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PDP Asks INEC To Push For Legalisation Of Electronic Voting

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The National Working Committee of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday met with representatives of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over issues of electoral reforms.

Leaders of the political party during the meeting urged the electoral body to lead the process of electoral reforms that will legalise electronic voting and reduce military presence during elections.

“I would like to urge your commission to move quickly and initiate Electoral Act amendment that will legalise electronic voting and remove the influence of the military as primary security on the Election Day,” National Chairman of the party, Uche Secondus, said while welcoming the INEC representatives to PDP National Secretariat, Abuja.

The party also lamented over alleged military involvement in elections noting that the recent elections including the 2019 general elections calls the integrity of the electoral umpire to question.

“Despite a standing lawful court ruling that military should be kept at a distance during elections as secondary security, we have all watched how they not only took over the primary security role from the Police but in some instances dictated and even connived with some INEC officials,” they said.

The also described the 2015 election which saw the transition of power from Goodluck Jonathan of PDP to Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as ‘Nigeria’s finest election.’

PDP however tasked the electoral body to stand up to their responsibility of balance and impartiality.

“The survival and sustenance of our democracy rest squarely on the integrity of the Electoral Commission which will derive from the character and the impartiality of its operatives.

“The effect of bad elections in our polity has been far reaching, stagnating the political and economic development.”

They concluded that free, fair and credible election is exactly what PDP and indeed global democracy demand and expect from INEC.

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Adams Oshiomhole Officially Welcomes Ize-Iyamu To APC

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National chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has welcomed former governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Mr. Osagie Ize-Iyamu into the ruling party.

Mr. Ize-Iyamu who defected to the APC officially in November was received by the former deputy governor of Edo State, Dr. Pius Odubu, who represented Comrade Oshiomhole, at his residence in the state capital.

A large crowd of supporters joined Mr. Ize-Iyamu in defecting to the APC, despite a ban on public rallies by the state government.

In the build-up to the rally, suspected thugs lit bonfires on the road leading Ize-Iyamu’s residence in Ugbor, Gra Benin City where the defection took place.

Speaking on the defection, Comrade Oshiomhole said the rally was peaceful and Mr. Ize-Iyamu’s arrival has helped the party gain more supporters and strength in the forthcoming governorship elections.

“In spite of everything, APC had a successful rally that was peaceful and it achieved its purpose.

“As I stand here now, I am taller now than I was just yesterday because we have harvested to our party, people who were part of the foundation of the APC. Those who participated in the negotiation for the merger, not only have they returned home, they have also used their connection in the other party they were in, to move people who have always been on that side to come and join us.”

Comrade Oshiomhole added that “I hear some people are panicking that pastor is coming because he wants to take a ticket. I have become sick of this suspicion; my former deputy governor was appointed as the Director of Buhari campaign organisation and the governor alleged that the appointment means I am preparing him to take over from him. He is now appointed as chairman of NDDC and they claim it is all part of the plot.”

The Inspector-General of Police had suspended the rally yesterday owing to security concerns while the Edo State Government also issued a ban on all political activities in the state till further notice.

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Buhari Returning Nigeria to Military Era, Says Okogie

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Former President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Cardinal Anthony Olubunmi-Okogie, has said Nigeria is gradually returning to the era of military dictatorship where there is disobedience to the rule of law.

Okogie, a former Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, decried the frequent disobedience to court orders by the regime led by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).

Okogie’s comments are contained in a statement he sent to news men on Friday titled, ‘Corruption and Repression.’

He said, “The painful and sad reality we face is that we live in a country where leaders are very distant from the led. We need leaders who are neither blind to the suffering of the people nor deaf to their cries; leaders who listen to the people, leaders who have the courage to be humble, and who are therefore ready to admit that they are wrong when they are wrong.

“In a democracy, those who govern are chosen by the people to represent the people. And if they are to represent the people, they must listen to the people. Not only do true democrats listen, they also are not afraid of dissenting opinions. They do not arrogate to themselves the power to accuse, arrest, prosecute and convict. But can we candidly say we have democrats at the helm of affairs in this country at this point in time?

“How can we claim to live in a democracy when presidential spokespersons tell us the presidency is always right? It is important to remind our political leaders at the federal, state and local levels of government that they cannot enforce laws if they cannot obey the law.”

He added, “If the executive disobeys court rulings, and if it intimidates and humiliates the judiciary, then we are back to the era when a military junta made laws and interpreted them without any regard for fundamental human rights. We have returned to a sinful past when citizens could be abducted and locked up in detention without trial under the pretext of acting in the interest of national security.”

According to the retired bishop, repression of dissenting opinions was a major factor that led to the end of the First Republic.

“But Nigerians do not want military rule anymore. Having experienced two painful bouts of military dictatorship, two periods in Nigeria’s history when men in uniform, trained and paid to protect the land and its people, visited untold brutality on the civilian population, we all must resolve to be responsible for protecting democracy in this country,” he stated.

The Cardinal also recalled that it was during the military rule that Nigeria was plunged into an avoidable civil war. He said the war could have been avoided if political actors had adhered faithfully to democratic principles.

He added that their failure to do so provided opportunistic elements in the Nigerian military with an excuse for mass murder.

“Innocent lives were lost before and during that war. A month to the 50th anniversary of the end of that war, factors that led to the war are being reawakened. Our democracy is in danger because of corruption and dictatorship,” he said.

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Author of Book on Buhari Gets Over 1Million Pre-Order 2 Weeks Before Launch

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The author of the soon to be launched book on President Muhammadu Buhari, Mr. Philip Agbese has received an order for over 1 million copies of the book, more than two weeks to the date for the official launch.

The book entitled, “Integrity Vs Power Play: Understanding the Buhari Phenomenon” is set for launch at the International Conference Centre , on the 30th of December, 2019.

Agbese, who is the Chief Executive Officer of TheNigerian, a news portal established in the United Kingdom, had in a widely circulated press statement announced the date and venue for the launch of the book and few hours after the news went public, inquiries about the book dominated the social media space with many asking for copies.

Public curiosity in the book has been aroused by the recent debate occasioned by a Nigerian newspaper editorial on whether President Buhari has earned his place as a democratic leader.

The author made it known in the statement that both the background and current leadership style of the Nigerian President agree with the main point in the book that the President Buhari has earned respect as a transformational leader and an outstanding democrat.

The pungency of the view canvassed as well as the authority with which the book is written serves to whet the appetite of the reading public that various institutions and individuals have placed orders for the book ahead of the set date for launch.

A statement from the book launch committee called on the general public who are eager to demonstrate their love and support for President Muhammad Buhari to be patient as copies would be made available on the day of the launch and in leading book stores across the country.

The committee said there’s no doubt that the twisted narrative about the President which some are trying to impose on the populace would be challenged with the launch of the book stating that Nigerians and the international community would soon get to know the truth about the true qualities of the Nigerian President.

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