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Deputy Senate President Barau becomes acting Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament

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Deputy President of the Nigerian Senate, Jibrin Barau, emerged on Thursday as acting Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament.

He emerged at the inaugural session of the Sixth Legislature of the Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, which took place at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.

During the session, he was first nominated as the 1st Deputy Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament by Rep Awaji-Inombek D. Abiante and seconded by Senator Ireti Kingibe.

In accordance with the rotational system established by Decision A/DEC. 6/06/06 of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, the speakership of the sixth legislature of the sub-regional body has been zoned to the Republic of Togo.

However, during the inauguration of the Sixth Legislature of the ECOWAS, the Republic of Togo delegation was not present; hence, Edwin Melvin Snowe Jr., a Liberian, was elected Speaker Pro-Tempore.

Snowe Jr. presided over the inaugural session of the parliament, including the election of the four deputy speakers. He said that in order not to create a vacuum, Senator Barau, as the 1st Deputy Speaker, will act as the Speaker of Parliament pending when the Togolese delegation is inaugurated.

Honourable Adjaratou Traore Coulibaly (Cote’d’Ivoire) emerged as 2nd Deputy Speaker; Honourable Alexander Kwamena Afenyo-Markin (Ghana) was elected 3rd Deputy Speaker; and Honourable Billay G. Tunkara (Gambia) emerged as 4th Deputy Speaker.

The opening ceremony was attended by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, His Excellency Bola Tinubu.

In his speech, President Tinubu called on ECOWAS member states to unite, strengthen ties, and reject forces bent on causing division within the community.

He said regional solidarity is imperative to strengthen the bloc’s resilience and effectiveness at this critical juncture.

Lawmakers from Nigeria, Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Senegal and Sierra Leone were inaugurated as members of the Sixth Legislature of the ECOWAS.

The ECOWAS Parliament, also known as the Community Parliament, is one of the institutions of ECOWAS. It is the Assembly of Peoples of the Community, serving as a forum of dialogue, consultation and consensus for representatives of the people of West Africa to promote integration.

The ECOWAS Parliament, which was established under articles 6 and 13 of the ECOWAS Revised Treaty of 1993, is composed of 115 seats.

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Elemure of Emure-Ekiti demise sad, shocking – Oyebanji

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Gov. Biodun Oyebanji of Ekiti has expressed shock and sadness over the passing away of Elemure of Emure-Ekiti, Oba Emmanuel Adebayo.

Oyebanji, in a condolence message issued by his Special Adviser on Media, Yinka Oyebode, described the royal father’s demise as a sad development, given the fact that he did not exhibit any sign of illness during the recent meeting of traditional rulers.

He described the late Oba Adebayo as a loving and dependable traditional ruler, who loved and cared for his people and showed tremendous interest in their welfare as well as the development of Emure-Ekiti.

Oyebanji condoled with the late monarch’s family, the Elemure-in-Council and the people of the town over the exit of the royal father.

He urged them to be consoled by the fact the late oba lived an impactful life of service to the town, the state, Nigeria and humanity in general, for which he would remain unforgettable.

“My condolences and that of the government of Ekiti State to the immediate family of the late Kabiyesi, the Elemure-in-Council and the good people of Emure-Ekiti on the demise of the Elemure, Oba Emmanuel Adebayo.

“The late Oba Adebayo was a great leader of his people, a lover of development and a patriot, who devoted his early life to the service of the country.

“As a police officer, he rose to the position of Commissioner of Police before ascending the throne of his forefathers, where he also made his mark as a traditional ruler, whose reign attracted huge development to his town.

“Our prayer is that the good Lord would grant the dear departed monarch eternal rest and comfort the family and the good people of Emure-Ekiti,” the governor said.

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NSCDC vows to arrest attackers of its headquarters in Lafia

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The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence  Corps (NSCDC) in Nasarawa,  says it has commenced investigation to unravel those behind the attack on its headquarters in Lafia.

Mr Jerry Victor,  the NSCDC Public Relations Officer in the state said  this in an interview with the newsmen on Tuesday in Lafia.

The unspecified number of suspected bandits attacked the NSCDC Lafia office in  the early hours of  June 17,  but were repelled by the personnel of the command.

Victor said that the state commandant of the corps, Ismaila Abdullahi, had  directed the Intelligent unit to get to the root of the attack with a view of apprehending the attackers, collaborators and sponsors.

He said  that those behind the attack would not escape justice as the command would go after them, no matter their status in the country.

Victor said that preliminary investigation  revealed that the bandits wanted to set some of their members at their custody free.

“They came in large numbers with iron rods and attempted to break some part of the command’s fence to gain entry into the facility.

“Our personnel swiftly responded by opening fire on the hoodlums, whose mission was to release some high-profile suspected criminals including informants of kidnappers in our custody,” he said.

Victor  said that the command had beefed up surveillance in and around their office to forestall future occurrence.

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NCAA praises Keyamo’s contributions toward Nigeria’s ICAO’s audit rating

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The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has praised the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development,  Mr Festus Keyamo’s contributions to Nigeria’s 71.04 per cent audit rating by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

Mr Michael Achimugu, Director of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection of NCAA, made the commendation before journalists on Tuesday in Lagos.

Achimugu said that Nigeria scored 71.04 per cent in the ICAO-conducted Universal Security Audit Programme-Continuous Monitoring Approach (USAP-CMA).

He said that Keyamo (SAN) and the Acting Director-General of NCAA, Capt. Chris Najomo, played huge roles during the recently-concluded ICAO’s USAP-CMA in the country’s aviation industry.

He said that Keyamo and Najomo were pivoted to the ICAO’s rating due to their leadership skills and mobilisation of human  and material resources to ensure that all gaps were closed.

The NCAA spokesman described as mischievous, comments in some quarters that the minister and Najomo were responsible for  alleged poor ratings Nigeria had.

“It is ironic that the writer blames the ‘failure’ of the security audit on the honourable minister (meaning that the minister should have intervened and done whatever was necessary to score higher).

“At the same time, the writer  blames the minister for “intervening” in security and safety issues. He needs to decide if he wants the minister to be involved or not,” he said.

Achimugu said that both Keyamo and Najomo came into office months ago and swang into action immediately to improve  infrastructure and workers’ remuneration.

“Six months ago, we met a dilapidated industry with poor infrastructure. The security and safety issues did not start in the last six months.

“Had it not been for the tireless efforts of the honourable minister and the D-G, NCAA, what we met on the ground would not have scored 30% in the audit.

“Going by what was on ground when Keyamo and Najomo assumed office, the current score is a substantially good showing, a miracle if I must say.

“The narrative being pushed out is just a part of the larger strategy to push out Keyamo and Najomo from office. It is the handwork of paid mercenaries,” he said.

According to Achimugu, ICAO auditors praised Nigeria’s performance during their final briefing at the NCAA and  mentioned that they  had complained about an absent infinfrastructure.

According to him, the auditors eventually  said that they were pleasantly surprised that the infrastructure  was made available the following day.

ICAO had in March conducted the USAP-CMA for the Abuja and Lagos airports.

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