NIGERIA: Wike Urges Schools to Liaise with Security Agencies

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Read Time:1 Minute, 2 Second

As condemnation trails Monday’s attack on the Kano School of Hygiene, the supervising Minister of Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, has called on school authorities to work with security agencies to improve security on and around their premises.

This was as he condemned the attack which claimed at least eight lives and injured several others.

Wike, in a statement issued by his Special Assistant (Media), Mr. Simeon Nwakaudu, described the attack as another cowardly attempt to instill fear in the minds of Nigerians who wish to improve their lives by acquiring education.

He reiterated the willingness of the ministry to work with state ministries to prevent attacks on educational institutions by terrorists.

“at the federal level, the Federal Ministry of Education has reached out to the Ministry of Defence, which has made a firm commitment to always provide the necessary services and advice to all levels of governance in the overall bid to resolve the security challenge now facing schools in some parts of the country,” he said.

Wike added that with vigilance on the part of all stakeholders, the terrorists would not succeed with the ungodly goal of attempting to discourage Nigerian youths and children from keying into the educational programmes.

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Anthony Claret

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: Bid to Nominate Peter Obi Minister Tears Anambra PDP Apart

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Crisis is currently brewing in the Anambra State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) following the decision by the party to nominate the former Governor of the state, Peter Obi, for a ministerial position to represent the state in the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
Ms. Stella Oduah, who represented the state in the council, was dropped recently.

Since then, nobody has been nominated to fill the vacancy.
It was gathered by THISDAY that members of the party in the state are divided over the choice of Oduah’s replacement.

THISDAY gathered that the State Working Committee (SWC) of the party, after its 98th meeting, recommended Obi as a possible ministerial nominee who would represent the state in the federal cabinet.

The argument proffered by the SWC in a letter to President Goodluck Jonathan was that the choice of Obi was because of his “popularity and acceptability.”

The letter signed by the state chairman of the party, Ken Emeakayi and secretary, Mike Akubude, expressed the hope that even though Obi is the member of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), “the former governor who will automatically become a member of PDP if and when appointed, is best positioned to galvanise all the interest groups, the people of the state and the South-east zone towards the forthcoming presidential election.”

The recommendation is creating bad blood in the state as some party members considered it strange that the leadership of the party in the state could not find any member of PDP qualified and capable to fill the slot.

In a petition to the PDP National Working Committee (NWC) by a Concerned PDP Faithful in the state, the group accused Emeakayi of anti-party activities for “his unilateral nomination of a non-party member.”

The petition signed by Chief Mike Okeke further argued that it is “more reprehensible when reasoned against the backdrop that there are very highly qualified and loyal PDP members in the state who can fit into the position of a minister…”

The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, who is also leader of PDP in Anambra State, was not available for comment as he was said to be out of the country.

The state chairman of the PDP in Anambra State confirmed to THISDAY that, the party’s recommendation, stating that those protesting the nomination of Obi were not members of the PDP.

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Anthony Claret

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: Robbers Kill Five Policemen, Eight Others in Delta

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Read Time:1 Minute, 35 Second

Five policemen and eight civilians were yesterday shot dead by armed robbers that attacked a bullion van at Ubulu-Okiti,  along Benin-Onitsha Expressway.

The robbers, numbering about 20 and wielding AK45 riffles,  succeeded in carting away large sums of money after breaking into the save compartment of the bullion van.

The robbers who were dressed mostly  in red attire and  face cap  and  operated in a Siena  bus and a Prado jeep were said to have been  trailing  the bullion van  from Benin to Agbor before  intercepting the  bullion van at Ubulu-Okiti, in Aniocha South Local Government Area of Delta State.

THISDAY gathered that the trigger happy men who shot sporadically with their sophisticated weapons,  killed five policemen  on the spot,  who were escorting the bullion van, while eight other civilians who were travelling along that direction  were also killed.

The robbery operation, according to an eyewitness account, lasted between  1:45p.m. 2p.m., as unsuspecting travellers and passersby were forced to scamper for safety for fear of been hit by stray bullet.
It was also gathered that several cars somersaulted while others ran into the bush in an attempt to escape from the rampaging robbers.

The Delta State Police Public Relations Officer , DSP Celestina  Kalu, while confirming the incident  to journalists, said the bullion van  conveyed money from  the bank in Agbor to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in Asaba when it was attacked  by the robbers.

Kalu  said some policemen on the escort team were wounded during a gun dwell with the robbers, adding that the robbers succeeded in carding away some money during the operation.
She said the police was on the trail of the flying robbers as investigation into the incident had since commenced.

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Anthony Claret

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: ‘Expunge Land Use Act from Constitution’

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Read Time:2 Minute, 58 Second

 To make the Land Use Act easier for amendment by the National Assembly, a delegate at the ongoing National Conference, Mr. Emeka Eleh, has again called for the Act to be expunged from the 1999 Constitution.

Eleh, who is representing the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) under the professional bodies group at the conference, argued that the removal of the Act from the constitution would not only make the processes for its implementation easier, but business friendly.

The delegate, who is also the immediate past president of the NIESV), said the estate surveyors’ body agreed with the proposal, which incidentally had also been proposed by at least four committees at the conference, noted that there was no need to fear because the Act would still remain a federal law which can only be amended by the National Assembly.

He stated that part of the clamour for the amendment of the Act is for land matters to be placed on the Concurrent List in the constitution to make it possible for states to adapt the Act to suit their peculiar requirements while retaining its main essence/provisions.

Eleh stated that the clamour for the removal of the Act from the constitution is not intended to dilute its provisions but also to make it easy to be amended to enable it achieve its set goals.

“As is the rule no state even in exercising its powers under the constitution can make laws that will run contrary to any provision of the Land Use Act even though it is no longer a part of the constitution. Land matters will now be placed on the concurrent list. This will make it possible for states to adapt the Act to suit their peculiar requirements while retaining its main essence/provisions.”

The delegate contended that the rights and authority vested on state governors to administer the land in their respective states will remain unchanged.

He said an ideal land policy anchored on the Land Use Act  would empower Nigerians economically by giving them the power to create wealth from their land holdings.

The delegate said the useful recommendations with regards to compensation which had been accepted by the conference can only be put into effect if the Act is amended.

“It is also pertinent to state that the useful recommendations with regards to compensation which have been accepted by this conference can only be put into effect if the Act is amended. All such amendments will of course be carried out by the National Aassembly – the elected representatives of the Nigerian people following due process.

“We believe that the proposal to remove the Act from the constitution is in order and urge this conference to ratify it.”

“It is in this regard that we support the calls which has been re-echoed in this conference by at least four committees for the Act to be removed from the constitution. The Act shall upon removal from the constitution remain a federal law, placed on the concurrent legislative list.

“This will make it possible for states to be able to make necessary enactments that will make for the smooth operation of the Act in their respective states without altering the main provisions or the main essence of the Act.

“It will also make it possible for National Assembly to effect amendments to the Act as may be appropriate following their laid down procedure. We agree completely with this proposal and urge this conference to ratify it.”

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Anthony Claret

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: PDP’s Suit to Force out Defected Governors Suffers Setback

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Read Time:2 Minute, 26 Second

The suit instituted by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to get the five governors who defected from the party to the All Progressives Congress (APC) to vacate their seats suffered a setback yesterday as the court upheld the claim by the governors that they were not properly served with the processes.

The affected governors are AbdulFatah Ahmed (Kwara), Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi (Rivers), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Aliyu Wamako (Sokoto) and Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso (Kano).

The suit, which was instituted six months ago by PDP to challenge the legality of the defection by the governors to the APC was adjourned indefinitely to allow the PDP comply with the procedure for service.

In his ruling, Justice Gabriel Kolawole held that PDP failed to follow the procedures allowed by law in reaching the defendants since December 10 when the court action was instituted.

The court agreed with the lawyers to the governors that they had not been served with the court papers and as such, the court could not assume jurisdiction until the plaintiff (PDP) had done the needful and put its house in order.

The purported service of court process allegedly effected at No. 40 Blantyre Street, being the new office of the APC was declared illegal, invalid, defective and was set aside by the court for not having the court endorsement.

Justice Kolawole held that the issue of service of originating summon by the plaintiff on the defendant was fundamental before the court could take further action against the defendants.

He asked PDP to formally write the court and attach the evidence of proper service of court processes on the defendants before any action could be taken against the governors.

The PDP had informed the court that in line with the court order obtained on December 13, 2013, the originating summon was taken to No. 6 Bissau Street, Wuse II, but discovered that the APC had vacated the office and relocated to No. 40, Blantyre Street, Abuja, as the new office.

PDP claimed that the originating summon and other court papers were subsequently taken to the new office for onward delivery by the APC to the governors.

But Justice Kolawale agreed with the governors that the service at 40 Blantyre Street was invalid, ineffective and faulty because the order of the court for service did not embody the address.

The judge said what the plaintiff (PDP) ought to have done was to come back to the court to legally vary the order of service before serving it at  40, Blantyre Street, being the new APC national secretariat.

Justice Kolawole said PDP would have done well if the service of the originating summons had been effected on the Attorney General of the affected states since such service could hardly be faulted in law.

He therefore ordered PDP represented by Dr. Alex Izion (SAN) to do the needful before the case could be resuscitated by the court for adjudication.

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Anthony Claret

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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Delegate Wants Nigeria Renamed ‘Naijiria’

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Read Time:3 Minute, 26 Second

A delegate from the South-east, Prof Chinedu Nwajiuba has made a proposal to the National Conference for the change of the country’s name from Nigeria to ‘Naijiria’ as a means of addressing embarrassing identity clash that often arise between the people of Nigeria and Niger Republic.

Nwajiuba, who along with the initiator of the concept, Dr Agwu Ukiwe Okali addressed a press conference at the venue of the National Conference yesterday cited cases of Ghana, which was renamed from Gold Coast, Upper Volta changing to Burkina Faso, Dahomy renamed Benin Republic.

Nwajiuba decried the embarrassment Nigeria faces whenever its name was associated with fraud perpetrated by Nigerien citizens abroad due to the similarity in the two names.

He was of the opinion that since it has become difficult to make an outright change of the name it has become necessary to localise it to give it African coloration as obtained in the aforementioned countries.   

He said since the Nigerian youths in their music and arts have already keyed into the name Naija, it becomes imperative to recommend it to the federal government.  

Speaking on the concept, the initiator and former United Nations Assistant Secretary General and Founder Okali Seminal Ideas Foundation for Africa (OSIFA), Dr. Okali, said the change of the name “Nigeria” to “Naijiria” has become necessary since the country had just marked 100 years of nationhood.

Okali said the name; ‘Nigeria’ lacks African content unlike many other African names, wondering why the citizens have not focused their minds to changing the name.

According to him, the word, Niger was taken from the Latin word Niger, which has the same meaning as Nigger, saying it is probably the origin of Nigeria.

“We feel as proud and enlightened Africans that after 100 years we should be able to focus our attention intellectually on this kinds of things as other people abroad might be wondering whether the citizens are not intellectually minded as to realise this.”

Okali stated that the peak of the various embarrassments arising from the name Nigeria was when the erroneous hosting of Niger Republic flag in place of Nigeria’s at the last opening of the World Cup.

He said, “We think that the occasion of the centenary and the National Conference going on affords us the opportunity, in fact imposes on us a responsibility to use the occasion to tidy up some of the legacies of our colonial past that are still hunting us. One of those is “Nigeria” as it is written.

“During the opening ceremony of the ongoing World Cup, there was a very embarrassing incident. This incident, simply put, is that the flag of Niger, our neighbouring country was displayed as the Nigerian flag.  Now many people may say why? The reason is that the way those countries’ names were written makes it very easy to confuse and requires a high level of concentration to differentiate.”

The former UN Assistant Secretary, who also stated that sometimes the National Anthem of the country is not played in international events because of the confusion, noted with disgust that the white people have derogatorily applied the name ‘Nigeria’ with its undertone ‘nigger’ to Nigerians in many instances.

“The second problem related to the word Nigeria is that the way it is spelt, which is what the issue is here is pronounced and should be pronounced as Ni-ge-ria. In any African language, including your own and in many other languages that is the case.

“So what happened is that it now becomes associated with ‘Nigger-Area’ and as you know the word ‘nigger’ is the most derogatory term you can use on a black person as far as far racism is concerned. So our name suggests it and we are saying this is absurd. The greatest black African country is flirting with the worst word that you should be using for a black person, “ he said.

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Anthony Claret

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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Members Seek Prisoners Swap for 16,300 Nigerians in Foreign Jails

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Read Time:3 Minute, 24 Second

 With reports that there are over 16,300 Nigerians in foreign prisons, delegates to the National Conference yesterday called for swap of prisoners between Nigeria and other countries.

The report by the Committee on Foreign Policy also recommended that Nigeria should sign extradition treaties with the eastern and southern worlds, as it’s the case with the western nations to help safe guard the nation’s nascent democracy.

The idea, the delegates said, is because as much as there are extradition treaties with the western world, it should be extended to the eastern and southern worlds because of the trend of coup plotters taking refuge in countries where there are no extradition treaties.

By so doing, the committee said that coup plotters have the tendency of taking political asylum in countries where there are no such treaties. This, the report said is aimed at saf-guarding democracy in Nigeria.

According to the former Minister of Education, Prof. Ihechukwu Madubuike, who quoted the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), said that there are over 16,300 Nigerians in foreign jailhouses due to drug-related offences. He also said that there are also over 3,719 Nigerian women in Canada alone.

Madubuike therefore called for the exchange of prisoners as contained in the report of the Committee on Foreign Policy. The former governor of Anambra State, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife, supported him.

The committee’s report said that there are 752 Nigerians in the United Kingdom, 700 Nigerians as prisoners in China, 500 Nigerians in China and 96 Nigerians in the Indonesia prisons. They therefore called for the amendment of section 41(2) (ii) of the 1999 Constitution to enable the exchange of prisoners.

The committee recommended for the creation of Foreign Ministry Academy to ensure that only qualified Nigerians are recruited as staff of the Ministry of Foreign Ministry, arguing the staff of the foreign ministry is the image of Nigeria and therefore should be properly equipped through training.

The report on Foreign Policy Committee further urged the federal government to increase its budgetary provisions to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as it is not a good representation of the over 80 per cent of the embassies are living in rented apartments.

He further said that it is regrettable that Nigeria spends less than three per cent of her annual budget on foreign policy, whereas other countries spend as much as five per cent of their budgets to their foreign missions.

Gambari further said that the committee recommended that only 30 per cent of ambassadorial postings should be reserved for non-carrier diplomats and that all prospective ministers of foreign affairs should be made to pass through trainings from the Nigeria Intelligence Agency (NIA).

The former national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Ahmadu Ali urged Nigeria to pursue a foreign policy of ‘Quid Pro Quo’ in line with what would be beneficial to Nigeria.

Ali asked of what economic interest is Nigeria’s intervention in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Mali, but Prof. Eddy Eragbe from Edo State countered that the country’s foreign policy should be seen in the line of Naira and Kobo.

Eragbe had earlier said that some tangible benefits of Nigeria’s diplomacy also go with some intangible benefits, saying that foreign policy should not be seen in the sense of Naira and Kobo.

He held that some of the presentations at the conference held a wrong notion of Diaspora. He said Africans in the Diaspora have been involved in building the continent and these led to some of the major milestones in the continent including independence to some countries in Africa.

He said that Nigeria had failed to position itself for direct foreign investment and disagree with those saying that the country has no claim to the permanent seat at the Security Council of the United Nations.
Senator Florence Ita-Giwa, in her contribution, called for the resettlement of the Bakassi people, explaining that it would mean well for the foreign interest of Nigeria.

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Anthony Claret

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: INEC Meets Political Parties on Primaries’ Guidelines for 2015 Elections

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Read Time:4 Minute, 4 Second

As part of the preparations for the 2015 general election, the  Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday met with the national chairmen and secretaries of the 26 registered political parties in Abuja in its efforts to harmonise  and approve the guidelines for the commencement of the  primary election campaigns by candidates and conduct of election primaries by political parties.

According to INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, in his speech at the opening of the second quarterly meeting with political parties, he said the meeting also discussed the approved guidelines for political party registration and deregistration, harmonising the draft guideline for political party campaigns ahead of the 2015 elections and scheduling of party primaries for the 2015 elections.

“This meeting is coming at an auspicious time, on the wake of the recently concluded governorship election in Ekiti State. I must therefore use this opportunity to congratulate and commend all stakeholders whose positive involvement in the process has resulted in the successful conduct of the election, such that it has been adjudged the best election INEC has so far thus far conducted.

“From the INEC staff to the young men and women of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and other tertiary institutions, to the security agencies, political parties, civil society organisations and the candidates and host of other stakeholders, every one put in their best and our collective best turned out to be good enough in the state.  That is how it should be and it is a very good lesson for our future elections,” Jega said.

On the outcome of the Ekiti State governorship election and its implication for the 2015 general election, the INEC chairman said: “The successful conduct of a free, fair and peaceful election in the state is a good omen for the subsequent elections to come, and indeed for the satisfaction of the aspiration of Nigerians for a consolidated democracy. We must therefore not rest on our oars, but continue to do our best collectively to sustain and keep on improving on this achievement.

“The forthcoming election in Osun State, God willing, should on the count be better, and the 2015 general election must be the best. It is therefore a challenge for all of us to join hands and continue to work together to ensure this necessary outcome.”

Continuing on the euphoria of last weekend’s governorship election, Jega promised that the experience of the state election would be improved upon as the commission prepares for the August 17 governorship election in Osun State and the February 2015 general election respectively.

He urged all stakeholders who were instrumental to the successful conduct of the election which was adjudged the best the commission had so far conducted not to rest on  their oars, stressing that it was the commissions’ resolve that the Osun and 2015 elections would be better than that of Ekiti State.

Also, he expressed his satisfaction with the efforts of the political parties in ensuring a hitch-free election in Ekiti State.

He charged the political parties to seek the opportunity of the election to support the commissions’ efforts to conduct a free and fair elections in 2015.

Jega observed that the meeting would among other things deliberate on the progress and challenges which the commission had made in the distribution of the Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVC) as well as the conduct of the Continuous Voters’ Register  (CVR) in its phase one and preparations for phase two.

In his speech, chairman of the Inter Party Advisory Council, (IPAC), Tanko Yinusa, who congratulated the INEC chairman on the successful conduct of the Ekiti State governorship election, noted that the council had a 13-point agenda which it had forwarded to INEC for consideration.

Yinusa, who is also the National Chairman of National Conscience Party (NCP), stated that highlights of the agenda, which he also intends to discuss with the National Assembly included measures to ensure the survival of political parties, registration and deregistration as well as funding of political parties.

The IPAC chairman, however, demanded the involvement of political parties in the issue of voters’ registration, stressing that voters’ register was the foundation of any credible election in the country.

According to him, “Political parties are interested in voters’ register as this is the foundation for any credible election in any country. We want to share with you in this regard. We want to be fully involved in the second phase.”

Yinusa also noted that the continuous voters’ registration should be made automatic for anyone who is 18 years.

IPAC chairman also called for a monthly meeting with INEC leadership now that 2015 is around the corner. Besides, he said the parties had a 13-point agenda to submit to INEC in their next meeting.

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Anthony Claret

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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Shehu Sani: Ekiti Poll was Not Free and Fair

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Read Time:1 Minute, 56 Second

A northern-based rights activist and President of the Civil Rights Congress  (CRC) of Nigeria, Mallam Shehu Sani, yesterday alleged that the June 21 governorship election in Ekiti State could not be said to be free and fair as being adjudged.

Sani, in a statement in Kaduna, said the election could not be free and fair when the federal government used security operatives to harass and intimidate political opponents to favour the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Mr. Ayo Fayose.

The CRC boss, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), noted that in the run-off to the election, key figures, of the All Progressives Congress (APC),  campaign managers as well as government functionaries were arrested, adding that a credible elections must be devoid of the use of force or coercion in any way.

The pro-democracy activist warned that what happened in the state must not happen in Osun State during the forthcoming governorship poll.

“The PDP did not win in Ekiti State they captured Ekiti state through the strategy of force and inducement. Governor Kayode Fayemi’s acceptance of defeat is more for peace than for justice. Those in Abuja reveling in the victory over APC are simply toasting to the cruel triumph of might over morality. The will of the people cannot be said to be freely expressed with a record military while planes were hovering over the skies of Ekiti and soldiers on the ground,” he said.

He urged Nigerians to rise up against what he described as ‘forces against democracy’ and be prepared to defend their votes against the predatory ruling party backed by the state apparatus.”

Sani, a senatorial aspirant on the platform of the APC  in Kaduna State, said democratic and progressive forces in Nigeria should not tolerate the repeat of the Ekiti state episode in 2015.

He said: “Those who accepted, endorsed and embraced Ekiti elections as free and fair are by extension giving their imprint to the adoption of it in the 2015 general election.

“We fought and ended military rule in Nigeria. We will not tolerate its return through the backdoor. Drafting the military to supervise elections positions them to partisanship, drags them into murky political waters and which negatively affect their professionalism.

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Anthony Claret

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: Participants Endorse Diaspora Voting Rights

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Read Time:4 Minute, 9 Second

Nigerians living overseas may be on the verge of realising their dream of exercising voting rights during future elections in the country.

This is because the National Conference delegates yesterday voted in favour of Nigerians in the diaspora to exercise their voting rights and participate adequately in elections.

The Committee on Foreign Policy and Diaspora Matters had explained in their report that in line with the provisions of section 13(1) C of the Electoral Act 2096 as amended and sections 77(2) and 117(2) of the Constitution of the country, which provided that only citizens present in Nigeria as at the time of registration of voters can register and vote in any elections.

It said the provision had disenfranchised millions of Nigerians living abroad, who are vehemently seeking to exercise their voting rights as part of their fundamental human rights.

The committee therefore recommended that the Electoral Act be amended to provide for diaspora voting rights so that Nigerians living abroad who are not less than 18 years before an election be allowed to register and vote.

It also recommended that appropriate mechanisms should be put in place before its implementation to ensure that there are no abuses.

On the issue of the Diaspora Commission, delegates also approved the committee’s recommendation that the National Assembly be encouraged to speed up work on the passage of the bill setting up the commission.  The role of the commission is to coordinate and interface between diaspora Nigerians and the government.

Delegates, while considering recommendations and amendments on the report of the Committee on Foreign Policy and Diaspora Matters headed by Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, voted in recognition of Nigeria’s membership of the controversial Organisation of Islamic Countries (IOC).

The committee had, in it’s recommendation, explained that Nigeria is a member of the OIC, an intergovernmental organisation with a strong religious elements that grouped 57 Muslim countries and other countries with significant Muslim population.

However, after initial disagreements, delegates amended the recommendation stating that Nigeria’s membership of the OIC was on the basis that it has a significant Muslim population but not as an Islamic nation.

However, the conference decided to stand down voting on a recommendation that Nigeria should withdraw from the membership of OIC as well as the World Council of Churches.  It also stood down consideration of the country’s membership of Association of Sahel Countries (ASE).

The afternoon session, which was anchored by the Conference Deputy Chairman, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, resolved that, while remaining non-aligned in its foreign policy, that Nigeria should continue to practice citizen’s diplomacy.

The conference said the federal government should recognise the Nigerian mission in Ethiopia as a pre-eminent in status and that headship of the mission should be restricted to a career officer.

As part of efforts to improve the performance of the country’s foreign missions, the conference recommended that the President should appoint only limited number of non-career diplomats in the ratio of 30- 70 in favour of the career diplomats.

Also, in line with what is obtainable in other parts of the world, the conference approved that the Nigerian passport should be renewable after 10 years instead of the present five years.

It also advised that government should handly with caution on the move to close some of its missions abroad as it may affect the country’s interest at global fora.

Delegates, while commending the country’s international peace efforts, said Nigeria should ensure that it takes maximum benefits from her peace operations by ensuring that the right equipment and materials are acquired and   that the supplies for the operations should be sourced locally.
They suggested that participation in peacekeeping operations should be seen as an opportunity to broaden the country’s international relations, while at the same time strengthening the capacity of thearmed forces.

Majority of the delegates voted in favour of the policy of prisoner exchange between Nigeria and other countries, while calling for the revisiting of the Green Tree Agreement reached between Nigeria and Cameroun over the ceding of the island of Bakassi failed.
Instead, it called on the federal government to implement policy interventions to properly resettle the displaced people of Bakassi.

The conference further urged Nigeria to work towards actualising early single currency in ECOWAS in order to promote trade and investment within the sub region.

It said that government should promote formation of ECOWAS brigade to serve as a standing force to help quell insecurity and crisis in member countries.

While frowning at alleged abuses, which non-governmental organisations have been subjected to, delegates voted that the federal government should regulate donations to these NGOs.

The conference unanimously supported an amendment proposing that the excesses of First Ladies and politicians who frivolously use the country’s diplomats abroad for unofficial purposes and distracting them from their official assignment must be curtailed.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

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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