Presidential, NASS Elections Hold In Nigeria

electionNigerians will go to the polls today to vote for their president in a historic event that is the 5th quadrennial election to be held since the end of military rule in 1999.

Voters will elect the President and Members to the House of Representatives and the Senate.

The elections were first scheduled to be held on February 14, 2015.

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC postponed it by six weeks to Saturday, March 28, 2015, citing security fears in the north-east region of the country, which the military says has largely been taken care of.

Article 134 Subsection 2 of the Nigerian Constitution stipulates that the a presidential candidate will be duly elected after attaining the highest number of votes cast, and has received at least a quarter of the votes at each of at least two-thirds of all the states and the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja.

If no candidate satisfies the requirement, a second election will be held between the two leading candidates within seven days from the pronouncement of the result.

Fourteen candidates will contest in the 2015 presidential election.

Nigerians will also today elect the candidates to occupy the 109 seats in the Senate.

The 36 states of the federation are each divided in three senatorial districts, each electing one senator, while the Federal Capital Territory elects only one senator.

950 senatorial candidates from the registered political parties will today, jostle to occupy the 109 seats in the Senate.

Elections to the lower House of Representatives representing the federal constituencies across the 36 states of Nigeria will also hold alongside the presidential and senatorial elections.

3,939 contestants across the 26 registered political parties will today jostle to occupy the 360 Federal Constituency seats at the polls.

AU Deploys Election Observers To North East

AUThe African Union (AU) has deployed 84 election observers to various parts of the country, including the north-east to monitor the general ‎elections.

Head of the African Union Election Observation Mission (AUEOM) and former President of the interim government of Liberia, Professor Amos Sawyer also asked Nigerians to come out en masse to exercise their rights.

While appealing for caution by all parties involved in the electoral process, he called on politicians to accept defeat or channel their grievances ‎to the law courts.

Buhari’s Cross River Campaign Co-ordinator Decamps To PDP

buhariWith barely 48 hours to the presidential election, the Buhari presidential campaign co-ordinator in Cross River State, Engineer U.Oko has decamped from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) .

Uko, who decamped with all his supporters, pledged to mobilise support for the re-election of President Goodluck Jonathan.

He told a crowd of PDP supporters in Bekwarra Local Government Area of the State that his decision to quit the APC for the PDP was informed by President Jonathan’s sterling achievements in office.

On hand to receive him back into the party was the PDP candidate for the House of Representatives elections for Bekwarra, Obudu, Obanliku Federal Constituency, Barrister Legor Idagbo.

Idagbo commended him for the bold step and stated that unlike the broom, the PDPs umbrella was big enough to accommodate everyone.

He noted that Engr Oko was a grass root mobilizer and an astute politician who would contribute a great deal to the continued growth of PDP in the State.

Full Text: Buhari’s Last Message To Nigerians Before Election Day

Muhammadu Buhari APC Presidential candidate2The Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, General Muhammadu Buhari, in his last message to Nigerians before the elections on Saturday, has called on them to give him the chance to lead the mission to re-build the country.

“Give me the chance to lead you in rebuilding a Nigeria that all of us can be proud of once again”, he said in a statement made available to Channels Television.

Buhari, who faulted the current administration on several accounts including corruption, poverty and insecurity, noted that “At no other time in our history is Nigeria in such an urgent need of strong and competent leadership. Sadly, at no other time is this leadership so sorely absent in our country”.

According to him, “No matter how much resources we have, if not properly utilized, it would only create a few billionaires and leave majority of our people in poverty. Under the current administration, corruption has enjoyed unprecedented prosperity and this has been at the heart of most of our government failings, including insecurity, broken infrastructure and growing inequality in our country”.

The former Head of State, in his message titled “Time For Nigeria To Be Great Once Again”, urged citizens to realise that they were united in their fears and struggles for a secure nation and better economy.

“Invariably, our fears are the same; our dreams are the same; and our problems are the same. Regardless of the language we speak, or the way we understand and worship God, what affects anyone of us, affects everyone of us.”

 

The full text of Buhari’s message here:

Time For Nigeria To Be Great Once Again

I want to take this last opportunity, before we go to the polls on Saturday March 28 and April 11 respectively, to thank everyone who has supported our campaigns. I am humbled and grateful to have had the opportunity to meet so many of my fellow Nigerians who have helped to carry the message of change across our great country.

This is the fourth time that I would be standing for election as the President of Nigeria. All these years, I have been driven by a keen awareness of the potential greatness of our country and the desire to provide the true leadership that will unleash this huge potential.

I believe that a stable and prosperous Nigeria is not only important to Nigerians. It is also important to Africa and the rest of the world. The evidence of this is the unprecedented attention that our country will receive this weekend. On Saturday, the whole world would wait with baited breath for the greatest black nation on earth to take charge of its destiny. We must therefore not miss the significance of this moment. We must not let ourselves and our country down.

At no other time in our history is Nigeria in such an urgent need of strong and competent leadership. Sadly, at no other time is this leadership so sorely absent in our country. We live in a time of great opportunities and great peril. It is only a leader that understands these in equal measure that can find the rightful place for Nigeria among the great Nations of the world.

I have travelled extensively around Nigeria in the last three months. In the course of my travels, I encountered directly, what I have always believed: that a Hausa man’s desire for security is not different from the Ijaw woman’s desire to feel secured in any part of our country.

An Igbo woman’s desire for her children to get quality education and find employment is not different from the Yoruba man’s dream for his children to become a useful member of our society. A wife’s desperate need for affordable and quality healthcare for her husband diagnosed with prostate cancer in Enugu is not different from a husband’s desire to save the life of his wife diagnosed with ovarian cancer in Lagos.

Invariably, our fears are the same; our dreams are the same; and our problems are the same. Regardless of the language we speak, or the way we understand and worship God, what affects anyone of us, affects everyone of us.

Our economy is celebrated as the largest in Africa, yet our country is home to the continent’s highest number of people living in extreme poverty. Our youth population is larger than the combined population of many of our neighbours, yet our failure to plan and create opportunities for them is turning them to a social time bomb rather than economic catalysts.

A band of ragtag terrorist group has threatened our territorial integrity, killed thousands of Nigerians, displaced our people and abducted our children. The almost 60, 000 Nigerians who have become refugees in neighbouring countries represent a budding threat to sub-regional stability.

However, even in the face of these daunting challenges, I see a great opportunity for change. We have to start by rebuilding the trust and confidence of Nigerians in their government. No citizen will respect a government under whose watch more than 200 girls were abducted.

This singular act can only portray the government as insensitive, incompetent or both. When I become president, reuniting these children with their families will, without doubts, be a top priority. Rebuilding the army and other security agencies will also be a top priority of my government. I will ensure that never again will terrorists find a safe haven in Nigeria.

Recent fall in international price of crude leaves us badly exposed and vulnerable. Dwindling oil revenue also means that we are going to face serious financial challenges in the months ahead. However, even as daunting as this appears, it also provides us with great opportunity to diversify our economy and finally give meaning to the widely held belief that our prosperity as a nation would not continue to depend on the resources buried under our feet, but on the productive capacity of our people.

No matter how much resources we have, if not properly utilized, it would only create a few billionaires and leave majority of our people in poverty. Under the current administration, corruption has enjoyed unprecedented prosperity and this has been at the heart of most of our government failings, including insecurity, broken infrastructure and growing inequality in our country.

My government will have a zero tolerance for corruption. I will set a personal example and run a government that truly serves the people rather than serve themselves and a privileged few. Like I have repeatedly maintained that if Nigeria does not kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria.

We must not allow Nigeria to die. Therefore, we must do all that is necessary to root out this evil that has reduced our great country to a laughing stock of the world. We must begin to rebuild the social fabrics of our society and teach a different experience to our youth in the values of hard work, discipline, integrity and service.

The change that I seek therefore; is a change from the current regime of mindless of corruption and profligacy; a change from fear and insecurity to peace and stability; a change from religious and ethnic divisiveness to unity, equity and justice. This is the change that my party stands for. This is the change that I am committed to bringing about as President. Give me the chance to lead you in rebuilding a Nigeria that all of us can be proud of once again.

As we come out to vote on Saturday, I appeal to all Nigerians to shun violence in whatever form. It is the right of every adult Nigerian to vote and expect that their votes would count in a free, fair and credible election. However, we also have a responsibility to respect the choice of others and grant them the same treatment that we expect.

I also want to call on all our men and women in uniform, the Judiciary, and all others who have constitutional responsibility to safeguard our democracy, to remember that their responsibility is primarily to Nigerians and the survival of Nigeria. They must therefore not allow anyone to use them to subvert the will of the Nigerian people. I believe that their dreams and aspirations are not different from those of other Nigerians.

I have no doubt that with God being on our side; together we can make our country great once again.

Gen. Muhammadu BUHARI, GCFR

President Jonathan Restates Commitment To Peaceful Elections

jonathanPresident Goodluck Jonathan, on Wednesday in Abuja, reiterated his total commitment to ensuring peaceful, free, fair and credible elections come Saturday March 28 and April 11.

Speaking at an audience with a delegation of the National Committee on Peaceful Elections led by former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, President Jonathan urged all political parties, their candidates and supporters to approach the elections with more patriotism and a greater willingness to place the larger interest of the country above personal ambitions.

The President said that the Federal Government had worked very hard over the years to promote strong democratic institutions that will sustain the country’s democracy and will not tolerate any form of violence during or after the polls that could reverse the gains of the present democratic dispensation in the country.

“My cardinal principle has always been, and still remains that the ambition of any Nigerian is not worth the blood of anybody. I am not a violent person and I don’t tolerate violence in any form. I don’t believe that violence can be used to achieve anything meaningful in life.

“I am giving my total commitment to peaceful elections in the country, not because I am persuaded to do so, but because I believe in it,” President Jonathan said.

The President called on religious and political leaders, community heads and other senior citizens in the country to be vociferous in condemning incidences of electoral violence in the country, such as the stoning of opponents.

President Jonathan also said that he would be quite willing to meet and sign another peace accord with the Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari, to further emphasize his total commitment to a violence-free poll on Saturday.

The Chairman of the National Committee on Peaceful Elections, Gen. Abubakar commended the President for his consistency in insisting on peaceful, free and fair elections in the country at all levels.

Other members of the delegation were Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe (rtd.), Cardinal John Onaiyekan, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, Bishop Mathew Hassan Kukah, Prof. Zainab Alkali, Sam Amuka-Pem, Mrs. Priscilla Kuye  and Justice Rose Ukeje.

At another meeting with a group of international election monitors, President Jonathan gave an assurance that the coming elections would not generate the type of violence that followed the 2011 elections.

The international observers were from the African Union Group led by Dr. Amos Sawyer, the Commonwealth Group led by Dr. Bakili Muluzi, the European Parliament and the Republican Institute.

Buhari Urges Supporters In Bauchi To Vote For Change

Muhammadu Buhari APC Presidential candidate2The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC),  General Muhammadu Buhari, has asked his supporters in Bauchi, north-east Nigeria to vote for ‘change’.

Addressing a gathering of supporters at a political rally at the Ibrahim Babangida Club in Bauchi on Tuesday, General Buhari appealed to party’s supporters not to take up arms, before, during and after the elections.

General Buhari described himself as a credible man and told the people that the challenges they had faced in the last 16 years of the Peoples Democratic Party’s rule would become a thing of the past if voted for.

General Buhari was accompanied by senior party leaders; Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar; Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, Yobe State Governor, among others, who arrived with the party’s presidential flag bearer.

The event went on into the night, with supporters chanting their support for the Presidential candidate of the APC that is vying for the position for the forth time.

Buhari Promises To Give Attention To Disability Law

buhariThe Presidential Candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari, has encouraged people living with disability never to give up on their dreams and aspiration.

General Buhari gave the advice on Saturday at a meeting with people living with disability, promising to give attention to the disability law if elected to improve the living condition of the group of people.

Echoing the presidential candidate’s view, Governor Tanko Al-makura said never has any government shown interest in addressing issues relating to disabilities.

The participants were happy and encouraged, as some of them said the meeting gave them the inspiration to live on.

 

Buhari Meets Lagos Women, Promises Gender Equality In Nigeria

Buhari for womenThe Presidential candidate of the opposition party, All Progressives Congress (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari has promised to implement the 2005 National Gender Policy, to ensure gender equality for Nigerian women.

Buhari, who said this at an interactive session with women from different walks of life, in Lagos, South-west Nigeria, further urged the women to vote out the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, President Goodluck Jonathan in the forthcoming elections.

Top on the list of the promises he made was that gender would be “mainstreamed throughout all government commitments”, in key areas including economy, education, health, security, power, agriculture.

He also promised that the 2005 National Gender Policy “which serves as a road map for promotion of women empowerment and gender equality” will be implemented, noting that the current government had no political will to implement the critical framework.

He also said the promotion of anti-discrimination legislations and women’s rights would afford women equality and equity in several sectors of the economy.

During the question and answer session, some of the women raised several issues including employment opportunities for women and youths, domestic violence, support for the fashion industry, opportunities for women in government, the state of education in the country, affordable housing, cultism in schools, lack of structure in Nollywood, free health care, child marriage etc.

While addressing their concerns, Buhari stressed on the need to ensure stability in the power sector to ensure that entrepreneurs’ business grow, as well as strengthen the naira, which had fallen in value since the oil slump in 2014.

Buhari also addressed concerns about the Chibok schoolgirls, noting that it was an evidence of incompetence “If about 220 children (girls) of ages between 14 and 18 were removed from a single environment and for about a year the government could not secure them”.

Notable APC members at the event were Bola Tinubu, Lagos state governor, Raji Fashola, Lagos APC governorship candidate, Akinwunmi Ambode, Rivers State governor, Rotimi Amaechi, Honourable Abike Dabiri, wife of former Ekiti governor, Mrs Bisi Fayemi, Edo SSG, Patrick Obahiaghon, Deputy Governors of Lagos and Osun states amongst others.

Buhari Assures Of Media Freedom If Elected

buhariFormer Military Head of State and Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari, has assured the Nigerian Media that the industry and its practitioners will not suffer any harassment under his government, should he emerge winner of the March 28 presidential election.

General Buhari, who gave the assurance in Abuja, at a special interactive session with the Nigerian Press Organisation (NPO), however, refused to apologise to the media for the harassment suffered during his term as the military Head of State between 1983 and 1984.

He added that dictatorship goes with military rule, so he cannot change his past but can change the present and the future.

Buhari, who said he is subjecting himself to the rigours of democratic elections for the fourth time, added that if elected, he would continue to promote the consolidation of democracy in Nigeria, by guaranteeing that the media’s freedom is not compromised in any way.

General Buhari further applauded the media for sustaining the nation’s democracy, saying that the constant reminder of those in position of authority of the alleged ills in the society has really helped in bringing some level of sanity.

Buhari Unfolds Plan To Tackle Nigeria’s Challenges

buhariThe presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari, has unfolded his plan to tackle Nigeria’s challenges if elected president.

In a document titled ‘My Covenant With Nigerians’ in which he revealed how his party intends to bring about a change in the country, the former head of state also disclosed what he termed ‘a marshal plan to tackle the Boko Haram insurgency and insecurity’.

Anti-corruption Strategy

On the issue of corruption, General Buhari vowed to publicly declare his assets and liabilities and encourage his political appointees to do the same.

The APC presidential candidate also promised to lead by example and hold all the people who work with him to account.

He stated that part of his anti-corruption strategy was to make the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) an autonomous agency and encourage proactive disclosure of information by government institutions in the spirit of the freedom of information act.

In another development, the national chairman of the party, Mr John Oyegun, advised Nigerians to embrace positive change in order to arrest the nation’s dwindling economic fortunes.

Speaking in Abuja after officially receiving a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Ghali Na’abba, into the APC, Mr Oyegun said corruption was hampering the growth and development of Nigeria as a nation.

The former Speaker, Ghali Na’abba had renounced his membership of the Peoples Democratic Party and announced his membership of the APC.

He stressed the need for Nigerians to team up with the All Progressives Congress in order to rescue the nation.

 

Fayose Won’t Stop Saying The Truth On Buhari, APC – Aide

FayoseSpecial Assistant to the Ekiti State Governor on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, has said that Governor Ayodele Fayose will keep saying the truth about the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its presidential candidate, Major General Mohammadu Buhari (rtd).

Olayinka, who was reacting to statement made by the APC spokesperson in Ekiti State, Taiwo Olatubosun, said; “Too bad that the same Taiwo Olatubosun that led thugs to attack notable elders of Ekiti, including firmer governor, Asiwaju Segun Oni is the one talking here.

“In Ekiti, we say the truth no matter whose ox is gored and that is the trait being exhibited by Governor Ayodele Fayose.

“Governor Fayose is saying the truth about the sick man Buhari that the APC is forcing around as its presidential candidate and it was that Ekiti trait in him that led to the exposure of the shameless lies told by the APC on Buhari’s medical trip to the United Kingdom.

“Unfortunately for the APC, saying the truth is disrespect because in their party, their leaders are like god who does no wrong.

“In the APC, even if their leaders rape a six year old girl, no one must talk. But here in Ekiti, we don’t suffer fools gladly and that explained why we resisted those who tried to colonise us by fighting Kiriji war for nine years.”

APC, Buhari Should Withdraw From Presidential Race – Fayose

fayoseEkiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose has said that the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its presidential candidate, Major General Mohammadu Buhari (Rtd) no longer have moral rights to participate in the March 28 presidential election having lied to Nigerians on several occasions.

According to a press statement issued in Ado-Ekiti by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, the governor alleged that the APC held the nation and the people in contemptuous manner.

The governor, who vowed that Nigeria would never be ruled by deceit, said; “In saner climes, you can’t lie and be discovered to have lied repeatedly as done by the APC and still want to stand for elections.”

Fayose said that: “The new deceit from the APC is to use a photoshopped picture of Buhari for posters in Lagos, making him look like a 50 year old man, whereas he is as old as my mother and cannot survive the rigours of office even as a governor not to talk of President of Nigeria.”

He further noted that it was appalling that despite being found to have lied on several occasions, the APC had never deemed it necessary to apologise to Nigerians for trying to deceive them.

“First, the APC Vice Presidential candidate, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, a supposed pastor posted picture of Reinhard Bonke crusade on his Twitter Handle, claiming that the picture was that of APC campaign rally in Kano” Fayose said.

“Second, the APC claimed that Buhari made a surprise visit to Chibok and went further to lie that the people and parents of Chibok girls were filled with hope and joy upon sighting Buhari and his entourage, and escorted him into Chibok with singing and dancing.

“Third, the APC cabal claimed that Buhari travelled to the United Kingdom on a working visit and used fake pictures to back up their lies that Buhari met with ex-British Prime minister, Tony Blair and had a television interview in London”.

“Even when Buhari’s wife admitted that her husband was in the UK to rest, the APC cabal went on with their lies, using pictures taken in Transcorp Hilton, Abuja as proof of Buhari’s activities in London.

“If a party and its candidate could lie so brazenly as done by the APC and Buhari, do they still have moral rights to want to rule Nigeria?.

“God forbid, can Buhari and his APC cabals that are not truthful about their existence as human beings be trusted to be truthful to Nigerians if they take over power?”.