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London-trained Journalist Appointed Chief Press Secretary To Edo Speaker

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A seasoned journalist, Mr. Onomo Christopher, has been appointed as Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker, Edo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Francis Okiye.

Until his appointment, the London trained journalist had served in both the print and electronic media of international repute.

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The newly appointed CPS promised to bring to the fore his wealth of experience in propagating activities Mr. Speaker, the House, and Edo State government.

READ ALSO: Chris Oyakhilome Foundation Donates Relief Items To 2000 Households In Edo

The seasoned journalist is married with children.

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FOIA: Community Leaders Trained, Challenged To Hold Govt Accountable

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In its pursuit of holding public office holders accountable, and promoting transparency in procurement, Edo Civil Society Organization (EDOCSO), Friday, organised a day workshop on using ‘Freedom of Information Act to Facilitate Transparency in Procurement’ for community leaders, women and youths.

The workshop held in Benin was in collaboration with Social Development Integrated Centre also known as Social Action.

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Speaking at the workshop, Program Director, Social Action, Botti Isaac, said the workshop was aimed at “equiping community people with ideas, strategies and tools in engaging government and government’s agency in ensuring effective service delivery.

According to him, over the years, it has been observed that community people are not able to ask the right questions such as procurement documents, contract documents of ministries and agency because they (community people) do not have the right information.

READ ALSO: Cultism, Terrorism: CLEEN Foundation Advocates Community-oriented Policing

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He said this lack of the right information warranted his organisation to organise the workshop with a view to enlightening and giving them the right tools to get the necessary information.

So, our organisation saw the need to bring together these people and intimate them on strategies, approach in using the FOI as a tool to engaging duty bearers, and to ensure that they are more responsible and responsive to the people in ensuring that services are effectively deliver at community levels.

“So, the idea is to equip citizens for further action, and by action, I mean engaging duty bearers for inclusive and effective service delivery,” he added.

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Asked if government agency have been complying with the FOIA which has been in existence since 2011, Isaac said: “If I am to rate government agencies and ministries, my rating will be at 50 percent, because a lot of government agency are not complying. Where we have compliance issues most is at the state level because many have argued that it has not been domesticated in their states.

On his part, a former Coordinator-General of EDOCSO, Comrade Omobude Agho, while speaking on the subtitle: ‘Introduction to Freedom of Information Act:A Breakdown of the Act’, challenged community dwellers to hold government accountable.

READ ALSO: HOMEF Trains Women On Climate Change Adaptation

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While re-emphasising his organisation’s commitment in continuously enlightening citizens until they are fully aware of the FOIA and demand for accountability and transparency, Agho said: “to hold government accountable is a responsibility of every citizen, but a lot doesn’t know why they are citizens and to what extent their citizenship is.

“So, we have gather people from different communities to teach them what it means to be citizens and how to use the FOIA to track project and to insist that projects are done up to specifications.”

Speaking on Making Request for Freedom of Information Under the FOI Act, a lawyer who specialises in FOI, President Aigbokhan, while corroborating other speakers’ said citizens are not enlighten enough on the FOIA, and that a citizen can query government without being a lawmaker through the help of the FOIA.

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He said: “FOI has made it possible for citizens to be participatory in government. Citizens can use FOIA to track government projects and participate in governance.

“There is law that empowers citizens to query government without going the National Assembly.”

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Cultism, Terrorism: CLEEN Foundation Advocates Community-oriented Policing

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A non-profit organisation known as CLEEN Foundation has advocated for community-oriented policing aimed at aiding Serious Organised Crimes (SOCs) prevention such as robbery, cultism amongst others.

The foundation said crime preventive model is a sure way of policing geared to divert individuals from joining organised crimes by providing them with alternative opportunities and positive lifestyle choices.

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Program manager of the group, Mr. Chigorim Okoro who disclosed this at a two-day crime preventive steering group in Benin City, Edo State said the project is in partnership with Torchlight group, United Kingdom.

Okoro stated that “prevent” is part of a community-oriented policing strategy being practised in UK and currently piloted in Edo, Lagos, Bayelsa and Zamfara States in Nigeria to curb the prevalence of Serious Organised Crimes.

According to him, “Nigeria Police Force (NPF) is critical to the coordination of this multi-partner activity as the project aims to contribute to NPF systems, processes and skills.

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READ ALSO: TRAINING: We’re Committed To Efficient Administration Of Criminal Justice – CLEEN FOUNDATION

“And our overrall goal is to prevent more people from joining serious organised crime groups in Edo State and Nigeria at large”.

Representative of the police, ASP. Jennifer Iweagbu disclosed that cultism is predominantly SOCs in Edo State and pointed out that the police has intensified efforts to stem the tide.

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She said: “They (cultists) are organised by dividing responsibilities when planing or committing hineous crimes and tend to be loyal to the secrecy they have sworn to”.

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World Tourism Day 2023: Edo To Rally Stakeholders On Heritage Promotion, Protection Policy To Drive Sector Growth

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As part of activities to mark the 2023 World Tourism Day (WTD), Edo State Government says it is set to
rally stakeholders in the state’s tourism sector to get their inputs in the recently drafted Edo State Heritage Promotion and Protection Policy.

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INFO DAILY reports that Edo State Heritage Promotion and Protection Policy is a document aimed at setting guidelines and implementation strategies for the conservation and promotion of the state’s tangible and intangible heritage materials, in line with efforts to make the state a tourist destination of choice.

This was contained in a press statement by signed by the Commissioner for Arts, Culture, and Tourism, Uyi Oduwa Malaka, while disclosing plans by the state to join the world in the celebration of this year’s World Tourism Day (WTD), which holds on September 27.

According to her, ‘‘World Tourism Day, is a day set aside by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) to foster awareness of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, and economic values to mankind.

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‘‘The theme for this year’s celebration is “Tourism and Green Investment,” which emphasises the vital need for investment in building a tourism sector that delivers for people and the planet.

‘‘Tourism is a positive force of nature that helps to connect our heritage, historicity and our present. It connects culture civilizations and melts humanity into a common narrative of origins and experiences.’’

The Commissioner further stated that activities to mark the occasion would hold at the Ogba Zoological Garden on Wednesday September 27, with the major focus on unveiling the State’s Heritage Promotion and Protection Policy.

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READ ALSO: Tribunal Judgement: Police In Kano Impose 24-hour Curfew

It will feature stakeholders input in the recently drafted Edo State Heritage Promotion and Protection Policy, guided tours, workshops and it will highlight some of the milestones recorded by the state government in the tourism space.

‘‘This policy places robust emphasis on preservation, conservation and maintenance of our heritage sites and intangible heritage that is consistent with this year’s theme of green investment.’’

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The statement further encouraged participants and stakeholders in the sector to suggest ideas that will promote sustainable tourism practices through environmentally friendly initiatives.

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