Ologbodiyan, Natasha decry use of security to block opposition from entering Kogi
The national Publicity Secretary of PDP Kola Ologbodiyan and the Social Democratic Party senatorial (SDP) candidate for Kogi Central Natasha Akpoti have raised concern over the situation on the eve of the election when security operatives were made to block many opposition members from entering the State.
Speaking to newsmen yesterday in his country home at Kabba he said, “Yesterday we were barred from entering into our own State at Banda near Lokoja. Some of the leaders of our party were made to turn back. It is unfortunate that election in Kogi is turning to a warfare.
“As I speak with you in several Local Governments particularly in the central and in the east there are cases of shooting and people losing their lives, it is rather unfortunate and when you check all these it is the aggression of the APC.
He wandered why the ruling party decided to toe the part of dishonore asking rhetorically where the PDP stopped or harassed APC in 2014 or 2015?
“The situation that we have is mindless but no matter what happens Nigerians have demonstrated their resolved to vote out the incompetence of Buhari.
“The reports reaching us across the country shows a large turn out, the readiness to vote out President Muhammadu Buhari. The fact that victory is assured for us is victory is assured for us.”
According to him, election is not warfare and no mater how the APC try to turn Nigeria into a violent State the people must resist it because violence is not part of their culture saying that the party in power is determined to turn the country into a violent state but Nigerians have demonstrated by using their PVCS to vote.
He said, “Many Democrats they have resolved that their leaders be tested in the first four years and if they fail they will be voted out.
“The plan of the APC was to compromise the security situation, for instance even people that have legitimate police officers as their escorts to be able to move from one destination to another like the situation in Kogi State their escorts were withdrawn.”
He explained the Inspector General of police position to mean the police officers are not to escort officers to polling units adding that there was no where the IG said police should not escort VIP to their respective States.
“But what happened in Banda yesterday the police escorts were not just withdrawn but taken to the State headquarters and locked up.
“It is unfortunate that people lose their freedom, their rights that are constitutional, provided by the law just because some people want to remain in power at all cost.
“Nigerians in the last 20 years resolved to live as Democrats and nobody would be allowed to thwart that resolution. You know the Nigerian spirit is permanently resilient, with that capacity.”
The candidate of the SDP Natasha Akpoti who spoke to newsmen at her Ihima country home also explained that she was also blocked from entering the State.
She said the election was peaceful after a very hectic night as she was stopped from entering the state yesterday she had to take a detour through Keffi all night driving through Benue saying she just arrived.
Explaining further she said on getting to to Okene she was stopped and her security were taken away from her against the instruction from the Inspector General of Police.
She said some worn out tires were used to block her car so she couldn’t move untill the area Commander in Okene intervened.
“So far the election has been peaceful even though we have been notified of some rigging processes going on at Ovoreke and Kuruko polling unit 022 where the polling papers are not complete as some were taken out from middle.
She said they have told their what agents to hold the INEC officials there accountable so that they can sign an undertaking and agree to the fact that the polling papers are not complete.
“Also 2015 materials are in use at the units. By and large I think we have sensitized our people enough and they know what to ask for like INEC said we should check the back of the ballot papers and you will see today’s stamp.”
In Kogi West senatorial district the process was going on smoothly even though there were some reported cases of vote buying.
In Lokoja it was gathered that the electorate refused inducement as they went ahead to vote candidates of their choice.
Gov Bello grieves over death of Adeboye’s son, condoles with family
Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has expressed deep sorrow over the demise of the son of the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye
He extended his cindolence to the Adeboye family and the entire RCCG over the loss of Pastor Dare Adeboye.
The Governor’s condolence message was contained in a statement issyef on Thursday by the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Muhammed Onogwu
He noted that the death of the highly revered minister’s son was a deep pain in the heart, which cannot be explained unless by those who have had similar experience.
Bello noted that despite the heaviness of the loss he urged the General Overseer to take the son’s death as the will of God Almighty.
He said only God can console the Adeboye family and give them the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
Late Pastor Dare Adeboye was an assistant Pastor at the church’s branch in Eket, Akwa Ibom State.
The 42-year-old clergy died in his sleep on Wednesday
56 days after abduction freed 27 students arrive State Police Command, Kaduna
After 56 days in the kidnappers den 27 students abducted by bandits from Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, Kaduna have regained their freedom.
The students were released in Kindanda village, Giwa local government area of the state.
The Sheikh Abubakar Gumi dialogue committee with support from former President Olusegun Obasanjo was said to have facilitated theur release was on Wednesday
The students are the remainder of the 39 abducted two months ago as 10 were released earlier after payment of ransom by parents and the school management, two others had escaped from captivity.
Chairman of the parents’ forum, Mallam Abdullahi Usman, commended the roles played by Obasanjo, Sheikh Gumi and other stakeholders, saying “their facilitation was very helpful in the release of the students.”
Asked if additional ransom was paid to the bandits before the release, Usman said: “I cannot confirm whether ransom was paid or not. Our main joy and happiness is that our students are back.”
Recall that Parents of the kidnapped students on Tuesday protested the prolonged abduction of their wards at the National Assembly complex.
The freed students are different from the 16 students of Greenfield University, Kaduna, who are yet to be released Their kidnappers are threatening to kill enmass, if ransom is not paid.
The freed students were received at the state Police Command Headquarters.
The students, who were escorted by security agents, arrived in two 18-seater Hiace buses and an ambulance. Most of the students appeared weak and could barely walk, as one of the female students was carried by a security agent on mufti.
It was observed that majority of the students appeared in tattered clothes. Some were in their night wears while others dressed half-clad. Journalists were barred from taking shots of the students as they were led into the conference hall of the police command.
Governor Nasir El-Rufai in a statement by Aruwan, charged the students to view their ordeal as a motivation to put the past behind and work hard towards a happier and successful future ahead.
Inter faith group to champion campaign on maternal mortality in Nasarawa
From Abel Daniel, Lafia
A group of Muslims and christian clerics in Nasarawa state has expressed their readiness to champion the campaign on Family Planning(FP) and Child Birth Spacing(CBS) to reduce maternal mortality rate.
The group made their intentions known yesterday at a three day workshop organized by The Challenge initiative(TCI), state ministry of health to strengthen the sensitization campaign towards ensuring adequate awareness fot women in remote communities in the state.
Amongst the participants at the 3 day workshop which held at Kini country hotel Akwanga yesterday are pastors, imams, Muslims and christian scholars both men and women.
The director public Health, state ministry of Health, Dr. Hassan Ibrahim in a remark at the workshop noted that FP/CBS has accounted for 30% reduction in maternal mortality in the country.
Dr. Ibrahim however expressed optimism that with religious clerics at the forefront of FP and CBS propagation, more women and men will accept and practice FP to allow for birth spacing which would enhance the health of women.
Ibrahim assured at the end of the three day workshop participants are expected to come up with workable plans to reach out to more women in the communities.
A facilitator and coordinator of Inter Faith Forum plateau chapter, Mr. Umar Faruk, attested that religious clerics command more respect of their congregation more than any political office holder hence the need to carry them along in the campaign.
“If you want to fail in any policy implementation in Nigeria, over look the role of religious and traditional rulers. Nigerians listen to their religious leaders more than any body else. That is why FB, CBS are becoming more and more acceptable even in the most remote communities today”, Faruk stated.
PresentationS at the workshop by both the Muslims and christian clerics, all pointed out that both the Qur’an and the Bible support FM and CBS.
Both faith came to term with the decision of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs and the Christian Association of Nigeria at the national approved FM and CBS.
The various presentations by the groups discussions also acknowledged that child spacing or family planning is not population control as some religious and traditional proponents holds but a way to help a women rest well between child birth to enable both the mother and the child maintain healthy living.
At the end of the worksop leaders of both faith pledged to enhance and widen their reach to women both in rural and urban communities with the message of encouraging both men and women to embrace and practice CBS through the use of FP methods.
The state coordinator of CTI Dr. Deborah Hassan, while responding to question on whether child spacing makes birth difficult for women due to tight vigina, she said medically as soon as a woman delivers the vigina returns to it size except where there are cuts at the point of delivery.
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