Resume Sales of NNN Property – Staff, Retiree Urges Northern Governors

By Alex Uangbaoje, Kaduna

Retirees and staff of New Nigerian Newspapers Limited, has urged the Northern State Governors Forum (NSGF), to resume the process of selling off property of the company to pay working and retired staff under their liability to solve the aged long problem of the company.

The NSGF, had commenced the sales of of the the company property in 2017, but stopped the process when the company’s pensioners went to court to stop the process pending when the Federal Government will commence their payment of their benefits and monthly pension.

Communiqué issued by Staff and Retired workers at the of their congress, signed by acting Chairman, Nicholas Dekera and Ibrahim Adamu the Secretary, acknowledged the commencement of payment of pensioners by the Federal Government, commending FG and NSGF, for their intervention by ensuring final take off of the pension payment.

Congress however frowned at the un-uniformity of the payment as some pensioners were paid less than what they were expecting in view of this development, congress has urged the Federal Government, pension payment Agency and all Authorities concerned to crosscheck their records and ensuring that necessary amendments are made to correct figures and ensure no pensioner was short-changed.

According to the communique, “in order to fast track the process of having Governors of Nineteen Northern States to resume the process of liquidating assets of the company in order to pay staff their entitlements, congress has constituted a seven member committee to mobilize all resources together by meeting and finding the way forward and best option towards actualizing the ultimate goals of staff getting their entitlements from the Northern State governors.

“Congress has also urged staff of the company particularly beneficiaries of the FG pension to contribute financially towards the cause of the struggle to get staff their entitlements from the Northern states Governors.

“Congress has again noted with sadness the loss of several of its members who have succumbed to life threatening aliments due to lack of medical care as a result of non-payment of salaries.”

Open Defecation: 1,751 Communities Gets UNICEF Certification in Katsina State

By Alex Uangbaoje, Kaduna

The United Nations Children Funds (UNICEF) says it has so far certified 1,751 communities in Katsina State, Open Defecation Free (ODF).

The UNICEF Chief of Field Office, Katsina, Madam Padmavathi Yedla, disclosed this on Monday during the Review Meeting for the 2018 and Rolling Work Plan for 2019 and 2020 for Kano and Katsina State.

She said that 1, 076, 776 people were provided with water facilities, while 409 schools and Primary Healthcare Centers (PHCs) got Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities.
The officer also said that 498 communities were certified as ODF in Kano State, with 249,300 people in state got access to basic sanitation facilities.

Yedla noted that 454,300 people got access to safe water, and 134 schools and PHC’s had been provided with WASH facilities.

On nutrition, the officer noted that Katsina state has 25 Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) centers in which, 66,037 children were reached during the period.

She explained that the state government committed N300 million for scale up of nutrition programme.

Yedla noted that Kano State government committed N405 million for scale up of nutrition programme.

She further added that 61,610 children received treatments on malnutrition in over 65 centers in the state.

The officer also said that 498 communities were certified as ODF in Kano State, with 249,300 people in state got access to basic sanitation facilities.

Yedla noted that 454,300 people got access to safe water, and 134 schools and PHC’s had been provided with WASH facilities.

On nutrition, the officer noted that Katsina state has 25 Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) centers in which, 66,037 children were reached during the period.

She explained that the state government committed N300 million for scale up of nutrition programme.

Yedla noted that Kano State government committed N405 million for scale up of nutrition programme.

She further added that 61,610 children received treatments on malnutrition in over 65 centers in the state.

Yedla commended Kano State government on the conduct of MNCHW week.

“I like to commend Kano government to undertaken their first round of MNCHW week, reaching 2,465,286 children between 6-59 months Vit A supplementation and 1,180, 760 12-60 months with deworming,” she said.

She urged the state governments to intensify efforts towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 in the country.

Nigerian Police Team Soar High with 12 Medals as OSOM Games Takes Off

By Our Correspondent

The Nigerian Police Force took off with a blazing start at the beginning of the One Service One Medal (OSOM) Games, ongoing in Kaduna by sweeping most of the gold medals available at the Karate event, hauling a total of 12.

The event which was held at the Indoor Hall of the Murtala Mohammed Square, saw the Police Team claiming eight gold and four silver medals, leaving the bronze medals for other contestants.

Second placed team on the medals table ius Federal Fire Service, who claimed three good, five silver and one bronze medal.

Nigerian Prisons Service finished with one gold, three silver and four bronze medals.

Team Police claimed their gold medals from Team Kata Male, Team Kata Female, -84kg Male, -75kg Male, -67kg Male, -60kg Male, -68kg Female, -55kg Female and -50kg Female.

Federal Fire Service got their gold from Individual Kata Male, Individual Kata Female and -61kg Female.

The karate event as at time of filing this report, is the only event that has been concluded.

Meanwhile, at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, football and athletics action were taking place simultaneously at time of filing the report.

It would be recalled that over 360 athletes and officials converged on Kaduna for the third edition of the OSOM Games.

Super Four Tourney: Kakuri Academy Emerged Winner … Ashiru Pledges to Support Community Sports Development

Kakuri Football Academy on Sunday finished top in the just concluded Kaduna State Community Development (KSCD) and Youth Owners Club Association (YOCA), Super Four Tournament, winning N150,000, price.

Ikhana Babes placed second position and smiled to the banks with a N100,000, while Gamji Babes finished third position and got N50,000.

Gunners FC settled for the fourth position, and received N30,000 for their efforts.

Special Guest at the tournament, Kaduna State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Gubernatorial Candidate, Honourable Isa Ashiru Kudan, vowed to support community sports development by supporting the KSCD and YOCA in ensuring its laudable programmes take youth off crime in the state if elected Governor in 2019.

He added that, if given the mandate to rule the state in 2019, issues of youth development and empowerment will will be accorded top priority.

Represented by a former Commissioner of Youth and Sports, Honourable Shehu Adamu, he said that he would have been physically present, but had to attend the flag off of the PDP Presidential campaign rally in Sokoto which is also taking place on Sunday.

In an interview with newsmen, KSCD YOCA CEO, Coach Nasiru Adamu Chiji he was happy about the success of the Super Four.

“I am very happy to gather this kind of people here this is not the first or second edition, we have been doing it to assist the youth and take them away from drugs and other vices.

“It has become compulsory to call on the government to come and assist. There is no club in the country you won’t find Kaduna groomed players. We call on the government to contribute to sports development,” he charged.

On the sponsorship from Naijabet and others, he said that it is a good thing they have sponsors coming in to sponsor football.

“It us a good decision because it will take the youth off streets,” Chiji added.

Several dignitaries, including the Kaduna State FA Chairman, Honourable Sheriff Alkassim were present at the event.

Prof. Pate, Fatimah Shaibu, Alex Uangbaoje, 4 Others for AMDF 2018 MediaAfrica Conference

Africa Media Development Foundation (AMDF) on Sunday released names of confirmed speakers as well key program highlights for its upcoming Annual MediaAfrica Conference.

According to a statement signed by Mrs. Sekyen Dadik, AMDF Coordinator, confirmed speakers include; Prof. Umaru Pate, Dean Faculty of Communication, Bayero University Kano, Nigeria, Mrs. Fatimah Shaibu, Senior Lecturer, Mass Communication Department, Kaduna Polytechnic, Nigeria, Alex Uangbaoje, Coordinator, League of Professional Online Journalists in Africa, (LEPOJ).

Others are; Mr Bolaji Adepegba, Senior Programme Advisor, Development Communications Network, Lagos- Nigeria, Alhaji Tijjani Mohammed Bala (Bunun Zazzau), District Head of Doka, Kaduna – Nigeria, Mal. Kabir M. Abdullahi, State Team Leader, Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI) Kaduna State, Nigeria and Mr. Dominic Uzu, Publisher, City Source Online Newspaper, Kaduna – Nigeria.

Mrs. Dadik, explained that, “MediaAfrica’ Conference, a project of AMDF, is a platform for discourse to bring to the fore development issues affecting Nigeria and Africa at large and the place of media in addressing such.

“AMDF believes that no development programme and project can succeed without the active engagement of Media. This is because the media has the ability to influence and cause change in individual’s behaviour and lifestyle, as well as mobilizing communities for positive action.

“Participants of the conference include Journalists, Government officials, Development workers, NGOs, Civil Society Activists and Students among others, who are expected to also promote a working relationship between the Media and other stakeholders towards harnessing Africa’s demographic dividend.”

The 2018 Conference themed ‘Africa’s Raising Population: Media as a tool for Harnessing Demographic Dividend’ is set to take place on the 11th of December 2018, from 9am, at I-Care Women and Youth Initiative Conference Hall, No 6 Suleiman Crescent, off Alkali Road, Kaduna.

She enumerated the conference highlights as follows; Keynote Address, Two Lead Papers, Two Panel Discussions, Awards to Best Development Journalists, Awards to Media Organisations.

OSOM Games: 99 Athletes to Compete for 324 Medals in 7 Events

By Alex Uangbaoje, Kaduna

99 athletes are participating in the 3rd edition of the “One Service One Medal” (OSOM) Games taking place in Kaduna.

taking place in several venues, including the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Murtala Mohammed Square.

Director Grassroots Sports Development, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Dr. Ademola Are, disclosed this, while briefing newsmen at the Media Centre of the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna on Sunday.

He said that OSOM was introduced by the ministry to hunt for talents because the military and para military have been a source of podium success in the past for the country.

“That was why the ministry sought synergy to tap into available talents from the service personnel,” he said.

He explained that in spite of challenges, they have been able to continue hosting the games.

“We have been having challenges, but with our zeal, we are ensuring the games does not die, the economic situation not withstanding,” he added.

Dr. Are explained that they will be doing seven sports, including the traditional tug of war, football, athletics, karate, shooting, table tennis and tennis.
all will be medals winning.

“Karate has commenced this morning and has been concluded,” he added.

Responding to questions, he said that they have medical people on ground and what happened at the karate was a fracture of the finger and there was nothing they could do but first aid, after which the athlete was taken to Barau Dikko Specialist Hospital.

On the absence of some services from the games, he said that they made their position known earlier, blaming the security challenges bedeviling the country.

“The security of the nation is important and the personnel are over stretched so some apologized for not being able to participate as a result of being over stretched in security operations across the country,” he said.

On the impact of the games from the first two editions, he said that some athletes have been discovered.

“We have been discovering athletes and some of them have represented us internationally,” he stressed.

Speaking further, he said that Nigeria cannot win medals if it doesn’t have a stream of athletes to take over from the present crop.

“To prepare an athlete, you will require a minimum of N20m. What we are spending on athletes is still peanuts. You can’t use four years in training an athlete for Olympics,” he noted.

The Director Grassroots Sports Development decried the practice in Africa whereby sports development is left solely to the government.

“We are Nigerians and sports not only in Nigeria, but Africa is solely sponsored by the government, which is really unfortunate,” he lamented.

Reacting to the long absence of the National Sports Festival (NSF), he said that it was the host state that could not complete its venues.

“One of the objectives of NSF is to give states opportunity to develop facility. It took long because the state supposed to host kept shifting the goal post. We had to shift it to Abuja I can assure you, the festival would hold” he assured.

Responding to the issue of civilians represents some of the military or para military outfits, he dismissed it as a non issue.

“Once you belong to a service, you are eligible to take part. You don’t have to be a uniform wearing. Most of these services use sports to recruit. If there is any,” he pointed out.

He appreciated the efforts of the media in coverage of activities not the ministry.

Dr. Are said, “The sports ministry and the media must work together. We want to appreciate members of the media we want to say a big thank you to you and we hope the relationship will continue

While extending condolences to the Assistant Secretary Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Kaduna State, he said, “We want to use this opportunity from the ministry to sympathise with Mr. Jacob Onjewu Dickson, the Online Editor of New Nigerian who lost his mother, on behalf of our Minister, we express our condolences,” he said.

The Zonal Secretary North West, Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) thanked the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, for supporting the recently concluded Kaduna SWAN Secondary Schools Indoor Sports Competition and assured of continuous support and partnership with the ministry.

Other top dignitaries present at the briefing included, Deputy Director, Liaison Officer of Lagos, Alhaji Bide Durotoye, Zonal Coordinator North West, Mr. Luke Olusola, and an Assistant Director of the ministry, Mr. Okeke.

OBITUARY: Family Announces Burial Arrangements Of Mother Of New Nigerian Online Editor

The family of Mrs. Cecilia Onyinje Dickson, the mother of the Online Editor of New Nigerian, Jacob Onjewu Dickson, who passed on November 16, 2018, have announced burial arrangements for the deceased.

A statement signed by Jacob Onjewu Dickson on behalf of the family, said that the Wake Keep would be held at the family’s residence in Otukpo GRA on December 20, 2018.

It said that the following day, on December 21, body leaves Otukpo General Hospital Mortuary for the Norcross Memorial Methodist Church on Federal Road, Otukpo for Funeral Service.

“After the service, the remains of our mother will be conveyed to Pa Okala’s Compound, Atilo Village in Oglewu, Ohimini Local Government Area for Interment,” it informed.

The statement informed that she is survived by eight children, two step children, brothers and sisters, aunties and uncles, a son-inlaw, four daughters in-law and 15 grand children.

Notable among her survivors are Isaac Dickson, an international businessman based abroad, Roseline Dickson, Abuja based businesswoman, Charity Odihi (nee Dickson), a Makurdi based pharmacist, Owoichoechi Dickson, a staff of FAAN in Ilorin, John Dickson an Abuja based businessman, Ezekiel Dickson, Warri based Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) Area Pastor, Emmanuel Dickson a building engineer, Solomon Dickson, a corps member and Peter Dickson, an undergraduate.

Late Mrs. Dickson passed on eight years after the demise of her husband, Chief Abodu Dickson (Oyame K’Agboke). All her life, she was a full time house wife, in spite of her training as a professional teacher.

“She was a devout Christian, who spent most part of her life time serving God and humanity. She died in active service, while leading a prayer session on her knees at a Methodist Church function in Igumale, Benue State.

“She would fondly be remembered for her gentle spirit and as a peacemaker who never quarreled with, or bore grudges against anyone,” may her soul rest in peace,” it concluded.

MIGA 2018: Minister Warns Security Agents of Unruly Conduct … NSCDC Clinches 96 Medals to Emerge Overall Winner

By Alex Uangbaoje, Kaduna

The Minister of Interior, Lt. General Abdulrahman Dambazzau, has warned personnel of security agencies under the ministry to desist from unruly act and indiscipline unexpected in the paramilitary service.

Gen. Dambazzau, who gave the warning in Kaduna on Saturday, at the closing ceremony of the Ministry’s games, noted that drastic measures will be taken against any officer caught in such act in the subsequent edition of the games.

“The objectives of the Games were mostly achieved except for the pockets of reports of poor spirit of sportsmanship recorded in some venues, which does not portray the discipline that is expected in paramilitary service.

“I want to admonish athletes and officials that did not conduct themselves maturely and responsibly to desist from such acts because in the next edition, drastic measures will be taken against perpetrators.” He said.

The Minister, also donated all the equipments used in the games to two primary schools and two secondary around the Ahmadu Bello Stadium and Murtala Mohammed Square, where the event took place.

According to him, “as part of corporate social responsibility and charity, l
hereby direct the Main Organizing Committee to donate the competition
equipment and balls to two primary and two secondary schools located
around the environs of the Ahmadu Bello Stadium and Murtala Mohammed

In his account of the 2018 MIGA Games, Dambazzau, said, “the technical account of the games is as follows: Post-accreditation entries show that 940 athletes competed in 91 events across 13 sports with a total of 90 Gold, 90 Silver and 116 Bronze medals won across the six participating services.”

He announced the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps as the overall winner of the games with a total of 96 medals; 50 Gold, 24 Silver, and 22 Bronze, while Nigeria Police Force, came second with 87 medals; 31 Gold, 32 Silver and 24 Bronze.

The third place went to Nigeria Prison Service with 41 medals; 2 Gold, 13 Silver and 37 Bronze, while Federal Fire Service, got 2 Gold, 4 Silver and 14 Bronze, 20 medals in total. The Nigeria Immigration Service, no Gold, 12 Silver and 25 Bronze, 37 in total. The Interior Ministry was last with only 2 Bronze.

The commended the organizing committee, saying, “the overall technical performance of the Services including
the Ministry of Interior Sports Club showed a keenly contested competition
and a greater window for future development and turnover of medals.

“It is indeed heartwarming to announce unequivocally that the Ministry of
Interior Games has become a brand and a major item on the biennial
calendar of sports in Nigeria.

“I must at this material point in time express my sincere gratitude and that of the Ministry to all Service Chiefs in the
paramilitary and the people and government of Kaduna State for their
maximum cooperation and support for which without such, the successes
recorded in the 2nd edition would have been impossible.”

UNICEF Provides 700,000 Youths with HIV/AIDS Information in Kaduna

By Alex Uangbaoje, Kaduna

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Saturday disclosed that it has provided over 700,000 Adolescent and Young Person (AYPs) with HIV information in Kaduna State in the last two years.

Dr Idris Baba, UNICEF’s HIV and AIDS Specialist, Kaduna Field Office, said this in an interview with journalists during in an commemorate the 2018 World AIDS Day, with the theme; “#isabiHIV”

Baba disclosed that the programme which commenced in 2016 covering seven local government areas was in conjunction with Kaduna State Government.

He listed the LGAs to include Jama’a, Jaba, Lere, Kagarko, Igabi, Chikun and Birnin Gwari.

He said close to 90,000 of the AYPS now know their HIV status compared with the less than one per cent of the group which knew their status in 2016.

“We started the AYPs intervention in two local government areas of Jema’a and Jaba in 2016, and later scaled it up to five additional LGAs namely: Lere, Kagarko, Igabi, Chikun and Birnin Gwari.

“The intervention was designed to identify, locate and place on treatment all AYPs living with virus as part of efforts to reduce the rate of new HIV infection among the group,” he said.

He added that HIV prevalence in the state had also dropped from 2.2 per cent to about one per cent in the state.

He described the development as a positive stride.

“What this means is that the rate of new infection is going down and we are keeping people alive on treatment.

“As long as we keep keeping people alive and on treatment, the rate of new infection will continue to drop.

“Prevalence rate will also drop and we will be sure to end AIDS epidemic by 2030,” he said.

The HIV specialist said that knowing one’s HIV status was the most important aspect of HIV intervention and key to treatment, prevention, care and support services.

He said “For this year, it is about people knowing their HIV status. This is because you only get to access HIV drugs and other services if you know your HIV status.

“You only enroll into prevention of mother-to-child transmission services if a pregnant mother attends antenatal care, tested for HIV and found to be positive.

“For those that are found to be negative, they are given different set of information to live negatively.

“So, the importance is not only for those that are positive but also for those that are negative to know what to do, moving forward to protect themselves and their loves ones.”

Baba lauded the Kaduna State Government for taking strong ownership of development partners HIV programmes and interventions in its domain.

He also said that the state had been very strategic in coming out with funds to take over from where partners are stopping.

He expressed confidence that the current dwindling resources from development partners would not affect Kaduna State, given its impressive commitment towards ending the epidemic.

Similarly, UNICEF Chief of Field Office in the state, Dr. Zakari Adam said UNICEF had recently supported the state with more than N1.2 billion to meet needs of women and children.

Adam listed the areas of interventions to include education, health, water sanitation and hygiene, nutrition, immunisation and HIV/AIDS.

World AIDS Day Campaign: UNICEF, KADSACA Targets Rural Communities

By Alex Uangbaoje, Kaduna

As part of activities to commemorate the 2018 World AIDS Day, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), said her campaigns would be targeted at rural communities in Kaduna State.

Dr. Idris Baba, HIV/AIDS Specialist, UNICEF Kaduna Field Office, who disclosed this in Kaduna at weekend, stated that activities for this year’s commemoration would be carried out in rural communities where its Adolescents and Young Persons, (AYPs) intervention programme is currently ongoing.

According to Dr. Baba, the communities are located in seven Local Government Areas of Jaba, Jema’a, Lere, Kagarko, Birnin Gwari, Igabi and Chikun, where access to HIV/AIDS services and information are not adequate like the urban centres.

This year’s World AIDS Day campaign tagged “#IsabiHIV” was flagged off at the National Youth Service Corp, (NYSC) Kaduna orientation Camp on Friday, by UNICEF and the Kaduna State AIDS Control Agency, (KADSACA).

The agencies, cites twelve HIV testing and counseling centres at the NYSC camp ground under the supervision of UNICEF Local Government Team (LGT) from Chikun.

The HIV/AIDS Specialist, explained that there are about 468 AYP Volunteers (ages 14 – 25) working hard in their respective communities together with UNICEF LGT to create awareness and provide testing and counseling services to Adolescents and Young Persons in the seven LGAs.

“We want to ensure that in the next couple of days they intensify their work in this LGAs to reach more AYPs and also make sure that those who are HIV positive are linked go treatment.”

Dr. Baba further said that UNICEF would also engaged the Corp members, and already has come up with national campaign of HIV branded; #IsabiHIV which is at the NYSC camp which would from there moved into the communities.

“We are actually kick-starting from the camp immediately and we hope that the campaign would create the necessary hype required so that people are better informed about what is happening on the World AIDS day; as well availed them the opportunity to know their HIV status,” he said.

He commended the State Government for working hard with development partners to further bring down the Prevalence Rate (PR) from 2.2 per cent to the current 1.1 per cent.

“The population of Kaduna state in terms of number is large, so for every point dropped in percentage for the state means a lot for the country being the 3rd most populous state in Nigeria. So any change in trajectory in the state would mean changing the trajectory for the country,” he said.

The Executive Secretary, KADSACA, Dr. Mark Anthony, said Kaduna state has a cause to celebrate this year’s World AIDS day, but quickly added that it was not yet Uhuru, as the target is to attain zero infection by 2030.

According to him, this year’s World AIDS day theme, “Know Your HIV Status” will lead to the increase of coverage of those that know their status from the current 34 per cent to 90 per cent by 2030 in the state.

Speaking at the NYSC camp, the KADSACA boss said services were being provided, but first people should know their HIV status, adding that treatment which is the bedrock of prevention would follow as the drugs are effective.

He said that the AYPs are the target group by government to access the services, hence the involvement of Corp members, adding that UNICEF has been the bedrock of support to the programme.

The State Coordinator, NYSC Kaduna, Mrs. Walida Siddique Isa, assured of the Corp cooperation and to partner KADSACA for the project.

Speaking through the Camp Director, Mr. Sam Nkwopara, she said the whole camp is awash with HIV campaign.

A male beneficiary, 27 years old, who was very excited said he has just been tested. He informed to a reasonable extent he is aware of the #IsabiHIV Campaign meant to enlighten people more on HIV, the mode of transmission and how one could prevent it.

He said there is a need for people to go for the test, know their status and also be oriented on how HIV could be prevented so that they could be ambassadors of HIV/AIDS the movement that is ongoing.

“That is why when I came for this test I also invited my roommates and they are all here. After the test they too were very excited. For me I am so happy after knowing my status,” he said.

Also, a 21 years old female beneficiary, disclosed that she got tested on Thursday and as at the time of speaking to the media her joy knows no bound when she knew her status.

she disclosed that she now feel bold and confident, with a promise that, henceforth she will try to live safe and stay free, adding that if she must use any sharp object she will make sure it is sterilized.

“To the young people, I would want them to get tested to know their status because it is better to know one’s status so that in case of anything you could do something about it immediately. HIV is real so let everyone get tested,” she said.

Similarly, another female, 24 years old disclosed that she came out to be tested to actually know her status, and now that she knows it, she is very happy.

“Initially, I was very scared but immediately after the test, I became very happy. I have called my other friends to come and experience what I have seen because I am very happy.

“My advice to AYPs is abstinence, but in a situation where it can’t work, the person should protect himself or herself,” she admonished.