‘Money Politics, Biggest Threat To Nigeria’s Democracy’
A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), SING Nigeria, has said that Nigeria’s democracy could be destroyed if the activities of moneybag politicians are not checked and tamed by the law.
Executive Director of SING Nigeria, Mr Idris-Etanami Usman said this while monitoring the Anambra State governorship election from the SING Situation Room in Abuja.
Usman said the time had come for Nigerians to begin to sue politicians for overspending money during elections.
“Election has become almost like an investment, so if you are investing, you must reap your investment and by so doing you must do everything to ensure you win.
“As it is no candidate in an election has been disqualified based on overspending; no candidate in the history of our democracy has been disqualified by the court.
“People should start going to court to charge candidates and their party for overspending. INEC should do thorough audit and we have written to them several times to show their books in terms of audit done after election.
“To our disappointment, INEC has not really come out to give us a thorough audit, as audit ought to be done after election but INEC is keeping on that.
“As long as we allow these monies, vote buying and all the funds politicians spend, we will never have a sincere process because these monies are also being used to buy security, buying of guns and sponsorship of thugs.
“These monies also make INEC staff to compromise, so, if we can beat that money politics I think we will solve over 70 per cent of our electoral problem in this country,” Usman said.
He called on Nigerians not to joke with the electoral process as the kind of leaders the people desired could only come when genuine people occupied political offices.
Mr Mohammed Basah, Associate Member, SING Nigeria, who read the text of a press conference organised at its situation room, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure the electoral bill become effective before the 2023 general election.
“The election happening in Anambra is significant for a number of reasons, and we call on INEC to use the conduct of the poll as litmus test for the 2023 general election.
“In Anambra, the task before the electoral umpire is indeed daunting, as they will also be testing the newly created 1,112 polling units in the state.
“We cannot overstate our position that the nation is in dire need of issue and idea based political campaign more than an electoral environment choked with money by the political elites.
“We call on relevant stakeholders to discourage attempts by politicians to scuttle the will of the people through illicit use of money in form of vote buying which will further weaken our democratic practice.
“It will also destroy the citizens’ trust in our electoral democracy and further rip us off of competent hands to drive the nation’s development agenda.
“SING Nigeria wants to use this opportunity to call for support against any attempt to increase campaign financing in the proposed electoral bill,” Basah said.
He called on the National Assembly to expunge any clause in the proposed electoral act amendment bill that is capable of undermining the growth of the country’s democracy.
Board member of the organistaion, Dr Itari Turner who also spoke at the event said INEC ought to have gone past the current level of election conduct in the country.
She said achieving a desired electoral process in the country required all hands to be on deck, as voters would not have any reason to complain when politicians take advantage of voter apathy to manipulate the system.
NSCDC Commissions New Commands In Kebbi, Sokoto
Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has set up new command posts in Kebbi and Sokoto States to boost staff performance, security and better protect critical national infrastructure in the states.
Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, who commissioned the two commands, said Federal Government would not relent in ensuring the protection of citizens at all times by providing the necessary supports, and logistics needed to maintain the current tempo of development to ensure effective discharge of the Corps core mandates
Represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr Shuaib Belgore, Aregbesola stated that the Federal Government was dedicated to continuously support the Corps to enhance performance and boost national security.
According to a statement signed by the agency’s Public Relations Officer (PRO), Olusola Odumosu, the minister also tasked personnel in the two states to live up to the mandate of the agency and exhibit the highest level of discipline in their conduct.
He further charged the personnel to “abstain from rancor and unnecessary rivalry and ensure effective synergy with military and all other law enforcement agencies”.
Aregbesola commended the leadership of the Corps for the tremendous transformation witnessed within the last two years as he further attributed it to the doggedness, determination, pragmatic approach and readiness of personnel to impact positively on the nation’s security.
Present at the event were governors of the two states; Atiku Bagudu of and Aminu Tambuwal who were both represented.
NAWOJ Partners FH1360 To Boost Maternal, Infant Nutrition
The Nigerian Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Lagos State Chapter, in collaboration with FH1360/Alive and Thrive Project hosted an interactive media round table aimed at promoting maternal, infant and young child nutrition, with an intervention of reducing the total number of anemia and all deficiencies related to mother and child.
Chairperson, NAWOJ, Lagos State, Adeola Ekine, said the initiative was focused on improved reporting of maternal nutrition coverage in journalism.
She added that the annual event provides insight on illnesses affecting children and mothers and their possible solutions
The Lagos State team Lead, Alive and Thrive, Olawunmi Ajayi, who spoke extensively on Maternal, Infant and young child nutrition (MIYCN), noted that Nigeria loses about 2313 children daily translating to 844,321, children death annually, half of which are due to malnutrition.
“You don’t have to spend a lot on trying to impress people about your feeding habit you just have to make sure you are providing and feeding a well-balanced diet.
Association Seeks Humanitarian Affairs Minister Portfolio
The Nigeria Association of Social Workers (NASoW) has advised President Bola Tinubu to appoint a qualified social worker as Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
This is contained in a congratulatory message signed by its Publicity Secretary, Musliudeen Adebayo, and made available to newsmen in Ibadan yesterday.
The Tide source reports that NASoW, the umbrella body of social workers in the country was founded in 1975.
The President of NASow, Alhaji Mashood Mustapha, congratulated Tinubu on his swearing-in ceremony as the 16th President of Nigeria.
Mustapha said that the appointment of a social worker who had the requisite knowledge and skills to paddle the affairs of the ministry would promote the humanitarian agenda.
He said that appointing a NASoW member as Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development was in the interest of the nation.
Mustapha said that the ministry had core mandate to promote social work and quality social services delivery in the country.
He said that the association was ready and fully prepared to work with the new administration to achieve its aim in all areas of human development.
He said that the call for the appointment was as a result of the ministry’s strategic importance to the welfare of citizens, which is the main goal of this administration.
The NASoW president said that one of the association’s achievements during the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari was the signing of the Nigerian Council for Social Work (NCSW) Establishment Act 2022.
Mustapha encouraged Tinubu to set another record by appointing a qualified social worker as minister for humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development.
He said that the association was anxiously waiting for the time when NCSW would be constituted.
“We are using this medium to congratulate our new President Bola Tinubu on his emergence as the President of Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“We appeal to him to appoint a social worker as the minster for humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development. This is our ministry; it is the main ministry for social workers
“We advise the president to put a round peg in a round hole for the betterment of the country,” he said.
Mustapha enjoined the president to appoint a minister, who had the required knowledge of social work as they expected the minister to constitute the NCWS board as soon as possible.
“The Nigerian Council for Social Work (Establishment) Act 2022 has been gazetted. Our law has become an Act of Parliament.
“This implies that a lot of good things are coming for the good people of Nigeria. The council is yet to be constituted.
“When this is done, it will help to give more recognition to social work practice in Nigeria,” he said.
He said that the establishment of NCSW would create job opportunities and enabling environment for social workers to provide the much desired quality social services to the people.
Mustapha said that it would also reduce migration of social workers to other countries in quest for prosperity.
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