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Mpumalanga ready to host South African Armed Forces Day amid restrictions

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South African Armed Forces Day

The celebrations of Armed Forces Day have once again been limited by the COVID-19 pandemic. The day, commemorated annually, is aimed at showcasing the capabilities of South African Defence Forces and pays tribute to the bravery and sacrifices of the men and women in uniform.

However, with current challenges, which include budgetary constraints and an internal focus on civil unrest, the festivities traditionally scheduled for a week, have been restricted to just three days.

Armed Forces Day in South Africa is celebrated annually on the 21st of February. It is inspired by the worst naval tragedy in the country’s history, the sinking of the troopship SS Mendi in the English Channel, on that date in 1917.

Over 600 SA Native Labour Corps troops drowned when the troopship was struck by the SS Darro on its way to France to participate as an ally in the First World War. Brigadier-General R King recites the story of the SS Mendi.

“The 616 South African souls that were lost aboard the ship that day perished in support of a military effort. The commemoration of the tragedy of the SS Mendi has permeated through South African culture. It has contributed to our understanding of our heritage, our history and our identity as South Africans. During Armed Forces Day, the SANDF honours the memory of the fallen soldiers in various ways to make sure that their legacy is not forgotten Armed Forces Day was made official by former president, Jacob Zuma in 2012.

The event was first hosted in the military suburb of Thaba Tshwane, south of Pretoria. The day sees the showcasing of the weaponry, machinery, military hardware and personnel of the various corps that make up the South African National Defence Force.

However, the last two years have seen much-restrained celebrations, according to the head of the army, Lieutenant General Lawrence Mbatha.

“Armed forces have been celebrated around South Africa since 2013 on a rotational basis allowing each service an opportunity to interact with the SANDF. Thus far eight provinces have been afforded the opportunity to host for Armed Forces Day. Mpumalanga province will be the 9th. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the SANDF has been unable to hold a full Armed Forces Day week for the last two years.”

Notably, Sunday saw an Inter-faith service held by the SANDF, and on Monday Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces President, Cyril Ramaphosa will lay a wreath at the World War Memorial in Barberton, before travelling to the provincial capital to address the military parade of armed forces at the Mbombela Stadium.

Outside the COVID-19 pandemic, budgetary constraints and civil unrest in the country have also conspired to hamstring the SANDF in its mission according to Mbatha.

“The financial constraints that are reflected by the frequent budget cuts experienced by the Department of Defence are well documented. However, what is not discussed in much detail is the corresponding loss in capabilities; its negative impact on the defence force to carry out its mandate; the emerging security threats have had the effect of rendering the SANDF focus within the republic of South Africa in quelling the civil unrest that from time to time emerge.”

Those attending the festivities will be treated to a dazzling spectacle, which will include a flypast of various South African Airforce planes. The South African Military Health Service and Navy will also showcase their moves in the parade.

Source: News365

In other news – New twist in Senzo Meyiwa’s murder case

IT HAS been almost eight years since Orlando Pirates and Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa was killed.

Senzo Meyiwa

And his family is still looking for justice for his death. Learn more

South Africa News

Corps members have been warned against traveling without obtaining permission

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Corps members

Corps members have been warned against traveling without obtaining permission from the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC. The Director General of the NYSC, Brigadier General YD Ahmed says such act attracts punishment while addressing Corps members in Oyo and Ogun states orientation camp on Wednesday.

He said unauthorized journey attract sanctions, adding that no employer is allowed to grant permission to Corps members to travel.He informed the Corps members that all services in NYSC are free, warning that they should beware of online advertisers and fraudsters that may offer posting and redeployment to them for a fee.

The DG also implored the Corps members to adhere strictly to the NYSC dress code, adding that improper dressing in NYSC uniform attracts sanctions.

“Don’t dress anyhow. Dress as good ambassadors of NYSC and always abide by all NYSC rules and regulations,

“Respect the culture and tradition of your host communities when you leave camp. Make good impact on the communities and in your place of primary assignments”, the DG said.

He stated that efforts are still on-going towards the signing of the NYSC Trust Fund bill into law.

General Ahmed urged the Corps Members to participate actively in all the camp activities and also ensure that they establish long lasting friendship among themselves before leaving the Orientation Camp.

The Director General admonished them to avoid idleness but rather engage themselves with meaningful activities that will add value to them in addition to their certificates.

The NYSC Oyo State Coordinator, Mr Odoba Abel Oche, while presenting the Orientation Camp brief to the Director General, stated that the Corps members’ behaviour have been very commendable.

Similarly, the NYSC Ogun State Coordinator, Mrs Olayinka Nasamu, said a total of 2,350 Corps members have been registered. 1,318 for Ogun State and 1,032 for Lagos State.

“Ogun registered 496 male and 822 female while Lagos registered 414 male and 618 female”, Nasamu said.

Source: dailypost

In other news – Young Jonn undergoes hair transplant surgery

Nigerian record producer and singer, John Saviours Udomboso, aka Young Jonn, has undergone a successful hair transplant surgery.

 

Young Jonn

The ‘Xtra Cool’ crooner shared a video and photos from the surgical room in Spain via his X handle on Wednesday. Read more

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Nigeria Breaking News

Gov Bello grants state pardon to 24 inmates, pays N20m judgement debt

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Niger State Governor

Niger State Governor, Alh. Abubakar Sani Bello has granted state pardon to 24 inmates and settled fines to the tune of N20 million for 80 others unable to pay their judgement fines. He carried out the exercise under the powers of prerogative of mercy in the state.

The State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Nasara Danmallam made this disclosure in while handing over the affairs of the Ministry of Justice to the permanent secretary in Minna.

According to him, “as a parting gift, Governor Bello has granted pardon to 24 inmates across the state under his powers of prerogative of mercy. Some of them have been on death row whose sentences have been commuted to a few years of prison term”.

Among the beneficiaries, the commissioner explained, were six civil servants convicted of fraud and other related offences and were dismissed from service based on the offences they committed.

Danmallam disclosed, “other beneficiaries of the pardon by Governor Abubakar Sani Bello are six dismissed civil servants who are now reinstated. Those of them who have attained retirement age are now to be retired with full benefits.

“The Governor also spent the sum of N20 million to pay judgement fines for 80 inmates as part of humanitarian gesture to the underprivileged individuals before handing over on Monday ”

The commissioner further stated that so far a total of 115 bills and legal instruments were promulgated into law, while thanking the staff of the ministry for the success recorded under him in the state.

Source:dailypost

In other news – Fear grips residents as insecurity heightens in Owerri zone

The insecurity situation in Imo State is currently on the upswing, as unknown gunmen and kidnappers have taken over most parts of the state. The peaceful Owerri Senatorial district is fastly becoming the latest flashpoint.

Imo State

Orlu and Okigwe zones have experienced severe insecurity which has resulted in at least a thousand murders and the destruction of property worth hundreds of millions of naira since the inception of Senator Hope Uzodinma’s administration three years ago. Learn more

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South Africa News

President Muhammadu Buhari denies meddling in National Assembly’s affairs since 2015

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President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday attributed the successes recorded by his administration to the harmonious relationship between the Executive and the Legislature, as well as refused to meddle with the affairs of the Legislature and promoted instead, a culture of mutual respect and collaboration between the two arms.

Buhari, who disclosed this during the official commissioning of the permanent site of National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), expressed optimism that the magnificent complex has the potential to significantly boost the capacity of the legislature in Nigeria and Africa at large.

He said: “As you are all aware, I have traversed all parts of Nigeria in the last few days commissioning several critical national infrastructures that my administration has completed over the last eight years. Our successes as a government are primarily due to the harmonious relationship between the Executive and the Legislature.
The legislature is the cornerstone of any democracy and is vital to ensuring that the wishes and aspirations of all Nigerians are considered during the lawmaking process. It also performs critical functions of overseeing the Executive and ensuring that government spending aligns with legislative intent.

“As you are aware, from the moment of my election in 2015 and subsequently, I supported the idea of an independent National Assembly, one that is able to decide its Leadership and develop its agenda in line with the manifesto of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

President Muhammadu Buhari

“I refrained from meddling in the affairs of the legislature and instead promoted a culture of mutual respect and collaboration between the two arms. The numerous positive outcomes for our country Nigeria underscore the importance of a harmonious Executive-Legislature relationship.

“Working with the National Assembly, we have passed an unprecedented number of Bills into law, provided funding for key infrastructure, implemented several governmental reforms, and addressed some of the long-standing challenges that have hampered economic growth and development.

“Our achievements in reforming the oil and gas sector, strengthening the electoral framework, diversifying our economy, improving transparency and accountability, tackling insecurity and entrenching good governance are easily verifiable. As such, this 9th Assembly will be remembered as one of the most productive in terms of outputs and outcomes. Again, I thank the Leadership of the National Assembly for giving me the support required to deliver on my promises to Nigerians.

“Nigeria is immensely endowed in many ways. However, our single greatest asset is the people of this country. Our teeming youth population provides the labour force, we need to industrialise and develop our economy. This underscores the need for a more sustained investment in human capacity development.

“Accordingly, my administration prioritised social investment programmes and a range of other initiatives to reduce poverty, upgrade the standard of living and improve the economy.

“Human capital is the essential lifeblood of a state and its public institutions, including the legislature. The National Assembly and State Houses of Assembly stand to perform their constitutionally assigned mandate better when provided with all the required resources.

“In 2018, I signed the NILDS Amendment Bill into law, thus expanding the mandate of the Institute to provide capacity not only to legislators but also to other political actors. This edifice would enable the Institute to better meet its expanded functions.

“It is my expectation that NILDS will utilise this site to provide targeted capacity building to legislators, political parties and civil society to enable them better respond to changing circumstances,” he noted.

In his remarks, Senate President, Senator Ahmad Lawan asserted that Buhari’s administration over the past eight years has pursued what has been described as the most ambitious infrastructure programme since independence in 1960.

“We in the Ninth National Assembly have supported the President in ensuring the timely delivery of these critical infrastructures. Notably, in the last three years, the Senate and the House dedicated a substantial part of the national budget towards funding infrastructure development across all six geo-political zones.

“As a result of this collaboration between the legislature and the executive, hundreds of roads, bridges and rail lines across Nigeria have been constructed or rehabilitated. In addition, we have also passed several legislations to provide an overarching framework for sustainable economic growth and development. Significantly also, the investment in infrastructure development extends to all six geo-political zones of the country.

“Indeed, history will remember President Buhari’s tenacity and unwavering commitment to charting a new course for Nigeria. While acknowledging that the time for the 9th Assembly to wind down draws to a close, Senator Lawan assured that the Assembly will “leave behind an enduring legacy for the succeeding Assemblies.

“I challenge the incoming Leadership and Members of the Tenth National Assembly to carry on with the same vigour and dedication as we did and build on our achievements. I call on the Director-General, Management and staff of the Institute to utilise this edifice to advance democracy in Nigeria and beyond.”

On his part, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila urged President Buhari to grant assent to both the Federal Audit Bill and National Assembly Budget and Research Office (NABROl Bill which seeks to enhance the oversight function of Committees as critical legislative priorities as well as improve transparency and accountability in government processes.

Also speaking, NILDS Director General, Professor Olanrewaju Sulaiman observed that: “Despite these challenges, the Institute has established itself as Africa’s premier legislative capacity-building institution, as attested by its highly valued services and outputs. In the past decade, NILDS has considerably closed the capacity challenges that have limited the effectiveness of the legislature in Nigeria. Moreover, through its various programmes and interventions, the lawmaking and oversight functions of the legislature have also been significantly strengthened.

He also eulogized the roles played by successive leadership of National Assembly, especially, Senator David Mark who laid the foundation for this project, as well as Professor Ladi Hamalai who worked tirelessly towards actualising this permanent site.

Source: dailypost

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