IPAC Advocates Amendment Of Electoral Act

IPAC Advocates Amendment Of Electoral ActThe Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) has advocated the need for amendment of the 2010 Electoral Act ahead of the 2019 general elections.

The National Chairman of IPAC, Mr Mohammed Nalabo, said this on Wednesday while addressing a news conference at the end of the Council’s general assembly meeting in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Mr Nalabo noted that an amendment of the act would reduce the spate of inconclusive elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

“IPAC is working assiduously with INEC to strengthen the capacity of political parties through voter education, sensitisation of members and the general public, to completely minimise inconclusive elections and promote level playing ground for all political parties.

“We commend INEC in its recent step to discipline erring staff that were allegedly involved in corrupt electoral malpractices.

“IPAC is calling on the constitutional and electoral committee to work assiduously with the National Assembly to ensure effective and prompt amendments of 2010 Electoral Act before the 2019 general elections.

“IPAC urges political parties to imbibe internal democracy in carrying out their activities; we are worried about the increasing leadership disagreement in some political parties.

“We urge leaders of the affected political parties to embrace dialogue and political solution to resolve their differences,” said the IPAC Chairman.

Seven Parties To Participate In Yobe LG Election – IPAC

IPAC, Yobe LG ElectionThe Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) in Yobe State says seven political parties will participate in the Local Government (LG) election slated for February 11, 2017.

The State Chairman of IPAC, Mr Umar Kukuri, made the disclosure during an interview with reporters in Damaturu, Yobe State’s capital, in northeast Nigeria.

Mr Kukuri said: “The seven political parties have already conducted their various primary elections in which their respective candidates have emerged, submitted to the State Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC) and screened by the electoral commission”.

The seven parties are PDC, SDP, CPP, ACD, APC, NCP and MPPP.

The IPAC Chairman hinted that campaigns had commenced across the state with political parties canvasing for support ahead of the poll.

He asked SIEC to ensure a free and fair election that would be accepted by all the political parties and observers nationally.

Kukuri also appealed to the political parties to conduct themselves according to the rules of the game and avoid issues that could breach peace in the state before, during and after the election.

He praised security operatives in the state for ensuring peace in the previous elections and urged them to maintain the same tempo during the imminent poll.

Hitch Free Election

The chairman further commended the Yobe State government for conducting the election despite the security threat poised by the Boko Haram insurgents.

“The council wishes to appreciate the Yobe State government for promoting democracy throughout the conduct of the local government election.

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“It is noteworthy that the Yobe State government had consistently conducted LG elections in spite of security challenges faced by the state. While states without such challenges failed to conduct LG elections, the council elections are being conducted in Yobe.

“As democrats and proud citizens of the state, it is to the credit of the state government that the council elections of 2015 encouraged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct the 2015 general elections in the northeast region that was bedevilled by serious security challenges,” he said.

Mr Kukuri assured the people of the state that IPAC would work with all the participating political parties to ensure a hitch-free election.

The last time Yobe State held an LG election was in 2014 at the heat of the Boko Haram insurgency.

Party Advisory Council Calls For Postponement Of Abia Election

Party Advisory Council Calls For Postponement Of Abia ElectionThe Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) in Abia state, has called on the State Independent Electoral Commission (ABSIEC), to shift the date of the December 17, 2106 election to a later date to enable the parties prepare well.

The body is made up of stakeholders and representatives of all the political parties in the state, with one agenda to beckon on the chairman of ABSIEC to shift the local government election date, as a result of numerous complaints from all quarters.

Furthermore, it is expected to call for a round table discussion and harmonize the complaints so as to allow for a peaceful conduct of the election.

At a briefing in Umuahia, on Monday, the Chairman of IPAC, Emeka Okafor, said that the parties did not have enough time to discuss with the State Electoral umpire on the issues of high fees and stringent time table, that are conflicting with the preparation, as it offers limited time for party candidates to campaign.

According to him, the parties should be allowed to have enough time to play their own internal democracy in order to produce a credible candidate for the election.

He therefore urged ABSIEC to do the needful in ensuring a peaceful conduct of local government polls.

“We are gathered here today to let the world know that the body of all political parties in Abia State, known as IPAC, for want of equity and level playing ground for all the political parties and candidates contesting in the December 17, 2016 election, has resolved to ask the ABSIEC chairman to move this election date pending the preparations of the political parties and their candidates.

He stressed that “the reason behind this demand is because of the numerous complaints from the candidates contesting this elections, ranging from high fees as well as inadequate time for parties to prepare.

“This election is a grass root election, an election that involves our old men and women in the village, an election that interprets a lot in our democracy.

“So, if we cannot give our villagers what they want, if we cannot give them the right candidate, it will mess up the entire democracy of the state and the country, that is why we are demanding for more time for the candidates to campaign and hence we are calling for the postponement of the election, Mr Okafor stressed.

These issues are coming barely some weeks after the body, met with the state government to discuss the way forward but apparently the promises made may not have been kept leading to a vote of no confidence on the commission and the fear that Abians may not get a free and fair LG polls.

According to the Chairman, All Progressive Congress Abia State, Donatus Nwankpa, “the issue is that a lot of things have arisen in the course of this preparation and move towards the election.

“ABSIEC on her own has violated all the designated time and dates in their time table and as such we cannot be held responsible that we are the cause of this shift.

“This shift has become necessary in view of their lackadaisity, urseriousness and incompetence as most of their programs are not in tandem with that of the political parties,

“I must tell you that the members of IPAC are interested in this election ,we cannot be against the election at the local government level after all, the ruling party appoints their persons at the local government system it has been operating.

“So I believe this is the chance for all to contest and having looked at all the reasons before us, we cannot be guaranteed of a free and fair election because we want circumstances that would give us justice and give the people and candidates the desired confidence that this election would not be stage managed. that is the issue on ground,” Nwankpa said.

The ruling party in the state has however kicked off their campaign for the local government election, while the decision of the Abia electoral body to yield to the demand of the stakeholders, would be determine in the days ahead.

LG Polls: Abia Gov. Meets With Inter-Party Advisory Council

okezie ikpeazu LG Polls: Abia Gov. Meets With Inter-Party Advisory CouncilThe Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu has challenged members of the Abia State chapter of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) to join forces with his government to develop the state.

Ikpeazu made request at the Government House, Umuahia, when he received members of the Inter-Party Advisory Council.

The Governor expressed shock that IPAC has not been getting on well with the Abia State Independent Electoral Commission (ABSIEC) and promised to engage the chairman of the commission to carry them along in their activities.

Ikpeazu promised to provide subvention to all the parties involved in the December local government polls as well as encourage women to participate in the elections.

He regretted that the desperation of some politicians has adversely affected the ideals of democracy in the state.

“My view on the use of transition committee chairmen in running the local governments is that it is definitely playing a negative role in deepening democracy in the country.

“And Abia State has lost a lot in terms of experience in the last 10 years that elections have not been conducted into the councils. Therefore, the decision to embark on local government election is the right thing to do.

“As stakeholders you have a lot to contribute towards the development of the state, which will lag behind except there is peaceful coexistence.

“I appreciate this delegation for the sentiments towards the development of the state and in my capacity as your governor I promised to assist you. This is because this administration’s policy is to engage strategic and critical stakeholders from time to time,” the Governor said.

Meanwhile, the chairman, Inter-Party Advisory Council, Emeka Okafor, pleaded with the Governor to prevail on the chairman of Abia State Electoral Commission to drastically reduce the fees payable by the political party aspirants to enable them participate actively in the December 17, 2016, local government elections.

He said: “We are here to identify with you, our governor on the good works you are doing in the state.

“The duty of the Inter-Party Advisory Council is to work with the Abia State Independent Electoral Commission to enthrone fairness, objectivity in the electoral process.

“We are optimistic that the desire of all Abians to ensure their votes count during the LG Polls would be a reality.”

On his part, state chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Donatus Nwankpa, promised the Governor that APC in the state would ensue peace and nonviolent polls.

“Abia State is our own. All we need is credibility on the part of the electoral umpire in the conduct of the local government election.

“We thank you, Governor Ikpeazu, for the promise to urge the ABSIEC Chairman to reduce the fees payable by parties, it would go a long way to resolve a lot of issues,” he said.

APC Wins All 57 Chairmanship Seats In Ogun LG Election

APC, ImpeachmentThe Ogun state All Progressives Congress, APC has won all the 57 chairmanship seats in the election into 20 local government areas held on Saturday  and 37 local council development areas. 

As announced by the Ogun State Independent National Electoral Commission (OGSIEC), the party also won 346 of the 349 councilor seats while the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) won two councilor seats and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) settled for one seat.

Meanwhile the results of the election have been met with mixed reactions, as the Peoples Democratic Party has called for the total cancellation of the election

The PDP said that the results are not a true reflection of the wishes and aspirations of the electorates who came out to cast their vote for the representatives of their choice.

The Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) has, however, said that this was far from what happened at the polls.

Yobe IPAC Disagree With INEC Over By-Election Timetable

Voter-register-INEC-2015-electionThe Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) in Yobe State has expressed displeasure with the timetable released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for a planned by-election into a vacant National Assembly Office in the northeast Nigerian State.

The vacant office is sequel to the nomination of Hon Khadija Bukar Abba Ibrahim of the House of Representatives to serve in the cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari.

INEC had scheduled the by-election to hold on February 27 to fill the vacuum created by the exit of Mr Ibrahim who is now the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.

While addressing reporters on Wednesday in Damaturu the capital of the State, the Chairman of IPAC in the state, Umar Kukuri, said the three weeks given for political parties to prepare for the conduct of the election was inadequate.

They sought for an extension.

“The council wishes to note with concern the timing of the election is inadequate for us to mobilise our electorate to participate in the election.

“In view of this therefore, we wish to appeal to INEC to extend the time by two months for adequate preparation on their part and our part as political parties,” Mr Ibrahim stressed.

The party emphasised that some electorate in the state were in faraway Gombe, Bauch, Kano and Kaduna States and needed sufficient time to mobilise them for effective participation.

Some politicians in an interview at the media briefing called for more time, as the constituency that the election would be held was worse hit by the current insecurity problem bedevilling the state.

They pointed out that an extension would afford the political parties more time to mobilise their members for credible and acceptable polls.

The spokesman for INEC in Yobe State, Mr Bagudu Nna, in response to the request of IPAC, said INEC had taken its stand on the issue, as they were already implementing the decision of the National secretariat.

He urged Yobe IPAC to channel its grievances to electoral body’s national headquarters.

The election will be conducted in Gujba, Gulani, Damaturu and Tarmuwa Federal Constituency located in Yobe East Senatorial Zone of the state.

IPAC Election:Two Factions Lay Claim To Leadership

IPAC-Card-ReaderA deep gulf has emerged within the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), with two factions laying claim to the leadership of the body.

The Chairman of one of the factions, Bashir Ibrahim was inaugurated by the Acting National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Amina Zakari.

However, the outgoing National Secretary of the body, Mr Peter Ameh, claimed he was elected at another election held on Tuesday, August 25.

Mrs Zakari said the election followed due process, hence the inauguration of the executives led by Mr Ibrahim.

But Mr Ameh explained that the previous election was disputed and claimed he won the election conducted on Tuesday.

Group Asks INEC To Send Card Readers To Polling Units Early

Card_Reader_For_Election-in-Nigeria2The national chairman of Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), Dr Yunusa Tanko, has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to provide card readers to all polling units before the February polls.

At a press conference in Abuja on Saturday Mr Tanko said that the provision of Permanent Voters Cards (PVC) and card readers would prevent fraud and encourage voters to participate in the elections.

He also encourage INEC to do all it could to enable Internally Displaced Persons vote during the polls.

“No PVC, no election. No card reader, no election. This is the crux of the matter of our agreement in the last meeting we held with the INEC.

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Yinusa Tanko told reporters that the PVC and the card reader were crucial for the election

“The Inter-Party Advisory Council, a conglomerate of all political parties in Nigeria is saying that the time for rigging is over,” he said.

It is less than 35 days to the general elections that Nigerians have been looking forward to.

The group gathered to educate the masses on elections ethics. The members marched round Abuja, distributing elections code of conduct produced by the INEC to citizens.

During the press briefing, which was held before the march, the council spoke on the need for the electoral commission to ensure that the card readers would be enough during the polls.

The Head of ICT with the INEC, Mr Chidi Nwanfor, had in an earlier forum with civil society organisations promised the possibility of using a card reader technology during the February polls.

“As we talk now, if  you go to our stores you will find these card readers there, waiting to be used for the elections,” he said.

The INEC had insisted that voters without the PVC would not be allowed to vote.

Already, politicians have begun intensive campaign around Nigeria, seeking voters support in the election that will hold in February to determine who manages Nigeria’s affairs in the next four years.

INEC Urges Parties To Educate Poll Agents Ahead Of 2015 Election

PVC DistributionThe Independent National Electoral Commission has urged political parties in Nigeria to educate their election monitoring agents on current electoral practices to ensure credible polls in 2015.

Chairman of the Commission, Professor Attahiru Jega, told journalists at a training session for party agents that agents who are informed about electoral process help authenticate the outcome of elections.

Speaking to Channels Television afterwards, Professor Jega said; “For party agents to be able to discharge these responsibilities, they need to be properly and adequately trained and as INEC we believe that our vision will be to train master trainers for political parties so that they can go back and train and have very credible agents who are knowledgeable about the electoral process and who would be able to play a good role for the parties they represent.”

This submission was shared by the Electoral Institute and the Inter-Party Advisory Council who noted that party agents in Nigeria were yet to understand their statutory roles during elections.

The Director-General of the Electoral Institute, Abubakar Momoh, said; “Our little knowledge and the short political history of the country show that some of these party agents do not seem to understand their statutory role and ethical best practices in term of what is expected of them when they go to polling units.

“What we are trying to do in INEC is to go to this 3-day training to equip them and introduce the various technical issues involved with being a party agent at a polling unit.”

The Chairman of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), Yunusa Tanko, added that it was one of the major factors needed towards achieving credible elections.

“The agent has a very serious, important and critical role to play in electioneering. Once he has the right materials and the training, he will give paid to the election that has taken place, thereby knowing exactly what the procedures are,” he said.

Electoral Act Must End Political Cross Carpeting – Tanko

Yinusa TankoThe Chairman, Inter Party Advisory Council, Yinusa Tanko, believes that the recognition given to the idea of cross carpeting by politicians should be expunged from the Electoral Act.

Speaking on Channels Television, he noted that the lack of laws that would stand the test of time had been the reason why the Nigerian political system had lost its values.

He wondered why any politician should be allowed to trade the trust given to him by the people with another party that they did not support.

Tanko revealed that the discussions at the recently held National Political Summit bordered on issues concerning all political parties, including that of cross carpeting. He noted that if the recommendations are well adopted, it would bring sanity to the system.

He disclosed that the major step needed after the summit was to ensure that the next Electoral Act does not allow any elected politician to cross carpet into another party.

How much influence a political party has on the success of the candidate also came to the fore, as it is believed that some persons boost the party’s chances by their popularity rather than being helped by the party to win elections.

Tanko insisted that the candidate was bound by the political party he contested on and could only ride on his personal popularity on the platform of another party. This was after sharing the view that Nigeria was not yet mature for independent candidature.

He also believed that political parties would be able to agree on putting an end to the issue of cross carpeting as the issue has not favoured any of the political parties and it had become important for all the parties to jointly work against it.

Tanko said that his party the NCP would not accept any candidate from another party; no matter how popular he is, as long as he is occupying an office under his party.

“What is wrong is wrong”, he said, noting that his party was built on strong values.

He explained that the IPAC was a common front where parties discuss internal issues and there were plans to come up with ways of calling political parties with disciplinary issues to order.

This, according to him, includes utterances made by politicians, stating that issues of education, housing and development should form the core content of their public statements. While admitting that politicking had a place in contests, he advised that such should be based on developmental issues.

He revealed that the organisation embarked on this campaign in Anambra State leading to the governorship election to sensitize the people about what to pay attention to but could not do same in Ekiti due to certain constraints.