Tag Archives: election

Kwara swear in newly elected member.

The Speaker of the Kwara State House of Assembly, Yakubu Danladi, Tuesday swore in a newly elected member, Ahmed Rufai.

The lawmaker, who is representing Patigi Constituency, is the younger brother of the late member of the House, Saidu, who died in December 2019.

Rufai was declared winner of the bye-election held in the constituency in March by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).


However, the Assembly, is yet to swear in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Jimoh Raheem-Agboola, who was directed by the state election petitions tribunal to take over the seat of the All Progressives Congress (APC) member for Ilorin South Constituency, AbdulAzeez Elewu- Oluwanilo.

Raheem-Agboola had on three occasions stormed the House with the PDP supporters for the implementation of the court judgment without success.


But the Chairman of the House Committee on Information, Olumide Awolola, who addressed journalists on the matter, said Raheem-Agboola as plaintiff did not join the present occupant of the seat, Elewu-Oluwanilo, in the suit he filed at the tribunal.

He said Elewu-Oluwanilo had also approached the Court of Appeal to seek interpretation and the implication of not being joined in the suit.



Elect’23: Disqualify APC for Electoral Act Breach – PDP tell INEC.

The Peoples Democratic Party, Lagos State chapter, has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to disqualify the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Governor Babajide Sanwo-olu from the 2023 election.

The PDP accused the APC-led administration in the state of breaching the provisions of the Electoral Act on electioneering campaigns by campaigning for the reelection of Governor Babajide Sanwo-olu for the 2023 governorship election in the state.

Taofik Gani, publicity secretary of the PDP in Lagos, who leveled the accusation in a statement on Sunday, asked the INEC to disqualify the APC and Governor Sanwo-olu from the 2023 election.

He said, “The APC has commenced deliberate public announcements; jingles; Newspaper adverts directly and indirectly sponsored by the Governor, his supporters, groups and the APC announcing Sanwo-olu as a performer-governor within his first year in office that should be supported for reelection.


“For clarity, the sponsored public announcements, jingles, Newspaper Adverts are clearly calling on electorates to reelect Sanwo-olu and the APC on the basis of their perceived performances within first year. These jingles and other announcements abound. We demand that the Governor and the APC must be disqualified from contesting the governorship election in the 2023. They are already overreaching all other aspirants and parties. Governor Sanwo-olu and the APC are already violating the political process. The level playing field that ought to exist is being dug into gullies for all other parties. This is unfair. The INEC must assert its authority and control of the electoral process by enforcing its rules irrespective of the committer of breaking the rules. The INEC must suo motu disqualify Sanwo-olu as a persona and the APC from eligibility to contest the governorship in the 2023 general elections.”


The PDP described the scorecard peddled by the APC as “indeed laughable”, describing the APC led administration in the state is the “worst ever by any Lagos State Governor.

The PDP said the Sanwo-olu administration’s one year in office is “a year of abysmal performance of monumental failure”, and vowed to, in the coming days expose the failures of Sanwo-olu’s first year in office as Governor.



TB Joshua send message to Trump ahead US election

The founder and General Overseer of the Synagogue Church of All Nations, SCOAN, Prophet T.B Joshua, has sent a fresh message to the President of the United States of America, Donald Trump.

The message is concerning the current security situation in the USA and the coming presidential election.

Joshua entitled the message he shared during his live Sunday service, ‘My message to President Donald Trump on security issues,’ recalling that he had prophesied what is happening currently happening in the US during his prophecy for 2020.

Following the killing of George Floyd, Americans, most of the black race have taken to the streets over police brutality with several US states activating National Guard troops.

Joshua said that a similar situation would occur again in June and warned that it could affect the coming election.


“During my prophecy for 2020 released on 28th December 2019; prophecy number four concerning America was given as follows: ‘Approach to the security issue will affect the candidates and swing voters in the next election,’” he said.

“President Trump, this is what is happening now. Another one is coming. President Trump, wake up to checkmate this. It will go beyond this. Another one is coming, starting from the ending of June.

The cleric noted that the people perish where there is no vision, pointing out that during Trump’s regime, the name of Jesus has been given more honour.


“What glory! Let us look beyond our palace for God’s authority. With God, all things are possible! Let us act now,” Joshua said.

“It is not all up to God; we have a role to play. More appeals to the people and security are required – in a language that will douse the tension and stop this situation – so we can then commit the future one into God’s hands.”



EdoDecide’20: PDP get Obaseki automatic ticket.

Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Edo State, Tony Aziegbemi, has insisted that there will be no automatic ticket for Governor Godwin Obaseki if he finally joins the party ahead of forthcoming governorship election.

Appearing on Thursday, Aziegbemi, however, said that the party’s door was open for the embattled incumbent governor to join.

According to him, “Our doors are opened. Governor Obaseki is our governor in the State. If he wants to join the PDP, he is free to do so.


“But will he get an automatic ticket? The answer is an emphatic no. He has to go through the processes.”

He insisted that even if National Working Committee, NWC, of the PDP considers given Obaseki a waiver, he “will still get to get to the delegates to explain to them why he should be given the ticket and all that. So it’s a process and that process is open to all Nigerians,” he said.

“So our doors are not closed at all. We feel that Governor Obaseki is being humiliated, maltreated and being given the wrong stick by his party.”


Asked about the party’s earlier claim that the Governor has not done enough for the State since elected 4 years ago, he said, “Will we give him automatic ticket? I say no. Can he join the party and I said yes. Can he be given a waiver? I said yes. Can he contest in the primary? I said yes of course. That’s what I’m saying.”

Recall that pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, a former Secretary to Edo State Government (SSG) emerged the Adams Oshiomhole faction of the APC consensus candidate for the state governorship election on Wednesday.



KogiDecide’20: Civil Rights beg for transparency.

The group in a letter to the Acting President of Court of Appeal, Hon. Justice Monica B. Dongban-Mensem, asked for transparency and sense of justice in constituting members of the panel that will adjudicate in the case.

A called for transparency in the constitution of membership of the Kogi State Governorship Election Petition Appeal Panel.

The group in a letter to the Acting President of Court of Appeal, Hon. Justice Monica B. Dongban-Mensem, asked for transparency and sense of justice in constituting members of the panel that will adjudicate in the case.

In the letter dated May 26 and signed by its National Coordinator, Kayode Esan, NIM said extra-judicial murder of innocent citizens during the November 2019 gubernatorial election in state should as well not be ignored.

The group said, “The Kogi State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal delivered its split judgment on Saturday, May 23, 2020. Two members of the panel, Justices Kashim G. Kaigama from Yobe State and Baraka Wali from Katsina State ruled in favour of Alhaji Yahaya Bello of All Progressives Congress while Justice Ohimai Ovbiagele from Edo State stood against the above. The details of the judgment is in the public domain.


“As a result of the above, the Peoples Democratic Party and its candidate in the election, Musa Wada, have vowed to approach the Court of Appeal for enduring justice to be served.

“In the light of this, the Nigeria Integrity Movement, a non-partisan and non-political civil society group, hereby appeals to the leadership of the Court of Appeal to exercise due diligence, transparency and sense of justice in constituting members of the Appeal Panel that will adjudicate in the case.”



EdoDecide’20: Oshiomhole has no power to fix primaries.

A social-cultural group, Edo Unity League (EUL), has declared that the constitution of the All Progressives Congress (APC), does not give unilateral power to the National Working Committee of the party, to fixed primary elections.

This is even as chairmen of the APC in 18 local government areas of the state, threw their weight behind Governor Godwin Obaseki’s preference for indirect primary election method.

The NWC of the party had adopted direct primary method, against the state leadership of the party and the state Governor Goodwin Obaseki’s choice of indirect primary, to elect the candidate to fly its flag in the forthcoming gubernatorial election in the state.

But the EUL insisted that NWC needs ratification of such decision from National Executive Council (NEC) of the party.

National Facilitator of EUL and a chieftain of the APC in the state, Comrade Aiyamenkhue Edokpolo, disclosed this on Thursday in Benin, while briefing journalists.


According to him, “If the APC constitution is anything to go by, article 20(iv)e states inter alia: ‘Without prejudice to article 20(u) and (iii) of the constitution, the national working committee shall subject to the approval of the national executive committee.

“From the foregoing, it is clear that the NWC is not a law unto itself, and like every other gubernatorial primaries precedents, this one scheduled for June 22nd in Edo will be accordingly reviewed based on the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic in favour of indirect primaries mode

“President Buhari is the head of APC NEC which is approving of all proposals by NWC. It is appropriate for the president to sensitize them that direct primaries is antithetical to all known protocol of security and health safety in the era of Covid-19,” he said.


Edokpolo therefore called on President Muhammadu Buhari to call the National Working Committee of the party to order by jettisoning the proposed direct primaries mode for the party in forthcoming governorship election in Edo State.

He alleged that 95 percent of APC primaries had been indirect when the world was Covid-19 free, wondering why the NWC would proposed direct primaries when Covid-19 is ravaging the world with much fatalities.

According to him, the direct primaries position was antithetical to all known protocol of security and health safety in the era of Covid-19 pandemic, adding that medical experts have warned against the direct primaries because of it attendant consequence due to Covid-19.


“Mobilising 350,000 members of APC across the 192 wards of Edo, in the face of crass ignorance of Covid-19 existence and incontrovertible facts of rural illiteracy, fatality of Covid-19 will be worsen in our state.

“In the indirect mode, the about 3500 delegates and INEC officials can be effectively coordinated in one or two centres in Benin, within the extant rule of social distance,” he said.

Chairmen of the party in the 18 local government areas, said the endorsement of indirect primary was in accordance with the resolution of the State Executive Committee.


Benjamin Oghumu, APC chairman, Orhionmwon local government, who spoke on their behalf, said the resolution of the State Working Committee was duly passed on May 22, 2020 as authorised by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party in August 2018.

He described the purported agreement for Osagie Ize-Iyamu to return to the party as a consensus candidate as lacking in foundation.

“Pastor Oaagie Ize-Iyamu is not a member of our party, he led his followers out of All Progressives Congress in 2014 and even contested the governorship election on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in 2016 election which he lost.


“The purported waiver granted to him by the National Working Committee of the party is ultra vires, null and void as Article 31 of the party constitution confers that power on the National Executive Committee of the party.

“Besides, the conditions for waiver prescribed by the party constitution have not been met. The party has a constitution and the constitution make provisions on how things are done including registration of new members,” he said.



EdoDecide’20: No Man can stop my return – Obaseki

The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has said no man can stop him winning a second term in office.

Obaseki said this on Wednesday when he appeared on a Channels Television programme: “Sunrise Daily.”

Obaseki spoke just as a faction of the party loyal to the National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, declared a former Secretary to the Edo State Government, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, as its consensus candidate for the June 22 primaries to pick a candidate.


Obaseki said on the Channels TV programme: “I am not a violent person.

“But I am confident that the way I got into power is the same way I will return.

“God gave me power.

“If he wants me to return, I will continue.


“No man can stop me.

“Power comes from God.

“I have friends with resources.

“I worked for eight years behind the scene before I became governor.

“So all that insinuations about using somebody’s resources….


“I became Governor on the platform of the party and I am grateful for it.

“It does not matter whether it is direct or indirect (primaries), I will win.”



Elect’20: Burundians vote amid COVID-19 grip

Burundians turned out to vote on Wednesday despite the Coronavirus pandemic that has forced many countries to ban mass gatherings.

The country expelled the World Health Organisation representative in the country and three other officials for criticizing political parties for holding rallies.

The battle is between the ruling party, CNDD-FDD’s, retired army general, Evariste Ndayishimiye, and the main opposition challenger, Agathon Rwasa, as well as five others.

“The voting is really taking place smoothly and I voted for change but I am pessimistic about the counting of votes,” a voter, who did not wish to be named, told Reuters.

Chairman of the country’s electoral commission, Pierre Claver Kazihise, called for people to come out and vote peacefully saying, “We call on Burundians to vote in massive numbers and vote peacefully. We need good elections.”


The United Nations and the Africa Union harbour doubts as well, saying they were, “concerned about reports of intimidation and violent clashes between supporters of opposing sides”.

If the election turns out to be uneventful, it would be the first peaceful democratic transition in the Central African territory, according to the news agency.

Not many international observers were allowed to monitor proceedings however, following demands that they be quarantined.


Many international observers were allowed to monitor proceedings however, following demands that they be quarantined.

Burundi has recorded 42 positive COVID-19 cases and one death from 633 tests.



Elect’20: INEC redesign polling units amid COVID-19 outbreak

Amidst COVID-19, the Independent National Electoral Commission has said Polling Units shall be redesigned by the Commission to ensure substantial compliance with the COVID-19 protocols established by health authorities.

INEC noted that, among other things, the redesign would emphasise social distancing, general hygienic conduct and enforcement of COVID-19 prevention protocols.

The commission disclosed this in a “Policy on Conducting Elections in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic” document signed by the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, released on Monday.

The INEC chairman noted that on election day, the use of face masks shall be mandatory at Polling Units and all election locations, stating that any voter without a face mask shall be turned away.

Yakubu said: “However, the Assistant Presiding Officer (APO) II in checking the Register of Voters may request removal of mask to prevent voter impersonation.


“There shall be a two-tier queuing system at the Polling Unit – one outside and the other in the voting area. Voters will be brought into the voting area periodically to prevent overcrowding.

“Tags and twines may be used to ensure crowd control and maintenance of social distance.

“In order to accommodate additional activities in setting up the PU due to COVID-19, polls shall now commence at 8:30am and close at 2:30pm.


“Anybody on the outer queue by 2:30pm shall be allowed to vote, in line with the Commission’s regulations.

“Prior to the commencement of polls, the Presiding Officer or Assistant Presiding Officer (VP) shall ensure that the contents of the Voter Code of Conduct (VCC) are read out loudly to voters and that the VCC Poster is pasted at the polling unit.

Yakubu stated that there should be periodic disinfection of chairs, tables and work areas, as well as adequate ventilation at the Polling Units.


He said: “The Smart Card Readers (SCR) shall be cleaned with the prescribed disinfectant after each voter’s fingerprint is read.

“Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other safety materials shall be provided for polling staff.”

Yakubu added that at the close of polls, polling unit staff should ensure that materials were properly disinfected, carefully packaged and that used PPE were hygienically packaged or disposed of.


He explained that for purposes of collation of results after election the Commission would cluster Registration Area collation centres where feasible, in order to reduce exposure of people to the risk of COVID-19, speed up collation and reduce costs.

“In order to prevent overcrowding during collation, only one polling agent of a party on the ballot (or the candidate in person) for the election(s) shall be allowed into the collation hall,” he said.

On post-election activities, Yakubu stated that for reverse logistics, election staff must ensure that used, but reusable PPEs, were carefully packaged and sent to designated collection points.


“All post-election debriefings shall preferably be done electronically. Where face-to-face debriefings take place, the protocols for COVID-19 prevention shall be followed,” he said.

For pre-election activities, Yakubu stated that INEC should immediately embark on review of regulations, guidelines and manuals for elections in the light of changes to the electoral process that are imminent due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said: “Develop a Voter Code of Conduct (VCC) document detailing how voters are expected to act and conduct themselves at the polling units in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic.


“Review all Elections Information Kits to include COVID-19 information.

“Expand the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) at all levels to include NCDC (or other requisite health bodies) and National Orientation Agency (NOA) on a temporary basis.”

The INEC chairman mandated INEC state offices to work with local health authorities to do a health assessment of upcoming elections immediately.


He said: “Conduct immediate discussion with state governments where elections are to hold concerning lockdowns, curfews, etc, and how they might affect elections.

“Ensure that Pre-Election Preparation (PEP) activities shall be conducted online preferably.

“Where face-to-face activities become necessary, the protocols for COVID-19 prevention should be followed.


“Pilot changes to the electoral process in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic in a by-election prior to the Edo and Ondo governorship elections in order to learn lessons where necessary.”

Yakubu explained that INEC has also made provision for handling and delivery of election materials.

One of the provisions, according to him, was to reduce the number of contacts during distribution.


He said when Non-sensitive Materials were procured, they would be delivered directly by vendors to States or purchased by States requiring the materials and packaged according to the quantity required by Registration Area.

“This will reduce the level and number of contacts during distribution,” he said.

He said production of Sensitive Materials shall commence early to give adequate time for proper packaging and delivery.


Yakubu added that to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19, the commission should reduce to a minimum interstate movement of staff, including ad hoc staff, for off-season and by-elections.

“The rule shall be that only shortfalls requested by the states are filled from outside the state. As much as possible, all election staff will be sourced in-state,” the INEC chairman said.
He added that in the establishment of voting points in order to reduce the number of points in a Polling Unit to be monitored and controlled for COVID-19 compliance, the threshold for Voting Points shall be increased from 500/750 to 1,000/1,250.



Labour Minister hint on Presidency interest come 2023

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, has said he reserves the right to contest for Senate or presidency in 2023.

Ngige made the remark while dismissing reports that he was interested in contesting for the Anambra governorship election billed for next year.

He spoke in his hometown of Alor, Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State, on Sunday.


Ngige, who was a former one term governor of the state, however, declared that he has no interest in becoming governor because he’s on a national assignment as Minister.

Ngige said: “Yes, there have been speculations that I am eyeing the governorship of Anambra State. They have written about it in a lot of media. I am a politician. They have the right to speculate on my next move. My next move is very vast.

“Elections will come in 2023, I have a right to vie for any position. I can vie for Senate.


“I can vie for president if I so wish. Election will be coming in Anambra State, latest November 2021 to elect a successor to Obiano. I am not disqualified. I have a right to say I can run.

“I don’t have interest for now in Anambra governorship because I am on a national assignment.”



Joe Biden keep mute on whether Klobuchar would run alongside him.

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden is joined on stage by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) during a campaign event on March 2, 2020 in Dallas, Texas. Klobuchar has suspended her campaign and endorsed Biden before the upcoming Super Tuesday Democratic presidential primaries. Ron Jenkins–Getty Images

Joe Biden said Thursday he knows what qualities he’s looking for in his vice-presidential pick but stressed that he was far from a decision.

“I honest to God don’t know who — I promise you — right now,” he said on CBS’s “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”

Asked about reporting that Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota had agreed to be vetted, Biden said “no one’s been vetted yet by the team.”

Biden said the lawyers working on the search are wrapping up a process of reaching out to a “preliminary list of people” to “ask them general questions” including “what are they interested in, why would they be interested in the job or not interested in the job.”

Pressed by Colbert on whether Klobuchar is on his short list, Biden responded that she’s “first rate” but said he wasn’t “getting into” where she stands in the process.


He described vetting, which he underwent in 2008 to become Barack Obama’s running mate, as “a very invasive process” of looking at past votes, financial statements and health records. He suggested that one reason why he wouldn’t volunteer a list of names under consideration is “because if someone’s not chosen the presumption is not necessarily true that there must be something wrong.”

Biden said that as he considers his choice, he is keeping in mind the advice he received from an Obama aide. “The best way to put it is what one of Barack’s close advisers, who’s also a friend, said, ‘think to yourself: You’ve got an important decision, who’s the last person you want in the Oval Office to talk to you?’”

Biden has said he will choose a woman to be his vice president.


Others believed to be in contention are California Senator Kamala Harris, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and Nevada Senator Catherine Cortez Masto. And earlier Thursday, Florida Representative Val Demings said she was on Biden’s “short list.”

New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said she has been asked for references, and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer told NBC’s “Today Show” on Tuesday that she’d had opening conversations with the campaign about joining the ticket.



Just in: PDP fix Edo primary election date. [Nigeria]

Members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State will on June 23 and 24 choose a candidate for the state governorship election scheduled to hold in September.

The party stated this in a timetable and schedule of activities signed by its National Organising Secretary, Col. Austin Akubundu (retd.)

The document also showed that the sale of expression of interest and nomination forms will begin on Friday, May 29, while June 2 has been set aside as the last day for the submission of the forms.

Read Also: If I decide to make my son ‘chief of staff’ no one can stop me – Gov. Akeredolu

The party will screen candidates for the primary election on Thursday June 4, while Saturday June 6 is the date fixed for the consideration of appeals emanating from the screening exercise.


Ward congresses to elect a three-member ad hoc ward delegates will hold on June 9 and appeals arising from the ward congresses will be entertained on Friday, June 19.

The party further stated in the document that Local government congresses to elect one national delegate and persons with disability per local government is scheduled to hold on June 16.



[United States] Hillary Clinton Wants Joe Biden To Unseat Donald Trump?


Hillary Clinton, former United States, US, Democratic presidential candidate, has declared support for Joe Biden as the presidential candidate of the Democratic Party.

Hillary made the declaration during a live event with Biden on Tuesday.

She stated that she was thrilled to be part of Biden’s campaign


“As we face Coronavirus, Joe has been a voice. I want to add my voice to the many, who have endorsed you to be our president,

“I wish you were president right now. Think of what it would mean if we had a real president not just somebody who plays one on TV.

“It’s a real pleasure to be here with you and to be part of this very important discussion. And I am thrilled to be part of your campaign to not only endorse you, but to help highlight a lot of the issues that are at stake in this presidential election.”


Recall that Bernie Sanders, Biden’s main rival, endorsed him too.

Sanders decision means Biden will emerge as presidential candidate of the Democratic Party unopposed.



Mali set to run election despite COVID-19 threat.

Mali headed into the final round of legislative elections Sunday, aiming to revive public faith in its embattled institutions despite a bloody jihadist conflict and looming viral pandemic.

Voters in the nation of 19 million will cast their ballots in the runoff for 147 seats in the National Assembly.

The elections have been repeatedly delayed, eroding trust in institutions as the country struggles with an Islamist revolt that has claimed thousands of lives and forced hundreds of thousands from their homes.

The first round on March 29 was disrupted by jihadist attacks and intimidation, including the kidnapping of opposition leader Soumaila Cisse.

The turnout nationwide averaged 35.6 percent, but was just 12.9 percent in the capital Bamako.

It is the country’s first parliamentary poll since 2013 when President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita’s Rally for Mali party won a big majority.

The elections were meant to take place in late 2018 after Keita was returned to office but the poll was postponed several times, mainly because of security concerns.

A “national dialogue” staged last year to discuss Mali’s spiral of violence called for the ballot to be completed by May.

The hope is that the new MPs will endorse changes to the constitution that will promote decentralisation.

That is the key to pushing ahead with the government’s plans for peace — it signed a deal with armed separatists in northern Mali in 2015 but the pact has largely stalled.

Violence in that region began in 2012 and was then fanned by jihadists.

Defying thousands of French and UN troops, the jihadists took their campaign into the centre of the country and now threaten neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger.

Mali is one of the world’s most impoverished nations.

Its conflict zones and poor healthcare infrastructure place it in the category of countries that health experts say are at high risk of coronavirus.

An election-monitoring NGO warned about social distancing in Sunday’s vote. Keita said “every health and security” precaution will be “rigorously applied”.

The country has officially recorded 13 deaths out of more than 200 cases.


Ondo’20: I will spend one term – PDP governorship candidate. (Nigeria)

A governorship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ondo State, Dr. Bode Ayorinde, has declared that he would serve only one term in office if elected governor.

This, he explained, was because he would be completing the tenure of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, as both of them hail from Owo, Ondo North senatorial district.

Dr. Ayorinde said he opted to work closely with Governor Akeredolu to move the state forward but all his intentions were repelled.

Ayorinde stated that he was chased out of the All Progressives Congress by Akeredolu despite his several pleas to him to be magnanimous in victory and tolerant of all of them that contested against him at the party primaries.

He said all efforts to make Akeredolu realised he is the Governor of all in Ondo State rather than Governor of Aketi Team failed.

The PDP governorship hopeful noted that the present realities in the state and emerging facts have rekindled his genuine concern that achieving a great and prosperous Ondo State is a task that must be accomplished.

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According to him, “People had equally asked me whether an Owo man can succeed Aketi as Governor. My answer has been emphatic no but that it is only fair and just for an Owo man to complete the expected tenure of office.

“Therefore, my honest intention is to complete the term due to Owo through the mandate of the good people of Ondo State and I am prepared to give our Leaders in PDP, a written undertaking to that effect.

“Ondo State, the 5th amongst the nine oil producing States in the Federation deserves better leadership. Given the opportunity to serve, my mission is to industrialise Ondo State, create wealth and provide gainful employment for our teeming citizens.

“That has been my concern, my consistent sermon and my mission in government. So, 1st on my priority list is Industrialisation, 2nd is Industrialisation, and the 3rd is Industrialisation.

“I must acknowledge the fact that many of the aspirants from Ondo Central and Ondo South are eminently qualified to govern the state. However, they must be appealed to, to allow us finish our two terms in Ondo North.

It is expected, reasonably too, that when power shifts to their districts, they would be allowed to complete their terms. Very logical and desirable to so think and act.

“This decision was reached after a very wide consultation coupled with strong conviction that I can make a positive difference. After 44 years of its creation, Ondo State must stop crawling. It must stand right and be counted amongst self sufficient states in Nigeria.

“As I present myself for genuine service with the fear of God, I appeal to all indigenes and residents of Ondo State to stand by me towards rebuilding our dear sunshine state.”


INEC reveal how politicians violate election rules.

One year after the 2019 general elections, over 60 per cent of political parties that participated are yet to file their statutory returns to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), contrary to the provisions of the Electoral Act.

Before the deregistration of 74 parties by INEC recently, 92 registered parties participated in the February 23 and March 9, 2019 presidential, National Assembly, governorship, and state assemblies elections.

It was learnt that some of the parties, aside from violating the campaign finance laws by spending above the amount stipulated in the Electoral Act, have not also submitted annual statements of assets, liabilities and analysis of their sources of funds to the electoral body.

INEC Director of Publicity and Voter Education, Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, told The Guardian that just over a third of the parties that participated in the 2019 general elections filed in their statutory returns.

Section 86 of the 2010 Electoral Act (as amended) empowers INEC to monitor and keep records of the activities of registered political parties in the country, while Section 92 (3) of the same law also mandated political parties to submit their election expenses to the commission in a separate audited return within six months after an election.

The law places a penalty of N1million maximum fine on any political party that acts in contravention of the above section and further says the court may impose a penalty of N200,000 per day in case of failure to submit an accurate audited return within the stipulated period until it is submitted to the commission.

INEC defines election expenses as “expenses incurred by a political party within the period from the date notice is given by the commission to conduct an election up to and including the polling day in respect of a particular election.”

The Guardian could not confirm if the two major political parties, the All Progressive Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were among parties that are yet to submit records of their financial dealings to the electoral umpire.

Both parties were accused of spending beyond the campaign finance threshold during the 2019 general elections. Osaze-Uzzi said that though many parties had been deregistered, the commission was in the process of formally notifying those that have not complied and would draw their attention to the legal provisions.

According to him, corporate entities are not allowed to contribute to political parties by virtue of the provisions of the Corporate and Allied Matters Act.

On the commission’s efforts in ensuring that parties file their statutory returns, Osaze-Uzzi noted that several workshops had been undertaken to enlighten them on financial reporting, proper book keeping and many more. He also said that the commission had organised capacity building workshops for its field and headquarters officers to undertake proper monitoring of the spending of parties as well as engage external auditors to look into the books of the parties.

The Director of Centre for Democracy and Development, Idayat Hassan, in her reaction to the development, lamented how politicians have consistently breached the law on campaign financing. She told The Guardian that specific aspects of the electoral law provided legal loopholes for politicians to exploit in breaching the law on campaign financing.

According to her, there are two particular problems with political financing in the country. One is the limiting factor in the act that disregards “any expenditure incurred before the notification of the date fixed for the election with respect to services rendered or material supplied before such.”

According to her, “This has served as a legal loophole allowing potential candidates to spend considerable amounts of money prior to the official start of the election campaign. However, the refusal of the political parties to submit the audited returns of their finances remains a challenge, considering the fact that political expenditure can form a decisive advantage in determining the outcome in elections.

“Political parties continue to breach the provisions during the elections by resorting to third party spending. In the 2019 elections, for instance, we witnessed how the Buhari Media Campaign and Buhari Support group resorted to third party spending to run their campaign. INEC will have to do more and try to implement existing rules and explore the option of strategic litigation to address some of the challenges. There is also the need for Electoral Act amendments on the submission of audit and penalties.”

Hassan said that there was the need for a broader definition of election expenses beyond what was incurred by a political party within the period from the date the notice was given by the commission to conduct an election up to, and including, the polling day in respect of a particular election.

The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, asked to be given sometime to verify from the party’s departments in charge of such before making any comment.

Although he said he was aware that INEC came to the PDP’s secretariat to do its findings “but how far is what I would need to find out and communicate to the media.”

The spokesman of the ruling APC, Mr Lanre Isa Onilu could not be reached for reaction.The National Chairman, National Conscience Party (NCP), Dr. Tanko Yinusa, told The Guardian that the party had submitted all necessary information in that regard to INEC, while the National Chairman of African Democratic Congress (ADC), Chief Ralph Nwosu, said he would also need to get in touch with certain people to get accurate information.


Former Rivers governorship aspirant killed by suspected herdsmen.

A former governorship aspirant in Rivers State, Soala West, was killed by suspected herdsmen in the Aluu community, Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state on Wednesday.

Soala, who hailed from the Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of the state, was said to be inspecting his poultry farm in Aluu on March 12, 2020, when he was abducted and taken away to an unknown destination.

His corpse was found dead on Wednesday around 6pm.

The deceased’s elder brother, Emmanuel, expressed shock over the death of the politician in the hands of the suspected herdsmen.

According to him, Soala had gone to inspect his poultry farm in Aluu when he was whisked away by the herdsmen, who brandished AK-47 rifles.

It was learnt that Soala’s captors had earlier demanded N30m as ransom from his relatives, but later reduced it to N2.5 million.

Though it could not be ascertained if the ransom was paid, Soala’s captors killed the former governorship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party barely a week after he was taken away.

“This is shocking to us. We don’t know why they should kill our brother this way. Our entire family has been thrown into mourning. We just hope that the police will arrest all those involved in the killing of our brother,” Emmanuel said.

Several calls to the state Police Public Relations Officer, Nnamdi Omoni, were not answered, while a text message sent to his mobile phone for confirmation of the incident had not been replied to as of the time of filing this report.


INEC set to amend electoral act; 34 amendment proposals submitted

The electoral commission INEC, on Monday, said it will propose 34 amendments to the Electoral Act 2010 Amendment Bill that will include punishments for electoral violators.

The Commission also said the bill will make provisions for the security of lives and property during elections.

The INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, said this in Lagos at a retreat on the review of the electoral legal framework.

The retreat was in partnership with the European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES) and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES).

Yakubu said the electoral body last year received the draft of the bill from the Senate Committee on INEC which had been presented to the executive for assent before the 2019 general elections.

He added that INEC had shared the draft bill with the National Commissioners, Directors, Resident Electoral Commissioners (REC) and senior officials in the 36 states and the FCT.

“As long as violators of electoral laws are not penalised, we will continue to have issues with our elections. As part of the reforms of the key components of the Electoral Act, we will like to see the effective sanctions of those who violate electoral laws of this country.

“Any country that does not penalise offenders is doomed and we must find a way of penalising electoral offenders so that impunity can be at best reduced or even eliminated completely,” Yakubu said.

The INEC chairman said the review of the electoral act will increase transparency and credibility of the electoral process, and the reduction of electoral banditry.

“Listening to Nigerians, it is clear that a review of the Electoral Act and our electoral legal framework in general, must be anchored on curbing incidents of violence and sundry malpractices in the electoral process.

“It is also to ensure that violators of electoral laws are effectively sanctioned. It must deepen the deployment of technology in elections.

“It will also ensure inclusivity in the electoral process for marginalised segments of the society such as women, youth and persons living with disabilities,” Yakubu said.

INEC Director of Legal Services, Oluwatoyin Babalola, said the proposed of the retreat was to harmonise all proposals for amendment to the Electoral Act 2010 for presentation to the National Assembly.

Mrs Babalola said, “There are 34 proposed amendments elaborated in four columns.”

Also, Lagos State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Sam Olumekun, proposed the need for a special court for electoral offences.

Olumekun noted that the special courts should have a defined time frame for prosecution and speedy administration of justice.

On electoral litigation the Lagos REC also urged the commission to equip the legal department and prepare the staff to represent the commission in election matters.

He said, “The commission should critically examine the issue of conflict of interests among our external solicitors that represent the petitioners in other matters.

INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu

“The commission should ensure that such solicitors do not represent any petitioner throughout the period of election petitions in the tribunals and courts of competent jurisdiction.

“While we appreciate the effort of the commission in dealing with legal issues, the commission should continue to equip the Legal Department and prepare the staff to represent the commission in election matters,” he said.


No other party in Rivers but PDP – Governor boast

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has stated that the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) is the only existing political party in the state because of its commitment to the rapid development of the state.

Speaking during the defection of former Commissioner of Education and Rivers APC chieftain, Chief Allwell Onyesoh with his supporters at the PDP Secretariat in Port Harcourt on Friday, Governor Wike said that Rivers people are happy with the performance of the PDP over the years.

He said: “There is no other party in Rivers State. PDP is the only party as far as Rivers State is concerned.

“Except people who do not see and those who tell lies in this state, the only party that means well for Rivers State is the PDP.”

Governor Wike said that the performance of the Rivers State PDP is beyond mere propaganda.

“This is the only party that keeps its promises. When we say a thing, we go all out to carry it out on behalf of the people,” he said.

He expressed happiness that Rivers leaders are returning to the PDP to promote the interest of the state.

Governor Wike said that the PDP returnees will enjoy equal opportunities with older members of the party.

He said: “Everybody has equal rights. Luckily congresses will soon start and everyone will participate. The new entrants will feel at home. The more the merrier.”

In his remarks, Chief Allwell Onyesoh said his movement is not defection, but homecoming.

He said: “We came back to our house. We went on a journey. We have gone, we have seen and we have come back. “

The former Commissioner described his defection as a home-coming with a cross section of the APC membership from different wards of Etche.

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike

“We make bold to come back to the House that rightly belongs to us. I thank those who did not leave as they stayed home to keep the house in order,” he said.

Receiving Chief Allwell Onyesoh into the PDP, Rivers State PDP Chairman, Bro Felix Obuah urged them never to return to the APC that has disappointed the nation. He said that the PDP symbolises development as shown in Rivers State.


2023 Election: My aim is to retire tinubu from politics – Bode George

Former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Olabode George has vowed to truncate the rumoured 2023 presidential ambition of the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. In this interview with TUNDE THOMAS, George who is also a member, PDP Board of Trustees urged Tinubu to watch it, adding that 2023 may end Tinubu’s political career if he joins the race.

“One of the main reasons I’m joining the 2023 race is to stop Tinubu. If the presidency is zoned to the South-West in 2023, and Tinubu enters the race I will not only face him but also stop him. Tinubu should remember that Nigeria is a bigger constituency, it is not Lagos where Tinubu and APC have been rigging the elections’’, he added.

What can you make of the present state of insecurity across the country?

We are in a very dire situation and everybody is deeply worried. The situation in the country today is not only worrisome but it is also very disturbing. But as elders and patriots, we must proffer solutions. We should be able to make recommendations to those in authority and they can look at our suggestions on the way out of the present quagmire. The insurgency in the North that is usually referred to as the Boko Haram war, with my military experience, I believe is not a regular war. It is guerilla warfare. It is not a conventional war. When you are fighting a conventional war, you can define who the enemy is, but in this case, the insurgents speak the same language, they wear the same clothes, and look the same way as the local people. So how do you identify the enemy? When the insurgents come into town, it is difficult to identify them because they have same similarities with the locals, and this is why it has been difficult for the military to contain the insurgency.

Our military personnel are well trained. Members of the Nigerian Armed Forces are well trained and they’ve performed very well in many operations within and outside Africa. They were in Angola, Namibia, Lebanon, Sierra-Leone, Liberia, and several other places where they performed excellently well on United Nations operations, and missions. So this insurgency can never be too much for our military to subdue, and deal with if not for the reason I pointed out earlier. The Boko Haram war is not a conventional warfare. To win this battle, we must adopt a new tactic. Our approach now must be different. We must explore other avenues to tame the insurgents.

What approach are you suggesting to bring an end to the insurgency?

Take a look at guerilla warfare in the Latin America, especially in countries like Cuba, Mexico, and other countries like Sri Lanka, and Vietnam, despite years of battle in the bush, they eventually had to resort to dialogue to bring about peace. This is what happened in Vietnam also when the Americans realized that it was going to be difficult to identify an enemy in Vietnam because they all look alike. Recently, the United States forces in Afghanistan announced that it was time to discuss with Talibans for peace to reign in that country. This is despite the fact that the Americans had the most sophisticated weapons to fight the Talibans. The Talibans had been a thorn in the flesh of the American troops for many years, and it has not been easy for the American troops to fight them because they dress the same way, and speak the same language with the local people. After many years of battle with the Talibans, somebody now advised the Americans that it is better to jaw-jaw than to war-war. I’m suggesting that we adopt this option in this Boko Haram war because I believe it is the best for us in the present circumstance.

But some other Nigerians have been canvassing other options like calling for the removal of the service chiefs–

I know some Nigerians have been calling for the heads of the service chiefs, but is that the solution? No. I don’t think so. And one thing again is this, the service chefs are retained at the pleasure of Mr. President who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. I left the military service over 30 years ago, and I don’t know how many years these service chiefs have spent in service. But one thing I know is that if you have attained the age of 60 years or have spent 35 years in service then you must get out, or you must retire. However,like I said earlier, everything depends on the Commander-in-Chief. It is at the President’s pleasure to either retain or fire the service chiefs. One thing Nigerians must know again is this, it is not only the service chiefs that are fighting the war against the insurgents, it is a congregation of efforts. Therefore it will be unfair to make the service chiefs the scapegoats––the hood doesn’t make a monk. The best option for us now is to embrace dialogue. No effort must be spared to get the insurgents to the dialogue table. We must talk with them to find out what they really want or what are their grievances.

It is heartwarming that the new Chairman of African Unity, AU who is also the South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa has declared that he will set up a committee to look at various areas in Africa where you have insurgents making life difficult for people. The United Nations also just released a statement where it was stated that the global body may intervene over insurgents attacks in Nigeria. We will be deceiving ourselves if we say that all is well. Nobody is safe again. Everybody is scared. The number one responsibility of any government anywhere in the world is to secure the lives, and properties of citizens. I must commend our state governors in the South-West over the set up of regional security outfit, Operation Amotekun. It is the right step in the right direction.

However it is very sad that the level of mistrust among the various groups in the country today is on the increase. When a group makes a suggestion, if you see the level of opposition or attack by another group you will be worried. They don’t bother to think whether such an idea is a good one that will benefit Nigerians. We are gradually losing all sense of civility. We are no longer our brother’s keepers. I have been to different parts of the country, and I can confidently say that God has really blessed Nigeria, be it in terms of natural resources, or human resources. When those South-West governors decided to set up the Operation Amotekun security outfit, I supported them because I see nothing wrong in it. To me, it is a form of local policing. Although some individuals and groups launched vitriolic attacks on me but I have no apology for supporting the security outfit. Operation Amotekun is a form of local policing, and there is nothing wrong with local policing or state police. They have it in the United states which is our role model. In actual fact, apart from state police, they also have county police, and the FBI in America for effective security management. This is why the need for restructuring of Nigeria is now. If we restructure, some of these issues would have been naturally addressed.

While you are canvassing restructuring, some individuals and groups are opposed to it with some even saying that the body language of those in authority doesn’t seem to be in favour of the idea…..

We should be honest and bold to tell ourselves the home truths. We were not like this before. Until 1966 when the military took over the running of affairs of the country, Nigeria was practicing federalism but when the military took over, everything changed, and the unitary system of government was introduced whereby order was being given from a central command. When the Commander-in-Chief gives an order, everybody must fall in line. But this later proved to be counter-productive because Nigeria is a country with different ethnic groups and different cultures. Politics is all about management of resources of the people for the benefit of the people. But this became a negation when resources from different places are being taken to the centre at Abuja, and later redistributed back to the states sometimes in unfairly manner, and this is why you have protests and clamour for restructuring. This is why some are clamouring for a return to true practice of federalism as it was in practice in the First Republic. This is why Nigeria is not working.

Restructuring will make Nigeria to work in the way envisaged by the nation’s founding fathers. It is unfortunate that some people are giving wrong interpretations to restructuring, while others are having unjustifiable fears about the concept. There is no part or section of the country that is not blessed with different resources.

The unitary system, which we are using is an anomaly. It can’t work. Another issue we have to address urgently is the issue of unity in the country. The level of distrust is too high, and this is not in the nation’s interest. Our former colonial master, the British, created distrust among Nigerians, and this is still fertile in Nigeria, even after our former colonial masters have gone. Although we are pretending that all these mistrusts and hatred are not there, in reality, they are still there, but we have to jettison all these if we want to move forward. It is very unfortunate that Nigeria is sliding dangerously into the debris of hell.

Some people have attributed ills plaguing the country to ineffective leadership, do you agree with that?

No. I don’t agree. A leader doesn’t operate in isolation. He works with ministers and other aides. Now if you are a member of the team and you are loyal and you write your own convictions and it is not working in that department, then you quit. That’s what civilized people do because there will always be a day of reckoning, a day to defend your actions. When General Yakubu Gowon introduced the NYSC scheme, one of the objectives was that it would help us understand ourselves. It was a brilliant idea. But it fell short of one thing, and this is an idea I will like to propose. Every primary school pupil in Yorubaland before graduating must be able to speak Igbo and Hausa languages; same thing with Hausa boy, he must be able to speak Igbo, and Yoruba before he graduates, and Igbo boy must also be able to speak Hausa, and Yoruba before he graduates. This will help to foster unity in the country. Language is a powerful tool which we must use to promote unity in the country. This idea I’m proposing is not new. In Switzerland, they have three major tribes, the French in Geneva, the Germans in Zurich, and the Italians in Lugano, and everybody speaks the same language. Nobody is lost. Go into history, no world war has ever happened in Switzerland, and not only that, their human resource is unmatchable. For us to move forward ,we must emulate a country like Switzerland. We must jettison the winner-takes-it-all approach from our politics.

Your party, PDP has been accused of laying the foundation for some of the crises presently affecting the nation, especially the insurgency in the North East with killing of Boko Haram founding leader , Mohammed Yusuf….

(Cuts in)..I don’t agree with that. When the crisis first broke out, there were different stories with some saying that it was only a flash. One state governor was even reported to be using the insurgents for political purposes that time, and when he finished his tenure, and didn’t want to continue using them, they almost killed him and even killed his brother. That was the beginning of the crisis in the North East. But today, the crisis has festered.

Instead of blaming PDP or start apportioning blames, I believe what we should do is to find solution to those serious problems confronting Nigeria today, and that is the problem of hunger, poverty, and insecurity. Towards the end of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, he started a skills acquisition programme from which many people benefitted. But what has happened to that scheme today? It has been abandoned. That kind of programme should be revived. Government should be a continuity. Again, I believe that government should show more cohesion. It should be teamwork. But this is lacking, and a good demonstration of this is the issue of leaked memos between the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno, and the Chief of Staff to the President, Alhaji Abba Kyari. For God’s sake, what is going on there? I think enough is enough.

I will also like to advise President Buhari to call a meeting of all elders including traditional rulers from all the corners of the country. This has nothing to do with politics now. This gathering should be convened without delay because Nigeria is wobbling. The gathering should be saddled with the task of proffering the way forward for Nigeria. Two heads are better than one. The situation in Nigeria today is terrible most especially for people living in those areas being ravaged by the insurgents.

Some Nigerians have even gone to the extreme calling on President Buhari to resign following the insecurity challenges confronting the country, how would you react to the calls?

How can Buhari resign? Resign for what? A tree doesn’t make a forest. It is a collective responsibility. If Buhari resigns then you will hear people saying different things including those working with him. Some will be saying we told him to do this or do that but he refused. Nigerians are very interesting, and one will be shocked by what will be coming out of the mouths of many people including some of his own aides if Buhari resigns. To me, if the country is well, it is everybody that is there that is well, and if the country is unwell, it is everybody that is there that is unwell. This is why I’m advising President Buhari to seek advice of elders on the way forward. We still have some elder statesmen that are still alive. We also have very senior generals that are retired from the Army, Navy, and Airforce that can still give useful advice to President Buhari.

Some are suggesting the President is not doing any of these because he has been caged by some powerful elements. How can I believe that President Buhari, a retired general can be caged? Buhari being caged by who? I don’t believe Buhari can be caged by anybody. It is President Buhari as the leader who knows where the shoe pinches. But nothing stops him from taking useful advice that can help move Nigeria forward. The buck stops at the President’s table, and I will never subscribe to the idea that Buhari is being caged. The President has not only seen it all but he is also an experienced civil, and retired military leader capable of taking his own independent decisions.

What’s your reaction to the threat by the leaders of Miyetti-Allah to form a parallel security outfit if Operation Amotekun, and Shege-de-Faka security outfits recently formed by state governors in the South-West, and some groups in the North are not proscribed ?

That’s a joke taken too far. I don’t even know who these people are. On what basis are they threatening to form their own parallel outfit? It is unfortunate that everybody is reading meaning into the good intention behind the formation of Operation Amotekun. These Miyetti-Allah leaders should be ignored. Until recently who even knows Miyetti-Allah? Fulani herdsmen have always been involved in their legitimate trade without any hassles for decades. They bring their cows down from the North to the South to sell and graze, and there were no crises until lately. But why all these now? Miyetti-Allah and any other group that wants to create confusion and tension should not be allowed to disturb the nation’s peace. Why all this noise by Miyetti-Allah? These are mere noisemakers who should be ignored. Honestly, we need to make restitution in Nigeria. We need to seek God’s forgiveness for some of these strange things happening in the country today.

On your reported 2023 presidential ambition, some Nigerians are saying that it is not real, that at 75 what are you looking for again, that it is just a distraction……

(Cuts in)It is not a distraction but real. At 75, I’m still able and fit to lead Nigeria. The idea to run came not even from me, it was somebody that suggested it and I thought over it before coming to the conclusion that I must run. Most importantly if 2023 is zoned to the South West, and some people continue to talk about Bola Tinubu, then I must enter the race to stop him. I will face Tinubu, and I will defeat him.

But Tinubu’s APC has been defeating your party, PDP in Lagos State since 1999, what gives you the confidence that you can stop him in 2023?

Nigeria is bigger than Lagos, and even in Lagos, APC has been rigging the elections, Nigeria is on a bigger scale, and what Tinubu, and his cohorts are doing in Lagos, they can’t try it across the country. If they try it, it will boomerang. Tinubu, and APC have been rigging elections in Lagos. Tinubu will meet his political waterloo in 2023 if he runs, and I will be his nemesis.

You were recently reported to have declared that you will run to Togo if Tinubu wins 2023 elections––

I never made that statement. I was misquoted, and it is unfortunate that a section of the press has been publishing that wrong information.How can I run away because of Tinubu? Never,it should be the other way round.It is Tinubu that should be running away.

But it was reported that you made a similar claim in 2015 that you will go on exile if President Muhammadu Buhari defeated the then incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan––

Some of these things are the handiwork of my political detractors. However, for now, I don’t want to distract myself with some of these issues. For now, my concern, and what concerns most Nigerians is to stabilize Nigeria. Nigeria is not only wobbling. It is wobbling so badly. Who even knows who will be alive by2023? For now, let’s all join hands to salvage Nigeria. It is when Nigeria is stabilized that we can plan for 2023. We should even allow President Buhari to concentrate on governance now. He has not even spent up to one year in his second term. He should not be distracted.


Nigeria can’t conduct credible elections – Wike allege

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has decried the inability of the country to conduct credible elections after several years of practicing democracy.

The governor has also instituted a N100 million empowerment programme for Wakirike women from Okrika and Ogu/Bolo Local Government Areas, for stoutly defending Rivers mandate during the 2019 elections.

Wike spoke yesterday, at the Government House, Port Harcourt, during a solidarity visit by the leaders and people of Okrika and Ogu/Bolo LGAs. He said:”It is unfortunate that up till now, we cannot conduct free and fair elections in Nigeria.

“It is unfortunate that the giant of Africa, lacks the capacity to conduct credible elections”, he complained. He commended the Wakirike women for defending the state mandate against the invading soldiers, and urged Rivers people to always ensure that their votes count during elections.

“At all times, continue to defend and protect the Rivers mandate”, he said. Governor Wike said that out of the N100 million meant for the empowerment programme for the courageous women of Wakirike ethnic nationality, N50 million has been reserved for Okrika LGA and N50 million for Ogu/Bolo LGA.

The governor commended Wakirike people for maintaining peace in the area, saying that his administration would fulfill key developmental pledges to them. Wike stated that he would extend electricity to Okrika LGA and work towards the construction of the jetty at Isaka.

The governor further noted that he would link Ogu and Wakama communities as he promised during his campaign. He added that the next phase of Okochiri internal roads would be completed by his administration.

On the Okrika Grammar School, Governor Wike urged the leaders of the area to write to the Anglican Church for the school to be released to the state government for total reconstruction. He reiterated his respect for traditional rulers, saying that they were under obligation to promote the culture of Rivers people.

“We must always promote our tradition and culture. I have respect for traditional rulers. All I say is that we should promote our own culture”, he said.

In an address on behalf of the Wakirike Ethnic Nationality, Senator George Sekibo said that they were at the Government House to congratulate the governor on his well deserved victory at the polls.

He praised Governor Wike for the key appointments to Wakirike ethnic nationality, the projects executed in the area and the recognition and upgrading of traditional rulers’ stools of the people.

He urged the governor to reach out to the Wakirike women who courageously defended Rivers votes, despite the deployment of soldiers.

He said: “It is consequent upon this conviction that we, the Wakirike people, especially our women, put our pride and our lives on the line to defend our votes”.

Earlier, former Minister of Transport, Abiye Sekibo, said that the Wakirike people did not expect anything less than a victory for Governor Wike during the last elections.

He expressed happiness that Wike has confidence in the Wakirike people; hence, most of their leaders were his close confidants. Sekibo lauded the governor for his friendship to the Wakirike nation.