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Dangote feeds 30,000 IDPs in Zamfara

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In yet another massive intervention, the Aliko Dangote Foundation Monday officially launched a major philanthropic programme in Zamfara State, doling out food items running into several millions of naira to support victims of insurgency.

The farmers-herders clash and sporadic attacks by cattle rustlers have displaced thousands, many of whom are currently seeking refuge at Maradun Local Government Area of the State.

According to official reports over 3,000 people have been killed, about 100,000 displaced, of which about 30,000 are in Maradun LG, and over 500 people kidnapped.

Group Executive Director Government Relations and Strategic Relations Mansur Ahmed who presented the food items on behalf of the Group President Aliko Dangote said the Foundation was supporting the government and traditional leaders in meeting the needs of the IDPs.

Only recently Mr. Dangote was rated world’s 6th largest donors, and Africa’s richest person for almost a decade. His Aliko Dangote Foundation has been endowed with a staggering $1.25billion. He was also listed by Forbes Magazine among the 75 people that make the world turn.

Dangote Foundation had also injected over N7billion to create soccour in North East in the wake of the Boko Haram insurgency.

Mr. Ahmed, an Engineer, said Mr. Dangote was very disturbed about the plight of the displaced persons and quickly directed that everything possible be done to provide succor.

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Mr. Ahmed said the company was building a 2000 ton capacity of rice mill in Maradun and that when completed this year it would create hundreds of job opportunities for the people of Zamfara State.

Responding, the Emir of Maradun Muhammad Garba Tambari said he was highly elated as the company is the first to intervene by providing food support for displaced persons.

He commended Mr Dangote for the gesture and promise to help secure his investment in his Emirate.

Chairman of the Maradun Local Government Alhaji Yahayah Shehu Maradun thanked the Dangote Foundation for the gesture and pray God to continue to bless the Dangote business.

Our reporter sighted trucks of food items being offloaded at the silos and at the official presentation of the relief material at the Palace of the Emir of Maradun.

Some of the items delivered include: Trucks of Semolina, sphagetti, sugar, wheatmeal and Macroni.

Victims at the IDP camp who recounted their ordeal described the crisis as the worst in the country in the past five years.

They regretted that state have been neglected by government and mainstream media.

Mrs Inno Usman, 50, from Mallamai District lost a husband to the crisis and has eight children at the IDP camp. She said five men including her husband were killed by the marauders.

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Mrs Usman described the intervention of Dangote as timely, while urging other donors to emulate the the Aliko Dangote Foundation.

Another victim, Mrs Kenan Usman said her husband was also killed in a gruesome manner and that she escaped with her five children by the whiskers.

She said before the coming of Dangote Foundation they have been accommodated at the IDP camp in Maradun since November 2018, regretting that there is no date foe their return as the insurgents still hold sway in their various villages.

For Inno Aliyu Sani, 60, 21 people were killed including four women, and cows running into hundreds were stolen by the rustlers.

“We can’t go back. The killers are still there,” she said.

Abubakar Garba from Rudun village said for the past five years marauders had sacked everyone in the village but that government was doing anything address the situation until now.

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NYSC DG pays last respect to corps member who had his primary assignment with Channels TV, Precious Owolabi

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The Director-General, National Youth Service Corps, Brig.-Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim, on Tuesday paid his last respect to Mr. Precious Owolabi, a corps member who had his primary assignment with the Channels TV Abuja office.

The DG, Ibrahim inspected Owolabi’s body shortly before it was removed from the National Hospital Abuja, for homeward journey.

Owolabi died on Monday after he sustained gunshot injuries during a violent confrontations between the Police and members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) popularly known as  Shi’ites.

 

NYSC members carry the remains of their colleague, Mr. Precious Owolabi, who was killed on Monday during a violent confrontation between Police and the Shi’ites. His body left the the National Hospital, Abuja on Tuesday.

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Boko Haram conflict causing misery to millions 10 years on

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Ten years since the beginning of a violent insurgency in northeast Nigeria, the living conditions for displaced people are continuing to deteriorate at an alarming rate due to inadequate and overcrowded facilities. The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) calls for increased efforts to improve their living conditions and prevent an imminent cholera outbreak.

Ten years after the first attack launched by the armed group Boko Haram, more than two million people remain displaced from homes in northeast Nigeria, the highest number of any time over the last decade.

“Every week, people continue to flee violence and insecurity in northeast Nigeria. Many settle along the roadside or on empty strips of land, devoid of proper sanitation and water points,” says Eric Batonon, Country Director at the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) in Nigeria.

Hundreds of thousands of people are living in overcrowded displacement sites far below international minimum standards and without proper access to latrines and clean water. Some have put up shelters made of wooden sticks and pieces of ripped fabric. These improvised shelters provide no protection against wind or rain and offer almost no privacy or security. Many don’t even have a door – leaving women, men and children highly vulnerable to intrusions and attacks.

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More than 180,000 people are currently in need of shelter in Borno State with many sleeping in the open or in deplorable makeshift homes. As the rainy seasons gets underway, fears of another deadly outbreak of cholera are looming. Last year, 10,000 cholera cases were confirmed along with 175 recorded deaths, although the real figure is likely to have been much higher.

“People in Nigeria need safe pathways back to their homes and much better living conditions in the meantime. Displacement sites are dangerous, chaotic and entirely unsuitable for children. It is critical to decongest these overcrowded sites, provide people that have been forced to flee with safe, dignified facilities and prevent another deadly cholera outbreak,” Batonon adds.

The NRC is calling on donor countries to increase their financial support for relief to families trying desperately to survive in one of the world’s most volatile regions.

“Ten years on, it is harrowing to see families still crowding into make-shift shelters with inadequate drainage systems to remove rain water. The global humanitarian community, local and national authorities have to do much more and much better to improve the lives of these people,” says Batonon before concluding: “The world needs to scale up the relief work and send a message of hope to the more than seven million people in need of humanitarian assistance in northeast Nigeria. After a decade of conflict, we need to show them that they have not been forgotten.”

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Over 200 Kidnap Victims Regain Freedom In Zamfara – Police

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The Commissioner of Police in Zamfara, Mr Usman Nagogo says over 200 victims of kidnap have been received from their abductors in the last three weeks in the state.

Nagogo made this known at a news conference in Gusau on Monday.

The police chief  said  the bandits willingly returned and handover the victims to him as the leader of a peace and reconciliation initiative recently set up by Governor Bello Matawalle.

He explained: “Since the beginning of the peace and reconciliation initiative team assignment about three weeks ago now, we have received over 200 kidnap victims from Fulanis and Yansakai.

“We have sat with all the warring factions and they have understood that peace is the most important aspect of growth and development which is why they willingly return the victims,
“and await the promise made by the governor to re-establish grazing reserves, build hospitals and veterinary clinics, provide good drinking water and other amenities at Fulani settlements.

“At the moment, all the factions go to the markets that were closed due to the armed bandit activities while farmers go to the farms without any hindrance or threats,”.

The commissioner of police who urged residents to continue to pray for the success of the peace process and sustenance of peace in the state, cautioned politicians against politicising the effort so as to allow security agencies carry out their operations without diversion.

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Some of the rescued victims told newsmen at the police command that they were tied like animals and without any shelter against rain or sun.

Some of the victims spent more than seven months in the hands of their abductors.
After their rescue, the victims were camped at the Government House, Gusau, where they received medical and psycho-social support services before they were reunited with their families.

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