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COVID-19 Palliatives: Presidency, Ndume In Verbal War

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…I Stand By My Submission- Ndume

… Prove Your Allegations Or Keep Quiet-Presidency

Following a reply by a presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, to Senator Ali Ndume (Borno South),
the war of words between the Presidency the former Leader of the Senate may not end soon.

Ndume, had at a press briefing in Borno State, called for the immediate sack of COVID-19 Palliatives Measures Committee headed by the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadia Umar Farouq.

The APC Senator representing Borno South picked holes in the way and manner distribution of palliatives to Nigerians at this critical time of COVID-19 lockdown is being handled by the Humanitarian Affairs Ministry.

Ndume who kicked against the approach adopted by the Ministry in a chat with journalists said the emergency national assignment should be taken away from the Ministry and given to a fresh committee that will use governors of the 36 States as links of distribution across the federation.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Warri-based Billionaire Pastor Doles Out N1.1billion Charity, Challenges Others To Give

His words, “My concern is the manner and the way the COVID-19 palliative measures provided by the president is being handled or executed. We have received numerous complaints and it is actually very unfortunate.

“In fact, left to me, I am strongly calling for the humanitarian committee headed by the minister of Humanitarian Affairs to be dissolved with immediate effect and the president should as a matter of urgency, form a taskforce that would deal with the issue of palliatives, headed by the military, police, civil defence, voluntary organisations, and the NYSC among others.

“It should be formed as taskforce committee headed by governor of each state, and those materials or cash be allocated and distributed house to house, instead of the fake or dubious way they have been handling the matter by just going to Television House or Government House to demonstrate.

“If you see a Minister or big person anywhere going personally to do something, then know that there is something wrong. If not, what has the Minister got to do with going from state to distribute palliative? They should be in the ministry monitoring the activities.

READ ALSO: Women Arrested For Raining Curses On Ogun Gov, Others

“While the pitiable situation of the poor is visible to everyone, few individuals are rushing to squander the money meant for the poor.

“We have reliable information that the names they generated are fake and that they connived with some of the banks to defraud the poor. It is better to stop the exercise because it is full of lies and if the president don’t do something to stop it now, we will end up investigating and later on going back and forward to the court.”

However, in his reply to Ndume’s claims, Shehu urged the Borno South senator to prove his claims instead of accusing unnamed faces in his latest attack.

In a statement issued on Friday in Abuja, the Presidency accused Ndume of politicising a national emergency and challenged him to name the alleged kleptocrats in Buhari’s government.

READ ALSO: Ken Saro-Wiwa’s Son Dies Of COVID-19 In UK

The SUN reports that Shehu in the statement, urged Ndume to keep quiet as according to him, no serious government changes a winning team in times of war.

The statement titled: ‘Senator Ali Ndume should figure out his mentioned kleptocrats around the President or be quiet’, reads in part, “Claiming that the COVID-19 Palliative Measures Committee is not functioning as it should be not the same as presenting proof for such a claim.

“No one replaces an institutional government body in the midst of the global pandemic without clear and irrefutable evidence that it needs replacing.

“A press briefing from a discontented politician is rarely the source of such evidence.

“At this difficult time of the battle by Nigeria against Coronavirus, everyone should help the fight and not seek to make political capital out of it, whatever his or her grievances.”

But in his reaction to the statement, Ndume said he stands by his observations and recommendations as far as distribution of palliatives arising from COVID-19 is concerned.

Ndume, who reacted through a telephone conversation, however, said he was not ready to join issues with anybody having made his observations known.

READ ALSO: Lockdown Claims More Lives In Nigeria Than Pandemic, As Security Personnel Kill Two More

“I’m not ready to join issues with anybody on palliatives distribution, having made my observations known based on information I got from the grassroots as a grassroots person. I’ve made my position known on the programme and I stand by it,” he said.

(SUN)

(PHOTO: File)

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INEC Releases 2023 General Elections Report

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The Independent National Electoral Commission has released the 2023 general elections report.

Its National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Sam Olumekun, disclosed this in a statement on Friday.

The report was released almost a year after the 2023 general elections.

Some Nigerians had expressed disappointment over the delayed uploads of the presidential election results to the INEC result viewing portal.

However, Olumekun said the election report was reviewed and approved for publication at the commission’s weekly meeting held on Thursday.

READ ALSO: CJN To Swear In New Supreme Court Justices Monday

He noted that the publication was done in keeping with the commission’s tradition over the last four electoral cycles, and its commitment to transparency.

Olumekun said the “comprehensive 526-page document, structured into 13 chapters and enhanced with 60 tables, 14 boxes, and 10 graphs, offered an in-depth analysis of the election’s key processes, achievements, and challenges, along with valuable lessons learned.”

Giving more insights, the national commissioner stated “The report showcases the election’s unparalleled diversity in party representation, demonstrating significant democratic progress.

“This election saw four political parties winning gubernatorial races, seven parties winning senatorial seats, eight in federal constituencies, and nine in state legislatures, illustrating a broad shift in political representation across Nigeria.

READ ALSO: Why Petroleum Tanker Drivers Called Off Strike — NARTO President

“The report underscores the pivotal role of technological advancements, particularly the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, in enhancing electoral integrity and reducing fraud.

“Furthermore, it addresses public concerns about the INEC Result Viewing portal, explaining the technical issues encountered during the upload of polling unit results for the presidential election.”

He added that other aspects covered in the report include logistics, security arrangements, staff recruitment and training, inclusivity measures, and the electoral framework,” he said.

Olumekun further stated that the commission would welcome feedback to inform future electoral reforms and improvements.

 

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CJN To Swear In New Supreme Court Justices Monday

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The newly-appointed 11 Justices of the Supreme Court will be sworn in on Monday, according to The PUNCH.

The justices are Jummai Sankey, Chidiebere Uwa, Chioma Nwosu-Iheme, Haruna Tsammani, Moore Adumein, Obande Ogbuinya, and Stephen Adah.

Others are Habeeb Abiru, Jamilu Yammama Tukur, Abubakar Sadiq Umar, and Mohammed Baba Idris

The National Assembly had on December 21, 2023, confirmed the elevation of the justices following President Bola Tinubu’s recommendation.

READ ALSO: Nursing Student Killed Self Over Unwanted Pregnancy

According to an invite sent to our correspondent on Friday, the Supreme Court’s Director of Information, Festus Akande, disclosed that the oath of office will be administered on the justices by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Olukayode Ariwoola.

He said, “The newly appointed 11 Justices of the Supreme Court will be sworn in by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola on Monday at 10.00 a.m. at the Main Courtroom of the Supreme Court.”

When the swearing-in of the elevated justices is done, the apex court will have the full complement of 21 justices, as stipulated by the Constitution

 

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Akeredolu’s Widow Slams Critics As Ex-governor Is Buried In Ondo

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The ancient town of Owo, Ondo State on Friday, played host to people from all walks of life who stormed the town to grace the final burial of the late former governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu.

Akeredolu, who passed away on Wednesday, December 27, 2023, during a protracted illness in a German hospital, at the age of 67, was laid to rest at the burial site in the community.

In line with the burial programme, the body of the former governor arrived in the state on Wednesday where a special court session was held in his honour after which the remains were taken to the Akure Township Stadium for a lying-in-state and commendation service.

On Friday, a funeral service was held at the St. Andrew’s Cathedral Anglican Church, Imola, Owo. The Vice President, Mallan Kashim Shettima and many dignitaries were in attendance.

READ ALSO: Aiyedatiwa Declares Public Holidays In Ondo To Honour Late Akeredolu

The wife of the late Akeredolu, Betty, in her tribute, hit hard on the critics of her relationship with her late husband.

The former first lady said “It’s me, your adorable Betty. You just left me. Just like that! It hurts. Badly it hurts. Now alone to face all manners of mockery from the so-called friends and adversaries alike. Now alone. A beg o! Can an Amotekun generalissimo be a weakling? Mbanuu! It doesn’t add up nau. Haba!”

“Not a few lashed out that you (Akeredolu) were a weakling because you loved me. I don’t think so in their homes while growing up they saw their mothers trampled upon as doormats. By the way, do they know what love is?

“They copied the template and treated their wives as pieces of furniture that can be easily discarded as trash. In many instances, the subjugation was garnished with beatings while the community looked the other way and remained unperturbed by gender-based violence. Beaten up like punch bags.”

READ ALSO: Ekiti Declares Three Days Of Mourning For Akeredolu

Speaking at the service, President Bola Tinubu, who was represented by the Vice President, described the deceased former governor as a fearless man who always stood by the truth.

“We are gathered here today to bid farewell to a remarkable soul, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu SAN, CON,” the President began, reflecting on the transience of life and the enduring impact of our choices. He is a fearless soldier for his people.”

“There was no point in life where his voice shook in telling his truth. He was a vastly intelligent man whose passion has created quite a wide vacuum beyond this community,” the President eulogised.

READ ALSO: Aiyedatiwa Replaces Five Akeredolu’s Aides

Similarly, the state Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa said his former boss always stood for good governance and the rule of law.

He stated, “You are all here because he stood for something: good governance and the rule of law. He means a lot to different people, and that is why he has been described in different words. He was a courageous leader, a fighter, and a warrior. How can we forget him so soon? It is not possible because he lives on.

“He used the instrument of governance to intervene in different sectors of the state, including education, health services, and infrastructural development and security, among others.”

Dignitaries at the burial ceremony include the Ondo State Governor Mr Lucky Aiyedatiwa, the Governors of Oyo, Ogun, Lagos, Osun, Ekiti, Edo, Delta, Anambra and Benue States, Engnr Seyi Makinde, Dapo Abiodun, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Abiodun Oyebanji, Godwin Obaseki, Sheriff Oborevwori, Charles Soludo and Hyacinth Alia respectively and the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Alhaji Abdullahi Ganduje and host of others.

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