FULL TEXT: President Buhari’s Independence Day Speech

Today – 1st October is a day of celebration for us Nigerians. On this day, 56 years ago our people achieved the most important of all human desires – freedom and independence. We should all therefore give thanks and pray for our founding fathers without whose efforts and toil we would not reap the bounties of today.

2. I know that uppermost in your minds today is the economic crisis. The recession for many individuals and families is real. For some It means not being able to pay school fees, for others it’s not being able to afford the high cost of food (rice and millet) or the high cost of local or international travel, and for many of our young people the recession means joblessness, sometimes after graduating from university or polytechnic.

3. I know how difficult things are, and how rough business is. All my adult life I have always earned a salary and I know what it is like when your salary simply is not enough. In every part of our nation people are making incredible sacrifices.

4. But let me say to all Nigerians today, I ran for office four times to make the point that we can rule this nation with honesty and transparency, that we can stop the stealing of Nigeria’s resources so that the resources could be used to provide jobs for our young people, security, infrastructure for commerce, education and healthcare.

5. I ran for office because I know that good government is the only way to ensure prosperity and abundance for all. I remain resolutely committed to this objective.

6. I believe that this recession will not last.

7. Temporary problems should not blind or divert us from the corrective course this government has charted for our nation. We have identified the country’s salient problems and we are working hard at lasting solutions.

8. To re-cap what I have been saying since the inception of this administration, our problems are security, corruption and the economy, especially unemployment and the alarming level of poverty.

9. On Security, we have made progress. Boko Haram was defeated by last December – only resorting to cowardly attacks on soft targets, killing innocent men, women and children.

10. Nigerians should thank our gallant men of the Armed Forces and Police for rescuing large areas of the country captured by insurgents. Now, residents in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States, as well as several neighbouring states go about their daily business in relative safety. People can go to mosques, churches, market places in reasonable safety.

11. Commuters can travel between cities, towns and villages without fear. Credit for this remarkable turn-round should go to our Armed Forces, the Police, various sponsored and private vigilante groups, the local traditional leaders. Security is a top to bottom concern and responsibility.

12. Besides Boko Haram, we are confronting other long-running security issues, namely herdsmen vs farmers, cattle rustling, kidnappings. This Administration is firmly resolved to tackle these challenges and to defeat them.

13. A new insurgency has reared up its head in the shape of blowing up gas and oil pipelines by groups of Niger Delta Militants. This Administration will not allow these mindless groups to hold the country to ransom.

14. What sense is there to damage a gas line as a result of which many towns in the country including their own town or village is put in darkness as a result? What logic is there in blowing up an export pipeline and as a result income to your state and local governments and consequently their ability to provide services to your own people is reduced?

15. No group can unlawfully challenge the authority of the Federal Government and succeed. Our Administration is fully sympathetic to the plight of the good people of Niger Delta and we are in touch with the State Governments and leaderships of the region. It is known that the clean-up of the Ogoniland has started. Infrastructural projects financed by the Federal Government and post amnesty programme financing will continue.

16. We have however, continued to dialogue with all groups and leaders of thought in the region to bring lasting peace.

17. Corruption is a cancer which must be fought with all the weapons at our disposal. It corrodes the very fabric of government and destroys society. Fighting corruption is Key, not only to restoring the moral health of the nation, but also to freeing our enormous resources for urgent socio-economic development.

18. In fighting corruption, however, the government would adhere strictly by the rule of law. Not for the first time I am appealing to the judiciary to join the fight against corruption.

19. The Third Plank in this Administration’s drive to CHANGE Nigeria is re-structuring the economy. Economies behaviour is cyclical. All countries face ups and downs. Our own recession has been brought about by a critical shortage of foreign exchange. Oil price dropped from an average of hundred USD per barrel over the last decade to an average of forty USD per barrel this year and last.

20. Worse still, the damage perpetrated by Niger Delta thugs on pipelines sometimes reduced Nigeria’s production to below One million barrels per day against the normal two point two million barrels per day. Consequently, the naira is at its weakest, but the situation will stabilize.

21. But this is only temporary. Historically about half our dollar export earnings go to importation of petroleum and food products! Nothing was saved for the rainy days during the periods of prosperity. We are now reaping the whirlwinds of corruption, recklessness and impunity.

22. There are no easy solutions, but there are solutions nonetheless and Government is pursuing them in earnest. We are to repair our four refineries so that Nigeria can produce most of our petrol requirements locally, pending the coming on stream of new refineries. That way we will save ten billion USD yearly in importing fuel.

23. At the same time, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and the Central Bank have been mobilized to encourage local production of rice, maize, sorghum, millet and soya beans. Our target is to achieve domestic self-sufficiency in these staples by 2018.

24. Already farmers in thirteen out of thirty six states are receiving credit support through the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Anchor Borrowers Programme. Kebbi state alone this year is expected to produce one million tonnes of locally grown rice, thanks to a favourable harvest this year. As part of the 13 states, Lagos and Ogun are also starting this programme. Rice alone for example costs Nigeria two billion USD to import.

25. The country should be self-sufficient in basic staples by 2019. Foreign exchange thus saved can go to industrial revival requirements for retooling, essential raw materials and spare parts. It is in recognition of the need to re-invigorate agriculture in our rural communities that we are introducing the LIFE programme.

26. Government recognises that irrigation is key to modern agriculture: that is why the Ministries of Agriculture and Water Resources are embarking on a huge programme of development of lakes, earth dams and water harvesting schemes throughout the country to ensure that we are no longer dependent on rain-fed agriculture for our food requirements.

27. In addition, government is introducing Water Resources Bill encompassing the National Water Resources Policy and National Irrigation and Drainage Policy to improve management of water and irrigation development in the country. We are reviving all the twelve River Basin Authorities, namely;

I. Anambra – Imo
II. Benin – Owena
III. Chad Basin
IV. Cross River
V. Hadejia – Jama’are
VI. Lower Benue
VII. Lower Niger
VIII. Niger Delta
IX. Ogun – Osun
X. Sokoto – Rima
XI. Upper Benue
XII. Upper Niger

28. The intention is eventually to fully commercialise them to better support crop production, aqua –culture and accelerated rural development.

29. This Administration is committed to the revival of Lake Chad and improvement of the hydrology and ecology of the basin. This will tune in with efforts to rehabilitate the thirty million people affected by the Boko Haram insurgency in the Lake Chad basin countries.

30. The second plank in our economic revival strategy is centred on the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing. The Ministry will lead and oversee the provision of critical infrastructure of power, road transport network and housing development.

31. Power generation has steadily risen since our Administration came on board from three thousand three hundred and twenty four megawatts in June 2015, rising to a peak of five thousand and seventy four megawatts in February 2016.

32. For the first time in our history the country was producing five thousand megawatts. However, renewed militancy and destruction of gas pipelines caused acute shortage of gas and constant drop in electricity output available on the grid.

33. There has been during the period June 2015 to September 2016 big improvement in transmission capacity from five thousand five hundred megawatts to the present seven thousand three hundred megawatts.

34. There were only two system collapses between June and December 2015, but due to vandalism by Niger Delta militants the over-all system suffered 16 system collapses between March and July 2016 alone. As I have said earlier, we are engaging with responsible leadership in the region to find lasting solutions to genuine grievances of the area but we will not allow a tiny minority of thugs to cripple the country’s economy.

35. In the meantime, government is going ahead with projects utilizing alternate technologies such as hydro, wind, and solar to contribute to our energy mix. In this respect, the Mambilla Hydro project, after many years of delay is taking off this year. Contract negotiations are nearing completion with Chinese firms for technical and financial commitments.

36. The project is to be jointly financed by Nigeria and the Chinese-Export-Import Bank. In addition, fourteen Solar Power Projects have had their power purchase agreements concluded. Hence the plan to produce one thousand two hundred megawatts of solar electricity for the country would be realized on schedule.

37. And in line with the objective of government to complete all abandoned projects across the country, the Rural Electrification Agency’s projects needing completion are provided for in the 2016 Budget. Bringing electricity to rural areas will help farmers, small scale and cottage industries to integrate with the national economy.

38. Roads Construction and Rehabilitation has taken off. The sum of twelve billion naira was allocated to this sector in the 2015 Budget, not enough even to pay interest on outstanding unpaid claims.

39. Notwithstanding the budgetary constraints, the current budget allocated two hundred and forty billion naira for highway projects against twelve billion naira in 2015. Many contractors who have not been paid for three years have now remobilized to sites. Seven hundred and twenty point five billion naira has so far been released this budget year to capital projects.

40. The Ministry of Power, Works and Housing has received one hundred and ninety seven point five billion naira. Work on the following highways has now resumed.

1. Dualization of Calabar – Itu Road in Cross River/Akwa Ibom States.
2. Dualization of Lokoja – Benin Road, Ehor – Benin city, Edo State.
3. Re-construction of outstanding sections of Benin – Shagamu Express way, Edo/Ogun States.
4. Expansion works on Lagos – Ibadan Dual carriageway, Ogun/Oyo States
5. Rehabilitation of Onitsha – Enugu Expressway, Anambra/Enugu States.
6. Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of Enugu – Port Harcourt Dual carriageway, Abia/Rivers States.
7. Rehabilitation of Hadejia – Nguru Road, Jigawa State.
8. Dualization of Kano – Katsina Road, Kano State.
9. Dualization of Kano – Maiduguri Road, Borno State.
10. Dualization of Azare – Potiskum Road, Azare – Sharuri Road, Bauchi State.

11. Rehabilitation of Ilorin – Jebba – Mokwa – Birnin Gwari Road, Kwara State.
12. Construction of Oju/Lokoja – Oweto Bridge over River Benue, Benue State.

41. Other major highways are in the queue for rehabilitation or new construction.

42. Already contractors have recalled about nine thousand workers laid off and Government expects that several hundreds of thousands of workers will be reengaged in the next few months as our public works programme gains momentum.

43. On railways, we have provided our counterpart funding to China for the building of our standard gauge Lagos -Kano railway. Meanwhile, General Electric is investing two point two billion USD in a concession to revamp, provide rolling stock, and manage the existing lines, including the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri Line. The Lagos-Calabar railway will also be on stream soon.

44. We have initiated the National Housing Programme. In 2014 four hundred million naira was voted for Housing. In 2015 nothing. Our first budget this year is devoting thirty five point six billion naira. Much of the house building will be private – sector led but Government is initiating a pilot housing scheme of two thousand eight hundred and thirty eight units uniformly spread across the 36 states and FCT.

45. We expect these units to be completed within 4 – 6 months. These experimental Nigeria House model Units will be constructed using only made in Nigeria building materials and components. This initiative is expected to reactivate the building materials manufacturing sector, generate massive employment opportunities and develop sector capacity and expertise.

46. The programmes I have outlined will revive the economy, restore the value of the naira and drive hunger from our land.

47. Abroad, Nigeria’s standing has changed beyond belief in the last 18 months. We are no longer a pariah state. Wherever I go, I have been received with un-accustomed hospitality. Investors from all over the world are falling over themselves to come and do business in Nigeria. This government intends to make business environment more friendly because we can not develop ourselves alone.

48. All countries, no matter how advanced, welcome foreign investments to their economy. This is the essence of globalization and no country in the 21st century can be an island. Our reforms are therefore designed to prepare Nigeria for the 21st century.

49. Finally, let me commend Nigerians for your patience, steadfastness and perseverance. You know that I am trying to do the right things for our country.

50. Thank you and may God bless our country.

Edo Governorship Election: PDP Candidate Rejects Election Results

Osagie-Ize-IyamuThe candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Osagie Ize-Iyamu has rejected the results announced so far by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC on the just concluded Edo State governorship election.

The PDP candidate alleged inducement of voters and collaboration of INEC and the state government to doctor the results in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He said they decided not to wait for the full result to be called because they were already been informed about what is playing out now.

So far about 17 local government areas have been announced, with the PDP trailing the APC 5 to 12 local governments.

The APC won in Akoko-Edo LGA, Ikpoba-Okha, Etsako West, Etsako East, Etsako Cenral, Owan East LGA, Ovia North LGA, Oredo LGA, Uhunwomnde,  Igueben LGA, Egor LGA, Owan West LGA

While the PDP won in Esan North Central, Esan West LGA, Orhionmwon LGA, Esan South East LGA, Esan North East LGA.

Earlier, some protesters contested the results being announced, alleging that the results are not a reflection of what transpired at the polling units.

Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress (APC), has described the rejection of the state governorship election results by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as quote; an act of a bad loser.

Chairman of the Edo State APC Chapter, the Mr Anselm Ojezua, says the entire process of the election had been nothing but peaceful. he adds that though the announcement of the results is still ongoing, he commends INEC so far.

Mr. Ojezua adds that INEC was efficient in the delivery of materials to ensure that they got to locations on time.

The APC Chairman is also asking the PDP to channel its grievances to the appropriate quarters.

Edo Governorship Election: INEC Announces Results Of 17 Local Government Areas

INEC_AnnouncementThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced governorship election results in 17 out of 18 local government areas of Edo State.

Returning Officers from the local governments took turns to announce the results.

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has so far won in 12 local governments while the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has won in five local government areas.

The APC won in Akoko LGA, Ikpoba-Okha, Etsako West, Etsako East, Etsako Cenral, Owan East LGA, Ovia North LGA, Oredo LGA, Uhunwomnde,  Igueben LGA, Egor LGA, Owan West LGA

While the PDP won in Esan North Central, Esan West LGA, Orhionmwon LGA, Esan South East LGA, Esan North East LGA.

 

 

Protests Trail Edo Governorship Election Result Announcement

Edo_ProtestersProtests have begun outside the off ice of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The protesters alleged that the results have been altered by the electoral commission.

Security officials have formed a barricade outside the INEC office to stall any breakdown of law and order.

Some of the protesters told Channels Television that what was being announced inside the hall is not a reflection of what transpired at the polling units.

INEC announced results of nine out of 18 Local Government Areas with the All Progressives Congress candidate winning in five while the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party has scooped the remaining four Local Government Areas.

The APC won in Owan West, Egor, Igueben, Uhunwomnde and Oredo local government areas, while the PDP polled more votes in Esan West, Orhiomwon, Esan South-East and Esan North-East local government areas.

The police have dispersed the crowd with tear gas and gun shots.

Edo Governorship Election: INEC Calls For Break In Result Announcement Till Noon

Security-Presence-In-INEC-Office-In-Edo-State-ElectionThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has called for a break till 12 noon before it continues the announcement of results in the Edo State governorship election.

The electoral umpire has announced the results of nine local governments so far.

Follow link to see results of the local governments announced so far.

Troops Arrest Boko Haram Terrorists At Borno Cattle Market

Borno_Cattle_MarketTroops of Operation Lafiya Dole on Wednesday morning at the cattle market, Maiduguri, Borno State, with assistance of Civilian JTF, arrested 3 suspected members of terrorist group, Boko Haram.

The suspects include Abba Go Dallagio, Abba Fanned and Alhaji Nwariye”, a statement by the Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman said.

The statement added that “during preliminary investigation they claimed that they entered into Maiduguri through Mafa with about 200 cows for sale at Maiduguri cattle market.

The suspects, according to the statement, “stated that they are part of logistics elements of the terrorists group that assist in selling cows for the insurgents”.

They further added that proceeds are remitted to the terrorists to fund their nefarious activities.
So far, troops have identified and isolated 23 cows at the cattle market.

Similarly, one of their agent and spy at the market, Alhaji Ajid Umar, has also been arrested. A total of 170 cows were isolated in connection with him.
“All the suspects are undergoing preliminary investigation”, Col Usman said.

Earlier, the troops on patrol in Borno State engaged some suspected members of Boko Haram terrorist group in a gun battle in Bulabulin, killing nine of them on Wednesday.

A statement by a spokesman for the army, Colonel Sani Usman, said the attack occurred on Wednesday morning.

“They engaged them in a fire fight that lasted for an hour.

“The troops killed nine Boko Haram terrorists and wounded several others,” the statement read.

Colonel Usman further stated that the troops captured two AK-47 Rifles, two Hand Grenades, one Improvised Explosive Device, five Jerrycans of Premium Motor Spirit and nine motorcycles.

Edo Governorship Election: INEC Begins Announcement Of Results

Solomon-Soyebi-INEC-National-Commissioner-on-Voter-Education
INEC National Commissioner for Voter Education, Mr Solomon Soyebi.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has begun announcement of results of the  Edo State governorship election.

The Commission had earlier delayed the announcement as it awaited results from eight Local Government Areas before it begins announcement of the results.

The National Commissioner for Voter Education, Mr Solomon Soyebi, confirmed the delay to Channels Television.

Speaking during a phone interview he said the results started trickling in from midnight but the Commission decided to “have a number of them before we start collation and as of now we have about 10 out of the 18 local government results”, adding that “we believe collation will start in about one hour”.

He dismissed as “speculative” various results on newspapers, websites and blogs, maintaining that “whatever comes out from the Commission is the authentic result”.

He added that the Returning Officer is the only person authorized to make announcement of the result.

He, however, didn’t mention which local government areas these are.

Compilation of results in the Edo State governorship election began at the different local government areas across the state, with the electoral body getting ready at the headquarters to receive the results.

The compilation started after voting and counting of ballot papers at different polling units ended.

The exercise is said to have been largely peaceful.

However, cases of ballot box snatching have been reported at some polling stations.

Dissatisfied Opposition Parties

Dissatisfied with the way the election is going, the candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) has called for total cancellation of the poll.

Mr, Osaro Onaiwu on Wednesday alleged that financial inducement and intimidation of party loyalists occurred during the poll.

“The election is going to be inconclusive because there is a lot of damage already.

There was no election in Ologbo and Oluku and whatever result they are bringing out from these two places, it is not going to be accepted by us,” Mr Onaiwu said.

Similarly, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State claims there is a plan by the electoral body and Governor Adams Oshiomhole to rig the election at the collation centre.

The opposition party said that the delay by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to begin ward results announcement at the collation centre was a sign of the plan.

Governor Oshiomhole is a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
A statement by the spokesman for the party in Edo State, Chris Nehikhare, pointed out that voting stopped at 2:00pm and votes were counted immediately at the unit levels.

“From results made available to us we are in a very comfortable lead.

“We are however shocked that till now no ward result has been declared.

“We are aware that the APC and INEC plan to change the result at the collation centre and we wish to warn that any change to the result we are already aware of will be met with stiff resistance,” the opposition party said.

It further urged the INEC to tell Governor Oshiomhole that the changing and swapping of results at the collation centre was a no-no.

“Even worse is the attempt to prevent our agents into the collation centres.
“We, however, advise our supporters and members to remain calm. In a few more hours, the liberation of Edo will be official,” the statement further read.

Earlier, the candidate of the PDP, Mr Osagie Ize-Iyamu, said there were attempts to smuggle in results at the ward and the LGA collation.

He told reporters that the party was confident that the plan would not work.

FG Dismisses Proposed Sale Of Assets As ‘Mere Speculation’

lai-mohammed on CorruptionThe Federal Government has described as mere speculation, talks of a proposed sale of national assets for the purposes of getting Nigeria out of recession, saying government is ‎yet to take a decision on the matter.

Speaking to State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council meeting, the Minister for Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said it was only discussed and endorsed as a Medium Term Expenditure Framework and remains a suggestion but not a solution decided upon by government to rebound the economy.

Contrary to reports that government has already listed conditions that must be met before the sale of certain national assets, top among them the insertion of a buy-back clause in the assets sales agreements, the Information Minister says government is yet to reveal elaborate plans to take the country out of recession.

The National Economic Council headed by Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo had last Thursday proposed and endorsed plans to sell some national assets, in line with government’s target to raise between ten to fifteen billion dollars to revamp the economy, following the drop in the nation’s monthly foreign earnings to about three hundred million dollars.

The proposed sale was swiftly rejected by the Senate in a thorough debate at its plenary, just as the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) threatened to embark on mass protest against the proposed sale.‎‎

The Federal Executive Council meeting also approved three memos; the National Water Policy, the National Irrigation Policy and a draft National Water Resources Bill all aimed at tackling the numerous water challenges in the country.

The Water Resources Minister, Mr Suleiman Adamu, is positive that the three bills and policy will help Nigeria bridge the gap in the sector and enhance Nigeria’s current agricultural production agenda and the National Irrigation Policy Roadmap 2030.

Indian VP Seeks Legal Reform To Counter Global Terrorism

Indian_VPThe Vice President of the Republic of India, Prof. Hamid Ansari is advocating for international legal reforms to combat terrorism.

He also canvassed for stronger international cooperation to curb the supplies of arms and financing of global movement of terrorists.

Prof. Ansari made the call at a meeting with the National Defence College in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, where he delivered a lecture on “emerging security imperatives, in the context of Nigeria -India relations”.

He identified terrorism as a major threat to international peace.

Prof. Ansari sued for a stronger bilateral relationship between Nigeria and India as they seek international help to counter terrorism.

The Commandant of the College, Rear Admiral Samuel Alade, explained the importance of having the Indian Vice President around.

He recalled that there is a long existing military and economic relationship between Nigeria and India.

The Commandant also noted that India helped in the establishment of the National Defence Academy in Kaduna State in 1964.

Since then, both countries have continued to have cross border training for military officers.

Britain Re-iterates Commitment To Rescue Of Chibok Girls

Chibok Girls, BBOG, Presidency, Boko HaramThe British Minister for Africa, Mr Tobias Ellwood has assures Nigeria of Britain’s continued support for the rescue of the Chibok school girls abducted in April 2014.

Mr Ellwood gave the assurance in Abuja after a closed door meeting with members of the Bring Back Our Girls group at the United Kingdom’s High Commission.

According to him, he will be having another meeting with Nigeria’s Vice President, President Yemi Osinbajo to discuss the release of the Chibok school girls.

Meanwhile, the leader of the Bring Back Our Girls group, Mrs Oby Ezekwesili, has said the group will continue to seek international support for the rescue of the girls.

Prisoners’ Swap Request

Britain’s assurance is coming days after Boko Haram released a video of the girls in their custody, demanding for prisoners’ swap to release them.

Over 200 girls preparing for their final year examination in Chibok secondary school in Borno State were taken from their school’s dormitory.

After the Boko Haram released the video, parents of some of the girls asked the Federal Government to swap suspected members of Boko Haram terrorist group held at different detention facilities with the girls, as requested.

The Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari, thereafter renewed his commitment to rescuing the Chibok girls, saying the government will not give up in the search.

In tweet on his Twitter handle, President Buhari paid glowing tributes to the military for their efforts in the war against insurgency in Nigeria’s northeast.

The President also said he was willing to swap Boko Haram prisoners for the Chibok girls.

But that is on condition that they are able to list those they want released and then come out to discuss with the Federal Government.

He says the Federal Government will want the girls out safe without any harm done to them.

Recently, the Bring Back Our Girls campaigners had called on the President to accept the swap of the Boko Haram prisoners for the Chibok girls who were kidnapped in Borno State two years ago.

At a bilateral meeting with the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon,on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly meeting held in New York few days ago, President Buhari said Nigeria would welcome intermediaries from the United Nations as a show of commitment, to swapping the abducted Chibok girls with Boko Haram fighters in custody.

A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said that”the challenge is in getting credible and bona fide leadership of Boko Haram to discuss with”.

“The split in the insurgent group is not helping matters. Government had reached out, ready to negotiate, but it became difficult to identify credible leaders. We will welcome intermediaries such as UN outfits, to step in.”

The President reiterated that the teachings of Boko Haram were far from being Islamic, as neither Islam, nor any other religion, advocates hurting the weak and innocent.

“The fact that they kill men, women, children, and other people wantonly, and shout Allahu Akbar (God is great) shows that they do not know that Allah at all. If they did, they would not shed innocent blood,” President Buhari said.

Gov. Shettima Cuts Tour Short, As Borno Cabinet Member Passes On

Shettima_BornoThe Borno State Commissioner for ‎Environment, Alhaji Waziri Imam, has died at the age of 54.

This development has made Governor Kashim Shettima to end his temporary relocation to Bama and tour of destroyed communities after visiting Chibok, Gwoza, Askira-Uba and Damboa local government areas, all in southern parts of Borno State.

The death of the Commissioner was confirmed in a statement by the Secretary to Borno State Government, Usman Jidda Shuwa.

The Commissioner, who is a younger brother to an APC national chieftain, Alhaji Kashim Imam, died after a brief illness in Maiduguri on Wednesday morning.

He is survived by a wife and six children.

The Governor left Bama on Tuesday after nearly one wee‎k of Relocation to mobilize major reconstruction works.

Shettima visited Pulka, a populated village in Gwoza Local Government Area and also assessed destruction and ongoing reconstruction works in Gwoza town during which he interacted with thousands of residents that have since returned to their communities.

The Governor proceeded to Lassa for assessment before passing the night in Uba, another community in Askira-Uba Local Government Area, which was liberated from Boko Haram.

The Governor was also in Askira town, headquarters of Askira-Uba Local Government Area and met with the Emir.

The Governor left for Chibok to assess reconstruction works and interacted with some stakeholders before cutting his trip back to Maiduguri following the demise of his cabinet member.

The late commissioner was buried on Wednesday evening in Maiduguri in accordance to Islamic rites.

Edo 2016 Governorship Election: Results Compilation Ongoing In Local Councils

INEC-sorting-sensitive-materialsCompilation of results in the Edo State governorship election is ongoing at the different local  government areas across the state, with the electoral body getting ready at the headquarters to receive the results.

The compilation started after voting and counting of ballot papers at different polling units.

The exercise is said to have been largely peaceful. However cases of ballot box snatching have been reported at some polling stations.

Over 1.9 million people were registered to vote in the poll, which was supervised by over 18,511 officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), with 19 candidates contesting for the position of governor.

Edo State has 192 registration areas 2,627 polling units and 4,011 voting points.

Earlier, an official of the electoral body, said polls went on smoothly.

INEC National Commissioner, Mrs Amina Zakari, said the electoral process was going on as expected while the INEC officials and security agents were working professionally.

Mrs Zakari made the observation in an interview with Channels Television on Wednesday at one of the polling centres in Benin City, the state’s capital in south-south Nigeria.

“It (the electoral process) has gone based on our expectation.

“The ad-hoc staff are working professionally (and) the security agents are doing their work (while) the people of Edo State are actually doing what we expect of them.

“They are behaving adequately, they are lined up neatly and everything is going smoothly,” she said.

But the governorship candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Osaro Onaiwu, called for total cancellation of the poll.

He claimed that there were cases of financial inducement and intimidation of Party loyalists.