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Professor Jega, Others Task Nigerian Youth on Active Participation in Politics

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Discussing the Nigerian Youth and the of building a just, united and materially advanced nation. The conference which was conducted via ZOOM (a virtual meeting application) on Saturday, 18th of July 2020, was marked by the participation of prominent Nigerians from within and outside Nigeria.

Professor Attahiru Jega who was the first speaker of the occasion discussed the roles of INEC in stabilizing democracy in Nigeria through Free, Fair and Credible Elections. He introduced by emphasizing the needs for youth to be actively engaged in all electoral processes which will improve remarkably well the credence in elections and a consequence of qualitatively better elected executives and representatives, which is an absolute requirement for nurturing good democratic governance and socioeconomic development in Nigeria, he went on to enlightened the public on elections in a liberal democracy, roles of election management bodies and the roles of INEC.

Furthermore, he pointed out some outstanding reforms and improvements needed to be addressed before 2023 in order to improve our electoral processes, and some of the recommendations proffered are;

a. The legal framework needs to be remarkably improved upon. The Electoral Act 2010 As Amended could be said to be better than previous electoral legislations, but it also needs further improvements. This must be done in good time before the 2023 general elections.

b. INEC needs to continuously refine and improve its deployment of technology in the electoral process. At the same time, it has to continuously train and retrain its staff towards requisite professionalism in the management and operational conduct of elections, learning from global best practices.

c. The independence of INEC and, especially, SIECS, administratively and financially need to be strengthened and protected from executive interference and/ or subversion.

d. The fight against corruption and use of money to subvert peoples will and electoral choices need to be made even more vigorously.

e. Political parties need to be repositioned and internally democratized to ensure that good quality candidates emerge democratically for elections. The corrupt roles of the party bureaucrats, “godfathers”, “moneybags”, and Governors, etc., need to be curtailed, with legislation and appropriate sanctions.

Significantly, all stakeholders have to be engaged in the appropriate nurturing of a democratic political culture generally, and electoral integrity specifically. All stakeholders need to recognize that the business of nurturing democracy, good governance and electoral integrity is a collective responsibility. All hands must be joined together on deck, to bring this about.

He reminded the youth of the special role they need to play towards improving the integrity and credibility of our electoral processes and in nurturing and consolidating our democracy towards good governance and sustainable development.

The professor concluded by emphasizing that Youth should be active, constructive and pro actively involve in our electoral and political processes should be a must and that all must dedicate energies in finding ways and means of bringing this to reality as soon as possible.

In his words ‘’As I often say, more and more nowadays, we must stop agonizing and focus on organizing”.
The second speaker Dauda Umaru Adamu, PhD candidate, Rice University, USA, spoke on The Economic Empowerment of Youth Geared Towards Poverty alleviation in Nation Building and adopted a multiple sectoral approach to the topic starting from history to the present.

He stated that Nigeria’s major imports are Refined Petroleum, wheat, and packaged medicants, which are in billions of dollars. Nigeria Still import wheat when out of the 84million hectares of land for farming only 32million hectares is been cultivated at the moment.

He added that young Nigerians are being drown in the Mediterranean in their bid to escape the economic hardship of the country. Lack of jobs, corruption, bad economic policies, lack of care and protection of our local industries are responsible.

He advised that Nigeria should learn from Abu Dhabi and Dubai, who after the discovery of oil, used the proceeds to developed other sectors of their economy. Their corruption rate is low unlike Nigeria, the 146th least corrupt country in the world.

Intellectual property is one of the cardinal assets for economic growth. He lay emphasis that failure to develop our educational system tons us of this.
He further asked if our representatives at the world Trade Organization are truly putting forward the interest of our local industries? Do they interact with the small businesses which depend on foreign market to understand their plight?

The Speaker concluded his presentation with the following recommendations:
– There is need to develop our intellectual property to fast track economic growth.

– Revitalization of local industries, boosting our Agricultural and Manufacturing sectors.

– Development and promotion of indigenous businesses and industries. While the third Speaker made us to understand that it is high time youth take the front line in fight to changing the narratives of corruption and maladministration which has kept us in a state of poverty and backwardness.

Engr. Mustafa Bello who was the third speaker presented on the topic ‘’The role of youth in Nation building through mass mobilization’’ started by challenging the youth to take the front line in fight to changing the narratives of corruption and maladministration which has kept us in a state of poverty and backwardness. His presentation was centered on the role of youth and the adverse effects of their refusal to participate in politics.

He advised the youth to take a stand and decide who should and should not be on the saddle of power by pushing forward and supporting credible candidates, that way the narrative of the nation will change in good time, He concluded.

The National Chairman of Peoples Redemption Party, Alhaji Falalu Bello in his closing remark appreciated all participants of the conference especially the Guest Speakers and further acknowledging the efforts of the youth leaders for putting up such an amazing program.

He encouraged the youth to do more promising that the National body will fully support subsequent programme alike.

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Bauchi PRP elects Bar Ahmed Gwadabe new State Chairman, affirms loyalty to Falalu Bello

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The Bauchi State Chapter of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) has elected Barrister Ahmed Umar Farouq Gwadabe as the new State Chairman of the party following the exit of Alhaji Shehu Barau Ningi who defected to APC.

The state chapter of the party also reiterated its satisfaction and confidence in the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party under the National Chairmanship of Alhaji Falalu Bello, OFR for repositioning and taking the party to greater heights.

These were contained in a communiqué signed by 11 members of the State Executive Committee including the State Vice Chairman, Ibrahim Sambo, and released to newsmen after a meeting held on Friday in Bauchi.

The communiqué explained that 11 out of 16 members of the State Executive Committee voted in favour of Barrister Ahmed Umar Farouq Gwadabe.

Part of the communiqué reads: “After comprehensive and fruitful deliberations on all the issues tabled before the meeting, the members of the State Executive Committee have resolved as follows:

“That the State Executive Committee has accepted the resignation of the former Chairman of the party in person of Alhaji Shehu Barau Ningi from the position of Bauchi State Chairmanship of the party and wished him success in his future endeavors.

“That the State Executive Committee has appointed Barrister Ahmed Umar Farouq Gwadabe as the new State Chairman of the party pending convention.

“That the State Executive Committee of the party, on behalf of the Bauchi State Chapter of the party, has reaffirmed its loyalty, satisfaction and confidence in the leadership of the Party’s National Executive Committee [NEC] under the Chairmanship of Alh. Falalu Bello for repositioning and taking the party to greater heights.”

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Failure of governance begets youth unrest, says PRP

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The Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) has disclosed that the ongoing youth unrest is an expression of failure of governance.

This was contained in a statement signed by the party’s National Chairman, Alhaji Falalu Bello and made available to newsmen on Thursday.

The full statement reads, “For about two weeks now the streets of our cities have become ungovernable spaces occupied by rival gangs of young (and not so young) men and women protesting against one aspect or another of the actions and in-actions of governments. A discontent which started initially on social media as a protest against police brutality has now snowballed into peaceful – and not-so-peaceful – agitations against a myriad of issues ranging from demands for the abolition of the notoriously brutal Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS) of the Police Force to issues of Restructuring, Electoral Reforms and even hoisting of pro market economic policies on Nigerian Population and lately the resignation from office of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“The largely nonplus and incompetent handling of the agitation by the Government has not helped matters. The decision to succumb to the pressure mounted by the protestors by agreeing to scrap SARS only to immediately replace it with a so-called SWAT not only demonstrated official duplicity but the Government’s lack of faith. Similarly, President Buhari’s failure to come out openly to address the nation on the specific demands made by the protesting youth has only demonstrated the absence of any articulate or coherent response to the challenges posed by the young men and women demanding for greater accountability from the present political leadership. In the circumstances, the latest attempted violent clampdown by the authorities (which include the imposition of curfews, and the sponsoring of rival gangs of pro-government thugs, etc.) can only worsen an already very dicey situation.

“One fact is critically clear in all the chaos, destruction and blood-letting that has attended the ongoing dissent of the youth. The upheaval is a direct consequence of the utter failure of governance in the country – a failure which may not have originated with the present APC Administration, but which this Administration has undoubtedly done little or nothing to assuage; and which, in many instances, it has even worsened. This is as true of the worsening insecurity in the country as it is of the increasing poverty, unemployment, crime and infrastructural decay, to mention just a few.

“The PRP does not believe that the present APC Administration, or even the ruling class of which it is part and parcel of, has what it takes or even the will or credibility, to assuage or mollify the legitimate anger of our protesting young citizens. However, there is need to do something in the interim to calm down frayed nerves and to prevent the agitations from degenerating into ethnic, religious and regional mayhem and antagonisms along the traditional fault lines of Nigeria prebendal elite politics. Some of the measures that Government must consider taking immediately with a view to calming down the frayed nerves of our agitated youth must include the formal inauguration of a Marshall Plan-like programme that would provide employment for our youth, a declaration of a State-of-Emergency in the education, skills acquisition and manpower development sectors with guaranteed increased funding, and the initiation of a short and medium-term massive public works programme, particularly in the provision and rehabilitation of infrastructural facilities and social services at both federal and state government levels. Some of the massive foreign loans being acquired by Government should be devoted to these projects.

“What we are asking for may be a tall order for the current Administration in this country but we nonetheless say it as there seems to us no other rational or reasonable way out!”

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PRP Board of Trustees Expresses Confidence In Falalu Bello-Led Exco

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The Board of Trustees (BOT) of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) has passed a vote of confidence on the party’s National Executives led by Alhaji Falalu Bello, OFR.

The members of the board made this known in a communiqué issued at the end of their meeting in Abuja on Thursday.

The communiqué, which had the signatures of former Minister of Commerce, Engr. Mustapha Bello, Dr. Segun Falope, Engr. Chris Onyeodizuchu, Alhaji Aji Mala, among others, revealed that the meeting was specifically summoned to consider urgent current developments within the party.

Part of the communiqué further reads: “After exhaustive, frank and fruitful deliberations on all the issues tabled before the meeting, the members of the BOT have resolved as follows:

“To express and convey the PRP BOT’s absolute confidence in, and satisfaction with, the leadership of the Party’s National Executive Committee [NEC] under the Chairmanship of Alh. Falalu Bello and with its strenuous and focused efforts at repositioning the PRP for greater relevance and impact in the Nigerian political space.

“To unreservedly endorse the Programmes of Action approved and rolled out by both the National Executive Committee [NEC] and National Working Committee [NWC] of the PRP covering the period August 2020 August 2021 which will culminate with the holding of the Party’s National Convention.

“To condemn in clear and unmistaken terms attempts by a few misguided and errant elements within the Party to create dissent, misunderstandings and factions within the PRP, noting in particular that this is contrary to the letter and spirit of the Party’s extant constitutional provisions and Code of Conduct for members which explicitly frown at all anti-Party activities and conduct likely to embarrass the Party or bring the Party into hatred, contempt, ridicule or disrepute.”

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