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2019: Why We Chose Five Presidential Candidates For Debate —- NEDG

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The Nigeria Elections Debate Group (NEDG) has explained how five political parties were selected to participate in the presidential and vice-presidential debates.

NEDG Executive Secretary, Eddie Emesiri, said in a statement on Thursday that the parties for the debate were picked through an independently administered multi-stage process.

The statement was issued in reaction to the criticism triggered by the number of political parties selected by the group and the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) organizers of the debates.

Emesiri stressed that the decision to select five parties was taken at the beginning of the process to ensure that the debates were managed effectively.

According to him, the stages of the selection process focused on political parties while the organisers considered the importance of diversity in the nation.

The NEDG Executive Secretary insisted that no preference was given to any candidate or party, adding that nobody influenced the organisers to include or exclude any political party from the debates.

The statement read: “Further to our earlier announcement of participating parties for the Presidential Debates, the organising partners of the Debates hereby reiterate the transparency and independence of the selection process that resulted in the five participating political parties.

“Firstly, we would like to state that the Presidential Debates are organised by a partnership of the Nigeria Elections Debate Group (NEDG) and Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON), a broad coalition of over 100 public and private broadcasters in Nigeria with coverage of terrestrial radio, television, direct-to-home, digital terrestrial television and multimedia distribution system. The members of BON are responsible for over 250 radio and tv stations across Nigeria.

“The choice of participating parties for the debate was made through an independently administered multi-stage process. The first stage was an independent online poll and the second involved the distribution of survey questionnaires per state, to professionals, artisans, students, etc; respondents were within the voting age and spread across urban, semi-urban and rural classifications. The third stage was to take an aggregate of the stage result and extend invitations to the top 5 parties for the debate.

“Following our disclosure of the participating parties earlier in the week, our attention has been drawn to some reactions in the public space over the decision to limit the participation to five parties and exclusion of some party flag bearers from the debate. Considering the vast number of contending parties, the decision to limit to five parties was taken at the beginning of our process to ensure ease of management for the debates. All the stages of the selection process were focused on political parties, taking into consideration the importance of national spread and diversity. Focus was not on specific individuals or candidates.

“We wish to emphatically state that the NEDG and BON were not influenced or induced by anyone to include or exclude any political party from the debate. We understand the disappointment of some political parties who would have wished to see their candidates share their visions for the country at the Debates. However, Nigerians have spoken through the multi-stage process and we urge all Nigerians to respect their choice as we abide by the outcome of the independent party selection process.”

NEDG and BON had named only five political parties to participate in 2019 vice presidential and presidential debates.

The parties listed were Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Young Progressives Party (YPP).

This meant that the presidential aspirants expected at the debate are President Muhammadu Buhari, Atiku Abubakar, Oby Ezekwesili, Fela Durotoye and Kingsley Moghalu.

However, Presidential candidate of Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, ACPN, Oby Ezekwesili, has sought for five more influential presidential candidates.

The five candidates include: Donald Duke of the Social Democratic Party, SDP; Omoyele Sowore, of the African Action Congress, AAC; Byron Fagbemj of KOWA Party; and John Gbor of the All Progressives Grand Alliance APGA.

The Vice-Presidential Debate and the Presidential Debate are scheduled for Friday, December 14, 2018, and Saturday, January 19, 2019, respectively.

BIG STORY

Sexual Assault: Baba Ijesha Denied Bail, Case Transferred To High Court [PHOTOS]

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The Yaba Magistrates’ Court in Lagos State, on Wednesday, declined to grant the bail application brought before it by embattled Nollywood actor, Olanrewaju Omiyinka, popularly known as Baba Ijesha.

Baba Ijesha, who wore a blue t-shirt, was taken to court in a black maria vehicle of the Rapid Response Squad.

Baba Ijesha has been in police custody since April 22, 2021, when the Lagos State Police Command announced his arrest for allegedly sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl in the care of popular comedienne, Adekola Adekanya, otherwise called Princess.

It was earlier reported that Lagos State Attorney-General, Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN, said Baba Ijesha might be sentenced to life imprisonment if found guilty in court.

“After due consideration of the facts in the case file, the Directorate of Public Prosecutions issued legal advice on the 4th of May, 2021, which is to the effect that a prima facie case has been disclosed against Mr. Olanrewaju James and recommended he be charged under the following provisions of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015,” he had said.

On May 17, 2021, Baba Ijesha was granted bail by magistrates and judicial workers on tour to decongest prisons in the state during the industrial action by the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria.

However, Baba Ijesha could not meet the bail conditions which include N500,000 and a level 16 civil servant as surety.

Baba Ijesha consequently appeared before the magistrate in Yaba on Wednesday.

Speaking with reporters after the arraignment today, one of the counsels for the suspect, Kayode Olabinran, said he prayed the court to grant his client bail on health grounds.

He, however, said the magistrate declined to grant his client bail as the case was already filed at the High Court in Lagos by the Directorate of Public Prosecutions in the state.

He said, “He (Baba Ijesha) was not granted bail because the case has been filed at the High Court and that has denied the (Magistrate) Court the power to grant him bail.”

Olabinran also said the date for the hearing at the High Court was not yet known.

Also, Baba Ijesha’s colleague, Yomi Fabiyi, who was in court in solidarity with the actor, said “justice must not be dispensed with the personal sentiment”.





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Days After Google Yanked Off His Crowwe App, Instagram Also Deletes Adamu Garba’s Account

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Former Presidential Aspirant, Adamu Garba’s Instagram account has been deleted.

This occurred shortly after Google deleted his Crowwe app from the Google Play Store.

Nigerians had taken to google play store to drop horrible reviews on the instant messaging app, which imitates Twitter.

They also reported that Crowwe’s Terms and Conditions were plagiarized word for word from another app, Spotify.

Google in a response to the reports, yanked the Crowwe app from the play store.

“Google removes from the Play Store, applications that are perceived to have violated its policy.

“Once your app is removed, the published version of your app won’t be available on Google Play until a compliant update is submitted,” the app store policy said.

However, we’ve noticed that Instagram had now deleted Mr Garba’s IG account from the popular image and video sharing app, with his page displaying ‘the user not found.’

The reason for deleting Mr Garba’s account was unclear but Instagram is known for banning accounts that violate its policy or reported for spam, fraud, or a fake account.

Also, he has received a public backlash regarding his Crowwe app accused of disingenuity.

Reacting, Mr Garba who spoke with newsmen on Wednesday morning said that Instagram took down his account because some users reported him.

“It was reported by some users and was disabled by Instagram,” he said.




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I Have First-Hand Experience In War, I Can Tackle Nigeria’s Insecurity —- Buhari’s COAS Faruk Yahaya

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Faruk Yahaya, Nigeria’s chief of army staff, says he has the required experience to tackle insecurity in the country.

Yahaya stated this on Tuesday when he appeared for screening before the house of representatives joint committee on defence and army.

The army chief said he had participated in war and peacekeeping in Liberia, adding that with his experience, he can ensure improved security in the country.

“I have brought along with me 36 years of military experience, having joined the army on 27 September 1985, as a member of 32nd regular course in NDA,” he said.

“I passed out on 2nd September 1990, and I was posted to the infantry corps as an infantry officer, and since that time, I have passed through all the relevant courses commensurate to my career as I grew up, and I had served in various capacities, including command, staff, instruction, and administration, including extracurricular.

“Less than three years ago, we were drafted to Liberia where I had the first-hand experience in war if you would call it so. And finally, my unit was located at Kata town, member of number 16 and for those conversant with that deployment, Kata town was the last deployment of the ECOMOG who were the ones facing Charles Tylor NPFLA there.

“So, all activities including wars and operations, including of course negotiations, were conducted by my unit on behalf of ECOMOG.

“We have severally hosted the United Nations negotiations in Kakata. We have hosted other factional leaders, including Kromah, Johnson, and others in those negotiations. We also fought our way to that end.

“So, if you will, I have the first-hand experience, barely three years after my passing out in war and its processes, similar to what we are facing now.

“After that, when we came back to the country, I was also promoted to guards brigade here where I served as a platoon commander. So, I am also abreast with the security requirement of Abuja itself and the parade and other requirements that characterized that deployment.

“Subsequently, I grew up in my career to become a commanding officer in guards brigade garrison in Abuja here, and so I was involved in all the security requirements of securing Abuja and, particularly, the presidential villa.”

Yahaya said going by his military experience, he is well equipped to tackle the security challenges across the country.

“Looking at my career, I have virtually seen it all. I have seen war in other countries; I have seen how it was done. I was involved also in internal security operations both there and here,” he said.

“Here also, I have been to the north-west like I mentioned, south-south like I mentioned, and to the north-east. The challenges we are facing now are characterized by what I have mentioned. I have first-hand information where I have commanded troops and administered them in achieving what we have done.

“What I brought is the certificate of experience and commitment I have had all across my career. Throughout my career, I have been appointed as at when due. I am determined to provide my best, having known what is required to achieve the result.”




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