbajabiamila added.

The Speaker, who expressed displeasure over the condition at the IDPs’ camp, said: “Hajj camps and even refugee camps are meant to be a stop-gap measure, not a permanent sight as it may fast be approaching here.

“It is our responsibility as a government to make sure that the almost 32,000 that inhabit this camp are gradually reduced and resettled back to their families and their homes in a not-too-distant future. We are here to give encouragement on the little succour we can as government and to see what we can do using the instrumentality of the law to address issues that concern internally displaced persons.

“I believe that not just before the eyes of God, but even in law all men are created equal, and there is equality before the law. The way we will treat ourselves, our families, our friends and those in our homes is the same way we should treat those who by misfortune or fate or by the situation of their lives find themselves internally displaced. The internally displaced should not and must not at any point in any country become a permanent part of our lexicon.

“It is important that we know the condition under which these young children, mothers, and fathers are living. It is important that we know whether the ministry of education has a role to play here, whether their education is suffering, what is the ratio of teacher to students here if there are any?

“If that does not meet required standards in any developing or developed nation, then as a National Assembly, and as a government, we must deal with that situation.

“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that there is a direct nexus between education and what’s going on in Borno State today. God forbid, while we seek to settle people in camps, who are otherwise victims of Boko Haram, they, because of the condition and the lack of education, end up becoming exactly what we’re trying to avoid them from becoming.

“That’s why we’re here today to make sure that all is well. All can never be well if anybody is living in a camp; to make sure that as best as possible, the government plays its role in making sure the welfare of those who are in camps is taken care of. Constitutionally, the primary purpose of government is the security and welfare of its people. These are our people, and we must make sure that they’re well taken care of.”

In his remark, Borno State Governor Prof Babagana Umara Zulum thanked the Speaker for the visit and the magnanimity shown in donating the rice to the IDPs.

“I wish to express my profound appreciation to the Speaker and his entourage for the contribution they have made to the people of Borno State and indeed to the displaced communities of Borno State. What matters is not the quantum of what you have donated but the spirit behind it.

“We will remain eternally grateful to you. As I have told you this morning, the demands of our people are 1: security, 2: reconstruction and resettlement so that they can go back home and start means of livelihood. On this note, once again, we remain eternally grateful to you,” Zulum said.

NEWS

Rivers Assembly Screens, Confirms Eight Commissioner Designates

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The Victor Oko-Jumbo-led faction of the Rivers State House of Assembly, on Tuesday screened and confirmed eight nominees for possible appointment as commissioners in the state.

Reports says that the screening took place at the temporary legislative chambers located within the state Government House.

The Oko-Jumbo-led three-member legislature is loyal to the state Governor, Siminalayi Fubara.

The commissioner designates are to fill some of the vacancies created by the recent resignation of nine commissioners loyal to the Federal Capital Territory Minister, Chief Nyesom Wike.

During the sitting, Oko-Jumbo read the correspondence from the governor, requesting the screening and confirmation of the nominees.

He expressed the assembly’s commitment towards supporting the governor to provide democracy dividends to Rivers people.

The factional speaker said that the screening was part of the assembly’s responsibility in the governance of the state

Responding, the House Leader, Mr Sokari Good-boy and Deputy Speaker, Adolphus Timothy, unanimously adopted the request.

They said that most of the nominees had previously served the state at various capacities without blemish.

The commissioner designates include, Mr Charles Bakee, Mr Collins Onunwo, Dr Peter Medee and Mr Elloka Amadi,

Others are, Mr Basoene Benibo, Mr Sydney Gbara, Dr Ovy Chukwuma and Mr Solomon Eke.(NAN)

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Police Arrest Suspect for Allegedly Defrauding Thai Citizen of $216,000, N30m

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Police in Lagos State have arrested a suspect, Chimereze Chinedu, for allegedly defrauding a citizen of Thailand of $216,000 (₦317,725,271) and N30 million.

Police spokesman in the state, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, confirmed the arrest in a post he shared on his X (formerly Twitter) handle @benHundeyin on Tuesday.

He said that the suspect was arrested by detectives of the State Criminal Investigative Department (SCID).

“Chinedu defrauded his victim under the pretense of selling 37 tricycles to her.

“He further expanded his fraudulent activity by forging letters of SCID, Lagos, showing that the tricycles were seized by the police and further extorted N30 million from the victim to purportedly secure the release of the tricycles,” he said.

The image maker said that the suspect was arrested on May 10 in Enugu State following weeks of diligent investigation and technical support from the International Criminal Police Organization, (INTERPOL)

The spokesman said that the suspect was currently in detention, as investigations continued to uncover details towards identifying and apprehending his accomplices.

According to Hundeyin, the Lagos State Command remains steadfast in its commitment to combating internet fraud and ensuring that perpetrators are brought to justice. (NAN)

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Death Penalty for Drug Traffickers not Proven Effective, Says UNODC

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The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has said that the move by the Nigerian Senate to impose death penalty for drug trafficking offenders would not yield the desired result.

UNODC Country Representative, Oliver Stolpe, said this at a two-day Media Personnel Training organised in collaboration with NDLEA and other partners on Tuesday in Abuja.

Reports says that the training is centered on Anti -Corruption, Police Accountability, Wildlife Crime and Sensitisation on Drugs Prevention, Treatment and Care, (DPTC).

“Our stance as UN is clear on the death penalty we are principally and categorically against it. And from a very practical viewpoint, I have to say, it doesn’t make sense,” he said.

Stolpe maintained that the UN had always advocated for clear distinction between crimes of drug trafficking as opposed to the issue of drug use.

He said that it was always considered primarily to be a health issue saying that it should be dealt with as such.

According to him, addiction is a health condition, it is not a choice.”

On the need for an updated drug data for Nigerians, Stolpe observed that the current national drug survey for Nigeria was last done six years ago, (2018), and therefore does not reflect the current situation for Nigeria.

He said “the drug use survey of 2018 remains as far as I can tell the most cited study in the media.

“This data is outdated and I think a very critical question that media could ask at that point is really well, how can we still refer to 2018 data to describe today’s levels of drug use?

Stolpe enjoined the media to keep the good work while ensuring that information were disseminated efficiently and effectively. NAN)

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