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Osinbajo lights Torch of Unity to herald 21st National Sports Festival holding in Asaba



Osinbajo lights Torch of Unity to herald 21st National Sports Festival holding in Asaba

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo lit the Torch of Unity on Tuesday in Abuja signalling the beginning of its movement for the 21st Edition of the National Sports Festival.

The festival is scheduled to hold in Asaba for Nov. 28 to Dec. 10.

Performing the exercise at an arena in the State House, Osinbajo said the Torch of Unity, which heralded the festival, symbolised peace and unity in Nigeria.

He said that the torch was also meant to create awareness about the festival amongst Nigerians and also the world at large.

The vice-president said the festival was a crucial activity in Nigeria’s sporting calendar as it had been the avenue to discover many outstanding talents that would go on to become world champions.

“Some of the great champions who we know today were actually discovered at various National Sports Festivals.

“They include the likes of Blessing Okagbare, a world medallist in the 200 meters Olympics and World Championship; and also the medallist in long jump at the Olympics.

“Chioma Ajunwa, notable for being the first Nigerian to win gold at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, and the first Black woman to win an Olympic Gold in any field event.

“Of course, you also have Olusoji Fasugba who was the African record holder and gold medallist in the 100 meters event with the time of 9.85seconds.

“This was until Akanni Simbine beat that time in 2021 with a time of 9.84seconds; then, Lucy Ejike, a gold medallist and world record holder at the Sydney 2000 Paralympics through to 2021 in Tokyo.

“And Enifiok Udo Ubong, the only Nigerian to win two bronze medals in the 4 x 400 meters relay and also silver medal in long jump.

“Of course, the now legendary Toby Amusan, OON, the current World, Commonwealth, African  Champion in the 100 meters hurdles; she is also the recorder holder in these three competitions,’’ Osinbajo added.

According to him, stakeholders are looking forward to even more successful hurl of great stars at 21st National Sports Festival.

He said that the nation was still basking in the euphoria of the outstanding performance of Team Nigeria at the just-concluded Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, UK.

“We are committed to supporting the sports sector to sustain this height – the height that has already been attained.

“We realise that the overall goal of using sports as a tool for meaningfully engaging our young and also for uniting our country is a very sound objective.

“It is one that we intend to continue to pursue on a regular and daily basis,’’ the vice-president stressed.

Osinbajo commended the Minster of Sports and Youth Development, Mr Sunday Dare and the host Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa, for their efforts at bringing the festival to fruition.

Earlier in his remarks, Dare said that the event was very significant in the history of sports development in Nigeria.

Dare recalled that the vice-president, at the same arena, received the Queen’s baton to signal Nigeria’s participation at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

“As we light the Torch of Unity at this venue for what is the flagship sports event in Nigeria, we refer to it as the Nigerian Olympics.

“It is from the sports festival that we hope to select our best and brightest to form Team Nigeria for the France 2024 Olympics.

“The torch is the Torch of Unity and over the years, it has united our country’s men and women.

Thirty-Six states and the FCT, 16,000 athletes, more than 28 different sports for age groups between 18 years and 25 years will participate at the National Sports festival.

“The torch is expected to move around the states and the FCT arriving in Asaba to be received by the governor,’’ he said.

The minister thanked the Federal Government for identifying with the festival and providing the support and the resources necessary over the years.

In his goodwill message, Gov. Okowa thanked the Federal Government, particularly the sports ministry for accepting that Delta should host the 21st National Sports Festival.

He said that the state was ready and was working very hard to ensure it provided the best in terms of organisation.

“We are also looking forward very keenly to other states competing with themselves excluding Delta.

“This is because we know we have already won, even ahead of time; but we will like to see other states competing with us,’’ he said.

The symbolic carrying of the torch was led by Mary Onyali, a former Nigerian sprinter.

The torch was afterwards handed over to the vice-president who returned it to the Minister of Sports.

A ceremonial mascot was also handed over to the vice-president by Gov. Okowa.


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NNPP: Founder, Dr Aniebonam Goes Stoic on Kwankwaso and Galadima’s Defection



NNPP: Founder, Dr Aniebonam Goes Stoic on Kwankwaso and Galadima's Defection

…Urges Members to Remain Calm and Trust in God’s Intervention

The founder of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), Dr. Aniebonam Boniface Okechukwu, has finally adopted stoicism on the defection of Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and Elder Buba Galadima, two prominent members of the party. 

In a lengthy statement, Dr Okechukwu expressed his disappointment and sadness over the betrayal of trust by his “friends and brothers” but urged members of the party to remain calm and trust in God’s intervention.

According to Dr. Okechukwu, the defection of Kwankwaso and Galadima is a temporary setback and a human activity that will not change the name and fate of the party. 

He described the duo as ‘men’ who were deceived by fake marabouts but hoped that they would soon realize their mistakes and return to the party.

Dr Okechukwu also called on members of the party to be patient and work hard, assuring them that God would soon intervene and restore the party to its rightful owners.

 He referenced the party’s past victory at the Supreme Court in Kano as a testament to God’s power and intervention.

The full statement by Dr. Okechukwu reads:

“My attention has been continuously drawn to the avoidable propaganda and circumstances of Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and Elder Buba Galadima. 

“These elder statesmen are my good friends and brothers with bad intentions. It is human, noting that no human being can be predicted. I do know that the first law of God is choice. They chose the channel of betrayal of trust.

“None of you should be worried because the New Nigeria People’s Party belongs to God, and we shall continue to work hard and serve Him. Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and Elder Buba Galadima are not above God, and He shall intervene at the appropriate time.

“All you people should do is work hard and pray for Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and Elder Buba Galadima for the wisdom of God and protection because they do not really know what they are doing as mortals.

“What is certain, as you people can see, is that they cannot change the name – New Nigeria People’s Party. This simply means that nothing has happened. The illegal conversion of the colour, logo, and constitution are human activities which, of course, are temporary.

“What I will advise all of you is to bear with INEC in their shortcomings, which are human and the work of the devil. What is certain is that Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and Elder Buba Galadima may be agents of the devil, betrayal of trust and kindness. When God decides to call them to order, we shall all be witnesses to the heavenly divine intervention and glory.

“God did it for us in Kano at the Supreme Court of Nigeria. He shall do it again to show that He is God. You should all remain peaceful and work hard. Let us be patient with God because He shall soon intervene, and His party shall be returned to His children.

“When that happens, the logo, colour, and constitution shall be reversed in His honour and glory. No one should be worried because He with God is with the majority.

“We do know from the physical appearance of Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and Elder Buba Galadima at the moment that they are burdened, and we are aware that the fake marabouts are deceiving them. Let us pray for them for life and good health, politics or no politics. What is certain is that we are brothers.

“Remark – Supreme Court of Nigeria is the final judgment, and God’s decision prevails at God’s time before or thereafter. Let us remain calm in the event of extreme provocation. Our party shall come back to us, and that is the word of God”, Dr. Aniebonam Boniface stated further.

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Governors’ Forum Welcomes LG Autonomy – Gov. AbdulRahman



Governors’ Forum Welcomes LG Autonomy – Gov. AbdulRahman

AbdulRazaq AbdulRahman, Governor of Kwara and Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), said the forum welcomed the Supreme Court ruling granting autonomy to local government areas. They have no options, anyway.

AbdulRahman remarked while addressing State House correspondents after a meeting with President Bola Tinubu on Friday.

He was accompanied by Gov. Hope Uzodimma, Chairman, All Progressives Party (APC) Governors Forum and Dr Bala Mohammed, Chairman, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors Forum.

“Compliance is a given and our Attorney General has applied for the enrollment order, which we’ll study carefully.

“But by and large governors are happy with the devolution of power regarding local government autonomy. It relieves the burden on governors.

“Our people really don’t know how much states expense in bailing out local governments, and that’s the issue there,” he said.

He said in his state Kwara, the government had never tampered with local government funds.

“What the local governments have to do is to manage themselves, especially with the incoming minimum wage, to manage their affairs and make sure salaries are paid, traditional rulers get their five per cent and those are the main issues,” he said.

On states where local government elections are yet to be conducted, he said the forum would meet next Wednesday to look at the issue wholly and then come up with a resolution.

He also said the discussion on minimum wage was ongoing, and that the tripartite committee had met and submitted its report.

“Yes, a movement of figures is the prerogative of the president which he will also transmit to the National Assembly for robust debate before it’s adopted,” said AbdulRahman. 

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Kanwan Katsina Lauds Efforts of Successive Katsina Governors, on Ketare



Kanwan Katsina Lauds Efforts of Successive Katsina Governors, on Ketare

… Credits Shehu Yar’ Adua for Government Day Secondary School; Gov. Shema for construction of Gora-Ketare-Kankara and, Ketare-Mashigi-Malumfashi Roads

The Kanwan Katsina District Head of Ketare, Alhaji Usman Bello Kankara has commended successive governments of Katsina State for executing various developmental projects in Ketare District.

Alhaji Usman Bello gave the commendation when he received the leadership of Ketare District Youth Mobilization KDYM in his palace who paid him Sallah’s homage and congratulated him for the successful Sallah Durbar in Katsina.

The Monarch explained that all the modest achievements recorded in his 24 years as District Head of Ketare were made possible with the assistance of the successive Governors of Katsina State.

The Kanwan Katsina explained that the Late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua when he was the Governor of Katsina State in 1999  and was his Teacher at Katsina College of Art and Science and Technology in 1975 was responsible for the construction of the Government Day Secondary School, Ketare; while Governor Ibrahim Shehu Shema who was the Kanwan Katsina School mate at Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, constructed Gora-Ketare-Kankara Road and Ketare-Mashigi-Malumfashi Road.

Similarly, Governor Aminu Bello Masari constructed Dayi-Gangule-Gundawa-Wawal Kaza Roads and a comprehensive Primary Healthcare Center in Ketare, in the same vein, the current Katsina State Governor Malam Dikko Umaru Radda in a bid to enhance the security of lives and properties which are his topmost priority establish the Katsina Community Watch Corp where Ketare Youth were engaged in combating bandits and kidnappers.

Alhaji Usman Bello Kankara mni also expressed gratitude to the management of the Community and Social Development  Project CSDP under the leadership of Dikko Mohammed for collaborating with communities of Ketare District to construct all the Community Day Secondary schools.

Therefore, The Kanwan Katsina assured the youth organization that he will not relent in partnering with the Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies to bring in the much-needed development in Ketare District.

Earlier in his address, the interim Chairman of the Association Malam Bishir Umar Girbobo said they were at the palace of the Kanwan Katsina District Head of Ketare Alhaji Usman Bello Kankara to pay Sallah homage and to appreciate all the developmental projects and policies initiated by or facilitated by him such in the areas of education, computers training for the Youths ICT, Health, Agriculture,  Road Construction, issuance of National ID Card and INEC Voters’ Cards, among others.

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