• August 20, 2016

    Why Americans, rest of the world are interested in Ghana elections – Ex-REC Igini

    A former Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr Mike Igini, was in the delegation that recently assessed the preparation of Ghana ahead of its December general elections. Igini speaks on the mission. You were said to have been selected along with Dr Oby Ezekwesilli and other prominent individuals  by the International Republican Institute (IRI) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI), both of the United States,  to carry out assessment of Ghana  ahead of its December general elections. What was the mission all about? Igini Since  the return to civil rule in 1992, Ghana has been showing good example in West Africa  and has crossed critical democratic thresholds that must be consolidated for other countries in Africa to emulate. The purpose of the mission was to support Ghana’s ability to deliver credible and peaceful elections in 2016. The delegation’s specific goals were to:  Assess the preparation for Ghana’s December 7  presidential and legislative elections; identify opportunities for and potential risks to the good conduct of the electoral process, specifically in terms of pre- and post-election periods; provide recommendations to increase the integrity and transparency of the electoral progress; and promote dialogue among political actors and electoral stakeholders. IRI and NDI  are Washington-based institutions, non-profit, non-partisan organizations dedicated to supporting and strengthening democratic institutions and advancing freedom across the world. IRI works with civil society and religious leaders in Ghana to support peaceful elections through inter-faith dialogue and youth engagement and plans to conduct a gender assessment of women’s participation in the December  elections. NDI has worked closely with Ghanaian civic and political organizations since 1992 to support the development of the country’s democratic institutions and promote transparency and integrity of the electoral process through advanced techniques in election monitoring.   So the visit of the delegation is also in the context of deepening these cooperative efforts of supporting and strengthening democratic institutions and advancing freedom across the continent of Africa and the world. Who are the stakeholders that your delegation visited on this mission? The delegation was a joint team  and we met presidential candidates, political party leaders, women groups, civil society groups like Western African Network for peace-building presided over by one brilliant Nigerian Emeka Eze,   media owners and journalists, head of security, and several eminent Ghanaians, such as Koffi Annan, a  former UN Secretary General, former presidents: Jerry Rawlings, John Koffour, and others too numerous to mention, who are key to   democratic stability and accountability in Ghana. The delegation used the meetings to  stressing the gains Ghana has recorded  and that they should not be reversed.   If you are familiar with the standard measures of democracy, namely, competition, participation and legitimacy of electoral outcomes , you will agree  that they rely on the perceptions and buy-in of the gate-keepers and agenda setters of democratic practice in a country. Ghana is reputed to be the leading democracy in West Africa and many people wonder why there should be a pre-election assessment of this nature undertaken? No matter how mature a democracy may be, as you can see in some countries like the United States, it is not perfect and so there could […]

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  • August 20, 2016

    Nigeria deserves more world heritage sites – Lai Mohammed

    Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture says the country boasts of numerous sites with special cultural, physical attributes to qualify them for listing as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed The minister spoke on Saturday at the third festival colloquium of the 50th anniversary of Lagos State with the theme: “Tourism Potential in Yorubaland: Landmarks, Culture and History’’. Mohammed said that due to lack of proper inventory and vision to exploit their resources for economic and tourism gains, only two of such sites were recognised by UNESCO. He identified the two recognised UNESCO sites as Osun Osogbo Sacred Grove and the Sukur Cultural Landscape in Adamawa. “In comparison, Ethiopia has nine UNESCO World tourist sites, Kenya six, Libya five, Mali four and Morocco nine! This of course means that we are sitting on a gold mine,” he said. Mohammed also identified the heritage sites that could attain the global status as National Museum and Lekki Conservation Center in Lagos, Obudu Cattle Ranch in Cross River and Yankari Game Reserve in Bauchi State. He said that the Ikogosi Warm Spring in Ekiti, Nike Lake Resort in Enugu, Mambila Plateau in Adamawa and the Royal Palace of the Oba of Benin in Edo could attain the global status. The minister said that the administration of President Muhammad Buhari was determined to reposition the tourism sector and reverse the ugly trend. “In this search for a new economic paradigm, tourism, arts and culture have been identified as the most viable sector of the economy to explore. “Culture drives tourism, and both are good for creating jobs, reducing crime and diversifying the economy, three of the cardinal programmes of the Buhari Administration,” he said. Mohammed noted that the sector had been spotlighted in various reports by international agencies to have the potential of boosting the country’s economy. He said that a British Council sponsored report in 2013 showed that the sector was a viable contributor to the economic development of nations. “The report reveals that the creative businesses surveyed in the mapping exercise contributed N2.5 billion during the reference period. “61 per cent of the total Gross Value Added (GVA) derived from the film industry alone while fashion and music contributed 26 per cent and 13 per cent respectively,” he said. The minister briefed the gathering on the policies, programmes and activities of the Federal Government to reposition the tourism sector. He commended the organiser of “Lagos at 50’’, stressing that the event would give the opportunity to address the challenge of lean resources and large scale unemployment. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event witnessed cultural performances and the premiere of a movie, “Iwure Olofin’’ (The Blessing of Olofin). The movie is an historical documentation of how Lagos was founded by a prince of Ile Ife named, Olofin. NAN reports the event was attended by the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, and his wife, Wuraola, former Governor of Cross Rivers, Donald Duke, Commissioners from Lagos state and members of Lagos House of Assembly. The post Nigeria deserves more world heritage sites […]

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  • August 20, 2016

    FG issues alert on fake quinine sulphate in circulation

    The Federal Government has stepped up vigilance within the drug supply chains in the country on the circulation of two confirmed falsified versions of Quinine Sulphate. A statement said the Federal Ministry of Health received a medical alert that the two falsified drugs contain zero active pharmaceutical ingredients. The statement signed by Mrs Boade Akinola, Director, Media and Public Relations of the ministry, on Saturday said the drugs were circulating in West and Central Africa. Akinola said the two version of the drug were circulating in Cameroon and Democratic Republic of Congo. She said the quinine Sulphate was used in the treatment of malaria. According to her, the implication of using the falsified one is that it will not be effective and may also lead to other health challenges. She said one of the fake products was named Quinine Sulfate 300 mg with 1000 Tablets per container, Batch Number 10H05, expiry date 09/2018 and it manufactured 09/2014. Akinola added that the drug manufactured by Novadina Pharmaceutical Limited, London, United Kingdom was first was discovered in Cameroon. The director said the other version of the fake drug was Quinine Sulphate 300mg with 100 Tablets per container; batch F4387, expiry date 11/18 and its date of manufacture is 12/14. She explained that the product was manufactured in India by CAD Pharm, and it was discovered in Bunia, Democratic Republic of the Congo. She advised Nigerians to be vigilant and report to the nearest National Agency for Food and Drug Administration office anywhere the drugs were spotted including hospitals and pharmaceutical shops. The ministry urges Nigerians to also report it the following GSM no +234-8037881120, +234-8055056727 and +234-8035902679. “If you are in possession of these products, please do not use them. “If you have taken this falsified product or if you suffer an adverse effect following its uptake, please seek immediate advice from a qualified healthcare professional and report the incident to NAFDAC.’’ The post FG issues alert on fake quinine sulphate in circulation appeared first on Vanguard News.

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  • August 5, 2015

    Supreme Court dismisses PDP’s suit against Tambuwal.

    The Supreme Court of Nigeria has dismissed application by the Sokoto State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and it’s governorship candidate, Senator Abdallah Wali, to be joined as parties in a suit filed by Senator Umaru Dahiru challenging the nomination of Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the April 2015 election. Presiding judge, Justice Sulaiman Galadima, Monday ruled that PDP and Wali lacked the locus standi to apply to be joined in the suit, describing the two as interlopers who should not take part in a matter purely involving another party. Even though Sokoto PDP had announced that they will not challenge the election of Tambuwal in 2015, they however, through case number SC/67/2016, sought to be joined as parties in Dahiru’s suit on the grounds that if it succeeds, Wali should be declared winner of the election. In a notice of motion for joinder filed at the apex court by EK Ashiekaa SAN, Wali and PDP contended that having participated in the 2015 governorship election, and having scored the next highest number of votes cast after that of Tambuwal, they have sufficient grounds to be joined in the case. They said the reliefs sought by Dahiru would have an effect on the outcome of the Sokoto governorship election by creating a vacuum. “That the vacuum likely to be created by the success of the Appellants appeal can only be filled by the applicant who scored the next highest returned votes,” they argued. Justice Galadima however struck out the application, foreclosing any move by the PDP to get APC removed from power in Sokoto through the back door. No date yet has been set for hearing on the interlocutory appeal filed by Senator Umar Dahiru challenging the ruling of the Appeal Court which held that his case at the Federal High Court against Tambuwal’s emergence as APC candidate for the April 2015 governorship election could not proceed since it has been overtaken by events and will be a mere academic exercise if it proceeds.

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