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PDP Chief Tasks VON On New Exco

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The Deputy Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, Hon, Dagogo Eli Legg-Jack, has challenged the newly inaugurated executive members of the Voice of Opobo Nation (VON) to maintain the bid to keep Opobo kingdom politically-relevant in the state.

 Hon legg-Jack gave the challenge at the inauguration exercise of a 14-member executive council of the socio-political group in Port Harcourt.

 The former chairman of Opobo/Nkoro local Government Area asserted that the group had come a long way despite the turbulence that had rocked the area over the years.

According to Legg-Jack no political group was as large and formidable as VON, and therefore solicited for the commitment and steadfastness of the new exco to maintain the lead.

Earlier in his remarks, Commissioner for Works in Rivers State, Hon Dakuku Peterside recalled that after nine years he piloted the affairs, as president of the organisation he was elated that another vibrant exco had come to succeed him.

The commissioner said the group had over the years changed the political frontiers of Opobo kingdom, while expressing the hope that it would continue to lift the area to political prominence.

Advising the new exco on the challenges ahead, Hon Peterside declared, “VON requires patience, VON requires sacrifice and prayed God to give them wisdom to remain steadfast and committed in lifting the body.

He also urged members of the socio-political group to support and pray for the organisation commending them for making the transition peaceful and orderly.

The same view was re-echoed by Chairman Board of Trustee of the body, Dr Sam Sam Jaja who called on the new president and his exco to ensure that a befitting secretariat was erected for the organization before leaving office.

Dr Jaja charged the exco to, “please don’t betray the members and the exco,” adding, “Mr President please don’t joke with the elders council.

In his acceptance speech, the new president, Hon Emmanuel Oko-Jaja expressed delight for being given the opportunity to serve, promising not to misplace the mandate given to him and the exco.

Hon Oko-Jaja promised among other programmes to set up a functional secretariat for the body rejuvenate VON chapters in United Stated of America and the United Kingdom.

The VON president declared that deliberate policy to empower members of the body would be pursued through capacity building and reward for hard work.

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Yiaga Africa Blames Govt For Voters’ Apathy

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Independent election observer group, Yiaga Africa, has expressed worry that increasing voters’ apathy as witnessed in the Anambra governorship election may not have been caused by insecurity but increasing loss of confidence in government.
A board member of the group, Ezenwa Nwagwu held the view in Awka during a post-election reflection meeting with leaders of Civil Society Organizations.
Nwagwu reiterated that the ugly trend was not necessarily occasioned by insecurity that had always heralded elections in the past, but growing disconnect between the government and the masses, saying it is time populace held government to account to bridge the gap.
He said: “Election is over. Now we have to watch governance and the only way to do that is to clearly design pathways through which we can hold the government accountable.
“One of the ways is for the citizens to engage the government with budget process. Government every year estimates what it uses the people’s resources to do for them.
“Unfortunately, the people involved don’t show any interest, and four years later, the same people will start complaining that government has failed, even when there was nothing to track.
“We need to see how the Media and Civil Society groups can collaborate and produce what I call a citizen charter demand that they can hand over to the new Governor-elect.
“They can liaise with other professional bodies to conduct infrastructural assessment in the state and use that as a document to organize a town-hall meeting to engage government officials.”
Nwagwu also identified what he termed “fear and complaint industries” as major impediments to the growth and development of the state, insisting that the two factors must be shut to enable people of the state enjoy democracy dividends.
He added: “We need to close up the two industries of fear and complaint that have gripped the state, especially after the election so people can leverage the benefits of governance.
“If we continue with this scare-mongering and complaints, we will only succeed in having few persons taking over the government and dictating the pace.”

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CVR: Fresh Registrations Hit 4.2m

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said that fresh registration in the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) has hit 4,297,494.
The commission disclosed this in the second quarter, week seven, weekly update released by the commission in Abuja recently.
The commission said that as at 7 a.m. on Monday, November 22, 1,856,771 persons have completed their online and physical registration.
According to statistics provided by the commission, 1,856,771 persons who completed their registration, include 941,098 males, 915,673 females.
It also added that 741,183 persons completed their registration online, while 1,115,588 completed it through physical registration.

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Saraki Visits Benue Over Presidential Ambition 

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A former President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, has visited Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State over his ambition to vie for President in 2023.
Saraki, after a close door meeting with Governor Ortom, also met with the State Working Committee members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to familiarise them with his intention to kick start consultations for his ambition to rule the country.
He said that the nationwide defection of party loyalists from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the PDP was an indication that there might not be anyone left in the party before the next election.
“A party that cannot organise its affairs has no business leading this country. A party that has organised its affairs is ready in leading this country and that is the PDP,” he said.
Saraki added that the North Central Zone has paid its dues by working so hard in keeping the country together as one united entity just as he pointed out that, “this time we must stand for our own and charity begins at home.”
The ex -senate president, who was accompanied on the visit by former Governor of Kogi State, Idris Wada, former National Chairman of the PDP, Kawu Baraje, Senator Suleiman Adokwe and Prof Iyorwuese Hagher, Chairman of Council, Saraki for President Campaign, thanked the Benue governor for standing out for the zone.
Earlier, Governor Ortom, eulogised Saraki for being one of those Nigerians that had contributed immensely to the development of democracy.
Ortom said it was time to rescue the country from bottom, a position it was placed by the APC government, to the top, adding that Saraki deserves the presidential seat to enable him salvage the country from its current mess.
On his part, the State Chairman of the PDP, Sir John Ngbede, represented by his deputy, Isaac Mfo, said the party in the state had remained intact even as he assured the presidential hopeful that they would back his ambition to rule the country.

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