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Buhari To Address UN General Assembly September 24

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President Muhammadu Buhari will address the 76th Session of the high-level General Debate of the United Nations General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York on Tuesday, September 24, the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, has reported.

A provisional list of speakers obtained by NAN from the UN headquarters in New York showed that Buhari would be the second speaker on the fourth day.

The Nigerian leader would deliver his address around 9am (around 2pm Nigerian time) to other world leaders during the morning session.

The President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro would be the first world leader to present his address to the 76th session as it is tradition, followed by the United States of American President Joe Biden, the traditional second speaker, being the host country.

Leaders from more than 80 countries would speak in-persons at the Assembly, while other world leaders would speak through pre-recorded video messages.

At a press briefing, the spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Mr Stephane Dujarric, said strict pandemic rules would be enforced at the Assembly for the 2021 session.

Dujarric said the enforcement would include mandatory mask-wearing for all participants, required vaccinations for headquarters staff and severely limited access to its 16-acre complex.

The UN is aiming for at least a partial restoration of the person-to-person diplomacy that its leaders regard as critical for the organisation’s ability to function.

The 2021 high-level meeting is in contrast to the 2020, when the General Assembly was conducted in a virtual format through pre-recorded video messages only.

The year 2020 General Assembly was the first time in the 75 years of the UN existence that the annual high-level meetings were conducted virtually.

Nigeria’s Tijjani Muhammad-Bande presided as the President of the Assembly throughout the lockdown and was praised for devising novel means for the Assembly to conduct its affairs through virtual means during the pandemic.

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Sokoto massacre: Attack Callous, Painful, Regrettable, Obaseki Fumes

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tTe Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, on Tuesday reacted to the attack on Goronyo Market, in Goronyo Local Government Area of Sokoto State by bandits which led to the death of about 43 villagers.

Obaseki, in a statement issued by Crusoe Osagie, the Special Adviser to the Edo State Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, commiserated with the people and government of Sokoto State, over the dastardly attack on Goronyo Market by bandits.

He also charged security agencies to intensify efforts in reining in the marauding bandits so as to prevent another re-occurrence.

The governor who described the incident as callous, painful and regrettable, prayed for the repose of the souls of the victims of the attack.

According to him, “We are deeply saddened by the terror attack in Goronyo Market, Sokoto State, which has thrown the entire country into mourning. Our hearts are with Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and the people of the state, as they go through this difficult phase.

“We join all meaning Nigerians in calling on the security agencies to intensify efforts in reining in the marauding bandits so as to prevent this painful loss of our citizens to banditry and terrorism.

“On behalf of the government and good people of Edo State, I commiserate with the people of Sokoto State and the Governor over this painful incident.”

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2023 Presidency: Akpabio Decries Distraction From Channels TV, Others

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Ex-Governor of Akwa Ibom State now Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio has urged Channels Television against distracting him from the task of helping President Muhammadu Buhari achieve his set goals for the Niger Delta people.

The minister, who knocked the broadcaster for listing him among those seeking to succeed Buhari in 2023, faulted the use of his photograph on the Television station’s political programme for the same purpose.

Recall that in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Jackson Udom, the Minister kicked that the nation’s media were not respecting his request not to be associated with ambition for the 2023 presidency.

The former Senate Minority Whip categorically requested: “that he be allowed to focus on the national assignment of assisting President Mohammadu Buhari to achieve his set goals for the people of Niger Delta Region.”

The statement read in part, “On Sunday, 17th October 2021, Channels Television’s political discussion and interview programme – Politics Today, anchored by Mr Seun Okinbaloye, listed the name of the Hon. Minister and went ahead to use his photograph as one of those purportedly eyeing the presidential seat in 2023.

“As a politician and a serving Minister of the Federal Republic, who understands the distractions such unsolicited action(s) could cause in the polity, the Hon Minister, has, therefore, for the umpteenth time, called on groups, individuals and media houses, either Newspapers, Television, Radio or Online discussion platforms, to forthwith, stop associating his name and picture whenever 2023 Presidential discussions are being held.”

Udom asserted that the Minister has neither consulted any individual or groups nor declared interest in contesting for the rumoured post in the upcoming election.

According to him, “What is topmost in the heart of the Hon. Minister is how to assist President Mohammadu Buhari to leave a lasting legacy in the Niger Delta Region and to reposition the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to deliver on its mandate.”

The statement, therefore, warned other media houses and 2023 presidential election campaigners against the use of Akpabio’s “name and photographs as one of the purported presidential aspirants in 2023, in any of their discussion platforms.”

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NASS Must Listen To INEC On Electoral Bill, Says Jega

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Attahiru Jega, former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), says the national assembly must consider the recommendations of the agency to avoid ambiguity in the electoral act.
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His statement comes weeks after Festus Okoye, national commissioner of INEC, said there is a provision in clause 63 that contradicts the provision for electronic transmission of result in clause 52 of the electoral act.

He had appealed to the harmonisation committees and the national assembly to amend the ambiguous clauses so as not to be used by politicians with selfish agendas to exploit legal loopholes for their own electoral advantages.

Speaking on the issue on Sunrise Daily, a Channels Television programme, on Tuesday, Jega said there is a need to harmonise the provisions of the act so as to avoid ambiguity and contradictions in electoral operations.

He asked the harmonisation committees in the bicameral assembly to give “serious consideration” to the recommendations of INEC.

The former INEC chief said any provision of the law that contradicts the use of electronic transmission of results for the 2023 elections must be amended.

“If the national assembly can generally continue to be receptive to genuine concern of citizens in the manner in which they do their legislation, this country would be better for it,” he said.

“There is a need to harmonise provision of the electoral act so that one provision does not contradict another and so that at the end of it those that want to cause mischief will not exploit the ambiguity and contradictory provisions in the law.

“It behooves the two committees of the house and senate that are sitting to harmonise the provisions of the bill to also give serious consideration to suggestions made by INEC.

“It is a value addition that can continue to improve the operations and conduct of elections in our country.

“There is no doubt that we have to go in the direction of electronic transmission of results and where there is any provision that can affect or negate or constrain that effort to transmit results electronically, those provisions need to be carefully looked at and then necessary amendments also exerted.
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“The national assembly needs to pay attention to the very important issue that has been raised.

“The harmonisation committee of the national assembly should do the needful in addressing these provisions of the electoral bill that are being raised by INEC.

“In creating a legal framework for the operations of election, it is important that the national assembly listens to the recommendation of INEC.”

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