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Anti-Uduaghan Protests, A Political Gimmick

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As another election year fast approaches, politicians are back at their usual games. While some are re-strategizing to win the hearts of the people, others are scheming and re-aligning themselves to outdo one another in a bid to reassert their respective relevance in the political scheme of things.

In Delta State, the jostling is currently taking a melodramatic twist and the former governor of the state, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, becomes a major target.

A statement by a group of people under the aegis of Action Youths for Good Governance, AYGG had alerted Deltans of impending attacks on some reputable political figures in Delta including the former governor, and they are being sponsored by some big-name politicians in the state who see the medical doctor as a threat to their ambition. According to the spokesman of AYGG, Felix Obuah, some time ago they had uncovered a plot aimed at either getting rid of Dr. Uduaghan or disabling him politically.

“We want to alert members of the public, most particularly Deltans at home and abroad of the planned attack on the immediate-past governor of Delta state, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan by agents of darkness in the state. The attack will start in the form of mass protests in different parts of the state and outside,” Mr Obuah had declared.

“We know the people involved. They are powerful people in this state who feel threatened by the enormous influence Dr. Uduaghan wields. We know they are after some politicians; those who sacrificed so much so that Delta would be an enviable state that it is today. They want them out of the scene. We know them,’’ he had also stated.

Already, the plot is hatching in phases, and some paid individuals have begun mass protests in different parts of the state, all aimed at discrediting the person of the ex-governor and all he represents.

During the week, some individuals who call themselves Delta Anti-Corruption and Integrity Forum were seen protesting around the government house, bearing placards that seemed to disrepute the former governor and his administration. They were calling for his prosecution by the ICPC and EFCC without providing evidence of his maladministration.

Addressing newsmen in front of the Government House, the leader of the group, Fejiro Oliver accused Uduaghan of allegedly looting several billions of naira from the state.

The group further said that Uduaghan is not the only politician being targeted in the recent onslaught. The immediate-past secretary to the state government (SSG), Comrade Ovuozorie Macaulay and other officials who served under Dr. Uduaghan were penciled down for similar treatment.

“The enemies of the state are said to have doled out some amount of money in the region of N300 million to see their nefarious act to a conclusive end,” revealed Mr Obuah.

We learned career protesters have been hired from within the country and beyond while protest materials were shipped in last week preparatory to the action which resumed this week. We also learned that over 3000 printed T-shirts were ordered and delivered successfully as well as a reasonable number of banners carrying messages.

There are suggestions also that before the resumption of the sponsored protests, some individuals had approached the former governor with intent to blackmail him and his refusal to yield to the bribe demand by them was what started the protests.

Dr. Uduaghan was the governor of Delta State for eight years from May 29, 2007. While in the saddle as governor, he impacted positively on all Deltans’ lives through developmental projects embarked upon by his administration. Chief among these was the institution of a special project to finance medical assistance to them where over N1.4 billion was expended. His administration also embarked on health programmes as the Free-under Five health programme where all the children within the age bracket of 0-5years were taken care of irrespective of the ailment.

The Uduaghan administration also embarked on a Free Maternal Health programme which enabled government hospitals attend to pregnant and expectant mothers from conception to the period of delivery free of charge. It was once reported that the antenatal care unit of each hospital was recording up to 200 to 400 attendants on daily basis. The hospitals were made to handle serious advocacy issues on care during pregnancy aimed at reducing maternal and infant mortality.

On the Free Rural Health Scheme programme, the government of Delta State under Uduaghan attended to the rural people in all parts of the state, treating various health needs of the people irrespective of the nature of the ailment free of charge. The scheme cut across all ages and sexes as issues bordering on fibroid, hyenia, partial blindness and other sundry health challenges were tackled by health care professionals.

He also ensured the fees of all students sitting for the secondary school final examinations were paid. It was a policy he underpinned by the observation that some students even after going through the free school programme, were unable to pay the fees required before they could sit for the National Examination Council (NECO), and the West African Examinations Council (WASC) exams.

The former governor also initiated a policy which ensured that missionary schools were returned to their original owners. As at the last count before he vacated office, forty missionary schools were returned to their owners while the government built parallel schools.

Under Uduaghan, over 700 primary and secondary schools were either reconstructed or rehabilitated just as the state fully implemented a compulsory and free basic education policy.

Dr. Uduaghan’s administration achieved so much in the area of infrastructure, housing scheme, roads construction, street lights and provision of modern transport facilities and hospitals, speak volume and are too numerous to mention.

The state Govt invested in the federal government’s independent power projects, IPP, started during the former president Obasanjo era with a commitment of about N15.7 billion. He also started a Delta State Independent Power Plant in Oghara and invested in transformers, distribution and transmission lines to upgrade power distribution in both urban and rural communities in the state.

In his determination to reposition Asaba as a befitting state capital and a hub of social, economic and political activities, an airport at a cost of N17 billion was built. When the idea of Asaba International Airport came, those who did not understand his vision said it was not a priority venture at the time, but as they later found out, it was just one component of a larger dream, a revolution to make the state the economic hub in the West Africa sub-region. Creating special economic zones and industrial clusters: (Koko/Ogidigben Free Trade Zone, Warri Industrial Business Park and Asaba Information Communication Technology, ICT Park; embarking on dualization of Warri-Ughelli-Asaba to attract Onitsha traders to import their goods through Warri port; and expanding the Osubi Airport were all part of the broader initiative to take the state to the next level. Also following sustained drive in tourism and hospitality industry, a $240 million Delta Leisure Resorts, the biggest in West Africa was to be set up at Oleri, Udu Local Government Area in partnership with a private investor, Sarner PFM, while a Wildlife Park was planned for Ogwashi-Uku in Aniocha Local Government Area.

Investigations reveal that though the anti-Uduaghan protests have recorded some hoodlums carrying placards, heavily backed by some powerful people in the state, it has remained unpopular amongst the masses who seemed to be confused as to what would have warranted them. Most of them spoken to in the state attested to the achievements of the former governor’s administration while in office.

By and large, the next election year is almost at hand and it remains to be seen how convinced people will be as regards the antics of the present-day politician.

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JUST IN: President Tinubu Orders Yahaya Bello To Submit Himself For EFCC Probe

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The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, has called on the immediate-past governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, to follow the path of decency and submit himself for probe.

Bello is being wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged corrupt practices while in office as governor of Kogi State

 

LEADERSHIP reports that in the last 24 hours, there have been dramas and hide and seek game between both parties over the move to arrest the former governor for arraignment this Thursday.

 

According to the AGF, in a statement he personally signed on Thursday, EFCC is empowered by law to invite any Nigerian for interrogation.

He also described the action of the incumbent governor of Kogi State, Ahmed Ododo, who used his immunity to prevent Bello’s arrest on Wednesday as ‘disquieting’, adding that embarking on a temporising self-help and escapism that can only put Nigeria in bad light before the rest of the world is not the way to go.

According to him, he stands for the rule of law and will ensure no right of any Nigerian is trampled upon.

 

 

The AGF said in the terse statement: “The bizarre drama confronting the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in the course of its efforts to perform its statutory duty has come to my notice (Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice) as a matter of very grave concern.

“It is now beyond doubt that the EFCC is given power by the law to invite any person of interest to interact with them in the course of their investigation into any matter regardless of status. Therefore, the least that we can all do when invited, is not to put any obstruction in the way of EFCC but to honourably answer their invitation.

“A situation where public officials who are themselves subject of protection by law enforcement agents will set up a stratagem of obstruction to the civil and commendable efforts of the EFCC to perform its duty is to say the least, insufferably disquieting. A flight

from the law does not resolve issues at stake but only exacerbates it.

 

“I state unequivocally that I stand for the rule of law and will promptly call EFCC and indeed any other agency to order when there is indication of any transgression of the fundamental rights of any Nigerian by any of the agencies but I also tenaciously hold the view that institutions of State should be allowed to function effectively and efficiently. Nigeria has a vibrant judicial system that is capable of protecting everyone who follows the rule of law in seeking protection.

 

“I therefore encourage anyone who has been invited by the EFCC or any other agency to immediately toe the path of decency and civility by honouring such invitation instead of embarking on a temporising self-help and escapism that can only put our country in bad light before the rest of the world.

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SHALINA CELEBRATES 40 YEARS OF TRUST, REITERATES COMMITMENT TO QUALITY HEALTHCARE DELIVERY IN AFRICA

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In celebration of its 40 years in Africa, a leading Afro-focused multinational company, Shalina Healthcare has reiterated its commitment to the delivery of quality healthcare in Africa. Declaring this in Lagos on Friday at the event to wrap up the company’s 2023/24 financial year and celebrate its 40 years of its existence, the Chief Commercial Officer, West Africa of the company, Arun Raj said the company “is determined to continually fulfill its corporate mission of making quality products available to every African at affordable prices.

 

According to him; ” It has been 40 years of trust in Africa and these 40 years, the people of the continent have also reciprocated the trust in our quality products and healthcare delivery.”

 

Also, in his corporate presentation as well as new financial year projection, the Head, Corporate Marketing of the Company, Folorunso Alaran said; “the Company is building on the trust Africans have in its products and services over the year and is committed to healthy Africa. It has been forty years of available, affordable and quality products for Africans.”

In the words of Mr. Nirmal Jain CEO Shalina consumer Global,

 

“At Shalina, we believe that every African must have access to good products. And for the last forty years, we have been trusted for our quality products. And more so, through our many initiatives and healthcare interventions, Shalina has continually raised the bar in healthcare delivery.”

 

Speaking further, Mr. Debajeet Mukherjee CEO Shalina Pharma Global, posited that; “despite the prevailing economic challenges, we do not waver in delivering our corporate purposes of available, affordable and quality health products. It is our belief that economic challenges should not hinder people’s access to quality healthcare. Either the economy is good or bad, it shouldn’t affect the lives of the people in an adverse way. Despite the fact that some companies are leaving Nigeria, we are expanding our team in the country. This is because we have trust and believe in Nigeria.”

 

In her own presentation at the event, the Company’s Managing Director, Nigeria , Opeyemi Akinyele said the company “is focused to become number one brand in Nigeria and continually promote the best of healthcare delivery in the country. ”

 

“Through our products, activities and interventions we have been doing greatly to ensure that quality healthcare is available and affordable for every citizen. And this is a promise that will remain unbroken ” She said.

 

Appreciating the members of staff of the company for their commitment and supporting roles in the company, Akinleye said “without you, your roles and efforts, we won’t be here and the successes recorded in the out gone year won’t be possible. We also rely on your continuous support and commitment in the new year. ”

 

Meanwhile as part of the company’s end of year activities, many staff members were given awards of excellence in different categories for 2023/24 financial year. Amongst them were Lasisi Abiodun, Best Pharma Delegate, Lawal Abubskar, Best Medical Delegate, Ruth Adesua Adewoye, Best Regional Manager Pharma, Ganiyu Lateef, Best CVD Delegate, Mercy Omoji, Best Regional Manager, Consumer, Uzuma Pascal, Best Zonal Manager, (Global) and Juliet Ngozi Edward, Best Consumer Delegate Global . Winners in other categories included Sandeep Sahu, Folorunso Alaran, Emeka Adimoha, Chiuba Nwaosu among others.

 

Shalina Healthcare which began its business in Africa in DR Congo in 1984 made entry to Nigeria 25years ago. It currently has about 2500 staffs globally out of whom 2000 are in Africa.

 

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Kano court affirms Ganduje’s suspension

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The Kano State High Court has granted an ex parte order restraining the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Abdullahi Ganduje, from parading himself as a member of the party.

Subsequently, the court ordered that henceforth, Ganduje should desist from presiding over all affairs of the National Working Committee of the APC.

The application granted by Justice Usman Na’abba on Tuesday followed an ex parte motion filed by Dr. Ibrahim Sa’ad on behalf of two executive members of Ganduje’s ward, Dawakin-Tofa Local Government Area, the Assistant Secretary, Laminu Sani and Legal Adviser, Haladu Gwanjo (plaintiffs), who were part of the nine ward executives who suspended Ganduje on Monday.

The court directed the four parties (respondents) joined in the matter, including the APC, NWC, APC Kano State Working Committee, and Ganduje, to henceforth, maintain status quo ante belum as of April 15, 2024, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit on April 30, 2024.

Justice Na’abba, also held as prayed, stopped State Working Committee APC Kano from interfering with the legally and validly considered decision of executives of Ganduje ward, essentially on action endorsed by a two-thirds majority of the executives as provided by the party constitution.

The ex parte order read,, “An order is hereby granted directing all parties in the suit APC (first), APC National Working Committee (second), Kano State Working Committee APC (third), Dr. Abdullah Umar Ganduje (fourth), to maintain status quo ante belum as of April 15, 2024.

”The order thereby restraining the first respondent (APC) from recognising the fourth respondent (Ganduje) as a member of APC and prohibiting the fourth respondent (Ganduje) from presiding over any affairs of the NWC and restraining the state Working Committee from interfering with the legally and validly decision of the ward executives of Ganduje ward.

“That the fourth respondent (Ganduje) is prohibited from parading himself as a member of APC or doing any act that may portray him or seem to be a member of APC pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.”

Nine members of the Ganduje ward proclaimed the suspension of the National Chairman of the APC over the allegation of corruption slammed on him by the Kano State Government.

The nine APC executives said they were prompted to act following a petition written by one Ja’afaru Adamu, a member of the APC from the National Chairman’s polling unit.

In the petition, Adamu complained over allegations of corruption charges against the former governor just as he urged the ward leaders to investigate the matter to redeem the dented image of the party and the implication on President Bola Tinubu’s fight against corruption.

Although the chairman and secretary of the ward failed to act on the petition filed on April 8, 2024, nine members of the executives, led by the legal adviser, acted upon the petition, a decision that led to Ganduje’s suspension.

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