Connect with us

Politics

Electoral Violence: South-East Stakeholders Demand Adherence To Electoral Act

Published

on

Some political stakeholders in the South-East have reiterated that effective implementation of the Electoral Act would assist in check-mating electoral violence in the 2023 general elections in the country.
The stakeholders made the call while reacting to a News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) survey on checkmating Electoral Violence ahead of the 2023 General Elections in the country.
Nelson Nwafor, the Executive Director of Foundation for Environmental Rights, Advocacy and Development (FENRAD) in Abia, said that electoral violence was a “serious threat” to the achievement of sustainable democracy in Nigeria.
According to him, the menace has become detrimental to democratic sustainability in Nigerian politics and required swift action toward addressing the issue.
Mr Nwafor said that politicians and the electorate were jointly responsible for the continued occurrence of electoral violence recorded during electioneering periods.
He commended the federal government for the Electoral Act (2022), adding that it would play a vital role in guiding the conduct of the politicians and electorate during the elections.
He charged political parties to ensure that the campaigns of their candidates were issue-based to enable them to build a work plan that would facilitate delivery of democracy dividend to the citizenry.
Mr Nwafor called on relevant agencies to conduct regular sensitisation campaigns on the need for the electorate to be law abiding during the electioneering period.
A teacher, Kingsley Kalu, said he had vowed never to participate in the country’s general elections again because of his experience in 2019.
He said that he almost lost his life while working as an adhoc staff to the Independent National Electoral Commission, as thugs invaded the venue in an attempt to snatch the ballot box.
“If not for the intervention of the police, I would have died as these boys came, descended on me and my colleagues in one of the remote communities in the state during the House of Assembly election,” he said.
He expressed hope in the new Electoral Act, saying that it would curb electoral violence because there would be no snatching of ballot boxes.
In Ebonyi, some analysts have advised politicians across states of the federation to focus on issue based campaigns that could bring development to the nation and desist from causing violence.
They decried the way thuggery had brought a lot of conflicts in the Nigeria political system including ethnicity, religion and tribalism amongst others.
Thamos Ikenna, a lawyer, noted that the issue of thuggery during campaigns and elections started as a result of bad governance.  “Failure of political leaders to do the needful in providing gainful employment for the teeming population of youths.
“The youths remained the instruments used by politicians to perpetrate these violent crimes in the country. “These violence are being caused as a result of bad governance, unemployment, poverty, bribery and corruption amongst others,” Mr Ikenna said.
Monday Nkwoagu, Bishop of Anglican Communion, Diocese of Abakaliki, condemned the incessant killings and violence so far experienced in the country ahead of the 2023 general polls.
Mr Nkwoagu tasked politicians on peaceful campaigns and added that violence was not a strategy to win elections.
Also speaking, Professor Benard Odoh, 2023 governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Ebonyi, said that a peaceful campaign could bring security of lives and property for the people.
“It is better to campaign on issues rather than concentrating on destruction of campaign materials and all sorts of violence,” he advised. Mr Odoh stressed the need to implement laws and strengthen them against thuggery and political violence in the country.
He called on youths in particular and colleagues in various political parties to steer clear of the act and focus on issues that could bring development to the state and nation at large.
“Elections should not be seen as war against persons,” Mr Odoh added.
In Anambra, politicians contesting positions during the 2023 general elections are yet to begin campaigns, apparently because only state and national elections would be conducted in the state.
A check by our source showed that most of the candidates were still doing consultations, a month after the Electoral Act as amended had okayed commencement of campaigns for the 2023 elections.
Chukwuma Agufugo, state secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) said the party was yet to inaugurate its state chapter of the campaign council.
He said that political activities were still low because the state was not holding a governorship election, but only national and state assembly elections.
“For now, I can say that we are not hearing anything about thuggery and violence and we believe that such problems usually take place towards the end of campaign period,” he said.
Paul-Chuks Umenduka, an Awka-based politician, said the state might not witness incidences of violence during the ongoing political process.
According to Mr Umenduka, my feeling is that most people are enlightened and might not be tricked into political violence as before.
“I see a paradigm shift in the cases of political thuggery and violence in next year’s elections because of two reasons.
“Most Nigerians are aware that the electronic transmission of results from the polling units will make nonsense of snatching of ballot boxes.
“Again the common knowledge among most citizens now that those engaged for thuggery and other dirty political jobs by politicians are now aware of the consequences of engaging in such practices,” he said.
Mr Umenduka, who said that his position was informed by some preliminary findings made in his Aguata area, added that most youths now decline invitations for membership of pressure groups.
He said, before now, the pressure groups formed ahead of every dispensation often turned into recruiting windows for thugs.
He however, urged the Independent National Electoral Commission, the media, civil society organisations to intensify enlightenment on the danger of thuggery and violence during elections.

 

Continue Reading

Politics

Ahead 2027: Pro-Tinubu Group Sets Up Structures In APC

Published

on

The Mandate Movement (TMM), a pro-President Bola Tinubu group in the All Progressives Congress (APC), has set up 37 structures in a bid to enlarge its membership base across the country.
The structures consist of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja.
The national leader of the movement, Cardinal James Odunmbaku, made this known in a statement, explaining that the move became necessary for the ease of administration.
Cardinal Odunmbaku, in the statement, noted that this move was a precursor to the preparations for the 2027 general election.
He stressed that the move aims at ensuring that the APC has strong dominance across communities and towns in every part of the country.
He advised those to be appointed as state coordinators to be more effective in mobilising new people into the ruling APC.
The APC chieftain also used the opportunity to appeal to Nigerians to be patient with the President Bola Tinubu’s administration, assuring that the government was taking steps to address the harsh economic challenges.

Continue Reading

Politics

Benue APC Crisis: Court Sacks Acting State Chairman

Published

on

The recently suspended Benue State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Austin Agada, has been reinstated by a Makurdi High Court presided over by the Chief Judge of the State, Justice Maurice Ikpambese.
Recall that Mr Agada was earlier in the month suspended from office by another Benue High Court in Aliade presided over by Justice Lilian Tsumba following an ex parte motion filed by Mr Moses Agaba against him and the APC after his Ihaje Ward I Executive in Ogbadibo Local Government Area had passed a no-confidence vote on him and also suspended him for alleged anti-party activity.
The suspension was immediately followed by the inauguration of Mr. Benjamin Omakolo from Igoro Ward, Apa LGA as the acting State Chairman during a State Executive Committee meeting of the party presided over by Governor Hyacinth Alia.
However the crisis in the party took a dramatic turn Monday when Justice Ikpambese reinstated Mr. Agada while ruling on a motion by the embattled chairman seeking to set aside the interim order restraining him from parading himself as  Chairman.
After listening to the arguments of counsel to Moses Agaba, Mr. Johnson Usman, and that of Innocent Daagba, who appeared alongside Richard Ayilla, George Ushongo, Daniel Sorkaa and John Ifer who appeared  for Mr. Agada, Justice Maurice Ikpambese vacated the order restraining him from parading self, function and acting as the Chairman of the APC in the State.
Justice Ikpambese ruled that “under Order 39, rule 3 of the Benue State High Court Procedure Rules, 2023, the lifespan of an interim order is seven days, and since the order was issued on February 2, 2024, it has elapsed by law.”
Justice Ikpambese nullified the appointment of Benjamin Omakolo as acting Chairman and any other appointment made from February 2, 2024.
He accordingly struck out the motion seeking to set aside the interim order of February 2, 2024, as “it has been overtaken by events.”
The matter would be assigned to another Judge by the Chief Judge who would hear it on its merit.
Reacting, the APC State acting Chairman, Mr. Omakolo dismissed the reinstatement of Mr. Agada saying “whether the order restraining him (Agada) from parading himself as the Chairman is vacated or not, the fact that he has been suspended by his Ward still places a ban on him to be able to function as APC Chairman in Benue State. “And it will interest you to know that in the court ruling today, no matter concerning my person or role as the acting Chairman was mentioned.
“So, I still remain the valid acting State chairman of the APC in Benue State. I remain the one who pilots the affairs of the APC in Benue State and the APC family takes instructions and directives from my office as the acting Chairman of APC in the State.
“And even that wrong vacation that was done in the High Court has already been appealed. The person that took him to court has appealed the judgement because it is not correct in law for a High Court to restrain another High Court, a court of coordinate jurisdiction. I have long assumed office as the acting Chairman of APC in Benue State.”

Continue Reading

Politics

There’s No Changing Bayelsa Gov’ship Result – Diri

Published

on

Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri, has said that the November 11, 2023, governorship election in the State has been won and lost and cannot be changed through subterranean moves of his main rival in the poll.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the incumbent governor winner of the election and presented certificates of return to him and the deputy governor-elect, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, on November 17, 2023.
Diri, who spoke on Monday during the first year memorial service of his late father, Pa Abraham Diri, at the St Peter’s Anglican Church, Sampou, Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area, said the subpoena to the police to testify as witness at the election petition tribunal by the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Chief Timipre Sylva, was diversionary, a waste of time and an exercise in futility.
He said the acceptable standard was the election result declared by INEC and not that of the police.
His words, “they are bringing a police report. They are bringing a police commissioner to come and testify in the election tribunal. We have crossed that bridge long ago. Just as we stopped them from rigging, we will stop them again.
“If you want to subpoena anybody, let it be INEC, which conducted the election and declared the results. The police are in charge of security.
“Let us be steadfast. Our second tenure will be better than the first.”
The governor eulogised his father for laying a solid foundation for him and his siblings.
According to him, his father was being celebrated a year after his death because he left good legacies that were speaking through him and his siblings.
He said: “His impact upon our lives, his children and relatives, is unspeakable. That is why I believe in giving the best education to children, so that whether you are alive or not, they can stand anywhere. I urge fellow Bayelsans to give their children good education.
“What we are doing today is to appreciate God and celebrate the life of our father for what he has done in our lives. Our father guided us very well. All his life was how to discipline and give what he had to society.
“Those of us in leadership as president, governors, Speakers and other positions, let us know that there is a legacy we should leave, which will speak for us when we leave this world.”
Speaking on the topic: “What will you be remembered for?” Rev. Funkuro Amgbare, Bishop of the Diocese of Northern Izon of the Anglican Communion, noted that Pa Diri was being remembered a year after his death because he impacted positively on his children and the society.
He admonished all to live a life worth remembering by maintaining their integrity.

 

Continue Reading

Trending