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Flood: NEMA places Disaster Response Units on red alert



Flood affected area

Flood affected area

The Director-General (DG), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr Mustapha Maihaja, has placed all Disaster Response Units across the country on red alert due to rise in water level.

NEMA Director of Search and Rescue, Air Commodore Akugbe Iyamu, who represented the DG, announced this on Friday in Ilorin when NEMA team visited the Commanding Officer, 222 Battalion Rece, Major Emmanuel Okoye, at the Sobi Military Cantonment.

Iyamu noted that water level across the country had been rising consistently due to heavy rainfall.

“As at yesterday (Thursday) the water level was 10.84 at the confluence in Lokoja, this is approaching the level experienced in 2012 which was about 12.

“Putting that into focus and looking at that in perspective, that is why we are building a response team to adequately address it.

“The DG has put all the response agencies on red alert to be mainstreamed if the situation gets to catastrophic disaster,” Iyamu added.

He added that the Agency had identified 12 frontline states that might be prone to flood this year, adding that flood in those states could occur any time.

“The DG has formed six teams to go round these frontline states to ascertain the preparedness of the Response Agencies there and to ensure that those that are vulnerable and threatened by flood are evacuated to safe areas,” he said.

According to the Director, NEMA team is in Ilorin to assess the preparedness of the Army Disaster Response Unit, in case of disaster in Kwara, Kogi and Niger.

Iyamu described the military as a key player in disaster management in the country, hence the visit to the 222 Battalion.

He said there were two types of disaster; minor and catastrophic, adding that when catastrophic disaster occurred, government would call the Disaster Rescue Unit (DRU), across the country to the rescue.

Iyamu, however, advised the people of Kwara not to exercise any fear in case of any disaster, especially flood as the Agency was up to the task.

“You in Kwara have nothing to fear; we are ready; we are prepared to deploy our team whenever disaster occurs,” he said.

The director of Search and Rescue at the Defence headquarters, Vice Admiral Dolapo Kolawole, said the military was an important component of disaster response.

He added that military worked in synergy with NEMA, adding that there was a military unit designated as Disaster Response Unit.

Kolawole said he was in the NEMA team to Kwara to assess the response team at the 222 Battalion.

Earlier, the Commanding Officer, 222 Battalion, Major Okoye, highlighted the disaster situation in Kwara and the area most prone to flood.

He said over 2,000 hectares of farmland were destroyed by flood in Patigi, Lafiaji and Shonga, particularly on the bank River Niger.

The Commanding Officer also said a cemetery and school in Oloje area of Ilorin were affected by flood.

Okoye, however, listed the challenges of the response unit to include lack of resources, vehicles and communication equipment.

He called for adequate synergy between NEMA and all response agencies in the country.

The team also visited the 333 Medium Airlift Group (MAG), Nigerian Air Force, Ilorin, where the Commander, Group Capt Patrick Obeya, presented the readiness of the Response Unit to any disaster or emergency.

Group Capt. Obeya told the team that the response unit was in need of qualified personnel in disaster management, rescue, airlifting and air dropping of relief materials.

Iyamu expressed satisfaction at the response plan of the 333 MAG and the brief which he said was not ambiguous.

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Oshiomhole reveals why there are killings in PDP states, hits Atiku, Saraki



Comrade Adams Oshiomhole

Comrade Adams Oshiomhole

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, has claimed that the killing of APC members in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) states were politically-motivated.

Speaking with newsmen after a meeting of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) on Tuesday, the former Edo State governor also slammed the PDP presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, over his promise to create millions of jobs annually.

On the allegation of politically motivated killings in PDP states, Oshimohole said: “The third issue we discussed is a very disturbing development in some states where the PDP is using the state instrument, misusing the police the way they like to undermine the basic democratic rights of the APC in those states they feel they are in charge.

“A typical example is what happened today in Akwa-Ibom where the Commissioner of Police colluded with the state governor to force the APC out of the state’s House of Assembly.

“The Commissioner went beyond the bounds of his duty to aid and abate what was clearly wrong. It is not the business of the police to assist the political authorities to effect their own biases.

“We are also witnessing some sad developments like few weeks back when the state chairman of the APC in Enugu State narrowly escaped assassination but unfortunately his police orderly was not so lucky as he was shot at and hospitalised.

“In Rivers State, two members of the House of Assembly were abducted and one of them found dead.

“We do not think that these are normal criminals but we are beginning to wonder the way which our party leaders, particularly in states we found not have governors the way they gone under attack, violent and even assassination.

“These are, for me, very dangerous signals and we want to appeal all those active in the political process that we must respect the right of every Nigerian to belong to party of their choice,” he said.

Celebrating the victory of APC in Kwara State and the downfall of Saraki, he said, “For me, even more outstanding is the humiliating defeat Saraki suffered in the hands of Kwara people who are determined to dismantle the Saraki failed attempt to install his own variance of a political culture of which he is the only constant decimal.

“I think the good people of Kwara state have dealt him a big blow as the proclaim leader of the opposition PDP and he has had to lead the campaigns to so many other places.

“Now here is a native doctor who was busy going to other states now unable to heal his own people.

“That defeat in Kwara State as far as we are concerned particularly by person he did not put in place to stand election means a lot to us.

“We are not going to accept a Nigerian variant where a minority party preside over the affairs of the National Assembly whether as dictated by Bukola Saraki as as represented by Yakubu Dogara in the House of Representatives of the PDP because it is not right.

“In his own case what the people of Kwara have done to him is that they are going to politically bury him come February next year and he has seen the first warning.

“I am sure Saraki would be politically retired by the good people of Kwara that he has mismanaged their economic and political rights over the years.

“So, I am very excited about that and we think that this is something worth celebrating and we took time to celebrate it today,” he said.

On Atiku’s promise to create jobs, he said: “People should market themselves by telling us why we should trust them, particularly since there are no new players on parade.

“Everybody that l know of on parade have at one time or the other been in government.

“So, if you are going to put air-conditions on Nigeria roads, you have to tell us how you are going to design it and why you couldn’t design the air-condition even for a room and parlour. I think issues like that would be asked. There are no magic.

“If you are going to create 10 millon jobs, how come that when you were in government before and you produce a SEED document where you promised to create seven million jobs, by the time when that government was out, we had lost Micheline, Dunlop, closed down entire textiles industries, we witness unprecedented industrial obituary. Factories were closing one after the other.

“So, these are the issue we really want to engage. It is going to be a very interesting season for the media.

“They have to play back what people are saying and to compare what they did when they have the opportunities.

“I think that there will be more to keep us busy rather than to resort to primitive tactics of arm twisting of harassing and using thugs to intimidate state leaders of our party,” Oshiomhole quipped.

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Buhari would rather lose election squarely than rig – Adesina



 Femi Adesina

Femi Adesina

As the 2019 general elections gets closer, media adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari, Femi Adesina has insisted that his principal would rather lose the 2019 presidential election than rig it.

Adesina said this while speaking on Arise TV on Tuesday.

“I’m surprised that this president has been with you for three and half years and yet you do not seem to know him.

“If anybody would rig election or anything, it will not be President Muhammadu Buhari. He would rather even prefer to lose fair and square.

“He has even said it before that if the only thing he would leave as a legacy for Nigeria is free and fair election, he would do it. Forget that the election would be rigged, that will not happen,” he said.

Reacting to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) statement that Buhari’s ‘Next Level’ document “failed to articulate any solutions,” Adesina said: “PDP is down and will remain there for a very long time so I’d rather not talk about them.

“The Next Level is about deepening what is happening in the country. It’s about consolidating on what has been done and what is been done; its about making progress and advancing on what we are doing now. That is the sum total of it.

“A lot of Nigerians believe in what this administration is doing, they have faith, they have confidence, they have hope that the administration will take Nigerians to the place it deserves to be.

“The work in progress will continue and if you look at the documents that were released, you’ll see additional focal areas.

“So in the next dispensation and by the goodwill of Nigerians who will re-elect the current administration, these three focal areas (security, economy and infrastructure) will continue to receive attention and there will be additional ones as you’ve seen in the documents.”

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Curfew in Bauchi after violence



Gov. Mohammed Abubakar

Gov. Mohammed Abubakar

Violence that erupted over a disagreement at a birthday party has forced Bauchi State government has imposed a curfew on Yelwa community, a suburb of Bauchi metropolis.

Gov. Mohammed Abubakar announced on Tuesday in Bauchi that the restriction of movement from 7 p.m to 6 a.m until normalcy returns to the affected area.

A minor disagreement at a birthday party by some youths in the community turned violent.

The fracas claimed at least three lives while two houses and a car were burnt early Nov. 19, the state police command confirmed.

“The government has decide to impose a curfew from the hours of 7.00pm to 6.00am from today, Tuesday, 20th November 2018, until further notice in the following areas of Yelwan Tsakani, Unguwan Kusu, Unguwan Gas, Lushi and Kagadama,” the governor said.

He explained that the measure was taken to ensure peace among the communities and to prevent hoodlums in the affected areas from further escalating the disturbance from spreading to other parts of the state.

Abubakar regretted that the unfortunate incident had resulted in affecting the relative peace enjoyed in the state since inception of his administration.

“This had come at a time when Federal Government is taking necessary measures to restore peace in some parts of the country ravaged by communal conflicts.

“We must therefore not allow ourselves to be used by disgruntled elements who may want to plant seeds of discord among us,” he urged.

The governor however appealed to traditional rulers, community and religious leaders to preach tolerance, peace and respect for one another to their followers.

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