Tag Archives: election

The Electoral System Of Nigeria Has Derailed – Seun Onigbinde, Director of BudgIT.

Oluseun Onigbinde, Director of BudgIT, has said that Nigeria’s electoral system has derailed.

Onigbinde said this following Saturday’s governorship election in Kogi and Bayelsa states.

The election recorded a high rate of violence and electoral misconducts.

In a post on Twitter, Onigbinde also lamented that every institution had been compromised.

He said, “90 per cent turnout in an election? As Nigerians lay their bed, they will also rest on it.

“Our electoral system has derailed.

“Every institution has been compromised and laws won’t be enough in an atmosphere of impunity.”

Election: The Issue Of Kogi Is Tougher Than Bayelsa State – Police P.R.O, Mba Says.

The police have lamented that the violence in Kogi State during the governorship elections was worse than that of Bayelsa State.

Elections had been disrupted in Ward 2, Lokoja, after gunshots were fired into the air by suspected thugs.

They also made away with ballot boxes, even as electorates scampered for safety.

Speaking about the situation on Channels TV’s special election programme, the Police Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, noted that although some of the incidences had been identified in the threat analysis and preventive measures were taken, a lot of things are still beyond the control of the security agencies.

“The situation in Kogi has actually been very challenging, more challenging than the situation in Bayelsa,” he said.

“The truth, however, is that we saw a great deal of this in the threat analysis we conducted earlier and we actually took a lot of measured and strategic steps to isolate and neutralise some of these problems”.

Speaking further, he blamed some of the electoral malpractices and violence on politicians who play very desperate games.

According to Mba, despite being armed, the security agencies have to exercise maximum restraint in order not to harm innocent citizens.

“When you are policing an environment where politicians play very desperate games, where politicians believe in winning at all cost, where they do not believe in the rule of law or political process, you will constantly be swimming against the tide and of course you understand that as police officers, we can never behave like thugs.

“As much as we are armed, we believe first and foremost that our weapons are given to us by the state to preserve our citizens and so even when we are responding to incidents at the polling stations, we are conscious of the fact that we need to exercise maximum restraint.

“We need to exercise a lot of due care and diligence to ensure that in trying to stop the thugs, stop the law breakers, we do not bring the innocent into harm’s way”.

Bayelsa State Governor Dickson Called Out For Cancellation Of Elections In Nembe. (Details..)

Governor Seriake Dickson has called for outright cancellation of the elections in Nembe Local Government Area where 20 people were reportedly killed by gunmen at a PDP campaign rally.

Dickson made the statement while speaking with newsmen shortly after casting his vote at Oruerewari, Polling Unit 005, Toru Orua in Sagbama Local Government Area on Saturday. He called on the Chairman of INEC to issue an order canceling the process in all the affected units, wards, local government areas, where election materials had been stolen or hijacked.

He also urged INEC to cancel the electoral process in areas “where officials have been kidnapped and held hostage to enable the APC cook up non-existing figures”. Dickson, who is serving his second term on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) platform and the party’s candidate, Sen. Douye Diri, also lamented about electoral fraud and widespread violence.

In Yenagoa, a voter, Ebikeme Doubra, described the process as “peaceful except for isolated cases of attempts to snatch ballot box which was thwarted by security agents”. Some thugs attempted to disrupt the process and they were contained by security agencies in Ekeki and Opolo areas of Yenagoa, but other places were peaceful.

“The election was smooth and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should be commended for the smooth conduct of this election. We expect them to ensure that our votes count,” Doubra said.

However, voting has ended and voters now await the announcement of results across Bayelsa in respect of Saturday’s Governorship elections.

Kogi/Bayelsa: Election Results Of Areas Reported If Violence May Be Cancelled – INEC.

The Independent National Electoral Commissioner in charge of Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye has announced that the electoral commission might be cancelling votes from polling units where violence was recorded.

Okoye who stated that the cancellation is dependent on reports made by the presiding officer in such units, added that they are not aware of the Peoples Democratic Party’s claim that Governor Yahaya Bello and the APC was forcing the Commission to sign prefilled results.

The INEC Commissioner said the decision to cancel results in some polling units will not be taken independently without reports from its officials in the field.

He said “we have some Resident and National Commissioners and other senior staff of the commission on the field. They are doing their job in accordance with the law.”

BayelsaDecides2019: Most of the electoral officials in southern ijaw as we speak have be kidnapped – Gov. Dickson.

Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State says violence has marred the election in some parts of his state.

According to Governor Dickson, many electoral officials in Southern Ijaw and some other parts of Bayelsa State have been kidnapped.

Speaking after he cast his vote at his Polling Unit 5, Ward 2, Sagbama, the governor accused security agencies of conniving with the All Progressives Congress to rig the state governorship election.

He said, “As we are speaking, in this day and age, gun-wielding militiamen, with the aid of security forces, have overrun hapless electoral officials.

”Most of the electoral officials in Southern Ijaw, as we speak, are kidnapped and held hostage.”

Governor Dickson said it is very sad that no election was held in Southern Ijaw.

He accused the opposition party of being desperate to seize power in Bayelsa, stating that if the people are allowed to freely vote, then they will vote for the ruling Peoples Democratic Party.

“This election, allow the people to vote. Anywhere the people of Bayelsa have an opportunity to vote, they will vote for our party. They will vote for the candidate of our party. The APC knows that and that is why the desperation is so high,” Dickson said.

Speaking on the way forward, Governor Dickson asked the Independent National Electoral Commission to cancel elections in all areas where electoral materials were hijacked by suspected political thugs.

He also called on President Buhari to act and ensure that security operatives work in the best interest of the Bayelsa people.

“Way forward, I call on the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, even though he has decided to look the other way since 2015.

”The President has to wake to do something. This is not a democracy. The observers are here and they know what is going on.

”I call on the President to call the security forces to order. I call on the IG of Police to do his duty to protect the people of Bayelsa State.”

Governor Dickson warned that if the security situation is not put to check, then the people might be forced to defend themselves.

This is how votes buying and intimidations from persons affect Kogi governorship election – CDD, Idaya Hassan.

The Centre for Democracy and Development, CDD, has described suppression, votes buying and intimidation of observers and journalist as what characterized the Kogi State Governorship election.

Idaya Hassan, Director of CDD stated this at a preliminary press briefing on Saturday during the ongoing governorship election, adding that the election witnessed poor logistics arrangement as materials and voting began late.

She Lamented that armed thugs are moving in vehicles despite restricted movement, asking that on whose authorities they thugs were allowed to move.

Idaya said CDD observed the concerns before the election, stressing that, the violence that erupted in the Kogi State election was worrisome after several years of the practice of the nations democracy.

She disclosed that despite the several early warnings to INEC and influx of security agencies, the state still failed to move from violence prune state since the advent of democracy.

Journalist Boat Covering Bayelsa State Election Tumbles.

A boat conveying journalists across flooded parts of Sampou community in Kolokuma Opokuma Local Government Area of Bayelsa State on Saturday capsized and threw the four occupants into the water.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, the boat was carrying four journalists covering the governorship elections, including its correspondent.

The journalists were returning from a polling station when the incident happened and left the victims submerged.

However, the timely intervention of sympathisers saved the journalists whose mobile phones, cameras and recorders were drenched.

Flood had submerged many parts of Amasoma, Yenagoa and parts of Sagbama, a development that displaced polling stations.

Kogi: Apc candidate, Smart Adeyemi’s vote. (Video)

Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Kogi West Senatorial District rerun election, Smart Adeyemi has cast his ballot.

Mr Adeyemi voted at about 11:15 am in Iyara 002 ward, Aiyetoro, Ijumu Local Government Area in Kogi state.

Earlier, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Dino Melaye also cast his vote for the Kogi West Senatorial District in Iluafor polling unit 004, Ayetoro 1 at around 9:14 am.

Bayelsa/Kogi Governorship Election Happening Today: See Live updates on what’s happening.

Residents of Bayelsa and Kogi states will today vote to determine who will govern the state for the next four years.

In Bayelsa, 45 candidates are in the governorship race, according to data from the Independent National Electoral Commission. Mr David Lyon of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Senator Douye Diri of the Peoples Democratic Party are believed to be the top contenders in the race.

The race is expected to produce a successor to Governor Seriake Dickson who is in the final months of his second term.

In Kogi, a tight race is expected, involving 24 candidates. It is a heated race with Governor Yahaya Bello of the All Progressives Congress seeking re-election, while the man he and his party ousted from power, Musa Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party, is a leading candidate to stop him and claim the second term he missed out on four years ago.

The build-up to the election has been dramatic and sometimes violent. Just on Thursday, the candidate of the Social Democratic Party, Natasha Akpoti, was attacked outside the venue of a meeting between stakeholders and the Inspector General of the Police and the INEC Chairman.

An added dimension to today’s election in Kogi is the Senatorial election rerun in Kogi West which pits old foes Dino Melaye of the PDP and Smart Adeyemi of the APC against each other once again. Melaye had ousted Adeyemi from the Senate as a member of the APC in 2015. At the time, Adeyemi was a member of the PDP.

Both men later switched camps with Melaye being declared winner of the February 23, 2019 election in the district, a declaration the court later nullified and called for fresh elections.

Ahead of the elections, President Muhammadu Buhari called for fairness and transparency and the IGP promised to ensure peace so the people can vote. Opposition party leaders, however, expressed fears about whether the votes would be peaceful and fair.

N.Rs are ready to keep you updated about happenings in both states. Stay with us and keep refreshing this page for fresh updates.

Poll: Bayelsa State Lawmakers Request For State Of Emergency. (Details..)

With just a few hours to the Governorship election, the Bayelsa House of Assembly has passed a resolution demanding a state of emergency in Nembe Local Government Area and that the electoral exercise schedule for tomorrow in area be cancelled.

The lawmakers said the resolution was sequel to the violence that erupted at a political campaign by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Nembe, which that led to the death of several persons after a shooting spree.

The resolution came under matters of urgent national importance and emanated from a motion moved by Hon. Ben Ololo, a member representing Nembe constituency. He said the bloodletting in his constituency was a pointer to the fact that no election could be conducted there that would seen to be free, fair and credible.

The lawmaker condemned the do-or-die attitude of some unnamed desperate politicians in the State. Hon.Ben Ololo urged the state government and security agencies to take prompt actions to arrest those who committed the dastardly act by bringing them to book.

Supporting the motion, the lawmakers passed a five-point resolution calling for the cancellation of election and declaration of a state of emergency in Nembe local government area.

Buhari wish kogi, bayelsa as he said, “There won’t be interference. . (Details)

President Muhammadu Buhari has assured that there will be no interference in Saturday’s election in Bayelsa and Kogi States.

This is even as Buhari has demanded exemplary conduct of non-partisanship on the part of election and law enforcement officials in the two states.

He insisted that all must carry out their functions with fairness and transparency; without let or hindrance and without fear or favour.

According to a statement by Senior Special Assistant to the President Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, Buhari said: “On Saturday November 16, voters in two states, Bayelsa and Kogi, will be left alone to decide who takes charge of the administration of their important states for the next four years.

“Since the ban on campaigns was lifted a few weeks ago, their citizens have been called to attend political rallies of various hues and were bombarded with advertising on bill boards, radio and TV; texts, tweets, WhatsApp and Facebook posts in campaigns that sadly, have so far recorded not a few uninspiring incidents of violence and of intemperate use of language.”

He said: “I call on voters in Bayelsa and Kogi States to exercise their franchise in a peaceful and orderly manner and in line with the law in all situations. Law enforcement officials must ensure that citizens are allowed to vote without harassment and intimidation and any attempt to steal or hijack ballots must be stopped using all legal means.

“In all democratic elections, there are bound to be winners and losers and the elections in Bayelsa and Kogi will not be different. All candidates should be ready to accept the outcomes and wherever they are dissatisfied, they should follow the due process of the law in seeking redress. There must not be a resort to self-help.”

The President wished the two states and their peoples a safe and credible exercise as they vote in these historic and suspenseful elections.

El Rufai’s Kneelings For Re-election Shows That Yahaya Bello Misused His Opportunity As A Governor Of Kaduna – PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says the public apology and kneeling by the Chairman of the APC Kogi state campaign council and Kaduna state governor, Nasir El-Rufai, confirms that even the APC agrees that Kogi state governor, Yahaya Bello, does not merit a second term.

Governor El-Rufai knelt before the people of Kogi State, asking them to forgive Governor Yahaya Bello for any wrong he had done. He begged the Kogi indigents during a campaign for Governor Yahaya ahead of the state’s governorship election this Saturday, November 16th.

In a statement released by its spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP claimed that El-Rufai kneeling at the campaign rally is a direct confirmation that the ”failed Governor Bello cannot lay claim to any genuine vote at the November 16th governorship election”.

Read the remaining part of the statement below

”The PDP notes that the Edo State deputy governor, Philip Shuaibu, also knelt before the Kogi people to beg for Yahaya Bello which further shows that it is public knowledge that the governor misused the opportunity given to him to lead the state.

Unfortunately, the apology is coming too late in the day and cannot be accepted by the people of Kogi state, whose lives, Yahaya Bello had turned into a living hell in the last four year.

Moreover, Yahaya Bello openly confirmed that he is irredeemable as he stood without any sign of remorse while El-Rufai and the Edo State deputy governor begged the unimpressed scanty crowd.

Governor El-Rufai and the APC ought to have counseled Yahaya Bello at the time he was busy suppressing, insulting, abusing and making life unbearable for the people of Kogi state as if there will not be a day of reckoning.

The irreversible fact is that the day of reckoning has come. The people of Kogi state have moved beyond Yahaya Bello and the APC. They are already moving on with the PDP candidate, Engr. Musa Wada, in their determination for a new order in their state and there is no looking back.

PDP advises Governor El-Rufai to assist Governor Bello in preparing his handover notes as he will surely face a crushing defeat at the polls, come Saturday November 16th”.

Bayelsa: See How INEC Reacted As Court Disqualified APC Governorship Candidate. (Details)

The Independent and National Electoral Commission (INEC) has reacted to the disqualification of the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate, David Lyon ahead of the Governorship election scheduled to hold on Saturday November 16.

N.Rs reported yesterday that Justice Jane Inyang of the Federal High Court in Yenegoa, sacked David Lyon on grounds of the party’s governorship primary election not being conducted according to the constitution of the party.

Sarian Dangosu, INEC publicity secretary in Bayelsa who reacted to the court judgement said the governorship election in the state will still hold.

“The court did not say INEC should stop the election”, said Sarian Dangosu.

“The court only said those who do not have candidates will be disallowed therefore, the other 43 candidates will go to the polls,” she added.

The court judgement came after the federal High Court in Abuja disqualified Mr Lyon’s running mate, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo from participating in the election for presenting conflicting information to the electoral commission.

Yenogoa: APC Has No Governorship Candidate In Bayelsa – Justice Jane Inyang.

Justice Jane Inyang of the Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, has declared that the All Progressives Congress (APC) has no candidate for the November 16th governorship election in the state.

She gave the ruling in a case filed by Heineken Lokpobiri, one of the APC governorship aspirants in the state. Lokpobiri, a former minister of state for agriculture, had approached the court, asking it to declare him, and not David Lyon, the authentic candidate of the APC.

“The court pronounced that the governorship primary conducted by the APC in Bayelsa state was not done in compliance with the guidelines and the constitution of the party, and, therefore, the party has no candidate,” Mr Lokpobiri’s lawyer, Fitzgerald Olorogun, told reporters immediately after the court ruling.

Justice Inyang held that since the party’s governorship primaries conducted on September 4th, was conducted in violation of the party’s constitution and guidelines as clearly spelt out for the conduct of governorship primaries, none of the aspirants should be fielded as the party’s candidate.

Recall that on Tuesday November 12th, a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, disqualified Mr David Lyon’s running mate, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, from participating in the forthcoming election on the grounds that he provided conflicting information on the documents he presented to INEC.

Justice Inyang in her ruling, also restrained the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC), from including Lyon as the APC candidate in the governorship election slated for this Saturday November 16th.

Kogi 2019: A Lawyer Drags Musa Wada To Court Seeking To Disqualify Him Over Mental Disorder. (Details..)

A Lokoja-based lawyer, Ehimoni Sunday has approached the federal high court seeking to disqualify Musa Wada of the PDP from contesting Saturday’s Kogi guber elections.

The suit was commenced by Originating Summons numbered FHC/ABJ/CS/1375/19 and filed by his lawyers on 12/11/19. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Engr. Musa Wada are 1st, 2nd and 3rd Plaintiffs respectively in the matter which was filed at the court’s Abuja headquarters.

The court documents show that the Plaintiff wants the Court to determine whether going by his medical records the candidate of the PDP, Musa Wada, ought not to be declared and certified lunatic and a person of unsound mind, sanctioned for providing false information to INEC on his forms and prevented from contesting.

It will be recalled that social media and the press became awash last week with Wada’s medical records from the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba Lagos State after they were leaked by unknown persons.

Making reference to Sections 182(1)(c) & (2)(a) and (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As Amended) the plaintiff urged the court to determine as follows.

Whether in the light of 3rd Defendant’s Medical Records which emanated from the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba Lagos State, the 3rd Defendant ought not to be declared a lunatic and /or a person of unsound mind.

Whether by virtue of Sections 182(1) (c) & (2) (a) and (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As Amended), the 3rd Defendant is qualified for election to the office of Governor of Kogi State.

Whether having regard to the provisions of Sections 31 (2), (5) and (6) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (As Amended), Sections 182 (1) (c) & (2) (a) and (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As Amended), vis-a-vis 3rd Defendant’s INEC FORM CFOO1, submitted to the 2nd Defendant by the 1st and 3rd Defendants, particularly Part “B”, Article “E” Question “1”, the 3rd Defendant has not provided false information regarding his mental health and therefore liable to be disqualified from contesting the Kogi State Governorship election scheduled for the 16th day of November, 2019.

In addition to determining the points above, Mr. Ehimoni prayed the court for several reliefs including the following:

A DECLARATION that the 3rd Defendant is of unsound mind in view of the 3rd Defendant’s Medical Records which emanated from the Federal Neuro – Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba, Lagos State.

A DECLARATION that by virtue of Sections 182 (1) (c) & (2) (a) and (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As Amended), the 3rd Defendant been a person of unsound mind is not qualified for election to the office of Governor of Kogi State.

A DECLARATION that the 3rd Defendant’s INEC FORM CFOO1 submitted to the 2nd Defendant by the 1st and 3rd Defendants, particularly Part “B”, Article “E” Question “1”, contains false information regarding the mental health of the 3rd Defendant.

A DECLARATION that having regard to the provisions of Sections 31 (2), (5) and (6) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (As Amended), Sections 182 (1) (c) & (2) (a) and (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As Amended), vis-a-vis 3rd Defendant’s INEC FORM CFOO1, submitted to the 2nd Defendant by the 1st and 3rd Defendants, particularly Part “B”, Article “E” Question “1”, the 3rd Defendant has provided false information regarding his mental health and therefore liable to be disqualified from contesting the Kogi State Governorship election scheduled for the 16th day of November, 2019.

An Order disqualifying the 3rd Defendant for election to the office of Governor of Kogi State scheduled for the 16th day of November, 2019, for submitting to the 2nd Defendant false information regarding the 3rd Defendant’s mental health in INEC FORM CFOO1 particularly Part “B”, Article “E” Question “1.

Following the leakage of Mr. Wada’s personal details online, his medical records in particular have generated intense scrutiny and debate in Kogi State and across the country. Said to be from the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba the records actually seem to confirm that the PDP candidate is grappling with serious mental health issues.

While the medical condition is not to be stigmatised, the electoral laws rightly prohibit anyone suffering from them from seeking high public office. This is because the capacity to reason well and make rational decisions, not just about oneself but the millions of other humans in one’s care within the polity if the individual is elected cannot be compromised.

No doubt the PDP candidate has presented with strange, sometimes bizzare, behaviour while on campaigns. For instance, Kogites are still scratching their heads from images of him holding aloft a white chicken from the roof of a car on one of his campaigns.

The consternation is not unrelated to the fact that his party’s symbol is an umbrella while the white cock belongs to another All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), the PDP’s closest rival in the opposition. People wondered if he was unaware of the difference, and if so, what is he doing campaigning to govern Kogi State?

It is also becoming worrisome to the electorate how he seems unable to keep his eyes open for any length of time at any public fora, no matter how important. Even PDP stalwarts are complaining on social media. He has become notorious for his furious fidgeting once he has to sit still for some time followed by attention deficit behaviour and then deep slumber. Images of him dozing off at the two stakeholders’ meetings organised by INEC so far are raising questions about probable cause, and how much of it might be drug-related for managing his condition.

From the questions submitted for determination, the Exhibits attached to the Affidavit in support of the Originating Summons, and the reliefs sought by the Plaintiff, the suit presents yet another headache for the PDP and its candidate already facing a plethora of cases by party members and human rights activists.

These cases attack Wada’s candidature and PDP’s chances from different angles, but all of them portend doom for them, both before and after the elections. It is becoming an inescapable conclusion that if against all odds Wada wins the Kogi gubers this Saturday, the Zamfara situation where the supreme court declared votes for the APC which won wasted and the PDP elected is inevitable. This is because the allegations of invalid primaries, forged academic and other credentials and unsound mind, along with the quantity and quality of evidence provided in proof by the various litigants will be difficult to sormount.

The people of Kogi State would of course prefer that the courts resolve these issues for them before the polls, as they did for Bayelsans yesterday, so they can be well guided when they vote on Saturday. But even if the courts choose not to, Kogites will still vote, except that they will open their eyes wide to evaluate the candidates based on their overall suitability for the physical and mental rigours of governing such a diverse polity.

Godswill Akpabio wins Election rerun in Cross Rivers.


Minister of Niger Delta Affairs Godswill Akpabio has secured a win at the court of appeal which sat in Cross River State’s capital Calabar, as the court ordered a rerun election in Akwa Ibom north-west senatorial district he contested in on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) with Senator Chris Ekpeyong of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Akapbio filed a petition at the National Assembly Election Tribunal following the declaration of Ekpeyong, a former deputy governor of Akwa Ibom State as winner of the election.

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Court of Appeal Orders Ekpenyong’s Sack Letter, Set To Rerun Akpabio’s Election. (Details..)

However after the petition was struck out by the tribunal on grounds of lacking merit, the minister headed to the appellate court. The court of appeal in its ruling on Saturday November 9, ordered the Independent and National Electoral Commission to conduct a rerun election in the senatorial district within 90 days.

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#Newsworthy

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I never mean to insult goodwill akpabio – Festus Keyamo

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Keyamo blast Nwabueze, says his submissions contains intentional misinformation. #Buhari/Atiku.

Kogi, Bayelsa Elections: INEC Besieges Protesters, led by Deji Adeyanju.

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Protesters, under the aegis of Free Nigeria Movement, Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution, and Concerned Nigerians on Friday staged a protest to demand transparency and credibility in the forthcoming Kogi and Bayelsa gubernatorial elections.

Protesting at the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission, the coalition urged INEC to act upon recommendations by local and international observers regarding flaws noticed in the 2019 general elections.

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Abia: Court of Appeal Makes Orji Uzor Kalu’s Election Official.

Speaking on behalf of the coalition, Raphael Adebayo said, “We have read multiple media reports on your concern that thugs have been heavily mobilized to disrupt the forthcoming Kogi and Bayelsa states governorship elections. While we commend the honesty of the commission in its risk assessment report on the forthcoming elections, we must strongly urge the commission to be firm and unbiased in dealing with any form of electoral misconduct or violence by any of the political parties during the forthcoming elections.”

Adebayo, however, urged INEC to cancel the ballot at the polling unit where violence was recorded.

He added that this would serve as a deterrent to politicians and political parties bent on using violence to undermine elections and subvert the will of the people.

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Just in: SSG to ondo state government rallied support for Gov. Akeredolu’s re-election. (Details…)

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2023: Buhari will race come next presidential election – Alhaji Buba Galadima.

2023: Buhari will race come next presidential election – Alhaji Buba Galadima.


Alhaji Buba Galadima is an estranged political associate of President Muhammadu Buhari and in this interview, he argues that some forces may still drag the President into the 2023 presidential race. He spoke to TUNDE THOMAS on this and more.

What’s your assessment of the present state of the nation, especially the insecurity challenge?

Read… 2023: Why Igbo Deserve Presidency. (Details..)

I have never seen such a terrible situation like what we are witnessing in Nigeria today under the APC-led government of President Muhammadu Buhari. Not even during the colonial era, and the military period have Nigerians passed through this hard times. With Buhari in charge, it is like Nigerians have entered a one-chance bus. What is even surprising is that despite all the hardship, and suffering being inflicted on Nigerians, Buhari is not bothered. He doesn’t feel moved by the cries of hardship and sufferings, which his government has brought upon Nigerians. Now Buhari has travelled outside the country again. He has travelled to Saudi Arabia, and from there, he will go to the United Kingdom. Does that show the trait of a good leader? Buhari keeps on travelling across the globe while Nigerians are wallowing in poverty.

He is not moved by all the hardship, and not only that, he feels so confident that his mandate is secured. If not, he would not have travelled to Saudi Arabia on the eve of the hearing of petition, and appeal against his election by Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of PDP. Buhari has already pocketed the judiciary, and he feels that nothing will happen, and that he will be victorious at the court. His government has destroyed the judiciary and this is very troubling for democracy, and our nation.

Talking about insecurity, it is not only limited to physical kidnapping, sponsored assassinations, banditry, armed robbery, and Boko Haram attacks, but now hunger has joined to add more to the woes of Nigerians under his leadership. Millions of Nigerians are hungry, very hungry, and hunger, which, this government has failed to address is now pushing many Nigerians into these crimes like kidnapping, and banditry. But I’m not surprised that Buhari seems not bothered by hardship facing Nigerians because he believes that everybody should be poor. His government is a disaster for Nigeria. But let me tell Nigerians this, and it may be shocking to some people. Nigerians should brace up for more hardship under Buhari. We’ve not seen anything yet.

With hunger everywhere, kidnappers, and armed bandits will become more daring. Bandits, and kidnappers will now get daring and operate in broad daylight in other cities apart from Abuja, Kaduna, Port Harcourt and Lagos. Nigerians are in trouble under this APC government. The only alternative is for Nigerians to take their fate in their own hands. The rot in the country has become so pervasive that security operatives are also involved in kidnappings. They now connive with kidnappers. This government is a government of deceit, and honestly speaking, Buhari should have been impeached. Buhari should be impeached because his government has committed so many infractions. Not only that he doesn’t keep to promises, he breaks the law at will. Look at how they keep on changing their statements over the implementation of the new minimum wage. Same for the way they’ve treated security personel; they promised to increase the salaries of people working with the various security agencies but have they fulfilled their promises? They promised to dredge River Niger but failed to do so as the project has been abandoned. The government can’t be trusted.

But some Nigerians are saying that the Federal Government deserves commendation over the on-going war against corruption, and even in the area of infrastructural development-

Which corruption are they fighting? We see the ministers all over the place but are they working? They are just eating but not performing. I’m already nearing 70 and I will continue to say nothing but the truth. There is decay ,and rot all over the place, and Nigerians should stand up for their rights. Enough of this oppression. Enough is enough.

Some Nigerians have canvassed restructuring as the way out of series of challenges presently confronting the nation, what’s your view on that?

What is suprising is that many people talking about restructuring don’t even know the meaning. I was at the 1994 confab organized by late General Sani Abacha, and I also took part in the 2014 confab organized by former President Goodluck Jonathan but delegates at both confabs couldn’t define restructuring. For me, what I believe is we should look for ways to build one Nigeria, and be one another’s brother’s keepers.

Some people are even suggesting creation of State Police, but State Police for what? State Police will create more problems. It will result in anarchy because some states will acquire weapons, ammunition, helicopters, and this may be misused, and it will eventually lead to crisis for the nation. I don’t think we are yet mature for State Police because of the abuse that will follow its creation. There will be no need for agitations if we all agree to live together in unity, and submit ourselves to be one Nigeria. Then we should share everything equally, we should shun greed. We should promote equity, and justice. If we can do all these, Nigeria will become a great nation. It is unfortunate that Nigeria is lacking Statesmen today. What we need are leaders that will promote one Nigeria’s ideals not ethnic lords or champions. We need leaders that will make life comfortable for all Nigerians. We don’t want leaders that will keep amassing wealth at the expense of ordinary Nigerians. It is sad that while other nations are making life comfortable for their citizens, it is not so here. Government keeps on imposing various forms of taxes on Nigerians. Nigerians are already over-taxed, and yet government has not stopped. Even the 2020 budget is going to be financed partly through taxation, and that is imposition of another burden on Nigerians. Our leaders keep on referring to Nigeria as giant of Africa, but if I may ask, giant in what sense? What an illusion. Smaller neighbouring Ghana is now gateway to Africa but our leaders are wallowing in self-deception.

What’s your take on the on-going debates on 2023 as some Nigerians are saying that it is a distraction to governance?

A lot of politicians will be disappointed. Only God knows what will happen between now and 2023. Buhari may even be drafted to join the 2023 fray by some of his aides and associates. Buhari may be drafted by those enjoying under his government. Buhari has always been drafted to contest elections, and I won’t be surprised if his supporters draft him into the 2023 race. But clearly, what these politicians jostling and talking about 2023 don’t know is that they are over-exposing themselves. They are exposing their weaknesses, and their opponents or political foes may use it against them. Nobody knows how 2023 will go. It is only God that knows. Anything can happen between now, and 2023.

The recent calls for scrapping of zoning in 2023 by Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State and Alhaji Bashir Tofa, the former presidential candidate of the defunct NRC, and some other groups in the North have been generating a lot of controversies with politicians from the Southern part of the country claiming that such calls will amount to a breach of the principles of zoning-

Which principle? I also hear some people talking about gentleman agreement, but who is the author of such agreement? If it is between PDP and APC, that’s their business, it is not binding on other political parties. Who is a gentleman in Nigerian politics? What I believe is that if we are doing democracy, let’s be doing democracy in true practice, and if we are doing arrangee politics, then let’s do arrangee politics. But in all honesty, I believe we should let people decide who they want as their leaders, and not any imposition or arrangee politics. It is the constitutional rights of Nigerians to determine who they want as their leaders or who wants to rule them. But if a cabal decides what they want among themselves, they should then come out with their choice, but it is Nigerians that should be allowed to decide. It is unfortunate that many Nigerian politicians often resort to self-help to win elections. They don’t allow Nigerians to decide.

A good example is President Muhammadu Buhari. He resorted to self-help to win elections in 2019. In many parts of the country, there was no election. They were just declaring results claiming that APC and Buhari had won in places where there were no elections. There were no elections in Yobe State, Jigawa State, Kebbi State, Niger and parts of Kano State. Only results were written, and declared. They didn’t allow counting of results. INEC colluded with the APC to rig the elections.

Some are saying that the breakaway R-APC you lead is dead. What has become of the group?

R-APC is still much alive. We are still very active, and that’s why I have continued to give political education to Nigerians. This is why I have remained vocal, and passionate about Nigeria. Since the death of Mallam Aminu Kano there has been no Nigerian politician that has been involved in educating Nigerians politically like me, and Nigerians also know that I’m saying the truth. But sadly, in Nigeria today, money has taken over everything. It is money that talks now.

On our case with APC, R-APC is still in court but if the court’s judgement doesn’t favour us, we may form another party to challenge the ruling APC.

Since return to democracy in 1999, it is the South East geo-political zone that is yet to produce the President and many Nigerians are of the view that it should be the turn of the zone in 2023. What’s your take on that?

I have been following the debates on this issue, but the question I want to ask is this, is it part of the constitution that it should automatically go to the South-east? I can vote for somebody from the South-east as President of Nigeria if such fellow has a large heart for Nigerians, if he is not a tribal President; but if such a fellow says I should vote for him based on where he comes from, I won’t. We should stop promoting tribalism but focus on developmental issues that will serve Nigeria’s interests. Look at the Bush family example in the United States of America. At different times, Bush Senior served as President, his son also served as President, and also another son served as a state governor, but can that happen here? No. If it is in Nigeria that such thing takes place, people will bring tribalism into it. But this kind of politics will not take us anywhere.

Elders statesman, Chief Ayo Adebanjo recently declared that he is not opposed to Nigeria’s breakup since the North is not allowing the country to work.

I respect Adebanjo for his courage, and forthrightness, but I, however, believe that he should be promoting unity of Nigeria. He should not be talking of anything that will cause division in Nigeria. You will never see me talking against any ethnic group. Adebanjo should be preaching one Nigeria. If North is not allowing Nigeria to work, what stops Oyo ,Ogun Edo, Anambra, and other states from working? What stops Oyo State from becoming thev Dubai of Africa? Is it the North again? Which Northerner stops any state or ties their hands from becoming Dubai or Singapore of Africa? If northerners decide to be docile, that’s their business. Nobody can slow you down from developing if you are serious in developing your place. If the North decides to remain backward, move forward on your own, and focus on your own development.

Some Nigerians recently canvassed the need for us to organize another national conference to chart the way forward for Nigeria.Do you support such calls?

There is no need for another confab. Our leaders know what is good for us, and so what they should do is to do the right thing. What Nigeria needs is leaders with foresight. Another confab will be a waste of time and national resources. They also need to promote accountability in Nigeria. We should hold elected public office holders accountable for their actions while in office, and even after completing their tenures. It is funny that some Nigerians are talking about 2014 confab as being ideal for us. They are asking for its implementation but that confab wasn’t representative. It is not ideal for Nigeria. I was a delegate to that conference, so I know what I’m saying. I was a delegate from Yobe State. Initially former President Goodluck Jonathan removed my name but there was an uproar both within and outside Nigeria over his action, and as a result I was brought back.

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Nov’16: Thugs Sensitised Ahead Of Kogi Governorship Election To Maintain Peace.

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The Independent National Electoral Commission has raised an alarm of thugs being mobilized to perpetrate violence in the governorship elections scheduled to take place in Kogi and Bayelsa States in November.

Speaking at the quarterly meeting of the inter-agency consultative committee on election security (ICCES) in Abuja, INEC’s chairman Yakubu Mahmood said the risk assessment will be shared with security agencies as some flash points have already been identified.

Read… Nov’16: Police to deploy 66,000 officers to bayelsa and kogi states governorship election.

He said: “There are already warning signals in the two sates (which) are politically volatile. Our own risk assessment which will be shared with the security agencies at this meeting has identified some flash points.

“We are also concerned that thugs have been mobilised from within and outside the states with the aim of either influencing the elections or disrupting the process on behalf of partisan sponsors.

“This calls for a robust response before the elections, on election day and during the process of collation and declaration of results.”

“If that happens, many Nigerians will blame the electoral umpire and the security agencies. We must continue to rise to this challenge.

“Over the last seven months, we have been working assiduously to ensure that we conduct credible elections. We cannot undermine the processes we have so laboriously established.

“We have been reassured by the security agencies that election day activities at polling units and collation centres will not be disrupted by the activities of hoodlums neither will thugs be allowed to cart away results sheets or compel our returning officers to make declarations under duress.

“We are equally re-assured that security personnel will adhere strictly to the standard operational guidelines and deal decisively with misconduct by their personnel on election duty,” Mahmood added.

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Nov’16: Police to deploy 66,000 officers to bayelsa and kogi states governorship election.

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The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has said that over 66,000 police personnel will be deployed for the November 16 governorship elections in Bayelsa and Kogi States.

Mr Adamu played host to the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu during the meeting of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security organised by the commission in Abuja.

Read… Police force cover round owo, ondo state following the Boko haram threat. (CHECK..)

He revealed that about 31,041 personnel will be deployed to cover the election in Bayelsa state, while 35,200 personnel will man the entire terrain in Kogi as well.

The police boss stated that the deployment of personnel will not allow free activities of touts to perpetrate their heinous acts during the election period.

“In Bayelsa State, we are deploying about 31,041 personnel to cover the election.

“In Kogi State, we are deploying about 35,200 personnel to cover the election.

“These Personnel are to cover every terrain in the two states; no touts will be allowed to be brought from any adjoining states to disrupt elections.”

The IGP assured the electoral umpire that the security of the INEC and the election materials will be given top priority.

“All those areas will be manned. The security of INEC and its election materials are guaranteed by these deployments.

“State INEC headquarters will be protected in the states and even the LGAs.

According to him, the ward collation centers will be adequately protected; the CBN where the materials will be taken care of, and the polling unit and collation centers will be adequately manned.

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New Election File Against Buhari By HDP Strucked By Supreme Court.

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The Supreme Court on Monday struck out a fresh suit filed by the Hope Democratic Party (HDP) and it’s presidential candidate, Ambrose Owuru, challenging the declaration of President Muhammadu Buhari as winner of the Feb. 23 presidential election.

The apex court bowed to hear the appeal afresh following protest by the party that the court’s earlier decision which dismissed the appeal was based on technicality rather than on merits of law.

Read… Controversy as supreme court decides the hearing of Atiku, PDP. [update..]

The apex court struck out the appeal following the dramatic withdrawal of an application praying for restoration of the appeal to be heard afresh.

Justice Olukayode Ariwoola who led four other Justices in a short ruling struck out the application.

Ariwoola in the ruling agreed that the application of the appellants had been caught up by section 285 of the 1999 constitution and as such no longer has life to maintain it.

He, however, declined to award cost against the appellants as demanded by counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC Yunus Usman SAN and that of the All Progressives Congress APC Yakubu Maikyau SAN.

Owuru and HDP had sought for leave of the court to allow them bring back their appeal to which had been struck due to errors of filling two notices of appeal in respect of one matter and against the provisions of the law.

When the matter came up on Monday, the attention of counsel to the appellants Mr Sunday Ezema was drawn to section 285 (7) of the 1999 constitution and was asked whether the appeal has not become statute barred.

Although the counsel initially insisted the appeal can still be heard, he however made a dramatic u-turn and applied for withdrawal of the application.

Buhari’s counsel Wole Olanipekun, SAN, did not ask for cost against the two appellants.

Olanipekun had objected to the application of the appellants to hear their appeal afresh on the grounds that it was statute barred.

He argued that the appellants were not fair to the court by engaging it ‘in a non justiciable application that will serve no purpose other than wasting precious time of the court.

The position was adopted by counsel to INEC and APC but with demand for substantial cost against the appellants for wasting the time of the court with frivolous application.

HDP had filed a fresh motion to challenge the way and manners its appeal against President Buhari’s election was determined and struck out on what it termed technicality rather than merit of law.

The party in the new motion had asked the apex court to reverse itself in the ruling delivered on October 3 and restore the appeal for fresh hearing on merit rather than on technicality of filing two notices of appeal together in one matter.

In the fresh motion on notice brought pursuant to order 8 rule 2 of the Supreme Court Rules and sections 6 and 36 of the 1999 constitution as well as section 22 of the Supreme Court Act, the party and Owuru, claimed that the judgment delivered by Justice Mary Peter Odili in favour of Buhari was invalid on the ground that it was based on technicalities of law rather than merit and justice.

The motion filed by Mr Chukwunonyerem Njoku on behalf of the appellants pleaded with the court to restore their appeal for a fresh hearing.

The HDP and its candidate maintained that the striking out of their appeal on technical ground was without compliance with the mandatory procedure of law.

The apex court had on Oct. 3 struck out the HDP’s appeal on the grounds that more than one notice of appeal was filed in the same appeal contrary to the provisions of law.

Justice Odili who delivered the verdict had also held that Owuru and HDP failed to appeal against the ruling delivered by the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal on August 22 which struck out their petition based on the lack of jurisdiction.

“The two notices of appeal filed by the appellants and jointly utilised is a procedure not backed by law and cannot be used.

“Rather the appellants have come here to tackle the decision on the merits which the court below handled out of the abundance of caution”, she said

In their petition at the tribunal, they had prayed for nullification of the February 23 election on the ground that its shift from Feb. 16 by INEC to Feb. 23 was not in compliance with any law and as such a nullity.

The two appellants claimed that a referendum election was conducted by Nigerians on Feb. I6 and won by them with over 50 million voice votes and that the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) should be ordered to inaugurate them as President of Nigeria based on the referendum election results. (NAN)

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