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35% affirmative: Buhari backs judgment, congratulates Nigerian women

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President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed his support for the Federal High Court Abuja judgment on the 35 per cent affirmative action.

The Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja at a world press conference organised by the Nigerian Women Trust Funds (NWTF), Women Radio 91.7FM, Women in Politics Forum, among others.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Justice Donatus Okorowo had, on April 6, delivered judgment in favour of some women groups asking the Federal Government to implement the 35 per cent affirmative action.

The minister, while speaking at the event titled: “The Landmark Judgment on 35% Affirmative Action for Women on April 6, 2022,” said President Buhari congratulated the Nigerian women on the victory.

She said the president restated his commitment to ensuring that the victory was not only sustained but the policy implemented.

“The 6th of April, 2022, has gone in history as a day Nigeria women made history on 35 per cent Affirmative.

“I thank Mr President for his support. Mr President sends his congratulatory message to Nigerian women.

“He was happy with the judgment and when I told him this morning that I am coming to join you at this world press conference, he was happy.

“So Mr President is happy with us and I know very soon, the implementation will not only be 35 per cent but 50/50.

“So on behalf of Mr President, I congratulate Nigerian women,” she said.

She said the victory was already being witnessed as a number of women were inaugurated into two boards of federal agencies during the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday.

Tallen also said that the last congress of the All Progressives Congress (APC) witnessed an increase in the number of women elected into its National Executive Committee (NEC).

She said prior to the congress, the ruling party had only national women leader in the NEC but now,  the deputy woman leader and the deputy treasurer, a woman, are now members.

“We will be pushing and pushing, and Mr President has always given us audience and we are seeing significant changes and we know we shall get there.

“President Buhari has demonstrated that he is ‘He-for-She’ and he is in support of the women.

“We will join you to sustain the victory and I want to assure you of Mr President’s commitment  to the course of Nigerian women,” she said.

The minister, who said that the victory came at the time women’s spirit was low as a result of the National Assembly’s rejection of the five gender bills, said the development was a game changer.

“We are already changing the minds of National Assembly members.

“Just three days ago, their wives visited me and they have also leaned their support to women’s course.

“A journey of thousand miles begins with a step,” she said.

She was hopeful that the lawmakers would review their stand on the gender bills after the Easter break.

 The Chief Executive Officer of NWTF, Mufuliat Fijabi, said the journey to the victory was both challenging and successful.

Fijabi said the history made on April 6 was being documented and upon completion, it would be widely disseminated as a learning point for other strategies and other countries of the world to emulate and learn from.

She said as soon as the certified true copy of the judgment is received, the women groups would build a database of qualified Nigerian women, mapping of existing vacancies and several more.

Representative of Open Society Initiative for West Africa, Peter Ocheikwu, said the organisation took pride in the court victory because it would set a precedence.

Ocheikwu said this would also have a direct impact on women’s political representation and reinforce “the commitment to building open societies where citizens enjoy the benefits of inclusive policies, good governance, vibrant democracies, transparency, accountability that are particularly inclusive and equitable.”

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Soaring food prices, fuel scarcity push inflation rate to 16.82%

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NIGERIA’S inflation rose to 16.82per cent in April 2022, following a similar uptick recorded in the previous month as a result of the increase in energy and food prices. 

This represents the highest rate recorded since August 2021 (highest in eight months). The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in its Consumer Price Index (CPI) report released on Monday noted that on a month-on-month basis, the headline index increased by 1.76 per cent in April 2022, compared to 1.74 per cent increase recorded in the previous month. 

The consumer price index, which measures the rate of inflation rose by 16.82 per cent year-on-year in April 2022, which is 0.9 per cent points higher than the 15.92 per cent recorded in the previous month (March 2022). 

Similarly, the urban inflation rate increased to 17.35 per cent (year-on-year) in April 2022 from 18.68per cent recorded in April 2021, while the rural inflation rate increased to 16.32per cent in April 2022 from 17.57per cent in April 2021. 

The NBS report showed that food inflation rose to 18.37per cent in the review month, an increase compared to the 17.2 per cent recorded in the preceding month. 

“This rise in the food index was caused by increases in the prices of Bread and cereals, Food products, Potatoes, yam, and other tubers, Wine, Fish, Meat, and Oils,” it stated. 

On a month-on-month basis according to the statistics office, the food sub-index increased to two per cent in April 2022, up by 0.01 percentage points from 1.99 per cent recorded in March 2022. Also, the average annual rate of change of the Food sub-index for the 12-month period ending April 2022 over the previous 12-month average is 18.88per cent, 0.34 percentage points from the average annual rate of change recorded in March 2022 (19.21) per cent. 

In the same vein, the core inflation rate rose to 14.18 per cent in April 2022 from 13.91 per cent recorded in the previous month. 

The rise in the core index was attributed to the increase in the prices of gas, liquid fuel, Cleaning, repair and hire of clothing, clothing materials, other articles of clothing, and clothing accessories. 

The average 12-month annual rate of change of the index was 13.68 per cent for the twelve-month period ending April 2022; this is 0.12 per cent points higher than the 13.56per cent recorded as of the previous month. 

According to the NBS, in April 2022, all items inflation on a year-on-year basis was highest in Bauchi (18.93per cent), Ebonyi (18.88 per cent), and Akwa Ibom (18.80 per cent), while Sokoto (14.65per cent), Kwara (15.33per cent) and Kaduna (15.69 per cent) recorded the slowest rise in headline Year on Year inflation. 

In terms of food inflation, Kogi recorded the highest year-on-year increase in the food index with 22.79per cent in April 2022, Kwara State followed with 21.56 per cent, and Ebonyi (21.45 per cent), while Sokoto (14.85 per cent), Kaduna (15.55 per cent) and Anambra (16.68 per cent) recorded the slowest rise in year-on-year food inflation.

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Why Ganduje withdrew from Kano north senatorial race

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Abdullahi Ganduje, governor of Kano State, on Monday pulled out of the Kano north senatorial district race ahead of the 2023 general election.

Ganduje, who will be completing his second term in office as governor in 2023, had aspired to go to the senate when he tenure expires, but it’s understood that he backed out after reaching an agreement with Barau Jibrin, senator representing Kano north senatorial district.

Ganduje and Barau were said to have met in Abuja over the weekend to undergo screening ahead of the All Progressives Congress (APC) primaries.

Sources said the duo held a reconciliatory meeting, facilitated by some party’s stakeholders, after which they resolved the matter over who would represent the senatorial district “amicably”.

The duo have been at loggerheads, following the decision of Jibrin to join Ibrahim Shekarau, a former governor of Kano, to form a faction of the APC in the state after the party’s congress in 2021.

As part of the resolutions at the reconciliation meeting, the governor reportedly agreed to withdraw his senatorial ambition for Jibrin, who had also obtained the party’s expression of interest and nomination forms.

Ibrahim Sarina, APC secretary in Kano, when contacted via telephone on Monday, confirmed the development.

 

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