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Dabiri-Erewa Lauds Duke, Duchess of Sussex for Invictus Games Centre in Nigeria

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Dabiri-Erewa Lauds Duke, Duchess of Sussex for Invictus Games Centre in Nigeria

By: Michael Mike

The Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa has commended the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, for their innumerable philanthropic works to society, especially for injured, sick and traumatised soldiers and war veterans.

She gave the commendatio at the welcome banquet held in their honour by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Gwabin Musa, in Abuja.

The NiDCOM Chairman/CEO stated that the kind gesture from them will empower the wounded soldiers, who have sacrificed their lives to protect the country.

“The initiative for the proposal to cite the Invictus Centre in Nigeria to support the categories of soldiers mentioned above is not only laudable but also a testament of our commitment as a country to look after those who have suffered in one way or the other in the line of duty to protect our nation”, she said.

The NiDCOM boss added that this visit would also boost Nigeria’s quest and interest to host the Invictus Games 2027 and enhance the proposal to cite the Invictus Centre in Nigeria in support of the wounded, injured and sick war veterans, among others.

In addition, Dabiri-Erewa who learnt that Meghan Markle is 43 percent Nigerian after having her genealogy (DNA) done in 2022, commended the Duchess for being an embodiment of the Nigerian woman and her activities towards women and girl-child empowerment.
She used the opportunity to welcome the Duchess to Nigeria and extended an invitation to attend the Annual Badagry Door of Return Festival in Lagos.

Prince Harry, who is the founder of the Invictus Games Foundation stated that in the 10 years of the Invictus Games, one remarkable moment was to have the Nigerian team win gold and bronze medals at their first outing in the 2023 games held in Düsseldorf, Germany.

He expressed his pleasure at Nigeria joining the Invictus Games and hoped to witness more participation.

Also, the Duke of Sussex is certain that the proposed Invictus Games Centre in Nigeria will bring succour to the injured, sick and traumatised army men and women.

The Duke, who served as a member of the Royal Armed Forces in the UK, assured his commitment in collaborating with the Nigerian Armed Forces, especially with the Centre in Nigeria, which he is enthusiastic about.

He further appreciated the warm hospitality he and his wife had received since their arrival to Nigeria, while calling on everyone to support and respect the Armed Forces, especially the injured soldiers.

The Minister of Defence, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar was delighted that such a facility will be built in the country adding that this gesture is apt, given the sacrifices the soldiers have made to defend the country.

Also, Major General Uche Agbor representing the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja, said that the Nigerian Army will continually cater to the welfare of its soldiers, especially post-war and injured ones.

He thanked the royal couple for choosing Nigeria to build a centre during this historic visit, which he believes will rehabilitate the victims to become the best versions of themselves, irrespective of the present challenge facing them.

In addition, Hajia Zainab Shinkafi-Bagudu, wife of the Minister of Budget and Planning, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu said she is pleased at their visit to help the wounded soldiers.

Bagudu who is an advocate for girl-child education, as well as, cancer patients, especially for women, noted that this will go a long way to give hope to the army personnels who were injured in their line of duty.

Furthermore, the Chief of tDefence Staff added that Nigeria was well represented at its first participation at the Invictus Games last year where the
players who despite all odds, excelled greatly, showing that limitation is of the mind, and everyone can be great in whatever field they find themselves.

Some of the major highlights were the gift presentations of African attire by Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, and another by the Nigerian Army Officers’ Wives Association (NAOWA) in conjunction with the Defence and Police Officers’ Wives Association (DEPOWA) to the Duke and Duchess.

The royal couple arrived in Nigeria on Friday, at the invitation of General Christopher Gwabin Musa, following the nation’s maiden appearance at the 2023 Invictus Games, held in Düsseldorf, Germany.

The Invictus Games Foundation “offers a recovery pathway for international wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women (WIS)”. The Foundation “collaborates to provide opportunities for post-traumatic growth: enabling those involved to reclaim their purpose, identity and future, beyond injury”.

Dabiri-Erewa Lauds Duke, Duchess of Sussex for Invictus Games Centre in Nigeria

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UNODC Insists Proper Classification of Inmates would Make Correctional Facilities Truly Reformatory

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UNODC Insists Proper Classification of Inmates would Make Correctional Facilities Truly Reformatory

By: Michael Mike

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, (UNODC) has said with proper classification of inmates at correctional facilities across the country, correctional centres would truly become reformatory institutions.

Speaking at the training of officers of Nigerian Correctional Service, (NCoS) in Lagos on Tuesday, the Project Coordinator, Prisons and Penal Reforms, UNODC, Munchaneta Mundopa said it was imperative for proper classification of inmates at correctional centres, insisting that his would make administration at the various centres easy.

She added that it would also enable the needs of the various inmates to be met since the various classes of inmates have different needs.

The training which commences on Tuesday and runs through Friday is the second in the series as one was earlier held in Abuja. It is sponsored by the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, the U.S. State Department, (INL), and implemented by UNODC in Nigeria, with major focus on six prisons in Adamawa, Borno and Gombe States

She noted that “classification, empowers the Nigerian Correctional Service to tailor rehabilitation plans based on the individual needs and risks of an inmate. So rehabilitation does not need to be a ‘one size fits all’ approach, it needs to be tailored to the specific inmate(s), so that when they go out into the society they are able to harness the power of what they’ve learnt in prison.

“In our partnership with the Nigerian Correctional Service, we realize that while the list of classification systems currently exist, there is a gap in terms of implementation and also in aligning it to the Nelson Mandela Rules.

“Our project is sponsored by INL and is part of the work that we are doing in Nigeria in the space of prison and Penal Reforms. Broadly we refocus on three areas including improving prison conditions, strengthening the capacity of actors to look at alternative ways of dealing with the criminal justice system or alternatives to imprisonment.”

In attendance at the training are about 30 officers of NCoS selected across the country.

UNODC Insists Proper Classification of Inmates would Make Correctional Facilities Truly Reformatory

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We will stand behind you – UN assures, as States Action Plans for Durable Solutions in Northeast are launched

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We will stand behind you – UN assures, as States Action Plans for Durable Solutions in Northeast are launched

By: Michael Mike

The Federal Government and United Nations have launched the States Action Plans on Durable Solutions to Internal Displacement in Nigeria targeted at ending the displacement in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (BAY) States brought about by Boko Haram crisis.

United Nations Assistant Secretary General, and Special Adviser on Solutions to Internal Displacement, Robert Piper, speaking at
the launch held at the Presidential Villa Abuja, on Tuesday said: “We will stand behind you. Let me reiterate our commitment on behalf of the United Nations: We will keep supporting on the ground; We will help rally donors; We will chase missing partners; We will celebrate your successes,”

The Action Plans, according to him, are anchored in international standards and the Kampala Convention; driven by real political leadership; and are geared to mobilize development investments.

Piper explained that: “The plans you launch today provide a model of how governments can take responsibility for ending displacement.The plans recognise that displaced people can choose between going back home, properly integrating where they are right now or relocating elsewhere in the country.”

Vice President Kashim Shettima, on his part, emphasised that: “We must invest in sustainable development, education, and economic opportunities to build resilient communities. By doing so, we not only address the immediate needs of the displaced but also create a foundation for a more stable and prosperous future.”

He noted that the launch of the state Action Plans was meant to craft solutions that would outlive the present generation, and offer future generations a place of hope, a home for all, and a land of opportunity where dreams could be pursued without worry.

Shettima noted, “As we launch these State Action Plans, let us commit to collaborative efforts that transcend borders and political divides. Let us harness the strength of our partnerships, both local and international, to bring about lasting change. The task ahead is immense, but with determination, unity, and a clear vision, we can make a profound difference.”
 
Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed commended the governments of Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe for their actions to scale up solution pathways in their state action plans, noting that achieving durable solutions is a priority for both Nigeria and for the United Nations secretary general.

“Finding durable solutions to internal displacement is central to achieving the sustainable development goals in Nigeria and beyond, and they must become an integral part of development plans in areas affected by forced displacement.” Said the Deputy Secretary-General.

She emphasized that durable solutions required long term investments in infrastructure, education, health care, as well as in security and the enablers social contract with the people.

Mohammed added that “Our joint efforts must offer the promise of inclusive governance, human dignity, and a world where we leave no one behind.”
The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ambassador Richard Montgomery, who spoke on behalf of the informal North-East Ambassador Group, emphasised that the group shared a collective interest in government’s efforts to bring peace to the North-East.

“We stand in support of the Renewed Hope Agenda of the current administration. As regards the durable solutions to internal displacement in the North-east, Montgomery noted, “No one country has the answer. We must join hands to ensure sustainable solutions to internally displaced persons (IDPs) issues in Nigeria.”

At the launch were the Governor of Borno State, H.E. Prof Babagana Zulum; Governor of Yobe State, H.E. Mai Mala Buni; Governor of Benue State, H.E. Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia; and Hon. Commissioner for Reconstruction Rehabilitation Reintegration & Human Service, Bello Hamman Diram, representing Adamawa State Governor, H.E. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri.
 
The publication of the United Nations Secretary General High Level Panel’s Report on Internal Displacement, and the accompanying Action Agenda on Internal Displacement created a pivotal moment in how durable solutions in situations of internal displacement are approached.

Building on the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, the renewed attention to durable solutions puts a significant emphasis towards government-led and -owned processes.

In line with this recommendation, and following the visit of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to Borno in May 2022, theauthorities in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe initiated a process to develop their own action plans to address internal displacement as part of overall and long term development of their state.

Progress towards durable solutions requires an approach that steps away from a needs-based way of working towards an area-based approach. The activities, processes and budget elaborated on in the State Action Plans, ensure that attention is given to all communities affected by displacement – including internally displaced persons, returnees as well as members of the host communities. Addressing forced displacement in this way bears the promise for the State Action Plans to contribute to the overall development of the state and to leave no one behind.

Through their State Action Plans, the authorities acknowledge the need to ensure that methodologies, processes, and activities which form part of the vision to achieve durable solutions need to be evaluated in a timely manner with an aim to amend and strengthen their approach to achieving solutions. As an integral part of the overall governance system
for durable solutions, the people-centered approach described in the monitoring and
evaluation chapters will significantly contribute to ensure displacement affected communities participate in the overall development of the state.

All plans recognize the need to maintain humanitarian assistance where needed, work around preventing future displacement andprogressing solutions where possible.

Driving these plans forward and recognizing the longer-term systematic sustainability that is needed, ambitious budgets have beendeveloped. While a significant amount of these budgets is reserved for access to housing –including elements related to secure tenure –they cater to a wider set of interventions such as economic development and access to services.

We will stand behind you – UN assures, as States Action Plans for Durable Solutions in Northeast are launched

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ECOWAS Doing It Can to Make Mali, B/Faso, Niger Rescind Their Exit Decision- ECOWAS VP

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ECOWAS Doing It Can to Make Mali, B/Faso, Niger Rescind Their Exit Decision- ECOWAS VP

By: Michael Mike

The Vice President of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission, Damtien Tchintchibidja has revealed that the regional bloc was doing all it could to make Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger rescind their decision to exit.

Tchintchibidja described the efforts at getting the trio back as “work in progress,” gave the comment in an interview with journalists in Abuja an event set to mark at ECOWAS @ 49 Celebration, dedicated to sensitizing young students in Abuja about the missions, achievements, and vision of ECOWAS for the future.

He said: “Well, it’s still a work in progress, quite frankly, for us it’s heartbreaking to know that three member states would like to exit from this community.

“We are stronger as a community. It’s like a family. You know, you’re always stronger when the family is unified, united.

“And for us, we are still working at it, you know, we still engage in negotiations with these member states to ensure that they remain within our community.

“But even if they were to leave, they still remain our brothers and sisters.

“As you know, our borders are porous, where citizens have families all across our borders, and we are all one people,” Tchintchibidja said.

The intention of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger to exit ECOWAS was made known in January after the coup in Niger received a backlash from the regional bloc who also slammed various sanctions on the three countries over the military takeover of power in their countries, which their military leaders considered irresponsible and unbrotherly.

Though ECOWAS has since February lifted the sanctions, but there is no public knowledge that the three departing countries may reverse their stand on membership.

ECOWAS Doing It Can to Make Mali, B/Faso, Niger Rescind Their Exit Decision- ECOWAS VP

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