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PDP Charges DSS to Invite Pantami for Questioning over Alleged Affiliation with Al-Qaeda, Taliban


April 18, 2021
Press Statement
PDP Charges DSS to Invite Pantami for Questioning over Alleged Affiliation with Al-Qaeda, Taliban
…….. Asks Buhari to Sack Minister

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) charges the Department of State Services (DSS) to immediately invite the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, for questioning over alleged affiliations with the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.
The party also demands that President Muhammadu Buhari should immediately sack the minister, given the sensitivity of the issue at stake.
Our party’s position is predicated on the heightening concerns in the public space and in the international arena of possible compromises by the communication minister, who has access to sensitive government documents and information, in addition to data of all individuals including high profile personalities in the public and private sectors as well as the traditional and faith-based circles.
The PDP is particularly worried about allegations in the public suggesting that the minister compromised the NIN registration exercise by giving room for the registration of aliens and invaders from other countries as our citizens.
The party tasks the DSS to investigate the allegation, which has created apprehension, particularly given the rise in banditry and other terrorists activities in our country.
The PDP urges Nigerians to remain at alert and very sensitive to their environment, while not hesitating in providing useful information to our security agencies in the interest of our nation.
Signed:
Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary

April 18, 2021
Press Statement
PDP Savours Sweeping Victory in Rivers LG Polls
…Says Victory Signposts Repositioning For 2023
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says its sweeping victory in the 23 local government areas as well as the 319 wards in Rivers state, is a further demonstration of its political supremacy and repositioning to take back its dominant position in the affairs of our nation at the center, come 2023.
The party asserts that the overwhelming victory in a state like Rivers, with its egalitarian population and political exposure further confirms that parties like the fizzling and shambolic All Progressives Congress (APC) and its leaders have lost all footholds not only in the state but also in the South South region and the nation at large.
The PDP says the election has shown that the APC only exists in the empty boasts of their few disoriented leaders, who have lost credence in the sight of the people and are only hanging around waiting for President Buhari to complete his second and final term in office.
Moreover, the PDP’s wholesale electoral victory is a reaffirmation of the popularity and acceptance of Governor Nyesom Wike in his unprecedented development of the state in all sectors in line with the manifesto and ideology of the PDP.
The PDP congratulates Governor Wike, the newly elected local government chairmen and councilors as well as the people of Rivers state for the triumph of democracy in the state.
The party urges the newly elected council officials to emulate Governor Wike and hit the ground running in the development of the state in line with the vision of the governor and the PDP.
Signed:
Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary

April 18, 2021
Press Statement
PDP Debunks Purported Suspension of Kwankwaso, Babangida Aliyu
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) debunks claims in misleading documents being circulated by some mischievous individuals purporting that former Kano State Governor, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, has been suspended from the party.
The PDP states clearly that Senator Kwakwanso is not suspended from the party adding that any claim of suspension by any individual or group, purporting to be representing any organ of our party at any level, is mere fabrication and should be discountenanced.
The PDP stresses that the provisions of the constitution of the PDP are very clear on the suspension of a member of the National Executive Committee (NEC), if and when such occasion arises, and cautioned those behind the misleading claims to desist henceforth.
The PDP strongly cautions that it will not accept such reckless adventure by such misguided individuals, which its notes, is capable of destabilizing our party and bringing it to public disrepute.
Similarly, the PDP states that the former Niger state governor, Dr. Babangida Aliyu, has not been suspended by the party as mischievously published in certain quarters.
Our party frowns as such fabrications aimed at subverting the stability of our party and trigger disagreements and suspicions within our ranks.
The PDP urges our leaders and teeming members in Kano and Niger states to be at alert, resist distractions and continue to work together as Nigerians earnestly look up to the PDP for solution and direction at this critical time.
Signed:
Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary

40th Wedding Anniversary: My Crossing the Niger worth it- Ondo First Lady

.charges couples to understand each other, communicate, give room for compromise

It is forty solid years today that the number one citizen of Ondo State, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN tied the knot with his heartrob, Betty-Anyanwu.

Narrating her experiences so far, the wife of the Governor, Arabinrin Betty-Anyanwu Akeredolu affirmed that marriage is not a bed of roses but they were able to come this far by making use of Communication tool and by understanding each other.

Betty-Anyanwu, a bonafide indigene of Emeabiam in Owerri Imo state, noted that despite the fact that herself and the Governor are from different tribes, she enjoyed total support from her spouse, saying, “I couldn’t have asked for a better husband. Infact, my crossing the Niger was worth it”.

She explained that for different people from different background to survive the storms of marriage, there’s a need for them to identify each other’s likes and dislikes, while advising young couples to give space to each other to grow in the union, saying: “Marriage MUST not be a master and slave relationship”.

She lamented a disheartening situation where an educated woman is being subjugated in marriage due to her husband’s lack of support in her career advancement, while appreciating her late father and the Governor for giving her voice and the liberty to explore her potential in life.

Her words: “There is nothing more depressing than for an educated woman to feel suffocated in marriage due to husband’s lack of support in her career advancement or in some extreme cases, outright stoppage of a wife pursuing a career for fear of a woman having a voice in her home or being in control of her wealth.

“This state of mind leads to frustration and unhappy home. Its ramification is better imagined.
“My case is different. My husband and I believed in building our home together and from the scratch. With love and understanding, we feel fulfilled, today, 40 years. While my father gave me the wings to fly, my husband oiled the wings for me to soar. I have a supportive husband in all my endeavours”.

The First Lady of Ondo State who asserted that one cap fits all does not apply in marriage, further enjoined young couples to see marriage as partnership where both sides should contribute to make it succeed.

“There will be quarrels and fights but once you understand yourselves, each other’s likes and dislikes and give room for compromise, your marriage will last”.

According to the mother of four and grandma, it is a beautiful thing to fall in love before marriage. She noted that her union with Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, was love at first sight which could have been a physical attraction but it endured the test of time.

“Ours is, indeed, a true love. As love leads into marriage, you do not rest on your oars. You have to work on it to keep the flame aglow. It requires understanding each other and the handy tool is communication. Once you can communicate with each other, it becomes easy to iron out your differences. Make no mistake, marriage is not a bed of roses. Roses after all have thorns”, she noted.

PRESS RELEASE
SANWO-OLU: WE’LL PROVIDE SUPPORT FOR DIGITAL SWITCH OVER IN LAGOS

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu says his administration will support the Digital Switch Over (DSO) being embarked by the country, saying it would enhance job creation and content development.

Governor Sanwo-Olu who acknowledged that the DSO would be of immense benefits to residents said Lagos State would be providing publicity support for the rollout.

Speaking on Saturday when the Ministerial Taskforce of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture on Digital Switch Over led by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, paid him a courtesy visit at the Lagos House, Marina, Governor Sanwo-Olu said the DSO will provide job opportunities for youths and many businesses, especially those in the entertainment and tourism industry.

He said the DSO will also provide opportunity for government to use the content to inform and engage the citizens as well as bring governance closer to the people.

Governor Sanwo-Olu who advised the Ministerial Taskforce on the Digital Switch Over to make the FreeTV box and after sale support easily accessible, said making the FreeTV Set Top Box a one-off payment with a yearly renewal, will provide opportunity for millions of Nigerians who cannot afford to pay the subscription fees being charged by the PayTV platforms to enjoy the benefit of digital television.

He said: “The movement from analogue set up that we currently have to digital is apt and it speaks to reality of what we have today. Everywhere in the world, technology is now a fundamental and critical deliverable of government. It presents an opportunity for citizens to have access to local, national and international space.

“As a forward looking state, we are in partnership and we see it as bringing the future to our citizens, so we do not have a problem with it at all. Even for us as a state, we have been developing our metropolitan fiber optics to provide fiber connectivity as one of the solutions for our citizens to have access to cheaper data.

“We will support the DSO. We want Lagos to continue to set the pace for the nation. We will help our people to be exposed to modern and international best practices. We will be willing to work with you and ensure that we deliver jointly on April 29.”

Speaking earlier, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said the proposed rollout in Lagos would be a critical milestone for the DSO and the creative industry as over one million jobs would be provided nationwide.

He said with the FreeTV of the DSO, Nigerians would have opportunities to watch over 60 channels with great contents at a cheaper rate and without subscription to pay TV.

Mohammed who presented Governor Sanwo-Olu with the Set Top Box for the DSO said it would also enable government to get the data of every household with television, thereby making the collection of television and radio licenses easier, adding that the Nigerian Broadcasting Code (NBC) had been amended to make provisions for the switch over from analogue to digital.

The Minister of Information and Culture also disclosed that six months after the rollout of the DSO in Lagos, the NBC would ask television stations to shut down their analog broadcast equipment, thereby making more spectrum available for data and other telecommunication services.

Mohammed who noted that the DSO is relevant to the Lagos Smart City Project and the Lagos Broadband initiative, urged Governor Sanwo-Olu to direct the Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA) to provide out-of-home boards, lamp post and other publicity support for the DSO launch for at least three months.

He said: “The rollout in Lagos reflects our decision to take the DSO to commercial centres across the country. With a population of over 20 million, and projected TV Households of over five million, the launch of FreeTV in Lagos State will be a critical milestone for the DSO and for Nigeria’s broadcast and creative industry.

“Lagos State, which is the hub of the Creative Industry, will take a large share of the 1 million jobs to be created. Since FreeTV helps to provide Value Added Services, the 20 Local Government Areas and 37 LCDAs in Lagos State will be supported in the collection of Television and Radio Licenses from residents. With FreeTV’s push system for information services, the FreeTV platform can be used to broadcast information on Lagos State activities to all viewers.

“A major advantage of the DSO is that viewers will not pay subscription fees. Once they have acquired the Set Top Box and pay the once-a-year access fee, which is a token, it is free viewing all the way. Millions of Nigerians who cannot afford to pay the rising subscription fees being charged by the PayTV platforms can now enjoy the benefits of digital television. This is the meaning of bridging the digital divide.”

SIGNED
GBOYEGA AKOSILE
CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY
APRIL 18, 2021

SERAP writes Buhari, seeks probe of ‘missing N106bn in 149 MDAs in 2018’

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to “direct the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, and appropriate anti-corruption agencies to investigate allegations that N106bn of public funds are missing from 149 ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), as documented in the 2018 annual audited report by the Auditor-General of the Federation.”

SERAP said: “Anyone suspected to be responsible should face prosecution as appropriate, if there is sufficient admissible evidence, and any missing public funds should be fully recovered.”

SERAP also urges him “to direct Mrs Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning to create a system of public announcements to name and shame the indicted 149 MDAs, including those that reportedly failed to remit over N55bn of their revenue; awarded contracts of over N18bn for services not rendered; and spent over N23bn without any supporting documents.”

In the letter dated 17 April 2021, and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said: “The reported missing public funds reflect the failure of the indicted MDAs to ensure strict compliance with transparency and accountability rules and regulations, and the failure of leadership of the MDAs to foster institutions that uphold the rule of law and human rights.”

According to SERAP, “Recovering the alleged missing public funds would reduce the pressure on the Federal Government to borrow more money to fund the budget, enable the authorities to meet the country’s human rights obligation to progressively realize Nigerians’ rights to quality health care and education, as well as reduce the growing level of public debts.”

The letter, read in part: “SERAP urges you to ask Mrs Ahmed and Mr Ahmed Idris, the Accountant-General of the Federation to explain why they allegedly failed to ensure strict compliance with relevant legislation, rules and regulations across all MDAs, despite the warning and recommendations by the Auditor-General.”

“SERAP also urges you to direct Mrs Ahmed to publish full details of the yearly budgets of all MDAs, and issue regular updates that accurately detail their expenditures, including by making any such information easily accessible in a form that can be understood by the public.”

“The Auditor-General stated that the alleged infractions by the 149 MDAs could have been prevented if the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, and the Accountant General of the Federation had heeded his warning to ensure strict compliance with relevant legislation, rules and regulations across all MDAs.”

“SERAP is concerned that the alleged missing public funds have hampered the ability of the MDAs to meet the needs of average citizens, as the missing funds could have helped your government to invest in key public goods and services, and to improve access of Nigerians to these services.”

“Investigating and prosecuting the alleged grand corruption documented by the Auditor-General would improve the chances of success of your government’s oft-repeated commitment to fight corruption and end the impunity of perpetrators. It will improve the integrity of MDAs, as well as serve the public interest.”

“Any failure to promptly investigate the allegations and prosecute suspected perpetrators would breach Nigeria’s anti-corruption legislation, and the country’s international anti-corruption obligations.”

“We would be grateful if the recommended measures are taken within 14 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, the Incorporated Trustees of SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions to compel your government to comply with our request in the public interest.”

“SERAP has carefully analysed the recently released 2018 audited report by the Auditor-General of the Federation and our analysis reveals the grim allegations that N105,662,350,077.46 of public funds are missing, misappropriated or unaccounted for across 149 MDAs in 2018.”

“According to the Auditor-General, 35 MDAs failed to remit N48,551,274,468.35 of generated revenue, and N5,418,780,747.23 of statutory deductions including value added tax, withholding tax, and stamp duties in 2018, thereby ‘depriving the government of the much-needed fund to pursue its agenda.’”

“Similarly, 25 MDAs awarded contracts amounting to N18,369,595,564.47 in violation of the Public Procurement Act (PPA), 2007, including disregard to due process, irregularity in payment for contracts, excessive pricing of procurements, payment for services not rendered, and payment in full for uncompleted projects.”

“Another N23,486,881,920.49 was spent by 48 MDAs without following the rules and regulations relating to spending procedures and policies, and without any documents to support such spending. Furthermore, 11 MDAs paid N8,389,842,637.88 for store items that were not taken on store charge. The Auditor-General fears that the items may be ‘missing/misappropriated.’”

“In addition, 18 MDAs paid N354,223,774.67 as cash advances to staff without duly retiring the money, contrary to the Financial Regulation 1405 and Financial Regulation 1420. According to the Auditor-General, ‘unretired cash and personal advances may be a deliberate attempt to divert public funds for personal use.’”

“Moreover, 12 MDAs spent N371,750,964 as cash advances, above the approved threshold of N200,000.00, contrary to the Treasury Circular Ref. No. TRY/A2&B2/2009OAGF/CAD/26/V, which requires all local procurement of stores and services costing above N200,000.00 to be made only through the award of contracts.”

“There are several other infractions documented in the report, a copy of which can be obtained from the Auditor-General’s office. The 2018 audited report therefore suggests a grave violation of the public trust. These damning revelations also suggest that the indicted MDAs lack effective and credible internal processes to prevent and combat corruption.”

“Our requests are brought in the public interest, and in keeping with the requirements of the Nigerian Constitution 1999 [as amended]; anti-corruption legislation, and the country’s international obligations including under the UN Convention against Corruption; and the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption to which Nigeria is a state party.”

The letter was copied to Mr Malami; Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, Chairman Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC); Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa, Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC); Mrs Ahmed; and chairmen of the Public Accounts Committees of the National Assembly.

Kolawole Oluwadare
SERAP Deputy Director
18/4/2021
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

April 16, 2021
Press Statement
Currency Printing: PDP Calls Out President Buhari
…Demands Finance Minister’s Sack

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) condemns the attempt by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to deny the printing of N60 billion by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) at its behest.

The PDP asserts that the admission by CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, that the apex bank has been printing money at the bidding of government, has vindicated its earlier stand that the Buhari-led APC administration is characterized by concealments, deceit and falsehood.

The PDP flays the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed, for attempting to mislead Nigerians by denying the revelations by the Edo state Governor, Godwin Obaseki, that N60 billion was printed in March to support federal allocation to states.

Governor Obaseki, as a financial expert, who is not known for flippancy, must be commended for his act of patriotism in exposing the dire economic situation our nation has been plunged under the Buhari administration.

A situation where the Federal Government cannot articulate and implement policies favourable to wealth creation but resorting to borrowing and indiscriminate printing of currency notes, only goes to further confirm that the Buhari administration lacks the credibility and capacity to run a nation.

Indeed, the admission by the CBN governor that “Nigeria is unfortunately in a very bad situation” further justifies our position that the Buhari-led APC administration has wrecked the economy of our nation.
Our party is worried over the huge negative impact of indiscriminate printing of currency which has led to the unprecedented rise in inflation rate to 18.17% as disclosed by the Bureau of National Statistics (NBS) on Thursday.

This situation has led to further economic hardship with surging prices and fallen purchasing power throwing millions of families in distress and unable to afford the basic necessities of life.

The PDP calls out President Buhari to come clean on the amount that has been printed so far by the CBN to finance the deficit caused by the financial mismanagement of his government as well as what the funds had been used for.

Furthermore, for failing the full disclosure test, the PDP demands that the Minister of Finance should immediately be relieved of her position, while the President accepts responsibility for the indiscriminate printing of currency in our naira.

Our party implores President Buhari to save our nation by allowing better hands to manage and salvage our economy before it is too late.
Signed:
Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary

April 15, 2021
Press Statement
Twitter: You Have A Poor Understanding of Governance, PDP Replies APC

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) describes the declaration by the All Progressives Congress (APC) that the by-passing of Nigeria by Twitter to cite its African Headquarters in Ghana is “a non-issue” further confirms APC and Buhari Presidency’s poor understanding of governance.

The PDP asserts that the statement issued by the APC in a desperate bid to justify its manifest misrule and abuse of human rights, shows that the APC and Buhari administration are not ready to end their policy inconsistency and the fettering of our youths through suppression of free speech, stifling of online freedom and open internet, for which Twitter shunned our nation for Ghana.

This disposition by the APC and the Buhari Presidency has further strengthened the widespread view among Nigerians that this administration suppresses every vocation in which our youth demography has shown interest.

Their statement also validates apprehensions in the public space that the APC deliberately worked against the citing of Twitter headquarters in Nigeria because of their plot to forcefully regulate the use of internet in our country.

A more responsive government and political party, who have the interest of the people at heart, ought to device all means possible to attract the Africa Headquarters of Twitter to our country given the huge benefits such would have served in the face of grinding unemployment which the APC administration has imposed on our nation.

It is indeed saddening that rather than devise means such as this opportunity to create wealth and revamp our economy, the APC and the Buhari Presidency are mortgaging the future of our nation through all manner of foreign loans which they cannot account for.

Now that they have borrowed from all corners of the world and turning our country into a debtor nation, with nothing to show for it, the APC and the Buhari administration have resorted to primitive printing of naira notes not minding the huge inflation as well as devastation such would trigger in our economy.

From the arrogant disposition of the APC, it is clear that it has no regard for Nigerians and as such has no business being in governance.

Signed:
Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary

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Youths restate Niger Delta support for Buhari, Akpabio


Youths in the Niger Delta region on Tuesday endorsed the current drive by the Federal Government to eradicate corruption in the country.

They also said the Federal Government had started well in the Niger Delta region by approving auditors for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC)

‘’It requires time to complete the forensic audit’’ the youths said.

At a meeting of the Niger Delta Youth Forum (NDYF) in Calabar, the youths praised President Muhammadu Buhari for opting to entrust the affairs of the Niger Delta Ministry on Chief Godswill Akpabio.

‘’We are grateful to Mr. President for the perspicacious judgement’’

Particularly, the youths praised the Federal Government for giving the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) new and strategic direction aimed at achieving viable development in the oil rich region.

‘’President Muhammadu Buhari and Chief Godswill Akpabio deserve our commendation for the changes so far in the oil rich Niger Delta region’’ the youths said.

The youths in a statement signed by NDYF Chairperson, Dr. Roseline Umoh, defended the administration’s role in appointing a sole administrator for the interventionist agency.

The youths explained that the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs had a minister who is committed to doing things right.

They underscored Akpabio’s long trail of legacies in Akwa Ibom State, his inspiring leadership in the Senate and the effort he was making to develop the oil rich region.

The youths enjoined South-South governors to cooperate with the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and give him the needed support for success.

They advised the governors to be patient with the Federal Government.

The youths also called for greater understanding amongst all stakeholders in the region.

‘’We must not set roadblocks before ourselves. We must unite. The harmony which has now been achieved between the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and the National Assembly is here to stay’’

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ECA and UNCTAD jointly hosting event to discuss women’s role in cross-border trade in Africa

ECA and UNCTAD jointly hosting event to discuss women’s role in cross-border trade in Africa

Addis Ababa, 15 March 2021, ECA – The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) are jointly organizing a webinar on Wednesday 17 March to discuss women’s role in small-scale cross-border trade in Africa.

The virtual event istaking place on the sidelines of the 65thCommission on the Status of Women (CSW), the main global intergovernmental body dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and women’s empowerment.

The topic for discussion is the future for women’s small-scale and informal cross-border traders in Africa, and it comes in response to the global health crisis, as countries in Africa introduced restrictive measures affecting the movement of people and merchandise.

“As has been the case with other shocks, women risk bearing the brunt of this pandemic,” the organizers said, adding: “A more tailored package of measures is needed.”

Speakers to discuss the topic are: Thokozile Ruzvidzo, Director, Gender, Poverty and Social Policy Divisionof the ECA; Simonetta Zarrilli, Chief, Trade, Gender and Development Programme, UNCTAD; Nomagugu Ncube, Chief of Mission of International Organization for Migration in Zambia; Mariana Lopez, Senior Manager GSMA Connected Women Programme; and Goodson Mbewe, President of Cross-border Traders Association of Zambia.

Nadira Bayat, a gender and trade expert at the ECA will be moderating at the session.

 

Issued by:

Communications Section

Economic Commission for Africa

PO Box 3001

Addis Ababa

Ethiopia

Tel: +21 11 51 5826

E-mail: eca-info@un.org

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ARFSD2021: Africa not on track to achieve zero hunger by 2030

ARFSD2021: Africa is not on track to achieve zero hunger by 2030

Brazzaville, Congo, March 03, 2021 (ECA) – Africa is not on track to achieve zero hunger by 2030, Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) Regional Representative for Africa, Abebe Haile-Gabriel, told a meeting reviewing progress made by the continent towards attaining that goal so far.

Co-organised by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the World Food Programme (WFP), in collaboration with the Government of the Republic of Congo, the meeting is part of the Seventh Session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD) that is underway in Brazzaville.

“The results remain unsatisfactory and there are many challenges due to climate change, the poor economic situation and the negative impacts of COVID 19, as well as the lack of public investment,” said Mr. Haile-Gabriel.

He, however, said the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) was a unique opportunity for the transformation of the continent’s food system.

To address the issue of hunger in Africa, Mr. Haile-Gabriel said political will and commitment at the highest level was key, adding national and local level actions and investments were also critical. He said there was an urgent need for the continent to build back and forward better after the COVID-19 pandemic, with governments being called on to invest in social protection measures to save the most vulnerable in society. The transformation of the African food system is crucial to help end hunger, he said, adding the adoption of holistic multi sectoral approaches was needed.

Chris Toe from the WFP said African countries need to prioritize and scale up investments in rural transformation, sustainable infrastructure and human capital development as they work towards eliminating hunger and food insecurities. This, he said, will not only help to sustain ongoing progress, but also assist in the continent’s quest to achieve zero hunger as espoused in the SDGs and Africa’s 2025 commitment to end hunger and Agenda 2063 aspirations.

A Congolese government official, M. Mukena Bantu, an adviser in charge of cooperation and projects, speaking on behalf of Agriculture Minister, Mr. Joseph-Antoine Kasongo, said the new administration was determined to accelerate the development of agriculture to end hunger.

“We have declared that the soil must take over the subsoil,” he said, adding, “There is political will to carry out all the actions necessary to achieve food security.”

The side event provided a platform for member States to reflect and share on transformative actions and investments that will facilitate the building of Africa’s food systems better towards meeting the aspirations and goals of the 2030 Agenda and the African Union’s Agenda 2063.

 

-Ends-

 

Issued by:

Communications Section
Economic Commission for Africa
PO Box 3001
Addis Ababa
Ethiopia
Tel: +251 11 551 5826
E-mail: eca-info@un.org

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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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Abuja News APC APEX NEWS Ebonyi News Ebonyi State GOVERNMENT HOUSE Igbo South East

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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Rivers State: Soot And The Dangers Of Its Emission, A Call For Action, By Nwaorgu Faustinus

Rivers State: Soot And The Dangers Of Its Emission, A Call For Action, By Nwaorgu Faustinus

A clean, pure, healthy environment and atmospheric air or rather oxygen that we human beings take in on a daily basis plays an important role in the longevity and good health we as human beings enjoy. However, the opposite could be said of a milieu or an environment which is polluted with soot.

Few years ago in Rivers State, there was massive reportage on the issue at hand – dangers of soot, otherwise known as “Particle Pollution” called PM 2.5—particulate matter that is 2.5 micrometers in diameter or smaller. Recently, many residents residing in Port Harcourt, Rivers State have taken to some social media platforms and groups to raise their voice regarding the soot palaver and the danger it poses if left unchecked.

Soot can be defined as a deep black powdery or flaky substance consisting largely of amorphous carbon produced by the incomplete burning of organic matter. It can also be said to be a byproduct of burning fossil fuels, particularly coal. It is emitted by a variety of sources, including burning coal for electricity or industrial fuel, manufacturing, oil refining, and motor vehicles. Soot is released into the air as either extremely small particles or liquid droplets.

It (soot) contains a number of pollutants, not limited to chemicals only, but also acids, metals, soils, and dust, which are hung up in the air after emission. Soot can come in solid, liquid, or gaseous states but for the purpose of this piece, I shall limit myself to the “deep black powdery” substance and its inherent danger, effect and harm to human life and health.

Particle Pollution does pose great harms to public health, particularly because of its size. Because of the tiny nature of particulate matter, it can easily enter our lungs and bloodstream, thereby causing damage in a number of ways.

According to a U S governmental Agency, Environmental Protection Agency EPA, with its headquarters in Washington DC averred that “Microscopic particles can penetrate deep into the lungs and have been linked to a wide range of serious health effects, including premature death, heart attacks, and strokes, as well as acute bronchitis and aggravated asthma among children.”

For the American Lung Association, breathing particle pollution can potentially cause “cancer and developmental and reproductive harm.”

It is as a result of the above harm associated with soot that an advocacy group which goes by the name Citizens Quest for Truth Initiative CQTI through its National President, Chief Obiaruko Christy Ndukwe said,“Everyone who lives or sleeps in Rivers State, particularly in Port Harcourt and its environs are daily inhaling the black soot, a hazardous byproduct of illegal oil bunkering and local refining of crude.

“I will in my subsequent posts elucidate the side effects of this silent and slow killer which pervades the entire atmosphere.

“In spite of several protests and calls by civil society groups led by the likes of Eugene Abels and others, the two Governments-Federal and State have kept mute while those predisposed to respiratory infections not excluding the deadly Covid virus are daily subjected to slow death!

“It’s about time we push for a solution to this either through better ways of engaging in the brisk business of local refineries in order to save the atmosphere and in turn the masses.

 

“Not everyone can afford a humidifier just as the majority do not even know of its importance.

#StopBlackSoot and #SaveRiversLives at Citizens Quest for Truth Initiative.”

The above situation calls for urgent affirmative action on the part of the Federal and State government to contain, stop and minimize to the lowest level all actions or activities such as illegal oil bunkering and local refining of crude that give rise to soot emission in Rivers State.

Making appropriate legislation by both governments that will ensure clean air, enable the building of modular refineries, obliterate all forms of illegal oil bunkering and local refining of crude will definitely serve as the right step in the right direction towards confronting soot emission. There is no other better time to act if not now.

The health and life of every Rivers State resident matters.

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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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SANWO-OLU INAUGURATES LAGOS STATE JOINT REVENUE COMMITTEE

LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT

OFFICE OF THE CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNOR

PRESS RELEASE

SANWO-OLU INAUGURATES LAGOS STATE JOINT REVENUE COMMITTEE

…Tasks SJRC on Seemless Revenue Generation

 

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Friday inaugurated the State Joint Revenue Committee (SJRC).

 

The committee headed by chairman of the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS), Mr. Ayodele Subair, is saddled with the responsibility of implementing the decisions of Joint Tax Board and harmonise tax administration in Lagos.

 

Other members of the committee are Chairman of Conference 57 and council boss of Lagos Mainland Local Government Area, Hon. Omolola Essien; the Commander of Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) in Lagos State, Mr. Olusegun Ogungbemide, Mr Akinkunmi Alaja-Browne, Barr. Alade Seyi Femi, Mr Razaak Amodu and Dr. Olusegun Adekunle Wright.

 

Speaking at the inauguration of the SJRC members at the Lagos House, Ikeja on Friday, Governor Sanwo-Olu tasked the committee members to ensure that all the State’s revenue streams at various levels become seemless.

 

He said: “I want to charge all of you. The assurance you have given us today is demonstration of our belief that our revenues will be in good hands and that you will help us to resolve all the bottlenecks that we have and ensure that all our revenue streams at various levels at state and local governments become seemless.

 

“You will bring about policies and ideas that will ensure that we can indeed continue to remain relevant as the number one outstanding IGR state in the nation.

 

“I want to congratulate, commend and thank you for agreeing to serve our state at this point in time.”

 

Speaking earlier, Head of Service, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola, said the committee is expected to organise and improve revenue administration in Lagos State.

 

He urged the members of the committee to focus on the assignment ahead, assuring that “all supports would be made available to them.”

 

SIGNED

GBOYEGA AKOSILE

CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY

FEBRUARY 7, 2021

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ECOWAS Court to give judgment in SERAP’s case on killings by herdsmen, others

 

 

 

The ECOWAS Court of Justice, Abuja has this morning heard arguments in the case brought by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) against the Federal Government seeking “justice and accountability for the authorities’ failure to prevent, account for and investigate killings, raping, maiming of Nigerians and other residents, and destruction of property across the country by herdsmen and other unknown perpetrators.”

 

The Court adjourned the suit to 22 April, 2021 for judgment after hearing arguments from Solicitor to SERAP, Femi Falana SAN, and the government lawyer Mr Adedayo Ogundele.

 

In the suit No ECW/CCJ/APP/15/16, SERAP is arguing that, “the continuing attacks, killings, raping, maiming of Nigerians and other residents, and destruction of property by the military, police, herdsmen and other unknown perpetrators across the country amount to serious violations of human rights of the rights to life, to the security and dignity of the human person, and to property.”

 

Femi Falana, arguing the case, said: “The government has not denied the serious averments by SERAP. The government is responsible for the unlawful killings by herdsmen and other unknown perpetrators, which have not been adequately prevented, investigated or prosecuted by the authorities. These responsibilities are heightened when an observable pattern has been overlooked or ignored, such as is the case in this suit.”

 

Falana also argued: “The government has a responsibility to protect and ensure the security of life and property of everyone in Nigeria. It is not enough for the government to say that civil cases have been brought by some of the victims. The government has a responsibility to investigate, fish out the perpetrators and prosecute them, and to compensate the victims.”

 

The suit, reads in part: “SERAP also contends that the obligation to secure the right to life is not confined to cases where it has been established that the killings were caused by an agent of the State. Nor is it decisive whether those affected or their families have lodged a formal complaint about the killings with the competent investigatory authority.”

 

“It is contended that the mere knowledge of the killings by the military, police, herdsmen and other unknown perpetrators on the part of the authorities have ipso facto given rise to an obligation under Article 4 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights to carry out an effective investigation into the circumstances surrounding the killings and to identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice, and to provide reparations to victims.”

 

“Moreover, the Defendant has a responsibility for those killings, raping maiming and destruction of property where authorities knew or ought to have known of an immediate threat and failed to take measures that might have been expected to avoid those attacks and killings.”

 

“SERAP further contends that the Defendant has positive obligations to provide a framework of security for the protection of life, and to protect the lives of those individuals at risk from unlawful attacks by the military, police, herdsmen and other unknown perpetrators. The lack of accountability for the attacks by the military, police, herdsmen and other unknown perpetrators across the country has continued to create a culture of impunity which clearly is not compatible with the rule of law in a democratic society.”

 

“SERAP contends that the Defendant has a positive obligation to take measures to secure the right to life, right to security and dignity of the human person and right to property, and to prevent attacks and killings by the military, police, herdsmen and other unknown perpetrators across Nigeria.”

 

“Human life has a special value and dignity which requires legal protection. It should be pointed out that those affected in the present case include the most disadvantaged and vulnerable sectors of society.”

 

“A fundamental notion of contemporary human rights law is that victims of violations enjoy an independent right to effective remedies. This idea is itself founded on another longstanding legal principle: ubi ius ibi remedium (there is no right without a remedy).”

 

SERAP therefore is asking the ECOWAS Court of Justice for the following reliefs:

 

  1. A DECLARATION that the attacks, killings, raping and maiming of citizens and other residents and destruction of property and other serious human rights violations and abuses across the country by the military, police, herdsmen and other unknown perpetrators amount to failure by the Defendant to exercise due diligence to prevent the attacks and killings and cannot be justified under any circumstances, and therefore constitutes a serious breach of Nigeria’s international human rights obligations and commitments to ensure and secure the rights to life, to dignity and security of the human person, and to property, guaranteed under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights,  and the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Nigeria is a state party.
  2. A DECLARATION that the failure of the Defendant to exercise due diligence and to take steps to prevent attacks, killings, raping, and maiming of hundreds of Nigerians and other residents and destruction of property and other serious human rights violations and abuses by the military, police, herdsmen and other unknown perpetrators, and to conduct prompt, impartial, thorough and transparent investigations and to hold those responsible to account, is unlawful as it amounts to breaches of obligations to respect, protect, promote and fulfil the human rights guaranteed under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Nigeria is a state party.
  3. A DECLARATION that the failure of the Defendant to provide for an effective remedy and reparation for the victims, is unlawful as it amounts to breaches of obligations to respect, protect, promote and fulfil the human rights guaranteed under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Nigeria is a state party.
  4. A DECLARATION that the failure of the Defendant to provide an environment necessary for securing and promoting the enjoyment of the human rights to life, dignity and security of the person, and to property, is unlawful as it amounts to breaches of obligations to promote and fulfil the human rights guaranteed under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Nigeria is a state party.
  5. AN ORDER directing the Defendant and/or its agents individually and/or collectively to respect, protect, promote, and fulfil the human rights of Nigerians and residents and communities across the country that have suffered attacks and human rights violations abuses by the military, police, herdsmen and other unknown perpetrators.
  6. AN ORDER directing the Defendant to investigate all cases of
    unlawful killings noted herein and pay adequate money compensation of N50 million to each of the dependents.
  7. AN ORDER directing the Defendant and/or its agents individually and/or collectively to provide effective remedies and reparation, including adequate compensation, restitution, satisfaction or guarantees of non-repetition that the Honourable Court may deem fit to grant to the victims of attacks by the military, police, herdsmen and other unknown perpetrators.

 

 

 

 

Kolawole Oluwadare

SERAP Deputy Director

5/2/2021

Lagos, Nigeria

Emails: info@serap-nigeria.orgnews@serap-nigeria.org

Twitter: @SERAPNigeria

Website: www.serap-nigeria.org

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

 

 

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AMENITIES

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LEKKI GOLD CITY, IBEJU LEKKI

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PLOT(S) OF LAND (OUTRIGHT PURCHASE N6.5 MILLION (600SQM)

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

 

 

Y2021 BUDGET: LASG EXPLAINS INCREASED HEALTH SECTOR ALLOCATION, INTENSIFIES DEPLOYMENT OF TECHNOLOGY

 

The Lagos State Government has disclosed that the experience gained and lessons learnt, during the outbreak of Ebola and COVID-19 pandemic (first-wave) in the State, had prepared the present administration for the second wave of the disease, just as it also unveiled plans to deploy more technology to critical sectors to improve productivity and wellbeing of residents.

 

The Honourable Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi and Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Sam Egube, spoke about these issues on Wednesday, during a joint appearance on a TVC News programme titled: “Business Nigeria”.

 

Prof. Abayomi said the Y2021 budgetary allocation to the health sector was increased to address the challenges posed by the epidemic and other issues, stressing that the amount estimated for the sector was a significant improvement when compared to the allocation for the previous year.

 

He added that challenges of the second wave and community spread of the COVID-19 still remain a major hindrance to the present administration’s health sector objectives, noting that Lagos has the highest incidence of Coronavirus cases in Nigeria despite the increased level of sensitisation to educate residents on complying with safety protocols such as wearing face masks and physical distancing.

 

While decrying the flagrant disregard for all safety rules and regulations by a majority of Lagosians, the Commissioner averred that the high number of recorded cases is creating additional pressure on healthcare facilities in Lagos.

 

Speaking on the government’s resolve to ensure that the residents of Lagos have equal access to an enhanced healthcare delivery system, Abayomi urged citizens to take advantage of the benefits offered, through the Lagos State Health Insurance Scheme (LASHMA), by subscribing to the initiative.

 

“Healthcare is very expensive, but having the Health Insurance Scheme will drastically reduce the cost of medical care during visits to the hospital when ill. The Lagos Health Insurance Scheme was designed specifically to reduce the financial cost of healthcare on all residents in the State and it is advisable for Lagosians to subscribe to the scheme”, he advised.

 

On his part, the Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Sam Egube, said the spending plan for Y2020 turned out well, as the year closed with a budget performance rate of 88%, stressing that the Y2021 Budget focusses on Human Capital, Education and Health sector in line with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led administration’s vision of building a 21stCentury Economy as encapsulated in the T.H.E.M.E.S development agenda

 

He averred that technology expenditure in this year’s budget witnessed an increased allocation as the government is investing heavily on infrastructure which will cover about 3000-kilometres in form of a broadband ring around the State, as part of efforts to achieve the smart-city initiative of the present administration.

 

The Commissioner said, “In the 2021 Budget, technology allocation has increased dramatically due to the broadband infrastructure that includes the laying of 3000-kilometres broadband around Lagos. In addition, we are putting up a smart city initiative for security because if the people are healthy and educated but feel unsafe, then they will still be unproductive”.

 

Egube explained that the broadband security infrastructure would allow the government to install 2000 intelligent cameras having facial and number plate recognition, which will be monitored at a command centre for enhanced security in Lagos, adding that this initiative will also be extended to the health sector through the digitisation of medical records and access to medical care on the State’s telemedicine platform.

World Cancer Day: We’re committed to establishing a cancer treatment center – Akeredolu

 

  • ’We Have Prioritised The Well-being Of Our Women’

 

  • The Entry Point To Fighting Cancer is Awareness- Mrs Akeredolu

 

Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, has called for a concerted effort by all stakeholders in the fight against cancer in the state, stressing that evidence has shown that more than one-third of cancer cases can be prevented and another one third can be cured if detected early and treated properly.

 

Governor Akeredolu also reiterated the commitment of his administration to establishing a cancer treatment centre in the state before the end of his second term in office.

 

He noted that a Hope-lodge for out-patients and survivors will also be built to ease the stress of those caring for cancer patients.

 

On her part, the First Lady, Arabinrin Betty Anyawu Akeredolu has identified awareness as the entry point to the fight against cancer.

 

Governor Akeredolu and his wife spoke at the Launch of Ondo 2021 Breast and Cervical Cancer Project (Awareness For 21000) held at the Rotunda, Government House, Alagbaka, Akure on Thursday, February 4, 2021.

 

The theme for the 2021 World Cancer Day is “I am And I Will”.

 

According to the Governor:” It has been generally claimed that over 10 million people die each year from cancer globally.That is more than HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis combined! It is projected by experts that by 2030 cancer deaths will rise to 13 million if we do not act.”

 

Arakunrin Akeredolu disclosed that as part of the efforts towards raising awareness, the State Government, through the Ministry of Health, is collaborating with well-meaning organizations who are driven by the same passion to help disabuse the myth around cancer as being a “spiritual attack”.

 

“Therefore, Ondo 2021 Breast and Cervical Cancer Project -Awareness for 21000 is a collaborative effort between Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN) and Ondo State Ministry of Health geared towards implementing appropriate strategies for prevention, early detection and prompt treatment so that we can together prevent deaths of cancer patients across the 18 Local Government Areas in Ondo State.“the Governor said.

 

He noted that his administration has prioritised the wellbeing of women and also committed to it through various programmes meant to enhance their quality of life, both health-wise and economically.

 

The Governor stated that there is more knowledge about cancer through investing in research and innovation, adding that there is a need for commitment by all in the fight against breast and cervical cancers.

 

“When we come together to speak with one voice and take action together, then we shall accomplish the goal of reducing the mortality that may arise from breast and cervical cancers”. Governor Akeredolu said.

 

Governor Akeredolu commended BRECAN for the approach it has adopted to reach 21,000 women across Ondo State.

 

He said: “I do not doubt that this will have a positive impact, more so that it will encourage more women who will voluntarily come for screening. The First Lady’s commitment towards fighting against breast cancer in the State cannot be overemphasized in terms of her continuous drive by educating, promoting awareness and consistently providing informational and emotional support to newly diagnosed patients and survivors.

 

Gov Wike’s Extraordinary Personality Of The Year  Award:

Why I’m Excited – Obuah

 

Bro Felix Obuah, Sole Administrator of Rivers State Waste Management Agency, RIWAMA, has lauded the nomination of Governor Nyesom Wike by the management of Silverbird Group as the Extraordinary Personality of the year, 2020, describing it as most deserving.

The RIWAMA boss said Gov Wike has impacted all sectors of the state economy that has become difficult to pin his developmental strides to a particular area.

He noted that never in the annals of the political history of the state, have various sectors witnessed such a massive infrastructural development as is presently the case.

“This is a particular instance when all stakeholders including the opposition are agreed sentiments apart, that the Governor has done marvelously well. Rivers people are happy, the ruling party in the state is excited and impressed, and the opposition confounded. This is what is called visionary and people-oriented leadership”, Bro Obuah declared.

The RIWAMA boss said he is happier because it was under his leadership of the party that the bold choice of Governor Wike was made which according to him has been justified as the best decision ever.

The revolutions in the health, agricultural and education sectors, the strings of flyovers scattered all over the strategic points in Port Harcourt to decongest the seeming insurmountable traffic situation for easy movement into and out of the busy roads and streets of Port Harcourt, the State capital are all eloquent testimonies of Gov Wike’s quality leadership which have continued to speak for him, he further noted.

Bro Obuah also commended the vision and boldness of the Silverbird Group to single out Gov Wike for the honour in acknowledgement of his bravery, openness, fearlessness and landmark achievements in Rivers State.

The RIWAMA Sole Administrator believes the well deserved award to His Excellency will spur him to do more since the best reward for hard work is more work.

He enjoined all Rivers people irrespective of party affiliation to rally round the Governor in his commitment to put Rivers State back on the path of progress, faith in their leaders, hope for the youths and peace across the state by praying and supporting his novel policies and programmes aimed at repositioning the State.

Bro Obuah congratulated His Excellency for the feat and wished him greater breakthroughs in the years ahead.

 

 

Jerry Needam        

Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to

Bro Felix Obuah, Sole Administrator,

Rivers State Waste Management Agency,

RIWAMA.