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Gov Alia  Swears in BSIEC Chairman, other Commissioners

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From Attah Ede Makurdi 

The Benue State governor, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia, on Thursday swore in the newly-appointed chairman of the Benue State Independent Electoral Commission (BSIEC), Dr. John Chen , and other commissioners with a charge on them to fostering a transparent electoral process that could enhance public trust and confidence in the democratic institutions.

The appointees are to oversee the affairs of the state electoral body with a view to conducting local government elections.

The swearing-in ceremony which was held at the New Banquet Hall Government House in Makurdi, followed approval of their appointment by the state’s House of Assembly last week.

Those screened, confirmed and subsequently sworn in, were Dr. John Chen who is the Chairman, Theodore Iordye Uchi, Solomon Aikighe Deva, Edache Isaac, Mrs. Gloria Clement, and Peter Baba Ogagbolo as well as Terhemen Shom.

However, the State house of assembly refused to confirm Dr. Gisaor Vincent who was nominated by the Governor for the post of the commission’s secretary  over his nasty post insulting the Tiv people on Facebook

In his address at the ceremony, governor Alia urged the new appointees to demonstrate courage and steadfastness in the face of challenges and assured  that his government stands firmly behind the  commission.

The governor stressed that he  cannot overemphasize the importance of unity and resilience in overcoming obstacles; together, they can achieve great progress and prosperity for the state.

He called on all well-meaning citizens of Benue State to join hands with BSIEC in ensuring the success of our democratic process, adding that together, they can build a future where fairness, justice, and progress reign supreme.

“In  nominating each member, we were guided by the law establishing the commission, which unequivocally demands that the chairman and members possess unquestionable integrity. This underscores the critical role that the commission plays in laying the foundation for our democracy, as the Local Government Councils and council wards serve as the primary interface between the government and the people.

“I entrust upon you the responsibility of ensuring the consolidation of democracy at this vital level by conducting elections that are free, fair, and credible, accurately reflecting the will and aspirations of the people of Benue State. Our people deserve nothing less than a system where their voices are heard through their votes”,he said.

He commended members of the State Assembly for conducting rigorous screening process and their prompt attention to the nominations and confirmations, stressing that each of the  appointees were selected based on their nonpartisan stance, outstanding qualifications, integrity, and unwavering commitment to democratic principles, which are fundamental to the progress of the state and the core principles required for the survival of  thriving democracy.

Responding, the newly-sworn in BSIEC chairman, Dr. John Chen commended the state government for the opportunity to serve even as he assured that the electoral umpire would conduct credible local government polls when the time comes.

NEWS

Insecurity: We’ll Win the Battle Against Criminals – Ododo

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Gov. Usman Ododo of Kogi on Wednesday vowed to lead and win the war against criminal elements in the state.

Ododo stated this during the inauguration of the Nigeria Police, Metropolitan Quick Response Unit office complex in Lokoja.

The Ododo administration initiated and executed the project within 90 days, as part of measures to enhance security network in the state.

The governor said his administration would not condone security breach, warning that: “I’m decisive in taking the fight to criminal elements’ hideout to wipe them out completely in the state.

“This is because my administration is not one that will be preoccupied by trying to deal with security challenges without an end.

“I am not here to do my best. I am here to defeat criminals.

“In fact, we are winning the war against insecurity and we are very intentional about our work to strengthen the state’s security architecture.”

The governor reiterated his administration’s commitment to combat crimes and ensure the safety, security of lives and property of the people.

According to Ododo, the Metropolitan Quick Response operation is a proactive step to enhance security and build upon the solid foundation of the state’s security architecture, which started under the administration of Yahaya Bello.

“Nothing would be spared to guarantee safety and security in every inch of the state.

“The Metropolitan Quick Response Squad aims to ensure a safe environment for all residents and visitors in Kogi, with a focus on 24-hour response capability, enhanced intelligence gathering, and community-based approach to policing,” he said.

While commending the security agencies for their dedication and sacrifices, Ododo pledged to prioritise technological enablers to enhance intelligence gathering capabilities in combating emerging security threats.

He acknowledged President Bola Tinubu’s commitment to reverse security challenges nationwide, and pledged continued support to the Federal Government’s war against terrorism.

The governor enjoined residents of the state to be vigilant and to provide credible information to the security agencies to eliminate criminal elements.

The Commissioner of Police, Bethrand Onuoha, commended the governor for his resilience in tackling crimes in the state.

Onuoha said the edifice would give the response squad ample space to operate and help the police and other agencies in dealing with criminal elements.

The quick response squad is a security initiative in partnership with the Rapid Response Squad of the Nigeria Police and the state’s Joint Task Force to tackle criminal activities. (NAN)

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Cleric Urges FG  to Avert Planned Youth Protest

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  The Chief Imam of Lagos State University, Prof. Amidu Sanni,  has advised the Federal Government to do its possible best to avert the planned nationwide youth protest.

Sanni said that the government could  initiate urgent  actions that would reduce the cost of living as a strategy to stop the protest.

The cleric spoke in an interview on Wednesday in Lagos.

Some groups  had  threatened to stage the protest over hardship in the nation.

The protest is proposed to start from Aug. 1 and end on Aug. 10.

Sanni said that the  protest should be avoided because it could be hijacked by hoodlums to cause violence.

“Some political players  may also cash in on the situation for personal reasons.

“Such politicians should be disappointed  by the government through making things easy for the citizens and averting the protest.

“What the national government needs to do is to set in motion, a feasible, visible and sustainable means of addressing food insecurity.

“It should make foods  affordable and available,” the cleric said.

He said that immediate, medium and long-term measures with scalable and verifiable outcomes were urgently indeed. (NAN)

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Tinubu Signs Development Commission Establishment Bills

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President Bola Tinubu has signed into law bills to accelerate development across geo-political zones in the country.

This is contained in a statement by Chief Ajuri Ngelale, the Special Adviser to the President, Media and Publicity, on Wednesday in Abuja.

The statement said the President assented to the North-West Development Commission (Establishment) Bill, 2024, and the South-East Development Commission (Establishment) Bill, 2023.

According to the statement, the North-West Development Commission is set up to facilitate the reconstruction of roads, houses, and business premises destroyed by multidimensional crisis.

It is also expected to tackle poverty, literacy level, ecological problems, and any other related environmental or development challenges in North-West states.

It added that the South-East Development Commission was established to ensure the reconstruction and rehabilitation of roads, houses and other infrastructural damages suffered by the zone.

It is also expected to tackle ecological problems and other related environmental or developmental challenges in South-East states.

“President Tinubu believes in building the nation on the fulcrum of fairness, equity, and unity.

“Hence, he is committed to ensuring equitable development, inclusive governance, and the provision of qualitative services to all Nigerians — no matter where they reside — while knitting even more tightly together the national fabric,” it said. (NAN)

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