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Wike’s Disdain For Poll Observers’ Report Meaningless -APC

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Cross section of Lagos State civil servants, during a thank you visit by Lagos Governor-elect, Mr Akinwumik Ambode to civil servants in Lagos last Tuesday.

Cross section of Lagos State civil servants, during a thank you visit by Lagos Governor-elect, Mr Akinwumik Ambode to civil servants in Lagos last Tuesday.

The All Progressives Congress [APC] in Rivers State has described as disappointing the fact that the governorship candidate of the PDP, Barr. Nyesom Wike has been moving from one media house to the other dismissing the very credible reports on the April 11 electoral debacle in Rivers State by international election observers.. In a statement, yesterday, the APC Publicity Secretary, Chris Finebone said this despicable attitude suggests that Wike has his own meaning of international election standard different from what the rest of the international community knows”.
The party reiterated that several of the acclaimed international observer groups that condemned the governorship elections in Rivers State include the African Centre for Leadership Strategies and Development, The European Union (EU) Election Observation Mission (EOM) to Nigeria, the US Embassy in Nigeria, among others.
He quoted the   African Centre for Leadership Strategies and Development led by Humphrey Bekaren as saying that
”What we saw did not meet international standard of electioneering, not even the ones set by the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC.
“We request all lovers of democracy to join us in calling for the outright cancellation of the phony election. Unless this is done, we would have sown the seed that could eventually grow into providing a shade of fear and death over us.”
He also qouted the European Union (EU) Election Observation Mission (EOM) to Nigeria led by The EU EOM Chief Observer, Santiago Fisas, as saying that, “on 11 April, security incidence and violence were reported from across the country; predominantly, it involved inter-party clashes, an attack on election site by hoodlums often involving ballot boxes and election materials snatching.
“Credible reports show that problems were very severe in Rivers and Akwa Ibom states. These warrant further investigation.
“I called on all stakeholders, voters, candidates, and more particularly, the political parties, to continue to maintain a peaceful response to the outcomes of the polls and to make any grievances through official channel.
“It is very regrettable that so many people lost their lives during the elections. Election must be violent-free; that loss of lives is not acceptable. Citizens should be able to express their political will freely without fear for their lives.”
The APC Publicity Secretary further referred to US Embassy in Nigeria alleged massive electoral irregularities in Rivers and Akwa Ibom states.
According to the Embassy, “we have seen the reports of violence and alleged irregularities, particularly in Rivers and Akwa Ibom states, the APC noted”
The party stated that with these and many more observations made on the April 11 elections in Rivers State, it is rather surprising that Barr. Nyesom Wike could go public with his claims that the process met local and international election standards. Obviously, he has to re-work his understanding of what national and international election standards mean.
He reminded. Wike that the election process does not end with declaration of results; it ends after the ruling of the electoral appeal court or the Supreme Court depending on the position contested.

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Obasanjo, Abdulsalami, Sultan, Others Brainstorm On Insecurity

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Rising insecurity and agitations for secession by different ethnic groups across Nigeria has attracted the attention of elder statesmen and other national leaders to a meeting in Abuja.

The meeting was organised by Interfaith Initiatives for Peace jointly led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, and Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan, and the National Peace Committee chaired by Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd).

Reporters were barred from taking part in the closed-door meeting, expected to proffer solutions to the ongoing security challenges threatening the peace and unity of the country.

It was also an exploratory meeting on pressing issues of national unity, security, peace, integration, economic revitalisation and development, women and youth welfare and general progress.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo; former Head of State, General Abdulsalam Abubakar (rtd); Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar; Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; Tor Tiv, Prof Ortese Iorzua James Ayatse, Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan; President General (Ohanaeze Ndigbo), Prof George Obiozor; and Afenifere leader, Ayo Adebanjo; were all in attendance.

Others sighted at the meeting are President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba; CAN General Secretary, Joseph Daramola; JAMB Registrar, Prof Ishaq Oloyede; Etsu Nupe, Yahya Abubakar; former Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe, among several political and traditional rulers at the meeting.

Elder statesmen, Chief Edwin Clark, also attended the event at the Congress Hall of Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, but could not participate in the meeting because he could not climb the staircase to the meeting room.

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Fighting Corruption Difficult In Democratic Setting, Buhari Laments

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President Muhammadu Buhari says fighting corruption in democratic setting is a difficult task to accomplish.

The president disclosed this during an interview with Arise Television which was televised, yesterday.

According to him, the war against corruption has not been easy for him since he became a democratically elected president six years ago.

He, however, stressed that his administration had succeeded in easing out corrupt public officials without making noise about it.

Buhari recalled that much was achieved in the fight against corruption when he was military Head of State in the early 80s “when a lot of people were sent to prisons before I was also booted out”.

The president frowned at the way and manner local government system was being managed, saying the local government administration was almost non-existent in the country.

He cited situation where state governors continued to starve the local governments of funds saying “in a situation where N300million is allocated to local government and they are given N100million is not fair”.

On activities of bandits and kidnappers particularly in the North-West and North-Central zones, Buhari said he had given the police and Armed Forces the instructions to be ruthless with bandits and vandals terrorising innocent citizens across the country.

He stated that he had told the security agencies to treat bandits and other criminals in the “the language they understand.

“Problem in the north-west; you have people over there stealing each other’s cattle and burning each other’s villages.

“Like I said, we are going to treat them in the language they understand.

“We have given the police and the military the power to be ruthless. You watch it in a few weeks’ time there will be difference.

”Because we told them if we keep people away from their farm, we are going to starve. And the government can’t control the public.

“If you allow hunger, the government is going to be in trouble and we don’t want to be in trouble.

“We are already in enough trouble. So, we warn them sooner than later you’ll see the difference,’’ he said.

On farmers/herders clashes, the president said the problem had persisted because old cattle routes and grazing areas had been violated by development, adding that those who had taken over such traditional arrangements would be dispossessed.

On the fight against insurgency, Buhari dismissed the assertion that majority of Boko Haram members were foreigners.

According to him, the majority of the Boko Haram members are Nigerians, saying this was further corroborated by Borno State Governor, Prof Babagana Zulum.

The president stated that his administration had done a lot to fight the terrorists and insurgents but the problem in the “North-East is very difficult.”

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Igboho Declares June 12 Day Of Protest, Warns Buhari

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Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, has declared June 12 as day of protest for Yoruba nation agitators.

The self-acclaimed Yoruba activist said the agitators will hold ‘peaceful rallies’ across the South-West region on Saturday, June 12.

Igboho, who spoke through his spokesman, Olayomi Koiki, in a live video programme aired, last Wednesday night, called on South-West governors to cooperate with the peaceful protesters during the exercise.

He warned the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration not to attack the agitators.

He said, “Let us warn the Federal Government that if there is bloodshed this weekend, the international community is watching, if the military kills any Nigerian this weekend, it is going to be very hot.

“The Yoruba nation rally will go ahead in every part of Yoruba land and the rest of the country where it will hold.

“Red alarm will begin on Friday. People should stock up food Items from Friday night.

“We are not backing down this weekend; we are ready to take back what belongs to us.”

He also enjoined agitators to ‘fast’ on Friday.

This is coming after NANS under the leadership of its National President, Comrade Sunday Asefon, had declared June 12 as National Day of peaceful protest to call on the government to act decisively towards addressing insecurity.

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