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NLC reveals position on 2019 elections

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), has advised the Federal Government to revisit the report by the Justice Mohammed Uwais-led Electoral Reform Committee and implement the recommendations on reinforcing INEC’s independence.

Mr Amechi Asugwuni, NLC Acting President, made the call in a statement entitled “No Option for Democracy,” and made available to newsmen on Thursday in Abuja.

He said that the conduct of the 2019 Nigerian general elections was largely peaceful in many parts of the country, though there were a number of logistic and security issues that dogged the conduct of this year’s general election.

According to Asugwuni, going forward, there was need for serious national conversations on critical areas of improvement in the conduct of elections in Nigeria.

”We also call for a sincere revisit of the Justice Uwais Electoral Reform Report especially as it relates to reinforcing INEC’s independence, unbundling of INEC and setup of Elections Offences Commission.

”We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to show commitment to implementing aspects of Uwais Report which relevance is validated by recent developments in our electoral space.

”We also demand that INEC must ensure free, fair, and credible elections in some states where the process was declared inconclusive and polls rescheduled for March 23.

”Efforts must also be re-doubled to develop a new national civic culture that venerates the rule of law.

”The trend where politicians consider themselves successful to the extent that they are able to manipulate our electoral laws, maim and kill their fellow citizens, bribe voters and perpetrate all sort of electoral shenanigans must be put to a stop,” he said.

He, however, said INEC should be commended for insisting on the use of card readers for elections in every part of the country and for issuing a policy statement that no election result obtained through duress would be validated by issuance of certificate of return.

He said it was clear that these pronouncements hardly served as sufficient deterrence to those bent on foisting the rule of the jungle on Nigeria election process.

The NLC acting president also said that INEC shares some responsibilities in the shortcomings witnessed during the last general elections.

He said this was in spite of the insistence by INEC on the use of card readers for the election, the purported failure of the card readers to read the finger prints of the electorates in many polling units resulted to widespread use of manual accreditation.

He also said many politicians took the advantage to deploy hired hands to vote with multiple Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) even in the absence of the authentic owners of the PVCs.

”We call on INEC to completely outlaw the use of manual accreditation for voting. We also call for continuous audit of the voters roll.

”We must take advantage of technological advancement and work with all relevant stakeholders to deploy technology in a way that minimises to the barest human interference with our electoral process as a nation.

”INEC must stick to early planning and adequate training of personnel deployed on election duties,” he added.

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Buhari’s second term: Foursquare Church sends strong message to President-elect

The General Overseer of Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria, Rev. Felix Meduoye, on Saturday advised President Muhammadu Buhari to embrace all Nigerians, as well as tackle insecurity and power challenges, in his second term in office.

Meduoye gave the advice during the wedding of Miss Olawadamilola Elias, the daughter of Rev. Adewale Elias, the Zonal Superintendent of the Foursquare Gospel Church, Cement Zonal Headquarters in Lagos.

The General Overseer, who attended the wedding alongside several leaders of the church, told NAN that Buhari should embrace all Nigerians in his second term and shun anything that would make him “to be perceived’’ as nepotic or favouring any segment of the country above others’’.

“The President should avoid anything that will amount to nepotism or anything that would give the impression that he is favouring one group of people or one tribe than the other,’’ he told NAN.

Meduoye commended government’s efforts in fighting the Boko Haram terrorist group but appealed to the President to deal with new security challenges claiming the lives of Nigerians.

He also appealed to Buhari to address the problem of insecurity and power in the nation.

Meduoye said that the issue of herdsmen attacks, kidnappings and other forms of criminality leading to loss of lives should be given paramount attention.

“People can no longer sleep with their two eyes closed anymore,’’ he said.

The General Overseer also appealed to the President to tackle the problem of poor power supply to boost the nation’s economy.

“The third issue is the problem of power. Electricity, which has been a problem for so many years; people are lamenting lack of adequate electricity. The government should come out to take urgent steps to solve the lingering problem,’’ he said.

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Bauchi guber: PDP raises alarm over plot to arrest its leaders

PDP has alleged that APC was planning a mass arrest of top PDP leaders in Bauchi State through compromised security personnel.

A statement issued by the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, on Saturday in Abuja, said the plot was to put PDP leaders out of circulation and enable the APC to rig the supplementary election in the state.

Ologbondiyan said that credible intelligence available to the PDP was that the APC wants to use political thugs and “compromised security agents’’ to storm polling units between 1p.m to 3p.m.

This, according to him, was for the ruling party to snatch election materials and change results and take them to INEC office in Bauchi for collation and announcement.

He listed some of the PDP leaders earmarked for the alleged mass arrest to include Alhaji Bello Kirfi, Sen. Abdul Ningi, Sen. Suleiman Nazif, Sen. Isa Misau, and Salisu Ningi.

Others include: PDP Bauchi State Chairman, Alhaji Hamza Akuyam; Ahmed Yerima, Samaila, Burgah, Aminu Tukur as well as PDP leaders and agents in the 29 polling units where elections were holding in the state.

Ologbondiyan, however, said that such underhand scheme would not deter the PDP from standing firm in resisting all aggression and consolidating on the party’s already established victory in Bauchi state.

“All our members are at red alert in monitoring the electoral process.

“We will never allow any alteration of results as delivered at the polling units and that nobody, no matter the machination deployed, can rig us out in this election,’’ he said.

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BREAKING: Thugs Set Ward Election Materials Ablaze In Benue


Political thugs have set ablaze all the election materials that should have been used for supplementary elections in Azendeshi Ward, Chito, Ukum Local Government Area of Benue State.

A voter told SaharaReporters on phone that the materials had been kept inside a public primary school in the area but thugs gained access and set them ablaze despite the provision of security agents.

“No election held here,” said the disappointed voter, who also couldn’t vote in the original election due to violence. “No one would have thought that despite the presence of policemen, such an act could happen. Maybe the policement should be withdrawn so we know we have no protection.”

However, Nentawe Yilwatda, INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, said the thugs attacked the electoral officials on their way to Chito Adzendechi Council Ward, burning electoral materials in the process.

Apart from Chito town, which is the headquarters of Azendeshi Ward and has a voting population of 13,000, elections are ongoing in 22 of the 23 local government areas where the supplementary exercise was scheduled to hold.

There have been similar reports of violence and disruption of voting in the five states where supplementary governorship elections are holding, particularly in Kano.

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