Edo Traffic Law Offenders to face Sanity Test, Trial – Obaseki

Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has said that violators of the state traffic law will be subjected to psychological evaluation to ascertain their level of sanity before prosecution by the relevant agencies of government.

Obaseki disclosed this when he received members of the Edo State chapter of the Catholic Counseling and Education Center (CCEC) who paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House in Benin City.

The governor commended the center’s readiness to partner with his administration in re-positioning the traffic management system in the state and assured that the Edo State Traffic Management Agency (EDSMA) would train members of CCEC, who would partner with the 300 staffs of the traffic management agency.

He explained that the traffic officers who are familiar with the penalties for traffic violators would be deployed on the streets as soon as the agency is officially launched this month.

Obaseki said: “l am going to hand you over to my Chief of Staff who will make the appointment with the management of the Edo State Traffic Management Agency so that you can work with them and agree on areas you can assist the people who are currently undergoing training and, to come up with a plan for the center and the type of psychological test we are going to administer and how they are going to pay for it.”

He maintained that the state government would ensure that those found culpable are made to pay the necessary fines so it would serve as a deterrent to other violators.

In her remarks, the Deputy Executive Director of the organization, Sister Augustine Onwubiko, said they were at the Government House to lend their support to the campaign against traffic law violation in the state.

She said the organization was set up to contribute its quota to the development of the nation and added that it would help the state in the area of psychological assessment and cognitive restructuring.

 

Saraki: Senate to Partner Group to Reposition the Almajiri Education System

President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has pledged the commitment of the 8th Senate to reposition the Almajiri Islamic  Education System in the northern part of the country.

 Saraki spoke yesterday in Abuja when a delegation from the Centre for Crisis Communication (CCC) and conveners’ of a proposed National Conference on Almajiri Phenomenon in Northern Nigeria, led by the Executive Secretary of the CCC and chairman, organizing committee of the confab, Air Commodore Anas Yusuf (retd), visited him at the National Assembly. 

According to a statement by his Special Assistant on Print Media, Chuks Okocha, the President of the Senate, who lamented the abuse of the concept of Almajiri Islamic Education, said that the system was aimed at imparting sound Islamic education to the youth.

The President of the Senate, while reiterating the noble ideals behind the Almajiri Educational system said: “We all know that in the past, it used to be a system that produced  a lot of scholars and jurists in the past. But what we have now is not the initial idea in setting it up.  It has been abused and has now become a breeding ground for activities that are inimical to our developmental goals, particularly in the North and the Nigeria in general. 

“So, the Conference you are organizing with the aim of looking at the socio-political implications of the Almajiri phenomena that  we have now, requires  a collective approach that will help remove the abuse and make it very commendable. 

“Let me assure you that the 8th Senate will like to partner with you in ensuring that the Conference is successful and to come up with the roadmap that will further strengthen the efforts being made to reposition the system by different States in the country,” the President of the Senate said. 

 He however tasked members of the organizing committee of the proposed National Conference on Almajiri Phenomenon in Northern Nigeria to look into ways to domesticate the Child’s Right Act in some of the northern states, stating that already he has met with some Speakers of some Northern States’ Houses of Assembly on the matter.

Earlier, the Executive Secretary of the CCC and Chairman, organizing Committee of the Proposed National Conference on the Almajiri Phenomenon in Northern Nigeria, Air Commodore Anas Yusuf (retd), lamented the plight of Almajiri in the north and the attendant socio-political consequences. 

He said that this has continued to pose a serious security challenge and danger which need to be tackled headlong. 

 “It is common knowledge that the Boko Haram terror group found willing recruits from some of these poor Almajiris. Nevertheless, since we know that the Almajiris of today as members of the society will be part of the leaders of tomorrow, it therefore behooves on the leadership in the Northern Nigeria to tackle this neglected and challenging phenomenon. It is often said “A stitch in time saves nine”, he explained.

He lamented that the current demographic estimates have put the number of the Almajiris in the Northern Nigeria at about 10 million youth, noting that a couple of states in the north had individually held separate seminars towards addressing the issue. 

 However, he said that  the Almajiri Phenomenon requires a more holistic approach in tackling the situation beyond individual state level, therefore the need for the conference to address the issues.

Onagoruwa: The Man who returned from the Lion’s Den, By Owei Lakemfa

Dr. Olu Onagoruwa, armed with a PhD in Law, a glorious practice in journalism, solid experience in the classroom,  rich  political activism, a  sword and shield of righteousness and a burning sense of patriotism, went into the den of military dictatorship. That was in 1993.He was engaged in a vicious fight in the Aso Rock Presidential Villa which left him partly mauled, but he managed to crawl out of the den alive. For about a quarter of a century he carried the wounds of that encounter refusing to succumb.

He  was amongst a line of formidable  lawyers which included Alao Aka-Bashorun, Gani Fawehinmi and  Kanmi Ishola Osobu    who taught the country that the Court Room itself is an arena of struggle and can be used for the ends of emancipation.

Although I became a journalist; a profession in which  he had made a mark as Legal Adviser of the leading newspaper, the DAILY TIMES, and a teacher in journalism, it was in the trenches of political activism I struck a lasting friendship with this unrelenting fighter for social justice and peoples emancipation.

In the bloody struggle  against military  dictatorship, Aka-Bashorun had led in the establishment of a coalition of social, human right  and student  groups called  the Campaign for Democracy (CD) which  led the war. One of the partners in the coalition was the Movement for National Reformation (MNR) founded by veteran nationalist, Chief Anthony Enahoro with Onagoruwa as National Secretary.  The MNR  campaigned for the restructuring of the country mainly on the basis  of nationalities.

When the CD  led mass street protests  and  the Babangida dictatorship was forced out,  a rickety contraption; the Interim National Government (ING) was put in place. A relentless struggle   followed which led to my disagreement with Onagoruwa and his bosom friend, the famous Gani Fawehinmi.  The latter launched a book in his chambers on the ING which a courageous Justice Dolapo Akinsanya had declared illegal. At the public presentation, Fawehinmi had called on “revolutionaries” in the military to seize power and consign the ING to the dustbin of history. I was worried that given his close identification with the Pro-Democracy Movement, Fawehinmi’s call might be misconstrued as that of the Movement, so I rose to clarify that he  made the call in his private capacity. I said the Movement does not know of any group of revolutionaries in the Armed Forces that can seize and return power to the people and that we were not interested in coups as they merely amount to one set of dictators taking over from another.

The newspapers next day reported the altercation.  A few days later, I met Onagoruwa who I was told wanted to see me. He said he read the altercation between Fawehinmi and I, agreed with my  analysis but suggested I should be less forceful in my public rejection of a coup as one was not only in the offing but also  inevitable.  I told him that I had  a whiff of one and that was why I was vehement in my opposition. I also  promised  that we will resist such a coup in the streets.

Subsequently, a stream of meetings were held by various civil groups and leaders with General Oladipo Diya who seemed to be coordinating the coup. A  few times, I got reports of such meetings from civil society leaders who were being persuaded to support the coup. Then dates for the coup were openly fixed and discarded  until November 17, 1993 when the ING was unseated and General Sani Abacha was imposed as Head of State with  Diya as his Deputy.

Onagoruwa was  abroad  when the coup was carried out and immediately returned to take the post of Attorney General of the Federation and Justice Minister. He believed the new Government was a corrective one and that rule of law and order, will prevail. That was the same mistake a number of otherwise progressive leaders made.

As the colours of the dictatorship  began to manifest, the Pro-Democracy leader, Dr. Beko Ransome-Kuti and I visited Onogoruwa in his Odogbolu country home. He agreed the regime was not on course but blamed it all on Abacha who he said was referred to as ‘slow coach’ in government. But he assured that Diya was in firm control  ‘of the boys’ and that Abacha would soon be showed the way out. I told him that things were not that  simple and that Abacha should  not be taken for granted. He seemed dismissive and said the progressive elements in the Government like Internal Affairs Minister, Mr. Alex  Uruemu Ibru, Transport Minister, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, Works and Housing Minister, Alhaji Lateef Jakande and himself were steering the  Executive meetings and government towards correct paths.

A test came when a Lagos High Court ordered the release of Turner Ogboru, the younger brother of Great Ogboru the man said to have financed the April 22, 1990 attempted coup against the Babangida regime.  Abacha had played a pivotal role in aborting that coup and Turner had been tried and jailed by that regime. When Onagoruwa as the chief law officer of the country was served the court judgment, he wrote Internal Affairs Minister, Alex Ibru  and the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Coomasie to obey the courts. Based on this, Ibru ordered the release of Turner Ogboru. An infuriated Abacha ordered Turner’s re-arrest  and described the actions of Ibru and Onagoruwa as treasonable.

To compound Ibru’s problems, his newspaper, the GUARDIAN had been critical of the regime.   A miffed Abacha shut down the newspaper from August 14, 1994 until October when the Minister apologized on its behalf. Ibru left  government in 1995 and on February 2, 1996, the former Minister was shot by an assassination squad linked to the regime. He survived but never fully recovered   until his  death on November 20, 2011.

Onagoruwa had also compounded his problems with the vicious dictatorship  when it was leaked to Abacha that at a meeting of Yoruba leaders in London, he had advocated for a violent show down with the regime.  Ten months after  Ibru was shot, Onagoruwa more or less got the Ibru treatment; gunmen attacked, shooting his first son, Toyin in his presence. The murder of Toyin, a brilliant operative of the National Intelligence Agency was too much for him.  A few months later, Onagoruwa suffered a massive stroke from which he never recovered until he passed away on July 20, 2017.

Onagoruwa was a dogged fighter who never backed away; his wrestle with military dictatorship dominated most of his active life, and the wounds he sustained in the process, eventually cost him his life. He has earned a prominent place in the history for emancipation in the country.

 

Anthony Scaramucci sacked as Trump media chief

(BBC) White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci has been fired after fewer than 10 days in the post.

The former Wall Street financier had drawn criticism after calling a reporter to give a profanity-laced tirade against his colleagues.

Mr Trump’s chief of staff Reince Priebus and spokesman Sean Spicer both left their posts with his appointment.

The decision was made by Mr Trump’s new chief of staff, Gen John Kelly, who was sworn in on Monday.

The president was also unhappy with Mr Scaramucci’s performance, the White House confirmed.

Mr Trump’s spokeswoman, Sarah Sanders, said the president thought Mr Scaramucci’s comments to the reporter “were inappropriate for a person in that position”.

He has not been moved to another White House role, she added.

Mr Trump had tweeted in the morning about job and wage figures, and insisted there is “No WH chaos”, referring to reports about fighting among White House staff.

Mr Scaramucci had boasted of reporting directly to the president, rather than to his chief of staff.

Governor Aregbesola Appoints SA, Media Adviser

The Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has appointed Mr Semiu Okanlawon as a Special Adviser to the Governor on Information and Strategy, and Mr Sola Fasure a Media Adviser.

Mr Semiu Okanlawon, a former employee of the PUNCH Newspaper, was until his appointed the Director, Bureau of Communications and Strategy, Office of the Governor, and was the spokesperson of the governor.

Mr Sola Fasure who was on the Editorial Board of The Nation newspaper, was in Charge of writing the Governor’s Speech before his new appointment.

The appointment takes immediate effect.

More Fireworks Over Banire’s Suspension As FCT Chapter Tackles Lagos APC Spokesman

A new twist has emerged in the unfolding  war of words over the suspension of Muiz Banire,SAN, the national legal adviser of APC  by the Mushin Local Government chapter of the party in Lagos State.

A statement by  the national secretariat of APC through its spokesman,Bolaji Abdullahi, debunking the purported suspension backfired as  the Lagos State chapter of the party said the national working committee cannot annul the suspension. Lagos APC made its position known through its spokesman,Joe Igbokwe.

But Igbokwe’s statement which also contained some salvos aimed at  Abdullahi, the national publicity secretary of the party is at the centre of the latest twist in the  tale.

Reacting to Igbokwe’s diatribe against Abdullahi, the spokesman of APC in the FCT Adaji Usman  asked the Lagos State APC spokesman to withdraw his statement or face disciplinary action.Even more, Usman said Igbokwe must stop his penchant to attack national leaders.

“Igbokwe’s penchant for insulting party leaders must stop. Our job as spokespersons for the state chapters of our great Party requires temperance, moderation and decorous use of language. Qualities that Igbokwe obviously lack,” Usman said.

The FCT chapter spokesman’s  statement titled: “Igbokwe should retract his statement or APC should sanction him”  reads thus in full:

“I have been alerted to a statement by Mr Joe Igbokwe, the Lagos State Publicity Secretary of our Party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), in which he made several false claims about national officers of our Party.

“In the statement, which is in response to the release by the National Working Committee of the APC annulling the purported expulsion of Muiz Banire, the Party’s Legal Adviser,  Igbokwe alleged that Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, our National Publicity Secretary, was not validly elected and so could not speak for the Party.

“This allegation by Igbokwe is absurd and without basis,  as  Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi was validly elected in line with provisions of our Party’s constitution on filling vacancies in the NWC.

“As the spokesperson of the APC in the FCT, which is in the North-Central zone, I participated fully in the North-Central Convention through which Mallam Abdullahi was elected as the substantive National Publicity Secretary of the APC.

“The election had delegates and key stakeholders from the zone, including four state governors, and was supervised by relevant bodies saddled with such responsibilities, including the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

“Mr Igbokwe has definitely stepped out of his bounds by issuing such a reckless statement attacking a highly-placed and reputable national officer of our party.  He should retract this obnoxious statement or face disciplinary actions from the Party.

“It is surprising that Igbokwe who attended a workshop in Abuja organized by Mallam Abdullahi in his capacity as the National Publicity Secretary will turn around to cast aspersion on Abdullahi. If he had doubts about Abdullahi’s position in the Party, on what basis then did he attend the conference in Abuja?

“Even sadder is the fact that it was the same Abdullahi who stopped the moves by some state publicity secretaries to remove Igbokwe as chairman of the forum of state publicity secretaries of the APC (CAPS).

“Igbokwe’s penchant for insulting party leaders must stop. Our job as spokespersons for the state chapters of our great Party requires temperance, moderation and decorous use of language. Qualities that Igbokwe obviously lack.

21st Century Technologies Rejigs To Solve Nigeria’s Major Challenges

(Press Release) 21st Century Technologies Limited, Nigeria’s information technology powerhouse has rejigged its operations to solve some of Nigeria’s toughest challenges, Mr. Wale Ajisebutu, chief executive officer of the company has said.

Nigeria’s socioeconomic challenges includes: power and energy infrastructure, food security and agriculture, wealth creation and employment, mass transportation, land reforms, security, and education.

Each of these problems has significant negative impacts on Nigeria’s economy.

But 21st Century Technologies Limited has developed sets of solutions to address and shape the present and future of Nigeria and Nigerians.

“Central to all these are tailormade solutions to address these challenges; they are indigenous solutions with global standards. We believe that Nigerians deserve the very best. That is why the solutions are local to address local challenges” Ajisebutu said.

ICT solutions remain the vital instrument that can be used by Nigerians to enhance service delivery strategy and bring about innovations for the development of the economy.

Ajisebutu said “That is why the solutions have been developed by some of the world’s best brains taking into consideration the Nigerian environments, because we cannot copy what work in other climates and expect them to work perfectly here”

According to him, 21st Century Technologies is building infrastructure, platform including applications that will revolutionise ICT in Nigeria.

21st Century Technologies has been in the Vanguard of IT development with the introduction of various portals and applications.

With two decades of experience, it is fully mobilized and perfectly positioned to build converged, multi-service and efficiently managed communications networks in Africa.

It owns and operates the most extensive optical fibre cable metropolitan networks in Nigeria with speeds up to 10Gbps, high-speed Corporate Dedicated Internet Access and IRUs for a total of 10Gbps, fully redundant International subsea fibre capacity with two separate vendors.

It is currently the leading commercial Data Centre Service Provider in Nigeria, specializing in the commercial protection of off-site data, server hosting, indexing, records archiving, etc. in our state-of-the art facilities that meet strict measures of security, stability and fire prevention.

Prof. Onigbinde, Onanuga, Others For Nigerian Online Publishers’ First Annual Conference

The Guild of Corporate Online Publishers, GOCOP, has announced that its 1st Annual Conference will hold on August 10, 2017 at Renaissance Hotel, Isaac John Street, Ikeja, Lagos State.

A statement by the Guild’s Publicity Secretary, Olumide Iyanda, gave the theme of the conference as: “Sustaining Growth through Diversification of the Economy.”

The theme of the conference will be addressed by the speakers from the angle of their professional calling, with the media as a core focus.

There will be two Key Note Speakers who will give an overview of the topic before key players in all sectors, both the public and private, will share their experiences with the audience that are of varied backgrounds.

One of the KeyNote Speakers for the conference is a university teacher, Prof. Akin Onigbinde.

Onigbinde will bring experiences into play, including that of overseeing some companies.

The other Keynote Speaker is the Editor-in-Chief of the News Agency of Nigeria, Bayo Onanuga, who also once presided over The News magazine.

A former Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of the Sun newspapers and now the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, Femi Adesina; and the MD/EIC of New Telegraph newspaper and also the President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, Funke Egbemode, will participate in the discussion.

So also will several State Governors, Banks CEOs, Ministers and other big time players in both the public and private sectors speak to the topic of the day.

Eminent speakers and guests from the public and private sectors will also speak at the conference, which will also witness the inauguration of a new Executive that will oversee the affairs of the Guild in the next two years.

Iyanda said the list of confirmed guests will be made available soon.

GOCOP is a non-governmental, non-partisan, non-profit making organisation for the highest strata of Nigerian media professionals in online publishing.

 

Forex: CBN Opens Week With $195m Intervention

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Monday, July 31, 2017, offered $100 million in wholesale auction at the inter-bank Foreign Exchange market. The apex bank also  intervened in the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and invisible segments, with the sum of $50 million and $45 million, respectively.

Confirming the figures, the CBN Acting Director, Corporate Communications, Isaac Okorafor reiterated that the Bank’s intervention was in line with its commitment to sustain liquidity in the market to meet genuine requests as well as deepen flexibility in the foreign exchange market.

Monday’s sale follows the major intervention, last Friday, to the tune of $462,336,426.74, comprising $267,336,426.74 for the Retail Secondary Market Intervention Sales (SMIS), $100,000,000 for wholesale interventions, $50,000,000 for the SMEs forex window and $45,000,000 for invisibles.

Okorafor had said last week that the CBN leadership was quite impressed by the positive impact its current foreign exchange management was having on the manufacturing sector, agriculture and economic activities in general across the country.

He said the CBN would not continue working on achieving the objective of convergence between the exchange rates at the Nigeria Autonomous Foreign Exchange (NAFEX) and the Bureau-de-Change segments of the market, even as he assured proper surveillance of the forex market to guarantee transparency in the sale of foreign exchange.

Mr. Okorafor also encouraged those who genuinely required foreign exchange for their transactions to approach their banks, noting that the banks had enough forex to meet the demands for foreign exchange within the time frame stipulated by the CBN.

Meanwhile, the naira hovered at between N360 and N362/$1 in the BDC segment of the market on Monday, July 31, 2017.

Anambra Guber: Chidoka Picks UPP Nomination Form

Frontline contender in the November 18, 2017 Anambra governorship election, Chief Osita Chidoka on Monday picked his nomination form to contest the election on the platform of the United Progressive Party (UPP).

The former Aviation Minister who was accompanied by a large crowd of political associates and supporters including women, youth and professional groups stormed the National Secretariat of the UPP in Abuja where he was received by the National Chairman, Chekwas Okorie and other top party functionaries.
Speaking after receiving the form from the National Chairman, Chief Chidoka said he is on a mission to “modernize governance in Anambra and institute a resourceful, creative and transparent government that restores equality and reintegrates the ordinary citizens of the state who have long been neglected into a functional democracy that work for everyone, ensuring that the masses are once again, the ultimate beneficiaries of government.

 

“Anambra people are desirous of a new beginning and the time is now. Our state with its exceptional human and natural resources needs a very creative and resourceful government to achieve its full potentials. What we have as governance today is a mere celebration of the ordinary. We want to move away from celebrating the ordinary to instituting a system that works for our people. We want to build a system that provides the opportunity for our innate capacity and potentials as a people, to be fully developed.

“Our model is one that makes sure that the individual is the center of all government policies and projects. We want a state that is transparent and all-inclusive with a government that ensures that every Anambra person is given the unhindered platform to excel in his chosen sphere of endeavor”, he said.

 

Stating that he is ready for the polls, Chief Chidoka assured the public, that he has the proven capacity, experience and presence of mind to reposition Anambra state, while noting that his major backing is God, and the people of Anambra state who are set to demonstrate their support for him at the polls come November 18, 2017.

Chidoka said the UPP offers the people of Anambra the genuine platform to achieve their aspirations including restoring the Igbo voice in Nigeria, which is one of the major objectives if he is elected governor, adding that the UPP is also the ideal platform to achieve a nation that works for all and where no man is oppressed, irrespective of creed or ethnic affiliations.

Speaking at the event, the National Chairman Chief Chekwas Okorie said Chief Chidoka represents the ideals and manifesto of the UPP. He described Chidoka as the real tiger, the symbol of the party, adding that the party is set to win the November poll.