INEC National Commissioner in-charge of Adamawa, Gombe and Taraba States, Dr Nuru Yakubu, said INEC would build on the experience gained from the Adamawa governorship poll in conducting future elections.
Answering questions from newsmen in Yola recently, the Commissioner said the Adamawa exercise was one of the best conducted polls in the country.
He said that based on the assessment of his colleagues and people of the state, the election was not only free and fair, but also very peaceful.
“Based on assessment that we undertook in the company of other National Commissioners, reports were the same all over the state that the conduct of the election was peaceful.
“INEC deployed four National Commissioners as well as many resident commissioners from neighboring states to monitor the election.
“I can say that based on my experience, this is one of the freest elections ever conducted and I think the result reflected the wish of the people.’’
Benue State House of Assembly has directed the Logo Local Government to commence negotiations with the banks being owed to enable them to cancel the debts.
The House gave the advice last Thursday during a plenary session in Makurdi.
The decision arose from deliberations on the volume one of the report of its Committee on Public Accounts on the activities of Local Government Areas.
Speaker of the House, David Iorhemba, further urged the council to abide by the guidelines provided by the Financial Memorandum in preparing financial records.
Iorhemba also called on Logo council to complete all abandoned projects before embarking on new ones.
He charged the council to have budgetary estimates in its yearly financial transactions to enhance performance.
The All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Bwari chapter, has stressed the need for adequate enlightenment on the introduction of the Growth Enhancement Programme (GEP) by the Federal Government.
The acting Chairman of the association, Alhaji Isa Labba, made the call in an interview with newsmen in Bwari.
Labba said that the call became necessary as the Federal Government was no longer involved in direct procurement and sale of fertiliser to farmers.
According to him, in view of this development, farmers are in a dilemma on how to access inputs for the 2012 farming season.
He urged the Federal Government institute a standard structure to replace the former fertiliser procurement arrangement.
Our correspondent recalls that the Federal Government had announced that the procurement and distribution of fertiliser had been handed over to interested private individuals.
The Gombe State House of Assembly has confirmed the reappointment of Alhaji Abdulmajid Adamu as member of the Gombe State Independent Electoral Commission (GOSIEC).
The confirmation followed a letter sent to the House by Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo.
In the letter, Dankwambo said the reappointment of the member was based on the powers conferred on him by section 198 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He said the nominee was eligible for the reappointment having served for five years in the first appointment.
Moving the motion, the Majority Leader of the House, Mr Mamman Alkali, urged his colleagues to confirm the nominee based on his wealth of experience.
Alhaji Buba Mohammed Bajoga, representing Funakaye South Constituency, seconded the motion and was unanimously approved.
Japanese government has provided 2.53 million US dollars for the take-off of the “Access to Justice for the Poor Project“ in Kaduna state.
The Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Ryuichi Shoji, made this known in Kaduna on Thursday at the launch of the three -year project, to be managed by the World Bank.
According to him, the project is aimed at providing the less privileged access to free legal services in line with the Millennium Development Goals.
He noted that the project would also assist those deprived of fair hearing in matters affecting them by using the services of the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria.
He commended the federal government for the adoption of the Legal Aids Act 2011, saying that it would strengthen the legal framework relating to access to justice by the poor.
The Police in Funtua, Katsina State, have killed one suspected armed robber and apprehended another after a shoot out in the early hours of Thursday.
The suspects, who were on a motorcycle, had engaged a police patrol team in a shoot out after failing to stop when flagged down along Katsina road in the town.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) ASP Muhammad Abubakar, confirmed the incident, saying his men were on the trail of the third suspect who fled.
“The three suspects were on a motorcycle and when police stopped them, they refused to stop, consequently the police pursued the suspects who engaged the law officers in gun battle.”
The Kebbi Primary School Teachers Pension Board has so far verified 1,293 retired teachers during its annual headcount.
The Executive Secretary of the Board, Hajiya Halima Dikko,told newsmen in Birnin Kebbi on Thursday that the execise was geared towards eliminating wastage of public funds.
According to her, ascertaining the actual number of pensioners as well as determining their monthly entitlements will go a long way in checking dubious practices.
“The number of retirees increases periodically but the monthly subvention to the board has not been increasing; the pensioners need to be patient.
The Kogi Central Media Practitioners Association (KOCEMPA) has urged the Acting governor of the state, Alhaji Abdulahi Bello, to use his short tenure to ensure peace and growth by uniting the various ethnic groups in the state.
The President of the association, Alhaji Abduikareem Abdulmalik, gave the advice in a statement issue in Lokoja on Sunday.
The statement urged the action governor not to be bothered by the mild drama that preceded his inauguration, saying that it was one of the dynamics of politics.
The Cargo Defence Fund (CDF) says it is handling more than 27 cases of unpaid proceeds of Nigerian exports.
The Secretary of the fund, Ms Azuka Ogo, said in a statement on Thursday in Lagos that the non-payments were due to breach of trust by the foreign buyers.
CDF, a project of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, is to assist importers and exporters in the pursuit of claims and legal remedies.
Ogo appealed to small-time exporters to always ensure the appropriate steps were taken in their transactions with foreign buyers.
According to her, the Open Account System of payment for international trade transactions which the Nigerian exporters contracted is based solely on trust.
The National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons and other Related Matters (NAPTIP) has pledged its commitment to the success of its partnership with the Republic of Benin to facilitate the implementation of its mandate.
The Executive Secretary of the agency, Mrs Beatrice Jedy-Agba, made the pledge in Abeokuta on Thursday at the end of the 9th Nigeria/ Benin Joint Technical Committee meeting on Trafficking in Persons.
She said the partnership would help both nations to achieve the objective of phasing out human trafficking and increase “the dignity of man”.
A communiqué issued at the end of the four-day meeting was jointly signed by Jedy-Agba and Emile Ekpinse, the Deputy Secretary-General, Ministry of Family and Social Affairs, Republic of Benin.
The Plateau State Government has approved the award of various road contracts worth more than N3 billion in its bid to improve on infrastructural development.
The state government has also purchased 500 units of tricycles worth N285 million in addition to 100 taxi cabs and 15 units of 18-seater buses to alleviate the transportation challenges following the increase in fuel pump price from N65 to N97.
The Commissioner of Information, Mr Abraham Yiljap, told newsmen in Jos after the State Executive Council meeting on Thursday that the wellbeing of the people was foremost in the agenda of the government.
He explained that contracts for the construction of five-kilometre road projects in Wase Local Government Area was re-awarded at the cost of N437 million.
A lecturer at the Department of Mass Communications, Abdu Gusau Polytechnic, Gusau, Mr. Agabas Apelugun, has expressed optimism that the on going reforms by President Goodluck Jonathan will transform the country for optimal goal.
Apelugun told newsmen in Sokoto on Tuesday that the President’s commitment to improve power supply would boost the socio-economic and political base of the country.
Apelogun explained that security agencies could not be everywhere all the times but relevant information from citizens would help in tackling the menace of criminals.
The lecturer appealed to traditional and religious leaders to complement the efforts of the government by sensitising their followers on the need to be security conscious.
NDLEA Arrests Doctor, Ex-Soldier For Dealing In Drugged Cookies, Cocaine
The operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have arrested a medical doctor, Jane Chioma Ofoma, in Auchi, Edo, for selling drugged cookies and biscuits.
Its Director, Media and Advocacy, Mr Femi Babafemi, said in a statement yesterday in Abuja, that Chioma sold the drugged cookies and biscuits through an online catering service, Omachi’s kitchen.
Babafemi said the arrest followed intelligence and surveillance where narcotic officers of the Edo Command of the agency on Saturday June 19, stormed her operational base at 1 Winners Way, Auchi.
This, he said, led to her arrest and at least 94 pieces of cookies produced with cannabis sativa were recovered from the suspect.
According to him, Chioma, 26, who is a graduate of medicine from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, recently completed her housemanship at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital.
“She has confessed to baking the cookies with skunk in her statement while under interrogation,” he said.
In the same vein, Babafemi said a 30-year-old Emmanuel Ehiramhen, of No. 10 Egan Street Ekpoma, has been arrested by officers of the Edo Command of the agency for dealing in crack cocaine.
Meanwhile, NDLEA operatives in Kwara have arrested a 52-year-old ex-Soldier, Ibrahim Musa, with 12.167 kilograms of Arizona (cannabis sativa), 4 grams of Cocaine and 25 grams of flunitrazepam.
Babafemi said the suspect was apprehended on Thursday June 17, at Oke-Odo, Tanke area of Ilorin, when he arrived from Lagos to supply his customers.
He said Musa worked in the maintenance department at Abati Army Barracks, Lagos from where he was deployed to 117 Battalion in Chibok, Borno, before he deserted the Army.
He added that the suspect had arrived Ilorin with his wife, Basirat Musa, in his Honda Accord car with registration number JJ 707 BL Lagos with the seized exhibit.
He was, however, arrested at the point of delivery by operatives of the Kwara Command of the agency.
“Under interrogation, Ibrahim revealed that while at Chibok he got the connection of a supplier of Arizona (Cannabis) and other drugs in Lagos who he immediately contacted when he deserted the Army in October 2020.
“He said he decided to go into the illicit drug business to enable him fend for his two wives and three children.
“The suspect revealed that the latest journey was his second trip to Ilorin to deliver the drugs and decided to travel with one of his wives who was not aware of his mission to Ilorin,” he said.
Babafemi quoted the Chairman, NDLEA, retired Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa as commending the Edo and Kwara Commands of the agency for their vigilance and commitment to the goal of ridding Nigeria of the menace of illicit drug trafficking and abuse.
He charged the Commanders, officers and men of the two Commands and their counterparts across the country not to relent in the discharge of their responsibilities.
He assured them of his commitment towards making their welfare a priority.
13 Vehicles Burnt In Tanker Explosion On Lagos-Ibadan Expressway
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) says six tankers, five trucks and two cars were destroyed in a tanker explosion at Ogere on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway yesterday.
Earlier, FRSC Sector Commander in Ogun, Mr Ahmed Umar, confirmed the incident to The Tide source, saying that it occurred at about 6.20 a.m.
Umar had said the explosion occurred in front of Romona trailer park on the expressway.
Giving update, he said, “the fire is serious, six tankers, five trucks and two cars are burnt in the explosion.’’
Umar said that one person had so far been rescued and taken to a private hospital in Ogere.
Meanwhile, the Ogun State Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps (TRACE), has advised motorists plying the road to use alternative routes.
TRACE spokesman, Mr Babatunde Akinbiyi explained that the tanker which was laden with fuel suddenly burst into flames affecting other vehicles.
“Vehicles moving inbound Lagos should go through Saapade-Ode/Remo-Iperu-Sagamu to relink Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
“In addition, vehicles moving inbound Ibadan should also go through Sagamu-Iperu-Ode/Remo-Saapade to relink Lagos-Ibadan Expressway,’’ Akinbiyi said.
The incident was the fifth of such tragedies involving fuel tankers in the Lagos and Ogun State axis since the beginning of the year.
A similar fuel tanker-related fire was recorded on Jan. 7 on the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway.
On March 21, a fuel tanker was the cause of fire on Otedola Bridge, also on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway in which many vehicles were burnt.
On March 25, a diesel-laden tanker went up in flames at the Ikotun area of Lagos, leading to the incineration of other vehicles and shops.
On June 17, fire from the kitchen of a Chinese restaurant at the Ogun State Property Investments Corporation (OPIC) Plaza in Lagos trailed a leaking gas truck which was on motion in the area.
This resulted in a fire snowball which engulfed many other vehicles and property.
Twenty-five cars were destroyed in the OPIC Plaza inferno, while 13 persons, mostly workers in the restaurant, sustained burn injuries.
S’ East Leaders Denounce Secessionist Groups …Seek Protection Of Igbos
Leaders of the South East geo-political zone have urged leaders of other geo-political zones in the country to protect Igbos living in their regions, even as they condemned in totality the activities of violent secessionist groups in the zone and elsewhere.
The lgbo leaders comprising the governors of the five states, members of the National Assembly, Ministers, Speakers of the State Houses of Assembly, the Clergy and Traditional Rulers, made their feelings known on Saturday, in a communique issued when they rose from a closed-door meeting at the Government House, Enugu.
Explaining that they made the request in view of what they described as “threats by some groups against our people”, the South East leaders promised to protect everyone, including Igbos and people from other regions, residing in the zone.
On the impression that South East leaders are silent over agitations for secession by some youths of the region, they stated that “is not correct”, stressing that “South East Governors, Ohaneze President, National Assembly members, notable leaders had come out publicly many times in the past to speak against such agitations”.
Proclaiming firmly that “we do not support them, they do not speak for South East”, the communiqué read by the Governor of Ebonyi State and Chairman of South East Governors’ Forum, Engr. David Umahi, made it clear that the leaders of the zone reiterated their “commitment to one united Nigeria under a platform of justice, equality of rights, fairness, love and respect for one another”.
The communiqué revealed that South East leaders, in order not to mismanage the unfortunate situation, “have set up a committee to engage such youths to stop and allow elders speak to address such fears”.
It added that South East leaders also condemned the killing of security agents, burning of strategic infrastructure and killing of civilians in South East and in other regions, and requested the security agencies to discharge their duties within the rules of engagement and the law
They, however, explained that the meeting was held “for articulation of our positions and further meet with the Presidential team”, sequel to the earlier meeting with the Presidential delegation, led by the Minister of Defence, Retired Maj. Gen. Bashir Magashi, on June 11, 2021.
The communiqué disclosed that the meeting consequently “set up committees under Ohaneze Ndigbo to articulate and address our positions on all burning issues to further meet among ourselves and thereafter meet with the Presidential team”.
On the safety of the Igbo indigenes in other parts of the country and the newly established regional security outfit, the communiqué added that the “meeting directed our Governors and Ohaneze Ndigbo to liaise with indigenes from the northern part of Nigeria and indigenes of other regions to assure the nation, Nigeria, and their people of their safety in South East.
“The meeting endorsed our South East joint security outfit – Ebubeagu and asked them to work with security agencies and to respect the rights and privileges of all those living in the South East and our visitors”.
By: Canice Amadi, Enugu
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