The Chairman of Ebonyi State Independent Electoral Commission (EBSIEC), Josy Eze, has given a clean bill of health to last Saturday’s Rivers State local government elections, saying, he was satisfied with the conduct of the elections across the State.
Eze, who gave the indication while speaking with newsmen in the course of monitoring the elections last Saturday with officials of the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission (RSIEC) including its Chairman, Justice George Omereji (rtd) and others, at Unit 7, Ward 9 in Rumuepirikom Town in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, said he was particularly impressed with the orderliness of the elections, since no ugly incidents were recorded during the elections in several parts of the State the team visited.
Eze, who is also the National Vice Chairman of the Federation of States Independent electoral Commissions in the 36 States of the country, therefore, recommended the Rivers State example to other states in the conduct of local government elections.
In a related development, a stalwart of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, Barrister Tasie Wike, has commended the conduct of the local government elections in the state, describing it as smooth and peaceful.
Wike told newsmen in an interview in Port Harcourt that the peaceful atmosphere that pervaded the council polls was attributed to the excellent performance of Governor Nyesom Wike, essentially because, according to him, the people of the state were generally in support of his administration and the PDP.
The politician-cum-legal practitioner noted that the field was very clear for all the political parties to participate in the elections but contended that the fear of the ruling PDP had rather made other opposition political parties not to put up serious challenge and contest.
His words, “I admire Wike because he has shown courage and he has put structures in place. He is the best performing Governor. We can see it by ourselves.”
Another party stalwart and the head of Unit 7, Ward 9, in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, Elder Kingsley Owabie said the elections were peaceful and hitch-free because they were conducted in accordance with laid down rules and regulations.
He further indicated that the peaceful conduct of the elections was not unconnected with the good works of the Governor Nyesom Wike administration, stressing that the Governor has proved that it was not by fluke that the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo nicknamed him, Mr. Projects.
He equally indicated that the Governor also proved his leadership mettle when he was council chairman by building a befitting secretariat complex for the council and executed road projects even during the era of zero allocation.
The Tide reports that the elections were generally peaceful and violence free in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area.
During the elections, voting started early at Unit 12, Ward 9 polling centre, for example, directly opposite Kala Police Station, as electoral materials got there quite on time. The electoral officers were seen on their duty post, and they told The Tide that accredited voters left the centre after exercising their franchise.
By: Donatus Ebi
Govs To Hold Virtual Meeting On Judicial, Legislative Autonomy
The Governors of the 36 states of the federation will hold a virtual meeting today to further discuss the issue of financial autonomy to judicial and legislative arms in states.
This is contained in a statement by NGF Head of Media and Public Affairs, Mr Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo on Monday in Abuja.
Bello-Barkindo said efforts were already being made in all states to either constitute State Accounts Allocation Committees (SAAC) or inaugurate them.
This, according to him, is preparatory to the granting of full autonomy to the two arms of government at the subnational level.
The Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) and the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) had since embarked on a nationwide strike on the issue.
He said the governors had been working day and night to establish modalities for the autonomy in conformity with the provisions of the Constitution.
He said that the governors would also be updated on the activities of the Presidential Steering Committee on Covid-19 by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, who headed the governors’ interface with the committee.
Bello-Barkindo said that the meeting would also review the agenda of the National Executive Council (NEC), which would take place a day after.
“Other items on the agenda include the regular update on the States’ Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability for results (SFTAS) to provide states’ status on their DLI’s and upcoming deadlines.
The meeting would also receive presentation from the Director General, Bureau of Public Enterprises, regarding unlocking liquidity through sale/optimisation of state-owned redundant/sub-optimal assets,” he said.
He added that the Policy Development Facility (PDF) bridge programme would also discuss diversification and non-oil export opportunities for states in post Covid-19 era.
2023: PDP Flexes Muscle Over C’ River
Leading members of the main opposition PDP converged in Calabar, Cross River at the weekend to strategise on how to retain its grip on power in the state.
This is contained in a statement e-mailed to newsmen in Abuja, yesterday.
The Tide source reports that the PDP has been in power in Cross River since the return of democracy in the country 22 years ago but the defection of the current governor appears to mark a turning point.
Political pundits argue that the defection of the state Governor Ben Ayade from the PDP to the ruling APC may affect the fortunes of the PDP in the years ahead.
The governor’s departure is now seen as a major test for the PDP in what is now seen as a game of wits between the PDP and the APC.
Addressing the party’s chieftains, the National Chairman of the party, Mr Uche Secondus, declared that Cross River would “remain the stronghold of the PDP, in spite of Gov. Ayade’s defection.
“PDP will work to retain the confidence the people of Cross River State reposed in our party and retain its dominance in the state.
“Our party has governed since the return of party politics in 1999.
“Cross River will remain the stronghold of our party well after 2023,’’ said Secondus, flanked by other chieftains of the party, including Sen. Bukola Saraki and Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State.
Secondus told PDP members in the state to remain resolute to make the party retain power in the upcoming general elections.
Also speaking, a former governor of the state, Sen. Liyel Imoke, gave assurance that no other party would take the state from the PDP, “being the dominant party in the state.
“PDP is the only party known to our people. I assure the leadership of our party that we will deliver victory in 2023,’’ he stated.
Imoke governed the state from 2007 to 2015 when he handed over to Ayade now of the APC.
Other PDP chieftains, who were present at the event included former Governor Peter Obi of Anambra, former Gov. Donald Duke of Cross River and the Chairman of the party’s Caretaker Committee, Mr Efiok Cobham.
Also present were Hon. Daniel Asuquo, Hon. Etta Mbora and Hon. Essien Ayi, all serving members of the House of Representatives among other party’s chieftains.
…Vows To Take Over Anambra
The Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Anambra, Chief Ndubuisi Nwobu, says the party remains focused to take over the state in the upcoming governorship poll.
Nwobu said this in an interview with newsmen in Awka yesterday, adding that he would not be distracted by those trying to destabilise the party in the state.
He lauded the National Executive Committee of the party for organising successful ward congresses in the state.
He described the success of the exercise as a sure step to the party’s free, fair and credible primary election.
“We want to conduct our primary election, where party people will freely vote and produce a candidate that will be acceptable to Anambra people at the November 6 poll.
“This is not time for distractions. We are focused on taking over government from the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
“The party has shortchanged millions of Anambra people in terms of governance.
Nwobu said he remained the valid chairman of PDP in Anambra, having emerged from a valid process that was upheld by a Federal High Court in its May 24, 2018 judgment.
He said the judgment had not been reversed by any higher court and was “unfazed by any court judgment”, which purportedly removed him.
“My leadership is still subsisting, no superior court has set that judgment aside and a court of coordinate jurisdiction cannot do that.
“Our team of legal experts is taking care of that. The decision to appeal will be advised,” the PDP chairman said.
The Tide source reports that Chief Chukwudi Umeaba at the weekend announced that he had taken over the party in the state as the Acting Chairman of the Caretaker Committee.
Umeaba, who announced the suspension of the ward congresses, said his action was predicated on the judgment of an Abuja Federal High Court.
According to him, the judgment delivered on June 9, nullified the process that produced Nwobu’s leadership.
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