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SERAP Sues FG Over Planned Payment Of N729bn To Poor Nigerians

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SERAP Sues FG Over Planned Payment Of N729bn To Poor Nigerians
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SERAP Sues FG Over Planned Payment Of N729bn To Poor Nigerians

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged the Federal High Court in Lagos to order the federal government to make public details of the proposed payments of N729billion to 24.3 million poor Nigerians.

SERAP is also urging the court, in the Freedom of Information suit, to compel the government to disclose the mechanisms and logistics for the payments, list of beneficiaries, and how they have been selected, and whether the payments will be made in cash or through Bank Verification Numbers or other means.

The civil society organisation is also praying the court for an order directing and compelling the federal government to explain the rationale for paying N5,000 to 24.3 million poor Nigerians for six months, which translates to five-percent of the country’s budget of N13.6 trillion for 2021.

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SERAP is also asking the court for an order directing and compelling the federal government to clarify whether the proposed payment to poor Nigerians is part of the N5.6 trillion budget deficit.

The respondent in the suit, which is yet to be assigned to a judge, is Ms Sadia Umar-Farouk, minister of humanitarian affairs, disasters management and social development.

SERAP insisted that, “Disclosing the details of beneficiaries and selection criteria, as well as the payment plan would promote transparency and accountability, and remove the risks of mismanagement and diversion of public funds.”

SERAP Sues FG Over Planned Payment Of N729bn To Poor Nigerians

The organisation further argued that, “Providing support and assistance to poor Nigerians is a human rights obligation but the programme to spend five-percent of the 2021 budget, which is mostly based on deficit and borrowing, requires anti-corruption safeguards to ensure the payments go directly to the intended beneficiaries, and that public funds are not mismanaged or diverted.

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“The Nigerian Constitution of 1999 [as amended], UN Convention against Corruption, and African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption to which Nigeria is a state party require the government to set the highest standards of transparency, accountability and probity in programmes that it oversees.

“The government has a responsibility to ensure that these requirements and other anti-corruption controls are fully implemented and monitored, and that the payments are justified in light of the huge budget deficit and borrowing, and whether there are better ways to spend N729bn to support poor Nigerians.

“The Federal Government has repeatedly failed to ensure transparency and accountability in the spending of public wealth and resources.

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Why Gov Bala Mohammed Should Do More For Bauchi Police

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Why Gov Bala Mohammed Should Do More For Bauchi Police
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Why Gov Bala Mohammed Should Do More For Bauchi Police

By Haruna Mohammed Salisu

Security is everybody’s business. It’s your business and it’s my business. It’s Wakili’s business and Ngozi is not left out. It’s Alabi’s business just as it should be Bala’s business. It concerns all of us. We are all in it together. When Bauchi is insecure, Alabi will lose sleep just as Bala’s eyes will not get some catnapping too.

When Bala spent N50 to erect road to Haruna’s village; Bala should remember to reserve N10 to guard the road against retrogressive forces threatening Wakili’ quest to ply the road. When Bauchi is insecure, the infrastructural facilities built by Bala will not benefit Ngozi and Wakili is also left out too.

Self and collective security should be everyone’s priority. An insecure society is on its way to self-extinct. It should worry all of us, and all of us must complement the effort of security agencies to fish out criminal elements in our society. We should defy the blame game. We must take responsibility and act in our individual and collective ways. Evading responsibilities and pushing blame will never help us. If Haruna has mustered the courage to remind Bala Mohammed of the need to do the needful via his pen, Bala Mohammed should not characterize the write-up as “mischievous”, he should listen and complement Alabi’s effort by doing more for Alabi’s boys to secure us.

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This is because Alabi’s boys are making a lot of sacrifices for us to sleep. They are awake throughout the night even when mosquitoes are on the rampage. They are outside under the rains just as they remain outside under the sizzling sun. The windy weather and breezy cold did not spare Alabi’s boys either. Their cars are in tatters; sometimes they lack the most basic equipment to function properly. Their allowance is nothing to go by when one recognizes the rising inflation and cost of food. They deep hands in their pockets to buy expensive food to feed.

Like any other person, the police are human beings who have families to cater for. They have children to feed. They have old ones at home that depend on them for survival. They have wives, children, parents and other relatives to feed, educate and shelter. They equally have their natural constituency to serve—which is to secure all of us. Leaving them under terrible working conditions is the greatest pretence and dis-service we can do to ourselves as a people. They cannot police us when the conditions within which they operate is not healthy.

Look, I’m very conscious of the fact that it’s not within Bala’s purview to address all these problems I have mentioned. I know it’s a national pandemic that must be addressed. I equally know that Gov Bala has done well for the police by giving a substantial number of vehicles to the force.

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Why Gov Bala Mohammed Should Do More For Bauchi Police

To be fair to Bala Mohammed, he has done so much—at least in comparison to others. We still bear the brunt of the wasted four years. But Bala Mohammed must remember that his investment in the areas of infrastructural development could only make meaning under a peaceful atmosphere. Unfortunately, the relative peace being enjoyed in Bauchi State for years is being threatened by forces of doom who continue to antagonize meaningful progress.

These forces of doom need to be confronted by superior fire-power under a strong and motivated police force—and the only way to do that is to invest in security just like the state continue to invest in infrastructure. It’s significantly clear that under our federal system as it stands now, the police is controlled and funded by the central government. But states most, in their own interest, compliments the efforts of the central government by supporting security agencies, particularly the police with not just vehicles and other working tools, but with stipends to motivate them.

Of recent, I had interacted with many police officers in the state, and from the conversations, I had with some of them, the terrible working conditions that is visible by any interested spectator is quite worrisome. It is a natural de-motivating factor for many of them. We cannot continue to pretend that our police are equipped to arrest the evolving security challenges we continue to face as a people.

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The Katsina and Zamfara-like atmosphere is highly likely in Bauchi if the right thing is not done to avert the disaster. In my humble opinion, one of the ways to do that is to motivate the Police—with a monthly stipend since it is public knowledge that their salaries and allowances are nothing to ride home about.

Bauchi for example can borrow Lagos’ model by establishing Trust Funds where workers’ salaries can be deducted in mean percentages like the BASOVCA Model. The state can also bring its wealthy individuals and big business owners including Tech Companies and Banks to contribute to its Trust Funds.

These kinds of initiatives will contribute in no small measure not just to secure Bauchi State, but also to restore investors’ confidence who might be willing to put in their money on many investment opportunities that abound in the state. A stitch in time saves nine, they say!
Haruna writes from Bauchi. He can be reached via 08063180608

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NCWS Holds One-Day Awareness Seminar in Awka

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NCWS Holds One-Day Awareness Seminar in Awka

….Charges Mothers to Live Up to They’d Responsibility

By Mmaduabuchi Onwumelu

The National Council for Women’s Societies (NCWS), Anambra State last Tuesday held a One-Day Seminar with a call on women to live up to their responsibility and eschew acts capable of undermining the sacredness of marriage and proper upbringing of their children.

The Seminar attended by the women’s leaders and sponsored by Dr Ogechukwu Shirley Echendu and Prince Okey Agurd had Culture, Peace and National Security: The Role of Women and Youth as its theme.

In her opening remarks, the State President of NCWS, Lady (Mrs) Oby Obodoezie appealed to members to serve as bridge between the family and society, noting that the women, especially mothers should endeavour to live by example and to be a model to their children and wards.

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Lady Obodoezie who represented by the State Treasurer, Lady Ify Umeh enjoined women to remain a light to their various families and also practice what they preached, urging them to take the message garnered to their various localities and also impact same on other women.

NCWS Holds One-Day Awareness Seminar in Awka

Obodoezie commended the wife of Governor of Anambra State, Her Excellency, Chief Dr (Mrs.) Ebelechukwu Obiano for all she had done for women in Anambra State, especially widows and the less-priviledged through her Pet Project, CAFE.

In her lecture, a lecturer in the department of English Language, School of Languages, Federal College of Education (Technical), Umunze, Dr Okafor, Amaka Mary harped on the need to train their wards well, saying that a child that was well brought up would always be useful to society and more especially to themselves and their families.

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Speeches from women, interactions, goodwill messages formed the highpoints of the occasion.

NCWS Holds One-Day Awareness Seminar in Awka

NCWS Holds One-Day Awareness Seminar in Awka

NCWS Holds One-Day Awareness Seminar in Awka

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Obafemi Owode LG Boss, Ogunsola Bags UN International Peace Ambassadorial Eminent Awards

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Obafemi Owode LG Boss, Ogunsola Bags UN International Peace Ambassadorial Eminent Awards
Obafemi Owode LG Boss, Ogunsola Bags UN International Peace Ambassadorial Eminent Awards
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Obafemi Owode LG Boss, Ogunsola Bags UN International Peace Ambassadorial Eminent Awards

Solanke Ayomideji, Abeokuta

“Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The UN General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire., This year, 2021 theme is Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world”

The Executive Chairman of Obafemi Owode local government, Hon Ogunsola Lanrewaju Adeshina has bagged Ambassadorial Eminent awards at the annual celebration of United Nations, UN, World International Peace Day held in Abeokuta, Ogun state.

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The event was organized by the International Association of World Peace Advocates, a world class organisation with United Nations ECOSOC Consultative status since 2019) in observance of the United Nations World Peace Day today, Tuesday 21st of September 2021.

According to the guest lecturer, Ambassador Prof. Chidi Ehiriodo, Director, International Association of World Peace Advocates charged the participants and the world in general to embrace peace as it is the only way to sustainable development of our countries, he reminded the participants of the past war and conflict as well as the implication to development in the world.

Obafemi Owode LG Boss, Ogunsola Bags UN International Peace Ambassadorial Eminent Awards

Obafemi Owode LG Boss, Ogunsola Bags UN International Peace Ambassadorial Eminent Awards

The High Chief Oluwole Matthew, the chairman of the occasion maintained that peace is very paramount in our society as he welcomed all participants for gracing the programme.

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The event have in attendance the traditional rulers, Oba Abdul-Fatai Kolawole Sowemimo, Olu of Owode Egba, Oba Adeogun, Olu of Igbore, among other eminent personalities in the state.

Those awarded during the event were, Hon Ogunsola Lanrewaju Adesina, Prof Francisca Bassey, Goodness Osah from Babcock University, Goodness Hosa, Sister Cecilia, Chief Tambo Maddona from Liberia, Pastor Dr Sunny David, Olatunji Oladimeji.

Representing the United Nations, UN, Amb. Chief Per Statsen, International Peace President, Denmark charged the newly awarded eminent personalities to ensure they represent themselves well in the society by promoting peace and stability of the world.

“The awards is not money oriented, we selected our awardees based on their social responsibility and role in maintaining peace within their society.” Statsen said.

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On the awards plague, Ogunsola Adesina Lanre was awarded as Eminent Peace Ambassador and he is qualified to all rights and privileges binding the organisation and also expected to function as a peacemaker in any part of the world with regards to the declaration on the right of people to peace (1984) of the United Nations resolution.

Obafemi Owode LG Boss, Ogunsola Bags UN International Peace Ambassadorial Eminent Awards

Obafemi Owode LG Boss, Ogunsola Bags UN International Peace Ambassadorial Eminent Awards

Obafemi Owode LG Boss, Ogunsola Bags UN International Peace Ambassadorial Eminent Awards

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