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PDP accuses APC of burning Imo INEC office

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The Peoples Democratic Party in Imo state has accused the All Progressives Congress of allegedly masterminding the setting ablaze of the Independent National Electoral Commissioner’s office in Orlu, Imo state on Monday.

The PDP spokesperson in the state, Damian Opara in a statement alleged that the APC must take responsibility of the burning of the INEC’s office.

PDP alleged that the APC was known “for brigandage, arson and other vices that have caused negative commentaries on the state in the last eight years.”

The PDP accused the ruling party of allegedly setting the electoral commission’s office ablaze in order to intimidate INEC and cajole supreme court as it is ready to review the judgment which sacked Emeka Ihedioha as the governor of the state and replaced him with Hope Uzodinma as the duly elected governor of the state.

“We believe strongly that the condenmable act is a desperate act  by the APC in the State and it’s agents that seek to intimidate INEC and cajole the Supreme Court as it is set to entertain the review of its judgement on the 2019 Imo Governorship election”, the statement said partly.

PDP said that the state governor has recently accused INEC officials in the south east of conniving with PDP to upturn election results.

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It called on the security agencies to bring to justice those who set the INEC office on fire.

The statement said “The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP,  Imo State chapter, has viewed with utmost concern the fire outbreak that engulfed the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC office in Orlu local government area of Imo State on Sunday, February 2nd, 2020.

“The incident is a major characteristic associated with the All Progressive Congress, APC, reputed for brigandage, arson and other vices that have caused negative commentaries on the state in the last 8years.

“This is a sharp departure from the recent past, precisely the last seven months of the PDP led administration of Hon.Emeka Ihedioha, where the welfare and security of lives and properties of citizens of the State were the hallmark. 

“We believe strongly that the condenmable act is a desperate act  by the APC in the State and it’s agents that seek to intimidate INEC and cajole the Supreme Court as it is set to entertain the review of its judgement on the 2019 Imo Governorship election.

“Our conviction is fueled by the recent comments credited to the Governor of Imo State,  Senator Hope Uzodinma, who accused INEC officials in the South East of conniving with the PDP to upturn election results.

“We call on the security agencies to conduct a thorough investigation of the incident and should not hesitate to bring the perpetrators to book no matter how highly placed as such attack is an attack on our democracy.”

The APC in the state had yet to react to the claim.

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Politics

JUST IN: Osun SSG recovers from Coronavirus

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The Osun State Secretary to the State Government, Prince Wole Oyebamiji has recovered from the Coronavirus on Saturday.

A Statement by the Health Commissioner, Dr Rafiu Isamotu noted that the SSG was part of the 22 people that the result returned negative.

It will be recalled that the SSG had about 10 days ago tested positive for the virus.

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Dr Isamotu revealed that by Friday evening, the confirmatory test of the SSG carried out after days of care and treatment returned negative. Similarly, 21 other patients have also tested negative and have all been discharged.

The State, however, announced the discovery of 23 additional cases in the State, saying they were contacts from previous cases in the State.

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The Commissioner appealed to citizens and residents of the State to always observe all the precautionary measures laid down by the State against the spread of the virus.

He also revealed that with the latest development, the number of confirmed cases in the State has risen to 233 with 116 active cases, adding that the State has successfully treated and discharged 110 patients, while seven deaths have so far been recorded.

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Politics

World Trade Organisation: Atiku endorses Okonjo-Iweala

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Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has endorsed Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala for the post of Director-General of the World Trade Organisation.

Dr Okonjo-Iweala’s “experience and the enormous related works she has done confirms without equivocation that her leadership shall be a blessing to the WTO and the world,” Atiku said in a tweet on Saturday.

In early June, the WTO had acknowledged Okonjo-Iweala as Nigeria’s nominee for the post.

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The former finance minister was nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The current WTO Director-General, Mr Roberto Azevêdo, has announced he will step down on August 31, 2020.

The nominees for the post, so far, include Mr Jesús Seade Kuri of Mexico and Mr Abdel-Hamid Mamdouh of Egypt, Mr Tudor Ulianovschi of Moldova, Ms Amina C. Mohamed of Kenya, Mr Mohammad Maziad Al-Tuwaijiri of Saudi Arabia and Dr Liam Fox of the United Kingdom.

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Dr Okonjo-Iweala, a world-renowned economist and international development expert, has also be endorsed by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

She currently sits on the Boards of Standard Chartered Bank, Twitter, Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, and the African Risk Capacity.

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Nigeria Update

Cancellation of WASSCE will truncate future of Nigerian children – Reps

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The House of Representatives on Friday said the cancellation of the West African Senior Secondary School Examinations [WASSCE] will truncate the future of Nigerian children.

WuzupNigeria reports that the examination, administered by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and held yearly in May, was postponed indefinitely in April after schools were shut down across the country in a bid to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, announced during a media briefing on July 6 that the examination will now take place between August 4 and September 5.

But the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, on Wednesday 8 July 2020 at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided by President Muhammadu Buhari cancelled examination, saying he would prefer that “Nigerian students lose an academic year than to expose them to dangers” of COVID-19.

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He added that the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) cannot determine the resumption date of schools for Nigeria.

But the Chairman of the House Committee on Basic Education, Prof Julius Ihonbvare, who made the position of the House known in a statement in Abuja said the announcement by the minister was done without due consultation with relevant stakeholders in the education sector.

He said the Education Minister did not inform the country if his decision was in agreement with other West African leaders or in consultation with the examination bodies, the state governments and other stakeholders in the education sector.

He said:

“The minister also did not also inform the public, if the decision was the outcome of a meeting with all state governments that are in charge of all, but the unity secondary schools that are owned by the federal government.

“The Minister of State, in his usually consultative and participatory approach, had briefed the nation at the COVID 19 Presidential Committee briefing over the airwaves and in an appearance before the House Committee on Basic Education where he assured Nigerians that all steps had or were being taken to ensure full compliance with all COVID 19 protocols.

“This sudden policy reversal is not good for the country. It is bound to create further confusion in the education sector, create disappointment and suspicion among parents, frustrate the students and show to our development partners and Nigerians that the distortions and disarticulations in the sector are only getting worse.

“The reversal also shows that our policymakers may just be adopting a laid-back approach to the need to confront the novel coronavirus rather than taking proactive and creative steps to manage and contain it.

“The House Committee disagrees with the minister and believes that a reconsideration is urgently needed to save our educational system on the following grounds that Nigeria is not the only country expected to write the examination in the midst of Covid-19.

“Nigeria should insist that the examination be based exclusively on the already covered syllabus of schools; the Federal Ministry should not chicken out of its responsibilities but take charge, provide policy direction, engage the states and other stakeholders, while the WAEC should quadruple its invigilators and use all classrooms and event centres to conduct the examination and comply with Covid-19 protocols.”

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