The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it stands by its statement that the All Progressives Congress (APC) will not field candidates for the 2019 general elections in Zamfara.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, stated this on the sideline of the opening of a two-day validation workshop titled “Study on the cost of elections in ECOWAS Region” on Monday in Abuja.
“We have issued a statement on Zamfara and nothing has changed. We stand by the statement that we issued,” he said.
Yakubu re-emphasised that the deadline for submission of party candidates’ name to the commission was October 18, saying that it would give a full report on that after November 18.
INEC had informed the ruling APC in a leaked memo that it would not be allowed to field candidates for elective positions in Zamfara in the 2019 elections.
The commission’s acting Secretary, Okechukwe Ndeche, in a letter to the APC said that the party was barred from fielding candidates for governorship, national assembly and state assembly elections.
The commission said this was because APC failed to comply with Sections 87 and 31 of the Electoral Act of 2010.
Parties, according to the act, were expected to comply with the timetable and schedule of INEC, which says that the conduct of primaries must be held between August 18 and October 7.
INEC said it received reports from its Zamfara office, indicating that no primaries were conducted in the state “notwithstanding that our officials were fully mobilised and deployed.”
The APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole responded to INEC in a statement and said that the party had already arrived at a consensus before the deadline.
Oshiomhole said that following the high level of friction, disagreements and threats of violence by various political camps before the primaries, all the aspirants met at City King Hotel, Gusau, to find a truce.
“After hours of intense horse-trading, a consensus was reached within the spirit and context of the electoral act and the constitution of our party.
“This was done in strict compliance with Section 87 (6) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended),” he said.
He said that the claim by INEC that no primaries were conducted could only be referring to its officials’ observation that actual voting did not take place.
The APC chairman said that conduct of primaries was not the only mode prescribed for producing candidates in the electoral act, 2010 (as amended).
“We, therefore, affirm that indeed, primaries took place in Zamfara State,” Oshiomhole said.
The party chairman also noted that PDP had similar issues in Kano State and wondered why INEC did not bar the opposition party from fielding candidates.
Yakubu further said that the commission would by the end of November print the outstanding Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).
“We have printed the PVCs for those who registered in the first quarter of 2018. We are right now simultaneously printing for those who registered in the second and third quarters.
“We are looking at the end of November for all the PVCs to be printed including request for transfer and relocation.
“Let me just repeat the assurance that every citizen that registered and who have applied for transfer or replacement will get his or her PVC before 2019 general elections.”
He, however, said that the commission had stopped every registration, request for transfer and replacement of damaged PVCs.
NIJ appoints new deputy provost, acting registrar
The governing council of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ), Lagos, has approved the appointment of a new deputy provost, Dr Dele Omojuyigbe and an acting registrar, Mrs Patricia Kalesanwo for the institute. The Witness reports.
In a statement signed by the Provost of the Institute, Mr Gbemiga Ogunleye and obtained by The Witness on Friday, the council said the appointments take effects immediately.
Dr Omojuyigbe, a seasoned journalist holds a Doctorate Degree in English Language from the University of Ibadan, and Post Graduate Diploma in journalism from the College of Journalism, Lagos.
The Witness reports that he held the position of the head of department, General Studies for over a decade and worked as a journalist in Daily Times of Nigeria and other media houses. Dr Omojuyigbe was a visiting member of the editorial board of Daily Independent newspaper.
She holds a Master Degree in Adult Education (Communication of Arts) from the University of Ibadan and has also worked as a journalist with the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, Ibadan Zonal office.
BREAKING: Nigerian footballer contracts coronavirus
A Nigerian footballer, King Paul Akpan Udoh, who is an Italian-Nigerian player, has become the first footballer to be infected with the coronavirus.
The Witness reports that King Paul who currently plies his trade with Pianese, an Italian Serie C side, was diagnosed with the disease on February 27, and he has been quarantined.
The 22-year-old Pianese forward started his career with Reggiana before moving to Juventus in 2011 where he was loaned back for a year. After progressing through the youth ranks of Juventus, the Nigerian footballer secured a loan move to Virtus Lanciano, a Serie B side in 2016 with an option to buy at the end of the season.
However, after failing to impress, Udoh was returned to Juventus and then loaned to Lega Pro side Pontedera later the same year. He had a loan stint with Pontedera, Fernana, Fano and Viareggio before joining Pianese on July 14, 2019.
The deadly coronavirus has spread from China to countries in Europe, the Middle East, the Americas and Africa with Italy being the country in Europe with the highest number of reported cases.
This online news platform understands that some Italian Serie A matches were postponed last weekend as a preventive measure against the spread of the virus.
On Friday, the Lagos state government and the federal ministry of health confirmed the first case of coronavirus in Nigeria. The index patient is an Italian who arrived in the country on Tuesday, February 25.
Nigerian Footballer Contracts Coronavirus
Dr Osagie Ehanire, the minister of health, confirmed the case in a statement issued in the early hours of Friday, February 28, 2020, saying that the case involves an Italian citizen who works in Nigeria and just returned from Milan, Italy on the 25th of February 2020.
This online news platform understands that the statement said the Italian was confirmed to be positive by the Virology Laboratory of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, part of the Laboratory Network of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
The ministry said in a statement that: “The case, which was confirmed on the 27th of February 2020, is the first case to be reported in Nigeria since the outbreak in China in January 2020.
“The case is an Italian citizen who entered Nigeria on the 25th of February from Milan, Italy for a brief business visit. He fell ill on the 26th February and was transferred to Lagos State Biosecurity Facilities for isolation and testing. COVID-19 infection was confirmed by the Virology Laboratory of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, part of the Laboratory Network of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control. The patient is clinically stable, with no serious symptoms, and is being managed at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba, Lagos.
“The Government of Lagos State under the Governor as the COVID-19 Incident Commander, through the Lagos State Ministry of Health, has been strengthening measures to ensure that any outbreak in Lagos is controlled and contained quickly in collaboration with the multi-sectoral Coronavirus Preparedness Group, led by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). We have immediately activated the State Emergency Operations Centre to respond to this case and implement firm control measures.
“I wish to assure all Lagosians and Nigerians that we have been strengthening our preparedness since the first confirmation of cases in China. We will use all the resources made available by the State and the Federal Government to respond to this case.
“We are working to identify all the contacts of the patient since he arrived in Nigeria. Please, be reminded that most people who become infected may experience only a mild illness and recover easily, but it can be more severe in others, particularly the elderly and persons with other underlying chronic illnesses,” the statement read in part.
Nigerian senate slams FG over Coronavirus
Ahmad Lawan, the President of the Nigerian Senate, on Thursday, accused the Federal Ministry of Health of not putting serious measures in place to prevent the outbreak of coronavirus in Nigeria.
He, however, asked the Senate Committee on Primary Health Care to liaise with the ministry to intensify screening of passengers at the nation’s airports and seaports.
Lawan stated this following a point of order by the Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Ajayi Boroffice.
Boroffice drew the attention of the Senate to the failure of health personnel at the airports and seaports to screen passengers coming into the country.
Recall, an Italian citizen who traveled to Lagos, Nigeria’s economic nerve center, is the first confirmed case of coronavirus in sub Saharan Africa, according to the country’s Health Ministry.
The senator said the coronavirus screening at the South African airport usually takes up to 30 minutes before passengers would be allowed to disembark the aircraft.
He said the situation was different on his arrival at the Nigerian airport, when the health officials at the nation’s airports merely issued a form to passengers to indicate if they were sick or not.
He said, “There is no form of any screening of passengers for coronavirus by Nigerian officials at the airport.
“It’s worrisome, situations where travelers coming into the country were not dully screened for the dreaded virus based on his experience at the airport.”`
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