Home Archives 2019 March 8

Daily Archives: Mar 8, 2019

Theresa May announces resignation as British Prime Minister

Theresa May has asked the EU for “one more push” to get her Brexit deal through Parliament and warned that, if it fails, “we may never leave at all”.

The prime minister said the UK had tabled “serious” proposals to resolve the deadlock over the Irish backstop.Warning of a “moment of crisis” if the deal was rejected again, the PM told EU leaders: “Let’s get it done.”

The EU said it would give “legal force” to assurances already made that the UK could not be stuck in a customs union.

Setting out the EU’s position on Twitter, chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said it was “not interested in the blame game” and talks would continue over the weekend.

The political editor Laura Kuenssberg said what the EU was offering amounted to a “legal beefing-up of existing promises”.

Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay and the DUP, the party Mrs May’s government relies on for a majority in Parliament, were both dismissive of Mr Barnier’s proposal.

Mr Barclay tweeted: “With a very real deadline looming, now is not the time to rerun old arguments. The UK has put forward clear new proposals. We now need to agree a balanced solution that can work for both sides”

While Nigel Dodds, the deputy leader of the DUP, said Mr Barnier’s proposal regarding the backstop “disrespects the constitutional and economic integrity” of the UK, and it was neither “realistic nor sensible”.

He said the EU’s proposal “demonstrates that they have a one-sided approach and a lack of understanding about the divisions in Northern Ireland”.

The UK is due to leave on 29 March, although Parliament has yet to agree the terms of withdrawal.

MPs will vote for a second time on the withdrawal deal Mrs May has negotiated with the EU on Tuesday – after it was defeated by a historic margin in a Commons vote in January.

If they reject it again, they will get the option of either leaving without a deal or delaying the exit date.

‘We may never leave’

In a speech to a green energy firm in Lincolnshire, Mrs May said she understood the “genuine concerns” about the backstop but appealed to MPs to recognise that the deal as a whole respected the 2016 referendum result and would ensure the UK’s long-term prosperity.

“Back it and the UK will leave the EU,” she said.

“Reject it and no-one knows what will happen. We may not leave the EU for many months. We may leave without the protections a deal provides, we may never leave at all.”

It was in neither side’s interest to prolong the uncertainty by “carry on arguing” about Brexit, she said, claiming any delay beyond 29 March only risked “creating new problems”.

“It needs one more push to address the specific concerns of our Parliament,” she said. “So let’s not hold back and do what is necessary for MPs to back the deal.

“Because if MPs reject the deal, nothing is certain. It would be at a moment of crisis.”

She suggested the British people, to whom Brexit “belonged”, had “moved on” and “are ready for this to be settled”, adding: “Everyone now wants to get it done.”

But former Conservative minister Dominic Grieve, who backs a referendum to endorse the terms of Brexit, said it was “hard to see” how Parliament would agree to the current deal.

Labour says PM is desperate
Speaking at the Scottish Labour conference, party leader Jeremy Corbyn said the prime minister sounded “desperate” in her speech.

“If she cannot get her botched Brexit deal through Parliament next week, it will represent an unprecedented failure in British political history.

“The utter mess the government has made of the Brexit negotiations, and their reckless abandon when it comes to people’s jobs and livelihoods, is absolutely unforgivable.

“Having already failed once to get her deal through, I want to make it clear to the PM that if she fails again, it will be the end of the road for her deal.”

The SNP said the deal on offer was “fundamentally flawed” and would damage the Scottish economy.

“Theresa May must stop passing the buck and take personal responsibility for the Brexit crisis created as a result of her own intransigence,” said its Westminster leader Ian Blackford.

What is the sticking point?
The first Commons vote, in January, saw the deal rejected by 432 votes to 202, the largest defeat for a sitting government in history.

Mrs May is seeking legally enforceable changes to the backstop – a controversial insurance policy designed to prevent physical checks on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland – but there have been few visible signs of progress.

For a better society

Mrs Akeredolu celebrates 2019 International Women's Day


SOLAYO Beneficiary, Wife of Ondo state Governor, Chief (Mrs) Betty Anyanwu Akeredolu (middle) with SOLAYO (maternity Kits) beneficiaries, during the celebration of 2019 International Women’s Day, in Ore, Odigbo Local Government of Ondo state, on Friday, March 8, 2019.

Governorship: INEC unleashes EFCC on vote buyers in Gombe

OBIORA IFOH, Gombe

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has been engaged by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to be on surveillance to deal with all cases of vote buying and selling and other forms of inducement both within and outside Voting Stations in Gombe State.

INEC has also confirmed that there are 32 candidates contesting for the office of Governor while 253 candidates will be contesting for 24 seats of the Gombe State House of Assembly.

At the briefing on Friday on the readiness of the commission for the Saturday’s election in the state, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Alhaji Umar Ibrahim, said, “In the area of security, we have received assurances of improved deployment from the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) to safeguard our personnel, materials and the electorates.

“The members of EFCC are on surveillance to deal with all cases of vote buying and selling and other forms of inducement both within and outside Voting Stations.

“I wish to restate our unwavering resolve to provide a level playing field for all candidates and parties and the conduct of free, fair and credible elections tomorrow. I therefore call on all registered voters in Gombe State to come out en masse with their PVCs to vote for candidates of their choice without fear of intimidation and be rest assured that their votes will count.”

Umar Ibrahim said the experiences of 23rd February was used as a springboard for the conduct of even more credible elections on saturday.

According to him, “To achieve this goal, we extensively reviewed the last elections, identified areas that needs improvement and fashioned an action plan. Therefore, sensitive materials were sorted, distributed and deployed to LGAs on Wednesday 6th March for early detection and mitigation of any shortfall.

“The LGAs in turn, yesterday batched the materials into Registrations Areas and as we speak, movement of personnel and materials to Registration Area Centres (RACs) if not concluded, is in progress and will soon be concluded. All these were done under the presence of Party Agents, Election Observers, Journalists and security agents who escorted the materials to the various LGAs. Distribution of non-sensitive materials to Polling Units (PUs) has been concluded while sensitive materials will be distributed at the RACs.

“Furthermore, refresher training for all poll officials will be conducted at the RACs today to ensure better handling of the Smart Card Reader, electronic voters register, result sheets and crowd management.

“We have made adequate arrangements to cater for eventualities of Smart Card Reader malfunction. About 10 to 15 Smart Card Readers have been deployed to LGAs as back-up. Each RA is being manned by one Registration Area Technical Support (RATEC) personnel to deal with any issue arising from the Card Reader. I therefore call on the electorate to ensure that the Smart Card Readers are used for accreditation in all PUs to avoid rendering their efforts futile.

“Eligible voters must note that the non-use of the Smart Card Reader for accreditation is Zero score for that unit.
To ensure early arrival at PUs, we have renewed our commitment with the NURTW and received assurances of early deployment of election materials and personnel to PUs.”

For a better society

No plans to arrest PDP guber candidate in Bauchi -CP

SELYA YARNAP , Bauchi

Bauchi State Police Command has denied the allegations by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that there is a grand plan to arrest and place its gubernatorial candidate, Senator Bala Mohammed Abdulkadir under house arrest til after the gubernatorial and State Assembly elections comin.

MTN reports $672m profit in 2018, to list shares in Nigeria

UGO AMADI

TN Group reported a 110 percent growth in profit after tax (PAT) in 2018 driven by strong growth in voice, data and fintech revenue, according to its financial results for the year ended December 31, 2018. The telco grew PAT to R9.6 billion ($672.6 million) in 2018 from R4.6 billion a year earlier. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), which is a measure of a company’s operating performance, grew 2.7 percent to R48.2 billion.

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