The incumbent Governor
of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson and candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) lauded the cancellation of the poll in the area while the All Progressives Congress (APC) Governorship candidate Timipre Sylva described as disappointing the cancellation of Sunday’s rescheduled poll in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area.
Sylva described INEC’s decision as a rape of democracy, stressing that he will not accept the cancellation.
According to him, ”We reject it completely. First and foremost, the Resident Electoral Commissioner has no powers to cancel an election which had duly taken place. It is only the Returning Officer that has powers to announce a cancellation or any other thing relating to an election such as this”.
“We had an election on Saturday. In Ekeremor, there was widespread shooting and they beat up a lot of APC members. The home of the Minister of State for Agriculture was under siege; his house was under fire for a long time. I had to call for re-enforcement before they could subdue the assailants in the morning.
“The assailants retreated and returned again in the evening but elections still held in Ekeremor that same day and returns were made. When APC protested, our protests were set aside and the elections were upheld because of one thing, because PDP won. If the APC had won, of course, the elections would probably have been set aside. They just put the figures together and submitted the figures and our protests died like a candle in the wind.
“In Sagbama, we did not see the electoral materials at all. Thugs besieged the local government. A top APC leader is today lying critically ill in the hospital with a broken arm he sustained running away from assailants. They held elections, of course nobody saw the materials and they just filled out the figures and submitted. The APC protested vehemently. Nobody heard our protests, elections were upheld.
“In Nembe Local Government Area, where the APC won clearly, they quickly cancelled two wards and re-conducted those elections on Sunday. On Sunday, no APC member saw any paper or anything at all relating to that election but votes were returned. We protested, our protests were rejected because the PDP won. If you look through, this election ab initio apparently, was set up for the PDP to win but we didn’t want to shout because we are a responsible party.
The Tide learnt that with the results from seven local government areas so far announced by the electoral umpire, Seriake is being trailed by his All Progressives Congress (APC) challenger, Timipre Sylva.
Dickson scored 105,745 votes against Sylva’s 72,594. The PDP flag bearer, who was leading his closest rival with 35, 154 votes before INEC declared the process inconclusive on Monday, tried to stop the election in the disputed council area, but failed.
The PDP applauded the cancellation of the Southern Ijaw election, which it described as a vindication of its earlier position that the commission erred by going ahead with the poll despite security concerns in the area.
In a statement by the Publicity Director of the Restoration Campaign Organisation, Jonathan Obuebite, the PDP said before the election was conducted, it had informed the electoral body and security authorities that the whole of Southern Ijaw had been taken over by thugs and criminal elements.
Obuebite stated that the PDP was for a free, fair and credible election and as such, election in Southern Ijaw must be conducted in an atmosphere that could guarantee the participation of the people.
He noted that as at 4pm on Sunday, election materials were still being distributed and wondered how such process could lead to a transparent election. He added that it was an orchestrated plan to rig the election as voting went on in the dead of the night.
He said the situation also afforded political thugs to infiltrate the polling units, snatching ballot boxes and intimidating voters under the close supervision of the military operatives.
Obuebite said the whole process was marred by apathy due largely to the wanton violence and mayhem unleashed by thugs and militants. The PDP accused INEC, the police and army of colluding with the APC to rig the election.
He said: “Before now, we knew that the SGF was coordinating the whole rigging plan and we alerted President Muhammadu Buhari and the public.They know they cannot win without rigging through violence and the whole world has seen what happened on Sunday. It was a rape of democracy.
“There was a premeditated effort on a multiple level of conspiracy to rig this election involving INEC, army and the police.
Sanwo-Olu Signs Anti-Open Grazing Bill Into Law
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Monday, signed the bill to prohibit open cattle grazing and trespass of cattle on land in the state into laws.
With the law, Lagos has joined some states in southern Nigeria that have anti-open grazing laws in place.
The law is coming more than two weeks after the September 1 deadline set by the Southern Governors Forum for states.
The governor also signed the Lagos State Domestic And Sexual Violence Agency Bill, into Law.
Meanwhile, the state government has said it is committed to tackling the menace of drug abuse frontally to reduce the ravage among youths in the state.
Sanwo-Olu stated this on Monday at the Lagos House, Ikeja, during a courtesy visit by the delegates of Anglican Communion Church of Nigeria, led by the Archbishop Metropolitan and Primate, Most Reverend Henry Ndukuba.
Sanwo-Olu said his government was building a massive rehabilitation hospital at Ketu-Ejirin to tackle drug abuse, adding that his administration would partner with the Church to ensure that the people lived a better life.
He said governance started from the leadership of spiritual homes, noting that government and church can jointly build a community that would outlive all, while restating the commitment to improve the movement of people on road, water as well as building rail infrastructure to make Lagos a livable city.
Speaking earlier, Ndukuba thanked the governor for partnering with the church in the welfare of the people and commended him for his outstanding performance in tackling Covid-19.
Also present at the courtesy visit were the Deputy Governor, Obafemi Hamzat, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Tayo Ayinde, Secretary to the State Government, Folashade Jaji, Commissioner for Information, Gbenga Omotoso, among other dignitaries.
Okowa Tasks NASS On True Federalism
Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, has called on the National Assembly to embody in the 1999 Constitution being amended, true federalism and independence of Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC).
The governor made the call on Monday at a nationwide sensitisation on the review of the existing revenue allocation formula held at Unity Hall, Government House, Asaba.
He explained that an independent RMAFC would carry out its functions independently, including laying its proposals directly before the National Assembly for approval.
According to the governor, the current practice where recommendations of the commission are presented to the President has led to the non-review of the revenue allocation formula since 1992 as no President demonstrated the political will to forward the amendments to the parliament.
He commended RMAFC for ongoing sensitisation of the states before a zonal exercise where recommendations from the states would be received.
“For quite some time a lot of talks have gone on in the revenue allocation and it’s very unfortunate that in this country we are still operating a revenue allocation formula that was actually reviewed in 1992.
“As we look forward to a new revenue allocation formula, we hope that you come out with something that is fair, justifiable and equitable.
“But, the challenge is that when you have done all this work, you are going to eventually, by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, lay this before the President and the President ought to lay it before the National Assembly.
“There is a challenge there and there has always been a challenge there, because what is there in our laws that will ensure that the President lays the recommendations of RMAFC before the National Assembly?
“We hope that the National Assembly takes a look at this amendment because RMAFC is supposed to be an independent commission, a commission on behalf of all federating units and component parts of the federation.
“They cannot tie your hands; the constitution ought to be amended to enable chairman of RMAFC to directly lay before the national assembly whatever review it has come up with so that nobody stands it down,’’ he said.
Okowa stated that the National Assembly must do what was right because “a nation is a nation.
Reps Query Presidential Committee Over Assets Seized From Past Leaders
The House of Representatives on Monday ordered the Presidential Implementation Committee (PIC) on Landed Property to produce reports of all assets seized from former Nigerian leaders.
Members were more particular about the late Head of State, Sani Abacha, whose property and money were recovered by the Federal Government.
The chairman, ad-hoc Committee on Abandoned Property, Ademora Kuye, said the House wanted a report on all assets seized from Nigerian leaders in and out of Nigeria, particularly Abacha.
He said this when the Executive Secretary of PIC appeared before the committee in Abuja.
“We need to know the state of those property and to also know if the property have titles of deed,’’ Mr Kuye said.
The committee also queried the sale of federal government’s assets held in trust by the PIC.
Mr Kuye said the committee discovered that some of the property the PIC claimed to have sold were either not sold or were not paid for, contrary to claims made by the PIC.
He added that some of the seized houses which the PIC claimed were vacant were still being occupied.
He directed the PIC to furnish the House of Representatives committee with up-to-date reports of federal government’s assets sold, amount realised from the sales, those yet to be sold and those under litigation.
Mr Kuye also asked that the PIC must state the amount of money remitted to the federal government from the sales with evidence of remittance, adding that all assets pointed out to the committee but not included in its first report should be forwarded to the House of Representatives committee.
Responding to Mr Kuye’s submissions, the Executive Secretary, PIC, Bala Samid, stated that some of the people occupying government quarters had refused to vacate them.
He added that as soon as the occupants were approached for payment or to vacate the houses they went to court to obtain injunctions restraining the PIC.
“We approached the federal government to report them and the federal government said that we should give them time”.
- Sports5 days ago
Aisha Buhari Cup: FIFA, CAF Presidents Grace Kick-Off, Falcons Win 2-0
- Politics5 days ago
APC, PDP Bandy Words Over Buhari’s Fresh Loan Request
- Featured5 days ago
Southern Govs Back Wike, Insist On VAT Collection …A’Court Urges Rivers To Submit Written Application For Receiver
- Social/Kiddies5 days ago
Eczema And Depression In Children
- Business5 days ago
Board Passengers Without Covid-19 Test Payment Evidence – NCAA
- Featured5 days ago
Okonjo-Iweala Makes ‘TIME 100’
- Business5 days ago
Nigeria Owes N35.5trn, As Local Debt Stands At N21trn
- Business5 days ago
85,265mt Of LPG Supplied In August, PPPRA Claims