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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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Religion

Pilgrimage: TSCPWB Commences Screening, Taraba Govt Sponsors 163 To Israel 

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By Sani Yarima 

The screening process for the intending pilgrims to the Holy Land of Israel began on Wednesday, 5/6/2024 in Taraba State. 

Cecilia Ashu, the Executive Secretary of the Christian Pilgrimage Welfare Board, revealed this during an interview with the press in Jalingo. 

She mentioned that the screening exercise for the 2023/2024 Christian Easter Pilgrimage had been combined, as last year’s trip was canceled, and this year’s pilgrimage is scheduled to take place from November to December.

Ashu disclosed that, so far, the Board has screened over 130 out of the total 163 intending pilgrims, who are sponsored by the Taraba state government.

Ashu also reassured the intending pilgrims of their safety, noting that a delegation from Nigeria, including officials of the National Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC) and representatives from various states, is expected to return on Thursday, 6/6/2024, after a pre-visit to the promised land. 

She expressed gratitude to Governor Agbu Kefas for his commitment to transforming the state and offered prayers for his wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of governance.

Furthermore, the Executive Secretary encouraged those who have not undergone screening to do so and advised individuals who have previously been on the pilgrimage and have another opportunity, to give the chance to their loved ones, so that they too can visit the Holy Land. 

In conclusion, Cecilia Ashu prayed to God for a successful screening exercise, a safe journey to the promised land, and a safe return.

Meanwhile, four million, nine hundred thousand (4.9m) was paid per individual for the trip, totaling seven hundred and ninety-eight million, seven hundred thousand naira (N798,700,000).

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Hajj 2024: Gov Kefas Wishes Intending Pilgrims Success, Warns Against Carrying Contraband 

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By Sani Yarima 

Governor Agbu Kefas of Taraba State has warned the intending Muslim pilgrims for this year’s Hajj exercise from the state, not to carry any contraband item to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 

The governor gave the warning during his farewell address at the Model Primary School temporary Hajj camp in Jalingo. 

Represented by his Special Adviser on Islamic Religious Matters, Malam Hussaini Isma’il, governor Kefas also called on the intending pilgrims to abide by the rules and regulations of Saudi Arabia to enable them to perform their religious duty as prescribed by Allah successfully.

Governor Kefas explained that as a Chief Host to the intending pilgrims, he made arrangements to ensure that they stayed comfortably in the camp, including medical facilities to look after their health right from home, and to the holy land. 

He said the state government has appointed a powerful delegation and people with impeccable characters as the 2024 Amirul Hajj Team under the leadership of Lamdo Gashaka, HRH Dr. Zubairu Hammangabdo to ensure the welfare of the intending pilgrims in conjunction with the officials of the pilgrim’s Board.

Governor Agbu Kefas, further revealed that the government has appointed Twenty-One (21) Officials including the Medical Team with enough funds to purchase drugs in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to look after its pilgrims’s health.

According to him, the Taraba State Government has placed great importance on religion which led to the sponsoring of one hundred and seventeen (117) individuals to perform this year’s Hajj despite its lean financial resources, and implored all the intending pilgrims to be good ambassadors of the state, and the nation at large while in Saudi Arabia.

Additionally, governor Kefas urged them to pray for the nation and its leaders for peace and tranquility to reign, as well as to encourage peaceful coexistence between the two major religions as “We are all created by one God and we are sure of going to him at the end.” 

Furthermore, the Special Adviser to the Governor, Malam Husseini Isma’il appealed to the intending pilgrims to specially pray fervently for Governor Agbu Kefas, Taraba State, and Nigeria while in Saudi Arabia, a request that was assured by them.

Earlier in an address of welcome, the Chairman of the Taraba State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Malam Umar Gambo appreciated Governor Agbu Kefas for his effort and urged him to open his door no matter how little for them to have access to him without intermediary.

He mentioned the lack of an official operational vehicle as one of their major challenges and assured Governor Kefas that with the caliber of people in the Amirul Hajj Team, they will not disappoint him, as well as urged the intending pilgrims to abide by the rules and remain patient at all times. 

In a remark, the 2024 Amirul Hajj from the state who is also the Lamdo Gashaka, HRH Dr. Zubairu Hammangabdo described his appointment as not only an honor to him, the traditional institutions, but a booster that will enable him to continue putting in his best for the progress and development of the state. 

He said that members of the government delegation entrusted with the entire Welfare of Pilgrims, have collectively resolved to leave no stone unturned in ensuring hitch-free Hajj Operation. 

Interestingly, HRH Dr. Zubairu Hammangabdo further told the governor that all intending pilgrims were properly enlightened on what they are expected of, both in Nigeria and Saudi Arabia.

He revealed that they have been equally provided with all necessary traveling documents and uniforms for easy identification to reduce the cases of loss of Pilgrims in the Holy Land. 

However, the Amirul Hajj thanked Governor Agbu Kefas for the confidence reposed in them and the provision of all the necessary logistics to the Board for its operation, as well as assured him that they would not fail in their assignment.

On his part, the Executive Secretary of the Board, Alhaji Ahmed Chiroma appreciated Governor Agbu Kefas for his support and commitment and called on the intending pilgrims to desist from any act that could tarnish the image of the state and the nation as a whole while in Saudi Arabia.

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1 Year Anniversary: Muslim Community Offers Special Prayers For Gov Kefas 

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By Sani Yarima 

The Muslim community in Taraba State held a special prayer session to mark Governor Agbu Kefas’ one year in office.

The prayers took place at the Government House Juma’at Masjid and were led by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Islamic Religious Matters, Malam Husseini Isma’il. 

The prayer session was attended by a diverse group, including religious and non-religious organizations such as the Muslim Council, the Taraba State Forum of Islamic Preachers, the Traders Association, and the Tailors Association of Nigeria, among others.

During the prayers, the Muslim Ummah lauded Governor Agbu Kefas for his exceptional leadership qualities and unwavering dedication to the progress of the state. 

Islamic scholars from various sections also spoke highly of Dr. Kefas’s exceptional leadership and his commitment to driving progress in the state. 

They expressed gratitude to the Governor for his efforts in ensuring peace and security, as well as inclusiveness, and prayed for continued success and Allah’s guidance in his leadership journey.

The Special Adviser to Governor Agbu Kefas on Islamic Religious Matters, Malam Husseini Isma’il, highlighted some of the achievements recorded within the Governor’s one year in office, including free education, reviewed school fees for tertiary institutions, expansion of Kashimbila International Airport, restructuring and expansion of the Danbaba Suntai Airport in Jalingo, and the enrollment of 1,000 retired LG staff into the pension scheme, among others.

Malam Husseini Isma’il also emphasized the impact of Governor Agbu Kefas’s leadership, describing it as commendable. 

He announced that the Muslim Ummah emphasized the possibility of progress and achieving greater heights together as the people of Taraba State. 

He closed with prayers for the Governor’s success and prosperity.

Additionally, a former Commissioner in the state and Chairman of the Kefas Palliative Committee, Alhaji Sale Sa’ad, prayed for Allah to grant Dr. Kefas more strength and wisdom to continue with the good work of transforming the state and improving the livelihood of the people.

The Special prayers were attended by the Deputy Governor, Alhaji Aminu Abdullahi Alkali, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Political Matters, the ALGON Chairman and Jalingo LGC Chairman, Alhaji Aminu Jauro Hassan, the state Commissioner of Science and Technology, Alhaji Muslim, and the former Chairman of the Jalingo LGC, Alhaji Nasiru Bobboji, among many others.

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