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Osun Poll: Group Accuses Politicians Of Attempting To Manipulate Process

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An election monitoring group, YIAGA Africa, has identified suspected threats to the peaceful conduct of the Osun State governorship election scheduled for July 16.
It told journalists in Osogbo on Wednesday that the recent escalation in the activities of political thugs, cultism and voter inducement were potential threats.
“Yiaga Africa’s pre-election reports have revealed the activities of cultists and political thugs in some local government areas as capable of threatening the peaceful and credible conduct of the election, if not contained.
“In addition to these threats, there are also attempts by some political mercenaries to manipulate the process right from the pre-election stage.
“In spite of the foregoing, the preparation for the Osun governorship election has seen a religious implementation of the electoral timeline by INEC,’’ YIAGA Africa’s director of programme, Cynthia Mbamalu, said.
Ms Mbamalu added that the rate of voter inducement across the state increased, adding that the group was also concerned about the utterances of some state political actors in their efforts to woo voters.
“We call on these actors, especially those of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to exercise restraint and advise their supporters to play by the rules,’’ she stressed.
In his remarks, a YIAGA Africa board member, Ezenwa Nwangu, commended INEC for its preparatory activities and called on it to provide better oversight at its local government areas offices.
Mr Nwagwu also said the distribution of money, gifts and food items by political parties and candidates induced voters featured throughout the campaign period.
“During this reporting period, more events associated with voter inducement were reported in Ife Central, Ife North, Ifedayo, Ilesa West and Odo-Otin local government areas.
“Specifically, food items such as garri and beans were seen being distributed to people as a campaign strategy in these local government

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Group Urges FG To Ignore Campaign Of Calumny Against Sylva

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The Movement for Survival of Izon Ethnic Nationality (MOSIEND) has urged the Federal Government to ignore the ongoing campaigns of calumny against Chief Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources.
This is contained in a statement signed by Mr Prince Marley, and Mr Godwin Opiuyo, Chairman and Secretary of Eastern zone of MOSIEND in Yenogoa.
The group said it had noted  with dismay that some unpatriotic individuals, envious of the performance of some political office holders, had resorted to cheap blackmail to discredit them.
MOSIEND stated that as a leading advocacy group in the Niger Delta, it would not fold its arms and watch faceless groups haul malicious and baseless claims to leaders from the region.
“The latest is the unwarranted media mudslinging from one shadowy bunch of fugitive agent provocateurs parading themselves as Nigerians for Transformational Change (NTC).
“The group with no known address, calling for the sack of the Chief Sylva over summons by a US District Court in Pennsylvania over a defamation of character case, which he instituted against one Jackson Ude is frivolous,” MOSIEND stated.
The group, in dismissing the call noted that the case of libel was instituted by Sylva against  Ude in the US, adding that Sylva was the plaintiff while Ude was the Respondent/Defendant.
MOSIEND also noted that the matter has not been concluded thus the brains behind the blackmail was to whip up public sentiment against Sylva amounts to prejudice because the case was in court.
They urged the relevant agencies of the Federal Government to go after the masterminds of the smear campaign and bring them to face the extant laws as it concerns inciting the public based on falsehood.

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Parties’ Campaign Committees: Group Makes Case For PWDs Inclusion

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The Centre for Citizens with Disabilities has said that persons with disabilities should be included in campaign committees for elections.
The CCD Executive Director, David Anyaele, stated this on Friday during a press conference, at the Elomaz Hotel, in the Ikeja area of Lagos State.
Anyaele stated that political parties had the responsibility of taking appropriate measures to create space for equal opportunity for persons living with disabilities.
He said, “Political parties need to ensure that persons with disabilities are included in the campaign committees and campaign podiums should be made accessible to all with the provision of sign language interpreters, access to information and disability inclusive manifesto.
“INEC should ensure that they take appropriate steps to review all the previous off circle elections reports submitted by organisations of and for persons with disabilities, for the identification of forms and patterns as well as extent of complaints on persons with disabilities struggle on election days.
“This is with the view of finding solutions with scenario building. Findings from previous election reports shows that a bulk of the problems faced by Persons with disabilities participate on Election Day.”
The Executive Director urged the media to continue its support to the disability community.
He said, “The media is our eyes, ears and legs. With the help of the media, issues of concern to persons with disabilities would be mainstreamed in the 2023 general election conversations.”
The Publicity Secretary of the Lagos State Inter Party Advisory Council, New Nigeria Peoples Party, Richard Echigbue, stated that there was a need for people with disabilities to belong to a party in order to have a voice.
He said, “We encourage people living with disabilities to come and join a party and we can start the conversation from there.
“Our party for example, is based on egalitarian principles where equity reigns, there’s no discrimination or inequality.
“As long as you’re human, and you have the capability to perform, you’ll be given a chance. Other parties should also try and incorporate people living with disabilities into their system.”

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Osun APC, PDP Trade Blame Over Killings

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The Osun State chapters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) last Saturday traded blame over reported killing of two members of the ruling party.
Three people were reportedly killed in Ede, the hometown of the Osun State Governor-elect, Senator Ademola Adeleke, last Friday and Saturday while members of PDP were allegedly sharing balance of governorship election fund.
The incident also led to razing of residence of Osun Assembly Minority leader of PDP, Babajide Kofoworola.
A statement by APC Chairman, Prince Gboyega Famodun through his media aide, Kola Olabisi, stated that the alleged killings of the two APC members by suspected PDP thugs in Ede during the fracas over disagreement on the sharing formula of the PDP left-over election fund was senseless, primitive and wicked.
Famodun noted that the shameful and wicked act of killings of fellow human beings over electoral loots by the suspected PDP thugs was an indication that the Osun PDP is fundamentally challenged.
He urged the Osun State Commissioner of Police to thoroughly investigate the incident, especially in the area that concerns an alleged compromised police chief who is said to be eyeing the position of the Chief Security Officer(CSO) to Senator Ademola Adeleke.
However, the PDP in a statement by the Governor-elect, Senator Ademola Adeleke through his spokesperson, Olawale Rasheed, alleged that Governor Adegboyega Oyetola is planning to destabilise Osun State ahead of his exit from office in November.
He tasked the security agencies to swing into action and bring to book perpetrators of fatal attack and razing of the house of Osun State House of Assembly Minority Leader, Akogun Babajide Kofoworola in a reprisal attack.
The statement maintained that Adeleke strongly condemned the arson attacks on the lawmaker’s family and warned Governor Oyetola not to plunge Osun State into chaos as a consequence of his loss at the poll.

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