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Obaseki, Akeredolu, Igbinedion, Secondus graced Oyegun’s birthday

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Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo, former Governor Lucky Igbinedion, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State were among the dignitaries who attended the 80th birthday mass in honour of Chief John Oyegun on Monday.

Also at the mass held at St Paul’s Catholic Church, Benin City, were the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) , Prince Uche Secondus, Esama of Benin, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion; the wife of the Edo Governor, Mrs Betsy Obaseki, Deputy Governor of Edo, Mr Philip Shaibu and the state Chief Judge, Justice Esohe Ikponmwen.

Archbishop Augustine Akubeze of the Catholic Archdiocese of Benin presided over the mass attended by Bishops Gabriel Dunia of Auchi and Donatus Ogun of Uromi, several priests as well as church and state dignitaries.

Akubeze in his homily described Oyegun, the immediate past National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as a humble, patriotic and fine politician who devoted his life to the development of the country.

“Our political leaders should know that those who want peace must work for justice for all Nigerians, knowing that justice brings peace and development,” he said.

The cleric urged leaders in the country to work for justice in order to get peace which, he said, was the only means of achieving developments.

Akubeze also commended the state government for applying the rule of law to seek justice for the crisis in the state House of Assembly, urged Obaseki and the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, to work together to build a stronger Edo.

While condemning the current state of insecurity in the country, the cleric called on all the stakeholders to join hands together to tackle the challenges.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the occasion was also attended by ministers-designate, Osagie Ehanire and Olorunnimbe Mamora, former deputy governor Peter Obadan, Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Hon. Frank Okiye and the Iyase of Benin Kingdom, Chief David Edebiri, among others.

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Buhari back to Abuja after 9-day holiday in Katsina

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President Muhammadu Buhari, Saturday returned to Abuja after a nine-day official visit, including celebrating the Eid-el-Kabir with family members and inauguration of some developmental projects in Katsina State.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that shortly before departing the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua Airport, Katsina for Abuja, Mr Buhari had charged the military to be more spontaneous in restoring peace to the country, particularly states troubled by bandits.

He gave the order when he addressed 15 officers and 160 soldiers of the 17th Army Brigade and Nigerian Air Force 213 Operational Base in Katsina, under the “Operation Hadarin Daji’’, at the Airport in Katsina.

While in his hometown, Daura, Buhari received Guinean President, Alpha Conde, and the two presidents performed Eid prayers in Daura on Sunday.

Conde, who was welcomed by members of Daura community, was also conferred with a traditional as well as being treated to the traditional Durbar display at the palace of the Emir of Daura, Faruk Umar Faruk.

NAN reports that the developmental projects inaugurated by the president included network of rural roads where he applauded the progress being recorded under the administration of Governor Aminu Masari.

The president, who also inaugurated the Nigerian Air Force Reference Hospital in Daura on Thursday, met with Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from seven local governments affected by banditry in the state.

Buhari also received members of the Progressive Governors’ Forum and leadership of the National Assembly and Katsina State House of Assembly who paid him Sallah homage in Daura.
(NAN)

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2023: Northern youths faults El-Rufai’s position on zoning formula

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Northern youths under the aegis of United Northern Youth and Students (UNYS) have berated Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai over his recent claim on zoning, ahead the 2023 presidential election.

The UNYS also declared their position on ambition of former Lagos State governor and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, for Presidency in 2023.

El-Rufai had recently called for the abolition of power rotation in the country.

Coordinator of the youth group, Comrade Jabir Maiturare, stated this when he addressed a press conference in Kaduna on Friday.

Maiturare said, “Let it be known that Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu has not declared to contest for any position yet. Instead, he is solidly behind President Muhammadu Buhari and giving him the required support.

“In any case, whenever he seeks to contest for any position, including the presidency in 2023, we are ready to give him overwhelming support, and we therefore dissociate ourselves from such irresponsible act of some minority youth from the North.

“In the same vein, we wish to state categorically that Governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai’s statement against the zoning arrangement in place is uncalled for and should not be given any serious thought because he speaks only for himself and not for the North.”

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INEC to release timetable for Bayelsa, Kogi gov’ship elections

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said in the next few days, it would announce the time table for collection of Permanent Voter Card (PVC) and other activities ahead of the November 16, governorship poll in Bayelsa and Kogi states.

The National Commissioner and Chairman of the Commission’s Information and Voter Education Committee (IVEC), Barrister Festus Okoye, gave the hint at the opening of a two-day National Strategy Meeting on Capturing Disaggregated Data of Persons with Disabilities [PWDS], organized with support from the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) in Abuja.

According to him, the time table for the collection of PVC will be announced at a stakeholders engagement to be organised in some few days time.

Okoye said “In the next few days, the Commission will announce the time table for stakeholder engagement for PVC collection and other activities relating to the states where we are going to have standalone governorship elections and the issue of this data collection will be one of the big issues in relation to whether we conduct good elections in Bayelsa and Kogi states.”

Speaking also, Charman of INEC’s Outreach and Partnership Committee (OPC), Dr. Adekunle Ogunmola, said the meeting was a needed platform for knowledge and experience sharing.

He said: “According to the world report on disability published in 2011, stated that about 25 million Nigerians have at least one disability. However, with the population figure of Nigeria being put at over 200 million based on the latest United Nations estimates, naturally, there will be an upward swing in the population figure of PWDs in the country.

“Granted the huge population, PWDs are too important a demographic group to be ignored in planning in all spheres of human endeavor including the processes of election”.

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