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The Ohanaeze Ndigbo has frowned at the exclusion of the South East in the Federal Government’s modernisation policy of railway projects in the country, describing the action as the height of injustice against Ndigbo.

Nwodo spoke against the backdrop of the recent exclusion of the Eastern Rail line in President Muhammadu Buhari’s letter to the National Assembly, seeking its approval to borrow about $5. 185 billion (about N2.074 trillion) from China’s Exim Bank.

Stressing that the Buhari- led government was unfair to Ndigbo, Nwodo said, “The letter to the National Assembly is a reminder and extension of the political marginalisation and even exclusion of the South East. The major railway projects by the Federal Government are the Lagos-Ibadan-Kano modernisation (standard gauge) rail line and the Lagos- Ibadan segment is already ongoing at the cost of $1.231 billion.

“The Lagos- Kano modernisation rail project, has the Kano-Kaduna segment alone costing $1.146 billion while the Lagos-Calabar standard coastal line will gulp $3.474 billion. The mention in the said letter that the next set of rail development would take care of the South East is not worth a pinch of salt and, therefore, unacceptable to Ndigbo. The exclusion of the South East is in clear breach of the Federal Character Principle as captured in Section 14 (3) of the 1999 Constitution which provides that the conduct of the affairs of the Federal Government shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity and also to command national loyalty.

“Importantly, these railway projects are all funded by loans payable by every part of Nigeria. At this rate, therefore, the present and future generations of Ndigbo will end up paying for loans they did not benefit from. Although a N64 billion contract was awarded to Chinese firm in 2011 for the rehabilitation of the Eastern Rail Line, it is still the old gauge, not a modern/standard gauge and not making any reasonable progress.

“Besides, only a concession for the provision of goods coaches to run on the rehabilitated old gauge was given to General Electric, GE, and there is no plan for standard gauge or passenger traffic on this line. Ohanaeze Ndigbo wishes to call the attention of the Federal Government and members of the National Assembly to this large scale injustice, as these actions fuel restiveness and quests for independent sovereign states in parts of the country.

“We call on the lawmakers, leaders and civil society from this region to mobilise their colleagues and compatriots who believe in the unity and equitable development of the country to vote against this injustice.”

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BREAKING: Police Council confirms Adamu Mohammed as IGP

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Mohammed

The National Council of State and National Police Council has approved the appointment of the Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), Adamu Mohammed as the new IG of the Nigeria Police Force.

Adamu was confirmed at the police council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday.

Musiliu Smith, chairman of the police service commission, and governors of the 36 states were part of the meeting.

Mohammed was appointed in the acting capacity on January 15, 2019 following the retirement of former IGP, Ibrahim Idris.

More details later

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Ekiti Gov. Fayemi elected Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum

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Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi has been elected Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF.

Fayemi was chosen by a consensus after he was nominated by Nasir el-Rufai, with Ifeanyi Okowa, governor of Delta state, seconding his nomination.

Abdulaziz Yari, the immediate past chairman, announced this on Wednesday evening.

He said Fayemi was unanimously elected by the governors to lead the forum till 2021.

“Members also elected Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State as the Vice-Chairman of the forum from 2019 to 2021,” Yari said.

He explained that Tambuwal was nominated by Akinwumi Ambode, governor of Lagos State and seconded by Rotimi Akeredolu, his Ondo State counterpart.

Reading a communique at the end of the meeting, Yari said that the forum was concerned with the recent guidelines of the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU).

The guidelines according to him sought to impose restriction on the powers of states and local governments to operate within constitutionally approved parameters.

“The new guidelines have no legal basis under the NFIU Act and are contrary to constitutional provisions which put the State Joint Local Government Account under the legislation of the state houses of assembly,” he said.

“The guidelines will also be detrimental to the interest of States and local governments by crippling programmes such as the Universal Basic Education programme, Primary Health Care Under One Roof, as well as the payment of the salaries of teachers, medical doctor and health workers among others which are primarily funded by state governments.”

On the call by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors to declare state of emergency on issue of insecurity, Yari said that they had all agreed to meet President Muhammadu Buhari for one-on-one discussion.

“The issue of security is under the mandate of Mr president, we are supporting him because he is the Commander-in-Chief and we hope to come up with solutions with him, ” he said.

In his acceptance remark, Fayemi expressed his gratitude for the confidence reposed on him by colleagues.

He pledged to build on the achievements of his predecessors and success stories of the forum.

“We will build on commitment with strong partnership with the Federal Government as federating unit and trash out issues as amicably as possible, in the over all interest of the country,” he said.

He pledged that they would represent the interests of Nigeria irrespective of their political affiliations.

“Whatever we are going to do will be in overall interest of the nation in ensuring that our states are continuously strengthened,” he said.

“Our country derives the benefit of strong, dedicated states to our citizens and the partnership with all arms of government, development partners working with us in the over all interest of Nigeria.

He commended the outgoing chairman and the secretariat for their commitment to states and Nigeria at large, TheCable reports.

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UI Alumni of Statistics department in reunion frenzy

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Plans are already in top gear as students of the Department of Statistics, University of Ibadan are set to mark the first homecoming/reunion event of past graduates of the department between June 7 and 8, 2019.

The two-day programme, which will audaciously take place at the department complex on the campus, is themed: “Homecoming event for Nation Builders and Celebration of Achievement.”

The Head of Department, Dr. Angela Chukwu, said the event is aimed at bringing together all alumni of the department to reunite and hopefully work together with the department in supporting research, creativity and to initiate an endowment fund to assist exceptional but less-privileged students of the department.

The event kicks off on June 7 with a breakfast and networking meet and exchange of pleasantries after a long time of leaving the department for greener pastures.

Afterwards, two alumni of the department, Prof. D.K. Shangodoyin, a Professor of Statistics, University of Botswana, and President, African Statistical Association; and Dr. Mohammed Tumala, Director of Statistics, Central Bank of Nigeria, will deliver keynote addresses.

The event will feature a panel discussion amongst distinguished alumni, which include Prof. Joy Nwabueze, Prof. Ethelbert Nduka, Olubusola Oyebadejo and Emmanuel John Udoh, who will all share expert opinions on the impact of statistics degrees in their various fields.

The second day of the programme, June 8, will be a social event where the department will be recognizing retired members of staff of the department and formally recognize and congratulate the newest professors in the department.

There will also be an official launch of the department’s Hall of Fame and an inauguration of the UI Statistics Department Ambassadors,” both of which will be moderated and conducted by the Head of Department.

The highlight of this home-coming event is the dinner/fund raiser ceremony at the International Conference Centre University of Ibadan.

The event is to celebrate many accomplishments of the department alumni, giving a chance to catch up on sweet memories with old classmates, lecturers and members of staff while enjoying a thrilling event in the ancient city of Ibadan.

Intending alumni of the department are urged to confirm their attendances at the event, through this GSM number: 08055441106, via sms.

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