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INEC’s Adhoc Staff Reject Posting, Deployment To Polling Units In Anambra Over Insecurity—IPAC

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Dr. Leonard Nzenwa, Chairman of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), has raised serious doubt about the turnout of voters at polls despite the best efforts of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Speaking at the Special consultative meeting of the political parties summoned by the electoral umpire, Nzenwa said the people of Anambra are scared stiff to contemplate voting on November 6 owing to the activities of non-state actors in the state.

Nzenwa urged INEC to address unconfirmed reports that INEC adhoc staff are massively rejecting deployment to polling units and even Anambra State owing to the security situation in the state.

He said the worrisome security concerns have also soared the cost of running the election around the billionaire Governorship candidates and the Commission itself, saying that it was for these vicissitudes that informed the call by some IPAC members for the suspension of the poll to allow time for sanity to prevail.

Given the circumstance, Nzenwa who is also the Chairman of the African Action Congress (AAC) expressed concern about whether the election in Anambra can be adjudged to meet best global practices.

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“The 2021 Anambra Gubernatorial Polls has not only been adjudged as the most expensive by credible pollsters with returnee of billionaires in hard currency struggling it out. This equally was validated by the Commission a few days ago as it attested that it has cost it a huge financial and material investment.

“On the flip side, the journey to this election has been strewn with pallets of uncertainties, not that the Commission had not prepared enough for it nor the political parties ill-equipped to participate but that actions and inaction of Non-State Actors seem to be throwing spanners in the works as wanton killings and destruction of property have continued unabated.

“It is this unfolding happening that led to the suggestion by some of us that the Anambra Polls be postponed to allow for some level of sanity to return before the poll is conducted. But some dissented.

“Truth is that the people in Anambra are scared stiff and have been cowed to stay indoors for the greater part of the days in the last few months. You see this on their faces, you sense this in the air they breathe, you behold fear-stricken population fighting to fend for themselves in the wave of brutal and conscienceless attack on their lives and property.

“For a proper, well-credentialed poll with compliments of acceptable electoral best practices to be held in an environment as this is most unlikely, electoral polls literature across the globe testify to this. We encouraged the Commission to put their best leg forward in this regard”.

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He said what is happening in Anambra in the run-up to the election will cause very high voter apathy that may raise questions thereafter.

“With all that is taking place there, with the huge money playing its role as it is still doing, with the State playing her role as they are doing, and currently still figuring out how possible they can creatively tame the audacity of the so-called ‘rascal aggressors’, but those we do fear might not play their role are the people, the people that are going to vote.

“It follows, therefore, that the money may be there, the State may have its way, but to draw the people out to vote en masse might not be an easy task.

“The people are torn between two forces, on one hand, is a force driven by credible and genuine motivation to sanitize the Anambra polity for peaceful polls to take place, on another hand, is a band of non-state actors who are adept in guerrilla antics – they show up and disappear, ducking and causing havoc, which ultimately may lead to collateral damage in the face of major clash” he stated.

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Group Calls For Protection Of Journalists In Bayelsa, Imo, Kogi States

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The Media Rights Agenda (MRA) has urged for necessary measures to protect journalists and other media workers during this weekend’s off-cycle elections in Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi States.

The group sent the request to the federal and state governments, as well as law enforcement and security agencies, stressing that the role of journalists in disseminating information about the electoral process is critical to ensuring free, fair, and transparent elections.

In a statement issued ahead of the elections in Lagos and signed by the Communications Officer, Media Rights Agenda, Idowu Adewale, MRA also urged journalists to be cautious and to use its existing hotline (08138755660) to report any threat or attack they may encounter during the process, as well as any obstacle.

Adewale said in the statement: “Given the pattern of heightened attacks on journalists and the media during previous elections, including the recent 2023 general elections, as well as the tense political climate in the three states in the lead-up to the elections, measures must be taken to ensure general security during the elections and provide adequate protection for journalists covering the elections.”

“Access to information allows citizens and other members of the public to have the information they need about political and electoral processes, facilitating effective public participation in elections,” he says.

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“Journalists and the media play an important role in ensuring residents and other members of the public have access to information and may participate in the process.

“As part of efforts to preserve the integrity of the polls, it is also critical that the safety and well-being of these interlocutors be assured and safeguarded.”

Lamenting the increased number of attacks on journalists in the run-up to the off-cycle elections, as well as earlier this year in the run-up to the general elections, he emphasised that “a free and vibrant media is fundamental to a healthy democracy, and journalists must be able to carry out their duties without fear, coercion, or violence.” During this vital phase, MRA stands ready to assist them and assure their safety.”

 

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Police Nab Husband, As Mother Of ‘Mummy Be Calming Down’ Boy Takes Own Life

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Men from the Edo State Police Command are said to have detained Mrs. Toluige Olokoobi’s husband after he allegedly murdered her.

Olokoobi was the mother of Oreofeoluwa Lawal-Babalola, the tiny boy whose video went viral in 2020 after he pleaded with his mother, “Mummy be calming down.”

Oreofeoluwa rose to prominence on social media after a video of him crying in an attempt to confidently appeal to his mother, who chastised him, went viral.

The film inspired Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who used it to deliver an Eid-el-Kabir appeal to Muslims and Lagos people in general to remain calm during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Following that, the youngster and his family met with the governor, who praised his bravery and poise.

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While little has been heard about the family in three years, heartbreaking news broke on social media on Tuesday that the boy’s mother had committed suicide.

According to an X user, Olokoobi committed suicide in Benin, the capital of Edo State, for unknown reasons.

The X user, who stated that he was present at the site on Monday afternoon, went on to say that she had refused to disclose her difficulties with anyone before committing herself.

“The woman in the viral Mummy Calm Down video has just committed suicide here in Benin,” he stated in an email.

“She refused to discuss her problems with anyone.” She abandoned three children for her husband, including the well-known Mummy Calm Down boy.”

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Meanwhile, confirming Olokoobi’s death in a chat with BBC Pidgin, the spokesperson of the Edo State police command, Chidi Nwabuzor, said her husband has been arrested and detained for questioning.

Nwabuzor said the husband reported the matter to the police.

The police spokesperson quoted the husband to have said that “he came home from the market when he saw his wife hanging with rope on her neck”.

Nwabuzor said she was rushed to the hospital and then to the mortuary after she was confirmed dead. (Adapted from a Vanguard report).

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Anambra: CP Aderemi Adeoye Decorates Promoted Officers With New Ranks

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The Anambra State Police Command Headquarters Conference Hall was a hive of activity Thursday as CP Aderemi Adeoye took turns decorating around 18 promoted officers of the command with their new titles.

The delight of some of the officers whose wives assisted the CP in decorating their husbands with their new ranks knew no bounds, as their husbands duly saluted their wives and the CP for their new positions and responsibilities.

Obi Innocent, one of the officers elevated to the rank of Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), whose wife joined CP Aderemi Adeoye in adorning him with his new rank, said it was wonderful that the Inspector General of Police thought him worthy.

CSP Obi Innocent, the officer in charge of the Legal Department at Zone 13, Police Zonal Headquarters Ukpo, stated that his new rank was a call to service and that he would do his best to uphold the charge given to them by CP Aderemi Adeoye to respect and protect the citizenry’s fundamental rights in the discharge of their new assignments.

Charity Akharame, who was honoured with the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) and was the only female officer among the 18 promoted officers decorated with new ranks, said it was not an easy feat but she was grateful to be among those who were decorated with their new ranks.

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DSP Charity Akharame, the officer in charge of stores in the Anambra State Police Command, recalled how she began as a Police Constable and worked her way up to her current position as Deputy Superintendent of Police.

She stated that as a very disciplined police officer, she would follow the Police Commissioner’s directions regarding respect for all and sundry in the fulfillment of her constitutional obligations.

Jane-Frances Obi, one of the spouses of the officers elevated to the level of CSP, stated that being the wife of a police officer was not an easy assignment. As a result, she recommended any lady who is married to a police officer to be patient and understanding because the job is quite demanding.

Jane-Frances Obi, whose husband is Innocent Obi, the officer in charge of the Legal Department at Zone 13 Ukpo, believes the promotion is a reward for years of being patient, understanding, and standing in for them when they are not present.

Meanwhile, Emenike Chinenyenwa, who was decorated with the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) and presented a vote of appreciation, expressed deep gratitude to the IGP and the Chairman of the Police Service Commission for considering them worthy of being adorned in their new ranks.

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ACP Emenike, the officer in charge of Medicals, stated that the elevation comes with increased responsibility and that they will work harder in their new tasks.

CP Aderemi Adeoye praised the current promotion winners in his remarks, noting that two aspects make the police career very interesting and eventful. He stated that one is for promotion and the other is for positions.

CP Adeoye, on the other hand, urged the newly honored officers to develop more empathy, compassion, care, and dedication in the performance of their jobs.

The police chief insisted that newly promoted officers must first recognise that they share the same humanity as others, and as a result, they must treat all people with dignity and protect their fundamental human rights at all times.

CP Aderemi Adeoye stressed that without the enormous roles of spouses, they wouldn’t have been successful in their careers. He therefore congratulated all the promoted and prayed that God gives them good health to enjoy the new ranks and the energy to discharge the responsibilities of their new offices.

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  • Source: Independent

 

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