By Prince Akpah
Leading South African apparel store, FAFA Creations, a brand that caters for both African women and men is currently in Ghana to join 100 of exhibitors at the 2016 Accra Fashion Week which will take place from 6th to 9th October, 2016 at the Accra Trade Fair Center.
The brand which symbolizes the beauty of the African continent and its people is aimed at providing abundant African clothing and accessories and have great intents to become a central hub of shopping activity for local African populations and others who enjoy wearing African apparels.
Founder and CEO of FAFA Creations, Tanya Kagnaguine noted the team came all the way from South Africa to participate in the event because of their interest to launch the brand in Ghana. She also encouraged the public to attend her special fashion show scheduled for 9th October at 3:30 PM.
Accra Fashion Week is set to be a fun filled event with much celebrities and fashion and entertainment personalities present showcasing the latest trends and introducing fashion from all over the world including USA, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Senegal, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, South Africa, UK, Netherlands and much more.
Although, the show is also strictly focused on the business of fashion and it’s the first fashion event in Ghana to focus primarily on the involvement of fashion boutiques as it’s target audience.
FAFA Creations is located in north rand, precisely in the commercial district of Sandton, South Africa and has centralized itself directly in a position for social activities.
Ita Enang, senior special assistant (SSA) to the president on national assembly matters (senate), says it is unfair to accuse President Muhammadu Buhari of lopsidedness in terms of appointments.
Buhari has distanced himself from nepotism, vowing not to marginalise any section in the country.
However, the discussions on pro-north appointments were rekindled following the announcement of Maikanti Baru as group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Reacting to this, Enang defended the president, saying Buhari has followed the principle of federal character in all appointments.
The presidential adviser said his boss considers merit before picking people, adding that Buhari has selected capable hands from the southern part of the country.
Enang was speaking on Wednesday in Abuja at a reception organised by Akwa-Cross Association in the Public Service.
“He (Buhari) has given us the chief of naval staff, a very high-ranking officer in the federal security council,” he said.
“He has given us the minister of budget and then, my humble self as the senior special assistant on national assembly matters. He has also given us the minister of Niger Delta affairs.
“In the entire south-south region, he gave us minister of transportation in charge of about three ministries merged together. He also gave us the minister of petroleum.
“When I see people trying to incite others against the president over matters of appointment, I conclude that they are being unfair.”
Enang said despite the president’s tight schedule, he had visited some states in the south-south to inaugurate projects.
He added that Buhari had visited Cross River State to inaugurate construction of the international super highway from Cross River to Cameroon and other countries in West and Central Africa.
“President Buhari also provided N6 billion to dualise the road from Calabar to Itu, enroute Ikot Ekpene, to Aba in Abia state,” he said.
“Also, contracts for Calabar-Lagos rail project which will take off from Calabar enroute Aba, has been signed.”
On alleged lopsidedness in the ambassadorial list recently submitted to the senate for confirmation, Enang said the issue was being addressed.
Also speaking, Winifred Oyo-Ita, head of civil service of the federation, said insinuations that the president unduly favoured a section of the country in appointments were wrong.
She said that the appointments so far made by the president were based on merit and competence.
“President Buhari allows competence and merit to be brought to the fore in his appointments and we are very happy about that,” she said.
“A door way has been opened for appointments based on merit. If it could happen to me, it could equally happen to anyone else.
“As civil servants, go ahead, do the best you can. When you continue to put in your best, you excel on your jobs and duties. You may not know who is taking note of you.
“At a point in time in the future, somebody would single you out and you would wonder who recommended you. So, let us continue to excel and practice the fear of God.”
Usani Uguru, minister of Niger Delta affairs, said appointments were not made on the basis of region as believed by some Nigerians but based on number of states in the country.
“The north has 19 states and federal character has provisions for states and not regions,” he said.
“Therefore, until we carry out that analysis, there would be no authentication to claims that thenNorth is being favoured in terms of appointments than the south.
“Nigeria is not configured on the basis of north and south; it is configured on the basis of states as entrenched in the constitution.”
Uguru also debunked claims that attacks on oil facilities carried out by the Niger Delta Avengers were as a result of lopsided appointments.
“We are continually engaging the youths in various ways and participating in other activities to assuage the situation,” he said.
“We are persistent in persuasion, advising government and following up on the programmes that should be of productive engagement to the youths.”
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The South-East Caucus of the All Progressives Congress has appealed to the Niger Delta Avengers not to punish the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration for the sins of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The spokesperson for the caucus, Mr. Osita Okechukwu, said this in Abuja on Monday.
He appealed to the group to sheathe their swords and give President Buhari more time to look into their demands.
According to him, the caucus was making the appeal in the light of the laudable projects such as Clean-Up of Ogoniland, completion of East-West Road and Calabar-Lagos Railways, President Buhari had lined up for the Niger Delta.
Okechukwu said, “The escalation of bombings of the Niger Delta region is an ill-wind which blows no one good; not the least the good people of Niger Delta whom the Avengers claim to avenge their age-long ills.
“Otherwise, may we honestly ask the Niger Delta Avengers, where they were, when our dear former President, His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, from May 6, 2010 to May 29, 2015 presided over Nigeria?
“In other words, were the Niger Delta Avengers in deep slumber when Jonathan for good five years failed to clean-up the Niger Delta, failed to complete the East-West Road, failed to review oil blocks, failed to amend the constitution to their taste, and failed to build the three greenfield refineries which he awarded?
“In actual fact, if there is anything to avenge, or anybody to blame, the barb should be directed at ex-President Jonathan and his cohorts who criminally neglected the Niger Delta and by extension Nigeria via unconscionable planlessness andsquandermania.”
The caucus said no sane Nigerian would pray for the reoccurrence of the ugly incident of Odi in 1999, Zaki Ibiam in 2000 and Gbaramatu in 2009; unwarranted ugly scenario which the Niger Delta Avengers were consciously simulating.
“It is our candid view that bombing of Forcados pipeline, Bonga Oil field, Chevron trunk lines and other oil and gas installations will neither facilitate the implementation of the 2014 National Conference Report, funding of the Amnesty Programme, nor the clean-up of the Niger Delta region,” he added.
Okechukwu further appealed to the Niger Delta Avengers to think deeply and graciously allow peace to reign; for our collective national interest and indeed to save the Niger Delta from ruins.
The results of the 2015 Nigeria’s Presidential and National Assembly elections from the South-South region of the country were probably inflated by officials of Independent National Electoral Commission, a report released by a civil society coalition, Transition Monitoring Group, TMG, says.
TMG is Nigeria’s foremost election observation group.
The report titled “TMG Quick Count Report of the 2015 Presidential Election” was launched in Abuja on Friday.
TMG said it deployed approximately 4,000 citizen observers to carry out representative observation of polling units across the 774 Local Government Areas.
Although the report showed that estimates by TMG’s Quick Count correlated with official results finally released by INEC, the group however said the number of accredited voters was inflated during the collation exercise, suggesting a way of creating room for inflated results.
“In verifying the official results of the 2015 presidential election, the Quick Count estimates strongly suggested that turnout was inflated during the collation process in the South-South geopolitical zone,” the report said.
“Quick Count estimates for the South-South geopolitical zone was 40.6% (+/-4.5%) while the official result the zone was as released at 55.9%. Thus official turnout was likely inflated during the collation exercise by at least 10.8%. The official results of the other five geopolitical zones consistent with TMG’s Quick Count estimates.”
Former President Goodluck Jonathan of Peoples Democratic Party recorded sweeping victory in the South-South, his base, while President Muhammadu Buhari who was the candidate of All Progressives Congress swept poll across in the North West, his zone.
But TMG said its estimates in the North West and the other zones, apart from the South-South, ran consistent with INEC’s official release.
TMG said its observers reported on the poll, accreditation, voting, counting processes and collected voting results at the polling units.
“At the heart of the Quick Count is a sophisticated database and text messaging communication systems by highly trained data managers and data clerks to ensure that complete and accurate data is received from all observers and analysed … to form highly accurate estimates of the overall poll conduct of the election, including party vote counts and voter turnout,” TMG’s Program Manager, Lazarus Apir, explained.
The report said the deployment party agents by the APC to the polling units in South-South and South-East was and 85% and 80% respectively. But in the two regions, PDP deployed agents to 93% of the polling units.
The report showed that the APC perhaps deliberately de-emphasize focus on the South-South and South-East, two strongholds of PDP, concentrating on other zones where it deployed more agents to polling units than PDP did.
Quick Count reported the presence of security personnel in 88% of the polling units. But this was poor when compared with 94% security presence across all polling units during the 2011 elections, TMG said.
By 11:30am of March 28, 2015, only 68% of the polling units had opened for accreditation exercise and in 96% of the polling units no voter was accredited without permanent voter’s card.
What counted as upside of Nigeria’s 2015 election widely acclaimed as example for Africa, according to the Quick Count report, was that observers reported there were no incidents of harassment against voters, poll officials, party agents and observers during voting in 96% of the polling units.
At 95% and 91%, respectively, of the polling units, APC and PDP agents signed the result sheets (INEC Form EC8A).
In 91% of the polling units, results were publicly pasted. By regional breakdown, results were publicly pasted in the North West, 93%; North East, 96%; North Central, 92%; South West, 88%; South East, 90%; and South South, 89%.
To improve Nigeria’s electoral process, TMG recommended that political parties and candidates restrict their campaigns to Nigeria’s development issues.
Former Senate President, David Mark has been declared winner of the February 20 Benue South Senatorial District Re-run election.
The Independent National Election Commission, INEC, declared Mark the winner in the early hours of Sunday, less than 24 hours from the commencement of the election.
The ex-senate president garnered total of 84, 192 while his main contender, Daniel Onjeh polled 71, 621 votes.
Mark won in five local government areas while Onjeh won in four. The result was declared by Prof. Ishaku Enigi.
As preparations toward the February 20th senatorial re-run election between David Mark of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and Comrade Daniel Onjeh of the All Progressive Congress, APC heat up. The Onjeh Campaign Organisation has accused the former senate President David Mark, of importing Militants into Otukpo ahead of the poll.
The Director Media and Publicity of Onjeh Campaign Organisation , Comrade Okpokwu Ogenyi in a press statement, stated that David Mark is turning Benue South into a theatre of war. ” David Mark’s militants arrived Otukpo last night and are being lodged at a hotel, 25th May, Asa Otukpo. The hotel owned by Mark’s son Inalegwu Mark is currently hosting the first batch of the Niger Delta militants who arrived from Asaba, Delta State”.
The second batch moving from Bayalsa State are currently camped at uturu, Abia state on their way to Otukpo . Earlier, the Gov.of Bayalsa State, Mr Dickson was in Otukpo, where deals were sealed on how to forcefully rig the re-run election. The importation of the Militants shows the desperation of Mark and the opposition PDP towards the re-run election.
It’s more glaring that Mark has lost grip of his people hence he’s resulting to war situation. We believe on the credibility of our security agencies and their capacity to avert the impending mass murder planted by Mark.
We hereby call on the chief Security officer of the the country , President Muhammadu Buhari, the inspector general of Police and other security outfits in the country, to immediately come to the aid of the Idoma – Igede Nation before we are completely wipe out by David Mark’s Militants.
The people of Benue South should be allow to choose their senator, as it’s evident that democracy is of the people. Mark whose political slogan is anchored on war, started by calling for home land defence even though we are not at war.
The Och’Idoma, Agabaidu Ikoyi Obekpa has said, the Idoma people are not at war, but the current importation of the dreaded Niger Delta Militants into Otukpo, calls for immediate intervention of the security agencies . Mark is not the first person to loose election in Nigeria, even a sitting President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan lost his return bid, but he didn’t call for Nigerians head, what is in the National Assembly that Mark has not seen? That your people no longer want you, you shouldn’t call for their head.
More than six months after taking the Oath of Office and pledging to bring much-needed change to Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari finally swore in 36 men and women as ministers to complete the formation of his government this month. The intrigues and permutations that preceded the event were as interesting as they were unpredictable. The President kept his cards close to his chest all through the process and no one could tell who was getting what portfolio. Like a proper intelligence master, no one could read his play until the very last second.
When President Buhari finally read out his list of ministers and their portfolios, barely a few eyebrows were raised; while some were in disappointment, most were in surprise. For the people of South-West Nigeria, those eyebrows must have been raised in uncommon delight and towering optimism. For the first time in Nigeria’s history, the region was given some of the most critical ministries in public service. In essence, the President has acknowledged the region that has produced the highest number of intellectuals in the country by giving it the responsibility to lead Nigeria to greater heights.
A look at federal cabinets since the return of democracy shows that this is the first time the South-West region would be so anchored with such a magnitude of responsibility. Between 1999 and 2003, seven men from the region were picked to be ministers. Only four were allotted critical ministries: Education -Tunde Adeniran, (June 1999–February 2001) Babalola Borishade, (February 2001– May 2003), Power and Steel – Bola Ige and Segun Agagu (June 1999–Jan 2000 and 2000-2003, respectively) and Attorney-General – Bola Ige (Jan 2000–2002). None of the aforementioned individuals spent a full four-year term in their respective portfolios.
Again, between 2003 and 2007, three men from the South-West shared a significant portfolio. The Works and Housing Ministry was headed by three men at different times Adeseye Ogunlewe, (July 2003–March 2006) Obafemi Anibaba (March 2006–Sep 2006) and Cornelius Adebayo (Sep 2006–Jan 2007). The latter previously held sway at the Communications Ministry between July 2003 and August 2006.
The following individuals held critical positions in the 6th and 7th republics: Ademola Seriki -Minister of State, Defence; Remi Babalola – Minister of State, Finance; Prof B. Osotimehin – Minister of Health; Olusegun Aganga – Minister of Finance; Erelu Obada – Minister of State, Defence; Omobola Johnson – Minister of Communication Technology.
When you compare all those past quotas for the South-West with those currently on President Buhari’s cabinet, there is a remarkable difference in the weight of the portfolio and expectation placed on the region.
- Former Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola (SAN) (Lagos): Federal Minister for Power, Works and Housing
- Former Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi (Ph.D.) (Ekiti): Federal Minister for Solid Minerals
- Former Ogun State Commissioner for Finance, Kemi Osun (Ogun): Federal Minister for Finance
- Former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Isaac Folorunsho (Osun): Federal Minister for Health
- Former Attorney-General and Oyo State Commissioner for Justice, Adebayo Shittu (Oyo): Federal Minister for Communications
- Prof. Omoyele Daramola (Ondo) – State Minister for Niger-Delta.
With these appointments, the president is clearly telling the Yoruba people to take the lead and deploy their widely-revered brainpower and work ethics to the betterment of all Nigerians. This is a call to action for the people of deep reasoning to contribute immensely to the polity and make Nigeria a model for success stories that Lagos State has become under successive progressive leaderships. All the people of the region must now look beyond party and religious affiliations and support these great ambassadors with ideas, information, contacts and prayers to make their efforts seamless and fruitful. Who knows if one of these six will be in prime position to be President soon?