On October 15, the day former Head of State, Muhammadu Buhari, declared his intention to run for president in the 2015 election, news website, Sahara Reporters, activated an opinion poll asking Nigerians to indicate who they would vote for if the election were to hold that day between Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples’ Democratic (PDP).
The poll lasted for only 24 hours, and out of a total of 15,435 persons that voted, Buhari got 12,246 votes, representing 79 per cent of the total votes cast, while President Jonathan got 3,189 votes, representing 21 per cent of the total votes.
However, ostensibly to counter the survey conducted by Sahara Reporters, Jonathan’s Special Assistant on Social Media, Reno Omokri, also set up a similar poll asking almost the same question posed by the news web site.
His poll, which is still running on his blog, “Build Up Nigeria” posed the question: “If the Nigerian Presidential election were held today, who would you vote for between President Goodluck Jonathan and General Muhammadu Buhari?”.
Omokri’s poll began a day after Buhari declared to run, but unlike the one ran by Sahara Reporters, which has since closed, the one by Build Up Nigeria is still running.
However, the result of the poll, as at 18:32 p.m. on Saturday, showed that Buhari was also leading by a wide margin.
While Buhari had 6,411 votes, representing 69.87 per cent of the total tally, President Goodluck Jonathan had 2,455 votes, representing 26.75 per cent of the votes cast.
About 310 persons, representing 3.38 per cent of the total votes, were undecided.
For the polls, while Sahara Reporters used e-Poll platform, Omokri used Poll Daddy’s.
Meanwhile, following reports Saturday that a former Head of State, Muhammadu Buhari, was leading President Goodluck Jonathan in a poll organised by the Special Assistant to the President on New Media, Reno Omokri, several aides and loyalists of the president are mobilising extensively to reverse the trend, The Tide has learnt.
Insiders in the president’s camp said Presidency and administration officials as well as the top hierarchy of the governing PDP felt “deeply embarrassed” by the direction of the poll, and are mobilising supporters of the president in and outside Nigeria to quickly get online and vote in his favour.
“Phone calls were made to supporters of the president in the Transformation Ambassador of Nigeria (TAN), Goodluck Support Groups (GSG), Gejites and other groups sympathetic to the president,” one of our sources said.
“They were being pressured to get online and reverse the results in favour of the president, even if means voting multiple times with multiple devices,” said the source who preferred not to be named for security reasons.
A source close to the creator of the poll, Omokri, also told newsmen that the presidential aide has a mandate to ensure the poll does not close until Buhari is “roundly defeated”.
Most online polls have time frames within which they are conducted. The poll by news website, Sahara Reporters, ran for 24 hours. But it is unclear when Reno’s, which began on October 16, will end.
But despite the efforts to garner support for the president, which has seen his fortune leaping from 2,455 votes, representing 26.75 per cent as at last night, to 12,016 votes, representing, 48.46 per cent as at 4:27 p.m. yesterday, Buhari remains in the lead.
The former head of state, who led the president with 6,411 votes, representing 69.87 per cent on Saturday night, was seen leading with 12,198 votes, representing 49.2 per cent at 4:27 p.m. yesterday.
Also, while 310 persons, representing 3.38 per cent were undecided last night; the number of undecided voters increased to 580 votes, representing 2.34 per cent.
It would be noted that online polls, such as the ones by Sahara Reporters and Reno are not representative and do not necessarily represent public opinion.
“It categorically does not represent public opinion – at best, it may coincide with it,” the BBC says in its Guideline on Opinion Polls, Surveys, Questionnaires, Votes and Straw Polls.
“Online votes are particularly vulnerable to campaigns, lobby groups and individuals who seek to organise mass or multi voting. For that reason, some highly controversial issues are not, normally, suitable for online voting as the risk of being hijacked is too great,” the guideline adds.
90% Of Money Laundered Via Real Estate, EFCC Reveals
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says about 90 per cent of money laundering is done through the real estate sector.
The commission’s Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, stated this while featuring on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily, yesterday,
According to him, although the sector is monitored via the special control unit, more needed to be done.
According to Bawa, “One of the problems we have now is the real estate. 90 to 100 per cent of the resources are being laundered through the real estate.”
He said there are so many issues involved, but that they were working with the National Assembly to stop what he called “the gate keepers” as there would be reduction in looting if there is no one to launder the money.
Bawa, the EFCC boss, gave an example of a minister who expressed interest in a $37.5million property a bank manager put up for sale.
He said, “The bank sent a vehicle to her house and in the first instance $20million was evacuated from her house.
“They paid a developer and a lawyer set up a special purpose vehicle, where the title documents were transferred into.
“And he (the lawyer) is posing as the owner of the property. You see the problem. This is just one of many; it is happening daily.”
The EFCC chairman also revealed that he receives death threats often.
Asked to respond to President Muhammadu Buhari’s frequent “Corruption is fighting back” expression, Bawa said he was in New York, USA, last week, when someone called to threaten him.
“Last week, I was in New York when a senior citizen received a phone call from somebody that is not even under investigation.
“The young man said, ‘I am going to kill him (Bawa), I am going to kill him’.
“I get death threats. So, it is real. Corruption can fight back,” he said.
On corruption in the civil service, he said there were a lot of gaps, especially in contracts processing, naming “emergency contracts” as one.
Bawa said, “A particular agency is notorious for that. They have turned all their contracts to emergency contracts.”
However, he said, EFCC has strategies in place to check corruptions, one of which is “corruption risk assessments of MDAs”.
According to him, “I have written to the minister and would soon commence the process of corruption risk assessments of all the parastatals and agencies under the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to look at their vulnerability to fraud and advise them accordingly.”
Asked if the scope of corruption in the country overwhelms him, Bawa, the EFCC boss said, “Yes, and no.”
We’ve Spent N9bn To Upgrade RSUTH, Wike Confirms
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, says his administration has spent N9billion in upgrading structures and installation of new equipment at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH).
He said the fact that 40 per cent of the 2021 budget of the state is dedicated to provision of quality healthcare delivery was a further demonstration of the priority placed on the sector.
Wike made the explanation at the foundation laying ceremony for the construction of a Renal Centre at RSUTH, last Friday.
The governor said he made promise to Rivers people that the best would be provided to them in all sectors of the society within his capability because of the mandate they gave to him.
“As we came on here, I just looked around and I see the changes in this teaching hospital. I can say that we have put not less than N9billion in this teaching hospital.
“If you look at the budget, the health sector alone, what it’s taking from the Rivers State Government is not less than 40 percent of the 2021 budget.”
Speaking further, Wike said the state government cannot afford to implement free medical service programme in the present economic circumstance.
While dismissing the request for a subvention for RSUTH, Wike, however, commended the chief medical director and his team for their commitment to turnaround the fortunes of RSUTH.
“I have never seen anywhere that health services can be totally free. They’re telling me that people who come here can’t pay. I have never declared that this state is going to take over the health fees of anybody.”
Also speaking, the former Minister of Transport, Dr. Abiye Sekibo, who performed the flag-off, noted that Wike’s achievements in the health sector in particular, surpass what former governors of the state had done.
Sekibo said that the governor has given equal attention to every section of the health sector by providing complete health infrastructure that was positioning the state as a medical tourism destination in Nigeria.
Earlier, the Rivers State Commissioner for Health, Prof Princewill Chike, lauded Governor Nyesom Wike for his interest in the health of Rivers people.
He noted that the renal centre, when completed, would become another landmark development project in the health sector that would handle and manage all kidney-related ailments.
In his remarks, the Chief Medical Director of the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, Dr. Friday Aaron, commended Wike for approving the renal centre.
Aaron explained that chronic kidney disease was a major burden globally with estimated 14 million cases in Nigeria.
According to him, over 240,000 of these cases require renal replacement therapy in the form of dialysis and renal transplant.
The CMD said the building that would house the centre was expected to be completed in six months and consists of two floors.
The ground floor, according to him, would house the haemodialysis unit with eight haemodialysis machines.
He further explained that the first floor of the centre would house the surgical component where most of the sophisticated equipment for kidney transplant would be installed.
Aaron said Wike has released the funds required to build, equip the centre as well as for the training of personnel locally and internationally.
Power Generation Falls 23% To 3,172MW
Power supply in Nigeria has failed to improve on last week’s performance, as it fell by 22.9 per cent from peak generation of 4,115Megawatts on Saturday to 3,172.20MW as at 5pm, yesterday, latest data from the System Operator has shown.
According to the data, most power plants were operating far below capacity due to gas shortage with Olorunsogo Power Plant 335MW capacity; and Sapele Power Plant, 450MW capacity; completely out.
Egbin was generating at 746MW; Omoku 37.20; Omotosho (NIPP) at 105MW; while Afam was generating at 80MW.
The data showed that on the average power generation in the past seven days were 4,120.9MW on Sunday, June 6; 4,249.4 on Monday, June 7; 4,000.9MW on Tuesday, June 8; 3,720.7 on Wednesday, June 9; 3,517 on Thursday, June 10; 3,765MW on Friday, June 11; and 4,115MW on Saturday, June 12.
The International Oil Companies (IOCs), had last warned that despite Nigeria’s huge gas reserves a lot needs to be done to attract investment to the sector to develop gas reserves to boost power generation in the country.
Speaking at the just concluded Nigeria International Petroleum Summit, the Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria/MD SPDC, Osagie Okunbor, said with 203trillion Cubic Feet of gas reserves, what was needed in the country is to deliver projects that would produce the gas.
“The challenge is not just growing the reserves but in producing these reserves for the benefits of our country. Essentially growing the reserves and delivering on the production is a function of two or three elements.
“I like to see infrastructure that is required for the development of these resources at two levels. Soft infrastructure is often the one that is more important than and that is the one that is actually drives most of what you see at site.”
“Soft infrastructure refers to the enabling environment and nothing pleases me as much seeing both the Senate President and the speaker of the house give very firm commitments about trying to pass the PIB this month.
“That is probably the big one of the enabling environment to provide the kind of stability we also need all sorts of other issues we need to that we have discussed severally in terms of sanctity of contract, stable policies and collaboration and I think we are well on our way there”, he added.
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