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SaMBA Mounts Pressure on Buhari to sign 2021 Electoral Act Amendment Bill

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SaMBA Mounts Pressure on Buhari to sign 2021 Electoral Act Amendment Bill
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SaMBA Mounts Pressure on Buhari to sign 2021 Electoral Act Amendment Bill

…says Nigerians are apprehensive at the delay in signing the bill.

The Southern and Middle Belt Alliance has mounted pressure on President Muhammadu Buhari to quickly sign the 2021 Electoral Act Amendment Bill into law saying Nigerians are apprehensive at the delay in signing the bill into law.

The group in a letter submitted to President Buhari dated December 6, and signed by SaMBA General Secretary, Marcel Ngogbehei, said the proposed amendment has addressed the issue raised in the amendment of the Electoral Bill passed by the eight National Assembly.
The Alliance reminded the President of his pledge in January 2019, while inaugurating the APC presidential campaign council in Abuja, to leave a legacy of credible elections in Nigeria and stated, “that this is the foundation of political stability and peace in any nation.”
SaMBA urged all relevant stakeholders, particularly the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to continue to constructively engage the Nigerian people so that the lessons gleaned from the recent use of technology during the Anambra and Edo state elections are not lost and ensure that every Nigerian who has registered for the coming 2023 elections are able to retrieve their voters’ card seamlessly to avoid the incessant case of disenfranchisement of eligible voters.

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The letter titled “Re: Take Advantage of The Electoral Act Amendment Bill to strengthen our Democracy”, reads:

“We the members of the Southern and Middle Belt Alliance (SaMBA) urge you to sign the 2021 Electoral Act Amendment Bill into law.

“We recall that on November 9, 2021, the House of Representatives and the Senate chambers passed into law amendments to the Electoral Act.

“The most topical items of amendment included the adoption of direct primaries for internal political parties’ contestants and the use of technology in the conduct of general elections in Nigeria.

“The need was also identified for the expansion of the powers of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to develop guidelines as it deemed fit towards the deployment of technology during elections in Nigeria.

“The President will recall that majority of Nigerians had described the 2021 amendments of the Electoral Act as one of the most progressive enactments that Nigeria has had in a long time. This is also the view of the SaMBA, whose press statement dated 23rd September 2021, strongly urged the Senate to “redeem their battered image by adopting the House of Representatives’ version of Section 53(2) of the Bill” and not subject the powers of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to the approval of the National Communication Commission.

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“Nigerians are apprehensive at the delay in signing the Bill into law, seeing that the President had on three previous occasions declined assent to this Bill, for varied reasons – In March 2018, you believed that the proposed law could usurp the constitutional powers of INEC to decide on election matters; On another occasion you were concerned that the new electoral act would “create uncertainty and confusion” as Nigerians approached the 2019 elections.

“Fortunately, the proposed 2021 Amended Electoral Act, has addressed your fears, there should be no reason to delay your assent. This is more so as we recall that In January 2019, while inaugurating the APC presidential campaign council in Abuja, Mr. President, you expressed your desire to leave a legacy of credible elections in Nigeria. You stated that this is the foundation of political stability and peace in any nation.

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“SaMBA however, cautions that the passage of the 2021 amendment to the Electoral Act is only a journey and not the destination. We urge all stakeholders, especially INEC to continue to constructively engage the Nigerian people to ensure that the lessons gleaned from recent and remote deployment of technology during the Anambra and Edo state elections are not lost.

“We also call for confidence building measures by INEC, particularly through voter education and sensitisation, transparency and security of the software and hardware components of technology to be deployed for elections, involving all stakeholders to scrutinise and review the software and hardware components prior to procurement, deployment, and operations, and returning internal party democracy to the people through direct primaries, so that democracy in Nigeria will live up to its fullest and truest meaning.”

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Police Arrest Vigilante Commander For Torturing Female Cop In Anambra

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Police Arrest Vigilante Commander For Torturing Female Cop In Anambra
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Police Arrest Vigilante Commander For Torturing Female Cop In Anambra

The Anambra State Police Command has arrested the commander of the Anambra State Vigilante Group for allegedly torturing a female police officer on January 12, 2022.

The police spokesman, DSP Ikenga Tochukwu, confirmed the arrest in Awka on Saturday.

He said the Commissioner of Police, Echeng Echeng, ordered the arrest of the suspect, whose name was not mentioned, following a report of harassment and torturing of a female police officer at the AVG’s Awuda Nnobi security office.

He described the act as cowardly and assured members of the public that the command was always ready to protect the women against violence even when the person is not from the security community.

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He thanked the members of the public especially Ndi Anambra for their advocacy in condemning the act and protecting the female gender.

He said, “Following a trending video on the social media showing when some members of the Anambra Vigilante Group were seen harassing and torturing a female in their office at Awuda Nnobi. The CP ordered the immediate arrest of the commander and investigation has since commenced.

“The command, today, wishes to inform the general public, especially Ndi Anambra, that the commander of the AVG has been arrested for allegedly torturing a female police officer on 12th January 2022 at Awuda Nnobi security office and he is in our custody.”

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Ondo Women Protest Half-Naked Over Insecurity (Photos)

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Ondo Women Protest Half-Naked Over Insecurity
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Ondo Women Protest Half-Naked Over Insecurity

Hundreds of women across four local government areas in Ondo State staged protests on Saturday, against the spate of insecurity in the area.

It was gathered that the peaceful protests were staged in Oka Akoko, Akungba Akoko and some other Akoko towns.

The protests were said to have been triggered by the recent kidnap of teachers by some bandits in Auga Akoko, the killing of a police officer by unknown gunmen at Oka Akoko last week, and the attack on 17 travellers on Ifira Akoko-Isua Akoko road by armed robbers among others.

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Some of the protesters, who were holding brooms in their hands, were half-naked, chanting various solidarity songs along the streets.

They called on the security agents and the state government to come to the rescue of the area from the attack of the bandits.

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Illegal Refinery: NSCDC Disbands Anti-vandal Unit After Wike’s Outburst

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Illegal Refinery: NSCDC Disbands Anti-vandal Unit After Wike’s Outburst
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Illegal Refinery: NSCDC Disbands Anti-vandal Unit After Wike’s Outburst

PRESS STATEMENT

NSCDC BOSS DISBANDS THE ANTI VANDAL UNIT OF RIVERS STATE COMMAND.

The Commandant General of Nigeria security and Civil Defence Corps, Ahmed Abubakar Audi, PhD, mni, has received with shock and dismay, the allegations levelled against the anti vandal unit of Rivers State Command of the Corps by the Executive Governor of the state, Nyisom Wike, wherein the team was accused of aiding and abetting vandals and illegal bunkerers to carry out their nefarious activities in the state.

Worried by this disappointing development, the CG has ordered the suspension of head of the anti vandal team and the disbandment of the unit with immediate effect, pending the outcome of an independent enquiry set up to look into the weighty allegations levelled against the unit by the governor.

He said that the extant rules and regulations guiding the NSCDCl operations and the general ethics of the service requires complete display of total discipline, integrity, incorruptibility, transparency and accountability on the part of every Corps personnel, hence, the reason for this immediate action.

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He further directed the Acting DCG in charge of investigation and intelligence to summon all the personnel involved to the National Headquarters, Abuja for further investigation to determine the level of involvement and or culpability with a view to dispensing justice appropriately.

He decried the allegations as not being in tandem with his vision for the Corps, stressing that he will not condone any criminal act or act of compromise by any personnel. He emphasized that a thorough investigation would be conducted to ascertain the veracity of the allegation and roles played by the individuals involved and whoever is found guilty would face necessary disciplinary actions and punishment.

Illegal Refinery: NSCDC Disbands Anti-vandal Unit After Wike’s Outburst

He assured the Governor of Rivers state of getting to the root of the matter without delay, promising more synergy with the state government towards discharging more effective service delivery to the good people of Rivers state. Reiterating further that his administration has come with a renewed vigour to reposition the service in line with global best practices and will not condone any act of sabotage by any personnel no matter how highly or lowly placed.

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“The swift action taken by me is to close any identified gaps in our operations and service to the nation, I will not tolerate any act of indiscipline, compromise or sabotage under any guise; our founding fathers have worked so hard to earn good name for the service as a noble organization and I will not allow a few bad eggs to spoil our name, image, our credibility and integrity. We will investigate those fingered in the allegations and deal decisively with them if found guilty to serve as a deterrent to others” the CG said.

Audi emphasized that as the lead agency in the protection of critical national asset and infrastructure, the Corps management would beam more searchlight into that area by reorganizing and reconstituting the anti vandal unit with a view to making it more responsive, transparent and accountable to Nigerians.

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“Our moral principles are not negotiable; we are going to rejig the unit and fish out those spoiling the name of the Corps, my fight against vandals, illegal oil bunkerers and those stealing our collective wealth and sabotaging our economy is unflinching and we will redoubled our efforts to whittle down this act of sabotage and bring to justice anyone not in tune with our vision and mission for the service” he concluded.

Signed:

Olusola Odumosu
Director of Public Relations
NSCDC NHQ, Abuja.

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