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2019 Elections: PDP Dares INEC, Vows To Resume Campaigns

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says the administrative prohibition of the resumption of political campaigns by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) contravened the Electoral Law.

The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said this in a statement issued on Sunday in Abuja.

It would be recalled that INEC had on Saturday shifted the dates for the General Elections a few hours to the opening of polling units across the country, attributing the development to logistical challenges.

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, while fielding questions at at a stakeholders meeting to explain the reasons for the postponement of the polls, maintained that the deadline for the collection of PVCs and election campaigns by political parties had passed going by the released timetable.

Yakubu said that there was no more room for political campaigns or collection of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) in spite of the postponement of presidential and National Assembly elections by one week.

“Campaigns closed on Thursday, Feb. 14, and for the period that remains, campaigns remain closed,” Yakubu said.

Ologbondiyan, however, stated that after due consideration of the provisions of the Electoral Act, the PDP concluded that the INEC directive contravened the provisions of the law.

“PDP, after due consideration of the provisions of the Electoral Act, is set to re-open its open campaigns consequent upon the postponement of Presidential and National Assembly elections by INEC from the earlier scheduled date of Feb. 16 to Feb. 23.

“The party rejects the wrongful administrative prohibition of open campaigns by INEC, holding that such administrative pronouncement was erroneous, directly in conflict with the provision of the Electoral Act and is not backed by any other law in our country.

“Our position is predicated on the clear provision of section 99 (1) of the Electoral Act which stipulated that “for the purposes of this Act, the period of campaigning in public by every political party shall commence 90 days before polling day and end 24 hours prior to that day”.

“The clear import of this provision, in the current situation, is that given the postponement of the election to Feb. 23, the 24 hours requirement for closure of all public campaigning falls at midnight of Feb. 21.

“The PDP reminds INEC that whenever its administrative pronouncement conflicts with the Electoral Act, such administrative pronouncement must bow before the law.”

Ologbondiyan advised INEC to be appropriately guided while directing PDP members to await further directives. (NAN)

POLITICS

Bayelsa Guber: PDP Flags Off Campaign, As Diri Seeks Bayelsans Support

Peter Okunoren

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Ahead of the November 16 governorship election in Bayelsa State, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Douye Diri has called on members of the party and all Bayelsans to support the party and ensure it emerges victorious.

Senator Diri assured the people of Bayelsa State that his government will be committed to industrialization and open several frontiers through which youths of the state can be gainfully employed.

Speaking during the flag-off of PDP gubernatorial campaign ahead of the November 16 governorship election at the Yenagoa Boat Club and OxBow Lake Grand Pavilion, which was witnessed by a mammoth crowd of party faithful across the eight local government area of the state, Senator Diri decried the antics of some other parties to threaten and intimidate those who have decided to willfully support the PDP, and urged all Bayelsans to remain undaunted in the face of such threats

The PDP candidate also lauded the efforts of Bayelsa State governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson for transforming Yenagoa from an underdeveloped city to one which has several monumental projects that have improved the quality of the lives of Bayelsans.

His words: “Get ready because that Brass LNG must work so that our youths will have employment so that Bayelsa will be a safe haven for investment, it will attract more investment to Bayelsa.

“I want to thank you all my party members, supporters and very industrious people of the Peoples Democratic Party, the only thing we owe ourselves and the generation yet unborn is to ensure that Bayelsa State develops.

“Those of us from the old Yenagoa local government area, we know that Yenagoa is no longer what it was. Yenagoa has moved from being a monologue road local government headquarters to being a brawling and developing city.

“There are monumental projects that our children will come and clap hands for you and me. One of them is the airport, it will outlive this government. We will no longer go to neighboring states to look for a plane to travel out of Bayelsa. We will remain here in Bayelsa and travel out of this place.

“So I want to thank all of you and believe that the numbers you have come out with, that you will come the same way on November 16 2019.”

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APC May No Longer Exist In 2023 After Buhari’s Tenure —- Rochas Okorocha

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Senator representing Imo West District in the National Assembly, Rochas Okorocha, has expressed fears that the All Progressives Congress, APC, may cease to exist when President Muhammadu Buhari leaves office in 2023.

The Senator, who stated this while addressing journalists in Abuja on Tuesday, also lamented that his sacrifices to expand the membership base of the APC in the South-East was repaid by the party with evil.

He said, “I have never thought of leaving the party but what happens next will be determined by time.

“My only worry is that the party may disappear with the exit of President Buhari if the ongoing injustices are not addressed.

“Unlike other governors from the North that rode on the name Muhammadu Buhari to power, the name Buhari had a negative effect on my campaign for the second term.

“But I was determined to overcome that because I knew what we stood to gain.

“If anything, the party repaid me evil for good. There was no challenge I did not face or bad name I was not called in my state.

“They brought in people who fought me when I was building the party at state level to fight me over the control of the party. I don’t want to talk about it but my party did not treat me well.”

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APC Rejects Senator Kalu’s Sack By Abia Tribunal

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The Abia state chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has rejected the judgement of the National and State Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Umuahia, which nullified the election of Senator Orji Uzor Kalu on Monday.

Recall that the National and State House of Assembly Elections Petitions Tribunal sitting in Umuahia had nullified the election of the Senate Chief Whip, Orji Kalu, for Abia North Senatorial District.

Delivering its judgment on Monday, a member of the three-member tribunal, Justice I.P.C Igwe, said that the petitioner, Sen. Mao Ohuabunwa, successfully proved his allegation of substantial non-compliance with the electoral guidelines.

Ohuabunwa of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had approached the tribunal to nullify the election of Kalu, who contested the Feb. 2019 election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress.

The petitioner told the tribunal that Kalu’s declaration as the winner of the poll by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) did not comply with the provisions of the 2010 Electoral Act as amended.

However, Comrade Benedict Godson, Publicity Secretary of APC in Abia, in an interview with newsmen, Monday in Umuahia, the state capital, said the party leadership vehemently reject the decision of the tribunal.

He urged all Abians, APC supporters and ever dedicated followers of Dr Orji Uzor-Kalu’s political history to remain calm as every legal procedure will be followed to appeal the judgement.

Godson, “We reject the judgement of the tribunal completely. We call on everyone, Abians, party supporters and the ever dedicated followers of OUK political history to remain calm as every necessary legal means will be applied to appeal this judgement”.

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