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Interesting Times Ahead In Kogi As Dino Melaye Picks Guber Nomination Form

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Dino Melaye, has picked the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) nomination forms for the Kogi State governorship election.

Similarly, another aspirant, Abubakar Suleiman, also picked the nomination documents for the Kogi election billed to hold on November 16.

The duo picked their nomination documents at the Abuja national secretariat of the PDP on Thursday.

Addressing journalists shortly after the nomination formalities, Melaye his decision to contest the election was informed by the agitation, clarion call and passion from people of Kogi state.

“The ambition is not mine but that of the people of Kogi state. There is the dire need to recover our state which has been completely battered, shattered and destroyed.

“Today, the magnitude and intensity of killings in Kogi State surpassed any other time in the history of our state. The state has never experienced such insecurity before.

“I have looked for people who believe that the welfare of workers of Kogi State is the basic priority of government and people who believe that security and the welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government and all these we will achieved

“Unemployment is on the high side. Retrenchment, sack and non-payment of salaries and pension are now a tradition in Kogi State. The economy and the economic activities in Kogi State have completely depleted. I have heard the loud cry from the Almighty and he said,: who do I send and I said, send me,” Melaye said.

The controversial senator vowed to defeat Governor Yahaya Bello in the coming poll, saying, “We are resolutely determined to chase the mediocre in Lugard House.

“We are too sophisticated to have Yahaya Bello as a governor. We are too intellectually mobile to have a classless character like Yahaya Bello as governor.

“He never won an election. He is a coronated governor. Now for the first time, he is attempting to contest to be the governor through electioneering process. This is his first time and we will prove to him that we are masters in the game and we will separate the boys from the men”

Also speaking with journalists after picking his forms, Suleiman said Kogi is in dire need of change in leadership, stressing that things have deteriorated in the three-and-a-half years that Governor Yahaya Bello has been in the saddle.

Bemoaning the poor state of infrastructure and economy in the Kogi, Suleiman said workers have been reduced to beggars while victimisation and intimidation of the people had become the order of the day.

Stating his mission for joining the race, Suleiman said, “I have a priority policy document that I have worked on, which include: social infrastructure, fundamentals of government, physical responsibility and economic development.

“The policies are intertwined. For example economic development includes job creation; empowerment is related to physical infrastructure. My social infrastructure plans include health, schools and roads. All these will be given serious consideration”.

Recall that another aspirant, Dr Joseph Ameh had obtained his nomination documents for the Kogi governorship race on Tuesday.

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Don’t Allow External Forces Destroy Us, Allow Seed Of Peace Germinate —- Sanwo-Olu Begs Lagosians

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The Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has appealed to residents not to allow external forces to destroy the wellbeing and security of the state.

He spoke on Tuesday during a stakeholders’ engagement, tagged, ‘Internal Security and Conflict Resolution in Lagos State.’

The meeting, which held at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Alausa, was also attended by the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola; Minister of Police Affairs, Maigari Dingyadi; human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, among others.

Sanwo-Olu said the coordinated arson and destruction that trailed the #EdSARS protest was a wake-up call to all citizens and security organizations to be vigilant and move against actions that could affect the wellbeing and security of Nigeria.

He pleaded with residents to allow the seed of peace being sown to germinate, while also stressing the need to re-establish communication links between the government and the people.

He said, “We have to reignite the communication link between government and the people so that fifth columnists or conspiracy theorists will not be able to infiltrate and spread disinformation and misinformation that would jeopardize the future of our country or the opportunities available for our youths to contribute to the greatness of our country.”

The forum later moved into an executive session where discussions were held on ways out of the current situation.

The participants, in the 15-point communique issued after the meeting, called on the Federal Government to treat Lagos security as a national issue.

The group also called for increased intelligence gatherings by security agencies by working with neighbourhood security apparatus.

They urged job creation for the youth, including the reintroduction of value-driven programmes, such as Boys Scout, Girls Guild, “in our schools to meaningfully engage young people.”




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U.S Exempts Nigeria From Trump’s New $15,000 Visa Bond Policy

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The United States Mission in Nigeria says Nigeria is not currently part of the pilot visa bond programme.

The Trump administration had introduced a new temporary policy issued to discourage nationals of some countries with higher visa overstay rates.

Under the new policy, visitors to the US from such countries may have to pay up to $15,000 in bonds.

The visa bond pilot programme is said to target mostly African countries with high visa overstay — the visitors are believed to have entered the country legally on student, tourist, work visas and then stay past their visa expiration date.

According to data from the DHS, almost 30,000 Nigerians overstayed their B1/B2 visas in 2018, ranking as the 5th country with the most visa overstays in the US.

This makes Nigeria the African country with the most visa overstays.

In 2019, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) had reported that Nigeria might be affected by the move of the Trump administration to check the tide of countries whose immigrants overstay their visas at relatively high rates.

On Monday, the US government announced that it had introduced the visa bond pilot programme for B-1 visas (for business travellers) and B-2 visas (for tourists).

It said the pilot programme will run for six months.

There have been concerns that Nigeria may be affected by the policy.

But in a statement on Tuesday, the US mission in Nigeria said the most populous black nation on earth will not be affected by the policy.

“In response to the April 2019 Presidential Memorandum on Combating High Nonimmigrant Overstay Rates, the Department and our embassies and consulates overseas conducted an in-depth analysis to identify and address root causes of overstays,” the statement read.

“Among other efforts to address this challenge, the State Department is considering additional steps to address overstays, including piloting a limited visa bonds program to test, in coordination with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the operational feasibility of posting, processing, and discharging visa bonds as means to ensure the timely departure from the United States of certain travelers. Accordingly, the State Department will begin a limited six-month visa bond pilot program beginning on December 24, 2020.

“We are committed to combating visa overstays and making sure travelers to the United States respect our laws. The implementation of this pilot builds on our engagement with foreign governments in recent years and will ensure continued progress to reduce overstay rates. Nigeria is not included in this six months pilot program.”




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Family Of Slain Newspaper Vendor Demands N500m From Gbajabiamila

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The family of Ifeanyi Okereke, the vendor killed by a security aide of Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the house of representatives, is demanding N500 million from the number four citizen.

Last week, Okereke was shot by Abdullahi Hassan, a Department of State Services (DSS) operative attached to the speaker.

According to PUNCH, the demand was contained in a letter addressed to the speaker by Mike Ozekhome, counsel to the family.

In the letter dated November 23, the Okereke family said the demand is not enough to replace their son.

“Our clients have instructed us to make from your good self, the following modest demands: That you use your good offices to ensure the immediate prosecution of your security aide (Abdullahi Hassan), who went on a frolic of his own, clearly acted outside the purview of his duty and responsibility by shooting to death an innocent, harmless and armless citizen,” Ozekhome said.

“That you adequately compensate the Okereke family with a modest sum of N500m only.

“This monetary demand can never adequately replace or take the place of their son, husband, brother, and breadwinner’s life. But it will at least mitigate the obvious trauma and hardship the premature demise of their irreplaceable breadwinner has placed on them.”

The lawyer said if the speaker fails to accede to their demand in seven days, they would take legal steps.

“Take note therefore that it is our clients’ firm instruction that in the event that you fail, refuse and/or neglect to accede to or proffer reasonable compensatory terms to our above modest demands within seven days from the date of this letter, we shall without any further correspondences from us, take appropriate legal steps to enforce our clients’ constitutional rights,” he said.

Gbajabiamila said he has handed over the aide to the DSS for discipline.

He has also visited the family of the deceased to condole with them.




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