LG Election Cripples Political Third Force In Osun

The January 27 parliamentary local government election in the State of Osun might have given an insight into how the September 22 governorship election in the state would go – the intrigues and controversies to be expected before and during the election.

OSUN DEFENDER noted the sudden creation of a supposed political third force to challenge the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the dominant opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 71 wards where the election was held.

Findings revealed that candidates of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Socialist Democratic Party (SDP), Labour Party (LP) and Accord Party who contested the election with APC candidates were originally members or supporters of the ruling party and the PDP.

It was gathered that the decision of the PDP to boycott the election did not go down well with some of the party’s supporters, hence they resolved to contest under another party.

Majority of the PDP supporters, according to findings, contested the LG election under LP and Accord Party.

Similarly, some members and supporters of the APC who were not satisfied with the selection process of the party’s candidates in some wards resolved to contest the election under ACPN, SDP and Accord Party.

But all the opposition parties that contested LG election with APC performed far below expectation of the popularity of their candidates in the various wards.

None of the party got one-third of the vote of the APC candidates in each of the 71 wards where election took place.

In some places like Osogbo, Iragbiji, Ife, Iwo and some other places where election took place, the opposition parties were regarded insignificant as no electoral respect was accorded to any candidate of theirs.

The local government election made it obvious that majority of the electorate were still in support of the APC.

Commenting on the election, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy in the state, Mr Adelani Baderinwa, described the poll as peaceful and successful based on the turn out and conduct of the electorate.

He said: “The election was no doubt peaceful, transparent and credible. We commend OSIEC for the successful conduct of the election; it is a job well done. Likewise, we appreciate the security agents for the high display of professionalism in providing enabling environment for the election.

“The government commends the voters for their peaceful conduct while casting their votes for all the APC candidates in the election. We applaud their loyalty and staunch support for the administration of Governor Rauf Aregbesola

“We congratulate the winners of the election who are all from the ruling APC; and we task them to enhance governance at the grassroots for effective service delivery.  Specifically, we urge the councilors to support the Internally Generated Revenue drive of the state government.

“The outcome of the election shows that the government of the APC enjoys the support of the people of the state who appreciate the good governance being delivered by Governor Aregbesola. It is an affirmation that the people wants the APC to continue running the affairs of the state and the grassroots, having enjoyed the development that characterised Aregbesola’s administration.

“Similarly, the withdrawal of the opposition parties, particularly the PDP, is nothing but a scheme to avoid a public electoral disgrace, because the parties had lost touch with the people of the state.

“The government is looking forward to more support from the electorate for future election; and we promise the continuous delivery of good governance.”

 

80 Political Parties Seek Registration Ahead Of 2019 Electoral Battles

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Tuesday said that 80 political parties submitted applications for registration ahead of the 2019 elections.

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, made this known on Tuesday at the Fourth Situation Room Stakeholders Forum on Elections, organised by a coalition of Civil Society Organisations in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that there are currently 67 political parties already registered.

Yakubu, who was represented by Dr AdeKunle Ogunmola, a National Commissioner at INEC, said that the commission was also being asked to register independent candidates for the elections.

“As it is today, 80 more groups are seeking registration as political parties.
“We will continue to register them until the time scheduled by the Electoral Act for us to stop.

“The issue of Independent candidacy is still there too. Right now, we are thinking of how to design our ballot papers to take care of all the registered political parties.

“So far, the hardest was the Anambra election, where 37 political parties fielded candidates,’’ the chairman said.

Yakubu said the commission was determined to ensure that the 2019 elections were free, fair and credible.

He added that INEC would give special attention to the voters’ register.

Mr Abubakar Malami, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, said the electoral process in Nigeria remained deeply contentious and weak in spite of remarkable reforms in the system.

Malami, who was also represented by Mrs Juliet Ibekaku-Nwagwu, Special Assistant to the President on Justice Reform, said the Federal Executive Council had set-up an implementation committee on the report of the electoral reform committee.

He said that the committee, headed by the Vice-President, Prof Yemi Osibanjo, would develop a white paper on the report of the Sen. Ken Nnamani-led committee.

He spoke on the need to finalise preparation for the 2019 general elections, with just about one year to go.

Malami said the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari was determined to improve on the gains made in previous elections and has taken several steps to strengthen the INEC.

According to him, the government has ensured that INEC is able to operate as an independent and credible umpire.

The convener of the Situation Room, Mr Clement Nwankwo, said the country had witnessed some improvement in the nation’s electoral process.

Nwankwo said that the integrity of INEC had improved since 2011.

“The hope is that looking towards 2019, it will improve further,” he said.

The convener, however, said that there were challenges of money politics.
Looking ahead, we see that INEC has the determination, the integrity and the possibility to ensure that 2019 elections will be an improvement.

“The electoral process is in the hands of INEC and every other person is supposed to facilitate INEC’s work, including security services, CSOs and political parties.” (NAN)

We Have Not Lifted Ban On Campaigns – INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)on Tuesday in Abuja warned politicians and political parties against going about soliciting for electoral support, describing such action as illegal.

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu disclosed this at a quarterly consultative meeting with the media held at the commission’s secretariat.

“Let me warn political parties and aspirants. We have not released the schedule of activities for the elections. Anything that anybody does is illegal before the law. They should wait for the timetable of the elections”, he cautioned.

Ekiti state Governor, Ayodele Fayose had last Thursday declared his intention to vie for the nation’s presidency in 2019, an action some INEC officials said was not in contravention of any known law.

Section 99 of the Electoral Act 201 (as amended), states that “For the purpose of this Act, the period of campaigning in public by every political party shall commence 90 days before polling day and end 24 hours prior to that day”. Such a person is liable, upon conviction to a maximum fine of N500, 000.

On the budget for the 2019 general elections, Yakubu said though the commission could not immediately place a figure on the budget, it was already working on it.

“As you are aware, we have concluded the strategic plan. We are now working on the Election Project Plan. Once we conclude the Election Project Plan, a number of things would follow among which is the election budget for the 2019 general elections which would be released next week. We are unable to give you a figure for now”, he said.

The commission also pledged its commitment to conducting free and fair elections in Anambra state saying, “election makes the difference between war and peace”.

He expressed the firm conviction that the election would not be inconclusive.
Yakubu appealed for calm, assuring that “elections in Anambra will be free and fair. There is no way it can be anything than free and fair. This is the irreducible minimum. This should be taken for granted on the part of the commission.

“For a very long time, Anambra election has not been concluded on the first ballot but we are determined to conclude Anambra election on the first ballot”.

He expressed delight at what he described as the peaceful nature of campaigns in the state, adding that though the state has produced a record number of 37 contestants, it was very unusual that the commission is not bogged down by court cases as a result of a political party presenting two candidates for the elections.

Yakubu further added that the commission has so far satisfactorily tested 5, 200 Smart Card Readers and would test the remaining 1, 000 this week.

While it would publish the Register of Voters on October 18, INEC said it would, however, take delivery of all printed Permanent Voter Cards PVCs for the Anambra election on October 15. “We want to start distributing at least 30 days before the elections so that anybody who has registered can get his or her card to the polls”, he promised.

On the issue of under-age voters in past elections, the INEC boss said the commission discovered that most of the so-called underage voters were actually standing in the queues for their aged parents or pregnant mothers.

See How Nigerian Senate Voted In Constitutional Amendments

The Nigerian Senate has concluded voting on 33 amendments to the 1999 constitution.

About 95 senators are present for the Wednesday’s session.

The Senate voted to abrogate state-LG joint accounts, and guarantee existence of democratically constituted LGAs.

The Senate also voted to reject devolution of power to states.

The Senate voted to expand Council of states to include former NASS presiding officers

Senators vote to ensure ministerial nominees sent to it include their portfolios and are sent within 30 days of inauguration of the president and of governors for states.

Senate voted to empower INEC to deregister political parties over failure to secure an elective seat.

Senate rejects 35 per cent affirmative action for women as ministers as well as 20 per cent for women as commissioners in states

Senate votes to support independent candidacy during elections.

Senate votes to change the name of the Nigeria Police Force.

Senate votes to support single term for president and governors

Senate votes to support separation of the office of Attorney General of Federation from that of the Minister of Justice.

Senate votes to support a time limit for pre-election matters to be resolved in court

Senate votes in supprt of reduction of age qualification for the offices of the president, lawmakers, and governors.

Senate votes to remove NYSC, Land Use, PCC, NSA Acts from the constitution to make them flexible for regular amendment.

Senate reversed self, voted to retain Land Use Act in the Constitution

Senate finally voted to delete state independent electoral commission from the Constitution. 73 Yes votes!

Senate concludes voting on the 33 bills to amend the Nigerian constitution.