Gbajabiamila Reiterates Reps’ Determination To Empower Nigerian Youths
The House of Representatives is determined and ready to empower the Nigerian youth to make them competitive globally, the Speaker of the House, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, said on Wednesday.
Gbajabiamila said issues concerning the Nigerian youth have been a priority to the 9th House, which was the reason behind several proactive measures to address them, even before the outbreak of the recent youth protests around the country.
This emerged when Speaker Gbajabiamila met with a group of young lawmakers from the House under the aegis of ‘Young Parliamentarians Forum’ of the National Assembly in his office, where he reiterated that some of the demands of the youth following the EndSARS protests would be addressed constitutionally.
“All of us, every segment of the government, especially the House of Representatives, that before the protests took the initiative, debated motions and took far-reaching decisions on the floor.
“Part of the decision was to reform the Police to accommodate a better, more reformed Police.
“We gave ourselves 30 days, and since then, we’ve been working night and day, especially with the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).
“We thought the best way to go about it is that we amend the Police Service Commission Act, and that has been done and the report has been concluded and soon, it will be published and be on the floor.
“We are determined to resolve the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) matter, and if we can resolve two out of three issues, I think we would have gone a long way to help the lecturers who are on strike.
“There’s a bill on vocational education, I think from the 8th Assembly that was even my bill. We’ll pick it up again and pass it to you (Young Parliamentarians Group) to polish it up and add it to whatever ideas you have”.
On youth empowerment, the Speaker said though a lot still needs to be done but that the present government has done a lot.
“I make bold to say that no government, in Nigerian history from inception, and I stand to be corrected, has put in as much in youth empowerment as this present government.
“Facts don’t lie, a government that has devoted N500bn to youth empowerment every year. There’s Trader Moni, N-Power, and several others, they are all there.
“This government has done a lot about youth empowerment and is ready to do more. We can never be bereft of ideas. If you have anything that we need to look at, the House is willing and ready to add to those ideas.
“We will be happy to accelerate bills on youth development”.
Earlier, the young parliamentarians commended the leadership quality of the Speaker for his various interventions on national issues.
The leader of the delegation, Rep. Kabir Tukur a, noted in particular, the proactive measures taken to address Police reforms and EndSARS demands.
The young federal lawmakers also commended the Speaker for his interventions on labour issues in health, education and power sectors.
While presenting the demands of the group to the Speaker, Rep. Tukura said their major concern was a lasting solution to youth restiveness through the allocation of more resources to youth-related matters as well as education, especially vocational training.
The group also noted that the youth should be given a sense of belonging in government through better representation to enable them to bridge the existing gap, which was part of the reasons for the recent unrest.
To this end, he said, the group would be seeking the amendment of Section 171 of the Constitution to reflect federal character in accommodating the youth and people living with disabilities.
While informing the Speaker of the group’s request for an emergency session of the House to discuss its demands, Tukur also added that the group would be seeking his support for the group’s push for the establishment of a National Youth Development Commission.
Others at the meeting included Deputy Chief Whip, Peter Akpatason and Chairman, Committee on Inter-Parliamentary Relations, Rep. Zakariya’u Galadima, while Rep. Onofiok Luke, Rep. A. G. Suleiman, Rep. Shehu Kale and Rep. Saidu Abdullahi represented the Young Parliamentarian Forum.
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Organ Trafficking: Ekweremadu, Wife, Doctor Sentenced To Various Prison Terms
The duo of Ekweremadu, former Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, his wife Beatrice, and Doctor Obinna Obeta has been senenced to various jail terms for bringing a 21-year-old Lagos street trader to London to exploit him for his kidney.
A judge at The Central Criminal Court, [ Old Bailey], announced the sentence friday.
At a sentencing hearing on Friday, Ekweremadu was jailed for nine years and eight months, his wife Beatrice was sentenced to four years and six months imprisonment while Obeta received a 10-year prison term.
The sentencing follows their conviction in March for organ trafficking, The Ekweremadus’sick daughter, Sonia was cleared of any wrongdoing.
The jury said Ekweremadu, his wife and their doctor criminally conspired to bring the 21-year-old Lagos street trader to London to exploit him for his kidney.
The conviction is the first under the UK’s Modern Slavery Act 2015.
The sentencing comes after pleas from multiple prominent personalities and institutions, including former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Other petitioners included both chambers of the National Assembly, the Chairman/CEO, Nigeria in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Erewa Dabiri, and the International Human Rights Commission (IHRC).
After months of a pre-trial, the trial commenced on January 31, 2023 and lasted about six weeks, culminating in a guilty verdict against Ekweremadu, Beatrice, and Obeta.
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Reps Seek UK Government Clemency for Ekweremadu
The House of Representatives has write to the government of the United Kingdom seeking mercy in sentencing the embattled Ike Ekweremadu and his wife, Beatrice.
This is contained in a resolution reached following a motion moved by Toby Okechukwu, a lawmaker from Enugu State.
A UK court found the duo guilty of conspiracy of organ harvesting of another Nigerian. The Ekweremadu couple will be sentenced in the coming days.
Moving the motion, Okechukwu said diplomatic intervention in this kind of case is normal.
“It is a common practice in international relations for nations, including the UK, to seek relief for their citizens involved in situations such as that of the Ekweremadus,” he said.
Speaking on the motion, Femi Gbajabiamila, the Speaker of the House, said intervention by the House is not a justification for the charges against the Ekweremadus. He urged the UK government to consider Ekweremadu’s years of public service.
Consequently, the House resolved to urge the UK government and the court to temper justice with mercy in sentencing Ekweremadu, his wife and the doctor.
Also, they urged the Federal Government of Nigeria to take all diplomatic steps and other necessary interventions regarding the travails of the Ekweremadu family.
- Prince Abdulrahman Obaje is a Media and ICT Consultant, Journalist, online marketer, social media strategist, Mathematician and Computer Scientist based in Abuja, Nigeria. He is the Founder and the Publisher of The Informavores!. You can reach me on +234 805 939 5252 or send i-witness report directly to me on email@example.com.
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HYPPDEC Donates Food Stuff, Clothing to Locals in Kogi to Tackle Cashless Policy Effect
By Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
The Hydroelectric Power Producing Areas Development Commission (HYPPDEC), on Tuesday, donated 400 bags of rice, 250 gallons of vegetable oil and some packaged women rappers to ten Local Government Areas in Kogi State under the agency to cushion the effect associated with the new cashless policy.
Making the presentation to Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State at the Lugard House, Lokoja on Tuesday, a Board Member of HYPPDEC, Alhaji Isah Ozi Salami, said that the gesture is part of the agency’s intervention in times of natural disaster or any hardship situation on citizens.
Salami expressed the commitment of HYPPDEC in tackling the prevailing economic hardship on Nigerians as a result of the Cashless Policy.
“We owe it as a duty to take adquate care of the people in the 10 Local Government Areas belonging to HYPPDEC communities in Kogi
“Our concern under the present economic hardship is to alleviate the sufferings of the people within HYPPDEC communities in Kogi” Ozi Salami told Governor Bello.
He commended Governor Yahaya Bello for the provision of logistic supports that have facilitated smooth operation of the agency in Kogi.
He also told the Governor that HYPPDEC will soon begin the construction of 50 housing units in Kogi for resettlement of last year’s flood victims in riverine communities.
“I appreciate Governor Bello’s magnanimity in providing land for the housing project. The Governor is expected to perform the foundation laying ceremony of the project” Ozi Salami disclosed.
The Chief of Staff to Governor Bello, Jamiu Asuku who received the food stuff on behalf of his boss, hinted that Kogi will key into HYPPDEC’s intervention initiative in the areas of provision of food and security of lives and property for citizens.
Governor Yahaya Bello appealed to HYPPDEC to focus more on Ibaji Local Government Area in its intervention programme as a result of the bad terrain of the area.
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