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.”
‘Evil Shall No Longer Have A Voice In Nigeria; I Am Your Nightmare’ — Buhari’s Aide, Onochie Blasts Atiku
Angered with the demands and statement released yesterday by the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the Social Media aide to President Muhammadu Buhari, Lauretta Onochie, Monday, boldly replied Atiku, noting that “evil shall no longer have a voice or say in Nigeria.”
Disclosing this in a statement obtained by Vanguard, Onochie opined that the reason why Atiku’s aides are fighting her was because she ‘is Atiku’s nightmare’.
She accused Atiku’s team of trying to make her lose focus especially now President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory is being challenged by the same person, at the election tribunal.
Recall that the former vice president’s lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), had in a letter to Onochie on Sunday, demanded five hundred million Naira, (N500m) and a written apology in six national and one international daily, as well as on all social media platforms wherein the said publication was made.
Onochie had in one of her tweets averred that Atiku was on UAE watch-list. She said that security operatives in the United Arab Emirates, (UAE) are keeping a close tab on Atiku who has been in the Middle East nation for several weeks.
She later asked a question which she later answered. What is he (Atiku) doing there? Answer, Me (Onochie): Shopping for Terrorists?
However, miffed with the allegation, Atiku’s lawyer, Ozekhome (SAN), wrote to Onochie and demanded a retraction and apology on or before 48 hours and failure to do so, he would sue Onochie for N2bn.
In the face of this threat, Onochie said; “EVIL SHALL NO LONGER HAVE A VOICE NOR SAY ANYWHERE IN NIGERIA.
Wike Dethrones Top Monarch In Rivers Over Cult Activities
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has approved the immediate withdrawal of Certificate of Recognition and staff of office from His Royal Majesty, Chief Frank Noryaa, Gbenemene Baabe.
This was made known yesterday in a statement by Simeon Nwakaudu, Special Assistant to the Governor on Electronic Media.
According to the statement, the withdrawal of government’s recognition from HRM Noryaa followed his alleged indictment on cult-related activities within his kingdom.
“The traditional ruler was also indicted for harbouring cultists, leading to insecurity in the area,” he said.
The statement quoted Governor Wike as saying his “administration remained committed to the promotion of peace and security across the state.”
Also, the governor warned other traditional rulers and government functionaries against being indicted for promoting insecurity, saying they will face the full weight of the law.
‘Give Us Security Votes To End Kidnapping, Banditry, Others’ – Iwo Monarch Tells Buhari
Oluwo of Iwoland in Osun State, Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi, has called on the Federal Government to make provision for security votes for the traditional institution to help fight insecurity in the country.
Akanbi, who spoke to journalists in Osogbo yesterday, said the traditional rulers were closer to the grassroots and were privy to the intelligence needed to curb crimes in communities.
He said: “Traditional rulers should be empowered to domesticate security at the grassroots which constitutes higher percent of the hideouts for kidnappers. Co-opting monarchs will unavoidably decimate security threat.
“Traditional institution should be given security vote to engage local hunters, vigilante, the Agbekoyas, trusted local Odua Peoples Congress (OPC), among others.
“In my own capacity, I am trying my utmost best in my domain but the institution I represent deserves security funding to act more.
“I have personally arrested a criminal in my domain and handed him over to the police. I know the nooks and crannies of my city. No criminal can survive with illegality here. I have instilled the fear in them and this has decimated atrocities in Iwo. I am ready to do more if empowered by engaging trusted local security details.
“The police saddled with this primary responsibility is underfunded and under staffed. Nigeria of over 200 million population is parading about 300,000 policemen. The police should be equipped with modern tools and should be paid good salaries and as well be assured of job security to motivate them for maximal performance.
“Government should provide surveillance helicopters to aid technical detective assignments by the police, most especially when searching kidnappers’ hideouts.”
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