Punch Newspaper Review

Punch Newspaper Headlines (Wednesday, 13th October, 2021 Edition)

President Muhammadu Buhari addresses Nigerians on COVID-19

Good Morning Nigeria! Hope you all are doing your part to help stop the spread of COVID-19!

Here’s our picks on today’s top buzzy stories on Punch Newspaper. We prepare it as a quick-read for our visitors who also enjoys Punch News.

INEC awaits Buhari’s nod on e-transmission of results

The Senate bowed to pressure from the public on Tuesday when it passed a bill which gave the Independent National Electoral Commission the sole power to determine the procedure for the transmission of election results.

The red chamber also approved direct primaries as the method to be adopted by all political parties to elect candidates for all elective positions. The amendments were made on Tuesday by the Senate to some clauses of the Electoral Act (Repeal and Re-enactment) bill 2021, passed on July 15, 2021.

In its reaction, INEC told The PUNCH that although it had the capacity to transmit elections results electronically, it said it could only adopt the method after the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had signed amendments to Electoral Act.

Buhari’s regime, a huge joke –PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party has said the regime of the President, Major General Mohammadu Buhari (retd), has become a butt of jokes among Nigerians because of its phantom achievements.

The opposition party urged the President to take a trip out of Aso Rock to visit project sites in order to come face to face with reality. This was contained in a statement titled “Stop Irritating Nigerians With False Performance Claims, PDP Tells Buhari, APC,“ signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, in Abuja, on Tuesday.

The party urged the President and the All Progressives Congress to respect the office of the President and stop irritating Nigerians with “false performance claims.” Ologbondinyan said, “We challenge President Buhari to break the circle of his administration’s fairy-tale by leaving the comfort of Aso Rock and commence an infrastructural tour of the nation, by road, and see whether he can locate the projects he had been made to hype on paper as achievements.

Senate probes Budget Office over N19bn payment without approval

The Senate on Tuesday commenced investigation into alleged illegal payment of N19bn to four federal agencies, by the Budget Office. Officials of the Budget Office did not appear before the Senate Public Accounts Committee.

SPAC, relying on the 2016 report of the Auditor General for the Federation, alleged that the N19bn was paid to four agencies through verbal directive by the Director General of the Budget Office in 2015. The Chairman of the Senate panel, Matthew Urhoghide, explained that the Budget Office was supposed to be number one on the list of the agencies expected to respond to the Auditor General’s query, but failed to appear on Tuesday.

However, the Budget Office, in a written response to the query of the auditor-general, said, “The details of the MDAs under reference have not been provided to enable us to respond appropriately.” The AuGF in the 2016 report said, “Four MDAs were paid the sum of N19bn from the service wide vote without the approval of the Honorable Minister of Finance.

Presidency: Dokpesi impressing benefactors in North, position weird, says Ohanaeze

The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has described as unfortunate the comment credited to the former chairman, Daar Communications Limited, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, that no southern candidate could win the presidency in 2023 under the Peoples Democratic Party.

Dokpesi had in a media report stated that there was no candidate from the South-East and even from the South that would win again the North. But Ohanaeze Ndigbo in a statement on Tuesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Alex Ogbonnia, titled, ‘Dokpesi Oscillates,’ said the former Daar Communications chairman’s comments “negates the position of the 17 Southern Governors that presidency should return to the South in 2023.”

The group added, “Dokpesi’s assumptions are unreflective, weird and unworthy. Any person who loves Nigeria should be an advocate of power rotation especially between the North and the South; and our sons and daughters who lay claim to leadership should not, under any guise, give the impression that the South is a lame-duck, an electoral liability; and therefore must depend on the North to define the political trajectory of Nigeria.”

Direct primary: APC rolling back Nigeria’s democracy, says PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party has described the approval of direct primary for all political parties by the Senate as retrogressive. A statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, on Tuesday said the provision “seeks to wipe off all the gains achieved in our electoral practice since 1999.”

The statement was titled ‘Direct Primary: APC Is Rolling Back Our Democracy- PDP.’ In the statement, the PDP said the decision by the “APC-controlled Senate is a humongous blow to the development of democratic norms and a plot to introduce anarchy during internal party elections as currently obtainable in the APC.”

The party also said the provision is aimed at increasing the costs of nomination procedures thereby surrendering the processes to money bags against the wishes and aspiration of Nigerians. “Our party makes bold to state that with the exception of the APC, which intends to deploy looted funds in future election, hardly will there be any political party that will be able to raise the cost of conducting internal elections under a direct primary process. “This is why the decision of the Senate has elicited widespread rejection from Nigerians across board.

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