Peter Obi meets Lagos woman attacked by hoodlums during presidential election; INEC seeks to modify order granting Obi and Atiku access to election materials | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

  • Peter Obi meets Lagos woman attacked by hoodlums during presidential election
  • INEC seeks to modify order granting Obi and Atiku access to election materials
  • Soludo denies involvement in alleged plot to assassinate Peter Obi after Nigeria’s elections
  • APC campaign cautions Atiku that dancing ‘Skelewu’ with jesters at INEC office won’t secure victory
  • 61 killed in diphtheria outbreak in Kano

Across Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, these are the five top Nigerian news stories you shouldn’t miss:

Peter Obi meets Lagos woman attacked by hoodlums during presidential election

Peter Obi, the presidential candidate for the Labour Party in Nigeria’s recently concluded February 25 presidential election, has paid a visit to Jennifer Efedi, who was brutally attacked by hoodlums during the election. This was disclosed by Ndi Kato, one of the spokespersons for the Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Council, on Monday through her Twitter handle.

Jennifer Efedi, a citizen of Lagos, was a victim of electoral violence during the presidential election. She sustained injuries as a result of the attack by hoodlums but still exhibited remarkable resilience by casting her vote despite the excruciating pain she was experiencing. Her courage and determination to perform her civic duty in the face of danger earned her commendations and applause from well-meaning Nigerians.

Ndi Kato, speaking on behalf of the campaign team, acknowledged that the political season had been quite challenging and difficult for all involved, but expressed the hope that they would emerge stronger and united after it all. Peter Obi’s visit to Jennifer Efedi was an act of solidarity and support, aimed at encouraging her and assuring her that she was not alone in her plight.

“A leader like no other. Peter Obi visited Mrs. Jennifer Efedi who was attacked on the 25th of January while trying to cast her vote. This has really been a torturous season but we will get through it together,” she tweeted.

The incident involving Jennifer Efedi was just one of many cases of electoral violence that marred the 2019 presidential election in Nigeria. Political analysts have called for a comprehensive reform of the electoral process to ensure that the will of the people is reflected in the outcome of the polls without violence or intimidation. The visit of Peter Obi to Jennifer Efedi highlights the need for leaders to be more proactive in addressing the issues of electoral violence and insecurity in Nigeria.

INEC seeks to modify order granting Obi and Atiku access to election materials

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has asked the presidential election petition tribunal to amend the orders granted to the presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party (LP).

Peter Obi of the LP and Atiku Abubakar of the PDP, on Friday, secured leave of the court to have access to all the sensitive materials used by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the conduct of the election held on February 25.

A panel of the appellate court led by Joseph Ikyegh made the orders on Friday after the court heard two separate ex parte applications filed by the two aggrieved candidates and their political parties.

INEC, in a motion on notice filed on March 4, asked the court to vary the order which restrained it from tampering with materials used for the election.

The commission said it needs to reconfigure the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) for the governorship and state houses of assembly election.

In one of the reliefs, Obi and LP had sought an order of the court “restraining the 1st respondent (INEC) from tampering with the information embedded in the BVAS machines until the due inspection is conducted and Certified True Copies of them issued”.

However, the relief was withdrawn and consequently struck out by the court.

Soludo denies involvement in alleged plot to assassinate Peter Obi after Nigeria’s elections

Anambra State Governor Charles Soludo has denied an allegation linking him to a plot against Peter Obi’s life. Obi is the presidential candidate of the Labour Party and a former governor of Anambra. According to a viral message on social media, Soludo had been hired to eliminate Obi. The message claimed that Soludo was taken by helicopter to a secret meeting at the Imo Government House in Owerri, where he was given $5 million to carry out the task.

Soludo’s Press Secretary, Chris Aburime, refuted the claims on Monday in Awka, stating that the governor would never conspire to harm any lawful citizen. Aburime described Soludo as a brother and friend of Obi, as well as “the father of all,” and stated that Soludo had a good heart towards everyone. He further said that the allegation was false and that Soludo did not go to Owerri, nor was he offered money to harm anyone, including his brother and an illustrious son of Anambra.

“He has a good heart towards everybody. I am surprised that people can concoct this type of blackmail against him,” NAN quoted him.

“There is no iota of truth…he did not go to Owerri and he was not offered money to harm anyone, not even his brother, an illustrious son of Anambra.”

Aburime also conveyed Soludo’s well wishes to the LP flagbearer and his appreciation for Anambra voters for supporting him massively. He recalled Soludo’s prediction of Obi’s victory in the state and added that the peaceful atmosphere during the election spoke volumes about Soludo’s peaceful nature.

APC campaign cautions Atiku that dancing ‘Skelewu’ with jesters at INEC office won’t secure victory

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has criticized the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, for leading a protest on Monday to the national headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Abuja. The APC advised Atiku to follow through on his promise to seek legal redress instead of causing a public disturbance by leading a street protest.

According to Bayo Onanuga, Director Media and Publicity of the APC Presidential Campaign Council (PCC), the ruling party did not expect Atiku to be so “jobless” as to have time to disrupt public peace over an electoral outcome that he had already declared he would challenge in court. Onanuga stated that Atiku’s political history made it unsurprising that he led a protest to the INEC headquarters with a group of “nay jesters” from the “fragmented” PDP.

Onanuga dismissed the protest as ineffective, saying that it would not provide a window of victory for the main opposition party. He criticized Atiku and the PDP for wasting their time dancing on the streets and causing traffic disruptions instead of gathering the evidence they plan to present before the courts.

Onanuga further questioned how a protest by a scanty crowd could provide any victory window for Atiku and the PDP. He advised Atiku that the only recourse open to him after the electoral umpire declared Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as the President-elect is the Election Petition Tribunal. Onanuga described Atiku’s protest as a new low for the perennial election loser.

61 killed in diphtheria outbreak in Kano

At least 61 persons are said to have died from the outbreak of diphtheria in Kano state.

Salma Suwaid, Kano diphtheria case manager, spoke on Monday at a webinar organised by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) with the theme ‘Diptheria outbreak in Nigeria: Vaccination Response’.

Diphtheria is a bacterial infection caused by the corynebacterium species that affect the nose, throat, and sometimes, skin of an individual.

Some symptoms of diphtheria include fever, runny nose, sore throat, cough, red eyes, neck swelling, and difficulty in breathing.

Suwaid said a total of 783 – 360 male and 423 female – patients have been admitted so far in Kano.

She added that the average hospital stay of the patients is four days.

“Eighty-three per cent of deaths occurred in patients with the onset of symptoms greater than three days and an average of 15 admission days,” she said.

“Sixty-eight per cent of patients have been discharged, 1.66 per cent absconded, and 12.2 per cent died.”

Adejoke Oladele, the representative of the director, disease control and immunisation, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), said the agency is working closely with the NCDC and partners to ensure a rapid increase in diphtheria vaccination coverage

“Apart from clinical and immunisation interventions, risk communication engagement activities are also carried out in affected communities. We are leveraging on structures implemented for COVID to ensure effective response,” she said.

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