An international human development organisation, MacArthur Foundation has awarded N800 million grant to 11 human rights groups working on issues concerning the original inhabitants of the Federal Capital Territory in Abuja.
But the Resource Centre for Human Rights and Civic Education has awarded its N80 million to Mairo Women Foundation Ushafa for the promotion of awareness of cultural treasures for FCT original inhabitants.
The Executive Director of CHRICED, Dr. Ibrahim Zikirullahi, told when he led his team of to the Pottery Centre.
MacArthur Foundation supports creative people, effective institutions and influential networks building a more just, verdant and peaceful world.
Zikirullahi said, “N80,000,000 was awarded by CHRICED to Mairo Women Foundation Ushafa to promote awareness of cultural treasures for FCT original inhabitants. The specific objectives of the project are to revamp the dying cultural values, treasures, and repositories through pottery, crafts, visual arts, festivals and other cultural forms of the FCT original inhabitants.
“The N80,000,000 is part of N800,000,000 award to 11 organisations and groups working on FCT original inhabitant issues by CHRICED, with support of MacArthur Foundation. The grant is for two years from October 1, 2021 until September 30 2023.”
During the visit, stakeholders urged government to urgently intervene to save the facility from total collapse.
Zikirullahi described the facility as an important means of survival for a number of the original inhabitants of Abuja, especially women.
He said, “We are talking about a pottery Centre that is behind the biggest water dam in the FCT yet the potters suffer acute shortage of water supply without no provision of pipe-borne water or borehole systems.
“Besides water, lack of access to steady electricity and raw clay is a major challenge for the centre.
“It’s also appalling that even in the 21st century every process in the facility is manually done, and we feel very strongly that if the government really wants to support, there are so many things that they can do to help.
“We, therefore, call on the government at all levels to come to the aid of the Ushafa Pottery Centre and ensure that the modern gadgets they need to do their work effectively and sustainably are provided for them.”
A retired manager of the Pottery Centre, Tanko Dako, lamented the lack of modern equipments especially a functional kiln in the center, describing pottery making as a profitable and sustainable business.
He said, “Even with the deplorable state of the centre, a potter can produce 150 beer mugs each day, and if they are all sold for N2,000 each, that would be a huge source of income for the artist.
“So, we can only imagine what economic impact the pottery centre can have on the livelihood of the people when the facility is in perfect shape and production is scaled to a mass level using modern technology.”
The Executive Director of Mairo Women Foundation, Maryam Barnabas, said that the facility was gradually descending into a shadow of its former self due to negligence.
She told government to swiftly intervene to save the centre from complete decadence.
While commending CHRICED for its intervention, Barnabas said that the goal of the project was to empower indigenous women with artistic skills for producing various pottery works of value and aesthetics.
According to her, about 10 new functional pottery centres would be established in various parts of the FCT in the two years.
I’ll release Bayelsa commissioner when police free my father, says kidnapper
abductors of the Bayelsa State Commissioner for Industry, Trade and Investment, Federal Otokito, have contacted the paramount ruler of his community, Otuokpoti, in the Ogbia Local Government Area of the state.
Otokito’s assailants, believed to be operators of illegal crude oil refinery, also known as ‘kpofire’, had stormed his residence in the community on Thursday night and grabbed him from his bedroom at gunpoint into a waiting speedboat at the waterside and sped away.
They were said to have kidnapped Otokito for opposing their plan to set up an illegal crude oil refinery in the community’s forest.
learnt that the kidnappers’ leader called the community chief on the phone and informed him that the commissioner was in their custody.
But they were yet to contact the victim’s family more than 48 hours after they took him away to an unknown place.
A family source, who spoke in confidence on Saturday, said the kidnappers’ leader called the traditional ruler at about 5:30am on Saturday.
According to the source, the camp leader did not demand any ransom but stated that they would release Otokito only on the condition that his detained father was released by the police.
The source said, “They’ve not contacted the family but the actor (leader) called the paramount ruler that he actually did the kidnapping and the commissioner is with him.
“He called the paramount ruler at about 5:30am but did not demand ransom. The only seeming demand he placed is that his father held by the police should be freed. He threatened to come back to the community if his demand was not met.”
Before the incident, the gang leader had reportedly approached Otuokpoti community and held a meeting with some elders and youths, where he sought to set up an illegal bunkering camp around the community’s bush.
He and his men allegedly sealed the understanding reached at the meeting by providing bags of rice, lives goats and cash gifts, among other items.
However, Otokito got wind of the meeting and headed to the village and vowed that as a serving commissioner, he would not allow any illegitimate oil refinery to operate in the area.
He was said to have also confronted the leader of the gang and warned them to stay away from the forest, threatening to expose them if they attempted to carry out their nefarious business.
Apparently angered by the commissioner’s decision to abort their illicit plan, the armed oil thieves were said to have stormed Otokito’s house at about 11pm on Thursday and gained entrance through the kitchen.
Kidnappers collected N3m ransom, killed my daughter, buried her in shallow grave – Dad
Shuaibu Wa’alamu, father of an eight-year-old girl, Asma’u, allegedly abducted and killed by his neighbour in Zaria, Kaduna State, lamented how his daughter was killed by her abductors despite collecting N3m as ransom.
This is coming on the heels of the abduction and subsequent killing of a five-year-old Hanifa Abubakar in Kano by her teacher after collecting N6m ransom.
Asmau, who was said to have spent 42 days in the hands of her abductors was said to be kidnapped by one of their neighbours on the 9th of December, 2021, according to her father.
She (Asmau) was found killed by her abductors after collecting N3m from the parent.
The story which was first broken by a friend of the father, one Musa Ahmed, shared by Hausa Fulanii on Instagram, hinted that the little girl was kidnapped while on her way to buy a recharge card.
... read, “My friend’s daughter, an eight-year-old girl, had been kidnapped on her way to buy a recharge card in our neighbourhood.
“She was for the past 42 days with her abductors who demanded the sum of N3m which was given to them, but sadly, they killed the girl eventually.”
“It was said that perhaps the girl recognised her abductor who happens to be residing close to their house. In fact, she was playing with his kids almost everyday.
“They called her father demanding for additional money which he obliged and sent someone with the money.
“In the event of waiting for them, the guy was so furious because of the cool weather at night. He called the father and informed him he hasn’t seen anyone yet.
“Then, the father called the number and asked them to tell him the truth if they have killed the girl. Lo and behold, they said, they have killed and buried her in a shallow grave, four days ago.”
Speaking with newsmen in Zaria on Saturday, Wa’alamu said her daughter was abducted on December 9, 2021 and he immediately reported the case to the police after failure to return her daughter return home.
He said after some days, the abductors reached out to the family and first demanded a ransom of N15m which was negotiated and N2m was given to the abductors.
According to him, the hoodlums later called and demanded for another N1.045m as condition for releasing the little girl.
He declared, “My daughter was abducted on the 9th of December and when she failed to return home, I lodged a formal complaint with the police.
“After some days, the abductors began to call my number and demanded N15m. But we negotiated and I first gave them N2m.
“They collected the money in Rigasa area of Kaduna. Later, they called me again and demanded for another N1.045m as the only condition to release my daughter. I did not argue. But I gave the money to them.
“However, after paying the ransom as demanded on the 19th of January, they called me to tell me they killed her and switch off the phone. You see, from the initial stage, I was following her abductors and doing their bidding because of the fear of losing her. Now, they have killed her.
“I know those who abducted her and killed her. They are around us. I have strong evidence. I have told the police. And they are on it. In fact, the suspects have been arrested.”
However, the Kaduna State Police Command had yet to confirm the incident as there was no response from the state police command’s spokesman, Mohammed Jalige, when contacted as of the time of filing this report.
Alumni of Osun schools pump in N2Billion: Governor Oyetola
By Dorcas Elusogbon/Ile-Ife
Gov. Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun said his administration has attracted over N2 billion in alumni contributions across the state since the review of education policy.
Oyetola, who was represented by Folorunso Oladoyin, Commissioner for Education, made the disclosure on Saturday at the 60th anniversary of St. John’s Grammar School, Ile-Ife.
The event was organised by the Old Students Association at the school playing ground.Some alumni of St. John’s Grammar School Ile-Ife
“Since the reform of education policy that we carried out, we have attracted over N2 billion intervention fund from old students across the state.
“We thank you for your quick intervention in the structural renewal of your school infrastructures.
“We are immensely grateful that you heeded our call for a partnership between the government and all stakeholders in the education sector to move education to the next level.
“Our vision is to deliver 21st-century education that will make our student to be globally competitive, we realise that the four legs on which education stands like a table must corporate and work together.
“I agree with the Lord bishop on the level of rot in public education, it has been cumulative over the years and the improvement will not be a sudden flight, it will be gradual steps.
” We have introduced policies that are impacting education which will attract public schools to the middle and upper class,” he said.
The Chairman of Organising Committee of the Anniversary, Mr Gbenga Adefaye, said the association was not happy with the way the past administration practically destroyed education by centralising schools in Osun.
Adefaye, however, commended the governor for restoring the name, uniform and collaborated with stakeholders to transform the school.
In his benediction, Bishop of Osogbo Diocese, Catholic Church, Lord Bishop John Oyejola, charged government to revamp public education for the sake of the common man since politicians no longer send their children to public schools.
”We went to public school and we had quality education. Today, those in government do not send their children to public schools, but missionary or private schools.
“It is unfortunate that the Europeans came and planned a good future for us, but we cannot replicate same for our children.
“We must rise for the youths. The building built by government are already dilapidated while those built by missionary still stand. We must learn to begin to do the right thing for the benefit of the youths,” he said.
Also, Sen. Babajide Omoworare, Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly (Senate) to President Muhammadu Buhari, said that SJOBA has set the pace by contributing to restore the lost glory of the school.
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