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Items filtered by date: Wednesday, 08 May 2019

Bayelsa Guber: Will PDP Trust Okoya With Its Ticket?

  • Published in News

One of the favourites for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship ticket for the gubernatorial election on November 2, 2019 in Bayelsa State is Mr Reuben Okoya, an architect. The governorship primary election for the battle to Creek Haven is barely three months away.

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Appointment Of VC: Confusion Hits CRUTECH

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The impasse on who succeeds the out-going Vice Chancellor, Cross River University of Technology, Calabar, Prof Anthony Owan Enoh has attracted the attention of the state governor, Prof Benedict Ayade who has waded into the imbroglio.

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CRUTECH Goes After Sex For Grades Lecturers, Students

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The Cross River State University of Technology, CRUTECH, is launching a fresh war against sex for marks, with a vow to deal decisively with lecturers and students caught in the act.

Only recently, Mr Cornelius Ellah, a lecturer in the department of Mass Communication spoke on the issue and stressed the need for the authorities to be hard on culprits. Also, Dr Hanna Etta a senior lecturer and Director of Management Information System (MIS) in the university said the university was out to fight the menace of sex for grades not only in the university but across all tertiary institutions in the country.

“We want to discourage this menace among the lecturers in our society and our students who are the future leaders of tomorrow.” He advocated reading as the only way of passing examination and called for the adoption of this method across Nigeria.

In an exclusive interview with TNN, a cross section of the matriculating students expressed joy and promised not to disappoint parents and guardians during their stay in the university.

The issue formed part of the matters for discourse at the university's 17th matriculation ceremony with strict warning to newly admitted fresh students to shun all acts of sorting and other vices that would tarnish the image of the university.

Interim Vice Chancellor of the University and Chairman Committee of Deans, Professor  Nsing Ogar implored the newly admitted students to properly utilize the rare opportunity of being moulded in character and learning against all forms of vices inimical to the purpose of the university.

The interim administrator also hinted of the zero tolerance to sorting with stiff penalties to defaulters.

“I implore you to make good use of this rare opportunity by ensuring that you respect constituted authority, adhere to rules, regulations, tenets and good traditions of the institution. I equally urge you to shun cultism and all forms of examination malpractice such as sorting. The university has zero tolerance for cultism and other form of social vices."

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Running Local Government Councils Without Compass

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The local government system was established among other things, to fast track the pace of development at the grassroots, build and train leadership capacities in the rural areas, bring government nearer to the people of the rural areas.

Prior to the 1976 local government reform, local government affairs in Nigeria had been the concern of individual communities and states, but the recommendations of the reforms reversed the trend and created a uniform local government system in Nigeria, a development that involved more federal concern than states.

The local government was, by this development, regarded as a vehicle for even development in Nigeria. The reform was unique in many ways.

For one, it formally recognized local government as a distinct level of government with defined boundaries, clearly stated functions and provisions for ensuring adequate human and financial resources, and entrusted them with political responsibilities, where it was most crucial and beneficial.

Although the 1976 reforms was not perfect, it was however better in terms of operations, structure and functions than that of the 1950s, which did not create uniformity in the structure and system.

Subsequent reforms by successive governments in Nigeria retained its uniform structure and from 1999 to the present, Nigeria local governments, have followed the American presidential system of government.   

In recent times, the philosophy and objectives of the local government system seem to have shifted from the platform and vehicle for the even development of the grassroots, to a treasure island, where the roughest sailors feast and loot the common wealth as their bags can carry.

This, perhaps explains why elections into local government councils have become an arena for the rich; playground for the strong and a graveyard for the weak.

Instead of being a platform to coordinate development at the grassroots, the councils have recently become the platform to compensate political supporters and a big farm to cultivate and pluck the resources for the next round of elections. One major rationale for the establishment of the system was to develop leadership capacities and domesticate practical democracy at the grassroots. But today, the people at the grassroots, have little or no say in the choice and selection of the leadership of our local governments. One, or a few persons impose who they want on the people and influence their opinion to appear like a public opinion.

The local government chairmen and councillors were supposed to live with the people and be accountable to them, but today, the reverse is the case, as they live in the cities  remain perpetually accountable to the godfathers. Today, governors  and even the commissioners' wives decide what project should be cited at any local government and the cost implications. Today any local government that did not show aggressive support for the election of the governor does not deserve, even their constitutional privileges as citizenship of the state. Today, local government chairmen are arm twisted to serve the state governors more than the people they claim to lead.

It is no more news that local government chairmen are compelled to remit a quantum of their monthly allocation, the money that was meant for development, as their compulsory contributions to fund the election of the governor and other political merchants, or be made to dance to the freezing rhythms of martial songs.

We do not think this is the best way to run local councils, particularly in the south-south. A situation where a governor will refuse to conduct elections into the local governments, only to sit on and decide how allocations to the councils are spent cannot be allowed to continue, if truly we claim to be running a democratic system of government that practices true three tier system of government.

There are still many local governments that are operating the caretaker systems. This is wrong and against the spirit of the 1999 constitution, as amended. We challenge governors of those states to immediately begin the processes for the conduct of local government elections. Rivers State, just as Akwa Ibom State, did that recently. Bayelsa State is in the process of doing same. We encourage the other states to follow.

Our local government councils should cease to exist as an extension of the state governor's office. Enough of this abuse of the constitution of our land.

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Job Creation: The Ayade Example As A National Template

Four years in the life of a state means a lot.Eight years means much more.By 2023, Professor Ben Ayade would have steered the ship of Cross River for eight eventful years. Those eight years would be Cross River's finest years. Eight years of Governor Ayade's supridentence of our dear state would stand out in its life as the noblest, in the annals of its history.

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As Egbona Faces C'River Speaker At The Tribunal

With Dr. Alex Egbona in the saddle as Abi/Yakurr Federal Constituency member in the House of Representatives, it is now that my people will have a proper representation in that category. Over the years, concerned indigenous people of Abi/Yakurr, who constitute the Ekoi tribe, a variant of the Semi-Bantu stock on the South Eastern belt of the Niger Delta, have been lamenting with a heavy heart the state of their largely agrarian area.

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