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PDP Lambasts Akeredolu Over N1.5bn Official Vehicles

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo State has accused Governor Rotimi Akeredolu  of purchasing two 670 LXE  Jeeps valued at N1.5 billion for himself and his wife, Betty.
It lamented that the governor purchased the six-door vehicles for “his personal comfort and self-aggrandisement while Ondo State workers celebrated Christmas and New Year in unprecedented hardship, occasioned by the non-payment of their salaries.
The party’s Publicity Secretary, Kennedy Peretei, in a statement in Akure, said “It is on record that each time the governor procures official vehicles, he would buy two. One for himself and the other for his wife.
“These latest wonders on wheels were the third batch of vehicles bought by the governor since he assumed office about five years ago. It means, on average, two vehicles every two years.
“As we speak, the number of vehicles in the Governor’s fleet (most of which are armored) is about fifteen.
“This level of executive recklessness and insensitivity to the plight of the people is beyond any rational thinking.
“There are reports that wise counsel against this wasteful purchase was rebuffed by the Governor.
“Does it ever occur to Mr Governor that this open display of affluence is a direct affront on the sensibility of the people?
“Is Mr governor aware that, many students have dropped out of schools because their parents were unable to afford the astronomical fees of tertiary institutions, charged by the Akeredolu- led APC government?
“Is Mr Governor aware that, workers of Rufus Giwa Polytechnic are being owed eleven months salary?
The statement said ,“Is Mr Governor aware that, most of the workers in Ondo State who executed personal capital projects like building of houses and buying of cars using cooperatives and loans are no longer able to do so since he started the percentage payment of salaries?
“Is Mr Governor aware that Ondo State workers are no longer credit worthy? So much so that, those who do not have houses of their own are rejected by landlords if they seek accommodation?
It added that “Is Mr. Governor aware that, market men and women who used to get soft loans from the Ondo State Micro Credit Agency have vacated their stalls in the neighborhood markets because such loans no longer exist? Is Mr Governor aware that, many families have lost loved ones because they could not afford medicare?
“Is Mr Governor aware that, many of the artisans are closing shops or refusing to go to their workshops due to outright lack of patronage or poor patronage?.
“How can a governor presiding over such unimaginable misery have the presence of mind to procure armored vehicles valued at such an outrageous amount from taxpayers’ funds?
“Even Governors of states with enormous resources do not use such cars. Not even Governors in Bandits and Boko Haram infested enclaves buy these kind of cars.
“Did Akeredolu purchase these vehicles for security reasons or to further prove the point that, nothing will happen, no matter how he takes the people for granted? Whichever way, the truth is that, Ondo State deserves something better than they are being served at the moment.
“We have witnessed prosperity in Ondo State under PDP administration. We experienced decent life under the PDP compared to the present lack that is the order of the day.
“The same Governor that refused to buy even one bag of rice for his APC party supporters during Christmas, had as much as N1.5b Naira to buy cars for his personal comfort.
Peretei said “Mr. RotimiAkeredolu, SAN should look beyond his tenure as Governor. A good name is better than silver and gold.

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PDP Reschedules NEC Meeting For Sept 26

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has slated September 26 for its second National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the year.
The date was announced by the party through its 2024 adjusted timetable and schedule of activities for congresses, which were released to party members and stakeholders on Monday.
Ahead of the September NEC meeting, the party has slated July 27 for the conduct of ward/delegate congresses to elect ward executives as well as three ad hoc delegates in 23 out of the 36 states of the country, including Abuja.
The timetable also disclosed that, among other things, the NEC is expected to ratify the list of executives that will emerge from the congresses.
According to the timetable, local government congresses to elect council executives and national delegates in 21 affected states are expected to follow on August 10th.
Recall that in April, the PDP held its first NEC meeting after acrimonious elections in 2023, where many of its high-profile members were involved in anti-party activities.
The party remains polarised, with some members supporting former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the party, and others queuing behind the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) minister, Nyesom Wike.
The outcome of the election and issues surrounding the role played by its leaders led to the suspension of the National Chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, by his Igyorov Ward executives from the Gboko Local Government Area of Benue State.
However, the effort to remove the Acting National Chairman, Ambassador Illiya Damagum, to allow the North Central region where Ayu hails from to produce its successor was deferred to the next NEC meeting earlier slated for August, which has now been shifted to September.

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Edo, Ondo 2024: INEC Warns Personnel Against Corrupt Practices

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says the success of any election largely depends on the professionalism and competence of those responsible for conducting it.
INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, said this while warning its personnel against unethical and corrupt practices in the upcoming Edo and Ondo governorship elections.
He spoke on Monday in Abuja at a lecture in honour of late Abubakar Momoh, former director-general of The Electoral Institute (TEI), from August 2013 to May 2017.
Prof. Yakubu, represented by the National Commissioner, and Chairman, Board of Electoral Institute, Prof. Abdullahi Zuru, warned that any unethical practice before, during and after those elections would incur severe punishments under the law.
The theme of the lecture was: “Achieving Professionalism Among Election Personnel Through Effective Training in Preparation for the Edo and Ondo Governorship Elections.’’
He advised electoral officers to be guided by the principles of integrity, impartiality, transparency, professionalism, gender and disability sensitivity.
He said it was important for electoral personnel to be knowledgeable, skilled and well-equipped with relevant competencies to handle the complexities and challenges of the electoral process.
“Moreover, the crucial role election personnel play in upholding the integrity of our democratic processes cannot be overstressed.
“The manner in which they discharge their duties and responsibilities affects the degree of confidence voters will have in the electoral process, which will impact their participation and turnout,’’ he said.
Prof. Yakubu said that to ensure credibility and trustworthiness in elections and build trust among the electorate, INEC had always prioritised the professional development of its election personnel.
He said the commission identified effective and efficient electoral training as the key to unlocking professionalism among election personnel.
“The commission’s involvement in effective training programmes has empowered its staff to uphold the highest standards of integrity and professionalism in order to strengthen our processes and procedures to serve the interests of all Nigerians,’’ he said.
The Director General of TEI, Dr Sa’ad Idris, in his remarks, said that INEC, in pursuit of its mission and vision, had prioritised professionalism toward achieving free, credible, transparent and inclusive elections.
“As we prepare for the 2024 Edo and Ondo off-cycle governorship elections, the commission is assured that the outcome of effective training of election personnel will manifest in a high level of professionalism”, he said.

 

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Reps Propose Rotational Presidency, Six-Year Single Term

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A bill seeking a single term of six years for the President and state governors was brought up on Monday by 35 members of the House of Representatives.
The bill also canvasses the rotation of the presidency among the six geopolitical zones of the country.
The 35 legislators, under the auspices of Reform-minded Legislators, said the proposition would lead to a reduction in the cost of governance.
Addressing a press conference at the National Assembly Complex on Monday, the spokesman for the group, Ikenga Ugochinyere, added that the move would unite the country and ensure a seamless transition and unprecedented development for the country.
Hon Ugochinyere emphasised the need to interrogate the challenges facing the Nigerian state, saying, “We should not be afraid to meet and discuss our problems, challenges, fears, aspirations, and prospects as a people. We should not discuss in fear and we should never fear to discuss.”
Speaking on the bill, Hon Ugochinyere, who represents Ideato North/Idaeto South Federal Constituency of Imo State on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said, “On governance, we are proposing a constitutional alteration to provide for the rotation of executive powers among the six geopolitical zones to ensure equal representation and reduce the desperation and tempo of agitation for the creation of states. We are proposing to amend Section 3 of the constitution to provide for the recognition of the division of Nigeria into six geopolitical zones.
“And also, to amend the constitution to provide for a single tenure of six years for the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the state governors. This will bring about a reduction in government spending and wastage; promote efficiency in governance, and national stability by providing a single term of six years for the President and the governors.”
The lawmakers drawn from different political parties are also seeking amendments to the constitution “to create the office of two Vice Presidents from the southern and northern parts of Nigeria.”
Hon Ugochinyere explained that the First Vice President would be a succession vice president, while the Second Vice President would be a minister in charge of the economy, and both shall be ministers.
Hon Ugochinyere said the 35 lawmakers were also pushing for a “constitutional amendment to provide that the President and the First Vice President shall come from the same part of the country (North or South) and the First Vice President shall become President whenever the President becomes incapacitated, that is, VP (succession), VP (Administration and Economy).”
The bill also seeks financial autonomy and accountability of local government councils by prescribing an independent Consolidated Local Government Council Account solely superintendent by Local Councils. It prescribes long-term imprisonment for any misuse of local government funds.
On electoral reforms, the group proposed amendments to the relevant sections of the Electoral Act to ensure “that all elections (presidential, governorship, National Assembly, state Houses of Assembly, and local Governments) are held on the same day.”
Hon Ugochinyere said, “We are pushing for amendments to relevant sections of the Electoral Act to provide that no declaration of a winner of an election shall be done by the relevant Independent National Electoral Commission officials until such officer has compared the results with the list of accredited voters and ensured that the results to be declared are in tandem with the list of accredited voters and the B-VAS machine or any other electronic device.
“Amend the Electoral Act to provide that any INEC officer who declares a false result will be liable for civil and criminal action personally brought against him by parties in the elections.
“An amendment to the Electoral Act to provide that all election-related litigations must be resolved and determined by the Elections Petitions Tribunal, Appeal Courts, etc before the winners are sworn into the respective elective offices.

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