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Constitution Amendment: KONGONET urges Nigerians to heed call for Memoranda

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By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.

KOGI Non-governmental Organisations Network (KONGONET) has called on all Nigerians to exploit the opportunity to amend critical portions of the Nigerian Constitution by sending their Memoranda to the National Assembly.

The Network made the call in a Communique issued at the end of a “One-day Stakeholders’ Townhall Meeting On The Call For Memoranda”, on Wednesday in Lokoja.

The Communique noted that the current effort has provided forum for Nigerians to make their inputs in addressing age-old national issues and providing opportunities to right the wrongs in national issues.

The Communique, signed by Amb. Idris Ozovehe Muraina,
Chairperson, KONGONET and Hamza Aliyu, Executive Director, Initiative for Grassroot Advancement in Nigeria (INGRA) reiterated the need for all Nigerians to collectively fashion out a better future for the nation.

It noted that the constitutional review process presented a crucial opportunity for Nigerians to advocate for positive changes that reflect the needs and aspirations of the people.

According to the Communique, KONGONET is committed to actively participate in the ongoing constitutional review process and urged Nigerians to “join the conversation and contribute to shaping a better future for our nation.”

The Constitution Review Committee, he said, invited submissions on a wide range of thematic areas including the
Federal Structure and Power Devolution; Local Government Autonomy;
Public Revenue, Fiscal Federalism, and Revenue Allocation among others.

The purpose of the meeting, according to the Communique, is to discuss and strategize KONGONET’s participation in the constitutional review process initiated by the 10th National Assembly’s Committee.

It said that the networks and other organizations with similar thematic areas would adopt related thematic areas from the call for memoranda and collaborate to develop a memorandum or memoranda for onward submission.

“That civil society organizations in the state are passionate about the alteration on the following areas; Federal Structure and Power Devolution (especially section 2(2), Local Government Autonomy, Nigerian Police and Security Architecture,

“Electoral Reforms for a Stronger INEC, Gender issues, Immunity Clause Review, State Access to Mining and the alteration of section 9 to insert referendum to bring constitutional alteration into effect without presidential assent”, the CSOs said. (Ends)

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News From Kogi

Kogi inaugurates 22-Member OGP State Steering Committee

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By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja

KOGI State Government has inaugurated a 22-member Open Government Partnership (OGP) State Steering Committee comprising state and non-state actors to reinforce the state Government’s commitment to issues of Transparency, Accountability and Citizen Participation.

Dr (Mrs) Folashade Arike Ayo-Ade, Secretary to the State Government (SSG) who inaugurated the Committee on Tuesday in Lokoja, said the programme would place Kogi on the global map in the areas of Transparency, Accountability and Citizen Participation.

She described OGP as a multilateral initiative aimed at securing concrete commitments from national and Sub-national Governments to promote Open Government.

The Partnership, she added, also is geared towards empowering the citizens, fight corruption and harness new technologies to strengthen governance.

The SSG said that the OGP was launched in 2011 to provide an international platform for domestic Reformers ready to make their government Open, Accountable and Responsive to citizens.

“As we all know, the present administration under the dynamic Leadership of His Excellency Alhaji Usman Ododo has been in the forefront in practicing and implementing the principles of Open Government.

“The involvement of citizens in governance has assumed a whole new dimension with the appointment of men and women in all levels Government”, she said.

Asiwaju Ashiru Idris (Mukadam), the State Commissioner for Finance, Budget and Economic Planning who is also Co-Chairman of the Committee said the state had recorded a lot achievements both locally and internationally in Transparency and Accountability.

He said that with the inauguration of OGP, the state would continue to wax stronger and stronger adding that Governor Ahmed Usman Ododo had directed that all monies accruing to the state be published quarterly to buttress his commitment to accountability.

The Commissioner said that the Committee would further help to roll out more strategies to enhance the implementation of the state Action Plan and enable coverage of the lost grounds.

In his Vote of Thanks, the second Co-Chairman of the OGP, Amb. Idris Ozovehe Muraina described the inauguration as a significant milestone in the collective journey towards transparency, accountability, and citizens engagement in governance.

Muraina who is also Chairman Kogi NGOs Network (KONGONET), said the official inauguration of the OGP in Kogi marks “a new chapter in our efforts to foster greater transparency, enhance public participation and combat corruption.

He noted that committee had crucial role to play in holding our government accountable saying, “I believe that by working together, we can bring about positive changes and make a real difference in the lives of the people of Kogi State.

“Let us seize this opportunity to collaborate, innovate, and drive forward our shared vision of a more open and inclusive government that puts the interests of the people first.”

Muraina explained that the the OGP bill in the state was passed and assented to in 2022, adding that it was leveraging on four basic principles of Transparency, Inclusive Participation Accountability, Innovation and Ambition, based on five standards. (Ends)

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Put Politics Behind, Support Gov. Ododo – Abejide Urges Kogi People

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**Says Nov. 11, 2023 Governorship Election was freely won

By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.

Honorable Leke Joseph Abejide, candidate of African Democratic Congress (ADC) in the November 11, Governorship Election in Kogi, has urged people of the state to put politics behind them and support Governor Ahmed Usman Ododo to build a virile, secured and prosperous State.

Abejide, Member representing Yagba Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives, made the call while addressing guests at a wedding ceremony, in Lokoja, the State capital.

The Parliamentarian urged well-meaning Kogi indigenes to keep politics in abeyance for now and give maximum support to the government to achieve progress on all fronts, reiterating his stance that the election was freely won.

According to him, there is time for politics and time for governance and presently, time for politics is over adding, “We have had our election and a winner has emerged.

“I still find it surprising that some people are still working to pull down the government because of election that was freely won, with the people’s voice heard loud and clear.

“Let me use this medium to call that we put behind the Governorship election. Let’s join hands with Gov. Usman Ahmed Ododo to build a virile Kogi State.

“All the negative things that are unsubstantiated that are not true but being said about the government and state are also affecting our development.

“Let’s give the Governor the support to work for the good of the generality of the people”, Abejide said. (Ends)

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Gov. Ododo pledges to Improve Local Security Architecture with community road networks

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By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.

AS part of his deliberate steps to improve logistics for local security architecture in Kogi State, Governor Ahmed Usman Ododo has said that his administration will soon embark construction of network of roads in rural communities.

Governor Ododo who disclosed this while on Sallah homage to the Onyukoko-Idoji ward in Okene Local Government Area said the network of roads would link communities in different parts of the state.

Addressing a gathering of his supporters at Idoji, the governor expressed concern over the condition of the Idoji-Enyinare road promising that immediate attention would be given to the road.

This, he said, would be executed along with other roads linking local communities in different parts of the state.

He stressed that people in local communities needed to be connected by road infrastructures to enhance social and economic activities across the state.

Governor Ododo said he was well aware of the socio economic and infrastructural deficits in rural areas and pledged that his administration will not relent in closing the gaps in road infrastructure in the state for the benefit of all citizens.

The Governor expressed appreciation to the youths, women and other stakeholders in the area for the tremendous support he received during the November 11, 2023 Governorship Election.

He assured them that their welfare would receive priority attention under his leadership.

Governor Ododo however, enjoined the youths to desist from divisive tendencies but strive to sustain the prevailing peaceful coexistence in the area as he assured the community of improved logistics for the local vigilante group.

He also promised that his administration would remodel the local security architecture in the area and make it a template for other communities in the state as part of the renewed onslaught against criminals in the state.

In appreciation of the pivotal role played by people of Onyukoko-Idoji ward in his emergence as Governor, Ododo promised to accord tremendous importance to the people and the area.

He noted that their sacrifices served as the foundation for the agitation for equity in the political history of Kogi State. (Ends)

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