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New Electoral Act ‘ll guide conduct of 2023 elections- Senate C’ttee

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The Deputy Chairman, Senate Committee on Electoral Matters, Sen. Olalekan Mustapha, has assured Nigerians that the conduct of 2023 general elections would be guided by Electoral Act, 2022.

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Mustapha (APC-Ogun East) gave the assurance on Wednesday when he led other members of the committee on a courtesy visit to Gov. Seyi Makinde in Ibadan.

According to him, election results in 2023 will be transmitted electronically in line with the 2022 Electoral Act.

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“Good enough, we had two elections held in the last few months and both were guided by the 2022 Electoral Act.

“Up till today, a sizeable numbers of people across the country believe that the two elections were very credible and transparent.

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“So, I don’t think we are going to have anything less; in fact, it will be better in 2023 election,” Mustapha said.

He said the committee was in Ibadan to sensitise the people on the new Electoral Act.

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Mustapha recalled that the last major amendment to the Electoral Act was in 2010, adding there had been so many complaints nationally and internationally between then and 2022.

The committee chairman said: “The Senate felt it was becoming a global embarrassment for the country and that the senators felt Nigeria’s own should not be different from the standards operating across the world.

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“So, we concluded that we needed to amend our Electoral Act and that we have done, which brought about the Electoral Act, 2022.

“As a result of this, we are sensitising our people across the country on the new Electoral Act to let our people know their responsibilities in the coming elections.

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“And, to let them also know what they should do and what to expect as far as the Laws of the land are concern during elections,” he said.

The committee chairman, however, sought for the support of the state government in sensitising all the state residents on the new Electoral Act.

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Responding, Makinde, represented by his Deputy, Chief Adebayo Lawal, described the sensitisation as accurate and timely.

The governor promised that his administration would adequately sensitise the people of the state on the positions and gains of the 2023 Electoral Act.

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According to him, the state government will use various fora to help the committee amplify and expand the message to the nooks and crannies of Oyo State.

He said that the country had been making progress with regards to election conduct and management.

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“Progressively, Nigeria is making progress with respect to electoral processes, though, we cannot say a piece of legislation is completely perfect, but 2022 Electoral Act captured all of those imperfections.

“The Electoral Act of 2022 was used in the last election in Osun State and even, before INEC declared results, we all knew what was coming out.

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“INEC was only giving imprimatur of authority by declaring results, respective political parties already knew the outcomes of the exercise.

“So, this sensitisation is good and coming at the right time; it will make members of the public to be aware of what they are expecting to come across in the 2023 general elections.

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“Gone are the days of ballot box snatching, which is quite significant.

“Sanity is being introduced now, because parties must work hard to make sure their candidates win election as there is no more magic,” Makinde said.

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According to the governor, as you get accredited, you vote and your votes will count and that is the hallmark of electoral transparency.

“So, we thank the Senate for making this significant amendment.

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“Sensitisation is not just about this committee, as I believe INEC will take it upon itself a little more than what the Senate Committee is doing.

“This is because we must have a template across the nation to give the impression that it will no longer be possible to rig elections,” he said.(NAN)

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Fire service recovers two corpses, car as heavy downpour wrecks havoc in Ilorin

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By Gloria Ikibah

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The Kwara Fire Service has said that it recovered two dead bodies after a vehicle plunged into a river at Akerebiata area in Ilorin.

Head of Media and Publicity of the service, Hassan Adekunle, in a statement on Saturday in Ilorin, said that the corpses and a Toyota Yaris car with registration number: APP544E, was recovered from a river opposite Olusola Saraki Abattoir in Ilorin.

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“Rumour had it that the incident occurred during the Friday night downpour when the casualties were struggling to drive through the bridge and suddenly got stuck by the flood which pushed them into the river.

“In truth, the rescued work was like a joint operation. Because all the people in the neighbourhood gave their full support to the firemen throughout the operation”, Adekunle said.

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He, therefore, advised the general public to always avoid driving whenever there is a heavy downpour.

He added that the identities of the victims were yet to be known at the time of filling this report.

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Naijablitznews.com reports that the heavy rain, which lasted for several hours on Friday, wrecked havoc in several parts of llorin metropolis.

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Governor Bello Urges President Buhari To Declare Kogi “State Of National Disaster”

Yahaya, bello, traditional, APC
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By Gloria Ikibah

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Following the ravaging effect of flood in Kogi state and its environs, Governor of Kogi state, Yahaya Bello, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to declare Kogi a ”State of National Disaster,”.

Governor Bello who made the appeal in his Independence Day address in Lokoja, said that a lasting solution must be proffered to the yearly menace.

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Bello said that such an emergency declaration would help to unlock the nation’s latent capabilities to respond more aggressively with more men, money and materials to the harrowing situation.

“The President may wish to recall that he made such a declaration in response to the 2018 flooding – and the floods this year are projected to be much worse than anything we saw in 2018.

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“Thus, while thanking His Excellency for what the Federal agencies are already doing, I implore him to give us the help our people so desperately need at this time,” Bello said.

He asserted that the natural disaster had affected the nine local government areas of the state which were along the Rivers Niger and Benue, namely, Lokoja, Kogi-Koto, Ajaokuta, Ofu, Igalamela-Odolu, Bassa, Idah, Ibaji and Omala.

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He also noted that Ibaji LGA was almost 100 per cent under water, while the rest ranged from 30 per cent up and other inland LGAs also had some degree of flooding from smaller rivers and tributaries.

While he acknowledged that the state had a serious and humanitarian tragedy to attend to, the governor assured every person, family and community who had been affected that they were not alone and that help was around the corner.

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He stated that even before the flood, his government had activated its early response systems to make sure that succour reached those affected in a timely manner.

He narrated that flooding in Kogi happened annually which unfortunately the people had gotten used to the ritual of devastation followed by inadequate palliatives, if any.

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“As a leader, it is clear to me that I must make an attempt to break this vicious cycle, if not for all, then for as many victims as I can and I am making proposals for permanent solutions,” Bello added.

He reeled out the numerous efforts which have yielded varying degrees of success, he revealed that the most common sense and humane option left now is to clear human habitations and businesses from the banks of the Rivers Niger and Benue where possible.

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He added that his government would embark on clearing the lowlands along the entire flood-plains in the flood endemic LGAs which would allow the rivers unimpeded flow during their annual flooding.

“In Lokoja, road shoulders along the banks of the River Niger from the entrance of the city in Natako will be widened to establish a sufficient buffer zone between the city and the river.

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“Ganaja junction to Ganaja Village road has also been recently re-awarded to a more efficient contractor and we will see to it that when work commences, efforts will be made to raise the road above the water levels mentioned,” he said.

The governor also noted that lowland communities affected by the planned clearance would be relocated to higher grounds and structures which fall into the designated work areas would have to make way.

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Bello, however, assured that the government would ensure proper resettlement and rehabilitation of those who would be affected.

He added that despite the huge burdens it would place of the already strained government’s resources would be money well-spent if it brought peace of mind to the people.

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He, however, noted that although such decision would have its own effects, but anything was preferable to the annual loss of lives and livelihood while assuring that his administration would continue to work for the wellbeing of the people and posterity in the state.

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Buhari regime, Borno govt taking care of 80,000 repentant Boko Haram terrorists – Army

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The Nigerian Army says that the regime of President Muhammadu Buhari was partnering with the Borno State government to care for about 80,000 repentant Boko Haram terrorists.

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Chris Musa, Theatre Commander, Operation Hadin Kai, said the number of surrendered Boko Haram terrorists has hit “80,000,” while explaining that the military was working with the Borno government to care for the surrendered terrorists.

“The military, Operation Hadin kai working together with the state government. On the point of impact, when the terrorists come out they report to the closest unit and the commander takes him and his men and they are profiled and disarmed,” Mr Musa said in an interview with Channels TV on Saturday.

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He added: “The state government provides transportation that takes them into Maiduguri where we have three camps. The fourth camp is being constructed.

We are not directly involved in their administration and management. The state government takes care of them. We simply take care of perimeter security to ensure nobody comes in or goes out.”

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Boko Haram terrorists have killed about 350,000 people in the North-East, since they took up arms against the Nigerian state in 2009, according to a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) report.

The regime of President Buhari first established the “Operation Safe Corridor” in 2016, with the mandate to deradicalise and rehabilitate repentant Boko Haram fighters; an idea greatly criticised by the Nigerian public.

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Recently, the terrorist group raided Kuje Prison, freeing its members into the nation’s capital and raising questions on why the government is rehabilitating terrorists while their members continue to fight the Nigerian state.

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