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Fire Guts ECOWAS Secretariat in Abuja

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There was a fire outbreak at the Accounts and Finance department of the Economic Community of West African States Commission secretariat, Asokoro, Abuja, on Tuesday night.

It was learnt that the fire was put out by men of the Federal Fire Service shortly after.

The FFS spokesperson, Ugo Huan, could not be reached on the extent of the damage.

Officials of the commission were unavailable for comment.

An ECOWAS media officer, Oghogo Obayuwana, had yet to respond to calls and SMS.

The Punch

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UN Confirms Boko Haram Attack on Facility in Borno Town

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The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has confirmed an attack on its facility in Damasak, Borno State, on Saturday.

Humanitarian Coordinator and head of the UN mission in Nigeria, Edward Kallon, confirmed the incident in a statement shared with PREMIUM TIMES.

Mr Kallon said he was “deeply concerned about recurrent reports of violent attacks by non-state armed groups putting the lives of civilians under risks.

“Last night and through the morning, a violent attack in Damasak town, in Borno State, was reported with three international aid partners’ facilities directly targeted, set ablaze, and sustained damage.

“I continue to be concerned about the safety and security of civilians and humanitarian workers.

The top UN official strongly condemned the attack on humanitarian aid operations and facilities that are the “lifeline for people affected by violence and conflict in north-east Nigeria who are dependent on assistance to survive.”

He said humanitarian operations in Damasak to be reduced due to the violent attack.

This, he said, will “affect the support to 8,800 internally displaced people and 76,000 people in the host community receiving humanitarian assistance and protection there.”

Mr Kallon said “Civilians and aid workers, their facilities and assets should never be a target. They must always be protected and respected. I call on armed parties to observe and commit to international humanitarian law and human rights law, and ensure the protection of civilians, humanitarian property, and personnel.”

Mr Kallon had also appealed to donors and stakeholders for support in funding the nine humanitarian hubs and to the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS), which are “vital enablers of the humanitarian operations in north-east Nigeria.

“I also appeal to donors to urgently continue their support for the Humanitarian Response Plan for northeast Nigeria to provide life-saving and life-sustaining support to some 6.4 million displaced people and host communities affected by the humanitarian crisis there.”

Premium Times had earlier reported that four persons, including two soldiers, died during the attack. We also reported that a civilian residence, where a naming ceremony was taking place, was bombed by a military jet.

A source in Damasak has, however, confirmed that two women were killed in the bomb attack, which brings the death toll to at least seven.

A police source, who craved anonymity, in this report said it happened at about 5 p.m. on Saturday.

“The insurgents penetrated the town through waterside of Geidam Chuku exit.”

While the terrorists were engaging the troops of 145 Battalion at their camp, some of them were burning an NGO’S warehouse near the HUB, residence of Lawan Ali Asaga near the police station.

“They burnt the NRC resident at Fulatari ward as well as some vehicles.

“While withdrawing, they carted away an unspecified number of NGO vehicles and other civilian vehicles.

“They also looted food items worth millions of naira,” the source said.

“Meanwhile, as the result of the incident, two women and a man lost their lives and three of our troops were injured alongside many civilians that sustain different injures.”

Premium Times

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Ramadan: Look Out for New Moon, Sultan Charges Muslims

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The Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III, has advised Nigerian Muslims to look out for the crescent (moon) of Ramadan 1442AH from Monday.

Sultan Abubakar, who is the president of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) gave the directive on Sunday in a statement issued by Prof. Sambo Junaidu, Chairman, Advisory Committee on Religious Affairs, Sultanate Council, Sokoto.

“This is to inform the Muslim Ummah that Monday, April 12, which is equivalent to the 29th day of Sha’aban 1442AH shall be the day to look for the new moon of Ramadan 1442AH.

“Muslim are, therefore, requested to start looking for the crescent moon on Monday and report its sighting to the nearest District or Village Head for onward communication to the Sultan,’’ the statement read.

The Sultan prayed Allah to assist Muslims in the discharge of their religious duty.

Junaidu gave telephone numbers that could be used directly to report the sighting of the new Ramadan moon to the committee.

The numbers are 08037157100, 07067416900, 08066303077, 08036149757, 08035965322 and 08035945903.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar observed by Muslims worldwide as a month for fasting, prayer, reflection and assisting the needy.

NAN

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Food for Living: Just Begin

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By Henry Ukazu

Dear Destiny Friends,

We are familiar with the slogan of Nike, which says “Just Do It”. It sounds easy at face value, but in reality, it portends a lot. This simply means that if it is easy, everyone will be doing it. The starting point of any worthwhile endeavor or task is very tasking. It’s just like laying the foundation of a house, where a lot of concrete goes into the ground to hold the pillars.

As humans, we have so many plans, ambitions, dreams, goals, and wishes which we desire to accomplish either at a specific time or before we leave the surface of the earth. Some of us even have great vision, but the question we need to ask ourselves is, am I ready to do the needful.

It is sad to know that many of us have great ideas which follow us to the grave. If I may ask, will you be happy to go to the grave with your talent, dream, money, and the blessings God, your creator has bestowed on you? Many people don’t know they have an assignment to perform on earth, and that it is their responsibility to fulfill their purpose. However, they failed to take the bold step, and consequently remain in their comfort zone.

No doubt, the beginning of any endeavor can be challenging. Challenges come to everyone; even sailors experience waves while at sea, but they don’t give up. Challenges come to everyone both in their personal and professional lives. If you want to start a business, you definitely need funds, experience, the right people, and logistics. Even if you have the funds, you will definitely have one form of concern. You’ll quite agree with me that there’s the fear of the unknown lurking around because business on its own is at risk.

As a student, you are afraid of beginning a course/major; just begin. As a full grown adult, you have the fear of getting married. As a person who loves to travel, you are afraid of traveling due to the fear of space, height or flying; I say, just begin.

One of the reasons many of us fail to begin any task is fear. But we fail to understand that when we begin, the universe has a way of meeting us halfway. Just that you know the universe conspires with you to bring your desires into manifestation. When you speak, the walls hear your words, the ground stamps and confirms it and the air carries it. As a single man, do you have an interest in a lady, approach her, send her that message, express your thoughts to her and let her know what you think/feel about her. You may be surprised to know she likes you and maybe waiting for you to take the first step.

Let me share a secret with you; did you know that when I began to write my first book, I had no clue of what to write, but because I took the bold step of writing the topics, ideas began to flow, the more I write, read and engage with people both online and in real life, the more I began to see more concepts to incorporate into my work.

Do you know you are the solution and answer to many people’s requests, challenges, and prayers? The world has not gotten one-tenth of your ideas

Do you know that many ideas go to the coffin just because of perfection? You can never have a perfect time to begin a project, that’s why it’s necessary to take the most important step which is ‘begin’.  You’ll be surprised to know how you’ll improve in a month, year, or even a decade, when you look back.

Do you know you can literally begin an institution just by beginning a project or following up with an idea? The world celebrates Steve Jobs just because of his ingenious ideas in technology. The world celebrates Nelson Mandela because he fought for justice against the apartheid policy. Martin Luther King Jr fought against the injustices in America against the Blacks. The interesting thing about these great men is that they didn’t just conceive an idea, they took the leap of fate, and had massive follower-ship. I ask you, what are you waiting for?

It should be noted that you cannot improve on any task you haven’t started. Isn’t it true that most people learn to dance on their feet and not when they are on their chairs? That tells you, you must get up to dance if you really want to enjoy your dance. In order to run, you must stand up. So in the journey of life, you may not have everything you need, but you have all that is needed and necessary to begin just where you are. The world is literally waiting for you. Just start.

Today, I ask you, what is that task that you are feeling reluctant to start? What is that business, idea, vision, book, music, dream, passion, etc. you are feeling uneasy to begin? I say to you, just begin and see how the universe will conspire to work in your favour

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He’s a mindset coach and public speaker. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator. He’s the author of the acclaimed book Design Your Destiny – Actualizing Your Birthright To Success and President of gloemi.com. He can be reached via info@gloemi.com

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