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November 2: INEC schedules governorship polls in Kogi and Bayelsa

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Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) schedules Kogi, Bayelsa elections to November 2, 2019.


The electoral body in a statement yesterday by its National Commissioner and Chairman Voter Education and Publicity, Mr. Festus Okoye, said the official notice for both elections would be issued on August 1, 2019, while political parties that intend to sponsor candidates are to hold their primaries for the nomination of such candidates from 2nd to 29th August 2019.

He said: “The commission at its meeting held today (yesterday) approved the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the Governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa States, which will hold in both states on Saturday 2nd November 2019.

“Campaigns by Political Parties in public shall commence on 2nd August 2019 and end on 1st October 2019.

“The parties sponsoring candidates are required to submit the list of their agents not later than 2nd October 2019.”

Okoye explained that the stated timelines are in line with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), stressing that all stakeholders are urged to take cognizance of and adhere strictly to them.

He revealed that details of the timetable and schedule of activities for the election are on the commission’s website.

Meanwhile, the commission after its meeting yesterday approved a proposal to conduct an extensive review and debriefing on the 2019 general election in line with its existing practice.

The national commissioner said that this was intended to evaluate the commission’s performance of the key activities of the general election, with a view to addressing identified challenges and strengthening operational and institutional capacities to conduct free, fair, credible and peaceful elections.

He explained that the review would focus on the planning, organisation, conduct and coordination of the general elections, particularly on Logistics, Procurement and Deployment of personnel and materials; Continuous Voter Registration and Collection of permanent voter’s cards; Legal environment of the elections, particularly the legal challenges experienced over nomination of candidates and conduct of elections.

Okoye said the review would also focus on processes of party registration, party primaries and nomination of candidates; quality of ad-hoc staff; relationship between the commission and diverse stakeholders, including political parties, security agencies, civil society organizations, the media and development partners; and quality of inclusivity of the elections, particularly regarding persons with disability, IDPs and gender balance.

He noted that the two sets of activities are envisaged in the reviews as follows: Internal reviews involving National Commissioners, Resident Electoral Commissioners, Electoral Officers, Collation and Returning Officers, as well as other key staff of the commission; Review meetings with key stakeholders such as political parties, civil society organizations, security agencies, the media and development partners.

Okoye revealed that these reviews and debriefing would take place between May and June 2019.
He added that the commission has commenced work on a comprehensive report of the 2019 general election and has mandated its Electoral Institute to undertake detailed researches into various aspects of the elections.

The national commissioner said it is the commission hopes that the outcomes of these reviews and studies would feed into further electoral reforms and its preparations for handling future elections.

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Supreme Court rejects Zamfara APC request

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The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a request by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to review its judgment in which it voided the participation of its candidates in the last elections in Zamfara State.

All Progressives Congress

A five-man panel of the court, led by Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour, in a ruling early on Monday, struck out the application marked: SC/377/2019 filed by the APC, seeking a review of the judgment.

The court rejected the effort by the lawyer to the APC, Robert Clarke (SAN), to take a second look at the decision given earlier this year.

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BREAKING: Fashola, Amaechi, 41 others make ministerial list

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President Muhammadu Buhari has finally forwarded the list of ministerial nominees to Senate for confirmation. There are 43 nominees by the President.

On the list announced by Senate President Ahmed Lawan are former ministers Babatunde Fashola, Rotimi Amaechi, Ogbonnaya Onu, Adamu Adamu(Bauchi), Senator Chris Ngige(Anambra).
Also on the list are former Governors Rauf Aregbesola(Osun) George Akume(Benue) Timipre Sylva(Bayelsa), Adeniyi Adebayo(Ekiti).
Some of the newcomers are Senator Godswill Akpabio(Akwa Ibom), Sunday Dare(Oyo), Festus Keyamo(Delta), Sharon Ikeazor(Anambra), Senator Tayo Alasoadura(Ondo) and Olorunnibe Mamora(Lagos).

Lawan said screening of the nominees commences tomorrow.

Details shortly…

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Northerners tolerates bad governance because of Buhari – Sen. Shehu

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Senator representing Kaduna Central in the 8th Senate, Comrade Shehu Sani, has said that the North is tolerating bad governance, because one of their own, President Muhammadu Buhari is in power.

Sani who was the guest speaker at a conference held to prepare emerging leaders in Kaduna on Monday said, the North had failed to hold President Buhari accountable, despite the unabated killings and destruction of property in the region.

The senator who expressed worry over the high rate of poverty and educational backwardness in the North, asked President Buhari to do something urgent to tackle the socio-economic issues, as the region is under time bomb.

He also tasked President Buhari to come out with sound policies to address high-level poverty and educational challenges in the region and the country at large.

Sani said: “The North is tolerant of bad government because Buhari is in government and he is from the North.

When powers move to the South, the North is good at holding leaders to account but when it moves to the North, we keep silent. We are shy; we are cautious; we are afraid of telling our own that the road in the North is bad. We are more courageous, to tell the truth to power when the president doesn’t come from our region.

“Questioning President Buhari is more sympathetic when people are killed in the South West than in the North and this is because the(South) are holding him to account. Here in the North, you don’t because they are shy. They believe he is infallible and that he cannot be called to question.

“If 50 people were killed in Katsina and representative of the state is not ready to stand up in the Senate to talk about his people being killed, then it will go on and nobody will know. But if Fasoranti’s daughter is killed and a representative from Fasoranti stands up and says I senator blaa… blaa… stand up to outrightly condemn the murder, the nations, and the world will know.

“But if your people are dying here and the people you elected are afraid of being embarrassed and they don’t want to be categorised as being disloyal and be seen in the bad book, they will kill as many as possible and the perception of people outside is that all is well. So, the North must not be docile because one of their own is in office.

He further noted, “Northern leaders have failed to use the opportunity of office to upgrade the North and the country, to industrialise the region and to build a foundation for the generation of people like you. How do you solve the problem of poverty when the three most industrialised state in the North, Kaduna, Plateau and Kano – 80 per cent of their industries are closed down?

“For this country to survive, President Buhari must listen to the voices of reason. You may not like the face of Wole Soyinka, Balarabe Musa, and Obasanjo but read through the content of what they have written and see where adjustment can be made.

“He (Buhari) must be interested in his legacy and he has only four years. In any government after two years there will be heat and once the heat starts , you will not be able to concentrate and do your work.”

While urging youths across the country to always tell truth to power, the senator urged them to revolt against divisive elements trying to sow discord by using religion or ethnicity.

“You must revolt against leaders and elders who are fanning the embers of discord and against people who will generalise one ethnic group or the other and say they are criminals.”

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$1bn ECA Fund: We Paid $490m For Tukano Jets – Presidency

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The Presidency on Sunday said that the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, was under socio-emotional distress by alleging that the $1 billion approved from the Excess Crude Account for security was used by the All Progressives Congress, APC, for the 2019 elections.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu in a statement in Abuja on Sunday said that the government under the leadership of President Buharj made an advanced payment of $490million for a dozen Super Tukano fighter aircraft in a direct transaction with the American government.

The clarification was in reaction to a call on President Buhari to account for the $1billion drawn from the ECA.

Shehu who accused the PDP of profligacy while incharge of government at the centre, said the transaction was also on a no contractor and no commission basis.

According to the presidential spokesman, the balance of expenditure from the transaction currently stands at $880million.

He explained that ”It’s on record that the Buhari administration paid about USD 490 million for a dozen Super Tucano fighter aircraft in a direct, government-to-government (no Contractors or Commission Agents) transaction with government of the United State.

“Various other military procurements have been made. Balance of expenditure stands at about USD 880 million or so.”

Garba however accused the PDP of spending Defence procurement funds on their failed 2015 political campaigns as proven in court.

He said ”The PDP spent Defence procurement funds on their failed 2015 political campaigns as proven in court. That is not to say every succeeding government, more so one led by a Buhari will do the same.”

“The PDP is under a socioemotional distress. They think that all governments in the world run on the basis of freewheeling looting as they did their own, ” the presidential aide noted.

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