3,500 children recruited, used by non-state armed groups in Nigeria - UNICEF reveals - Mega Icon Magazine
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3,500 children recruited, used by non-state armed groups in Nigeria – UNICEF reveals

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No fewer than 3,500 children, most of whom were aged 13 to 17, were recruited by non-state armed groups between 2013 and 2017 and have been used in the ongoing armed conflict in northeast Nigeria, UNICEF said on Friday ahead of the fifth anniversary of the Chibok abduction.

The UN children’s agency said that these numbers are only those that have been verified, while the true figures are likely to be higher.

In addition to these children, 432 children were killed and maimed, 180 were abducted, and 43 girls were sexually abused in north-east Nigeria in 2018.

Meanwhile, more than 100 of the abducted Chibok girls remain missing.

The anniversary of the abduction, marked on 14 April, is a grim reminder that widespread abductions of children and grave violations of children’s rights continue to take place in the north-east.

“Children should feel safe at home, in schools and on their playgrounds at all times,” said Mohamed Malick Fall, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria.

“We are calling on the parties to the conflict to fulfill their obligations under international law to end violations against children and to stop targeting civilian infrastructure, including schools. This is the only way we can begin to make lasting improvements in the lives of children in this devastated part of Nigeria.”

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Since 2012, non-state armed groups in northeast Nigeria have recruited and used children as combatants and non-combatants, raped and forced girls to marry, and committed other grave violations against children. Some of the girls become pregnant in captivity and give birth without any medical care or attention.

UNICEF continues to offer its support to the Government of Nigeria in its strong efforts to protect the country’s children. UNICEF works with the Borno State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development and other partners to support children who have been rescued or escaped from captivity.

In 2017 and 2018, UNICEF and its partners provided community-based reintegration services to more than 9,800 people formerly associated with armed groups, as well as vulnerable children in communities. These services help to trace children’s families, return them to their communities, and offer psychosocial support, education, vocational training, informal apprenticeships, and opportunities to improve livelihoods.

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Makinde Rues 11 Hectares Undeveloped Land At Samonda GRA

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Oyo State governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde on Friday, expressed his displeasure over the undeveloped 11 hectares of land at the highbrow Samonda GRA in Ibadan, as he called on investors to partner the State to develop the land in order to boost the State’s economy.

 

The view of the governor was expressed by the State commissioner for Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Barr. Abiodun Abdu-Raheem while on inspection tour to some State’s reserved areas and Samonda Ultra-Modern shopping Complex at Ibadan North Local government in Ibadan.

 

Abiodun who noted with disdain, how over eleven hectares of land within which the ultra-modern shopping complex was situated, adding that the complex would be turned to an annex for the popular Gbagi market as the wished to turn its condition around to make it have international standard.

 

“The governor is not happy that these vast hectares of land is being put to waste when investors can be called in to use it for things that will help grow the State’s economy, we have gone around and see that the Samonda Shopping Complex needs some touch of revamping after which we will work towards making the complex an annex to the Gbagi market.

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“The Ministry will discuss with other concerned Ministries, especially those in charge of the Gbagi market to come up with a plan for proper usage of the place as the present administration will not allow any resources of the state to go to waste, we are calling on well-meaning Nigerians who are interested in partnering the State on this project to come forward with ideas on how to develop the eleven hectares of land for the benefit of the State.”

 

Barr. Abdu-Raheem called on the landlord association of the Samonda (Aerodome) GRA to desist from distorting the plan of the estate by building on waterways and areas mapped out for recreational purposes.

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Oyo Targets N20 Billion Monthly IGR – Olatunbosun

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Oyo State government has set a target of hitting 20 billion naira monthly internally-generated revenue  (IGR) before the end of the Governor Seyi Makinde’s first term in office.

The State’s IGR was reported to be between N2billion and N2.5billion during the tenure of the former governor, Abiola Ajimobi.

 

This was revealed by the State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr. Wasiu Olatunbosun at a One Day Workshop for the State media officers which held at the Film Theater of the Ministry on Wednesday.

 

Olatunbosun said the four cardinal focus of the administration were education, primary healthcare, agro-business and security and all efforts were concentrated at plugging tax holes so as to increase the State’s revenue, urging the media officers to key into the agenda of governor Makinde to achieve the set target.

 

“It is the belief of Governor Seyi Makinde that Oyo State can be taken from a civil service-propelled economy to an agro-business-driven economy and before the first term of this administration runs out, we will be looking towards achieving about N20billion IGR target.

 

“You cannot enlighten people as a media practitioner if you are not enlightened, therefore the current administration believes in training of its officers to achieve maximum yield and productivity, especially for them to key into the agenda and aspirations of the government.

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“This government is pro-people and would always deal with communication from the bottom to the top, we believe in the use of town hall meetings where all stakeholders would gather and set target for government as well as give feedback on the activities of the administration.

 

“All these require government media officers to be up-to-date, diligent and efficient, they are the reasons government has embarked on training the officers in this particular cadre among others,” he noted.

 

Also at the event were the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr Taiwo Adisa and the Executive Assistant to the governor on Administration, Rev. Idowu Ogedengbe, who said the State government was working towards improving human capital index of the State workers towards enhancing the economy of the State.

 

 

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Rehabilitation of the grave of a French veteran soldier

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The grave of the French veteran – Private Marange number 14503 – renovated in 2018 had been severely damaged in recent weeks.

Also, very quickly, in order to honour his memory, thanks to the assistance of the Directorate of Heritage, Memory and Archives of the Ministry of the Armed Forces, the defence mission of the French Embassy carried out a new rehabilitation of the tomb.

This veteran who died for France on June 26, 1943, is buried in the open-ended Commonwealth Military Cemetery in Eldoret, about 150 km from the Ugandan border.

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