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THE NATION

Edo Assembly declares 12 seats vacant

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Edo State House of Assembly on Wednesday declared 12 seats in the assembly vacant.

The seats declared vacant are those of members-elect who have refused to present themselves for inauguration into the 7th Assembly and two others who did not meet the mandatory sitting requirement to continue as members of the House.

The Speaker of the House, Mr Francis Okiye, said even if the affected members decided to resume, they would not be able to meet the mandatory 180 sitting days as enshrined in the constitution.

The affected 12 members-elect are Vincent Uwadiae- Ovia North-East 2; Ugiagbe Dumez -Ovia North-East 1; Washington Osifo-Uhunmwode; Victor Edoror-Esan Central; Kingsley Ugabi- Etsako East; and Michael Ohio-Ezomo Owan West.

Others are Sunday Aghedo-Ovia South-West; Chris Okaeben-Oredo West; Crosby Eribo-Egor: Aliyu Oshiomhole-Etsako West 2; Oshomah Ahmed -Etsako Central and Ganiyu Audu-Etsako West 1.

Okiye, while declaring the seats vacant, said the 12 members-elect refused to come forward to process the necessary documentation as part of the condition for their inauguration.

He said, “12 out of the 24 members-elect who completed their screening and documentation process were inaugurated on June 17, 2019 out of which two of them have refused to discharge their legislative duties.

“They have refused to represent their constituents in the House, invariably denying their constituents effective representation.

“At this point, I am declaring the seats of the 12 members-elect vacant in accordance with Section 109 Subsection 1F of the constitution.”

Okiye thereafter called on the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct by-elections for the affected constituencies within 90 days.

The Deputy Speaker of the House, Mr Yekini Idiaye, representing Akoko Edo State Constituency I, said the lawmakers arrived at the decision to declare the seats vacant following over 100 petitions and protests from the people of the constituencies who complained of neglect as a result of lack of representation by the members-elect.

But the spokesman of the affected lawmakers-elect, Mr Washington Osifo, said the action of the assembly was laughable.

He said, “It is a laughing matter because the matter is before the court and when a matter is before the court, such action is sub judice.

“We are challenging the illegal inauguration of the House and anything put on nothing cannot stand. So, Okiye is a man that is in search of identity, he is working with the governor in the pursuit of a blind ambition, they have hit the rock.”

He said the House also passed the 2020 Appropriation Bill and affirmed the removal of the suspended Chairman of Etsako East Local Government Area, Alhaji Aramiyau Momoh.

Other matter considered at the sitting, according to him, was the confirmation of the members of the board of the Edo State Internal Revenue Service.

-PUNCH

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THE NATION

NYSC solicits NITDA’s support, seeks more ICT centres for its state secretariats

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NITDA DG, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi and NIYSC DG, Shu’aibu Ibrahim. PHOTO: NITDA

By Lukman Oladokun

The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has approached the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA to help in replicating the Information and Communication Technology Centre it established at the Federal Capital Territory Secretariat in other state secretariats in order to further strengthen the ICT platform of the Corps.

The NYSC Director-General, Shu’aibu Ibrahim, who was at the NITDA Corporate Headquarters in Abuja, pleaded with NITDA to avail more state secretariats with the opportunity given to the FCT secretariat.

Mr Ibrahim, a brigadier general, recalled that NITDA and NYSC have a long-standing relationship that dated back to when the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, was the Director-General of the agency.

He stated that he wants to strengthen the collaborations that exist between the two government agencies.

Mr Ibrahim noted that strengthening the partnership would assist the Corps to overcome some of the challenges it is facing, especially on checkmating the spread of fake news on social media.

Citing an example with the story of a JSS2 student alleged to have impregnated a Corp member, the NYSC DG described the abuse of social media as worrisome and appealed to NITDA to stem the tide.

“Something has to be done to checkmate the menace of social media to save us from various embarrassments. Things that have happened in the past are now being put forth on social media to look like recent events. People are using the platforms to defraud unsuspecting members of the public.

“You can imagine people creating accounts to defraud Corps member that they can help them to be redeployed.”

He called for the arrest of such people to serve as a deterrent to others so as to reduce the menace.

While responding to the NYSC’s request, the NITDA Director-General, Kashifu Abdullahi, assured that NITDA would look into the requests and start the intervention this year.

He said NITDA has done a lot in building the capacity of Corps members serving in the agency but “we can expand it to cover the FCT as a pilot project”.

Mr Abdullahi stated that it is pertinent for the agencies of government to partner together in helping to build the skills of the Corps members because “what most Corps members have is the knowledge and we need to help them in transforming the knowledge to skills so it can be beneficial to them and make them self reliance.”

He added that “NYSC is a gateway organisation that can be used to harness the potential of the youths in the country which will aid the nation in his drive to transform the economy to digital economy.

Mr Abdullahi noted that the agency has built ICT hubs and Digital Job Capacity Centre across the country which he said can be used in transforming knowledge to skills.

He called on the youths not only to use their devices for social media alone as it is distracting and time wastage but to learn skills online and make money.

“Social media abuse is a burning issues that disturbs everyone; we have to work with other government agencies to collaborate on solving the issue. There is need to regulate it and people should be held responsible for whatever content they posted.”

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THE NATION

Magu never said corruption caused Coronavirus, says EFCC

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Magu

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has denied that its chairman, Ibrahim Magu, said coronavirus is caused by corruption.

The EFCC on Tuesday described as “false and misleading”, reports that Magu tied the cause of coronavirus to corruption while delivering his speech at the passing out parade of 281 cadets of the EFCC Detective Inspector Course-5 in Kaduna on Tuesday,

“This information is false and misleading,” the agency said via its Twitter, adding that its chairman only said, “Tackling corruption is a clarion call, given that corruption is a huge burden to the nation. It is worse than Cancer, Ebola Virus, Coronavirus and all other deadly diseases put together.”

But contrary to EFCC’s claim, Magu during the event attended by President Muhammadu Buhari, said: “Corruption is the biggest strategy to humankind. Your excellency, corruption is worse than all the diseases now running about.

“And I strongly believe, Your Excellency, that even the coronavirus is caused by corruption,” he said.

The video below captured the moment Magu made the statement during the passing out parade that was aired on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).

“I strongly believe coronavirus is caused by corruption” – Magu, EFCC acting chairman.

Please where do we get these kind of people from? And how do they end up leading us?

Most importantly, how can we throw these set of people away pls? 🤦🤦 pic.twitter.com/HXnLQo4bdm
— Kelvin Odanz (@MrOdanz) February 18, 2020

Since its recent outbreak in Wuhan, China, coronavirus (COVID-19) has killed over 1,800 people across different countries and infected more than 70,000.

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THE NATION

Sacking service chiefs will further destabilise Nigeria, says SGF

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The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Boss Mustapha on Tuesday said that sacking service chiefs will further destabilise Nigeria.

Mustapha declared the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari will not sack the Service Chiefs now.

He said there are processes that must be followed to effect their sack.

According to him: “We are in a very difficult time now. We need everybody to be on board. We need synergy within intelligent community, within the military formations that will help fight this war.

“We are in a very difficult situation and when we begin to create cracks and divisions, who will be the beneficiaries?

“The adversaries are the ones that are going to exploit those deficiencies and further the cause of destabilising the nation”.

He spoke with reporters in Abuja after a book presentation titled CAN, Religion, politics and power in Nigeria by former General Secretary of Christian Association of Nigeria(CAN) Engr Samuel Salifu.

The SGF said what government needs is for: “At this moment, what we need is for everybody to be on the same page, fight the battle of securing the nation for protecting lives and property and ensuring that every Nigerian has the opportunity to live a prosperous live. I think that should be our main focus”.

He added: “You don’t sack people like that. There are processes and I believe that at the opportune time, those processes will be followed. You don’t just wake up and say sack people, it doesn’t happen like that”.

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