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PDP Zones National Offices – Denies Makarfi’s Presidential Ambition

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Ahead of the national convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) slated for December 9, the party has released its zoning arrangements for the various offices at the national level.
According to a report presented by the Chairman of the Zoning Committee, and Ebonyi State Governor, Chief Dave Umahi, the position of national chairman was zoned to the South, comprising the South-West, South-East and the South-South, while the North takes the position of national secretary.
A statement signed by the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Prince Adedayo Adedeye clarified that the party will now have two deputy national chairmen, one for the North and one for the South.
Other positions zoned to the South include those of the national treasurer, national legal adviser, national publicity secretary, deputy national woman leader, deputy national auditor and deputy national financial secretary.
The report indicated that the North, comprising the three geopolitical zones in the region will share the positions of national secretary, national financial secretary, national youth leader, national auditor, national woman leader, deputy national treasurer, deputy national organising secretary, deputy national publicity secretary, deputy national legal adviser and deputy national secretary.
Each of the six geopolitical zones is to present a national vice chairman who will be included in the party’s National Working Committee (NWC).
The committee said that under the new zoning arrangement, all positions are to be keenly contested by aspirants from all the states that fall under the region to which the offices are zoned.
Speaking while presenting of the report to the caretaker committee of the PDP, Umahi said, “As a guide, the committee considered earlier zoning arrangements in the party since its inception, and equally examined previous happenings in the party in respect of restrictions to equal participation of members”, and advised all aspirants to the various positions to take note of the zoning arrangement, and place their choices in compliance with the party’s convention guidelines.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said it has no evidence to show that the Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee (NCC), Senator Ahmed Makarfi, is nursing a presidential ambition.
The party also bemoaned its loss at the just concluded Anambra State governorship election held last Saturday, blaming the defeat on the rebellious activities of some of its members.
While responding to allegations of bias levelled by two chairmanship aspirants against the Makarfi-led NCC, PDP insisted that it would not be dragged into the controversy over micro zoning ahead of the December 9 national convention.
Addressing a press conference yesterday, the spokesman of the party, Dayo Adeyeye, said the caretaker committee was aligning itself with the position of the National Executive Committee (NEC) and convention on the zoning of the presidency and the national chairman to North and South respectively.
He said as far as the NCC is concerned, it has decided to distance itself from negotiations over micro zoning of national offices of the party.
Adeleye said the party leadership recognises that both North and South may politically micro zone positions to geo-political zones and the geo-political zones to states, but that such arrangement should be done without recourse to PDP headquarters.
Commenting specifically on the issues raised by Chief Bode George and Prof. Tunde Adeniran Adeyeye, described the assertions as wild and not specific.
Adeniran’s letter had specifically mentioned five names out of about 216 names appointed to oversee the conduct of state congresses whom he alleged are interested parties in the chairmanship tussle.
When asked to comment on the allegation that Makarfi is interfering in the process due to his presidential ambition, Adeyeye dismissed the issue, saying the party is not aware of any such ambition.
Regarding the continued face-off between the party and one of its leaders from the South-west, Senator Buruji Kashamu, the PDP’s spokesman accused the senator of disobedience and trying to arm-twist the party using spurious court injunctions to forestall any sanction against him.
Adeyeye said the party is assuring all that it will pay special attention to the conduct of delegate congresses to ensure fairness.
“It pains us that on the one hand Chief Bode George who is fully aware of the pains we are still going through in Lagos in order to fairly and equitably carry everybody on board to the extent that we are being accused by others as siding with him is the same person accusing us of impunity,” he said.
On the preparations for the convention, Adeyeye said the party had asked chairmanship aspirants to make input so that they have their eyes and ears in each committee.
“It was only George that did not attend the meeting we had with the aspirants,” he said.
On the lack-lustre performance of the party in the just concluded Anambra State election, Adeyeye said many PDP members voted APGA back to office.
“We do agree that the Anambra State issue is a self inflicted injury which has been with the state since after the 2003 general election. In the last governorship election, we are aware that it is some of our members that supported and vote APGA to victory.
“Irrespective of the perfections or imperfections of our party primaries and the outcome, PDP Anambrarians had developed conflicting mindsets. We did our best to bring all under one caretaker committee hoping that things will work out well,” Adeyeye stated.
On membership of committees supervising the congresses in respective states and the FCT, Adeyeye said the party never took nominations from any candidate but from the states and other organs of the party.
“We wish to remind all that it’s the state chapters that actually conduct congresses. The committees only compile the results and attend to appeals after which they file their reports to the party headquarters.
“When all reports are filed by the committees, we shall summon the states chairmen to come with their copies and reconfirm the results at a date to be fixed and all bonafide interest groups will be welcomed to witness it. This is to reassure everybody that validly elected delegates list is not tampered with,” he said.

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RSNC GM Tasks Medical Practitioners On Emerging Pandemics

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The General Manager of the Rivers State Newspaper Corporation, Publishers of The Tide Newspaper, Chief Ernest Chinwo, has called on medical practitioners in the country to assist the government find workable solution to the array of emerging pandemics, including COVID-19, Lassa fever and monkeypox currently ravaging the country.
Chinwo said this in his office during a courtesy call by organisers of the Rivers State Joint Health Summit 2022.
Represented by the Acting Chairman of Editorial Board and Supervising Editor, Mr Nelson Chukwudi, the general manager also stressed the need for the health professionals to come up with private sector-driven health insurance scheme for the country.
He said that it also behoves on them to pool resources together with a view to building mega hospitals in the country to stem the tide of medical tourism abroad while at the same time curbing brain drain.
The general manager also tasked them to check the incidence of quackery in the medical profession.
Chinwo commended them for the proposed summit, assuring of the cooperation and support of the corporation, especially in providing adequate coverage to their activities.
He said the corporation, since inception has been on the forefront in publicising health issues, stressing that it was against this background that a page was dedicated in The Tide newspaper for health, and called for medical experts to contribute to the robustness of content on the page.
He further noted that beside newspaper publishing, the corporation also does all kinds of commercial printing jobs, and solicited patronage from the health professionals.
Earlier, Secretary General of the Rivers State Joint Health Summit, Dr. Joseph Olawuyi, said the summit with the theme “Repositioning HealthCare services in Rivers state” earlier proposed for the 22 to 26 of August 2022 was moved to October 2022 to ensure mass participation by both government and non-governmental organisations.
Olawuyi said the summit which is being put together by private medical practitioners in partnership with government aims at refocusing the health sector for quality service in the state.
He said a lot of people both within and outside the country have started registering for the summit.
According to him the event will also be used to train health practitioner’s on biomedical engineering as well as encourage the utilization of abundant medical equipment by practitioners.
He urged for a health bank in the country to create access to soft loans by health practitioners.
Olawuyi said the event which will be declared open by Governor Ezenwo Nyesom Wike will be attended by people from all walks of life including members of the armed forces amongst others.

By: John Bibor & Oreoluwa Adigun

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FG Spends N18.69bn Daily On Subsidy, Minister Confirms

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The Minister of Finance and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has disclosed that Nigeria spends N18.69billion daily on petroleum subsidies.
She stated this, yesterday, when she appeared before the House of Representatives ad hoc committee investigating oil subsidies.
The minister claimed Nigeria consumes 64million litres per day, and that the figure could have been influenced by smuggling.
Ahmed said the executive is also concerned about the increment in daily consumption.
She noted that some of the products are being smuggled outside the country, adding that during COVID-19 locked down, daily consumption dropped significantly.
She stated that the president alone cannot take the decision on removing subsidy, insisting that there must be a multi-stakeholder approach, including all political parties, who must sit to make the decision.
The minister disclosed that the landing cost of petroleum is N448 per litre and that the NNPC takes care of the rest through under recovery.
She further said the Federal Executive Council has also expressed worry about the figure presented by the NNPC, adding that as the Minister of Finance, she has no access to the bank statement of the NNPC.
The Chairman of the Committee, Ibrahim Aliyu, questioned the figure provided by the minister.
Aliyu said even during the COVID19 locked down, Nigeria was still consuming high volume, which according to him was not logical.
He claimed the daily petroleum consumption was about 32million litres.
But the minister responded that she is not sure whether daily consumption has doubled and not also sure if the total number of vehicles in the country has doubled in the past 10 years.

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Over 20 Countries Arrive Abuja For 2022 INAC

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The 2022 International Arts and Crafts Expo (INAC), themed “Networking Nigerian Crafts to the World”, was, yesterday, declared open in Abuja, by the Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture, Otunba Segun Runsewe.
The 15th edition of the Expo holding at the Abuja Sheraton Hotels & Towers has in attendance no fewer than 25 countries and eight states in Nigeria.
Some of the countries already on ground include Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Venezuela, Syria, India, Philippines, China, Iran, Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, Cuba, Malaysia, Benin Republic, Sudan, Lebanon, South Korea and Tanzania.
States in Nigeria that have arrived Abuja for the annual international event are Lagos, Ogun, Akwa Ibom, FTC, Kaduna and Katsina.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Runsewe said the aim of the expo is to better project Nigerian crafts to various countries of the world given that our stories are better told by us. It is also to promote cultural exchange programmes and improve inter-country collaborations in music, arts, drama, etc.
The expo, as usual, is expected to amongst other items, feature skill acquisition trainings for young people, free medical examination and care, display of countries art documentaries, exhibitions of countries’ arts, crafts and culture.
Runsewe said: “This is another opportunity we have to showcase Nigerian crafts to the world and to let the world know that Nigeria is a safe place to be. We want Nigerians to know that the creative industry is capable of tackling Nigerian insecurity problems by engaging the youths in our crafts for revenue generation.”
The 2022 expo holds from August 18 to 20, 2022.

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