Ikpeazu Impressed With Abia Polls, Advocates Electronic Voting

 Ikpeazu Impressed With Abia Polls, Advocates Electronic VotingAbia state Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, has advocated the use of electronic voting systems in the state for future elections.

He said this after commending the conduct of the electoral process of the local government election which took place on December 21.

Although reports from officials said there seemed to be lack of enthusiasm on the path of voters, asides other hitches, the governor believes the turnout was rather impressive because of the strategy put in place by the electoral umpire in the state.

“Some of the people you see around may have voted, it does not mean when you see them outside the polling booth attending to their businesses, that indicates that the turnout was not impressive.

“I think people are voting and going about their lawful duties, the method adopted by ABSIEC enables one to vote at his/her will and not to cluster in one place.

“I rather commend that going forward, even as we are voting, we can also attend to our legitimate businesses, and if we imbibe electronic voting system it will be better”.

The opposition candidate on the other hand, described the conduct of the election as a scam and called for the cancellation of the entire exercise because according to them, “ABSIEC did not adequately prepare to give Abians a free and fair election”.

A Chairmanship candidate, Nkemakolam Ogene, blamed the police and electoral umpire for the lapses, such as delay of electoral materials and even some voters began to lament that they had already been disenfranchised.

The police however countered the claims, stating that there were adequate security and personnel on ground but the people were foot dragging and slowing down the process.

Lamenting, Ogene said: “ABSIEC fixed a date for this election, they are supposed to be prepared, it is a shame to note that they are bringing the materials now and the time is about three o’clock and election is ending by four o’clock.

“Are we going to cast our votes in the night when our elders, are tired and have gone home, the only explanation given by the ABSIEC official for this gross misconduct is that he does not have adequate security but we were told that adequate security was made for this election and the official that is supposed to come here is saying that from the local government headquarters to the polling booth, there is no provision of security to escort the materials.

“So I am saying that the election should be cancelled and rescheduled because this is not an election”.

Police Commissioner, Oyebade Adeleye, refuting the statement said:

“I went there personally, I was at Ubakala, Umuahia South LGA and the recordings made can testify to it.

“The people were foot dragging and signal and body language suggest that they did not want to go on with the exercise.

“I did try to talk to them that there is security; so, that version of inadequate police is not correct,” he added.

Amidst collation of results and call by the opposition to cancel the exercise, the people are anxiously waiting to see where the tides would rest.

Electoral Materials Arrive Cross-River Ahead of Saturday’s Polls

election The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Cross River State, Sylvester Ezeani has taken delivery of all necessary materials ahead of Saturday’s election.

Receiving the materials at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) headquarters in Calabar, the State Capital, Ezeani reiterated the preparedness of the commission to hold Saturday’s polls devoid of challenges as witnessed during the March elections.

Mr Ezeani maintained that, over 2000 card readers to be used for the polls have been effectively reconfigured to enable the machines function effectively without causing unnecessary delays as experienced during the last elections.

Mr Ezeani however, assured the people of the State, of conducting a free, fair and credible polls acceptable by the electorates.

Osun Election: Governor Aregbesola Woos Voters In Ede

Gov aregbesola campaignThe Governor of Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola, has disclosed  during a campaign rally that he has delivered all his campaign promises embedded in a six point integral action plan to the people whose mandate he sought in the 2003 election.

Governor Aregbesola made this assertion in Ede town while addressing thousands of the jubilant supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who were out to receive his campaign train.

The Governor, who spoke to the people in native language ahead of the August 9 governorship election in the state, spoke of his achievements to the  people and urged them to vote massively for the All Progressives Congress to ensure continuity and sustenance of people oriented projects in the state.

At the occasion, Governor Aregbesola also enjoined the people to ensure that their votes count and a free and fair election, devoid of violence, is conducted in Osun State.

Speaking in the same vain, former Governor of the old Oyo State, Dr. Omololu Olunloyo, said that it was important for people’s votes to count in any election and advised the jubilant crowd to conduct themselves in an orderly manner during and after the election.

Constitution Amendment: Nigerians Not Involved In Process – Lawyer

The National Publicity Secretary of the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties, Osita Okechukwu, has said the ongoing constitution amendment by the National Assembly does not reflect the ‘yearnings’ and ‘aspirations’ of Nigerians.

Speaking on Channels Television’s flagship programme, Mr Okechuchwu faulted the manner in which members of the National Assembly are going about amending the Nigerian constitution, which he described as ‘rigid’.

“You cannot just amend the constitution by what the National Assembly says without going to the state House of Assemblies and returning to Mr President,” he said.

He added that the members of the National Assembly, from their first effort, have not actually looked into the yearnings and the aspirations of the Nigerian people”. This he added, runs against the tenets of democracy which “is about the aspirations of the people”.

Commenting on the controversial autonomy for local government councils in Nigeria, he said that no council in the country is fulfilling its mandate.

“The councillors we have today are behaving exactly like the councillors we had under military regimes.

The primary functions of the local government council as stated in section 7 of the 1999 constitution is not being followed.

He also said that there’s no local government council in Nigeria that approximates one tenth of the proviso of that same constitution.

He raised the issue of economic planning board which is non-existent in any local government, against the directive of the constitution.

He said that the local governments need autonomy because they are faced with challenges peculiar to their people and environment.

LG council elections

Mr Okechuchwu questioned the way local government council are formed, adding that “there’s no political party in Nigeria today that has conducted free and fair local government election.”

He also said that the process by which local government councils come into being is questionable and the people are yet to feel the impact of these institutions.

“In the past 10 years, there’s no local council that gets less than a N100million every month” but Nigerians are saying they don’t feel the impact of these funds.

Watch complete interview for more details.