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Kwakwanso ‘ll not Malign Any Zone, Individual Because of Politics- NNPP

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 The New Nigeria  People’s  Party (NNPP) has stated that its presidential candidate, Senator Rabiu Kwakwanso, will not in any way malign any zone or individual because of politics.

Prof. Rufa’i Ahmed Alkali, the National Chairman of NNPP, made the clarification in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.

Alkali said: “Our presidential candidate will not in any way malign any zone or any individual because we believe that NNPP desires the votes of all the zones and all electorate to govern Nigeria.

“We want to state that NNPP will canvass votes from all geo-political zones to win the 2023 Presidential election and would not in any way consider any zone less as we have supporters and candidates all over the country.

According to him, the attention of the National leadership of the NNPP has been drawn to the  reactions of some Nigerians to a report falsely credited to the national leader and presidential candidate of the party, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwakwanso on the South-East geo-political zone as regards the 2023 Presidential election.

“According to the report,  Kwankwaso, while inaugurating the Gombe State Executive of the party last week,  was quoted to have said that the South-East (Igbo People) are good in business, but at the bottom of politics in Nigeria.”

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He said the attribution had generated some ill feelings in some political circles in Nigeria, especially between the South-East and the NNPP.

Alkali said: “However, as a party that is desirous to change the situation of the country, we believe that no Nigerian of any geopolitical zone, tribe, ethnic nationality or religious persuasion is least on the rung of the ladder in the whole effort to bring the desired change in the country.

“The NNPP wishes to categorically state that the statement of its  Presidential Candidate. Sen. Kwankwaso at the occasion was situated out of contest.

“The NNPP Presidential candidate has always emphasised that the Igbo were frontrunners in the fight for the nation’s struggle for independence.

“Also, they had produced the first President of the country in the person of the late Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, the first President of the Senate, Dr Nwafor Orizu, former Vice President, late Dr Alex Ekwueme, four former Presidents of the Senate from 1999 to date and other top political office holders.”

According to him, NNPP, as a political party on the ballot in 2023, believes that it has what it takes like some other political parties to rejuvenate the present situation of the country.

He said that the party would not in any way disparage any zone or people of any political party.

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“It is pertinent to state that the discussions with any political party or individual is an ongoing thing that would bring the desired change of a new Nigeria,” Alkali said. (NAN)

POLITICS

PDP Congratulates IBB at 81

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has congratulated former Military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, on his 81st birthday.

The party, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Debo Ologunagba, in Abuja on Wednesday, described Babangida as a courageous leader.

It also described him as a statesman and nationalist, who remained exceptionally loyal and committed to national unity, stability and economic development.

“He is an undiminished quintessence of development-oriented leadership, whose government laid solid foundation for infrastructural and policy development in key sectors of our economy.

“He remains a Pan-Nigerian leader and the PDP recognises and deeply appreciates his continuing role towards the growth and stability of our great Party and the nation at large, even in his retirement,” it read.

Ologunagba said the PDP celebrated Babangida on the auspicious occasion, and prayed to God to bless him with more years in good health.

He said that this would enable the nation to continue to benefit from his wealth of experience and wise counsel.

The spokesman said this was also important in the party’s mission to rescue, redirect and rebuild the nation..(NAN)

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POLITICS

Lagos Govt to Create Fit-for-purpose Education Model – Commissioner

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The Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folasade Adefisayo, says the government is creating a fit-for-purpose education model for learners in the state.

Adefisayo said this on Wednesday in Ikeja, during a news briefing on 2022 Lagos State Education Summit.

She said that Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration had shown efforts and implemented various initiatives across the education sector to make available high-quality education accessible to all.

According to her, these strides can be scaled up with re-energised synergy between all stakeholders in the education sector.

She said that the summit was part of the strategies to harness resources as well as the best brains from across the world and deliver the desired quality education to learners.

The commissioner said that the summit, slated for Aug. 30 and Aug. 31, would explore ways to ensure sustainability in quality education in the state.

The theme of the summit is, ‘Creating a Sustainable Fit-For-Purpose Education Model’ while the sub-theme is ‘Prioritising Education in the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda and the 30-Year Lagos Development Plan’.

She said that participants, numbering about 5,300, would be expected to engage and co-create new ideas and solutions for the development of education in Lagos State and the country at large.

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”The summit seeks to explore a holistic approach toward education and lifelong learning from early childhood to higher education that is necessary for developing, re-skilling and enhancing an active population.

”We are expecting all stakeholders in the public and private education sectors in Lagos State.

“They include educators, school owners and administrators, parents, students, education researchers, NGOs, education consultants and private sector development partners.

”The summit will also afford the Federal Ministry of Education, other federal education agencies and state commissioners of education across the country an opportunity to co-share ideas for the development of education,” Adefisayo said.

She said that in order to allow for robust participation of all stakeholders, the summit would be hybrid allowing physical and online participation.

The commissioner said that all participants would register via the link which had been provided on www.lagoseducationsummit.com

She said that the on-sight arrangement would accommodate about 300 participants in-person, while over 5,000 would participate online.

According to her, the summit aims for discussion that will lead to change in paradigm in teaching and learning.

She said that such was important as recent studies had reflected challenges relating to productive value of young people coming out of education institutions.

In her remarks, the Chairman, Teaching Service Commission, Lagos State, Mrs Elizabeth Ariyo, said that having examined the present situation in the state, the need for a paradigm shift was pertinent.

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Ariyo said that a change could not be expected by sticking to the prevailing teaching and learning orientation. (NAN)

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POLITICS

2023: Observations from Kenyan Election Show INEC needs to Review Voting Hours-CODE

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Connected Development (CODE),a Civil Society Organisation says observations from the just concluded Kenya election have revealed the need for the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) to adjust its voting hours for 2023 poll.

Mr Emmanuel Njoku, Director, Democracy and Governance, CODE said this at the official launch of CODE’s annual report that detailed its various interventions and effort to institutionalise accountability and transparency in governance across Africa.

Njoku said that INEC’s review of voting hours was recommended because if not done, more than 30 million citizens could be disenfranchised in the 2023 General Elections .

He said that this was because Kenya used the same Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) device and also transmitted its results electronically just like Nigeria and the process was practically the same as the only difference was in the numbers.

He added that CODE was in Kenya to observe the election and to also see how the device would work so as to prepare for Nigeria’s election in 2023.

“Kenya’s voter register is just 22.1 million and the voter turnout was 65 per cent, which was about 14 million votes, in Nigeria we are expecting around 45 per cent voter turnout which is close to 40 million people.

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“Yet Kenyan polls open as early as 6am and close by 5pm that is 11 hours for a voter register of just under 2.1 million what that means is that everybody gets to vote.

“ However, people in Nigeria with higher voters’ polls open for just six hours from 8:30 and closes by 2:30pm that is just six hours for a voter register of 95 million people.

“With the BVAS, it takes a person two minutes to accredit and voting , mathematically, if it takes one person two minutes to go through the process to vote, it means in an hour, it will take just about 30 persons to vote,” he said.
Njoku added: “This is because if we go ahead with what we have, which is just six hours for 95 million persons to be able to get to vote, we may end up seeing close to 30 million Nigerians being disenfranchised in the 2023.
“Going forward, if Kenya with a voter register of 22 million persons allows 11 hours for citizens to vote, INEC needs also to expand its voting time.”
Mr Hamzat Lawal, the Chief Executive Officer, CODE, said that the report launched revealed CODE’s activities of holding public officials accountable and demanding that they keep their promises to their constituents by expediting timely interventions.

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Lawal said that in 2021, with support from Ford Foundation, CODE supported local leaders in Rivers grassroots in a campaign borne out of the need to combat pervasive corruption, poor accountability, and the negligence of community development.

He said that this have been amounting to years of under-development, exposure to hazardous health risks due to oil substance leakages into water supplies and the sheer impact of these on livelihoods and the quality of life.

He said that CODE visited 19 project sites in 10 communities in nine LGAs and as a result ,so many abandoned projects were completed.

Lawal added that the World Bank has approved a 150million dollar credit for the Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment (AGILE), to improve secondary education opportunities in the country.

He said that the AGILE project which was being carried out in 7 states would be implemented by the Ministry of Health in collaboration with Connected Development CODE, a Non-Governmental Organisation.

He said that the seven states were Kano, Kebbi, Kaduna, Kastina, Borno, Plateau and Ekiti State.

He stated that the AGILE PROJECT was expected to be a platform for girls health education, gender based violence awareness, and prevention as well as life skills, for a period of 5 years

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“We also tracked N1.167 billion worth of constituency projects in 30 communities across 3 senatorial zones of Kaduna State under Deepening Citizens’ Interest in Government Spending and Addressing Accompanying Corrupt Practices ( DESPAAC).

“We trained 53 students in Anti-Corruption, Transparency, and Accountability under the Power Of Voices Partnership Fair For All Project In Oil Regions.

“CODE also initiated and revived integrity and anti-corruption clubs in 30 schools across FCT, Cross River, Delta, and Rivers states,” he said.

Lawal said that CODE assessed the readiness of 90 Primary Health Centres(PHCs) to receive, store and effectively administer vaccines with the purpose of equally driving quality standardisation of PHCs across the six geopolitical via follow the money project among others .

Also speaking ,Mr Ani Nwachukwu ,Research and Policy, CODE, said that there was need to address the security situation in the country especially at the grassroots otherwise it would affect the 2023 General Elections.

Nwachikwu said that CODE was implementing a national security watch projects that looked at analysing security breakdowns across the federation.
“We are unveiling the first edition for the monthly security dossier,” he said. (NAN)

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