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Ambassador Desmond Akawor Inaugurated As New Rivers State PDP Chairman

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The new Rivers State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Executive Council has been inaugurated in Port Harcourt.
Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly,  Mr Ikuinyi Ibani administered the oath of office on the new executives led by Ambassador Desmond Akawor.
In a charge, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike called on the new executives to work towards consolidating the gains of the immediate past Executive led by Bro Felix Obuah.
He commended immediate past Rivers State PDP Chairman,  Bro Felix Obuah for leading to victory .
He said: “We had challenges at the beginning, but that Executive was committed to service. Obuah has shown capacity to deliver.  It will not be easy for the new executives, but the new executives must start to prepare the party for the challenges ahead.
“Work hard to surpass the records of the past executives.  Working together is key, unity is key.”
Speaking further, Governor Wike said that the Rivers State Government will never condone criminality or any attempt to violate the law.
He said: “But for the steps that , the number of cases would have been more. What makes a leader is the ability  to be firm. I value life more than property.
“Since 2015, we have not demolished any property.  But, someone who was SSG superintended over the demolition of several properties.  Now the person is talking about the draconian process.
“My joy is that majority of Rivers people love what we are doing.”
Governor Wike added that from Information from the State Health Commissioner,  the State is likely to have more cases,  mostly oil workers.
National Chairman of PDP, Prince Uche Secondus congratulated the new Rivers State PDP Executive Committee,  advising them to work for the growth of the party.
Commenting on the fight against coronavirus,  Uche Secondus blasted the Federal Government for refusing to assist State Governments and provide direction for the country.
He said: “The Governors are working without help from the Federal Government.  But for God, the situation would have been worse.
“Governors are running from pillar to post. We must be grateful to Governor Wike for the initiative that he took. What the Governor has done has helped to drastically reduce the number of cases.
“Rivers State is lucky to have Governor Wike at this time of crisis .”
He said those who spread negative propaganda do so out of hatred.
New Rivers State PDP Chairman,  Ambassador Desmond Akawor thanked ththe leadership and members of the party for giving him the opportunity to serve.
He said God has used Governor Wike to rebuild a new Rivers State.  He saluted the resilience of PDP in weathering the storm.
Akawor assured that the new Executive will serve the party diligently.
Immediate Past PDP State Chairman,  Bro Felix Obuah said that the Executive Committee under his leadership led the party to victory  since 2015.
He said that the outgone Executives will continue to work for the party  to ensure future victory.
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FEC Okays N13.08trn Budget Estimate For 2021

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The Federal Executive Council (FEC), yesterday, approved the sum of N13.08trillion as budget estimate for 2021.
Yesterday’s meeting was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, at the end of the meeting, told journalists that that FEC had approved the budget estimates for 2023.
According to her, the budget proposal was N379 per dollar exchange rate; oil benchmark of $40 barrel per day; and oil production volume of 1.86 million per day.
Buhari had written the National Assembly, last Tuesday, to notify his intention to present the 2021 budget before the joint Assembly next week.
The Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan, had said during plenary, last Tuesday, said the president would present his budget next week for quick passage of the appropriation bill into law.
The Senate President while commending the Joint Committee on Finance and National Planning for carrying out comprehensive legislative work on the 2020-2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper, stated that consideration of its report by the upper chamber would precede presentation of the 2021 budget estimates next week by the President.
“The Joint committee will present its report to the Senate today for consideration. This is a precursor to the presentation of the 2021 Budget Estimates by the Executive Arm of Government soon. I am aware that the Executive will be presenting the 2021 Budget Estimates by next week,” Lawan said.

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INEC Plans Migration To E-Voting, Meets Machine Producers

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Monday, commenced the processes that would lead to the replacement of manual voting with an electronic voting system.

Already, the commission has invited manufacturers of electronic voting machines around the world to practically demonstrate how the machines work, preparatory to the full migration.

The Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said this during the demonstration of electronic voting machines.

He said, “Over the years, the commission has been automating the critical pillars of the process. The biometric register of voters has been updated continuously. At the moment, the INEC register of voters is the largest database of citizens in Nigeria.

“In addition, the combination of biometric voter cards commonly known as the Permanent Voter Card and the Smart Card Reader have revolutionised the accreditation of voters during elections.

“More recently, the introduction of a number of portals has facilitated the seamless nomination of candidates for elective offices by political parties as well as the accreditation of observers and the media.

“Most significantly, the commission now uploads polling unit level results in real-time on Election Day to a portal for public view. These are significant innovations that have deepened the transparency and credibility of elections and the electoral process in Nigeria.

“The commission developed the specifications of the functions required of the machine. After extensive discussion and review, the commission took the decision to invite original manufacturers of electronic voting machines around the world for a virtual or practical demonstration of the machines.”

Yakubu revealed that over 40 companies, which indicated interest, would demonstrate to the commission how their IT solutions meet its specifications.

“The commission is aware that Nigerians want us to deepen the use of technology in elections. Let me reassure Nigerians that the commission is committed to expediting the process leading to the deployment of the EVMs in elections in earnest,” the INEC chairman said.

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PDP Knocks Akeredolu Over Comments On Mimiko, Ex-CJ

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Campaign Council for Ondo Governorship Election has condemned a statement credited to the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Governor Rotimi Akeredolu against a former governor of the state, Olusegun Mimiko, and a former Chief Judge of the state, Justice Olasehinde Kumuyi.

Akeredolu was alleged to have said on a television programme that Mimiko and Kumuyi were his “enemies for life” for not supporting him and his party, the APC, ahead of the October 10, 2020 governorship election.

The PDP campaign council described the statement as hate speech.

This was contained in a statement titled, “PDP Condemns Akeredolu’s ‘Enemy For Life’ Comment On Mimiko, Kumuyi,” which was signed by the Chairman, Publicity Sub-Committee of the council, Kola Ologbondiyan, on Monday.

He said Akeredolu and the APC had become deflated and overwhelmed by the massive support for the PDP’s candidate, Eyitayo Jegede across the state.

The PDP said it was unfortunate that “the governor can toe such ungodly path in his desperation to cling to power despite being rejected by his people due to his failures.

“Akeredolu’s recourse to hate comments against patriotic leaders and citizens of Ondo State over the consensus by the people to replace him with the PDP candidate, Eyitayo Jegede.

“Our campaign wants Governor Akeredolu to note that the Ondo people cannot be cowed by his enmity towards them. Ondo State belongs to the people and Governor Akeredolu cannot intimidate anybody to submission.”

When contacted, the state Commissioner for Information, Hon Donald Ojogor, declined to react to the matter.

“They deserve no comment for their misdirected aggression,” Ojogor added.

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