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Disquiet in Benue APC over Council Chairmen

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From Attah Ede, Makurdi

Crisis is brewing among members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Benue State following dissolution of elected local council chairmen and appointment of new ones by the state governor, Hycinth Alia.

On Monday, the party said it has uncovered a plot by unnamed officials of the Benue State Government to stage a protest against the governor.

The party in a statement by its State Publicity Secretary, Daniel Ihomun made available to newsmen in Makurdi said the plot in the APC-controlled state had been “deeply hatched and their first experimental step was the call on the party chairman in the state, Austin Agada to resign without advancing any genuine reason.

The statement read: “The party views this act of sabotage as portending grave danger to the unity of the state and the party, if people who claim APC membership and are working under an APC state government would undermine their President, the Senate President and the SGF in an open protest in their quest to stifle the hands of government on a matter of law.

“Much as the organizers are free to express themselves, taking steps that would embarrass Mr. President and his administration is unacceptable and must be halted.

“The party therefore calls on the Inspector General of Police and the Benue State Commissioner of Police to monitor closely this planned protest which may wear a semblance of solidarity march but with a sinister end motive.

“The party equally calls on the Governor of Benue State, Hyacinth Alia to monitor the activities of unscrupulous elements around his government who are using his name to perpetrate acts that are capable of plunging the state into anarchy that would necessitate the declaration of a state of emergency.

“All security agencies in the state are enjoined to be on alert to check the activities of this group that seems to undermine the peace of the state and is hellbent on planting divisive tendencies. The general public should please, take note of this Nollywood script.”

Recently, the 23 local government chairmen of the APC had accused Governor Hyacinth Alia of allegedly alienating the party and stakeholders and running the affairs of the state without carrying anyone along.

In a related development, the Special Adviser to the Governor of Benue State on Business, SME and Micro Finance, Benedict Akombo has resigned his position.

Akombo, in a letter he addressed to the governor said the resignation took immediate effect.

He said the governor should kindly accept the letter as his formal notice of resignation saying he had carefully considered his decision and had decided to pursue new opportunities that align better with his long term career goal.

“While I value my time working with you right from the campaign period as Director of Finance and appreciate the opportunities for growth and development that have been provided to me, I believe it is done for me to move on to the next chapter of my life.

“I wish you a successful tenure on your mandate and also pray the Almighty God continue to give you the wisdom and ability to turn the bend and govern the state towards the path of growth and development.

 “Thank you for your understanding and support throughout my stint with our great party, APC and the state government,” Akombo stated in his letter.

The Senior Special Assistant to the State Governor on Youth Mobilization and Empowerment, Moses Mkeenem has, called on the state chairman of the party, Austin Agada to resign his position.Mkeenem said Agada should resign for lack of competence and allegedly instigating the revolt against the governor.

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JAMB Closes 2024 UTME Registration, Says Mock Slips Ready for Printing

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The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), says  registration for its 2024 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME)  ends  on Monday, Feb.26.

The board made this known in its Weekly Bulletin of the Office of the Registrar in Abuja.

The 2024 exercise began on Monday, Jan.

15,  in over 700 Computer Based Tests (CBT) centres nationwide.

JAMB said that almost two  million candidates had so far, successfully registered for the 2024 examination and a total of 260, 249 candidates indicated interest to sit for its mock examination.

The optional mock UTME, it further said, was scheduled to hold on Thursday, March 7.

“Those who have registered to sit for the 2024 UTME mock are to proceed to print out their mock notification slips from Tuesday, Feb.

27.

“The notification slips indicates the candidates’ registration number, venue, time and date of the examination and other necessary instructions.

“It is imperative for candidate to be aware of this vital pieces of information which are necessary for their participation in the examination,” the board said.

JAMB further added that candidates could print the slips from anywhere they found convenient access to the internet.

“Candidates are to visit www.jamb.gov.ng, click on e-facility and print their slips,” it added.

Reports says that the 2024 UTME is scheduled to hold from Friday, April 19 to Monday, April 29 at its accredited CBT centres nationwide. (NAN)

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“We did not Seal NLC Secretariat” – Police

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Police did not seal the secretariat of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) at Yaba, Lagos, on Monday as being rumoured, police spokesman in Lagos State, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, has said.

Hundeyin told newsmen that the Commissioner of Police, Mr Adegoke Fayoade, only went to the NLC secretariat to address protesters.

He was reacting to the rumour and giving reasons for heightened security upgrade in hotspots around Lagos on Monday.

Heavily armed police operatives were seen at Gani Fawehinmi Park, Ojota and other parts of Lagos on Monday, in readiness for a planned protest by organised labour.

The NLC and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) had scheduled a nationwide strike for Feb.

27 and Feb. 28 to protest what they called hardship currently being faced by Nigerians.

They charged that the hardship was inflicted on Nigerians following hike in prices of goods and services consequent upon the removal of fuel subsidy and the free fall of the naira.

The TUC, however, pulled out of the scheduled protest on Saturday.

Hundeyin told NAN that the police proactively arrived at the NLC secretariat and at other hotspots to ensure adequate security for planners of the strike and to prevent their procession from being hijacked by hoodlums.

“The Commissioner of Police, Mr Fayoade addressed the protesters before the procession took off in his presence.

“The procession was peaceful and without any untoward incident,’’ Hundeyin said, adding that Mr Fayoade personally monitored the security operation and the protest.

He stated that the protesters neither caused traffic obstruction nor got involved in violent activities.

He explained that the procession moved from Yaba area to Maryland, stressing that the police were with the protesters all the way.

“The protesters played their part well and did not obstruct traffic.

“The police provided adequate security and ensured the procession was not hijacked. Everything went fine.

“All the protesters have since dispersed. It has been a good day,’’ Hundeyin stressed. (NAN)

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VP Shettima Arrives Enugu for project Inauguration

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Nigeria’s Vice President, Sen. Kashim Shettima, on Monday arrived  Enugu State for project inauguration.

Shettima, who arrived Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu at 9.

52a.m. with a Presidential Jet 5N-FGW, was received by Gov.
Peter Mbah of Enugu Enugu, Hope Uzodimma of  Imo, Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra and Francis Nwifuru of Ebonyi.

Others are Sen. Rochas Okorocha, former Secretary to the Federal Government, Anyim Pius Anyim, Traditional Rulers, Government Officials and many South-East dignitaries.

The visit is his first to the South-East since he assumed office on May 29, 2023.

He is expected to attend South-East Business Roundtable and formal launch of South-East phase of the Light Up Nigeria Project.

He is also expected to inaugurate Aba Integrated Power Project being organised by the Management of Geometric Power Limited. (NAN)

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