Abiye wins 2023 Lagos Women Run for second time

Joy Abiye of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has emerged winner of the 2023 Lagos Women Run for the second time.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Abiye, a native of Okitipupa, Ondo State, had the better of other runners from Plateau to emerge winner.

Abiye returned a time of 33:41:4 to win the 10km Lagos Women Run 2021, and received the cash prize of N1 million.

The 8th edition, which has over 50,000 women from all over the world registering for the event, was flagged-off at 7.00 a.m. at Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) and finished at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, running the loop of Lagos Island and part of Victoria Island to end at the stadium.

Participants at Lagos Women Run 2023

Coming second is the veteran long distance runner, Deborah Pam, from Plateau, also the winner of the local marathoners at the 2023 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon.

Her compatriots from Plateau, Patience Dalyop, came third, while Elizabeth Nuhu came fourth; and another veteran, Vera Yohanna, came fifth.

On winning the race the second time, Abiye said she was excited about the win.

“I am very excited winning again because I trained well for this and prepare myself mentally.

“I was unable to win last year and I subsequently came fourth because I had injury. But this year I gave myself to it and thank God I won,” she said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria


ICRC demands protection of patients, healthcare workers, medical facilities in Gaza

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has called for the respect and protection of medical facilities, patients and healthcare workers in Gaza.

Mr Aliyu Dawobe, the Public Relations Officer of ICRC, made the call in a statement in Abuja.

Dawobe said that the healthcare system in Gaza has reached a point of no return, risking the lives of thousands of wounded, sick and displaced people, running on thin and overstretched supplies and increasingly unsafe environment.

Dawobe quoted Mr William Schomburg, the Head of ICRC sub-delegation in Gaza, as saying “this is severely affecting hospitals and ambulances and taking a heavy toll on civilians, patients and medical staff.

“The destruction affecting hospitals in Gaza is becoming unbearable and needs to stop.

“The lives of thousands of civilians, patients and medical staff are at risk.”

Schomburg also said that over the past days, ICRC teams distributing critical supplies to medical structures across Gaza, witnessed horrendous images that have now gotten worse due to sharpened hostilities.

According to him, children’s hospitals have not been spared from the violence, including Al Nasser Hospital, heavily damaged by the hostilities, and Al Rantisi Hospital which has had to cease its operations.

He said that their partner, the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) had been working relentlessly to continue operating the Al Quds Hospital, as it desperately runs out of necessary means, amidst increasing hostilities.

Schomburg said that Al Shifa Medical Complex, the largest referral hospital in the Gaza Strip, already overwhelmed with patients, now hosts thousands of displaced families who lost their homes over the last month due to the conflict.

“Any military operation around hospitals must consider the presence of civilians, who are protected under international humanitarian law.

“Attacks on medical facilities and personnel dealt a heavy blow on the healthcare system in Gaza, which is severely weakened after more than one month of heavy fighting.

“The rules of war are clear. Hospitals are specially protected facilities under international humanitarian law.

“The ICRC urgently calls for the immediate protection of all civilians, including humanitarian workers and medical personnel,” he said.

According to him, the protection is not only a legal obligation, but a moral imperative to preserve human lives in terrible times.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria


How Nigeria can gain sovereignty of its security – NISEng

The Nigerian Institution of Space Engineers (NISEng) has said that Nigeria can gain sovereignty of its security when it takes hold of manufacturing machine components used in addressing insecurity.

Prof. Spencer Onuh, a Space Engineer and guest lecturer, said this at the 13th National Conference and Annual General Meeting of the Institution in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the conference is “Aerospace Manufacturing and Indigenous Capacity: A Step Towards National Security”.

Onuh defined Aerospace manufacturing as the process of designing, developing, producing aircraft and spacecraft, as well as their various components and systems.

He said that Nigeria’s strategic location along the equator, its emerging economy and pool of talented people placed it at an advantage as a potential hub for aerospace activities.

Onuh decried that Nigeria’s aerospace manufacturing heavily depended on foreign nations and that the situation had posed a challenge to national security stability.

“Components can be machines or software wise which you order from countries that have this equipment and they can hold you to ransom and they do it diplomatically.

“There are some equipment you cannot buy off the shelve but can be sold to a number of countries.

“If any of the equipment goes wrong, you still need to go through the same process to get them back and except we have this independence, we can’t claim sovereignty,” he said.

Onuh enumerated that the country needed to develop indigenous capacity, infrastructure and the enabling environment that would propel investments in aerospace manufacturing.

He added that the benefits of indigenous aerospace manufacturing for security included economic independence, technology protection, rapid response, strategic imperative, among others.

Onuh advised that the government should implement Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education initiatives in schools, encourage intellectual property development, Public-Private partnerships and engage stakeholders in developing aerospace activities.

The lecturer said that government’s support and strategic initiatives were crucial in realising the vision of indigenous aerospace manufacturing.

The National Chairman of the institution, Dr Umar Abdullahi, said they had always expressed dedication to shaping the future of aerospace manufacturing as an important path to national security.

“Our conference theme underscores the intricate relationship between aerospace manufacturing and the safeguarding of a nation’s sovereignty.

“Aerospace manufacturing is not confined to technological advancements and economic growth.

“It directly influences national security by empowering us to design, produce and maintain military aircraft, surveillance drones, communication satellites and more.

“In so doing, it provides us with the means to protect our territorial integrity and reduce dependency on foreign suppliers for critical equipment and technologies,” he said.

According to him, the commitment of the Institution serves as an ideal opportunity to foster collaborations, promote knowledge transfer and explore tangible initiatives that will further the institution’s goals.

Dr Sadiq Umar, Director, Centre for Satellite Technology Development (CSTD), said the government should fix infrastructure to discourage the brain drain across sectors of the economy.

According to Umar, Nigerians remain outstanding across the globe in any field of their endeavour and bringing them back home will help develop the systems, especially concerning security issues.

Highlight of the conference was the induction of some members of Nigerian Universities Engineering Students’ Association (NUESA) of the University of Abuja to the NISEng Student Chapter.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria


EFCC deploys personnel to prevent vote buying in Kogi, Bayelsa, Imo elections

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has deployed its personnel to monitor the Saturday’s governorship elections in Kogi, Bayelsa and Imo States.

EFCC Spokesperson, Dele Oyewale said in a statement on Friday in Abuja that the aim of the deployment was to prevent politicians and their agents from engaging in vote buying during the elections.

Oyewale said that the exercise was part of the commission’s drive to checkmate electoral fraud and associated financial crimes.

“The monitoring operations are to tackle any form of voter’s inducement through vote buying, vote selling and other manipulations of the electoral processes at variance with the Electoral Act,” he said.

Oyewale said that the exercise was introduced as part of the efforts by the commission to rid the nation’s electoral system of corrupt practices.

He reiterated the commission’s determination to ensure that corrupt practices were not part of the country’s electoral process.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria


Author challenges gender disparities with new book titled ‘Ichabod’

A writer and renowned communications strategist, Ogochukwu Eloike, has addressed gender inequality in her new book titled ‘Ichabod’.

Eloike in a statement on Friday in Lagos called for societal change and a pivot from gender stereotypes.

The book is a narration of the feminine experience and how these experiences are being trivialised by society, thus widening the gender gap.

It provides practicable roles the society and individuals can play in entrenching equity and ameliorating gender wariness which has been on the rise in recent times.

To launch the book, the author kick-started hashtags campaign #Ichabod and #ImEnough to give women a voice and platform to share their life experiences in relation to manifestations of gender inequity and shortfalls.

According to her, through the hashtags, women and girls can share their experiences as girls and young adults living in patriarchal societies and how these experiences have shaped their life decisions thus far.

“The term Ichabod has biblical connotation which means lost glory and it is used as the book title to allude to various ways we have gotten the training and raising of the girls wrong by paying much tribute to male children across various touchpoints.

“Understandably, in recent times, we have a series of activities designed to celebrate girls and women, but, our socio-cultural foundation remains patriarchal.

“For instance, in the Nigerian political environment, the senate unanimously voted against a gender-balanced house in 2021.

“The action clearly depicts the perception of women as unequal and undeserving of leadership positions even when existing and emerging data shows that women, in some contexts are better leaders.

She said the book was a direct and honest analysis of current gender disparity situations, not just in Nigeria but across the globe.

The author revealed that she used real-life data garnered online and offline to measure various drivers of abuses, dissatisfaction, and perceived/established differences amongst both genders.

She said the insights from the book allow for a direct call to action for women as emerging data depict a rapid increase in gender-based violence especially by spouses or close family members.

“It is my hope that this book will trigger some sort of paradigm shift in various societies so that as people, we would pay more attention to the needs of each other instead of trying to subjugate and exert authority over one another,” she added.

The book also highlighted the imperative for various stakeholders starting from families to look beyond the status quo and become more involved in addressing foundational causes of misogyny.

“Unhappy mothers are most likely to raise unhappy children.

“Institutions like government parastatals and religious establishments are also required to put in place structures that would test and allow for equity and help in actively bridging the gap created by gender disparity,” the statement read.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Eloike is an astute and established communications strategist, a radical feminist, an audacious Christian and an education reforms advocate with over a decade of experience as a communications consultant for both local and multinational brands.

Her book, Ichabod, was published by Parresia Publishers Ltd, under the Origami imprint.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria


Association seeks Reps’ support to develop telecoms sector

The Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) on Friday called for House of Representatives’ support and intervention initiatives to develop the sector.

The National Executive Council members of the association made the demand when they paid a courtesy visit to Rep. Peter Akpatason, the Chairman, House Committee on Telecommunications, and his committee members in Abuja.

The visit was to inform the lawmakers of ATCON’s 30th anniversary, present issues confronting the telecoms sector, explore ways of collaborations and familiarise with the committee.

Mr Anthony Emoekpere, ATCON President, said some of the issues bedeviling the sector included the need for an enabling environment that would bring investment to the sector and foster growth.

Emoekpere also said there is the challenge of driving local content, funding deficit, multiple regulations and rising cost of business, among others.

“Telecom is a capital- intensive sector, requiring significant CAPEX investment to facilitate efficient communications service provision.

“We would like this committee to drive strategic engagement with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on behalf of the telecom sector to bridge the infrastructure funding gap.

“This can be done by providing accessible low-cost intervention funds for the rapid deployment of Broadband Infrastructure nationwide, including in rural areas.

“Though telecommunication is a global service, nations promote their local players in different ways, enabling them to compete regionally, globally, thereby raising a multiplier effect in their economy to repatriation of profits.

“There is a need for a concerted effort to shape the future of youths by sponsoring a bill to ensure that a Nigerian content plan exists in the industry,” he said.

He recommended that the committee can adopt the model practiced by the Nigerian Local Content Management Board for the Local Content Fund in the Oil and Gas sector.

Other concerns he raised were issues of rising cost of business, wholesale tariffs for leased lines, Right of Way, need for critical national infrastructure, adding that they are central to the country’s socio-economic progress.

“The Federal and State Governments should be encouraged to activate the use of ICT in governance, health care, education, agriculture, with the well documented attendant benefits to the socio-economic development of Nigeria,” he said.

Responding, Akpatason said the collaboration between the legislature and the private sector is believed to drive growth, innovation and ensure expertise inputs are considered in law making processes.

He assured the association that the committee was ready to assist in providing necessary parliamentary interventions and support when the need arises.

“In line with the committee situation to strengthen and sustain relationship with stakeholders, we will organise a legislative regulators stakeholders forum before the end of the year.

“This is for us to get acquainted and enhance our understanding of our challenges, goals and aspirations, as well as gain valued insight of the telecommunication sector.

“We are going to set up a committee, consisting of members both from the legislature and the association to come up with recommendations on all the identified issues.

“The government is interested in ensuring that businesses grow because the government cannot employ everyone,’’ Akpatason said.

Rep. Midala Balami, the Vice Chairman of the committee, said in developing local content, there is need to dwell on quality to meet global standards.

Balami also said the youthful population and skills of Nigerians needed to be harnessed to ensure that citizens enjoy real-time dividends of democracy.

Other concerns of the telecommunication sector raised by the legislators included vandalism of telecommunications infrastructure, diversification to rural areas, challenge of data theft and drop calls.

ATCON has a vision of facilitating, accelerating the growth and development of the Nigerian Telecommunications and ICT industry through constructive policy advocacies and effective collaboration.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria


CSOs inaugurate situation room for Saturday’s Kogi governorship election

The Kogi NGOs Network (KONGONET) in partnership with Connected Development Initiative (CODE), have engaged critical stakeholders toward ensuring peaceful election in Kogi.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the group also inaugurated “Uzabe Situation Room” to monitor the situation reports of the Kogi, Balyesa and Imo governorship election.

In his remarks, the Executive Director of CODE, a Civil Society Organisation (CSO), Mr Hamzat Lawal, said the surge in civic engagement during elections signified a collective desire for leaders who were accountable.

Lawal stressed the need for citizens to aspire to be more actively involved in shaping the future of our communities, states and country.

Lawal, who is an International Election Observer, acknowledged the crucial roles played by the media and civil society organisations in the nation’s democratic process.

He charged the media organisations to be committed to transparency, accountability, and the dissemination of information, describing it as fundamental to the success of any election.

“I want to take this opportunity to admonish us all, In the pursuit of our respective mandates, let us be guided by the principles of fairness, accuracy, and responsibility.

“The power we wield in shaping public opinion comes with a great responsibility, and we must wield it judiciously.

“I urge all citizens to exercise their right to vote. It is your responsibility to choose leaders who will steer the course for the next four years.

“To our dedicated security personnel, I commend your efforts, and let us continue working together to ensure the safety of lives and property,” he said.

He added: “Let us unite for a peaceful election, upholding the principles of our democracy. Importantly, let us reject violence unequivocally.

“Regardless of individual preferences, let us have faith in the electoral process and commit to upholding the tenets of democracy.”

On his part, Mr Idris Muraina, the Chairperson of KONGONET, urged critical stakeholders in election in Kogi to uphold the highest professional standard to enable INEC achieve peaceful and successful conduct of the election.

Muraina emphasised the need for collective effort towards building trust in the electoral system, saying the Will of the people should be respected by the stakeholders.

According to him, the peaceful conduct of the gubernatorial election in the state rest on the collective shoulders of CSOs, security agencies, the media, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

“Let us rise above personal interests and affiliations, and work together with professionalism, integrity, and a shared vision of a peaceful and prosperous Kogi.

“It is imperative that stakeholders in the electoral process, uphold the highest standards of professional conduct to ensure a peaceful and fair election,” Muraina said.

He urged the stakeholders to remained unbiased, impartial, and objective in the discharge of their duties, saying

“Your role should be driven solely by the pursuit of truth, justice in the best interests of the people of Kogi,” he said.

NAN reports that the engagement meeting was tagged: “Security, Civil Organisation and Media Round Table Discussion on Peaceful Governorship Election in Kogi”.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria


Diri votes, commends INEC for seamless process

Voting in the ongoing Bayelsa governorship poll commenced early across polling units in Kolokuma/Opkuma Local Government Area with Gov. Douye Diri casting his vote before 9a.m.

Diri speaking after voting at his Kalamaowei Ward 6 polling unit, said the process was smooth and seamless.

He applauded the Independent National Electoral Commision (INEC) for the remarkable improvement in the electoral process.

“I think this is an improvement to all elections I have participated in.

“If it continues like this, I want to believe that INEC has improved not only its processes but also the training of manpower that handles the processes.

“I am very satisfied with the process and I do believe it will be like this across the state; BVAS should be used in all the places election is holding.

“But we have concerns about Nembe-Basambri where our members were prevented from entering their community.

“And we received reports of the abduction of an INEC official and a boat mishap incident and efforts by INEC to overcome the incidents.” the PDP governorship candidate said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria


NEITI seeks EFCC’s support in enforcing transparency in extractive industries

The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has called for support from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in its quest to ensure transparency and accountability in the extractive industries in the country.

EFCC Spokesperson, Dele Oyewale, quoted the Executive Secretary of NEITI, Dr Orji Ogbonaya Orji, as making the call in a statement after he led his team on a courtesy visit to the Chairman, Mr Ola Olukoyede in Abuja.

Orji was quoted as saying that the mission of NEITI was to make the extractive industry open and accountable.

He, therefore, solicited for the support of the EFCC to enforce compliance of industries falling short of its standards on disclosure of information and data.

“We need strong support of the EFCC to enforce compliance with disclosure of information and data by companies,” he said.

In a presentation made to the management staff of the Commission, Orji disclosed that 28 out of the 36 states of the federation were sourcing 84 per cent of their revenue from allocation from the federation accounts.

“NEITI findings and recommendations are leading reforms in the oil, gas and mining industries” and for the Initiative to deliver more optimal results to the nation, he called for stronger collaboration and synergy with the EFCC.

“Our allies in this industry are few, but with an ally like the EFCC, we feel strong and confident,” he said.

He also called for a joint training, capacity building and manpower development for staff of the EFCC and NEITI.

In his response, the EFCC’s boss noted that every anti-corruption effort should always stand on the pillar of transparency.

He particularly said that lessons learnt as a result of fraud investigation should be a guiding principle for individuals, organisations and nations.

“Corruption investigation is not just for investigation’s sake. Lessons learnt should always be applied,” he said.

He assured NEITI of enhanced collaboration.

“We will renew our collaboration and mutual support. We will allow NEITI desks in our Zonal offices,” he said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria


Election: CSO urges parties, candidates to adhere to ideals of democratic contests

The Electoral Hub, a civil society organisation, has called on political parties and candidates to adhere to the ideals of democratic contests during the Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi governorship elections.

Director of the organisation, Princess Hamman-Obels, made the call in a statement on the off-cycle governorship elections.

Hamman-Obels said abiding by the ideals of democratic contests would serve to prevent electoral violence and ensure a credible process rooted in the principles of electoral integrity.

She said the hope for hitch-free process rooted in the principle of electoral integrity would only be achieved through the optimal performance of all stakeholders involved in the electoral process.

She said that complexities arising from electoral contests in the states had already resulted in litigations and nullifications that altered the election cycle in those states.

“It is therefore necessary that stakeholders act concertedly towards upholding ideals of electoral integrity and credibility to ensure that the outcome of the process reflects the will of the people.

“The Electoral Hub has observed amongst others, security issues across the three states, preparations of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), activities of public office holders, state ministries, departments and agencies and those of civil society actors and citizens.

“We urge duty bearers in the off-cycle elections would exert utmost effort to ensure a seamless contest.

“Complexities arising from electoral contests in the state have already resulted in litigations and nullifications which have altered the election cycle in these states.”

Hamman-Obels said it was, therefore, necessary that stakeholders acted concertedly towards upholding ideals of electoral integrity and credibility, to ensure that the outcome of the process was widely accepted, reflecting the will of the people.

She said that prior to the off-cycle governorship elections, the pre-election discussion had been centered around the growing insecurity and the violence reported across the three states.

She said that this had resulted in the prediction of voter apathy, vote suppression, and voter disenfranchisement.

She said this made it a necessity for security agencies to deploy every tool at their disposal towards preventing and containing security and violence threats.

“Efforts should be concentrated at preventing an outbreak of violence at identified hotspots such as in Kogi State: Dekina, Ankpa, Ijumu, Igalamela-Odolu, Okehi, Ajaokuta, Okene and Ofu LGAs.

“Bayelsa State: Brass, Nembe, and Southern Ijaw LGAs and Imo State: Orlu, Ehime Mbano, Oru West, Oru East, Ngor Okpala, Abor Mbaise, Ideato North, Oguta, Okigwe, Orsu, and Njaba LGAs.

“Importantly, security personnel deployed for electoral duty in these states should conduct themselves professionally and impartially, avoid unwarranted use of force, and ensure the overall orderliness of the process.”

Hamman-Obels called on parties and contestants to adhere to ideals of democratic contests, play by the rules guiding contests, and to dissuade their supporters from engaging in violence and other electoral offences.

She called on political office holders, especially governors, as well as the media in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi states, to adopt an unbiased and non-partisan stance.

She urged the media to adopt fact-check mechanisms to prevent the spread of false news and avoid the spread of sensational information capable of inciting violence.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria