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Borno To Conduct Council Polls, June

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The Borno State Independent Electoral Commission (BOSEIC) has fixed June 13 as date for the conduct of local council elections for the 27 local government areas of the state.
Our source reports that this is coming 12 years after the last election due to Boko Haram insurgency.
The BOSEIC Executive Chairman, Alhaji Abdul Usman said this while presenting the election time table to newsmen, yesterday in Maiduguri.
The chairman explained that based on the timetable approved by  Gov. Babagana Zulum and the state House of Assembly, notice of the elections would start on March 10.
Usman said that the polls would be conducted in 312 electoral wards, comprising 5,071 polling units in the respective local government areas.
He said that personnel to be deployed in the polling units for the exercise include 54 returning officers, 321 ward supervisors and 424 presiding officers.
The chairman said that the commission had so far conducted two elections in 2004 and 2008, which was adjudged free, fair and credible by both domestic and international observers.
He said that the commission had received several proposals made to the state government for elections to be conducted at the local government councils, but was impossible due to security challenges in the state.
Usman assured of the commission’s readiness to conduct free and fair elections.
He said that modalities have been put in place to enhance smooth commencement of the electoral process.
This, he said, include notifying all stakeholders especially politicians and political parties that may be interested in vying for elective positions in the councils.
“Other modalities adopted by the commission include public and voter education, as well as sensitisation on all programmes as outlined in the timetable,” the chairman said.
He added that the timetable has outlined all activities from collection of forms, submission and holding of primary and verification of candidates by all political parties.
On inaccessible communities, Usman said elections would be conducted at the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps across the state. (NAN)

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Fayemi Names Committee For COVID-19 Support Account

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Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, yesterday, named an eight-man management committee for the COVID-19 Pandemic Support Account recently set up by the state government.
The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Yinka Oyebode, in a statement issued in Ado-Ekiti, said this was part of the efforts at curtailing the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic in the state.
He said that the account was opened specifically to receive donations from corporate bodies, philanthropists and well-meaning members of the society, who were willing to support government’s efforts at combating COVID-19.
According to him, the funds will be targeted at providing palliatives for the vulnerable persons in the state.
Oyebode added that the committee was set up in line with the governor’s commitment to transparency and accountability.
He listed members of the committee to include the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Biodun Oyebanji, who would serve as the Chairman, with the Special Adviser to the Governor on Development Partnerships, Mrs Margaret Fagboyo as Secretary.
Other members were the Commissioner for Finance, Mr Ayoola Owolabi, Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Mr Femi Ajayi, Commissioner for Health and Human Services Dr Moji Yaya-Kolade, as well as Commissioner for Special Duties, Alhaji Ayodele Jinadu.
The committee also has Prof. Bolaji Aluko, Special Adviser/Director-General, Office of Transformation and Strategic Development and Dr Hakeem Bakare, Director, Directorate of Inter-Communication Technology as members.

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Coronavirus: UN, AU, Others Must Do More – Obasanjo, Ex-Presidents

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and 11 other former leaders have appealed to governments in Africa to do more in the fight against coronavirus.
They also advised international organisations to draw up a concrete, effective and continental emergency plan to combat COVID-19 outbreak in the continent.
The ex-Presidents/Prime Ministers warned that “with porous borders all over Africa, national efforts will not be enough but regional and continental were required”.
Their position was contained in a joint statement yesterday titled: “Appeal for preparation for Africa to confront the onslaught of COVID-19”.
It reads: “We have seen the mitigation effect or otherwise by the preparatory and preventive actions made by different nations and international organisations to combat the killer virus.
“The results have been related to seriousness of preparation and preventive measures taken including the level of healthcare measures and delivery. The epidemiological progression in already affected areas has indicated that the worst case is yet to occur in Africa.
“Taking into account the weak healthcare bases in Africa, the conurbation, and the communal living of our people particularly in ghettos and poverty-stricken areas of our cities, the outbreak of COVID-19 in these areas of African communities and cities will be a monumental disaster.
“We, as concerned African leaders, note the efforts that African governments are making within their limited resources to deal with this global challenge.”
The statesmen urged the African Union (AU), United Nations (UN), World Health Organization (WHO), World Bank and G-20, to urgently come up with a plan to alleviate social and economic effects of the disease.
The call for action was co-signed by Obasanjo, Festus Mogae (Botswana), Hailemariam Desalegn (Ethiopia), John Kufour (Ghana), Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (Liberia), Joyce Banda (Malawi) and Joaquim Chissano (Mozambique).
Others are Thabo Mbeki (South Africa), Kgalema Motlanthe (South Africa) Benjamin Mkapa (Tanzania), Jakaya Kikwete (Tanzania) and Mohamed Marzouki (Tunisia).

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COVID-19: Lawmaker Sets Up Fund, Donates Salaries To Constituents

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The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, Rep. Yussuf Buba (APC-Adamawa) has set up a fund and donated all his monthly salaries to his constituents against the deadly Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
In a statement yesterday in Abuja, Buba said that the fund which is to be called the ‘Yusuf Captain Buba Coronavirus Trust Fund’, would provide protective materials to his constituents in Adamawa.
The lawmaker who represents Gombi/ Hong Federal Constituency of Adamawa, underscored the need for information dissemination and preparedness to defeat the virus.
“To be prepared, they say, is to make preparations to win; and we must win in this fight against this new disease.
“To win, therefore, we must take proactive measures that must be aimed at clear information dissemination, emergency preparedness and direct solutions to cases that may arise from the outbreak of the disease or other related incidentals .“Consequent upon the above, I hereby, wish to announce the donation of my entire monthly salary as a member House of Representatives to the fight against COVID 19 in Gombi/ Hong Federal Constituency.
“This donation shall continue as long as the threat of the pandemic and campaign against the disease last,” he said.
Buba said that though Adamawa has not recorded any case, there was need for people and the government to be vigilant.
The lawmaker urged continuous observation of all precautionary measures which Government and health authorities have prescribed to stay safe.
He called on Nigerians to be on the lookout for mild flu-like symptoms that are associated with common cold, headaches, dry cough,  itchy throat, difficulty in breathing and general body and joint pains,among other symptoms.
“We are also called at this time not to treat such people at home, but isolate them from other members of the family while we seek medical help immediately.
“There are toll- free numbers that have been provided through which we can reach officials of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) for further actions and the numbers are; 0809 955 5599 and
0809 700 0010 for Abuja while the nearest to us is for Yobe 0813 183 4764 and 0704 111 6027,” he said.
The rep said that the concept of social distancing must be observed and basic hygiene practices, starting from washing of hands with soap as many times as possible be kept.
Buba said keeping the environment and surfaces of materials in homes clean with soap and water remains paramount.
The parliamentarian said that it is advisable to wear face masks to protect the mouth and nose when going out or when in contact with sick persons.
Buba said that alcohol- based sanitisers, methylated spirit and other disinfectants should often be used to kill any germs or viruses that we may have picked by touching of contaminated surfaces.

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