Presidential, NASS Polls Outcome: Foreign Observers Hail Stakeholders, Security Agencies’ Role
The Independent Foreign Observers’ Mission in Nigeria has commended stakeholders and security agencies for their neutrality during the presidential and national assembly elections in the country.
Stuart Young, head of the Mission, in a report on Wednesday said the role played by security agencies and stakeholders was instrumental to the success of the polls.
He said the polls were transparent, while stakeholders displayed a high level of responsibility.
“We commend the Armed Forces and the Police for the display of professionalism throughout the period despite the avalanche of issues in Lagos, Kano, and other places hitherto regarded as hotspots during elections in Nigeria,” the report reads.
“Our team of observers in Lagos and Kano buttressed the neutrality and professionalism of the military and other security agencies deployed during and after the elections.
“It is our opinion that the professionalism displayed reflects the non-partisanship of the military leadership in Nigeria and the military’s role in preserving democracies in Africa and around the world.
“We had a strong delegation in Lagos, Delta, Kaduna, Kano, and other states in the country’s South East and South South region. The reason was to ensure we garnered first-hand electoral process information.
“There were no recorded cases of interference by the government or agents of government throughout the duration of the elections. Voters were not harassed or intimidated, but in a few cases where ballot boxes were either snatched or destroyed by warring factions. However, these situations were brought under control.
“There were a few areas of concern regarding the late arrival of election materials. But it didn’t interfere with or change the course of the elections. It was observed that in those areas that witnessed the late arrival of election materials, none of the eligible voters was disenfranchised.
“This was made possible by the commitment of the various stakeholders in the election process and at various locations across the country.
“The Independent Foreign Observers Mission rates the election as transparent and reflects the people’s wishes. It is also a drastic improvement from previous elections conducted in the country. It commends the security agencies and other stakeholders that saw to the success of the elections.”
Abia Gov’ship Election Result: Social Media Report Fake, Says INEC
The Independent National Electoral Commission INEC has denounced an online report accusing its Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu of attempts to violate its guidelines and consequently distort the Governorship election result in Abia State.
Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi said the only communication sent to the State Returning Officer was the commission’s directive suspending further collation of results.
He said; “The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu never called the Returning Officer to give her a directive. Rather, the Returning Officer wanted the official communication on the Commission’s decision to suspend the collation of results in Abia State. The Chairman then directed that pending the delivery of the hard copies, the soft copies of the Commission’s letter be forwarded immediately to the Resident Electoral Commissioner of Enugu State and the Administrative Secretary of Abia State.
“The Returning Officer for Abia State then directed that the contents of the letter be read aloud by the Administrative Secretary in the presence of agents of political parties, observers, the media and security personnel at the Collation Centre.
“This is what is now being mischievously interpreted as a directive to the Returning Officer on some phantom criteria at variance with the approved guidelines. There is nothing like that.
“In fact, the content of the letter is basically the same as the Commission’s Press Release dated Monday 20th March 2023 which has since been uploaded to the Commission’s social media platforms and is already in the public domain.
“The public should disregard the story as fake news”, said Oyekanmi.
A portal, Strenuous Blog, had quoted the Returning Officer as alleging that she was being forced to do the wrong thing.
According to the portal; “The INEC Presiding Officer In Abia State Nnenna Oti had this to say…’I’m Professor Nnenna Oti from Afikpo. I am the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology Owerri, The people’s mandate shall stand. I have spent all my adult life in pursuit of the ideals of good governance. We shall stand by the these principles. The pastor in me (she is a Pastor with the RCCG) and the mother in me will not permit me to do anything that will adversely affect the future of our children. I shall do right by God and by man!’
“Then to the shock and surprise of everyone in the hall, she said that the INEC Chairman Mahmood Yakubu, personally called her and gave her directives on guidelines to follow in ensuring that Abia governorship election results were collated based on some criteria but that on her own she has decided that the will of Abia voters would not be subverted under her watch.
“At that point, she asked the Administrative Secretary to read the message she said that came from the INEC headquarters Abuja”.
Checks by The Tide source revealed that the commission has no such nomenclature as “State INEC Presiding Officer”.
Rivers Gov’ship: Obuah Congratulates Fubara, Hails Rivers People
The Director-General of the 2023 Campaign Council of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, Bro Felix Obuah, has congratulated the Governor-elect, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, on his resounding victory at the March 18, Governorship election in the State.
Bro. Obuah in his congratulatory statement commended the calm disposition and the steady mobilizing spirit of the Governor-elect throughout the electioneering campaign which endeared him the more to the electorate as demonstrated by their massive votes.
Rivers people, Bro. Obuah noted, cannot but thank God for the successful polls in the face of daunting tasks.
Bro Obuah who is also the immediate past State PDP Chairman expressed greater joy that the winning streak of his regime has continued to bear fruit in the State.
According to him, Sir Sim Fubara is another choice rightly made by the people to continue to enjoy good governance and dividends of democracy at its best which is the result of the choice of His Excellency, Chief Barr. Nyesom Ezenwo Wike in 2015 and 2019, respectively.
“I give kudos to our Rivers people for their appreciation of all the good works of our indefatigable ‘Mr. Quality Projects’ which they expressed through their massive votes for our Governor-elect and all the PDP candidates in the just concluded elections,” Bro Obuah expressed.
He said the PDP-led government in the state is spurred by the people’s gratitude and poised to do more for the people as a new political dispensation gets underway.
He thanked Governor Wike for his foresight, courage and unwavering spirit to raise the bar of political leadership in the State which is gradually taking roots in the land as a tradition.
Bro Obuah also commended the community heads, traditional rulers, women groups, religious groups, and the youths for listening to the voice of reason which contributed to making the 2023 election in the state a good one.
The Director-General of the Rivers State PDP Campaign Council also congratulated the 32 candidates of the PDP that won the 32 seats in the State House of Assembly and all National Assembly members elected on the platform of the PDP.
He said now that the elections were over, it was time for all hands to be on deck for the much desired peaceful atmosphere necessary for good governance.
He dedicated the PDP victory to all Rivers people and pledged his usual fatherly support to the leadership for a more united and better Rivers State.
Chief Whip, Others Lose Seats In Bayelsa Assembly Polls
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Bayelsa says the Chief Whip of the state House of Assembly and member representing Yenagoa Constituency 2, Mrs Ebiwou Koku-Obiyai lost her re-election bid to the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Mr Amakoromo Waikumo who polled 4971 votes.
Other incumbent members of the House who lost their return bid include, the member representing Southern Ijaw Constituency 4, Barr. Macdonald Igbadwei, and Hon. Ebi Ben Ololo, representing Nembe Constituency 1, respectively.
While Ben Ololo lost to the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Mr George Oteigbanyo who got 2,928 votes, Igbadwei on the other hand lost to the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Ben Selekaye Victor who garnered 5,230 votes.
However, Speaker of Bayelsa State House of Assembly and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), for Brass constituency 3, Abraham Ingobere, his deputy, Michael Ogbere, who is also member representing Ekeremor Constituency 3, and candidate of the PDP are among serving members of the state legislature who won their various re-election bids in the House of Assembly polls conducted last Saturday.
Ingobere, a serving third termer, according to results made available to newsmen by Mr Wilfred Ifogah, Director Voter Education Programme (VEP) of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Bayelsa, defeated his opponents having polled 5,973 votes.
The electoral umpire also noted that the Deputy Speaker of the House, Michael Ogbere, a serving second termer had also garnered 3,912 votes to defeat his opponents.
According to INEC, the Leader of the State House of Assembly, and member representing Southern Ijaw Constituency 2, Monday-Bubou Edwin Obolo, also emerged winner, polling 6,956 votes to defeat candidates of other parties.
Also declared winners were: Honourables, Teddy Elemeforo — PDP, Yenagoa Constituency 3; God bless Oyinke— PDP, Sagbama Constituency 1; Ebizi Ndiomu-Brown— PDP, Sagbama Constituency 3; Charles Daniel—PDP, Brass Constituency 1; Mitin Living— PDP, Ekeremor Constituency 2; and Edward Irigha Brigidi—APC, Nembe Constituency 2.
Other winners were, Col. Bernerd Sunday Kenebai (rtd) — PDP, Sagbama Constituency 2; Pamoh Werinipre—PDP, Kolokuma/ Opokuma Constituency 1; Douglas Sampson—APC, Nembe Constituency 3; Wisdom Fafi—PDP, Kolokuma/Opokuma Constituency 2; Felix Bonny Ayah—PDP, Southern Ijaw Constituency 1; Timinyo Omubo-Agala —APC, Brass Constituency 2; and Moses Marlon — PDP, Southern Ijaw Constituency 3.
Those who were elected into the House for the first time include: Ayibanengiyefa Egba— PDP, Yenagoa Constituency 1; Richard Ibegu—PDP, Ogbia Constituency 1; as well as a former member making a return, Gabriel Michael Ogbara of the PDP for Ogbia Constituency 3.
Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has confirmed that elections were not held for Ogbia Constituency 2 due to attack on the INEC Registration Area Centres (RACs) across the constituency by suspected hoodlums who allegedly burnt BVAS and other electoral materials on the eve of the elections.
“On the eve of the elections, a group suppected to be hoodlums attacked INEC RACs in Ogbia Constituency 2 and burnt off the BVAS and other materials meant for the conduct of the House of Assembly elections in the constituency, so the polls couldn’t take place. And as we speak, we don’t know yet when election for that constituency would hold”, the VEP, state office of the INEC, Mr Wilfred Ifogah said.
By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa
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