Kogi State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Hon Hassan Salau, has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of succumbing to the antics of the opposition, All Progressives Congress (APC).
Addressing reporters in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, Honourable Salau decried that INEC had denied his party some legislative seats it won in the just concluded State Assembly poll.
On the other hand, the State APC Chairman, Comrade Haddy Ametuo, briefed media in Ayingba on the alteration iof the PDP against INEC on the House of Assembly election in the state, insisting that the APC won 10 Local Government Areas (LGAs).
An APC member elected into the House of Representatives, Honourable Benjamin Ikani, also accused the PDP leaders of election malpractices which include; stuffing of ballot boxes with ballots papers thumb printed in their homes, private schools and the university guest house.
They also accused the PDP of using thugs of the party to cause mayhem and disrupted elections in some parts of the state.
The PDP had also denied these claims.
On April 11, when the House of Assembly election was held, there were reports of violence in Kogi State, which marred election process in some local councils.
Ballot boxes were stolen in some places and broken in other places, while the card reader was taken away by an unknown person, alleging that the ballot papers were fake.
It, however, took the timely intervention of the state Commissioner of Police, Samuel Ogunjemilusi, for peace to return to the local councils.
The incoming administration of the President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, has bee urged to make good his promises contained his document entitled “My Covenant With Nigerians”.
General Buhari had made several promises in the document, ranging from fight against corruption, insecurity, power supply to jobs for Nigeria’s unemployed.
A Nigerian lawyer, Mr Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, on Friday said the administration of General Buhari is expected to set up a campaign team against corruption in his first 100 days in office.
He said that Nigeria would experience a leap in terms of development if the leakages would be blocked.
“Once we can stop the leakages, the interest of the common man will be taken care of. The major thing that Nigerians want from General Buhari is to stop the leakages,” he said, emphasising that corruption had stalled the growth of the different sectors of the economy.
“The second area Nigerians will expect to see change is the power sector. In the manifesto of the All Progressives Congress, through the covenant of 100 days, we knew that Nigeria generates barely 5,000 megawatts. And they promised that in the next few years it would be increased to 20,000 additional megawatts. Every sector in Nigeria runs on Generator.
“If we tackle that, we can take the funds spent on power generation by individuals back to the country’s system. Between now and December 2016, Nigerians should have at least 18 hours of power,” Mr Adegboruwa said.
The lawyer further stressed that what was needed to actualise the promises was a willpower to implement the policies.
“The law and the will by the leaders to be able to implement it is what is affecting the sector.
“The law is blind. When you apply it to ‘A’ it must be applicable to all.
“The agenda for that administration in fighting corruption is for Professor Osinbajo to implement the template used in reducing corruption in Lagos justice system.
“They should search for credible technocrats and people of integrity to run the government.”
He emphasised that all the promises made by General Buhari during his campaign were realistic.
General Buhari had among other things promised to create a minimum of one million jobs and two million housing units every year.
“Nigerians are waiting and we want to give time for the APC to settle and we will begin to approach the issues as the time goes by.
“It is realistic that 35 per cent of appointment will go to women. The Land Use Act review, as promised is realistic. Every promise made by the APC are realistic and we expect them to deliver and we will demand that they be met even in court.
“There is a lot of goodwill that he has inherit because of the promise he made to the people. He should use the manifesto to take us forward.
“Nigerians cannot wait beyond December 2015 before we begin to see dividend of democracy running across the land.
“He (Buhari) said the economy would be diversified. He had told us that he will go through alternative means of strengthening the agriculture sector and exploration of other minerals.
“The government should leave by the expectations of the people in line with the fulfilment of the manifesto.
“There is no reason for us not to expect that something should be done,” he stressed.
A member of the APC and the Youth Leader of the party, Ismael Ahmed, expressed optimism that the General Buhari’s administration would live up to the ‘realistic part’ of the expectations.
“Many things have gone wrong and the expectations are quite high.
“The dollar coming back to one Naira is something that will go through a long process. We never promised that dollar will be equivalent to one Naira immediately we take over and that expectation is unrealistic.
“The president-elect has been in power before even though it was under a military administration.
“A lot of things have changed but there are realistic parts of the expectations and we will be meeting the realistic parts of the expectations.
“The absolute concentration of the incoming government is on the electorate and not on those in government,” he said.
“Power has always been an issue in Nigeria. Power is one of the cardinal issues that General Buhari will focus on. We are appreciative that what we will need to start up with that is good and that can be built upon, would be built upon and what needs to be changed will be looked at by experts and the right changes would be made.
“By December of 2015 Nigerians will begin to feel the change that the incoming administration has promised already.
“If there is any promise that the incoming administration has made, we will make sure that we keep to those promises.
“In terms of security, he said the administration of General Buhari would make an immediate effort to see if the Chibok girls would be rescued,” Mr Ahmed said.
He further said that the cabinet of the incoming administration would have people that would give Nigerians confident that the government meant business.
“You will see discipline in the lives of the people that will be in the government.
“One thing is very certain; change is here and people will see change in this country in the way and manner that the government will relate with the citizens and how the citizens will relate with the Government,” the APC Youth Leader said.
The United Nations (UN) has asked the incoming administration of the All Progressives Congress in Nigeria to sustain the gains recorded by the outgoing administration in the fight against the Boko Haram terrorists in the north-east.
A Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General, Mr Ban Ki-Moon, made the statement on Friday when he met with Nigeria’s President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari.
Speaking to journalists shortly after meeting with General Buhari behind closed doors in Kaduna, the UN special representative for West Africa, Mr. Muhammad Ibn Chambas, said “sustaining the victory achieved so far in the last six weeks by the military over the insurgents will give room for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of persons and communities affected by the attacks”.
He also commended President Goodluck Jonathan for his statesmanship following the outcome of the March 28 Presidential and Parliamentary elections in Nigeria.
According to him, Nigeria’s elections of March 28 and April 11 have set a model for the African continent and other countries of the world.
Mr. Chambas also expressed Mr. Ki-moon’s personal admiration for President Jonathan’s exemplary leadership with regard to the conduct of the general elections in Nigeria and reaffirmed the UN’s readiness to support the on-going effort by Nigeria and other countries in West and Central Africa to end Boko Haram terrorist attacks against their citizens.
He assured Nigerians of the UN’s readiness to work closely with the incoming administration in implementing some of its economic policies, as captured in the APC campaign manifesto and also commended General Buhari for making security a top priority of his campaign manifesto.
On his part, the President-elect thanked the UN for the concern it showed during the election by supporting the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct free and fair elections.
He also pledged to work with the world body in the fight against Boko Haram.
On Thursday, President Jonathan appealed to the UN to focus more on helping Nigeria with the rehabilitation and reconstruction of persons and communities affected by terrorism in northern Nigeria rather than deploying an international force to the country.
President Jonathan made the appeal at a meeting with the special representatives of the UN Secretary-General for West Africa and Central Africa, Mr. Chambas and Abdoulaye Bathily, who were also part of the delegation that met with General Buhari.
The team is on a tour of countries affected by the Boko Haram insurgency including Chad, Cameroon and Niger.
Some Civil Society Groups in Nigeria have given a report on the conduct of security personnel during the general elections.
The groups attributed the “poor conducts” of police officers in some states, including Rivers and Akwa Ibom, to undue influence from contending politicians and serving governors in the affected states.
Addressing a press conference held on Wednesday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, the groups said huge influence from the politicians led to serious compromise by security officials during the Governorship elections held on April 11.
The groups rated the conduct of security officials, especially the police during the governorship elections, lower when compared with the presidential elections.
The 2015 elections are over except for some states where INEC said elections were inconclusive.
They, however, pointed out that security officials were more civic in the discharge of their duties while the elections lasted.
The Executive Director of Cleen Foundation, Kemi Okenyode, attribute the “poor conducts” of security officials in some states including rivers and Akwa Ibom to influence from politicians.
Despite the shortcomings, however, the Chairman of Cleen Foundation, Etannibi Alemike, said the conduct of security officials during the 2015 elections was an improvement compared to previous elections.
The groups further recommend prosecution of electoral offenders, including prominent politicians and security officials found wanting, stressing that it would lead to more improved elections’ security in the future.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Imo State has fixed Saturday April 25 for the supplementary of the governorship elections in 256 polling units across 23 local government areas.
Addressing a news conference on Wednesday at the INEC headquarters in Owerri, the Imo State capital in south-east Nigeria, the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Gabriel Ada, said the commission was more prepared and ready to conduct the supplementary election.
He stated that the card reader would be used for accreditation of voters during the elections.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner also gave the reasons for declaring the April 11 elections in Imo State as inconclusive.
The election was declared inconclusive by the commission due to the number of cancelled votes, 144,715, in relation to the margin of win, 79,529, by the incumbent governor and the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Rochas Okorocha.
Mr Ada said that for the House of Assembly election held on April 11, six local government areas were declared inconclusive while results from 21 other local government areas were announced.
So far, 16 members of the All Progressives Congress and five members of the Peoples Democratic Party won at the local government areas where House of the elections were not cancelled.
A former US Ambassador to Nigeria, Robin Sanders, has commended Nigerians for coming out en masse to vote, in the 2015 general elections.
Sanders was part of an election observer group in the country, monitoring the elections.
She spoke to Channels Televisions’ correspondent in Washington, Maria Byrd, on her perception of the elections and the leadership Nigeria had provided the rest of Africa, with the electoral process.
While in Nigeria, she had monitored the accreditation process in the Presidential election that was held on March 28, but said she will hold her thought on the accreditation process until voting gets underway across the country.
Ms Sanders made her position known to Channels Television’s crew in Keffi, Nasarawa State while on observation mission to some Local Government Areas in the state.
Leading a number of international observers including the National Democratic Institute to a number of polling units in Karu where election materials were yet to arrive at about 8.50am, Ms Sanders said it was too early to make an assessment of the process.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared Ebonyi State House of Assembly election inconclusive in five constituencies.
Out of the 24 constituncies in the state, the results of 19 have been declared.
At the Abakaliki headquarters of the INEC, the Residential Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Dr. Lawrence Okechukwu Azubuike said fresh elections would be conducted in the constituencies to enable the will of electorates reflect.
He said: “Fresh elections will be conducted in Ezza North East, Ezza North West, Ohaukwu North & South and Abakaliki South constituencies”.
He, therefore, urged persons who were involved in the electoral violence reported in the state to desist from the act.
The REC equally recommended the efforts of the security operatives who were working in collaboration with INEC officials to maintain peace and order for a free and fair election.
The Benue State Governor-elect, Dr. Samuel Ortom, has assured citizens and residents of the state of an enabling environment that would lead to massive infrastructural development and wealth creation.
Speaking to Channels Television in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, Dr. Ortom said his administration would be guided by the fear of God and equity.
He said he would do “everything humanly possible” to ensure that the level of poverty in the state would be drastically reduced.
Dr. Ortom, who was the candidate of the All progressives Congress, further stated that the welfare of workers in the state would be given maximum attention in order to improve the fortunes of the state.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State says it intends to challenge the results of the just concluded general elections at the elections petitions tribunal.
While briefing reporters on Tuesday in Benin City, the Edo State capital, the chairman of the PDP in the state, Mr Dan Orbih, said the PDP would remain “the viable opposition party that is determined to give the people an alternative platform for political expression”.
The party declared that it was prepared for the governorship election in Edo State which would be held in 2016.
In the just concluded National Assembly and House of Representatives elections in the state, the PDP won only three constituencies in Edo State, with two Senators-elect, five House of Representatives members and three House of Assembly members.
The party chairman in the state said the party could have won more seats in the elections, hence the insistence that the party will challenge the results of the just concluded elections at the elections petition tribunal to prepare ahead of the governorship race.
According to the party, the race for the governorship election in the state had started.
“The PDP is not deterred and is prepared to be the viable opposition in the state,” Mr Orbih said.
The elections may be over but in Edo State, Orhionmwon Local Government Area has remained a hot bed.
The electoral body had cancelled elections held in the local council, with another election rescheduled for Saturday in Orhionmwon Constituency Two.
The PDP also said it was prepared for the Saturday’s election.
The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Akwa Ibom State, Mr Udom Emmanuel, says the call for the cancelation of elections in the state is a defeatist approach that does not reflect the true state of things.
In a telephone interview with Channels Television on Saturday after the elections in the state, Mr Udom said the election process was peaceful.
He said that the call for cancelation based on claims of violence in the state should not be welcomed, as the pockets of issues were not enough for cancelation of the election results.
“In Akwa Ibom, we have a very large number of voters. I am not saying that there were no pockets of issues here and there, but it is not the way it is being analysed at all.
“People came out. They were orderly. The voting was good and peaceful.
“We have gotten reports from the 31 local government areas of this state.
“Apart from those pockets of people getting anxious here and there. Immediately they started accreditation, everywhere went peaceful,” he said.
Mr Emmanuel further expressed surprise that people could call for the cancelation in Akwa Ibom.
“People are calling for cancellation and writing that there are crises in Akwa Ibom. Things are not the way it is being reported.
“We don’t like this defeatist approach with people running to the studio to start crying foul.
“We had a very peaceful election. Things are not the way people are reporting it. People should wait for the result to be announced,” the PDP governorship candidate stressed.
The Independent National Electoral Commission in Nigeria (INEC) has warned that it may have no other option but to cancel results in some areas where the state returning officer recorded violence.
The spokesman for the INEC chairman, Mr Kayode Idowu, said the commission had recorded reports of electoral violence in some places and would deal with it appropriately.
“We have received reports of incidents of Security breaches in some areas, particularly in Rivers State, but security agents have been on top of their game and we have been able to also conduct elections in those hot spots.
“There are areas where you have incidents of violence. Generally speaking, the election went on across the country.
“There are report of breaches of the peace in Abia State. There are challenges to the peace in many of the areas,” Mr Idowu said, confirming reports of violence in some areas.
He, however, said that reports received by the commission also showed that elections had gone on quite well in all the states.
Returning Officer To Decide
Reports of violence in Abia, Akwa Ibom and Rivers State, have led to calls for cancelation of election results in some of the places where violence was recorded. But Mr Idowu said that the Returning Officer reserved the right to decide if the elections in the areas would be canceled.
“There are guidelines and rules that the commission applies for dealing with cases where you have unwarranted infringement on the process, like ballot box snatches and stuffs like that.
“The Returning Officer is empowered to take a decision on what to do with areas where there have been violation of the process, like snatching of the ballot box or card readers.
“If the Returning Officer considers it serious enough, he can cancel or void the elections in such areas. The decision resides with the Returning Officer.
“If you have elections voided in any area, you will have to look at the balance when the result in other areas are collated. The difference between the leading candidate and the runner-up, if the outstanding votes are added to the runner up and it makes a difference to who leads, then that is significant.
“If the addition does not make a difference then you cannot say it is significant,” Mr Idowu explained.
He, however, said that there were no reports sent to the INEC that showed there was an entire area where election did not go on.
The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Lagos State, Jimi Agbaje, says there is ‘voter apathy’ in the state, as a result of the ‘fear of the unknown’.
Giving his comments about the low voters’ turnout witnessed in the Governorship and House of Assembly elections in some areas on Saturday, Mr Agbaje said the electorates feared that their votes may not count.
Mr Agbaje who got authenticated by the card reader after the sixth trial had earlier called on voters to come out and exercise their franchise.
His comment is also as a result of the low number of persons accredited to vote in his ward in Apapa.
Only 188 were accredited out of 1,002 registered voters.
Mr Agbaje and the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, are the two major contenders for the governorship seat in Lagos State.