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2019 Elections: NOA predicts possible electoral violence in 5 states

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The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has expressed concerns over possible electoral violence in Enugu, Rivers, Imo, Ogun and Plateau states in the upcoming polls.

Dr Garba Abari, the Director General of the agency, disclosed this at the launching of the nationwide sensitisation to peaceful election on Monday in Abuja.

Abari said that reports from its field officers across the country indicated possible flashpoints in states like Enugu, Rivers, Imo, Ogun and plateau states.

He stated that election periods were often characterised by great anxiety usually heightened by reckless utterances and action of some politicians.

Abari said as patriots and lovers of the country, the citizenry must realise that, they had no other country but Nigeria.

“We have a duty to promote peace, enhance security, national unity and integration, using our diversity and our fault lines as a source of strength rather than a reason to commit violence.

According to him, we are all witnesses to the fact that some of our previous elections have been characterised by all manners of violence.

He called for a reversal of such menace, stressing that such must be addressed in the face of instances of pre-election violence that had been witnessed in places like Lagos, Wukari, and Taraba state.

The D-G said “our youths who are easily used by unscrupulous politicians as cannon folder for the perpetration of violence must be called to order.

According to him, this responsibility is on parents, guardians, religious leaders, opinion moulders, traditional rulers and youth leaders across the country as we draw near to the commencement of the general election.

He reiterated the commitment of the agency to national unity, brotherly love, tolerance of differing opinions and religion.

Abari said that the agency was aware that the 2019 general elections could have significant consequences for the Democratic trajectory of Nigeria, West Africa and the entire Africa continent.

NAN

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Buhari wins at election tribunal

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The Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) has dismissed the petition by the Hope Democratic Party (HDP) and its candidate, Ambrose Owuru against the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari in the last presidential election.

President Muhammadu Buhari

In a ruling on Thursday, a five-man penal of the court upheld the preliminary objection filed by Buhari (listed as the first respondent) against the competence of the petition.
The court held that not only did it lacked jurisdiction to hear the petition, because it talked about a referendum, but the prayers in the petition are also similar to what the petitioners sought in their pending cases before the Federal High Court on the same issues.

Justice Mohammed Garba, who is reading the lead judgment, held that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the petition and that it constitutes an abuse of court process.

He proceeded to dismiss it, a position other members of the panel agreed with.
The petitioners had sought to be pronounced the winners of the election on the grounds that they won a referendum, which they claimed was conducted when the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) postponed the conduct of the presidential election.

The court, in another ruling, also refused the preliminary objection filed by the 2nd respondent, INEC) against the competence of the petition.

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I’ve no knowledge of Interior Ministry – Aregbesola

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The new Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola on Wednesday said he has no knowledge of how the ministry operates.

Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola

He disclosed this when he visited the ministry shortly after he was inaugurated and assigned portfolio alongside other ministers by President Muhammadu Buhari. While speaking at the ministry, Aregbesola said apart from stories about the ministry on the pages of the newspapers, he had no idea of its policies and operations.

“My relationship with the ministry is distant. What I know about the ministry is what I read in the newspapers,” he acknowledged.

Aregbesola instructed Barr. Georgina Ehuriah, the Permanent Secretary, who had been in charge since the dissolution of the last cabinet, to continue running the ministry until Monday when he will formally take over.

“I will come to take over on Monday. I give the Permanent Secretary the grace to run the ministry till then. We will be ready by Monday to take on the huge assignment,” the former Osun State governor said.

Meanwhile, he has assured staff of the ministry and personnel of all paramilitary agencies under its purview of purposeful leadership.

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North condemns protest against Buhari

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A Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) Wednesday in Kaduna insisted that the north would not participate in the #RevolutionNow protest against the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Reacting to the statement credited to the Joint Northern Action Front (JONAF), which on Sunday disclosed that plans were already in place for the north to join the Omoyele Sowole-led protest, CNG said the north could not participate in such a protest aimed at “overthrowing the current democratic government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
JONAF, in a statement, had said it was set to join the protest and plans were underway to mobilize its members in at least four northern states this week to join other progressives who are protesting against the All Progressives Congress (APC) and President Muhammadu Buhari’s inability to tackle the socio-economic impasse in the country, especially the insecurity.

But addressing newsmen Wednesday at Arewa House in Kaduna, CNG spokesman, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, insisted that the north would not join the protest.

“The #RevolutionNow was politely rejected by the people in the north in view of its pronounced sinister intention of forcefully overthrowing the current democratic government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“It is therefore surprising and suspicious that any group of people should, for any intent and purpose, attempt to resurrect the dead revolution particularly in the north,” Abdul-Azeez said.

The spokesman also alleged that a northern governor was behind the protest in the north, adding that they might be forced to expose him.

Abdul-Azeez added: “We wish to remind the north of the expedience to retain its position as the bulwark of respect, integrity, dignity, decorum, tradition, decency, morality, civilization, etiquette, good behavior, politeness, accommodation, and other positive traits that include a civil approach to every situation.

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Afenifere, Ohanaeze carpet Buhari over new cabinet

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Afenifere and its Igbo counterpart, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, have condemned the allocation of ministries by President Muhammadu Buhari, with all nine ministers from the North-west receiving senior positions.

Afenifere’s Yinka Odumakin

Among the six geopolitical zones in the country, the North-west, which consists of Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara states, has the highest number of ministers, all of which received senior portfolios.
The president hails from Katsina State in North-west.

The nine cabinet members from the North-west include Suleiman Adamu (Jigawa State), who was appointed Minister of Water Resources; Zainab Ahmed (Kaduna State), Minister of Finance; Muhammad Mahmood (Kaduna State), Minister of Environment; and Sabo Nanono (Kano State), Minister of Agriculture and Development.

Others are Major General Bashir Salihi Magashi (Kano State), Minister of Defence; Hadi Sirika (Katsina State), Minister of Aviation; Abubakar Malami (Kebbi State), Minister of Justice; Maigarai Dingyadi (Sokoto State), Minister of Police Affairs; and Sadiya Umar Faruk (Zamfara State), Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.

The National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Mr Yinka Odumakin, Wednesday described the appointment of the ministers as an act of “sectionalism on the part of the President.”

He said the appointment confirmed the position of critics who accused Buhari of nepotism.

“That is the next level of sectionalism in your face and incorrigibility.

“There have been complaints about all these things since the first term.

“Now, it has been done in a super way. So, that is the next level. Welcome to the next level,” he explained.

Also speaking on the issue, the National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze, Uche Achi-Okpoga noted that Buhari had repeatedly promised to give the North-West preference in his cabinet.

“It is not a surprise. We were not expecting anything less. We have a President that does not mince words.

“He stated it in his first tenure that he would not sacrifice those who gave him 97 per cent votes to those who gave him maybe five per cent. So, why should we be surprised that he gave juicy and senior positions to his kinsmen?

“He has demonstrated it in his body language, speeches, action and everything.

“He also said we should not expect him to change.

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