Bayelsa Poll Update: Four Feared Dead as Violence, Apathy Mar Poll
· PDP in Early Lead
· Voting Canceled in Southern Ijaw LG
Bayelsa governorship election yesterday was marred by violence, inducement of voters and apathy in some parts of the states, particularly the riverine and coastal areas.
This is just as four persons were feared killed in Southern Ijaw council area of the state following reported violence in the area.
The gunmen were said to have invaded the riverside community in the wee hours of the day ostensibly to hijack election materials.
Three of the invaders were reportedly killed as security forces battled to restore normalcy while fourth victim was said to have been killed by spray bullet.
It was gathered that the spate of shootings forced many of the residents stay indoor for fear of being hit in the cross fire just as election materials according to a source could not leave the highly tensed area.
“Several shots were fired to scare the people and pave way for the carting away of the election materials but the security operatives attached to the area were up to the task,” said the source.
According to the source, no fewer than 45 suspects have been arrested by security operatives.
However, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officer in Southern Ijaw Local government area has announced cancellation of election in the area.
Southern Ijaw, Ekeremor, Brass and Nembe Local Government Areas were worst hits with violence, as political thugs unleash mayhem on rival political supporters with scores feared dead.
Elsewhere in the riverine Nembe and Brass Local Government Areas, the election day eve witnessed shootings and disruption of the peace, which prompted the reinforcement of security personnel to the area.
APC governorship candidate, Chief Timipre Sylva, has accused the leaders of PDP in the state of sponsoring banditry during the governorship election.
Sylva at his coastal Okpoama hometown in Brass LGA also called on INEC to look into the problems associated with card readers.
Although, the card reader read the former governor’s PVC successfully in record time, but failed to read the PVCs of some other voters.
Sylva said the APC in Bayelsa had told the police before the election that PDP leaders in the state and officials of Bayelsa government were stockpiling arms for the election.
He said contrary to the claim by Governor Seriake Dickson of the PDP, election calmly and peacefully took place in his LGA.
Sylva also lamented attack on the house of the Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri in Ekeremor, the headquarters of Ekeremor LGA.
Yahaya Bello in Early Lead in Kogi Supplementary Poll
There were indications that Yahaya Bello took an early lead in the Kogi supplementary poll Saturday. As when the results of some of the 91 polling units started pouring in, the All Progressives Congress (APC), Alh. Yahaya Bello took an early lead against his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) counterpart, Capt Idris Wada.
In Odo Ape Ward of Kabba/Bunu Local Government Area where election took place in one unit, APC scored 41 votes against PDP’s 18 votes. APC also won by a margin of 3 votes in the unit where election took place at Ayetoro Kiri Ward.
APC was leading in some of the units in Kogi Central, the home of the party’s candidate.
Reports also indicated that voting and counting are still ongoing in some of the polling units in Kogi East which experienced some security hitches.
The Independent National Electoral Commission has not declared the winner of the poll as of time of filing this report.
DG Warns Corps Members Against Unnecessary Journeys
Director-General of National Youths Service Corps (NYSC), Brig.-Gen. Johnson Bamidele, has warned corps members across Nigeria to desist from unnecessary and all unauthorised journeys
Bamidele gave the warning when he addressed 2015 Batch B, stream 2 corps members at the NYSC permanent orientation camp in Wamakko, Sokoto State. The corps members are undergoing three-week orientation.
Bamidele, represented by Mr Yakubu Jok, Director of Special Duties, said some corps members lost their lives in auto crashes in recent times.
“This is a nationwide phenomenon which must urgently stop and corps members should only travel when it is necessary and approved.
“My visit to the camp in Sokoto is to see the conditions of the corps members, assess their comfort and security level.
“I am assuring the corps members across Nigeria that the Federal Government, management of the scheme and State Governments are fully committed to their welfare.”
Bamidele charged the corps members to continue to be disciplined and law abiding
He also admonished them to respect the religions and cultures of their host communities.
State Coordinator of the scheme, Mr Thomas Yamma commended the DG for the visit and extolled the level of discipline exhibited by the corps members.
Yamma implored the corps members to stay in Sokoto, especially those seeking relocation, saying, ”Sokoto is a peaceful and hospitable state.”
Nigerian Army Liberated 80,000 Communities, Villages in Six Months– Theatre Commander
The Theatre Commander in charge of the ongoing anti-terrorism war in the North Eastern part of the country, Maj. Gen. Yushau Abubakar says over 80,000 towns and villages have been liberated by the Joint Military Task Force in the three North Eastern states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states.
The Commander made the revelation on Saturday, when the Minister of Information and Culture, Alh. Lai Mohammed visited the command as part of his tour to Bama area of Borno state.
He said the visit would further give Nigerians firsthand information of success so far recorded by the Military since the inception of the present administration in its resolve to decimate Boko Haram before the December deadline.
In his remarks, the Minister said the purpose of the visit was to give the media and other Nigerians who are not in the theatre of war firsthand information of the gallant efforts of the Nigerian military and other security agencies in tackling insurgency in the affected areas of the N/E.
He said that the government considered the media as the most critical in the ongoing efforts to end insurgency, hence the need for the visit.
Meanwhile, the Minister said the Federal Government has concluded plans to launch a security campaign against Boko Haram as part of its plan to support the security agents in their drive to end insurgency in Nigeria.
The campaign he said is aimed at consolidating on the successes of the military in the war-torn areas of the North East and would be fashioned after the 1967-70 civil war.
The Minister noted that insurgency has persisted in the country due to the failure of the civilians to complement the effort of the military in the ongoing war against Boko Haram.
He called on the citizens to reciprocate the effort of the military by supplying them with intelligent reports and useful information that would aid them to bring the menace to a concluding end.
‘‘From what I have seen, what is missing is the civilian component of the war because the military can’t face it alone. People see it as a religious or ethnic war but that is not true. Terrorism is terrorism, does not know religion and ethnicity. That is why people should see it as their own fight.
The Minister however, insisted that civilians must do their bit to complement the efforts of the military that had put in a lot to recapture most of the lost territories.
Rivers State Government will Immortalise Yakubu Gowon, says Gov. Wike
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has announced that the state government will immortalise the name of former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon for creating the state and serving as a symbol of national unity.
Speaking at the Government House, Port Harcourt on Saturday when he received in audience Former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon and the National Officers of Nigeria Prays, Governor Wike urged the former Head of State to continue to play the role of the defended of the nation’s indivisibility and unity.
Governor Wike noted that as a pragmatic leader, he will not wait for the former Head of State to pass away before duly recognising the contributions he made in the creation of Rivers State.
He declared: “Before you leave Rivers State, something will be named after you in order to immortalise your name. It is shocking that no edifice is named after General Gowon in the state years after creation”
He commended General Gowon for the creation of Rivers State, which has given the people the opportunity to develop and enhance the standard of living of her people.
Speaking further, Governor Wike said: “God is keeping Nigeria today. Without God, Nigeria would have been gone. Every Nigerian created by God should support Nigeria Prays.
“God used you (General Gowon) to create Rivers. Our administration is anchored on God. With God, we will achieve all our campaign promises we made to the people. For us, the only weapon we have is God”
Insecurity will soon be Brought Under Control – CNS
The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Ikot Ibas on Friday night said that insecurity would be brought under control in the country.
Ibas gave the assurance while making remarks at the Christmas carol night organised by the Naval Officers Wives Association (NOWA) in Lagos.
He said this during a carol night is part of the ongoing celebration of the 50th anniversary of the association.
Ibas said: “Some of the ills we have in our country are because of loss of family bond; children are easily recruited by those that want to destroy our nation.
”Nigeria belongs to us and we must do everything possible to keep it.
“We have our brothers and sisters in the North East, Niger-Delta and South-East where trouble is going on.
”We must pray for them. Insecurity will be brought under control.”
In her opening remarks, the National President of NOWA, Mrs Theresa Ibas, said the carol service was one of the most potent images of Christmas, which when reflected upon, left happy thoughts.
The wife of the naval chief said that the spiritual significance defines God’s love in the immaculate conception of Christmas.
According to her, NOWA, every December, celebrates carols in unique style, which brings every family together to appreciate God’s love for mankind.
She said that this year’s edition was, like others, interesting, with contemporary tunes.
The carol service was held at the NNS Quorra Auditorium, Naval Base, Apapa.
Carols were rendered by the NOWA Nursery and Primary and Secondary Schools and NOWA, among others, while a Steel Band from Navy Secondary School, Ojo, also had a performance.
The carol service attracted naval personnel as well as their family members and friends.
Man commits suicide in Lagos
A yet to be identified man has been found dead inside a shop at 23 Road Market, Festac Town, Amuwo Odofin, Lagos.
The man, who was discovered at about 1:00pm, with a suicide rope tied to the ceiling still on his neck, had the Lord’s Chosen Charismatic Revival apron on.
It was gathered that the door to the shop was still locked, but the glass windows and part of the ceiling had been shattered.
Triple suicide blast kills Over 30 people on Lake Chad Island
Three suicide bombers attacked the island of Koulfoua on the Chadian side of Lake Chad on Saturday, killing around 30 people and injuring 80, two security sources told Reuters.
The sources said the attacks coincided with market day.
Earlier this year, thousands of people fleeing Islamist militant group Boko Haram sought refuge on the island although it was not immediately clear if they were still based there.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is maintaining a comfortable lead, as Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials declared the results in some polling units and wards across the State.
The PDP, according to results collated so far, won in all the three wards in Odi, same thing in all the units in Kaiama in kolokuma/Opokuma local government area.
Also, the party is maintaining a distance lead in Ogbia, Sagbama and Ekeremor and Yenagoa local government areas
While the results of other polling units are still being collated, the PDP as at the time of filing is maintaining a comfortable lead.