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APC Demands Transparency From INEC Ahead Of Rescheduled Elections

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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.

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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