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Obaseki Reshuffles Cabinet, Rationalizes MDAs

Benin
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The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has approved a cabinet reshuffle and rationalization of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the state government.

In a statement, Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie Esq., said the governor gave the approval at the Executive Council (EXCO) on Wednesday.

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He noted that, “The rationalization of the MDAs is as a result of dwindling accruals from the Federation Account, which can no longer sustain the existing structure of the government.”

Ogie said the cabinet reshuffle and rationalization of MDAs led to the merger of certain ministries and re-deployment of Commissioners and Permanent Secretaries across MDAs.

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According to him, “As regards the cabinet reshuffle, Andrew Emwanta has been moved from the Ministry of Communication and Orientation to the Ministry of Youths and Humanitarian Affairs, while Chris Nehikhare will now man the Ministry of Communication and Orientation.

“A new Office of Special Duties is to be headed by a Commissioner, Osasere Malachi Evbuomwan.”

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He continued: “The affected Permanent Secretaries include Osagie A. Peter who has been moved from the Ministry of Housing to the Ministry of Youths and Gender Issues while Felicia Edwards is now at the Ministry of Public Security and Safety.

“Edionwe Joel, formerly of the Ministry of Public Security and Safety is now in the Ministry of Environment and Sustainability, while Efe Iserhienrhien of the former Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning is now in the Ministry of Business, Trade and Cooperatives.

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“Barbara Nekpen Aluyi Osobajo of the former Ministry of Social Development and Gender Issues is now in the Ministry of Physical Planning, Housing, Urban and Regional Development.

“Ifueko Alufohai of the former Ministry of Youth and Humanitarian Affairs is now in the Ministry of Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs while Abieyuwa Naps from the Ministry of Business, Trade and Cooperatives is now in the Ministry of Digital Economy, Science and Technology.

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“Washington Abbe from the Ministry of Transport has been moved to the Local Government Pensions Bureau while Gilbert Egwakhide has been moved from the Ministry of Education to the Ministry of Special Duties,” Ogie added.

Ogie further noted, “Okodugha Birgitta has been moved from the former Ministry of Science and Technology to the Edo State Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA).

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“In the new structure, the Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning has been merged with the Ministry of Finance to become the Ministry of Finance, Budget, Economic Planning and Development.

“The Ministry of Youth and Humanitarian Affairs is now the Ministry of Youth and Gender Issues while the former Ministry of Social Development and Gender Issues is now the Ministry of Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs.

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“The Ministry of Science and Technology is now the Ministry of Digital Economy, Science and Technology, while the Ministry of Mining, Oil and Gas has been merged with the Ministry of Energy to become the Ministry of Mining and Energy. The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives is now the Ministry of Business, Trade and Cooperatives.

“The Ministry of Housing has been merged with the Ministry of Physical Planning, Urban and Regional Development to become the Ministry of Physical Planning, Housing, Urban and Regional Development.”

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“The Ministry of Local Government has been merged with the Ministry of Community and Chieftaincy Affairs and now the Ministry of Local Government, Community and Chieftaincy Affairs,” he stated

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Elderly Woman Falls On Her Knees To Pray For Peter Obi In Jos Rally

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As political campaigns for the 2023 general elections commenced on Wednesday, a elderly woman has been captured praying for the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, during a solidarity rally held in Jos, Plateau State.

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The Director-General of the Obi-Datti Campaign organization, Doyin Okupe, in a tweet on Wednesday disclosed that the LP candidate and his vice, Datti Baba Ahmed, will attend the Jos rally although the party is yet to commence campaigns officially.

”Today in Jos, HE Peter Obi & his running mate Datti-Ahmed, will honour an invitation from the Middle Belt forum to attend a solidarity rally. We are yet to commence our own campaigns.

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To comfort our students, We urge the FG to quickly resolve the lingering ASSU Crisis,” the tweet read.

Amongst persons seen at the venue to welcome the LP flag bearer was an elderly woman on her knees in the midst of other supporters praying for Peter Obi at the Rwang Pam Stadium Jos, Plateau state.

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UNIBEN releases post-UTME, DE screenings date

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The University of Benin has fixed dates for its Post Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination and Direct Entry screenings for 2022/2023 session.

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The university in a notice by its Registrar, Ademola Bobola on Wednesday in Benin, said the exercise would hold between Nov. 14 and 25.

Bobola said the screening would be conducted in designated centres at the Ugbowo main campus of the institution, using the Computer Based Test mode.

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“Only candidates who applied through JAMB for the 2022/2023 UTME and Direct Entry admission and chose the University of Benin as First Choice and scoring 200 and above for UTME candidates are eligible for this screening exercise,” the registrar said.

Bobola, however, referred admission seekers to the institution to the university’s official website.

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Presidency denies authorising Katsina security outfit to carry arms

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The Presidency has denied that any state has been issued authorisation to procure automatic weapons for its security outfit.

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Last week, Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu had accused the Federal Government of bias in refusing to allow the Western Nigeria Security Network Agency, also known as Amotekun Corps, to carry sophisticated firearms, while allegedly granting approval to the Katsina State security outfit to carry sophisticated firearms.

That was as the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba said that quasi-security outfits established by state governments have no legal basis to function during the 2023 general elections.

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In a statement on Tuesday, the Presidency said the possession of automatic weapons and AK-47 remains illegal in the country.

“The Presidency wishes to strongly assert that there is no state, not Katsina, not any other state in the federation, that has been authorized to procure automatic weapons for their security outfits,” the statement reads.

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“Under this administration, the President has repeatedly made it clear that nobody is allowed to illegally carry AK-47 or any other automatic weapons and that they must surrender them”.

The Presidency however said neither Katsina nor Ondo is allowed to purchase automatic weapons for security outfits.

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“Under the existing regulations, only the Office of the National Security Adviser can issue such authorization, upon proper clearance by the President and Commander-in-Chief and as it is at this moment, no such approvals have been issued to any state government.

“In the specific Katsina State often cited, the Governor, Aminu Bello Masari wrote to explain that the administration invited the Provost of the Civil Defence Training College in Katsina to train their vigilantes for a five-day period….

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“in the handling and operations of Pump Action Rifles,” emphasising that “the vigilantes were not trained to take over the responsibilities of the security agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria but to assist them”.

The Presidency added that it “appreciates the active involvement of states with security matters. As they continue to expand their capabilities as well as their active collaboration with law enforcement agencies of the federation, the joint efforts continue to yield good results, thwarting attempts of terrorists to wreak havoc and destruction on communities”.

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President Muhammadu Buhari was quoted as saying he has received reports “of acts of utmost bravery and professionalism” by operatives of state security outfits.

“He thanked them for their alertness that is helping to defeat nefarious plots against targets at grassroots levels”, the statement added.

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Furthermore, the Presidency called on leaders at various levels “to exercise restraint in their speech, even as we are in a political season”.

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