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Obiano Earmarks N50m to Kickstart Career of ABS Film Academy Graduates

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By James Eze

The Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano has announced a grant of N50m to help fast track the careers of the pioneer set of the ABS FilM Academy.
Announcing the grant at the graduation ceremony of the pioneer set of the Academy in Awka at the weekend, Governor Obiano declared that it was the intention of his administration to ensure that Nollywood returns to Anambra which is its original home.
The Governor’s gesture to Nollywood is a major part of his strategic effort to establish a thriving Creative Economy in Anambra State which he started early this year with the inauguration of the Anambra Creative Economy Agency headed by Dr Nicholas Okoye.
He commended the Managing Director /Chief Executive Director of the ABS, Nze Uche Nworah for the initiative pointing out that he had envisioned ABS to be of like standard with internationally acclaimed broadcast stations and had invested huge amounts of money to digitize the station.
He further revealed that his administration was working through the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, Indigenous Artwork, Culture and Tourism to establish shooting locations and movie villages to give impetus to efforts at harnessing the prospects that abound in the entertainment industry in the state.
The governor charged the graduands to emulate renowned actors who had made their marks in the movie industry to be able to go far in their careers.
Earlier in his address, the Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr C-Don Adinuba explained there were plans by the government to include training on entrepreneurship in the curriculum of the next batch of students of the academy, noting that the program was a typical example of the governor’s stance on doing more with less.


Also in his welcome remarks, the CEO of ABS, Nze Uche Nworah commended the Governor of Anambra State for the support he had given to the ABS Film Academy and pledged that the Academy would continue to work hard until it achieved its objectives.
Nworah also noted that the 3-month old academy started with 35 students but only 27 fulfilled the minimum requirements for graduation.
He announced that the Ford Foundation had offered a scholarship to the best graduating student from the Academy to the New York Film Academy for further training.
In a goodwill message, Veteran Actor and ace broadcaster, Chief Pete Edochie acknowledged that what the state government under the leadership of governor Obiano was doing in exploring the abundant talents that abound in the entertainment industry in the state was sure to make the state a hub for creative economy in Africa.
Also speaking the Commissioner for Youth Development and Creative Economy of Anambra State Hon. Bonaventure Enemali thanked the management of the ABS Film Academy and the Governor of Anambra State for his efforts to meaninhfully engage the youths o Anambra State
He revealed that there is an ongoing screening for “Anambra got Talent” programme being put together by his ministry and promised that soon, ndi Anambra would be thrilled by the array of talents within the state.
Also addressing the gathering, the Chairman of the Anambra State Creative Economy Agency, Dr Nicholas Okoye announced that the Agency had received approval to set up 50 Community Cinemas across the state.
He also pledged that Nicky Foundation which he heads had endowed the sum N500,000 to the best graduating student of the ABS Film Academy.
The academy which is fully an ABS initiative, commenced earlier in March, this year with 35 students who were taken through a three month – training course in various aspects of film making including directing, broadcast journalism, script writing, cinematography, makeup /special effects, animation among others.
In the end, 27 students graduated from the Academy after producing five films some of which have been shortlisted for different international awards.
Presentation of certificates by the governor as well as the screening of some of the short films produced by the students formed the highpoints of the ceremony.

 

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It’s Official: Atiku defeats Buhari inside Presidential Villa

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The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has won the elections in the polling units at the Presidential Villa, Abuja

The Villa has two polling units: PU 021 and 022.

Mr Abubakar scored 505 votes in PU 021 while the president scored 552 votes.

In PU 022, Mr Abubakar scored 525 votes and the president had 465.

In all, the PDP presidential candidate polled 1,030 votes against the president’s 1017 votes.

For the Senate, PDP scored 536 votes in PU 021 while the APC scored 532 votes.

In PU 022, the PDP won the opposition party by 546 to 477 votes.

Together for the Senate, the PDP scored 1082 votes while the APC scored 1009 votes.

For the House of Representatives, PDP had 525 votes while APC got 531 votes in PU 021.

The PDP also scored 521 votes in PU 022 while the APC had 464 votes.

In total, for the House of Representatives, the PDP scored 1046 votes while the APC scored 995 votes

The results were confirmed and announced by the polling officers hours after voting ended.

Earlier, the president defeated Mr Abubakar in the latter’s polling unit by a slim margin.

President Buhari had on Saturday morning reaffirmed his confidence in winning the presidential election.

Mr Buhari told reporters shortly after voting at Kofar Baru, Sarkin Yara “A” ward in Daura, his home town, that he would win the election and congratulate himself.

Mr Abubakar made a similar assurance of victory after he voted in Adamawa State.

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Violence: INEC to reschedule elections in in some parts of Rivers, Lagos, Anambra

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The Independent National Electoral Commission, on Saturday, said that it would reschedule elections in some parts of Rivers, Anambra and Lagos States where there were cases of violence and ballot box snatching.
The commission which specifically mentioned the National Assembly elections in Rivers State, also acknowledged the challenges of smart card readers, saying they have been resolved.
INEC Commissioner and chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, while giving an update on the ongoing elections, said where the malfunctioning of smart card readers were not resolved before the closing of elections, voting will continue the next day.
He said, “We received reports of violence and ballot box snatching which took place in Akokotoro and Bonny LGAs in Rivers State; and some parts of Lagos and Anambra states. We are waiting for the reports, we have told the Resident Electoral Commissioners in the states to submit reports. So long as the poll is didn’t commence, it is assumed that there was no voting.
“So, elections in these areas, especially in areas related to the House of Representatives and Senate didn’t take place and the date for the election will be decided later after we receive reports from INEC officials on ground.”
The commission also said that most of the challenges association with smart card readers were resolved on time.
Okoye also threatened that any INEC official who deliberately refused to make use of the smart card readers would be prosecuted because that action contravened the electoral guidelines and provisions of the Electoral Act.
He said, “It was made clear that the use of smart card reader is mandatory. Therefore any official of the commission who will deliberately refuse to use the smart card reader will be subject to prosecution.
“The challenges of smart card readers have been resolved. But where they are not resolved before the closing of elections, the election will continue the next day.”
He also explained that all the unused ballot papers will be cancelled immediately after election.”

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Nigeria counting votes in presidential election dogged by delays

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Nigeria began counting votes in Saturday’s closely-fought presidential election although the electoral commission extended voting hours in some places where polling stations opened late or ballot machines malfunctioned.

President Muhammadu Buhari and his main challenger, businessman Atiku Abubakar, both said they were confident of victory when casting their ballots in an election which has already been delayed by a week.
Analysts say the vote in Africa’s biggest economic power is too close to call, with the outcome set to hinge on which man voters trust the most to revamp an economy still struggling to recover from a 2016 recession.
Buhari, a former military ruler who was later elected president, is seeking a second term in charge of Africa’s most populous nation and top crude producer. Atiku, a former vice president, has pledged to expand the role of the private sector.

The two men lead a field of more than 70 candidates in an election which the commission postponed last Saturday just hours before voting was due to begin, citing logistical issues.
Voting had been completed in some areas across Nigeria and counting of ballots was taking place, Reuters witnesses said.
Senior Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) official Festus Okoye said the commission had extended hours in polling stations that had experienced delays.
He also said problems encountered during the voting, including security issues, were being addressed. These included malfunctioning of voter card machines which would be replaced.

“We are on top of the situation and we are confident that as we progress in this particular election, most of the issues that arisen relating to this particular election will be addressed,” Okoye said.
The country has 72.8 million eligible voters.
Buhari, who voted in his hometown of Daura in the northern state of Katsina, said: “I will congratulate myself, I’m going to be the winner” when asked by reporters if he would congratulate his rival, should Atiku win the election.
Atiku later cast his ballot in the eastern Adamawa state.
“I am impressed by the turnout of the people,” he told reporters shortly after voting.

“I look forward to a successful transition,” he said.

VOTING DELAYS
Voting officially began at 8:00 a.m. local time (0700 GMT) and was due to close at 2:00 p.m. but Kingsley Moghalu, a presidential candidate for the Young Progressives Party, said he had only managed to vote at noon in the southeastern state of Anambra. He said polls opened two hours late and machines to read voting cards were not working.
“If as a presidential candidate my polling unit can be treated in this manner, I can imagine what a lot of Nigerians are going through in many parts of the country,” he said.

Other voters echoed his concerns.

“I’ve been to 10 polling units today. I’ve been redirected many times,” said Victor Kanoba a voter in Lagos.
John Tomaszewski, an observer with the joint U.S. National Democratic Institute and International Republican Institute delegation, said delays had been somewhat expected given the logistical challenge of getting materials to the polling stations in time for opening.
“Logistics weren’t properly managed despite the postponement of the polls,” said Idayat Hassan, director of Abuja-based think tank Centre for Democracy and Development, which is also observing the election.
However, in Lagos’ business district of Victoria Island, Reginald Anthony, 45, who runs a transport business, said: “We are seeing a transparent election, everything is open for everyone to see”.

MAIDUGURI BLASTS
After voting in the northern Kano state, Hadisa Hayatu, a 38-year old housewife, said: “I voted for Buhari because he has assured us that he is going to build on what he has done on security and other issues.”
An Atiku supporter in Kano, stylist Laurie Isaac, 27, said: “We need change. I need more work. I need my salary to increase.”
In the country’s northeast, where insurgent groups like Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province have waged a decade-long war, blasts were heard in the city of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state. Boko Haram had warned people not to vote.
Security sources said militants had struck at parts of Maiduguri and a Reuters witness said he had heard gun shots and Nigerian air force jets were flying overhead.
Colonel Sagir Musa, acting director of army public relations, said there had not been an attack on any part of Maiduguri, where activity had been part of an exercise by the military.

“Our people defied Boko Haram threats and came out,” Kashim Shettima, Borno’s governor, said after voting in Maiduguri. Shettima’s motorcade was attacked by insurgents on Feb. 12 on route to an election rally.
“The world should know we may not have a perfect exercise but the process is still OK.”

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Just In : Atiku, wife vote in Yola

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The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has cast his vote at his polling unit in Ajiya in Yola North Local Government Area of Adamawa State.
He voted almost two hours after the polls opened nationwide.
Mr Abubakar arrived alongside his wife, Titi, at 9:55 a.m. at Ajiya Polling Unit 001 to cast their ballots.
Mr Abubakar said he was “a democratic,” when asked whether or not he would concede after voting.
Mr Abubakar has repeatedly committed himself to accepting the outcome of the presidential election, provided it is free and fair.
Earlier, President Muhammadu Buhari, the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), voted four minutes after the commencement of polling in Daura, Katsina State.

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Attacks Reported in Nigeria Before Polls Open; President Votes

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Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari was among the first to cast a ballot in his hometown of Daura when the polls opened Saturday for the country’s delayed election.
Just hours before voting began, explosions were heard in the northeastern Nigerian town of Maiduguri. The source of the blasts was not immediately clear, but Boko Haram insurgents have repeatedly targeted Maiduguri.
In another northeastern town, Geidam, Reuters news agency reports attacks from Islamist militants have forced families to leave their homes. One resident, speaking to Reuters by telephone, said, “We have fled, along with our wives and children and hundreds of others.” He said, “We are right now running and hiding in the bushes.”
Nigeria’s president says polling stations will be safe Saturday when the country holds national elections after a one-week delay.

Presidential promise
In a nationally televised address Friday, President Muhammadu Buhari said security has been mobilized across the country for the polls and pledged people will be able to vote without intimidation or fear.
Political tensions are running high as Nigerians prepare to elect a new president and parliament. During the campaign, Buhari’s All Progressives Congress and the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party accused each other of attempting to fix the outcome.
Earlier this week, Buhari urged the military to be “ruthless” with anyone who tries to interfere in the voting process.
The remark drew sharp criticism from his main challenger, Atiku Abubakar, who said the military has “no role to play” in the elections.

Elections a week late
Nigeria’s elections were initially planned for last Saturday, but the electoral commission, citing logistical issues, abruptly postponed them five hours before polling stations were set to open.
The commission said Friday it is ready to deliver free and fair elections. Rotimi Oyekanmi, chief press secretary to commission chairman Mahmood Yakubu, said officials have resolved most of the problems that led to postponement of the Feb. 16 vote.
About 84 million Nigerians are registered to vote. The presidential contest is widely seen as a tight race between President Buhari and Abubakar, a former vice president.
After ruling briefly as a military dictator in the 1980s, Buhari won the 2015 election, becoming the first opposition candidate to defeat a sitting president.

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INEC officials yet to arrive at Osinbajo’s polling unit

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Officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) have yet to arrive the Code 33, Unit 2, Victoria Garden City(VGC), Lagos where Vice President Yemi Osinbajo will cast his vote in the presidential election on Saturday.
However, the unit witnessed early arrival of voters who started filing out at 5 a.m.
The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that the voters are orderly seated while waiting for voting to commence.
A voter who pleaded anonymity told NAN that he arrived at the polling unit at about 5 a.m.
He said he would like to vote early enough and attend to other things.
Another voter, Friday Abraham, said he came to the polling some minutes before 5 a.m.
“Basically, I came to exercise my right as a citizen and I needed to do so before the queue gets very long,” he said.
Moses Abraham said he arrived at the unit before 7am to vote and wait until the result is announced.
Popular Nigerian actress, Omoni Oboli, was on ground coordinating voters as they arrived in order to maintain orderly exercise when voting commences.

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Breaking: 8. 55 a.m: Atiku yet to vote

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Yola – The Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, is yet to cast his vote at his polling unit of Ajiya in Yola North Local Government Area of Adamawa almost one hour after the commencement of the Presidential and National Assembly elections nationwide.

Voting has commenced in earnest at the unit and other centres across the metropolis.

Some of his aides who arrived at the unit, however, said the PDP flag-bearer “`should be coming any moment from now”.

President Muhammadu Buhari, the APC candidate, voted four minutes after the commencement of polling in Daura, Katsina State. (NAN)

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“I am going to be the winner”, says Buhari as he votes

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Nigeria’s incumbent president, Muhammadu Buhari, has said he will be the winner of the presidential elections after he cast his vote at his polling unit.
The president and his wife, Aisha Buhari, voted at the Sarkin Yara Ward A, Kofa Baru polling unit (03), Gidan Niyam in Daura local government area of Katsina State.
Buhari said he was hopeful over the outcome of the exercise.
“Very hopeful indeed!” he retorted as he was swarmed by reporters.
Buhari, when asked if he will accept defeat and congratulate the winner if he loses, bullishly responded: “I will congratulate myself, I am going to be the winner.”
Buhari, who seeks reelection as president of Nigeria, arrived Daura, Katsina State yesterday from Abuja.
The president arrived for accreditation around 8:00am wearing a blue kaftan.
He and his wife were the first and second people to vote at the polling unit.
898 voters were registered at the president’s polling unit while the ward of the president has 9,242 registered voters.
After casting his vote, the President, who has former Vice president Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party as his major challenger, looked and sounded optimistic over the results of the polls.

 

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Buhari never said shoot on sight, don’t misinterpret him ― Tinubu

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NATIONAL Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu has called for caution against misinterpretations of President Muhammadu Buhari’s position that security agencies have been tasked to be ruthless against anyone who snatches ballot boxes or disrupts the voting process.
Tinubu who spoke with journalists after Monday’s APC caucus meeting held in Abuja warned against interpretations that Buhari’s in stating that those who snatch ballot boxes were at risk of their own lives meant that he did not value human lives and the rule of law.

He argued that Buhari was a law-abiding person and never used the words, “Shoot on sight” or “Execute summarily” but only reinforced the fact that snatching ballot boxes would not be tolerated.

Pointing to the fact that Buhari had been fighting Boko Haram, kidnapping and other crimes over the years, Tinubu questioned whether Buhari had ever been heard to ask that such perpetrators be shot or executed summarily.“I was in that meeting; the president was just reinforcing the fact that if you are out there snatching ballot boxes, and causing destruction, you are at risk of your own life. Whatever happens to you, no president will give an order that his own citizens be shot summarily, No! No, it’s okay, emotions are running high these days. Any individual including myself can be misinterpreted.
“Shoot on sight are not his words; he is a law-abiding person and he understands categorically and clearly what the rule of law is and the lives of individual citizens, he knows that he is in that office to protect.
“Now, let me say this: he has been fighting Boko Haram, kidnappers and all that before this election, did you hear him asking them to be shot and executed summarily?

If he has gone through that in the last five years, please give him the benefit of the doubt.” Tinubu said.
On election postponement, Tinubu argued that in line with the Electoral Act, parties should be allowed to continue campaigns till 24 hours before the new election date of February 23.
Tinubu maintained that parties could not afford to remain dormant for days before February 23, hence had to resume campaigns and energise their party faithful and supporters.

“By law, we should continue to energise our people. It depends on our resources. The Electoral Act allows us to continue to campaign and ask us to stop campaigning only 24 hours before the actual election. And once INEC changed the election date to Feb. 23, they have given us the opening to campaign and energise our people. If you have a garden and you don’t nourish it with water, the grass will remain dormant. We don’t want our party to remain dormant.
“This is the ability of leadership to convert adversity to opportunity and prosperity and that’s it; that’s what we must do.
“The INEC, under the law, is empowered to postpone, cancel and do whatever is necessary to ensure a free and fair election. No party other INEC has this power. We can express our anger and disappointment, but no party can reverse what has been done. So, we are ready for Feb 23,” Tinubu added.

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No Commissioner Or Director Was Arrested, Says INEC Boss

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has denied the report that one of its national commissioners was arrested by security operatives.
INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, faulted the claim during a briefing on measures put in place by INEC towards conducting credible elections after the polls were shifted.
“No Commissioner of the Commission was picked up by any security agency,” he said in response to a question on the report on Tuesday in Abuja.
“No house of any Commissioner of INEC was raided,” Professor Yakubu added. “No any Commissioner of INEC has been picked up by the security agency.”

The INEC boss disclosed that the commissioner whose name was being circulated in the social media was in his office at the time when he gave the briefing.
He also condemned the report that six directors were picked up by security operatives, stressing that nothing of such happened.
Professor Yakubu further cautioned politicians against speaking in a manner that would overheat the polity and political atmosphere.
Earlier, he offered his regrets over the postponement of the elections and assured Nigerians that the electoral body under his leadership was working towards conducting credible elections.
As part of measures to ensure that the polls were conducted on the rescheduled dates, the INEC boss revealed that all materials including ballot papers and result sheets were already at the expected locations across the country.
He also said Registration Area Centres (RATs) for the elections would be activated by 9:00am on Friday across the nation.
Professor Yakubu, however, warned officials of the commission and ad-hoc staff against going late to their duty posts.
“Personnel and materials should be at the RATs by mid-day on Friday,” he said.
“Personnel and materials must arrive at the polling units latest 7:00am on Saturday 23 February 2019, and the opening of polls nationwide will take place at 8:00 in the morning on Saturday 23 February 2019.”

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Winning Sunday with Creative /Visual Artist ,Kingsley Ayogu @ the Ayogu Kingsley digital gallery Space. : The Young Netpreneur for the Week.

Art steps beyond the realms of being just an illustration when the piece which has been created holds a narrative. This depth of artistic expression can be achieved through diving into the abundant ocean of human emotion, a depth achieved by 23-year-old artist Ayogu Kingsley Ifeanyichukwu. He accomplishes this depth not only through the photographic precision of his oil paintings, but through the scenes captured within his work.

 

 

 

 

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