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Biden, Trump in last-minute campaign round swing states

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A record 90 million Americans have voted early in the 2020 US presidential election, the latest statistics have shown, as President Donald Trump of Republican Party and his Democratic rival Joe Biden campaign across the country to sway the few remaining undecided voters.

The high number of early voters, about 65 per cent of the total turnout in 2016, is a reflection of the intense interest in the contest, with two days left for the campaign.

Biden was in Michigan and Trump in Pennsylvania, states that could be key to winning the White House in Tuesday final poll.

Mr Biden, joined by ex-President Barack Obama, said the US was “done with the chaos” of the Trump administration.

But Trump said there would be a “great red wave” of Republican victories.

Biden has a solid lead in the polls, but his advantage is narrower in swing states that could decide the election.

About 55 million of those that have voted did so by post, setting the country on course for its biggest voter turnout in over a century.

Concerns about exposure to the coronavirus at busy Election Day voting places on Tuesday have also pushed up the numbers of people voting by mail or at early in-person polling sites.

Mr Biden and Mr Obama campaigned at a drive-in event in Flint, Michigan, before heading to Detroit where they were joined by singer Stevie Wonder. Mr Trump narrowly won Michigan in 2016.

At the event, Stevie Wonder changed the lyrics to his song Superstition to praise Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris.

In his first appearance on the campaign trail with his former vice-president, Mr Obama compared Mr Biden’s character favourably with Mr Trump’s.

“It used to be that being a man meant taking care of other people… not looking for credit but trying to live right,” he said.

“When you elect Joe, that’s what you’ll see reflected from the White House.”

Taking the stage, Mr Biden tore into his opponent, saying it was time for him to “pack his bags and go home”.

“We’re done with the chaos, the tweets, the anger, the failure, the refusal to take any responsibility,” he added.

Mr Biden’s campaign events have generally been small, as the candidate keeps rigorously to social distancing rules.

Not so for Mr Trump, who held a series of four rallies in Pennsylvania on Saturday.

At the first, in Newtown, he appeared on stage serenaded by chants of “Four more years!” and told the state where the US independence movement began centuries ago that “three days from now this is the state that will save the American dream”.

He also joked about his recent brush with coronavirus, which also infected First Lady Melania Trump.

“At least those rumours that we don’t live together proved to be false,” he said.

After a rally of several hundred people – relatively small for him – the president flew to Reading, where thousands greeted him on the tarmac.

Mr Trump is planning another 10 rallies over the final two days of the campaign.

His campaign has five events in Michigan, Iowa, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida on Sunday, and then five more on election eve in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan.

Opinion polls show Trump trailing former Vice President Biden nationally, but with a closer contest in the most competitive States that will decide the election. Voters say the coronavirus is their top concern.

Trump has repeatedly claimed without evidence that mail-in ballots are susceptible to fraud and has more recently argued that only the results available on election night should count. In a flurry of legal motions, his campaign has sought to restrict absentee balloting.

“I don’t care how hard Donald Trump tries. There’s nothing — let me say that again — there’s nothing that he can do to stop the people of this nation from voting in overwhelming numbers and taking back this democracy,” Biden said at a rally in Flint, Michigan.

At a small, in-person rally in Newtown, Pennsylvania, Trump mocked his opponent for his criticism of the administration’s record of fighting COVID-19, which has killed more people in the United States than in any other country.

“I watched Joe Biden speak yesterday. All he talks about is COVID, COVID. He’s got nothing else to say. COVID, COVID,” Trump told the crowd, some of whom did not wear masks.

He said the United States was “just weeks away” from mass distribution of a safe vaccine against COVID-19, which is pushing hospitals to capacity and killing up to 1,000 people in the United States each day. Trump gave no details to back up his remarks about an imminent vaccine.

Sources: BBC News, thehindubusinessline.com

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FG names Nwabuoku to oversee Accountant General Office  

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The Federal Government has approved the appointment of Mr Anamekwe Chukwunyere Nwabuoku to oversee the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF).

This follows the ongoing investigation of the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF) over N80 billion fraud by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Aliyu Ahmed, Permanent Secretary (Finance), Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, was quoted as saying this in a letter dated May 20, 2022.

The appointment will be pending the outcome of the investigation, according to a statement by Yunusa Tanko Abdullahi, Special Adviser to the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning.

The statement also read in part, “Mr Anamekwe is expected to carry out his duty in strict compliance with extant rules and observe the highest sense of professionalism expected of an officer working at his level.

“Currently, he is director, Inspectorate Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, and presently he is overseeing the office of the Accountant General of the Federation.”

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56 people eating Nigeria like termites — Al Mustapha alleges

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Former Chief Security Officer to late military Head of State General Sani Abacha, Major Hamza Al Mustapha

…Says Nigerian soldiers have turned into a police

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Buhari appoints Semiu Adeniran new stastician general

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Mr Semiu Adeniran as the Statistician General of the Federation and Chief Executive Officer of the National Bureau of Statistics.

The appointment follows the demise of the former statistician general, Dr Simon Harry, on April 13, 2022, eight months into his five-year tenure.
A statement by Sufuyan Ojeifo, Special Assistant (Media) to the Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba, said, “Adeniran is a professional statistician of repute with bias for Demography and Social Statistics. He has over three decades of statistical hands-on experience garnered from various local and international institutions.”

“Until his appointment, Mr Semiu was the Director of Demographic and Household Statistics at the National Bureau of Statistics.”

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