LIVE UPDATE: Tribunal Rules On Atiku’s Petition Challenging Buhari’s Victory

Welcome to our live updates on the presidential election petition tribunal.


The presidential election petition tribunal will today deliver judgement in the petition brought by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

All the parties in the suit had made their final submissions on August 21, when the tribunal declared that the date for the judgement will be communicated at a later date.

The PDP and its candidate are seeking to nullify the election of President Muhammadu Buhari in the February 23 poll.


8:00 am

There is a very heavy presence of security officials at the court premises while the tribunal is set to commence with many lawyers present.


8:23 am

The Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari who was also a witness for the president at the tribunal arrives the courtroom.



8:45 am

The Minister of State for Niger Delta, Festus Keyamo arrives courtroom. Keyamo, who is also a Senior Advocate of Nigeria exchanges pleasantries with lawyers upon his arrival at the court premises.



8:46 am

Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong arrives the courtroom.



9:09 am

Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus arrives the courtroom. He also went around and exchanged pleasantries with lawyers defending the PDP in the petition.


09:10 am

He also embraced the Chairman of the opposing party, All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomole.


Also in court is the governor of Kebbi State Senator Bagudu, Minister of Labour and Productivity, Senator Chris Ngige and the Minister of Works and Housing, Raji Fashola.



9:29 am

The panel of the tribunal arrived for the final time in this petition.

The five-man panel include the Chairman, Justice Mohammed Garba. Others include Justice Peter Olabisi-Ige, Justice Abdul Aboki, Justice Joseph Ikyegh and Justice Samuel Oseji.

The panel is led by Justice Mohammed Garba.


9:36 am

The parties take appearances after which the chairman of the tribunal will deliver the ruling.


09:49 am

The tribunal at the pre-trial hearing reserved rulings in some preliminary objections to today’s judgment.

The Chairman then announced that those rulings will be delivered before the final judgment in the petition.


10:01 am

The first Preliminary Objections being heard is the one filed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) asking the tribunal to dismiss the petition of the PDP and Atiku for not joining the vice-president who participated in the election as a necessary party.


The First Preliminary Objection

The first Preliminary Objections (PO) was filed by INEC asking the court to dismiss the petition for failure to join the vice president who is a party to the election on four grounds as he is an indispensable party in the petition.

The PO said failure to join the vice-president robbed the court the powers to hear the petition as such it should be dismissed.

It adds that noncompliance with the electoral act is not a mere rule but goes to the foundation of the case. In the present petition, the electoral act was complied with.

The vice president, it noted, is not a necessary party in line with section 178 and is bound by the decision given to the necessary Party which in this case are the 2nd respondent (the president ) and the third respondent (the Apc).


10:07am

Justice Garba held that not joining the vice president is not fatal to the Petition.

He said the objection is not correct in law,  it lacks merit and is hereby dismissed.

The dismissal is a unanimous decision of the panel.


Summary: The tribunal has dismissed a preliminary objection filed by INEC seeking a dismissal of the petition of the PDP and its presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar for failure to join the vice-president as a party in the suit having participated in the election that is the subject of the appeal.


10:11 am

The next Preliminary Objection (PO) to be decided was also filed by the first respondent INEC.

The PO is seeking an order striking out the petitioners list of documents for being incompetent.


10:23 am

The PO also sought for an order declaring that the lead counsel Mister Levi Uzoukwu who signed the petition is not a legal practitioner enrolled in roll or register of legal petitioners in Nigeria.


11: 22 am

Tribunal takes the preliminary objections of the second respondent who is President Muhammadu Buhari.

The PO is seeking an order of the tribunal to strike out the petitioners petition for lacking in merit.


11:44 am

The tribunal strikes out Osita Chidoka’s testimony.

Mr Chidoka is the star witness for the petitioner, Atiku Abubakar.


11:46 am

The tribunal also dismissed the contention by President Muhammadu Buhari that Atiku Abubakar did not qualify to file the petition as such it should be dismissed.

The court held that having participated in the election Atiku is competence to file a petition.


11:49am

The tribunal also struck out the Preliminary Objection of President Buhari seeking to expunge the paragraph of the petition which questioned the qualifications of the president to contest the election.

The tribunal held that in line with section 138 subsection 1(a)  of the 1999 constitution, the qualification of any person who participates in an election can be questioned.


12:18 am

The tribunal is now hearing the preliminary objection of the APC which is the third and last respondent in the petition.


12: 58 am

The tribunal goes on a short break.


01:50 pm

Tribunal resumes from break.


01:52 pm

Issues were raised by the petitioners in support of the petition.

The issues are:

Whether the second respondent was at the time of the election qualified at the time to participate.

Whether he supplied false information to participate in the said election.

Whether through evidence laid it was established that he was duly elected.

Whether the election was invalid through corrupt practices.

Whether it was invalid by substantial non-compliance to the electoral act and guidelines.


02:09 pm

Tribunal delivers lead judgment.

Chairman of the tribunal sets out what the law says about the qualification to participate in an election.

The law says a person can contest an election if he is a citizen who has attained 40 years and educated up to at least the school certification level and is a member of a political party.

03:00 pm



The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal has dismissed the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party and its candidate in the 2019 Presidential election challenging the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari in its entirety.

The five-man panel of the tribunal, led by Justice Mohammed Garba gave the unanimous judgement on Wednesday.

The tribunal dismissed the petition in its entirety and the parties are to bear their respective cost.

“This petition is accordingly and hereby dismissed in its entirety.”

Other members of the five-man panel of the tribunal, agreed with the lead judgement.

Justice Garba affirmed that President Muhammadu Buhari is the winner of the 2019 presidential election.



THANKS FOR JOINING OUR LIVE UPDATES

Elections: There’s Real Need For Serious Reforms In Nigeria – EU Observers

 

Days after the conclusion of the general elections, the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) has said there is a real need for serious reforms in Nigeria.

Chief Observer, Maria Arena MEP, said this during a press conference in Abuja on Monday.

According to her, the need for the reforms is as a result of the “systemic failings and electoral security problems of the last few weeks and months”.

While Arena noted that compared to the Presidential election, there were operational improvements in the governorship and state assembly elections of March 9, she believes it was still overshadowed by a “troubling electoral security environment, abuse of incumbency and institutional failings”.

This, according to her, may have resulted in the low voter turnout witnessed during the elections.

Read Also: PDP’s Emeka Ihedioha Wins Imo Governorship Election

She described it as disappointing that only a small portion of “what is by far and away Africa’s largest electorate actually cast a vote on both election days”.

She, therefore, stated that the EU backs the call by civil society organisations that there is an urgent need to restore faith in the electoral process.

Read Full statement below.

Speech of Chief Observer, Maria Arena MEP EU Election Observation Mission to Nigeria Press conference: Monday 11 March February, 14.00 hours, Hilton Hotel, Abuja

INTRODUCTION

(Chief Observer) Good afternoon, Your Excellencies, members of the media, election observers, ladies and gentlemen.

Thank you very much for attending this press conference on the European Union Election Observation Mission’s preliminary assessment of the 9th of March governorship and State House of Assembly elections.

It is preliminary because vital parts of the process are ongoing, including the collation of results. As you know, this is our second preliminary assessment of Nigeria’s general elections. Our first, on the 25th of February, was about the presidential and National Assembly elections.

The collation of results was ongoing at this point, so, in this preliminary statement of the statelevel elections, we will also give our findings and conclusions on the collation of results for the 23rd of February elections.

First, some words of thanks: to INEC, to political parties and candidates, election officials, security agencies, journalists and civil society organisations, who have taken time to meet with us over the last nine weeks. And to colleagues at the EU Delegation, EU member state embassies, and those of Canada, Norway and Switzerland for their cooperation. Second, a brief reminder of our mandate: we are here because INEC invited the EU to deploy an election observation mission.

Our mandate is to observe the electoral process, to offer an independent and impartial assessment, and to make recommendations for future elections. The mission is independent in its findings from the EU delegation, EU member states and EU institutions. So, as I said two weeks ago, we are here to serve the people of Nigeria, not the politics of the day.

On the 9th of March, we had 73 observers following voting, counting and the collation of results in 22 states, in all six geopolitical zones. We observed in 223 polling units and, so far, in 81 collation centres. We are still observing the collation of results. And so to our assessment of the 9th of March elections.
ASSESSMENT OF THE 9 MARCH ELECTIONS Although election operations improved, the elections were also marked by an overall low turnout and violence, including against election officials and voters.

Elections should be occasions of peaceful participation when voters are able to freely choose who they would like to represent them in office.
It is with both great sorrow and with condolences to those who’ve lost loved ones that we note that election-related violence has led to the deaths of far too many Nigerians.
It is deeply troubling and those responsible must be held to account. On election day on the 9th of March, polling procedures were assessed by our observers more positively than during the presidential and National Assembly elections. Most polling units visited opened on time, or less than 30 minutes late, and the procedures for the accreditation of voters were significantly improved.

However, at eight polling units observed, we saw indications of vote-buying. Eight cases of obvious underage voting were also observed.
Our observers saw that the counting of ballots was transparent overall. Positively, in almost all cases, party agents received copies of the results forms, although they were often not displayed.

The environment for these elections has been difficult, with cases of violence and intimidation, including attacks on election administration officials.

Security agencies have an important role to play in helping safeguard voters and all involved in an election. However citizen observers reported being obstructed by military and security agents. Observers, including EU observers, were denied access to collation centres in Rivers, apparently by military personnel.

This lack of access for observers compromises transparency and trust in the process. In Rivers, INEC yesterday suspended until further notice the elections due to violence in polling units and collation centres, staff being taken hostage and election materials, including results sheets, seized or destroyed by unauthorised persons.

There is no doubt that the electoral process there was severely compromised. On election day, in five states, journalists from respected media houses were obstructed from reporting in areas with a history of electoral problems, including parts of Rivers, or were attacked while trying to report on electoral malpractices.

Such incidents limit scrutiny and therefore transparency of the process. Going back to the campaign environment: the elections were competitive with overall freedom to campaign.

However, there was misuse of incumbency, including on state-owned state media, which prevented a level playing field. In the two weeks leading up to the state elections, EU observers saw some misuse of state offices and institutional websites being used for campaigning by both APC and PDP incumbent governors.
There was also pressure on local media outlets and journalists before election day. State-level media broadcast political debates in 21 states, giving voters the opportunity to directly compare candidates.

However in 12 states, incumbents or their main challengers refused to participate. All nine state-owned radio stations monitored by the EU Election Observation Mission served the interests of incumbent governors.

This limited voters’ access to impartial information and is not consistent with international standards for access to information and political pluralism in the media.

In the fortnight before the state elections, one journalist was arrested, and the regulator closed one commercial radio station and issued fines to 45 others, which can lead to self-censorship. On inclusion of vulnerable groups in the electoral process: although INEC and civil society made efforts to promote inclusion of persons with disabilities, out of more than 20,000 candidates, only six persons with disabilities apparently contested the federal and state-level elections.

On the 9th of March, we saw that INEC’s initiatives aimed at facilitating the participation of voters with disabilities, such as priority queues and assistive devices, were not consistently implemented in the states visited by EU observers.

Civil society, through its scrutiny of the electoral process, has enhanced the transparency and accountability of the elections. We support the views of civil society organisations that have called for reform in order to bring greater integrity to the electoral process in Nigeria. I will come back to this point in a moment.
COLLATION OF PRESIDENTIAL RESULTS But first, the collation of results is one of the most crucial aspects of any electoral process. And collation for the presidential and National Assembly elections was ongoing when we held our last press conference.

So if I may ask the EU’s Deputy Chief Observer, Hannah Roberts, to now give our main conclusions. (Deputy Chief Observer) While the national collation centre for the presidential election was open to party agents and observers, and the process was continuously televised, our conclusion is that the collation of results process had many problems.

Overall, the process was not in line with international standards for access to information and public accountability. Polling for the federal elections was cancelled in a large number of polling units across the country, covering nearly 2.8 million registered voters.

This was four times more than in 2015. While this number did not affect the outcome given the margin of win, this was not a good process. INEC did not provide sufficient information on these cancellations, the specific reasons for them, and the precise local government areas affected. This undermines public confidence in the process.

There were also some inconsistent numbers in relation to collation, specifically, a large difference between the number of registered voters INEC had announced back in January and the lower number then announced by returning officers at state level during the collation of the presidential results. Nearly one point seven (1.7) million less in total.

Unfortunately, INEC has not properly explained this discrepancy. Since this is something that also happened in 2015, it really shows the need for better data management in future elections. Collation also showed an increase in the number of invalid ballots compared to 2015, four and a half (4.5) per cent of the total. In some states or local government areas, the number was particularly high.

For example, in one constituency it was nearly 13 per cent. So what collation of the federal elections demonstrates is a greater need for better training of collation staff, improved data management and, in particular, more information and explanation from INEC so as not to undermine the integrity of this important phase of the election process.

This is particularly important now that there are cancellations of polling in state elections. Full specific information and explanation needs to be given on these. I’d be very happy to talk more about this, or indeed any aspect of the voting, counting and collation processes over both election days, but first if I could hand the floor back to the Chief Observer who will conclude our assessment of the 9th of March elections.

BACK TO 9 MARCH ELECTIONS AND CONCLUSION

(Chief Observer) Thank you, Hannah. Let me emphasise that during any supplementary elections, the election administration needs to be able to do its work freely, security personnel need to work neutrally, and parties need to call their supporters to be calm and to respect the process.

It takes all of these different people to make a good election. If I may now come to our main conclusion: It is this: that the systemic failings and electoral security problems of the last few weeks and months show that there is real need for serious reform in Nigeria.

While there were operational improvements in the 9th March elections, these were overshadowed by a troubling electoral security environment, abuse of incumbency and institutional failings. We echo the view of leading civil society organisations that say that there is an urgent need to restore faith in the electoral process.

While there can be many reasons for a low turnout, and it is not for me to speculate, it is surely disappointing that, overall, only a relatively small portion of what is by far and away Africa’s largest electorate actually cast a vote on both election days.

We hope that after these elections, parties and institutions look at what is needed to make voters want to take part in elections. As the 2019 elections in Nigeria have demonstrated, there are important improvements to be made. Elections can always be better.

The systemic problems evident in the 2019 electoral process show the need for an inclusive national discussion on reform for greater electoral integrity and participation.
This is not a novel idea, of course. The suggestion of a national conversation or dialogue is one that comes from INEC itself. It is one that the European Union would support. Our long-term observers across the country will remain in Nigeria for another week.

They will continue to observe the collation of results and the election petitions process.

A core team of experts will remain for some additional weeks. Some of us will then return in June with a final report on the elections with recommendations for reform. As an election observation mission, our work finishes after this report is produced.

After that, it will be the EU Delegation that stands ready to support Nigeria in the implementation of the recommendations put forward for consideration. Although they are still to be finalised, one very clear recommendation would be for Nigeria to revisit the electoral laws and to agree on key reforms long before the next general elections Change and improvement does not happen overnight.

Reforms should neither be rushed nor left to the last moment. We encourage a national conversation on electoral reform and strongly believe that it would meaningfully contribute to Nigeria’s democratic development. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much for listening.
And thank you to the Nigerian authorities and Nigerian people for your warm welcome. Hannah and I would now be very happy to answer some of your questions.

Video: Amosun’s Look-Alike Addresses Crowd At Ogun APM Campaign

A look-alike of Governor Ibikunle Amosun caused quite a stir when he showed up at the campaign flag-off of the Allied Peoples Movement, APM, in Ogun state. 

The APM is fielding a former aide of Governor Ibikunle Amosun to run in the forthcoming gubernatorial election in the state.

There was some buzz when the governor’s look-alike came up to the stage to address the crowd, as the people thought that the governor who is an APC chief had turned up for an opposition party’s rally.

READ ALSO: Many Feared Dead In Fresh Attack On Zamfara Communities

At the APM campaign which held in Abeokuta, the party adopted President Muhammadu Buhari as its presidential candidate.

The National Chairman of the APM, Alhaji Yusuf Dantalle, presented the party’s flag for the number one office to Buhari.

Dantelle presented the flag to Buhari who was represented by the APM governorship candidate in the state, Adekunle Akinlade.

The party chieftain urged the people to stand up for their freedom and for the emancipation of their land.

I’m In Politics To Rescue Nigeria – Ezekwesili

 

The presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Oby Ezekwesili, says she is in politics to rescue the nation from its current situation.

Ezekwesili stated this on Sunday while appearing on Channels Television’s Sunday politics.

“I am in politics not because I need the title. I am in politics not because I need to answer Madam President. I am in politics because there is an urgent need to rescue our nation,” she said.

According to her, Nigerians are tired of the politics of zoning with respect to who occupies the office of the President.

The presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Mrs Oby Ezekwesili.

 

Ezekwesili stated that most citizens have alienated themselves from the country as a result of the way those at the helm of affairs govern the nation.

She, however, promised to change the way things work if given the mandate to become Nigeria’s President.

“I am interested in tackling poverty. I want to govern in a way that we can tackle poverty from more than 80 million Nigerians.

“I am tired of the failure of Nigeria. If we are going to get a different Nigeria, we need to think of economic restructuring from an economic prism. The politicians don’t think of economic when they talk about restructuring,” Ezekwesili added.

2019 General Elections Will Cost N242.4bn, Buhari Tells NASS

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the 2019 general elections will be costing about 242.4 billion Naira.

The President said this on Tuesday in a letter sent to the National Assembly, seeking that the funds be drawn from the 2018 and 2019 budgets.

In the letter he explained that implementing a budget of 9.12 trillion Naira for 2018 will be extremely challenging and does not consider it expedient, to increase it to accommodate the funds needed for the 2019 general elections.

He had earlier criticised the National Assembly for reducing allocations for some projects and including thousands of projects into the budget without consultation with the Executive.

According to him, the National Assembly made cuts amounting to N347 billion in the allocations to 4,700 projects submitted to them for consideration and introduced 6,403 projects of their own amounting to N578 billion.

“Many of the projects cut are critical and may be difficult, if not impossible, to implement with the reduced allocation.

He has, therefore, asked the National Assembly to transfer the funds appropriated for the new projects which are inserted in the 2018 budget to cover the sum of 228.8 billion Naira for the elections.

The President also noted that the balance will be provided in the 2019 budget.

See below a proposed budget for the 2019 election

The total amount for the 2019 general elections

2018 supplementary – N164, 104, 792, 065
2019 budget – N78, 314, 530, 535
Total – N242, 445, 322, 600

Office of the National Security Adviser
2018 supplementary – N3, 855, 500, 000
2019 budget – 426, 000, 000
Total – 4, 281, 500,000

INEC
2018 supplementary – N143, 512, 529, 445
2019 budget – N45, 695, 015,438
Total: N189, 207, 544, 893

NSCDC
2018 supplementary – N1, 845, 597, 000
2019 budget – N1, 727, 997, 500
Total – N3, 573, 534, 500

Nigeria Police
2018 supplementary – N11, 457, 417, 432
2019 budget – N19, 083, 900, 000
Total – N30, 541, 317, 432

NIS
2018 supplementary – N530, 110, 078
2019 budget – N2, 098,033, 142
Total – N2, 628, 143, 320

DSS
2018 supplementary – N2, 903, 638, 000
2019 budget – N9,309,644,455
Total – N12, 213, 282, 455

‘I See One Strong Party’: Oyegun Praises Buhari, APC As He Bows Out

 

The outgoing National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr John Odigie-Oyegun has praised the strength of the party and hailed President Muhammadu Buhari for his performance in office.

“I see one strong party. I see a party of passionate followers who are ready to follow our President because of the principled leadership,” Odigie-Oyegun said during his speech at the APC National Convention in Eagles Square, Abuja on Saturday.

Oyegun, who emerged National Chairman of the party in 2014, also thanked members of the party for giving him the opportunity to serve.

He, however, decried the negative stories, “abuses” and “fake stories” that the Buhari administration has had to contend with.

Despite the obstacles, the APC Chairman believes the President has remained focus and that the party has always stood by the Federal Government.

“ln spite of the crude abuses, insinuations, fake stories that have been hurled in his directions, he has not allowed them to dissuade him in any way or distract him from his course,” Odigie-Oyegun said.

Apart from the President, he also appreciated members of the party for choosing and allowing him to lead them for four years.

“I thank my colleagues of the National Working Committee (NWC), the Chairmen of the various state chapters some of which have returned to the saddle to provide experience for continuity,” Odigie-Oyegun added.

He is optimistic that despite the divergent views in some quarters, party members have always pursued the interest of the party and that of the President.

APC Has Done More Than Enough To Merit Re-Election – Ajimobi

Governor Abiola Ajimobi said the All Progressives Congress (APC) has performed well to see the re-election of a second term, during an exclusive interview with Channels Television’s Roadmap 2019 on Monday.

 

The Oyo State Governor, Mr. Abiola Ajimobi, says the All Progressives Congress (APC) has done more than enough within the last three years to deserve re-election.

Ajimobi stated this during his appearance on Roadmap 2019, a Channels Television Programme, which aired on Monday.

“Definitely, it (APC) has done more than enough (to deserve a  second term),” he said.

Since the APC and President Muhammadu Buhari swept to power in 2015, promising to tackle insecurity, fight corruption and boost the economy, the government’s performance has split opinion receiving praise and criticism.

Critics have faulted its failure to end killings, especially by suspected herdsmen, across the country and some of its economic policies.

But Governor Ajimobi believes the critics have forgotten how things were before the current administration was inaugurated.

“Nigerians just like all human beings are relatively forgetful. We forget things easily and move on.”

As far as the governor is concerned, the Buhari administration has done well in fixing the nation’s economy and addressing the security challenges.

He, however, explained that the process of making Nigeria a prosperous nation cannot be done in one day, considering the rot created by previous governments.

“What was the situation when President Muhammadu Buhari came in? Look at our economy, the revenue accruable to the government, corruption, security situation.

“When you look at the KPIs of measuring government’s performance, Nigeria was at the precipice. No doubt about it.”

The governor recalled that Nigerians voted his party in 2015 because of the yearning for a change of leadership.

Three years in government, Ajimobi is confident that President Muhammadu Buhari has done incredibly well in fighting corruption.

“Everybody wanted a change. In the words of Winston Churchill, ‘we do not know whether if we change things will improve’,” he said.

“But for things to improve, we must change. Everybody wanted improvement and we needed change. And we got the change.”

Asked if he would support the Minister of Communications Mr Adebayo Shittu, to succeed him as governor, Ajimobi replied in the negative.

“He doesn’t have what it takes to be a governor,” the governor said. “I have been a governor now for seven years. I know the qualities of someone who should be a governor; he doesn’t have it. His temperament cannot be that of a governor.”

2019: Atiku Appoints Former Ogun Governor, Gbenga Daniel As Campaign DG

Gbenga Daniel, Peace, Nigerians

 

Ahead of the 2019 general elections, former Vice-President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, has appointed former Ogun state governor, Gbenga Daniel as the Director-General of his campaign.

In a statement on Monday, the former VP charged Daniel with the responsibility of running his campaign while he (Abubakar) focuses on his nationwide campaign.

“I am pleased to officially notify you of the appointment of His Excellency, Otunba Gbenga Daniel (“OGD” as he is popularly known), as the Director-General of the Atiku Campaign Organisation,” Atiku said.

Abukakar also expressed confidence in Daniel’s abilities to ensuring victory at the polls.

He added, “ I am in no doubt OGD is a very positive and welcome addition to our campaign and I look forward to working with him as he leads the campaign to victory come February 2019.”

Daniel served as governor of Ogun State from 2003 to 2011, after defeating an incumbent, Olusegun Osoba.

Re-election: Buhari Made ‘A Desperate Declaration’, PDP Says

Re-election: Buhari Made ‘A Desperate Declaration', PDP Says
File photo: Kola Ologbondiyan

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has taken a swipe at President Muhammadu Buhari, claiming he made a ‘desperate’ declaration to seek re-election in 2019.

National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, criticised the President’s declaration during his appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Wednesday.

READ ALSO: Buhari Declares Intention To Run For Second Term

President Buhari had declared his intention to seek re-election on Monday at a closed-door meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja.

Explaining the rationale behind his decision, he told party leaders at the meeting that his declaration was in response to the clamour by Nigerians to recontest in 2019.

President Muhammadu Buhari speaks at the APC NEC meeting in Abuja on April 9, 2018.

 

The PDP spokesman, however, alleged that the President was desperate to have made his intention known with just 310 days to the general elections.

He recalled that a mammoth crowd trooped out to receive the opposition party when it held rallies in Dutse, the Jigawa capital and Katsina, the home-state of President Buhari.

Why Buhari Deserves To Be Re-elected In 2019 – APC

“That was the first thing that drew the President to make a sudden declaration, a desperate declaration to run for a second term,” Ologbondiyan stated.

“In our political history, particularly in the modern political history since 1999 till date, President Muhammadu Buhari is the first incumbent president that will declare a second-term interest one clear year ahead of the election.”

He purported that the President declaring his intention to seek a re-election at this time would have an effect on the nation, stressing that Nigeria does not have a system that can run on its own if its president is campaigning.

The PDP spokesman said, “Once politicking starts, every apparatus of government takes the back seat. So, what President Muhammadu Buhari’s declaration for a second term has ensured is that from this moment until elections are held on February 2019, governance will take the back seat.”

He, however, noted that whether the President emerges the APC candidate at the primaries or not, the opposition party is not nervous as it is ever ready to reclaim power from the APC.

Ologbondiyan added President Buhari would not have bothered to make a declaration if the APC was listening to the drumbeats on the streets.

“For President Muhammadu Buhari’s first three years, there is absolutely nothing to show,” he said. “We must not quickly forget the fact that President Muhammadu Buhari contested the 2015 election on one significant platform – change; have we seen any significant change?” the PDP member questioned.

2019 Elections: Cross River Govt Begins Advocacy Campaign For Women

Ayade Hopeful Nigeria Will Overcome Challenges
File photo

The Cross River State Government has started advocacy on the need for its people especially women in the state to get registered, in order to exercise their electoral rights come 2019.

Commissioner for Women Affairs, Stella Odey, made this known while addressing the women insist that, the only way women can get more engagement in political representation is by getting their PVC’s and returning back the incumbent governor, Ben Ayade to office in 2019.

She noted that the reason behind the gathering is for these women to become more aware and prepared ahead of the coming elections.
She also tasked the women to be nation builders as they are expected to return back to their various communities to educate their communities on the need to effectively participate in the coming elections.

As the 2019 general elections draw closer, one thing is certain, the PVC remains the only option for one’s voice to be heard.

Katsina APC Vows To Win 2019 Election

PRESS STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 3, 2018 Kogi Crisis: Only Convention Can Expel Party Members – APC

The ruling All Progressives Congress, APC Katsina State chapter has vowed to produce more votes than any other state in the country come 2019.

The State Governor, Aminu Masari, made this known during a special grand rally organized by the state chapter of the party.

The event was aimed at receiving hundreds of thousands of decampees from major opposition parties across the three senatorial districts of Katsina state, the rally witnessed the attendance of high ranking persons from the three senatorial districts which are Katsina, Daura and Funtua Central Senatorial Districts of the state.

Decampees from across different political opposition parties in Katsina state among which are former chairmen, former councillors and chieftains have relinquished their respective positions from their respective political parties.

The governor announced that the Katsina state chapter of the party is not only sure of winning the 2019 general elections but working to make sure that not less than 80-90% of the registered voters vote for the APC particularly President Muhammadu Buhari.

Popular among them are Senator Ibrahim Ida of the Katsina central, Hon. Ya’u Umar Gwajo -Gwajo of Daura, the Katsina North and Engineer Nura Khalil of Funtua, the Katsina South.

These decampees are generally considered by both the National and the State chairmen of the ruling APC as full members and that from today they have become on equal footing with each an every member of the party.

Step Down To Allow ‘Generational Shift,’ Babangida Tells Buhari

Former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to step down in 2019 to allow for a generational shift.

He, however, urges Nigerians to cooperate with the President until his tenure ends.

Babangida, in a statement issued by his media aide, Kassim Afegbua, also lamented the flow of blood in the country.

The comments of the former military ruler come two weeks after former President Olusegun Buhari advised President Buhari not to seek for a second term in office.

To Babangida, Nigeria is at a major crossroads at this moment in its history. He specifically warned that the choices Nigerians make regarding the leadership question would determine the country’s vision politically, economically, and religiously.

While regretting that Africa’s most populous nation is still in search of the right leadership to contend with the dynamics of a 21st century, the former military believes that our strength lies in our diversity.

He said, “In 2019 and beyond, we should come to a national consensus that we need new breed leadership with requisite capacity to manage our diversities and jump-start a process of launching the country on the super highway of technology-driven leadership in line with the dynamics of modern governance.

“It is short of saying enough of this analogue system. Let’s give way for digital leadership orientation with all the trappings of consultative, constructive, communicative, interactive, and utility-driven approach where everyone has a role to play in the process of enthroning accountability and transparency in governance.

“I am particularly enamored that Nigerians are becoming more and more conscious of their rights; and their ability to speak truth to power and interrogate those elected to represent them without fear of arrest and harassment. These are part of the ennobling principles of representative democracy.

“As citizens in a democracy, it is our civic responsibility to demand accountability and transparency. Our elected leaders owe us that simple but remarkable accountability creed. Whenever we criticize them, it is not that we do not like their guts; it is just that as stakeholders in the political economy of the country, we also carry certain responsibilities.”

On the spate of needless killings in some parts of the country, Babangida called for the reorientation of the herdsmen or gun-men to embrace ranching as a new and modern way to herd cattle.

He also wants the capacity of the Nigeria Police, the Nigeria Army, the Navy and Air Force to be expanded while providing the necessary security for all.

He added, “We need to catch up with modern sophistication in crime detection and crime fighting. Due to the peculiarity of our country, we must begin community policing to close the gaps that presently exist in our policing system. We cannot continue to use old methods and expect new results.

“We just have to constructively engage the people from time to time through platforms that would help them ventilate their opinions and viewpoints.”

While the next general election is just a year to go, the elder statesman hopes that citizens would take destiny in their hands to vote for a new breed of leadership.