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Rivers LG Elections: Voter Apathy Witnessed in Early Polling



Rivers LG Elections: Voter Apathy Witnessed in Early Polling

The Local Government Election in Rivers was marked by a general voter apathy during the early hours of polling even as most residents in parts of Port Harcourt remained indoors.

According to Agency report, armed Police personnel mounted road blocks at Mile 3, UST Roundabout Police Station and other strategic points in the Port Harcourt metropolis as early as 8.00a.m. on election day.

The Mile 3 Market and Park as well as shops within the area were shut while streets at Mgbooba, NTA Road areas were deserted as people remained mostly indoors.

Also, Ikwere road was devoid of the usual hustle and bustle of human, vehicular movement and gridlock caused by commercial vehicles and traders.

READ ALSO: Ondo Election: Gunmen Invade Polling Unit, Shoot Sporadically

The Azikiwe and Moscow roads were devoid of usual heavy traffic, but some residents were seen trekking to their various destinations.

As at 9.00a.m., electoral materials had arrived at most polling stations although, generally, voter apathy was observed up to the time of filing this report.

Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers had declared restriction of vehicular and human movements within and out of the State from midnight of April 16 until 5.00 pm on April 17, when the council polls was expected to be over.

The governor, in a state broadcast, said the restriction of movement was necessitated by conduct of polls by Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission (RVSIEC) fixed for April 17.

“Consequently, vehicular and human movements, within and out of the state and the local government areas is hereby totally restricted from the midnight of Friday 16th April, 202, to and until the end of polling at 5.00 p.m. on Saturday 17th April 2021, except for persons and vehicles strictly on essential duties with genuine and valid identifications.

“The security agencies have been directed to strictly enforce the restriction on human and vehicular movements and arrest and prosecute any person who dares to violate this ban.

“I have been briefed and received assurances from the RVSIEC that it is fully prepared and ready not only to conduct, but also to ensure that polling is hitch-free, fair and credible,’’ the governor said.

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Uzodinma Sacks 20 Commissioners After Cabinet Reshuffling, Here’s Why



Uzodinma Sacks 20 Commissioners After Cabinet Reshuffling

Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma has sacked 20 out of his 28 commissioners, citing the need for more governance value.

The eight commissioners not affected by the announcement were of the ministries of Health, Youth and Sports, Tourism, Information and Strategy, Woman Affairs, Works, Finance, and Technology.

The sacking of the 20 commissioners came just one month after the governor reshuffled his cabinet and appointed new Commissioners for Finance and Health.

The sacking came as a surprise to the affected appointees, as there was no sign that the announcement would be made.

Confirming the sacking, Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Nwachuku Oguwike said Uzodinma wished the affected appointee well in their future endeavours.

The governor’s spokesperson said, “The news is correct. 20 commissioners were affected while eight were not affected. The reason is to infuse new blood and add more value to the governance system of the state.”

The state Commissioner for information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba, also confirmed the sacking of the 20 commissioners.

Imo State has been in the eye of the storm of late as members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) have been alleged to attack state security apparatus including prisons and police stations.

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General News

APC Debunks Allegation To Cut Salaries Of Civil Servants



APC Debunks Allegation To Cut Salaries Of Civil Servants
Sen. John Akpanudoedehe, Secretary, APC Caretaker

The All Progressives Congress (APC) on Sunday in Abuja, said the Federal Government has no plans to slash salaries of civil servants as alleged by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Sen. John Akpanudoedehe, National Secretary, APC Caretaker, and Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), debunked the allegation in a statement.

PDP, in a statement by its spokesman, had alleged that it got an intelligence report that the Federal Government is planning to slash salaries of workers because of economic reasons.

READ ALSO: Kwara Promotes 1,600 Civil Servants

Akpanudoedehe said “The PDP is up to its comical tales on what it terms intelligence at its disposal to slash the salaries of workers in the country, clearly only the PDP believes its tales.

“We are proud of our credentials as a truly progressive and people-centered political party.”

He stressed that rather than thinking of slashing workers’ salaries as alleged by the PDP, President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government is committed to the welfare of Nigerian workers.

He added that the administration had been tested and proven in this regard, saying that it would continue to match words with actions in line with the APC electoral promises.

He noted that the administration had put in place several social investment programs targeted at citizens living on the margin.

These, he said, include the implementation of the improved minimum wage and the Economic Sustainability Plan to the mass housing program which thousands of Nigerians are already benefitting from, among others.

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Ortom Fires Back At El-Rufai, Calls Him A Sycophant



Ortom Fires Back At El-Rufai, Calls Him A Sycophant

Benue governor, Samuel Ortom has fired back at his Kaduna counterpart, Nasir El-Rufai, who accused him of using the insecurity in his state to attack the Federal Government to cover up his failure.

El-Rufai, during a webinar, stated: “I know him (Ortom) and he is not somebody I take very seriously, frankly. He has other issues of governance that he is using the Federal Government as a punching bag to divert attention from his failures.

“Go and find out how many months’ salaries are being owed teachers and public servants in Benue State then you can understand a lot of what Ortom is doing.”

Responding to him, the Benue governor said El-Rufai has no moral justification to challenge other governors in the country.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, Ortom added, “We want to believe that El-Rufai was wrongly quoted. A man who has failed in several aspects as governor of Kaduna has no moral justification to accuse another governor. “

According to him, El-Rufai divided the people of Kaduna against one another by allegedly not hiding his hatred for indigenes of the state on account of religion and ethnicity.

The statement read, “A governor who chose a Muslim deputy in a state where Christians have a huge population is certainly not one to preach unity and peaceful coexistence. El-Rufai’s attack on Governor Ortom is merely to make him look good before the Presidency.

“He has apparently fallen out of favour at the Villa and wants to use Governor Ortom as a launch pad back to reckoning. This is a man who has insulted almost every prominent Nigerian, including the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and former President Olusegun Obasanjo, a man who is his former boss and one who brought him to limelight.”

Ortom said Nigerians had yet to forget the unprintable things El-Rufai said during former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, saying, “He insulted the then President and publicly supported terrorists attacking parts of the country.

“His statements on the abduction of Chibok girls and several other acts of terrorism are still fresh in our minds. El-Rufai is on the record to have said repeatedly that Fulani people must retaliate any wrong done to them, no matter how long it takes.

“Is Governor Ortom responsible for El-Rufai’s inability to ensure peace in Kaduna State where bandits have taken over some communities while kidnappings and killings occur on a daily basis? El-Rufai admitted paying Fulani herdsmen whom he invited from other West African countries in the name of stopping attacks in Southern Kaduna.”

According to the Benue governor, since the “confessional statement,” attacks on the people of Southern Kaduna have escalated and kidnapping has become a “common crime” in Kaduna under the governor.

Ortom said Benue people did not take El-Rufai seriously, adding, “A man who has no regard for humanity does not deserve our attention. Nasir El-Rufai is a sycophant, ethnic champion, and religious bigot who hates anyone who does not share the same faith with him. He is among the very few persons who have misled President Muhammadu Buhari.”

Ortom described his Kaduna counterpart as “one of the real enemies of the country who do not hide their divisive tendencies by elevating nepotism and ethnicity above the good values that have held Nigeria together over the decades.”

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