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Group Condemns Candidates’ Imposition In Bayelsa

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Peeved by the imposition of candidates in the concluded primaries in Bayelsa State, a non-partisan group, G24 Embasara Foundation, has raised an alarm over the practice, particularly as most candidates were allegedly forced on the people by godfathers.
The practice, according to them, would continue to weaken democracy, as the choice of the people is often subverted to allow for mediocrity.
Contained in a statement by Co-conveners, Iniruo Wills and Geoffrey Kwale, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Denzel Kentebe and Lead, Media Committee, Ayakeme Whiskey the group said the alleged imposition led to the exclusion of other aspirants, thus depriving Bayelsa people the benefit of a robust engagement.
The foundation frowned on indiscriminate, lawless and unfair practice where during the conduct of party primaries by some political parties, delegates of well-favoured aspirants were reportedly given preferential treatment over and above other delegates, thus breeding distrust, rancour and acrimony among hitherto loyal party men and women.
The group said, “We note that the gale of defection sweeping across the two dominant parties in the state lately is perhaps not unconnected with the growing number of disgruntled party faithful who have been denied their legitimate right to participate in primaries free from manipulation, imposition, harassment and intimidation.
“It is particularly irksome that whereas political parties raked in hundreds of millions of naira from aspirants, some of whom perhaps had to sell personal effects to be able to purchase the exorbitant nomination and intent forms, the parties on their part, failed to provide the required level-playing field to test their popularity.
“Since the Independent National Electoral Commission is by law empowered to supervise party primaries and ensure strict compliance with approved prudential guidelines and extant laws, the commission must share in the blame and take responsibility for ensuring that future primaries are well monitored.”
The foundation noted that as the political tempo heightened, it was calling on the Bayelsa State Government and the Bayelsa State Police Command to swing into action and play the role of an impartial arbiter by creating the enabling environment for the smooth conduct of election that would not only be credible, but free and fair.
It noted that with the open rascality, and non-adherence to the rule of law during the primaries, the foundation of the 2019 elections was already greatly weakened.
The group added, “We are equally shocked at the fewer number of female aspirants offering themselves for elective offices going by the INEC list even when nomination forms were offered freely to female contenders.
“The global trend is that more and more women are beginning to take active interest in political leadership and Bayelsa cannot afford to be an exception.
“We note that economic prosperity and sustainable development of the state can only come about when the right candidates, not the right parties, are voted into power.
“We strongly advocate that emergent political leaders must commit to abide by a code of good governance stipulating minimum thresholds of service delivery and quality assurance.
“Those political gladiators whose stock in trade is to hold the political economy and convert the commonwealth to their private estate should be ready for disgrace as they would be shown the way out.
To this end, the Group urged the youths to be wary of politicians out there bent on using them as political thugs and abandon them when they get into power.

By: Austin Pade, Yenagoa

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Buhari Seeks Senate’s Approval For Additional External Loans

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President Muhammadu Buhari has sought approval of Senate for additional external loan under the 2018 to 2021 Federal Government external borrowing plan.
Buhari’s request was contained in a letter addressed to President of Senate, Ahmad Lawan and read at plenary, yesterday.
Buhari in the letter said the loan which would be sourced from the multilateral organisations would be used to finance critical projects of the Federal and States governments.
“Addendum to the Request for Senate concurrent approval of Multilateral Fund Projects under the 2018 to 2021 Federal Government external borrowing plan.
“I write on the above subject to submit attached addendum to the proposed 2018 to 2021 Federal Government external borrowing rolling plan for the consideration and concurrent approval of the Senate.
“Senate may wish to recall that I had earlier transmitted a request from the proposed 2018 to 2020 Federal Government external borrowing plan for the concurrent approval of Senate in May 2021.
“However, in view of other emerging needs and to ensure that all critical projects are covered, the Federal Executive Council as at June 2021 incorporated.
“I hereby forward an addendum to the proposed external borrowing plan.
“The projects listed in the addendum to the 2018 to 2021 Federal Government external borrowing plan are to be financed through sovereign loans from the World Bank, French Development Agency, China Exim Bank, International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD),Credit Swiss Group, and Standard Chartered, in the credit total sum of 4.5 billion dollars,710 million euros and grant component of 125 million dollars.
“The Senate is kindly invited to know that the projects and programmes in the borrowing plan were selected based on positive technical and economic evaluations and the contributions that will make the socio- economic development of the country including, employment generation and poverty reduction and protection of the most vulnerable in the society.
“All the said projects in the addendum, form part of the 2018-2021 external borrowing plan and covered all the Federal and state governments projects and are geared toward realisation of Nigeria’s sustainability plan.”
Buhari said the sustainability plans cuts across key sectors, such as infrastructure, health, agriculture and food, security energy, education and human capital development.
He urged the senate to give consideration and approval to the request, given the timing and benefits due to be accrued to the implementation of the projects across the country.

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Group Tasks INEC On Sensitisation

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A Non-Governmental Organisation, YIAGA Africa, has tasked the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) on the need to intensify public sensitisation for the ongoing voters registration exercise.
YIAGA Africa, which specialises in monitoring elections and citizens participation in the electoral process across the continent also scored INEC high in voters’ registration exercise. 
State Coordinating Officer of YIAGA, Obinna Ebogidi, told newsmen that though the exercise had improved, there was need for more enlightenment, as public participation was still low.
“We as  an organisation are interested in the build up to the election, because what is going on now will afford Nigerians to have their PVCs and vote in the elections”, he declared.
To further drive the process, he revealed that the body had sent its monitors across the 23 local government areas of the state with the goal of boosting public participation and feedback.
Ebogidi stated that though the exercise suffered hitches earlier,  INEC had improved on its services, as there was electronic network transmission hitches when the network began.
Besides improving on public education, he also tasked INEC to improve on staff’s training on electronic voters’ registration so that the process would be more efficient.

By: Kevin Nengia

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 INEC Discloses Updates On CVR

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says 931,768 Nigerians have completed their physical registration in its ongoing nationwide Continuous Voter Registration (CVR).
The electoral empire also disclosed that pre-registration had hit 2,953,094 as at 7 a.m of September 13.
The commission disclosed this in the Week 11 update on the pre-registration, which commenced on June 28, released on Monday in Abuja.
INEC further revealed that it had received 4,225,749 applications from people requesting for voter transfer, replacement of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) and update of voter information record, among other requests.
The Tide  reports that distribution of applications based on gender, shows that 2,308,338 are from males, 1,917,411 from females, while 50,395 of the applicants are from people with disabilities.
The update on the 2,953,094 Nigerians, who had done their online pre-registration, also shows that Osun State has the highest number with 402,619, followed by Edo State with 223,009 and Bayelsa State with 216,280.
The states with the lowest number of re-registration in the CVR are Borno with 11,612, followed by Yobe 13, 176 and Abia 14,248.
The Tide also reports that the week seven update on the 931,768 registrants who have completed their online and physical registration shows that Anambra records 138,795 as the state with the highest number, followed by Osun with 52,823.
However, Imo has the lowest with 6,428, followed by FCT 9,130 and Abia with 9,140 in the physical registration that started on July 26.

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