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Petitions trail UI VC selection committee

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Some members of the University of Ibadan academic community have expressed displeasure over the election of members of the community to join the Joint Council Senate Committee of the institution in the selection of its new vice-chancellor.
There are 18 contestants for the position of vice-chancellor of the premier university.
The Joint Senate Council Committee of the university had elected two members of the council committee to join other top authorities of the institution in selecting a new vice-chancellor.
But some members of the community have faulted the method used in the election of the two members.
A petition signed by Prof. Ademola Dasylva of the Department of English of the institution, stated that the whole exercise and outcome of the activities of the committee was “a far cry from credible”.

He noted that the platform for e-voting by the committee to select a new vice-chancellor for the institution was allegedly compromised and manipulated.

“There were two windows associated with the platform, one was meant to display the cumulative votes for each candidate. The other was to display the actual votes that accrued to each of the contestants.

“At the beginning of the exercise, a request was made for the open display of the voting process for close public viewing to ensure transparency; unfortunately, this was not done.

“Instead, the tellers were given a link through which they could check vote counts.

“What was accessible through the link was the first window, which displayed the cumulative votes, denying the tellers access to the second window which should display the actual votes accruing to each of the contestants,” he said in the petition.

Other petitions, directed to the council chairman of the institution, cited various alleged irregularities in the process of appointing a new vice-chancellor for the university.

The petitioners stated that the result of the September 21 election of the two members by the committee was not free and fair.

They requested the council committee to set up an investigation to look into the electoral process.

“I am also constrained to request that the entire election and the results released be nullified.

“Let there be a repeat election to be organised by an external body and monitored by the Joint Council Senate Committee”, one of the petitioners said, pleading anonymity.

Also, pleading anonymity, another petitioner said, “The list (and details) of eligible members of the senate member who had been accredited to vote in the election was not displayed (hard copy or electronically) before the election to enable confirmation of details and validation of those eligible to participate in the election”.
He said that the distribution of the votes in the final result released did not follow the distribution expected of “free and fair” elections.

“There are confirmed reports of conference voting in some offices on campus.
“This violates the most important principle of e-voting which is the enablement of individual voting from individual personal computers.

“The question begging for an answer is if the voters who undertook conference voting normally go to the said offices to read their emails on a daily basis,” the petitioner said.

He noted that the platform for e-voting was allegedly compromised and manipulated.

Others who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria on condition of anonymity, said that the whole process for appointing a new vice-chancellor for the institution was compromised.
But Tunji Oladejo, the Public Relations Officer of the institution, in an interview, denied receiving any petitions written to discredit the process of appointing a new vice-chancellor for the university.

“I am not aware of any petition written to the Council Chairman Nde Waklek who is also the Pro- Chancellor, University of Ibadan,” Oladejo said

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FG establishing oxygen plants in 36 states – NEC

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The National Economic Council (NEC) says the Ministry of Health is establishing oxygen plants across the 36 states of the federation.

Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi made this known to State House correspondents after a virtual NEC meeting on Friday presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

Umahi said that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, who chaired the NEC Ad hoc committee interfacing with the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 to ease the lockdown of the economy, presented a report to the council.

“The Federal Ministry of Health is establishing oxygen plants across the 36 states in the country, but currently six states have been provided with oxygen cylinders so far.

“The Federal Government has paid for 40 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines coming in batches and therefore a considerable amount of the vaccines will come into the country between now and January 2022. Nigeria is now classified among the 50 countries in the green zones.”

Umahi said that NEC also received states’ performance report on COVID-19 from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

He said that the council was also updated on the global situation of COVID-19.

He said, “Over 237 million confirmed cases and over 4.8 million deaths due to COVID-19. There are now over 6.3 billion vaccine doses administered.  Nigeria is still in the first wave of vaccination and vaccination tools will improve as the country receives additional vaccines. COVID-19 cases have declined by 7.5 per cent over the last week.”

Umahi said that states were urged to continue to push testing activities in order to detect new cases before the situation worsened.

According to him, an update on travel restrictions on certain countries expected to be announced soon by the Federal Government.

The governor said that the council also received an update on the situation regarding Cholera outbreak.

“Current Cholera situation in the country; suspected number of cases   is 88,704. Number of states is 31 and the FCT. Number of deaths is 3,208.

“Multi-sectoral emergency operation centres activated at level 2 continues to coordinate the national response,” he said.

He listed the challenges to include difficulty in accessing some communities due to insecurity, open defecation and lack of potable drinking water.

Umahi said other challenges were lack of basic health primary healthcare infrastructure, inadequate health facility and cholera commodities for case management.

Umahi said that NEC commended the insightful presentations and congratulated the outgoing Director-General of NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, on his new appointment at the WHO and also welcomed the incoming Director-General, Dr Ifedayo Morayo Adetifa.

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Bakare meets with Buhari, opposes clamour for power rotation

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Founder of Citadel Global Community Church, Tunde Bakare, says the region to produce the president of Nigeria should not be an issue.

He stated this in Abuja on Friday during an interaction with reporters at the presidential villa after meeting President Muhammadu Buhari, noting that Nigerians are only bothered about a leader that would ensure the prosperity of the country.

The pastor said the “immaturity” of the citizens is responsible for “making us say power must either be in the North or be in the South, instead of looking for the best.

“Listen to me, if where the President comes from will make the place he has come from to be better, the northern part of Nigeria should be richest and the most progressive and the most developed because out of 61 years, the North has produced either the President or heads of state for 40 to 41 years and yet, see the retrogression in the North.

“If it’s from the South, why should a person like President Obasanjo freeze and seize the account of Lagos State in his own tenure? If it’s from South-South or South-East, why couldn’t President Jonathan use all his powers to develop South-South/South-East?

“If there are agreements between politicians on rotation, a bargain is a bargain. That is between them. But as far as this country is concerned, what we need at this stage is a man who can drive us to the Eldorado.”

The pastor commended the national assembly for empowering the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to determine the mode of transmitting election results.

“Perhaps one of the best things the present national assembly has done, especially the senate, because, with that, Nigerians can vote and then results can be transmitted so easily,” he said.

“Not only that, part of the state of the nation address that I did on October 10, I emphasised how Nigeria youth, especially undergraduates, are disenfranchised in our country.”

 

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FG declares Tuesday Oct 19 Eid-il-Maulud holiday

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The Federal Government has declared Tuesday October 19 a public holiday to mark the Islamic festival of Eid-il-Maulud in “commemoration of the birth of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).”

Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, made the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government, in a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr Shuaib Belgore.

Aregbesola congratulated the Muslim faithful both at home and in the diaspora for witnessing this year’s occasion.

He urged all Nigerians to imbibe the spirit of love, patience and perseverance which he said “are the virtues of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), adding that doing so would guarantee peace and security in the country.”

The statement added, “Ogbeni Aregbesola enjoined Nigerians, particularly Muslims, to refrain from violence, lawlessness and other acts of criminality. As the indisputable leader of our race, we must show responsible leadership in Africa.

“While calling for a stop to all divisive tendencies across the country, the minister urges all Nigerians and the youth in particular, to embrace the virtues of hard work and peaceful disposition to fellow humans, irrespective of faith, ideology, social class and ethnicity and cooperate with President Muhammadu Buhari’s led-Administration in its effort to build a progressive and enviable nation that all citizens would be proud of.”

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