A group, South-south Emerging Leaders’ Forum (SELF) has warned against subterranean plot by some highly placed politicians to rig the the 2023 general elections, beginning with the forthcoming Edo state governorship election.
The South-south forum, in a statement made available Wednesday in Abuja, by its Convener Barrister Preye Wilson, said the arrow head of the plot has commenced moves aimed at compromising the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in order to return the APC to power in 2023.
SELF revealed that a renewal of tenure is being dangled before the Chairman of the INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu as bait to get him to play ball.
Prof. Yakubu was appointed as Chairman of the INEC by President Muhammadu Buhari on 21 October 2015. His tenure is due to expire on October 20 this year.
Section 3(1) of the Independent National Electoral Commission (Establishment, etc.) Act 2010 (as amended) provides that “the chairman and members of the commission shall each hold office for a period of five years and on such terms and conditions as may be specified in their letters of appointment.”
The Forum further disclosed that according to
credible intelligence they gathered a top member of the National Assembly leadership has held a preliminary session with the INEC boss to “discuss the proposal and present the terms.”
He said that the INEC boss has been requested to show commitment to the cause by returning the candidate of the APC as winner of the September 19, 2020 governorship election in Edo state.
The group said the leader of the highly secretive plot has pledged to facilitate Yakubu’s reappointment as INEC boss for another term of five years after he must have delivered Edo state to the APC in demonstration of good faith.
“There is a plot by the some politicians in the ruling party to ensure the return of the INEC chairman for a second tenure.
“They have held a meeting with the INEC chairman where it was stated that his tenure would soon be over but will be allowed to have a second term on the condition that he returns the APC in 2023.
“To be sure that he would not renege on the agreement, they have asked the INEC chairman to deliver Edo state in the forthcoming governorship election in the state.
“This will prove that he will play ball in 2023 and as such, he will be recommend to the President, General Muhammadu Buhari, through his Chief of staff to be allowed to come back for a second term.
“With this information at our disposal, it is clear that the INEC chairman is already compromised and to this effect, the Edo State Governorship election is compromised.
“We, therefore call on Nigerians at home and abroad, the international community, United Nations, United States, United Kingdom, European Union, etc., to be vigilant and impress it on the APC government that they will one day be held accountable for their actions. We are watching!”
Edo Guber: Youth Leader Canvass For Peaceful Poll, Charged Youths To Desist From Violence
A youth leader in Kaduna state and convener of Youths Arise in Democracy Now, Hon James Makeri has on all the gubernatorial candidates of all the political parties participating in the September 19, 2020 election not to use youths as agent of destruction during the polls.
Hon Makeri made the statement today while answering questions in an exclusive interview with Kabido Newspaper in Kaduna.
He said that ” my message to Edo youths to particularly not to allow themselves to be use in thuggery and other crimes which will affect the election negatively”.
” Also the main contenders that is Governor Godwin Obasakie and Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu should allow the electorate to vote for their choice as there is no victor or vanquished in the election as it is the will of the people which must be respected by all.
He added that Nigeria is evolving and both the youths and elder state men must as a matter of patriotism give way to peace for democracy to flourish in the country.
Hon Makeri further called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to be steadfast and honest in the conduct of the election in order to entrench democratic norms in the country.
NBA Closely Monitoring Edo Election, Says Aikpokpo Martins
The Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) says it is closely monitoring the activities leading to the governorship election in Edo State.
NBA First Vice President, John Aikpokpo-Martins, disclosed this on Thursday during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily in Abuja.
He explained that the body is satisfied with the peaceful manner political actors have conducted themselves so far.
“The NBA does not have the resources to follow up from the beginning to the end. As an association, this particular team was set up to observe from tomorrow till the election will be over; that is to say to the announcement of the result.
“However, we have been watching and observing all that is going on. For now, we are satisfied to the extent that the parties have conducted themselves very well, they have campaigned hard,” he said.
Speaking on the possibility of violence in the polls, the legal practitioner said there have been allegations of “threat to violence but not actual violence yet.”
The NBA leader said the allegations and counter-allegations do not automatically translate to violence on the election day.
Aikpokpo-Martins, who is also an indigene of Edo State, said the state does not have a history of violence in previous elections.
Although he admitted that the political atmosphere is tensed with the “temperature very high,” he is however optimistic of a peaceful conduct of the exercise on September 19.
“The security is very tight now. There are a lot of soldiers, a lot of policemen on the streets. I am very sure that will dissuade merchants of violence from going out to disrupt the election in a violent way,” he said.
His remarks come two days after the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate and incumbent governor, Godwin Obaseki embraced his main rival and contender in the poll, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The duo beaming with smiles warmly hugged each other, an indication that they have decided to toe the line of peace and avoid unnecessary bloodshed in the election.
Obasanjo’s Comment: Not Every Criticism Should Give You Sleepless Nights – Adesina
Mr. Adesina who on Wednesday made the comment in reply to recent criticism by former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
The former president while delivering a speech titled ‘Moving Nigeria Away from Tipping Over’ at a consultative dialogue attended by various socio-cultural groups, said Nigeria is falling apart under Buhari.
At the consultative dialogue attended by members of various groups, including Afenifere, Middle Belt Forum, Northern Elders Forum, Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo, and Pan Niger Delta Forum, Obasanjo noted that the country is becoming the world capital of poverty.
He said, “I do appreciate that you all feel sad and embarrassed as most of us feel as Nigerians with the situation we find ourselves in,” Obasanjo said. “Today, Nigeria is fast drifting to a failed and badly divided state; economically our country is becoming a basket case and poverty capital of the world, and socially, we are firming up as an unwholesome and insecure country.
“And these manifestations are the products of recent mismanagement of diversity and socio-economic development of our country. Old fault lines that were disappearing have opened up in greater fissures and with drums of hatred, disintegration, and separation and accompanying choruses being heard loud and clear almost everywhere.”
Reacting to comments by the former president, Mr Adesina said all criticisms must be thoroughly looked at to ascertain what value they add to discussions around moving the nation forward. He, however, argued that “not every criticism should give one sleepless night”.
According to Adesina, there is no government that Obasanjo has not criticized.
“Obasanjo has criticised every government since the Shehu Shagari government that succeeded him in 1979. The only government he has not criticised is the Olusegun Obasanjo government”.
The media aide added that Obasanjo has a right to air his opinions, he, however, stressed that it is in the Buhari government’s right to take the former president’s reproval or dismiss them as mere claims aimed to detract from a performing administration.
Earlier in the week, the Presidency asked former President Olusegun Obasanjo to help in proffering solutions to the problems plaguing the country instead of being Nigeria’s “divider-in-Chief.”
While reacting to the recent outburst by Obasanjo that Nigeria is becoming a failed state, the Presidency in a statement on Sunday, called on him to quit critiquing the President Muhammadu Buhari government.
“In his most recent statement, former President Olusegun Obasanjo attempts to divide the nation while President Muhammadu Buhari continues to promote nation-building and the unity of Nigeria,” the presidency said.
“The difference is clear. From the lofty heights of Commander-in-Chief, General Obasanjo has descended to the lowly level of Divider-in-Chief (to adapt the coinage of Time).”
Obasanjo, according to the Presidency, should “once again sheath the sword and rest the pretentiousness about the Messiah that has (mis)led him to pronounce often wrongly, as he disastrously did in the 2019 elections, about the life and death of Nigerian governments.”
It restated that Buhari’s comments on West African leaders sticking to their constitutionally allowed terms is for the good of the region.
While accusing Obasanjo of a failed attempt at elongating his tenure when he was in office, the Presidency called on him to stop the “mushrooming of a poisonous atmosphere of ethnic and religious nationalism.”
“Surely, he must have disappointed many of his local and foreign admirers by showering commendations on a few extremist groups who have vowed to shun the invitation to the National Assembly to participate in the process of a constitutional amendment,” the presidency added.
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