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Thugs Mar PVC Exercise In PH, Andoni



Chairman, AGPMPN, Rivers State branch, Dr. Henry Sota, (middle) speaking during the Private Practitioners Week 2014 and CPD programme, Public Private Partnership (PPP) organised by Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (AGPMPN), Rivers State branch  in Port Harcourt recently. With him are  HRH. Eze F.C. Eze (right) and Dr. (Mrs) M.B. Sy-nowuke. Photo: Egberi .A. Sampson

Chairman, AGPMPN, Rivers State branch, Dr. Henry Sota, (middle) speaking during the Private Practitioners Week 2014 and CPD programme, Public Private Partnership (PPP) organised by Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (AGPMPN), Rivers State branch in Port Harcourt recently. With him are HRH. Eze F.C. Eze (right) and Dr. (Mrs) M.B. Sy-nowuke. Photo: Egberi .A. Sampson

Irate Youths and suspected cultists last Friday disrupted the Permanent Voters Card (PVC) collection exercise at Elekahia Community in Port Harcourt City Local Government Area.
The Tide gathered that the Youths stormed the Elekahia Town hall, venue of the exercise in the early hours of the day, and blocked the main entrance to the venue, extorting money from people before allowing them access to the Civic exercise.
The youths harassed and intimated participants at the venue before the intervention of security operatives.
A participant who spoke with The Tide said, “many people were frustrated as they arrived the venue as early as 8am, and stayed till 6pm but were unable to register for the exercise or collect their (PVC).
Another participant who spoke to The Tide, also on condition of anonymity said he had to pay the some of N2,000 to the ‘thugs’ before collecting his PVC.
The process was further hampered by the fact that only one machine was available to service the long line of people. A youth Corper, at the Elekahia, PVC centre, who spoke with The Tide, said the crowd that turned up for the exercise was so much while only one machine was available.
“This delayed the exercise”, he said. The NYSC member also condemned the invasion of the venue by youths and commended he Police for their intervention to keep the situation under control.
Effort to get the reaction of the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, in Rivers State on the matter was not fruitful as at press time, as the phone line of the Resident Electoral Commission did not go through.
It would be recalled that the Rivers State Government had declared last Friday a public holiday to avail some LGAs yet to participate in the National exercise the opportunity to comply accordingly.
Meanwhile, eligible voters from Andoni Local Government Area have expressed dissatisfaction over the poor conduct of the Permanent Voters Card distribution exercise by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the area.
A cross section of voters who expressed their disappointment in an interview with The Tide said many registered voters could not find their PVCs even though their pictures were published and pasted by the electoral body. They also condemned the silence of the Andoni Local Government Council on the issue.
Mr. Richard Igoni told The Tide at Ngo, that the council headquarters said the situation was unfortunate as it painted a picture of conspiracy by some persons to disenfranchised eligible voters.
Igoni who registered at polling Unit 003 in Ward One, Ngo, expressed surprise that out of 672 registered voters in the unit only 144 voters cards was released by INEC despite the fact that the pictures of all registered voters in the unit were pasted.
Another voter, Mr. Ete Uti also told The Tide that, he could not see his card at Unit Four where he registered, stressing that rather than protest the threat of disenfranchise of its citizens, the council chose to remain silent on the issue. Eligible voters from Asarama, Unyeada, Oronaja amongst others also complained of similar experiences.
When confronted the INEC Officer in charge of Andoni Local Government Area who spoke under anonymity urged those affected to report back on Wednesday with their pictures for re-registration.


Taneh Beemene

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Obasanjo, Abdulsalami, Sultan, Others Brainstorm On Insecurity



Rising insecurity and agitations for secession by different ethnic groups across Nigeria has attracted the attention of elder statesmen and other national leaders to a meeting in Abuja.

The meeting was organised by Interfaith Initiatives for Peace jointly led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, and Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan, and the National Peace Committee chaired by Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd).

Reporters were barred from taking part in the closed-door meeting, expected to proffer solutions to the ongoing security challenges threatening the peace and unity of the country.

It was also an exploratory meeting on pressing issues of national unity, security, peace, integration, economic revitalisation and development, women and youth welfare and general progress.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo; former Head of State, General Abdulsalam Abubakar (rtd); Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar; Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; Tor Tiv, Prof Ortese Iorzua James Ayatse, Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan; President General (Ohanaeze Ndigbo), Prof George Obiozor; and Afenifere leader, Ayo Adebanjo; were all in attendance.

Others sighted at the meeting are President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba; CAN General Secretary, Joseph Daramola; JAMB Registrar, Prof Ishaq Oloyede; Etsu Nupe, Yahya Abubakar; former Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe, among several political and traditional rulers at the meeting.

Elder statesmen, Chief Edwin Clark, also attended the event at the Congress Hall of Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, but could not participate in the meeting because he could not climb the staircase to the meeting room.

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Fighting Corruption Difficult In Democratic Setting, Buhari Laments



President Muhammadu Buhari says fighting corruption in democratic setting is a difficult task to accomplish.

The president disclosed this during an interview with Arise Television which was televised, yesterday.

According to him, the war against corruption has not been easy for him since he became a democratically elected president six years ago.

He, however, stressed that his administration had succeeded in easing out corrupt public officials without making noise about it.

Buhari recalled that much was achieved in the fight against corruption when he was military Head of State in the early 80s “when a lot of people were sent to prisons before I was also booted out”.

The president frowned at the way and manner local government system was being managed, saying the local government administration was almost non-existent in the country.

He cited situation where state governors continued to starve the local governments of funds saying “in a situation where N300million is allocated to local government and they are given N100million is not fair”.

On activities of bandits and kidnappers particularly in the North-West and North-Central zones, Buhari said he had given the police and Armed Forces the instructions to be ruthless with bandits and vandals terrorising innocent citizens across the country.

He stated that he had told the security agencies to treat bandits and other criminals in the “the language they understand.

“Problem in the north-west; you have people over there stealing each other’s cattle and burning each other’s villages.

“Like I said, we are going to treat them in the language they understand.

“We have given the police and the military the power to be ruthless. You watch it in a few weeks’ time there will be difference.

”Because we told them if we keep people away from their farm, we are going to starve. And the government can’t control the public.

“If you allow hunger, the government is going to be in trouble and we don’t want to be in trouble.

“We are already in enough trouble. So, we warn them sooner than later you’ll see the difference,’’ he said.

On farmers/herders clashes, the president said the problem had persisted because old cattle routes and grazing areas had been violated by development, adding that those who had taken over such traditional arrangements would be dispossessed.

On the fight against insurgency, Buhari dismissed the assertion that majority of Boko Haram members were foreigners.

According to him, the majority of the Boko Haram members are Nigerians, saying this was further corroborated by Borno State Governor, Prof Babagana Zulum.

The president stated that his administration had done a lot to fight the terrorists and insurgents but the problem in the “North-East is very difficult.”

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Igboho Declares June 12 Day Of Protest, Warns Buhari



Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, has declared June 12 as day of protest for Yoruba nation agitators.

The self-acclaimed Yoruba activist said the agitators will hold ‘peaceful rallies’ across the South-West region on Saturday, June 12.

Igboho, who spoke through his spokesman, Olayomi Koiki, in a live video programme aired, last Wednesday night, called on South-West governors to cooperate with the peaceful protesters during the exercise.

He warned the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration not to attack the agitators.

He said, “Let us warn the Federal Government that if there is bloodshed this weekend, the international community is watching, if the military kills any Nigerian this weekend, it is going to be very hot.

“The Yoruba nation rally will go ahead in every part of Yoruba land and the rest of the country where it will hold.

“Red alarm will begin on Friday. People should stock up food Items from Friday night.

“We are not backing down this weekend; we are ready to take back what belongs to us.”

He also enjoined agitators to ‘fast’ on Friday.

This is coming after NANS under the leadership of its National President, Comrade Sunday Asefon, had declared June 12 as National Day of peaceful protest to call on the government to act decisively towards addressing insecurity.

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