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IPAC, UN Express Concern Over 2023 Polls

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Ahead of the 2023 polls, political parties in Nigeria have agreed that the coming general elections were critical to sustaining the country’s democracy, just as the United Nations expressed worry over voter apathy.
These sentiments were expressed yesterday when the United Nations Electoral Needs Assessment Mission met with the leadership of the 18 registered political parties on the platform of Inter-Party Advisory Council, IPACIPAC said it would counter the apathy by embarking on massive sensitisation, advocacy, enlightenment and mobilisation of the electorate at grassroots level across the country.
The leader of the UN delegation and head of mission, Mr. Serge Gakwandi Kubwimana, said they were in Nigeria to assess the level of preparations for next year’s election and the areas the UN Electoral Needs Assessment Mission would provide support.
He said the delegation will consult with members of the National Assembly, security agencies and the political parties on the preparation and the challenges for the elections.
Kubwimana, who raised the concern over the level of voter participation in previous elections in the country, however said Nigeria was quite experienced in electoral matters and had introduced some reforms in the electoral process.
He explained that the UN Electoral Needs Assessment Mission renders technical assistance by strengthening the capacity of the relevant organs for the election.
In his welcome address, the National Secretary of IPAC, Alhaji Yusuf Dantalle, said the Council will need the assistance of the UN Electoral Needs Assistance Mission in capacity building of political party leaders to equip them for transformational leadership and enhance parties’ internal recruitment process which will produce credible leaders with the people’s mandate to govern.
Alhaji Dantalle, who stood in for the National Chairman of IPAC also said the Council will embark on massive sensitisation, advocacy, enlightenment and mobilisation of the electorate at grassroots level across the country.
He said free, fair, credible, transparent, inclusive, peaceful and acceptable election is the beauty and bedrock of democracy.
According to him, “The forthcoming general election is critical for sustainable democracy in Nigeria.
“We are pleased that a delegation of the United Nations Electoral Needs Assessment Mission (NAM) led by Mr Serge Gakwandi Kubwimana is in Nigeria to have an on-the-spot assessment of our preparation for this critical general election.
The success of the elections will be a defining moment for our fellow compatriots who desire and yearn for transformational, visionary, progressive, purposeful and resourceful leaders who will restore Nigeria as the great arsenal of democracy in Africa.
“As the umbrella body of the 18 registered political parties in Nigeria, IPAC played a major role to ensure the 2022 Electoral Act amendment bill that would provide the legal framework for the general election was passed by the National Assembly and signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.
It added value to the electoral process with the adoption of an improved technology, the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and uploading of election results in the INEC’s Result Viewing portal (IReV) when voting ends and votes are counted at polling units in election day among others.
“Council will continue to engage stakeholders particularly the National Assembly for further reform of the electoral process including the scrapping of the State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIECs) as Nigerians have lost confidence in their ability to conduct free, fair, credible and inclusive elections at the grassroots level.
Polls conducted by various SIECs in the country are mere charades with predetermined outcomes that make mockery of our democratic encounter.
Accordingly, IPAC will boycott these electoral jamborees by state governments in power which have impeded the nation’s democratic advancement at the grassroots, and demands that their functions be carried out by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).”
In view of this, IPAC supports Local Government autonomy as the third tier of government closest to the people.”
On the voter aparthy in the country, Alhaji Dantelle said: “To sustain the gains of the recent electoral reforms, IPAC will need the assistance of the UN Electoral Needs Assistance Mission in capacity building of political party leaders to equip us for transformational leadership and enhance parties’ internal recruitment process which will produce credible leaders with the people’s mandate to govern.
To ensure active participation of the populace in the forthcoming elections, IPAC will embark on massive sensitisation, advocacy, enlightenment and mobilisation of the electorate at grassroots level across the country.”

 

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Islamic Leaders Blame Nigeria’s Woes On Leadership Failure 

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Islamic leaders in Rivers State have blamed the underdevelopment and high level of poverty in Nigeria on greed and bad leadership.
They also  called for an end to the lingering political crisis in Rivers State.
The Islamic clerics who spoke to newsmen  at the just concluded Eidel Fitri prayers at the Port Harcourt Central Mosque, Niger Street, regretted the high level of poverty in the country inspite of the country’s enormous resources.
The Vice President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council For Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Awelegbe Uhor, condemned the lingering political crisis in the state, adding that, if not checked, the situation could derail development efforts.
Alhaji Uhor also stressed the need for the various political parties in the state to work with Governor Siminalaye Fubara to move the state foreward.
He said Governor Fubara meant well for the state, adding that Rivers Moslems were beneficiaries of the policies and programmes of the current administration in the state.
Alhaji Uhor, who blamed the ravaging poverty in the country on greed, noted Nigeria has enough resources to make every body rich in the country.
He also said that Nigeria did not need to vote for any president based on religion, adding that moslems and Christians had been ruling the country since independence and the situation had not changed.
Also speaking the leader of Rivers state Moslems, Alhaji Suleiman Akani, warned that Rivers Moslems would not tolerate any impeachment against Governor Fubara.
Alhaji Akani described Governor Fubara as one of the most Moslems friendly governor since the inception of the state.
He said the governor had not neglected the moslems community since the inception of his administration, stressing that some Moslem umars have been sponsored for pilgrimage by the administration.
According to him, “Apart from Odili, this is the most Moslems friendly governor.
We moslems have benefitted so much from the present administration in the state.”
On his part, the Chief Imam of the Port Harcourt Central Mosque, Alhaji Abdul Malik Yahaya, called on Nigerians to cultivate the virtue of love for one another, stressing that the message of Salah was  about love for one another.
He also called on Moslems to show love, not only to fellow Moslems alone, but to  people of other faith as well.
Meanwhile the sole Administrator of the Rivers State Moslem Pilgrims welfare Board, Alhaji Abdul Rasaq Diepriye, has commended Governor Fubara for being the first governor in the country to sponsor Moslems to the Haj.
He said that it was the first time in several years that Rivers Moslems had felt a sense of belonging.
Alhaji Diepriye assured of the continuous support of the Moslem community to the administration.

By: John Bibor

 

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Rivers PDP Chieftain Hails Fubara’s Leadership Qualities

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A Chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in Opobo/ Nkoro Local Government Area, Warisenibo  Tonye Fubara, has described Governor Siminalayi Fubara, his deputy, Prof Ngozi Odu and Chief of Staff, Government House, Port Harcourt, Rt. Hon Edison Ehie, as leaders with unbeatable transformational agenda.
Speaking with newsmen recently in Port Harcourt, Warisenibo Fubara said that they are astute, patriotic and typify leaders with quality mindset Nigerians, especially Rivers people yearn for, as far as purposeful, profit oriented and development -innovative governance is concerned.
He said: “Insecurity, political crisis, hunger and marginalization have become a cankerworms that have eaten deep into the fabrics of the oil and gas -rich state, in particular and the country in general.
He maintained that since Governor Siminalayi Fubara took over the mantle of leadership of the state in May, last year, till now, there has been relative peace across the state, noting that the political crisis in the state orchestrated by some mischief makers and greedy politicians was regrettable.
Warisenibo Fubara, a grassroot mobiliser in Opobo/Nkoro Ward 5, further hailed Governor Siminalayi Fubara, his Deputy, Prof. Ngozi Odu and the Chief of Staff, Government House, Rt. Hon. Edison Ehie for successfully triumphing over dictatorial leadership, describing them as “development pathfinders of our generation.”
He pointed out that Governor Fubara and his team were committed in the task of governing the state in the best interest of the state and  its people, not minding the negative and unproductive distractions of those who do not wish the state and its people well.
Meanwhile, Warisenibo Tonye Fubara has enjoined Rivers people to support Governor Siminalayi Fubara to provide the needed democratic dividends for all and sundry, adding that they should stand their ground to resist any attempt by the Rt. Hon. Martins Amaewhule -led Rivers State House of Assembly who threatened to impeach the Governor for vain glory and selfish ambition, without following the rule of law, as to please their pay masters.

By:   Bethel Toby

 

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Fubara’s Victory Thanksgiving: Semenitari Challenges Okocha Over Funding Allegation

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Former Commissioner for Information and Communications in Rivers State,  Mrs Ibim Semenitari, has challenged the Chairman, Caretaker Committee of the All Progressives Congress ( APC) in Rivers State, Chief Tony Okocha, to show proof that Governor Siminalaye Fubara is funding the thanksgiving services being held across the 23 local government areas in the state by the Simplified Movement.
Mrs Semenitari who said this during the thanksgiving service organized by the Okrika Local Government Area chapter of the Simplified Movement explained that the event was sponsored by simple people from the local government areas who are happy with the Supreme Court’s affirmation of the election victory of the governor.
She said what Rivers people should focus on his good governance, adding that Governor Fubara had shown commitment to keeping to his promises to Rivers people.
“The Rivers State Government is not spending a dime. I challenge him (Okocha) to bring out proof of Rivers State Government funding the thanksgiving service. It is a simple event funded by simple people”, she said.
Mrs Semenitari, who was also a one time Sole Administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), said the occasion was an opportunity for Rivers people to show appreciation to God for what He had done in Rivers State.
‘It is an opportunity to say to God, we are grateful; that we are grateful to God for the victory without rancour; we are grateful that we have the opportunity to celebrate a Governor who had a peaceful disposition. But beyond that, also a prayer by Rivers people that we are tired, we don’t want any more crisis.
“We want our state to progress. We have a Governor who is committed to driving development across every local government area. For us, that is what matters” she said.

By: John Bibor

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