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Chieftaincy Tussle: Ubah, Soludo In War Of Words Over Suspension Of Monarch

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By Chuks Eke

The senator representing Anambra South senatorial zone, Senator Dr Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah, has reacted to the suspension of the traditional ruler of Neni, a community in Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra state, saying that the suspension order was politically motivated.

A suspension letter by Anambra State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Tony Collins Nwabunwanne had accused HRM Igwe Damian Ezeani of not seeking clearance from the state government before bestowing titles on deserving sons of Anambra.

The monarch had, during the Yuletide, conferred on Senator Ifeanyi Ubah the title of Odenjinji of Neni.

Reaching the development, Ubah, in a statement made available to newsmen by his Head of Media and Strategic communications, Hon. Kamen Chuks declared: “The entire game is all about politics. Soludo is frustrated by my rising popularity. I’m not the only person to receive a chieftaincy title. Former Chief of Army Staff Buratai was honoured within the same period; Vice President Kashim Shettima was also honoured; Mr. President was honoured in absentia. Why is my own different?”

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“The governor is frustrated by my rising political profile, acceptance, and popularity; he is jittery about the next governorship election, but I leave him to his conscience.”

Ubah had in October 2023, defected from the Young Progressives Party, YPP, to the All Progressives Congress, APC. He was later received into the party in December, alongside another popular grassroots politician, Senator Uche Ekwunife. This action set off an alarm about a possible alliance between the two to unseat Soludo in the 2025 governorship election.

This may have sparked some emotions among members of the ruling All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, and the state government.

Anambra is one of the states that holds off-season elections. Its governorship election would be due in 2025.

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West African Traditional, Faith Leaders, Others Gather In Abuja To Combat SGBV

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First class and respected traditional rulers in attendance

Traditional and faith leaders from across West Africa, government officials, and international organisation representatives have gathered in Abuja for the first Annual High-Level GBV Prevention Summit.

Many forms of gender-based violence in Africa are justified by culture and tradition. Violence against women and girls is perpetuated by harmful gender norms and practices that stem from traditional customs and religious misconceptions.

Traditional and religious leaders’ authority and platforms are thought to be useful in addressing the root causes of GBV, such as patriarchy and gender stereotypes, by mobilising communities to effect change. Recognising this, UN Women, with support from the Ford Foundation, organised a GBV prevention summit to assess the accomplishments of leaders in their respective jurisdictions and provide a forum for sharing critical and inspirational insights.

Ms. Beatrice Eyong, UN Women Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, expressed her heartfelt gratitude to the Ford Foundation for their unwavering support for the Traditional and Cultural Leaders for Ending GBV by Advancing Advocacy, Policy, and Social Norms Change in Nigeria and West Africa (LEAP) programme.

She emphasised that this initiative recognises the critical role of traditional and religious leaders in challenging harmful social norms that perpetuate GBV, particularly violence against women and girls.

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She emphasised the importance of challenging societal norms that condone violence, pointing to Africa’s rich cultural heritage while acknowledging the need to confront practices that violate human rights and dignity. Ms. Eyong also emphasised the pervasive nature of GBV, stating that “GBV is not just against our women and girls; it is also against our economic growth, stability, and emergence to become a continent that has everything it needs to be great and prosperous.”

His eminence, Alhaji (Dr) Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, the Sultan of Sokoto and President General of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, also spoke at the event and urged traditional and religious rulers to work together to end all harmful practices against women and girls, saying, “We are 100% behind you in this fight.

His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, the Ooni of Ife, reiterated his commitment, urging traditional rulers to ensure that the summit is outcomes are implemented in their respective communities.

Mr. Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation, who was also present at the summit, emphasised the importance of continuing to invest in GBV prevention in order to create a more equitable society for Nigerian women and girls. Mr. Walker was also recognised as a He4She for his efforts to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in Nigeria and West Africa.

Despite some progress, disparities persist, with West Africa experiencing high rates of child marriage and female genital mutilation. To put an end to violence against women and girls, radical shifts in mindset are required, which can be accomplished through dialogue and knowledge sharing among distinguished leaders from Nigeria, Niger, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Ghana.

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The summit is an important milestone in the ongoing fight against GBV in Nigeria and throughout West Africa. It builds on the momentum of previous initiatives such as the Spotlight Initiative and the LEAP project, focusing on improving traditional leaders’ skills and partnerships to prevent and shift harmful social norms and practices.

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Emir Of Kano Prays For Peace, Stability In Nigeria, West Africa

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Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, the Emir of Kano, has prayed for peace and stability in Nigeria and throughout the West African region.

The Emir offered the prayer when Senator Barau Jibrin, the Deputy President of the Senate and Acting Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, led the delegation from the regional legislative arm to his Palace as a courtesy.

The Emir thanked the parliamentarians for their visit and prayed for a successful extraordinary session of the parliament.

The Emir, while thanking the Senate’s Deputy President for arranging for the session to be held in Kano, urged parliamentarians to explore business opportunities in the state.

Senator Jibrin stated during the visit that Kano was chosen for the second extraordinary session to bring the ECOWAS Parliament closer to the people.

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He stated: “This will bring the ECOWAS Parliament closer to the people on the ground. It will also provide a platform for interactions and business relationships. Our founding fathers envisioned ECOWAS as a way to bring us together.

“The emir is the guardian of our traditions and religion. We are here to seek his blessings and express our admiration for the emirate and the emir. “Your Royal Highness, we also ask for your prayers for the event’s success,” he said.

The extraordinary session has been called to consider and approve the rule of procedure and strategic plan for the sixth legislature, as well as the 2024 work programme.

Parliamentarians from 12 countries, including Nigeria, Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote D’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and the Republic of Togo, are attending the parliament’s second extraordinary session.

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Innovation Interventions To Be Adopted At NESREA, Says Barikor

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Dr. Innocent Bariate Barikor, the Director General of NESREA, has stated that he will implement innovative interventions to address the country’s environmental problems.

Dr. Barikor made the promise on Monday while speaking to the agency’s management and staff on his first day in office in Abuja.

He stated, “We will deepen the mandate of this Agency, explore the full potentials of the NESREA Establishment Act 2007 (as amended), and ensure we provide more innovative approaches, so that we use the opportunity given to us to do the right thing, not just for ourselves, but for the nation and posterity.”

“We will increase our capacity for public orientation, increase revenue generation for the government, and collaborate with our external partners to achieve the Agency’s mandate,” he stated.

Barikor thanked the President and Commander – in- Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu (GCFR) for the confidence reposed in him, and assured that under his administration, the Agency, will exceed expectations of Nigerians in terms of safeguarding the environment.

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The NESREA boss also urged the Agency’s management and staff to collaborate with him in realising the vision of a clean and healthy environment for all Nigerians, which is consistent with President Ahmed Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda.

While handing over to Dr. Barikor, the Director, Inspection and Enforcement, Mr. Abdusalam Isa pledged the support of the Management and Staff for the new Director General.

Dr. Innocent Bariate Barikor was appointed the 4th Director General of NESREA by the President. Barikor thanked the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu (GCFR), for his trust in him and promised that under his administration, the Agency would exceed Nigerians’ expectations in terms of environmental protection.

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