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Despite Naira Crunch,Attack on Facilities:2023 Polls Shall Proceed As PlannedINEC



The Nigeria Election Management Body has assured that the 2023 polls shall proceed as planned despite current challenges caused by government:s currency swap and attacks on the Independent National Electoral Commission’s facilities

INEC National Commissioner May Agbamuche gave the assurance at a one- day public hearing held yesterday at the National Assembly

Mrs Agbamuche who represented the INEC chairman, Professor Mahmoud Yakub, noted that the persistent violence could affect the credibility of the elections especially if the attacks were targeted at its facilities

“With the general elections at hand, it is important to remind you all of the Commission’s commitment to free, fair and credible elections.

“Our preparation is however fraught with challenges. There is no doubt that violence and threat of violence are major challenges to credible election in 2023.

“Violence makes deployment for elections difficult, particularly where some of the attacks are targeted at INEC facilities, the electoral process and participants.

She , however, disclosed that the Commission has been working with security agencies and other stakeholders to establish mechanisms to understand, track and mitigate security challenges.

She said,”We are working collaboratively in the context of Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES).

“In all, we feel assured by the actions we have taken and our collaboration with the security agencies.

“The 2023 general elections will proceed as planned. There is no plan to postpone the election,”she assured

Meanwhile also speaking at the one- day public hearing organised by the National Assembly joint Committee on INEC and Electoral Matters,
a member of the committee, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele (APC Ekiti Central), said going by the problem of acute naira scarcity being faced by Nigerians, the CBN is the most outstanding threat to the elections.

He said the plan of selectivity of cash withdrawal INEC worked out with the CBN on Tuesday, was not assuring as far as smooth conduct of the elections was concerned.

He said: “The CBN told us at the beginning of the policy that the targets were the so-called moneybags who stashed away billions in their closets. We thought those at the people they want to get at.

“We are now seeing that it is the ordinary man on the streets suffering. They are sleeping in the banking hall because they cannot have access to the little money they have. We must understand the political economy of an electoral process.

“People are thinking of the money politicians would spend on vote buying, they don’t know that political parties would also mobilise people to all the polling units as agents, just like the INEC would mobilise personnel also.

“Today, the CBN is assuring Nigerians that it would provide money for INEC if they need more money.

“Are we saying that INEC must rely on the intervention of the CBN for it to perform?

“If the police run into logistics problems, they would also run to CBN for selective intervention.

“We are fighting Boko Haram, so if the military authorities could not access funds from their banks, they will also need to approach the CBN for selective intervention.

“These are issues and as a stakeholder, the CBN is the most outstanding threat to these elections holding as scheduled.

“The INEC should do it’s best. When the political class appear to have hold the nation to ransom as it appear now, it is the judiciary that will have to stand up and save the nation from the jugular of the political class.

“There is definitely, a cabal that does not want this election to hold but let us remind them those who call themselves the cabal, under President Olusegun Obasanjo they became irrelevant after that. Ditto for those who constituted themselves as cabal under late President Umaru Yar’Adua and President Goodluck Jonathan.

“The current situation shall also past.The nation is at a crossroads and all stakeholders must stand up in defence of our democracy.” Opeyemi warned


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FG Approves N24.2bn For Free Internet At Airports, Schools, Markets



THE Federal Government has approved free internet services worth N24.2 billion naira at 20 selected airports, 43 universities and six markets across the country.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Isa Pantami, disclosed this after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday

Pantami said that the airports were selected from the six geo-political zones.

“Certain intervention projects are going to be implemented by the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Nigerian Communications Commission of providing Internet in 20 selected airports in Nigeria and higher institutions of learning and also some markets to support micro small and medium enterprises.

“In each geopolitical zone, you have around three airports. In the South-West, we have Lagos and Ondo. For the South-East, we have Anambra and Enugu.

“For the South-South, we have Port Harcourt and Akwa Ibom. For the North-Central we have Abuja and Ilorin. In the North-West, we have Kano, Sokoto and Kebbi. For the North-East we have Yola, Maiduguri and Gombe.”

The minister said the markets and 43 institutions which include universities and polytechnics were also drawn from the six geopolitical zones, adding that it will ease e-learning in schools and also enhance the transition to a cashless economy.

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Buhari Approves Appointment Of 6 New Perm Secs



President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday approved the appointment of six new permanent secretaries in the Federal Civil Service

The appointments followed after a recent conducted selection process.

The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HOCSF),Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, made this known in a statement by Mohammed Ahmed, Director of Communications of the Office of the HOCSF,

The appointees and their states of origin are Esuabana Asanye (Cross River), Mahmud Kambari (Borno), Richard Pheelangwah (Taraba), Lamuwa Ibrahim (Gombe), Yakubu Kofar-Mata (Kano) and Oloruntola Michael (Ogun).

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DSS Confirms Plot To Install Interim Govt



The Department of State Security Service has said that the plot to Instal interim government was real

DSS noted that the plot was “by some key players” to install an interim government and stop Bola Ahmed Tinubu from being inaugurated as president.

A statement on Wednesday, by Peter Afunanya, the public relations officer of the secret police, said: “The Department of State Services (DSS) has identified some key players in the plot for an Interim Government in Nigeria.

“The Service considers the plot, being pursued by these entrenched interests, as not only an aberration but a mischievous way to set aside the constitution and undermine civil rule as well as plunge the country into an avoidable crisis.

“The illegality is totally unacceptable in a democracy and to the peace loving Nigerians. This is even more so that the machination is taking place after the peaceful conduct of the elections in most parts of the country.”

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