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Independence: CSOs To Engage 60 Youths To Write Essays On Nigeria’s Circumstances

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African Centre for Media and Information Literacy in partnership with Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement (YIAGA) Africa, TechHer and some media organisations, says it will engage young Nigerians to produce 60 essays dwelling on how to make the country great.
The coordinator of the centre Dr Chido Onumah, said this at a news conference, yesterday in Abuja.
He said that the aim of the project was to produce a book of 60 essays entitled “60 years of 60 voices –Essays on Nigeria at 60’’.
Onumah, who listed the media partners as Sahara Reporters, Oak TV and Premium Times Books said the project was part of the group’s activities to mark Nigeria’s 60th independence.
He said the group involved young Nigerians because they were the critical change agents to help the country understand and sharpen its focus on those issues that held the key to its collective survival as a people.
He said that Nigeria was faced with a lot of challenges ranging from leadership issues, insecurity, out-of-school children, poverty and economy among others.
Onumah added that these issues and more were what would be addressed in the proposed book.
“These essays on Nigeria will examine Nigeria’s social economic and political situation and explore the options open to us, suggest solutions and how to actualize them.
“The essays will take a critical look at the country’s democratic experiment since independence in 1960, where the country is today and some of the major issues that have dogged the country’s march to genuine democracy and nationhood.
“The idea is to generate enough public conversation that can push for and bring about the desired change in the country,” he said.
Onumah said that the essays would also focus on different aspects of the national life, including whether the “fundamental question of nation building that began six decades ago has been fully and or properly answered.’’
He said that the essays would further reveal the lessons learnt or needed to be learnt as a nation 60 years after independence.
He added that the book hoped to document the failures, success and the way out of the cul-de-sac Nigeria found itself.
Onumah said that part of the idea behind the book was to get young Nigerians who ventilate their frustrations and solutions daily on social media to articulate their ideas.
He added it would also enable them to articulate solutions in a compendium that would be used for social and political mobilisation.
He said contributors would be post civil war youths across the nation not more than 50 years old with progressive ideas about building a united society to rekindle hope and bring the country out of its situation.
He said that the new decade would be a defining moment for Nigeria which would be 60 years after independence and 50 years after the civil war.
Onumah said it was important that a new generation of citizens was challenged to reposition the country.
“It is our expectation that the essays in the book would analyse the realities in the socio-economic, political and cultural life of the country since independence.
“It will also answer questions on why Nigeria remains a giant with clay feet despite the availability of abundant human and mineral resources envied by others,” Onumah said.
Ms Safiya Bichi, Head of Research, YIAGA Africa, said that the project raised awareness of Nigeria among youths who seemed disconnected from the history of the nation and challenge them to work towards the future of the nation.
Bichi said that the project would also help the government in planning and raise youths with patriotic spirit that would help lead the nation on the path of growth and development.

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Gov Emmanuel Shuts Borders, Suspends Ibom Air

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Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has ordered the closure of all borders and roads leading to the state with immediate effect.
The governor also directed that Ibom Air suspends all flight operations with effect from Sunday, March 29.
The Secretary to the State Government, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem, disclosed this in a statement in Uyo, yesterday.
Emmanuel was quoted as directing that workers in the state should stop work with effect from Monday, March 30 for one week. “Following a critical analysis of the situation relating to COVID-19 situation, I have been directed by His Excellency, Mr Udom Emmanuel to make the following announcements:
“Salaries of state government workers for the month of March will be paid on or before Friday, March 27, 2020.
“Workers are advised to prepare to stop going to work and stay at home for one week with effect from Monday, March 30, 2020. The stay-at-home order will be strongly enforced. March 30, 2020. The stay-at-home order will be strongly enforced.
“All borders and roads leading in and out of the state are closed with immediate effect; except for transportation of food items. Ibom Air will suspend all flight operations from Sunday, March 29, 2020.
“Markets are to remain open for sale of foodstuff and essential items only,” Emmanuel said.
The governor appealed to all Churches in the state to fast t situation. and pray on Sunday, March 29 for God’s intervention in the present situation.
He added that while the one week stay at home order would be on, government would continue to monitor the situation and provide update on the coronavirus in the state.
“While the one week stay-at-home order subsists, the Akwa Ibom State government will continue to monitor and provide regular updates on any development in the COVID-19 situation in our state,” he said.

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Partisan Politics: Awuse Wants Civil Servants Isolated

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Elder statesman and chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, Chief Sergeant Awuse, has said civil servants should be isolated from partisan politics in order to achieve maximum productivity.
Chief Awuse stated this in his remarks at the public presentation of the book, ‘A Handbook on Discipline of Civil Servants in Nigeria’ written by the State Head of Service (HOS), Rufus Godwins in Port Harcourt, recently.
“He stated, “By 1971/72 when we finished our secondary school, I was in Ministry of Establishment. The Permanent Secretary that they had then, if I may say, was a position that many people wanted to have. They were secure. I will want the writer in subsequent review to consider the importance of career civil servants and not political permanent secretaries.
“The reason is simple. Loyalty is always the ingredient for their appointment. But those days, permanent secretaries were judged by their ability to deliver, their ability to perform and they were more secured. I know you may not include that in your book now for obvious reasons.
“But in future, when you are reviewing, please make sure you mention that area. But remember, in every sector today, the politicians are also very important.
“The important thing is that future civil servants should be isolated from partisan politics. They should be allowed to function and use their brains. They should be allowed to do the job, irrespective of which party is in government,” he stated, noting that it was difficult to get the best out of the civil service with frequent rotation.
“Some of them are afraid to function properly because they know that the words that are used that ‘I am directed’. If you are not directed properly you are on your way out,” the elder statesman noted.

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Lagos Assembly Lifts Suspension On Four Lawmakers

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The Lagos State House of Assembly, yesterday, reinstated four of its members earlier suspended indefinitely over alleged misconduct and insubordination.
The Speaker, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, made the announcement during the plenary in Lagos.
The House, had on March 9, passed a resolution sacking two of its principal officers and suspending two members indefinitely for alleged misconduct, insubordination and action that could destabilise the House.
The speaker announced the punitive measures following the voice votes by members present during the plenary.
He said the principal officers that were removed included the Chief Whip, Mr Rotimi Abiru and Deputy Majority Leader, Mr Olumuyiwa Jimoh.
The speaker also announced the suspension of Mr Moshood Oshun (Lagos Mainland Constituency II) and Mr Kazeem Raheem Adewale (Ibeji Lekki Constituency II).
The offices of the four lawmakers in the House were subsequently locked by the Speaker on March 10.
Obasa said on Thursday during plenary, that the House decided to lift their suspension following the intervention by the Governor’s Advisory Council and the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“The Governor’s Advisory Council and the National leader of our party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, have intervened in the crisis and directed that the House should reinstate the suspended lawmakers.

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