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Pyrates tasks Nigerians on strengthening democratic practices

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The National Association of Seadogs, aka Pyrates Confraternity, Ash Montana Deck, has urged Nigerians not to hesitate in testing the nation’s laws to strengthen democratic practices and build strong institutions.

The association, which decried growing impunity, disobedience to rule of law and abuse of fundamental human rights in the country, called on the citizens to take their destiny in their own hands and dictate the tone of governance.

Emmanuel Eromonsele Okoghe and Barrister Habeeb Whyte, the Vice President and Legal Officer of NAS Abeokuta Chapter respectively, made the submission in a radio programme on Roots FM 97.1 Abeokuta, which was part of the association’s activities to commemorate the International Day of Democracy.

The International Day of Democracy, as resolved by the United Nations, is celebrated annually on 15 September with the purpose of promoting and upholding the principles of democracy.

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The duo described the Pyrates Confraternity as a non-political and non-religious organisation whose aim is to strive for the attainment of a just, humane and egalitarian society.

Okoghe, who noted that democracy is about the will of the people, expressed regret that the form of government had been destroyed by impunity in the country.

He said, “Sovereignty belongs to the people; and from there the constitution derives its power. The people give the law through which they are governed and the legitimacy of the constitution is from the people.

“Unfortunately, the style of democracy practised in the country has been tailored to benefit a select few and their interests as opposed to what the majority needs. This has made it difficult for the will of the people to be paramount in our democratic construct.

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“The result has been impunity, disobedience to the rule of law and abuse of the basic fundamental rights of the people, among others. The Pyrates Confraternity, therefore, uses this period to remind all that democracy is about the people, their will and aspirations.”

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Okoghe asked the people to always stand and speak against undemocratic practices capable of truncating the nation’s democracy.

“The National Association of Seadogs has no political affiliation and it has not endorsed any candidate or political party. Its interest is not aimed at criticizing a particular candidate, administration, political party or government. Its interests include to ensure the right principles of democracy are entrenched, the rule of law is strictly obeyed, good governance, transparency, and accountability are institutionalised,” he added.

On his part, Whyte pointed out that every citizen has a role to play in entrenching strong democratic principles in the country.

The legal practitioner said it was wrong to blame only the leadership or the led for the rot in the nation’s democracy, insisting that both the leaders and followers contributed to current political challenges.

He said, “We have witnessed 23 years of uninterrupted democracy which has left much to be seen and desired. Democracy, which is supposed be about the people, has taken power, peace, fundamental human rights and security from the people.

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“There is monumental corruption with its resultant impunity, lack of transparency, abuse of the rule of law, no freedom of speech and press, insecurity at its highest points, abuse of due process, nepotism and other issues which are clearly anti-democratic and huge threat to our hard-earned democracy, peace, unity and stability of the nation.

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“When the leaders lead by the right principles and examples, the led will definitely fall in line. On the other hand, when the leaders do not set the right examples, the led also do not see any reason to behave different from the examples of their leaders. Such promotes the culture of impunity, violation of the fundamental human rights, violation of the rule of law and other attitudes that are anti-democratic.”

Whyte stressed the imperative of upholding the rule of law and strengthening global best practices of democratic principles in Nigeria.

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Rev EMF Oshoffa rounds off 2022 USA pastoral working tour

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His Eminence, Reverend Emmanuel Mobiyina Oshoffa, Pastor and Supreme Head of the Celestial Church of Christ Worldwide, is about now rounding of his 2022 Pastoral Working Tour of the United States of America.

The high powered pastoral entourage would be leaving Miami, Florida, for New York on Wednesday, 28th September, 2022, and would thereafter leave for France before finally returning to base in Nigeria.

The highly successful 2022 Pastoral Working Tour of the U.S.A recorded various landmark achievements including, but not limited to forging peace and unity within the various aggrieved parties of the Celestial Church of Christ, U.S.A. Diocese.

Before departing Miami, Florida, His Eminence had a photo shoot with the shepherds, church workers and parishioners of Region ‘D’ C.C.C. U.S.A. Diocese.

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EMF With Shepherds & Church Workers.
EMF With Shepherds.
Region ‘D’ .
Region ‘D’ Parishioners.
EMF With the Region ‘D’ Family.

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Drug war: FEC approves fund for NDLEA’s armoured vehicles

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The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved N580.5 million for the procurement of four armoured vehicles to fight dangerous and illicit drugs by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, made this known to State House correspondents at the end of the Council’s meeting which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on Wednesday.

He said: “Today, a memo was presented by the office of the Attorney General of the Federation, that is the Federal Ministry of Justice, which was relating to a parastatal under the supervision of the office of the Attorney General; the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

“The purpose of the memo was to seek approval of the council for the award of contract for the supply of four customised armoured security vehicles of 14 seater model for the NDLEA.

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“The contract sum is N580, 500, 000 only inclusive of 7.5 per cent value-added tax with a delivery period of 16 weeks.”

The Minister said the decision to procure the armoured vehicles was taken to encourage and safeguard the lives of NDLEA personnel who have been working very hard with impressive results being recorded.

“It is common knowledge that of recent, the NDLEA has been repositioned and arising from the support both in terms of our capacity building, hardware and associated things.

“They have been recording an extraordinary or unprecedented success. Recently, they seized about 1.8 tons of cocaine having a market value of about N194 billion.

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“So, with all these successes recorded, it is only logical that the criminals and their syndicate are now devising means inclusive of attacks on NDLEA personnel.

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”It is with that in mind that the memo was presented for the procurement of such vehicles for the NDLEA and the council approved,” he said.

According to him, between January and July 2022, the NDLEA arrested 18,940 suspects with 2,904 convictions.

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FEC approves N27bn for road project linking Ondo, Edo

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The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved N27 billion for the rehabilitation of a 27km road linking Ondo and Edo states.

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, revealed this to State House correspondents at the end of the Council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday in Abuja.

He said: “The Minister of Works and Housing presented a memo for the approval of the award of contract for the rehabilitation of the Iduani-Otuwo road which links Ondo and Edo States.

“The contract is for the sum of N27, 233, 577, 000 billion and it has a completion period of 27 months.”

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Also addressing the correspondents on the outcome of the FEC meeting, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, disclosed that the council gave approval for the second phase of the National Sugar Master Plan, which started in 2012.

He said the council approved the commencement of the 2nd phase from 2023-2033 for another period of ten years.

“In 2012, the 1st phase of the sugar master plan was approved, lasting for 10 years until 2022.

“Today the council approved the extension from 2023-2033 and the whole idea is for the development of the sugar industry, aimed at self-sufficiency in sugar production,” he stated.

According to Mr Adebayo, the plan has several policy measures and fiscal incentives to stimulate demand and attract private sector investment in the sugar industry.

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He added that four major investors participated in the 1st phase of the plan, creating 15, 000 jobs in the process with about 200 hectares of land acquired by them for the production of sugarcane to boost local production of sugar.

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On his part, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, also told the correspondents that the council approved the building of a retaining wall for a salt project in Ebonyi State.

According to the minister, the wall is to help protect the washing away of the salt, which occurs naturally.

He said the salt if fully tapped, could save the country millions of dollars from importation of the commodity.

The minister added that the commodity could also be exported to earn more revenue for the country.

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“We came to council for an approval because there is an intervention; direct intervention by the president for a salt project in Ebonyi State.

“We import our salt from abroad spending annually in the region of about 88 million dollars.

“Now by this project, it will mitigate that. It will not satisfy local demand but at least meet some of the local demand and save us the foreign exchange.

“The salt is in Ebonyi State but it cannot be mined without this infrastructure that we are about to build.

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“We are building a retaining wall because water comes in and washes the salt away every time.

“These are salt lakes that occur naturally. After the environmental impact assessment was done, the report suggested that we should build a retaining wall,” he said.

Mr Adegbite added that the proposed wall would be 27 kilometres long and about 2.9 meters high and would be funded directly from the presidency, adding that the project would be achieved in six months.

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