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Six Weeks to Guber Poll, Bayelsa APC Splits into Factions

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With less than six weeks to the November 16 Bayelsa State gubernatorial election, another major crisis is presently rocking the state chapter of the All Progressive Congress (APC) as two factions emerged yesterday. While the two factions laid claim to leadership, they were also suspending each other’s executives.

The faction loyal to former Governor and Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, suspended some factional members loyal to former Minister for state for Agriculture, Heineken Lokpobiri.

The faction loyal to Lokpobiri in turn indefinitely suspended the Sylva’s factional executives led by the state Chairman, Jonathan Amos and other officers over alleged acts of misconduct and intentionally creating division in the party.

Those members of the party suspended by the Sylva-led faction include, the party’s deputy state chairman, Ogeibiri Orubebe, its Legal Adviser, Toborowei Olorogun, and the Ekeremor local government Chairman of the party, Amasighan Azikiwe.

Also suspended were Olorogun Isaac, Secretary, Ekeremor local government council and Peter Bofumu, Chairman Sagbama local government council.

In a statement issued by Sylva-led faction indicated that the suspension order became imperative following the petition brought before it at an emergency meeting held at the state party secretariat in Yenagoa.

State chairman of the party, Jonathan Amos explained in alliance with the resolution reached by the committee that, the aforementioned people were suspended due to gross misconduct and anti-party activities which was reported and investigated.

He said, after the direct primaries of the party which saw the emergence of Chief David Lyon as the party’s candidate for the November 16 elections, it is expected that whatever diverse interest anyone had before the primary, should have been dropped for the overall interest of the party.

According to him, the said persons’ refusal to drop the pursuit of their personal interest, is a clear indication they are against the party and their actions could mar the predicted success of the party, necessitating their indefinite suspension from the party.

The Assistant Organising Secretary of the party, Tari Emberru who raised the motion for their suspension, maintained that the consistent show of truancy and misconduct by the affected persons, undermines the unity of the party and should not be tolerated.

Also speaking in favour of the motion, the state party auditor, Barrister Doumo Ogbomani argued that the affected persons have acted against article 31 section A; subsection 7 of the APC constitution, stressing that a house divided against itself can not stand.

It is gathered that, the committee also used the medium to advise the general public to henceforth seize to deal with those set of suspended persons as members of APC, adding that whoever does that, is doing it at their own peril.

But, the Lokpobiri loyalists in a swift reaction and led by the state deputy chairman, indefinitely suspended seven of its officers over alleged acts of misconduct and intentionally creating division in the party.

They are: Mr. Jonathan Amos, State Chairman; Mr. Martins Alabo, State Secretary; Mr. Peres Oyadongha, Senatorial Youth Leader; Mr. Iniekenimi Senator Mitin.

Others are the Ekeremor local government area youth, Mr. John Williams, its Organizing Secretary; Mr. Osadebe Ezinrin, the Treasurer; Lovely Agwor, and organizing secretary of Sagbama local government council.

The suspension they said was pursuant to the report of the State 4-man Disciplinary Committee over formal complaints against various party officials.

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NIS Threatens Foreigners in Nigeria: Register Biometrics or Be Deported

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The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) said it had stopped 1,111 people from entering Nigeria since August 20, 2019 when the country’s land borders were partially closed.

It also declared that any foreigner living in Nigeria that failed to register their biometrics with the NIS before January 19, 2020, would be deported.

The Comptroller-General, NIS, Muhammed Babandede, who disclosed this during a joint press briefing in Abuja, stated that these resolutions were in accordance with the Economic Community of West African States Protocol on Transit.

He said, “The law is very clear and it says ‘Do not enter any ECOWAS country unless you have a valid travel document’. So, it is important to state that if you don’t have travel documents, we cannot allow you to enter or leave Nigeria.”

Babandede said the NIS stopped 142 Nigerians from departing the country during the period, adding that over 1,000 immigrants from other nations had been denied entry into Nigeria

He said, “We have refused entry of 1,111 people who wanted to enter our territory, but because they don’t have the required travel documents we turned them back.

“We have also removed people who had already entered. In fact, 728 people have been removed. We have arrested Pakistanis and North Koreans at the borders and they are meant to be deported.”

On why foreigners staying in Nigeria must register their biometric, the NIS boss said, “Mr President approved an amnesty for all migrants staying in this country. And this means that any migrant that has overstayed in this country can have their biometrics registered between now and January 19, 2020.”

Stakeholders have assumed different positions concerning the total border closure. While palm oil producers applaud it, freight forwarders have condemned it.

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There’s No Hunger in Nigeria, Food’s Very Cheap, Says FG

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The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, on Monday, said Nigeria was producing enough food to feed itself and send to neighbouring countries.

He described the cry by some Nigerians of hunger in the land as laughable, insisting that there was no hunger in Nigeria.

The minister, who spoke at a press briefing to mark the 2019 World Food Day in Abuja, said, “I think we are producing enough to feed ourselves. I think there is no hunger in Nigeria; there could be inconveniences. When people talk about hunger in this government, I just laugh.”

According to Nanono, food is very cheap in Nigeria compared to other countries.

“In this country, it is fairly cheap to buy food,” he stated.

He said the Federal Government decided to shut the borders owing to the excesses of neighbouring countries that had made the country a dumping ground for expired rice and other goods.

Nanono said, “That’s the basis for the closure of the border and I think Nigeria tried to make these neighbouring countries understand our predicament but to no avail. So long as these countries bordering us will not respect Nigerian stand on food importation, the borders will remain closed.”

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FirstBank Hits 100th Year of Sponsoring Georgian Polo Cup, Longest Ever

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In furtherance of its commitment to the growth and development of sports, nation building and the economy at large, First Bank of Nigeria Limited has announced its sponsorship of the Georgian Cup of the Kaduna Polo Tournament for the 100th consecutive year, possibly the longest running sports sponsorship in the world and a Guinness Book of Records potential. The 2019 edition of the epoch making sports championship runs from October 12 – 20, 2019 at the Kaduna Polo Club, Murtala Mohammed Square, Kaduna.

The Kaduna Georgian Cup Centenary Polo Tournament commenced in 1919, with FirstBank sponsoring the sports tournament for a 100 years. The Cup which was donated by the Bank to the Kaduna Polo Club, is the oldest and most respected Polo trophy in West Africa.

The 2018 edition of the tournament was won by team El-Amin, also billed to participate in the 2019 edition to defend its trophy, contested by other teams including Rubicon, Imani, Malcomines, and Lintex Agad. A total of 45 teams are billed for the 2019 tournament.

Speaking on FirstBank’s unwavering centenary sponsorship of the Tournament, the President, Kaduna Polo Club, Alhaji Suleman Abubakar said “the Georgian Cup Polo Tournament is indeed the Premier Polo Tournament in the country and it has proudly birthed many other sporting events across the country as well as the West African sub region as a whole. We are honoured to record such a milestone with FirstBank since the inception of the tournament 100 years ago.

“Indeed, FirstBank remains a noble brand close to our heart at the Kaduna Polo Club and the tournament has indeed been a catalyst of socio-economic growth of Kaduna and the nation as a whole” he concluded.

FirstBank’s sponsorship of the Georgian cup is perhaps the longest standing sports sponsorship in the world, a reflection of a long-lasting partnership that aligns with heritage, shared values, elite performance and quality, all attributes worthy of celebration. This record sponsorship has been filed by the Kaduna Polo Club for consideration by the Guinness Book of World Records under the longest main sponsorship of a sporting world championship title.

Expressing the Bank’s delight on the sponsorship, the Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Folake Ani-Mumuney said “2019 is indeed an eventful year for us and one of the many highpoints since we were founded 125 years ago. Part of our excitement stems from the pride we feel at having supported the Georgian Cup Polo Tournament for 100 years consistently. We are indeed proud to achieve this feat as it reinforces our leadership role as an institution committed to the continued growth and development of sports and the economy at large. The Georgian Cup Polo Tournament is one of the many heritage sporting sponsorships supported by FirstBank over the years. Another example is the FirstBank 58th Lagos Amateur Golf Open tournament, in partnership with Ikoyi Club 1938 holding in November this year which we have also supported for 57 years. We dare say perhaps another record in sports sponsorship”

This unprecedented Polo extravaganza boasts notable players such as Chris Mckenzie, the best South African polo player; Max Charlton, the Best British polo player as well as other top Argentine players in attendance amongst many other professionals.

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