The Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) has condemned the declaration by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Biodun Oyebanji, as Governor-Elect in the recently concluded Ekiti State gubernatorial election.
IPAC in a press conference on Wednesday in Abuja described the June 18 exercise as “characterized by brazen and outrageous vote-buying, sundry electoral malpractices and voter apathy.”
The independent advisory body said that the events surrounding the poll put a question on the emergence of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate.
It also frowned at the role played by security agents, stating that it is “deeply saddened and worried of the ugly high incidence of vote-trading between electorates and political actors in open connivance with some security agents saddled with the responsibility of arresting electoral offenders and their sponsors and also prosecuting offenders to serve as a deterrent to others who would contemplate such heinous crimes against the fatherland.”
IPAC National Chairman, Engr. Yabagi Yusuf Sani, regretted incidents where voters sold their ballots, lamenting that by doing such they have “mortgaged their future for the next four years by electing a leader who may not have necessarily been their choice if the election were to be devoid of obscene use of money to induce voters.”
“This unfortunate vicious circle of electing leaders after inducement has been the bane of the nation’s democracy since Independence in 1960, particularly since the return of democracy in 1999.
“Election is the beauty of democracy, the ballot is sacrosanct and should not be traded on for any reason or for no reason whatsoever.
The destinies of millions of fellow compatriots are at stake when the will and mandate of the people is brazenly stolen through vote-buying by political buccaneers masquerading as democrats with a mission to loot our common patrimony,” the council explained.
It further noted that with the deployment of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), which carried out verification, accreditation and confirmation of eligible voters, the gubernatorial election would have been credible, more so, with adequate security agents and operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) at strategic locations in the State.
Accordingly, IPAC calls on the National Assembly to expedite action on the Electoral Offences Commission and urges President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to it before the 2023 general election.
It urged that the “arrest and prosecution of electoral offenders will restore sanity in the nation’s democratic process,” even as it called on the Police to quickly prosecute those arrested for vote buying, including INEC officials and security agents who aided and abetted the crime.
“The ugly Ekiti episode has eroded the VALUE of the hard work by INEC which also has inadvertently affected the perception of the citizens as to the capacity of INEC to conduct and ensure credible election results, hence Council urges the commission to meticulously evaluate its performance in Ekiti with a view to improving in the forthcoming Osun State governorship election.
“Every vote must count and be counted in the overall result without the inducement of the electorate.
“This is the only way to boost the nation’s electoral process and encourage massive voter turnout in subsequent elections. Nigerians yearn for a new lease of life and dividends of democracy, not carnage as obtainable today across the country.
“The court is the temple of justice and a beacon of hope for all aggrieved and deprived citizens. Council urges aggrieved candidates and their political parties to approach the Ekiti State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal for redress and never resort to self-help as we collectively consolidate our emerging democracy. With the active participation of Nigerians, we shall enthrone genuine democracy in the country where every vote is counted and counts without financial inducement, harassment, rigging and violence.
IPAC will continue to promote democracy and good governance in Nigeria. It is a task that must be done. We are all in it together. Together, we shall make Nigeria great again,” the national chairman emphasized.
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Fresh PDP crisis: Why Wike, Ortom Shouldn’t Be Attacked, Omokri Speaks
A former presidential aide, Reno Omokri, on Thursday said “nobody in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), should disparage” Governors Nyesom Wike and Samuel Ortom.
Recall that according to Omokri, both men “laboured to build” the PDP.
“Stooping to conquer is not weakness. Nobody in the PDP should disparage Wike or Ortom. They should be appealed to and listened to. The PDP ought to seek to understand them. And then to accommodate them. When people who labour to build get angry, you embrace them!” Omokri said via a Twitter post.
The opposition party went into another round of crisis after its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, picked Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State as his running mate for the 2023 elections.
The development has degenerated into a full-blown disagreement among party leaders with Ortom, the Governor of Benue State, asking Atiku to ‘appease’ Wike, Rivers State governor, who came second in the presidential primary election in May.
In a similar vein, Ayodele Fayose, a former Governor of Ekiti State, and presidential aspirant, also dumped Atiku, and expressed his support for a Southern candidate, increasing speculations that he’ll throw his weight behind the candidature of Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
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2023: Only 6,382 PVCs Collected Out Of 34,242 Registered In Lagos – INEC
Ahead of the 2023 general elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has decried the low rate of Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs) collection.
The electoral umpire said only 6,382 Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs) out of 34,242, have been collected by their owners from the Commission’s Headquarters in Lagos for the first and second quarters.
Mr Olusegun Agbaje, the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Lagos State, made this disclosure on Thursday at the 8th Annual Constituency Stakeholders’ Meeting organised by the Lagos State House of Assembly, held simultaneously across the 40 Constituencies in the state.
Agbaje, who was a special guest at the meeting held at the Lagos Mainland Constituency 2, expressed concern that the low rate of PVC collection in the state is worrisome.
The Lagos REC, who was represented by Mrs Olamide Dojumo, Electoral Officer, Lagos Mainland LGA, also disclosed that for the old PVCs, a total of 1,091,157 are still uncollected by their owners.
“In view of the foregoing, I want to strongly urge you to continue to assist the Commission in mobilizing the eligible citizens residing in Lagos State that are yet to collect their PVCs to take advantage of the opportunity provided by the ongoing collection of PVCs at the INEC LGA offices where they registered to collect their PVCs, as anyone without the PVC cannot vote during the election. Simply put ‘no PVC no voting’
“You will agree with me that the success of any election depends largely on how relevant stakeholders play their various roles. Therefore, everyone must strive towards ensuring that their contributions are effective, positive and purposeful for the attainment of the Nation’s desired viable, sustainable and enduring democratic culture.
“As the general election draws near, we should properly educate and mobilize the voters in line with the Electoral Act 2022 and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended). This is a significant area where the Commission needs the positive input of all stakeholders to complement her ongoing efforts toward improving the level of awareness of the citizenry in the democratic process.
“This will no doubt increase the PVC collection rate and avoid voter apathy that has characterized the past elections in the state where only 1,156,590 out of 6,570,291 registered voters (17.6%) participated in the 2019 general election in Lagos State. Similarly, only 104,405 out 1,343,448 registered voters (7.8%) participated in the 2020 Lagos East Senatorial District By-election”.
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2023: Aide Reacts To Allegation That Peter Obi Hates Northerners
Valentine Obienyem, the media aide to the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi has denied reports that his principal is a religious bigot that hates northerners.
Obienyem in a statement on Thursday said some faceless groups ben sponsored by political opponents are responsible for spreading falsehood about Peter Obi due to his growing popularity.
His statement comes as a reaction to an earlier article which claimed Obi didn’t respond appropriately to the killing of some northerners in Anambra State back in March 2006.
The article also further alleged that Obi requested the DSS to remove some Hausa traders near his house and ejected some northern traders from their space.
However, Obi’s media aide in his response, said all the allegations are not true. He explained that the incident referenced about the killing of some northerners happened before Obi became the Anambra State Governor and his principal never encouraged the killings or the perpetrators.
Obienyem added that Obi believes in the unity of Nigeria and what each region can contribute to national development based on comparative advantage.
“Our attention was brought to the above campaign of calumny launched by some faceless groups,” Obienyem said.
“Is it by coincidence that it came when we were reliably informed that some political parties have charged their political office holders to hire people to relentlessly attack Obi with falsehoods on all available social media platforms?
421 total views, 421 views today
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