Ahead of August 8 bye election for Nasarawa Central State Constituency, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says all officials and voters must use face masks during the election.
Uthman Ajidagba, Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), made the disclosure at a meeting with political parties, security agencies and other stakeholders on Wednesday in Lafia.
The REC noted that the bye election was as a result of the death of the member representing Nasarawa central constituency, Mr Suleiman Adamu, who died in May.
He explained that though the death was a sad development, the commission needed to discharge its constitutional role by conducting election to fill the vacancy created by his demise.
“We are going into an election in only one constituency, this exercise is unique with different features and conducts because of the prevailing health challenges.
“Since we are desirous of fulfilling our constitutional duties, we have devised means of guaranteeing safety of personnel and electorates during the voting process,” he said.
Ajidagba also said the commission would provide alcohol based hand sanitisers, infrared thermometers and enforce physical distancing among others, during the poll.
He pledged that the commission would be neutral and ensure that any one that won was declared irrespective of his political party.
He therefore, urged the stakeholders especially youths, electorates and politicians to exhibit high sense of maturity to ensure hitch free election.
Similarly, Bola Longe, Commissioner of Police in Nasarawa state who spoke on behalf of other security agencies, said they would be neutral and carry out their job without fear or favour.
The police commissioner advised voters to observe all COVID-19 protocols during the election as violators would not be allowed to participate in the exercise.
The meeting was attended by representatives of All Progressives Congress (APC) Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) and security agencies among others. .
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)
COVID-19: PTF, INEC working on elections protocols- PTF Chairman
Mustapha said: “The national response will continue to guide the adoption of the sector’s specific guidelines and protocols.
“This is just as the PTF is currently concluding discussions with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the appropriate guidelines to be adopted for elections in some parts of the country.
“The elections will begin with the Aug. 8 by-election in Nasarawa State, to be followed by Edo and Ondo State elections in September and October respectively.
“I, therefore, wish to use this opportunity to implore parties’ leaders, aspirants, members and their supporters to remain mindful of the virulent nature of COVID-19 during electioneering and other election processes.
“We need to remain alive to enjoy the benefits of our democracy.”
He also stated that the PTF would continue to push forward with the community engagement, risk communication and support to the states.
“There is an ongoing surveillance in the high-burden local government areas, just as we ramp up our precision efforts.
“Similarly, the Federal Government is supporting the states to firm up their Incidence Action Plans, preparatory to their accessing the World Bank facility for the fight against COVID-19,” Mustapha said.
According to him, subject to the President’s approval, the report would be presented with the way forward to Nigerians at the next briefing on Aug. 6.
Edited By: Folorunso Poroye/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)
COVID-19: Nigeria reports 304 fresh infections; death toll hits 888
Nigeria reported 304 new confirmed cases of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) as the death toll jumps to 888.
Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) made this known on its official twitter handle on Sunday.
The centre noted that five deaths were recorded in the country.
It added that till date, the country recorded 43,841 confirmed cases, 20,308 discharged and 888 deaths in 36 states and the FCT.
It showed that the 304 new cases were reported from 15 states, namely Lagos (81), FCT (39), Abia (31), Kaduna (24), Rivers (23), Plateau (16), Cross River (13), Ebonyi (12), Ondo (12) Ekiti (11), Edo (11), Benue (10), Nasarawa (10), Ogun (6) and Gombe (5).
The health agency noted that a multi-sectoral national Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), activated at Level 3, would continue to coordinate the COVID-19 national response activities across the country.
The NCDC said that Nigerians risk of the virus would be higher if they were less than six feet from people at a crowded public place or if they freely share equipment and not practice social distancing and other habits to stay healthy.
Edited By: Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu (NAN)
NiMet predicts cloudy, thundery weather activities Monday to Wednesday
The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has predicted cloudy and thundery weather activities from Monday to Wednesday across the country.
NiMet`s weather outlook released on Sunday in Abuja predicted cloudy skies with isolated thunderstorms over some parts of northern states.
The states are Yobe, Borno, Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa, Sokoto, Taraba, Kebbi and Katsina.
According to the agency, the rest of the region will be under cloudy conditions during the time.
“Later in the day, cloudy skies with pockets of thunderstorms are anticipated over the region with the exception of Sokoto where cloudy condition is expected.
“Over the central region, cloudy skies with isolated rain showers are anticipated over Jos, Nasarawa, Makurdi, Niger and Abuja during the morning hours.
“As the day progresses, much cloudiness is expected to prevail over the region with prospects of thunderstorms over Benue, Abuja, Niger and Plateau States.’’
The agency predicted that southern coast and the inland would be cloudy with the exception of Ikom, Obudu, Calabar in Cross River and Eket in Akwa Ibom, where light rain showers were anticipated during the morning hours.
It further predicted that some southeast inland and coastal cities such as Enugu, Umuahia, Obudu, Uyo, Calabar, Eket, Port-Harcourt and Yenagoa are expected to experience cloudy skies with scattered rain showers later in the day.
The agency, however, envisaged cloudy skies over the inland and coastal areas of the Southwest.
According to NiMet, morning thunderstorms are likely over Katsina, Borno, Taraba and Katsina on Tuesday, while the rest of the northern region is expected to be cloudy during the morning hours.
“Places like Southern Borno, Bauchi, and Gombe will experience cloudy skies with isolated thunderstorms in the evening while the rest of the region are expected to be cloudy.
“Cloudy skies with thunderstorms are expected over Niger axis, while other parts of the central cities will experience much cloudiness during the morning hours.
“Scattered thunderstorms are anticipated over Kaduna and Niger States in the afternoon with more prospects in the evening.
“Cloudy conditions are expected over inland and coast of the south during the morning and evening period.’’
NiMet forecast cloudy skies over the northern region with chances of thunderstorms over Borno, Gombe, and Adamawa during the morning hours of Wednesday.
It also predicted pockets of thunderstorms over Borno, Yobe, Bauchi, Gombe, Kano, Zamfara and Kebbi States.
“Cloudy skies are expected to prevail across the central region during the morning hours, while thunderstorms are expected over the high grounds of the central states during the afternoon and evening period.
“Cloudiness is expected to prevail over the inland and the coastal belt throughout the forecast period.’’
Edited By: Dianabasi Effiong/Silas Nwoha (NAN)
Nasarawa Killing : Gov. Sule charges community to fish out criminals
Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa state on Sunday, charged the people of Udege Chiefdom to fish out criminal elements amongst them following the killing of the village head of Odu community, Mr Amos Obere.
A statement by Mr Ibrahim Addra, Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the governor, quoted him as giving the charge during a fact-finding visit to the palace of the “Osu Ajiri,” Halilu Bala -Usman in Udege, Nasarawa Local Government Area of the state.
The governor said that fishing out the criminal elements would not only ensure peace but fast track the development in the area.
“We believe there are criminal elements amongst the people of this area and we must fish them out,”he said.
He restated his administration’s commitment to the security of lives and property of the people of the state.
The statement said that the governor expressed worry at the resurgence of insecurity in the area that had hitherto been peaceful some months ago.
He added that criminals must not be allowed to truncate peace and economic activities in the communities.
On his part, Bala-Usman commended Gov. Sule for beefing up security in the area and for the on going construction of the Mararaba Udege – Udege Mbeki road.
He, however, appealed for the appointment of more district heads in the area for ease of administration and improved security.
The statement said that the governor was accompanied on the visit by former governor and Senator representing Nasarawa West, Abdullahi Adamu and other government officials.
The team later paid a condolence visit to the palace of the late village head.
Meanwhile, the Police command in Nasarawa state has vowed to fish out the killers of the village head.
Mr Nansel Ramhan, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state told the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday in Lafia that the command had begun investigation to unravel the circumstances behind the attack
He said the Police would not rest on its oars until the killers were identified, arrested and prosecuted.
NAN recalls that gunmen had on Friday, July 31, stormed Odu community in Nasarawa Local Government Area of the state and shot dead the village head during the attack.
Edited By: Angela Okisor and Isaac Ukpoju (NAN)