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Electoral Act Amendment Bill: NANS Vows To Mobilise Against Buhari

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Against President Muhammadu Buhari’s rejection to sign the 2021 Electoral Act Amendment Bill, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), has vowed to mobilise its members to ensure that what is supposed to be an enduring legacy of the current administration was not truncated based on the interest of very few it called shenanigans.
The students’ body, during a press conference, yesterday, described the direct primary election as the process of selecting political party flag-bearers as the best policy to be adopted into the law of the federation so as to further guarantee the freedom and right of the Nigerian people to determine who appears on the ballot paper during the general election.
In his address, the NANS Coordinator in the South-West (Zone D), Adetunji Olagboyega, stated that the association, as an independent body for all students in Nigeria, would not fold its arm and allow what it described as double-dealing scale the hurdles of the legislature.
He added that the body would mobilise its members to ensure that what is supposed to be an enduring legacy of the current administration was not truncated based on the interest of “very few shenanigans.”
He said, “The disagreement between the President and the National Assembly (NASS) over the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2021 has become a matter of concern to us as a body of students who are interested in the political process and governance of our dear nation.
“This process of selecting public officers does not only refer to the end which is the eventual general election conducted for the assumption to public offices, it also springs from the process that brings individuals into appearing as candidates during a general election.
“Apparently, we can argue that democracy in Nigeria cannot be said to be a reality when the mass of people only have the chance to vote in the general election when they are clearly denied the opportunity of deciding who becomes flag-bearers for their choice of the party at the initial stage.
“And the right of people to decide who become the flag-bearers of their respective beloved parties becomes a must if democracy must be fully practised in the country. It need not be overemphasised that this right can only be guaranteed when people are chanced to determine who becomes their flag bearer through a public direct primary election at party levels.
“Unfortunately and contrary to our position, the Presidency has reacted to the bill as not acceptable because of its ‘adverse legal, financial, economic and security consequences which cannot be accommodated at the moment considering’ Nigeria’s peculiarities. It is rather unfortunate that the Presidency has by this notification implied that it has failed the people in terms of law, economy, finance and security.
“It is rather confusing that the same Presidency would come out again when complaints are made on the security of the nation to claim that we have enough manpower and capable hands handling the security of the nation in the face of banditry, terrorism, kidnapping, terrorism etc. But the same enough manpower and capable hands are suddenly insufficient and incapable of ensuring a hitch intra parties free electoral process.
“While this excuse of the President has further justified our lamentation on the poor security architecture of the country under this government, we shall not subscribe to the fallacious argument that it is a reason for which direct primary is not possible. Intraparty elections are not wars and we condemn any deliberate action to hit up the policy only because the President is not ready to assent the bills for his personal concealed reasons.”
“The Presidency also stated that conducting direct primary will ‘pose security challenges as the security agencies will also be overstretched’, this excuse of the Presidency has only justified our past assertions that there is a high level of insecurity and the nation is having a serious shortfall in officer-to-civilian ratio.
“The Presidency also argued that direct primary will be a violation of freedom of choice on one hand while arguing on the other hand that enabling qualified Nigerians to vote for the candidate of their choice during the general election should be emphasised.
“Rather than curtail political progress entails in the Electoral Act 2010 (Amendment) Bill because of this, the Presidency should rather address the economy which has made the people susceptible to the selling of their votes. This, we consider as a reasonable action for a serious government.
“Basically, all other excuses given by the Presidency in the letter addressed to the National Assembly are not tenable and considered inconsequential. Rather than consenting to the institutional inadequacies of these political parties, the Presidency should rather encourage all registered political parties to go and define their party program well and build trust within their rank and file.
“We will mobilise our members to ensure that what is supposed to be an enduring legacy of this administration is not truncated based on the interest of very few shenanigans. By using your veto power to override Mr President’s failure to sign this Bill, Nigerians and indeed posterity will never forget you all as distinguished members of the National Assembly.
“In essence, we are of the position that direct primary election as the process of selecting political parties flag bearer is the best policy to be adopted into the law of the federation so as to further guarantee the freedom and right of the Nigerian people to determine who appears on the ballot paper during the general election.
“As this is the only option that can ensure that democratic standards are enshrined in the code and conduct of all political institutions in the country,” NANS said.

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Fubara Summons Support To Sustain Wike’s Legacy

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Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) guber candidate, Hon Siminialayi Fubara, has sued for support towards sustaining Governor Nyesom Wike’s legacy in Rivers State.
Fubara made the assertion during his acceptance speech after the party’s primaries in which he emerged landslide winner at Obi Wali Conference Centre in Port Harcourt, last Wednesday.
The PDP guber flagbearer said his emergence was divine, hence the need for the party to give total support for victory in next year’s elections.
“We will work together to sustain the good things Governor Nyesom Wike has done”, Fubara declared.
Commending the sportsmanship displayed by his fellow aspirants, Fubara praised their zeal but reminded them that, “this is not victory for Fubara; but victory for the party and moving the state forward.”
The PDP flagbearer urged the aspirants to work with him to ensure the party’s victory next year.
On his part, the Governor Nyesom Wike said the victory of Fubara was the decision of the party members who voted, “this is how Almighty God has willed it.”
In his speech, the state Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike thanked the aspirants in the primaries for abiding by the peoples’ decision, reminding them that, “loyalty is not easy but with what we have achieved, it’s difficult for the PDP to lose election in this state.”
The governor pleaded with all members to join forces to win the elections now that a candidate has emerged.
In the coming weeks, the governor hinted that a committee would be constituted towards uniting and mobilising for victory in the 2023 elections.

By: Kevin Nengia

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NYCN Hails Fubara’s Choice As Rivers PDP Guber Candidate

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The leadership of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) has hailed the emergence of Hon Siminialaye Joseph Fubara as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the governorship election in Rivers State.
In a statement in Port Harcourt, Chairman, NYCN, Chijioke Ihunwo congratulated Sim Fubara on his emergence as the candidate of PDP in Rivers State.
The statement read, “His Youthfulness, AmbIhunwo Chijioke, the chairman of National Youth Council of Nigeria, Rivers State Chapter and South-South zone, has congratulated, Mr. Sim Fubara, on his victory as the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Governorship candidate in Rivers State, for the forthcoming Governorship election.
“The youth leader of Rivers State stated that the victory of Mr. Sim Fubara is a significant indication that the delegates of People’s Democratic Party appreciate his efforts in the party and trust that he has the capacity to unite and continue in the awesome works of the Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike.”
According to the youth chairman, “Mr. Sim Fubara’s victory is a resounding vote of confidence in his ability and leadership skills, which he has demonstrated while serving as the Accountant General of Rivers State, and also signifies that the People’s Democratic Party are committed to a democratic process.”
The number one youth leader, however, noted that “other aspirants and leaders of the party should unite and rally round Mr. Sim Fubara in the task of winning the Governorship election come 2023.
“Additionally, the chairman commended the leader of the party, the Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, for giving all aspirants a level playing ground and other leaders of the party for their efforts in making the primary election a peaceful one.
“The apex youth leader assured Mr. Sim Fubara that Rivers State youths, under his leadership will give him the needed support for him to emerge as the Executive Governor of the state”, the statement signed on his behalf by his Senior Special Assistant to the Chairman on (Media & Publicity), Amadi Eze, last Wednesday, indicated.

By: Nelson Chukwudi

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2023: Obuah Assures Fubara, PDP Of Total Support

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The former Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, Bro Felix Obuah, has congratulated the winner of the party’s governorship primary in the state, Hon Siminialaye Joseph Fubara for his emergence, describing his victory as the only clear choice of PDP in the state.
Obuah, who gave the assurance in a statement he personally signed, yesterday, in Port Harcourt, also expressed his readiness to do all within his powers to ensure the emergence of Governor NyesomWike as the PDP Presidential flagbearer for the 2023 elections.
He said, “May I also use this singular opportunity to congratulate our party governorship flagbearer, my brother and friend, Hon. Siminialaye Fubara on your historic election. I wish you all the best and pledge my full support to ensure that our party again makes history by winning the governorship election in the state for three consecutive terms.
“As we celebrate the peaceful and successful governorship primary in Rivers State, we pray the good Lord also grant our mentor, leader, courageous and pragmatic Governor, Chief NyesomWike victory at the presidential primary.
“Once again, I pray that the good Lord will grant us the grace to forge on together as one united indivisible team and help us actualise our individual and collective aspirations under the leadership of our great party, PDP, irrespective of who occupies the driver’s seat”.
The statement read in full, “For some months now, we have witnessed a tense political atmosphere as our country, Nigeria plans to go through another transition in our democratic experiment which is hoped to come to a head with the 2023 general election.
“Consequently, there have been clamours among individuals and groups for certain persons including my humble self to come out as a prospective governorship aspirant in the state under the canopy of our great Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); somebody who has the capacity to sustain the great works and quality leadership of our brave and visionary Governor, Chief NyesomWike.
“The newspapers, the electronic and social media were all awash with such calls from all the nooks and crannies of the state, beckoning on me to just declare my interest.
“After some deep thought and wide consultations, I wholeheartedly accepted to run for the office of governor of Rivers State on the platform of PDP and also went ahead to obtain the nomination and interest forms in line with our party’s guidelines.
“This singular expression of interest gladdened the hearts of many of you, my ardent supporters within and outside the state.
“Even without my consent, many of you went on to campaign for me through the various sections of the mass media and other fora just for my sake.
“Sadly, that hope, that faith and joy may appear to have been dashed. This is the reason for this special message of hope and appreciation to all of you, my dearest friends, my supporters and my people.
“Let me first assure you that no hope is lost. The choice of who succeeds our dear governor is an exclusive party affair. This is what party loyalty is all about. It is not a personal affair.
“On Wednesday, May 25, 2022, the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Rivers State Chapter has spoken and a governorship candidate has emerged.
“As a faithful, loyal and committed party man, and the immediate state chairman of the party under whose watch by the grace of God, the party won the governorship election in the state back to back in 2015 and 2019, respectively, I must abide by the decisions of the party at all times even when the decisions are at variance with my personal convictions.
“Accordingly, I decided to withdraw and not contest the governorship primary election in the interest of the party.
“I hereby submit and surrender to the decision of the party. Election is not, and should not be a do-or-die-affair. Moreso, power comes from God. I cannot be a party to anything that may obstruct the course of victory for our party both at the state and national levels, or cause disaffection among our party leadership and members.
“I, therefore, enjoin my faithful supporters across the state not to be dismayed or lose hope for where there is a will, there must be a way.
“I sincerely appeal to you to take every development about the governorship primary in the state in good faith. A renowned writer once said, ‘When hope is lost, when faith dies, the man is dead’.
“As long as we remain alive and trust in God, surely, there are better days ahead.
“I am a peacemaker and according to Matthew 5:9, ‘Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God’.
“I, once again, call for peace in the PDP and amongst my teeming supporters. United we stand, divided we fall. I thank you all for all your support my social media friends, journalists, Northern groups, Indigenes without Borders, youth groups, churches, Christian organizations, my own people of Omoku, Orashi region, all members of the PDP family across the state, my supporters outside the state, Team Felix Obuah in the 23 LGAs, Go-Round TV, Bro Felix Obuah (BFO) groups, Goround 23, Youth Earnestly Ask For Obuah, ONELGA Political Forum, OtuOzimini Age Grade of Ogba Kingdom, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area, Rivers State, and many others.
“I am extremely grateful to the Oba of Ogbaland and Council of Chiefs, my stewards/cooks, drivers, my lovely wife and children for their understanding.
“I am also extending my appreciation to all those who signed my nomination form, management and staff of National Network newspaper, Goround Revolution Group, Rivers Women, Rivers Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), women and youths, my personal aides, my Special Adviser on Media and Publicity and others too numerous to mention.
“I also thank you for complying with my appeal to all my supporters via a press statement on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 ahead of the Governorship primary scheduled for Wednesday, May 25, 2022.
“Following an insight, I was compelled to sue for calm amongst my numerous supporters across the state.
“That press statement, which was widely circulated, published on the electronic and print media as well as the social media was timely as it doused tension and pacified those who were already agitated.
“I also did mention in the statement that the party is supreme in all matters and I would stand by the decision of the party”, Obuah said.

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