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PDP Alleges Plot To Attack Atiku In Kogi

Peter Okunoren

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The Kogi State Presidential Campaign Council of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) on Sunday put “all Nigerians, especially the high commands of the Nigeria Police Force, the Nigeria Army, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps as well as the general public on high alert as regards the discovery of a covert plan to truncate democracy and instigate total breakdown of order in Nigeria starting from Kogi State.”

“On the last count, four impeccable sources have confirmed that this plot has been bankrolled by the Kogi State Government, led by its accidental governor, Yahaya Adoza Bello, and will start with a calculated attempt to harass the presidential candidate of our great party, His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar GCON, who is scheduled to visit Kogi State in a few hours from now,” the council said in a statement signed by its Head, Media and Publicity, Usman Austin Okai.

The statement said: “The Council wishes to remind Nigerians that reports were initially made about a well-funded exercise carried out by agents of the Kogi State government which targeted a mass destruction of campaign banners and other publicity materials of the PDP in Kogi State less than a week ago.

“It is therefore for the records that it is considered highly important to notify all lovers of democracy that indeed, the campaign of bitterness of the APC and the Kogi State Government against the PDP is set to adopt a new dimension starting from tomorrow.

Not only is the Council concerned about the clear attempt by the APC to erode a strong legacy of democracy and freedom bequeathed to it by the PDP, it appears desperate to score a new low by going against the towering personality of His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar GCON.

“Whereas we habour no fear of the unknown as regards tomorrow’s rally for which the Kogi Confluence Stadium, Lokoja has been approved for use, we sternly advise relevant security agencies to call the outgoing governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, and his band of urchins to order immediately.

“The PDP Presidential Campaign Council in Kogi State sternly warns agents of destabilisation recruited by the APC to refrain from endangering themselves by swimming against the tide in an attempt to oppose the will of a tremendous number of Nigerians who are determined to end the vicious cycle of retrogression, failure and bloodshed which the APC has visited on Nigeria and Nigerians.

“The Council also urges all leaders, elders, stakeholders, affiliate groups and supporters of the PDP to turn out en-masse for tomorrow’s rally and entertain not, fear of any kind.

“The United Nations, the African Union, the American government and the governments of the United Kingdom and Canada are also invited to take note of this latest attempt by Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State to abort democracy in Nigeria and urge an urgent intervention.

“The PDP on its part commits to abide by the laws of Nigeria and go about its mobilisation activities in line with the global standards which emphasis decorum, peace and constructive engagement of voters.”

POLITICS

INEC Releases Guidelines For Conduct Of 2019 General Elections

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday released the regulations and guidelines for the conduct of the general elections.

The 33 pages document obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, said Smart Card Readers (SCRs) and Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) would be used for the forthcoming elections.

It reads, “Voting shall be in accordance with the Continuous Accreditation and Voting System (CAVS) procedures as specified in these Regulations and Guidelines, the Election Manual and any other Guide issued by the Commission.

“No person shall be allowed to vote at any Polling Unit/Voting Point Settlement/Voting Point other than the one at which his/her name appears in the Register of Voters and he/she presents his/her permanent voter’s card to be verified by the Smart Card Reader (SCR), or as otherwise determined by the Commission.”

It added that each voter shall cast his/her vote in person at the Polling Unit/Voting Point Settlement/Voting Point where he/she registered or was assigned, in the manner prescribed by the Commission.

It also stated that separate queue shall be created between men and women, where the culture does not allow the mingling of men and women.

It added that Presiding Officers would also create a separate queue for People Living With Disabilities (PWDs).

According Section 10 (b) of the guidelines, “accreditation and voting shall commence at 8.00am and close at 2:00pm, provided that all voters already on the queue by 2:00pm shall be allowed for accreditation and voting.

“(d) The accreditation process shall comprise reading of the Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC) and authentication of the voter’s fingerprint using the SCR; checking of the Register of Voter.”

Section 11 (v) of the guidelines also requested a voter to remove his/her cell phone or any photographic device before proceeding to voting cubicle.

Also section 11(c) stated that “where a voter’s PVC is read but the name of the voter is not on the Register of Voters, APO II shall refer the voter to the PO or APO (VP) who shall politely request the voter to leave the Polling Unit”.

Section 11(d) also states that: “In the event that the PVC fails to be read by the Smart Card Reader, the APO I shall refer the voter to the PO or APO (VP) who shall politely request the voter to leave the Polling Unit.’’

Subsection (e) added that “where a voter’s PVC is read and the SCR shows the details of another person, rather than the details of the cardholder as printed on the PVC, the APO I shall:

“(i) Refer the voter to APO II to confirm that the details of the voter in the Register of Voters correspond to those on the PVC;

“(ii) APO II if satisfied that the holder of the card is on the Register of Voters, shall record the phone number of the voter in the appropriate box on the Register of Voters; and

“(iii) Proceed with the accreditation of the voter.

“(f) In all cases from 11(b) to 11(e), the Presiding Officer shall fill the appropriate forms in the PU booklet and make a report.

“Affected voters in 11(b) and 11(e) qualify to be issued ballot papers after consultation with Polling Agents.”

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POLITICS

Suspected APC Thugs Attack Saraki’s Ilorin Family Residence, Injure 11, Damage 50 Vehicles

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For the second time in four days, political thugs allegedly loyal to the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Kwara State on Sunday attacked the Agbaji Ilorin family residence of the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

The rampaging APC thugs opened fire on residents of the area, wounding at least 11 persons in the process, a statement by Saraki’s media team alleged on Sunday.

They also destroyed about 50 cars parked at various locations within Agbaji Quarters.
It would be recalled that the alleged APC thugs had on Thursday unleashed violence on the people of Agbaji, Adewole and Pakata areas of Ilorin metropolis.

Four members of the Peoples Democratic Party were injured during Thursday’s mayhem.

The development eventuated a press conference that was addressed by the Senate President in Abuja, where he raised an alarm about threat to his life and those of his family and supporters.

Sunday’s incident, according to residents of the area, started at about 11:30am when fully armed thugs stormed their area and shot sporadically into the air to scare people away.

According to the President of Agbaji Development Association, Alhaji Musa Olanrewaju Yusuf, the rampaging thugs were allegedly led by Yahaya Seriki and Musbau Esinrogunjo.

Yusuf said 11 people, who sustained injuries from gunshots, were taken to General Hospital, Ilorin and a private medical facility for treatment.

He said: “The APC thugs came around 11:30am and shot sporadically into the air. In fact, they were provided cover by the DPO Adewole Division of Police.

“At least, 11 people received injuries from gunshots while about 50 cars including that of Imam Aliagan were destroyed.

“The thugs also carted away four motorbikes and stole money and jewelry from shops deserted by their owners.”

The statement said the APC thugs spread the violence to Ajikobi and Omoda areas of Ilorin metropolis.

Commenting on the development, the Director General of the PDP Campaign Council in the state, Prof. Suleiman Abubakar, said the orgy of violence was being perpetrated by the APC leaders in the state to instill fears in the minds of residence ahead of the coming general elections, having discovered that Kwarans have rejected them.

Prof. Abubakar called on security agencies in the state to within 48 hours arrest and prosecute the perpetrators of both Sunday’s and Thursday’s violence in Ilorin.

The state Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Tunde Ashaolu, said Sunday’s incident had validated the alarm raised by the Senate President on threat to his life and those of his family and supporters, “which the police made futile efforts to debunk”.

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POLITICS

Sanwo-Olu, Agbaje, Badamosi Slug It Out At Lagos Governorship Debate

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The Lagos Gubernatorial debate put together by The Platform has ended with four governorship aspirants airing their varied opinions on how to move the state forward.

Partaking of the governorship election were Mr Bababatunde Badamosi (Action Democratic Party), Babajide Sanwo-Olu (All Progressives Congress), Mr Jimi Agbaje (Peoples Democratic Party) and Owolabi Salis (Alliance for Democracy).

The debate, on Sunday, had the aspirants speaking on issues ranging from gridlocks in the Lagos metropolis to power, down to the educational sector and to health.

While the candidates differed on the methods with which they will take Lagos to a higher echelon, they agreed that technology will play a key role in driving the process of transformation in the metropolis.

As regards gridlocks, Mr Badamosi said the traffic nightmare that Lagosians have contended with for years can be solved by focusing on three things – rail transport, use of barges and devolution of powers.

The candidate of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) said, “There are a number of ways to tackle this problem. The most obvious one is rail. Secondly, barges to lift containers from the actual wharfs and take them to lighter terminals all around Lagos, and, thirdly, devolution of powers. It’s time we started this discussion about the devolution of power.”

On his part, the PDP gubernatorial candidate, Agbaje said the key is to “get the local governments working again” adding that the grassroots play a great role in making state function optimally.

Agbaje said planning ahead is crucial if Lagos must overcome its problem with traffic jam.

He said town planning is very important in addressing the issue of gridlocks in Lagos.

“The idea is to have even development across Lagos state so that you are having less of movement from one end of Lagos to the other,” the pharmacist said.

Sanwo-Olu on his part promised to tackle the problem of traffic jams if elected into office.

The APC candidate vowed to make the gridlock in the Apapa axis of the state a thing of the past in less than four months.

“First on the list, I will tackle the traffic problem of Lagos frontally,” Sanwo-Olu said during ‘The Platform’s debate which held on Sunday in Lagos.

Also speaking on the traffic congestion in the state, Mr Owolabi Salis said he will revive the train system which has been “abandoned for 15years by the FG” adding that the government is not paying the necessary attention.

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