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Trump bows to pressure, approves power transition to Biden

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President Donald Trump’s government on Monday authorised President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. to begin a formal transition process after Michigan certified Biden as its winner, a strong sign that the President’s last-ditch bid to overturn the results of the election was coming to an end.

Trump did not concede, and vowed to persist with efforts to change the vote, which have so far proved fruitless. But the president said on Twitter on Monday night that he accepted the decision by Emily W. Murphy, the administrator of the General Services Administration, to allow a transition to proceed.

In his tweet, Trump said that he had told his officials to begin “initial protocols” involving the handoff to Biden “in the best interest of our country,” even though he had spent weeks of trying to subvert a free and fair election with false claims of fraud. Hours later, he tried to play down the significance of Ms. Murphy’s action, tweeting that it was simply “preliminarily work with the Dems” that would not stop efforts to change the election results.

Still, Ms. Murphy’s designation of Mr. Biden as the apparent victor provides the incoming administration with federal funds and resources and clears the way for the president-elect’s advisers to coordinate with Trump administration officials.

The decision from Ms. Murphy came after several additional senior Republican lawmakers, as well as leading figures from business and world affairs, denounced the delay in allowing the peaceful transfer of power to begin, a holdup that Biden and his top aides said was threatening national security and the ability of the incoming administration to effectively plan for combating the coronavirus pandemic.

And it followed a key court decision in Pennsylvania, where the state’s Supreme Court on Monday ruled against the Trump campaign and the president’s Republican allies, stating that roughly 8,000 ballots with signature or date irregularities must be counted.

In Michigan, the statewide canvassing board, with two Republicans and two Democrats, voted 3 to 0 to approve the results, with one Republican abstaining. It officially delivered to Biden a key battleground that Trump had wrested away from Democrats four years ago, and rebuffed the president’s legal and political efforts to overturn the results.

By Monday evening, as Biden moved ahead with plans to fill out his cabinet, broad sectors of the nation had delivered a blunt message to a defeated president: His campaign to stay in the White House and subvert the election, unrealistic from the start, was nearing the end.

Ms. Murphy said she made her decision on Monday because of “recent developments involving legal challenges and certifications of election results,” most likely referring to the certification of votes by election officials in Michigan and a nearly unbroken string of court decisions that have rejected Mr. Trump’s challenges in several states.

In a statement, Yohannes Abraham, the executive director of Biden’s transition, said that Murphy’s decision was “a needed step to begin tackling the challenges facing our nation.”

He added that aides to Biden would soon begin meeting with Trump administration officials “to discuss the pandemic response, have a full accounting of our national security interests, and gain complete understanding of the Trump administration’s efforts to hollow out government agencies.”

-New York Times

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BREAKING: Tinubu appoints new Head of Service

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Mrs. Didi Esther Walson-Jack

BREAKING: Tinubu appoints new Head of Service

President Bola Tinubu has approved the appointment of Mrs. Didi Esther Walson-Jack as the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HoCSF), with effect from August 14, 2024.

According to a statement by Presidential spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale, on Wednesday night, Mrs. Walson-Jack was appointed as Federal Permanent Secretary in 2017 and had served in several Ministries.

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“The new appointee will take over from the incumbent Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, who is due to retire on August 13, 2024.

“President Tinubu, while thanking the outgoing Head of Service for her stewardship, tasks the incoming Head of Service to discharge her duties with innovative flair, integrity, and stringent adherence to the extant rules and regulations of the Civil Service of the Federation,” he added.

BREAKING: Tinubu appoints new Head of Service

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Gov Zulum begs Nigerians not to stage nationwide protests

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Borno State governor, Babagana Umara Zulum

Gov Zulum begs Nigerians not to stage nationwide protests

Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State has appealed to residents of Borno and Nigerians to refrain from participating in the proposed nationwide protests slated for next month.

During a stakeholders’ town hall meeting held at the Government House in Maiduguri on Wednesday, Zulum emphasized the importance of engaging in constructive dialogue instead of protests, which he believes may lead to violence and distractions. He highlighted the severe impact of the 13-year insurgency conflicts on the state and noted that protests would not be the best approach to maintaining the relative peace currently being enjoyed in Borno.

“Any break of law and order will be a disaster for us. I am appealing to the people, not only of Borno State but all Nigerians, to shun any protests that will bring hardship to Nigerians. Let us engage in positive dialogues. The Federal and state governments are doing everything possible to reduce the hardships people face in Nigeria,” Zulum said.

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He stated, “The Government of Borno State and its people have been experiencing insurgency for the past 13 years, but now peace has gradually returned to Borno State, and we must maintain this peace.”

Zulum expressed satisfaction that many stakeholders had committed not to join the protests and assured that the government of Borno State would follow up to ensure these commitments are upheld.

The town hall meeting was attended by heads of security agencies, traditional rulers, the Network of Civil Society Organizations, Young Peace Advocates, the Nigerian Union of Journalists, and the Nigerian Bar Association. Other attendees included representatives from the Civilian Joint Task Force, the Christian Association of Nigeria, Jammatul Nasir Islam, student and youth groups, women’s groups, traders, people living with disabilities, and the Nigeria Labour Congress.

Gov Zulum begs Nigerians not to stage nationwide protests

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401 Osun LG caretaker leaders quit after S’Court judgment

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401 Osun LG caretaker leaders quit after S’Court judgment

Four hundred and one chairmen and members of caretaker committees running Local Government Areas and Local Council Development Areas in Osun State have all resigned their positions.

Those that resigned include; 69 caretaker chairmen and 332 caretaker members drawn from each of the 332 wards in the state.

Letters of resignation of the chairmen circulated on social media on Wednesday but a clear reason behind their resignation was not given.

In one of the letters seen by PUNCH, the caretaker chairman of Odo-Otin local government area, Okuku, Adewale Adeyinka, said he was quitting office to pursue other opportunities to serve his people.

The letter addressed to Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke, dated July 17, 2024, partly read,  “It is with a sense of duty and respect for our democratic principles that I write to tender my resignation from my position as Chairman of the Caretaker Committee for Odo-Otin Local Government, effective immediately.

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“As I move on to pursue further opportunities to serve my people, I want to assure you that the good work we have started will not end.

“I remain committed to supporting the growth and development of Odo-Otin Local Government in any capacity I can.”

When contacted for comment on Wednesday, the immediate past chairman of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria in Osun State, Sarafadeen Awotunde, said all the 69 caretaker chairmen and 332 members drawn from different wards across the state have resigned their positions since the Supreme Court has declared them as illegal office occupants.

Asked to confirm the resignation of the 332 caretaker members and the chairmen, Awotunde said, “Since we already called them caretaker, I don’t think there is any appropriate word to use than that they resigned. Nobody sacked them.

“Caretakers have temporary time to spend. It means their time is over. If you look at it critically, you will see that the Supreme Court has given a verdict. So whatever is called caretaker now is illegal. So, there is nothing like a caretaker in Nigeria again.”

In Osun State, there are 30 local government areas, 32 local council development authorities, 6 area councils and one administrative office.

The last set of caretaker committee chairmen and members were appointed by Adeleke in August 2023 and their tenure of office was extended by 6 months in February 2024.

401 Osun LG caretaker leaders quit after S’Court judgment

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