South-South leaders angry over botched security meeting – Newstrends
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South-South leaders angry over botched security meeting

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Governors and leaders of the South-South geopolitical region have expressed displeasure over the decision by the presidency to cancel a security meeting of the region planned for Port Harcourt on Tuesday after many of them had gathered at the forum.

They have therefore demanded an apology from the presidency for abruptly aborting the crucial stakeholders’ meeting.

The presidency had fixed the meeting with the governors and other leaders of the region to discuss burning national issues affecting the region and the aftermath effects of the #EndSARS protest.

The FG’s delegation was supposed to include all the ministers from the geopolitical zone.

Addressing South-South leaders at the Banquet Hall of the Government House, Port Harcourt, Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, who presided over the session, expressed regret at the botched meeting.

The meeting was called through the office of the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari.

He explained that the meeting time was adjusted twice from 11 am to 1pm, on the excuse that President Muhammadu Buhari was meeting with Director-General of Department of State Services (DSS) and the Inspector-General of Police, who were supposed to be part of the presidential delegation for the South-South meeting.

Okowa, who is also the chairman of South-South Governors Forum, said he later got a call from the Chief of Staff to the President to eventual call off the meeting.

According to him, he felt really disappointed that the region could be treated with such disdain.

Okowa said the people of the region had been embarrassed, disgraced and disrespected.

He noted that the South-South geopolitical zone remained a very important component part of the nation and that the governors felt insulted because the traditional rulers who had gathered for the meeting deserved to be revered.

He said, “As governors, we feel very touched and very sad about what has happened. And having also listened to our youths, we can feel the anger. As a mark of respect for our people, because you are actually the stakeholders of our region, we felt it was necessary for us to consult with you before taking any decision, if we take our decision without consulting with you, then we would have added to the disrespect that has just been meted on you.

“We call for a public apology, not for the governors alone. We call for a public apology because this meeting was not called at our instance. It was called at the instance of the presidency. The time was changed last night. We understood and we talked to our people. Some of us did not sleep in trying to put things together. We have got to a very bad start. So we are going to convey this message to the chief of staff to the president.”

He also said, “We deserve as a region unreserved public apology to the region, particularly to our traditional rulers and the leaders in this zone, which include our Christian leaders, opinion leaders, our women and our youths, and also the governors of the zone who were voted into office and that is the least that we expect for us to accept the reconvene of this meeting.”

Former president of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, Ledum Mitee, said the abrupt cancellation of the meeting was an insult on the people of the South-South zone.

A member of the 2014 National Conference, Ms. Ann-Kio Briggs, also said the action of the Federal Government demonstrated the value it placed on the South-South geopolitical zone.

Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike; Ben Ayade (Cross River), Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom), Douye Diri (Bayelsa), and Godwin Obaseki (Edo) were at the forum.

Other eminent persons present are the National Chairman of the Pan Niger Delta Forum, Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga (rtd.); and former President, Nigerian Bar Association, Chief Onueze Okocha (SAN).

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Tinubu appoints new heads for PenCom, ICRC, NPC, 6 others 

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Tinubu appoints new heads for PenCom, ICRC, NPC, 6 others 

President Bola Tinubu has appointed new heads for the National Pension Commission (PENCOM), Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) and the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).

Other agencies with new heads are the National Agency for the Great Green Wall, NAGGW, the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, NHSA, among others.

According to separate statements released by the presidential spokesman, Chief Ajuri Ngelale, the appointments take immediate effect.

Tinubu appointed Ms Omolola Bridget Oloworaran as the new Director-General of the National Pension Commission, (PenCom).

Ms. Oloworaran is a finance and banking expert with many years of experience and the appointment is subject to the confirmation of the Nigerian Senate.

The statement added that the “President anticipates a goal-oriented leadership to drive efficiency and superlative performance in the National Pension Commission as the prime regulator of the Nigerian Pension Industry.”

President Tinubu also appointed Mr. Jobson Ewalefoh as the new Director-General of the ICRC.

Ewalefoh is a professional with years of experience in government and development organizations, in addition to expertise in public-private partnerships, public policy reform and development.

The appointment is also subject to the confirmation of the Senate and the President expects absolute dedication and probity in the management of the ICRC and in pursuit of its strategic objective of accelerating investment in national infrastructure through the innovative mobilization of private-sector funding.

For NALDA, President Tinubu appointed Mr. Cornelius Oluwasegun Adebayo as the new Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer.

Adebayo is an engineer and also a community and social development expert and the President expects the new Chief Executive Officer of NALDA to deploy his competence and experience in supporting and driving the growth and sustainability of Nigeria’s agricultural sector.

The statement also stated that President Tinubu appointed Dr. Mainasara Umar Kogo as the chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).

Dr. Kogo is a seasoned lawyer and analyst in the fields of law, security, economy, politics, and international diplomacy.

“The President anticipates professionalism, integrity, and fidelity to the nation in the discharge of the functions of the Office of the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), it added.

Other appointments made include, Mr. Saleh Abubakar as the new Director-General of the National Agency for the Great Green Wall, NAGGW and Mr. Umar Ibrahim Mohammed as the new Director-General of the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, NHSA.

The statement said, “Mr. Abubakar is a highly experienced public administrator with decades of experience across several sectors.

“The President expects diligence and dedication in driving the agency’s mandate of empowering communities to combat land degradation, enhance food security, and build resilience to climate change through sustainable interventions and education.”

For the new DG of NHSA, the statement said, ” Mr. Mohammed is an architect, and also, a construction technology and environment professional.

“The President expects improved outcomes in the agency’s objective of operating and maintaining hydrological stations nationwide, as well as carrying out groundwater exploration and monitoring using various scientific techniques to provide hydrological and hydrogeological data needed for planning, design, execution and management of water resources and allied projects.”

President Tinubu has also approved the appointment of Mrs. Mojisolaoluwa Kehinde Alli-Macaulay as the Executive Director (Operations) of the Fund.

Mrs. Alli-Macaulay is a former lawmaker and former Chairperson of the Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Women Affairs, Poverty Alleviation, and Job Creation.

The President in a statement issued by his spokesman, Chief Ajuri Ngelale, “anticipates a comprehensive re-positioning of the NSITF for enhanced social protection and qualitative service delivery to the Nigerian people

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El-Rufai sues Kaduna lawmaker, Channels TV over N423bn debt probe

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Former Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai

El-Rufai sues Kaduna lawmaker, Channels TV over N423bn debt probe

Former governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, has initiated legal action against Henry Marah, a member of the Kaduna State House of Assembly, and Channels TV over alleged defamatory comments made during an interview about the probe of a N423 billion loan.

In a writ of summons filed before an FCT High Court dated July 11, 2024, El-Rufai, represented by his counsel A.U. Mustapha (SAN), contends that the June 5 “Politics Today” interview on Channels TV titled “Investigation of El-Rufai Administration” was “malicious, unwarranted, without justification, defamatory, and greatly injurious to the reputation of the claimant.”

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El-Rufai is seeking N3 billion in damages, jointly and severally, from Marah and Channels TV for the injury, embarrassment, and distress caused by the alleged defamatory publication, which he claims resulted in a loss of reputation and goodwill.

The interview discussed the ongoing probe into El-Rufai’s alleged borrowing of N423 billion during his tenure as governor from 2015 to 2023. During the interview, Marah accused El-Rufai of borrowing funds without due process and failing to account for the money.

Previously, El-Rufai filed a N1 billion suit against the Kaduna State House of Assembly, arguing that he was denied a fair hearing by the Ad-Hoc Committee on Investigation of Loans, Financial Transactions, Contractual Liabilities, and Other Related Matters. This committee was established on April 16, 2024, to investigate financial activities during El-Rufai’s administration from May 29, 2015, to May 29, 2023.

No date has been set for the hearing of the case.

El-Rufai sues Kaduna lawmaker, Channels TV over N423bn debt probe

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Supreme Court judgement on LG autonomy takes effect immediately – AGF

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Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Prince Lateef Fagbemi SAN

Supreme Court judgement on LG autonomy takes effect immediately – AGF

The attorney general of the federation and minister of justice, Lateef Fagbemi, has said the Supreme Court judgement affirming the autonomy of the local government areas will take effect immediately.

Mr Fagbemi, who stated this while briefing state house correspondents after meeting President Bola Tinubu, urged the governors to comply with the judgement.

While expressing his joy, Mr Fagbemi noted that the judgement has emancipated the local government council.

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He said, “Naturally, one will be happy, should be happy, Nigerians are happy about it.

“I call it local government emancipation judgement because it has really emancipated the local government from the shackles of the past and I hope that local government officials will look at it as an opportunity to develop their various local governments.”

On how to ensure compliance to the part of the judgement that requires state governments to conduct elections for government areas, the AGF said: “The ball is in the court of the governors, let us see what they will come out with, but the judgement is clear as to what they should do, the judgement is clear as to what consequences will be attached to failure or refusal to follow the judgement of the Supreme Court, which takes immediate effect.”.

Supreme Court judgement on LG autonomy takes effect immediately – AGF

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