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Covid-19: I’m Afraid For Core Northern States- Melaye

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By Augustine Akhilomen

Senator Dino Melaye has appealed to the Governors of the states in the Northern region of Nigeria to be more proactive in the fight against coronavirus.

He made this clarion call via his official twitter handle on Saturday, in the wake of the sudden rise of covid-19 cases across the country.

Melaye called on the governors to adhere to the guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in order to curb the spread of the virus.

“I’m afraid for the core Northern States. I appeal to the Governors to be more proactive and enforce all conditions stated by WHO and NCDC.

“COVID-19 is real, and it is a world leveler. It has no respect for status, religion or wealth. Please let’s not politicize with public health,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) announced that another 114 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the last 24 hours, bringing to 1095 the number of confirmed cases in the country as of Friday night.

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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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Pandora Leak: I Am Yet To Receive Invitation From EFCC, Says Peter Obi

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A former governor of Anambra State, Mr Peter Obi, on Monday, said he has not received any invitation from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC in connection with the Pandora paper leak.

He also denied having reacted to an invitation from the EFCC to him, saying what is being circulated on different social media platforms was not from him.

Obi said he only read letters circulating on the internet, just like everyone else.

The former governor, in a press release by his media Office, Valentine Obienyem, said a reaction which quoted him as requesting the EFCC to make their investigations public, among other remarks did not emanate from him.

He said: “Obi is yet to receive the letter from the EFCC, which he read on social media like others.

“From what is circulating, the letter appears to have been sent to an office he is no longer part of and is yet to reach him.”

The statement assured that Obi, being a law-abiding Nigerian, would honour all legitimate invitations from government agencies at all times.

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