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Sultan Announces Sighting Of Moon, Says 2022 Ramadan Starts Saturday

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Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs has announced that Ramadan will start in the country on Saturday, April 2.

The NSCIA President-General and Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, announced this on Friday in a broadcast.

He said the new moon was sighted in different parts of Nigeria and that reports of the crescent sighting were received from Muslim leaders and organisations across the country.

Meanwhile, the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan also starts on Saturday in Saudi Arabia and most Arab countries.

During Ramadan, Muslims have to abstain from eating, drinking, and smoking from dawn to sunset.

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Blackout: Taraba Govt Demands FG To Quickly Restore Power Supply To N-E

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By Sani Yarima

The Taraba State government has expressed displeasure about the negligence of the Federal Government to restore the power supply to the North-east region for almost a month.

Engineer Naomi Tanko Agbu, the state Commissioner of Energy and Economic Development aired this position during a press conference in Jalingo. 

She described the vandalization of the transmission towers as deliberate which undermines the stability of the region’s electrical system, putting lives and livelihoods at risk.

“I am deeply saddened by the recent disruption in electricity supply caused by the vandalization of four (4) transmission line towers along the Jos-Gombe 330kV line on 22 April 2024.

Engr. Agbu maintained that “these critical components of our electrical grid serve as lifelines, delivering power to homes, businesses, hospitals, and essential services.” 

According to her, the Taraba State Government has contacted the Minister of Power, Chief Adebayo Adelabu but no positive response yet, for the weeks of blackout to a state capital such as Jalingo in the nation.

Naomi Agbu emphasized that the lengthy time to respond to this matter is concerning as it shows complete neglect by the Federal Government of Nigeria to Taraba state and the North-east region. 

“These senseless acts of sabotage have not only jeopardized the reliability of electrical infrastructure in the North-East region but have also resulted in widespread inconvenience and hardship for our community, plunging millions into blackout,” she lamented. 

The Commissioner further revealed that recent reports they received, have shown spikes in crimes and insecurity issues for a region like the North-East that is already endangered. 

She, however, noted that the cascading effects on their regional economy, especially in terms of food production cannot be exaggerated.

She added that the economic vandalism of transmission line towers represents a blatant disregard for the well-being and prosperity of their region. 

“This issue is a federal matter and I want to assure you that we are taking this matter very seriously and we have been working tirelessly with the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and Yola Electricity Distribution Company (YEDC) to address the situation. 

“We, as a Ministry waited in addressing the public until significant progress has commenced by the FGN, of which we have been informed that TCN has handed over the site to the contractor and restoration works have commenced.

“As you know, the role of the government is the protection of lives and properties of its people. Our priority is the restoration of electricity supply to affected areas quickly and safely,” says Agbu. 

Engr. Naomi Tanko Agbu recalled that in 2023, Governor Agbu Kefas presented to the public his five (5) finger agenda that revolves around education; health; women and youth empowerment; security, peace, and unity; economic development, and job creation. 

Additionally, she emphasized that his dreams for a better Taraba cannot be allowed to be cut short due to economic sabotage to the electricity supply to the state, as energy is a key driver to the sectors and economic prosperity.   

“The Governor has made great strides in less than one (1) year in office in ensuring that he rewrites the history of the state, he delivers in terms of economic progress for the state, while also laying fundamental foundations for the institutions in Taraba state. 

In conclusion, Engr. Naomi Agbu emphasized the need for the Nigerian government to implement a robust plan, such as the North-East ring circuit proposed in the TCN expansion plan. 

This plan would connect the North-East region to the South of Nigeria and has been widely demanded. Therefore, it should be implemented immediately by the Federal Government.

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KAD Com, CSOs Call For New Budget Line For MDA’s

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By Abdullahi Alhassan, Kaduna

Kaduna Peace commission, Civil society organizations, that include ,Aid Foundation, African Media Development Foundation, (AMDF)LEGASI, have called for the New Budget Lines in the Ministry of Education to train teachers and the Guidance and Counselling Unit of Institutions to inculcate peace education which is central to building peaceful and a stable future.

“New budget lines incorporated in MDAs to deal with issues of conflict management and peace-building particularly Ministry of Agriculture, Human Services and Social Development, Internal Security and Home Affairs, Ministry of Health with a specific focus on psycho-social support and counselling as it is instrumental to peace and stability.

In a communique jointly signed by Emmanuel Bonet,Executive Director, AID Foundation, Sekyen Dadik, Executive Director, AMDF (NNF Member) Kaltumi Abdullazeez, Executive Director, LEGASI (NNF Member Hannatu Ahuwan, LEADS issued to newsmen at the end of one day conference held in Kaduna with the theme:Strengthening Coordination of Peace Interventions in Kaduna.

The Communique further explained that “There’s the need to streamline interventions on the part of partners and cooperation among sister MDAs.

“A coordinated framework to ensure quality service of the justice system and advancing Alternative Dispute resolution system with the Budget and Planning Commission, Ministry of Justice and the Judiciary.

“New Budget lines in the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs to boost operational capacity of traditional leaders in promoting peace in their communities.

“Prioritize strategic investment in peace building; strategic efforts should mobilize skill-sets and expertise from the community to the state level.

“A collaboration between Government, CSOs, Local actors and all stakeholders will be more efficient in amplifying impact, accelerate progress in promoting peace processes.

“There should be a Coordination that is coherent and complimentary and a holistic approach that tackles the root of conflict, fosters social cohesion and promotes inclusive development.

The Communiqué maintain that “Prioritize capacity building initiatives that empower local leaders, mediators, and youths as change agents and peace champions.

“Development partners should prioritize working with local organizations domiciled in the state for sustainability purposes.There’s a need to treat peace budget as an emergency or emergency fund just as we have the security vote.

“Prioritize engagement with the Private Sector: Peace and stability are prerequisite for a thriving business environment. Hence, it is important for the private sector to show commitment to peace beyond corporate social responsibility and philanthropy.

“Inculcate Climate Change action in peace and conflict programming because of its cross cutting nature.

“Kaduna peace Commission should coordinate the activities of all partners and local initiatives to prevent duplication of efforts.Inclusivity is fundamental in achieving lasting peace, top down approach and exclusive negotiations will not solve the problem.

“Active and meaningful participation of all stakeholders including marginalized groups like women, youths, and Persons with disabilities will build trust and commitment towards supporting the process.Therefore, a strong coordination of all stakeholders working on these different aspects will support lasting peace.

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New NCAOOSCE CEO Asks Staff To Be Committed To Duty

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By Abdullahi Alhassan, Kaduna

The new Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Almajiri and Out-of-School Children’s Education, NCAOOSCE, Dr. Muhammad Sani Idris has charged workers of the commission to be dedicated to duty.

Dr. Idris made this known at the headquarters of the commission in Abuja during his maiden meeting with the staff.

He said the task of solving the problem of Almajiri and out-of-school children is a collective responsibility of all citizens especially considering its security implications.

The Executive Secretary ensured the staff of his commitment to their welfare for optimal productivity.

Dr. Idris also reiterated his determination to taking millions of Nigerian children off the streets in line with the renewed hope agenda of the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu administration.

The members of staff of the commission pledged to cooperate with the Executive Secretary in the task ahead.

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