Observer group tasks INEC on public confidence, trust
By Abiemwense Moru
Abuja, Feb. 17, 2019 (NNN) The Democrat Union of Africa (DUA), an international election observer group has tasked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to regain public confidence and trust of Nigerians, following the postponement of the Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly elections.
The group made this known on Sunday in a statement signed by Hon. Martin Adjei-Mensah Korsah, leader of its delegation to Nigeria.
The group urged INEC to “Ensure that it raises public confidence and trust in its operations.
“It has to work within the newly stipulated timelines, to deliver credible, free and fair elections.
“The group urged INEC to take advantage of the postponement to review its logistics deployment management. It also urged that all logistics that were sent earlier to polling stations were not tampered with.
“INEC should ensure that CSOs, political parties and other stakeholders are kept updated regularly on its operations and broaden its consultative approach with the stakeholders”.
Edited by Julius Toba-Jegede
Kogi election violence: CSOs want speedy take off of Electoral Offences Commission
The Nigerian Civil Society Situation Room has called for speedy setting up of the proposed Electoral Offences Commission to address issues related to electoral abuse as reported in the Kogi governorship election.
Mr Clement Nwankwo, Convener, Situation Room, a Coalition of over 70 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), while briefing newsmen in Abuja on the group’s observations in the Kogi election said the level of violence was unacceptable.
“The level of violence witnessed in the two state elections are unprecedented, alarming and raise questions about the credibility of the election.
“Nigerians had expected that lessons learnt from the 2019 general elections by stakeholders especially political parties, the police and other security agencies would have been taken to improve upon the conduct of the Bayelsa and Kogi election.
“Unfortunately, this was not the case and both election have proved to be a disappointment and represent major setback for Nigeria’s democracy ,’’ he said.
Nwankwo said that if the election was allowed to stand, 2023 and Ondo governorship election in 2020 would be bloodbath adding that Situation Room was disappointed with the procedure because it fell below the standards expected of a free, fair and credible election.
He said that the election day turnout was marred by violence and activities of political parties and security agents leading to disruptions of poll in several areas.
He said that there were cases of ballot snatching ,violence as the commercialisation of Nigeria’s elections appeared to have reached unprecedented height.
“Political parties and their agents operated openly and with impunity distributing money in purchase of votes and it appeared that there were no efforts to stop them. Sums paid at the polling units ranged from N500 to N6,000,’’ he said.
He also alleged that there were open exploitation of Persons with Disabilities(PWD’s) by politicians who cashed-in on the level of their poverty to buy their votes adding that security agents did not do much to stall electoral malpractices.
They also urged INEC to interrogate the election in Bayelsa with a view to investigating high level of malpractice that took place to determine whether the outcome reflected genuine votes of the people.
Edited by Ali Baba-Inuwa
Sen. Wamakko warns against fake news, hate speeches
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Defence, Sen. Aliyu Wamakko (APC- Sokoto), has warned supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in the state against disseminating fake news and hate speech.
Wamakko, who represents Sokoto North Senatorial District, spoke on Sunday in Sokoto, at a one day Summit on the Use of Social Media, organised by the Sokoto State APC Social Media Organisation (SASMO).
The lawmaker, who was represented by Malam Bashir Gidan-Kanawa, cautioned the participants against disseminating fake news and hate speech, to achieve some political, religious or ethnic objectives.
He said that the Summit came at better time, when efforts were being made to promulgate stringent laws to regulate the use of social media as well as curb the menace of hate speech.
Wamakko lauded the Organisation for organising the event, saying “its members have been diligently trying to propagate the ideals of the APC.”
The State Chairman of the APC, Alhaji Isa Achida, in his message delivered by the APC Zonal Youth leader, Sokoto Central Senatorial District, Alhaji Garba Tsamiya, also admonished the participants to conduct their activities peacefully and within the confines of the law.
Earlier, SASMO Chairman, Alhaji Abdullahi Hashimu, said that the Summit was organised to sensitise members on the proper use of the Social Media.
Three different papers presented during the event were: “How to Use the Social Media in Promoting Party Policies,” “Social Media as a means of creating jobs to its users” and “The Judicious and Responsible Use of the Social Media.”
Edited by Saidu Adamu/Felix Ajide
Kogi poll: Ad-hoc staff in Olamaboro LG safe, sound – INEC
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says all its 30 ad-hoc staff in Olamaboro Local Government area of Kogi are safe and back in their respective homes after the Saturday’s governorship election.
The Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi, stated this in a statement issued on Sunday, in Abuja.
Oyekanmi said the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, had personally spoken with some of the ad-hoc staff who confirmed their safety.
He said that they were all hale and hearty, adding that none of them was either injured or killed.
“We can now confirm that all the 30 ad-hoc staff, engaged for the 2019 Kogi governorship election and posted to polling units 002, 006 and 013 at Olamaboro III, and polling units 006, 012, 015, 016, 022 at Imani 1, all in Olamaboro council area, have been accounted for.
“They are safe, sound and are back in their respective homes. The chairman of the commission has personally spoken with some of them and they confirmed that they were hale and hearty.
“These election-day duty staff could not be accounted for initially, following the violent attacks by some armed thugs at their respective duty posts after the close of polls.
“The commission has established that none of them was either injured or killed. They were able to successfully conclude the result collation process before the commotion started,’’ he said.
Oyekanmi further said that the collated election results at local government level were now being announced at the state collation centre at the commission’s state office in Lokoja.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that an online medium had initial reported that the electoral commission had declared 30 of its ad-hoc staff posted to Olamaboro council area for the Saturday election missing.
The report also said that they were still not seen as at 1am. on Sunday, during the final collation of results in the local government.
It added that the missing INEC staff included presiding officers (POs) and assistant presiding officers (APOs) of polling units in Imane wards I and II in the council area.
Edited by Martins Odeh and ‘Wale Sadeeq
9th NASS consciously chooses to unite for national interest – Lawan
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan says the 9th National Assembly has consciously chosen to unite for national interest in spite of the fact that its members are from different political parties.
Mr Ola Awoniyi, his Special Adviser on Media in a statement on Sunday, said lawan said this at a dinner of the members of the University of Maiduguri Alumni Association in Abuja.
“This 9th National Assembly is a different National Assembly.
“We have chosen consciously to be united on one thing, that thing is national interest,” the Senate.
President said at a maiden end of year dinner and awards night organised by his alma mater.
“It doesn’t matter what our platform is, you can be an APC member of the National Assembly, and you can be a PDP member of the National Assembly.
“In fact you can be a YPP member of the National Assembly.
“This 9th National Assembly, particularly the Senate, our platforms have conveyed us.
“We are grateful to our parties, we believe in the ideals of our parties but we have resolved to work for Nigeria,” Lawan told members of the University of Maiduguri Alumni Association.
He said the Legislature was the most misunderstood arm of government because it was the youngest.
He said the current National Assembly believed that Nigeria should be made a safer country and with its economy working for Nigerians.
“All of us here are privileged; some are more privileged than others but the fact remains that those who are disadvantaged are outside there.
`They are at the villages or they are in slums in the cities, we have to work to make lives better for them, It is our duty, our mandate to work so hard regardless of our political platforms.
‘`We have also said we will work with the executive arm of government to ensure that there is some decency in what we do and that we are productive in what we do. That we are able to give Nigerians what they voted for.
“Nigerians didn’t vote for us to come and fight, Nigerians voted for us to come and work for them,” Lawan said.
Lawan said in spite of the legislatures’ resolve to collaborate on national issues notwithstanding, it would not allow the executive arm of government to take any advantage on them.
“We will disagree with them but when we disagree, we are not going to the market square to fight, to shout.
“We are going to resolve it in a round table manner; we are going to resolve it in the national interest.
“Not on what we feel or what we like or what we don’t like. We should be able to resolve any issue on the basis of what is good for Nigeria.”
Lawan paid glowing tribute to current and former Vice Chancellors (VC) of the school with special emphasis on Prof. Jibril Aminu, who was the VC from 1980 to 1985, for his laudable policy.
He said the policies of Aminu created a critical mass of academics for the school and which his successors have proudly sustained to date.
Lawan also congratulated the staff and particularly the students who still have faith in the school in spite of the constant threats by Boko Haram insurgents.
“In spite of the threat of Boko Haram insurgents, students are still being faithful that they will still get their education in the University of Maiduguri.
“This is courage, this is belief in what the University can do to protect them and what the University can do to give them the education they require and the character formation that goes with it,” Lawan said.
On the recent hike in tuition fees in university of Maiduguri, which the National Assembly kicked against, lawan advised the management of the school to always consult widely before taking any decision on fundamental issues.
The highpoint of the event was the presentation of awards to some alumni of the school including Senate President of the Senate, who received an Outstanding Achievement Award in celebration of his position as the highest ranking alumini political office holder and in recognition of his dedication and Humanitarian service.
Lawan promptly dedicated the award to his class of 1984 Geography graduates.
Edited by Abiemwense Moru/Sadiya Hamza
Finance bill not only about VAT- Senate
Abuja, Nov. 17, 2019 Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, Sen. Solomon Adeola has said that the Finance Bill was not only about Value Added Tax (VAT).
He said that it was a composite bill seeking amendment in seven Acts of the National Assembly with removal of taxes for some sectors in the economy contrary to popular sentiment about the executive bill being about increase in VAT.
Mr Kayode Odunaro, Media Adviser to Adeola made this known in a statement in Abuja on Sunday.
He said that the bill targeted at reforming the tax regime would involve amendments of seven Acts of the Parliament; Petroleum Profit Tax, Customs and Excise Tariff Act, Company Income Tax Act, Personal Income Tax Act, Value Added Tax, Stamp Duties Act and Capital Gain Tax.
“Studying the executive bill that was referred to my Committee after passing second reading on the floor of the senate, I realised that there are lot of ignorance and limited knowledge of the content and import of the Finance Bill.
” It is targeted at not only increase in revenue for the government but removing some conflicting and confusing aspects of our laws that had given rise to legal disputations in the past leading to huge loses of revenue for government.
“Beyond the 2.5 per cent increase in the VAT, there are equally changes in the Value Added Tax Act 2004 that increase the number of items exempted from VAT to the extent that Nigeria may have the highest number of such exemptions in Africa and beyond.
“Also the amendment of the Company Income Tax Act if passed will favour Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) by reduction in applicable taxes with first four years robust incentives,” Adeola said.
Meanwhile, the public hearing on the bill is slated for Tuesday, 19.
edited by Sadiya Hamza
Kogi Poll: Police confirm 3 dead
The Commission of Police in Kogi, Mr Akeem Busari, who confirmed the deaths to newsmen, said that the command was still compiling its report on the poll to ascertain the actual number of casualties.
Busari also said 10 persons were arrested across the state during the election.
He said it was gathered that three persons died in Lokoja when armed thugs invaded St. Luke Primary School, Adanakolo, during the election.
Busari, however, described the situation in the state as calm.
The results showed that that Gov. Yahaya Bello, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), polled 36,954 votes in Okehi Local Government Area while Mr Musa Wada of the PDP scored 478 votes.
In Ajaokuta Local Government Area, Bello scored 17, 952 while Wada polled 5,565 votes.
In Mopa Muro Local Government Area, Bello scored 4,953 votes while Wada scored 3,581 votes.
In Idah Local Government Area, Bello scored 4,602 votes while Wada polled 13,962 votes.
In Olamaboro Local Government Area, Belo scored 16,876 while Wada scored 8, 155 votes.
In Yagba West Local Government Area, Bello polled 7,868 while Wada scored 8,860.
The results from 16 local government areas have been released by INEC.
Edited by Abiemwense Moru/Chukwudi Ekezie
- Early, quality antenatal care can reduce birth of preterm babies – Paediatrician
- Firm opens Virtual Reality Booth in Lagos to market Nigeria’s tourism
- Alabi urges Nigerians to pray for their leaders
- Sen. Wamakko warns against fake news, hate speeches
- Kogi election violence: CSOs want speedy take off of Electoral Offences Commission
- Ex-lawmaker urges Sanwo-Olu to prioritise rail development
- Harvest: Priest urges Christians to appreciate God for unseen blessings
- Minimum wage: Anxious workers salivate as state governments `await template’
- Air Peace signs firm order for 3 additional E195-E2 jets, worth $212.6m
- Ember Months: FRSC to clamp-down on mechanically deficient vehicles in Ebonyi
- Muslims facing serious challenges worldwide – Sultan
- Deadly emotions becoming more crucial than ever — Experts
- LASEPA seals 8 worship centres over environment pollution
- Kwara governor renovates NYSC hostels
- Police smash armed robbery gang in Enugu
- UNODC unveils new Nigeria handbook on counter terrorism investigations
- Kogi poll: Ad-hoc staff in Olamaboro LG safe, sound – INEC
- International Students’ Day: Gov. Akeredolu urges students to shun social vices
- Ikorodu NBA Chairman harps on independence for judiciary
- Offa Poly gets new Registrar