Tag Archives: vote

Half of U.S citizens voted Trump out ..


Half of registered voters want the U.S. Senate to remove President Donald Trump from office, despite the near certainty of the upper chamber’s impending acquittal early next week.

A new poll from Morning Consult and Politico, conducted January 29-30, found that, while a substantial portion of the nation supports conviction and removal, just 43 percent of voters want the Senate to acquit. Eight percent of respondents had no opinion.


After Friday’s dramatic conclusion to vote-wrangling on trial witnesses yielded no returns for Democrats, the Senate is poised to deliver a party-line acquittal on Wednesday, with potentially a couple crossovers.

Support for removal of the president was at its highest in November and December, during the impeachment inquiry conducted by the House of Representatives and the high-profile testimony of public officials alleging impropriety.


Since at least October, more voters have preferred that the Senate remove Trump from office than acquit him, according to Morning Consult tracking surveys.

Voters are also dissatisfied with the way Republicans in Congress have conducted themselves during the impeachment process. Forty-five percent of respondents indicated disapproval over how Republicans are handling impeachment, compared with 38 percent who approve.


On the other hand, voters are more evenly divided on how they assess Democrats’ handling of the impeachment process, 42 percent approving and 43 percent disapproving.

Trump seized on the closing impeachment trial Thursday evening at a rally in Des Moines, Iowa.


“We’re having probably the best years that we’ve ever had in our country, and I just got impeached! Can you believe these people? I got impeached. They impeached Trump,” he said to supporters. “They want to nullify your ballots, poison our democracy and overthrow the entire system of government.”

Morning Consult’s findings of large support for removing the president from office are identical to where they were one month ago, when half the country indicated support for a conviction.


A previous poll conducted by Quinnipiac University, released on Tuesday, found that 75 percent of voters want the Senate to call witnesses as part of their trial, including 49 percent of Republicans.

Nevertheless, the Senate decided Friday evening to forgo witnesses altogether, promising a swift conclusion to the trial without additional testimony from former national security adviser John Bolton, whose leaked book excerpts added grist to the allegation that Trump was directly involved in the Ukraine aid quid pro quo.

Only Senators Susan Collins and Mitt Romney sided with the Democratic caucus to vote for witness testimony, while a Republican majority was able to block it.

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, the presiding officer of the impeachment trial, also announced he would not intervene to break a tie vote for any procedural matters, making Democratic-led motions even less likely to succeed.


#Newsworthy…

Ogun Re-run: 2 electoral criminals arrested by EFCC ..


Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) has arrested two suspected electoral criminals for their involvement in vote-buying during the Federal House of Representatives rerun election in Ogun State during the weekend.

EFCC spokesperson Tony Orilade said the suspects, one Alaga Segun and Bamidele Falegan, who claimed to be agents of an unnamed opposition party in the state, were arrested at the Odomowo Oko Polling Unit in the Ijebu Ode area of the state.


According to Orilade, Segun, the first suspect to be arrested, was in possession of the sum of N149,000, out of N150, 000 he claimed was given to him by his accomplice, Falegan, to induce voters during the exercise.

“Upon interrogation on their fraudulent activity, Falegan confessed to have received the money from one Taiwo Shote, a lawyer and an opposition party candidate in the election. The suspects will soon be charged to court,” Orilade said.


#Newsworthy…

Tinubu praised uzodinma on his victory

…says really round him


The All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader, Sen. Bola Tinubu, on Wednesday urged the people of Imo to unite and work toward a brighter future under their new Governor, Sen. Hope Uzodinma.

Tinubu made the appeal in a statement congratulating Uzodinma on his victory, the people of Imo and all Nigerians who believed in justice and sought the truth.

“The time has come for the people of Imo to unite and work toward a brighter future under Uzodinma.


“For the new governor, the real work begins now. He must dedicate himself to establishing a government that transforms the fortunes of the people,” he said.

The APC leader noted that the Supreme Court’s proper and fair decision in declaring Uzodinma as the rightful governor of Imo was indeed a victory for truth and justice in Nigeria.


“Foes of justice and democracy had engineered a plot by which the improper and wilful exclusion of over 200,000 valid votes cast for Uzodinma would deny him the office the people of Imo had chosen him to fill.

“The wrongful exclusion of such a vast number of valid votes threatened to turn the Imo governorship election into an unfortunate rejection of the sovereign will of the electorate.


“It is imperative that this injustice be corrected and in line with its responsibility, the Supreme Court carefully reviewed the case.

“Recognising the obvious impropriety and unfairness of the exclusion, the apex court objectively and impartially ruled in favour of the people and in support of democracy.


“The Supreme Court prudently and judiciously rose to the occasion as the defender of our constitution by rendering the only judgment that could protect the democratic rights and collective will of the people of Imo,” he said.

Tinubu said the decision underscored the role of the courts in safeguarding democracy and bolstered public faith in the integrity of the judiciary to fulfil its vital mission.


He said it proved that the court had both impartiality and integrity to pursue justice and follow the evidence wherever it might lead.

He commended Uzodinma for his determination in pursuing the case to the end.


“I applaud his faith that the judicial system will ultimately restore justice.

“Where others might have given up, he continued relentlessly in his pursuit of justice.


“His perseverance has now been rewarded with the restoration of his mandate.

“In effect, Imo’s new governor lived up to his very name, Hope. Indeed, Hope never gave up hope,” Tinubu said.


According to the APC leader, the Supreme Court has now spoken and its decision is final.

He said there was nothing to be gained from speculation or second-guessing.


Tinubu urged Uzodinma to reach out to those who opposed him.

He said he must let them know that he bore no grudges and sought only good for all people of the state.


He urged former Gov. Emeka Ihedioha and his supporters to take solace in the fact that Uzodinma conducted a spirited and vibrant campaign.

“I hope that he and his supporters will now respect the ruling of the court.


“There remains a place for them in working for the betterment of the state.

“For prosperity, democracy and social harmony to reign, both the new and outgoing governor and their supporters must recognise that the electoral contest is over.

Governor, Sen. Hope Uzodinma.

“Now is the time to come together for the welfare of the people.

“It is our hope that Imo emerges from this process to shine as a beacon and an exemplar of progressive good governance under the banner of the APC,” Tinubu said.


#Newsworthy…

Stop focusing on Elections, plan on how to rebuild the party – Atiku tells PDP

…strengthening our party for the challenges ahead of us


A former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, has advised the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to focus more on making the party greater than its.

In a tweet on Saturday, he believes the main opposition party has a lot of fixes to make before facing the tasks ahead of it.


Atiku, the PDP presidential candidate in 2019 general elections, urged the PDP to divert its attention from the coming elections but make the party stronger and better.

“Our preoccupation at this point in the PDP should not focus on elections, but on rebuilding and strengthening our party for the challenges ahead of us. –Atiku,” the tweet read.


The PDP presidential candidate’s tweet came four days after he called for a change of attitude across the board in the new year and new decade.

He had noted that the new year and a new decade were coming with the opportunity to make better impressions in the lives of the people.


Atiku also called on the Federal government to respect the rule of law and remember the struggle for democratic rule in the country.

“It is a bad advertisement for the country and its democracy if declarations made by the court are not respected without the executive arm of government agreeing to same.


“Any democracy is not worth the appellation if the principle of separation of power is not ingrained in it. In the New Year, government should not pretend to be democratic, but rather act according to the fundamentals of a democracy,” the elder statesman had said in his New Year message on Tuesday.

2019 Presidential Poll In Summary
The presidential election was a tough contest among President Muhammadu Buhari, Atiku, as well as Omoyele Sowore, Fela Durotoye, Felix Nicholas, and several others.


Although a total of 73 political parties fielded candidates for the election, some later endorsed Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) while others formed an alliance with the PDP candidate to take over the office of the number one citizen.

Following a series of heightened activities in the build-up to the elections, the presidential poll was seen as a major battle between the man seeking another four years and the man on a mission to fulfil his dream of becoming a president since 1992.


Four days after the February 23 poll was conducted, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) returned President Buhari elected for a second term in office.

But this did not go well with the PDP and its candidate who accused the APC of rigging the election and vowed to challenge the outcome in court.

However, the issues and disagreements surrounding the 2019 Presidential Election finally came to an end on October 30, 2019.

This followed the judgement of the Supreme Court which upheld the judgement of the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal dismissing the appeals filed by Atiku and the PDP.


#Newsworthy…

2023: Isuikwuato leaders insist on governorship


Ahead of the 2023 polls, key stakeholders from the Old Isuikwuato District of Abia State, have insisted that it is their turn to produce next governor.

Arising from a meeting at the country home of third republic senator and immediate past state Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Emma Nwaka, the people of the district resolved to pursue the project with every weapon in their arsenal.


The group met under the auspices of Isuikwuato District Welfare Association (IDWA).

Those at the meeting cut across different political parties,technocrats, traditional, religious leaders and other non-state actors.


“The principles of Abia charter of equity demands that the next governor of the state should come from the Old Isuikwuato Division comprising Umunneochi and Isuikwuato local government areas,” the said.

They said each political bloc,except Isuikwuato in the four letter acronym ‘A-B-I-A’ that make up Abia state, had variously taken their turn to produce governors.


According to them, three letters “A, B, A” representing old Afikpo, Bende and Aba Divisions have produced governor leaving “I” which is Isuikwuato.

The stakeholders threatened to declare persona non grata, any of their own who sabotages their aspirations by accepting to be running mates to governorship candidates from other zones.


However, Mben Political Assembly (MPA), a political group of Ohafia Udumaeeze Clan, has restated its commitment to the actualisation of governorship of Ohafia extraction.

Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, former President of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) lamented that despite the avalanche of rich natural resources and abundant human capital, the state had little to showcase in development.


He said aside agos, no other city possess the potential inherent in Aba, while regretting that Abia’s destiny had been in contention with the challenge of poor leadership.

He also drummed support for the Enyimba Economic City project, oting that it would create chains of jobs.

President of Mben Political Assembly, Dr. Eme Uche Onu and Chairman, Board of Trustees of MPA, Dr. Kalu Idika Kalu said the Assembly was formed to achieve the political needs of Ohafia people.

They described the group as a think tank aimed at positioning Ohafia for political and economic leadership of Abia.


#Newsworthy…

2020 poll: PDP will defeat APC in ondo election.


A lawmaker, representing Ondo South Senatorial, Nicholas Tofowomo, has predicted that Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will defeat All Progressives Congress (APC) administration in the state 2020 governorship election.

The lawmaker made the prediction when he hosted PDP leaders and stakeholders at Ile-Oluji in Ile-Oluji/Oke Igbo Local Government Area of the state.

In a statement by his media aide, he urged PDP leaders to agree on a credible candidate among the aspirants jostling for the governorship election.

“PDP will defeat APC in the next year’s election if our leaders can prune down the present 13 governorship aspirants and agree on just one credible candidate.

“Ondo South PDP will produce the next governor because our district is the stronghold of our party and there is no room for deputy slot,” he said.


#Newsworthy…

After 2023, I will not contest in future elections – Buhari.


President Buhari has officially confirmed that he will leave office in 2023 and won’t contest in any future elections.

Buhari said he is a strong believer of democratic principles and will promote and sustain them in Nigeria and across West Africa. He stated this in his New Year letter to Nigerians, which was released by the Presidency today.

“I will be standing down in 2023 and will not be available in any future elections. But I am determined to help strengthen the electoral process both in Nigeria and across the region, where several ECOWAS members go to the polls this year,” he said.

The emphasis on leaving office in 2023 is to clarify the speculation that there are underground moves to secure a third term for him after the completion of his current last term in 2023.

President Buhari also itemised what his regime had done since 2015 and would do in the years ahead to improve power supply, build roads/houses for Nigerians, develop agriculture, diversify the economy, create jobs, combat terrorism and promote democracy.


#Newsworthy…

Vision 2020: How PDP, APC will scatter ahead 2023 election – Gani Adams reveals

…New party to form ahead 2023

…Laments 2019 is year of crises, hardship, bloodletting


There Aare Gani Adams is the 15th Aare Onakakanfo of Yoruba land. He is a social activist and former leader of a faction of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), which supports an autonomous state for the Yoruba people. Talking with Sunday Sun, he spoke about his views of 2019 and the New Year, 2020, among other issues.

What is your assessment of the outgoing year 2019?

2019 is a year of hardship in terms of the economy. It is a year where our economy is not moving in the right direction. It is a year that the government shut the border for the past four months now and it’s a year of bloodshed. It is a year of crises and lots of social vices. It is a year of bloodletting in different states in Nigeria and it’s a year of political decision.We held our presidential election and Nigeria elected President Muhammadu Buhari . It’s a year that gradually, Nigerians are losing hope on the government. It’s a year that the government has already made up their mind with some politicians that whether you like us or not, we’ll buy you to exercise franchise for us against your will. It’s a year that we are fast losing our institution and it is a year that rule of law is dying gradually,. It’s a year that we foresee a situation that the government is prepared to intimidate the citizens by all means. The freedom of expression is eshrined in our constitution, but tactically the Federal Government wants to erase it by bringing in a bill of hate speech which the majority of Nigerians have kicked against. It is a year that the budget sent to the National Assembly doesn’t see hope coming in 2020. It’s a year we realized that our president is not in control anymore; the people in the corridor of power have already taken over the government from him. The Sowore saga is another thing which the Federal Government did not manage very well, especially the SSS. If anybody poses a security threat, the government has a right to arrest that person, to detain him within 24 hours and charge him to the court of law. Until when the court proves him guilty before people would know that he has committed that offence. In democracy, there must always be a room for opposition. It is better to be in military uniform than to be a dictatorship in civilian democracy. You can’t survive dictatorship in democrat government. There is a serious setback on the process of our democracy.


What would you say about the arms of government?

I realized that our two arms of government have been caged by the executive. The Senate president openly told Nigerians that anything the executive brings to their table they would grant it. That’s an impeachable statement from any number three person who holds the most powerful parliament. It’s so sad that people like us that fought for this democracy are here, but those who worked with the military in those days are the ones in charge now. If the government did not pay me back for what I have done, the Yoruba has paid me a certain level of what I have done by giving me this position of Aare Ona Kakanfo. This is my own country. I can’t change my green passport. I can’t have citizen of any other country like others who believe that if Nigeria does not work, they would fall on their green card. It’s very difficult for me to have such plans because they would use it against me. I have been offered green card, residential permit by many organizations. If not for the love I have for this country I would have had their residential permit and needing no visas to go to those countries, at least European union, 28 countries. Because of the love and because of the sacrifice we have for this country I decided to go with my green passport.


What are your perceptions about the closure of our land borders?

The damage closure of borders has caused to us is more than the advantage that the closing has caused us. I’m not a smuggler, it’s not my route, it’s not my own business interest, but when you study the feelings of the people, you are baffled at the suffering. Before I became the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yoruba land I listened to the wishes of the people, I realised that the Seme border, the Shaki border, Idiroko border and other borders within the Southwest and the economy of the grassroots are seriously affected. When you say they are bringing terrorists from these borders to Nigeria, what is the job of our Immigration? If you say they are bringing illegal goods to Nigeria what is the job of our Customs? When you are talking of security in the border, there are Immigration, SSS, Nigeria Police. Are you now telling us that these security institutions saddled with the responsibility to secure our borders, are they not competent to secure our borders and the best solution is for you to seal the borders? This is a year I believe Nigerian government took a wrong decision on external relations in that regard.


As we are entering year 2020 are we hoping to see Vision 2020 come to reality?

Is Nigeria even prepared for 2030 talk less of 2020? A lot of things have been done to affect our institution. Every sector of Nigeria is complaining. Even the civil servants are complaining. Both federal, states and even local government. When you are talking about three tiers of government, it is only the federal and states that are working. The local government tier of government is not active as before because their money is not getting to them. At the same time, Vision 2020 can never be realized. If they have a plan for Vision 2020 you could have heard them talking that two years ago. I don’t know the plan the government has maybe for Vision 3030 . Nigeria is the only country I see that the government was sworn in on May 29 and certain crop of politicians just rise up again that they want to become president. It is a serious diversion for the incumbent president; it’s a diversion for the incumbent governor and even the incumbent local government chairman. I will advise the politicians that they should play down their politics in 2020. By middle of 2021 the political atmosphere can be charged because anything now will destroy the entire system. The president will have an excuse that he wants to prepare for his successor because people have been coming out.


How do you see the coming year 2020?

I don’t foresee any magic. There won’t be something different from what happened in 2019. I forsee a situation where the president would be looking forward to clamp down on his opposition. I foresee a situation whereby the president would want to jail most of the governors that have trials. I foresee a situation that the president would want to use anti-corruption to cow down most of the opposition and those who don’t believe in his cause. I foresee a situation where new party may come out within 2020 and 2021. I foresee the two main major party will break and new party will surface. I foresee a situation that more civil society groups will come out stronger. I foresee a situation where many people we thought were powerful, their secrets will be opened and the whole world would know that most of them are enemies of this country. I foresee our judiciary, some of them standing their feet, that if you want to remove me, remove me, I cannot continue this way. Talking of the economy, I foresee international community coming against our government . If care is not taken sanction would come from international community. From what happened in 2019, the international communities were not pleased with the process of our democracy. I foresee a sanction from United States of America; I foresee a sanction from EU. If the Federal Government does not manage our international relations very well, the crisis between the government and the international community will be worse than the military because a statement that came from the spokesperson of the president that we are not answerable to the US, Britain and EU, that statement would generate a lot of annoyance because these are the powerful forces in global scene. They control World Bank, they control IMF, they control United Nations about 99 per cent of the institutions that we use to govern, the whole world they control them. You are not answerable to them, but you get grant from them and they are selling world equipment to you. We would have witnessed another third world war if not for the United Nations. I foresee sanction coming to the government if they do not manage their international relations very well. I foresee international community blocking our citizens from traveling to their countries. There’s an approval of budget of 30 billion dollars. Already Nigerian owes about N25 billion, the calculation of $30billion will almost get to N11 trillion. Definitely, the money the Federal Government is asking for, if the National Assembly grants the request, Nigeria will be oweing almost N36 billion, and a country with that kind of debt is in bad shape. Nobody will be thinking of bringing an investment to that country and nobody will be thinking of even borrowing more money to that country. It would bring more inflation to our society and value added tax has been increased from 5.5 per cent to 7.5 per cent and when cost of living is being hiked and wages are not high there will be serious problem. Definitely, we should expect a serious economic hardship in 2020.

Gani Adams

There have been major crisis in Southwest in 2019, what efforts are you putting in place to curb it?

I think the Federal Government has tried its best. To solve our security problems now, the onus lies on the Southwest governors. The police have called that they’re ready to partner with the organization. Some state governments because of politics are trying to dodge it and by so doing they could not move forward. Once they dodge, it would be an exercise in futility. Definitely, the ball is on the court of our state governors.


#Newsworthy….

Ewuare II of Benin urged for fasting and prayer ahead 2020 election.

…as the state’s crisis continues


The Oba of Benin, Ewuare II, has urged traditional rulers in the state to fast and pray for peace ahead of the Edo governorship election in 2020.

The Oba gave the charge at the quarterly meeting of Edo Council of Traditional Rulers and Chiefs in Benin on Saturday.


The monarch said the prayers and fasting should go along with offering of sacrifice to God and the ancestors.

Ewuare, who is the chairman of the council, said that the call for prayers became necessary in view of the current political crisis in the state, a situation, which he stressed had “become a serious concern to everyone”.


The Oba said that he was sure that the state would be peaceful in spite of the current face-off among the political gladiators.

He reiterated the need for traditional rulers to continually maintain absolute neutrality as fathers to all.

“And as royal fathers we must act within the ambit of the law,” he said.

Oba Ewuare further urged the traditional rulers and chiefs not to allow labours of the founding fathers of their traditional heritage to be in vain.


#Newsworthy…

Obaseki – Oshiomhole suspended, INEC to conduct fresh election into EDHA.

…Okah replies Obaseki, You are an embarrassment & political misfit


Reconciliation appears foreclosed for warring members of the Edo State chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC), with the state governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki insisting that the National Chairman of the party and immediate past governor of the state, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has been suspended from the party.

Besides, he announced that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), would soon fix a date to conduct a fresh election into the State House of Assembly.


Obaseki who spoke while addressing APC members from Owan East and West Local Government Areas in Sabogida-Ora, said there is no division in the state APC, but threatened that all those working to destabilize the party would be shown the way out.

He said the APC in the state is united, strong and formidable, stressing that members of the Edo Peoples Movement (EPM) are not members of the APC.


“Members of the EPM are trying to frustrate the good plans we have for Edo people as their plan is to burn markets and government buildings. Their intention is to discredit our administration but the people of Edo know better.

“APC is one party; those that say they are in EPM are not APC, including their National Chairman who we have suspended in Edo State. Those mistakenly elected into Edo State House of Assembly (EDHA) who are members of EPM have been thrown out and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is aware and will soon announce date for a fresh election, where we would have opportunity to elect credible representatives who will represent us in the House.


“Any person doing anti-party activities, President Muhammadu Buhari has asked us to deal with them. We have been told to go back to organise our party; that’s why we are here. As a ruling party in the state, we have done a lot for Edo people, moving the state forward progressively but EPM are afraid of progress and will do anything to ensure we don’t get another term”, he Obaseki‎ said.

Describing himself as “a governor for development”, the governor added “The support here today is massive and it speaks volume, further showing that the suspended National Chairman’s antics will not work.


“He no longer has the support of Edo people. The act of trying to create faction of APC in Edo State can’t work; we are still intact, strong and united. Our politics in Edo State is transparent and can’t tolerate any act of dubiousness. If you are a progressive, you must be a real Progressive”.
Incensed by his comments, the State Secretary of the APC, Mr. Lawrence Okah, in a statement, described Obaseki as an “embarrassment and a political misfit” and urged party members to ignore him.

‎”It is very clear and obvious that the governor’s second term ambition has affected his sense of reasoning. We don’t really blame his ignorance because he developed diarrhea of the mouth after our national chairman made him governor on a platter of gold.


“A man that has never voted before in Edo State until last year. A man that lost his unit, ward, Local Government and senatorial district in the Presidential election has now turned a super star due to the fact that he controls the resources of the state. Does he even know what campaign is? The whole world was even asking us whether he was deaf and dumb when Oshiomhole was marketing him in 2016 because he cannot even speak for himself. So it is funny when he said he now owns the Edo APC.

“We dare him to go get his own INEC to conduct election in the state House of Assembly for the 14 members. He will soon realize that the people of Edo State regretted the day they gave him their mandate.


“The fact remains that Obaseki is now going round the state recruiting people that will move with him to the PDP. Just two days ago, he held a meeting with top PDP leaders in Edo State with a view to perfecting plans for his defection. But we will tell him that none of our members will join him to enter PDP. Even his Deputy, Philip Shaibu will not follow him to PDP.



“If he is a man like he claims, he should have met face to face with the National Chairman of our great party, to discuss any matter bothering him rather than abusing Oshiomhole in his backward.

“He is an embarrassment to our party and the country and we are sorry to the great men and women of this party for the daily embarrassment the governor is exhibiting. We are indeed very sorry. I want to urge our people to disregard his careless statements and remain focus. Edo State APC under our indisputable leader, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, remains remains solid”.


#Newsworthy…

PDP must change its name to win future elections – GEJ Former spokesperson.

…as we go into the new year

Doyin Okupe, former spokesperson of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, has advised the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to change its name if it intends to win future general elections in the country.

Okupe gave the advice in an article posted on social media today December 20th. According to him, the PDP suffered major setbacks in 2019 but it can redeem itself if it changes its name amongst other things.

“Now as we go into the new year and look forward to 2023 we must prepare for a new beginning. I recommend that the party and its leadership consider the following: The party must urgently rebrand and take up a new name and a new constitution if it intends to win general elections in the future,” he said.

Read the full article below

FOR THE LOVE OF PDP.

Pdp has suffered major and serious setbacks in 2019. In spite of this it is still the strongest and most resilient party in the country. The present national executives have performed very well in this very trying and daunting if not perilous circumstances.

The presidential flag bearer has demonstrated commendable courage, experience and commitment and deployed personally unprecedented resources in the pursuit of our collective noble objective of taking over power from Apc.

The Apc is not our match. They are bullish and brutal in their political pursuits. But our position of not subjugating national interest and unity to parochial and selfish desires is not something we should regret.

A few individuals also did us proud. Former Senate President Dr.Bukola Saraki and some of his colleagues in the national assembly, including but not limited to, senator Dino Melaye deserve our commendation. So also are former governor ayo fayose and Femi fanikayode. Both Performed as self appointed spokespersons for the opposition in critical times.

Now as we go into the new year and look forward to 2023 we must prepare for a new begining.
I recommend that the party and its leadership consider the following:

1. The party must urgently rebrand and take up a new name and a new constitution if it intends to win general elections in the future.

2. The leadership of the party should cease from been allocated to the state governors. Government and party must be separate to avoid authoritanianism and corruption.

3. Every state branch must work strenuously to find within their respective states at least 25/30,000 financial members who can contribute minimum of N1000 per month to the party. This is apart from monthly contribution of members at the ward levels.This will guarantee collective ownership and independence.

4. Any party official that collects bribe from an aspirant should automatically lose his office once found guilty by a disciplinary committee.

5.Campaign organisations for all aspirants at all levels, can only come into existence 6 months before the primaries of the particular elections. All aspirants at all levels should after submission of expression of interest forms, join the party executives and work with them to build and strengthen the party for victory at the elections.

6. The party must compulsorily agree on some critical national issues which must be clearly stated in the new constitution. This will include:
Federalism, Restructuring, role of religion in governance including Sharia, state police, Revenue sharing, issues relating to Herdsmen,Ruga,immigration, indigene and settlers issues, power rotation, federal character, upholding the rule of law, economic policy, foreign relations policies including relationship with Isreal and middle east, IOC etc.

7. Lingering crisis must be addressed. President Jonathan must be reconciled with Dickson. Also Dickson and the leadership of the party in Bayelsa.

8. President Jonathan should be appeased to forgive party leaders and government officials especially of northern extractions, who betrayed him in the 2015 elections.

9. President Jonathan must be acknowledged and acclaimed as the leader of the party. He should host a grand love feast where the foundations for these healings must be laid.

10. The pdp governors from the south east must be appealed to and appeased if necessary, for them to maintain their steadfastness and loyalty to pdp and resist pressure to the contrary.

11. The leadership of the party must begin to identify with and stand by party faithfuls under persecution or trials all over the federation to increase bonding and sense of camaraderie among members.

12. Party members nationwide must stand firm and remain within the pdp family instead of deflecting to APC, a fledging party though in power. People should take cue from the overwhelming misfortunes and lack of proper recognition that has befallen most of pdp members who defected to APC.

I have said it in the past and I repeat it again, apc is not truly a political party in the real sense of the word. Rather it’s a conglomeration of incongruous and immiscible components which will eventually disintegrate irretrievably when it comes under power struggle intensity which is already building up.

LONG LIVE THE PDP LONG LIVE THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA.

#Newsworthy…

MPs set to vote on Boris Johnson Brexit deal today.

MPs will vote on Friday on whether to back the prime minister’s plan for the UK to leave the EU on 31 January.

The EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill would also ban the government from extending the transition period – where the UK is out of the EU but follows many of its rules – past 2020.

Boris Johnson said it would end “delay and rancour” and provide “certainty”.

Opponents say the bill leaves the UK’s future uncertain, and agreeing a trade deal with the EU could take many years.

But the government insists one can be in place by the end the transition period.

The withdrawal bill, which would implement the Brexit agreement the prime minister reached with the EU in October, was introduced in Thursday’s Queen’s Speech, setting out the government’s priorities for the next year.

MPs will have their first chance to debate it in the House of Commons on Friday at its second reading – a vote on its general principles.

With the Conservatives having won an 80-seat majority at last week’s general election, the bill is expected to pass easily, before it moves on to further scrutiny by MPs and the House of Lords.

MPs have been given a further three days – 7, 8 and 9 January – to continue their debate in the Commons.

The government says it will get it into law in time for the 31 January Brexit deadline.

There are changes to the previous bill, which was backed by the Commons in October, but withdrawn by the government after MPs rejected a three-day deadline for getting it through Parliament.

The changes include:

Legally prohibiting the government from extending the transition period – during which a trade deal between the UK and EU will be discussed – beyond 31 December 2020
Allowing more UK courts to reconsider European Court of Justice rulings that have been retained in UK law after Brexit
Requiring ministers to report annually to Parliament on disputes with the EU under the prime minister’s withdrawal agreement
Repealing spent legislation that “now serves no purpose”
The bill also loses a previous clause on strengthening workers’ rights.

The government now says it will deal with this issue in a separate piece of legislation, but the TUC has warned that the change will help “drive down” working conditions.

The Queen outlined the government’s agenda at Thursday’s State Opening of Parliament

Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer has described Mr Johnson’s decision to limit the length of the transition period to 11 months as “reckless and irresponsible”, adding that the prime minister is “prepared to put people’s jobs at risk”.

And Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn told MPs that Mr Johnson had “deliberately resurrected the threat of no-deal” at the end of 2020 by making this move.

He said: “We understand that people are desperate to move on. That does not mean we will just accept the prime minister’s reckless approach on how it’s done.”

Ahead of Friday’s debate, Mr Johnson said: “We will deliver on the promise we made to the people and get the Brexit vote wrapped up for Christmas.”

An earlier withdrawal agreement – reached between previous Prime Minister Theresa May and the EU – was rejected three times by MPs.

But Mr Johnson’s general election result, giving him a comfortable majority in the Commons, means it should be far easier to get his version ratified.

He said: “After years of delay and rancour in Parliament, we will deliver certainty and hard-working businesses and people across this country will have a firm foundation on which to plan for the future.

“Next year will be a great year for our country – the year we get Brexit done, boost NHS funding, invest in infrastructure and level up access to opportunity and prosperity across our great nation.”

In the 2016 referendum, the UK voted by 52% to 48% to leave the EU. But the subsequent difficulties in getting Brexit through Parliament have caused gridlock at Westminster.

The result of the Commons vote on the bill is expected at about 15:00 GMT on Friday.

#Newsworthy…

Hilary Clinton speak on Donald Trump’s Impeachment.

…230 majority Democrats impeachment votes

Former United States Democratic Presidential Candidate and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has lauded the United States House of Representatives for impeaching President Donald Trump.

Trump was impeached by a majority 230 Democrat votes on Wednesday

Reacting to this, Clinton, who lost to Trump in the 2016 US elections, said the President had abused his powers and left lawmakers with no choice than to approve his impeachment.

She said, “One of our most precious rights as Americans is the right to determine who our leaders are.

“The President abused his powers to cheat in the next election and rob us of that right.

“Then he obstructed Congress to cover it up. Impeachment is the only remedy.”

#Newsworthy…

Don’t use my age to canvass for votes in 2023 – Buhari.

Speaking on the next general elections in 2023, President Muhammadu Buhari sounded a note of warning to potential candidates, advising them to work hard as, according to him, he would not allow his name to be used to canvass for votes.

The President made the remark on Tuesday when aides and staff of the State House and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, presented him with a birthday card to commemorate his 77th birthday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Mr Buhari also used the opportunity to assure Nigerians that he would oversee a free, fair and credible elections in 2023.

#Newsworthy…

Tebboune wins Algeria’s presidential election.

Abdelmadjid Tebboune has been elected the new president of Algeria, the Head of the National Independent Election Authority, Mohamed Chorfi, announced on Friday, December 13th.

Chorfi announced this at a news conference in Algiers saying, Tebboune won a majority 58.15 per cent of vote in the presidential election held on Thursday to become the 8th president of the North African nation since gaining independence from France in 1962.

The figures show that Abdelkader Bengrina came second as he collected 17.38 per cent of votes, followed by Ali Benflis with 10.55 per cent, and Azzeddine Mihoubi with 7.26 per cent and Abdelaziz Belaid came fifth with 6.66 per cent.

Chorfi added that the turnout of the polls hit 41.13 per cent nationwide, while the overall turnout with voters abroad hit 39.83 per cent.

#Newsworthy…

Akpabio, coward, don’t want another defeat – PDP mocks

The People’s Democratic Party has reacted to Senator Godswill Akpabio’s withdrawal from Essien Udim Local Government Senatorial rerun election after securing a rerun win in court.

Recall that the former Governor of Akwa Ibom State stated that he can’t abandon a critical national assignment placed on him by President Muhammadu Buhari in pursuit of a rerun election.

However commenting on Godswill Akpabio’s letter in which he urged the All Progressives Congress national excos to submit a replacement to run in his place, the PDP stated that the the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs withdrew from the senatorial race to avoid another defeat.

The opposition party maintained that the only way the APC can substitute a candidate is ”if the incumbent candidate dies a physical death, not a political death as that currently witnessed.”

The statement partly reads;

“Some days ago, our party, like other members of the reading public, saw a letter infixed in the headed paper of Senator Godswill Akpabio attempting to convey the purported withdrawal of the Senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress candidate in Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District.

“Our response to that joke taken too far is that the rerun is a court ordered election to complete an earlier started electoral exercise, which by the judgement of the court has been declared inchoate. The only way the APC can substitute a candidate is if the incumbent candidate dies a physical death, not a political death as that currently witnessed.

“Senator Akpabio was a party before the court and the order of the court is that he should go back for a rerun in Essien Udim- that’s an order of the court and as a lawyer, he should obey that order and submit himself for confirmatory defeat.

“The purported withdrawal of the Senatorial candidate is a clear face-saving attempt by Chief Akpabio, in a bid to avoid a recurring defeat by Senator Chris Ekpenyong, whom he had earlier boasted was not a match for him. But like it’s common knowledge, pride goes before a fall. Senator Ekpenyong Defeated Chief Akpabio in 8 local government areas with a large margin of more than 38,000 votes-which is Akpabio’s present nightmare.

“On the funny claim that he has a patriotic task to perform at the Federal Executive Council as Minister, which is why he wants to withdraw from the race, the question is, when did he realize this duty which he claims he owes the Niger Delta? Why did he not withdraw before the Appeal court judgment? If the Court of Appeal had granted the reliefs he sought for, would he have still withdrawn?

“Our party seriously frowns at the clowning attempts by Senator Akpabio to derail the electoral process in Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District, as we have on good authority that he intends to use the judicial process to prevent the conduct of the rerun, by institutions court actions to compel INEC to accept his purported withdrawal- this suit he intends to drag up to the Supreme Court if he loses. Senator Akpabio, who once boasted that he couldn’t lose an election should have been excited as he was earlier, to show the world that he cannot lose an election in his local government area. Why is he afraid of going for an election in his native Essien Udim?”

#Newsworthy…

Kogi: Court should include SDP governorship candidate – INEC plead.

The Independent National Electoral Commission has appealed the judgment of a Federal High Court in Abuja reversing the commission’s disqualification of the Social Democratic Party candidate, Natasha Akpoti, in the November 16 governorship election in Kogi State.

The Federal High Court presided by Justice Folashade Ogunbanjo-Giwa, had on November 7, 2019, ordered INEC to restore Akpoti as candidate of the SDP in the governorship election.

The court held that INEC had no power to disqualify any candidate for an election as contained in sections 31(1) and 83 of the Electoral Act.

But in an appeal petition filed by the commission at the appellate court, INEac said the Federal High Court erred in law and thereby occasioned a miscarriage of justice.

The respondents in the appeal were Natasha Akpoti, Adams Khalid, and the SDP.

The INEC added that without proper evaluation of the evidence of appellant, the court proceeded to grant the reliefs sought by the respondents.

In the eight-ground petition, INEC stated among others that the Federal High Court failed to put into consideration the fact that SDP had no validly nominated deputy governorship candidate at the close of the period for nomination on September 9.

The petition further stated that the invalidity of the deputy governorship candidate (Muhammed Bashir Yakubu) invalidated SDP’s nomination of Akpoti as its governorship candidate.

But reacting to the appeal, the SDP candidate alleged that INEC was biased by going ahead to conduct the election when there were issues.

She said, “INEC’s decision to appeal against the judgment of the Federal High Court is simply to silence me at the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal.

“They do not want anything Natasha in the courts with regards to the Kogi governorship election because they know that I will fight vigorously to the end.

“I have sent in a petition to the tribunal asking for the cancellation of the entire election.

“Questions arising from INEC’s decision to appeal will include: what happens to the election? I recorded about 10, 000 votes, so what happens to these 10, 000 voices? Will there be another election? We would have 10,000 who have been deceived into voting Natasha?

“The judgment came nine days before the election, why did they not appeal against it and they would have gone ahead without me being on the ballot.

“They also had the option of postponing the election and allow the courts to deal with this. Unfortunately, they did not do this. Coincidentally, SDP was not on any of the result sheets.”

How south, igbos can be president come 2023 – Prophet chukwuma.

…challenging Buhari’s election to apologise to God

The presiding pastor, Christ Foundation Miracle International Chapel, Lagos, Prophet Josiah Chukwuma has revealed what the Igbo must do if they are serious about the 2023 presidency.

In this interview, he stated that the high level of disunity, distrust, cold war, betrayal and bad blood among the Igbo, have been their Achilles’ hill, stressing that unless they urgently work on them, their dream of producing president in 2023 would not come to reality.

Why did you ask those who attacked you for urging the former vice president, Atiku Abubakar to withdraw the suit challenging Buhari’s election to apologise to God?

They must apologise, not for attacking me but for attacking God’s message. They must seek divine forgiveness. They called me names and rained all manner of curses on me for advising Atiku and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to withdraw the suit challenging President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory in the interest of peace. After Atiku lost at the tribunal and went ahead to appeal the tribunal’s decision, I repeated my call and advised him to withdraw the case. The message was published in some national dailies, and what followed were threats and condemnations from individuals within and outside the country. I had advised the former VP not to waste his money by seeking justice at the election tribunal or any court, but that he should rather give the funds he had earmarked for litigation or part of it to charity.

But Atiku received a lot of sympathy as well as accolades from several Nigerians for pursuing justice up to the Supreme Court; do you have a problem with that?

Commendations and consolations are okay. But, I am saying that spiritually, Atiku led a fight without the light. When you are confronted with a fight without a light, you should let the fight go; that is what makes a great man. If Atiku had listened to divine advice, he would have, rather than litigation, set aside even half of all the money that he wasted in the legal battle for charity. It would have been more honourable and worthwhile for him. You can imagine how many indigent Nigerians that such move would have lifted out of poverty and given a new lease of life. All he needed to do was to announce such a decision to Nigerians and set up a committee to start implementing it immediately. That would have earned him optimum image boost because it is said that tomorrow never ends.

Having said that, I would add that God has a reason for allowing anything to happen, including allowing Buhari to continue in office; how his victory came about does not matter. It is like the biblical story of Esau and Jacob. Esau was meant to serve Jacob until the pottage incident occurred. Who knows whether God had allowed Buhari’s emergence in the first place, so that Nigerians can learn some lessons and appreciate Him? All I am sounding to Nigerian politicians is that they must learn to listen to God. I have been reiterating this call since Obasanjo’s era, and all our prophecies since then have come to pass. They are there on the internet and newspaper archives. And to deceptive prophets and men of God, I say that flamboyance and earthly wealth are only ephemeral. Speak the truth; speaking God’s mind to those in authority does not amount to hatred. Good leaders require truth to be on the right pedestal. Those who had called for my head for urging Atiku to withdraw legal suit against Buhari’s victory were quick to forget that I had advised against Buhari’s candidacy for second term, before 2019 general election. They also forgot that I had suggested that Atiku be given a chance to try his luck in the presidency. Buhari’s proponents and those who knew that I had served Buhari, as a little boy, had rebuked and accused me of being sponsored by the PDP.

Did you say you have served President Buhari before?

Yes, as a little boy, when he was still a young military officer. I knew him through late Mrs. Obeya. I used to wash his car and do laundry for him. So, I knew him very well. I knew him as a very gentle, principled man. But, as a prophet, that cannot stop me from speaking truth to him or his government whenever the need arises. It is in the archives that during the build-up to the 2015 general elections, I had prophesied about all the sufferings and difficulties of Nigerians under the current administration, as directed by God. In that pre-2015 election message, I had also advised Buhari not to run for the election, that God had revealed that those urging him to run were doing so for their selfish reasons; that he lacked the grace to rule Nigeria again according to his original motive; and that cabals would hijack his government and would not allow him to lead the country according to his true conscience and agenda. All these are there in achirves.

What is your view about the clamour for and against a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction in 2023?

I am not a politician and I don’t speak like politicians. But, if you want the truth, I would tell you that the issue of Igbo becoming president or not in 2023 lies in the hands of Ndigbo. They must learn how not to betray themselves only to end up blowing away their chances. You cannot put something inside a leaking bag because whatever you put there will pour away. The level of disunity, cold war and distrust among the Igbo is so annoying, embarrassing, shameful and unfortunate. When everybody schemes and fights to be the one to occupy a lone seat, there is bound to be massive betrayal and counter-betrayal. I had prayed recently about the fate of Ndigbo over the 2023 presidency. But, you know what? I was ashamed of the answer that I got, which I would not share in the media. So, Ndigbo must stop destroying, selling, and lying against themselves as well as committing all manner of evils against themselves. They are the ones preventing the glory of God from shining upon Igboland as He wills. Many of our people pretend to be dining and wining with God, while the devil is their actual best friend. We must love God, love ourselves and look upon Christ and depend on Him for liberation. That is the only way that we could make substantial political inroad in this country.

What is your take on the rebirth of third term tale in the country and alleged plot by some individuals to create a window for the extension of Buhari’s tenure?

Mark my words! If Mr. President fails to firmly kill the third term conspiracy, he would be messed up in the end. Third term is an evil plot that may consume many politicians, if care is not taken. When I prayed over the issue, I was shown two major things that would happen, except the idea is killed. Buhari would be messed up in the end and a hostility that would give birth to two rival groups would ensue, which would force some people to flee the country. I saw the crisis escalating to the extent that politicians would become endangered species. Politicians would be targeted and subjected to brutal attacks without party, religious or tribal consideration.

#Newsworthy…

Floods of protest in Rivers over LG polls

…youth imposition.

Hundreds of youths have protested an alleged move by some political god fathers to impose candidates in the pending local government election in Cross River State.

The Cross River State Independent Electoral Commission (CROSIEC) has tentatively fixed February 22, 2020 for council elections.

This has led to beehive of activities at the 18 local governments and 196 wards of the state.

But suspecting fowl play in the build up to the election, youths from Boki council took to the streets of Calabar yesterday, shouting, ‘we-no-go-gree ooo’.

The youths, who carried placard with various inscriptions, said they were opposed to recycling of politicians from Boki who had been in power since 1999 to date.

Speaking with journalists, one of the youth leaders and chairmanship aspirant in the Peoples Democratic Party, Kidze Leo, said: “In our hearts we have a lot of worries. We are saying no to imposition of one person against the opinion of many people. There have been a lot of killings in Boki which leaders have not come out to react to. They are only interested in their political ambition.

“Someone who has been nominated and confirmed as commissioner at that level will go as low as causing confusion. It is a big disappointment. I am a businessman and politician, an aspirant (chairmanship) for that matter. If I don’t come out to speak, who will talk for millions of these people? We have come to join forces to produce a vibrant chairman during the election.

“The leaders causing confusion have been in power for a very long time. They don’t want anybody to rise to their level or even above them. They are intimidated by young people coming up in politics. When they see a rising star they gang up and bring you down.

“They brainwash the other youths who are hungry, who cannot fend for themselves and use them against the other fellow youths. But this time, the majority of the people who want to see this transformation are on this side. So, we will definitely conquer.”

Another chairmanship aspirant, also on PDP platform, Jonathan Osang, said: “They should allow us to go freely into the election. The problem of Boki is not the youths. The problem of Boki is the leaders. They have been in power since 1999 to date.

“They were there when they were youths. Now they don’t want the youths to grow. We have a digital governor. We need a digital youth as chairman. The problem of Boki can never finish if we don’t have a youth as chairman.”

Responding, the Permanent Secretary in charge of Security in the governor’s office, Alfred Mboto, promised to take their complaints to the governor.

#Newsworthy…

Ekiti elected 16 LG chairmen gets certificate.

The 16 Local Governments’ chairmen -elect who emerged during the last Saturday’s council election in Ekiti State, yesterday received their certificates of Return, with a charge to shun corruption and all actions that could derail governance at the third tier of government.

At the election, Candidates of the All Progressives Congress clinched all he 16 Chairmanship and 177 councilorship seats available in the state.

Presenting the certificates, the Chairman of the State Independent Electoral Commission, Justice Jide Aladejana, said the commission exhibited utmost neutrality and unbiased dispositions, in the conduct of the election.

Aladejana charged the chairmen to fulfill all the promises made during the electioneering campaigns, saying this remains the best way to motivate the electorate to believe in the electoral system.

The Chairman added that it won’t be a great disservice to the electorate who queued inside sun to elect them, if they fail to deliver democracy dividends needed at the grassroots .

“You are making history today. Your people have voted for you to be able to represent them well, make sure you fulfill your promises.
“We are proud to say that we aligned with the provisions of the 1999 constitution and the Electoral Act in conducting the election.

” I commend all the contestants across parties for the peaceful ways they conducted themselves before and during the election, that accounted for the success recorded”, he said.

The Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, represented by the Chief of Staff, Mr. Biodun Omoleye, said the chairmen must demonstrate competence and accountability when they get into office, I order not to betray the confidence reposed in them.

“You must follow the footsteps of our governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi , which is commitment to development and good leadership.
“We have to make useful sacrifices and display ingenuity for us to be able to make great impacts at the local government level.”

#Newsworthy…

2020: It is too early to set up agitation for presidential candidate – Jim Nwobodo

A former governor of old Anambra State, Jim Nwobodo, has said it is too early for politicians in the country to be agitating which region will produce the president in 2023.

Nwobodo, who was governor of old Anambra state between 1979–1983 during the Second Republic, said the present administration should be allowed to settle down and focus on governance.

He spoke at the public presentation of two books “A scientist in parliament and Stunted Nigerian dreams” written by a former member of the House of Representatives, Dr. Eddie Mbadiwe, on Tuesday in Abuja.

According to him, only the people can decide which region will produce the next president when the time comes.

“This government has just started. It has not even done up to one year and we are talking of 2023. Pray to God that this man succeed. You don’t start fighting over something that you have no powers to adjudicate. The people will decide when the time comes.

“It is too early. Some of these things are frivolous, you don’t just start fighting for something you know is neither here nor there,” he said.

He also said that the unity of the country had been torn apart, noting that this was not the country him and other prominent Nigerians suffered and fought for.

Nwobodo said that he contested and won an election as a student at the University of Ibadan as one Nigeria, asking: “are we still one Nigeria.”

Nwobodo said: “Some of the people who came here were my school mates at the university of Ibadan. I contest an election in Ibadan and won as one Nigeria. Are we still one Nigeria? I am asking you press men. We are so divided.

“Trust me, I weep for this country, I really weep and I know what I am saying. This is not the country that we fought for, that we suffered for and you have a role as the press to talk about the unity and oneness of this country – fairness, equity to everybody.”

The Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, said power rotation in 2023 will not determine equity or fairness in the country.

Achebe, who was chairman of the occasion, said: “Power rotation will not guarantee fairness and equity. Fairness and equity arise from good leadership. It does not matter where the leadership come from.

“If you rotate power and it goes to the south and the south takes care of the southerners, it is still inequity. Fairness for everybody that is what….”

Author of the books, Mbadiwe, said that Nigeria had not made progress many years after independence in 1960.

“Everybody in Nigeria knows that this country is not moving and it is so annoying.

“Many years after independence we are still here. It is so annoying to people like me. Small countries, ten, twenty years have moved. Even in Ghana, thing have changed.

“We are not moving and we must tell ourselves the truth. We are not honest with ourselves. These things are so endemic and Nigerians don’t want to speak. Everybody is just keeping quiet and we are going down in terms of everything,” he said.

#Newsworthy…

Just in – INEC to arrange for security for future elections.

…says Bayelsa and Kogi elections, bloody

Following reported violence that marred the Bayelsa and Kogi governorship elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has sought a review of security arrangements for future elections.

The Commission said henceforth there will be comprehensive information on security operatives and clear details of their postings and names to ensure that they are held accountable for their actions.

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this at the meeting of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) in Abuja.

According to the INEC boss the meeting “will review the efficacy of security deployment in relation to field experience on election day, in order to determine what we got right and what we did not”.

In his words, “ahead of the Bayelsa and Kogi governorship elections, the Commission’s appraisal of the security situation using our Election Violence Mitigation and Advocacy Tool (EVMAT) identified some flash points. At the last meeting of ICCES, we shared our assessment with the security agencies. We also had several stakeholders’ meetings in Yenagoa and Lokoja involving the security agencies. At these meetings, stakeholders across the board expressed concern about the possibility of violence.

“The security agencies made their own assessment based on which they arrived at the numbers of personnel to be deployed as well as other operational details in order to secure the process. At this meeting, we shall review the efficacy of security deployment in relation to field experience on election day, in order to determine what we got right and what we did not.

The Commission believes that the purpose of security deployment during elections is to protect the voters, election officials and materials, accredited observers, the media and to safeguard the integrity of the processes generally, including the polling units and collation centres.

“Therefore, the deployment of security personnel in all future elections should be tied to specific locations and activities. All security personnel deployed to polling units and collation centres should be identified by name as is the case with INEC officials. This will not only enhance transparency, but the Commission and security agencies will know who to contact in specific locations during elections when the need arises. They will also be held responsible for the proper conduct of elections in those locations. The Inspector-General of Police has assured the Commission that this new approach to the deployment of security personnel will be piloted in the court-ordered re-run elections holding next month.

“The current electoral security framework provides for deployment of personnel in three concentric circles. In the innermost circle are the polling units where unarmed policemen are deployed while in the outer circles, armed security personnel are deployed to mount roadblocks, patrols and provide rapid response in case of any emergency at the polling units or collation centers.

“We must also review the deployment of armed security to the outer perimeters so that they are readily available to counter the movement of thugs with the intention of disrupting elections through the intimidation of voters; harassment of election officials, observers and the media or snatching of election materials. Arrest of offenders must be followed by a thorough investigation so that thugs and their sponsors are penalised under the law.

“I wish to reiterate that while the Commission has no power under the law to cancel elections, we will not hesitate to suspend elections anywhere our officials report the disruption of the process or threats to the lives of voters, election officials and observers by acts of thuggery or community connivance. The Commission will not return to the affected areas for as long as it takes until we are guaranteed adequate safety for all those involved in the process. We must never allow violence and thuggery to define our elections. The Commission will submit proposals to the National Assembly on how the electoral legal framework can be amended to sanction violators and further empower the Commission in this respect”.

The INEC Chairman also hinted on the efforts of the Commission to achieve technology-based elections.

“Similarly, we need to continue to deepen the use of technology for the integrity of elections. The Senate Committee on INEC has already shared with the Commission the Electoral Act amendment bill for our input. We are excited by some of the new provisions concerning electronic transmission of results.

“We are glad that the electoral legal framework is removing some of the encumbrances to the full deployment of technology for the improvement of the electoral process in Nigeria, especially result collation and management. The Commission will work with the National Assembly for the expeditious passage of the amendment to the electoral legal framework so that work can begin in earnest to make future elections in Nigeria more technology-based. It is long overdue, it is doable, it is achievable and it is inevitable”.

Meanwhile, the Commission has already scheduled the re-run elections ordered by the Courts to hold simultaneously in 28 constituencies across 12 States of the Federation on Saturday 25th January 2020.

#Newsworthy…

Just in – Akpabio pulled out of Akwa ibom’s north west senatorial rerun.

…urges APC to send replacement to INEC.

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, has pulled out of the forthcoming Akwa Ibom North West senatorial rerun election.

Akpabio who was a former Minority Leader of the Senate, in a letter addressed to the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, said the decision was due to huge responsibility now placed on him as Minister.

He said that he cannot afford to jettison a critical national assignment given to him by President Muhammadu Buhari in pursuit of a rerun election.

He urged the party to inform the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), is his withdrawal from the race in line with Sections 33 and 35 of the Electoral Act, 2010, and submit a replacement to run in his stead.

It could be recalled that a Court of Appeal, in November ruled that a rerun election should be held in some parts of Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District.

Akpabio had challenged the declaration of Senator Chris Ekpenyong, the candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of the February 23rd election.

Akpabio in the letter urged the national chairman of APC to prevail on the chairman of INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, to redeploy the State Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Mike Igini, to allow for a free and fair rerun elections.

Akpabio in the letter dated 2nd of December, 2019, said: “I wish to recall that I was the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District Election held on the 23rd day of February, 2019.

“Upon the declaration of Christopher Ekpenyong of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the purported winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), I challenged same at the National and State Houses of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

“The Tribunal In a split decision by a majority of two to one (Honourable Justice W. O. Akanbi and Honourable Justice 0. D. Etubu) dismissed our Petition, while in a dissenting judgment delivered by Honourable Justice Hahz S. Tahlr, the petition was adjudged proven and all the reliefs sought were granted.

“Being dissatisfied with the decision of the majority judgment and upon the erudite points of law and conclusion contained in the minority judgment, we appealed to the Court of Appeal, Calabar Judicial Division which in a unanimous decision delivered on the 9th day of November, 2019, allowed our appeal and set aside the Judgment of the Lower Tribunal.

“I have taken into consideration the critical national assignment bestowed on me by Mr. President which will be of immense importance to Nigerians and in particular the indigenes of the Niger Delta region and have resolved to remain as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to further discharge my contributions and services to our great fatherland.

“It is on the premise of the foregoing and particularly in line with the provisions of Section 35 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) that I want to formally and voluntarily withdraw my candidature as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the forthcoming Court ordered Re-run Election for the Akwa lbom North-West Senatorial District.

“It will be inappropriate in the circumstance and pursuant to Sections 33 and 35 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) for the party to immediately communicate this withdrawal to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and forward to her the name of another candidate of the party to replace me at the Court ordered Rerun Election for the Akwa lbom North-West Senatorial District.

“I want to seize this opportunity to thank our formidable party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), its leadership at the state and national levels for availing me the party platform and the immeasurable support I received throughout the period of the election and beyond.

“Mr. Chairman, may I advice that the National Working Committee of our party should reiterate our earlier plea to the chairman of Independent Nanonal Electoral Commission (lNEC) to redeploy Mr. Mike Igini (the Resident Electoral Commtssuoner) from Akwa lbom State, if a free and transparent re-run exercise is to be guaranteed,” Akpabio said.

#Newsworthy…