The National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, on Monday warned that electoral violators would face the consequences of their actions, if caught during the Sept.19, Edo governorship election.
Yakubu gave the warning during an expanded stakeholders’ meeting organised by INEC in Benin.
He listed some of the infractions to include vote-buying, ballot box snatching and stuffing, multiple voting, hijacking and diversion of election materials among others.
“Edo people must be allowed to freely vote for their preferred candidate without inducement or harassment.
“We have been assured by the security agencies that thugs and their sponsors will not have the freedom to move around freely to disrupt the election or collation of results.’’
Yakubu also disclosed that the national headquarters of INEC would monitor the election throughout the state through a zoom situation room.
“This zoom situation room will allow us receive live reports from the field. Accredited observers and the media will also be invited to join at intervals.
“By doing so, the commission will receive first-hand information as the election is going on.’’
The INEC boss, however, reassured Edo people that their votes would count adding that only the choice made by the people of Edo would determine the outcome of the election.
Yakubu explained that the commission would not take any action to the advantage or disadvantage of any political party or candidate.
According to him, our focus is on our processes and procedures, nothing more, but be assured that Saturday’s election will be credible.
Yakubu further stated that the commission would be deploying magnifying glasses and Braille ballot guides to assist Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) to vote unaided.
“INEC policy for the conduct of elections in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and Code of Conduct have been translated into Braille in order to ensure greater participation of all citizens in the electoral process irrespective of disability.”
The Chairman also explained that a component of the z-pad which was supposed to be used for the election had been dropped.
He noted that all categories of ad hoc staff had been vetted adding that the integrity of the process would not be compromised.
Also speaking, The Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brig-Gen. Shuaib Ibrahim, appealed to all stakeholders to ensure the safety and security of all corps members deployed for the election.
According to him, I want to appeal to all stakeholders to protect our corps members during the election.
The representative of the Benin Monarch, Chief Osato Bazuaye, called on INEC and the I-G of police to ensure that the election was free, fair and peaceful.
“We want you to write your name in gold. Ensure that this election is one of the best. It is a test for INEC, the Police and all of us,” he said.
Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Donald Ugwu
NHRC inaugurates COVID-19-compliant primary school building in Imo
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the classroom block has six modern toilets, a borehole and a power generating set.
NAN also reports that the inauguration was performed by the NHRC Executive Secretary, Mr Tony Ojukwu at Central School, Ezi- East (Old St. Dominic’s Primary School) in Umueleagwa, Onicha Ezinihitte Local Government area of the state.
Speaking at the ceremony, Ojukwu described the three-classroom block as part of efforts by the commission to give the children in rural areas access to education in response to the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic.
Ojukwu, himself an alumnus of the primary school, said that with the provision of six modern toilet facilities, running water, with hand washing basins and hand sanitiser, the school was ready for reopening.
“This inauguration ceremony is part of the yearly festivities to mark the feast of St. Dominic’s, which was the first primary school in the locality, by the old boys and girls.
“With the provision of these amenities, the old St Patrick’s Primary School has become one of the first rural schools in the state that will meet the COVID-19 protocols for reopening anytime government decides to reopen primary schools in Imo,” Ojukwu said.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Transition Committee Chairman of Ezinihitte Mbaise Local Government council, Mr Francis Onyeberechi, thanked NHRC for executing and inaugurating the project, calling on other sons and daughters of the state to emulate the gesture.
Onyeberechi, who was represented by Mr Chukwuma Emeghali, added that well-aerated classrooms as well as amenities to meet up with COVID-19 protocols, as required by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), was an indication that normal academic life would soon be restored in the state.
Also, the Head teacher of the school, Mrs Jacintha Chukwu, thanked the alumni of the school for synergising with the state government to create an enabling environment for the execution of the project.
She urged parents in the community to bring their children to the school upon resumption, stressing that the school was equal to the task of containing the pandemic.
Edited By: Saidu Adamu and
Source: NAN‘Wale Sadeeq
COVID-19: Centre harps on care for the elderly in society
The Centre’s Project Coordinator, Mr Olusesan Olukoya told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos that such support would aid the elderly in their ageing process.
“We all have a vital role to play to raise awareness of the condition of older people and support them.
“The elderly, as we all know, are part of the most vulnerable people in the society, coupled with the fact that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic which makes their survival more difficult.
“A proper care and support from the government at all levels, community and healthcare providers will help to reduce the effect of the pandemic on them,” the coordinator said.
Olukoya said the centre had concluded arrangement to hold a public lecture to commemorate the 2020 International Day of Older Persons marked every Oct.1
According to him, the theme of the public lecture is: ‘Pandemics: Do They Change How We Address Age and Ageing,” holding in Ikorodu.
He said Rt. Rev. Sampson Bamgbose, Provost of the United African Methodist Church Theological College, would deliver the lecture.
“We are having a special programme on the elderly to inform participants about the strategic objectives for the decade of Healthy Ageing.
“We will create awareness on the special health needs of older persons and of their contributions to their own health and to the functioning of the societies in which they live.
“Also, awareness and appreciation of the role of the healthcare providers in maintaining and improving the health of older persons, with special attention to the nursing profession.
“There is the need for increased understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on older persons and its impact on health care policy, planning, and attitude,” he said.
Olukoya, however, urged the elderly to observe all the health guidelines of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and the Health Ministry to curb the pandemic.
Edited By: Shittu Obassa/Wale Ojetimi
Bye-elections: Lagos East has about 1.4m registered voters -INEC
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)says no fewer than 1.4 million registered voters will participate in the Oct. 31 bye-elections of the Lagos East Senatorial District.
INEC spokesman, Mr Femi Akinbiyi, stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Monday.
Akinbiyi added that 280,363 registered voters from Kosofe State Constituency II would participate in the Lagos State House of Assembly’s bye-elections, holding the same day.
According to him, not all the registered voters are, however, in possession of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) to participate in the elections.
He said that the registered voters in the Lagos East Senatorial District spread across the five local government areas comprising: Somolu, Kosofe, Ibeju-Lekki, Ikorodu and Epe.
He said that the registered voters for the Kosofe Constituency II bye-election are spread across the six Registration Areas (Wards) located in : Ketu-Alapere, Ikosi/Ketu, Isheri/Olowo-Ora, Agboyi I, Agboyi II and Odo-Ogun/Ajegunle.
NAN reports that candidates from 12 political parties will be contesting in the forthcoming Lagos East Senatorial bye-elections.
Eight candidates from various political parties will also be contesting the Kosofe Constituency II, Lagos State House of Assembly bye-elections.
Others are: Adebowale Ogunlaru, Action Democratic Party (ADP); Adetokunbo Abiru, All Progressives Congress (APC); Olusola Babatope, Allied Peoples Movement (APM); Mrs Florence Trautman, Labour Party (LP) and Ms Adijat Lawal, New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).
The rest are: Babatunde Gbadamosi, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); Olakunle Adisa, National Rescue Movement (NRM); Saheed Aluko, Social Democratic Party (SDP) and Taiwo Temitope, Young Progressive Party (YPP).
The eight contestants for the Kosofe Constituency II bye-election are: John Akerele, AA; Sadiq Olawale, AAC; Wasiu Saheed, APC; Adekunle Oladapo, LP; Muyideen Agoro, NNPP; Ademorin Adelaja, NRM; Sikiru Alebiosu, PDP and Mrs Mary Abojeh, ADC.
The two bye-elections, slated for Oct. 31, became necessary following the demise of the former occupants.
Edited By: Moses Solanke/Peter Dada
Schools Resumption: Some private schools record high turnout in Lagos
Some private schools in Lagos State recorded large turnout of students following the Lagos State Government’s directive on resumption on Monday.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that on Aug. 29, Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu directed primary and secondary schools to reopen.
Sanwo-Olu gave the directed during the 17th Update on the management of the coronavirus pandemic in Lagos.
A correspondent of NAN, who visited some schools in the state, reports that water, soaps, hand-sanitisers and infrared thermometer were provided by the schools’ management.
At Honeyland Schools, Ipaja, parents were seen trooping in to drop their children while observing social distancing in registering them.
Also, compulsory wearing of nose masks and social distancing in classrooms were observed by students and teachers.
A big banner displaying the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines was seen at the entrance of the school.
The school principal, Mr Oluyemi Faleke, said that academic activities would start immediately.
Faleke said that the school had concluded the second term examination before the lockdown while the third term examination was conducted during the lockdown.
“Before the resumption, we conducted three online entrance examinations for the new students.
“In all classrooms, we are maintaining social distance by displaying a sticker of “Do Not Sit Here”.
“Teaching starts from 8.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. and virtual learning is still available for students who do not want to resume yet,’’ he said.
NAN,however, observed that some schools at Iyana-Ipaja and Egbeda areas were still locked and there was no sign of resumption.
At Victoria Island and Lekki, some private schools continued to teach their students through virtual learning.
At the Senior High School, Alimosho, only Junior Secondary Three (JS 3) and Senior Secondary Two (SS 2) students were allowed to enter the school premise with face masks or shields.
Security officials at the Faith Academy, Gowon Estate, Ipaja said that only SS three students have resumed while others will be resuming on Thursday.
Mr Abdul Ademola, Principal, Homat Group of Schools, Odogunyan, Ikorodu said that the school would keep guiding the students on COVID-19 protocols.
Ademola said that management had reduced number of students in a class from 20 students before the lockdown to 12 students as part of effort to prevent infection.
“We are all happy to resume back to school after staying home for too long.
“There is no automatic promotion in our school, we are going to engage all classes with lectures, continuous assessment and examination,’’ he said.
Mrs Olanike Ayoola, a parent at Honeyland schools expressed confidence that her children were safe with the school because of the guidelines been maintained.
“I am so confident of my children’s school; they are ready for the students’ resumption.
“During the lockdown, they educated us on the safety protocols against COVID-19,’’ Ayoola said.
Another parent, Mrs Kehinde Ojewoye, corroborated Ayoola’s confidence, saying that she was not scared of COVID-19.
According to Ojewoye, the school is fully prepared for the students’ resumption.
She said that teachers should just maintain social distancing with their students to avoid any issue.
Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Abdulfatah Babatunde