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Presidency reacts to EU report on Nigeria’s 2019 elections

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The presidency has welcomed the report of the European Union (EU) on the 2019 general elections in Nigeria, promising to analyse it fully and act on the recommendations in the best interest of the country.

Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, made this position known in a statement in Abuja on Saturday.

Mr Shehu noted that the EU observers were invited to the country by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and welcomed by the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.

He stated that this action was a clear indication of the administration’s good intentions, commitment to a purely democratic process and desire to improve on the next elections.

The EU noted in their report that there were marked improvements from previous elections, although stating that more work needed to be done.

”The administration of President Buhari will work with all Nigerian citizens, state institutions, parties, civil society, the media and other experts to make sure that the improvements recommended by the EU are implemented, and that these areas of concern are addressed.

”It is noteworthy that INEC is in receipt of a number of recommendations that form a part of the EU report.

”The Presidency assures that the Commission is in safe hands and happy that they are currently engaged in root and branch reviews of the 2019 general elections and will input lessons learned into its recommendations for electoral and constitutional reforms.

”We believe that the commission conducted a good election and will continue to improve on its processes and procedures,” he said.

While it is regretted that the elections in a few parts of the country witnessed some violence, among other shortcomings highlighted by the EU, Mr Shehu said none of these hitches affected the overall outcome of the elections.

He said: ”Thankfully, EU did not question the results of the presidential election.

”For instance, on page 3 in its Executive Summary, the EU said: ‘positively, the elections were competitive, parties were overall able to campaign and civil society enhanced accountability’.’’

He said that the report also acknowledged that INEC made a number of improvements, including making electoral participation more accessible through simplified voting procedures.

According to the report, INEC made efforts to strengthen electoral integrity by issuing regulations making smart card readers mandatory.

Mr Shehu observed that on page 4 of the report, the EU noted that the elections were competitive with a large number of candidates for all seats although the competition was primarily between the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party.

He said the report further noted that ”parties and candidates were overall able to campaign, with freedoms of assembly, expression and movement broadly respected.

”On Page 5, the report noted that the EU EOM media monitoring over 46 days showed federal government-owned media’s commitment to balanced election coverage.

”It said that positively in almost all observations party agents received copies of the results forms, adding that the National Collation Centre for the presidential election was open to party agents and observers, and was continuously televised.

”Again on page 37, the report said the national collation centre for the presidential results was open to party agents, observers and the media with each state’s results projected on a large screen.”

The presidential aide added that the report acknowledged that there was continuous live television coverage and the media published the results as announced by INEC, thereby increasing access to results information.

He further noted that Page 41 under section ‘RESULTS AND STAKEHOLDER REACTION’, EU said: ‘‘YIAGA Africa announced that the results were consistent with its parallel vote tabulation that INDEPENDENTLY projected the results based on a sample of 1,515 polling units.

”The two leading parties won 96.8% of the valid votes between them.’’

According to him, this is further proof that the polls reflected the overall will of Nigerians, and that the world is solidly behind the election of President Buhari for a second term.

The European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) in Nigeria had on Saturday briefed newsmen on the EU EOM’s report.

The Deputy Chief Observer for the EU, Hannah Roberts, addressed the news conference in Abuja, while Maria Arena, EU Chief Observer had earlier presented a final report with recommendations for electoral reforms.

The EU report prioritised seven recommendations of the 30, one of which was that Nigeria should Strengthen INEC procedures for the collation of results to improve integrity and confidence in electoral outcomes.

Another recommendation was that electoral tribunals cover pre-election cases in order to improve access to remedy and to avoid petitions being taken to different courts at the same time.

During the news conference, Hannah Roberts had said the EU EOM knew nothing about the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) server that was allegedly used to transmit results of the 2019 general elections.

The main opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had claimed that an INEC server was used to transmit results of the election.

(NAN)

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Nigerian Army redeploys top generals

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The Nigerian Army has announced the redeployment of top generals.

Army spokesperson Sagir Musa announced the deployments in a statement on Sunday evening.

Those affected include one lieutenant general, some major-generals and brigadier-generals.

One of those affected is L.O. Adeosun who was promoted to a lieutenant general last week by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Mr Adeosun was redeployed from being the Chief of Training and Operations to become the Chief of Policy and Plans (Army).

See the full details of the postings as sent by Mr Musa, a colonel, below.

Nigerian Army Redeploys Adeosun, Biu, top Military Officers in New Massive Postings

The Nigerian Army has just released the postings and appointments of its officers. The posting which was approved yesterday by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen TY Buratai is a routine exercise carried out to reinvigorate the system for greater professional efficiency.

The highlight includes the appointment of the newly promoted Lt Gen LO Adeosun, the erstwhile Chief of Training and Operations now redeployed as Chief of Policy and Plans (Army), Maj Gen AO Shodunke from Army Headquarters Department of Army Standards and Evaluation to Defence Headquarters as Chief of Defence Logistics, Maj Gen AA Tarfa from Martin Luther Agwai International Leadership and Peacekeeping Centre to Training and Doctrine Command Minna as Commander, Maj Gen EO Udoh from the Army Headquarters Department of Army Logistics becomes Chief of Training and Operations (Army), Maj Gen MS Yusuf who was the General Officer Commanding 81 Division is now Chief of Administration (Army), Maj Gen JI Unuigbe the former Corps Commander Ordnance becomes the Chief of Logistics (Army) while Maj Gen OF Azinta former General Officer Commanding 2 Division is appointed Chief of Army Standard and Evaluation.

Others include; Maj Gen AB Omozoje of Army Headquarters Department of Policy and Plans is now the General Officer Commanding 2 Division Ibadan. Also, the newly promoted Maj Gen AB Biu is substantive General Officer Commanding 7 Division Maiduguri, Maj Gen JJ Ogunlade from Defence Headquarters becomes the General Officer Commanding 8 Division Sokoto, while Maj Gen JO Irefin from Defence Headquarters Garrison is appointed General Officer Commanding 81 Division Lagos.

The erstwhile Chief of Administration (Army), Maj Gen KAY Isiyaku is now Commander Defence Headquarters Garrison Abuja, Maj Gen AA Jidda from Defence Headquarters is appointed Coordinator Peacekeeping Operations at the Ministry of Defence. Maj Gen JO Oni from Army Headquarters Department of Army Administration takes over as Director Procurement Defence Headquarters from Maj Gen OA Akintade who becomes Corps Commander Ordinance Lagos, Maj Gen OW Ali from Defence Headquarters is now Director Army Physical Training Zaria.

Maj Gen EN Njoku remains at Defence Headquarters and redeployed as Director Communications, Maj Gen CG Musa from Nigerian Army Farms and Ranches Limited is appointed Commander Sector 3 Operation LAFIYA DOLE, Monguno while Maj Gen OT Akinjobi from Headquarters Sector 3 Operation LAFIYA DOLE becomes the Director Standards and Evaluation at Defence Headquarters.

Also, Brig Gen KA Kazir is to remain in Army Headquarters Department of Projects and Programmes and appointed Acting Executive Director of Nigerian Army Farms and Ranches Limited, Brig Gen AE Attu moves from Nigerian Army Resource Centre to National Defence College and appointed Acting Deputy Commandant, Brig Gen MT Usman from Headquarters 28 Task Force Brigade moves to Headquarters Guards Brigade Abuja as Commander taking over from Brig Gen UT Musa who becomes Acting Commandant Martin Luther Agwai International Leadership and Peacekeeping Centre Jaji, Brig Gen GO Adesina remains at the Department of Policy and Plans and redeployed as Acting Director Policy.

Similarly, Brig Gen LA Fejokwu from National Defence College is now the Acting Director Personnel Services at Army Headquarters, Brig Gen EAP Undiandeye from Army Headquarters Department of Army Transformation and Innovation becomes the Acting Director Foreign Liaison at the Defence Intelligence Agency Abuja, Brig Gen JY Nimyel from Nigerian Army Resource Centre Abuja takes over as the Commandant Amphibious Training School Calabar from Brig Gen OO Oluyede who is now Commander 27 Task Force Brigade Buni Yadi. Brig Gen PP Malla moves from 82 Division Garrison Enugu to Headquarters 28 Task Force Brigade Chibok and appointed Commander.

Others are; Brig Gen OM Bello of Headquarters 6 Division Port Harcourt becomes the Commander 1 Brigade Sokoto, Brig Gen MA Etsu-Ndagi from Army Headquarters Garrison Abuja becomes the Commander 9 Brigade Lagos while Col RC Emeh from Defence Headquarters is appointed Assistant Director Army Physical Training at 3 Division Physical Training Group Jos. In the same vein, Col MO Erebulu who just completed a course at Higher War College Egypt is appointed Commander 2 Provost Group Ibadan, Lt Col SA Abimbola from Nigerian Army Operations Centre at Army Headquarters is appointed Commanding Officer 343 Artillery Regiment Elele whereas Lt Col SM Ahmed from 375 Artillery Regiment Baga becomes the Commanding Officer 332 Artillery Regiment Shendam, amongst others.

Meanwhile, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Yusufu Buratai whilst wishing all of them well in their respective appointments charges them to take their new responsibilities seriously and discharge all duties professionally with utmost loyalty to Service and Nation. All the appointments take immediate effect.

SAGIR MUSA
Colonel
Acting Director of Army Public Relations

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Nigerians ‘spent N3 billion in cinemas for first half of 2019’

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Nigerians spent nearly 3, 124, 026, 959 billion Naira to watch box office movies at Nigerian cinemas between January and June.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the figures are according to data provided by cinemas and gathered by the Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria (CEAN).

The year opened with ‘Aquaman’, ‘Chief Daddy’ and ‘Up North’ sitting on the top three of the chart, with estimated combined earnings of 168, 263, 512 million Naira.

The movies maintained their positions until the fourth week when ‘Glass’ debuted at number one with ‘Aquaman’ taking second place and ‘Chief Daddy’, third booting ‘Up North’ to fourth place.

This led to combined earnings of 91, 409, 100 million Naira which fell to N77.2 million as January closed with Kevin Hart’s ‘The Upside’ kicking ‘Chief Daddy’ to fourth place.

NAN reports that earnings remained low for February, making it the lowest grossing month with a total of N291.8 million.

Top spots were alternated between ‘Alita’, ‘Cold Pursuit’, ‘What Men Want’, ‘Escape Room’ and ‘The UpSide’.

By March, viewership picked up steadily and the earnings were almost doubled from that of February leading to a total of 434, 432, 431 million Naira.

‘What Men Want’, ‘Alita’, ‘Hire A Woman’, ‘She Is’, ‘Us’ and ‘Babymamas’ enjoyed a relatively good run in March but a chunk of the earnings and viewership went to Marvel’s flick ‘Captain Marvel’.

At the beginning of April, ‘HellBoy’, ‘Shazam’, ‘Little’ and ‘Us’ continued to share the top spot with ‘Captain Marvel’ until the release of the much anticipated ‘Avengers: Endgame’.

NAN also reports that with ‘Avengers: Endgame’, earnings from April climbed from 186, 929, 188 million Naira in its third week to 342, 382, 389 million Naira in its final week.’

The month, which is the highest grossing in 2019, closed with estimated total earnings of 734, 151, 060 million Naira due to (a) major boost from Disney’s ‘Endgame’.

In May, there was a massive dip in earnings similar to that experienced in February. With ‘Endgame’, ‘The Intruder’ and ‘Longshot’, it earned a total of 367, 498, 554 million Naira.

The fall in viewership is usual after a global holiday such as Christmas for December/January and Easter for April.

The numbers picked up in June with ‘John Wick’, ‘Godzilla’ and ‘Aladdin’ leading the numbers. They were supported by ‘Anna’, ‘Men In Black’, ‘Dark Phoenix’ and ‘Bling Lagosians’.

June opened with 161, 132, 714 million Naira but closed with 100, 663, 647 million Naira leading to a total earning of 576, 322, 779 million Naira.

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Igbos can’t be president, Nigeria will be fully Islamized in few years – Former Senate President Adolphus Wabara

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Adolphus Wabara, a former Senate President has expressed fear of Nigeria not surviving the next 20 to 30 years, a disintegration he said may not happen unless the country is fully Islamized. 

The Abia-born politician and member of the Board of Trustees, BoT, of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, also claimed that signs of making Nigeria a full Muslim state is already manifesting and President Buhari will not hand over to anyone who is not part of the Fulanization agenda. 

Senator Adolphus Wabara reportedly said “I believe what is happening is an agenda, it’s just that some of us, we are media friendly, but we don’t have easy access to the media to cry out every of your thought or whatever you say and we say things like that, sometimes the journalist will not take them seriously except if it comes from one with the stature of Obasanjo that you just mentioned,” Sun reported. 

“I have always been of that opinion anytime I had the opportunity of talking to the press on that particular topic. I have read how Turkey became a Muslim state, 100 per cent, so to speak Muslim state and those signs are manifesting in my great and blessed country called Nigeria.

“I foresee this country as it is today if it survives another 20, 30 years Nigeria will be a mono-religious state, a Muslim state, then Nigeria would have been Islamized and not only being Islamized because if you talk of Islam, you don’t even know where you belong and I will rather say Nigeria would have been Fulanised because even within among the Muslims they are also confused.

“You see many Muslims who will not support what the Fulani’s are doing to us today, so if you talk of Islamization they will disagree with you, so what we are getting is Fulanisation of Nigeria because those who want to Fulanize Nigeria are indeed not true Muslims, they are nomadic Muslims who do not even believe in Islamic teachings neither do they believe in Western education, no wonder President Goodluck Jonathan attempted to bring education, nomadic education to them and what happened, it failed and it has failed till today because they are not interested in any form of education except their cattle, that is what they believe in.

“But the true Muslims of the North believe in Islam and they believe in peaceful co-existence between other religions in the country, but these Fulani people, they are basically not even Nigerians, they are mainly from Mali, Mauritania, etc, so they are territorial, no wonder they are talking of moving their cattle from one end to another and in the process they will Fulanize whatever territory they are.

“So, I foresee and I want to be quoted that the way we are going, if we don’t find a solution to our problems, particularly security-wise Nigeria will become Fulanized in the next couple of years and that is why I deeply regret and I hope anyway that my party, the PDP and specifically Atiku Abubakar will thrive in the tribunal. This is because Nigerians are looking forward to his doctrine of restructuring the country that is the only way we can save Nigeria from Fulanisation.

He also shut down the prospects of having an Igbo President in 2023;

“The answer is no, if you want a sincere answer from me. You cannot be talking of the Fulanisation of Nigeria and you are thinking of an Igbo president coming in between 2023 for eight years, no. It is a project, Fulanisation of Nigeria is a project and it cannot be interrupted, I hear somebody from the Southwest is hoping to take over in 2023, it doesn’t matter whether he is a Muslim, but the truth of the matter is that he is not a nomadic Fulani, so there is no way power can shift to the South in 2023 and we the Igbo do not have what it takes to fight for it.

“As at today’s Nigeria, we don’t have what it takes to fight for it, where are we? Is it in the security apparatus of the nation? Where is the Igbo man, anything we have achieved or have been achieving is all personal efforts and in some cases community efforts.

“You hear of people stealing billions of naira, how many Igbo people have been mentioned? This is because you have to be where the money is before you can steal it.

“And this money they are using to Fulanize us, it is this money that you use to conduct an election and you know what happens with the election. So, we are not there unless you want to deceive yourself, we will not be there in 2023, mark my word.”

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