Governor Wada Congratulates General Muhammadu Buhari

Buhari The Kogi State governor, Captain Idris Wada, has congratulated Nigeria’s President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, on his victory at the just-concluded presidential poll.

In his goodwill message which was signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Strategy, Mr Jacob Edi, the governor noted that the retired General’s success in the election is a further testimony that democracy is now firmly rooted in Nigeria.

Governor Wada further stated that, like any sporting event, a winner is expected to emerge at the end of every election.

He, therefore, wished the President-elect a successful tenure as he begins the onerous task of leading the country in the years ahead.

Governor Wada also commended the outgoing President, Goodluck Jonathan for creating an enabling environment for democracy to flourish, having ensured a credible general election and for steering the ship of state in the last Six years.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari, winner of Nigeria’s presidential election, defeating the incumbent, President Goodluck Jonathan.

The announcement was made by the Chairman of INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega, in the early hours of Wednesday, April 1, after the completion of the collation and announcement of results which started at the collation centre in Abuja, the nation’s capital, on Monday and ended on Tuesday, March 31.

General Muhammadu Buhari of the APC polled a total of 15,424,921 votes to defeat all other candidates, with Dr Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)  polling a total of 12,853,162 votes to place second.

AD Confident INEC Will Deliver Credible Elections

inecThe leadership of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) has expressed its support and confidence in the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, to conduct free, fair and credible general elections.

The National Vice Chairman of the political party, Mr Muhammed Yakubu, gave the party’s vote of confidence in Abuja while commenting on the recent postponement of the general elections.

Recently the INEC has come under criticism for not being adequately prepared for the 2015 elections.

The Independent National Electoral Commission in Nigeria (INEC) on the February 7 announced a shift in the general elections dates to March 28 and April 11.

Professor Jega said that the Presidential Election would hold on March 28 while the Governorship election would hold on April 11.

The Chairman of the commission said that the decision was not influenced by any group or individuals, adding that “We have done wide reaching consultations to enable us have as much input as necessary before taking an informed decision.

The major opposition party in Nigeria, the All Progressives Congress (APC,) has come down hard on the electoral umpire on the decision to postpone the polls.

The APC Chairman, John Oyegun, in a press statement, also stated that the decision was a major setback for Nigerian democracy, saying “This is clearly a major setback for Nigerian democracy, and our party is meeting in emergency session to study its implications and will inform Nigerians of its decisions in the next few days.

Election Postponement, Major Setback For Nigerian Democracy – APC

APCThe major opposition party in Nigeria, the All Progressives Congress (APC,) has come down hard on the electoral umpire on the decision to postpone the polls.

The APC Chairman, John Oyegun, in a press statement, said that the decision was a major setback for Nigerian democracy.

“This is clearly a major setback for Nigerian democracy, and our party is meeting in emergency session to study its implications and will inform Nigerians of its decisions in the next few days.

“In the meantime though what has happened is highly provocative, I strongly appeal to all Nigerians to remain calm and desist from violence and any activity which will compound this unfortunate development,” the statement read.

He also gave an assurance that the APC “will not abandon its commitment to change and will sustain the struggle to establish a new Nigeria”.

The Independent National Electoral Commission in Nigeria (INEC) announced a shift in the general elections dates to March 28 and April 11, 2015.

The new schedule was announced on Saturday by the Chairman of the commission, Professor Attahiru Jega, after meetings with political stakeholders.

Professor Jega said that the commission’s decision was not influenced by any group or individuals.

“We have done wide reaching consultations to enable us have as much input as necessary before taking an informed decision.

“In the series of consultations that we had with stakeholders, the questions constantly posed to them for consideration are; in view of the latest developments, should INEC proceed with the conduct of the general elections as scheduled in spite of the strong advice and if so, what alternative security arrangements are available to be put in place.

“The second is; should INEC take the advice of the security chiefs and adjust the schedules of the general elections within the framework of the constitutional provisions,” Professor Jega said.

The presidency and the PDP have been accused by the APC of forcing the electoral body to postpone the election because it was not prepared.

But a spokesman for President Goodluck Jonathan, Dr. Doyin Okupe said the government had no right to force the electoral body to change the date of the election.

“The Federal Government is not exerting pressure on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to shift the election dates,” he said.

According to him, the government only asked the electoral umpire to ensure that all eligible voters got their Permanent Voters Cards (PVC) before the election.

Dr. Okupe said that the President could not in good conscience endorse an electoral arrangement where people from a section of the country would be excluded from the electoral process due to no fault of theirs or by virtue of just being unfortunate residents of an area under siege of terrorism.

More reactions have, however, continued to trail the shift in the dates of the 2015 general elections.

Fashola Hosts Army Chief, Urges Military To Defend Nation’s Democracy

Fashola with COASLagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, on Tuesday charged the military in the country to always do everything possible to protect and nurture the nation’s budding democracy to enable it grow and benefit all Nigerians.

The Governor, who made the call while hosting the new Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant- General Kenneth Minimah, at the Lagos House, Marina, noted that it was the responsibility of the military to defend and support democracy to grow, once any society has moved to embrace it as its system of government.

“Across Europe before the institution of democracy, the military played a substantial role in governance, but once the society moves on, as we have moved on to embrace democracy, the military must do everything possible to sustain that democracy and must refrain from anything that will undermine that democracy, whether in the minds of the people or individually”, the Governor said.

Acknowledging that the nation’s military had done very well in this area as well as in the defence of the nation’s territorial integrity, Fashola noted that there were a few bad eggs that must not be allowed to destroy the good reputation of the military.

The Governor declared, “We know that the military has done very well; but like in every other institution, there is always a few bad eggs. They are in the minority and, as I always say, we must do everything possible to fish them out and put them where they belong.”

He congratulated the new Army boss on his elevation and noted that it has been the lot of every military officer who has had the privilege to serve in Lagos to be elevated as soon as he or she is moved from the state as was the case of the last two General Officers Commanding (GOCs) who moved from the state.

The Governor ascribed this to a rub-off effect of the state as ‘Centre of Excellence’ saying, “As the Centre of Excellence, I do not think anybody should expect anything less from those who served here because of the multi-national family that you interact with here and the experience that it brings. The challenges, of course, are many”.

He prayed that the new Army boss and his officers and men would find the needed inspiration as they continue to tackle the insecurity challenges facing the nation and, expressed the hope that the Military would also take all measures to secure the territorial integrity of the country.

“Let me lend my voice of inspiration as you and your officers and men respond to the national insecurity challenges that we face as a nation and we hope also that you will take all the measures that you need to secure the territorial integrity of the country”, he said.

Earlier, in his opening remarks, the Chief of Army Staff said that he was in Lagos as part of his tour of the Army formations under his command across the country, adding that the courtesy visit was a routine one normally made to Chief Executives of states where he visits before undertaking the tour of the formation in any state.

Thanking the Governor for rescheduling his travel for lesser Haddj in order to receive him, Lt. Gen. Minimah expressed delight at meeting the Governor and promised to do his utmost during his tenure to uphold democracy and defend the territorial integrity of the nation.

Also present at the occasion were the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Lateef Ibirogba; his Transportation counterpart, Mr. Kayode Opeifa and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Security, Major Tunde Panox (Rtd) while the Chief of Army Staff was accompanied by other top Military officers including, Major-General Patrick Akeu, Major-General Letam Wiwa, Major-General  Abayomi Olonisakin, Major-General Temi Dibi, Colonel Solomon Udounwa, Lt. Col. A.M. Inuwa and Lt. Col. S.M. Uba.

Mid-term Report: Lawyer Applauds Judiciary, Queries Uneasy Calm In Parliament

A lawyer, George Eke has said that although the judiciary and legislative arms of the Nigerian government has have experienced significant progress, there are still some loopholes that need urgent attentions if these institutions must live up to their billings.

Mr Eke, who was a guest on Channels Television’s programme, Sunrise Daily, disclosed this while giving a mid-term performance assessment of the judiciary and the legislative arm of government.

He said though the reforms in the judiciary started before she was appointed as the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mariam Aloma Mukhtar has taken more drastic steps in sanitising the system.

He said, “Justice Aloma Mukhtar that is the current CJN, has done a significant job.”

Mr Eke say one of the ‘significant’ job that Justice Mukhtar has done is in the area of discipline of Judges.

“Before this time of course, it was difficult to see a Judge either suspended or even dismissed,” he said.

Recall that Justice Mukhtar recently embarked on measures aimed at repositioning the Nigerian judiciary which is mired in a cesspool of inefficiency and corruption.

Justice Mukhtar, who is also the Chairman of the National Judicial Council (NJC) in February recommended the compulsory retirement of three controversial judges for their alleged questionable conduct.

The judges are Abubakar Talba, Thomas Naron and Charles Archibong. The NJC recommended that they should be retired on ethical grounds. Justice Talba was the one who sentenced self-confessed pension thief, Yakubu Yusufu, to two years imprisonment on a three-count charge with an option of fine of N250, 000 on each charge.

In his own case, Justice Naron, was investigated by the NJC for the scandalous ruling he led three other judges to give at the first election petition tribunal in Osun State after the controversial 2007 elections.

Telephone call records showed that Justice Naron and former governor, Olagunsoye Oyinlola’s lawyer, Kunle Kaleijaye, were having secret discussions prior to the controversial ruling. Justice Archibong who presided over the case of alleged rogue banker, Erastus Akingbola, was also disciplined by the NJC for judicial misconduct.

Mr Eke said Justice Mukhtar should be given all the support needed to carry out the onerous task of weeding out corrupt and lazy judges on the Bench.

Parliament

Mr Eke said the National Assembly have performed creditably well in the past two years because there has been a measure of stability in the two chambers of the assembly.

He however said the uneasy quiet in the National Assembly calls for suspicion.

“We are annoyed that they (the lawmakers) are so quiet and that the stability in the National Assembly has been achieved in a manner that there are no Dino Maleyes that are talking about certain things that were not supposed to be giving to them,” he said.

The House of Representatives on Wednesday scored itself high, saying that it had done well in the last two years and pegging its level of success at 65 per cent.

The Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Zakary Mohammed, who gave the assessment at the weekly chat with newsmen, said the House had passed through a lot of challenges but has triumphed and learnt its lessons in the process.

The spokesman of the House who gave a mid-term report of the chamber, said that in the last two years, the House had kept fate with it Legislative Agenda and recorded many successes.

He enumerated some of the successes to include the activities of the Committee on Finance in getting MDAs to remit revenue to the Consolidated Revenue Fund; the duel subsidy probe that exposed huge corruption in the downstream petroleum sector as well as the early passage of the 2013 Appropriation Act.

Mr Mohammed also enumerated the oil bench mark battle it fought during the consideration of the Mid-term Expenditure Framework and the work done so far by the House Ad hoc Committee on Constitution Review.

He disclosed that the Constitution Review Committee had completed its assignment and would soon submit its report. On the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), he said the committee was still working round the clock to ensure that it delivered a bill that could stand the test of time.

He however lamented that the House had been “grossly misunderstood” on many occasions it took certain positions on issues in the polity.