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Electoral Bill: PDP governors urge NASS to set up conference committee

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By Gistflash News

Sept 14, 2021

The PDP Governors’ Forum has urged the National Assembly on resumption to immediately set up its Conference Committee to harmonise the different versions of the Electoral Act Amendment Bills passed by both Chambers.

The forum made the appeal in a statement by its Chairman and Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal on Tuesday in Abuja.

The forum said that the committee should be set up with a clear mandate to harken to the wishes of Nigerians and be guided by national interest, particularly on the issue of electronic transmission of results.

The PDP governors said any further delay in passing and assenting to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill would do grievous and irreparable damage to preparations for the conduct of the 2023 elections in Nigeria.

The forum requested the Senate and House of Representatives Conference Committee when set up, to adopt the House version of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill on the issue of electronic transmission.

“It should be noted that Section 52(2) of the House version says:

“Voting at an election and transmission of results under this Bill shall be in accordance with the procedure determined by the Commission.”

The forum recalled that Section 52 (2) of the Senate version provides that:

“Commission may consider electronic transmission of results provided that the national coverage is adjudged to be adequate and secure by the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) and approved by the National Assembly.”

The forum said that the senate version which subjects the decision of INEC to deploy electronic transmission to the decision of the NCC and NASS was manifestly usurpation of the powers of INEC.

It added that such also negated relevant provisions of the Nigerian Constitution that guarantees INEC’s autonomy and independence.

The forum added that it recognised that INEC had demonstrated the capacity to transmit votes electronically.

It stated that such was demonstrated both in recent off season elections and with the introduction and deployment of the Bio model Voters Accreditation System (BVAs), used in the recent bye-election in Delta State.

“Furthermore, it is necessary to remind the Senate and House Conferees that both Chambers had already approved in S.63 (5) of the Bill as follows:

“The Presiding officer shall transmit the results including total number of accredited voters and the results of the ballot in a manner as prescribed by the Commission.

“It is obvious that S.52 (2) of the Senate version is manifestly inconsistent with S.63 (5) contained in the same Bill.

“No doubt, S.63 (5) which both Chambers approved is consistent with S.52 (2) of the House version and should be upheld by the Conference Committee.

“The Conference has no choice but to adopt the House version as to do otherwise would lead to unnecessary complications and conflicts even within the Bill.’’

The PDP Governors also requested the National Assembly conference committee to jettison the House of Representatives’ decision that had the effect of forcing all political parties to adopt only one method of conducting primaries.

It recalled that the House amended S.87 (1) of the Act, by deleting indirect primaries and mandating only direct primaries.

“The Forum is of the view that political parties should be allowed discretion to adopt either direct or indirect primaries in their Constitutions and in practice.

“The Senate version that retains the original provision in the Electoral Act should be adopted in the interest of the growth of our political parties and freedom of choice, the hallmark of a functional democracy.’’

It stated that the intervention of the PDP governors was predicated on the need to ensure a free, fair and credible election that will strengthen Nigeria’s democracy, constitutionalism and rule of law.

“Only a credible election will guarantee accountability and good governance which Nigeria so desperately needs today.

“ Nigerians should rise and demand no less from her politicians. It is only credible elections that put the power in the hands of the people.

“This is not a partisan issue. It is not a regional or religious matter. The National Assembly should act in a patriotic manner as representatives of the people of Nigeria,” the governors said.

NAN

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Northern Youths inaugurate Yahaya Bello Presidential Network

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By Gistflash News

Sept 22, 2021

Youths from Nigeria’s 19 northern states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have inaugurated a political pressure group that will work for the realisation of the presidential ambition of Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi.

Known as the Yahaya Bello Network (YBN), the group said it would be supporting the governor to emerge the nation’s next president in 2023.

The YBN said Nigerian youths wanted one of them as the nation’s next leader.

At the inauguration on Wednesday in Kaduna, YBN spokesman, Bello Mohammed, said gone were the days when Nigerians talked of politics of region and ethnicity.

“We are supporting Gov. Bello not only because he is our own from the north, but because he is young, vibrant and energetic and has what it takes to lead Nigeria to the promised land.

“There are agitations everywhere, but it is not constitutional as politics is a game of number and Yahaya Bello is a man of quality.

“Nigeria’s presidency is something that has to do with quality and has nothing to do with your religion or background,“ Mohammed said.

The inauguration of the YBN comes barely 72 hours after the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) declared that the region would retain power beyond 2023 as it has the voter population to win the presidential election in 2023.

Inaugurating the executives and ambassadors of YBN, Mohammed described the call by the southern governors for power to return to the South as unconstitutional and uncalled for, insisting that politics is a game of numbers.

He said the leadership of his group would embark on a tour of the 19 northern states to canvass support for the candidature of Bello as Nigeria’s next president.

The Special Adviser on Youth and Student Affairs to the Governor, Ahmed Jibril, said it was a good development that Nigerian youths were now coming on board to identify with a youth like them and seek his election to the exalted position of Nigerian President.

“It is only a plus for us as youths to be calling on Gov. Bello to come and be the number one citizen of Nigeria,” he said.

On the agitation for power shift to the South, Jibril said it was part of democracy.

“Everybody has the right to call for what he wants and it is his opinion.

“If people have seen the youth in Gov. Bello, if they have seen a leader and a unifier of the country in him, then he shall be the President by the grace of God because man proposes but God has the final say,’’ Jibril said.

YBN Secretary-General Salisu Mohammed inaugurated the executives and ambassadors of the group, including notable Kannywood actors and actresses.

He called on them to go and spread the message to others in their respective states.

NAN

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INEC begins nationwide display of voters register Sept 24, says Ebonyi REC

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By Gistflash News

Sept 22, 2021

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it will commence the first quarter display of Voter Register (VR) across the country on Sept. 24.

Dr Joseph Chukwu, the Ebonyi INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), who stated this at a news conference in Abakaliki, on Wednesday, added that the display will run from Sept. 24 and end on Sept.30.

He urged those that took part in the registration exercise to use the opportunity to cross-check their biodata and any other relevant information and make corrections, where necessary.

Chukwu noted that the exercise was sequel to the end of the first quarter of the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) that began in June.

The REC, who commended eligible voters for participating in the civic exercise appealed to the citizenry to continue supporting INEC’s activities that would lead to credible elections in 2023.

“Following the completion of the online and physical registrations, which began on June 28 and closed by 11.59p.m on Sept. 21.

“The display of voters’ register for claims and objections will hold effective from Sept. 24 to Sept. 30 for the first quarter.

“The exercise will take place in all the 13 local government offices of the commission, including the two centres at the state headquarters.

“The register will also be on display simultaneously across the 774 local government areas and the Federal Capital Territory, as well as other designated centres.

“All registrants are, therefore, advised to visit centres where they registered or made corrections to check for the correctness of their particulars”, Chukwu said.

He explained that the second quarter of the CVR exercise would begin on Oct. 4 nationwide and end on Dec. 20, while third phase of the exercise would start by Jan. 3, 2022 and close on March 4.

The fourth quarter would begin by April 11, 2022 to end on June 30, 2022.

“Let me on behalf of the Chairman of our commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, express our gratitude to all critical stakeholders for their cooperation before, during and after the first quarter of the exercise in Ebonyi.

“Except occasional disruptions by rain, we did not encounter any security breach during the entire exercise throughout the state,” Chukwu said.

NAN

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Ganduje condoles with Gaya Emirate over Emir’s death

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By Gistflash News

Sept 22, 2021

Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State has said that he received with sadness and deep feeling, the news of the passing away of the Emir of Gaya, Alhaji Ibrahim Abdulkadir.
Abdukkadir died on Wednesday at the age of 91 and left behind three wives, 28 children and many grandchildren.
The Commissioner for Information, Malam Muhammad Garba, stated this in a statement he issued to newsmen on Wednesday in Kano.
“Despite his ailing condition, the monarch’s uncommon leadership qualities earned him respect as traditional ruler since his days as Sarkin Gaya and until his death as First Class Emir in Kano.
“The death of the Emir in one of the oldest Emirates in Northern Nigeria, has created a vacuum difficult to be filled considering his contributions to peace, stability and progress of his domain and the country,” he said.
The commissioner revealed that Abdukkadir was one of the four Emirs elevated to First Class Emirs by the Gov. Ganduje administration after the creation of Rano, Gaya, Bichi and Karaye Emirates in 2019.
“Gov. Ganduje, who is away in Abuja when the Emir’s death was announced said the demise of the monarch is a big loss to his immediate family, Gaya Emirate, the government and the entire people of Kano state,” he said.
He, therefore, prayed to Allah in His infinite mercy to forgive his sins and grant him Aljannah Firdausi.
Garba also quoted the governor as calling on the people of the emirate to bear the loss with the spirit of acquiescence to God’s will.
The governor also urged them to take solace in the fact that endurance was not the measure of a good life but the sense of fulfilment.
NAN
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