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Saraki seeks greater commitment to eradicate corruption

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By Olugbenga Salami

Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, on Friday, said that Nigeria can only grow and achieve its true destiny if the present system of governance is rid of corruption.

Saraki, who stated this in his speech as chair of the 7th Zik Lecture of the Annual Zik Series, held at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, said it is time for all Nigerians to recommit to the efforts aimed at eradicating corruption from Nigeria as envisioned by the nation’s founding fathers, one of whom was the great Zik of Africa.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Sanni Onogu, the Senate President also stated that the late Zik believed and worked for transparency and accountability, virtues that would help to banish the “cankerworm of corruption” from the country, if they are imbibed and practiced by all Nigerians.

Saraki said: “Without wishing to pre-empt the subject of today’s lecture by His Excellency Benjamin Mkapa, former President of Tanzania, which is titled, ‘Taming the Monster of Corruption in Africa’, we should ask ourselves what Dr. Azikiwe would have made of the political landscape of today, particularly with regard to the problem of corruption. Let us think upon the example he laid down, the ideals he stood for, and from which he never wavered.

“As we listen to this 7th Zik Lecture, let us meditate upon the legacy of Azikiwe, one of the greatest Africans of the 20th Century. As founder of the historic West African Pilot newspaper, Azikiwe was for freedom of the press. He was for accountability and transparency…He believed in, and fought for Nigeria’s unity.

“When I think about his legacy, I am indeed humbled; and it is a thing of pride to be chairing this event today. As we listen to the 7th Zik Lecture delivered by the eminent keynote speaker, let us recommit ourselves to defeating the monster of corruption in our country; and by so doing, set a standard for the whole of Africa.

“It is by ridding our system of governance of the cankerworm of corruption that this country can grow to achieve its true destiny as envisioned by the founding fathers, one of whom was the great Zik of Africa,” he stated.

He noted that the Great Zik of Africa was not only an astute politician and statesman, but a man who thought deeply about his country in particular and the African Continent in general.

“He thought deeply about the direction Nigeria was going, and he did his very best to steer her on the right path,” he said. “We need more thinkers in our national life, and it is my expectation that today’s lecture will go some way towards nudging those of us in this audience in that direction.”

The Senate President described the Annual Zik lecture series, held at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, as a veritable platform to propagate Zik’s ideals, formulate new ideas and devise solutions to current national challenges.

He said: “It is fitting that this Annual Lecture Series has as its setting an institution of learning in his name. I say this because Zik of Africa was a renowned intellectual, and the power of his mind connected Nigeria to the entire Black World.

“It is fitting, therefore, that we remember the great man of learning in this place of learning. It is fitting that we walk in his footsteps in our quest to formulate ideas and devise solutions to current challenges. It is fitting that erudite lectures are delivered to advance his cause and propagate his ideals.

“We often lament these days that our politics is bereft of ideas. The more reason one welcomes and wholeheartedly supports this lecture in memory of a man of ideas whose example inspires us still, and can give rise to new idealists in our national life”, he stated.

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Metro

FG urged to declare state of emergency on federal roads, Senate tasks

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Disturbed by the deplorable conditions of road networks across the country, the Senate on Tuesday, charged the federal government to declare a state of emergency on all federal roads.
This was as the upper legislative chamber mandated  its Committees on Petroleum (Downstream), Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, FERMA and National Planning to investigate the Petroleum Products Price Regulatory Agency, PPPRA on the non-remittance of five percent user charge pump price of petrol.
Besides, the joint committees were also asked to investigate the non remittance of international vehicle transit charge accruing to FERMA and other established state roads maintenance agency.
These resolutions followed deliberations on a motion sponsored under Orders 42 and 52 of the Senate rule by Senator Geshom Bassey (PDP Cross River South)  who lamented the deplorable state of federal roads in the country.
Presenting the motion, Senator Basset expressed concern that several thousands of lives have been lost to road accidents due to bad and un-motorable roads, while bad portion of roads are safe haven for kidnappers and armed robbers on Nigerian highways.
Supporting the motion, Senator Chukwuka Utazi (PDP Enugu North) said the state of the federal highways are highly deplorable and that urgent attention is needed especially within this budget cycle to do something drastic to address the situation.
Utazi said “and like you prayed that the PPPRA should release the fund for totally provided for FERMA to do  it’s job.
“Mr President, the raining season is just gradually coming to an end and this is the opportunity for FERMA to go and start rehabilitating our roads so that Nigerians can move freely.
“This period is also the time for harvest and in order to ensure that farmers that are in the hinterland get to the appropriate market to get adequate prices for their goods, we  have to make sure the roads are properly done.
“You also know that because we don’t have the rail lines that should be in place, most of the goods and services that we move from one place to the other are done through trucking and if you continue to do trucking, you know that the life span of any  major federal highway may not last long.
“This is a very important motion moved at the most appropriate time to get the desired attention and I’m standing here lending my support and full weigh to get that being done knowing fully well that those of us from the south east are the major complainants of the bad roads in this country and we hope that we get the desired attention from FERMA if  this motion scales through.”
In his remark, President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan said he believe that every part of the country suffers from this problem of deplorable  roads.
He expressed optimism that the  committees mandated to look into the matter will  swing into action and attend to the issue associated with this motion.
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Metro

SAD… Taraba INEC REC is dead

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The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, (REC) in Taraba State, Alhaji Baba Abba Yusuf, is dead.
INEC Secretary, Rose Oriarian-Anthony, said the REC died on Saturday night at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Borno State, where he had been on admission.
She said: “The Independent National Electoral Commission regrets to announce the death of the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Taraba State, Alhaji Baba Abba Yusuf.
“He died last (Saturday) night at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Borno State, where he was on admission for sometime.
He was buried today (Sunday) September 29 2019 at 4pm in Maiduguri.
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Transgender: Sade Adu’s daughter finally becomes a man (PHOTOS)

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Izaak and Mum

Sade’s transgender son has shared a heartfelt message of thanks to the soul singer, as he completes his transition from female to male.

Izaak Theo Adu, born Mickailia ‘Ila’ Adu, has spent the past six months in recovery after undergoing phalloplasty surgery, the reconstructive procedure typically undergone by transgender and non-binary people.

After returning home to his family, Izaak shared a sweet photo of himself hugging Sade, 60, along with a message praising the iconic singer for her unwavering support. In the Instagram post, Izaak wrote: ‘It’s been a long hard road but We did it!! We are coming home!!!! ‘Thank you for staying by my side these past 6 months Mumma. Thank you for fighting with me to complete the man I am. ‘Thank you for your encouragement when things are hard, for the love you give me. The purest heart. I love you so much. Queen of queens ♥️ #mumma #lioness #queen#iloveyou.’

Izaak is Sade’s only child from her former relationship with reggae music producer Bob Morgan.

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