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‘Why INEC Suspended Polls In Rivers, Others’

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L-R: Minister of FCT,  Mohammed Bello, Environment, Amina Mohammed and Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, at a reception dinner organised by Association of Consulting Engineers in Nigeria (ACEN)  for its President, Engr. Suleiman Adamu,  on his appointment as the Minister of Water Resources in Abuja on Friday

L-R: Minister of FCT, Mohammed Bello, Environment, Amina Mohammed and Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, at a reception dinner organised by Association of Consulting Engineers in Nigeria (ACEN) for its President, Engr. Suleiman Adamu, on his appointment as the Minister of Water Resources in Abuja on Friday

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced the suspension of the outstanding 2015 elections in some five states of the federation till there is guarantee of peace in the affected states.
The states include Kano, Bayelsa, Kogi, Anambra and Rivers.
The commission, in March shortly after the rerun legislative elections in Rivers State, alerted that it would no longer conduct elections in violence-prone states and areas.
A statement at the weekend, signed by its Secretary, Mrs Augusta C. Ogakwu, and made available to The Tide, indicated that the commission would only conduct further elections in those states if it gets a “firm and unequivocal” commitment to violence-free polls by political parties and relevant stakeholders.
The statement said INEC took the decision pursuant to its powers under Section 26 of the Electoral Amendment Act, 2015, and after consultation with the security agencies.
It said, “INEC needs assurance by the security agencies that it is safe to return through the guarantee of peace, order and safety of all election officials, voters, other stakeholders, materials, polling units and facilities to be used for the elections by the security agencies.”
The statement said that the decision followed disruptions of court ordered rerun elections arising out of petitions challenging the conduct of elections in 2015 into various legislative seats in the states.
It stated that INEC had met to consider the options open to it to resolve the impasse in the states.
It stated that the inability of INEC to conclude the elections arose out of violent resistance to the commencement of the polls in Imo North Senatorial district and three state constituencies in the state.
“There was the disruption of polls after commencement (as in Kogi East Senatorial Idah State Constituency), and all senatorial and some House of Representatives and state House of Assembly elections in Rivers State
It added that INEC would enlist the intervention of relevant governmental agencies as well as civil society organisations, religious bodies and traditional institutions, among others.
The efforts are aimed at securing a conducive atmosphere for the peaceful conduct of the elections, the statement added.
Last week, a renowned public affair analyst, Mr. Martins Ikhilea, had raised an alarm that Rivers State may not have representatives in the upper chambers of the National Assembly till after 2019 general elections.
It would be recalled that the Appeal tribunal had last December nullified all three senatorial elections held last year and ordered for a rerun in the state, but unfortunately, some of the rerun elections were cancelled following violence that characterized the process.
Twelve out of 13 seats in the House of Representatives were also nullified while the three Senatorial seats were ordered for a rerun on March 19, 2016. Twenty two state House of Assembly seats were also ordered for rerun.
The March 19 exercise resulted in the presentation of certificates of return to only 12 state House of Assembly and three House of Representatives winners.
With INEC decision, 10 state House of Assembly seats, nine House of Representatives and three Senatorial seats are now pending.

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RSG Alerts On Orchestrated Media Campaign

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The Rivers State Government has raised alarm over alleged moves by some critics of the government to use selected media houses in the state to denigrate the state government.
A statement signed by the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, yesterday, reads, “The Rivers State Government is aware of clandestine plans by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State to use selected media houses in the state to denigrate the government of Governor Nyesom Wike.
“This is as a result of the intimidating sterling performance of Governor Wike in infrastructure, healthcare, education, agriculture, rural transformation, housing development, administration of justice, social welfare and sports development.
“This orchestrated campaign spearheaded by a defeated and dumped governorship aspirant of the APC, Dr. Dakuku Peterside is designed to portray the government of Governor Wike as one that is not meeting the developmental aspirations of Rivers people.
“However, the uncommon transformation of the 23 local government areas as witnessed during the last six years of projects commissioning and flag off shows clearly that Governor Wike is actually meeting the yearnings of the people.
“The fact that Rivers people that turn out en mass at the various projects sites to heartily welcome their beloved governor and his guests drawn from all political divides is a clear indication that Rivers people can no longer be swayed by cheap politically induced blackmail.
“The truth of the matter is that the APC government that boasted that Governor Wike will not see money to pay workers’ salaries and execute projects has been humbled by the revolution in governance currently witnessed in the state.
“Instead of people like Dr. Dakuku Peterside and his acolytes to eat the humble pie, they are busy looking for cheap popularity through sponsored appearances in the media.
“No matter how hard these detractors push their propaganda, Governor Wike will never be distracted in executing his social contract with the people of Rivers State.
“In the next few weeks, more projects that have direct bearing to the lives of Rivers people will be unveiled.
“Governor Wike’s promise to continue working as if this is his first tenure and not abandon any project remains sacrosanct.
“Rivers people are watching those whose stock in trade is to dance naked and pray that they continue as merchants of mischief, falsehood and baseless allegations.”
“The people of Rivers State love Governor Wike whose outstanding achievements in salvaging the state from the dearth of basic infrastructural development required for speedy socioeconomic transformation has received national and international applause.
“Therefore, no amount of negative propaganda by the failed APC can diminish the legacy of Governor Wike in Rivers State.
“Rather than launder the thoroughly battered image of the APC, such media appearances by Dr. Dakuku Peterside and his cohorts will further expose APC’s penchant for lies and deception which is now a public knowledge.
“The former governor of Rivers State, Dr. Peter Odili, has confirmed that Governor Wike is the best Rivers State has produced.
“’I have been there. And I make bold to say Governor Nyesom Wike, you are the best,’ Dr. Odili said.
“Odili’s comment serves as an answer to those masquerading as informed commentators with puerile and suffocating commentaries”, the statement added.

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Bandits In Trouble As Super Tucano Aircraft Arrives

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The first batch of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft has arrived in Kano, yesterday, at about 12.34 pm.
The NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, confirmed the arrival of the fighter aircraft in a statement.
“On hand to receive the aircraft were the Hon. Minister of Defence, Maj-Gen Bashir Magashi (rtd); Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen Farouk Yahaya; and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao”, he said.

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We’ve No Patience With Failure, Oyedepo Lashes Out At Sacked Pastors

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The General Overseer and Founder of The Living Faith Church International also known as Winners’ Chapel, Bishop David Oyedepo, has reacted to the recent sack of over 40 pastors by the church.
One of the affected Pastors, Peter Godwin, took to social media, claiming they were sacked for not generating enough income.
Godwin, who was in one of the church’s branches in Ekiti State, had claimed, “I was told by the management that the church doesn’t operate at a loss.
“They also told me that the total income that is being generated from my station should be able to cater for my welfare and accommodation, so as a result of low income, I’m hereby dismissed.”
Reacting to the allegation in a video posted on the social media, Oyedepo said the sack of the pastors was not about money, adding that the latter were sacked as a result of their failure and the church “has no patience with failure.
“Money? Nonsense! We have never lacked it, and yet, we have never prayed for it.
“We are just simply obeying God, and He is backing up what He is asking us to do. Awesome God,” he noted.
On those criticising the sack, the GO said, “People are confused about our ministry. I learnt some fellows said, you know, they are not bringing income, that is why they asked them to go”.
He added, “We asked you to go because you are unfruitful. Unfruitful! Blatant failure. Doing what there? We have no patience with failure here.
“When we employed 7,000 people at a time, social media was dead.
“We have more employees in this organisation than most of the states. No one is owed a dime salary and we don’t borrow, we don’t beg. Ask our bank whether we take overdraft.
“We are covenant bound, working in the light of God’s word, enjoying an open Heaven.”

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