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BREAKING: INEC To Reschedule Elections In Lagos, Rivers, Anambra Over Violence and Ballot Box Snatching Allegations

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The Independent National Electoral Commission, on Saturday, said that it would reschedule elections in some parts of Rivers, Anambra and Lagos States where there were cases of violence and ballot box snatching.

The commission which specifically mentioned the National Assembly elections in Rivers State, also acknowledged the challenges of smart card readers, saying they have been resolved.

INEC Commissioner and chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, while giving an update on the ongoing elections, said where the malfunctioning of smart card readers were not resolved before the closing of elections, voting will continue the next day.

He said, “We received reports of violence and ballot box snatching which took place in Akokotoro and Bonny LGAs in Rivers State; and some parts of Lagos and Anambra states. We are waiting for the reports, we have told the Resident Electoral Commissioners in the states to submit reports. So long as the poll is didn’t commence, it is assumed that there was no voting.

“So, elections in these areas, especially in areas related to the House of Representatives and Senate didn’t take place and the date for the election will be decided later after we receive reports from INEC officials on ground.”

The commission also said that most of the challenges association with smart card readers were resolved on time.

Okoye also threatened that any INEC official who deliberately refused to make use of the smart card readers would be prosecuted because that action contravened the electoral guidelines and provisions of the Electoral Act.

He said, “It was made clear that the use of smart card reader is mandatory. Therefore any official of the commission who will deliberately refuse to use the smart card reader will be subject to prosecution.

“The challenges of smart card readers have been resolved. But where they are not resolved before the closing of elections, the election will continue the next day.”

He also explained that all the unused ballot papers will be cancelled immediately after election.”

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BREAKING: Senate Approves N30,000 Minimum Wage

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The Senate on Tuesday approved N30,000 as the new national minimum wage.

This decision was reached after the upper chamber’s ad-hoc committee on new minimum wage headed by Senator Francis Alimikhena submitted its report.

The Senate then went on to request the Federal Government to submit a supplementary budget to cover the new wage structure for consideration and approval.

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Delta Government Suspends Head Teacher Over Success ‘No Be Say I No Go Pay’ N1,000 Viral Video

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The Delta State Government has suspended the Head Teacher of Okotie-Eboh Primary School in Sapele Local Government Area, Vero Igbigwe, for allegedly collecting unauthorised fees, including examination levies, from pupils.

The suspension notice was handed down on Monday by the Delta State Commissioner for Education, Chinedu Ebie, who visited the school following a viral video that showed a schoolgirl, Success Adebor, protesting the decision to send her home over her parents’ inability to pay her second term examination fee, which she put at N1,000.

Ebie said: “There is right to fair hearing.

“So, what will happen is that a detailed investigation would be set up to look into the issue in details.

“Like I did say, I conducted a preliminary investigation, but in the interim we have to suspend her (Igbigwe) as the head teacher of this school pending the outcome of the investigation.

“That suspension will take effect as from today (Monday).

“Obviously, there are contradictions in her story because everybody was there when they talked about school fees.

“It was obvious that Success was sent home because of her inability or her parents to pay the supposed fees, which is not in any way part of the 2018/2019 levies.

“Education at the basic level is free.

“However, it is not unusual that levies are imposed.

“Even at the unity schools, we have levies but these levies must be for specific purposes and must also be very minimal for the children or their guardians can afford.”

Ebie said the Administration of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa would not tolerate any form of extortion by state officials.

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Why We Visited President Buhari In Aso Rock — Sanwo-Olu

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Lagos State Governor-elect, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has revealed that he visited President Muhammadu Buhari at his office in Aso Rock on Monday in the company of his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, to congratulate the nation’s number one citizen for winning his second term election in the just concluded presidential election.

The elated President Buhari who received Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat also felicitated with the duo for their victory in the gubernatorial election.

Speaking to journalists shortly after the meeting, Sanwo-Olu said: “It is important for the deputy Governor-elect and myself to have a one-on-one short discussion with the Commander-in-Chief, and it’s a rare privilege. It was a short one, just to say congratulations to him on his own election and he also said the same thing to us. So it’s a very short courtesy visit to Mr. President.”

The incoming Governor, who gave an insight into what his government will do, said Lagosians should expect a lot of solutions to many of the challenges they face in areas of transportation, housing, waste management, health and education adding that his deputy and himself have the competences and capabilities that will bring good governance as soon as they are sworn in.

His words: “We are actually very excited. We are excited because we’ve seen all the challenges ahead of us and we know that given all the plans and strategies we are putting in place for execution, we will certainly be bringing about solutions that will solve various challenges in Lagos very quickly.

“We know that with a mega city of our status, it comes with a lot of challenges but we are lucky that we have been part of it before now and we are excited that the solutions we are bringing up – many of which we told our people on the campaign trail, we are sure we will very quickly, be able to bring about positive development that will improve the quality of lives and ease all of the challenges that we currently have in Lagos.”

On the recent building collapse in the state which he described as unfortunate, the Governor-Elect said the current government in the state is doing all that is possible to ensure building codes are strictly adhered to and that his administration will strengthen the existing codes and also apply the rules without pandering to sentiments.

“It’s an unfortunate incident. I used to be the Vice Chairman of the Committee on Building Collapse. That was about ten years ago which was what led to us create an agency called Lagos State Building Control Agency (LABCA). It was meant to identify structures well ahead before issues like this begin to happen. But it’s an unfortunate thing, extremely very unfortunate and it also means that we expect it would happen again if nothing drastic is done to check it. Our administration will strengthen the agency and apply the law without sentiments.

“Lagos truly really needs regeneration especially Lagos Island and that was part of the things we promised on the campaign trail. So, it’s to have a conversation with all of the families on the Island and we’ll see the kind of redevelopment that is important as it is being done by a lot of other big cities like Lagos,” Sanwo-Olu said.

Speaking on the issue of urban renewal, Sanwo-Olu said proper enumeration of properties is the ultimate solution to achieve success. He said once properties are properly enumerated and the owners see the government’s sincerity of purpose, they will key into it and regeneration can take place.

“Well, it’s really not that regeneration has been a challenge, but because we have not been able to see it through to the end. When you want to take people’s properties and you want to regenerate, they must first see the sincerity of purpose – what are the additional plans that you have for them? Before you could regenerate, there must be a stop gap – in the next two to three years what are the plans you have for them? And you need to do what we call proper enumeration. Once you can enumerate properly and determine who the original owners are, and you sit and have an agreement, then the regeneration will start.

“But like I have said, the major thing is sincerity of purpose knowing full well that you are not out to circumvent them or to shortchange them. Once that is put on the table very clearly and transparently, I believe that as it’s also done in other jurisdictions, we will make success of it,” Sanwo-Olu stated.

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