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NLC Tasks Buhari On Electoral Act Amendment Bill

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The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the 2021 Electoral Act Amendment Bill into law.
The NLC President, Mr Ayuba Wabba, said this in a statement titled: “Time to Strengthen Democracy in Nigeria” on Monday in Abuja.
Wabba recalled that on November 9, the House of Representatives and the Senate  passed the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.
He said that the most topical items of amendment included the adoption of direct primaries for internal political parties’ contestants.
Wabba said that the other was the accommodation of the use of technology in the conduct of general elections in Nigeria.
He said there was need for the expansion of the powers of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to develop guidelines as it deemed fit to guide the deployment of technology during elections in Nigeria.
The NLC president noted that majority of Nigerians had described the 2021 amendments of the Electoral Act as one of the most progressive enactments that Nigeria had had in a long time.
“This is also the view of the NLC. The leadership of the congress commends the House of Representatives and the Senate, particularly the leadership.
“Also those, who stood rock solid behind the proposal for direct primaries for all political parties and rallied their colleagues in the House and the Senate to pass the bill into law.
“This is the proof of committed leadership and true statesmanship. The congress must, however, caution that the passage of the 2021 amendment to the Electoral Act is only a journey and not a destination.
“A lot more certainly need to be done in order to fully sanitise Nigeria’s challenged electioneering system, especially building on the 2007 to 2011 electoral reforms which the NLC actively participated in.
“First is to tackle the menace of god fatherism, god motherism and money politics which were the major concerns that necessitated the new law on direct primaries for all political parties.
“Due diligence and oversight must be applied to ensure that unscrupulous politicians who have been cultured to vote buying, monetisation of Nigeria’s electoral process are not allowed to extend their habitual criminal subversion of our democracy during political party primary elections,” he said.
Wabba said this was in order to further safeguard the right of Nigerians to freely choose their leaders at both political party level and during general elections without being subjected to the obscene pressure of financial lure.
“We recommend that the National Assembly should expeditiously consider developing a bill for the establishment of Electoral Offences Commission.”
He said this would expedite the prosecution of politicians and their agents who indulge in vote for cash, election rigging and violence.
“On the full mainstreaming of the use of technology in our electoral law, we urge all stakeholders, especially INEC to continue to constructively engage the Nigerian people to ensure that the lessons from recent and remote deployment of technology during elections are not lost.
“Particularly, we call for confidence building measures by INEC, particularly through voter education and sensitisation.
“It is also important that the security of the software and hardware components of technology to be deployed for elections should be well scrutinised and reviewed by all stakeholders.
“This is to guard against significant failures and to facilitate public ownership,” Wabba said.
“By returning internal party democracy to the people through direct primaries, it appeared that democracy in Nigeria was about to live up to its fullest and truest meaning”,  he said.

 

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2023: Southern PDP Leaders Consider Fresh Option

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Leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Southern 17 states have begun move to ensure that the presidential ticket is secured by an aspirant from one of the three geo-political zones.
In the alternative, they are also looking at a northerner with strong roots in the South.
The plan, according to sources, is to have a second strategy or an Option B, as it has become obvious that the party leadership will not yield to the demand for the presidential ticket to be specifically zoned to the South.
The Southern leaders are moving to ensure that their delegates vote only for either a particular southern aspirant or to adopt a northern candidate, who is not from the far North.
The strategy of the southern PDP leaders behind this plot is to ensure that the outcome of the PDP primary produces a win-win situation for the South, irrespective of where the candidates come from.
A chieftain, who spoke on phone, said: “We want to ensure that the South converts the disadvantage of the PDP refusing to zone the presidential position to the South in line with the rotation arrangement in the party’s constitution becomes a benefit to us.
“We will work to ensure that the South decides who the presidential candidate is, even if he is not from our zone.
“Southern delegates may come together and choose a northern candidate who has strong roots in the South. He must be somebody who has a close affinity and filial relationship with us. He must be somebody who understands the challenges facing the South and can run a government that is based on equity, justice and inclusiveness, and knows what it is to suffer injustice or the pains of the minority.”
“It is the reason why we will not support aspirants from the far North. We will rather support an aspirant whose zone has not produced any of the two positions in the Presidency. An ideal candidate for the PDP is somebody from either the South or the Northern minority.
“It is the only way we can show that without having a southern candidate; we can have a president who believes he owes the South and that the support of the southern delegates is instrumental to his victory. That means that if the South plays its card very well, it can produce a southern candidate from the North.”

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Buhari To Determine Malami,Other Returning Ministers’ Fate – Lai Mohammed

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President Muhammadu Buhari will decide the fate of those members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) who made a u-turn on their political ambitions and continue to serve in the current administration.
Information and Culture Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who disclosed this Wednesday to newsmen after the FEC meeting at the State House, Abuja, said he will need to confirm from the president the status of the returning ministers on whether or not they have been reabsorbed into the cabinet.
He said: “The  question about ministers returning or not going, I think you need to give me more time so that I can tell you exactly what the situation is. Right now, I need to cross check. I need to confirm again from Mr President what the situation is. You see the final decision on who is going, who’s coming back, who’s not going lies with Mr. President.”
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige; his Women Affairs counterpart, Dame Pauline Tallen; Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami; and Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timpre Sylva, had earlier rescinded their decision to contest for elective offices in 2023.
Malami was physically present at Wednesday’s Council meeting, while Tallen and Sylva attended the meeting virtually from their various offices in Abuja.
Ngige is said to be away on official engagement in Durban, South Africa, where he is attending the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) global conference on Child Labour.

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2023: Ganduje Refuses To Endorse Amaechi For Presidency

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Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State has refused to endorse the former Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, for the presidency come 2023.
Amaechi visited Kano on Wednesday as part of his consultations ahead of the All Progressives Congress’ presidential primary.
The former minister had resigned from President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet to pursue his presidential ambition under the platform of the APC.
At the meeting, with other APC stakeholders present, Ganduje said Kano as a “swing state, will continue to swing.”
He added that Amaechi would know where the state eventually swung to at the right time.
TheTide source gathered that Amaechi, who had told the governor that the people in the APC already knew where Ganduje’s loyalty was, added that he was in Kano to convince him that he was the most qualified among the aspirants.
Our source recalled that when Amaechi visited the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, he was equally not endorsed as the governor told him former Governor Bola Tinubu was their rallying point.
Ganduje is also known to be an ally of Tinubu, who is also aspiring for the Presidency.
Meanwhile, Amaechi said he was more qualified than Tinubu, noting that the former Lagos governor had never been a minister, and even as a lawmaker, Tinubu only served for a few months.
He equally noted that he was more qualified than Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, adding that while Osinbajo was a commissioner in Lagos, he was already a Speaker of Rivers State House of Assembly.

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