Sporadic shootings have been reported at a polling unit in the Oke Ijebu area of Akure at the ongoing governorship election in Ondo State.
Ondo police spokesman, Tee-Lee Ikoro, confirmed the incident, adding that mobile police personnel had been promptly drafted to the area.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said on Twitter that those shooting were thugs from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The opposition party said the plan was to scare away voters from the polling unit.
Also, a boat conveying electoral materials and officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to the Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State capsized this morning.
The boat was said to have capsized on its way to deliver voting materials to polling units in the Ilaje area.
No death was recorded as all the passengers were reportedly put on life jackets while onboard.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Tee-Leo Ikoro, who confirmed the incident, however, said the development would not affect the election.
He added that the materials were not affected either.
The Deputy Inspector General leading the police team for the election, Leye Oyebade, said on Friday that adequate measures had been put in place to ensure maximum safety during the poll.
He said tactical squads had been deployed in strategic areas apart from police manning the polling booths.
Oyebade said, “We have been able to put a robust mechanism on ground that is going to work; a mechanism that it is going to give us the desired result, which is safety.
“We have deployed to the riverine areas at least three per unit. We have deployed men to all the collation centres and given adequate protection to INEC officials, and materials in all the necessary areas that are meant to be covered.
“Our preparation has been ongoing before now behind the scene. We have been able to crime map the state and noted the threat analysis.
“We will not be distracted. We have enough personnel to address the issues of banditry, kidnapping and all of that. We have our technical platform to track and do the needful.
“We have adequate number to address the supervision of this election; personnel are sound technically. We are good to go. We have been able to structure the terrain, the waterways, land and air, all entry and exit points. We have been able to get adequate personnel lectured, trained and tutored to be professional.
“So, with the personnel we have on ground, appropriate logistics and with the mindset to sacrifice, because this is a major event to celebrate our democracy, the police officers’ morale is very high. We know that the police and other security agencies are ready to protect lives and property.
“We have been able to support in terms of protection of INEC officials and transportation of INEC materials that has begun for some days now and has been going on without any issue.”
He also said, “We have a code of conduct guiding the personnel that have been deployed. They have been given a tag with their names and pictures on it to identify them in the places they are posted to. “Their names and mobile phone numbers are also with the officials at the various places they are posted. That is how we will curb fake or illegal policemen.
“We have also sent out dedicated mobile numbers- 07049960674 and 09152784339. These two numbers are for members of the public to have access to us through calls and text messages.
“If they think there is an urgent matter going on, they can send a message, pictures or videos to us through WhatsApp on this number: 07049936417.”
But the Transition Monitoring Group (TMG), a coalition of over 400 civil society organisations, on Friday condemned what it described as an invasion of the state by some governors.
The Chairman, Transition Monitoring Group, Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, said at a press briefing this constituted a threat to the peaceful and credible conduct of the election.
Also, the Independent National Electoral Commission has denied the allegation by the PDP that it appointed a townsman of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu as its chief returning officer for the election.
National Commission and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, gave the clarification in a statement on Friday.
The PDP had on Thursday alleged that the electoral umpire had appointed the Vice-Chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede, as the chief returning officer for the governorship election.
The Chairman of the PDP National Campaign Council and Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde said Ogunbodede is a known crony of Governor Akeredolu of the All Progressives Congress and hails from Owo, the same hometown as the candidate.
Makinde said Ogunbodede could not be a fair party in the proceedings by virtue of his association with the governor and as such, would not guarantee a free and fair election.
But in dismissing the report, Okoye said the returning officer for the election was not from Ondo State and not from the OAU.
“The attention of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been drawn to a press conference addressed by the Chairman of the PDP National Campaign Council and Governor of Oyo State, Mr Seyi Makinde, on Thursday, October 8, 2020 to the effect that the Commission has appointed the Vice-Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Professor Eyitope Ogungbenro Ogunbodede, as the returning officer for the Ondo governorship election taking place on October 10, 2020.
“While the commission will not be drawn into speculations relating to the performance of its constitutional and statutory functions, it is imperative to set the records straight for the benefit of the people of Ondo State and the integrity of the electoral process.
“It is the sole responsibility of the commission to appoint a returning officer for the Ondo governorship election and does not share this responsibility with any individual, group, or political party.”
We’ll recover semester, session lost to strike – ASUU
The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Alex-Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike Ikwo, AEFUNAI, Ebonyi chapter, says it will cover grounds lost to the eight-month called off in October.
The union, therefore, appealed to stakeholders to prevail upon the Federal Government to “avoid engaging in any activity that could plunge the nation’s public university system into another needless strike”.
The lecturers’ body disclosed this during a peaceful protest on Wednesday.
Dr Egwu Ogugua, the ASUU-AEFUNAI chairperson, while addressing newsmen, said that the lecturers were duty-bound to complete teaching for the backlog of academic semesters and sessions lost due to the strike.
He alleged that government, instead of working to find a permanent solution to the crises in the universities, had resorted to the implementation of policies that would worsen the situation.
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He recalled that the ASUU strike was suspended based on the intervention of Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the court order.
“Ladies and gentlemen, recall that on October 14, ASUU decided to suspend their eight-month strike following the intervention of Femi Gbajabiamila and the Appeal Court ruling ordering us to go back to work.
“It is important for the world to know that since the said intervention and the court order, the government has not paid lecturers for eight months and decided to casualise intellectuals by prorating our October salaries.
“We, the members of ASUU, AEFUNAI branch, therefore, reject in totality, this alien casualisation of intellectuals, demeaning the centrality of the ivory towers in Nigeria and insulting the sensibilities of the intelligentsia.
“Yes, we were in the trenches for eight months – February 14 to October 14, now that we are back, we are duty-bound to complete teaching for the backlog of academic semesters and sessions lost due to the strike.
“The word ‘lost’ does not entail a permanent loss because most officials of the federal government have consistently believed in the alternative truth that the lost semesters have been lost permanently.
“In AEFUNAI, following the suspension of the strike action, we have almost concluded the remaining first semester of the 2021/2022 academic session.
“We are under enormous pressure to complete the whole session before April and commence the 2022/2023 session.
“We use this opportunity to appeal to well-meaning Nigerians and various stakeholders – religious leaders, traditional rulers, parents, students – to prevail on government not to further desecrate the sanctity of the future of our children,” Mr Ogugua said.
He accused the federal government of not placing the education sector among high-priority areas.
He lamented that government’s decision to place university lecturers on pro-rata would deepen the crisis in the entire public university system.
“It is worthy to note that the recently released November salaries have recorded a high degree of deductions.
“As a people, we shall not keep quiet and we shall continue to scream like the voice in the wilderness for the survival of the public university system in Nigeria.
“If the body of intellects is shabbily treated, then we can sing to the rooftops that government has no regard for education,” he stated.
Updated: Ghana lead 3-2 Vs Korea, Cameroun bounce back in six-goal thriller
Ghana are currently playing 3-2 against Korea in the ongoing FIFA World Cup competition in Qatar.
The second half of the match just kicked off but Ghana leading 2-0 at half time, went to sleep and conceded two goals within two minutes.
As of half time, Ghana has reportedly erupted in jubilation as if the game was over.
But the Koreans mounted pressure as the second half resumed and it paid off in the 57th and 59th minute with two quick goals.
Ghana score a third a few minutes later to make it 3-2.
Earlier, the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon kept their hopes of making the last 16 of the World Cup alive on Monday after fighting back from two goals down to draw a thrilling Group G encounter with Serbia 3-3.
Both Ghana and Korea are looking for their first win, with South Korea drawing 0-0 against Uruguay last Thursday, and Ghana losing 3-2 to Portugal.
Both Uruguay and Portugal are highly fancied, and the two teams need a win to keep their hopes of the knock-out stages alive.
South Korea were the better side in the opening stages and dominated the game and territory.
In the Cameroon Vs Serbia match, the Rigobert Song’s team looked almost dead and buried after goals from Strahinja Pavlovic, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Aleksandar Mitrovic gave Serbia a 3-1 lead early in the second half.
But substitute Vincent Aboubakar and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting snatched a draw with two quick-fire strikes just after the hour mark to leave both Cameroon and Serbia on a single point, two behind group leaders Brazil and Switzerland.
Had they lost, Cameroon would have been relying on the Swiss beating Brazil in order to not be eliminated with a game to spare, but instead, the west Africans still have a chance of getting out of the group stage for the first time since 1990.
Cameroon have a tough task ahead as they play Brazil in their final match, which according to reports they will play without first-choice goalkeeper Andre Onana who was dropped from the matchday squad just hours before kick-off following an unspecified disciplinary issue.
Media reports suggest that Onana has been sent home from the World Cup after a disagreement with Song, but that pre-match turmoil did not stop Cameroon from putting in a fighting display against a Serbia team who probably deserved to win on the balance of play.
The AFP reports that neither side could find a winner in an end-to-end finish to the game and their bids to make the knockouts will go down to the final game.
Lagos Fourth Mainland Bridge to have three tollgates, three bidders shortlisted
Lagos State Government has shortlisted three bidders for the construction of the $2.5 billion Fourth Mainland Bridge project for the state.
The legacy bridge project will have three tollgates, according to the state government.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Public-Private Partnerships, Mr Ope George, said this while briefing newsmen in Ikeja.
He gave names of the three bidders shortlisted for the Request For Proposal, RFP Stage II as Mota-Engil (Nigeria and Africa) CCCC and CRBC consort; CGGC-CGC Joint Venture and CCECC and CRCCIG Consortium.
He said, “On completion, the bridge is expected to become the second longest in Africa, featuring three toll plazas, nine interchanges, a 4.5 kilometre Lagoon Bridge and an eco-friendly environment.
“The bridge is expected to span about 37 kilometres, starting from Abraham Adesanya in Ajah, on the Eti-Osa-Lekki-Epe corridor and transverse from the North-West towards the lagoon shoreline of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway via Owutu/Isawo in Ikorodu.”
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