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Addressing cross-carpeting abuse Nigeria’s politics

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Defecting from one political party to another has in recent times, become the order of the day for most of the country’s political stalwarts.

According to records, the first known political defection in Nigeria was in 1951 when members of the National Council for Nigeria and Cameroon (NCNC) defected and joined the Action Group (AG).

The development denied Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe the power of the majority paved the way for Chief Obafemi Awolowo to become the Premier of the Western Region.

The trend which had been criticised by both observers and party big wigs is said to be thriving because political parties in Nigeria are devoid of ideologies, styles and processes.

From 2015 to date, several politicians have defected from one political party to another, including members of the National Assembly, Senators, past governors, and even serving governors.

Politician dance several reasons had been attributed to defections. They range from political interest, internal party division, pursuit of political ambition, lack of transparency in party processes from leaders.

However, observers say most of them stem out of personal interest.

In the last decade there have been, massive defection of party members from both the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressive Congress (APC) which are the two major parties in Nigeria.

The 2013 intra-party crisis in PDP triggered an avalanche of political defections in the past decade in Nigeria when 37 House of Representatives members defected from the PDP to the APC.

This left PDP with 171 members from 208 members, and leaving APC with 174 members up from 137 members. Also of note, is the G-7 movement led by Rotimi Amaechi, the then Rivers Governor in November 2013 which saw the defection of seven PDP governors to APC.

The governors include: Murtala Nyako of Adamawa, Rabiu Kwankwanso of Kano State, Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto State, Sule Lamido of Jigawa, Babangida Aliyu of Niger and Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara.

The decision of the governors to move out of the PDP came ahead of the party’s special national convention.

Chief Sharon Ikeazor, a chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC), said recently said that the nation’s democracy will benefit greatly if the electoral law is amended to prohibit cross-carpeting.

Ikeazor spoke at a public presentation of a book: “APC and Transition Politics,” authored by the party’s former National Vice-Chairman (North West), Dr Salihu Lukman,

Lukman was Director-General of the Progressives Governors Forum (PGF).

To Ikeazor, a lawyer and a former Executive Secretary of Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate, there is the need to enshrine issues concerning defection in the electoral laws.

She said there is also need for the party to design a mechanism that will ensure that its candidates are held accountable after electoral victory.

“I do believe we need to design a mechanism that ensures we can hold candidates accountable after electoral victory.

“We have seen how candidates carry on like team players and abide by party rules during campaigns and turn out to be completely different persons upon ascension to a position of authority,” she said.

She said it was about time to establish a Progressive Governance Institute, modeled after the National Democratic Institute and International Republican Institute in the U.S.

According to her, with such an institution, political parties can codify and disseminate its stands and positions on all sectors of governance, like civil service reforms, tax

“We need a mechanism that supports reminding them that they occupy their offices solely for the progress and benefit of the country’’, she said.

A lawyer, Akintayo Balogun, argues the 1999 Constitution as amended is against defection as being done by politicians, citing the case of National Assembly members as an example.

“Section 68(1)(g) of the Constitution provides thus: (1) A member of the Senate or of the House of Representatives shall vacate his seat in the House of which he is a member if being a person whose election to the House was sponsored by a political party, he becomes a member of another political party before the expiration of the period for which that House was elected.

“This is provided that his membership of the latter political party is not as a result of a division in the political party of which he was previously a member or of a merger of two or more political parties or factions by one of which he was previously sponsored.”

He urged politicians abide by the constitution if they wished to defect to another party.

“It is obvious that jumping from one political party to another, particularly for serving legislators, is in bad faith, having been sponsored by one political party.

“The courts have consistently held that the votes of one party cannot be transferred to another.

“Unfortunately, in Nigeria, politics and political interests have taken precedence over constitutional provisions”, Balogun said in a media report.

Dr Abdullahi Ganduje, the APC National Chairman said there is need to restructure and reposition it in order to lead by example.

“It is also an institution that must harness the demands and request of the people in order to transmit same to the ruling government for implementation,” he said.

The APC national chairman added that the party also had the responsibility of showcasing government’s achievements to the public.

Also of concern to observer of political development in the country is the culture of silence in which politician maintain stoic silence over actions and policies of their party.

Mr Kayode Fayemi, former governor of Ekiti State, says those who ‘speak truth to power’ should not be victimised but regarded as the conscience of the party.

Chief Bisi Akande, the pioneer chairman of the APC, concurs and urges its members to speak freely on issues that would build the party and the country.

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Ribadu to declare open workshop on 21st century policing

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The National Security Adviser, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, is billed to declare open a two-day workshop on “21st Century Policing: Capacity Building Techniques and Brand Management for Security Image Makers,” which begins on Wednesday 24 April, 2024 in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Christopher Musa, will give the keynote address while Chief Executive Officer of Halogen Security Services, Chief Wale Olaoye, is the Special Guest of Honour.

The workshop is packaged by the Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria (ACAN), the training arm of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Offences Commission (ICPC), in collaboration with Fountain Bloom Limited, a Lagos-based strategy and development outfit.

The ICPC Chairman, Dr. Musa Adamu Aliyu, SAN, will deliver the welcome address while the ACAN Provost, Prof. Olatunde Babawale, is the Chief Host.

Participants are drawn from the Nigerian Army, Navy, Air Force, the Police, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Nigeria Correctional Service, Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Road Safety Corps, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Federal Fire Service and registered private security organisations.

Resource persons who will deliver papers include Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Frank Mba; celebrated columnist and former Editor of PUNCH newspapers, Mr. Bola Bolawole; one-time Permanent Secretary, Lagos Television, Mr. Lekan Ogunbanwo and retired Director at the ICPC, Mrs. Rasheedat Okoduwa.

Papers will be delivered on the Challenges of Media Management and Public Affairs in Crisis and Emergency Situations; Crafting impactful Press Statements, Opinion articles and Speeches; Conference Organisation and Documentary Production for Optimum Publicity; Quality Assurance as Essential Element of News Copy; Sustaining audience Interest in Broadcast News and Documentary and Contents in Public Relations Question; Social Media and In-house Publication for Desired Effect.

The workshop will address critical aspects of the officers’ job schedule to further strengthen their work performance in accordance with the present administration’s policy objectives.

It will also sensitise participants to their duties and responsibilities in a democratic setting, with a view to reducing tension inherent in the interface with their various publics.

At the end of the workshop, participants would have had an improved understanding of image-making strategies, reputation management techniques, identity and personality interpersonal communication formulas, attitudinal change and behaviour modification patterns that will further enhance their capacity to interface with their various publics.

 

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ITF launches ‘SUPA’ initiative to empower five million Nigerian artisans

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In a bid to enhance the skills and opportunities of Nigerian artisans, the    Industrial Training Fund (ITF) has introduced a groundbreaking initiative called “Skill-up Artisans (SUPA).”

The Director-General of ITF, Dr. Afiz Oluwatoyin Ogun unveiled the SUPA initiative yesterday during the organisation’s 2023 Annual Merit Award ceremony in Jos, Plateau State.

Dr. Ogun emphasised that SUPA will revolutionise the artisan sector by providing training, certification, and licensing to artisans across Nigeria, thereby improving their employability and standard of living.

This transformative program aims to upskill, license, and empower up to 5 million artisans within a year, offering them better prospects both locally and internationally.

The implementation of SUPA involves the comprehensive collation of data on Nigerian artisans, identifying areas where training is needed, and facilitating certification processes.

However, the initiative has already registered thousands of artisans, with ongoing efforts to reach out to more individuals interested in enhancing their skills.

One notable aspect of SUPA is the establishment of a dedicated call center, operational round-the-clock, to address inquiries from the public and provide essential information about the program.

Dr. Ogun emphasised that SUPA underscores the Nigerian government’s commitment to promoting economic development and uplifting the standard of living for citizens nationwide.

“It is intended to drive national development, ensure the availability of skilled artisanal workers for domestic industries, and create a sustainable pipeline for labour exports. It will equally boost the pool of local artisans with proficiency in diverse skills, among other benefits,” he mentioned.

The Director-General called on the state governments, the organised private sector, non-governmental organisations, faith-based organisations, and well meaning Nigerians to collaborate with the ITF in an effort to revitalise the Nigerian economy, especially in the area of SUPA.

On the implementation of skills intervention programs, Dogun pointed out that ITF has so far trained over 42,000 Nigerians who were empowered with start-up packs under the National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP), Women Skills Empowerment Programme (WOSEP), Skills Training and Empowerment for the Physically Challenged (STEPP-C), Construction Skills Empowerment Program (CONSEP), N-BUILD, Project T-Max, Modular Skills Development, and Technical Skills Development Program (TSDP) in collaboration with the Nigerian Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA).

He added that in the area of direct training and capacity development for MSMEs, the Fund implemented 565 scheduled and unscheduled training programs for 11,992 organisations from 908 organisations.

“In addition, we carried out performance and productivity improvement surveys for 48 companies and developed 35 training programs, of which 28 were implemented. Similarly, in appreciation of the importance of MSMEs to Nigeria’s economic growth, the Fund conducted monitoring and evaluation of MSMEs clinics for 241 participants and provided business support services and business needs assessments for 159 and 254 MSME operators, respectively.”

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Illegal arms: Kaduna Police seek collaboration with residents to end banditry

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…Nabs notorious gun runners, recover firearms

By Austine Emmanuel, Kaduna

Kaduna State Police Command has called on residents to remain vigilant and cooperate with law enforcement agencies in the fight against illegal arms proliferation and criminal activities.

The Commissioner of Police, Kaduna State Command, CP Ali Audu Dabigi made the call in a statement issued to journalists in Kaduna on Monday by the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, ASP Mansur Hassan.

The statement said the command had arrested some notorious gun runners and recovered sophisticated weapons.

According to Hassan, the Command’s operatives acted on credible intelligence and intercepted one Alkali Danladi, a 45-year-old man of Ungwan Hayatu Village, Yarkasuwa, Lere LGA, who was suspected of engaging in the illegal supply of firearms to bandits, he was arrested while coming from Jos, Plateau State.

He said Mr. Danladi, during the interception was found to have concealed several prohibited firearms, including one fabricated AK-47 rifle, five fabricated revolver rifles, and two fabricated pistols. Additionally, working tools such as fliers, screwdrivers, spanners and as well as charms, were discovered in his possession.

“The Kaduna State Police Command reports a significant development in the ongoing efforts to curb crime within the state, with the arrest of a notorious gunrunner and the recovery of prohibited firearms.

“On April 4th 2024, at about 0600hrs, diligent police operatives, acting on credible intelligence, intercepted one Alkali Danladi, aged 45, of Ungwan Hayatu Village, Yarkasuwa, Lere LGA, at Tsurutawa Village along the Kaduna-Jos Highway. Mr. Danladi was suspected of engaging in the illegal supply of firearms to bandits. He was arrested while coming from Jos, Plateau State.

“During the interception, Mr. Danladi was found to have concealed several prohibited firearms, including one fabricated AK-47 rifle, five fabricated revolver rifles, and two fabricated pistols. Additionally, working tools such as fliers, screwdrivers, and spanners, as well as charms, were discovered in his possession.

“Further investigation led to the arrest of one Gayya Koddi, aged 40, of Bundu Dingi Village. However, two suspects are still at large.

“The Kaduna State Police Command, under the leadership of Commissioner of Police CP Ali Audu Dabigi, assures the public that efforts are ongoing to apprehend the remaining culprits.

“The CP also urges citizens to remain vigilant and cooperate with law enforcement agencies in the fight against illegal arms proliferation and criminal activities,” he said.

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