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Kaduna beggars defy El-Rufai orders, return to streets



Beggars, on Monday, returned to the streets of Kaduna, in defiance of a ban against street begging issued by the state government last Tuesday.

The state government issued a ban against street hawking and begging on major streets in the state capital and surrounding local government areas.

In a statement, the spokesperson to Governor Nasir El-Rufai, Samuel Aruwan, had said, “All beggars and hawkers are to stay off the streets until further notice. Any beggar or hawker found on the streets will be arrested until these measures are relaxed.

“The governor also reiterated that the ban on motorcycle taxis (achaba) remains in force, and that the law would be strictly enforced in this regard.”

Mr. El-Rufai announced this after a bomb blast that killed 35 people and injured many in Sabon Gari local government secretariat in Zaria.

In response to the governor’s order, the beggars on Saturday staged a protest at the National Union of Journalist secretariat in Kaduna challenging the state government over the ban. The beggars also threatened legal action against the government for alleged defamation of character and violation of their right to life.

Their leader, Abdullahi Jugunu, said, “Apart from feeling insulted, we will be seeking legal redress against the government, first for defamation of character.”

Meanwhile, a visit to major road junctions in the state on Monday showed none compliance with the order. Along Isa Kaita Road, Ahmadu Bello Way and the popular Kawo Motor Park, PREMIUM TIMES spotted beggars, hawkers and even Okada riders.

In Kawo, beggars and hawkers were carrying out their activities in full control.

One of the beggars at Kawo junction told PREMIUM TIMES that although he heard about the pronouncement by the state government, he does not intend to comply.

“I do not care about what they say,” he said. “All I know is I have to find something to eat and this is the only business I can do, begging.”

Okada riders, who had also been banned, were seen plying Unguwan Dosa, Kawo, Malali and Badarawa without fear of getting arrested or otherwise.

However, the residents of Kaduna metropolis are in full support of the government’s ban.

A community leader, Mohammed Garba, a resident of Unguwan Dosa, Kaduna insisted that the government should not hesitate in making sure that the ban is fully complied with.

“Street hawking, street begging should be stopped by all means,” Mr. Garba said. “If you want to buy anything you can go to the markets and or shops located all over the streets.

“This little children that rom around the street begging are same people that criminals use to perpetrate their bad acts. Even the old beggars and handy capped are not to be trusted because many are caught with peddling hard drugs and banned substances.”

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APPLY: WTO opens entry for 2022 young professionals programme



The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has opened applications for its 2022 Young Professional Programme (YPP).
The programme provides opportunity for young professionals to enhance their knowledge of the organisation and international trade issues.

In 2021, 14 professionals out of 2,400 candidates were selected for the programme from Bangladesh, Belize, Dominican Republic, Eswatini, Guatemala, Georgia, Indonesia, Malawi, Mauritania, Namibia, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Chinese Taipei and Thailand.

WTO said “The YPP is a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience which can help open the door for future professional opportunities in the field of multilateral diplomacy and global trade.

“The YPP selection gives preference to young professionals from developing and least-developed countries that are members of the WTO and whose nationals are currently under-represented or not represented in the organization’s Secretariat.

“The programme is part of the Secretariat’s overall goal to increase its diversity to better reflect the make-up of its membership.”

To be eligible, applicants must be of age 32 as of January 1, 2022, and selected candidates will work at the WTO secretariat for one year, starting from the beginning of next year.

The areas of work at the programme includes accessions, agriculture, dispute settlement, intellectual property rights, market access, media and external relations, WTO rules, trade and development, trade and environment, trade in services and investment, trade facilitation, trade policy analysis and trade-related technical assistance.

WTO said candidates must have advanced university degree in law, economics, or other international trade-related subjects relevant to WTO work; must possess relevant expertise or continued academic study in a field of interest to the work of the WTO.

Equally, candidates must similarly have a minimum of two years relevant work experience.

The trade organisation further said selected candidates will be paid $3821.66 (N1,454,141.63 million) monthly and applications can be accessed on the WTO e-Recruitment website and should be completed no later than 29 April 2021.

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Buhari receives briefing from Osinbajo



Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Monday briefed President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The President had last Thursday returned to the country after a16-day medical trip to London, United Kingdom.

He left Nigeria on Tuesday, March 30, briefly after a security meeting with defense and intelligence chiefs as well as other security sector managers.

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Gunmen attack Imo police station, kidnap officer




A police officer has been abducted in an attack on Mbieri Divisional Police Headquarters in Mbaitoli Local Government Area of Imo state on Thursday morning.

This comes three days after the state Police Command headquarters and Owerri Correctional Center were attacked while 1,884 inmates released.

A resident of Mbieri said the gunmen released the suspects in custody.

However, the policemen on duty were said to have engaged the attackers in a gun duel but they were reportedly overpowered by the gunmen who had sophisticated weapons.

A community leader, Nokey Ebikam, told newsmen that the police divisional headquarters was not burnt but only freed the suspects in detention after vandalizing it.

Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Orlando Ikeokwu, confirmed the attack on the police station but did not go into details.

It was gathered that aside the officer who was abducted, two others sustained injuries in the incident which is the second major attack on a police station since an armed gang invaded the state police headquarters on Monday.

The Police authorities have blamed the attacks on the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) but the group has distanced itself from the attacks.

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