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Voting Stopped At Egor LGA Due To Non-functional Card Readers

19 September 2020 - 7:03am


Voting has been put on hold at some polling units in Egor Local Government Area of Edo State due to non-functional smart card readers.

Some of the affected voters, who spoke with SaharaReporters, blamed the Independent National Electoral Commission for being unable to exercise their franchise.

Some of the polling units affected are Amegor School (Unit 4 and 5), Uwuelu Secondary School (Unit 5) both in Egor Local Government Area.

A disappointed voter said the polling officers asked him to wait for another smart card reader to be brought from the headquarters of INEC in the state.

"When I got here, the officer said the card reader was not working.

"He said he has informed them at the headquarters in Benin and I should wait.

"Election is almost over and many of us are still unable to cast our votes," he said.

See Also Breaking News LIVE: Edo Decides 2020 0 Comments 4 Days Ago

Another woman, who was also affected, said voters were patiently expecting the replacement of the faulty card readers.

"We have been waiting. They said card reader is not working but they have informed the technical unit at the INEC office.

"We hope the INEC officials will get here on time so we can vote," she said.

Confirming the difficulties posed by the card readers, a presiding officer, who pleaded anonymity, said they resorted to use manual accreditation for some of the voters.

"People voted manually but we are still hoping to get a backup card reader from INEC so that others can vote before the election ends," she said.

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Amotekun Officials Seize 65 Cows, Arrest Herder For Destroying Crops Worth N5m In Ondo

19 September 2020 - 5:32am


Officials of the Amotekun Corps in Ondo State have seized 65 cows for allegedly destroying crops belonging to some farmers in the state.

A herdsman, Adamu Yusuf, was also arrested by the security outfit in the Oda area of the state.

It was gathered that the crops destroyed were worth over N5m.

Adeleye Olatunji, Commander of Amotekun in Ondo, confirmed the arrest shortly after visiting the farm.

He said some farmers in Oda town had come to report activities of the herdsmen destroying their cassava, maize and yam.

"We had to move straight into action around 10:00pm and went into the farm where we caught them with over 65 cows.

"So, we marched them from Odo-Igbo community to Amotekun headquarters after the operation," he said.

While decrying the activities of the herdsmen in the state over the destruction of farmlands, Olatunji said the security agencies would not allow crime of any type in Ondo.

See Also Sahara Reporters Amotekun Arrest Herder In Ondo For Allegedly Destroying Cassava Farm 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

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An Increased Minimum Wage Translates To Maximum Hardship Only In A Failed State By Abdulkadir Salaudeen

19 September 2020 - 4:55am


There is no gainsaying the fact that Nigerians are languishing in their country as if in maximum prison. They feel like dying in the face of unmitigated hunger. They earnestly plead to the angel of death to terminate their souls which seem not worthy of existence. Or what is the essence of souls that cannot be nourished? Trying to force death upon themselves, they were told it is a suicide—a criminal act. Many of those who hitherto sustained themselves and their families through wages could not do so anymore because their wages could not be converted to daily bread. Many lost their jobs to right sizing, downsizing and retrenchment. They become burdens to overburdened families and friends who struggle to earn little.

It was this melancholic situation that prompted the Nigerian masses for a negotiation and demand for an increment in minimum wage. Their malevolent government tried hard to circumvent the implementation of the statutory increment; but it has to succumb to the consistent demand of the masses. It was a solo demand: increase our minimum wage we are suffering! No sooner had the minimum wage increased, with the masses' expectation that it would improve their pathetically tattered condition, than they were confronted with successive waves of poverty that cut across every nook and cranny of Nigeria’s landscape. Every member of the Nigerian masses has his or her own share of the engulfing poverty, for it is all-encompassing.

The educated Nigerian masses knew it was not a symptom of a failed state but its reality. But they were hamstrung from saying it for fear of being invited. We are all in the know of what happened to the few who mustered the courage to say it. The illiterate Nigerians were saying it repeatedly, they were complaining bitterly but were not educated to couch it in its befitting term: ‘failed state’. They did not know the technical term. Those who live in denial pretentiously refuse to understand how Nigeria could be a failed state under their leadership. So are their hero-worshipers who tenaciously hold that the hardship under this government must be understood as progress, development, enjoyment, what have you. They believe this government and its leadership is the best thing that has ever happened in Nigeria, and to Nigerians.

Despite all the glaring manifestations of a failed state seen by all eyes, the romantically unrepentant admirers of the President could not still see nor reason. Bigotry, racial or political, is actually a disease. But since fact is fact. Fact is scientific.  It is objective; not subjective. It can be denied, but cannot be changed provided its particulars remain intact. This is why Nigeria was declared the poverty capital of the world and subsequently a failed state. Thanks to those international rating bodies for telling our government the truth they know, but pretend not to know.

Nigerians are now regretting the minimum wage negotiation. They never knew it was an offence in the first place to ask for their statutory right. The government did not also tell them it is an offence to do so—they wouldn’t have done so. Now that the deed has been done; and the government is unleashing its anger, what is the way forward? It should be noted that the minimum wage does not go round. There are many government workers who are yet to get any minimum wage increment though they have swallowed their dose of maximum hardship. They are still swallowing other doses of maximum poverty, maximum hardship, maximum hopelessness etc.

As for the way forward, many Nigerians believe in protests. They believe in industrial actions (strikes). I don’t disagree with them. However, I counsel that the protest should be peaceful. For fear of gunshots and tear gases, the protesters should be on their knees. Let us all kowtow before our megalomaniac government as humble citizens with tears in our eyes, hands on our heads. Let us whine by wailing. Let us let them know that we are not disrespectful; we are rather pushed to the wall. Let us tell them that they are the most powerful but God. Let us promise them that we shall never demand or negotiate any increment in minimum wage for the rest of our lives so that they can let us live. Perhaps Almighty God will touch their hearts. For the hardship and hunger in the land is unbearable.

Some are even saying the suffering is because of our sins! Though under former President Jonathan, our suffering was due to his cluelessness! What sense of justice is there in this conclusion? This is standing logic on its head. The Americans, the French, the Chinese, the Britons develop because they are not sinners. We, Nigerians, suffer because we are sinners. This is their argument. The premise is as specious as the conclusion. Or how do you categorize this kind of thinking?

Already Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) and Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) are on strike. All other university unions: NASU, SSANU, NAAT vowed to embark on strike on resumption day. It is not an empty threat. They made real their threat on Monday at the Lagos State University (LASU) as the University resumed only to ‘de-resume’. The strike is all about a devilish and cancerous payment platform (IPPIS), notorious for eating deep into the hard earned wages of federal government workers. It has never been this bad! Some academics who had worked for over three decades in the universities lament that their salaries have never been reviewed downward. Even though the upward reviews have always been very marginal and disheartening. They consider all previous governments in Nigeria as being insensitive to their demands. Under the present government of the ‘best president’ in the world, they experience substantial deductions. This is catastrophically disheartening. I don’t know how they will describe this government. As if that is not enough, the academic staff are in their third month without salaries; yet our president is the ‘kindest president’ in addressing ASUU’s issues. Bigotry could be this dangerous?!

Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) on strike, Trade Union Congress (TUC), Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) are to join by the end of the month. Hunger is also striking the masses. The former President, Obasanjo, said the state is failing. Though he is not qualified to say so since his ten fingers are conspicuously seen in the architectural design of the failed state. He should have apportioned some of the blames to himself and apologised to Nigerians. So, he was christened the ‘divider-in-chief’. However, many Nigerians ignore the messenger and focus on the message. Many are queuing behind him, including Prof. Soyinka who is notoriously known not to be his fan; and has not by this acknowledgement become his fan. Truth be told and politics aside, the masses are hungry, and suffering, and dying. Mr. lecturer, Eedris Abdulkareem, is indeed not a prophet; but he sounds prophetic.  Nigeria has never been this jagajaga and everything scatter scatter where poor man dey suffer suffer. Our major sin is asking for a minimum wage increment. And we have seen the maximum hardship: food unbuyable, electricity bill prohibitive, taxes unbearable, fuel price unprecedentedly high. We pray to God, since they say it is our sins, to forgive us and direct our government to better better our conditions before we all opt for voluntary suicide.

salahuddeenabdulkadir@gmail.com

@salahuddeenAbd

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BREAKING: I’m Disappointed In INEC –Obaseki

19 September 2020 - 4:50am


Godwin Obaseki

Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, on Saturday expressed disappointment over the conduct of the ongoing governorship election by the Independent National Electoral Commission in the state.

Obaseki while speaking with journalists after casting his vote at Polling Unit 19, Ward 4, Oredo Local Government Area, said he stayed for over one and half hour on the queue because the card reader was slow.

Godwin Obaseki SaharaReporters Media

The governor said he expected better planning by the electoral commission.

“I expected that INEC would have prepared better for this election. I waited for one and half hour on the queue before exercising my franchise, it’s a bit disappointing.

“Giving that this is a sole day election, I expected better planning for this election. Card readers were very slow and that’s the situation everywhere.”

Video of Edo Decides 2020: I’m Disappointed In INEC – Obaseki Edo Decides 2020: I’m Disappointed In INEC – Obaseki WATCH VIDEO

See Also Elections BREAKING: Obaseki's Thugs Chase Away Agents Of Other Political Parties From Polling Unit 0 Comments 4 Days Ago

See Also Breaking News LIVE: Edo Decides 2020 0 Comments 4 Days Ago

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Policemen Deployed To Edo Grumble Over Non-payment Of Election Duty Allowance

19 September 2020 - 4:19am


Policemen deployed from other states to Edo for Saturday’s (today) governorship election are grumbling over alleged refusal of the authorities to pay their allowances.

The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, had on Monday said the security agency deployed 31,000 police personnel to the state.

Some of the policemen, who spoke with SaharaReporters on Saturday, appealed to Adamu to intervene in the matter.

“I don’t even have money to go back to Lagos tomorrow. Imagine no provision for us to go back to our base.

“I heard N50,000 has been approved for those in my rank but I am yet to receive alert. Though some have received theirs,” one of them told SaharaReporters.

Another one said, “We are currently risking our lives to ensure adequate security during this election but it’s sad that we don’t have anything in our bank accounts. Just few of us have been paid.”

See Also Breaking News LIVE: Edo Decides 2020 0 Comments 4 Days Ago

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BREAKING: Obaseki's Thugs Chase Away Agents Of Other Political Parties From Polling Unit

19 September 2020 - 3:35am


Thugs loyal to Governor Godwin Obaseki of the Peoples Democratic Party are currently chasing away agents of other political parties from the polling unit where he is to vote.

The governor, who is on the queue, watched on as the thugs carried out the act.

Video of Edo Decides: Obaseki's Thugs Chase Party Agents Of Other Political Parties From Polling Unit Edo Decides: Obaseki's Thugs Chase Party Agents Of Other Political Parties From Polling Unit WATCH VIDEO

BREAKING: @GovernorObaseki's Thugs Chase Party Agents Of Other Political Parties From Polling Unit
The governor, who is on the queue watches on as his thugs carry out the acts.#EdoDecides2020 #Edo2020 #EdoElection
FOLLOW LIVE: https://t.co/71fVUZyQiX pic.twitter.com/aaQ3tlCFsK

— Sahara Reporters (@SaharaReporters) September 19, 2020

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1004 Estate Residents Accuse Bar Beach Police Station DPO Of Abetting Criminals, Cry Out For Help

19 September 2020 - 2:46am


Residents and homeowners of 1004 Estate in Lagos has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to deliver them from the hands of criminals terrorising the estate and allegedly abetted by the police.

The estate’s Acting Chairperson, Mrs Lola Ademola, told a news conference that the call had become expedient as their efforts to stem criminality in the 41-year-old estate were frustrated and had not yielded the desired result.

According to her, the Divisional Police Officer of Bar Beach Police Station, CSP Isa Lawal, allegedly abets the perpetrators of crime, who have now turned the estate into a haven for criminals, especially electricity thieves and other law breakers.

She said that the residents were calling on all well-meaning Nigerians to intervene and come to their aid as the highbrow residential estate on Victoria Island was now home to over 5,000 residents of different nationalities.

She said, “To stem this tide of power theft and avoid infrastructure collapse, 1004HORA deployed agreed community sanctions against the thieves. These measures have brought the association on collision with those engaged in electricity theft, the chief amongst whom is one Mathew Ibadin, a tenant who has used his position as the chairman of the Victoria Island Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC) to cause mayhem in the estate, brazenly steal power, aid and abet others to steal power and promote general lawlessness in the estate with the active support and connivance of the DPO, Bar Beach Police Station, CSP Isa Lawal.

“One would expect the Nigeria Police to support 1004HORA and apprehend thieves and criminals in the estate; however, what we observe is that the Bar Beach Police DPO is always in aid of the power thieves in 1004 Estate while punishing those trying to uphold the law. On numerous occasions, the DPO of Bar Beach Police Division has ordered the arrest and detention of 1004HORA officials and staff for disconnecting apartments involved in power theft.

“For instance when one Mrs Eno Eniang was found to be involved in power theft and disconnected, Mathew Ibadan mobilized CSP Lawal and his men to forcefully reconnect the apartment. Also, on May 8, 2020, the DPO ordered the arrest and detention of the HORA Operations Manager for disconnecting an apartment involved in power theft. This action by CSP Isa Lawal in aid of criminals has emboldened other persons within the estate to steal power at will without fear of repercussion putting a strain on the estate’s power supply.
In the latest display of his abuse of power as a police officer, Lawal on August 6th, 2020 again arrested and detained the 1004HORA Operations Manager at the behest of the chief culprit of power theft, Mathew Ibadin who in his attempt to cover up his power theft, removed his issued meter.

“On the 9th of August, 2020, Mathew Ibadin against the estate byelaws, brought in a petrol generator to power his apartment thereby exposing the block of 127 apartments on 14 floors and indeed the entire estate to the risk of fire outbreak akin only to the Grenfell Tower fire disaster in London. This is a real and present danger, which must be averted if we are to safeguard lives and property.

“All efforts to get him to remove the generator from the estate was resisted by Mathew Ibadin supported by CSP Isa Lawal who provided a team of armed policemen to guard the apartment and prevent the removal of the generator which is not only a cause of pollution but a threat to lives and property in the estate. The generator is still powering Mathew Ibadin’s apartment till date, despite being served a notice by the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency - LASEPA to remove it from the estate. The DPO has made it impossible to enforce the directive of LASEPA. Mathew Ibadin has become law unto himself with the support of the DPO.

With the support of the Bar Beach DPO, Mathew Ibadin continues to threaten and harass 1004HORA exco members and staff as well as other residents while also engineering their arrest and detention both at the Bar Beach Police Station and Police Zone 2 Command headquarters, Onikan, over his continuous use of generator in the estate.

“To secure reprieve for its exco officials, staff and residents from constant arrest and intimidation, 1004 HORA obtained a court injunction, restraining Ibadin, the Bar Beach DPO and the Nigeria Police from further arrest and harassment. However, in flagrant disrespect of the court order, DPO Isa Lawal continues to harass and threaten 1004HORA officials and staff, claiming that no court in the land can prevent him from doing his job. He tells whoever cares to listen that Mathew Ibadin is his friend of over 10 years and he will do everything to protect Mathew’s interest.

"On 16th September 2020, in flagrant disobedience of the order of court, DPO Isa Lawal, again at the instigation of Mathew Ibadin invited 1004HORA officials and staff to appear before him for interrogation. It must be noted that only the previous night (September 15), the same Mathew Ibadin in the company of Wale Adebayo, Shile Adebayo and others, armed with cutlass and other dangerous weapons had caused criminal damage to the estate’s power supply and property and dared anyone to stop them with threat of death or grievous bodily harm. In a bizarre twist, the resident who challenged him on his criminal behaviour was arrested by the DPO in the morning on September 16, 2020.”

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LIVE: Edo Decides 2020

19 September 2020 - 12:54am

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Concerned Nigerians Group Condemn Harassment Of Wike, Other PDP Leaders Ahead Of Governorship Election In Edo

18 September 2020 - 2:42pm


The Concerned Nigerians group has frowned against the harassment of Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and other Peoples Democratic Party leaders in Benin, Edo State, ahead of the governorship election in the state.

Armed security personnel had laid siege to the hotel where Wike and other PDP stalwarts are lodged in a move designed to curb their movement within Edo especially as Saturday's election was set to be held.

The development attracted criticisms from Nigerians, who described it as a ploy by the All Progressives Congress-controlled Federal Government to rig the poll in favour of the party and its candidate during the exercise.

See Also Sahara Reporters Policemen Lay Siege To Rivers Governor, Wike’s Hotel In Benin, PDP Raises Alarm 0 Comments 5 Days Ago

In a statement Comrade Deji Adeyanju, Convener of the group, said, "We condemn in its entirety the siege by soldiers and police officers at the hotel of Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, and other PDP leaders in Benin ahead of the gubernatorial elections tomorrow. 

"It’s instructive to note that there are currently six APC governors in Edo State and the entire National Working Committee of the party is there with their National Chairman. What the Inspector-General of Police and other security heads are doing by harassing Wike and other key opposition leaders tonight in Benin is election interference. The international community should take note. Governor Wike has every reason to be in Edo State for the election because he is the DG of the PDP campaign. He may even serve as a polling unit, ward, LGA or state agent for his party tomorrow.

"To give undue advantage to the APC and begin clampdown on the PDP is rigging and stands condemned. The security agencies should be neutral to ensure free, fair and credible polls tomorrow. President Buhari must decide if he wants this democracy to continue or he wants to declare full military rule. He should put an end to fraudulent elections."

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PDP Reps Caucus Condemns Siege on Governors By Security Agents

18 September 2020 - 2:30pm


The Peoples Democratic Party caucus in the House of Representatives has condemned the clampdown on its governors by security agents in Benin, Edo State, on the instructions of the Inspector-General of Police ahead of Saturday’s governorship election.

Leader of the caucus, Kingsley Chinda (PDP Rivers), in a statement described as unacceptable the activities of security agencies whose duty is to ensure the safety of lives and property rather than causing chaos in the state.

Chinda said, "The caucus find the current siege on governors by men of the Nigeria Police Force and other security officials as disturbing and unacceptable ahead of the election.

"As a democratic society, Nigerians should be given the right to free movement, association and above all right to vote leaders of their chioces to govern the affairs of the state in the interest of the people.

"However, security agencies have abandoned thier core duties to laying siege on governors who are out to perform thier legitimate duties in Edo State.

See Also Sahara Reporters Policemen Lay Siege To Rivers Governor, Wike’s Hotel In Benin, PDP Raises Alarm 0 Comments 5 Days Ago

"The caucus wishes to draw the attention of Mr President to immediately wade into the matter and allow the people of Edo State vote leaders of thier choices.

"We also want to use this medium to draw the attention of the nation and international community of the security siege on PDP governors in Benin City.

"The party expresses shock that security agents were detailed to lay siege to the lodge of our governors to harass and intimidate them whereas APC governors including the governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje, his Imo State counterpart, Hope Uzodimma, as well as the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, are left free in the comfort of the residence of the sacked National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, in GRA, Benin City.

"Our caucus considers this siege on persons that enjoy immunity as unconstitutional, provocative and completely unacceptable as there cannot be two sets of laws for the citizens of our nation. In as much as the APC governors are given the liberty to stay in Benin, our governors must not be harassed or stampeded to leave the state.

"At any rate, we are confident that our governors will not allow themselves to be stampeded."

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Stop Disrespecting Nigeria, Government Tells United States, UK Over Visa Restrictions On Election Riggers

18 September 2020 - 1:49pm


Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Nigerian Government has asked the United States of America and United Kingdom to stop disrespecting the country and its citizens.

The government was reacting to the statements issued by the US and UK on the governorship elections holding in Edo and Ondo states on September 19 and October 10 respectively.

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari.

According to a statement by Ferdinand Nwonye, spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, expressed concern over the visa restrictions imposed by the US on unnamed politicians for alleged involvement in electoral violence during the Kogi and Bayelsa states governorship polls.

The statement reads, “It would be considered disrespectful of the sovereignty of Nigeria for any outside authority to sit in judgment over the conduct of our citizens and apply punitive measures such as visa restriction unilaterally.

“The Federal Government and especially the President, are committed to providing all necessary logistic, financial, and security support to the electoral process.

“While we appreciate the support and encouragement of our international partners such as the European Union, we urge our equally valued partners such as the UK and US to cooperate with our relevant agencies by providing them whatever concrete evidence of observed misconduct to allow our laws and regulations to take their cours.”

See Also Breaking News BREAKING: Oshiomhole, Kano, Kogi Governors On US Visa Ban List, El-Rufai's Sanction Extended 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

SaharaReporters recall that both US and the UK had vowed to sanction anyone, who perpetrated violence during the Edo and Ondo elections including imposing visa restrictions and blocking them from accessing their assets and prosecuting them under international law.

 

See Also Exclusive EXCLUSIVE: Top INEC Officials, Security Agents On US Visa Ban List, Governor Akeredolu Placed On Watch List 0 Comments 6 Days Ago

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Ex-United States Soldier Kidnapped In Ekiti Regains Freedom

18 September 2020 - 1:32pm


Gunmen

A retired United States of America army officer, Jide Ijadare, who was abducted in Ekiti State three days ago, has been freed by his abductors.

Ijadare was abducted on Tuesday when some gunmen invaded his palm oil factory along Ijan Ekiti-Ise/Ekiti Road at Ijan in the Gbonyin Council area of Ekiti State.

Gunmen Google

The gunmen reportedly killed one person before taking the retired army officer and one other person away.

See Also CRIME One Killed As Gunmen Abduct Former US Army Personnel In Ekiti State 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

A family source told journalists that Ijadare regained his freedom after paying the ransom demanded by the kidnappers.

The same source had on Wednesday revealed that the abductors called few hours after the kidnap and demanded N20m ransom.

“My brother was released this afternoon around 4:15pm and he has reunited with the family,” the source said.

Police spokesperson in Ekiti, Sunday Abutu, confirmed that the victims had been freed.

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Policemen Lay Siege To Rivers Governor, Wike’s Hotel In Benin, PDP Raises Alarm

18 September 2020 - 12:29pm


Rivers Governor Wike

The Peoples Democratic Party in Rivers State has alleged that the hotel where state governor, Nyesom Wike, was lodging in Benin, Edo State, is under siege by over 300 policemen.

Chairman of the party, Akawor Desmond, disclosed this in a statement on Friday.

Desmond said the PDP will hold the Inspector-General of Police responsible if anything happened to the governor.

Rivers Governor Wike

“The attention of the entire people of Rivers State has been drawn to the siege laid at the hotel where the governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, is lodging while on official assignment in Benin, Edo State.

“Recall that Governor Wike was appointed Chairman of the PDP National Campaign Council for the Edo governorship election; this is same position Governor Ganduje of Kano State occupies for his party, the APC.

“Ganduje and Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State are all in Benin carrying out their assignment for the APC without any molestation or intimidation. In breach of the pledge they made, security agencies have decided to harass and intimidate Governor Wike who has not done any wrong.

“May I on behalf of the entire Rivers people warn that we shall hold the IGP responsible for anything that happens to our governor,” he said.

 

See Also Politics Your Political Lives In Danger If APC Wins, Wike Tells PDP Leaders Ahead Of Edo Governorship Election 0 Comments 5 Days Ago

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Another UNILAG Council Member Resigns As Crisis Rocking Institution Persists

18 September 2020 - 9:54am


UNILAG

A member of the Governing Council of the University of Lagos, Mr Bayo Adaralegbe, has resigned his appointment, joining the council Chairman and Pro-Chancellor of the institution, Dr Wale Babalakin, who earlier quit his position, franktalknow.com reports.

Adaralegbe tendered his resignation letter to the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, on Friday, saying his continued stay as member of the council will dishonour his late father, Prof Adeniji Adaralegbe’s memory.

UNILAG

He said, “Aside a Samsung telephone set, an Ipad device and the sum as sitting allowance per meeting, I did not in any way benefit materially, directly or through third parties from University of Lagos, certainly a rarity by today’s Nigerian standard (unless of course one wants to add the admission of a few candidates that I requested from the university management). Our council took its work very seriously. We served very selflessly, very diligently and worked extremely hard to manage the scarce resources of the university and improve its standing.

“Dr Babalakin provided very strong moral leadership as Pro Chancellor and Chairman of Council. He kept scrupulously to the promise he made at our maiden council meeting not to bid for or be awarded contracts from the university. He actually did more. By December 2019 he had poured approximately N100m of his own personal resources on different endeavours in the university. At the time this situation arose, he was in the process of transferring to the university (at no cost to it) 40 hectares of land he owned in Ogudu, Lagos to address its staff housing problems. Those of us Federal Government appointees followed his strong moral leadership.

"Recent developments have, unfortunately, made my continued stay on the Governing Council of the University of Lagos very untenable. I experienced first-hand, the Vice Chancellor of a university falsifying interview results for the position of Director of Works. Prof Toyin Ogundipe threatened to beat me up during an interview session for the position of Director of Works because I resisted his attempt to falsify interview results. It was also in University of Lagos that I experienced a Vice Chancellor attempting to appoint a professor in respect of a discipline that the university did not have a department, did not admit undergraduate or postgraduate students, and through a one page Memorandum to the Pro-Chancellor that touted the candidate as an ‘agent of change.’

“I consider my continued stay on the Governing Council of University of Lagos a serious dishonour and desecration of my late father’s memory, Prof Adeniji Adaralegbe.”

See Also Education Wale Babalakin Resigns As UNILAG Pro-Chancellor 0 Comments 6 Days Ago

Government had earlier removed Ogundipe and Babalakin from their respective positions to allow for a thorough investigation into the crisis rocking the university including allegations of financial misappropriation against the VC.

Though a visitation panel set up has submitted its report, the crisis in UNILAG appears far from being over.

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Your Political Lives In Danger If APC Wins, Wike Tells PDP Leaders Ahead Of Edo Governorship Election

18 September 2020 - 9:43am


Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, has said that the outcome of the September 19 governorship election in Edo would provide hope for the general elections of 2023.

Wike advised President Muhammadu Buhari to use the election as a model for a refined electoral process.

Speaking during a meeting organised for leaders and elected representatives of the Peoples Democratic Party in Benin, capital of Edo, Wike described the poll as a fight for the destiny of the Niger Delta region.

He asked the party to mobilise the people of Edo for election with the aim of liberating the state from godfatherism.

He charged them to monitor the distribution of electoral materials and be vigilant to protect their votes.

He said, “The electoral battle may not be easy. But God is with us. With the people also on the ground, we will win.

“Let me tell you, God forbid that APC wins; if they do, all of you would have failed because your political life will be in jeopardy.

“They will come with federal might, but do not fear because we have the electorate on our side. They did the same in Rivers State; the people resisted them by protecting their votes.”

 

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BREAKING: DSS Invites Journalist, Masara Kim, Over Report Revealing Plans By Herdsmen To Attack Farming Communities In Plateau State

18 September 2020 - 8:39am


Masara Kim

The Department of State Services has invited a journalist in Plateau State, Masara Kim, for questioning over a report exposing potential attacks in some farming communities by herdsmen.

Kim is expected to appear at the DSS office in Jos on Monday, September 21.

His invitation comes amidst a crackdown on free speech by the secret police under President Muhammadu Buhari's administration.

Masara Kim

Kim on Friday published a story on his website reporting the killing of a mobile police officer and a civilian in Malul, Daffo Village under Bokkos Local Government Area.

The policeman, who was on special duty and one Sati Bulus, were ambushed on a motorbike around 8:30pm on Thursday.

As part of his story, Kim exposed meetings held by Fulani groups in the state to purchase weapons and resume hostilities on farming villages, information he attributed to trusted sources.

The report said, “A meeting of Fulani herdsmen leaders held on Monday in Fass, a native community in Barkin Ladi LGA displaced and renamed Tafawa by herdsmen, allegedly resolved to resume hostilities in Daffo and three other Plateau communities before December 2020.

“Sources say N1.3m was raised through freewill donations at the meeting, with additional levies placed on each herder family for the purchase of arms.

“The meeting reportedly followed a similar meeting in Jos Central Mosque on August 16, 2020 where over N2m was raised for arms but the contacts sent for the purchases in Niger Republic never returned. It is not clear if they were arrested or they simply absconded.

“Nigerian officials however recently announced the arrest of two people with arms and ammunitions heading to Jos, but yet confirmed if they were the herders’ errant men. 

“The mission was assigned while a followup meeting held in Bida, Niger State where more strategies for the annexing of native communities in Central Nigeria were discussed, it was gathered.

“During the latest meeting in Fass village, sources confirm the reward of six herders last year arrested over various attacks but given first-class treatment in custody. The reward was however for their courage in not disclosing their networks, it was learnt. If true, violent crimes involving herdsmen are likely to persist in view of the growing impunity, rewards and luxuries given arrested suspects. More people would want to participate in crimes for the rewards involved, the tourism experience of having to lodge in exotic facilities as reported by the released suspects, or the dare to test the security might which appears to be increasingly weakening against herders.”

The DSS recently extended three similar invitations to Obadiah Mailafia, former Central Bank deputy governor, over comments he made about the alleged sponsors of insecurity in the country. 

He has since cried out that his life was in danger.

 

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Yiaga Africa Deploys Parallel Vote Tabulation To Monitor, Expose Manipulation Of Election Results In Edo

18 September 2020 - 8:32am


File Photo

The Youth Initiative for Advocacy Growth and Advancement Africa has deployed Parallel Vote Tabulation methodology to monitor the credibility of election result during the Edo State governorship election.

The PVT is an advanced election observation methodology that employs well-established statistical principles and sophisticated information technology in providing timely and accurate information on the conduct of accreditation, voting, and counting, and it independently verifies the official governorship results as announced by the INEC.

File Photo

YIAGA noted that the deployment of PVT will ensure that results announced at the polling booth are not tampered with at the collation centres.

The group noted that the mechanism has been tested and proven in over 50 countries including Nigeria -- most recently by YIAGA Africa in the November 2019 Kogi and Bayelsa governorship elections where it detected fraud and manipulation of results collation and declined to verify the official results declared by INEC.

The group also vowed to expose any form of electoral malpractice and result manipulation during the September 19 election.

In a statement by the Chair of YIAGA Africa election observation mission for Edo State, Dr Aisha Abdullahi; and the YIAGA Africa Executive Director, Samson Itodo; the organisation stated that it would deploy 500 stationary observers to a representative statistical sample of 250 polling units and 25 mobile observers in all 18 LGAs as well as 18 collation centre observers to each of the LGA collation centres.

“The observers will observe the conduct of the process and provide systematic, accurate, and timely information on the election day process. Specifically, YIAGA Africa will provide accurate information on the quality of the election day process and ascertain if the official results announced by INEC reflects the total votes cast.

“Since PVT is based on official results from a representative random sample of polling units, YIAGA Africa will estimate the state-wide results for the governorship election within a narrow range based on well-established statistical principles.

“If INEC's official results fall within YIAGA Africa's estimated range, then the public, political parties, and candidates should have confidence that the official results reflect the ballots cast at polling units; however, if the announced results have been manipulated and do not match the polling units' results, YIAGA Africa will expose it,” the group said.

In assessing whether the 2020 Edo governorship election satisfies the electoral integrity test, YIAGA Africa said it will consider a range of issues such as shortcomings in the pre-election period, the quality of election day processes, and the scale and scope of critical incidents.

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Autopsy Report Of Rivers Auto Repairer, Chima Ikwunado, Tortured To Death By Police Released

18 September 2020 - 7:38am


The autopsy report of late Rivers State mechanic, Chima Ikwunado, has been released.

Ikwunado and his apprentices, Victor Ogbonna, Osaze Friday, Ifeanyi Osuji and Ifeanyi Onyekwere were arrested on December 19, 2019 for driving against traffic and tortured at Mile 1 Police Station by one SP Benson Adetuyi.

At the point of arrest, the policemen took N93,000 found on Ikwunado and remanded him on allegations of car theft. 

In detention, he alongside others were tortured in the most brutal manner in spite a confirmation by owner of the vehicle that the car was not stolen and that Ikwunado was his mechanic only taking the car for a test-run after routine repair.

The late mechanic, who could not bear the pain inflicted on him by the police in detention, died on December 29, 2019, after which his counterparts were charged to court and remanded in January 2020 but were released days later following the directive of the state's Department of Public Prosecutions.

See Also Human Rights How Nigerian Police Tortured, Killed Rivers Auto Repairer, Chima Ikwunado, After Extorting Him, Illegally Detained Four Others 0 Comments 7 Months Ago

A family of the deceased told SaharaReporters that the Rivers State Police Command on Friday released the autopsy report to them and it confirmed he died of torture.

“There are also multiple discrete superficial burn injuries located mostly on the back, 1.2 -1.5 cm in diameter, circular to oval shaped, involving over two third of the area of the back, with crusted edges and necrotic floor. There are multiple septic foci identified on the body (1). Right knee joint, extending into the right ankle joint (2) Left ankle (with open wound) (3) Right shoulder area, extending to the upper half of the arm.

“The internal examination shows generalised and severe organ palor, and extensive haeemorrhage into soft tissues underlying the injuries seen on the skin.

“There is cerebral edema with moderate grooving of the cerebella tonsils. Causes of deaths in my opinion; haemorrhagic shock secondary to multiple severe soft tissue trauma with extensive haemorrhage (into the soft tissue),” the report signed by Dr Musa Itopa Stephen and Dr Cornell Chukwuegbo, read.

DOCUMENTS: Autopsy Report of Rivers Auto Repairer, Chima Ikwunado, Tortured to Death by Police Released by Sahara Reporters on Scribd

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Transcorp Hilton Reduces Staff By 40 Per Cent Over COVID-19 Losses

18 September 2020 - 6:59am


Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.

Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, has said it is reducing 40 per cent of its workforce due to losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

All executives of the hotel have also taken a pay cut. 

Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.

Dupe Olusola, Managing Director of the organisation, said the move was to restructure its business strategy as well as diversify its portfolio to mitigate the impact of the Coronavirus on tourism in the country.

She said, “The impact of COVID-19 on the business is like nothing the company has ever witnessed. The hotel and hospitality industry in Nigeria has never faced a crisis that brought travel to a standstill. The slow pick up of international travel, restriction on large gatherings, the switch to virtual meetings and fear of the virus, has drastically reduced demand for our hotels and occupancy levels to its lowest of less than five per cent.

“Despite the losses incurred, we have fulfilled our obligations to staff. At the inception of the pandemic, we maintained a 100 per cent salary payment to our over 900 employees in March and April. We also activated various cost-saving initiatives such as renegotiations of service contracts and restructuring of our loans. 

“We suspended further commitment to buy fixed assets and operating equipment as well as reducing our energy consumption and maintenance costs. Despite undertaking these, it has become apparent that more fundamental changes need to be made for the business to survive. To this end, our workforce headcount will be reduced by at least 40 per cent, and our reward system will be optimised.”

She added that those, who are impacted would be compensated adequately and a health insurance package to reduce their health burden costs, especially during the pandemic, amongst other payment settlements, will be activated.

 

See Also Exclusive EXCLUSIVE: How Dangote Cement Fired More Than 3000 Staff Without Notice, Due Process 0 Comments 3 Months Ago

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World Trade Organisation Screens Out Three Candidates, Okonjo-Iweala Still In Race

18 September 2020 - 6:50am


Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

The World Trade Organisation has screened out three candidates in the race for Director-General of the global trade group.

Nigeria’s candidate, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, is, however, still in the race.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

The removed candidates are Mexico’s Jesus Seade, Egypt’s Hamid Mamdouh, and Moldova’s Tudor Ulianovschi.

David Walker, General Council Chairman of the WTO in a statement on Friday said, “Their expertise and high professional and personal qualities are highly valued and respected by all members.”

The second phase of consultations would begin on September 24 and run until October 6 after which the WTO would announce two final candidates and a new leader on November 7.

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