We’ll Accept Polls Outcome – Jonathan, Buhari
The two leading candidates for the Presidential election scheduled for tomorrow, President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and Maj-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd) of the All Progressives Congress, APC, yesterday signed another peace accord, 48 hours to the election, where they affirmed their preparedness to accept the outcome of free, fair and credible elections.
Fear Grips Kaduna Residents Over Tomorrow’s Elections
Amid fear of violence and possible imposition of curfew over Kaduna State, residents are now stock- piling food stuff at home, as well as making huge cash withdrawals from banks ahead of Saturday’s poll.
However, Mallam Nasir El Rufai, who is the state’s governorship candidate of the All Progressives, Congress, APC, said at a news conference in Kaduna that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP-led government in the state planned to instigate violence on election day, so that curfew could be imposed, to make manipulation of results in favour of the PDP possible.
Investigations by Vanguard showed that more residents were buying food stuff and meat that could last for several days in anticipation of election violence in the state.
NUPENG Blames Fuel Scarcity On Sabotage By Marketers, Depot Owners
NIGERIA Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, yesterday in Lagos, blamed the current fuel scarcity across the country on alleged sabotage by fuel marketers and depot owners, even as it did not absolve the Federal Government and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC from blame.
Amaechi’s Convoy Shot At Clash In Rivers
In Rivers State, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Dave Iyofor, who confirmed the attack on Amaechi’s convoy, said that the thugs from an opposition party first pelted the governor’s convoy with stones and other objects before they started firing gunshots at him. Iyofor said gunshots were fired at the governor, adding that two members of the APC sustained injuries.
“Gunshots were fired at Governor Amaechi this evening (yesterday) at Rumuolumeni in Obio Akpor council by suspected Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, thugs. Obio Akpor is the council of PDP Rivers governorship candidate, Mr Nyesom Wike. The thugs attacked the governor and his entourage with bottles, stones and various dangerous objects.”
“Then gunshots were fired at the governor. For now two APC supporters are confirmed injured. When the governor was leaving the community, bonfire was set up on the road to prevent him from leaving. More gunshots were fired at his convoy. Amaechi was on door to door ward campaign in the state,” Iyofor said. Community sources said the APC and the PDP clashed while the governor was in the area for his door to door campaign, adding that the development forced many businesses to immediately close shop in the area.
Pursue Your Ambition With The Fear Of God – APC Chieftain
Senatorial candidate on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Prince Dapo Abiodun, yesterday, charged candidates from other political parties to pursue their ambitions with the fear of God rather than being desperate to win.
Speaking,yesterday, on the preparedness of his party towards Saturday polls, Abiodun, pointed out that this year’s general elections would mark another milestone in the democratic process, noting that Nigerians had become politically mature to elect the right leaders that would ensure the masses enjoys dividends of democracy.
Tinubu-Ojo Shuts Lagos Markets Down For Ambode
Under the leadership of the President General, Mrs Folashade Tinubu-Ojo, market traders kept Lagos markets shut yesterday to hold a rally at the Onikan statdium in support of Akinwunmi Ambode, the All Progressives Congress, APC, governorship candidate in the state, ahead of the elections.
Mrs. Tinubu-Ojo declared that all members of the Lagos state chapter of the Association of Commodity Market Women and Men of Nigeria, have pledged their support for Ambode in a bid to sustain the growth and development that has been witnessed all over the state under the APC.
“We market women and men make up a majority among voters. I can assure you that we have our voters cards, and with this support and our continued prayers, victory is definitely assured for Ambode and all APC candidates in this general elections”, Tinubu-Ojo said.
Fuel Scarcity May Mar Elections As NNPC Assures On Supply
There are fears that impending fuel scarcity may mar Saturday’s Presidential and National elections as long queues have surfaced in filling stations in some parts of Lagos. This is as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has called on members of the public to shun panic buying and stock-piling of petrol as there is enough stock of the product to keep the country wet for two months
Vanguard investigation shows that while the filling stations close to toll gate end of Lagos- Ibadan expressway were closed, some others like Oando, Acorn and Total at Oworonshoki area of Lagos had long queues of vehicles waiting to buy the product. Long queues were also seen at Oando, Ojodu Berger, as well as Total, Oshodi. It was learnt that motorists were engaged in panic buying in anticipation that the outcome of the election may be unpredictable.
Bird Flu Spreads To 18 States
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, has revealed that the number of states battling Avian Influenza popularly known as Bird Flu has now increased to 18 states in the country.
Adesina, who was represented by the deputy director in the Federal Ministry of
Agriculture, Dr. Ademola Majasan, stated this during a two-day refresher training course organised for the federal and state epidemiology officers on Avian Influenza prevention and containment in Ibadan recently.
According to him, a total of 322 poultry farms have been affected, with Kano State having the highest number of 156, Plateau 82, Bauchi 19 and Kaduna 14.
Nigeria’s Health Care Delivery May Slide Further – University Don
The Head, Department of Hematology, University of Ibadan, Professor Yetunde A. Aken’Ova has warned that Nigeria stands a chance of being further left behind in laboratory medicine and quality health care delivery, if adequate attention is not paid to sustaining laboratory medicine in Nigeria.
Aken’Ova who made the statement while delivering the 20th annual lecture, awards of honours and postgraduate scholarships of the Stephen Oluwole Awokoya Foundation for Science Education, in Lagos recently, said while the pace of diagnosis in the laboratories in the western world was advancing at a rapid rate, Nigeria still gropes with the fundamentals or rudimentary practices.
He cautioned that if the gap becomes wider and more visible, it would lead to major medical and social consequences on the country.
Jang: Buhari Lacks The Credentials To Represent The North
Plateau State Governor, Jonathan David Jang has admonished the North to allow President Goodluck Jonathan complete his second tenure by voting him during Saturday’s election, while it prepares to take over in 2019.
He said the Presidential Candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), Mohammadu Buhari was ousted as Military Head of State for lack of credibility and poor performance, saying “If Buhari did not perform as Military Head of State, he will not do anything as a civilian President” and therefore lacks the credentials to represent the North.
INEC Expresses Shock Over Advertorial Accusing It Of Plotting To Rig Elections
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has expressed shock over a front page advertorial placed by a group in some national newspapers on Wednesday, March 25, 2013, alleging a plot by the Chairman of the Commission to rig the 2015 general elections.
In a rebuttal by the Chief Press Secretary to INEC chairman, Kayode Idowu, the commission said, “The group cited the constitution of a presidential election result collation committee by the INEC Chairman as the basis for its allegation that a plot to rig the election has been hatched.”
According to the statement, “INEC would not have bothered to respond to such patently cynical and malicious allegation but for the fact that the elections are days away and otherwise respectable national newspapers have lent themselves to be used as platforms to disseminate such falsehood. Any misinformation, – even as baseless as in this particular case – unless corrected could mislead innocent or undiscerning members of the public and cause unnecessary apprehension about the credibility of the electoral process.”
The Commission affirmed that the allegation to manipulate or rig the election is completely false and baseless, saying, “The Chairman of the Commission as the Chief Electoral Commissioner of Nigeria and the Returning Officer of the presidential election, has statutory and legal powers to constitute administrative committee(s) to facilitate the performance of his duties.”
Polls: We Will Not Leave Northern States, Ndi-Igbo Youths Vow
Ahead of Saturday’s elections, the Ndi-Igbo Youth Organization (NYO) which cuts across the 19 Northern states has vowed not to leave their states of residence in fear of election violence, while also pledging its support for President Goodluck Jonathan’s second term bid.
A statement made available to THISDAY and signed by the National President of the group, Comrade Uzor Ifeanyi, and the national publicity secretary, Comrade Igwe Ude-Umanta, said the organisation based its endorsement after a critical analysis of all the Presidential candidates and their dispositions to the plight of the Igbo Youth Constituency.
The group urged Igbo indigenes living in the north not to run back home while calling for peaceful conduct during and after the elections.
The group also called on the federal government to provide adequate security to protect citizens against any form of intimidation or molestation.
Polls: NSCDC To Deploy 55, 000 Personnel
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), in its bid to contribute towards provision of effective security coverage and to ensure a violence-free election, will be deploying 55,000 regular personnel and 120,000 non-regular personnel for the elections.
The Corps has also commissioned 50 operational vehicles in order to strengthen its capacity to prosecute the war against vandalisation, oil theft and illegal oil refineries.
Dangote Cement Records N 158bn Profit, Declares N6 Dividend
Dangote Cement Plc on Thursday reported a profit after tax (PAT) of N159.5 billion for the year ended December 31, 2014, down by about 20 per cent compared with N201.2 billion posted I 2013.
Executive Director, Dangote Group, who oversaw operations of the cement unit until recently, Mr. Devakumar Edwin, was quoted byBloomberg as saying in a statement that performance was affected by erratic fuel supply and prolonged rainy season.
“Despite the challenging conditions of the erratic fuel supply and prolonged rainy season that affected revenues and profitability in Nigeria, the company is confident about the future,” Edwin said.
However, an analysis of the results show that other factors such as high finance charges and other operational expenses.
Dangote Cement ended 2014 with a revenue of N392 billion up from N386 billion in 2013. Gross profit stood atN248.6 billion, compared with N255.7 billion in 2013.
Election Spending Fuels Cash Shortage In Banks
The massive withdrawal of cash from Deposit Money Banks by politicians and their associates in preparation for the general elections has led to shortage of cash across bank branches in the country.
It was gathered on Thursday that several billions of naira had left the banking system between December last year and this month as different political parties spent huge amounts on their campaigns.
“Many banks are having it rough in terms of liquidity. Huge deposits running into several billions of naira have been withdrawn for election campaigns by politicians. This has affected some of the banks. So, liquidity issue is of utmost concern right now,” a top official of a tier one bank told Punch correspondent.
Elections: Lagos Airport Records Increased Passenger Traffic
There was noticeable increase in activities at the different terminals of the Lagos airport on Thursday as passengers were seen scrambling for flight tickets to various destinations within and outside the country.
The development was attributed to the presidential election, which holds nationwide on Saturday, although some passengers denied this, stating that they were travelling for normal business activities.
At the departure hall of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, many passengers were seen waiting for their flights to be called.
Heavy presence of security personnel was also noticed at the terminal.
Dangote Cement Begins Operation In Senegal
The management of Dangote Cement Plc has announced the commencement of operations at its new plant in Pout, Senegal.
The firm said in a statement that the plant would meet the cement needs of Senegal, Mali and the Gambia, among others.
“The new plant, located in the Pout district of Senegal, is about 75 kilometres from Dakar, the country’s capital, and has a nominal capacity to produce 4,000 metric tonnes per day and 1.2 million metric tonnes per annum. The plant is expected to create more than 1,000 jobs, with a total production capacity of 1.5 million metric tonnes annually,” the statement read in part.
The Country Head, Dangote Industries, Senegal, Luk Haelterman, was quoted as saying that the plant had so far gulped around $250m, while actual production and sales from it started on January 10, 2015.
He added, “In this country, Dangote will not only stop at producing cement, we also have helped beyond cement, which is the idea of the owner, to become a pan-African enterprise.”
Tinubu Secures Court Order Against Arrest By Military
National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, on Thursday, secured an interim injunction of a Federal High Court in Lagos, shielding him from possible arrest and detention by the Nigerian Army.
Justice John Tsoho, who granted the order, specifically restrained the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Kenneth Minimah, and his privies from “arresting, detaining, harassing or intimidating the applicant.”
The judge further barred the defendants from laying siege on Tinubu’s house at number 26, Bourdillon Street, Ikoyi, Lagos.
FG Makes U-turn, Re-opens Sea Borders
The Federal Government has re-opened all the country’s sea borders barely a day after closing them down along with all land borders ahead of Saturday’s presidential election.
Minister of Interior, Abba Moro, who said this while inaugurating the new Koto- Karfe Medium Prisons, explained on Thursday that the government had received counsel that the action would affect the country’s economic activities at the seaports.
Moro however assured that officers and men of the Nigeria Immigration Service had been directed to effectively monitor movements in and out of the country’s sea borders before, during and after the elections.
The government had, in a statement on Wednesday, directed that all Nigeria’s land and sea borders be closed from midnight of Thursday till midnight of Saturday.
APC Accuses SSS Of Arresting PVC Contractor
he All Progressives Congress has accused the Federal Government of arresting the owner of the company that supplied Permanent Voter Cards and card readers, Alhaji Sani Musa.
National Publicity Secretary of the party, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on Thursday, said Musa, who owns ACT Technologies, was arrested by operatives of the Department of State Service on Tuesday.
Mohammed, who addressed a news conference in Lagos, on Thursday, said the move by the security agency showed the desperation of the Goodluck Jonathan administration to win the election at all cost.
The opposition party’s spokesperson said that Musa was arrested because the Federal Government thought he has the codes to the card readers.
He said, “Perhaps, the agents of the ruling party believe he may have the codes for the card readers, which is preposterous. Alhaji Musa has also been accused of colluding with the APC to rig the elections, which is totally false because we, at the APC, do not subscribe to rigging under any guise.