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EU Condemns Violence, Intimidation In Kogi, Bayelsa Elections

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EU

The reports of widespread incidents of violence and voter intimidation in Bayelsa and Kogi states have been strongly condemned by the European Union.

A statement by the Diplomatic Watch also expressed concern at the disturbing reports of fatalities and missing people, urging stakeholders to call for calm.

The Diplomatic Watch deployed teams from Austria, the European Union Delegation, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States to monitor both state elections on November 16.

“We express our alarm at reports of widespread incidents of violence and intimidation, some of which were witnessed by our teams in Kogi. There are reports of fatalities and people missing, including INEC staff. Our thoughts are with all victims and their families.

“We encourage all stakeholders, in particular, political leaders, to call for calm and we encourage security agencies to investigate thoroughly and bring perpetrators to justice.

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“We are also concerned by evident vote-buying and credible reports of ballot box snatching in both Bayelsa and Kogi.”

The EU commended the commitment of voters in both states who came out to vote and asked that those enshrined with the mandate to see through a smooth democratic process should continue to act in all capacity.

“We commend the commitment and resilience of voters in both states who came out to exercise their democratic rights. We express our sympathy for those affected by the violence, including ordinary voters; INEC officials; members of the NYSC; civil society; and the media. All should be able to carry out their fundamental role in the democratic process free from intimidation and harassment.

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Inside Nigeria

JUST IN: Buhari Presents FCT Budget To Senate

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Buhari - National Assembly

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday forwarded the 2020 budget of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) to the Senate for consideration and approval.

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan read Buhari’s request letter at plenary.

Buhari in his letter noted that the request was in compliance with Sections 121 and 299 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

The letter reads in part: “Pursuant to Sections 121 and 299 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), I forward herewith, the 2020 statutory budget proposal of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, for the kind consideration and passage by the Senate.

Also on Wednesday, the upper chamber approved the report of the Conference Committee of the Senate and House of Representatives on the Finance Bill 2019, recently passed by both chambers.

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The upper chamber also on Wednesday referred President Buhari’s request for the confirmation of the Chairman and members of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to the Senate Committee on Finance for further legislative work.

Besides, the screening of Edward Lametek Adamu as chairman, Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) was also committed to the Finance committee.

The Committee, which is chaired by Senator Solomon Adeola, is expected to submit its report on December 18, 2019, before the National Assembly adjourns on Thursday for the Christmas break.

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Inside Nigeria

BREAKING: Reps Summon Power, Labour Ministers Over Planned Strike By Electricity Workers

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The House of Representatives has summoned the Minister of Labour and Employment and the Minister of Power as well as the Director-General of the National Pension Commission to appear before it on Thursday, December 12, 2019 to brief the leadership on the planned strike by electricity workers in the country.

The House expressed displeasure that the 21-day ultimatum issued by the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) was allowed to elapse without any effort to nip the planned strike in the bud.

The summon arose as a result of a motion of urgent public importance sponsored by Hon. Toby Okechukwu (PDP, Enugu) on the need for the House to intervene and ensure that the strike is not allowed to take place.

Okechukwu said that if the strike is allowed to take place, it is capable of creating untold economic hardship in the country as several business outfits, especially the small scale businesses will suffer.

He said it was not in the interest of the nation to allow the strike to go ahead, adding that as representatives of the people, the lawmakers must find solution by inviting the relevant stakeholders to dialogue with a view to finding lasting solution to the problem.

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He said it is not economically wise to allow the unions go ahead with the planned strike, pointing out that the Union should be prevailed upon to back down on their threat while the leadership find a lasting solution.

He said if the strike is allowed to take place, the consequence will be more than what the workers are being owed, stressing the fact that the House has already resolved to come down hard in issues of casualisation.

In his contribution, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu said one of the critical issues on the legislative agenda of the House was the issue of power reform, adding that there is presently no guarantee that the nation can effectively distribute 100 megawatts of electricity daily.

He said the distribution companies presently does not have the capacity to distribute the about 4000 megawatts of electricity being generated, saying “imagine is that is now shut down completely. Everybody will now go after generating set to be able to operate”.

He said it is unfortunate that a 21-day ultimatum was given by the unions and allowed to expire without those concerned inviting them for dialogue, adding that if the House leadership does not intervene, the issue may go out of hand.

House Deputy Leader, Hon. Peter Akpatason said if the Parliament is not decisive enough, the Union members will embark on strike, pointing out that this is worrisome enough to attract House intervention.

Speaker of the House, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila directs the Clerk of the House to write and invite the two Ministers of Power and Labour, the DG PENCOM, the Union leadership and other stakeholders to a meeting with the House leadership by 2.00PM on Thursday, while underground efforts should be made to get the Union not to commence the planned strike action.

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BREAKING: Fresh Crisis In Presidency As Aisha Buhari Attacks Garba Shehu, Mamman Daura

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Aisha Buhari

Wife of the President, Aisha Muhammadu Buhari has accused the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, to have shifted his loyalty to some personalities within the corridors of power outside President Buhari.

She alleged that Shehu was meddling with her affairs.

In a statement personally signed by her and released in the early hours of Wednesday, she also said because of his disloyalty, the Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media and Publicity), is deliberately refusing to clear the air on the viral video in which she was seen having a quarrel with the daughter of President Buhari’s uncle, Mamman Daura.

Tilted “Garba Shehu Has Gone Beyond His Boundaries,” the statement read: “Nigeria’s development is hinged on the ability of public officials to execute their mandates professionally, and to be shining examples in their various areas of endeavor. It is not a good sign when officials abandoned their responsibility and start clutching at straws.

“As spokesperson of the President, he has the onerous responsibility of managing the image of the President and all the good works that he is executing in the country.

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“Rather than face this responsibility squarely, he has shifted his loyalty from the President to others who have no stake in the contract that the President signed with Nigerians on May 29, 2015 and 2019.

“To make matters worse, Mr. Shehu has presented himself to these people as a willing tool and executioner of their antics, from the corridors of power even to the level of interfering with the family affairs of the President. This should not be so.

“The blatant meddling in the affairs of a First Lady of a country is a continuation of the prodigal actions of those that he serves. We all remember that the chief proponent appropriated to himself and his family a part of the Presidential Villa, where he stayed for almost four years and when the time came for him to leave, he orchestrated and invaded my family’s privacy through a video circulated by Mamman’s Daughter, Fatima, the public was given the impression that on arrival into the country I was locked out of the villa by Mr. President.

“Garba Shehu as Villa Spokesperson, knew the truth and had the responsibility to set the records straight, but because his allegiance is somewhere else and his loyalty misplaced, he deliberately refused to clear the air and speak for the President who appointed him in the first place.

“Consequently, his action has shown a complete breakdown of trust between the First Family and him.

“Mr Shehu was privy and part of the plan and its execution and he was shocked when he realized that I had publicized my return to Nigeria on October 12, 2019 and cleared the air on the many rumors that took over social media, a job he was supposed to do but kept mute to cause more confusion and instability for his Principal and his family.

“Garba then, vented his anger on the National Television Authority (NTA) Management insisting that the media crew to my office must be sacked. He succeeded in getting them suspended for doing their job.

I had to intervene to save the innocent staff from losing their means of livelihood by involving the Department of State Services (DSS) in order to ascertain roles played by key actors in the saga.

“It is at this late hour that I recall, sadly, that it was the same Garba Shehu who claimed that the government will not allow office of the First Lady to run. He was later to confirm to one of my aides that he was instructed to say so by Mamman Daura and not the President.

“This antic attracted the anger of Nigerian women. He didn’t realize the fact that First Lady’s office is a tradition which has become an institution.

“Today, even without a budget, I am able run my humanitarian programmes.

“In saner climes, Garba Shehu would have resigned immediately after going beyond his boundaries and powers.

“GARBA SHEHU NEEDS TO UNDERSTAND THAT THIS KIND OF BEHAVIOR WILL NO LONGER BE TOLERATED.

“The latest of his antics was to wage a war on the first family through an orchestrated media campaign of calumny by sponsoring pseudo accounts to write and defame my children and myself.

“Based on Garba Shehu’s misguided sense of loyalty and inability to stay true and loyal to one person or group, it has become apparent that all trust has broken down between him and my family due to the many embarrassments he has caused the Presidency and the first family.

“We all have families to consider in our actions and, therefore, it is in the best interest of all concerned for Garba Shehu to take the advice of the authority, given to him sometimesn the first week of November, 2019.”

Shehu was yet to react at the time of this report.

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