Mr Kassim Gaidam, the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Adamawa, has urged Nigerians to work toward achieving fair and credible elections in the 2011 general elections.
Gaidam made the statement in Yola last week at the maiden zonal interactive meeting between INEC and leaders of political parties in Adamawa, Gombe and Taraba States.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner said that the onerous task of achieving a transparent election should not be left alone for officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He tasked political parties to field credible candidates so that the nation’s drive toward a crisis-free electoral exercise would be realisable.
The REC reiterated INEC’s commitment to ensure that votes are counted in 2011 and future elections.
The Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) has urged Nigerians to work towards the realisation of the dreams of heroes of the country’s nationalists.
This they could do by shunning “mistrust and divisive tendencies’’ in order to move the country to greatness.
Alhaji Muhammed Abdullahi, NIPR’s National President, stated this in a statement made available to newsmen in Bauchi last week as part of Nigeria’s Golden Jubilee.
“It is our ardent prayer that Nigeria will move from a theatre of mistrust to a circle of faith and ultimate renewal on the premise of shared responsibility.
“What we need now is the building and promotion of patriotic leadership capable of removing all negative barriers in our relationship with one another to enable the opening of new pages through dialogue and consensus-building to arrive at our desired destination.
Governor Gabriel Suswan of Benue in Makurdi last week reiterated the need for peace and harmony during and after the 2011 general elections.
Suswan, who made this known at Nigeria’s 50th independence anniversary celebration, appealed to the youths to shun all the temptation to indulge in thuggery.
“The success or failure of our democratic enterprise as a nation will be defined by how well we conduct ourselves before, during and after the forthcoming elections in 2011,” he said.
“Our youths must rise up to reject those who would want to use them to foment trouble.
“Our younger ones should ask those intending to use and dump them to instead engage their own children.”
Nigerians have been urged to support the government in the spirit of Nigeria’s independence anniversary, by training the less-privileged and indigent children in the country.
The Chief Executive of Fili Foundation, an NGO, Chief Abiodun Ajayi, told newsmen last Sunday in Ekiti, that less-privileged citizens should be sponsored to schools.
He said that some great talents could be found in these children, if given the opportunity to go to school.
“The biggest support we can give to the less-privileged and brilliant children, who come from genuine poor homes is to train them,’’ he said.
The Peers Mentoring Programme (PMP), Nigeria and Peers Mentoring Programme International, in collaboration with the NEPAD Business Group, have inaugurated a development fund to help informal sector businesses in Nigeria.
Dr Robert Aniebo, Chief Executive Officer, NEPAD Business Group, Nigeria, told newsmen in Abuja last Sunday that the collaboration would help to improve the economy.
“This fund will help to employ and coach at least one million mentors to sensitise, mobilise and formalise at least 1,000,000 informal sector businesses in Nigeria,’’ he said.
He said Nigerians should take full advantage of the initiative and create awareness among peers and peer groups, particularly at the grassroots.
The PDP in Kwara has announced the suspension of its Assistant Publicity Secretary, Hajia Aishat Ibraheem, over alleged anti-party activities.
The suspension of Ibraheem came as another group, identifying itself as Concerned Kwara PDP Elders Forum called on the party’s National Secretariat to dissolve the state’s executive of the party over various allegations.
A statement made available to newsmen last Sunday in Ilorin by the forum, called for dissolution of the state’s executive of the party for flouting the directive of the National Secretariat on new membership and list of delegates.
Director of Research, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, says external borrowing must be conducted under strictest statutory framework and with careful discipline.
Owasanoye made the statement while delivering a lecture entitled; “Law and Nigeria’s External Borrowing: Diagnosing the Past, Prognosing the Future” last week in Lagos.
“External debt is a hindrance to development and economic delivery,” he said
He attributed Nigeria’s past history of recklessness and unbridled external borrowing to corruption and absence of clear statutory and constitutional framework.
“The constitution says nothing of internal or external borrowing. It says nothing of the purpose, process or the authority,” he said.
Activities marking Nigeria’s 50th Independence Anniversary came to a climax last week in Ibadan as primary and secondary school students marched past Gov. Adebayo Alao-Akala of Oyo State at the saluting dais.
The governor had earlier inspected a guard of honour mounted by the Nigeria Police Force and other paramilitary outfits.
Masquerades, traditional dancers, Boys’ and Girls’ Brigade, Boys’ Scout, teachers and other groups also participated in the march past.
Highlights of the ceremony were the cutting of the anniversary cake and the inauguration of a new anthem for the state.
Gov. Jonah Jang of Plateau last week pardoned 10 convicts as part of activities marking the golden jubilee celebration of the nation’s independence.
Four of the 10 convicts were granted unconditional release, three are to be given option of fines, while the others had their death sentences commuted to life imprisonment.
Jang, who spoke after a march past at the Jos polo ground, said he took the decision after consultation with the Advisory Council on Prerogative of mercy.
He challenged those who regained their freedom to reciprocate the gesture by conducting themselves responsibly and avoiding a repeat of the mistake.
“We have suffered wars and communal clashes; we have witnessed bloody change of power; we have held several constitutional conferences,’’ the governor lamented.
Alhaji Ibrahim Gobir, a PDP senatorial aspirant for Sokoto East Senatorial District, has pledged to build “a standard international market’’ at Illela, if elected.
Gobir told newsmen in Sokoto last Sunday that the market would boost economic activities in the sub-region in particular and the continent at large.
He said the market would serve as a trade zone among Niger Republic, Mali and other African countries.
Gobir promised to introduce legislation that would enhance the living condition of the people if given the opportunity to be in the Senate.
PDP presidential aspirant, Dr Bukola Saraki, has said that only generational change in leadership can turn around the fortunes of Nigeria for the desired national development.
Saraki, who made the statement in Gusau last week during a campaign tour of Zamfara, said: “Nigeria needs young and energetic leaders who can turn around the fortunes of the country for speedy development.
“It is time we made Nigeria work and this can only be possible if we elect leaders that can drive the country in the right direction.”
Saraki said his efforts at transforming Kwara from an economy largely dependent on federal revenue allocation to agriculture-driven one and independent generation of electricity for economic growth were some of his pragmatic approach to leadership.
Northern Senators’ Forum Seeks Lasting Solutions To Insecurity
Chairman of the Northern Senators’ Forum, Sen. Aliyu Wamakko, (APC-Sokoto) has called for lasting solutions to tackle the menace of insecurity in the country.
Wamakko made the call while briefing newsmen after the caucus’ closed-door session, held in Abuja, last Wednesday.
He said: “We must continue to find more solutions that can be applied to the security challenges.
“Of course, there are many ways of finding a solution. I know we are using the security outfit very well, but there are other ways of finding lasting solutions to the challenges, facing our country today.
“We are concerned as Nigerians and as northerners.
“This country has to be as free as possible, so that every Nigerian can move freely to do their normal businesses without any fear or security challenge, “he said.
He noted that at resumption on June 22, the forum would hold another meeting which would be aimed at strengthening the decisions taken so far.
Reps Seek End To Abuses In Orphanages
The House of Representatives has appealed to the Federal Government to end incessant abuses in orphanages across the country by the operators.
This followed the adoption of a motion by Rep. James Owolabi (APC-Lagos) at yesterday’s plenary in Abuja
Speaking on the motion, Owolabi said that many orphanages were not registered, making it impossible for the authorities to ascertain the actual number of children in their custody.
He said that the unregistered orphanages were also involved in illegal operations such as child trafficking and nocturnal abuse of children.
He said it was the responsibility of government to protect the lives and property of citizens including orphans.
The House therefore, urged the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development to collaborate with relevant agencies of government towards ending the abuse.
It mandated the committee on Women Affairs to ensure compliance.
Ganduje Restates Commitment To Community Policing In Kano
Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State has reiterated his commitment to continue partnering with stakeholders in the security sector to ensure the state is safe and peaceful.
Ganduje made this known when the Nigeria Police Force Community Policing Agenda, appointed him as its National Patron.
In a statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Abba Anwar in Kano, Ganduje said:”we have community policing at the village, ward , local government, emirates levels.
“We chose 16 young people from each of the 44 local governments areas of the state for constabulary training,” he said.
Responding, the National Secretary of the association, Amb. Ibrahim Aboki said that the governor was nominated for his efforts in strengthening community policing.
“This is a man of honesty, integrity and philanthropy, the able and amiable dynamic leader and a ”Goal Getter:
“The security champion, we are presenting to you, an award and a letter as a National Patron.
“We duly acknowledge your role in pioneering, promoting and consolidating all security formations, security agencies and special constabularies,” he said.
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