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Etung political class endorse Ayade for 2019

The All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate, Senator John Owan Enoh’s ambition suffered a major set back yesterday, as his elder brother, Professor Anthony Owan Enoh, as well as his kinsmen unanimously endorsed Governor Ben Ayade for the 2019 governorship election.

Also throwing their weight behind Ayade’s second term bid were top political leaders including former military governor of Kwara State and leader of the delegation Col. Palm Ogar (rtd), traditional rulers, youths and elders from the eight political wards of Etung Local Government Area, where Owan Enoh hails from.

Speaking on behalf of the delegation, at the Executive Council Chamber, venue of the endorsement, Col. Ogar said by the sheer number of Etung leaders present in the meeting was a clear indication that the people held the governor in high regards.

Ogar lauded Ayade for he noted were his giant strides in industrial, economic and agricultural revolution, as well as the siting of a project in each council area of the state of the which Etung has a Reference Hospital, and a Cocoa Processing Plant in Ikom which local government will hugely benefit due to proximity.

“Thank you, Your Excellency, for the opportunity to interface with the government, rub mind and share ideas on how to move the state forward. The large number present here, not minding the short notice and communication challenge represents how much you mean to the people of Etung.

“Your industrial, economic, agricultural drive and revolution in the state is legendary as you ensure that every LGA has a major project with Etung having a reference hospital and also stand to benefit from the cocoa processing factory in ikom as result of proximity. To this end, we the people of Etung have every reason and justification to collectively support your re-election this year,” the former Military Administrator lauded.

Also in his remarks, elder brother brother of the APC candidate and Vice Chancellor of Cross River University of Technology (CRUTECH), Prof. Anthony Owan Enoh, praised Governor Ayade for the transformation which Cross River State is currently experiencing.

Prof. Enoh, lamented that for too long, Etung was neglected, ignored and the people had been suffering, adding that “today if going with the person I know in order for my people to be liberated I will do so,” noting that Ayade by conducts and actions has proven that he was a real leader with the heart of a gold, a humane heart that feels for all.

The CRUTECH VC, therefore thanked the governor for awarding contract for the rehabilitation of Ikom-Agbokim to Agbokim water falls road, just as he assured him of the total support of Etung people to ensure that he was reelected to continue with his transformational work.

“Today Etung has a name because of Ayade and this is the beginning of Etung’s glory.

Thanks for the rehabilitation of the Ikom Agbokim to Agbokim water falls road which has been a thorn in the flesh of the people for so long.

“The entire Etung people are behind you and will massively vote for you to ensure you continue in the Government House, Diamond Hill, Calabar, beyond May 29, this year.”

Also voicing his unflinching support for Ayade and to his re-election, the first grandson of the Owan Enoh’s family, Obi Steven said the entire people of Etung were so happy with Governor Ayade for giving them a voice in terms of appointments, and location of projects such as the reference hospital and the Ikom Cocoa Processing Plant which is very near to Etung and for which the people will be huge beneficiaries.”

He maintained that “the family and the entire Etung people cannot make the mistake to vote against Ayade because under his leadership, the LGA has witnessed rapid growth and development in both human and material,” assuring that come March 2, this year, they will put their words into action by voting Ayade for his second term.

Speakers after speakers from the eight wards took turns to eulogize Ayade for his giant strides in less than four years in office.

In his remarks, the Commissioner for Water Resources, Mr. Gabriel Oji, informes the governor that all the outstanding leaders of Etung from all nooks and crannies were represented in the meeting with eight out of 10 Wards of the council leadership present.

The Commissioner particularly thanked Ayade, noting that he was one leader who had done so much for Etung and as such they had every reason to fully support his Re-election for giving them the highest number of appointments, establishment of the Cocoa Processing Plant in Ikom not far from Etung.

He said the APC candidate, Owan Enoh could not have done one tenth of what Ayade has done with three years in office.

“I want to inform the governor that represented in this meeting are all the leaders of the Etung nation and also represented are the eight ward leaders to show you that we support you totally. All the outstanding leaders of the Etung nation are here and l am one person that is known for speaking the truth and the truth is that you are one governor who has done so much for our people.”

Justifying Ayade’s endorsement, Oji said: “The Etung nation has every reason to support and endorse you for a second term. You are one governor who has given the Etung people the highest number of appointments. You have brought the cocoa processing factory to Ikom which is near to us in Etung.

“The APC candidate cannot do one tenth of what you have done. When somebody has not shown charity for his 20 years in the highest representative political position, how can we trust such a person? This gathering consists of 99 percent of the leadership of the Etung people and we would not fail you. Owan Enoh has failed us as a Senator.”

Another leader and political heavyweight from the LGA, and PDP Central senatorial district candidate, Prof. Sandy Onor, while speaking, described Ayade as a man with divine mandate with which the grace of God rest upon, taking into consideration the developmental work across the state.

“Ayade is a man with a divine mandate with which the grace of God rests upon, taking into consideration the monumental developmental work ongoing under the governor.

“Most governors that we consider truly great today were not great in their first four year but Ayade is already great in his four year and would be legendary in the next four years.”

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CDHR Demands Factors That Led Postponement Of Elections

The Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) has demanded an investigation into the factors that led to the postponement of the elections.

The group also expressed disappointment with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the postponement of the elections.

INEC had announced the postponement of the elections earlier on Saturday by one week.

A statement by Malachy Ugwummadu, the CDHR President, noted that the postponement has cast “serious shadow on the integrity of the commission” to conduct credible elections.

The statement read: “The CDHR notes with utter disappointment the postponement of the 2019 general elections on account of general poor logistics. This development, just hours before the elections, raises so many questions as to the capacity of INEC to conveniently discharge on their mandate. The Presidential and National Assembly elections were postponed to February 23, 2019 while the Gubernatorial and House of Assembly elections were postponed to March 9, 2019.

“This postponement has cast serious shadow on the credibility and integrity of the entire election process. As a contest, this unfortunate development has unwittingly created fertile grounds for competing political parties to discredit the process. International and local observers have mobilized at high costs and resources and are now demobilized. The entire economy and education sector in particular suffered the worst hit having been shut down for the period under review.

“By Section 15(a) of Part 1 of the Third Schedule of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), INEC is vested with global powers and vires to organize, undertake and supervise all elections. Under Section 26 of the Electoral Act 2011 the same INEC drawing from the broad powers to organize and conduct elections can postpone an election earlier than scheduled but for the restricted reasons of insecurity, natural disaster or emergency. It is expected that concerns of logistics may not be profound enough to ground suspension of general elections over which huge budgetary allocations have been approved and received.

“Recall that both in 2011 and 2015 when there were such postponements the context are different from what we have just witnessed in the instant case where INEC consistently reassured the nation that the elections will hold with no possibility of postponement. On this score alone, INEC have not been truthful with the people since all the variables founding the bases of earlier assurances could not have changed in less than four hours to the election. The President, though a contestant, had in a national broadcast addressed the public on the scheduled election for today 16 February 2019. INEC itself has over a year ago released a comprehensive timetable of this election.

“In 2015 it was the executive through the National Security Advisor to then President Goodluck Jonathan and after due consultations with National Council of States and all stakeholders announced the postponement. What is more? We appreciate that at all times material to the postponement, the election materials including sensitive materials have been dispatched and a lot more already at their relevant locations. What happens to those materials? To what extent can the integrity of those materials already dispatched be guaranteed?

“In blaming INEC whose responsibility it is to generally organize the election, it should be recalled that it got caught in the interplay of power when the National Assembly foot-dragged on the consideration and approval of INEC budgetary allocation leaving them with serious time constraints in sourcing and procuring election materials. No doubt INEC trudged on as though all was well and even issued timetable and guidelines based on those assurances.”

The CDHR went on to make five demands: “An unequivocal apology to the Nigerian people and representatives of international communities that are here in the country; clear explanation from INEC as to the circumstance and exact reason why the election was postponed; a serious and thorough inquiry by an independent panel to ascertain what happened; appropriate sanction to relevant persons who failed in their responsibility and consequently took this decision in order to serve as a deterrent; consideration for decentralization and unbundling of INEC along the multifaceted responsibilities of that commission have now become imperative.”

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Nigeria elections: Gani Adams blows hot over INEC postponement

The Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams, has urged Nigerians to remain calmbfollowing the last minute postponement of the general elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

He, however, warned the electoral umpire not to give further excuses, noting that already, the shift had a huge implication on the integrity of Nigeria, both in Africa and across the world.

Adams, in a statement he signed on Saturday, stated shift has raised questions about its level of preparedness.

He said: “Report of the non availability of sensitive and non sensitive election materials in about 15 states has raised questions on the credibility and level of preparedness of the electoral body, and the leadership of INEC should remember the inglorious story of the June 12 annulment that eventually draw the nation backward.

“I want to say that the one week window occasioned by the postponement will determine a lot of things about the Nigerian future, and there should be no inconclusive election, no excuse, either head or tail election must hold.

“Every plan is as good as its implementation. Ordinarily, the timing for the postponement is wrong, it should have come at least, two weeks before the election, not two hours to the day of election. And like every other Nigerians that have been reacting, I want to say it categorically, that it is sad that the electoral umpire had to shift the date of the election barely a few hours into the election.

“The biggest corruption is to rig an election. It is also frustrating that Nigerians gave up their livelihood. Businesses are put on hold across the country and Nigerians had to go through the same pain stocking assorted food stuffs, and staying at home just for them to cast their votes.

“But as a Nigerian who believe in peace and the unity of the country, I urge the INEC to prepare well and put its house in order for it to succeed in its duty to conduct free, fair and credible elections”, he said.

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Nigeria elections 2019: How NYSC Corps members reacted to postponement of polls

Some members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) serving in Kogi State, on Saturday expressed displeasure over the ‘late hour’ postponement of elections’ dates by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

DAILY POST had reported that INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, while addressing reporters at the press centre of the commission’s headquarters in Abuja, the nation’s capital, said that the polls would not go on as planned due to some challenges encountered by the commission.

He explained that the decision to postpone the polls followed a careful review of the implementation of the logistics and operational plans put in place for the exercise.

Some of the corps members, who served as INEC Ad-hoc staff, spoke to NAN in separate interviews in Kabba that they were disappointed.

Chika Ezeogu, a corps member, who was assigned to a Polling Unit in a remote village in Kabba/Bunu LGA, told NAN that the postponement came very late and few hours to the election.

“We had already received elections’ materials and proceeded to our various wards.

“We were very surprised when we received information on the postponement. It was not really good after going through a lot of stress,’’ Ezeogu said.

A male corps member, who spoke to NAN on conditions of anonymity, said he was shocked about the news as he never expected such to happen few hours to election.

He urged the INEC and the Federal Government to ensure effective planning in the future.

Another male corps member, who also spoke on conditions of anonymity, said that he had arranged the election materials at the polling unit when they received a message on the postponement.

“My polling unit is in a remote village with poor network, and we couldn’t access network until after 7 a.m.

“We had already arranged election materials waiting for 8 a.m to begin accreditation and voting, when we suddenly received the message.

“We have pledged our loyalty to Nigeria to serve our motherland and we don’t have a choice,’’ he said.

Another corps member said: “I am just advising our leaders to be proactive in whatsoever they do to avoid a reoccurrence of such.”

Meanwhile, the Assistant Director, Public Relations, NYSC, Mr Adedapo Tayo, commended the corps members for their resilience, cool headedness, which were great virtues that would pave way for them in future.

Tayo, who is the NYSC Monitoring Officer for 2019 elections in Kabba, Mopamuro, Yagba East, and West LGAs, commended the corps members’ commitment to the service of their motherland.

“The corps members were trained and sensitised to how to conduct themselves during the elections.

“They accepted the postponement when it came, and went back to their various posts.

“So, we praise the DG NYSC, for the intensive sensitisation of corps members, to ensure they conduct themselves well,’’ Tayo said.

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