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Nigeria yet to heal civil war wounds, says Kukah

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Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Matthew Kukah, says Nigeria is yet to recover from the wounds of the civil war, 51 years after it ended.

He said this at the second edition of the ‘Never Again Conference: 51 years after the Nigerian-Biafran civil war’, which was held via zoom.

He noted that the country had failed to adopt resolutions meant to heal the war wounds of the citizens.

TheCable reported that the ‘Never Again Conference’ is the brainchild of Nzuko Umunna, a pan-Igbo socio-cultural organisation, which organised the first edition in Lagos in 2020.

Kukah said some of those resolutions came from the Human Rights Violations Investigation Commission, popularly known as Oputa Panel, which was set up by the Obasanjo administration.

He added that while the military laid the foundation for Nigerians to begin a process of rebuilding the nation, “things somehow went wrong” along the line.

Kukah said, “I have met a lot of people who fought the war who are full of regrets. There is a lot of resentment, anxiety and frustration that we have not learnt any lessons.

“Fifty-one years after the war, we are still hearing the kind of agitations that ordinarily, with commitment, dedication, focus and the right leadership, we should have put a lot of the anxieties behind us. Unfortunately, they are still with us.”

The bishop described the Oputa panel, of which he was a member, as “the best school I would ever hope to attend.”

He said, “Oputa panel managed to generate quite a lot of data and information that academicians and policymakers would have used to ensure we erect the signpost saying, ‘Never Again’, because it gave us an opportunity, a mirror, to look at ourselves after hearing from all sides but we didn’t have the discipline to follow through.

“We have not been able to forgive ourselves as a people. The wounds of the civil war have not been able to heal. Coups and counter-coups that followed were more or less miniature civil wars by themselves because they threw up the same contradictions, anxieties and feeling of divisiveness across the country.”

Chairman of the conference planning committee, Prof. Pat Utomi, said the initiative started as an advocacy “in trying to bring a better understanding of the civil war and its aftermath to the Nigerian people.”

He added, “We know that if people learn enough from errors of yesterday, they can, in fact, make more progress than they are currently making.”

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Adeleke Sacks Over 10,000 Workers Newly Recruited by Oyetola

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Osun State Former Governor, Gboyega Oyetola and Governor of Osun, Ademola Adeleke

New Governor of Osun, Ademola Adeleke, has nullified the recruitment of over 10,000 workers most of them teachers who benefitted from employments shortly before the end of the tenure of former Governor, Gboyega Oyetola.

This was part of the Six Executive Orders issued and signed by the Governor on Monday. Adeleke was sworn into office on Sunday as the sixth elected governor of the state. His late elder brother, Isiaka Adeleke was the first elected governor.

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In the Order 3, which bordered on employment, the order stated,

“All employments in the service of Osun State Government made in any capacity into any capacity in all the Ministries, Departments, Agencies, Commissions , Boards and Parastatals after July 17th, 2022 be and are hereby nullified.”
Information available to the NPO Reports showed that more than 10,000 people would be affected with the decision.

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BREAKING: Adeleke suspends OSIEC chairman, members

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Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke

The Osun State Governor, Senator Ademola Adeleke, has ordered the immediate suspension of the Chairman of the Osun State Independent Electoral Commission, Mr. Segun Oladitan.

A statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Tesleem Igbalaye, on Monday, also suspended six members of the Commission with immediate effect.

The suspension was said to have been based on several petitions bothering on financial impropriety, dereliction of duty, absenteeism and abuse of office against the said Chairman and members of the Commission.

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The statement further read in part, “The Executive Governor of Osun State, Senator Adeleke, has directed the immediate suspension of the Chairman of OSIEC, Segun Oladitan, and the following members of the Commission;

I. Mr. Yusuf Oyeniran
II. Alhaja Suibat Adubi
III. Prince Yinka Ajiboye
IV. Mrs. Abosede Omibeku
V. Mr. Dosu Gidigbi
VI. Mr. Wahab Adewoyin

“This suspension is sequel to several petitions bothering on financial impropriety, dereliction of duty, absenteeism and abuse of office against the said Chairman and members of the Commission.

“Pending the outcome of investigation into the allegations against the suspended chairman and members of the Commission, the Secretary to the Commission shall hold forth in running the affairs of the Commission.”

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Senate uncovers N200m fraud in Labour ministry payments

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The Senate through its Public Accounts Committee says it has discovered fraud in the payments of over N208 million for the Zonal Skills Acquisition organised by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment.

The programme was organised in all the six zones of the federation in 2021 with N35 million for each zone apart from South East which had N32 million.

The money used for the programme was reportedly drawn from Service Wide Vote (SWV) which has become the subject of investigation by the Senate Public Accounts due to failure to subject the expenditure to the scrutiny of the auditor-general of the federation office before expenditure.

The Senate committee alleged forgery of signatures of participants in the programme.
The lawmakers, who received the lists of participants through the Senate Public Accounts Committee chaired by Senator Mathew Urhoghide, observed a few persons signed for the participants to collect their stipends in the six zones as the ministry allegedly failed to make available the phone numbers of participants in the programme.
Urhoghide wondered how the officials could pay millions of naira via cash for the programme instead of bank transfers.

The committee said the character of the signatures in participants’ list made it look the same and not a single person used his name as a signature.
The committee said the ministry would have used e-payment for the participants.

“The signatures can’t stand the forensic test if we subject them to the forensic test,” the committee declared.
Urhoghide said, ” The money ought to have been paid straight into the accounts, you see one person signing for many people. There is a clear violation of e-payment”
However, the ministry’s permanent secretary, Ms Kachollom Dajua, and other officials were said to have failed to give a convincing explanation to the committee as they argued that due process was followed in paying the participants.

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