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Forum Harps On Stronger Govt, Electorate’s Ties

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Political office holders in Nigeria have been urged to maintain  stronger ties with the electorate, as a means of promoting democratic values and enhancing sustainable development in the country.

This was part of the resolutions reached by stakeholders at the end of a two day Good goverance forum Organised by AA Peace Work, a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), in Gokana and Abua/Odual Local Government Areas, of Rivers State recently.

Stakeholders in the two local government areas, decried the lack of accessibility to their political leaders, describing it as the bane of development in the LGAs.

Stakeholders also demanded that budgetary estimates should be made clear to the people, while the process of governance should be consultative- based.

One of the participants at the forum, Mrs Gladys Agbara called for a strategic development plan on yearly basis for the local governments, with full participation of the people in the process of monitoring and implementation of the progammes.

The forum further canvassed post election reconciliation plans, among the various political parties and interest groups to enhance an all inclusive governance.

In her remark, the Executive Director of the NGO, Dr Judith Asunu, said the aim of the programme was, “to enhance collaboration between government and civil society in the Niger Delta in order to improve governance and transparency in the region, and by so doing, improve the delivery of basic services critical to the reduction of poverty”

She said the programme was also inended, “to create a platform in the LGAs for positive dialoque between communities and council officials on issues of development”

Dr Asunu  commended the high turn out of participants at the forum.

The Chairman of Gokana Local Governemnt Area, Hon Ledee Deemua, thanked the NGO for its initiative, noting that the programme had helped to build his vision on integrated rural development, and pledged that his government would always consult regularly.

Also speaking, the Chairman of Abua/Odual LGA, Hon Udi Odum, reiterated his commitment to the development of the LGA, and solicited the support of the people.

The chairman who was represented by his press secretary also thanked the NGO for choosing Abua/Odual as one of the LGAs for the good governance forum.

The African Representative, living Earth Foundation, an international NGO, Dr Macaulay Olagolice, also described the good governance forum as a veritable platform that would build trust between the government and the people, and fast- track development in the Niger Delta.

Taneh Beemene

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We Are Satisfied With Level Of Preparations For Anambra Poll – INEC

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), yesterday, said it is satisfied with the current level of preparations for the November 6 Anambra governorship election.
In a statement by its National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye in Abuja, the commission said that virtually all non-sensitive materials have been delivered in readiness for the election.
Okoye said the commission deliberated on the state governorship election holding on November 6, at its regular weekly meeting held yesterday in Abuja, “The training of ad-hoc staff is also going on as scheduled.
“The Commission is in touch with the National Peace Committtee under the Chairmanship of former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (Rtd).
“Preparations are underway for the signing of the Peace Accord in Awka on November 4.”
Okoye said that the commission also noted with appreciation, the role of religious, traditional and community leaders in Anambra State.
The commission also appreciated the civil society, socio-cultural associations and the media in appealing for peace during electioneering campaign and election-day activities.
Okoye also disclosed that INEC also on Thursday published the notice of poll at its state and all the local government offices in Anambra State.
He said that so far, the commission has successfully implemented 12 out of 14 activities in the timetable and schedule of activities.
‘By Section 46 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), the Commission shall, not later than 14 days before the day of the election, cause to be published, a notice specifying the date and hours fixed for the poll; the persons entitled to vote; and the location of the polling units.
“In the same vein, today is the last day for the submission of names of Polling Agents by political parties.
“By Section 45 of the Electoral Act, each political party may by notice in writing addressed to the Electoral Officer of the Local Government, appoint a polling agent for each polling unit and collation centre.
“The notice shall set out the name and address of the polling agent, accompanied by two passport photographs of each polling agent, and sample signature of the agent at least 14 days before the date fixed for the election.”
Okoye advised political parties to adhere strictly to the law and the guidelines for the deployment of polling agents.
He said that only duly accredited polling agents would be allowed to operate at the polling units and collation centres.
“With just a little over two weeks to the election, the Commission once again appeals for support from all and sundry in Anambra to ensure that the election will not only be peaceful, but also free, fair and credible.”

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Jonathan Congratulates Gowon At 87

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Former President Goodluck Jonathan, has congratulated former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd) on the occasion of his 87th birthday.
Jonathan commended Gowon for his sustained commitment to the peace and progress of Nigeria, stressing that the former head of State has made considerable contributions to the unity and socio-economic development of the country.
The former President also described General Gowon as a committed leader and patriot who has always been concerned about the development of Nigeria.
“The former Head of State has made considerable contributions to the unity and socio-economic development of our country,” the message reads.
The goodwill message he personally signed, reads, “I join your family and well-wishers to celebrate you on the occasion of your 87th birthday. I am pleased by your sustained commitment to the progress, peace and unity of Nigeria.
“Your passion and love for Nigeria have not waned many decades after leaving office, as you have continued to invest your time in peace initiatives such as Nigeria Prays Project and the Yakubu Gowon Centre.
“As Head of State, you made considerable contributions to the unity and socio-economic development of Nigeria and earned yourself a reputation of peacemaker and nation builder.
 ”Your Excellency, as you celebrate, on behalf of my family, I pray that God will renew your strength and grant you peace, joy and long life. Happy birthday, Your Excellency”.

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Sokoto Assembly Confirms Three Commissioner-Nominees

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The Sokoto State House of Assembly has confirmed the appointment of three Commissioner-nominees as requested by Governor Aminu Tambuwal.
This followed the adoption of a motion by the All Progressives Congress Leader, Bello Ambarura, at the Committee of the Whole on Wednesday in Sokoto.
Moving the motion, Ambarura said that it was in consideration of the request by Governor Tambuwal who requested the House confirmation for the nominees.
“This is in view of the provision of section 192 (1-5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended. However, their nomination was necessitated due to the existence of vacancies in the state Executive Council,” he said.
The lawmaker added that the governor’s request was as enshrined in the public service rules and regulations as well as other processes required by the law.
“Moreover, the persons nominated for the appointments are persons of proven integrity and dedication, who had served the state and the nation in various capacities.
“Thus, if appointed, they will assist the governor in discharging his statutory responsibilities,” he said.
The Deputy Speaker, Abubakar Magaji, who presided over the sitting, put the motion into a voice vote after the screening of the nominees, and it was unanimously adopted by the lawmakers.
The Tide source reports that the nominees included Professor Aminu Illela, Shuaibu Gwanda-Gobir, and Hassan Maccido.

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