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INEC wants security agencies to abide by the law

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has urged the Nigerian Police and other security agencies in the country to adhere strictly to the provisions of the Electoral Act, and avoid giving Nigerians the impression that they have their separate security arrangements outside of those sanctioned by the commission.

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu

In his regular consultative meeting of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Elections (ICCES) held yesterday in Abuja, INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, warned the security agencies against running parallel security arrangements to the commission’s, saying its security plans should be strictly implemented by the agencies.

Yakubu added that learning from the experiences of some of the 195 off-season elections conducted since 2015, that it was seeking a different approach to the deployment of security forces during elections.

Yakubu said, “Learning from the experiences of some of the 195 off-season elections conducted since 2015, it is pertinent to draw our attention to the need for a different approach to the deployment of security forces during elections. The Nigerian Police Force remains the lead agency for election security. Other security agencies will play a supportive role to the Nigerian Police.”

The chairman stated that the commission needs new security architecture in the general elections, consistent with the provision of Section 29(3) of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended.

He stated, “Section 29(3) states, ‘Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law for purposes of securing the vote, the Commission shall be responsible for requesting for the deployment of relevant security personnel necessary for elections or by registrations of voters and shall assign them in a manner to be determined by the commission in consultation with the relevant security agencies – provided that the commission shall only request for the deployment of the Nigerian Armed Forces for protection of election materials and protection of election officials.’

“In particular, we are committed to ensuring the elections are organised in such a manner that security agencies are not perceived to be running parallel arrangement with INEC. Rather, it should strictly be INEC’s plan for the election that should be implemented.”

The chairman said the meeting was convened primarily to update members of ICCES on INEC’s preparations for the general elections, and also an opportunity to hear from the security agencies on their preparations so far.

He revealed that the commission had so far implemented 10 out of 14 activities on the timetable and schedule of activities for the election, adding that the four outstanding activities are the publication of the list of candidates, the submission of names of polling agents by political parties, the last day of campaign and the dates for the two categories of elections.

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Politics

Oyo: APC Reformer urges FG against granting Ajimobi ministerial position

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A faction of the All Progressives Congress in Oyo State, known as the APC Reformers, has described the vote of confidence passed on Governor Abiola Ajimobi by some members of the party as self-deceit.

Abiola Ajimobi

The group, made up of former political appointees and leaders on the platform of the party in Oyo State, said the vote of confidence on the governor was absurd going by lacklustre performance of the party in the state during the just concluded 2019 general elections.

In a statement signed and issued by its Secretary, Sulemon Ramoni, the APC Reformers admonished the National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and President Muhammadu Buhari not to recognize Ajimobi for any sorts of appointment in the interest of the party.

The statement reads: “After spending almost eight years in office, the people of Oyo State have passed a vote of no confidence in Ajimobi by ensuring that he lost his unit, ward, local government and the state in the last election.

“Of what benefit would the decision of his self-appointed leaders and handpicked executive be for the party, democracy and the good people of the state?

“Mr. President and the national leadership of the party, including Asiwaju Bola Tinubu should not be misled by the charlatans to consider Ajimobi for a ministerial or any federal appointment which is their motive.

“Any federal appointment for him will worsen the situation of the party in the state, make reconciliation impossible and lead to more loses in future elections.

“The party lost the presidential election in Oyo state because it held on the same day with Ajimobi’s senatorial election. The State elections were lost because of his influence and interference.

“After the 2015 general election, Ajimobi scolded the party chairman, Chief Akin Oke for losing his unit and ward, as a matter of fact he advised him to resign.

“Some local government caretaker chairmen were also removed by him for losing their constituencies. Now that he has lost woefully, he deserves no reprieve.

“The APC Reformers advised the national leadership of the party to immediately dissolve the APC executive in the state from the wards to the state and constitute a caretaker committee to rebuild the party.

“The president was also advised to opt for young, vibrant and progressive minded people from Oyo state for ministerial and other federal appointments instead of the completely rejected Ajimobi and his ilk.”

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There is no reason to dump PDP – Jimi Agbaje

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The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governorship candidate in Lagos state, Jimi Agbaje, has debunked reports that he has left the party.

Jimi Agbaje

According to the three-time governorhip candidate of the party, no one can force him to leave PDP.

His position was made known in a statement by Felix Oboagwina, his Director of Media and Publicity.

“I have never discussed with anyone any plan to dump PDP, neither has such a prospect crossed my mind…“There is no reason for it. It is uncalled for,” he said.

According to Agbaje, rumour mongers who want to tarnish his reputation, are responsible for the claims. He also made it clear that he wouldn’t leave the party, despite his disagreement with some party leaders.

“For a party that has twice accorded me the honour of running on its platform, I should be regarded as uncharitable to say I am abandoning PDP now,” he added.

“Suffice to say that Chief Layi Ogunbambi’s claim of being denied funds as Director-General of Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Council in Lagos State amounted to attempting to build something on nothing. For starters, the position he lays claim gives him no locus standi as no such formal position existed in the entire campaign structure of PDP in Lagos or any of the other 35 states.

On campaign funds disbursement, and allegations of pilfering funds, Agbaje said:

“I, as the gubernatorial candidate of the party in Lagos, was Chairman of the PDP Presidential Campaign in Lagos. Mr. Leke Osikoya was the State Campaign Director. The national body recognised and related with us accordingly. The title of Director General was reserved for the national campaign council. If there was an Atiku/Obi Presidential Campaign it would have, at best, been a Support Group.

“Dr. Ogunbanmbi also went to the extent of stating his contributions financially and policy wise to my campaign. This is news to me. May be he should tell the world his financial contributions to my campaigns. There is no time I have ever sat with Dr. Ogunbanmbi to discuss policy issues.”

“I was not given one kobo by the party or the PDP Presidential Candidate for the gubernatorial elections. We ran our campaign from beginning to end on a shoe-string budget. You cannot steal or divert what is not given.”

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Presidential Election: Atiku vows to reclaim mandate

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The Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar has vowed to reclaim his stolen mandate.

 

Atiku had approached the Electoral Tribunal, claiming he won the Presidential Election.

The PDP Presidential candidate, who spoke in Abuja during a visit to the leaders of the Southern and Middle Belt regions, said the struggle to reclaim the mandate would be achievable with support of the elders.

He was optimistic that justice will be done eventually.

He thanked the various leaders for their support before, during and after the election.

Meanwhile, the South-Sourh leader, Chief Edwin Clark, has assured Atiku of the support of the group in the struggle to reclaim his mandate.

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Gbenga Daniel resigns from politics, says he will “take on some new challenges”

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A former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, has resigned from the Peoples Democratic Party.

Daniel, in his letter to the National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, dated March 14, 2019, also announced his resignation from partisan politics.

He said the decision to quit partisan politics was personal to him.

Daniel was the Director-General of Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Organization before the former Vice President emerged as the presidential candidate of the PDP in the election conducted a few weeks ago.

“This is to inform you of my intention to resign from active and partisan politics with effect from today, the 14th day of March, 2019.

“My decision in this regard is entirely personal to me and having served in various capacities, including as Governor of Ogun State, I have resolved to immerse myself in some other vocations and take on some new challenges,” he said in the letter.

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