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Senate passes Electoral Act Bill, approves electronic transmission of results with NCC clearance on Network coverage.

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Nigerian Senate
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…adjourns till September 14, 2021

 

The Senate on Thursday finally passed the long awaited Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

The upper chamber during a clause-by-clause consideration of the bill approved electronic transmission of results during elections, provided that such areas are adjudged by the National Communications Commission to be adequately covered under its national coverage and approved by the National Assembly.

The approval came following an amendment to Clause 52(3) by Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (APC, Niger North) during consideration of a report by the Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The amendment was seconded by Senator Ali Ndume (APC, Borno North).

The Committee in its recommendation initially prescribed that, “The Commission (INEC) may transmit results of elections by electronic means where and when practicable.”

This, however, was amended by the Deputy Whip, Senator Sabi Abdullahi to read, “The Commission may consider electronic transmission of results, provided the national coverage is adjudged to be adequate and secure by the National Communications Commission (NCC) and approved by the National Assembly.”

Senators Sabi Abdullahi and Ali Ndume argued that the blanket recommendation by the Committee for electronic transmission of results in all parts of the country would deprive some Nigerians resident in areas with weak or without network coverage from participating in the electoral process.

According to the lawmakers, in order to ensure fairness and inclusiveness for the electorates, particularly in rural areas, an all inclusive provision must be accommodated in the Electoral Act to protect their participation and votes during elections.

Sabi Abdullahi’s amendment received a favorable ruling by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, when subjected to a voice vote.

However, lawmakers such as Enyinnaya Abaribe, Thompson Sekibo and Albert Bassey Akpan, who belong to the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) disagreed with Senators Sabi Abdullahi and Ndume, insisting that the previous recommendation be retained.

Bassey’s counter amendment, which insisted for retention of the Committee’s recommendation as captured in clause 52 sub-clause 3, nevertheless suffered rejection when put to a voice vote by the Senate President.

Apparently determined to have their way, the Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, while citing order 73 of the Senate Rule, called for a division.

In a bid to avert going down the path of a division, the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi (APC, Kebbi North) prevailed on his colleagues in the PDP rescind of their earlier call.

A defiant Abaribe refused all entreaties for him to withdraw the point of order, despite attempts by his colleagues to sway members of the minority party during a closed session that followed and lasted almost 20 minutes.

Rising from the closed session, Abaribe demanded that the contentious clause be revisited despite a couple of further appeal by the Senate President for the upper chamber to continue with the consideration of the report.

Sensing the Minority Leader’s refusal to shift grounds, the Senate President in an unexpected move took Abaribe by surprise and approved the request for division amidst called for voting on the amendment put forward by Senator Bassey.

Out of a total of 80 Senators present, 52 voted for the retention of the ‘Sabi Abdullahi Amendment’, while 28 who belonged to the opposition PDP voted for the ‘Bassey Amendment’.

The other 28 Senators that make up the 108 in the upper chamber, excluding the Senate President, were absent during plenary.

After the passage of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, the Senate President, in his remarks said, “We have achieved what we have set for ourselves because of our commitment.

“We would all recall that at the beginning of the Ninth Senate, we resolved to have a legislative agenda.

“[And] in out legislative agenda, the Petroleum Industry Bill and amendment of the Electoral Act 2010, are pillars of what we have set for ourselves to do.

“Today, we have achieved those two issues.

“Secondly, the Electoral Act amendment, we have gone through a serious and probably torturous process to reach where we have by passing it.

“There was no victor, no vanquished in this affair. Everyone did what he or she did for the full commitment and realization that what we want is one and the same thing, but the path we have taken are different.

“We want an electronic transmission system for our electoral process, however, we want to ensure that no Nigerian is disenfranchised in this process, and time will definitely come when all part of Nigeria will have the coverage that we all need to deploy our technology to ensure electronic transmission of election results.

“This has come to settle the issue of what INEC can do and what INEC cannot. We have given INEC an electoral Act amended to enhance its performance.”

The Senate after the passage of the bill, adopted the Votes and Proceedings and adjourned till 14th of September, 2021 for its annual recess.

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Airline operators to ground activities over high price of JetA1

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The Airline Operators of Nigeria, AON, has said it would on Monday suspend operations nationwide.

AON cited increase in price of aviation fuel (JetA1) which cost N700 per litre as reasons to suspend operations Nationwide.

This was contained in a letter by AON President, Abdulmunaf Yunusa Sarina, and sent to the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika.

The AON President lamented that the increase in price of JetA1 has shut up the country’s cost of operations to over 95 percent, thereby, causing hardship on passengers.

The letter read in part: “It is with a great sense of responsibility and patriotism that the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) have carried on deploying and subsidizing their services to our highly esteemed Nigerian flying public in the last four months despite the steady and astronomical hike in the price of JetA1 and other operating costs.

“Overtime, aviation fuel price (JetA1) has risen from N190 per litre to N700 currently. No airline in the world can absorb this kind of sudden shock from such an astronomical rise over a short period.

“While aviation fuel worldwide is said to cost about 40% of an airline’s operating cost globally, the present hike has shut up Nigeria’s operating cost to about 95%.

“In the face of this, airlines have engaged the Federal Government, the National Assembly, NNPC and Oil Marketers with the view to bringing the cost of JetA1 down which has currently made the unit cost per seat for a one hour flight in Nigeria today to an average of N120,000.

“The latter cannot be fully passed to passengers who are already experiencing a lot of difficulties.

“To this end therefore, the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) hereby wishes to regrettably inform the general public that member airlines will discontinue operations nationwide with effect from Monday, May 9, 2022 until further notice.”

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Buhari Appoints Jaji Olola new CG for Federal Fire Service

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Jaji Olola-Abdulganiyu the new Controller-General of the Federal Fire Service
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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Jaji Olola-Abdulganiyu as the Controller-General of the Federal Fire Service, FFS.

A statement on Tuesday in Abuja by the Secretary of the Board Ministry of Interior, Aisha Rufai, said the appointment is with effect from Friday, April 22, 2022.

Until his appointment, Mr Abdulganiyu was the Deputy Comptroller General in charge of Administration and Supplies in the Federal Fire Service.

He commenced his career at the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing as Higher Technical Officer in 1991.

“He held several positions in the Ministry before his redeployment to the Federal Fire Service in 1999.

“Engr. Jaji Olola Abdulganiyu MNSE, MIFire, E, COREN, was born on the 13th August 1965 to the family of Alh. Umar Olola Jaji in Ilorin, Kwara State.

He holds a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering obtained in 1999 and he is married with children,” the statement noted.

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Breaking News: Alaafin of Oyo is rumoured to have joins the ancestors at 83

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Alaafin of Oyo, Lamidi Adeyemi
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There are unconfirmed rumours that Alaafin of Oyo, Lamidi Adeyemi, has passed on at the age of 83.

Alaafin Lamidi Adeyemi allegedly  passed on in the late hours of Friday, 22 April, 2022 at the Afe Babalola University Teaching Hospital, Ado Ekiti.

Alaafin of Oyo is the third from the Alowodu Ruling House.

Sources have it that  remains of the top Yoruba traditional ruler were brought to Oyo in the early hours of Saturday, 23 April, 2022 and traditional rites began.

At 83 years is the longest reigning Alaafin ever, having ruled for 52 years.

However, the Oyomesi is yet make official statement on the rumoured passage of the highly referred monarch.

Meanwhile Director of Alaafin Media and Publicity Bode Durojaiye has said the rumoured death of the monarch is unfounded.

Below is the statement

Alaafin Oyo RUMOURED DEATH UNFOUNDED

It has come to the notice of the Office of the Director of Media and Publicity to the Alaafin of Oyo about a fake report making the wave in the social media, by a disgruntled group of bloggers, about the imaginary death of His Imperial Majesty, IKu Baba Yeye, Oba (Dr.) Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi 111, the Alaafin of Oyo.

Members of the public are hereby urged to disregard the unfounded report , as the Paramount Ruler is hale and hearty .

Precisely on Monday and Tuesday this week, Oba Adeyemi, accompanied by some of his wives (Ayabas), children, aides and well wishers was at the Durbar Stadium ,Oyo, for physical fitness exercises as usual.

He has neither fallen sick nor rushed to the hospital for any serious ailment, hence he and his family remain agile and active .

The general public should not entertain any fear at all, as IKu Baba Yeye is healthy, physically fit and mentally stable.

Signed
‘Bode Durojaiye, Alaafin’s Media and Publicity Director.

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