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Edo 2020: Obaseki, Ize-Iyamu Lock Horns In 12 Battleground LGAs Today

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At least 12 out of the 18 local government areas of Edo State will play a decisive role in Saturday’s (today) governorship poll as incumbent Governor Godwin Obaseki, who is the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, clashes with the leading opposition All Progressives Congress governorship candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.

Although 14 parties fielded candidates for the poll, observers have argued that the election would be a two-horse race between the PDP and the APC.

According to an analysis by Saturday PUNCH, the 12 battleground local government areas are Egor, Ikpoba/Okha, Oredo, Ovia North-East, Ovia South-West and Uhunmwode.

Others are Akoko Edo, Owan West, Owan East, Etsako East, Etsako West and Etsako Central.

Six out of the 12 battlegrounds LGAs are located in the Edo South Senatorial District where both the incumbent and the leading opposition candidate hail from.

Interestingly, the Edo South Senatorial District has the highest number of voters totalling 1,281,414 votes, according to the figures released by the Independent National Electoral Commission. This represents about 74 per cent of the entire voting populace which INEC put at 1,726,738.

Further findings revealed that the remaining six battlegrounds LGAs are located in the Edo North Senatorial District where the immediate past Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, and the state deputy governor, Philip Shaibu, hails from. The deputy governorship candidate of the APC, Gani Audu, also hails from Edo North.

Figures from INEC’s voter register show that Edo North Senatorial District has 564,122 voters.

However, the Edo Central Senatorial District which has 364,998 voters is expected to be dominated by the PDP. According to Saturday PUNCH findings, the Edo Central Senatorial District has been historically dominated by the PDP.

Meanwhile, INEC put the number of registered voters for the election at 2,210,534. However, 483,796 PVCs were not collected, leaving 1,726,738 voters eligible to take part in today’s election.

According to INEC’s breakdown of the eligible voters with permanent voter cards in the 18 LGAs, Akoko Edo has 115,343 voters; Egor has 158,817; Esan Central has 40,831; Esan North-East has 66,790; Esan South-East has 58,802; Esan West has 83,467; Etsako Central has 42,042; Etsako East has 67,715; Etsako West has 128,188, and Igueben has 34,988.

Others are Ikpoba/Okha with 214,822; Oredo, 240,197; Orhionmwon, 102,739; Ovia North-East, 113,167; Ovia South West, 77,468; Owan East, 77,827; Owan West, 46,245 and Uhunmwonde 57,290.

According to the delimitation of the state, elections would be conducted in the 2,627 polling units in 192 wards in the 18 LGAs of the state.

BIG STORY

Nigerian Govt Announces Committee To Address Job Creation, National Security As Nationwide Rampage Continues

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The National Executive Council (NEC) has set up a committee charged with addressing unemployment and national security in the country.

This was part of the council’s resolutions at its meeting on Monday, vice-president Yemi Osinbajo’s publicist, Laolu Akande, said in a mail sent to media houses Tuesday.

The decision was taken on the backdrop of issues triggered by the weeks-long #EndSARS protests where young Nigerians sought an end to police brutality before it was hijacked by hoodlums who have caused chaos across the country in the past week.

Headed by the vice-president, the committee has the governors of Sokoto, Borno State, Niger, Ondo, Ebonyi, Delta States as members.

The committee, Mr. Akande said, is expected to engage “relevant stakeholders” to chart a way forward on “employment, social safety net programmes, and national unity among other key issues of concern” for the country.

This, he said will be done alongside engaging with security agencies, including at the state level, “to provide compensation for those who have incurred losses in the last few weeks and a framework for social security to deal with the problem of unemployment and poverty in the country.”

Four in 10 Nigerians are poor and the country’s unemployment rate rose to 27.1% in the second quarter of 2020, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

“The council observed the low morale of security operatives during the period and members resolved to commend the Nigeria police and all the security agencies for their handling of what is clearly an unprecedented problem,” Mr Akande said in his statement.

“NEC also supported President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to a complete overhaul of the country’s security services by improving the capacity of security officers across the rank and file while providing them with the necessary equipment to carry out their jobs effectively,” he added.

Since the protest for police reform turned violent last week, the has country has experienced series of destruction, large-scale looting of public and private warehouses, and loss of lives, including those of security officials.

To this end, Mr Akande said NEC urged the CACOVID leadership, a private initiative committed to given palliatives to Nigerians to cushion the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, “to come out with an independent statement on the status of the distribution of palliatives donated to States which should clearly explain the circumstances behind the delay in the distribution of food items domiciled in warehouses across the country.”

“Council reviewed the activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and other secessionist groups, stressing that these subterranean and violent tendencies must be quickly addressed given that they have continually hijacked demonstrations and caused mayhem and lawlessness across parts of the country.

“Council decried the irresponsible use of social media in fueling misinformation and increasing social tensions,” Mr Akande noted.

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BIG STORY

BREAKING: Sanwo-Olu Approves Full Reopening Of Markets In Lagos

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The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has approved the full reopening of markets in the state.

The Lagos Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Dr Wale Ahmed, made this known in a statement on Tuesday.

The statement made available by the governor’s Senior Special Assistant on New Media, Gawat Jubril, noted that both food markets and non-food markets can reopen every day of the week.

Before the announcement, food and non-food markets were allowed to operate three days in a week – Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

The state government had regulated the opening of the markets to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

The statement read in part, “The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has approved the full resumption of operations of both food markets and non-food markets.

“They are now to open daily.

“Mr Governor took the decision to further enhance trade and commerce and mitigate the hardship of recent times and ensure that Lagosians can recover fast.

“Mr Governor also advised the continued observance of all safety protocols.

“Traders and their customers must adhere strictly to the covid 19 protocols for their safety and the citizenry at large.”

Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, on Monday, announced that the country recorded 119 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of infections in Nigeria to 62,111.

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BIG STORY

520 Suspects Arrested For Arson, Vandalism, Others In Lagos

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The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, on Tuesday, said 520 suspects have been arrested in connection with the series of arson, vandalism, burglary, and robbing of unsuspecting members of the public of their valuables during the unrest occasioned by the #EndSARS protest in the state.

Odumosu, who disclosed this during a press briefing at the command headquarters in the Ikeja area of the state, said the #EndSARS protest was hijacked by hoodlums, adding that the arrested suspects would be charged to court.

While stating the facilities affected in the state, the CP said, “A lot of public and private facilities were set ablaze, our police stations were also burnt and vandalized.

“Based on the incidences, the command swung into action realizing that this is no more #EndSARS, where lives and property are lost and vandalized and burnt. We realized that the protest had been hijacked by hoodlums, so we moved in and we were able to recover some of the stolen items and arrested the perpetrators.

“So far, 520 suspects have been arrested for various offenses, ranging from arson, robbery, murder, rioting, malicious damage, and unlawful possession of firearms. All the suspects we have arrested are not #EndSARS protesters and they will all be charged.”

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