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Towards Hitch-Free Poll In Anambra

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Barring unforeseen negative circumstances, the indigenes and residents of Anambra State will, tomorrow, November 6, turn out in their number from every nook and cranny of the state to elect a new governor that will take over from the incumbent, Willie Obiano, whose second tenure expires on March 17, 2022.
The off-season election has been generating so much anxiety among the people of the South-East following the wanton destruction of lives and property in that region by heartless and criminal elements in recent times. The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has been spasmodically named in connection with the orgy of violence, particularly because of its professed undertaking to make certain that the November 6 election does not hold.
In one of the most uncertain elections in Nigeria’s history, 18 candidates are lobbying the hearts and votes of the Anambra people. As a bargaining chip, IPOB has vowed that unless its leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, is released from detention unconditionally, on or before November 4, the entire South-East will be on lockdown from November 5 (a day before the Anambra governorship election).
Kanu is being tried on an amended seven-count charge of alleged treason, secession and terrorism for which he had pleaded “not guilty”; and the trial at the Federal High Court in Abuja has been adjourned to November 10, 2021, when his lawyers will be expected to raise objections to the charges.
IPOB has also warned the people of Anambra to remain indoors throughout the sit-at-home order for their safety. It is pertinent to note that the organisation has been enforcing the Monday sit-at-home directive in the South-East with ferocious venom since it became public knowledge that Kanu had been arrested by the Federal Government. 
Although the body has denied directing a boycott of the governorship election in a statement issued by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, the proscribed group is too clever by half as it reiterated its warning on lockdown if Kanu was not released from custody. “For the sake of clarity, what we said was that the entire Biafraland would be locked down from November 5 to November 10, 2021, if the Federal Government failed to release our leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, unconditionally”, he said.
INEC had expressed concerns about the Anambra gubernatorial election and warned against the constitutional crisis that might engulf the state if the situation persisted. Its chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, affirmed the fears during a meeting of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) in Abuja recently. Recall that last May, the INEC office in Awka was attacked wherein non-sensitive materials and vehicles were wrecked.
Both the voters and the candidates are in a panic. The buildup is so unseemly that even contestants cannot openly campaign or make “empty or substantive” promises to voters. Some candidates held election campaigns in faraway Lagos, hoping that the information would spread more than 407 kilometres to reach people in Akwa and other areas. This is the dark atmosphere in the most important political and economic capital of the South-East.
Regardless, INEC has restated its commitment to go on with the election as scheduled. The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba Alkali, has ordered a major overhaul of the security landscape in Anambra ahead of the election. Consequently, 34,587 police personnel, including two DIGs, five AIGs, 14 Commissioners of Police, 31 Deputy Commissioners of Police, 48 Assistant Commissioners of Police as well as three helicopters have been deployed to the state to ensure adequate security for the conduct of the poll.
It is worth noting that at this critical moment, the impact of IPOB cannot be quelled, because the group’s problem is pervasive in the South-East for the past few years, trying to discredit governance and authority in the whole area. This group of agitators, hastily proscribed as terrorists by the Federal Government, has consistently carried out violent protests in the entire region against Kanu’s incarceration. Hence, for peace to reign, the Federal Government should dialogue with the group to ensure a smooth election.
This ill wind will blow no one any good. A militarised Election Day by IPOB or the state is inharmonious with free and fair election and public interest. The tense atmosphere will only benefit dubious politicians, waiting to use the apathy of voters to seize the whole process and impose an unpopular candidate on the state. It has also set dangerous priorities for the entire region. IPOB and Anambra should not succumb to this hushed attempt to set the country back.
Contrary to the blanket iron-fit approach of the Biafran group and its probable effect on the election, the body should subject its campaign for a fair deal for the Igbo Nation and Nnamdi Kanu within the Nigerian corporate existence to the judicial process for peace sake. Bloodletting and crude aggression are neither in the interest of the group nor of the region at large. 
Also, IPOB and its supporters should be more cautious and trust the judiciary, because it is the last hope of the ordinary person. The continued siege of the people they vowed to defend has been socially and economically counterproductive, and the political turn of events is waiting to destroy their beleaguered fortunes for the worst.
Without a doubt, the Anambra election is a test case for the 2023 general election. This should not be a matter of life and death. It must be free, fair and credible, and the results must reflect the will of the people. Therefore, every effort must be made to ensure its success. Citizens must ensure that they come out to vote or live with the consequences.
Voters must exercise their privileges freely and fearlessly without intimidation. Politicians, their agents and supporters must maintain order and peace during the election. We believe that if all parties concerned follow the rules, the election will be successful. Most importantly, let the INEC ensure that the votes count.

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PH City Marathon: Over 3000 Athletes To Run, Saturday

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Over, 3000 athletes are expected to take part in the 16 kilo meter Port Harcourt City Marathon Race this Saturday.
Take off point is scheduled be Forces Avenue, by Christ Church,  back of SPAR shopping Mall, in Port Harcourt, by 7:00am.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with  Tidesports, on Saturday, shortly after athletes collected their  numbers of participation , at Las Mall  Hotels and Resorts,  Rumukalagbor, the Chief organiser of the event, Goodluck Azunwena, said all arrangements had been concluded for the event on Saturday.
According to him, over 200 volunteers, have indicated interest to ensure that the race was successful, adding that various medical outfits, doctors, road safety officers are fully prepared, as health talks was also delivered to athletes.
“ The crowd was really overwhelming today. Honestly we are really impressed with the turnout, that means many athletes were waiting for such event.
As I speak, so many volunteers have indicated interest to work with us, private hospitals have also pledged to give out their ambulances and doctors to be on ground that day. We have also contacted the road safety, police and other security agents to ensure a hitch-free race” Azunwena said.
He advised athletes not to take the competition like a do or die affairs saying that they should exhibit what sports stand for, that is  unity, friendship and love.
Speaking,  one of the intending competitors, Jude Nwanaopara, a footballer, said he is optimistic to win the race, in spite of the fact that this would be his first time to compete in a  long distance race.
According to him, if he comes up top he will use the money to solve his personal problems.
“ I am optimistic that I will win the race being a sportsman, but I must say that this is my first time to enter such competition.
“I have self prophecy that I am going to win” Nwanaopara said.
Another competitor,   student, Victor Okoro, said he was inspired to go for the race following his walking skill.
He explained that he had been looking for  such opportunity to run marathon race to showcase his talent, saying that he is happy that what he was looking for will happen in Port Harcourt.
“ I have the belief that I will win because I have been walking from school to my house for three hours , which is more than that 16 kilometer,” Okoro said.

By: Tonye Orabere

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‘Competing With Asisat Oshoala For Award, Great Honour’

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Team Lagos Taekwondo Poomsae gold medallist at the Edo 2020 National Sports Festival, Aminat Idrees, said she felt honoured to be competing with Super Falcons captain, Asisat Oshoala, for the Most outstanding young person in sports award.
Idrees turned poster girl of the festival after pictures and videos showing her competing with pregnancy and winning gold in the taekwondo event went viral online.
Tidesports source reports that the organisers of the Lagos Youth Awards unveiled the nominations list for the debut edition of the event with Idrees making the nomintion.
In a chat with newsmen, Idrees said being nominated alongside the Barcelona Femini forward is an honour but also expressed the desire to beat the Falcons captain to the award.
“It is an honour to be nominated for a state award, especially being placed alongside Barcelona footballer Asisat Oshoala,” she said.
“I hope for the best.”
When asked if she stands a chance of beating Oshoala, she said, “There’s nothing impossible with God.”
Other nominees in the most outstanding young person in sports categories are Anuoluwapo Opeyori (Olympian, Badmington) and Seun Nariwo (Former Table Tennis champ, Sports Administrator).
Nigerian skit maker and activist, Debo Adedayo, popularly known as Mr Macaroni tops the list with three nominations while football star and Oshoala have two nominations.
According to the organisers, the event will come up on Boxing Day, December 26 at Sheraton Hotel, Lagos.

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NHRC Receives Over 400 Sexual, Gender-Based Violence Reports In 11 Months

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The Bauchi State office of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has revealed that it received no fewer than 814 human rights complaints between January and November this year, out of which over 400 were on sexual and gender based violence.
The State Coordinator of the Commission, Barrister Dala Yachit, made the revelation at a one-day public lecture on “ICT as an instrument for enhancing national security and economic recovery”.
The lecture, organised by Youth and Civil Society Coalition for Development (YCSCD) in collaboration with the National Information Technology Agency, was held on Monday at for North-East states.
Responding to a comment made by the representative of the Bauchi State Commissioner of Police, Yachit said that crimes had to be fought within the ambits of the law, noting that the Police Act and the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), 2015 were there to guide the police in the discharge of their work.
“In fighting crime, you must do that within the law. The (National) Human Rights Commission is not stopping the police from carrying out her lawful activities but you must do it in line with the law, what the Police Act says you can do and what you can’t do and what the Administration of Criminal Justice Act says.
“Even arrests, how do you arrest? You must tell a person why you are arresting him. You don’t handcuff, you don’t subject the person to inhuman treatment. Arrest someone in line with the law and treat him with dignity,” Yachit, who was the chairperson on the occasion, said.
The NHRC State Coordinator asserted that the police does not have to forcefully elicit information from a suspect, submitting that, “that information you want, if the law says don’t forcefully check someone’s phone and you do that, I can assure you, when you go to court, that evidence will be thrown out of the court because you did not access that document through the legal means.”
She informed that through the commission’s cordial working relationship, awareness and sensitisation, complaints against police personnel in the state had gradually reduced.
“For example, when we came in 2019, most people did not know much about human rights in Bauchi, we started in February and by the end of that year, we had just 72 complaints and out of those 72 complaints, over 50 were against police officers.
“Last year, it was the same thing, but because of the sensitisation and awareness to the people, as of Thursday last week, we had 814 human rights complaints, just in Bauchi and out of this, over 400 were on sexual and gender based violence.
“So, you can see the reduction of complaints against police officers and it is because of our working relationship and the awareness and sensitisation,” she said.
Yachit declared that every aspect of human life had to do with human rights, adding that ICT plays a vital role in human rights as it could not be removed from human rights.
She said “ICT opens doors and creates avenues for a lot of information. It is through ICT that we get to know what is going on regarding human rights.
“You can beam the searchlight on human rights abuses, you can get in touch with victims of human rights abuses. So, you can’t remove ICT from human rights.”
Speaking earlier, the National President of the group, Aminu Aminu in

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