Veteran journalist calls for disqualification of politicians involved in vote buying

By Mercy Obojeghren

A veteran journalist, Dupe Ajayi, has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to disqualify politicians who engage in vote buying during election in order to check the menace .
Ajayi made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Asaba on the sideline of the ongoing 14th All Nigeria Editors’ Conference (ANEC).Sheik Gumi (right), Atiku Abubakar (2nd right), Olusegun Obasanjo(2nd left) and Bishop Hassan Kukkah (left), when Atiku, the PDP Presidential aspirant paid a courtesy call to Obasanjo yesterday in Abeokuta.
She said that vote buying had become a menace threatening the country’s democracy and had adversely affected her political development.
She said, “INEC should try as much as it can to disqualify those politicians who engage in vote buying during elections in the country.
“This will help to sanitise the electoral process in the country as well as promote the entire system,’’ she said.
Ajayi who is also a fellow of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), said that vote buying had become a serious challenge to good governance in the country.
Also, former Secretary of NGE, Mr Isaac Ighure, stressed the need for the media to stick to their traditional role of informing and educating the electorate on the evils of selling their votes.
Ighure said, “the media should educate the electorate that when they sell their votes they indirectly sell their right to development.
“This should be done repeatedly through the television, radio and newspapers,’’ he said.
He called on the media to also educate politicians who indulged in in such condemnable practice on the need to desist from it.
The former Editor-in-Chief of NAN said that vote buying was an act that would help nobody.
“Such politicians should search their conscience and ask themselves whether what they are doing is right,’’ he said.
Ighure therefore advised the electorate to avoid being used by politicians, adding that no amount of money paid by desperate politicians should force them to sell their vote and conscience.
On his part, Mr Vincent Obike, the former Editor in Chief of the defunct National Ambassador Newspaper, said vote buying was getting worse by the day.
Obike said the media should try as much as it could to expose those who engaged in it.
He also called on INEC to intensify campaign on the dangers of vote buying across the nation.
The Managing Director of Plus Television said that the electorate should refuse whatever politicians offered them in exchange of their votes and cast their ballots wisely.
“They should look for candidates that would do them good in the next for years,” he advised.

NAICOM dissociates itself from trending Ponzi scheme, warns Nigerians

The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has dissociated itself from a Ponzi scheme, which was recently ascribed to it and is currently trending on the social media. The NAICOM spokesman, Mr Abdulrasaq Abdulsalami, said in a statement on Thursday in Lagos that the scheme, which was tagged “National Insurance Commission Newly Launched: Merging Automated’’, was a fraud. “NAICOM’s attention has been drawn to the scheme and it has hereby disclaimed this group that is trending on social media. “Members of the public are advised to ignore it; it is a fraud,’’ he said. Abdulsalami said that the Ponzi scheme floated in NAICOM’s name was currently trending on the social media. “It deceives members of the public, as it promises to double their donations in less than 25 minutes,’’ he added. He added said that the scheme was also a contrivance, aimed at hoodwinking Nigerians to take the risk and get “instant payment’’

Foundation calls for more stringent measures, policies to address e-waste management

Prof. Oladele Osibanjo, the Vice-Chairman, E-Waste Relief Foundation (ERF), a non-governmental organisation, has called for stringent measures and pragmatic policies to address the management of electronic waste in the country.
Osibanjo made the call on the sidelines of a one-day capacity building workshop organised for the informal sector on the handling and proper disposal of electronic waste (e-waste).
He described the influx of e-waste into the country and its adverse effect as alarming.
Osibanjo said that apart from climate change, e-waste had become one of the biggest environmental challenges facing the world in the 21st Century because of the pervasive influence of Information Communication Technology (ICT).
He listed that that two consequences of improper e-waste disposal as hormone disruption and confusion of the human immune system.
“The circuit board of electronics contains some hazardous contents like Lead, Mercury and Chromium, which are dangerous to humans and the environment. Furthermore, the plastic screen of electronics is impregnated with brominated flame retardants.
“These substances are persistent organic pollutants and they are released into the environment when these electronics are burnt.
“The chemicals are also carcinogenic endocrine disruptors (endocrine disruptors are chemicals that can interfere with endocrine or hormone systems at certain doses, causing cancerous tumours, birth defects, and other developmental disorders).
“This is why you can see an eight-year-old girl menstruating; it is caused by endocrine disruption, which has confused her immune system.
“This information is common knowledge in developed countries, which is why they tend to come and dump their e-waste in Africa,’’ he said.
Osibanjo stressed that e-waste produced globally and annually had reached “a near-Tsunami level’’, adding that in Nigeria, e-waste management was largely handled by the informal sector.
. updated 12 minutes ago