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Nigerians want FG to establish EFCC/ICPC desks in IDPs camps to check corruption

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Nigerians have urged the Federal Government to establish EFCC, and ICPC desks in all Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps across the country to curb corruption.

The spoke at a Town Hall meeting organised by Mr Ezenwa Nwagwu, the Convener of “Say No Campaign’’ on Wednesday in Abuja.

A communiqué signed by Nwagwu, said that the meeting was organised in collaboration with the Centre for Peace Studies, Modibbo Adama University of Technology Adamawa.

Nwagwu said that the call for the establishment of those desks became imperative in order to monitor activities in the camps, investigate and prosecute cases of corruption in the IDPs camps.

He urged the media to engage in investigative journalism to report facts with regards to IDPs situation in order to uncover the magnitude of corruption going on in those camps.

The convener said rather than rely on statements from government officials on the affairs of IDPs camps or any other issue of corruption, there was the need to study the facts on ground.

“The town hall discussion was focused on corruption issues in IDPs camps in the North-East region of Nigeria.

“Participants extensively deliberated on issues relating to transparency and accountability in the distribution of humanitarian resources to IDPs camps such as food, relief and medical supplies.

“The discussions also involved disbursement and utilisation of funds; sexual assault and exploitation perpetrated by camp officials and security operatives, insecurity and sanitary conditions at the camps.’’

Nwagwu said that the participants resolved to have a third-party monitoring system to track information from the sources of relief materials through transit to camp sites.

This, he said was to ensure transparency and accountability in the management of relief materials donated to IDPs camps.

He said that the participants resolved that camp officials, and media partners and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) should investigate these cases and expose those involved in the act.

Nwagwu said the participants also resolved to form a coalition of CSOs tagged `Corruption Monitoring Unit’ to investigate issues of corruption in IDPs camps around the region and demand for accountability and justice.

“Participants also noted that international NGOs connive with government officials to divert resources meant for IDPs camps. Such organisations come through government structures, which have already influenced the management of IDPs camps.

“They cut deals with government officials to side-line some IDPs termed; informal IDPs camps from benefitting from the relief materials supplied in favour of those IDPs camps that are controlled by their accomplices.

“Participants said only 20 trucks carrying 600 bags of grains each were delivered to IDPs camps out of the 260 trucks of same 600 bags of grains.

“To be distributed by the Presidential Committee on Emergency Food Distribution in North East.’’

Nwagwu said that participants urged the Vice President to investigate the whereabouts of the remaining trucks each carrying 600 bags of grains and every official involved in the scam should be held accountable.

He said that they also agreed to investigate the diversion of more than 200 trucks special intervention to IDPs camps in North East.

The convener said that the participants resolved to employ more tenaciously the instrument of protest to demand accountability and justice for the vulnerable in camps and communities.

He said that it had been noted that the states governments were abdicating their responsibility to CSOs and displaying a worrisome lack of willingness to address the misery of IDPs.

Nwagwu said that this was shown by the poor way the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) funded IDPs camps with a paltry one million naira in six months.

He said that this attitude fatigued the international donour organisations working in Nigeria.

He said that it was resolved that participants would henceforth pressurise the government to strengthen its institutions and provide adequate funding for agencies to avoid making them vulnerable to illicit deals. (NAN)

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Governors have no business with removal of fuel subsidy, says Fayemi

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Kayode Fayemi, chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, stated on Thursday that state governors had no say in whether or not to keep the fuel subsidy.

During a news conference following a meeting of the Governors, Mr Fayemi made the remark.

The group “concluded to engage the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress on how best to address this issue without causing any dissension but with a view to recovering the Nigerian economy for the Nigerian people,” according to the Ekiti State Governor.

However, he argued that the decision wasn’t one for the Governors to make.

“For us at the forum, it is a matter that is a going concern. We don’t have a definite issue on it because it is left to the Petroleum Industry Act. It is not for us. NNPC is now a private company and the company should decide what it wants to do with the price of its products. It shouldn’t really be the business of Governors.

“It is not up to sub-nationals to decide on what happens to PMS pricing. It is an entirely exclusive responsibility of the Federal Government.

“However, we are critical stakeholders and we are members of the National Economic Council, so we contribute to debates in the Council.”

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Fuel subsidy removal will cause more hardship for Nigerians, says Abdulsalami

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Former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd.) has warned that the proposed fuel subsidy removal will cause further harm to Nigerians.

Abdulsalami spoke on Thursday at the 19th Daily Trust Summit in Abuja, pointing out that the country is already facing challenges on multiple fronts.

The Buhari administration has made public its plan to stop the payment of fuel subsidy by June 2022.

However, many stakeholders, including the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, feel the move is insensitive and wrongly timed as the citizens are already going through untold hardship.

“Unemployment or underemployment remain at record levels,” General Abdulsalami said, adding “and over 80 million Nigerians are still caught up in needless poverty.

“All of these tend to have negative effects on security.

“In fact, Nigeria now faces a food security crisis that is compounded by the COVID-19 global pandemic and the banditry in many States in Northern Nigeria.

“All of these have disrupted the fragile value chains across the country, and negatively impacted the ability of Nigerians to produce, process and distribute food.

“The result is a continued rise in the prices of food items, beyond the reach of many Nigerian families.

“On top of all these, fuel prices are expected to rise significantly in the coming months as announced last November by the NNPC.

“We all know when this happens, as the government has planned, it will push many millions deeper into poverty.”

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Photos from Alao Akala’s candle night

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Hundreds of residents of Ogbomoso in Oyo State, on Wednesday, organized a candle night procession in honour of a former governor of the State, Chief Christopher Adebayo Alao-Akala.

Alao-Akala is an indigene of Ogbomoso, the second largest city in the State. The former police officer died in the early hours of Wednesday, 12th January, 2022.

He was the governor of the State between 2007 and 2011.

To pay their last respect for the former governor, youths, women and men in their hundreds organized a candle night procession in honor of the former governor.

The event attracted friends, family and supporters of the late politician.

The procession, which started around 4.pm, took off from Alao-Akala’s residence.

It moved through Takie, Sabo, LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Orita Naira, Oja’gbo, Ijeru, Arowomole, Oja Akande and Seminary.

All the participants wore black attires.

They described the former Governor as someone whose legacies cannot be forgotten in a hurry.

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