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INEC Reserves 93.5m Ballot Papers For Presidential Run-Off

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Less than 100 days to the 2023 general elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission has said it will print 187 million ballot papers for the presidential poll scheduled for February 25, while half of these will be reserved for a possible run-off.
The commission also classified the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System as a sensitive material to be kept in its custody.
These were made known by the National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, INEC, Festus Okoye, disclosed this in Abuja, Friday.
The commission noted that 9,518,188 new voters were added to the existing 84,004,084 to bring the total preliminary registered voters in the country to 93.5 million.
Speaking at a roundtable with Senior journalists, Okoye said 93.5 million ballot papers would be used for the presidential election on February 25, 2023 and the remaining 93.5 million would be reserved for a possible run-off if there was no clear winner.
A similar situation, he said, would be applicable in the states for the governorship poll.
Okoye explained that INEC decided to print 187 million ballot papers for the presidential election as it would be difficult to engage printers at a short notice and cope with the logistics required to produce extra ballot papers.
In his words, “As of today, 18 political parties will participate in the 2023 general elections and the law has outlined how candidates will emerge and how a presidential candidate will emerge in Nigeria. Because of the limited time on the commission and by the law, in case a candidate does not emerge from the first ballot, the commission prints ballots for run-off or second elections when we are printing ballots for the main election.
“In other words, if 93 million Nigerians are on the ballot for the presidential election, we will print 93 million ballots for the first election and at the same time print 93 million ballots for the run-off election in case a winner does not emerge from the first ballot.
“If at the end of the day, there is no run-off and when election petitions are disposed of, the commission will destroy the 93 million ballot papers printed for the run-off. This is because the law gives the commission just 21 days within which to engage in reverse logistics and conduct a run-off election in case there is no winner.
“Moreover, as of the time of the conduct of the presidential election, the governorship and state Assembly elections are still pending. So for the governorship election, the commission will print ballot papers for the run-off in case we have challenges in terms of winners not emerging in the first ballot in some of the states of the federation.”

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Anglican Bishop Urges Politicians To Lead With Integrity

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The Bishop of Anglican Diocese of Niger Delta, Dr Emmanuel Oko-Jaja, has called on Nigerians, especially those in positions of authority to uphold moral standard and integrity.
Oko-Jaja said this at a thanksgiving service to mark the 90th birthday of Prof. Sylvanus Cookey at Saint Paul Anglican Church in Opobo Town, Rivers yesterday.
The Tide’s source reports that Cookey was the second Vice Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) in 1982.
Oko-Jaja advised political leaders to always be self-aware and avoid actions that could damage their reputation.
“In today’s Nigeria, hardship has changed how the people behave, as lies have become more popular than the truth.
“We now live in a country where injustice is now celebrated and lowering moral and social standard have become the new normal.
“Leaders must follow the exemplary legacies set by our forebears by becoming upright and live a life that would not bring shame to their family and community,” he said.
He attributed the country’s current economic challenges and declining living standards to leaders failing to prioritise the well-being of citizens.
“The younger generation should emulate the virtues of our predecessors like Prof. Cookey, who prioritised integrity over material gain.
“Good reputation was the norm back then, and I hope that God will restore it to Nigeria, where leaders’ goal will be to have good names.
“If anyone wants to commit evil, they should remember that their actions can bring a bad name to their family and community,” he cautioned.
Addressing the celebrant, the King of Opobo Kingdom, HRM Dandason Jaja, praised Cookey for his impact on society and described him as a mentor and philanthropist.
He said that the celebrant was a distinguished academic, who had impacted numerous youths through vocational training, leading to their successful employment in different sectors.
Speaking earlier, Cookey expressed gratitude to God for attaining 90 years and acknowledged the support of his family and friends.
Reflecting on his contributions to the country, he encouraged leaders to leave behind positive legacies for future generations to celebrate.

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Senators, Reps To Resume Plenary In Remodelled Main Chambers

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Nineteen months after federal lawmakers movement to  temporary chambers,  the Nigerian Senate and House of Representatives would finally resume sittings in  their  newly remodelled main hallowed chambers tomorrow
Spokesperson of the House of Representatives, Hon. Akin Rotimi Jnr, and the Clerk to the Senate, Barrister Chinedu Akubueze confirmed the planned movement to the main chambers in separate written announcements made penultimate week on the change in resumption date by lawmakers from their ongoing recess.
Hon. Rotimi, who is the chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, in the official announcement dated April 4, 2024 to the honourable members, cited the need to resume plenary at the renovated and reconfigured main chamber, as reason for the postponement in line with the general wish of the lawmakers.
“The House of Representatives wishes to inform the public and stakeholders of the rescheduling of the resumption date from the ongoing recess, originally slated for Tuesday, April 16, 2024, to  Tuesday, April 23, 2024.
“This adjustment is necessary to accommodate the completion of renovations to the main chamber of the House of Representatives to ensure its readiness for plenary sessions, henceforth,” he stated.
Two days after, the Clerk to the Senate also issued a statement, postponing resumption of plenary by the Senate from April 16 to 23, 2024.
Akubueze ‘s statement reads in part: “Distinguished Senators are hereby invited to note that the resumption of the plenary sitting of the Senate, which was scheduled for Tuesday, 16th April, 2024, has been postponed to Tuesday 23rd April, 2024”
It would be recalled that ahead of the projects delivery, the Site Engineer of Visible Construction, Tajudeen Olanipekun, had early last month informed journalists covering the Senate, that the two main chambers, would be ready for use by both the Senate and the House of Representatives in April this year.
Olanipekun’s assurance on delivery of the fully transformed and reconfigured hallowed chambers to management of the National Assembly, coincided with call by the President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, to the Clerk to the National Assembly, CNA, Alhaji Sani Magaji Tambawal that both the Senate and the House of Representatives, want to move to their main chambers as soon as possible after close to two years of using temporary ones.
In carrying out the subtle marching order, the construction firm in the last five weeks has carried out the required finishings on
the upgraded and reconfigured hallowed chambers fixed with state-of-the-art chairs, parliamentary equipments,  appliances and extended sitting terraces.
Physically, the entire ambience of the space in and around the hallowed chambers have been transformed, just as barricades used to restrict movements at the foyer have been removed.
The  Federal Capital Development Authority, FCDA, had in March 2021 awarded a N30billion renovation contract to Visible Construction Limited to rehabilitate critical segments of the National Assembly complex.
The law makers had in September  2022 vacated the main chambers to enable the Contractors;   handle the renovation work of both chambers
Some of the critical segments are the office buildings housing the office accommodation for the senators and honourable members, watertightness of the roof of the complex, the cooling system, replacement of lifts that are inoperable in the White House as well as in the House of Representatives and in the new Senate Wing among others.

By: Nneka Amaechi-Nnadi, Abuja

 

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Police Commence Recruitment Process In Anambra, Enugu

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The Zone 13 of the Nige- rian Police Force, comprising Anambra and Enugu States, has announced the venue and time for both General Duty and Specialist Constable recruitment medical screening in the two States.
This is contained in a statement issued yesterday by the Zonal Police Public Relations Officer, SP Josephine Ihunwo, yesterday in Enugu.
Ihunwo said that prospective candidates from Zone 13 should note that the exercise would take place at Police Hospital, Awka.
She said that the medical screening would commence simultaneously nationwide on Tuesday, April 16, and end on April 30, 2024.
“Candidates are advised to visit the recruitment portal: https://apply.policerecruitment.gov.ng to know their status, specific time, date and other mandatory requirements.
“So also, qualified applicants are to appear in clean white T-shirt and short with the following requirements;
“National Identity Card/Slip; Print Out of Medical Examination Slip and all necessary documents.
“The Assistant Inspector-General of Police Zone 13 Command, AIG Godwin Aghaulor, wishes all prospective candidates success as they embark on this exercise,” he said.

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