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We need stiffer punishment for those who declare fake election results –Attahiru Jega

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Pro. Jega

Pro. Jega

A former Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega, has urged the Federal Government to proffer stiffer laws against declaration of fake election results.

Jega made the call on Wednesday in Abuja at an international conference with “Democracy and Disinformation: How Fake News Threatens our Freedom and Democracy in Nigeria,’’ as theme.

He said that the issue of fake news had become a threat to Nigeria’s democracy and should be immediately curbed.

He said, “The declaration of results and fake news on the social media is being done with impunity in our country.

“We need to review some of the regulations to make stiffer rules for implementation to curb this act.’’

Jega added that with the 2019 general elections around the corner, there was need to act fast to curtail the spread of fake news.

On his part, Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said that the commission was battling with the issue of fake news.

Represented by Prof. Okechukwu Ibeanu, a National Commissioner in the commission, Yakubu said that INEC engaged in voter education to sensitise the electorate to its operations.

On the attitude of some political parties towards the commission, he said “it is funny how political parties fluctuate in praising INEC; most times, it depends of how they win.

“If parties win elections, they will praise INEC claiming it conducted the best election ever.

“It will amaze you to know that the same political party that praised INEC in 2015 because it won is the same party condemning it now.’’

He promised that INEC would keep embarking on rigorous electorate sensitisation to enable them know their rights and protect them from hazards of fake news.

Also, the Chairperson, Transition Monitoring Group (TMG), Dr Abiola Akiyode, called on mainstream media to set agenda for checking the scourge of fake news.

She said that as soon as information put out “is not factual, the media should be ready to retract and make people to believe in your medium’’.

Ms Idayat Hassan, Director Center for Democracy and Development (CDD), also said that as Nigeria’s 2019 general elections were fast approaching, it was essential to prevent the circulation of fake news.

“There is a tendency that political actors could take advantage of these gaps either to misinform, dis-inform, promote apathy or skew voting choices for the forthcoming elections’’

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the conference was organised by CDD with support from Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) and MacArthur Foundation, ahead of 2019 elections.

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Gov. Shettima assures APC will win 2019 elections

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APC

APC


Gov. Kashim Shettima of Borno and Chairman, APC South-West Reconciliation Committee says the party will bring on board all members to achieve victory in 2019 general election.

He said this in Ibadan when he led the committee to meet with aggrieved members of the party from Oyo and Osun states.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that also on the committee were Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State, Prof. Modupe Adelabu, former Ekiti State Deputy governor and Hadjia Sa’ida Sa’ad Bugaje.

Among those who presented their cases to the committee were Sen. Iyiola Omisore and Chief Niyi Akintola (SAN).

“We are here, essentially to build bridges of understanding; to reconcile with our aggrieved party members and see to it that appropriate recommendations are made to the NWC of the party.

“Our effort is to ensure progress in the party as a family and to make amend, where necessary,” he said.

Shettima urged aggrieved members to emulate Ambode, whom he said had demonstrated generousity of spirit that had never been shown by any Nigerian politician since 1999.

“Power is the most ephemeral thing God gives to humanity, whether we like it or not. Mobutu Seseseko eventually had to leave power, Hosni Mubarak relunctantly had to relinquish power.

“So, anything that has a beginning must have an end. So, I commend Gov. Ambode.

“We have come with cleanest of intention and with very open mind to listen, obtain recommendations and proffer solution.”

Shettima said the task of the committee was also to reconcile aggrieved members of the party ahead of the 2019 general elections.

“There is no amount of wound that can manifest in your heart as being presented here that we can permanently heal.

“But we have created a platform for us to be able to start to bond our family, the APC family together.

“We are one family. But some of the people seated here have one or two issues to complain about. But we are peacemakers.

“What is important is that, we must bond together and also carry that crusade of making our party to win the 2019 elections together.

“The 2019 general elections will not mark the end of our great party.”

Meanwhile, Akintola told newsmen after the presentation of his case that he would exercise patience as preached by the committee.

He, however, expressed the hope that justice would be done.

“We have presented our case and let them know that the reward system in our party is faulty. We told them that we cannot be talking of peace without justice.”

“I have been told to wait for the outcome of the reconciliation and we will wait,” he said.

NAN reports that among others present were Oyo APC Chairman, Chief Akin Oke, Prof. Yemi Farounbi, Mr Rotimi Makinde, Mr Olalekan Alli, Secretary to Oyo State Government and a host of others.

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Plateau LG polls: PDP accuses PLASIEC of doctoring result sheets

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Some PDP members carrying the party flags
The main opposition Peoples Democratic Party in Plateau State on Tuesday accused the Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC) of concluding plans to doctor and submit false Local Government results sheets to the LG Election Tribunal sitting in Jos.

The party through its State Deputy Chairman, Hon. Amos Gombi Goyol, while addressing journalists at its State Secretariat Jos, alleged that PLASIEC was working hard on how to circumvent the Law.

Goyol said, “We are worried that even while we are challenging the irregularities of the Local Government Election held on October 10, 2018, at the Tribunals, which is a legal means, PLASIEC is still very busy working on ways to circumvent the law.

“We have it on good authority that PLASIEC is attempting to perfect its false and doctored results sheets by offering between five-to-ten thousand naira each to Presiding officers and party agents who took part in the election for their signatures to authenticate these clearly fake documents.”

Goyol said the desperation in PLASIEC was boundless as it tries to make the APC Government in the state look good and acceptable.

According to him, no matter what PLASIEC does now it can never change the sound and message of the Plateau people on the LG Elections held in the state.

“As far as the PDP is concerned, the real results of the LG elections are the clearest and loudest referendum yet on the Lalong administration which the people have rejected him.”

The party also appealed to the Local Government Election Tribunal for additional panels to handle overwhelming number of petitions within the time frame legally allowed otherwise most of the cases would lapse by effluxion.

“The PDP as the petitioner applied to the honourable Chief Judge of Plateau through in a letter dated December 3, 2018 for additional panels to be constituted to compliment.”

Reacting to the allegations, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Governor Simon Lalong, Mark Longyen, said the falsehood been spread by PDP should be dismissed .

Longyen said, “PDP is merely playing to the gallery and engaging in diversionary tactics to misinform and mislead the public. They are the ones planning to buy the PVCs for reasons best known to them. I challenge them to publish documentary evidence to prove their allegations or simply shut up.

“The antics of the PDP are well known. Wild, speculations and brazen falsehood constitute their stock-in-trade and it is not surprising, especially as we are in the season of electoral campaigns,” he maintained.

According to him, Governor Lalong’s second term is “already a done deal”, so their allegation of a “crumbling administration” is a “figment of their imagination”.

The Governor’s aide advised the PDP to brace up for a humiliating defeat in the forthcoming governorship election.

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Your withdrawal won’t stop Atiku from defeating Buhari – CUPP tells SDP

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The Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) has reacted to the withdrawal of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) from the recent endorsement of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar as the consensus candidate for 2019 presidential election.

SDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr Mohammed Alfa, had last week said the party already has a candidate, Mr Donald Duke whose name had been submitted to INEC for the 2019 election.

Reacting, however, Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, CUPP 1st National Spokesperson described the withdrawal of the SDP as inconsequential.

He insisted that the development would not in any way affect the chances of Atiku Abubakar becoming the next president of Nigeria .

Ugochinyere made this assertion in a statement issued on Tuesday and forwarded to DAILY POST.

The statement read:

“Our attention been drawn to the statement of SDP announcing their withdrawal from the Coalition.

“CUPP wishes to state that the pulling out of the coalition by SDP is a failed attempt to help the dwindling electoral fortunes of President Buhari.

“It must be noted that SDP, before the recent withdrawal, was a member of the Steering and Selection committees of the CUPP and was represented by Dr. Olu Agunloye where the final decision was taken. So the SDP also fully participated in all the selection processes.

“It is in record that SDP was in the coalition when the CUPP template was drafted. It is therefore surprising for SDP to pull out of the coalition at this point.

“Let it also be known that the SDP’s anger over the loss of the Vice Presidential slot of the coalition is not attainable. This is because Section 142 of the 1999 constitution says the President and Vice President must be from the same political party. The pull out of SDP after they have voted and a consensus reached, is baseless and does not show the spirit of nationalism.

“The coalition is however, waxing stronger even with the pulling out of SDP as 5 more political parties have joined the coalition. We at the coalition are not disturbed as the SDP candidate does not have clout and electoral value to challenge the coalition candidate.

We hereby urge Nigerians to remain steadfast and unflinching in their support for the coalition as the state of the union of the coalition is strong and victory is assured.”

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