City Voice Newspaper Just another WordPress site Fri, 20 Jul 2018 17:56:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Neymar says he will remain at Paris Saint-Germain Fri, 20 Jul 2018 17:56:07 +0000 Brazilian football superstar Neymar says he will remain at Paris Saint-Germain next season despite rumors of a possible move to Real Madrid, who are searching for a replacement to Cristiano Ronaldo.

“I have a contract with PSG. I went to the club looking for a challenge in my career and looking for new goals. Nothing has changed in my head. I hope this season I have success and we can win many titles,” said Neymar in an interview for Fox Sports.

“I am very excited about this new season and I think it will be an honor to play alongside [Gianluigi] Buffon,” said Neymar, in reference to the Italian goalkeeper’s recently signing by the French club.

“Journalists tell many stories that are not true. It’s a little bit boring. Everybody know how I like the president of PSG, the city, the fans,” said Neymar dismissing the news that he is unhappy in Paris and is looking for a transfer as soon as possible.

During the World Cup Neymar was harshly criticized by journalists and football fans for diving and rolling on the pitch, becoming one of the most talked-about players in the tournament. The he 26-year-old, however, insists his reputation is intact and his market value is undiminished.

“Devaluation? I left the World Cup and until now everybody is talking about me. So there was no devaluation. People never forget me. I don’t get angry with the memes or jokes about me,” he said.

On Thursday evening, Neymar organized a charity auction to raise funds for a football institute in Brazil, which specializes in developing football for kids in need. It raised a total of $927,000.

Six more states join FG’s Conditional Cash Transfer scheme Fri, 20 Jul 2018 17:50:05 +0000 Six additional states have joined the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) scheme of the Federal Government to increase the total number of beneficiary states to 26, the National Cash Transfer Office (NCTO), has disclosed.

The CCT is one of the social investment programmes of the Federal Government targeted at lifting poor and vulnerable Nigerians from poverty. Beneficiaries receive N5,000 monthly to be productive and engage in economic activities, form cooperative groups and manage their lives.

Speaking at the just concluded sensitization workshop for focal persons, permanent secretaries and heads of units in Abuja, National Programme Coordinator of the NCTO, Dr Temitope Sinkaiye, disclosed that more states will join the poverty alleviation scheme once they fulfil all necessary requirements.

Sinkaiye, who expressed happiness at the increased number of states participating in the scheme, assured that the highest standard of transparency and accountability are adhered to in choosing beneficiaries.

She enjoined the 10 remaining states yet to join, to expedite action on their enrolment process so that the poor and vulnerable in their states would also benefit.

Dr Sinkaiye, who reiterated that the scheme does not have stringent operational procedures, explained that ” It is for the state to establish a state and local government offices, then the federal would start by training the different levels in order for them to be able to understand the implementation and operational procedure of the program and commence.  Except these states put these structures in place, we cannot do anything.”

On ensuring transparency and accountability in the scheme, Sinkaiye said, it is participatory and is being monitored across the board.

She said, “it is being implemented in a participatory manner where community members are involved, same with local, state and federal government.

“There are monitoring organizations including the CSOs, the World Bank and the Swiss government. The monitoring movement has an electronic audit trail, trailing the money as it moves from the CBN to the beneficiaries, so you can trace and trail it from where it was cashed out and where it went to.”


ODUACCIMA tasks local, foreign stakeholders to improve education sector Fri, 20 Jul 2018 17:45:24 +0000 By Rukayat Adeyemi

The Odu’a Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ODUACCIMA) says education can only thrive effectively through the collaboration of both local and foreign stakeholders.

President of the Chamber, Chief Kola Akosile, made the assertion on Friday while delivering a lecture at a two-day Retreat and Book Fair organised by the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), Lagos Chapter.

The retreat had the theme: “Unlocking the Potential in Collaborating and Associating in Education for School Growth, Your School Is Really My School’’.

Akosile said that relevant stakeholders in the education sector could be categorised as local and foreign.

“The local stakeholders include the Parents-Teachers Forum (PTF), Old Students’ Association, government regulatory agencies and ministries, immediate community of the school, among others.

“The international stakeholders comprise; UNESCO, embassies, foreign schools, airlines, among others,” he said.

According to him, the benefits of collaboration and association in education sector include; improved funding of the sector, community relationship, enhanced socio-cultural education and adequate security.

He also mentioned development of projects, discipline among children, interpersonal relationship, integration of parents in school’s management and enforcement of core values, among others.

Akosile said that while the government had over the decades devoted substantial financial resources to improving the education system, the result was not appreciable due to the complexity and structure of the sector.

He said that the ability to work collaboratively with others was an essential component of contemporary school reform and further access to education.

“Consequently, the private sector players and relevant stakeholders can greatly contribute. No doubt, they will greatly harvest their share of the dividends of such investments,’’ he said.

The chamber’s president noted that access to education was not just a moral imperative but also a driver of economic development and a key pre-condition for producing a skilled workforce.

Akosile said that collaboration by all would improve learning environment and would bring out the potential of the students.

About 2,000 participants comprising school owners, administrators and operators, royal fathers, government officials, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) attended the event.

The retreat was geared toward charting a new course for the education sector, especially the private schools.

Why I declared early for 2019 Presidency – Buhari Fri, 20 Jul 2018 16:12:54 +0000 By Ismaila Chafe
President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday said he declared his intention to contest the 2019 Presidential Election early in order to douse rising speculations in the country.

Buhari also said the decision would the All Progressives Congress (APC) enough time to prepare for the polls.

The president offered this explanation when he received members of the Buhari Support Group Centre (BSGC) at the State House, Abuja.
According to him, speculations are already constituting distraction to governance and stirring unnecessary tension so he had to declare his intention during the National Executive Committee meeting of the party.

“I had to announce before the National Executive Committee of our party about my intention to ask for the party’s nomination for next year’s election so that we can save a lot of time and cool tempers.

“A lot of people were trying to make it a habit of being a nuisance to themselves and many Nigerians, so when I came out I said those who are serious let them come out.

“And I tried to make sure that the party is organised and consolidated so that we start from the bottom to the top,

“and that Nigerians will be involved in a way that each constituency will pick those that are going to represent them at various levels, whether as local government chairmen, in the State Assembly, House of Representatives, Senate and finally the president,’’ he said.

Buhari said early declaration guaranteed more participation and inclusivity within the party and further strengthened the bond with supporters and Nigerians.

“Some of the people thought to be uneducated and unsophisticated are very educated and sophisticated during elections; for those who have money to give they say bring the money we will still do what we want to do,’’ he added.

The president noted that God’s divine intervention and the use of technology during the 2015 elections exposed the weakness of previous processes where a privileged few sat and allocated figures to constituencies during elections.

“They just sit and look at a constituency and they award the numbers, then they say anybody who disagrees should go to court;

“Now for somebody who is looking for the next meal where does he get money to pay Senior Advocates of Nigeria?

“Thank God for technology, with the PVC you know where you registered and it can be shown whether you voted or not,’’ the president said.

He therefore advised Nigerians to get their voters card for the 2019 elections and ensure that they vote to please their conscience with pride as citizens.

The president commended the BSGC members for all their sacrifices and steadfastness in championing his candidacy.

“I thank you very much for the sacrifice you have been making. I am happy to use this opportunity to meet you and thank you for the sacrifices and steadfastness.

“I don’t think I can thank you enough because by identifying yourself as a group for all these years and getting nothing for it visibly I think its worthy of commendation,’’ he said.

The Coordinator of the group, Alhaji Umaru Dembo, said “through thick and thin, rain or sun shine, hot or cold we are here to assure Mr President that since 2014 we have been working, expanding and helping to explain the new life that your government has ushered in for the good people of Nigeria’’.

He said the BSGC had initiated the documentation of the president’s achievements in a book authored by Dr Sani Muktar Bichi and himself.

Dembo assured the president of a bottom-up process of mobilising more supporters for the administration, while appreciating him for reversing the trend of impunity, corruption and lawlessness that reigned before 2015.

He said the group was an umbrella organisation encompassing “Women for Buhari and Osinbajo’’, “A kasa, a tsare’’, “Northern Youth Assembly,” “Buhari Renewal mandate’’ and others in support of good governance in Nigeria. 

July Deadline: Enyimba FC’s return to Aba no longer feasible, says Commissioner Fri, 20 Jul 2018 15:54:05 +0000 By Leo Okachie

The Commissioner for Information in Abia, Chief John Okiyi, has said that the government’s plan for Enyimba International FC to return to Enyimba Stadium, Aba this month was no longer feasible.

Okiyi made the disclosure while speaking with newsmen on the extent of job so far done on the reconstruction of the stadium’s playing turf on Friday in Umuahia.

He said that 98 per cent of the installation of a new turf, worth 1billion euro, had been completed.

The contract is being handled by the Bayelsa-based Monimichelle Group.

The commissioner said that the pitch was ready but that the entire contract had only reached 80 per cent completion.

He said that the larger contract included the construction of tartan tracks and re-roofing of the stands.

Okiyi said that Enyimba would return to the stadium in September, when the entire job would have been fully completed.

“Of course, the team needs to train and practice on the new turf for at least four months before hosting their home matches at the facility.

“But if the team can be made to play closed door, I can assure you that the pitch is ready for them because the contractor has completed his job by 98 per cent.

“The remaining two per cent is for him to mount the imported goalposts and nets,” Okiyi said.

He said that the Confederation of African Football (CAF) would inspect the facility and give it’s approval before it would be open for matches.

The commissioner said that government had also constructed 32 public toilets at the facility and four additional entrance/exit gates to bring the number to 12.

He added that there was no immediate plan to expand the 20,000 sitting capacity of the stadium.

Okiyi said that the stadium would be relocated to Osisioma in the future when development had moved to the area.

“For the first time in the history of the stadium, public toilets are being provided for spectators.

“Before now, people usually littered the surroundings of the stadium with faeces, especially on match days,” he said.

Okiyi said that the frontage of the stadium would also receive a facelift.

“The people’s elephant,” as the Aba-based premier league side is fondly called, relocated to U.J. Esuene Stadium, Calabar, in 2016 for all its Nigerian Professional Football League and Continental home matches.

Rights group insists Fayemi won Ekiti election Fri, 20 Jul 2018 14:58:06 +0000 Election observers under the aegies of the Nigerian Human Rights Community, (NHRC) have insisted that the All Progressive Congress, (APC) gubernatorial candidate, Dr Kayode Fayemi won the Ekiti State gubernatorial election free and fair.

At a press conference in Lagos on Friday addressed by the observers, led by Taiwo Adeleye, where the group presented preliminary reports, the group said the election was associated with hitches but not enough to invalidate the victory of APC at the poll.

The NHRC was established in 2003 as a coalition of community-based groups across the country. The media event was attended by several observers of the Ekiti election.

The group said there were obvious cases of political parties’ involvement on corruption, but that it is mischievous to blame the outcome of the election on that note.

It said that in Ekiti State, the ring leader of electoral manipulation is Mr Ayodele Fayose.

“Since 2014, Mr Fayose has been distributing cash-public funds-to individuals on the streets amongst who are voters. It has become a day-to-day function of the Ekiti state Governor and its officials to distribute cash to people on the streets. There is nothing behind this than a conscious attempt to buy votes. Most of these cases were reported in the mainstream and social media where Mr Fayose was openly distributing cash to people on the streets.

“In Ekiti, workers were paid N3000 on the eve of the election as bribe so that they could vote for Dr Elenka. This is a well-known fact. He also paid 7,-000 naira each to pensioner on the eve of the July 14 election. The cash paid was not listed as part of their legal entitlements but as inducements to ensure they voted for the PDP. There can be no clearer evidence of election malpractices that this. Under the Ekiti State Governor, manipulation of elections through cash inducement is a directive principle of the state which has been entrenched in the state’s convention through the framework of stomach infrastructure.

“We monitored the election. Many of us here were in Ekiti as monitors. We were in Ekiti two weeks before the election, gathering information and monitoring pre-election activities. It was easy for many of us to predict the outcome of the election even before INEC released the results on Sunday morning.  We have gathered here to set the records straight and to present the issues the way they are in the most factual manner.”

The group said the turn out during the election was impressive.

“ Ekiti has 842,731 registered voters. This number shortly before the election increased to about 900,000. This is quite commendable considering the total population of the entire state which is 2.7million people. Out of the figures, 667,064 PVCs were collected while 246,270 PCVs were not collected. There are 177 wards in 131 towns and villages located in 16 local governments. The number of voters represent about 65 percent of the voting age which is one of the highest in the country.”

On security, it said the security operatives performed above average. “There were no incidences of police or soldiers’ harassment, intimidation or human rights violations, prior or  throughout the one day exercise. Even though 30,000 security operatives were posted to Ekiti state, their conducts and performances represent a remarkable improvement compared with 2014 when soldiers invaded Ekiti State, arrested the members of the All Progressives Party, (APC) and ensured many of them were not released until after the election.” It said in a comparative sense, there was tremendous improvement in security. “We should not be quick to forget that in 2014, militants in military uniforms invaded Ekiti State under the guise of security operatives shooting indiscriminately across the state.

“The current Governor elect, Dr Kayode Fayemi in 2014 was shot at. The bullets hit an APC member who died on the spot. We should not forget that in Osun, soldiers invaded the house of the sitting Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and insisted on entering his bedroom. In 2014, Osun and Ekiti witnessed the deaths of 7 people during the gubernatorial elections. But this year 2018, no single person was killed in Ekiti State. This is quite commendable.

The idea of allowing voters to be accredited and vote at the same time was remarkable. There were few cases of malfunctioning machines, but these were not significant. It should be observed that in many polling booths, the INEC isolated the elderly, breast feeding mothers and the sick allowing them to vote first. We commend the efforts of the INEC staff for this unique improvement in the voting standards when compared with what was obtained in the previous years.”

The NHRC also made the following recommendations:

  • Political parties should adopt Direct primaries. This will enable mass participation of party members in the selection of candidates for the various elective positions.
  • That to eliminate corruption in the electoral system, the ballot boxes should be kept far away from the voters so that the decision of each voter will be known only to the voter.
  • That Federal Government should demonstrate the needed strong political will to be able implement the recommendations of the Justice Uwais Panel which recommended Electoral Tribunals for election malpractices offenders.
  • Ekiti state needs more polling booths. In many instances voters had to be transported for over 4 kilometers before they could vote.
Sunderland University partners Edo University on students, staff exchange programme Fri, 20 Jul 2018 14:50:13 +0000 The Sunderland University, United Kingdom, has signed an MOU on students and staff exchange programme with the Edo University, Iyamho.

The Director of International Studies of the United Kingdom-based institution, Ian Moody, who announced the signing of the MoU when he led a team of professionals to Iyamho, also commended the management of the institution for maintaining high standard of infrastructural development.

Moody said Edo University has conformed with 21st century standard based on the state-of-the-art facilities on its campus.

He disclosed that their visit to Iyamho was aimed at consolidating on the Memorandum of Understanding earlier signed by both universities.

The team leader, who expressed delight with the level of teaching and learning at the University, attributed the high standard to the modern infrastructure which he said was comparable to the bests in the world.

He also revealed that the University of Sunderland was ranked amongst the best universities in the world and provide a multi-culture community for staff and students thereby making it a great option for partnership with Edo University Iyamho.

He said: “Not just students coming to the UK to gain experience, but also for students and staff exchange, joint research and joint funding of needs.”

Director of Edo International Liaison of Iyamho University, Dr. Anthony Kifordu, conducted Mr. Moody’s delegation round the faculties, hostels and Entrepreneurship Development Centre of the University. He said the visit was timely in order to further strengthen collaboration between the two universities.

The principal contact for Edo University Iyamho, Mr. Wisdom Okoye, said the state government has done a monumental work at the University and thus rightly deserves to be placed on the world academic map.

This, he said, has increased their confidence to be able to get what will serve as a mutually beneficial partnership with the Edo University Iyamho in the areas of teaching, learning and research for both staff and students.

Acting Vice Chancellor of Edo University Iyamho, Prof. Emmanuel Aluyor expressed happiness with the MOU, adding that the development would be of a symbiotic benefit to both Universities.

“We have discussed and look at the curricula of the universities in several areas where we agreed on the harmonization of the two sides.

“We also find that we have a lot of things in common, a lot of things we can work on as a young university and we are looking at areas we can explore to make delivery of education to our interested parties in the best form of education we can deliver,” Aluyor said.

No future for media organisations that owe salaries, pay peanuts – Ronald Kayanja, UNIC Nigeria’s boss Fri, 20 Jul 2018 13:42:24 +0000 Michael Adesanya /Abeokuta

The country Director of the United Nations Information Centre in Nigeria, Ronald Kayanja on Thursday challenged Nigerian journalists to stick to ethical reporting by always “telling the truth with fairness and with interest of Nigeria at the forefront.’’

He made the call in Abeokuta while delivering a lecture at the second anniversary of a Social Media Platform, PENPUSHING.

Kayanja added that factual reporting is important to counter the false narratives spewing out of the social media.

He warned that there is great danger of hate speech eating up the basic fabric of the society and endangering the peace and stability of the country if caution is not taken.

The United Nations official spoke on ‘’The Media and The Question For Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions In Nigeria”.

He disagreed with the notion that the traditional media, especially the newspapers, would soon close shops because of social media, arguing that even though circulation of newspapers had reduced drastically, “the critical element here is for the media to remain credible into their audiences by following the rules of ethical reporting .

“There are some media houses which pay peanuts to their reporters and some do not pay salaries in a long time. Such media organisations will fizzle out because it will be difficult to adhere to ethical reporting in such situations.

“The Nigeria media scene is plural in nature and ownership, which provides for option for expression in power. However, there needs to be a return to basics checking people in power. Yes, we can follow up politicians who have fake certificates, but we should also do more around private sectors companies that do not operate within the law.”

According to him, the UNESCO has identified five conditions under which the media are likely to contribute to a democratic society or “substantive democracy”.

Kanyanja listed two of such conditions as:

“While the focus on the political class is important, social media has shown us that people are also concern about other power wielders in society who abuse their positions The media needs to do more on those “.

“Agenda 2030 and the SDGs provide a platform for the media to engage all those with power and influence in the public and private sectors. If we can achieve the target in Agenda 2030, the country will be more peaceful and prosperous.”

“All leaders at all levels should be held to account for their actions in relation to achieving the SDGs”, he advised.

The founder of PENPUSHING, Dimeji Kayode-Adedeji called on Nigerians to strive to build confidence and promote fairness, equity and justice in the system.

According to him it is regrettable that “despite our yearnings for good governance, we take pleasure in flaunting the laws meant to promote justice, equity and fairness and obeying them at will”.

Among dignitaries at the ceremony were Ogun State Commissioner of Police, Ahmed Illiyasu; state Commissioner of Information, Otunba Dayo Adeneye; Commodore Kayode Olofinmoyin; Olota of Ota, Oba Adeyemi Obalanlege; Mr Felix Adenaike and Prof. Lai Oso.

UNODC will work with countries to achieve Nelson Mandela Rules – Yury Fedotov Fri, 20 Jul 2018 12:57:52 +0000 Nelson Mandela International Day 2018 marks 100 years since the birth of a true hero who left the world a better and more just place than he found it.

The legacy of Nelson Mandela is vast, his life of service encompassing contributions to peace and reconciliation, promotion and protection of human rights, the fight against poverty and the advancement of social justice. This centenary is an occasion to honour the legacy of the late President of South Africa, and reflect on how we can carry on his commitment.

Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison in the course of his struggle for justice. He knew better than anyone that “no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens but its lowest ones.”

That is why in December 2015, when the General Assembly adopted the revised United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, Member States decided that they should be known as the ”Nelson Mandela Rules”.

The Nelson Mandela Rules added important safeguards, including an absolute prohibition on torture and ill-treatment and clear restrictions on the use of solitary confinement, instruments of restraint and intrusive searches, as well as detailed guidance on prisoners’ rights to equivalent health-care services.

On Nelson Mandela International Day, I reaffirm the determination of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to assist all countries in translating these rules into action, to promote humane conditions of imprisonment and ensure no part of society is forgotten.

* Being  statement of the UNODC Executive Director on Nelson Mandela International Day 2018

Osun APC governorship primary holds, SSG withdraws from race citing bias Fri, 20 Jul 2018 12:40:40 +0000 Secretary to Osun State Government (SSG), Alhaji Moshood Adeoti, announced his withdrawal from the primaries of All Progressives Congress (APC) scheduled for Friday at the party’s headquarters in Osogbo.

Adeoti, in a letter addressed to the Chairman of APC Primaries Committee, Gov. Abdul’aziz Yari of Zamfara, on Friday, alleged that he was withdrawing because the primaries had been arranged to favour Mr Gboyega Oyetola, the Chief of Staff to Gov. Aregbesola.

He also said that there was no credible register of members with which free, fair and transparent direct primaries could be conducted.

“While I am not withdrawing from the governorship race, I have decided not to participate in the July 20, 2019 Direct Primaries of the APC in Osun State for the above stated and other reasons,’’ Adeoti said.

Mr Adams Oshiomhole, the APC National Chairman on Monday, July 16, said the party would adopt the direct primary to pick its candidate for the Osun governorship election.

“What that means is that every card-carrying member of our party will participate in the process of nominating the flag bearer of the party,’’ Oshiomole said.

Although, the announcement of direct method for the primary generated reactions among the aspirants, but the Chairman of the election committee, Yari, represented by Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege at a stakeholders meeting on Thursday, promised that the election would be free, fair and transparent.

The primaries were held in all the 332 wards across the state.
The exercise commenced peacefully, but for the late arrival of voting materials.

NAN correspondents, who monitored the primaries in the Osun West, East and Central Senatorial Districts of the state, report that card-carrying members had lined up at their wards as early as 8.00 am waiting for party officials for accreditation and voting.

At ward 4, Otun-Olufi, Gbongan in Ayedaade Local Government, party members were seen waiting to be accredited.

No party officials were seen at the ward to attend to members as 10:30 am.

Also at Ward 9, Atile AUD primary schools, Ikire in Irewole Local Government, party members were still waiting for party officials for accreditation and voting.

At ward 4, Union Baptist School, Osogbo, in Osogbo Local Government area, party members were still waiting for party officials for accreditation as at 10:54 am.

Also in Egbedore Local Government, party members were still waiting for party officials for accreditation and voting.

Prominent among the 17 aspirants contesting for the party’s ticket are, Mr Lasun Yussuff, Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives; Mr Najeem Salaam, Speaker, State House of Assembly and Alhaji Adegboyega Oyetola, Gov. Aregbesola Chief of Staff.

Others are Sen. Babajide Omoworare, representing Osun East at the Senate, and Mr Saka Layonu, among others.