Togo Ruling Party Triumphs At First Local Polls In 30 Years


Togo’s ruling party has cruised to victory at the first local elections in 32 years in the West African nation that has been dominated by one family for decades, results said. 

Voters in the country of 8 million people cast their ballots on Sunday at poll Western power described as an “important step in strengthening local democracy”.

Some opposition parties took part after boycotting parliamentary elections last year in protest at President Faure Gnassingbe’s grip on power.

Gnassingbe has ruled the country for 15 years since he succeeded his father Eyadema Gnassingbe, who led the country with an iron fist for 38 years after taking over in a coup.

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Parliament in May approved a constitutional change allowing Gnassingbe to run two more times and potentially remain in office until 2030.

Preliminary results released late Friday by the electoral commission gave the ruling Union for the Republic 895 of the 1490 local council seats on offer.

The National Alliance for Change was second on 134 seats, ahead of two other opposition groupings.

Overall turnout was put at just over 52 per cent but participation was low in the capital Lome. The vote was not held in three areas of the country due to “technical reasons”.

The election came almost two years after hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in Lome and other cities in anti-government protests, leading to deadly clashes.

Protests again erupted earlier this year in Togo, sandwiched between Ghana and Benin, but have since waned.

Political activists have been detained by security forces and the police.

The previous councillors elected in local elections in Togo governed for 14 years from 1987 — despite being elected on five-year terms.

Councillors were later replaced with “special delegations”, tasked with organising new elections, whose positions were often filled with figures hand-picked by the government.


Former Minister, Yarima Ngama Defects To APC

apcA former Minister of State for Finance, Dr. Yarima Ngama, has defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Announcing the defection of the former minister from the PDP to the APC on Friday in Damaturu, Yobe State capital, a prominent indigene of the state, Mr. Lawan Gana Lantewa, said that the former minister, among several other supporters of the PDP, have thrown their weight behind APC to help the state to be in the ruling party for the first time since its creation in 1991.

Mr Lantewa, while praising people of Yobe State for remaining in the opposition since 1991, said that if they can work for the formation of a central government for the first time, the state would benefit maximally.

“We are defecting to the APC so as to add to the course of ensuring the state governor wins under the platform of the APC so that our state will be among the ruling party for the first time in the history of the state.

“We believe this will bring lots of dividend and development for the state which has suffered greatly under the opposition over the years,” Lawan Gana said.

He also said that their decision would develop the state which has suffered insurgency and neglect over the years being in the opposition.

The National Secretary of the APC, Mai Mala Buni, who received the defectors on behalf of the party, applauded their decision. He said that the APC would transform the country and the state for the better in no distant time.

Manual Accreditation Evidence Of Card Reader Failure – PDP

PDPThe Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said that the poor working condition of the card readers in Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly elections across the country could have been avoided, if the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had listened to advice from well meaning Nigerians and organizations, including the PDP, regarding the use of the card readers.

National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Olisa Metuh, in a statement on Saturday, said the last minute resort to manual accreditation by INEC clearly shows the failure of the system.

“The unfortunate development is a vindication of our earlier position that as good as the idea of card readers is, it was too virgin to be successfully used in a general election without proper testing especially in an environment as ours that is not entirely digitally proficient,” the statement said.

The PDP also described the accreditation problems experienced by President Goodluck Jonathan as a ‘’huge national embarrassment.’’

Governor Jonah Jang, of Plateau, James Ngilari of Adamawa, Isa Yuguda of Buachi among others, have also reacted to the problems of accreditation, seeking explanation from INEC.

The PDP also reacted to reported cases of accreditation of under-aged persons in some states, especially in the northern part of the country, calling on INEC to ensure that such unqualified persons are not allowed to vote, and also to prosecute its officials involved in the crime.

The ruling party said it is seriously concerned about the developments given the avowed commitment of the President Goodluck Jonathan-led PDP administration to hitch-free, fair and credible electoral process.

The PDP charged the electoral body to take urgent steps within the law, to ensure that no willing and qualified voter is disenfranchised, while urging Nigerians to remain calm in the overall interest of the nation.

Sierra Leone Vice President Goes Into Hiding

Sierra Leone’s Vice President, Samuel Sam-Sumana

Vice President of Sierra Leone, Samuel Sam-Sumana, has gone into hiding as he seeks political haven at the US embassy in Freetown, the country’s capital.

According to reports, Vice President Sam-Sumana and his wife fled their home after they got wind that soldiers were coming to besiege it.

Mr Sam-Sumana was expelled from the ruling party, two weeks ago for allegedly orchestrating political violence, trying to form a new party and falsifying academic credentials, claims he vehemently denied.

Reports said relations between Sierra Leone President, Ernest Bai-Koroma and his Vice, Mr Sam-Sumana had gone sour for some time.

While still in hiding, the Vice President is seeking political asylum at the U.S. Embassy in Freetown, but the U.S. Embassy has not reacted to the development.

According to him two weeks ago, he said he had chosen to be quarantined for 21 days to “lead by example” in the battle against Ebola, after one of his bodyguards died of the Ebola virus.

More than 3,500 have died as a result of Ebola virus cases in Sierra Leone, which along with Guinea and Liberia has experienced the huge majority of deaths from the disease.

I Remain A Member Of The G7 Governors — Gov. Aliyu

Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger state has said that contrary to reports, he remains a member of the G7 governors.

Speaking when members of the civil service union paid him a courtesy call at the Government House in Minna, Governor Aliyu explained that as a leader of the G7 governors, he remains committed to the cause of the aggrieved members of the Peoples Democratic Party.

He said the governors are still discussing with President Goodluck Jonathan and can only take a decision on their political future after the Discussion.

It will be recalled that  the Abubakar Baraje faction of the PDP which the aggrieved G7 governors belong was not favoured in the recent court ruling as it recognized the  Bamanga Tukur PDP Faction as the legitimate PDP.

The aggrieved G7 governors namely: Aliyu Wamakko, Sule Lamido of Jigawa, Rivers state’s Rotimi Amaechi, Aliyu Babangida of Niger state, Kwara state governor, Abdulfatai Ahmed, Murtala Nyako of Adamawa state and Rabiu Kwankwanso of Kano state decided to take a stance with some key members of the party which include former vice president Atiku Abubakar and former Kwara state governor Senator Bukola Saraki and Olagunsoye Oyinlola after they stormed out of the Special National Congress held at Eagles Square, Abuja.

Anambra Elections: Nwoye’s Suit Against INEC, PDP Stalled

The hearing in the suit filed by Mr Tony Nwoye against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) has again been stalled following a request for adjournment by the counsel to the plaintiff to enable him study the judgment of a Port Harcourt High Court which disqualified Mr Nwoye as the candidate of the Peoples’ Democratic Party in Anambra state.

At the resumed hearing in Abuja, counsel to the plaintiff, Mr Yusuf Ali told the court that he needs time to study the judgment in order to make informed submissions.

Nwoye had through his counsel; Yusuf Ali approached the court in Abuja seeking an order to compel INEC to recognize him (Nwoye) as the flag bearer of the PDP in the forthcoming Anambra governorship election.

Lawyer to the Independent National Electoral Commission, Mr Ahmed Raji who did not oppose the application for adjournment however expressed optimism that the parties will resolve their differences amicably.

Justice Elvis Chukwu subsequently adjourned hearing of the suit to the 30th of September.

Metuh Assures Of PDP Crisis Reconciliation

The newly re-elected National Publicity Secretary of the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party, Olisa Metuh on Monday assured that the party is working to resolve the crisis rocking the party.

Seven governors, former vice-president, Atiku Abubakar, former Osun state governor, Olagunsoye Oyinlola and former governor of Kwara, Senator Bukola Saraki with some other members of the party, had walked out of the party’s National Special Convention.

The breakaway group reassembled at another venue to form a parallel PDP.

Addressing the press for the first time after his re-election, the party spokesman said meetings are on-going in a bid to resolve the impasse.

The Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) may need to do more of fence mending now, in a bid to retain its ruling status, looking ahead of the 2015 elections.

The party has now initiated a reconciliation process that will investigate the matter and help resolve the issues.

We Will Not Relent On Our Mission– Factional PDP

The breakaway faction of the ruling party (PDP) has reiterated that it is serious with efforts at rescuing the party, and will not relent until they achieve a renewed and formidable PDP, as the leadership of the faction, known as the new PDP kicked off its secretariat operations.

In a statement signed by its secretary, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, the Kawu Baraje faction insists, it has received huge support among party members and leaders from all the states.

The former governor of Osun state says they will not relent on their mission to make the PDP work again in the interest of Nigeria and its people.

The faction has however agreed to honour the leaders of the party, particularly, President Goodluck Jonathan and former President Olusegun Obasanjo to attend a scheduled meeting of the party elders before the end of the week.

Mr Oyinlola says “We respect the elders and will be guided by them even as we stress that we will not abandon the ideals of justice and fairness.”

There Is No Party, Registered Or Not That Is A Threat to PDP– Isuwa

A political scientist, Isuwa Dogo has assured that the PDP is not threatened at all by any party either registered or yet to be registered by the INEC as ‘the PDP is a well-organised, focused, balanced, articulate and conscientious party in every aspect and every department of it’ hence, the non-response to some issues raised by oppositions.

A member of the ruling party PDP who was a guest on Sunrise Daily while discussing political issues surrounding the 2015 elections,Mr Isuwa boastfully refuted claims, that the ruling party is worried about being castigated for not being responsive to issues around the country, saying that the Peoples’ Democratic Party has always been very focused on developments, as it is part of the party’s major concerns and it is also reflecting on every sector of the economy except in non-PDP states.

“The PDP has never lost focus on in its concerns for developments; the newspapers are filled with decisions taken on daily on several aspects of the economy, power sector, roads, education sector

“For the fact that people have already given in to the aspect, that every single thing that has been done by a ruling party has to be criticised justly or unjustly, is not something the PDP is worried about”

The politician took a swipe at the APC-led states in terms of actualising the agendas stated in their manifestos before mounting seats of power in the states, in a case of the ‘kettle calling pot black’, where he analysed that the PDP states do better than the APC –led states, but the opposition still get to condemn the ruling party for non-development and developmental strategies in their respective states and the central government.

“The Nigerian people know that a lot of the things they are saying (APC), they don’t even believe in them, they can’t even do them, they don’t even know them, they don’t even have the slightest idea on how  to get along to do them

“And we can see that in the states that control (APC), there is nothing to demonstrate what they accused the PDP of doing or not doing, that they have perfected it”.

He further compared PDP and APC states in terms of infrastructure development, where in his argument the PDP toppled the APC, while backing less-performing PDP states when taken up on the PDP states not performing.

Watch complete interview for more.

8 Members Of PDP Abia Chapter, Die In Auto Crash

Eight members of Peoples Democratic Party, Abia state chapter have been confirmed dead and six critically injured as a result of ghastly auto crash along Anambra-Enugu highway.

The men were returning from the Anambra state ward congress, where they worked as auxiliary staff in preparation for the governorship election holding on 18th November this year.

The surviving six members who were reported to be critically injured were rushed to the federal medical centre, Umuahia, thanks to the state government who sent in ambulances since the industrial action embarked upon by health workers affected the operations of UNTH Enugu.

On learning about the news the state secretariat of the party suddenly transformed, looking like a desert while the flags were lowered to fly at half-mast.

The state governor Theodore Orji has however paid the survivors a visit at the federal medical centre.

PDP Begins Reconciliation Of Members

The Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio

Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom state says the fence mending meeting between President Goodluck Jonathan and some governors from the Peoples’ Democratic Party is part of the party’s effort to put its house in order.

Speaking to state house correspondents after a meeting president Jonathan, Governor Akpabio explained that progress is being made to reconcile members of the party.

However, he denied knowledge of any aggrieved governor within the fold of the ruling party.

Report from the media has indicated that President Jonathan met with some governors alongside party leaders like former President Olusegun Obasanjo to find road to peace within the party.

PDP Screening Committee Clears 15 For Anambra Election

Nigeria’s ruling party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) have cleared fifteen candidates to participate in the party’s Anambra governorship primary on august 24.

Twenty six aspirants picked the expression of interest form and seventeen of them returned their nomination forms.

Receiving the report of the party’s screening committee, the acting national vice chairman of the party; Mr Chibudom Nwuche said that those who were not cleared can appeal.