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US Consulate general cautions Gov. El-Rufai over his speech

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By: Babatunde Alaran

US ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Stuart Symington, says the words spoken about the election are as important in the democratic process as the elections themselves.

In a video message to Nigerians, the US envoy said citizens must vote to have an effect on the country’s electoral process.

“The elections are a remarkable opportunity for all Nigerians to come together and for every citizen to express their will. What the United States hopes to see in your elections this year 2019 are elections that are free, fair, credible and, above all, transparent,” he said.

“In this process, I know one thing: it is absolutely important for the citizens of Nigeria to personally take part, beginning right now by knowing what your rights are.

“On election day, you won’t have an effect unless you vote. It’s important that you work together to make sure that your votes are counted.

“As we get ready for your elections, one of the most important things is that there is a level playing field, meaning that no officials, no security forces, no electoral officials, no politicians seek to influence you in a way that is not consistent with the Nigerian law.

“Elections are only one part of the democratic process. The words and the actions that happen in these final days and all the work of government afterwards, are as important to democracy as the elections themselves.”

On the same day Symington’s video was released, Nasir el-Rufai, the governor of Kaduna state, made death threats to foreigners attempting to interfere in Nigeria’s elections.

Speaking during an NTA Live programme on Tuesday evening, el-Rufai said as an independent and sovereign state, Nigeria would never bow to foreign powers.

“Those that are calling for anyone to come and intervene in Nigeria, we are waiting for the person that would come and intervene, they would go back in body bags,” he had said.

The European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) has replied Nasir el-Rufai, stating that it would continue its mission to Nigeria, not minding the threat.

The US has remained silent over the matter.

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PhotoNews: President Buhari receives in State Visit H.H. Sheikh Tamin Bin Hamad Al-Thani, Emir of Qatar in State House

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Gombe Tragedy: Gana sends delegation to Gombe

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The Commandant General, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps NSCDC Abdullahi Gana Muhammadu has sent a high powered delegation to condole with the government and people of Gombe State over the death of members of Boys’ Brigade of ECWA Church, Bamusa, Barunde, Madaki, and St Peter’s Anglican Church in the State in which NSCDC official and a Police Officer were involved.

Gana, who is away to attend to the International Civil Defence Meeting abroad has ordered investigation into the tragedy and order the Commandant of the Corps in the state take necessary actions.  The Commandant General further assured the general public of his readiness to personally handle the case on his return from his official trip.

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Breaking: Again, CCT Judgment On Walter Onnog‎hen Shifted

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The judgment of the Code of Conduct Tribunal on Justice Walter Onnoghen, who is being prosecuted on charges of assets declaration breaches, has been shifted from 9am, the original scheduled time, till noon on Thursday.

Onnoghen had arrived the premises of the tribunal at about 8.40am ahead of the judgment.

Only two of his lawyers and a handful of his aides were seated in the courtroom when a court official announced the postponement at about 9am.

No member of the prosecution team was in court when the postponement was announced

None of them arrived as of the time of filing this report at about 9.11am.

Onnoghen had yet to step out ‎of his vehicle as of the time the postponement was announced.

His convoy left the premises as soon as the information about the new development reached him.

The Chairman of the CCT, Danladi Umar, after the prosecution and the defence made closing arguments on Monday, specifically fixed judgment for 9am on Thursday‎, a departure from the usual 10am sitting time of the tribunal.

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