Ologbondiyan noted that the party’s National Working Committee fixed the screening of aspirants for October 11, while appeals on the screening exercise are scheduled for October 25.
“The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has released its timetable and schedule of activities in early preparation for the June 18, 2022 Ekiti Governorship Election,” the statement partly read.
“In line with the timetable, the National Working Committee (NWC) has approved the Sales of Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms from Monday, September 13 to Thursday, September 30, 2021, with Tuesday, October 5, 2021 as the last date for the submission of forms.”
The PDP spokesman stated that the party’s congresses to elect the 3-man Adhoc Ward delegates have been scheduled to hold from January 7 to January 8, 2022, adding that the local government congresses to elect national delegates will take place on January 15, 2022.
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has held local government congress elections across the country.
The exercise scheduled for Saturday was to elect the leadership of the party at the local government level, and those who eventually become delegates to regional and national congresses and convention.
APC held this second layer of the congresses after it ratified the Ward Congress Appeal Reports across the country.
APC’s Caretaker Committee Chairman and Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni said the court orders from Delta and Akwa Ibom will not stop the process as it does not affect the conduct of the exercise.
He asked party members to abide by the rules governing the election, promising that the party will address all anomalies emanating from the process.
In Lagos State, the congress held in the 20 local government areas.
At the congress held in the Oshodi area of Lagos, officials were chosen by consensus across 11 wards.
Reacting to the exercise, the Chairman of the Oshodi/Isolo Local Government Area, Kehinde Oloyede said the process was peaceful.
He said despite fear that violence would disrupt the election, the exercise was peaceful with delegates exercising their franchise.
“Oshodi is known for violence in the past but it has been peaceful,” he said.
“We went to the general elections, no incident of violence. On getting to this excos, we make sure that we harmonise the list. All the caucuses were fully represented. At a stage, some unscrupulous elements from the state level tried to tinker with the list but the majority will always have their way.”
‘A civilised manner’
In neighbouring Ogun State, Governor Dapo Abiodun joined other APC members to elect delegates for the party at the local government level.
He participated in the exercise at the grounds of St Saviour Anglican Primary School in Ikenne Local Government Area of the state.
Governor Abiodun commended party members for displaying maturity in Ikene and other areas where the exercise held.
“Our party faithful have conducted themselves in a very civilised manner in a very fair process,” the governor said. “The candidates of choice have come out, we queued behind them. The electoral officers have asked if these are the people we want to vote for, we answered in the affirmative. It was largely a consensus arrangement.”
The process went smoothly in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital where voters queued up behind their preferred candidate within the premises of the African Church Grammar School.
Some other top members of the party that participated included former Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, Nigeria’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Senator Tunji Sharafa and the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Lekan Adegbite.
The Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commission has rescheduled the Chairmanship and Councillorship elections initially scheduled to hold on Saturday in four Local Government Areas.
Chairman of the Commission, Saratu Dikko Audu, who announced the suspension on Friday said the decision followed security reports that it will be impossible to conduct a peaceful election in those places.
The affected Local Government Areas are Birnin Gwari, Chikun, Zango Kataf and Kajuru.
Former Military President General Ibrahim Babangida has explained that he annulled the June 12, 1993, presidential election in the overall interest of Nigeria.
The poll, considered as Nigeria’s fairest election, was keenly contested between the candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) Moshood Abiola and Bashir Tofa of the National Republican Convention (NRC).
The SDP flagbearer, better known as MKO Abiola, was believed to be in the lead to become the country’s next president before the election was annulled by Babangida who cited irregularities at the time.
But speaking during an interview on Channels Television’s Newsnight which aired on Monday, the ex-military president blamed his decision on the need to prevent a coup in the country.
“It is a decision we took. I had to take that decision, I did that to the best of my knowledge, in the interest of the country,” he said.
“I did the right thing. I can sit back and say some of the things I said manifested after I had left. We had the coup and that coup lasted for five years.”
While noting that he drew up a plan for national elections to hold in five to six months, Babangida explained that his intention was for the poll to hold in November 1993 after the Interim Government headed by Ernest Shonekan.
He stated that the agreement reached by politicians and groups was for the same set of contestants to recontest in the scheduled polls.
According to the ex-Nigerian leader, the citizens complained that they were tired of elections, thus paving the way for Sani Abacha who ruled the nation for five years.
The immediate past Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson, has taken a swipe at politicians who usually decamp to other parties, describing the situation as an ugly Nigerian politician culture.
Dickson, who currently represents Bayelsa-West in the National Assembly, stated this on Wednesday during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today, noting that the country has not reached its peak with respect to the decamping season.
With the 2023 general elections about 17 months away, the lawmaker predicted that more politicians would cross-carpet from one side of the political divide to another.
Prominent members of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party have switched camp to the All Progressives Congress (APC) recently with Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, leading the league of PDP governors to the ruling party.
Shortly after, Governors Ben Ayade (Cross River) and his Zamfara State counterpart, Matawalle Bello followed suit, despite being elected under the PDP platform in the 2019 general elections.
Just today, a member of the PDP Board of Trustees, Senator Joy Emordi also dumped the opposition party to join the APC train.
Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, on Monday said the chances of the South-East region producing the nation’s presidency in 2023 is in God’s hands.
With the President Muhammadu Buhari administration expected to elapse in about 17 months’ time from now, there has been uncertainty as to which zone would produce the presidency.
While the southern region has been agitating to have the presidential slot, none of the nation’s two dominant parties – All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) – has officially given the slot to the zone.
However, Umahi who decamped from the main opposition PDP to the ruling APC last year, said the chances of the South-East region producing Nigeria’s President under his party, would be determined by God.
Although the governor didn’t specify whether he is against the move or in support, he only said God directs the party’s affairs.
“It’s in the hands of God,” Governor Umahi said during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today, in reaction to the bright chances the Igbos have to be Nigeria’s President under the APC platform.
On whether God is a party member, the governor replied in the affirmative saying: “He is. He directs our affairs. He gives breath to every man so power belongs to God. Whatever thing we wish will come through only through God. If God says yes, no one can say no.”
The Ebonyi governor also backed the APC’s caretaker arrangement, noting that the interim Chairman and Yobe State Governor, Mala Buni is not being paid.
He explained that the committee was set up by the party to do a particular job.
Ahead of the 2023 general elections, former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega has cautioned Nigerians against voting for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Speaking in Kaduna State during an interview with BBC Hausa, the ex-INEC boss argued that the two major political parties were synonymous with corruption, asking the masses to choose a credible alternative.
“The APC and the PDP have [ruled] all we have seen, they do not mean reform,” Jega said. “If you look at the fight against corruption, all the people who are said to be thieves will be punished because they stole under the PDP, now they have defected to the APC, and you are silent.”
“That is why we believe it is time to create a platform for all good people to return to, to contribute to the cause of change in Nigeria.”
Speaking further, the 64-year-old Professor of Political Science at the Bayero University Kano, said he registered as a member of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), to see how he could “help” Nigeria.
He alleged that those in the major political parties have destroyed everything and had made the parties so stigmatised that whichever good person joins the parties would be considered like them.
On the agitations for the country to split, the former INEC boss blamed the move on bad leadership in Nigeria, noting it had thrown the nation into its current problems.
Jega added, “So since these corrupt people have blocked everything, to the point that even if you are a good person if you are in their party and you can’t curse anything, then there should be a different party that will bring good people together.
“Obviously the way I see our politicians running the election and the way they are represented when they are elected is really scary.”
Somalia’s government announced on Thursday that delayed elections would be held within 60 days, following months of deadlock over the vote that erupted into violence in the troubled country.
President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed and state leaders had been unable to agree on the terms of a vote before his term lapsed in February, triggering an unprecedented constitutional crisis.
The political impasse exploded into violence in April when negotiations collapsed and the lower house of parliament extended the president’s mandate by two years, sparking gun battles on the streets of Mogadishu.
Under pressure the president, better known as Farmajo, reversed the mandate extension and ordered his prime minister to reconvene with the leaders of Somalia’s five states to chart a fresh roadmap toward elections.
“About the schedule of elections, the national consultative forum agreed that elections will be held within 60 days,” said deputy information minister Abdirahman Yusuf at the conclusion of five days of negotiations in the capital.
The exact dates for parliamentary and presidential elections would be determined by the electoral board, he added.
“It is a historic day,” said Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble, whose office will take charge of overseeing the electoral process.
Farmajo thanked the various parties for compromising, declaring the outcome “a victory for Somali people everywhere”.
Somalia’s foreign partners — including key backers who threatened sanctions if polls were not quickly held — also welcomed the breakthrough.
“We now urge all stakeholders to move forward swiftly to organize inclusive and transparent elections without delay,” read a statement issued by the UN signed by the US, Britain, EU and other western and regional powers.
Somalia’s elections follow a complex indirect model whereby special delegates chosen by the country’s myriad clan elders pick lawmakers, who in turn choose the president.
The United Nations has described a one-person, one-vote election as essential for Somalia’s democratisation but the milestone has eluded the fragile country for half a century.
Successive presidents have promised a direct vote but political infighting, logistical problems and a violent insurgency by the Al-Shabaab militant group has prevented such an exercise.
– Distrust –
Farmajo and the states agreed in September on a path to elections, again abandoning universal franchise for the indirect model, but increasing the number of delegates to make the process more inclusive.
But distrust over key appointments to crucial election committees, fears of rigging, and concerns about securing the vote itself, scuttled the plan.
Months of UN-backed negotiations failed to get the timetable back on track, with the crisis culminating in parliament approving the mandate extensions despite opposition from the Senate and the states.
The crisis stoked fears of outright civil war as soldiers deserted their posts in the countryside to fight for their political allegiances in the capital.
At least three people died in the clashes, with government losing control of key parts of Mogadishu as roads were sandbagged and fighters with machine guns watched key junctions.
The fighting drove tens of thousands of people from their homes, as the international community called for a ceasefire and urged the warring sides to again come to the table.
Opposition forces withdrew in early May after Roble assured the political opposition that their concerns would be heard.
Somalia has not had an effective central government since the collapse of Siad Barre’s military regime in 1991, which led to decades of civil war and lawlessness fuelled by clan conflicts.
The Horn of Africa country still faces a violent insurgency from the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab group, which controlled the capital until 2011 when it was pushed out by African Union troops.
President Muhammadu Buhari has assured Nigerians that the government’s commitment to free and fair elections will be followed through in future elections,
He said that the bedrock of democracy remains sustenance of the multi-party structure, with trust from citizens.
In an interactive session with some Nigerians in Paris, France, on Wednesday, the President noted that results from elections since he assumed office had been a mixed bag, with the people’s choice playing out, promising to keep the template that had brought more credibility to the electoral process.
“Free and fair election is a great concern. In the last elections, our party lost in some elections and it reflects our position of non-interference.
“Normally those in power will win by hook or by crook. We believe in free and fair elections. I have respect for Nigerians to choose their leaders. We have shown we respect our citizens by allowing them to choose their leaders.
“We gave instructions to security to deal with anyone who uses thugs to disrupt electoral processes. What I can assure you is that you can walk about and around with your head raised high that this administration is committed to a multi-party system,’’ he said.
President Buhari said he had watched Nigerians spend long hours in campaigns listening to candidates since 2003, 2007, 2011, when he contested elections and lost, and the 2015 and 2019 presidential elections, which he won.
“Nigerians deserve respect. I have suffered before, so I know what it means. My duty is to serve Nigeria and Nigerians with all my heart. I assure you that in spite of the ill-luck, with drop-in resources, we will do our best,’’ he added.
The President said investments had been channeled into the agricultural sector, with visible results, explaining that the policy on border closure to neighbouring countries was to protect the economy and improve security.
“The future of Nigeria is in agriculture,’’ he noted.
On security, President Buhari said all the service chiefs were changed in order to inject new energy and ideas into protecting the country, adding that the security chiefs were also given clear targets and timelines.
“We will educate people to develop our country. Our greatest resources are our people and educating them is a priority,’’ the President added.
In his remarks, Nigerian Ambassador to France, Kayode Ibrahim Laro, appreciated the President for always creating time to interact with Nigerians, describing him as the “most friendly President to Nigerians in diaspora’’.
At the meeting, Nigerians in Paris raised issues with the President on security, voting in elections, economy and education.
The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has not yet declared interest to run for the 2023 presidential election.
This is according to his media aide, Laolu Akande, who disclosed this via a statement issued on Monday.
“Prof. Osinbajo has not declared any interest whatsoever in the 2023 election, but he is rather focused on working in his capacity as Vice President in the current administration to address all the compelling issues in the country and concerns of Nigerians, including finding effective and lasting solutions to the security challenges,” he said.
“Therefore, we ask that people desist from such unhelpful permutations while we all deal together with the challenges confronting us as Nigerians, and resolve them for the benefit of our people, peace, and prosperity in the land.”
Akande’s reaction followed a volunteer group mobilising support for Osinbajo ahead of the 2023 presidential election.
The vice president’s spokesman said Osinbajo “is not in any way connected to this website or the group behind it and considers such an enterprise an unnecessary distraction.”
Since the 2015 general elections in the country, 125 cases of electoral offences were filed in various courts out of which 60 convictions have been secured so far, including the most recent one in Akwa Ibom State.
This is according to the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmood Yakubu, who stated this on Wednesday during a one-day public hearing on the National Electoral Offences Commission (Establishment) Bill 2021, organized by the Senate Committee on INEC.
“Of the numerous responsibilities carried out by the Commission, the prosecution of electoral offenders has been one of the most challenging,” he said.
“For instance, since the 2015 General Election, 125 cases of electoral offences were filed in various courts out of which 60 convictions have been secured so far, including the most recent one in Akwa Ibom State.”
He also expressed disappointment over the delay in the passage of the Electoral Act amendment bill, saying barely a year and nine months to the 2023 general election, the National Assembly is yet to pass the bill.
According to the INEC boss, the prosecution of electoral offenders has been one of the most challenging tasks for the commission since its establishment.
Yakubu added, “The commission would like to see more successful prosecution of offenders, not just of ballot box snatchers and falsifiers of election results but most importantly their sponsors.
“We look forward to the day when highly placed sponsors of thuggery, including party chieftains and candidates that seek to benefit from violations of the law, are apprehended. We believe that the work of the proposed Commission will help in this regard,” Yakubu said.