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Lagos predicts 261 days of rain, moves against disasters

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By Dada Jackson

Lagos residents will experience normal rainfall of between 238 days and 261 days this year, the state government has said.

It also stated that adequate measures had been put in place to protect lives and property during the rainy season.

The state Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tunji Bello, who stated this during a press briefing on the 2021 Seasonal Climate Predictions at Alausa, Ikeja, disclosed that the maximum annual rainfall for this 2021 was predicted to be 1,747mm.

Bello maintained that the state government was set to ensure a flood-free and hygienic environment during the season.

The commissioner threatened to shut markets that continued to flout sanitation laws put in place to ensure that refuse was not indiscriminately dumped into the drains.

He said the state was collaborating with the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET) not only in the areas of annual seasonal climate prediction but also in averting devastating effects of unfavourable climate.

The commissioner added that the state had concluded preparation to have its own network of weather stations to closely monitor the climate as well as increase the preparedness for weather related issues.

Bello said the seasonal climate prediction for Lagos State indicated onset dates that ranged between March 17 and April 6, while the season ending was predicted to be between November 30 and December 5, 2021.

According to him, Ikeja is expected to experience about 261 days of rainfall with a total amount of 1,392mm and the rainfall onset date of March 17 as it already witnessed while the cessation date was expected to be 3rd of December, 2021.

“Lagos Island has had a rainfall onset date of 6th April, while its cessation date is expected to be 30th of November. It is also expected that Lagos Island would have about 238 days of rainfall and about 1627mm of rainfall this year.

“It is also expected that the increasing frequency of extreme weather events indicate that year 2021 would likely experience days with extremely high rainfall amounts which may result in flooding,” he said.

Bello restated that the Emergency Flood Abatement Gangs (EFAG) of the ministry had been consistently de-silting and working on various linkages to the secondary and primary channels to enable them discharge efficiently and act as retention basins.

He said in order to forestall the incidence of collapse of telecommunication masts, occasioned by high velocity of the wind, expected during the onset and cessation of every rainfall, Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA) had been put on alert to ensure advertising and communication agencies comply with regulations on safety of billboards and telecommunication masts.

He added that all emergency agencies, traffic management agencies and other emergency related outfits had been put on the alert to assist in reducing the negative impact of thunder storm associated with rainfall across the state.

Bello disclosed further that government was determined to maintain the long-established synergy and partnership with Ogun-Oshun River Basin Authority which had ensured control and monitoring of the steady and systemic release of water from Oyan Dam to prevent flooding of the downstream reaches.

He emphasized that the government would ramp up their enlightenment and advocacy efforts to sensitize and advise communities in coastal and low-lying wetland areas of the State, to move  upland when the need arises so as to avert needless loss of lives and property.

He enjoined journalists to partner government in sensitizing Lagosians residing along flood plains of major rivers and drainage channels such as Owode, Iwaya, Makoko, Badia, Ijora, Isaalu, Pota and Shibiri to always be on the alert and ready to move to higher grounds when the need arose, adding that they would be duly notified at the appropriate time.

Disclosing that it was natural to have flashfloods, which would percolate or drain off quickly, as was the case in different parts of the world, the commissioner said only when flood remains on the roads for several hours and days that flooding could be reported.

Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor on Drainage Services and Water Resources, Joe Igbokwe, who was also part of the briefing informed of government’s plans to dredge about 221 collector drains, 32 primary channels measuring about 72km spread across the 20 local government areas of the state to check flooding.

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Court orders arrest of Kano APC chairman Abbas over threat, utterances

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Abdullahi Abbas.

A Federal High Court in Kano has granted an order for the investigation, arrest and prosecution of All Progressives Congress, APC, chairman Abdullahi Abbas.

The party stalwart is accused of threat to life, disruption of peace and hate speeches in a suit filed by Mahmoud Lamido.

The Kano indigene, through his counsel Bashir Yusuf Muhammad, told the court that Abbas, in a phone call, insinuated that he would kill him (sai na batar da kai).

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In the Certified True Copy seen by DAILY POST, Justice S. A. Amobeda adjourned to the 16th of February to monitor compliance.

The New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP, in Kano has described the ruling as “a milestone achievement” for democracy.

Campaign spokesperson, Sanusi Bature said Abbas had been a subject of public discourse due to his utterances that could jeopardise peace.

Bature hinted it was the second time a court ordered the Commissioner of Police to arrest and prosecute the APC leader for alleged violence, intimidation and threat.

“We hope this will serve as a lesson to any politician who chooses the way of violence than promoting peace in Kano and Nigeria,” he noted.

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MSSN calls for prosecution of teachers, others harassing hijab-wearing students

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The Muslim Students Society of Nigeria, Lagos State Area Unit, has recommended heavy sanctions including prosecution of school administrators harassing students wearing hijab.

It also urged all its female members to be courageous to wear the hijab to schools despite the harassment and victimisation by some schools.

The Amirah (female president) for the unit, Azeezah Gidigbih, made the call in her 2023 World Hijab Day address, adding that government should sack and prosecute any defaulting teacher or principal.

The World Hijab Day is marked globally on February 1st to celebrate women wearing hijab and discourage discrimination.

Gidigbih said the theme of this year’s WHD, ‘Progression not Oppression’, reflected the situation of hijab-wearing students in Nigeria.

“Just like yesterday, we jubilated when the Supreme Court after a legal tussle of about 10 years granted us victory over the use of hijab in schools.

“Indeed, we are making progress. Our efforts are yielding positive results and we won’t rest until we achieve 100% compliance on the use of hijab by our members,” she added.

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While threatening to sue anyone found harassing students and denying them their rights to use the hijab in schools, Gidigbih challenged the Lagos State Government to publicly sanction any erring principal or teacher.

Gidigbih, who appreciated the Lagos State Government for issuing a circular to permit hijab in public schools, lamented the continuous harassment of its members in hijab after the Supreme Court judgment and the state government’s circular last year.

She said,  “It is no longer news that in June 2022, the Supreme Court approved for students to use the hijab in all schools. This move has however not deterred some overzealous school administrators who still throw caution to the wind and harass students without regard for the constitution and directives from their employers.

“We recommend that they should be demoted, sacked, prosecuted and jailed instead of just being transferred as witnessed in recent cases. These disobedient elements don’t deserve to be in our education system in Lagos State.

“While we are not against students conforming to school rules and regulations on dress code, we will not allow the effect of the Supreme Court judgment to be watered down and rendered worthless.”

She also hailed the recent appointment of a hijabi Dr Shareefah Adejoke Yusuf as the Tutor-General/Permanent Secretary, Education District VI by the Lagos State Government.

“Just like every other year, the issues are the same. Muslimahs have shown over time that a whole lot can be achieved with the hijab and like others, we should be allowed to show our capabilities.

“Worthy of note is the recent appointment of a hijabi Dr Shareefah Adejoke Yusuf as the Tutor-General/ Permanent Secretary, Education District VI by the Lagos State government. This is an affirmation that the hijab is not a limiting factor to the success of any individual. We commend the Lagos State for this move and we are certain of more success in the nearest future with more innovation and achievements by other hijabis,” she stated.

On the theme of this year’s World Hijab Day, the MSSNLagos female head commended its members who have weathered the storm at various levels and become successful in their chosen career paths.

She also thanked Muslim lawyers, teachers, rights groups, imams,  and others who defended the rights of Muslim students under the leadership of Amir Miftahudeen Thanni.

Gidigbih, however, urged all stakeholders to encourage students and workers who had chosen to use the hijab and give them equal opportunities to learn and grow to further build the society.

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Gunmen bomb Anambra INEC office, police station, kill boy

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Gunmen on Wednesday attacked a police station and an Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office in Anambra State with improvised explosive devise.

A residential building located inside the police station in Nnobi, Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State, was also attacked leading to the death of a 16-year-old boy with a 15-year-old girl sustaining gunshot wounds.

The boy was said to be a relative of a serving policeman in the attacked police station.
The state police command’s spokesperson, DSP Toochukwu Ikenga, confirmed the incident, saying the attack occured at about 1:45am on Wednesday.
According to him, the attackers came in large number in four Toyota Sienna vehicles.
He said in a statement that the command had made heavy deployment of security personnel around the state to forestall further attacks in other places.
He said, “Anambra State Police Command today 1/2/2023 has reinforced security deployment in the state, following an attack on the INEC office in idemili south, Ojoto and Nnobi Police Station.
“The hoodlums came in their numbers by 1:45 am today 1/2/2023, with four unmarked Sienna vehicles, armed with IEDs, petrol bombs and other explosives.
“They invaded the INEC office, the police station and the residential building in the station. Unfortunately, one boy aged 16 years, a relative of a serving policeman in the station, was murdered by the armed men, while the other, a female aged 15 years old sustained a gunshot injury. She has been taken to the hospital where she is receiving treatment.”

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