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BIG STORY

Elections 2019: Do Not Be Afraid Of Violence, Go Out And Vote Without Intimidation; PMB Tells Nigerians [Full Text Of National Broadcast]

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President Muhammadu Buhari, Friday morning urged Nigerians to take part in the general elections.

He said in his national broadcast that Nigeria stands as a democracy and that no worldly hand can deter the country from this wise and fitting path.

The address reads: “While democracy is the most beneficial way to select a nation’s leaders, it is far from the easiest thing to achieve and maintain.

“It requires a combination of patience, tolerance, compassion, diligence, wisdom and hope. These traits exist in us the Nigerian people. Because of who we are, democracy has the chance to flourish in this land.

“Thus, I commend all of you for your patience and peaceful conduct so far during this electoral season and especially during this intervening week following the postponement of the February 16 elections.

“Many were worried and thought the worst might happen. You proved them wrong by showing that you are a great people with an abiding love for peace, democracy and the unity of our country.

“According to the daily INEC public briefings given this week, the Electoral Commission says it is ready and fully prepared to conduct the election in a free, fair and transparent manner.

“I believe INEC realises the profound and weighty duty that rests upon it.

“We must cast aside doubt and have faith that INEC will rise to the occasion. We must believe and encourage INEC to fulfill and honour this responsibility it owes to our country.

“As your President, I hereby ask all Nigerians with voting cards to participate in defining the future of our nation by exercising your democratic rights tomorrow. I urge you to go out and vote.

“I say this because elections are the cornerstone of representative governance. And voting constitutes the highest and best expression of the sovereign will of the people to choose the government that best represents them.

“It is only upon the freely expressed will of the people that government truly dedicated to the welfare, rights and interests of the people can be founded.

“Do not allow anyone to discourage you from the exercise of your rights as citizens and voters tomorrow.

“To vote means that you believe in Nigeria and the excellent things the future holds for this nation and its people.

“No matter our political leanings, we all believe in Nigeria, in the noble principles for which it stands and in the values we strive for our beloved nation to uphold.

“All who are able, must vote so that we may better perfect this democracy and continue to build the greater nation we seek.

“Do not be afraid of rumours of violence and unrest. Our security agencies have worked diligently to ensure that adequate security measures are in place.

“You will be able to vote in an atmosphere of openness and peace, devoid of fear from threat or intimidation.

“International and domestic monitors and observers are assured of their safety and freedom of movement needed to perform their important functions.

“As we thank domestic monitors and observers for their contributions to our democracy, we also thank the international groups for the friendship and concern they have demonstrated to our nation.

“We appreciate their efforts in encouraging us to further entrench and strengthen our democracy.

“Tomorrow is an encounter with history in which you, the people, shall affirm your collective belief in our national greatness and in our future.

“I ask that you embrace and hold on to the importance of the moment soon to be upon us.

“Honour your civic duty as voters by going to the polls tomorrow to vote for the government of your choice, for the government that will lead Nigeria toward its finest destiny.

“As citizens there is no greater duty than this and no greater honour. Tomorrow, I know you will once again make Nigeria proud of its people.

“May God bless our democracy and forever bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

BIG STORY

Ajimobi’s Family Knew I Was At The Gate, Says Oyo Deputy Gov

Peter Okunoren

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Oyo Deputy Governor, Rauf Olaniyan, has insisted the family of the late Governor Abiola Ajimobi was aware of his presence at the gate of the residence contrary to its claim.

Olaniyan was denied access to the Oluyole Estate residence of the late Governor on Sunday during the 8th day fidau prayers for Abiola Ajimobi.

Though the family, on Saturday in a statement by Bolaji Tunji, who is the spokesman for the late governor, explained the fidau was going to be a private affair, Oyo State Government took out newspaper pages to console with the family on Sunday.

The Deputy Governor was, however, denied entry to the building when he visited to join the prayer. He waited for between 10 and 15 minutes at the gate before leaving. He was told that the key to the gate was with Mrs. Ajimobi, who was attending the fidau prayer held in the compound.

Tunji, in a statement, had denied that Olaniyan was deliberately denied entry because the family was not aware of his planned visit and arrival at the gate.

He added that that on making efforts to facilitate access for him later, they discovered that he had left. The family offered apologies for the incident.

But in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Omolere Omoetan, Olaniyan countered the explanation that the family was unaware he was waiting at the gate.

He said it was another act of rebuffing hands of fellowship being extended to the family of Ajimobi by Governor Seyi Makinde.

The statement reads in part: “Again, some members and aides of the former Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi continue to rebuff the hand of fellowship extended to the family of the late governor by the government of Oyo State led by His Excellency, Engr. Seyi Makinde.

“Today at the 8th day Fidau Prayers of the former Governor Oyo State Isaika Ajimobi, the Deputy Governor, Engr Rauf Olaniyan, was denied access to the venue of the event.

“The Deputy Governor, who led the government delegation comprising himself and some commissioners, on the approval of the governor, was kept waiting at the gate for over 15 minutes. Even when security men at the gate went in to tell them he was at the gate, no directive came back to grant his Excellency access.

“At a point, the security personnel in uniform and mufti at the gates became very hostile and the ADC to the Deputy Governor was manhandled by men of the police force. It was at this point that the Deputy Governor decided to leave the scene that was becoming tense while waiting in his car.

“Having waited for a while to see if the situation would change to no avail, he proceeded to take his leave.

“It should be noted that the Deputy Governor put a call through to Alhaji Kunle Sanni, Chairman of Oyo State Muslim Council, who was among the officiating ministers, that he was at the gate and was being denied entrance. Alhaji Sanni responded that his hands were tied. This is a clear indication that what transpired was premeditated.

“There was no truth in the family saying they were not aware that the state government delegation was at the gate because Mr Bolaji Tunji was severally called by men of Civil Defence at the gate.

“Even if the Deputy Governor arrived when the prayers had started, it is a well-known fact in Islam that when prayers are on-going and a male walks in, it’s an indication that the prayers have received Allah’s acceptance.

“However, Engr Raufu Olaniyan wishes to re-iterate that the visit of the government delegation to the 8th day Fidau Prayers of His Excellency Senator Isaika Ajimobi was a clear demonstration on the part of His Excellency, Engr Seyi Makinde, that the late governor is held in high regard. He stated that it was only fitting for the state government to show respect to the late governor at the Fidau prayers held in his honour.

“The Deputy Governor also wishes to put it on record that despite the way he was treated by the Ajimobi family, which he refuses to hold personal, he has displayed maturity as required of the public office at this level. He holds no grudges and he will continue to pray that Allah grants the departed former Governor Al-Jana Firdaus.

“Engr. Raufu Olaniyan will also like to draw the attention of the Oyo state Commissioner of Police to the highly unprofessional and unruly conduct of the police personnel at the premises.”




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BIG STORY

LASTMA Official ‘Stabs’ Lover, ‘Kills’ Self Over Alleged Infidelity

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Homicide detectives of the Lagos State Police Command have commenced investigation into an alleged attempted murder and suicide by a Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Emmanuel Mekuri, 47.

Mekuri, a resident of Araromi area of Morogbo allegedly stabbed himself to death after stabbing his live-in lover, Patricia Ogunshola, 37, on the right thigh.

It was gathered that the incident occurred around 1am in front of Ogunshola’s 13-year-old daughter.

The Nation reports that this incident is the second spousal homicide in two weeks on grounds of alleged infidelity.

Trouble was said to have started between the couple after Ogunshola accused her partner of infidelity.

The duo was said to have had an arguement that degenerated into physical fighting around past midnight.

Although it was unclear which of them introduced a knife in the fight, The Nation gathered that Mekuri stabbed the woman on her thigh and aimed for her head but she fled the room.

Mekuri allegedly stabbed himself on the stomach such that his intentines came out and he died on the spot.

The teenager, said to be the man’s stepdaughter, was said to have raised alarm and attracted neighbours’ attention who called in the police.

Detectives were deployed to the scene immediately and a knife covered in blood was found.

Confirming the incident, police spokesman Bala Elkana, a Superintendent (SP) said investigation was ongoing, adding that the woman was in stable condition.




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BIG STORY

632 Students Fail Law School Final Exams, No Date Yet For Call To Bar Ceremony

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A total of 632 students failed this year’s Law School final examinations out of the 2,515 students who sat for the examinations held in January.

The Director General, Nigerian Law School (NLS), Professor Isa Hayatu Chiroma (SAN) said, in a statement on Sunday, that the Council of Legal Education (CLE) held a virtual meeting last week to consider and approve the release of the results.

Chiroma said a breakdown of the results showed that five students got First Class and were placed under the category of ‘”outstanding performance,”constituting 0.2 percent of the total students that sat for the examinations.

He aded: “Candidates graded in Second Class Upper: 77 (3.06 %).

“Candidates graded in Second Class Lower Upper: 633 (25.17 %)

“Candidates in Pass: 1,067 (42.42 %)

“Candidate with Conditional Pass: 82 (3.26 %)

“Candidates who failed: 632 (25.12 %)

“Absent: 17 (0.7 %)

“Withheld: 2 (0.08%)”

Chiroma said the dates for screening and call to bar would be communicated to the affected students in due course.




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