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#Rivers Re-run: Observer Group laud INEC, Condemns Widespread Violence

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An election observer group, the Independent Service Delivery Monitoring Group (ISDMG) has condemned the widespread violence during Saturday’s re-run election.
The group however commended INEC for showing leadership, while it called on political parties to eschew rancour and inflammatory statements capable of causing breach of the security and possible loss of lives and property as well as discourage their agents from obstructing INEC duties or officers from carrying out their legitimate mandate.

This was contained in a statement signed by the ISDMG Director Communications/ Team Leader, Faith Nwadishi

She said whereas INEC has shown enough improvement in the last two elections in Edo and Ondo states, Rivers state re-run election is proving more daunting and challenging with reports from our observers indicating willingness by citizens to exercise their franchise but being frustrated by activities of hoodlums and party thugs, clearly acting out instructions  of their promoters.
She frowned at the conduct of the  politicians across parties, saying they have conducted themselves most despicably and have become agents of darkness and crass manipulation.
She said, “The politicians are acting contrary to known norms of civilization and have aided and abated the disruption of the election process with clear intent to discredit the outcome of the election if not in their favour. Sadly, INEC has been vindicated in its earlier stance not to conduct elections in the state due to threats of violence by politicians.
“It is now apparent that all the hue and cry by political actors in the state was to set the grand stage for this mayhem. Interestingly though, were violence was not unleashed INEC deployed materials readily and elections conducted freely and without any ugly incidents . 
She said further, “We had earlier issued a statement before the re-run urging party leaders, the citizens, security agencies and all stakeholders to help INEC conduct free, fair, credible and peaceful election in River state. 
“However, it is disheartening to note at this juncture that reports from election observers and monitors indicate unpleasant activities by party thugs in some polling units and centres across the zones and constituencies where elections are taking place. 
“In Etche LGA, hoodlums prevented INEC staff from deploying personnel and materials to the following areas; Afra ward with 20 Pus and 3441 registered voters; Mba ward 18 with 14 Pus and 4503 registered voters;  Udofor ward 8 with 8Pus and 2373 registered voters; Ogwi/Obiro ward 6 (had result sheets snatched); Obite Ward 10 with 6 Pus and 1866 registered voters;  Ulakwo ward 13 with 21 Pus and 5420 registered voters;  Obibi/ Akwukabi ward 9 with 12 Pus and 2444 registered voters. These numbers are significant enough to affect the outcome of the election negatively. 
“Equally, sack bags were used as ballot boxes in PU32/11/13/012, Ulakwo Ward, Etche LGA as a result of the snatching of the ballot boxes by thugs and hoodlums leading citizens to insist on voting with the sacks no matter the intimidation.
“It is also reported that party supporters clashed in Opobo. We observed that voting materials moved late to many polling units at about 9 am when the voting process ought to have started. Most of these delays are attributable to disruptive activities of hoodlums and party urchins who were clearly on a mission to prevent the EMB from carrying out its functions.
According to Nwadishi, citizens and stakeholders must see this election as a legitimate citizen’s duty and absolutely, not a war
She  insist that the electoral process be transparent and devoid of violence and deliberate disenfranchisement of citizens by action of thugs or their sponsors or through connivance of any sort by partisan parties. 

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Mass defection as 3,250 APC, PDP members join APGA in Nasarawa

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About 3,250 members of All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Obi Local Government Area (LGA) of Nasarawa state have defected to All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).

The defectors were received by the governorship candidate of the party, Labaran Maku at Obi LGA on Thursday, during his campaign visit, Tribune reports.

Speaking at the event, leaders of the defectors, Ubul Ukor and Elias Manasseh blamed “the failure of their former parties to address the security challenges in the state as the reason for their defection.”

“Apart from the insecurity problem, the present government of APC has not constructed roads and other social amenities in rural communities where we belong.

“Throughout our trying moments of insecurity and other problems confronting the state, Maku is the only person bold enough to speak in the defence of the masses.

“All other politicians and stakeholders of the state had abandoned us and only resurface now because they need our votes to win the election.

“We would stand with Maku no matter the blackmail or lies they spread against him because we know he is the only candidate that would ensure we go back to our farms and transform the state,” they said.

In his reaction, Maku expressed gratitude to the defectors for believing in him and his party.

He promised that if elected as the next governor of the state, he would restore security, develop the state, promote unity and generate employment.

“Under my leadership, any person or group instigating crisis and disunity would have the government to contain with irrespective of his or their status,” he added.

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71 Reps sponsor Bill to change Nigeria from Presidential system to Parliamentary

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House of Reps at plenary: 4 APC members move to other parties

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Ezekwesili speaks on exclusion of Sowore, Duke, others from presidential debate

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Obiageli Ezekwesili

Obiageli Ezekwesili


Presidential candidate of Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, ACPN, Oby Ezekwesili, has said she would like to meet five more influential presidential candidates on the platform of the national debate organised by the Nigerian Election Debate Group, NEDG.

The five candidates include: Donald Duke of the Social Democratic Party, SDP; Omoyele Sowore of the African Action Congress, AAC; Byron Fagbemj of KOWA Party; and, John Gbor of the All Progressives Grand Alliance APGA.

Ezekwesili made this known on Thursday in a statement shared via her verified Twitter handle.

She said: “As a country with huge contingent of Parties fielding candidates for election, it does make sense to at least allow more than 5 such parties, at least 25 percent of those candidates, to participate in the most influential of Presidential Debates.

“I especially want to see a candidate like Omoyele Sowore whose AAC has been diligent in crisscrossing Universities to awaken our young to engage in our Politics.

“I also believe that candidates of APGA, KOWA Party & SDP should be part of an additional list of 5 candidates for the Presidential Debate of BON/NEDG, considering their assiduous efforts to galvanize a base of citizens to get involved in these crucial polls.

“I hope earnestly that this will be considered by the organizers.”

Recall that the NEDG and the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) had named only five political parties to participate in 2019 vice presidential and presidential debates.

According to a statement signed by the Executive Secretary of the NEDG, Eddi Emesiri, the parties are Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Young Progressives Party (YPP).

This meant that the presidential aspirants expected at the debate are President Muhammadu Buhari, Atiku Abubakar, Oby Ezekwesili, Fela Durotoye and Kingsley Moghalu.

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