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Press Week: There’s huge strength in united Nigeria – Don

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Prof. Adepoju Tejumaiye of the Department of Mass Communications, University of Lagos, says there is huge strength in Nigeria being together as a country as against its dismemberment.

Tejumaiye made the assertion at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Lagos State Council Public Lecture, with the theme: “Nigeria and Nation Building: Overcoming The Challenges Of Security, Restructuring and Self Determination For Progressive Development”.

According to him, Nigeria does not need disintegration but devolution of powers to return the country to the pathway of growth and development.

“This country belongs to everyone of us. I am not someone that subscribes to the dismemberment of Nigeria. There is a big strength, huge strength in unity.

“Let us be together, we are going to achieve our goals but let there be sense of belonging for everybody.

“Population should not be used to share the national revenues, let revenues be shared on equal percentages and we will see that things will change,” he said.

Tejumaiye, the Professor of Media Studies and Political Communications, said that the present system is spoiling and breeding indolence because it doesn’t allow people to use their initiatives.

“Every state in this country has resources, huge. There is no reason why Nigeria should be in debt, that is the truth. What can solve it is devolution of powers.

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“Decentralisation is the best way to go. Anything outside that will make this country to remain as it is. There is an urgent need for the devolution of powers to the respective federating units.

“Decentralisation of everything-The Police, Tax System, Revenue System, etc need to be decentralised. If we can get that done, then Nigeria is going to change for better,” he said.

Tejumaiye said that the system in operation before the first coup in Nigeria, where different parts of the country were developing at their pace, is the best.

He said that the country needs to go back to that system because it would solve most of the problems confronting the nation.

“There is need for serious rethinking and this is in our hands. This is the time to get things right,” he said.

Earlier, Mr Adeleye Ajayi, the Chairman, NUJ, Lagos State Council, said that Nigeria has raised the stakes especially in tackling the incidents of economic-induced kidnappings and other crimes.

According to Ajayi, security remains a major challenge in Nigeria but unlike what obtained in the pre-independence period, security problems escalated partly due to the diverse nature of the country.

“The trends leading to this situation are reversible, if serious proactive and sustained measures could be adopted by the government.

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“The implication of this is that policy makers have the duty to arrest this drift through social justice and development,” he said.

The NUJ boss said if Nigeria is to develop, there must be leaders who were broadminded enough to campaign for justice, equity and fairness beyond narrow group interests.

The lecture was delivered by Mr Segun Adeniyi, Chairman, Editorial Board, This Day Newspapers, and the occasion was chaired by Prof. Ralph Akinfeleye.

The panel of discussants include Prof. Adepoju Tejumaiye, Head of Department, Mass Communications, University of Lagos, and Dr Jide Johnson of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ).

The press week, which started on Media with a news conference to unfold lined up activities, witnessed novelty matches on Tuesday while Thursday is slated for Chapels’ Rendezvous.

A Jumaat Service at the Lagos State Secretariat Mosque and a Gala /Award Night, at the Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja are slated to hold on Friday.

The council would pay a visit to the Little Saints Orphanage, Abule Egba, and Regina Mundi Old Peoples’ Home, Mushin, on Saturday while a Thanksgiving Service at the Chapel of Christ The Light, Alausa, Ikeja, is billed for Sunday. (NAN)

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POLITICS

Tinubu Visited me to Seek Support for Presidential Ambition – Yakasai

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A founding member of the Arewa Consultative Forum and elder statesman, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, has revealed that he would support the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s presidential bid in 2023.

Tinubu had on Wednesday visited the elder statesman at his Abuja residence.

A founding member of the Arewa Consultative Forum and elder statesman, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, has revealed that he would support the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s presidential bid in 2023.

Tinubu had on Wednesday visited the elder statesman at his Abuja residence.

Though Tinubu has yet to declare his intention to contest any office in 2023, there have been reports and veiled indications that he might be interested in the exalted seat.

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, had in October inaugurated the South-West Agenda 2023, a political movement mobilising support for Tinubu to contest the 2023 presidential election.

Tinubu, who celebrated his 69th birthday in March 2021 and commands an arguably large following of political loyalists, has been reported to nurse presidential ambition in 2023, even as political debates get intense for a southern president after the eight-year regime of the incumbent, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), who is from Katsina State, North-West Nigeria.

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Between July and October 2021, while Tinubu was in the United Kingdom for a knee surgery and physiotherapy, over 50 politicians, including the President, six governors, dozens of senators and House of Representatives members, visited him at his London home and turned the place to a Mecca of sort.

In October, the Northern Caucus of House of Representatives, led by Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Idris Wase, had also paid a get-well visit to the APC leader in London and declared support for Tinubu’s reported 2023 presidential ambition.

Friday, 96-year-old Yakasai said he had earmarked two politicians to support for Presidency in 2023.

He, however, said he has no intention to join politics but he has the constitutional right to back any candidate of his choice.

Asked whether he planned to join the ruling party after Tinubu’s visit, Yakassai said, “I don’t want to join any (political) party but I can support a candidate of my choice. I have said it way back in 1951 that I will not be a party member but I will support a candidate of my choice.”

On the APC leader’s visit, the elder statesman said, “He (Tinubu) just came to visit me but actually I have two of them (presidential aspirants) that I have earmarked right from the beginning and I made a vow that any one of them who came to ask for my support first is the person I would support. Tinubu is the first person.”

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When asked whether Tinubu told him he would be contesting for President in 2021, Yakasai said, “He (Tinubu) did and he asked for my support.”

Yakasai, however, said he didn’t disclose to Tinubu, during the visit, that he would support his ambition.

He also said that interested aspirants must first scale the hurdles of primary elections in their various political parties “then we will begin to compare them.”Punch

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JUDICIARY

Court Restrains Osun Govt, Ruling Houses from Contesting Akinrun Stool

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An Osun State High Court sitting in Ikirun has granted an order of interim injunction restraining the Obaara and Adedeji ruling houses from contesting the vacant Akinrun stool.

Justice A.

A. G. Onibokun while granting the order also barred the Osun State government from accepting any nomination except the Gboleru ruling house.

There has been contestation between the Gboleru ruling house which was supposed to produce the next Akinrun and the Obaara and Adedeji ruling houses who also wanted to produce the next monarch.

Trouble started when the Gboleru ruling house which was supposed to produce the next Akinrun had a misunderstanding amongst qualified princes, and this led to an Osun State High Court in Ikirun presided over by Justice Jide Falola directing that the Obaara as the next ruling house in line to produce the next Akinrun.

Also, the Osun State Government through the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs had expressed its readiness to carry out the court order.

However, due to the judgment, members of the Gboleru ruling house on Sunday staged a town wide protest in Ikirun to press home their right to the throne in conformity with the Chieftaincy law.

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POLITICS

Ajaokuta Steel: Al-Makura Warns 2022 Budget will Frustrate Development Initiatives

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By Jude Opara, Abuja

The chairman Senate Committee on Solid Minerals, Mines and Metallurgy, Tanko Al Makura, on Thursday raised the alarm that the 2022 budget will frustrate the development in Ajaokuta Steel plant and solid minerals development generally, because of its failure to allocate special funds to the sector.

 

Al Makura, said this while fielding questions from newsmen shortly after submitting the budget defence report of his committee to the Senate Appropriation Committee.

The immediate past governor of Nasarawa state regretted that the much desired growth in the steel industry sector may not be easily achievable without very special allocation to the ministry.

He further revealed that during the budget defence of the Ministry and agencies under his Committee, it was discovered that there were repetitions of most of the items provided in the 2021 Budget, saying the budgeting pattern has become like a stereotype.

The senator warned that if Nigeria truly wants economic development and diversification, especially in the solid minerals sector there must be some initiative in ensuring that the budget is pragmatic and realistic.

He said; “What we observed is that a lot of things that were provided for last year appeared to have come again this year. There appears to be some kind of stereotyping of the budget and if we really consider the need for economic growth and diversification which is very much sought for, there has to be some initiative in ensuring that the budget is a pragmatic budget.

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“The President considers solid minerals among the sectors that will drive the process of diversification, but given the paltry allocation to the ministry, such desired expectations may not be easily met”.

Al-Makura also lamented that for the past two years when the initiative was put forward to reactivate the Ajaokuta Steel Company, there has not been any meaningful allocation to the company.

Speaking earlier while declaring open the budget defence session, Chairman of the Appropriations Committee of the Senate, Barau Jubril, said a lot of money has been spent to revive the Ajaokuta Steel Company, yet it has remained in a state of decay.

He noted that the company has not been utilized to its installation capacity, saying the situation calls for the involvement of everybody to make sure the company is resuscitated, given its importance to the country.

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