NIGERIA: Nsukka People Laud Chime

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Read Time:2 Minute, 8 Second

The homogenous people of Nsukka have praised the Governor of Enugu State, Mr.  Sullivan Chime,  over his recent declaration that it was the turn of the people from Nsukka to produce the next governor of the state in 2015.

A statement issued   in Enugu on behalf of the people of Nsukka by Chief Maxi Okuta said Governor Chime had demonstrated that he remained a man of honour.

Okuta was reacting to the just concluded Town Hall meeting held in the capital city of Enugu, where  Chime had told excited stakeholders of the state and members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), that going by an internal arrangement of the PDP, it was the turn of Nsukka to produce the next governorship candidate of the party in the forthcoming 2015 governorship elections.

Okuta who had convened series of meetings of the people of Nsukka to sensitise the various segments- the intelligentsia, business community and political leaders from the area, traced the indelible contribution of late Igwe Charles Abangwu towards the struggle.

He recalled that late  Igwe Abangwu had the vision when he brought together all the traditional rulers of old Nsukka Zone and the entire Enugu State  to rally support for Governor Chime, insisting that the governor had an assailable second term in office.

He said it  was a master-stroke by Igwe Abangwu because he supported a people’s governor, whose second tenure has turned out to be an unquantifiable blessing to the entire people of the state.

“My people are overjoyed, “ Chief Okuta, explained “ that the governor has kept this covenant and has shown that he is indeed a man of honour. Indeed a statesman, who keeps his word.”
He also commended the governor for his avowed stance of supporting the creation of Adada State as one of the additional states to be created in Igboland.

Okuta emphasised that Adada State Movement,  one of the oldest and suitably qualified both in land mass, mineral and human resources, had always topped the list of states agitation and ably positioned to be self sustaining, peaceful, and area noted for its homogeneity and a food basket of the nation.

Okuta,  who also lauded the governor for constructing a road and creating a shorter route from the  university town of Nsukka to Enugu via the Opi Road with work in earnest, prayed for salubrious health for the governor to continue and complete the good work he had begun since the last six years.

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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NIGERIA: Akpabio Not Responsible for Wammako’s Travail, Says Group

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Read Time:1 Minute, 10 Second

 A socio-political group, Akwa Ibom Progressive Forum (AIPROF),  has warned that the name of the Akwa Ibom State Governor and chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Godswill Akpabio should not be dragged in the mud by individuals making an attempt at mischief and hoping to cash in on the political situations in the party.

The warning came in the wake of a media report that the Sokoto State Governor, Aliyu Wammako, was suspended by the PDP because he rebuffed the PDP Governors’ Forum (PDPGF) and Akpabio’s leadership of the forum.

AIPROF, in a statement signed by Pastor  Oduduabasi Umanah and Utibeabasi Umoren,  president and secretary respectively, and made available to newsmen, stated that Governor Akpabio had been known to enjoy the support and respect of his colleagues, while he also gives them due respect because they all first among equals.

“Thus, it is the height of irresponsibility for a newspaper which has always acted as the mouthpiece of the  opposition to publish falsehood about Governor Akpabio,” the group said.

The forum stated that it was happy that “the party had debunked the sponsored story calculated at rubbishing Akpabio and the PDP by the opposition, the people of the country should be aware of opposition shenanigans and their attempt to drag   Akpabio’s name  in the mud.”

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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NIGERIA: Opposition Merger Can’t Defeat PDP in Lagos, Says Party Chieftain

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Read Time:3 Minute, 25 Second

 A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former governorship aspirant in Lagos State, Owolabi Salis, has described   the coming together of  opposition parties to form the All Progressives Congress (APC) as a welcome development that is good for the nation’s democracy.

He however said no amount of merger by the opposition can defeat the PDP.

“The merger of three or four parties is a good idea. It is good for our politics, it is going to make PDP sit up and also make it stronger as the challenges will be favourable.

“So I think I love what is going on, but I do not see the APC defeating the PDP the way I see the party and the way I see Nigeria,” he said while fielding questions from newsmen in Lagos.

“In Nigeria I don’t see any opposition party defeating PDP. If PDP has to be defeated, PDP will defeat PDP. This is because the real people, the quality people are all in PDP, so PDP has to defeat PDP,” he added.

He recalled that in Lagos State for example, the PDP had been defeating PDP since 2003.

He, however, assured his followers that he would remain a staunch member of the PDP.

“In 2003, you will recall that certain personalities left PDP to help the old AD to win the general elections then and they were given commissioners and some other positions.

“In 2007, the followers of the late Mr. Funsho Williams defected from  the PDP to join the ACN and won the election and they were rewarded with the office of the  Secretary to the State Government and about four or five commissioners. Then in 2011, the same thing re-occurred,” he said.

Salis, a lawyer, also attributed the defeat of the PDP in Lagos State over the years to what he called “a lot of bad management in the leadership of PDP”, saying  the issue is being resolved by the current national chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur.

He said he would remain in PDP because PDP is the real democratic party and the party has a great chance of winning the election in 2015 in Lagos State because of its membership strength.

Commenting on how to combat insecurity in the country, Salis called for political will from the powers that be and engaging people in the grass roots.

“In Nigeria, we talk but those who are expected to act fail to act as at when due,” he said, adding, “that is why this Boko Haram insurgency is not being addressed quickly and is now becoming a big problem and a monster to the country.”

He canvassed the adoption of what he called the traditional approach that involves the grassroots scanning by security agencies to fish out where bad people are perpetuating their nefarious acts.

He added: “You know there are 7,000 wards in the whole of the country and use the grassroots scanning by security agencies to identify the supposedly bad wards. The arrest of the leaders involved in perpetuating breach of peace in those wards would lead to the arrest of their members.’’

Salis, however, lauded the declaration of the state of emergency in Yobe, Borno and Adamawa states as part of efforts to curtail insurgency.

While bemoaning the rate of youth unemployment in the country, the politician said because he considered the matter as very serious, he has had to personally write the president on it and proposed a project he called grassroots’ governance.

“This grassroots’ governance is a way of tapping into the intelligence of the youths at the grassroots and the government would be assisting them to fund such.

“The government would put in place an accounting system that would ensure that the  funds are disbursed at ward levels to the youths in groups and ensure that they are spent on what it is meant for,” he said.

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Abia Governorship : Ngwa Renaissance Seeks Balance of Power

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Read Time:3 Minute, 27 Second

 Against the clamour for the governorship seat to remain within the precinct of old Aba province in Abia State, the leader of Ngwa Renaissance Group, a socio-political movement in Abia South senatorial district, Chief Charles Nwanga, has called on all stakeholders in the state to allow reason to prevail by ensuring the emergence of an indigene of the district as the next governor.

Giving a breakdown analysis on the structural framework in the Ukwa -Ngwa council constituting both the Abia South and Abia Central districts,  Nwangwa pointed out that it would be wise for stakeholders in the state to stick to Abia South.

According to him, even though the zone is the most dominant among Ukwa-Ngwa extraction, it is  the only  senatorial district that has not produced the governor.  To this end, he noted with dismay,  the exclusion of the people in the political calculation of the state and described the continual neglect of his people since the creation of the state as against the principle of fairness and equity.

“It is sad that nobody from our zone has governed the state despite our huge contribution to the socio -economic growth of both the state and Nigeria as a whole. In fact, a greater percentage of the population and revenue accruing to the state is largely accounted for by Ukwa-Ngwa council,” he said.

He nonetheless emphasised on equitable rotation of power among the three senatorial zones to avoid rancour, pointing out that it is now the turn of Abia South to occupy the exalted seat.

“Ukwa-Ngwa constitutes the largest sub-clan in Nigeria. The largest percentage of the state revenue comes from this zone. Sixty per cent  of the population is from there. But funny enough, they have never been reckoned with  in the sharing of power. All appointments were given to Old Bendel division except the recent appointment of Emeka Wogu as Minister of Labour and Productivity,” he added.

“Now, if we are to look at Ukwa-Ngwa on the strength of Local Governments’ allotment, Abia South has six Local Government Areas while Abia Central has three  Local Governments. Based on this, Abia South stands on a vantage position. Apart from that, it would be wrong for aspirants within Abia Central to capitalise on a purported agreement reached to cede power to Ukwa Ngwa bloc having failed to secure the slot during the last election, ” he said.

According to Nwangwa, the view of these set of people amounts to absolute greed.

“I see this as selfish, and being myopic on the part of these leaders. It smacks of lack of vision to have considered themselves worthy. I see these set of people as collaborators, conspirators against Ukwa-Ngwa people which has always been the bane of the Ngwa man,” he enthused.
He however urged stakeholders to rise above partisan interest by allowing equity, justice, fair play to prevail in the distribution of power in the state particularly among the senatorial districts.

“Equity, fairness, common sense, and justice dictate that Abia South automatically gets the gubernatorial slot. We have been largely short-changed in the past, so it would be unjust to deny them of that opportunity,” he said.

Commenting on the number of qualified aspirants in the zone, Nwangwa identified a long list of suitable candidates that are prepared to take over the mantle of leadership from the incumbent governor.

“There are enough competent hands that can handle the affairs of the state in the zone. We have distinguished personalities which include the former deputy governor of the State who is now a senator, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, Dr. Nyerere Anyim, a philanthropist, the present Minister of Labour and Productivity, Emeka Wogu, Chris Nkanta, among others.

While paying tributes to the impressive work done by the present governor since assumption of office, Nwangwa commended the effort of the administration in bringing the state back on the path of peace as opposed to what was witnessed in the inglorious era of the former governor, Orji Uzor Kalu.

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Anambra Guber: Candidate Imposition, PDP Albatross, Says Nwoye

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Read Time:3 Minute, 1 Second

 Former chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Anambra State and now a governorship aspirant on  the party’s platform, Comrade Tony Nwoye, has identified imposition of candidates during elections against the wishes of the people as the sole reason  PDP has performed abysmally in the governorship election conducted in the state since 2003.

The first and only time the party produced the governor of the state was at the inception of civil democracy in 1999 when Dr.Chinwoke Mbadinuju was overwhelmingly elected under the party’s platform as the state governor.

But speaking  weekend at the PDP stakeholders’ meeting in Awka, the Anambra State capital,   Nwoye, who is a former president of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) publicly declared his aspiration to serve the state as governor after the incumbent, Mr. Peter Obi.

He declared that  PDP had been losing the governorship and other elective positions in the state since 2003 because candidates put forward for election by the party were products of imposition who never won the primaries in the field.

He cited the February 10, 2010 governorship election in the state in which the Benue State governor, Gabriel Suswam’s panel  appointed by the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) to conduct the chapter’s primaries with a view to picking a candidate to fly its flag, changed the result of the primaries against the wish of the people.

He said that even when efforts were made to reverse the anomaly, the PDP rebuffed it and imposed Prof. Chukwuma Soludo on the party as its candidate, adding that although Soludo had sound pedigree behind him, that ill- feelings and bad blood which trailed the decision led to protest votes against his candidature as other aspirants who felt short changed dispersed to other parties to fly their flags in the election.

The party, he said, is now aware of the effects of imposing candidates on the people and had brought same to the knowledge of President Goodluck Jonathan whom he also said had ordered it’s NWC  to conduct free and fair primaries in the state chapter of PDP prior to the governorship election expected to hold in December.

“Imposition is a thing of the past. Tickets will no longer be given in Abuja. There will now be primaries election where three delegates from each of the 326 wards in the state will elect the party’s flag bearer and whoever that wins will get the respect and support of other contestants and the party,” he said.

Nwoye said his motivation to serve the state as governor was inspired by a burning desire to create jobs, wealth and curb what he described as the alarming unemployment rate among the state’s youths which he identified as the major source of insecurity and kidnapping.

Towards this end, he said an agency that will solely be saddled with the responsibility of creating jobs for the unemployed through skill acquisition and soft loan for unemployed school leavers and graduates as well as women would be created.

He also said that while provision of infrastructure like roads, water and health care remain an obligation of any elected government  to the people, he would also,  if given the chance to fly the party flag and win the governorship election,  ensure the upliftment of Awka to a befitting capital city and provide adequate security, while urging the supporters of the party to keep faith with him.    

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Boko Haram: CPC Deplores Call For Buhari’s Arrest

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Read Time:29 Second

 The Congress for Progressive  Change (CPC) has decried the call by the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN ), for the arrest of General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), which it said was based on distorted facts about  the statements made by the former Head of State on Boko Haram.

In a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Rotimi Fashakin, the party said the aim of the CAN President's call was to paint its national leader in bad light, as being supportive of the heinous activitities of the Boko Haram sect.

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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NIGERIA: Dankwambo Demands Federal Presence in Gombe

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Read Time:3 Minute, 36 Second

 Gombe State Governor, Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo,  has called on the federal government to provide basic infrastructural facilities to the people of the state, so as to ensure smooth running to the government.

Dankwambo made this demand in Gombe during a chat with journalists on assessment visit to the state.

The governor also said that Gombe State government was expecting a refund of N620 billion expended on the Kanawa-kuri-Jorogutel road, which was constructed by the Dankwambo-led administration from the federal government.

He noted that the 54killometers road with some connecting access roads  links to the most fertile part of the state in terms of agriculture and other resources,  thereby was considered a priority projects by the state government within the first two years of his administration.

The governor said basic facilities such as water supply, access roads and a federal secretariat should be  made available for the effective functioning of every government, thereby urging the federal government to spread infrastructures across all states of the federation so as to give every Nigerian state a sense of belonging.

According to him, lack of a federal secretariat in the state had resulted to pressure on the few building available which in-turn inflates the costs of rent.

“The federal government is bringing its offices here, the federal government requires an office, if they don’t have a secretariat there will be too much pressure on the few houses that are around and that will inflate costs,” he said.

The governor disclosed that the population of residents in the state have increased recently due to influx of people from neighbouring states facing security challenges, maintaining that the working environment which had been made available to virtually all the states of the federation should also be built in Gombe State.

“Federal government secretariat which is a working environment that is there in all states should be made available to all the states, spread in development should also be encouraged so that everybody should feel the impact of being one nation, one destiny. For government to function it requires to have certain things and these things are basic, so what we are saying is that certain basic things that are ordinarily the threshold should be provided and must be provided,” he added.

Dankwanbo who noted that the state government couldn’t charge water rate due to poor supply of the facility, said influx of migrants from neighbouring states has forced the state to pump its treated water four times on daily basis as against only one time, which has also increased the cost of maintenance.

“I cannot even charge water rates unlike in some other places where water is already provided, dams have been built and piped. We now run the water four times, and monthly or quarterly costs of maintenance is about N242 million, we used to pump the water only once, but because of the influx of people into Gombe from neighbouring states that are in one kind of situation or the other, we pump the water four times now on a daily basis, so these are all the kind of pressures on us which also reduces our efforts to ensure that other areas that do not have water has,” he added.

He however urged the federal government to ensure notable federal presence in the state to as to ease the burden on the state government, as that some states of the federation were already enjoying infrastructures provided by the federal government and even collecting taxes on some.

“What is different in some other states is that facilities are there that you will tighten the controls around it and generate revenue, there’s no need to build Victoria Island all over again, there’s no need to build Ikoyi all over again, the houses are there, federal government built them there a long time ago. But we are not lamenting because we are coming-up too, and one day we will get to where they are, the most important thing is that we are optimally using the little resources we have to maximize benefits for our people, like you have seen, our objectives targets general upliftment of the welfare of our people,” he concluded.

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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NIGERIA: Group of 7 PDP Governors Move to Float ‘Third Force’

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Read Time:5 Minute, 26 Second

Peoples Democratic Party governors who voted for the re-election of Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi in the last Nigeria Governors' Forum election may be considering floating a new party, to emerge as a Third Force to the ruling PDP and opposition coalition party, All Progressives Congress.

  The group, comprising seven governors, has already commenced talks with the three governors of the All Nigeria Peoples Party with a view to aligning to form the new party, THISDAY has learnt.

Amaechi and Sokoto State Governor Aliyu Wammako have been suspended by PDP for reasons not unconnected with the NGF election and their position on it.

Besides Amaechi and Wammako, others said to be involved in the proposed new party are Governors Sule Lamido of Jigawa State, Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State, Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano State, Babangida Aliyu of Niger State and Usman Dakingari of Kebbi State.

The governors, who are perceived to be opposed to President Goodluck Jonat-han’s assumed second term ambition, want a party where they would form the nucleus of its organisational structure and be founders ahead of the 2015 general election.

As part of their game plan, the governors are also considering talks with the national leader of the Accord Party and former Oyo State Governor, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, and another former governor of the state, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala, in a bid to make an in-road into the South-west.

Ladoja and his hitherto estranged deputy, Alao-Akala, have reunited in a rare political rapprochement aimed at stopping Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi's re-election.

ANPP is one of the parties trying to merge with Congress for Progressive Change, Action Congress of Nigeria, and a faction of All Progressives Grand Alliance to form the All Progressives Congress.

The PDP governors’ move is said to be hinged on their alleged distrust of some leaders of the emerging opposition coalition and the fact that they may not be fully integrated into the new party's structure.

THISDAY gathered that the decision to open talks with the three ANPP governors may not be unconnected with the complaint of the ANPP that the opposition merger partners are showing more preference for CPC, which governs only one state (Nasarawa), than ANPP that is in control of Borno, Yobe and Zamfara states.

The sense of distrust being felt by the PDP governors towards some leaders of APC, it is gathered, also follows the treatment meted out to Nuhu Ribadu, who was the presidential candidate of ACN at the last general election in 2011.

The former Lagos State governor and national leader of ACN, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and ACN were alleged to have dumped Ribadu for Jonathan at the last minute.

The PDP governors are also worried about the perceived autocratic tendencies of the CPC leader, General Muhammadu Buhari, his military background, and his hard stance on issues.

One of the apprehensive PDP governors told THISDAY, “The option in this regard for the aggrieved PDP governors, senators and members of the House of the Representatives is to move to another party or form a new one.

“If our fears are not addressed both in the PDP and the merging APC, we are going to leave to a new party where we will present a credible candidate that both PDP and APC lack.”

The governors aim to ensure that three strong political parties, comprising PDP, APC, and the one they are considering, contest the 2015 general elections.

They are trying to build up political relationships across the country, but especially the South-west, through Ladoja and Alao-Akala as well as associates of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

According to the source, who spoke with THISDAY, the said PDP governors, who are mainly from the three geopolitical zones of the North, already have the approval of the former president.

Obasanjo too is believed to be rallying his political associates to meet with the governors for the concretisation of plans for the new party.

But for his trips to the United States and Canada, the former president would have been holding the consultations for the planned new party by now, but his associates are said to be doing this on his behalf.

A northern governor, who spoke on condition of anonymity, narrated some of the permutations ahead of the 2015 election, thus, “You don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Some of us have expressed our fears and we expect that such fears are addressed.  But in the meantime, we are still exploring other options to ensure that democracy is fully established within the rights of association and assembly.”

A source within ANPP said some of the party’s stakeholders were aware of move to form a third force. He said, “This is all about politics. We in the ANPP believe that we ought to be ranked higher than the CPC that has only one state of Nasarawa. So what we are doing is to explore options and not that we are working against the merger.

“We have made our views known and it is expected that such complaints would be addressed in time.”
THISDAY understood that the protem officials of APC were aware of the ANPP’s complaints, as this was believed to be one of the reasons why the coalescing parties could not go to the Independent National Electoral Commission last Friday.

Meanwhile, leader of the Northern Professionals, Dr. Mohammed Junaid, has dismissed the six-year single tenure being proposed in the ongoing constitution amendment for governors and the President as deceitful.

He said the proposal was the Presidency’s agenda that was pushed by a former Chief Justice of Nigeria that he did not name.
“It is an agenda by the Presidency which used him (former CJN) to smuggle in such condemnable clause. But it will fail because it is intended to deceive the North and, unfortunately, some so-called northern elders cannot read between the lines; they don’t know it is a decoy to make the North wait longer than necessary.

“It is rather sad that some northern elders have made themselves available to push through this bait that the Presidency has set to deceive us, but we will fight tooth and nail to frustrate their plans because they are not working in our interest but in their personal interests to water their political ambitions,” Junaid alleged.

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Nigeria Lawmaker Builds 38-bed Hospital for Constituency

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Read Time:6 Minute, 13 Second

To trim down the health challenges among the people of his constituency, House of Representatives member representing Ekiti North Federal Constituency 1, Hon Bimbo Daramola has provided a health care delivery system, a 38-bed hospital in his constituency.

"You can aspire to be anything but there are two provisos that can make it possible, if God allows it and if you are in a good health condition. Our former president, late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua would have been in his second term but because of his health challenge he could not. Those were the words and motivations of Hon Bimbo Daramola who embarked on a massive 38-bed hospital project at Ire town, in his Federal Constituency.

With the construction of the 38-bed hospital that would be commissioned in few months to come, the people of Ekiti North Federal Constituency in Ekiti State would be relieved from some dangerous ailment.
It takes the Ire people about 35 to 40 minutes to locate the nearest hospital, Ikole Medical Hospital and Federal Medical Centre in Ado Ekiti. Apart from the distance, the people around the location of the hospital also told THISDAY that if they are not able to see the doctor, they find it difficult to go back to the hospital.

Daramola before the construction of the hospital, organises an annual medical check up in his constituency which he said was to improve the health condition of his people but because of the turn out every year, he decided to build an hospital to lessen the stress and health challenges of his people.
The hospital has a male ward, female ward, children ward, theatre, laboratory, delivery room, recovery room. It also has a place for babies that are born prematurely, consulting offices, nurse’s common room, doctor’s common room and a gallery and a place where sick people can stay.

Speaking to Journalists in Ado Ekiti, Daramola who is also the Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), noted that no matter what a health challenged person wish for himself it would not be realised.

According to him, “The rich men know how to take care of themselves and they have regular routine medical check up. So, I said to myself, I may not be able to give money to everybody but if I have a place where all medical facilities will be put in place so that people of my constituency and even people outside my constituency can go to and have their medical check-up done and then we can find out what their medical challenges are, it will be very easy for us to nip in the bud what their medical challenges are.”

“As an extension, we started medical intervention where we would put a team of medical practitioners together that will go to the villages in our constituency and give them opportunity to have medical doctors attend to them.

“We started it and that has tremendously helped our people. You find people who have challenges that we can deal with, like some of the guys we treated that have High Blood Pressure (HBP), diabetes; because they have the opportunity of seeing doctors, their problems were easily addressed. And because you can begin to counsel them, you could easily prevent them or save them from some dangerous ailment that could cause their lives.

“We have attended to a woman who has breast cancer, we have attended to a girl who has cancer of the mouth, we have attended to all kind of crises because I belief that health is wealth. You may not be able to count people that are dying cheaply. Life is very sacred, there is sanctity of life and I am duty bound to respect the sanctity of life,” Daramola stressed.

Speaking further, he said: “I am committed to ensure that we solve the problem of anybody who is medically challenged. I don’t want to keep doing it fleetingly.

For instance, that medical mission, I intend to do it every quarter but I discovered that our people cannot wait for another quarter to get medically checked up. So, I said let me have a medical facility in place, the 38 medical facility you went to see in Ire and in the whole of that area there is no medical facility like that.”

Stating his reason for going for a bigger project, Daramola said: “Why I decided to build the hospital big is that anybody around that area, from Ikole to Aiyegbaju can come there and meet a medical officer that can get them checked up. My dream is to make a centre of excellence so that at the end of the day anybody regardless of anywhere they are can benefit it.”

Dr. Yomi Oshatime who has been the supervising doctor even before the construction of the hospital, noted that the project was born out of Daramola’s passion to bring health care delivery system to the grassroots and the people of his constituency, Ekiti North Federal Constituency, comprising of Oye and Ikole Local Government Areas.

He added that it was also born out  of his plan to have a quarterly health care programme for his people. “We have done series of it. At the first one we saw close to 3000 people. We have four units, two at Oye Local Government Area and two at Ikole Local Government for that particular programme, we bought and distributed drugs what over N1million apart from payment of the staff.

“Now in between the initial health programme that we had and the building of the hospital, we have done series of health programmes. We have done series of surgeries. We pictures of cancers we have done. There is a surgery we spent N450,000. We have series of cancer surgeries.

“At a point, I was trying to keep tab on the amount we spend. The last one I calculated, we spent over N5million. For this month we have a bill of N1million and that is how we go round doing it in different hospitals, we now thought of instead of asking people to come from far, we need to have our own hospital on a centre where people can go and doctor instead of to Ado Ekiti where the State’s Teaching Hospital is located and also to enable us save some fund,” Oshatime said.

Mr. James Adebayo who is from the constituency, told THISDAY, that Daramola is a blessing to the people of Ekiti North Federal Constituency. “Since he was elected, he has been a source of joy to us. He has done marvellously well and has not stop doing; and God will continue to bless him. At least by the time this hospital is completed and commissioned it would save several lives,” Oshatime noted.

And this however, he said would encourage other lawmakers in the state and the country at large to embark on a quality health service programmes in their various constituencies.

No doubt, this is one of the benefits of free, fair and credible elections. Apart from his party, the Action Congress of Nigeria, Daramola before the 2011 general election was already his peoples’ choice.  And for the support during his election, he promised never to betray their trust in him by delivering democracy dividends.

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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NIGERIA: Awaiting the Revolution in Criminal Justice System

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Read Time:7 Minute, 48 Second

A bill that will radically change the face of criminal justice administration in Nigeria is currently before the House of Representatives.

In Nigeria, it is  easier for the courts  to set free an armed robbery suspect, hired assassin, rapist or corrupt government  official who has embezzled huge sums of public funds  than for the victim of these crimes including the Nigerian state  to obtain justice.
Court cases drag so long that plaintiffs often forget their complaints and defendant their lines of argument to extricate themselves. Many aggrieved citizens have shunned the courts because they do not think their case could be disposed off in their life time let alone, get justice.

For several decades, Nigerians have lived with the unpleasant yoke of a sluggish criminal justice system. A system that seems programmed to deliberately slow down the wheels of justice and convert the energy and resources so saved to fuelling fast trains that convey criminals and their accomplices to safe islands far removed from the long arms of the law.
From the police stations to the courts and the prisons, the system has delivered everything but justice and the society has been worse for it.

A lot has happened since Justice Mariam Aloma Mukhtar ascended the throne as Chief Justice of Nigeria, the first female to have achieved that feat in the history of the country. Mukhtar has led the National Judicial Council (NJC) to take some radical decisions to instil discipline in the ranks of their lordships, the judges and make them better stewards in the Temple of Justice.

However, some experts have said that    the suspension and dismissal of a few judges found to have breached their oaths and betrayed the trust of society is like removing a few    rotten eggs from a farm of wild birds afflicted by a major epidemic. More foul smelling eggs will be waiting to be harvested daily because the farmer has only confronted the symptoms of the disease and not its roots.

The Bill
Recently, the House of Representatives took up the challenge to confront the real issues at the foundation of the crisis in the criminal justice system. The journey actually started several years ago but it took the dexterity of the Chairman, House Committee on Justice, Hon. Ali Ahmad to get the task off the drawing board and now running.

The vehicle for the revolution is the Administration of Criminal Justice Bill 2013.
According to Ahmad, the bill has gone through a lot of metamorphosis since the days of Chief Akin Olujinmi as Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation. It was Olujinmi, who in 2005 presented an embryonic document of this bill to a National Working Group on the Reform of the Criminal Justice Administration.

The current Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed Adoke, sealed the final version of the document through the Panel on the Implementation of Criminal Justice Reform (PIJR) which he constituted to study the earlier drafts of the legislation.

The bill seeks to repeal the Criminal Procedure Act Cap C41 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004; the Administration of Justice Commission Act Cap A3 Laws of the Federation 2004 and enact the Administration of Justice Act applicable in Federal Courts and Courts of the Federal Capital Territory.

The primary objective of the proposed legislation to ensure speedy and efficient administration of criminal justice in Nigeria. It seeks to bring together the Criminal Code and Penal Code in one body of law so as to promote uniformity, protect the society from crime as well as protect the rights and interests of defendants and victims of any criminal proceedings in courts across Nigeria.

As Ahmad observed at the public hearing on the bill, “we all have a collective destiny not only in making the justice sector more efficient, but also in bequeathing to future generations a modern, democratic and virile legislation that guarantees speedy dispensation of criminal justice to all and sundry.”

Highlights
The bill deals fundamentally with the problem of delay in the dispensation of criminal justice, which unarguably remains the most perturbing aspect of criminal justice delivery. It contains several innovative ideas and promises to significantly improve the criminal justice system in Nigeria.

It makes provisions for speedy trial such as trial from day-to-day after arraignment, restriction on number and interval of adjournments and electronic recording of trials to reduce the problems associated with trial de novo of part heard matters.

The legislation seeks to establish clear guidelines for the implementation of plea bargain and measures to avoid abuse of the process. In addition, it proposes sentencing guidelines to avoid abuse of judge’s discretion and the corruption.

The bill prohibits the arrest of family members or associates in lieu of the person suspected to have committed a crime. It also prohibits torture and all inhuman treatments of arrested persons.

As a way of halting the practice of torture of suspects in police custody in the process of extracting statements and evidence, the new law imposes a duty on the Police to electronically record or video the making and taking of confessional statements from suspects.
The proposed law provides that it is the duty of the arresting officer to generate full record of arrest with dates and photographs of the person arrested for proper documentation.

In the light of this, the bill also provides for the establishment of a Central Criminal Record Registry at the federal level and Criminal Records Registry at every State Police Command where this record of arrests would be kept. It also imposes a duty on Court Registrars to transmit court decisions in criminal trials to the Central Registry within 30 days or face disciplinary measures by the Federal Judicial Service Commission.

The bill also contains a provision for quarterly reports by all authorities and agencies having power of arrest to the Attorney General of the Federation. Section 29 states thus: “The Inspector General of Police and heads of every agency authorised by  law to make arrests shall remit quarterly to the Attorney General of the Federation a record of all arrests made with or without warrant in relation to federal offences within Nigeria.

“The Commissioner of Police in a state and head of every agency authorised by law to make arrest within a state shall remit quarterly to the Attorney General of that State a record of all arrests made with or without warrant in relation to State Offences or arrests within the state.”

Besides, there are provisions and mechanisms for accountability in respect of Awaiting Trial Persons (ATPs), including time protocols for remand orders.

One of the high points of the bill is the inclusion of concrete measures for checking prison congestion, including mandatory monthly visits to Police Stations and other detention facilities by Chief Magistrates to ensure that suspects were not detained for periods longer than necessary.

Section 34 states inter alia that : “The Chief Magistrate or where there is no Chief Magistrate within the Police Division, any Magistrate designated by the Chief Judge for that purpose, shall, at least every month conduct an inspection of police stations or other places of detention within his territorial jurisdiction other than the prison.

“During a visit, the Magistrate may call for and inspect the record of arrests; direct the arraignment of the suspect; where bail has been refused, grant bail to any suspect where appropriate if the offence for which the suspect is held is within the jurisdiction of the Magistrate.”

Other clauses of interest include the provision of mechanism for improving prosecution by ensuring that only legally trained persons prosecute; mechanism for improved regime for the protection of victims of rape and other sexual offences and rule on convicted pregnant women. All things being equal, there will soon be alternatives to imprisonment such as community sentencing, parole and suspended sentence for minors and first time offenders.

The bill makes provision for compensation or restitution for victims of unlawful arrests and illegal detention.
Above all, the bill seeks to establish an Administration of Criminal Justice Monitoring Committee who shall oversee the criminal justice system and publish an Annual Report on the situation to keep every player abreast of developments in the sector.

Criticism
No doubt, the bill has been applauded by various stakeholders. At least there is a consensus that the criminal justice administration has suffered a lot of abuse and there is the need to reform the system. However, institutions such as the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) have criticised some of its provisions and offered suggestions on how to fine tune them to serve the ultimate goal of speedy and efficient justice delivery to the citizenry.

In all these, we must remember that Nigeria had never lacked the capacity to make good laws. What has been lacking is the will to put life into the letters of our laws such that they are activated any time there are breaches no matter who is caught in the web. The criminal justice system might never change for the better if our attitudes towards what goes on around the police stations, courts and prisons remain as they have always been in the past years.

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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