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Zulum begins Borno’s 3rd flyover in Maiduguri



Zulum begins Borno’s 3rd flyover in Maiduguri

By: Our Reporter

Borno State Governor, Babagana Umara Zulum, has launched the construction of another flyover at the west end roundabout in Maiduguri.

Zulum, accompanied by the senator representing Borno Central, Kaka Shehu Lawan, and the secretary to Borno State Government, Bukar Tijjani, performed the flag-off ceremony on Saturday.

The project which is the 3rd by the Zulum’s administration, is expected to be completed in one year.

In 2020, Zulum started Borno’s first flyover around the custom roundabout, which former President Muhammadu Buhari commissioned and the second one which was completed this year, awaiting commissioning.

Speaking while flagging off the project, Zulum said the flyover work was part of his election campaign to put in place infrastructures in the major cities in Borno State.

“In fulfilment of our electioneering campaign to ensure urban renewal of some major cities in Borno State, especially Maiduguri Metropolitan Council, the government of Borno State is serious about uplifting and upgrading facilities within the Metropolitan Council,” Zulum said.

“We have constructed two flyovers; this will be the third one and, in Sha Allah, before we leave office, we will ensure the completion of all the structures we have initiated”, the governor stated.

Governor Zulum explained that constructing the west-end flyover is not just for beautification, but to also reduce congestion, allow traffic flow and create indirect job opportunities for the youth.

“The construction of this flyover is not only for aesthetic consideration. The most important thing is to reduce vehicular congestion in the area. The custom roundabout was the busiest before now. The construction here would create thousands of job opportunities for our teeming youth within the Metropolitan Council.” Zulum said.

Zulum stated that 50% of the construction funds have already been released to the contractor, Eighteenth Engineering Company (EEC) and assured them of prompt payment.

Speaking earlier, the Commissioner for Works and Housing, Engr Mustapha Gubio, said the bridge has a length of 470m, two piers, two abutments, and three spans. It runs from west to east, running through Sir Kashim Road. It has elastomer bearing for stability and barriers for the protection of pedestrians.

The representative of EEC, Mr Gao Kun, assures Governor Zulum of quality work and timely completion of the project.

Zulum begins Borno’s 3rd flyover in Maiduguri

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ECOWAS Insists Women, Children Need to be Involved in Peace Building in West Africa



ECOWAS Insists Women, Children Need to be Involved in Peace Building in West Africa

By: Michael Mike

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has insisted that women, children and youth must be involved in the search of peace and security in the West African region.

The Director Humanitarian and Social Affairs, ECOWAS Commission, Dr. Sintiki Tarfa-Ugbe, said it would be difficult to address the challenges of insecurity and violence in the region without these set of people because they are mostly affected.

Tarfa-Ugbe spoke in Abuja at the 2024 First Annual meeting of the ECOWAS Women Peace and Security Regional Steering Group with the theme: “Sustaining the momentum towards monitoring and reporting on women, peace, and security agenda using the continental results framework (CRF).”

She decried that for long the issue of security and peace have been left in the hands of other people while the women, children and youth have been silent, insisting that “it is time for their voices to be heard.”

Tarfa-Ugbe said: “For us as ECOWAS Commission, peace and security is an important pillar of development. And we can’t talk about peace and security without women and children and the youth.

“Part of our work as ECOWAS Commission is to continue to promote the inclusivity of women, children and youth in the peace and security and stability agender of the region.

“We are here with representatives of the 15 members state to report to us on what they are doing and what are the challenges and how we can consolidate on addressing the peace and security issues.

“We don’t want the agenda to be dominated by people who are not affected by the issues.

“Women and children are the ones who are affected by the issue, we want their voices to be heard on the table.

She claimed that the various representations shows how important the meeting was.

The Director said: “Today you can see that the Commissioner Human Development and Social Affairs, Prof. Sarr, as the representative of the ECOWAS President is here and also the Minister for Women Affairs and Social Development, Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye representing the Nigerian government.

“And you know Nigeria is the Chair of ECOWAS and she has demonstrated that she’s ready to push the agenda but not push the agenda as policy talk but an action talk and we will continue that engagement with the members state and Nigeria moving forwar.

On her part, Prof. Fatou Sow Sarr, Commissioner, Human Development and Social Affairs said the meeting is of critical importance as women play fundamental role in ensuring the sustainability of peace processes and resolutions of conflict.

She said that the meeting is meant to help restrategise and plan for the future

Sarr said: “As we gather here, we are reminded of the critical importance of advancing the women, peace and security agenda in our region, with the understanding that peace and security are fundamental pillar for development and prosperity, and women play an indispensable role in ensuring the sustainability of peace processes and resolutions of conflict.

“In this workshop, we aim not only to exchange knowledge and experience but also to strategize and plan for the future. The continental results framework provide us with a roadmap, a guiding light towards achieving our collective goals in advancing the agenda by aligning our efforts with this framework, we can enhance coordination, cooperation and accountability across Ecowas member states in implementing the WPS agenda

“We must recognize that achieving meaningful progress requires concerted action at all levels from grass roots communities to regional and continental institutions as such, today we have the opportunity to dialogue share knowledge and further build our capacity to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities in advancing the women peace and security agenda.

“Ladies and gentlemen you will all agree that together we represent a diverse array of backgrounds expertise and perspective, it is this diversity that will enrich our discussion and enable us to explore innovative approach to strategies and address the challenges ahead as we embark on this journey together let us remain mindful of the significance of our task and reaffirm our commitment to promoting the meaningful participation of women in decisions Glenda perspective into all aspects of peace and security initiatives

“The stakes are high but so is our determination let us harness the collective energy and commitment in this room to drive real tangible progress towards a more peaceful inclusive and equitable region for all.”

Nigeria’s Minister for Women Affairs and Social Development, Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, on her part, said the present government is ready to work on past policies to improve women situation in the country.

She lamented what women and children are made to face in the country especially in the way their issues are treated by the police, adding that the time has come to change the narrative.

ECOWAS Insists Women, Children Need to be Involved in Peace Building in West Africa

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FG Says Massive Fund Needed to Tackle Plethora of Environmental Challenges



FG Says Massive Fund Needed to Tackle Plethora of Environmental Challenges

By: Michael Mike

The Federal Government has said that massive fund is needed to tackle the many challenges of the environment in the country.

The Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Environment, Mr Mahmud Kambari made the statement on Monday said at the Technical Session of the 17th meeting of the National Council on Environment

He said: “As you are aware, one of the foremost challenges confronting our sector is the issue of funding.

“Despite the undeniable significance of environmental preservation to human well-being, successive administrations have struggled to allocate resources commensurate with the scale and urgency of environmental challenges.

“It is important, therefore, that we shine a spotlight on the critical issue of financing, with the aim of devising robust funding models and exploring diverse avenues for resource generation to address the sectoral needs effectively.”

Kambari also noted that the theme “Environment Financing:Need to mobilise more financial inflows for generating adequate resources in support of environmental sustainability efforts” is apt.

The Permanent Secretary stressed that the theme resonate with the priorities of the present administration, stating that it is in line with the commitment to harnessing energy and natural
resources for sustainable development, as outlined in the Presidential Priorities in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda.

He advised stakeholders that: “Let us embark on this journey of collaboration and innovation, committed to safeguarding our environment for generations to come.”

FG Says Massive Fund Needed to Tackle Plethora of Environmental Challenges

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By Inuwa Bwala

They want to make it look like a game, much larger than the topic being discussed, and the intrigues are also quite familiar.

They want to make it look as if it is more the issue of a particular region, trying to force itself back into reckoning, having effectively lost out in the political chess game in Nigeria.

But it is a ploy to sway public attention and to divert the government from pursuing its lofty programmes.

A similar narrative played out when the El-Rufais and the Gandujes were in power reckoning in the race to 2023 when they tried to pitch the North East against the North West. It woefully failed that time, but they seem not to have learnt their lessons.

Unfortunately, it is an agenda flying on a wingless kite and an in a coach less locomotive. The North East and North West have historically been allies in Nigeria’s power equation. Trying to change the narrative to please a few will always fail.

They are few, but very rich and powerful. It is the case of a few people desperately in search of a political oracle amongst them, around whom the political fortunes of a whole region will now oscillate.

I could not therefore help smiling to myself, as I watched the recorded encounter between my brother Daniel Bwala and one TV presenter Gimba Umar: discussing a presumed 2027 Vice Presidential race, between the Vice President Kashim Shettima and former Kano State Governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso.

The presumptions that there is going to be a change of a running mate to President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu in 2027, is in itself funny to those who knew the existing bond between Tinubu and Shettima, as well as those who were familiar with the circumstances surrounding the emergence of Kashim Shettima, as the Vice President, in the first place.

I smiled because I am familiar with the narrative in this agenda setting game, which the presenter is trying to push.
But I smiled because, as usual, Daniel Bwala, also saw through the plot and presented lucid arguments, often leaving the interviewer scavenging for counter naratives, which turned out to sound rather politically infantile and naive to a discerning mind.

As a journalist, I know the anchor must have realised he made the wrong choice in inviting Daniel to kick-start that rather unpopular narrative.

From all indications, those writing the script of a change in the Vice President in 2027 are both uncharitable to President Tinubu and calous in featuring Rabiu Kwankwaso as the protagonist of that, absurd theatre.

Be that as it may, I wish to briefly discuss a few posers, which could serve as a clue as to why that topic should not be given the garb of an issue, but confined to the dustbin, where it rightfully belongs.

Firstly, one needs to ask whether there is a break in the relationship between the president and the vice president. If there is none, then one needs to ask where Vice President Kashim Shettima may have faltered in the discharge of his duties to warrant the need for a change.

Again, given the tight political fusion between the President and the Vice President, what makes anybody think that, Rabiu Kwankwaso or any of his ilks in the Northwest could make a better trusted ally to the President more than Kashim Shettima?

With the outcome of the 2023 elections, which clearly rubbished earlier hypotheses of political and regional influence futile, what makes anybody think that President Tinubu will want to revisit the futile permutations of the old?

Against the background of Vice President Kashim Shettima’s excellent outing as Vice President, coupled with his growing political sagacity, is Rabiu Kwankwaso a competent rival, even in a contest of public court?

Unless Kwankwaso, like the stubborn fly, forgets to let go of the coffin, which is being lowered, he risks being buried with this unpopular political thesis.

But more importantly, with less than one year into the life of an administration, who knows who will be well and alive to think of a challenge in a presumptions race in 2027, when the ultimate judgement rests with the almighty.

I will deliberately skip exposing the unseen hands in pushing for that narrative, but not without cautioning, that we are familiar with the trenches, where they are firing.

Inuwa Bwala was two times Commissioner for Home Affairs, Information and Culture in Borno State.


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