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There are so many challenges surrounding all electoral systems in the world but some are very glaring due to the devastating effects in governance.

Some of these challenges include,ethnic chauvinism, religious bigotry, nepotism and the issue of anointed candidates by the political stalwarts or the big wigs in the political cycles popularly referred to in the country as godfathers, so to speak.

So many Nigerians have harped on the negative effects of godfatherism in the development of the democratic processes even as it continues to play decisive roles in the polity.

The word godfather conjures different meanings to different people.
In many parts of Europe and America, it is simply a term used for cuddly uncle, denoting endearment and close affinity.
In some of Churches doctrines especially, during baptism and marriages people play such roles of ensuring Godly standard in the relationships. In the religious circle godfathers are usually chosen from among the larger Congregation and need not be a relative to the person.

In France, the French godfathers can be broken down into two types: first, those who manipulate the economy for their own benefit and the second; those who can be referred to as crisis fixers,social reformers and advocate of the Poor.

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Nigeria has all the above types of godfathers especially those who serve others, those who expect the society to serve them among others.
godfatherism sometimes manifests itself in politics globally.

Political godfathers consist of rich men whose contributions to campaign funds of some candidates helped the candidates to win elections. They invest heavily most especially in the media to positively project the image of their candidates while at the same time helping to discredit rival candidates. A very good example is the case of Carlos Slim, a low profile business man whose financial support helped Vincent Fox break the Institutional Revolution Party’s Seventy -one- year grip on power in 2000 presidential election in Mexico.
Godfatherism is the bane of Nigerian Politics.

Dr Ibrahim Jibrin in an interview with BBC on November 10 ,2003,defined godfathers as “men who have the Power to personally determine who gets nominated and who wins in a state.
Obviously such development will definitely hinder the process of achieving free and fair election in any electoral system.

To check this and enhance the development of the nation’s political system for rapid growth, some schools of thought believe that independent candidacy, to an extent will no doubt reduce to the barest minimum the negative effects of godfathers. This according to them will build a healthy political climate and deepen the nation’s nascent democracy.

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It is on this note, the efforts of the Senate in March this year in the passage of bill which seeks to allow independent candidates to contest for elective positions need to be commended.

New as it may be, with time, Nigerians, will begin to embrace it as obtainable in other climes to nip in the bud the undue influences which beclouded the nation’s electoral processes due to influences of godfathers.
The idea of Independence candidates and other electoral reforms will no doubt usher in selfless politics devoid of selfishness, apathy, greed and rancour.

Them do us” ? “Africa them do us?” No body did anything to us .
Nothing Good comes easy. There has to be a deliberate awakening, a sheer determination of cultural re-oreintation and a high sense of patriotism. A selfless love for one’s own nation bound by a sense of duty to deliver the mandate of our democracy without fear or favour..
Unless our politics is devoid of selfishness, apathy, greed and rancour, godfatherism will continue to dictate the pace of succession and leadership in Nigeria

To this end,there is need for all Nigerians to support political ideas that will enthrone leaders with great potential who will selflessly raise the anthem and banner of integrity, courage for the welfare of the people ,a Nigeria devoid of greed and corruption.

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Paulina Imabe Alabi
News and Current Affairs Department Abuja Operations.
Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria.

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Arts and Life

Nasarawa University commences first Medical Geology degree programmes in Nigeria



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By David Odama

Nasarawa State University Keffi (NSUK) has begun the world’s first medical Geology Post Graduate programmes at the Jose Centino International Centre for Medical Geology (JacMedGeo) Research in the institution.

Director of Linkages and International Cooperation at the University, Dr Kitso Nghargbu confirmed the development told Journalists in Keffi, Nasarawa State Thursday. Thursday that a foremost medical geologist, medical geology is multi disciplinary in nature and a new discipline no other tertiary institution across the world has offered it.

“It is very young. The first text book in medical geology was published only in 2005. So it’s an emerging discipline and NSUK and by extension Nigeria, Africa has trailed the blaze.

“We have become the pace setters in running degree programmes at the Post Graduate Diploma, Masters and Doctorate levels as far as the whole world is concerned. So it goes beyond being the first in Nigeria and translates to being the first in the whole world,” Nghargbu stated.

He assured that the institution has made available a curriculum that has been prepared, assessed and approved by relevant education authorities which the Senate of the university approved for the commencement of the degree programmes.

“So the curriculum has been prepared. It has also been peer reviewed by founding fathers of medical geology, by the best experts in medical geology research in the whole world.

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“This center that has just been established -the Jose Centino International Centre for Medical Geology Research, NSUK is a project of the International Medical Geology Association at the global level supported by several scholars and researchers within the health and environment spheres,” he added.

He explained that for the Post Graduate Diploma in the discipline will take 18 months to complete while for the Masters Degree, it will take 24 months and completing the Doctorate Degrees program takes a maximum of 48 months.

“Admissions have started and it starts with the adverts. In the next eight weeks forms will be on sale. Then we take two weeks to shortlist. Then another three weeks for resumption and registration,” he said.

He also assured that there was enough manpower to handle the discipline in the institution with about 32 faculty members from across the world who are experts in the field of medical geology.

“Just yesterday the Deputy Minister of Technology of the Islamic Republic of Iran wrote to us that he wants to be a part time lecturer in this centre.

“So manpower is adequate. So I want to assure you that even before we started sale of forms yesterday we had indication of interest from over ten countries. So its going to be a foremost international research centre,” he said.

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He then defined Medical Geology as the study of geological processes and materials with processes referred to earthquakes, volcanoes, climate change activities, flooding, tsunamis and all other forms of disasters geologically induced and sometimes caused by man.

“When you talk of materials, you talk of minerals, rocks, mineral waters or medicinal waters which are beneficial to man. So it’s a study of those geological processes that impact on man and his environment,” he said.

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Arts and Life

Breaking News: Senate removes senator Ndume from position of Chief Whip



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The APC has removed Senator Ali Ndume as Chief Whip of the 10th Senate and replaced him with Senator Tahir Mongun

Ndume’s replacement by the Senate , followed directive issued to that effect in a letter written and signed by the National Chairman of the party , Dr Umar Ganduje and National Secretary , Senator Bashir Ajibola .

The request was put to voice votes by the Senate President , Godswill Akpabio , and loudly affirmed by all the APC Senators

Details later

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Most Reverend Michael Crotty is new Apostolic Nuncio to Nigeria—Pope Francis



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The Holy Father, Pope Francis has announced His Excellency, the Most Reverend Michael F. Crotty, as the new Apostolic Nuncio to Nigeria.

The information is contained in a communiqué issued by the Apostolic Nunciature to Nigeria.

Archbishop Crotty, born in Mitchelstown, Co. Cork, Ireland, and ordained a priest in 1994, has a distinguished career in the diplomatic service of the Holy See.

He has served in various capacities across Kenya, Canada, Iraq, Jordan, the Vatican, and Spain.

Recently, he held the positions of Apostolic Nuncio to Burkina Faso and Niger.

Archbishop Crotty brings a wealth of experience and multilingual proficiency to his new role in Nigeria.

Welcoming the new Apostolic Nuncio to Nigeria, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), in a statement signed by its President and Archbishop of Owerri Archdiocese, His Grace, Most Rev. Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji, expresses gratitude to Pope Francis for the appointment.

Archbishop Ugorji highlights the historic connection between Nigeria and Ireland, noting that Archbishop Crotty is the first Apostolic Nuncio from Ireland to Nigeria, mirroring Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo’s tenure as the first Nigerian Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland.

The CBCN assures Archbishop Crotty of their full support and cooperation, praying for a fruitful and blessed mission.

Reacting to his new appointment, Archbishop Crotty, expressed great joy and gratitude to Pope Francis for the honor.

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In his statement, the Nuncio pledges to serve all Nigerians, irrespective of their religious or ethnic backgrounds, to the best of his abilities.

He acknowledges the deep bonds of faith and friendship between Ireland and Nigeria, established by generations of Irish missionaries.

Noting the historic significance of his appointment, which coincides with the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Archbishop Crotty invited Nigerian Catholics to pray for Pope Francis through the intercession of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Saint Patrick.

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