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Details of what the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, told the Senate Committee on INEC concerning the conduct of the 2019 general elections has emerged.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on INEC, Senator Suleiman Nazif led the committee members in a meeting with INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, and other INEC Commissioners on Wednesday.

In the details of the meeting made available to journalists by the New Media Department, Office of the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, the INEC chairman assured the lawmakers that the election will be hitch free if the needed funds were provided.

He also gave a total breakdown of the voters’ registration exercise and other INEC’s activities so far.

Yakubu told the Senate, “I thank members of this Committee for suspending your recess to attend to this very important national issue.

“For the first time, this budget is subjected to scrutiny by the National Assembly and the Nigerian people. I am happy to be a part of this process.

“As at Saturday, we have registered 12.1 new voters. Adding this to the 70million voter register, we have over 80million registered voters. The general elections are just around the corner.

“Mr. Chairman, I wish to draw the attention of this Committee to the fact that there is a difference of N69billion in the budgets of 2015 and 2019.

“In 2015, we had 70million registered voters. As of last week Saturday, we now have over 80million registered voters.

“All major activities are pegged against the total number of voters. In 2015, we had only 42 political parties. We now have 91 registered political parties eligible to take part in the 2019 general elections.

“We are hoping that all the political parties will have seamless congresses and primaries. Another issue that we have accounted for, is the processing costs of nominations.

“The cost of logistics is also different in 2019 as opposed to 2015, because the pump price of petrol in 2015, is different from that of 2019. This will also have an impact.

“With the increase in voters, we will have to increase the number of voting points. And with the increase in voting points, we will also have an increase in Ad-Hoc Staff.

“We have provided a line-by-line explanation and account of this budget to the Distinguished Senators.

“The electoral act demands that we continue voter registration. Based on the budgetary provision in 2017, we could only do PVC registration at the LGA level.

“By the end of the Second Quarter of 2017, we had over 1400 registration centres across the country.

“The funds we had were not adequate. This is why in 2018, we approached the National Assembly for additional funding.

“If the Electoral Act is not signed into law, we will continue to operate within the ambits of the law as it exists.

“Even if the Electoral Act is not signed into law, we need to continue to improve our electoral process to promote transparency.

“Why is our contingency low? If it had been 10%, it would have been considered too high. Now it is 2.5%, it is too low. However, there are some contingencies that we need to expect.

“There is no conflict in the letters. If you add up the requests by the President and INEC, they add up. The sequence of disbursement is up for the legislature and the executive to decide.”

BIG STORY

HELP!!! 25-year-old Orphan Stranded In LUTH, Three Months After Stomach Surgery [PHOTOS]

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A 25-year-old Nigerian orphan, Adeniyi Onalaja, a generator repairer, has been in the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, Lagos in the last three months after undergoing surgery in his stomach.

His ordeal started when he was experiencing pain in his stomach and the journey began from a hospital at Agbowa, Ikorodu and he was eventually referred to LUTH on April 4, 2019.

Upon medical examination, he was advised to go for a CT-Scan and this showed that a tumor was growing in his stomach and he was scheduled for emergency surgery on April 10, 2019, after signing an undertaking that funds will be made available.

Afterward, there was a little complication that made him undergo another surgery because he could neither sleep nor eat on April 23, 2019. He has since been a resident of Ward E6 in the hospital.

According to Onalaja, who hails from Ijebu-Ode, his father passed on in 2006 and his mother died not more than a month ago. He is currently owing the hospital about Six Hundred Thousand Naira (N600,000) only which are the expenses incurred from the surgery, admission, laundry, and drugs from the pharmacy.

The orphan said he is currently living on the remnants of other patients on admission in the Ward because he has nobody catering for him. He expressed his readiness to fend for himself through his generator repairing skills if he has the opportunity to leave the hospital.

He is appealing to well-meaning Nigerians to please help me out of his travail. Adeniyi Onalaja can be reached on 08165635903 and financial assistance will be appreciated, payment can be made into his Sister’s bank account- Bassey Rukayat Aduke, 3107620191, First Bank.

 

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BREAKING: APC Lawmaker Kidnapped

Peter Okunoren

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The member representing Denge/Shuni State Constituency at the Sokoto State House of Assembly, Aminu Magaji Bodai, has been kidnapped.

A close relation of the lawmaker said that he was kidnapped by hoodlums around 1:15am between Dange and Bodai town on Thursday.

“I can confirm to you that my brother was kidnapped by yet-to-be-identified persons.

“His whereabouts is unknown yet and his abductors are yet to contact his family members.”

When contacted, the State Police Command confirmed the abduction.

The Police Public Relations Officer, Assistant Superintendent of Police, Mohammed Sadiq Abubakar, who confirmed that the legislator was kidnapped said, “detail is still sketchy”.

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Buhari Appointed EFCC Guests As Ministers —- Former APC Spokesman Timi Frank

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Political activist and former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank has said that the corrupt pedigree of some personalities that now populate President Muhammadu Buhari’s new cabinet shows that governance in the country has been officially and effectively handed over to looters and manifestly corrupt individuals.

He called on Nigerians to lower their expectations for true dividends of democracy but should rather expect an unprecedented and astronomical rise in the level of corruption in the country during the period the current administration will remain in office.

Reacting to the inauguration of new Ministers and assignment of portfolios released on Wednesday, Frank, in a statement he signed and made available to newsmen in Abuja on Thursday, said nothing positive can come from the new Ministers because “70 to 80 percent of them have at one time or the other been guests of the anti-corruption agencies with most of them still battling corruption charges in court.”

According to Frank, “there will be more corruption in this cabinet than in any other administration in the history of Nigeria as some of the Ministers purchased their slots and would want to recoup their investments at the detriment of Nigeria and Nigerians.

“Therefore, I urge Nigerians to brace up for more hardships as corruption and incompetence have been enthroned with corruption masters turned Ministers to run the affairs of government in Nigeria.

“Buhari told Nigerians in 2015 that he will cut his salary by 50 percent, reduce the aircraft in the presidential fleet before he became President. He also said he would reduce the cars in the Presidential convoy.

“But Nigerians can testify that this was never done. He neither reduced his salary, aircraft in the presidential fleet nor cars in his convoy.

“With this, therefore, it is clear to Nigerians that General Buhari is a product of lies who has continued to live and rule with falsehood. It is clear that Nigeria cannot move forward under these circumstances because darkness and light have nothing in common.”

Reacting to Buhari’s directive that ministers who want to see him must go through his Chief of Staff or the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Frank queried: “What is the President still doing in office? By this action, he has completely abdicated his responsibilities and declared himself unavailable and unfit to occupy the Office of President.

“To subordinate ministers to the whims and caprices of his aides represent gross abuse of office and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“This is impunity of the highest order and a criminal alienation of the states of the federation that these ministers represent. Effectively, General Buhari’s misguided order means that the CoS and SGF are the de facto presidents.”

He said that another reason why Nigerians must not take Buhari and his cabinet serious is that he is not a man of integrity.

“In 2015, while campaigning, General Buhari promised to reduce the cost of governance if elected. After his election, he appointed 36 Ministers in apparent fulfillment of the promise. Why did he appoint 43 Ministers in 2019?

“We don’t need a seer to know that ballooning of the cabinet would greatly increase government administrative cost and impact negatively on his ability to deliver on infrastructural development in the face of dwindling national revenue.

“Never in the history of Nigeria has any President appointed 43 Ministers. What has changed between 2015 and 2019 that led to this atrocious expansion of the cabinet?” Frank asked.

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