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2023: Na’abba, Agbakoba, Utomi, Ezekwesili, Others Float New Political Movement

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Ahead of the 2023 general elections, 30 prominent Nigerian activists, academics, and other professionals, have formed a new political movement called National Consultative Front.

The group’s objectives include mobilizing Nigerians for a popular mass action towards political constitutional reforms that are citizen-driven and process-led in engendering a new peoples’ constitution.

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This was contained in a communique after a month-long nationwide consultations and virtual meetings. It was made public by the new group’s National Secretariat, in Abuja, on Wednesday.

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Listed as members of the 30-member strong steering committee for the NCF include: Former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ghali Na’abba; former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank, Dr. Obadiah Mailafia; Olisa Agbakoba, SAN; Femi Falana SAN; Col. Abubakar Umar (retd.), Dr Oby Ezekwesili; Prof Jibo Ibrahim; Yabagi Sanni; Amb, Nkoyo Toyo, Isa Aremu, Prof Chidi Odinkalu, and Senator Shehu Sani.

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Others include: Prof. Remi Sonaiya, Mallam Tanko Yinusa, Alhaji Shettima Yerima, Lady Funke Awolowo, Peter Ameh and Ogbeni Lanre Banjo, among others.

The group will be unveiled to the public later this month. Part of the resolutions adopted after the meeting read in part, “A new ideological mass Movement shall be initiated to embark on immediate mass mobilisation of the nooks and crannies of the country for popular mass action towards political constitution reforms that is citizens-driven and process-led in engendering a new Peoples’ Constitution for a new Nigeria that can work for all.

READ ALSO: Ondo Assembly May Impeach Deputy Gov This Week

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“The new movement shall also, without delay, mobilise for the economic wellbeing and prosperity of all Nigerians by demanding and ensuring that Chapter 2 of the present Constitution i.e.; “Fundamental Objectives & Directive Principles of State Policy becomes justiciable once and for all, while also mounting an articulate and vigorous campaign to deconstruct and reconstruct obnoxious election laws which have provided leeway for opportunists in the corridor of power to subvert the will of the electorate making voting irrelevant in determining who actually becomes elected in Nigeria.”

Members of the group expressed sadness that the nation’s political leadership has failed to protect Nigerians from the activities of bandits, armed robbers, and terrorists.

They also said it was time for Nigerians of good conscience to come together to deliver the nation from descending into chaos due to the absence of credible leadership.

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READ ALSO: Edo Guber: Rescue Yourselves From ‘Unscrupulous Politicians’, Group Tells Electorates

The communique further read, “Our Political Coalition wish to assert that the current factionalisation and imbroglio rocking dominant political parties in Nigeria as well as the heightening political tension in the country, especially within the Nigerian ruling class, have further given credence to our resolve and intervention to provide a credible alternative political class and leadership for Nigeria as most of those who pride themselves as Leaders of our country in the last twenty-one years of civil rule have proved to be huge failures and burden to the wellbeing of our people

“To this end, we decry in categorical terms, the ongoing mindless massacre and kidnappings in the North West, North East, Southern Kaduna, the Middle Belt, Southern part of Nigeria and in fact the country at large by armed bandits and insurgents, who invade our communities, especially at night to inflict terror and murder on hapless residents and unsuspecting indigenes.

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“We hereby call on those presently in charge of our Federal Government, military, and security apparatus to immediately wake up and do everything to stop the ongoing senseless pogrom against the masses of our people.”

READ ALSO: APC Crisis: Expel Sacked NWC Members If They Go To Court, Progressives Governors’ Forum DG Advises

(PUNCH)

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(PHOTO: File)

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Boko Haram: Another Chibok Schoolgirl Rescued In Borno

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Troops of Operation Hadin Kai on Thursday said they rescued another Chibok girl from the captivity of terrorists.

The victim was rescued around the Bama axis of Borno State.

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Confirming the incident, Theatre Commander Joint Task Force Operation Hadin Kai, Major General Christopher Musa, said profiling of the rescued girl is ongoing.

Recall that the army had earlier rescued Mary Dauda, one of the Chibok schoolgirls abducted in 2014.

READ ALSO: Another Chibok Girl Kidnapped By Boko Haram Found With Baby

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Few weeks ago, the troops also neutralised terrorists of the Islamic State’s West Africa Province in Borno State and intercepted another Chibok girl, Hauwa Joseph, who said she escaped from the Boko Haram camp in Gazuwa during a massive incursion of the troops.

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Tension In Ondo Over Alleged Plan By Bandits To Attack Community

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Tension engulfed communities, towns and cities in Ondo State on Thursday following the rumour that bandits were preparing to attack Ilara-Mokin community in the Ifedore Local Government Area of the state.

The apprehension among residents was hinged on a rumoured letter allegedly sent to Adaba FM, a popular radio station in the state over plans by bandits to launch an attack in the community.

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Following the development, Elizade University, which is situated in the neighborhood, had encouraged parents to dismiss the supposed threat circulating over the alleged planned attack.

The institution claimed that the supposed rumor had been debunked by the appropriate authorities, therefore the university community should disregard the threat.

SP Funmilayo Odulami, the state’s Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, dismissed the letter as a hoax and said that police operatives as well as undercover agents had been dispatched to the community and around the state.

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Also, in a series of announcements on its airwave and news bulletins, Adaba FM emphasized that it did not receive any letter indicating a planned attack by bandits.

Schools were said to have been empty because many parents prevented their children from going to school after the bogus letter was also rumoured to have been validated by the monarch of the community.

“The attention of the university management has been attracted to the material being shared on social media,” stated Omololu Adegbenro, the registrar of Elizade University, in a statement.

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READ ALSO: Owo Massacre: Ondo Community Invokes ‘God Of Iron’ On Attackers

“The originators of the information claimed that the purported letter was submitted to Adaba FM, Ilara-Mokin. They also claimed that His Royal Majesty, the Alara of Ilara-Mokin, Oba Aderemi Adefehinti was fully aware of the letter, adding that the royal father had disseminated the information to members of the community through his Town Crier.

“As management, it is important to clarify that no threat was issued by Bandits/Fulani Herdsmen to attack the community.

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“This information has been strongly refuted by the management of Adaba FM, which has continued to inform members of the public through its news bulletins that no letter of threat was dispatched to the station.”

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EFCC Laments Dearth Of Whistle-blowers, Despite Huge Rewards

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The Economic Financial Crimes Commission has decried the decline in whistleblowing across the country despite the huge rewards the commission offers to whistleblowers.

The Chairman, EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa stated this in Awka, the Anambra State capital, on Thursday, at a one-day town hall meeting.

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The programme facilitated me by the African Centre for Media and Information Literacy, centred on strengthening the capacity of stakeholders on whistleblowing policy.

Bawa was represented by the Zonal Commander, EFCC, Enugu, Oshodi Johnson.

The EFCC chairman pointed out that at the beginning of the whistleblowing policy, the commission received huge information which, according to him, led to the recovery of “humongous” stolen public funds.

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He disclosed that two of the landmark recoveries from whistleblowers’ information were the $9.8m recovered from a former Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Andrew Yakubu, and the $11m recovered at an apartment in Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos.

He wondered why the sudden decline and the reason behind it.

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He listed challenges undermining the policy effectiveness to include ignorance of its legal and administrative frameworks as well as difficulties in navigating the complex bureaucratic processes for claiming the advertised incentives.

He said, “It is also not impossible that the few false informants who were prosecuted for wanting to turn a serious programme to memes, unnerved some other would-be informants.

“Whatever the challenges are, it is imperative that there is a fresh awakening to sustain the flow of critical intelligence to Nigerian law enforcement agencies.

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“Recall almost with some sense of nostalgia, how a few years ago, precisely on December 21, 2016, the Federal Government introduced the Whistle-blower Policy, which offered some incentives to citizens that provide information leading to the recovery of stolen public funds.

“It was heralded by a frenzy of sorts with a deluge of information by informants, some of which led to the recovery of humongous sums of money by the EFCC.

“Two of the landmark recoveries from whistleblowers’ information were the $9.8m recovered from a former managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mr Andrew Yakubu, and the $11m recovered at an apartment in Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos.

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“After these landmark recoveries and a few others and notwithstanding the fact that those who came forward with useful information received handsome rewards, enthusiasm for the policy appears to have waned a bit.

“It would seem that the policy is experiencing challenges that tend to undermine its effectiveness. Several factors may be responsible for this. But to my mind, the most obvious is lack of adequate understanding of the legal and administrative frameworks of the policy and the difficulties of navigating the labyrinth of bureaucratic processes for claiming the advertised incentives.”

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Bawa pledged the EFCC’s willingness to partner with critical agencies like AFRICMIL and other community-based organisations in strengthening their capacities to identify and quickly report suspected cases of corruption in their communities.

 

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