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WTO: 79 Countries Endorse Okonjo – Iweala’s Candidacy

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images 2020 10 17T113309.739 WTO: 79 Countries Endorse Okonjo - Iweala’s Candidacy

Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala voiced confidence on Friday in her quest to lead the crisis-wracked World Trade Organisation after all of Africa backed her candidacy, vowing she would champion reform.
“I feel the wind behind my back,” she told a virtual press briefing after the 55-member African Union officially supported her over her sole remaining opponent, Yoo Myung-hee of South Korea.
Okonjo-Iweala said she was thrilled to learn that “all African countries are getting behind me.”
According to her, a group of Caribbean and Pacific states had also said they would back her, bringing the number of countries officially endorsing her candidacy to 79 out of the 164 states that comprise the WTO.
She also said she felt “optimistic” about her support in Latin America, and said she felt she had gotten “very good traction and good support” in Asia so far.
“I feel quite confident that across the regions, we will be able to attract” support, Okonjo-Iweala added while hinting that the European Union was due to announce its preference of the last two candidates “soon”.
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Monday, assured Okonjo-Iweala during her visit to Aso Villa in Abuja that he would do all within his powers to ensure she gets the job.
The global trade body is set to be led by a woman for the first time whichever of the two candidates is successful in their bid to follow Roberto Azevedo, who stepped down as WTO director-general in August a year ahead of schedule.
Okonjo-Iweala, 66, who served as Nigeria’s first female finance and foreign minister and has a 25-year career behind her as a development economist at the World Bank, said it would be good if WTO could also boast its first African leader.
“If that person is African and a woman, I think that is great. Because… neither an African nor a woman has led the organisation,” she said.
But at a time when the WTO is engulfed by multiple crises, she stressed that the new chief must above all be highly skilled in political and diplomatic negotiations, as well as at the managerial level.
“The WTO at this time with the challenges it confronts needs a very competent Director General who is able to have the political reach and stature to be able to do reforms and deal at very high levels.
“It is not only having those skills but having them all meet in one person at this juncture when the WTO needs that,” she said.
Even before the Covid-19 crisis hit, the WTO was already grappling with stalled trade talks and struggling to curb tensions between the United States and China.
The global trade body has also faced relentless attacks from Washington, which has crippled the WTO dispute settlement appeal system and threatened to leave the organisation altogether.
Okonjo-Iweala said she had broad experience in championing reform and was the right person to help put the WTO back on track.
“I am a reform candidate and I think the WTO needs the reform credentials and skills now.”
The initial pool of eight candidates for the WTO’s top post, which has been whittled down over two rounds of consultations, had included three Africans, and the AU had until now refrained from offering an official endorsement.
The third and final round of consultations seeking to establish consensus around one candidate is due to begin next week and end on October 27, with the announcement due in early November.

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Police Kill 5 Looters In Ikotun , Arrest Scores

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images 2020 10 23T105819.879 Police Kill 5 Looters In Ikotun , Arrest Scores

Horror in Ikotun as police kill 5 looters, arrest scores
Pandemonium broke in Ikotun, Alimosho area of Lagos State following the killing of about five hoodlums who were shot dead by Mobile Police, Mopol, after attacking a popular supermarket and looted various items in the process.
Earlier, a Mopol officer and another person believed to be a police informant were allegedly killed by hoodlums in Idimu-Ikotun road, Egbe-Idimu Alimosho Local Council Development Area, LCDA.
According to an eyewitness, Mr Ayo Akinwale, “At about 2 pm some hoodlums who invaded Ikotun Police Station but found no policeman on ground proceeded to a nearby supermarket, called Twins Faja and looted various items such as computers, households items, wristwatches, foodstuff, among other expensive items.
“While the looters were still operating, a team of Mobile Policemen who arrived the scene following a distress call, started shooting at the looters killing at least five persons, while several others were arrested with various gunshot wounds.
“The bodies and those arrested were later taken away in the police vans to an unknown destination.”
When Vanguard visited the crime scene, the shattered glasses and other looted items which could not be taken away littered the ground.
It was also gathered that earlier, a mob had lynched a Mopol while walking along the road in College area of Ikotun, while another unidentified man believed to be police informant was also beaten to death in the presence of his infant daughter while having a stroll.
“Some of the hoodlums who recognised him as police informant raised the alarm before others descended on him and beat him to death in the presence of his daughter, about 7 years old.
“The body of the deceased was later recovered by the Mopol who have been patrolling this area,” Akinwale narrated.
Amid the curfew and following the ugly incidents the entire area was like a ghost town as the road was totally deserted with several Mopol in their vans seen patrolling the area at the time of filing this report, 6.30 pm.

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WTO: European Parliament Backs Okonjo – Iweala , Says She Is Well – Equipped

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images 2020 10 23T105345.816 WTO: European Parliament Backs Okonjo - Iweala , Says She Is Well - Equipped

The European Parliament has endorsed the candidacy of Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala in her quest to lead the World Trade Organisation as Director-General.
The Parliament in a letter on Wednesday said it screened the two remaining candidates in the WTO DG race — Okonjo-Iweala and Yoo Myung-hee of South Korea — and was convinced that the Nigerian candidate has the ‘energy’ and is ‘well-equipped’ for the job.
In the letter signed by the Co-chairs of the Parliamentary Conference on the WTO Steering Group, Bernd Lange and Sven Simon, the EP said it was satisfied with Okonjo-Iweala’s level of requirements and skills.
It, therefore, urged the European Union to express support for the candidacy of the former World Bank director.
The letter titled, ‘EP Exchanges of Views with WTO Director-General candidates’, partly read, “On 19 October, the EP’s Steering Group of the Parliamentary Conference on the World Trade Organisation organised exchanges of views with the two remaining candidates for the role of Director-General of the WTO.
“On this occasion, both candidates gave us an extensive account of their plans for the future of the organisation and the approach they would choose in order to deal with the crises that are currently threatening the multilateral trading system.
“Both candidates are extremely experienced, well qualified and knowledgeable, and have their own clear visions for the WTO’s future and priorities, and the Director-General’s role in shaping it, as well concerning the important role for parliamentarians in that future.
“During the discussions, we appreciated, in particular, the vision that Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala presented for tackling the substantial challenges the organisation is facing.
“Her assessment of the existing problems of the organisation revealed a deep understanding of the fault lines dividing the WTO’s membership.
“The points she set out for her first steps after being appointed to the position reveal a clear-eyed agenda, tackling head-on key topics such as special and differential treatment, industrial subsidies and dispute settlement reform while recognising the need for positive momentum through the conclusion of agreements on issues such as fisheries, e-commerce, and health.
“We also appreciated the energy with which she is likely to approach her new role. It appears to us that her personal approach is what is needed now to resolve the key questions at the organisation.
“Dr Okonjo-Iweala appears to be well-equipped for being the fair broker who could bring key players together and help them find the compromises that will be needed to resolve the WTO‘s complex set of challenges and the deep disagreements between its members.
“We, therefore, very much hope that the EU will be able to support Dr Okonjo-Iweala’s candidacy during the last round,” the parliament noted.
The had earlier reported that 79 out of the 164 states that comprise the WTO endorsed Nigeria’s first female finance and foreign minister for the job.
The global trade body is set to be led by a woman for the first time whichever of the two candidates is successful in their bid to follow Roberto Azevedo, who stepped down as WTO director-general in August a year ahead of schedule.
Okonjo-Iweala, 66, who has a 25-year career behind her as a development economist at the World Bank, said it would be good if WTO could also boast its first African leader.
The initial pool of eight candidates for the WTO’s top post, which has been whittled down over two rounds of consultations, had included three Africans, and the AU had until now refrained from offering an official endorsement.
The third and final round of consultations seeking to establish consensus around one candidate is due to begin next week and end on October 27, with the announcement due in early November.

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Fire outbreak at Warri prison as inmates attempt to escape

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66625DE7 6BC7 4A23 BCCF D4760E797F2E Fire outbreak at Warri prison as inmates attempt to escape

The administrative session of Warri Prison in Delta state was razed in an attempted jailbreak on Thursday.

It was gathered that protesting inmates burnt down the place just as suspected hoodlums stormed the prison to set them free.

But soldiers reportedly moved in to prevent the escape of the prisoners.

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