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APC Plotting To Attack NASS Leadership Next Week -CUPP …Says Move ‘ll Endanger Democracy …As APC Chieftain Declares Support For Atiku …NASS Retains Card Reader In Electoral Act

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The Coalition of United Political Parties, CUPP, has alleged that the All Progressives Congress, APC, had begun fresh plot to attack the leadership of the National Assembly.
The coalition, in a statement, yesterday, by its National Spokesperson, Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, said it “uncovered yet another plot by the outgoing APC-led Federal Government to yet endanger our democracy and push our country closer to the edge of the cliff preparatory to finally pushing it over for total destruction.”
“This latest dastardly act by the anti-democratic forces of the APC included the surreptitious filing of a suit and seeking out a compromised judge who will in controversial circumstances grant an exparte application directing that one-third of the Senators/House members can demand to open either chambers of the National Assembly,” the statement said.
It further read thus:”CUPP has been informed that the plot also includes the police inviting the leadership of the National Assembly just before the controversial ruling and their subsequent detention with a black market injunction from a magistrate court thereby paving way for the unlawful and violent change of the leadership of the Senate and House of Representatives.
“Some of the security agencies will provide security cover for the coupists while a section of the media has been coopted to churn out news and justification for such evil plots.
“This kind of desperation by the outgoing APC and Presidency can only be likened to the last kicks of a dying horse which usually gives it the hope that it will salvage the head which is already off.
“The ship of the APC is fast sinking and is obviously beyond redemption. “Nigerians are daily convinced that the APC was a mistake made in 2015 and are also resolved that they are a mistake to be corrected in 2019.
“It is worrisome that the Party entrusted by Nigerians to provide leadership, growth and development for the country could in one plot compromise the judiciary, the legislature, the Police, the Department of State Services, the media and indeed all institutions of our democracy.
“In the coming days, Nigerians and indeed all lovers of democracy world over are hereby placed on alert to watch out for the unfolding of this plot and call on the Presidency and the APC not to destroy our democracy before they leave office in eight months as Nigerians have rejected them and cannot wait to send them packing in the next general elections.
“We call on the international community to place key members of the APC led Federal government on watch list and ensure they have no hiding place anywhere in the world should anything happen to our democracy. “
However, the ruling All Progressives Congress APC has denied accusations by the Coalition of United Political Parties CUPP that it planned to attack the National Assembly on resumption from recess.
Meanwhile, a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Yahaya Kwande, yesterday caused a stir as he attended a rally of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) organised for former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar.
Atiku, a presidential aspirant of the PDP, was in Jos yesterday to lobby national delegates from the state ahead of the party’s presidential primaries.
Prior to Atiku’s visit, there were rumours that Mr Kwande would attend the meeting with Plateau State PDP members, even though he is a chieftain of APC .
Our correspondent who witnessed the event reports that Mr Kwande was given a microphone to speak on Mr Abubakar’s aspiration.
“I know you will be surprised to see me in the state PDP secretariat. I have never entered this secretariat but today I am in your midst. I have never stood where I am standing now. There is a reason for me being here.
“If today you I say I am not together with Atiku, you are already a mad man. I am fully with Atiku. My loyalty to Atiku is very certain. There are many people waiting for this day and the day has come. They were speculating that they will see whether I will welcome him.
“I have never found myself in this kind of politics. In the state, I have my son who is Lalong and father at the centre who is Atiku Abubakar. I would be afraid whenever Atiku will come
“In the whole of Nigeria, Atiku is the best person to lead the country. Let us support Atiku. Let us rally around him. We pray God should help Atiku win the 2019 presidential election. People should not be surprised to see that one day , I will personally bring Lalong before Atiku like I did it when you were in APC. People should not be surprised if myself and Lalong return to PDP.”
The APC chieftain, however, said he is still a member of APC because he is still holding APC card.
“As I am standing here, I am still a member of APC. I call on all of you to be patient. There would be special day for me to talk. It is not today, “ Mr Kwande said.
In a related development, the National Assembly yesterday bent over to amend the last version (the third) of the 2018 Electoral Amendment Bill which President Muhammadu Buhari declined to assent to , reviewing the sections he raised complaints about.
The Joint Committee of the two chambers at their meeting affected amendments on all the sections , President Buhari noted as obstacles to his assent and deleted one of the said problematic clauses. .
Shotly before the end of the 31 days life span of the third version of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill (2018), sent to the Presidency for approval, President Buhari had communicated to the lawmakers his refusal of assent to the amendment bill listing about 14 contentious areas that must be addressed by the federal lawmakers for him to to sign the Bill into law.
According to the Chairman of the joint committee Senator Suleiman Nazif, President Buhari’s complaints and observations were accordingly addressed in the 4th version of the bill adopted by the joint committee of the National Assembly on Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC) at the Tuesday meeting.
The affected sections as announced by Senator Nazi are 9(1A) , 9(B5), 18( 1-4), 19(4), 30(1), 31(1) and 31(7).
Others are 36(3), 44(3-4), 67( a-d), 87(2), 87(14) and 1124.
While section 9(1A) deals with voters registers in electronic format and manual or hard copy format , section 18(14) deals with process of replacement of voters card by the INEC on demand by voters which it states must not be done less than 30 days before election.
Section 36(3) of the adopted bill makes provision for constitutional way out on sudden death of candidate of political party in the course of election as it happened in 2016 Kogi gubernatorial election.
The section states: “ If after the commencement of poll and before the announcement of the final result and declaration of a winner, the leading candidate dies , (a), the commission shall, being satisfied of the fact of the death, suspend the election for a period not exceeding 21 days.
“(b) the political party whose candidate died may , if it intends to continue to participate in the election , conduct a fresh primary within 7 days of the death of its candidate and submit a new candidate to replace the dead candidate
“ (c) subject to paragraphs (a) and (b) , the commission shall continue with the election. , announce the final result and declare a winner”
The Chairman however added that section 34(2-4) which deals with added laws on commission of party logo on ballot papers was delected .
This was as he explained that at no time was provision for usuage of card reader selected in any of the versions of the electoral bills .
Senator Nazif noted that the adopted 4th electoral bill is a harmonized version of the 2nd and 3rd submissions.
It would be recalled that the first version of the bill forwarded to President Muhammadu Buhari in February this year by the federal lawmakers was rejected as a result of introduction of new sequence of election provided for in section 25(1) of the bill.
The second version forwarded to the President in June after removal of the new sequence of elections provisions, was outrightly vetoed by the President by not considering it in anyway before it got constitutionally expired on his table on the 26th of July 2018, while he declined assent to the third based on the said complaints over some clauses therein.

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Rivers’ll Be Known For Peace, Not Crisis -Fubara

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Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has said that peace has prevailed because he draws strength from God to resist insults and tantrums thrown at him while frustrating attempts by some disgruntled persons who wanted to plunge the State into unending crisis.
The Governor also said that because he has anchored his Government on promoting peace, the enabling atmosphere has been provided for investments and sustainable development to flourish.
Governor Fubara made the assertion when he received a delegation of members of the Bishops and Gospel Ministers’ Association International Incorporated, Rivers State Chapter, at Government House in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
Represented by the Head of Rivers State Civil Service, Dr George Nwaeke, Governor Fubara said while most people took his meekness for weakness, his stance on peace has unarguably enhanced harmonious atmosphere of concord as residents sleep with their two eyes closed, and investors and shareholders are happy with the returns on investment.
He said, “Before, what they hear of Rivers State is that they are fighting, and some genuine investors will not come. Some people even ask you: How are you coping in Rivers State?
“But now”, he asserted: “The Governor has brought about a lot of changes in the State. One of the most important things is that he has changed the negative narrative. It is no longer Rivers of blood. It is now Rivers of peace.
“We are enjoying our lives here. Why? Because there is a change in the narrative. We have peace. The Governor is, as much as possible, absorbing any level of insult at him only for one purpose: that Rivers State may have peace; that we may grow; that this state will experience genuine development.”
Governor Fubara urged them, as members of the Christian family in the State, to continue to pray for the State and the Government so that the enemies of the State will be put to greater shame.
“This peace is what I want you to embrace. Go and continue to pray, because when the sower of the seed went and sowed, the enemy went in the night and sowed tares inside there. But the Governor is sowing peace.
“When I listened to the leader of the team, His Grace Eddy Ogbonda, he said you came all the way from Eleme Junction, and stopped at major junctions, and you uttered prayers for the peace of Rivers State.”
He also said: “I, hereby want to thank you for identifying with the Governor at a time like this. At a time when it looks as if someone wants the Governor’s peace posture misunderstood as weakness.
“When someone has the strength to fight back, but refuses to fight back. That is a bigger strength; that power of restrain does not just come, it can only come from God.
“You cannot give peace, if you do not have peace within you. The Governor is not interested in any form of trouble or violence. What he is interested in is known, and it is: let there be peace in Rivers State,” he said.
In his address, leader of the group, Archbishop Eddy Ogbonda, said they had observed a week-long intensive prayers that culminated into a peace rally, which brought them to Government House, and assured the Governor that God will continue to give him victory over his adversaries while preserving Rivers State.
“It is Rivers State Prophetic Prayer Convocation and Rally 2024 with the theme: ‘Peace be still’. Of a truth, everyone of us understands that we live in a time when we need peace much more than any other thing.
“Rivers State needs peace. Everyone as individuals need peace. The country needs peace, and the world at large needs peace. So, we are here to do a peace march. We pray that God will command His peace to reign in Rivers State,” he said.

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Hoteliers, School Owners Charging In Dollars Risk Arrest -EFCC

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has stated that hotels, schools, and other establishments that accept payments in dollars from their customers are at risk of facing arrest.
The Chairman of EFCC, Ola Olukoyede, said this in the agency’s publication called EFCC Alert on Monday, adding that action would be taken against individuals involved in the dollarisation of the economy.
According to him, the exception is if foreigners come in to transact business and the only means of transacting is their credit card and dollar but to charge local customers in dollars or other foreign currencies would no longer be allowed.
He said charging local activities and customers in dollars is against Nigeria’s constitution.
The EFCC chairman said, “Schools that charge Nigerians in dollar, supermarkets that trade in dollar, estate developers that sell their property in dollar, hotels that are invoicing in dollar, we are coming after you and we have made arrests in that area.
“Yes, if foreigners are coming in and the only means of transacting is their credit card, and dollar, why not? You will get that.
“But document it properly as against selling things within the system, local economy and you will be using dollar as the medium of exchange, it is illegal.
“Our law does not allow for that. And we have also affected some arrests.”

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Eid-El-Fitr: Fubara Felicitates Muslims, Calls For Unity, Tolerance

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Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has enjoined Muslim faithful to remain steadfast to the lessons learnt during the holy month of Ramadan.
Governor Fubara stated this in his message of felicitations to Muslims as they celebrate the 2024 Eid-el-Fitr Sallah, which marks the end of the one-month Ramadan fasting.
The Governor emphasised the importance for Muslims to also uphold the tenets of Islam by exhibiting the fear of God and showing piety in their daily work.
Governor Fubara said, “We must all continue in the good attributes imbibed during the holy month of Ramadan as directed by God through His Prophet, so as to ensure peace, unity and harmony in the society for a better future.”
While praying that the essence of the festival offers them happiness, peace and prosperity in all aspects of life, Governor Fubara said he recognises and appreciates the critical role that the Muslim community continues to play in the development of Rivers State, and indeed, Nigeria at large.
Governor Fubara charged them to remain unwavering and steadfast in their commitment and positive contributions to advance the development of the State and the country.
“I enjoin you all in the State to remain calm, be patient and continue to do what is right,” the Governor added.
He wished the Muslim faithful in the State and across the country a happy Eid-el-Fitr celebration.

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