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Edo 2020: INEC Chairman Urges Staff To Be Neutral

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The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, on Friday urged Electoral Officers (EOs) from the 18 local government areas of Edo to be neutral and professional in handling the state governorship election scheduled for September 19.

Yakubu made the call during a meeting held with the EOs, Heads of departments, (HODs), heads of Units (HOUs)and other members of staff of the Commission in Benin .

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He said “ I am here to draw your attention to a few things you need to know. Neutrality is absolutely very important. I am excited about what the Resident Electoral Commissioner REC said about neutrality and professionalism.

“We are not supporting any political party or candidate, and we are not also against any political party or candidate either.

READ ALSO:Edo Guber: INEC To Introduce New Innovation To Ensure Credible Poll – Professor Yakubu

“Our concern is the integrity of the entire process. The choice of whom becomes the governor of Edo is entirely in the hands of Edo people”.

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According to the Chairman, ” We are going to guide and jealously protect the process.”

The INEC boss also informed the EOs that the Commission had introduced new innovation in order to deep transparency of the results Management process.

He noted that the commission had introduced a new results viewing portal which was piloted in Nasarawa
Central state Constituency bye-elections.

In addition to the smart card readers for voter authentication, there will be new tablet with camera in all the polling units and voting points.

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READ ALSO: Election Tension: Oba Of Benin Proposes Six Years Single Term For Gov, President

“At the close of voting, sorting, counting and recording of ballots, pictures of form EC8A will be taken and transmitted to a dedicated portal.

” So that Nigerians can view the polling units results even before a declaration is made. We did it in Nasarawa bye-election.”

This is the next major election, so you are going to set the pace for major elections. We look forward to availability of the form EC8As on the portal for the public to view on election day,” Yakubu added.

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The Chairman also emphasised the need for INEC officials to be punctual to their various polling units and voting points and begin the process at the stipulated time of 8.30am and close voting by 2.30pm.

READ ALSO: Edo Guber: Don’t Drag The Judiciary Into Politics – APC Warns PDP

He said, “You have to address the issue of logistics particularly transportation. You have to engage the vehicles and boats owner early enough.

“Please take note that boats and vehicles should only carry 50 percent of the installed passenger capacity because of social distancing and COVID-19 policy, Which means you will be needing more means of transportation.

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“I am confident that you will not let the Commission down. One of the lessons we learnt in the 2016 Edo governorship election is that, we must speedily conclude the process and declare the results in good time.

“The longer it takes to declare the results, the more problematic it becomes for us to manage public perception. So, you have to get logistics right in order to speedily conclude the process”.

Earlier, The State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Johnson Alalibo, said the card readers for the election have been supplied and are being configured for the election.

READ ALSO: Edo 2020: Provocative Utterances May Mar Election, NOA Warns

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He noted that the Commission’s mantra for the conduct of the Edo governorship election was professionalism, neutrality and non- partisan

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Four Suspected Cultists Arrested With Arms In Edo

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The Edo State Police Command says it has arrested four suspected cultists.

The suspects arrested were Isioma Unwogo, 21, Godstime Imareigbe, 32, Apeleokha Raymond, 28, and Mutar Igie, 30.

Police Public Relations Officer in Edo, SP Chidi Nwabuzor, who disclosed this to journalists in Benin City, said the suspects were arrested during a stop-and-search operation.

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He said the suspects were arrested in Ahor, a community along the Benin-Lagos bypass and on the Benin-Auchi Road, respectively.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: Lagos Police Receive Test Results Of Teenager Allegedly Raped By Officer

The command’s spokesperson said Isioma was arrested with one cut-to-size gun and a live cartridge by operatives of the Ahor Police Station Division on patrol.

The other three suspects were arrested when police operatives intercepted a Toyota Camry with registration number ABC 265 RA, and upon a search, they recovered a pistol concealed inside the vehicle’s bonnet.

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SP Nwabuzor alleged that the suspects confessed to being members of a secret cult group in the state.

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Reps Ask NERC, DISCOs To Reverse Band A Tariff Hike

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The House of Representatives on Tuesday asked the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and the distribution companies, DISCOs, to reverse the tariff hike for Band A customers immediately.

This resolution was reached after the adoption of a report presented by the House Committee on Power.

Chairman of the Committee Victor Nwokolo who presented the report, stated that Nigerians cannot afford the new tariff.

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The Committee recommended a return to the status quo.

READ ALSO: BREAKING: Shelve Planned Hardship Protest, Tinubu Appeals To Nigerians

The recommendations were adopted by the Committee of the Whole, after which it was passed.

Further investigation into the tariff hike is to be conducted by the House.

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The NERC in April announced a hike affecting Band A customers, who are to pay N225 per kilowatt.

According to the regulatory commission Band A subscribers would have at least 20 hours of power supply per day

It also explained that only electricity customers in Band A would be affected by the increase.

READ ASLO: JUST IN: Reps Increase 2024 Budget To N35.055 Trillion, Amend Finance Bill

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At the time, it said only 15 per cent of the electricity consumers were affected by the hike, however, the decision generated negative reactions since its announcement.

“We currently have 800 feeders that are categorised as Band A, but it will now be reduced to under 500. This means that 17 per cent now qualify as Band-A feeders. These feeders only service 15 per cent of total electricity customers connected to the feeders,” NERC Vice Chairman, Musliu Oseni said on April 3.

“The commission has issued an order which is titled April supplementary order and the commission allows a 235 kilowatt per hour.”

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Otuaro Visits Edo/Delta Liaison Office, Declares PAP Apolitical

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The administrator, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Dr. Dennis Otuaro, has declared that the interventionist programme is a nonpartisan agency, adding that it is unaffiliated with any political party or person.

Otuaro spoke when he paid an official visit to the Edo/Delta Liaison Office in Warri recently where he urged employees working at the office to refrain from discussing politics.

He further admonished the liaison office management not to utilize the space as a haven for issues of any kind.

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The PAP administrator, while describing the liaison office as the first point of call for delegates, charged them to handle concerns from delegates with uttermost professionalism.

READ ALSO: PAP: IPDI Tackles Group Over Attack On Otuaro

He further charged them to make sure that everything done in the office enhances and maintains peace in the Niger Delta region.

He noted that they must assist the Federal Government in preserving law and order as well as the states within the liaison office’s jurisdiction.

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He said all activities carried out at the liaison office must support the head office in maintaining and advancing the peace in the Niger Delta region, adding that the programme’s main goal is to maintain peace and order.

READ ALSO: PAP: INC Commends Otuaro, Says ‘Ijaw Satisfied With Your Innovative Leadership’

In his response, the liaison office manager, Capt. Presley Prebor, while expressing gratitude to the administrator for thinking it appropriate to stop by the liaison office, said Otuaro’s presence would provide the employees more motivation and self-assurance in performing their own tasks at the workplace.

He seized the avenue to list out some of the needs of the liaison office.

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Some of the persons who accompanied the PAP administrator are: PAP Technical Adviser, Mr. Daniel Edgar Biu; General Manager, Operations, Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited, Godfrey Tare Pondi; Chief Ebimobowei Oguma, S.A to the Administrator; Chief Moses Bebenimibo; Engr. Ebikonde Victor Sokoto; Chief Fezigha Odu, among others.

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