Women Clamour For Involvement In Mainstream Politics

Onyeka-OnwenuNigerian women are insisting on being in the nation’s mainstream politics and not just any political appointment.

The demand was made at a forum organised to discuss women participation in politics.

At the event, the Director General of the National Centre for Women Development, Onyeka Onwenu, observed that Nigeria ranked low among African countries in the area of women participation in politics.

Onwenu urged the government to reverse the ranking, insisting that women had the capacity to develop Nigeria.

The last administration had reserved 35 per cent of political appointments for women, but the group is demanding more slots.

Election Petition: PDP To Appeal Lagos Tribunal’s Ruling

Election Petition: PDP To Appeal Lagos Tribunal's Ruling The Lagos State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said it will appeal the Ruling of the Governorship election Petition Tribunal which struck out its Petition against the victory of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.

The Party condemned the decision of the Tribunal, describing it as ‘manifestly a miscarriage of justice’ and a monumental draw back in the dispensation of justice.

It also said it would report the miscarriage of Justice by the Election Petition Panel to the National Judicial Council for necessary disciplinary actions.

The Governorship Election Tribunal sitting at Ikeja earlier on Wednesday struck out the Petition filed by the PDP and its governorship candidate, Jimi Agbaje.

The three-man Panel Tribunal described the Petition as worthless because it did not contain a relief for re-run election.

After the ruling, the Lagos State Governor described the confirmation of his victory at the polls as a welcome development which is a reaffirmation of the mandate given to him by the people of Lagos State.

He said: “I am elated at the ruling of the tribunal which is an affirmation of my victory at the polls. On April 11, 2015, the people of Lagos spoke with their votes about continuity and that is what the tribunal has just reaffirmed”.

Hope Of Winning The Petition

The PDP had recently raised its hope in winning the Petition based on the recent judgment of an Edo Election Petition tribunal which declared a PDP candidate as winner of the election because the APC did not meet up with the provisions of the electoral act on notice of conduct of party primary.

“We are very jolted and embarrassed that our Petition can die prematurely without it been heard on the merit.

“We think there is a miscarriage of justice here. We are interested in the motive and motivators.

“The Panel held that it had jurisdiction to hear our appeal; that our grounds are also competent. It however held that the petition had no life because it didn’t include a relief for re-election!

“This is supposed to be determined during the proper trial. In any case, we put as relief a declaration that we be returned as validly elected. The Panel cannot dictate to us what relief to demand.

“Why should the Panel even expect a relief for re-rerun instead of declaration as winner?” The PDP said in a statement released after the ruling.

The party claimed that the All Progressive Congress’ candidate and the winner of the governorship election, Mr Ambode, must have influenced the step, claiming that the Governor was not qualified to be a valid candidate for the elections.

“They rob us at the ballots, they want to do same at the tribunal. We will pursue this mandate even with the last drop of our blood,” the party insisted.

Meanwhile, the party has encouraged its members and residents in Lagos State not to be demoralised by the ruling, as it was certainty it would be upturned on appeal.

 

Excitement At Governor Obiano’s Lodge After Court Verdict

ObianoThe judgement of the Supreme Court, upholding the election of Mr Willie Obiano as the Governor of Anambra State has triggered jubilation and excitement at the Governor’s Lodge in Amawbia in Anambra State.

Songs of victory rent the air on Monday, as supporters gather to show support and felicitate with the governor over his victory at the court.

Governor Obiano was declared winner of the November 16 governorship election, that opposition parties said was marred by a number of irregularities.

At the banquet hall, it was entertainment for everybody as food and drinks flowed freely amidst merry making.

Members of the Executive Council amongst whom were the Secretary to the State Government, Oseloka Obaze and the Chief of Staff, Professor Joseph Asike, flanked the excited governor who addressed the press.

The governor stated that the victory was for everybody in the state which would strengthen his resolve to serve the people of the state better.

He extended a hand of fellowship to his opponents and called them to join hands to make Anambra the best as they all have no other home.

Through the court verdict, Governor Obiano defeated Senator Chris Ngige of the All Progressive Congress, APC and Tony Nwoye of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, who were asking the court to upturn Obiano’s victory, citing cases of multiple voters registration amongst other irregularities.

Eleven PDP Senators In Nigeria Defect To APC

Eleven Senators in Nigeria, elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, have defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

A formal letter to this effect has been delivered to the Senate President, David Mark, on Wednesday and it is expected to be read on the floor of the Senate.

The Senators that defected to the APC are; Umaru Dahiru from Sokoto South, Magnus Ngei Abe from Rivers South-East, Wilson Asinobi Ake from Rivers  West, Bindawa Muhammed Jibrilla from Adamawa North and Mohammed Danjuma Goje from Gombe Central.

Others are Aisha Jummai Alhassan from Taraba North, Mohammed Ali Ndume from Borno South, Mohammed Shaba Lafiaji from Kwara North, Abdulahi Adamu from Nasarawa West and Ibrahim Abdullahi Gobir from Sokoto East.

A list attached to the letter sent to the Senate president contained 16 names but only 11 signed, indicating their intention to defect.

The other Senators in the list that did not sign are; Ahmed Muhammed Maccido from Sokoto North, Saidu Ahmed Alkali from Gombe North, Basheer Garba Mohammed from Kano Central, Ahmed  Zanna from Borno Central and Ahmed Hassan Barata from Adamawa South.

There are chances that more Senators will defect to the APC as it was not clear why the five Senators did not sign.

Thinking Of What To Gain

A political analyst and lawyer, Osahon Ihehene, said there was no ideology behind the defections, as they were all triggered by selfish interest.

“The politicians are defecting for their personal interest they are selfish people. It has practically nothing for the Nigerian electorates.

“The man feels his interest would not be protected in the party he is at the moment and he decides to move. All they are doing is trying to protect their own interests.

“There is no difference between PDP and APC. The only thing that joined them is just selfish interest and corruption and nothing more,” the lawyer said.

He said that section 68 of the Nigerian Constitution stipulated that a lawmaker can only defect to another party where there is division in a party or merger of two political parties.

Mr Ihehene insisted that what the lawmakers were playing out was selfishness, saying that “everybody is just thinking of what he can gain”.

 

INEC To Conduct 2015 Elections With Digital Ballot Boxes

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor  Attahiru Jega, on Thursday said that  all ballot boxes for the 2015 elections would be digitalised in order to make ballot box snatching impossible in polling stations and reduce election fraud by politicians.

Speaking  at the closing ceremony of a four-day retreat for the commission’s national  commissioners and Resident Electoral Commissioners in Kaduna,  Professor Jega said the new digitalised system would render ballot box snatching  invalid and therefore advised  politicians with such wishful dream to drop it.

The INEC boss said: “henceforth every polling booth would have a specialised digital number and all voting cards for that particular station would carry the digital number.

“When you register in polling booth A, your registration number is one; everybody that registered there will bear number one, which means that the polling unit is A1. If your polling unit is B, you have B1/1-500. If your voting card is registered under B unit and it finds its way into A unit, that vote automatically becomes invalid.

“It pays for people contesting in the election to ensure that they play by the rules of the game, because when you snatch boxes from one polling unit to another, you stand the chance of losing your votes as they will all be declared invalid.

“With this new system and other initiatives put in place by the Commission, 2015 will witness a hitch-free election, even though I cannot assure you of a perfect election as we are learning day by day.”

This, he noted, would make ballot box snatching difficult for politicians.

While urging politicians to play the game according to the rule, Jega noted that politicians that snatched ballot boxes, would be detected and their votes declared invalid.

On the  de-registration of political parties,  Jega said the commission stood by its decision even as the matter was before a court.