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In an unprecedented show of philanthropy, the Aliko Dangote Foundation yesterday in Abuja, donated 150 fully kitted operational cars worth several hundreds of Naira to the Nigeria Police Force.

The donation, the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris said was the single biggest donation ever by a private sector operator to the Police.

Speaking during the formal handover of the cars at an event attended by the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Ministers, State governors as well as the entire police hierarchy, Chairman of the Foundation, Aliko Dangote explained that the gesture was informed by the fact that security is essential to economic development.” Depending on how well the vehicles are maintained, Dangote promised that his foundation may consider donating another batch of vehicles

Meanwhile Federal Government, through Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo lauded the Dangote Foundation for the rare gesture and expressed the Federal Government’s appreciation to Dangote for his untiring support to the government, adding that the donation of cars patrol cars to the Nigerian Police Force will help the Force at combating crimes across the country.

Osinbajo said Dangote is a rare entrepreneur who has done so much to grow the economy of Nigeria. He said the Government needs people like Aliko to join hands with it to grow the economy and also provide jobs to the Youth.

There have been a lot of talks on private-public partnership, but as we can see Alhaji Dangote is walking the talk.

Government’s role, according to him, is to provide the enabling environment while the private sector should take advantage of the opportunities that abounds in the country to grow and develop the economy.

“The donation of 150 cars to the Nigerian Police Force is laudable and we thank Aliko Dangote Foundation for this rare gesture, that is characteristic of the person of Aliko Dangote. He has shown over the years to be an entrepreneur with a difference, a man that gives willingly to the poor”

Describing the donation as the single largest donation of cars by any private individual in the country, Osinbajo urged other Nigerians to join hands with the Federal Government to effectively secure the country as well as develop the economy.

The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris expressed the appreciation of the Police Force to the Aliko Dangote Foundation, with a promise that the cars will be well utilized for the purpose for which they were donated.

He urged Nigerians to go about their business lawfully, noting that The Police Force is now well equipped more than ever before to fight crime across the country. He assured that the Police Force will not disappoint Nigerians in the provision of adequate security across the country.

Dangote in his speech said the donation was aimed at strengthening the Nigeria Police and

Said he: “We are gathered here today to mark the formal handover of a total number of 150 GAC saloon cars to the Nigeria Police Force in order to help boost their operational efficiency. I am told that today marks the single biggest number of operational vehicles ever donated to the law enforcement agency by a private organisation.

“Considering the challenges government faces in meeting the entire needs of the populace for necessities like health, education and security, various Public Private Partnerships (PPP) initiatives have been developed. These are partnerships where the private sector collaborates with the public sector to provide services.

The Foundation, according to Dangote has been active in the four areas of Health, Education, Economic Empowerment and Disaster relief, and had expended upwards of N10 billion annually. This is in addition to the CSR efforts of our various business units.

While calling on other corporate organizations to rise up to the challenge of helping the security agencies in the country, Dangote stated that his Foundation made a N50 million donation to the Lagos State Security Trust Fund, and built the Police Intelligence Hostel Complex in Kwara State, all of which are part of the collaborations by the Foundation.

“Today, we are deepening our intervention in security with the donation of these 150 fully kitted operational vehicles to the Police Force. These vehicles will support the Nigeria Police Force in surveillance, crime prevention and promote law and order.

The Chairman of the CIG Motors Nigeria Limited, Chief Diana Chan commended the Dangote Foundation for the uncommon gesture to help the security agency and provide it with logistics to aid its operations.

He said the number of vehicles donated by the Aliko Dangote Foundation was unprecedented and that it has thrown the challenge to other private sector operators to come to the aid of the security agencies in the country.

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Ezinne Maria Ebi’s Burial Slated for January 29, 2021

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The Matriarch of the Ebi family; Ezinne Maria Eriaba Ebi will on Friday, January 29, 2021, be laid to rest at Urualla in Ideato North Local Government Area (LGA) of Imo State.

Ezinne Maria Ebi, who is mother to former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and former Chairman of Fidelity Bank, Mr. Ernest Ebi, died on November 15, 2020, at the age of 91.

According to a statement from the family, the burial activities will begin on Thursday, January 28, 2021, with service of songs at the Ebi’s family compound by 5 pm at Urualla, while the funeral mass holds on Friday, January 29, 2021, at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in the same town by 11 am. She was a devout Catholic and community leader in her lifetime. She lived an exemplary Christian life and was renowned for humility, kindness, and generosity which earned her the sobriquet “Nne Muru Oha” – Mother of All.

Ezinne Ebi was married to the late Mr. Fabian Ebi and together they raised their biological and non-biological children with strong Christian and moral values of integrity, hard work, and perseverance. Family sources describe her as an enterprising and skilled businesswoman who was indeed a real helpmate to her husband in providing education to all her children and many others who had the opportunity to live with her or encounter her. She is survived by 9 children, 27 grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren.

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2020 US Election: What Defeated The Incumbent? Any Take For Nigeria? By Abdulmumin Jibrin

Peter Okunoren

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We cannot just watch the US crisis and laugh. We must learn from it and act to avert such from happening in our country that is far more vulnerable to such dangerous anti-democratic manipulations that can throw a country into anarchy.

We are not immune to having any president in the future that may react like the incumbent president of the US. So what measures can we put as a matter of urgency in our laws to tighten the screw, strengthen our institutions and system against such if at all it ever happens?

I disagree with the opinion that the US has lost its leading role globally in advancing democratic culture because of the 2020  election saga and specifically the unusual refusal to accept defeat by the incumbent. The principal actors in the crisis did all they could to subvert the will of the people, but it was the strong  INSTITUTIONS and  SYSTEM that defeated them.

The US democratic institutions and system have proven to be stronger than any individual or group and in this case, rose above even the incumbent President. That, in my opinion, supersedes other considerations. Beyond the razzmatazz of negative individual behavior in the 2020 election, the strong US democratic institutions will continue to be a lead point globally.

In contrast, in many countries around the world including Africa and Nigeria, individuals are still stronger than the institutions and system. That has always been the foundation of our problem. So long as our institutions and system are not strong enough to overpower individual interest or ambition, we will continue the endless search for answers to many of our problems that can be solved easily.

Knowing when to let go is one of the fundamental pillars of democracy. A leader must be smart enough to know that letting go and at the right time may compensate for whatever loss he suffers. He can also ride on that to salvage his career, or at least retain some respect.

Now, the major problem of the defeated incumbent in the US election is no longer how to stop the winner from being sworn in, it is how to get out of the present dilemma of violence and insurrection he is being accused of having instigated and which had led to the desecration of the pre-eminent symbol of democracy, the Capitol, and the death of 4 people. Many Americans are demanding that the president must be held accountable. Who knows where it will end, with investigations, panels, etc, that are like to follow?

Narrowing it down to power transition, I remember during one of our think-thank meetings of the speakership campaign in 2019, the then-candidate and now Speaker,  Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, raised serious concern about the lack of proper and detailed transition laws from incumbent to incumbent and from an incumbent to a non-incumbent whether of the same party or not. He wanted a bill to that effect as part of the 9th assembly agenda.

We didn’t consider his foresight necessary at the time. I am guilty of that as well. Now, I can see why we need a law with clear details and timelines of activities specifically for power transition and severe consequences for whoever breaches the law.

Some of the issues include announcing the winner, accepting victory, conceding defeat, and timelines for constituting transition committees from both the incumbent and the president-elect. Details of the kind of briefings from the outgoing and the president-elect, including timelines for announcement of cabinet members and many other details that can ensure power transition or transfer is done peacefully and continuity of governance is not halted in any way.

This is the time for the National  Assembly to look at this matter and act with urgency.

Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin Kofa
Bebeji, Kano
7th January, 2021

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BREAKING: Reps Suspend FG’s 774,000 Jobs Scheme

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The House of Representatives has called for the immediate suspension of the controversial Special Works Scheme of the Federal Government.

The National Assembly and the Federal Ministry of Labour, Employment, and Productivity had clashed over the recruitment of 774,000 workers for the scheme.

At the plenary on Wednesday, the House asked the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning not to fund the scheme, which is billed to take off in January 2021.

The National Assembly had appropriated N52bn for the exercise in the 2020 Appropriation Act. It was to begin in November.

The House also faulted the removal of the Director-General of the National Directorate of Employment, Dr Nasiru Argungu, who had backed the parliament in the controversy.

The House urged the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to reverse himself on Argungu’s sacking.

The Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, had since appointed Argungu’s replacement in the order of the President.

Details later…

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