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A quarter-century after Princess Diana broke her silence about life among the British royals, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, did the same. Their stories were remarkably similar.

Anyone who remembers the funeral of Diana, the Princess of Wales, in 1997 can’t help being haunted by the wrenching sight of her two young sons, Princes William and Harry, walking slowly behind her coffin as it made its way to Westminster Abbey. Their hands were clasped in front; their heads were bowed. Harry looked so small in his suit.

That image has reverberated down the years, a ghostly reminder of the princes’ traumatic childhood, and it hovered again in the background as Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, spoke to Oprah Winfrey on Sunday night.

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2023 Election: Group suggests Saraki for Presidency, says North-Central is marginalized

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By Progress Godfrey

As the curtain draws closer toward the end of the current administration, a group known as the North Central Coalition Initiative (NCCI) has suggested Dr Bukola Saraki for the Presidency in the forthcoming election in 2023.

The group said this on Wednesday in Abuja in a press statement delivered by its visionary and national coordinator Sen. Phillip Aruwa, adding that Nigeria’s focus must be on the North Central for it to be rescued from the brink of the current situation.

The national coordinator said that the region has been marginalized in power distribution owing to its non-inclusion since the democratic system of governance was ushered in in 1999.

He stressed that the country is at the brink of disintegration due to the unprecedented clamor for self-determination in some geopolitical zones of the country which he said, calls for the complete jettisoning of the military-authored constitution

Against the backdrop of the looming threat to national unity, Aruwa expressed the need to revisit Nigeria’s past political development in a view to situating the problem within the context of nationhood.

He said, “Having exhaustively analyzed our current situation, we strongly believe that for Nigeria to be rescued from the brink, our focus must be on the North Central zone. Let the next President of Nigeria come from this zone. Political leaders in the likes of Dr Saraki, have what it takes to lead this country and unite the people.

“The north central geopolitical zone has suffered so much injustice and it is its political victim status that can make leaders from this zone dispense justice equitably and ensure that there are no second class citizens in Nigeria. We strongly believe that for Nigeria to survive as a political entity and witness rapid development, there must be good leadership in place. The North Central geopolitical zone is strategically positioned to provide the much deserved political leadership for Nigeria.

“A critical analysis of events in the corridors of power will show that all the bickering prevailing today are influenced by negative political tendencies. The table below shows the distribution of power positions under democratically elected governments in the past. It is clear that only one geopolitical zone has been marginalized in power distribution; And that zone is the North Central geopolitical zone which has never produced a democratically elected President or Vice President (see table below).

“Leadership Positions In Nigeria From 1979-2021:

1979-83:

  1. Alh. Shehu Shagari, President, (North West)
  2. Dr Alex Ekwueme, Vice President, (South East)

1993:

  1. Chief Ernest Shonekan, Head of Interim Government, (Southwest)

1999-2007:

  1. Olusegun Obasanjo, President, (Southwest)
  2. Alh. Atiku Abubakar, Vice President (North East)

2007- 2010:

  1. Alh. Shehu Musa Yar’adua, President, (Northwest)
  2. Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, Vice President, (South-south)

2010- 2015:

  1. Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, President, (South-south)
  2. Alh. Namadi Sambo, Vice President, (Northwest)

2015-Date:

  1. Muhammadu Buhari, President, (Northwest)
  2. Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President, (Southwest).

“Nigeria today is at the brink of disintegration as we are witnessing unprecedented agitations from the various political components that make up the country.

“This clamoring for self-determination in some geo-political zones of the country, calls for restructuring of political power structures, and calls for the complete jettison of the nation’s Constitution which was authored by the military, for a new one whose tenets should have inputs from the people.

“This scenario, which is threatening the country, is leading the country towards balkanization and complete disintegration, unless urgent steps are taken towards averting the inevitable.

“Against the backdrop of this sad development, a revisit of our country’s past political development is very necessary in order to situate the problem within the context of our nationhood, and proffer empirical solutions to the issues at stake.

“What is the empirical solution that can pave the way for overcoming the present predicament that we’ve found ourselves in? And how can we work towards reverting the present situation that has taken us to the brink? This piece is an attempt to provide a solution to our problem as a nation.

“We must therefore, pause and ponder awhile as to what needs to be done, if we’re to survive the present political onslaught being carried out by evil forces.

“Revisiting our political developmental processes and our political history will give us an insight into the country’s problems and what we can do to move out of the present political quagmire.

“No one in our country today can comfortably say that the present prevailing situation is not a disturbing phenomenon.”

The national coordinator further highlighted the efforts by the North Central Zone during the post war federal government headed by Gen. Yakubu from the region, whose slogan, “no victor, no vanquished” he said, was the bedrock for reconstruction and rehabilitation of the country and the birth of the democracy that Nigerians so cherish today.

He decried the recent happenings, stating that it is an effort to tarnish the efforts put to ensure that democracy and its dividends are benefited by Nigerians.

According to him, the North Central Zone desires to build a Nigeria poised for developmenta through the entrenchment of democratic institutions; and this, he said can only be done through the inclusiveness in politics and the equitable involvement of the region in the political process of all Nigerians.

“The post war Federal government, headed by Gen. Yakubu Gowon, and who comes from north central geopolitical zone, worked assiduously to ensure that the nation remained as one political entity. His “no victor, no vanquished,” slogan was to herald a new era of reconstruction and rehabilitation, which resulted in national cohesion and coexistence in our body polity.

“President Muhammadu Buhari was elected to take over from Jonathan, and has since then remained in power to this day. It is under him that Nigeria is today at the throes of imploding politically. Activities undermining democratic norms are now rife in the country, and it is very clear that unless these issues are addressed, the nation may no doubt slide into an abyss of destruction; a situation we’re all praying would be averted.

“One noticeable phenomenon in our polity is that in spite of the numerous coup d’etats recorded before the termination of military rule in 1999, our country continues to witness unprecedented developmental efforts in different sectors. However, recent developments in the country are threatening to make rubbish of these efforts.

“We are witnesses to the macabre political schemes and audacious demands by separatists, terrorists, and armed gunmen who are hell bent in destroying the hard earned unity of our nation. But for how long shall we continue to watch these happenings without doing anything to stem the tide of this evil season of anomie?

“All right thinking Nigerians know that the disintegration of our country would spell doom not only for us as a people, but would also drastically affect the entire African continent. Something needs to be done and urgently too, if we’re to survive the evil times that have enveloped our nation.

“The interesting thing here is that the north central geopolitical zone of Nigeria provided for the enabling environment for political re-engineering of our political system and national cohesion. And ever since this significant role of the north central geopolitical zone in Nigeria’s re-engineering political process, this region has remained the fulcrum that holds the nation together.

“It was the leadership provided by Gen. Yakubu Gowon, that saw to the amicable resolution of political crisis that engulfed the country and the eventual end of the civil war. In the same vein, Gen. Abubakar created the enabling environment for power to be returned to the Southwest, with Obasanjo emerging as democratically elected President.

“The likes of political leaders like Solomon Lar and many other notable sons of the north central geopolitical zone, encouraged and pressured the military to birth democracy. The democracy we so much cherish today is the product of the efforts of these men of honour.

“It has to be explained here that even in the present dispensation, there’re many political leaders from the north central zone like Sen. Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki, Sen. Prof Iyiorcha Ayu, Sen. David Mark, Sen Jonah David Jang, and many others not mentioned here, who were the architects of tenets of democracy in legislative craftsmanship while serving in the National Assembly.

“It would therefore be logical to say in spite of being marginalized politically, north Central Nigeria has continued to play the role of mediators and ameliorators during crises situations in the country. This, political leaders in the zone have done because of their desire to see that Nigeria remains as one political entity,” he said.

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320 Independent Monitors Received Engagement Letters, Devices In Kano

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Blessing Bature

The Honourable Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq has flagged off the distribution of engagement letters and monitoring devices to trained Independent Monitors in Kano State.

The Honorable Minister who was represented at the flag off by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Bashir Nura Alkali disclosed that the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP), created by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2016 is mandated to lift citizens out of poverty through Its various programmes such as N-Power, National Home Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP), the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) and Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme (GEEP).

Continuing, Alkali said, the 320 Independent Monitors in Kano are among the 5000 trained in February – April 2021 when the nationwide trainnig was held, adding that the Programme is implemented in the 36 states including the Federal Capital Territory.

A statement by the SA Strategic Communications, Halima Oyelade said the devices to be used in monitoring the Programme are locally made in Nigeria with an Application called the Social Investment Management Information System (SIMIS) designed by an indigenous company.

” Using this Application the Ministry sees real time activities of the Independent Monitors on the field, see reports submitted and the NSIP performance indicator state by state. This will help the Ministry detect areas where there are challenges and essentially help the Ministry to deliver on the mandate, to to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty” he said.

The Independent Monitors are expected to monitor a designated number of beneficiaries of the NSIP and will be paid a stipend of N30,000 monthly. However, they must meet up to 80% of the deverables to get their stipends. The engagement letters articulated the scope of work for the monitors which include ; routine monitoring of NSIP in their assigned.

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Embrace Peace And Unity-Senator Odey Charges Youths

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The Senator representing Cross River North, Dr Stephen Odey, has charged Yache youths to focus on ensuring the peace and unity of Nigeria, which are indispensable catalysts to meaningful development.

Odey, gave the charges during the 2nd Yache Youth National National Congress in Calabar,in a statement obtained by The Summit,on Wednesday.

He assured the youths of his unflinching support for their laudable developmental strive, stressed that they must focus on ensuring the peace and unity of their immediate community and beyond.

Senator Stephen Odey

He said “I have been following your activities with keen interest and I wish to formally encourage you and assure you of my resolve to support you when you focus on ensuring peace and unity in Yache and beyond.

“As you already know, I will never be part of any disunity in my community, consequently, I urge you to remain steadfast in championing the cause of unity in Yache.”

He call on the youths to continue to support the administration of Senator Professor Ben Ayade, Governor of Cross River State, whom he described as an astute lover of Yache Nation.

Dr Eric Ugor Ogri,who delivered paper on the theme: “Empowering Yache Youth towards Meaningful Development, A call for Re-orientation” Condemned cases of unhealthy rivalry and competition, egocentric dispositions and disunity among the people.

He noted that meaningful development is indispensable to social, economic, political advancement and peaceful coexistence of any given people.

He charged Yache youths to actively be at the vanguard for meaningful development, peaceful coexistence and unity.

Ogri identified areas of youths empowerment and community development to include, orientations of youths, economic and political empowerment, intellectual empowerment and engagement in communal efforts and community services.

The congress was attended with personalities; Francis Ogar Obri, Oko Peter, Dominic Odey Ayide, Patrick Agbahi, Tony-Jerry Okpatuma; Miss Vivian Bassey.

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