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Showing posts from September, 2020

60th Independence: Ekweremadu Harps on Quality Elections for Quality Leadership

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...Says INEC free to conduct electronic voting Former Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has stressed the need to deepen the nation’s democracy through quality elections in order to deliver better leadership that would salvage the nation from her present woes and launch her on the path of growth and prosperity. Ekweremadu, who commended the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on the improvements recorded in the Edo State governorship election and also for the recent test-run of the electronic voting at its headquarters, however said that contrary to popular assumptions, the electoral laws as amended, empowered INEC to conduct electronic voting. The lawmaker, who represents Enugu West Senatorial District, stated these in his 60th Independence Anniversary message in Abuja, which was made available to newsmen by his media adviser, Uche Anichukwu. “As the nation hits the diamond age, it is very obvious that we have not lived up to our potentials as well as

Organised Labour Suspends Planned Nationwide Strike

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Organised Labour has suspended its planned nationwide industrial action for two weeks over the recent hike in electricity tariff and fuel pump price in the country. Minister of Labour and Employment Chris Ngige, said this while reading a joint communique on the resolution of the Trade Dispute between the Federal Government and the organised Labour on Monday in Abuja. It would be recalled that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) had threatened to embark on industrial action over the Federal Government’s refusal to reverse the hike in electricity tariff and fuel pump price on Monday, Sept. 28. The removal of the subsidy had led to an increase in electricity tariff from about N30.23 to about N62.33 per kwh, while the price of petrol was increased from about N145 to about N161 per litre. Ngige said the resolution reached with the organised labour was an outcome of a fruitful deliberation. According to him, on the issue of electricity tariff reforms, the par

Death toll in Borno Governor"s Convoy Attack Rises to 30

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The death toll from Boko Haram attack on the convoy of Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, has risen to 30, security sources said Saturday. Two sources told AFP the number of fatalities from the attack Friday had doubled as more bodies were found and now included 12 policemen, five soldiers, four members of a government-backed militia, and nine civilians. “The tally has increased to 30 as many bodies were picked in the surrounding areas after the attack,” one of the sources said, adding that “many people were injured ” . An ambush on the convoy of the Borno State Governor Babagana Zulum had on Friday left about 15 persons dead. The governor’s convoy was said to have been attacked between Monguno and Baga areas of the state.

Boko Haram Attack on Borno Governor"s Convoy Leaves 15 Persons Dead

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An ambush on the convoy of Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, on Friday left about 15 persons dead. The Punch reports that the governor’s convoy was said to have been attacked between Monguno and Baga areas of the state. A security source said the attack left mainly security personnel comprising eight policemen, three soldiers and four Civilian Joint Task Force operatives dead. A source at the Borno State Government House in Maiduguri also said the governor had left Maiduguri for Baga to prepare for the planned return of internally displaced persons from Maiduguri to the camps in Baga. The governor was said to have left Maiduguri with a retinue of armed soldiers, police officers and Civilian -JTF personnel. A senior police officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, was quoted as saying that he was told eight persons were killed, including security personnel and civilians. Friday's incident is the second attack on the governor’s convoy in recent times around Baga.

Coronavirus: Plans For Fans to Return to Sport Events in October Called Off

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Plans for fans to return to watch live sport events in England from 1 October will not go ahead, says cabinet office minister Michael Gove. The plans were placed under review earlier this month after a rise in coronavirus cases, with pilot events restricted to 1,000 people. The UK's Covid-19 alert level has moved to 4, meaning transmission is "high or rising exponentially". New measures will be set out by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday. Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Gove confirmed plans for a staged return of fans would be "paused". "We were looking at a staged programme of more people returning - it wasn't going to be the case that we were going to have stadiums thronged with fans," he said. "We're looking at how we can, for the moment, pause that programme, but what we do want to do is to make sure that, as and when circumstances allow, get more people back. "The virus is less likely to spread outdoors than indoo

APC Congratulates Obaseki, Gives Reasons for Ize-Iyamu’s Defeat

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The All Progressives Congress has congratulated Governor Godwin Obaseki on his re - election as the Governor of Edo State. This was contained in a statement by the chairman of the APC national caretaker committee, Mai Mala Buni, on Monday. The statement was released a few hours after Buni and the chairman of the party’s governorship election campaign for Edo State, Abdullahi Ganduje, met with the President Muhammadu Buhari , behind closed doors. It was titled “Edo State Governorship Election: Victory for Democracy” and personally signed by Buni. Buni, in the statement, described the election as peaceful, adding that its outcome represented a victory for Nigeria’s democracy. He explained that some problems within APC worked against the party and its candidate in the just - concluded election. The governor subsequently warned against disunity in the party. The Independent National Electoral Commission declared the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Governor Godwin Obaseki,

Senate Minority Caucus Hail Obaseki Victory

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***Says PDP's Victory Finally Buries Godfatherism The Senate Minority Caucus has congratulated Governor Godwin Obaseki over his resounding victory in the governorship election in Edo State. In a statement in Abuja by the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, the Caucus says as sweet as the victory, it also signals a new dawn and the ultimate end of Godfatherism in Nigeria's politics. Senator Abaribe who also hailed the People's Democratic Party (PDP) for it's tenacity and resilience in the face of manifest intimidations, said the victory further confirmed that power ultimately belongs to the people and not to some fanthom individuals who think they can play God and toy with the will and wishes of the people. "Going forward, I believe that the Edo people through their overwhelming endorsement of Governor Obaseki and PDP sent the right signal accross, affirming that never again should any political party succumb to the undemocratic machination of

Ekweremadu Congratulates Obaseki

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* Says Edo election a huge relief *No man can successfully play God Former Deputy President of the Senate and a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Campaign Council for Edo State, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has congratulated the Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, on his victory in the state’s governorship election. Ekweremadu, who commended the people of Edo State, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and the security agencies for “rising to the occasion”, described the exercise as a huge relief given what he described as the “dwindling fortunes of the nation’s electoral process in recent years”. The lawmaker, who was in Edo State to monitor the election, equally added that the Edo polls had proved, once again, that no man could effectively play God. In a a statement issued by his media aide, Uche Anichukwu, the lawmaker said: “I join other well meaning Nigerians to congratulate Governor Godwin Obaseki and the PDP on this well-deserved victor

Buhari Congratulates Obaseki on Election Victory

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President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, on his victory at the state governorship election held on Saturday. Obaseki, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, defeated Osagie Ize -Iyamu of Buhari’s All Progressives Congress at the poll. The President, according to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, commended the electoral process that saw the Independent National Electoral Commission declaring Obaseki winner. In the statement titled “President Buhari commends election process in Edo State reiterates commitment to free and fair elections,” Shehu quoted Buhari as reiterating his commitment to credible elections. In congratulating Obaseki, the President was further quoted as urging him to “show grace and humility in victory,” Buhari said, “My commitment to free and fair elections is firm, because, without free and fair elections, the foundation of our political and moral authority will be weak

Obsaeki Declared Winner of Edo Governorship Election

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The Independent National Electoral Commission has declared the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Godwin Obaseki, winner of the governorship election in Edo State. INEC ’s Returning Officer, Prof. Akpofure Rim-Rukeh, announced the result of the election on Sunday. Obaseki of PDP polled 307, 955 votes to defeat his closest rival, Osagie Ize -Iyamu, of the All Progressives Congress, who got 223,619 votes. Rim - Rukeh, while declaring Obaseki winner, said the incumbent governor was returned elected after satisfying all requirements in line with the law. Obaseki of PDP ran against APC standard -bearer Ize -Iyamu and 13 others. Obaseki was elected on APC ’s platform in 2016 but defected to the PDP after being denied the ticket owing to intra -party squabbles. The following are the declared results: 1) Igueben LGA PDP 7,870 APC 5,199 Total 13170 Total votes cast 13,382 Election materials snatched in Ward 8, Unit 2 2) Esan North-East APC 6,556 PDP 13579 Valid votes 2

Breaking: Edo Decides: Obaseki in Early Lead

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Punch newspaper reports that Governor Godwin Obaseki of the Peoples Democratic Party has recorded more votes from the results of the 10 Local Governments declared so far by the Independent National Electoral Commission. From the results declared so far, Obaseki is leading his All Progressive Congress rival, Pastor Osagie Ize -Iyamu, by a wide margin. The following are results declared so far : 1) Igwueme LGA PDP 7,870 APC 5,199 Total 13170 Total votes cast 13 ,382 Election materials snatched in Ward 8, Unit 2 2) Esan North -East APC 6,556 PDP 13579 Valid votes 20 ,369 Total votes cast 20,730 3) Esan Central APC 6,719 PDP 10,794 4) Ipobo Okha APC 18,218 PDP 41,030 5) Owombe APC 5 ,972 PDP 10,022 6) Egor LGA APC 10,202 PDP 27,621 7) Owan East APC 19,295 PDP 14,762 8) Owan West APC 11,193 PDP 11,485 9) Esan South -East APC 9,237 PDP 10,565 10) Ovia North East APC 9,907 PDP 16,987

Edo Decides: Harassment, Intimidation of Voters, Opposition Should Have No Place in Our Democracy - Ekweremadu

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***Says the ball in INEC’s Court_ As the people of Edo State go to the polls in the 2020 governorship election, former Deputy President of the Senate and member of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, National Campaign Council for Edo State, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has called on the security agencies and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to play by the rules in order to revive faith in the nation’s electoral process. Uche Anichukwu, the media aide to Ekweremadu stated in a statement that he made the call in a short post on his social media handles Saturday morning. The lawmaker, who is also on the PDP team in Edo State to monitor the election, insisted that voter and opposition intimidation should have no place in today’s election or at any other time in the nation’s democracy. He said: “As Edo decides, history beckons on INEC to restore the sagging faith of Nigerians in the transparency, freeness, fairness, and peacefulness of our elections. The Edo 2020 electi

Federal Government Apologises For Asking Account Holders in Financial Institutions to Re-Register

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The Federal government, has apologized to Nigerians for asking all account holders in the financial institutions to re-register their details. The government had through its official twitter handle, said: This is to notify the general public that all account holders in Financial Institutions (Banks, Insurance Companies, etc.) are required to obtain, complete and submit self – Certification Forms to their respective Financial Institutions. Having seen Nigerians reactions on the matter, the Federal Government has retracted its statement and deleted its earlier tweet while also apologizing to Nigerians. It said, "...we apologize for the misleading tweets (now deleted) that went up yesterday, regarding the completion of self-certification forms by Reportable Persons. "The message contained in the Federal Inland Revenue Service notice does not apply to everybody. FIRS will issue appropriate clarification shortly."

Fani-Kayode Separates From Wife, Demands N2bn From Blogger

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A former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani -Kayode, has separated from his wife, Precious Chikwendu, with whom he had four sons. According to Punch newspaper, Fani -Kayode has, however written a pre -litigation letter to popular blogger, Stella Dimokorkus, demanding N2bn from her for a report he termed libelous. The blogger had in a report attributed the separation to domestic violence and alleged that the triplet sons may not have been fathered by Fani -Kayode as they were conceived through IVF and Chikwendu had demanded a DNA test. In a letter signed by his lawyer, Mr. Adeola Adedipe, dated September 16, 2020, the former minister described the report as preposterous. The letter titled, ‘Defamation of Chief Femi Fani -Kayode - Re: Femi Fani -Kayode and Precious Chikwendu Part Ways Over Alleged Domestic Violence’, stated that the allegations were spurious and maliciously engineered. The former minister said he was disturbed about the manner in which the report was written which i

Edo Gubernatorial Election: Be Safety Conscious, IPC Tells Journalists

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The International Press Centre (IPC), Lagos- Nigeria has urged journalists and other media professionals that will be on the field for the coverage and reportage of this Saturday’s Governorship election in Edo State not to forget about ensuring their personal safety. IPC Executive Director, Mr. Lanre Arogundade sounded this note of caution in the light of the emerging accusations and counter accusations by political actors and other players in the electoral process about possible violence. He noted that though the signing of the peace accord has allayed fears, violence in elections is often unpredictable, so staying safe should be a priority.  “It is very important for journalists covering the Edo state election to be safety conscious in the discharge of their duties, and to avoid situations that will put them in harms way. Journalists should proactively balance eagerness for news with safety consciousness. If there is an outbreak of violence, journalists should ensure to stay safe

Electricity Tariff and Petrol Price Hike: NLC Issues Ultimatum

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The Nigeria Labour Congress has issued a two-week ultimatum to the Federal Government to reverse its decision on the hikes in electricity tariff and fuel pump price or face civil unrest nationwide. The congress handed down the warning at its Central Working Committee meeting in Abuja on Wednesday. In a communiqué read by the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, the union said the ultimatum would take immediate effect, warning that it would mobilise its members nationwide for protests as from September 28. In an interview, the NLC President said the national executive committee members and the state chapters as well as affiliates would meet on September 22 to decide on the strike action if the government failed to revert to the old prices by then. “Today's (Wednesday) decision on the ultimatum was taken by the Central Working Committee of the NLC. But by the expiration of the ultimatum, if the government fails to reverse the increase in electricity tariffs and fuel pump price, we would h

Senate Blames 1976 Local Government Reform as Reason for Insecurity

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The Senate Wednesday declared that the wave of insecurity bedeviling the Nation particularly in the Northern part of the country was caused by vacuum of intelligence gathering at the grassroots created by the 1976 local government reform. The removal of traditional rulers from administrative structure of respective local government councils across the country through the reform, according to the upper legislative chamber, created vacuum of intelligence gathering at the grassroots, which culminated into all manner of insecurity in the country today from Boko Haram to Armed Banditry and even herdsmen/farmers clashes. Specifically the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan in his remarks after conferment of Ganuwan Kebbi title on him by the Emir of Argungun, Alhaji Muhammad Mera at the National Assembly, bemoaned the removal of traditional rulers from governance, particularly at the local government councils in 1976. "The traditional fathers have always been supportive of gove

7,000 Sign Petition Asking EU, UK to Bar El-Rufai

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Amid reports that the United States Government has placed a visa restriction on Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el -Rufai, at least 7,000 people have signed a petition calling on the United Kingdom and the European Union to follow suit. The petition, which was initiated by a former Presidential aide, Reno Omokri, on Tuesday, was addressed to the UK Parliament, the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson; Council of the European Union and the European Parliament. Checks by Punch newspaper on Change.Org showed that the petition had hit 7,000 as of 11:15 am on Wednesday. Omokri, who initiated the petition, accused el-Rufai of being a threat to the peace and security of Nigeria for many reasons. He noted that on December 3, 2016, the governor admitted that he paid herdsmen who had been accused of killing several persons. “Since that admission, there has been an intense escalation of the killings of mostly Christians in Kaduna, and on August 25, 2020, suspected herdsmen abducted seven schoolchil

Nigeria Must Strengthen Local Capacities to Achieve Economic Growth – Lawan 

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President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has said for Nigeria to experience exponential growth in the economy, efforts must be made to strengthen the country’s local capacities particularly against the backdrop of realities that are fallouts of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Lawan made this known on Wednesday at the virtual opening of the Nigerian Content Summit jointly organised by the Senate Committee on Local Content and House of Representatives Committees on Content Development and Monitoring.  According to the Senate President, in a statement by his Special Assistant (Press) Ezrel Tabiowo, the Summit which is the first of its kind as a pre-public hearing stakeholders’ engagement, seeks “to stimulate understanding on the short- and long-term implications of relevant Bills before the two houses.” He added that, “the Bills, including the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act 2010 (Amendment) Bill, 2020 (SB.417), Nigerian Local Content Enforcement Bill, 2020 (SB. 419), and

1,500 Personnel, 35 FRSC Vehicles Deployed for Edo Gubernatorial Election

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As part of concerted measures aimed at assisting in ensuring a hitch free electoral process in Edo state, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has deployed 1,500 of its personnel to cover the forthcoming Gubernatorial elections which is slated to hold on Saturday 19 September, 2020. According to Assistant Corps Marshal Bisi Kazeem, the Corps Public Education Officer, the FRSC team is to be led by the Zonal Commanding Officer RS5, Benin to be assisted by; Assistant Corps Marshal in charge of Federal Operations at the Federal Road Safety Headquarters, and Sector Commander RS5.1 Benin, a Corps Commander. Kazeem noted that the Corps Marshal, Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi equally approved that a total of 35 Vehicles, including Tow trucks, Ambulances and other Operational Vehicles be deployed to aid the electoral processes in the 18 Local Government Areas of the State. In his words, the deployed Personnel are to engage in the following tasks: carrying out enforcement of no movement order, c

State of the Nation: Forget the Messenger, Heed the Message, Rep. Deputy Minority Leader tells Presidency

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The Presidency has been advised to take seriously the issues recently raised by the elder statesman and Nigeria’s former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, saying it was wrong and unwise to discard both the message and messenger. The Deputy Minority of the House of Representatives, Hon. Toby Okechukwu, gave the advise in his statement on the “State of the Nation” made available to newsmen on Tuesday. He expressed surprise that the Nigerian Presidency failed to see the obvious dangers facing the Nigerian State, insisting that the nation was indeed in dire straits. “Just yesterday (Monday), in Nasarawa State, gunmen attacked officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), who were traveling from their Sokoto and Kebbi State Commands to Enugu for a training. They killed two people and kidnapped about 10 others. “On the same day, the media also reported gun attack on a passenger train headed to Abuja from Kaduna. “So, the truth is that the country is indeed in dire straits as