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2019 elections: We have learnt our lessons – INEC boss, Yakubu

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Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has said that the commission learnt a lot of lessons from the conduct of the 2019 general elections.

The INEC boss also said that the lessons learnt by the commission will guide in ensuring that future elections are more credible and better organised.

He said this at the opening ceremony of the 2019 Post Election Review Meeting of the commission, in Ikeja Lagos on Thursday.

According to him, “After the 2019 general election, we are more determined than ever to improve on the quality of elections in Nigeria.

“We have learnt a lot from the conduct of the last general elections. Vital lessons have been learnt from our interactions with stakeholders on how we can improve on our efforts.

“In all facets of our duties as Electoral umpires, we are determined to improve on electoral processes in the country, using the lessons we have learnt from the last general election.

“After each election, plans for the next election should promptly commence. That is what we are doing now as we pursue our determination to improve the electoral processes in future,” Yakubu said.

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Iran declares readiness for war with US, Saudi Arabia

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Iran has expressed its readiness for an “all-out war” if the United States or Saudi military strikes against the country.

Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, made the declaration in an interview with CNN as the US, which has announced highest sanction ever, begins troop deployment to the kingdom.

Notin that Iran hoped to avoid conflict and was willing to talk to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Zarif stated that his country would not discuss with the US unless it gets full relief from sanctions as promised under the 2015 nuclear deal.

Insisting that Iran did not blow up Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities, Zarif threatened that a US or Saudi military strike would lead to “all-out war.”

“I make a very serious statement about defending our country. I am making a very serious statement that we don’t want to engage in a military confrontation,” said Zarif.

Tehran’s top diplomat added that a military response based on “deception”would cause “a lot of casualties. But we won’t blink to defend our territory”.

Meanwhile, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, Major Gen. Hossein Salami, has issued similar warning.

“Be careful, a limited aggression will not remain limited. We will pursue any aggressor,” he remarked on state TV broadcast at the weekend.

Earlier, Saudi Foreign Affairs Minister, Adel al-Jubeir, said that the kingdom is “certain” that the drone launch did not come from Yemen, as Houthi rebels there claimed.

His words: “It came from the north. It was done with Iranian weapons, therefore we hold Iran accountable for this attack. The kingdom will take the appropriate measures based on the results of the investigation, to ensure its security and stability.”

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IBB sends message to Igbos

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Former military leader, Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB), on Saturday urged Igbos to ensure that Nigerians continue to feel their positive impact.

He said this was due to their tenacity in business enterprises which spans the length and breadth of the country and beyond.

Babangida made the remark in Minna, when the Igbo Delegates Assembly (IDA), from the 19 Northern states and Abuja, visited him for his recent 78th birthday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the delegation was led by the IDA president, Chief Chikezie Okezie and the Eze Igbo of Minna, Eze Pampas Wahiwe.

“You should continue to allow your positive impacts to be felt among host ethnic nationalities in the country, as you explore business opportunities available.

“Nigerians, Igbos inclusive, should ensure they uphold the ideals of Nigeria’s founding fathers.

“An indivisible Nigeria is very necessary and we must do everything possible to remain as one family, though we differ in tribe and tongue,” he said.

He appreciated the Igbos for being very enterprising and determined to succeed by penetrating the nooks and crannies of the country for business exploits.

“You should use the same spirit of enterprise to promote peaceful co-existence among Nigerians, in all that you are doing.

“You have done well to keep Nigeria together. The Igbos are known to have the potential of traveling far and wide, exploring new frontiers and business opportunities,” he said.

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Boko Haram/ISWAP: Nigerian Army launches another operation

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The Nigerian Army Theatre Command of Operation Lafiya Dole (OPLD) has launched “Operation Positive Identification” against the fleeing Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists in the North East.

The Deputy Director, Army Public Relation, OPLD, Col. Ado Isa, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday.

He urged the public to always carry a valid means of identification when moving or passing through Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states.

Isa said the operation was aimed at searching for and arresting all suspected terrorists that currently roam some parts of the North East.

This, according to him, has become necessary following credible information that some of the fleeing criminals are hibernating in some towns and villages of Borno and Yobe States in particular and North East in general.

Army spokesperson disclosed that the troops had been instructed to strictly check valid means of identification of person before allowing them passage.

He advised people to always carry National Identification Card, Voters Registration Card, Drivers’ License and International Passports, or other valid official identification.

“We therefore once again enjoin all to fully cooperate with troops and security agencies in carrying out this exercise.

“The Theatre Command also wish to state that anyone not positively identified will attract further scrutiny and comprehensive investigation to determine his or her activities with the insurgents or otherwise.

“The general public is please requested to bear with this measure as it is in their best interest and our national security, as well as efforts to end the madness called insurgency as perpetrated by the erstwhile Boko Haram/ISWAP fighters,” he added.

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