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Kwara Gov wins Lifetime Achievement Award on gender inclusion 

That comes as the Governor called on development agencies to design a ‘programme for result’ initiative which rewards any community or subnational that intentionally votes certain percentage of women into legislative offices, saying this would drive up gender inclusion and promote sustainable development. 

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Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Wednesday won a lifetime achievement award for his transformational gender inclusion policy in the state as prominent women leaders from across Africa commended his remarkable feats. 

That comes as the Governor called on development agencies to design a ‘programme for result’ initiative which rewards any community or subnational that intentionally votes certain percentage of women into legislative offices, saying this would drive up gender inclusion and promote sustainable development. 

At the ongoing 7th Voice of Women (VOW) Conference and Awards in Abuja, the Governor received a plaque specifically honoring his historic inclusion of unprecedentedly high number of women in key leadership positions, including having the highest number of women in cabinet in the history of Nigeria. 

The award was a “big surprise” to the Governor by the Women Radio 91.7fm whose chief executive officer Toun Okewale Sonaiya called AbdulRazaq a historic figure in Nigeria as far as gender inclusion is concerned. 

“This award recognises an individual, female or male, who has contributed in a profound way to gender empowerment during their lifetime or posthumous,” according to the organisers.

The event, enriched by fireside conversations around issues of women empowerment and victimization, was attended by First Ladies from different states, female federal and state parliamentarians, ministers from across the continent, and dozens of gender rights activists, among others. 

First Lady of Kwara/Chairperson of Governors Wives’ Forum Ambassador (Mrs) Olufolake AbdulRazaq led her colleagues to the event; while Minister of Youth Dr Jamila Bio also briefly took the floor to point out how the Governor has mainstreamed gender inclusion in political leadership. 

Two Kwara commissioners — Women Affairs’ Hon. Abosede Olaitan Buraimoh and Education and Human Capital Development’s Hajia Sa’adatu Kawu-Modibbo — are attending the conference, which is supported by MacArthur Foundation.

Erelu Bisi Fayemi, former First Lady of Ekiti State and author of the African feminist charter, said the Governor of Kwara has truly earned his stripes for giving women a voice in a way never seen before in Nigeria’s history. 

She also commended her husband former Governor Kayode Fayemi for his efforts in gender inclusion, and urged Governors in Nigeria to emulate the Kwara helmsman. 

“If you check all the recent indices, the truth is that Nigeria is not doing so well in gender equality or women empowerment. It remains difficult for women to access political leadership,” she said, singling out AbdulRazaq for “using his platform as a Governor to promote women inclusion. He has shown adequate political will that is worth emulating.”

Maureen Hinda-Mbuende, Namibian Deputy Finance Minister, said at the event that she is humbled by how much “the Governor of Kwara State has deployed the goodwill of his office to support women empowerment”. 

In 2019, the Governor appointed a cabinet that had 56.25% female — apart from keeping some 50 % slots for women permanent secretaries. He currently has a 50% female cabinet, including young commissioners. 

He has also introduced a legislation that mandates Kwara to have at least 35% gender parity in appointive political offices, including in the state bureaucracy.

The Governor received a standing ovation from the large crowd, especially when the plaque was officially presented to him. 

AbdulRazaq, for his part, thanked the organisers and wives of the Governor for their great efforts to put the issue of women empowerment on the front burners. 

“This august gathering reminds us of the noble role that the Women Radio, organizers of this event, has played over the years in spotlighting every issue that concerns women, the girl child, and general wellbeing of our community,” he added. 

“I am personally proud to associate with the management and staff of Women Radio. I congratulate you for this wonderful initiative. Women Radio has been a major cheerleader for what our administration has done in gender mainstreaming in Kwara State. This support dated back to 2019 when we nominated a 56.25% female majority cabinet in Kwara State. 

“But we have gone beyond just appointing women as a matter of choice. We have enacted a legislation that compels any government in our state to have at least 35% gender representation in all government appointments, including at the level of permanent Secretary or boards of parastatals. 

“This policy has had appreciable effects in the larger political space in our state. Today, we now have the youngest female lawmaker in Nigeria. This is apart from the other female legislators in the House. It is our intention that this will tear down all barriers against the girl child and spur them to reach for the stars! 

“To make this possible, we have keyed into different educational and sanitation programmes that will encourage the girl child to enrol in school and complete her education. One of them is the Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment (AGILE), which we have keyed into. 

“We have similarly introduced a policy of six-month maternity leave to encourage women to nurture our children without losing their professional status or abandoning work.

“I’m optimistic that many other states of the federation are in the race to break new positive grounds in gender mainstreaming. Together, we can influence national legislations that support gender parity and empower women and the girl child to fulfil their destiny.

“Once, again, I congratulate Women Radio on its successes over the years. I specially thank you for the honour done to me and to our state so far. I promise that we will not drop the ball.”

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Gombe Police arrests man for stealing 23 cows

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A report from PUNCH NEWSPAPERS has it that, Gombe State Police Command on Thursday paraded a suspect for stealing 23 cows in Golombi village, Shongom Local Government Area of the state.

The 23-year-old Adamu Maikudi of Mai Rana village, Billiri Local Government Area was paraded by the state police command for the act while two others.

Parading the suspect Public Relations Officer, Assistant Superintendent of Police Mahid Abubakar, said the suspect sold the 23 cows belonging to Anchau Maishanu, adding that two other suspects involved in the act were at large.

Abubakar said, “Maishanu reported at Pero Chonge Divisional Police headquarters that three suspects, including Maikudi, conspired among themselves and stole his 23 cows from Golombi village and sold them.

“The case was reported and an investigation was carried out where Maikudi was arrested and all the exhibits were recovered.”

Parading other suspects involved in kidnapping, conspiracy and possession of firearms, Abubakar noted that 25-year-old Hassan Danladi, Seth Adamu; aged 42 years, and Eli Bulus, aged 22 years; were arrested following credible intelligence.

“Danladi was found with some illegal arms in his possession which comprises dane gun, bow and arrows, charms and armlets. Upon preliminary investigation, the suspect confessed to have illegally got the firearms from Adamu and Bulus, all of Kaltungo Local Government Area. The case is under investigation,” Abubakar added.

Also, paraded by Abubakar was 25-year-old Buba Wakili, 2and 0-year-old Babangida Ahmadu, following a formal complaint from Buba Tukur that unknown persons were intimidating him to pay N1m or risk being kidnapped, adding, “A detailed investigation was carried out and the two suspects have confessed to have conspired among themselves to carry out the dastardly act.”

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Hardship: Tinubu won’t resign – Information Minister replies PDP governors

In response to the PDP Governors Forum’s statement urging Tinubu to resign if he couldn’t provide sustainable solutions, Idris, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Rabiu Ibrahim, asserted that Tinubu would not resign.

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The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, has dismissed the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors Forum’s call for President Bola Tinubu’s resignation due to the country’s economic challenges.

In response to the PDP Governors Forum’s statement urging Tinubu to resign if he couldn’t provide sustainable solutions, Idris, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Rabiu Ibrahim, asserted that Tinubu would not resign.

Idris labeled the call as a distraction and emphasized that the PDP and its governors should focus on supporting the president’s efforts rather than seeking resignation through intimidation.

He highlighted the financial support extended to all state governments regardless of partisan affiliation and the removal of the petrol subsidy as significant actions taken by Tinubu’s administration.

Idris also emphasized ongoing efforts to revamp the national economy and address security challenges, noting achievements in combating insurgency and other criminal activities.

He underscored the administration’s accomplishments in clearing liabilities and implementing major reforms in the oil sector, all amidst the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Idris reaffirmed Tinubu’s commitment to addressing the country’s challenges and called on the PDP governors to support the administration’s efforts instead of being distracted.

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JUST IN : FG, governors agree to establish state police

This consensus emerged from an urgent meeting held between President Bola Tinubu and the governors at the presidential villa in Abuja on Thursday, with Vice President Kashim Shettima also present.

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The Federal Government, alongside governors from all 36 states, have agreed to initiate the establishment of state police as a response to the nation’s ongoing struggle with insecurity.

This consensus emerged from an urgent meeting held between President Bola Tinubu and the governors at the presidential villa in Abuja on Thursday, with Vice President Kashim Shettima also present.

According to Minister of Information and National Orientation, Idris Mohammed, who briefed reporters after the meeting, the discussions centered on the feasibility of both federal and state governments adopting this approach.

However, he emphasized that concrete decisions are pending further discussions, with a series of meetings planned to outline the specifics of implementing state police.

Beyond security matters, the meeting also addressed the food situation in the country. Mohammed revealed that a committee has been formed to consolidate the outcomes of the discussions.

Furthermore, the President has instructed key security personnel to collaborate with governors to eliminate food hoarding. Contrary to previous government statements, Mohammed clarified that there will be no importation of food commodities, as the focus is on sustaining local food production to ensure self-sufficiency and potentially become a net exporter.

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Nigerians are frustrated and hungry – Sultan of Sokoto

He shared these sentiments during the 6th executive committee meeting of the Northern Traditional Rulers Council (NTRC) held in Kaduna state.

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Muhammad Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto, has expressed concern about the challenging economic conditions in Nigeria, stating that many Nigerians are facing frustration and hunger.

He shared these sentiments during the 6th executive committee meeting of the Northern Traditional Rulers Council (NTRC) held in Kaduna state.

Abubakar emphasized that insecurity and poverty are the primary issues affecting the people of the north.

He highlighted the urgent need to address these issues, stressing the importance of education and healthcare in finding solutions.

Abubakar also noted the responsibility of traditional rulers to provide leadership and reassurance to the people, urging collaboration between traditional leaders and government officials to address the country’s challenges, particularly youth unemployment.

He emphasized the importance of dialogue and cooperation in fostering peace and stability in the nation.

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PDP ready to provide alternative to Nigerians – Bala Muhammed

Addressing the PDP’s 76th board of trustees meeting in Abuja, Mohammed emphasizes the party’s readiness to revamp itself and prevent Nigeria from becoming a one-party state.

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Bala Mohammed, chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party governors’ forum, has asserted that the party is prepared to offer Nigerians a more effective alternative.

Addressing the PDP’s 76th board of trustees meeting in Abuja, Mohammed emphasizes the party’s readiness to revamp itself and prevent Nigeria from becoming a one-party state.

He stresses the need for unity among party members to tackle the challenges facing the nation, including hunger and insecurity.

Mohammed pledges the governors’ commitment to reorganizing the party and fostering cohesion to confront the current administration with informed opposition.

The PDP has also highlighted concerns over the escalating cost of living and insecurity in the country, urging the government to take decisive action to alleviate economic hardship and bolster security measures, including the establishment of state police.

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BUK sets to Install Emir of Ilorin as 5th Chancellor

This announcement, made by the Emir’s spokesperson, Mallam Abdulazeez, highlights that the ceremony will be part of the university’s 34th convocation activities.

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Bayero University Kano (BUK) will inaugurate the Emir of Ilorin, Mai-Martaba Alhaji (Dr) Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari CFR, as its 5th Chancellor on Saturday, March 2, 2024. 

This announcement, made by the Emir’s spokesperson, Mallam Abdulazeez, highlights that the ceremony will be part of the university’s 34th convocation activities.

Alhaji Sulu-Gambari, who currently serves as the Chairman of the Kwara State Traditional Rulers Council, previously held the position of Chancellor at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, and the University of Agriculture Makurdi, before being redeployed to BUK.

The convocation will commence on February 27, with degree awards for various faculties, culminating in a convocation lecture on March 1, delivered by Alhaji Aliko Dangote. 

The theme of the lecture is “The Role of the Private Sector in Building a Sustainable Knowledge Economy in Nigeria.”

The statement encourages the participation of all individuals associated with the Ilorin Emirate and beyond, emphasizing the event’s significance in promoting royalty, scholarship, and academic excellence.

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