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Supporting S’East presidency ‘ll be Buhari’s greatest legacy – Okechukwu, VON DG

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Director General of the Voice of Nigeria (VON), Osita Okechukwu, has stated that President Muhammadu Buhari’s greatest legacy would be his support for the South-East region to produce the next president in 2023.

Okechukwu at a press briefing yesterday in Abuja, encouraged the All Progressives Congress (APC) to zone its ticket to the zone as it would signal the end of the civil war and put an end to the agitation of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

The APC chieftain said, “Without being immodest, it is the turn of the Southeast; our brothers in Southwest had eight years 1999-2007 and eight years of Vice President 2015-2023, while our South South brothers had 2010-2015. Thus going by equity, natural justice and good conscience it is the turn of the Southeast.

“Zoning to Southeast will be the end of the civil war and end of IPOB. It will give Ndigbo renewed faith in Nigeria, sense of belonging and national loyalty. To a large extent, allowing a person from Southeast to succeed President Buhari would be APC and Mr. President’s greatest legacy.”

On whether APC would heed his admonition, Okechukwu declared: “Mine is to walk the path of persuasion, I know our great party, APC is not averse to zoning. In fact, zoning was one of the factors that built national resolve and enhanced our victory in 2015.

“I have lived for 33 years in the north, I know Nigeria sufficiently well that every geopolitical zone has eminently qualified persons to preside over the country; therefore, none should be denied the opportunity. I also know that it is not the region, which produced the President that benefits more, so it is a soothing balm in nation building.”

According to him, his position is without prejudice to the demographic considerations by PDP or the prodigious roles people like Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu played in President Buhari’s election.

“Without self-immolation, Ndigbo are not only foremost patriots that live and invest in all nooks and crannies of this country; but also it borders on misinformation or misrepresentation to underrate Igbo population in Nigeria.

“For instance, taking Lagos City as the most populous city and Kano as the most populous state in the country, you will agree with me that Igbo constitute the second dominant inhabitants after the original indigenes in both Lagos metropolis and Kano State,” the VON DG remarked.

In addition, he encouraged both the APC and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), to adopt the zoning convention which mid-wifed the 4th Republic, in order to unite the country.

“The two dominant political parties in our multiparty system, APC and PDP, hold the key to restoration of Nigeria’s unity by observing the zoning convention.

“It was that same zoning convention that mid-wifed our 4th Republic and we are waiting for the two to save our fledgling democracy,” he said.

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[BREAKING] Nnamdi Kanu: FG brings documentary evidence to court

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File: Leader of the Indigenous People Of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu

The Federal Government may today (Wednesday) open the trial of the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu on the terrorism charges after his formal arraignment.

reports that exhibits likely to be tendered against Kanu by the government have been brought to the courtroom where the arraignment is scheduled to hold today.

Also, electronic equipment comprising various cameras have been brought to court and being inspected by the lead counsel to the Federal Government, Shuaib Labaran.

Kanu has just been brought into the courtroom exchanging pleasantries with his lawyers led by Mike Ozekhome (SAN).

Similarly, family members of the Biafran leader including a nursing mother have taken their seats in the courtroom.

A representative of the British High Commissioner billed to watch the trial for the United Kingdom has also been allowed into the courtroom.

Details later…

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NIPOST growth thwarted by 28 years exclusion from capital projects – Postmaster General

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From Adanna Nnamani, Abuja

...master General/CEO of the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST), Dr Ismail Adebayo Adewusi, on Tuesday lamented exclusion from capital projects and absence of budget that has grossly impeded the growth and development of the Nigerian postal service.

Mr Adewusi spoke at a media parley to mark the 2nd anniversary of his appointment held in Utako, Abuja.

According to the PMG, the negligence of ...al Service has slowed its evolution and is responsible for its dilapidated structures across the nation.

He, however, praised President Muhammadu Buhari for the initiative to unbundle NIPOST. This, he explained would enable ...al Service to fully utilise all its assets scattered all over the country to maximise revenue generation.

He said the restructuring would see to the emergence of a NIPOST Property Company which would be highly commercialised and would oversee the massive renovation of the structures.

“NIPOST has not had a budget or benefited from capital projects in the past 28 years. This is why our infrastructure across the country is dilapidated. It has not been easy at all. But we have to appreciate the President or the policy to unbundle NIPOST. It is an initiative that will commercialise most of our processes. Our new NIPOST Property Company will be saddled with the responsibility of renovating the NIPOST facilities across the nation. Most of the facilities that you see that are dilapidated will then be taken over by the new NIPOST Property company,” he stated.

Speaking on the issue of unauthorised courier operators parading the nation, the NIPOST boss disclosed that information reaching him showed that some of the bikes across the major cities were being used to transport and sell hard drugs. He assured that the organisation will not rest until it had eliminated unlicensed operators and people who do illegal businesses through Courier.

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“I wish to inform you today, that after nineteen (19) years, a new Courier Regulations, more in tune with the new order and way of doing business, was presented, and approved for the regulation of the courier industry. The last such review of the Regulations was in 2001.

The new Regulations empowers NIPOST to regulate the courier and logistics industry, checkmate the activities of illegal and nefarious logistics and courier companies in the country. The new Regulations would sanitize the logistics ecosystem and put in check dubious activities of the criminal-minded operators.” He announced.

The PMG recounted the various giant strides undertaken by NIPOST in the last two years even in the face of insufficient funding challenges. Part of these he mentioned were the efforts to digitalise NIPOST’s processes and services. He further reiterated his commitment to achieving full digitisation for the organisation.

He said, “In a bid to expand the frontiers of NIPOST products and services, a B2B agreement was signed with eGATE of Egypt on digital transformation. With this agreement, job opportunities will be created. It will also help to address the infrastructure gap in the organization, as well as reposition NIPOST on the path of full digitalisation. It would interest you to note that the new addressing system, that is, the Digital Addressing system, is being developed as a strategic infrastructure for national development. It will facilitate mail handling, identify locations precisely, ensure consistency in address related databases and enable efficient services in government agencies, financial institutions, and businesses in a consistent manner.

He listed others to include: Western Union Money Transfer which commenced pilot operations in Lagos in 2020; reconciliation of account with Cameroon Post (Campost), culminating in the resumption of international remittance transactions which, has accrued over N10 million in revenue;

Others are; joining of UPU Clearing House, to facilitate the expansion of remittance transaction beyond the Cameroon Nigeria corridor; roll out of co-branded credit/debit card with Data Mining; payment services partnership, with System Specs, which allows NIPOST to carry out bill payment using Remita on its counters and promotion of NIPOST card for seamless IFS transactions with more UPU member countries, among others.

“Given the modest achievements we have recorded in the last two years of my administration; it is my candid belief that we are on the right track and determined to reposition NIPOST to an enviable height for effective service delivery to the citizenry. As we braced up to confront emerging challenges in the digital world, NIPOST is working assiduously to remain a veritable force, one to reckon with in the courier and logistics industry. We will be available to work in partnership with other related agencies, both government and private sector, to ensure we provide reliable and efficient services for the socio-economic development of our country.” Adewusi said.

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Traffic violation: Why I phoned Canadian police chief – Suspended Nigerian-born minister, Madu

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Suspended Nigerian-born Minister of Justice and Solicitor-General of the Government of Alberta, Canada, Kelechi Madu, has explained that he didn’t phone Edmonton Police Chief, Dale McFee, to seek the cancellation of a fine imposed on him for a traffic violation.

Madu, in a string of tweets on his verified Twitter handle on Wednesday, said he contacted the police chief only to share his experience.

had earlier reported that the Premier of Alberta, Jason Kenney, on Tuesday, said it was important for Madu to step aside pending the outcome of an independent investigation into a March 10, 2021 incident.

Madu, who assumed the role in August 2020 and is reportedly the first Black person to serve as a minister of justice in Canada, got fined for using his phone while driving in March 2021.

He was accused of calling the province’s police chief after being slammed a $300 fine he received for violating one of Canada’s traffic and safety regulations.

“I conveyed to him my profound disappointment in his decision to contact the Edmonton Police Chief after receiving a ticket for a traffic violation,” Kenney had stated, adding that Minister Sonya Savage would act as Minister of Justice and Solicitor General during Madu’s leave of absence.

But in his defence, Madu explained that he was pulled over by an officer of the Edmonton Police Service on the said date while he was driving to a media function.

He said, “The officer indicated that he had observed me driving while distracted, alleging that I was on my phone.

“I disagreed, stating that I was not on my phone, as it was in an inside pocket. To be absolutely clear my phone was inside the left hand side pocket of my suit and I was wearing a winter jacket. I identified myself and drove away.

“Later, I spoke to Chief McFee to share the experience I have just had, and specifically for two reasons.

“First, due to the timing of the incident, I wanted to ensure that I was not being unlawfully surveilled following the Lethbridge Police Service controversy, and on my way to Legislature on a day I was meeting with the media to answer questions on Lethbridge Police Service.

“Second, I also raised concerns around profiling of racial minorities that was in the media at the time and wanted the Chief to hear about my own experience. As Minister, these are concerns that were constantly being brought to my attention.

“The reason why I was proceeding in the Legislature with Bill 63 to ban carding which I tabled for first reading on April 7, 2021. I wanted to share this personal experience and encounter with the Chief of Police.

“Chief McFee assured me that that was most definitely not the case, and I accepted him at his word.”

Madu stressed that at no point did he request that the ticket be rescinded. “I can assure that in my life I would never do any such thing,” he said, adding that he “paid the ticket fully and promptly”.

“I am one that always hold myself accountable for my actions. I respect the Premier’s direction for me to take a temporary leave of absence pending the outcome of the independent investigation,” he concluded.

had earlier reported that Madu, in July 2021, had a spat with the Nigerian Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, over the re-arrest of the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.

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