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Yakubu Rates INEC High

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), says it is one of the most improved public institution in Nigeria, given the level of improvements recorded in the nation’s electoral system from 1999 to date.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mamhood Yakubu gave the assertion in his remark at the 2019 Post-Election Review session with second batch of Electoral Officers (EOs) from 17 states, held in Abuja on Wednesday.
Yakubu said that the commission should be rated high when compared with its counterparts in other West Africa countries, and given its area of wide coverage and staff dedication to duty.
“Whenever I compare what we have done with what my colleagues elsewhere have done, I sometimes say we are many countries in West Africa rolled into one.
“Given the size of our voter registration, our population, one can conveniently say, if you look at what happened in our elections from 1999 to date, I have no doubt in my mind that INEC is the most improved public service institution in Nigeria.
“We have offices in all the Local Government Areas (LGAs). Tell me one agency which has offices in LGAs and the staff work as hard as our EOs and staff at the LGA levels?
“We have everything to be very proud of, but however, we never rest on the understanding that we have done very well and we are doing very well. We are convinced that we can do more.
“Therefore, the purpose of this interactive meeting is for us to explore ways and means by which we can improve the system even more,” he said.
Yakubu pledged that the commission would not loose the experience it had gathered over the year on improving electoral process.
He advised the electoral officers to share their experiences to help improve on the country’s electoral process.
“So, feel free to make suggestions, observations, comments on how we can make the system even better.
“This is our meeting we should open up better where we need to work even harder to make the electoral process what it should be,” he said.
The Electoral Management Expert, International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), Mr Seray Jah, commended INEC for its commitment to review the 2019 elections and improving the country’s electoral process.
Jah said that if Nigeria get its electoral system right, “the sub-region would be robbed off of the positive.

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Dickson Dismisses APC Candidates As Militants, Terrorists

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The Bayelsa State Governor, Hon Seriake Dickson, has described the the All Progressives Congress (APC), joint ticket of Lyon/Degi for the November 16 Governorship election in the state, as a representation of militancy, terrorism, cultism and criminality.
He emphasized that the APC government after five years at the centre has done nothing in the state but to promote violence in different communities, adding that the consequences of losing election to the APC in the state will be dare to imagine.
Dickson made the revelation during the official inauguration of the gubernatorial campaign teams and secretariat on Tuesday, in Yenagoa.
He said, “Consider what would happen if things were to happen otherwise, none of you will spend a week in Bayelsa State. APC is presenting a ticket of militancy, terrorism, cultism and criminality, it’s going to be a government of criminals and cultist.”
Democracy in Bayelsa State can never turn to a government of militancy and criminals.
As we are formally inaugurating the campaigns, we will also launch “Operation wind APC in Bayelsa.”
“The consequence are too dare to imagine, people will be scared to visit the state , even indigenes will be scared to visit their communities.
“If we don’t take this elections seriously, by 17th the day after the election we should be ready to leave the state. This election is not about the candidate or even me but about the future of our state and our children.
“In 2015, when I was contesting, I saw more than the defection we are seeing today but let me assure us of victory. And don’t be perturbed but that doesn’t mean that we are happy as party leaders are decamping but victory will be ours at the end.”

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Okowa Inaugurates 42-Member State Advisory Council

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Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State yesterday inaugurated a 42-member State Advisory and Peace Building Council with a charge on the members to sustain and deepen the peaceful atmosphere in the state.
The council has  Prof. Sam Oyovbaire, former Minister of Information, as Chairman.
Okowa named former state Deputy Governors – Chief Benjamin Elue and Prof. Amos Utuama – and Prince Sam Obi, Chief Chris Agbobu, Alawei Brodrick Bozimo, Brig.-Gen. B. Demeyeibo (rtd), Chief Mike Adiotomre and Chief Ignatius Agidi as members.
Other members included Chief Patrick Egone, Mr John Nwagimeje, Sen. Stella Omu, Mr Paul Enebeli, Sen. Patrick Osakwe, Dr.(Mrs) F. Nwaeze, Prof. E.C. Nwanze, Dr Pius Sinebe, Chief Joseph Ejigba, Chief Eddie Sorhue and Chief (Mrs) Esther Uduehi.
Also, Chief E.D. Oborfukoro, Chief Robert Ejifoma, Pa. John Edah, Chief Roland Oritsejafor, Chief E. E. Ebimani, Chief Judith Enamuotor, Rev. Gideon Oyibo, Mr Joseph Ikhena, Chief Denis Etaluku, Prof. Sam. Ukala, Chief Jonathan Uyeri and Chief Samuel Okoro are members.
Other members are Mrs Felicia Ajagu, Mrs Theodora Giwa-Amu, Mrs Felicia Sani, Rev. Oke Akokotu, Elder Ayo Odonmeta, Chief Emmanuel Okumagba, Rear Adm. Mike Onah (rtd), Chief Magaret Unukegwo, Mrs. Grace Boyo and Rt. Rev. Justus Mogekwu.
According to the governor, the inauguration is part of the State Government’s effort to further strengthen the wheel of governance in the state.
“As a way of tapping from the wealth of experience of our people, it is necessary to reconstitute the Delta State Advisory and Peace Building Council through the appointment of these men and women of tested integrity and exemplary character.
“Let me reiterate that the appointment of the members of the council is not based on any political consideration whatsoever,” he said.
He charged the council to bring their experiences to bear on their function and create environment to deepen the peace between the state executive and other arms of government.
Okowa charged the council ensure harmony between Delta government and the Federal Government and other international bodies.
He called on the citizens to give the council the needed support and corporation to succeed while thanking the members for accepting to serve.
“I urge all of you to bring your wealth of experience to bear on this appointment,” Okowa said.
Responding on behalf of the council, Oyovbaire thanked the governor for the appointment and pledged their resolve to deliver on the assignment.
Also in an interview, Rev. Mogekwu said the appointment was a call to service, adding that the council would not betray the confidence reposed on it to sustain and deepen the peaceful atmosphere in the state.

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Bayelsa, Kogi Polls: PDP S’Africa Lauds Party’s National Leadership

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Ahead of the November governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa States, Mr Ekos Akpokabayen, Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), South Africa chapter, has urged the party’s leadership to work hard to ensure that it wins.
Akpokabayen, who lauded the national leadership of the party for not imposing candidates on the people, in a telephone interview from Johannesburg, South Africa yesterday said that the decision of the leadership to allow the people to choose their candidates had united the party the more.
“ I wish to commend Prince Uche Secondus, national chairman of our party for being a humble servant of the party and for insisting that nobody imposes a candidate on the people.
“We saw that in the 2019 general elections. Secondus also ensured that after the election, the party did not break and has remained one.
“We want him (Secondus) to retain that leadership style where the voice and will of the people should prevail,” he said.
Akpokabayen also urged the party’s leadership to give more sense of belonging to its Diaspora chapters to encourage them and uplift their spirit.
“We urge the leadership of our party to encourage Diaspora chapters by sending them  goodwill  messages. This will give us a sense of belonging and prepare us for future general elections,” he said.
Akpokabayen said that the South Africa chapter of the party would continue to uphold the party’s constitution for success in elections.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) described the affirmation of the election of Gov. Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa by the State Governorship Election Tribunal, as victory for democracy.
The party in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan in Abuja on Monday said it was a triumph of the will and aspiration of the people over “manipulative forces.”
Ologbondiyan said that the PDP was not surprised that the tribunal, in affirming the mandate of the people, dismissed the entire petition against Fintiri’s election as lacking in merit.
“Our party rejoices with the people of Adamawa state, who have been jubilant over the verdict, as it marks the consolidation of their aspiration for a purposeful, transparent and result-oriented government for greater cohesion, stability and productivity in the state.
“Unarguably, Fintiri was elected because of his manifest patriotism and dedication to duty as already evinced in his zeal towards the development of the state, empowerment of the people as well as peaceful coexistence in the state.

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