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Three Drown On Election Day In Delta



Three persons have been confirmed to have lost their lives along the Benin River in Warri North Local Government Area (LGA) of Delta State on Saturday March 9, 2019 when the boat they were travelling in capsized on their way home, after casting their votes during the governorship and house of assembly elections.

SaharaReporters reliably gathered that the boat, which was carrying about 23 passengers, including the driver, capsized around Ebrohimi waterway after colliding with a fishing boat along the Benin River, while heading for Koko on Saturday night.

Efforts by sympathisers to rescue all the passengers on board were not successful, as three people died.

An eyewitness told SaharaReporters that: “The three persons who lost their lives had earlier been declared missing but were later found dead in the creeks of Warri North where the incident took place. They were all returning from where they went to cast their votes for candidates of their choice when the ugly incident occurred.”

Meanwhile, Emmanuel Uduaghan, immediate past governor of Delta State and the Delta South senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has condoled with the families of the deceased.

Uduaghan, who hails from the LGA, said he was saddened by the incident, stressing that the deceased persons paid the supreme price for the nation’s democracy.

The former governor, however, noted that more casualties would have been recorded but for the quick intervention by various persons to rescue the victims.

“Our beloved three brothers died in their quest to ensure that the votes of our people in the riverine area count in the March 9 election. This is to tell Nigerians the risk our people, particularly in Delta South, most often go through during electioneering period to vote for the candidates of their choice. I commiserate with the family of the deceased and the people of Warri North,” he said.

He also sympathised with victims still receiving treatment at various hospitals in the locality and wished them speedy recovery.

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Nigerians will no longer own cooking gas cylinders – FG

The Federal Government has said it is coming up with a policy that would remove the ownership of Liquefied Petroleum Gas cylinders from consumers.

It made this known yesterday at a stakeholders’ forum on LPG penetration in Abuja.

Speaking, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, said the policy would require that the ownership of the cylinders rests strictly with the dealers and distributors, adding that this was part of the strategy to deepen the penetration of LPG, also known as cooking gas, and address issues of safety.

Kachikwu added that the Federal Government had reached an agreement with two original cylinder manufacturers to deliver 600,000 cylinders to LPG distributors on credit, with a pre-payment period of 18 months.

He said the Federal Government would in the next couple of days commence the clampdown on illegal roadside LPG dealers, while he directed all skid operators of LPG to immediately convert their outlets to micro distribution centres before the enforcement begins.

Represented by his Senior Technical Assistant, Brenda Ataga, Kachikwu said: “The MDCs will essentially create and introduce into the market what we call the cylinder exchange programme, whereby the cylinders are owned by the distributors.

“There is no need for you to decant for anybody that comes in, and that eliminates illegal risks as well.

“You would fill them at the refill plants that would be tied to you and exchange it with your customers because you know your customers already.

“Your customers pay for only the content, while you own the cylinders and control the management of those cylinders.

“It is for us to be able to, at any point in time, discern and discover cylinders that are bad, cylinders that need recertification and cylinders that need to be removed from circulation.

“We put that onus on distributors going forward, to support the safe and standard method of selling LPG.

“I tell you today that Nigeria is the only country in West Africa that does not practice the re-circulation model.

“Everyone has moved away from this because, again, most of the population cannot afford cylinders.

“So, you have to remove that cost from them.”

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Okorocha: Group tells INEC what to do about certificate of return

An Igbo socio-political group, Imo Renaissance, has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to cancel the Imo West senatorial district election as it did in other states with similar circumstances.

A statement issued yesterday by the convener of the group, Chief Donatus Oparadike, said INEC erred to have allowed the election to go on, given the open show of violence and brigandage before, during and after the election in the senatorial district.

The statement reads, “Without prejudice to the case now before the court and the tribunal, we are aghast that INEC did annul the Imo West senatorial election amid overwhelming evidence of violence by agents of the incumbent Governor, Rochas Okorocha, who is also a contestant in the election.

“We refer INEC to the decisions it took in elections with similar acts of violence, namely, the elections in parts of River State, Anambra, Lagos among others; all of which were cancelled and re-runs held.

“We do not see any difference between these elections that were cancelled and the sham that happened in Imo West senatorial district.

“We hold INEC in high esteem and we expect it to show the same courage it demonstrated in states where elections in some flash points were cancelled and re-run held.

“What happened in Imo West was a display of primitive electoral values by the incumbent governor, who used state apparatus to oppress and intimidate, not only the opposition but INEC officials and the electorate who trooped out to exercise their franchise but were scared away by armed agents of the governors.

“Those of us from this part of Nigeria particularly residents and natives of Imo West, who witnessed what happened during the election are still in shock as to why INEC failed to halt the election in the peak of the violence visited on INEC officials and the electorate. INEC ought to have declared the exercise a nullity, hours after the show of shame by Governor Okorocha and his agents.

“We wager that it is still not late for INEC to render nugatory the senatorial election in Imo West in the same manner it did in similar election in other states with similar circumstances of violence and crude undertakings of a few agents of destabilisation to abridge the will of the people,” Oparadike said.

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French President Macron invites Buhari

French President, Emmanuel Macron has invited President Muhammadu Buhari to the Africa-France Summit scheduled for June 2020 in Bordeaux, France.

Secretary-General, Africa-France Summit, Stephanie Rivoal, said this when she visited the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, on Tuesday in Abuja, NAN reports.

According to her, Nigeria is expected to showcase its projects that have been proven to work at the two-day summit for all stakeholders involved in development of cities.

She said it was the wish of Macron for Nigeria president to be in attendance at the summit because of the importance the country in the continent.

Rivoal also said that the summit, unlike every other summit was expected to provide concrete solutions to the challenges facing cities in Africa.

“I will appreciate it if President Buhari will come with a delegation of people involved in city development,” she said.

She stressed that the summit wanted to provide a forum in which “ministers share ideas with one another on concrete solutions to development of cities.”

“Stakeholders will be there to look at what is the best for the people that live in those cities.

“Besides, there will be concrete commitments by stakeholders and this will be followed up at the end of the summit,” she said.

According to her, issues like how to ensure access to health, water, power and the rest will be discussed and also ways to make the rural areas more attractive to the people so as to curb rural-urban drift.

This she said explained why the summit would be hosted in Bordeaux instead of the big city, Paris.

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