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APC Plotting To Attack NASS Leadership Next Week -CUPP …Says Move ‘ll Endanger Democracy …As APC Chieftain Declares Support For Atiku …NASS Retains Card Reader In Electoral Act

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The Coalition of United Political Parties, CUPP, has alleged that the All Progressives Congress, APC, had begun fresh plot to attack the leadership of the National Assembly.
The coalition, in a statement, yesterday, by its National Spokesperson, Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, said it “uncovered yet another plot by the outgoing APC-led Federal Government to yet endanger our democracy and push our country closer to the edge of the cliff preparatory to finally pushing it over for total destruction.”
“This latest dastardly act by the anti-democratic forces of the APC included the surreptitious filing of a suit and seeking out a compromised judge who will in controversial circumstances grant an exparte application directing that one-third of the Senators/House members can demand to open either chambers of the National Assembly,” the statement said.
It further read thus:”CUPP has been informed that the plot also includes the police inviting the leadership of the National Assembly just before the controversial ruling and their subsequent detention with a black market injunction from a magistrate court thereby paving way for the unlawful and violent change of the leadership of the Senate and House of Representatives.
“Some of the security agencies will provide security cover for the coupists while a section of the media has been coopted to churn out news and justification for such evil plots.
“This kind of desperation by the outgoing APC and Presidency can only be likened to the last kicks of a dying horse which usually gives it the hope that it will salvage the head which is already off.
“The ship of the APC is fast sinking and is obviously beyond redemption. “Nigerians are daily convinced that the APC was a mistake made in 2015 and are also resolved that they are a mistake to be corrected in 2019.
“It is worrisome that the Party entrusted by Nigerians to provide leadership, growth and development for the country could in one plot compromise the judiciary, the legislature, the Police, the Department of State Services, the media and indeed all institutions of our democracy.
“In the coming days, Nigerians and indeed all lovers of democracy world over are hereby placed on alert to watch out for the unfolding of this plot and call on the Presidency and the APC not to destroy our democracy before they leave office in eight months as Nigerians have rejected them and cannot wait to send them packing in the next general elections.
“We call on the international community to place key members of the APC led Federal government on watch list and ensure they have no hiding place anywhere in the world should anything happen to our democracy. “
However, the ruling All Progressives Congress APC has denied accusations by the Coalition of United Political Parties CUPP that it planned to attack the National Assembly on resumption from recess.
Meanwhile, a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Yahaya Kwande, yesterday caused a stir as he attended a rally of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) organised for former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar.
Atiku, a presidential aspirant of the PDP, was in Jos yesterday to lobby national delegates from the state ahead of the party’s presidential primaries.
Prior to Atiku’s visit, there were rumours that Mr Kwande would attend the meeting with Plateau State PDP members, even though he is a chieftain of APC .
Our correspondent who witnessed the event reports that Mr Kwande was given a microphone to speak on Mr Abubakar’s aspiration.
“I know you will be surprised to see me in the state PDP secretariat. I have never entered this secretariat but today I am in your midst. I have never stood where I am standing now. There is a reason for me being here.
“If today you I say I am not together with Atiku, you are already a mad man. I am fully with Atiku. My loyalty to Atiku is very certain. There are many people waiting for this day and the day has come. They were speculating that they will see whether I will welcome him.
“I have never found myself in this kind of politics. In the state, I have my son who is Lalong and father at the centre who is Atiku Abubakar. I would be afraid whenever Atiku will come
“In the whole of Nigeria, Atiku is the best person to lead the country. Let us support Atiku. Let us rally around him. We pray God should help Atiku win the 2019 presidential election. People should not be surprised to see that one day , I will personally bring Lalong before Atiku like I did it when you were in APC. People should not be surprised if myself and Lalong return to PDP.”
The APC chieftain, however, said he is still a member of APC because he is still holding APC card.
“As I am standing here, I am still a member of APC. I call on all of you to be patient. There would be special day for me to talk. It is not today, “ Mr Kwande said.
In a related development, the National Assembly yesterday bent over to amend the last version (the third) of the 2018 Electoral Amendment Bill which President Muhammadu Buhari declined to assent to , reviewing the sections he raised complaints about.
The Joint Committee of the two chambers at their meeting affected amendments on all the sections , President Buhari noted as obstacles to his assent and deleted one of the said problematic clauses. .
Shotly before the end of the 31 days life span of the third version of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill (2018), sent to the Presidency for approval, President Buhari had communicated to the lawmakers his refusal of assent to the amendment bill listing about 14 contentious areas that must be addressed by the federal lawmakers for him to to sign the Bill into law.
According to the Chairman of the joint committee Senator Suleiman Nazif, President Buhari’s complaints and observations were accordingly addressed in the 4th version of the bill adopted by the joint committee of the National Assembly on Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC) at the Tuesday meeting.
The affected sections as announced by Senator Nazi are 9(1A) , 9(B5), 18( 1-4), 19(4), 30(1), 31(1) and 31(7).
Others are 36(3), 44(3-4), 67( a-d), 87(2), 87(14) and 1124.
While section 9(1A) deals with voters registers in electronic format and manual or hard copy format , section 18(14) deals with process of replacement of voters card by the INEC on demand by voters which it states must not be done less than 30 days before election.
Section 36(3) of the adopted bill makes provision for constitutional way out on sudden death of candidate of political party in the course of election as it happened in 2016 Kogi gubernatorial election.
The section states: “ If after the commencement of poll and before the announcement of the final result and declaration of a winner, the leading candidate dies , (a), the commission shall, being satisfied of the fact of the death, suspend the election for a period not exceeding 21 days.
“(b) the political party whose candidate died may , if it intends to continue to participate in the election , conduct a fresh primary within 7 days of the death of its candidate and submit a new candidate to replace the dead candidate
“ (c) subject to paragraphs (a) and (b) , the commission shall continue with the election. , announce the final result and declare a winner”
The Chairman however added that section 34(2-4) which deals with added laws on commission of party logo on ballot papers was delected .
This was as he explained that at no time was provision for usuage of card reader selected in any of the versions of the electoral bills .
Senator Nazif noted that the adopted 4th electoral bill is a harmonized version of the 2nd and 3rd submissions.
It would be recalled that the first version of the bill forwarded to President Muhammadu Buhari in February this year by the federal lawmakers was rejected as a result of introduction of new sequence of election provided for in section 25(1) of the bill.
The second version forwarded to the President in June after removal of the new sequence of elections provisions, was outrightly vetoed by the President by not considering it in anyway before it got constitutionally expired on his table on the 26th of July 2018, while he declined assent to the third based on the said complaints over some clauses therein.

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We’ll Enforce ‘No Work, No Pay’ Rule, RSG Warns NARD

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The Rivers State Government has said that it would apply the “no work, no pay” rule against resident doctors under the employment of the state government who embark on strike in solidarity with the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD).

In a statement signed by the Secretary to the Rivers State Government, Dr Tammy Danagogo, in Port Harcourt, yesterday, the government cautioned that the strike should be restricted to resident doctors that were directly under the payroll of the Federal Government, particularly as Rivers State Government does not owe salaries or benefits to resident doctors in the state.

“We are unable to decipher why resident doctors in the state will embark on sympathy strike with their counterparts in the employment of the Federal Government.

“Rivers State Government,having reaffirmed its position with respect to the above, will not tolerate further strike actions by resident doctors in Rivers State, and will be compelled to invoke the “no work, no pay” rule on striking House Officers.

“We, therefore, direct all resident doctors to call off the ongoing strike in the state, and return to work within 24hours or forfeit their salaries and risk being sacked”, the statement warned.

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Courts, Politicians Frustrating Preparations For Anambra Poll, INEC Laments

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The Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC), yesterday, complained that politicians were using the courts to frustrate the efforts of the commission to deliver credible election in the Anambra State governorship election scheduled for November 6, 2021.

Addressing participants at the implementation meeting on voter enlightenment and publicity for the election in Awka, the national commissioner in charge of voter education, Chief Festus Okoye, said the action of the courts and the politicians could lead to voter apathy during the polls.

He said, “The commission has variously and consistently complained at the frequency and consistency with which courts of coordinate jurisdiction from different jurisdictions all over Nigeria assumed jurisdiction and delivered judgments and issued orders with far reaching implications on the conduct of the Anambra State governorship election.

“Some of the orders have the tendency of eroding the powers of the commission and compromising its independence, powers and timelines for the conduct of the upcoming election.

“In our regulations and guidelines for the conduct of elections, as well as the timetable and schedule of activities, the commission issues access code to the national chairmen of political parties with which they upload the personal particulars and list of their candidates electronically.

“This obviated the demonstrations, fights and violence normally witnessed in the premises of the commission by different factions of political parties and the national and state branches of political parties.

“Unfortunately, some of the judgments and orders given recently, especially on the primary elections in Anambra State, have bypassed our portal and sought to restore the manual submission of the list and personal particulars of candidates.

“It is also becoming increasingly difficult for the commission to obey court orders and judgments that are the latest in time or the first in time as some of the political parties and the candidates have perfected the art of shopping for the first in time or the latest in time.

“The planning and preparation for election requires certainty and adherence to timelines. The leadership of the Nigeria Bar Association(NBA) and the leadership of the Judiciary must wade into this descent to forum shopping and the multiplicity of orders and judgments from courts of coordinate jurisdiction. This is urgent; it is imperative and cannot be carried over to the 2023 general election.

“The commission has maintained that political parties must obey and conform to their constitutions and guidelines for the conduct of party primaries, as well as the provisions of Section 87 of the Electoral Act.

“Political parties must extricate themselves from the web and crisis of endless litigation arising from the conduct of primaries, own their rules and also comply with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) in all their activities.”

He also explained that INEC is paying special attention to the Continuous Voter Registration(CVR), in Anambra State to ensure that all those who are eligible to register do so in preparation for the November 6, 2021 election.

According to him, the commission would deploy additional staff and materials to the state in the next few weeks to accelerate the registration exercise and would also decide when to suspend the CVR in Anambra State to enable it print the permanent voters card of new registrants and integrate the supplementary voters register with the existing register of voters, while VCR would continue in the state after the election.

He said that the new polling units created by the commission would be used for the first time during the November 6, 2021 Anambra governorship election, adding that the people of the state would, therefore, vote from polling units that are closer and accessible.

He added, “Political parties must conduct their campaigns with civility and the best tradition of democratic ethos. Political campaigns or slogans shall not be tainted with abusive language directly or indirectly likely to injure religious, ethnic, tribal or section feelings.

“Abusive, intemperate, slanderous, or base language or insinuations or innuendoes designed or likely to provoke violent reaction or emotions shall not be employed or used in political campaigns.

“Political parties are also reminded that places designated for religious workshop, police stations, and public offices shall not be used for political campaigns, rallies and processions.

“As of this day (Tuesday) it is exactly 95 days to the November 6, 2021 governorship election in Anambra State and for this commission, 95 days to the conduct of any election is a race against time and preparations must be in top gear.

“The commission places utmost importance in planning and keeping to timelines for the conduct of elections. On the basis of this the commission pre-delivered over 50% of the non-sensitive materials for the conduct of the election well ahead of time.

“Similarly, the commission places high premium on the deployment of technology in the conduct of elections. This very practice which has become a part and parcel of the operations and activities of the commission has impacted tremendously on the quality of elections in the country”.

Okoye said that the deployment of technology in the delivery of over 26 by-elections since the 2019 general election had remarkably reduced the impact of human interferences in the outcome of the elections, assuring that application of technology would be a hallmark in the Anambra election.

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NASS Opposition To E-Transmission Of Poll Results, Coup Against Nigerians, Wike Insists

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The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike says the rejection of electronic transmission of election results by All Progressives Congress (APC) members in the National Assembly, was tantamount to a coup against Nigerians desirous of free, fair and credible elections.

The governor noted that President Muhammadu Buhari’s failure to prevail on APC members in the National Assembly to support the inclusion of electronic transmission of election results in the amended Electoral Act proves that he does not intend to leave a legacy of transparent electoral process.

He stated this during the official presentation of letter of nomination to him as “the 2020 Governor of the Year Award” by the management of the Leadership Media Group at the Government House, Port Harcourt, yesterday.

Wike remarked that the current National Assembly capitalised on the seeming political indifference of Nigerians to deliberately vote against the inclusion of electronic transmission of election results in the amended Electoral Act.

The governor, described National Assembly members who voted against transmission of election results electronically as enemies of the country, because their action was detrimental to the growth and consolidation of the country’s democracy.

“Those who voted against e-transmission of results should be ashamed of themselves. They never mean well for this country. If you are a member of the National Assembly, and you voted against electronic transmission of results, your children should call you and say ‘daddy, are you well’?

“I can’t believe anybody who went to school in this digital period, will vote against electronic transmission of results. What kind of country is this? What kind of National Assembly members do we have?”

Wike declared that the rejection of electronic transmission of election results by APC lawmakers, even when the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had affirmed that it has the capacity to electronically transmit results, was tantamount to a coup against the citizens of the country.

“It is a coup against the people, and when you plot a coup, you know the consequences of plotting a coup. National Assembly members have plotted coup against Nigerians, and Nigerians should hold them responsible. All they are planning is to rig election, because they know Nigerians have abandoned them”, the governor said.

The Rivers State governor said he had expected President Buhari, who had openly declared that he respects former President Goodluck Jonathan, for not compromising the 2015 general election, to build on the electoral legacy of his predecessor.

“If Jonathan did not believe in the transparency of the election, he would not have allowed card reader to be used. So, he introduced the card reader as a sitting President, knowing fully well that that could be an albatross to him. But he said no, I want us to move to the next level.”

Wike stated that though President Buhari had repeatedly declared that he will ensure the conduct of free, fair and credible election in 2023, he doubts his sincerity, particularly for failing to rein in those APC members who voted against electronic transmission of election results.

“Mr President cannot tell us that sincerely, he wants to conduct free, fair, credible elections. Let nobody deceive you. It is very clear that there is no sure intention at all.”

The governor, who stated that he has never and will never influence any media organisation to nominate him for an award, advised media groups against bestowing awards on non-performing political office holders.

According to him, giving awards to undeserving governors, for instance, is an act of corruption.

Wike commiserated with the family and management of the Leadership Media Group over the death of the founder of the newspaper, Sam Nda-Isaiah, and urged them to use the newspapers as a voice for the people.

“Let me thank the leadership of the newspaper for finding us worthy or qualified to be nominated for the Governor of the Year Award. Therefore, we dedicate this award to the glory of God Almighty and to the people of the state.”

He said it was gladdening that there were people somewhere who recognise the efforts he and members of his team were making to change the narrative in terms of governance in the country.

To this end, he reiterated that the award would energise his administration to even work harder for the state.

Responding, the Group Managing Director of Leadership Newspapers, Mu’azu Elazeh, said they were in Port Harcourt to formally present Governor Wike the letter of his nomination as the ‘Leadership Governor of the Year’, and then to invite him to attend Leadership Conference slated for September.

“When the Board of Editors of Leadership met for this nomination, because it is something we do every year, when your name was mentioned, I think it is the only name that received unanimous endorsement because of your practical approach to leadership and governance; because of your focus in infrastructural development which is resetting the business and economy of Rivers State”, Elazeh said.

Similarly, the Executive Director, Leadership Media Group, Abraham Nda-Isaiah said this was the first time in the history of Leadership Newspapers that a governor has been nominated twice in the life of an administration.

He recalled that Wike was first nominated for the award in 2017.

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