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Ondo election: We will not register new voters- INEC

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has suspended the Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) ahead of the Oct. 10 governorship election in Ondo State.

Mr Rufus Akeju the state Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Resident Electoral Commissioner disclosed this at a news conference in Akure on Wednesday.

Akeju said that INEC has also suspended the issuance of Permanent Voter’s Card (PVCs) until after the poll.

“It is extremely important for me to inform you that the Commission has suspended the CVR.

“And the implication is that the window of opportunity for new registrants to register, distribution of PVCs, transfer of registration and replacement of lost or defaced PVCs has been shut for the meantime owing to the ravaging pandemic.

“For the avoidance of doubt, Section 78(7) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) empowers INEC to de-register political parties in carrying our this constitutional responsibility.

“The commission has de-registered Seventy-four (74) political parties and now left with Eighteen (18) subsisting political parties in the political space of the country.

“In accordance with the election timetable released by INEC for the conduct of the gubernatorial election in Ondo State, the conduct of the political party primaries shall take place between July 2 and July 25.

“Pursuant to the above, and also as political activities begin to gather momentum in the state, I hereby admonish the political actors and gladiators to live up to expectations.

“Play the game according to the dictate of the extant laws, regulations and guidelines of their political parties to promote democratic values,” he said.

Akeju revealed that the number of registered voters was 1,822,346, while the number of PVCs collected was 1,478,460, while 372, 888 PVCs were uncollected.

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He also revealed that in compliance with Section 30(1) and in conformity with the scheduled time table, the electoral body had posted the notice of election on July 1 as required by law.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NAN

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Governor Bala defends appointment of SA on unmarried women

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Governor Mohammed Bala of Bauchi State has defended the appointment of Balaraba Ibrahim as a Special Assistant on unmarried women affairs.

Earlier, in a letter dated August 4, 2020, with reference number GO/SS/POL/S/83, the governor approved the appointment. Meanwhile, the new appointment caused a controversy in the media.

However, in a statement released by his senior special assistant on media Mukhtar Gidado on Saturday, Governor Bala said he appointed a special assistant on unmarried women affairs to address the needs of widows and divorcees in the state.

The Bauchi State Governor who noted that the widows and divorcees constitute a significant segment of the state’s population, said the unending petitions by representatives of this group led to the appointment.

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The statement read;

“The governor decided to establish a channel of communication whereby their plight can be addressed like those of other groups in the state.

“After due consideration and in keeping with his campaign pledge not to leave anybody behind, the governor graciously acceded to their request hence the appointment of a special assistant on women affairs, with the specific responsibility of handling matters related to widows and divorcees, not “unmarried” women.

“Unfortunately, while producing it, the word “unmarried” was inadvertently introduced into the letter. This is a clear mistake of the head; not of the heart which the Government sincerely regrets.

“Governor Bala Mohammed is sincerely pained that this error could have caused the women of Bauchi state and elsewhere, considerable distress and embarrassment.

“He has therefore directed that his personal apologies be conveyed to all women of Bauchi State, particularly the widows and divorcees whose interests he has vowed to protect and advance, always.

“Finally, governor Bala Mohammed enjoins the good people of Bauchi state to put this matter behind us so that, together, we can sustain the achievements that have been recorded, so far, in diverse areas such as youth empowerment, infrastructural development, rehabilitation of schools and primary healthcare centres, amelioration of the plight of senior citizens and retirees and the harmonious relationship between the executive and the legislature.”

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Nigerian students give DSS till Monday to free #RevolutionNow protesters, threaten mass action

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The Association of Nigerian Students, South-West zone, has given the Department of State Services till Monday to release detained #RevolutionNow protesters.

The group, in a statement on Saturday, vowed to commence a massive protest if the demand was not met.

The statement was signed by the NANS Zone D Coordinator, Kowe Amos; Secretary-General, Giwa Temitope; and Public Relations Officer, Kazeem Israel.

The students condemned the arrest and brutalisation of the peaceful protesters in Osun, Lagos, Ogun, Abuja and demanded their release.

“We find it disturbing that despite the fact that several international protocols guarantee human rights to protest, successive governments in Nigeria have not done enough in the aspect of respect for these rights.

“In Nigeria, dissent is criminalised. The ruling class aim to assume the position of the all-mighty; they do not want to be questioned.

“Meanwhile, in an unjust society, silence is a crime, rebellion to tyrants and tyrannical tendencies is obedience to God. It cannot be gainsaid that the rot in this country has gone beyond silence. It is expected of us all as patriotic persons to be rebellious considering the rate at which our leaders direct our affairs as a people,” NANS said.

According to the student body, the manner the affairs of the country is being managed is heart-wrenching.

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It noted that the establishment had mobilised everything within its capacity to ensure that the people were gagged.

“The association haven studied the demands of the protesters make bold to assert that they are legitimate, many of which we have also in our capacity as an association raised in a series of interventions since we came on board last year.

“Nigerians, especially in the North, are being killed like games by rising insurgency. Rate of poverty, hopelessness and unemployment is alarming. Education and health have been completely abandoned.

“Corruption has taken over the entire administration, with rising foreign debt profile capable of compromising the nation’s sovereignty. Respect for democratic ideals of freedom, human dignity, rights and rule of law has been thrown to the winds. The country has been subjected to the whims of jackboot absolutism.

“These are legitimate issues raised by the #RevolutionNow protesters. But, the posture of the Nigerian government towards issues has shown that they would rather empower/embrace sycophancy than agree with those with dissent because they are not ready to be held accountable which is why there is always a clampdown on protests,” NANS added.

The group also lamented the increase in the pump price of fuel and the absence of palliatives due to the COVID-19 pandemic, wondering where the billions of donations and the recovered Abacha loot went to.

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It called for 50 per cent slash in school fees and upgrade of educational facilities.

NANS described the character of the government as inhumane and greedy.

“It is to these end that we demand that the government unconditionally frees the detained protesters.

“We warn that the leadership of the zone would be forced to mobilise students down to the barricades should the government fail to release the protesters at the latest Monday,” the statement said.

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87 stranded Nigerians Arrive from Sudan

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Eighty-seven Nigerians stranded in Sudan arrived the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on Air Sudan on Saturday.

Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) in their official Twitter handle @nidcom_gov, stated that the evacuees arrived in the morning of Aug. 8.

It said that

“All Evacuees will proceed on a 14 days self-isolation as mandated by the Nigeria Center for Disease Control @NCDCgov, the Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria, @Fmohnigeria and the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on #COVID-19,” it stated.

Recall that earlier 325 passengers were evacuated from the U.S., departing for Abuja and Lagos.

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In the manifest are 128 males, 174 females, and 23 infants, according to the Consul General of Nigeria in New York, Mr Benaoyagha Okoyen.

Okoyen told newsmen that 101 of the passengers were Abuja-bound, while the rest are heading to Lagos, adding that all the evacuees were subjected to the Federal Government’s COVID-19 safety requirements before boarding.

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These include temperature checks and presentation of negative coronavirus test results, among others.

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