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Stem Killings Of Nigerians By Boko Haram, Bandits, Wike Tasks Buhari …Pledges RSG’s Support To Members, Families Of Legionnaires …As President, VP, Service Chiefs Honour Fallen, Living Military Heroes

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Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has called on President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria to redouble efforts in fulfilling his cardinal electoral promise of securing the country.
This is as President Muhammadu Buhari, last Saturday, led the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, members of National Assembly, service chiefs and members of the diplomatic corps to honour the nation’s fallen and living military heroes.
Speaking during the 2022 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Ceremony in Port Harcourt, last Saturday, Wike said Nigeria was at the crossroads and everyone was wary about the prolonged Boko Haram insurgency in parts of the country.
According to governor, there were also the unbridled killings by bandits and the increasing insecurity in most parts of the country with members of the Armed Forces made to pay the price of containing the internal wars continuously.
“We acknowledge that some progress has been made in the fight against the insurgents. However, the generality of Nigerians believe that the progress made can’t be good enough insofar as Boko Haram, its affiliates and bandits are still active in the North-East, North-West and some other parts of the country, killing, maiming and kidnapping helpless people, including school children, and destroying and displacing hapless communities.
“We, therefore, call on Mr President to redouble his efforts and fulfil his cardinal electoral promise to secure the country and ensure that Nigerians feel safe and remain safe and secure wherever they are in their own country.”
Wike pointed to the need for the Federal Government to take as top priority, the equipping of the nation’s Armed Forces appropriately.
This, he noted, would motivate men and officers of the military to be well poised to accomplish the noble task of securing the country, and ensure that Nigerians feel safe within their various communities.
“We also count on our Armed Forces to quickly end the raging insurgency and restore peace and hope to all our distressed people and communities who bear the physical, emotional and psychological scars of war and destruction.”
Speaking further, Wike stated that officers and men of the Armed Forces were enduring symbols of national unity.
He said, Nigerians were proud of them for their principled loyalty to the nation, including their capacity and commitment to defend Nigeria’s territorial integrity, democracy and constitutional freedoms of the citizenry.
“It is also significant to appreciate that, for several families across the nation and communities, today’s remembrance ceremony is a very painful reminder of the loved ones that they lost years, months and even barely weeks ago.
“Perhaps, granting consent for a loved one to enlist into the Armed Forces knowing that he or she may die in the service remains one of the toughest decisions any parent, guardian or spouse can make.
“But they did and gave their loved ones to the service of the nation; for the love of our nation; and for the peace and security of their people.
“What they did is, therefore, a great and inspiring lesson in courage and selflessness, for which we owe them all the possible debt of gratitude, respect and honour.”
Wike stated that Nigeria has been at war for over 10 years, and that has kept the Armed Forces seriously engaged in offensive combat against terrorist groups like Boko Haram, Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP), and bandits.
These terrorist groups, Wike remarked, are fanatically bent on destroying Nigeria in vain pursuit of their devilish social, economic and religions agendas.
Wike said, in all these wars and violent conflicts, whether within or outside the nation’s shores, members of the Nigerian Armed Forces are and have been the primary victims.
“While most survived to tell their stories about the horrors of war and conflicts; some inevitably paid the ultimate price, while some others survived with horrific bodily wounds and scares.”
Wike, therefore, pledged that the Rivers State Government would continue to identify with them and support their families to cushion their pains.
He donated N50million as support fund that would help widows of the fallen heroes to have something to do to eke out a living.
In his speech, Rivers State Chairman of Nigerian Legion, ACG Justice Chichi said the Nigerian Legion has received all the financial donations made on the day of emblem launch for the 2022 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration.
He described the support from the governor and the Rivers State Government towards the success of the event and their welfare as extraordinary show of kindness.
Earlier, at the Isaac Adaka Boro Park, Wike had inspected the guard of honour mounted by men of the security agencies, and later laid the wreath at the feet of the Unknown Soldier.
Some of those who also laid wreaths included the Deputy Governor, Dr Ipalibo Harry Banigo; Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Ikunyi-Owaji Ibani; and Chief Judge of Rivers State, Justice Simeon Amadi; with the General Officer Commanding 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Sani Mohammed, leading other military commanders to lay wreaths.
Wike also released pigeons as a mark of peace for the event.
There were prayers said by military chaplains and imam for the personnel of the Nigerian Armed Forces and the ex-servicemen.
A 21-gun salute was shot in honour of deceased ex-servicemen.
Similarly, President Muhammadu Buhari, last Saturday, led the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, members of National Assembly, service chiefs and members of the diplomatic corps to honour the nation’s fallen and living military heroes.
The event, which involved laying of wreaths at the National Arcade in Abuja, was the climax of the main activities lined up to celebrate the 2022 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration (AFRDC).
First to lay the wreath was the president, followed by the vice president, the Senate president, speaker, House of Representatives and Chief Justice of Nigeria.
In another order, the Minister of Defence, Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi (rtd) and his Federal Capital Territory (FCT) counterpart, Malam Mohammed Bello, laid the wreaths.
Thereafter, the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor; the Chief of Army, Lt.-Gen. Farouk Yahaya; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Isiaka Amao; and Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Awwal Gambo, performed the exercise.
Other dignitaries, who also performed the wreath-laying ceremony, are members of the diplomatic corps and their representatives as well as Nigerian Legion and widows of late officer/soldiers represented by Hajia Aisha Lemu.
Buhari, thereafter, signed the anniversary register, and released the ceremonial pigeon as a symbol of national peace.
The celebration started with series of activities including Jumma’at prayer on January 7, at National Mosque and Interdenominational Christian service on January 9.
The AFRDC is celebrated globally to recognise and appreciate the sacrifices made by their citizens for the cause of peace.
In Nigeria, January 15 is set aside annually to honour fallen heroes who laid down their lives in service to humanity during the first and second world wars, Nigerian Civil War, peace support and various internal security operations.
The event is also used to honour veterans still alive and as a medium for soliciting financial, moral and material support for the families of the fallen heroes.

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Hold Leaders Without Character Responsible For Nigeria’s Woes -Wike

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Leading Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential aspirant and Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has said that Nigerians should be wary of those who campaigned vehemently and foisted President Muhammadu Buhari on Nigeria as its messiah, for the woes that have overwhelmed the country.
Wike specifically berated some aspirants in the PDP who caused disunity in the party in 2015, formed the new-PDP and sold out the party’s goodwill and electoral opportunities.
He made the accusation when he met with Oyo State PDP leaders and delegates in Ibadan, capital of Oyo State, yesterday, to solicit support ahead of the party’s presidential primary this month.
“The issue is, who are those who made PDP to lose election in 2015 that today we are suffering? Today, we are in opposition and trying to take power back.
“But see what the country has been turned into. Who are those who told Nigerians that President Buhari is a saint, that President Buhari will salvage Nigeria? What is their sense of judgement? Who are those aspirants who abandoned PDP, betrayed PDP and went to support President Buhari?”
Wike insisted that some PDP presidential aspirants brought Buhari to power, and now, the country is suffering for their wrong sense of judgement.
“Now, we are suffering. People are dying every day. From January to March in Kaduna, over 1,000 people have been killed. So many people have been kidnapped.”
The Rivers State governor also alluded to a similar behaviour that was demonstrated by a PDP chieftain who got immense support of the party in 2019.
Wike stated that there was need for electorate at all levels to be more concerned about the kind of people they want to entrust the leadership of the country.
The Rivers State governor said anyone who desires to govern Nigeria must be must be firm, courageous and should own up what he says.
“If it was the wrong thing that was said, say I am sorry but I have to say something as a leader. Not when you say something one minute, the next moment you say they didn’t get your approval.”
Wike said PDP and Nigeria as a while do not require theorists, but somebody who has the ability and qualities to offer focused leadership.
He explained that if he becomes the president of Nigeria, he would put the best of heads together who will work under good supervision and coordination.
According to him, anybody who fails to deliver would be relieved of the appointment.
“Nigerians know my views. I believe in restructuring. I believe in state police. You cannot stop insecurity in this country without state police which is the practice in all countries that run true federalism. Intelligence is key. Before it happens, you’ve stopped it or cage them.”
Wike insisted that Nigeria has to be rescued from the APC-led Federal Government so that sanity can be restored and conscience reinforced in public servants.
“Look at it, 42 people died in train blast, up until now, no concrete report. This is a country where a Minister of Transport, after people died in such accident and the next day, he went and collected form for Presidency.
“You’re a Minister of Education, schools have closed for how many months, the next thing, the minister went and collected form for Presidency. I have not seen a country like this, no conscience.”
In his remarks, Oyo State Governor, Engr Oluseyi Makinde, assured Wike of the support of Oyo and South-West geopolitical zone support.
“If they say Seyi Makinde and the delegates from the South-West of Nigeria are supporting Governor Wike, say there is a reason. When people come to canvass for your vote listen to them, but at the end of the day tell them this is who (Wike) we are supporting.”
Similarly, the former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, explained that South-West delegates would be meeting in Ibadan before the PDP national convention to take decision on who to support.
According to Fayose, for the first, delegates from the South-West will be speaking with one voice during the convention to pick the party’s presidential flagbearer.
“We will take a position and we will hand over the delegates to our governor, our leader (Makinde). If you like me, follow me. If you like Governor Wike, follow him. But by the grace of God we will do house meeting before we set out. We will go to Abuja with, at least, 85 to 90percent of our votes in one direction.”

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Electoral Act: S’Court Joins Rivers In Buhari, Malami’s Suit

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The Supreme Court, yesterday, okayed an application that Rivers State Government filed to be joined as a party in the suit President Muhammadu Buhari and the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami filed to void Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act, 2022.
A seven-man panel of the Justices of the apex court led by Justice Musa Dattijo, allowed the joinder application that Rivers State brought through the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Hon Ikuinyi-Owaji Ibani and the state Attorney-General, Prof Zacheaus Adangor, even as it shifted hearing on the suit till May 26.
The applicants told the court that they were opposed to the suit marked SC/CV/504/2022, which originally had the National Assembly as the sole Respondent.
President Buhari and Malami had approached the Supreme Court to contend that Section 84(12) of the Electoral (Amendment) Act, 2022, is inconsistent with the provisions of Sections 42, 65, 66, 106, 107, 131, 137, 147, 151, 177, 182, 192 and 196 of the Constitution as well as Article 2 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights.
They are, among other things, seeking, “a declaration that the joint and or combined reading of Section 65, 66, 106, 107, 131, 137, 147, 151, 177, 182, 192 and 196 of the Constitution, the provision of Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act, 2022 which also ignores Section 84(3) of the same Act, is an additional qualifying and/or disqualifying factors for the National Assembly, House of Assembly, Gubernatorial and Presidential elections as enshrined in the said Constitution, hence unconstitutional, unlawful, null and void.
“A declaration that having regard to the clear provision of Section 1(3) of the Constitution read together with section 4 of the same Constitution, the legislative powers vested in the defendant do not permit or empower it to make any other law prescribing additional qualifying/disqualifying grounds for election to the National Assembly, House of Assembly, gubernatorial and presidential election outside the express constitutional qualification and disqualification provisions as already provided in each or all of Sections 65, 66, 106, 107, 131, 137, 147, 151, 177, 182, 192 and 196 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), and without amendment to any of those sections is for the reason of inconsistency, unconstitutional, and therefore, null and void.
As well as, “An order nullifying the provision of Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act, 2022 by application of the blue-pencil rule, for being unconstitutional, illegal, null and void and having been made in excess of the legislative powers of the defendant as enshrined in Section 4 of the Constitution (as amended).”
In the same vein, the National Assembly has asked the Supreme Court to strike out the suit.
The National Assembly, in its counter-affidavit, filed by its lawyer, Kayode Ajulo, said the Supreme Court cannot be invoked to amend the provision of any law validity made by lawmakers in the exercise of their legislative powers as granted by the Constitution.
They argued that the 1999 Constitution, as amended gave the National Assembly the power to make laws for good governance.
May 11, the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, vacated the judgement of the Federal High Court in Umuahia, Abia, which voided the provisions of Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act, 2022.
The appellate court, in a unanimous decision led by Justice Hamma Akawu Barka, held that the High Court, acted without jurisdiction.
It held that the Plaintiff, Mr Nduka Edede, lacked the locus standi to institute the action.
According to the appellate court, Edede, failed to establish any cause of action that warranted him to approach the court on the issue, noting that the plaintiff was unable to prove how he was directly affected by that section of the newly amended Electoral Act.
Consequently, it struck out the suit marked: FHC/UM/CS/26/2022, which Edede filed before the Umuahia court.
Nonetheless, the appellate court, while determining the appeal on the merit, held that the said provision of the Electoral Act was unconstitutional because it was in breach of Section 42 (1)(a) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, stressing that the section denied a class of Nigerian citizens their right to participate in election.

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Experts Express Worries Over Paediatrics HIV Prevalence

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An expert in HIV/AIDS, Dr. Adesigbin Clement Olufemi, has said that in order for Nigeria to end HIV by 2030, necessary attention should be paid to checking paediatrics HIV prevalence.
Speaking at a two-day meeting on “FGN/Breakthrough Partnership, Advocacy Mapping Consultation” in Abuja, recently, Olufemi said there was the need to “expand active paediatric and adolescent HIV case-finding, using novel strategies”.
Olufemi, whose presentation was titled, “Paediatrics and Adolescent HIV Status in Nigeria: Advocacy Mapping”, also called for an improved community-focused service delivery strategies, which, he said, would focus greatly on specific identified children.
Olufemi, who is of the National AIDS, Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI), and Viral Hepatitis Control Programme (NASCP) of the Federal Ministry of Health, Abuja, and Deputy Director, Head, Treatment Care and Support at the ministry, stated the need to address demand-side barriers to uptake HIV services by children, adolescents and their families.


According to him, Nigeria will further need to implement service delivery frameworks, as well as to ensure weight-based Anti-Retroviral (ARV) prescription and transition of treatment optimisation.
These, he said, are in line with the reversed National Acceleration Plan for Paediatrics and Adolescent HIV Treatment and Care (2020-2022).
“Of course, children die of HIV because they are fragile. If we don’t find these children on time, within two years we can lose up to 50percent of them, and in five years, we can lose 80percent of them.
“Currently, Nigeria records about 12,000 children that die yearly of HIV”, he stated.

Speaking in a post-meeting exclusive interview, the Senior HIV Specialist, UNICEF, New York, Dr. Dorothy Nbori-Ngacha, explained that the essence of the two-day meeting was to work towards ending HIV/AIDS in 2030 by focusing on HIV infection in children and women.
While acknowledging that Nigeria has achieved a lot in checking HIV among adults, she stated that the country has not fared well in paediatrics infection.


“Nigeria has done something exceptionally well in adults getting tested and being placed on treatment at a high level. Over 90percent of adults needing treatment in Nigeria are already receiving treatment.
“Unfortunately, for the children, we are not doing well. Only 40percent to half the proportion we’re seeing in adults get treatment. Why are our children left behind?” she said.

By: Sogbeba Dokubo

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