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Buhari attends ECOWAS summit in Burkina Faso

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Buhari attends ECOWAS summit in Burkina Faso

President Muhammadu Buhari will today (Saturday) depart Abuja to attend the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government Extraordinary Summit on Counter-Terrorism, in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

 

Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Mr. Femi Adesina, in a statement said given the growing threat of terrorism in the sub-region, the West African leaders had called for the one-day summit to review different initiatives taken so far, and redefine the priority intervention areas for the containment of the worrisome attacks in the area.

 

He said: “The decision to convene the summit was reached at the 55th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government in Abuja on June 29.”

 

 

President Buhari said he recognised the imperative of collective actions in the fight against terrorism, and would continue to partner with ECOWAS member states and international organisations to address the menace.

 

“In Ouagadougou, ECOWAS leaders are expected to adopt a priority action plan on counter-terrorism and put in place a mechanism to monitor the implementation of the measures adopted towards ensuring lasting peace in the sub-region.”

 

Adesina said Buhari would be accompanied by governors Abubakar Bello, Dapo Abiodun and Okezie Ikpeazu of Niger, Ogun and Abia states respectively; as well as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, and the Minister of Defence, Major-General Bashir Magashi (retd).

 

Also on the President’s entourage are the National Security Adviser, Maj-General Babagana Monguno (retd) and Director General, National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Amb. Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.

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APC holds NEC meeting

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APC holds NEC meeting

…as suspended Okorocha, Amosun, Akeredolu, others, know fate

 

 

Barring any last minute hitch, the National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC), will hold its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting on Friday.

 

 

The party’s last NEC meeting was held in August last year, where it decided on the mode its primaries. A few months after the meeting, the current leadership of the party came into being.

 

 

The APC Constitution stipulates the NEC meeting of the party should be held quarterly. However, the leadership of the party has not adhered to this provision and is causing ripples in some quarters.

 

 

It would be recalled that the Director General of the Progressive Governors’ Forum, Salihu Moh’ Lukuman, last week, issued a statement demanding that the APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, should convene a NEC meeting or resign. According to Lukuman, the APC NWC was running the party illegally without the other decision making organs of the party’s contributions.

 

 

The DG emphasized that the work of the NWC was administrative, in the sense that it implements the decisions of NEC, Caucus and National Convention of the party and also makes recommendations to these organs.

 

 

He maintained that the usurpation of the functions of the other organs of the party had led to the unre solved crisis in the party.

 

 

However, the views and statement of the PGF DG had not gone down well with some members of the party, especially the Forum of APC state chairmen.

 

 

The Forum, on Thursday, issued a letter condemning the statement issued by the Progressive Governors’ Forum DG against Oshiomhole.

 

 

The Forum went further, calling for his sack by the Governors’ Forum.

 

 

But speaking yesterday, a party chieftain said that the letter of the DG was timely even though some persons said that the NWC had fixed a NEC meeting before the demand of the PGF DG.

 

 

The party chieftain who spoke in confidence to  Sunday Telegraph said without people like Lukuman, it would have been difficult for the party to hold the NEC meeting. According to him, the recent statement of the DG would be the second demanding for NEC.

Also, another party chieftain who spoke in confidence said the NEC meeting would have many items on its agenda.

 

 

According to him, the suspension of the former governors of Imo and Ogun states, Senator Rochas Okorocha and Senator Ibikunle Amosun, respectively, would be discussed.

 

 

Also suspended by the NWC members are: Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu; the Director General of Voice of Nigeria (VON), Osita Okechukwu; the APC Deputy National Chairman, North, Senator Lawal Shuiabu; the APC National Vice Chairman, North West, Inuwa Abdulkadir, and recently, the state party chairman of Edo State, Hon. Anslem Ojezua.

 

The governors were suspended for alleged anti – party activities during the general elections campaign, last year.

 

Other issues that would be tabled for discussion would be the financial records of the general elections. The NWC members had at one of their meetings with the President; Muhammadu Buhari briefed him on the expenses of the campaign.

 

 

Speaking, the party chieftain said his fear is whether the President would be in attendance or not. According to him, if the President would not be in attendance, party members may not have the right to speak and those that would speak might not speak freely and decisions reached may not be binding as they might be changed by the President.

 

 

He said, “The NEC meeting will make or break APC.

 

 

“There would be a lot of horse trading and the ability of NEC to discuss freely and take far reaching decisions not minding whose ox is gored would assist the party to stand stronger.

 

 

“I expect that all the governors will be in attendance at the meeting.”

 

 

The meeting would also take decision on when and how the vacant positions of NWC would be filled.

 

 

The vacant positions in the NWC to filled are: Deputy National Chairman South, National Secretary, National Auditor. The Deputy National Chairman North, Senator Lawal Shuiabu and National Vice Chairman North West, Inuwa Abdulkadir, are on suspension.

 

 

Among those that would be attending the NEC are the leadership of the 9th National Assembly who are members of APC.

 

 

This would be the first time they would be attending the APC NEC as the party had not held a NEC meeting since they were inaugurated in June.

 

 

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Dickson calls for cancellation of election in Nembe, Southern Ijaw, others

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Dickson calls for cancellation of election in Nembe, Southern Ijaw, others

•Says rogue elements in army uniform conniving with APC militia to rig election

 

 

Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission to cancel the election in some parts of the state, where the exercise was characterised by brigandage, hijacking of electoral materials and personnel. Governor Dickson made the call while speaking with newsmen shortly after casting his vote at Oruerewari, Polling Unit 005, Toru Orua in Sagbama Local Government Area on Saturday.

 

He particularly, called for outright cancellation of the elections in Nembe Local Government Area where over 20 PDP faithful were massacred by armed APC militia during an aborted campaign rally of the PDP. The Governor said the bloodthirsty thugs were sponsored by pipeline surveillance contractors in the state and one Kodjo Sam.

 

“I call on the Chairman of INEC to issue an order canceling the process in all the wards, in all the local government areas affected, in all the wards and units, where materials have been stolen or hijacked, where officials have been kidnapped and held hostage to enable the APC cook up non existing figures.”

 

Governor Dickson reiterated that the APC is an un- popular party, describing what is happening in the state as a well orchestrated plan by the APC-led Federal Government to foist a one party system on the country.

 

According to the governor, rogue elements in the Nigeria Army connived with the APC thugs to perpetrate electoral fraud and insecurity in some parts of Southern Ijaw, Ekeremor and Ogbia and even the state capital, Yenagoa. Governor Dickson, who highlighted the gruesome killings during the PDP campaign in Nembe, noted that what is going on in Bayelsa is a charade and not a democracy.

 

He said some of the PDP supporters who were attacked during the campaign in Nembe are still gasping for breath on their hospital beds and called on the APCled Federal Government to live up to its primary responsibility of protecting lives and property of Nigerians.

 

“Materials meant for Eniwari community, Opuama ward, most locations in Southern Ijaw as we earlier predicted were hijacked. “As everyone knows, the APC has no foothold in Bayelsa to win an election but they have an armed militia, surveillance contractors who kill and maim for the APC. They also have the Nigerian Army and rogue elements of the Police Force working in concert with them to deny the citizens of these communities their right to vote.

 

“So as we are speaking, in our country, in this time and age, gun wielding militia men with the aid of security forces have overrun the election officials and most of the electoral officials in Southern Ijaw.

 

“These officials as we speak, have been kidnapped and held hostage. This has been the lot, this has been what we’ve been managing since 2015, with APC at the center, not caring about the lives and dignity of our people. The APC at the center are too hungry and determined to make Nigeria a one party state.

 

 

“The president has to wake up and do something. What is going on in Bayelsa in the name of election is not a democracy.

 

I call on the President to call on the security agents particularly the Army to stop desecrating Democratic governance and subjecting the image of the country to ridicule. “I call on the Inspector General of Police to be true to his professional calling and direct the DIG and all the security operatives to protect the people of Bayelsa. “I do not want to be pushed to call on them to defend and protect themselves,” he said.

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BAYELSA/KOGI POLLS: Seven killed as violence, ballot snatching mar elections

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BAYELSA/KOGI POLLS: Seven killed as violence, ballot snatching mar elections

Wi d e s p read violence and arson marred the governorship elections held yesterday in Kogi and Bayelsa states, as no fewer than seven persons were allegedly killed and more than 20 seriously injured in separate attacks. In Kogi State, the violence was so rampant that at Lokongoma community in Lokoja Local Government Area, a helicopter allegedly aided ballot box snatching. Officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were also attacked by some hoodlums in military uniform, who carted away electoral materials even as some ballot boxes were smashed.

 

Former President Goodluck Jonathan who arrived at his polling station at about 8:19am expressed his disappointment with the process, stating: “I got here around 8:19 am and there was nobody here; the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) ad hoc staff were not here, voters were not here… I am a bit disappointed with what I see here,” Jonathan said.

 

Sunday Telegraph gathered that six people were killed and many injured at polling units by gunmen and hoodlums, who stormed voting centres, disrupting the process and carted away ballot boxes. A building belonging to an All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain was also set ablaze in Lokoja, the state capital during the election, just as the polling unit where Senator Dino Melaye voted was attacked and one of the boxes destroyed. Some of the deceased whose names were given by the natives as Umoru Shuaib and Faruk Suleiman, died during gun battle between supporters of the ruling APC and main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Witnesses said the incident happened while voting was underway at Barrack Polling Unit 001 in Dekina council.

 

The assailants from all indications came for Umoru Shaibu, one of the victims in the attack. “They came in a bus while voting was taking place. They wore police uniform, so we didn’t suspect anything. Umoru had voted and was chatting with Faruk close to the poling unit, when the bus drove by.

 

None of the occupants who were in police uniform alighted from the vehicle. “We just heard gunshots and shouts from the victims as well as onlookers. The attackers drove off,” a resident in the community who identified himself as Michael said. The major street in the ancient town was deserted when our correspondent visited the area. Stones and sticks littered the road, while tyres earlier burnt by youths protesting the attack were still billowing. Three people were also killed in Adankolo in Lokoja, the state capital.

 

They were killed in different polling units by hoodlums who shut sporadically with the intent to cart away ballot boxes they were prevented by some electorate and residents in the community. A voter was also killed in Ayetoro-Gbede in Ijumu Local Government Area and two other people shot at by hoodlums who disrupted the voting process at Ayetoro Town Hall in Ward 03 of the local government. The hoodlums also snatched ballot boxes at Ayetoro Town Hall and Oke Ibukun in Ijumu Local Government Area. But the ballot boxes were later recovered.

 

Sunday Telegraph gathered that when the hoodlums stormed the polling unit in Ayetoro Town Hall, which was in front of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) office, the Civil Defence sought for safety as some of them hid their guns and identify cards. Five of them were later arrested by the security agencies including a fake police officer at the government official’s residence. There was also a report of the arrest of some suspects with thumb printed ballot papers and Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).

 

They were alleged to be working for the sole administrator of one of the local government areas. Speaking on the disruption of the election process and snatching of ballot boxes in his local government, Ijumu and other parts of the state the PDP senatorial candidate in Kogi West, Senator Dino Melaye, said INEC, in accordance with their promise should not accept votes from polling units where ballot boxes were snatched by hoodlums and gunmen.

 

His words: “The hoodlums arrested in my local government made confessional statement that they were recruited by APC and a staff in the office of the deputy governor and that they came from his house. A policeman on illegal duties was also arrested and in custody of the police. “A group of thugs carrying bunch of PVCs was arrested, they confessed that …the Sole Administrator of Local Government Area gave them the PVCs and thumb printed papers.

 

“We already said that APC is not prepared for the election. But we are ready to prove that the ballot is stronger. The state government has terrorised the whole place and there are reports that they have taken over Lokoja and they have been collecting ballot boxes from polling units in Lokoja metropolis and their intension is to come back with already stuffed ballot boxes with written results that they will try to enter into the collation centre. But we don’t see how that is going to happen. We will fight with the last drop of our blood. “I am calling on security agencies and INEC to respect their promise that wherever ballot boxes are being taken away, it cannot be recorded and voting in that particular unit should be cancelled.

 

So, for all those areas they have taken ballot boxes away, should not be entertained at all at the collation centre, so that only where we had valid votes should be counted because once a ballot box or paper has been taken away, the integrity of the votes in it is completely questionable. I think INEC should respect their promise for election riggers not to have their ways.”

 

Our correspondents reports that there were also sporadic gunshots in some communities in Kogi East Senatorial District shortly after the commencement of voting. The gunshots were heard in Emewe Okapda, part of Ajiyolo communities in Dekina Local Government Area of the state. In Aikpele-Ajaka Polling Unit 002, Igalamela-Odolu Local Government, armed men wearing mask reportedly shot sporadically into the air, disrupting the exercise as voters and INEC officials took to their heals in all direction. Natives said the assailants snatched ballot boxes and drove away.

 

Similarly, at Opolo Ward 1, in Bayelsa State, armed thugs disrupted voting by shooting indiscriminately and succeeded in destroying some electoral materials, before the arrival of more than 50 police officers from F-SARS and IGP Monitoring Unit at the scene.

 

 

Also voting materials for Angiama Community were hijacked at Sagbama Local Government Area of the state but an ad-hoc staff, corps members who were conveying the materials were rescued by policemen.

 

In his reaction, Bayelsa State Governor, the Honourable Henry Seriake Dickson, accused the General Officer Commanding the 6th Division of the Nigerian Army, Jamir Sarham, of compromising security in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC) against the PDP. Dickson said that even though Gen. Jamir Sarham has been transferred to the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna, he refused to move and waited behind to supervise the use of the Army to perpetrate heinous electoral crimes and irregularity in the Bayelsa gubernatorial poll.

 

 

The governor said that the GOC and the Brigade Commander of the Artillery Brigade, attached soldiers to all APC leaders in all the wards who they use to terrorise people from one polling unit to another. The governor said that the GOC moved to Yenagoa to personally supervise the undemocratic and illegal activities of the Army in the Bayelsa polls using the Brigade Commander of the Artillery Brigade as the commander of his soldiers in the orgy of violence on Bayelsans.

 

 

In a statement issued yesterday, Dickson said although, Major General Sarham was supposed to hand over to his successor, Maj. Gen Felix Aguguo, on November 5 he suddenly aborted the handover process till after the Bayelsa governorship poll. He recalled that the Stare Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party had alerted the nation of a plot by the APC to use the GOC and the Nigerian Army to undermine security during governorship poll in Bayelsa.

 

He said: “I am accusing the GOC of the 6th Brigade, Major Gen Sharham Jamil of delaying his handing over process after his transfer to the Nigeria Defence Academy, Kaduna, to perfect this illegal mission of rigging election in Bayelsa.

 

 

“He and the Brigade Commander of Artillery Brigade, Elele, Lt Col Wase, are the ones attaching soldiers to all APC chieftains in every ward to rig the election in all the polling units. General Sarham has defied his transfer posting and has stayed back to complete his mission to rig Bayelsa for APC,” he said.

 

Dickson called on President Buhari to address the issues and stop the killing and terrorising of the people. “The President has to wake up and do something. This is not a democracy; what is going on in Bayelsa in the name of an election is not a democracy.

 

The observers are everywhere and everyone knows what is going on. “I do not want to be pushed to the level of calling them to defend and protect themselves, I would not want to do that but please, there’s so much a people can take in the hands of their brothers and sisters in the name of an election,” he said.

 

Four INEC officials were said to have been abducted in Bumodi-Bgbene community in Eketiama clan, Yenagoa Local Government in the state, while a policeman on security escort was allegedly pushed into the creek but the corps member on duty managed to escape as the youths hijacked election materials. Meanwhile, INEC has described as unfortunate, the reported cases of thuggery and violence in yesterday’s governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states despite promises by the political parties to promote peaceful elections.

 

 

INEC in a statement by National Commissioner in charge of Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, said the commission unequivocally condemned the incident, observing that the parties signed peace accords before the elections. “We are still receiving, collating and evaluating these reports as we move into the critical phase of result collation,” Okoye said.

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I’m really disappointed –Jonathan

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I’m really disappointed –Jonathan

Former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, has expressed disappointment over the conduct of the adhoc staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) who were supposed to be on ground before he came out to vote but was disappointed for late arrival of election materials to his polling unit.

 

Speaking to journalists at his polling unit 39, ward 13 in Otuoke Ogbia Local Government Area in Bayelsa, Jonathan, who was expected to cast his vote in the morning, met only journalists on ground, when he arrived his polling unit at about 9:30a.m but the adhoc staff were yet to start.

 

Arriving the polling unit, he said to a reporter: “Are you an electoral officer,” and when the journalist replied that he was a reporter, Jonathan then asked “where are they? “Well, this is where I will vote, but since they are not here yet, let me go back inside. You see now, youths of nowadays, you need to do more,” he said.

 

Attempts to have him grant an interview to the press proved abortive, as he declined further comments. As at 10:30 a.m, the election materials were yet arrive the polling unit, in ward 13.

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PDP members denied opportunity to vote –Diri

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PDP members denied opportunity to vote –Diri

The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Douye Diri, called on the Independent National Electoral Commission to cancel elections in areas where electoral fraud were committed.

 

Diri also urged security agencies to remain neutral and be professional in their duties to ensure free and fair election.

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Reject results from Okene, Okehi LGA, PDP tells INEC

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Reject results from Okene, Okehi LGA, PDP tells INEC

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Saturday, called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to reject results coming from Okene and Okehi Local Government Areas of the State, alleging that they have been compromised.

 

The party in a statement by the National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, accused the agents of Governor Yahaya Bello and the All Progressives Congress (APC) of threatening and forcing INEC presiding officers and members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to endorse pre-filled results sheets in favour of the APC, in some local government areas. PDP further alleged that the governor and the APC were desperate to allocate fictitious votes and fabricate results in their favour in Okene and Okehi Local Government Areas in Kogi Central senatorial zone.

 

“For instance, in Kabba/ Bunu Okekoko Ward Unit 9, the baby units have been reduced from two to one, a situation that will lead to disenfranchising of voters to reduce votes belonging to the PDP. “Also the serial number on the ballot papers brought to the area is different from numbers on ballot papers released in Abuja for the area.

 

“Such swapping of ballot papers is a deliberate ploy to cause confusion and derail the electoral process in PDP stronghold. “INEC and security officials must take immediate steps to arrest the situation as the development is already causing tension and could lead to the electorate having no option than to resort to self-help to defend their democratic rights,” the party warned.

 

PDP said it would not accept manipulated results coming from Okene and Okehi local government areas. It called on security agencies to immediately detail a reinforced team to Okene and Okehi to save the lives of the presiding officers and the NYSC members from the APC and agents of Yahaya Bello.

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Melaye condemns Kogi polls, says ballot stronger than bullet

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Melaye condemns Kogi polls, says ballot stronger than bullet

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senatorial candidate for Kogi West Senatorial District, Senator Dino Melaye has condemned the Saturday governorship and senatorial election in the State. Speaking to journalists in Ayetoro-Gbede after casting his vote, Senator Melaye said an election that is militarised, full of violence and ballot boxes being easily taken away by gunmen, is not an election. He said irrespective of the level of violence and snatching of ballot boxes, the people of Kogi State is ready to prove that the ballot is stronger than the bullet.

 

His words: “I am happy that our cry that Yahaya Bello is trying to militarise the environment, he wants to kill and wants to be governor by all means, that he is unpopular, that he only wants to use violence to ascend back to Government House is already established.

 

“All the arrests that have been made so far were APC members and they have all confessed to who sent them. We must see to the end of this matter; it cannot be buried. We will not allow it to be buried. “This is not an election. Election that is militarised, election that is full of violence, election where ballot papers and ballot boxes were easily carted away by gunmen, honestly is not an election.

 

“If they (APC) are popular, they will not introduce violence. All the ballot papers that scattered after election was disrupted in polling units in my local government were PDP thumb printed to show my popularity and acceptance by the people. The difference between me and Smart Adeyemi is difference between light and darkness.”

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Innoson heads auto committee against dumping of toxic vehicles

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Innoson heads auto committee against dumping of toxic vehicles

T

he Chief Executive Officer of Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing, Ltd, Chief Innocent Chukwuma is to head the Automobile Committee of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) against dumping of obsolete and toxic vehicles into the country.

 

 

This is coming on the heels of protests by second hand and fairly used vehicles dealers across the country who have been lamenting that that Nigeria has become a dumping ground for obsolete vehicles which they claim is a rip-off on Nigerians and a threat to the lives of Nigerians.

 

According to the National President of NACCIMA, Hajiya Saratu Iya – Aliyu who announced this at the official commissioning of INNOSON Vehicle New Automated Production Line at Nnewi, Anambra State, Friday.

“The essence is to monitor and inspect vehicles being imported into the country and ensure that the country do not become dumping ground for used and obsolete vehicles.

 

 

“When you look at the vehicles being imported into the country as fairly used you cannot clearly confirm that those vehicles are good enough for our people and you cannot be sure that it would last. So INNOSON being a manufacturer is in a better position to find out if those vehicles still have life in them,” she said.

 

Also, she urged the Federal and State governments as well as the private sector to ensure provision of the conducive environment so that business such as that of INNOSON can flourish adding that it holds potentials for job creation and reduction of unemployment as well as contribute to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and fast track Industrialization in the country.

 

 

Speaking earlier, Chukwuma noted that “the major attendant benefit of this automated plant is that it will definitely reduce production cost. I am glad to announce that this newly installed plant has successfully reduced the cost of brand new 15-17 seater Hummer buses from sixteen million naira to nine million naira.

 

 

“We intend to duplicate the success of this Production line to other production lines. We shall not stop until an average Nigerian can comfortably purchase a brand new vehicle,” he added.

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How two corps members were de–kitted in Ebonyi

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How two corps members were de–kitted in Ebonyi

L

ike other para- military outfits, the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) has its bye-laws which every corps member must abide with. The laws, though encoded in a handbook, is usually given to every corps members after their registration and arrival to the orientation camp.

 

 

In Ebonyi state, two corps members, Love Okafor and Oritsetsoloye Odji, were sanctioned for flouting the bye law and were immediately sent out of the orientation camp at Macgregor Secondary School Afikpo, Permanent Orientation Camp.

 

Members of the 2019 Batch C Stream 1 posted to the state, are currently undergoing the three – week orientation exercise with two of the members sent home for refusing to wear trousers and other uniforms of the scheme.

 

 

The duo with registration numbers EB/19C/0523 and (EB/19C/0530), respectively, were sanctioned for violating Schedule 1 Article 3 (b) (ix) of the NYSC Bye Laws 1993.

The article deals with code of conduct of Corps Members, especially as it has to do with mode of dressing.

 

 

A copy of the bye laws which the State NYSC made available to Sunday Telegraph, clearly states in Schedule 1 Article 3 that “every member shall observe the following code of conduct during the period for which the code relates’.

It further goes on to state in (b) (ix) that during the orientation, every member shall wear the various uniforms provided for activities.

 

 

Furthermore, it said that the bye laws also stipulated punishment for offenders in schedule 2 article 1(I) (a).

 

The said schedule 2 article (I) (a) states that ‘failure to wear the uniform provided for any particular activity, the Corps Member should be informed to go and wear the uniform, failing which he will be decamped’.

 

 

A statement from the state NYSC, Spokesperson, Ngozi Ukwuoma, said the Camp Director Mrs. Isu Josephine with her team during her routine morning inspection, spotted the two corps members, wearing white T-shirt upon white skirt.

 

 

“When they were accosted and interrogated, they disclosed that they could not wear the white shorts and the trousers the NYSC gave to them since it was against their faith”.

 

 

“However, the Camp Director made efforts to make them see reason why they must obey the rules and regulations guiding the orientation and NYSC, it was futile”, the statement said.

 

 

The Spokesman narrated that after they rebuffed the efforts to make them change their minds, the matter was officially reported and the proceedings for de-kitting them were initiated.

 

 

“The Corps Members were queried and subsequently made to face the Camp Court, where they were found guilty, having made it categorically clear that they were ready to bear the consequences of their actions”, she said.

Ukwuoma noted that the court submitted its recommendations to the camp Management and the Camp Director was directed to de-kit the Corps Members.

 

 

“They were de-kitted in the presence of security agents, who also escorted them to the gate as they left the camp”, the Spokesman added.

 

The action of the state NYSC received wide spread misconception and condemnation. But the command insisted that its action was in order and that it followed due process in the eviction of the two corps members out of the orientation camp.

The State Coordinator of the NYSC, Mrs. Ann Ibe said the NYSC followed due process in de-kiting the Corps members.

 

 

According to her, the Corps Members were queried for flouting Schedule 1 Article 3 (b) (ix) of the NYSC Bye Laws 1993.

 

 

Ibe said the Corps members were de-kitted in line with the recommendations of the NYSC Camp Court.

 

 

The Court, she noted is the NYSC Disciplinary Committee which handles cases arising in camp.

“The Court considered their cases and gave them the opportunity to defend themselves for not being properly kitted in line with service regulations which includes undertaking to keep to the rules and regulations of the scheme”.

 

 

“They were properly defended by a Corps Lawyer and at the end, the Court found them guilty and recommended they be decamped and de-kitted”, she said.

 

 

The State Coordinator however noted that though they were de-kitted and decamped in line with the bye laws of the NYSC, the matter has been forwarded to the Headquarters of the Scheme for final determination.

 

 

Meanwhile, Sunday Telegraph investigations revealed that the officials in the camp tried to convince  the Corps Members to change their mind but they refused.

 

 

The source who spoke on condition of anonymity said the Corps Members told the Camp Court that the decision not to wear the NYSC kits is their personal conviction.

 

 

The two female corps members had already gone back to their homes as they were not in the orientation camp when Sunday Telegraph visited the Camp.

 

 

“The two corps members are no longer in the orientation camp, they have gone home. They left the Orientation Camp immediately they were de-kitted.  They handed all NYSC items in their possession to the command before leaving the camp.

 

 

“You cannot see them here again unless our Headquarters says otherwise and order them back to the camp. We gave every corps members the NYSC Bye law to read and follow the provisions but these two corps members did otherwise that was why they were sanctioned and they were punished in accordance with the law”, an official of the state NYSC who did not want his name in print told our correspondent.

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PDP calls for tight security at collation centres

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PDP calls for tight security at collation centres

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, and the military high command to beef up security around collation centers in Bayelsa and Kogi States. The party also called on its members in the two states to protect their votes and resist every undemocratic means that would change the outcome of the polls.

 

PDP in a statement by the National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan told the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies to ensure that the ballots at every level reflect only the will of the people as expressed at the polling units.

 

The party reminded them that the people already know how they voted, adding, “They already know the outcome of the polls at the respective polling units, they already know how the parties are standing and as such, will never accept any alternation of results at the collation level.”

 

PDP said security agencies should check the agents of Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State and the All Progressives Congress (APC), who the party said, were: “Moving around collation centers with armed hoodlums and compromised security personnel, shooting and disrupting collation processes in their desperation to subvert the aspiration of the people.

 

“The IGP should therefore beef up security at the collation centers to ensure that only legitimate votes count.

 

“This is because any result that does not reflect the will of the people will surely not be accepted.”

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