As members of the National Assembly contemplate removing the direct primary clause from the Electoral Act Amendment Bill after their recess, President of the Arewa Youth Forum (AYF), Gambo Gujungu, says Nigeria’s democracy is in a critical stage and its survival or otherwise depends largely on the action or inaction of the National Assembly.
“We, therefore, appeal to the lawmakers not to allow personal interest to override National interest.
“The National Assembly is the bastion of democracy. The election is also the most important aspect of a democracy. Posterity will judge the 9th Assembly on how they manage the controversy surrounding the signing or not, of the Electoral Bill by Mr President.”
“Our duty is to keep on sensitising the Arewa youths to be active participants in the democratic process, to be law-abiding and avoid unnecessary discourse capable of heating up the polity,” he said.
Meanwhile, the spokesperson of the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG), Suleiman Abdulaziz, said, “It is quite unfortunate though not unexpected. No one would reasonably expect they will do otherwise.
“But since a vast majority of Nigerians are in support of especially the direct primaries option, the legislators stand to lose whatever remains of the goodwill they enjoy from the public.
“This should also serve as a lesson for the Nigerian voter to be critical of his commitment to the future leadership selection processes. Nigerians must review their choices from that of electing leaders that are served by the community to one that elects leaders that will serve the community.
“By now everyone must have realised that representatives we elected cannot and will not do enough to help their situation.
“Most federal and state representatives are people ill-equipped or ill-prepared to lead but for their personal quest for power and ill-acquisition of fantastic wealth,” he said
Reacting, Vice President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the Northern states and Abuja, Rev. Joseph John Hayab hoped the story about the National Assembly considering to remove the direct primary clause after recess “is simply a rumour, therefore, I will give the Legislatures a benefit of the doubt but if it is true then it is a confirmation that Nigeria Legislatures are not people’s representatives but representatives of their Godfather.
“Our Legislatures should know that the percentage of Nigerians who are happy with that clause outnumber those against it and Nigerians are praying to see an end to politics of godfatherism but it seems since it was the same system that brought many of our representatives they will never want it to die. Which now make our democracy to be a government of the few by the few and for the few,” he said.
Immediate past Secretary-General of the Arewa Consultative Forum ( ACF), Anthony Sani; said “you would recall I had advised both the Executive and Legislative arms controlled by the ruling APC should go back to the drawing board and sort out their differences. This is because Nigerians knew what they wanted and gave the APC electoral mandate with a clear majority.
“If the government and the National Assembly controlled by the APC have resolved their differences in favour of removal of the direct primary from the Electoral Amendment Bill 2021 in order to remove the impression that the APC has no position on this important issue and is divided, so be it.
“There is nothing Nigerians can do, considering the National Assembly functions in a representative capacity,” he said.
Sokoto Guber: PDP Loses At Tribunal
The Sokoto Governorship Election Petition Tribunal has affirmed the election of Ahmed Aliyu Sokoto as the duly elected governor of the state.
The three-man panel led by Justice Haruna Msheila in its ruling dismissed the petition of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and its candidate, Saidu Umar challenging the victory of the APC and its candidate, Ahmad Aliyu in the March governorship election.
In a unanimous judgment, the Tribunal Chairman, Justice Haruna Mshelia, said the Petitioners were unable to prove the six grounds formulated in the petition.
He said the grounds bordered on alleged ineligibility for Aliyu and Gobir to contest, falsification of certificates, variation of names, election frauds and non-compliance with electoral guidelines.
Msheila said the petitioners were unable to prove the allegations beyond reasonable doubt as required by law, saying 70 per cent of exhibits were out of context because they relate to State Assembly elections conducted on the same dates.
According to him, to prove forgery two different documents of persons needed to be presented while the variation of names issues was a settled Supreme Court provision.
He said three subpoena witnesses were not tenable as they were not makers of the documents from the alleged primary school while the other 28 polling units agents testified could not identify themselves along with their roles.
The Tribunal Chairman said the alleged 138 polling units frauds were not adduced to indicate substantial non-compliance of the elections marred the election outcome.
Mshelia added that the tribunal dismissed all the preliminary objections on competency to institute the case by the respondents as the petitioners duly linked the grounds in the petition.
He dismissed the petition for lack of merit and failure to prove the allegations by the petitioner.
Tribunal Upholds Kefas’ Election As Taraba Governor
The Taraba State governorship election petition tribunal sitting in Jalingo, yesterday, upheld the election of Agbu Kefas of the Peoples Democratic Party,(PDP) as the governor of the state.
The three-man panel headed by Justice G.A Sunmonu dismissed the petition jointly filed by the New Nigerian Peoples Party, NNPP, and its governorship candidate in the March 18, 2023 election, Professor Yahaya Sani, on the grounds of lack of sufficient evidence.
NNPP, and its gubernatorial candidate, had earlier filed a petition before the tribunal seeking the cancellation of the election which they alleged was characterised by irregularities.
Another relief sought by the NNPP and its guber candidate was for the tribunal to order a fresh election in the state.
The party also alleged non-compliance with the electoral Act 2022, as a major reason for its demand for the cancellation of the election.
The party, which also alleged that the incumbent governor of the state was not duly elected by a majority of lawful votes cast, earlier urged the tribunal to nullify the certificate of return issued to the governor by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Delivering judgment, the panel unanimously ruled that the petition filed by both NNPP and its gubernatorial candidate lacked merit.
The three-man panel, collectively dismissed the petition, stating that the petitioners failed to justify the relief they sought.
Elated by the judgment, the Deputy Governor, Aminu Alkali, called on the NNPP and other opposition political parties in the state to join hands with the incumbent governor to move the state forward.
Also overwhelmed by the judgment, the counsels to the PDP, applauded the panel for the judgment.
Though the counsel of the NNPP could not be reached at the time of filing this report, a chieftain of the party who spoke with The Tide source, said he was hopeful that the party will appeal the judgment.
Nigeria@63: Lawmaker Urges Patience, Says Tinubu Won’t Disappoint Nigerians
The lawmaker representing Okitipupa/Irele Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Jimi Odimayo has called on Nigerians to exercise patience with the administration of President Bola Tinubu, assuring that salvation was near.
Odimayo who gave this assurance in a statement issued through his Director of Media and Publicity, Mr Kayode Fasua, noted the apparent hardship in the land, and drew a comparison in the allegory of labour-room pains and the subsequent joy in strapping a newborn baby.
Odimayo said “We all must reflect on how we got to this sorry pass as a nation, counting from the year of our independence in 1960 till date: how democracy was aborted for many years through military interventions and how we are again back on track trying to improve on our democratic skills.
“However, in spite of various hiccups ranging from maladministration to corruption and other unpatriotic practices, we should renew hope, especially now that a good leader with verifiable antecedent in the person of President Bola Tinubu is in the driver’s seat.
“Ours can be assessed in the allegory of labour room pains that must be experienced during childbearing, before the mother beams with smiles at successful delivery; and that is what obtains now in the attempt by President Tinubu to right many wrongs and put Nigeria on the path to political and socio-economic greatness,”
While urging Nigerians to exercise patience and team up with all arms of government to achieve desired results, the lawmaker also called on political officeholders to tighten their belts and bend to work as justification to the electorate’s mandate.
According to him, the ballot box is the nemesis for all political leaders who failed in their vow to deliver the dividends of democracy.
“The last general elections held up many lessons for the political class, that unlike in the past, the level of voters’ awareness has risen stunningly in geometric proportions, as the people are mostly no longer for vote-buying and rigging, but are determined to scrutinise the qualities of candidates seeking their votes,” he stressed.
Odimayo similarly assured the people of his Okitipupa/Irele constituency and the entire Ondo State citizenry that he had designed various empowerment programmes and had stepped up various social infrastructural development lobbies, all of which will start manifesting soon.
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