Lukman, who made the call in a statement in Abuja on Sunday, said APC can only be progressive, if it is able to encourage and promote citizens participation and competition within the party.
“A major gap created by the current orientation of political parties in Nigeria with perverted political behaviour, which confer prerogative of membership recruitment to political leaders is the barrier that is making it almost impossible for parties.
“This includes the APC to serve as vehicles for citizens’ participation. Once APC continue to operate as a closed party, its progressive credentials will remain only a claim of its leaders and anyone who challenged it will be bullied.
“APC can only be progressive if it is able to encourage and promote competition within the party as a prelude to electoral contests.
“The absence of competition has reduced, predominantly, the business of the party not to focus on issues of managing governments based on capacity of party members to contribute to initiatives of governments controlled by the party.
“These Initiatives, especially with reference to agricultural development, jobs creation, education, health, infrastructural development, poverty eradication and rapid technological development,” Lukman said.
According to him, if APC opens itself through membership recruitment, the debate around the issue of whether there is a credible and verifiable membership register will not be taking place.
“Rather, appropriate steps should have been taken to ensure the existence of a credible and verifiable membership register.
“This may be a case of improving on what is already in existence. To improve on what exists may have to involve all structures of the party, so that the question of managing the membership register is also not in dispute.
“For instance, how members are recruited would have a lot of implication in terms of the format that would be used to guarantee participation.
“Take for instance, the argument that APC membership register is domicile on the Cloud. Who upload it to the Cloud with whose authority and who is managing it?
“How was it generated in the first place? Are the members of the APC in the register that is said to exist on the Cloud, financial members? Who did they pay their membership dues to?
He recalled that immediately after the merger exercise, which produced the APC between 2013 and 2015, the party was working towards establishing computerised membership data centre for the whole country.
Lukman said the project was abandoned due to the challenges facing the party then.
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Edited By: Felix Ajide (NAN)
NAS celebrates 2020 reading session with orphans, donates items
The National Association of Seadogs (NAS) on Monday celebrated its 2020 reading session with children from the Karu Orphanage, Abuja, to promote reading culture.
The association, otherwise known as Pyrates Confraternity, donated educational materials, food items and others to the children in commemoration of the 2020 World Literacy Day, which was marked on Sept. 8.
Items donated to the children were text books, note books, pens, pencils, crayons, erasers, sharpeners, toiletries such as detergent, diapers, children playing items and clothes.
The food items were cartons of noodles, cartons of biscuit, cartons of juice drinks, beverages and others.
Speaking at the event, Mr Victor Ofili, NAS Capoon Sahara Deck, Abuja Central, added that the idea of reading with the orphans by the association was aimed at making them take their book seriously while in the orphanage.
He said that the idea was also geared toward making sure the children focused on their future endeavours and to become what they intended to be.
“They must take their books seriously to achieve those targets they have set for themselves in life; you can see that one of them said he wants to be the president of Nigeria, while others said different things.
“Without being grounded in education, they cannot achieve their dreams and that is why we are here, one of our cardinal principles is for humanistic development, it is part of what we call operation 347, it is part of our guiding principles.
“We are here to show them love and to let them know that, they also have a family in us, incidentally, we have adopted this orphanage since 2013, when Abuja Sahara Deck was set up.
“We have been doing our part to the orphans since we adopted them,’’ he said.
Similarly, Mr Michael Ihunde, the second Vice President of the association, said that NAS was only trying to encourage the children for them to take their literary studies serious.
Ihunde said that the association had spent close to half a million naira to procure the items donated to the children as part of its social responsibility.
According to him, the association is committed to supporting the children yearly and to always put smiles in their faces.
Mr Frank Okafor, a former National Vice President of the association, encouraged the children to discover and develop their talents for them to be reckoned with in the society.
According to Okafor, God blesses one according to what ruminate in the mind, and that there are a lot of things embedded in reading if the children can commit to that.
“You gain more knowledge when you read. You discover a lot of things when you read. Maximise whatever talents God has given you.
“For you to be educationally smart, you must do the right thing at the right time, focus on your desire, your setback as an orphanage will surely result to a better thing at the end,’’ Okafor stressed.
Responding on behalf of the management, the orphanage accountant, Mr Felix Inaede, appreciated the donation, particularly during the period of global pandemic, as things were hard for most people.
Inaede said that the gifts from NAS had been a yearly thing, adding that the association had been so passionate about the development of the children.
“NAS has been a mentor to these children to ensure that they are better citizens in the country. These children will remember when they grow that there was a home they lived where donation was always given to them.
Inaede also appreciated the Federal Government and NGO, noting that they had been all proactive in responding to the needs of the children, particularly during the global pandemic.
Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Grace Yussuf
Edo poll: Ultimate power lies in electorate – Okei-Odumakin
Saturday’s Edo governorship election has reawakened the consciousness that ultimate power to elect leaders
lies in the hands of the electorate, rights campaigner, Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin, has said.
Okei-Odumakin, the President of Women Arise Initiative, made the assertion in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria
in Lagos on Monday.
She said that Nigerians should no longer allow internal and external `political merchants’ to determine who should govern them.
According to her, the digitisation of the election result portal greatly improved the transparency of the election process.
“Meanwhile, the areas where I think the commission should improve its performance, especially as we look forward to future elections, are further digitisation of the election process.
“The commission should also improve synergy with other stakeholders within the electoral chain, particularly security agencies, while also investing more in the capacity building of its staff and ad-hoc staff,” she said.
Okei-Odumakin said that the commission had learnt from its inadequacies of the past and it resulted in an improvement in the conduct of the governorship poll.
She said that INEC had been working hard toward ensuring a better electoral system.
“As the leader of one of the organisations that observed the election, I can say that INEC deserves kudos from Nigerians on it new initiatives,” she said.
Okei-Odumakin advised the re-elected Edo Gov. Godwin Obaseki to make the interest of the people of the state the main focus of his administration.
Edited By: Saidu Adamu/Ijeoma Popoola
School reopening: Kano Govt urges proprietors, parents to exercise patient
Kano State Government has urged proprietors, parents and stakeholders to exercise patient as it adopted proactive strategies to fast track safe school reopening in the state.
Sunusi Kiru, the state’s Commissioner for Education, made the call in a statement by Aliyu Yusuf, the Public Relations Officer of the ministry issued on Monday in Kano.
Kiru spoke when members of the All Private and Voluntary Institutions Proprietors Association of Nigeria paid him a courtesy visit.
The commissioner was quoted as saying that the state government would not violate the Federal Government’s directives on closure of schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kiru said: “The issue of schools reopening has been a topic of discussion at national and state levels, and we are doing everything possible to ensure safe reopening of the schools in compliance with the Federal Government’s guidelines.”
Kiru dismissed as misleading insinuations that some schools in the northern part of the country had resumed, adding that state governments in the region were yet to reopen schools.
According to him, the forum of Commissioners of Education of the 19 northern states are in constant contact and discussing best guidelnes on the matter.
The statement also quoted Bashir Adamu, the Chairman of the association, as saying that they visit was to enable them brief the commissioner on the joint stakeholders’ meeting.
Adamu expressed satisfaction with the level of preparations by the ministry towards ensuring safe reopening of schools in the state.https://nnn.ng/school-reopening-kano-govt-urges-proprietors-parents-to-exercise-patient/
CODE canvasses support for Okonjo-Iweala over nomination as WTO’s D-G
Mr Hamzat Lawal, Chief Executive of CODE and Founder of Follow The Money, disclosed this in a statement issued to newsmen in Abuja.
Lawal said that its support for Okonjo-Iweala’s nomination by respective governments for position of WTO Director-General among seven other candidates was based on her capability to creatively steer the affairs of the organisation.
According to him, the support is based on understanding of Okonjo-Iweala’s sound judgment, remarkable skills in navigating difficult institutions in national affairs, motherly and cerebral style of problem-solving.
Lawal said, “Okonjo-Iweala represents what WTO needs at this moment; the international body is actually staging a contest to replace outgoing Director-General Roberto Azevedo, who is stepping down a year early.
“The new WTO leader will be taking on an institution beset with huge challenges even before the pandemic-driven global economic crisis struck.
“As the global community now struggles to recover from COVID-19, the role of free and fair trade will be very crucial to the world’s recovery.
“The two-time Nigerian Minister of Finance has bagged the experience of pushing a troubled developing country from the doldrums of economic mismanagement to the high pedestal of continental superstardom.
“It was under Dr Okonjo-Iweala’s leadership that Nigeria became the biggest economy in Africa.”
Lawal noted that, moreso, Okonjo-Iweala’s emergence as Director-General would be exemplary for women to duly occupy positions of leadership, in line with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on gender equality before 2030.
He explained that his first encounter with Okonjo-Iweala was in 2019, at the invitation of to meet the American entrepreneur, Jack Dorsey, the co-founder and CEO of Twitter, during his visit to Nigeria.
Furthermore, he said that her educational background, work experience and track record of accomplishment were testimonials of her suitability for the job.
Other candidates contesting with Okonjo-Iweala are Dr Jesus Seade Kuri (Mexico), Me Abdel-Hamid Mamduoh (Egypt), Mr Tudor Ulianovschi (Moldova) and Ms Yoo Myung-hee (Republic of Korea).
Also in the race are Ms Amina Mohamed (Kenya), Mr Mohammad Maziad Al-Tuwaijri (Kingdom of South Arabia) and Dr Liam Fox (United Kingdom).
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that WTO deals with the global rules of trade between nations and to ensure that trade flows smoothly, predictably and as freely as possible.
NAN also reports Lawal was recently appointed into the prestigious Malala Fund Global Education Champion, working to accelerate progress to get girls’ back to school in Northern Nigeria.
Edited By: Oluyinka Fadare/Ifeyinwa Omowole