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2019 elections: We are not in support of Buhari or Atiku – British govt explains

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The British Government has clarified that it will maintain neutrality as Nigerians head to polls early next year to elect who will be piloting the affairs of the nation for the next four years.

The Political Adviser to the Country’s Deputy British High Commissioner, Mr. Wale Adebajo said this while speaking at a one-day dialogue programme tagged: ‘Enhancing Electoral Participation of PWDs in 2019 General Elections’.

He said that the British government is supporting neither President Buhari nor the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar or any other candidate in the election.

Adebajo said the National Disability bill that is awaiting presidential assent will help in resolving some of the issues bedevilling the group in the country.

This is as international agencies in conjunction with local Civil Society Organisations told the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to fashion out ways for Peoples Living with Disabilities (PWDs) to easily participate in the electoral system in 2019.

The agencies, which include: British High Commission and Australian High Commission in Nigeria, British Department for International Development (DFID) and Foundation For Justice and Social Development (FOJSOD), stated that excluding the people living with disabilities from the electoral system is not in consonance with the global best practices.

Adebajo applauded INEC for including PWDs in its strategic plan for 2017-2021 elections, saying the British government and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) were favourably disposed to the action.

“When we pointed out in the Ondo governorship election the need to make the PWDs more inclusive in our elections, INEC responded positively to our response by establishing desk officers in INEC offices to take care of the PWDs. This to us was a signal of INEC’s commitment to improving access to the electoral system.

“We want to clear the air that the British government is not supporting any candidate in the election. We are neutral when it comes to the election in Nigeria,” he said.

The DFID Regional Programme Officer, Mrs Margaret Fagboyo, said the agency has always believed that PWDs should be beneficiaries of the sustainable development in Nigeria, which unfettered access to participate in elections was part of.

“In 2019, INEC must ensure that ballot boxes are placed where they can access easily, the police shouldn’t harass them, and they should be accorded respect. They should be seen as critical stakeholders in any election.

“We commend INEC for noticing where they are lapses and trying to improve on them. We can’t leave these people behind while taking critical decisions just because they are having one form of disability, if this happens, definitely there will be problem.”

The Resident Electoral Commissioner, Ekiti State, Prof Abduganiy Raji, said INEC has identified those critical areas where PWDs are having problems in the electoral system, saying such were being tackled through policy formulation and strong legal framework.

Raji said those with disabilities were effectively sensitized before the July 14 governorship election in the state and that, he said, accounted for the major breakthrough recorded in the poll.

“The overall goal of this programme is to consolidate inclusive electoral process that would be in consonance with the international best practices devoid of any rancour or acrimony but free, fair, transparent and acceptable elections.

“In this programme , we must also identify those critical challenges affecting participation of PWDs in elections, they should understand legal provision and policies framework that can support electoral participation and to engage electoral stakeholder to mainstream PWDs into electoral engagement,” Raji said.

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BREAKING: Police Council confirms Adamu Mohammed as IGP

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Mohammed

The National Council of State and National Police Council has approved the appointment of the Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), Adamu Mohammed as the new IG of the Nigeria Police Force.

Adamu was confirmed at the police council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday.

Musiliu Smith, chairman of the police service commission, and governors of the 36 states were part of the meeting.

Mohammed was appointed in the acting capacity on January 15, 2019 following the retirement of former IGP, Ibrahim Idris.

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Ekiti Gov. Fayemi elected Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum

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Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi has been elected Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF.

Fayemi was chosen by a consensus after he was nominated by Nasir el-Rufai, with Ifeanyi Okowa, governor of Delta state, seconding his nomination.

Abdulaziz Yari, the immediate past chairman, announced this on Wednesday evening.

He said Fayemi was unanimously elected by the governors to lead the forum till 2021.

“Members also elected Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State as the Vice-Chairman of the forum from 2019 to 2021,” Yari said.

He explained that Tambuwal was nominated by Akinwumi Ambode, governor of Lagos State and seconded by Rotimi Akeredolu, his Ondo State counterpart.

Reading a communique at the end of the meeting, Yari said that the forum was concerned with the recent guidelines of the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU).

The guidelines according to him sought to impose restriction on the powers of states and local governments to operate within constitutionally approved parameters.

“The new guidelines have no legal basis under the NFIU Act and are contrary to constitutional provisions which put the State Joint Local Government Account under the legislation of the state houses of assembly,” he said.

“The guidelines will also be detrimental to the interest of States and local governments by crippling programmes such as the Universal Basic Education programme, Primary Health Care Under One Roof, as well as the payment of the salaries of teachers, medical doctor and health workers among others which are primarily funded by state governments.”

On the call by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors to declare state of emergency on issue of insecurity, Yari said that they had all agreed to meet President Muhammadu Buhari for one-on-one discussion.

“The issue of security is under the mandate of Mr president, we are supporting him because he is the Commander-in-Chief and we hope to come up with solutions with him, ” he said.

In his acceptance remark, Fayemi expressed his gratitude for the confidence reposed on him by colleagues.

He pledged to build on the achievements of his predecessors and success stories of the forum.

“We will build on commitment with strong partnership with the Federal Government as federating unit and trash out issues as amicably as possible, in the over all interest of the country,” he said.

He pledged that they would represent the interests of Nigeria irrespective of their political affiliations.

“Whatever we are going to do will be in overall interest of the nation in ensuring that our states are continuously strengthened,” he said.

“Our country derives the benefit of strong, dedicated states to our citizens and the partnership with all arms of government, development partners working with us in the over all interest of Nigeria.

He commended the outgoing chairman and the secretariat for their commitment to states and Nigeria at large, TheCable reports.

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UI Alumni of Statistics department in reunion frenzy

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Plans are already in top gear as students of the Department of Statistics, University of Ibadan are set to mark the first homecoming/reunion event of past graduates of the department between June 7 and 8, 2019.

The two-day programme, which will audaciously take place at the department complex on the campus, is themed: “Homecoming event for Nation Builders and Celebration of Achievement.”

The Head of Department, Dr. Angela Chukwu, said the event is aimed at bringing together all alumni of the department to reunite and hopefully work together with the department in supporting research, creativity and to initiate an endowment fund to assist exceptional but less-privileged students of the department.

The event kicks off on June 7 with a breakfast and networking meet and exchange of pleasantries after a long time of leaving the department for greener pastures.

Afterwards, two alumni of the department, Prof. D.K. Shangodoyin, a Professor of Statistics, University of Botswana, and President, African Statistical Association; and Dr. Mohammed Tumala, Director of Statistics, Central Bank of Nigeria, will deliver keynote addresses.

The event will feature a panel discussion amongst distinguished alumni, which include Prof. Joy Nwabueze, Prof. Ethelbert Nduka, Olubusola Oyebadejo and Emmanuel John Udoh, who will all share expert opinions on the impact of statistics degrees in their various fields.

The second day of the programme, June 8, will be a social event where the department will be recognizing retired members of staff of the department and formally recognize and congratulate the newest professors in the department.

There will also be an official launch of the department’s Hall of Fame and an inauguration of the UI Statistics Department Ambassadors,” both of which will be moderated and conducted by the Head of Department.

The highlight of this home-coming event is the dinner/fund raiser ceremony at the International Conference Centre University of Ibadan.

The event is to celebrate many accomplishments of the department alumni, giving a chance to catch up on sweet memories with old classmates, lecturers and members of staff while enjoying a thrilling event in the ancient city of Ibadan.

Intending alumni of the department are urged to confirm their attendances at the event, through this GSM number: 08055441106, via sms.

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