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Uba Promises to Turn Around Benue Fortunes




From David Torough, Makurdi

Benue State PDP governorship candidate and Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Titus Uba has assured of his commitment to turn around the fortunes of the state through agriculture and industrialization if elected governor in 2023.

Uba made the pledge when he played host to Benue State Forum of Supervisory Councillors at his residence in Makurdi.

He posited that he would exploit the comparative advantage of the State in agriculture in line with his blueprint in agriculture tagged: “our soil is our oil” to fast tract development, stressing that as an Engineer, he would not leave out industrialization which has a symbiotic relationship with agriculture.

The State number one Lawmaker enjoined people youths to engage in productive economic ventures to attract support from the Youth Development Commission billed to be established by his administration and commended the Forum for finding him worthy of their support.

Also speaking, the deputy Speaker, Benue State House of Assembly, Rt.  Hon Christopher Adaji expressed confidence in the capacity of Engr. Uba to take Benue State to the next level of development and called on Benue people to rally support for him.

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Earlier, Leader of the Forum, Hon Jeff Atongo who is Supervisor for agriculture, Katsina – ala Local Government Council said, they had come to congratulate the Governorship flag bearer over his victory at the primaries and to assure him of their support and solidarity.

The group also poured encomium on governor Ortom for his leadership that has enthroned internal democracy in the PDP, a development he noted, ensured rancour free PDP primaries in the state.

In his remarks, former chairman, Makurdi Local Government Council, Hon. Gbashima Joseph described Uba’s emergence as a demonstration of unity of purpose and called on Benue people to team up with the PDP to win the 2023 polls.

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We now Disseminate Research Findings through Youtube — Institute




The Institute of African and Diaspora Studies (IADS) University of Lagos, says it has broken new grounds with its ability to disseminate research findings by adopting documentary making,

It says it has dymistified the traditional academic method of publishing such findings in journals.

The Director of the centre, Prof. Muyiwa Falaiye, said these in an interview with the newsmen in Lagos, on Wednesday.

He spoke on the sidelines of the fifth anniversary celebration of the centre.

According to him, as the foremost institute of African and Diaspora Studies in Africa, the centre has in the past five years, also recorded other giant strides.

He said it had done so in human capacity building, attracting commendation to the university and Nigeria at large.

“Today, we are celebrating our fifth anniversary as an institute.

“The IADS is five years and we decided that we should mark it, not in a very big way, but just to remind ourselves of the task ahead and to look back to see some of the things we have done and what we can do better in the next five years.

“This institute is the foremost in African Studies, in the continent today. we have been able to do research that have real cutting edge innovations for Africa and Nigeria, and  as I speak, there are 30 ongoing research activities here in this institute.

“It may please you to also know that in the five years of existence as an institute, we have come up with innovations that are far from the way things used to be  done,  especially in the area of research, learning and advocacy.

“One of such ground-breaking innovation is the fact that we have created a new channel of disseminating research findings.

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“We have now demystified that by making our research findings available on You tube,  through documentary.

“This is nouveau and this is being copied by several other institutes globally,  and we have also been able to find the right mix between research, teaching and advocacy.

“In five years, we merged the PhD programme, which is also unprecedented, and a few other things that we have done.

“We are one of the first institutes in the world to adopt documentary making as an avenue to disseminate research findings, which was not the case before,” he stated.

Falaiye noted that the development was  contrary to most traditional academic methods, which  was to publish research findings in journals that many people do not have access to.

The director stated that starting fellowship programmes, as well as attracting several research grants and  creating an opportunity to bring in foreign scholars, had  further put the centre on the right track.

He added that the institute had also brought in researchers, both old and young, to advance its course.

According to him, the pot pourri of activities and events going on in the last five years in the  institute spanning areas of research, teaching and advocacy, have also seen it mentor young researchers across the country.

The director noted that the entire achievements  had impacted the image of both the university, scholarship and the country at large.

“You will be surprised that several visiting scholars have  now found home here.

“Those who otherwise, will not like to come to Nigerian universities, now struggle to get access to our institute here, as either visiting fellows, visiting researchers or visiting young scholars.

“This again is nouveau and unprecedented in the history of this country,” he stated.

He, however, said the institute had had its fair share of challenges, especially in the area of funding.

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“Our mantra here is, no research without funding. Sometimes, we do not get the kind of funding we need.

“Sometimes too, the challenges confronting Nigeria affect us, we still have issues of power sometimes too, internet connectivity, and issues of the general image or perception of our country out there.

“Few scholars will not want to come this way because of the image of our country outside, thinking it is not a safe place to come to and more.

” All of  these sometimes, affect our perception out there, but luckily, those of them who had managed to come here and have been with us for a while, had gone back with beautiful stories to tell.

“They have been able to carry encouraging message about what we do here,” he said.

Speaking further on funding, he said  research funding should be left to those outside government, which cannot do everything.

He emphasised the need for institutions to  look outside for funding of research, from  the industries and from individuals who believed such research could change the perspectives or direction of the industries.

According to him, relying on government for funding of research will not serve anyone any good.

Also speaking, the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe expressed satisfaction about the achievements recorded so far by the institute, in its five years of existence.

He told reporters that attracting research grants both locally and internationally was a key achievement that had engendered the much needed focus of the centre.

“I want to say that I am highly impressed with what they have done so far within the last five years.

“Attracting research grants both at the local and international levels, as well as bringing in scholars from outside the country and even within, is to say the least, heartwarming and worth commending.

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“The centre has  always been able to sponsor research, PhD research works and you cannot believe it that even someone from outside the university once got research grant support for the PhD students.

“We have their postgraduate students that are ongoing. So, they have done excellently well but I know we can still do better. In the next five years.

“I want to see a centre that will bring in more scholars from outside the country to come and interact and learn about our culture.

“I want them to also interact and learn in the area of migration. It is not only about physical migration, we also have the social migration, as well as economic migration, that will lead to development,” Ogundipe stated.

Prof. Rahmon Bello, immediate past vice chancellor of the university, on his part, said that the centre  project came up during his tenure in the institution.

“I am happy with what I have seen within its five years of existence. We came up with the theme of the concept at the time, with the University of West Indies, after a lecture here in Lagos.

“It came up with this idea and  I am happy today that  this centre has transformed to reality and it is doing very well.

” What it has been doing in the past years, I want to give kudos to the director and members of the centre and to the current management of the university of Lagos, for keeping the idea afloat and to ensure that they support the centre to make it viral.

” The centre is making waves and I believe in the next five years, it will reach the top of its pinnacle in Africa, and I want to say congratulations to the centre,” Bello said.(NAN)

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Stakeholders urge Nigerians to Vote for Politicians with Competence, Integrity




Stakeholders have called on Nigerians to vote for candidates with integrity, competence, credibility and good character in the forthcoming 2023 general elections.

They made the call at the Rainbow Entrepreneurship Conference Season 2 with the theme: `Good Leadership and Economic Sustainability’, in Ikoyi, Lagos State on Wednesday.

The Presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Rabiu Kwankwaso, urged Nigerians to vote for the candidates that had character, courage and competence.

“Vote for people with competence, people that can promote peace, development, education and empowerment.

“If you are not educated, you cannot have a sustainable economy.

“The NNPP will provide free education at all levels.

“Nigeria has the resources but more brains are needed to utilise the resources.”

Kwankwaso, a former government of Kano State, who was represented by the Lagos State Governorship candidate of NNPP, Mr Olanrewaju Kamal, urged the government to be awake to its responsibility.

Pastor Mrs Folashade Olukoya of Mountain of Fire Ministries (MFM) urged Nigerians to vote for a candidate that had the fear of God.

“Elections are coming. Let’s vote for a God-fearing person,” she said.

According to her, leadership entails imparting positively in the life of the people you encounter.

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“Any position you find yourself, impact on the lives of people.

“Some leaders have power but they did not put it in the right use.”

‘Until we start putting the right peg in the right hole, we will keep having problems in the country,” she said.

Olukoya urged Nigerians to have the fear of God and go back to Him if they want the economy to boom.

She advised Nigerians to pray for the leaders and nation so that the nation could surmount its present challenges.

Olukoya, who was represented by Pastor Gabriel Abayomi, said that most youths involved in crime were from broken homes.

The Publisher of Rainbow Magazine, Mr Olaniyi Johnson, spoke on the purpose of the conference. saying that with the current situation in the country, people needed to be more enlightened on leadership.

“It is necessary for our people to be more enlightened on leadership, governance and economic sustainability at the time the nation is preparing for 2023 elections,’’ he said. (NAN)

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Stakeholders Differ Over Plan to rebuild Jos main Market 




Stakeholders in Jos-North Local Government Area of Plateau on Wednesday expressed mixed reaction to the move by the state government to rebuild the Jos main market that was burnt down over 20 years ago.

The stakeholders who met separately,  had one of the groups endorsing the decision of government to rebuild the market and the other group was against it.

Newsmen report that state government has agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Jaiz Bank to rebuild the market at the cost of N10 billion.

However, some residents of the state kicked against the move and advised the state government to discontinue the arrangement.

The state government after an interaction with critical stakeholders, directed council chairmen and state lawmakers to consult and seek stakeholders’ opinions at the rural levels on the plan.

The group of stakeholders that endorsed government’s decision to rebuild the market met on Wednesday in Jos, at the instance of Mr Ibrahim Baba-Hassan, the member representing Jos North-North constituency of Plateau.

Speaking on behalf of the group, Mr Bitrus Pada of the Anaguta Community of the council, described  the move to rebuild the market as a ”good omen” for the state.

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Pada, who described the controversies surrounding the plan to rebuild the market as needles, insisting that the market, if reconstructed would boost the economy of the state.

”That we the people of Jos North are wholly and fully in support of the laudable move and efforts of this administration to rebuild the Jos main market as this is the desire and collective aspiration of our people.

”We agree that government’s efforts should be intensified toward the rebuilding of the market as it serves as symbol of unity, source of integration and a place for synergy and meaningful development.

”Rebuilding the market will further enhance and solidify the efforts toward enhancing mutual trust, peace, unity and reintegration of our people, as well as boost the business environment for which Jos is known for.

”The rebuilding of the market will bring sanity, discipline and organisation to the environment, thereby decreasing the indicidence of health hazards, and health insecurity in and around the city and environs,” he said.

Pada also said that his group support the reconstruction of the market in the same location and called on those rejecting the plan to reconsider their position.

He added that the terms contained in the MoU had been clearly and expressly spelled out, adding that the explanations were lucid enough.

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However, the stakeholders at the meeting conveyed by Mrs Esther Dusu,  the member representing Jos North-West constituency, on Monday, kicked against the move.

Her media aide, Mr John Kelly, in statement said that the stakeholders present at the meeting said that the move by government to allow Jaiz Bank to rebuild the market was not in the best interest of the state.

”Stakeholders in the meeting did not only kicked against the move, but also raised the observations like; what parameter did the government used in arriving at the 40-year plan?

”The safety of the current location and why is the government not considering the option of collecting loan instead of the partnership with Jaiz Bank?

”Why is government not considering the submission of the Plateau indigenes in diaspora on taking up the project and other concerns?

”So, in general, stakeholders of Jos North-West kicked against the move and advised government to suspend the plan,” he said.

Chairman of the Council, Mr Shehu Usaman, religious and community leaders, youth and women groups, among others, attended both meetings.(NAN)

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