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Maintain Peace FG Tells Nigerians



The National Information Centre has called on Nigerians to maintain the peace and cooperate with the security agencies now that the Presidential and National Assembly elections are over.
The information is contained in a statement issued by the Coordinator of the centre, Mr Mike Omeri, in Abuja yesterday.
Omeri said the successful conclusion of Saturday’s election would go a long way to prove to the world that the country “is stable where democracy works’’.
He described the high voter turnout, dedication and patience exhibited by voters as a triumph of the nation’s democracy.
Omeri said the high voter turnout, especially in areas previously under Boko Haram control like Maiduguri, was a clear testimony of the Nigerian military’s successes in securing the country.
“The strikingly long lines of voters who turned out to cast their ballots in Maiduguri is a testament to the atmosphere of security and sense of safety that this government has delivered to the people.
“Our military and security agencies’ commitment and brave service has made this election possible.
“Giving our soldiers more time to make the necessary headway against Boko Haram has ensured that Nigerians in the conflict areas participate in the election.’’
Meanwhile, residents of Abuja and Nigerians in general are waiting anxiously for the release of the results of the Presidential and National Assembly elections conducted on Saturday in most parts of the country.
However, INEC endorsed the continuation of voting on Sunday in some states where the elections could not hold due to logistics challenges.
Worshippers in various churches in Abuja, discussed in smalls groups the possible outcome of the elections adjudged to have been generally peaceful and well organised.
They were particularly happy that the uncertainty and tension that pervaded the air over the elections was wearing off.
Some residents who spoke with our correspondent, expressed satisfaction with the improved electoral process that attended the conduct of the election, the fifth in Nigeria’s democratic dispensation since 1999.
They expressed the hope that only contestants who have the interest of the nation and its people at heart would eventually be declared winners.
The Hakimi of Jikwoyi, Hakimi Nocholas Machi, confirmed that this election was the most orderly and peaceful he had witnessed in recent times.
“I believe that the election will be credible given the peaceful atmosphere that we witnessed on Saturday.
“Earlier, I had urged my people to be peaceful as election is not about violence, but it’s about choosing a good leader that can take us to  greater heights.”
In his comment, an Abuja resident, Mr Ola Olumide,  also expressed joy over the conduct of the elections, which he described as peaceful and orderly.
“As we await the election results, I pray that only those who genuinely want to take this nation to the next level should emerge winners.
“I must say that in my unit at Jikwoyi, we had a very calm atmosphere with voters waiting patiently for voting materials to arrive.
“This shows that Nigerians are actually more politically conscious; they want to choose their leaders; they want to take part in moving their country forward and it is quite interesting,” Olumide said.

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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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