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Group Begs Wike Over Youth Bodies’ Ban

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President of Indigenous  Youth Bodies of Nigeria, Comrade Bright Abali has made a plea to Rivers State Government to lift ban on youth activities in the state.
Abali made the plea during a chat with The Tide as part of it activities to mark this year’s World Youth Day on Monday.
The youth leader said rather than proscribing youth bodies outrightly, the governor should evolve measures to ensure that only recognised and screened youths are allowed to operate in their communities.
“We are begging him, because we know he is a father and he has a listening ear” Abali submitted.
Abali further suggested that formal youth bodies that are registered while those not registered should be banned from operating.
He agreed that though miscreants and cultists have infiltrated youth activism in the state but that it was hasty to give a blanket proscribtion on all of them.
Abali recalled that while he was president of Omoku Youth body, he championed the elimination of all forms of gangsterism and cultism in the area,  stating that “ it was my effort that gave birth to OSPAC.”
Speaking in the theme of this year’s International youth day, which highlighted the importance of education as tool for youth development, Abali urged government to provide scholarships, and educational programmes for youths.
He also advised young people to shun cultism and embrace education as that is one tool that can arm them to contribute to governance and lead in the future.

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INEC Conducts By-Elections In 11 States …Swears In Two RECs

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The Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu  has said the agency was ready for the conduct of by-elections in 28 constituencies across 11 states.
He said the agency will ensure a credible exercise, urging stakeholders to cooperate with its officials on electoral duty.
Yakubu spoke in Abuja during the swearing in of two Resident Electoral Commissioners.
They are Dr. Alalibo Sinikiem Johnson from Bayelsa State and Umar Mukhtar Gajiram from Borno State.
Johnson  replaces the former REC of Cross River State while Gajiram replaces the former REC of Taraba State  who died a few months ago.
Johnson holds a BSc. Degree in Political Science and a Master’s and Doctorate degrees in Peace and Conflict Studies. Until this appointment, he was a lecturer at the Niger Delta University in Bayelsa State.
Gajiram holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English Language and a Master’s degree in Public Administration. He served in various capacities in the Borno State Civil Service until his retirement as  director.
Yakubu congratulated the new commissioners, urging them to live to expectation.
He said as officers responsible for the implementation of the commission’s policies, they will exercise supervisory control over personnel, resources and the legal and administrative processes in their states.
He added: “You will also interact with various categories of stakeholders. In doing so, you must maintain the required openness and consultation.
“At the same time, you must be very firm in the discharge of your responsibilities.”
Yakubu said RECs can be deployed to any state as dictated by the exigencies of service, but clarified that they will never be posted to their states of origin throughout their tenure.
He said their deployment came three days to the conduct of re-run elections by court order.

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Minister Tasks Govs On Digital Economy Policy 

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The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, has urged state governors to key into the federal government’s  Natio-nal Digital Economy policy and strategy.
Recall that on November 29, 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari, unveiled the National Digital Economy Policy, initiated by the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.
As part of key requirements of the e-government master plan, the President had directed government institutions, “to create a digital transformation technical working group that will work with the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy to ensure seamless and co-ordinated implementation of projects, programmes and policies
Pantami made the call while speaking with newsmen, shortly after his presentation to the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) meeting held on Wednesday night in Abuja.
He said implementation of that digital economy launched in November 2019 by President Muhammadu Buhari, would not be possible without the support and willingness of state governors.
“We are here to encourage them to key into the National Digital Economy policy and strategy for a digital Nigeria.
“Our target is to achieve a digital Nigeria in 2030. So, the work is not only for the federal government, it is for federal, state and local governments.
“We presented the policy of digital economy, We outlined the eight pillars and the role they are supposed to play as state governors.”
Pantami said that the delegation also presented to the governors intervention the federal government had in place to support states which wanted to start the process.
He said that interested states were expected to indicate interest, while the federal government through the ministry in collaboration with its agencies, would set up  a team on how such states could be  supported.
He explained that each state was supposed to develop its digital economy strategy based on their peculiar challenges and the level it had attained.
If we produce the documents, Federal Government through the Ministry and prastatal will see what we can do as intervention for them when it comes to training, infrastructure required to start the process.

“Many states have indicated interest. We can provide that intervention in order to start the implementation.
“We are in partnership now with International Business Machine (IBM) World Bank, Africa Development Bank and many more .
“They are willing to training millions of Nigerians. So any governor that is interested, then the state will be considered for training  where we are going to train digital skills, innovators and entrepreneurs in the country.
“Today if you look at unemployment, you will agree with me that it is a bomb. We need to address it immediately and the only way we can do is to focus more on creating potential employers instead of creating potential employees where there are  no job opportunities,” he said.

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National Chairmanship Of APC: Court Saves Oshiombole

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An FCT High Court, yesterday turned down an Exparte Application filed by the National Vice Chairman North East of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Mustapha Salihu, the factional Chairman of the APC in Edo state, Anselm Ojezua and others, seeking to compel Comrade Adams Oshiomhole to vacate office as the national chairman of the party.
A faction of the party loyal to Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki had called for removal of Oshiomhole whom they claimed has been suspended by the party in the state.
However, the move to remove Oshiomhole as national chairman was frustrated when the court refused to grant the Ex Parte motion filed by Salihu, Ojezua and others.
The court ordered that the Defendants (Oshiomhiole, APC and others) be put on notice before the motion is heard so as to ensure fair hearing.
In a motion filed by their Counsel, Oluwole Afolabi, Comrade Mustapha Salihu, Ojezua & others asked the court to stop the Defendant (Oshiomhole) from parading himself as national chairman of the APC just as they urged the Inspector General of Police, the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS) not to allow the Defendant access to the office of the chairman pending the determination of the Motion on Notice in the suit.
When the matter came up for hearing, yesterday, Counsel to Oshiomhole and APC, Demian D. Dodo (SAN) told the court that they had not been served any notice and drew the court’s attention to the Memorandum of Appearance and Undertaking to Accept Service of processes on behalf of the 1st & 2nd Defendants.

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