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Tanko Yakasai backs Igbo for presidency in 2023

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A founding member of Arewa Consultative Forum, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, has backed agitations by the southeast to produce the next Nigerian president in the 2023 general elections, saying they have a compelling argument.

Yakasai, an elder statesman, explained that other regions and zones in the country except the Igbo had produced the country’s president.

He said this in an interview on Arise News.

The human rights activist and former Liaison Officer to ex-President Shehu Shagari, however, reminded the Igbos that it is their duty to go out and convince other Nigerians to join them to realise their aspiration to produce the country’s president next time around.

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He said:

“Nigeria had three major blocks. Two of these three namely, the North and the West have had the opportunity of producing the President.

Therefore, Igbos have a good argument because out of the three siblings, two have already succeeded at producing the President but the Igbos have not.

“They (the Igbo) deserve the sympathy of all Nigerians for them to get it in 2023 or later. My opinion is that this is not a matter that one will lie down and think that it will come to him. Effort is needed. How do you go about it? This can only be done by persuasion to convince other Nigerians about the need for an Igbo to emerge the President of Nigeria.

“I for one – I am in support of it. I did it before in the era of NPN (National Party of Nigeria) when we had the arrangement that the next president after late President Shehu Shagari would come from the East. We would have settled this problem long ago if not for the military intervention.

“So, I spoke in support of Igbo presidency. I did not want to fix a date because I am not in position to do that. I said that the Igbo should go out and lobby other Nigerians and try to get their concern and support to produce the president in 2023 and where they are not able to do that in 2023 they will put a trajectory for them to produce the President next time.”

 

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Nigeria Update

Cancellation of WASSCE will truncate future of Nigerian children – Reps

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The House of Representatives on Friday said the cancellation of the West African Senior Secondary School Examinations [WASSCE] will truncate the future of Nigerian children.

WuzupNigeria reports that the examination, administered by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and held yearly in May, was postponed indefinitely in April after schools were shut down across the country in a bid to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, announced during a media briefing on July 6 that the examination will now take place between August 4 and September 5.

But the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, on Wednesday 8 July 2020 at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided by President Muhammadu Buhari cancelled examination, saying he would prefer that “Nigerian students lose an academic year than to expose them to dangers” of COVID-19.

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He added that the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) cannot determine the resumption date of schools for Nigeria.

But the Chairman of the House Committee on Basic Education, Prof Julius Ihonbvare, who made the position of the House known in a statement in Abuja said the announcement by the minister was done without due consultation with relevant stakeholders in the education sector.

He said the Education Minister did not inform the country if his decision was in agreement with other West African leaders or in consultation with the examination bodies, the state governments and other stakeholders in the education sector.

He said:

“The minister also did not also inform the public, if the decision was the outcome of a meeting with all state governments that are in charge of all, but the unity secondary schools that are owned by the federal government.

“The Minister of State, in his usually consultative and participatory approach, had briefed the nation at the COVID 19 Presidential Committee briefing over the airwaves and in an appearance before the House Committee on Basic Education where he assured Nigerians that all steps had or were being taken to ensure full compliance with all COVID 19 protocols.

“This sudden policy reversal is not good for the country. It is bound to create further confusion in the education sector, create disappointment and suspicion among parents, frustrate the students and show to our development partners and Nigerians that the distortions and disarticulations in the sector are only getting worse.

“The reversal also shows that our policymakers may just be adopting a laid-back approach to the need to confront the novel coronavirus rather than taking proactive and creative steps to manage and contain it.

“The House Committee disagrees with the minister and believes that a reconsideration is urgently needed to save our educational system on the following grounds that Nigeria is not the only country expected to write the examination in the midst of Covid-19.

“Nigeria should insist that the examination be based exclusively on the already covered syllabus of schools; the Federal Ministry should not chicken out of its responsibilities but take charge, provide policy direction, engage the states and other stakeholders, while the WAEC should quadruple its invigilators and use all classrooms and event centres to conduct the examination and comply with Covid-19 protocols.”

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Ondo deputy gov asks court to jail 26 lawmakers for contempt

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BREAKING: Ondo Deputy gov, Agboola dumps APC for PDP

The Ondo State Deputy Governor, Mr Agboola Ajayi, has asked the Federal High Court in Akure to jail the 26 members of the state House of Assembly for contempt.

Ajayi, in his suit filed on Friday, specifically asked the court to impose one-year imprisonment on the 26 lawmakers for “deliberately plotting and executing plans to impeach him” despite his suit filed at the Abuja division of the court challenging the impeachment process.

The deputy governor also asked the court to set aside all the actions so far taken by the lawmakers, including the impeachment notice issued against him on July 7, 2020, since he filed his suit on June 26, 2020.

Members of the state House of Assembly loyal to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu were said to have started plotting on impeachment process after Ajayi left the All Progressives Congress, the platform on which he was elected along with the governor, in 2016, for the Peoples Democratic Party.

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Fourteen of the lawmakers had on July 7, 2020, signed the notice of impeachment of the deputy governor while nine others opposed it.

But the Chief Judge of the State, Justice Oluwatoyin Akeredolu, rejected the formal request by the 14 lawmakers for her to set up an impeachment panel to investigate the deputy governor.

But Ajayi, through his lawyers, Dr Joshua Olatoke (SAN) and Babs Akinwumi, on Friday, contended that the legislators’ action of continuing with the impeachment process despite his pending suit was aimed at bringing the court to disrepute.

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He stated in an affidavit filed in support of the suit:

“On July 7, 2020, at the sitting of the Ondo State House of Assembly, the alleged contemners issued an impeachment notice against me, despite the pendency of suit no FHC/ABJ/CS/684/2020 and have vowed to continue with the illegality.

“Copies of newspaper reportage of the illegality of issuance of the notice are hereto attached and marked as Exhibit DG4.

“I verily believe that the action/conduct of the alleged contemners is to foist a fait accompli on the court, to render the outcome of suit no FHC/ABJ/CS/684/2020 nugatory and bring the court to disrepute.

He, therefore, sought among others;

“An order of this honourable court committing the 1st to 26th alleged contemners (the 26 lawmakers) to prison for a term of 1 (one) year or as the court may otherwise determine for the reason of the criminal contempt committed by the alleged contemner by deliberately plotting and executing plans to impeach the applicant despite the pendency of suit no FHC/ABJ/CS/684/2020 and despite having notice of the said suit.”

He also sought an order “nullifying and/or setting aside all the actions taken so far by the 1st to 26th alleged contemners in their attempt to impeach the applicant, starting from July 7, 2020.”

He sought another order restraining the lawmakers “from proceeding with the impeachment proceedings against the applicant.”

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Amaechi celebrates old Rivers’ governor, Ada-George at 80

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Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has described Rufus Ada-George, a former Governor of old Rivers, comprising Bayelsa and Rivers states, as an exemplary leader and a father to all.

Amaechi, the immediate past Governor of Rivers said this in a statement, on Friday in Abuja, to commemorate the 80th birthday anniversary of Ada-George, the Peripelebo 1 of Okrika.

“As governor of Rivers state, you raised leaders, you created opportunities for growth in politics for many of us.

“You are a father figure to many of us who served in the government of Rivers state.

“You left indelible footprints in the state and opened up a path for us to follow.

“On this occasion of your 80th birthday, I pray God to grant you more life, good health, grace, peace and joy.

“I wish you a very happy birthday,’’ Amaechi said.

NAN

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