Elections: Situation Room Asks INEC To Partner NSA On Security

 

 

The Convener of Situation Room, Clement Nwankwo says the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should partner the National Security Adviser in order to handle election security.

Nwankwo said this on Thursday during an interview on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily.

He noted that it is the duty of the electoral body to provide security during elections.

“INEC hearing with the National Security Adviser are supposed to work to deal with security around elections. We had said from the beginning that we would like civil societies to even observe and contribute to suggestions.

“When you look at Section 29 (2) of the Electoral Act is very clear that INEC is in charge of security for the elections and gives directives to the security services on what to do,” he said.

He added that the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Adamu collaborated with the electoral body during the 2019 election, this according to him helped in cutting the excesses of police officers during the election.

READ ALSOKano APC Suspends Jibrin For Alleged Anti-Party Activities

“When we meet with the IGP, we were very impressed with his commitment to pulling back to some of our observations we had about the excesses of the police.

“I believe that the new Inspector General of Police did a lot to get the police to become very compliant to some of the duties that are provided for it under the law.

“We are not so sure this was the case across all of the security services. At that point, we made it very clear that you needed to be sure people understand that this is an election to be run by INEC,” he said.

Nwankwo’s comments come two days after he said 2019 general elections in Nigeria failed to meet the “threshold for free, fair and credible elections.”

The civil society organisation, which was one of the accredited election monitors, said this while presenting its report on the 2019 elections.

Despite the revelation, he, however, promised to work with the electoral body to build confidence in the electorates.

He said: “We will continue to work to build people’s confidence in INEC. I think there were challenges with the elections, we have outlined it.

“We do know that INEC has also acknowledged that there are challenges. I think the question here is the approach in beginning to understand how to work towards redressing these challenges. And we are quite prepared to work with INEC to begin to address these challenges.”

Presidency, PDP Differ On G-60 Endorsement Of 2019 Presidential Poll

 

 

The Presidency and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have disagreed over the endorsement of the 2019 presidential elections by 60 presidential parties and their presidential candidates.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President, Garba Shehu, in a statement issued on Tuesday, said the Presidency is encouraged by the show of patriotism by the G-60 Forum.

Shehu urged the opposition to accept the loss with grace and maturity, assuring that the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari’s watch would look into the Electoral Act as advised by the parties at their joint news conference.

“We are encouraged by the patriotism of the Presidential Candidates expressed in clear and matured language.

READ ALSO: INEC Server: Statements In Circulation Aimed At Marring My Record – Atiku

“We are convinced that regardless of our different political persuasions we can work together to improve electoral integrity in Nigeria,” he said.

But the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in reaction to the endorsement described the G-60 Forum as an “amorphous group parading as Forum of Presidential Candidates of the 2019 Elections and National Party Chairmen.”

PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan said the party’s investigation revealed that the group was hurriedly “conjured” by the leadership of INEC and the All Progressives Congress (APC).

“This was an attempt to help clean up INEC’s blunders on the existence of the server, sway judicial pronouncements and influence public opinion on extant matters in court.

“The PDP invites Nigerians to note that the press release by this nebulous group emerged after INEC’s several blunders while the Presidency has already admitted that the claim by the PDP and millions of Nigerians that INEC had a server wherein it stored results of the 2019 elections, constitutes the fulcrum of contention in the Presidential election,” he said.

60 Political Parties Pass Vote Of Confidence On INEC, Describe 2019 Poll As Credible

Chairman of the G-60 Forum, Shittu Muhammed, in a press conference on the review of the polls on Tuesday on June 25, 2019.

 

A group of political parties that participated in the 2019 general elections (popularly known as G-60 Forum) has passed a vote of confidence on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) conduct of the 2019 general elections across the country.

The 60 political parties described the 2019 poll as free, fair and credible.

“Having gathered as presidential candidates and political party leaders, we thoroughly Xray the 2019 elections, the unfavourable and hostile environment the election management body operated under, and the extant laws under which elections were conducted, have come to the conclusion that INEC performed creditably well.

“We hereby unequivocally reaffirm our confidence in INEC for its performance against all odds in the conduct of the 2019 general elections,” Chairman of the G-60 Forum, Shittu Muhammed said.

Muhammed said this during a press conference on the review of the polls on Tuesday.

He added that the controversy trailing the electronic transmission of the election result is a deliberate ploy to destroy the integrity of the nation’s electoral process.

According to him, this is because the Electoral Amendment Act Bill was not signed by President Muhammadu Buhari and transmitting electronically would be unlawful.

“This INEC server controversy is a deliberate ploy to destroy the integrity of our electoral process and the so-called result from the server be described to as credible where INEC could not have legitimately transmitted the result of the presidential or any of the other elections electronically.

READ ALSO: Tribunal Rejects Atiku, PDP’s Request To Access INEC’s Server

“INEC informed all political parties in the election following the non-passage of the Electoral Act that it would not deploy the electronic transmission of results since it will not be lawful to do so,” he said.

While claiming that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was present at INEC’s briefing of political parties before the general elections, Muhammed, however, wondered why the main opposition party would heat up the polity with the electronic transmission on the server.

EU To Present Final Report On 2019 Elections Today

 

The European Union Election Observation Group will today present its final report and findings on the 2019 elections to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The group made this known on Friday during a meeting with the INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu in Abuja.

Speaking shortly after the meeting, Mr Yakubu promised to ensure the implementation of the group’s recommendations, adding that the EU has been part of Nigeria’s progress towards democratic consolidation since 1999.

Meanwhile, ahead of the today’s presentation of the report, the EU EOM Chief Observer, Marie Arena has met with key stakeholders such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the civil society, political parties such as the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

2019 Elections: Youths Are The Biggest Disappointment, Says Moghalu

The presidential candidate of the Young Progressive Party (YPP), Professor Kingsley Moghalu, has taken a swipe at Nigerian youths for the role they played during the recently held general elections.

Moghalu, who was a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today, regretted that the young populations did not make their presence felt during the polls.

“The biggest disappointment was with the youths. The youth vote was absent. They make a lot of noise, they rant and rail but you will not see them on the voting day. And when they vote, they don’t vote in line with their rhetoric,” he said.

When asked if the polls witnessed improvement when compared to 2015, Moghalu noted that chaos marred some polling centres coupled with an alleged organisational efficiency and effectiveness shortly before the commencement of voting.

YPP presidential candidate, Professor Kingsley Moghalu speaks on the outcome of the 2019 general elections on Channels Television’s Politics Today on April 12, 2019.

“The organisational efficiency and effectiveness of the election was generally weak. We saw it. First, it was postponed at the last minute and in many parts of the country, there was chaos at the polling booths especially in rural areas.”

READ ALSO: 2019 Elections: Our Votes Were Stolen, Diverted And Suppressed – Moghalu

Reacting to President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory at the polls, he advised the current administration to justify the votes and work hard to restore Nigerians have reposed on the President.

In doing that, he wants the Federal Government to focus on three cores areas bordering on national unity, building a vibrant economy and the nation’s security.

Speaking on security, he decried the poor funding of the police, calling on the government to properly equip its personnel with the modern tools to properly secure lives and properties.

Moghalu, who is also an economist and former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) however wants the complete removal of subsidy.

He also wants the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to be privatised because it “is not a very profitable corporation, it is not a transparent corporation.”

Asked if he would still throw in the hat for the 2023 presidential race, his response was “it’s too early to make that kind of decision.”

Ahead of the 2023 general elections, the YPP candidate wants the presidency to be zoned to the south-east.

2019 Elections: Our Votes Were Stolen, Diverted And Suppressed – Moghalu

The presidential candidate of the Young Progressive Party (YPP), Professor Kingsley Moghalu, has reacted to the outcome of the recently concluded elections, alleging that votes meant for his party were stolen, diverted and suppressed.

Appearing on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Friday, the YPP candidate said he was disappointed at the result of the 2019 polls.

“I know for a fact that our votes were stolen, our votes were diverted, our votes were suppressed. For this reason, the numbers attributed to the YPP for example as the final count was a joke,” he stated.

His comments come few weeks after the February 23 presidential election which saw the participation of about 73 political parties.

READ ALSO: Governor Abubakar, Bauchi APC File Petition At Election Tribunal

Few days after, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate winner of the poll.

But Moghalu believes the result was a clear testament that “Nigerians have made a choice with the status quo, I didn’t win the election.”

YPP presidential candidate, Professor Kingsley Moghalu speaks on the outcome of the 2019 general elections on Channels Television’s Politics Today on April 12, 2019.

When asked if he was rigged out of the election, the YPP candidate stressed “I am not claiming that I won the election and was rigged out. I want to be very clear.”

He, however, called for “fundamental reform” of the nation’s electoral system.

Moghalu, who is also a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) believes that Nigeria should work hard to deepen her democratic process ahead of the 2023 general elections.

PHOTOS: Collation, Declaration Of Results Continue Into The Night

 

Hours after results of the Governorship and House of Assembly elections have been announced in some states, collation and declaration of results are still ongoing.

See photos from across states below.


Kaduna

 

Lagos

Vice President Osinbajo, Wife Cast Their Votes In Lagos

 

The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo and his wife Dolapo have cast their votes at their residence in Victoria Garden City (VGC) Lagos.

Prof. Osinbajo commended the turnout of voters and officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for a smooth process.

He said that the turnout was impressive, expressing confidence in the elections

“We are very confident of returning to office, we have gone ground the nation and spoken to everyone.

READ ALSOBREAKING: Atiku, Wife Cast Their Votes In Adamawa

“We are doing a lot on the part of youth and development, I believe we deserve a second term in office”.

He also reaffirmed the President’s commitment to ensuring that the elections are credible.

Osinbajo is running with President Muhammadu Buhari for a second term in office under the All Progressives Congress (APC).

PHOTOS: Nigerians Turn Up For Polls After Delay

Nigerians Turn Up At Polls After Delay

 

Nigerians turn up at various polling units across the country on Saturday morning to elect their leaders for another four years, after the elections were postponed.

Some electorates arrived at their polling units as early as 6am, even ahead of the electoral officers conducting the polls.

The Presidential and National Assembly elections are holding today while that of the governorship and state house of assembly will take place on March 9.

See the pictures below;

Economic Implication Of Election Postponement, “Horrendous” – Muda Yusuf

Residents of Lagos State, the commercial hub of Nigeria, move around on Saturday, February 17, 2019, hours after INEC postponed the general elections.

 

Nigerians who were surprised by the postponement of the general elections on Saturday might suffer a second shock when they learn the cost, some economists and business leaders have said.

“The cost to the economy of the postponement of the election is horrendous,” said Muda Yusuf, General Director of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry who advanced an estimate of $1.5 billion.

“The economy was on partial shutdown the day before, and total shut down on Saturday for the elections” that did not take place, he explained.

The streets of Lagos were still empty early Sunday as the sprawling economic capital of 20 million people recovered from the disappointment and anger provoked by a last minute, one-week delay blamed on logistical issues.

The Independent Electoral Commission announced the delay just hours before polls to elect a President and members of parliament, were to open.

INEC cited problems in the distribution of ballot papers and results sheets, as well as sabotage, after three fire incidents at its offices in two weeks.

The leading candidates, incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari and Atiku Abubakar of the PDP, both called for calm, but a population of 190 million people facing unemployment and extreme poverty took a real financial hit from the decision.

Read Also:  INEC Chairman Explains Reasons For Postponement Of Elections, Seeks Understanding (Full Speech)

For many, the cost of leaving cities where they work to go home and vote in their native regions is substantial.

Social media was used meanwhile to organise collections for street vendors who had bought perishable items to sell to voters that often wait in long lines.

The amount ultimately raised was unlikely to make much difference to tens of millions of people who live on less than $1.9 a day, but it did highlight solidarity not always widespread in the country.

Many businesses, including the critical port of Lagos, had shut down Friday so staff could leave cities before an election-related curfew took effect on Saturday from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm.

Airports and border crossing points had stopped operating as well.

For economist, Bismark Rewane however, “the most important cost … is the reputational cost.

“Investors’ confidence will be eroded” and in the long term, when indirect costs were taken into account, the delay might cost the equivalent of two percentage points of national output, he said.

In currency terms, Rewane estimated the possible cost at “nine to 10 billion dollars.”

Couple’s Wedding Affected As INEC Postpones Elections

Cople-to-be, Smart and Grace.

 

Nigerians have continued to express shock and disappointment over the postponement of the general elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Perhaps some of those most affected by the development, are those who had fixed key events on the dates which the elections have been rescheduled to.

One of such persons is a couple in Plateau, Jos, who had fixed their wedding on February 23 with the hopes that the elections would have held successfully on Saturday (February 16).

The couple-to-be, Smart and Grace shared their plight with Channels Television.

 

They say family members who are not based in Jos, had begun travelling down in preparation for the wedding only to be greeted with the shocking news of the postponement in early hours of Saturday.


RELATED:

TRENDING: Nigerians Call For Better Treatment Of Corps Members

INEC Postpones General Elections To February 23


 

According to them, following the last-minute decision of the electoral umpire, a lot of their plans have been disrupted and ultimately, the wedding has to be rescheduled.

Business leaders have also said that the economic implication of the postponement could be horrendous. Read Here

Around 2:44 am on Saturday, INEC announced that all elections initially scheduled to hold on February 16 and March 2, were moved by a week.

According to the Commission, the postponement will afford it the opportunity to address identified challenges in order to maintain the quality of the elections.

TRENDING: Nigerians Call For Better Treatment Of Corps Members

Corps members seen laying outside at a rack centre for INEC. Source: Twitter

 

As Nigerians react to the postponement of the general elections, some have also called for better treatment of corps members participating in the elections.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) came under major criticism when images showing the corps members in distressing conditions – cramped together, sleeping out in the open and more, along with harrowing posts of negligence, surfaced online.

As the criticism grew, spurning thousands of tweets and a global trend on microblogging platform, Twitter, INEC met with stakeholders for talks about its last-minute decision to postpone the polls.

Read Also:  ‘We Don’t Take Ad-Hoc Staff For Granted’, INEC Reacts To Criticism Over Corps Members

See some of the comments below.

At the forum, amid a flurry of criticism by political parties and queries by stakeholders, the issue of the experience of corps members came up.

But the Chairman of the Commission, Mahmood Yakubu, explained that it was customary for INEC ad-hoc staff to stay at rack centres the night before the elections.

According to him, this would enable them to receive all the materials necessary for the exercise the following day.

He further explained that the facilities used across the states, did not belong to the Commission and were only utilised once every four years.

The INEC boss, however, stated that elections would not be conducted successfully without the help of the ad-hoc staff, hence, the Commission does not take them for granted.

While explaining that it has, in some areas, made provisions to make the centres more comfortable, Yakubu said the Commission would continue to do its best to provide comfort for the staff.