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Jonathan Charts Path To Good Governance

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Nigeria’s Former President and Chairman of the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation (GJF), Dr Goodluck Jonathan, says peace and development can only be achieved in Africa when democracy is given a humanitarian face.
Our correspondent reports that Jonathan, stated this in Yenagoa, last Thursday, when Dr Stephen Olali, the Chief Historian to the Bayelsa State Government, visited him at the Foundations headquarters  to present  his   new book.
The book is entitled “16+34=50: The Life and  Works of Stephen Temegha Olali (An Autobiographical Anthology)”.
The historian also officially unveiled his Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO): Youth Life and Productivity Outreach – A Christian Charity.
Jonathan applauded the efforts of the author by compiling his life experiences on earth and his commitment to mentoring the youth of the Niger Delta in the areas of productivity and non- violence.
The former President pointed out that a violent electoral process  could not produce good governance.
He said: “If Nigeria will grow as a nation then there is the need to change the nature of politics.
“Until people are allowed to vote or elect their leaders without intimidation and interference we cannot have good governance.
“As a leader, if you think you can shoot yourself to power then the people are irrelevant to you.
“But if you know that you can only get power by the will of the people then you have no option than to work for the interest of the people, protect the people and love them irrespective of where they come from.
“Nobody needs violence to win any elections. violence undermines the credibility of election.
“Whoever is supported by majority of the people will win elections, but the minority should be allowed to have their say. That is the whole essence of politics.
According to the former President, as a nation, until we sincerely commit ourselves to peace building there won’t be any meaningful development.
“Society cannot be stable until there is peace and peace most times is as a result of justice in the society. There is a limit to which a society can develop in the absence of peace and democratic justice.
“It is good that you have birthed this idea of mentoring the youth toward productivity and peace building in the Niger Delta.
“And as a Foundation, we are committed to partnering such stakeholders with a view to building sustainable peace in Nigeria,” he said.
In his remarks, Olali explained that the NGO was established to mentor the Niger Delta youth toward entrepreneurship adding that self-sufficiency would greatly reduce restiveness in the region.
“The essence of the NGO is to reach out to the youth concerning productivity anywhere they can be found specifically from Nembe to the other parts of the Niger Delta.
“Your Excellency, we pray that the Foundation looks into the direction of smaller NGOs like ours to enable us to reach out to a greater percentage of the population,” Olali said.
In Olali’s delegation to see the former President were: Prof. C.M. Sorgwe, Prof. S.N Agoro, Chief Seiyefa Koroye, Mr Piriye Kiyaramo and other elders and academics from the Niger Delta region.

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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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