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INEC To Present Certificate Of Return To Soludo Today

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…As IBB Congratulates Ex-CBN Gov

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed Friday 12, 2021 for the presentation of the Certificate of Return (CoR ) to the winner of the Anambra State governorship election and candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Prof Charles Chukwuma Soludo and his deputy.

The event scheduled for the Commission’s State Office in Awka is in keeping with Section 75 of the Electoral Act as amended.

The commission after its meeting on Thursday also gave an initial PassMark to the conduct of the Anambra State Governorship Election following a preliminary review of the process yesterday in Abuja.

While awaiting the report of various officials deployed to Anambra the commission said the initial review of the functionality of the systems, with specific reference to the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), was satisfactory despite the glitches observed on Election day.

“The ( BVAS) system performed two functions on election day. First is the accreditation of voters using both fingerprint and facial authentication. Secondly, it snaps the polling unit level result sheets and uploads them in real-time to the INEC Result Viewing (IReV) portal.

” This aspect of the BVAS functionality performed optimally such that by the early hours of Sunday morning, results from 4,987 (88.5%) out of 5,634 polling units had been uploaded for public view.

” While still in the field, our ICT team responded to the identified glitches in the accreditation of voters and corrected them. Consequently, in the Ihiala supplementary election, there were no reported incidents of BVAS malfunction”, a statement signed by Barr Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee said.

He said the Commission will still carry out an in-depth review of the BVAS and subject it to further field tests, insisting that a robust deployment of technology remains the panacea to the quest for a credible poll.

INEC used the occasion to express profound gratitude to Stakeholders and security agencies for the peaceful conduct of the poll despite Initial fears, noting that the Anambra Poll was held under trying circumstances

“The 2021 Anambra State Governorship election was conducted under the most challenging circumstances. Never before did the Commission have to grapple with numerous issues ahead of an off-season Governorship election, including attacks on our facilities, withdrawals of critical service providers such as the ad hoc staff and transporters on the eve of the election and the general tension pervading the atmosphere.

“Happily, the election passed off peacefully. The Commission expresses its gratitude to the security agencies, election duty officials, political parties and candidates, the National Peace Committee under the leadership of our former Head of State, His Excellency, General Abdulsalami Abubakar GCFR, religious and community leaders, socio-cultural associations, civil society organisations and the media for the enormous sacrifice and support in ensuring that the election was conducted and peacefully concluded.

Meanwhile, former Military President, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB) has congratulated the governor-elect of Anambra State, Professor Charles Soludo, saying that he is excited that the people of the state disappointed all the bookmakers by making sure that the election was free, fair and credible in spite of tempers and a palpable fear of a violent election that enveloped the state prior to the polls.

In a statement he personally signed and made available to journalists on Thursday, Babangida urged the past Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as a personality who fully understands the nexus between promise and performance, just as a matter of urgency jumpstart the process of collating ideas on how to confront the developmental challenges facing Anambra state.

The former military president who described Soludo as his dear friend said that the journey has just begun, adding that what became most gratifying for him is that the deserved winner has extended his hand of fellowship to his fellow contestants as part of moves to create the right atmosphere for a robust leadership engagement for Anambra state.

The statement reads “The contest was keen, the campaigns were tense and tough, the outcome has proven once again that if anyone desires gold, he must dig deeper into the mould. After all the tempers and palpable fear of a violent election, I am excited that Anambra people disappointed all bookmakers by making sure that the election turned out free, fair and credible”. 

“What is most gratifying for me is that the deserved winner Professor Charles Soludo has extended his hand of fellowship to his fellow contestants to create the right atmosphere for a robust leadership engagement for Anambra state. That is the way to go in contemporary leadership contestation in a democracy to champion inclusive leadership that caters for all.

“The “battle” and contestations are over, this is the time to forge ahead in the light of so many challenges that deserve urgent attention”. 

“Let me congratulate Professor Charles Soludo on his victory after such a hard-fought political “battle”, travelling around all the 21 Local Governments to solicit for votes. Aside from being such a brilliant mind, his understanding of the intricate logic of the Nigerian federation, having served various capacities, would help broaden his horizon as he contends with the leadership of governing the good people of Anambra state”. 

“As a man who understands the nexus between promise and performance, he must immediately jumpstart the process of collating ideas on how to confront the developmental challenges facing Anambra state.

“He must reach out to great minds cut across the state to stimulate the right ideas and attract capable hands that would help him to actualize his manifesto. Victory is one, being able to achieve the purpose of governance is another. I wish him well”. 

“Going by our present political crises across the country particularly in the South-East, the fact that election held in Anambra despite initial fears is an eloquent statement that we all desire to live together as one indivisible country.

What is required in my humble view is how to utilize our potentials and talents to drive the national narrative through consensus building, cohesion and homogeneity of purpose. I am sure we can make a deeper meaning from the outcome of the Anambra election through dialogue and constructive engagement to move the country forward.

“I have no doubt in my mind that Professor Soludo would join that national narrative to deepen our democracy to endure the test of time. I look forward to seeing the positive impacts that he would assuredly bring to bear in Anambra state leadership in particular, and Nigeria in general”. 

“Congratulations to you, my dear friend, Professor Soludo. The journey has just begun”.

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Win AFCON 2021 Trophy, Get N102m, Otedola Promises Super Eagles

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Billionaire businessman Femi Otedola has promised the Super Eagles the equivalent of $250,000 in naira (N102,895,000) if they win the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

The Eagles will also receive N49,389,600 ($120,000) for the six goals they scored in the group stage of the ongoing continental showpiece, thanks to the Coalition Against COVID-19.

CACOVID, a private sector-led platform established to assist the government in combating Coronavirus in the country, praised the team for their performance at the AFCON and promised to reward the squad with the naira equivalent of $20,000 for each goal scored in the group stage.

The Eagles finished the group stage with six goals, which amounted to $120,000.

According to Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, who represented CACOVID during a visit to the team’s camp in Cameroon, their impressive group stage performance convinced CACOVID to increase the amount for every goal scored to $50,000 in the round of 16.

“I came with a message from the CACOVID. The CACOVID is the coalition of private-sector companies that was set up to fight COVID-19 in Nigeria and they have been happy with the performance of the team,” Emefiele said in a video posted by the Eagles media department on Thursday.

“During the meeting I had with the captain (Ahmed Musa) and the coach (Austin Eguavoen), I delivered a message from CACOVID and the message is that, for every goal that is scored, the team will receive the naira equivalent of $20,000 so far, you have earned for yourself the naira equivalent of $120,000.

“We held a CACOVID meeting again because everyone is overjoyed for everything you’ve done so far, CACOVID has asked me to raise the ante.

“From the round of 16, for every goal scored, you will earn for yourselves as a team the naira equivalent of $50,000.

“Also, Femi Otedola, who is a member of CACOVID, has asked me to tell you that if you lift the trophy, he has in the bank for you, the naira equivalent of $250,000. This is just the beginning and I can assure you that if you win your round of 16 games, another promise might be made,” Emefiele added.

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“I Have Never Been Sexually Harassed”, Actress, Caroline Igben Opens Up

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…Says She Has Never Been Sexually Harassed

Budding actress and content creator, Caroline Igben who featured in numerous skits has averred that she hasn’t been sexually harassed in Nollywood.

Speaking in a chat with Pulse Tv, the beautiful role interpreter said: “I have not been sexually harassed. If you are to count offers of being ask to go for lunch or dinner after an audition, I have gotten such offers”.

Recounting her experience in Nollywood, the theatre arts graduate said she thought being beautiful and talented would get her roles in Nollywood. Igben added that Nollywood humbled her.

“I studied theatre arts and I thought coming out would be easy for me .I said to myself ‘I am fine, talented and sound okay’ But then it was such a reality check when I got in and I realized there are too many people with all these qualities. The industry has humbled me.I am humbled that is all I can say”.

Sharing her thoughts on colorism in Nollywood, she said: “I don’t think colorism is a reason for anyone not to get jobs.Directors have particular skin colours they want for specific roles.It may be a dark skinned or light skinned person”.

On her plans for the future, the actress who hails from Delta State said: “I hope to have grown significantly in the next five years”.

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No Decision Yet On Petrol Subsidy, Says Obaseki

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The National Economic Council in Nigeria says deliberations on the issue of subsidy on premium motor spirit are ongoing and that no decision has been taken on it.

Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, Southern Nigeria, stated this while briefing State House correspondents on Thursday after the meeting of the Council presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

Obaseki says the NEC ad-hoc committee headed by Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, North West Nigeria, has been working on the issue, but insisted that the Council has not taken a decision yet.

“The issue of subsidy has been one matter that NEC has deliberated on for more than a year now.

“There was an ad-hoc committee which was set up by NEC, headed by Gov. El-Rufai that included members of the executive arm of government that worked on recommendations as to what we should do about the cost of PMS locally because as has been told us the cost of pms in Nigeria today is about N162 for a litre whereas every other country surrounding Nigeria is selling the product at more than 100% of the cost in Nigeria.”

According to Obaseki, the huge amount Nigeria spends on subsidy could have been put on the provision of amenities in the country.

“The country as at last year spent in excess of—we must have the exact figures—but we must have spent almost N2trillion subsidizing petroleum products.

“That is money that could have gone into building roads; money that could have gone into healthcare and education.

“So, for NEC, the argument has been put out: should we continue this regime of spending money that we do not have to subsidize the living standard of mostly those who have vehicles.

“When NEC looked at some of the analysis last year, we then realized that less than 1/3 of the states in this country consume 2/3 of the subsidy.

“So the issue of equity also came up. All of these findings were presented to the NEC and NEC has had deliberations on still ongoing.

“So, NEC has not come up with any decision yet and I think has also been made to the president.”

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