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#Independence Anniversary: Nigerians Make Shocking Revelations

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Nigeria marks its 62 years of independence anniversary as a nation today.

This year’s anniversary is coming five months close to the 2023 general election, an election many Nigerians believe can change the story of the country for the better.

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As it is with the tradition, the Nigerian government had lined up activities to mark the event.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed while reeling out the activities to commemorate the 2022 Independence Day, last week, disclosed there would be a Presidential Broadcast and later on the same day, a Military Parade at the Eagle Square, Central Business District, Abuja.

The Minister further announced that the Award of National Honours would be held as part of the Independence Anniversary on October 11 in the nation’s capital.

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Mohammed claimed that celebrating Nigeria’s independence anniversary in 2022 serves as a reminder that, in spite of the challenges the country has faced, Nigerians remain united, adding that President Muhammadu Buhari administration was committed to promoting unity, security and stability of the country.

However, some Nigerians have expressed mixed feelings about the celebration of this year’s independence anniversary, noting that the country, as it stands now, is currently regarded as one of the worst places to be born, with numerous intractable challenges that have defied solutions.

Many also wonder why those in power are more concerned about the squandering of resources without thinking about the devastating consequences on the hapless poor citizens.

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Most of the respondents, who spoke to DAILY POST, expressed disappointment while grieving about the way things are in the country.

At the Orange Market in Mararaba, Karu Area Council of Nasarawa State, the mood of disappointment rent the air.

Some market women DAILY POST spoke to, expressed dissatisfaction over the fact that Nigeria at 62 was still limping on wounded legs, insisting that insecurity and corruption were the orders of the day.

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A woman said, “Our dear country is blessed with abundant resources but those in the leadership position do not know how to use it for the good of the people. No country can grow where leaders cannot see beyond their noses. There is no visible sign of development and Nigeria is in total darkness. Most of our leaders are political looters”.

Though he initially hesitated to speak to the DAILY POST, an FCT taxi driver, Ahmed, did not hold back his anger.

“I can tell you sincerely that there is nothing worth celebrating in the so-called independence celebration of Nigeria. The only thing that is worth celebrating in this country is nothing but sorrow, tears, blood, corruption and undemocratic values,” he said.

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A Port Harcourt based legal practitioner, Peter Ugwuoke, is of the opinion that a society that doesn’t value education, only spells doom and gloom for the future; making the task of imbibing patriotism and nation-building especially ardent.

“What exactly are we celebrating, the fact that there are numerous students roaming the streets due to the ASUU strike, or the high unemployment rate; a dire situation with many societal implications- as prostitution seems to be the ‘easy’ route for many of the affected females”, he angrily retorted.

He suggested that the nation needs to reinvent the culture of discipline, honesty, diligence in hard work and being your brother’s keeper- amongst many other good practices.

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Also speaking, a senior lecturer at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Dr Victor Bassey said it is only those who participated or are still participating in the looting of the national treasury who are celebrating.

“I am not celebrating Nigeria at 62, because there is nothing to celebrate in the true sense- except if you are part of those involved in the ‘oil theft’ racket or those sharing the commonwealth of the citizenry, then maybe you may have some reason to celebrate.

READ ALSO: Cleric Knocks Ex-SGF, Backs Tinubu’s Meeting With Bishops

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“Those cornering the wealth of the majority should remember though, your celebration is in vain, as you are surrounded by those you have looted from will strike back in full measure,” he said.

He added that the dearth of good leadership has been one of the major challenges but he believes there is hope, advising that patriots mustn’t relent and must continue to prod the cause till the good ones amongst the people emerge and take hold of affairs.

Notwithstanding the prevailing negative mood in the country, many believe the country is blessed with abundant resources, and are hoping that those in the leadership position will know how to tap into those resources to achieve the desired development.

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NACCIMA, Nigeria’s Road To Prosperity – SDP Presidential Candidate, Adebayo

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The presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, Prince Adewole Adebayo, has said that the road to prosperity in Nigeria is through The Nigeria Association of Chambers and Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA).

Adebayo who spoke at the 4th quarterly meeting of NACCIMA in Enugu assured that the SDP, if elected into power, would not be a lawbreaker government but a law abiding.

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He added that one of the difficulties facing the industry is that government does not respect contracts.

READ ALSO: Be Apolitical, Prayerful, SDP Presidential Candidate, Adebayo, Urges Clerics

He posited that times have changed because in the past before government presents the country’s budget, captains of industries are always consulted, and the government doesn’t take decisions without considering the effects.

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Adebayo driving his point and acknowledging the importance of NACCIMA said ‘In the past when you see presidential candidate, governorship candidate, senatorial candidate, you in NACCIMA will say he’s my boy, he use to work for me, he’s a good boy.

He added that Nigeria must return to such lifestyle, because the road to prosperity in Nigeria is through NACCIMA.

 

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True Federalism: Expert Wants NULGE Join CSOs, Others For Constitutional Amendment

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Professor Festus Imuetinyan, federal Commissioner, Federal Character Commission, Abuja has called on the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) to join hands with other unions and civil society organizations working for the amendment of the nation’s constitution to make the constitution truly federal.

Imuetinyan made the call on Wednesday in Benin City at the Edo State chapter of NULGE 2022 week celebration with the theme,”Sustaining an autonomous local government as a catalyst for national development: The role of NULGE”.

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The university don opined that local governments will only become catalyst for national development when they are put in firm control over local affairs as well as encourage the emergency of local solutions to local problems.

He advocated that the local government matters must be removed from the national constitution and placed within the purview of the states to save them from the challenge of forced uniformity in the face of endemic diversity of local problems.

He added that NULGE, as the major trade union in the local government system in Nigeria, has a duty to ensure that the present unified local government system which is unwieldy is jettisoned.

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“Unfortunately, many local government staff are beneficiaries of the present system and do not see any urgent need for changes.

READ ALSO: Governors’ Domineering Treatment Of Local Govt Councils Unfair – Buhari

“Your members are the ones that are made sole administrators when elected council heads are illegally sacked by state governments. Many enjoy posting to areas that they are not conversant with the custom and tradition of the people whose problems they are called upon to solve.

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“Others are promoted in the face of inadequate utilization of available resources to manage waste and protect public utilities within their jurisdictions.

“It is often alleged that many of your members extort money from members of the public and that they enrich themselves at the expense of the development of the communities”, he said.

He further opined that the present local government system is not patterned to achieve any developmental goal rather than a smooth vehicle for the transfer of centrally collected funds to the pockets of States’ political elites.

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Imuetinyan emphasized that the 1999 Constitution makes it possible for state governments to cripple Local Government Councils financially by routing the amount of money standing to the credit of Local governments in the Federation Account (FA) through a joint State Local Government Account rather than directly to local councils.

He asserted that the arrangement adversely affects the fiscal autonomy and viability of most local governments.

According to him, some state governors make inexplicable deductions or unduly delay the release of funds from the joint accounts to local government chief executives.

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“Local government chairmen are bullied by state governors to surrender much of their statutory allocations under duress. When they fail; they find other ways to replace them with caretaker committees of selected loyalists.

“Expenditure and project discretion had become a thing of the past. Most states expect their Local governments to seek and obtain permission to embark on projects. Local government projects are inspected periodically by officials of state governments.

“More financial load has been placed on Local governments’ share of the Federation Account. For example, funds for primary school teachers’ salaries and pension charges are now charged centrally to the Local governments.

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READ ALSO: Why Passport Applicants Face Challenges – Aregbesola

“The central deductions at source of these charges and several other unfunded mandates in environmental and social spending by the State Governments tend to leave many Local Governments with little funds.

“And unfortunately, many Local governments especially those in the rural areas have limited access to productive tax bases”, he added.

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Governors’ Domineering Treatment Of Local Govt Councils Unfair – Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari has criticised State Governors, over what he described as unfair treatment meted out on the third tier of government.

Buhari who has been strengthening advocacy and autonomy for local government administration in the country alleged that such a domineering stance of state governors was counterproductive to the entire country.

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The President said it beats one’s imagination how some state governors will collect, N100 million from the federal allocation and then go around to present N50 million to the Local Council Chairmen then cap it up by compelling the Council boss to sign that he or she collected N100 million.

Buhari warned that such actions are rather despicable and speak of the height of corruption in Nigeria.

The President made the allegation on Thursday, at the Presidential Villa Abuja, while speaking at a Presidential Parley
with participants of the Senior Executive Course 44 (2022) of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru.

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His words, “I feel it is necessary to digress after this speech and this digression is a result of personal experience.

“A Chief Executive of a state, a qualified lawyer, trained. The treatment of local governments, what he did, this is my personal experience. If the money from the federal government to state governments, let’s put it at N100 million (naira). N50 million will be sent to the chairman with a letter that he will sign that he received N100 million.

READ ALSO: Oshiomhole Speaks On Atiku’s Presidential Ambition

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“The governor will pocket the balance and share it with whoever he wants. And then the chairman of the local government will be struggling to pay salaries, and what goes into development?

“Money for salaries will be given, someone will put it in his pocket, this is happening in this Nigeria and its a terrible thing. You cannot say the person doing that is not educated. He is a qualified lawyer. He is experienced and is participating in this type of corruption.

“It’s a matter of personal integrity. Whichever level we find ourselves, the elite has to sit and make all the sacrifices for the country. This is why we are putting you through institutions and getting you ready to lead. The fundamental thing is personal integrity”.

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