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Reject Lauretta Onochie now: Northern youths tell Lawan

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The Northern Youths Council of Nigeria, NYCN, has called on the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan to reject the appointment of Lauretta Onochie as a nominee for INEC Commissioner.

The group in a statement on Thursday asked the senate president to put Nigeria first for once and reject the nomination of the Senior Special Assistant on New Media to President Muhammadu Buhari.

The President and spokesman of the group, Abubakar Isah and Mock Samuel Kure, who signed the statement said they received the referral of the name of Lauretta Onochie as nominee for INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner representing Delta State with rude shock.

The group observed that she had no business serving as INEC Commissioner.

“She is not the only competent person in Delta State that must be forced on the throat of Nigerians. If Mr. President cannot do without her, he is free to appoint her into any MDAs of his choice,” the statement stressed.

Lawan had on Wednesday directed the Senate Committee on INEC to commence screening of Onochie following her appointment as INEC resident electoral commissioner to represent Delta State in October 2020.

Although Onochie was appointed alongside three other nominees, her appointment generated outrage, with some Nigerians describing it as unconstitutional.

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El-Rufai Sacks 99 Political Appointees

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Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai has approved the disengagement of 99 political appointees.

The governor made revealed this at a media chat with journalists in Kaduna on Thursday night, explaining that the disengaged political appointees constitute 30% of political officeholders.

He said his government would reduce the size of civil servants in the state but maintained that government appointees will go first.

“So far, 99 political appointees have lost their jobs but we have not commenced rightsizing civil servants,” the governor said.

“We want to be fair with regards to civil servants. We had earlier promised that before we reduce the size of the civil service, we will start with political appointees and we have done that.”

The governor who spoke in Hausa during the interview said that rightsizing of civil servants will still go on as planned because of dwindling revenues accruing to the state.

The governor said that his government has employed 11,000 more workers in the health sector, Kaduna State University as well as primary and secondary school teachers across the state.

He also disclosed that it is a fallacy to allege that the salaries of political appointees account for the bloated personnel cost of Kaduna State Government.

“In March 2021, the salaries of these political appointees amounted to N259 million, while civil servants were paid N3.13 billion, aside from costs related to state contributions to pension, accrued rights and other personnel costs. So, it is false to insinuate that political appointees are the ones that guzzle most of the state’s resources,’’ he said.

Justifying the rightsizing of the public service, he said that all states and the federal government are affected by this shortfall of revenue and some states have even reverted to paying the old monthly minimum wage of N18,000.

‘’Kaduna State cannot continue to use 84% to 96% of our revenues to pay salaries of less than 1% of the population. The rest of our people, all 99% of them, need better schools, hospitals, water supply, roads, markets and support for agriculture to make a living outside government,’’ he said.

The governor however promised that Kaduna state will not reverse the N30,000 minimum wage that it has started paying.

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INEC Begins Online Voter Registration On June 28

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Friday said it would begin the online voter registration, via its registration portal, on June 28.

The INEC National Commissioner, Mr Festus Okoye, announced this at a news briefing on the preparations for the Gwaram bye-election in Dutse.

“The INEC Voter Registration Portal will be deployed to enable people register online and thereafter go to their respective state or local government office of the commission to capture their biometrics and facials.

“Those that want to transfer their registration from one place to another can also make use of the online portal.

“Those that have prior issues of accreditation and with damaged or defaced PVC’s can also use the online portal to rectify the challenge,’’ the commissioner explained.

Okoye also said that the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, would announce the time for the commencement of the physical registration at the end of the consultation with critical stakeholders.

He, therefore, appealed to all critical stakeholders to rave up their voter education initiatives.

He also called on civil society groups and the media to assist in educating Nigerians on the import of online voter registration.

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I’m Saddened By T.B. Joshua’s Death – President Weah

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Liberian President, George Weah says he is saddened by the death of founder of Synagogue Church of All Nations, SCOAN, Prophet T.B. Joshua.

Weah said Joshua greatly impacted in his life.

The President said the Clergyman had impacted so many lives, including his, before Joshua’s passing on Saturday, June 5, 2021 at the age of 57.

Weah had come to value the spiritual guidance of the Televangelist ever since the 2017 visit and worship service he had with SCOAN’s congregation.

At the time, TB Joshua called President Weah his “brother”, whom he said was “here today because he loves his country and wants God’s choice for his country… he is not here to impose himself”.

He had also offered prayers for the Liberian nation and people.

The President conveys his condolences to TB Joshua’s family, the Nigerian people, the church and all those around the world impacted by his loss.

He urged them to take solace in the Lord.

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