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YULETIDE: LAGOS MOVES TO ADDRESS GRIDLOCK

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Worried by the perennial traffic situation motorists have been contending with in recent times, the Lagos State Government on Thursday said it has fashioned out workable solutions to ensure free flow of traffic across the State, especially as the yuletide season approaches.  

Rising from a closed-door strategic session chaired by State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode and attended by top officials of the Ministry of Transportation, State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Commissioner of Police, Mr. Imohimi Edgal and Chairman of the State Task Force on Environmental Offences, SP Yinka Egbeyemi, among others, the Government said it had resolved to immediately implement the solutions to ensure Lagosians can commute across the State with ease going forward.

Addressing Government House Correspondents on the outcome of the meeting, Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Ladi Lawanson said the Governor had called for the session to fine tune strategies for all agencies and stakeholders involved to implement so as to ameliorate the traffic situation and also ensure security of lives and property.

“What we have done is that we have gotten feedback from men and women who have been on the frontline specifically our LASTMA officials and then the Commissioner of Police was with us as well to give us the perspective of security.

“So most of the issues have been thrown up and we have together as a group strategized on it and we have come up with what we think are solutions to make for better flow of traffic especially as we enter the ember months and the holiday season.

“Without a doubt, Lagosians we know have been going through some hardship which has been occasioned by the gridlock we have in the Apapa area for which on that one, the Lagos State Executive Council has a solution in sight, all we are going through now is approval process that is required to activate the solution.

“But specific to the free flow of traffic, you can see with me here, I have the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport, I have the CEO of LASTMA and the GM LASTMA and all the senior LASTMA officials and we have come up with solutions that we trust will ensure that there is better flow of traffic especially as we enter the holiday season and Lagosians will start to see the effect of the work that we have done,” Lawanson said.

Explaining some of the strategies that would be adopted, the Chief Executive Officer of LASTMA, Chris Olakpe a retired Assistant Inspector General of Police, said the 1000 officials recently recruited by the Agency would be trained and deployed to the road before the end of the year.

He said the agency has also resolved to extend its operations from 5am to 12 midnight on a daily basis, saying that while the State Government continues its palliative on potholes, LASTMA officials would be on ground to ensure free flow of traffic across those areas.  

“The issue of palliative on the potholes, the meeting resolved to handle it in two ways; day time and night time. Night time mostly with travel signal lights and flood lights on ground for palliative to be made immediately from today, action would be seen that palliative will come and there would be smooth flow of traffic.

“Don’t forget that the Governor has recruited 1000 more LASTMA officials so we are going to train them and very shortly too before Christmas you would see them on the way and we intend to work from 5am to 12 midnight daily with the infusion of 1000 men,” Olakpe said.

On the Apapa gridlock, the LASTMA boss said that the trailer park in Orile would be delivered very soon, expressing optimism that it would go a long way to address the issue of trailers parking along roads and bridges and causing congestion on such routes.

“The issue of the trailer park which is in the front burner is being given expedite action and we are sure that in a short while we should have the trailer park being effective to cushion the effect of the standoff trailers along the bridges and other places so the trailer park is being given a special and strategic attention and that palliative would be concluded very shortly as fast as the speed of light,” he said.

Olakpe, however, frowned at the spate of destruction of public facilities, especially wire barriers and signal lights meant to make life easier for motorists and residents, appealing to those in the habit of doing such to desist or risk facing the full consequences of the law if caught in the act.    

“We have observed to our chagrin and dismay the vandalisation of wire barriers and signal lights. They are frustrating the efforts of government. As government is moving forward, they are taking them backward by untoward conduct.

“So we want to say that from now, it has been resolved that those places would be fully backed up with man power in surveillance and monitoring strategy. So warn those who are the spoilers of good deeds that the hands of the law will catch up with them very soon,” he said.

Olakpe also warned against harassment and assault of LASTMA officials by recalcitrant motorists, saying that such act attracts a jail term of two and half years without option of fine.

 

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SDP Candidate, Natasha Akpoti escapes assassination

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A social Democratic Party (SDP) Senatorial Candidate, Barrister Natasha Akpoti on Wednesday urged the Inspector General of Police to invite the administrators of Okehi and Adavi Local Government Areas, Hon Abdulraheem Ozovehe Ohiare and Hon Joseph Omuya Salawu for questioning over assassination plot, destruction of campaign posters and billboards.

She accused the duo of instigating series of criminal activities leading to violence, civil unrest, vandalism and threat to life in Kogi State.

In a petition to the inspector General of Police, Akpoti urged the police chief to arrest and prosecute some political thugs identified to be members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Kogi State chapter.

Akpoti said Ismaila Kashim, Ajinodu Ojo, Adams Kabiru, Ozovehe Lawal,  Hamidu Jamiu, Adullahi Suleiman, Ahmed Fatai, Ojo Ebo, Ibrahim Kuroko, Wahab Ozuwaya, Mumuni, Baba, Itopa, Aloma, Aje, Daddy Ozi Eti, Momoh  Jimoh Yakubu, Gwancy Adino Jimoh, Shuaibu Muhammed and Otori Jimoh were responsible for the destruction of her election materials and beating of her supporters in Kogi State.

Entitled “The destruction of Our Candidate’s campaign posters, banners, billboards, intimidation of our members and destruction of our gatherings, Akpoti gave details of how APC candidate and supporters destroyed her billboards and posters.

She accused the APC senatorial candidate, Alhaji Yakubu Oseni , Ojo Egbo, Wahab Ozuwaya, Onujabo Idanuha, Abdulmumuni  Jegenyi, Adavize Jagaban, Dollar Igayi and Ajinodu Ojo of removing and destroying her campaign materials and chasing her supporters away from the venue of their meetings.

“On Sunday, December 9, 2018, some hoodlums closely associated with the Adavi Local Government Administrator, Hon Joseph Salami stormed the venue of our ward meeting at Alhaji Badams Compound, Inorere in Adavi Local Government Area with arms and ammunitions. They chased our members with their weapons, stoned some of the women, set ablaze the plastic chairs they were seated on and destroyed some properties belonging to our coordinator and host, Mr Badams Abdulrahaman. This happened in the presence of four policemen after we have written officially to the Divisional Police Officer to notify him of the meeting in our letter dated December 7, 2018 which was acknowledged and the same notification was conveyed to the Area Commander in charge of Adavi Local Government” she said.

Akpoti also accused Abdulraheem Ozovehe, Kamuche, Liedown, Ocha, Dollar, Sule Director, Fatai Commander, Okenykenyi, OZ, Ogunje, Ahi, Mado, Tutunkunu, Okubaibai, Janku, Adams Ozi Ganyi, Topgel, Adoke and Arisa of plotting to assassinate her.

“On the 22nd of September 2018, our candidate, Natasha Akpoti averted attack as APC thugs invaded Ihima Youth Summit organized by the youths of Ihima Community when hoodlums allegedly under the sponsorship of Kogi State Government aided by the Okehi Local Government Administrator invaded the Ihima Youth Summit. They destroyed some of the items prepared for the events while the organizers were putting plans together to set the venue before the arrival of their guests among which was the Ajaokuta Steel Company Advocate, Barrister Natasha Akpoti.”

The Kogi Central  SDP senatorial flag bearer recounted that “on October 22 in Okehi, a reported case was instituted by our party to the DPO and the Zonal Area Commander in charge of Kogi Central Senatorial District where our supporters {Enimire Ojo, Bello Mohammed Sadig and his wife Hajarat Adams) were beaten, maimed while Abdulazeez Abdulkareem, Abubakar Salami and Adamu Yusuf were arrested by Okehi Division Police Officers allegedly on the order of Okehi Local Government Administrator, Hon Abdulraheem Ozovehe Ohiare.

“ On subsequent days after the incident, we had some of our supporters which include Haruna Bashiru, Onimisi Ahaad, Habib Adinoyi Umar, Haruna Babana being threatened by thugs especially one Abdullahi Suleiman who is associated to the Okehi Local Government Administrator.”

Akpoti averred further that Adams Kabiru, Ismaila Kashim, Hamidu Jamiu and Ozovehe Lawal on the 30th of October invaded the residence of the Okehi LG SDP Chairman, Hon James Segun Onimisi.

“They issued threats of unleashing mayhem on him and his family. They also destroyed Akpoti’s banner while shouting songs of war against anybody who identifies with Akpoti. On the 20th of October, some police officers in company of Ismaila Kashim and APC Obeiba ward 1 chairman, Abdulwahab Koto allegedly under the instruction of the Okehi LG Secretary, Hon Ibrahim Sheidu came to remove the banner of the SDP candidate on the claim that the banner was mounted too close to the venue of the APC Obeiba Ward 1 meeting.”

“One Ajinodu Ojo led his gang to destroy Akpoti’s banner mounted opposite Ihima Community Secondary School Street, Obeiba Ihima, Okehi LGA. On December 2, some alleged APC armed thugs attacked the women wing of the Akpoti Campaign Organization during their weekly ward meeting at Enyi Dudu Primary School, Ebogodo”

She advised that the ruling party in the state should write undertaking on peaceful campaign and elections.

“That henceforth, the APC agents and other political parties should be refrained from tampering with SDP/Natasha campaign materials and rallies or any other constitutional gatherings of our members and supporters.

The senatorial hopeful urged security agents to hold Kogi State Government and Alhaji Yakubu Oseni responsible for whatever happens to her and SDP faithful in the state.”

She also urged the Inspector General to investigate the actions of these APC chieftains and bring them to book.

Source: Henry Ovie

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Atiku Abubakar Worried over Lingering Impasse bw Labour and FG

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The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar has expressed worry over the lingering industrial impasse between the Federal Government and labour unions in critical sectors of the country.

In particular, the former Vice President expressed his worry about the “deadlock between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), which is altering the future of our youths and putting families under undue pressure.”
Atiku said he had already “set out templates to handle all related issues and ensure an end to incessant labour crisis, ensure industrial harmony and greater productivity in all sectors, immediately he is elected into office as President.”
The Waziri of Adamawa’s worries were conveyed by the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation and was contained in a statement signed by the party’s spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, yesterday.
The statement reads, “Knowing the importance of education and youth development to national cohesion, stability, development and economic prosperity, Atiku Abubakar has already articulated a clear and practical roadmap towards resolving all issues hampering education in Nigeria in his policy document, which
embodies the aspiration and wishes of all Nigerians in their overall productive ventures.
“Our candidate has made ample provisions for enhanced welfare packages, research grants, better teaching and learning environment as well as a strong synergy between the union and government towards a harmonious working environment.
“We, therefore, urge Nigerians not to despair but to continue to rally behind Atiku Abubakar in the all-important mission of rescuing our nation from the misrule of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) administration, which has shown gross incompetence and insensitivity to the plight of Nigerians

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Amnesty International Tasks ICC on Atrocities of Book Haram Insurgency

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The Amnesty International on Monday called on the International Criminal Court to start a full-blown investigation into atrocities committed on the course of the war against the Boko Haram insurgency.
The organization accused the Nigerian government of failing to bring those responsible to justice.
ICC chief prosecutor, Fatma Bensouda, in her latest annual report claimed that Nigeria appeared not to have taken “concrete steps” towards investigating the allegations.
She claimed there appeared to be a “tangible prospect” of proceedings against Boko Haram members but not against troops “since the Nigerian authorities tend to deny any allegation”.
But Amnesty International suggested Abuja was keeping her “in limbo” by giving the impression of domestic action but in reality doing very little.
“Eight years since the opening of the preliminary examination and faced with the continuing commission of crimes under international law and the possibility of a never-ending preliminary analysis, it is time for the OTP (Office of the Prosecutor) to open a formal investigation in Nigeria,” it said.
Amnesty said Nigeria had failed to meet its obligations under international law to investigate and prosecute crimes as part of the ICC’s preliminary examination.
“It is in the interests of both the OTP and Nigeria to demonstrate that serious steps are being taken to cure Nigeria’s inability or unwillingness to bring perpetrators to justice. Above all, it is in the interest of victims,” it said

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