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Votes sold for N20,000 in Bayelsa — Election Observers

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Votes sold for N20,000 in Bayelsa — Election Observers
• A Vote Buyer
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An election observer group, Connected Development (CODE), has expressed dismay over verified reports of vote buying, saying votes were sold for as high as N20,000 in Market Square, Ogia Town Ward of Ogbia Local government area of Bayelsa state.

It added that votes buying were also witnessed at Ama-Ukwu Umuawaka Square Ward, of Njaba LGA, Imo state where votes were traded for as low as one N1,000, describing the practice as disturbing and must be halted.

Its Director, Democracy and Governance and head of Uzabe Elections Situation Room, Emmanuel Njoku, disclosed this while addressing a midday press conference in Lokoja, Kogi state.

He noted that it was heartening to report that the overall atmosphere in all three states had been peaceful and calm.

Njoku commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the early deployment of Ad hoc staff and materials which ensured the early commencement of voting in various wards.

He added priority voting for the elderly had been observed in various locations like Mopa-Muro LGA in Kogi (Pandaya Market) and Ekeremor LGA (Ayama Ward) in Bayelsa amongst others.

Njoku added: “Disturbingly, in Bayelsa, Market Square Ogia Town Ward of Ogbia LGA, verified reports of vote buying have surfaced, with amounts going as high as N20,000. This was also observed at Ama-Ukwu Umuawaka Square Ward, of Njaba LGA, Imo state where votes were traded for as low as one thousand naira. This practice is disturbing and must be halted.

“As we anticipate further developments as voting is gradually coming to an end in many polling units across these states, sorting, counting, collation of results, we earnestly call upon all stakeholders to maintain their commitment to a peaceful electoral process.”

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Njoku stressed that Bayelsa witnessed delayed voting in Kanabiri comp Ward of Sagbama LGA due to the absence of party agents, and late arrival of INEC officials at Yenogoa-Fankpo Square Ward.

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He noted: “An incident in Ekeremor LGA (Azidekeoreyeine Square Ward), involved an individual attempting to abscond with INEC materials, but citizens resolved the situation without injuries. This stands as a testament to the collective power of the masses.

“At Eke-mbutu Market Square Ward of Mbaitoli LGA, Imo state, the BVAS machine malfunctioned and displayed Chinese language, causing a delay that was much later rectified.

“While we cannot conclusively speak to voter turnout at this time, low voter turnout has been reported in some parts of these states. Like we observed at Owerri North at Okwu Uratta Primary School Ward.”

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Peter Obi should be held responsible for anarchy arising from August 1 hunger protest – Presidency

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Bayo Onanuga
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Bayo Onanuga, a senior to President Bola Tinubu, has alleged that supporters Mr Peter Obi, former presidential candidate of the Labour Party, LP, are planning mayhem in Nigeria.

Onanuga claimed that the proposed nationwide protests were being planned by Obi’s supporters, whom he described as failed presidential candidate.

According to him, Obi should be held responsible for whatever crisis that would emanate from the action.

In a post on his X handle on Saturday, Onanuga said the proposed protest planners are also the same people who were instigated by the incarcerated IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu to launch the destructive ENDSARS protest in Nigeria in October 2020.

He wrote: “REVEALED: Peter Obi’s supporters are the people planning mayhem in Nigeria: Obi should be held responsible for anarchy

“Don’t be fooled: the malcontents planning to stage nationwide protests are supporters of Peter Obi, the failed presidential candidate of the Labour Party. And he should be held responsible for whatever crisis emanates from the action.

“The protest planners are also the same people who were instigated by IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu to launch the destructive ENDSARS protest in Nigeria in October 2020. ENDSARS began as a genuine protest by youths against the Police Special Anti-Robbery Squad, notorious for its high-handedness. IPOB members planning to extricate the South East region from Nigeria infiltrated the protest and hijacked it for their own agenda. Lagos still bears the scar of the malicious destruction by IPOB elements until today.

“Two years after ENDSARS, the IPOB and the gullible innocents joined the Labour Party in 2022 to support Peter Obi, a sympathiser of their cause.

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They are the people spreading the hashtags ‘EndBadGovernance’, ‘Tinubu Must Go,’ and ‘Revolution2024’. They are not democrats but anarchists. They are attempting to call out our people via propaganda because their Messiah, Peter Obi, failed to win the Presidency in the 2023 election. As bad losers, they don’t have the patience to wait for another election in 2027; they would rather destabilise Nigeria by staging a civilian coup against President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

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Two brothers drown in FCT River

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Two brothers drown in FCT River
•The river behind the village
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Two brothers, Joshua and Samson, have drowned in a river in Robukya community in Kwali Ward in Kuje Area Council of the FCT.

A relation of the deceased, Musa Abednego, who confirmed the incident to our reporter on Thursday, said it happened on Tuesday around 9am while they were crossing the river.

He said the brothers, Joshua and Samson, were between the ages of nine and 12 and that they were on their way to the farm when the incident happened.

He explained that the victims got drowned following a heavy rainfall which made the river to overflow.

He said, “Their father asked them to hold on after the rain subsided. Unfortunately, they left home to the farm without him knowing.”

Abednego said their corpses were recovered on Wednesday around 4pm through the help of some fishermen, adding they had been buried.

The spokeswoman of the FCT Police Command, SP Josephine Adeh, was yet to speak on the incident.                                              Daily Trust

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CBN intervenes in foreign exchange market

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CBN intervenes in foreign exchange market
Central Bank of Nigeria
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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has started selling foreign exchange on a regular basis through Authorised Dealer Banks and licensed Bureaux De Change (BDCs) as a response to the current fluctuations in the foreign exchange market.

These fluctuations are primarily caused by the demand pressure coming from corporate entities and the seasonal increase typical during the summer period.

By implementing regular sales of foreign exchange, the CBN aims to stabilise the market and ensure smoother transactions for both businesses and individuals involved in foreign exchange activities.

Director, Financial Markets Department of the CBN Dr Omolara Omotunde Duke in a statement on Friday night assured the public of the bank’s commitment to address the demand pressure and stabilize the foreign exchange market.

Highlighting recent transactions, the CBN disclosed that it sold a total sum of US$106,500,000.00 to 29 authorized dealer banks on Thursday, July 18 and Friday, July 19, 2024.

These transactions took place within an exchange rate range of N1,498.00/US$1 to N1,530.00/US$1. Additionally, the CBN purchased US$9,500,000 (Nine Million and Five Hundred Thousand Dollars) from four authorized dealer banks at rates between N1,510.00/US$1 and N1,550.00/US$1. All these transactions are marked for settlement on July 19, 2024.

The Central Bank also stated its commitment to closely monitor compliance with existing trading rules and regulations by authorized dealer banks. This is seen as an effort to promote ethical conduct and ensure stability in the foreign exchange market.

The general public was also advised to direct their foreign exchange demands to their respective banks and BDC operators, adhering to prevailing market regulations.

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With the regular sale of foreign exchange and ongoing monitoring of trading practices, the CBN aims to meet demand pressure, foster stability, and sustain a well-functioning foreign exchange market.

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