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Pressure On Buhari To Reject Electoral Amendment Bill

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President Muhammadu Buhari is under pressure to withhold assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, it was learnt yesterday.

Governors are urging the President to decline assent until the conflict over the direct primary is resolved.

However, leaders of civil society groups, who organized a protest in Abuja, advised the president not to pander to the wishes of governors who opposed the primary model from the onset.

The National Assembly had transmitted the Bill to the president on November 19, following its passage.

The President has until December 19 to either sign or decline assent.

According to a source, there is suspense as “the president has expanded his scope of consultations with stakeholders” before taking a final decision.

The source said senators and House of Representatives members are under pressure from governors to review the Electoral Act and retain the indirect primary.

It was also learnt that the Presidency may seek a review of the Act, if the pressure persists.

However, the pressure forced senators to split into different caucuses on the demand of governors and some forces in the presidency have created division among senators.

In one of the caucus meetings, some ranking senators said they can back down on direct primary, if a proviso is added or agreed upon to give the Right of First Refusal to serving senators or members of the House of Representatives.

But members of the House of Representatives were adamant yesterday.

They invited the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, to explain the likely cost implication of direct primary.

An unconfirmed report said N500 billion additional cost may be incurred by the commission if the direct primary is adopted.

Although the president had requested for comments from INEC on the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, the agency has not acted on the president’s request.

Also, it was learnt that some forces in the presidency had been uncomfortable with the cost and security implications of direct primary.

The forces were said to be pushing for a review of the Act by the President.

A principal officer in the Senate, who spoke in confidence, said: “We are under intense pressure from governors and some stakeholders to review the Electoral Act and drop direct primary.

“It has got to a ridiculous extent that each of the 36 governors is now engaging National Assembly Caucus in every state.

“While President Muhammadu Buhari was still consulting, we were surprised that some forces in the Presidency have joined the fray to prevail on National Assembly to retain indirect primary.”

A ranking member of the Red Chamber said the pressure has forced senators to meet at different caucus levels.

The senator said: “On Thursday (yesterday) alone, I attended three different meetings bordering on demand from the National Assembly to jettison direct primary.

“We know the governors are jittery. We also deliberately included direct primary in the Electoral Act to checkmate the excesses of these governors and godfathers imposing candidates on the parties.

“In one of our meetings, some senators tabled another request as a condition for any review. The affected senators said they can back down on direct primary if a proviso is added or agreed upon to give the right of First Refusal to a serving Senator or a member of the House of Representatives.

“We may, however, be heading for a stalemate because members of the House of Representatives appeared unwilling on Thursday to review the Act.”

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BIG STORY

Prevail On Nigeria, Benin Republic To Release Sunday Igboho – Afenifere To International Community

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Afenifere, a Pan Yoruba socio-cultural organization, has urged the international community to press the Nigerian and Benin Republic governments to free Sunday Adeyemo, also known as Sunday Igboho.

The group also urged the Federal Government to pay Adeyemo the damages awarded to him by the court as a result of the attack on his person and property, according to a communique issued at the end of its first annual general meeting held at the residence of its acting national leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, in Isanya-Ogbo, Odogbolu Local Government Area of Ogun State, on Tuesday.

The meeting had in attendance the former governor of Kwara State, Chief Cornelius Adebayo, former deputy governor of Lagos State, Senator Kofo Bucknor-Akerele, Senator Femi Okunrounmu, and Chief Supo Shonibare.

Others were Chief Sola Ebiseni, the Secretary General, Dr. Gbola Adetunji, Chief Korede Duyile, Abagun Kole Omololu, Hon. Leke Mabinuori, Chief Kofoworola Doherty, Dr. Ebun Sonaiya, Chief Tunde Onakoya, Senator Femi Lanlehin, Jumoke Ajasin-Anifowose, Chief Segun Olawoyin, Deacon Owolabi Oladejo, Chief Olu Pesu, and Reverend Goke Omigbodun.

Afenifere also called on the Federal Government to release Nnamdi Kanu on political consideration as it was done in the case of Asari Dokubo under the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

The group noted that the country had been under the siege of security challenges which it described as unprecedented in the history of the country, just as it stressed the need for the Federal Government to consider the establishment of state Police in order to address insecurity.

It said: “In recent times, we have consistently expressed concern on the situation of insecurity in Nigeria today. We have also always recommended what we consider the ways out of the unprecedented security challenges facing us. In this respect, we strongly call on the present administration under President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure the introduction of state Police equipped with requisite means to enhance security in the states and that of the federation ultimately.

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3 Out Of 20 FCT Women Experience Office Rape – Survey

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Fifty-one percent of women working in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) say they have experienced some type of sexually related violence at work.

Three out of twenty women acknowledged being raped in their offices, according to the submission, which is based on HEIR Women Development’s research findings.

The study, which aimed to bring the reality of gender-based violence in the workplace to light, found that 55 percent of women do not understand what constituted sexual harassment.

Dr. Obianuju O. Nnadozie, an economist from the University of Benin (UNIBEN), who lead the research team that sampled responses from 1000 women online and 60 women off-line said, 77% of the women complained about bullying in the workplace while 70% of women lamented what they described as inflexible work hours that formed advancement barriers to them.

Dr. Obianuju shared the research findings at an HEIR Women validation meeting of research findings at a zoom meeting.

She said the findings called for an Empowerment of young women against sexual harassment, and support organizational coordination to ensure compliance with sexual harassment policies at workplaces in the Federal Capital Territory.

According to her: “Findings from the online survey and in-depth interviews suggest that sex is prevalent at the workplace in the FCT. Specifically, the online survey shows that:

“1 in 2 women (51%) reported that they have been sexually harassed at the workplace.

“More than 3 in 4 women (78%) have experienced verbal sexual harassment in the workplace.

“About 3 in 4 women (74%) reported that they have experienced cyber sexual harassment.

According to the research Sexual harassment is prevalent at workplaces in the FCT, Abuja and it can/should be addressed.

It continued that “there is little or no organizational measures/mechanisms and, where present, a lack of trust in the existing organizational measures that should address sexual harassment at workplaces in the FCT.”

It also noted that there exists a very limited understanding of the context of a safe working environment, gender-based standards, and its importance.

In the light of the above, appropriate actions should be taken to enlighten young women against sexual harassment as well as encourage organizations existing measures and adopt, where necessary, best practices to harassment/career barriers at the workplace, the survey stated.

More findings on the report showed that 71% of women have experienced online stalking which the researcher pointed out was an emerging threat that must be looked into.

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I Didn’t Abuse Juliana Playoff’s Sister Sexually, I’ve Apologized For What I’m Guilty Of — Pastor Timi Adigun

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The feud between Nollywood actress Olayode Juliana and her former pastor, Timi Adigun, has escalated, with the actress accusing him of sexually abusing her sister.

On Tuesday, Olayode accused her spiritual father and manager, Adigun, of seizing control of her Facebook and other social media accounts.

The actress alleged on Wednesday that the preacher abused her sister during their social media debate.

She wrote, “Did you listen to yourself at all? I don’t think you did. You manipulated and sexually abused my sister and you thought I would be calm. You expect me not to be furious. How are you processing the things you did and the things you said? How? I don’t get you.

“You talk about apology and forgiveness. Forgiving you is a process for me. I forgave you then, for my sanity, just when I am trying to move on. You do something else that triggers me and I get mad at you again and I beg God to help me forgive you again.

“The hurt is really deep, the pain, the trauma, the disappointment, the sleepless nights, the tears that drenched my pillow, the shock, the entire experience is indescribable.”

ALSO READ: Gospel Singer Sammie Okposo Apologizes Publicly, Suspends Self From Ministry Over Infidelity

In response, Adigun said on his Instagram story, “For those concerned for me and asking me to stop responding, if I was brought before a court, I would have to talk or my lawyer would talk.

“I have been brought before a social media jury. I have to speak the truth but it is still up to individuals to choose what to believe.

“That said, I want to make it public here that I am ready to stand before any court or panel and I am ready to be investigated.

“When you know you have told the truth, there is no more fear. I NEVER sexually abused anyone! I have facts, figures, and dates. What I was guilty of, I owned up to and apologized for. The next I want to see is a subpoena.

“I will continue on social media and continue building my businesses and ministry. This is a distraction I have no time for. I will not be posting on this again.”

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