MKO Abiola: Lagos, Ogun declare June 12 public holiday - Naijaray
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MKO Abiola: Lagos, Ogun declare June 12 public holiday

The Lagos State Government on Saturday declared June 12, 2018 as public holiday to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the annulled 1993 presidential election adjudged to be have won by the late Moshood Kashimawo Olawale (MKO) Abiola.

The state governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode in a statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello, said the significance of June 12, 1993 elections, adjudged as the freest and fairest in the history of Nigeria, would always be a reference point in the State’s quest to entrench true democracy in service to the people.

Commending President Buhari’s recent declaration of June as the new Democracy Day, the governor said the singular act would forever ensure that Chief MKO Abiola and other martyrs of democracy who laid down their lives in the struggle to entrench good governance did not do so vain.

“On behalf of all Lagosians, we want to commend and applaud Mr President, Muhammadu Buhari for deeming it fit finally against all odds from all other past presidents that 25 years after, we are able to now celebrate our own Democracy Day and also declare that the real winner of 1993 June 12 Presidential election was actually our own MKO Abiola.

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“No matter how long you try to hide history, history will always reveal itself with a true platform. So, we know that is one very important singular step as we go forward to build an enduring democracy. And for all democrats in this country, we are excited that we are moving in the right direction.

“It also affirms that Nigeria can get it right if we begin to put things in the right perspective and work for the general good of the greater number of people. That is the true essence of democracy.

“For us in Lagos, June 12 is not just a day to remember, it is a rallying point for those of us in service that we must continuously strive to entrench true democracy and good governance which is what Chief MKO Abiola totally exemplified,” Ambode said.

In a similar vein, Ogun State government has also declared Tuesday, 12 June, 2018 work-free to enable residents and other stakeholders mark the Democracy Day.

A statement issued by the Secretary to the State Government, Taiwo Adeoluwa on Saturday, said the day would also be used to celebrate the recent conferment of a posthumous national honour of Grand Commander of the Federal Republic on the acclaimed winner of the annulled June 12, 1993 Presidential election, Chief Abiola.

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According to the statement, Ogun had been marking democracy day on June 12 in he last seven years, saying that this year would be no exception as befitting events, including a Democracy Walk to be led by the State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun have been lined up for the celebration.

“The walk scheduled to take off from the June 12 Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta at 7am will take participants through major roads in the state capital to the Abiola’s family house at Oke-Ido, Gbagura where prayers will be offered for the martyr,” it said.

The statement added that all government functionaries, activists, civil society organisations, democracy volunteers, civil servants, labour/trade unions, students, market women/men and other stakeholders were invited to participate.

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Court orders Jacob Zuma to refund over $1m to the South African government as legal fees which was expended on him

A court has ruled that South Africa’s former President Jacob Zuma must pay back the money provided for his legal fees. It is estimated that the state has paid between $1m (£792,000) and $2.2m in legal costs for him.

Zuma has been fighting multiple allegations of corruption for more than a decade and has incurred millions of dollars in legal fees. The court’s decision marks the end of a poor year for Zuma, who was forced out of office in February.

His successor, Cyril Ramaphosa, has been working to restore public confidence in the country’s prosecution service. Ramaphosa recently admitted that an agreement between Zuma and former President Thabo Mbeki had formed the basis of the decision to continue paying Zuma’s legal fees, more than a decade ago.

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A judge has now declared the agreement invalid and ordered the state attorney to take steps to recover all legal costs incurred. Zuma has a large family, and has often sought financial support from business associates a habit that lies at the heart of the many corruption scandals that have engulfed him.

He faces 16 charges of fraud, corruption and money laundering stemming from hundreds of payments made to him in relation to a 1990s arms procurement deal but Zuma denies any wrongdoing.

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Nigerian Senate president, Bukola Saraki attends the inauguration of Donald Trump’s Africa Strategy in Washington

Nigerian Senate president, Bukola Saraki will attend the launch of United States of America (U.S) President, Donald Trump’s, Strategy for Africa, which will be unveiled to the public today.

According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, the new United States strategy argues for more effective utilisation of existing U.S. resources on the continent.

The Trump plan, according to U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of African Affairs, Tibor P. Nagy, Jr, will focus on bringing more foreign direct investment into Africa and is in line with the Legislative Agenda of the 8th National Assembly which is aimed at reforming the Nigerian economy through strategic legislation that will help promote increased participation of private sector actors.

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Other members of the Senate President’s delegation include Senator Ben Bruce, Vice-Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs; Senator Monsurat Sunmonu, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee; and Honourable Nnenna Ukeje, Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs.

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 PDP reveals where Buhari, INEC ‘plot to rig presidential election’ 

The Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Organization, PPCO, on Thursday accused President Muhammadu Buhari of plotting to rig the 2019 election “with illegal polling centers from Chad and Niger”.

PDP made the allegation while condemning the alleged plot by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and the “Buhari Presidency to create illegal polling centers in Chad and Niger Republic.”

PPCO described the alleged plot by “INEC and President Buhari to secretly create polling centers outside the shores of our country, in total violation of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), as inexcusably criminal and exposes part of the plot to corrupt our electoral system and massively rig for President Buhari.”

In a statement signed by PDP’s spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PPCO said both “President Buhari, INEC and all Nigerians know that there are no provisions for Diaspora voting under our system. By the extant laws guiding elections in Nigeria, it is very clear who is eligible to vote, as well as the centers statutorily designated for elections. There is no provision for any special arrangement whatsoever.

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“It is therefore reprehensible that President Buhari, in his desperation to rig the elections, is now trying to hide under the guise of making special provision for Internally Displaced Persons IDPs, outside the country, to illegally create rigging centers outside our country and import contrived figures into the election results.

“This clandestine arrangement further validates the alarm earlier raised by the PDP, in April this year, of INEC’s plot to secretly create 30,000 illegal polling centers in some remote areas, through which they plan to allocate millions of votes to President Buhari and the APC.

“Nigerians can now see that the APC and its candidate are not committed to peaceful, credible, free and fair election. Having realized that there is no way he can win in a peaceful and credible election, Mr. President is now seeking means to enmesh the 2019 elections in a constitutional crisis, public confusion and trigger an imminent violence that is capable of derailing our entire democratic process.

“Moreover, by seeking to open polling units outside the country, the Buhari administration has now agreed that it does not have full control of Nigerian territory and cannot provide security for Nigerians to freely participate in the elections.

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“If President Buhari is in any way inclined towards diaspora voting, he should send an appropriate bill to the National Assembly for approval to accommodate not only Nigerians in Chad and Niger Republic, but also those in other sub-Sahara countries as well as Europe, America and other parts of the world, who have been agitating for Diaspora voting.

“We caution the Buhari Presidency and INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, not to set our country on fire by engaging in provocative actions in a desperation to rig 2019 Presidential election for President Buhari.”

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