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PDP unveils ambitious roadmap: Primaries set for February 2024 By-Elections with focus on inclusivity and youth participation

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PDP unveils ambitious roadmap: Primaries set for February 2024 By-Elections with focus on inclusivity and youth participation

In a strategic move to prepare for the upcoming by-elections slated for February 3, 2024, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has taken a decisive step by announcing January 8, 2024, as the date for its primaries. The party’s National Organising Secretary, Umar Bature, revealed this critical information through a meticulously detailed timetable and schedule of activities aimed at ensuring a seamless and inclusive electoral process.

 

According to the released schedule, the sales of nomination and expression of interest forms are set to kick off from December 28, 2023, and will run through January 3, 2024. This period provides aspiring candidates in the Ebonyi South Senatorial District of Ebonyi State; Yobe East Senatorial District of Yobe State; Plateau North Senatorial District of Plateau State; Akoko North East/Akoko North West Federal Constituency of Ondo State, and other key constituencies, the opportunity to obtain the requisite forms to officially declare their intent to run.

 

NAN reports that The screening of aspirants is scheduled for January 4, 2024, signaling a crucial phase in the lead-up to the primaries. Following this, the appeal for party primaries will be heard on January 9, 2024, reflecting the party’s commitment to a fair and just internal electoral process. Candidates must ensure the submission of their names to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) nomination portal by January 12, underlining the adherence to electoral guidelines. The deadline for the nomination of party agents is set for January 20, 2024.

 

One of the noteworthy aspects of the PDP’s preparations is the financial aspect, as the party has outlined costs for various forms. The expression of interest form for the Senate and House of Representatives is set at ₦500,000 each, while the nomination form costs ₦3 million and ₦2 million, respectively. For the House of Assembly, the expression of interest form is pegged at ₦100,000, with the nomination form set at ₦600,000.

 

Crucially, the PDP has demonstrated a commitment to promoting youth involvement in the political process. A 50% discount on nomination forms has been extended to youths below 40 years, encouraging their active participation in the democratic process. This move aligns with the broader narrative of youth empowerment and inclusion in political leadership, recognizing the valuable perspectives and energy that young individuals bring to the table.

 

In addition, the party has made provisions for gender inclusivity and the inclusion of Persons Living with Disabilities (PWD). Female aspirants and PWDs are only required to pay for expression of interest forms, highlighting the party’s dedication to fostering a diverse and representative political landscape.

 

Umar Bature, the National Organising Secretary, reiterated the importance of strict adherence to the established timelines and guidelines. Emphasizing the need for a transparent and inclusive electoral process, Bature underscored the party’s commitment to providing a level playing field for all aspirants. The PDP aims to set a precedent for democratic governance by facilitating an environment that embraces diverse voices and perspectives.

 

As the political landscape gears up for the February 2024 by-elections, the PDP’s proactive approach and emphasis on inclusivity and youth participation stand out as noteworthy features. The party’s commitment to conducting a transparent, fair, and accessible electoral process serves as a testament to its dedication to democratic principles and the collective advancement of the Nigerian political landscape.

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Nigeria Customs Service declares war on illegal grain exports, promises support for food security

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Nigeria Customs Service declares war on illegal grain exports, promises support for food security

Nigeria Customs Service declares war on illegal grain exports, promises support for food security

 

In a bid to safeguard Nigeria’s food security and combat the illicit exportation of grains to other African nations, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has vowed to ramp up its efforts to curb this menace. Ify Ogbudu, the Zonal Coordinator of Zone B of the service, made this declaration during a courtesy visit to the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, at his palace.

During the visit, Ogbudu reiterated the NCS’s commitment to curbing the illegal exportation of Nigeria’s grains. She emphasized the importance of ensuring that the 42,000 metric tons of grains approved for distribution by the Federal Government reach those in need, as directed. Ogbudu sought the emir’s support in this critical endeavor, underscoring the pivotal role of the Customs Service in advancing the government’s agenda for poverty alleviation and food security.

In response, the Emir of Kano expressed gratitude for the Customs Service’s dedication to safeguarding Nigeria’s economic integrity, despite facing numerous challenges. He commended Customs officers for their diligence and urged them to exhibit compassion towards local traders who may inadvertently engage in illegal activities due to ignorance.

NAN reports that the emir emphasized the significance of enlightenment and community engagement in stemming the tide of illicit activities. He pledged the emirate’s full support in facilitating legitimate trade and commended the progress made in reducing disputes between traders and customs officials through stakeholder engagements.

Furthermore, the emir lauded the ongoing enlightenment initiatives aimed at supporting local traders and businessmen in conducting lawful trade activities. This collaborative effort between the Nigeria Customs Service and local authorities signals a concerted push toward ensuring food security and economic stability in Nigeria.

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Health

Ogun seals unaccredited nursing department at Harvarde College, leaving students in limbo

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Ogun seals unaccredited nursing department at Harvarde College, leaving students in limbo

Ogun seals unaccredited nursing department at Harvarde College, leaving students in limbo

 

 

In a sweeping enforcement action, authorities in Ogun State have shuttered the Nursing Department of Harvarde College of Science Business and Management Studies in Abeokuta. The crackdown, led by officials from the Ogun Ministry of Health and the State Nursing and Midwifery Committee, comes in response to the college’s operation of an unaccredited nursing programme.

Dr. Kayode Oladehinde, the Permanent Secretary of the Ogun Ministry of Health, underscored the severity of the situation, highlighting that the private institution had been offering a degree programme in Nursing Sciences without accreditation from the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN). This unauthorized operation, spanning six years, posed a significant threat to public health and perpetuated quackery within the nursing profession.

NAN reports that during the enforcement exercise, Oladehinde, represented by Acting Director of Nursing Services, Serifat Aminu, emphasized the grave implications of pursuing a nursing degree from an institution lacking NMCN accreditation. Such degrees, he asserted, hold little to no value, rendering graduates ineligible to obtain a valid license to practice nursing in Nigeria or internationally.

“We have discovered that many institutions, including Harvarde College, offer nursing degrees to unsuspecting students,” stated Oladehinde. “Our mission is to clamp down on such institutions because they end up producing quacks in the nursing profession. This is dangerous for society. Unfortunately, most students are unaware that their time is being wasted.”

Oladehinde urged prospective nursing students and their parents to exercise caution and diligence in selecting educational institutions. He advised thorough research, including consulting the NMCN website for a list of accredited institutions, as the regulatory body updates the list annually. Additionally, he cautioned against falling prey to false claims made by unaccredited institutions, reaffirming the government’s commitment to combating quackery in nursing education and practice.

In response to the enforcement action, a 300-level student, speaking anonymously, expressed shock and dismay over the lack of accreditation at Harvarde College. The student lamented the financial investment made by her parents on her behalf, underscoring the personal toll of the college’s deceptive practices.

The closure of Harvarde College’s Nursing Department leaves students in a state of uncertainty, grappling with the realization that their academic pursuits may have been in vain. As authorities continue to crack down on unaccredited institutions, the incident serves as a sobering reminder of the importance of regulatory oversight in safeguarding the integrity of professional education and protecting public health.

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Tinubu names Lawyer Hafsat Bakari as acting Head of NFIU

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Tinubu names Lawyer Hafsat Bakari as acting Head of NFIU

Tinubu names Lawyer Hafsat Bakari as acting Head of NFIU

 

In a significant development, President Bola Tinubu has appointed Hafsat Abubakar Bakari as the Acting Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), succeeding Modibbo Hamman-Tukur. This decision, announced by Chief Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, underscores Tinubu’s commitment to enhancing financial intelligence and combating illicit financial activities in Nigeria.

Hafsat Abubakar Bakari, a seasoned lawyer and financial intelligence expert, brings a wealth of experience to her new role at the helm of the NFIU. Having previously served as Deputy Director within the NFIU, Bakari’s appointment signals a strategic move to leverage her expertise in areas such as anti-money laundering, counter-terrorism financing, and counter-proliferation financing.

NAN reports that, Ngelale highlighted Bakari’s distinguished career trajectory, noting her tenure in various leadership positions within the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Bakari’s roles included heading the General Services Unit, leading the Strategy and Reorientation Unit, and overseeing the Board Secretariat. Her multifaceted experience within the EFCC equips her with a comprehensive understanding of the intricacies of financial crime investigation and enforcement.

Emphasizing the significance of Bakari’s appointment, Ngelale expressed confidence in her ability to navigate the complex landscape of illicit financial flows and other nefarious activities plaguing Nigeria’s foreign exchange markets. Tinubu’s administration remains steadfast in its commitment to curbing financial crimes and fostering transparency and accountability within the financial sector.

While Bakari assumes her new responsibilities in an acting capacity, her nomination is subject to confirmation by the Senate. Nevertheless, her track record and expertise position her as a capable leader poised to advance the mandate of the NFIU and bolster the government’s efforts to combat financial crimes effectively.

As Nigeria grapples with the challenges posed by illicit financial flows and economic malpractice, Bakari’s appointment signifies a proactive step towards strengthening the nation’s financial intelligence framework. Her leadership is expected to enhance coordination between relevant stakeholders and facilitate the implementation of robust measures to safeguard Nigeria’s financial integrity.

In accepting this critical role, Bakari is poised to leverage her expertise to tackle emerging threats in the financial landscape and uphold the principles of accountability, transparency, and integrity. Her appointment aligns with Tinubu’s vision for a more resilient and prosperous Nigeria, free from the scourge of financial crimes and illicit activities.

As Bakari assumes her duties at the helm of the NFIU, stakeholders anticipate her strategic leadership and unwavering commitment to driving positive change in Nigeria’s financial ecosystem. With her appointment, the nation embarks on a new chapter in its fight against financial crimes, signaling a renewed resolve to safeguard Nigeria’s economic interests and promote sustainable development.

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