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CSOs float network on conflict prevention, peace-building in Nigeria



CSOs float network on conflict prevention, peacebuilding in Nigeria

Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have formed a network to foster collaborative efforts toward conflict prevention and peacebuilding across communities.

The network — Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflicts (GPPAC), is working through 15 regional networks
across the world to prevent violent conflicts and build peaceful societies.

Mr Rafiu-Adeniran Lawal, the Regional Representative of GPPAC, West Africa, made this known at the GPPAC Nigeria inaugural meeting on Wednesday in Abuja that the meeting is focusing on “The Role of Civil Societies in Fostering Peace, Security and Social Cohesion.”

Lawal said that the event’s theme was chosen to encourage synergy among members toward finding solutions to the
plethora of peace and security threats across the country.

According to him, GPPAC seeks a world where violence and armed conflicts are prevented and resolved by peaceful means based on justice, gender equity, sustainable development, and human security for all.

“As the Regional Representative of GPPAC West Africa, I am committed to driving the decentralisation of GPPAC within the region, mobilising civil society organisations for peacebuilding and ensuring that members take ownership of the network.

“We will establish and set up GPPAC national networks in all West African countries.

“We have had considerable successes in Niger Republic, Ghana, and Senegal, where National Focal Points have been appointed.

“The purpose of the national networks is to strengthen the agency and capacity of actors to foster collaborative efforts toward conflict prevention and peacebuilding across communities in West Africa.”

Lawal listed the three main priority areas that would guide the GPPAC West Africa network agenda in accordance with the strategic framework to include locally led peacebuilding, women and youth peace and security.

He said conflict-sensitive approach to climate-related risks and other emerging threats would also be given adequate attention.

He added that GPPAC’s main functions by the International Steering Group are: promoting acceptance of conflict prevention, support for regional efforts to raise awareness regarding the effectiveness of conflict prevention and undertake parallel efforts at the global level.

He said others include mobilising CSOs’ early response action to prevent conflicts, supporting CSOs in developing capacity to contribute to early warning systems, and intervening effectively in impending crises.

He said that GPPAC would mobilise coordinated CSOs responses based on early warning of impending conflict escalation; and pressure governments, regional organisations, and the UN system to respond to early warning information in response to regional requests.

Prof. Charles Ukeje, Professor of International Relations at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, said CSOs add value to government work by providing timely information and insights into conflicts.

Ukeje said CSOs also serve as early warning givers to government and other stakeholders, and act as intermediaries between states and the society.

He, therefore, urged government to see CSOs as partners in progress, adding that “when government sees CSOs as active collaborators and stakeholders in the maintenance of peace and security, the approach would be different.”

Ukeje also urged CSOs not to portray themselves as oppositional elements but collaborate with government to build bridges.

Dr Nasir Sani-Gwarzo, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development,
commended GPPAC for the initiative.

Represented by Mrs Agnes Aneke, the Director, Special Duties, Sani-Gwarzo said armed conflicts destroy societies, causing hunger, health challenges, displacement, destitution and underdevelopment.

He said “stability and unity are essential for any nation embarking on development process and one of the keys to achieving this is the development of strategies for the prevention of violence in all its forms.

“The case of nations such as Liberia, Sierra-Leone, Rwanda, and Sudan to mention a few, calls for reflection on the causative factors of violence that led to the armed conflicts, devastating impacts, and post-war consequences on these nations.

“There is need to remind ourselves of the essence of peace and national cohesion as the only ways to guarantee economic growth and stability.

“We must orient our young ones on the core values of tolerance and respect for one another.”


LUTH denies late doctor worked 72-hour call duty



The management of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, has denied allegations that one of its house officers, Dr Michael Umoh, died after a 72-hour call.

This is contained in a statement issued by LUTH management team in Lagos on Thursday.

“LUTH management understands the fact that the family of Dr Umoh is presently mourning the death of their beloved son and requested the foreclosure of any media engagement regarding the death of their son. It is important for us as a management to make clarifications regarding the circumstances surrounding his death.

“Dr Umoh died on Sept 17 while in church with his parents. The management was informed, and the death was later confirmed by one of the Consultants in his unit (Neurosurgery).

“The death of Dr Umoh is unfortunate but the narrative of a 72 hours non-stop shift is false.

“The record from Neurosurgery unit shows that the last time he was on call was 13th and 14th September, 2023.

“He was not on call on the 15th, 16th and 17th (the day he died), contrary to the insinuations on social media. He was at home with his parents on Sept. 16 and Sept. 17,” the management said.

Prior to this time, the management said, he was on call on the Sept. 7 and Sept. 8.

”This shows that Dr Umoh was on call for a total number of four days in September, 2023.

“A delegation from LUTH visited the family on Wednesday to commiserate with the family and to get more details of the circumstances surrounding his death.

“The parents gave the details of what they thought must have contributed to his death but pleaded that the wish of the family be respected and that the narrative is not for public consumption,” it said.

The management described Dr Umoh as a hardworking and diligent house-officer, and a very promising young man.

It said he will be sorely missed by his friends and colleagues.

“May his soul rest in peace, and may the Almighty give the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss” LUTH said.

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Abia Govt. to develop solid minerals sector



solid minerals sector

The Abia Commissioner for Information and Culture, Mr Okey Kanu, has expressed the readiness of the government to develop its solid minerals sector to enhance the economy of the state.

Kanu made this known on Monday during a press briefing on the outcome of the State Executive Council, at the Government House, Umuahia.

He said that about 17 solid minerals had been discovered in the state, adding that the government had resolved to deploy the relevant resources to explore the sector.

Kanu said that the solid minerals sector would play a vital role in boosting the internally-generated revenue of the state, going forward.

He said that the solid minerals sector of the state holds tremendous opportunities for investments and job creation, which would further boost wealth creation in Abia.

“The state government is ready to explore the array of solid minerals the state has been blessed with as a number of them have not been tapped over the years.

“This government is committed to ensuring that solid minerals are tapped.

“The idea is to provide investment opportunities, because we need investors, to provide job opportunities for the people of Abia and boost the state’s revenue base,” Kanu added.

Also, the Commissioner for Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Prof. Joel Ogbonna, said that the Abia government was working in line with the Federal Government’s agenda to transform the solid minerals sector.

Ogbonna said that the solid minerals that could be found in Abia include limestone, kaolin, gypsum, galena, bentonite clay, silica sand, black marble, copper, gold, phosphate, salt, laterite, gravel, lignite, granite, coal and magnetite.

“We want to take it a step further to go into appraisal and development to ascertain that the quantity available would be enough to attract investors.

“The Federal Government has made solid minerals a top player in terms of investments and with respect to this has outlined seven solids minerals which include limestone, coal, gold, iron ore, bitumen, lead-zinc and barite.

“When you look at the list, one can see that Abia has the top three,” he said.

The Commissioner for Transport, Mr Sunny Onwuma, said that the government had built a Computerized Vehicle Inspection Centre, aimed at ensuring road worthiness of vehicles in Abia, adding that the center would be inaugurated on Wednesday.

Onwuma said that the decision to build the center was informed by the need to take proactive steps to ensure that all vehicles plying Abia roads are road worthy as this would reduce road accidents in the state.

He said that the safety of the people of Abia was paramount to the government, saying that centre was necessary to encourage vehicle owners to ensure that their vehicles meet all the requirements for use.

Onwuma added that the cost for testing small vehicles for road worthiness at the center costs N1,700, while testing for bigger ones would cost N3,000.

The Commissioner for Works, Mr Otumchere Oti, said that the proposed expansion of Ossah-Express Tower road from four to six lanes was still on course.

Otumchere said that the necessary preparations such as payment of compensation to owners of buildings marked for demolition as a result of the road expansion, getting the road design ready, among others, were in the concluding stages for the take off of the road project.

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