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INEC to test BVAS with mock accreditation

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National Electoral Commission, INEC says it will conduct a mock accreditation of voters on the 4th of February in four hundred and thirty six polling units nationwide.

INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu stated this in Abuja during a meeting with the Resident Electoral Commissioners, RECs.

He said twelve polling units had been designated in each State of the Federation and four in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on the equality of the country’s 109 Senatorial Districts for the exercise.

“A comprehensive list of the polling units, including their names and PU Code numbers, as well as their distribution by State, Senatorial District, Local Government and Registration Area (Ward) would be uploaded to the Commission’s website “. he stated.

The INEC boss appealed to registered voters in the affected polling units to appear on the scheduled date with their PVCs for the mock exercise.

“Doing so would help to reassure the public of the robustness of our system and to strengthen our processes ahead of the General Election. Civil society organisations, the media and the general public are welcome to observe the process.”

Professor Yakubu noted that at the end of the exercise, the 436 Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS machines involved would be reconfigured before they are deployed for the General Election.

He said movement of materials for the election to various locations nationwide was being concluded and that training of officials would soon commence.

“Ongoing consultations with stakeholders will be intensified. Airlifting and delivery of sensitive materials to States of the Federation has gone far. Accreditation of national and international observers and the media is being finalised. INEC Boss noted.

Professor Yakubu explained that critical service providers in the area of transportation have reassured us of their commitment to efficient logistics for the movement of materials and personnel to various locations while the security agencies have reaffirmed their readiness for the election.”

Professor Yakubu who commended the citizens for their determination to collect their PVCs, said the Commission would not hesitate to consider additional measures to ensure that all citizens have ample opportunity to collect their PVCs ahead of the general election.

“We wish to assure Nigerians that the Commission will always be responsive to the needs of the electorate.”

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NiMet forecasts 3-day sunshine, haziness from Sunday

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The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has forecasted a period of sunshine and haziness from Sunday to Tuesday across the country. According to the weather outlook released on Sunday in Abuja, NiMet predicts sunny skies in a hazy atmosphere over the northern region during this forecast period. The North Central region is also expected to experience sunny skies in a hazy atmosphere.

In the Inland states of the South, NiMet anticipates cloudy skies with spells of sunshine. Coastal cities are expected to have cloudy skies with the possibility of thunderstorms over parts of Edo, Ondo, Imo, Ebonyi, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, and Cross River states during the afternoon and evening hours.

Dust haze is foreseen over the northern region on Monday, while the North Central region is expected to experience sunny skies in a hazy atmosphere. The Inland states of the South and coastal cities are predicted to have cloudy skies with spells of sunshine, along with the likelihood of morning mist over Delta, Bayelsa, Lagos, Cross River, and Akwa Ibom. Thunderstorms are expected later in the day over parts of Rivers, Bayelsa, and Akwa Ibom states.

On Tuesday, NiMet forecasts dust haze with a visibility range of 2km to 5 km over the northern region. The North Central region is expected to experience dust haze as well. In the Inland states of the South and coastal cities, cloudy skies with spells of sunshine are anticipated.

NiMet issues a cautionary note about dust particles in suspension and advises the public, especially individuals with respiratory issues, to take necessary precautions. The agency also warns of the potential for moderate to heavy rainfall leading to flash floods and advises the public to exercise caution. Strong winds are likely to precede and accompany thunderstorms, and disaster risk managers, agencies, and individuals are advised to be proactive during the rainy season.

Finally, NiMet advises airline operators to obtain updated weather reports from its office for effective planning in their operations.

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Kaduna bombing: Senators donate December salaries to victims

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Each of the 109 senators in the Federal Republic of Nigeria has contributed their December salaries to assist the victims of the recent bombing incident in Kaduna that occurred last Sunday. The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Barau I. Jibrin, made this announcement on Sunday during a visit to the Kaduna State Government House, leading a prominent delegation of Senate members. The delegation was welcomed at the Government House by Governor Uba Sani. Further information will be provided soon.

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ECOWAS meeting holds in Abuja

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The 64th Ordinary Session of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Heads of State and Government is currently taking place in Abuja, Nigeria. President Bola Tinubu of Nigeria is set to chair the session, which is being attended by leaders from the 15-member block.

According to reports from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), countries such as Ghana, Liberia, and Sierra Leone have already gathered at the venue, the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa in Abuja. Other member states present include Benin, Gambia, Togo, Cape Verde, and Senegal.

In addition to the Heads of State and Government, the meeting is being attended by the ECOWAS Commission and other stakeholders, including former President Goodluck Jonathan, the U.S. Lead diplomat for Africa, Molly Phee, the African Union (AU), and the UN Secretary-General Special Representative for West Africa and the Sahel, Leonardo Simao.

The agenda for the end-of-year meeting includes a comprehensive review of decisions and agreements previously made by the body. This encompasses topics such as the adoption of the ECO as a common currency for the region. The regional body will also deliberate on issues such as the recent coup d’etats in Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Guinea.

Furthermore, the meeting will address concerns related to climate change, democracy, bilateral relations, and the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.

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