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Kogi East 2019: Protest In PDP Secretariat Over Imposition, Automatic Ticket For Aspirant

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There was pandemonium in the early hours of Wednesday (Today) as aggrieved stakeholders and party faithful stormed the National Secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abuja to protest against the alleged directive by the party’s national secretariat that automatic ticket be given to the incumbent senator representing Kogi East senatorial district, Attai Aidoko to return to the Upper chamber.

The protesters carried placards with various inscriptions, including “Kogi East say no to automatic ticket.” No senatorial primary, no PDP in Kogi State. Beware of doom”. “Release the clearance certificate to all our aspirants in Kogi East”. “It is undemocratic, un-civilised, barbaric and a dead end to PDP in Kogi State and Kogi East” and “Imposition of a candidate is an imposition of death.”

Speaking to newsmen, a party stalwart from Dekina Local Government Area in the zone and chairman of the Kogi PDP Youth Masses Movement, Mr. Ahmed Suleiman, said: “The PDP is not a one-man business. We are giving the party 24 hours to reverse its decision, else we will leave the party. I promise you it will be the end of PDP in Kogi State and Kogi East.

“We are competent and have a right to question the ongoing attempt by the party leadership to deny us the right to participate and vote for our choice in a fair elective contest.

The protesters further cautioned the party to save itself from being wiped out in the state, adding that the move of the state and national working committees to “sell” the ticket of Kogi East is ill-advised, warning that the action would amount to weakening the PDP to the advantage of its rivals.

“We are appalled by the decision to grant automatic ticket to an individual in Kogi East to placate him above the collective wish and general good of a greater number of politically conscious Kogi East, thereby limiting the pool of competent candidates available, from which the party can select its flag bearers in the forthcoming elections.”

Suleiman, who described the situation as dangerous, recalled that imposition of a candidate, lack of open space and impunity railroaded PDP into the implosion from which she is yet to recover.

“It would appear that our party has not veered away from that ignoble course and allowed popular political reasoning of free and fair democratic practices prevail.

They demanded that the party leave the political playing field open and level for all qualified aspirants in Kogi State. “This is the only way the party can pick its best candidates for the general elections against the ruling party that is gathering momentum as the elections approaches.”

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M.D School Embarks On 2019 Community Project

Peter Okunoren

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M.D Nursery and Primary School has announced the programmes for the 2019 edition of its yearly community project.

This year, the school, located in Agidingbi and New Oko Oba areas of Lagos State, will be providing medical support, legal advice, and other professional support to members of the two communities.

Scheduled for October 19, the theme for this year is: “Home, Emotions, Aspirations and the Child.”

It will hold between 10 am and 2 pm.

The Proprietress of the school, Omolara Adedugbe, described it as M.D Nursery and Primary School’s way of giving back to society.

Adedugbe said: “We won’t stop giving back to society.

“This is just one of the ways in which we show our gratitude to the communities in which we operate.
“We also do yearly visits to public primary schools around us, where we do a project for the benefit of the pupils and also visit the less privileged in homes close to us.”

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STOP PRESS! Before We Crucify VP Osinbajo

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Hysteria is in the DNA of many Nigerians, especially those who are, for parochial or partisan reasons, decidedly and desperately against the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Since the president announced the dissolution of the Economic Management Team headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, and replaced it with an Economic Advisory Council, there has been mass hysteria in the traditional and new media.

This is apparent in the deluge of dilettante opinion articles, editorials, blog posts, blurbs, and tweets all alluding to the fact that the VP has been politically emasculated by a phantom ‘cabal’ in the presidency because of his growing popularity and influence and the need to whittle them down before 2023.

Some even said he has been marked for impeachment on trumped-up charges that could only have been products of a puerile imagination.

What the President simply did was to change the economic direction of his Next Level agenda; not ‘reduce’, as some also implied, the statutory functions of his beloved VP.

As the chairman of the constitutionally created the National Economic Council, the VP will continue to play a pivotal role in all economic matters in singular support and assistance of his Principal, Mr. President.

For emphasis, the NEC meeting, held monthly, deliberates on the coordination of the economic planning efforts and economic programmes of the various levels of government.

The council comprises the 36 state governors, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Minister of Finance, Secretary to the Government of the Federation and other government officials and agencies whose duties hinge on the economy.

Last Thursday, the VP still chaired the NEC at the Presidential Villa.

Osinbajo told attendees at the NEC meeting that both councils (NEC and EAC) are for the benefit of the president; and, “If NEC wants to be briefed regularly by the Economic Advisory Council, EAC, we will request the president to do that.” So, nothing has changed, except for the new song by dissidents.

What further sent the rumour mill into overdrive was an alleged directive that the Vice-President should, henceforth, seek presidential approvals for agencies under his supervision.

VP Osinbajo is the chairman of the governing boards of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the National Boundary Commission (NBC) and the Border Communities Development Agency (BCDA).

He is also the chairman of the board of directors of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), a limited liability company owned by the three tiers of government; and the National Economic Council (NEC), a constitutional body made up of state governors and key federal government officials, as well as the National Council on Privatisation (NCP).

Under the laws setting up the agencies, the president is empowered to give final approvals but those who chose to ignore this constitutional provision went to town, gloating and ululating, that the VP has eventually been cut to size.

A careful introspection is critical here. Apart from the fact that he is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, the Vice President, as the whole world knows, is a Professor of Law. So, if anybody should know what the constitution stipulates as the roles and powers of a VP, it is Osinbajo.

So, why would he want to overreach himself knowing what the constitution states? At what point does doing the right thing require a directive? Some things just don’t add up in the name of playing politics.

Late 2018, the House of Representatives Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness invited the VP to explain his role in the N5.8 billion North East Intervention Fund which the lawmakers said was mismanaged by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

The NEMA is one of the agencies under the VP. The committee said the authorisation for the release of the fund for emergency food intervention in the North East contravened Section 80(4) of the 1999 Constitution as amended. And that the funds were credited directly to the individual banks of the companies and NEMA’s bank account, in violation of the approval limit allowed by law.

Nowhere in the report was the VP alleged to have benefitted from the fund. Good enough, the Presidency issued a public statement to say that the money Osinbajo, in his capacity as the Acting President, approved for release in the dire emergency was sourced from the Rice Levy which had already been appropriated in that year’s budget. And that explanation settled the matter.

However, in the desperation of the strident opposition, the allegation, which had since been dispelled by the House Committee, is now being unearthed as if it were new, in a mere political contrivance intended to distract the President Buhari-led administration.

Every discerning mind should be above this outright fake news and sheer inanity. Just as they should about rumours that some unspecified amount of money was found in some private accounts related to the VP’s family or that some Federal Inland Revenue Services, FIRS, funds were traced to his office. The purveyors of this particular rumour even said that the National Leader of the All Progressives’ Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and a former National Chairman of the party, Chief BisiAkande, had been duly informed. Another such report maintained that Asiwaju himself is behind the attempt to smear the VP.

These are mere fabrications intended to drive a wedge between the VP and those he holds in very high esteem. Thankfully, the president and the party leaders are above such frivolous distractions.

Indeed, at no time since Nigeria’s democratic experience began that the President and his VP have enjoyed the kind of cordial relationship and mutual respect that exists between President Buhari and VP Osinbajo.

The president believes so much in the competence, character, and capacity of his VP that he allows him to handle some of the populist programmes of the administration. And, this has not been without politically-motivated hiccups.

The VP is the ‘face’ of TraderMoni, the empowerment scheme of the Federal Government created specifically for petty traders and artisans across Nigeria. The launch of the scheme saw the VP crisscrossing the country, enlightening the people about it and generally pressing the flesh to the delight of Nigerians. Yet, those who do not know the workings of the scheme have gone to town, falsely accusing the VP of mismanaging the Tradermoni Funds.

Instructively, the Bank of Industry is in charge of the Tradermoni; the funds never get into the hands of the VP or his aides; the money is sent to the people via their phones. The VP has just been monitoring to make sure people received what they were promised and the program was working. So any imputation of embezzlement is nothing but a frantic attempt to soil a hard-earned reputation of loyalty, integrity, and capability which the VP has built in the last four years, and which has helped to steady the incumbent administration in no small measure.

Conclusively, the news and noise of a rift or whittling down of the VP’s powers is akin to a storm in a teacup; both the president and the Vice President are still working in tandem to ensure that Nigerians are genuinely taken to the Next Level in their own time.

Abdullai Rimi, is an Abuja-based media practitioner and businessman

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Rotary Club Of Ikeja South Partners Old English, IDCL On Polio Eradication [PHOTOS]

Gbemileke Ajayi

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As part of efforts to contribute to the global effort of polio eradication, the Rotary Club of Ikeja South has collaborated with Old English Superstores and Indoor Design Concepts Limited.

The partnership was announced during a ceremony where End Polio donation boxes were launched at Old English Superstores, GRA, Ikeja.

In his welcome address, President, Rotary Club of Ikeja of Ikeja South, Rtn Michael Effiong James told members and the general public that the End Polio Project is a battle that must be won, noting that as far as there is still one case of polio in the world, then the disease is still a major threat.

According to him, the desire to end polio forever prompted the club to team up with Old English Superstores and IDCL to raise funds to support the work being carried out by Rotary International in Nigeria, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

Rtn James revealed that while Old English Superstores has offered its facilities in GRA, Ikeja, Omole Phase 1 and Isolo, IDCL has agreed to design and produce the boxes and create branding materials to promote the initiative.

He thanked the two organizations and called on other corporate organizations to deploy their CSR budgets to worthy causes like this.

In his remarks, special guest at the gathering and District Governor, Rotary International District 9110, Rtn Jide Akeredolu applauded the initiative of making end polio donations boxes available for all to contribute to the End Polio campaign.

He went down memory lane, giving a vivid description of how Rotary International has worked since 1985 when there were 350,000 cases of polio worldwide to today where only a few cases of the wild poliovirus are found in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“A few weeks ago, we celebrated freedom from the wild poliovirus in Nigeria but we must not lose our guard. The work goes on. We should remain vigilant and keep the advocacy on so that the government and all stakeholders will be on their toes,” Rtn. Akeredolu said.

He also tasked non-Rotarians to key into the project, saying that though a lot has been done, a lot more needs to be done to kick polio out of planet earth forever.

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