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Enugu PDP Flags-Off Campaign For LG Elections

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The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) campaign for the December 5, 2009 local government election in Enugu State has been flagged -off by the state governor, Barrister Sullivan 1. Chime with a call to the people to vote all the 17 chairmanship candidates of the party into office.

Governor Chime who made the call while addressing members and supporters of the party at Okpara Square, Enugu, last Friday noted that PDP in Enugu state presently was no longer a closed door affair as everything was now done in the open in the spirit of due process and transparency.  PDP, he went on, is no longer a one man show, but a collective affair of all members of the party, and commended members of the party in the state for the peaceful conduct of the primaries that gave rise to the election of the 17 candidates bearing the party’s flag in the forthcoming local government elections in the state.

According to him, out of the 260 council seats, 240 were returned unopposed while out of the 17 local government councils in the state, 10 equally were returned unopposed.

While maintaining that PDP as a political Party would not take any thing for granted, Governor Chime made it clear that the party in the state hasd no credible opposition currently, adding that chairmanship candidates from other political parties had thrown in the towel.

“We are not looking forward to any rigging. We are not taking anything for granted. After two years, PDP members in the state came together as a team and made some changes in the overall interest of our people. We thank God that we have been able to surmount some problems created by those who think the PDP is their personal property. It is by the will of God that we have been able to achieve the things we have achieved so far.”

Speaking earlier, a member of PDP Board of Trustees, Chief Bernard Eze, advised all the 17 local government councils in the state to emulate the leadership qualities of Governor Chime by initiating different developmental programmes in the various local government councils in the state.

His words: “If chairmen of local government councils emulate Governor Chime in his development strides, Enugu will be another London and our people will have no need to travel abroad for whatever reasons.

According to him, Governor Chime had so much transformed Enugu state to the extent that everybody was now feeling the impact of good governance, calling on the people to keep on supporting him to encourage him to do more.

The highpoint of the ceremony that attracted the presence of top PDP heavy-weights within and outside the state was the official presentation by Governor Chime of the party’s flag to each of the 17 PDP candidates in the state.

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Yiaga Africa Blames Govt For Voters’ Apathy

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Independent election observer group, Yiaga Africa, has expressed worry that increasing voters’ apathy as witnessed in the Anambra governorship election may not have been caused by insecurity but increasing loss of confidence in government.
A board member of the group, Ezenwa Nwagwu held the view in Awka during a post-election reflection meeting with leaders of Civil Society Organizations.
Nwagwu reiterated that the ugly trend was not necessarily occasioned by insecurity that had always heralded elections in the past, but growing disconnect between the government and the masses, saying it is time populace held government to account to bridge the gap.
He said: “Election is over. Now we have to watch governance and the only way to do that is to clearly design pathways through which we can hold the government accountable.
“One of the ways is for the citizens to engage the government with budget process. Government every year estimates what it uses the people’s resources to do for them.
“Unfortunately, the people involved don’t show any interest, and four years later, the same people will start complaining that government has failed, even when there was nothing to track.
“We need to see how the Media and Civil Society groups can collaborate and produce what I call a citizen charter demand that they can hand over to the new Governor-elect.
“They can liaise with other professional bodies to conduct infrastructural assessment in the state and use that as a document to organize a town-hall meeting to engage government officials.”
Nwagwu also identified what he termed “fear and complaint industries” as major impediments to the growth and development of the state, insisting that the two factors must be shut to enable people of the state enjoy democracy dividends.
He added: “We need to close up the two industries of fear and complaint that have gripped the state, especially after the election so people can leverage the benefits of governance.
“If we continue with this scare-mongering and complaints, we will only succeed in having few persons taking over the government and dictating the pace.”

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CVR: Fresh Registrations Hit 4.2m

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said that fresh registration in the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) has hit 4,297,494.
The commission disclosed this in the second quarter, week seven, weekly update released by the commission in Abuja recently.
The commission said that as at 7 a.m. on Monday, November 22, 1,856,771 persons have completed their online and physical registration.
According to statistics provided by the commission, 1,856,771 persons who completed their registration, include 941,098 males, 915,673 females.
It also added that 741,183 persons completed their registration online, while 1,115,588 completed it through physical registration.

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Saraki Visits Benue Over Presidential Ambition 

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A former President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, has visited Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State over his ambition to vie for President in 2023.
Saraki, after a close door meeting with Governor Ortom, also met with the State Working Committee members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to familiarise them with his intention to kick start consultations for his ambition to rule the country.
He said that the nationwide defection of party loyalists from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the PDP was an indication that there might not be anyone left in the party before the next election.
“A party that cannot organise its affairs has no business leading this country. A party that has organised its affairs is ready in leading this country and that is the PDP,” he said.
Saraki added that the North Central Zone has paid its dues by working so hard in keeping the country together as one united entity just as he pointed out that, “this time we must stand for our own and charity begins at home.”
The ex -senate president, who was accompanied on the visit by former Governor of Kogi State, Idris Wada, former National Chairman of the PDP, Kawu Baraje, Senator Suleiman Adokwe and Prof Iyorwuese Hagher, Chairman of Council, Saraki for President Campaign, thanked the Benue governor for standing out for the zone.
Earlier, Governor Ortom, eulogised Saraki for being one of those Nigerians that had contributed immensely to the development of democracy.
Ortom said it was time to rescue the country from bottom, a position it was placed by the APC government, to the top, adding that Saraki deserves the presidential seat to enable him salvage the country from its current mess.
On his part, the State Chairman of the PDP, Sir John Ngbede, represented by his deputy, Isaac Mfo, said the party in the state had remained intact even as he assured the presidential hopeful that they would back his ambition to rule the country.

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