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‘Gov Bello’s broad mindedness neutralised political mistrust, ethnic bigotry’

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‘Gov Bello’s broad mindedness neutralised political mistrust, ethnic bigotry’

The level of political mistrust among the indegenes of Kogi State was so deep and intense prior to the emergence of Governor Yahaya Bello who came to neutralise it, the Director General Kogi State Bureau for Information and Grassroots Mobilization, Abdulkarim Abdulmalik has said.

Speaking with NationalUpdate in Lokoja today he said even the majority ethnic group that was holding tenaciously to the leadership of the State was also beginning to have the fear that any day it moves to the next ethnic group there would be a widespread of Government of vendetta.
However, he indicated that following the emergence of Yahaya Bello as the fourth executive Governor of the State the tide began to change with the broad mindedness that he brought to bare immediately he was sworn in.

He said Bello came and said, the people should put all that behind them, after which he developed a blueprint for a new Kogi State.
Abdulmalik indicated that under Bello the part of the State where any citizen came from, the ethnic background, or class differential would not make any meaning except what he can contribute to the State.
He challenged citizens of the State to always look back at the years the swarming locust have eaten before criticizing Governor Bello.
He added that Insecurity was a major issue as well as ethnic and religious bigotory before the advent of the present Government led by Governor Bello.
He said the State had been an unfortunate State, adding that even though the creation was a product of mutual understanding and mutual love among the various ethnic groups, the moment the State was created the early political leaders brought to bare their parochial ethnic interests which snowballed into serious and deep ethnic acrimony among the various ethnic groups in the State.
“Some former part of the old Kwara and Benue were brought together to form Kogi So the quest for the reunion of the various ethnic groups particularly the Igalas and the Ebiras was championed by an elder statesman senator Ahmadu Alih.
“Unfortunately, the people had to battle with the monster of ethnicity for over 20 years and any society where governance is seen through the prism of ethnic and religious discrimination or sentiments can hardly record any meaningful progress.
“So if anybody want to discuss the success of the Governor, I think that is the first point.”
Abdul Malik said Bello came and was able to bring about equity, fairness and justice to bare in the areas of appointment, distribution of amenities and distribution of projects across the State. “Political pundits would give to him that he has brought a midas touch to Governance in the state because you are talking of Good governance. It must be premised on equity, fairness and justice and the rudiments of these rest in the distribution of amenities,  appointments in the State.”
In the area of insecurity he said the youthful Governor decided to face it head on, as he descended heavily on it, marching to the street by himself and began to clamp down on criminals and criminality in the State.
“If you want to measure the success of this Government you can not throw these away. Unfortunately human beings and what they are especially in this part of the world when a problem has been solved for them, they no longer consider that as an issue.
“The remaining problems that are yet to be solved are the ones they are now using as the indices to judge the Government.”
He challenged the media to live up to their bidding by enlightening the public on where the Governor came up and at the time he came up what he met on ground and what he has been able to do. “When the media amplify these to the understanding of the people, the day the Government to does anything wrong and you are telling the public the Government would appreciate it as constructive criticism.
“However, the case of throwing away the baby and the bath water is not right and the media has to come up and make sure that adequate enlightenment is put in place.”

According to him, ordinarily the widespread criticism of the Government in the social media and even in the conventional media would not have given the Government any chance of winning any election. “Imagine how this magic came to pass that for the first time in the history of the State a political party won all the availlable State Assembly seats of 25 across the three senatorial district.
“There would be no situation of minority leader, deputy minority leader.”
He said the Government t has been transparent as it publishes monthly allocation that accrues to it and how monies are spent, saying in the history of the State it is the only Government that has done that.

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FG admonishes Nigerians on need for peaceful coexistence

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FG admonishes Nigerians on need for peaceful coexistence

Following the growing tension in Ondo and Oyo States, the Federal Government has called on citizens and good people of Nigeria to put unity and peace above all.

Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola who gave the advice Tuesday in his office in Abuja, implored all citizens in the country to exercise restraint and pursue active efforts on how to use the tools of constructive dialogue, good neighbourliness and the primacy of peace-building as ways of dousing anger and resentment that can only lead to anarchy.

In his speech, titled “A TIME TO PUT UNITY AND PEACE ABOVE ALL”, which he personally signed, Aregbesola observed that “The regrettable incidences of heightening ethnic and religious tension in our country are, in part, outcomes of political and economic strains that have persistently defined our land and continue to exacerbate security challenges, making the task of development more traumatic.”

According to him, “Government is keenly aware and genuinely concerned about these complications that, sadly, have been sharpened by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic through the growth of anxieties about issues, life and livelihood in our communities.”

The Minister stated further that, Government is taking a holistic look at the challenges and will stop at nothing to bring lasting peace, security and amity to all our communities.

He emphasized that government would not tolerate any act or behaviour capable of jeopardising law and order as well as security of lives and property in any part of the country.
  “There will be no tolerance for any act or behaviour capable of jeopardising law and order and security of lives and property in any part of Nigeria.” He said.

 “Therefore, as the government is fashioning long term answers to address these problems, it urges citizens to appreciate that self-help and lawlessness cannot offer a path to sustainable solution.
“It can only lead to greater pain as well as costly human and material losses and disruption of the already difficult task of devising responses that will produce tangible peace and development in the country.”

Aregbesola assured that the Federal Government is moving in quickly to bring state, community, security, traditional institutions, religious organizations and youth groups into a purposeful dialogue that will bring effective resolutions to the problem within constitutional and legal frameworks.

He therefore called on all the citizens in the country to continue to work together as brothers and sisters towards building a peaceful community that will be beneficial to all, irrespective of ethnicity, religion and other differences.

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WIEN advocates for 35% affirmative action in governing board appointments

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WIEN advocates for 35% affirmative action in governing board appointments

Women In Energy Network (WIEN) is asking for 35% affirmative action to be applicable also in the appointment of Governing boards.
WIEN is an association established in 2020 to provide a platform for Women that work across the Energy Industry value chain; to network and build confidence and links to progress their careers or businesses.
The President of WIEN and Managing Director of Zigma Limited Mrs. Funmi Ogbue, spoke during her opening statement at the
Public Hearing on Petroleum Industry Bill ( PIB) 2020, organised by Senate’s joint Committee on Petroleum Downstream, Upstream and Gas,
She indicated that from research Boards of Directors with at least three women demonstrate improved
communications, greater adherence to codes of conduct, and
better criteria for managing strategy and monitoring its
implementation.
“WIEN would like to see the deliberate inclusion of policies that will
ensure that at least 35% of each Governing Board is constituted by
women.
“WIEN suggest that the PIB mandates the inclusion of a minimum
indigenous women from the Host Community on the Board of Trustees.
She raised concern over the proposal in the Petroleum Industry Bill that says each settlor, where applicable through the operator should contribute an amount equal to 2.5 % of actual operating expenditure in respect of all petroleum operation.
She also said the 2.5% is too expensive.
“WIEN posits that a total of not more than 1 % (one percent) consistent with other Statutory provisions like the Nigerian Local Content Act 2010, replace the current figure captured in the PIB.
“This will improve investors’ perception about the industry being already over taxed which will attract even more Foreign Direct Investment to the sector and country at large.
She kicked against the use of Gender Neutral Pronouns/Terms such as the PIB’s use of masculine terms “him, his, he” to refer to the position of “Minister, Commissioner Chief Executive, Executive Commissioner, Non-Executive Commissioner, Authority Chief Executive, Executive Director, Directors and Officers of the Authority , Transaction Advisor, Licensee of the Petroleum Exploration Licence, Receiver, Liquidator”

According to her, such gender terms should be changed to gender neutral terms “they, their, its, a person.”
“This is to avoid legal issues and confusion as in some other positions gender neutral terms are used.”

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Fashola inaugurates 1.67km internal road network at Fed. University Lokoja

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Fashola inaugurates 1.67km internal road network at Fed. University Lokoja


By Friday Idachaba


The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola (SAN) has inaugurated and handed over a 1.67-kilometre internal road network rehabilitated at the Federal University Lokoja, to the management of the institution.

Fashola while Inaugurating the road on Tuesday in Lokoja said it was part of the Federal Government’s intervention on rehabilitation of internal roads in 43 Federal tertiary institutions across the country which commenced in 2018.

The Minister who was represented by Engr Olatunde Kajogbola, Federal Controller of Works in Kogi State, said more than 18 such interventions had been completed and were being handed over to the various Federal tertiary institutions.

He said that while it was true that a lot needed to be done in all the sectors of the country’s national life including Education, the President Muhammadu Buhari’s government had stepped up to lead the process of getting the work done.

“The gap of our infrastructure needs is steadily being bridged by a gradual process of repairs, renewal and construction on major highways and it has reached the schools.

“It is undebatable that quality education will be impacted by the quality of infrastructure and the learning environment. Currently there are more than 43 such interventions in internal roads within tertiary institutions across Nigeria

“And the students are expressing a renewed enthusiasm with regard to attending classes because some defective roads have been restored to motorability”, he said.

Prof. Angela Miri, Vice Chancellor of the University in her response said there was no doubt that the completion of the project had added value and brought about improvement of ambience of students and staff to the institution.

Miri who was represented by Dr Sarah Dauda Yani, Chief Librarian said, “A city without roads is not known” adding that the intervention and the culminating ambience had placed the institution first among its equals.

She acknowledged the good will and gesture of the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing as well as the Federal Ministry of Education for the intervention projects in the “Baby but great university.”

The Vice Chancellor also implored the Minister to consider performing similar feat at the permanent site of the university by intervening in the construction of its internal road network.

“Don’t be tired of us sir. Indeed, we are still growing and by the grace of God with your hand of help upon us, we will reach the destination we dream of”, Miri implored.

In his vote of thanks, Engr Ojo Olukayode, Acting Director, Physical Planning and Development, commended the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing for a job well done. (NAN)

FDJ/

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