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31 firms benefit from Edo, BoI’s N2bn MSME fund

The Edo State Government, in partnership with the Bank of Industry, has given offer letters to 31 businesses that have been screened and selected to benefit from the N2bn Edo State MSME Fund.

The fund is an initiative of Governor Godwin Obaseki to provide financial and support services to qualified Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises in the state, targeting over 50,000 businesses.

Some of the companies that received the fund include Seebuck Leather Ventures, Prospect Farms, MS Above Enterprise, EDHIR Global Nigeria and Global Ehimax Trading.

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The Managing Director, Edo State Skills Development Agency, Mrs Ukinebo Dare, who represented Obaseki at the event, urged business owners to take advantage of the different opportunities provided by the government to stimulate economic activity in the state.

The offer letters were presented to the beneficiaries by Dare; the State Manager, BoI, Mr Christopher Omogiade, and the Edo State MSME Project Coordinator, Mr Collins Idiahi.

According to Omogiade, the next phase involves the preparation and submission of attestation and acceptance letters for legal counsel.

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He thanked the state government for not relenting in its job creation and business promotions drive.

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Bandits kill two, kidnap over 50 in Kaduna village attack

Some bandits in the early hours of Friday, invaded the Ungwan Gimbiya community in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State, killing two persons while over 50 members of the community were abducted during the attack.

According to a source, the terrorists were said to have stormed the community on Friday, selecting their targets.

It was learnt that no fewer than 13 members of families were visited by the terrorists.

As of the time of filing this report, no official has reacted attack, which comes barely a week after the state government restored telecommunication networks to tackle insecurity in some parts of the state.

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Ungwan Gimbiya, located around Sabo had witnessed a mass exodus of residents from the area following the activities of bandits in the area.

The community is a few kilometers away from Kakau Daji where over 60 worshippers of Emmanuel Baptist Church were kidnapped on Sunday 31, October 2021 during church service.

Two abductees were killed on the spot; two others were shot dead later while one was injured and hospitalised. 61 of the Worshippers are being held captive while the bandits were demanding 99million as a ransom for their release.

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OAU@60: Varsity to honour Femi Adesina, 59 other former students with prestigious award

As the Obafemi Awolowo University, Osun State marks its 60th anniversary, on December 4, 2021, the institution will honour Femi Adesina, a Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as well as 59 other old students.

Reacting to the news via his Facebook page, Adesina said, “On Saturday, December 4, 2021, the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Ile-Ife, will honour 60 graduates of the institution, to mark the 60th Anniversary of the great citadel of learning. Glad to get a personal letter from the 11th Vice-Chancellor, Prof Eyitope Ogunbodede, informing me that I am one of the 60 to be honoured with the Distinguished Great Ife Alumnus Award. Who, me? Yes, me o. Common, simple, ordinary me, being invested with such award of honour.

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“All praise and thanks to our God who has considered me worthy. I am in the number saved by grace. I am also in the number being honoured by Great Ife, an institution I graduated from 35 years ago. It can only be God.

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“Great Ife, as our university is popularly called, is a leading institution of higher learning, research, and training in Africa. I am proud to belong to the only Great Ife in the universe. Any other one is a counterfeit.”

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COVID-19: Get vaccinated, observe safety protocols — Enugu govt

The Enugu State Government on Friday urged all residents above 18 years to get the COVID-19 vaccines to protect themselves, family and colleagues from the continuously mutating virus.

The Permanent Secretary in the state’s Ministry of Health, Dr Ifeanyi Agujiobi, made the call in Enugu during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria.

Agujiobi said that mass vaccination remained the most effective and successful way of checking COVID-19 spread.

According to him, although the new COVID-19 variant, Omicron, has not been detected in Enugu State, the state’s disease surveillance officers are on ‘red alert’ to keep the state safe.

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He said the state government had made investments in getting the COVID-19 vaccines to Primary Health Care Centres, and other designated centres in each community.

The permanent secretary said that the jabs are administered free of charge; assuring that the vaccines are safe with no adverse side effects recorded for now in the state.

“The state currently has doses of the vaccine at each of its numerous vaccination points. The vaccines are administered from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily except Sundays. This is courtesy of the huge investment of the state government in that direction,” he said.

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Agujiobi also urged the residents not to drop their guard against the pandemic, adding that social distancing and avoiding crowded areas should be strictly imbibed.

“We will also continue wearing face masks and frequently using our alcohol-based sanitiser on our hands. There is a need to improve our personal, family and neighbourhood hygiene levels to ensure that the virus, other viruses and bacteria are eliminated from our environment,” he said.

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Lagos govt urges clerics to promote peace, unity during sermons

The Lagos State Government on Friday urges clerics to promote peace and unity during weekly sermons.

The Commissioner for Home Affairs, Anofiu Elegushi, this call at the 2021 Inter-Faith Parley held in the state, as contained in a statement titled, ‘Governor Sanwo-Olu Calls for Moral Revival Among Citizens to Promote Peace, Security.’

While addressing attendees, Elegushi stated that promoting unity, peace and love during sermons would lead to peaceful and harmonious co-existence in the nation.

He said, “Your weekly sermon on unity, peace, and love must resonate with the people on a weekly basis, while obedience to rule of law and commitment to our Lagos project must remain sacrosanct”.

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The Commissioner also implored the religious leaders to have a more robust relationship to consolidate the gains of collectiveness, adding that the Sanwo-Olu led administration expects clerics to close ranks and check the excesses of exuberant preachers who tend to create enmity among the people.

Earlier in his presentation, the National Director, Fishermen Maximum Output Ministries/Education, Dialogue & Value System Initiatives, Rev. Dr. Kehinde Babarinde, noted that religious leaders must be the guide and critics of the State and not its tools.

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“If the religious body does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority,” Babarinde said.

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CAMA: Court dismisses CAN’s suit against CAC, trade minister

A Federal High Court, Abuja has dismissed a suit filed by the Christian Association of Nigeria against the Corporate Affairs Commission and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment.

Justice Inyang Ekwo, in a judgment, dismissed the suit over the failure of the plaintiff to comply with the law in the name used in filing the originating summons.

“Therefore, this application lacks merit and ought to be dismissed and I hereby make an order dismissing same,” he declared.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that while the Incorporated Trustees of Christian Association of Nigeria is the plaintiff in the suit, the CAC and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment are 1st and 2nd defendants respectively.

The plaintiff, in an originating summons marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/244/2021, had prayed the court to determine “whether Section 839, subsections (1), (7) (a) and (10) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), 2020, is inconsistent with Sections 4(8), 6(6)(b) and 40 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) which guarantees the plaintiff’s right to freedom of association and the right to seek redress in court.

“Whether the provision of Section 854 of the CAMA is inconsistent with Section 39 of the CFRN which guarantees the right to freedom of expression,” among others.

Part of the reliefs sought by the plaintiff include “a declaration that Section 839(1), (7) (a) and (10) of the CAMA are inconsistent with Section 40 of the CFRN and thus unconstitutional, null and void.

“A declaration that Section 839(1), (7) (a) and (10) of the CAMA are inconsistent with Section 4(8) of the CFRN and thus unconstitutional, null and void.

“A declaration that Section 839(1) and (7) (a) of the CAMA are inconsistent with Section 36(1) of the CFRN and thus unconstitutional, null and void.

“A declaration that Section 839(1) and (7) (a) of the CAMA has a direct effect on the judicial power of the court under Section 6(6) (b) of the CFRN, and Is therefore void.

“An order striking down Sections 839(1), (7) (a) & (10), 842(1) and (2), 843, 851 and 854 of the CAMA for being unconstitutional.

“A declaration that Section 17(2) (a) & (d) of the CAMA demand an impossible and impracticable action; thus, void.

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“An Order striking down Section 17 (2) (a) & (d) of the CAMA for being impracticable and unknown to Law.”

However, in the course of the proceedings, CAN brought an application, praying for an order to amend the originating summons and accompanying processes by replacing the word, “INCORPORATED” with “REGISTERED” in the name of the plaintiff in the suit such that it would read, “The Registered Trustees of the Christian Association of Nigeria.”

The application was filed on the grounds that the name expressed in its certificate of incorporation is the “Registered Trustees of the Christian Association of Nigeria” and not “Incorporated Trustees of Christian Association of Nigeria.”

It stated further that in the originating summons, the plaintiff’s name was inadvertently expressed as “Incorporated Trustees of the Christian Association of Nigeria.”

“This error in the plaintiff’s name was as a result of the inadvertence of counsel.

“The error in the plaintiff’s name is what we seek by this application to rectify,” it added.

The plaintiff argued that it was an oversight on the part of the counsel who prepared the draft of the processes.

In its counter affidavit, the CAC had opposed the plaintiff’s suit, challenging the propriety of the constitution of the parties and competence of the plaintiff.

It argued that “The Incorporated Trustees of the Christian Association of Nigeria;” as a non-juristic person, was unknown to law to institute and maintain the action.

“The plaintiff is not an entity registered under the Companies and Allied Matters Act and not one otherwise recognised as being vested with statutory rights of incorporation and bereft of the requisite locus standi, legal capacity or competence to sue and maintain this action eo nomine against the 1st defendant.

“The certificate of incorporation, Exh. P1, is a certificate of Christian Association of Nigeria and not the plaintiff.

“The plaintiff being the party invoking the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court is not a juristic person and incompetent to do so.

“The amendment which the plaintiff seeks is not one to cure a mere misnomer but an amendment to give life to the originating processes by substituting a non-juristic person with a juristic person.

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“The originating process of the plaintiff is incurably defective and cannot be cured by an amendment.

“This court cannot by an order, breathe life on an otherwise lifeless and/or non-existent entity.”

The CAC insisted that granting the application would change the character of the case and would be prejudicial to it.

Delivering judgment, Justice Ekwo said he had taken a look at the certificate of incorporation of the plaintiff attached to the origination summons as Exh. P1 and found that the name on the certificate is ‘The Registered Trustees of Christian Association of Nigeria.”

“Further peruse shows that the certificate was issued under the regime of the Land (Perpetual Succession) Act, Cap. 98 of the 1958 LFN on 19th December, 1986.

“This means that the plaintiff was registered before CAMA first came into effect in 1990.

“With this evidence, it means the plaintiff can only sue and be sued in the name on the certificate issued to it on 19th December, 1986,” he said.

He cited a previous case to back his stand.

“There must be consequential order in the circumstance of this case.

“The originating processes in the name of ‘The Registered Trustees of Christian Association of Nigeria’ cannot stand.

“Similarly, it is my opinion that this ruling has therefore also resolved the issue in the preliminary objection of the 1st defendant too.

“I find that the plaintiff did not comply with the law in the name used in filing its originating summons.

“Therefore, this application lacks merit and ought to be dismissed and I hereby make an order dismissing same,” he ruled.

The judge added that the ruling affected the foundation of the case going by the defect in the name by which the plaintiff commenced the matter.

“I therefore make an order striking out the entire case. This is the order of this court,” Ekwo held.

(NAN)

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JAMB not producing surplus revenue, says Budget Office DG

The Director-General of the Budget Office of the Federation, Mr Ben Akabueze, on Friday, said the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board is not producing surplus revenue.

Akabueze spoke on Channels Television’s ‘Sunrise Daily’ breakfast programme monitored by The PUNCH.

JAMB Registrar, Prof Is-haq Oloyede, has been applauded by many for turning around the revenue generated by the agency established by the government in 1978 “to conduct matriculation examinations for entry into all universities polytechnics and colleges of education in the country and to place suitably qualified candidates in the available places in these institutions”.

During his first term, Oloyede, amongst other reforms, has been noted to have significantly increased the JAMB remittances to the Federal Government. Under his watch, over N30bn has been said to have been remitted to the Federal Government purse, an amount far above what was generated by the Board in its 40 years of existence, before Oloyede came on board.

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Asked why other agencies and departments of government haven’t borrowed a leaf from JAMB to turn around the revenues remitted to the government, Akabueze said the government is looking at plugging leakages to increase federal revenues.

He also said, “I need to clarify what exactly the situation is with respect to JAMB and my friend, Prof Oloyede has done an excellent job but first of all, it is not correct that JAMB is producing a surplus because when you say a surplus, it means you are producing over and above your revenue. JAMB’s cost for staff and all of those are still being paid for by government. And if you take the aggregate of the revenue compared to the aggregate of their cost, it is not a surplus.

“However, what has happened is that their cost having been borne by government, the revenues that they generate from their activities in the past, some individuals in the organisation would find a way of spending them on items that were not appropriated in the budget and (JAMB) put an end to that to say that government has borne our cost and if we generate this revenue, if we net out our cost that is directly attributable to the conduct of exams, the excess, the surplus over that which by government’s fiscal regulations is supposed to be remitted to the consolidated revenue fund, that we will make that remittance, that is basically what has happened.”

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JUST IN: Former Edo State Governor, Igbinedion loses mother at 85

A former governor of Edo State, Mr Lucky Igbinedion, has lost his mother, Mrs Maria Oredola Igbinedion.

According to a statement by the former governor, she was 85 years old and she is survived by children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

The statement reads, “With gratitude to God for a fruitful and eventful life, we announce the transition to glory of our mother, grandmother and great grandmother, Madam Maria Oredola Igbinedion who joined the Saints in the early hours of December 2, 2021, at the age of 85. She is survived by children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.”

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According to the former governor, the burial arrangement of the late octogenarian would be announced later.

She was a descendant of the popular Ogbebor family of Usen, in Ovia North-East Local Government Area of the State.

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Pay close attention to children’s moral behaviour, Sanwo-Olu tasks parents

The Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has tasked parents to pay close attention to the morality of their children and wards, to avoid breakdown of peace and security in the nation.

Sanwo-Olu made this call at the 2021 Inter-Faith Parley held in the state on Friday.

This was contained in a statement titled, ‘Governor Sanwo-Olu Calls For Moral Revival Among Citizens To Promote Peace, Security.’

The Governor, who was represented by his deputy, Obafemi Hamzat, also called for moral revival among citizens to promote peace and security necessary for the progress and development of the nation.

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Sanwo-Olu emphasised on the need to ensure that youths are not “misled into towing the wrong path, just as parents must pay close attention to the morality of their children and wards.”

The statement partly read, “While commending the religious leaders for their continuous support, the Governor admonished the clergy to relentlessly preach love and peace among people and also develop a tolerance for others, irrespective of their differences.

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“He reassured the religious leaders of his administration’s commitment to responsive and responsible governance that will continuously create an enabling environment for peaceful co-existence amongst various faiths and worship centres.”

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Former head of global athletics, Lamine Diack dies at 88

The former head of global athletics Lamine Diack, who presided over the sport from 1999 to 2015 but was later convicted for corruption, has died aged 88, his family told AFP.

The Senegalese was head of the International Association of Athletics Federations, now renamed World Athletics.

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Diack, who was also a powerful figure at the International Olympics Committee, was found guilty of corruption by a French court in 2020 for covering up Russian doping cases in exchange for bribes.

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He was sentenced to four years in prison, of which two were suspended, and fined 500,000 euros ($560,000).

AFP

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Vulnerable Osun citizens get health insurance cards

Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, on Thursday, commenced mass distribution of Osun Health Insurance cards to 69,273 vulnerable citizens in the state.

Osun Health Insurance Agency has successfully enrolled 69,273 vulnerable persons who have been receiving healthcare services in the last two years under the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund.

A statement by Ismail Omipidan, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, said Oyetola while speaking at the flag-off ceremony, held at Ede High School, Ede, explained that the ceremony marked a watershed in the administration’s quest to ensure that no one was left behind in accessing qualitative healthcare.

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“To further strengthen the scheme, we have consistently paid the government’s share of public servants’ health insurance premium which is 3% of workers basic salary and paid the equity grant meant for the provision of treatment and care for the vulnerable/less privileged people in the State free of charge, making us the second in the entire Federation to do so.

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“The programmes have just been completed and the enrolled patients are already receiving treatment for TB across the State, as part of the OHIS Equity Programme for vulnerable persons,” he said.

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Ini Edo confirms surrogacy rumours, opens up about past miscarriages

Nollywood actress, Ini Edo, has confirmed rumours of her welcoming a daughter through a surrogate mother.

After days of keeping silent since the rumours began, the actress finally opened up in an interview with Stella Korkus, which was published on Friday.

Surrogacy is a practice where a woman (a surrogate) carries a child for another person through artificial insemination of eggs.

Confirming the news, Edo stated that the daughter was genetically hers because her eggs were used to fertilize the child.

She said, “Yes I do have a daughter and I had her through surrogacy. The eggs are mine and so genetically, she’s my blood.

“I chose this path to fulfil my dream of becoming a mother. I still have a good number of eggs frozen in case I decide to do surrogacy again or carry my baby myself.”

She also mentioned that she had the daughter almost a year ago, stating that she planned on breaking the news herself.

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“I was hoping to talk about her on her first birthday in a few months but mischief makers beat me to it and spoilt the beautiful story with lies,” Edo said.

Reacting to rumours that her child’s father was a married man, identified as Kome, the actress said, “It is so sad that in Nigeria, when a ‘single’ woman is friends with a guy, it must mean to people that they are dating.

“Kome has been my friend for years and that’s what it is, period. He is a responsible family man and doesn’t deserve to be dragged into my motherhood story.”

She then revealed that she opted for a donor because of her fears saying, “I opted for a donor for me and my baby’s peace of mind.

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“Another major reason I opted for a donor is because it scares me so much when I see banter and controversies between a mother and a father over a baby in public forums.”

During the interview, Edo also opened up about her past miscarriages, pointing out that her experience did not influence her decision on surrogacy.

“I had a series of miscarriages in the past but that wasn’t my reason for going this route .I still hope to carry babies In my womb in the future, God willing,” the actress said.

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BREAKING: Navy frees Comedian Cute Abiola from detention

The Nigerian Navy has freed online Comedian, Abdulgafar Ahmad, aka Cute Abiola, from detention, The PUNCH has learnt.

Naval spokesperson, Commodore Suleman Dahun, confirmed the development to our correspondent on Friday.

Cute Abiola was said to have been missing on Monday, November 15, 2021, when his colleague in the comedy industry, Debo Adedayo aka Mr Macaroni, raised the alarm that he was nowhere to be found after reporting at his office in Navy Town, Lagos, that same day.

Two days after the alarm was raised, Dahun had announced that the funnyman wasn’t missing but was detained for contravening the military laws by posting a video of himself in military uniform on social media, an act which is said to be in violation of the armed forces’ social media policy.

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Dahun had also added that the comedian failed to show up when called upon to explain himself but only returned after the expiration of his leave on November 15, 2021, and was put behind bars the same day.

Speaking with The PUNCH on Friday, the naval spokesman maintained that Ahmad knowingly violated the armed forces’ social media policy but was given a punishment after he was tried for misconduct and indiscipline.

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He added that the funnyman is no longer in the naval detention as he has been released to serve his punishment.

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I love Wizkid, that’s not going to change – Tems

Fast-rising Nigerian singer, Temilade Openiyi, popularly known as Tems, has declared her love for Wizkid, stating that it’s not going to change.

She said this in a video which surfaced on Friday, where she was performing their hit song, ‘Essence.’

Her recent video surfaced a day after a viral video which featured Wizkid trying to lift her while they both performed during his album tour in London.

The perfomance which held on Wednesday at the sold out O2 Arena saw Wizkid inviting Tems on stage to perform their hit song, Essence.

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During the performance, Wizkid is seen placing his arms under Tems’ buttocks in an attempt to lift her.

Tems, on her part, resisted his attempt by pulling his hands away.

The video has since caused a debate on Twitter as some fans accused Wizkid of sexual harassment while others tried to defend his action.

However, in the video which surfaced on Friday, Tems said, “All I’m going to say is Wiz is my brother, and someone I look up to.”

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Showing appreciation to Wizkid, Tems stated that she is grateful “for all he’s done and his existence.”

“I want you guys to remember that he’s human, I’m human, and I love him, and that’s not gonna change,” She concluded.

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Treat civilians how you’d love to be treated, Oba of Lagos cautions police

The Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, has cautioned the Nigerian police to treat civilians the way they’d love to be treated after service.

The monarch stated this in an interview after a private visit of the American Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Leonard, to his palace.

This was contained in a statement released on Thursday titled, ‘Oba Akiolu Calls For Collaborative Policing’.

Noting that the police plays an important role in the nation’s security, the monarch also stated that lack of welfare has bred bad eggs among officers.

“The Monarch also identified the Nigerian Police as an important player in the nation’s security system noting, however, that lack of equipment and inadequate welfare of officers had bred bad eggs among the personnel, just as he affirmed that the Police is servant to the public and admonished officers to treat civilians as they would love to be treated after service,” the statement read.

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Oba Akiolu further explained that every Nigerian must be security conscious and very sensitive to their surroundings.

According to him, this will enable citizens to provide timely information to security agencies when an unusual occurrence is noticed in the community.

“Security is everyone’s business and we all need to be security conscious. You see something, you say something,” the statement quoted him as saying.

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The monarch also noted that the continued influx of people into Lagos not only put pressure on the infrastructure but also on the security architecture of the state.

Oba Akiolu, who commended the state Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for his efforts in improving security, also called on traditional institutes and residents to support the government.

He mentioned that such support can be through obeying laws and paying their taxes.

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Travel safety, security, fire prevention tips you need during Yuletide

December comes with a lot of activities as it’s a season of festivities due to the Christmas celebration.

The season, which also ushers into a New Year, is characterized by shopping, outings, travelling, and lots of merriment.

However, while one may be carried away with these activities, it is pertinent to note that the season also comes with its own downsides which include a rise in theft, fraud, accidents, and other crimes.

Though the security agencies are in place to tackle these vices, one must apply simple security tips to ensure safety this period.

In this piece, The PUNCH highlights five areas where security is required and tips on how to stay safe.

Travel safety

As common with most people, the rate of travelling during the Yuletide is always on the rise. These few tips would ensure safety during travel:

  • Make sure doors are properly locked and items are kept safe before leaving the premises.
  • Despite the excitement, ensure that drink-driving is avoided.
  • In case of road travel, board buses with registered transport companies and always look out for your luggages while on transit. This also applies to air travel.
  • When travelling with kids in the car, a child safety seat should be employed to ensure that they are safely tucked in.
  • Ensure you use a life jacket for sea travel and boat cruises.
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Fire prevention

With the presence of firecrackers and different kind of fireworks, safety must be applied to avoid an outbreak.

Also, the use of Christmas trees, candles, and other electrical decorations may lead to fire outbreak when not properly used.

  • Avoid using faulty electrical appliances and ensure they’re away from arm’s length.
  • For electrical repairs, seek help from a professional. Simple do-it-yourself hacks are not always advised.
  • Ensure candles are properly extinguished before going to bed.
  • Don’t use firecrackers close to residential or commercial areas.

Safe shopping

  • Avoid moving with large amount of money. The advent of debit cards and mobile banking has made this easy.
  • For online shopping, patronise authentic vendors. Avoid pop-up ads which may contain malware.
  • Beware of scam and stay away from sharing sensitive information such as debit card number, bank verification number, and transaction PIN.
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Food safety

Asides firecrackers and Christmas decorations, another major source of fire incident also emanates from the kitchen.

These tips would ensure food safety and prevent cooking-related hazards:

  • Have presence of mind during cooking to quickly curtail impending dangers.
  • Keep flammable objects like napkins and paper towels away from open flame.
  • Ensure food ingredients/items are in good condition before cooking; to avoid food poisoning.

Home/personal security

  • Avoid loud music. Not only does it cause noise pollution, it also attracts burglars.
  • Be careful with sharing information about personal activities on social media, to prevent monitoring which may lead to kidnapping or theft.
  • Keep all important documents safe and out of public eye.
  • Gift items and flashy possessions should be kept properly and away from windows.

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