Civil Society Group Faults Credibility Of Edo Governorship Elections

Edo-Elections-ACEThe Alliance for Credible Elections, (ACE), a civil society organisation, has expressed its dissatisfaction with the conduct of the September 28 governorship election which took place in Edo state.

The group claimed that the election was far from being free, fair and credible.

Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Monday, the acting General Secretary of the organisation, Mrs Mma Odi, said that there was generally no secrecy in voting, as people voted in the full glare of party agents despite the presence of security agents.

Mrs Odi, while presenting the report of the observation of the election by the Alliance for Democracy, added that there was a form of subtle intimidation of voters aided by open sale of votes for cash.

The group also criticised the delay in the collation of votes which commenced late in the evening despite elections being concluded by 2:00 p.m. local time in most of the polling units across the state.

Smooth Elections

The concerns pointed out by the General Secretary of the group, however, contradict initial comments by several observers who stated that the polls went on smoothly.

INEC National Commissioner, Mrs Amina Zakari, had said that the electoral process went on as expected while INEC officials and security agents worked professionally to ensure it was hitch free.

Furthermore, a poll on the performance of INEC in the election initiated by Channels Television on Twitter had over 5,000 Twitter users participating.

Thirty per cent of the people rated INEC’S performance in the election as excellent while another 30 per cent said it was fair.

Twenty-six per cent rated it poor and another 14% were indifferent.

The election finally came to a close with INEC announcing Godwin Obaseki as the governor-elect of Edo state to take over from Governor Adams Oshiomhole who has ruled the state for nearly eight-year.

After the result was announced, however, aggrieved members of the People’s Democratic Party, (PDP) alleged inducement of voters and collaboration of INEC and the state government to doctor the results in favour of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The PDP has said it would go to Tribunal to challenge the outcome of the election, but the APC denied inducing voters and said the PDP was a bad loser.

Navy Moves To Combat Maritime Challenges

Nigerian navyThe Nigerian Navy says new strategies have been put in place to combat the challenges of local and international crude oil theft, drug trafficking, gun running, illegal migration and terrorism.

Addressing a news conference in Abuja on Friday, ahead of the 2015 Nigerian Navy Retreat, the Chief of Policy and Plans, Nigerian Navy, Rear Admiral Johnson Olutoyin, said the Nigerian maritime environment and the entire Gulf of Guinea region were witnessing complex security challenges.

He reaffirmed the Navy’s resolve to tackle the contemporary and emerging security challenges bedeviling the nation.

On Friday, the Navy arrested 11 crew members of a vessel, MT Camille, laden with about 4,000 metric tonnes of suspected stolen crude oil at Forcados in Delta State.

The Eastern Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy has also reiterated its commitment to increasing security on Nigeria’s water, to put an end to crime in the nation’s territorial boundaries.

To deepen efforts to end maritime challenges, the Navy has also entered into a partnership with the Nigerian Customs Service in the area of maritime security and exchange of information that will help in improving Nigeria’s economy.

Health Workers Strike: Ministry To Operate ‘No Work, No Pay’ Policy

DoctorsThe Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Mr Linus Awute, says the Ministry will operate a ‘no work, no pay’ rule, if the health workers’ refuse to call off strike.

The Permanent Secretary, who made the statement at a news conference in Abuja, described the decision by workers to stay away from work as grossly unacceptable.

Mr Awute also condemned the harassment on officials of some of the health institutions in the country by the striking workers.

The workers began the industrial action since May after the National President of Nigerian Union of Allied Health Professionals (NUAHP) called for the action citing the failure of the former President Jonathan’s administration to honour an agreement earlier reached.

Insurgency Victims: Catholic Bishops Kick Against Mass Abortion

bishops kick against abortion of pregnancies by victims of Boko HaramThe Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has kicked against calls for mass abortion for some of the pregnant women rescued from the terrorist group, Boko Haram.

Addressing a news conference in Abuja on Monday, the Chairman, Health Committee of the CBCN, Most Reverend Anselm Umoren, said the life of every baby was distinct from that of the parents.

He insisted that aborting such children amounted to visiting the sin of the terrorists, who impregnated the women, on the innocent children.

Reverend Umoren added that the trauma of sexual assault and rape was enormous and that the Catholic Church in Nigeria was prepared to provide some measures of support to accelerate the healing, rehabilitation and resettlement of the victims, for them to be reintegrated into the society.

Nigerian troops making efforts to clear terrorists from Sambisa Forest in Borno State, north-east Nigeria, rescued women with children and some others impregnated by members of the terrorist group who had taken them hostage months ago.

Counter-terrorism operations have continued in the north-east region with the support of troops from neighbouring countries.