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IBB, Jonathan, Shagari Absent At Council Of States

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Former military Head of State, Gen Ibrahim Babangida (rtd), ex-Presidents Goodluck Jonathan, Alhaji Shehu Shagari and Chief Ernest Shonekan, were conspicuously absent at yesterday’s Council of States meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
This is as the Senate President Bukola Saraki was hailed on arrival by the Sokoto State Governor, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal as he sauntered into the venue of the meeting.
As at the time the meeting started few minutes after 11am before journalists left the venue, only three former Presidents, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, retired Generals Yakubu Gowon and Abdulsalami Abubakar were at the venue alongside President Muhammadu Buhari.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo arrived after the national anthem and the opening prayers were said.
The meeting was the third Council of States meeting held under the democratic administration of President Buhari.
The Council of States meeting is always attended by former Presidents or Head of States, serving and former Chief Justices of Nigeria (CJNs), serving Senate President and Speaker, House of Representatives as well as State Governors.
Aside President Buhari and the three other past presidents, the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President, Bukola Saraki and four former Chief Justices of Nigeria were seated at the Council Chamber, the venue.
The past four CJNs present were Idris Kutigi, Alfa Balgore, Mariam Aloma Muktar and Mohammed Uwais, while the serving CJN, Walter Onnoghen was absent, though unconfirmed report has it that the serving CJN was not a member of the Council of States.
Also absent as at the commencement of the meeting was the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara.
Others also present at the meeting included state Governors of Adamawa, Benue, Kebbi, Jigawa, Delta, Lagos, Nasarawa, Abia, Sokoto, Imo, Bauchi, Akwa Ibom, Kano, Plateau, Ogun, Rivers, Zamfara, Ebonyi, Kaduna.
The meeting started when President Muhammadu Buhari arrived the Council Chamber, venue of the meeting, and went round to shake hands with those present.
The first meeting under Buhari was held on October 21, 2015, while the second was held in September, 2016.
The National Council of State is chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari, with Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo as deputy chairman.
The opening prayers were said by Gowon and Uwais, respectively.
The meeting focused on issues of insecurity in the country as well as the coming elections in 2019.
Officials from Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) also attended to brief the council on preparations ahead for the 2019 elections.
Obasanjo, who was five minutes late, rushed when a minute silence was being observed in honour of the late former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Dahiru Musdapher.
He then went straight to shake hands with Buhari, Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Abdulsalami Abubakar, before taking his seat.
The deputy governors of Bayelsa and Enugu also attended the meeting.
The Council of State is an organ of the Federal Government saddled with the responsibility of advising the executive on policy making.
Its duties include advising the president in the exercise of his powers with respect to the National population census and compilation, publication and keeping of records and other information concerning the same; prerogative of mercy; award of national honours; the Independent National Electoral Commission (including the appointment of members of that Commission); the National Judicial Council (including the appointment of the members, other than ex-officio members of that Council); the National Population Commission (including the appointment of members of that Commission).
The council also advises the president whenever requested to do so on the maintenance of public order and on such other matters as the he may direct.
It was gathered that the hailing of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki by the Sokoto State governor may not be unconnected with the recent removal of the Chairman of Northern Governors’ Forum, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, last Wednesday, by majority of senators from the North, and his replacement with Senator Aliyu Wammako, former governor of Sokoto State.

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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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