Nnamani-led Electoral Reform Panel Presents Report To AGF

Senator Ken NnamaniThe Constitution and Electoral Reform Committee has submitted its report to the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.

Chairman of the committee and a former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, presented the findings of the committee to the Minister on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said the committee undertook a zonal investigation approach to come up with four draft bills that would enhance Nigeria’s electoral system, if passed into law.

Senator Nnamani pointed out that a major challenge in the nation’s electoral process was the collation centre, which he said was fraught with corruption and corrupt officials.

The Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, on his part said the Federal Government has begun to sanitise the electoral system.

He promised that the report would be transmitted to President Muhammadu Buhari, who he said would do same to the National Assembly for speedy passage into law.

The committee was set up by the Federal Government in October 2017, to make recommendations that would help improve Nigeria’s electoral system.

Atiku Hints At 2019 Presidential Run

The intrigues of the fast approaching 2019 General Elections, appears to be taking definite shape as a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar is hinting that he may participate in the 2019 presidential race.

The nation’s former number two citizen hinted at his ambition, while giving a lecture on issues of national unity and prospects for national restructuring.

The longtime presidential aspirant joined a former Senate President, Ken Nnamani to speak at a launch of a newspaper publication in the nation’s capital.

“Controversies have sometimes threatened the very existence of our country. The country is truly at a crossroad and things are made worse by the cocktail of economic, social and political problems which we have had to contend with.

“Poor GDP growth rate, millions of school age children, out of school – I believe with the right kind of leadership, the right kind of vision, we can transform this country in less than eight years.

“When I first went to Dubai in 2007, none of the infrastructure that you see today in Dubai was there but because there was vision, leadership, look at where they are today – We can do it,” Mr Abubakar asserted.

FG Holds Public Hearing On Electoral Reform

Ken-Nnamani-SenateThe Federal Government has begun its south-south public hearing session on electoral review in Calabar, the Cross River State capital.

Led by a former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, the event is part of government’s plan to strengthen the electoral system in Nigeria, as a means towards a more flexible constitution.

Speaking at the occasion, Senator Nnamani said if Nigeria can get her electoral processes right, every other thing would naturally take shape and development will thrive.

He disclosed that the committee would discuss both the national and state electoral processes, as to whether both should stand or just the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and other issues to be discussed will bother on the candidates, especially after elections have been won.

On his part, the Deputy Governor of Cross River State, Professor Ivara Esu, urged the committee to deliberate on fraudulent practices by various party members from cross-carpeting to other parties at will after elections have been won.

He also asked the committee to check various actions taken at party levels which he described as being fraudulent.

Three Serving Southeast Governors To Join APC Soon – Okorocha

Imo Govt. Floats New Airline Says It Will Boost State EconomyThe Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, has disclosed that three serving southeast governors would soon join the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The governor disclosed during the APC southeast stakeholders’ meeting at the Imo International Conference Centre in Owerri, the state’s capital.

He called on the people of the region to continue to support the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration so that the Igbos would not be left out in the scheme of things at the national level.

Governor Okorocha further disclosed that as a former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, joins the APC, the vacuum of a national leader would be filled.

“Now that Igbo leaders are together in APC, Nigerians will hear us. There is a vaccum of leadership in the Southeast APC.

“I am a governor, my brothers Chris Ngige and Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu are Ministers; hence the importance of Ken Nnamani coming at this time.

Right Party For The Igbos

“I decline of the leadership of Ndi-Igbo in APC. With Ken Nnamani, the question of who is the leader of APC in the southeast has been answered. Ken Nnamani is the leader of APC in the southeast.

“Senator Nnamani should then work with other leaders like Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Jim Nwobodo and a host of others to give Ndi-Igbo political direction.

“Those who have joined the party or who want to join should do so to build the party and not to cause confusion. APC is the right party for the Igbos and the only party that can guarantee Igbo presidency.

“We are going to support President Muhammadu Buhari for the eight years he is going to lead the nation.

“This is the time for Ndi-Igbo to come and work together. We are also going to use the Anambra election to show that APC has arrived southeast.

“The Igbos played bad politics in 2015. Today we have lost a lot. We are not anywhere because of our bad politics,” Okorocha added.

Politics Of Ideas

Supporting the notion, Senator Nnamani said the Igbos need more of their representatives at the national leadership of the APC where decisions were made, and even at the National Assembly and other strategic areas.

“Some of us going into APC are not doing so because of hunger, but in the interest of the Igbos.

“We should play politics of ideas, and avoid abusive words. Ndi-Igbo do not have the ingredients for opposition politics. We do not have the media or business or money to play opposition politics, but we won’t ask for handouts.

“How the Yorubas voted in 2015 should be an eye-opener. They voted both sides, but the south-east put their eggs in one basket. I am not of the view that everybody should be in APC, but those who have seen the need should do so.

“If governor Okorocha has realized that he needs more hands in APC, he should be commended. We are worst enemies of ourselves. If we work together we will go very very far. This is the time to play National Politics.

“Some people could say we have the Deputy Senate President, but he does not attend the meeting of APC caucus where important decisions are taken.

“We must think ahead. The benefit of that office is therefore personal and does not enhance the political fortunes of the south-east people,” the former Senate President said.

Another Electoral Reform Committee Not Necessary – Dele Ashiru

Dele-AshiruA lecturer at the University of Lagos Political Science Department, Dele Ashiru, has berated the Nigerian government for its refusal to implement the recommendations of past committees that have been set up to review the country’s electoral system.

He was a guest of Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily on Tuesday, October 4, the day the Federal Government had fixed to inaugurate the electoral reform committee to be headed by former Senate President, Ken Nnamani.

Ashiru wondered to what extent the recommendations of past electoral committees have been implemented in Nigeria, particularly the Justice Mohammed Uwais’ panel.

“This is a panel instituted by government to look at grey areas within the electoral process and I dare say that the panel had done a commendable job, at least according to all those who have assessed the report of the Uwais’ panel.

“So, one is surprised that another panel is being instituted when critical recommendations by the Uwais panel are yet to be implemented,” he said.

He described the Nnamani panel as diversionary and unnecessary as he also wondered what area of the electoral system had not been covered by the Justice Uwais report.

Mr Ashiru highlighted some of the recommendations of the Justice Uwais panel which he believed if implemented would provide solutions to many challenges faced during elections in Nigeria.

He mentioned the need for the Electoral Offences Commission and the exemption of INEC from the internal affairs of political parties, as key recommendations that should be implemented.

“What this government should be doing, which I think should represent the ‘change’ upon which they campaigned is to take the bold step in implementing these recommendations,” he maintained.

He also condemned the choice of Senator Ken Nnamani as the head of the committee, saying he is a “known partisan politician”.

“What manner of reform do you expect from a panel composed of purely politicians?” he asked.

Buhari Meets With Igbo Politicians

Muhammadu-Buhari-South-east-leadersNigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has held a closed-door meeting with some politicians from the south-east.

The politicians, who visited under the umbrella of the South-east Group for Change, were led by a former President of the Senate, Ken Nnamani.

They did not speak with State House Correspondents at the end of the meeting which lasted about 30 minutes and coming a day after members of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) in the south-east held a protest in Delta State, Anambra and Imo State.

It had started peacefully before it degenerated into violence, with the police clashing with the protesters.

Two policemen were killed in the process while others were injured.

Eight members of MASSOB were subsequently arrested by the police in connection with the killing of the policemen.

The arrests were made by the Delta State Police Command on Monday.

After the meeting with the Igbo politicians, the President also met with some State governors.

The governors included Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom; Adams Oshiomhole of Edo; Bello Masari, Katsina; Olusegun Mimiko, Ondo; Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara and Rochas Okorocha of Imo.

None of the governors spoke with reporters at the end of the meeting.

Former Senate President Ken Nnamani Dumps PDP

Nnamani Nigeria’s former No 3 man, former Senate President Ken Nnamani, has dumped the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

Senator Nnamani, on Saturday, formally announced his exit from the party on which platform he became the Senate President.

He told Channels TV that he would be taking a break from partisan politics for a while but will be ready to advise or assist the government of the day to help achieve its desires.

The former National Assembly Chairman, said that he would also not hesitate to criticize the government for its errors.

Senator Nnamani said, “I do not believe I should continue to be a member of the PDP as it is defined today. This is certainly not the party I joined years ago to help change my country.

“I do not also believe that the PDP as it is managed today will provide an opportunity for me to continue to play the politics of principles and values which I set for myself as a young man on leaving graduate school and working for a large multinational in the United States in the 70s and 80s.”

Nnamani Tasks Buhari On War Against Corruption

Nnamani Tasks Buhari On War Against CorruptionNigeria’s former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that the war against corruption is extended to all parts of the country.

Senator Nnamani, made the call sequel to President Buhari’s speech at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, where the President described corruption and cross border financial crimes as “major obstacles to development and economic growth”.

Senatoe Nnamani advocated the spread of the anti-corruption campaign across board irrespective of who is involved and in which administration he served.

He also asked the Nigerian President to ensure that all issues of monumental graft, especially those that have brought Nigeria international disrespect such as the Halliburton and Siemens scandals are prosecuted.

Various groups have also called on President Buhari to intensify efforts in his fight against corruption as Nigeria celebrates its 55 years of independence.

A Clergy, Rev Funsho Ajibode, during a march, organised by New Convenient Church to commemorate the Independence Day anniversary in Osogbo, to urged the President to take Nigeria notches higher than he met the country.

He noted that Nigeria at 55 is yet to reach its potential and might not be unconnected with the way it had been governed in the past, stressing that a lot of things were misplaced.

2015 Elections: Jonathan Restates Commitment To Conducting Credible Polls

PPresident Goodluck Jonathan has assured Nigerians and the international community that he is more committed than ever before to making the 2015 elections more credible than the 2011 elections.

The President said this when he received the report of the National Forum on Electoral Reform, headed by former Senate President, Ken Nnamani.

The President commended the efforts and what he called painstaking commitment of the forum to come up with the report, which outlined some key areas that the relevant departments of Government would look into to strengthen the electoral process.

The recommendations by the National Forum on Electoral Reform include; the establishment of electoral offences commission, funding of INEC and support for constitutional/electoral reform proposals made by the commission, compliance to internal democracy and campaign finance regulation ahead of the 2015 elections and respect for the rule of law by political parties.

The President, while reacting, noted that the recommendations were not strange, as they were in tandem with the Federal Government’s thinking and policy.

Particularly on the establishment of an electoral offences commission, President Jonathan noted that there was a bill before the National Assembly, and agreed that there must be a dedicated body to ensure “that people who commit electoral offences would not get away with it.”

African Peer Review: Nigeria Has Made Progress In Electoral Process – Nnamani

Former Senate President, Ken Nnamani has said that Nigeria seems to have made a lot of progress in the area of its electoral process, if past and recent elections held in the country are compared.

He said this while appearing as a guest on Channels Television’s Business Morning, in his capacity as the Chairman, National Steering Committee on Nigeria’s Second Peer Review.

Also on the programme was a resource person for the National Steering Committee, Professor Adele Jinadu who shed more light on the concept of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) and its activities in Nigeria.

He described the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) as Africa’s innovative thinking of governance, and the idea is to move Africa forward, against the background of what happened in the 1960s to the 1980s with authoritarian rule, political centralization, and to help build governance and development on a new concept of partnership in which the people themselves will own the development process.

He said “the idea is to set benchmarks and to monitor progress towards the benchmarks, to identify weaknesses and strengths and to see how we can move Africa together. The monitoring and assessment is done in 4 areas; Democracy and Political Governance, Economic Management and Governance, Corporate Governance, and Socio-Economic Development.”

Nigeria had its first review in 2008 with few issues highlighted and since then there have been periodic reports submitted by the Government to the APRM Forum of Heads of State and Governments every 6 months. The idea, according to Adele, is to see the progress being made towards the recommendation that were made in the country’s review and report.

Explaining Nigeria’s 2008 review, Prof Adele said some strengths were identified in the governance and development process of the country, like its role in Africa in terms of peacekeeping, Federal Character clauses, management of diversity as well as Nollywood as an innovation to its credit. The election was a major weakness identified in the 2008 review.

Senator Nnamani however highlighted the progress made so far since the 2008 review on the country’s electoral process.

“Take for instance 2007 General Elections; it was adjudged the worst in our history but subsequently with the current administration and the concept of ‘one person one vote’, it appears to me that people are now beginning to enjoy casting their ballot knowing that it will count.”

“In other words, our country is now beginning to use ballots instead of bullets and I hope that continues.”

He agreed that the country has not done well in other areas, particularly in controlling corruption, which has a more negative effect on the economy.

Responding to questions on the committee’s capacity to drive the outcomes of the Peer Review and stimulate response to its recommendations, Senator Nnamani stated that the structure of the National Steering Committee for the Peer Review itself will ensure this with its members from different sectors of the economy. He added that the encompassing yet non-political makeup of the committee gives it the enabling environment to inspire development in the country.

He added that having an opportunity to oversee a process of self-assessment with eminent leaders from other African countries coming to verify requires that “we know those weak areas, particularly since we are talking about democracy.”

Senator Nnamani also mentioned insecurity and corruption among the issues that will be looked into by the Peer Review.

PDP Sets Up Committee To Produce Preferred BoT Chairman

The Board of Trustee (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Tuesday failed to reach a consensus on who would replace former President Olusegun Obasanjo as its chairman.

Efforts to elect a new BoT chairman ended in a stalemate following the refusal of the board’s secretary, Walid Jibrin, to step down.
Subsequently, the party constituted a six-man special committee to properly align the membership of its board of trustees with its relevant constitutional provisions, in order to enhance the legitimacy of the outcome of the eventual election of a new bot chairman.

Briefing journalists after the meeting of the BoT, a former National Secretary of the party and Nigeria’s ambassador to Canada, Ojo Maduekwe said the decision has become necessary for the party to continue to reinvent, remain united, forward looking in the best interest of Nigerians.

The committee is headed by former information minister, Jerry Gana. Other members of the committee are Shetima Mustafa, Governor Ibrahim Shema, Senator Stella Omu, Senator Hope Uzodinma, and Bode George.

The committee has three weeks to submit its report.

Mr Obasanjo, who resigned as the PDP BoT Chairman, was conspicuously absent on Tuesday night as the party tried to find his replacement. No reason was given for his absence.

Those contesting for the PDP top job include Alex Ekwueme, Ken Nnamani, Okwesilieze Nwodo and Ahmadu Ali.

Others are Tony Anenih, Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Don Etiebet, Bode Olayinka, Yekeen Adeojo, Onyeabor Obi, Harry Akande and Shuaibu Oyedokun.

Tuesday’s meeting of the PDP BoT started at about 8.25 pm with the arrival of President Goodluck Jonathan along with Vice-President Namadi Sambo, Senate President David Mark, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, the National Chairman of the party, Bamanga Tukur, and the Chief of Staff to the president, Mike Oghiadomhe.

Josephine Anenih, Katsina State Governor, Ibrahim Shema, Hassan Adamu and PDP National Secretary, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, had told reporters before the meeting started that the expectations of the party’s BoT members were to select a chairman that would carry all members of the party along and assist in repositioning the party.

PDP throws BoT Chairmanship position open

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has postponed its Board of Trustees (BoT) meeting to 8 January 2013.

The meeting, earlier scheduled for late Friday evening, was meant to elect a new Chairman for the Board.

Sources at the presidential villa, venue of the meeting, say there was a heated argument between members before the postponement.

The BoT Secretary, Walid Jubril, who briefed newsmen at the end of the meeting, said the emergency meeting which had the BoT chairmanship as the only business of the day on the agenda was to examine the modalities to adopt in electing the new Chairman of the board.
He also said the position is open to any member of the board.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo had resigned his appointment as the BoT chairman, thus creating the vacuum that party leaders are expected to fill. Whoever emerges, according to the party constitution, will serve a single term of five years.

Main contenders for the office are former national chairman of the party, Ahmadu Ali; former Works Minister, Tony Anenih; former Senate President, Ken Nnamani and Chairman, Newspaper Publisher, Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu.

Some of the notable personalities who attended the meeting at the state house on Friday night include; the PDP Chairman, Bamanga Tukur, the Senate President, David Mark, former vice president, Alex Ekwueme, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim, former chairman of the party, Haliru Bello.

Others include, former governor of Nasarawa State, Adamu Abdullahi, Sam Sam, Jaja, Jim Nwobodo, former Speaker, Ghali Na’Abba, Barnabas Gemade, Bode George, Mariam Amodu Ali, Vincent Ogboulafor, Sunny Odogwu, Kema Chikwe, Ibrahim Mantu, Bode Olajumoke, Maina Waziri, Don Etiebet, Ebenezer Babatope and Danjuma Goje.