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PDP Raises Alarm As INEC Begins Appointment Of Electoral Officers

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The Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Organization (PPCO), yesterday urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to be fair in the process of appointing electoral officers for the conduct of elections at various levels.
Kola Ologbondiyan, PDPCO spokesman, in a statement called on INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, to ensure that the process of appointing electoral officers is transparent.
The PPCO also insisted that members of the Buhari Media Group (BMG) and other APC support groups, hiding under the N-Power programme of the Buhari administration, must not be allowed to participate as electoral officers in any capacity and at any level in the general elections.
The PPCO further insisted that names of all electoral officers at all levels must be made public ahead of the elections, for all stakeholders to assess the neutrality of such officers in their respective constituencies.
The statement added: “We invite the INEC Chairman to note that we are aware that Mrs. Amina Zakari, President Muhammadu Buhari’s relation by marriage in INEC, is already coordinating compromised lecturers and other partisan individuals that will pander to her ploys to manipulate the Presidential election.
“The PPCO therefore demands that the process must be checked and conducted with strict compliance with the assurances of the INEC Chairman, that it will be credible and transparent.
“It is important to state that our party is not in the arena of conflict with INEC but as a political party and critical stakeholder in the 2019 elections, we have the responsibility to point out pitfalls that can endanger the electoral process and lead to a slide into chaos.
“The PDP is a responsible political party. Our members, followers and teeming supporters cut across all the 120,000 polling units in our nation. The PDP, therefore is a major stakeholder in the 2019 general election and even beyond.
“As such, INEC should stop engaging the PDP and other political parties as if we are enemies. The commission must consider all propositions and objections pointed out by the PDP and other opposition parties as measures that will foster free, fair, transparent and credible elections.
“The PPCO notes that since the INEC Chairman, has said that Mrs. Amina Zakari has no role in the collation of results, we consequently restate our demand that she be exempted from any form of electoral role in these elections.
“Already, the public space is filled with the insistence that, given the confession by President Muhammadu Buhari that Mrs. Amina Zakari is his relation by marriage, she must, as a matter of necessity, be exempted from any electoral function in order to avert a conflict of interest bordering on partisanship,

“We call on the United Nations, the European Union and all democratic institutions across the world to rise and appeal to the INEC Chairman to in the interest of peace exempt Amina Zakari from the exercise, as any election conducted with her participation in INEC cannot be anything credible.
“The PPCO restates that the PDP and our Presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, as well as all our candidates in all the elections at all levels are ready and set for the elections.
“Our Presidential candidate is vigorously campaigning across the nooks and crannies of our country consolidating on the consensus already attained by Nigerians across the divides to elect him as the next President of our beloved country, following the failures, manifest incompetence and corruption of the Buhari administration.”

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‘Reps Passed 88 Bills In Two Years’

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The House of Representatives has passed 88 bills out of 1407 bills in the past two years, its spokesperson, Benjamin Kalu (APC, Abia) has said.
The House clocked two years on June 11 and has two years left.
Mr Kalu had earlier  released  different data on the status of legislative activities. However, The Tide source  is yet to independently verify this latest data.
Mr Kalu had claimed that the House considered 853 bills and 41 of them passed, in the previous statement.
According to the new statement released on Friday, a total of 554 bills were introduced between June 2020 and June 2021. It was a sharp decline considering that the House introduced 853 bills between June 2019 and June 2020.
Although the decline could be blamed on the outbreak of Covid-19.
“The accurate number of bills considered by the 9th House of Representatives as of June 10, 2021 is 1407 out of which the House has passed 88 bills.
“Additionally, the accurate number of motions considered by the 9th House of Representatives as of June 10, 2021, is 730 out of which the House has made 98 resolutions on security issues.”
The data released by the lawmaker shows that while the introduction of bills has been easy, the progression of bills has been very slow.
A total of 942 bills are awaiting second reading, only 327 bills have been referred to committees, and 79 are awaiting committee of the whole consideration.
Within the same period, 730 motions were considered by the House. However, out of the 663 referred to committees, only 40 reports have been laid, and only six have been considered by the House.
Legislative activities suffered a great deal in 2020 due to the breakout of Covid-19. The National Assembly was shut down for about two months between March 2020 and May 2020.
At a point, the plenary was reduced to once a week.
However, the lawmakers did not help the situation by embarking on holidays at the slightest opportunity, thereby missing deadlines on passage of key legislation.
Also, a review of the legislative agenda of the House by The Tide source shows that the lawmakers are far behind in fulfilling their agenda.

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Accord To Contest In 12 LGAs

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Accord Party plans to contest only in 12 local government councils and 37 local council development areas at the July 24 council polls in Lagos State.
Its Publicity Secretary, Dele Oladeji, told newsmen in Lagos, yesterday that the party chose to contest only in its areas of strength rather than dissipate energy across the state.
He said Accord Party would contest chairmanship and councillorship seats in Somolu, Mushin, Odi-Olowo, Igando-Ikotun, Agbado Okeodo, Agege, Alimosho, Apapa, Lagos Mainland, Ikorodu, Oshodi/Isolo, and Ifako-Ijaiye LGAs/LCDAs.
Oladeji said that the party had a good outing in these councils at the last council elections in 2017.
“We are set for the election and we are competing in our local governments of strength where we won in 2017.
“We are set to repeat the same feat and even win more than the eight councillorship seats we won in 2017 to become the only opposition party in the local government administration in Lagos State,’’ he said.
Oladeji said that the party was ready to go to court wherever its mandate was stolen as it did in 2017 local government elections.
“As against 2017 when we went to court only in few areas to get back our rigged mandate, this year, we will go to court in any number of local government areas where our mandate is perceived to have been stolen through rigging.
“As the only opposition party in the local government’s administration of Lagos State, we have retained the abiding hope of Lagos residents as the alternative party.”

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Okorocha Cautions Igbos On Secession

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The Senator representing Imo West, Rochas Okorocha, has cautioned the South-East against their agitations for Nigeria’s breakup.
Okorocha warned that Igbos would be the worst hit if Nigeria breaks up.
The former Imo State Governor spoke in Abuja while addressing some women groups yesterday.
Okorocha stressed that the South- East should push towards fixing the country and not its disintegration.
The lawmaker stressed that Igbos are nationalistic in nature, hence they should dismiss the urge for Nigeria’s disintegration.
He said: “It is only an Igbo man that goes to a place and remains put in that place, buys a land and builds a house for his family without feeling insecure. The Igbos will lose more if Nigeria divides.
“Most Nigerian leaders who were successful had one thing or the other to do with the Igbos. It is either they married Igbo women or had some links with them. I can call names like, former President, Obasanjo; former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, Buba Marwa, just to name a few”.
South-East groups like the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereignty State of Biafra, MASSOB, have been agitating for the disintegration of Nigeria.
IPOB led by Nnamdi Kanu has been in the forefront, calling for Biafra’s actualisation.

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