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Anambra Governorship Election And INEC’s Hide And Seek

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Anambra Governorship Election And INEC’s Hide And Seek
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Anambra Governorship Election And INEC’s Hide And Seek

IfeanyiChukwu Afuba

Nigeria’s electoral body, INEC, is about to reverse to the atrocious days when Maurice Iwu told Nigerians that the environment for free and fair elections did not exist.

The list of political parties’ candidates for the November 6, 2021 Anambra State governorship election released by INEC on Friday, July 16, 2021 after contradictory declarations and time – buying shuffling on some issues, give worrying indications that manipulation of election processes is afoot.

The Yakubu Mohammed – led INEC position on the state of the nominations of the APGA, PDP and APC does not make common sense. It only makes sense on the slippery playground of hidden agenda.

Consider the swift response of INEC to the said enquiry by a mere observer, Omas & Partners legal firm, on APGA’s ad hoc delegates congress and contrast it with the inaction on the rights of a participant in the election process, namely, APGA. INEC’s secretary had fired a response with despatch on June 18 to the curious letter of Omas & Partners dated June 16, 2021. But the same efficient INEC could neither move hands or legs to publish the particulars of Professor Chukwuma Soludo as APGA governorship candidate in compliance with the Electoral Act. APGA national chairman, Victor Oye in an open letter on July 16, 2021 tasked the Commission in clear terms: “The Act requires the Commision to publish the particulars of candidates no later than 7 days from date of receipt of the nomination. APGA uploaded Soludo’s nomination and received stamped copy July 2, 2021. INEC ought to have published it not later than 9th of July.”

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So what was INEC waiting for after the deadline for nomination of candidates on July 9, 2021? Defeaning silence has been the answer from our responsive INEC ever since.

Interestingly, the same INEC through its Publicity & Voter Education office had in one breath tried to fault APGA on the processes of its primaries and at the same time endorsed the party’s compliance with the legal requirements as well as outcome of its primaries.

The listing of Hon Chuma Umeoji, a man who bought his nomination form from the Oye leadership of APGA, was screened and disqualified by the same leadership as the governorship candidate of APGA must rank as one of INEC’s audacious maneuvers in the Anambra governorship process. The electoral body’s plea of court order for the action, rather than exonerate it of vested interest, actually intensifies the impression of partisanship on it’s part. Why was INEC silent on the other court orders on the same matter? Why did it single out the pro – Umeoji order for obedience? Why has it been unable up till now to put forward the grounds that made the Jigawa State High Court pronouncement superior to those of the federal and Anambra State High Courts which mandated it to accept Soludo as the governorship candidate of APGA?

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Anambra Governorship Election And INEC’s Hide And Seek

INEC’s inconsistencies is all too evident in the contradiction of it’s position on PDP’s case and that of APGA. Leaving the PDP column blank on the basis of withholding court order while declaring an APGA candidate in the face of conflicting judgements bothers on enlightened self interest. The two scenarios are substantially of the same import, just different on the surface.

But INEC’s somersaults came out forcefully in it’s recognition of Andy Ubah as duly nominated candidate of the APC. The scandal surrounding APC’s primaries, publicly corroborated by 12 of the governorship aspirants and leader of the party in the State, Senator Chris Ngige, is unknown to INEC. To make matters more interesting, the Commission’s Chief Press Secretary is reported in The Nation of June 30, 2021 as saying that it’s report on primaries of political parties is not for public consumption! A roundly denounced APC primaries report is strictly for internal use but APGA’s pre – primaries process can be made available to whoever requests it in record time!

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What the INEC has succeeded with its pick and choose administration of the Anambra governorship process is to portray the Commission as compromised. It has awakened Ndi Anambra to be on the alert.

Someone should tell the critical players at INEC that Anambra State has come a long way in her democratic and development journey. The last two attempts at seizing the State’s governorship with sleight of hand in 2003 and 2007 crashed with ignominy. Ndi Anambra are poised for a continuation of the developmental strides of the Willie Obiano administration in the next democratic dispensation. They are prepared for a long walk to secure their gains.

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PDP Crisis: Wike’s Attempt To Remove Secondus Will Fail – Babatope

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PDP Crisis: Wike’s Attempt To Remove Secondus Will Fail – Babatope
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PDP Crisis: Wike’s Attempt To Remove Secondus Will Fail – Babatope

Chief Ebenezer Babatope, a former Minister of Transport on Wednesday said attempts by Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state to forcefully remove Prince Uche Secondus, the national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is an invitation to chaos and disaster.

Speaking withAkelicious Media, Babatope, a former member of the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT) said the Rivers state governor who is a member of the party cannot think he can unilaterally install and remove the national chairman of a party the way he likes.

PDP Crisis: Wike’s Attempt To Remove Secondus Will Fail – Babatope

He also added that Secondus, who has just four months to the end of his tenure, should have been allowed to serve out his term instead of plunging the PDP into unnecessary chaos.

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“It is a pity if Wike believes he can install a national chairman and remove him as he wishes. It is an exercise that can never succeed. It is going to fail. To remove Secondus at this late hour, just a few months to the end of his tenure is an invitation to chaos and disaster,” he said.

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I have decided for the APC, Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim declares

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I have decided for the APC, Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim declares
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I have decided for the APC, Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim declares

He explained why:

Dear friends,

By the Grace of God today, I will be attending the stakeholders meeting of the Federal Capital Territory chapter of the All Progressive Congress(APC), in what is my first public event as a member of the ruling party.

It was clear after the 2019 elections that going forward, we have to make a choice between one of the two major political parties in Nigeria, in order for our struggle for a better Nigeria to be meaningful.

In February this year, I formally registered in Usuma Ward, as it is procedurally required – this was after series of consultations with my long time friends, family and associates.

With my friend for over 23 years and Governor of Kwara state, His Excellency, Alhaji Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, we had multiple conversations on this matter; I also recieved support and encouragements from His Excellency, Senator George Akume, former Governor of Benue state and current minister of Special Duties, an important leader of the party in the North Central Zone and a major political ally since our days as founding members of then ruling party in 1999(PDP), where I had the privilege to serve as the first elected Deputy National Publicity Secretary as weĺl as Chairman of the important Group of 54 NEC members that included a majority of the parties elected Governors in 1999.

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In the past 6 months, I have met twice with Chairman of the APC National Care Taker Committee, His Excellency Mala Buni, Many times with my brother and friend, Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mallam Abubakar Malami (SAN) as well as Minister of the FCT, Mallam Mustapha Bello, the leader of the APC in the FCT and Cabinet member, party leaders and elders too numerous to mention and not the least, the party chairman of the FCT who worked very hard to convince me in joining the APC.

One of my reasons for choosing the APC is that virtually all the party structures in the North Central Zone, my immediate constituency, are populated by leaders with whom we were original founders of then PDP in 1998. These are people with strong principles and character with whom I feel very safe.

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The second reason is that the APC is the only reasonable pathway to a united and indivisible Nigeria, an idea dear to me and central to my politics.

Thirdly the APC is led by President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, who is passionate to his convictions that corruption must be defeated for Nigeria to move forward. Though a lot of critics have questioned the effectiveness of his anti-corruption crusade, the other party does not even care a whimp about curbing corruption. Its members celebrate their new adopted legacy of graft and display of criminal opulence. The other party is a far cry from the community of honourable men and women that it was in 1998 when we launched it.

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In deciding for the APC, I have no illusion that I have come to a perfect party or that the struggle to birth a new Nigeria on this my chosen new platform will be easy. I will continue to rely on your prayers and support, the strength of the Lord and his guidance and protection as I embark on this journey.

Please, permit me to state that in taking this decision, my long standing commitment to the struggle for Justice and Equity will not waive, my adherence to the principles of true Federalism will not wane, and my three and a half decades struggle for the improvement of the welfare of the down trodden Nigerians will not diminish.

I remain solid in my pursuit for a New Nigeria, Modern, United, Peaceful and Prosperous!
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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Oduah, Ekwunife Lead Number Of Sponsored Bills At The National Assembly

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Oduah, Ekwunife Lead Number Of Sponsored Bills At The National Assembly
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Oduah, Ekwunife Lead Number Of Sponsored Bills At The National Assembly

Team Anambra State in the National Assembly is very peculiar with two of her three Senators being women-Sen. Stella Oduah (PDP, Anambra-North) and Sen. Ekwunife Uche (PDP, Anambra-Central).

Interestingly, the duo have demonstrated capacity in the sponsorship of bills by respectively churning out 35 and 23 at midterm.

This constitutes 44.8% and 29.49% of the total bills sponsored by Senate members from the State.

Of the total bills sponsored by the female Senators in their first legislative year, 26 was sponsored by Sen. Oduah, while Sen. Ekwunife sponsored 16, which therefore means they had higher bill sponsorship in their first year of the 9th Assembly.
Oduah, Ekwunife Lead Number Of Sponsored Bills At The National Assembly
Similarly, their male counterpart, Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah (YPP, Anambra-South) has sponsored a total of 20 bills. In his first year of the 9th Assembly, he sponsored 11 bills as against the 9 bills he sponsored in the second legislative year.

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The two female senators have therefore contributed 7.7% of the 747 bills sponsored at the Senate, while the three Senators contributed 10.4 % of the total bills sponsored by Senate members in the period under review.
Oduah, Ekwunife Lead Number Of Sponsored Bills At The National Assembly
Among the House of Representatives members from Anambra, Lynda Chuba Ikpeazu (PDP, Onitsha North/Onitsha South) is the sponsor of the highest number of bills (14) which constitute 22.22%. Of the 14 bills sponsored by her, 7 were sponsored in her first legislative year of the 9th Assembly, meaning she retained her performance in bill sponsorship.

On his part, Onwuaso Chinedu (PDP, Awka North/Awka South) sponsored 12 bills constituting 19.05% of bills sponsored by Anambra members. 7 of these bills were sponsored in the first legislative year of the 9th Assembly.

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It therefore means he performed better in terms of bill sponsorship in the first year than the second. Obinna Chidoka (PDP, Idemili North/ldemili South) and Onyema Wilfred (PDP, Ogbaru) have 8 bills sponsored each constituting 12.7% respectively. The 8 bills sponsored by each of them were in their second legislative year.

Umeoji Michael (APGA, Aguata) and Dozie Nwankwo (APGA, Anaocha/Njikoka/Dunukofia) have 7 bills sponsored each at 11.11%. All the 7 bills sponsored by each of them were sponsored in the second legislative year.

Similarly, Chinedu Obidigwe (Anambra East/Anambra West) and Chris Azubogu (Nnewi North/Nnewi South/Ekwusigo) have sponsored 1 bill each constituting 1.59%.

Both respectively sponsored their bills in the second and first legislative year. Ifeanyi Chudy Momah (APGA, Ihiala) has sponsored 2 bills constituting 3.17%. The 2 bills were sponsored in the second legislative year.

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However, Ayika Valentine Ogbonna (Njikoka/Dunukofia/Anaocha) and Ofumelu Vincent Ekene (Oyi/Ayamelum) have not sponsored any bill since their assumption of duty at 9th Assembly.

OrderPaper Nigeria begun the release of the National Assembly midterm bills scorecard last week, with Abia State blazing the trail for the South-east geo-political zone.

OrderPaper

OrderPaper Nigeria, is a media organisation dedicated to reporting parliamentary issues, since the inception of the ninth senate.

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