The All Progressives Congress Directorate of Election Planning and Monitoring has demanded more transparency from the Independent National Electoral Commission.
The party urged the commission to be open in its dealings ahead of the rescheduled Presidential and National Assembly elections.
Babatunde Fashola, Director of the Directorate and Minister of Power, Works and Housing, made the demand at a news conference on Sunday in Abuja.
Fashola was reacting to the postponement of the elections by INEC.
The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, had a few hours to commencement of the Presidential and National Assembly elections, announced the rescheduling \by one week of the elections earlier scheduled for February 16.
By the postponement, the Presidential and National Assembly elections now come up on February 23, while the Governorship and State House of Assembly elections come up on March 9.
Yakubu had said the decision to postpone the elections was taken after a meeting with INEC Commissioners, citing “logistics” problems as issues that prompted the postponement.
He said the decision was further necessitated after reviewing the level of the commission’s preparedness for the exercise.
He stressed that postponing the elections was a difficult decision, but was necessary for successful delivery of the elections and to consolidate on Nigeria’s democracy.
However, Fashola said there was the need for the commission to keep Nigerians updated on preparations for the rescheduled elections. He also demanded more transparency.
He said: “As a result of the common pain shared by us all, we demand greater openness and transparency in the Commission’s preparations ahead of Saturday 23rd February 2019 elections.
“We believe that members of the public should know what steps INEC have taken with the Central Bank of Nigeria to assess, take inventory of materials and what their conditions are.”
Fashola added that the commission should also let Nigerians know if all materials required for the elections were in the country and if not what plans it had to ensure that they were on ground.
He further added that the commission’s plans to redeploy and distribute materials ahead of elections should also be made known to Nigerians.
Fashola said INEC should also let Nigerians know what it encountered in the failed election attempt of the February 16 and measures taken to overcome them.
He added that the commission should also confirm to Nigerians that the configuration of its card readers would be completed in readiness for the rescheduled elections.
He said it was also necessary for the commission to let Nigerians know what transport logistics and further materials it required in terms of vehicles, boats, trucks, airplanes, helicopters, manpower and funding to execute the elections.
He said: “In addition to all of these, we believe that INEC should brief Nigerians daily on an ongoing basis until this process is concluded.
“This is one way to elicit the buy-in of Nigerians that INEC is serious and this will replace disappointment with enthusiasm.
“INEC has the duty to now make its processes open, believable and inspiring.
“This is the road to free and fair elections which is a victory for Nigeria and not for any party.”
The minister said elections and political parties were primarily about people.
He noted that before the elections were postponed, millions of Nigerians had sacrificed their time, resources and convenience to perform their national civic duty only to be disappointed by the postponement.
He added that as a political party, the disappointment of the APC was doubled.
This, he said, was especially so because unlike some who were privy to the postponement, the APC got to know of it alongside the public a few hours before the polls opened.
“To the stranded youth corpers, voters and volunteers who have travelled at great cost to cast their votes, we empathise with you,” he said.
He also empathised with the party’s agents and its members across the federation, saying they should not be discouraged.
He stressed that because Nigerians were a determined and resilient people, they should not let the shortcomings of INEC as an institution deter them from exercising their franchise.
Fashola, therefore, charged Nigerians to stay calm and be determined and to come out en masse on February 23 to vote for the APC’s presidential candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari, and all the party’s senatorial and House of Representatives candidates.
He urged Nigerians to convert their disappointment following the postponement of the elections to determination and to ensure that their previous sacrifices do not go to waste.
APC In Ondo, Who Do We Send? —- Moyo Odunlami
In the last couple of weeks, the race for who would win the All Progressives Congress (APC) ticket has been on in earnest and many wonders who would emerge at the primaries scheduled to hold July 20.
Asides needing a creditable candidate, Ondo APC is in dire need of rescue and ultimate restoration. Presently, the word on many lips is that among the list of 12 candidates, one man that distinctly ticks all the right boxes is Olusola Oke; he is marketable, beloved, and honorable.
Not a man new to the intrigues of politics, Olusola Oke, in many quarters has been known to be a bridge-builder, a party man, and an excellent patriot.
Having previously run against the last two governors of the state and graciously accepted defeat, his reemergence is like that of a phoenix ready shine from the embers of the political turmoil in which APC has been embroiled in over the last few months.
Asides being a well-loved, quality scion of Ondo, Oke’s right to candidacy does not only stem from his political know-how, but he has also built key friendships and partnerships that would bring unimaginable goodwill, both to APC and Ondo as a whole.
No doubt, the emergence of such a man as the APC gubernatorial candidate would do much to repair the reputation of the party as a beacon for good governance in Ondo State.
Oke as APC gubernatorial candidate would also recall lost party members who had previously decamped. He would be the rallying point for all, including those who are certain to decamp from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo.
Ondo APC is a party in dire need of a facelift and the reality is that Olusola Oke is the man, the only man that can restore it to its old glory, breathe new life into it, and ensure that the party retains its supremacy in the Sunshine State come October 10.
Moyo odunlami writes from Alagbaka Akure
JUST IN: Ganduje Heads 49-Member APC National Campaign Council For Edo 2020 Elections
The Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary National Convention Planning Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has appointed a 49-member high-level National Campaign Council for the September 19 Edo State Governorship Election.
The council chaired by Governor of Kano State, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has four state governors, the Deputy Senate President and two former National Chairmen of the party among others as members and Hon. Abbas Braimoh to serve as Secretary.
Party’s Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Mr Yekini Nabena in a statement in Abuja on Thursday said the appointment of the council followed the approval of the National Chairman of the party’s Caretaker Committee, Mai Mala Buni.
Lagos East: Ambode, Ashafa, Gbadamosi, Jostle For Late Osinowo’s Senatorial Position
No fewer than 13 members of the All Progressives Congress and Peoples Democratic Party in Lagos State have reportedly indicated interest in contesting for the by-election to fill the Lagos East Senatorial District at the Senate.
The former occupant of the position, Bayo Osinowo, died on June 15, 2020 after a brief illness said to be connected with COVID-19.
Our correspondent learnt that among leading candidates for the position in the APC are a former Lagos Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode; a former occupant of the position, Senator Gbenga Ashafa, a former House of Representatives member, Dayo Alebiosu-Bush, a former Lagos commissioner, Tola Kasali; and the Director General of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri.
For the PDP, the leading candidates include a former governorship candidate of the Action Democratic Party, Babatunde Gbadamosi; the last PDP flag bearer for the position, Princess Abiodun Oyefusi; and a public relations expert, Adedipe Shobajo.
The spokesperson for the Lagos PDP, Taofik Ganiu, said his party would ensure it fielded the best candidate.
He said, “What is operating in the PDP Lagos now is that we are set for any election. For the Lagos senatorial district by-election, we want to field our strongest candidate who will not be rejected by Lagosians. There are seven aspirants already.
“We are also happy to note that a lot of the APC chieftains are making plans to have us as a platform. We are aware that the APC national body is endorsing somebody and other aspirants are aggrieved. So, our doors are wide open for them to take advantage of it.”
Ganiu said the greatest asset of his party was its plan to end godfatherism in Lagos, adding that the coming by-election would be an opportunity for the PDP to showcase its best hands before claiming the state come the 2023 general elections.
However, the APC spokesperson, Seye Oladejo, said the ruling party was still mourning the death of Osinowo, aka Pepper.
He said, “At the level of the party, nothing is happening now. It’s barely two weeks that we lost Pepper. Humanity should come into play here irrespective of anybody’s ambition. So, nothing is happening.
“But I can tell you that it’s going to be in the public domain when the time is right; it will not be hidden.”
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