NIGERIAN NEWS TODAY

[1] Vote Buying Is Cancer To Our Elections – INEC Chairman
The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, has described votes buying as “cancer” to Nigeria’s electoral process. Yakubu stated this on Thursday at the presentation of certificates to 21 out of the 23 newly registered political parties in Abuja, the nation’s capital. “Votes buying is cancer to our elections that we must work together collectively to stamp out,” he said.

According to the INEC boss, the commission is deeply worried about a situation whereby political agents woo voters with cash during elections; a development local observers said characterised the Ekiti Governorship polls on July 14. In view of its negative effect of vote-buying on the electoral process, Professor Yakubu said he was committed to curbing it. He vowed that INEC would not tolerate vote buying in the forthcoming Osun State governorship exercise slated for September 22, 2018.

In doing this, the electoral umpire will collaborate with security agencies in identifying, arresting and prosecuting both givers and receivers of cash inducement in the election.
[3p2] FG Declares Tuesday, Wednesday Public Holidays For Eid-El-Kabir
The Federal Government has declared Tuesday, August 21, and Wednesday, August 22, as public holidays for the celebration the 2018 Eid-el-Kabir. Minister of Interior Abdulrahman Dambazau announced the decision on Thursday, a statement by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mohammed Umar, said.

The minister wished Nigerians a happy Eid-el-Kabir celebration and urged them to embrace the virtues of love and sacrifice for the unity and development of the country. He also called on Nigerians to support the Federal Government as it is determined to foster peace and unity in the country.


[3] “ The Press Is Not the Enemy of The People,” Senate Declares in Resolution
The Senate unanimously passed a resolution by Democrats on Thursday condemning attacks on the free press and affirming that "the press is not the enemy of the people," President Trump's label for the media.

The move came as more than 300 newspapers and other media outlets joined The Boston Globe in publishing editorials Thursday promoting freedom of the press and refuting Trump's denouncements.

"We can't let statements by the president declaring the press is the enemy of the people go unchallenged," said Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii. "Both parties complain about the media but who would argue with Thomas Jefferson who wrote that “our liberty depends on the freedom of the press and that cannot be limited without being lost."

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., joined Schatz in introducing the resolution, which passed with unanimous consent by voice vote.

[4] We Didn’t Pay A Dime To Free Dapchi Girls, FG Reacts To UN Report
The Federal Government has rejected a report by the United Nations, which claimed it paid a “large ransom” to secure the release of the abducted Dapchi schoolgirls. Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, denied the claim in a statement on Thursday night. He challenged anyone with evidence of such payment to publish it.

”It is not enough to say that Nigeria paid a ransom, little or huge. There must be a conclusive evidence to support such claim. Without that, the claim remains what it is: a mere conjecture,” the Minister was quoted as saying in a statement by his Special Adviser, Segun Adeyemi. A United Nations report submitted to the Security Council had detailed how Boko Haram was funded and indicated that the payment of ransom and the predominance of cash economy aided the terrorists.

The report, dated July 27, 2018, was called ’22nd Report of the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team’ and it contained information about the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant – ISIL – (Da’esh), Al-Qaida and associated individuals and entities.

[5] FG, Governors Ready To Decentralise Police – Osinbajo
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo says the Federal and state governments are committed to the decentralisation of policing in Nigeria. According to a statement by the Special Assistant to the Acting President on Media and Publicity, Mr Laolu Akande, the objective of the decentralisation is to improve the level of policing and security in the country.

The statement was released on Thursday night, hours after the National Economic Council (NEC) backed the Federal Government’s plan to decentralise the police. Apart from backing the plan, the NEC set up a committee comprising state governors and the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to ensure its actualisation.

Other issues discussed at the meeting include the remittance of tax by state governments, the development of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and an update on the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee. Read the full statement from the office of the Acting President about the NEC meeting below:

[6] Benue University Shut Over Violent Protest
The management of the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, has shut down the institution indefinitely. This followed a violent protest by students of the institution in reaction to an accident which reportedly claimed the lives of some of their colleagues on Wednesday in the Benue State capital. The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Professor Richard Kimbir, informed reporters that the incident forced the school authority to closure the institution.

He said, “This morning (Wednesday), I got an information that there was an accident on campus, and a student died. So, I rushed there but I only saw the vehicle.” “So, I rushed to the clinic where I was told that that the accident claimed one life, one of the students and the others injured were moved to the Federal Medical Centre.” Professor Kimbir said the protests that followed turned violent and vehicles, offices and the school clinic where vandalised.

But some of the students who spoke to Channels Television insisted that three of their colleagues died, contrary to the figure given by the VC. They said the victims were on their way to the ICT centre on the campus before vehicle conveying them had an accident.

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