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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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Tribunal Sacks Dino Melaye, Orders Fresh Election

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The National Assembly/State Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Lokoja on Friday sacked Senator Dino Melaye as the Senator for Kogi West.

In its judgement, the tribunal ordered that fresh elections should be held in the senatorial district.

More details soon.

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Saraki? No more godfatherism in Kwara, says Gov AbdulRazaq

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Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has said that the dislodgement of Saraki dynasty in the last general elections put an end to godfatherism in the state’s politics.

The governor said this in Ilorin at a national youth summit organised by the Youths Assembly of Nigeria (YAN). The theme of the summit is ‘reforming education.’ The governor added that “the godfathers still want to remain as godfathers anywhere in the world. Thank God we have destroyed godfather in Kwara state politics. And never will godfathers come to the state again.”

Represented by his Deputy Kayode Alabi, Mallam AbdulRazaq urged the youths in Nigeria to take over the reins of power through their permanent voter’s cards (PVCs). Said he: “The old men and women will never hand over power voluntarily to the youths.

There are so many things around power that will never allow them to hand over power to you. You have to take it not violently but through your voter’s cards. The guys that came up with the slogan ‘otoge’ were between the ages of 30 and 35. When I listened to the proposal and heard ‘otoge’ a sweetness welled up in my belly as I was sure that the ‘Otoge’ slogan would win the election.

“We used the slogan to educate the people. Our opponents spent money but we did not spend money. The ‘otoge slogan went into the mindset of the people and did the wonders. We won the election because the youths woke up in Kwara and decided to take their destinies into their own hands.

There is nothing like godfather. There is only one God the Almighty. Let nobody intimidate you. But you and I allow godfathers to survive. “The people listened to the slogan of otoge and came out massively with God on our side voted for us to win the last election.

It is time for the youths in this country to say no to old order.” He disclosed that “our pact with the people of Kwara state is to deliver qualitative and quantitative education under conducive environment. There is no going back on that as you shall see in the next few years.

There is a nexus between education, employment opportunities, youth empowerment and crime rate. The society has two options to either empower and guide young people to the right path or spend resources fighting crimes. We choose the former. We will key into all the development agenda to help our youths become responsible.

We will also show good example for young people to emulate. We will continue to identify and partner with you.” Speaking, YAN vehemently opposed the called for revolution in the country by the publisher of online newspaper Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore.

Rather the youths urged their members to revolt against the old order through the use of their permanent voter’s cards (PVCs) in subsequent elections in the country. National Speaker and Kwara state Ambassador of YAN Samuel Godstime and Musbau Esinrogunjo told reporters on the sideline of the summit. Said Godstime:

“Nigerian youth are opposed to any form of revolution. Therefore, we are appealing to all the youths in the country to revolt against the old order by using their voter’s cards not buy force of arm. “Let us use our PVCs and ensure that the youth take over the leadership of this country not by trying to cause mayhem in any part of the country.

“The youth should use their PVCs in the next elections for the so-called revolution. We have discovered that the youths in the country constitute about 65 percent of the electorate. We are saying no to revolution. Let us use what we have, which is our PVCs, to get what we want in the next general elections.

The unity of Nigeria is paramount and non negotiable.” Esinrogunjo, a former senatorial aspirant in the state said “It is even strange that somebody that contested for the presidency of the country and lost would be the one instigating the youths to revolt against the government. We say no to that. We don’t want bloodshed in Nigeria.”

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New Twist In Edo Saga As Obaseki Pays Oshiomole, Surprise Visit

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The Governor of Edo State, Governor Godwin Obaseki appears to have set aside the alleged rift between his administration and his predecessor, Comrade Adams Oshiomole when he called on the Iyanmoh residence of the latter in celebration of Eid al Adha.
 
In his special Sallah message to the Muslim community last week, the governor had enjoined all citizens to eschew bitterness and rancour and work for the development of all of Edo State.
 
The Governor demonstrated the virtues of the season with his visit to the Party Chairman and his mother, Hajia Aishetu Oshiomole, in spite of the rumoured differences between both men.
 
During the visit, Governor Godwin Obaseki expressed his delight at the incredible support he received from the Muslim community and reiterated his commitment to the transformation of Edo State and the empowerment of all its people.
 
In response, the Otaru of Auchi commended the governor for his uncommon leadership and advised him not to succumb to the forces of darkness preaching division in Edo State. He encouraged the Governor to remain prayerful and continue to strive in the interest of the people.
 
Speaking after the visit, the Special Adviser to the Governor on media and communications, Mr. Crusoe Osagie congratulated the Muslim community and lauded the Governor for his demonstration of exemplary leadership. He suggested that the visit would likely unnerve a tiny fraction of the people of the state.
 
“The notion that these two men are adversaries is being propagated by morally and financially insolvent people seeking to profit off of the challenges they have been working so hard to foment. You cannot blame such people really. Their talents and abilities are severely limited, so it is in their collective interest to stoke tension and drive division, but I can tell you that they have already failed” he posited.
 
“It is not in their interests for Edo State to peacefully progress, so they will try to mis-categorise this visit. This is what they’ve always done and it’s their stock in trade”.
 
“True leaders understand that they represent the people in whose interests they must serve. This is why His Excellency has always said that the resources of the state, are for the people only, and not for a negligible minority and nothing can ever change this” he concluded.

Asked whether this means that a new proclamation of the State House of Assembly will be issued by the Governor in conformity with the directives of the National Assembly, Osagie was unequivocal. “I cannot speak on this matter as it is sub-judice. But I think the whole world knows that the Edo State House of Assembly has already been inaugurated. No person or group of persons or institution other than the judiciary can order a state governor to do anything on a matter that is presently before courts of competent jurisdiction.We are a nation of Laws and by the special grace of God, will all be alive to witness the law run its full course” he concluded.

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