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Gbajabiamila Pushes For Transformation Of Education

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The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, has urged governments at all levels to fashion out ways of transforming the educational sector to strengthen the capacity of  Nigerian youth.
In a message to commemorate the International Youth Day, the speaker noted that the essence of education was to proffer solutions to challenges confronting society.
The statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Lanre Lasisi, was made available to newsmen last Monday in Abuja.
The theme for the 2019 International Youth Day is:  ‘Transforming Education.’
According to him, governments at all levels have the primary responsibility of ensuring that every Nigerian is given access to basic and qualitative education.
He said that democracy and good governance would thrive in an atmosphere where a sizeable proportion of the populace was  educated and well enlightened about their civic responsibilities.
While assuring Nigerians that the 9th House of Representatives under his leadership would prioritise issues concerning the education sector, Gbajabiamila emphasised that revamping the sector had become imperative.
Gbajabiamila had, in 2016, during his tenure as the House Majority Leader in the 8th assembly, sponsored a bill to provide access to higher education for Nigerians through interest-free loans.
The bill, which has been reintroduced in the 9th assembly and has gone through first reading, proposed a Nigeria Education Bank.
The bank, when established, is expected to provide educational support for all Nigerians without any discrimination.
“As we celebrate the International Youth Day, I intend to use the office of the speaker and the instrumentality of the law to fast-track passage of this and other bills that are capable of restoring hope to our youths.
“The idea is to reposition the youths for the tasks of nation-building and global competitiveness.
“It is indisputable that global economy is knowledge-driven, while the private sector has continued to play a leading and pivotal role in the economic development of states and nations.
“This is why we need to transform the Nigerian educational system and why the youths should be encouraged to broaden their skills,”  he said.

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A’Ibom Rerun: PDP, Ekpeyong Dare Akpabio

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Following the ruling by the Appeal Court in Calabar Cross River State, ordering a rerun of the National Assembly elections in Essien Udim Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, the Peoples’ Democratic Party as well as the Senator representing Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District, Senator Chris Ekpenyong have expressed optimism to come out victorious in the rerun.
Ekpenyong and the PDP who said they were never daunted with the ruling of the Appeal court challenged Godswill Akpabio to, first of all, resign his position as the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and face a rerun, adding that they would defeat him in the polls as they ‘did before.’
The Appeal Court in Calabar on Saturday cancelled the National Assembly elections in Essien Udim Local Government Area, one out of the ten local government areas that constitute the Akwa Ibom North-West Federal constituency due to reported cases of irregularities and violence.
The court added that election results in the other nine local governments remained valid, leaving Akpabio to scout for 38,056 votes in that local government to upturn the victory of his opponent, Senator Ekpenyong.
Results obtained from the other nine local government, excluding Essien Udim Local Government Area showed that Senator Chris Ekpenyong leads with 114, 973 votes while Akpabio has 76,917.
The Independent National Electoral Commission had said that only 19,455 voters were accredited in Essien Udim local government area.
Meanwhile, the PDP State Publicity Secretary, Ini Ememobong in a statement on Saturday described the Appeal court judgement as an opportunity to widen the margin of victory for the PDP.
According to him, “We welcome the judgement of the Court and hereby indicate our preparedness for elections, as this will provide an opportunity for us to widen the margin of victory against Rt. Hon. Emman Akpan, Senator Akpabio and the APC. We are expectant that the Senator will very soon tender his resignation from his ministerial office to meet us in the campaign field, as the law demands.
“Our party urges the general public to ignore the false stories being peddled by members of the opposition, APC, about the judgement- which specifically ordered a rerun in Essien Udim Local Government Area alone. It is on record that the margin of victory currently outstanding is in tens of thousands of votes, which has not been affected by the judgement of the court.”

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Dogara Harps On Patriotic Leadership

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Former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has stated that only patriotic citizens at the helm of affairs can save the nation from its series of challenges.
He stated this on Saturday at the 8th and 9th convocation ceremonies of Achievers University, Owo, Ondo State where he was honoured with PhD and subsequently installed as the second Chancellor of the private university succeeding Senator Bode Olajumoke who was installed January 28, 2012.
The federal lawmaker noted that those who are not preoccupied with their parochial ambitions could rescue the nation from the socio-political and economic challenges.
Dogara said: “Nigeria needs true patriots -those who will place premium on the pursuit of freedom rather than the pursuit of personal happiness. This is true if Nigeria would be a great country, especially now that demagogues who are immune to the norms of established society litter the political landscape.”
Meanwhile, the best graduating students in the 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 are Sofowora Erioluwa and Jolapamo Titilayo respectively.
Out of the 400 graduates who graduated from 15 departments, 22 of them had First Class, 217 got second class upper division, 130 second class lower division and 31 had third class.
Other personalities honoured with PhD are Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, Mrs Olusola Momoh, vice chairman of Channels Television and Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah.
The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Samuel Ibiyemi charged the Federal Government to give the private universities access to research grants like their public counterparts.

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Bayelsa Poll: INEC Boss, NYSC DG Warn Corps Members

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The Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu and Director-General, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim, have warned corps members looking to serve as INEC ad hoc personnel at the November 16 Bayelsa State gubernatorial election to play by the electoral laws.
Yakubu urged them to avoid actions that may undermine the integrity of the election.
He stated this yesterday in Yenagoa while addressing corps members during a sensitization forum.
The INEC boss also disclosed that adequate security has been provided for all Corps members and Corps lodges in the state during and after the election.
Mahmood, who described Corps members as the most reliable, dedicated and committed electoral officers promised prompt payment of all Corps members’ entitlements  through their bank accounts.
NYSC DG, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim said the involvement of Corps members in the country’s electoral system has added more credibility to previous elections.
He described Corps members, as patriotic Nigerians on national assignment that deserve proper welfare from every Nigerian.
‘Be neutral and non-partisan because NYSC would not tolerate any Corps member that violates the Electoral Act’, he said.
General Ibrahim also advised them to be security conscious and look for escape routes in case of emergency.
“Be courteous when dealing with the electorates, caution yourself when provoked and ensure that your phone is fully charged with enough call cards during the election.
‘Run for your dear lives in case of any emergency and don’t endanger your safety’, the DG added.

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