Rivers State Commissioner for Finance, Dr Fred Kpakol, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the electoral bill into law to usher in a regime of free and fair election in the country.
Kpakol made the call while speaking to newsmen after casting his vote at unit 15, ward 4 in K-Dere community, Gokona LGA.
He expressed happiness that the State Assembly supplementary election was smooth and peaceful because of the non-involvement of soldiers.
Kpakol however said that there were initial fears by the Gokona people that soldiers would be involved in the process, but that the people came out in their numbers to cast their vote when they saw only policemen.
He said, “There were initial apprehension of the people when the election started thinking the military would come in like they did in the other elections and after the rainfall in the morning as well.
“But after one to two hours people started coming out when the rain stopped and also knowing that soldiers were not involved.
“My very strong appeal is that I am calling on the President to sign the electoral act. When the electoral act is signed, I believe everything will work according to standards,” he stated.
The Commissioner commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for conducting a credible election this time around, but urged the electoral umpire to do more.
“I think INEC has tried this time around, but there is still room for improvement. They should do more to keep improving the electoral process because the more they improve we will have credible elections in the country and that is a way to strengthen democracy,” Kpakol said.
Senate: Bill Against Small Arms’ Proliferation Passes Second Reading
The Senate yesterday passed for second reading a bill for establishment of the Nigerian National Commission against proliferation of small arms and light weapons.
The bill was sponsored by Sen. Smart Adeyemi (APC Kogi).
Adeyemi in his lead debate on the general principles of the bill noted that the bill was first read at plenary on Dec . 18 2019.
He said the bill essentially seeks to provide for establishment of National Commission against the proliferation of small arms and light weapons to coordinate and implement activities to combat the problems of small arms in Nigeria.
This, he said was in line with ECOWAS states on small arms and light weapons.
Adeyemi listed the objectives of the bill to include identifying sources and main routes of small arms, light weapon and reasons why the illicit trade thrives in Nigeria.
He said the bill when passed would help recommend possible ways to monitor, control, halt, and mitigate illegal activities of people involved in arms proliferation.
He said the commission would also help to identify the promoters, users, patrons of the illegal activities.
He said the bill when passed would also make provision for the training and building the capacity of the corps and other security officials towards an effective enforcement of the mandate of the commission.
He said the proliferation of small arms and light weapons has been a stricken issue in the international agenda since 1998.
“It is eating into the survival of emerging nations in the international scene especially in Africa.
“It is a phenomenon that is destabilising the peace, development and threatening the national security of sovereign nations,” he said.
Adeyemi expressed believe that the bill, if passed would further help to curb the insecurity challenges in Nigeria.
Other bills that passed second reading at plenary are: A Bill for an Act to Establish the Nigerian Civil Defence Academy, Pondogari in Niger State, sponsored by Sen. Musa Sani (APC Niger).
A Bill for an Act to provide for establishment of the Federal University of Environment Technology, Saakpenwa, Ogoni Rivers State, sponsored by Sen. Mpigi Barinada (PDP Rivers).
Others are Bill for an Act to establish the Police Academy Wudil, Kano as a degree awarding institution, sponsored by Sen. Jika Halliru (APC Bauchi).
Kwara By-Election: 43,695 Voters Collect PVCs In Patigi LG -REC
The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Kwara, Malam Garba Attahiru-Madami, has said that 43,695 voters collected their Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) in Patigi ahead of the scheduled by-election into the vacant state assembly seat.
The REC disclosed this on Wednesday in Ilorin during a meeting with the eight political parties that would participate in the by-election and members of Inter-Agencies Committee on Election Security (IACES).
Our source reports that eight political parties have so far signified interest to take part in the March 14, by-election into Patigi state constituency.
The political parties are All Progressives Congress (APC), African Democratic Congress (ADC), People Democratic Party (PDP) and New Nigeria People Party (NNPP).
Others are the Action People Party (APP), Action Alliance (AA), African Action Congress (AAC) and Allied Peoples Movement (APM).
Attahiru-Madami promised to be open, transparent and give all the political parties participating in the by-election a level playing ground.
According to the REC, there are 52,233 registered voters in Patigi state constituency, while 51,476 PVCs were received from INEC headquarters.
He added that a total of 43,695 PVCs were collected, leaving 7,781 uncollected PVCs which he said were kept in the vault of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in Ilorin.
Amaechi Loses Security Aide To Electrocution
Mr. Tony Iwelu, the Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, has passed on.
The aide, who died on Monday, February 17, suffered an electric shock from a shower hose in a Kaduna hotel while on an official assignment.
A statement by the Head, Press and Public Relations in the ministry, Eric Ojiekwe, said until his passage, Iwelu was in charge of all issues relating to the minister’s security, a job he was reputed to have executed with utmost professionalism.
“There is no gainsaying that the professionalism he brought to bear in the discharge of his job sustained him for the over two decades in the service of the minister,” the document read in part.
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