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Shittu sues APC over NYSC certificate

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Shittu: sues APC for disqualifying him because of NYSC discharge certificate

Shittu: sues APC for disqualifying him because of NYSC discharge certificate

Minister of Communications Adebayo Shittu has sued the All Progressives Congress(APC) for disqualifying him as a governorship aspirant in Oyo state on account of not presenting the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme discharge certificate.

He claimed it was wrong for APC to disqualify him from the governorship primary election for not presenting the certificate.

He asked the court to declare that the submission/presentation of NYSC Discharge Certificate to APC is not part of the requirements for him to participate in the primary election for Nomination of Governorship candidate of the party in Oyo State for the 2019 General Election.

He insisted that he went through the screening and security checks and was certified fit and qualified to be appointed as a minister.

He said participation in NYSC Scheme is not a condition precedent to be satisfied before he was appointed a minister.

He faulted the NYSC for not mobilising him for the scheme.

In the writ by his counsel, Mr. A.U. Mustapha( SAN), the embattled minister asked the court to determine five issues. They are:

*”whether by the provision of Section 2(1) of the National Youth Service Corps Decree No. 24 of 1973 and/or any other provision of the Decree being the law in force as at 1978 when the Plaintiff graduated at the University of Ile-Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife) he was under any legal obligation to have warranted the plaintiff’s participation in the National Youth Service Corps in the absence of a call-up instrument duly served on the Plaintiff by the National Youth Service Corps.

*”whether, by the combined reading of Sections 176-183 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria [as Amended] and Article 20(iii) & (iv) of the Constitution of the All Progressive Congress; it is a condition that the gubernatorial aspirant of the 1st Defendant (APC) and/or any political party for that matter in Nigeria must present the National Youth Service Corps Discharge/Exemption Certificate;

*”Whether it is ultra vires the powers of the 1st defendant to have disqualified the plaintiff from participating in its primary election for nomination of the governorship candidate of the 1st defendant in Oyo State for the 2019 General Election on the ground that the plaintiff does not possess National Youth Service Corps Discharge/Exemption Certificate;

*”Whether it does not amount to denial of fair hearing as enshrined in Section 36(1) of the 1999 Constitution of as amended for the 1st defendant to have purportedly disqualified the Plaintiff from contesting for governorship election in Oyo State under the platform of the 1st defendant without availing the Plaintiff an opportunity to be heard on the allegations that the plaintiff avoided the National Youth Service Scheme; and

*”whether by the combined reading of the provisions of Sections 147(5), 65(1)(b) & (2), 66 (1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and Section 12 of the National Youth Service Corps Act, Cap N84 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, the plaintiff was qualified to have been appointed as a Minister capable of holding the office, and/or any other governmental office at any level notwithstanding the fact that he did not participate in the National Youth Service Corps Scheme.”

In an affidavit which he personally swore to, the 65-year old minister said: “I was liable but not obligated to have participated in the National Youth Service Corps Scheme both at the time I graduated from the said University and as at the time I was called to the Nigerian Bar.

“ I know as a fact that no “call-up instrument” was served on me as at 1978 when I graduated from the said University by the National Youth Service Corps to have warranted my participation in the scheme.

“I know as a fact that I was also not served any Notice or notified in any manner to proceed to participate in the National Youth Service Corps Scheme.

“I know as a fact that participation in the National Youth Service Corps programme is not one of the requirements to be satisfied under the 1st Defendant’s constitution to enable me participate in the primary election for Nominating the party flag bearer for the office of Governor of Oyo State in the 2019 General Election. A copy of the Constitution of the 1st Defendant is hereby attached and marked as “Exhibit SHITTU 8”.

“I also know as a fact that under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As Amended) it is not a requirement for me to have participated in National Youth Service Corps Scheme to be eligible for participation in the 1st Defendant’s primary election for Nomination of its flag bearer in Oyo State for the 2019 General election.

“ I know also as a fact that the Electoral Act 2010 [as Amended] did not make participation in the National Youth Service Corps Scheme a condition precedent for contesting any elective office whatsoever.

“I know also that participation in NYSC Scheme is not one of the requirements to enable me take part in primary election for Nomination of the 1st Defendant’s flag bearer for the office of Governor of Oyo State in the 2019 General election.”

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Former chief of army staff, Salifu Ibrahim is dead

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Aged 93, the retired general died on Monday in his home in Kogi state.

He joined the army in 1956, and was trained at the Nigerian Military College.

Ibrahim rose to become the army’s chief between 1990 to 1993, during the military regime of Ibrahim Babangida.

Upon retirement, he famously tagged the service as “an army of anything goes,” his response to the seeming lack of professionalism in the army.

In 2013, he was appointed chairman of the board of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council by ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.

President Muhammadu Buhari has sent a condolence message to the family of the late Ibrahim.

The message was contained in a statement signed by Garba Shehu, his senior special assistant on media and publicity.

The statement read: “It is a matter of great pride that outstanding officers like General Ibrahim served the Nigerian Army.

“He served the nation with all his heart; with full dedication and commitment to duty. His service represents the hallmark of our Armed Forces.

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AREOPAGUS: Pilgrimage open House

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Rev. Uja Tor Uja

Rev. Uja Tor Uja

The Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC) is set to organize its maiden Pilgrimage Open House tagged, “ Areopagus “ which is slated for 27th November, 2018 at the Jubilee Hall of the National Christian Centre, Central Business District, Abuja.

According to the Executive Secretary of NCPC, Rev. Uja Tor Uja, “In the course of seeking to develop better understanding and thereby increase ownership and participation in Christian Pilgrimage in Nigeria, we came up with the Areopagus, a Pilgrimage Open House experience”.

The programme which is aimed at showcasing Christian Pilgrimage to Nigerians and to the world, would be a live audience or congregational programme with various high profile Speakers treating topics at plenary while there will be syndicate sessions for different groups of discourse.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha would be the Special Guest of Honour at the occasion and the theme of the maiden Areopagus – Pilgrimage Open House is “Christian Pilgrimage, the Church and the Development of Nigeria.”

Some of the topics to be treated include benefits of Christian Pilgrimage Personal and Collective, the Church and Nigeria’s Nationalism, Understanding Christian Pilgrimage, facts and Biblical Roots, Youth: Christian Pilgrimage and Development Service in Nigeria, Christian Pilgrimage and Nigeria’s Wholistic Development and God’s plan for Nigeria, the Role of the Church and the place of Christian Pilgrimage.

The programme will bring together eminent Church Leaders within and outside Abuja as guest speakers to share their rich pilgrimage experiences and chart a new course for Christian Pilgrimage in Nigeria.

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World Toilet Day: WaterAid Tasks FG on Sanitation for Children

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By Eric Ojo, Abuja

As Nigeria joins the rest of the world to mark this year’s World Toilet Day, WaterAid has urged the Federal Government to expedite action towards prioritising sanitation for all, particularly children.

WaterAid said following a new report indicating that the education and health of millions of children is threatened by a lack of access to toilets at school and at home, the Nigerian government must take urgent steps in addressing the problem.

This year and in the most recent times, the commemoration of World Toilet Day, is driven by the aim to ensure that everyone has a safe toilet by 2030, in line with one of the targets of the UN Sustainable Development Goal 6.

The theme of this year’s celebration, “When Nature Calls” harps on the need for exploring nature-based solutions to the current sanitation challenges confronting Nigeria as a nation and to provide sustainable resolutions through the functioning of natural systems.

This means that Nigeria must focus on harnessing the power of ecosystems in capturing and treating human waste to producing useful resources such as fertilisers to help grow crops.

It also requires that the Federal Government must not just focus on ending open defecation in Nigeria, must also work to ensure that human waste that is captured does not still contaminate the environment and affect human health as well as livelihoods.

Unfortunately, Nigeria, according to statement issued in Abuja by WaterAid Nigeria, to mark the 2019 World Toilet Day, has made little or no progress in realising this target as less than 1 million people per year are gaining access to basic sanitation.

Of the 101 countries with data available on how many schools have decent toilets, Nigeria ranks 11th with 52 percent of schools without a toilet and around 62 million children without a decent toilet at home.

This implies that children are being dangerously exposed to illnesses that could kill them. Repeated bouts of diarrhea increase their chances of being malnourished, and sanitation-related illnesses result in missed school days and the loss of potential.

Similarly, in the ranking, Guinea-Bissau came last in West Africa, with eight in ten schools lack adequate facilities, followed by Niger, where only 24 percent of schools have even basic sanitation and more than seven in ten people defecate in the open because they lack a household toilet.

Some countries, however, are making decent toilets in schools a priority. For instance, over half of schools in Bangladesh now, according to the survey, have a decent toilet and shared toilets in slum areas are providing a stepping stone to better health.

WaterAid’s fourth-annual analysis of the world’s toilets, with the theme, “The Crisis in the Classroom”, showed that one in five primary schools and one in eight secondary schools globally do not have any toilets.

“A shocking one in three of the world’s schools lack adequate toilets, compromising children’s human rights to sanitation and leaving them to either use dirty, unsafe pits, defecate in the open, or stay at home.”, the Report added.

The Report also revealed that children living in communities without decent toilets are at higher risk of diarrhoea which is sadly caused by dirty water and poor sanitation.

It further stated that diarrhea kills 289,000 children under five each year, adding that diarrhoea and intestinal infections kill nearly 140,000 children aged between five and 14 each year, many of which could be prevented with clean water, decent sanitation and good hygiene.

WaterAid Nigeria Country Director, Dr ChiChi Aniagolu-Okoye, said the provision of toilet facilities can make the difference between a child attending school, coming late or staying at home.

“School attendance and participation can be greatly enhanced just by providing toilets. Schools are where children learn how to become wholesome human beings and good toilet behaviour is a fundamental, yet children are going to schools with them.

“It is shocking that Nigeria ranks third in the world with the most number of individuals with no access to a decent toilet. This is unacceptable and even sad as it contributes to the deaths of nearly 60,000 children under five every year from diarrhoea”, she said.

Also in his submission, WaterAid’s Chief Executive, Tim Wainwright observed that children in every country of the world need access to safe toilets at home and at school, adding that their health, education and safety depend on it.

Every child, according to him, should be able to go to the toilet safely and with dignity whether they are at school or at home. He added that bringing safe toilets to the one in three schools worldwide with no adequate toilets, should be a top priority, along with bringing decent household toilets to the 2.3 billion people still waiting.

“Progress towards any of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will not be possible without clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene. If we are serious about all children and young people, wherever they are, whatever their gender, physical ability or community background, having their right to clean water and sanitation, we must take decisive and inclusive action now”, he further explained.

WaterAid also warned that without ongoing investment and a concerted effort from all decision-makers, children, who are amongst the most vulnerable group in the society, will continue to miss out on their futures.

“Also, citizens need to change their behaviour and take responsibility for having decent toilets at home as much as they hold government accountable for providing this basic service. Sanitation is a basic right for all and can’t just be an ideal. It must be a priority”, the international not-for-profit organization further noted.

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