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New Ministers, Expectations And The Nation

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The Acting, president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, Tuesday April 6 inaugurated the newly reconstituted Federal Executive Council after the confirmation of the ministerial nominees by the Senate.
The new ministers took charge at a period Nigerians considered as very critical to the progress, advancement and socio political transformation of the country.
The ministers include Shekh Ahmed Abdullah – Agriculture, Awodele Najeem Adewale – (state) Agriculture, Mrs. Fidelia Njeze – Aviation, Jibril Martins Kuye – Commerce & Industry, Josephine Tapgun – state Commerce & Industry, Prof. Rugayatu Rufai – Education, Abubakar Mohammed Culture & Tourism, Bala Mohammed – FCT, Olusegun Aganga – Finance, Odein Ajumogobia SAN – Foreign Affairs, Suleiman Bello – state Health, Prof. Dora Akunyili – Information & Communications, Labaran Maku – (state) Information & Communications.
Others are Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN) – Justice, Emmanuel Iheanacho – Interior, Humphrey Abah (state) Interior, Chukwuemeka Wogu – Labour & Productivity, Musa Mohammed Sada – Mines & Steel Dev; Elder Peter Orubebe – Niger Delta Affairs, Mrs. Deziani Allison – Madueke – Petroleum Resources, Adetokunbo Kayode – Defence, Murtala Shehu Yar’Adua – (state) Defence, Nuhu Somo Wya – state Power, Adamu Waziri – Police Affairs, Muhammed Abubakar – Science & Tech, Ernest Olulabode – Special Duties, Yusuf Sulaiman – Transport, Senator Akinlabi Olasunkanmi – Youth Dev. Josephine Anenih – Women Affairs, Shamsudeen Usman – National Planning Ibrahim Isa Bio – Nat. Sports Comm. Sanusi M. Dagash – Works, Chris Ogiemwinyi – (state) Works, Nduese Essien – Lands, Housing & Urban Dev., John Odey – Environment, while the Acting President heads the Power ministry considered very critical towards achieving the administration’s goal of increase power supply generation in the country. For Nigerians, the new ministers have a lot of challenges to tackle before the 2011 general election.
However, the challenges before the Acting President and the Federal Executive Council are quite daunting and require patriotism, commitment, transparency and courage to deliver the much-needed goals of the administration within the short period left for this administration.
Perhaps the Acting President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan captured the concern of Nigerians when he told the new ministers to see their assignment as a sacred commitment to serve the nation without fear or favour.
He further charged the ministers to be transparent, accountable and act at all times with good faith in the interest of the nation and Nigerians.
But the Rivers State Chairman, Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR), N.N. Naazigha-Lue has spoken of the need for the Acting President and members of the Federal Executive Council to courageously face the monumental problems facing Nigeria and proffer solutions to them.
Such challenges as the Niger Delta problem, power generation, rising crime rate, unemployment, religious crisis, electoral reforms including the war against corruption are considered crucial issues to be addressed.
Comrade Naazigha said that “if the Acting President and the Federal Executive Council can sincerely address these myriad challenges, then Nigerians can be better off in terms of better standard of living.”
Already, Jonathan has designed a performance benchmark agreement for the ministers to evaluate their performance and goals delivering in accordance with the policy thrust of his administration.
Barrister Cornelius Dibia says the respect for the rule of law is being abused by the federal government.
According to him, agencies of government like the EFCC should be given the necessary support to intensify the war against corruption and prosecute cases pending in court with all seriousness by the Attorney General and Minister of Justice.
Meanwhile, Dickson Effiong of the University of Port Harcourt, tasks the new foreign minister, Odein Ajumogobia to positively project the image of the country within the comity of nations.
Dickson also reflected on the recent comment by the Libyan’s leader, Muhammed Gaddafi that Nigeria should be split along religious lines, saying it is a direct interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation and therefore violates the necessary African Union charter protocol. Going by the seriousness of Gaddafi’s comment, Dickson said the federal government should intensify efforts at ensuring the political stability of the nation even as it works towards restoring confidence of Nigerians in the administration and the Nigeria project.
Nigerians are also expecting the ministers of Petroleum Resources, Police Affairs, Works, and Information and Communications to play critical role in the development of the nation. According to Ben Nwakama Osa, senior lecturer at the Abia State University (Port Harcourt Study Centre), the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison-Madueke should rise to the challenge of making petroleum products available through the collaborative efforts of the independent marketers.
The university don said that the incessant petroleum scarcity leading to long quenes at the various filling stations should not be the order of the day in Jonathan administration.
Osa stated that the nation’s refineries must be resuscitated to a functional capacity by the minister.
Also speaking, Dr. Suany Obilor of the Mercy’s Clinic, Port Harcourt advised the Minister of Police Affairs to immediately address the deteriorating security situation in the country, adding that “a situation where armed men and kidnappers have taken over does not augur well for the security of Nigerians”.
The medical practitioner told the minister to face the challenge of his new assignment with determination to stem the tide of insecurity prevailing in the nation.
Nigeria’s deplorable road conditions across the nation need to be fixed. According to Engr Saka Tetenwu, the roads are now death traps to travellers, and Nigeria can not afford to waste her citizens.
The Minister of information and communication has the onerous tasks of adequately publicising and informing Nigerians on government programme and polices.
Certainly, uneasy lies the head that wears the crown. Time is not on the ministers’ side. They have the onerous task of making the remaining part of this administration a transformatory period. They must fulfil the social and moral contract with the people.
Tough national assignment, no doubt! All the ministers must stand on the side of history to give a new meaning to good governance. Nigerians do not expect anything less than a functional road network, improved agricultural production, addressing some of the major challenges in the oil and gas industry to boost national economy and fast-tracking rural development.
By and large, the size of the portfolio is not important to deliver quality services. What matters most is the contribution of each of the ministers in moving the nation forward. The ministers have the opportunity within the little period left to see what positive impact they can bring into the system or be messed up at the end of the day.

Philip-Wuwu Okparaji

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Ahead 2027: Pro-Tinubu Group Sets Up Structures In APC

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The Mandate Movement (TMM), a pro-President Bola Tinubu group in the All Progressives Congress (APC), has set up 37 structures in a bid to enlarge its membership base across the country.
The structures consist of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja.
The national leader of the movement, Cardinal James Odunmbaku, made this known in a statement, explaining that the move became necessary for the ease of administration.
Cardinal Odunmbaku, in the statement, noted that this move was a precursor to the preparations for the 2027 general election.
He stressed that the move aims at ensuring that the APC has strong dominance across communities and towns in every part of the country.
He advised those to be appointed as state coordinators to be more effective in mobilising new people into the ruling APC.
The APC chieftain also used the opportunity to appeal to Nigerians to be patient with the President Bola Tinubu’s administration, assuring that the government was taking steps to address the harsh economic challenges.

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Benue APC Crisis: Court Sacks Acting State Chairman

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The recently suspended Benue State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Austin Agada, has been reinstated by a Makurdi High Court presided over by the Chief Judge of the State, Justice Maurice Ikpambese.
Recall that Mr Agada was earlier in the month suspended from office by another Benue High Court in Aliade presided over by Justice Lilian Tsumba following an ex parte motion filed by Mr Moses Agaba against him and the APC after his Ihaje Ward I Executive in Ogbadibo Local Government Area had passed a no-confidence vote on him and also suspended him for alleged anti-party activity.
The suspension was immediately followed by the inauguration of Mr. Benjamin Omakolo from Igoro Ward, Apa LGA as the acting State Chairman during a State Executive Committee meeting of the party presided over by Governor Hyacinth Alia.
However the crisis in the party took a dramatic turn Monday when Justice Ikpambese reinstated Mr. Agada while ruling on a motion by the embattled chairman seeking to set aside the interim order restraining him from parading himself as  Chairman.
After listening to the arguments of counsel to Moses Agaba, Mr. Johnson Usman, and that of Innocent Daagba, who appeared alongside Richard Ayilla, George Ushongo, Daniel Sorkaa and John Ifer who appeared  for Mr. Agada, Justice Maurice Ikpambese vacated the order restraining him from parading self, function and acting as the Chairman of the APC in the State.
Justice Ikpambese ruled that “under Order 39, rule 3 of the Benue State High Court Procedure Rules, 2023, the lifespan of an interim order is seven days, and since the order was issued on February 2, 2024, it has elapsed by law.”
Justice Ikpambese nullified the appointment of Benjamin Omakolo as acting Chairman and any other appointment made from February 2, 2024.
He accordingly struck out the motion seeking to set aside the interim order of February 2, 2024, as “it has been overtaken by events.”
The matter would be assigned to another Judge by the Chief Judge who would hear it on its merit.
Reacting, the APC State acting Chairman, Mr. Omakolo dismissed the reinstatement of Mr. Agada saying “whether the order restraining him (Agada) from parading himself as the Chairman is vacated or not, the fact that he has been suspended by his Ward still places a ban on him to be able to function as APC Chairman in Benue State. “And it will interest you to know that in the court ruling today, no matter concerning my person or role as the acting Chairman was mentioned.
“So, I still remain the valid acting State chairman of the APC in Benue State. I remain the one who pilots the affairs of the APC in Benue State and the APC family takes instructions and directives from my office as the acting Chairman of APC in the State.
“And even that wrong vacation that was done in the High Court has already been appealed. The person that took him to court has appealed the judgement because it is not correct in law for a High Court to restrain another High Court, a court of coordinate jurisdiction. I have long assumed office as the acting Chairman of APC in Benue State.”

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There’s No Changing Bayelsa Gov’ship Result – Diri

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Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri, has said that the November 11, 2023, governorship election in the State has been won and lost and cannot be changed through subterranean moves of his main rival in the poll.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the incumbent governor winner of the election and presented certificates of return to him and the deputy governor-elect, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, on November 17, 2023.
Diri, who spoke on Monday during the first year memorial service of his late father, Pa Abraham Diri, at the St Peter’s Anglican Church, Sampou, Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area, said the subpoena to the police to testify as witness at the election petition tribunal by the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Chief Timipre Sylva, was diversionary, a waste of time and an exercise in futility.
He said the acceptable standard was the election result declared by INEC and not that of the police.
His words, “they are bringing a police report. They are bringing a police commissioner to come and testify in the election tribunal. We have crossed that bridge long ago. Just as we stopped them from rigging, we will stop them again.
“If you want to subpoena anybody, let it be INEC, which conducted the election and declared the results. The police are in charge of security.
“Let us be steadfast. Our second tenure will be better than the first.”
The governor eulogised his father for laying a solid foundation for him and his siblings.
According to him, his father was being celebrated a year after his death because he left good legacies that were speaking through him and his siblings.
He said: “His impact upon our lives, his children and relatives, is unspeakable. That is why I believe in giving the best education to children, so that whether you are alive or not, they can stand anywhere. I urge fellow Bayelsans to give their children good education.
“What we are doing today is to appreciate God and celebrate the life of our father for what he has done in our lives. Our father guided us very well. All his life was how to discipline and give what he had to society.
“Those of us in leadership as president, governors, Speakers and other positions, let us know that there is a legacy we should leave, which will speak for us when we leave this world.”
Speaking on the topic: “What will you be remembered for?” Rev. Funkuro Amgbare, Bishop of the Diocese of Northern Izon of the Anglican Communion, noted that Pa Diri was being remembered a year after his death because he impacted positively on his children and the society.
He admonished all to live a life worth remembering by maintaining their integrity.

 

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