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Tinubu/Shettima 2023: Amb. Ardo Leads GICC In Taraba 

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The National body of the Grassroot Independent Campaign Council for Tinubu/Shettima 2023 on Thursday inaugurated its Taraba State chapter with the former Nigerian Envoy to Trinidad and Tobago, Amb. Hassan Jika Ardo as the state Coordinator.

The inaugural ceremony was held at Millennium Hall in Jalingo, the capital city.

Addressing the gathering, the Deputy National Coordinator of GICC, North, Alhaji Umar Ibrahim said the choice of Amb. Ardo was deliberate as they made a thorough analysis and found him to have some qualities that Sen. Bola Tinubu has which being a “unifier and a dogged fighter”.

He explained that the GICC will consolidate the work of the PCC by going to the nook and crannies across the 36 states of the federation including the FCT, Abuja to canvas votes for Tinubu/ Shettima from Nigerians.

“We are going to sensitize our people. The women, youth, and elders especially on how to cast their votes with the new voting system, as well as ensure that they vote for Sen. Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his running mate, Sen. Kasheem Shettima during the February elections,”

“we will educate them on the new mechine to be use by INEC, which is BVAS -‘Bio-model Voter Accreditation System”, he added. 

According to Alhaji Umar Ibrahim, the council was part of the strategies to ensure that the party wins the elections at all levels in the country without hitches.

While commending the women and youth for the turnout, Muhammed also urged the APC supporters and other stakeholders in Taraba State to join hands together with the state chapter of GICC under the leadership of Amb. Hassan Ardo and ensure victory in the coming general elections.

Rt. Hon. Hamidu Suleiman, chairman of the occasion and former Speaker of the Taraba State House of Assembly appealed to APC supporters and all stakeholders to support and cooperate with the council to enable them to achieve the set goals of ensuring that Tinubu/ Shettima wins the state.

On his part, the Lead Consultant 1, GICC, Sen. Abubakar Mo’Allayidi noted that GICC is not a rival to anybody but will work with other support groups for Tinubu/Shettima to ensure victory in the February elections and appealed for more cooperation.

Earlier, the state chairman of the party, Alhaji Ibrahim Tukur El-sudi, who was represented by his Vice described Amb. Hassan Ardo as a round peg in a round hole, adding that with the inauguration, APC would not only take over the state and Nigeria in the next general elections, but it would send PDP packing completely in most parts of the country.

In their separate remarks, Sen. Bashir Abba Marafa, Sen. Yusuf Abubakar Yusuf who was represented by Hon. Umar Usman Biri, the former Speaker of the Taraba state house of assembly, Rt. Hon. Isa Ajiya, as well as Minority Leader of the Taraba State House of Assembly, at the 9th assembly, Hon. Bashir Bape all described Amb. Ardo was a  unifier and a grassroots politician who did well as the pioneer chairman of APC in the state.

In his acceptance speech, the Taraba State Coordinator of GICC, Amb. Hassan Jika Ardo assured that the Campaign Council would deliver Taraba unfailingly to Tinubu/Shettima in February 2023 elections.

He stressed that with the support of the caliber of people in the council, APC will deliver the state for its Presidential candidate, and will also take over the state from the ruling PDP, which he said has failed the people of the state.

He noted that the team in the GICC, comprised of master planners who had been in the game of politics of the State for years, and assured that the team had already mapped out strategies to carry out sensitization and mobilization for the people to come out and participate actively in the February elections.

He expressed joy that he was vindicated for his constant attack on the ruling PDP and the then-candidate of the party, Governor Darius Ishaku whom he said had taken the state backward during his reign as the Executive Governor of the state.

“I told my people in 2015 that Gov. Darius Ishaku had nothing to offer if he was elected as the governor of the state. I advised Tarabans not to vote for him but nobody listened to me. Now, look at how poor Taraba state is”. He alleged. 

Amb. Hassan Ardo who expressed satisfaction with the turn up of the party loyalists at the event appealed to all stakeholders of APC in the state to sheath their swords and come together as one indivisible family so that they would form a formidable force that would humble the ruling PDP in the state.

The GICC state Coordinator who assured Tarabans that the next president of Nigeria is Asiwaju Bola Tinubu with his vice, Sen. Kasheem Shetima, also urged them to vote for APC at all levels.

The APC Women leader in the state, Hajiya Salamatu expressed optimism that with the Amb. Ardo as the state Coordinator, there is no doubt of victory and urged the council to include the women as she noticed only one woman was appointed in EXCO of GICC.

The party’s state youth leaders, Comrade Idris Ayuba, and Comrade Auwal Abdullahi Ade believe in the style of leadership of Amb. Ardo urged him to apply the same method he used in unifying members of the party in the past with the view to ensure victory at all levels, and in Taraba State to dethrone the ruling PDP for the development of the state.

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Religion

Bishop Mamza Declares 2024 General Assembly Open, Calls For Active Participation 

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By Jessica Bakari, Yola 

The Catholic Bishop of Yola Diocese, Most Reverend Doctor Stephen Dami Mamza says the church must be a prophetic voice for social justice, advocating for the rights and dignity of all people. 

Bishop Mamza stated this while declaring open the twenty twenty-four General Assembly of the Catholic Diocese of Yola taking place at the old cathedral of Saint Theresa Cathedral Jimeta.

The theme of this year’s general assembly is mobilizing pastoral agents for structural and human development in the Yola diocese.

Bishop Mamza stresses the need for the priests, religious, and laity to reflect on their collective mission to serve not only the spiritual needs of their community but also foster holistic development, spiritual, social, and economic.

He explained that the general assembly brought together priests, Reverend sisters, catechists,  deacons laity to rub minds on issues that will move the church forward.

He added that it is his hope and prayer that at the end of the meeting, they will come out with some pastoral plan that will guide the Catholic Diocese of Yola for the next few years.

The Bishop described the role of pastoral agents in the Modern church as the lifeblood of the church mission, hands, and feet of Christ Jesus in reaching the diverse needs of the congregation and the larger society. 

Bishop Dami Mamza says investing in training and professional development for pastoral agents is vital by equipping them with skills and knowledge to address the contemporary challenges to enable them to serve more effectively. 

He further identifies human development as the heart of the Christian mission, saying the church’s commitment to nurturing the whole person spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, and physically is rooted in the teachings of Christ. 

Additionally, Mamza described education as a cornerstone of human development, noting that establishing and supporting schools helps empower individuals with knowledge and skills that can transform their lives and communities. 

The Catholic Bishop, however, called on the participants to actively participate throughout the meeting so that together they can build a church that not only nurtures the spiritual well-being of its members but promotes justice, compassion, and sustainable development in society. 

Earlier in his welcome address, the Vicar General Pastoral, Reverend Father Emmanuel Mathias said thirty-nine parishes and pastoral heads of diocese societies under the Catholic diocese of Yola are in attendance at the general assembly. 

He urged the participants to take ownership of the general assembly by active participation to enable them to come up with strategic plans for six years that will support the development and process of the Bishop to the development of the church. 

A facilitator at the general assembly, Sir John Danboyi made his presentation on the processes and procedures of developing a strategic development plan, diocese core values, and developing organizational assessment.

He said values are the driving force for the operation of an organization and criteria for an organization’s strategies adding that the difficulties of the strategic plan are the implementation. 

Some of the participants interviewed, Mrs. Josephine Odiniya and Mr. Justine both described the general assembly as timely as it allowed them to discuss issues that would bring more development and move the church forward. 

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Religion

Bauchi Young Leaders Network Trains 20 Youth On Promoting Freedom Of Religion, Belief In Bauchi, Gombe, Plateau

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The Young Leaders Network YLN also known as the Initiative for Leadership Development and Youth Empowerment has concluded a two-day training for 20 veteran peace actors that will support the youth religious networks previously trained by Search for Common Ground in collaboration with Young Leaders Network.

The training was aimed to champion advocacy actions that promote Freedom of Religion and Belief (FoRB) in Bauchi, Gombe, and Plateau states under the Nigeria Youth Collective Action for Religious Engagement Project.

The workshop which held at the Ignite Hub in Bauchi from May 28-29, 2024, also established the Youth Religious Network Advisory Body to promote FoRB in Bauchi State. This aligns with Search’s Youth-360 approach, which will help the Youth Advisory Network Group develop a well-designed action plan for subsequent activities.

The workshop focused on developing an advocacy strategy for the youth, introducing the Youth-CARE project to the Youth Religious Network Advisory Body, and setting realistic timelines for mentorship sessions with the youth religious network.

Mr. Moses Danjuma Kusko, Programme Manager for Governance and Youth Engagement, emphasized the importance of collaboration between the newly inaugurated Youth Religious Network Advisory Body and the Bauchi Youth Religious Advocacy Network to achieve the project’s objectives.

Khalid Ibrahim Angale, a member of BRYAN, expressed his appreciation for the timely training, which has equipped them to design implementable action plans to achieve the project’s objectives in Bauchi state.

The organization, with funding assistance from Search for Common Ground, is providing this intervention to promote religious understanding, tolerance, and peaceful coexistence, and to advance religious engagement in both peace and conflict situations.

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Religion

Bauchi YLN Organise 5-Day Youth Activist Training On Addressing Conflict Among Religious Divides

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The Young Leaders Network YLN Bauchi State has organized a 5-day youth activist training on the Common Ground Approach to Religious Engagement and Advocacy, aimed at empowering the Network with knowledge and skills on Common Ground Advocacy (CGA) for effective religious engagement.

The training was organized by Young Leaders Network in collaboration with Search for Common Ground under the Nigeria Youth Collective Action for Religious Engagement Project was held at Hazibal Hotel and Suites from June 10-14, 2024.

The training brought together about 22 youths from the Bauchi State Youth Religious Advocacy Network to strengthen their capacity, promote Freedom of Religion or Beliefs and peaceful co-existence across different beliefs.

Moses Danjuma Kusko, Programme Manager for Governance and Youth Engagement tasked the youth religious actors to identify their target stakeholders, analyze their positions, assess their influence, and identify their target audience.

He emphasized the need for applying the techniques learned during the training to craft messaging that resonates with policymakers.

Speaking at the training session, one of the key peace actors Zainab Yusuf noted that the training exposed her to the Common Ground Approach, stakeholder mapping, listening skills, empathy, and conflict resolution.

On the other hand, Garba Surama Ahmed reveal that he gained insights into online hate speech, approaches to advocacy, and the importance of data-driven advocacy.

The training aimed to equip the Network with knowledge and tools to address and prevent conflict along religious divides in Bauchi state.

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