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NANS – We Didn’t Collect N150million From Buhari



The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has denied receiving N150million from President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Executive Committee of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) visited President Muhammadu Buhari on January 3, 2019 and the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) was one of the issues that came up during the visit.

Buhari had told NANS that his government was “working hard towards a resolution, and will continue to ask for ASUU’s understanding”.

However, reports had emerged that the association allegedly collected the said amount during the visit.

A statement made available to NAN on Saturday and signed by Adeyemi Amoo, its National Public Relations Officer (PRO), urged Nigerian students to ignore the allegations by ASUU.

The statement read: “Our attention has been drawn to the purported and sponsored allegation, that NANS had been bribed by President Muhammadu Buhari with a whooping sum of N150million to protest against ASUU.

“We commend the well meaning, intellectual and genuine civil society groups for not falling cheap for this blackmail, as we’ve gotten informed and reliably that they’ve also been lobbied by ASUU to join them in pushing such blackmail. We are not surprised that this blackmail isn’t flying beyond the pseudo groups they’ve been able to arrange and mobilise with cash.

“President Muhammadu Buhari is a known person in character and style to virtually all Nigerians. Even the opposition knows that Buhari will never give out such amount of money for any reason(s) that is not of national benefits or developments. No doubt this propaganda might have seen the acceptance of the masses if it wasn’t targeted towards Buhari himself.”

According to Amoo, NANS had earlier declared November 17, 2018 as a nationwide day of mass action tagged: ‘Save Education Rally’ held simultaneously across the states of the federation, to protest the incessant strikes across universities, polytechnics and colleges of education. He added that in October 2018, NANS national leadership met with the Minister for Education, to fine-tune ways of putting a long term end to the regular carnival of strikes in the educational sector.

The statement continued: “We thereby demanded as the major stakeholders in the sectors, to always have representatives at the meeting of ASUU with Federal Government, as this was targeted towards adding to the strength and voice of ASUU, so as to make government yield to their demands in time. The Federal Government on her own side sees the request of being an observer at the negotiation table with ASUU as a welcome development.

“NANS was invited twice to the meeting of Federal Government with ASUU, ably represented by the NANS national president, Danielson Akpan, but was walked out twice by the ASUU leadership, insisting that such negotiations must not be done in the presence of younger ones.

“NANS leadership begins to wonder what reasons might be behind the blind insistence of ASUU that NANS must not observe the meeting, when the Federal Government has wholeheartedly approved our attendance at such meetings.”

He added that NANS after exhausting all means, resolved to issue an ultimatum to the Nigerian Government and ASUU to return to the negotiation table. He also said NANS sought audience with the president which led to the meeting at the presidential villa on Thursday.

“At the meeting, NANS appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to, as a matter of urgency, resolve the ASUU strike, for him not to lose the support of over 20 million Nigerian students. This was the statement of the NANS president at the meeting, as against the cheap blackmail that NANS has assured Buhari of mobilising 20 million votes for him.

“NANS, therefore, uses this medium to inform Nigerian students and Nigerians at large, that its leadership will not, has not and will not for any reason sell the interest and integrity of our dear organisation.

“Conclusively, we want to tell ASUU that NANS is not for sale. We have not, and will not turn our struggles to sources of empowerment.”

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Arewa

BREAKING: INEC postpones Nigeria elections, announces new dates, gives reasons

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has postponed the February 16 presidential and National Assembly elections.

The polls will now hold Saturday February 23.

This was one of the decisions reached early Saturday morning in a meeting INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu had with the 12 national commissioners in Abuja.

Addressing the media, Yakubu explained that the shift was mainly due to logistics problems faced by the commission.

“Following a careful review, the commission came to the conclusion that proceeding with the elections will not be feasible”, he said.

Yakubu added that the decision was taken in order to give the nation a free, fair and credible exercise.

“Furthermore, the governorship and state houses of elections will hold on Saturday March 9”, the electoral chief added.

The national elections are expected to hold at 119,973 polling units across the country while collation of results will take place in 8,809 Registration Areas or Wards, 774 Local Government Areas and 36 States and the FCT.

It will not be the first time that the commission would postpone a scheduled general election.

In 2015, the presidential election was shifted from February 14 to March 28th, 2015; while the governorship and assembly elections scheduled for 28 February were shifted to 11 April.

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Buhari

#NigeriaDecides2019: Where Buhari, wife will vote on Saturday

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Daura, Katsina State, says it has concluded arrangements for Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly Elections.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that President Muhammadu Buhari and his wife, Hajiya Aisha are expected to cast their votes at Sarkin Yara A Electoral Ward in Polling Unit 003, in his hometown Daura.

NAN also reports that Sarkin Yara A has 9,242 registered voters with polling unit 003 comprising only 898 voters.

INEC said that 187 was Buhari’s serial number on the permanent voter card with which he would be identified by the relevant officers before he would be allowed to cast his vote.

He will be participating in the exercise for the fifth time as a presidential candidate under different political platforms since he ventured into politics in 2003.

He lost three times and subsequently won in 2015, defeating the incumbent president, Dr Goodluck Jonathan who was seeking re-election after the completion of the first four years in office.

The former president conceded defeat even before the then Chairman of INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, formally declared the winner of the presidential race.

NAN reports that the ancient city of Daura is peaceful and normal business activities are going on and enthusiastic feelings among the people who are anxiously waiting for D-day.

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Arewa

Nigerian Newspapers: 10 things you need to know this Friday morning

Good morning! Here is today’s summary from Nigerian Newspapers

1. An early morning fire on Thursday razed down a police station in Ajalli, Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra State.

The mystery fire did not also spare patrol vehicles that were parked in the premises of the police station, as two of them were burnt down.

2. The Presidency has accused some Afenifere leaders and Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) leaders of receiving bribe from the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar.

President Muhammadu Buhari’s personal assistant on social media, Lauretta Onochie, on Thursday night alleged that Yinka Odumakin and Chief Ayo Adebanjo received large deposits into their banks accounts before their endorsement of Atiku.

3. Members of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Rivers State yesterday, blocked the entrance of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, office in Port Harcourt.

Thousands of party members blocked INEC office on Aba Road in Port Harcourt, around 8am, insisting that the electoral commission must obey the ruling of Court of Appeal and relist their candidates for Saturday’s election.

4. The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in Benue State has confirmed that some hoodlums in military uniforms attacked one of the commission’s vehicles.

The Benue State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr Nentawe Yilwatda, disclosed this when addressing journalists on the preparation for the Saturday elections on Thursday.

5. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has released the colours of the ballot papers and boxes for the Presidential and National Assembly Elections on Feb. 16.

According to the release, different colours of boxes and ballot papers will be used for the Presidential, Senatorial and House of Representatives ballots at the polling stations.

6. President Muhammadu Buhari has urged Nigerians to vote right in Saturday’s presidential and national assembly elections.

He also assured Nigerians of free, fair and creddible polls at a live broadcast on Thursday.

7. Kano Police Command on Wednesday night arrested two male suspects in possession of 14 sacks of fake ballot papers.

Police Public Relation Officer, DSP Haruna Abdullahi, confirmed this while parading the suspects at the Bompai Police Headquarters, Kaduna, on Thursday.

8. Dr Rufus Akeju, the Ondo State Resident Electoral Commissioner, on Thursday advised election observers in the state to exhibit the highest level of integrity and professionalism in the discharge of their duties during the general elections.

Akeju, who gave the advice while briefing accredited election observers and party representatives in Akure, noted that an election monitor has some level of lawful authority over the conduct of elections and officials unlike observers.

9. The Minister of Interior, Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd), has directed the closure of all Nigerian land borders with effect from Friday, Feb. 15 to Sunday, Feb. 17 due to the Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly elections.

The Comptroller-General, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Mr Muhammad Babandede, in Abuja, said that there would be restriction of movements across the Nigerian borders during the election on the days announced.

10. Buba Galadima, the spokesman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, presidential campaign organisation, has pointed out how the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar will rescue Nigeria from recession if elected on Saturday.

Galadima said Abubakar will use his vast knowledge in business and running of modern economy to take Nigeria out of recession if elected, come Saturday.

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