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INEC Conducts By-Elections In 11 States …Swears In Two RECs

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The Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu  has said the agency was ready for the conduct of by-elections in 28 constituencies across 11 states.
He said the agency will ensure a credible exercise, urging stakeholders to cooperate with its officials on electoral duty.
Yakubu spoke in Abuja during the swearing in of two Resident Electoral Commissioners.
They are Dr. Alalibo Sinikiem Johnson from Bayelsa State and Umar Mukhtar Gajiram from Borno State.
Johnson  replaces the former REC of Cross River State while Gajiram replaces the former REC of Taraba State  who died a few months ago.
Johnson holds a BSc. Degree in Political Science and a Master’s and Doctorate degrees in Peace and Conflict Studies. Until this appointment, he was a lecturer at the Niger Delta University in Bayelsa State.
Gajiram holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English Language and a Master’s degree in Public Administration. He served in various capacities in the Borno State Civil Service until his retirement as  director.
Yakubu congratulated the new commissioners, urging them to live to expectation.
He said as officers responsible for the implementation of the commission’s policies, they will exercise supervisory control over personnel, resources and the legal and administrative processes in their states.
He added: “You will also interact with various categories of stakeholders. In doing so, you must maintain the required openness and consultation.
“At the same time, you must be very firm in the discharge of your responsibilities.”
Yakubu said RECs can be deployed to any state as dictated by the exigencies of service, but clarified that they will never be posted to their states of origin throughout their tenure.
He said their deployment came three days to the conduct of re-run elections by court order.

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COVID-19: Oyetola Announces State Lockdown …As 2nd Coronavirus Case Confirmed

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Osun State Governor, Gboyega Oyetola has announced the total lock-down of the state following the confirmation of the second case of Coronavirus in the state.
Oyetola in a statewide broadcast yesterday in Osogbo said all land boundaries would be shut effective from midnight of Sunday, March 29.
The governor said during the period of lock-down there would be no inter-state movement.
Oyetola also said that there would be no movement within the state as from March 31, adding that only those on essential duties such as health personnel, fire service, environmental officials, security personnel, media, power and water supply agencies, and telecommunication officers on duty would be allowed to move.
The governor described the decision as imperative in view of the devastating nature of the pandemic, saying that the first priority of any responsive and responsible government is to respond effectively to protect its citizens when an emergency occurs.
Oyetola, who expressed sadness over the confirmed second case of the virus in the state, reiterated that the state lock down remained the only way to go if the state was to contain the spread of the disease.
The governor, however, urged residents of the state to buy enough food and provisions that would last them for two weeks in the first instance.
Oyetola said government had mandated and mobilised security operatives and task force to ensure compliance with the lock down.
“Following a review of our current situation, we have in addition to the subsisting measures taken in the past one week, decided to shut down all our boundaries, effective from midnight Sunday, March 29, 2020.
“We believe this is the way to go, if we must contain the spread of this virus.
“To this end, we urge citizens and residents to take advantage of the hours between now and Tuesday to stock up provisions that will last them two weeks in the first instance.
“During the lock-down, there will be no movement within the state.
“The closed boundaries also means there will be no inter-state movements.
“We have mandated and mobilised the state’s task force and security operatives to enforce measures to the letter.
“ We, therefore, strongly advise our people to remain in their homes during the period of the lock-down”, the governor said.

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Buhari, Jonathan, Others Congratulate Tinubu At 68

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President Muhammadu Buhari has sent a congratulatory message to a former governor of Lagos State and chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, who clocked 68 Saturday.
The president, who spoke through his aide, Femi Adesina, praised Alhaji Tinubu’s “courage, forthrightness and diligence in providing exemplary and broadminded leadership for the political party.”
He said the leadership example set by Mr Tinubu in Lagos has steadily provided a ladder for budding leaders to grow and contribute to national development.
“Asiwaju greatest strength lies in his ability to look beyond religious, ethnic and political stereotyping, embracing the reality of Nigeria as one entity,” President Buhari was quoted as saying.
Also, former President Goodluck Jonathan felicitated with Bola Tinubu whom he described as a patriot and political leader who has contributed so much to the growth of the nation’s democracy.
“As a patriot, politician and leader, you have contributed so much to the advancement of our nation’s democracy and nurtured many individuals to greatness. I wish you more years of sound health, peace and glory, as you celebrate. Happy birthday, Your Excellency,” Mr Johnathan said, through his spokesperson, Ikechukwu Eze.
For Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi, AlhajiTinubu is a leader of leaders and political colossus who has paid his dues in the country’s political firmament and beyond, thus deserving the respect of all and sundry across party lines.
Mr Fayemi, through his press secretary, Yinka Oyebode, added that Mr Tinubu’s “actions inspire us — his admirers — to dream more, learn more, do more and become more. He is a political colossus who will continue to bestride the Nigerian political landscape for many more years to come.”

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We Are Saddened By Akure Explosion– APC

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State says it is deeply saddened by the grim effect of Saturday’s explosion of a dynamite-laden truck on the Akure-Owo highway.
Recall that the explosion had destroyed a church, school and some houses while cutting the highway in two.
The party in a statement made available to newsmen yesterday in Akure by Mr Alex Kalejaiye, the state’s Publicity Secretary, commiserated with the victims of the explosion.
“The party’s sympathy goes to the victims of the deadly circumstance, the state government and entire people of the state,” the statement said.
It commended the quick response of the government and the security agencies in allaying the fears of residents and for seeking alternative route to the damaged portion of the ever-busy Akure-Owo road.
The party called on companies and individuals to be more circumspect in taking precautions when moving items that were capable of unleashing devastating consequences on people, when handled carelessly.
It wished those injured speedy recovery, stressing the need for federal authorities to expedite action on the rebuilding of the road as well as lend support to those whose property were destroyed.

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