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Following a suit that was lodged by the African Action Congress, AAC, the Federal High Court in Abuja, on Tuesday, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to suspend the counting of results of the Rivers State Governorship and House of Assembly elections.

The court, in a ruling by Justice Iyang Ekwo, said the electoral body should maintain status quo ante till Friday when it would hear and determine the merit of the substantive suit that was filed before it.

AAC lodged the suit alongside its governorship candidate in Rivers State, Mr. Biokpomabo Awara.

The order was sequel to an ex-parte motion the plaintiffs filed for an order to stop INEC from going ahead with its decision to count and collate pending results from 17 local government areas of the state.

INEC which earlier stopped the entire election process in Rivers State, had declared its intention to resume the collation of the results of the March 9, 2019 elections.

The decision of the electoral body to resume the collation process on Wednesday followed the report of a fact-finding committee it had set up to investigate allegations that elections in Rivers state were fraught with manifest irregularities.

Meanwhile, the court has ordered the accelerated hearing of the suit by the AAC candidate who had since asked INEC to declare him the winner, insisting that he garnered the highest number of valid votes cast.

Awara, who enjoyed the support of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and the Minister of Transport, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, maintained that with results already on ground, he clearly defeated the incumbent Governor of the state and gubernatorial flag-bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Mr. Nyesom Wike.

Specifically, the plaintiffs, prayed the high court for an order of interim injunction restraining INEC from resuming, collating or announcing the results of the suspended elections in Rivers State.

Though the court made interim preservative order to safeguard the subject matter of the suit, it however ordered INEC to appear on Friday for hearing of the case.
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The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) will on Saturday graduate 20,799 students, with 103 of them to be awarded First Class certificates.

The event will be the eighth annual convocation ceremony of the university.

The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Abdalla Adamu, disclosed this at a press conference on Tuesday at the institution’s headquarters, Jabi District, Abuja.

Mr Adamu said as a weapon of mass instruction, people are now accepting Open Distance Learning (ODL) as a way and system of self-training.

He said following President Muhammadu Buhari’s assent December 7, 2018 to the National Open University Amendment Act, graduates of the university will henceforth participate in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).

He said its law graduates can also go to the Nigerian Law School.

Mr Adamu said the Act allows the National Open University to operate as other universities in Nigeria.

He said NOUN also has the same power and functions and the same administrative structures as other universities, thus eliminating discrimination against its products.
“Negotiations have started between NOUN and agencies responsible for NYSC and Law School. We are also willing to accept whatever conditions are given to accept our students in Law School and NYSC.”
The vice-chancellor said NOUN gives hope to the hopeless in Nigeria in the pursuit of university education.
“It is only NOUN that gives opportunity to prisoners to study, while at the same time serving their jail terms.
“Presently, we have more than 400 prisoners who are studying under NOUN. There is also a particular prisoner who was sentenced to life imprisonment, but he is undergoing his PhD studies. Very soon we will engage him as our facilitator.”
Mr Adamu also revealed that a former Nigerian president, Olusegun Obasanjo, receives N40,000 annually as an allowance for being a facilitator of the university.
“Mr Obasanjo’s allowance is N40,000 a year and he is happy being our facilitator. He has an office in our Abeokuta Study Centre, where we attached to him two students of Christian Theology.”
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The Federal Government is to increase Value Added Tax by 50 per cent to pay the new national minimum wage, Budget and National Planning Minister Udo Udoma said Tuesday.

Mr Udoma said the rise, first announced by the chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Babatunde Fowler, will create the required funds to meet the new wage obligation being approved by the National Assembly.

Messrs Udoma and Fowler were amongst senior government officials who today appeared before the Senate Committee on Finance headed by John Enoh.

The Senate on Tuesday passed for third reading a bill seeking to increase Nigeria’s minimum wage from N18,000 to N30,000.

The House of Representatives earlier passed the same bill. Both houses must agree and the president must sign the bill to become law.

The officials were summoned by the Senate committee to explain details of the 2019-2021 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP).

Mr Fowler said the proposed payable VAT based on the increment would be between 6.75 per cent and 7.25 per cent as against the 5 per cent on all products in the country.

This implies an increase of between 35 per cent and 50 per cent.

He added that the increment will affect the Company Income Tax and the Petroleum Profit Tax.
“By the end of this year, we should be ready for an increase in the VAT. A lot of Nigerians travel to Ghana and other West African countries and they can see that theirs is much higher. They pay when they go for those trips. We should be ready for an increase on VAT,” he said.
“I can certainly see an increase in VAT of at least 35 per cent to 50 per cent this year based on our enforcement activities. There certainly will be an increase in Company Income Tax and also on Petroleum Profit Tax,” Mr Foweler said.
Mr Udoma explained that the increment is necessary in order to create funds for the minimum wage.
“It will be recalled that as a result of agitations from the unions that the President set up a tripartite committee to look at the Minimum Wage.
“Every five years, it is supposed to be reviewed. It has not been reviewed even though there is no doubt that for both the Federal Government and states; it is a tough time to review wages. But the N18,000 is really too low and it is difficult for people to live on N18,000.
“The President supported a revision but it is important that as we are revising (the Minimum Wage), we make sure that it can be funded. That is why we set up the Bismark Rewane Technical Committee.
“So we will be coming to you. There may be some changes maybe in VAT and other things. But we will be coming to you in order to make sure that we can fund the Minimum Wage.
“Not just fund the Minimum Wage but as you announce it, you now enter into negotiations with those above the Minimum Wage and we have to be prepared for that.”
On wages of workers above the minimum wage, Mr Udoma said a new scale would be subject to negotiations which will start soon.
“On minimum wage, there is an issue of what about the other levels. Those will be subject to negotiation. Normally after you announce minimum wage, you’ll now (go) into negotiations, probably demands from people who are earning more than that.
“It (new wage) will be subject to those negotiations. The federal government will have a negotiation, the state government will have negotiations. At this level, we’ll also throw open our books and show in terms of ability to pay will be taken into account.”
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The aviation sector is key to the growth of the tourism and hospitality industry as over 57% of international tourists now travel by air. It is, therefore, not a surprise that the International Air Transport Association (IATA) recently said that air transport contributed $8.2 billion to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product.

This figure will no doubt increase astronomically if Nigeria’s aviation sector can be repositioned for better service delivery. However, before this can be achieved, there are certain challenges that need to be addressed.

The first point of call for any international tourist is the airport. Hence, it has to offer first class services right from the point of entry. Nobody wants to visit a place where they will be harassed by the airport, customs or immigration officials like it is the case in some Nigerian airports.

A smart and tech solution to largely bypass some of these officials in the interim is for you to book your flight with Jumia’s hotel and flight services arm, Jumia Travel and ensure that you check-in early. 

Jumia Travel has simplified the task by enabling you to search domestic and international flights offered by major airlines in Africa at the cheapest price. You can also find and compare flights, book/buy flights and buy air tickets online with ease using Jumia Travel.

This will not only save you a lot of time but will also ensure that you get through security quicker without too many hassles at the airport.

Unequivocally, the aviation sector is capital intensive. To run an airline, you need millions if not billions of dollars in your coffers. As such, quite a number of local airlines with huge potentials have gone under.

Beyond refurbishing the airport, airlines especially the local ones have to partner. The truth is only a handful of airlines can survive without partnership. On the government’s part, they need to consider granting the airlines' tax breaks.

Ultimately, this partnership will reduce airfares thus encouraging more Nigerians to travel. This automatically means that the hospitality/travel business will be smiling to the bank.
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PDP Senatorial-Elect representing Anambra Central Senator Uche Ekwunife, who was among the list of 100 senators announced by INEC in their official document from the March 9 elections, earlier today also received her Certificate of Return from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at the famous International Conference Centre, Abuja

Senator Ekwunife accepted her certificate in good faith and pledged her commitment to a successful tenure. 

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She said;
I was presented with the CERTIFICATE OF RETURN as the duly elected Senator representing ANAMBRA CENTRAL SENATORIAL DISTRICT of Anambra State by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC Nigeria).
During the 9th Assembly, be assured of an effective, democratic and more inclusive representation...
Thank You all and God Bless. #AnambraCentral 🇳🇬
Image may contain: 3 people, indoorImage may contain: 2 people, people on stage and people standingImage may contain: 3 people, people smiling, people standing and wedding

Recall that, of the 100 senatorial seats declared by the INEC, five positions are occupied by women.

They include two new senators (Aisha Dahiru, Adamawa Central and Uche Ekwunife, Anambra Central) and three returning lawmakers (Oluremi Tinubu of Lagos West, Rose Oko of Cross River North and Stella Oduah of Anambra North).

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YPP Senatorial Elect representing Anambra South District Dr Ifeanyi Ubah today received his Certificate of Return from INEC, which he accepted in good faith and pledged his commitment to a successful tenure
"Today being the 14th of March, 2019, at the International Conference Centre, Abuja with my lovely wife, Mrs. Uchenna Ubah, I received my Certificate of Return from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), as the duly elected Senator of Federal Republic of Nigeria.
I will be representing the good people of Anambra South Senatorial District at the Ninth Senate Session from 2019 - 2023.
As I look forward to start my legislative duty, I will be making a difference and at the same time working towards the Recovery of Igbo Economy through the instrumentality of the legislature and my party ideology. 
This is my bond with Ndi Anambra South!
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
God bless Anambra State.
God bless Anambra South."

More Photos Below

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The increase in internet and mobile penetration, as well as affordability of smartphones in Nigeria, have prompted a lot of businesses and companies to invest and launch mobile apps. The Jumia Mobile Report 2018 confirmed that mobile penetration increased from 53% in 2016 to 84% in 2018 while the cost of phones sold on Jumia was priced at an average of $216 in 2016, and by 2017 the price had gone down to $100.

With more and more smartphones in the hands of consumers, they are more likely to use their mobile apps for shopping. This is actually true as the Jumia Mobile report discovered that 79% of customers accessed the Jumia website via their mobile, 18% via desktop and 3% via tablet.

Six Benefits of Using a Mobile App Whenever you Shop 

1. Little data needed for installation

One important reason why some people do not download certain apps is because of the data required for its installation. To download some apps, you need as much as 30 to 40 Mb. This is not the case with the Jumia mobile App. For just 7.5 Mb, you will have the Jumia app on your phone!

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We all want to manage our data. So, we avoid any website or app that will 'eat' it up. The Jumia Mobile app does not consume data, plus you will enjoy smoother and faster browsing. Shop more on low data with the Jumia Mobile App.

3. Enjoy an additional 5% discount

Jumia Pay is Jumia's response to customer demand for easy and secure payment solutions. Therefore, to encourage you to use the Jumia mobile app whenever you shop, Jumia Pay will offer you 5% off your order. To enjoy this 5%, you should select Jumia Pay as a payment method.

4. Mouthwatering discounts on treasure hunt & flash sales

Jumia offers fantastic discounts on different products and the only way you can enjoy the discount is when you use the mobile app. You will enjoy a 99% discount off products with Treasure Hunt. For example, the Jumia Home Makeover kicked off on Monday, March 11th and on Thursday & Friday, March 14th & 15th, you can buy a Scanfrost washing machine which cost 45k for N500. The same goes for the flash sales, you will get 50% off.

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Jumia gives out a lot of app vouchers every day. You can only use the voucher when you shop with the app. No App, no voucher. Imagine buying a 30k appliances and get 2k off your order. In addition, you can also get 5% off if you use Jumia Pay.

6. Exclusive product launch + deals on the app

By activating the push notification of your Jumia mobile app, you will get exclusive information about Jumia product launch and deals on the app. Due to this information, you will be the first to buy these exclusive products and enjoy the deals.
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The Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Emeka Ihedioha, has emerged the Imo State governor-elect. He polled 273,404 votes to defeat 69 other candidates including his closest rival, Uche Nwosu of Action Alliance who scored 190,364 votes.

Announcing the results at the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Owerri at exactly 10.08 pm on Monday, the state returning officer, Prof. Francis Otunta, said the All Progressives Grand Alliance candidate, Senator Ifeanyi Ararume, polled 114,676 followed by the All Progressives Congress candidate, Senator Hope Uzodimma, who scored 96,458 votes.

The Accord Party candidate, Ikedi Ohakim secured 6,864 votes.

He said,
“We have been working since Saturday to elect a credible governor for Imo State. The total registered voters is 2,221,008; Accredited voters is 823,743.
“The total votes cast is 714,35; rejected votes 25,130;  total valid votes is 739,485.”
Declaring Ihedioha the winner of the polls, the returning officer said, “I, Francis Otunta, hereby certify that I am the returning officer for the Imo state elections. That the election was contested and the candidates received the following votes.

According to the new elected Imo state new elected governor cousin brother "Ezeugomoh" The CEO, New Monument Concept who is also one of imo state multi talented singer, reacted to the outcome of the gubernatorial election in Imo state with massive post on the social media

According to the The CEO, New Monument Concept, Ezeugomoh, congratulations are in order to the new governor-elect, Emeka Ihedioha as Imo has been liberated.  

Wrote on the Twitter: "I Don't want any position in my state government, I just want to be  (Nwanne Governor)"

According to an interview asking him why he did all his things alone during the campaign, he said:

"Why I did a one man campaign with my own social media platform is because he is my brother he doesn't need to beg for it or even pay for it, I don't need to attend to his meetings because I'm not an outsider I started supporting him with my little money since I know him and I'm happy he made me proud in 2019 governorship election being his brother is enough for me let other Zone enjoy his Government I'm son of the soil and I want the best for my state "IMO State"
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A young Nigerian woman who is helping thousands of sexual and domestic abuse victims has been named Commonwealth Young Person of the Year.
Twenty-eight-year-old Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi is among four exceptional young people from India, Nigeria, the Solomon Islands and Saint Lucia have won prizes at the 2019 Commonwealth Youth Awards in recognition of their efforts to end hunger, sexual violence, sanitation issues and climate change.
A ceremony was held today at the Commonwealth’s headquarters in London, where winners shared a £12,000 grant for their innovative projects.
The Commonwealth Youth Awards regional winners are:
  • Africa and Europe: Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi, Nigeria, focus on SDG 5: Gender Equality
  • Asia: Padmanaban Gopalan, India, focus on SDG 2: Zero Hunger
  • The Caribbean and Canada: Johanan Dujon, Saint Lucia, focus on SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  • The Pacific: Bobby Siarani, Solomon Islands, focus on SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
Oluwaseun, who also scooped the overall prize of 2019 Commonwealth Young Person of the Year, set up the ‘Stand to End Rape’ (STER) initiative.
Image result for Nigerian woman named Commonwealth Young Person of the Year for abuse support programme
A survivor of sexual violence herself, she set up the service to offer support to women, men and young people who have experienced any form of gender-based abuse in Nigeria.
STER trains healthcare workers how to deal with survivors and provides them with free health kits such as HIV tests.
Speaking at the awards, she said:
“I dream of a future where this work is not required. I dream of the day when sexual violence is completely eradicated from this world.”
Oluwaseun’s work has reached over 200,000 people providing pro-bono medical, legal, mental health, educational and empowerment services.
Her sentiments were echoed by an Indian socio-entrepreneur, Padmanaban Gopalan, who hopes to end hunger.
He founded the ‘No Food Waste’ programme in India which sees 12,000 volunteers collect surplus food from parties and restaurants. The volunteers then deliver it to ‘hunger spots’ in India to feed the hungry.
He said:
“My programme has recovered over 650,000 meals in my country which have benefited nearly one million people.”
From Saint Lucia, Johanan Dujon founded an indigenous biotechnology company ‘Algas Organics’. His company develops commercial agricultural products from harmful Sargassum seaweed.
These products unblock fish landing sites and reduce the harmful effect of the seaweed’s hydrogen sulphide emissions on local communities.
Speaking at the ceremony, he said: “Saint Lucia heavily depends on tourism. This seaweed problem has been having a crippling effect on our tourism and local fishery sector.
“We have developed a process to transform this seaweed to highly quality fertiliser that we now export to other countries.”
Johanan hopes to use his grant to expand his work to other affected small island states in Africa and the Pacific.
Solomon Island’s advocate for sustainable livelihoods, Bobby Siarani, founded a bio-gas initiative to address waste disposal and sanitation issues. The project delivered biogas-based construction workshops to over 500 young people and has provided clean energy to hundreds of people in rural areas of his country.
Bobby plans to use his Commonwealth grant to take his initiative to remote areas in the Solomon Islands.
Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland, who presented the awards, said:
“The pace, depth and scope of development in any society depend on how well its youth are nurtured and supported.
“This means providing the space for young people to thrive, to contribute and to realise their potential.
“In such an environment, they are able to exercise their rights and citizenship, and to find fulfilment and purpose; passing on to others the gains and positive values that come from the true community.”
Every year the Commonwealth Youth Awards for Excellence in Development Work recognise the exceptional contribution of young people, aged 15-29, of 53 Commonwealth countries who are leading initiatives in view of the sustainable development goals.
From more than 500 nominations from over 45 countries, 16 finalists were chosen by a panel of judges including representatives of high commissions, partner organisations and young leaders.

Image result for Nigerian woman named Commonwealth Young Person of the Year for abuse support programme

The 12 additional finalists for the awards were:

Africa and Europe:

  • Alice Mukashyaka, Rwanda
  • Brenda Katwesigye, Uganda
  • Turatsinze Mafigi Victor, Uganda
  • Siti Najihah Kamilah Binti Latif, Brunei
  • Sai Venkata Satya Kedar Illa, India
  • Shanza Khan Shahani, Pakistan
The Caribbean and Canada:
  • Ryan Robinson Perinchief, Bermuda
  • Ashley Komangaapik Rose Cummings, Canada
  • Curmira Gulston, Trinidad and Tobago
The Pacific:
  • Sivendra Michael, Fiji
  • Zoe Paisley and Lisa Paisley, Fiji
  • Angelica Salele and Isabell Rasch, Samoa
This is the 30th year of the Commonwealth Youth Awards which are run by the Commonwealth Youth Programme (CYP) to promote the innovation, creativity and potential of young people in solving socio-economic and environmental challenges.
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Mavin Records duo DNA is releasing two brand new singles “Star” & “Ayo” . These tracks debut a new and developing sound that showcases the evolution of Clinton and Blair Roberts as artists and performers. 

“Star” is a chilled-out, mood-setting follow up to “Sinnerman”, their December track also produced by Freddie Beats.

“Ayo” was produced by Ozedikus, who brings a distinctive international take on the Afrobeats sound, mixing DNA’s fun, club-ready vibe with an unexpected Middle Eastern melody.

Stream, download & enjoy “Star” and “Ayo” now on Boomplay, Youtube, Apple Music, Deezer and Spotify.

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The Senior Pastor of This Present House, Founder of House of Freedom, Nigeria Dr Tony Rapu and Iconic Nigerian Gospel singer Sammie Okposo paid a courtesy visit to EeZee Conceptz Villa in Lagos.

The highly respected personalities were received by the entire team of EeZee Conceptz including signees - the sensational Mercy Chinwo and newest member of the family Judikay.

Recall that last month, Founder of Revival Assembly, Apostle Anselm Madubuko and wife Emmy Kosgei, veteran actor Hilda Dokubo, music minister Chris Morgan were present at the villa when Judikay was officially signed to the label. It is safe to say that the great work which EeZee Conceptz is doing in the 'Gospo-sphere' is attracting dignitaries, just like that bible verse puts it.

Moreover, on February 14th, EeZee Conceptz hosted the Gospel Online Media at the Villa in Lagos. It was a time of bonding and resolving impending issues plaguing the industry as far as the online media and artiste relationship is concerned. The next day, 15th of February, EeZee Conceptz and crew, including sensational artiste Mercy Chinwo invaded Alaba Market to express 'excess love' to the community.

The CEO of EeZee Conceptz Ezekiel ThankGod aka EeZee Tee commening on the courtesy visit said:

"It's only the beginning. Our attention is to attract the attention of the whole world while doing the kingdom business with excellence and precision. We are leaving no stone unturned." 

EeZee Conceptz is the record label behind the success story of Mercy Chinwo. The record label recently signed and released 2 singles - "Idinma" & "More than Gold (Remix)" featuring Mercy Chinwo - for music minister Judikay. Also, EeZee Tee is the manager behind artistes such as Frank Edwards, Preye Odede and more.

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News just reaching us has it that the Nigerian Government have banned Boeing’s 737 Max 8 aircraft from operating in its airspace.

The decision was announced by the Minister of Aviation (State), Hadi Sirika, at the end of the weekly meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), which held Wednesday in Abuja.

The meeting was chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Addressing journalists at the end of the meeting, Mr Sirika said the decision follows the recent crash involving the aircraft type owned by Ethiopian Airline.

The crash killed all 157 persons on board on Sunday morning. The flight was heading for Nairobi, Kenya.

The Ethiopian crash occurred about five months after Indonesia’s Lion Air-operated Boeing 737 Max also crashed into the sea killing all on board after taking off.

Mr Sirika said he had earlier tweeted that there was no cause for alarm as no operator in Nigeria was using the type of airplane.

He said the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority has already issued an advisory statement saying
“that nobody should fly out of Nigeria or into Nigeria using the 737 Max pending the determination of the actual cause of the crash in Ethiopia and also pending the outcome of the response of the manufacturer themselves which is Messrs Boeing”.
The minister said regardless of the enormous safety records of the 737, it has caused concern for the world of aviation.
“We have issued directives that no operators with 737 (8) or (9) should operate into or out of our airports,” he said.
The decision by the Nigerian Government follows a similar decision taken by several other countries.
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Adamawa Coordinator of NYSC Malam Abubakar Mohammed has lauded corps members who served as ad-hoc staff during the General Election in the state for good conduct.

Mohammed, in a statement on Wednesday in Yola, said the 2,656 corps members that served as ad-hoc staff deserved commendation for exhibiting neutrality and coming out clean in the exercise.

Mohammed said the Director-General of NYSC, Maj.-Gen. Suleiman Kazaure, represented by the Deputy Director Human Resources, Mr Ahidjo Yahaya was in the state to monitor the election.

He said the visit was particularly to monitor the conduct of the corps members, adding that the conduct of the corps was highly impressed.
“The Director-General of NYSC, Maj.-Gen. Suleiman Zakari Kazaure and the entire staff of NYSC are impressed with the conduct of our patriotic corps members for doing a good job.
“I am very sure their parents and other loved ones are also happy with their general performance, characterised by neutrality and professionalism,“ he said.
The coordinator lauded the public for their support and cooperation to the corps members during the exercise.
“Our sincere gratitude goes to INEC, security agencies, politicians and the electorate for backing and cooperating with our corps members, before, during and after the elections.”
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A group of protesters under the egies of Save Nigeria Democracy Group (SNDG) Wednesday took their protest to the national headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to express their opposition to the spate of inconclusive elections declared by the commission.

The protesters said the results from the just-concluded elections “did not reflect the true voting direction of Nigerians”.

As early as 9 am, the protesters arrived in their numbers at the Unity Fountain in Abuja, carrying different placards with inscriptions such as “The People’s mandate cannot be stolen”, “Atiku will not congratulate Buhari”, “Prof.Yakubu must resign”, “Inconclusive election is a shame”, and “Atiku will get justice,” among many others.

While addressing the INEC representative, who came to receive the protesters, the leader of the group, Tijani Abdulmumuni, said it has become necessary at this point for all well-meaning Nigerians to halt and take a critical review of the events that characterised the just concluded elections which he added portend danger to democracy in Nigeria.

Abdulmumini said INEC’s refusal to conclude the collation of results from select states gives credence to the allegation that certain elements are out to drag this country into chaos which must be rejected at all cost.
“This latest show of desperation has further strengthened earlier concerns of widespread voter suppression, targetted violence, militarization of the political space and systematic inflation of figures that punctuated the presidential and National Assembly elections.
“It also heightens the fear of the dire consequences of the federal government muscling INEC and the nation’s security into turning blind eyes to obvious infractions and violations of the federal constitutional provisions and Electoral Act and the regulations/guidelines regulating the 2019 general election and went ahead to uphold and announce a tailored result that only serve the ruling APC,” he said.
The leader of the group said both the international and local observers have reported the bias in the use of the smart card reader machines.

He said that while INEC dutifully enforced the use of the card reader in the South-south, South-east and the North-central zones of the country, which are essentially opposition strongholds, it failed to do so in the North-west, North-east and the South-west which were estimated as the APC stronghold.
“We wish to place on record that the monumental electoral fraud and manipulation which have very negative implications on the credibility, transparency and integrity of the entire elections constitute a latent threat to our democratic development.
“Against all known rules of decency and fairness, the deliberate violations which include the widespread non-usage or selective enforcement of the use of smart card reader (SCR) machines are also an indictment in the sight of the international community,” he said.
Other infractions on electoral process listed by the group included the deliberate non-deployment of result form EC 8 to polling centres, the barricade by armed military personnel to deny the agents of opposition political parties access to collation centres, the recording of falsified figures and violent attacks at opposition strongholds.
“In the North-west, the deplorable use of battalions of underage almajiri was the order of most frontline states in addition to armed thugs unleashed on voters.
“The figures said to have been recorded in those troubled regions are as ridiculous as they are questionable, suspicious and unacceptable.
“It is therefore worrying, embarrassing and a glaring insult for such inflated figures to have been presented, accepted and declared as results from such states despite the abiding fear of vicious banditry,” he said.
The protesters, who chanted solidarity songs, asked Nigerians to rise and reject the results and push for immediate redress.
“We declare that the results that eventually came out of the flawed exercise of 23 February did not reflect the true voting direction of Nigerians and are capable of setting a dangerous precedent and exposing democracy and our collective nationhood to danger if allowed to stand.
“We specifically call on the civil society, youth groups, the elders and leaders of various communities, and the international community to expose such monumental fraud, and to hold that President Buhari has woefully failed as a leader with genuine intentions and capacity to save our democracy and the future unity of the country.
“Finally, with this, we hereby reaffirm our total rejection of the entire exercise and the concocted results that emanated therefrom,” the protesters said.
While receiving the protesters on behalf of the commission, INEC’s Assistant Director of Security, Kelechi Madumere, commended the group for a peaceful exercise, assuring them the commission will do everything possible not to betray the trust Nigerians have in the commission.
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Black box found among the wreckage of doomed Ethiopian Airlines plane as eyewitnesses describe the horror

As passengers and governments grow increasingly nervous about MAX 8 aircraft, the regulators have issued strict orders to Boeing.

The US Federal Aviation Administration has demanded Boeing make design changes to its 737 MAX aircraft by next month as doubt continues to set in over the safety of the best-selling aircraft used worldwide.

In a notice to the international community a day after the fatal crash of an Ethiopian Airlines MAX 8, the FAA deemed the US-made 737 MAX planes airworthy but outlined changes Boeing needed to deliver by April.

They included “flight control system enhancements” and changes to an automated protection system called the Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System, or MCAS.

The FAA also said Boeing would update training requirements and flight crew manuals to reflect those updates.

It had been reported Boeing had planned design changes after the fatal crash of a Lion Air 737 MAX 8 in October, but the FAA notice is the first public confirmation of this.

The notice from the FAA also noted external reports had drawn similarities between both crashes.
“However, this investigation has just begun and to date, we have not been provided data to draw any conclusions or take any actions,”
according to the Continued Airworthiness Notification to the International Community for Boeing 737 MAX 8 operators.

Airlines in China, Indonesia, Ethiopia, the Cayman Islands and Singapore have grounded MAX 8 jets in the wake of Sunday’s tragedy while passengers grow increasingly nervous about flying the planes.

Earlier, US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said there would be “immediate action” if regulators identified any safety issue with the 737 MAX planes.
“If the FAA identifies an issue that affects safety, the department will take immediate and appropriate action,” Ms Chao told reporters.
“I want people to be assured that we take these incidents, these accidents very seriously.”


Investigators have recovered both black box recorders from the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 that crashed just outside Addis Ababa, killing all 149 passengers and eight crew.

It’s hoped the flight recorders will help piece together the plane’s final minutes, as witnesses describe the horrific sight of the plane before it crashed.

An airline official said one of the recorders was partially damaged and “we will see what we can retrieve from it.” The official spoke on condition of anonymity for lack of authorization to speak to the media.

The plane was making a strange rattling noise and trailed smoke and debris as it swerved above a field of panicked cows before hitting earth, according to witnesses.

Wreckage is piled at the crash scene of an Ethiopian Airlines flight crash near Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, south of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Monday, March 11, 2019. Picture: AP
Flight 302 took off from the Ethiopian capital on Sunday morning bound for Nairobi with passengers from more than 30 countries.

All on board the Boeing 737 MAX 8 died.

The pilot had requested permission to return, saying he was having problems — but it was too late.

Eyewitness Gebeyehu Fikadu, 25, told CNN he saw it come down while collecting firewood with other locals.

He said:
“I was in the mountain nearby when I saw the plane reach the mountain before turning around with a lot of smoke coming from the back and then crashed at this site.
“It crashed with a large boom. When it crashed luggage and clothes came burning down.
Clothing lies on the ground at the crash scene. Picture: AP
“Before it crashed the plane was swerving and dipping with a lot of smoke coming from the back and also making a very loud unpleasant sound before hitting the ground.”
Half a dozen witnesses interviewed by Reuters in the farmland where the plane came down reported smoke billowing out behind, while four of them also described a loud sound.
“It was a loud rattling sound. Like straining and shaking metal,”
said Turn Buzuna, a 26-year-old housewife and farmer who lives about 300 metres from the crash site.
“Everyone says they have never heard that kind of sound from a plane and they are under a flight path,” she added.
Malka Galato, 47, a barley and wheat farmer whose field the plane crashed in, also described smoke and sparks from the back.
A spokesman says Ethiopian Airlines has grounded all its Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft as a safety precaution, following the crash in which 157 people were killed. Picture: AP
“The plane was very close to the ground and it made a turn … Cows that were grazing in the fields ran in panic,” he said.
Tamirat Abera, 25, was walking past the field at the time. He said the plane turned sharply, trailing white smoke and items like clothes and papers, then crashed about 300 metres away.
“It tried to climb but it failed and went down nose first,” he said.
“There was fire and white smoke which then turned black.”
A passenger passport lies on the ground at the scene. Picture: AP

As the plane had only just taken off, it was loaded with fuel. At the crash site, men in Red Cross jackets and face masks picked through a large crater, stacking clothes in a heap on one side and wrapping corpses in white body bags.

Others sifted gently through victims’ belongings. Children’s books — Dr Seuss’ Oh The Thinks You Can Think and Anne of Green Gables — lay near a French-English dictionary burnt along one edge.

A woman’s brown handbag, the bottom burnt, lay open next to an empty bottle of perfume.

The smell of jet fuel mixed with burned flesh hung in the air, as local villagers watched.

Another heap contained twisted green-and-yellow metal from the fuselage. A lone engine with dents around the edges and several damaged tyres lay nearby. 

The aircraft was broken into small pieces, the largest among them a wheel and a dented engine. The debris was spread over land roughly the size of two football fields.
“When it was hovering, fire was following its tail, then it tried to lift its nose,” said another witness, Gadisa Benti.
“When it passed over our house, the nose pointed down and the tail raised up. It went straight to the ground with its nose, it then exploded.”
Local resident Nigusu Tesema helped gather victims’ scattered identity papers to hand to police.
“We are shocked and saddened,” he said.
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