I Have Served With My Heart And Intellect, Babalakin Resigns As UNILAG Pro-Chancellor

Pro-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Wale Babalakin, appeared on Channels Television's Sunrise Daily on August 17, 2020.
Pro-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Wale Babalakin, appeared on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on August 17, 2020.

 

The Pro-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Dr. Wale Babalakin(SAN), has resigned.

His resignation comes on the heels of an alleged disagreement with the Federal Government on the visitation panel sent to the university.

According to Babalakin, there were too many vested interests in UNILAG matter, hence, making an approach to the issues non-objective.

Babalakin said it has come to a stage he must stand by his principles since the Federal Government believed the actions he took may not be right.

READ ALSO: UNILAG Crisis: Visitation Panel Submits Report To FG

Below is a full statement on the matter, signed by Babalakin.

15th September 2020

The Honourable Minister of Education
Federal Ministry of Education
Block 5A, Federal Secretariat Complex
Shehu Shagari Way
Abuja

Attention: Mallam Adamu Adamu

Dear Sir

LETTER OF RESIGNATION

I would like to thank the President of the Federal of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari for giving me the opportunity to serve as the Pro-Chancellor of the University of Lagos (the “University”) from May 2017 till date. I am also grateful that I was considered fit to be the Chairman of the Federal Government Negotiation Team on the Agreement reached with university unions in 2009, from 6th January 2017 till date. I equally want to thank you, sir, for your role in recommending me to the President.

Recent events have made my position in these two offices untenable.

I led the Governing Council of the University to remove the Vice-Chancellor of the University from office for amongst other reasons:
a. Corruption and financial recklessness;
b. Forgery;
c. Complicity in the collapse of the University library and planned cover up;
d. Deliberate policy of wrongfully concealing information;
e. Depriving the Faculties in the University of funds;
f. Concealing and distorting finances of the Internally Generating Units of the University;
g. Undermining the academic process and seeking to appoint a Professor by fiat;
h. Siphoning of the University’s funds through dubious contract awards;
i. Undermining the office of the Registrar;
j. Failure to follow due process in organizing the University’s convocation ceremony; and
k. Sponsoring or acquiescing in the unconstitutional actions of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), University of Lagos chapter.

Sir, it is noteworthy that all the Federal Government Representatives who are the independent members on the Governing Council voted for the removal of the Vice-Chancellor.

After calm had been restored in the University, the Visitor acting within his powers, set up a Presidential Visitation Panel to review the actions taken by Governing Council. The Vice-Chancellor (who had been removed from office) and myself were told to recuse ourselves for the duration of the Visitation Panel. I find it difficult to understand how a non-executive Chairman of a Governing Council could be requested to recuse himself during the visitation

The Vice-Chancellor could only recuse himself if he were still in office. Implicit in this position is that the Vice-Chancellor was acknowledged as still being in office despite his removal.

The terms of reference of the Visitation Panel clearly indicated to any discerning person that the Visitation Panel was empanelled to exonerate the Vice-Chancellor and implicate the Pro-Chancellor. For easy reference, the terms of reference of the Visitation Panel are:

a. To review the report of the Council sub-committee on review of expenditure of the University of Lagos since May 2017 and make appropriate recommendations after affording all those indicted an opportunity to defend themselves;

b. To examine the steps taken by the Council leading to the removal of the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, and ascertain whether due process was followed as stipulated in the Universities (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment) Act, 2003, and the principle of fair hearing adhered to;

c. To determine whether the process (if any) leading to the appointment of the acting Vice Chancellor for the University was consistent with the provisions of the enabling Act;

d. To make appropriate recommendations including sanctions for all those found culpable by the special visitation team on the allegations contained in the report as well as other subsequent actions arising therefrom; and

e. To make any other recommendations that will assist the government to take decisions that will ensure peaceful, stable and effective administration of the University.

As stated earlier, the Vice-Chancellor was removed for various reasons and not just as a result of the findings contained in the Dagari Report. Items (b) and (c) were directed at the Pro-Chancellor and Governing Council. Unfortunately, those items deal with the interpretation of the laws of the land. The appropriate forum to determine the laws of the land is a court of law or a judicial tribunal. It cannot be determined by academics of a different discipline no matter how distinguished. These terms of reference are ultra-vires the Visitation Panel as constituted.

The membership of the Visitation Panel is simply inappropriate in the circumstance. How can a committee of Vice-Chancellors determine the culpability or otherwise of the actions of a Pro-Chancellor and a Governing Council? On the face of it, it is simply wrong! Furthermore, the Vice-Chancellors on the Panel were drawn from relatively smaller universities who are not likely to have a comprehensive understanding of the procedure contained in the University of Lagos Act (as amended). Even Vice-Chancellors of state universities were included. As Chairman of the Federal Government Negotiation Team, I know the challenges faced with the administration of state universities.

I only appeared before the Panel out of my very great respect for you, Sir. My training as a lawyer revealed to me very clearly, that the Panel was inappropriate for the assignment. During my appearance, I made it very clear that I was appearing in protest and the Panel, as constituted, could not determine the issues before it. The active participation of the staff of the Ministry of Education in the Panel and their contributions throughout the sittings especially the hounding of witnesses who came to testify against the Vice-Chancellor was enough to show very clearly that the technocrats in the Ministry had a defined agenda. Their obvious agenda was to humiliate the Governing Council. Sir, fortunately there is a verbatim recording of the proceedings of the Visitation Panel, and you may wish to direct objective persons to listen to the recording.

I am particularly relieved by the comment of the Chancellor of the University, His Royal Highness, Alhaji (Dr) Abubakar Ibn Umar Garbai Al Amin El-Kanemi CFR on the situation in the University. In a letter dated 15th September 2020 and addressed to your good self (which I was copied), His Royal Highness stated thus:

“I have discovered that there are too many vested interests in this matter, who are not approaching the issues objectively. For this reason, I strongly advise that the Visitation Panel should not submit any formal report to the Minister that may hinder my ability to deal with the issues comprehensively”

I have served the university system in Nigeria with my heart and intellect. Amongst other offices, I was:

a. Pro-Chancellor, University of Maiduguri (2009 – 2013);
b. Chairman, Council of Pro-Chancellors of all Federal Universities (2009 – 2013);
c. Chairman, Federal Government Implementation Team of the 2009 Agreement (2009 – 2013);
d. Chairman, Federal Government Negotiation Team of the 2009 Agreement (2017 till date);
e. Pro-Chancellor, University of Lagos (2017 till date).

These were made possible by a system that provided resources and also ensured proper monitoring of the resources. The educational system in Nigeria requires more funding but most importantly, it requires prudent management of the limited resources. It was my determination to ensure that the limited resources of the University of Lagos were properly utilized that motivated me to lead the Governing Council to take the decisions which the Governing Council took.

In all these positions that I have held, I did not receive any remuneration. Specifically:

a. I did not receive any sitting allowance.
b. I did not receive any tickets or travel allowance.
c. I did not receive or use any official car.
d. In the University of Maiduguri and University of Lagos, I did not allow the institutions to provide me with food or drinks. I paid for every right or privilege that was conferred on me.
e. Even when I travelled to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria, I paid for my ticket and my expenses.
f. I did not obtain any contract from the education sector in my relative long sojourn in the sector.

My motivation for my actions is that I had the best education that intellect could provide in Nigeria and abroad. It is my fervent desire that every Nigerian should have the sort of opportunities I had.

I remain very grateful to all the members of the Federal Government team on the Governing Council of the University of Lagos, namely:

a. Alhaji Ali Hussein;
b. Rev. Yomi Kasai;
c. Dr. Bayo Adaralegbe; and
d. Dr. Saminu Dagari.

It would be very difficult to find a group of more selfless persons than these individuals. It is acutely hurtful that I am leaving before achieving our goal of sanitizing the University of Lagos, and turning it to a reference point in Africa and the world, rather than the unenviable poor position it now occupies. Unfortunately, I must stand by principle. In a situation where my employers believe that the actions I took may not be right, the appropriate thing to do is bow out in honour.

Sir, may the Almighty Allah continue to bless you.

Yours faithfully

Dr. B. O. Babalakin,

Nigeria Records 126 New COVID-19 Cases

A health worker helps his colleague with his PPE during a community testing as part of efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19. Sodiq Adelakun/Channels TV

 

 

Nigeria has recorded 126  new cases of the Coronavirus.

The Nigeria Center for Disease  Control (NCDC) disclosed this on Monday via its official Twitter handle

Of the new case 37 were recorded in Abuja, 27 in Lagos 16 in Plateau, 9 in Kaduna, 7 in Abia, while Gombe and Ondo states recorded  six cases each.

Imo state recorded 5 new cases, Delta, Ekiti, Kwara recorded 2 cases each, while  Bauchi, , Katsina, Kano and Yobe Katsina, had one case each.

Confirmed Cases by State

States AffectedNo. of Cases (Lab Confirmed)No. of Cases (on admission)No. DischargedNo. of Deaths
Lagos18,7233,27315,245205
FCT5,4885224,89274
Oyo3,2231,0822,10239
Plateau3,1589692,15831
Edo2,610782,427105
Kaduna2,305902,18233
Rivers2,208292,12059
Delta1,7931061,63849
Ogun1,755221,70528
Kano1,733261,65354
Ondo1,590651,49035
Enugu1,2321231,08821
Ebonyi1,034799730
Kwara1,0047790225
Katsina84436345724
Abia835357928
Osun8051777117
Gombe7797567925
Borno741270336
Bauchi6811165614
Imo55132321612
Benue467574019
Nasarawa44713729812
Bayelsa393237021
Jigawa322330811
Ekiti305332675
Akwa Ibom286272518
Niger2441621612
Anambra2322918419
Adamawa2301919615
Sokoto159014217
Taraba9516736
Kebbi931848
Cross River830749
Zamfara780735
Yobe736598
Kogi5032

FG Approves Establishment Of New Anti-Corruption Agency

 

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the establishment of a new anti-corruption agency which will be saddled with proper coordination of all recovered looted assets.

Briefing state house correspondents after the FEC meeting on Wednesday, the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami explained that assets recovered have been in the hands of several agencies and that better coordination will encourage international/overall coordination in recovering more looted assets.

It is on this premise that the new anti-corruption agency named, ‘Proceeds of Crime Recovery and Management Agency’ is to be saddled with the responsibility of managing the assets that constitute the proceeds of crime in Nigeria.

Malami told newsmen that the FEC has approved transmission of a bill, titled, “Proceeds of Crime Recovery and Management Agency Bill,” to the National Assembly.

The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), explained that once the bill becomes law and the agency is established, it would see to proper documentation and management of such recovered assets and thereby guarantee transparency and accountability.

According to Mr. Malami, an agency of this nature has become necessary in a bid to consolidate the gains achieved so far in the government’s war against corruption.

READ ALSO: Malami Inaugurates 9th Nigerian Law Reform Commission, Urges Members To Be Guided

“The Federal Ministry of Justice presented to Council a memo today (Wednesday).

“The memo is about a Bill which seeks the approval of the Council to transmit to the National Assembly for passage.

“It is the Proceeds of Crime Recovery and management Agency Bill.

“It is in essence a bill that is targeted and intended to have in place a legal and institutional framework. The legal component of it is having a law and the institutional component of it is to have an agency that will be saddled with the responsibility of managing the assets that constitute the proceeds of crime in Nigeria.

“What happens before now is the proceeds of crime are scattered all over, and mostly in the hands of different and multiple agencies of government inclusive of the police, the DSS (Department of State Service), EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission), and ICPC (Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission).

“So, with that kind of arrangement which is ad-hoc, there is no agency of government that is saddled with the responsibility of data generation, an agency that can give you off-hand the number of landed assets, number of immovable assets, the amount in cash that are recovered by the federal government by way of interim forfeiture overweigh of a final forfeiture.

“So, it is indeed over time a kind of arrangement that is not uniform and consistent.

“If you have a budget item for recovered assets, this agency will now be in a position to provide information to the federal ministry of finance, budget and National Planning on-demand as to what amount is there available for budget purposes, thereby establishing the desired transparency, the desired accountability which has not been available before now,” the AGF stated.

Nigeria Had Always Been Divided, Presidency Replies Soyinka

 

The presidency has been reacting to recent comments by Professor Wole Soyinka, suggesting that under the present government Nigeria has become more divided than ever before.

Mr. Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, says while the Nobel Laureate is respected and revered, not everything he utters should be taken absolutely.

“Professor Wole Soyinka is somebody we respect, you don’t have them too many in a country, even on a continent. Professor Soyinka is an icon, he is an avatar, we respect him, we listen to him but then we don’t take everything he says hook, line, and sinker,” the president’s special adviser said.

According to Adesina who on Wednesday was a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today, President Buhari inherited a “terribly” divided country, one which he has been trying to reunite since he came to power back in 2015.


Obasanjo’s Comment: Not Every Criticism Should Give You Sleepless Nights – Adesina

Obasanjo Says Nigeria Is Falling Apart Under Buhari, Offers Solution

Nigeria More Divided Than Ever Before, Soyinka Backs Obasanjo


The president’s media aide said, “Nigeria had always been divided. Always. Right from amalgamation in 1914, Nigeria has always been divided. Nigeria is an inconvenient amalgamation but we have worked at it and I tell you that there is no time in the history of this country that the country was not divided but then we had kept at it and we were trying to make it work.

“As of 2015, when President Buhari came, Nigeria was terribly, terribly divided; divided along religious lines, divided along ethnic lines; divided along language, divided hopelessly, terribly and that is the division that the President had been working at. But you see that a lot of people instead of letting harmony return to this country, thrive and luxuriate in widening the gulf. They play politics with everything.”

Similarly, Adesina said not every criticism against the Buhari-led administration should be taken seriously.

Addressing recent comments by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the media aide said all criticisms must be thoroughly looked at to ascertain what value they add to discussions around moving the nation forward.

Obasanjo while delivering a speech titled ‘Moving Nigeria Away from Tipping Over’ at a consultative dialogue attended by various socio-cultural groups, said Nigeria is falling apart under Buhari.

At the consultative dialogue attended by members of various groups, including Afenifere, Middle Belt Forum, Northern Elders Forum, Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo, and Pan Niger Delta Forum, Obasanjo noted that the country is becoming the world capital of poverty.

A file photo of Mr Femi Adesina.

He said, “I do appreciate that you all feel sad and embarrassed as most of us feel as Nigerians with the situation we find ourselves in,” Obasanjo said. “Today, Nigeria is fast drifting to a failed and badly divided state; economically our country is becoming a basket case and poverty capital of the world, and socially, we are firming up as an unwholesome and insecure country.

“And these manifestations are the products of recent mismanagement of diversity and socio-economic development of our country. Old fault lines that were disappearing have opened up in greater fissures and with drums of hatred, disintegration, and separation and accompanying choruses being heard loud and clear almost everywhere.”

In reaction to Obasanjo’s comments, Adesina argued that “not every criticism should give one sleepless night”.

According to Adesina, there is no government that Obasanjo has not criticized.

“Obasanjo has criticised every government since the Shehu Shagari government that succeeded him in 1979. The only government he has not criticised is the Olusegun Obasanjo government”.

The media aide added that Obasanjo has a right to air his opinions, he, however, stressed that it is in the Buhari government’s right to take the former president’s reproval or dismiss them as mere claims aimed to detract from a performing administration.

Governor Ortom Mourns Adviser, PA

 

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has expressed deep sadness over the deaths of his Special Adviser on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Jerome Torshimbe, and his Personal Assistant on Special Duties, Mr. Famous Adejo.

Governor Ortom who spoke with journalists today at the Benue Peoples House in Makurdi, stated that he knew the late Torshimbe three decades ago, they were council chairmen from 1990 to 1993 and had worked closely since then.

The Governor described the deceased Special Adviser as an experienced and competent administrator who had added immense value to the government.

He noted that the late Torshimbe was very supportive to many including widows and orphans alike, stressing that he was a generous politician who loved to share with the needy.

READ ALSO: Ortom Loses Two Aides Within One Week

On his late personal assistant, Famous Adejo the Governor said the young man was a hardworking individual who defied all odds to acquire higher education up masters level and was studying for his doctorate degree when death snatched him away.

He announced his decision to train Adejo’s only son who just completed secondary education up to the University level.

The Governor described the two deaths as very painful and prayed God to grant the bereaved families the fortitude to bear the irreparable losses and the deceased aides eternal rest.

Governor Ortom who paid a condolence visit to the family of the late Jerome Torshimbe had earlier received the Chairman and members of the Benue State Local Government Service Commission who came to console him on the unfortunate loss.

Obasanjo’s Comment: Not Every Criticism Should Give You Sleepless Nights – Adesina

 

Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, says not every criticism against the Buhari-led administration should be taken seriously.

Mr. Adesina who on Wednesday was a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today made the comment in reply to recent criticism by former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

The former president while delivering a speech titled ‘Moving Nigeria Away from Tipping Over’ at a consultative dialogue attended by various socio-cultural groups, said Nigeria is falling apart under Buhari.

At the consultative dialogue attended by members of various groups, including Afenifere, Middle Belt Forum, Northern Elders Forum, Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo, and Pan Niger Delta Forum, Obasanjo noted that the country is becoming the world capital of poverty.

A file photo of Mr Femi Adesina.

He said, “I do appreciate that you all feel sad and embarrassed as most of us feel as Nigerians with the situation we find ourselves in,” Obasanjo said. “Today, Nigeria is fast drifting to a failed and badly divided state; economically our country is becoming a basket case and poverty capital of the world, and socially, we are firming up as an unwholesome and insecure country.

“And these manifestations are the products of recent mismanagement of diversity and socio-economic development of our country. Old fault lines that were disappearing have opened up in greater fissures and with drums of hatred, disintegration, and separation and accompanying choruses being heard loud and clear almost everywhere.”

Reacting to comments by the former president, Mr Adesina said all criticisms must be thoroughly looked at to ascertain what value they add to discussions around moving the nation forward. He, however, argued that “not every criticism should give one sleepless night”.

According to Adesina, there is no government that Obasanjo has not criticized.

“Obasanjo has criticised every government since the Shehu Shagari government that succeeded him in 1979. The only government he has not criticised is the Olusegun Obasanjo government”.

The media aide added that Obasanjo has a right to air his opinions, he, however, stressed that it is in the Buhari government’s right to take the former president’s reproval or dismiss them as mere claims aimed to detract from a performing administration.

Earlier in the week, the Presidency asked former President Olusegun Obasanjo to help in proffering solutions to the problems plaguing the country instead of being Nigeria’s “divider-in-Chief.”

While reacting to the recent outburst by Obasanjo that Nigeria is becoming a failed state, the Presidency in a statement on Sunday, called on him to quit critiquing the President Muhammadu Buhari government.

“In his most recent statement, former President Olusegun Obasanjo attempts to divide the nation while President Muhammadu Buhari continues to promote nation-building and the unity of Nigeria,” the presidency said.

“The difference is clear. From the lofty heights of Commander-in-Chief, General Obasanjo has descended to the lowly level of Divider-in-Chief (to adapt the coinage of Time).”

READ ALSOObasanjo Says Nigeria Is Falling Apart Under Buhari, Offers Solution

Obasanjo, according to the Presidency, should “once again sheath the sword and rest the pretentiousness about the Messiah that has (mis)led him to pronounce often wrongly, as he disastrously did in the 2019 elections, about the life and death of Nigerian governments.”

It restated that Buhari’s comments on West African leaders sticking to their constitutionally allowed terms is for the good of the region.

Criticising Buhari Not Personal, I Am His Boss – Obasanjo
A combination photo of President Buhari and former President Obasanjo.

While accusing Obasanjo of a failed attempt at elongating his tenure when he was in office, the Presidency called on him to stop the “mushrooming of a poisonous atmosphere of ethnic and religious nationalism.”

“Surely, he must have disappointed many of his local and foreign admirers by showering commendations on a few extremist groups who have vowed to shun the invitation to the National Assembly to participate in the process of a constitutional amendment,” the presidency added.

Ondo PDP Accuse APC Of Attacking Party’s Campaign Team

The Peoples Democratic Party is one of the major political parties in Nigeria.
The Peoples Democratic Party is one of the major political parties in Nigeria.

 

As the political campaign rallies towards the October ten 2020 governorship election commence in Ondo State, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the State has accused the ruling All Progressives Congress(APC) of attacking the campaign team of its governorship candidate, Eyitayo Jegede in Oba-Akoko in Akoko South West Local Government Area of the state.

A press statement made available to newsmen in Akure, the state capital by the Head of Media, Research, Eyitayo Jegede Campaign Organisation, Samuel Fasua partly reads:

“No fewer than five persons sustained varying degrees of injuries Today, Wednesday, September 16, 2020, when, quite unexpectedly, the convoy of Ondo State governor, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu stormed Oba-Akoko in Akoko South-West and started attacking the campaign team of Mr. Eyitayo Jegede, the PDP governorship flagbearer.

“As at now, no fewer than three vehicles in the convoy of Jegede have been badly damaged, while Jegede himself is being held hostage inside the palace of the monarch of Oba-the Oloba, by gun-totting hoodlums suspected to be agents of the governor.

“Curiously, Akeredolu was sighted inside the convoy while the attacks lasted, while police operatives in the location simply vacillated and looked on in the face of the orgies of madness.”

Fasua in the statement laments that the continued attacks of APC thugs on PDP supporters in the state in recent times are threatening the peace of the state.

The statement appeals to President Muhammadu Buhari and the Inspector General of Police to intervene before the situation gets out of hand.

“We earnestly call on President Muhammadu Buhari and the Inspector-General of Police to urgently wade in, to save the lives of members of the public who are being prevented by the powers-that-be in Ondo State from belonging to political parties of their choice.” the statement ended.

Benue Govt Cancel 3rd Term, Sets Sept 21st As Resumption Date

A file photo of Benue state Governor Samuel Ortom
A file photo of Benue state Governor Samuel Ortom

 

The Benue state government has canceled the third term for primary and secondary school’s curriculum for the 2019/2020 academic session, due to the COVID-19 lockdown, directing schools to compute first and seconds term results for promotion of students to the next class.

Commissioner for education, Professor Dennis Ityavyar disclosed this on Tuesday while briefing journalist in Makurdi, warning administrators of both public and private schools, against charging parents for third term fees for non-exit classes of JSS 1 and 2, SS 1 and two respectively.


Ortom Loses Two Aides Within One Week

Ortom Mourns Special Adviser, Describes Him As Supportive To Widows, Orphans

Gana’s Death: Ortom Asks Military To Release 40 Suspects, Confiscated Official Vehicles

Nigeria Becoming Banana Republic With Escalating Security Threats, Corruption – Ortom


Full academic activities for the 2020/2021 session is to commence on September 21, 2020, with instructions to divide each class for morning and evening sessions to create enough room for social distancing among students with strict compliance to COVID-19 protocols.

Sports Minister Insists National Stadium In Lagos Is Not A Market

A file photo of the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare.

 

The minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare insists the national stadium in Lagos is not a market, so there is no going back on the decision to demolish illegal shops and structures to achieve the objective of returning the edifice to its original blueprint.

Addressing the media in Lagos, Mr. Dare reiterated the government’s commitment towards improving infrastructure development.

“For 18 years, the national stadium in Lagos has been used for purposes other than sports. We have started a new regime of trying to develop our sporting infrastructure, the new orientation around sports.

“The facility in Surulere, Lagos is an iconic monument to sports development. It is a sporting complex, any other purpose for which is used will not be accepted. It is not a market, it’s not a beer parlour.

Business owners occupying some parts of the stadium have appealed to the ministry to give them more time to vacate but the ministry insists their time is up.

“What we are trying to do is return that place to its original blueprint and prepare it for concession. The concession process is in the last stage, we are receiving people with their submissions. They must have access to that place.

“If you go there now, you will be shocked that stadium is actually so beautiful because we’ve cleaned it up by taking those things down and we are sure that before the end of this year, you will see changes in that place and we hope to build a 150 shopping mall that all these people can come and be in a single, unified and decent place.”

Benefits Of Adopt-A-Pitch Campaign

In December last year, the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports Development launched the Adopt Campaign Initiative to support athletes and achieve development in some vital areas of the sector, particularly infrastructure development.

The Adopt-a-Pitch and Adopt-a-Sports Centre has a target of reviving sporting infrastructure and facilities across the country.

With the models, individuals or private sector organisations commit to rehabilitate and maintain a stadium pitch, or sports centre such as basketball courts, tennis courts, and the likes, for an agreed period.

READ ALSO: We Expect The National Sports Festival To Happen This Year – Sports Minister

The minister did more explanation. “The adopt-a-pitch model or private participation is simply a process in which we get an organisation or individual interested in adopting a sports facility.

“We offer our expertise to present to them four or five professional sport developers particularly when it comes to pitches, you must have a FIFA license.”

Last month, the ministry did the official hand over for the commencement of rehabilitation work of the Moshood Abiola National Stadium to the Dangote Group.

The renovation work will be completed in 24 weeks.

“We are pleased with the contractors working at the MKO Abiola Stadium in Abuja and I’m sure when the work is done in February next year, we will all see it, FIFA will come and certify it, if it does not meet FIFA standard, the contractor will rework it to meet the standard,” the minister assured.

 

2020 National Sports Festival Still Possible?

The 20th edition of the National Sports Festival tagged “Edo 2020” was scheduled to hold from March 22nd – April 1st, 2020 but due to the coronavirus outbreak, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the postponement of the games as a precautionary move against its spread.

There have been speculations about a rescheduled date for the event and the minister of youth and sports development provides some clarifications.

“It is our desire to have the National Sports Festival which I call Nigeria’s Olympics to take place this year. We have shown the commitments. We’ve had a team, we had the report where they suggested October for the event.”

Last month ministry announced the resumption of non-contact sports and that brought some sort of excitement to the sporting community.

Things almost got better last week when the Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19 suggested the gradual return of contact sports but later reversed the decision.

“Based on the Covid-19 infection rate and other indices, Covid-19 infrastructure, protocols, we’ve been working with the PTF, NCDC, and the health Ministry. The ministry will be properly guided, when the numbers are right, we will have the festival. We are going to have contact and non-contact sports. The world has started both but observing the protocols, if we do the same thing here, we can get on with our lives,” Dare stated.

According to the organisers of the Edo 2020 games, about 11,000 athletes and their officials had declared readiness to participate in this year’s edition.

“Conversations are ongoing, in a matter of weeks we should make progress. We’ve provided all the necessary documents and preparations. Remember two months ago, we submitted to the National assembly and PTF, the Covid-19 sports protocols that focused on contact and non-contact sports with a particular section dedicated to football,” the minister assured.

The National Sports Festival is a platform that showcases upcoming and established athletes in the country and has a huge following. The last time it was properly was Eko 2012 edition in Lagos.

Traditional Rulers Should Be Given Constitutional Roles To Tackle Insecurity, Says Lawan

A file photo of the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, during plenary at the upper chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.

 

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, on Wednesday, said that for Nigeria to surmount security challenges confronting it, traditional rulers in the country should be given specific roles to be enshrined in the Constitution.

Lawan stated this in a welcome address delivered when a visiting delegation from the Argungu Emirate paid a visit to his office at the National Assembly, Abuja.

According to him, giving roles to traditional rulers would allow them to support the efforts of government and security agencies in addressing the challenges of insecurity.

“Traditional fathers have always been supportive of the government. In fact, in the past, for those of us from the northern part of the country, the traditional leadership played a key stabilizing role in the administration.

“Before 1976 when local governments were created, the traditional leaders brought both administration and management into focus, and we still need them.

“We need to have a proper role given to them, and more especially, in the current security situation. I’m sure that the traditional rulers can provide a lot of support for government and security agencies in fighting the challenges of insecurity that we have today,” Lawan said.

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Earlier, the delegation which was led by Alhaji Ibrahim Hassan (Kundudan Kabi), said the visit was at the instance of the Emir of Argungu, Alhaji Samaila Muhammad Mera, to thank Senator Lawan for honouring the Emirate’s invitation to attend the Argungu Fishing Festival as a special guest.

Hassan while conveying a goodwill message from the Emir of Argungu, announced the conferment on the Senate President the esteemed traditional title of ‘Ganuwar Kabi’.

The Senate President in his acceptance speech thanked the Emir for the honour and gesture bestowed him with the conferment of the title, and expressed his willingness to be a “protector” of the Emirate.

Lawan who also sympathized with the government and people of Kebbi State over the recent flooding, appealed to the Federal Government to provide interventions that would alleviate the plight of residents of communities affected across parts of the country.

“Let me take this opportunity to sympathize with His Royal Highness, the people of Argungun Emirate and indeed Kebbi State over the recent flood.

“We have all seen how disastrous and destructive the flood has been of recent; we pray that God will come to our rescue.

“We will continue to ensure that we work for some support for people that are affected. The government should continue to provide the necessary palliative to reduce the hardship people are encountering today because of the flood.

“The flood in Kebbi has the potential to reduce food production in Nigeria this season because Kebbi State, in particular, is known for agricultural activities and so much of their land are affected by the flood,” the Senate President said.

Edo Govt Launches Sex Offenders Register

Governor Godwin Obaseki addressing a gathering in Abuja on July 19, 2019.

 

The Edo State Government has launched a sex offenders register, to name and shame rapists and offenders of other forms of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in the state.

Speaking at the launch, the Commissioner for Justice, Prof. Yinka Omorogbe, said the register became imperative in view of the alarming increase in SGBV, especially in Edo.

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“The alarming rise of SGBV cases, especially in Edo, calls for the employment of drastic measures to adequately tackle SGBV and to ensure that perpetrators are not only made to answer for their crimes but are made to feel the full brunt of the law.

“The sexual offender register is to serve as a tool to name and shame those convicted or reported to have engaged in sexual abuse or exploitation.

“Would-be employers, especially those working with vulnerable citizens, such as children, young adults, and persons with disabilities, are encouraged to carry out background checks for would-be applicants.”

UNILAG Crisis: Visitation Panel Concludes Investigation, Set To Submit Findings On Thursday

A file photo of the main gate of UNILAG.

 

The Special Visitation Panel set up by the Federal Government to investigate the management crisis at the University of Lagos has concluded its investigation and are set to submit a report of its findings on Thursday to the Minister of Education, Mister Adamu Adamu.

A press invitation from the Federal Ministry of Education, signed by its Director of Press and Public Relations, Mister Ben Goong, discloses the panel’s preparedness to submit the report to the minister.

The government had set up the panel to investigate the crisis rocking the University of Lagos, following the earlier removal of its Vice-Chancellor, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, by its governing council led by Mr Wale Babalakin, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.

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The Minister of Education, who had inaugurated the panel headed by Professor Tukur Sa’ad, however, warned members against interference with the activities of the management of the University.

Mister Adamu urged “stakeholders in the University of Lagos to fully cooperate with the panel and to allow it to work unhindered.”