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Editorial

Fuel Scarcity, Nigerians Against Nigerians

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By Muhammad Umar Shehu and Dangana Henry Joseph

Average and poor masses in this country have continue to lament on the continues fuel scarcity in the country which have continue to bit harder in the country.

Despite assurance by the group managing director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Cooperation that the fuel scarcity would be over last week, marketers of the products have continue to hide the the products thereby exposing the masses into untold hardship.

The issues of fuel scarcity in the country is a mere wickedness of Nigerians to Nigerians, it is a problem cause among us and not by a foreigner.

Going by the circumstances surrounding the scarcity of fuel in the country one would easily conclude that it is a deliberate plan of marketers of the products to regulates within themselves on how they will be selling the products.

Today as citizens are going out to buy fuel, you find out that among the petroleum stations in a particular place only one station would be selling, then the next day you see a different one selling fuel.

This act is a deliberate one done just to cause the masses untold hardship.

A driver yesterday in Jos confides on us that truly if all fuel stations would be sincere and open all their stations without withholding the commodity the issues of fuel scarcity would be a thing of the past.

Yes, Nigerians are suffering at this very hard situation because of the scarcity of fuel the country is facing and our marketers are the cause of all this since they have the fuel but they plan not to sell it to the general public.

This plan by the marketers is absolutely a set up to generate more profits which is Nigerians against Nigerians and it sort not to happen in this way because even if you didn’t suffer from this fuel scarcity one way or the other your friends, relatives and families they may suffer in this hard situation so why choose to make life miserable for your brothers.

This is a right time we battle together and bring an end to this menace of fuel scarcity that is being imposed to our fellow Nigerians by some people with vested interest, people who only care about their personal interests without thinking about the danger they will put others in.

The federal government through NNPC has assured us of more than 1 billon litres of fuel in stock, but then, why is it that fuel scarcity keep on without ceasing? Though we resulted this menace to our fuel marketers because they have the fuel in their filling station but they intend not to sell.

The motorists and the fellow Nigerians are suffering because of the scarcity in fuel and if care is not taking this matter will result to something else that we are not praying so we deemed it necessary to call on the authorities in charge to pleases and bring and end to this issue of fuel scarcity in the country.

This issue of fuel scarcity in the country can bring ample of problems to our daily activities such as increase in foodstuff, transportation fee and other related issues like that.

Marketers should know that we are all Nigerians, and what goes around, comes around.

Therefore, the unity of this country is better than our own individuals and selfish interest.

Muhammad Umar Shehu and Dangana Henry Joseph
Can be reach via
umarshehu887@gmail.com 08035794769 Josephdangana2021@gmail.com

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Editorial

The New Fawn At The National Lottery Trust Fund

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Throughout history, no institution has achieved any substantial leap without a leadership vision and strategic thinking because no amount of whimsical, unplanned and hurriedly re-actional actions or even inactions can Trump an excellent and well articulated plan judiciously executed for the national benefits”- Unanimous.

This is very true about the National Lottery Trust Fund under the leadership of it’s executive secretary, Dr.Bello Maigari, who has done everything possible in reforming the interventionist agency and changing its narratives so that it can achieve it’s mandates. It is therefore not surprising to hear many analysts and public commentators say that indeed there is a new dawn at the agency. The National Lottery Trust Fund an interventionist agency under the Federal Ministry of Special Duties and intergovernmental Affairs was created to help use the proceed of the funds accruing from the proceed of remittances to the federal government through gaming to intervene in areas of needs in the country.

Based on the prevalent knee-jerk approach to developmental interventions of the past in the country by the Federal government, the present Minister of Special Duties and intergovernmental Affairs, Honourable Zaphaniah Jisalo, and the present executive secretary of the National Lottery Trust Fund, Dr. Bello Maigari made serious efforts in reforming the agency so that it can carry out it’s mandates as prescribed in the enabling laws creating the agency so that it can truly be said to be fit for purpose in implementing it’s core mandates by touching the lives of all Nigerians positively. The agency is now working to the satisfaction of all Nigerians as there are no longer room for hunches, guess works or mere sloganeering at the agency because what we now see daily are actions bringing succour to the less priveledged in society.

Many would ask what makes the agency now working more than ever before?. The answer is quite simple, the synergy between the Minister in charge of the agency, Honourable Zaphaniah Jisalo, and the management of the agency led by it’s executive secretary, Dr. Bello Maigari are in sync and creating the leadership synergy as the needed impetus to made the agency fulfilling it’s mandates especially in the renewed hope administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. The present management of the agency led by the executive secretary communicates their strategies transparently and are very ready to take responsibility for it’s outcomes as the open communications in the agency about the challenges and setbacks is helping the agency to manage public expectations and building trust in the agency by Nigerians. No wonder that today the National Lottery Trust Fund is now regarded as one of the best run interventionist agency in Nigeria because of the accountable and transparent manner it is carrying out it’s duties devoid of any sectional or political considerations. This is really a rapid departure from it’s past ways of carrying out it’s mandates to a pragmatic and systematic approach in making sure that all section and geopolitical zones in the country are treated fairly.

The National Lottery Trust Fund is intervening in every areas of needs in the country. Areas such as health, sports, education, and culture etc has felt the development in all its physicality interventions we can see and touch to the glory of the management of the agency led by Dr. Bello Maigari. The executive secretary and the National Lottery Trust Fund successes is because of the strategic actions made in implementing the present administration’s strategic plans as it regards the agency’s mandates and the policies by the Minister of it’s supervisory Ministry that from time to time, the agency would undergo a comprehensive performances assessment. This assessments involves areas covered quarterly, identifications of it’s present potential obstacles considering world class scenarios and the efforts of the management in developing contingency plans to avoid the situation where policies are not we’ll thought out and implemented to frustrate the citizens quality of life in the areas the fund is intervening based on national interests.

The strategies of the National Lottery Trust Fund is making sure is today adaptable to changing circumstances and adjusting to real time feedback’s and evolving challenges in the nation. Today, make no mistake about it, the National Lottery Trust Fund it recognizes that while optimism
and hope are essential in taking on interventionist challenges in a nation like Nigeria, but in the agency strategic actions complimented by realistic assessments based on data and realism has helped build an evidence based strategies helping it to achieve it’s mandates. The positives from this is that the agency is now once again working to the general expectations of the citizens because of its adoptions of a balanced and systematic approach in addressing it’s challenges and opportunities intervening in the lives and development of all Nigerians.

Musa Wada
Abuja

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Editorial

Gender Based Violence: Experience, Effects And Way Forward

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By: Jibrin Hussaini Kundum, Bauchi

Gender-Based Violence refers to harmful acts directed at an individual based on their gender which include sexual, physical, mental and economic harms inflicted in public or in private. It also includes threats of violence, coercion and manipulation. This can take many forms such as intimate partner violence, sexual violence, child marriage, female genital mutilation and so-called ‘honour crimes’. The consequences of gender-based violence are devastating and can have life-long repercussions on survivors.

Violence is a form of action that causes pain, destruction or suffering to the affected persons. All over the world, gender-based violence acts as threats to human rights and hinders the ability of the victims to contribute meaningfully to societal growth, sustainable peace and development. This is because victims of violence often find it difficult to express themselves freely or explore the talents embedded in them to make their environment more soothing, loving, peaceful and comfortable.

There is no gain saying the fact that, these phenomenon has deeply rooted in gender inequality and continues to be one of the most notable human right violations. Non Governmental Organizations like the BAOBAB foundation has it that gender-based violence can take different forms and mostly affects women and girls, which can result in physical, sexual, psychological or economic harm, depending on the society or individual being affected.

Consequently, gender-based violence takes different forms to operate within its environment thus they include: physical, sexual or psychological. Factors such as poverty, lack of education and unemployment are set to cause gender-based violence in the life of a person or a community. No matter the form of gender-based violence, it leaves several short and long-term implications for victims which prevents them from contributing actively to the promotion of sustainable peace and development.

Stakeholders particularly Non Governmental Organizations such as the Bauchi State Sexual Assault Referral Center, according to the founder of the Organization Hajiya Hadiza Muhammad from February to November 2023, it has received 200 case of Gender Based Violence mostly from the rural areas.

Another foundation, Ikra Youth and Women Group said it has received 500 cases of GBV and 100 out of the number are rape from Toro, Alkaleri and Katagum across Bauchi State in 2023, this is according to the director of the group Amina Garuba Ahmad as published by a national daily on 15 October 2023.

In 2021, 40 year old man has been arrested for allegedly rapping four year old girl in side Mosque in Igbo quarters Aminu street Bauchi. Malam Jamilu Abdullahi, Father of the victim,
“I lived in Igbo quarters, Bauchi,now living in Unguwar Sarakuna. My daughter who was the victim of the rape is Hauwa’u Jamilu , when the ugly trend happened, she was six years and now 9 years, “I was not at home went for livelihood and the mother of the victim, they called me and informed on the matter ,the people of my area took action. I am called on people to desist from discrimination to the people who were affected by such accident. I felt discourage and deep concern on the matter,with this I want to called on parents to be extra careful and monitor the affairs of their children to disassociate them from bad eggs. One of the reason why I changed my place of living is to protect my daughter from the discrimination, people in my old area describing the victim somehow.

GVB and experience:
According to Jamilu Abdullahib Bauchi State government,under the office of the first , deserved a wonderful commendation, because , she took the baby to the hospital for necessary medication, people like member representing Bauchi at the State house of assembly and Speaker of the house and other leaders ,I knowledge their contribution in the crusade.

Way forward : Relevant groups, local authorities, partners, and donors as well as concerned individuals such as Saving the Future Girls Initiative, Way forward to North-East Youth, Ward Head of Gwallaga in Bauchi metropolis and Doctor Hamza Abubakar Hussaini From the department of Islamic , faculty of art and social science, Federal University Kashere, Gombe state, Barrister Mu’azu, a Bauchi based lawyer, relevant groups and concerned individuals such as Saving the Future Girls Initiative, Way forward to North-East Youth, Ward Head of Gwallaga in Bauchi metropolis and Doctor Hamza Abubakar Hussaini From the department of Islamic , faculty of art and social science, Federal University Kashere, Gombe state, Barrister Mu’azu, a Bauchi based lawyer, said that GBV has been increasingly recognized as a grave challenge for public health, development and a violation of human rights and opined that the government should create facilities that would help women experiencing Gender Based Violence such as counselling centers, funds that will help victims get rehabilitated and invest in institutions like Police and the judiciary so that victims are assisted, the community should also establish community social structures such as community groups of both men and women provide a sensitization platform for people to share experiences related GBV.

Police as a law established agency, has a better role to play in the fight against gender-based Violence because, it has recorded at least 202 cases of sex and gender-based violence in 2022 according to the force Public Relations Officer Ahmed Wakili and also arrested a total of 326 suspected SGBV offenders in connection with the recorded crimes.

The police, according to the spokesperson, had in 2020 recorded 149 rape cases and other related offences and was able to arrest at least 257 suspects in connection with the cases.

Worried by the rising trends of sex-related offences, he said the command intensified “fight against the menace” which led to the decrease in the number of reported cases in Bauchi state.

The police said the drastic decrease in the number of cases this year was because of the intensive awareness creation and the command’s rigorous effort to prosecute offenders, adding that the command had set up an SGBV desk in all the Divisional Police headquarters as well as the four area commands in the state.

This story is supported by BAOBAB for Women’s Human Right, under the 2023 SGBV Media Fellowship Project.

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Editorial

Rann: A Story Of Resilience And Hope

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Visiting Rann, a remote town in Borno state, Plan International Nigeria’s Communications Officer, Nubwa Bawuro Ibrahim found a community still struggling under the chokehold of 15 years of conflict in northeast Nigeria and the wider Lake Chad region.

Some 170 kilometres from the state capital of Maiduguri, Rann is one of many communities that have been ravaged by Boko Haram insurgents since the start of the conflict in 2009, leaving thousands dead and displacing millions from their homes.

According to UNICEF, since the start of the conflict, more than 20,000 people have been killed, more than 4,000 people abducted and 1.7 million remain displaced, most of them in Borno State.
On 14 January 2019, Rann was overrun by Boko Haram insurgents amid a general increase of attacks in the area bringing death and destruction, and forcing many inhabitants to flee across the border to the village of Bodo in neighbouring Cameroon.

Today, Rann is a place of desolation, isolation, and hardship. The realities of life in this border community are stark. Here, cars are a distant dream, replaced by the slow gait of donkeys and the tireless pedalling of bicycles, invoking memories of a bygone era.

Reaching Rann is not easy, travelling by helicopter is the only safe means of transport. The helicopter took off from Maiduguri at 11:15am, three hours later than originally scheduled due to the dusty and hazy conditions which were causing poor visibility.

This was my visit to Rann and the journey took longer than usual according to my fellow passengers who were regulars travellers on this route. The pilot had to make a number of detours due to the poor weather conditions, which kept us in the air for longer than expected.

As we approached the helipad, Rann’s desolate landscape was revealed, devoid of the characteristic bustle of a thriving community. We disembarked and ventured into the town, and the seemingly unreal situation became clear: Not a single vehicle or motorcycle in sight.

Accompanied by my colleague, Felicia, we met Musa and Babakaka, two community members who work with Plan International to implement our projects in Rann. Babakaka was my guide for the day. I asked him how we would get to our destination, he looked at me, smiled and said: “We have no car here, no tricycles. We only use donkeys.”
I took a deep breath and thought about riding on a donkey, something I have never done before even though they are found in the community I grew up in. I wondered what would happen if I were to fall and break my leg in this desolate place. Deciding against the donkeys, I went with the option of walking the long distance from the helipad to the location where the programme participants we had come to meet were waiting for us.

Setting off, the road was dusty with no respite of trees to provide shade. The determination in the eyes of my guide, Babakaka spurred me on. I checked my phone and realised there was no service; the only available mobile network was one from Cameroon. It took us 40 minutes of trekking under the hot desert sun to reach our destination.

The resilience of the Rann community, an estimated population of about 30,000 people, resonated with me through every encounter. The bustling market filled with goods from neighbouring Cameroon; the hard working determination of the mechanics mending bicycles – the fastest means of transportation here, and the eagerness in the eyes of the children to learn.

There are only two schools in Rann. One school lacks basic necessities including desks and chairs so the students have to sit on the bare floor to learn. The other school was built nine years ago but has never been used.

Despite these challenges, a beacon of hope shines in Rann. A European Commission Humanitarian Aid & Civil Protection (ECHO) funded project being implemented by Plan International is helping provide access to quality education and protection services, bringing hope for a brighter future.

11-year-old Fatima is among the children who attend the only operational school in Rann. She tells me her parents cannot afford a uniform, so she goes school in her everyday clothes. Like her, most school children lack uniforms and learning materials. This makes it hard to identify those children in school and those who are out of school.

Amid these challenges, Fatima is hopeful of a better future. “I want to become a doctor so I can treat people in my community,” she says. Even in the face of insurgency, hunger crisis, and unpredictable weather, the determination of the people of Rann to thrive remains undimmed.

Through the ECHO project, which started in December 2023, Plan International is renovating the two schools and equipping them with furniture and school supplies, as well as providing students with uniforms and learning materials, and training teachers.

Humanitarian activities are difficult to implement in Rann due to the inaccessible roads which are often flooded by the release of excess water from the Lagdo Dam in Cameroon, trapping people in the town and preventing access to and from the community. The risk of attack by insurgents is also ever present.

Leaving Fatima, I make the 40-minute return walk back to the helipad with a sweet-bitter feeling.
As I fly back to Maiduguri where Plan International Nigeria’s humanitarian hub in the northeast is located, the things I saw in Rann are ingrained in my mind.

What stands out the most, was the hope in the eyes of the community members, especially the school head and students I met with. Their stories of survival are interwoven with inspiring feelings of hope. Rann’s resilience is plain to see.

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