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SUBSIDY REMOVAL: UWAJUMOGU ASSURES OKIGWE PEOPLE OF FAIR SHARE OF PALLIATIVES

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As Nigerians battle to come to terms with last week’s sudden hike in the price of Premium Motor Spirit otherwise called petrol, the former Speaker of the Imo state House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Benjamin Uwajumogu has identified with his people of Okigwe zone, saying that he shares in their pain.

This is even as he vowed to work with the leadership his party the All Progressive congress (APC), and the APC led state and the federal governments to attract a sizeable chunk of the palliatives provided by the federal government to cushion the adverse effect of the price hike on Nigerians.

Fielding questions from journalists at Abuja Airport on his way to South Africa, Uwajumogu also dismissed insinuations that the APC led federal governments did not provide palliatives before the removal of petrol subsidy.

The former Speaker and the APC Candidate in the botched Imo North senatorial rerun election, said the APC led federal government, in a proactive move to lessen the adverse effect of the new price, earmarked N500 billion in the 2016 budget for social welfare.

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Speaking further, he maintained that the federal government drew up a palliative program before the increment, that will directly cushion the adverse effect of the subsidy removal, while impacting on eight million Nigerians in different social investment spending that would provide succour and become a ready-made palliative to ordinary Nigerians.

While listing some the palliatives to include; payment of 5000 monthly stipend to one million Nigerians; provision of soft loans for market women, men and traders, including artisans and farmers, without the requirement of conventional collateral; payment of between N23, 000 to 30,000 per month stipend to 500,000 unemployed graduates who would be trained, paid and deployed to work as volunteer teachers, public health officers and extension service workers among other responsibilities, Uwajumogu assured that he would take the advantage of his membership of the ruling APC to insist that Okigwe zone gets it fair share of the federal government palliatives.

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Apprising the gains of the present democratic dispensation, Uwajumogu enunciated that the payment of contractors handling the second Niger bridge, the Lagos-Calabar rail project and the Enugu-Onitsha express road that has killed so many Southeasterners, as well as, the citing of an NNPC petroleum tank farm and the inclusion of a Housing estate project, renovation of one health center in every electoral wards in the state and many other projects that was included in the 2016 budget, by the current administration, are clear pointers that the APC administration will favour Ndi Igbo.

While commending petroleum marketers who has already reduced petrol prices in their stations to about N115, Uwajumogu further urged the NNPC, relevant government agencies and petroleum marketers charged with the responsibility of regulating the pricing and marketing of petroleum products to double their efforts in order to make the product available to Nigerians and as well, end the petrol palaver once and for all, in the interest of Nigerians.

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Politics

Why I resigned As Kaduna Assembly Speaker-Hon. Aminu Shagali Explains

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Aminu Shagali

There might be an explanation to why former Kaduna State House of Assembly Speaker, Hon. Aminu Abdullahi Shagali resigned.

According to reports, Shagali resigned following moves by some members of the house to impeach him.

Hon. Shagali who represents Sabon-Gari Constituency in the Assembly tendered his resignation before the commencement of the plenary on Tuesday, February 24.

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Following Hon. Shagali’s resignation, the house immediately elected Yusuf Ibrahim Zailani as the new Speaker, while Mukhatar Isa Hazo was elected as a new Deputy Speaker of the house.

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Meet The Man Behind Bill For Boko Haram Reintegration Agency

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Ibrahim Gaidam

In recent times, there have been calls for the reintegration of repentant members of Boko Haram.

The calls got more weight recently with Yobe-born Senator Ibrahim Gaidam sponsoring a “Bill for an Act to establish a National Agency for the education, de-radicalization, rehabilitation and reintegration of repentant insurgents”.

According to the lawmaker, the bill was sponsored to help repentant insurgents re-enter mainstream politics, religion, and society.

In a recent write-up, Gaidam explained his reason for sponsoring the bill:

 

“Bill for an Act to establish a National Agency for the education, de-radicalization, rehabilitation and reintegration of repentant insurgents would promote reconciliation and national unity.

“The agency when established will provide an avenue for rehabilitating, de-radicalizing, and reintegrating the defectors, repentant and forcefully conscripted members of the insurgent group Boko Haram to make them useful members of the society.

“Provide an avenue for reconciliation and promote national security.

“Provide an-open-door and encouragement for other members of the group who are still engaged in the insurgency to abandon the group, especially in the face of the military pressure.

“Allow the government to derive insider-information about the insurgency group for greater understanding of the group and its inner workings.

“Gaining a greater understanding of the insurgents will enable the government to study the needs of de-radicalization effort, improve the process and address the immediate concerns of violence.

“Enable Government to use the defectors to fight the unrepentant insurgents.

“Help disintegrate the violent and poisonous ideology that the group spreads as the program will allow some repentant defectors or suspect terrorists to express remorse over their actions repent and recant their violent doctrine and in the long run, re-enter mainstream politics, religion and society.

“If defectors told their stories and were made more public, their experiences would play a key role in countering Terrorist propaganda, which in turn would lessen the appeal of joining the group.”

 

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The Senator representing Yobe East further stated that establishment of the agency will help the Federal Government cut the cost of incarceration, render extremist movements obsolete by undermining the foundations upon which the movements were built and also make repentant terrorists become useful members of the society.

 

He added:

 

“In view of the fact that the Boko Haram insurgency is becoming increasingly aggressive since its inception in 2009, marked by extreme brutality and explicit targeting of civilians…it has become necessary for us to go back to the drawing board and adopt an alternative approach, in addition to the military option which has so far performed significantly well.

“There is no doubt that many members of the insurgents’ group have defected and many more are willing to repent given a window of opportunity and this is confirmed by many organizations including NGO’s that have unalloyed access to the Boko Haram.

“There is the need for a more strategic and comprehensive approach to entice those members of the group who, after realizing the futility of the course they are pursuing have eventually decided to voluntarily lay down their arms and chose the path of peace.

“Hence, the need for the establishment of the National Agency for the Rehabilitation, De-radicalization and reintegration of repentant insurgents to accommodate the defectors.

“The agency when established shall be charged with the responsibility of the planning, designing and organizing specialized programs aimed at deradicalizing, rehabilitating and reintegrating defectors and repentant insurgents.

“Those who have become weary of the perpetual violence and have voluntarily laid down their arms and defected from the group will be accepted and rehabilitated using various tools of deradicalization, rehabilitation and reintegration.

“In contrast, those captured active in the battlefields will be required to, in addition to the psychological therapy, participate in the criminal justice process.

“In dealing with the insurgency, Nigerian Government needs to introduce both preventive and corrective measures in addressing violent extremism.”

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Peterside Commiserates With Amaechi Over Demise of Iwelu

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***Describes the late CSO as an embodiment of Loyalty

The Director-General and Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside has commiserated with the Minister of Transport, Rt Hon Chibuike Amaechi over the demise of his Chief Security Officer (CSO), Tony Iwelu.

Expressing shock and sadness over the sudden death of Iwelu, Peterside described him as a “diligent, hard-working and humble” personality who performed his responsibilities with a sense of devotion.

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“I have known the late Tony Iwelu for twenty solid years; his loyalty and devotion to duty are exemplary. I am sure his family, the family of Rt Hon Chibuike Amaechi, friends, the State Security Service will miss him dearly for all he represents. My own family is heartbroken.

“He is such an amiable fellow who went about his duties in a professional manner and respected people around his boss,” he stated.

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The former Rivers Works Commissioner condoled with Amaechi and the staff of Federal Ministry of Transport over the loss of Iwelu at the height of his career.

“On behalf of the board, management and staff of NIMASA, my heartfelt condolence also goes to his family at this trying time and pray God to grant them the perseverance and fortitude to bear the loss,” he summed up.

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