Fayemi Signs Executive Order on Compulsory Enrollment of Children of School Age

The Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has signed an executive order barring principals of schools from taking illegal fees from pupils in public primary and secondary schools.

The same order also compelled parents to release all children of school age to enjoy formal education.

Singing the order in Ado Ekiti Wednesday, Fayemi said no principal should collect any illegal fee from students.

He said the principals should adhere strictly to his directive prohibiting the payment of education tax by students.

Joe Abah Says He Will Vote Individuals, Not Party

Dr Joe Abah, former Director-General of Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR), said he would vote individual and not a political party in 2019 general elections.

Abah stated this on his Twitter handle on Monday.

Said Abah: “As 2019 approaches, some things are certain. God willing, I will vote and stay to see it counted; I will encourage others to vote for whoever they like. I will not be voting along party lines, but for individuals. No amount of intimidation will change this.’’

Abah also condemned hate speech, saying that those involved in such acts were politically partisan.

“It’s just hit me; all the people that exchange insults, abuse people’s parents, use uncouth words and dream up conspiracy theories about everyone else’s motives, are all politically partisan.

“Their spirits don’t go with mine.” he said.

UK Varsity Honours Late Ekwueme, Sets Up Scholarship In His Name

The University of Strathclyde, Scotland, United Kingdom has launched a new scholarship and named a room in honour of Nigeria’s former Vice-President, the late Dr Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme.

The Dr Alex Ekwueme Room, for Architecture PHD students, was formally named at a ceremony on friday in the James Weir Building at the University, attended by the Nigerian Students Society and members of Dr Ekwueme’s family, including his widow Dame Beatrice Ekwueme, his daughter Chidi Onyemelukwe, sons Kenechukwu and Jachike, and Jachike’s wife Jacquelyn.

The £5,000 commemorative scholarship in his name was also recognised, and the family were introduced to the first recipient of the scholarship, Olugbenga Fashina. The event was followed by a Nigerian lunch and a networking event hosted by the Strathclyde Nigerian Society.

Speaking at the event, professor Scott MacGregor, Vice-Principal of the University of Strathclyde said: “We are delighted to name a room in our University, and to launch a scholarship, in honour of the late Dr Ekwueme.

“Dr Ekwueme had a distinguished career, not only as an architect, but as a public servant for his country where he championed the same values held by this University. We are delighted to celebrate his strong ties to the Faculty and to Strathclyde along with his family members at this ceremony today.”

Responding, his son Kenechukwu Ekwueme said: “My father was a strong advocate for education throughout his lifetime. When we were growing up, he told us that a good education was the most important thing he could provide for us.

This is not surprising, as Dr Ekwueme himself benefited from scholarships: he attended King’s College, Lagos on a Government Scholarship and thereafter, the University of Washington, Seattle on a Fulbright Scholarship. This partly motivated him in 1965 to set up the Ekwueme Memorial Trust, which sponsored the university education of many Nigerians.

“The honour being given to him by the University of Strathclyde in instituting a bursary award in his name and naming a room after him in the Faculty of Engineering is particularly fitting. This institution, at which he earned his PhD, providing a scholarship for Nigerian students is precisely the sort of thing that would have pleased him greatly.

“My father spoke fondly of Strathclyde and I know that his doctoral research work there undoubtedly prepared him for his subsequent phase of life in public service.”

Odira Atueyi, President of the Strathclyde Nigerian Society, said: “The knowledge that an exemplary leader in the person of Dr Alex Ekwueme studied at Strathclyde University reaffirms the belief that the University of Strathclyde is indeed a place of useful learning. This is an inspiration to all Nigerians that the values of the University can instil in us valuable leadership qualities here and beyond.

Inebraye Abel Aboh, Founder of the Strathclyde University Alumni of Nigeria (SUAN) group, said “This is a great step in the right direction. Personally, I want to thank the University under the leadership of Professor Jim McDonald and his team for this commemoration and scholarship in honour of Dr Alex Ekwueme a distinguished Nigerian and alumnus. University of Strathclyde alumni is a global community and the University is keen to recognise the alumni contributions to society no matter where they reside or come from.”

The University of Strathclyde is a public research university located in Glasgow, Scotland. Founded in 1796 as the Andersonian Institute, it is Glasgow’s second oldest university, receiving its royal charter in 1964 as the UK’s 1st technological university.

A distinguished architect, Dr Ekwueme obtained his PhD in Architecture from Strathclyde in 1978.

After graduating Dr Ekwueme had a successful career in the United States with Leo A Daly and Associates and in the UK with London-based Nickson and Partners.

On returning to Nigeria he led ESSO West Africa’s Construction and Maintenance department before founding the country’s first architectural company – Ekwueme Associates, Architects and Town Planners.

He became the first elected Vice-President of Nigeria in 1979 and championed socio-economic development and proposed a regional power-sharing arrangement that remains central to the country’s stability today.

APC Chairman Denies Rift Between Sylva, Ex- Commissioner

Contrary to speculations, there is no rift between the leader of the All Progressive Congress (APC), in Bayelsa State, Chief Timipre Sylva, and his former commissioner for Finance, Hon. Opuola Charles, over the inability for the later to get the Bayelsa East Senatorial ticket, Daily Times reports.

The Chairman of the APC in Nembe Local Government Area, Hon. Ayebanumomoipre Otokolo, who dispelled rumour of any rift, said the party became more united and strengthened after the primaries, adding that the calibres of persons chosen through consensus were the best for the party.

Otokolo, who stated this in an exclusive interview in Yenagoa on Tuesday, noted that the voice of the people from the 105 wards, all units, major stakeholders and leaders of the party produced all the candidates, adding that Nembe wasn’t excluded.

He added that the 2019 forthcoming elections will be won by popularity votes, hence the party made the best choices. He also disclosed that after the primaries all stakeholders and all aspirants who lost out of the primaries met and agreed to work together to the success of the party, adding that the primaries were conducted in free and fair manner.

Said Otokolo: “Our leaders gave us a direction to follow, and that is why we are still united, look at what is happening in other states, you can’t find that here, our foundation is solid, the voice of the grassroots is Paramount, that is where our strength is, and most of our candidates are well breed politicians.”

BREAKING: Fayose Granted N50m Bail

Ayodele Fayose, former governor of Ekiti state, has been granted N50 million bail by the federal high court in Lagos.

The court however asked him to deposit his international passport.

The ex-governor is on trial for money laundering and abuse of office by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) alongside his company, Spotless Investment Ltd on an 11-count charge of N30.8 billion fraud.

He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Looters’ List: Court Upholds Govt’s Decision to Publish Names

An FCT High Court Capital sitting in Apo, has backed the Federal Government’s publication of alleged looters’ list released early this year,” TVC News reports.

“The court quashed a suit filed by Daar Communications chairman, Raymond Dokpesi, alleging government breached the rights of persons who are yet to be indicted.

“The presiding judge held that the disclosure of the alleged looters’ list does not carry any force of law, as the issuer is neither the judge nor the prosecutor in the criminal case against Dokpesi, pending before the Federal High Court.”

NHIS Saga: Council Threatens to Resign If presidency Quashes Suspension

The crisis in the National Health Insurance Scheme ( NHIS ) has eventually taken a fresh dimension as the Governing Council has threatened to resign should the presidency prevent the suspension and investigation of infractions against the Executive Secretary of the scheme Prof. Usman Yusuf, The Nation reports.

Speaking to our corespondent on the lingering issue between the Council and the Embattled Executive Secretary, Dr. Lekan Ewenla, representative of the HMOs on the Board of the NHIS Governing Council also doubted the possibility of the council working with the NHIS boss given their experience with him.

Given his reason, Ewenla noted that Yusuf was in the habit of flouting the directives of the council.

Said Ewenla: “The issue is this, in the course of this discussion, we need to clarify who has the superior power. The council formulate policies, serves as checks and balances to the management of all agencies, so if there are infractions, it is the prerogative of the council to question those infractions and investigate those infractions and whoever is been investigated shouldn’t be seating on the council as at that time. So the law is very clear about that,”

“If I may clarify further, since this council was inaugurated in March till date there was no single directive that was given by council to the ES of NHIS that he complied with, none. He was always challenging the authority of the council and insisting that the only person who can give him instruction or orders is only the president.”

“I also like to confirm that in the last two years when Yusuf was appointed as the executive secretary of NHIS, nothing has been happening, and I mean nothing.

”He was permanently in fighting mode. Ready to fight everyone with no just cause.

“If you look through all the allegations against him, there is none that involves the HMOs. So for us that was diversionary. That was completely diversionary. If there was issue against the HMOs, the records are in their custody, let him come out with the records and facts. I think we have had enough of all these blackmailing.

The HMOs are men of integrity. They are private investors in the health sector and it is backed by the law. If he knows what to do, he does not need to make too much noise about the HMOs.”

Nothing in APC to Attract Ekweremadu, Says PDP

“The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party has debunked the rumour making the rounds that the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, is planning to leave the party,” The Punch reports.

Rather, it said there was nothing in the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress, that could attract Ekweremadu into its fold.

Instead of losing members, the PDP said aggrieved members of the APC would defect to the former ruling party soon.

The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, debunked the rumours, saying Ekweremadu “will never leave the PDP.”

Said Ologbondiyan: “This is a party that the highest court in the land just described as being stupid. Who will leave a rebranded party like the PDP and join such a party that has been described in such a derogatory word?

“Forget the rumour. Dr Ekweremadu is with us and will never join a party like APC that is enmeshed in eternal crisis.”

UK Briefs Nigeria on Plan to Issue Travel Document to Kanu

British authorities have briefed the Nigerian government about the temporary travel document they are about to issue to Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), The Cable reports.

According to NAN, a top official of the ministry of foreign affairs, disclosed this in Abuja on Tuesday.

The Biafra leader holds citizenship of Nigeria and UK.

He reportedly said the British authorities told Nigeria that they had no ulterior motive.

Radio Biafra had posted a video where Kanu was seen observing religious rites in Israel.

The IPOB leader, who was sighted in Israel last week, had pledged to return to Nigeria soon.

In his first address in 13 months, Kanu said: “I have returned full-time and I am coming home and I will bring hell with me.”

However, the presidency has dismissed Kanu’s outburst, assuring Nigerians that there is no reason to worry.

Garba Shehu, senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, gave the assurance in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday.

Said Shehu: “Instead, we see the re-enactment of his bizarre, episodic threat as a mere distraction which will not be allowed to detract from the existing cordial relationships between Nigeria and other countries.”

He added that the Buhari administration is in constant touch with other friendly nations and has the best assurances that they would continue to reciprocate the respect Nigeria has for the sovereignty of their nations.