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Forthcoming governorship election in Ekiti State, the candidate representing the People for Democratic Change in the state, Mr Dada Ayoyinka, on Monday, announced his withdrawal from the race.

Ayoyinka, who spoke with journalists in Akure, the Ondo State capital, stated that he and his supporters across the 16 local government areas of Ekiti State had decided to support the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Prof. Kolapo Olusola.

The decision to withdraw from the governorship race came after his meeting with the leaders of the party in the state.

He said, “I have met with leaders of my party and at the end of the meeting, we unanimously agreed that I should withdraw from the race and give our support to the PDP candidate, Prof. Kolapo Olusola.

“The reason for our decision was that we saw that the PDP government has performed creditably well and there should be a need for continuity.”

Ayoyinka, who refuted being induced by the state governor, Mr Ayo Fayose, to withdraw, declared that his party, the PDC, would mobilise all its members across the state to vote for the PDP.

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BREAKING: FG Declares Friday Public Holiday, Excludes Bankers

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The federal government of Nigeria has declared Friday, February 22, 2019, as a public holiday, in preparation for the February 23 presidential and parliamentary elections.

The ministry of interior via a statement on Wednesday, however, excluded bankers and those offering essential services across the nation.

“Federal Government declares Friday 22, February 2019 as work-free day. Those providing essential duties and bankers are excluded,”

“The work-free day is to enable citizens return to their poling units for the reschedule Presidential & National Assembly elections.

“Security agencies have been directed to ensure safety of lives and property before, during and after the general election.”

Some states and businesses across the federation had initially declared holiday for members of staff on February 15, in anticipation of the February 16 elections.

Major banks across the country issued statements of early closure on Friday, February 15 — closing their outlets earlier than usual.

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Why Rescheduled Presidential, National Assembly Elections May Not Hold On Saturday — Group

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A civil society organisation, Citizens for Change and Advancement (CCA), has warned that the rescheduled 2019 general elections might not hold on the new date of Saturday, February 23 due to poor preparations and massive infighting within the top leadership of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

CCA policy director, Maxwell Abaji in a statement yesterday, said that some sensitive electoral materials in some states are still in INEC custody, and not in Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) vaults as being claimed by the electoral body.

“Election materials in states like Taraba, Cross River, Ebonyi and Benue are not in CBN vaults contrary to claims by the electoral umpire. Even INEC leadership does not know the exact locations of some materials in some states as at 4pm Tuesday. It is more worrisome that these materials are yet to be audited and verified by any independent stakeholder,” Abaji claimed.

The group further alleged that the INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu and the commission’s head of Operations and Logistics, Prof. Okechukwu Ibeanu are allegedly keeping logistics details away from other national commissioners due to infighting and poor working relationships among INEC leadership.

“With information at our disposal, the duo of the INEC chairman and Ibeanu are refusing to work with other national commissioners on the issue of logistics with regards to this Saturday’s elections; keeping the challenges confronting the elections to themselves like they did previously, hence the sudden postponement of last Saturday.

“With the current developments at the commission and if allowed unchecked, unknown forces could capitalise on it to undermine the process, wh,ich could warrant the need to shift the elections, again,” he said.

CCA, therefore, warned INEC to put its house in order, saying that Nigerians will not accept any further excuses for the elections not to hold as scheduled on Saturday.”

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Atiku Did Not Offer Adamawa REC $1million Bribe —- INEC [See Tweet]

Peter Okunoren

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The Independent National Electoral Commission has reacted to the allegation that the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, offered the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Adamawa State, Kashim Gaidam, $1m and a house in Dubai.

INEC condemned the allegation in a tweet on Monday.

The tweet was in reaction to a social media post which alleged that the former vice president had compromised the elections in Adamawa, his home state.

It read, “Breaking News: I rejected Atiku’s $1m bribe plus a house in Dubai- Adamawa REC”.

But INEC condemned the post, saying, “The Adamawa INEC REC completely dissociates himself from the allegation that he had an offer of $1m and a house in Dubai as no offer whatsoever was ever made to him by anyone.”

This comes two days after the electoral body postponed the general election, which was initially scheduled to commence on Saturday last week, by one week.

INEC has on Monday, reopened campaigns for political parties before the elections begin on Saturday. Campaigns are expected to end “midnight of Thursday, 21 February 2019”.

Read INEC’s tweet below;

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