500 Ex-militants Get Training In Advanced Farming

Five  hundred  ex-militants are undergoing training in advanced farming as part of the Presidential Amnesty Programme.

The first batch graduated on Tuesday at the Bio-Resources Development Centre (BIODEC), Odi, Bayelsa State.

The Amnesty Office is about to acquire 100,000 hectares in the nine oil producing states for advanced agriculture.

The acquisition is a step in its integration phase under which beneficiaries will be empowered as part of a Strategic Exit Programme (STEP).

Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator of the programme Brig-Gen. Paul Boroh said the programme would partner states and others to boost agriculture, ensure food security and engage beneficiaries.

He said the 500 are being trained in  batches of 100, and taken through  one-month intensive training at BIODEC.

Seventy nine graduated in Fresh Water Fish Production, five in macro propagation of elite plants, such as banana, plantain, pineapple; nine graduated in snail farming, three in grasscutter farming and one in household production.

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500 ex-militants get training in advanced farming

About 500 Nigerians die of HIV/AIDs daily – NACA

At least 500 Nigerians die of HIV/AIDs daily, with an average new infection of 600 people every day, says Sani Aliyu, Director General, National Agency for the Control of AIDs, NACA.

Mr. Aliyu gave the figure during an interview with the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, about HIV/AIDs, aired on Saturday night.

He said although the country has achieved great heights with the support of government and the international community, a lot of help is still needed from private individuals to address the challenges posed by the existence of HIV/AIDs in Nigeria.

Mr. Aliyu noted that Nigeria is still the second most affected country with HIV/AIDs, globally behind South Africa. He called on government and stakeholders to ensure increased education of the girl child and women empowerment as a means of addressing the challenge.

He added that the global theme for this year’s event to mark the World AIDs day, “Hands up for HIV/AIDs prevention,” was adjusted for Nigeria, to match with the country’s current prevalence rate of 3 per cent.

“You know that for Nigeria the topic for this year is not ‘hands up’; when you say hands up you are giving up. It’s ‘hands on’ for us in Nigeria,” said Mr. Aliyu.

About 72,000 adolescents are reportedly living with HIV in Lagos State, officials have said.

Also according to the Borno State’s coordinator for HIV/AIDs, no fewer than 5,000 Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, in 27 camps in the state are currently living with the virus.

700,000 Apply For 500 FIRS Jobs

The Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Mr. Tunde Fowler, has said that the organisation received more than 700,000 applications from the recent job advert it placed.

Fowler made this known on Wednesday in Abuja when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Public Petition.

The FIRS boss’ appearance at the lower chamber followed a petition from some applicants, who claimed to have been excluded from the employment processes.

The Service had invited applications for various positions in series of adverts placed in some national dailies.

Fowler said that out of the 700,000 applicants more than 2,000 had first class degrees in various disciplines and were qualified to be engage by the Service.

He said that FIRS would recruit only 500 people, adding that the exercise was designed to increase manpower for tax revenue collection and expand the country’s revenue base.

He assured that the organisation would ensure fairness and due process in the recruitment process.

He said, “We have secured waiver and endorsement from the Federal Character Commission in order to ensure that the right thing is done.”

In his remarks, Chairman of the house committee, Mr.  Nkem Abonta, directed Fowler to submit to the committee the service’s nominal roll to assist it in arriving at a decision.

Credit: NAN

500 Women & Girls Infected With HIV In One IDP Camp- HRW

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has alleged, in a report released yesterday, that 500 women and girls have the Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV) in one Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp in the North East.

The group cited an unnamed medical worker in its report, who alleged that those infected with HIV in one IDP rose from 200 to 500, with more cases unreported, over fear of stigmatisation.

“A medical health worker in one of the camps, which has 10, 000 residents said the number of people requiring treatment for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections has risen sharply, from about 200 cases when the camp clinic was established in 2014 to more than 500, in July 2016. The health worker said she believed that many more women could be infected but were ashamed to go to the clinic and are likely to be suffering in silence without treatment.” HRW did not, however, name the camp involved.

Promptly, President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered Inspector General of Police, Idris Ibrahim and North East governors, to, as a matter of urgency, commence investigation into alleged cases of sexual abuse and exploitation of women and girls in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps.

The president was also reacting to allegations of sexual abuse of women and girls in IDP camps in the North East, as contained in the HRW.

Regardless, the president, who described the HRW report as “worrisome and shocking,” said he will wait for the outcome of the investigation before taking action.

His Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu  conveyed the president’s directive in a statement, yesterday.

Shehu said the president reiterated welfare of the IDPs, whom he described as ‘most vulnerable of Nigerians,’ remains  a priority of his government. “Nigerians and the international community can rest assured that the allegations raised in the HRW are not being taken lightly. President Buhari has instructed the IGP and state governors of the affected states to immediately, commence investigation into the issue. Their findings will determine the next course of action for the government and define an appropriate response.”

The HRW alleged in its report that “government officials and other authorities in Nigeria have raped and sexually exploited women and girls displaced by the conflict with Boko Haram.”

The group further added that, four months ago, specifically in July, it documented sexual abuse, including rape and exploitation of 43 women and girls living in seven IDP camps in Maiduguri, capital of Borno State.

“The victims had been displaced from several Borno towns and villages, including Abadam, Bama, Baga, Damasak, Dikwa, Gamboru Ngala, Gwoza, Kukawa, and Walassa. In some cases, the victims arrived in the under-served Maiduguri camps, where their movement is severely restricted after spending months in military screening camps.

“It is bad enough that these women and girls are not getting much-needed support for the horrific trauma they suffered at the hands of Boko Haram.

“It is disgraceful and outrageous that people, who should protect these women and girls are attacking and abusing them. Four of the victims told HRW that they were drugged and raped, while 37 were coerced into sex through false marriage promises and material and financial assistance.

“Many of those coerced into sex said they were abandoned after they became pregnant. They and their children have suffered discrimination, abuse, and stigmatisation from other camp residents. Eight of the victims said they were previously abducted by Boko Haram fighters and forced into marriage before they escaped to Maiduguri.”

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FCT Elections: 2 Injured, 500 Ballot Papers Missing In Kwali

Some youths in Bako Village in Kwali Area Council of the FCT on Saturday went on rampage, following the discovery that 500 ballot papers were missing in their polling unit.

An eyewitness said that after accreditation and voting, the presiding officer of the Dabi polling unit counted the ballot papers and discovered that instead of 3000 ballot papers, he had 2,500. ”This led to arguments between the presiding officer, party agents and party supporters at the centre, resulting in violence that left two people injured.

”This situation was however, brought under control by security agents attached to the centre”, Jeremiah Isaiah said. As at the time of this report, the centre was deserted and pockets of youths were seen discussing in hushed tones the possible effect of the violence on the voting in the area. Also, some voters were seen milling around hopeful that the situation would be resolved soon. ”Just like a dream, the situation escalated into violence. ”

The party supporters believe that the 500 missing ballot papers have been taken to a place where they will be thumb printed in favour of a particular candidate. ”This can lead to outright cancellation of the voting process in Dabi”, a security agent, who pleaded anonymity said. A voter, Adamu Musa, expressed disappointment over his inability to vote after travelled from Minna to exercise his voting right.

”I woke up very early to drive to Dabi today only to get here and this sad occurrence took place. I am very disappointed. ”I hope it will not affect the candidate I believe will bring a turnaround and excellent standard of living to my area”, Musa said.

Credit: Vanguard

UN Sponsors 500 Boko Haram Victims To Acquire Vocational Skills

The UN said on Monday in Abuja that it has sponsored 500 victims of Boko Haram violence from three North East states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe to acquire vocational skills.

Mr Matthew Alao, UN Conflict Prevention and Peace Building Analyst, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the programme was under the UNDP Livelihood Support Scheme for the zone.

Alao explained that an orientation programme for the 500 selected beneficiaries would commence today, Aug. 17 at the Citizenship and Leadership Training Centre in Jos, Plateau.

According to him, the skills acquisition programme is the first phase of intervention by the UN to emeliorate the sufferings of the displaced persons.

Alao said that the skills training would cover hair dressing, tailoring, knitting, catering and decorations as well as GSM repair, shoe-making, leather works and computer studies.

According to him, the participants will also undertake specialised training on conflict resolution and peace building.

“A total of 500 beneficiaries who are victims of Boko Haram from three North East states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe will be placed in a two-week compulsory orientation programme.

“They are going to undergo physical exercise, training, capacity building on mediation, conflict prevention, conflict transformation, social integration, peaceful coexistence for two weeks.

“We received over 2,000 applications and engaged in rigorous screening exercise out of which we selected the 500 that genuinely need this assistance.

“We took the successful 500 candidates for 2-weeks intensive course on mental and physical training.

“We are also going to train them on mediation and conflict transformation as well as business management; after that, we will put then on six-month to one-year training,’’ he said.

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Anambra, Kogi Bloody Clash: 2,500 Displaced- Community Leader

No fewer than 2,500 people have allegedly been displaced since the commencement of the Anambra and Kogi states communal bloody clash about 18 months ago.

Disclosing this yesterday, a community leader in Aguleri, one of the warring communities in Anambra, and Patron of Omambala Indigenous Youth Foundation, Chief Ifeanyichukwu Abala, regretted that the states and Federal Government have not put a stop to the war.

According to him, “these displaced people on the side of Anambra state need medication, food and shelter to help curtail the suffering they are going through”.

He stressed the need for the warring communities of Odeke and Echeno in Ibaji Local Government Area of Kogi State and Enugu Otu Agulueri, Eziagulu Otu, Mkpunando and Agulueri, Anambra East Local Government Areas of Anambra State to have a covenant and boundary demarcation to end the war.

“The traditional ruler of Igala, HRM Attah Agabaidu Michael Idakwo Anieh Oboni, HRH Rev JJ Agbata the Doga of Echeno community,   traditional ruler of Odeke, HRH Dominic Urana, the Doga of Odeke, Igwe Christopher Idigo of Aguleri and Eze Akajiofor Chukwuemeka Ezeani, were among the traditional rulers who endorsed our call for covenant and boundary demarcation”, he disclosed.

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