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YIAGA Africa co-opt students to rid Nigeria of corruption



Yiaga -Africa
Yiaga Africa

Yiaga Africa, a Civil Society Organisation (CSO) has co-opted students in tertiary institutions and youths to join the anti-corruption fight.

According to Yiaga, this is by amplifying their voices on the values of integrity, transparency and accountability.

The Director of Programmes, YIAGA-Africa, Cynthia Mbamalu, said this at the Bounce Corruption National University Debate Competition on Anti-Corruption organised by Yiaga Africa with support from Mac Arthur Foundation in Abuja.

The debate was designed to complement efforts by state and non-state actors in the fight against corruption by promoting zero tolerance for corruption and impunity through effective citizen’s oversight and mobilisation for accountable governance.

The competitors were drawn from universities in the six geo-political zones, Federal University of Technology, Owerri; University of Lagos, University of Benin, Bayero University, Kano, University of Maiduguri, and University of Jos.

Mbamalu said that the need for students to join the anti-corruption fight became imperative because corruption activities were becoming a worry to all and it would take youths’ collective effort to end.

She said that it was estimated that at least 582 billion dollars had been lost from Nigeria since independence due to corruption, while N1.3 trillion of public funds was reportedly laundered between 2011 and 2015 alone.

“It is thus not surprising that Nigeria rank 149th out of 179 countries on the 2020 Corruption Perception Index rankings of the Transparency International.

“A December 2019 report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on the patterns and trends of corruption in Nigeria revealed that young people are most likely to give or receive bribes.

“At least, 60 per cent of them admitted to have given bribes.

“This data when placed side-by-side with the high rate of youth unemployment and underemployment, 42 and 21 per cent respectively in the country has millions of young people finishing their studies with no job prospects.

“It further increases the pressure on them to offer bribes in order to secure jobs.’’

Mbamalu said with this, it became important to engage young Nigerians on how to fight corruption and enshrine integrity, accountability and transparency into the fabric of the society, and in the public and private sectors.

She added that as the group that suffered most from the effects of corruption, young people could be instrumental in the fight against corruption in Nigeria using peer influence to spread values of transparency and accountability.

She said that Yiaga Africa believed in the power of youths and students because they had the vibrancy, innovation and passion to effect change.

“At the end if the system fails, we all are victims of a failed system, so we need as citizens to begin to demand accountability and to ensure the government works for us.

“As young Nigerians especially, we have longer years to live in Nigeria so honestly not being interested in government is at our own peril.

“So we have more duty to come awake to our responsibility as young Nigerians and move with the spirit of solidarity in holding the government to account and in contributing our own quota to national development.’’

Mbamalu said that at the end of the competition, the debate teams would be encouraged to establish and strengthen public integrity clubs in their schools.

Mr Uchenna Igwe, the National Secretary, National Union of Campus Journalists (NUCJ) said that corruption had caused a lot of damage to Nigeria, although government put in place measures of anti-corruption, there was the need for citizens to get involved.

Igwe said that young people should rise to the occasion, and contribute to stemming the tide of the challenges that plagued the nation.

“We owe this as a duty to ourselves, and the children we will have in the years to come.

“If the Foundation of the issues we face today is consequences of the actions and inactions of the older generation, then it leaves little to imagination what would be if we do nothing today.

“I charge us not to be drowned by the illusion of “tomorrow”. Why wait for tomorrow to tackle the issues of today? Problem no dey finish’’.

Igwe urged youths to speak up, shun and condemn corrupt practices, imbibe good values and lead good examples in homes, campuses, hostels, workspaces, religious and social fellowships.

Mr Frankline Ubi, the General Secretary, All Nigeria Universities Debating Championship commended Yiaga Africa for the initiative, adding that debate offered a platform for vigorous interaction and activism.

Ubi said that for youths to prepare for their future roles as leaders, they should show interest in the present by interrogating policies and debate as a viable tool to use.

He said that universities had a role to play as a sector whose primary duty was the generation of knowledge for the development of society.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Bayero University Kano, Federal University of Technology Owerri, University of Lagos and University of Jos were the semi-finalists for the debate competition.

NAN also reports that University of Lagos came first while University of Jos came second.

The first edition of the Bounce Corruption National University Debate was held in 2018, and 23 university teams competed at the zonal and national levels, with the University of Ilorin emerging the winner.


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Let’s move on – Ningi Tells Colleagues On Resumption From Suspension





Senator Abdul Ningi ( PDP Bauchi Central ), on resumption from suspension , told fellow Senators on Tuesday at plenary that ” It’s time to move on ” , just as the Senate President , Godswill Akpabio , said ” bygone should be bygone .

Senator Ningi made the ‘ time to move on ‘ assertion while expressing his appreciation to the Senate for recalling him from suspension after spending 75 out of 90 days slammed on him on March 12, 2024 at the committee of the whole .

Ningi who expressed his appreciation through Order 42 of the Senate standing rules , said he was in Turkey when he had of his being recalled from suspension.

He said : Mr President , Distinguished colleagues , I rise with profound humility to commend the Senate , its President , Senator Godswill Akpabio, the Senate leadership and the minority caucus for recalling me from suspension .

” I was in Turkey when the news got to me last week and I’m very much appreciative of the gesture .

” I’m happy to be back at home because National Assembly is like home to me , having served as House leader , Deputy Senate Leader in the past and now as one pf the Distinguished serving senators .

” I also thank my State Governor , Senator Bala Mohammed , the people of Bauchi State and other Nigerians who reached out to me in one way or the other during the period that has now been put behind “.

In his response , the President of the Senate , Senator Godswill Akpabio , on behalf of the Senate , said bygone should be bygone .

” Distinguished Senator Abdul Ningi , you are a very resourceful person needed in the 10th Senate , electorates from Bauchi Central Senatorial District voted you for .

” You are welcome and let bygone be bygone

The Senate had on Tuesday last week on the strength of motion sponsored by the minority leader , Senator Abba Moro on behalf of minority caucus , recalled Senator Ningi from the three months suspension .

Recall that Senator Ningi was suspended by the Senate at the committee of the whole on 2024 budget padding allegation leveled against the Senate during interview he had with the BBC Hausa service.

Apparently elated to be back in the Senate , Senator Ningi was among the first set of Senators and House of Representatives members to arrive the National Assembly for plenary on Tuesday .

Senator Ningi who along with some few other Senators like Suleiman Kawu ( NNPP Kano South) , Aminu Waziri Tambuwal ( PDP Sokoto South) etc , came into the National Assembly through the Villa Gate , arrived exactly at 10: 40am , 20minutes to 11:00am fixed for commencement of plenary which even started at about 12:10 pm .

However as a result of his suspension , Senator Ningi lost his Chairmanship position of the Senate Committee on National Identity and Population , which was allocated to Senator Mustapha Musa ( APC Yobe East ) ,two days after the now lifted suspension .


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Commissioner of Police Dies At Force Headquarters



Nigerian Police Logo
Police Logo

Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Mr. Abubakar Muhammad Guri was reported to have slumped and passed away on Monday at the Force Headquarters in Abuja.

According to sources, DCP Muhammad collapsed shortly after entering his office at the Louis Edet House, without displaying any prior signs of illness.

Eyewitnesses recounted that the late police chief, dressed in his uniform, collapsed on his seat within his office premises. Swift action was taken as fellow officers rushed him to the hospital for immediate medical attention.

Sadly, despite all efforts to revive him, DCP Muhammad was pronounced dead upon arrival at the medical facility.

An unnamed source familiar with the situation shared, “Some officers rushed him to the hospital and even before reaching there, he had already passed away.”

Despite the gravity of the incident, official statements from police authorities are yet to be issued regarding the untimely demise of DCP Muhammad.

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INEC Extends Voter Registration In Edo, Ondo




Following a review meeting held with stakeholders, the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC), said it has extended voters’ registration for Edo and Ondo States respectively.

Registration was earlier slated to end on the 5th of June, 2024 in the two states.

However, a statement by the commission said following appeals by stakeholders, the date has been extended from Thursday 6th to Sunday 9th, June 2024, to allow more eligible persons to register.

The commission, similarly, extended the duration of the exercise from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm daily.

Furthermore, it said the number of centres has been increased beyond 397 wards, and the two states’ offices in Benin City and Akure to include all the 36 Local Government offices of the commission.

“More machines will also be deployed to areas identified to have peculiar needs such as difficult terrain or communal issues,” the statement partly said.

Like the ward registration centres, INEC explained that the detailed information on the names and location addresses of the LGA offices, have also been uploaded on its websites and social media platforms for the guidance of registration in the two states.

Meanwhile, the commission said the exercise is progressing in the two states.

It said, “As of Monday, 3rd June 2024, eight days after the commencement of the CVR, a cumulative of 120, 1458 new voters have registered. Of this figure, 55, 861 (46.4%) are male, while 120, 458 (53.6%) are female,”

It added that the majority of the 82, 003 registered voters, representing 68.8 per cent, are youth between the ages of 18-34 years.

In terms of occupation, 43, 419 or 36.8 per cent are students, while 812, 0.67 per cent, are persons with disability.

It, however, noted that the figures were preliminary, adding that the final figures will be published on a state basis and for all categories of registration at the end of the exercise, and after data clean-up, using Automated Biometric Identified System (ABIS).



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