Category: Politics

Yakubu warns INEC staff against complicity with politicians

Guardian gathered that The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has warned its staff against complicity with politicians or their agents to subvert the electoral process ahead of next year’s general elections.

Chairman of the INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, who gave the warning at the swearing-in of the new Secretary to the Commission, Mrs. Rose Oriaran-Anthony, yesterday, in Abuja, said all officials of the commission must remain neutral in the discharge of their duties.

He stressed: “As we approach next year’s general elections, the commission will pay attention to the conduct of our officials from the headquarters to the states and local government areas.

“We will not tolerate the complicity of staff with political actors or their agents to subvert the electoral process. All officials of the Commission must remain neutral in the discharge of their duties and committed to protecting the sanctity of the process.”

Yakubu added that the Commission had been inundated by applications from several groups within the country requesting to be accredited as observers for the elections, including support groups of candidates contesting in the elections, a development he said was “unacceptable,” as observers are neutral groups interested only in the process and not agents of political parties, candidates or campaign organisations.

“The purpose of accrediting observers for elections is a noble one intended to increase the transparency and openness of the process. The reports of observers also serve as a useful feedback mechanism for strengthening our processes and procedures.

“It is, therefore, counter-productive for such an important process to become an all-comers business.“Going forward, the Commission has revised the guidelines for the accreditation of observers. Interested organisations are required to apply to the Commission. Details will be published this weekend and early next week in national newspapers and on the Commission’s website.

“We shall critically scrutinise all applications from organisations interested in election observation and only those that meet the rigorous criteria will be accredited.” The INEC boss congratulated Oriaran-Anthony on her appointment in just 56 days to the general elections, saying the Commission has confidence in her ability to bring her desk and field experiences to bear on her new responsibility.

In her remarks, Oriaran-Anthony commended the Commission for considering her worthy to serve as secretary and pledged to discharge her new duty with all sense of responsibility to improve service delivery for Nigerians.“Working with my colleagues in their various capacities, we hope to bequeath a workforce that is professional, innovative, non-partisan and loyal; workforce that will work smarter and better motivated to deliver service to our spectrum of stakeholders,” she added.

Press Statement: Buhari Not Preparing for Election, Interested Only in Rigging – PDP

December 16, 2018

Press Statement

Buhari Not Preparing for Election, Interested Only in Rigging – PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says the fact that President Muhammadu Buhari has failed to constitute his campaign council or developed a clear-cut campaign blueprint, 61 days to the February Presidential election, is an indication that he is not preparing to stand elections.

The party says Mr. President and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) have failed to set up a campaign structure because they are banking on their plots with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), under Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, to manipulate the electoral process and rig for them.

It is clear that President Buhari has been overwhelmed over his rejection by a vast majority of Nigerians, who are bearing the brunt of his incompetent and corrupt administration; that is why he cannot articulate any campaign message after the failed launch of his copied and widely spurned “Next Level” mantra.

All over the world, patriotic and obligated leaders, who are seeking (re-) elections, go to the electorate to canvass for votes with their messages and solutions. But our President and the APC have been busy procuring phony endorsements, harassing and intimidating opposition leaders, compromising the electoral body to create illegal voting centers, delaying election budgets and holding the process to ransom by refusing to sign amendments to the Electoral Act that eliminate avenues for rigging.

President Buhari, who is already reputed to have wrecked our once robust economy, crippled our critical sectors, entrenched corruption at the high places, and whose administration has dangerously divided our nation with escalated violence and daily bloodletting, is seeking re-election with no solution to offer on any critical sector of our economy.

Mr. President has nothing to offer on security; he has no message on education, agriculture, health, energy, power, employment, manufacturing and other key sectors, which he wrecked in the last three and half years.

Instead of seeking ways to make amends, President Buhari, ostensibly out of frustration over his rejection and imminent electoral defeat in 2019, has arrogantly told Nigerians to be ready to face more suffering and hardship in the remaining part of his tenure.

On our own part, our party and Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, are working hard, campaigning across the country and offering solutions, for which we have continued to receive overwhelming support from majority of Nigerians, ahead of the 2019 general elections.

It is instructive for President Buhari and APC to note that they cannot have their way, as Nigerians are determined in their resolve to resist any attempt by the APC to rig in this election.

 

Signed:

Kola Ologbondiyan

National Publicity Secretary

2019: Card readers will be deployed for polls – INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has assured the electorate that the card readers would be deployed during the 2019 polls.

Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu National Chairman of INEC, represented by Festus Okoye, National Commissioner in charge of Information and Voters Education, made this known in the national peace conference organised by Youngstars Development Initiative (YDI) in Abuja.

He said that the use of card readers was in line with the extant laws on the conduct of elections in the country.

The INEC boss, who stated that withholding assent to the Electoral Amendment Bill would not affect the use of card readers at the polls, enjoined the youths to take ownership of the electoral process.

He ensured that INEC will put in place policies and programmes aimed at ensuring that the elections are held in a free and fair manner. He stated that INEC would not relent in its effort to ensure that eligible voters cast their ballots across the country irrespective of  any security challenges.

He reviled that INEC had procured special cubicles aimed at ensuring secrecy of casting of ballots on Election Day and asked the youths to embark on a vigorous campaign against vote-buying.

Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Ibrahim Idris, said a comprehensive arrangement had been put in place to ensure coverage of the entire polling units across the country.

Also, Mr. Peter Ameh, Chairman of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), decried the spate of vote-buying in the polity, reminded the youths on the need to vote for credible candidates that can ensure good governance in the polity.

In a related vein, the INEC says it has made special provisions for internally-displaced persons (IDPs) outside the country to vote in the forthcoming general elections.

It also said that it had procured over 1000 vehicles for the conduct of the elections, which would be equipped with tracking devices to avoid diversion of election materials.

INEC chairman, who spoke yesterday in Abuja at a stakeholders’ validation conference on the framework for IDPs voting put together by the International Foundation for Electoral Support (IFES), gave the assurance that IDPs in the neighbouring countries of Niger and Chad who left their abode due to insurgency in the North-East would not be denied their voting rights.

Adamu Kamale, a member of the House of Representatives, urged the commission to ensure proper security in the North-East so that the people would not be disenfranchised.

 

Investigate the N2.5bn donations now! PDP to Buhari.

…accuses President of shielding corrupt relatives

The Opposing Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday challenged President Muhammadu to clear the air on the alleged donation of N2.5 billion by politicians, associates, and women on behalf of his wife, Aisha Bulgari amongst other shady deals at the Presidency.

Challenging the President to show integrity by ordering an open investigation of his associates and close relatives, alleged to have dipped their hands in the public till.

In a statement: “The party challenges President Buhari to immediately make public the report of the investigation of the former aide of the First Lady, Mr. Baba-Inna, who was arrested in September this year, over accusations of receiving N2.5 billion as donations from politicians, businessmen and women on behalf of the First Lady, Aisha Buhari.

“Having reviewed all these issues, including the lame denials by those mentioned by the suspect, as well as the failure of the security agency to allow the suspect to complete her open confession, the PDP challenges President Buhari to order an open hearing into the matter, if, indeed, the Presidency has nothing to hide.

“Our party holds that President Buhari cannot be parading himself as Mr. Integrity while condoning acts of corruption by his associates and close relatives as well as a cabal in his presidency, which the First Lady had even alluded to, if he is not directly benefiting from those sleazes

“The PDP also dares President Buhari to make public the official report allegedly indicting his Presidency on the siphoning of over N11 trillion in the petroleum sector, including the N9 trillion oil sleaze detailed in the leaked memo at the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC,” the statement read in part.

The party, also concerned about the alleged diversion of defence funds, including part of the $1 billion drawn from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) for purchase of military hardware and welfare of soldiers as well as the alleged diversion of funds meant for the upkeep of displaced persons.

“The PDP also challenges President Buhari to make public the report of the looting of over N33 billion meant for the purchase of food for Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, as well as another N18 billion IDP fund, discovered by the Senate, to have been diverted to APC interests.

“It is unfortunate that President Buhari has allowed the festering of sundry racketeering and abuse of fiscal process in his presidency, a situation, which casts a long shadow on his acclaimed integrity as a leader.

“Unless President Buhari allows an open inquest on his associates and close relatives involved in alleged treasury looting, he lacks all moral standing to seek re-election by Nigerians, who have been bearing the brunt of his misrule in the last three and half years,”

PDP successful rally in Sokoto and El-rufa’i’s political frightening

The recent claim by Governor of Kaduna state, Nasir El-rufa’i that PDP hired supporters from Niger Republic during the flag off of the Atiku/Obi Northwest Presidential campaign in Sokoto is nothing but blatant lie, evident of political frightening and an attempt to score cheap political goals.

The outcry by El-rufa’i is a testimony to the fact that APC and its leadership were shocked by the gargantuan crowd the rally recorded in Sokoto which serve as the final burial of APC government in the Northwest and Nigeria in general because of perpetual failure, bad leadership, massive corruption, failure to end terrorism and other security challenges bedeviling our nation since the inception of Buhari’s administration in 2015.

For the purpose of setting the record straight, El-rufa’i should not forget so soon that his hands were deeply involved in messing up of the present administration as a result of his bad governance and policies as a governor of Kaduna state, through mass sacking of innocent primary school teachers, unnecessary demolition of peoples landed properties, disregards and disrespects to traditional rulers, Northern elders, leaders and other respected institutions, escalation of insecurity, refusal to obey the court orders and rule of law among several others.

El-Rufai is coldhearted. It was the same Northwest people that he and his party begged for support in 2015, but because the failure of APC government, incessant hunger and poverty all over the region, that have made them to decamped to PDP, He is now calling them foreigners.

What scared El-rufa’i and his co-travellers was the success recorded at the Sokoto PDP campaign rally. The Sokoto gathering no doubt instilled fair in the minds of El-rufa’i and his cohorts so much that in their wildest imagination their party, the APC will fight it impossible to record a replica of such mammoth crowd in any state of the Northwest including El-rufa’I’s own state of Kaduna. We therefore challenge El-rufa’i and APC to do same if at all they can in any of the state in Northwest.

With Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal at the helm of affairs as Governor of Sokoto state and campaign coordinator of PDP in Northwest, El-rufa’i will receive the shock of his life in Kaduna state and entire Northwest during the fourth coming general election.

Tambuwal as master political strategist who became second during the Presidential primaries of PDP will defeat APC hands down and deliver the entire Northwest to PDP because of massive support, love and loyalty of the people of the Northwest to him.

Governor Tambuwal appreciate the political courage of the entire people of Northwest, their support and loyalty to PDP and sincerely thanks them and appeal to them to come out en masse during the forthcoming general election to lead PDP to victory.

 

 

Signed by:

HON. AKIBU DALHATU

SA Public Enlightenment and Mobilization

to the Governor of Sokoto State

 

 

We are expecting credible elections in 2019-US to Nigerians

Mr. Stuart Symington, United States Ambassador to Nigeria, on Tuesday called on Nigerians to give themselves credible elections in 2019 by avoiding acrimony and standing against electoral malpractices.

He made the call at the Peace and Security Network Quarterly Roundtable with the theme, “Towards 2019 Elections in Nigeria: Securitization of the Electoral Process and the Prevention of Violence’.’

The ambassador said that because there would be no election anywhere in the world in February, 2019, the attention of the entire globe would be on Nigeria and its citizens to provide credible polls.

He further said only one thing will make the difference in 2019 and that is the ties that bind the people of Nigeria.

Symington explained, were ties of friendship, “of trust not of hate, but of love, not of desperation but of purpose; the ties growing ever stronger’’.

He said that during the life of a nation, there were moments such ties would be tested around elections, adding that it was now for the security forces and the government to resolve to work together.

“I stand for an idea of network, which is a network of Nigerians that will make elections succeed. It has to be a net, it has to be people and organisations linked to each other with strong bonds and purpose.

“Then, that net has actually got to work in every sphere and corner; it has to have people that are citizens woven together that represent government, electoral commissions, security services, federal, state, local officials.

“Secondly, it is more important in the world than Nigeria – the reason is that some people talk about the potential population of Nigeria which is already exploding.

“Now the question will be how to finance the energy and the opportunity of this extraordinary youthful population for the good of its entire people, its neighbours and the whole world,’’ he said.

The envoy advised security forces to act in a way that was true to their mandate and true to securing the country and not being partisan.

He went further to encourage Nigerians to focus on doing good things together, saying something good that could bring about a new Nigeria because the world was watching and hopeful for violent-free elections.

On his part, Country Director, Mercy Corps, Mr Darius Radcliffe, said that the corps was working on integrating all its programming to address electoral violence.

Radcliffe said that the corps had partnered Nigeria toward achieving such goals.

He assured that the group would keep partnering at all levels for a better and greater Nigeria ahead of 2019 elections, and called for a collaborative effort of all citizens.

Mr Adeolu Adewumi, National Coordinator Peace and Security Network, said that the event was organised to brainstorm on the securitisation of the electoral process and the prevention of violence.

Adewumi said that the aim was also to know the strategic plans of the security agents ahead of 2019 elections since there were still insecurity in some regions of the country.

“We all are all witnesses to the fact that there is a resurgence of the insurgency in the North-East towards the 2015 elections; security agencies declared that they could not guarantee security during the election so it needed to be postponed.

“The question now is, are there signs that the 2019 elections will also be postponed? These are the questions we need to ask due to the recent attacks.”

(NAN)

Stop Playing Politics-: HURIWA TO SERVICE CHIEFS

A prominent civil society organization – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has charged the Military authority to spend more time working and implementing effective combat measures against the resurging armed terrorists rather than seek to divert attention by hiring phantom groups to attack Amnesty international and using productive time chasing shadows.

The Rights group has also called for adequate funding and transparent use of the public fund to procure better fighting weapons to check the sudden resurgence of boko haram terrorists and the killings of many soldiers and civilians in the North East of Nigeria.

In a statement by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA condemned the participation by service chiefs of the inaugural political campaign by the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). The group said their presence smacks of partisanship and may significant lead to erosion of trust regarding the integrity of the electoral process. HURIWA why military chiefs who ought to be thoroughly professional have decided to play divisive politics at the detriment of the statutory place of the military. 

The Rights group rejected as infantile and laughable the explanation offered by the presidency for the gaffe by the service chiefs that they unknowingly attended the event just as the Rights group said if the excuse by the presidency is correct and anything to go by, it then portends danger because it means that our national security is endangered if service chiefs in their entirety without exception can saunter into an event without prior invitation or prior intelligence. HURIWA stated that the excuse is the surest reason to immediately sack them and appoint professionally competent service chiefs who would have effective intelligence at their beck and call and would not operate casually like jobless people looking for a venue to unwind. 

“How do we rely on such Generals to protect the territorial integrity of Nigeria effectively and efficiently if they lack simple intelligence about the nature of a meeting that they attended in the same venue that they often visit to brief the commander-in-chief? This lie is undone and not adequately cooked by those who fabricated it at the state house in Abuja which is the same place they told Nigerians that some invading rodents chased President Muhammadu Buhari from his office.”

“The action of the serving military officers heading sensitive constitutional offices attending a political campaign of one of the candidates amongst over 70 others, is unpardonable and is capable of  and indeed has affected the credibility, impartiality and integrity of those institutions under their leadership especially as Nigeria prepares for the make or mar national election in only about few weeks time.”

 HURIWA relatedly lamented that the security chiefs are spending resources and time attacking credible local and international bodies such as Amnesty International, just as HURIWA has also tasked the military chiefs to change their combat strategies since the counter terror war is not producing meaningful results.

The Rights group said it was regrettable that whilst the Defence headquarters sits back comfortably in the air-conditioned office complex in Abuja attacking Amnesty International over reports of human rights violations by soldiers, the combatants who are reportedly not well equipped and motivated are been reportedly and mercilessly slaughtered by armed Islamists in the North East.

HURIWA said every right thinking patriot in Nigeria should be worried that Boko Haram has killed 44 soldiers and nine farmers in three days of attacks on some villages in Borno State as reported by AFP.

HURIWA said it has become necessary for a change of tactics since according to the report, which quoted security sources, the Islamic State West Africa Province, a Boko Haram splinter group, killed at least 44 soldiers in attacks on three military bases at the weekend.

” We read with consternation that that out of the 44 soldiers, no fewer than 43 were killed on Sunday in Metele, a remote village near the Nigerian border with Niger, according to a military officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity.”

HURIWA recalled that a military officer stated, “Our troops were completely routed and the terrorists captured the base after heavy fighting,” adding that the base commander and three officers were among the dead.

HURIWA faulted the  press conference in which  the Acting Director of Defence Information, Brigadier-General John Agim, alleged that the Amnesty International had designed counter-productive plans to frustrate the war by recycling old reports even as the Defence spokesman claimed: “If you read reports of Amnesty International, the one they have started publishing this year is what happened in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and they recycle it every month. So, when you will see their reports, you will think the security agents have done something new. But if you take time to profile the reports, you will discover that they are repeating the same thing.”

HURIWA tasked the military to face their duties and welcome constructive criticism with open minds and make amends so as to become a thoroughly respected military institution in Africa and a reference point in the World.

STOP POLITICISING MILITARY-: PDP TO BUHARI

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned “attempts by President Muhammadu Buhari to politicise and compromise our military by dragging in service chiefs to participate in his re-election rally.”

The party, in a statement by its national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, described the development as completely unacceptable, adding that it sends a very wrong signal to the public on the professionalism, neutrality and detachment of the institution from partisan politics.

The PDP said it knew that “President Buhari, in the desperation to rig and foist himself on the nation in the 2019 election, will stop at nothing in his attempt to compromise and desecrate our institutions, but doing so on the military is a clear invitation to crisis and derailment of our democracy.”

It urged the military high command to insulate its personnel and formations from “political manipulation.”

However, the main opposition party said “the resounding public endorsements that heralded the policy document of its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, is a confirmation that the noble document embodies the collective mindset, yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians in their quest for a new leadership and a better life in our country.”

Ologbondiyan, in another statement, said the “negative reactions to Buhari’s Next Level mantra is an indication that the document is dead on arrival, as Nigeria cannot afford the reinforcement of failure, especially as the electorate have already seen through the deception and cheap attempt to beguile them again ahead of the elections.”

Meanwhile, the Atiku-Agbaje Media Engagement Network (AAMEN) has urged the former vice president to reconsider his plan to sell the nation’s Nigeria’s 90 per cent equity in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) if elected into office next year.

In a statement, its Executive Secretary, Mr. Felix Oboagwina, said the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua won accolades for reversing the privatisation of the nation’s four refineries.

The development, according to the group, demonstrated that Nigerians wanted government’s vigorous involvement in the running of the corporation.

He said: “We hope Atiku was misquoted on this highly sensitive proposal. The groundswell of opinions so far collated on this matter wants Atiku to think outside the box for solutions to the obvious ineptitude and corruption bedevilling the corporation.”

I started out as an orphan selling firewood on the streets of Jada in Adamawa -Atiku

Presidential flag bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, has revealed that growing up was hard as a child, saying he started out as an orphan selling firewood on the streets of Jada in present day Adamawa State.

Atiku disclosed this during the launch of his presidential campaign on Monday, via a live broadcast on his verified Twitter handle, Atiku Abubakar @atiku.

Atiku narrated, “I started out as an orphan selling firewood on the streets of Jada in Adamawa, but God, through the Nigerian state, invested in me and here I am today.

“If Nigeria worked for me, I owe it as my duty to make sure that Nigeria also works for you,” he said.

The ex-vice president noted in his declaration that it was time to get Nigeria Working again, saying, “I appeal to you to join me on this journey towards a better life for all Nigerians.”

Continuing, Atiku said, “Today we will begin the process of sharing our policies that form my plan to create jobs, restructure the polity, and Get Nigeria Working Again.

“If elected President, I will be pro-active in attracting investments and supporting the 50 million small and medium scale enterprises across Nigeria for the purpose of doubling the size of our Gross Domestic Product to US$900 billion by 2025.

“These investments will create a minimum of 2.5 million jobs annually and lift at least 50 million people from poverty in the first 2 years.

“My team and I will also help create jobs by innovating flagship programmes such as the National Open Apprenticeship Programme through which we shall enhance the capacity of Master-Craftsmen and women to train 1,000,000 new apprentices every year.

“Our National Innovation Fund and SME Venture Capital Fund initiatives will provide stable and sustainable long-term support to aspiring entrepreneurs.

“My plan to restructure Nigeria will lead to a vast increase in the Internally Generated Revenue both for the Federal Government and the states via the matching grants that we will provide to state governments that increase their own revenue.

“Let me be clear no state will receive less funding than they get today – in fact all will receive more and the harder a state works the more they will get.

“And I am not just presenting these policies to you; I want you to own them. Take a look at them.

“You can view them at http://www.Atiku.org and on the pamphlets that we are making available to the public; you will have an opportunity to provide your feedback.”

”Oby Ezekwesili, Donald Duke, Omoyele Sowore, Kingsley Moghalu would rather die than support Fela Durotoye’s presidential bid” – Eunice Atuejide says

In a post she shared on her Facebook page this morning, Eunice Uche Atuejide said that other presidential aspirants like Oby Ezekwesili, Kingsley Moghalu, Omoyele Sowere and others would rather die than support Fela Durotoye who is the consensus candidate of the Presidential Aspirants Coming Together (PACT). Read what she wrote below

I believe strongly that the new faces/names in the Nigerian political landscape meant well for all of us.

I believed their coming together as a united force was all that was necessary to take down @muhammadubuhari, prevent that @pdpnigeria_ gives us the next President, & give Nigeria GREAT leadership.

In the meantime, my eyes don clear!
Most of these new faces don’t care about Nigeria & Nigerians, so it’ll not end in praise if we leave the road for some of them.

I’ve interacted with most, and researched others I don’t know personally. I concluded on them based on character, past records, and leadership qualities. Results:

I have ruled out:
1) Omoyele Sowore,
2) Kingsley Moghalu
3) Oby Ezekwesili,
4) Donald Duke,
even smaller contenders like Tope Fasua, and Sina Fagbenro-Byron are out because Tope cannot be trusted, & Byron is not serious enough.

So, the only frontline candidate remaining is Fela Durotoye, but I am pretty sure these guys would rather die than queue up behind Fela to help him become the next President of Nigeria.
I have asked them, so I know!

So, Youth/New for President will not happen in 2019.