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Rise Above Petty Politics, Sign Electoral Bill Now —- Saraki Tells Buhari

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The Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has advised President Muhammadu Buhari not to heed the advice of the anti-democratic elements who have now populated the political space and putting pressure on him not to give assent to the 2018 Electoral Bill.

Saraki in a statement in Ilorin on Wednesday, signed by his Special Adviser (Media and Publicity), Yusuph Olaniyonu, urged the President to rise above petty politics and act without further delay in the best interest of the country and its democracy by signing the Electoral Bill into law.

Saraki noted that he had been inundated with telephone calls and discussions by members of the National Assembly who expressed concern about the delay in the signing into law of the Electoral Bill as the one month period provided by the law for the President to sign a bill presented to him by the National Assembly is about to expire in the next few days.

He added that many of the legislators who contacted him were particularly disturbed that certain individuals who are said to be chairmen of political parties had approached the Federal High Court to stop the President from assenting to the bill.

He noted that the jaded tactic employed in the 90s to scuttle the return to democracy when groups like the Association for Better Nigeria went to court to frustrate the announcement of the results of the June 12, 1993 elections is now being adopted by some masked groups and individuals to stop the signing into law of the Electoral Bill.

He urged President Buhari to dissociate himself from these ugly antics and sign the bill, which he said has comprehensively addressed issues that usually clog the process of free, fair, credible and peaceful elections.

Saraki said: “It is the prerogative of the President to either sign a Bill into law or refuse it assent. He is free to exercise this prerogative the way he likes in this case. What I found surprising is a situation where some people now want to adopt a wrong tactic of abusing the court process to stall the matter. That will be unacceptable and I am sure our judiciary will rely on the lessons from the past and not allow itself to be used.

“We do not want the President to allow the setting of a bad precedent in which somebody will go to court in future to stop the passage of an Appropriation Bill or any essential law which will be important to the development of the country.

“My position remains that the President, his aides, the entire country and the international community are aware that all the concerns raised by the President on the past three occasions he withheld assent to the bill have been addressed by the legislature. We bent backward on each occasion to accommodate the wishes of the President. We started work on this law since 2016 to prevent a situation where it would become part of the election controversies.

“Every sincere commentator, observer, and analyst know that what we have done with that bill is to raise the level of transparency, credibility, and acceptability of our electoral process. We made sure that the law if assented to and honestly applied by INEC and all those concerned, will give us an election that will be better than what we had in 2015.

“The President should know that the survival of democracy, its development and the future of Nigeria are far more important than the ambition of any individual or party. I am using this opportunity to call on President Muhammadu Buhari to put a stop to this uncertainty in the political process by signing without delay the 2018 Electoral Bill so as to allow INEC and the concerned parties know how to prepare for a credible process.”

BIG STORY

BREAKING: Akeredolu Wins Ondo Governorship Election

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The candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the 2020 Ondo State governorship election, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, has been declared the winner of the poll by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

He defeated his closest rival and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Eyitayo Jegede, in 12 of the 18 Local Government Areas where the election held.

Akeredolu polled 292,914 votes as against Jegede’s 195,431 votes.

INEC’s Returning Officer, Prof. Idowu Olayinka, who declared Akeredolu winner, said he had met all conditions required to be returned as governor-elect for the state.

Though Jegede won the first LG (Ifedore) result to be announced, Akeredolu maintained a comfortable lead after 16 of the 18 LGAs’ results were announced.

Jegede won in Akure South, Akure North, and Ifedore LGAs while the Deputy Governor and Zenith Labour Party candidate, Agboola Ajayi, won none.

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BIG STORY

Voters Shun Social Distancing As Ondo Guber Election Commences

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The governorship election in Ondo State begins peacefully with impressive voters’ turnout in most wards across the state.

However, our correspondents observed that there was no social distancing at Sacred Heart Pry School, Ward 2, Polling Unit 10, Akure South Local Government, the polling unit of the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Eyitayo Jegede.

Jegede, and his wife, Eno, walked into the premises around 9:00 am with a couple of aides and supporters.

Although the situation does not suggest the likelihood of violence, there is a massive security presence in cities, towns, and villages.

There is also compliance with the restriction on movement across the state.

Jegede has Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, who is seeking reelection on the platform of the All Progressives Congress; and deputy governor, Agboola Ajayi, of the Zenith Labour Party, as major contenders in the poll.

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BIG STORY

Nigeria at 60: “Take Your Rightful Place In Building The Nigeria of Your Dream”—– Deji Ogunsakin Admonishes Nigerian Youths

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As Nigeria celebrates her 60th independence anniversary, former Ado-Ekiti Local Government chairman and the People’s Democratic Party, PDP’s deputy governorship candidate in the 2018 gubernatorial election in Ekiti State, Hon. Deji Ogunsakin has called on Nigerian youths to take their rightful place in building the Nigeria of their dream.

He noted that Nigeria is a work in progress and needs her vibrant and energetic massive youthful population to work hard and participate actively in every meaningful endeavour that can promote unity, sustain development and project the image of Nigeria in a good light.

“Youths are the engine room of national development. Recent statistics show that Nigerian youths between the ages of 18-35 make up about 51% of the nation’s population while those in the 36-50 age bracket are about 30%. This means that Nigerians between the ages of 18-50 are about 80% of the entire population of our country which clearly shows that there’s absolutely no meaningful development that can happen in Nigeria if her most active and largest age bracket is not encouraged to have faith in the country.

“Youths all over the world power elections and we must not only mobilize on social media but also encourage people to come out and vote for a candidate of their choice in any election. Participation in governance starts with the elections and we must ensure the narrative we have been tagged with ‘Lazy Youths’ is changed as we approach 2023,” Ogunsakin stated.

The successful banker turned politician charged Nigerian youths; “Do not commit your future into the hands of those who are not likely to be a part of it. At 60, Nigeria is being governed by octogenarians who are obviously out of touch with today’s realities hence, the abysmal performance of the current administration on all fronts. Yes, everybody cannot contest elections or become active members of political parties, but we owe our future a duty to actively participate during elections to ensure that the people’s will is not subverted by the crooked ruling class.”

He further charged them to participate actively in politics and ensure that they are part of policy and decision making that will shape their own future. While congratulating Nigerians on the independence anniversary, Ogunsakin called on political leaders across the nation to give young people an opportunity to serve which he said is the surest way of setting and putting a lasting succession plan in place.

According to the PDP stalwart, “I was a local government chairman at 35; Special Adviser on Due Process at 38 and deputy governorship candidate at 39 under a leader who I consider the only lover and promoter of youths that I know, Dr Ayo Fayose, the former governor of Ekiti State. I wish other leaders can emulate his audacity to stand by young people always. I am a firm believer in project Nigeria and also optimistic of a better Nigeria in the nearest future and it starts with you and me.”

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