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DAILY ASSET Roundtable: Guests Condemn Bad Politics,  Knock Economy

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By Ubong Ukpong, Ibraheem Hamza Muhammad, Eze Okechukwu  Idris Umar, Abuja

Panelists at the DAILY  ASSET 5th Anniversary Roundtable, organised yesterday at the Nicon luxury hotel, Abuja, did justice to issues in the  national economy, and politics as well as the role of the media in the 2023 General Elections.
The discussants were united on the fact that Nigeria needed a competent and intelligent leader to take over its affairs from President Muhammad Buhari by May 29, next year.

The roundtable, attended by the academia, politicians, media personalities and top government functionaries was chaired by Dr. Patrick Ukase, Head of Department, History and International Studies, Kogi State University, Anyingba. The panelists included the Benue State Governor, Dr. Samuel Ortom, who was represented by the Director General, Benue Liason Office, Abuja, Gideon Hemba, Dr.

Amaechi Anaekwe, Director of Programmes, Africa Independent Television, (AIT), Hon. Francis Ottah Agbo, lawmaker representing Ado, Ogbadigbo and Okpokwu Federal Constituency of Benue State, Dr. Abbas Idris, Director General, Federal Capital Emergency Management Agency, Dr. Cletus Akwaya, the Publisher and Editor-in-chief, DAILY ASSET Newspaper,  and staff and management team  of the newspaper among others.

Prof. Ukase noted that the economy, security, infrastructure and all other aspects of national lives suffer neglect when any country fails to recruit the right kind of political leaders, stating that “the system won’t be open to talents and merits would not matter anymore.”

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He expressed dissatisfaction with the way Nigerian economy, bureaucracy and governance at all levels have been abandoned because of next year’s general elections, noting that the economy and governance should never be sacrificed on the alter of power acquisition. 

Prof. Ukase identified media challenges to include ownership,
control, molestation of journalists by security agents, often resulting in arrests and illegal detention , poor rumenerations or even no renumeration at all and lack of modern professional tools including computers and camera, however praised the management of DAILY ASSET Newspaper for its resilience and consistency in production.
Hon. Francis  Agbo noted that good governance was an irreducible minimum and challenged Nigerians to go all out for their voter’s card and vote in only the most competent political leaders in the next general elections, adding that the country was bleeding.

“Structures don’t win elections. Casting of votes win elections. We should all cast our votes wisely, for the most competent persons and in doing so,we should forget ethnicity, religion, sex and tribe. The country is bleeding from insecurity, lack of power, unemployment and youths restiveness. Now, it’s time we all join hands and fix Nigeria”, he said.

Agbo who is Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Drugs and Narcotics, said that it was rather becoming funny to hear people talk about religion and political party structures ahead of the general elections, when the country was passing through trying times.
He said there were candidates capable enough to redeem the country from the present woes and Nigerians must get it right by giving their votes only to such candidates, irrespective of party, religion or tribe.
“I hear them say this man does not have structures. Do structures go to polling units to vote? It is Nigerians that vote,” the lawmaker said.
He asked citizens to take advantage of the ongoing Continuous Voters Registration (CVR), to be registered and move to polling units closer to them, to be able to vote in the upcoming elections.
“Nigeria is bleeding. You must vote to save the country. They said they were coming to change everything from top to bottom and ended up destroying everything from top to bottom,” the legislator said.
Apparently criticising the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC),
Agbo, who is of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), commended DAÌLY ASSET and expressed confidence that it would continue to educate the public on the issues concerning the forthcoming general elections.

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On his part, Dr. Idris, Director General of the Federal Capital Emergency Management Agency urged media practitioners to delve more into investigative journalism, noting that journalists should interrogate government policies and action all the more. 

“Firstly, investment in the media industry by intellectuals will bring out the best in the country. Journalists should spend more time on investigative reporting, especially as it concerns government projects both at the states and federal levels. Any project that doesn’t address the needs of the people should be reviewed. The media really has to work strongly along that line. With this, the government at all levels will sit up and in the end, it benefits our country and the benefits are all ours,” he said. 

Barring his mind on the subject matter, Dr. Anaekwe, Director of Programmes at the African Independent Television, (AIT) also observed that Nigeria will get better with the right leadership, and not just with people with thirst for power. He applauded the management and staff of DAILY ASSET Newspaper for the roundtable, and urged them not to buckle in the face of challenges. 

The publisher of the newspaper, Dr. Akwaya thanked the guests for dissecting the theme: “The Media, National Economy, Politics and 2023 Elections,” with expertise and wisdom. He gave  glory to God for standing by the company through thick and thin.

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DAILY ASSET Newspaper hit the newsstand on June 12,2017 as a weekly Abuja-based tabloid and went daily on November 18,2018. The tabloid has remained consistent in newsstands  ever since, expanding its platforms to include a daily e-paper, circulated globally and a vibrant website.

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Again, Wike, Obi Meet Behind Closed-Doors in Port Harcourt

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The aggrieved governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike has for the second time in few weeks met behind closed doors with the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi.

The meeting which held in Wike’s residence had in attendance the former governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko.

This is not the first time Wike will be meeting politicians of rival political parties in his residence after losing the People’s Democratic Party, (PDP), presidential and vice president tickets to Atiku and Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State.

It was gathered that the meeting was to woo Wike to Labour Party, ahead of the 2023 general election.

Celebrating the meeting on his Twitter handle on Monday, Mimiko shared a photo with the politicians, saying that it was nice to spend some time with them.

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Terrorism: NSCDC Declares Emergency Security Measures in Schools Nationwide

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The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), has declared a state of emergency in schools nationwide.

The Commandant General, Ahmed Abubakar Audi, represented by Deputy Commandant General ( DCG ), in charge of Crisis and Disaster Management, DCG Nnamdi Nwinyi, disclosed this in a two-day Train-the-Trainer Capacity Building Workshop at the Corps National Headquarters, Sauka, Abuja.

He said the state of emergency declared on schools nationwide was a proactive step in protecting Nigeria’s educational institutions.

According to him, the NSCDC has trained its Specialised Female Squad Unit on sustainable measures and strategies, to be used in protecting schools nationwide, thereby curtailing security threats.

The Commandant General observed that the workshop was “apt, timely and germaine to the implementation of the Safe School Initiative of the Federal Government.

He stated that the workshop was coming at a time when the nation is contending with security challenges, which he said necessitated the need for more pragmatic actions to whittle down the menace of insecurity in the country.

According to him, the Specialised Female Squad, since its formation has gained significant mileage against the ugly trend of the kidnapping of school children for a run.

He commended the Squad for their deliberate efforts in repelling numerous kidnapping attempts on students and more importantly, for keeping schools safe at all times.

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The CG charged the Unit to remain focused, resilient, and committed to the security of schools and the protection of students, teachers, and other workers.

“The learning environment should be devoid of violence and crimes to attain educational excellence, which is key to the growth and development of the nation.

“Nothing in the world could be so precious as our children, which is why we have declared an emergency in this sector to mitigate the multi-faceted threats challenging the nation’s security architecture, especially attacks on institutions of learning by hoodlums, kidnappers, and bandits.

“We have developed strategic plans and a robust template that will crystalize into more precise action to prevail over these hostilities and achieve sustainable safe schools in Nigeria.

“Note that the workshop is structured to expand your capacity as members of the Female Squad unit, you are therefore to compare notes, engage in critical thinking and come up with more robust templates to achieve sustainable safe schools in Nigeria.” He said.

Dr. Audi assured that schools would remain safe and conducive for Nigerian children as the Corps is intensively l, collaborating and cooperating with other security operatives in combating all forms of criminalities across the country.

He charged participants at the workshop to take the lessons, skills, and knowledge acquired during the training down to their colleagues and subordinates for effective discharge of duties.

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Chief Executive Officer, Supersonic Limited, Frank Ohwofa, in his remarks, thanked the Commandant-General, for granting their company the opportunity, to facilitate the training and praised his foresight, in creating the Specialised Female Squad.

He stated that the workshop is conceived to train the Female Squad Unit on new security trends and patterns employed by bandits and kidnappers for ransom.

“The workshop will interrogate in-depth public emergency security systems that can be deployed, by the Corps in collaboration with other stakeholders to effectively harness the kinetic assets of the Corps for maximum performance, thereby enhancing response time to violent incidents in places of learning.” He stated.

He stated that the workshop is consistent with the imperative to provide robust interventionist and proactive measures, to mitigate the multi-faceted threats confronting the nation.

He described those chosen to lead in the fight against kidnapping and other forms of insecurity threatening safe learning environment in this trying moment in our nation’s history as patriots.

He also challenged the participants to take advantage of the training, to build on the training already acquired, before now to fill necessary gaps.

He advised them to domesticate the knowledge and skills acquired in the strategic Train-The-Trainer Capacity Building Workshop, in their various State Command Headquarters.

A statement by the Director, Public Relations, DCC. Olusola Odumosu, NSCDC, National Headquarters Abuja, on Tuesday, said the CEO of Supersonic Limited, Frank Ohwofa, assured that with the cream of experts available at the workshop, the participants would leave the programme sharpened, and re-invigorated.

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He added that the participants would go home better informed about new strategic planning tactics and execution of security protocols in schools.

“He called on the Federal Government, State Governments, proprietors of private school owners, and all stakeholders in the education sector, to give maximum support to the efforts of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, under the able leadership of the current Commandant – General, for better security and protection of schools, students, teachers, and workers nationwide.” The statement added.

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Odinga Rejects Kenya Election Results

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Raila Odinga has rejected the results of Kenya’s presidential election saying that the figures announced on Monday were “null and void”.

According to the results, Mr Odinga narrowly lost to Deputy President William Ruto.

Mr Odinga accused the head of the electoral body of a “blatant disregard of the constitution”.

“We totally without reservation reject the presidential election results,” he said.

Making his remarks in front of supporters in the capital, Nairobi, he said that there was “neither a legally elected winner nor a president-elect”.

The 77-year-old long-time opposition leader was running for president for the fifth time. He has challenged the results in the previous two elections, including successfully in 2017.

Mr Odinga accused the chairman of the electoral body Wafula Chebukati of “gross impunity” saying his team will pursue all legal options.

Minutes before Mr Odinga spoke, four of seven electoral commissioners who refused to approve Monday’s results held a press conference to give their reasons.

They accused Mr Chebukati of side-lining them and of announcing results that were full of “mathematical absurdity and defied logic”.

Juliana Cherera, the vice-chairperson of the commission, said that if you added the percentages as announced by the chairperson of the commission the sum came to 100.01%.

But some commentators have said that this is down to a simple rounding error.

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