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Guber polls: Fear, anxiety envelope Bayelsa, Kogi, Imo residents

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In anticipation of the gubernatorial elections scheduled for Saturday, November 11, in Imo, Bayelsa, and Kogi states, there is heightened tension, particularly in Imo and Kogi, where the situation appears unfavorable. Concerns are growing as the specter of violence looms large, especially in these two states, echoing a similar scenario during the 2023 general elections.

Indications suggest that residents, while eager to participate in the polls, are apprehensive about the potential loss of lives. There is also skepticism and worry regarding the ability of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure a fair, transparent, and credible election, given the issues experienced in the 2023 general elections. Instances of opposition candidates’ posters being destroyed, physical attacks on party supporters, and malfunctions in BVAS machines have further compounded the concerns.

During the flag handover ceremony at the Aso Rock Villa, President Bola Tinubu urged for free, fair, and transparent elections in the three states, expressing confidence in the party’s success based on hard work, candidates’ records, and the collective efforts of party officials and members.

However, an elite organization in Kogi, Club 582, has called on President Tinubu to investigate recent killings in the state, expressing concerns about rising violence despite the deployment of security forces. In Imo, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is advocating for the redeployment of the Imo State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), alleging that the people would reject any election result involving the current REC.

Observing the situation in Kogi and Imo, there is a growing fear of unprecedented violence during the upcoming elections, prompting calls for proactive measures by security agencies to protect voters and residents through effective intelligence gathering and response.

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In Imo State, reports indicate a lack of visibility of opposition candidates’ posters in Owerri, the state capital, raising concerns about opposition suppression. Similar concerns are echoed in Kogi, where the candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) reports multiple attacks without arrests.

While the situation in Bayelsa appears less tense, a recent threat from the deputy governorship candidate of the APC has added a new dimension. The PDP in Bayelsa alleges that opposition politicians are arming thugs to disrupt the peaceful conduct of the elections.

The Niger Delta Nationalities Forum expresses doubt about INEC’s ability to deliver credible elections, citing previous instances of rule flouting. The need for separating the state from the government is emphasized by Chief Alex Ogbonnia of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, while former NBA Vice President Monday Onyekachi Ubani emphasizes the role of citizens in holding INEC accountable for free and fair elections by raising concerns about any identified defects in the electoral process.

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‘Some people have turned into monitoring spirits because of Tinubu’ – Joe Igbokwe

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Joe Igbokwe, a prominent member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State, raised concerns on Saturday about the constant monitoring of President Bola Tinubu. Igbokwe claimed that some individuals have resorted to witchcraft and “monitoring spirits” to keep an eye on Tinubu.

He explained that these individuals are observing Tinubu closely to catch any mistakes or mishaps, wherever he goes. Posting on his Facebook page, Igbokwe predicted that this scrutiny will persist for the next eight years.

He wrote: “Some people have turned to monitoring spirits. They follow PBAT anywhere he goes to see if he will make mistakes, if he will fall down, or if he will be received very well in any country he goes to. This is witchcraft and they will do this for 8 years. Mark this.”

Tinubu had a slip during the Democracy Day celebration at Eagles Square on June 12. Addressing the incident later at a Democracy Day dinner at the Presidential Villa, the President commented: “Early this morning, I had a swagger and it’s on social media. They’re confused about whether I was doing bugger or babariga.

“But it is a day to celebrate democracy. Why doing dobale on the day? I’m a traditional Yoruba boy. I did my dobale.”

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‘We’re still owed salaries in Abia State University’ – ASUU

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The Abia State University chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has claimed that many of its members did not receive their April and May salaries, and those who were paid had deductions from their salaries. ASUU Chairperson Chidi Mbah and Secretary Victor Obisike stated that despite announcements from the Abia government and social media reports indicating that salaries had been settled, only a few staff members with accounts at commercial banks received their April salaries, and even fewer received their May salaries.

The ASUU leaders highlighted that this inconsistency in salary payments and deductions has caused financial difficulties, anxiety, and uncertainty among the affected staff. They noted that staff members who did receive their April or May salaries experienced unexplained deductions ranging from N8,000 to N53,000.

This irregular payment system has made it difficult for the unions within the university to determine the status of their check-off dues, which are usually deducted at the source. Additionally, ASUU emphasized that 11 months of outstanding salary arrears remain unpaid, despite repeated assurances from the government.

ASUU expressed its support for Governor Alex Otti’s efforts to improve Abia State University but urged government officials to avoid politicizing the salary payment issue. They appealed to the state government to promptly address the concerns raised and ensure that all outstanding salaries, including the arrears, are paid in full to alleviate the financial hardships faced by the university staff.

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Sanusi: Ado Bayero was never Emir of Kano – Gov Yusuf’s spokesman

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Sanusi Bature, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Abba Yusuf of Kano State, has asserted that Aminu Ado Bayero was never the Emir of Kano. According to Bature, former Governor Abdullahi Ganduje appointed Bayero as the Emir of the eight metropolitan local governments of Kano city.

During an appearance on Arise Television, Bature explained that Ganduje’s appointment of Bayero as emir was part of a political maneuver that compromised the integrity of the historic Kano Emirate, which predates Nigeria and its constitution by over a thousand years.

Bature stated: “The governor’s action was intended to protect the emirate’s integrity as an institution. The Emirate of Kano has a history that predates Nigeria, with people living under a single Emir for over a thousand years. Ganduje’s administration politicized this history, which Yusuf promised to rectify during his campaign to restore the emirate’s lost glory.”

He further remarked, “This is not the first time an Emir has been deposed; Ganduje did it, and Sanusi left Kano for peace to prevail. Now Sanusi has returned to Kano after the law was repealed.”

Clarifying Bayero’s status, Bature said, “Aminu Ado Bayero was never the Emir of Kano. He was appointed as the Emir of the eight metropolitan local governments of Kano city. With the revision of the law under a unified Kano, the emirate Bayero served no longer exists. He was the Emir of the Kano city emirate, not the entire 44 local governments of Kano, a status created by Ganduje’s 2019 Emirate law.”

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Governor Yusuf deposed Ado Bayero and reinstated Muhammed Sanusi as the Emir of Kano. Despite this, Ado Bayero has refused to leave his Nassarawa palace and has challenged the state government’s action in court.

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