Ahead of the celebration of the epochal Democracy Day, marked for June 12, 2021, the Yoruba Global Council (YGC), has expressed concerns over shrinking civic space, lingering social injustice and the dwindling democratic values in Nigeria.
However, the group in a press statement signed by its spokesperson, Prof. Lere Amusan felicitates with Nigerians and government at all levels on the day, marking 22 years since return of Democracy in Nigeria, even as it expressed worry over lingering state of the nation.
“In the spirit of celebrations, we are seriously perturbed by recent unwary development threatening citizens’ fundamental rights and freedom as well as civic space at all levels, particularly on Yoruba land.
“We, without hesitation, state that true Democracy in Nigeria is threatened by recurring political efforts to shrink civic space, growing ethnic intolerance, disobedience to citizens’ human rights, lingering socio-economic injustice, poor policy response to diverse agitations, and mismatched political ideology by successive administrations.
“While Nigerians were hopeful for renewed dynamism in addressing the myriad problems bedeviling the country following the return of Democracy in 1999, we are concerned that they are today compelled to endure growing socio-economic and political challenges presented by successive administrations. These include endless insecurity, pervasive corruption and mismanagement, rising poverty and unemployment, non-observance of citizens’ human rights, and total disobedience to the rule of law.
“We observed that effort at citizenry levels to protest and express dissatisfaction with governance is hampered by threats that currently manifest in media harassment and intimidation, unlawful ban of a social media App, constant harassment of Human Rights and Anti-corruption Civil Society Organisations, illegal ban on protest, and arbitrary arrests.
“These without doubt, are basic symptoms of the lack of necessary democratic values in Nigeria.
“We on this note express total disappointment at unlawful actions of some individuals or groups to undermine Democratic values, inflame mayhems and public disorder as recently demonstrated in unconstitutional restriction of fellow citizens’ rights and freedom, targeted destructions to lives and public property, and unguarded divisive utterances, primarily to aggravate ethnic tensions and communal instabilities.
“We are more concerned that the democratic values which were meant to enhance socio-economic opportunities for betterment of the marginalised, promote peaceful co-existence, secure citizens’ rights and freedom, and protect the vulnerable groups are mistook by some individuals or groups to exacerbate insecurity, inflict tensions, killings, destructions and instabilities; as recently observed in some parts of the country.
“We reiterate concerns over shaky credibility and integrity that dominates Nigeria’s electoral system and process. This accompanied by electoral irregularities including fraud, vote buying and igging as well as massive deployment of hoodlums in elections, continues to impair reform, justice, transparency and accountability in electoral process, while breathing public distrust in political institutions.
We therefore call for thorough review of party politics and political ideology to pilot a people-oriented blueprint for desired good governance and true democracy in Nigeria.
“We demand unconditional respect for citizens’ human rights irrespective of their socio-economic and political status at all levels including recognition of their freedom of expression as a Constitutional right and not privilege.
“As efficient delivery of democratic dividend to the citizens rests largely on enabling legal environment through strict adherence to the rule of law by relevant institutions, we call for total respect for the sanity and sanctity of the rule of law to enhance democratic values such as accountability, transparency, and human rights promotion and protection.
“We call on the government at all levels to uphold and allow civic space for meaningful contribution to democratic governance in Nigeria, with demonstrated commitment to the principles of responsibility and responsiveness for good governance.
“We demand sincere effort by relevant authorities to address pervasive insecurity, unemployment and poverty with strong emphasis on true federalism and Local Government Autonomy to enable impactful democratic dividend and sustainable development in the grassroots.
“We call for the creation of an independent and functional Electoral Offences Commission to investigate and prosecute breaches of relevant electoral provisions including vote buying and rigging.
“We demand an independent and strengthened electoral institution to actualise and maintain secret balloting system and electoral voting in the entire process including registration, accreditation, vote counting, collation and announcement chain to discourage vote buying and rigging, and enhance electoral integrity and accountability.
“We further demand immediate investigation and prosecution of the recent killings of innocent citizens and security personnel in various parts of the country to demonstrate social justice, reinforce peaceful co-existence and responsive governance.
We also call for the development of a new policy framework with comprehensive mutual benefit to address existing communal challenges and compensate victims of social injustice and marginalisation to foster national integrity.
“We encourage the media at all levels on appropriate public enlightenment and citizens’ re-orientation to mitigate impact of reported cases of divisive utterances, hate speeches and provocation, to complement policy effort towards sustainable peaceful co-existence.
Van Vicker Finally Bags Varsity Degree — 24 Years After Secondary Education
The 43-year-old movie director, who is a renowned face in Nollywood, took to his Instagram page to recount the touching tale of his educational journey.
He said while his secondary schoolmates were enrolling at the tertiary institution in 1997, his single mother couldn’t afford to send him to school.
He also accompanied the post with a photo in which he could be seen wearing a graduation robe of the African University College of Communication (AUCC).
Vicker said he bagged first-class honours in Strategic Communications and was named the overall best in his set.
“21 years later, here I stand before you with 3 achievements during my graduation; to God be the glory. 1. 1st class honors. 2. Best Student in Strategic communication. 3. Best Communication Student Award,” the actor wrote.
“The above is within the context of my 2021 post on social media and is in no way presumptuous but uprightly to inspire. I could not enroll at a tertiary institution in 1997 because my single mother did not have the funds.
“If free SHS was available back in the day, most likely I would have graduated in 2000/2001. My career took off and I have been blessed but as someone who relishes education getting that degree was just a matter of time.
“I complete my Masters program this December and I am sorely motivated and committed to going even beyond, God willing. I thank all those who supported me and are supporting me during this journey.”
Vicker has appeared in hundreds of films including ‘My Soul Mate’, ‘Heart of Fire’, ‘Popular King’, ‘Gambling with Marriage’, ‘Harvest of Love’, ‘Stolen Will’, ‘The Joy of a Prince’, ‘Discovered’, ‘The Kingdom’ and ‘Against The Law’.
Hushpuppi Pleads Guilty To Fraud
United States Department of Justice (DoJ) in a statement on Wednesday said court documents show that Abbas, a 37-year-old Nigerian national, pleaded guilty on April 20.
A version of Hushpuppi’s plea agreement filed late Tuesday outlines his role in a school finance scheme, as well as several other cyber and business email compromise schemes that cumulatively caused more than $24 million in losses.
Acting United States Attorney Tracy L. Wilkison said Hushpuppi allegedly faked the financing of a Qatari school by playing the roles of bank officials and creating a bogus website in a scheme that also bribed a foreign official to keep the elaborate pretense going after the victim was tipped off.
Wilkison stated that Hushpuppi played “a significant role in the scheme, funded his luxurious lifestyle by laundering illicit proceeds generated by con artists who use increasingly sophisticated means.”
Kristi K. Johnson, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office said Hushpuppi “among the most high-profile money launderers in the world, has admitted to his significant role in perpetrating global BEC fraud, a scheme currently plaguing Americans.
“His celebrity status and ability to make connections seeped into legitimate organizations and led to several spin-off schemes in the U.S. and abroad,” Johnson said in the DoJ statement.
Hushpuppi and members of his gang were arrested while sleeping at their Dubai residences in June 2020.
The Nigerian fraudster was arrested along with Olalekan Jacob Ponle, also known as Woodberry and 10 others.
Mother Of 10 Loses 48 Years Marriage Over Denying Husband Sex
An Igando Customary Court in Lagos, on Wednesday, granted the request of her estranged husband, Mojidi, to dissolve the union.
The court president, Mr Adeniyi Koledoye, said that since the petitioner insisted on divorce after several interventions, the court was left with no option other than to grant him his prayer; and pronounced the union dissolved.
“The court hereby pronounces the marriage between Mr Mojidi Osho and Mrs Tolu Osho dissolved yesterday.
“Both of you henceforth cease to be husband and wife.
“Each of you should go his or her separate ways unmolested; the court wishes both of you well in your future endeavours,” Koledoye asserted.
The president ordered the petitioner to pay N250,000 to his wife as a severance fee and also pay another N250,000 for her to get a new accommodation.
The petitioner, a 72-year-old mechanic, Mr Mojidi Osho, had earlier told the court to nullify his marriage because his wife was denying him his conjugal right to sleep with her.
“The last time my wife allowed me to sleep with her was 10 years ago.
“I am starving seriously, but whenever I come home with my girlfriends, she will chase them away,” Osho said.
The septuagenarian also accused his wife of threatening to kill him so that she can inherit his property.
“My wife wanted to kill me; she has been feeding me with poison.
“There was a day I fainted and was rushed to the hospital and it was detected that I ate poison.
“I thought I will not survive it, but God saved me and I stopped eating her food,” he said.
The embattled man said his wife was a witch who kept attacking him in the spiritual realm.
“On two occasions, she shot arrows at me in my sleep which led to sicknesses, but God healed me.
“She also buried charm in my workshop and customers stopped patronising me.
“My wife made me impotent, but I survived it after spending huge amounts on hospital and herbal treatment,” he claimed.
“Tolu makes my life miserable, I would have gone far in life if I have not married her.
“I regret the day I met her and I wish I can turn back the hand of the clock,’’ Osho said.
According to him, Tolu stopped washing his clothes 27 years ago; h,e therefore, begged the court to end the marriage to save him from committing murder.
Responding to the allegations, the 68-year-old trader, Tolu, said that she denied her husband sex for only four years not 10 years as he claimed.
“I stopped him from making love to me four years ago when he started bringing different girls home to sleep with, after which he will want to sleep with me; so I refused him,” she stated.
The mother of 10 children denied threatening her husband’s life or attempting to kill him through poisoning.
“I did not poison my husband’s food since 1973 when we got married, is it now that I will poison him?
“He is just looking for excuses to discard me; he came to this court to divorce his second wife, now he wants to also divorce me so that he can marry a new wife,” Tolu said.
According to her, Osho is fond of invoking curses on their children, which is affecting their lives now.
The respondent begged the court not to grant her husband’s wish for the dissolution of their marriage, saying she still loved him
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