A youth leader in Oyigbo Local Government Area, Comrade Desmond Nnamdi Akaya, has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to consider increasing the number of polling units and electoral wards in Rivers State ahead of the 2027 general elections in Nigeria.
Comrade Akaya, a chieftain of the National Youth Council Of Nigeria (NYCN), Oyigbo Chapter, who made the call recently in Port Harcourt while exchanging views with journalists on contemporary political issues in Rivers State especially and the country at large, pointed out the need to restructure electoral wards in the state and increase the number of voting units to check complaints arising from recent electoral exercises in the state.
He also stated that the call became imperative going by the peculiar geographical conditions of Rivers State which has always made it difficult for voters to have access to polling units during elections.
He explained that the many rivers and creeks in the state separate communities from one another, making access quite difficult.
Comrade Akaya urged the INEC to embark on the process of reviewing extant electoral laws without further delay in order to enable the commission discharge its functions more creditably, going forward.
The youth leader also called on political leaders and youths in Oyigbo Local Government Council of Rivers State to eschew all acts capable of igniting tension and violence which are likely to truncate quality service delivery by serving representatives of the area in the current dispensation.
Comrade Akaya who extolled the leadership dexterity demonstrated by the Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, and his team within the past six months running of this administration, described the state Chief Executive as an astute and accomplished technocrat, whose visionary leadership and people oriented development programmes have impacted positively on Oyigbo people.
He enjoined Rivers people to extend their hands of fellowship to the Governor as he strives to achieve the full implementation of the consolidation agenda of the government in the state.
Comrade Akaya also appealed to the governor to reconstruct the Kpite-Umuosi link road, as well as, that of Obunku – Obete road network that had been abandoned by successive administrations in the state, describing the condition of these roads as pathetic.
On the attitude of the political class in Rivers State, the youth leader decried the conduct of some new entrants into the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in particular and other political parties in general, who have allegedly hijacked the parties, describing their characters as that of “Roman mob who shout crucify today and hail him tomorrow”.
Concerning chieftaincy upheavals in the LGA, Akaya called on Governor Fubara and the agencies of government charged with the responsibilities of ensuring virile traditional institutions to wade into the problem which, he lamented, had torn the royal fathers apart due to marginalization, greed and inordinate ambition to take what belongs to others to themselves for posterity.
Protest Rocks Kano Over Appeal Court Judgment
Protests erupted in Kano city and its environs on Monday afternoon with the demonstrators denouncing the recent judgment of the Court of Appeal that sacked the state Governor, Abba Yusuf.
The Tide’s source reports that uneasy calm pervaded the state capital following a contradictory Certified True Copy of the Appeal Court that affirmed the prayers of both the appellant and the respondent in the contentious Kano governorship, though the judiciary had since cleared the air.
In what appeared like a coordinated action on Monday, huge crowd of protesters had stormed strategic positions in the city as it visited temporary hiccups on commercial activities.
Kano- Zaria Road, Maiduguri Road by Muhammadu Buhari’s interchange, and Kantin Kwari (Kano textile market) were taken over by hundreds of youths who called for justice for Abba Yusuf.
Some of the placard read: “Kano my city my state”, “Justice for Kano”, “ Justice for Abba”, “Abba’s mandate was stolen in 2019, we will not allow it happen in 2023″.
The protest came on the heels of discovery by the Police that “some faceless group are bent on unleashing violence in Kano”, stressing that the police were on top of the situation.
Cp Hussaini Gumel told newsmen in Kano on Monday that already 7 suspects had been arrested and would be arraigned soon.
Gumel revealed that “we have the understanding with the leadership of the contending political parties, and they have signed a peace pact. In view of that, therefore, any one found outside this arrangement will be treated as common criminal”.
However, normalcy had since returned to the ancient city following the peaceful protest that lasted several hours.
NASS To Receive Tinubu’s 2024 Appropriation Bill, Today
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu will today, present the 2024 budget to the joint session of the National Assembly.
Secretary, Research and Information of the National Assembly, Dr Ali Barde Umoru, confirmed this on Monday to journalists while requesting the list of those to be allowed into the chamber during the budget presentation.
This will be the first budget estimate President Tinubu will present to the National Assembly in person.
He had earlier transmitted two supplementary budgets, 2022 and 2023, to the National Assembly, which the parliament speedily approved.
President Tinubu had, weeks ago, also forwarded to both chambers of the National Assembly, the 20224-2026 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) where the sum of N26.1 trillion was proposed as the total expenditure for the 2024 fiscal year.
The Senate, following the recommendation of its joint committee, which scrutinised the document, approved the MTEF/FSP.
It approved the N26.1trn proposed as the 2024 budget and other parameters as proposed by President Tinubu.
It approved the new borrowings of N7.8 trillion, pegged the benchmark of oil price for 2024 at $73.96, and oil production volume per day at 1.78 million barrels.
Other parameters approved are a GDP growth rate of 3.76%, an inflation rate of 21.40%, an exchange rate of N700 to $1 dollar, and a projected budget deficit of N9.04 trillion.
Muslim Clerics Offer Prayers For Tinubu, Kwankwaso In Kano
Over 1,000 Islamic clerics have offered special prayers for President Bola Tinubu and the NNPP national leader, Rabiu Kwankwaso, for peace, progress and political stability in Nigeria.
Abdulmumin Kofa (NNPP-Kiru/Bebeji) hosted the ulamas at Kiru for the success of Governor Kabir Yusuf of Kano State at the Supreme Court, according to a statement by the lawmaker’s media aide, Sani Paki, on Monday.
During the prayer session, the clerics recited the Qur’an 1,101 times and prayed for peace, progress and political stability in the country.
Mr Kofa said his relationship with the president was no secret, noting that Mr Kwankwaso is his mentor. He said he would continue to support and promote a harmonious relationship between Messrs Tinubu and Kwankwaso.
Mr Kofa described NNPP as a promising party open to collaboration, alliance and merger with the APC and even with the People’s Democratic Party, Labour Party or any other party that showed interest, so long as it is for the good of Nigerians.
He also promised to deploy his modest political network to reach out to gladiators in Kano politics towards resolving all resolvable issues and to de-escalate the current tension in the state due to the Kano governorship seat.
Also, after the prayer session, the legislator hosted 5,000 primary school kids across his constituency, as he often does, and provided them with school kits.
According to the statement, Mr Kofa assured the pupils of the good plans of the federal and state governments, especially on free education and free school feeding programmes.
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