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The Quest For An Incorruptible And Proficient Secretary To The Government Of The Federation

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In a matter of hours the curtains will fall on the first tenure of the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration, as we are ushered into a new dispensation that promises Nigeria a better deal and an accelerated improvement on the masterly successes recorded in the last four years.

The Team that will work with the President in the coming dispensation will determine greatly the pace of progress Nigeria will record in the next four years. It is therefore of prime importance that these individuals be finely selected to reflect the sterling attributes of incorruptibility, proficiency, altruism and above all patriotism which President Muhammadu Buhari espouses.

One of the most sensitive of these appointments which require thorough scrutiny and conscionable assessment of the pedigree, character and proven credentials of the appointee to be so appointed is that of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation is expected to “ensure the effective coordination and monitoring of the implementation of government policies and programmes for the overall development of the country” and is saddled amongst others with the following critical responsibilities;
i. Coordinating policy design and formulation by Ministries, Departments and Agencies for approval by Government;
ii. Serving as Secretary to the Council of State, the Federal Executive Council and other
Constitutional Councils, which are chaired by the President;
iii. Coordinating the activities of Ministries and Government Agencies on the implementation of Government decisions, policies and programmes
iv) Dealing with constitutional, political and socio-economic matters as may be referred to the Presidency;
v. Coordinating the appointments to Headship of Statutory Bodies, Commissions and Agencies by the President;
vi) Liaison with Secretaries to State Governments; et al.

To underscore the significance of this critical office, nations always put forward their best when it comes to selection and appointment of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation or Secretary of State as most nations choose to refer. If the right parameters are to be adopted in the appointment of a new Secretary to the Government of the Federation, only a minuscule few will meet up the set standards.

A meticulous search through the gallery of leaders and public servants has revealed one such patriot with towering antecedents, pedigree, immutable character and astounding credentials in the person of Dame Pauline Kedem Tallen. Rising from humble beginnings as a class teacher to the zenith of political leadership as one of the first female Ministers at the dawn of democracy in 1999 and first female Deputy Governor from Northern Nigeria, her leadership/stewardship odyssey has seen her rise steadily and meteorically all at once as a fulfilled public servant whose career is laden with a plethora of sterling achievements traversing education, politics, administration, human development, women empowerment and peace building. In 1986, she was elected as Councillor from where her lustre of excellence shone bright to elicit her appointment as Commissioner in the Plateau State Ministry of Social Development, Youth, Sports and Culture, and later Commissioner in the Ministry of Health. She served as a member of the Presidential Inauguration Committee where she still exhibited the rare streak of diligence she is known for. Thus leading to her appointment as Honourable Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, from 1999 to 2003. In 2005, she served as Chairman Governing Board, Raw Materials Research and Development (RMRDC). In the same year, 2005, her infectious patriotism merited her conferment with the priceless Award of National Honors of the Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR), by His Excellency, President Olusegun Obasanjo GCFR in appreciation of her unwavering and invaluable contribution to national development.
By dint of hardwork, sheer commitment, proven track records and an unquenchable desire to better the lot of her people, she was elected as Deputy Governor of Plateau from 2007 to 2011 making her the first ever female Deputy Governor in Northern Nigeria. In recognition of her vast political touch across the nation, she was appointed National Adviser of The National Campaign Women Council APC under the Chairperson of Mrs. Aisha Buhari, as well as Member Board of Trustees of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in 2015. She is presently the Chairman, Governing Board of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA).

It is noteworthy to emphasise that throughout her leadership sojourn from the grassroots to the national level she has maintained fervid and unbroken incorruptibility fused with her excellent performance record which earned her a presidential commendation. She continues to maintain a steadfast walk on the almost solitary pathway of integrity, hard work, discipline, decorum, respect for work ethics/ rules, adherence to due process and above all maintaining a finely trained skill for inclusive leadership that addresses the felt needs of the Masses. A renowned nationalist, detribalized Nigerian and highly revered global citizen, she is famously quoted to have said “You know me well. I am not a tribalist. I do not treat people based on sentiments. I believe in fairness to all”. Indeed these are exceptional qualities a candidate for appointment as Secretary to the Government of the Federation should possess.

It is also worthy of note to emphasise the calm mien of this altruistic patriot with a controlled temperament, composure, exposure and religious tolerance which qualifies her for the job. She is also widely travelled with vast diplomatic reach which will help strengthen multilateral and bilateral relationships with other nations. We must reiterate that In all her Public life she has never been associated with corruption. She is known for selfless service and humanitarian endeavors. She has always been a Mother to the poor, widows, women and youths irrespective of where they come from. She will therefore add value to President Buhari’s government in her capacity as Secretary to the Government of the Federation. Another plus is her fervid knack for quality education which spurred her on as the first female to establish a private nursery and primary school in Plateau state – Shendam Private School – which has produced a lot of innovative front liners in the medical profession, law, engineering and several other critical sectors. It is no strange fact that there exists a strong nexus between quality education and development. It is therefore empirical to decipher the fact that Dame Pauline Tallen will contribute greatly in redirecting our national educational policy for the “town to meet the gown” on a trajectory of innovative development.

Finally, it is important to draw attention to the fact that President Muhammadu Buhari has promised inclusive governance and involvement of women in the top hierarchy of national leadership. This is clearly in consonance with global trends where women have been appointed/elected to top positions where they performed creditably well. Women such as Angela Merkel, German Chancellor; Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund; Theresa May, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Jacinda Arden, Prime Minister of New Zealand; and Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, President of Croatia – whose display of support for her national team at the 2018 FIFA world cup set a shining example for world leaders and inspired the Team to the finals of the competition; have all left indelible marks on the world leadership arena. In the United States of America, Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton respectively served as Secretary of State at various times and impacted positively on governance and policy matters.

Undoubtedly, posterity has thrown up Dame Pauline Kedem Tallen as that woman who will give the required Filip to the good intentions of Mr. President (as Secretary to the Government of the Federation) in the coming administration, measure up to and even surpass the achievements of other female world leaders and strengthen efficiency, transparency, prudence, rapid development and good governance for the accelerated forward voyage of our dear nation Nigeria. The best times are surely here for Nigerians as President Muhammadu Buhari is poised to work with an incorruptible and roundly competent Team.

God bless Nigeria!

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INEC Server Controversy: Atiku denies planning street protest

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The runner up in February’s presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, has denied planning to lead a street protest over the controversy surrounding the election result.

Mr Abubakar of the PDP is challenging the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari of the APC at the election tribunal.

One of his main grounds of contesting the result is that the officially declared result is different from that on the computer server of the electoral commission, INEC.

INEC has, however, denied that it had such server for the election.

In a statement by his spokesperson, Paul Ibe, on Sunday, Mr Abubakar said reports he was planning to lead a protest on the matter was false.

Read Mr Ibe’s full statement below.

Statement in circulation on INEC Server is handiwork of mischief makers to mar Atiku Abubakar’s spotless pro-democratic record, lay the groundwork on false charges against him

Abuja, Nigeria, 16 June 2019: Our attention has been drawn to a statement circulating in a section of the media, to the effect that Atiku Abubakar, Presidential candidate of PDP in the 2019 presidential election and Vice President of Nigeria, 1999-2007 plans to lead a street protest in the event that the election petition tribunal rules against his him and his party on the issue of a server for the Independent National Electoral Commission.

I wish to emphatically state that such a statement did not emanate from Atiku Abubakar or his privies. It is the work of mischief makers who want to mar his spotless pro-democratic record and lay the ground work for their threatened actions against him on false charges of being a threat to national security.

For the avoidance of doubt, Atiku Abubakar believes in the Rule of Law and in the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In his almost four decades in politics, he has never taken action or spoken words against democracy and will not start now.

Atiku Abubakar and his team have confidence in God and thus call on those bent on mischief to have the fear of God and retrace their steps. Democracy has come to stay in Nigeria. The culture of fear being created now cannot rein in our democracy. Nigeria and Nigerians have a consistent history of outlasting tyranny and will continue to do so by the grace of God.

Paul Ibe

Media Adviser to Atiku Abubakar

Presidential candidate of PDP & Vice President of Nigeria, 1999-2007.

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President Buhari, APC should give Southwest the 2023 presidential ticket – Senate President, Ahmed Lawan

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New Senate President, Ahmed Lawan in Yola during in an interview with journalist said the ruling party should consider shifting power to the South-West come 2023.

He advised President Buhari and his party, the APC, to take a step further in honour of June 12 by handing over the 2023 presidential ticket to the South-west.

“The president and indeed our party must beware of divisive elements who are now proponents of retaining power in the north beyond 2023. I have said it before and I believe that 2023 presidential ticket of the APC must go to the South-west. Since I made this comment last time, some members of my party have been hatching a plot to suspend me from the party but I am not moved and I will still hold my ground that power must go to the west” Lawan said.

He added that, “June 12 Democracy Day is a milestone in Nigeria’s history and anyone who embraces democracy in Nigeria should be proud of what Buhari has done and it takes so much courage to do. So many Nigerian leaders have shied away from talking or acting about it because of the controversy arising from the date and fear of being scandalized but this is what Nigerians want, respect, rule of law and honour for those who fought and bled for democracy and that is what Nigerians should remember as significant for this date.  

“It was not marked to spite or contradict anyone but to celebrate the common value we share in the belief in democracy as the best form of government that would serve this country and its people. And Buhari must be praised for this day.”

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Kogi 2019: Stakeholders, PDP drag Victor Adoji into guber race

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Barring any last-minute changes, top banker Dr. Victor Adoji, is expected to declare his intention to contest the November 16th governorship election in the state under the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, platform.

Adoji, the candidate of the African Democratic Congress, ADC, for the senate seat of Kogi East Constituency, in the just concluded National Assembly elections, has been adjudged as the best chance of the PDP in the quest to wrestle power from the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, in the state.

Those who hold the position say Adoji’s campaign structure during the last election was one which can partner with the formidable PDP platform in the state to win the election against the incumbent, Alhaji Yahaya Bello.

Adoji had returned to the PDP family on the 21st of April 2019 with his teeming supporters, few weeks after he was robbed of the senatorial victory.

Asked whether he (Adoji) can overcome other big players in the party primaries including Senator Dino Melaye and Rear Admiral Jibrin, the stakeholders insisted that his engagement style will easily win him the PDP ticket and as well see him defeat others at the election in November.

The stakeholders say that Dr. Adoji despite being in a relatively unknown party introduced innovative and pace-setting political strategies and innovation that swept the electorate off their feet across Kogi East Senatorial zone. This they say, can grab the seat for the party if properly deployed across the state.

During the just concluded senatorial election, Adoji is said to have met all stakeholders that needed to be met. These included youth groups, farmers, teachers, traders, widows, persons with disabilities, road transport workers, okada association, CAN, bishops, imams, students, traditional rulers, the Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa communities, women groups and many associations.

He also attended 418 town hall meetings, 702 closed door meetings and 87 private meetings. The Adoji campaign train is also recorded to have sent the most innovative bulk SMS, done Robocalls, made personal calls and put up blimps and banner boards (first of its kind in Kogi State) as well as run the best issue-based campaign built on a social contract with the people.

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