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NNPP faithful decry distorted party logo on ballot paper

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The New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) faithful in Cross River have raised concerns over the distortion of the party’s logo on the ballot paper.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Presidential and National Assembly elections was largely peaceful in Ogoja Local Government Area of Cross River on Saturday.

However, a cross section of NNPP party faithful who spoke with NAN after the elections, noted that there were some discrepancies in the party logo on the ballot paper which made it difficult for to cast their vote rightly.

Wilfred Bonse, the NNPP Gubernatorial candidate for Cross River noted that the logo was completely defaced, adding that the experience was quite horrendous

“Very unfortunately, the NNPP was not represented on the ballot papers as should have been.

“I struggled very hard to even recognise as a candidate of the party at the level of the gubernatorial position to recognise the logo of the NNPP.

“The NNPP logo is a basket of fruits, but I unfortunately found a mixed coloured basket not of fruits but probably something that looked like one or two yams without even NNPP written under.

“That’s a fiasco, total fiasco. Even when some of our candidates and agents were trying to capture it on picture and videos as evidence, they were attacked.

“So, this is a very big gang up and conspiracy if you like against the NNPP. The other parties have their logos clearly stated.

“The Peoples  Democratic Party (PDP) for instance had the umbrella well captured, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and even the Labour Party (LP).

“I struggled very hard to find ours and bearing in mind that one is not supposed to start teaching people on the election ground how to locate your logo.

“So, the experience we had today was quite horrendous,” he said.

Bonse urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to come clean, adding that the situation was not acceptable by NNPP.

He stressed that the issue would be addressed at the highest level.

“Every party has a logo wherewith it has educated its followers and those logos must be spelt and clearly stated as it is in every representation.

“We will take this up at the highest level for sure.

“This is not acceptable and some of the videos which have gone viral were being attacked, particularly our senetorial candidate, Carolyn Williams for attempting to take photos of the ballot papers.

“Her phone was being confiscated when she also tried to do a video of what the NNPP logo on the ballot paper looked like.

“So, this anomaly has to be corrected as soon as possible because the elections must be seen to be free and fair,” he said.

Carolyn Williams, Cross River North Senatorial Candidate of the NNPP said there was an intentional attempt to sabotage the effort of the party by INEC and some unscrupulous agents.

“I think we were sabotaged because firstly, my party logo didn’t even look like my party logo.

“Then when you go to the House of Representatives and Presidential elections, the party logo was totally different.

“It had stars on it, a complete contrast to our party’s authentic logo which has a fruit basket.

“So, alot of our supporters and voters were confused because they couldn’t recognise the party logo and it brought alot of chaos and instability in the voting process,” she said.

Williams also revealed that were pockets of violence in some wards and some irregularities recorded.

“We had some issues in West ward I and West ward II where our party agents took off due to fear of the All Progressives Congress (APC) boys.

“So, there were no other agents but only the APC boys there and even when I got there I was attacked and had to quickly leave.

“Even the INEC officials and presiding officers wouldn’t let me take evidences of the ballot papers.

“In West ward I, we had issues where the voters couldn’t recognise the party logo and some of them got confused and started voting for the likes of PDP when they couldn’t find the NNPP logo.

“So, I don’t think this election was free and fair. I feel NNPP was sabotaged and therefore this election should have a re-run as far as I am concerned,” she said.

Simon Akpa, INEC, Assistant Electoral Officer for Ogoja told NAN that he was not aware of the issue as it had not been formally reported to INEC as of today (Monday).

Akpa, however, said that if the report was true and what was obtainable not just in Ogoja but also in other parts of the country, then the party had the constitutional right to file an official complain to INEC for further investigation.

“The complain has to be officially transmitted from the national level of NNPP to INEC, at that level the commission will give prompt attention to the issue.

“However, if the issue was a peculiar one to a particular constituency and not a general concern, the complain might not really hold water.

“But if the same concerns were raised and observed all over the country, then it will definitely be looked into by the electoral commission,” he said.

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Emirate crisis: FG will be held responsible for violence in Kano – Atiku

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Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, the 2023 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has said that the President Bola Tinubu-led Federal Government would be held responsible if violence breaks out in Kano State over the emirate crisis.

Atiku said Tinubu’s government was inviting anarchy to Kano State by providing security for the deposed Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado-Bayero.

On Friday, Governor Abba Yusuf had deposed Bayero while reinstating Lamido Sanusi as the 15th Emir of Kano.

Posting on X, Atiku cautioned the federal government against destabilising Kano State.

According to Atiku: “The action of the Federal Government in deploying soldiers in Kano in the tussle over the throne of the ancient city is an upset to the peace and security of the state, and also in breach of the 1999 Constitution as Amended.

“The foregoing circumstances happened within the confines of the law and in compliance with the powers conferred on the governor as provided by Section 5(2) of the 1999 Constitution as amended; and also in consultation with the kingmakers of Kano, reappointed Sanusi Lamido Sanusi (also known as Muhammadu Sanusi II) as the 16th Emir of Kano State and accordingly handed him a letter of appointment.

“It is surprising that in the early hours of today, exactly at about 5:30 am the former Emir of Kano, His Majesty Aminu Ado Bayero, backed by Federal might made their way into the Nasarawa Palace of the Kano Emirate while the reappointed Emir, Muhammadu Sanusi II was at the Gidan Dabo, which is the main residence of the Emir of Kano.

“In this wise, the former Emir could not have made his way into the Nasarawa Palace without the support of the Federal Government having done so with the support of the army and other security personnel in his company. The deployment of soldiers in extra constitutional matters such as this undermines the integrity of the Nigerian military.

“We need to remind the Tinubu administration that Kano State is known for peace and harmony spanning thousands of years and any attempt to destablise the peace of the Land of Commerce shall be resisted. Recall that Muhammadu Sanusi II was dethroned on 9th March, 2020: dethroned, Kano forged on in peace without any fracas.

“We wish to state unequivocally that if for any reason, law and order breaks down in Kano State, particularly Kano Municipal, the Federal Government should be held responsible as the act of providing security cover to the former Emir, Aminu Ado Bayero to come back to Kano is an invitation to anarchy.”

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Justice’ll prevail – Deposed Kano Emir Bayero breaks silence

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The deposed Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado-Bayero, has said justice will prevail over the issue surrounding the emirates in the state.

Bayero urged relevant authorities to ensure justice because nobody is above the law.

Governor Abba Yusuf of Kano State had dethroned Bayero as the 15th Emir of the state.

Speaking on Saturday, the deposed Emir urged residents to maintain law and order. He spoke at the mini-palace where he has since returned to after his dethronement.

According to Ado-Bayero: “I call on the people to remain law-abiding while awaiting the outcome of the legal process in this tussle.

“We call on the authority to do justice in this matter. Kano is a very influential state in Nigeria. Whatever affects Kano affects Nigeria. May peace reign in Kano. We pray for Allah to bless Kano with responsible and just leaders.

“Justice is the way to go on every issue. There will be justice. Nobody is above the law. We will accept whatever the law says. I appreciate all the people who have shown concern. As I said, justice will take its course. We will keep on praying for peace in Kano State. May Allah the Almighty protect us.”

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Nigerian airports most expensive globally – NAHCO

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Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc has set an N100 billion revenue target within the next five years.

The projection was made known by the Group chairman of the company, Dr Seinde Fadeni, at the sideline of its Annual General Meeting held in Lagos on Saturday.

In achieving this, the company noted that it had concluded plans to diversify its investment portfolio to create new jobs and contribute significantly to resolving the country’s foreign exchange crisis.

NAHCO which was established in 1979, provides aviation cargo, aircraft handling, passenger facilitation, crew transportation, refuelling and aviation training services from its base at Murtala Muhammed International Airport.

According to Fadeni, the company is convinced that the food export holds significant potential for foreign exchange earnings because of its impact on the livelihoods and prosperity of Nigerians.

He said though the company is navigating safely around the myriad of challenges confronting the air transport space, he urged the government to look at ways to improve airport infrastructure and reduce the financial burden for airlines and passengers to keep pace with the future growth plan.

He said ” NAHCO believes that the government at the centre should work towards reducing the financial burden for airlines and passengers by reviewing applicable taxes. This way, more payees would be brought into the tax net. Not too long ago, the International Air Transport Association declared that Nigerian airports charge foreign airlines about 27 levies.

“This makes Nigerian airports the most expensive in the world, discouraging airlines from flying into the country. This is not the kind of laurel Nigeria should be proud of. It is a disincentive to investment for both active and prospective investors. The government should address this situation. Government should also heed the industry’s calls for the harmonisation of the regulatory environment, particularly at the ports in a way that aligns with global best practices. The nation’s Ease of Doing Business mantra should be in practice and not in theory only.”

He further said that though multiple cost-related challenges characterised 2023, the increased cost of handling an aircraft cannot be easily passed on to the airline by ground handling companies because any proposed rate hike would require the approval of the industry regulator – Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.

He said, “The very act of getting new rates approved has its challenges as well. It is therefore not uncommon to see ticket prices rising geometrically while ground handling rates charged by service providers to airlines remain solidly stagnant.

“Our push towards birthing a global integrated logistic giant is taking good shape with the coming into operations of new subsidiaries.”

Also speaking, its Group Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer, Indranil Gupta said the company intends to diversify investment into other sectors of the economy to grow.

“We will continue to leverage our strength and market insights to pursue organic and strategic growth initiatives to expand our market presence and revenue streams

“We plan to comprehensively refresh our fleet of ground support equipment to replace ageing equipment and increase the numbers in our fleet to meet the ever-increasing customer needs and expectations.

“We are already embracing digitalisation and innovation, investing in cutting-edge technologies and solutions to enhance our service offerings, operational efficiency and competitiveness. By harnessing the power of data analytics, automation and predictive maintenance, we aim to stay ahead of the industry trends and deliver superior value to our clients ”

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