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Atiku Backs Tinubu, Slams Oyegun for Ondo APC Primary

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A former Vice-President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has faulted the national leadership of the All Progressives Congress for overruling the recommendation of its appeal panel on the Ondo State governorship primary.

The appeal panel had recommended the cancellation of the APC governorship primary in Ondo State, where a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, emerged the winner.

The National Working Committee of the ruling party, however, ignored the panel’s report and submitted Akeredolu’s name to the Independent National Electoral Commission as the APC candidate for the November 26 governorship election in the state.

Atiku, in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday by his Media Office, urged the NWC of the party, led by Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, to promote  the rule of law and due process in the conduct of its affairs.

This, he said, was germane to the unity and stability of the party, adding that the leaders should stop breaking their own rules.

The National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, had, in a statement, criticised Odigie-Oyegun for rejecting the recommendation of the appeal panel on the Ondo primary of the party.

Tinubu, a former Lagos State governor, who called for the resignation of the national chairman, said Odigie-Oyegun was promoting injustice in the party by manipulating the Ondo primary.

In the statement by his media office, Atiku stated that it was imperative for the national leadership of the party to respect internal democracy and democratic tenets, warning that “you cannot break your own rules without creating problems.”

Atiku added that the NWC was supposed to be an impartial umpire in the arbitration of crisis among its members in any given election.

He noted that since the APC found veritable reasons to review the outcome of the governorship primary, and was able to establish valid grounds to cancel the exercise as well as call for a fresh one, the decision to deviate from the panel’s decision was a negation of due process and “an unfashionable hollow in democratic best practices.”

The former vice-president stated that it was wrong for the APC to have set aside a resolution its own organ reached on the crisis.

He advised the leadership of the party to do a soul-searching on why problem arose and escalated.

According to Atiku, the party leadership should always be guided by respect for the rules, fairness, equity, neutrality and respect for democratic consensus.

The former vice-president, however, urged aggrieved members of the APC in the Ondo election to exercise restraint in seeking redress to the crisis.

He asked the leadership of the party to retrace its steps and restore confidence among the conflicting parties in the state for the overall benefit of the ruling party.

One of our correspondents learnt that a meeting of the party leaders and some governors would take place next week.

It was gathered that the meeting was part of moves to resolve the crisis caused by the Ondo State primary.

A party leader  on Wednesday, said, “I can tell you we will meet on the crisis, possibly on Wednesday (next week). Our leaders will also reach out to Asiwaju.”

There were reports on Wednesday that the party mandated the Progressives Governors’ Forum to intervene in the crisis.

According to the report, the party and the forum had mandated the Sokoto State Governor, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, to meet Tinubu.

Tambuwal was said to have been contacted by the party leaders on Tuesday to mediate in the dispute between Tinubu and Odigie-Oyegun.

The governor would meet the APC leader on Saturday as part of efforts to resolve the crisis in the party.

It was reported on Wednesday that the crisis was one of the issues discussed at a meeting Tambuwal and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, had with President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday.

The media aide to Tinubu, Tunde Rahman, however, said he was not aware of any planned meeting between the former governor and Tambuwal.

“I thought that when Tambuwal was asked if his meeting with Buhari had to do with the matter of the Ondo APC, he said he did not know,” Rahman said while parrying the question.

Meanwhile, a member of the appeal panel set up on the Ondo governorship primary, who spoke on condition of anonymity with our correspondent on Wednesday in Abuja, expressed sadness over the flouting of rules in the party.

He said, “I am glad our leaders have started speaking out. We cannot continue to have a situation where the proper things are jettisoned under the guise of expediency.

“That former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar is standing up to be counted is something we should be happy about.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Nigeria Immigration Service Reopens Portal With New Passport Application and Payment Process

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The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has announced the reopening of its passport application and payment portal.

The assistant comptroller of immigration, Mr Amos Okpu announced in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday.

In the statement, Mr Muhammad Babandede, the Comptroller-General of the service, said the portal became effective for new applications from 12 midnight on Tuesday.

Babandede further said that the portal would allow eligible applicants to apply and make payments for the various categories of passports of their choice.

Mr Muhammad Babandede explained that with the reopening of the portal, a new passport application and payment regime had begun.

The statement in full:

“The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (CGI), Muhammad Babandede MFR, has announced the reopening of the Passport application and payment portal effective 8th June 2021 by 12 midnight to allow eligible Passport applicants to apply and make payments for the various categories of Passports of their choice.

The Passport portal was closed following the directives of the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola on the 17th of May, 2021to afford the Service the opportunity to clear all backlogs of applications that have piled up across Issuing Centres in the past few months.

With the reopening of the portal, a new Passport application and payment regime have commenced. Under the new Passport regime;

Applications and payments for Passport services shall be made through the Service website www.immigration.gov.ng;

  • applicants are expected to visit the portal to apply and upload their support documents for vetting and processing;
  • a chat room facility to guide applicants through the application and payment process has been provided on the portal;
  • upon successful applications, applicants shall make their online booking interview/enrollment appointment on any day, time and location they consider convenient;
  • that the new timeline for Passport production and issuance after a successful enrollment at the selected Issuing Centre shall be six weeks for Fresh applications and three weeks for Re-issue (Renewal applications);
  • that no applicant who is yet to make an online application and payment shall be allowed into any of the Passport Issuing Centres for Passport processing;
  • applicants will be contacted through email and phone number they provided during application when their Passports are ready;
  • a helpline with the number 08021819988 has been provided for feedback mechanism on any challenges.

The Comptroller General, Muhammad Babandede MFR wishes to use this medium to call on Nigerians and indeed Passport applicants to avoid patronizing touts as the entire process has been made seamless for effective and efficient service delivery. He warned Passport racketeers to desist from acts capable of undermining the reform efforts to avoid very strict sanctions.

Signed AMOS OKPU MNIPR
ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER OF IMMIGRATION
SERVICE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER
For: COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF IMMIGRATION 8TH JUNE, 2021″

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INEC To Publish The List Of New Polling Units Next Week

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has pledged to publish a comprehensive list of its new polling units across the nation next week.

The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this on Monday in Abuja.

Yakubu was speaking at the formal handing over of a new state of the art fire truck, deployed to the Commission’s headquarters in Abuja by the Federal Fire Service (FFS).

He said that details of the locations of its registration centers and the procedure for the commencement of online registration for resumption of nationwide Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) would be made available in the second week of May.

He expressed appreciation of the commission to the FFS and all security agencies for the demonstration of their support to protecting INEC facilities

He said that the support was coming on the eve of the resumption of the CVR nationwide in the next three weeks.

“We earlier assured Nigerians that we shall conclude work on the expansion of voter access to polling units and make the new polling units available to citizens ahead of the CVR exercise.

“I am glad to report that we have accomplished this task for the first time in 25 years.

“A comprehensive list of the new polling units will be published next week.

“Similarly, details of the locations of the registration centers and the procedure for the commencement of online registration will also be made available after a series of regular consultative meetings with stakeholders next week,” Yakubu said.

He said that as a member of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) FFS had been as concerned as other security agencies about the recent attacks on our offices across the country.

“This is particularly so because out of the 42 attacks on our facilities nationwide, 18 incidents resulted from arson and three more by a combination of arson and vandalisation.”

Yakubu recalled that concerned by those incidents, the commission convened an emergency meeting of ICCES last week of April, where the security agencies renewed their determination to collaborate more with the commission.

According to him, they pledged to assist the commission address the challenge beyond the routine protection of INEC assets and the security of its officials, voters, observers, the media, candidates and their agents during elections.

“On its part, the Federal Fire Service offered to deploy an additional state-of-the-art fire engine to the INEC headquarters to complement the two existing trucks.

“At the same time, it directed its state offices to take additional protective measures around other INEC facilities nationwide.

“Today’s inauguration of the new fire engine is another affirmation of the support to the commission from the FFS whose personnel, already deployed permanently to the commission

“The personnel will continue to operate and maintain the fire engines and other firefighting equipment installed by INEC,” Yakubu said.

Speaking earlier, the Controller-General (CG) of FFS, Alhaji Liman Ibrahim said the deployment of the firefighting truck was premised on recent fire attacks on INEC offices in different parts of the country.

Ibrahim, represented by the Assistant Controller-General of the service, Mr Samson Karebo, said the deployed truck would serve as fire cover for the premises of INEC headquarters and the entire Maitama vicinity of Abuja.

“The FFS is taking this step as a proactive measure to protect our critical infrastructure and help to protect our economy by forming synergy with all stakeholders in protecting our environments.

“Our center is focused on bringing firefighting operations to every part of the country as part of our statutory duties by having a presence in virtually every state in Nigeria

“The FFS will very soon be moving into all senatorial headquarters in the country. That is how we want to operate for now so that we can touch every corner of this country,” Ibrahim said.

He called for the cooperation of all for the service to better serve the nation by not molesting FFS staff in the line of duty.

In his remarks, the National Security Adviser (NSA) retired Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno, who is also Co-Chair of ICCES, described the deployment of the truck as a demonstration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to sustain Nigeria’s democracy and address insecurity.

Monguno said that the gesture also symbolised commitment to a clear affirmation of Buhari toward protecting institutions of government, toward securing their property, toward fighting acts of irresponsibility, vandalisation and outright criminality.

“The President is determined as much as he can within the confines of legality to suppress any kind of criminality and destruction of public property.

“This is something that he is determined to do regardless of whatever the challenges are.

“He will apply all the resources in his disposal in his capacity as the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces to ensure the wider Nigerian society is safe, stable and is allowed to carry out its legitimate undertaking, free from any act of insecurity,” he said

Monguno urged all other security agencies not to relent in ensuring that they continued to protect lives and property.

The Inspector-General of Police, Mr Usman Baba pledged commitment to security agencies to work with INEC and protect INEC’s facilities, citizens’ life and property.

Also at the occasion was the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, represented by Director of Joint Services, Mr Peter Obodo; as well as the representative of Director-General, Directorate of State Services, Tony Adikweruka.

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Recovered Assets: Ad-hoch Committee Gives Emefiele, Others 72 Hours Ultimatum

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The House of Representatives ad-hoc committee, investigating recovered assets, has given the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, and National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, 72 hours to appear before it.

The committee also issued same ultimatum to the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali, and the Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Bashir Jamoh.

The summon was issued on Monday, after Mr Emefiele and the others failed to appear before the committee.

The government officials had sent representatives, but the committee chairman, Adejoro Adeogun (APC, Ondo), said they failed to forward letters to that effect.

He said allowing representatives without a proper letter of introduction would be akin to allowing “impersonators.”

You are indirectly insulting the House of Representatives. You are undermining the House of Representatives,” an angry Mr Adeogun said.

Moving a motion to give the agencies 72hours to appear before the committee, Ibrahim Isiaka (APC, Ogun), said the agencies created by Acts of the parliament “should not be undermining the parliament”.

The motion was unanimously adopted by the committee.

Mr Isiaka suggested that the House should shut down its activities if the agencies fail to appear before them.

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