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Edo, Ondo Polls: Disrupting Timelines Could Cause Constitutional Crisis -INEC

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The Independent National Electoral Commission INEC has lamented the growing resort to violence and incendiary remarks by political actors ahead of the Edo and Ondo governorship elections, warning that any disruption of the process could alter the electoral timelines thereby leading to a constitutional crisis.
“The Commission has observed with deep concern the escalating levels of violent actions and incendiary statements by political parties, candidates and their supporters in the run-up to the Edo and Ondo Governorship Elections”, INEC said in a statement by National Commissioner and Chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee, Barr. Festus Okoye.
According to the Commission, these actions include the destruction of opponents’ campaign materials such as billboards, violent campaigns, and the use of offensive language.
INEC urged regulatory bodies in the area of security and the media to scale up enforcement in order to safeguard the electoral process.
The electoral umpire said it is important for political parties, candidates, and their supporters to keep in mind that there are extant laws and regulations that they must adhere to during campaigns, warning that the Commission will not shirk its responsibility to enforce the rules of the game.
“Consequently, parties and candidates must on no account underestimate the resolve of the Commission to enforce the rules and regulations and apply appropriate sanctions against those who choose to break them. The Commission remains determined to conduct peaceful elections in the two States and in the outstanding National and State Assembly bye-elections.
“Political Parties must realize that Edo and Ondo Governorship elections are taking place at a time of a global pandemic and the Commission is working assiduously to observe and comply with all health and safety protocols issued by the Commission and health authorities. With the pandemic taking its toll on the citizenry, the people of Edo and Ondo States must be saved from the added burden of violent and raucous elections. Political Parties must remember that Edo and Ondo Governorship Elections have strict constitutional and statutory timelines and threats of violence or actual violence can disrupt those timelines and create a constitutional crisis.
“The Commission will continue to engage stakeholders in the two States on the need for free, fair, safe, and peaceful elections, given that it has committed enormous public resources in preparing for the elections. Therefore, the Commission will view gravely any disruptive actions by political actors.
“Going forward, the Commission will work with and collaborate with the security agencies to contain all incidents or threats of violence before and during the elections. Regulatory agencies with roles in the elections, especially those dealing with insecurity, hate speech and abuse of mass media, must step up their activities and ensure that all those that break the law are held to account.
“The Commission wishes to reassure the people of Edo and Ondo States of its determination to conduct credible and safe elections in the two states.
The Commission shall not hesitate to discontinue the process should the actions of political actors lead to cogent and verifiable threat and/or breakdown of law and order before or during the elections”, the Commission added.

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Shell’s Ultra-Modern Medical Centre Donation Excites Ogun Community

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The government of Ogun State and leaders of Ogijo Community in Sagamu Local Government Area of the state have described the 20-bed ultra-modern medical centre donated to the community as a model of primary health care facility worthy of replication across the state.
The Ogun State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Tomi Coker, who took delivery of the facility in a virtual ceremony last Wednesday said the donation was timely, coming at a time that the state was struggling with the dearth of facilities to manage the increasing cases infection of the novel coronavirus in the state, adding that the state government alone could not bear the burden of public healthcare delivery.

L-R (Front Row) Manager, Community Development, National Petroleum Investment Management Services, Mrs. Clementina Arubi; Ogun State Commissioner for Health, DrTomi Coker; Manager, Non-Operated Venture Assets, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo), YemiAsaolu;
(Back Row) SNEPCo’s Clinical Health Adviser, Dr. OlayinkaMosuro; Communications Manager, Dr. Alice Ajeh; and the traditional head of Ogijo town in Ogun State, Oba KazeeemGbadamosi, on Tuesday at the pre-inauguration inspection of Ogijo Medical Centre, built, furnished and equipped by NNPCSNEPCo.

The medical centre, with doctors’ quarters, alternative power system, water treatment plant and a medical ambulance was built, equipped and furnished by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited (SNEPCo) in partnership with SNEPCo’s co-venture partners.
“We’re very appreciative to NNPC and SNEPCo. This medical centre could not have come at a better time as it will go a long way in strengthening the state’s primary healthcare delivery system,” said Coker.
According to Coker, NNPC and SNEPCo had supported Ogun State for more than eight years during which the companies had trained over 200 state health workers.
“With this state-of-the-art medical centre, I am sure that the people of Ogijo would have the qualitative, affordable and accessible healthcare that the governor promised all the citizens of Ogun State.”
The traditional head of Ogijo, Oba Kazeem Gbadamosi, noted that the facility was not just a pride for Ogijo but for Ogun State.
“This is the best of its kind in Ogun State and we’re so excited to have this delivered to our community by NNPC and SNEPCo.”
Managing Director of SNEPCo, Bayo Ojulari, who handed over the facility to the state government noted that the focus of the social investment policy of the company was on health and education, and that SNEPCo would continue to strengthen its relationship with governments across Nigeria for better healthcare and education systems.
“Our health intervention programmes have been delivered in many states and our secondary school and university scholarships are continuing to grow. With the support of NNPC and our co-venture partners, we will not relent.”
General Manager of the National Petroleum Investment Management Services, an NNPC subsidiary, Bala Wunti, who was represented by NNPC’s General Manager, Services, Yahaya Yunusa, charged the state and Ogijo Community to provide effective management of the facility in a manner that will provide the required healthcare services to the people.

Ogijo Medical Centre, built, furnished and equipped by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company of Nigeria Limited

“Sustainability should be paramount in the management system to ensure that the facility serves the purpose for which it is meant.”
The facility was the second of its type donated by SNEPCo in recent times.
The company had recently rehabilitated and equipped the Casualty and Trauma sections of the General Hospital Odan, Marina in Lagos State with state-of-the-art medical emergency equipment, and also donated fully equipped custom-made ambulances for easy access different parts of the state.

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Shell Employees Launch N82m Free Feeding Programme

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Employees of Shell companies in Nigeria have launched free feeding programme in COVID-19 isolation centres in seven states under the Shell Employee Care Programme, the General Manager External Relations of Shell Nigeria, IgoWeli, said in a statement issued on Sunday.
“The programme has kicked off in Abia, Bayelsa, Delta, Imo, Lagos, Ogun and Rivers States and it is a further demonstration of care to the people following the numerous intervention programmes by Shell companies in Nigeria particularly in support of government at all levels in the fight against the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic,” Weli said.
The feeding programme, according to Weli, was being funded from personal donations by staff and contractors of the Anglo-Dutch integrated energy giant, the total amount of which was matched by the companies to make up the N82.6million for the programme.
The programme delivery strategy involves a collaboration with the state governments, non-government organisations and certified caterers to provide freshly cooked meals daily to patients and healthcare workers at the isolation centres.
Head of Clinical Services at the Bayelsa State Isolation Centre in Yenagoa, Dr James Omietimi, who oversees the distribution of the meals said, “I eat the lunch provided and the nutritional value is good because of the variety. I can tell you it’s tasty and meals have been coming in daily.”
So far, this intervention has provided over 31,000 meals to the isolation centres with plans to scale up to 54,000.
Shell companies in Nigeria had earlier donated ambulances, testing machines and kits, medical consumables and personal protection equipment to Abia, Bayelsa, Delta, Imo, Lagos, Ogun, Oyo and Rivers states to help in the fight against the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2012 and 2018, staff and contractors of Shell companies in Nigeria had also made personal cash donation to provide succor to victims impacted by the unprecedented flood and Internally Displaced Persons humanitarian crises in the Niger Delta, Kogi and Anambra States, and North East of Nigeria, as part of the Shell Employees Care scheme.
Shell companies in Nigeria comprise The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC); Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited (SNEPCo); and Shell Nigeria Gas.

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Social Action Condemns Police Arrest Of Fuel Hike Protesters

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Social Action comprising of various non-governmental organisations has called for urgent reversal of hike in fuel price, as it condemned police arrest of fuel price hike protesters.
In a statement signed by the Communications and Advocacy Manager of Social Action, Lilian Aikhigbe, and made available to The Tide, in Port Harcourt, the body averred that the fuel price hike was ill-timed and unwarranted.
It further said, “the organization, therefore, condemns the harassment and brutalisation of several civil society actors, students and journalists who were arrested by the Nigeria Police following a series of demonstrations across the country, against the petrol price and electricity tariff increment.”
The organisation maintained that it was within the rights of Nigerian citizens to publicly express displeasure with the insensitive policies of the government which were glaringly inimical to the wellbeing of the Nigerian masses.
“Most Nigerians are yet to recover from the economic downturn occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic. Many lost their jobs or experienced a drastic drop in personal income, owing to the pandemic”, it said.
The body insisted that the price increment was, therefore, ill-timed and highly insensitive for the government to initiate policies that could bring more suffering upon the people, no matter the reasons proffered by the government as justification for the increment.
“We, therefore, strongly demand for a reversal of this anti-people policy which has already brought untold hardship to many Nigerians. We stand in solidarity with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), students’ union bodies, Civil Society Organisations and the Nigerian masses to call for the immediate reversal of the fuel price increment and electricity tariff hike.
“We also call for an immediate end to the needless harassment of patriotic citizens protesting the hike in fuel and electricity costs, as it is undemocratic for such well-meaning citizens to be arrested on account of their legitimate stance against the suppressive and draconian policies of the government. Such arrests portray the Muhammadu Buhari-led government in bad light and the Nigerian Police ought to know that the people have the right to hold the government accountable by demanding for good governance and better standards of living,” it insisted.
The body urged the Federal Government to expedite action in revamping the moribund oil refineries in the country, and establish modular refineries as well.
“After several decades of importing refined petroleum products, it is high time the oil-rich nation, popularly referred to as the ‘giant’ of Africa, began to refine as much of its crude oil as is needed to meet local demand, rather than exporting it and placing the burden of these exports on the masses who are made to pay exorbitant prices to purchase the imported, refined products”, it added.

 

By: Kevin Nengia

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