Sahara Reporters Latest News Friday 18th January 2019

Sahara Reporters Latest News Friday 18th January 2019

Sahara Reporters Latest News Today and headlines on some of the happenings and news trend in the Country, today 18/01/19

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target=_blank>APC Government Officials Are Hand-Picking INEC Ad-Hoc Staff. Adamawa IPAC Cries Out

The Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC), Adamawa state chapter has cried fowl, accusing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of conniving with the ruling APC to recruit ad-hoc staff for the forthcoming general elections. 
IPAC raised the alarm in Yola on Thursday, alleging that the electoral umpire was “making desperate moves to rig the poll in favor of the ruling All Progressives Congress”.
Tahir Shehu, IPAC Chairman of the state chapter, said “it has come to our notice that political officer holders in the APC government are submitting lists of ad-hoc staff, for the conduct of the 2019 general elections”.
Tahir, who doubles as Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said he was reacting to information at his disposal, that the APC had allegedly concluded arrangement to recruit most of the adhoc staff for the conduct of the forthcoming elections.
He however called on President Muhammadu Buhari, the chairman of INEC, Prof. Yakubu Mohammed to call the Adamawa State resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), to order, stressing, “he should not to be allowed to plunge the state into chaos”. “Another electoral crisis will not augur well for anybody”, he added.
“We have gathered that APC members are collaborating with INEC officials to submit the lists of adhoc staff for the conduct of 2019 general elections, especially in Adamawa State.  
“We are therefore alerting  the Federal Government and warning the Chairman of INEC and the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Adamawa State, to be careful, because we already have a fragile security situation in our state.
INEC should “quickly halt this drift and provide a level playing ground”, he warned.
Kashim Gaidam, REC, Adamawa State, reacted thus, “we do not entertain unspecified allegations.
“If he (Tahir Shehu) has a genuine allegation, the onus is on him to be specific and come forward and tell us who the INEC official is and from which local government, so that we can take the appropriate, action; else politicians should stop this unnecessary heating up of the polity”, Gaidam rebutted.
Also reacting, Ahmed Lawan, Organizing Secretary of Adamawa APC, dismissed the allegations, saying “the PDP is already jittery of losing the 2019 elections.
“The PDP is seeing defeat stirring it in the face that is why they now started complaining, using the IPAC umbrella,” he said.

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target=_blank>INEC Chairman Warns VCs: Don’t Appoint Partisan Lecturers As Returning Officers

Professor Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has warned vice chancellors of federal universities against nominating card-carrying members of political parties as retuning officers for the 2019 elections.
He gave the warning on Thursday in Abuja at an emergency meeting  with the VCs.
According to the INEC Chairman, collation of results would take place in 8,809 registration area or wards, 774 local government areas and 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. He added that the commission would require the services of 10,603 staff to support the various collation and declaration processes.
“We have requested each university for a specified number of academic staff as contained in my letter to the vice chancellors. Staff who are card carrying members or have participated in partisan politics should not be nominated. Similarly, those who may not be involved in partisan political activities but are known to have obvious political leanings should not be nominated,” he said.
He explained that the commission would take its time to scrutinise the list, which will be compiled by the vice chancellors, just as he urged them to resist the temptation of lobbyists. He stated that the commission drew the required collation and returning officers from the academic staff of federal universities.

A total of 73 candidates are contesting in the presidential election, 1,904 for senatorial and 4,680 for the Federal House of Representatives elections, bringing the total to 6,657 candidates contesting for 470 seats.
The final list of candidates for governorship, state Houses of Assembly and FCT Area Council elections will be released on January 31, 2019, in accordance with the commission’s timetable and schedule of activities.
Professor Kyari Mahmud, vice chancellor of Moddibo Adama University of Technology, Yola , spoke on behalf of the vice chancellors and assured the commission of their commitment to free and fair elections.
“We are committed to deepening Nigeria’s democracy and we hope and pray that all vice chancellors will participate actively to ensure that Nigeria get free, fair and credible elections in 2019,” he stated.

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target=_blank>PHOTOS: Atiku And Team Pose For The Cameras After Arriving In the US

Atiku Abubakar arrived in the United States on Thursday evening after decades of speculation he could never do so due to allegations of corruption.
Accompanied by Senate President Bukola Saraki, Atiku and his team posed for the cameras at the Washington Dulles International Airport on Thursday.

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target=_blank>Lecturer Sues Federal University Otuoke VC From Demoting Him From Professor To Lecturer 1

Professor Seth Jaja, Vice Chancellor, Federal University Otuoke

Professor Seth Jaja, Vice Chancellor, Federal University Otuoke

Stephen Nwabuzor, one of the professors demoted by the Federal University Otuoke in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, has dragged the Vice Chancellor of the institution, Professor Seth Accra Jaja, and the management of the institution to the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, Yenagoa, over his demotion from rank of Professor to Lecturer 1.
On December 18, 2018, SaharaReporters had reported that the Governing Council of the institution made the decision to demote seven professors of the Federal University Otuoke at its 10th meeting.

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JUST IN: Federal University Otuoke Demotes Seven Professors To Lecturer Grade

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However, in a suit filed before the National Industrial Court, marked NICN/YEN01/2019, the aggrieved Professor Nwabuzor sought the order of the court to make a declaration that the regulation of his appointment as Professor to a pensionable appointment by the institution’s letter of the appointment dated September 1, 2015 and the confirmation of his appointment vide the letter of February 21, 2017, has statutory flavour and could not be tampered with except in accordance with the Federal University, Otuoke (Establishment) Act 2015.
Also sought is a “declaration that the purported conversion of the claimant’s pensionable appointment to a contract appointment is ultra vires the defendants having regard to the Federal University, Otuoke (Establishment ) Act, 2015 of the 1999 constitution (as Amended) and all known Labour practices; a declaration that the purported reclassification of appointment of the claimant by the defendant from Professor to Lecturer 1 on the grounds that the claimant did not have the requisite scholarship at the point of entry without hearing the claimant is ultra vires, unconstitutional, null and void and of no effect”.
The lecturer is also seeking “an order of the honourable court setting aside the defendants’ letter of 5th of July, 2018, converting the claimant’s statutory appointment to a mere contract of employment”.

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target=_blank>VIDEO: Atiku Arrives In US All Smiles In Saraki’s Company

Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has arrived in the United States of America.
He landed at the Washington Dulles International Airport on Thursday evening, accompanied by Senate President Bukola Saraki.
SaharaReporters had reported earlier in the day that Atiku was scheduled to travel to the United States “any moment from now”, possibly before Saturday’s presidential debate organised by the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) and the Nigeria Elections Debate Group (NEDG).

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EXCLUSIVE: ‘Atiku To Travel To The US ‘Very, Very, Very Soon’

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He hadn’t stepped on American soil for well over decade dating back to his vice presidency, allegedly due to the belief he would be arrested for allegations of corruption, including one by US congressman Williams Jefferson that part of the $100,000 cash found in his refrigerator was intended as bribe for Atiku for his role in helping American firm iGate secure a contract to expand broadband in Nigeria.

Video of Atiku Arrives In US All Smiles In Saraki's Company

Atiku Arrives In US All Smiles In Saraki’s Company

However, in October, Atiku Abubakar, Gbenga Daniel, Director-General of the Atiku Presidential Campaign Orgsanisation (APCO), said his principal had received “signals from American officials” to apply for visa and it would be granted.119 Comments 2 Months Ago
Despite the protestations of Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information, that the United States should exercise caution in granting visa to Atiku, it was reported in December that the visa had indeed been granted.
“Atiku will travel to the US any moment from now, and it could even be on Thursday,” a source very familiar with the development had told SaharaReporters late Wednesday. “He is still afraid the coast is not completely clear, and he could be harassed or arrested once he steps in. But I can authoritatively confirm that he will indeed be going to the US very, very, very soon.”

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target=_blank>The Passage Of The #GEOBill Is Long Overdue By Chioma Agwuegbo

Being female in Nigeria can be considered an extreme sport, with women and girls perpetually playing the odds in a game where the house is rigged to win. 
For over 30 years, Nigeria has paid lip service to the protection and promotion of the rights of women and girls. Past governments have said one thing, hurriedly signing international treaties, but failing (woefully) to domesticate them. These treaties include the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), in 1985 under military rule, the African charter on Human and People’s Rights, touted as the most continent friendly, yet progressive document on women’s rights, which the African Union adopted in 2003 and Nigeria ratified in 2004. 
This lip service has had and continues to have severe consequences for women across the country, and even in the diaspora. 
A few years ago, a video of three women who had stolen pepper in a market in Ejigbo, Lagos State surfaced; not because they had been handed over to the market authorities or law enforcement, but because they had been stripped naked, beaten within an inch of their lives, and men stuffed sticks, and ground, dried pepper into their vaginas. One of those women died. A lot of initial outrage and arrests, shock, and heavy sentences later, the matter has died without any logical conclusion that will deter reoccurrence. 
In 2010, a former employee of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency accused the agency of firing her because she refused to abort her baby, contravening their law that forbids unmarried women from being pregnant. Her application to the agency to marry the father of her child had been denied, even though she had put in the required two years of service before marriage. 
Still within security circles, the Nigerian Police Act is rife with discriminatory provisions for women who wish to enlist. They must be unmarried, and then apply to the Police Commissioner of their Command for permission to marry. It gets worse; an unmarried woman police officer that gets pregnant will be discharged from the force, yet nothing is said about the man who impregnates the woman.
Until 2014 and the historical judgment by the Supreme Court, Igbo Customary Law barred the female child, irrespective of the circumstances of her birth, from inheriting or partaking in the sharing of the property and estate of her father.
It begs the question, what does Nigeria have against women and girls? What reason could ever suffice for the delays in immediately halting the various manifestations of discrimination against half of the population? 
How does a nation that purports to uphold the Constitution thrive in the absence of the full actualisation of the International Covenants of Human Rights enshrined in that same Constitution? Instead, it whips up the National Gender Policy, which in itself is a decent collation of the national and international treaties the government has signed up to, but without any legal backing, is as toothless and ineffective as those get.
Enter the Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill, popularly known as the #GEOBill, an appropriation the best parts of CEDAW, the African Union Protocol on the Rights of Women and the National Gender Policy.
The #GEOBill has suffered many refusals in the hands of an increasingly and predominantly male legislature that refuses to prioritise the rights and protection of women. The 6th Assembly threw it out for being ‘unAfrican’. The Bill was defeated in March 2016, and a second, watered down version thrown out in September 2016, for ‘going against our traditional and religious’ practises. 
Which practices? Is one of them marrying children, which some legislators are wont to do? Verified statistics place underage marriage in Nigeria between 43 and 45 percent, in a country with the highest number of out of school children in the world. 
These legislators couldn’t be bothered to form a quorum on the 9th of December 2016 for the Bill to be presented for public hearing, and in 2018, two dates for public hearing on the Bill were postponed.  What does Nigeria have against women and girls? What does the Legislature have against the protection of women and girls, and the promotion of their rights to self-actualisation in Nigeria?
The 8th Assembly, and the Assemblies before them, have failed women. They will go down in ignominy as sitting within the chambers that denied women their rights to thrive in Nigeria as equal, deserving members of society. 
We hope that the 9th Assembly will pass the #GEOBill, treating it with the urgency that it has lacked, but by Jove, it totally deserves. 
 
Chioma Agwuegbo, a communication strategist, is founder of TechHerNG, a community of learning, support, and collaboration for women in technology. 

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target=_blank>Oshiomhole To Buhari: In Your Second Term, You Must Prosecute Those Who Wasted $16bn On Power

Adams Oshiomhole, National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), says President Muhamaddu Buhari has “a duty to man and to God” to prosecute those who wasted $16billion on electricity yet the country has nothing to show for it.
Oshiomhole also berated Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), stating that he is not fit to be President of the country.
Speaking at the APC presidential rally in Warri, Delta State, on Thursday, he urged Buhari to “ensure that he follows through till he gets answers to how the $16billion appropriated by the previous PDP administration was spent and ensure that everyone involved in the mismanagement is punished”.
On Atiku’s candidature, he said: “Yesterday I was watching the television and I saw PDP presidential candidate and a former customs officer (Atiku). He was saying in the likely event that Nigerians make the mistake of their lives to vote for him (Atiku) as President, whether they like it or not, even if he would die, that he will sell the oil reserves of Delta, Akwa Ibom, Edo states and that he would auction all oil properties of Nigeria, whether they Nigerians like it or not.
“If somebody puts you on notice that if you vote for him that he is going to sell your family, will you agree? Will you vote for him? When Atiku was the Vice-President, I was the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress. When they wanted to sell Nigeria Airways, when we told him ‘no’, he Atiku said he doesn’t care. He just wanted to sell Nigeria Airways.”
Oshiomhole also urged Buhari to probe the controversial $16billion power fund “wasted” on the power sector by the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Vice-President Atiku Abubakar.”Uduaghan, you will recall as Governor of Delta State, despite the fact that you were a PDP Governor and I was in ACN as Governor, when PDP decided to sell BEDCO which covers Delta, Edo, Ondo and Ekiti states, we agreed that if PDP does the privatisation in the manner they wanted to do it, the economy of the South-South would be destroyed,” Oshiomhole continued.
“We spoke loud at the National Economic Council. We told Jonathan ‘don’t do it’. We told PDP not to deceive the people but they went ahead. Uduaghan and I held a press conference at my private residence in Benin. We warned that this DISCO, which is owned by a family, will destroy the economy of our states.
“Today, are you not having power crisis in Delta State? Even in Edo State, the Governor is fighting every day. They took $16billion in the name of power supply. They took the money and put it in their pockets and Nigeria remains in the dark. They signed agreement of 20 years, which is difficult to revive.
“But, Mr President, in your second term, I urge you with respect sir; you must fulfill the question which we have asked. After $16billion, you will ask, where is the light? Mr. President, you have a duty to man and to God, to ensure that that question must be answered. It must be answered judiciously. It must be answered in the court of law and what people are entitled to know.”
In his address, Buhari, however, assured the people of the Niger Delta that his promise to develop the region would continue to receive serious attention.

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target=_blank>IN FULL: INEC’s Full List Of Presidential, Senatorial, House Of Assembly Candidates

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has released the full list of candidates contesting for the presidency and the National Assembly in the 2019 elections.
The list was published on the INEC website on Thursday.
The documents were signed by Rose-Oriaran Anthony, secretary of the electoral commission.

2019-GENERAL-ELECTIONS-FINAL-LIST-OF-PRESIDENTIAL-CANDIDATES.pdf

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2019 General Elections Independent National Electoral Commission Final List Of Presidential Candidates

2019-GENERAL-ELECTIONS-FINAL-LIST-OF-SENATORIAL-CANDIDATE.pdf

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2019 General Elections Independent National Electoral Commission Final List Of Senatorial Candidates

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Final List Of Candidates For House Of Representatives

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2019-GENERAL-ELECTIONS-FINAL-LIST-OF-PRESIDENTIAL-CANDIDATES.pdf

2019-GENERAL-ELECTIONS-FINAL-LIST-OF-SENATORIAL-CANDIDATE.pdf

2019-GENERAL-ELECTIONS-FINAL-LIST-OF-CANDIDATES-FOR-HOUSE-OF-REPRESENTATIVES.pdf

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target=_blank>Security Operatives Arrest Six Kidnappers In Ondo

Six kidnappers alleged to be terrorising travellers on the Owo-Akure road in Ondo State were arrested on Wednesday.
The kidnappers were arrested by a Joint Security Task Force set up by heads of security agencies in Ondo State.
The culprits were nabbed at Emure-Ile, some distance from Owo, where they used as their hideout.
Major Ojo Adenegan, spokesperson of the Nigeria Army in Ondo State, paraded the six suspects before journalists in Akure.
Adenegan said they were arrested at a hideout inside a forest in Emure-Owo during a raid by security agencies. He revealed that an informant working for the kidnap gang was also apprehended.
Femi Joseph, spokesman of the Ondo State Police Command, confirmed the arrest of the suspects via an electronic statement.
Joseph, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), said some dangerous weapons were recovered from the six suspects. 
The statement read: “The Joint Task Force code named ‘Operation Crime Free’, acting on a tip-off, arrested six suspected kidnappers at Emure junction via Owo, where they gathered together in a suspicious manner. The following items were recovered from them: 16 locally-made guns, 17 cutlasses, 13 knives, seven handsets and the sum of twenty seven thousand, eight hundred and twenty Naira (N27,820.00k) cash.
“They also have some food items and pieces of clothing materials and items suspected to be charms. They could not give a satisfactory account of their mission, even though they claimed to have come from Kebbi State.”
He, however, noted that the Police was still carrying out investigation on the suspects and will charge them to court soon.

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Nigeria’s Economy Under APC Is Disgusting, Says Ezekwesili

Obiageli Ezekwesili, the presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), says the economy under the present administration of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is “disgusting”.
According to the former Minister of Education under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administration led by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, bad governance has led to increase in the poverty index of the country, as many youth are now jobless.
She spoke at a town hall meeting in Akure, Ondo State, as part of activities for her presidential campaign.
Speaking on the “very disgusting” state of the Nigerian economy, as she referred to it, she said: “Nigerians are fed up with the failures of governance, which has become too costly for Nigerians. Just look at us, we are now the world capital of poverty. We have overtaken India, which is even seven times of our population, as a country with the largest number poor people. There are 87 million poor people in Nigeria, which is a country of less than 200 million people. In India, there are about 1.3 billion people and there are 79 million people in extreme poverty and that is a shameful situation.
“We cannot allow it to continue. The more that bad governance is given to us by APC and PDP, the more that people drop into poverty. It is time for change of direction in our country and it is time for us too to take ourselves out of mediocrity and poor performace. It is time to become a country that is governed on the basis of knowledge and by someone who has character and competence and knows the kind of policies that can grow an economy.
“We are growing at 1.8 per cent and that is less than a percentage of our population at 2.8 per cent. You know this is distratrous. What it means is that children, men, women will be locked in permanent poverty. We must break the cycle of poverty and that is why I’m running.”
According to Ezekwesili, ACPN is the only alternative that can take Nigerians out of poverty.
“We are not a party for politicians; our party is for the people and we shall focus more on the economy. Also, the government of ACPN will focus on education, instead of oil and will ensure that children of the poor compulsorily attend schools,” she added.
She, however, explained that she is contesting in the presidential election to mobilise people for a new Nigeria. Ezekwesili advised Nigerians to be watchful on the antics of attempts by APC to rig the polls.
She continued: “I believe the Nigerian people must be on the alert. I do not trust this APC government of President Muhammadu Buhari. He (Buhari) has not shown himself to be trustworthy with the fact that he refused to sign into law, the electoral amendment bill of 2018.
“He should have taken that bill and signed it into law. If it was signed into law, it means we can believe in the electoral integrity of our elections and electoral umpires.Today, he (Buhari) has basically weakened the capacity of INEC. So, I do not believe in the peace accord that he signed and if it was in good faith. I don’t trust the fact that Amina Zakari, who is a daughter of a man that married the sister of the president is part of the conduct of 2019 election.
“I don’t believe a lot of things around the way that the government is trying to execute the 2019 elections, but I believe in the Nigeria people and they would not allow anyone dismantle our hard-won democracy. This democracy, people died and were also maimed fighting for this democracy. This democracy is greater than President Buhari and his administration. This democracy will survive Buhari.
“The Nigerian people are saying both the APC and PDP governments have failed and they must go, so that we can build a new nation. ACPN too would also do a proper restructuring of the country in order to allow every region to develop its own resources.
“For us to have a great Nigeria, we must join hands together to build a 21st century country which would attract people from other countries to learn from us. We are in a new dispensation and I want you to join me in building a new and greater Nigeria that would be prosperous.”

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