President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday had a closed-door meeting with former Minister of Defence, Gen. Theophilus Danjuma at his residence in Abuja.
The President had earlier met with President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, at the Presidential Villa on Friday to discuss the transition of government.
The agenda of the meeting was not made known to correspondents, but speaking after the closed-door meeting, General Danjuma said President Jonathan’s decision to concede defeat to Buhari has set a record in the history of the country.
President Jonathan thanked him for his fatherly support during the election.
President Jonathan has been having private consultations in preparation for the handing over, following his defeat at the March 28 presidential polls.
The National Peace Committee (NPC) has commended the Nigerian Police for its conduct during the 2015 presidential and National Assembly elections.
The commendation was made at the Nigerian Police Headquarters in Abuja, the nation’s capital as members of the committee led by its Chairman, General Abdulsalam Abubakar (rtd), embarked on a ‘thank you visit’ to key actors in the just concluded presidential and parliamentary elections.
The committee noted that the Police remained neutral even in the face of the tension before and after the elections.
The committee further urged the Police to ensure that the conduct is replicated during the governorship and House of Assembly elections.
Similarly, General Abdulsalam urged Nigerians to support the Police in the next round of polls.
The Inspector-General of Police, Suleiman Abba, who expressed gratitude for the commendation, however, promised that the same conduct would be replicated during the governorship polls and beyond.
The Police have received several commendations from not only Nigerians, but the international community for its conduct during the polls.
The Senate President, David Mark has expressed worry over the performance of the card readers which failed to capture bio-data of voter card holders after several attempts.
Senator Mark’s concern followed several attempts to be accredited at his polling station in Otukpo, Benue State, a situation said to have affected many of the eligible voters who turned up for the accreditation exercise.
Senator Mark, however, called for patience by the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) officials and the electorate in other to ensure a hitch-free general election, while commending the peaceful conduct of Nigerians who came out in large numbers to cast their votes.
The Nigeria Police has deployed over 6,000 officers to monitor Saturday’s presidential elections across the 27 Local Government Areas in Imo State.
Briefing reporter on Friday at the Imo State Police Command Headquarters in Owerri, the state’s capital, a spokesman for the Police, Andrew Enwerem, said the command was fully ready and prepared for the elections.
He explained that the Police had put in place necessary security measures to monitor the 305 wards of the Independent National Electoral Commission in the state and 3,525 polling units across the state.
Mr Enwerem, however, advised the residents of the state to adhere strictly to the directives on the restriction of persons and vehicles in the state within the hours of 7:00am and 6:00pm local time on Saturday.
He said the command was committed to ensuring credible, free and fair elections in the state.
The Police spokesman urged all politicians in the state to advise their supporters not to cause mayhem or electoral violence, stressing that the command will deal ruthlessly with any group or persons found guilty no matter his position in the society.
A former Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and now founder of the Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, has sought Channels Television’s Partnership in propagating free, fair and violence free elections.
Professor Gambari in the company of board members of the Savananah Centre, sought the collaboration on Wednesday at a meeting with the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Channels Television, Mr John Momoh.
He condemned hate speeches and asked Nigerians and politicians to show leadership in the conduct of the polls, as other countries were watching and would take a cue, as they also plan their own elections late in the year.
‘Council of the Wise’
“In our view, that election is an embodiment of what Savannah stands for, which is the link between peace, democracy and development.
“If you get it right in the election, it will advance democracy, peace and development in our country,” Professor Gambari said.
A ‘Council of the Wise’ had been set up to oversee the electoral process and make necessary contributions to ensure a credible process.
The Council is headed by the former chief Justice of Nigeria, Mohammed Uwais.
Professor Gambari further stressed the need for a credible, transparent, free and fair elections in Nigeria, pointing out that “with credible results people will be able to accept the outcome”.
“With that, the history of violence before, during and after elections in Nigeria will break out of this cycle.
“We will do everything we can with traditional rulers, civil societies and the media which has a special responsibility, especially on the issue of hate speeches and all these irresponsible statements”.
He urged Nigerians to ensure they do not provoke violence, Stressing that “if you start violence nobody knows when the end will be”.
“There are other elections coming up in West Africa this year and we are the first.
“West Africa is watching and Africa is watching. We are the most populous country in Africa, biggest economy, but we also have to show leadership in how we conduct elections,” he stated.
Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development is a non-governmental “think-tank” in Abuja, which is devoted to critical analyses of – and solutions to – the problems of conflict prevention, management and resolution.
It also focuses on democratisation and sustainable development in Africa.
He assured the international community that the May 29 handover date remained unchanged.
Nigeria’s election was postponed by the electoral body on February 7 from the earlier dates of February 14 and 28 to march 28 and April 11.
The electoral body said it decided to shift the election after wide-reaching consultation with stakeholders. It said it relied on the advice of the security chiefs on the need to secure communities in the north-east under the control on a terrorist group, the Boko Haram before the elections.
A former Lagos State governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Adetokunbo Pearse, has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to find a solution to the issues surrounding the issuance of the Permanent Voters Card (PVC) that all electorates are yet to get.
It is less than two months to the elections and there have been reports of irregularities with the PVC and some electorates have expressed fears that they may be disenfranchised.
But Mr Pearse expressed optimism that the electorates would still vote in the 2015 general elections.
He suggested that the INEC should allow individuals, who still have their old voters card to use that in the elections if the issue of the PVC would not be solved before the elections commence.
“INEC will be ready for elections as it has always been ready for elections.
“But they need to look for solution to the PVC issues that we are having. If it is not ready, those of us who have the temporary one from 2011 may go back to use that,” he suggested.
The INEC had said that only individuals with the PVC would be allowed to vote in the 2015 general elections.
But Mr Pearse said: “It will not only be gross irresponsibility on the part of INEC but dangerous to insist that without the PVC the electorate cannot vote. Basically a high percentage of Nigerians will not vote in the 2015 election”.
He, however, pointed out that there was a difference between the PVC not being ready and INEC conducting a free, fair and credible election.
The PDP member said that the electoral body would be taken to court if they disenfranchised some Nigerians.
Some threats of post-election violence had been issued by some individuals and these threats had become a thing of concern to some Nigerians and Mr Pearse cautioned political enthusiast to moderate their utterances to ensure that there would be relative peace after the elections.
“People should be very careful with what they say. What led to the insurgency in the north-east has a lot to do with the irresponsible rhetoric of the time; that there would be problems if the election was rigged.
“Right now we should be going after people who are bringing in arms before they use them. Nobody is above the law and once we begin to realise that, then we will have a much more peaceful country.”
He also said persons who issue threats of post-election violence after the 2015 election should be arrested and prosecuted, emphasising that when people are not held accountable for unlawful acts, crimes will continue.