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State Police: Giving governors power over security suicidal to democracy — APC Chieftain

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By Austine Emmanuel, Kaduna

A chieftain of the ruling All Progressive Congress, (APC), Professor Kailani Muhammad has said that to avail state governors the powers to control an entire state police as a sole authority, could be suicidal to Nigerian democracy.

This is as the chieftain noted with concern that some state governors attempt to use police to coerce the electorates during elections to toe their political paths during voting even when the police structure is not under their supervision.

Addressing a Press conference in Kaduna at the weekend, Kailani stressed that the discussions in the Nigerian political space, about the formation of a state police or not, do not merit attention of the Nigerian state at this moment considering numerous indications that the Nigerian state is not yet prepared for state police.

He further averred that some state governors are presently finding it difficult to pay civil servants salaries, adding that their mindsets are yet to adjust to the true principles of democracy, which is ‘the government of the people, by the people and for the people,’ according to Abraham Lincoln.

“There is a constructive argument that state governors might use state police to intimidate, blackmail and victimize Nigerians either for political, ethnic, tribal or social gains for themselves, to the detriment of the state. We cannot afford to copy the United States of America, Great Britain, Germany or any other country on the issue of state police, because we are not ready for it now.

“Another worrisome development is the fake fuel scarcity caused by petroleum products marketers. They have devised a cunning strategy to defraud and inflict hardship on the citizenry, by hoarding petroleum products, and damned the consequences on the citizenry.

“The Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPC Ltd), has come out categorically and assured Nigerians that there is enough petroleum products to service Nigeria for a long time to come.

“Those behind this manufactured fuel scarcity should be fished out and sanctioned accordingly, to serve as a deterrent to others. This country belongs to all of us. We must collectively work hard to salvage it together and so, I am passionately appealing to our able President, Alhaji Bola Tinubu, to consider APC Support Groups for appointments to prepare them for mobilising their members as 2027 draws closer,” he said.

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Jimoh Ibrahim withdraws suit challenging Ondo APC governorship primary

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Senator Jimoh Ibrahim has announced the withdrawal of his suit No FHC /ABJ/ CS/588/2024, seeking the nullification of the Ondo State APC governorship primary election.

This decision follows a personal intervention by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, who assured Ibrahim of his commitment to improving internal democracy within the party.

Addressing newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday, Ibrahim detailed the circumstances leading to his decision. “The suit is now withdrawn due to the intervention of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR,”

“The President called me, had a meeting with me, and assured me that he will, as the leader of the party, improve on internal democracy within our party, and I will need to withdraw the case to enable him to chart a way forward,” Ibrahim stated.

He highlighted his respect for President Tinubu and his dedication to the broader cause of enhancing democratic processes within the APC.

“I cannot disobey the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria because the issue I am fighting for is not personal. It is simply to improve internal democracy to which the President has promised improvement. My respect for the President is absolute!” he emphasized.

The Senator also recounted efforts by Ondo State Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa to mend fences with him.

“The Governor of Ondo State, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, earlier visited my Asokoro residence for several hours after another unsuccessful visit to my hotel room in Akure,” Ibrahim noted, underscoring the extensive efforts made to resolve the issue amicably.

Expressing his gratitude, Ibrahim said, “Let me use this opportunity to thank Mr. President for the words of wisdom and encouragement during my meeting with him, which lasted over one hour, and his various interactions with me on the telephone during which he emphasized his commitment to internal democracy over and over again.

“The withdrawal of this legendary suit coincides with the first anniversary of Mr. President’s incredible performance in office, and this is my gift of the ‘cake’ of the first anniversary.”

Recall that Jimoh Ibrahim had called for cancellation of the April 20 primary elections, describing it as a mega fraud and sham.

Ibrahim contested the election but lost out to the incumbent governor of the state, Lucky Aiyedatiwa.

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Gov. AbdulRazaq a proud ambassador of our party — Kwara APC

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…Party flaunts achievements as administration marks 5th anniversary

…Commends President Tinubu

By Saka Laaro, Ilorin

Kwara State Chapter of the All Progressives  Congress (APC) has flaunted the “remarkable achievements” of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq in recent years, saying the party is proud of his investments in critical sectors of the economy.

The party also commended the Governor for his good and peaceful politics, respect and support for traditional and religious institutions, and for helping to stem the tide of political thuggery in the state.

“We are proud to say the new mandate given to our party across the lines is being justified, as it is evident in the avalanche of superlative programmes and projects dotting every corner of Kwara today,” State Chairman of APC Chairman Prince Sunday Fagbemi said at the Media Engagement on the 5th anniversary of the AbdulRazaq-led APC administration in the state.

“We are delighted that his dream for urban renewal and economic expansion is now being seen in the Tanke and Unity flyovers, Wahab Folawiyo road, Ahmadu Bello way, Ilorin Innovation Hub, Garment Factory, Shea butter factory, industrial park, agroprocessing and other agricultural programmes to support food security, International Conference Centre, Visual Arts Centre, Sugar Film Factory, transformative education projects and programmes, numerous completed and ongoing urban and rural road projects spanning thousands of kilometers across the state, among others as our deserved reality.”

Fagbemi noted that history will remember AbdulRazaq as a transformational leader who rose above personal and partisan interests to take bold decisions and pushed through progressive agenda for the growth and development of the state.

“In decades to come, Kwarans will remember Governor AbdulRazaq as a leader who restored the glory of the past, gave workers their due at the right time, catered for the weak and vulnerable segments of the society, empowered women and the youths, worked to keep the gains of today and prepared for the future,” he said.

“You may recall the launching of the Ilorin City MasterPlan two years ago. The groundbreaking of the 25,000 hectares Ilorin Smart City is near, promising a new chapter in the history of the state. It is a fulfilment of the promise of our party for sustainable development and reducing housing deficits by providing a platform for public and private sector collaboration for a mix of affordable and luxury housing schemes for the citizens.”

The APC chairman also thanked President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for continued support and collaboration with the Kwara State Government to ensure that the administration delivers on its promises of improved quality of life, inclusive growth, and sustainable development to the people.

“Owing to the efforts of our working Governor, Kwara has also recorded massive infrastructural gains from the APC-led federal government. The state has since got approval for the construction of four major roads under the Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme.

“The roads include Kosubosu—Kaiama—Bode Saadu (128km); Bacita-Shonga-Lafiagi (74.3km); Eiyenkorin—Afon—Offa—Odo Otin (42.5km); and Okuta—Bokuro (37km). Similarly, Kishi Kaiama Tese Road has recently been approved for construction by the Federal Executive Council,” according to the Party Chairman.

“We are also proud of all our elected and appointed representatives at all levels for their efforts to bring democratic dividends to our people. We thank them for working with our hard working Governor who is the leader of our team. We urge them to keep it up and to do a lot more to complement what the Governor is doing.”

Fagbemi also appreciated members and leaders of the party across every community in Kwara State, particularly members of the State Working Committee for the wonderful job that they do and their support for the state government under the Governor and for the Federal Government led by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

He added, “In the last elections, Kwarans resolved to reward the remarkable performance of the Governor with a new mandate to ensure the continuity of inclusive governance and sustainable development for the people and state as was witnessed in the first four years. Our party also won the presidential election, including the 3 senatorial seats, six House of Representatives, and all the 24 seats in the State Assembly.

“Our party has won 100 percent in our elections not because we are perfect. We won all our elections because we are obviously pro-masses, we develop every part of the state, we are responsive to the yearnings of the people, and we empathize with the people within the resources available to the state.

“Even at that, our party has been conscious of the need to create a balance between creating economic opportunities for the people and allowing activities and unregulated growth that may jeopardise urban planning and development and ultimately hurt the people in different ways, including security breaches.

“We are proud to say the new mandate given to our party across the lines is being justified, as it is evident in the avalanche of superlative programmes and projects dotting every corner of Kwara today.

“Kwara’s basic education has continued its rise from the ashes to the zenith of excellence. Aided by our flagship educational policy KwaraLEARN, our schoolchildren have won national laurels and represented Nigeria at a global competition for the second time running. It underscores the significant progress we are recording in the basic education sector in our state.

“In the last year, AbdulRazaq laid a solid foundation to make Kwara a major medical hub in Nigeria. First, he facilitated the construction of the first cancer treatment centre in the whole of North Central Nigeria funded by AbdulSamad Rabiu Foundation, and then got the federal government to approve a comprehensive upgrade of the Harmony Advanced Diagnostic Centre.

“Similarly, groundwork for establishment of the Kwara State Teaching Hospital (KWASUTH) has commenced as a Bill for the establishment is now ready for public hearing at the House. Upon completion, the teaching hospital will support the training of medical students and related professionals, boost manpower, and extend the frontier of healthcare delivery to save the lives of women, children, and elderly in Kwara and surrounding states. In the whole of North Central, our state has the gold medal in the access to basic health care while the government continues to invest to keep our professionals and provide more equipment to beat the current standard.

“Under the AbdulRazaq-led administration rural-urban development drive, construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, and interlocking of 71 new road projects were recently approved across the state. Earlier, reconstruction, rehabilitation, and interlocking of 75 road projects were completed in the last one year.”

On the sports sector, Fagbemi said the Governor has taken commendable steps to preserve the legacies of founding fathers and mothers across different sectors as Kwara State Stadium Complex Ilorin is undergoing a facelift to elevate its status and aesthetics under the AbdulRazaq-led administration.

“The construction of a world-class table tennis arena is ongoing as well as renovation of the Indoor Sports Hall to aid the grooming of young talents and ensure our state remains on the map as home of champions in sports,” Fagbemi said.

“This is the first time that the indoor sports hall is being done in this manner since 1991.

“To improve access to clean and safe water, the Governor recently constructed a new waterworks at Jebba, ending decades of lack in the kingdom. Rehabilitation works have also been completed on several waterworks across the state in the last one year.”

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Rivers: Investment in children, best legacy — First Lady Valerie Fubara 

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…Urges crackdown on child labour, trafficking

By Barth Ndubuwah, Port Harcourt

Wife of the Rivers State Governor, Lady Valerie Siminalayi Fubara, has stated that the most enduring legacy is investment in children to harness their full potential for self-development and positive impact on the larger society.

This is even as the Rivers State First Lady has called on relevant government agencies to intensify measures towards achieving total crackdown on practices that promote child labour and trafficking.

Lady Fubara stated these while speaking at twin activities by the State Government to mark the 2024 Children’s Day celebrations in Port Harcourt on Monday.

Speaking shortly after taking salute during the official march past at the Sharks  Stadium, Port Harcourt, Lady Fubara, who applauded the theme of this year’s celebration: “Investing in the Future Means Investing in our Children,” called for the prioritisation of the development and wellbeing of children, noting that such investment transcends the individual and has ripple effects on the larger society.

”Today, when we’re gathered to celebrate Children’s Day, we are reminded of the invaluable treasure we hold in our hands, the promise of our future, embodied in their innocence, curiosity and boundless potentials of our children, the theme of this year’s celebration: ‘investing in the future means investing in our children,’ underscores our responsibility towards generations to come.

“These responsibilities,” she pointed out, “involve nurturing, guiding and inspiring our children to be architects of a brighter future,” the First Lady said.

She further explained that investing in children goes beyond mere provision of basic needs of ensuring access to education and healthcare which are essential components, but involves creating an enabling environment that fosters their holistic development, intellectually, socially, emotionally and ethically.

According to her, “Investment in our children is about instituting in them the values of compassion, empathy and responsibility for diversity, laying the foundation of a society built on inclusivity and understanding, instilling in them the skills of knowledge and understanding to navigate an ever changing world.”

While speaking at the party organised for children in the State at Government House, Port Harcourt, with the theme: ‘For Every Child, Every Right,’ the Rivers First Lady pointed to how inimical child labour and trafficking are in hampering healthy growth and well-being of children, which she said t should be tackled head-long.

“It is apparent that more efforts still need to be made to continue tackling issues related to our children’s growth and well-being, especially in the area of child labour and trafficking, which are endemic in our society today.

“I call on relevant government agencies to step up the campaign against such evil practices and ensure the safety of our children as they remain the hope of our nation and the potential leaders of tomorrow.

“I urge parents not to be unduly pressured, either by the temporary economic challenges or by societal influences, to engage in such inhuman practice of child labour or trafficking. It is not only an evil against humanity, but also a sin against God,” she said.

Lady Fubara said it is a privilege for her to host children in the State, who are the future hope of society, on such auspicious occasion, and to share in their joy on a day designated for them globally.

The  State First Lady emphasised that in evaluating the priority of the day, it was pertinent to focus on what the Rivers State Government has started doing for them under the watch of her husband, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, particularly in prioritising their education.

Lady Fubara said, “Several policy initiatives are being taken to rebrand and reposition the educational sector, by strengthening the operations and promoting the emergence of SMART Schools through the remodeling of infrastructure and upgrading of learning equipment.

“I am aware that this administration has taken up examination fees for school children and further purchased books and instructional materials to deepen teaching and improve learning.

“We are truly grateful to His Excellency, the Governor, for always thinking ahead to cater for our children. This clearly demonstrates our determined efforts at building the future we definitely want to see, if we want a tomorrow with great men and women,” Lady Fubara said.

She stated the need for sustained, but deliberate efforts in planning for the future with greater investment made that will manifest in the well-being of children.

The First Lady recalled the recent gesture of the wife of Nigeria’s President, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, who, with the ‘Renewed Hope Initiative,’ allowed her office to coordinate the donation of 50,000 exercise books to public schools in Rivers State.

“This effort was to ensure that our children do not lack the basic materials required of them to engage in the learning process.

“Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, we are here to celebrate our children, and we must continue to pray for them and to guide them according to the dictates of God Almighty, who gave them to us to look after,” the First Lady posited.

Earlier in her welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation, Dr Justina Jumbo, had stated that prioritising the welfare of children was paramount, especially in this period of prevailing social and moral decadence in our society.

She said the celebration of Children’s Day helps to bring issues bothering on the welfare of children to the fore and urged governments at all levels and the private sector to refocus their plans by investing in the future of the children.

The events featured march past, presentation of gifts to participating schools, unity dance performed by 23 children representing the LGAs of the State and other forms of games.

In the nursery category, Family Support Nursery School emerged first position in the march past, while UPE Model Nursery School, Bundu came second.

In the Primary School Category, Police Children School emerged first position, while State Primary School, Elekahia, and Distinct Victory Field came second and third, respectively.

Government Comprehensive Secondary School, Borokiri, came first in the junior secondary category, while Butterstone and Sunrise Secondary schools came second and third, respectively.

For the Senior Secondary Schools’ category, Model Secondary School, GRA, Port Harcourt, came first, while Vivid Model School and Government Secondary School  Borokiri came second and third, respectively.

For the paramilitary category, Police Comprehensive Secondary School came first, while Nigeria Navy Secondary School, Borkiri came second.

Lady Fubara, accompanied by some dignitaries, cut the 2024 Children’s Day Party Cake at Government House playground.

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