Minister of Transportation, Mr Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, yesterday, disagreed on the quickest way for the Igbos to produce President.
While Amaechi, who was the convocation lecturer for the 12th Convocation ceremony of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka called on the Igbos to vote for President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019 to serve his second term to pave way for the them to produce the President after his tenure, Nwodo disagreed, saying such argument should not have a place in a true democratic system.
Speaking on the topic, “The Igbo in the Politics of Nigeria,” Amaechi said Igbos had not benefitted much by voting for minority parties. He said: “We are not here for campaign; we are here for an academic exercise. If we are here for campaign, I would not be putting on academic gown, but we must tell ourselves the truth about what Buhari has done. “Since 1999, the Igbo people have always voted for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
There is nothing wrong with that, but the question must be asked; has the PDP justified that support or reciprocated it in any manner? “Is that support really earned? The complaint now is that the All Progressives Congress, APC government of President Muhammadu Buhari abandoned the South East and is marginalising them.
“Without conceding to that, let us compare a situation where the PDP you voted for gave you a few appointments here and there and denied you any major development projects as against the APC government of President Buhari you did not vote for and who, even if he denied you appointments, has certainly not denied you crucial development projects.”
But the President General of Ohanaeze, Dr Nwodo, who was a guest at the lecture punctured some of Amaechi’s claims, arguing that Nigeria was not operating as a true federation, as pockets of marginalisation still abound against the Igbo. He said: “I am yet to see a federation in which the security apparatus is domiciled in one section of the country.
Doing so has not also solved the security problems of the country. “Our country is in a state of war, with no one declaring it. I refuse to agree with you that people should join a federal movement as you said before they get what is due to them. If our constitution is not revisited for people to live and feel safe, then we are wasting our time.
“Honourable minister, I urge you to fight for us. We are the true Nigerians. Whether we voted left or right, our behavioural pattern has shown confidence in Nigeria. “Help us talk to your people and make them understand that whatever views they held during the war, tell them that the war is over.”
“Then you have the rehabilitation of the following roads: Oba – Nnewi – Okigwe road linking Anambra State with Imo State, the Otuocha – Ibaji – Nzam road in Anambra State, the Abakaliki – Onueke-Abomega – Afikpo road [Ebonyi State], the Nnenwe – Uduma – Uburu road connecting Enugu State with Ebonyi State, the Oji – Achi – Mmaku – Awgu road in Enugu State, the Ozalla – Akpugo – Amagunze road [Enugu State] and the Ikot Ekpene – Aba -Owerri dualisation project linking Akwa lbom, Abia and Imo States among others.
“Almost all the important Igbo cities, Enugu, Owerri, Umuahia, Aba, Awka, Onitsha, are captured in the existing Calabar – Lagos railway project and the Port Harcourt – Maiduguri standard gauge new railway projects approved by the President.
“Let me just say that the Igbo nation should focus on solutions not recriminations. In what political direction should the Igbo go? Let the quarrel with the North real or imagined stop. “Let the recriminations stop and let us join hands as one people to chart the way forward for a brighter future for Nigeria.
We need to examine very carefully the Igbo political trajectory and learn crucial lessons of history. “How did Jaja, an Igbo slave found a multi-ethnic state in Opobo and become the King with the consent of the people?
How did Zik achieve national prominence and stature? We have an incredibly proud past, a rich political heritage forged in the most difficult circumstances. We must therefore focus on constructing the path to a proud future.
“The Igbo nation should engage with others and immerse itself fully in national politics just like Jaja and Zik did. The handshake across the Niger celebrated recently in Enugu by Ohanaeze Ndigbo and Nzuko Umunna is welcome, but a handshake across the Benue is most desirable now.”
Only Your Votes’ll Decide Fate Of Candidates, INEC Reassures Nigerians
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has reassured Nigerian voters that only their votes will be the sole determinant of the winners among the 15,322 candidates nationwide contesting in next year’s general election.
The commission reiterated its commitment to ensuring that it delivers a credible, free and fair election, reassuring that the votes of the electorate will definitely count.
INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, gave the assurance in his keynote address at the Annual Conference of the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers, held in Lagos, yesterday.
He admitted that with the lifting of the ban on political campaigns, the tempo of political activities has increased with parties, candidates and their supporters commencing campaigns, rallies, processions and media advertisements to canvass the support of the electorate.
The chairman, however, warned that the commission will pay particular attention to the conduct of parties, candidates and their supporters, stressing that as the regulator, it will play its role to ensure compliance with the provision of the law as well as our guidelines and regulations.
“The 2023 general election is fast approaching. It is now 141 days to Election Day. Polling Units will open at 8:30 am on Saturday, February 25, 2023, for national elections (Presidential and National Assembly) and the same time on Saturday, March 11, 2023, for state elections (governorship and state assembly).
“Campaign in public by political parties officially commenced on Wednesday, September 28, 2022. Therefore, the tempo of political activities has increased as parties, candidates and their supporters commence campaigns, rallies, processions and media advertisements to canvass the support of the electorate.
“The commission has published the final list of 15,322 candidates for the General Election contesting for 1,491 seats (one Presidential, 28 Governorship, 109 Senatorial, 360 House of Representatives and 993 State Assembly constituencies).
“I wish to restate once again the commitment of INEC to credible elections. Votes will continue to count and will be the sole determinant of the electoral outcome,” he assured.
The electoral umpire boss further explained that technological innovations introduced by the commission will guarantee and protect the sanctity of the choice made by Nigerians at the polls.
“For this reason, the commission has introduced many new innovations, supported by the deployment of appropriate technology, to protect the sanctity of the choice made by Nigerians at the polls ranging from voter registration to voter accreditation and result management,” he said.
“The deployment of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) with its dual fingerprint and facial biometric accreditation process has ensured that only genuine voters are accredited to vote during election. This has curtailed the incidence of multiple voting and other sharp practices associated with voter accreditation during elections.
“The BVAS has come to stay and will be the only means by which voters will be accredited in the 2023 general election.
“Furthermore, the introduction of the INEC Result Viewing (IReV) Portal has made the result management procedure more transparent. Polling Unit results are now uploaded in real-time to the IReV portal for public view.
“This has enhanced the transparency, credibility and consequently public confidence in the outcome of elections. The IReV has come to stay and polling unit results will be uploaded to the portal in real-time in the 2023 general election,” he said.
Yakubu further emphasised that; “as campaigns commence, I also wish to remind political parties and candidates that you all signed the Peace Accord organised by the National Peace Committee (NPC) in which you committed yourselves to peaceful electioneering campaign. I urge you to be guided by the letter and spirit of the accord.
“For our part, the commission will pay particular attention to the conduct of parties, candidates and their supporters. As a regulator, the commission will play its role to ensure compliance with the provision of the law as well as our guidelines and regulations.
“We will pay particular attention to a peaceful campaign devoid of abusive, intemperate and slanderous language as well as the use of innuendoes or insinuations likely to provoke a counter-reaction resulting in the breach of the peace.
“Similarly, we will pay special attention to the observance of limits on party and candidate finance. I urge political parties and candidates to carefully study the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022 and familiarise themselves with their obligations as well as the penalties under the law.
“As you are aware, elections are a multi-stakeholder activity. As the commission is doing its best to ensure a credible process, we also appeal to the media for a continuous partnership. Managing the electoral process for credible outcomes is the responsibility of all of us. As campaign activities get underway, the media will continue to play an important role. A lot of the activities will take place in the media of which the new media is a critical player.
“We must continue to work together against the spread of fake news, misinformation and disinformation that seek to create or exacerbate tension or de-legitimise processes and outcomes,” Yakubu charged.
2023: Era Of Ballot Box Snatching Over, Banigo Insists …Lauds Wike For Reappointing Danagogo
Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, has expressed gratitude to Governor Nyesom Wike for the reappointment of Dr. Tammy Danagogo as Secretary to the State Government.
Banigo stated this during a meeting with leaders and critical stakeholders of the Peoples Democratic Party in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area at the Government House in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
The deputy governor, who congratulated Danagogo for his re-appointment, described the re-appointment as well-deserved.
Banigo said she does not take lightly the call to represent Rivers West at the Senate, and noted that her kind of representation at the Upper Legislative Chambers would bring glory to God.
“I encourage you to tell your people to collect their PVCs, because this time around the votes will count, as the new Electoral Act does not allow what they did in 2019, they cannot try it as nobody can carry ballot boxes”, the deputy governor stressed.
In a related development, Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, has commended leaders of the PDP in Ahoada West Local Government Area, for keying into the Divine Kingdom Mandate.
Banigo made this commendation while meeting with them at the Government House in Port Harcourt, yesterday, preparatory to the commencement of her campaigns in the upcoming elections.
She motivated the people to exercise their franchise, by collecting their PVCs to vote for credible candidates of the PDP.
“They should come out and vote, because this is our opportunity to chase out this bad All Progressives Congress-led government at the federal level, as they have brought so much untold suffering, untold hardship, bloodshed and kidnapping. We have seen the developmental strides of our governor so much development is going on in Rivers State, and we are poised to give you more”, Banigo added.
Wike Signs Instrument To Withdraw Omehia’s Recognition As Ex-Gov, Today …Re-Appoints Danagogo As SSG
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, will today sign the official instrument to withdraw the recognition of Sir Celestine Omehia as former governor of the state.
A statement signed by the Special Assistant on Media to the Rivers State Governor, Kelvin Ebiri, yesterday, said that the ceremony would “take place at the Government House, Port Harcourt, on Friday, 7th October, 2022 by 12 noon”.
The statement further read, “His Excellency, the Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, is to sign the instrument on cancellation of the recognition of Sir Celestine Omehia as a former governor of Rivers State.
“The cancellation of the recognition is sequel to the resolution of the Rivers State House of Assembly adopted on Thursday, October 6, 2022, to derecognise Sir Celestine Omehia as a former governor of the state”, the statement added.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has approved the re-appointment of Dr Tammy Danagogo as the Secretary to the State Government.
A statement signed by the Special Assistant on Media to the Rivers State Governor, Kelvin Ebiri, last Wednesday, said that “the appointment takes immediate effect.”
It added, “His Excellency, the Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, has approved the re-appointment of Dr.Tammy Wenike Danagogo as the Secretary to the Rivers State Government (SSG).”
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