Nothing Will Stop 2023 General Elections—INEC
By Adedapo Adesanya
Amid widespread panic brought about by the cash crunch protests in some parts of the country, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has assured that the February 25 presidential and National Assembly polls would hold nationwide.
Following the re-design of the N200, N500 and N1,000 by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigerians have been experiencing difficulty having access to the new banknotes. This has triggered protests and even attacks that are believed to be politically backed in some states.
With this development, there have been fears that the general elections might be postponed or suffer glitches, but now, the electoral body, through its Chairman, Mr Mahmood Yakubu, has allayed those fears, saying the commission is working closely with the CBN and security agencies.
“The central bank has assured us that we will not suffer any encumbrances in that regard, no there are no issues with respect to that,” he stated.
“On what is happening around the country – the protests – is a security matter, and security issues have assured and reassured us that they will secure the environment for elections to hold peacefully nationwide. So we have no issues in that respect.”
The INEC Chairman, speaking while tasking trainee Corps members on the election, called on them to be loyal to Nigeria, Nigerians and not political parties.
He also told them that on no account should they leave the BVAS in the custody of another.
He warned that the corps members are going to be tracked to ensure accountability.
After visiting the training centres, Mr Yakubu, INEC officials and journalists proceeded to the International Conference Centre (ICC) for inspection.
The INEC boss said that they would perform basically three activities in this ICC, which has been serving as the national collation centre for the collation, announcement of winners and presentations of the Certificate of Returns (CoR) to the president and vice president-elect; as well as the senators and house of representatives members elect.
Adegoke’s Murder: Court Sentences Ife Hotelier Rahman Adedoyin to Death
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The owner of Hilton Hotel in Ile-Ife, Osun State, Mr Rahman Adedoyin, has been sentenced to death by hanging over the death of a postgraduate student of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Mr Timothy Adegoke.
Mr Adegoke was murdered in his hotel in 2021 after he lodged in the facility. His corpse was moved away from the hotel and hurriedly buried in the vicinity.
The hotelier was arrested and has arraigned in court.
On Tuesday, according to Vanguard, the Osun State Chief Judge, Justice Oyebola Ojo, found Mr Adedoyin culpable in the murder of the deceased.
The judge also found other suspects guilty in the murder of the deceased and dismissed the alibi that the hotel owner was in Abuja for many days around the time the death of the late Adegoke occurred.
But four members of the staff prosecuted alongside Mr Adedoyin were discharged and acquitted of charges against them.
The matter became known to the public after his family raised an alarm that he had been missing after he lodged in the hotel and that efforts to reach him were abortive.
Ope Banwo’s Naija Lives Matter Refocuses Priorities
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A non-governmental organisation established by a serial entrepreneur, Dr Ope Banwo, Naija Lives Matter (NLM), is refocusing its priorities in line with its new vision.
In a statement on Tuesday, the US-based Nigerian said NLM intends to move beyond politics to focus on transforming the lives of Nigerians.
“Since 2011, the NLM organisation has consistently de-emphasised its partisan support for any specific candidate after the elections and campaigns, enabling it to concentrate on its global mandate of making Naija Lives Matter to all Nigerians, irrespective of their political affiliations.
“When Naija Lives Matter endorsed Peter Obi as our chosen candidate in August 2022, we made it clear that our partisan involvement would solely extend until the conclusion of the elections.
“Subsequently, we would focus on other aspects of our mission and goals, for which our organization was founded in 2011.
“In the past, we supported Jonathan through the GEJ project, rallied behind Buhari through the Buhari4Naija project in 2015, and even had a Moghalu4Naija project before eventually endorsing Peter Obi for the 2023 elections.
“Our commitment is not irreversibly tied to any particular politician; it lies in what we believe is in the best interest of Nigeria and its people,” he said.
With the transition, NLM now moves beyond the recent election cycle, with a current focus on organising projects to improve the lives of all Nigerians.
“Henceforth, we shall leave the legal and political affairs to lawyers and politicians and respect the courts’ decisions, whatever they may be.
“In alignment with our mandate and the previously declared engagement period for the 2023 elections, we now inform our members that Naija Lives Matter will now shift its focus towards other aspects of our charter, such as mass non-partisan mobilisation on national issues, youth empowerment training, workshops, community assistance services for the less privileged in Nigeria, and other activities.
“In light of this new direction, we will convene meetings with our state directors and cell leaders to announce additional NLM initiatives that extend beyond politics in the coming days.
“These initiatives will focus on non-partisan national mobilization, youth empowerment through training and workshops, and community-building responsibilities.
“All our threads on WhatsApp and other social media platforms will once again be dedicated to NLM as we officially conclude the Peter Obi Nation Project for the 2023 elections,” Dr Banwo noted.
Thanking members of the Peter Obi Nation Project of the NLM organisation for their tremendous efforts during the 2023 elections, he said that together they fought valiantly in a highly contested electoral process, adding that together they gave as much as they got in the very bitter partisan electioneering campaign for the organisation’s endorsed candidate, Peter Obi.
“We did not compromise, and many of us even paid the price of alienating some of our long-term friends in the heat of partisan battle.
“To this end, I am immensely proud of every individual involved in this monumental battle, and it has been an honour serving as the Chief Vawolence Officer for Naija Lives Matter side of things during this 2923 election cycle. We also offer No apologies for our passionate campaign for what we passionately believed in. It was what it was.”
He said, “To be clear, this pivot by NLM does not mean we no longer support Peter Obi. We continue to stand behind his 2023 mandate, which we believe in wholeheartedly. Nevertheless, our organization was not established solely for this election cycle.
“We have followed the same refocusing approach after the elections in 2011 and 2015. Although the intensity of this cycle was undeniable, our policy remains intact.
“We hope that our fellow compatriots engaged in the highly intense campaign for 2023 will understand and respect our decision to shift away from combative partisan politics at this juncture.
“Instead, we aim to engage the Tinubu government in a non-partisan yet critical manner, reminding them of their promises and holding them accountable. Should the courts later remove him from office, we will also celebrate. But for now, we have a country to assist in governance.”
JUST IN: DAAR Communications Chairman Raymond Dokpesi Dies
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The Chairman of DAAR Communications, Mr Raymond Dokpesi, is dead.
The media entrepreneur reportedly died on Monday after he suffered from a stroke.
It was said that he was admitted to a hospital in Abuja and was being looked after, but he gave up the ghost today.
He was aged 71 and was survived by his wives and children.
Until his demise, Mr Dokpesi, who hailed from Edo State, was a chief of the opposition political party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He was also a close ally of the PDP’s presidential candidate in the 2023 general elections, Mr Atiku Abubakar.
He established the popular television station, Africa Independent Television (AIT), and RayPower FM stations.
Confirming this development, the family of the businessman in a statement signed by his son, Mr Raymond Dokpesi Jnr, said, “It is with deep sadness and heavy hearts that we announce the passing of High Chief Raymond Aleogho Anthony Dokpesi (Ezomo of Weppa-Wanno Kingdom) who passed away on May 29, 2023. High Chief Dokpesi was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, and friend to many. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him.
“High Chief Dokpesi was also a respected and accomplished businessman, a pioneer in the media industry, and a philanthropist who dedicated his life to the service of his country and his community. His legacy will live on through the impact he made on the lives of many.
“The Dokpesi family is grateful for the outpouring of love and support during this difficult time. We ask that you keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we mourn the loss of our patriarch. We also ask for privacy during this time as we grieve together as a family.
“The family will release further details on the funeral arrangements in due course.
“May his soul rest in peace.”
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