By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has announced an additional $19.3 million in support for the provision of emergency food, healthcare, water and sanitation to people in South Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Nigeria and Kenya.
Minister for Foreign Affaires, Julie Bishop MP, stated in a statement that the amount is to provide further assistance to the millions of people across Africa forced from their homes, with more than 10 million estimated to be on the verge of starvation due to ongoing conflict and widespread drought.
This new funding, the Australian government said, will bring its contribution towards the international response to conflict, drought and famine in Africa to approximately $68 million since July 2016.
More than 5.8 million people in South Sudan are in need of assistance due to conflict and acute food shortages. Australia will provide support through the International Committee of the Red Cross and the South Sudan Humanitarian Fund to help meet the food, health and protection needs of these people, the Minister said.
Australia’s funding to Uganda and Ethiopia will help these countries work with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to meet the humanitarian needs of more than 800,000 South Sudanese refugees and others fleeing conflict in the region. Our funding will also support longer term education and livelihood opportunities for refugees and their host communities.
“Our assistance will also help the World Food Programme and Red Cross meet the needs of over 7 million people at risk of starvation in northeast Nigeria due to ongoing conflict and drought, including 1.4 million acutely malnourished children.
“In Kenya, Australia’s funding through UNICEF will help to address the food and water needs of more than 2.7 million people who are affected by drought and have fled conflict in neighbouring countries.
“This new package of assistance supplements Australia’s regular funding to United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund and humanitarian organisations to respond to humanitarian crises globally, including in Africa,” the statement explained.
Experts, Others to Discuss Potential Risks in Real Estate Transactions in Lagos
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority (LASRERA) has invited critical stakeholders in the real estate market to the 3rd Real Estate Market Place Conference and Exhibition.
The two-day event will commence on December 6, 2022, at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu expected to declare it open.
According to the organisers, participants will discuss The Lagos Real Estate Emerging Markets – Mitigating Potential Risks.
They will focus on potential risks in real estate transactions, laws that protect real estate investment transactions, and policies and guidelines about Lagos State real estate sector.
Recall that on February 7, 2022, Mr Sanwo-Olu signed the LASRERA bill into law in a bid to regulate, sanitise, and protect individuals from illegal real estate transactions and fraudulent persons/organisations, monitor the activities of real estate transactions and ensure real estate transactions in the state conform to global best practices.
This conference is sponsored by a luxury property development company, The Address Homes, as part of its contribution to the growth of the real estate sector in Nigeria.
“The partnership between Address Homes and Lagos State Government on this conference and exhibition would further propel the already existing collaboration to promote integrity, professionalism, customer satisfaction and safety in the real estate industry in Nigeria,” the Marketing Manager of The Address Homes, Mr Segun Ogunbiyi, noted.
He said the company is also a major exhibitor of the programme, showcasing real estate development with a combination of high-class, contemporary architectural design and high-level finishes with respect to designs and styles that meet consumer passion, taste and comfort.
Rising Electoral Violence Cases Frighten CNPP
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has expressed concerns over the spate of attacks on facilities of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and campaign rallies across the country.
Nigerian heads to the polls in February 2023 to elect a new President, governors and lawmakers.
Ahead of the general elections, there have been pockets of violence at political rallies, with attacks on politicians and their followers becoming rampant, in a few cases, leading to death.
In a statement issued on Monday, CNPP feared that the exercise is under threat despite assurances by relevant stakeholders, including INEC, that the poll would not be shifted.
The group, in the statement signed by its Secretary General, Mr Willy Ezugwu, warned that “unless political thugs were treated as enemies of the state, the ongoing attacks on political opponents would gravely endanger the credibility of the 2023 elections.”
“Despite the recent matching orders to the security agencies by President Muhammadu Buhari, which was reiterated by the National Security Adviser (NSA) to the President, Mr Babagana Monguno, to the effect that the President has given the go-ahead to all security agencies to deal decisively with individuals or groups trying to prevent peaceful conduct of the 2023 general election, the hope of a violent free electioneering campaign may be dashed.
“Our major fear is that from the records of the federal government, as revealed by the NSA that Nigeria recorded 52 acts of political violence across 22 states in one month, between October 8 and November 9, 2022, there seems to be gross inaction on the part of security agencies, particularly the Nigeria Police Force to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators of this violence.
“Worse still, after the recent emergency meeting of the Inter-agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES), organised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Abuja, Nigerians have seen nothing but inactions by security agencies in preventing or arresting and diligently prosecuting perpetrators of the ongoing electoral violence and their sponsors.
“Every lover of Nigeria and her future knows that, as far as violent attacks on political opponents and opposing political parties in states is concerned, the situation is becoming alarming as one of the elementary security measures is crime prevention.
“For instance, last week, there was a suspected politically motivated assassination of Victoria Chintex, the Labour Party women leader in Kaura Local Government Area of Kaduna State, who was reportedly killed last Monday after gunmen invaded her residence and shot her.
“At the weekend, there were reports that the Labour Party’s rally in the Lakowe town area of Lekki, Lagos State, was visited with violence by suspected political thugs allegedly sponsored by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the area.
“In November, suspected APC supporters attacked supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate, Atiku Abubarkar, in Maiduguri, Borno State, just as on October 17, suspected thugs also disrupted the campaign train of the PDP in Kaduna State.
“In the same month of October, some supporters of the APC in Oyo State were reportedly injured in Ibadan during a campaign rally when some hoodlums in some vehicles allegedly launched an attack on the crowd.
“In Ebonyi State, a State Government sponsored security outfit, Ebubeagu, has been severally reported to have been unleashing against political opponents of the APC leadership in the state, among other several incidents of political violence in other states across the country”, the CNPP recalled.
“If truly President Muhammadu Buhari has given his directive through the NSA to all the operational intelligence and law enforcement agencies to ensure that the 2023 elections are held in an atmosphere devoid of any rancour, as the NSA has disclosed recently, why are we not seeing security agencies discouraging political thuggery in the country?
“We, therefore, call on all political party leaders at all levels to restrain their supporters both online and offline from carrying out violent activities against oppositions.
“This has become imperative as retaliations and counter-attacks by victims of the ongoing violence could degenerate the issues and worsen the current security situation in the country.
“We call on President Muhammadu Buhari, who was said to be extremely pleased with the outcome of the results of elections in Anambra, Ekiti and Osun states to ensure a repeat of such performance in 2023, both by INEC and all security agencies, including the anti-graft bodies because an election is not war”, the CNPP stated.
Greater Lagos Vanguard Endorses Sanwo-Olu for 2nd Term
By Adedapo Adesanya
A grassroots political organisation, Greater Lagos Vanguard (GLV), has commended all adherents of democracy and good governance for trooping out in their thousands in solidarity with Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, who flagged off his re-election bid for a second term in office in Lagos on Saturday, December 3.
The group has also lauded the Governor for “a successful first term tenure which has witnessed monumental development strides in various facet of governance and has endeared Mr Governor to the hearts of appreciative Lagosians who trooped out today in solidarity with him, which is an endorsement for his second term in office.”
In a statement jointly signed by its convener, Mr Nelson Ekujumi and its General Secretary, Mr Uche Nnadozie, the organisation stated that, “We feel proud and excited to proclaim that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has performed excellently well in his first time in office which is still ongoing, in line with the tradition of the excellent performance of good governance like his predecessors and the Lagos master plan of economic growth and development.”
According to GLV, Mr Sanwo-Olu has distinguished himself excellently well in the areas of governance, such as his outstanding role as the incident commander in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, which earned him local and international accolades.
“The way and manner Governor Sanwo-Olu mobilised men and resources to confront the pandemic was a turning point and testament of his quality as a servant leader, who leads from the front, and it contributed in no small measure to the success recorded by Lagos State in particular and Nigeria in general and became a global reference point,” the statement read.
The group also mentioned the infrastructural development projects of the Governor like construction, reconstruction and renovation of health institutions, roads, 21st-century model schools, ICT, agricultural tools and implements for farmers, first and last-mile buses, empowerment of transportation and traffic agencies, emergency responders fire fighting trucks and equipment, vehicles, motorbikes, APC, walkie talkie, etc for the security agencies among several others.
While commending Mr Sanwo-Olu for a job well done in his first time, it promised to mobilise Lagosians to support, canvass and vote for him on election day based on the testimonials of what he has done.
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