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Bond yields plunge as CBN tightens money tap

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Bond yields plunge as CBN tightens money tap

Nigerian local-currency bond yields have dropped to 18-month lows as investors pile into the debt after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) restricted sales of higher-yielding, shorter- term central-bank securities, Bloomberg reported yesterday.

 

According to the news agency, the average yield for naira government bonds has dropped 117 basis points to 13.03per cent since the apex bank moved to block individuals and non-bank firms from buying so-called openmarket operations, or OMOs, on Oct. 23. Nigerian investors don’t have access to a wide range of assets: “So after the central bank’s restriction on the purchase of OMOs, they resorted to bonds.

 

The yield will continue to moderate downward, and over time the borrowing cost to government will be lower,” Kunle Ezun, a currency and fixed-income analyst at Ecobank Transnational Inc. was quoted as saying.

 

The yield could fall as low as 12per cent in coming weeks, according to Omotola Abimbola, an analyst with Chapel Hill Denham Securities Ltd. By contrast, OMOs maturing in October next year yielded 14.58per cent on Thursday.

 

OMOs, which typically have maturities of less than a year, were originally used by the central bank to control liquidity and mainly bought by local lenders. But the market had been opened to other investors in the past two years to bring in the hard currency needed to keep the naira from depreciating, and OMOs became one of the main instruments used by foreign carry traders.

 

The OMO restriction is intended to discourage banks from giving loans to customers who will use them to buy high-yielding government securities, according to the CBN. It is one of the recent rules aimed at forcing banks to extend more credit to manufacturers and help spur growth in an economy that’s struggling to recover fully from a 2016 contraction.

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  1. Audrie Kranendonk

    November 12, 2019 at 3:35 pm

    very cool

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Borno: Nigerian troops rescue octogenarian, others from Boko Haram insurgents

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Borno: Nigerian troops rescue octogenarian, others from Boko Haram insurgents

Troops of the Nigerian Army deployed to Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno have subdued Boko Haram terrorists and rescued an octogenarian, three women and four children held captives by the insurgents.

The Nigerian Army Operations Media Coordinator, Col. Aminu Iliyasu, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday in Abuja. Iliyasu said that the rescued victims were evacuated while the children among them were equally administered with Polio Vaccination by a Nigerian Army medical team.

He added that no causalities were recorded by the troops during the commando operations.

According to him, many of the Boko Haram criminal elements fled in disarray towards the summit of Mandara Mountains with gunshot wounds.

“The troops’ resilience and doggedness are unwavering as further exploitation to complete the annihilation of the insurgents is being sustained in the mountainous environment.

“The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, wishes to reassure the public of the resolve of the Nigerian Army to continue to execute our constitutional mandate professionally and responsively for a better secured Nigeria.

“He also thanks all well-meaning Nigerians for their continued support, goodwill and understanding towards officers and men of the Nigerian Army as they sustain the conduct of various operations and routine exercises nationwide,” he said.

Iliyasu said that the army troops had continued to sustain the tempo of the counter-insurgency operations in the North East with a view to decimating and destroying the remnant of Boko Haram/Islamic State West Africa (ISWAP) criminals.

He said the troops had also continued to extract credible intelligence report on the presence of some of the criminal insurgents in the areas.

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Hong Kong protesters hurl petrol bombs in fresh varsity clashes

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Hong Kong protesters hurl petrol bombs in fresh varsity clashes

Fresh violence erupted around a besieged Hong Kong university campus on Sunday morning, as protesters braced for a possible final police push to clear them after fiery clashes overnight.

Huge fires had lit up the night sky at Hong Kong Polytechnic University in Kowloon district hours earlier as protesters hurled petrol bombs, some by catapult, and police fired volleys of tear gas to force them up onto the podium of the red-brick campus.

After a few quiet hours as protesters slept on lawns and in the university library, police fired fresh rounds of teargas shortly after 10am. Activists hurled petrol bombs in return, some igniting trees outside the campus, reports Reuters.

Hours earlier, squads of Chinese soldiers dressed in shorts and T-shirts, some carrying red plastic buckets or brooms, emerged from their barracks in a rare public appearance to help residents clear debris blocking key roads.

Parts of the campus looked more like a fortress on Sunday morning, with barricades and black-clad protesters manning the ramparts with improvised weapons like bricks, crates of fire bombs, and bows and arrows at the ready.

“We don’t want to attack the police, we just want to safeguard our campus….and we want to safeguard Hong Kong,” said Chan, 20, a year-three student at the university who did not want to provide her full name.

The campus is the last of five universities to be occupied, with activists using it as a base to continue to block the city’s central cross-harbor road tunnel.

The presence of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers on the streets, even to help clean up, could stoke further controversy over Hong Kong’s autonomous status at a time many fear Beijing is tightening its grip on the city.

Hong Kong did not request assistance from the PLA and the military initiated the operation as a “voluntary community activity”, a spokesman for the city’s government said.

Pro-democracy lawmakers condemned the PLA’s actions in a joint statement, warning that under the city’s Garrison Law the military must not interfere in local affairs unless it was asked by the government to help with disaster relief or public order, government-funded broadcaster RTHK reported.

The Asian financial hub has been rocked by months of demonstrations, with many people angry at perceived Communist Party meddling in the former British colony, which was guaranteed its freedoms when it returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

Beijing denies interfering and has blamed the unrest on foreign influences.

Clashes between protesters and police have become increasingly violent in the Chinese-ruled city, which is grappling with its biggest political crisis in decades.

The demonstrations pose the gravest popular challenge to Chinese President Xi Jinping since he came to power in 2012.

Xi has said he is confident the Hong Kong government can resolve the crisis. Until Saturday, Chinese troops in the city had remained inside their base during the protests.

Chinese state media repeatedly broadcast comments made on Thursday by President Xi, in which he denounced the unrest and said “stopping violence and controlling chaos while restoring order is currently Hong Kong’s most urgent task”.

Efforts on Saturday to clear blocked roads followed some of the worst violence seen this year after a police operation against protesters at the Chinese University of Hong Kong on Tuesday.

The authorities have since largely stayed away from at least five university campuses that had been barricaded by thousands of students and activists stockpiling makeshift weapons.

Many protesters appeared to have left the campuses by late Saturday but Hong Kong’s Cross-Harbour Tunnel was still blocked by protesters occupying Polytechnic University.

Earlier, hundreds of pro-China demonstrators gathered by the city’s legislature and police headquarters, waving Chinese and Hong Kong flags.

Some held up posters reading “Police we stand with you”, while others chanted “Support the police”. Pro-China protests have so far attracted much smaller numbers than those angry at Beijing.

By late afternoon on Saturday, PLA soldiers had left the streets outside Baptist University beside their barracks in Kowloon Tong.

Chinese troops have appeared on Hong Kong’s streets only once since the 1997 handover, to help clear up after a typhoon in 2018. It was not clear how many were involved in Saturday’s operations.

The PLA garrison in Hong Kong said that when residents began cleaning, some troops “helped clear the road in front of the garrison gate”.

In August, Beijing moved thousands of troops across the border into Hong Kong in what state news agency Xinhua described as a routine rotation.

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Report: INEC declares 30 staff missing in Kogi

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Report: INEC declares 30 staff missing in Kogi

The electoral commission, INEC, has declared 30 of its staff missing.

The ad-hoc staff took part in Saturday’s Kogi State governorship election. They were posted to Olamaboro Local Government Area (LGA) by the commission.

They were declared missing around 1 a.m. on Sunday during the final collation of results in the local government.

The missing INEC staff include Presiding Officers (POs) and Assistant Presiding Officers (APOs) of polling units in Imane ward 1 and 2 of Olamaboro LGA of Kogi State.

Many of the ad-hoc staff used by INEC are NYSC members.

Just as the whereabouts of the officials are unknown, results from the polling units where they served have also been declared missing, reports online news portal, PREMIUM TIMES.

Announcing the development, the LGA Election Officer, in-charge of collating and announcing the local government’s results, Garba Mahmood, said the INEC ad-hoc staff were reported missing after the observation of some police officers who raised concern that they were last seen shortly after voting ended at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Mahmood said repeated calls to their telephone numbers did not go through.

According to those who witnessed the declaration by Mahmood, the official asked party agents whether or not the missing staff should be waited for. Based on their response, he declared them missing.

Mahmood then released the names of the missing persons.

The online news portal said it tried to contact the spokesperson to the INEC chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, on the status of the missing staff. But he did not answer calls or reply to a text message sent to him.

The police spokesperson in Kogi, William Aya, could also not be reached on the status of the missing persons.

The Kogi governorship election was characterized by violence, ballot box snatching, intimidation of voters and vote buying in many parts of the state.

Although 24 candidates are contesting the election, it is seen as a context between incumbent governor Yahaya Bello of the APC and Musa Wada of the PDP.

See the list of the missing staff as provided by INEC and the police at the Olamaboro collation centre.

Olamaboro III

Unit 002- (1) Oladipo Victor

(2) Achimi Samson P-08136653704

(3) Umar Faruk Sani-08032745663

(4) Adama Ibrahim

Unit 006- (1) Abayomi Roseline E.

(2) Onuche Abel E

(3) Onojah Emmanuel

(4) Umoru Mariam-

Unit 013- (1) Effiong Akwaowo-Ukpe

(2) Mattew Agada

(3) Samuel Ibrahim

(4) Sado Bello

Imane 1

Unit 006- (1) Nzeofia Kingsley- Presiding Officer (PO)

(2) Hassan Musa- Assistant Presiding Officer 1 (APO 1)

(3) Ekele Michael – Assistant Presiding Officer 2(APO 2)

(4) Ahmed Mattew – Assistant Presiding Officer 3(APO 3 )

Unit 012 -(1) Ovioawho Omonefe B.- Presiding Officer (PO)

(2) Baba Eric -Assistant Presiding Officer 1 (APO 1)

(3) Gabriel Samuel Assistant Presiding Officer 2 (APO 2)

Unit 015-(1) Nwafor Emmanuel- Presiding Officer (PO)

(2) Agada Ochegeugwa- Assistant Presiding Officer 1(APO 1)

(3) Ojih Martina- Assistant Presiding Officer 2(APO 2)

Unit 016 (1) Ezugwu Stanley- Presiding Officer (PO)

(2) Mohammed Abdullahi- Assistant Presiding Officer 1(APO 1)

(3) Mohammed Ibrahim- Assistant Presiding Officer 2(APO 2)

(4) Adejoh Joy- Assistant Presiding Officer 3(APO 3)

Unit 022 (1) Adebisi Comfort – Presiding Officer (PO)

(2) Yusuf Sofiat- Assistant Presiding Officer 1(APO 1)

(3) Onoja Alice- Assistant Presiding Officer 2(APO 2)

(4) Onuche Vincent- Assistant Presiding Officer 3(APO 3)

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Trump visits hospital for unscheduled two-hour medical checkup

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Trump visits hospital for unscheduled two-hour medical checkup

Donald Trump spent more than two hours at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Saturday for what the White House said were medical tests as part of his annual physical.

The appointment wasn’t on Trump’s weekend public schedule, and his last physical was in February. His Press Secretary, Stephanie Grisham, said the 73-year-old president was “anticipating a very busy 2020” and wanted to take advantage of “a free weekend” in Washington to begin portions of his routine checkup.

She did not specify which tests he’d received or explain why the visit had not been disclosed in advance. Trump’s 2018 and 2019 physicals were both announced ahead of time and appeared on his public schedule, reports the Associated Press.

Grisham said the president had “a quick exam and labs” and remains in good health.

“The president remains healthy and energetic without complaints, as demonstrated by his repeated vigorous rally performances in front of thousands of Americans several times a week,” she said.

Trump also spent time at the hospital meeting with the family of a special forces soldier injured in Afghanistan. And he visited with medical staff “to share his thanks for all the outstanding care they provide to our wounded warriors, and wish them an early happy Thanksgiving,” Grisham said.

It was the president’s ninth visit to the hospital since taking office.

Trump’s last checkup, in February 2019, showed he had gained weight in office. At 110kg (243lb) and 190cm (6 feet 3 inches), he passed the official threshold for being considered obese, with a body mass index (BMI) of 30.4.

That checkup, which was supervised by Trump’s physician, Dr Sean Conley, took more than four hours and involved a panel of 11 specialists.

Saturday’s test came as House investigators on Capitol Hill were interviewing a White House budget official as part of the impeachment inquiry. Trump has insisted he did nothing wrong.

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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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