The Venezuelan government, led by embattled President Nicolas Maduro, has again invited the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN) to be international monitors in the country’s December elections, which many see as controversial.
Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza posted a letter on Twitter on Thursday that he said was sent to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.
He said the letter described comprehensive guarantees for the parliamentary election.
The EU was reserved in its response to a previous invitation a few weeks earlier, saying the conditions for a transparent electoral process had not been met.
Maduro pardoned more than 100 political opponents on Monday, including people who are in prison, others who have gone into exile and some who had been barred from contesting elections.
The government said it wanted to encourage opposition participation in the elections, which more than 20 opposition parties had pledged to boycott.
Opposition leader Juan Guaido has slammed the upcoming vote as a “farce.”
Dozens of countries have recognised Guaido as the oil-rich country’s interim president, but he has been unable to oust Maduro, who has presided over a massive economic crisis.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)https://nnn.ng/venezuela-invites-eu-un-to-monitor-parliamentary-elections/
Sultan turbans 15 District Heads in Sokoto
The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, on Saturday turbaned 15 new District Heads in Sokoto State.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that the ceremony followed the demise of the District Heads of the respective areas.
Abubakar congratulated the newly turbaned Heads and urged them to ensure the best representation for their communities in the Sultanate Council.
“Your turbanning is an added responsibility and opportunity to serve the society, as such I urge all of you to remain focused in ensuring sustainable development to the people.
“You are all aspected to continue to work closely with your community in ensuring sustainable peace and unity in the state,” he said.
The Sultan further prayed for the new district heads and for peace and prosperity in the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria ( NAN ) reports that those turbaned include the district head of Kware, Alhaji Muhammadu Dan’iya, father of the Sokoto State Deputy Governor and Justice Mohammed Tsamiya, as District Head of Tsamiya, among others.
Edited By: Joseph Edeh/ Maharazu Ahmed
Nigerians gifted with exceptional confidence, resilience, mental acuity – Osinbajo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says Nigerians are gifted with exceptional attributes of confidence, resilience and mental acuity.
He said that the attributes were best demonstrated in how Nigerians exceled even in other countries in sciences, medicine and politics.
Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Saturday in Abuja, said the vice president delivered the keynote address at the 111th Founders’ Day Lecture of King’s College, Lagos.
According to Osinbajo, teaching young people Integrity, innovation and hard work is the foundation of a good society.
“Teaching young people that there are huge rewards from creativity, innovation with a culture of integrity in business and personal life, coupled with hardwork and diligence, is the foundation of a good and prosperous society.
“When people are nurtured in the notion that rent-seeking or the prebendal capture of wealth or benefit by access to power is the path to success, then the society will not prosper.
“A few will capture all the resources, everyone else will be poor or on their way there.”
Citing Edward Banfield, American Political Scientist, Osinabjo explained that the exceptional attributes did not free people from the moral basis of a backward society, which was the self-interested, family-centric society where often the public good was sacrificed.
He said that while receiving an education, the mind of a young person must be lifted up beyond self as education must teach the primacy of community, of the good and the well-being of the collective over self.
The Vice President said that the educational design and content must take into account, the current moral and social circumstances, as well as the physical and mental constraints we face as a people.
“There must be, as a rule, a prevailing moral standard, corruption or deviance must be the exception, not the rule.
“Concerns faced at the lower levels of our society; the problems of out-of-school children and the huge deficit in the education of girls,” he said.
For her part, Amina Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, who was the guest speaker, commended the Federal Government’s response to COVID-19 through the Economic Sustainability Plan.
Mohammed said that scaling up infrastructure for connectivity will be crucial as well as access to digitalised curricula, digital skills training for teachers and students, and methods to protect privacy.
Other dignitaries at the event included the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, who virtually-delivered a goodwill message from President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Security Adviser, retired Maj.–General Babagana Monguno.
The Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folashade Adefisayo and the former Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido II, among others also featured.
Edited By: Felix Ajide
Pirlo says Suarez unlikely to join Juventus after all
Juventus are unlikely to sign FC Barcelona and Uruguay forward Luis Suarez afterall, coach Andrea Pirlo said on Saturday as he prepared for the start of the new Serie A season.
Pirlo, who replaced Maurizio Sarri last month in spite of having no senior coaching experience, will make his debut at home to Sampdoria on Sunday.
He said Juventus needed a centre-forward but that there was not enough time for Suarez to obtain an Italian passport.
Juventus have already used up their limit of two non-EU signings following the arrival of Brazilian midfielder Arthur and United States international Weston McKinnie.
They will only be able to add Suarez if he can obtain an EU passport.
“We’re all waiting for a centre-forward. There is still a long way to go in the transfer window. So, we’re calm and happy, we’re not in a hurry,” said Pirlo.
“Suarez is difficult because it takes a long time to get the passport. So, it’s unlikely that it could be him”.
Although Suarez is eligible for Italian naturalisation as his wife is a citizen of the country, the process usually takes several years.
This is a detail overlooked in much of the speculation linking him to the Serie A champions over the last month.
Pirlo said Cristiano Ronaldo and Dejan Kulusevski would share the role against Sampdoria.
“Neither Kulusevski nor Ronaldo will start in the classic centre-forward position. They will try to move according to what the other does,” said Pirlo.
“There will be rotations to allow as many people as possible to arrive in the area.”
The 41-year-old said he was relaxed ahead of the new season where he would be expected, at the minimum, to bring Juventus a tenth successive Serie A title.
“After a month of Juve I have no doubts, but many certainties,” he said. “I have fitted in well, now the pitch will do the talking.”
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)
Military arrest 11 suspected members of a cult group in Jos
The Special Military Task Force maintaining peace in Plateau has arrested one Hussaini Isah believed to be the leader of ‘Sara-suka’, a suspected cult group operating in some parts of Jos North Local Government Area.
Also arrested were 10 others suspected to be members of the group.
Maj.-Gen. Chukwuemeka Okonkwo, the Commander of the task force, who paraded the suspects on Saturday in Jos, said that they were arrested at Gangare community of the area.
Okonkwo said that the arrest signified a major breakthrough in the determination to rid Jos of bad elements.
“We shall not rest until petty crimes, killings and other froms of insecurity are stemmed down.
“These suspects are largely responsible for the crimes and all forms of disorder in Jos.
“They kill innocent people on daily basis; they are very dangerous human beings.
“Yes, we have redeployed our troops into the hinterlands, but we shall continue to raid communties in the city centre to halt these crimes,” he said.
Okonkwo called on Plateau residents to cooperate and support the task force in its bid to protect lives and property.
He also advised members of the public to be security conscious and report any suspicious movements within their surroundings.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that some of the dangerous weapons recovered from the suspects included knives, cutlasses, charms, among others.https://nnn.ng/military-arrest-11-suspected-members-of-a-cult-group-in-jos/