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Kaduna communities not benefiting from constituency projects due to poor implementation – CODE

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(Photo: Cross section of participants at a town hall meeting organised by Connected Development to deepen citizens interest in government spending in Lere LGA)

The Community Monitoring Team (CMT) of a Pan African NGO, Connected Development (CODE), says on Friday that community members are not benefitting from constituency projects due to poor implementation.

Mrs Ladi Bonat, Coordinator of the CMT in Lere Local Government Area of Kaduna State, stated this during a town hall meeting on Friday in Lere.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting was on Deepening Citizens Interest in Government Spending and Addressing Accompanied Corrupt Practices (DeSPAAC) project.

The DeSPAAC project was being implemented by CODE with support from MacArthur Foundation to mobilize communities and empower them to provide effective public oversight on government spending.

“Our people have not reaped the full benefits of constituency projects due to poor implementation, abandonment and corrupt practices by officials and contractors executing the projects.

“Such individuals have often gotten away with their actions because citizens, communities and activists have not paid sufficient attention to government spending on project implementation,” she said.

She explained that CODE had established the CMTs, made up of members from different community structures, mobilise citizens, train and empower them to track the implementation of the constituency projects.

She said that the members of Lere communities and other stakeholders have adopted CODE’s Follow the Money strategy to track government spending on various projects in the communities.

“The results have been quite impressive as citizens have been monitoring the implementation of constituency projects, leading to completion of some of the projects while engaging government officials on abandoned ones.

“We are now in the third year of the project, and we are taking steps to sustain the momentum and deepen the outcomes of the implementation of the DeSCAAP project in the LGA,” she added.

Bonat explained that the town hall meeting was organised to review the performance of the project, strengthen engagement with government, and present key findings of monitoring activities in the last two years.

She added that the meeting was also organised to present constituency project nomination monitoring tools for effective monitoring and reporting.

“The goal is to ensure communities take active interest in government spending in critical social sectors of education, health, water, sanitation, and hygiene and use the Follow the Money tools to track implementation of projects.

“We also want to empower our communities with knowledge and skills to be able to engage government officials on how to get their demands across and have their views respected.

“We equally want to strengthen synergy between communities, government officials and anti-corruption agencies.

“There is also the need for the government to respond to community advocacy and take action to positively address situations relating to project selection and implementation,” she said.

The CMT coordinator also stressed the need for citizens to actively participate in budget preparation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation for quality service delivery.

 

This, according to her, will ensure that the needs of the people are met, ensure transparency and accountability in the delivery of constituency and other projects implementation.

“We also want to strengthen the commitment of community members, CMTs, Community Development Charter (CDC) Champions, and other stakeholders to sustaining the DeSPAAC project outcomes in our communities.

Earlier, the project assistant, CODE, Zaraphat Haruna, had explained that the organisation was established in 2012 to empower marginalised communities to demand for quality goods and services from the government.

Haruna said CODE was achieving this by creating platforms for dialogue and building citizens’ capacity to hold their government accountable through its “Follow the Money” initiative.

“CODE currently influences dialogue, transparency and accountability in governance in nine African countries,” she said.

The meeting was attended by the CMTs, CDC Champions, government officials, community and religious leaders, women, youth, implementing agencies, and other stakeholders.

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Unknown Gunmen Abduct Channelstv Reporter In Port-harcourt

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Some unknown gunmen have kidnapped Joshua Rogers, the ChannelsTV reporter in Port-Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

Politics Nigeria learnt that Rogers was picked up close to his residence at Rumuosi in Port Harcourt and to an unknown destination by the gunmen around 9pm on Thursday, April 11.

The reporter was driving his official ChannelsTV branded car when the hoodlums accosted, pointed a gun at him and took him away in the same vehicle.

 

Rogers was said to be returning from his official assignment in Government House after a trip to Andoni for a government event when the incident happened.

Already, the gunmen were said to have contacted his wife and demanded a N30million ransom for bis release.

His cameraman confirmed the incident and appealed to his abductors to set him free unconditionally.

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Sermons, Tinubu Appeals To Religious Leaders

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Bola Tinubu

 

President Bola Tinubu has called on religious leaders to refrain from vilifying or denigrating the nation in their sermons.

Speaking during Ramadan Iftar with traditional rulers and religious leaders at the State House on Thursday in Abuja, the President emphasized the important role of religious leaders in shaping public opinion and fostering a sense of unity among citizens.

He urged the leaders to be more constructive in their criticism of those in elective positions.

President Tinubu also declared that his administration is determined to turn Nigeria’s challenges into prosperity.

He reiterated that no terrorist can defeat the collective will of Nigerians, no matter how hard they try to prey on innocent citizens.

He urged traditional and religious leaders to forge a strong bond with the government to defeat terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, and other forms of criminality in the country.

”Yesterday in Abuja, I attended the burial of the 17 soldiers killed in action at Okuama, Delta State. I saw their pregnant wives and little kids.

”The love of the nation is in your hands. Pray for our country. Educate our children. The sermons we preach to the members of our churches and mosques are important.

”Do not condemn your own nation. As a Yoruba man and as our fathers will say, ‘No matter how slippery the bottom of your child is, you must leave the beads there.’

“Leave the beads there. This is your country; do not condemn it in sermons, do not abuse the nation. Leadership is meant for change.

”Yes, this leader is bad, fine. Wait until the next election to change him, but do not condemn your country. Do not curse Nigeria. This is a beautiful land.

The President, who acknowledged the birthday wishes and goodwill extended to him on the occasion, reminded the leaders that his birthday on March 29, 2024, coincided with Good Friday.

“I have earned the honour of having my birthday fall on Good Friday, and I pray that on this Maundy Thursday, you all shall return to your homes safely. May God guide and keep you and your families in good health, and lift your spirits,” the President prayed.

Different speakers at the dinner expressed gratitude for the opportunity to come together in the spirit of Ramadan to share a meal with the President and renew the bonds of friendship that unite the nation.

Vice-President Kashim Shettima emphasized the pivotal roles of religious and traditional rulers in promoting peace and unity, urging them to continue to ‘‘build bridges that transcend ethnic and religious divides.’’

 

The Vice-President expressed delight that the nation’s economy is on a rebound, noting the strengthening of the naira against the dollar.

”The President means well for the nation, and he has continued to redefine the meaning and concept of modern leadership.

”For many years, fuel subsidy was an albatross. The President took a bold decision from day one, and he hit the ground running. Now the economy is turning the corner,” the Vice-President said.

Speaking on behalf of the Traditional Rulers Council of Nigeria, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, assured the President of the unwavering support of traditional rulers and commended the government’s efforts to address the hike in food prices and the security challenges.

”You are not alone, Mr. President. The prices of food items and goods are gradually coming down. You are doing your best on security, and we cannot allow you to do it alone. We will join hands to support your vision for the betterment of our nation,” the Ooni said.

Ambassador Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli, Emir of Zazzau, speaking on behalf of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), highlighted the significance of Ramadan as a period of reflection, empathy, and unity.

On the security situation in the country, the Emir of Zazzau, who represented the Sultan of Sokoto and President General of NSCIA, expressed optimism that the country will return to peace and stability.

”I am happy to see representatives of Muslim and Christian communities in this room. I pray God Almighty blesses the President for him to do more to take the country to the Promised Land,” the Emir prayed.

Apostle Samson Fatokun, General Secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), noted that the Ramadan dinner with religious and traditional leaders, coincided with Maundy Thursday, the Thursday before Easter, observed in commemoration of Jesus Christ’s institution of the Eucharist during the Last Supper.

The General Secretary, who delivered the address of CAN President, Archbishop Daniel Okoh, commended President Tinubu for fostering a harmonious relationship between the State and the Church.

”We are encouraged that your administration has shown great determination in tackling the challenges of kidnapping and banditry and bringing to justice the perpetrators of this dastardly act.

”We shall continue to show our support to your administration so that you can execute your noble intention for the nation,” CAN General Secretary said.

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