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Oyo Assembly ignores protesters, confirms 27-year-old Fakorede, two other commissioner nominees


Oyo Assembly

The Oyo State House of Assembly on Thursday screened and confirmed three additional commissioner-nominees sent to it by Governor Seyi Makinde.

The commissioner-nominees confirmed are Prof. Raphael Afonja, Alhaja Fausat Sanni and Seun Fakorede, a 27-year-old graduate of Civil Engineering from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife whose nomination sparked a protest at the Assembly in Ibadan on Thursday.

A group of citizens in Oyo state had staged a protest at the House against the nomination of Fakorede as a commissioner.

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The protesters condemned the appointment, saying Fakorede is a loyalist of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the opposition in the state.

According to them, the commissioner should not be allowed to work in the cabinet of the governor, who is a member of the PDP.

The Assembly defied the protesters and confirmed Fakorede and two others whose names were sent to the House by the governor and read at the plenary by the Speaker, Adebo Ogundoyin on Monday.

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The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the nominees were each grilled by the lawmakers, who asked them probing questions bordering on their professional and educational experiences.

They were also asked how they intended to bring their wealth of knowledge and training to bear on the various positions they were being considered for.

The nominees expressed happiness at their nominations by the governor, describing the opportunity as a call to serve the people of Oyo State.

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They promised to contribute their quota to the development of the state.

The Speaker described Fakorede’s screening as one of the best so far and a record-breaking appointment.

Speaking on the protest by some people against Fakorede ‘s nomination from Ibarapa zone, Ogundoyin said, “In politics, there is no way all sides can be happy.”

He described Fakorede’ s nomination as a plus to Ibarapa zone, saying that with time, Ibarapa people would know his choice was more of a blessing.


Covid-19: Okowa orders exco members, aides to face test



Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has directed members of the state executive council and his appointees to embark on compulsory COVID-19 test as part of measures to contain the spread of the virus, it was learnt yesterday.

The directive, which was contained in an internal memo, also affected civil servants working within the Government House and the office of the deputy governor, Kingsley Otuaro.

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It was learnt that several aides, including close security details to the governor, recently tested positive to the ravaging virus.

According to the Nation, the memo, which was at the instance of the governor,  is to ensure that the Government House is free of the virus.

A source, which confirmed the development, said the various units, including media aides, have been directed to go for the test immediately.

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Many of the commissioners and political appointees are, however, uncomfortable with the development.

Okowa, his wife Edith, daughter, Secretary to the State Government (SSG) Chiedu Ebie and the commissioner for information, Mr. Charles Anaigwu, have tested positive to the virus.

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WTO boss: Okonjo-Iweala, five others battle as nomination process ends on Wednesday



No fewer than six candidates are competing to become the next head of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) — an institution which faced mammoth challenges even before the pandemic-driven global economic crisis struck.

The window to enter the race slams shut on Wednesday, in a speed-up contest to replace the outgoing WTO director-general Roberto Azevedo — the Brazilian career diplomat who is stepping down one year early at the end of August.

The six candidates in the running are from Egypt, Kenya, Mexico, Moldova, Nigeria and South Korea.

The six candidates are South Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee; Kenya’s former foreign minister Amina Mohamed; Mexico’s former WTO deputy director-general Jesus Seade Kuri; former Nigerian finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; Egyptian former diplomat Hamid Mamdouh; and former Moldovan foreign minister Tudor Ulianovschi.

The new chief must revive stalled trade talks, lay the ground for the 2021 ministerial conference — one of the WTO’s major events — and thaw relations with Washington.

The United States, which has threatened to leave the WTO, has blocked the organisation’s dispute settlement appeal system since December and wants China moved up from the developing economies category.

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In a surprise move in mid-May, Azevedo, 62, announced that he would end his second four-year term early for personal reasons, forcing the Geneva-based WTO’s 164 member states to come up with a successor in just three months instead of the usual nine.

Rather than an election, the procedure for selecting the next WTO boss relies on finding consensus, with candidates gradually being eliminated in turn.

A vote is possible as a measure of last resort, but that scenario has never occurred.

In 1999, when countries could not decide between two runners, both candidates each served a three-year term.

The next incumbent faces a tough task, with the WTO caught in the middle of rising tensions between the United States and China.

If a consensus cannot be reached in time, one of the four deputy directors-general will take the reins in September on a caretaker basis.

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Of the directors-general, since the WTO was created in 1995, three were from Europe, while one each came from Oceania, Asia and South America.

There has never been a WTO leader from Africa and the continent fancies its chances this time, even though there is no regional rotation principle at the global trade body.

However, African nations have so far failed to convene around a single candidate.

Expecting the contest to come in 2021, the African Union had given early official backing to three figures, among them Mamdouh, a veteran former senior WTO official.

Mamdouh, 67, who is also a Swiss national, was the only one to declare his candidacy.

Nigeria’s decision to stand Okonjo-Iweala against him has triggered a legal dispute with the African Union.

Nonetheless, “Nigeria’s candidate is gaining ground within Africa,” said a diplomatic source.

Okonjo-Iweala, 66, who chairs the board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, said she was receiving “tremendous support”.

“I’m sure the African Union will make a decision to choose and support the candidate that merits it,” she told reporters in Geneva at a virtual press conference in late June.

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The former World Bank number two insisted that the WTO — which has never had a female leader — must choose is next chief based on ability.

“I hope that the WTO director-general will be elected first and foremost on merit. And then, if it happens to be a woman or an African, that is also good,” she said.

Kenya’s sports minister Mohamed, 58, has also previously served as chair of the WTO general council and first ran for the post in 2013. She threw her hat in the ring just before nominations closed, meaning there are three women and three Africans in the contest.

Yoo, 53, is the other female candidate.

The youngest contender is 37-year-old Ulianovschi, while Seade, at 73, is the oldest. He has led posts at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.











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Kwara assembly postpones resumption indefinitely



Kwara State House of Assembly, on Tuesday, announced an indefinite suspension of its Wednesday resumption.

The House which went on recess in June was scheduled to resume Wednesday, according to a statement in Ilorin by the Clerk of the House, Hajia Halimat Jummai Kperogi.

“This is to inform the general public that due to unforeseen developments, the Kwara State House of Assembly, has postponed its resumption of plenary to another date to be announced later,” the statement said.

The indefinite suspension of resumption may not be unconnected to the passing of the Chief of Staff to the state governor, Aminu Adisa Logun.

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Logun died on Tuesday afternoon of COVID-19 complications according to the state government.

The state governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq had through his spokesman, Rafiu Ajakaye announced seven-day mourning in honour of the late Chief of Staff.

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has joined the All Progressives Congress (APC), government and people of Kwara State in mourning the passing of the late Kwara Chief of Staff.

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The President described the deceased as a dedicated public officer.

The President said;

“His death comes at a time his services were greatly needed by the party and government as part of our rebuilding efforts.’’

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