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2023: Forum decries pre-election vote buying in Kaduna

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By Idibia Gabriel, Kaduna

Pre-election vote buying and selling by people, mostly women, dominated discussions at the monthly forum with Media on Peace Journalism on Community Initiatives to Promote Peace (CIPP) programme held in Kaduna on Saturday.

Participants at the programme titled: “Interfaith Mediation Centre (IMC) monthly forum with media on peace journalism and political parties representatives” expressed dismay that vote buying and selling are currently thriving in the state ahead of 2023 general election.

In the communiqué issued, participants collectively agreed to carry an aggressive media campaign against the trends after an exhaustive deliberation on its foreseeable demerits to the success of the 2033 general elections with regard to riggings.

Participants also revealed that Permanent Voters Card (PVC) and its contents are being sold by people and bought en-mass by politicians, adding that in some cases the victims who are mostly women also exchanged their PVC for food items and material wealth, including cell phones.

Although there was heated argument on the possibility of using details of the sold PVC to rig election by politicians without the consent of the owner among other things, the debate was, however, inconclusive due to lack of expert ideas.

The communique signed by Rev. Michael Ikpa of IMC, John Eric of Kaduna Youth Peace Network and two others participants, however, promised to extend the debate to INEC on advocacy for clarity on the matter to clear doubts.

While they called on Media practitioners to be objective in their reportage and to be an agenda setters in promoting peaceful coexistence in Kaduna State and the country at large, participants also noted that the initiative is part of the CIPP Programme with support from IMC.

The groups called on the citizens of the State to shun ethnic and religious inclination that would polarized and instigate hatred and disunity among the citizenry.

The National Electoral Commission (INEC) was urges to stopped incidents of inconclusive elections and ensure the transmission of election results electronically in accordance with the 2022 amended electoral Act.

“Religious leaders should not use their sermons and congregation to preach disunity during, before and after the elections, so as not to cause division among fellow citizens in the State and Nigeria as a whole.

“Media practitioners in the country should sensitize and educates Nigerians not to see the 2023 general elections as a do or die affairs.

“Media owners in Kaduna State and the country should support and equip their reporters with modern equipments so as to enable them discharge their duty effectively during the coverage of the general elections”.

It was observed that there is reduction in banditry, kidnapping and terrorism in the State and attributed this success to the ongoing continues efforts by the State relevant security operatives and the Nigerian Military, media and bodies, urging them to sustain the tempo.

Consequently, eligible voters in Kaduna and in the country were charged to desist from selling their voters cards to politicians because of hunger and poverty.

Critical stakeholders in the State and the nation should continue to sensitise citizens, particularly youth against involvement in political thuggery before, during and after the general elections.

The communique further decried the past experience of votes buying at the polling units and called on the relevant agencies to re-enforce their constitutional power to arrest any culprit politician that engaged in vote buying to serve as deterrent to others.

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CBN disowns notice on cryptocurrency transactions

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The Central Bank of Nigeria says a notice circulating on social media about the risk of cryptocurrency is fake news.

The Apex disclosed this via its official X account, urging the public to disregard the purported notice for all Deposits Money Bank, Non-Bank Financial Institutions, and other Financial Institutions.

The notice reminded “Institutions that dealing in cryptocurrencies and facilitating payments for cryptocurrency exchanges is prohibited”.

However, CBN said the content doesn’t originate from it.

“This information does not originate from the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“For authentic updates, please visit the official website,” CBN wrote.

Recall that the CBN governor, during the Bank’s 293rd Monetary Policy Committee meeting, said over $26 billion funnelled through Binance.

On Tuesday, the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ola Olukoyede, said the anti-graft agency froze about 300 accounts to ensure the safety of the foreign exchange market.

The Nigerian government had continued clamping down on Binance and other cryptocurrency platforms amid efforts to defend the Naira in the foreign exchange market.

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Biden says U.S. will begin sending weapons to Ukraine

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U.S. President Joe Biden wants to start delivering of weapons and equipment to Ukraine this week.
The president said this shortly after the U.S. Senate approved billions of dollars in new aid for the country under attack from Russia.
“I will sign this bill into law and address the American people as soon as it reaches my desk tomorrow so we can begin sending weapons and equipment to Ukraine this week,” Biden said.
By passing the legislative package, which also includes billions of dollars in aid for Israel and Taiwan, the U.S. Congress has demonstrated the power of American leadership in the world, Biden added.
“We stand resolutely for democracy and freedom, and against tyranny and oppression.”
There is an urgent need for support for Ukraine, which is being subjected to relentless bombardment from Russia, Biden said.
The bill also contains aid for Israel, which has recently faced unprecedented attacks from Iran.
“This critical legislation will make our nation and world more secure as we support our friends who are defending themselves against terrorists like Hamas and tyrants like Putin,” Biden said.
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NSCDC deploys personnel to JAMB CBT centres in Anambra

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The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), said it has deployed personnel to ensure a hitch-free 2024 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) in Anambra.

The state Commandant, Olatunde Maku, stated this after monitoring the conduct of the exams across CBT centres in Awka, on Wednesday.

Some of the centres visited are, Integral Development Konsult on Enugu/Onitsha Expressway, White House in Awka, JAMB Centre located inside JAMB office in Amawbia and Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.

Others are St. John of God ICT Hub, Awka and Kachukwu Ventures Staff Development Centre, behind Government House in Awka.

The examination centres take candidates in three batches: 7 a.m., 10 a.m. and 12 p.m.

Maku said that the synergy between NSCDC and the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) had yielded positive results in reducing exam malpractice.

He said that the monitoring of the centres would continue till the end of the examination period, to ensure a seamless conduct of the exercise and promote transparency.

“We are firm in our determination to protect critical national assets and infrastructure including JAMB centres.

“Which was why the NSCDC deployed personnel to JAMB CBT centres in the state to ensure security and so far they have been professional in carrying out their mandate,” he said.

Maku advised candidates writing the 2024 UTME to be law abiding and avoid being in possession of prohibited or incriminating items during the examination.

He warned unauthorised persons against loitering around designated exam centre, adding that anyone found wanting would be arrested and prosecuted.

Also speaking, Mrs Jema Iheme, JAMB Coordinator, Anambra state, commended NSCDC for their support and for ensuring security of candidates and staff at the exam centres.

Iheme said that the swift response of NSCDC to emergencies and enforcement of exam rules and regulations was contributing to a smooth and secured exam process so far.

NAN also reports that about 1.9 million candidates are expected to write the JAMB UTME, which commenced on April 19 and would end on April 29.

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