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PDP Rejects INEC’s Declaration Of Osun Poll Inconclusive …Demands Adeleke Announced Winner …As INEC Fixes Re-run, Thursday

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has opposed the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declaring Saturday’s Osun governorship election inconclusive.
INEC declared the election inconclusive despite the PDP candidate, Ademola Adeleke, winning a slight majority of the votes cast. Mr Adeleke scored 254,698 votes to defeat his closest rival, Gboyega Oyetola of the All Progresives Congress (APC), who scored 254,345 votes.
INEC explained that the election was inconclusive as the difference in the votes of the two leading candidates was fewer than the 3,498 cancelled votes in the election. The electoral commission then fixed Thursday for a re-run election in the areas where votes were cancelled.
The PDP, in a statement yesterday however rejected the decision of INEC.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) rejects in its entirety, the Independent National Electoral Commission’s declaration of the September 22, 2018 Osun State governorship election as inconclusive.
The PDP insists that the process was conclusive and that its candidate, Ademola Adeleke, who won a total of 254, 698 votes, is in clear lead and should be immediately declared winner by INEC, having met the requirements of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
Section 179 (2) (a)(b) of the 1999 Constitution, (as amended), is clear and very unambiguous in spelling out the conditions for returning a candidate to the office of governor of a state.
This section states inter-alia, “A candidate for an election to the office of Governor of a State shall be deemed to have been duly elected where, there being two or more candidates – (a) he has the highest number of votes cast at the election; and (b) he has not less than one-quarter of all the votes cast in each of at least two-thirds of all the local government areas in the State.
The declaration of the election as inconclusive, by INEC is therefore a sordid robbery of the franchise of the people of Osun State, who participated in the election.
It is obvious that having failed in their schemes to alter the final results due to the resistance of the people, the APC had to bear pressure on INEC to declare the election inconclusive so as to pave way for the perfection of their manipulative schemes, which the people of Osun state have firmly resisted so far.
Instead of yielding to the evil machination of the APC, INEC should have summoned the patriotic courage to immune itself and end this needless controversy by returning the PDP and declare our candidate as the winner.
It is instructive to state that the PDP will no longer accept inconclusive elections as subterfuge by the APC attain its dubious electoral manipulative schemes in our nation.
The people of Osun State and the entire nation are already aware that the PDP won this election. They have the authentic figures from the polling units and know the candidate the voters prefer.
The people by their votes, have overwhelmingly declared for our candidate and we are not ready to accept any attempt by anybody to use any means whatsoever to steal our mandate freely given by the people.
The PDP is for peace, but we will not hesitate to use every force available in a democracy to face any attempt to subvert the will of the people or rig us out in this election.
The PDP therefore charges the Chairman of INEC, Mahmood Yakubu to avoid the fury of the people by immediately reversing this fraudulent decision of the Resident Electoral Commissioner and declaring our candidate the winner of the election. Anything short of this is definitely not acceptable to the PDP and the people of Osun and it is a direct recipe for crisis.
Finally, the PDP cautions INEC and the APC to note that the game is up. The people of Osun State have decided in favour of the PDP and that has become a fact that can never be altered.
Subsequently, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has scheduled the conclusion of the Osun State governorship election for Thursday September 27.
The election was declared inclusive with the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) polling the highest number of votes among the 48 candidates.
He was, however, not declared winner because the margin of his victory was only 353 votes, and could not earn him victory when weighed against the number of votes cancelled, which amounted to 3,498 votes, INEC said.
The Returning Officer, Joseph Fuope, who is the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, while declaring the final results, said he could not “fairly” return Ademola Adeleke as the winner because of the provisions of the law regarding cancelled votes.
The total cancelled votes in seven polling units amount to 3,498, a figure far exceeding the margin with which the PDP candidate defeated his All Progressives Congress opponent, Gboyega Oyetola.
The wisdom of the law suggest that the volume of votes cancelled could substantially determine the outcome of the election when taken into account, particularly in a situation where the margin of victory is very slim.
In Orolu Local Government, Ward 9, Polling unit 001, and with a total registered voters of 393, the election was cancelled after hoodlums snatched ballot boxes and ballot papers.
Also in the same ward, at polling unit 004, with a total of 387 registered voters, ballot boxes were snatched resulting in the cancellation.
INEC also mentioned that a polling unit in Ward 9 in Orolu was also affected with a total registered voters of 167.
In Ife North Local Government Area, Ward 15, unit 010, with voting strength of 502 voters, the election was cancelled due to card reader problems. In Ife South, Ward 16, two polling units were affected with a voting strength of 812 and 502 respectively.
In Osogbo, one unit was affected with a voting strength of 884 registered voters. The collating officer had alleged that the presiding officer of that particular unit walked away with the results, and no further explanations came from that.
The INEC Commissioner in charge of Voter Education and Publicity, Solomon Soyebi, in his address to the press, said the the difference between the two leading parties is just 353 votes.
“The number of voters in the units where the elections were cancelled is 3, 498. To that effect, as a returning officer, it is not possible to declare the party a fair winner of the election,” said Mr Soyebi.
“I will like to thank voters for their respect for the rules. We also thank all stakeholders including the political parties, election observers, security agencies and traditional rulers for their unprecedented cooperation before, during and after the election.
“Notwithstanding the successful conduct of the election, the returning officer Prof Joseph Fuwape, Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, has communicated to the commission his inability to make a return in accordance with the laid down rules and INEC guidelines.
“This is as a result of areas where results were cancelled or where there was no voting or there were disruptions.”
He went ahead to mention the affected areas and noted that elections would only hold in those areas with all the 48 political parties involved.
“Based on the results collated by the returning officer, the margin between the two leading candidates is 353 which is less than the total number of registered voters in the affected areas,” Mr Soyebi stated.
“Extant law, guidelines and regulations, provide that if this situation occurs, a return or a declaration may not be made. In the light of the foregoing, the commission met, and decided that it would remobilise and return to the affected polling units on Thursday, 27th of September, 2018 to rerun the elections, conclude, collate and make a return.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the rerun elections will only take place in the affected polling booths; there are seven of them. So let us be very clear. In Ife North we have one polling booth, in Ife South we have two, in Orolu we have three and in Osogbo, we have one.”
According to INEC, there will be no campaigns any more, noting that all campaigns ended on September 21 and that the election was simply a continuation and not a separate one.
Mr Soyebi assured that the next governor of Osun State would only be decided through the ballot and no other means.
It will be recalled that there were several allegations of manipulation raised by the PDP candidate, and the change of results of the PDP from 10, 836 to 9,836 from Ayedaade local government area, gave credence to the alarm raised by the opposition party.
The unusual delays in the submission of the results by the collating officers also raised fears that all was not well in the conduct of the entire process.
Although the PDP had expressed misgivings on the outcome of the election, the APC commended INEC for the decision, hoping to make up for its lapses in the second round.

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Rivers’ll Be Known For Peace, Not Crisis -Fubara

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Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has said that peace has prevailed because he draws strength from God to resist insults and tantrums thrown at him while frustrating attempts by some disgruntled persons who wanted to plunge the State into unending crisis.
The Governor also said that because he has anchored his Government on promoting peace, the enabling atmosphere has been provided for investments and sustainable development to flourish.
Governor Fubara made the assertion when he received a delegation of members of the Bishops and Gospel Ministers’ Association International Incorporated, Rivers State Chapter, at Government House in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
Represented by the Head of Rivers State Civil Service, Dr George Nwaeke, Governor Fubara said while most people took his meekness for weakness, his stance on peace has unarguably enhanced harmonious atmosphere of concord as residents sleep with their two eyes closed, and investors and shareholders are happy with the returns on investment.
He said, “Before, what they hear of Rivers State is that they are fighting, and some genuine investors will not come. Some people even ask you: How are you coping in Rivers State?
“But now”, he asserted: “The Governor has brought about a lot of changes in the State. One of the most important things is that he has changed the negative narrative. It is no longer Rivers of blood. It is now Rivers of peace.
“We are enjoying our lives here. Why? Because there is a change in the narrative. We have peace. The Governor is, as much as possible, absorbing any level of insult at him only for one purpose: that Rivers State may have peace; that we may grow; that this state will experience genuine development.”
Governor Fubara urged them, as members of the Christian family in the State, to continue to pray for the State and the Government so that the enemies of the State will be put to greater shame.
“This peace is what I want you to embrace. Go and continue to pray, because when the sower of the seed went and sowed, the enemy went in the night and sowed tares inside there. But the Governor is sowing peace.
“When I listened to the leader of the team, His Grace Eddy Ogbonda, he said you came all the way from Eleme Junction, and stopped at major junctions, and you uttered prayers for the peace of Rivers State.”
He also said: “I, hereby want to thank you for identifying with the Governor at a time like this. At a time when it looks as if someone wants the Governor’s peace posture misunderstood as weakness.
“When someone has the strength to fight back, but refuses to fight back. That is a bigger strength; that power of restrain does not just come, it can only come from God.
“You cannot give peace, if you do not have peace within you. The Governor is not interested in any form of trouble or violence. What he is interested in is known, and it is: let there be peace in Rivers State,” he said.
In his address, leader of the group, Archbishop Eddy Ogbonda, said they had observed a week-long intensive prayers that culminated into a peace rally, which brought them to Government House, and assured the Governor that God will continue to give him victory over his adversaries while preserving Rivers State.
“It is Rivers State Prophetic Prayer Convocation and Rally 2024 with the theme: ‘Peace be still’. Of a truth, everyone of us understands that we live in a time when we need peace much more than any other thing.
“Rivers State needs peace. Everyone as individuals need peace. The country needs peace, and the world at large needs peace. So, we are here to do a peace march. We pray that God will command His peace to reign in Rivers State,” he said.

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Hoteliers, School Owners Charging In Dollars Risk Arrest -EFCC

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has stated that hotels, schools, and other establishments that accept payments in dollars from their customers are at risk of facing arrest.
The Chairman of EFCC, Ola Olukoyede, said this in the agency’s publication called EFCC Alert on Monday, adding that action would be taken against individuals involved in the dollarisation of the economy.
According to him, the exception is if foreigners come in to transact business and the only means of transacting is their credit card and dollar but to charge local customers in dollars or other foreign currencies would no longer be allowed.
He said charging local activities and customers in dollars is against Nigeria’s constitution.
The EFCC chairman said, “Schools that charge Nigerians in dollar, supermarkets that trade in dollar, estate developers that sell their property in dollar, hotels that are invoicing in dollar, we are coming after you and we have made arrests in that area.
“Yes, if foreigners are coming in and the only means of transacting is their credit card, and dollar, why not? You will get that.
“But document it properly as against selling things within the system, local economy and you will be using dollar as the medium of exchange, it is illegal.
“Our law does not allow for that. And we have also affected some arrests.”

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Eid-El-Fitr: Fubara Felicitates Muslims, Calls For Unity, Tolerance

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Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has enjoined Muslim faithful to remain steadfast to the lessons learnt during the holy month of Ramadan.
Governor Fubara stated this in his message of felicitations to Muslims as they celebrate the 2024 Eid-el-Fitr Sallah, which marks the end of the one-month Ramadan fasting.
The Governor emphasised the importance for Muslims to also uphold the tenets of Islam by exhibiting the fear of God and showing piety in their daily work.
Governor Fubara said, “We must all continue in the good attributes imbibed during the holy month of Ramadan as directed by God through His Prophet, so as to ensure peace, unity and harmony in the society for a better future.”
While praying that the essence of the festival offers them happiness, peace and prosperity in all aspects of life, Governor Fubara said he recognises and appreciates the critical role that the Muslim community continues to play in the development of Rivers State, and indeed, Nigeria at large.
Governor Fubara charged them to remain unwavering and steadfast in their commitment and positive contributions to advance the development of the State and the country.
“I enjoin you all in the State to remain calm, be patient and continue to do what is right,” the Governor added.
He wished the Muslim faithful in the State and across the country a happy Eid-el-Fitr celebration.

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