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INEC charges political parties to respect court orders, electoral guidelines ahead of 2023

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The Independent National Electoral Commission has urged political parties and their stakeholders to obey court orders and statutory guidelines in their conduct ahead of 2023. 

INEC Secretary, Rose Oriaran Anthony said this while receiving a letter from the Guardian of Democracy and Rule of law who were a solidarity rally to the commission over the recently signed 2022 electoral law.

The secretary who received the letter on behalf of the INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu assured the activists that INEC as a law abiding Commission will continue to  respect the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the judiciary in particular in all her undertakings.

She promised that all the contents of the letter will be strictly adhered to.

The Convener of the group, Chris Ukpai who presented the letter said events that culminated in the signing into law of the 2022 Electoral Act, signals a beautiful beginning for Nigerians towards entrenching and sustaining its nascent democracy. 

He said the implication of the coming on board of the new electoral act signifies that moving forward, Nigeria’s democratic institutions would be strengthened, and elections would be credible, free and fair. 

Ukpai said the peaceful march to INEC is intended to drive home the point that Nigeria and Nigerians are deserving of credible leadership, and this could only be achieved if the electoral umpire stays true to its name by ensuring that the votes of the people count in selecting leaders that would drive its quest towards sustainable growth and development. 

He said, “at this point, we have realized that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is central to achieving this objective hence our peaceful march to its national headquarters to deliver a strong message about the implementation of the 2022 electoral act, which by all intent and purpose should not confer undue advantages to groups or individuals. 

“We all know the tendencies of political parties in the country to want to bend the rules. We all know how in some instances, their first point of call is usually to INEC staff and officials. And we all know that once that is achieved, the rest becomes history as we would be subjected to the whims and caprices of selfish and greedy people who are bent on denying Nigerians the dividends of democracy. 

“However, we are glad that with the coming of the 2022 electoral act, the message from INEC so far has been impressive and noteworthy. We are also pleased that INEC, under the chairmanship of Professor Mahmoud Yakubu, has displayed an uncompromising stance in the conduct of elections across the country. We believe the 2023 general elections would follow the same pattern that would deliver one of the country’s best elections in our history. 

“We are using this medium to support and encourage Professor Mahmud Yakubu to lead INEC for a job well done so far, as evident in the recently released electoral timetable. It is our firm belief that a free, fair and credible election starts with the implementation of the electoral act and how the various stakeholders subsequently react to it. 

“We wish to say that INEC has displayed an unalloyed commitment towards implementing the 2022 electoral act to the latter, which remains a strong indication that the 2023 general elections shall be devoid of compromise on the part of the electoral umpire. 

“However, this is not to say that INEC would not come under intense pressure. But we are assured that the staffers and officials of INEC would stand on the side of democracy and the interest of the generality of all Nigerians” he said 

Ukpai further urged staff of INEC to feel assured that the civil society will continue to defend them and speak for them, hence the need for them not to entertain any form of fear or intimidation in the discharge of their duties. 

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2023: North Central APC Stakeholders Say Region’s VP Will Enthrone Equity, Stability in Nigeria

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Some stakeholders of the ruling All Progressives Congress in north-central have made a strong case for the region to produce the party’s presidential running mate for equity and stability.

The North Central APC Stakeholders Forum, which made this known at a press conference on Tuesday in Abuja, warned the party not to make the mistake of ignoring the zone in the scheme of things.

According to a statement signed by its Coordinator, Bala Danladi Adamu, the group said the north central is critical to the party’s success in 2023, considering its innumerable contributions in the growth and development of the APC over the years.

Adamu said not only will a Christian from the region balance the presidential ticket, he added that it will ultimately guarantee success at the polls.

The group, therefore, urged President Muhammadu Buhari, party leaders and elders from the north central zone to settle for a young and vibrant Christian out of the “array of credible individuals that fits the bill of the vice-presidential candidate for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu”.

Failure to do so, Adamu, however, cautioned that doom awaits the party as it would be further divided along ethnic and religious lines.

Read full statement below:

The North Central APC Stakeholders Forum is calling this press conference as a concerned stakeholder in the APC to put issues in proper perspective regarding the choice of running mate to the APC presidential candidate.

This has become instructive given the attempt by some selfish individuals who are bent on scheming the North Central out of the affairs of the country, especially in the buildup to the 2023 General elections.

The North Central APC Stakeholders Forum frowns at such a despicable plot considering the innumerable contributions of the North Central in the growth and development of the APC over the years.

It remains a statement that the North Central is a critical region in the country. As such, it would be against all known political strategies for the region to be alienated in the present permutations towards securing victory at the elections.

The APC Presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, must come to terms with choosing his running mate for the elections. Consequently, the APC North Central Stakeholders Forum wishes to inform Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to be wary of those that have constituted themselves around him as electoral strategists.

We are aware of the plot to ensure that the vice presidential slot is not given to a Christian APC member from any North Central state for inexplicable reasons. This is on the heels that such a move would spell doom for the party.

They have been ferocious in this regard. As stakeholders in the North Central region, we know that such a move would boomerang and further divide the party along ethnic and religious lines.

The APC Presidential Candidate must rise to the occasion and resist every form of pressure mounted on him by these selfish individuals against the idea of a Christian running mate from the North Central region of the country.

It is on the strength of the above that we demand that the vice-presidential slot be given to a vibrant and young candidate from the Middle Belt. This is necessary to ensure a balanced and strategic team that would guarantee electoral success at the elections.

We are also using this medium to call on President Muhammadu Buhari to see that the APC gets it right regarding its choice of running mate to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. This is necessary to ensure that the party records outstanding victory at the polls.

President Muhammadu Buhari must also recognize that the North Central region in the country holds the ace in the presidential elections, and little wonder why the opposition parties have been making strategic advancements in the region to secure electoral victory.

The APC must not allow any form of discontent in the North Central by denying the region of the vice-presidential slots, as there are an array of credible candidates that fits the bill of the vice-presidential candidate for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

The hawks that want the party’s downfall are unfortunately parading themselves as stakeholders of the party. At the same time, they are out to satisfy their selfish interest and not the well-being of the party as a whole.

The APC North Central Stakeholders Forum is also using this medium to call on prominent middle belt elders to rise in defence of the Middle belt in the political scheming in the country. The strategic importance of such cannot be overemphasized.

They must ensure that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is not misled as the indicators point to the fact that the APC Presidential candidate is on the verge of making a grave mistake should he choose a running mate outside the middle belt region.

The consequences of such a move might not be palatable for the party in the presidential elections, hence the need for caution in the choice of vice-presidential candidate of the APC.

We wish to call on elders of the APC in the Middle Belt region to protect the region’s interest by ensuring that the APV nominates its vice-presidential candidate from the Christian community in North Central.

We thank you all for your time and attention.

God bless.

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CVR Fresh Registration Hits Over 10m – INEC

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says fresh registration in the ongoing nationwide Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) has hit 10,487,972 as at 7 a.m. on Monday, June 27.

The commission in its CVR weekly update, released in Abuja on Monday, also disclosed that 8,631,696 registrants had completed their registrations.

It disclosed that 3,250,449 of the registrants completed the process through online, while 5,381,247 did through physical registration.

The gender breakdown of the registrants who had completed their registration comprised 4,292,690 male and 4,339,006 female, with the gender category showing that 6,081,456 of the figures were youth, while 67,171 were Persons with Disabilities, PWDs.

The update also revealed that INEC had received a total of 23,560,043 applications including those applying for voter transfer, requests for replacement of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) and update of voter information records.

The breakdown also indicated that 12,317,963 of the applications were from male, 11,242, 080 were from female, while 187,904 applications were received from PWDs. (NAN)

 

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Banditry: Military Rejects Zamfara’s Call for Citizens to Bear Arms

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The Military High Command yesterday rejected the call by the Zamfara State Government for residents to take up arms and defend themselves against bandits and terrorists.

Governor Bello Matawalle had asked the Commissioner of Police to work out the modalities for gun licence to residents willing to bear arms to protect themselves.

Reacting yesterday, the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, said he did not see the basis for such call.

He spoke at the National Defence College, Abuja, during the opening ceremony of the joint exercise for the National Defence College and War Colleges of the Armed Forces of Nigeria codenamed “Exercise Grand Nationale”.

He said it was expedient for stakeholders to follow the rules and constitution accordingly.

Irabor said: “We do not take instruction from the state governments. We have a Commander-in-Chief. The constitution gives the right and powers to the C-in-C for the use of the armed forces and I believe what we’re doing in Zamfara State and across the states of the federation is not different to the provisions of the constitution.

“We’re there to give support to the civil authority in this case, the police. We’re there to ensure that peace returns to Zamfara. The governor does not have the powers to ask the CP to issue licences. I’m yet to get the details, but I do not think that’s the right thing to do.”

He said the Federal Government, through the Attorney-General of the Federation, should be in a position to address the issue.

“I do not see the basis. My view is that the AGF will look at the constitution and what the constitution says. That’s the right way to go. The Armed Forces are in Zamfara, but beyond that, I believe there are legal issues that should be addressed using the instrumentality of the law to bring peace and security.

“I believe that the Federal Government, through the Attorney-General, should look at the details of the press release. If what I read is true, I do not believe that the governor has the powers to instruct the CP to issue licence because the CP does not have the power to issue licences.

”Like I said, the AGF will do much about it. We have the Armed Forces in Zamfara, military, police, NSCDC; but beyond that, I believe there are legal issues”, Irabor said.

Irabor said the essence of the Operation Grand Nationale, was to review the programmes of the training colleges and the war colleges.

 

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