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Poverty, hunger responsible for warehouse looting in Abuja – Envoy



By Francesca Hangeior

A member of the United Nations Independent International Fact-Finding Mission for Sudan, Prof. Joy Ezeilo, has lamented that severe hunger and extreme poverty faced by many poor and vulnerable Nigerians are pushing people to criminal activities.

Ezeilo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and a Law Professor at the University of Nigeria stated this in a statement on Monday in reaction to the looting of the Abuja warehouse allegedly belonging to the Federal Capital Territory.

Recall that some residents of the Federal Capital Territory on Sunday looted a warehouse reportedly belonging to the National Emergency Management Agency.

She, however, reminded Nigerians that despite the current economic challenges and desperate times, stealing is still a crime, warning that anyone caught will be held accountable according to our Penal Laws.

She said, “It is disheartening to read about the looting of the Abuja warehouse belonging to FCT. The severe hunger and extreme poverty faced by many poor and vulnerable Nigerians can push them towards criminal activities. We should all be aware of this situation.

“I remember a case from 1994 where I defended a 17-year-old orphan girl on appeal. She had been sentenced to three years in prison for stealing cassava from a farm. She was hungry and desperate, yet the magistrate still applied the law.

“However, I pleaded as a Pro bono defence lawyer, then representing the Society for the Welfare of Women Prisoners (SWEWP), for her to be acquitted based on her age, being a first-time offender, and the circumstances that led her to commit the crime.”

Ezeilo, who is also the founder and Director of Women Aid Collective, a non-governmental organisation advocating the human rights of women and young people in Nigeria, however, called on government at all levels, to work in partnership with non-profit organisations and the private sector to consider implementing food banks, food stamps, and other social security and safety net options to provide food for the poor and most vulnerable across the country.

She added, “The lesson for Nigerians in these challenging and desperate times is that stealing is a crime, and if caught, you will be held accountable according to our Penal Laws. Unfortunately, the poor have limited choices and often must choose between a rock and a hard place.

“Notwithstanding, stealing and converting goods and food shouldn’t be an option. Now is the time for the government, at all levels, to work in partnership with non-profit organizations and the private sector to consider implementing food banks, food stamps, and other social security and safety net options to provide food for the poor and most vulnerable Nigerians.

“This is especially important for children, pregnant women, nursing mothers, and the elderly.”

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Reps South Wes Caucus Condemn Activities of Acclaimed Yoruba Nation Agitators



By Gloria Ikibah
The South West Caucus of the House of Representatives has condemned in strong terms the recent activities carried out by acclaimed Yoruba Nation Agitators, which have caused unrest and pose a threat to the peace and stability of our region.
This was contained in a statement signed  by Leaderof Southwest Caucus/Deputy Chief Whip, Rep. PAdewunmi Oriyomi Onanuga, Chairman, Southwest Caucus, Rep. Abiodun James Faleke and Secretary General, Southwest Caucus, Rep. Taofeek Ajilesoro on Monday in Abuja.
The statement reads: “As representatives of the people, we stand firmly against any form of unlawful behavior and violence that undermines the rule of law and the unity of our country, Nigeria. It is essential that all grievances and demands be addressed through peaceful and lawful means, respecting the rights and well-being of all citizens.
“We urge all parties involved to engage in constructive dialogue, prioritize the welfare of our people, and work towards finding peaceful and lasting solutions to any grievances,” said Rt. Hon.Dr Abiodun James Faleke, Chairman of the South West Caucus of the House of Representatives. “Violence and lawlessness have no place in our society, and we call on all individuals to uphold the principles of peace, unity, and respect for the rule of law.
“The South West Caucus remains committed to upholding the values of democracy, justice, and unity in our region and the country at large. Together, we can overcome challenges and build a better future for all”.
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How I Made A Vow 34 Years Ago Never To Watch Tv Again – Pope Francis



Pope Francis has disclosed that he made a vow 34 years ago to stop watching television.

The revered clergyman said he placed himself on the self-imposed ban after stumbling across a smutty show.

He explained that the vulgar viewing was so bad for his conscience that he had to place a TV ban on himself.

The Supreme Pontiff said he hasn’t watched the box for almost 34 years.

He said: “I was watching television in the lounge with my fellow priests.

“It was July 15, 1990, and some scenes of an adult nature, to put it delicately, were being shown — something that was not good for the heart.

“Nothing risqué, of course, but when I went back to my room, I said to myself, ‘A priest cannot look at such things.’

And so, the following day, during the mass for the feast of the Madonna del Carmelo, I vowed never to watch television again.”

His Holinesss, 87, said that one of the last things he watched properly on TV was the fall of the Berlin Wall – in 1989.

He, however, stated that there have been a couple of exceptions to his self-imposed sanction.

Speaking via his new book “Life: My Story Through History”, Pope Francis said, “Only very occasionally do I allow myself to watch: for example, when a new president is sworn in, or I watched briefly once when there had been a plane crash.

“I switched it on, too, to follow Sunday mass while I was being treated at the Gemelli University Hospital in Rome.

“But I didn’t watch the coronation of Charles III, the new British king, for example, or many other important world events. Not out of disdain, but because I made a vow.”

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Clark wants special taskforce to rescue Chibok girls



Pa Edwin Clark, Leader of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), has urged the Federal Government to appoint a special taskforce to ensure the rescue of the remaining Chibok girls held by Boko Haram

The elder statesman made the call while briefing newsmen in Abuja on Monday at a ceremony to mark the Chibok girls’ 10th anniversary in captivity.

While expressing displeasure over the failure of past administrations to rescue the girls, Clark urged President Bola Tinubu to leave no stones unturned to secure the release of the girls.

“About 90 of them are still missing after 10 years. This should be a source of worry and concern to any government.

“Tinubu should appoint a special taskforce with brave soldiers, who are competent and transparent and not nepotic.

“Their main duty will be to travel at all times to Sambisa forest or where ever these citizens are, to look for these girls and rescue them.

“In giving this advice, I also want to add that a time limit should be given to them to carry out this task.”

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