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THE LION THAT CANNOT BE CAGED

THE LION THAT CANNOT BE CAGED

Over the last one week millions of Nigerians have expressed concern about which direction I am going politically and much has been said.

Some have gone out of their way to reach out to me and offered their counsel out of genuine love and concern.

Others have not reached out to me and have written or spoken out of ignorance, hate and malice imputing the worst motivations for actions which they claim I have purportedly taken.

This contribution is an attempt to provide answers to just a few of the oftentimes asinine and absurd assertions and observations that the latter group have made.

Some say they warned me and that I have fallen into a trap whilst others say my voice has been silenced, I am a spy and that this signals the end of my political career.

My response to them and others who have conjured up even stranger motivations and conspiracy theories when it comes to FFK is as follows.

To whom it may concern: spare me your crocodile tears and be rest assured that I am too big, too intelligent, too experienced and too forthright to fall into any trap.

It is impossible to castrate a lion, render it impotent or silence its roar.

I stand on all my beliefs, core values and principles. I am the voice of the voiceless, I am a warrior, I fear nothing, I fear no-one, I am as constant as the northern star and I will ALWAYS stand against evil.

Speaking to other leaders across party lines in order to build bridges, engender peace, foster stability and enhance national unity ought not to create such national and international rage, panic and pandemonium.

Are we so divided that we can’t even talk to one another and take pictures together without causing a public stir and setting the Internet on fire?

You insult me and say I am scared of prison because I had a meeting with two APC Governors?

Do you know how many PDP and APC Governors and leaders I interact with and meet regularly? Do you know how many I talk to on a daily basis?

Do you know that I was prosecuted for 7 years by PDP Governments who tried to jail me simply for speaking out against them yet it did not deter me? Ask those that were in the Yar’adua and Jonathan administration.

After a while they got tired because the more they tried to intimidate me into silence or make me flee the country the more I stood my ground and fought my corner till they gave up.

Does that sound like a man that is scared of death or prison?

You insult me and say I am broke because I had talks with two APC Governors.

Do you know that I spend more on my monthly salary bill in one month than some of these people that are claiming I am broke earn in 5 or 10 years.

I have 55 domestic staff in my house alone. Not one of them gets below 70,000 naira per month which is higher than the national minimum wage.

I do not owe salaries and I feed each of them three square meals every day. I do all this just to help them and to ensure they can look after and feed their families. Does that sound like a broke man to you?

That is my little contribution to the welfare of our people because I certainly do not need so many staff. I employ them just to keep them off the unemployment line.

Apart from that do you know how many people I give scholarships to and how many peoples children I feed and educate? Do you know how many other families I am responsible for in terms of day to day living?

The Bible says be your brothers keeper and I do these things unto the Lord. I do them and I will never stop even when my good is repaid with evil.

The Lord has always provided for me and given me the fat of the land. He has always caused me to be a blessing to others though I do not make noise about it.

For the last 60 years of my life He has been good to me. He has caused me to excel, prosper and flourish and from beginning to end He has always been with me and mine.

You say I make money through politics meanwhile I left public office in 2007 which is 13 years ago! Does that make sense to you? In any case is politics my only source of income in the world?

Am I your conventional politician who craves for elective office? Do I even attend their meetings? I have been in this game since 1990! Do you know that?

I have been making my contributions to current affairs, political discourse and politics for the last 31 years which is long before most of today’s Governors or Ministers even knew the meaning of the word.

And it was always a struggle which involved sacrifice. Where were my detractors when I was in NADECO and fought against military rule?

The records are there and so are the essays and some of the people I worked with.

Where were they when we set up September Club in 1989 and some of the nations greatest leaders and elder statesmen and top politicians over the last 30 years, including Presidents, Governors, Ministers and legislators across party lines, were members.

Where were they in the days of NRC, SDP and Choice ’92 when politics was real, when the greats held sway and when men honored their word.

Where were they when we risked all for MKO Abiola’s stolen mandate and June 12th and even had to go into exile for years because of it?

Where were they when we stood against the annulment of June 12th and fought against the Government of General Sani Abacha?

Where were they when we formed the Progressive Action Movement in 1999 and some of the nations brightest and best young stars and minds made their contribution to national affairs?

Where were they when we fought against Senator Ali Modu Sheriff who was sent to high jack and destroy the PDP?

Where were they when I led President Goodluck Jonathan’s presidential campaign in 2015 and took the battle to the gates of the enemy?

Where were they when I stood behind President Olusegun Obasanjo and faced down ALL his detractors?

Where were they when I was targetted and almost assassinated om two separate occassions during the Obasanjo Presidency simply because I was the President’s defender in chief and armour bearer and was totally committed to his cause?

I did all this in the past and present and you say I am making money from it? Do you know the risks involved in these things?

Do you know I could have been killed together with members of my family long ago and most certainly would have had it not been for God?

Can my detractors give up so much and risk so much just for politics? Honestly it really is the deepest insult.

Some of us were born into wealth and have never lacked it. We were born into politics too. We were born into the circles of power so nothing moves us.

For us politics is a noble calling and not a profession. It is about proferring solutions to complex national issues and not about the acquisition of primitive wealth.

We gave up all for the struggle for democracy and the opportunity to help to develop our country and move her forward and now we are insulted and mocked and told we did it for money? Which money?

How much can I be bought or bribed with? All the money in the world could not move me because I have never lacked it.

What have I not had or enjoyed in life from a very young age? Where have I not been?

I came to the conclusion long ago that all is vanity and that material wealth means nothing. I would never sacrifice my principles or integrity for it.

Mallam Abba Kyari, the President’s late and powerful Chief of Staff, was my brother for over 40 years and we interacted regularly whilst he was in power.

I never asked him for ANYTHING from his Government just as I never asked or got ANYTHING from any of the previous Federal Governments between 2007 and 2021.

If I had done so I would not have been able to criticise those Governments publicly and I would have been exposed. You cannot criticise where you eat from.

I did not join APC when Abba was in Government and I did not compromise my principles when I could have asked him for anything I chose in return since he had the ear of the President.

I respected and loved him for who he was and NOT for the position he held and the feeling was mutual.

I opposed his Government in spite of our friendship and did not share his views yet we remained friends because our friendship was well above politics.

That is what civilised people do. They agree to disagree and respect each others views. They never let it come between their friendship.

I opposed Abba’s Government and risked losing an old and loyal friend and brother because I believed passionately in all I said. I believed all that I said then and I still believe it today.

All that and now you dare to question my resolve and consistency? It is laughable.

You say I am inconsitent. Meanwhile I have been more consistent in my views over the last 30 years than 95% of Nigerian leader and I have stuck to my guns despite all manner of persecution and suffering!

You say I have no relevance meanwhile millions all over the world read my words avidly every day and follow my actions religiously because I inspire them due to the fact that I have always had the courage of my convictions and I have always spoken truth to power.

Unlike most politicians I actually inspire people and give them hope. And most important of all they trust me and trust my judgement.

They have also acknowledged the fact thst more often than not my words are prophetic and I have displayed remarkable insight and foresight when it comes to national affairs.

How many of your so-called “relevant” leaders have done that? How many of them have displayed such courage under fire for years on end?

How many of them can have their newspaper columns in three national dailies closed over the years due to threats to the publishers from the Government and yet keep writing his essays on social media with millions of people all over the world still reading them and receiving the message?

How many of them can be blacklisted by the nations newspapers and television stations with threatenjng orders from above and still keep talking?

How many of them across party lines can mould the thoughts and guide millions in this way with their counsel, words, actions and thoughts?

First 7 years of persecution under PDP then 5 years of persecution under APC! HOW many of your leaders can stand such fire and pain and still fight on?

Almost all of them ever do is sell you down the river, tell you lies, ignore your pain, deceive you, mock you, use you and give you crumbs in return for your acclamation, support and loyalty but you love them for that.

You say I am scared of even more persecution. At the age of 60 you believe I am scared?

What more can they do to me that they have not done already? And what more am I looking for in life that I have not enjoyed over the years?

Yet you say I am scared! And those that say so can barely endure one tenth of what I have endured.

Some of them make noise from the safety of other countries and stay away from Nigeria out of fear of being locked up yet they mock those of us that live on the doorsteps of our oppressors in Nigeria and dare them to their faces.

Some of them have not been able to face hardship or deprivation and neither can they bear it when their rights are being violated.

Yet to many of us this has become the norm ahd we are used to it yet we still continue to struggle and fight the system regardless. Let me give you just one example.

Do you know that I have not been able to travel out of Nigeria for the last 13 years because my passport was first seized by a PDP Government for 8 and then by an APC Government for 5?

Do you know that I could not even go for medical check ups outside the country because of that?

Did you ever hear me complain or did this ever stop me from speaking truth to power, standing firm against injustice or speaking up for the weak, the persecuted and the voiceless?

Do you know I was locked up by both PDP and APC Federal Governments for no just cause?

Do you know I was even locked up in Boko Haram detention centers with Boko Haram suspects and convicts?

Do you know that only terrorists were kept in the facility that they kept me? Do you know that that place is worst than Gauntanamo Bay and that it was built by the British Government?

Do you know how terrifying that was and that I could have been killed or maimed whilst there?

Yet did you ever hear me complain about it, submit, compromise, give up or back down from criticising the Government or previous Governments because of these trials and tribulations?

How many of your so-called “relevant” and “great” leaders can bear such torment and injustice without cracking? Did you ever see or hear me crack? Did I ever break?

Do you know what horrors my first wife Regina and my daughter Remi were subjected to by a PDP Government? Do you know why they had to go into exile and live abroad?

Do you know what hell my ex-wife Precious and first son Aragorn were subjected to by the APC Government?

Do you know the tears we shed secretly and the number of times we suffered and were forced to go underground for no just cause?

Do you know the kind of stress and torment this put us through? Do you know that all our bank accounts have been frozen for five years?

Did all that stop me or stop us from standing? Did we not endure and bear it all with dignity for years and still continue to make our contribution to national affairs with zeal and passion.

Yet leaders like me that make these sacrifices and speak truth you describe as having no relevance, no consistency and you hate.

You mock, ridicule, insult and believe the very worst about us at the drop of a hat. Some even have the nerve and effontry to say we are not politicians simply because we have not run for elective office.

It is those who speak truth and that are courageous enough to expose and confront evil that you hate, judge and always think and assume the worse of at the drop of a hat.

Do you know that despite facing the most vicious persecution and prosecution for 7 long years the court found me not guilty of corruption whilst I was Minister of Aviation and Minister of Culture and Tourism and acquitted and discharged me?

How many of your leaders can endure going to court for seven years before 4 different judges and in the midst of a vicious media witch hunt in which most people who knew nothing about the case had declared me guilty?

How many of you could have survived that without capitulating, cracking, begging and bending the knee?

Do you know that I have been facing prosecution for the last 5 years in two separate courts for doing absolutely nothing wrong except leading a presidential campaign against Buhari and for Jonathan in 2015 and as a consequence of politically-motivated and malicious charges which were filed only because of my bitter and vicious opposition to the Buhari Government?

Do you know that under my tenure as Minister of Aviation there were no plane crashes whilst the year before I came in there were 5 and 453 died in those crashes?

Do you know that I put a stop to those crashes and that I am the only Minister of Aviation in Nigerian history under which there were NO plane crashes?

Do you know that despite all the challenges and persecution I was recently polled by 85% of the readers of Vanguard Newspaper that I was the loudest and most consistent voice of opposition against the Buhari Government over the last five years?

All this yet you label me a coward and someone that has achieved nothing?

Do you know that most of those leaders you rever and love so much are cowards who are unable and unwilling to risk all and speak truth to power.

All they are able to do is to mislead you and their followers to hate and insult those of us that really care for you.

Honestly some people need mental health checks and medical attention!

And for anyone to say I will not be welcome in a party that I have not publicly expressed a desire to join amazes me.

The joker that claimed I was rejected by the APC needs to tell me where and when I applied to join them and what my registration number was!

Did I tell you I am leaving PDP for APC? Or did I tell anyone that I will stay in PDP forever no matter what happens or no matter what they do to me or to the country?

You see unlike most I am a one man army and riot squad and I am accountable to no man or party. I am only accountable to God!

Unlike most I do not do things in the dark and I do not shy away from speaking the truth or my mind once it is set.

When and if I ever choose to make a move I will be clear and categorical and I will let the world know so hold your hate fire till we get to that bridge.

Yet know this: I owe no-one any explanation for what I will do or will not do tomorrow, I will gladly live with the consequences of my actions and decisions and I will defend myself and explain my actions when I choose to do so if I believe it is ever necessary.

I do not know what the details are yet but before 2023 there WILL be many realignments and new alliances. Both parties will see many shifts and many individuals will change sides.

This is because we must get it right in 2023 and we must ensure that whoever takes power at the center, regardless of party affiliation, restructures our country and takes our nation to the promise land.

We must build bridges and secure the peace, unity and progress of this country and most important of all we must avoid civil war and do all we can to save our nation from armed conflict and fratricidal butchery.

That is the challenge before us today and that is the reality of Nigerian politics.

Whilst others meet secretly and hide from the cameras in their quest to achieve these objectives, I will not. I am the beloved of the Lord and I am a LION!

No man born of woman can silence my roar!

I am who I am. I am FFK.

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Prudence, Novelty in Governance: Ebonyi under Umahi as a case study

Presence’s, Novelty in Governance: Ebonyi under Umahi as a case study

By Senator Anthony Agbo

Several national, societal and individual factors infringe on the burden of leadership in Africa and our nation, Nigeria in particular which combine to deny us the classic record of achievements which the western nations and other developed nation-States have recorded over the centuries which compulsively draw the rest of the world to them to directly and indirectly continue to feed their economies and assuage their national propaganda yearnings.

Among these numerous toxic factors that impede our development, two of them shall form the subject of my discussion here; namely: our incurably loose procurement practices that tragically erase prudence in government expenditure, as well as absence of novelty of ideas in the conception, design and execution of projects.

Contract and contract financing has consistently been weaponized by the privileged “business” cum political class, as well as the heartless bureaucrats in the salacious alters of Nigeria’s high echelon civil Service to feed the bottomless pit of greed and white collar thievery. It is an unabated whirlwind that has for decades blown away the huge resources of this nation into the deep pockets of individuals of privilege and advantaged class.

A co-victim to prudence in the challenge of governance in Nigeria is novelty of ideas in our conception, design and construction of projects that produce finished works which possess uniqueness of concept, high durability index and exceptional aesthetic appeal.

Among the developed and ambitious nations of the world, every piece of public and private infrastructural project is strictly guided in design and construction to emerge as an enduring time capsule and imperative instrument of national propaganda which must add something novel to the attraction of the city and the nation to visitors and citizens. Hence, buildings, roads, bridges and flyovers etc, are not just utilitarian public facilities alone, but also elements of co-ordinated artistic embellishment and ornamental totems to the nation. And when a nation makes this a rigid national policy with permanent regimentation and control, the whole nation with its component cities becomes a giant piece of irresistible art work, which when combined with whatever imperative transactional services, such nation can render to others make it an unavoidable attraction to the outside world whose nationals throng there for investment, business, holidays, tourism and for pleasure. Through this, foreign capital from ceaseless traffic of foreigners robustly feed the economy of the nation to make her an indispensable economic power.

Great leadership requires bold and courageous decisions and actions which yield landmark projects whose utility value last for generations. And to achieve this, extreme prudence in management of resources must be a guardian angel of the leader.

Among whatever number of leaders in Nigerian’s political landscape that has recognized the above truisms and have put same in practice, Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State stands out.

Before going ahead, the reader is invited to look up the position of Ebonyi State in the Federal Revenue allocation among the 36 States and Abuja. The State which was carved out of the rural tail of the South-Eastern Nigeria which decades-long agitation for its creation was predicated on total absence of all indices of development, virtually receives the least among the 36 States.

But curiously, Governor Umahi seems to have discovered a secret and magical element of prudence unknown to others which seem to conjure up the mightiest of works out of the least financial resources.

In the border town of Inyere in Afikpo South LGA, as one heads to the boundary between Ebonyi and Abia State, a traveler encounters Ebonyi State version of the historic, notoriously deadly Enugu Milken Hill. Here, an undulating range of ferocious hills has created a forbidden landscape in which the mother earth seem to have opened a deep, dark and angry mouth to swallow up whatever man or machine that may mistakenly tip from the precarious narrow road that snake round the delicate slope of the foothills. This old road was long ago constructed by expatriate contractors to carefully avoid a deep and wide gorge created by pre-historic geological convolutions that formed the hills. This wide, deep and fearful gorge sits at a depth close to 100 metres below sea level. As I passed through this road over 3 months ago, I had beheld a stunning sight of a majestic forest of high density steel rods sitting on massive decorative columns, shooting out solemnly from the dark depth of the great gorge to announce a multiple-step flyover bridge that will beam across this fearful gorge to permanently nullify the pathological fear and horror associated with travelling the precarious road that dangerously circle the edge of the hill range.

The kind of defiant courage required to tackle this kind of fearful project considering the factors of the enormous financial resources involved, extra-ordinary feat of Engineering required, including fear of sinister natural forces; is approximately similar to the ones exhibited by President Muhammadu Buhari in confronting the 2nd Niger Bridge (which every leader in this country since Independence had ran away from) as well as criss-crossing the wide and wild landscape of Nigeria with rail lines and rail transportation, not to talk of transnational gas pipelines, among others.

Hence, from the Ebonyi State International Hospital/College of Medicine, which the like of it cannot be found anywhere in the African Continent; to the hundreds of kilometers of novel, imperishable concrete roads that transverse and connects virtually every community of the state to the state capital; through Ebonyi State International Airport project; to the new State Olympic Stadium; to the dizzying State Ecumenical Centre, with the intricate network of classic road tunnels that lead to it; then to the new state of the art Government House Complex that incorporates Governor’s Lodge and offices, Presidential Lodge, House of Assembly and other facilities; to the State’s International Shopping Mall, which is a marvel to behold; and then to the spectacularly Custom-made Ebonyi designer flyover in every busy and semi-busy intersections all over the state; through the dualization and rehabilitation of Federal roads in the state up to the boundary with sister states; among several other projects. Each and every of these projects are conceived, designed, constructed and finished with calculated strength and durability, delicate refinement of taste and spectacular ornamental appeal.

All these put together staggers the imagination and defies common sense, in the context of meager resources available to the state.

A question may then be asked by a curious and objective enquirer; as to what previously unknown, critical and high-yield procurement formular and advanced principles of prudence has Governor Umahi discovered that can yield projects which ordinarily are beyond the capacity of the state resources to deliver?

Speaking from outside the platform of eulogy, I can make bold to say in succinct terms that Governor Umahi’s governance style and the unique consequent infrastructural accomplishments that result from it as narrated above stands out as a veritable school of leadership that has so much to offer in the troublesome areas of prudence in the management of resources, as well as novelty of ideas in the conception, design and execution of projects.

Since Umahi defected from PDP to the ruling APC, a multitudinous flurry and volleys of incendiary attacks, blackmail as well as outright machinations have ceaselessly rained upon him and woven around him from those who feel wounded or threatened by his bold and courageous decision.

The most curious and outstanding of these attacks have come in the manner of wilde and factless accusations of looting the treasury of Ebonyi State; as well as that of accusing the Governor of building white elephant projects that have no direct relevance to the needs of Ebonyi people.

The accusation of looting the treasury of the state could be the most absurd, pathetic, wicked and treacherous which any bonafide, sane-minded citizen of Ebonyi State could make against Umahi who has simply done the impossible with the little revenue that trickle into the coffers of the state, by putting in place unique models of infrastructure that shall last for generations. Outside fictional, politically motivated accusations, insidious blackmail and deliberate destructive machinations; naked and obvious facts point to the truism that Umahi is a towering reference totem of prudence and fiscal discipline to a level that is rarely seen in African leadership landscape.

The accusation of the Governor investing on white elephant projects that do not benefit the masses as pitiable and pathetic as it is, squarely borders on the same primitive mindset and lack of cultural literacy which has kept African Continent in retrograde motion for several decades.

It is such primitive mindset and absence of cultural literacy that makes even the educated critics not to understand how concrete roads; street lights; International Hospital, farming grants to farmers, civil servants and public officers; International Airports, Olympic Stadium etc, all impact on the lives of the people.

In enlightened climes, and among visionary and ambitious regimes all over the world, leaders don’t work or build for the present and near future in order to just assuage the ephemeral elementary appetite of some restless stakeholders. No! Rather civil works and other infrastructure are conceived, designed and constructed as imperishable time capsules that stand as mute witnesses to the distant and endless mist of time.

The Anglo-Saxon heritage that formed the foundation of western nations of Britain, Europe and America, for instance had from day one of their nationhood set out to build cities and infrastructure which for centuries have remained as historical masterpieces of human accomplishments. They did not wait to first conquer hunger, or to first accomplish a besotted state policy of “stomach infrastructure” before going ahead to build enviable cities.

Hence, in such environments, you see stunning masterpieces of classical architecture, quaint designer bridges and flyovers, historical monuments done in spectacular vibrancy of style; you encounter centuries-old stone-cast roads snaking through some thickly wooded forest that lead into medieval Castles nestled on top of seemingly inaccessible mountains; you encounter iconic city landmarks and structures erected as far back as the historical infant days of the nation and city; all standing to decorate the high metropolis of these nations and bear testimony to the towering vision of iconic leaders of past era. These are cultural inductions and elevated governance baptism which Governor Umahi is a proud initiate.

In 1904, the United States under President Theodore Roosevelt began the construction of Panama Canal, to create a man-made waterway over an 80km stretch of mountains and plains that will link the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans, across the Isthmus of Panama, the objective of which was to shorten the navigation distance between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. This project engaged over 75,000 workers, engulfed $350 million and took the lives of 5,609 workers. But it removed 8,000 miles from the ocean trip between Atlantic and Pacific Oceans; and currently employs 9,000 workers and generates annual revenue of about $2.5 billion. If the $350 million spent on this “white elephant” project was shared to desperate stakeholders and opportunistic citizens for ephemeral satisfaction to draw cheap and brief applause for the leader, the problem this project solved for America and the world (8,000 miles less of sea route) will still be there, and the nation will be $2.5 billion poorer annually with extra 9,000 unemployed workers.

What critics of visionary governments in Nigeria call “white elephant” project is what civilized, and well-guided governments all over the world do every other time: Projects that will serve the interest of successive generations of citizens, and capture the imaginations of visitors. The great pyramid of Giza, in Egypt, built by Pharaoh Khufu, 6,000 years ago is still one of the frontline sources of revenue (in tourism) for the Egyptian governments of today. The Eiffel Tower designed and constructed for French government by the French Engineer, Gustave Eiffel in 1887, has remained the number one tourist attraction in France and a major source of revenue for the French government. Underground railway tunnel that is a common phenomenon in all civilized nations of the world would have been a “white elephant” project here. And other innumerable bold and visionary projects all over the world.

I would kindly advice the honored critics of Governor Umahi to kindly begin to think like Umahi in order to hasten the greatness of our country.

With appreciative solemn opinion, I must offer my reverential acclaim of Umahi’s family members; his wife and children, his brothers and sisters and relations, all of whom are highly cerebral, very successful, cultured and exceedingly accomplished set of human stock; who at all time and in all ramifications have exhibited the highest principles of civilized conduct and cultured bent, that is rare in the circumstance of their position. I adore and reverence this family because, in a society like ours, families pull down governments, destroy visions and sway the noble intentions and focus of their own person in power, that it is their turn and opportunity to chop. But Umahi’s family has been different. At the background you see them offer copious, valuable and complimentary ideas, gratifying encouragement and delightful helping hands.

Also deserving of my reverential acclaim is Umahi’s team of appointed and elected officials, particularly the young, patriotic, sharp and witty speaker of the House and his members.

Governor Umahi’s illustrious ethos of prudence and novelty in governance and his consequent achievements represent imaginative giant leaps in Nigeria’s leadership landscape. And I am persuaded to aver that his biggest story has not been heard.

Jesus Christ is Lord.

Senator Anthony Agbo, an astute politician and author, is a Chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC) from Ebonyi State

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APC: Reminder about Our Values

APC: Reminder about Our Values

Salihu Moh. Lukman
Progressive Governors Forum
Abuja

Around late evening of Monday, February 8, 2021, Nigerian media, especially social media, became alive with photos of our National Chairman, HE Mai Mala Buni and our Kogi State Governor, HE Yahaya Bello, in the company of Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode, a notable leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The speculation is that Mr. Fani-Kayode is on his way to joining the APC. The verdict in most media platforms is quite disturbing, but justifiably so, if the news about Mr. Fani-Kayode joining the APC is true.

Without recalling all the terrible statements of Mr. Fani-Kayode against the APC and our leadership, this development may be confirming James Comey’s argument in the book A Higher Loyalty – Truth, Lies and Leadership when he points out that ‘The danger in every organization, especially one built around hierarchy, is that you create an environment that cuts off dissenting views and discourages honest feedback. That can quickly lead to a culture of delusion and deception. And in a leader, the tendency of too much confidence to swamp humility can lead to a dangerous self-indulgence at the expense of others.’

That our leaders will be meeting with Mr. Fani-Kayode in such a compromising way, suggesting that he may be on his way to joining our party, clearly indicates that either those of us saddled with the responsibility of advising them have failed or we have been completely cut off. How can a person who just few days, if not few hours, ago wrote to one of our leaders and derogatorily and condescendingly condemned his political prospects of emerging as the Presidential candidate of our party, be given such a high-level reception? Assuming the open letter to our National Leader, which is all over our media at the time of such reception, wasn’t offensive, what of the open letter he wrote to President Muhammadu Buhari last year?

Besides the open letters, what abusive language has he not used against our party and our leaders? Most of these are unprintable. A typical example of the kind of abuses he spat on our leaders and our party can be demonstrated with his response to a tweet by Mr. Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to President Buhari on Information, last May 2020. Mr. Adesina argued that President Buhari’s emergence as President saved the country. Responding, Mr. Fani-Kayode said: “Not so my friend. The emergence of Buhari in 2015 annihilated Nigeria and plunged her into darkness, death and destruction. “He came to steal, kill and destroy and for the last disastrous 5 years that is all he has done.”

Compared to most of Mr. Fani-Kayode’s barrages of insults on APC and its leaders, this would appear to be very civil. Most Nigerians, both APC members and non-APC members would appear to be in agreement that any association between APC and its leadership with Mr. Fani-Kayode is indicative of problem of values. Without being academic in anyway, the issue of values is basically about the qualities of people and the vision they hold. What kind of people are we aspiring to attract into our party? Do we want to reduce our party into one in which everybody is welcome? Can we for instance in anyway or form contemplate having an Nnamdi Kanu or Abubakar Shekau as a member? If that were to be the case, why don’t we just have INEC register IPOB and Boko Haram as political parties and allow them to field candidates for elections?

We may be tempted to argue that Mr. Fani-Kayode is not Nnamdi Kanu or Abubakar Shekau. It is however difficult to fathom what qualifies him to be associated with our leaders at that high level? At this rate, one day, Nigerians will just wake and see some of our leaders presenting Mr. Fani-Kayode to President Buhari as a new member of our party. Although, we can confidently argue that President Buhari will not approve such deranged possibility, it is important to caution that such consideration will be stretching the trust of party members beyond acceptable limits.

Although issues of values in politics easily gets compromised, as Mr. Barack Obama, former President of the United States cautioned in the book The Audacity of Hope – Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream, it is important to appeal to our leaders to moderate their consideration in terms of who they associate with, especially if it will lead to invitation to joining the APC. Mr. Obama in particular noted ‘the fact that the practice of modern politics itself seems to be value-free. Politics (and political commentary) not only allows but often rewards behavior that we would normally think of as scandalous: fabricating stories, distorting the obvious meaning of what other people say, insulting or generally questioning their motives, poking through their personal affairs in search of damaging information.’

For our leaders to associate themselves with Mr. Fani-Kayode, is simply rewarding scandalous behaviour. Mr. Fani-Kayode has fabricated stories, distorted, insulted and damaged information about our party and our leaders. Elementary rule of decency would require some good distance between our leaders and such a person. Not even the Ward leaders where he is located should be associated with him except for reasons of family ties. By the way, the Caretaker Committee of our party should avoid a situation whereby it takes decision on issues that are very weighty without consultations. On no account should anyone with the kind of baggage of Mr. Fani-Kayode be invited to join the party without clearance from a statutory structure of the party. In this particular instance, the National Caucus should be the clearing house.

APC emerged with a commitment to social democracy. Social democracy is about values of collective justice and individual freedom where everyone’s basic needs are fulfilled. This, among others upholds respect for the dignity of the individual party members. We need to appeal to all our leaders, especially the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee and all the thirteen members to always remember that they are entrusted with the responsibility they have today to democratise our party. They are not Sole Administrators. To democratise will require more meetings and consultations. Their actions should reflect decisions taken at meeting or at least from wider consultations!

This position does not represent the view of any APC Governor or the Progressive Governors Forum

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EKITI STATE UNIVERSITY 2020/2021 WEEKDAY AND WEEKEND PART-TIME PROGRAMME ADMISSION IN PROGRESS

EKITI STATE UNIVERSITY 2020/2021 WEEKDAY AND WEEKEND PART-TIME PROGRAMME ADMISSION IN PROGRESS

 

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EKITI STATE UNIVERSITY, LAGOS STUDY CENTRE, IKOTUN EGBE: DEVELOPING THE KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS EMPLOYERS ARE LOOKING FOR

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ABIA STATE Abigborodo ABUA ODUAI Abuja Abuja News Abuja People Abuja Pilot Abuja Punch Abuja Sun Abuja Times Abuja Vanguard Adegbarassa; Ajakimonu; Ajamikawa; Amukpe; Amuogodo; Aruowon; Atamua; Ebada; Egbeku; Egborode; Emuaegbedi; Gana; Ikwewu; Ogorode; Okirigwre; Okuovwori; Oton; Sapele ADEJE ADVERTISING Africa Aghalokpe AHOADA EAST AHOADA WEST AIR FORCE Ajamikawa AKUKU TORU AKWA IBOM STATE Alaka community ALAUSA NEWS America Amukpe Amuokpokpo; Elume; Igbimidaka; Inabome; Jakpa; Ogiedi; Okuoke; Olan; Onoghro; Oyohe Anambra State ANDONI ANIOCHA SOUTH Anioma Annang Another world Anthony Village APC APEX NEWS APPEAL COURT ARMY Art Arts ASARI TORU Asia Aso Rock Villa Australia Auto mobile Banking BAYELSA STATE Beauty Beauty Ebireri Benin News Benue People Benue State Benue Weekly Bola Ahmed Tinubu BOMADI BONNY RIVERS Book Review Breaking News Broadcast to the Nation Brutality Buhari BURUTU Business Business Men Catering and Hotel Management Celebrity Charles Ebireri CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY Chieftaincy Affairs Christianity Citizens City News CIVIL DEFENCE Civil Society Groups Community News CONCERNED NIGERIANS CONSULTING CONTACT THE EDITORS Contact The Publishers Corruption COURT NEWS Crime CROSS RIVER STATE Culture DAILY BREAK WEEKLY DAILY BREAKFAST DAILY BULLETIN REVIEW DAILY SUN David Ebireri DEGEMA RIVERS Delta Central DELTA CHRONICLE DELTA HERALD Delta North Delta South Delta State DELTA STREET TIMES Discourse DISPATCH NEWS DSS EASTERN PUNCH Ebonyi News Ebonyi State Economy Edo Edo State Edo Today Education EGBA EGBEMA NDONI Ekeresan; Okopkooro; Okuodede; Okuovu; Ugbokurusu; Ugborhen Ekiti News Ekiti State Eko Daily Eko News Eku el-Rufai Electricity ELEME RIVERS ELUME Elume District EMOHUA Encounter Energy Environment Epe LG EPOCH NEWS ETCHE Ethiope East Ethiope West Eti Osa Europe F. 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Niger Delta leaders predict economic buoyancy

Night Delta leaders predict economic buoyancy

· Make case for Buhari’s administration

· Commend Sylva for creating 35,000 Jobs in Bayelsa State

Some prominent leaders in the Niger Delta region on Monday urged Nigerians to encourage the government of President Muhammadu Buhari in its efforts to create jobs, develop the oil rich Niger Delta region and tackle youth unemployment in the country.

The eminent leaders also praised President Buhari for his resolve to make the lives of all Nigerians better.

In a statement in Yenagoa, capital of Bayelsa State, the leaders praised the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva for going the extra mile, using his good office to pursue the Niger Delta cause and helping the business image of Nigeria in the international scene.

‘’Certainly, Chief Timipre Sylva has further shown that his politics is driven by character, integrity and development’’ the leaders said.

They emphasized the country’s vast endowments, revenue generation, supports for gas based industries and import substitution for methanol needs of the nation.

The leaders also emphasized Sylva’s approach to the development of the oil and gas sector, foreign direct investment, economic diversification, zero gas flaring and community development

Signed by the Chairman of the Niger Delta People’s Movement (NDPM), Mrs. Ibifuro Thompson Tatua, the leaders commended the management of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and DSV Engineering for the growth of the nation’s economy.

They pointed out that the signing of the Final Investment Decision (FIB) for the construction of 10,000 tonnes/day methanol production plant by the Brass Fertilizer and Petrochemical Company LTD (BFPCL, committing equity investment of US$670m was well timed.

The construction phase is expected to create 30,000 direct and indirect jobs and additional 5,000 permanent jobs during the operations phase.

The leaders described the FID, the Gas Supply Purchase Agreement (GSPA) with the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) led joint venture, off-take agreements and contracts for Engineering Procurement Construction and Technology Provider as another benchmark in the history of Nigeria.

‘’It is a good development that is capable of yielding a beneficial outcome’’ the leaders said.

The statement said the Niger Delta leaders would continue to pray for the success of the President Muhammadu led All Progressives Congress (APC) administration.

President Buhari in July, 2020 approved the development of the Brass Gas Company with the sole aim of aggregating and monetizing all stranded gas in the Brass area.

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ABIA STATE Abigborodo ABUA ODUAI Abuja Abuja News Abuja People Abuja Pilot Abuja Punch Abuja Sun Abuja Times Abuja Vanguard Adegbarassa; Ajakimonu; Ajamikawa; Amukpe; Amuogodo; Aruowon; Atamua; Ebada; Egbeku; Egborode; Emuaegbedi; Gana; Ikwewu; Ogorode; Okirigwre; Okuovwori; Oton; Sapele ADEJE ADVERTISING Africa Aghalokpe AHOADA EAST AHOADA WEST AIR FORCE Ajamikawa AKUKU TORU AKWA IBOM STATE Alaka community ALAUSA NEWS America Amukpe Amuokpokpo; Elume; Igbimidaka; Inabome; Jakpa; Ogiedi; Okuoke; Olan; Onoghro; Oyohe Anambra State ANDONI ANIOCHA SOUTH Anioma Annang Another world Anthony Village APC APEX NEWS APPEAL COURT ARMY Art Arts ASARI TORU Asia Aso Rock Villa Australia Auto mobile Banking BAYELSA STATE Beauty Beauty Ebireri Benin News Benue People Benue State Benue Weekly Bola Ahmed Tinubu BOMADI BONNY RIVERS Book Review Breaking News Broadcast to the Nation Brutality Buhari BURUTU Business Business Men Catering and Hotel Management Celebrity Charles Ebireri CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY Chieftaincy Affairs Christianity Citizens City News CIVIL DEFENCE Civil Society Groups Community News CONCERNED NIGERIANS CONSULTING CONTACT THE EDITORS Contact The Publishers Corruption COURT NEWS Crime CROSS RIVER STATE Culture DAILY BREAK WEEKLY DAILY BREAKFAST DAILY BULLETIN REVIEW DAILY SUN David Ebireri DEGEMA RIVERS Delta Central DELTA CHRONICLE DELTA HERALD Delta North Delta South Delta State DELTA STREET TIMES Discourse DISPATCH NEWS DSS EASTERN PUNCH Ebonyi News Ebonyi State Economy Edo Edo State Edo Today Education EGBA EGBEMA NDONI Ekeresan; Okopkooro; Okuodede; Okuovu; Ugbokurusu; Ugborhen Ekiti News Ekiti State Eko Daily Eko News Eku el-Rufai Electricity ELEME RIVERS ELUME Elume District EMOHUA Encounter Energy Environment Epe LG EPOCH NEWS ETCHE Ethiope East Ethiope West Eti Osa Europe F. O. and Sons Faces Fashion Fashola Federal character Federal government FEDERAL HIGH COURT Federal Roads Festus Omajemite Ebireri Fiction Financial Crime Fitness FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION Godwin Obaseki GOKANA RIVERS Government GOVERNMENT HOUSE Hausa Health Henry Ebireri Henry Ovie Ebireri Housing Ibadan Times Ibarapa News Ibeju. Lekki ICPC Igbimidaka Igbo Ijaw IKA NORTH EAST IKA SOUTH Ikpera Sawmill Ikwerre IMO STATE IMO Voice Industries Infrastructure INSIDE LAGOS Institution Interest Group International International News INTERNET Iponri Islam Isoko ISOKO SOUTH Issues and Ideas Itsekiri JOURNALISM JUDICIARY TODAY Kaduna State Kalabari Ken Ochonogor KHANA RIVERS Kokori Labour and Productivity Lagos LAGOS BLAZERS LAGOS BUSINESS AND FINANCIAL TIMES Lagos Central LAGOS CHRONICLE Lagos Chronicles LAGOS CITY NEWS LAGOS DAILY LAGOS DAILY NEWSPAPER LAGOS DAILY OBSERVER LAGOS DISPATCH Lagos East LAGOS ENTREPRENEURS LAGOS EVENING NEWS LAGOS EXPRESS LAGOS FINDER LAGOS FREE PRESS LAGOS GAZETTE LAGOS GOVERNOR LAGOS GRAPHIC LAGOS GREEN DOVE LAGOS GUIDE LAGOS HERALD LAGOS HERITAGE LAGOS INDEPENDENT NEWS LAGOS INSIGHT Lagos Island LAGOS JOURNAL LAGOS MAIL LAGOS MATTER LAGOS MESSENGERS LAGOS MIRROR Lagos News LAGOS OBSERVER Lagos People LAGOS PEOPLE AND PLACES LAGOS PIONEER LAGOS POST LAGOS PRESS LAGOS PUBLIC AGENDA LAGOS SCOOP LAGOS SEARCHLIGHT LAGOS SHOWBIX LAGOS SPECTATOR LAGOS SPORTS LAGOS SQUARE LAGOS STANDARD LAGOS STAR Lagos State Government LAGOS STATESMAN LAGOS TIMELINE LAGOS TIMES LAGOS TODAY LAGOS VIBE LAGOS VOICE Lagos West LAGOS WORDS Lamonde Kevwe Ebireri Law Leadership Letters Lifestyle Local government Local News MAGISTRATE COURT MANAGEMENT Marford Close MARKETING Media MEDIA FREEDOM IN NIGERIA Media Watch MEDIAGATE MEDIAGATE BROADCASTING SERVICE MEDIAGATE GLOBAL NEWS MediaGate Management and Consulting Limited MEDIAGATE NEWS MEDIAGATE NEWSPAPERS MEDIAGATE RADIO MEDIAGATE TELEVISION MERCURY NEWS METROPOLITAN DAILY Middle Belt News Military MINISTRY OF JUSTICE MODEST NEWS Mohammadu Buhari Monarch Monica Ochu Ohwavborua motoring MOVIE INDUSTRY National Assembly National Security Nationwide Address NAVY NDDC Ndokwa East Ndokwa Nation Ndokwa West NEW MEDIA News Newspaper Owners NGO Niger Delta Niger Delta News Nigeria NIGERIA NEWS DAY NIGERIAN CYBER SPACE NIGERIAN WORKERS North Central North East North West Novena University NYESOM WIKE Oba Akiolu Oba of Lagos OBALENDE OBIO AKPOR Obituary Odd world Office of the Chief Press Secretary Office of the President Office of the Special Adviser Oghene Ochuko Ogoni OGU BOLO Ogume OGUN STATE Oil and Gas Okpara-waterside OKPE Okpe Kingdom OKPE UNION OKRIKA OMUMA Ondo State Opobo OPOBO NKORO OREROKPE OSHIMILI NORTH OSHIMILI SOUTH Osun State Ovie Ebireri OVIRI OKPE Owerri Sun Oyabewei Dieghwolo OYIGBO Oyo News OYO STATE PATANI PDP Peace and Conflict PEACEFUL ASSEMBLY Personality Phillip Shaibu Police Police Affair POLITICAL COMMUNICATION Political Institutions Political Parties Politics PORT HARCOURT PORT HARCOURT MAIL PORT HARCOURT MIRROR PORT HARCOURT NEWS PORT HARCOURT SUN RAY PORT HARCOURT SUN SAY PORT HARCOURT TELEGRAPH Port-Harcourt Power Power and Energy /Electricity Presidency Presidential News Presidential Villa Press Release PRESS STATEMENT Professional women Protest Public Administration PUBLIC RELATIONS Reclamation Road Reform REFORMER NEWSPAPER Religion RIVERS RIVERS MIRROR RIVERS PEOPLE Rivers State RIVERS TIMES RIVERS VANGUARD RIVERS VOICE SANWO OLU Sapele SAPELE CITY STAR SAPELE POST SAPELE TRIBUNE Security SERAP SOCIAL MEDIA Society South East South South South West SOUTH WEST DESPATCH SOUTH WEST MID DAY SOUTH WEST MIRROR Special report Sport's Sports Gate State governments Stock Market Watch SUPREME COURT Surulere TAI RIVERS Talk to us Telecommunications THE CORE ISSUE THE GOVERNOR SPEAKS The Leader Speaks THE MEDIAGATE EPITAPH THE NEWS WAVES THE PATRIOT The President Speaks THE SOUTH WEST EXPRESS THE TIMES OF SOUTH WEST THE TIMES OF YORUBA The Veterans THE YORUBA ECONOMIC TIMES THE YORUBA TRIBUNE Theatre THIS DAY THIS WEEK TODAY'S NEWS Traditional Institutions Traditional Ruler Transparency TWITTER UDU Ugbeku Ugbimidaka UGBORHEN UGHELLI NORTH UGHELLI SOUTH Ukwuani Uncategorized University Urhobo UVWIE Veronica Ikpera Ebireri Victor Oki Victor Okpako Ebireri Victoria Ebireri Unubreme Viewpoint WARRI NORTH WARRI SOUTH WARRI SOUTH WEST West Africa Wike Works WORKS AND HOUSING World Yoruba YORUBA CHRONICLE YORUBA DEMOCRATS Yoruba Elders YORUBA EXPRESS YORUBA FLASH YORUBA HERALD Yoruba Leaders Yoruba Mirror Yoruba Nation Yoruba News YORUBA NEWS TODAY YORUBA POLITICAL LINE Yoruba Vanguard Yoruba Voice Young people Youths

Yoruba women scold Nnamdi Kanu, back police chief

Yoruba women scold Nnamdi Kanu, back police chief

Notable women in the South-West on Tuesday scolded the leader of the Indigenous people of BiafraI (POD), Mr. Nnamdi Kanu for creating enmity and cutting a bad image for the South-East.

‘’We feel very sorry for the people who listen to the sermons of the mischief maker and the voice of disunity, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu’’ the women said.

Expressing concern over the potential implications of statements credited to the IPOD leader, the women condemned Kanu for his parochial reasoning and hatred for Hausa-Fulani.

‘’The statements portray Nnamdi Kanu as one who is ignorant of the police hierarchy in Nigeria. As it concerns Oyo State and the directives of the Inspector General of Police, we feel very strongly, that it is very wrong for Kanu to urge the CP to flout the orders of the IGP’’.

In a three-page statement issued in Akure, the women harped on the need for unity and mutual understanding within the South-West.

Signed by the Chairperson of Yoruba Women in Government (YWIG), Chief Fumilayo Adesanwo, the women poured encomiums on Mrs. Ngozi Onadeko.

They underscored the IGP’s focused and purposeful leadership, the CP’s academic and professional credentials and her vision to set a record in Oyo State’s security history.

The women also emphasized Onadeko’s demonstrable competence, discipline, loyalty and integrity.

Part of the statement reads’’ Another round of ethnic feuding in Oyo State started last week. One Sunday Adeyemo, well known as Sunday Igboho, alongside his followers stormed the Fulani settlement in Igangan, Ibarapa to eject Seriki Fulani, Salihu Abdukadir’’

This antagonistic position towards Fulani can hardly be described as the best thing to do.

It is very obvious that this action appeared not to have gone down well with Nigerians.

However, the order by the Inspector General of Police that Sunday Igboho should be arrested came as a joy to many.

But much ado has been created over the reported order to the Oyo State Commissioner of Police, Mrs. Ngozi Onadeko, to arrest Sunday Igboho.

Indeed, some Nigerians in Diaspora have attempted to denigrate the Inspector General of Police for directing the Oyo State Police Command to arrest Igboho.

For sure, the good people of Oyo State have every obligation to fight crimes ranging from kidnapping, killings, rape to invasion of farmlands at all cost but without promoting anarchy,

Forcefulness, dissent, general bad manners and unruly behavior should not be encouraged in a decent society.

Nigerians should disregard the various lies being peddled by the self-acclaimed Igbo leader against the Inspector General of Police and the Oyo State Commissioner of Police. There is no plan to stop the agenda of the people of the South-West. There is no plan to ferments enmity between the South-East and the South-West.

We commend the Police for doing what they are statutorily assigned to do.

We urge the Oyo State Police Commissioner not to succumb to the propaganda and blackmail daily oozing out of the mouths of some enemies of Nigeria.

We urge the Oyo State Commissioner of Police to ignore calls by the self-acclaimed Igbo leader in Diaspora to resign from office.

It was reassuring to see how thoughtfully the Inspector General of Police responded to the incident.

The police must go the whole hog to put a stop to the acts of lawlessness of some people in the country.

We commend Governor Seyi Makinde for being responsible and responsive to the needs of all.

We urge him to continue to support the police and other security agencies.

We also commend President Muhammadu Buhari for showing that lawlessness and brigandage are alien to our culture

We call on Oyo youths to extend to Hausa/Fulani in the state a hand of fellowship, friendship and brotherhood so that together, they could position the state for economic growth.

We call on the President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Prof George Obiozor to call this Igbo self-acclaimed leader in Diaspora to order

Security of life and property is so fundamental. We urge the police to discharge their duties to the government and heroic people of Oyo State and Nigeria.

Lastly, we appeal for professionalism, restraints and understanding on the part of Igbo and Yoruba youths.

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ABIA STATE Abigborodo ABUA ODUAI Abuja Abuja News Abuja People Abuja Pilot Abuja Punch Abuja Sun Abuja Times Abuja Vanguard APC

SERAP gives FG seven days to disclose details of payments of N729bn to 24.3 million poor Nigerians

SERAP gives FG seven days to disclose details of payments of N729bn to 24.3 million poor Nigerians

 

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged Ms Sadia Umar-Farouk, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disasters Management and Social Development to “publish details of proposed payments of N729bn to 24.3 million poor Nigerians for six months, including the mechanisms and logistics for the payments, list of beneficiaries, and how they have been selected, projected payments per state, and whether the payments will be made in cash or through Bank Verification Numbers or other means.”

 

SERAP also urged her to “explain the rationale for paying N5,000 to 24.3 million poor Nigerians, which translates to five-percent of the country’s budget of N13.6 trillion for 2021, and to clarify if this proposed spending is part of the N5.6 trillion budget deficit.”

 

Ms Sadia Umar-Farouk had last week disclosed that the Federal Government would pay about 24.3 million poor Nigerians N5,000 each for a period of six months to “provide help to those impoverished by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

 

In the Freedom of Information request dated 23 January 2021 and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization said: “Publishing the details of beneficiaries and selection criteria, as well as the payment plan for six months would promote transparency and accountability, and remove the risks of mismanagement and diversion of public funds.”

 

SERAP said: “Transparency and accountability in the programme would improve public trust, and allow Nigerians to track and monitor its implementation, and to assess if the programme is justified, as well as to hold authorities to account in cases of diversion, mismanagement and corruption.”

 

SERAP also urged Ms Umar-Farouk to: “invite the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to jointly track and monitor the payments.”

 

The FoI request, read in part: “We would be grateful if the requested information is provided to us within seven days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions under the Freedom of Information Act to compel you to comply with our request.”

 

“Providing support and assistance to socially and economically vulnerable Nigerians is a human rights obligation but the programme to spend five-percent of the 2021 budget, which is mostly based on deficit and borrowing, requires anti-corruption safeguards to ensure the payments go directly to the intended beneficiaries, and that public funds are not mismanaged or diverted.”

 

“SERAP notes that the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 [as amended], UN Convention against Corruption, and African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption to which Nigeria is a state party require the government to set the highest standards of transparency, accountability and probity in programmes that it oversees.”

 

“The government has a responsibility to ensure that these requirements and other anti-corruption controls are fully implemented and monitored, and that the payments are justified in light of the huge budget deficit and borrowing, and whether there are better ways to spend N729bn to support poor Nigerians.”

 

“Several questions remain as to the implementation and monitoring mechanisms for the payments, and whether this is the best and most effective way to spend N729bn to support socially and economically vulnerable Nigerians.”

 

“Our requests are brought in the public interest, and in keeping with the requirements of the Nigerian Constitution 1999 [as amended], the Freedom of Information Act, and UN Convention against Corruption, African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption, and African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights to which Nigeria is a state party.”

 

“By Section 1 (1) of the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act 2011, and Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, SERAP is entitled as of right to request for or gain access to information, including information on details of beneficiaries of the direct payments of N729bn.”

 

“By Section 4 (a) of the FoI Act, when a person makes a request for information from a public official, institution or agency, the public official, institution or urgency to whom the application is directed is under a binding legal obligation to provide the applicant with the information requested for, except as otherwise provided by the Act, within seven days after the application is received.”

 

“By Sections 2(3)(d)(V) & (4) of the FoI Act, there is a binding legal duty to ensure that documents containing information including information on details of payments of N729bn to N24.3 million poor and vulnerable Nigerians are widely disseminated and made readily available to members of the public through various means.”

 

“The information being requested does not come within the purview of the types of information exempted from disclosure by the provisions of the FoI Act. The information requested for as indicated above, apart from not being exempted from disclosure under the FoI Act, bothers on an issue of national interest, public concern, interest of human rights, social justice, good governance, transparency and accountability.”

 

 

Kolawole Oluwadare

SERAP Deputy Director

24/01/2021

Lagos, Nigeria

Emails: info@serap-nigeria.org; news@serap-nigeria.org

Twitter: @SERAPNigeria

Website: www.serap-nigeria.org

For more information or to request an interview, please contact us on: +2348160537202

Categories
ABIA STATE Abigborodo ABUA ODUAI Abuja Abuja News Abuja People Abuja Pilot Abuja Punch Abuja Sun Abuja Times Abuja Vanguard Adegbarassa; Ajakimonu; Ajamikawa; Amukpe; Amuogodo; Aruowon; Atamua; Ebada; Egbeku; Egborode; Emuaegbedi; Gana; Ikwewu; Ogorode; Okirigwre; Okuovwori; Oton; Sapele ADEJE ADVERTISING Africa Aghalokpe AHOADA EAST AHOADA WEST AIR FORCE Ajamikawa AKUKU TORU AKWA IBOM STATE Alaka community ALAUSA NEWS America Amukpe Amuokpokpo; Elume; Igbimidaka; Inabome; Jakpa; Ogiedi; Okuoke; Olan; Onoghro; Oyohe Anambra State ANDONI ANIOCHA SOUTH Anioma Annang Another world Anthony Village APC APEX NEWS APPEAL COURT ARMY Art Arts ASARI TORU Asia Aso Rock Villa Australia Auto mobile Banking BAYELSA STATE Beauty Beauty Ebireri Benin News Benue People Benue State Benue Weekly Bola Ahmed Tinubu BOMADI BONNY RIVERS Book Review Breaking News Broadcast to the Nation Brutality Buhari BURUTU Business Business Men Catering and Hotel Management Celebrity Charles Ebireri CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY Chieftaincy Affairs Christianity Citizens City News CIVIL DEFENCE Civil Society Groups Community News CONSULTING Corruption COURT NEWS Crime CROSS RIVER STATE Culture DAILY BREAK WEEKLY DAILY BREAKFAST DAILY BULLETIN REVIEW DAILY SUN David Ebireri DEGEMA RIVERS Delta Central DELTA CHRONICLE DELTA HERALD Delta North Delta South Delta State DELTA STREET TIMES Discourse DISPATCH NEWS DSS EASTERN PUNCH Ebonyi News Ebonyi State Economy Edo Edo State Edo Today Education EGBA EGBEMA NDONI Ekeresan; Okopkooro; Okuodede; Okuovu; Ugbokurusu; Ugborhen Ekiti News Ekiti State Eko Daily Eko News Eku el-Rufai Electricity ELEME RIVERS ELUME Elume District EMOHUA Encounter Energy Environment Epe LG EPOCH NEWS ETCHE Ethiope East Ethiope West Eti Osa Europe F. O. and Sons Faces Fashion Fashola Federal character Federal government FEDERAL HIGH COURT Federal Roads Festus Omajemite Ebireri Fiction Financial Crime Fitness FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION Godwin Obaseki GOKANA RIVERS Government GOVERNMENT HOUSE Hausa Health Henry Ebireri Henry Ovie Ebireri Housing Ibeju. Lekki ICPC Igbimidaka Igbo Ijaw IKA NORTH EAST IKA SOUTH Ikpera Sawmill Ikwerre IMO STATE Industries Infrastructure INSIDE LAGOS Institution Interest Group International International News INTERNET Iponri Islam Isoko ISOKO SOUTH Issues and Ideas Itsekiri JOURNALISM JUDICIARY TODAY Kaduna State Kalabari Ken Ochonogor KHANA RIVERS Kokori Labour and Productivity Lagos LAGOS BLAZERS LAGOS BUSINESS AND FINANCIAL TIMES Lagos Central LAGOS CHRONICLE Lagos Chronicles LAGOS CITY NEWS LAGOS DAILY LAGOS DAILY NEWSPAPER LAGOS DAILY OBSERVER LAGOS DISPATCH Lagos East LAGOS ENTREPRENEURS LAGOS EVENING NEWS LAGOS EXPRESS LAGOS FINDER LAGOS FREE PRESS LAGOS GAZETTE LAGOS GOVERNOR LAGOS GRAPHIC LAGOS GREEN DOVE LAGOS GUIDE LAGOS HERALD LAGOS HERITAGE LAGOS INDEPENDENT NEWS LAGOS INSIGHT Lagos Island LAGOS JOURNAL LAGOS MAIL LAGOS MATTER LAGOS MESSENGERS LAGOS MIRROR Lagos News LAGOS OBSERVER Lagos People LAGOS PEOPLE AND PLACES LAGOS PIONEER LAGOS POST LAGOS PRESS LAGOS PUBLIC AGENDA LAGOS SCOOP LAGOS SEARCHLIGHT LAGOS SHOWBIX LAGOS SPECTATOR LAGOS SPORTS LAGOS SQUARE LAGOS STANDARD LAGOS STAR Lagos State Government LAGOS STATESMAN LAGOS TIMELINE LAGOS TIMES LAGOS TODAY LAGOS VIBE LAGOS VOICE Lagos West LAGOS WORDS Lamonde Kevwe Ebireri Law Leadership Letters Lifestyle Local government Local News MAGISTRATE COURT MANAGEMENT Marford Close MARKETING Media MEDIA FREEDOM IN NIGERIA Media Watch MEDIAGATE MEDIAGATE BROADCASTING SERVICE MEDIAGATE GLOBAL NEWS MediaGate Management and Consulting Limited MEDIAGATE NEWS MEDIAGATE NEWSPAPERS MEDIAGATE RADIO MEDIAGATE TELEVISION MERCURY NEWS METROPOLITAN DAILY Middle Belt News Military MINISTRY OF JUSTICE MODEST NEWS Mohammadu Buhari Monarch Monica Ochu Ohwavborua motoring MOVIE INDUSTRY National Assembly National Security Nationwide Address NAVY NDDC Ndokwa East Ndokwa Nation Ndokwa West NEW MEDIA News Newspaper Owners NGO Niger Delta Niger Delta News Nigeria NIGERIA NEWS DAY NIGERIAN CYBER SPACE NIGERIAN WORKERS North Central North East North West Novena University NYESOM WIKE Oba Akiolu Oba of Lagos OBALENDE OBIO AKPOR Obituary Odd world Office of the Chief Press Secretary Office of the President Office of the Special Adviser Oghene Ochuko Ogoni OGU BOLO Ogume OGUN STATE Oil and Gas Okpara-waterside OKPE Okpe Kingdom OKPE UNION OKRIKA OMUMA Ondo State Opobo OPOBO NKORO OREROKPE OSHIMILI NORTH OSHIMILI SOUTH Osun State Ovie Ebireri OVIRI OKPE Oyabewei Dieghwolo OYIGBO OYO STATE PATANI PDP Peace and Conflict PEACEFUL ASSEMBLY Personality Phillip Shaibu Police Police Affair POLITICAL COMMUNICATION Political Institutions Political Parties Politics PORT HARCOURT PORT HARCOURT MAIL PORT HARCOURT MIRROR PORT HARCOURT NEWS PORT HARCOURT SUN RAY PORT HARCOURT SUN SAY PORT HARCOURT TELEGRAPH Port-Harcourt Power Power and Energy /Electricity Presidency Presidential News Presidential Villa Press Release PRESS STATEMENT Professional women Protest Public Administration PUBLIC RELATIONS Reclamation Road Reform REFORMER NEWSPAPER Religion RIVERS RIVERS MIRROR RIVERS PEOPLE Rivers State RIVERS TIMES RIVERS VANGUARD RIVERS VOICE SANWO OLU Sapele SAPELE CITY STAR SAPELE POST SAPELE TRIBUNE Security SERAP SOCIAL MEDIA Society South East South South South West SOUTH WEST DESPATCH SOUTH WEST MID DAY SOUTH WEST MIRROR Special report Sport's Sports Gate State governments Stock Market Watch SUPREME COURT Surulere TAI RIVERS Talk to us Telecommunications THE CORE ISSUE THE GOVERNOR SPEAKS The Leader Speaks THE MEDIAGATE EPITAPH THE NEWS WAVES THE PATRIOT The President Speaks THE SOUTH WEST EXPRESS THE TIMES OF SOUTH WEST THE TIMES OF YORUBA The Veterans THE YORUBA ECONOMIC TIMES THE YORUBA TRIBUNE Theatre THIS DAY THIS WEEK TODAY'S NEWS Traditional Institutions Traditional Ruler Transparency TWITTER UDU Ugbeku Ugbimidaka UGBORHEN UGHELLI NORTH UGHELLI SOUTH Ukwuani Uncategorized University Urhobo UVWIE Veronica Ikpera Ebireri Victor Oki Victor Okpako Ebireri Victoria Ebireri Unubreme Viewpoint WARRI NORTH WARRI SOUTH WARRI SOUTH WEST West Africa Wike Works WORKS AND HOUSING World Yoruba YORUBA CHRONICLE YORUBA DEMOCRATS Yoruba Elders YORUBA EXPRESS YORUBA FLASH YORUBA HERALD Yoruba Leaders Yoruba Mirror Yoruba Nation Yoruba News YORUBA NEWS TODAY YORUBA POLITICAL LINE Yoruba Vanguard Yoruba Voice Young people Youths

Florence Ufuoma Ebireri: Family Announces Burial Date

Florence Ufuoma Ebireri: Family Announces Burial Date

The family of the late educationist, public administrator and writer, Florence Ufuoma Ebireri, has announced January 23, 2021 as date for her funeral.

‘’Florence Ufuoma Ebireri is being laid to rest in Sapele, Delta State, forty two days after her death’’ a statement by the head of the family, Mr Wilson Ebireri said.

The statement described Florence Ebireri as a woman of great personal integrity.

‘’Florence Ebireri’s death is definitely a sad news to us’’.

The renowned public administrator and business woman breathed her last on Saturday, December 12, 2020.

A beloved figure in Delta State, the statement underscored her absolute dedication to job and family.

Deeply religious, Florence Ebireri was a noiseless, persistent and disciplined woman

‘’We are experiencing great grief’’ the statement added.

Categories
APC APEX NEWS Breaking News EASTERN PUNCH Ebonyi News Ebonyi State Fashola Federal government Federal Roads Government Igbo Infrastructure

Adopt Ebonyi road construction system, Agbo tells FG

Adopt Ebonyi road construction system, Agbo tells FG

A chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC) from Ebonyi State, Senator Anthony Agbo, has called on the Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Works, to standardize the system of road construction in Nigeria by adopting Ebonyi State pattern of road construction as a national model.

Agbo stated that this has become not only necessary but both imperative and of urgent national importance, due to the huge financial resources that is perennially sunk into road works in the country, only to end up achieving roads that comprehensively collapse within few years of their construction.

The Senator, who represented Ebonyi North Senatorial District in the sixth Senate, averred that the Governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi, has introduced a new and revolutionary concept in civil public works in Nigeria.

He said the governor came up with the idea of Concrete Roads, which has become the standard and indeed very successful road construction model for Ebonyi State.

The ex-lawmaker regretted the fact that Nigerian public road construction, has for decades been left to the whims and caprices of greedy contractors, as well as unscrupulous and unpatriotic bureaucrats in the Federal Ministry of Works, who have continued to swindle the nation in exchange for roads that end up as national shame and embarrassment.

The solution to this national embarrassment, according to him, is to standardize the system of national road construction by adopting Governor Umahi’s road model with a strong and thorough system of supervision.

Categories
ABIA STATE Abigborodo ABUA ODUAI Abuja Abuja News Abuja People Abuja Pilot Abuja Punch Abuja Sun Abuja Times Adegbarassa; Ajakimonu; Ajamikawa; Amukpe; Amuogodo; Aruowon; Atamua; Ebada; Egbeku; Egborode; Emuaegbedi; Gana; Ikwewu; Ogorode; Okirigwre; Okuovwori; Oton; Sapele ADEJE ADVERTISING Africa Aghalokpe AHOADA EAST AHOADA WEST AIR FORCE Ajamikawa AKUKU TORU AKWA IBOM STATE Alaka community ALAUSA NEWS America Amukpe Amuokpokpo; Elume; Igbimidaka; Inabome; Jakpa; Ogiedi; Okuoke; Olan; Onoghro; Oyohe Anambra State ANDONI ANIOCHA SOUTH Anioma Annang Another world Anthony Village APC APEX NEWS APPEAL COURT ARMY Art Arts ASARI TORU Asia Aso Rock Villa Australia Auto mobile Banking BAYELSA STATE Beauty Beauty Ebireri Benin News Benue People Benue State Benue Weekly Bola Ahmed Tinubu BOMADI BONNY RIVERS Book Review Breaking News Broadcast to the Nation Brutality Buhari BURUTU Business Business Men Catering and Hotel Management Celebrity Charles Ebireri CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY Chieftaincy Affairs Christianity Citizens City News CIVIL DEFENCE Civil Society Groups Community News CONCERNED NIGERIANS CONSULTING CONTACT THE EDITORS Contact The Publishers Corruption COURT NEWS Crime CROSS RIVER STATE Culture DAILY BREAK WEEKLY DAILY BREAKFAST DAILY BULLETIN REVIEW DAILY SUN David Ebireri DEGEMA RIVERS Delta Central DELTA CHRONICLE DELTA HERALD Delta North Delta South Delta State DELTA STREET TIMES Discourse DISPATCH NEWS DSS EASTERN PUNCH Economy Edo Edo State Edo Today Education EGBA EGBEMA NDONI Ekeresan; Okopkooro; Okuodede; Okuovu; Ugbokurusu; Ugborhen Ekiti News Ekiti State Eko Daily Eko News Eku el-Rufai Electricity ELEME RIVERS ELUME Elume District EMOHUA Encounter Energy Environment Epe LG EPOCH NEWS ETCHE Ethiope East Ethiope West Eti Osa Europe F. O. and Sons Faces Fashion Fashola Federal character Federal government FEDERAL HIGH COURT Federal Roads Festus Omajemite Ebireri Fiction Financial Crime Fitness FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION Godwin Obaseki GOKANA RIVERS Government GOVERNMENT HOUSE Hausa Health Henry Ebireri Henry Ovie Ebireri Housing Ibeju. Lekki ICPC Igbimidaka Igbo Ijaw IKA NORTH EAST IKA SOUTH Ikpera Sawmill Ikwerre IMO STATE Industries Infrastructure INSIDE LAGOS Institution Interest Group International International News INTERNET Iponri Islam Isoko ISOKO SOUTH Issues and Ideas Itsekiri JOURNALISM JUDICIARY TODAY Kaduna State Kalabari Ken Ochonogor KHANA RIVERS Kokori Labour and Productivity Lagos LAGOS BLAZERS LAGOS BUSINESS AND FINANCIAL TIMES Lagos Central LAGOS CHRONICLE Lagos Chronicles LAGOS CITY NEWS LAGOS DAILY LAGOS DAILY NEWSPAPER LAGOS DAILY OBSERVER LAGOS DISPATCH Lagos East LAGOS ENTREPRENEURS LAGOS EVENING NEWS LAGOS EXPRESS LAGOS FINDER LAGOS FREE PRESS LAGOS GAZETTE LAGOS GOVERNOR LAGOS GRAPHIC LAGOS GREEN DOVE LAGOS GUIDE LAGOS HERALD LAGOS HERITAGE LAGOS INDEPENDENT NEWS LAGOS INSIGHT Lagos Island LAGOS JOURNAL LAGOS MAIL LAGOS MATTER LAGOS MESSENGERS LAGOS MIRROR LAGOS OBSERVER Lagos People LAGOS PEOPLE AND PLACES LAGOS PIONEER LAGOS POST LAGOS PRESS LAGOS PUBLIC AGENDA LAGOS SCOOP LAGOS SEARCHLIGHT LAGOS SHOWBIX LAGOS SPECTATOR LAGOS SPORTS LAGOS SQUARE LAGOS STANDARD LAGOS STAR Lagos State Government LAGOS STATESMAN LAGOS TIMELINE LAGOS TIMES LAGOS TODAY LAGOS VIBE LAGOS VOICE Lagos West LAGOS WORDS Lamonde Kevwe Ebireri Law Leadership Letters Lifestyle Local government Local News MAGISTRATE COURT MANAGEMENT Marford Close MARKETING Media MEDIA FREEDOM IN NIGERIA Media Watch MEDIAGATE MEDIAGATE BROADCASTING SERVICE MEDIAGATE GLOBAL NEWS MediaGate Management and Consulting Limited MEDIAGATE NEWS MEDIAGATE NEWSPAPERS MEDIAGATE RADIO MEDIAGATE TELEVISION MERCURY NEWS METROPOLITAN DAILY Middle Belt News Military MINISTRY OF JUSTICE MODEST NEWS Mohammadu Buhari Monarch Monica Ochu Ohwavborua motoring MOVIE INDUSTRY National Assembly National Security Nationwide Address NAVY NDDC Ndokwa East Ndokwa Nation Ndokwa West NEW MEDIA News Newspaper Owners NGO Niger Delta Niger Delta News Nigeria NIGERIA NEWS DAY NIGERIAN CYBER SPACE NIGERIAN WORKERS North Central North East North West Novena University NYESOM WIKE Oba Akiolu Oba of Lagos OBALENDE OBIO AKPOR Obituary Odd world Office of the Chief Press Secretary Office of the President Office of the Special Adviser Oghene Ochuko Ogoni OGU BOLO Ogume OGUN STATE Oil and Gas Okpara-waterside OKPE Okpe Kingdom OKPE UNION OKRIKA OMUMA Ondo State Opobo OPOBO NKORO OREROKPE OSHIMILI NORTH OSHIMILI SOUTH Osun State Ovie Ebireri OVIRI OKPE Oyabewei Dieghwolo OYIGBO OYO STATE PATANI PDP Peace and Conflict PEACEFUL ASSEMBLY Personality Phillip Shaibu Police Police Affair POLITICAL COMMUNICATION Political Institutions Political Parties Politics PORT HARCOURT PORT HARCOURT MAIL PORT HARCOURT MIRROR PORT HARCOURT NEWS PORT HARCOURT SUN RAY PORT HARCOURT SUN SAY PORT HARCOURT TELEGRAPH Port-Harcourt Power Power and Energy /Electricity Presidency Presidential Villa Press Release PRESS STATEMENT Professional women Protest Public Administration PUBLIC RELATIONS Reclamation Road Reform REFORMER NEWSPAPER Religion RIVERS RIVERS MIRROR RIVERS PEOPLE Rivers State RIVERS TIMES RIVERS VANGUARD RIVERS VOICE SANWO OLU Sapele SAPELE CITY STAR SAPELE POST SAPELE TRIBUNE Security SERAP SOCIAL MEDIA Society South East South South South West SOUTH WEST DESPATCH SOUTH WEST MID DAY SOUTH WEST MIRROR Special report Sport's Sports Gate State governments Stock Market Watch SUPREME COURT Surulere TAI RIVERS Talk to us Telecommunications THE CORE ISSUE THE GOVERNOR SPEAKS The Leader Speaks THE MEDIAGATE EPITAPH THE NEWS WAVES THE PATRIOT The President Speaks THE SOUTH WEST EXPRESS THE TIMES OF SOUTH WEST THE TIMES OF YORUBA The Veterans THE YORUBA ECONOMIC TIMES THE YORUBA TRIBUNE Theatre THIS DAY THIS WEEK TODAY'S NEWS Traditional Institutions Traditional Ruler Transparency TWITTER UDU Ugbeku Ugbimidaka UGBORHEN UGHELLI NORTH UGHELLI SOUTH Ukwuani Uncategorized University Urhobo UVWIE Veronica Ikpera Ebireri Victor Oki Victor Okpako Ebireri Victoria Ebireri Unubreme Viewpoint WARRI NORTH WARRI SOUTH WARRI SOUTH WEST West Africa Wike Works WORKS AND HOUSING World Yoruba YORUBA CHRONICLE YORUBA DEMOCRATS Yoruba Elders YORUBA EXPRESS YORUBA FLASH YORUBA HERALD Yoruba Leaders Yoruba Mirror Yoruba Nation Yoruba News YORUBA NEWS TODAY YORUBA POLITICAL LINE Yoruba Vanguard Yoruba Voice Young people Youths

2023 Polls: Okpe leaders give condition to Governorship Aspirants

2023 Polls: Okpe leaders give condition to Governorship Aspirants

· List expectations from Buhari, Okowa, others

· Decry imbalance in polity

· Task Delta State Government on Sapele Polytechnic

· Call for All Okpe Summit

 

Prominent Okpe leaders on Wednesday expressed disappointment that politicians in Delta State seem to be interested in the political zoning rather than the performance of the people they elected.

They said that anyone who feels that he wants to be governor of Delta State in 2023 must react to the Okpe question and issue.

‘’The Okpe Union is prepared to lend its voice and support to policies that will address the developmental challenges of the state. Ultimately, looking into the future of leadership in the state, the Okpe Union shall be open to supporting such personalities with leadership qualities and credentials that will ensure the stability and overall equitable development of the entire state’’.

In an end of year message of the Okpe Union National Executive Council, the leaders asked the Federal Government to institute structures and processes which enhance equitable involvement and participation in the affairs of the country by the component parts.

‘’We call on the federal government and Stakeholders of the Nigerian federation to take the issue of restructuring and devolution of more governmental powers to the federating units of the country seriously. We believe that it is with a restructured Nigerian federation that the current myriads of problems bedeviling the country like security and economic development issues can be resolved for progress. We also call on the federal government to revisit the issue of the Sapele Port which is the only freshwater harbour in Nigeria and therefore attractive to vessel owners the world over’’

Signed by Mr. Patrick Akpotor, President General, Barrister Kingsley Akpederin, General Secretary and Mrs. Atarhe Abuh,

National Publicity Secretary, the leaders advised Orhue 1, Orodje of Okpe Kingdom to use his wealth of experience and connections to help Delta State in general and Okpe kingdom in particular.

‘’The National Executive Council notes the fatherly advice the Okpe Union has enjoyed from the Orodje of Okpe Kingdom since the restoration of the Okpe monarchy in 1945. We thank our Orodje of Okpe, Orhue I, for his leadership and support for the national leadership of the Okpe Union led by Mr. Patrick Akpotor. As an advisory body to the Udogun Okpe which is headed by the Orodje of Okpe, the Okpe Union will continue to avail its services to the revered Okpe institution as it grapples with challenges of Okpe unity and development. In this regard, the Okpe Union looks forward to active participation in the community of ethnic nationalities in Delta State and in Nigeria as a strong voice of the Okpe Nation in collaboration with the Orodje of Okpe Kingdom vis-a-vis the articulation of the Okpe identity, development and the restoration of all aspects of Okpe heritage’’.

They stated that the 2020 National Conference/General Assembly and the setting up of an Electoral Committee to organise elections into the National Executive Council of the union in the early part of next year 2021 remained glorious achievements of the union.

‘’2020 has been a turbulent one in several regards especially from the consequences of the corona virus (COVID 19) which ended up affecting the implementation of some of the programmes that the national leadership of the Union earmarked for the outgoing year. We are however relieved that the Union succeeded in holding its 2020 National Conference/General Assembly which has set in motion a transition template by setting up an Electoral Committee to organise elections into the National Executive Council of the union in the early part of next year 2021 as well as a Constitutional Review Committee which is saddled with the responsibility of bringing the Okpe Union Constitution up to date with modern realities and developments’’.

The leaders reiterated that the stability of the union depended on a good working relationship between the headquarters and the branches.

‘’We thank the leadership of branches and members for standing by and supporting the current leadership by making the erstwhile Acting President General, Mr. Patrick Akpotor the substantive President General as well as extending the tenure of the outgoing National Executive Council by five months to avoid a leadership vacuum and enable the Electoral Committee to conduct credible national elections. The National leadership promises to complete the implementation of the various resolutions of the last General Assembly of the Union which held on the 14th of November, 2020 and to uphold the provisions of the Okpe Union Constitution. We are particularly relieved with the adoption of a resolution by the last General Assembly of the Union enabling the National Executive Council as well as committees of the Okpe Union to hold meetings by employing reliable social media like WhatsApp and Zoom for meetings. This has now made it safer, less expensive and more convenient for meetings to be held to address challenges of the Okpe Union and of the Okpe Nation from time to time’’.

They harped on the need for continuous unity of the Okpe Union.

‘’The Okpe Union is the oldest ethnic union of Delta State, Nigeria. In the union over ninety years of existence, it has run its affairs as an autonomous registered organization. We enjoin all branches to remain steadfast and uphold the constitution of the Okpe Union and its traditions that have been handed over to us by the founding fathers of the Union’’

The leaders said the founding fathers of the Okpe Union held the Okpe Nation together along with the Chief Ayomanor Evwida led Udogun Okpe and initiated the process for the resuscitation of the Okpe monarchy by installing Esezi II in 1945.

 

‘’It is with unity that the Okpe Union established scholarship schemes during the colonial era to train Okpe sons overseas as well as to achieve several collective land mark legal victories of the past. This vision of unity and cohesion amongst members of the Okpe Union handed to us by our founding fathers must be upheld to enable us consolidate on the several successes of the past. The Okpe Union is an organisation registered with the federal government since the early colonial times with its constitution, and with registered branches and members. The Okpe Union can only be governed by compliance with its constitution’’.

 

They said Okpe Union had played great roles in the development of the Niger Delta region.

 

‘’The Okpe Union is one of the oldest ethnic Unions in Nigeria and the oldest registered one of Delta State. It was registered with the Colonial Government of Nigeria on the 13th of December, 1934, after it officially took off on the 16th of May, 1930. Our founding fathers envisioned creating a platform to be a formidable voice for the Okpe people as well as mobilise the people of the Delta region to collaborate for the Development of the area. The Okpe Union has therefore worked with other ethnic Unions which were later created to ensure stability of the region. We therefore hope to continue partnering with the Delta State government, the Nigerian federal government and developmental agencies at both the Federal, Regional and State levels to achieve peace and development for the country, the region and the state’’.

 

Assessing Okpe kingdom’s journey in phases, the leaders stated that the union has taken a leadership role in drawing attention to the abandoned Sapele Polytechnic project.

 

‘’We also reiterate our earlier call to the Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa led administration of Delta State to look into the abandoned project for the establishment of the only higher institution of Okpeland, the Sapele Polytechnic project in Elume’’.

 

The leaders lamented the deplorable nature of roads in the kingdom and called on the authorities to see that something was done to save the situation which the rainy season complicated

‘’It is also regrettable that many of the link roads for Okpe towns and villages are still in earth road state despite the huge contributions in terms of oil and gas mineral resources in revenue generation to the federal and state governments. Both the NDDC and DESOPADEC hardly think of the rural communities of Okpeland’’ the leaders said.

They stated that the main challenge before the kingdom was the lack of synergy between the political leadership of the two local government areas of Okpeland which are Sapele and Okpe Local Government Areas.

‘’It is the desire of the national leadership of the Okpe Union to organise an Okpe Development Summit to coincide with the celebration of the founding of the Okpe Union 91 (ninety one) years ago. It has been observed that there is hardly any synergy between the political leadership of the two local government areas of Okpeland which are Sapele and Okpe Local Government Areas. Some of the over a century old road networks in Okpeland for example crisscross these two local governments. Despite the existence of link roads, moving from Sapele Council Area to the Okpe Council Area can be herculean because of their poor state. It is therefore important for the Okpe Nation to have a development summit which will bring together all Stakeholders of the Okpe Nation to brainstorm on how best to make our land achieve social and infrastructural development’’.

The leaders described Okpe language as distinct.

‘’The Okpe language is a distinct language recognised by Ethnologue which is the international body that recognises and registers distinct languages the world over. The Okpe language is the only language indigenous to Sapele and Okpe Local Government Areas of Delta State. Unfortunately, the Okpe language has deteriorated in official recognition from a government officially utilised newscast language in Bendel State times to one which has been abandoned by the Delta State Government. It is currently not a subject in the schools of Okpeland despite the mother tongue policy that it is the language of the place that is to be taught in the schools. The Okpe Union calls on all Stakeholders to join hands to rescue the Okpe language from going into extinction as the pressures hindering its development increase further. We hope that in the year 2021 and beyond, we shall all bring to the table our ideas and proposals for an action plan to save the Okpe language. We are glad to reveal to all Okpes that our traditional leader, Orhue I, the Orodje of Okpe is at the forefront of these efforts to save the Okpe language’’.

 

They urged the people of the state to come together and work for the progress of the state.

 

‘’As the year 2020 comes to an end, we wish all Okpe people, and the people of Delta State and Nigeria, a prosperous new year 2021.

We remind all Okpe people throughout the world that the Okpe Nation is a unique one in Delta State. It is the ethnic nation that is most connected to the other ethnic groups in the state. The connection of the Okpe people to the other ethnicities in Delta State is highest both in terms of ancestry and history of migration as well as intermarriage. The Okpe people are therefore expected to be a force to unify the various peoples of our Delta State. We therefore enjoin all our people to always present themselves as peace builders. Our people must close ranks with the other ethnic nationalities and help our Delta State achieve its development potentials in the modern era’’.