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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.

Politics

Wase felicitates with Sultan of Sokoto at 63

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The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Ahmed  Wase (APC-Plateau) has congratulated the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji. Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar lll, as he marked his 63 birthday anniversary.

In a congratulatory message on Saturday in Abuja, Wase described the monarch as an icon of peace.

The parliamentarian said that the sultan through his spiritual counsel brought peace and tolerance not only to Sokoto state but the entire nation.

“His Eminence has over the years demonstrated both in words and in deeds that he is a true man of peace by always preaching unity, mutual understanding and peaceful coexistence among the diverse ethnic and religious groups in Nigeria.

“As a spiritual leader and traditional ruler, you have over the years, distinguished yourself as an exemplary leader, traversing the length and breadth of the country, preaching peaceful coexistence and building bridges across religious and cultural divides.”

Wase prayed for many more years in good health for the sultan as he continued in his service of humanity and uniting the people of Nigeria.

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Nov. 16 election: APC screens Lokpobiri, ex-INEC REC, 4 others in Bayelsa

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The All Progressives Congress on Saturday screened the immediate past Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri.

Similarly, the party screened the immediate past Cross River State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) Frankland Briyai for Nov. 16 governorship election in Bayelsa.

Nigeria News Agency, reports that others, who were screened by the Mr Ita Isong led National Screening Committee include a former female Commissioner of Police, Deseye Poweigha, Ebitimi Amgbare, David Lyon and Preye Aganaba,

Earlier, Isong assured all the aspirants of a level playing ground to ensure a smooth primary of the party on Sept. 29 andl the election.

Speaking with journalists after the screening, the former Cross River REC, Frankland Briyai, and former Minister, Heineken Lokpobiri, said that they were satisfied with the outcome.

Lokpobiri said: ”Well, the screening committee did an excellent job, out of the seven aspirants, I happen to be the last person to be screened and I think the process went very well.

“If I don’t get the ticket, I will definitely cooperate with the party. Am a party man.

“Ultimately, other aspirants are expected to rally round whoever gets the party ticket, so that we can work together for the party.”

On his part, Briyia, reiterated his earlier promises to led Bayelsa industrial revolution as he had been a leader with proven integrity and commitment.

He said: “Bayelsa needs somebody who could share, who could build, who could lead.

“I have been a leader in my post primary school and tertiary school, even in my places of work I have quite outstanding qualities that make me believe that when I win and become the governor of Bayelsa, citizens will experience the best of life.”

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Go, change narratives about womanhood – Mrs Akeredolu charges BEMORE girls

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Wife of Ondo State Governor, Mrs Betty Akeredolu, has advised girls who participated in the BEMORE Summer Bootcamp to go back to their homes and change the narratives about womanhood.

Mrs Akeredolu gave the advice on Saturday at the closing of the third edition of the programme, held at the Federal University of Technology, Akure.

She enjoined the girls to proclaim what they were taught at the camp and impact the society positively.

She also urged them to introduce a ‘Weekend Democracy Meeting’ to their families, where some of the things they had learnt would be shared with others for good living.

According to the governor’s wife, she is determined to focussing on the young girls who are malleable and not yet polluted with tribalism and rabid religiosity which are common with many Nigerians.

“I’m determined to equipping them with the tools to succeed and protecting them from harm, and all manners of physical abuse.

“I am certain that this will lead them to becoming leaders, not only in technology, but in all endeavours, especially in politics where their voices are desperately needed to sit at the table of decision making,” she said.

The governor’s wife said BEMORE was structured to chart a new course and serve as a grooming ground for a new breed without greed.

She explained that the girls were taught to be selfless, good mannered, advocate of causes of their choice, especially those related to the uplift of women.

“They were also trained to be proficient in their chosen professions,” she said.

Mrs Akeredolu tasked the girls to return to their various communities and initiate positive changes without being bothered by the high and mighty that might confront them when practising what they had learnt in the camp.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the over 250 girls, selected across the state, were trained on ICT, solar energy, taekwondo and various skill acquisitions.

Edited by Moses Solanke and ‘Wale Sadeeq

 

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Be selfless, patriotic in discharging your duties, CLO charges new ministers

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The Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) has charged members of the newly-constituted Federal Executive Council (FEC) to be selfless and patriotic in the discharge of their duties in order to improve the conditions of the citizenry.

Mr Vincent Ezekwueme, Chairman of the Anambra State chapter of the organisation, gave the charge on Saturday in Enugu while speaking with the Nigeria News Agency on the expectations of Nigerians from the new federal cabinet.

Ezekwueme urged the new ministers to work relentlessly in order to restore the trust and hope of Nigerians in government and earn their respect.

According to him, they must engrave their names in the heart of the citizens by being catalysts for positive change.

“They must promote and provide good governance, transparency, accountability, public interest, welfare and fear of God. Passion for betterment of the country and its citizenry must also be their moving spirit.

“The new ministers must be more effective, efficient, prudent, assiduous, conscientious and upright in the discharge of their national duties,’’ he said.

The CLO boss urged citizens to hold them accountable and tell them what they needed to know rather than what they wanted to hear.

“Holistic implementation of government policies and programmes in words and actions, not political rhetoric, is the greatest and best expectations of Nigerians.

“This is the precondition for the true democratic governance which our people have been yearning for,’’ he added.

Edited by Chioma Ugboma and ‘Wale Sadeeq

 

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Kwara deputy governor extols Offa people for integrity 

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The Deputy Governor of Kwara, Mr Kayode Alabi, has commended the people of Offa for the exhibition of high level of integrity in the politics of the state.

Alabi spoke on Saturday in Ilorin when he received the ward chairmen of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from Offa Local Government Area of the state led by Mr Seun Ogunniyi in his office.

The deputy governor charged Nigerians, especially politicians, to be honest in their dealings to ensure an egalitarian society.

He also called on the people to let humility and service delivery be their guiding principles always.

Alabi, who described the people of Offa as humble and straight forward, recalled that he had a memorable time while he was in Offa Grammar School as a student.

Ogunniyi had earlier commended the state government for its efforts at developing the state, describing it as the government of the people.

The team leader expressed a belief that the present administration in the state would perform and take the state to the next level.

He pledged the unalloyed support of the party to the government in the task ahead.

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