A former Senate Leader, Senator Ali Ndume, yesterday expressed optimism that he would emerge as the Senate President in the ninth National Assembly. Ndume said that he had the support of his colleagues in the Senate and party leaders to contest for the position. Addressing journalists in Lagos, Ndume who said he was not in the race to bargain for juicy position, also said he has consulted with a lot of party leaders in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and none has asked him to withdraw for anyone. He said that even the National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, the had said that the party only recommended Senator Ahmad Lawan as their preferred choice and are not trying to impose him on the senators. He said: “We have 109 senators and each of them has one vote.
If you are contesting to be the senate president, you have to reach out. But at the beginning, I was cautious because I am a party man. So, when the party said don’t go there because if you do, you will be disciplined, I stayed back. But the party came out again and said ‘ you can reach out to them now and so I reached out to them.
So far, I thank God that the response I am getting from my colleagues from the other party is very encouraging. The same thing from my colleagues in APC. I am in this race to win. So, I am talking to everybody. I have all the numbers of the 109 senators-elect and I call them “I have written the party, indicating my intention to contest.
Even my national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, publicly said they only recommended Lawan and not they are stopping anybody. As I speak with you, nobody has consulted me to say ‘don’t run for Senate President’. Everybody has the constitutional right to do that” he said. Speaking on his nine point agenda, Ndume who currently represents Borno South promised to improve upon the performance of the 8th Senate, adding that he will make the Office of the Senate President less attractive by reducing the unnecessary privileges attached to the office.
Ijaw, Itsekiri tournament winners bag CEPEJ’s N2.2m
The 2019 edition of the popular Peace and Unity Football Cup competition between Ijaw and Itshekiri in Delta State has ended in grand-style with winners of the tournament coasting home with N2.2 million cash awards and other consolation prizes.
The donor, National Coordinator of the Centre for Peace and Environmental Justice (CEPEJ), Sherrif Mulade, said the competition, which had been trending for over two weeks, was designed to foster unity, peace and progress among the youth of the two ethnic nationalities.
Ijaw and Itshekiri engaged in life threatening intra-ethnic dispute over a decade ago, which left dozens of persons dead and maimed.
For Mulade, “Football game, the world over, has the capability of promoting peaceful co-existence among the youth from the three ethnic groups, using sports to cement relationships and attract investments.”
The round leather game, which took place in Warri, finally came to an end with spectators at the Benikrukru Township Field cheered Ajudiabo FC and Kunukunuma FC, which locked horns for the third place prize, as well as Ogidigben FC and Okerenkoko FC, which had a titanic clash for the star prize.
Ajudiabo FC thrashed Kunukunuma FC four goals to one, while Ogidigben an Itsekiri community, beat Okerenkoko FC by 5 to 4 through penalty shootouts after 1 -1 at full time.
Ondo uncovers 51 ghost workers on payroll
Head of Service, Ondo State, Mr. Dare Aragbaye has disclosed that no fewer than 51 ghost workers were discovered at the Local Government Service during screening exercise to prevent wage bill from being loaded with non-existing staff.
Aragbaye gave the disclosure yesterday while briefing newsmen at NUJ Press Centre, Alagbaka, Akure, the state capital on 2019 Public Service Week celebration programme with the theme “ICT and Innovative Governance: Panacea For Youth Unemployment and Migration.”
According to him, 51 workers on the payroll didn’t show up even after extending the screening exercise by about two weeks.
The HoS, however, said that the state government has stopped salary payment of the discovered ghost workers due to their failure to appear for the last verification exercise conducted for its workforce.
Speaking on the new minimum wage for workers in the state, Aragbaye said that consultations were ongoing with labour leaders in the state to work out the modalities on the implementation of the new minimum wage.
He, however, revealed that Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu was eager to hear what the final outcome of the consultations in order for him to append his signature on the implementation of the new wage.
According to the HoS, Akeredolu had on May Day celebration promised workers in the state that he would pay the new minimum wage.
Aragbaye said: “I want to assure the workers that as Mr. Governor promised on May Day, Ondo State government will pay the minimum wage.
“Mr. Governor had been reminding us what we’ve been doing about it in order to get his approval.
“We have been meeting all stakeholders and we are meeting again this week so we can quickly agree. I can assure you, there will be no problem.”
Osinbajo: Why I missed Wole Soyinka Award ceremony
The Office of the Vice President has made public the letter which Vice President Yemi Osinbajo wrote to the organisers of Anti-corruption Defender Award of 2019.
The letter made available to newsmen on Monday in Abuja indicated that the vice president had given two reasons why he would not be able to attend the event held on Monday in Lagos.
Osinbajo said his first reason was that he would be in Abu Dhabi for an international meeting under the auspices of the government of the United Arab Emirates where he was the keynote speaker.
The vice president’s second reason was that he thought it insensitive to attend the ceremony in view of the recent developments on Friday in the Sowore case, reports the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
“I am extremely grateful for the recognition and award of the ‘Integrity Specialty of the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism’s Anti-corruption Defender Award of 2019’ to me.
“The award, I note, is for our justice reform efforts in Lagos State. I had accepted the award with pride on behalf of the excellent Justice Sector team we had.
“However, two reasons explain my absence. First is that I am currently in Abu Dhabi for an international meeting under the auspices of the government of the UAE where I am the keynote speaker.
“Second, in view of the developments on Friday in the Sowore case, I think it would be insensitive and inappropriate to attend the ceremony.
“Please accept my heartfelt apologies and extend the same to the other members of the organising team. God bless you,” the letter reads in part.
Soyinka, Jega task FG on anti-graft war
Until the murders of a former Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, the late Chief Bola Ige, and other high-profile individuals were resolved, the fight against corruption in the country may remain a “futile” exercise.
This was the position of Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, at the United Nations Anti-corruption Day, which held Monday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The late AGF was assassinated in his home in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, on December 23, 2001.
This was a former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, tasked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on the need to show that there were no sacred cows in the ongoing anti-graft war.
In his estimation, Ige and others were victims of “forces of corruption”.
“What has happened to the investigation of such high profile murders of Chief Bola Ige and others?
“If we do not resolve them, fighting corruption would be futile because they were murdered not because of political rivalry but by forces of corruption,” Soyinka said.
Speaking on the re-arrest of the Convener of #RevolutionNow Movement, Mr. Omoyele Sowore, the renowned playright underscored the sanctity of free speech, stressing that the “wark” against corruption, signify the “long walk to freedom”.
He said: “If I say revolution now, am I going to be thrown into prison because those in charge are afraid of the word revolution?
“Let the walk today between the citadel of anti-corruption and the seat of the executive arm of government be the long walk to freedom. What we are doing now is revolution somewhere or the other.”
Also speaking, Jega stressed the urgency in revvying-up the fight against corruption by anti-graft agencies.
Millions of Nigerians not bothered about Sowore’s rearrest —Presidency
The Presidency has said that millions of Nigerians are not bothered about the rearrest of SaharaReporters Publisher, Omoyele Sowore, at the Federal High Court in Abuja last Friday.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said this during Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme on Monday.
Adesina was asked to react to the outrage that greeted the violent rearrest of Sowore.
He said the Presidency stands by the claim of the Department of State Services (DSS) that the video circulating did not reflect what actually transpired in court.
The President’s spokesman added: “I don’t particularly agree with you when you say a lot of Nigerians (are not happy), you know that all this noise has been coming from less than 100,000 Nigerians. And the noise will be so loud that you think it is the whole country.
“It is a country of 198 million people. When just 100,000 are making noise in the social and traditional media, you would think the whole country is in an uproar. There are millions and millions of people who are not bothered.
“There are millions of people who know what the issues are. So, you cannot just seek the opinion of a local minority and then conclude that the country is in an uproar.”
We can’t trust our security forces, if we allow corruption to ruin our institutions – ICPC
The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has stated that corruption is the fastest route to the destruction of the nation’s institutions.
Citing examples of the effects of corruption on institutions, the ICPC Chairman, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, in his message Monday at the 2019 United Nations International Anti-Corruption Day, noted that “when a country’s institutions are weakened by corruption for instance, its security forces would not be trusted, its borders would become porous, criminality will fester and its insecurity may be internationalized.”
He, however, warned that the days of impunity were over in Nigeria and that all corrupt persons must be ready to face the consequences of their actions.
His words: “As we explore the option of collaboration and cooperation in the fight against corruption, we shall intensify activities to detect and investigate acts of corruption, embezzlement of public funds and abuse of office. The days of impunity are over. The warning must be given, loud and clear, that the corrupt will be dealt with firmly, and with the degree of ruthlessness that the law permits.”
Kwara: Ahmed’s administration left N100bn debt, says AbdulRazaq
Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has disclosed that the immediate past administration incurred a debt of about N100 billion as against the N30 billion it handed over to his administration.
AbdulRazaq, who disclosed this on Monday in Ilorin, the state capital, during a rally commemorating the United Nation’s Anti Corruption Day, commended the EFCC for preventing the removal of about N4 billion from the treasury of the state by the immediate past administration at its twilight.
The governor noted that corruption is a cankerworm that affects all and sundry and the fight against it should be embraced by every member of the society, if there would be meaningful progress and development in Kwara state and Nigeria as a whole.
He said: “The anti corruption laws should not be seen as punitive but an effort to guide the people to do the right thing.
“Corruption is a cankerworm that is detrimental and it drastically retards socioeconomic growth and development of the people, the state and the nation.”
He, however, promised that his administration would effectively collaborate with the anti graft agency so as to make the state better.
Ganduje appoints Sanusi Chairman Kano Council of Emirs
Kano Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has appointed the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, Chairman of the state’s Emirate Council of Chiefs.
Ganduje said he did this going by the powers conferred on him in Sections 4 (2) (g) and Section 5((1) (2) of the Kano State Emirate Councils Law 2019.
Also Four First Class Emirs of Bichi, Rano, Karaye and Gaya, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, Alhaji Dr Tafida Abubakar (Autan Bawo), Alhaji Dr Ibrahim Abubakar II and Alhaji Ibrahim Abdulkadir, are appointed as automatic members of the Council, as enshrined in the state’s Emirate Council Law.
According to a press release signed by Mr Abba Anwar, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor and made available to newsmen on Monday, the governor stated that Section 4(2) names other members as Secretary to the State Government, Commissioner for Local Governments, five Chairmen of local government councils one each from the local government council where the Emir’s palace is situated.
Section 5(1), (2) of the law provides that, the Chairmanship of the state Council of Chiefs shall be rotational among the five Emirs of the Emirates and the sequence of which is to be determined by the governor and the chairman shall serve for a period of two years only.
The appointment is with effect from Monday, December 9.
Governor Ganduje urged all the Council members to utilize the opportunity to serve the people in the state and to strengthen the Emirates and the traditional system of administration in the state in advising the state government, more particularly on security matters
Sowore: Coalition threatens mass action after 14-day ultimatum
Coalition of Civil Society Organisations has threatened to mobilise Nigerians for a mass action against the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government after the expiration of a14-day ultimatum it issued for the release of Omoyele Sowore and others illegally detained by the Department of State Services (DSS).
While the Coalition noted that last week’s invasion of the Federal High Court in Abuja by DSS operatives and re-arrest of Sowore was the highest level of abuse of executive powers, it also stated that the country would slide fully into anarchy if nothing was done to curb the excesses of the government.
Yemi Adamolerun of EiE Nigeria, in the address she read on behalf of the Coalition at a press conference in Abuja on Monday, said that the ultimatum was necessary to put an urgent check on the government before democracy in Nigeria would be completely truncated by power drunk politicians.
One killed, others missing in New Zealand volcano eruption
One person was killed after a volcano erupted on White Island off the coast of New Zealand and an undetermined number of people were injured or missing, authorities said Monday.
John Tims, deputy commissioner of the national police, said at a news conference that there are “likely to be more” deaths. Search and rescue operations have been stalled because “at this stage, it is too dangerous for police and rescue services to go to the island.”
Boats, ships and emergency aircraft in the area had removed 23 people from the island, many of them with burn injuries, he said. About 50 people were believed to have been in the area at the time of the eruption, he said.
Jonathon Fishman, a spokesman for Royal Caribbean Cruises, told NBC News that multiple guests aboard the ship Ovation of the Seas were touring the island, which in quieter times is a tourist attraction popular with birdwatchers. He had no further immediate information, adding: “Please keep all those affected in your prayers.”
GeoNet, the government earthquake agency, said the country’s most active cone volcano, Whakaari White Island, in the Bay of Plenty about 30 miles off the northeast New Zealand coast, erupted at about 2:11 p.m. Monday.
“We are aware that people were on the island immediately before the eruption and we express our concern for their safety,” GeoNet said in a statement. It said that the eruption was a “short-lived” event generating an ash plume 12,000 feet into the sky but that ash fall appeared to be confined to the island.
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