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News Agency of Nigeria (Nan)

Empathising With Flood Victims



By Chijioke Okoronkwo.

In  Niger, Edo, Delta, Anambra, Kogi, Rivers, Bayelsa, Benue, Kaduna,  Kwara, Kano and Kastina states, the tales are the same–flood victims are ruing their looses.

Available statistics indicate that no fewer than 200 lives have been lost while properties worth millions, farmlands and other valuables were submerged and decimated recently by the flood.

More so, over 600,000 persons were said to have been displaced by the flood while an estimated 2 million people were affected in the aforementioned states.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) had issued flood alerts to the affected states.

The agency had predicted that a rise in the water level to over 10.1 metres and warned the residents of the states to take precautionary measures.

As predicted, the rains came in torrents; rivers overflow their banks and rampaging flood invaded and sacked many communities.

The Federal Government’s response was apt and has been impactful.

The Vice President Prof. Yemi  Osinbajo, on the directive of the President Muhammadu Buhari, hit the ground running-reaching out to flood victims in affected states.

In the affected states he visited, Osinbajo brought messages of hope to the devastated communities.

On a condolence visit to Niger State, Osinbajo said that President Buhari had delegated him to visit the flood victims.

“Mr President asked me to come and check your welfare.

“We shall do our best to help everyone so you can resettle well, go back and continue your work. We are paying attention to everything going on here. God bless you all.”

At the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp in Kotonkarfe and Lokoja, Kogi State, Osinbajo empathised with the victims and brought Buhari’s condolences to them.

The vice president said that the Federal Government would synergise with the state government to rehabilitate the victims and bring succour to them.

“I have already done some preliminary assessment; some relief materials have been sent and there is a need for more and we will ensure that more relief materials are sent.

“We should be able to accommodate our people to be as comfortable as possible despite the terrible circumstances of this flooding.

“We moved around and we have taken a look at many of the flood sites and it is very clear that a lot of damage has been done to farmlands and to houses.

“So, this is only the first stage; I am here to look at what has gone wrong and what has happened. Land and properties are underwater and after this period, when the water recedes, that is really when the hard work begins because those who have lost farmlands need to be restored somehow and need to be compensated including those who have lost houses and property.’’

In Anambra, Osinbajo said he observed with dismay the massive destruction of farmlands by the flood.

“We have directed the NEMA to continue to deploy relief materials to the IDP Camps and some homes, where residents have refused to leave.”

More so, in the neighbouring, Delta State, Osinbajo ordered NEMA to urgently supply additional relief materials to all the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps across Delta.

Osinbajo addressed the flood victims in the IDP Camps at the Ogbeafore Primary School in the Institute of Continuing Education, Asaba.

He gave an assurance that the Federal Government would resettle the victims after the flood.

“Let me say how very touched I am by just seeing all of you who are here and who have had to be evacuated from your homes and various communities where you live to this place as a temporary shelter.

“This I think underscores the enormity of the disaster here and what needs to be done.

“There is a lot of work to be done, not just by way of providing temporary relief and succour which is going to be done in the IDP camps.

“And we also ask that NEMA move quickly to supply additional relief materials to all of the camps across the state by the end of today or tomorrow.

“The more difficult part which we need to discuss with the state government is how to ensure that when the flooding subsides, we are able to resettle people to bring them back to enable them to continue with their livelihood.

“That will involve helping to resettle those whose farmlands have been submerged to be able to return to their farmlands and those whose livelihood have been disrupted in one way or the other.

“We have to find ways of compensating them so that they can get back to normal life,” he said.

In Rivers State, Osinbajo said that the extent of flooding in homes and most villages indicated that the disaster was enormous.

He said that was need for immediate intervention and thanked the state government for what it had done in trying to curtail the problem.

The vice president promised that the Federal Government would give all the support necessary to ensure the comfort and proper resettlement of the IDPs.

“I am glad to say Federal Government will give all the support necessary to ensure that you are as comfortable as possible under the circumstances here.

“More importantly, to also ensure that you are resettled properly when in the next few weeks you care about to go back home,’’ he said.

Osinbajo also assured them that the Federal Government regarded the resettlement phase as very important aspect of its intervention.

Sharing similar empathy at St. John’s Catholic Church, Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp, Igbogene, Yenegoa, Bayelsa State after his inspection of flooded areas in the state, Osinbajo assured flood victims in Bayelsa that the Federal Government was committed to alleviating their pains.

He said that he was touched that despite the flood and what all the people had been through, they were still able to welcome him warmly.

The vice president commended the very Rev. Joseph Okplema, the Vicar-General of the parish for taking care of the flood victims. He said the Vicar’s action was exemplary of a Christian leader.

He said it was the duty of the state and the Federal Governments to ensure that they provided help and succour for the victims.

The vice president said that he looked forward to giving the victims  as much support as possible.

“This is one of the reasons why I am here; I am not here alone; I am with the Minister of Environment, Mr Ibrahim Usman Jibril and also the Director-General of NEMA, Engr. Mustapha Maihaja to assess for ourselves, what exactly is going on.

“We want to know how bad it is; how many victims there are, the nature and extent of the disaster, so we can advise properly and give you the kind of comfort and succour you need.

“So that is why we are here and I am very happy that I have been able to see for myself.

“I want to commend you for your spirit, for not giving up at all, but remaining resolute and confident. That is the true Bayelsan spirit, the true spirit of the Nigerian.  We cannot give up and we will not give up.

“I want to say on behalf of President Buhari, on whose instructions I am here, that we will stand by you and make sure we provide what you need,” he said.

He said he had been told that some people still needed mattresses, nets and among others things.

Osinbajo said that he would make sure that everything needed by the victims was provided, adding that cow meat would also be provided to complement the food stuffs available.

He assured the victims that they would be properly taken care of and resettled at their respective homes.

Substantive as the Federal and State Governments’ interventions in the flood affected areas may be, observers say that pragmatic steps should be taken to avert further occurrences and loss of lives and property.

They say it was high time a buffer dam was built in Adamawa to check the annual excesses of water released from the Lagdo Dam in Cameroon.

According to environmentalists, there should be sustained dredging of rivers and water channels and creation of canals to avert flooding.


Sourced From: News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

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Corona Virus

NIgeria Records 87 New Cases Of COVID-19, Total Infections Now 1,182



By Abujah Racheal

Nigeria has recorded 87 new cases of the COVID-19, bringing the total infections to 1,182 , according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

The NCDC, in a tweet via its official handle, said 33 of the new infections were recorded in Lagos, 18 in Borno, 12 in Osun, nine in Katsina, four each in Kano and Ekiti, three each in Edo and Bauchi and one in Imo.

“As at 11:55 pm April 25, there are 1,182 confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported in Nigeria.  The country’s total deaths from the virus now stand at 35, while 222  have been treated and discharged,” it said.

The centre said as at 11:55 pm, April 25, Lagos has 689, FCT-138, Kano-77, Ogun-35, Osun-32, Gombe-30, Katsina-30, Borno-30, Edo-22, Oyo-18, Kwara-11, Akwa Ibom-11, Bauchi-11, Kaduna-10, Ekiti-8 and Ondo-4.

Others are Delta-six, Rivers-three, Jigawa-two, Enugu-two, Niger-two, Abia-two, Zamfara-two,  Sokoto-two, Benue-one, Anambra-one, Adamawa-one, Plateau-one and Imo-one.

Sourced From: News Agency of Nigeria

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News Agency of Nigeria (Nan)

Buhari Rebukes Oshiomhole’s NWC




President Muhammadu Buhari has publicly disagreed with the National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress over the right of aggrieved members to seek redress in court.

In a statement by Femi Adesina, the president’s media adviser, President Buhari stressed that if anyone is displeased with the way and manner anything has been done, and feels deprived of his/her rights, then such a person is at liberty to approach the courts for redress.

It was the president’s first public reaction to the discontent within the party over the conduct of primaries, in the selection of candidates for elective offices.

Until now, President Buhari had tried to appease members behind the scenes, begging and cajoling aggrieved members to bury the hatchet.

In a different reaction, the NWC of the party headed by former governor Adams Oshiomhole forbade members from dragging the party to court. It even went further to threaten the litigants.

President Buhari disagreed with the party:

“We can’t deliberately deny people of their rights. We agreed that party primaries should be conducted either through direct, indirect or consensus methods, and if anyone feels unjustly treated in the process, such a person can go to court. The court should always be the last resort for the dissatisfied. For the party to outlaw the court process is not acceptable to me.”

In the statement, President Buhari still favoured non-legal approach for reconciliation of the aggrieved as he urged them to embrace the party’s reconciliation panels.

According to Adesina, President Buhari advised members to work with the reconciliation committees empanelled for the six geo-political zones by the APC, and not a purported Presidential Committee on Reconciliation, stressing that the Party is the only body authorised to constitute such committees.

The APC had threatened aggrieved members who have headed to the courts, saying that: “The Party intends to activate constitutional provisions to penalise such members as their action is capable of undermining the Party and hurt the Party’s interest.

“We hereby strongly advise such members to withdraw all court cases, while approaching the appropriate party organs with a view to resolving any outstanding disputes. In addition to this, aggrieved members are urged to take full advantage of the reconciliation committees the Party has put in place.

“APC members should understand that as a progressive party that operates on the principle of change, it is not a matter of choice to keep to the rules.”


Sourced From: News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

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News Agency of Nigeria (Nan)

Over 1000 Workers To Be Employed For Warri-Itakpe Rail



By Taiye Elebiyo-Edeni.

Over 1000 workers will be employed for the Warri-Itakpe standard gauge rail corridor, Mr Fidet Okhiria, the Managing Director, Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) said.

“It’s about 320km, about 12 stations and we have to engage people that will maintain the tracks, people that will work in the stations and sell tickets.

“Also, technicians that will examine the train. So, we are going to engage close to over 1000 to maintain about 320km track, both junior and senior.

“New employees can’t just be sent there; they must be trained.

“In order for them to be trained, we will be moving people from the existing staff, but we have to replace them. So we have to fill up those positions before the new people will be trained and certify to be part of the train operations,” he said.

NAN reports that NRC operates one-year training programme for graduate staff and three months for the junior staff.

According to Okhiria, the 12 stations for the train service are still under construction, adding that temporary stations would be used pending completion.

He, however, assured that the stations would be completed by the first quarter of 2019, noting that some of the houses at the railway village were renovated recently for workers.

Okhiria said that a lot has been achieved, especially in the rail system under the current administration, with the purchase of more rolling stock and wagons.


Sourced From: News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

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News Agency of Nigeria (Nan)

National Identity Number Registration Is Free – NIMC Official



Nigeria National Identification Number

By Jacinta Nwachukwu/ Bukola Adewumi

Mr Loveday Ogbonna, Head, Corporate Communications, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) says registration for the National Identity Number (NIN) is free of charge to all Nigerians.

Ogbonna, who made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja, said that the commission had never charged anyone for NIN registration.

Some residents in Kubwa, Abuja, had claimed that they were made to pay N200 for logistics before being registered at the ongoing NIMC registration.

But, Ogbonna said that it was not the responsibility of the enrollees to pay money to fuel generators at registration centres.

“The commission absolutely condemns this, it is not right for enrollees to pay money for fueling of the generators before being captured but people also react based on how urgent they need NIN.

“Our staff would have told them that there was no light which is not under their control; however, you know that electricity is not under our purview just like the internet.

“Therefore, if you come to a place that we don’t have electricity and people on their own volunteer to contribute money to fuel the generator, it is out of their own free will.
“Although we don’t encourage it, because that will lead to corruption, but if the people on their own decide to contribute we cannot stop them.

“All these issues are due to paucity of fund, if there is enough money available for the exercise or steady power supply all these things will not happen,’’ Ogbonna.(NAN)


Sourced From: News Agency of Nigeria (NAN

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