SIX governors, three each from the South-south and South-east are to hold a summit in January next year, to cross-fertilise ideas on the development of the southern states in particular and Nigeria in general. Rising from a four-hour meeting held at the Governor’s Lodge in Awka, Anambra State, on Wednesday, November 27, the governors said the summit would attract prominent leaders from the southern states and offer them the opportunity to contribute ideas on the common needs of the southern zones in particular and the country.
Governor Liyel Imoke of Cross River State, who addressed journalists at the end of the meeting, said the only issue discussed by the governors was the proposed summit, which he explained, would attract development to the zone and enhance President Goodluck Jonathan’s transformation agenda. The governors, Imoke said, had pledged their total support to the government of President Jonathan and called on Nigerians to support him in his efforts to transform and make the country better for all Nigerians.
Other governors who attended the parley were Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom), Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta), Sullivan Chime (Enugu), Theodore Orji (Abia) and Peter Obi, the host governor, while Martins Elechi of Ebonyi State was represented by Dave Umahi, his deputy. Conspicuously absent at the meeting were Rochas Okorocha (Imo), Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), Seriaki Dickson (Bayelsa) and Adams Oshiomhole (Edo).
National ID to Replace Voters’ Card
THE new national identity card is to replace the current voters’ card after the 2015 general elections to enhance the integrity of the electoral process. Emmanuel Ogungbe, director of technical services at the National Identity Management Commission, NIMC, disclosed this while speaking to Journalists in Abuja on Thursday, November 28. Ogungbe explained that with the new identity card issued by the commission, the NIMC could give the details of every eligible voter from a particular Local Government Area, Senatorial District or State in Nigeria.
“During election, you go to a polling booth, you get in there, what you do is carry your ID card with you, they check your name against what NIMC is giving them, tick it and you vote,” he said. Ogungbe assured Nigerians that the new national ID card would put a permanent end to cases of election rigging including double or multiple registrations or voting.
According to the NIMC technical director, the new ‘error-proof’ card would allow government to access information on people living in different parts of the country and thus, save government money because it would no longer require ad hoc registration by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC. “That money can now be used by government for other purposes to better serve Nigerians,” Ogungbe said.
Kano Clamps Down Alcohol, Immorality
MORE than 240,000 bottles of beer were publicly destroyed by police enforcing Islamic law known as Sharia, in the city of Kano on Wednesday, November 27. Government officials said the banned alcoholic bottles had been confiscated by the Hisbah, Islamic law officials enforcing the Islamic law, from trucks coming into the city in recent weeks. The Hisbah also destroyed more than 8,000 litres of local brew called “burukutu” and 320,000 packets cigarettes along with the bottles of beer.
Aminu Daurawa, chief of Hisbah in Kano, said at the bottle-breaking ceremony, that he had “the ardent hope this will bring an end to the consumption of such prohibited substances.” At the occasion a large bulldozer smashed the bottles to shouts of “Allahu Ahkbar” (God is Great) from supporters outside the Hisbah headquarters in Kano. “We hope this measure will help restore the tarnished image of Kano,” Daurawa said.
Since September, this year, the Hisbah have launched sweeping crackdowns and made hundreds of arrests in Kano following a state-government directive to cleanse the commercial hub of so-called “immoral” practices. The Hisbah, in conjunction with regular police have also cracked down on people accused of engaging in prostitution, homosexuality and hard drug consumption.
623 Candidates Jostle for Presidential Scholarship
| By Vincent Nzemeke |
A TOTAL of 623 candidates met the criteria for selection for the second edition of the presidential special scholarship scheme for innovation and development, PRESSID. Julius Okojie, chairman of the scheme, made this known in Abuja on Friday October 15, 2013.
Okojie, who is also the executive secretary of the National Universities Commission, NUC, said the second edition of the scheme was for the 2014/2015 academic session. He said the shortlisted candidates would sit for the screening examination on December 10, 2013 at Chams Plc, Abuja.
About 446 candidates wrote the test for the first edition of PRESSID which was for the 2012/2013 academic session out of which 100 were selected. Okojie said that the scheme was part of efforts to achieve the goals of Vision 20:2020 and President Goodluck Jonathan’s transformation agenda.
“The federal government of Nigeria has plans to develop a critical mass of professionals, who will serve as catalysts of change and agents of scientific and technological advancement as well as sustainable economic development. But this can only be achieved through the sponsorship of outstanding students for postgraduate studies in the top 25 universities in the world. This is why the Federal Government has instituted the presidential special scholarship scheme for innovation and development.”
Okojie said that the scheme was for graduates who obtained first class degrees from recognised and approved universities. He said the graduates must be in the areas of sciences, medicine, basic medical sciences, engineering, economics, special aspects of biology, nuclear physics, quantitative genetics, medical biochemistry, aeronautical engineering, among others.
— Dec. 9, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT