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Yobe Enrols 17,000 Destitute for Free Medical Programme

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Dr Babagana Tijjani, Executive Secretary, Yobe State Contributory Healthcare Management Agency (YSCHMA) says the agency has so far enrolled over 17,000 poor people under its Social Equity Programme (SEP).

In a statement by the Agency’s Public Relations Officer, Alhaji Suleiman Bakoro, in Damaturu, on Friday, Tijjani  stated this at a workshop on utilization of Basic Healthcare Provision Funds (BHPF).

He said that Gov. Mai Mala Buni recently approved N200 million for the implementation of the programme, would fast track the attainment of Universal Healthcare Coverage (UHC).

Tijjani noted that the SEP was one of the numerous programmes initiated by the governor to enhance access to free and qualitative healthcare services by the people.

On the BHCPF, the executive secretary said, the programme, jointly funded by the state and the Federal Government, also targeted the poor and vulnerable.

He said as at Aug. 25, the agency had paid capitations of 22,024 beneficiaries, adding that the figure represented “97.9% of BHCPF coverage target based on available funds disbursed through the NHIS gateway”.

Tijjani thanked the NHIS for organizing the workshop meant to build the capacity of the management and staff of the agency to perform their duties more effectively.

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In his remarks, the state NHIS Co-ordinator, Mr Abubakar Dabo, said that the objective of the workshop was to bring all stakeholders together to discuss implementation and utilization of the BHCPF.

He charged YSCHMA to ensure that operational guidelines were strictly adhered to in the utilisation of the funds.(NAN)

Foreign News

Japan’s Ex-Justice Minister Accepts 3-Years Prison Term Over Vote Buying

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A three-year prison term over vote buying for former Japanese Justice Minister, Katsuyuki Kawai, was finalised on Thursday after he withdrew his appeal.

Kawai, who held the ministerial post in former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet, is the first former Japanese cabinet member in more than 10 years to have a prison term finalised.

He was charged with distributing about 28.7 million yen ($251,600) to 100 local assembly members and supporters to buy votes for his wife in the upper house election in Hiroshima Prefecture two years ago.

His defence team filed an appeal after the Tokyo District Court sentenced the former minister to three years in prison this June.

However, his lawyer said Kawai withdrew the appeal on Thursday.

“The responsibility is solely on me, and I am ready to accept it all,’’ Kawai said in a statement released through his lawyer.

He said the responsibility was solely on him and he asked for leniency on the people who have accepted cash.

As a result, his civil rights will be suspended and he is not allowed to run for election until five years after his service of the sentence.

Kawai pleaded not guilty in his first hearing in August 2020 but he admitted most of the charges in March and requested a suspended sentence.

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He gave up his lower house seat in April, saying he would bear the responsibility for causing public mistrust in politics.

According to ruling finalised in February, his wife Anri Kawai was also sentenced to 16 months jail.

She was sentenced for distributing money to local legislators in Hiroshima Prefecture. (NAN)

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NYSC Extends 10 Corps Members’ Service Year, Remobilises 2 in Plateau

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The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Plateau has extended the service year of 10 corps members and remobilised two others for abscondment and absenteeism during their service year.

The state Coordinator of the NYSC in Plateau, MS Caroline Embu, disclosed this on Thursday in Jos at the official passing out ceremony of the 2020 Batch “B” Stream 1 of the scheme.

According to Embu, the 10 corps member will have their service year extended to various periods for absenteeism and abscondment.

While the two other corps members,she said, had been remobilised to repeat the service in another state with half allowance, for absenting themselves from their respective places of primary assignment for over three months.

She also disclosed that that six corps members would be given the State Award for their outstanding performances during their service.

The state coordinator commended the successfully discharged corps members for making an impact in their host communities.

She urged them to be good ambassadors of the NYSC even as they had completed their service.

She also enjoined them not to embark on night trips due to the challenges associated with such journeys,advising them to break their trips once it was night.

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A total of 1, 320 corps members of the 2020 “B” stream 1 deployed to the state were successfully discharged at the ceremony.(NAN)

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Police Disperse #EndSARS Protesters in Kwara

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From Alfred Babs, Ilorin

Men of the Kwara State Police Command, yesterday morning dispersed a cluster of #EndSARS protesters who gathered in front of MAMTESS supermarket at Taiwo Isale area, in Ilorin, the state capital.

Our correspondent gathered that the protesters had agreed to gather opposite the Supermarket with the intention of marching to Post Office, Challenge area and then government house to meet Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq.

One of the organisers, simply identified as Comrade Jamiu confirmed that they had hardly taken off from Taiwo Isale, when the fully armed anti riot police officers dispersed them.

“The police dispersed us when we were about taking off, at Taiwo Isale,” he said. 

He said they were plotting to regroup and hold a candle light procession at other location which he didn’t disclose and was yet to hold as at the time of filing this report.

Armed security men, including the Army, Police and Civil Defence personnel have since Tuesday evening been dispatched to guard public utilities such as Post Office and Government House in the state capital in case the #EndSARS decide to stage protest in any location.

As at yesterday evening, fully armed police officers were seen at Post office, Challenge and Unity areas where protest usually take place.

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Kwara State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Ajayi Okasanmi, explained that the presence of security personnel in strategic places in the state capital was to prevent breakdown of law and order and to safeguard public utilities.

He said the reason behind the heavy presence of security operatives is to forestall calamities, damages that might arise because of the protest.

He added that youth stakeholders in the state have been engaged, but to make sure no attacks are being carried on in the State, they are doing proactive policing.

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