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Edo NAWOJ Election: ‘SSCE Holder Not Qualify To Contest’, Members Insist

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…Say Attendance Sheet Being Manipulated To Disqualify Some Contestants

National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Edo State council, Wednesday, said members who do not have the minmum qualification of Ordinary National Diploma (OND) as enshrined in the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) constitution are not qualify to contest in the forthcoming election.

They also raised an alarm that some well connected persons are planning to use attendance register of the Association’s past congresses to disqualify some qualified contestants, saying, “the attendance they are presenting in this NUWOJ election is even photocopy and this photocopy rigister is even not complete.

The aggrieved members who protested around the premises of Nigeria Union Journalists, with placards containing inscriptions as: ‘Edo NAWOJIANS say no to compromised caretaker committee’, ‘Edo NAWOJIANS say no to manipulated attendance register’, ‘Edo NAWOJIANS call on Edo NUJ and NUJ national to help save Edo NAWOJ from redicule and shame through professional and effective sanitisation’, etc, vowed that illegality and injustice would not be allowed in the forthcoming NAWOJ election.

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Speaking through Joy Musa, they said the attendance rigister being emphasised as cretaria for contesting the election was not complete, saying photocopy was presented rather than the original copy which according to them is more reliable and authentic.

She said most of the congresses held in the past dispensation was on ground of emergency, and that members were informed less than 24 hours, stressing that the immediate past secretary then failed to perform her duty.

“We know the importance of attendance in NAWOJ and NUJ. But we’ve come to understand that the attendance they are presenting in this NUWOJ election is photocopy and not original, and this photocopy attendance they are presenting to us is not complete -they are presenting photocopy because the original is missing.

“Even the apologies members rendered on Inability to attend such emergency congresses was not there because most of the congresses we had in the last three years were emergency. And the notices of these emergency congresses came less than 24 hours. Such notices were not pasted on the state Council’s board.

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“You are aware it is the notice board we use in dissemination of information including announcement of congress, but unfortunately we’ve never used it in the past three years in NAWOJ because the secretary then failed to perform her duty and and they want to use this attendance to disqualify some qualified members, this is what we will not accept”, she added.

She disclosed that when the aspirants met with the Caretaker Committee, it was discovered that the attendance register being emphasised on does not have date, stressing that NECO certificate has no place in the practice of journalism.

“We say no to injustice! Apart from that, one of the contestants in the forthcoming election does not have result, she only presented NECO certificate. When she wanted to contest three years ago, she went to bring IIJ admission letter, she contested, now after three years, she want to contest so she went to Open University to bring admission letter from there, another admission letter, and you want to tell me she is qualified?

“She never wrote a single exam at IIJ. Now, we have heard that she has written petition to Abuja that she has written all her exams and that she is waiting for her result and convocation, is that allowed in anywhere? Illegality will not be allowed in Edo NAWOJ. If that is allowed, I can go to Emaguero college to bring primary 5 pupil to contest the secretary position of Edo NAWOJ.

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“We don’t want someone who does not have first degree, ND, HND but ‘certificate less’ to come and lead us in Edo NAWOJ. We will not allow it; it is an abberation. Manipulation of attendance to suit certain persons will not be allowed in this election. Somebody who do not have result, coming from the back door to contest election will not be allowed. What is right should be done by the NUJ, we are seeking for justice”, she requested

Members of the Edo NAWOJ on protest today in Benin City

Also buttressing Musa’s point, Amina Ebor, called on Edo NUJ and NUJ national body to salvage Edo NAWOJ from quackery, stressing that the NUJ constitution is there as guide and should not be slaughtered on the alter of illegality and favouritism.

Responding on behalf of Edo State NUJ, Secretary of the Council, Mr. Titus Akhigbe, assured the members that all their complaints would be attended to by leadership of the Union.

He noted that to this effect, the election slated for Friday has been shifted untill all lingering issues have been resolved.

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Flooding: INEC Boss, Yakubu Inspects Damaged Facilities In Edo, Promises Replacement

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The Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu on Thursday said the damaged facilities in the Edo office would be replaced before the Sept. 21 governorship election.

Yakubu said this during an on-the-spot-assessment of the level of damage done to its facilities by the flood disaster occasioned by torrential rain in Benin on May 24.

The flood disaster destroyed some voter enrollment machines already configured for the Continuous Voter Registration exercise.

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Speaking after the inspection of the facilities, Yakubu said he was in Benin to assess the level of damage with a view to immediately proffering solutions to whatever problems that has arose from the disaster.

READ ALSO: INEC Promises Credible Election In Edo, Despite Destruction Of Critical Infrastructure

He said the flood disaster would not hinder the smooth conduct of the governorship election in the state, adding that the commission would do an assessment of what was damaged and respond appropriately.

He expressed joy that no life was lost to the flood.

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“This is not a regular visit. We are here to see what happened to our facilities after the flooding that occurred on Friday, May 24.

“I came here with the Director of ICT because some machines were destroyed and I also came with the federal controller of works because he would be helping us to address the flooding problems in and around the INEC office in Benin.

“Providing working equipment and ensuring a conducive work environment is as crucial as paying salaries.

READ ALSO: Naira Appreciates by 9.7% Against Dollar At Official Market

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“So we will ensure that we fix the damaged facilities before the election,” he said.

The INEC chairman also disclosed that the CVR exercise would continue in spite of the damage caused by the flood disaster.

He, however, described the turnout of registrants as impressive, stressing that the damaged facilities poses no threat to the ongoing CVR and election.

“We took proactive measure to ensure that the CVR was not affected by calling for additional resources from neighboring states since INEC was one national body.”

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According to him, the present Commission has enough experience in conducting governorship election and this is the third governorship election we will be conducting in Edo since 2016.

Earlier, the State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr Anugbum Onuoha thanked the Chairman for being proactive in responding to the disaster.

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JUST IN: Sanusi Makes First Appointment Amid Emirship Tussle

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As the controversy trailing Kano Emirate tussle continues, the 16th Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II has on Thursday made his first appointment.

This was coming barely a week after he was reinstalled as the Emir.

Sanusi, the former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, approved the appointment of a new Ward Head of Kofar Mazugal, Hamisu Sani in Dala Local Government area of the state.

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The Emir called on the new ward Head to ensure peaceful coexistence among the subjects of the area and contribute his quota towards the development of the state as a whole.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: Court Stops Police, SSS, Military From Evicting Emir Sanusi

Earlier, district heads and personalities such as delegations from religious and market bodies paid homage on Emir Sanusi at the palace.

The delegation includes, Ansarulddeen Tijjanniya sect and Traders from Kano popular textile market (Kantin Kwari) as well as the commodities market (Singer market) among others.

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Recall that Sanusi II was reinstalled as the Emir of Kano last Thursday after the Kano State House of Assembly and Governor Abba Yusuf repealed and accented the Kano State Emirates Councils (Repeal) Bill 2024 into law.

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INEC Promises Credible Election In Edo, Despite Destruction Of Critical Infrastructure

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The Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu on Thursday said the Commission would conduct a credible governorship election in Edo State in spite of last Friday’s heavy downpour that destroyed critical infrastructure in the commission’s headquarters in Benin City.

He said since the Edo governorship election is an off-cycle election, the Commission would also borrow equipment from neighbouring states to ensure a hitch-free exercise.

Yakubu stated this in Benin City while on inspection of the level of damage to the facilities in the office in Benin City, and also to monitor the level of compliance with the on-going Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) and collection of Permanent Voters Cards (PVC).

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The INEC boss said he also came with three National Directors in charge of critical areas of the Commission like Voters Registry, Estate, Works and Transport and ICT to assess the level of damage to their facilities and the State Controller of the Federal Ministry of Works which would carry out needed construction work in the facilities.

READ ALSO: Edo Guber: Court Adjourns Suit Challenging Akpata’s Nomination As LP Candidate

He also ruled out moving out of the place because of the perennial flooding in the area.

The INEC chairman who said the Commission was prepared for the election in Edo State, added: “Our visit here is to ensure that we fix whatever we need to fix because of the election. We have three months and three weeks to the election, and that is why we came here to inspect what happened to our facility on Friday last week.

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“We believe, we can fix whatever is damaged before the election, and it is better actually that we conduct the election in our own facilities rather than going to rent any facility outside close to election.

“Before the last governorship election in Edo, we took measures and for three years since the last governorship election, we have had no issues but this is an act of God.”

On whether he can quantify the cost of damage in the facility, Yakubu said: “It is very difficult to quantify now, we are on the assessment, and that is why in this tour we have been joined by three critical Directors responsible for Voters Registry, our Estate, Works and Transport at the headquarters, and our Director of ICT so they will stay behind, do the assessment and advise the Commission.”

READ ALSO: LP Names Ngogbehai, Elumelu, Ismaila, Others To Oversee ‘OBIDIENTs’

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He assured that despite the setbacks, the Commission was ready for the election.

He said: “Let me use this opportunity to assure and reassure Edo voters that it is unfortunate that this thing happened in our office on Friday.

We took a proactive measure to ensure that the Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) was not affected by calling for additional resources from the neighbouring states and whatever it takes, since INEC is one national body, and we are only going to have two elections in Edo and Ondo states, I will call for additional resources where it is necessary from neighbouring states and the elections will proceed as scheduled and we will recover from this unfortunate incident.”

Whether the ten days for the CVR would be extended as being agitated in some quarters, Professor Yakubu said: “We have not reached there yet, we will go round and see what happened.

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We are encouraged by the turnout not only of fresh registrants, that is persons who are registered voters or who are not of age when the last registration exercise was done

Earlier, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr Anugbum Onuoha said the flood could be termed a blessing in disguise as it has better prepared them for the election.

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