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Election Tribunal: Contenders Withdraw Petitions

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The senatorial candidate of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, for Cross River Central Senatorial district in the 2019 election, Solomon Idor Esor is said to have withdrawn his petition from the election tribunal.
He was challenging the omission of his party logo in the ballot paper.
His application to withdraw the suit number EPT/CAL/S/02/2019 was granted unopposed by the respondents and the matter was subsequently struck out by the three-man tribunal led by the chairman of the tribunal, Justice Vincent M. Agbata.
The tribunal also considered two separate applications from the All Progressives Congress APC candidates in the elections to the state house of assembly seats for Calabar South State Constituency II and Bakassi State Constituency; Victor Nsa and Dr. Nakanda Bassey seeking to withdraw their petitions challenging the victory of the Peoples’ Democratic Party candidates,
Hon. Joseph Bassey of Calabar South State constituency II and Dr. Ekpo-Ekpo Bassey of Bakassi State Constituency seat.
APC candidates, in their separate applications before the tribunal, cited a financial inability to continue the case, while the SDP candidate, Solomon Idor Esor gave as his reason for the withdrawal, his inability to be personally present in the country to pursue the case.
Counsel to the SDP candidate, Joseph Oloko Esq, explained that his client was unlawfully excluded from the elections and he petitioned in line with constitutional provisions, but having considered that he has some other things he will be doing outside the country, he requested that his petition be withdrawn.
Senator-elect to the central senatorial seat, Dr. Sandy Onor of the Peoples’ Democratic Party expressed his delight over the development, saying he is “very thankful”, saying the election in all humility was a resounding victory for his party and his person and an “accumulation of a long period of service to our people and my desire to do more at
the national.”
He further said, “For anything else to happen it will be undermining the legitimacy of the victory. So I am delighted that my friend and brother has found it necessary to withdraw.”
“I permanently wave the olive branch to my elder brother and one of our Icons, distinguished Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba SAN of the APC, and without being subjudice to understand that it is in the interest of our people to have him withdraw his own matter as well. I do hope in due season he shall do so,” he said.
The petition filed by Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba of the APC is also challenging exclusion from the race on the basis of delisting of names of candidates of the party which was officially announced by the Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC in the state, few hours to the election.

 

Friday Nwagbara, Calabar

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CROSIEC Deploys About 8,000 Personnel For LG Elections

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Ahead of the next Saturday’s rescheduled Local Government elections in Cross River, about 8000 personnel are said to have been deployed across the state to ensure the smooth conduct of the elections.
The Chairman of the Cross River State Independent Electoral Commission, Dr. Mike Ushie, who disclosed this in Calabar while
speaking on preparations by the commission, said they are ready for the elections and one hundred percent compliant with post COVID-19
elections guidelines recently released by the Independent National Electoral Commission as well as the National Centre for Diseases
Control.
He said: “Eight thousand personnel have been mobilised to cover the two thousand, two hundred and twenty-six polling units in the state.
There will be three personnel per pooling unit, five at the accreditation centres, five at the local government and ward coalition centres.
“Accreditation and voting will take place simultaneously and  in line with INEC guidelines, there will be two levels of queuing  and voters
will vote in batches while maintaining social distance.
“We had to make sure that we are on course and lives are protected. Luckily INEC released the procedure for post COVID-19 elections and I
must say that we are in full compliance with it. INEC said we have to provide hand sanitizers, face masks and we have adopted all the
procedures one hundred percent.
“ We have gone beyond INEC  and have gone ahead to procure hand sanitizers, hand washing containers, a good number of face masks  and
we are working seriously to ensure that the right thing is done”, he said.
He added that the commission has given sufficient notice for the elections and confirmed that five political parties will be participating in Saturday’s elections.
From FRIDAY NWAGBARA, Calabar.
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Ambassador Desmond Akawor Inaugurated As New Rivers State PDP Chairman

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The new Rivers State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Executive Council has been inaugurated in Port Harcourt.
Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly,  Mr Ikuinyi Ibani administered the oath of office on the new executives led by Ambassador Desmond Akawor.
In a charge, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike called on the new executives to work towards consolidating the gains of the immediate past Executive led by Bro Felix Obuah.
He commended immediate past Rivers State PDP Chairman,  Bro Felix Obuah for leading to victory .
He said: “We had challenges at the beginning, but that Executive was committed to service. Obuah has shown capacity to deliver.  It will not be easy for the new executives, but the new executives must start to prepare the party for the challenges ahead.
“Work hard to surpass the records of the past executives.  Working together is key, unity is key.”
Speaking further, Governor Wike said that the Rivers State Government will never condone criminality or any attempt to violate the law.
He said: “But for the steps that , the number of cases would have been more. What makes a leader is the ability  to be firm. I value life more than property.
“Since 2015, we have not demolished any property.  But, someone who was SSG superintended over the demolition of several properties.  Now the person is talking about the draconian process.
“My joy is that majority of Rivers people love what we are doing.”
Governor Wike added that from Information from the State Health Commissioner,  the State is likely to have more cases,  mostly oil workers.
National Chairman of PDP, Prince Uche Secondus congratulated the new Rivers State PDP Executive Committee,  advising them to work for the growth of the party.
Commenting on the fight against coronavirus,  Uche Secondus blasted the Federal Government for refusing to assist State Governments and provide direction for the country.
He said: “The Governors are working without help from the Federal Government.  But for God, the situation would have been worse.
“Governors are running from pillar to post. We must be grateful to Governor Wike for the initiative that he took. What the Governor has done has helped to drastically reduce the number of cases.
“Rivers State is lucky to have Governor Wike at this time of crisis .”
He said those who spread negative propaganda do so out of hatred.
New Rivers State PDP Chairman,  Ambassador Desmond Akawor thanked ththe leadership and members of the party for giving him the opportunity to serve.
He said God has used Governor Wike to rebuild a new Rivers State.  He saluted the resilience of PDP in weathering the storm.
Akawor assured that the new Executive will serve the party diligently.
Immediate Past PDP State Chairman,  Bro Felix Obuah said that the Executive Committee under his leadership led the party to victory  since 2015.
He said that the outgone Executives will continue to work for the party  to ensure future victory.
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Bode George Urges FG To Relax Lagos Lockdown

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A former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olabode George has urged federal government to relax the lockdown it imposed on Lagos State as a result of COVID- 19 pandemic.
George, who made the call in a statement in Lagos, yesterday said the lockdown imposed since March 29 was adversely affecting livelihoods and bringing up security challenges.
He said though government intended to curb the spread of the virus with the lockdown, the directive had left many Nigerians hungry at home without palliatives.
The PDP chieftain noted that there must be a balance between curbing the spread of the virus and protecting livelihoods and asked the government to relax the lockdown while putting safety measures in place.
“Everywhere in Lagos is now locked down. The markets, banking halls, the local grocery shops, the supermarkets, the transportation services are all halted, frozen by the federal government directives since March 29.
“On the surface level, the federal government’s position is to ensure safety, prevent communal spread of the virus and banish this scourge from our shores.
“Lagosians have been staying at home for about a month now. In a largely informal economy where most of our people depend on daily wages, the burden of lack of income is devastating.
“There is a natural growing anger in Lagos as the most vulnerable are ravaged with hunger,” George said.

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