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Merit , Not Federal Character , Should Determine Government Appointments – VP Osinbajo

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images 2020 10 04T191307.872 Merit , Not Federal Character , Should Determine Government Appointments - VP Osinbajo

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has said for the country to attain economic growth and development, the dominant principle when appointing people into public offices should be merit rather than federal character.
He stated this amid grievances in some quarters over the lopsided appointment of persons into national offices by the current regime led by the President, Muhammadu Buhari (retd).
Osinbajo spoke at a webinar on Saturday organised by the Nigeria Leadership Initiative, led by a former Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Olusegun Aganga.
The Vice-President, who was the keynote speaker at the webinar monitored by our correspondent, spoke on the theme, ‘Rebuilding our national value system.’
He said the country’s value system must be established in such a way that it would reward talent and enterprise towards economic growth and sustainable development.
He said, “A value system rewards talent and enterprise, and it is talent and enterprise that will drive sustainable growth. I need to make this point because time and time again, we get arguments around whether the appointment of persons into public institutions should be based on federal character. The dominant principle should be merit.
“Federal character is essentially affirmative to create a balance, but even if we are to create that balance, it should still be based on merit. For example, if we are to reserve an office for a particular zone, that zone should be able to produce the best (candidate).”
Osinbajo said the values that needed to be instilled among the citizens include integrity, dignity, national responsibility and unity, and patriotism – adding that this was why the President recently launched the National Ethics & Integrity Policy.
“The point to be noted is that practically all discussions on our national odyssey so far centre around development, and for good reasons, this is by far the most important dynamic in measuring individual or communal success.
“I am focussed on the existential role of values in the socioeconomic development of any nation. The value system we need is the one that promotes our economic development. It must also be capable of engendering unity. The end result will be the creation of a happy society,” he added.
The special guest of honour at the event, Gen Yakubu Gowon (retd), said history was replete with the stories of societies and nations that succeeded under shared common values, and those that floundered due to the lack of those values.
He said, “The most profound example of an institutionalised well-grounded value system is the military. We are trained on the critical values of discipline, loyalty, patriotism, commitment, seeking the common good, justice and equity, and defending the territorial integrity of our country without prejudice.
“In my view, any progress made by a nation through the exercise of political power without a value system is unsustainable. Therefore, we need to have a value system that is shared by every component of society. The society of today is different from the one we grew in where values such as patriotism, integrity, honesty, contentment, refusal to steal either privately or publicly, good neighbourliness, commitment to community, and seeking the common good were the order of the day.”
Gowon also called for the reintroduction of history and civic education to schools, adding, “the National Youth Service Corps scheme should also be reengineered as originally envisaged to serve as a programme during which value-based leadership principles are discussed and encouraged.”
Also speaking, a former High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and the patron of NLI, Dr Christopher Kolade, said a national dialogue on value system was long overdue.
“We cannot achieve sustainable economic growth and development unless we build on a solid foundation and develop people who are community-spirited and who consistently live on agreed national values,” he said.
The event – which was co-moderated by a public administrator, Prof Tunji Olaopa, and media consultant, Mrs Eugenia Abu – featured panellists, including the Senate Speaker, Dr Ahmad Lawan; Chairman, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Mrs Ibukun Awosika; Chairman of Channels Media Group, Dr John Momoh; and Rhodes Professor in Race Relations at Oxford University, Wale Adebanwi.
Lawan said in spite of the country’s diversity, the value system should unify everyone for sustainable development.
Momoh said the media played an important role in promoting the value system as an institution that shaped popular opinion and perspectives.
Awosika said educational infrastructure should be able to deliver the right human capital for economic development.
In his opening remarks, the Chairman of the Organising Committee, NLI Webinar Series, Mallam Yusuf Ibrahim, said the objective was to start a national conversation on value-based leadership.

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Protesters Launch Soro Soke Online Radio

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images 61 2 Protesters Launch Soro Soke Online Radio

‘Soro Soke’ is a Yoruba statement which means ‘Speak upThe establishment of Soro Soke radio by the #EndSARS protesters is urging everyone to speak up, air their views and grievances against any unjust systemSoro Soke radio which has gone live will also serve as a platform to report missing persons.

Soro Soke radio can be accessed by clicking on the link below:
https://s4.radio.co/s99d55c85b/listen

The protest began to fight the wrongs of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

Nigerians took to social media to commend the establishment of the online radio.

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Akwa Ibom Youths Give FG Seven Days Ultimatum To Take Over Zamfara Gold

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images 60 3 Akwa Ibom Youths Give FG Seven Days Ultimatum To Take Over Zamfara Gold

The youths said at a press conference in Uyo on Tuesday said that the gold in Zamfara belonged to the Federal Government and Governor Bello Matawalle had no right to sell the gold bar to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)Leader of Young Democratic Movement, Kuseme Idiong and Speaker, South South Youth Assembly, Comrade Victor Thompson stated that proceeds from the sale of Zamfara gold should be shared among all the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT), as is done with the oil proceeds from the Niger Delta.

Akwa Ibom Youths under the auspices of Young Democratic Movement (YDM), and South South Youth Assembly have given the Federal Government seven days ultimatum to take over the gold in Zamfara state currently controlled by the state government.

The youths said at a press conference in Uyo on Tuesday said that the gold in Zamfara belonged to the Federal Government and Governor Bello Matawalle had no right to sell the gold bar to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

‘Paper industry, a goldmine for investors’
Resource control: Omo-Agege faults Zamfara ownership of gold deposits
Leader of Young Democratic Movement, Kuseme Idiong and Speaker, South South Youth Assembly, Comrade Victor Thompson stated that proceeds from the sale of Zamfara gold should be shared among all the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT), as is done with the oil proceeds from the Niger Delta.


They noted that the Constitution of Nigeria stipulates that mines and minerals including oil fields, oil mining, geological surveys and natural gas in states are exclusively under the control of the Federal Government, and wondered why the FG has not taken over the gold in Zamfara.

They described the action of Zamfara state governor as an act of lawlessness and impunity, and called on the Executive and Legislative arm of government to rise up against it.

They stated that failure of the FG to take over the mineral resources found in Zamfara state would force them to embark on a nationwide protest and call out youths in the country to join.

The groups further demanded an upward review of the derivation funds paid to Niger Delta states saying oil-producing states were not actually paid the 13 percent.

“That both the Executive and the Legislative arm of the Federal Government should rise against this act of lawlessness and impunity from the perpetrators of the sale of Zamfara Gold.Details of both past and present gold or other mineral sales should be made public and proceeds should be shared among all the states as in the case of Oil derivatives from the Niger Delta region.

“The Federal Executive Council and the National Assembly should revisit the derivative funds formula for oil-rich Niger Delta states as oil-producing states are fed below the 13% derivation.

“Failure to upwardly review the derivative funds formula for oil-rich Niger Delta states, the Federal Government must allow Niger Delta to directly sell her oil just as the recent case of Zamfara gold bar.

“We give the Federal Government up till Saturday, October 24, 2020 to give a robust and satisfactory response to our demands else the Youths of Niger Delta shall on Tuesday, October 26, 2020 embark on a Nationwide protest drawing the attention of the international community to this terrible situation. We must warn that we will not leave the streets until our demands are met,” the group stated.

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Senate confirms Dahir-Umar as DG PenCom amidst protests

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images 58 3 Senate confirms Dahir-Umar as DG PenCom amidst protests

The Senate on Tuesday , confirmed the appointment of Aisha Dahir – Umar , as the substantive Director General of the National Pension Commission Board amidst protests from some senators.
Another nominee who was also confirmed by the Senate was Dr Oyindasola Oluremi Oni, from North Central as Chairman .
Also confirmed were Clement Akintola ( South -West ); Ayim Nyerere ( South – East) and Charles Emukowhale ( South – South ) , as commissioners of the PenCom board .
The Senate , however, rejected the confirmation of Hannatu Musa ( North -West ) because she was unable to present her discharge certificate from the National Youths Service Corps .
Members of the Minority Caucus in the Senate last week sent a petition to the Committee on Establishment and Public Service , seeking the disqualification of Dahir – Umar as the substantive DG of PenCom .
Until her confirmation on Tuesday , Dahir -Umar , from the North -East geopolitical zone , held the position in acting capacity .
The Minority Leader of the Senate , Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, who argued against Dahir -Umar confirmation , insisted that since her predecessor did not complete her tenure , the position should be occupied by somebody from the South -East , where Mrs Chinelo Anohu -Amazu , whose five – year tenure was truncated , hailed from .
Ruling on Abaribe’s argument , the President of the Senate , Ahmad Lawan , said the constitutional provisions relied upon by those who are kicking against the DG ’s appointment was not valid because the tenure of Anohu-Amazu ’s board had expired before the appointment of Dahir -Umar
The President , Major General Muhammadu Buhari ( retd .) , had penultimate week , sent the name of Dahir -Umar to the Senate , seeking the lawmakers ’ confirmation for her to be the substantive DG and others , to the board of the agency .
Details later …

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