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Ogun SSG escapes death during autocrash

By Olawale Abdul-Fatah

Barely 12 hours to the commencement of general election, the Secretary to the Ogun State Government, Taiwo Adeoluwa, escaped death when his vehicle got involved in auto crash.

Aside the Adeoluwa, it was gathered that one person was confirmed dead after the auto crash that occurred on Friday.

Sources disclosed to the Guild that the SSG has been rushed to the Federal Medical Center in Abeokuta for treatment.

Confirming the crash, Federal Road Safety Sector Commander in Ogun State, Clement Oladele, hinted that the accident occurred at Kobape area, of the state.

Oladele disclosed that one of passengers, whom he identified as Adesanya, could not survive the accident while the SSG sustained severe injuries.

The remains of Adesanya who was popularly called ‘friend of the governor’ has been deposited at the hospital morgue.

DSS condemns PDP phone tapping claims

By News desk

The Department of State Services (DSS) has denied tapping the telephone lines of Nigerians and dismissed as fake news the allegation by Coalition of Political Parties, CUPP, a political group allied to the PDP.

In a statement by Peter Afunanya, the Public Relations Officer of the DSS, denied that the organisation engages in wire-tapping of the opposition party.

Afunanya said the DSS is committed to its professional ideals and would not engage in unethical conduct.

He said the DSS has been criticised by unpatriotic citizens who fed the public with fake news and hate speeches against it.

The spokesman said that the social media had been awash with wrong information regarding the operations of the DSS that were misunderstood and misrepresented.

“It is obvious that some merchants of violence are determined to use their platforms to misinform the public for their selfish and political ends,” he said.

He warned mischief makers against misleading the public, adding that the law would catch up with them.

“The DSS is a responsible organisation and thus professionally adheres to the ideals of intelligence and security governance expected of it in a democracy,” he said

Afunanya urged the public to disregard the claims of the political group.

He said that the DSS should be left out of politics to maintain its usual transparency and neutrality in the discharge of its mandate.

The spokesman enjoined carriers of fake news and social media manipulators to always think of Nigeria.

Youths protest INEC exclusion from Presidential election ad-hoc staff list

By Olawale Abdul-Fatah

Barely hours to the commencement of the Presidential election, activities at the Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local Government was halted hundreds of youths protested against the list of Ad-hoc staff released by Independet National Electoral Commission, INEC for Saturday’s election.

The protesters claimed that they participated in a three-day rigorous training organized by the commission with the assurance that they would be shortlisted for the exercise.

They lamented that but they were surprised when the commission released names, none of them was shortlisted for today’s election exercise.

Aside that, the angry protesters lamented that the commission has also withheld their training allowance earlier promised.

One of the protesters, Dayo Orebiyi, narrated that they participated in the exercise but were surprised that the commission excluded them from the list.

She urged the commission to reconsider them because they already abandoned other activities for the electoral exercise.

A source within the commission disclosed to The Guild that the protesters were possible those that could not meet the criteria set by INEC for any would be ad-hoc staff.

He explained that the practice by the commission was that they trained more than the needed staff which was a strategy to give them opportunity to select from the pool of trainees.

According to him, the Electoral officers are often advised to train about 5 percent over the required number. After that, they pick from these, the number that is needed for the exercise.

When The Guild contacted the INEC Public Relation Officer in Lagos, Femi Akinbiyi, assured our correspondent to get back to him. But at press time, he was yet to get back.

Gunmen kill 15, abduct six women in Zamfara

By News desk

Police in Zamfara State on Tuesday confirmed killing of 15 persons and kidnap of six women by gunmen in Gusau local government area of the state.

Public Relations Officer of the command, SP Muhammad Shehu, made the confirmation in a statement in Gusau.

Shehu said that yesterday, there was an attack in Wonaka, Ajja, Mada, Ruwan Baure, Doka, Takoka and Tudun-Maijatau villages of Mada district in Gusau area.

He said a woman was among the persons killed, adding that the attackers also kidnapped six women and a man.

“Fortunately, with the efforts of police and sister security agencies, the abducted women have regained their freedom and have re-joined their families.

“Normalcy has been restored to the affected villages, with improved deployment of PMF, CTU, Special Forces and Military teams to the area to forestall further attack on neighbouring villages.

“The attack is presumably a reprisal to the attack on some Fulanis in a J5 vehicle on Feb. 1, 2019 where seven Fulanis and their animals were killed and set ablaze by the outlawed `Yansakai,’ he said.

In another development, the PPRO said that the District Head of Gwashi in Bukkuyum Local Government Area reported to the police that armed bandits stormed Batauna village and killed 11 persons and set houses ablaze.

He, however, said that the details were sketchy to the police due to distance and terrain inaccessibility and lack of GSM coverage in area.

“Units of PMF/CTU/Special Forces and military were mobilized to complement the effort of security personnel already on ground and also confirm the authenticity of the report.

“The entire area and environs have been subjected to co-ordinated bush-combing for possible arrest of the perpetrators.

“The command urges members of the public to avoid taking laws into their hands and always report all complaints and grievances to constituted authority for legal redress.

“Discreet investigation into this dastardly act has already commenced and all perpetrators will be fished out and made to face the full wrath of the law,” he said.

Three dead, 17 rescued in Lagos boat mishap

By Olawale Abdul-Fatah

No fewer than three persons have been confirmed dead and 17 others rescued when a passenger boat capsized in Ikorodu Local Government axis of Lagos State

It was gathered that the 20 passenger boat ran into an already submerged object and capzised mid-sea within the Oke-Ira nla axis while heading to Bayeku area of Ikorodu.

Eyewitness narrated that the mishap occurred at about 12:15pm on Saturday could have claimed more lives but for their life jackets, 17 passengers were rescued.

Confirming the tragedy, General Manager of the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), Mr. Damilola Emmanuel, said all passengers were wearing their life jackets but causality could have been as a result of fear or shock.

According to him, unfortunately three persons were confirmed dead, while 17 persons were rescued alive.

The general manager hinted that an on the spot investigation carried out by the agency revealed that the incident was caused by a submerged object beneath the waterways.

“LASWA sympatise with the families of the deceased and the Agency is committed to achieving a zero incident rate on the waterways through enforced regulations and thorough risk management culture” Emmanuel said

He however noted that the spot of the submerged wreck has been marked to avoid future occurrence while the State Government in conjunction with the Marine Police will conduct a thorough investigation into the incident.

Osinbajo escapes death, chopper crashes

By Olawale Abdul-Fatah

The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, on Saturday escaped death when his chopper crashed in Kabba, Kogi State.

It was gathered that the Vice President was in the state to campaign ahead of this month’s Presidential election.

Confirming the accident, Osinbajo said that none of the passengers onboard the chopper sustained any fractures.

“We are safe and sound. Thank you to everyone who has expressed concern and thank you to the crew who managed the situation well.

“We believe that God will continue to keep us and Nigeria safe even as we go higher. we continue next-level engagement in Kabba, Kogi State,” he added.

The Senior Special Assistant to the Osinbajo on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, narrated that the chopper crash landed on arrival at the location provided by the campaign organisation in the state.

According to him, the entire crew escaped including the Vice President who would be addressing thousands of party loyalist that gathered in Kabba for the campaign.

“VP, Osinbajo’s Chopper crash lands in Kabba, but he and the entire crew are safe. He is continuing with his engagements and plans for the day in Kogi State.

“We give all the glory to God, our able protector and commend all the flight crew officials for their service. We are marching on for indeed we can do all things through Christ that strengthen us.”

After the accident, the Vice President, who was sighted receiving calls at the hotel provided by Kogi chapter of APC, was received by the party’s senatorial candidate, Smart Adeyemi.

During his visit to the Palace of Obaro of Kabba, Oba Solomon Awoniyi, he stated that the Vice President expressed gratitude to God for the trip.

“I give thanks to almighty God for the deliverance from Chopper crash. We are extremely grateful to Lord for preserving our lives from the accident that just happened. everyone of us is safe and no one is maimed.”

While addressing the party members and supporters, Laolu stated that Osinbajo assured them that if they win the election, efforts would be strengthened to ensure that more dividend of democracy are delivered.

Two die, one injure in Lagos collapse building

By Olawale Abdul-Fatah

Atleast two persons have been confirmed dead and one other injured when a three story building in Lagos State collapsed.

Residents disclosed that the building in Ijora Badia, Apapa-Iganmu Local Council Development Area (LCDA) caved in on Saturday minutes after the heavy rainfall experienced across the state started.

It was learned that the building sited on Amosu Street was already abandoned by the owner which had caused it to dilapidate.

After it was abandoned, residents disclosed that the building some person of northern extraction occupied it and serve as shelter even after they were warned to leave.

In other to ascertain no one is left under the rubbles, The Guild gathered that the emergency agencies brought down the building completely

Also, an emergency official disclosed to our correspondent that the building was also brought down to prevent causalities within the community.

Some of the agencies at the scene were the Lagos State Fire Service, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Nigeria Police Force and the Lagos State Neighborhood and Safety Corps.

It was gathered that the structure had been marked by Lagos State Building Control Agency, LASBCA, over five years ago.

Speaking to The Guild, an official, who spoke on anonymity, explained that the two corpse recovered from the scene were handed over to the DPO of Ijora Badia police station.

Protesters disrupt Lagos Assembly activities over Ambode’s planned impeachment 

By Olawale Abdul-Fatah

Scores of protesters on Wednesday stormed the Lagos State House of Assembly, warning the lawmakers to immediately shelve any plan to impeach the State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode.

They argued that the lawmakers’ action was basically to witch-hunt the governor who they described has within last three years achieved more than any other governor in the country.

The protest came barely two days after the lawmakers threatened to impeach Ambode if he fails to explain reasons for his alleged financial misappropriation within seven days.

It would be recalled that the over 36 lawmakers at the plenary on Monday argued that the Governor’s action, which includes spending without recourse to the House and other sundry allegations, violates the 1999 constitution.

The protesters under the aegis of Lagos Peoples’ Assembly, barricaded the State House of Assembly with their placards, expressing their dissatisfaction over the lawmakers action against the governor.

Their placards reads: He is a performing governor, we reject impeachment; Lagos APC should be careful, election is around the corner; Lagosians love Ambode for his good works; We say no to impeachment of the governor and Enough of this intimidation of Ambode.

The protesters in a letter handed over to the lawmakers stressed that they were concerns by the actions of the lawmakers against a governor that has considered the plights of residents as priority.

In the letter signed by Declan Ihekaire, stated that the lawmakers and the executive were partners in business of governance, saying, they must work seamlessly for development of Lagos.

“Our credible investigation revealed that both arms of government are worried that the budget delay would invariably affect the ability of the government to complete various infrastructural projects commenced by the administration littering the state.

“The fear of both parties which is well founded is that opposition would make case of the uncompleted projects as campaign items to disparage the ruling party in forthcoming general elections.

“No matter whatever other hidden factors, this is the main bone of contention leading to the political feud for supremacy between the governor and the assembly,” he added.

The chairman warned that the ongoing impasse if not ended urgently, would act as setbacks for Lagos and could become another campaign slogan ahead forthcoming election.

“As far as we are concerned, if the two tiers of government are determined to ensure that the welfare of the people is the supreme law of governance, then, it should be convenient to find a common ground to resolve any ensuing misunderstanding.

“However, if this impasse is allowed to fester into huge political conflagration, the state and the residents would be the victims of such conflict. Besides, the fact that general election is fast approaching, mischievous detractors of both sides would not hesitate to gain maximum personal aggrandizement from the conflict.

“A situation that has potential to disrupt the state tradition of seamless transition of power and undermine it’s social and economic geometric pace of development.

“We therefore on behalf of the good people of Lagos state, call on both the governor and assembly to shield their swords and concentrate on the dire need to complete all the ongoing infrastructural projects in the state.

“The peace, sustainable development of Lagos and welfare of Lagosians should be the primary, sole and fundamental concern of both elected arms as well as officers of the state.”

Addressing the protesters, majority leader, Sanai Agunbiade, stated that their opinion would be deliberated upon on the floor of the House because the lawmakers were elected by the people.

Agunbiade, who led three other lawmakers to receive the protesters, stressed that there was never any face-off between the executive led by the governor and lawmakers, saying, we are only doing our responsibility as stipulated in 1999 constitution.

“We appreciate the peaceful way they have comported themselves. It is our responsibility to make laws and do other oversight functions as enshrined in the constitution.

“But the people also have the right to observe what we are doing and offer their opinion. We see it as what they have done. We have the mandate of the House to receive any letter from anyone that feels he is not satisfied with the action of the lawmakers or wants the house to legislate on an issue,” the lawmaker added.

According to him, the lawmakers here cannot fully reply to their demands because we are only four. We will report their opinion to the House and deliberate on it.

Six persons die daily crossing Mediterranean in 2018-UN

By News desk

The United Nation (UN) has disclosed that no fewer than six persons died daily while attempting to cross the Mediterranean in 2018.

In the latest report titled “Desperate Journeys,” UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said: “An estimated 2,275 people died or went missing crossing the Mediterranean in 2018, despite a major drop in the number of arrivals reaching European shores.

According to the report, 139,300 refugees and migrants arrived in Europe, the lowest number in five years.

The report also pointed out significant changes in the routes being used by refugees and migrants.

“For the first time in recent years, Spain became the primary entry point to Europe as around 8,000 arrived by land (through the enclaves in Ceuta and Melilla) and a further 54,800 people successfully crossed over the perilous western Mediterranean.

“As a result, the death toll for the western Mediterranean nearly quadrupled from 202 in 2017 to 777. Some 23,400 refugees and migrants arrived in Italy in 2018, a fivefold decrease compared to the previous year,” it said.

Greece saw around threefold increase in the number of people arriving via its land border with Turkey, the report added.

According to the agency, the country received some 32,500 people compared to 30,000 in 2017.

“Saving lives at sea is not a choice, nor a matter of politics, but an age-old obligation,” Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, said in the report.

“We can put an end to these tragedies by having the courage and vision to look beyond the next boat, and adopt a long-term approach based on regional cooperation, that places human life and dignity at its core,” he said.

INEC releases priority list for voting ahead election

By News desk

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has said that pregnant women, aged people, the sick and persons with disabilities would be given priority to vote on election days without joining the queue.

INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in Kwara, Garba Attaihiru-Madami made this disclosure on Thursday in Ilorin at stakeholders’ meeting ahead of the 2019 general elections.

“We should give our aged, pregnant women, physically challenged and the sick the priority to vote on election days without joining the queue,” he added.

The REC told the stakeholders that INEC was ready and prepared to conduct the best, most credible, transparent and acceptable elections in the country.

He said accreditation and voting would hold simultaneously at the polling units, adding that immediately a voter is duly accredited, he would be given ballot paper and proceed to thumb print and cast his/her vote.

This, he said, was a departure from the past when voters were first accredited before they were allowed to vote.

Attaihiru-Madami said Card Readers would be used during the elections, adding that the card readers have been upgraded and 99 per cent efficient and effective.

“If thumb print fails, INEC has abolished the incidence form, however, the Voter Register has been designed with a column for thumb print and voters’ mobile number, he or she is recaptured and given ballot paper to go and vote,” he added.

The REC assured the people of the state that nobody would be disenfranchised during the voting procedure as everybody with genuine PVC would be allowed to vote.

He said voters would not be allowed to bring their mobile phones to the polling areas, adding that they would be made to drop such phones with the Presiding Officer and collect them after dropping their ballot papers in the ballot box.

“Voters may wish to remain to observe the counting of votes later in the day or may go home and return to witness the counting of votes,” Attaihiru-Madami added.

The REC announced that no vehicle would be allowed to be parked close to voting points on election days; saying that security men would be at hand to ensure protection of life of personnel and materials during and after voting.

He declared that it is only INEC that has the constitutional right to announce results of elections, adding that it is illegal for anybody or group to announce results.

“I want to assure the people of Kwara that on the part of INEC, we will and must conduct free, fair, transparent and credible election which will be accepted by all stakeholders and applauded by the international community.

“Together we shall succeed, success is more of attitude problem, we should believe in ourselves and in INEC.

“There is no midway between success and failure; you either succeed or fail. I am optimistic with plans, preparation put in place for 2019 election, INEC Nigeria and INEC Kwara will conduct the best election ever. We did well in 2015, but 2019 election will be better,” Attaihiru-Madami added.