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Reps Reject Bill To Change Educational Qualification For President,  Vice, Others 



By Gloria Ikibah 

The House of Representatives on Tuesday stepped down a bill seeking to change the minimum requirement for the office of President , Vice President, National Assembly members and other political office from first school leaving certificate to degree or its equivalent. 

This was sequel to the passage of a bill sponsored by Rep.  Adewunmi Onanuga on Tuesday at plenary. 

The bill was titled: “A Bill for an Act to Alter the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) to change the Educational Qualification for Elections into Certain Political Offices and for Related Matters”. 

Debating on the general principles of the bill, Onanuga called on the House to look critically into educational qualification of political office holder stating that Nigeria has moved passed school leaving certificate as the minimum requirement to contest political office,  adding that degree or it’s equivalent should be made minimum requirement. 

Speaking in favour of the bill,  Babajimi Benson from (Lagos state) said: “Anyone who is going to oppose this bill should tell  if his son or daughter is in the university or not. I can’t  believe that in this modern age some people will say don’t go to school but yet go and be the president”. 

Professor Julius Ihonvbare said: “We all know what the world is today. A world were knowledge is power, we see leaders of other nations who make excellent presentation but here we have leaders dodging debate .I don’t think this requirement should apply to all political offices, for local government it might not be required but for President , Vice National Assembly members should be required to own a degree”.

For Rep. Leke Abejide, “The world has moved, Nigeria should not be left behind,  We put a mediocre to head an important political office we will end up in disaster. 

Rep. Alfred Iliah, added that educational qualification  is very important and the bedrock of every society. According to him, qualification of every National Assembly members should be looked into if the country  must make progress.

Rep. Mustapha Aliyu from (Sokoto ), stated that the amendment was long overdue. He added: “Education is bedrock the development of any society. For those contesting for executive seat should have a degree,  however the jump from leaving school to degree is too wide,  I will propose that there should be middle course”. 

Shetimma lawal from (Borno) said that the requirement for Governance should cut across all level from the highest to the lowest . 

He added: “For politicians we are only providing leadership, political offices should be categorized”. 

Rep. Kingsley Chinda, House Minority Leader, while endorsing the bill, remarked on the declining standard of education, stating that raising educational requirements would motivate Nigerian youth. He emphasized the importance of backing this effort wholeheartedly.

“Why do we say a primary school holder should be given . We should do the right thing”, he said. 

Speaking against the bill,  Aliyu Madaki from (Kano), said the leadership quality of a political office holder is not determined by your level of education . 

“What ever we are trying to do is for all Nigerians. I have an MBA in Financial Management but restricting other with qualifications will not carry all Nigerians along . All Nigerians should be allowed to participate and exercise their leadership qualities. 

Bashir Sokoto from (Sokoto) said, “We were privilege to go to university,  but we have less privilege Nigerians who cannot afford to go to the university. I propose that we allow minimum requirement for political office holders to remain school cert”. 

Hon Ahmed Jaha from Borno said passing the bill will negatively affect some section of the country,  he insisted that educational qualification was not a true taste of knowledge. 

 “Qualification alone is not a true taste of knowledge . We are doing laws for good governance and for peace in this country. We will not do laws that will favour only a few number of Nigerians . How many Nigerians are degree holders America that we refer to have done greatly in educating its citizens’s but here in Nigeria how what have we done in improving our education system”, he stated. . 

Also speaking against the bill, Inuwa Garba from (Gombe ) said “the mover of this bill is not aware of what is happening in some part of this country. 

“Some schools in some part of the country have been shot down for a while now. Certificate is not true test of knowledge 

The bill is discriminatory against some people”. 

The bill was therefore stepped down after a heated debate by the presiding officer Hon Banjamin Kalu.

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By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

The daughter of Arise News Managing Editor, Christian Ogodo, was among graduands who bagged various degrees from the prestigious Havard University in the United States.

Oghenetega Steffi Eberechukwu Ogodo, was conferred with a masters degree in Urban Planning of the Graduate School of Design of Harvard University on 23rd May, 2024.

Tega was also a Bloemberg Leadership Fellow, who did her industrial training with the Rochester City Council in New York, while her field work had the theme: “People must feed,” postulating that there must be decent and nutritious food even for the downtrodden people in society.

Tega is a graduate of the University of Lagos with a Second Class Honours [Upper Division] from the Faculty of Environmental Sciences, majoring in Urban and Regional Planning.

She is the daughter of Nigeria’s foremost News Anchor on Arise News on WEEKEND NEWSNIGHT, Christian Ogodo, who is the Managing Editor of Arise News Media Group.

She is currently working with an engineering consulting firm in Chicago that specialises in logistics.

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National Anthem: Nigeria switches from fatherland to motherland



By Francesca Hangeior

The Federal Republic of Nigeria, today, officially reverted to the National Anthem that heralded its independence as a sovereign Nation.

President Bola Tinubu, after he met a joint session of the National Assembly, signed into law, the adoption of the old National Anthem, “Nigeria, We Hail Thee.”

“Nigeria, We Hail Thee” was adopted as Nigeria’s first national anthem on October 1, 1960.

The anthem’s lyrics were written by Lillian Jean Williams, a British expatriate who lived in Nigeria when it achieved independence.

Frances Berda composed the music for “Nigeria, We Hail Thee.”

However, the second national anthem, “Arise, O Compatriots,” was adopted in 1978.

The lyrics of the now jettisoned anthem were a combination of words and phrases taken from five of the best entries in a national contest.

The words were put to music by the Nigerian Police Band under the directorship of Benedict P. Odiase (1934–2013).

The Nigerian national anthem lyrics were created by five people: P. O. Aderibigbe, John A. Ilechukwu, Dr. Sota Omoigui, Eme tim Akpan and B.A. Ogunnaike.

With the return to the old anthem, Nigeria officially switched from a ‘Fatherland’ to a ‘Motherland’.

Hereunder are the Three Stanzas of the old but now new National Anthem:

1. Nigeria we hail thee,
Our own dear native land,
Though tribe and tongue may differ,
In brotherhood we stand,
Nigerians all, and proud to serve
Our sovereign Motherland.

2. Our flag shall be a symbol
That truth and justice reign,
In peace or battle honour’d,
And this we count as gain,
To hand on to our children
A banner without stain.

3. O God of all creation,
Grant this our one request,
Help us to build a nation
Where no man is oppressed,
And so with peace and plenty
Nigeria may be blessed.

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BREAKING! Tinubu extends Abuja free train ride for six months



President Bola Tinubu has approved the extension of free train rides on the Abuja Rail Mass Transit, also called the Metro Rail, for the next six months until the end of the year.

The FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, had announced free train rides for two months, to ease the burden of commuting for residents of the FCT.

Tinubu gave the approval during his address at the inauguration of the commencement of operations of the Abuja metro rail in Abuja on Wednesday, May 29.

The president appealed for the extension to offer hope to the people of the FCT and give them reasons to celebrate.

“Our dear landlord and his team, I heard you saying two months free ride. I appeal to you to make it till the end of the year. Since today you’re not going to charge me, that will give the people hope and reasons to celebrate,” Tinubu said.

Details shortly…

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