Jerry Gana Knocks PDP Over Crisis

Jerry Gana, PDPThe leadership of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP has received a knock from one of its own, a former Minister of Information, Professor Jerry Gana

Professor Gana, at a forum in Abuja says the party is being run in the unhealthiest manner which is detrimental to the sustenance of the party.

The former minister wants key leaders of the party to wade into the current crisis rocking the party or else a worse crisis may hit the PDP.

“The bedrock of our democracy in the PDP is ‘Power to the People’. Let the people choose their leaders in free, fair and credible elections. We hate any manipulation and rigging of elections in any form.

“If the PDP is to be revived and remobilised for electoral victory by the grace of God, we must return to this wonderful principle of ‘power to the people’.

“We received painful reports of the poor and shamelessly undemocratic practices during the recently concluded party congresses in several states.

“After the shocking results of the last general elections in 2015, we had hoped that our leaders would have learned serious lessons to make them resolve never again to impose candidates, never again to practice impunity, never again to rig party elections, never again to take the people for granted.

“Yet we find ourselves, in our very eyes, returning to even worse things within our party,” he said.

Another chieftain of the party, Mr Bwala Inuwa, however disagrees with the former minister, saying he has little to add to the repositioning of the party, going by his recent actions.

“They seem to forget that their generation is no longer relevant to contemporary politics and that is why you did not see any politician of note amongst the gathering.

“That is why you did not see anybody coming from his constituency having gone for the party congresses because they cannot go (as) they don’t have anybody at home.

“Gone are the days of gun flaring politics, these are the days of grassroots mobilisation for support for the PDP,” he said.

Police Vow To Enforce Movement Restriction Order In Osun

polceThe Police in Nigeria say it will enforce the movement restriction order put in place to ensure adequate monitoring of the election process. 

In Osun State, the Commissioner of Police (CP), Val Ntomchukwu, assured residents that the Police would strictly enforce the restriction order as stipulated by the Inspector General of Police, to ensure the April 11 polls would be hitch free.

Mr Ntomchukwu gave the assurance while briefing reporters on Thursday, shortly after his visit to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr Adekunle Ogunmola, in his office in Osogbo,the Osun State capital.

Mr Ntomchukwu said he visited the REC to fine-tune improved ways that the Police would help the electoral body ensure air-tight security ‎for a free, fair and credible election.

The Commissioner of Police also said that the Police had taken note identified lapses in the Presidential and National Assembly elections of March 28 and would ensure that security would not be compromised this time.

He said that anyone found guilty of electoral offence would be severally dealt with.

He further advised all public office holders not to go to polling booths with uniformed or armed aides, to avoid breach of the laid down rule of the Inspector General of Police.

Fashola Asks Civil Servants To Vote Wisely

civil servantThe Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, met with civil servants in the state on Thursday, ahead of the 2015 general elections.

Governor Fashola told them to cast their votes wisely, in order to enjoy the dividend of democracy.

The Governor also reminded the civil servants of what he termed “experience”’ in Lagos State, which he said had been that of good partnership between the civil servants and the Executive.

The presidential elections is in less than 28 hours and all efforts are being made to ensure free, fair and credible elections.

Campaigns have ended in Nigeria, with the electoral body, the Independent National Electoral Commission on the other hand doing all it can to ensure a hitch free exercise.

555 PVCs Of Dead Persons Found In Ogun State

ogunAt least 555 Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) belonging to dead residents from the 21 Local Government Areas of Ogun State have been discovered by the electoral commission while giving out the cards to voters.

The dead residents were registered in 2011.

The discovery was made known on Monday by the Ogun State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Timothy Ibitoye.

Briefing reporters in his office at the Presidential Boulevard in Abeokuta, the state’s capital, Mr Ibitoye gave a breakdown of the number of PVCs distributed so far and the number of registered voters in the state.

While putting the records straight on the number of registered voters, the INEC commissioner said 1,795,794 voters registered in the state, as against 1,370,340, being quoted in some quarters.

Mr Ibitoye said the commission had distributed 860,076 PVCs, representing 63 per cent of the total registered PVCs while about 425,454 were still being expected from Abuja.

However, the Ogun INEC informed the residents of its readiness for the forthcoming election, saying that elections would be conducted in all the 3,210 polling units across the 236 wards of the 20 Local Government Areas of the state.

The Ogun State governor, Ibikunle Amosun, had earlier appealed to the INEC to speed up the distribution of the PVCs in the state.

The State government had organised a mobilisation and sensitisation forum, with the aim of educating the electorates on the forth coming general elections.

AD Confident INEC Will Deliver Credible Elections

inecThe leadership of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) has expressed its support and confidence in the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, to conduct free, fair and credible general elections.

The National Vice Chairman of the political party, Mr Muhammed Yakubu, gave the party’s vote of confidence in Abuja while commenting on the recent postponement of the general elections.

Recently the INEC has come under criticism for not being adequately prepared for the 2015 elections.

The Independent National Electoral Commission in Nigeria (INEC) on the February 7 announced a shift in the general elections dates to March 28 and April 11.

Professor Jega said that the Presidential Election would hold on March 28 while the Governorship election would hold on April 11.

The Chairman of the commission said that the decision was not influenced by any group or individuals, adding that “We have done wide reaching consultations to enable us have as much input as necessary before taking an informed decision.

The major opposition party in Nigeria, the All Progressives Congress (APC,) has come down hard on the electoral umpire on the decision to postpone the polls.

The APC Chairman, John Oyegun, in a press statement, also stated that the decision was a major setback for Nigerian democracy, saying “This is clearly a major setback for Nigerian democracy, and our party is meeting in emergency session to study its implications and will inform Nigerians of its decisions in the next few days.

Ogun INEC Says It Is Ready For Elections

2011-ElectionsThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Ogun State has expressed its readiness for the general elections that will begin on February 14, saying that proactive measures have been put in place to ensure a hitch free exercise.

The state’s Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Timothy Ibitoye, gave the assurance at a mobilisation and sensitisation forum organised by the commission at the June 12 cultural centre in Abeokuta, the state capital.

While addressing the gathering, the Governor the State, Mr Ibikunle amosun, appeal to the INEC to speed up the distribution of the Permanent Voter Card (PVC) which has become an issue, saying that about 35% of residents have so far been able to collect their cards.

The mobilisation and sensitisation forum on the 2015 elections brought together members of political parties, organised private sector, members of the European election observers, security chiefs in the state with the aim of educating the electorates on the forth coming general elections. The issue of the Permanent Voter Card seemed to have generated discourse at the occasion. Participants expressed concerns over the distribution and delay this sentiment was also shared by the governor of the state.

While expressing the readiness of the commission for the election, the Resident Electoral Commissioner said that elections would be conducted in all the 3,210 polling units across the 236 wards of the 20 Local Government Areas of the state.

The commissioner also said that the commission was seeking the understanding and cooperation of all stakeholders in the state in its bid to conduct free, fair and credible elections in the state.

As part of efforts to ensure that electorates get their PVCs, the electoral body shifted the deadline for collection of the voters card to February 8, asking all registered voters to go to collection centres in their Local Government Area and pick up their cards.

It expressed optimism that over 80 per cent of the cards would be picked up before the elections begin.

There have been calls for the postponement of the elections since many electorates have not been able to collect their cards, but the electoral body said it had given enough time for the cards to be picked up.

2015 Election: Stakeholders Advocate Financial Autonomy For INEC

INEC-Chairman-Professor-Attahiru-Jega-360x270In order to have a credible and crisis free general election in 2015, various stakeholders have called for a financially autonomous Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to correct the lapses of previous elections.

Various stakeholders made the call at a public lecture titled ‘Challenges of Fraud –Free Elections Under a Democratic Dispensation,’ which was organised by Mustapha Foundation in Ilorin.

A former lecturer of University of Ilorin, Professor Sheu Jimoh, who was the keynote speaker, set the tone for the lecture after he painted a gloomy picture of how difficult it was to organise a credible election in Nigeria, citing several impediments and challenges.

He noted that after almost a hundred years of electoral practices and over fifty years of independence; the country had not evolved an enduring democratic culture.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, who was the chairman of the occasion advised politicians to play the game by the rules and that the security operatives should ensure that people are free to cast their votes without intimidation.

He however lamented that lack of funds for the umpire to conduct election could mar the process. He stressed that if INEC delineates polling booths properly, allow enough time for proper registration of voters and ensure that campaigns are done according to laid down rules, the country could boast of having credible elections.

In his address, the INEC Chairman dwelt on the electoral processes in the country and blamed military incursion as part of the reasons behind unstable democracy in the country.

He noted that various reforms have been introduced since he came on board as the helmsman of INEC, especially in restoring credibility to the electoral process since 2011 elections.

The INEC boss also noted that politicians have a lot of roles to play as it relates to enlightening their agents who usually are not educated on the electoral laws, thereby engaging in acts that could slow down the election process through litigation that could be avoided.

Jega also restated the commitment and readiness of the body to surpass its earlier records, but urged politicians in the country to follow the rules and avoid contravening the Electoral Act.

Retired Justice Mustapha Akanbi and Former President of the Court Of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami also added their voices on the way forward in achieving credible elections in the country.