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Poll sequence: Reps to vote on Buhari’s rejection of assent



Members of the House of Representatives will meet to decide whether to override President Muhammad Buhari’s decision to withheld assent to the Electoral Act amendment proposing presidential election to hold last in 2019 general elections.


Some members of the House who reacted to the president’s letter rejecting the reordering of election by the National Assembly said every member would participate in the process.


Chairman of the House Committee on Justice, Hon. Razak Atunwa (APC, Kwara) told reporters yesterday that the lawmakers “would sit together and decide what is good for the country.” He said vetoing the president’s assent “is a matter of the entire House; whether or not we can reject or accept the rejection.”


Asked whether the House would be able to garner the required twothirds majority to override the president’s assent, Atunwa said: “It is not two-third that is the issue, but the political will to do it.” He added that the lawmakers would consult their constituents and take the right decision.


On the contention by the president that the National Assembly was “interfering with the constitutional guaranteed discretion of INEC,” Atunwa explained that the lawmakers acted within their powers and such an impression does not exist. He said even though there is a constitution, the lawmakers acting based on the powers bestowed on them by the constitution, enacted the Electoral Act in which they prescribed timelines as to how elections should be conducted.


The lawmaker explained that “the parliament as the representatives of the people of Nigeria is saying to INEC that they can organise election, but it should be conducted in this way.”


The Kwara legislator likened the amendment to hiring a wedding planner and giving him directives on how the wedding should be arranged.


“If you hire a wedding planner, it’s your wedding and so you can still tell the planner what you want and where and when you want the reception to hold and the type of food to be served.


But that does not take away the powers to organise it. So we are not interfering with INEC powers,” he said. However, Hon. Abdullahi Umar Farouk (APC, Kebbi), said he was against the amendment, but the votes of members will decide the fate of President Buhari’s assent.


The lawmaker advised his colleagues not to veto the president’s assent because there is need for political parties and key political players to make input into the election of others. It will be recalled that the House, last week, passed a motion to review the Electoral Act amendment and 21 other bills that have been rejected by the president and decide on whether to veto them or not.

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… we feel betrayed by FG, says father of dead girl



Adamu Jumbam, father of Aisha Adamu, one of the Dapchi schoolgirls who lost their lives while in Boko Haram captivity, said he was not happy with the Nigerian government and its security forces whom he blamed for the tragedy that befell his daughter. Of the 110 schoolgirls kidnapped, 104 were released by the Boko Haram sect while five died in captivity.

Mr. Jumban, who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES in Dapchi village where he is currently mourning his 16-year-old daughter, questioned the circumstances that surrounded the abduction and subsequent release of the girls by Boko Haram. Speaking in tears, the middle-aged resident of Jumbam, a village 2km away from Dapchi, said rather than the Nigerian soldiers combating the insurgents after they came back to drop the girls, the soldiers simply “watched with folded arms while the insurgents left triumphantly.”

The Nigerian government had explained that in order to safeguard the lives of the freed girls, it refused to confront the insurgents when they came to deliver the captives on Wednesday. But this argument did not seem to assuage the pains of the mourning parents of Dapchi.

Speaking amidst a large crowd of mourners and sympathisers that throng his family home in Jumbam, the bereaved father said he had lost faith in the Nigerian government. He said the way his daughter and others were abducted from school and killed while in captivity of Boko Haram would continue to traumatise him and her mother for a long time to come “It was my worst moment in life when I was told she died,” Adamu said.

“It has been a huge bereavement that befell me on Wednesday when these poor schoolgirls were returned and I rushed out to welcome them only to be told that my daughter was among those that lost their lives. “I was told that they died on the way, and the Boko Haram simply dug the ground and buried them.

This confirms that I have lost her, so we the family have nothing more to do for her than to mourn her. “From the 19th day of February when they were abducted and taken away to the day they were brought back, I have not been myself.

But I give gratitude to God when I eventually found out that she is no more, what I was scared and prayed against had come to pass. I pray God comfort her soul and forgive her shortcomings.” Jumbam said despite his bereavement, many of them in Dapchi could not understand the “mystery of the abduction and the drama of the girls’ release on Wednesday”.

“We have no option than to still commend the government for seeing that most of the children that were taken from us have been brought back”, he said. “But what bemused us most is that, it is very shocking and surprising to say that Boko Haram came into this community, picked our children without any one challenging them, and then brought them back on their own, dropped them in the town and then returned. That development has really unsettled most of us here in Dapchi.”

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Nigerian Navy trains officers to combat emerging security threats



The Nigerian Navy has recently raised the bar of training of its personnel owing to “security issues currently facing the country.” The Navy made this remark after concluding the two-day seminar tagged; “Consolidating Professional Training in the Nigerian Navy”, held recently at the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Quorra auditorium, Apapa, Lagos.

The Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Naval Training Command (NAVTRAC), Rear Admiral, Obi Ofodile, reiterated that, “the purpose of training is to meet the current challenges, we are witnessing, because when we train well, then you can operate well, if you do not train well, you cannot operate well, because security issues and challenges we are facing today are a little bit more than what it used to be.

What we witness here in Nigeria is more of asymmetrical warfare, the enemy is not defined; we don’t even know where it is, so efforts to confront them are not conventional efforts.” He further reacted to security threats that linger, “it is ever changing and we want to further our training and close the gaps that have been created by the unimagined security challenges. So, basically decisions reached and recommendations made were religiously implemented. There are certain security challenges that we were not witnessing in 2016 like kidnapping that is not part of our job, we came in when the police couldn’t handle it.”

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Cholera, Lassa Fever kill 14 in Bauchi



Nine people have been have confirmed dead following the outbreak of Cholera in Bauchi State. Briefing newsmen yesterday, Commissioner for Health, Dr Zuwaira Hassan, said five people also died of Lassa fever in the state. She however revealed that 324 cases of cholera were recorded while 26 patients are on admission at the isolated centre of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital Bauchi.

According to her, a female student of College of Education, Kangere, was among the nine victims of cholera outbreak saying “the causes of the outbreak in the institution were as a result of sewage evacuation. Dr. Zuwaira also attributed the causes of cholera outbreak in the state to open defecation by residents.

“It’s unfortunate that our people defecate outside and the faeces pass through their drinking water while they don’t practice personal hygiene”. “In order to prevent more outbreaks, community volunteers have been going round to educate and sensitise the people and the Ministry of Health has chlorinate their water,” She added.

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