ASUU strike: Hope rises as lecturers reach agreement with FG

For the first time since the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) began its indefinite strike on November 4, 2018, there came a gleam of hope on Monday when Labour minister, Chris Ngige, announced that the two parties (ASUU and Federal Government) reached reasonable agreements on the contentious issues in their last meeting.

Previous meetings held between them have deadlocked with the either sticking to its gun.

The union had directed its members in public universities across the country to embark on an indefinite strike to pressure the federal government to honour and implement agreements reached with it in 2009 during former President Goodluck Jonathan’s government.

The agreements essentially border on proper funding of university education and autonomy for its governance.

Ngige told journalists after the meeting in Abuja that the majority of ASUU’s demands on the government, including the release of N15.4 billion for payment of salaries shortfall, have been met

“On the issue of salaries in tertiary institutions, especially in universities, the Ministry of Finance and the Office of the Accountant- General provided evidence that as at December 31, 2018 the Federal Government had remitted N15.4 billon.

“Also on the issue of Earned Allowances in the universities system, they also showed us evidence that Mr. President has approved the N20 billion to be used to offset the outstanding arrears of the 2009 and 2012, audit verified earnings, in the university system.

“This money is being worked on, and will be released to ASUU as soon as the process is completed.

“ASUU has fulfilled its own side of the bargain in terms of NUPECO, which is the Pension Fund Administration Company that ASUU has floated to take care of pension for people in the university system.

“The Pension regulator, the PENCOM, has asked certain positions to be fulfilled and they gave ASUU a temporary license, which has expired.

“ASUU has submitted all the documents and fulfilled all conditions needed to get their license,” he said.

According to Ngige, the government is also considering ingenious strategies to fund the university revitalization agreement entered into with ASUU in 2009. The exercise was designed to affect 220 universities across the country over a period of six years.

Meanwhile, the ASUU has called on the government to show mercy on students and take concrete steps to address the issues that led to its (ASUU’s) ongoing strike.

The call was contained in a statement issues by the University of Ibadan chapter’s ASUU chairman, Dr. Deji Omole, in Ibadan on Monday.

The ASUU boss was reacting to an earlier statement credited to Ngige in which he was appealing to the lecturers to consider the impact of their action on the students and go back to work.

Describing the minister’s statement as “a merciless utterance”, Omole said ASUU’s action was based on patriotism to the Nigerian nation and genuine love for its people.

“We are patriots otherwise we would not go on strike. We would have been looking and allow everything to be destroyed. But we cannot allow our future (children) to be taught in zoo-like conditions. This kind of education system cannot give us a leader who will be kind to others if we are not kind to them by giving them the best environment to learn from. Nigerians should join us to beg President Buhari to meet our demands on time rather using keep them talking approach”

Treat Ibadan mayhem perpetrators as criminals, Ajimobi tells Police

Ibadan Mayhem

Governor Abiola Ajimobi has tasked the police in Oyo State to be harsh on perpetrators of the mayhem in which 20 houses and 30 shops were razed in Ibadan at the weekend.

The governor, who spoke through his deputy, Moses Alake Adeyemo, made the demand on Monday when he paid an on-the-spot visit to the affected areas.

He called on the police to fish out the arsonists and let them face the full wrath of the law.

Also in the company of the deputy governor for the inspection was the state Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Odude, who confirmed that 11 suspects are already in police custody in connection to the dastardly act.

A gang of street boys had wreaked havoc on some parts of the metropolis in what was suspected to be a reprisal mission.

The act was said to have affected the structures on both sides of the road from the Idi-Arere to Sakapena where goods worth millions of naira were either looted or consumed in the inferno.

Some of the affected structures in the areas included clothing retail outlet, pharmacy, soft drink sellers, electronic shops, ware houses, frozen foods retailer shop, tailoring shops and hairdressers’ shop.

According to eyewitnesses, the arsonists first looted properties from the affected structures before burning them down.

While calling for calm as the police continues with its investigations, Governor Ajimobi urged politicians not to use the unfortunate incident to play politics, saying the state has enjoyed unprecedented peace since the beginning of his administration.

He also promised government’s assistance to victims of the incident.

“One of the cardinal programmes of this administration is securing the lives and properties of the citizens and we will leave no stone unturned to see that peace and security is sustained. These hoodlums are inhumane, callous and barbaric and they should be treated as such. The State Government will do all within its reach to ameliorate the pains of the affected persons and the perpetrators of this evil act will be brought to book in due course.

“We want to appeal to our citizens to be vigilant and provide useful information to the law enforcement agents. Also, our parents should take care of their wards and warn them against being agents of destruction. The government will not hesitate to enforce its power on whoever is bent on causing crisis in the state,” Governor Ajimobi added.

Zakari’s appointment as INEC Collation Officer, a moral burden on Buhari, APC – Fayose

Fayose

The immediate past Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose, has faulted the appointment of Mrs. Amina Zakari as head of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC’s) Collation Centre for the general elections as a moral burden on President Muhammadu Buhari, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and INEC.

Since the appointment was announced, many Nigerians, especially the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have raised objection alleging that Zakari could use her position to favour the president and his party in the election, after it was being alleged that she is a niece to Mr. Buhari.

Though, the presidency had issued a statement to deny any blood relationship between the INEC officer and the president, PDP had openly doubted the integrity of the election if the woman remain with commission, and then called on the National Assembly to relieve her of her position as an INEC Commissioner.

That was also the position Fayose reinforced in his statement released on Saturday.

He disagreed with presidency and INEC on their defence of the controversial appointment, describing the efforts as further prove for alleged desperation to rig the February 16 presidential election for the president despite his alleged rejection by Nigerians.

“Even if Amina Zakari can be as impartial as she can be, now that Nigerians are thinking that there is a real likelihood of her being biased, she should excuse herself. More so that she is not the only National Commissioner in INEC,” Fayose stated.

The former governor also said though it is true that Zakari was originally appointed to the commission by the former President Goodluck Jonathan, the appointment did not take place when President Buhari was a candidate in an election.

“In fact, the President had even vowed never to run for the Presidency after the 2011 election. Now that he is a candidate and also a sitting President, fairness and equity demands that she should step aside from playing any role in this election”.

“Certain things can be good, but might not be morally right. This issue of Amina Zakari, a known relation of the APC presidential candidate, functioning as INEC head of collation centre is morally wrong.

“Therefore, the Presidency and INEC have the moral burden to prove to Nigerians that they are not in any way out to shortchange them.”

Oyo AD governorship candidate calls for prayers in Christmas message

Alao

The Oyo State governorship candidate of the Alliance for Democracy (AD), Engr. Hakeem Oyedele Alao, has called on Nigerians to pray for their country as Christians worldwide celebrate birth of Jesus Christ.

Engr. Alao gave the admonition in a special Christmas message he personally signed and made available to journalists in Ibadan on Sunday.

While reminding Nigerians of the significance of the celebration as it symbolizes the love of God, who offered the world His only begotten son for the atonement of their sins, he charged them to endeavour to love their country wholeheartedly and pray fervently for her to experience peace, and a successful outing in the forthcoming 2019 general elections.

The AD candidate maintained that with deep love for the country, it would not be difficult for the people to pray seriously, especially concerning the next year’s general elections, saying, “by next year, the current democratic experience would be 20 years and unless we want to deceive ourselves, we have not gotten it right.

“It is very sad that nothing has really changed in our democratic practice in our almost two decades of unbroken experience and if anything has changed at all, it has been for the worse. Any change in every indices of measuring democratic success has been in the negative and this is why we need prayers towards getting it right come 2019”, he stated.

The AD standard-bearer recalled that if the creator of heaven and earth could and still be so compassionate on mankind as to offer His only son for redemption of man’s sins, nothing should be too much for Nigerians to do for the betterment of the society.

Preaching love, he said the only fundamental difference between Nigerians and other citizens of other countries where things work almost perfectly well “is the love citizens of other countries have for their fellow beings which is what is missing among our people here.

“Nigeria too can be great and even greater than some of the countries our people now run to as refugees if only those privileged to be blessed show love and concern for others. With love and concern for others, it won’t be possible for individuals to blindly steal from the nation’s tilt or kill fellow being in the name of politics”, the AD gubernatorial candidate noted.

Felicitating with the Christians in the state and the country at large, Alao said, “as our co-compatriots join their counterparts across the globe to celebrate this year’s Christmas, I enjoin all to be peaceful and reflect on the birth of Jesus Christ as well as the purpose for which He was sent to this world.

“Let’s celebrate the love of God for mankind, extend same to our neighbours as well as our dear nation by praying for our leaders and the success of our polls in February and March next year. Let’s also apply caution in all what we do during the course of celebration in order to ensure hitch-free activities as I wish all Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year in advance”, he charged further.

Senate receives bill on state police

Nigerian Senate

By Ifeanyi Nwoko

The Senate is set to receive for first reading, a Bill to alter the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and create state police.
According to the order paper of the upper legislative chambers for Thursday, the bill is listed as the first item for presentation.
In keeping to his promise to present the bill, Deputy President of the Senate, Sen. Ike Ekwerenmadu is listed as the Sponsor of the Bill.
Ekweremadu is supported in sponsoring the bill by 75 other senators, bringing the total number of sponsors to 76, that is over 82 per cent of the 109 members of the percent
As at the time of the report, the bill has not been sighted by our correspondent, therefore a list of notable co-sponsors cannot be readily given.
The establishment and running of the police force is a preservation of the government at the centre and is on the Exclusive list.
With the bill, the Senate seeks to remove Policing from the Exclusive List and put in in the concurrent list, thereby allowing state governors to establish and manage a police force within their states.
The decision of the Senate to allow for state policing came as a result of the unending crisis and killings across Nigeria.
The President of the Senate while welcoming his colleagues from their last break, stated clearly that it was time for the senate to take a decision on the security architecture in Nigeria.
“We have talked about the fact that whether these killings were initial acts of aggression or reprisal attacks, it is clear that either way, it is totally unacceptable and we must condemn it in all totality,” he said.
“Secondly, these are acts of criminality and we should not encourage any other colouration to it, be it religious or otherwise. This is criminality. And as such, we have a role to ensure that we must address this criminality to see how we can fight it.
“We have spoken on many platforms and made suggestions to the Executive on the fact that there is a need for an urgent review of the security architecture of the nation.”
Having made suggestions and listened to security agencies over the killings, Saraki said it was important for the lawmakers to do their own part.
“We as the Senate must come up with our own actions. We do not need to flog the issue. We have told the Executive what to do. We have told them privately and we have told them publicly. However, on our own part, we must decide on what we need to do.”
The senate therefore resolved to amend the Constitution to allow for state policing, while the Deputy President of the Senate promised to present a Bill to that effect.

Source: NAN

Gov’s seat not for ill-prepared – Oyo Ex-Speaker Onigbinde

Onigbinde

By Jide Jegede

Notwithstanding his many enviable feats contained in the loud governorship campaign billboards conspicuously placed in strategic positions across the state, many youngsters would still want to ask ‘who exactly is Dr. Akin Onigbinde’. Their curiosity may not be out of place. Since the beginning of the current political dispensation in May 1999, little was heard of the erudite scholar and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN). Though brief, the most advertised part of Dr. Onigbinde’s trajectory was his time as the Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly, where he made his mark as an effective and efficient leader, even as a young lad then. Sadly, the House could not run its full term as the then Military President Ibrahim Babangida truncated what would have remained a shiny legacy of his regime. The annulment of Nigeria’s fairest, freest and most credible election held on June 12, 1993, and won by Chief M.K.O. Abiola, as well as his decision to ‘step aside’ in reaction to the heat generated by the misstep, halted the democratic process his government began.

Dr. Onigbinde had since left the political scene. But, in this recent chat with some journalists in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, the learned silk hinted that he decided to take a break to enable him to prepare himself better before asking the people of the state to entrust him with higher responsibilities.
The break had afforded him the time to study to a Ph.D. level and had held several high profile positions in the private sector. It was within the period that he also got appointed to the rank of a SAN, the zenith of legal practice in Nigeria.

He is currently seeking the ticket of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) to contest as the governor of Oyo State in the 2019 elections. The interview touches on a wide range of issues critical to the development of the state, the Nigerian nation, and the citizenry.

Below are the excerpts:

Who is Akin Onigbinde

I intend to bring to you a summary of whom I am because many times, journalists are being asked to sell products that they neither know nor understand. I don’t think that is fair on the part of the journalist or the society itself.
My training started with the humanities. Initially, it was in the English Language where I did two degrees- BA and MA- at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife). I then read Law. Before I contested election into the Oyo State House of Assembly, I went to the University of Ibadan for an MSc in International Relations. My thinking was that people should be prepared for whatever they want to do. By the time I was finishing the programme, I was already the Speaker of the House. I then applied for a Ph.D. and I started attending lectures and seminars towards my doctoral degree. I had an opportunity to be a teacher. I taught in secondary schools, College of Education, Ilesha, University of Ife and recently at Bowen University, Iwo.
When National Bank had a problem and it went under, the late Chief Bola Ige decide to resuscitate it and they headhunted a number of Yoruba professionals. Mr. Olagundoye, who was the Managing Director of Chartered Bank that time, was headhunted to become the Managing Director of National Bank. I was asked to leave my practice in Ibadan to come and be the Legal Adviser and the Company Secretary because there were too many cases hanging on the neck of the bank. It was painful for me because I didn’t want to leave my practice. I knew it would set me back on my professional accomplishment. But I had to make that sacrifice. I joined National Bank and resolved all the legal tangos. Later, Econet Wireless came, and they were looking for lawyers to start the GSM technology in Nigeria. I bought into it too.
The relevance of all this is that I have been a teacher; I have been a banker, and I have worked in the telecoms industry. The experiences which one gathers along the line cultivates one’s intellect and competence.

My development strategy

What I see every day in Oyo State are sources of good business which the state can tap into to turn things around.
I will not be able to say everything now, but I just want to give two examples. I believe that the people of Oyo State, the Yoruba people that I know in this state, are people with honour. In other words, until recently that things nosedived, you won’t find a Yoruba man that begs. They will rather engage in menial jobs. Many of you have stories of the sacrifices your mothers made to send you to school. Presently our mothers and sister will take loans with very terrible conditions, just to survive. I believe in the cooperative system which was used in the past. I am going to work very hard to make it an instrument of economic empowerment. I am not going to buy motorcycles or pepper grinding machines for people. We will organise things along trade lines. As far back as the time of Rome, people were classified on the account of their trade. When you work on the street, people can tell what your trade is. A cobbler would say he is a cobbler because he is proud of making shoes. If we organise things along trades line, it will be easy to reach everybody. People on the same trade know each other. They won’t run away after collecting loan meant to grow their business. There have to be structures.

On the youth

I recently presented a paper at a function organised by the Federation of Oyo State Students Unions (FOSSU) where we addressed comprehensively the issues pertaining to the youth in Nigeria. I made it clear that really need to properly interrogate the whole idea of ‘youth must run’. When people are talking about the youth, they should not forget that governance is about responsibility. Therefore, there are critical issues that are very important in governance. One, you must have knowledge. If you don’t have knowledge of the job you are asking for, you cannot perform well. You must have the relevant experience; you must have integrity, and you must be trustworthy. We still have good people in our society. We will have to do the work of getting out those people and pushing them forward. We talk about the youth, but we must know that there are youths and there are youths. How do we classify those who spend their time watching the Big Brother Naija and the likes? You glue yourself to the television set, watching some people sleeping and waking up; playing and eating, you did that throughout the night. Do you realise that the most valuable thing that you have is your time? You want to achieve the same thing as Barack Obama, but you will spend your time on Facebook and Instagram. It is not that you are selling something on Instagram. You are posting the pictures of the food you ate yesterday and the dress you wore for your birthday party. That is what you are doing on Instagram, and you say because you belong to a particular age bracket, we should hand over governance of the state to you. It will never work that way. Youth gives you energy, it is for you to transmit that energy into capacity that will enable you to lead. It is not just a question of age. It is also a question of developing yourself to the point of getting ready to take up responsibilities. It is not a question of age. It is a question of capacity. What have you done with yourself? That is what youths should pay attention to. The fact that you are youth does not automatically confer on you the right to lead. If you are competent. if you can show that you have what it takes to take up higher responsibilities, by all means, we will support you.

Why AD

The truth of the matter is that we have become very mentally lazy. Everybody wants a fast food solution. You are not ready to do the work that gives success. The average politician in the Southwest wanted to be a member of the Action Group (AG). He believes that anybody that is in AG will win an election. He wanted to be in the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), not because he wants to do any hard work, but he wants to take advantage of the work some people have done. He wants to be in the Social Democratic Party (SDP). He wants to be in AD. But the truth of the matter is that some people did the hard work that created those political pedestals. What we are saying is that it may be more of hard work to create a platform in AD, but it is a surer platform.
I don’t just want to go to any party. I would have been a welcomed person in the All Progressives Congress (APC). There are many of my friends there. The difficulty I have is that APC is a bus full of people going to different destinations. Some are gentlemen; some are rogues; some are violent, and all of them are encapsulated into a single vehicle. Some of those inside that vehicle are putting engine oil inside the fuel tank; some are putting water; some are stealing the tyre. For how long will it take to get to the destination? If a political party cannot organise its own self, how would it organise the country? A man cannot give what he does not have. As far as I am concerned, for us to be able to move, we need a healthy vehicle.
If Nigerians are kind of people that ask questions, it shouldn’t be difficult for us to say these people cannot help. Go and look at what creates problems in those political parties. They don’t have to do with the welfare of you and me. They have to do with the selfish interests of those individuals. why should it be difficult for us to see that these people are not working in our interest? These are the reasons why we decide that it could be hard work getting young and educated people. At what age did I become the Speaker? Some people did that to me. Why can’t I look around for people that I can mentor too? I mean people who have the mental capability. I don’t believe it is impossible. It requires a lot of hard work. But I think there are a lot of people that are ready to join in the struggle.

Chances of AD?

If you have a Mercedes Benz filled with adi agbon instead of fuel; water in place of brake oil; one of the passengers holding a dagger and an explosive, and the vehicle is being controlled by a drunk driver. On the other hand, there is a Keke NAPEP properly fuelled with a sane man in control. No matter how long it takes, the Keke NAPEP will get to its destination. If the other vehicle is not careful, it will self-destruct because it is carrying enough explosives inside of itself. And that kind of vehicle cannot help any society.
Anybody looking at a Mercedes Benz and a Keke NAPEP will ask the question what is the chance of Keke NAPEP overtaking a Benz. But if a Mercedes Benz is debilitated; if it has enough contradiction inside itself, it is not going anywhere. With all my education, why should I put myself in that kind of vehicle? That abuses my intelligence. That is the reason why I chose AD. Hard work is the only thing that I know and I believe that what you get from hard-work lasts longer than what you get from cutting corners.

Quality journalism in a democracy

The essence of any reportage is that it should be grounded in fact and analysis. The media is the only source people believe and rely on for authentic information, and that places a huge responsibility on the journalists. That is the reason why for the good of the society, information that is going to be passed on to the people to rely on, has to pass through the test of veracity.
There is no other realm where half-truth is being passed to the society than in politics. Either when you are talking about facts or individual, you find out that the information being passed across are often unreliable. Therefore, they must be well interrogated before spreading to the public. All of us will probably remember the gentleman that was a Speaker of the House of Representatives in 1999, who had to resign because he claimed a qualification he did not possess. How did he get to pass the primary election; pass through the main election; got to the House of Representatives; and got elected as the Speaker, all on false claims? If somebody had done his investigation very well, the man couldn’t have gone that far. I want to encourage us that the media is a major stakeholder with huge responsibilities in the future of this country and there is no country that can be founded on the peddling of falsehood.
We have looked at the issue of political parties in Nigeria, and being an insider, I understand intimately the difficulties that political process takes us through. I need you, gentlemen, to take more than passing interest in what goes on in political parties. All of us agree that the way we run our politics is one of the things that spoil our morals, businesses, and makes us not to be trustworthy again. It is really dehumanizing. I was looking at a documentary recently where 19 former governors are on the list of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Is that normal in any society? Is that the kind of mentoring that you want to give to the people coming behind? We really need to tackle the issue of politics. And the media has a critical role to play here.
The way political parties select candidates for elections in Nigeria poses a lot of problems for the polity. Look at the delegates system, which, unfortunately, is in the constitution of most political parties, what goes on there is pathetic. That is where good candidates are sacrificed on the altar of resources to finance the party. if the delegate system has imposed on you a bad candidate, it is important for the press to be very tenacious; to examine us who say we want public trust; to be ruthless in getting to the root of who we are, where we are coming from, what is the level of our integrity and how much trust have we been given by our societies. Unless we are ready to do this hard work as pressmen, we are not going to go far, because it is the press that sets the agenda that determines how the society is run.

Why I stayed away

One of the terrible things about the politics in Nigeria is that people think that once they have occupied a political position, they must never work with their hands again. Some only got elected as Councillors, but since then, they are not doing anything again. They want to sit down and get free money. If there is any opportunity for you to serve the people, you are there to serve. When you finish, you go back to the job you were doing. I am a lawyer. After leaving the State House of Assembly, am I supposed to be hanging around? When did I know politics will start again? Between then and now, I had worked at the National Bank as well as Anderson Consulting, among others. What is wrong with a former Speaker being a worker in the bank? I didn’t see anything wrong in that. I went to work with my hands. All of those have now galvanised into an advantage. I am a better person now. I can serve the society much better because of the experiences I have garnered. I was busy developing myself and acquiring more qualifications. And I believe that I am a better person returning to politics now than I would have been if I had come back earlier.

Lawmaking not like it was in our days

When I was made the Speaker of the House, I had made up my mind, even as young as I was at that time, that nobody was going to mess up my reputation. I have been a beneficiary of this society; this country has been good to me and so, I wasn’t going to go to any police station to answer for any crime related matter after I leave office. So, nobody could push me. And it is the kind of leadership you provide that you get. No matter how rich you are material-wise, if you are plagued with covetousness, you will never be satisfied. From the governor to the lawmakers and other political office holders, we were not greedy. The political culture we imbibed did not allow for greediness.
These days, our society has gone terribly backward. It has deteriorated and gone down several notches in terms of values. Some of the things that are taken for granted today were unimaginable when we were in the House. Therefore, it was difficult for any governor, including Governor Kolapo Ishola, who was the governor during our time, to try to pocket the legislative arm of government in his state. Governor Ishola could not take me for granted. He was old enough to be my father. He even has a son who is a lawyer and a friend of mine too. I respected him as a father, but I see myself as somebody who has a job to do. There was a time the Clerk of the House died and we needed to replace him. Rather than allow us in the House to choose, they were lobbying in the Governor’s office to impose somebody. I chose the new clerk, with the consent of all members of the House. The governor only heard about the appointment on the radio. and I saw him on the evening of that day. There was nothing he could do about it. I had the knowledge, I had the courage and I had the support of my colleagues to do the right thing. It was a different culture altogether. The way I look at the present Houses of Assembly is that it is not the fault of the lawmakers that they tend to be subservient to their governors. This society generally has deteriorated and that is the reason for the hard work all of us have to do.

Nigeria’s fight against corruption

If a man has a headache, stomachache, diabetes, leprosy, cancer and at the same time has Ebola, the kind of treatment, medication, and management that will be needed for that kind of patient is different from what is required for a man that only has a headache. The little we know about medicine makes us know that the condition of the earlier man is much more complicated than that of the other with a headache. Anybody that understands the amount of damage that corruption has done to this country will understand from a contextual standpoint that the combination of the EFCC, ICPC and CCB are not enough to solve the problem even if they are working honestly. This is because if you go to the EFCC, for instance, to report somebody that allegedly stole about N10m, they don’t take you seriously. They will say they don’t have time for that because they are dealing with a minimum of N100m and above. It is not contextually possible for only these anti-corruption bodies to solve all the problems of corruption in Nigeria. The question of corruption exists at the local government level, is the EFCC that will solve that too? There is corruption in our religious places, would the EFCC come from Abuja to address that too? I believe every state and every political unit must have its own vibrant anti-corruption mechanism to effectively tackle the menace.
We say we don’t like corruption, but we give kudos to people that corruptly enrich themselves. We give them chieftaincy titles, honour them in our churches and mosques. In our quest to curb corruption, we cannot be like the chichidodo bird that doesn’t like shit but likes maggot. We have to make up our mind on whether we want to fight corruption or we just want to pay lip service to the fight.

How to make Nigeria better

People complain the country is not running well. If the country were a company or your personal estate, and you have the kind of investment that you have in this country, will you allow it to go under? You will do everything, including bringing people that are competent in order to revive it and get it back to a profitable state. We need people with competence in management; people that understand how things work in order to be able to turn this country around.

Ekiti APC guber primary: No petition against Fayemi – Appeal panel

The appeal panel raised by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to handle possible grievances against the party’s governorship primary election in Ekiti State at the weekend has concluded its assignment without receiving any petition against the emergence of Kayode Fayemi, former governor of the state and incumbent minister of solid minerals, in the exercise.
The chairperson of the panel, Amb. Fati Balla, made the disclosure on Tuesday while submitting the committee report to Sen. Osita Izunaso, APC National Organising Secretary, at the party national secretariat in Abuja.

Balla declared the election rescheduled for May 12 rancour-free, though the initial exercise held a week earlier was marred by violence, necessitating its cancellation and postponement to the new date.

According to the three-member panel, none of the other contestants brought any petition to challenge Fayemi’s victory throughout the three day they spent in the state.

“In the three days we sat, we did not receive a single petition, either in form of writing, telephone calls or by text message.

“This is to say there has been no petition after the primary election in Ekiti State, we have, therefore, come before you this afternoon to submit our report having completed our assignment’’, she said.

Other members of the committee which was inaugurated on May 2, include Capt. Bala Jibrin (Secretary) and Mrs Lilian Obenwa.

While receiving the report, Izunaso thanked the panelists, as he equally expressed the APC’s determination to reclaim Ekiti state from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the governorship election scheduled for July 14 .

He noted that the leadership of the party is planning to earnestly meet all the 33 aspirants that took part in the primary to properly integrate them, and also that a national campaign committee for the election would soon be set up to map out strategies to convince the people of Ekiti to cast their votes en-masse for Fayemi on the election day.

“We are glad that you have finished your assignment after sitting for three days, and there is no petition from any aspirant.

“We are also glad that the Ekiti primary election has taken place and that the aspirants are working together to ensure that we win the election.

“The most important thing to us in the APC is victory in the July election, for us, whenever there is a primary election, it is a family affair.

“And whenever we finish our primary elections, and aspirants and stakeholders come together to work as a team, it gladdens our heart as a party’’, Izunaso said.

Oyo LG polls: Ajimobi’s APC takes all

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has won all the elective positions contested for in the Local Government election held in Oyo state last Saturday.

After the collation of the final results by the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC), the party’s candidates were declared winners in all the Chairmanship and Councillorship posts in the 33 local governments and 35 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) at the commission’s office on Sunday.

The election which held on Saturday after 11 years of its kind in the state, witnessed extremely low turnout, though it was peaceful as residents complied fully with the sit-at-home order imposed by the state government to ensure that the exercise did not experience any hitch.
Independent observers, who monitored the election, declared it free and fair.
Though twelve political parties participated in the election, APC candidates were returned unopposed in most of the seats.

Meanwhile, a splinter group within the ruling party, the Unity Forum, has described the “abysmally low turnout” of the electorate at the Saturday’s LG election as a wake-up call on the leadership of the party to intervene in the crisis rocking its Oyo state chapter and reposition it for good outing in the 2019 general elections.

The Forum in the release by its Secretary, Wasiu Olatunbosun, noted that the poll was a referendum on the APC, saying the low turnout was an indication that the party needs to be re-invigorated to stand a fair chance in next year’s elections.

“We have said it for the umpteenth time that the members of the Unity Forum constitute more than 70 per cent of the membership of the APC with a history of party loyalty, discipline and proven capacity to deliver the votes.

“It was to the members of the group that the National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu turned in 2015 to secure needed votes for the second term bid of Governor Abiola Ajimobi,” the released further stated.

Also, the state chapter of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has thanked the people of the state and particularly its members for boycotting the LG polls, describing the exercise as a ‘rehearsal for APC’s burial’.

The party, which had announced its decision to boycott the exercise ahead of its conduct, made the claim in a statement forwarded to journalists in the name its chairman, Kunmi Mustapha, by the party’s Publicity Secretary, Akeem Olatunji.

The statement alleged that participating in last Saturday’s local government election in the state would amount to “a tacit endorsement of an illegality as the election failed integrity test right from the inception of the electoral process.”

Stray bullet kills teenage girl as Oyo conducts LG poll

An eighteen-year-old girl was killed at Idi Oro, Ekotedo area in Ibadan by a shot allegedly fired by an official of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) during the Local Government election held across Oyo State on Saturday.

The girl identified as Kofoworola Abubakar was said to be a student of St. Bridget Secondary School, Mokola where she reportedly wrote the last paper in her Senior Secondary School Examinations the previous day.

According to eyewitness account, Kofoworola met her untimely death in front of a patent medicine store where her mother sent her to buy some items.
The eyewitness recalled that a brawl had broken out between two rival cults gangs in the area which prompted residents to call on a team of NSCDC men, who were on election patrol, to come and rescue the situation.
On getting to the spot, the security men shot to the air to disperse the hoodlums, and in the process, one of the bullets hit the poor girl in back of her neck and pierced through her left eye.
Reports said she died on the spot.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Adekunle Ajisebutu, confirmed the incident, saying the suspect was already in the command’s custody.
Ajisebutu added that the state Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Odude, had directed his men at the Investigation and Intelligent Department to commence diligent investigations into the unfortunate incident.
The NSCDC men were said to have hurried left the scene to avoid been mobbed by residents, who were obviously pained by the girl’s death.
A police team later came to fetch her remains.
Meanwhile, a local government election was held across the state on Saturday.
Despite the constitutional provision for periodic elections in the third tier of government, the state local governments were witnessing the exercise for the first time in the last seven years.

Though peaceful as no incident of violence was recorded in any part of the state, the election witnessed an abysmally low turnout.

Residents used the opportunity of the sit-at-home order imposed by the state government to allow them participate in the election to attend to personal issues.

Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, and his wife, Florence, voted at Ward 9, Unit 20, Community Grammar School, Oluyole Estate III in Ibadan South West Local Government Area.
The governor told newsmen that the poll was quite free, fair and peaceful, adding that everybody was well organised as he commended the people for supporting the process.

“It is great that Oyo has moved from the era of brigandage for which it was known before the inception of this administration in 2011. Since we came on board, we have been encouraging peace. The purpose of government is to ensure peace, security and socio-economic wellbeing of the people of the state. We will continue to do these.”

The CP and the state Coordinator of Civil Societies Organisation from Abuja, Mr. Friday Maduka, also said they visited some parts of the state capital to monitor the election and ensure that law and order were maintained.

Offa robbery: Police declare gang leaders wanted

The Nigeria Police on Friday declared wanted four of the gang leaders and principal suspects in a recent deadly robbery attack on some banks in Offa, Kwara State.

According to a press statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, photographs of the wanted suspects have been released for assistance on possible information that could lead to their arrest.
In the statement released in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, the force added that the suspects have been placed on INTERPOL watchlist and red alert, urging other sister security and safety agencies in Nigeria to arrest and hand over the suspects to the nearest police station across the country if they are able to get them ahead of the police
“Members of the general public who have any information about these wanted suspects should feel free to contact the police through the following Phone numbers 08062080913, 08126285268, 08032365122, 07056792065, 08088450152.

“Protection of the informant will be guaranteed by the police and handsome rewards in addition to the pledge of Five Million (N5,000,000) by the Kwara State Government await anyone whose information leads to the arrest of these wanted suspects,” the statement read.

Moshood said significant progress is being made in the investigation to the attack as more than 20 suspects already arrested are cooperating with the investigating team.

According to him, the details of the suspects were released to the public, and the exhibits recovered from them, which include two Beretta pistols, 20 rounds of live ammunition, as well as four phones and sim cards belonging to the victims, some of whom were killed during the attack.
The Police Spokesperson said the force will leave no stone unturned in efforts to get to the root of the incident and ensure that the perpetrators do not escape the wrath of the law.