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Nigeria Sliding Towards One-Party State, Group Warns

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A civil rights body, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has urged President Muhammadu Buhari and the leadership of the National Assembly to wade in by enforcing the constitutional provision against illegal cross-carpeting by elected political office holders to safeguard multi-party democracy from imminent collapse.
HURIWA said it was imperative for all relevant law enforcement authorities to take measures to ensure that all elected political office holders in the National and State Assemblies who have violated Section 68(1) (g) of the Constitution by illegally changing political parties to be expelled from the legislative houses to uphold the purity of the Nigerian law.
Section 68 (1) (g) states as follows: “A member of the Senate or of the House of Representatives shall vacate his/her seat in the House of which he/she is a member, if being a person whose election to the House was sponsored by a political party, he/she becomes a member of another party before the expiration of the period for which that House was elected: provided that his/her membership of the latter political party is not as a result of a division in the political party of which he was previously a member or of a merger of two or more political parties or factions by one of which he was previously sponsored.”
In a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, and National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA said there are no verifiable and/or justifiable reasons for the rampant cross-carpeting of elected legislators from the opposition People’s Democratic Party to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) since a subsisting Court of Appeal ruling recognized erstwhile Kaduna State governor, Senator Ahmed Makarfi as the authentic national chairman of PDP.
HURIWA alleged that some elements in the national hierarchy of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) are manipulating some law enforcement agencies such as the Nigeria Police, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Department of State Services and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to deliberately depopulate the membership of the opposition People’s Democratic Party by blackmailing its legislators to move to APC.
Citing the recent illegal decamping of PDP Senator, Andy Uba from Anambra and Joshua Dariye from Plateau State, and another Senator of the PDP from Ondo State into APC as clear breaches of the Constitution, the group said these moves were a grave threat to multi-party democracy.
HURIWA condemned the silence and failure of the Independent National Electoral Commission to retrieve their certificates of return which they originally gained through the sponsorship of the People’s Democratic Party.
It called on the National Judicial Council (NJC) to sanction Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court for wilfully issuing illegal injunctions to suspected sponsored troublemakers who infiltrated the main opposition People’s Democratic Party from the APC to scuttle the viability of the party.
Besides, HURIWA also condemned as undemocratic and ominous, the leaders of APC for mounting pressure on the PDP Senator from Enugu State, Ike Ekwerenmadu, to either move over to APC or be dethroned from his position as the deputy Senate president.
The rights group regretted that it has become imperative amongst the political class that the best way to escape the persecution of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is to move over from PDP to APC.
“We are worried that the director general of Department of State Services (DSS) who is from the same locality with Mr. President and who was a campaign team member of the then Buhari Presidential Campaign Organisation, had on several occasions directed and authorized the invasion of homes of top members of PDP, including the home of the Akwa Ibom State governor.
“The Inspector General of Police whose shocking elevation from a mere junior AIG of Police to the position of IGP and displaced many senior officers, has deliberately converted the Nigerian Police to the armed wing of the ruling APC just as the unconstitutional roles of the police in the recently held rerun legislative elections in Rivers State are unambiguous evidences of the partisanship of the Inspector General of Police in favour of APC.”
HURIWA, therefore, asked the National Assembly to do the needful to save Nigeria from totally sliding into a one—party dictatorship.
since allowing that to happen could spell doom for the extant democratic Republic of Nigeria.

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UBEC, RSUBEB Begin Digital School Construction In Rivers

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As part of government’s efforts to realize its dream of making the nation’s educational system a global digital community, the Federal Government, through the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) and the Rivers State Universal Basic Education Board (RSUBEB), have commenced the construction of a modern digital Smart Basic School in the state, with 14-month completion schedule.
The school, which is a pilot modern basic education facility, is designed by UBEC in collaboration with RSUBEB to entrench digitization of ICT-driven basic education system across the 36 states and FCT, Abuja.
Speaking with journalists at a brief handover ceremony of the proposed smart school site to UBEC by RSUBEB at the Community Primary School, Uzuoba in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state, over the weekend, the National Consultant, UBEC Smart School Project, Prof Masud Abdulkarim, said the school was designed to incorporate digital technology into the basic education system in the country, which he said, has been in practice in advanced countries for years.
Abdulkarim stated that the desire of the Federal Government was to ensure that Nigerian children were not left out in the digital space, saying that the school would have great impact on the youth and give them equal opportunity to compete globally in the technology world.
He described the school as the first of its kind in the history of the country, adding that the school would have four categories that would take care of the nursery, handicapped, primary as well as junior secondary students with a maximum of 35 persons per class of two streams.
Abdulkarim noted that with the strategy, no fewer than 700 children would be enrolled into the school.
According to him, the school would afford the children the opportunity to become robotic engineers, artificial intelligence (AI) engineers and ICT engineers, and added that as future leaders, they need to be equipped and encouraged.
The UBEC consultant commended the state government for the provision of the school for the construction of the smart school, and described the site as the most suitable across the 23 states so far visited.
“Let me thank the RSUBEB for the site, in fact, it is the best and most suitable site among the 23 states we have so far visited. Because it has an existing school structure with a fence to protect our equipment and infrastructure. Moreso, the project will impact on the schools around because they will benefit from our Wi-Fi”, he stated.
Abdulkarim called on the host community to jealously guard the project as a growing child, till its maturity to adult stage, saying that they were important stakeholders in the project.
Also speaking on behalf of the Chairman of Rivers State Universal Basic Education Board (RSUBEB), Ven Fyneface Akah, a commissioner in the board, Chief Faith Amaso, called for synergy between the contractors and host community in other to remove every impediment that may affect the delivery of the project on schedule.
Akah opined that the project, when completed, would improve basic education in the state, and expressed happiness over the commencement of the project in the state.

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Rivers United Beat Young Africans Of Tanzania 1-0

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Rivers United Football Club of Port Harcourt, yesterday, at the Adokiye Amasiemaka Football Stadium, trounced the Young Africans Football Club of Tanzania 1-0 in a return leg match of the ongoing Confederation of African Football Club Champions League competition.
The stadium, which was filled to capacity, witnessed a trilling encounter, which saw the crowd craving for more.
It would be recalled that Rivers United had defeated the Young Africans of Tanzania 1-0 in the first leg of the championship at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, last Sunday.
Reacting to the feat, the Chairman of Degema Local Government Area, Hon. Michael John Williams, expressed joy over the victory of the Rivers United FC of Port Harcourt against the Young Africans of Tanzania in the ongoing Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League.
The match, which ended 1-0 in favour of the Rivers United FC, took place at the Adokiye Amiesimaka International Stadium in Rivers State, yesterday.
Top government officials in the state, including Rivers Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo; LG council chairmen and commissioners, amongst other sports enthusiasts, graced the event.
Speaking on the outcome of the match, Williams stated that the Rivers United players exhibited the Rivers team spirit, which culminated in their victory.
The political heavyweight in Degema LGA, noted that nothing would be impossible for Rivers people to achieve when they work together in unison and firm determination.
He added that the massive support and huge investment in the sports sector by the Governor Nyesom Wike administration, also motivated the Rivers team, who worked hard to secure a back-to-back victory.

By: Nelson Chukwudi

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NJC Okays Six Chief Judges, 30 Others For Appointment

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The National Judicial Council (NJC), has recommended the appointment of chief judges and 30 others as judicial officers to beef up judicial functions in some states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
At its 95th meeting held on September 15 and 16, 2021, the council considered the list of candidates presented by its Interview Committee, and recommended the 36 successful candidates to their respective state governors for appointment as heads of courts and other judicial officers in Nigeria.
They are Hon. Justice Richard O. Olorunfemi as chief judge, Kogi State, Hon. Justice Joe Itsebaga Acha for Edo, Hon. Justice Akintoroye Williams Akin for Ondo, Hon. Justice Husseini Baba Yusuf for FCT, Hon. Justice Ekaette Francesca Fabian-Obot for Akwa Ibom, and Hon. Justice J. O. Adeyeye for Ekiti State.
Others are Hon. Kadi Baba Gana Mahdi as Grand Kadi, Yobe; Umaru Ahmad Liman as Grand Kadi, Bauchi; Hon. Justice Osagede Osado Emmanuel as President, Customary Court of Appeal, Nasarawa; Hon. Justice Mashud Akintunde Akinfemi Abass as President, Customary Court of Appeal, Oyo State; and Siyaka Momoh Jimoh Usman as President, Customary Court of Appeal, Kogi State.
Three judges are recommended for High Court of Gombe, and they are Zainab Abdulkadir Rasheed, Abdussalam Muhammad, and Daurabo Suleiman Sikka.
Akwa Ibom has Effiong Asukwo Effiong; Bauchi has Nana Fatima Jibril; while Kaduna High Court has Abdulkarim Mahmud.
The three candidates recommended for Katsina State are Kabir Shuaibu, Ibrahim Ishaku Mashi, and Ibrahim Abubakar Mande, while Prof Alero Akeredolu was recommended for Ondo State.
Four successful candidates for Oyo State are Olusola Adebisi Adetujoye, Folabimpe Beatrice Segun Olakojo, Prof Taiwo Elijah Adewale, and Kareem Adeyimika Adedokun.
Kogi State has three candidates, and they are Abubakar Sule Ibrahim, Abdullah Sulyman, as well as Aminu Ali Eri.
Two Kadis for Sharia Court of Appeal are Adamu Kuna Jibril and Ahmed Baba Bala, while the four for Bauchi are Musa Sani Abubakar, Mahdi Manga, Khamis Al-Hamidallah Muhammad and Sani Musa with Ondo State having one in the person of Orimisan James Okorisa and Oyo Customary Court of Appeal having Ajadi Olubukola Omolayo.
A statement by the NJC Director of Information, Mr Soji Oye, and released in Abuja, yesterday, said that all the recommended candidates are expected to be sworn-in after approval by President Muhammadu Buhari, and their respective state governors, and confirmation by the respective state Houses of Assembly.

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