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17,000 policemen, soldiers deployed as Ekiti elects gov Saturday

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As more police personnel deployed to Ekiti State for election duties arrived the state on Thursday, the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Johnson Kokumo, who is in charge of the state governorship poll, called on the people of the state to be law-abiding and respect all the processes of the elections.

These, Kokumo said, would make it possible for the state to be properly secured to avoid any breakdown of law and order as well as ensure peaceful conduct of Saturday’s election.

The DIG, who spoke at a briefing in Ado Ekiti, said, “Over 17,000 police operatives deployed for the Ekiti poll are meant to secure the state and not for any form of intimidation of citizens, but to secure lives and the rule of law.”

According to him, soldiers would be at the borders of the communities to prevent any form of intruders, adding that “all policemen attached to VIPs should be withdrawn and made to return to base for the purpose of the election.”

This was as Ekiti State Police Command released two dedicated phone numbers for the purpose of the 2022 Ekiti State governorship election.

According to a press statement by the state Police Public Relations Officer, Ekiti Command, Sunday Abutu, “members of the public are advised to make use of the dedicated lines in case of emergency report or complaints.

Abutu gave the dedicated lines as 09021198809, 07059119144.

 

Sensitive materials

Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission has moved sensitive materials to the 16 local government areas of the state ahead of the Saturday’s election.

The deployment, which was done at the state INEC headquarters, was observed by security operatives, accredited media, observers and other stakeholders.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr Adeniran Tella, who distributed the materials, said electoral officers would take the items to their councils where it would be sent to the polling units on Saturday morning.

Tella expressed hope that there would be no late arrival of materials to polling units on Saturday, adding that  the ballot papers were colour-coded for each LG in order to prevent electoral fraud, adding that the result sheets were also customised according to the polling units.

Also speaking, INEC State Director of Voter Education and Publicity, Femi Akinbiyi, said vehicles conveying the materials to the respective local government areas were being tracked from the INEC office.

 

Ekiti APC

The All Progressives Congress in Ekiti State has debunked the news making the rounds that a court in Abuja had nullified the party’s governorship primary.

APC State Publicity Secretary, Segun Dipe, urged Nigerians, particularly Ekiti people and party members, “to disregard the rumour and discountenance it as the forlorn wish of some desperate politicians in the state, which cannot come to pass.”

Dipe, in a statement titled, ‘Ekiti Guber: Biodun Oyebanji remains APC candidate, no court nullified Ekiti APC primary,’ said the party’s candidate, Biodun Oyebanji, remained the leading candidate in Saturday’s election.

ZLP declares support

Meanwhile , the Zenith Labour Party in the state on Thursday declared support for the APC governorship candidate, Oyebanji.

ZLP governorship candidate, Akin Adeolu, said he decided with his people to support Oyebanji “due to his antecedents and because the party observed that he means well for the state”.

SDP candidate

The candidate of Social Democratic Party for the 2023 presidential election, Dr Adewole Adebayo, has called on the people of Ekiti State to vote the governorship candidate of the party, Mr Segun Oni, on Saturday.

He described the governorship candidate as a person who would bring a revolution that will change the economic and social facets of the state if elected on Saturday.

He said, Oni had proved his mettle as a truthful, honest and competent  governor during his reign, adding that the APC and the PDP have debased Ekiti through massive looting and should be rejected on Saturday.

Election tribunal

The President of Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, has set up the Ekiti State Governorship Election Tribunal to hear and determine petitions that may arise in the governorship election slated for Saturday.

The Secretary of the tribunal, Umar Abubakar, said Justice Dongban-Mensem took the action in pursuant  to section 285(ii) and (iii) of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution (as amended) and section 130 of the Electoral act, 2022.

 

INEC boss

The Chairman of INEC, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, has urged officials to resist any unethical behaviour during the Saturday election.

Yakubu, who said the commission had taken several steps to guarantee a free and fair election, also urged the officials to ensure that no political party or candidate is accorded any advantage over the other.

This was contained in a statement he personally signed on Thursday, titled, ‘Message from the INEC Chairman: Ekiti Governorship Election.’

The statement read, “From June 2021 when we released the timetable and schedule of activities for the Ekiti Governorship Election, we have collectively implemented several activities and taken every step to guarantee a free, fair, credible, and inclusive process this Saturday June  18, 2022.”

This election is coming seven months after the successful conduct of the Anambra State Governorship Election in November 2021, but it will be historic because it will be the first governorship election to be conducted based on the provisions of the new Electoral Act 2022.

“At the Stakeholders’ meeting held last Tuesday, I assured the political parties, their candidates, and the good people of Ekiti State that the choice of who becomes the next governor of the State is entirely in the hands of the voters. I said so confidently because I strongly believe in the commitment, efficiency, and determination of all of you, our dedicated staff, to ensure a level playing field on Election Day, which is just 48 hours away.

“Let us remember that the people of Ekiti State and indeed all Nigerians will be watching us closely and waiting to see if we will fulfill our promise. They will observe the opening time of each of the 2,445 polling units in the State, the conduct of our staff, how you attend to voters and your attitude towards Persons with Disability. I appeal to you to uphold our Code of Conduct, display your usual sense of responsibility and professionalism, remain above board and firmly resist any unethical behaviour.

“You must ensure that no political party or candidate is accorded any advantage over the other. We must also, always, stick strictly to the Oath of Neutrality to which we have all subscribed and continually live up to the trust that Nigerians repose in us.”

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Governor’s wife advises Jerusalem pilgrims on conduct

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The returnees who participated in the 2022 pilgrimage to Jerusalem and Jordan have held a thanksgiving service to appreciate God for the successful journey.

According to a statement issued by the state government, the service, held at Chapel of Christ The Light, Alausa, was graced by the wife of the Lagos State Governor, Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu.

Represented by the wife of a former Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Mrs Mayowa Ikuforiji, Sanwo-Olu advised the returnees to be true ambassadors of Christ and allow their encounters during the pilgrimage to strengthen their relationship with God and the people around them.

The governor’s wife said, “You cannot afford to go back to your old ways and lifestyles. As you have been described as the light and salt of the world in the Holy Book, it means that you have a lot of tasks ahead of you.”

Sanwo-Olu then thanked God on behalf of the pilgrims for the successful completion of the exercise and the journey mercies experienced.

She said, “We bless the Lord that there was no report of any negative eventuality. It is fitting at this point to state that we are indeed peculiar people with a deep sense of appreciation and we show this trait in praises and thanksgiving to God who specifically called us out of darkness into His marvellous light.”

In her remarks, the Secretary, Lagos State Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, Mrs Yetunde Gbafe, said the thanksgiving service was in line with God’s injunction as recorded in Psalm 100 where believers were enjoined to come into His presence with praise and thanksgiving.

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Nigeria needs $12bn to clean up oil spills – Report

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Nigeria needs $12bn to clean up decades-old oil spills in southern Bayelsa State over a 12-year period, a new report revealed on Tuesday, as it singled out two international oil companies, Shell and Eni, for being responsible for most of the pollution.

Oil majors in Nigeria have long faced legal challenges over Niger Delta spills, which they mostly blame on sabotage and vandalism of pipelines and illegal refining.

The Bayelsa State Oil and Environmental Commission said in a report that it started an investigation in 2019 on the impact of spills and looked at evidence from forensic scientists, blood samples from people in affected areas and company data, according to Reuters.

The investigation discovered, among other findings, that toxic pollutants from spills and gas flaring were many times higher than the safe limits in samples of soil, water, air, and in the blood of local residents, the commission said.

“The report finds failures of strategy, prevention, response and remediation by oil companies,” it said.

Reuters stated that a spokesperson for Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited said the oil firm was not privy to the final report and could not comment.

An Eni spokesperson said the oil spills were due to theft to feed illegal refineries as well as illegal exports and sabotage but the company undertook to remedy all spills.

Most of the gas produced from Eni’s Nigerian unit was converted into LNG and fed local power plants, the spokesperson said, adding that “Eni conducts its activities according to the sector’s international environmental best practices, without any distinction on a country basis.”

Toxins that cause burns, lung problems and risk of cancer were widespread while oil company-led clean-ups were often poorly executed and could further contaminate soil and groundwater, the commission’s report said.

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Experts advise marketers to leverage technology

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Experts have advised marketing professionals to take advantage of technology to revamp marketing tactics.

The marketers were admonished at the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria Ikeja Chapter 3rd Annual Public Lecture held recently in Lagos.

Speakers at the event said due to the highly competitive marketing arena, marketers must be willing to adjust their approaches in response to shifting market trends and economic circumstances, to remain competitive and achieve success.

The Ikeja Chapter Chairman of NIMN and Chief Executive Officer of Procon Group, Adebayo Oke, noted that the conference was basically to review the position of things in the institute in the face of the country’s dynamic economy.

He said, “We all know that in terms of political economy, we are going to be having a change very soon. Where we are coming from, there are issues that have affected consumerism in terms of the power of a consumer, choices and whether it will get tougher or better that is why we are here. To also share knowledge among the top practitioners to floor it down.”

According to him, a lot of quacks are in the market and most companies believe marketing is anybody’s function.

“And going forward, we are going to be regulating the practice of marketing across all industries and in partnership with the international brands in the areas of marketing, including the Chartered Institute of Marketing UK, amongst others,” he stated.

He disclosed that the institute would be partnering with most companies to ensure that only certified marketer would be allowed to practice marketing, to enable the institute get rid of all the quacks.

The President and Chairman of Council for NIMN, Idorenyen Enang, in his keynote address, highlighted the significance of marketers harnessing the potential of technology while ensuring that they adhere to ethical principles of the profession.

He said, “The benefits of technology in streamlining operations are widely appreciated. However, concerns about job displacement due to AI have arisen. Marketers must strive for a harmonious implementation of these technologies, striking a balance that mitigates such disadvantages.”

He added that while automation greatly enhances efficiency, there is a potential loss of intellectual capacity as the current generation prioritises speed, brevity, and simplicity.

Also, the Head Sub-Saharan Africa Digital Media & Insights of FrieslandCampina WAMCO Plc, Ifeoluwa Obafemi, said, “In the phase of technological advancement and changes in consumer behaviour, as marketing professionals, we should set our organisation in a future forward mode. For businesses to maintain a competitive edge in the present-day business environment, undergoing a marketing transformation is a necessary process.”

On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of Axiom Intel Limited, Kolawole Oyeyemi, said, “Marketers should attract and retain their customers. Nowadays, customers are now more informed and know your business more than you do because they now compare your services to global best practices.

“There is a revolution in technology which has assisted in creating tools and devices and building platforms to allow customers to interact with companies across the world.”

According to him, it is a volatile environment and things one does not think will connect one’s business may connect from a very long distance.

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