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Organizers cancel second Trump-Biden debate after the US President insisted on a physical debate in spite of having Coronavirus

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The second debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden has been cancelled by the Commission on Presidential Debates after the US President declined participating in a virtual debate despite being infected with Coronavirus.

 

Cancellation of the debate on Friday October 9, leaves just one more debate on the schedule and is expected to hold in Nashville, Tennessee on October 22 before the November 3 election.

 

The commission said in a statement;

 

“It is now apparent there will be no debate on October 15, and the CPD will turn its attention to preparations for the final presidential debate scheduled for October 22.

“Each (candidate) now has announced alternate plans for that date, it is now apparent there will be no debate on October 15.”

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The commission had announced on Thursday morning that because Trump tested positive for Coronavirus, the debate that was scheduled for Miami would be held virtually, with the two candidates appearing from remote locations.

 

Trump swiftly rejected that plan, saying he would not show up and setting off a series of events that put the future of all general election debates into question. Biden had also said earlier this week he would not debate Trump in person if he still had the virus, and his campaign called Trump’s refusal to adapt to a virtual format “shameful.”

 

Following the cancellation, the Republican president will travel on Monday October 12 to central Florida, a state crucial to his hopes of winning a second term in the November 3 election.

 

He will stage his first campaign rally since his coronavirus diagnosis at an airport in the town of Sanford. The campaign did not disclose if it would be held in a hangar with doors open, as it has in the past, or entirely outside

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Senate Minority Caucus rejects Buhari’s aide, Lauretta Onochie’s nomination as INEC Commissioner

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The Senate Minority Caucus has rejected the nomination of Lauretta Onochie as National Electoral Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

 

In a statement released by the lawmakers, President Buhari was accused of “willfully going against the constitution” as his Special Assistant on social media is allegedly a card-carrying party member.

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Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe urged Buhari to withdraw Onochie’s nomination as it is against the constitution he swore to uphold.

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The statement read;

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“President Buhari by nominating Loretta Onochie has willfully gone against the constitution that he swore to uphold.

“Item F, paragraph 14 of the Third Schedule of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) forbids a card carrying member of a political party to be a member of INEC.

“The Minority Caucus of the Senate is against this nomination and calls on Mr President to withdraw it.”

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34-year-old Nigerian in race to become Governor of US state of Michigan

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A 34-year-old Nigerian, Austin Chenge has joined the race for the governorship seat of US state of Michigan.

 

Chenge, a native of Benue State in Nigeria will challenge USA Representative Lamar Smith for the ticket under the Republican Party.

 

Abdul-Rahman Balogun, Head of Media and Public Relations unit of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) said the Benue indigene announced his intention to run for governor of Michigan in March 2020, making him the first Republican to do so.

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The politician is said to be popular locally for designing the tricycle known as “Wazobia tricycle” in 2016, created to improve the lives of peasant farmers all over Africa.

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The statement added;

 

“Chenge is a Law graduate from the University of Birmingham, England. Since the year 2018, he has been serving with the US military as a specialist.

“He is decorated with the Achievement Medal as a Distinguished Honour Graduate with a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 99.8% and for exceptional performance while on active duty.

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Lauretta Onochie’s nomination is a shameful attempt to plant unscrupulous elements in INEC – PDP

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The Peoples Democratic Party PDP has kicked against President Buhari’s nomination of Lauretta Onochie, his personal assistant on social media, as the INEC Commissioner for Delta state.

 

Recall that the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, on Tuesday, October 13, read a letter from President Buhari, asking for the house to confirm Onochie as INEC commissioner for Delta state.

 

In a statement released by its publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party described Ms. Onochie’s appointment as a ”highly provocative assault on our national constitution and democratic process”.

 

Read the statement below

”The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) describes President Muhammadu Buhari’s appointment of his Special Assistant on social media, Ms. Lauretta Onochie, a card-carrying member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as a national commissioner in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), as a highly provocative assault on our nation’s constitution and democratic process.

Indeed, from Mr. President’s public promises, one would have thought that he was desirous of leaving a legacy of credible elections, having failed in all ramifications of governance

However, this nomination of his personal staff, Lauretta Onchie, as INEC national commissioner, supports the position of the PDP that his statements were mere glib talks on electoral sanctity and clearly demonstrates that he has no plans whatsoever to leave a legacy of credible polls.

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This ugly development is another shameful attempt to plant unscrupulous elements in INEC in order to corrupt and further desecrate the sanctity of the commission, undermine our electoral system and destabilize our democratic process ahead of the 2023 general elections.

We had hoped that, as Mr. President had professed in the past, he is truly running his second and final term in office. If that were so, then Lauretta Onochie’s nomination as INEC national commissioner clearly points to a totally different direction.

Indeed, her nomination dresses up Mr. President as having more than an interest in legacy building and portrays him as one who has a personal candidature interest in the 2023 election. The only way to prove otherwise is to quickly withdraw Onochie’s nomination before the Senate.

Moreover, being a card-carrying member of the APC as records shows (from Ward 5 Onicha Olona, Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta state), Onochie’s nomination is in clear violation of paragraph 14 of the 3rd schedule of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), which forbids a person involved in partisan politics to hold office as a member of INEC.

It is therefore surprising that having sworn to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mr. President is taking actions that are antithetical to the very constitution and democratic governance.

These actions are deliberate attempts by President Buhari to inflame social tensions, undermine our constitution and desecrate the sanctity of our electoral process, rather than finding solutions to the myriads of problems pervading our country.

On a final note, the PDP, standing shoulder to shoulder with Nigerians, will deploy every legitimate means possible in a democracy to stop the approval of this provocative nomination of Lauretta Onochie as INEC national commissioner.”

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