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Dialogue not violence, solution to conflicts in Africa- Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has restated that dialogue and not any form of violence would help resolve various conflicts in Africa.

Obasanjo stated this on Monday in Abeokuta at a Youth leadership symposium with the theme “Opportunities for Peace: Roles of The Youths in Conflict Prevention in Africa” .

He said that efforts to inculcate culture of peace and security in the youth must be intensified to spur them to be at the vanguard of promoting peace rather than being used to perpetrate violence in the continent.

The programme was put together by Centre for Human Security and Dialogue in collaboration with the Institute for African Culture and International Understanding, Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library.

The programme was part of activities lined up for the 87th birthday of the former President coming up on Tuesday, March 5.

Obasanjo explained that instead of pushing forward the narratives of hatred, negative attitudes which brew conflicts and then violence, it was important to embrace love, tolerance and see peace as not negotiable for economic growth and prosperity.

He said that the youths must stand firmly against conflicts in any part of Africa and be agents of peace rather than being lured or used as agent of destabilisation.

“We must begin to bring up our youths in the culture of peace and security. The chances are where we have culture of love, we will have peace.

“The first thing to do is to inculcate in the youths the ingredients of peace which is love and fellowship.

“Look at the attributes that God gave us to have life of stability, life of peace, they are as I mentioned, kindness, mercy and forgiveness.

“All of these attributes are professed by God and he shared same with us to make life pleasant for us. But when we build negative attitudes, pull him down, then there will be problem.

“The youth must be at the vanguard of pursuing peace, they must be able to persuade those who believe that gun and violence is the way out of conflicts to have a rethink, the way out is conversation and dialogue.

“We have had our issues here during civil war; we killed ourselves mercilessly, destroyed our best facilities but we still came back to the roundtable to get the challenge resolved.

The Coordinator of the programme and former Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission, Prof. Peter Okebukola, said that the essence of the symposium was to further drive home the commitment of Obasanjo.

He emphasised that Obasanjo believed that African youths had pivotal roles to play in achieving peace across the continent.

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Lagos clampdown on illegal estate development

The Lagos State Government has clamped down on illegal estate developments around the Epe corridor of the state.

The Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Oluyinka Olumide, said this in a statement on Saturday in Lagos.

He stated that he led a special joint exercise to the axis on Thursday and Friday, based on the directive of the state executive council.

He mentioned some of the areas covered during the exercise to include: Alaro City, Okorisan, Igbodu, Molajoye, Shaala, Ketu, and Epe.

Olumide said notices were also served on estate developments such as Patriot Bay Estate, Smart City Estate, the Legend and Hilton Royal Garden.

Others are Greenland Estate, Legacy City, Isinmi Lagos, Dominion City, Topview Estate, and Ibi Alafia, among others.

He pointed out that erring estate developers were requested to visit relevant authorities to perfect their documents.

According to him, under no circumstances should any developer go ahead to start the development of estates without obtaining layout approval, planning permit, and fencing permit as may be required.

The commissioner added that the requirements were necessary to ensure the attainment of an organised, livable and sustainable built environment.

Olumide explained that layout approval was required for proper arrangement of the estate to give room for appropriate services and infrastructure, while the planning permit addressed the planning requirements on individual plots in the estate.

He urged property up-takers and buyers to be wary of investing in estates without approval, to avoid needless embarrassment from government officials.

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Police detain ADC to Fmr. Kogi Governor, Yahaya Bello

The aide-de-camp (ADC) to former Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello, has been arrested and detained by the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).

The Female police officer and others were arrested days after the former governor evaded arrest by EFCC operatives on Wednesday, April 17.

The officers were taken into custody on suspicion of aiding and abetting Bello’s escape from EFCC operatives.

The anti-graft agency had stormed Bello’s house to arrest him over allegations of money laundering and financial misconduct while in office.

The Nigeria Police Force has yet to release an official statement regarding the arrests, but police sources say the officers could face charges related to obstruction of justice or conspiracy to hinder a law enforcement operation.

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Zamfara govt suspends commandant state security outfit over allegations of poor funding

The Zamfara State Government has suspended the Commandant of the local security outfit, Community Protection Guards, CPG, Colonel Rabiu Garba (retd).

This is contained in a statement issued by the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Mallam Abubakar Nakwadahe and made available to newsmen in Gusau, the State capital.

The statement said in part, “This is to inform the general public that, Zamfara State government has suspended Colonel Rabiu Garba as Commandant of the state Community Protection Guards”.

“The suspension takes immediate effect”.

According to DAILY POST no reason for his suspension was given but it was gathered that the suspension may not be unconnected with the radio live program he granted where he accused the state government of poor funding of the Community Protection Guards.

In a radio live program at the Vision FM radio Gusau, Colonel Garba said the state government has failed to give financial support to the Protection Guards.

He lamented that since their inauguration, the state government has not provided them with any takeoff grant.

Garba also said the officials of the protection guards were paid their salary only once since they were appointed four months ago.

He said members of the Community Protection Guards have been suffering from poor funding from the state government, a situation which he said has been crippling their activities in the fight against banditry.

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