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Politics / 2023 Presidency: Tinubu Support Group Set To Launch Food Bank In 774 LGAS. by aguele(m): 10:22am
Ahead of the 2023 presidential election, a pro-Tinubu group under the aegis of Tinubu Support Group, Asiwaju Women Cooperative Society (AWCS) was on Saturday inaugurated across the six geo-political zone of the federation with the aim of creating food bank across all the Local government of the federation.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony in Abuja, the Convener and Coordinator of Asiwaju Women Cooperative Society, Toyin Badmus, said the group stands for improving the welfare of women through Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu's Mandate.

She pointed out that the group is rooting for the the National leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), stressing that with the inauguration, the group will begin to enlighten and give voter education to women across the nooks and crannies of the country to mobilize and galvanise support for the Asiwaju 2023 project.

“Our mission is to be able to set up a food bank in each of the 774 local government areas of the country so that the poorest of the poor can have access to food.

“Our cooperative will ensure that women will be able to borrow money and pay as low as one per cent interest rate, which is for administrative charges. This will go a long way,’’ she said.

Badmus stated that if Tinubu declined to contest the presidential election, “we the women will insist that he must run.”

Responding, Member representing Ikeja Federal constituency and one of the promoters of Tinubu's presidential ambition, Hon. Abiodun James Faleke, commended AWCS for persuading Tinubu to contest the presidential election, and expressed excitement at their support saying women should not be ignored at elections because they constituted a great number of voters.

“We must all register in our various wards as card carrying members of our party; that is the only thing you can do to make Asiwaju the president of Nigeria,’’

He noted that Tinubu remained the only person that could pilot the affairs of the country, adding that his achievement as Lagos State governor was a testament.

“You can be sure that if Tinubu did great in Lagos State as governor and leader, he will do more for the country".

Faleke said the message of the group would be communicated to Tinubu and his support could be guaranteed.

He said other presidential hopefuls were qualified, but that Tinubu was more qualified.

“He has the support base in every state. He has legacies. He has made leaders. If he is not available, you think he is available.

“That is the man we want. He does not care whether you are a Muslim or Christian; he doesn’t care whether you are rich or poor.

“His door is open to all. So what we can do is to honour him and ensure that he succeeds and becomes Nigeria president,’’ Faleke also said.

19th September 2021


Politics / Ethnic Nationalities Demand Immediate Sack And Prosecution Of CBN Governor, Emef by aguele(m): 1:01pm On Sep 17
Ethnic Nationalities Demand Immediate Sack and Prosecution of CBN Governor, Emefiele.

Disturbed by the deteriorating economic situation in the country, mostly occasioned by the now dangerously misguided policies of the Central Bank of Nigeria, and most pathetically an unprecedented fall of our currency, the Naira in the foreign exchange market, the joint Committee of the Arewa Youth Assembly and the Yoruba Youth Assembly is demanding for an immediate sack, investigation and prosecution of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele.

This call is coming again, as we can no longer fold our arms and allow the incompetent management of the Central Bank, led by Mr Godwin Emefiele, to completely cripple the nation's economy, foreign investment and ultimately send our people to untimely graves, as a result of the hardship, that Nigerians now face, due to the gross incompetence of Mr Emefiele.

It is on record, that despite the gross mismanagement of the CBN and its economic policies, the administration of Mr Emefiele has also become notorious, for numerous corrupt practices, which time now demand, for the proper investigation, of Mr Emefiele and his accomplices, including the purported loss of the over N500b, stolen from the Central Bank of Nigeria towards the end of 2018 in a private Dubai investment that went sour.

It is also on record that Mr Emefiele has become known for his excesses to decide and act on financial matters without recourse to due process, thereby arbitrarily embarking on financial policies, programmes and activities which are often time not in line with the aspiration of Nigerians and programs of the Federal Government.

At this juncture, we are asking President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately sack Mr Godwin Emefiele as the CBN Governor, while ordering an immediate investigation into his tenure, as the head of Nigeria's Central Bank.

Our country cannot continue to be led by characters like Mr Emefiele who are insensitive to the plight of the suffering masses and are busy corruptly enriching themselves and their cronies, while also covering up their perfidious tracks, using their privilege positions.

We also want to challenge the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offenses Commission ICPC and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC, to save Nigerians, from the economic saboteurs led by Mr Emefiele, before it is too late.

Therefore, we call for the immediate resignation and arrest of Mr Godwin Emefiele.

Onward together.

In Solidarity.

Salihu Mohammed

Speaker Arewa Youth Assembly

Oluwatobi Johnson,

Speaker, Yoruba Youth Assembly.
Politics / 2023: Southwest Youths Deny Endorsing Yahaya Bello by aguele(m): 10:18pm On Sep 15
The Yoruba Youth Democratic Alliance YYDA, has denied the endorsement of the presidential bid of the Kogi State Governor, Mr Yahaya Bello or any aspirant for the 2023 presidential election.

This is coming on the heels of a Southwest Youth Conference held on Wednesday in Lagos, by a Group called GYB2PYB, which claimed to be routing for the candidature of Governor Bello, come 2023. The Yoruba group in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Comrade Olutobi Johnson, said the events which the organisers, claimed had Representatives of youth from across the southwest states, was nothing by an event organised by the Kogi State government, which it said brought people in from Kogi State in convoy of vehicles led by the Chief of Staff to the Kogi State Governor, Mr Abdulkarim Asuku.

The YYDA, which is a alliance of several Yoruba Youth groups said reports from the event, showed that no notable organization or individual Yoruba Youth leader or political leader, participated at the event. This, the group says, was responsible for the shoddy manner in which the event was organised with very poor attendance and absence of the funfair that such a program should naturally have attracted. But it lacked the authenticity of Southwest Youth's endorsement and participation.

"More so, it is a Known fact that Ibadan is the political headquarters of the southwest region and if any political event as such, claimed to have been organised by these Kogi politicians in Lagos were to be held, such should have taken place in Ibadan, except when decided otherwise, by stakeholders. We also wish to remind those who are trying to merchandise our race, to understand, that Yoruba people are too sophisticated and we cannot be railroaded into a political agenda, that we are not part of."

The group further said what is paramount to Yoruba people at present, is the need to rescue Nigeria from the current state of Insecurity, economic instability and other national challenges, and not who becomes the President of Nigeria come 2023.

The group strongly condemned "the attempt to launder the event by falsely claiming that Southwest youths were part of such a woefully organised event. We can't be blackmailed in this manner and keep quiet about it especially as the event was a non-event. If any Yoruba Youth group was involved, it couldn't have been so badly organised", the group stated.

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Politics / Let Stop The Madness For Nigeria Youth President 2023: by aguele(m): 11:31am On Sep 12
Strong leadership is not about age ,for example General Yakubu Gowon was age 29yrs old, when he became Nigeria Military Head of State , he command absolute power ,whereas ,he doesn't need to lobby any power brokers or senators or legislators ,but in his statement ; " Nigeria problem is not how to make money, but how to spend it"
He was actually right,because money was available in abundance, but he doesn't possesses the requisite leadership skills or qualities then ,like vision or indepth thoughts for leadership ,because most young people according to management theories, tend to begin organizational leadership role from passivity to activity, or erratic / shallow thinking to active thinking....This is why Management had to ensure a new employee undergo a critical organizational process of :
1 . Orientations
2. On the job training...without this critical process ,the employee will be an awaiting catastrophic to organization interest, and which will largely affect his performance or make him underperforming or unproductive.

When you relate this to Nigeria leadership spectrum, you will know why General Yakubu Gowon failed to laid industrialization foundation for this nation ,when 1 naira was equal to £1 pound .
And the reason several young Executive office holders from Local Government Chairmen ,to State Houses of Assemblies ,House of Reps, Senators & Governors failed us or are failing us...
According to IBB , the youths need to be train's ,mentoring and coaching before they are handed political leadership responsibility because of the its slippery notion .
This statement, was further accentuated with his recent projection for the Next Nigeria President 2023, that he must be within the age of sixties and above ...in simplifying this assertions; globally,most great nations ,developed or industrialized countries you seen all over the world today, were built or developed by strong leaders with good characters, as well as with great foresight; all were within the age of 60's and above .

Aside of positive energy that the "Youths Possesses, and revolutionary ability to inject new idea into formal organizations, there's nothing much the youth can offer when it's come to strong leadership in a multidimensional and socioeconomic political spheres or approaches .

In conclusion, if youth political leadership is the yardstick for this nation development and industrialization , General Yakubu Gowon would have done it, this is because if you talk about integrity in Nigeria political leadership, he's second to none ,he's neither a thief nor a corrupt man .
I bet you that if Rtd. General Yakubu Gowon have same opportunity presented to him today, he would have done better, because of his wealth of experience over the years .

In views of the above and having seen how Tinubu with his distinctive, and sterling abilities cum foresight in identifying youths with positive energy with requisites leadership potential and capabilities with strong character; and having mentored them to full maturing, and today they are all doing very well in every leadership positions or strata you found them, whereas this Tinubu was able to accomplished l this while serving as Lagos State Governor ,if such man is giving Nigeria to govern ,he will solve our leadership problem and by extension Africa ... He will then bequeath the youth a great nation ,like what we're seeing in Lagos ,from Tinubu to Fashola to Ambode & now Babajide Sanwolu ...a benchmark for strong and performing leadership has been laid there .
Eg. Eko Atlantic will soon serve as Nigeria Dubai to every Nigerians, and the world at large .

2023 For The Future Of Nigeria; Think Tinubu .

So, let stop this madness , and shallow/erratic thinking of Nigeria Youth President 2023.

- Hon Nda Aaron ,a former Special Adviser- 2019
Former SSA on Mobilization to Governor Yahaya Bello 2017-2019 writes from Lokoja,the Kogi State capital.
NYSC / NYSC Signs MoU To Include Corps Members On NHIS Programme by aguele(m): 8:11am On Sep 08
The National Youth Service Corps has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Health Insurance Scheme on the inclusion of Corps Members in the NHIS programme.

NYSC Director-General, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim who stated this when he led a delegation of the management of the Scheme to the Headquarters of the NHIS in Abuja, today commended the Federal Government over its concern for Corps Welfare.

He said the signing of the MoU is in line with Presidential directive that all Corps Members must be enrolled in the NHIS programme.

"This shows the concern for the welfare of the Corps Members by the Federal Government and we are thanking the President for his uncommon love for the Scheme.

We also promise that our Corps Members are going to render more selfless service to the country. This is going to inspire them to do more for their fatherland.

We want to thank the NHIS for this partnership and we are going to take this partnership to the next level", he said.

Speaking further, Ibrahim said the partnership with NHIS is going to cushion the health needs of the Corps Members in their different states of service.

He added that the Scheme is already in partnership with several stakeholders, including the NCDC whereby all Corps Members are tested for COVD-19 before admittance to the orientation camps, alongside other camp officials.

He said only those that test negative are allowed entry into the camps, while those that test positive are taken to the isolation centres by the NCDC and State Health officials for treatment and care.

"This partnership has helped the NCDC in COVID-19 data analysis in the country", lbrahim said.

The Executive Secretary of the NHIS, Prof. Mohammed Nasir Sambo said every Nigerian should be included in the healthcare delivery of the Federal Government.

He added that the NYSC and NHIS had worked assiduously through a joint technical team towards the development of a blueprint for the necessary financial provisions.

"We decided to sign an MOU so that the responsibilities of the two agencies will be clearly spelt out in order to have a hitch-free implementation", the Executive Secretary said.

He commended the Federal Government for increasing Corps Members' allowances, adding that the provision of a free medicare will spur them into higher level of service delivery to their fatherland.

"We call on the Corps Members to reciprocate this gesture and rededicate themselves to national service.

NHIS is growing, as different associations are signifying interest in the Scheme", he said.

Prof. Sambo said as a result of efforts by the NHIS to deepen the implementation of the rebranding agenda in the agency, it has developed a five-tenure strategic plan among other innovations.

He disclosed that the NHIS and State Health Insurance Agencies are developing a new initiative tagged; "Health Insurance Under One Roof", where the two agencies would ensure adequate free medicare for all Nigerians.

He said that the law establishing the NHIS makes it not mandatory, but efforts are on-going to have a clear pathway for universal healthcare that will be mandatory for all Nigerians.


NYSC / Nysc Director General Impressed As Corps Member Commissions A Digitalized Libra by aguele(m): 1:33pm On Sep 07

The NYSC Director General Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim has expressed his joy and pride when a corps Member, Ahmad Abubakar had his CDS project,an automated and Computerized library at the NYSC Directorate Headquarters Abuja commissioned.

The visibly elated Director General who led members of top Management of the scheme to the event commended the foresight ,determination and resourcefulness of the initiator culminating in the actualization of the landmark project .

While congratulating Ahmad Abubakar for this worthy contribution ,Brig Gen Ibrahim urged other corps members to emulate the laudable efforts of Ahmad Abubakar; who despite all odds succeeded in impacting on his immediate environment in the most positive way.

The Director General enjoined corps members to "add value to the Scheme" by initiating essential and useful Community Development Projects (CDS) based on felt needs of the host community.

Earlier in his welcome remarks, the Director Planning,Research and Statistics (PRS), Alhaji Ahmed Wada Ikaka, described corps member Ahmad Abubakar as hardworking and diligent young man with a brilliant mindset which endeared him to all.

Speaking on the motivation behind the sponsorship of Ahmad's project, the Executive Director of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Mr Olusegun Awolowo who was represented by the Director Export Development and Incentives, Mal. Lawal Dalhat; said the Council had no regret co- sponsoring Ahmad's CDS Project due to the laudable idea presented by the young corps member.

Similarly, the Chief Executive Officer of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) Alhaji Garba Abubakar who was represented by the Director Public Affairs, Mr Duke Edward Ukaga; said the Commission recognized the intelligence and the zeal to be productive in Ahmad Abubakar. These qualities informed the decision to equally co- sponsor the impressive project embarked upon by the corps member.

Directors and members of NYSC top Management, The project featured ;a)The procurement and installation of computers/ workstations.b)Procurement of scanners and printers and furniture.c)
provision of e-Library portal with server
and digitized selected NYSC old and new publication.d)Provision of network facilities as well as
training of 13 NYSC NDHQ Staff.

Politics / Behind The Scenes Of Contagious Bola Tinubu by aguele(m): 11:12am On Sep 05
Almost two decades have passed since the end of his tenure as Lagos State Governor, yet his blueprint remains the biggest legacy of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Anyone aged 18 or under will not have witnessed how dejected and confused the state of Lagos is, yet that was the daily reality of a State generally written about in a negative light and frequently satirized. Today, however, the
the face of Lagos has changed as a result of a series of transformations effected by a new style of governance adopted in 1999.

The former Lagos State governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu demonstrates remarkable leadership
qualities, including advocacy against ethnic discrimination, powerful presence that disarmed opposition with his smile,
high level of positive thinking, ability to see the big picture, focus on goals and missions beyond himself, remarkable endurance, grit and determination, humility, hopefulness, and patience.

Well, these and other perspectives, like politics, religion, economics, society, morals and ethics, play a vital role in the process of opinions and thoughts required to become a
a great leader who can change and lead Nigeria to a better future.

The Asiwaju of Lagos and the Jagaban of Borgu's leadership styles, motivate and inspire many men within the corridors of power in Nigeria today.

As it is seen in Asiwaju today, that becoming a great leader is not about making public appearances and memorizing speeches. It is about leaving a mark on the world by displaying important qualities and giving followers a better path in life.

Likewise, Tinubu's qualities and life achievements have indeed changed the heart of many not only in the south west of Nigeria, but also around the world. With his presence, a new and better Lagos was created spreading through entire south west with the breath of progress.

Considering his leadership style, a good vision in life must be for the greater good.

Tinubu's antecedent has transformed ordinary people, events, and actions into the extraordinary today.
This is to say that great leadership consists of the capacity to inspire others to greatness. I use the term ‘inspire’ to mean the ability to bring out the best in the people one is entrusted to work and live with.
No wonder president Muhammadu Buhari affirmed that the former Lagos State Governor inspired many leaders and continues to nurture talents for the benefit of the country.

The secret of Asiwaju as a successful initiator of the most developed state in Nigeria is having good feelers to know where the people’s best interest lies and being able to articulate matching solutions and vision good enough to make things work which is what will provide answers to numerous questions derailing Nigeria's progress.

Arowolo Solomon Alaba
Is a member of Tinubu Support Group

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NYSC / Dg Felicitates With Prospective Corps Member On Childbirth by aguele(m): 6:17pm On Sep 04
The NYSC Director-General Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim has rejoiced with a Prospective Corps Member (PCM) Ramatu Yunusa, who gave birth to a baby boy soon after registering as a member of the 2021 Batch 'B' Stream II service corps in Bayelsa State.

Speaking at the Bayelsa State Referral Hospital, Kaiama, about ten-minutes drive from the NYSC Orientation Camp, Ibrahim expressed delight at the safe birth of the baby.

He announced that the Scheme would settle the medical bills incurred by the PCM and her baby.

Briefing the Director-General, the NYSC Bayelsa State Coordinator Mrs. Ojugo Elizabeth said Ramatu was conveyed to the hospital as soon as she started showing signs of labour, adding that she gave birth to her child at 11:45 am on 2nd September, 2021.

Hospital personnel that attended to the PCM, including a Corps Medical Doctor, Mbanusi Chiebonam Clara, confirmed that both mother and baby were in good condition.

Speaking during the visit, Ramatu and her husband, Liman Aliyu Suleiman, both expressed appreciation of the support given to the family by the NYSC Management.

Politics / ANA At 40: Akerele Heads Strategic Planning Board: by aguele(m): 3:56pm On Sep 02
The national President of Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) Dr Camillus Ukah has constituted and inaugurated a strategic planning committee chaired by Taiwo Akerele, the former chief of staff Edo state and chairman of Abuja chapter of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) to advise, plan and organize the 40 anniversary celebration of the unbrella pen body scheduled to hold from 3rd to 6th November 2021 at the expansive Mamman Vatsa writers village Mpape, Abuja.

An author of two published books and prolific writer of note and commentator on national economic issues, Akerele will be be bringing on board over 20 years of experience in banking, government, academic and research. A world bank trained development economist, Akerele appealed to members of the committee which has a past national president Mallam Abdullahi Denja, Ambassador Lois Adams and othe distinguished Nigerians as members.

The President of Nigeria, His Excellency President Mohammadu Buhari, state governors, ministers, members of the diplomatic Corps and other distinguished guests are expected to grace the occasion and formally commission the multi billion naira national conference center and secretariat of the noble association.

Prof Femi Osofisan a renowned writer and professor emeritus will deliver the conference lecture with participants drawn from across Africa and other parts of the globe. The committee has since commenced duty.
Celebrities / Goodnight Sir Victor Uwaifo, Our Guitar Boy... by aguele(m): 10:36am On Aug 31
When a huge tree falls in the forest, the loud thud is heard over miles. Nigeria, nay the world, mourns the passage of a huge music maestro.

I vividly recall our days on Lagos Street where you lived a short distance away from us on Iwehen Street. You often came to visit my senior brother, Osaheni Uzamere your childhood friend and contemporary. As I was much younger than you both, I admired your personality and strong character with awe.

From humble beginnings, you grew yourself up to national and international fame. You extolled the highlife music genre and no party ended without the stroming guitar of *Joromi, Guitar Boy, Ekassa 28,* and your many other evergreens. You not only played, you danced and your dance moves were emulated on many dance floors. You invented a double guitar to the amazement of the entire world. You were adept with the flute, electric guitar, saxophone, piano and percussion. Your voice, was sweeter than the nightingale's.

You won for Nigeria, her first Gold Disc Record, with your release of *Joromi* in 1965, among many other firsts you scored. You not only excelled in music, you veered into academics in your adult age, bagging a 1st Class degree in your course of study. You grew to become a Professor. You were an icon. You effortlessly changed many mindsets that ignorantly saw musicians in a negative light, those early days.

You were a great lover of our rich Benin culture. You promoted our rich heritage in your music. You served our ancient Benin Kingdom and our Edo State, with pride and commitment.

You bowed in a blaze of glory. I pray that God gives your soul, a restful repose. May God give your immediate family and Benin kingdom, the fortitude to bear your saddening loss.

Contemporary Benin history reserves space for you, as you live in our hearts and in your works - your everlasting music.

Senator Ehigie Uzamere, ksc.

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Politics / Opinion: Dear Nigerian Woman by aguele(m): 8:46pm On Aug 30
By: Dumebi Kachikwu

Watch Video

Dear Nigerian Woman, it is 2021 and the evil in our land is far much worse than what you fought for in 1929. The burden of the Colonial Masters’ is a walk in the park compared to the burden of our current Rulers. This country you nurtured is being desecrated as the blood of the innocent freely flows on our streets. Unborn children are hacked from their mother’s wombs, kids are beheaded, mothers are raped and slaughtered. Your men, your fathers, your husbands, your sons are dying in their thousands. Their hearts have failed, and their courage departed. They gather on social media to sing lullabies of yesteryears. Only a mother’s love can dare this evil. This is your war. FIGHT

NYSC / Centre, Ngos Propose Creation Of NYSC Trust Fund by aguele(m): 7:48pm On Aug 29
.... canvass two years period

The Federal Government and National Assembly have been urged to create a trust fund for the National Youth Service Corps scheme to enhance job creation and reduce unemployelment.

This was part of the recommendations of the Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency as well as Nigeria First after a one-day round table analysing the gains, challenges and prospects of the scheme for national unity.

In a communique co-signed by Richard Augustine Adie, Chairman,
Communique Drafting Committee, Stella Osso (secretary) and Usman Abubakar (member), over 250 members of the centre and NGO unilaterally agreed that a trust fund would lead to a seamless transition from corp members to business owners and employers of labour.

The group also recommended an extension to the service year from one to two to allow corp members utilize the various skills and entrepreneurship development initiatives introduced by the scheme.

According to the group, the NYSC has immensely contributed to the growth and development of the country, catering for a critical segment of the young population.

It also acknowledged that the scheme has evolved over the years to a hub for skills acquisition and entrepreneurship development which has transformed the lives of corp members in ways too numerous to mention.

The communique also hailed the NYSC leadership for being innovative and responsive, which has translated to an overall improvement in the affairs of the exercise.

The group, however, urged the FG to emulate the NYSC's Skills and Entrepreneurship Development Initiative as a national template to empower Nigerians at the grassroots level in the quest for growth and development.

Read full communique below:


The Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency, in collaboration with Nigeria First, convoked a one-day round table to discuss the National Youth Service Corps with regards to its contributions to the socio-economic development of Nigeria.

Members were drawn from both organizations and were divided into committees to examine the following: Gains of the NYSC, Challenges of the NYSC, and Prospects of the NYSC in uniting the country in modern-day Nigeria.

Members deliberated rigorously and were exhaustive in their approach given the sensitivity of the issues at hand regarding the relevance of the NYSC scheme in the socio-economic development of Nigeria.

The Deliberations:

The meeting had in attendance over 250 persons drawn from various civil society organizations and non-governmental organizations, which deliberated in committees and reported their findings at the plenary at the end of the roundtable.

The Gains of the NYSC:

Members were able to identify that the NYSC as a scheme is indeed beneficial and has contributed immensely to the growth and development of Nigeria in the sense that it strategically caters for a critical segment of the country-youths. The one-year service period serves as that bridging gap for youths in their transition into adulthood.

It was also identified that the NYSC has evolved over the years to a hub for skills acquisition and entrepreneurship development which has transformed the lives of corp members in ways too numerous to mention.

It was also identified that the NYSC, through its various interventions, has served the purpose of national stability and unity as corp members have used the NYSC opportunity to understand the religious and ethnic plurality in Nigeria. Corp members have also contributed vigorously in critical sectors in Nigeria, such as health, education and agriculture.

It identified the numerous contributions of the NYSC in the health sector to include the provision of medical services in government hospitals in rural and urban areas, the provision of ad-hoc services in critical assignments of national interests, such as during election periods, during immunizations, national examinations, and many more areas.

It was also identified that NYSC had contributed immensely to reducing unemployment in the country through its various youth empowerment initiatives that have transformed our youths into employers of labour. This has helped reduce unemployment in the country as most of the trained and equipped corps members have imbibed the spirit of entrepreneurship against the usual unending wait for white-collar jobs. The youths have also succeeded in employing their fellow youth in their established businesses. They also serve as sources of inspiration to others.

The Challenges:

The committee, after extensive deliberation, identified that the NYSC is indeed challenged in some areas which include, the issue of ensuring the safety of corps members throughout the service year, the funding of its various skills acquisition and entrepreneurship development initiatives.

There is also the challenge of corp members engaging in acts outside the scope of their service engagements. In some instances, the consequences are unpleasant, and the NYSC takes the blame for such errant behaviors.

Prospects for the Unity of Nigeria:

The committee deliberated on the NYSC and its prospects for the unity of Nigeria. There was a unanimous decision that the NYSC as a scheme is indeed relevant to the scheme of things in this critical point of our existence as a country.

By posting corpers to unfamiliar places to interact with people from different backgrounds, the NYSC brings together Nigerian youths from diverse socio-economic and ethno-religious backgrounds. This helps bridge the ethnic and religious divisions in the nation by providing exposure to other ethnic groups, which is a positive step towards building a stronger nation.

It was also agreed that the NYSC aids social integration by providing opportunities for cross-cultural interaction that has led to inter-tribal marriages, helping to reduce inter-ethnic stereotypes and suspicions. NYSC also fosters patriotism among Nigerian youths; participation is regarded as obeying the clarion call to serve the fatherland.


At the end of the one-day round table, participants made presentations on their findings at the plenary. Participants were unanimous in agreement with regards to the strategic importance of the NYSC scheme in Nigeria. The gains identified outnumbered the challenges facing the scheme. Therefore it was agreed that the efforts of the leadership of the NYSC have been outstanding in the past few years.

The various innovations in the scheme were also noteworthy in critical areas such as health, education and agriculture, which resulted in the following recommendations:


The Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency, in collaboration with Nigeria First, at the end of the one-day roundtable in the assessment of the NYSC scheme, as a result of this make the following recommendations:

That an amendment seeking an extension of service year from one to two years to allow corp members utilize the various skills and entrepreneurship development initiatives introduced in the scheme.

That there is an urgent need for the presidency as well as the national assembly to begin the process of establishing a Trust Fund for the NYSC and to be backed by law to serve as the hub for socio-economic development to finance business initiatives of corp members during their service year.

The establishment of the NYSC Trust Fund would catalyze job creation and the reduction of unemployment. It would afford a seamless transition from corp members to business owners and employers of labour. It would ease the pressure on the already overstretched public sector. It would open more opportunities in the private sector, and Nigeria would experience sustainable growth and development.

The government should emulate the NYSC Skills and Entrepreneurship Development Initiative as a national template to empower Nigerians at the grassroots level in the quest for growth and development.

The leadership of the NYSC has been innovative and responsive, which has translated to an overall improvement in the affairs of the NYSC.

That the supervisory Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has provided credible leadership towards achieving the overarching objectives of the NYSC.
Politics / How I Moved From Selling Okrika To Paris School Of Business - Agbonifo by aguele(m): 7:02am On Aug 29
Edo-state born Fashion Entrepreneur,
Eghosa Agbonifo has shared his experience of how he grew from selling second hand clothes popularly called Okrika to becoming a fashion entrepreneur and a student of Paris School of Business.

Agbonifo said at a young age, life was hard for him, having to struggle through every point. Adding that despite the challenges, he believed in himself and didn't give up.

While sharing his experience he said,
"What I did was, I outlined some goals and worked towards it. Then I set out to be in the fashion business. Without having much capital, I started selling used clothes - 'okrika.' I buy them and then sell in Benin City.

"I usually shuttled Benin City in Edo State to Cotonou, Benin Republic, and sometimes Togo. It was a very daunting task. I was resilient I kept pushing hard and getting clients.

"Thereafter, I expanded the business from selling okrika, I moved up to selling designers clothes. Though getting clients wasn't easy too, but I ensured I get the best clothes, deliver to customers and maintain the relationships."

Speaking on his success story, he said, "over the years, I have developed good marketing techniques to increase my customer base, using social media, especially Instagram to my advantage.

"Today, I have secured admission to Paris School of Business for a Masters degree in Luxury and Fashion Management, being one of the world's prestigious school of business.

"I no longer sell used clothes (okrika) but rather a major distributor of global brands like Gucci, Versace, Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren, etc and I look forward to birthing my own fashion brand some day.

While encouraging young entrepreneurs, Agbonifo said despite the challenges in life and business, never give up.

"Keep pushing, keep pressing, and never say never. I want to use my story from selling okrika to the Paris School of Business to encourage many young Nigerians. Even though I still have many more things to accomplish, it is not over until I WIN."

NYSC / Covid-19: Nysc Vows To Sustain Enforcement Of Protocols, Warns Against Complacen by aguele(m): 9:30pm On Aug 27

The Director General of the National Youth Service Corps, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim has pledged the commitment of the Scheme towards the sustenance of strict enforcement of COVID-19 preventive and safety Protocols in order to guarantee seamless and smooth Orientation Course and Service Year.

The Director-General who was speaking today during a WEBINAR session on COVID-19 measures for safe orientation camp jointly organised by the NCDC/NYSC, and supported by World Health Organisation (WHO), further warned against complacency by the Prospective Corps Members and other members of the camp community, noting that camp courts have been empowered to try and met out appropriate disciplinary measures to violators of the safety protocols.

General Ibrahim stated that NYSC is in partnership with relevant health organisations in the provision of COVID-19 vaccines and urged Prospective Corps Members to avail themselves of the opportunity to be vaccinated during and after the NYSC Orientation Course.

While congratulating Prospective Corps Members for their successful graduation from various academic institutions which qualified them to be called up for national service, the Director General implored them to justify the huge investments of their parents and the Federal Government by making good use of the abundant opportunities for leadership training and self reliance availed by the Scheme.

The NYSC helmsman reiterated the need for Prospective Corps Members to be security conscious and avoid night journeys, stressing the need to reach out to NYSC Secretariats, miilitary and police formations, as well as other security agencies for shelter in a situation where their journeys extend beyond 6pm.

He also enjoined them to desist from negative use of the social media by ensuring that they always verify all information about the Scheme through the NYSC social media platforms. This according to the Director-General would mitigate the increasing spread of fake news with its negative consequences.

In his address, the Director-General Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu appreciated the NYSC for sustaining a robust partnership with the NCDC which has succeeded in strengthening adherence to COVID-19 preventive and safety protocols in the country.

He also observed that the COVID-19 pandemic has made large congregational setting unsafe and commended NYSC for the incredible sacrifice which made the sustenance of the invaluable programme possible in the new normal. Dr. Chikwe called on Prospective Corps Members to prepare for more sacrifices in order to enhance the success of the forthcoming Orientation Course, noting that the WEBINAR is to familiarise them with COVID-19 global protocols put in place for effective management of the pandemic.

In their separate contributions, Dr. Oyeladun Okunromade and Tunde Disu of NCDC dwelt on the online COVID-19 registration processes for Prospective Corps Members, staggered registration in the Camps, the need to strictly adhere to non-pharmaceutical protocols such as constant hand wash, use of facemasks, social distancing and the need to take responsibility in facilitating a COVID-19 free environment in the Camp.

Also sharing his first hand experience in the Camp, a Batch "A" Corps Member; Peter Oludamilare commended NYSC Authority for making adequate arrangements for Corps Members to participate actively in all Camp activities while observing COVID-19 preventive and safety protocols, and called on Prospective Corps Members nationwide to key in and take responsibility.

The 2021 Batch "B" Stream II Orientation Course is scheduled to commence on Wednesday, September 1, 2021 across 37 Orientation Camps nationwide and would last for three weeks.

Politics / Interfaith Clerics End 3-day Prayer To Intercede For Buhari's Administration ,in by aguele(m): 5:51pm On Aug 27
Interfaith clerics end 3-day prayer to intercede for Buhari's Administration ,insecurity 

The National Inter-Faith and Religious Organizations for Peace, NIFROP has ended a 3-day prayer to supplicate for the success of the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration.

The prayer session which started on Tuesday and ended on Thursday was part of the divine mandate given to the group to intercede for Nigeria and  President Muhammadu Buhari. 

NIFROP National Coordinator, Sunday Garuba  in his speech said despite the evil machinations of the kingdom of darkness against Nigeria, the country have remained a strong and indivisible country by the mercies and grace of God. 

"God has indeed proved himself faithful to us as a people and as a country over the years and to the shame of the devil. 

"My brothers and sisters, I say big congratulations to all of us for the great effort and sacrifices over the years in prayers, fasting and supplication to God on behalf of our great country.  If not for anything, we have done nobly. The bible reminds us in the book of Hebrews 6:10 that "For God is not unjust to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do” I tell you all gathered here today that the blessings of God shall continue to locate each one of us in a hundredfold in Jesus Name. 

"My brothers and sisters that we are gathered here today in fulfilment of God's mandate is an indication that God is about to do something great in our country. And in fulfilment of this divine mandate, I am happy to announce that the National Inter-Faith and Religious Organizations for Peace shall be carrying out a monthly prayer meeting for peace, unity and stability in Nigeria. 

"We target to have not less than 200 clergymen and women from the Unity Church and the Unity Masjid in attendance. Our joy indeed knows to bound as we are set to commence this critical assignment given to us by God in ensuring the sustenance of peace, unity and stability in Nigeria. 

"My brothers and sisters, this is indeed the Lords doing, and it is marvellous in our sight. That we are leading the quest for peace, unity and stability in Nigeria is a joyous moment for the Unity Church and Unity Masjid. We must realize that this assignment is necessary for the manifestation of the glory of our country. And for this, I thank you all for this turnout today. It remains our desire that as we begin to gather here every month, the manifestation of God in all critical sectors of our country would be resounding. 

" I tell you all today under the sound of my voice that all those bent on disrupting the peace, unity and stability of Nigeria shall be put to shame. The bible tells us in the book Mathew 25: 46, "And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." 

"The bible also revealed to us in the book of Psalm 37:1-10, "Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers.

"For they will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb.Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness

 Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

"Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.

He will bring forth your righteousness as the light and your justice as the noonday.

"Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!

"Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.

For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.

 In just a little while, the wicked will be no more; though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there." 

"My brothers and sisters, the name of the LORD is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. Nigeria is indeed in safe hands, and why God has instructed us to begin this monthly Inter-Faith Prayer meeting for peace, unity and stability in Nigeria. 

"My joy indeed knows no bound as we begin this programme, for I know what is ahead for Nigeria through this prayer meeting. For what shall be experienced in Nigeria shall surpass all human understanding, so much so that the world would call Nigeria blessed. 

"My brothers and sisters, the Unity Church and the Unity Masjid, has been at the forefront of interceding on behalf of the country for several years. This much we would continue to do as God has granted us the grace to come out in our numbers for different programmes that have been impactful in the life of our dear President Muhammadu Buhari and the country at large" he said

Bishop Garuba said it remains his firm conviction that the launch of this monthly prayer meeting would herald the reign of peace, unity and stability in Nigeria. My faith in God remains unshaken, for I know that evil shall never triumph in Nigeria. Religion and ethnic division shall never triumph in Nigeria, and politically instigated insecurity shall never prevail in Nigeria. 

"My brothers and sisters, the promise of God in the book of Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”  is the assurance that we have that Nigeria shall indeed experience peace, unity and stability. 

"I thank you all for coming out in your numbers, and may God continue to bless us all" he concluded

Politics / Vat Collection Should Be Placed Under Concurrent List– Dr Kennedy Iwundu OPined by aguele(m): 2:29pm On Aug 27

Recently, the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt ruled that Rivers State government should be responsible for VAT collection and not the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS).

Dr. Kennedy Iwundu – a tax expert says that the constitution of Nigeria never stipulated who to collect VAT because transaction taxes such as VAT and WHT were never mentioned in exclusive and concurrent lists. He said that the drafters of the constitution never anticipated the evolution of transaction taxes. When the constitution was drafted, transaction taxes (VAT & WHT) were not familiar to Nigeria.

He suggested that VAT should be on the concurrent list where both the federal and the state governments will be involved in collection.

His proposal is that the federal government should collect VAT from:

i. Cross border transactions (imports/exports of goods and services). ii. Multinational companies
iii. Non resident companies
iv. Hi tech companies (facebook, google etc)
v. Federal government contracts.
He further suggested that states should be allowed to collect VAT from the following areas such as:-
i. Local companies (within their territories)
ii. Enterprises and individuals (within their territories)
iii. State government contracts.
He also suggested that states who suffer environmental degradation of local industries should be the ones to enjoy VAT collected from those local industries.

Dr Kennedy emphasized that the need to strengthen our fiscal federalism is now where states should be able to pay salaries of their workers without depending on federal allocation.
He further urged the FIRS to use the Joint Tax Board (JTB) as a platform to help states increase internal revenue collection capacity especially in the areas of personal income tax and stamp duties.

Dr Kennedy Iwundu urged stakeholders to be patriotic in helping Nigerian economy grow and stop playing politics when it comes to revenue collection and allocation.

Politics / Group Hails NEDC For Exceptional Service In North East by aguele(m): 7:35am On Aug 27
_...solicits international donors’ support for commission_

The North East Peace Foundation (NEPF) has commended the North East Development Commission (NEDC) for its laudable intervention initiatives introduced in the region.

The group gave the commendation on Friday in a statement titled 'NEDC: A Trajectory of Exceptional Service in North East Nigeria' and signed by its Executive Director, Achenyo Ogu.

According to Ogu, the Commision's impact has been visible, fulfilling its mandate in the rehabilitation and reconstruction of roads, houses and business premises of victims of insurgency as well as tackling the menace of poverty, illiteracy, ecological problems and any other related environmental or development challenges.

He noted that the NEDC has shown the capacity to undertake humanitarian activities with its record of excellent service delivery.

The NEPF, therefore, called on international partners and donor agencies to support the NEDC with more resources.

It noted that with enhanced partnership, the Commission will be able to achieve more and reach more Nigerians.

While applauding the leadership for their commitment towards meaningful infrastructural development in the region, the group urged them not to be distracted by mischief makers.

It noted that should this tempo be sustained, the region would experience tremendous growth and development in the years ahead.

Read the full statement below:

The North East Peace Foundation, a critical stakeholder in the entrenchment of peace and stability in North-East Nigeria, commends the North East Development Commission (NEDC) for the laudable intervention initiatives introduced in states in North-East Nigeria.

As a partner in the developmental project in North-East Nigeria, we are stating in unequivocal terms that the various interventions of the NEDC in North-East Nigeria have been impactful. They resonate with the mandate of the Commission in the rehabilitation and reconstruction of roads, houses and business premises of victims of insurgency as well as tackling the menace of poverty, illiteracy level, ecological problems and any other related environmental or developmental challenges in the North-East states.

We wish to state that since the establishment of the NEDC, it has carried such quantum projects across states in North-East Nigeria, that by all indications, dwarfs the humanitarian adventures of International Non-Governmental Organizations in North-East Nigeria.

It is sufficing to add that the NEDC has indeed proven that it has the capacity to undertake humanitarian activities when the records of its numerus engagements are scrutinized.

The implication is that if all stakeholders extend to the NEDC the needed cooperation, the country, particularly the northeast, will be liberated from the destruction caused by the insurgency.

It is also a statement that the NEDC, since its establishment, has hit the ground running. This is laudable and a demonstration of the emphasis on excellent service delivery by the management of the NEDC.

The North East Peace Foundation uses this medium to call on international partners and donor agencies to support the NEDC with resources to enable the Commission to do more in its various interventions in North-East Nigeria.

It is our considered opinion that given the proper support from the government and development partners, the impact of the NEDC would be felt across the nook and crannies in North-East Nigeria.

The North East Peace Foundation sees the NEDC as a trajectory in service in its contribution to peace and development in North East and Nigeria at large.

We commend the leadership of the NEDC for the rare display of commitment towards bringing about meaningful infrastructural development in North-East Nigeria. It is, therefore, our candid view that should this tempo be sustained, North-East Nigeria would experience tremendous growth and development in the years ahead.

We advise the leadership of the NEDC to stay focused and not distracted by activities of mischief-makers who have constituted themselves as clogs in the wheel of progress in the operations of the NEDC.

The North East Peace Foundation would continue to render the necessary support to the operations of the NEDC in North-East Nigeria.
NYSC / Gains Of NYSC Scheme Supercedes Its Pains, Says Varsity Don by aguele(m): 9:23pm On Aug 26
A University Don, Dr Okpe J Okpe has said the recent calls for the scrapping of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC scheme is unwarranted as the gains of the scheme supercedes the pains.

OKpe, a seasoned Researcher who spoke at a one day round-table discussion on appraising the NYSC Scheme, its prospects,  challenges and gains said the scheme can never die.

Okpe who teaches at the Federal University  Lafia said 

the scheme apart from inculcating  discipline in Nigerian youths by instilling in them a tradition of industry at work also enlightens on loyal service to Nigeria in any situation they may find themselves.

He said the scheme has succeeded in raising he moral tone of the Nigerian youths by giving them the opportunity to learn about higher ideals of national achievement, social and cultural improvement

"It has also developed  in the Nigerian youths the attitudes of mind, acquired through shared experience and suitable training. which will make them more amenable to mobilisation in the national interest

"It has also enable Nigerian youths acquire the spirit of self reliance by encouraging them to develop skills for self employment and also contribute to the accelerated growth of the national economy

The scheme also assist in developing  common ties among the Nigerian youths and promote national unity and integration.

Another Speaker at the session, Dr Thomas Uzah who urged the Government to increase the funding of the NYSC scheme said scrapping it will take the country more than 30 years backward.

Uzah said the scheme has gotten to a point where it has come to stay due to its social integration responsibilities. 

"The founding fathers of the scheme should be lauded for conceiving the scheme rather than describing as outlived its relevance, the scheme has done a lot of good to the country rather than its negative sides.

Another social commentator, Mojeed Dahiru who also spoke on the continous relevance of the scheme said it has contributed in removing prejudices, eliminate ignorance and confirm at first hand the many similarities among Nigerians of all ethnic groups while also ensuring an equitable distribution of members of the service corps and the effective utilisation of their skills in area of national needs

He said " As far as possible, youths are assigned to jobs in States other than their States of origin

"That such group of youths assigned to work together is as representative of Nigeria as far as possible

"That the Nigerian youths are exposed to the modes of living of the people in different parts of Nigeria

"That the Nigerian youths are encouraged to eschew religious intolerance by accommodating religious differences

 "That members of the service corps are encouraged to seek at the end of their one year national service, career employment all over Nigeria, thus promoting the free movement of labour

"That employers are induced partly through their experience with members of the service corps to employ more readily and on a permanent basis, qualified Nigerians, irrespective of their States of origin"he said

Politics / NDA: Sack NSA Monguno Now, Group Tells President Buhari by aguele(m): 12:20pm On Aug 25
Following Tuesday's attack on the Nigerian Defence Academy, the National Forum of Patriots (NFP) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to act fast and relieve National Security Adviser (NSA), Babangana Monguno, of his duties.

According to the group, Monguno is not awake to his responsibilities, displaying gross incompetence and lacking idea on how to galvanize and coordinate strategic actions to end banditry and other security challenges.

The NFP made this known in a press statement today co-signed by Dr. Rotimi Adelabu and Alhaji Ibrahim Bala, its convener and co-convener respectively.

The statement noted that the gains made by the Armed Forces of Nigeria are directly undermined by the lack of will from Monguno's office which was embroiled in a multi-million dollar arms procurement scandal.

While troops and their commanders take the battle to the criminals, the group stated that the NSA’s transactional tendencies have made their effort meaningless.

The NFP said that if something urgent is not done, the progress made by the former service chiefs as Mr. President’s legacies will be eroded by the NSA's negligence.

To avert further collapse, the forum, therefore, urged President Buhari to dismiss Monguno and appoint someone with the needed capacity, competence and courage to put the nation’s security architecture on the right path.

It reminded President Buhari that his pledge to insecurity was part of the reasons Nigerians voted for him and it is a travesty that a mere appointee of his has made make him look this bad before the nation.

Read the full statement below:

The National Forum of Patriots (NFP) has watched the degenerating security situation in several parts of the country and serious concern, the early Tuesday morning attack on the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) being a watershed. The development calls for President Muhammadu Buhari taking far-reaching decisions that should start with the National Security Adviser (NSA), Babangana Monguno being relieved of his post immediately and with no further waste of time.

Nigerians have suffered the devastation of insecurity that the NSA should have effectively curbed if he were awake to his duty. What citizens are rather inundated with are reports of Monguno’s proclivity for material acquisition at the expense of making the country secure for Nigerians.

We keep reading about Monguno’s ties to shady procurement deals instead of reading about the value he has brought to arresting what is currently the most important thing to Nigerians, security.

We found it most unfortunate that the gains being made by the Armed Forces of Nigeria are being directly undermined by the lack of will emanating from the Office of the National Security Adviser. It is the NSA’s responsibility to cobble together all security and law enforcement efforts in a manner that accord cover to Nigerians.

The successes achieved by the past service chiefs as Mr. President’s legacies are being eroded at the same time new security threats are rising across the country. We tragically see new areas falling under the bloody grip of bandits and other criminal elements.

At a time when the country most needed competence, Monguno has proven to be lacking understanding of the current issues facing the country and his inability to galvanize and coordinate strategy actions that will see to the end of the banditry is one that should now be a source of worry for Nigerians.

Our worry is further compounded by the fact that it is a matter of time before Monguno re-infects the entire security architecture with the crass incompetence that he almost used to tarnish the image of those that sacrificed to secure the country. Troops and their commanders would be hard at work while the NSA’s transactional tendencies make them appear as if they are not doing anything meaningful to end Nigeria’s security crises.

It is on the strength of the foregoing that the National Forum of Patriots (NFP) hereby demands that something must give way and that is that President Muhammadu Buhari immediately sacks Babagana Monguno as the National Security Adviser (NSA) to enable those with the needed capacity, competence and courage occupy the position to, without any further delay, put the nation’s security architecture on the right path.

We like to remind Mr President that security was one of the major reasons Nigerians voted for him and it is a travesty that a mere appointee of his has made him look this bad before Nigerians. We demand that President Buhari immediately replaces Monguno with a capable person that will implement his vision of a secured Nigeria.

Mr. President needs to act NOW!

Health / NARD Strike: Group Commends NYSC Doctors by aguele(m): 6:21pm On Aug 24
Medical doctors under the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme have been applauded for their sacrifices towards providing health services across the country.

The Coalition for Good Governance and Change Initiative (CGGCI) gave the commendation in a statement on Tuesday, noting that the efforts of the young doctors amid an industrial action by their senior colleagues have saved millions of lives.

Recall that the strike by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) have hampered access to quality health care, thus reducing quality of life.

The strike comes at a time the nation is grappling with the Delta variant and sudden surge in coronavirus cases and fatalities.

But for the selflessness of NYSC doctors especially in rural areas, Secretary-General of the group, Comrade Arthur Nwoke, said the situation would have been overwhelming.

According to Nwoke, this is an indication of NYSC's relevance in the country's socio-economic development at this critical point of our existence.

He added that the NYSC is sufficiently vital in the scheme of things in the country, as young Nigerians have in times too numerous to mention made tangible interventions in significant sectors of the economy.

While calling on all well-meaning Nigerians to continue to extend their support to the scheme, the coalition advised those calling for its scrapping to have a rethink.

It, however, urged all relevant stakeholders in the public and private sectors to initiate policies and partnerships with the NYSC that would make its various interventions, such as this, more meaningful and in the country's overall interest.

Read full statement below:

The recent strike by Resident Doctors in the country indeed put a strain on the already stretched health sector occasioned by the Coronavirus pandemic with hospitals filled with patients seeking medical attention.

The Coalition for Good Governance and Change Initiative is issuing this press statement in commendation of the laudable efforts of medical doctors under the National Youth Service Corps, which were relentless in bridging the gap through the provision of medical services across the country.

It is instructive to state that the intervention and display by the NYSC doctors indeed saved millions of lives across the country. This is undoubtedly commendable and an indication of the relevance of the NYSC in the country's socio-economic development.

The Coalition for Good Governance and Change Initiative is aware that NYSC doctors across the country were at their best in various government hospitals rendering services round the clock, especially in rural areas.

By this action, Nigerians must indeed realize that the NYSC scheme is relevant in this critical point of our existence. It is also expected that those who have been at the forefront for the scrapping of the NYSC ought to have a rethink and instead extend their support to the NYSC.

The Coalition for Good Governance and Change Initiative is using this medium to commend the leadership of the NYSC for ensuring that NYSC doctors were at their best this period in saving lives by creating the enabling environment. We also congratulate the hundreds of NYSC doctors for this display of commitment to Nigeria and rising to the occasion when it matters most.

We wish to reiterate further that the NYSC is sufficiently critical in the scheme of things in Nigeria, as youth corpers have in times too numerous to mention made tangible interventions in critical sectors of the economy such as health education and agriculture.

It is on record that corp members have been outstanding the schools across the country with outstanding performances. Corp members have also been very useful in the agricultural sectors, contributing to our quest for food sufficiency in the country.

Therefore, if this is the case, those that have advanced cases of the scrapping of the NYSC should have a rethink by retracing their steps and lending their support to the NYSC.

The Coalition for Good Governance and Change Initiative calls on all well-meaning Nigerians to continue to extend their support to the NYSC scheme as the necessity of now requires that the NYSC receives all the support it can get.

We also call on all relevant stakeholders in the country's public and private sectors to initiate policies and partnerships with the NYSC that would make its various interventions, such as this, more meaningful and in the country's overall interest.

The usefulness of the NYSC scheme in Nigeria cannot be overemphasized. As such, as a people and as a country, we are duty-bound to make it work.

The Coalition for Good Governance commends the NYSC doctors for saving lives and encourages them to continue to render service to the country.
Politics / Nysc Dg To Bag Daily Sun's Public Service Award by aguele(m): 11:18pm On Aug 23
The Director-General of National Youth Service Corps will be confered with Daily Sun's Public Service Award.

The Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of Daily Sun Newspaper, Mr Onuoha Ikeh disclosed this today when he led some management team of the media outfit on a courtesy visit to the NYSC National Directorate Headquarters in Abuja.

The MD who said the award was instituted in 2003 to honour Nigerians who have done well in different fields of human endeavour added that many Distinguished Nigerians had been confered with the award in different categories over the years.

He said Brigadier General lbrahim was selected for the award by the Board of Editors of the media outfit based on his pedgree and laudable innovations since his assumption of office as the eighteenth Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps in May, 2019.

"Your selection for the award was based on merit because of your outstanding achievements in piloting the affairs of the NYSC as the eighteenth Director-General, you have made giant strides through your five point policy thrust.

We note that you have taken steps towards re-invigorating the Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development, you have also renewed the commitment of Bank of Industry towards the resucitation of empowerment of Corps Members.

You have initiated and sustained new collaboration with NIRSAL Microfinance Bank on empowerment of Corps Entrepreneurs, as well as opening of a new partnership with Unity Bank plc.

You have collaborated with British American Tobacco Foundation on the empowerment of Corps Members with agricultural skills and business trainings, farm internship, mentoring and farm input supply", he said.

Onuoha also commended the Director-General for resuscitating the NYSC Water Factory and Bakery in Abuja and the on-going construction of the NYSC North-Cenral Skill Acquisition Centre in Keffi.

He listed the acquisition of modern farm implements for the NYSC Farms located at Kwali Abuja, Dungulbi Bauchi State, Samikaka in Kebbi State, and Iseyin in Oyo State, among other notable achievements as part of the criteria for the award.

"You have made a tremendous impact in the public service and by so doing contributing to good governance", he said.

He added that the prestigious Sun Award ceremony is slated for October, and will be held in Lagos.

NYSC Director-General in his response thanked the Sun Newspaper for giving balanced reportage to NYSC activities and also sensitising the public on the Scheme's programmes.

He said the award would spur him to add more impetus in his service to humanity.

He disclosed that up till date, there is no COVID-19 positive case in any of the NYSC Orientation Camps across the country as only those that are negative are registered in camps while positive cases are taken away for treatment by the NCDC and State Health officials.

He said the NYSC/NCDC partnership has helped the NCDC and Presidential Steering Committee on data analysis on COVID-19 nationwide as the prospective Corps members come from all the States of the Federation.

He said NYSC was established for the promotion of national unity and integration, but the Scheme has added entrepreneurship training to its Orientation Course programme for youth empowerment.

General lbrahim said the dearth of white collar jobs has made many graduates unemployed and in a bid to reduce graduate unemployment, "we decided to introduce Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development as an alternative to empower Corps Members with skills.

Ibrahim also reiterated his appeal for the establishment of NYSC Trust Fund that would make start-up capital available to all the Corps Members as they exit service in order to kick-start their businesses.

"We earnestly solicit the support of the Sun Newspaper to sensitise Nigerians in this regard", General lbrahim said.

Politics / Your Failure In Governance Has Betrayed The Not-too-young-to-run Campaign - Tsg by aguele(m): 4:22pm On Aug 22
The Tinubu Support Group (TSG) has described Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello as a betrayal of Not-too-Young-to-Run Campaign with his shoddy performance in governance.
The TSG stated this against the backdrop of an interview granted a national daily by the governor in which he advised the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to drop his presidential ambition.

Governor Bello had on Sunday, August 22, in an interview with Dailytrust asked Asiwaju Tinubu to drop his presidential ambition and support him, noting that “ as a son to him, my simple advice is that it is time for him to allow his children to take over the mantle of leadership”.

In a reaction to Bello's remark, the TSG in a statement signed by its Director General, Umar Ibrahim, said that the governor's opinion should not be taken seriously.

"All Nigerians can attest to the fact that governor Bello of Kogi State is a disgrace to the Not-too-Young-to-Run Campaign.

" How do we commit a great nation such as Nigeria to a so-called youthful governor who was given opportunity to lead his state and he messed things up?

" Kogi people are dying daily because of unpaid salaries and misgovernance and you think that's a criteria for governing a great country like Nigeria.

“It is on record that you, governor Bello remains the governor with the highest number of months of unpaid salaries and non performance despite the huge sums of both internal and federally-generated revenues.

"We advise that you channel all your efforts into begging and praying for forgiveness for all the sufferings you have inflicted on the good people of Kogi state rather than eyeing presidency."

The group also expressed confidence that the party would witness a successful transfer of power from one region to another at the polls in 2023, stating that the national leader of the APC, Bola Tinubu, remains the most qualified and competent candidate to take over from Buhari.

Director General
Tinubu Support Group
Politics / COVID-19: Nphcda’s Milestones Under Faisal by aguele(m): 10:50pm On Aug 20
By Ruth Ihuwe

In recent times, its more convincing to proclaim that Nigeria, as a country is tethered to the nausea of bad news. But last week, a cheering news broke out. The World Health Organization (WHO) announced the ranking of Nigeria’s COVID-19 response as the fourth-best in the world. The pleasant news was conveyed by WHO’s Country Director in Nigeria, Dr. Walter Mulombo at the ceremony of the receipt of the first consignment of 177,600 doses of the Johnson and Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine on August 12, 2021 in Abuja.

Admittedly, the positive results in the control of COVID-19 spread in Nigeria is a consequence of a series of coordinated actions by the Federal Government , the Presidential Task Force on the Control of COVID-19,(later renamed Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19), Nigerian Center for Disease Control (NCDC), but finally, the bulk anchored by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA)

The good news from WHO profoundly reminded of the hard work, commitment and dexterity of NPHCDA’s Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, the main agency mandated with the burden to lead the administration of COVID-19 vaccines in Nigeria. It is an understatement to say, Dr. Shuaib, a public health management expert has performed creditably in his assignment, despite the initial frustrating fake myths and tales weaved around the COVAX vaccine by saboteurs.

WHO was specific in the commendation to Nigeria that NPHCDA had successfully completed the first phase of the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out. In his mapped-out strategic plan of action, Dr. Shuaib’s ingenuity focused the first phase of the COVID-19 vaccination on frontline workers and other priority groups, exposed to high risk of contracting COVID-19. And he has fruitfully executed it to earn the glory of Nigeria’s fourth ranking on response to COVID-19 by WHO, in spite of the initial internal sabotage and organized campaigns of resistance.

When the China, Wuhan induced Coronavirus pandemic broke out and reached the shores of Nigeria at the beginning of 2020, it was like a death spell cast on the country. The public phrenzy, panic and anxiety in Nigerians seemed endless, something akin to a death sentence passed on the country. Thereafter, COVID-19 began its melonic spread across the country like wildfires, with unexpected infections and deaths in all parts of the country.

The Nigerian Government and Nigerians were jolted from slumber instantly. It was obvious, danger of a greater magnitude of massive deaths than presently obtained lurked in all corners of Nigeria, waiting for any hapless victim to devour. Even cynics had a second thought. President Muhammadu Buhari decreed measures to curtail the spread of COVID-19.

And streams of COVID-19 protocols were immediately enunciated. Nigeria was completely locked down and security operatives drafted to impose compliance. Social distancing rules, use of facemasks and hand sanitizers in private homes and public places were canvassed and imposed where necessary. It was a maddening rash of actions from all stakeholders to avert portentously a worst human catastrophe in recent history.

Foreign travels ban were also slammed, while medical scientists in the country and those in other foreign nations worked sleeplessly to find the solutions of arresting COVID-19, through treatment of its patients and the inoculation potential victims against it. Obviously, the pandemic in every indication had the trappings of the world’s latest holocaust. Scores of COVID-19 infections, and alarming deaths were reported everywhere around the globe, including America, China, Brazil, Italy and the rest of the world, sending morbid fear to humanity.

The Coronavirus plaque was so intense that even the dead begged to find those to bury them, including family members; a hovering situation of despair similar to what some poets usually qualify as “Let the dead bury the dead.” Nigerians dreaded the repercussions of testing positive COVID-19 and recoiled into their shells. It extremely distorted life economically and socially.

But salvation soon descended its blessings on a wailing world. Eventually, COVID-19 vaccine was discovered, tested and approved by WHO to come to the rescue of an entrapped humanity. The Oxford/ AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines waded into the battle against COVID-19. Nigeria took the initial consignment of 3.92 million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines through the Vaccines Global Assess Facility (COVAX) facility on March 2nd 2021 for onward distribution and commencement of vaccinations.

And in same Month, Nigeria received another 100,000 doses from the Indian Government, bringing the total number of vaccines to 4,024,000 doses of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. Through the NPHCDA, Dr. Shuaib prepared for the preservation and storage of the COVID-19 vaccines. He built National Strategic Cold Store, cold rooms in states and ensured the vaccines were stored under approved temperatures to keep them safe for human usage and also, guaranteed the safety of the vaccines while in transit to their respective destinations.

By February 2021, and sequel to the arrival of the COVAX facility, Dr. Shuaib trained health workers nationwide on how to administer the vaccination. Over 13,000 health care workers were trained at the national training of trainers in the first phase, which drew participants from the national, state and local governments. The training later extended to health workers at the ward and facility levels. So far, over 100,000 participants have been trained by NHCDA in the areas of effective handling, storage and administration of COVID-19 vaccines.

Dr. Shuaib also digitalized the process of vaccination which entailed self e-registration, where pre-vaccination numbers and a preferred scheduled date and time of vaccination was indicated for effective outreach to Nigerians. He increased sensitization /awareness campaigns on the COVID-19 vaccination exercise and demystified contrived myths designed to hamper the success of the programme.

The NPHCDA left no stone unturned to trigger success in the administration of the life-saving COVID-19 facility. By end of March 2021, the very first month of the exercise, public skepticism paved way for consent to intake of the vaccine. And the initial positive results from the COVID-19 vaccination based on available statistics show a total of over 325,514 eligible Nigerians vaccinated with the first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine across the country.

And a micro breakdown of the statistics on COVID-19 vaccination is an impressive record of the highest rate in Africa, with a daily coverage of an average of 87,000 people in Nigeria. This figure is higher than other countries on the continent like Egypt (72,000) South Africa (52,000) Ghana (12,100) and Senegal (4,790), which appears uppermost on their vaccination rate chart.

NPHCDA has combined the administration of both first and second doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on Nigerians and the outcomes are commendable. A total of 2,265,805 persons have been vaccinated with the first dose and another 1,175,341 vaccinated in the second dose.

Today, and in barely six months, Dr. Shuaib has utilized 3,441,146 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine for the first and second doses of vaccinations, representing roughly 88 percent of the total of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines received by Nigeria. Therefore, one is confident to say, the NPHDCA under the guidance of Dr. Shuaib has not derailed from its publicized masterplan for the COVID-19 vaccination administration with a projection to vaccinate 40% of Nigeria’s population by the end of the year 2021, and conquer a 70 % target by 2022.

WHO recently commended that, “Nigeria’s preparation for the second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination, involving more resources and logistics, is highly commendable.”

Through the exemplary leadership and positive character manifestations of Dr. Shuaib, the American-trained and ex- Senior Program Officer at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), Seattle, USA, the public disillusions on the administration of the COVID-19 vaccines have vanished. His strong administrative character has made Nigeria one of the most trusted countries in the distribution of the COVAX facilities to the extent the international community and donor agencies are eager to support the country with more vaccines.

Consequently, in August, theUnited Kingdom donated 699,760 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine to Nigeria from the Johnson and Johnson (J&J) company through the COVAX initiative. The supply brings the total number of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca doses so far received by Nigeria to over 4.6 million.

And another good news is that WHO has certified that the “J&J” vaccine is highly effective against contracting the Delta variant. It is targeted to be administered on those who have received the first dose of the vaccine, in the first phase of the vaccine roll-out. By the end of August, another total of 1,173,132 doses of vaccines will come into the country for Nigerians.

Therefore, in Nigeria’s most challenging moments, Dr. Shuaib stoop up at the risk of his life to collaborate with other patriots to salvage his country. He has traveled this path in the public health sector all his life right from the days of Polio eradication campaigns, and Ebola et al. He is a gem and a worthy asset in public health management in Nigeria. This is confirmed by his merited appointment as NPHCDA boss in 2017. He has further proven his worth with the outstanding delivery of COVID-19 vaccinations and prudent management of human resources. #

Ihuwe is a primary health care advocate and wrote this piece from Lagos.
Politics / 368 Grazing Reserves; Stop Land Shopping For Fulani Herdsmen, SNF Tell Buhari. by aguele(m): 10:18pm On Aug 20
368 Grazing Reserves; Stop Land Shopping for Fulani Herdsmen, SNF tell Buhari.

The Southern Nigeria Frontier, is disturbed by a statement by the Presidency through the usual Mallam Garuba Shehu on the decision of the federal government, to retrieve 368 Grazing Reserves, spread across 25 states of the Federation. We consider this statement, coming from President Muhammadu Buhari, through Mr Sheu as another in the series of desperate attempt by the regime, to impose the infamous Ruga settlements system for Fulani herdsmen across the country.

While we have an unshaken believe, in the non-existent of any grazing reserve in the seventeen Southern States of Nigeria, under the control of the Federal government, it is imperative to ask the federal government once again, how and when it gazetted the lands in the said 25 states because we are very sure of the powers, given by the constitution of the Federal republic of Nigeria, as amended, to the governors of the various states, as far as the administration of lands in within their territories are concerned.

Beyond a terse presidential statement, it is imperative that for a decision, such as the implementation of Grazing Reserves in about two-third of the country is concerned, President Buhari and the operatives of the government, should avail the Nigerian public, the gazette number and its content. We are constrained to ask, in what capacity and with which authority did the Prof Gambari panel and federal government determined the so called gazetted lands in those 25 states of Nigeria?

This latest Freudian slip from the Presidency and the desperation to hijack lands belonging to States, for grazing reserves, signposts a dangerous attempt to deploy federal might to harass the federating units in a desperate bid to promote the interest of one ethnic group over those of over 350 other ethnic nationalities across Nigeria.

We wish to advise President Buhari, to tread carefully on this very sensitive issue of Grazing Routes and grazing reserves and desist from playing games with the lives of Nigerians by taking such a decision. The President must once and for all, stopped being seen as adumbrating the Herdsmen position to convert the entire country into one huge cattle colony.

We also urge the governors of the Southern Nigeria, to in categorical term, tell Nigerians which parts of their states, fall within this Professor Gambari gazetted grazing reserves, as this latest move by the federal government, shows that we are dealing with an unfolding tragedy.

We urge Nigerians, to resist this attempt, by the federal government to force violent herders on harmless communities in the name of grazing reserves.

Rather than this desperate land grabbing strategy, we urge the Federal government, to take a look into the position of the 2014 National Conference which recommended that Nigeria should embrace ranching as a way out of the herdsmen crisis. Let it be known clearly to President Buhari, that our people of the Southern Nigeria, will not accept their land being converted into cattle grazing routes, at whatever cost.

The nation is confronted with more serious issue of national urgency, that this desperate search for RUGA, by the federal government. Finally, we urge the states of the Southern Nigeria, that are yet to legislate on the ban on open grazing in their states, as agreed by the Southern Governors forum, to do so, without further delay.


Olufemi Lawson
Spokesman, SNF

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Politics / Afghanistan And My Justified Support For The Nigerian Military by aguele(m): 7:19pm On Aug 20
By Philip Agbese

As Africans, we often say, only someone who has tested the venom of hunger knows the power of its force. Those who still support terrorism in any guise and for whatever pecuniary benefits, do so because they are insulated from its blazing swords and gores.

But anyone who has tested the horrors and bloodbath of terrorisms or have any dose of empathy for humanity would never support terrorism, even if he is promised the reward of the entire earth as his personal fiefdom. Currently, the world is stunned, even America is shocked with what is happening in Afghanistan. It never anticipated the overthrow of the Afghan Government by the Taliban forces this soon. But the worst has happened, the Talibans have violently gripped power.

It could have also happened in Nigeria, if not for the determination and commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Nigerian Military. They have refused to blink in the counter-terrorism combats in order to birth peace and security in Nigeria.

In the past couple of years, I have stood firmly against acts of terrorism in Nigeria. Boko Haram insurgents and armed bandits can never be my friends. I cannot support their vicious actions for any reason.

I have also devoted time, energy and resources to fight the battle against terrorists with the pen, by confronting cyberspace and foreign backed terrorism head-on. Cyberspace terrorism is activated and promoted by veiled agents and sympathizers of terrorists. I did this for the love of my country, Nigeria, that of beloved compatriots and the future generation. It explains my unwavering support to the Buhari administration and the Nigerian Military. I am optimistic and convinced that together, we can trounce terrorism and its attendant security problems. Our country has all it takes to crush them.

There is something significant we have to learn now about terrorism. After 20 years of unsuccessful military campaigns in Afghanistan, the White House has decided to withdraw its troops and pulled out from the embattled country. The action was precipitated by the sudden overthrow and collapse of the Government of President Ashraf Ghani by Taliban forces.

The erstwhile President fled the country after the Talibans captured Kabul, after months of intensified offensives. The Taliban forces gained control of more territories and eventually captured Kabul, the last biggest city still standing in Afghanistan.

America’s President Joe Biden had returned to the White House from Camp David, where he was on presidential retreat to make his first public statement on the developments in Afghanistan. What President Biden adduced as reason for suspending US Military involvement in Afghanistan was remarkable in every sense. It echoed like a bomb blast to discerning minds.

Biden blurted, "If anything, the developments of the past week reinforce that ending US military involvement in Afghanistan now was the right decision. American troops cannot and should not be fighting in a war and dying in a war that Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves."

This is a hard lesson for Nigerians and those masked agents and sympathizers of Boko Haram insurgents and armed bandits tormenting the peace of the country. Foreign military assistance or sacrifice for another country has a limit. Biden has indirectly told Nigeria and other countries that we must all join the fight against terrorism.

Biden was straightforward and blunt that America cannot continue to sacrifice its troops in Afghanistan in a war the Afghan forces themselves are unwilling to fight. Afghans must lead the battle of liberation to embolden others.

It is resoundingly instructive. It brings to the fore, the spirit of patriotism and loyalty to one’s country. America’s present actions and message to the world, in the troubled Afghanistan (which have ostensibly placed the country at greater risk and mercy of the Talibans) is that before an outsider renders assistance to you, the recipient must also demonstrate their willingness to help themselves.

I can conveniently say, Americans have faulted Afghans whether as military men/ women or civilians over their reluctance to liberate their country from the grip of the Talibans. We often jovially say, even heaven help those who help themselves. Afghanistan needed to do more to convince America that they hate terrorism and the Talibans fighting to take over control of the country.

Today, their country has fallen into the hands of the enemy forces. I felt very sympathetic to the plight of the panicked and distraught people, some of who are desperately fleeing to other countries for safety. They will become refugees in strange lands and denied all luxuries. This is one thing we have worked hard to avoid for our fellow citizens in Nigeria.

Without a doubt, among the clans of stranded people in Afghanistan today includes conspirators, mercenaries, fake mullahs and sympathizers of the Talibans who performed the odious betrayal of their country and sacrificed peace for peanuts. The Talibans could not have succeeded without active internal support to their militant campaigns.

None of us is ignorant of the central ideology of Boko Haram/ ISWAP terrorists tormenting and terrorizing Nigerians. They are out and sponsored by some forces to take over Nigeria; they are working assiduously to reconquer us and impose their odd version of Islamic caliphate through bloody jihadi campaigns.

Have Nigerians forgotten that before the administration of President Buhari , Boko Haram insurgents came close to fulfilling their mission? Thrice, they almost overran the Government Houses of Borno and Yobe states in the Northeast to seize power. Insurgents captured and occupied at least 21 local government areas in the Northeast, and declared Gwoza in Borno state their Caliphate headquarters. Tales of escapees from Boko Haram gulags draped with draconian rule, bloodbath, extrajudicial killings, sexual violence, forced labour and human rights violations.

We have experienced agonies and the resultant humanitarian crises created by tens of thousands of displaced persons because of years of insurgency. The social and economic dislocations together with other distortions of normal life are quite scary. The relics are everywhere. No sane person will support terrorism in anyway. Boko Haram insurgents have threatened many times to capture Aso Rock, Nigeria’s seat of power. That’s how close Nigeria came to the danger faced by Afghanistan today.

But we have an unfortunate situation in Nigeria, where some veiled forces and black sheep cocooned in all strata of the Nigerian community, clandestinely work for the success of Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists. Even as the Buhari Presidency is determined to rout out insurgency, the efforts are either frustrated or sabotaged. We are the people supplying food, medication and weapons to terrorists to devour us. It is shameful that some of us have commercialized terrorism.

We shield terrorists from the eagle eyes of security and treat them of gunshot injuries when they encounter state forces in combat duels. We are mindless and freely conspiring with foreign nations plotting to snatch away our country from us. Those who indulge in such aberrations against their country, hardly think about the severe repercussions should the situation gets out of control like the experience of Afghans now. Let our conscience prick us.

But together with some other patriots, I have decided to be different. All of us have a role to play in the final defeat of terrorism in Nigeria. So, I decided to support Mr. President and the Nigerian Military in the counter-insurgency campaigns. We must be told plainly, that if we allow insurgents conquer any part Nigeria, it means all of us have been defeated and conquered.

Therefore, those who think my support for the Nigerian military against the tormentors of our country is an insidious approach to personal glorification and financial gains are very wrong. I go the whole hog because I dread the danger of terrorists succeeding in Nigeria. Let’s open our eyes to the stark reality staring us in the face.

The civil society movement which publicized the messages of Nigerian people against terrorists were only actively fighting cyberspace terrorism, another dangerous brand of terrorism. I am involved in it because I love my country; I want history to remember me as a loyal patriot who identified with my country and it’s leaders in the most disconcerting moments.

Those who backed out against truth, harshly scolded and lambasted me should be ashamed, with the ugly events in Afghanistan now, they should have cause for reflection and a rethink. My actions have been clearly justified and the detractors or enemies of Nigeria have been proven wrong by the sad events in Afghanistan. Let us resolve today never to support terrorism on our shores or anywhere; it pays more to show our patriotic face and loyalty to country. We are the people responsible for our peace and security; we can choose to destroy ourselves with our own hands or avoid it collectively.

Its my conviction that together, we can liberate Nigeria from the jaws of Boko Haram and ISWAP and other terrorist groups . Else, we are only working to fret away the dignity and pride of our beloved country. But there is no any other country which belongs to us, except Nigeria. To be forewarned is to be forearmed. Let us be circumspect in our actions and utterances on national security.

Agbese LLB(UK), MBA(UK), LLM(UK) is a scholar based in the United Kingdom.
Politics / Cleaning Our Cities Together With Cleaner City Initiative. by aguele(m): 5:11pm On Aug 20
By:Barseks Recycling

Barseks Recycling introduces the Cleaner City Initiative (CCI), a community-focused recycling system to facilitate the collection of plastic waste by partnering with waste management companies, NGOs and locals to promote cleaner streets, imbibe the culture of recycling and effectively create employment. Since December 2019, this initiative has recorded remarkable success in Edo state by collecting, aggregating and shipping over 450 tonnes of plastic waste, with the view of expanding this progress to the entire nation.

Nigeria is estimated to generate about 2.5 million tonnes of plastic waste annually, most of which ends up in water bodies, on beaches, landfills, and sewage systems. To efficiently tackle our plastic waste disposal challenge, CCI is directed at creating awareness on the importance of safe and clean environs by educating locals on the values of recycling, as well as, incentivize consumers and business owners to collect and properly dispose of recyclable waste.

In 2018, nearly 200,000 tonnes of plastic waste were reportedly dumped into the ocean, a figure expected to rise in the future due to the increase in the demand and consumption of plastic filled goods.

If left unchecked, such a negative development will be hazardous to our environment and the wellbeing of our communities.

To create a more sustainable environment, the Cleaner City Initiative operates by involving the major players on both sides of the table, to collect over 1500 tonnes of voluntarily disposed of plastic waste annually.

On one side, locals and localized businesses will benefit from actively participating in the CCI through a reward system designed to provide health insurance, ticket lotteries and renovation programs.

CCI is also estimated to generate over 2 million dollars annually for waste management businesses in participating states. This way, everyone benefits from working together to create cleaner cities.

“Plastic waste makes up a large chunk of our waste,” said Obaseki Osamagbe, CEO, Barseks Recycling.

“We have to clean up our streets, neighbourhoods, gutters and use the revenue from recycling these materials to benefit our communities.

The goal here is to take advantage of the innovation in plastic recycling technology to reduce pollution, create jobs and enrich the life of every Nigerian.”

Through this collaborative system, Barseks Recycling will create a range of projects to develop economically viable and environmentally sustainable solutions for converting plastic waste into more valuable materials.

In line with the UN sustainable development goals, CCI recovered over 8 million plastic bottles from Benin City in 2020, by strategically placing Barseks Recycling cages at street corners, shopping centres, and working with local plastic waste collectors to encourage voluntary plastic disposal.

“We are confident at the prospect of the Cleaner City Initiative to become a potential solution and a better way of combating our plastic waste problem by not only collecting waste but also building a culture of individual responsibility.

A culture that encourages everyone to properly dispose of plastic waste and get rewarded for doing so,” said Obaseki Osamagbe, CEO, Barseks Recycling.

Barseks Recycling is an energy-efficient recycling company playing a key role in enhancing the adoption of innovative plastic waste disposal, management and recycling in Nigeria.

Politics / NEDC: Appraising House Of Reps Accountability Report by aguele(m): 5:53pm On Aug 19
By Onuche Odoma

The Managing Director (MD) of the North East Development Commission (NEDC) Alhaji Mohammed Goni Alkali is a rare breed. His honesty, transparency and uprightness in the discharge of his responsibilities at the NEDC are seldom in most Nigerians. His public actions in the management of people and resources are unlike the general known character of Nigerians.

Months back, the House of Representatives bowed to pressures and conducted investigation into the alleged misappropriation of N100 billion at the NEDC by the management, headed by Mohammed Alkali. Some NGOs blew the alarm and the Nigerian media amplified the message.

A motion raised in plenary by Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu accused the NEDC boss of multiple corrupt acts and financial infractions at the commission, which was created to jumpstart massive infrastructural developments in the Northeast ravaged by years of Boko Haram insurgency. The House of Reps conducted a scrupulous investigation into the allegations against Alkali, but only found an empty bag of accusations.

Its submitted and adopted report on the probe indicated that the allegations against Mohammed Goni Alkali were spurious, frivolous, fabricated and baseless. Pleasantly too, the Reps committee also commended the Alkali-led management of the NEDC for its impressive and credible performance in projects execution in the communities covered by the mandate of the commission.

This is an uncommon applaud of a public servant in Nigeria who came under the investigative searchlight of national parliamentarians. Most Nigerians who find themselves in such probes hardly escape, without a scratch on the skin, like in the case of Alkali. They are found complicit in many ways and handed over to anti-graft agencies for prosecution.

Those conversant with this country, cannot argue that Nigerians are variously very ingenious. Test a Nigerian on anything, he excels exceedingly. Nigeria parades many best world class recognized professionals in virtually every disciplines. Nigerians are industrious and productive. The never-dying spirit in a Nigerian has opened rare doors for him and in strange climes globally.

However, like established by social scientists, every being is a blend of the contents of good and evil. The evil side of some Nigerians is also strappingly amazing. Nigerians have a high content of corruption. It’s nearly impossible to demand from many Nigerians holding public offices to adhere to the doctrinal tripod of transparency, accountability and probity in service.

Therefore, looting, embezzlement, diversion, pilfering, plundering, siphoning of the nation’s commonwealth and other financial crimes generally are the cherished pastime of most public office holders or Politically Exposed Persons (PEP) in the country. Financial crimes are very commonplace and the ingenuity it is executed, sometimes, marvel anti-graft agencies in the course of investigations.

There is hardly any day, one picks a copy of daily newspaper in Nigeria, without the headlines screaming with words like “Billions of naira missing in NPA;” “Probe spending of N881bn by 367 MDAs without appropriation, SERAP tells Buhari;” “Multi-billion-naira fraud rocks NDDC management;” “Over $ 2 billion arms procurement funds looted” and so forth.

Nigerians with the proclivity of corruption hardly ruminate while committing these crimes. But once the whistle blows, they indulge in all manner of subterfuge to subvert justice to the Nigerian state and the people. Courts trials of suspected fraudsters and parliamentary sessions digging into allegations of frauds have experienced some humorous scenes.

Some fraud suspects under trial or probes turn the courtrooms or venues into dramatic theatres. They play the thespian to invoke pity from the same public they shortchanged for personal enrichment, merely to evade justice. Some even feign illness.

There are notable examples! Of course, Nigerians have not forgotten how ex-PDP national publicity scribe, Mr. Olisa Metuh, who was standing trial for alleged money laundering collapsed in court in one of his trial sessions. He was accused of partaking in the diversion of N400 million from the $2.1 billion arms procurement fund. Former Bayelsa State Governor, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha had to redefine gender fashion by disguising as a woman and escaped the shores of Nigeria when he faced alleged corruption charges.

Likewise, the Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Prof. Kemebradikumo Pondei, dramatically slumped and fainted during a financial sleaze investigative hearing at the National Assembly (NASS). He was drilled by NASS committee over his alleged mismanagement of N40 billion funds of the commission. The riddle is yet to be resolved.

It was at the heat of the national uproar generated by Prof. Pondei’s battling with the hammer of parliament investigation that the allegations against the NEDC management sprouted. But as an upright and incorruptible public servant, Alhaji Mohammed Goni Alkali was not panicked by it. He calmly told reporters of his willingness to appear before the Reps Committee anytime he was invited to render accounts of his stewardship.

From the outset, Alkali trusted his clean records. Strikingly, the case of the management of the NEDC is however different. The parliament did its investigation and gave Alkali a pat on the back for his flawless handling of public accounts and projects. But the charges against him were multiple. His accusers alleged corrupt practices such as high handedness, over inflation of contracts, awards of non-existent contracts, massive contract splitting and brazen abuse of procurement laws in the award of contracts.

Quite honestly, the dragnet was expansive. But none of the allegations had any worthwhile substance to nail Alkali or implicate his leadership of the NEDC. This is an apt indication of a genuine and accountable public leadership by Alkali. Those close to the NEDC boss have attested to his personage as a stickler to personal positive morality. He combines it with the dictates of the law, anywhere he dispenses public leadership.

Today, if Nigerians are amazed at the rapid infrastructural rejuvenation of the Northeast, which was devastated and ruined by terrorists, the shadows of the NEDC under Alkali’s leadership reflects conspicuously everywhere. Through Alkali’s focused and honest leadership, the NEDC has strongly waded into the humanitarian crisis and infrastructural deficit caused by by Boko Haram insurgency.

The NEDC-MD has adopted the Multisectoral Crisis Recovery Project (MCRP) approach, as supported by the World Bank in tackling the disparate problems in the Northeast. The commission is into sensitization of the locals on the reality of fleeing remnants of Boko Haram insurgents and the dangers of sheltering escapee insurgents. And Alkali has trained select natives on techniques of dismantling unexploded landmines in communities for a more protective environment.

The commission has launched and is aggressively pursuing the Education Endowment Fund, agenda in the region. The scholarship benefits over 20,000 youths at the cost of N6 billion yearly. It has enabled the beneficiaries to access academic or professional capacity training and development in different fields of studies.

The NEDC is implementing the rehabilitation of drinking water and sanitation facilities in the states of the Northeast. Within his short duration in office, Alkali has implemented various humanitarian reliefs projects numbering 1, 310 under the broad scheme of “Rapid Response Intervention” (RRI) in all the 112 local governments of the Northeast region.

The commission also provide farmers with agricultural machinery and equipment, seeds, fertilizers, agrochemicals and extension services logistics vehicles annually under a programme tagged; “Integrated Agriculture Programme” (IAP). It covers the whole 112 LGAs in the Northeast. The NEDC is also into skills acquisition, training and provision of starter packs to Information Communication Technology (ICT), trainees.

Alkali has given entrepreneurship, and vocational skills a boast. Each of the 1,028 wards of the Northeast region, The NEDC has empowered women and youths in order to divert attention from the attractions of conscription into Boko Haram. The NEDC’s ambitious project of the construction of 10,000 housing units spread across 10 Borno LGAs for the resettlement of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) are the many signposts of the Alkali-led management of the NEDC.

Therefore, a public administrator engaged in such lofty and populist programmes as exemplified by Alkali’s leadership of the NEDC will not see the extra public funds to embezzle, even if he is tempted. Consequently, it was a heart-warming external blend with the reality in the management of NEDC, when the House of Reps applauded the NEDC for due diligence in the execution of projects, after the probe of alleged looted N100 billion.

Certainly, NEDC’s initiatives, operations and its impact on the communities in the Northeast region are speeding up the recovery process of the traumatized people and recovery of the entire devastated region. Mohammed Goni Alkali is accordingly encouraged to sustain and possibly, accelerate the tempo, as funds keep coming into the coffers of the commission.

Odoma wrote this piece from Abuja.
NYSC / Accepting The Worthiness And Expediency Of An NYSC Trust Fund by aguele(m): 2:48pm On Aug 19
By Emmanuel Kolawole

The Director- General ( DG) of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim is a foresighted administrator. He is an administrative pathfinder of admirable qualities. In matters of public administration, he is like the famed seers of ancient days. He sees tomorrow with crystal clarity and begins to work on any obstacle today. His inclination to a prosperous Nigerian youths is unbeatable.

Since assumption of office, as the NYSC boss, Brigadier Gen. Ibrahim has been in ceaseless motion in the search for better ways to reposition the scheme to fully discharge its mandate. The DG has reactivated NYSC investment platforms; upgraded and modernized the Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) programme. Obviously, corps members are savouring the gains of his repositioned NYSC in diverse ways.

Today, and in further pursuit of his dreams to bequeath a better scheme to Nigeria, the Brigadier General Ibrahim has launched a vigorous campaign for the establishment of the NYSC Trust Fund. When he first voiced the idea, skeptics might have probably assumed he is bluffing. But the national endorsements and acceptability of this proposal now is amazing, which is only comparable to the Biblical mustard seed.

The DG's idea of an NYSC Trust Fund is to create partial or full financial autonomy for the scheme in funding its administrative operations and also, to assist graduate Nigerians privileged to pass through the scheme, a window to draw capital for their entrepreneurial exploits, after the post-service era. The investment capital which will be offered by the NYSC Trust fund to graduated Corps members is a formidable backup to the knowledge acquired in SAED. This is the motivation of Brigadier-General Ibrahim for his recommendation and loud preachments for the creation of a trust fund that would ensure the financial empowerment of all corps members after the national service year.

Graduate unemployment is one of Nigeria’s greatest headache. Brigadier General Ibrahim has envisaged an NYSC Trust Fund which will be backed by legislation and draw it's funding from a stipulated percentage of profits of corporate bodies operating in Nigeria. It's a simple, but brilliant idea that would change the fortunes of the scheme and its participants dramatically.

Surely, once the NYSC Trust fund is adopted, the number of young Nigerians who pass out from the scheme to face a bleak future by roaming the streets, and knocking on the doors of government offices in search of white-collar jobs would reduce drastically. The NYSC Trust Fund is designed to assist them with seed capital based on the stipulations of the Act establishing it, in order to try their entrepreneurial skills and possibly, morph into employers of labour. It’s a foundation to self-reliance and financial independence.

Truly, the moments of joblessness after graduation and the mandatory service year are frustrating and quite traumatic. It blights the joy and pride of citizenship. So, the DG conceived this idea as another method of tackling massive youth employment in the country.

The pride of every patriotic citizen is to render service to his nation. In Nigeria, the NYSC provides a veritable platform for the actualization of this aspiration for educated Nigerian youths below 30 years of age. And the excitement of service year, lingers long in the minds of young Nigerian graduates. Besides, the scheme has served as weapon for cultural and social integration among Nigerians.

But like other initiatives of the FGN, the NYSC has also faced it’s fair share of setbacks. From poor funding to maladministration, the scheme has tottered over the years. Notwithstanding, it has not closed its doors to innovations and improvements, with successive administrations in Nigeria. And from all indications, the NYSC's moments of glory have berthed eventually under the leadership of Brigadier General Ibrahim.

This assertion also finds expression in the favorable disposition of President Muhammadu Buhari who is passionate about youth engagement and empowerment. Therefore, the President has seen the NYSC as a platform to railroad the transformation of Nigerian young graduates into formidable and productive citizens. His appointment of Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim to head the scheme was a conscious attempt at re-engineering and repositioning organization for the maximum benefits of Nigerian youths and Nigeria.

Therefore, the idea of the NYSC Trust Fund which started like a whisper is now trumpeted by all stakeholders and leaders. Almost every notable Nigerian has lent a voice in its support. They are at the forefront of reeling out the benefits of the NYSC Trust Fund.

The former Head of State, and founding father of the NYSC scheme, Gen. Yukubu Gowon (rtd) has not only accepted the idea of an NYSC Trust Fund, but has anointed himself a Chief campaigner for its immediate establishment. He is personally reaching out to the various arms of government, opinion leaders and stakeholders to ensure the idea comes to fruition. Gowon believes that the establishment of the NYSC Trust Fund will further strengthen the scheme through robust funding.

To the Chairman, House of Representative's Committee on Youth Development, Hon. Yemi Adaramodu, an NYSC Trust Fund will conveniently address the subsisting challenges of infrastructural decay and funding which have strangulated the smooth operations of the scheme over the years. He sees the proposed NYSC Trust Fund as a vault that will provide ‘seed money’ for graduate youth entrepreneurs after the service year for the effective utilization of knowledge taught at the SAED.

Other foreseeable and solid impacts of an NYSC Trust Fund includes; unburdening State Governments from financial commitments on the scheme in the magnitude presently obtained. It is also another frontal attack on the menace of unemployment in Nigeria and an instrument of curbing the increasing rate of crime in the country by meaningfully engaging youths. The NYSC Trust fund will also provide funds for the expand NYSC Orientation Camps and the renovation of dilapidated camp facilities.

And most pleasantly, it is contemplated that the beneficiary will require no collateral or godfather to access the seed money offered by the trust fund. All Nigerians can attest to the viability of the scheme and how it has helped young Nigerians in various. That’s why when some members of the House of Representatives tinkered with the idea of scrapping the NYSC, Nigerians stood up in unison to resist the move. Earlier in the year, a report released by data bank and research organization (NOIPolls) indicated that over 83% of Nigerians resoundingly rejected the scrapping of the NYSC scheme for whatever reason.

So, some Nigerians are therefore, canvassing that when the NYSC Trust fund is eventually established, the duration of service should be extended to two years because of the significant roles teg scheme now plays in the life of the average Nigerian graduate. Nigeria’s National Assembly is implored to do the needful by initiating the Bill for the NYSC Trust Fund and expediently passing it into law for its take-off.

Kolawole is former PRO, National Association of Nigerian Students and wrote from Lagos.
Politics / Nigeria-benin Relations In Ambassador Buratai’s Era: An Opportunity For Economi by aguele(m): 10:11am On Aug 19
Nigeria-Benin Relations in Ambassador Buratai’s Era: An Opportunity for Economic Boom.

By Rotimi Johnson
When he served, as Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and leader of the counter-insurgency operations, His Excellency, Ambassador Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai (rtd) stretched his last energies, to save his country, from the twinges of insurgencies and insurrections. He donated his life and strength to the cause of liberating humanity to the best of his capacity and conscience for six years in leading the battle in the trenches.

But life has mixed experiences; some pleasant and others unpleasant. So, Amb. Buratai has been publicly arbitrated maliciously or accurately eulogized based on who holds the other end of the stick, as ennobled by his personal perceptions.

Nonetheless, he is not exhausted yet. There are still a lot of treasures embedded in Gen. Buratai (rtd) unknown to many Nigerians. He is a mystique of some sort, with multilayered ingeniousness. Its easy to describe him as a soldier of the trenches or a warmonger of the finest breed. And it’s also very appealing to denote Gen. Buratai as an administrator of rare configuration in military circles. His service records yawns with uncommon accomplishments.

But these are just the elementary understanding of Nigeria’s envoy to the Republic of Benin, His Excellency, Amb. Tukur Y. Buratai. He created wonderous impacts and made indelible imprints in Nigeria’s battles with Boko Haram terrorism. In just 5 years, he set unimaginable records in the anti-terrorism combats in the country. His shadows while he served his fatherland in the warfront were acknowledged by national and international bodies/ world leaders.

President Muhmmadu Buhari’s appointment of Gen. Buratai (rtd) and his posting to the Republic of Benin was for strategic reasons. Fighting and defeating terrorism requires more than just having a properly trained army and warfare weapons. It transcends such basic considerations. It needs international alliances, collaboration and partnership with other foreign nations.

Benin Republic is strategic to Nigeria for several reasons. As a nation which shares a major commercial border with Nigeria- the Seme border, the country has come with its enough blessings on the economic front; and much as the concomitant burden. Both legitimate and illicit trade transactions occur on the border. The Seme border’s most terrifying nightmare to Nigeria includes, trans-border crimes such as smuggling of firearms and contraband goods into the country.

While smuggled weapons have exacerbated insecurity in Nigeria; smuggled goods deny the Nigerian Government of its essential revenue or tax levies on imported goods. Importation of banned items also destroys the local economy and kills productivity. Nigeria has battled with these malaises for years.

Angered by the danger posed by such sabotaging acts, President Buhari closed Nigerian borders, including the Seme border in August 2019, to curb smuggling of goods and weapons by these economic criminals.

Nigeria’s greatest problem on insecurity is battling banditry and terrorism, which has lasted for over 10 years. Much as the country has attempted to weaken terrorists and bandits operations within, they resurge from time to time, exalting more powers through smuggled weapons into the country.

Through subtle talks and persuasions, Benin Republic joined the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF), a regional security outfit set up to confront the madness of terrorism in the West African sub-region. The original countries in this arrangement are Nigeria, Niger and Chad republics. But the needed cooperation for better gains has to be constantly activated or renewed by Nigeria.

And there is a bright hope to end these tribulations with Gen. Buratai (rtd), a soldier who demonstrated his zeal, passion and determination to see to the greater security and peace for humanity, especially in Nigeria, now serving as a bridge between Nigeria and Benin, one of the countries which greases the problem. It is therefore right to say, from the trenches, Gen. Buratai (rtd) has taken up the battle against terrorism and banditry on the diplomatic plane.

Considering that the international community is focal in the fight against armed gangs, in addressing the security challenges in Nigeria, the posting of Amb. Buratai to the Republic of Benin has countless blessings. He is in a better position and more experienced to search for diplomatic solutions to Nigeria’s porous borders which facilitate smuggled weapons from that axis by striking a mutual understanding with the country to checkmate the trend.

Not everything is achieved through brute force or laws. So, diplomacy and international relations on smooth template comes handy in resolving certain problems. Negotiations and dialogue between nations have solved knotty problems which years of wars or conflicts have failed to resolve.

Therefore, Lt. Gen Tukur Buratai’s (rtd) ambassadorial mission in Benin republic will harvest and sustain multilateral ties with the West African country. As attested by his impeccable credentials in public service, Buratai is trusted to galvanize international support from this country in the final defeat the Boko Haram insurgency and allied insurgencies in Nigeria.

Gen. Buratai is famed for his passion for multiple approaches in fighting terrorism. While in the service of the Nigerian Military, he was a consistent exponent of the adoption of non-kinetic weapons in fighting terrorism in the country. His service now as Nigeria’s ambassador to Benin republic is a good icing on the cake, hence a standard platform has been raised for him to utilize his competence on embalming the multi-dimensional security issues afflicting Nigeria for peace, progress and security of the country.

Nigerians who know the worth and treasures in Gen. Buratai, applauded his diplomatic sojourn to Benin Republic jubilantly. The timing is also auspicious. Due to sustained pressures, the Federal Government of Nigeria reopened its closed borders in December 2020, after it nearly broke international relations between the two countries. By implication, while Government is desirous to encourage legitimate or authentic trans-border trade and commerce, it must also necessarily confine the operations within the prisms of approved international laws.

Consequently, Amb. Buratai’s first duty or challenge in this direction is how to renew the broken trade relations between Nigeria and Benin in terms profitable to both countries, in accordance with prescriptions of the ECOWAS Protocols. No magic can work better, rather than diplomatic engagements, which Amb. Buratai is poised to vigorously pursue.

Again, Amb. Buratai has started working round the clock to promote national security through the Nigeria/Benin border. Topmost on his agenda is how to curb smuggling of arms and other dangerous weapons into Nigeria through the Benin border. It is a germane issue and uppermost on the minds of Nigerians. His initial steps are commendable in less than two months in office.

Amb. Buratai has also engaged the Government of Benin Republic on ways to curb the large scale smuggling of goods into the country. It is a practice orchestrated by economic wolves and saboteurs’ which has deprived Nigeria of critical revenue in billions of naira annually for the development of public infrastructure. With these loopholes blocked, it would open the sure path to a greater and more rapid development of Nigeria under the Buhari Presidency. Individuals engaged in the business of importation will also have robust transactions in a competitive and protected environment.

Gen. Buratai performed incredibly, as Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff (COAS) in the very few months of his resumption of duty. He is again replicating the same feat in Benin. Nigerians are looking forward to more of such exploits in his mission in Benin Republic. And the quick wins have started trickling into Nigeria, evident in the curtailing of the flow of smuggled weapons into the country. The reduced tempo in acts of terror or banditry. The series of surrenders by terrorists and armed gangs to the Nigerian Army is an apt indication of their suffocation in various ways, including weapons supply.

Amb. Buratai has hit the ground running in his usual fashion. And as a friendly and likeable leader, the Nigerian Embassy staff in Benin Republic are in high spirits to work with him. They are excited with his vision of service and willing to actively assist him to re-energize his foreign mission in that country. Gen. Buratai’s (rtd) reign will definitely birth prosperity for both nations.

With Amb. Buratai at the helms of affairs, Nigeria is bound to see a new form of healthier bilateral engagements with Benin. He has already set modalities in motion to entrench a culture of mutual benefits of the trans-border trade between the two countries. Amb. Buratai is ensuring that not only Benin Republic’s Cotonou smiles in the long run; but Lagos and indeed, Nigeria count multiple gains from the business interactions.

Rotimi is a Nigerian development expert writing from Cotonou.
NYSC / Orientation: Nysc Will Continue To Prosecute Fake Graduates - Dg by aguele(m): 6:14pm On Aug 18
The National Youth Service Corps has again restated that it would not bow to pressure to compromise its mobilisation process.

It said anyone caught with fake certificates during registration would be prosecuted as enshrined in the NYSC Act.

The Director-General, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim disclosed this today, when he hosted the Registrar/CEO of Health Records Officials Registration Board of Nigeria, Alhaji Babagana Mustapha who paid a courtesy visit to him in his office in Abuja.

He said NYSC would not relent to do the needful in line with the NYSC Act.

"I want to assure you that we will move our collaboration to the next level and will continue to post graduates of Health Information Management to medical facilities", he said.

Speaking earlier, the Registrar of the Board, Alhaji Babagana Mustapha who described the NYSC as one of the critical stakeholders of the Board expressed gratitude to General Shauibu Ibrahim for his support to the Board since assuming duty as the NYSC helmsman.

He commended the DG for preventing unqualified persons from being mobilised by the Scheme for service.

He also expressed gratitude to the Corps in respect of having graduates of Health Information Management licensed before mobilisation for service in order to forestall quackery and posting of unqualified persons to health institutions.

"Considering the fact that Health Records Professionals are critical to any effort at healthcare delivery, therefore, if left in the hands of quacks, it will jeopardize the confidentiality of patients' data and management of patients' care in general.

I am here to inform you sir, that since approval, our graduates are now gladly and wholeheartedly posted to hospitals and health centres which has helped in no small measure in combating quackery and exposing our graduates to the practical aspects of all they learnt while in school", he added.

The Registrar hinted that one major challenge facing the board is the presentation of licence by its graduates at Orientation Camps.

"We had stated categorically in our Memorandum of Understanding that only Higher National Diploma certified licences are to be presented at camps for acceptance/clearance from camp officials, not National Diploma licences as presented by some of the graduates.

We entreat you to kindly give consideration and action in this regard at future camps which we are confident you will oblige", Babagana stated.

Politics / Nysc Strengthens Partnership With Nscdc On Corps Members' Security by aguele(m): 10:09am On Aug 18
The National Youth Youth Service Corps has said it would strengthen its existing synergy with the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps in ensuring maximum security for Corps Lodges and NYSC Farms across the country.

It stated that in deepening the partnership, security would be provided for NYSC farmhouses, alongside other ventures of the Scheme.

NYSC Director-General, Brigadier General Shuaibu lbrahim stated this today when he received the Commandant General of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Dr Ahmed Abubakar Audi who paid him a courtesy visit in his office in Abuja.

Ibrahim who said all stakeholders must rally round Corps Members, described them as critical national assets that must be protected.

He disclosed that the Scheme has partnered relevant agencies, as well as transport unions, in addition to sensitising Corps Members on the need to take their safety more seriously and also avoid night journeys.

He revealed that Corps Members have been advised to break their journey if it is going beyond six in the evening and pass the night at the nearest police station, Nigeria Security and Defence Corps formations, or military barracks, including NYSC Secretariats, palaces, among other secured places.

The Director-General commended the NSCDC for introducing agro-rangers and female squad in the Corps.

He added that the Scheme has also resuscitated its farms in order to train Corps Members that have passion for agriculture; but needs the assistance of NSCDC to ensure their safety while on the farms.

He lauded the Corps for its relentless efforts in tracking and arresting cybercriminals in the country.

Speaking further, Ibrahim commended the NSCDC personnel for their enthusiasm, commitment and resilience during Orientation programmes, adding "We want the Civil Defence Corps to be involved in tracking and prosecution of cyber criminals that may want to infiltrate our mobilisation process.

We will also like to sign an MoU with the NSCDC so that we can interface with you.

We will also appreciate if you can make your personnel available to secure our Corps Members so that they can leverage on the advantages of our farms and this requires protection", he said.

The Commandant General of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Dr Ahmed Abubakar Audi ,said there is need for credible intelligence that will help the Corps in the discharge of its responsibilities.

He promised his readiness to strengthen the existing relationship between the NYSC and NSCDC.

The Commandant General said the NSCDC has been providing security for agro-allied investments in the country, especially the farmers.

He added that the three basic responsibilities of the Corps include; protection of critical assets and government infrastructures, disaster mitigation by assisting victims, and registration, licensing and monitoring of private guard companies.

"I am here to strengthen the existing relationship between NYSC and NSCDC. We must come together and we are ready to strengthen our collaboration" he said.

The NSCDC Commandant General and other members of his entourage were led by the NYSC Director-General on a tour of the newly established NYSC Museum before their departure.

Politics / Reports Alleging NFF Chair Attempted To Ruin Ese Brume's Career, Baseless And Un by aguele(m): 1:54pm On Aug 16
Reports Alleging NFF Chair Attempted to Ruin Ese Brume's Career, Baseless and Unfounded.

Our attention has been drawn to a clearly malicious story with a clear intent to malign the person of Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick by one Niyi Busari, using a backwater online blog he operates under the guise of being a journalist.

In the said publication he alleged that the former Delta state Sports Council and Delta state FA Chair had attempted to ruin the career of Ese Brume.

It is clear that Ms. Brume, like several other athletes who would go on to represent Delta state and Nigeria in international competitions, was discovered under the tenure of Mr. Amaju Pinnick as Chair of Delta Sports Council, a tenure that saw Delta rise to the pinnacle of Nigerian sports meets.

That Ms. Brume rose to prominence is no accident, as Mr. Pinnick had in put in place a broad based network of grassroots scouting teams that helped to unearth several gems including the likes of Blessing Okagbare amongst others.

That a so called journalist, would extract a purported statement by someone on a Whatsapp group chat and quote it for his bunch of lies masquerading as a news report, shows the lows that his like have taken the fourth estate of the realm to.

A statement made on a private group among colleagues cannot be published without clear consent of the author, if truly the person to whom it was attributed is the actual author of said claim.

Mr. Pinnick clearly has a track record of performance at every assignment he has ever engaged in, a track record that cuts across his private businesses and which has translated into his engagements within sports sector.

No doubt Pinnick has always brought a global viewpoint to his sporting engagements, which saw the unearthing of several stars from the Delta state sports system and even recently his clear position to the Nigerian home-based super eagles that he would no longer issue International Transfer Certificates to players seeking to travel to backwater leagues for football.

Today Nigerian football is recognized globally with our involvement in the key decision making bodies of international football, all in spite of the fact that his leadership has consistently had to deal with the activities of detractors, of which this Mr. Busari has been very key in spewing hateful and malicious reports against the person of Mr. Amaju Pinnick and his board members.

Recently the Nigerian home based players were taken for an international friendly match against Mexico, a first in the history of the game for local players, giving them needed exposure to the current trends in the round leather game.

It is clear that this most recent baseless tantrum masquerading in the name of journalism is a continuation in the web of lies, which have failed to hold back the leadership of Mr. Pinnick from reaching new heights during his time in office.

We challenge Mr. Busari and hipaymastersrs to desist from further working against the interests of Nigerians and Nigeria by giving the leadership of Nigerian football a bad name, thereby giving the larger country a bad name as well hampering our chances of being given due participation at the highest echelons of football management internationally.

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