The Ogun State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr Afolabi Afuape, has listed the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent #EndSARS protest as contributory reasons for the delay in conducting council elections in the state.
Afuape disclosed this yesterday while speaking to newsmen after the foundation-laying ceremony of a Primary Health Centre in Oke Egunya, Agooba area, being constructed by Abeokuta South Local Government.
The commissioner said that year 2020 had witnessed series of issues which had really affected some government programmes and activities.
He said that in the next few weeks, the state government would constitute the Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission (OGSIEC) in order to commence the process for the Local Government (LG) elections.
“Year 2020 has been of crisis, from COVID-19 to #EndSARS protest. We came in as commissioners in January and the pandemic started in February or March.
“If we inaugurate OGSIEC today, it won’t take six months to conduct elections with three months to settle down and others; funding is another critical issue that should be looked into .
“We want to have LG election, we don’t want to write the House of Assembly every three months for extension of LG transition committee members. OGSIEC should be set up in the next few weeks, “Afuape said.
The commissioner commended the Chairman of Abeokuta South Local Government for bringing the construction of the Primary Health Centre closer to the people of Oke Egunya.
Afuape said that the health centre, when completed, would go a long way in meeting the immediate health challenges of the people.
In her goodwill message, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Tomi Coker, disclosed that the present government led by Governor Dapo Abiodun had rehabilitated over 236 primary health centres across the state.
Coker promised that the health centres currently being constructed by the local government, when completed, would be fully equipped with modern health facilities by the state government.
The Chairman of the council, Mr Ayodeji Shomide, in his address, promised that the project would be completed within three months.
Shomide appealed to the Commissioner for Health to assist in equipping the health centre with state-of-the-art facilities for the benefit of the masses when completed.
“We have five health centres in the local government and we discovered that they cannot meet the healthcare needs of our populace, especially in this period of COVID -19 pandemic and other diseases.
“That is why we felt the health facility should be constructed closer to the people, so that they do not need to travel far to access healthcare services,” he said.
Ex-APC National Chairman Tasks Party On Responsive Leadership
Chief John Odigie-oyegun, former National Chairman, All Progressives Congress APC), has charged the party’s leaders to be more progressive and responsive to the people.
He said this at the public presentation of a book”APC’S Litmus Test, Nigerian Democracy and Politics of Change”, written by Dr Salihu Lukman, Director-General, Progressives Congress Forum (PGF) in Abuja, yesterday.
“We are in charge today, a progressive government, a progressive regime, and I think it is proper that we show to the nation that when the people want some degree of change, “we should be responsive to it, we should address it, compromises have to be made, there’s no question about that,” Odigie-Oyegun said.
He added that the APC document on true federalism was still being worked upon before its release.
Odigie-Oyegun said the ideas of people from different parts of the country would be different up to the extent that they would want to go with the proposals in the document.
He said it was however, necessary, vital and mandatory in the interest of the survival of the country that issues regarding federalism were addressed.
“We cannot continue to allow the subject to become something that threatens our nation at any turn.
“So, the earlier we address it, the earlier we show that as a party we are responsive to the feelings of the people, the desires of the people and the wants of the people.
“It becomes easier then, to diffuse the kind of stresses that the nation is passing through today,”Odigie-Oyegun said.
He added that for those at the formation of the APC, the uniqueness of its Constitution and its manifesto promised change was meant by all members with their hearts and beings.
He said unfortunately, the forces of economics had made things not quite the way it was planned.
The APC former national chairman said there was need for the party members to do everything possible to keep it not just alive but very virile.
He added that in spite of general belief, the APC was one party that had put together things that meant hope for the country.
He said the fact that things were bad and people were angry and hungry was not questionable, saying that these were worldwide phenomenon.
Odigie-Oyegun decried the current security challenge in the country.
“It is my hope that we will begin to get control of the security of this nation,” he said.
PDP Rep Harps On Justice, Dialogue To Secure Nigeria
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), House of Representatives member has enjoined Nigerian leaders to tow the path of justice, equity, dialogue, and rule of law in the country.
Rep. Toby Okechukwu, the Deputy Minority Leader of the House, said this in a statement issued on Saturday in Abuja to commemorate the Democracy Day
He added that such path would help to arrest worsening insecurity and arrest separatist agitations across the country.
Okechukwu said that opportunities still abound in preserving the nation’s democracy and reconstruct the union to a more workable piece.
He said that June 12 was designated Democracy Day in honour of a symbol of the nation’s democratic struggles, the late Chief MKO Abiola.
He added that Abiola was unjustly denied the opportunity to exercise an overwhelmingly popular mandate handed him by the Nigerian people on June 12 1993, but only to be celebrated at death.
“The greatest debt the governments and leaders of Nigeria owe every part of this country and every Nigerian is a sense of justice and equity according to the letters and spirit of our constitution.
“The golden rule of justice is to do unto others as you would have them to unto you,” he said.
He called on the Federal Government to take conscious steps to do things that would promote national unity and earn it loyalty.
He also called on leaders to be proactive in creating a clement environment for peace to reign to arrest the present security challenges in the country.
Okechukwu commended the leaders of the South East and the Federal Government for the June 11, dialogue in Enugu to deescalate tension in the region.
He stated that it was a right step that should be sustained and replicated nationwide, while wishing Nigerians a happy Democracy Day.
Democracy Day: PDP Lawmakers Wants Observance Of Rule Of Law
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caucus in the House of Representatives has called for strict observance of the rule of law to improve democratic practice in the country.
The caucus made the call in a statement by its Leader, Rep. Kingsley Chinda (PDP-Rivers) last Saturday in Abuja.
Chinda called for an environment that would guarantee freedom of speech and standard operations for the fourth estate of the realm.
The lawmaker stressed the need to place greater value on Nigerian lives and for decisive and pragmatic steps to end the avoidable deaths in the country.
He called on the government to restrain the Police and other security agencies from further unleashing violence on unarmed youths and other peaceful protesters.
“They choose to go out and exercise their rights in commemoration of Democracy Day.
“June 12 is a symbol of democratic freedom and supremacy of the people’s power and should be respected by ensuring that all the tenets of democracy are adhered to in all ramifications.
“June 12 is not only about introspection, it is about renewing the commitments of all to the growth of democracy in our dear county.
“It is about ensuring that our country is never again enveloped by darkness, hemmed to the abyss by the sinister forces that threaten our collective rights and freedoms,” he said.
Chinda urged all Nigerians to hold on to democratic principles in spite of the challenges facing the country saying that “good will triumph over evil.”
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