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Jang Calls For Restructuring Of INEC

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A former presidential aspirant in the 2019 general elections under the platform of the  Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and former Governor of Plateau State, Senator Jonah Jang, has said for Nigeria to have credible and successful elections, the nation’s electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) must be restructured.
    Jang disclosed this in an interview with newsmen in Jos, the Plateau State capital.
    The immediate past Senator who represented Plateau North equally decried the non-delineation of constituencies in the country, saying it’s over 20 years since it was last done.
He said, “The constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is very clear about delineation of constituencies; that after every ten years, INEC is supposed to revisit the delineation exercise and they are supposed to do it according to the population of the area.
According to him, “This is the way they are handling the nation’s constitution.
“The areas that suits the powers that be, they use, while the one that doesn’t suit them, they don’t touch it,” he lamented.
“When was the last delineation of constituencies done in this country?” he asked.
“It’s over 20 years now, nobody wants to talk about it, because they know that it is helping their injustice over other areas,” he maintained.
The former Governor further explained that, “If INEC is truly independent, they are not supposed to take orders from anybody before embarking on any delineation, because it is a constitutional function; but because they have to go with the powers that be, they will not do it.
“That is why I have said, INEC is one of the areas that badly requires restructuring if we are going to have credible and successful elections in this country,” he stressed.
Speaking on the Electoral Bill, Jang who was the immediate past Senator that represented Plateau North in the 8th Senate, said, “Before we left the 8th Senate, and the House of Representatives, we passed the Electoral Bill, but the President refused to sign it into law, so don’t blame the National Assembly.
“Now I heard they are talking about Electoral Law again; what happened to the one we passed?” he asked.
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2023: Scale Down Political Parties To Six – Fagbemi

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A legal luminary and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, has canvassed for a new law that will prune political parties to a maximum of six as a way of ensuring sanity in the body politics of the country before the 2023 general elections.
The senior lawyer spoke in Abuja at the ongoing National Workshop on Election Petition Review organized by the Court of Appeal in collaboration with the International Foundation on Electoral System, IFES.
Fagbemi claimed that the present 86 political parties is too wieldy for Nigerians especially the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to cope with along with other challenges.
In his paper titled, “Reform of Election Litigation Process -The Constitution, Electoral Act and the Practice Directions,” Fagbemi argued that a situation where INEC and Nigerians will have to contend with over 86 political parties in an election cannot augur well for any electoral process.
He disclosed that the trend had led to confusion in the electoral body and among the electorates, especially exclusions that were not deliberate on the part of INEC.
“I know that my position will generate reactions but the truth and the reality is that political parties must be scaled down from the present 86 to a maximum of six parties to sanitize the party system.
“Having as much as 86 political parties is leading to confusion and exclusion that may not be deliberate on the part of our electoral body”, he said.
He pleaded that electoral reform must not be left alone for politicians because nothing good may come out of it, adding that in some cases, politicians are clever and will not enact laws they may affect their ambitions.
“Let nobody be taken off guard. Our electoral system needs some drastic rejigging and amendments to the law. The suigeneris nature of the electoral laws also dictates that reforms to them cannot but be unprecedented if they are to be effective”.
Fagbemi further argued that it may be better for the nation to have bad laws to be administered by good people than the other way round and canvassed that credible experts must be given chance in the new efforts to reform the country’s electoral process.
“We cannot overemphasize the need to ensure that our electoral laws are designed in such a way to allow for the election of credible, competent and responsible leaders at all levels.
“The influence that leaders have on the generality of the populace is so grave that where a country fails to get its leadership right, it is almost certain that the followers too would suffer the same fate.
“Our current situation where elections are characterized by rigging and violence leaves very much to be desired on the quality of both the leadership and the followership.
“As a matter of fact, our history of electoral violence is linkable to the current security challenges that the country has been battling with for some years now.
“It is unfortunate that some of our leaders through their acts of irresponsibility have succeeded in corrupting the psyche of the people and made violence an endearing enterprise of kidnapping, cattle rustling and outright armed banditry as a way of life.”

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2023: PDP Has Better Chances At The Centre – Ogiri

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A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) in Abua/Odual Local Government Area, Dr Henry Ogiri, says the party has better chances to clinch the presidency in 2023.
Dr. Ogiri in a chat recently, with newsmen at his home-town, Okolomade, said current happenings in the country indicate that the citizenry are disillusioned and unhappy about the poor performance of the APC-led federal government..
“There has to be a pragmatic leadership at the centre, what we have now is failure and the people are unhappy,” he said.
With the current political developments, Ogiri averred that the PDP provides an alternative based on experience and focus for the future.
He expressed fear that if the current government continues beyond 2023 then the country is headed for doom.
He said that the PDP-led federal government stabilised the country during the Jonathan administration and also provided even development in the country, saying that what obtains today in the country is far away from the ideals of a progressive nation.
Shortly after he voted in his unit 14 Ward 10 at Okolomade, Ogiri praised the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission (RSIEC) for the smooth conduct of last weekend’s local government elections.
He described the exercise as peaceful and calm, as he lauded voters who turned out to cast their ballots at the polls.
The former Finance Director of the NDDC observed that the little delay witnessed in some parts of Odual as regards voting materials was as result of the terrain and road network but assured that the challenge would be addressed before the next elections.

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Six Opposition Candidates Accept PDP’s Victory In Andoni

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Chairmanship candidatesof six opposition political parties in Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers State, in the recently concluded council polls have unanimously accepted the victory of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Mr. Erastus Awortu, as the wishes of the people of Andoni and Obolo in general.
Chairmanship candidates representing the political parties made their position known at a joint press conference in Port Harcourt, last Wednesday.
The parties also reafirmed their confidence in the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission (RISIEC), adding that the election was transparent, hence thete is no need for post-election litigations in the area.
“For us political stakeholders in Andoni and candidates in the contest, we can clearly state that the election was not lost, but won because PDP’s victory is our collective victory”, they said.
Speaking at the press conference, the chairmanship candidate of Accord Party, Esuku Esuku said he was satisfied with the outcome of the election
According to him, his party has also accepted the results of the election, saying that the election in the area was free and fair.
Also speaking, Abraham Ijoniye of Zenith Labour party said:” If we cannot win election at the polling units, I and my party don’t intend to go and win any election in the court, so we are not going to any court.
Charles Otowo of Action party said:” There is no is no issue that will warrant going to court, I can attest to the fairness, credibility and friendliness.
“We all went to the poll with the believe that we will win but Andoni people have spoken.”
The opposition candidates in the last sstuday pledged total support to the elected chairman, Erastus Awortu.
The candidates of the opposition parties are Mr Esuku Esuku of Accord party; Inenemente Erasmus of African Democratic Congress, Mr Micheal Dodd of Social Democratic Party, Amie Elisha Simeon of the Allied Peoples Movement. Mr Abraham Ijoniye of Zenith Labour Party and Charles Otowo.
It will be recalled that the PDP candidate Erastus Awortu, recorded a landslide victory having pulled a total of 107,658 votes as against the Labour Party candidate who had the second highest votes of 4,702.
Receiving his Certificate-of-Return from RISIEC, Awortu said that the certificate was a testimonial to the high-level success recorded during the election.
“I’m impressed with RSIEC for their competence during the election. I’m also impressed with my constituents for creating an enabling atmosphere for the electoral body to conduct credible elections.
“We look forward to addressing our collective concerns bordering on security, infrastructure and poverty in the area”, he said.

 

By: Enoch Epelle

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