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Nigeria: Lawmakers reject bill, insist public officers’ children can study abroad

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The House of Representatives which is the lower chamber of Nigeria’s bicameral National Assembly has again rejected a bill to prohibit public officials from sending their children and wards to schools abroad without approval of Minister of Education. The bill was sponsored by Sergius Ogun, a member of the main opposition in the country – People’s Democratic Party (PDP) representing Esan North-East federal constituency of Edo. Ogun had introduced a similar bill in the 8th Assembly, but the lawmakers rejected the bill.Mr Ogun argued that the bill will help to address the fallen standard in Nigerian public schools.“This bill is proposed against the background of fallen standards in our educational system and the need to bring the sector up to speed with global best standards.”“Unfortunately, as a result of the inability of the government to provide quality education in its public educational institutions, Nigerians have resorted to private schools and foreign schools for their education,” he said.Some members of the house argued that not all public officers control public funds and should not be prevented from giving their children the best education that they can afford.Nicholas Ossai from Delta State said the bill violates the individual rights of Nigerians. He requested that the bill should be withdrawn. “This bill when passed into law will engender the actualization of the provisions of the United Nations Convention against Corruption, to which Nigeria is a party”.The rejected bill also proposed that the Minister of Education shall conduct investigation to verify the authenticity of the documents submitted for approval. It also provides a fine of N1 million or three years’ imprisonment for breach of the law.The bill also highlights that “a public officer shall not send his ward or children oversea for studies without declaration of interest subject to approval.”“A public officer declaring interest in sending his ward or child abroad for further studies shall submit the following documents for consideration:Meanwhile, Lecturers in Nigerian universities under the umbrella of The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on 15, February commenced a four-week strike over failure of the Nigeria government to meet an agreement that dates back to 2009.

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Politics

Nigeria: Senate President wants police rid of bad officers 

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Nigeria’s Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, has asked the police to get rid of bad officers. He also promised that the National Assembly would work with and back the police to make Nigeria safer.

Akpabio said this at the first Nigeria Police Awards and Commendations Ceremony, which took place in Abuja on Monday night. The Senate President commended the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, and the rest of the Nigeria Police leadership for putting together the event. He also told them to use it to celebrate the force’s accomplishments and reaffirm their promise to work together to make Nigeria safer.

He stated,  “I commend the Police for this maiden effort in organising this awards ceremony. It is a testament to IGP Egbetokun’s commitment to giving honour to whom it is due.

“By recognising the gallant, selfless and patriotic contributions of individual officers, we not only motivate them for higher performance but also reinforce the new policing agenda of the Force.

“This agenda focuses on internal ethical regeneration, restoration of professional standards and the enhancement of the anti-corruption drive.

“However, let us not ignore the challenges faced by the police in Nigeria. The ever-evolving landscape of crime and the increasing sophistication of criminal gangs pose significant obstacles. “

“Moreso, as we honour the good officers, let us weed out the bad ones because a chain is as strong as its weakest link. We must address these issues and work together to find solutions, he emphasised.

In front of Vice President Kashim Shettima and other important people, Akpabio said, “As the leader of the National Assembly, I pledge our full cooperation and support for better cops in Nigeria.”

“We recognise the importance of a well-equipped and motivated police force in ensuring the security and well-being of our citizens.

“We will continue to work tirelessly to provide the necessary legislative framework and resources to enable the police to carry out their duties effectively.”

Statista data shows that most Nigerians did not trust the cops at all in 2020. In cities, where six out of ten people who answered the survey said they didn’t believe the police, this lack of trust was higher. Also, 19% of the people interviewed in Nigeria’s cities and 26.8% of those interviewed in the country’s rural areas said they merely trusted the police.

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Chad: Interim President Deby begins campaign ahead of election

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With a promise to improve security and the economy, Mahamat Idriss Deby, Chad’s temporary president, started his campaign for president on Monday.

 

The election is set for next month and will end three years of military rule. Concerns of a democracy backslide have been raised about Deby’s government and others that have taken power in West and Central Africa since 2020.

 

Chad is one of the countries in Central and West Africa that is run by the military. There is still a push from both inside and outside of Africa for the country to switch to a democratic government.

 

Mahamat’s father had been in charge for a long time and was killed in rebel fighting in 2021. At first, Deby promised that polls would happen in 18 months. Later, however, his government passed measures that let him run for president and pushed the election date to 2024.

 

 

Some countries in the region and around the world have been pressuring Chad to quickly hand power back to people, but the country has been the first to hold elections.

 

 

“Today we are at the final turn on the road to constitutional return,” Deby told a large crowd gathered in scorching weather at the high-security event in Chad’s capital N’Djamena.

 

 

“You know me, I am a soldier and I hold my promises,” he said, barely visible behind a barrier of bodyguards crowding the podium.

“We will strengthen internal security to guarantee peace and stability in our country,” he said.

 

 

 

Deby made it official that he was going to run at the beginning of March. The news came a few days after Yaya Dillo, an opposition politician, was killed in a gunfight with security forces. This caused worries about the safety of the upcoming election.

 

Since then, forensic experts have said that Dillo was most likely shot from close range. Among the nine other candidates for president is Succes Masra, who was recently named Prime Minister of Chad and is a strong opponent of the junta.

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