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National Conference Revisited As Jonathan, Anyim, INEC Chair, Others Meet For Book Presentation

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Jonathan Opens Up On Return To Presidency -

The 2014 National Conference will be revisited as erstwhile President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday, 28 June chair the presentation of a book on the exercise.

The 633-page book titled: The National Conversation: Interests and Intrigues that shaped the 2014 National Conference was authored by two media professionals, Akpandem James and Sam Akpe, who were also at the Conference Secretariat.

Akpandem James, one of the authors in a statement on Wednesday said the Deputy Chairman of the Conference, Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, wrote the foreword to the book which will be presented to the public at , NICON Luxury Hotel, Abuja.

He added that a review of the book will be done at the event by the Director, Institute of Legislative Studies and recently appointed Director, Abuja Leadership Centre, University of Abuja, Prof. Philip Afaha who was until recently Head of Department of History and Diplomatic Studies at the university.

READ ALSO: What I’ll Do If I Were Jonathan – Bulkachuwa

Aside from former President Jonathan, other principal players in the birthing and nurturing of the conference like former Secretary to Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, GCON, the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu; Conference Secretary, Dr Mrs Valerie Azinge; Dr Akilu Indabawa who was in charge of Conference Proceedings, delegates to the Conference, top politicians and journalists, business leaders, scholars and heads of development agencies have confirmed their availability for the event.

The book is done in three sections. Section one contains the build-up analysis, including the road to the conference, why it was called and the overall agenda.

Section two dwells on issues that shaped the conference including how the principal officers who handled the project; background to the composition of delegates and the contentious issue of representation; women at the conference – their antecedents and roles; how the conference rules and procedures were fashioned out; the issue of voting and the 50 Wise men; the contentions that trailed the consensus groups; the ruckus over membership and leadership of conference committees; as well as wisecracks that tempered the ever rising tensions.

Section three contains conversations and background moves that shaped decisions on critical governance issues like the devolution of power and resource allocation; politics and governance; political parties and electoral matters; national security; religion; immunity clause; state police; state creation; the contentious Land Use Act; the issue of cattle routes and grazing reserves; revisiting agriculture and water resources; and also delegates that can be described as the forerunners and the potentates before and at the conference.

READ ALSO: Why Presidency May Elude South-East In 2023 – Northerners

Apart from the front matters, the book has 105 pages of information on the structure of delegates by classification and by regions; committees by responsibilities, leadership and membership; list of women and classification; those who died during the conference, all the speeches delivered at both the inauguration and closing ceremonies; and a comprehensive indexing for easy reference. It is delivered in both hardcover and paperback.

On reasons for writing the book, James said, “About eight years after the 2014 National Conference a thought came, that some of the issues that characterised the conference, particularly the interests and intrigues that shaped the deliberations and outcomes, should be revisited. The idea was to look at the issues beyond what is already available to the public and what was published in the Main Conference Report.

“The conference was a fundamental step towards addressing weighty national issues that have been canvassed over the years by the different stakeholders in the country. Therefore, it was an important national project aimed at realistically examining and genuinely resolving long-standing hurdles to national cohesion and inclusive development of the country.

“This National Conversation distills some of the highlights of the conference proceedings, the trajectory of events, including moves that led to some of the very critical decisions, major contributions by delegates, the contentions, as well as other issues that are not in the public domain.”

 

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Tinubu Approves N70,000 Minimum Wage

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BREAKING: Dogara, Babachir Lead Northern Christians Against Tinubu's Muslim-Muslim Ticket

By John Michael Ojo

The Federal Government on Thursday, pegged the new national minimum wage at N70,000.

This was made known by Mr Bayo Onanuga, a Special Adviser to President Bola Tinubu on Information and Strategy, in a statement posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“President Bola Tinubu has approved N70,000 minimum wage for Nigerian workers with promise to review the national minimum wage law every three years.

“President Tinubu also promised to find ways to assist the private sector and the sub-nationals to pay the minimum wage.

“President Tinubu announced the decisions at the meeting held with leaders of TUC and NLC on Thursday in Abuja, the second time the parties met in 7 days,” the statement read.

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Olaopa Urges Youths To Shun Japa Syndrome, Prepare For Leadership

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Prof. Tunji Olaopa flanked by Hon Abike Dabiri (left )and Prof. Oladapo Afolabi , former Head of Service of the Federation ( right) at the event on Thursday.

The Chairman of the Federal Civil Service Commission, Prof. Tunji Olaopa, has urged youths to prepare for leadership positions early in life instead of travelling overseas to seek opportunities, a development that is popularly known as the Japa syndrome.

The seasoned bureaucrat and former federal permanent secretary said that opportunities abound for youths but that they could only access them when they begin early .

According to Olaopa who spoke on Thursday during the 2023/2024 graduation of KIA Lakeside Academy in Abuja, these opportunities will elude the youths if they opt to go and wander on the streets of foreign countries. He said : ” In the civil service I am very familiar with, people grow old and retire every day. We need youths to fill such vacancies that the old people leave behind . If all the youths go abroad to be doing menial jobs, do we go to Ghana and other neighbouring countries to employ their youths?

Prof. Tunji Olaopa and Prof. Oladapo Afolabi, former Head of Service of the Federation at the event.

He said that under his leadership of the Federal Civil Service, there is so  much hope for youths to access federal jobs. He said he had decided to maintain a policy of transparency and equity in making jobs in the civil service available for all eligible Nigerian youths through open advertisement.

He said in the area of political leadership, the older generation could not keep on dominating the sector. He said that the youths would be need to replace the old political leaders as they quit the scene.

According to him, the ability to prepare early for leadership goes hand in hand with a clear vision. He said nobody could prepare for anything if there is no clear vision of where they are going or what they want.

He said people who reach great heights in life always have a clear vision of where they are going early in life and they work towards it. He gave the example of former United States President Bill Clinton who as a youth had a clear vision of being his nation’s leader.

According to Olaopa, past and current leaders in Nigeria have had early in their youths clear visions of what they want in life. He said it was this clear visions early in life that made them trailblazers in different areas of life. In politics he cited Chief Obafemi Awolowo , Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe and others. He said that these were trailblazers in their youth. He said in business, young people have become trailblazers.

He said that because of the opportunities the current world offers, youths do not need to become old people before reaching great heights in life. According to him, youths have become trailblazers in technology . He mentioned the examples of Zuckerberg of Facebook, Elon Musk and a younger Bill Gates.

Talking about breaking the glass ceiling, Olaopa said that no gender barrier should stop anyone from reaching the summit of life. He said many women in the past and the present have been trailblazers. He mentioned Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti. Dora Akunyili,l and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. He said unlike in the past , many bank CEOs in Nigeria are currently women.

However, Olaopa said that nobody could be a trailblazer without preparation. He said this preparation comes in the form of education. He quoted Nelson Mandela who once observed that “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.” He said if in the past people we regard as great today could get education despite the huge barriers they were faced with, youths of today have no excuse. He said Awolowo was faced with a huge educational disadvantage which he overcame by studying at home . He said Azikiwe had to find his way overseas where he suffered to educate himself. According to him, one of the greatest lawyers today in Nigeria is Chief Afe Babalola. He said Babalola overcame his challenges by studying at home and that today he owns one of the best universities in the country.

According to him, youths who lack the opportunity of going to formal university classrooms can avail themselves of the opportunities offered by the open university system that the Federal Government supports .

He said that in fact President Bola Tinubu has demonstrated his interest in the education of the less-privileged through his government’s Student loan scheme. He said that youths who desire to acquire university education but have no sponsors can use that scheme.

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Tinubu Appoints Walson-Jack Head Of Service As Yemi-Esan Retires

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Walson-Jack

As the current Head of Service Folasade Yemi-Esan, CFR, is due to retire on August 13, 2024, President Bola Tinubu has approved her replacement. She is Mrs. Didi Esther Walson-Jack.

Mrs. Walson-Jack was appointed as Federal Permanent Secretary in 2017 and has served in several Ministries.

While thanking Yemi-Esan  for her stewardship, President Tinubu tasked the incoming Head of Service to discharge her duties with innovative flair, integrity, and stringent adherence to the extant rules and regulations of the Civil Service of the Federation.

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