The Bayelsa Rainbow Coalition for Good Governance on Tuesday urged the incoming administration in Bayelsa to be wary of the last minute policies of the outgoing administration including appointment of 35 Permanent Secretaries.
Gov. Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa had on Nov. 22 inaugurated 35 new Permanent Secretaries and one Commisioner three months to the end of his second tenure.
Addressing a news Conference in Yenagoa, Mr Francis Wainwei, Chairman of the group flanked by its Secretary, Mr Goodluck Igbudu, noted that it was an irony that the Dickson led administration was engaging in acts that would increase the liability of incoming government.
The coalition urged the incoming governor of Bayelsa, Chief David Lyon, to set up a committee to verify the procedures deployed in the appointment of the Permanent Secretaries.
The group noted that the outgoing administration should not create financial obstacles to slow down the incoming administration which should be allowed to start of on a clean slate.
“We are worried about the intentions of the outgoing administration calculated to set traps for the new government, with the intention of creating avenues to blackmail the new government.
“The idea is to create unnecessary liabilities for the new administration.
“The same government that complained that the Civil Service is oberbloated, at the 11th hour of its terminal date of Feb. 14 is appointing 35 Permanent Secretaries in one fell swoop, the first time in the history of Bayelsa.
“We want the new government to scrutinise if the Public Service Rules as regards Vacancy, Spread and Qualifications was followed in the appointments.
“Our checks show that 11 of the 35 newly-appointed Permanent Secretaries hail from Sagbama Local Government where Gov. Dickson hails from and that is unfair to other local governments, what is the sustainability of the appointment on the resources of the state?
” It had also come to our notice that a lot of employments are ongoing as government officials are issuing employment letters without adherence to laid down procedures.
“The plan is that when the incoming government wants to raise concerns, the opposition will use it to blackmail the government and create the impression that the new government does not have a human face,” Wainwei said.
However, Dickson had in justifying the appointment claimed that it was in the overall interst of the state.
The governor had on Nov. 22 advised the new Commissioner, Mr Felix Sam-Ateki, and 35 permanent secretaries to work with the incoming administration to ensure full implementation of the civil service reforms.
Edited & Vetted By: Donald Ugwu
Edo election: Why collation is delayed — INEC
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says that delay in the receipt of collated results of the governorship election from local government areas in Edo has delayed the collation at the state level.
INEC National Commissioner May Agbamuche-Mbu announced this on Sunday in Benin.
Agbamuche-Mbu, INEC commissioner incharge of Edo, Bayelsa and Rivers, is the commissioner overseeing the Edo election.
Addressing newsmen and party agents at the state collation centre, INEC headquarters, Benin, she said that results were still being expected from the 18 local government areas of the state.
She said: “This is to inform you all that we are still waiting for results from the local government areas.
“I am sorry we have to wait before we start collation. Only one local government has arrived in the centre.
“We are going to wait until at least, when results from seven local government areas arrive in the centre before we start.
“We do not want anybody to cast aspersions on us. So we are going to wait,”.
Edited By: Kevin Okunzuwa/Kayode Olaitan
COVID-19: NCDC announces 221 new cases, total infections rise to 56,956
The NCDC made this known on its official twitter handle on Friday.
According to it, the new cases are confirmed from 18 states in the country.
The new infections brought the total number of confirmed cases to 56,956 in Nigeria.
The public health agency said that Lagos had 59, the highest number of cases, followed by Abia with 46 cases and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), 22.
Among others were; Rivers, 11, Bauchi, 7, Benue, Ekiti and Imo, 6 each, Kaduna, Kwara and Ondo, 4 each, Ogun and Osun, 3 each, Bayelsa, Edo and Kano, 1 each.
According to it, those discharged on Friday include 100 community recoveries managed in Oyo State in line with new case management guidelines.
The health agency sadly recorded one more death, which brought the national death toll to 1,094.
It noted that a multi-sectoral national emergency operations centre (EOC) activated at Level 3 had continued to coordinate the national response activities across the country.
It cautioned that the risk of getting infected with COVID-19 was higher when people did not wear face mask in public places.
“Wear your face mask properly at all times. Adhere to all non-pharmaceutical preventive measures of COVID-19,” it urged Nigerians.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that as the people of Edo State prepared to vote their preferred candidates at the governorship election on Saturday, Sept. 19, NCDC urged all to observe the COVID-19 guidelines recently released.
It noted that relevant stakeholders must take actions that would reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 during the election.
“Ensure there is hand hygiene and temperature checks at the campaign ground, polling stations; providing additional polling stations or booths to ensure physical distancing, with clearly marked floors to enforce spacing on queues.
”Mandating the use of face mask for everyone, regular cleaning of polling stations, tables and other surfaces highly essential because those are the areas that are easy to contract the virus.
”Multiply hand-washing points or alcohol-based hand sanitiser, while staff at the polling units should practice hand hygiene frequently,.”
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu
Edo Election: Yiaga Africa to adopt PVT methodology to check credibility of election results
Yiaga Africa, a civil society organisation says it plans to deploy its Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) methodology to assess the credibility of the Sept. 19, Edo Governorship poll.
Mr Samson Itodo, Executive Director, Yiaga Africa said this in a statement on Friday in Abuja.
He said the group through its Watching The Vote citizens movement, would also deploy 500 observers to monitor the election.
According to Itodo, the PVT is an advanced election observation methodology that employs well-established statistical principles and sophisticated information technology in providing timely and accurate information on conduct of elections.
He added that the process will monitor accreditation, voting, and counting, and it will independently verify the official governorship results as announced by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“The PVTs are not opinion polls; Yiaga Africa citizen observers do not ask voters for whom they cast their ballot; PVT relies solely on official results from polling units.
“This tested and proven election observation methodology has been deployed in over 50 countries worldwide, including Nigeria.
“Yiaga Africa deployed the PVT in the November 2019 Kogi and Bayelsa governorship election where it detected fraud and manipulation of results collation and declined to verify the official results declared by INEC.
“In a statement jointly signed by the Chair of Yiaga Africa election observation mission for Edo, Dr Aisha Abdullahi, Nigeria’s and Yiaga Africa Executive Director, Samson Itodo, the organisation said it would deploy 500 stationary observers.
Itodo said that the observers would monitor the conduct of the process and provide systematic, accurate and timely information on the Election Day process.
He said specifically that Yiaga Africa would provide accurate information on the quality of the Election Day process and ascertain if the official results announced by INEC reflected the total votes cast.
Itodo explained that since the PVT was based on official results from a representative random sample of polling units, Yiaga Africa would estimate the state-wide results for the governorship election within a narrow range based on well-established statistical principles.
He said that if INEC’s official results fall within Yiaga Africa’s estimated range, then the public, political parties and candidates would have confidence that the official results reflected the ballots cast at polling units.
Itodo, however, said that if the announced results have been manipulated and do not match the polling units’ results, Yiaga Africa would oppose it.
He said that the PVT was a component of Yiaga Africa’s comprehensive election observation methodology spanning the electoral cycle.
“Therefore, in assessing whether the 2020 Edo governorship satisfies the electoral integrity test, Yiaga Africa will consider a range of issues such as shortcomings in the pre-election period.
“The quality of election day processes and the scale and scope of critical incidents.’’
Itodo said that on Election Day, Yiaga Africa would receive 4,500 text messages containing approximately 56,000 individual pieces of information about the election.
He added that the messages would be reviewed and analysed to ensure that the information was complete, authentic and accurate before dissemination.
Itodo said that after poll, Yiaga Africa would issue its estimated projections based on its preliminary data.
He added that on Sunday, Sept. 20, the group would share its preliminary Watching The Vote findings on the conduct of setup, accreditation, voting and counting.
Itodo said that immediately INEC announce the official results for the election, Yiaga Africa would hold its news conference and issue its statement on the election result.
“Yiaga Africa Watching the Vote is “Driven by Data for All Nigerians Beholden to None!”
Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Ali Baba-Inuwa
Edo Election: NSCDC deploys 13, 311 personnel for security operations
The Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), says no fewer than 13, 311 of its personnel from across 10 states were deployed to Edo for Saturday governorship election.
Deputy Commandant General (DCG), Madu Kelechi, in charge of operations disclosed this in Benin on Friday while briefing newsmen on the corps preparedness for the Edo election.
Madu said that of the figure, about 7,331 personnel would be fully involved in the election while the others would be posted to protect critical national assets and infrastructure across the state.
He explained that the core mandate of the NSCDC was disaster management and the protection of critical national assets and infrastructure.
He added that the corps could not afford to leave the critical national assets in the state vulnerable to saboteurs because of the election, hence the deployment of some personnel to man the assets.
The DCG further disclosed that the corps would be working in synergy with the police as the lead security agency for the election as well as other sister security agencies.
He maintained that the corps was prepared, adding that after the preparation, some personnel like those from the counter terrorism and the intelligence units were deployed upfront for the election.
He also said that the personnel deployed have been trained at the corps headquarters in Abuja as well as by the NCDC on what to do as the election would be conducted in line with the COVID-19 principles.
He further said that the corps had sensitised the personnel on behavior as well as how to handle situation especially vote buying.
Madu listed the states from which the personnel were drawn from to include Edo, Delta, Bayelsa, Anambra, Kogi, Imo, Ondo, Ogun, Lagos and Ekiti.
Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Ismail Abdulaziz