Enugu govt flags off decontamination of schools ahead of resumption

The Enugu State Government, on Friday, flagged off comprehensive decontamination and fumigation of secondary schools in the state, ahead of resumption of academic activities.

The exercise is being carried out by the State Fire Service, led by its Chief Fire Officer, Engr. Okwudiri Ohaa.

It would be recalled that Enugu State Government, on March 24, 2020, closed all educational institutions in the state, as part of proactive measures to contain the spread of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). The state government directed all public officers/civil servants to work from home till further notice, except those on essential services, and has been paying them salaries, including the teachers, as and when due, since then.

Briefing newsmen shortly after the flag off, which took place at Queen’s School Enugu, the Commissioner for Education, Prof. Uche Eze, who monitored the exercise alongside the Chairman of Post Primary Schools Management Board (PPSMB) Barr. Nestor Ezeme, said that it was Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s directives that “all our schools, classrooms, dormitories and school premises should be decontaminated and fumigated in preparation for resumption”.

Prof. Eze disclosed that “this is to ensure that when the students and teachers are back to schools, they will be safe to learn in conducive environment”.

The commissioner added that the exercise will take place in all the schools and will be completed on or before the evening of Monday, August 3, 2020.

He pointed out that Gov. Ugwuanyi’s administration has utilized the four months of break in academic activities “in renovation and expansion of our school facilities to ensure that we have enough space for our children to maintain social distancing when they return to schools.

“In fact, a few days ago, His Excellency himself moved round schools to inspect our state of readiness and this decontamination and fumigation exercise, which is very important, is going to be the last stage of our preparation”, Prof. Eze said.

Also speaking, the PPSMB Chairman, Barr. Ezeme, added that “our education friendly Governor, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi during the four months of lockdown had paid our teachers, totaling 11,000 in number their salaries, from the 22nd to the 23rd of every month”.

He said that the teachers are coming back to schools, ready and much energized, expressing optimism that their output will be maximized.

In his speech, the State Chief Fire Officer, Engr. Ohaa stated that the decontamination and fumigation exercise will be carried out simultaneously in about 297 secondary schools, saying: “We are sure that on or before evening of Monday, we will complete it”.

Engr. Ohaa revealed that the state fire service offices at different local government areas have been mobilized to carry out the exercise, reassuring that the schools will be ready “for students and their teachers to be safe when they return”.

He maintained that the Enugu State government has been consistent with the decontamination of its public places since the outbreak of COVID-19, stressing that “there is no other state that is as consistent as Enugu State”.

Appreciating Gov. Ugwuanyi’s efforts towards enhancing the standard of education in the state as well as the welfare and safety of the students and their teachers, the Principal of Queen’s School Enugu, Mrs. Ada Nweke, said that the teachers will ever remain grateful to the governor for his commitment and good works in the education sector and beyond.

Federal Government begins construction of N64bn fence for University of Maiduguri

THE Federal Government has begun the construction of the 27.3-kilometre perimeter fence for the University of Maiduguri to check incessant attacks by Boko Haram terrorists.

The project, which is valued at N64bn, is to stop the terrorists who have been penetrating the North-East part of the institution’s campus.

Chairman, Academic Staff Union of Universities in UNIMAID, Dr Dani Mamman, who stated these in an interview with The PUNCH, said only the western and southern parts of UNIMAID campus were initially fenced.

He said, “The UNIMAID perimeter fence is still being constructed. The Federal Government approved N64 bn for the construction of 27.3-kilometre perimeter fence for UNIMAID. That place is very porous.

“The ASUU UNIMAID wrote to the Minister of Education through the ASUU president after an explosion during which we lost a professor and seven other staff.”

COVID-19: Abia Students To Resume August 10

Final year students in Abia State may soon go back to school, as stakeholders in the state education sector are considering August 10, 2020, for reopening of schools to enable students in exit classes prepare and write their examinations.

A statement issued by the Special Adviser to the state governor on Media, Mr. Enyinnaya Appolos, said this was the outcome of a one-day summit held at the Government House in Umuahia, the state capital, where it was agreed that the planned school reopening was subject to verifiable compliance with all the proposed COVID-19 protocols, prevention and control measures.

In his opening remarks at the summit, the state Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, insisted that while the state was desirous of ensuring its high flying students resume classes as quickly as possible, he maintained that his administration would not sacrifice the health of the children for anything.

He said: “We must find a balance between ensuring that they continue to enjoy good health and protection from this virus and continuing their education. I therefore urge all of us to take responsibility for our protection from this virus as well as the protection of our children and loved ones. Our lives cannot stop because of this virus, but we must take necessary measures to protect ourselves and loved ones from the pandemic.”

Addressing journalists after the summit, the Secretary to Abia State Government (SSG), Mr. Chris Ezem, listed some of the agreed pre-conditions to include clearing of school premises, decontamination/fumigation, provision of sick bays with relevant medical staff, compulsory provision of digital thermometers and hand washing stations as well as maintenance of social distance with maximum of 20 students in each classroom.

Ezem said the measures applied to both public and private schools in the state.

He also listed other conditions to include ban on gatherings among the students and ban on food vendors in the schools, however, assuring the state that the government would provide original pocket-size hand sanitizers for all the school children in the exit classes.

Head teachers were also directed to ensure that the students spend a minimum of 10 minutes daily to learn about COVID-19 and its prevention and control measures, while also charging parents to ensure that their children have and wear face masks to school always.

Aba Automated Shoe Factory, Best In Nigeria – Technical Partner

The Technical Partner of the Aba Automated Shoe Factory, Mr Osaro Ekonweren, has described the Aba Automated Shoe Factory as currently having the most updated shoe producing machines in the country.Mr. Ekonweren said this yesterday in an exclusive interview immediately after the inauguration of the Board of the Company by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu.According to the Technical Partner, “we were amazed and impressed by what we saw on ground. Our group has been into shoe production in Nigeria for over a decade now and I must confess that the machines we saw there when we went on inspection cannot be found anywhere in the country. We use machines in our own company but we have is no where near what is at the Aba Shoe Factory”.Mr. Ekonweren said that at present, the factory has an installed capacity for the production of 5000 pairs of shoes every day which translates to about 2 million pairs of shoes annually, with facilities for expansion and assured that they plan to actually expand this capacity within the next one year.He saluted the foresight of Governor Ikpeazu and confirmed that the factory will change the face of shoe production in Nigeria.He said that his organization was selected as Technical Partners for the factory based on a proven and verifiable track record of quality automated shoe production spanning over 10 years. He stated that they make shoes for companies like PEP of South Africa and several others, assuring that the products from the Aba factory will be well received by the markets. According to him, products from this factory will not just be for the local market here but will be sold across West Africa and beyond.He assured that the factory will be run as a professional and commercial outfit with clear opportunities for value addition and job creation.On when actual production will commence at the factory, he assured that they will start test runs in the next two weeks while they will start production by the second week of September. He made it clear that by December this year, shoes from the factory would have gained ground in the local and international markets. He also stated that the factory will also produce other leather works like bags, belts, wallets, etc.Also speaking, the Executive Director, Operations of the Factory, Mr Chinenye Nwaogu said that with the new management structure in place, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has sent a clear message that the factory will be run solely on a basis of professionalism inspired by commercial expediency. He said that the 30 shoe makers who were sent to China by the Governor for training on the use of machines in shoe production will form the initial technical staff of the factory while there will be huge emphasis on training for more operators.Mr Nwaogu said that the apparent delay in the start of production at the factory was because the Governor insisted that a professional organization must be found to run the place and the process took some time, coupled with the pandemic of COVID-19 which shut down the country for about three months.The Governor inaugurated the Board of the Factory yesterday and gave them a clear mandate to raise the bar and cement the place of Abia State as the powerhouse of leather works in Nigeria and West Africa. The Board has Mr. Mark Atasie, a Management Consultant as Chairman.More photos:

8 Major Indicators Vicariously Linking The Present Government Of Nigeria To Herdsmen & Boko Haram Jihadism

Intersociety, Onitsha, Eastern Nigeria, Friday, 31st July 2020.

There are eight major indicators vicariously linking the present Government of Nigeria and its security and law enforcement agencies to ongoing orgy of terror against Christians in the country.

The jihadist terror activities against Christians especially by Jihadist Herdsmen is likened or modeled after Sudan’s “Janjaweed Jihadism” under the ousted Gen Omar Hassan el-Bashir Government (1989-2019).

The present Government of Nigeria and its security and law enforcement agencies have since mid 2015 defended and stood by Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen whose frontiers have further expanded to include ‘foreign’ or ‘imported’ Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen and Shuwa Arabs. These Jihadist groups are also fingered in the ongoing socio-political instabilities or crises in the Central African Republic and Republic of Burkina Faso, etc.

The Nigeria’s central Government has continuously failed woefully in its constitutional duties to protect and secure the country’s individual and group citizens irrespective of their religion, tribe and creed. Same Government has also failed woefully to protect the country’s secularity status and seemed most likely to have adopted radical Islamism as ‘a state religion’, contrary to Sections 10 and 38 of the 1999 Constitution as amended. The Government’s defense of the Jihadist Herdsmen and their heinous atrocities had included and still includes description of their anti Christian butcheries as “herders-farmers’ clash(es)”, or “killings arising from revenge and reprisal violence and criminal gangs”, or “communal clashes” such as ‘killings involving two warring Christian communities”. The latest of such indefensible Government’s cuddling and defense of Jihadist Herdsmen is a false narrative of “balance of terror” or ‘symmetric killings and counter killings’ between communal Muslims and communal Christians’.

In all these, we, the Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & Rule of Law, are not unaware of the fact that the Government is bent not only to continue its monumental failure to act to end the butcheries but also its attempts at deceiving and misleading the world. Therefore, having, since 2010, carefully followed, monitored, researched, investigated, documented, exposed or published the killings perpetrated against Christians and Minority Muslims in Nigeria or any part thereof including patterns and trends of the attacks, we have identified eight major indicators vicariously and inescapably linking the named Government and its security and law enforcement agencies to Fulani Herdsmen Jihadism in the country. The eight major indicators are summarized as follows:

One (1): Government of Nigeria has consistently and undeniably risen since mid 2015 in strong defense and protection of Herdsmen Jihadists and their atrocities which have now escalated and spread country-wide. The central Government of Nigeria and its Armed Forces has also vicariously and officially maintained a policy of soft spot for Boko Haram and its terror jihadism in the Northeast. This, the same Government does to through window dressing and, some say, ‘conflict profiteering’.

Two (2):Government has introduced RUGA (Rural Grazing Area or Settlement for Fulani Herders throughout Nigeria) and NLTP (National Livestock Transformation Plan); all resulting in forceful settlement of Fulani Herders or making them to violently occupy indigenous Christian lands throughout Nigeria. Included, too, is the Nigerian Military (Fulani) Cattle ranching program which seems to have reduced same to a “Fulani colony or Armed Forces”.

Three (3): The Nigerian Military particularly the Army has also since Oct 2016, established annual regional military operations with different code names, camouflaged and remotely targeted at Christian parts of Nigeria; during which ways are militarily and vicariously paved for Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen to move into indigenous Christian lands and occupy them under heavy military or security backing and protection. Strong pieces of evidence abound.

All the programs above are widely viewed as jihad friendly or oriented and through them the Jihadist Herdsmen have been provided state cover to move in and forcefully occupy indigenous Christian communities and their forests, bushes and farmlands across the country; from where they launch attacks and jihadist campaigns targeted at Christians, their lands, farmlands, houses and worship and learning centers. They have been responsible for burning or destruction of not less than 1,500 churches and Christian learning centers across the country since 2015.

Not a single Mosque has been destroyed or burnt in their name till date. As a matter of fact, it must be reminded that Jihadist Herdsmen have never killed a single Muslim or destroyed or burnt any Mosque or Islamic learning center anywhere in Nigeria or any part thereof. All their victims are Christians and other non Muslims. Before mid 2015, for instance, less than two percent of the farmlands, bushes and forests in over 500 Igbo communities in Igbo Land (including Igbo parts of Delta, Benue and Kogi) presently occupied or under the occupation of the Jihadist Herdsmen was occupied or under occupation by same Jihadist Herdsmen. They had existed as “Hausa Settlements” or “Ogbe Hausa”. This is also similarly the case in the Christian parts of Benue, Southern Kaduna, Plateau, Nasarawa, Kogi, Yobe, Taraba, Gombe, Adamawa, Edo and Delta, etc.

Three (3): Grossly lopsided composition of the country’s security forces including their commands and controls which have remained, some say, “90% Muslim controlled”. Three (3): refusing to arrest and prosecute the atrocious jihadists or hold them to account for their heinous atrocities since July 2015.

Four (4): Continued recognition of the mother bodies of the genocidal Fulani jihadists (i.e. MACBAN, FUNAM and Fulani Koutal Hore) as ‘registered organizations” and deregistration of nonviolent socio-cultural, etc groups and declaration, using draconian legal instruments, of other nonviolent ethno-religious groups as “terrorist organizations”.

Five (5): Indiscriminate and unilateral granting of state pardon to terror jihadists (i.e. “repentant Boko Haram combatants”) and their alleged enlistment into security forces as well as abandonment and persecution of victim groups or communities.

Six (6): Government’s false labeling of killing of Christians as “killings arising from herders-farmers’ clashes” and use of different false narratives to back and protect the jihadists and cover their atrocities.

Seven (7): In furtherance of the above false labeling and narratives, the present Nigeria’s central Government also tries to introduce “a balance of terror” or symmetric narrative, between the Fulani Herdsmen jihadists and the victim Christian communities by describing the brutally asymmetric killings as “killings arising from revenge, reprisals and criminal gangs”.

Same Government has till date, refused to recognize and declare Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen as a terror group. This is despite the fact that the group is internationally outlawed and named ‘world’s fourth deadliest terror group’. The “balance of terror” Government’s false narrative has further exposed the complicity of the Nigerian Government in the anti Christian butcheries and its monumental failure in discharging its constitutional duties of protecting and safeguarding the citizens irrespective of their religion, tribe or creed.

Eight (8):Nigerian Government and its security and law enforcement agencies particularly the Nigeria Police Force do not have official credible data or crime statistics particularly with respect to ceaseless massacre of Christians in Nigeria. The Government has not only failed to provide official credible data of the killings, maiming and Christian properties destroyed or burnt but also undermined, mangled and denied same when independently presented.

Government has also failed woefully in letting Nigerians and the Int’l Community know, with verifiable statistics, the proportionality or dis-proportionality of such inter faith asymmetric killings, maiming and destroyed or burnt or lost properties. That is say that there are no credible data from the present central Government of Nigeria or its security and law enforcement agencies including Nigeria Police Force and Defense or Army Headquarters, showing the percentage or number of attacks against defenseless Christian communities by the state backed and protected Jihadist Herdsmen or reprisals by the victim Christian communities, if any.

In other words: there are no credible Government’s records or from its security and law enforcement agencies showing the number of attacks against Christians since mid 2015 by Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen, number of Christians killed, number of their lands seized and occupied by the Jihadists and number of Christians’ properties including dwelling houses, worship and learning centers destroyed or burnt or lost to Jihadist Herdsmen. Government or security or law enforcement records are near totally absent, if not totally absent regarding the number of Jihadist Herdsmen arrested and investigated, convicted and jailed since mid 2015 for killing Christians or seizing or destroying their properties especially their sacred learning and worship centers. Independent records have continued to indicate that such perpetrators are often not arrested, but shielded by the security forces.

On the other hand, there are also no credible records from the same Government or its security and law enforcement agencies showing the number of attacks against Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen or Fulani citizens or settlements by the victim Christian groups or communities, number of Fulani citizens killed, number of their lands seized and occupied, number of Fulani properties including dwelling houses, Mosques and learning centers destroyed or burnt by same Christian “avengers”. The present Government of Nigeria and its security and law enforcement agencies should also answer the following questions: how many Muslims or Muslim farmers have been killed by Jihadist Herdsmen in Nigeria since mid 2015 and how many Islamic properties such as Mosques and learning centers have the same Jihadist Herdsmen destroyed or burnt?

Therefore, since the central Government of Nigeria is now introducing locally and internationally, ‘balance of terror’ narrative or symmetric violence ratio into the anti Christians’ massacre, we challenge them to furnish Nigerians and the Int’l Community with credible official records or data or ‘crime statistics’ regarding the above highlighted. The failure of the Government in this regard will mean same shutting up its mouth permanently and licking the wounds of its monumental failure to act to protect the vulnerable and persecuted Christians in Nigeria.

On our part and independently speaking, the evidence on the ground grossly shows the contrary or contradicts all the Government claims. Apart from attacks on Christians in Nigeria being brutally asymmetric or ‘98%/2%’ ratio; or radical Islamists’ attacks or violence against Christians 98% and reprisals against such attacks or violence 2% or less; the Nigerian Government, adding to its monumental failure to protect Christians and fish out and punish their attackers, has also repeatedly repelled such reprisals if rarely risen or rarely about to occur. Under the same Government, any reprisal killing of a Fulani Herdsman is given widest media attention locally and internationally; with wheel of justice speeded up against the perpetrator(s). But when Christians are massacred, Government rolls out industrially its media censorship and inaction including aiding and abetting; for purpose of dwarfing or mangling same.

Both in principle and in practice, the present Government of Nigeria has provided and still provides maximum protection for Fulani settlements and their jihadist groups and turned and still turns blind eyes including little or zero response to early warning or distress calls on the side of the persecuted Christians and their properties, especially when under attack or about to be attacked. Naturally, individual or group victim citizens’ reprisals become inevitable when governing or securing authorities woefully failed in their duties to protect them and go after their attackers; or whereby same governing or securing authorities take sides and shield the perpetrators and cover up their atrocities.

In the case of persecuted Christians and their communities in Nigeria or any part thereof, they have remained substantially pacifist, nonviolent, peaceful and law abiding; allowing themselves to be massacred at will; only for the same Government and its security and law enforcement agencies especially the Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Police Force to torment and punish them for being nonviolent. Even in the midst of vicious, systematic and coordinated attacks or violence against them by the Jihadist Herdsmen, the Government does little or nothing to protect and secure them other than to criminalize and collectively frame them up with all manners of false labeling and accusations.

Links below contained conspiratorial statements of the Federal Government, the Kaduna State Government, the Nigerian Army and the Kaduna State Police Command, directly or indirectly justifying the ongoing massacre of Christians in Southern Kaduna; these are same Governing and Security authorities constitutionally charged with responsibility of securing and protecting individual and group citizens’ lives and properties irrespective of their ethnicity and religion:

Presidency: https://globalsentinelng.com/2020/07/22/presidency-blames-revenge-killings-for-worsening-insecurity-in-southern-kaduna/.
Kaduna State Government: https://www.premiumtimesng.com/regional/nwest/404891-why-insecurity-persists-in-southern-kaduna-el-rufai.html
the Nigeria Army: https://www.thecable.ng/military-commander-we-have-limited-manpower-to-tackle-southern-kaduna-killingsand https://www.premiumtimesng.com/regional/nwest/405610-southern-kaduna-crisis-not-ethnic-cleansing-military-commander.html
Kaduna State Police Command: https://guardian.ng/news/police-deny-fresh-killings-in-southern-kaduna/
A counter statement by SOKAPU: https://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2020/06/01/kaduna-community-urges-security-agencies-to-recover-30-corpses-of-victims-of-attacks/

Signed:

For: Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & Rule of Law

Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chair, Amaka Damaris Onuoha, Esq., Head of Campaign & Publicity, Samuel Kamanyaoku, Head of Field Data Collection & Documentation and Obianuju Joy Igboeli, Head of Civil Liberties & Rule of Law

Contacts:

Mobile/WhatsApp: +2348174090052

Email: info@intersociety-ng.org

Website: http://www.intersociety-ng.org

2023: MAMMAN DAURA’S MERIT PRESCRIPTION AND ITS MISDIAGNOSIS

By Law Mefor

A significant number of people have died due to misdiagnosis of their medical conditions done with the best of intentions. One can be right the wrong way and vice versa. Such is life.

The nephew and closest confidant of President Muhammadu Buhari, in a BBC Hausa interview days ago, called for merit in deciding who governs Nigeria at the expiration of Buhari’s tenure.

In case you missed the interview, Daura said: “This turn by turn, it was done once, it was done twice, and it was done trice…It is better for this country to be one… It should be for the most competent and not for someone who comes from somewhere…”

What one understands the elder statesman to say is: Nigeria has come of age when merit should govern our national life. This is not quite a fair postulation if merit will not be applied in every aspect. The office of the President cannot be an exception and since federal character is what obtained, given its indivisible nature, only rotation can apply to it. For related good reasons, the Federal Character and Quota System still override merit in most official considerations in Nigeria as ways of carrying every part of country along. This is point missed by the elder statesman.

Right from the foundation of Nigeria the political and structural imbalances of the country have been at issue and have caused much crisis and continually arrest the nation’s development. Before independence, Nigeria operated three regions, two in the South and one in the North. Nigeria added one more region in 1963 – Mid-Western Region, still in the South.

The four regions operated up till the Biafra civil war when the then head of state Yakubu Gowon abolished the 4 regions and created 12 States. Major General Johnson Thomas Umunnakwe Aguiyi-Ironsi created no states. General Olusegun Obasanjo who succeeded Murtala Mohammed, who also created states, did not create any State also.

Generals Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida and Sani Abacha created States as Heads of State of Nigeria, bringing the number of States in Nigeria to 36 plus the Federal Capital Territory, which is also given the Status of a State, given the North an overarching advantage where it comes determining who becomes the President of Nigeria.

The number of Local Governments in Nigeria (774) also gives the North nearly 60% while about 40% to the Southern part, using landmass instead of human population. Yet, these amorphously and unfairly created States and Local governments form the basis of determining which part of the country produces the President of Nigeria. Going by the provisions of the 1999 Constitution, it stipulates that the winner of the nation’s presidential election would score 25% of the votes in 2/3rd of the States of the federation and simple majority of votes. This makes it almost certain that the North is always in a position to determine who emerges the President of Nigeria at any time.

Yes, democracy is about majority but where the primordial sentiments and skewed structures pervading the nation are irrational, other measures must come to play to stabilize the polity. Voters do not consider candidates on merit in Nigeria but on religion, ethnicity, and region and so on. There is nothing democratic about that pattern of voting and where it is rife and one side of the country dominates the rest based on such factors, rotation becomes inevitable. Such factors made the United States of America to introduce popular votes and electoral votes.

Recall that Hillary Clinton won the popular votes but Donald J. Trump is President based on electoral votes. One may as well argue that the US approach is undemocratic but it has kept the country peaceful and progressive. Zoning of presidential position in Nigeria is akin to the US introduction of Electoral Votes, which supersedes popular votes where necessary.

Nigerian political class was therefore wise for the zoning understanding that has decided the political life of the country since 1999. It has served the nation well and each time efforts are made to set it aside, there has been an overly overheating of the polity. The most classic example of the crisis was an attempt by an incumbent to go for another term when the power ought to move to Northern Nigeria. The attempt of President Goodluck Jonathan (as he then was) to set aside zoning to enable him contest again brought the nation to a precipice.

That decision to set aside rotation and zoning gave oxygen to the formation of the first successful coalition to stop Dr. Goodluck i.e. the All Progressives Congress (APC). It formed the basis for the legacy political parties, namely: Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Action Congress of Nigeria (CAN), All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP) and a faction of the PDP rally Nigerians.

The political leaders rallied round APC because it was a just resistance of an action to thwart a beautiful measure aimed at giving the nation political stability and progress.

In other words, merit as seen by the elder statesman, Mamman Daura is inoperable and does not apply to the nation’s presidency without moderating factors given their due premiums. Again, it also depends on how the nation applies merit. Nigeria as perhaps 6 nations rolled up in one can always have competent men and women in each of the six zones.

In the South East for example (just like in other regions of the country), there are at least a dozen acknowledged men and women who can provide topnotch leadership to our nation.

In other words, rotation does not mean that merit is scarified in Nigeria. Those who have ruled Nigeria were blighted by the nation’s skewed structures, which they lacked the political will to confront, not lack of merit.

There is none who has ruled Nigeria that was not competent enough. But each either lacked the guts to set the skewed structures of Nigeria aright or they maintained the status quo for the little, passing gains enjoyed by their regions.

Those who argue otherwise argue amiss. Merit and competence to rule a country render the many factors of leadership too secondary. The real deciding factors could be National visibility, acceptability, Integrity and Political courage. However, in application, judging by the Nigerian experience, what is important is the person being known and acceptable to a broad spectrum of national power stakeholders, influencers and to the generality of Nigerians.

Elder Statesman Mamman Daura knows what is meant by “broad spectrum of national power stakeholders”. To this group who decide who rules Nigeria, merit is not an educational qualification. It means much more. After all, to date Jonathan has been the only university graduate to rule Nigeria.

Rotation will give the nation the opportunity to keep the struggle for power by the regions, which ruined the First Republic, to be less rancorous. It will give the nation the chance to focus on development since the area when the next president will come from is predictable.

Rotation of presidential power became inevitable. All the factors that have made Restructuring Nigeria inevitable have equally made rotation inevitable. These are the centrifugal forces tearing the nation apart. All the measures that can help keep Nigeria one, progressive and peaceful are, by all means, democratic. Democracy is agreement and consensus, and there is nothing more consensus than rotation, given the nation’s peculiarity.

Dr. Law Mefor, a Social Psychologist, writes from Abuja; e-mail: drlawmefor@gmail.com; tweet: @LawMefor1.

EID-EL KABIR: Chief Kalu Congratulates Muslim Community, Sues For Peace

The National Coordinator of People’s Democratic Party Coalition, a PDP Youth and Stakeholders mobilization and advocacy group, Chief Dr Emeka Kalu, has felicitated with Muslims in Nigeria and around the world as they celebrate this year’s Eid-el-kabir.

In a press statement signed by Comr Amos Kalu, his media and publicity aide, and made available to newsmen, Chief Kalu urged the Muslim faithful to see the festival as a moment for sober reflection and prayers for peace, unity, progress and stability of the country, reiterating that peace is the only key to a better and prosperous Nigeria.

“First of all, we sincerely thank Allah for life and his watch over our nation, nothwithanding our challenges and setback of COVID-19, he has continued to watch over the nation. As you celebrate this year’s Eid-el-kabir, it is important that you remember to pray for God’s intervention, especially for restoration of peace and end to coronavirus pandemic.

“I urge every Muslim to continue to pray for peace, love, unity and greater understanding for our leaders and the betterment of the masses” he encouraged.

He also reminded the Muslim faithful and Nigeria as a whole of the place of prayers even as we celebrate this year’s Eid-el-Kabir festival.

“I believe the prayers of the faithful can attract the peace and healing our country needs”, the statement concluded.

Exclusive: Findings absolve Captain Hosa, Comrade Oshiomhole and other APC chieftains of blame in fight at Benin Palace gate

Feelers reaching our news desk from the findings of Patrick Osagie Eholor, President of the One Love Foundation and the Observer General, is that the fight between the supporters of the two frontline political parties in the forthcoming gubernatorial election in Edo State – the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party – revealed that the brouhaha was actually started by the PDP supporters.

According to the findings, the Palace had fixed the traditional christening of the first son given birth to since His Royal Majesty, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare 11, assumed the throne in October, 2016, for Saturday, July 25th, 2020.

According to the story, the traditional christening is in line with the customs and tradition of the Benin Palace. The date was said to have been fixed long before the PDP fixed its governorship campaign flag-off. And that the party and its officials had actually pleaded to use the occasion to flag off their campaign and pay a courtesy visit to the monarch.

As it is the tradition, we gathered, nobody is restricted from been part of the day’s celebration as the Palace gate is left open and whoever is interested in partaking in the jollification is allowed into the palace ground to join the other numerous people of goodwill.

From history, people who originate from the adjoining community to the palace called Ogbe are known to lay strong claim to the edifice.

It was this, we learnt, that brought about the large presence of the community people led by one of their own Tony Adun(aka Kabaka) to the palace to join in the celebration.

We gathered that what was supposed to be a moment of celebration turned to a day of mourning when some PDP supporters, who felt that APC supporters were meddling unnecessarily in their affairs, allegedly turned violent, molesting those they considered as intruders at a purely PDP show leading to an orgy of destruction.

The APC supporters were said to have fought back in defence and to assert that they too have a right to be part of the palace celebration.

Going further, the sources revealed that top personalities and chieftains of the APC like the former Governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, business mogul, Captain Hosa Okunbo and many other notable individuals that are been accused of sponsoring the ‘fight’ at the palace vicinity were actually victims of circumstances who had found themselves in the vicinity at that point in time as they joined the royal family and people of goodwill in partaking in what was supposed to be a historic day of celebration.

BREAKING: Nigerian govt announces NECO, NCEE, NABTEB exam dates

The Federal Government says the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations (SSCE) organised by the National Examination Council (NECO) for SS3 pupils will commence on October 5.

The examination will end on November 18, 2020.

Also, National Business and Technical Examination Board (NABTEB) examinations will start on September 21.

It will end on October 15, 2020.

Emeka Nwajiuba, Minister of State for Education, announced the dates at the end of a two-day meeting with Chief Executives of examination bodies.

Director of Press and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Education (FMoE), Ben Goong, made the announcement.

Furthermore, the National Common Entrance Examination (NCEE) into Unity Colleges will hold on October 17, 2020.

The Basic Education Certificate Examinations, (BECE) for JSS 3 pupils also conducted by NECO, will start on August 24 and end on September 7, 2020.

However, registration for the NECO (SSCE), which is on-going, will end on the 10 of September, 2020 with no option of extension.

GOVERNOR IKPEAZU EXPRESSES SHOCK OVER DEATH OF ABIA PDP CHAIRMAN, CHIEF J ONUIGBO

The Governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu, PhD has received with deep shock and profound sadness, the news of the death of Chief Sir Johnson Onuigbo, the State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The Governor who described the Late Chief as a “close personal friend and long standing political associate” is deeply saddened by his death describing it as a major setback in the political development of the State.

The Governor recalls with sad nostalgia, the hardwork and passion shown by Late Chief Onuigbo in the administration of the ruling party in the State. In particular, the Governor recalls the efforts of the Late Chief in the 2019 elections that ensured his electoral victory and those of a majority of the members of the party. It will be correct to say that he was one of the major architects of our electoral victory in 2019.

“Chief Onuigbo had a peculiar pattern of administration which was a direct consequence of the warm personal relationships he built over the years with a cross section of the Abia populace and which ultimately rubbed off on how he ran the party producing solid victories and stability within the party”.

“Beyond politics”, the Governor continued, “Akinboard was a close personal friend of mine for many years and this relationship was one of the major reasons for the seamless and cordial relations between my administration and the party”.

He further described him as a man of principle and integrity who insisted that internal democracy must be institutionalized in the party.

“In all areas where he was privileged to serve our people, from the Chairmanship of Umuahia North LGA to the Abia Central Zonal Chairmanship and as State Chairman of our party, Chief Onuigbo exhibited uncommon passion and dedication”.

“My family and I, join the teeming members of our party and indeed the entire state to mourn the passage of this great man and iconic politician, and to pray the good Lord to grant his wife, family and the people of Ibeku Kingdom the fortitude to bear this very painful loss”.

“Abia State has lost one of her most outstanding and most committed political leaders. Akinboard will be sorely missed”, the Governor concludes.