Showing posts with label General. Show all posts
Showing posts with label General. Show all posts

Senator Slams new "Land Takeover" Bill in Plateau

Sen. Gyang and wife at Dogo Nahawa memorial mass, Sunday

Nigerian Senator, Istifanus Gyang has warned the Plateau State government against a Bill to takeover private lands at will.

The Bill at the State House of Assembly which has passed second reading seeks to empower the Governor to exercise “absolute and discretionary powers” on all lands in the State, says Gyang.

It is an extension of the Federal Land Use Act, 1978 which only empowers State Governors over urban lands within the state.

The power to adjudicate over rural lands according to the Act lies in Local Governments.

The new land Bill is simply a “Land takeover Bill and is not welcomed as it has the possibility of disinheriting people of their ancestral lands,” Gyang said on Sunday at a memorial mass for 500 women and children killed in Dogo Nahawa, Jos South LGA in March 2010.

The “Bill for a law to make provision for the administration of lands in Plateau State and for other matters connected to 2019” came up last week at the State Assembly.

Punch reports that the bill, sponsored by an All Progressives Congress lawmaker representing Pankshin North Constituency, Mr. Dasun Peter, passed second reading on March 3, and is expected to pass the third reading on March 25 when the state lawmakers reconvene.

Part of the bill according to a Punch report reads, “Pursuant to the provision of the Land Use Act, the governor shall in respect of land in the state, whether or not the land is located in an urban area, has powers to grant statutory rights of occupancy to any person for all purposes.”

If passed, the bill might further threaten women and child development in the State.

The State with a population of about 3.3 million people according to 2006 census has Males 1,598,998, Females 1,607,533 and children 0-10years old 1,030,393.

The World Bank estimates that about 70% of Nigeria’s population live in rural and semi-urban areas where farming is the main occupation.

Although the bill has not been linked to any specific intent, observers fear it aims to forcefully takeover and use private lands for the implementation of the National Livestock Transformation Plan.

The NLTP, widely criticized as a reviewed version of the earlier trashed Grazing Reserve, Ranching and Cattle Colony Bills was approved for execution in the State last month.

See Gov. Simon Lalong signs deal to upgrade grazing reserves

Officials after signing MoU to implement NLTP

The Plateau State Government on 4th February, 2020 signed a deal to start the National Livestock Transformation Program (NLTP) in the State.

The deal with two foreign companies – Sahel Consulting Agriculture and Nutrition Ltd. and Integrated Diaries is for the start-off of the program in existing grazing reserves in Kanam and Wase Local Government Areas.

The NLTP, a Federal livestock business program introduced in 2018 was previously resisted due to “misinformation,” the Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong said.

Erroneously misrepresented’

The Governor said, “When the NLTP was initiated, it was erroneously misinterpreted by those who wanted to play politics and discredit it.

“I told my people that as their Governor, I can never bring anything that will cause them pain and poverty.

“I was in the NLTP Committee, I understood clearly that Plateau State will not only benefit from it, but will use it to create jobs and address the farmer herder attacks which almost destroyed the peace of our peace “.

The Governor said those who had “taken over” most grazing reserves in the State were behind the “incitement and lies” against the program.

The takeoff of the program follows “wide consultations” and enlightenment, Lalong said.

“After the engagement with stakeholders, people embraced it because it is business.

“It has nothing to do with ethnicity, religion or tribe.”

Plateau which is among five selected pilot States will benefit from a N15billion fund earmarked for the program.

Peace Building: Nigerian NGO, Police, CSOs want citizens in govt

participants at the meeting

Jos, Nigeria: Police in Central Nigeria have started a rare partnership to build peace in Plateau State.

A US-funded project, Building Civic Participation and Good Governance in Plateau State (BCP-GGP) is providing opportunities for the two bodies to link citizens with government towards eliminating conflicts.

“The program seeks to promote working relationships between government and citizens with a common concern,” Mrs. Esther Ibanga, the Executive Director of one of the local implementing partners, Women Without Walls Initiative (WoWWI) said, Tuesday.

It is a “trust building” project, Ibanga said at a stakeholders meeting in Jos the capital of Plateau State.

Mrs. Ibanga speaking at the meeting

Building trust according to her requires keeping one’s words, setting personal values, and learning effective communication skills.

She advised officials to “Always be honest – don’t build trust with small lies in an attempt to protect others or avoid trouble.

“Don’t always promote self – the recognition and appreciation of citizens who have contributed to the society is very important. Admit your mistakes – it is human to make mistakes and hiding ones error builds distrust, however showing ones vulnerability builds trust.”

Iyamu wilson

Another implementing partner and coordinator of the meeting, Mr. Wilson Iyamu said mutual trust between citizens and the Police is crucial for success.

Government officials, Iyamu, the representative of Justice Security Dialogue said should also keep their promises to earn trust.

Mr. Garba Galadima (ASP), representing the Nigerian Police Force sought citizens’ support toward effective policing.

The Police which is a partner in the project, Galadima said cannot thrive without proper information from citizens.

ASP Galadima

Contributing, the Deputy Chief Imam of Jos, Sheikh Ibrahim Gadzali advised citizens to be sincere in criticizing government policies.

“The blame game by citizens should stop. Communities should not only go to leaders to beg for money but actively contribute to the policies and governance process,” he said.

Also, the Plateau State Commissioner for Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Hon. Irimiya Wer said citizens must unite beyond sociocultural beliefs to positively impact governance.

Mr. Wer lauded the program as relevant for good governance in Plateau State.

The General Officer Commanding 3rd Division Jos, Maj. Gen. Nuhu Angbazu represented by Col N. I. Garba expressed joy at the initiative which he said is in line with the drive of the Army to foster civil-military relations in the State.

The meeting was a followup to last year's advocacy visits by the BCP-GGP team to government, security and community stakeholders.

The visits were part of resolutions at a similar meeting held in December 2019 aimed to "build civic participation and good governance in Plateau State.

The engagement is expected to continue with more dialogues, trainings and workshops.

Participants at the meeting

Leah, Grace, Alice all fine in forest – Jennifer Ukambong

Ukambong and Journalist Masara Kim after release

Jos, Nigeria: Miss Jennifer Ukambong Samuel, the Plateau aid worker abducted by Boko Haram on December 22, 2019 in northeast Borno State says Mrs. Alice Loksha Ngaddah, Miss Grace Taku and Leah Sharibu are all “doing fine” in the ‘forest’.

Mrs. Ngaddah, a United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) medical worker was abducted in 2018 by Boko Haram in Rann community in Borno state.

She was abducted along with other victims after the insurgents attacked the town on March 1, 2018, killing at least four soldiers, policemen and three humanitarian workers.

Leah Sharibu was the only Christian among the 110 Dapchi schoolgirls kidnapped from Yobe State by Boko Haram on February 19, 2018.

Leah Sharibu

Grace Taku, an aid worker kidnapped by Boko Haram on July 18, 2019 had in same month claimed in a video released by the insurgents that Leah Sharibu and Alice had been killed over the Nigeria’s Federal Government’s inability to “do something”.

Grace in hijap

Miss Ukambong who was freed on January 15, 2020 however says Alice and the other two are not dead.”Alice in fact told us she is fatter than she was when she was abducted,” Ukambong said on Saturday when she arrived home in Jos, the capital of Plateau State.

Ukambong after release

Alice now called Halima

According to the 26years old, Alice’s name has been changed to Halima (Arabic name meaning forebearing, gentle, mild-mannered and generous) and she seemed comfortable while they were together.

Alice Ngaadah

“We went to her house (in the forest) twice,” Ukambong said.”Yes she has a house there…I don’t know the location but they say is close to Lake Chad,” said the Midwife-Nurse when probed further.Though she did not meet with Leah and Grace, Ukambong said Alice had assured them that both hostages were alive and well at an undisclosed location.”She told us to pray for her and the other two, that she has left everything to God,” said Ukambong.

“No sexual harassment

The terrorists, though ruthless were generally “good” to the December 22 hostages, Ukambong disclosed.

She said, “They told us it was against the Qur’an to forcefully touch a woman not legally married to you.

“They however tried to prepare our minds to expect such should they decide to keep us as slaves.

“According to them, the Qur’an gives them the right to such privileges when they take a hostage as slave.

“They however preached Islam to them as the only religion through which one can inherit eternity,” said the Alliance for International Medical Action staff.

They were to be turned to slaves should they persistently resist their message of “salvation”, she said.

However, five days before their release, the insurgents according to her, told them “it seems Allah doesn’t want you here (in their camp).

Dr Peter Afunanya, spokesman of the Department of State Services said in an interview with the Chinese news agency, Xinhua, Afunanya that the rescue operation was carried out in collaboration with other critical stakeholders in military and intelligence services.

Rescued Alon with Jennifer Samuel Ukumbong of the Alliance for International Medical Action, ALIMA is Miss Asabe Cletus Musa also of ALIMA; Adamu Auwal Arthur Ibojekwe China of Solidarity International and George Danbaba Michael.

The Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Mr. Garba Shehu has congratulated the families of the hostages on the release.

In a text message to MK on Friday, days after writing to seek details of the abduction, Shehu said, “Accept my congratulations (on the release of the hostages).”

The hostages were kidnapped along Monguno-Maiduguri road while traveling home for Christmas.

The moment abducted Jennifer Ukambong called home...

The joy was deep, the celebration was huge, words were out of reach as MK yesterday rushed to the family house of Miss Jennifer Ukambong Samuel, the Plateau aid worker abducted by Boko Haram on December 22, 2019.

Rumors started filtering at about 4:30pm that the hostages had been freed. Jenny’s family representatives had attended a two-day meeting with her employers in Abuja.

They had barely arrived Jos when a call came that they should return to the Nigerian capital city the next day. No reasons were given but MK was already tracking official sources in Maiduguri.

At about 5:00pm, MK whispered about the rumoured release to some family members who had been in close contact for updates. But while efforts were still being made to get verified details, Jennifer called her elder sister at about 5:30pm.

“Taimako na ya zo daga wurin Ubangiji…” Meaning “my help cometh from the Lord…” were the wordings of a song repeatedly sang by Jennifer’s mother, Mrs. Naomi Samuel who had been on sustained prayer and fasting since the second Wednesday of Jennifer’s kidnap.

Mrs. Naomi Samuel when she received news of Jennifer's release

She was in Church praying when the news came and she rushed home in uncontrollable tears of Joy to meet the already waiting MK team.

“I lack words…” She said as she literally knelt to appreciate God and everyone who called.

Jennifer was released through the intervention of the Department of State Securities. The strategies used remain highly classified at the moment. However, all four hostages taken along with Jennifer were received and taken to the DSS headquarters in Maiduguri.

Jennifer’s family have been invited to Abuja today, where they are expected to meet with officials and possibly, Jennifer herself.

A source in DSS however says the freed hostages might not be released to families until they undergo debriefing and medical examination.

Jennifer’s Plans

Jennifer’s plans before her abduction were to further her studies in Nursing and Midwifery.

MK learns the Plateau State Government which had issued a statement on her abduction and sent delegations to her family I already planning a welcome package.

A top official told MK that she might be given a job to replace the risky humanitarian work she was into when she was abducted.

Alternatively, the source believes the State Government would consider overseas scholarship to enable her heal faster from the trauma incurred, gain the knowledge and experience as well as build the networks necessary for the actualization of her childhood dreams of supporting orphans and other vulnerable groups.

Plateau Traditional Rulers, farmers, others get multimillion naira support from Rep Maren

Rep Maren gifts female disabled wheelchair

JOS, PLATEAU STATE: Nigerian House of Reps member, Engr. Solomon Bulus Maren, on Monday unveiled a N2m educational grant for students in his constituency.

200 identified poor students of different tertiary institutions – 100 each from Mangu and Bokkos Local Government Areas got N10,000 each from the package.

The Mangu/Bokkos Federal Constituency Rep equally donated 4000 Mathematics and English textbooks to public Secondary Schools in the constituency.

The Education Secretaries of the two Local Governments in the constituency – Mangu and Bokkos were handed 2000 books each to distribute to at least 100 schools.

The donations separately launched in Mangu at Bokkos towns demonstrate “strong concern for education,” APC NASS member representing Kaltungo/Shongom Federal Constituency in Gombe State, Hon. Simon Karu said.

Hon. Simon Karu presents fertilizer donated by Maren

Maren who equally donated 30 motorcycles to traditional rulers, 60 wheelchairs to disabled constituents, 150 water pump machines and 300 bags of fertilizer to farmers was lauded as “people-minded” by guests including Hon. Simon Mwadkon of Barkin Ladi/Riyom Federal Constituency, Hon. Dachung Musa Bagos of Jos South/Jos East Federal Constituency, representative of the PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus among others.

The Chairman of the Mangu Traditional Council, Nelson Bakfur however appealed for more interventions especially youth employment, which Maren assured was already top priority.

He said, “without exaggeration over 150 youths are gainfully employed into various agencies, departments, ministries and parastatals of government since our assumption of office.

“Just recently, we have been able to facilitate the enrolment of 19 young
recruits into the Nigerian Amy and are currently in Depot, I boldly say, it is the highest figure any constituency got.”

Maren has previously trained and equipped 500 women and youths in entrepreneurship.

He has equally facilitated the construction or three classroom blocks in Panyam, Konbun, Mangun, Jipal, Mom, langur Mbar, mangur, Maiduna, Butura and Langai villages.

Over 100 hand pump and 15 motorized boreholes, at least one town hall, several culverts and drainages among others have also been facilitated by the reelected lawmaker who currently has over 15 bills, over 40 motions and seven petitions to his name.

This however is just a “tip of the iceberg” says the Rep member.

“It is my earnest intention to serve you selflessly the best way I can and to put smiles on your faces, to speak and raise a voice for you, to defend the vulnerable and the less privilege amongst us and to ensure that our people are not short-changed both at the National and state level,” he said at the 2020 empowerment program.

Plateau House of Assembly member, Mr. Bala Fwanje presents copies of books to Education officials on behalf of Maren
Plateau House of Assembly member, Mr. Bala Fwanje presents copies of books to Education officials on behalf of Maren

Pauline Tallen at 61 has touched many lives - Gov. Lalong

Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State says Nigeria’s Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Pauline Tallen would better address issues affecting women, girls and the less privileged as she turns 61.

Governor Lalong in a birthday felicitation hailed the ex Plateau Deputy Governor for contributing ‘immensely’ to humanity.

“Dame Tallen’s achievements over the years are enormous and characterized by selfless service, dedication and determination to impact positively on others while carrying out every assignment with diligence and excellence” the Governor said in the message signed by his Press Director, Simon Macham.

Lalong particularly appreciated Mrs. Tallen for making positive contributions to the lives of Plateau people, wishing her good health, wisdom and “abundance to continue impacting positively on society.”

Afripeace moves to reconcile conflict communities in Jos

Dr. Kwaja

An international nongovernmental organization, African Initiative for Peacebuilding and Advancement (Afripeace), on Sunday launched a community-level reconciliation program in Jos, the capital of Plateau State.

Jos, a Central Nigerian city has witnessed several violent conflicts between Christian and Muslim populations over the past two decades.

Thousands of lives have been killed in the conflicts which have led to mutual suspicion and segregated settlements among residents.

The Afripeace project aims to “strengthen mechanisms for reconciliation and conflict recovery,” the project team leader, Dr. Chris Kwaja said at its launch in Dutse-Uku, a community rated as a high-risk conflict flashpoint.

Participants at the Afripeace town hall in Jos

The project to be implemented in Plateau and two other States with a history of ethno-religious violence – Kaduna and Kano, will build on existing structures to restore harmonious coexistence, Kwaja said at its launch .

“No community survives as a homogeneous society,” said the project pointsman.

Communities can therefore identify the common values in their diversities for common good, he said.

The project supported by Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) according to Kwaja will work with all relevant stakeholders to identify and resolve issues of conflict.

The launch in a peace advocacy town hall meeting had in attendance, youth, women, community and vigilante group leaders from four target communities – Rikkos, Angwan Rukuba, Dutse Uku and Agwan Rimi am in Jos North Local Government Area.

Participants at the Afripeace town hall in Jos

The community representatives in their remarks lauded the initiative but appealed for efforts to reduce the growing problem of drug abuse among youths, which they regard as a key conflict driver.

Other problems identified include gang violence, youth restiveness and lack of support for the rebuilding of houses destroyed during the conflicts.

Herdsmen to sue Oyo over new anti-grazing bill

Locals sharing drinking well with animals in Northeast Borno - MK representative image

ThisDay: The Oyo State Open Rearing and Grazing Regulation Bill 2019, which has already passed the second reading at the state House of Assembly, may run into a hitch as Fulani herdsmen in the state have resolved to approach the court to stop it.

The bill, which was jointly sponsored by the Speaker of the Assembly, Hon. Adebo Ogundoyin, and the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Abiodun Fadeyi, had two weeks ago witnessed a public hearing where stakeholders including farmers, groups and the Fulani community bared their minds on how to make it workable.

The National Chairman of Gan Allah Fulani Development Association of Nigeria, Alhaji Sale Bayari, in an 18-page position paper presented at the forum, said: “It is impossible in our country for any peasant small scale herdsman to go into ranching” and submitted that the bill if passed into law would punish poor herders.

However, the Fulani herdsmen, at a meeting held in Igangan, an agrarian community in Ibarapa North Local Government Area of the state, Wednesday, and presided over by the Sarkin Fulani of Oyo State, Alhaji Saliu Abduk-Kadir, described the Oyo State Anti-Open Grazing Bill as “too draconian” and targeted at crippling them from practising their age-long cattle rearing activities across the state.

“We will go to court. We will seek legal redress if Oyo State Government insists on imposing this Bill on us,” the Fulani herdsmen unanimously resolved at the end of the meeting which lasted over five hours at the popular Kara Market in Igangan.

The state Secretary of Gan Allah Fulani Development Association, Mr. Garba Umar, while reading the communique of the meeting to journalists, said the Fulani herdsmen had resorted to rejecting the bill in its totality because they perceived it as one that would cause serious setback to their means of livelihood.

For the Anti-Open Grazing Bill to be implementable, the Fulani herdsmen appealed to the state government to provide RUGA or grazing reserve for cattle rearers where there would be easy accessibility to water and grazing facilities.

Failure to do this, the Fulani herdsmen maintained, “the implementation of the Bill as it is will cause commotion”.

Police Academy starts final admission screening next week

The Nigeria Police Academy, Wudil, Kano will start final admission screening for its 7th regular course next Wednesday.

An official release by the Plateau State Police Spokesman, Tyopev Terna, Friday invites successful candidates who passed the selection examination held on Saturday, 24th August, 2019 to avail for the “interview”.

The release says, “They are to appear for interview before the Selection Board at the Police Academy Wudil, Kano as follows:-

1. North East and North West Zones (Thursday 24th – Wednesday 30th October, 2019)

2. North Central and South West Zones (Thursday 31st October – Wednesday 6th November, 2019)

3. South East and South South Zones (Thursday 7th – Wednesday 13th November, 2019).”

It adds that the candidates should carry along the following:-

i. Original credentials with fifteen (15) photocopies of each.

ii. Fifteen (15) passport photographs.

iii. Certificate of indigeneship to be authenticated by the state representatives.

iv. White canvas, vest, shorts and socks.

Accommodation and feeding will be provided in the Academy for the candidates during the exercise, the statement says.

Successful candidates according to it will be notified individually via short message service (sms).

Despite attacks, Plateau communities insist on peace

Sympathizers at funeral of attack victims in Plateau State

JOS NIGERIA: Communities in Plateau State may have had enough resolving conflicts with violence.

For over 18 years, the State has witnessed violent hostilities between Christian and Muslim groups, often with severe facilities.

The conflicts which hitherto occurred within Jos, the capital of the State spread to local communities in 2010, beginning with the reported killing of 500 women and children in Dogo Nahawa village, located Southeast of Jos.

Thousands of villagers have so far been killed with at least 130,000 people displaced from over 50 communities, officials say.

At least 14 people including four Policemen have been killed within the past two weeks.

Four of these were killed in the Irigwe dominated Bassa Local Government Area.

Despite this however, Mr. Sunday Abdu, the President of the Irigwe Development Association says violence is not a solution.

A Christian usually should be for peace. The Bible says blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God. I want to be a son of God not by mere confession but by conduct,” Abdu told MK.

According to him, the hostilities may have defied all efforts to build peace but “There is no stop to this search for peace.”

The path to peace is tedious and rough and wicked, yet, if you persist and insist you will succeed.

My subjects are dying everyday and if they all die who will i lead? So i need peace to keep these people alive,” said the community leader.

Last year January and March, similar attacks in Daffo, Bokkos LGA led to the death of over 40 people and the sacking of over 7000 people from 11 villages.

However, the community has long adopted multi-stakeholder partnership to restore peace.

District Head of Daffo, Saf Dauda Mandong told MKnews that several committees have been set up involving Ron and Fulani natives to prevent recurrence of the classes.

We set up the hate speech committee, dialogue and other committees and have seen a drastic drop in the attacks,” the community leader told MKB.

Last week Tuesday, an attack on a Police patrol team in the community occurred during a peace and security meeting at the traditional ruler’s palace with Fulani leaders in attendance.

The attack which led to the death of two Policemen has not however affected the resolve of the villagers to work together for peace, Mandong said.

“We will continue until we find an end to this evil,” he said.

His Fulani counterpart in the community, Mr. Shagari Abdullahi said most of their youths have been enrolled in school to enlighten them against violence and other crimes.

“The few cases of attacks we still hear about at mere efforts of criminals who are bent on destroying the State,” he said in a telephone interview.

The day we will all come together and sincerely work for peace, and say these criminals must be exposed, we will all be surprised because these criminals are all among us and in every tribe and religion”, said Mr. Nura Mohammed, the Chairman of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Plateau State branch.

Criminals leveraging on the insecurity in the state for personal gains can however not be uprooted except through “joint vigilance,” Ms. Patience Chaimang, Search for Common Ground’s Plateau and Nasarawa State Coordinator told MK.

The fact that people are making commitment to peace does not mean that they should be relaxed.

They have to at the same time strengthen mechanisms for the protection of their communities. Protecting their communities means that they must set up a joint vigilante to secure their borders and the neighborhoods to know who comes into a community, when, from where and why,” Chaimang said.

NGO stirs women, girls against abuse

Jul Changing Faces during the International Day of the Girl

JOS PLATEAU STATE: A Nigerian nongovernmental organization, Jul Changing Faces says education for girls is crucial for national growth and development.

Ms. Juliana Aliyu, founder of the NGO, Friday told journalists in Jos, the capital of Plateau State that despite neglect, women and girls are rising to prove to the world that they can do as their male counterparts in driving national growth.

“When you invest in girls, you grow the world economy,” Aliyu said during a walk to mark the 2019 International Day of the Girl in Jos.

Her NGO has been fighting for the rights of children, women and people with disability for seven among others, she said.

It is particularly fighting for the educational rights of female children, Aliyu said.

“It is not okay for the child to be educated but well educated,” said the renowned activist.

To survive in today’s increasingly competitive world however, women and girls must speak out against every form of abuse, former Plateau State Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs. Anna Izam said.

Izam, a patron of the JCF NGO’s said only by so doing can injustices against the female gender be stopped.

15year old Miss Rahila Idris, during the walk said she was abused as a child, but was ready to get education and influence positive change.

“Government should support us with free education,” she said.


Every year on 11 October, the United Nations Children Education Fund marks the International Day of the Girl, to amplify the voices of girls and challenge them to stand up for their rights.

This year, under the theme, “GirlForce: Unscripted and unstoppable”, UNICEF celebrates achievements by, with and for girls since the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action 25 years ago.

Gbong Gwom Jos, a bridge builder at 68, says Sen. ID Gyang

Gbong Gwom Jos, Jacob Buba and Sen. Istifanus Gyang

CENTRAL NIGERIA: The Senator representing Plateau North in the National Assembly, Senator Istifanus Gyang has described the Gbong Gwom Jos and Chairman, Plateau State Traditional Council, Da Dr. Jacob Gyang Buba as a “Bridge builder, National icon, Royal Father, cultural custodian, and trailblazer” in the sociopolitical landscape of Nigeria.

The Royal father who just turned 68 has contributed “in no small measure” in the promotion of harmonious coexistence and the development of Plateau state, Senator Gyang said.

In a statement signed by his media aide, the Senate Committee Defense Committee Deputy Chairman prayed long life and good health for the monarch to continue to play “the fatherly role of a unifier and promoter of peaceful coexistence.”

Senator Gyang boldly proclaims Jesus during 2020 budget presentation

Sen. ID Gyang prays for Nigeria

At the Joint Session of the National Assembly on Tuesday during which the 2020 fiscal Budget was presented by President Mohammadu Buhari, the Senate President, Sen. Lawal called on the Senator representing Plateau North Senatorial district, Senator Istifanus Gyang to close the session with a word of prayer.

Rising to his feet, Senator Gyang boldly prayed;

“In the name of Jesus, the name that is above every other name, we call on you today to say thank you. Thank you Lord for the gift of this nation, even though some people say it’s a historical accident but it came from you, You have kept this nation together.

“You have given us leaders over the years to the current generation.
We say thank you.
Lord, we thank you because you are the God that is ever faithful and never failing.

“We thank you Lord because you are God the law giver, all legislative power lies in you,; you are the king. all executive power lies in you: you are the judge, all judicial powers lies in you.

“We thank you Lord because seated in this hall are the leaders you have given Nigeria and Lord by this very important constitutional activity today, the presentation of Budget for the year 2020, Lord we have intentions of how to go about building this nation, and your word says unless the Lord builds the house, the labourers labour but in vain. We ask for your intervention to help us the leaders.

“Lord starting with our President, President Buhari to build a nation that will glorify you. We thank you Lord.

“We know the challenges of security in this nation and your word that says unless the Lord watches over a city, the watchmen watch but in vain. We ask you to help secure our nation and everyone that is capacitated and responsible for the issues of security from the President to the policemen, to the soldiers, all armed forces and to all of us the citizens, help us Lord that this nation Will not collapse in our hands.

“Father we thank you. Father we bless you. You are the God of all flesh. You are not black, you are not white; you are not red; you are light and because you are light in you there is no darkness.

“Father, we thank You because you are the God of truth, in you there is no deceit nor deception.

“Help us Lord to build a nation that everyone will have a sense of belonging, an inclusive nation.

“Lord we thank you, we bless you that by the exercise of today may we have a better Nigeria.

“By the exercise of today, arise over us as a nation and let your leadership be enthroned over this nation.

“Father we thank you.
Father we bless you.
Bless Nigeria, prosper Nigeria and help us Lord as a nation to remain one.

“Father we thank you, we give you worship, we give you praise, even as we pray in the precious name, the name that is above every other name, the name before whom every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that you are Lord; the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and our saviour, for in Jesus mighty name we have prayed.”

Lalong has empowered more Fulani than any past Governor, Plateau Fulani Youths

Mr. Bayero (left), spokesman of concerned Fulani youths in Plateau State

JOS NIGERIA: Fulani youths in Plateau State say the present State Governor, Simon Lalong has provided more jobs to members of the tribe than any past Governor in the State.

The Governor has since his first term election in 2015 offered political appointments along with business skills and grants to youths from the tribe, Former National Youth leader, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Mr. Abdulkarim Bayero told journalists on Friday.

“The State Government through the Plateau State Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency (PLASMEDA) purchased 30 cattle and distributed to Chairmen of Miyetti Allah in the 17 Local Governments of the State.

“Prof. Sharubutu was invited to train some selected Fulani youths from the 17 LGAs in modern cattle rearing,” Bayero said in Jos, the capital of Plateau State.

Recent allegations by the Jonde Jam Fulani Youth Association of Nigeria, that the Governor has neglecting the tribe are therefore baseless, said the ex Youth leader on behalf of concerned Fulani Youths in the State.

Bassa peace commitment not final solution to conflicts - Plateau Peace Building Agency

Joseph Lengmang, DG, PPBA

The Director General of the Plateau State Peace Building Agency, Mr. Joseph Lengmang has said that Saturday’s signing of a commitment to peace by Irigwe and Fulani communities in Bassa Local Government Area was merely symbolic.

Fulani and Irigwe communities signing commitment to work for peace

Peace building according to him is a process, not an event as the dialogue and reconciliation forum organized by the agency, during which the commitment was signed.

“Peace building is not an event. Peace building is a process, but one that needs to be nurtured, one that requires the buy-in of everybody, one that requires the trust and confidence of every party, one that requires sincerity of purpose.

“If there is no sincerity of purpose, then it becomes practically impossible for us to achieve our goals of building lasting peace and also attaining the goals of development in Irigwe land and across the state,” Lengmang said.

The signing of the peace commitment was followed by a fresh attack barely 48hrs later in the LGA’s Hukke village.

Victims of Monday’s attack in Hukke village, Bassa LGA, Plateau State

During the signing in Meyango town, youths and women groups openly protested that the agreement was not to be trusted.

The President of the Irigwe Development Association, Sunday Abdu said, “We hope that this one (agreement) will not be like the others.”

Most previous attacks in the locality were reportedly preceded by similar peace meetings.

The PPBA DG, Mr. Lengmang was however clear that the meeting was not an assurance of the return of peace.

“There can ever be peace without agreement, understanding and the willingness to work together,” he said at the event.

Although there have been disagreements, there is hope for peace and reconciliation in Plateau State, said Mr. Lengmang.

He said, “Yes, we have been touched by adversity, yes we have had our bad times, yes we have lost so much human and material, yes relationships have been broken, yes neighborhoods have been uprooted and communities have become segregated but yet we want to overcome, we want to triumph, we want to open a new chapter in our social relations.

“We want to open a new social compact on the basis of mutual respect, confidence and trust.”

The Plateau State Peace Building Agency was established in 2016 to resolve and prevent conflicts for societal growth and development.

The agency has held several dialogue meetings among other events to discuss the ways forward on the peace process in the State, which has witnessed violent clashes for nearly two decades.

80year-old clears gutters, others in rival community for free despite being evicted during crisis

Mr. Isa Muhammadu has for over 10yrs religiously cleared gutters and grasses in community that displaced him during crisis

The Plateau State Peace Building Agency, Thursday honoured Mr. Muhammadu Isa, 80, who voluntarily clears grasses, gutters and water wells in community he was displaced from during religious crisis.

Mr. Isa, a former Muslim resident of Jenta Makeri, a Christian dominated community in Jos, the capital of Plateau State was sacked during the 2008 Jos crisis with his house demolished.

However, every year, he returns from Magama village in Bauchi State, about 40kms from Jos, to offer free sanitation services for a week.

This he did for over 10 years thus attracting the attention of the conflict resolution agency.

“If there is anything that exemplifies service, forgiveness and reconciliation, it is this old man,” said Mr. Joseph Lengmang, the Director General of the Agency.

The Governor of the State, Simon Lalong at the event – Peace Summit organized by the agency said attention needed to be given to “transitional justice mechanisms such as forgiveness, healing and reconciliation” as channels to achieving lasting peace in the state.

The Summit was part of activities marking the 2019 international peace day.

The Agency had held several other programs since Monday ahead of the Day’s celebration on Saturday.

It is expected to carry out tree planting activities, Friday in line with the International Peace Day theme: “Climate Action for Peace.”

Nigerian Red Cross Society Eulogizes President on Birthday

Management and Staff of the Nigerian Red Cross Society, on Friday described the organization’s President, Chief Bolaji Anani as a rare gift to humanity.

Anani, according to them has inspired matchless transformation in the Society, thus increasing its humanitarian impact in the country.

Leading the eulogies at the NRCS’ President’s residence in Abuja, during his birthday celebration, Secretary General of the Society, Dr. Abubakar Kende expressed believe that with Anani at the helm, the Society was reaching its set goals.

In his remarks, the NRCS boss, Mr. Anani lauded unity and fellowship among members and staff of the organization, pleading for more of such in running its affairs.

He particularly solicited for support for the Secretary General to effectively manage the organization for the benefit of humanity.

The gathering had in attendance Assistant General Secretaries, Heads of Department, Staff and the National Communications Adviser of the NRCS.

Plateau NULGE boss, Mafuyai calls cops on impostors

The Plateau State President of the Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees, NULGE, Comrade Samson Mafuyai says the Union under his leadership is “united and intact.”

This is contrary to “malicious” media reports purporting the existence of a caretaker committee.

Mafuyai in a media release, Monday said his tenure as extended by the National Executive Council of the Union is still active.

The reports of a new exco therefore are intense to create an impression that the union is divided, he said.

“The Special National Delegate Conference (SNDC) is the highest decision making organ of NULGE and has the final say on any matter concerning the union.

“The elongation of the tenure of the current EXCO’s by the SNDC overrides the constitutional quotation been peddled.

“It is strange that Jonathan Sambo and Nanpon Jacob who are beneficiaries of this tenure extension are the ones leading the pack of those who wish to divide Plateau NULGE for selfish reasons.

“That the persons involved in this falsehood could cite the Owerri judgement by Justice I. S. Galadima on the 11th of July, 2019 for constituting an illegal caretaker committee in Plateau State is shameful, and criminal,” said Mafuyai.

The Union boss therefore called on law enforcements and the general public to watch out for the “impostors”.

“Members of the public should be careful and avoid dealing with them as they are impersonators.

“Also, the law enforcement agencies are to take note of their criminal and illegal activities,” he said.

Plateau Court under attack for ruling against renowned politician in Chieftaincy case with younger brother

Chief Jethro Akun

Former Plateau “Deputy Governor,” Chief Jethro Akun has accused the State High Court of bias in its last week’s ruling on the Chieftaincy case between him and his younger brother, Da Jonathan Sunday Akun.

The ruling on the suit marked PLD/BL4/2010 according to him was an amendment of the court’s earlier judgment which favoured him and 10 others.

A statement by his Aide, Mr. Stephen Makwal says the ex Deputy to the annulled 2006 impeachment Government of Late Chief Michael Botmang had always succeeded in the decades old legal battle for the traditional stool of Mandung, Daffo District in Bokkos Local Government Area of Plateau State.

The State High Court sitting in Jos, on August 8, 2019 declared Da Chief Jonathan Sunday Akuns as the substantive Clan Head, locally called the Saf of Mandung Village, and the Galadima of Daffo District.

Mr. Akuns and four others had approached the court challenging the election of a new Chief to replace him on January 16, 2010 by Chief Jethro Akun.

This was reportedly against an earlier restraining court order, leading to the emergence of one Mr. Zakkariah Mallo Mafulul as the Head of the Mandung clan.

Justice Daniel Longji of High Court 5, Jos in his ruling declared that Jonathan Akuns who was selected in 1997 and enthroned in 1999 remains the constitutional traditional leader of the Daffo Mandung community.

Consequently, the court declared the election held to replace him null and void.

The judge granted six other reliefs sought by the plaintiff which include an order restraining Mr. Mafulul from parading himself as the Galadiman Daffo.

“Uncustomary selection”

Jethro Akun who was said to be part of the selection process that brought his brother to power however insists that the emergence of his younger brother as Village Head did not follow existing customs.

He had reportedly failed to prove this argument in two previous suits in 2000 under Justice P. D. Damulak dated PLD/J196/2000 and 2003 under Justice F.K. Dusu dated PLD/J319/2003).

The statement does not contemplate an appeal but suggests professional incompetence on the Judge and the Court.

Observers say such could amount to defamation and contempt, both of which constitute civil and criminal offenses depending on circumstances.

Contempt and defamation

While Contempt might be a lighter offense, defamation which section 373 of the 1999 constitution of Nigeria defines as matter likely to injure the reputation of any person by exposing him to hatred, contempt, or ridicule, or likely to damage any person in his profession or trade by an injury to his reputation attracts imprisonment.

Section 375 of the constitution says any person who publishes any defamatory matter is guilty of a misdemeanor, and is liable to imprisonment for one year; and any person who publishes any defamatory matter knowing it to be false is liable to imprisonment for two years.

It is however unclear whether the concerned Judge will take the matter seriously.

Police nab fake fertilizer dealers in Bokkos

A Malawian fertilizer company: representative image

JOS NIGERIA: Detectives of the Plateau State Police Command, Wednesday nabbed a gang of adulterated fertilizer suppliers in Bokkos.

The suppliers deployed from Kano were branded as government fertilizer.

Officials had however hinted Police about the fake supplies.

After days of tracking, two suspects were arrested on deploying the one trailer load of fertilizer.

An Official statement is however still expected