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Why it ‘ll be Difficult for African Nations to Get Debt Relief Again – Obasanjo

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From Kunle Idowu, Abeokuta

Former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo has posited that it would be difficult for African nations to enjoy debt relief from their huge debts.

Obasanjo premised his stance on the inability of the African continent to manage the previous debts written-off for the continent.

He noted that with the situation on ground there was no option for the next generations of Africans to relieve the continent from her huge debts.

Recall that Obasanjo as the country’s President in 2003 secured a debt relief for Nigeria while his counterpart from Algeria did the same for his country, during the period.

The former President made his position known yesterday, in a statement made available to newsmen by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Akinyemi.

Obasanjo spoke during an engagement with 2023 awardees of the Future Africa Leaders Foundation, an initiative of Pastor Chris Oyakhilome.

He noted that with the level of mismanagement of the previous debts written off for the country, it would be almost impossible for any administration to get a similar gesture in the continent.

Obasanjo declared that the debts were a trap that no individual or nation should fall into as it constitutes an “albatross” on any economy.

The former president who asserted that leadership was the number one problem facing the continent summed: “the coming generations will have no choice but pay the current debt being incurred by different countries in the continent.”

He commended Pastor Oyakhilome for the efforts put into building leaders adding that the nation needs more people like him to address the leadership crisis facing the continent.

Highlighting the qualities of a leader during the questions and answers session, Obasanjo said, “a leader should be able to set good examples, be bold and courageous when making decisions, accepting mistakes and learning from them as well as having a realistic dream,” Obasanjo stated.

POLITICS

APC Primary Election: Interior Minister Congratulates Aiyedatiwa

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The Minister of Interior, Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, has congratulated Gov. Lucky Aiyedatiwa of Ondo State over his emergence as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Saturday’s primary election.

This is contained in a statement made available to newsmen by the Special Adviser to the Minister of Interior on Media and Publicity, Mr Alao Babatunde, on Monday in Akure.

Reports says that Aiyedatiwa got the highest number of votes, and was declared winner by the Gov.

Usman Ododo-led electoral committee in the APC primary election held on Saturday.

Tunji-Ojo, who described the primary election as a family affair, noted that it reaffirmed the commitment of the party to the tenets of democracy.

“I congratulate His  Excellency, Gov. Lucky Aiyedatiwa, for clinching the ticket of the party after a keenly- contested primary election.

“APC has demonstrated that our democracy has grown and can thrive even to deliver its dividends to the people.

“I appreciate the other contestants for demonstrating the spirit of sportsmanship before and during the process.

“In a contest like this, where all candidates belong to a progressive family, the party emerges as the winner, as victory is a privilege bestowed upon the ticket holder.

“I am confident Aiyedatiwa will win the election come Nov. 16, and ultimately, the people of Ondo State will be the winner,” the minister said. (NAN)

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POLITICS

10th NASS to Provide Legal Framework for AI Regulation

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The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Tajudeen Abbas has promised that the 10th National Assembly will provide legal framework to regulate the adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the country.
Abbas said this at the 2023/2024 matriculation of the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS)/University of Benin (UniBen) in Abuja on Monday.


Represented by the Minority Leader, Rep.
Kingsley Chinda (PDP-Rivers), Abbas said that the parliament was aware of the global advancement on AI.

He said that other countries had advanced their educational systems and had continued to explore opportunities in AI to optimise their human capital development.
“To key into this emerging development, the 10th National Assembly will strive to provide a legal framework for regulating the adoption of AI in our country to ensure an optimal mix of labour-capital ratio in our nation’s development process.

“In this direction, NILDS is expected to look into the possibilities of providing research-based intellectual support to facilitate the actualisation of this very important modern process,” he said.
Abbas pledged continuous support of the National Assembly for NILDS and urged the new students to attend lectures regularly, do assignments promptly, and obey all the rules and regulations that were contained in the student handbook.
In her remarks, the Vice-Chancellor of UniBen, Prof. Lilian Salami, said that the university had made some giant academic strides.
“This all-around excellence has resulted in a large number of students seeking admission into the university and the institute yearly.
“We shall continue to ensure that the template is sustained and that our students get the best in academic fulfillment and character molding because these are vital elements expected to make our products globally competitive and marketable.
“As the new students settle down for serious academic work, please remember that your role is to add value to the democratic process and not to degrade it; be worthy of this opportunity and we expect merit.
“As mature students, no one needs to emphasise to you that social biases are acceptable at all levels in this institute,’’ she said.
Also speaking, the Director-General of NILDS, Prof. Abubakar Sulaiman, said that the 2023/2024 session was unique as a total of 180 students was admitted.
He said that for the first time, the institution recorded the enrolment of foreign students into its postgraduate programmes.
“This is a testament to the increased quality of our academic programmes at NILDS,” he said.
Sulaiman said that the feat would not have been possible without the commitment of the National Assembly, the University of Benin, the Ministry of Education, the National Universities Commission (NUC), and the National Board for Technical Education.
The DG said that the best students would be recognised and offered prize awards at the end of the programme saying that the institute had invested several resources to ensure equal opportunity for all.
The 180 students were admitted for Master’s Degree in Constitutional Law and Development, Legislative Studies, and Master’s in Elections and Party Politics.
Others were Master in Laws (LLM), Legislative Drafting, Master in Parliamentary Administration, and the Post Graduate Diploma in Elections and Political Party Management. (NAN)

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POLITICS

Ododo Declares Aiyedatiwa Winner of APC Governorship Ticket in Ondo

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Amidst protest over the conduct of the All Progressives Congress (APC) primay election in Ondo State, Gov. Lucky Aiyedatiwa was early on Monday morning declared winner.

The Chairman of the party’s Primary Election Committee for Ondo State and Governor of Kogi,  Usman Ododo said that Aiyedatiwa having satisfied the requirement of the law and scored the highest vote was the winner.

Reports says that 171,922 members of the party were revalidated to vote in 203 wards in the 18 local government areas of the state.

Ododo said that Aiyedatiwa polled  48,569 votes to defeat his closest opponent, Mr Mayowa Akinfolarin, who had 15,343 out of 95,178 valid votes counted.

Mr Olusola Oke, SAN, was placed  third with 14,195 votes.

According to the chairman of the election committee, Aiyedatiwa won in 16 out of the 18 local government areas of the state while Oke won in one

He said that there was no voting in Ifedore Local Government Area as a result of widespread violence and threat to life.

Ododo appreciated all party members who participated  in the exercise for their courage and perseverance, describing the primary election as peaceful.

He said that the real work had just begun, adding that the aspirants and their supporters should not allow the results of the primary election to divide them.

According to him, there is no reason to abandon the party.

The chairman asked the party members to be in unity in order to come out more united and stronger in the subsequent political contests.

NAN reports that the party adopted the direct mode for the conduct of the primary which held on Saturday.

However, due to some irregularities a rerun was ordered on Sunday in the 13 wards in Okitipupa Local Government Area of the state.

Earlier, some of the aspirants criticized the conduct of the primary election alleging violence and none arrival of materials and officials in some wards.

There was also a protest on Sunday by supporters of some of the aspirants at the APC secretariat in Akure, who called for the cancellation of the exercise.

Other aspirants that participated in the primary are: Mr Isaac Kekemeke, Mr Olusoji Ehinlanwo, Mr Olugbenga Edema , Sen. Jimoh Ibrahim, Mr Diran Iyantan; Prof. Dayo Faduyile, Mr Ifeoluwa Oyedele.

Others are Mrs Funmilayo Waheed-Adekojo, Mr Adewale Akinterinwa; Mr Olusola Oke, Mr  Ohunyeye Felix; Mr Morayo Lebi, Mrs Judith Omogoroye and Mr Jimi Odimayo. ( NAN)

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