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Second Tenure: Give ministers targets, CSO urges Buhari

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Partners for Electoral Reform (PER), a civil society organisation, on Wednesday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to give achievement targets to ministers he would appoint in his new term.

The Chairman of PEF, Mr Ezenwa Nwagwu, told News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja that adopting that strategy would make the ministers to be on track in achieving development for the nation.

Nwagwu said that conversations on what Buhari should prioritise were around economy, anti-corruption and security, but that these were vague compared to real issues on ground.

“We need to be able to see that in six months, the 300-kilometre Abuja-Kaduna road will be safe and if it is not safe, he should hold somebody accountable; that is for defence, for instance.

“We should be able to say for health, how many teaching hospitals will be revitalised within a one year and if that does not happen, we have to hold somebody accountable.

“This service delivery scorecard is a way of ensuring that there is value for money and that people who are in government do not just feel that they are accountable to the person that appointed them.

“This should also mean that they can also be held accountable on the basis of what the citizens know that they are supposed to achieve within a timeframe,” he said.

Nwagwu said that the idea of sending ministerial list without the task that the nominee would perform and when to perform the task is something that should be stopped, going forward.

“Yes, the president appoints you, but you are called the minister of the federal republic, meaning that you are ministering to the needs of the citizens of the country.’’ he said.

He said that henceforth, citizens should be able to see how many universities were built, funding pattern of tertiary education and the issue of free and compulsory education.

According to Nwagwu, citizens will want to know the number of enrolments in tertiary institutions, that if there are 10,000 or 10 million out-of-school persons, they will want to know what could be done.

He urged Buhari to endure strict improvement on infrastructure, saying “the rail lines being built are good but we want to also know the cost.

“This is because if you are hearing that it cost these much to do the same rail line in Ghana and in our own country its different, it is because there are no accountability mechanisms where people can also verify issues.’’

He, therefore, called on the president to ensure that there were more transparency, more openness in governance, and more ability of citizens to hold government accountable.

Nwagwu explained such situation was needed by citizens, saying that whether it was a dictatorship or a civil government, once the citizens were absent in the conversations that directly affect them, “it won’t be effective”.

He advised citizens to always make demands on the government because the government would not think that it was responsible to them except they made demands.

According to him, the value of democracy is the ability to continue to knock on doors till they are open and if it refuses to open, they should push.

“You keep pushing to the point where the leaders will open by themselves and say why are you pushing and that is the democratic interactions; that is where we are, not doing much .’’

Nwagwu urged citizens that henceforth, whether it was Buhari or any other person in government, they should ensure that at sub-national and national level, their action was increased in the next four years.

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Lalong to Tallen: “Do not listen to gossips”.

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Gov Simon Lalong of Plateau has advised Mrs. Pauline Tallen, the Minister of Women Affairs, to avoid listening to gossips from people that had no good intentions for Plateau.

“You should not listen to gossip from people who don’t mean well for Plateau. There are people who would sow seeds of discord between me and the minister for their selfish gains. Don’t listen to them,” Lalong said on Wednesday in Abuja.

He spoke at a post-inauguration dinner organied to honour Tallen, the north-central state’s representative in the Federal Executive Council, who was inaugurated as women affairs minister by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Lalong promised to work with Tallen and members of the National Assembly from the state for the progress of Plateau.

The governor, who congratulated Tallen on her appointment, said that Plateau would be better for it if they worked together.

“Today, you are a minister; Idris Maje is Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives. Others are members of the National Assembly and I am the governor.

“Respect everybody’s position; let’s work together and Plateau will be better for it.

“You need the governor as a minister to succeed and the governor needs you as minister to succeed.

“If I need to do something in Abuja, I will just call you and it will be done,” he said.

Lalong declared that he had nothing against Tallen, saying that he would always respect President Buhari’s discretion in appointing her as minister.

In his remarks, Idris Maje, Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, said that he had no doubt that Tallen would succeed, given her experience as a politician.

“We are going to cooperate with you from the National Assembly, especially in the area of oversight function, for you to succeed.

“You have the senators and members of the House of Representatives behind you. I assure you that we are going to work with you,” he said.

The deputy speaker said that it was needless to blackmail or malign anyone for political gains, and advised those who had made gossip their trade to desist from that.

Tallen, in her remarks, thanked the governor and Plateau people for the honour done her.

The minister said that she would be a minister for every citizen of Plateau and Nigeria, irrespective of political, religious and ethnic affiliations.

“Whoever knows me knows that I don’t believe in ethnic or religious politics.

“My doors are open; we will work together for the progress of Plateau.

“I am your ambassador Mr Governor; I am at your disposal for anything that pertains the national level,” she assured.

The Nigeria News Agency , reports that the dinner was attended by members of the Plateau House of Assembly, traditional rulers, among others.

Edited by Ephraims Sheyin

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Governors meet to discuss NFIU’s directive on LG funds,  health issues

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The 36 state governors under the umbrella of Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) are  meeting in Abuja to discuss update on recent directive of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) on  local government funds.

The governors according to the agenda of the Wednesday’s meeting are also expected to discuss and review update on Primary Heath Care under One Roof (PHCOUR) and other health related matters.

Also on the agenda is ” UN General Assembly – Panel on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Climate Change; Feedback on Governors’ Meeting with African Development Bank (AfDB) and Chinese Investors.

Others were the forum’s one-day meeting with partners such as Debt Management Office, Joint Task Board and Nigeria Stock Exchange.

 Expected to be presented to the governors at the meeting is  the  “Transmission Company of Nigeria: Briefing on Transmission Expansion Plan and its potential impact in improving power supply in states.”

Already in attendance at the meeting were the Chairman of the forum and Ekiti Governor, Kayode Fayemi, his Deputy and Governor of Sokoto, Aminu Tambuwal.

Others were Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Umaru Fintri (Adamawa), Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom), Willie Obiano (Anambra), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Bala Mohammed (Bauchi), Godwin Obaseki (Edo).

Also present were Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), Dairu Ishiaku (Taraba), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), Emeka Ihedioha (Imo), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Aminu Masari (Katsina),

Bello Matawalle (Zamfara), Babagana Umara (Borno) and  Cross River Deputy Governor, Prof. Ivira Esu.

Edited by  Obike Ukoh

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APC inaugurates 2 screening committees for Kogi, Bayelsa primaries

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The National Chairman of APC,  Adams Oshiomhole who inaugurated the committees in Abuja, urged them to do proper screening.

He said proper screening of candidates would avoid a situation where the party would lose candidates again.

The Nigeria News Agency   reports that the party has scheduled Aug. 22 and  Aug.23 for the committees to screen the aspirants.

Sen. Hope Uzodinma leads the seven-member committee to screen aspirants in Kogi while the committee for aspirants in Bayelsa is chaired by Sen. Abdullahi Gumen.

Oshiomhole urged the committees to request clarification from the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party if in doubt of claims or contradictions by any aspirant.

“You (committee) need to do proper screening and ensure that those who passed the screening are likely to be able to stand the test, not only of winning election but will not be challenged after victory.

“We have couple of cases where people claimed what they did not have or they sworn affidavits such that they have two, three ages, depending on what they sworn affidavits for.

“We have a recent case in Taraba where APC candidate who went through entire process had  his candidature nullified at the Supreme Court on account of falsification of age.

“If you notice contradiction, identify them for clarification becauseif you fail to clarify,  there is still another road block.

“The opponent can point out those contradictions and our party’s candidature might be in jeopardy. So, it is an exercise that is extremely important.

“Some people make claims to certain qualifications.  They should have body proof to establish them before you and if you are in doubt, please amplify it to us, particularly with NWC, with appropriate recommendation,” he said.

According to him, the committees should look put for eligibility of aspirants which includes financial membership of the aspirants, adding that such aspirant’s membership must exceed one year.

He also that only the NWC  could give waver for any aspirant that spent less than a year in the party.

Oshiomhole, who said that the screening would hold at state party secretariats in Lokoja and Yenagoa, said that the idea was to move party’s activities closer to the aspirants.

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Secondus to aspirants: Don’t rely on party leaders for PDP governorship ticket

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has advised its members seeking the party’s nod to contest the Kogi and Bayelsa governorship elections against relying on the party’s leaders for the ticket.

He assured the aspirants of a level playing ground, adding that the party had no preferred aspirant.

“Go and work on the delegates. They are the ones that will elect you as candidate; no one else, not even members of the NWC, can help you.

“All I can assure you is that we are going to conduct free, fair and transparent primaries in Kogi and Bayelsa States,” he said.

The Nigeria News Agency , reports that certificates were issued to the cleared aspirants from the two states.

Among them were former Governor of Kogi, Idris Wada, Sen. Dino Melaye, Abubakar Ibrahim, a son of former Governor Ibrahim Idris, and 10 others.

Those cleared for Bayelsa included the deputy governor, John Jona; the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Kemela Okara, former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Timi Alaibe.

Also on the Bayelsa list were Ambassador Godknows, Sen. Douye Diri, and 16 others.

Edited by Kamal Tayo Oropo and Ephraims Sheyin

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Appointment of Adebayo, “Round peg in a round hole”,Ekiti speaker

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The Speaker, Ekiti State House of Assembly, Mr Funminiyi Afuye, has described the appointment of Mr Niyi Adebayo as Minister,as a “Round peg in a round hole.”

Afuye said this on Wednesday in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr Tai Akogun and made available the Nigeria News Agency, in Ado Ekiti.

The speaker described Adebayo, a former governor of Ekiti as “Tested and trusted.”

Acute assured President Mohammadu Buhari in particular and Nigerians in general that Adebayo would not betray the confidence he( the president) reposed in him.

“Adebayo, the newly appointed Minister and former governor of Ekiti who served the state without blemish, has a pedigree of courage and integrity in service.

” I, therefore, thank the President and the National Assembly for the appointment of Adebayo,” Afuye said.

The speaker also assured the new minister of the cooperation of the Ekiti State House of Assembly.

He noted that such cooperation was the only way to ensure synergy between the purposeful leadership of Gov., Kayode Fayemi– led administration and the Federal government ‘where a focused son is representing Ekiti.”

NAN reports that Adebayo was until his appointment, the National Deputy Chairman (South)of the All Progressive Congress.

Edited by Dada Ahmed

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