Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta are to be given Niger Delta Leadership Awards 2018 by Gbaramatu Voice Newspaper, a multi-media organisation.
The award ceremony will hold at Transcorp Hotel in Abuja on Aug. 8.
Mr Jacob Abai, the Publisher of the newspaper, said in Lagos on Sunday that the awards were to reward excellence in governance.
“GbaramatuVoice wishes to announce the name of the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, as winner of Niger Delta Peace Laureate of the year award for going out of his way in sustaining peace in Niger Delta through his lectures, townhall meetings, consultations and discourses.
“His Excellency, Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, is Niger Delta Best Governor of the year on Grassroots and Rural Community Development,” he said.
Others to be awarded are the environmental rights activist and the Special Adviser to Former President Goodluck Jonathan on Niger Delta Affairs and the Chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Hon. Kingsley Kuku, who is to receive Lifetime Achivement Award.
The Chairman of Niger Delta Bishops’ Forum, Archbishop Goddowell Avwomakpa, and Comrade Joseph Evah, the Coordinator of Ijaw Monitoring Group, are also to receive Lifetime Achivement Award.
“Mr Matthew Tonlagha will receive the Niger Delta Philantropist of the year award.
“Comrade Sammy George, Chairman, Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, Rivers State will receive Niger Delta Most Active Youth Leader Award of the year for Peace, while Environmental Justice (CEPEJ), a Niger Delta based NGO, will receive Niger Delta Most Outstanding NGO of the Year award.
“Ijaw Women of America Inc, based in the U.S., will receive the Niger Delta International Most Outstanding Women Organisation Award for building solar power borehole in five Niger Delta communities.
“Comrade Daniel Ezekiel, a Niger Delta Human rights activist, will receive the Niger Delta Humanitarian Service of the year award for advocating for the rights of the common man.
“Comrade Esimaje Awani, a fomer President of Itsekiri National Youth Council, will receive Niger Delta Most Outstanding Youth Leader award, while Chief Barriater Smooth, Niger Delta Music Icon award.”
He said Chief Timipre Sylva, a former Governor of Bayelsa, would be the chairman of the occasion, while Deacon KIngsley Otuaro, the Deputy Governor of Delta would be the Chief Host.
“Prof. Yakubu Aboki Ochefu, the Chairman of Aboki Publsihers and Investment Limited will be the keynote speaker, while Prof. Tosam Harriman, Director, Centre for the Development of Social Research in Nigeria, Kano, will be the speaker.
“Royal Fathers of the Day are His Majesties, Oboro-Gbaraun II, Aketekpe, Agadagba, Pere of Gbaramati Kingdom, His Majesty, Elder (Capt.) Joseph Timiyan, Ebenanawei of Ogulagha kingdom and others.”
Abai said that the awards were created in 2015 to recognize individuals and collective contributions to the Niger Delta, “especially those undervalued and unrecognized people who are making a difference in various areas”.
“All across the Niger Delta, the nominees have demonstrated exceptional works through their philanthropism, environmental awareness, love for the Niger Delta, community service, rule of law and sundry issues,” he said.
He said that the nominees were named after a thorough scrutiny by independent evaluators.
“Categories of awards for which nominees have been shortlisted include Niger Delta Governor, philanthropist, woman, musician, Showbiz impresario, business personality, cooporate organisation, legislator and sports personality of the year.”
Political Space Is Only For Parties Ready To Take Power – Okoye
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC’s), Festus Okoye, national Commissioner on Information and Voter Education has reminded Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) that political space is meant for political parties that are ready to take power, maintaining that political associations can exist, mobilise, build structures before seeking registration, as soon as they get registered they must be ready to take power.
Okoye said this while speaking on a local media station after the High Court adjourned hearing in the case filed by 33 political parties under the auspices of IPAC, challenging their deregistration by INEC.
The national commissioner reminded IPAC that as registered political parties, they should be ready to take power, because the space was not for learning, as the electoral body would be prepared to de-register any political partyand relegate it to an association if it found out that the party failed to meet the threshold of its registration, in accordance with the 1999 Constitution.
“The political parties contesting did not meet the terms of their registration, neither did they win elections in their various states, nor met the projections. Two of the parties that went to court, Labour Party and African Democratic Party, were not deregistered. They claimed they had court injunctions and I don’t know what they are doing in court.”
“The spirit and intent of the constitution, is that political associations can exist, mobilize people, build up structures. The moment they come for registration means they are ready to take power. If you are not due for political power, you should not apply for registration, because the political space is not for learning or testing the ground”, he said.
Okoye said that 74 political parties had been deregistered and the deregistion had already taken place.
He maintained that because the 33 political parties that went to court were aware that deregistration had taken place, that was why on 14 February they filed an application in court, asking the court to reverse it.
The INEC official stated that the act had already been completed, that was why the court adjourned till 27 February for accelerated hearing.
IPAC Hails Court Order Restraining INEC From De-Registering 31 Parties
The Inter-Party Adversary Council (IPAC) has described the judgment stopping the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from deregistering political parties as victory for democracy and future generations.
National chairman of the council, Peter Ameh, who made the comment while addressing newsmen shortly after the ruling, said the late Gani Fawehinmi gave the 33 political parties that went to court the courage.
Justice Anwuli Chikere of the Federal High Court, Abuja, in her ruling, said, having failed to counter the application by the applicants, the affected political parties had the legal right, which must be protected.
In an interlocutory motion with suit number FHC/ABJ/ CS/444/19 between Advanced Congress of Democratis (ACD) and two others vs. Attorney-General of the Federation and another (INEC), the applicants had on October 30, 2019, approached the court.
The IPAC chairman insisted that there was no way the commission would have succeeded in the illegality it perpetrated against the parties and the fundamental rights of Nigerians.
“We have every reason to thank everybody who stood against this illegality, especially Okey Raph Nwosu, who, despite his party scaling the deregistration hurdle, still joined in the suit because he believed in democracy.
“We believe in the spirit of the Constitution as stated in Section 40, which gave Nigerians the right to freely belong to any political association, and the Constitution stipulated that no agency of government can restrict that right.
“We started this case since last year when we saw that there was plan to put Nigeria upside down. It is our right to defend the constitution through section 225 to challenge the commission to stop it from taking this illegal action.
“INEC should know that if the interest of a political party is to talk about free education, the party should be allowed. If the interest is to talk about tree planting in the North-East, it should be allowed to continue with it.
Group Advises Women On Increased Participation In Politics
Enugu State chapter of the Nigeria League of Women Voters, has urged women to be very active in politics to avoid marginalisation.
The state chairperson of the league, Mrs Nnenna Anozie made the call in an interview with our source in Enugu yesterday.
was a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) and a Civil Society Organisation (CSO) that aims at empowering women both politically and economically.
She said that the league encouraged women to participate in election; adding that they discovered that in the last elections, many women did not participate either as voters or contestants in the elections.
Anozie said that the organisation aimed creating more awareness on the girl child and for every woman to be aware of her civil rights in the state and the country at large.
The chairperson said the group recently visited one of the girls schools in Enugu where they shared sanitary pads, carried out sensitisation awareness on dangers of drug abuse, rape and others.
”This is one way of giving back to the society as well as empowering our women because knowledge is power. Most of them are not knowledgeable about their rights and how to keep hygiene.
”Many of them are rape victims and they are not opening up because of stigmatisation.
”We want to embark on the sensitisation drive in all the states in the country; hoping that come 2023 most of our women will be equipped to run for political offices both at the local, state and national levels,” she said.
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