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Appoint Igbos into key positions – Ohanaeze chieftain tells Tinubu



A member of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Advisory Council, Prof Gregory Ibe, has enjoined President Ahmed Bola Tinubu to give the Igbos a sense of belonging in his administration through appointments into critical national positions.

This, he said, would dispel the perceived sense of imbalance in the minds of the Igbos concerning the scheme of things in Nigeria.

Ibe, who made this call while speaking on recent events in the country, advised that the composition of both elected and appointed officials at the federal level should reflect and encourage religious and tribal equilibrium for the nation’s progress.

The Ohanaeze chieftain, who earlier called for the zoning of the Senate President to the South East, stressed that the nation could only prosper in an atmosphere of fairness, peace, equity and justice.

He commended Senator Godswill Akpabio and Hon Tajudeen Abass on their elections as Senate President and Speaker of the House, respectively but advised them to urgently enact laws that would promote inclusiveness and support national unity.

Ibe, who also commended the Deputy Speaker of the House of Reps, Benjamin Kalu, urged him to use his position to attract dividends of democracy to Abia State in the spirit of “Akuruoulo.”

He equally charged Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe to sustain his tradition of delivering tangible value addition to the nation by constantly speaking truth to power, emphasizing that Abaribe must remain a worthy ambassador and shining light of his party, the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA.

On the victory of Emmanuel Emeruwa as the Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly, Ibe called for a solid partnership between the executive and legislative branches of government to revive Abia State’s economy, which he said is in an ailing condition.


Alawo stool: Adeleke denies plot to appoint new Alawo



The Executive Governor of Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke has denied plan to issue a fresh staff of office to Taiwo Adegboye, as the Alawo of Awo, describing as untrue reports in some section of the media that his administration is taking steps contrary to the dictate of rule of laws.

In a statement issued by his Spokesperson, Mallam Olawale Rasheed, Governor Adeleke clarified that Taiwo Adegboye was installed as the Alawo of Awo in September 2021 and was subsequently issued staff of office by the Administration of Gboyega Oyetola.

Mallam Rasheed reiterated the commitment of the Adeleke administration to the rule of law, saying that the government will not do anything to impugn judicial decisions or tamper with peace and stability of any community in the society.

“We are constrained to inform the public that insinuations of a plan by the Adeleke administration to issue fresh staff of office on Awo stool are untrue. The crisis on the Awo stool preceded the administration of Governor Adeleke as Taiwo Adegboye, who is at the centre of the issue, was installed as Alawo several months before his (Adeleke) assumption of office,” the statement noted.

“It is worth noting that he (Taiwo Adegboye) was issued staff of office by the previous administration, and so, it is unfounded that Adeleke is planning to issue a staff of office that has already been issued.

“As a government committed to the fairness and rule of law, we recognise the right of Taiwo Adegboye to exhaust legal options on the Obaship tussle, which at the moment is before the Supreme Court.

“We must also note that Taiwo Adegboye has sought a stay of execution on the judgement of the Appeal Court, hence, the government decision to maintain status quo pending the full determination of the litigation.

“Available information is that Taiwo Adegboye is celebrating the anniversary of his installation and not installation or presentation of new staff of office as erroneously being speculated.

“Mallam Rasheed enjoins the public, particularly the people of Awo to disregard concoctions and deliberate misinformation on the Awo Obaship, noting Governor Adeleke’s commitment to the path of legality and rule of law.

“Governor Adeleke will not do anything to distort traditions and well established procedures on kingship matters, and we want to urge the public to discountenance any information contrary to this commitment,” he added.

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Nigeria’s electoral system weak, requires total overhaul — CAN



By Austine Emmanuel, Kaduna

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has said that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is weak and requires a total overhaul.

The Chairman, Kaduna state chapter of CAN, Rev. John Joseph Hayab stated this in his remarks during the one day conference organized by AHLUL -BAYT Nigeria, on “Post Election Scenario in Nigeria.”

Speaking on the theme, “Beyond the Ballot: Assessing Nigeria’s Post Election Landscape,” at the weekend in Kaduna, Hayab noted that there is the need to strengthen the institution so as to be able to improve the integrity and fairness of future elections in the country.

He further reiterated that until INEC becomes independent to shoulder their responsibilities without any form of external interference, Nigeria will continue to have shattered and battered elections without hope for good governance.

“Correcting a battered Election in Nigeria can be a complex and challenging process, but there are several steps that can be taken to improve the integrity and fairness of future elections.

“We need to strengthen electoral institutions and enhance the independence and capacity of institutions like INEC to ensure they can effectively carry out their duties, such as voter registration, voter education, and the administration of elections. This includes providing adequate funding, training, and security for the electoral staff.

“Establish mechanisms to ensure transparency in the entire electoral process, from voter registration to the announcement of results. This can include making the electoral process more inclusive, allowing for independent election observers, and conducting comprehensive audits of election results.

“We also need to take steps to address the issue of voter intimidation and violence, which often plague Nigerian elections. This can include implementing stronger security measures around polling units, creating an environment that enables open and peaceful political campaigns, and holding perpetrators accountable for any acts of violence or intimidation.

“Invest in comprehensive civic education programs to increase awareness among citizens about their rights and responsibilities as voters. This includes educating voters about the importance of their participation, how to exercise their democratic rights, and how to prevent electoral malpractices.

“The need also to review and amend electoral laws, if necessary, to ensure they are comprehensive, clear, and in line with international standards. Harming the electoral process should incur severe penalties. Strengthen law enforcement agencies to hold accountable those who violate electoral laws and engage in corrupt practices.

“Introduce technology and innovation in the electoral process to improve efficiency, transparency, and accuracy. This can include electronic voter registration, biometric identification of voters, and electronic transmission of election results to minimise manipulation and human error.

“International support and collaboration: Seek assistance and collaboration from international organisations, such as the United Nations, African Union, and regional organizations, to provide technical support, exchange best practices, and ensure credible and fair elections.

“It is important to note that implementing these measures above will require a collective effort from the government, political parties, civil society organisations, and citizens alike to ensure a truly democratic and fair electoral process in Nigeria,” he said.

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COP28: Sanwo-Olu highlights infrastructure deficit, funding as factors hindering access to supply of clean water in Lagos



Governor of Lagos Babajide Sanwo-Olu has identified infrastructure deficit and meagre resources as factors hindering access to supply of clean water in Lagos

The Governor speaking at a side meeting with the theme: “Valuing Water: A Lifeline in Climate Transition,” organised by Business and Philanthropy Climate Forum and Sustainable Market Initiative at the ongoing 28th session of Conference of Parties (COP28) at Dubai Exhibition Centre pitched a sustainable funding proposal in order to raise private and philanthropic funding in addressing inadequate water infrastructure and supply shortages in Lagos.

Sanwo-Olu disclosed that Lagos, with 22 million population, has a daily demand of 700 million gallons of potable water, but said the State could hardly supply 210 million gallons per day due to shortage of infrastructure.

The Governor said, although provision of clean water had been generally considered a social service, it was an essential element of economic necessity, given its importance to keeping humans healthy.

Lagos, he said, is challenged by increasing demand for clean water. Sanwo-Olu said the inadequacy of supply infrastructure could raise disease vulnerability in underserved communities, pointing out that the State, despite being surrounded by abundant water bodies, could only manage to utilise 40 per cent of its installed water facilities.

He said, “Lagos has an investment of about $2.8 billion in water infrastructure, but there is a burden on the huge population, as we need to create an ecosystem where we can have access to basic needs in the 21st century. Given our meagre resources, it is really a challenge but we certainly cannot continue to give excuses. This gap is being felt by underserved communities and the risk to the public is high.”

“We have continued to allocate resources to this sector from our budget, but the intervention is hardly enough to serve the needs of the residents. Four years ago, I gave a commitment of $100 million, but this is like a drop, given the number of investments required to fully explore the potential in the sector. We have huge infrastructure that is not being utilised, making us operate at less than 40 percent of the installed capacity.

“Out of the $1.7 trillion needed globally to address the gap in clean water adequacy, Lagos requires less one percent of the funds to provide safe water. It is my belief that this conversation would lead to a sustainable solution that would meet the needs of millions of people that want water adequacy. Our goal is making committed partners believe in the economic viability of their investments.”

Sanwo-Olu listed the country’s energy crisis as another factor slowing down the provision of clean water, stressing that irregular power supply rendered resources allocated to the sector inefficient.

The Governor called for equity in global investment towards accelerating water adequacy, noting that humans, regardless of their gender and geographical location, need equal access to clean water.

With 65 percent of its population made up of young people under 30, Sanwo-Olu told the funders that Lagos remained an African asset on which viable investments could be made.

The side meeting, which was moderated by the Secretary General of Insurance Development Forum, Ms. Ekhosuehi Iyahen, had seven other panelists, including Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of WaterAid, Tim Wainright, Chief Sustainability Officer of PepsiCo, and CEO of Dalmia Cement in India, Mahendra Singh.

Others are Chief Operating Officer of, Vedika Bhandarkar, Managing Partner of AquaForAll, Josien Sluijs, Assistant Director General of Food and Agriculture Organisation at UN, Maximo Torero, and former CEO of Mars, Incorporated, Grant Reid.

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