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Stop Congratulating Tinubu, Set Agenda, Cleric Advises Nigerians



An Islamic cleric and educationist, Dr Mustapha Bello, says Nigerians should stop congratulating the President-elect, Sen. Bola Tinubu, but rather set agenda for him.
Bello, a lecturer, Department of Religions and Peace Studies, Lagos State University (LASU), made the remarks at the 9th Ramadan Lecture of Anwar-Ul Islam College, Agege, Old Students’ Association (ACAOSA), last Saturday in Lagos.
The guest speaker delivered a lecture titled: “Islamic Perspective of a Good Governance: Any Lesson for Nigeria?”
Bello described the topic as apt and imperative because of the concern every discerning Nigerian now had about the state of affairs in the nation.
According to him, the nation will by May 29, experience 24 years of uninterrupted democratic rule being led by the PDP and APC, but the question is whether Nigerians have enjoyed good governance or not.
He said Nigerians could not be said to have enjoyed good governance in the light of prevailing socio-economic challenges they were faced with.
”Good governance is the responsibility of all Nigerians. Those who have been elected, we congratulate them but Nigerians should put them on their toes.
”We must set agenda for them, we must tell them what we want in terms of education, infrastructure, environment, health and others. We should not leave them, we should advise them.
”It is not enough for us to be congratulating them. Sen Bola Tinubu has emerged President-elect, and he will be inaugurated, we must set agenda for him.
”Stop doing congratulatory messages now, let us set agenda on education, environment, public morality.
“Look around, there is so much indiscipline in the society. We must also pray for them,” he said.
The cleric said that the President-elect, his deputy and all elected public office holders should be commended if they do well and criticised if they misbehave, for the nation to get good governance.
Bello said that when there is good governance, there would be peace, prosperity, plenty for everybody and less insecurity.
“The President-elect and Vice President -elect have enormous responsibility to unite our minds together. We are so divided as a people by religion, ethnicity and social classes.
“The first task before them is to find a way of assuaging our feelings and unite us; It is when we have a common objective with our mind united that we can move forward,” Bello said.
He said that good governance according to United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC), relates to the political, institutional processes and outcomes that are necessary to achieve the goals of development.
Bello said the UNHRC identified transparency, responsibility, accountability, participation, and responsiveness as key attributes of good governance.
“Good governance in a layman language is the provisions of abundance of goodness by a government to its citizens which is the fundamental objective of the state as entrenched in the Nigerian constitution.
“Good governance is the major determinants of how stable, prosperous and peace a society or a country is.
“In essence, wherever you find poverty, crisis and they are on the rise, the only reason for the absence of prosperity is the absence of good governance.
“Virtually, all parametres used in measuring good governance as it relates to Nigeria is negative,” he said.
The educationist noted some policies of government have impoverished the citizens beyond imagination.
Bello said that principles of good governance in Islam include trusteeship, mutual consultation, accountability, fair dealing and justice.
He also noted that Muslims as well as adherent of other faiths were guilty in the preponderance of evil in the society.
“One of the basic requirements for good governance is justice; Every citizen should be treated on the same level. A country cannot grow where their is lopsidedness in justice system.
“We should internalise the principle in our governance; Nigeria has got into a stage that everyone must be involved in politics and governance.
“We must all change a bad situation at our own level.
Also delivering a lecture on Health Benefits of Ramadan, Alhaja Sukurat Olaniyan, a Nutrition Dietitian, noted that fasting helped in weight loss, sugar level reduction, inflammation decrease and heart cleansing.
Olaniyan urged Muslims to take enough water and relax.
She, however, counselled Muslims to pay attention to their body and obey it so as not to jeopardise their health while trying to observe the fast.
Earlier, Alhaji Lawal Pedro (SAN), the President General, ACAOSA,noted that the 9th Ramadan lecture of the college was an improvement on the previous ones.
Pedro, who described Ramadan as time for sober reflection and to get closer to God, said that the theme of the lecture had become necessary to provide a way forward in the nation’s governance system.
According to him, the country has been following the Western style of government, trying all types of governance without making sustainable progress.
He stated that the nation’s form of democracy had not delivered good governance to the people adding that there was need to take a lead from other developed countries.
“The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other countries are not running democracy but making progress because of Islamic perspective to governance.
“Democracy does not guarantee good governance, it is a matter of number. Leaders who emerge because they have majority votes, can only give what they have.
“In democracy, the majority will have their way, the minority which may be the most ideal will only have their say.
“That is why we are saying, is it high time we looked at Islamic perspective of good governance. We are not saying we are running the country with shari’a law or using Islamic jurisprudence,” he said.
Pedro urged government to embrace Islamic banking which frowned at interest, bribery, and corruption.
He added that ACAOSA has contributed a lot to the college in terms of provision of e-Library, infrastructure, Clinic and Solar system among others.
Alhaji Abubakr Adenle, the Chairman, ACAOSA 2023, Ramadan Planning Committee, commended the zeal of the people and their commitment to serve their alma mater.
Adenle, a retired Deputy Director, Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture, said that Ramadan was a month of forgiveness, goodness and mercies and these should continue even after the period.
He urged government across levels to implement 25 per cent UNESCO prescribed budget for education to create a pathway for sustainable development.
“We will be deceiving ourselves if the government fails to play according to the rule. We need focus on education;we need road map.
“Things do not work because we cut corners a lot in this country,” he said.
The Tide source reports that the annual lecture had in attendance various alumni of the college including Sen. Musiliu Obanikoro, a former Minister, Alhaji Tunde Balogun, former Lagos APC Chairman.
Others included civil servants, technocrats, entrepreneurs, legal practitioners among others.
The Tide source reports that the association presented prestigious Life Time Awards to some of its members for their contributions to their alma mater.

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Why We Chose Mayor of Housing As Patron -Govt House Choir



Members of the Rivers State Government House Choir have explained the carefulness exercised in picking the Mayor of Housing, My-ACE China, as the first patron of the ensemble.
Mr China was installed as Patron and member of the ensemble Sunday last at a colourful but solemn ceremony marked by some of the most exhilarating songs.
Explaining the painstaking process, one of the choristers, Kate Ogan, who is also a media personality, said nobody enters into the Ensemble without serious background check.
Ogan said: “We saw a lot of qualities in My-ACE China including his exploits promoting human capacity development in Rivers State. When we identified these qualities in him, we resolved after investigations to bring him closer.
“It is clear that no one person can do everything for a society or a state, so we need others to help to develop people. Let people take a cue from My-ACE China in seeking ways to develop the society.”
She told newsmen that some people were usually scared of business people but that the Government House Choir were comfortable with him. “We couldn’t have just brought him or anybody in without background checks or investigations. Each of us was also screened before we were accepted. We also pray before we touch anyone. We prayed and we got the leading to go ahead.”
Another member, MrAsueiza Ezekiel Iyalla, who sings in the alto segment, said they saw in the Mayor of Housing, somebody full of respect to God. “We see someone that can bring value to this choir. We only had a very short meeting and he said things that would amaze us about things that can bring value to this project and this state. Working with him, we will go higher and higher.
“We appeal to other Nigerians to come and see the roles they can play to lift the talents of Rivers people. We have the best organist in Nigeria. If people come in, they can see exportable talents.”
In his opinion, Mike Julius, bass singer, said the Mayor of Housing, despite being in real estate, finds time for God. “He takes out time to commune with his Maker. He is also a singer. So, we bring him closer to see the talents we have in this state. Today, he has joined the choir of the Government House and he came to see what he can do to lift it higher.”
Reacting after the presentation of his induction plaque, the Mayor of Housing, who was accompanied by his wife, Chidinma China, said he saw it as a huge privilege. He said the onus and responsibility of taking the best part and the best light from Rivers State to the rest of the world is an honour to him.
|And, it is a privilege I find very rare. It is rather like a spiritual conferment on me than a choral role from this or any other choral group for that matter. I feel like a man called into ecclesiastical mission.
“This will spur me to not only make sure they get all the resources and personnel they need to be world class, but to ensure that they are seen as world class. This is because we live in a 21st century reality that nobody sees or values you if you are not known. It is my onus to make sure that this beautiful choir in this Government House in this beautiful entity called Rivers State is known all over the world as the best of what Rivers State has to export.”
He said Nigeria has the best of the best in talent, art, music, and culture. What is wrong is that we have been carried away by politics and eking a living that we tend to neglect these things.
“Neglect leads to death and whatever you neglect dies. So, my message to Nigerians is, don’t neglect the rich heritage of where we come from; especially our skills and talents. You will be surprised how much more that would get us to our destination than politics and the like.”
It was gathered that the umbrella body of the Government House Choir is the Riv-Harmonious Mission Ensemble.
It was further gathered that the Choir moves out when representing the State Government or on an exclusive Government Programme. Also, in very selective outings in stand-up performances or own concerts.
However, for exclusively private performances, they go by their umbrella name – Riv-Harmonious Mission Ensemble.
The Rivers group is said to be made up of professionals in terms of singing and occupation. They have in graduates in diverse fields as well as career professionals – Business men, chartered accountants (ICAN), On Air Personalities (OAPs), entrepreneurs, etc.
Some of them have more than 30 years of singing and instrumental careers. That is said to be only possible with commitment, dedication, passion and basically, service to God.
Talent base:
Many say the biggest asset in Rivers State may not be in oil/gas but in the reservoir of talents that abound, plus human capital development.
That could be why whenever a governor that values human capital steps into office, the state seems to vibrate: scholarships to study anywhere, training schemes, ICT schemes, industrial attachments, SME loans, etc.
The next big asset for the state is said to be agric which goes from crop yields (especially cassava and palm oil) and aquatic resources.
In talents, the dances and drama of the state have produced world beaters but it can do much more if the state’s leaders are intentional about it.
Many would easily talk about the Mercy Johnsons of this world, Hilda Dokubo, Yibo Koko, Julius Agwu, Duncan Mighty, Sam Dede the Isakaba man, and of late, Burna Boy. But many may never know that a big voice asset is an ensemble in the womb of power, the Brick House, which is the Government House of Rivers State. Yes, the same place that oozes power, crisis, and threat.
The name of the Chapel is called the Chapel of Everlasting Grace’.
On the installation evening, the Music Director, Mr Enitoun Ezekiel Iyalla, after the opening prayers and directions of the reverend who is the Chaplain, Dr Joseph Joseph, took the Choir on a windy lane of many classics.
The nigh was highlighted by soprano solo by a man that does not see physically (vision impaired) but who is being compared with the greatest sopranos in the world, Cameroon Ayebatari.
The highlight of songs was ‘Peace, Be Still” which was dedicated to the affairs of Rivers State where peace and still waters are known to be most needed.
Then, the conferment of Patron and honorary membership to the Mayor of Housing. Those who knew the Mayor of Housing talked about versatility, academic brilliance (best graduating student in both secondary school in Jos with 9 As and in the UNN), generosity, and above all, his fire burning spiritual life.
The partnership resolved with determination to promote the choir beyond being an ensemble in an enclosure. The coming of the Mayor of Housing may ensure global audience for the Choir.

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FG Appeals To Youths To Shelve Protest



President Bola Tinubu, yesterday appealed to Nigerian youths to shelve their plans to carry out protests.

Alhaji Mohammed Idris, Minister of Information and National Orientation, disclosed this while addressing State House correspondents after a meeting with the President.

According to Idris, the President does not see any need for protest, he has listened to them, and asked them to await government’s response to all their pleas.

“Mr President has asked me to again inform Nigerians that he listens to them, especially the young people that are trying to protest.

“Mr President listens to them, he takes what they say seriously and he is working assiduously to ensure that this country is good not just for today but also for the future,” he said.

He said the government was doing a lot of things to cushion the hardship experienced by Nigerians.

“Today, the National Assembly has expeditiously passed the bill on National Minimum Wage. You can see how the President is working, it was transmitted only yesterday and today it has been passed.

“A lot of other interventions that the President has put in place are also going to be looked at expeditiously in the interest of Nigerians.

“So, there is no need for protest, the young people out there should listen to the President and allow him more time to see to the realisation of all the goodies he has for them,” Idris said.

The minister said the highlights of other policies to cushion the effect of the hardship Nigerians were feeling included distribution of grains and rice by the Federal Government to state governments.

“Like I said that time it is just the necessary first step. Government is going to continue in that direction, assuring that whatever intervention the Federal Government has put in place will go to those that should benefit.

“The Federal Government is looking at strategies that every intervention will go directly to those who benefit from those interventions not middle men intercepting them along the way,” he said.

He added that another important intervention by the Federal Government was the students loan.

“Mr President is very passionate about it, that everyone that should go to school will have the opportunity to do so.

“It is no longer a time for our young men and women who have passed examinations to go to tertiary institutions not to be able to do that because their parents cannot pay for their fees,” said the minister.

He said the government was also perfecting a scheme to support graduates of universities and polytechnics that were not able to get jobs until they got employed.

“The whole idea is that no one is left behind, it is an all inclusive government and the President is determined to ensure that no one is left behind in this attempt to march Nigeria towards progress,” said Idris.

The minister said his meeting with the President was to discuss issues relating to government’s media organisations such as NTA, FRCN, NAN and VON.

“We have discussed all that, we have also arrived at situations that will help their positions as public information platforms of the country.

“They should be in the forefront and we are doing everything possible to make sure that they are being repositioned so that they can serve Nigeria very well,” he said.

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We’ll Deliver Okania-Ogbogoro Road By Dec, Fubara Assures  …Says 90% Drainage Work Ready



Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has assured of the timely completion of the 5-kilometer Okania-Ogbogoro Road that will ease movement for both residents and motorists who use that path to avoid the traffic problem caused by the ongoing construction of the Port Harcourt Ring Road in the State.


The Okania-Ogbogoro Road is in Akpor area of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the State capital.


The Governor also described as fulfilling the expression of joy and excitement by residents of Okania and Ogbogoro communities who are seeing their major access road that was abandoned for about 14 years, being reconstructed with about 90 percent drainage work achieved.


Governor Fubara spoke shortly after embarking on a long trek of the 5-kilometer Okania-Ogbogoro road, inspecting culverts, drainages, texture of the surface layers of the road work, and receiving explanations from the Commissioner for Works, Engr Elloka Tasie-Amadi, who accompanied him on the inspection tour on Monday.


The Governor said: “You are aware that two months ago, we came here to flag off this project, having considered the importance of this road; knowing fully well what our people are suffering because of the Ring Road we are constructing.


“So, we are here this evening to assess the level of work going on here. I think from what we are seeing, it is better than what we met the first time we came here.


“The contractor has assured us that they have done 90 percent of the drainage work; and following the raining season, they are expecting to achieve a greater part of the project hopefully within August and September.”


Governor Fubara also said: “All things been equal, he has also assured us that by December, if we miss November, we will be coming here to commission this road.


“You can see how excited our people are. It is a road that has been abandoned for over 14 years. So, it means this project means a lot to the people living here.


“And for us as a government, it also means a lot that we are doing something that is touching the lives of our people,” he added.


He urged the people to exercise patience as a good quality road would be delivered for their use very soon, adding that the only thing the government expects from the people is their total support while maintaining peace in their communities.

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