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US comes down heavily on riggers of Kogi, Bayelsa polls, imposes Visa restrictions

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US comes down heavily on riggers of Kogi, Bayelsa polls, imposes Visa restrictions

The United States on Monday descended heavily on some individuals who it claimed were responsible for rigging during the Kogi and Bayelsa governorship elections in Nigeria with imposition of visa restriction.
Mike Pompeo, secretary of state in a statement said,
“In July 2019, we announced the imposition of visa restrictions on Nigerians who undermined the February and March 2019 elections,”
“Today, the Secretary of State is imposing additional visa restrictions on individuals for their actions surrounding the November 2019 Kogi and Bayelsa State elections and in the run-up to the September and October 2020 Edo and Ondo State elections.
Pompeo pointed out that the individuals have so far operated with impunity at the expense of the Nigerian people and have undermined democratic principles in Nigeria.
The governorship elections took place in 2019 in the two States were adjudged by observers, journalists and civil society organisations to be full of violence, voter intimidation by security forces and vote-buying.
Despite the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declaring winners in the elections, opposition parties rejected the results, alleging cases of rigging and unfairness by INEC.
Governors of both states were subsequently decided by Nigeria’s supreme court.
The outcome of both elections have since then caused political parties and their candidates to advocate for legislations that will make electioneering more credible and transparent in Nigeria.
Pompeo, however, noted that the visa ban was not directed at Nigerians in general but certain people that oppose peace and democratic values in the country.
“This decision reflects the Department of State’s commitment to working with the Nigerian government to realize its expressed commitment to end corruption and strengthen democracy, accountability, and respect for human rights,” Pompeo said.
“We remain committed to working together to advance democracy and respect for human rights and achieve greater peace and prosperity for both our nations. We condemn the acts of violence, intimidation, or corruption that harmed Nigerians and undermined the democratic process.”

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Nigeria that fared well in the 60s, is now a shadow of its glorious past- Abaribe

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Nigeria that fared well in the 60s, is now a shadow of its glorious past- Abaribe

Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, on Monday, said Nigeria that was a shinning star in the 60s is now a shadow of its glorious past, now pushed further into a deep mess with ethnicity as as the supreme order.

Speaking at his official presentation of his autobiography “Made in Aba” in Abuja, the Abia Senator said Nigeria has continually regressed and the citizens were now reclining into their ethnic enclaves.

Abaribe noted that the country has regressed to the level that it would be difficult for any citizen to survive “if you don’t go to your ethnic enclave.”

He said: “I try to say a few things (in the book) that we might have forgotten. Why is it that we had a better life – we had pipe borne water, we had electricity 24 hours – in the 1960s?

“Now it is 50-60 years later, every person has to have borehole in his house. So he becomes his own NEPA generating power for himself; he becomes his own water board. Then I asked, why would life be like this? I tried to caption the reason why we are where we are today.

“I also tried to capture that there was a Nigeria, where it is said, in our former anthem, that though tribe and tongue may differ, in brotherhood we stand.”

He said in his early career life, he secured jobs and got promotions in places outside his southeast region only based on merit without anyone asking where he came from.

“Now, what we have done is that we have a big Nigeria that has continually regressed and now all of us are into our ethnic enclaves.

“And if you don’t go to your ethnic enclave, you won’t be able to survive in Nigeria today.

“In the book, I also look at the possibility of Nigeria that we may have assuming if each and everyone of us is committed to the country.”

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Bauchi/Benue Govs’ feud: Gov Diri to the rescue

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Bauchi/Benue Govs’ feud: Gov Diri to the rescue

By Princess Rose Yusuf

The Bayelsa State Governor, Duoye Diri has waded in to the war of words between the Governors of Bauchi and Benue State as the recent altercations between the Governors have become very disturbing.
He called on the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to wade in and ensure that the matter is resolved.
He was speaking during a courtesy visit to Governor Bala Muhammed in Bauchi State Government’s House Thursday.
Diri said,
“The raging current issue between two brother Governors of the same party is not good, I seize this opportunity to advise and call on both of you who are members of our great party to please cease further actions and reactions on the burning national security issues.
“May I also use the opportunity to call on our party to immediately intervene and resolve whatever issues that are still yet unresolved amicably as a party and as brothers.”

In his response, Governor Muhammed promised to cooperate and reduce the tension and he gave the assurance that no words would be heard on the matter again. He also seized the opportunity to  apologise to all Governors, the national assembly, his constituents and all Nigerians.
He said, “There is no disharmony between me and my brother and my friend in Benue, we are just having the courage to discourse a burning National issue and I am happy that Nigerians have the opportunity, to discourse the issue and we are going to do everything on my own part to make sure we disedcalate the issue that it will not bring injury to our party and to national unity. I was not doing anything in anyway to insult, or to cause any injury to my brother whom I have worked together with at the cabinet and now as Governors.
“I want to use this opportunity to apologise to my various contituencies; especially the national assembly even though I said the truth but it has injured their sensibilities or it has touched on their privileged as we used to say in parliamentary parlance.
“I was doing it out of nationalism and patriotism. At the same time the Governors if what I said was also injurious to them, I apologise to them and say sorry to them and indeed all Nigerians.
“But certainly as I said, my brother, I have no apology for saying the truth, but certainly sometimes you say the truth and it would be injurious.

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Senate confirms Bawa as EFCC Chairman

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Senate confirms Bawa as EFCC Chairman

The Senate on Wednesday confirmed Abdulrasheed Bawa as the substantive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

He was confirmed after being grilled during Senate plenary.

For more than six years the commission was headed by persons in acting capacity.

For the first time a staff of the commission who is not a police officer is being appointed as chairman.
He rose through the ranks from the academy before being nominated to head the commission.

The Anti graft agency’s chairmanship designate reacted to a plethora of questions posed by Senators on his preparedness for the job, given his age and working in a complex society like Nigeria, at planary

Bawa, addressed most of the concerns of lawmakers, while assuring that he would bring his experience to bear having joined the agency in 2004.

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