General news

Community leader calls for  preservation of culture, traditions

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A Community leader, Mr Eloke Onwuka, has called for preservation and sustenance of culture and traditions from going into extinction through active participation in annual festivals.


Onwuka, from Umuomahe Family of Obodogba Quarters in Okpanam area of Delta, made the call while celebrating the New Yam Festival on Tuesday in Okpanam.

He said the call became necessary in view of the care free attitude of some people toward the celebration of festivals in their communities.

Onwuka said there was need for people to wholeheartedly embrace traditions and culture at all times, noting that any society without cultural heritage was doomed.

“The New Yam festival is a veritable instrument to appreciate God for His numerous blessings and protection of lives.

“Culture and traditions are notable ingredients of an informed and recognised society, which enhance togetherness as well as mutual understanding.

“I decided to cook and entertain the people, especially my kinsmen as a symbol of love and unity,” he said.

Onwuka then urged youths to always show respect for their elders in order to tap from their blessings and wealth of experiences.

He said that there was need for them to shun crimes and violent activities at all times.

Onwuka, however, thanked his kinsmen and wells wishers, particularly non indigenes residing in the community for making out time to identify with the community.

He called on people of the community to unite and shun divisive tendencies.

“No meaningful socioeconomic development can take place in an atmosphere of rancour,” the community leader said.

He thanked Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa and the State Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Mr Patrick Ukah, for their giant strides in developing the community.

Edited By: Olagoke Olatoye
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/community-leader-calls-for-preservation-of-culture-traditions/

Politics

Edo electorate hail INEC, security agencies

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A cross-section of voters in Saturday’s governorship election in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area (LGA) of Edo has expressed satisfaction with the performance of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials.


The people also lauded the security operatives deployed in the area for demonstrating maturity and professionalism during the exercise.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that INEC ensured timely distribution of electoral materials, followed by accrediction and voting in the area.

Mr Matthew Iduoriyenkenwen, the former state Commissioner in the Niger Delta Development Commission, who voted at Umelu Primary School Ward 5, comprising Units 26 and 27, said that materials arrived early in the area.

Iduoriyenkenwen also said that accreditation and voting commenced simultaneously on schedule and in an orderly manner in Unit 27.

He said that although materials arrived late at Unit 26, the development did affect the peaceful conduct of the exercise in the area.

Mr Amadi Osayande, a former Controller of Edo Correctional Centre, described INEC’s performance at the poll as impressive.

Osayande also said that the exercise was peaceful and orderly at Oka Market, Ward 8, Unit 37, where he voted.

Mr Martins Evbuomwan, who voted at Abico Market, Ward 7 with Units 1 to 13, also lauded the peaceful conduct of the exercise in the area.

The situation was also the same at Ivbeiye-nvea Primary School, Ward 5, Units 1 to 17 and St. Marria Goretti Secondary School, Ward 6, 13 to 18.

Mrs Esohe Aihamoje said that materials arrived early and that accreditation and voting commenced on schedule.

NAN reports that operatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Corps and police were seen in all the polling units visited.

However, in Uhunmwode LGA, there were cases of card reader failure during accreditation in some of the polling units visited.

Although INEC officials and materials arrived early at Oke-Orhue, Ward 4, Units 3, the card reader for Unit 3 could not function during accreditation.

However, the malfunctioning card reader was later replaced and accreditation and voting commenced at about 11: 35 am.

A voter, Mr Reymond Oshogbe, expressed delight over the timely replacement of the faulty card reader, adding that the process was calm and peaceful.

At Ehor, Ward 1, the headquarters of Uhumwode LGA, the electoral process was also peaceful with large turnout of voters.

Edited By: Constance Imasuen/Sam Oditah
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/edo-electorate-hail-inec-security-agencies/
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Politics

Wrap-up: An overview of Edo governorship election 

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The Edo governorship election on Saturday held across the 18 local government areas of the state with commendation for the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) for a peaceful conduct of the election from observers.


Correspondents of the News Agency of Nigeria ( NAN), who monitored  the exercise in the three senatorial  districts of the state, report that voters and election monitoring groups expressed satisfaction over the process in spite of the pre election apprehension of violence.

NAN observed high turnout of voters across the polling units, with substantial compliance with the COVID-19  safety protocol while INEC staff, who arrived early in most of the polling units with voting materials, provided hand washing buckets, sanitiser and thermometers.

The polling units witnessed visible presecence of security personnel in all the polling centres visited.

In Edo North, Mr John Atsegameh, an election observer,  with Centre for Democracy and Development CDD, described the election as peaceful devoid of any violence.

“From the reports am getting from other places the election is free and devoid of violence.

“The electorate conducted themselves properly; there was a strict adherance to COVID-19 safety protocols.

“So far, no form of violence, party agents conducted themselves and corporated with INEC personnel’” he said.

Similarly, the Minister of State Budget and National Planning, Mr Clem Agba and Sen. Francis Alimikhena (APC-Edo-North) expressed satisfaction on the conduct of the Edo governorship election.

Agba stated this shortly after casting his vote at Uzani, Ward 3, Unit 8 in Etsako East Local Government Area of Edo.

The minister commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the process, saying that he was impressed with the exercise.

“I can only say here and if it is the reflection in other places then it is good” the minister said.

Sen. Alemikhena, APC Edo-North Senatorial District, said that he was impressed with the large turnout of voters.

“The turnout here today is totally unprecedented,” he said.

Alemikhena, however, expressed confidence that with the turnout and peaceful conduct of the poll, his party would win.

“This area is APC and we expect 100 per cent, I am very confident thst if everything goes well like this our party, APC is sure of victory,” he said.

In Edo Central district, aside the report of slight delay in one polling unit arising  from failed card reader, which was promptly replaced, the electorate and respondents applauded the conduct of the Governorship election.

There was large turnout of voters across all polling units in Esan West Local Government Area of the state.

 

Most of the voters arrived in the various polling units before officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

 

Some of the polling units visited by our correspondent included those in Ward 6 (Ogbomoide Primary School) with polling units 6, 7 & 8, and polling units 3, 4 & 5 (Central Primary School) all in Iruekpen, Esan West.

 

Others included polling Unit 2 in Ward 5 (Uhunmudumu Primary School) in Ekpoma which has six voting points.

 

Accreditation of voters and voting commenced on scheduled at these polling units.

 

While electoral materials and officials arrived on time at the polling units, security personnel were visible in all the polling units visited.

Also at the polling units were Policemen as well as personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) and the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC). 

The situation was not different in Edo South as the only two cases of police authority dismissed the two alleged reported cases of gunshots at Oza in Orhionmwon LGA and Ologbo, a border town between Edo and Delta.

There was calm situation at Ugboko ward 5 unit 26, in Orhionmwon

and ward 5 Unit 19 in Oredo Local Government Area, where Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and Godwin Obaseki, both governorship candidates of APC and PDP, respectively, voted.

Some of the electorate who spoke with NAN in separate interviews commended INEC for adhering to the COVID-19 safety protocols during the electoral process.

Mr Benson Ibizugbe said that he was impressed that the process was going on peacefully and violence-free.

Ibizugbe said ”INEC did a good job by conducting a peaceful election here.

“There has not been issues of faulty equipment and they provided face masks for voters who don’t have to make them eligible to vote”.

An INEC observer, Ada Opkara, from Smile Africa, said that the voting process was seamless and commended the people of Ugboko ward for their peaceful conduct.

“I resumed here at 7: 18 a.m. before the INEC staff resumed activities, from that time till now, about three hours later, everywhere is calm.

“The electorate are cooperative and they are obeying the rules of COVID-19 and INEC officials,” he said.

She expressed optimism that the peaceful atmosphere at the polling unit would continue throughout the voting process going by the presence of security personnel.

Another electorate, Mr Monday Erhabor, said that he was happy that there was no violence at the voting centre.

“Everywhere is calm and peaceful, there is no violence, the security is tight and we are sure of a free and fair process,” he said..

Some of the electorate who spoke with NAN in separate interviews commended INEC for adhering to the COVID-19 safety protocols during the electoral process.

Mr Benson Ibizugbe said that he was impressed that the process was going on peacefully and violence-free.

Ibizugbe said ”INEC did a good job by conducting a peaceful election here.

“There has not been issues of faulty equipment and they provided face masks for voters who don’t have to make them eligible to vote”.

An INEC observer, Ada Opkara, from Smile Africa, said that the voting process was seamless and commended the people of Ugboko ward for their peaceful conduct.

“I resumed here at 7: 18 a.m. before the INEC staff resumed activities, from that time till now, about three hours later, everywhere is calm.

“The electorate are cooperative and they are obeying the rules of COVID-19 and INEC officials,” he said.

She expressed optimism that the peaceful atmosphere at the polling unit would continue throughout the voting process going by the presence of security personnel.

Another electorate, Mr Monday Erhabor, said that he was happy that there was no violence at the voting centre.

“Everywhere is calm and peaceful, there is no violence, the security is tight and we are sure of a free and fair process,” he said..

Obaseki, however, expressed different opinion taking a swipe at INEC and security operatives on his noticed lapses on their parts.

The PDP governorship candidate said he expected better preparations from INEC for the Saturday’s governorship poll, after queueing for over an hour before voting.

He stated this, shortly after he cast his vote  at 11:48a.m, having joined the queue for hand washing at 10:24a.m.

According to him, to wait for one and half hours on the queue before exercising his franchise is a bit disappointing.

“Given that this is a sole day election, I expected a bit more planning and preparation, and resources should have been put into this election.

“During the last presidential election in my polling unit, there were two polling points which helped thep voters. You all are witnesses of how long this has taken.

“The card reader is working very slowly, and this is the situation in all the major voting centres in Oredo Local Government area of the state as I speak.

“In Garrick Memorial Secondary School, I understand that more than 500 voters are already stranded because they can’t vote because of the slow processing of the card readers.

“One would have expected that INEC will have deployed more card readers and more voting points in highly numbered polling centres,” he said.

On the issue of vote buying at polling units, the governor said that the security agencies were not doing what they assured Edo people and Nigerians of, before the election.

“The security agencies assured us that they won’t allow anybody who don’t have business of voting in a particular place to be there, but they are working on the contrary to what they promised us.

“You can see cars parked with a lot of cash being disbursed to people and it seems to be normal practice, but we are not perturbed. People know what to do; cash can’t buy their future,” he added.

Meanwhile, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Adeleye Oyebade, in charge of Edo governoship election, has said nobody who violated electoral laws would be above the law.

Oyebade spoke after inspecting INEC’s office where the final collation and results of the Edo governorship election would be announced.

He said that the security agencies had appealed to the electorate and major actors not to cross the line, but do the needful.

He explained that the inspection was to further strengthen what was on ground, adding that minor issues that had been brought before the security agencies were being handled.

He noted that every security agency in the state under the banner of Inter Agencies Consultative Committee on Election Security were all involved in the election security to ensure free, fair and acceptable results at the end of the poll.

He said that security agencies were committed to ensuring that the election was conducted peacefully, adding that nothing was too much to sacrifice for the success of the election.

On the allleged shooting of an electorate at Ologbo in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government area and the alleged shooting at Oza, in Orhiomwon Local Government Area, Oyebade said that there was nothing of such.

Reporters/

Edited By: Kayode Olaitan
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/wrap-up-an-overview-of-edo-governorship-election/
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Politics

Edo election: Security team investigates reports of gunshots

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Heads of security for the Edo governorship election announce on Saturday that they have set out to investigate various areas and polling units where cases of gunshots were reported earlier during accreditation and voting.


Mr Adeleye Oyebade, Deputy Inspector-General of Police, who heads the Edo election Security Monitoring Team, told the News Agency of Nigeria that they were moving to areas where they had earlier received complaints of gunshots.

Oyebade added that their visit was to also ensure that election activities were going on according  to electoral laws.

NAN reports that though the electoral process has been peaceful, there were cases of gunshots in the morning of Saturday at Oza community, near Abudu in Orhiomwon Local Government Area, and Ologbo, a border town between Edo and Delta.

A member of one of the political parties at Ologbo in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area was said to have been allegedly shot by a suspected thug.

But the Enogie (traditional Head) of Ologbo Jason Akenzua, who confirmed hearing gunshots, said that the Divisional Police Officer for the area told him that the gunshots were from security operatives to disperse the unruly crowd in the area.

Edited By: Kevin Okunzuwa/Kayode Olaitan
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/edo-election-security-team-investigates-reports-of-gunshots/
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COVID-19

COVID-19 FG will support MSMEs with N75bn loan — DG SMEDAN

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The Federal Government will support Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) with N75 billion survival fund to cushion the negative effects of COVID-19 pandemic on small businesses.


Alhaji Dikko Radda, Director-General, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN), dislosed this during the closing of National Business Skills Development Initiative (NBSDI) in Katsina on Friday.

The SMEDAN boss said that the N75billion survival loan would support 500,000 MSMEs and 333,000 artisans across the country.

He pointed out that the implementation of the N75 billion MSMEs Survival Fund nationwide would help to cushion the negative effects of COVID-19 pandemic on small businesses.

He explained that NBSDI was designed to provide entrepreneurship skill and  empowerment material (equipment) to bridge the capacity gap of the youth.

According to him, the programme is also aimed at enhancing youth engagement in productive ventures, thereby ensuring that they become independent.

“The initiative is designed to ensure that more professional services will be provided by local and well trained young artisans leading to reduction in job losses to immigrants from neighbouring countries.

“It further seeks to pursue a drastic reduction in poverty as most of the our of youths who still rely on stipends from parents are empowered to become self – reliant,” Radda said.

The DG announced that the National Business Development Initiative was being implemented in seven states of the federation.

There are  Katsina, Rivers, Delta, Ebonyi, Adamawa, Niger, Lagos, Kwara, Bauchi , Zamfara and Ekiti where a total of 1,397 entrepreneurs will benefit from the programme. 

AIS//

Edited By: Chinyere Nwachukwu/Wale Ojetimi
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/covid-19-fg-will-support-msmes-with-n75bn-loan-dg-smedan/
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