Tackling Voter Apathy:INEC did the right thing

‘Voter Apathy and 2011 Election’ was an issue which was discussed with the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Cross River State; Mike Igini via phone interview few days ago.

This time Mike Igini came into the studio to continue the discussion on voter apathy on Sunrise Daily.

Please enjoy it.

Taking alook at the Kebbi Re-run election

Deji Bademosi the anchor of Channels Television political programme Politics Today to a look into the recent governorship rerun election at Kebbi state which was conducted last weekend.

Eventually Saidu Dakingari; the former governor who was elected during the 2011 general election before the court ruled that the state governorship election will have to be re-done,came out victorious amongst other contenders for the seat of power in Kebbi state.

To emerge winner,Saidu Dakingari polled a total of 875,492 votes while the CPC candidate who followed to stay second polled 17,918 votes.

Kebbi Re-Run Election:Dakingari wins governorship poll

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced former governor of Kebbi state, Saidu Dakingari as the winner in the governorship re-run election held on Saturday.

According to the Chief Returning Officer for the election, Professor Lawal Bilbis, Mr. Dakingari of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) polled 875,492 votes to defeat Mr. Abubakar Abubakar of the Congress or Progressive Change (CPC) who polled 17,918 votes.

CPC blames Kebbi re run governorship defeat on Intra-Party crisis

Poor performance and intra-party crisis has been cited by the Congress for Progressive Change as the reason for their failure in the re run governorship election in Kebbi state.

“The CPC has no problem with the result and shall not contest it in any court,’’ those were the words of the the party Secretary in Kebbi, Alhaji Bashir Matawalle, on Sunday while reacting to the outcome of the election.

“The controversy over CPC’s withdrawal from Saturday’s governorship re-run election should not be blamed on INEC, the CPC did not put its house in order,’’ Matawalle further said.

Alhaji Saidu Dakingari of PDP won the election after scoring 875,492 while Alhaji Abubakar Abubakar of CPC, who withdrew from the race 10 days before the election, scored 17,918.

The CPC secretary berated the crisis in the party and claimed INEC was not informed about their (CPC) withdrawal from the polls; he also said the state secretariat was not informed as well.

Meanwhile the candidate of the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP), Alh. Suleiman Argungu has called the election a facade

“Going by the low turnout of voters, the general apathy to the exercise and the lopsided nature of the results, it is clear that the election did not meet expected standards’’ he said.


Voting ends in Kebbi State

channels_television_kebbi_election_observersVoting in the Kebbi State re-run governorship election has officially come to a close with most polling centres recording increased turn out of voters as against the apathy that was initially experienced at the commencement of the exercise.

The violence-free exercise came to a close at exactly 4pm local time in most of the polling units within Birnin-Kebbi, the state capital while some voters who got to the polling units before 4pm still queued up waiting to cast their votes.

Former governor of the state and a candidate in the election, Alhaji Saidu Dakingari in an interview with Channels Television said governance should be centred on the people’s welfare and the development of the society.

A resident of Bunza Local government area who also spoke to our crew expressed optimism that the outcome of the election will reflect the wishes of the people.

He added that the non-enforcement of the restrict ion of movement order in the area will not affect the outcome of the election.

Kebbi Governorship Election underway

channels_television_kebbi_pollsVoting has finally commenced in the Kebbi State governorship election despite the low turnout of voters witnessed in many polling centres across the state.

At Dakingari local government area, voters queued up immediately after the close of accreditation by 12 noon to exercise their right to elect a governor of their choice.

The exercise which began at exactly 12:30 after the accreditation ended saw men, women and the elderly queuing up separately in line with the culture of the people of the State.

Some adhoc staff who spoke off camera attribute d the delay in the commencement of accreditation to the problem of late payment of their allowances.

The accreditation for the Kebbi state governorship election started late this morning as some voters were seen queuing up for the exercise in most of the centres visited within the state capital, Birnin Kebbi as commercial motor cyclists took advantage of the failure of the police to enforce the restriction of movement order to carry out their normal business.

At Bunza local government area which is a few minutes’ drive from the state capital had commercial activities in full blast.

Some residents who spoke to our crew said they decided to continue their business after being accredited since voting will be starting at 12:30 pm.

The situation is also not different at Dakingari local government area as a few voters turned up for accreditation as at the time of this report.

The accreditation exercise ended by noon while voting proper started at twelve thirty pm in all the twenty-one local government areas of the state.


Court upholds Saraki’s nomination and election as senator

A federal high court sitting in Abuja on Friday upheld the nomination and election of Abubakar Bukola Saraki as the Senator representing Kwara Central Senatorial district in the national assembly.

The Presiding Judge, Justice Ibrahim Auta dismissed the legal action instituted by another member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, Lasisi Kolawole Jimoh who is challenging the nomination and election of Mr Saraki as a Senator.

In his judgment, Justice Auta held that the suit of the Mr Jimoh was baseless and lacking in merit because it failed to disclose any irregularity, fraud or malpractices in the process that produced the senator.

The judge also held that even though there was a primary election conducted by the PDP on 7 January 2012 won by Isiaka Gold with 1,064 and that the plaintiff came second with 12 votes, there was also a bye election by the party following the resignation of Mr Gold as the party’s candidate.

He said that Mr Saraki won the bye election to emerge as the PDP candidate for the Kwara Central Senatorial election.

Mr Jimoh had sued Mr Saraki, the PDP and the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) alleging that the bye election was not conducted in accordance with law and that he should be declared the PDP candidate having come second in the first primary election conducted by the party.

Kebbi governorship election is a formality; we’ve won it – PDP Chairman

The newly elected Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bamanga Tukur on Wednesday described this weekend’s governorship election in Kebbi state as mere formality saying that his party’s candidate has already won the election.

The newly elected Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bamanga Tukur

Mr Tukur said this in Birnin Kebbi, the Kebbi state capital during the campaign tour of the party in support of the re-election bid of Saidu Dakingari, former governor of Kebbi state.

“I have no doubt in my mind that this election is a formality as our Candidate has delivered so much in the last term, enough to make his victory very possible,” he said.

Mr Tukur said his administration in the PDP will spend more time pursuing his Reconciliation, Reformation and Rebirth agenda.

He said he will ensure that all the feuding parties in the PDP will be reconciled within the shortest possible time so as to move the party ahead.

“I am glad that this policy is already gaining ground in Kebbi state. The presence of the former governor Senator Adamu Aliero with all his supporters here today is an indication of greater things to come,” he said.

The PDP Chairman called on the party supporters in the state to close ranks to ensure that the former governor is re-elected come Saturday to continue the good works he has been doing in the state.

The former governor and the PDP’s governorship candidate for Saturday’s election, Mr Dakingari congratulated Mr Tukur on his new position as the party’s national chairman and wished that his visit to Kebbi state being the very first since he assumed office will bring the luck that will bring victory to the party.

Other party chieftain present at the campaign tour included former Sports Minister, Sumaila Sambawa, Defence Minister and former acting National Chairman of PDP, Bello Haliru Mohammed, acting governor of the state, Aminu Jega, all serving members of the National Assembly from the state as well as other top government functionaries.

15 candidates vie for Kebbi governorship position on Saturday

The Kebbi State governorship elections is set to hold on Saturday, 31 March and 15 candidates are vying for the position, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, said in a bulleting on Wednesday.

The Supreme Court of Nigeria sacked the former Kebbi State governor Usman Saidu Nasamu Dakingari earlier this year and had ordered INEC to conduct fresh elections within 90 days of the decision.

Usman Dakingari, the PDP frontman, is back in the running to reclaim his governorship position and will be facing down 14 other contenders.

The other candidates include:

  • Alhaji Sulaiman Argungu of the ANPP
  • Kabiru Turaki of ACN  
  • Umaru Birnin Kebbi of APGA
  • Attari Sani from the AD party
  • Hajiya Hauwau Mohammed from ADC
  • Alhaji Lawan Moad  of ALP
  • Malam Abubakar Abubakar of CPC
  • Alhaji Sani Abubakar  from the CPP
  • Muhammed Danbare of LP
  • Sahabi Atiku representing NNPP
  • Alhaji Tukur Yaro of NSDP
  • Mohammed Mogaji of NTP
  • Alhaji Abubakar Umaru of the PPA
  • Alhaji Mohammed Nura from PPP

INEC will be deploying over 8,000 officials to conduct the elections through out Kebbi state’s 21 local governments, 225 registrations areas and 2,398 polling units.

“A breakdown of the personnel requirement for the re-run election shows that the commission will deploy 7,859 ad hoc staff from the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) plus undergraduates from tertiary institutions in Kebbi.

“In addition, 225 Supervisory Presiding Officers (SPOs), 247 Collation Officers (COs), 25 Supervisors and 273 reserves,’’ it said, adding that over 1.6 million people are registered to cast their votes.

Jonathan congratulates Tukur and other new PDP national officers

President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday congratulated the newly elected Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bamanga Tukur and other party executive officers who were last Saturday elected into various positions in the party’s administrative structure.

In the text of the President speech which was delivered at the PDP’s national convention at the Eagle square, Abuja, Mr Jonathan said “Let me on behalf of our great party congratulate those who have emerged as our National Officers. You are welcome on board. Congratulations.”

The President, in his speech said that in the past 13 years, the PDP have initiated reforms in politics, power sector, and the economy.

Read the complete text of the President speech at the convention below:

1. I am delighted to be here today at the National Convention of our great party – the People’s Democratic Party. Let me congratulate our party members across the country on the successful conduct of congresses from the ward to the state and zonal levels, and particularly on the success of today’s Convention. I, equally, thank every member of our great party for their perseverance and hard work.

2. As Nigeria’s foremost political party, the PDP should continue to lead by example with an utmost sense of responsibility in order to set the pace in the march to consolidate and stabilize our democracy. I urge all our members to remain committed, and to be prepared to continue to work for the interest of our party and the country. For the PDP family, the contest for party offices does not produce winners and losers. We are all winners because our primary interest is to strengthen and unite the party.

3. Unity speaks to the greatness of our party and will make us greater still. This is the time; this is the moment to build afresh from within. I urge all our members to remain united and place the party’s interest above personal ambition.

4. In the political history of our dear country since independence in 1960, the PDP is the only party that has united Nigerians across all the geo-political zones. It is a national party that reflects the diversities of our cultures and religions. Although our party makes no claim to perfection, it has helped to nurture our democracy in the last 13 years by providing a common platform for all interest groups to realize their dreams and aspirations within the Nigerian Federation.

5. Let me, therefore, salute the foresight and vision of the founders of our great party, for evolving a strong political platform as a vehicle to strengthen our democracy, and give our citizens hope for a better tomorrow.

6. We gather here today at this Convention, to uphold old and tested values as well as to chart a new course. Among other things, is the election of the new National leaders who will run the affairs of this party and see us through this journey for the next four years. Let me on behalf of our great party congratulate those who have emerged as our National Officers. You are welcome on board. Congratulations.

7. As we welcome the new leadership, let me on behalf of you all, offer our sincere appreciation to the outgoing executive members led by the former Acting Chairman, Dr. Abubakar Kawu Baraje for providing energetic and purposeful leadership at a very critical period in our party’s history. We salute their courage and industry. We enjoin those who have now been entrusted with the mantle of leadership after them to follow their footsteps by working hard to position our party for the pressing tasks ahead. In our electoral processes we must not deviate from the tenets of free, fair and credible elections.

8. However, while it is true that the PDP is a winning party and our electoral victories attest to this, we must continuously strengthen and reform the party to retain our leadership position. The reforms in our great party should start at the grassroots by strengthening the party organs at that level to be focused, visionary and functional. The PDP has a vision that is embedded in the manifesto of the party, the challenge before us is to make the party more cohesive, and that can only be realized with everybody, within the party, in or out of government, driving that vision.

9. We should continue to enforce discipline within our party and guard against conduct that can bring the party into disrepute. We must be a party where internal discipline is supreme and a guiding anchor of our processes. We must eschew bickering and remain united in the pursuit of our goals. As members of a great party, we must resist the temptation to allow inordinate ambition and what appears to be a growing obsession with the politics of succession in 2015, to cause disaffection within our ranks. We have an obligation, each and every one of us, to ensure that our party remains a party of values and fresh ideas.

10. We must transform into a party of innovation by improving and renewing our structures and procedures regularly to prolong and ensure our relevance in the hearts and minds of the people. Such a transformation will mark a critical threshold in the fulfilment of our historic responsibilities. To achieve this, the party must first begin to improve on its capacity as an incubator of ideas. I want to see a ruling Party that will, in-between elections, be a melting-pot of ideas on how to excel in the provision of the total good of the people for whom it exists in the first place.

11. I want to see a ruling PDP that will set the best standards for party discipline and democracy on the continent and beyond.

12. Party rules must be enforced until they are changed, and such rules must apply to all members equally. The doctrine of the supremacy of the party may seem over-flogged, but my belief is that party members, wherever they may be, must be seen to be more supportive of our government, and the administration’s Transformation Agenda.

13. The restoration of democracy and constitutional rule in 1999 has returned the country to the path of sustainable development and steady economic growth. As leaders, we have to continue to make concerted efforts and sacrifices to build our economy as the basis to stabilize and consolidate our democracy. The PDP must be driven by issues of development and must align its reform agenda to current realities, in our quest to build a modern and prosperous economy.

14. In the last 13 years, PDP governments have carried out far-reaching reforms in the various sectors of the economy to serve as building blocks for sustainable development and to grow our capacity in local production and improve the quality of service delivery. We are also now at various levels in the implementation of reform policies in key sectors of the economy. I assure you that very soon, tangible results will begin to come in, for Nigerians to appreciate some of the tough decisions we have had to take in the last two years to improve the quality of life of our citizens.

15. In recent times, the economic reforms implemented by the PDP administration led to increase in our oil production, up to 2.6 million barrels per day. The implementation of the local content policy in the oil and gas sector is also helping to grow indigenous capacity. In addition, investments are being encouraged in the power sector, and a comprehensive roadmap for the power sector is being implemented, with a view to stabilizing power supply in the country.

16. We are rehabilitating all our hydro-power plants for optimal capacity utilization, alongside the construction of ten power plants of which three will be commissioned this year. This is in addition to renewing our transmission and distribution capacity to ensure adequate power supply to all parts of the country.

17. Our administration has also resolved to make Nigeria a major player in the international gas market through the implementation of the Nigerian Gas Master-Plan. We have designed a framework for the expansion of gas infrastructure within the domestic market to boost commercial exploitation of gas for domestic consumption and export. The Gas Master-Plan is a roadmap to fully harness our gas potentials and meet the challenges of gas supply to our power plants.

18. The diversification of the economy is progressing steadily with sustained increase in non-oil GDP growth, particularly through agricultural production. Our country has continued to record favourable ratings from international credit agencies due to the success of our economic reform programmes. Nigeria’s exit from the Paris Club, a feat achieved under a PDP-led administration, has freed more resources that now go into investment in human capital and economic development annually.

19. I assure you that we will continue to expand the frontiers of reforms to consolidate on the successes recorded by our predecessors.

20. The political reforms, which are aimed at restructuring our democratic process, will go a long way in stabilizing our democracy. We will continue to ensure that the votes of Nigerians count in every election.

21. Our administration is consolidating democracy through strict observance of the rule of law and creating a favourable environment for freedom of political association and the freedom of expression particularly with the enactment of the Freedom of Information Act.

22. We are also in the process of encouraging the National Assembly to amend aspects of the Nigerian Constitution in line with the expressed desire of the people, to have a Constitution that addresses those issues that can strengthen our union. The administration has since set up a Committee, whose mandate is no more than to take a stock of all the issues at stake, arising from previous political reform conferences, and inputs by various stakeholders.

23. This is about building a new Nigeria, a better and stronger Nigeria, secure and united at home and respected abroad. This is the vision that we have encapsulated in the Transformation Agenda. The vigorous and relentless pursuit of the well-thought out objectives of the Agenda is the impetus for our every action.

24. We have anchored the Transformation Agenda on good governance, human capital development, and infrastructural renewal. It is our belief and resolve that improvement in the governance index at all levels is crucial to attaining development. We have to change the perception of governance positively and strengthen institutions for effective service delivery.

25. I re-assure you that our administration is committed to making a difference. Already, we are approaching the final stages of the maiden edition of the YouWin! Programme. It is delightful to report that the promises we made under this programme are being delivered. Out of 24, 000 applications received in October 2011, 1, 200 winners have emerged through a fair and transparent screening process. It is envisaged that after three cycles of the competition, a total of 3, 600 entrepreneurs will be supported to create 80, 000 to 110, 000 jobs.

26. We have also launched the Public Works Women and Youth Empowerment (PW/WYE) programme which is designed to employ up to 320, 000 youths in public utilities and special activities and 50, 000 youths on a graduate internship scheme for a total of 370, 000 jobs.

27. The budgetary process for the 2012 Fiscal Framework has been much smoother this year than in previous years due to strong interaction between the National Assembly and the Federal Executive. It is important to note that the 2012 budget provides a solid macroeconomic framework upon which necessary investment could be made in key sectors of the economy as contained in this administration’s Transformation Agenda.

28. We have been having some challenges with threats to national security, due to the activities of some misguided and criminal elements in our society. The security agencies have done a lot to contain the threat. We are determined to overcome. The war against terror is a global challenge, we are resolved to play our part in tackling this scourge squarely in order to continue to guarantee the sanctity of human life. What we need is the collaboration and support of all Nigerians, including the media establishment. Whenever a country is challenged, the people have an obligation to bond together.

29. As we conduct the National Convention of our great party today, I call on all our members to continue to support the administration. The nation is ready for Transformational change. What the nation expects from the PDP is an enhanced capacity to mobilize for national transformation. The fight against corruption must be understood clearly as a PDP major policy commitment, and it must succeed like our policy of one man, one vote; one woman, one vote; and one youth, one vote.

30. We must seize this moment and opportunity to stamp out corruption in order to impact on the quality of lives of millions of Nigerians who voted for us and who are shortchanged each time a corrupt deal goes undetected. The Party must unite on this issue, both in words and in actions!

31. At the end of this Convention, I expect a stronger, more disciplined, more focused and more cohesive PDP, a PDP that will continue to organise free and fair elections, a PDP that will be known for the high ethical standards of its members, a PDP that will remain a united family, a PDP that we can all be proud of. All the efforts we have put into this Convention will only be meaningful if we continue to conduct ourselves in the most democratic manner as well as respect and support the results of the elections and the leaders that have emerged.

32. As I conclude this address, let me once again congratulate our new party leaders at the wards, Local Government, State, and Zonal levels, as well as the National officers and Members of the National Working Committee. Let me specially congratulate the National Chairman, Dr. Bamanga Tukur and the National Secretary, His Excellency Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, who will be at the apex of our party’s leadership for the next four years.

33. I thank you all for your attention.

34. God bless the People’s Democratic Party,

35. God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR

Federal Republic of Nigeria

Senator George Sekibo’s wife kidnapped

Asime G.T. Sekibo, wife of serving Senator George Thompson Sekibo, representing Rivers East Senatorial District, was kidnapped on Thursday night by unknown gunmen on the outskirt of Port Harcourt.

Mrs Sekibo, who was kidnapped along with two other persons, was reportedly returning back home from the University of Port Harcourt, where she’s a student.

Though a source close to the family confirmed that the kidnappers had already contected her husband, Senator Sekibo, to give their ransom terms for her to be released, he could not state any specific amount they were demanding.

The kidnappers struck at about 7:00pm under the Obiri Ikwerre Bridge, which is still under construction, along the East-West Road.

According to the source, who would prefer his name not to be mentioned, there were four occupant in the car conveying the senator’s wife, but the hoodlums pushed one of the occupants out, taking off with their prime target and two other passengers.

“They called the Senator at about 9:00pm to inform him they were the people who kidnapped his wife. I don’t know for certain how much they are demanding, but I know they have asked for a ransom.

“The vehicle was later found abandoned around Aluu community, which suggests they might have escaped through that area. They also took the two other occupants with her”, the source revealed.

When reached for official confirmation and details, the Rivers state police spokesman, Ben Ugwuegbulam (DSP), said he was not informed yet, promising to get in touch with the police chief in charge of the area.
He, however, was not forthcoming until the filing of this report at about 5:10pm.

NLC holds rally for Oshiomole despite police interference in Edo

A mild drama ensued prior to the rally called by the Nigerian Labour Congress to declare their support for Governor Adams Oshiomhle. The PDP had briefed the press yesterday calling the action by labour illegal.

The police claimed to be obeying a court injunction obtained by an opposition political party to prevent the rally from holding. Consequently Policemen with fierce looking dogs were at the Ogbemudia stadium apparently denying entry into the premises.

Comrade Oshiomhole when notified about this went and personally opened the doors to allow the labour members inside declaring that the Police should not intimidate people in their land.

Asked about the court injunction the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) Chairman, Emmanuel Ademokun said he has not been served any injunction.

Adamokun, in his address however faulted the PDP, saying workers in the state, will in obedience to directive from its national leadership would do all it could to support Governor Oshiomhole’s second term aspiration.

He said, “Last week after we went round the 18 councils (LGAs) to sensitize workers, I heard it in television where one PDP leader (Urhoghide) said Comrade Adams Oshiomhloe gave us hundreds of millions. That is not true.

“We are all aware when the national leadership (NLC) came to the state last year, they called on labour to support Oshiomhole… so who am I to go against the directive of the national body. I am not going to campaign for a military man.

“They said a labour man cannot be a good governor, but we can now see the transformation in Edo State. Workers are happy, things are working; there are good roads, and even if there are few workers that are against the rally, majority are happy…. Over 99 per cent of workers are happy and in support of Oshiomhole.

“Workers contributed for the staging of the rally. The rally is not going to cost up to N3m, but we did not collect a dime from the governor. Only God can stop it from holding tomorrow (today). The national leadership is coming to support us.

“There is nothing in our labour law that says we use labour resources against labour. We can participate in politics but not contest. If you want to contest you resign three months ahead. This is a man that has been NLC leader for eight years.”

The spokesman of the Edo State Police Command also denied any knowledge of an injunction and that the Policemen were actually providing security for the event .

He said: “There was nothing of such. The presence of policemen was to maintain law and order.

“I cannot confirm if there was an injunction but wherever there is a gathering of such, we send policemen to maintain peace.”

However the PDP briefed the press subsequently condemning the rally and calling the State government names including one which lacks regard for the rule of law.

According State Publicity Secretary of the party, Mathew Uroghide, never in the history of the state has a ruling party railroad workers into supporting the government of the day at the polls.

He said, “The PDP was not established only to contest elections, but also to address issues that violate the rights of our (Edo) people. The state government under Adams Oshiomhole and the ACN is violating the rights of the people of the state.

“We are aware that government has directed organised labour to come out on the 22nd (March) to process in support of the candidacy of Oshiomhole. This is a violation of labour laws. We are aware that hundreds of millions of naira will be spent on the activity, and where is this resource coming from?

“It is the state government that is bankrolling it. We want to know where this was budgeted for in the 2012 state appropriation bill. This is acting in complicity and against all known labour laws. This is corruption and bastardization of standards in Edo State.”

“Prior to this time we all saw how the governor openly disgraced the same organized labour over legitimate demands they made, and which is yet to be implemented by the government, and now for a section of the same labour to go in open campaign for the same governor begs for answers.”