INEC suspends Adamawa guber election results collation over mixup
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has suspended the collation of results in the Adamawa State governorship election over a mix-up in results from Fufore Local Government Area (LGA).
The Returning Officer of the exercise said collation will resume at 12pm today, Monday, March 20, 2023, with the hope that the contentious results from Fufore LGA would have been reconciled.
The governorship contest in the North-Eastern state has generated rapt national attention due to the involvement of a female candidate, Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed popularly known as Binani, who is on the threshold of history as the first female governor-elect in Nigeria.
Binani is squaring up against the incumbent governor and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Ahmadu Fintiri, who is fighting to secure a re-election.
However, a scuffle broke out at the INEC electoral results collation centre in Yola, the Adamawa State capital on Sunday night over allegations that the results sheet from the local government in question has been doctored and snatched by thugs.
Prior to the incident, the commission had announced results from 20 out of the 21 LGAs in the state with the two frontline candidates following each other neck-and-neck.
However, the PDP agents contested that the figures from Fufore, which is also the ancestral local government of the APC candidate, have been inflated which prompted INEC to call for a suspension so that it can pull figures from its results viewing portal, IReV, and reconcile.
JUST IN: Tinubu swears-in George Akume as SGF
President Bola Tinubu, has sworn-in Senator George Akume as the new Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Present at the brief event today (Wednesday) were the governor of Benue State, Rev. Fr. Hycent Alia, some servicing and former governors, including former governor of Nasarawa state, Tanko Almakura and the immediate past SGF, Boss Mustapha.
Others were Vice President Kashim Shettima; Senate President Ahmed Lawan; Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara State, Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr FolasadeYemi-Esan and the spouse of the new SGF, Mrs Regina Akume.
Recall that Tinubu had earlier announced the appointment of the former Benue state governor as the new SGF.
The President also appointed Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila as the Chief of Staff, and Senator Ibrahim Hadejia, a former Deputy Governor of Jigawa State, as the Deputy Chief of Staff.
The appointment was made public via a statement issued by Abiodun Oladunjoye, Director, Information, State House. Abuja.
According to the statement, the President announced the appointment during the meeting he held with Progressives Governors Forum (PGF), at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Akume was the immediate past Minister of Special Duties, under former President Muhammadu Buhari.
Reps panel asks FG to suspend Nigeria Air operation, says it’s a fraud
The house of representatives committee on aviation has faulted the process leading to the unveiling of Nigeria Air.
Speaking at an investigative hearing on Tuesday with Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) and representatives of ministry of aviation, Nnaji Nnolim, chairman of the committee, said the unveiling of Nigeria Air was a fraud.
The committee also passed a resolution asking the federal government to suspend the operations of Nigeria Air.
Hadi Sirika, former minister of aviation, unveiled Nigeria Air — the national carrier — about three days before the end of the former president Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
The committee said it is “totally dissatisfied with the actions” of Sirika flagging off the operations of Nigeria Air “despite a standing court injunction” and without any provision for “sustaining the operations of the airline”.
“A careful review of the process indicates the exercise to be highly opaque, shrouded in secrecy, shoddy and capable of ridiculing and tarnishing the image of Nigeria before the international community,” the committee said.
The committee asked the ministry of aviation and its partners in the Nigeria Air project to “immediately suspend flights operations“
The committee also called on President Bola Tinubu to urgently constitute a “high level” presidential committee to “undertake a holistic review” of the processes of setting up Nigeria Air.
The lawmakers said, “all individuals, groups or organisations involved in the controversial shenanigan named ‘Nigeria Air take-off’ must be brought to book, prosecuted and sanctioned”.
THE BACK AND FORTH
While speaking before the committee, Emmanuel Meribole, permanent secretary of ministry of aviation, said there was no money spent on the unveiling of Nigeria Air.
He said the national carrier has yet to be issued an air operator certificate (AOC) but that the processes are ongoing.
Meribole said from 2017 to date, not up to N3.8 billion has been spent on the national carrier project.
However, Rowland Iyayi, a member of the AON, alleged that the Nigeria Air project has gulped about N85.4 billion.
“The Nigerian government has appropriated N85. 2 billion. The point is what exactly are we talking about when you’re talking about Nigeria Air? In one breath, we’re told in the outline business case that it’s a flag carrier. In another breath, we were told it’s a national carrier,” he said.
“There’s a clear distinction between what a national carrier is and a flag carrier and to all intents and purposes, what we have here is a flag carrier.
“Nigerian should not be hoping to believe that we have a national carrier. What we’re saying is, we need accountability to tell us exactly what has been with all the funds appropriated since 2017 and 2016. And if indeed all the shareholders are party to this, how much have they contributed?
Tayib Odunowo, the managing director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), said the aircraft which was used for the unveiling was granted a landing permit as a chattered flight.
“It was a chartered flight, and it left the next day,” he said.
Like Kwara, Edo reduces working days to three over petrol price hike
The Edo government has announced the reduction of work days from five to three to cushion the effect of the petrol subsidy removal on civil servants.
In a statement on Tuesday, Godwin Obaseki, the governor, said his government shared the pains of the people, assuring that his administration will stand with them “in these very challenging times”.
Obaseki also said his administration would do all within its power to ameliorate the sufferings of residents.
“In the wake of fuel subsidy removal by the federal government, fuel prices have increased astronomically leading to a rise in prices of goods and services and overall cost of living,” Obaseki said.
“As a proactive government, we have since taken the step to increase the minimum wage paid to workers in Edo state from the approved N30,000 to N40,000, the highest in the country today.
“We want to assure you that we will continue to pay this amount, while we hope to increase it even further if more allocation accrues to our state from the federal government in view of the expected savings occasioned by the removal of the fuel subsidy.
“We know the hardship that has been caused by this policy which has radically increased the cost of transportation, eating deep into the wages of workers in the state.
“Therefore, the Edo state government is hereby reducing the number of work days that civil and public servants will have to commute to their workplaces from five days a week to three days a week till further notice. Workers will now work from home two days every week.”
He also added that the state is also working on deepening EdoBEST@Home initiative to create more virtual classes, thereby reducing the cost of commuting by parents, teachers and pupils to school.
“The Edo SUBEB will provide details on this initiative in the coming days,” he added.
“To lower the rising cost of energy on our people, we will continue to work with the electricity companies in the state to improve power supply to homes and businesses.
“Similarly, fibre optic connections are being made available to help our people work remotely, thereby reducing their cost of transportation.”
Obaseki urged the people of the state to remain calm as the government intensifies efforts to alleviate the burden of the fuel price increase.
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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.
She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others
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