Germany To Hold General Election, Choose Merkel’s Successor By Sept 2021

Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel. PHOTO/AFP


The German government on Wednesday agreed on September 26 next year for the general election to choose a successor to Chancellor Angela Merkel, a government spokeswoman said.

Merkel has said she will not stand for a fifth term and will retire from politics next year after 16 years at the helm of Europe’s top economic power and the EU’s most populous country.

Her departure will mark a new, less certain phase in German politics and at the heart of the European Union, whose rotating presidency Merkel currently holds.

The government “proposes to the federal president the date of Sunday, September 26, 2021 for the election of the 20th Bundestag (lower house of parliament),” spokeswoman Martina Fietz told reporters.

President Frank-Walter Steinmeier must still give his official approval.

The race to fill Merkel’s shoes still looks wide open, as her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party remains embroiled in an increasingly bitter leadership battle that has been extended by the pandemic.

There are currently three hopefuls for the top job in Germany’s biggest party, with a twice-delayed election for a new chief now scheduled for mid-January.

North Rhine-Westphalia state premier Armin Laschet, corporate lawyer Friedrich Merz and foreign affairs expert Norbert Rottgen are vying for the post.

The candidates have proposed an online congress if meeting in person were to be impossible because of restrictions to curb coronavirus transmission.


– Pandemic uncertainty –

The chief of the CDU traditionally leads it and its smaller Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union to the polls.

However given the failure of any of the Christian Democrat candidates to create real momentum at this early stage, CSU chief and Bavarian premier Markus Soeder has been the focus of ardent speculation about a possible run.

Bavaria has been among the states hardest hit by coronavirus infections and Soeder’s robust response to the outbreak has won praise and given him an intense national spotlight.

He leads opinion polls against all three CDU candidates when Germans are asked who they would like to see as their next chancellor.

Yet Germany’s complex coalition maths, the uncertainty created by the pandemic and the absence of Merkel as a foregone conclusion in a German general election could well throw up other surprises.

The Social Democrats (SPD), the country’s oldest party and junior partners in the “grand coalition” government, have haemorrhaged support as the centrist Merkel occupied and helped define the middle ground of Germany’s consensus-oriented politics during her long tenure.

However, pollsters say a more conservative CDU leader could drive some Merkel voters into the arms of the SPD, or the ecologist Greens, in opposition since 2005.

The Greens have benefited from growing concern about the climate, particularly among young voters, while making lasting inroads among urban, affluent Germans.

Polls show increasing openness to a CDU-Greens coalition, which would be a first at the national level in Germany.

The pro-business Free Democrats, frequent kingmakers in German post-war politics, are currently polling in the single digits, as is the far-left Linke.

Meanwhile, the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) has about 10-percent support and is currently the biggest opposition force in the Bundestag lower house of parliament.

But the mainstream parties have ruled out joining forces with it in government.


INEC Is The Most Improved Public Institution In Nigeria – Yakubu


Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, says the Commission is one of the most improved public institutions in Nigeria.

According to him, given the level of improvements recorded in the nation’s electoral system from 1999 to date, the Commission should be rated high when compared with its counterparts in other West Africa countries.

He said this at the 2019 Post-Election Review session with the second batch of Electoral Officers from 18 states, which took place in Abuja on Wednesday.

Read Also: Court Nullifies Criminal Charge Against Gbajabiamila

“Given the size of the voter population, the size of the country, one can very conveniently say, if you look at what happened in our elections from 1999 to date, I have no doubt in my mind that INEC is the most improved public service institution in Nigeria today.

However, we never rest on the understanding that we have done very well. We are convinced that we can do more, therefore, the purpose of this interactive meeting is for us to explore ways and means by which we can improve the system even more,” he said.

Buhari Arrives In Abuja From Daura


President Muhammadu Buhari has arrived in Abuja from Daura – his home town in Katsina State, where he went to participate in the governorship and state assembly elections.

The President landed at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport on Tuesday, days after the conclusion of the elections.

Read Also: Gunmen Kill Policeman, Abduct Three INEC Staff In Katsina

He returned along with his wife, Aisha and they were both received at the airport by security operatives and top government officials.

Appeal Court Sets Aside INEC’s Decision On Zamfara APC


The Court of Appeal in Abuja has set aside a judgment of the Federal High Court, barring the All Progressives Congress from fielding candidates for the general elections in Zamfara State.

The Federal High Court’s judgment had followed the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to bar the APC in the state from fielding candidates.

In the judgment delivered on January 25, 2019, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court, had held that INEC was right to have delisted names of candidates APC presented for the elections.

According to Ojukwu, the APC had failed to conduct a valid primary within the period scheduled by the electoral body.

Read Also: General Elections: INEC Insists APC Cannot Field Candidates In Zamfara, Rivers

But a 3-man panel of the appellate court, led by Justice Abdul Aboki, held that the trial court lacked the jurisdiction to have entertained the suit and that it is an abuse of court process.

Justice Aboki stressed that the suit at the Federal High Court was filed out of time.

According to him, the Electoral Act provides 14 days to institute a suit after the cause of action had arisen, but in this case, the suit was filed 15 days after.

He, therefore, rendered the action incompetent.

The judgment of the Appeal Court comes just hours after the INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, again stressed that the APC in both Zamfara and Rivers States will not field candidates in the forthcoming general elections.

“The position of the Commission remains the position we announced before now, that the parties in question by court order and/by our understanding of the interpretation of the judgments of two courts of co-ordinate jurisdictions delivered same day in the case of Zamfara cannot field candidates in the 2019 general elections for the National Assembly, Governorship and State Assembly elections,” Mr Mahmood said.

INEC Extends Deadline For PVC Collection


The Independent National Electoral Commissioner (INEC), has extended collection of Permanent Voter Cards to Monday, February 11, 2019.

Chairman of the commission, Professor Mahmoud Yakubu, made the announcement on Friday, during a meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners.

With the general elections just days from now, the Commission had announced that the deadline for the collection of PVCs will be today, Friday.

The decision to extend the date was, however, reached after the RECs gave situation reports on the collection of PVCs in their respective states.

Professor Yakubu had stated at an earlier meeting that millions of PVCs were yet to be collected.

Read Also: General Elections: We’ve Removed Over 1,000 Illegal PVCs From Voter System, Says INEC

Meanwhile, in a recent interview with Channels Television, Yakubu said the Commission had expunged over 1000 fake PVCs identified in the country.

He said, “We have liaised with the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS ) and they have done a fantastic job in confiscating cards where there are PVCs from aliens who registered. Remember the law says it is only Nigerians who are entitled to register and vote in our elections.

“I think now we have well over a thousand cards. The last batch submitted was well over 600 cards of aliens who registered and we have registered those from the register.”

The INEC boss also explained that the commission has established a good relationship with the Immigration to identify foreigners who may want to disguise as citizens to vote during the elections.

Campaign Billboards Damaged In Taraba Ahead Of President Buhari’s Campaign


Unknown thugs destroyed campaign billboards in Taraba on Thursday ahead of President Muhammadu Buhari visit to the state.

The president’s visit was for the continuation of the presidential campaign of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Residents of Jalingo, the Taraba State capital, reportedly woke up today to find many of the campaign billboards belonging to both the APC and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), damaged by yet-to-be-identified persons.

READ ALSO: We Have Done Quite Well In Security, Buhari says in Ekiti

The residents who confided to Channels Television expressed fears over the development, especially following sounds of gunshots heard in the early hours of the day.

Neither the police nor party representatives have made any comments regarding the destruction of the party banners.

President Buhari who is seeking re-election for another term in office wooed the electorates in the state ahead of the February 16 presidential elections.

After his visit to Taraba, the President’s campaign train headed down to neighbouring Adamawa state.

Former President Of Liberia, Ellen Sirleaf Visits IGP, Calls For Free, Peaceful Elections


Head of the ECOWAS Election Observer Mission for the 2019 elections, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, has asked the police to ensure a peaceful, free and fair general election.

She made the call on Wednesday when she visited the acting Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu.

Sirleaf, however, commended the police for what she described as their professionalism in the run up to the elections.

Read Also: Sirleaf Meets With INEC Chairman, Officials Ahead Of Elections

In response, the IGP said police personnel are fully prepared for a hitch-free exercise.

According to him, they have been trained in various aspects of election security matters, before, during and after the elections.

Later on, she visited the National Peace Committee where she met with the Director of the Kukah Center and head of the National Peace Committee secretariat, (Reverend Father) Atta Barkindo.

Barkindo briefed her on some of the challenges faced by the committee especially the arduous task of brokering peace accords among political parties at the state level particularly in violence-prone areas.

Madam Sirleaf thanked him for the work done by the committee especially the signing of the Peace Accord on December 11, 2018.

She said their commitments are well known across the continent and she would be looking forward to more engagements with the committee.

Titi Drums Up Support For Atiku, Asks Nigerians To Vote Out APC

Titi Drums Support For Atiku, Asks Nigerians To Vote Out APC
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar’s wife, Mrs Titi, speaks at the palace of the Emir of Ilorin in Kwara State on February 5, 2019.


The wife of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Mrs Titi, has called on Nigerians to vote out the All Progressives Congress (APC) led Federal Government in the coming polls.

She made the call at the palace of the Emir of Ilorin in the Kwara State capital on Tuesday, less than two weeks to the general elections.

Titi said her husband, who is seeking to be president on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as the only child of his mother loves women and would not forget them.

She also assured Nigerians that if Atiku was elected, states would be allowed to develop their natural resources and pay tax to Federal Government.

The PDP candidate’s wife who spoke in Yoruba explained that this would ensure job security and reduce relying on federal revenue all the time.

READ ALSO: ‘Another Abacha Era Is Here’, Obasanjo Slams Buhari Again

She noted that 40 per cent of the appointment in Atiku’s administration would be reserved for the youths.

Titi further painted a gloomy picture of the country and asked Nigerians to rise up to the challenge, stressing that women would not be allowed to be intimidated on the day of the election.

She also gave an assurance that Atiku would see to the implementation of restructuring to the letter if elected president.

Atiku’s wife paid homage to the traditional ruler in company with the wives of the PDP vice presidential candidate, Senate President, and Kwara State Governor among others.

See photos of the visit below;

Youths Hold Rally In Katsina, Call For Violence-Free Elections


Some youths in Katsina State, under the auspices of ‘Vote Not Fight, Election No Be War’ campaign have staged a rally, calling for a violence-free general election.

The youths who joined some of their counterparts in other states said they were matching towards the headquarters of the Police and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the state.


Onnoghen’s Suspension ‘Undercuts’ Resolve To Ensure Credible Polls, Says US

Extradition Proceedings: Improper Service Stalls Hearing Of Kashamu’s Suit

‘Work Together To Ensure Your Votes Count’, US Ambassador Tells Nigerians

According to the state coordinator of the group, Bishir Dauda, who spoke to Channels Television, they were going to present a letter calling for impartiality and neutrality among the two agencies.

With Just 11 days to the elections and increased campaigns from various political parties, several groups have called for a free and fair exercise.

The US, among others, has also joined the call for a violence-free election.

In a broadcast shared on social media earlier today, the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington, called on Nigerians to work together and ensure that their votes count.

Ohaneze Ndi Igbo, Northern Elders Forum, Others Endorse Atiku For President


Leaders of the Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo, Northern Elders Forum, Pan-Niger Delta forum, the Middle Belt Forum, and a faction of Afenifere have endorsed Atiku Abubakar as their presidential candidate.

Speaking at a meeting tagged: Summit of Nigerian Leaders and Elders, the leaders noted that they arrived at the conclusion after series of meetings with the presidential candidates in the past months.

They accused President Muhammadu Buhari of dividing the country and not having control of the presidency.

Read Also:  Atiku Takes Campaign To Abia, Seeks Traditional Rulers’ Support

They, therefore, believe that the PDP candidate has better plans for Nigeria compared to that of the APC-led Federal Government.

In attendance for the meeting were; Dr Pogu Bitrus (Middle Belt Forum), Ago Abdullahi (Northern Elders Forum) and Ayo Fasanmi (Afenifere).

Others were Edwin Clarke (Pan Niger Delta Forum), John Nwodo (Ohanaeze Ndigbo) and Buba Galadima.

Uncollected PVCs Set Ablaze At INEC LGA Office In Abia


Thousands of uncollected Permanent Voter Cards have been set ablaze by unknown persons who broke into the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Abia State on Sunday.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner, Joseph Iloh, confirmed this to Channels Television on Sunday.

According to him, the attackers broke in through the window of the office and set ablaze about 15,000 uncollected PVCs, as well as the register containing the list of all registered voters.

Read Also: Osinbajo’s Helicopter Crash-Lands In Kogi State

Iloh, however, said that the Commission has the authentic list of registered voters at its headquarters in Umuahia, the state capital.

The Police, on the other hand, say they are investigating the matter and the perpetrators of the crime will be brought to book.

The incident is coming just days to the general elections.


Anyaoku Calls For Free And Fair Elections, Nigeria’s Return To True Federalism



Elder statesman and former Commonwealth Secretary-General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, has asked the Federal Government to reconsider its stance on the call for restructuring and return to true federalism.

According to him, the country is under-performing and lacking national cohesion like never before, a situation he believes can only be resolved by restructuring its present governance architecture.

He said, “Judged by all the relevant indices, Nigeria today is clearly underperforming and lacking national cohesion as never before.

“If our country is to succeed on the road to political stability and realisation of its rich development potential, it must, by restructuring its present governance architecture.

“It must return to the true federalism that it practiced in the years before the military intervened in our national politics”.

With the general elections just days away, Chief Anyaoku who was speaking at a symposium to unveil the new logo of The Nigerian Tribune on Tuesday, also called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure a credible exercise.

READ ALSO: NJC Gives Onnoghen, Acting CJN Seven Days To Respond To Petitions

According to him, the international community is watching to see how far the nation’s Constitution is respected.

He said, “As our country is preparing for the general elections in two weeks time, I have three observations to address the Nigerian government, INEC and others.

“First, Nigeria’s friends and the whole of the international community are watching… watching the behaviour of Federal Government and its agencies, including especially the police, the army and the other law-enforcement instruments, to see how far we respect the country’s Constitution, our Nigerian government, like all other governments over the world, while of course guiding its sovereignty should pay heed to the views of the international community otherwise, the country will return to the pariah status which it happily exited in 1999 when it once more embraced democracy.

“My second observation is that INEC had earned deserved compliments for its commendable handling of the last gubernatorial elections in Ondo and Anambra States.

“But it must be admitted that it attracted criticisms for its conducting subsequent similar elections in both Ekiti and Osun.

“I urge INEC to remain aware of the fact that the credibility of the results of our forthcoming elections will depend on the level of impartiality and transparency it demonstrates in ensuring all aspects of the elections are free and fair, thereby making the results to truly represent the will of the people”.