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Anambra Guber Poll: Yiaga Africa Commends INEC On Preparedness

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Anambra Guber Poll: Yiaga Africa Commends INEC On Preparedness
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Anambra Guber Poll: Yiaga Africa Commends INEC On Preparedness

By Mmaduabuchi Onwumelu

Yiaga Africa, an independent election observer group, has commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for its preparedness so far, even as they called on them to ensure early deployment of election materials and personnel to the polling centres especially the riverine communites.

Yiaga Africa made the call Last Friday during Anambra governorship election pre-election news conference held in Awka

The group said effective logistics including security deployment to hard to reach areas and blind spots would go a long way to checking the possibility of acts that could undermine the integrity of the election.

Mr Samson Itodo, Executive Director of the group said this was required to ensure consistency in the application of Electoral Guidelines as previous observations showed that only 28 per cent of polling units had officials by 8:30 am while 75 per cent commenced accreditation before 10 am.

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Yiaga Africa noted that its pre-election observation which started in August across the 21 Local Government Areas indicated that violence, vandalism and destruction of candidates/ supporters’ property characterised the build up to the election.

The group also noted that voter inducement like distribution of money, food items and gifts were manifestly observed during the party campaigns adding that they lacked issues or policy ideas.

It said there were incidents of violence and attacks by unknown assailants in Ogbaru, Anambra East, Nnewi North, Ekwusigo, Orumba and Ihiala and that the incidences affected the quality and freedom of campaigns.

Yiaga noted that only three political parties including the PDP, APC and APGA dominated the campaigns adding that generally there was no adherence to COVID-19 protocols.

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It lauded the security deployment for the election and called for effective coordination of personnel to ensure safety of election workers.

“Yiaga Africa commends efforts by INEC to improve voter access to polling units by creating additional 1,112 polling units in Anambra State. Yiaga Africa is however concerned that there are 963 polling units with 750 or more registered voters.

“Some of these polling units having over 1,000 registered voters. With the likely shortfall in the number of polling officials, the high number of registered voters in these polling units may pose a major challenge for crowd control and effective management of the polling units on Election Day.

“INEC Should ensure proper coordination with the security agencies to forestall incidences of violence and ensure the safety of voters and poll officials on election day

“The Commission should ensure proper and consistent communication with the transport union and companies providing logistics support for election day deployment, this also includes the need for contingency plans in situations where respective transport unions /companies withdraw from the contract or fail to deploy.

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“Yiaga Africa calls on security agencies deployed for the election to respect the rights of citizens, media, and observers, including the right to freedom of movement on Election Day for duly accredited observers and media practitioners.

“Security agencies should ensure protection for vulnerable voters, especially women and persons with disabilities.

“Political party candidates and supporters should ensure they promote peaceful elections, encourage citizens to collect their PVCs to vote and refrain from any form of physical or verbal attacks on opponents or their supporters,” it stated.

Also at the news conference were Ezenwa Nwangu, Board Member, Cynthia Mbamalu Director of Programs, Yiaga Africa.

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Senator Rufai Hanga Dumps APC

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Senator Rufai Hanga Dumps APC
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Senator Rufai Hanga Dumps APC

ABUJA- Pioneer national chairman of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Rufai Hanga has dumped the ruling party, saying the APC right now is ‘technically non- existent’.

Our correspondent gathered that many prominent leaders in the party made entreaties to Hanga not to leave the party but he disclosed that there is no going back on his decision as the APC will soon collapse.

Hanga, who disclosed in an interview with DAILY INDEPENDENT in Abuja that he has resigned his membership of the APC however said he has not joined any other political party for now.

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He said even though he was one of those who laboured to build the APC, he cannot wait and watch the party collapse on his head.

” Yes, I decided to walk away from the APC even though I have not yet openly declared for any other party. But I have left the party and I’m watching them do their thing”.

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Youths not ready to take up any leadership position – APC member

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Youths not ready to take up any leadership position – APC member
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Youths not ready to take up any leadership position – APC member

A member of the All Progressives Congress in Rivers, Mr Karibi Bobmanuel, says Nigerian youths are more interested in following leaders than taking up leadership.

Bobmanuel told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Port Harcourt on Friday that the complacency of youths to happenings in the country was of serious concern.

“We have a situation where, youths or young leaders pretend or behave as if all is well and foolishly follow political leaders without a rethink.

“We act like a bought over, subdued and hopeless generation of youths that are always remotely controlled, like robots on what to do,’’ he lamented.

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According to Bobmanuel, the 2023 general elections will hold in less than two years, but the youths are not organised or coordinated to face the older generation currently holding power.

Youths not ready to take up any leadership position – APC member

“Pre-election activities for 2023 will begin in 2022, but as youths, we have yet to be organised because we have no focus.

“Until we organise ourselves, come together and speak with one voice, no matter the political divide, the older generation will continue to rule us,’’ he said.

The APC chieftain called on Nigerian youths to mobilise for the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration to be able to control their units.

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“We must not act unconcerned going forward; let’s mobilise the non-partisan Nigerians to register for their voter’s card ahead of 2023.

“If we organise ourselves in our various political parties, we will be able to mobilise and stop the older generation from continuing in office,’’ Bobmanuel said.

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PDP Doesn’t Need Orji Kalu, He Is A Political Liability – Abia Chieftain

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PDP Doesn’t Need Orji Kalu, He Is A Political Liability - Abia Chieftain
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PDP Doesn’t Need Orji Kalu, He Is A Political Liability – Abia Chieftain

A Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain from Abia State, Dr. Isaac Nkoke, has warned the party leadership against re-admitting a former Governor of the state and Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, into the party.

This was coming against the recent visit to the former Abia State Governor by the national leaders of the main opposition PDP in Nigeria led the National Secretary, Senator Samuel Anyanwu, at his Abuja residence on Thursday.

Kalu had posted in his official Facebook account said, “Received and held a luncheon with leaders of the opposition party Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led by the National Secretary of the party, Senator Samuel Anyanwu at my residence this afternoon”.

Kalu was elected Abia Governor in 1999 on the platform of the PDP but left the party to form the Progressive Peoples Alliance, PPA, at the peak of his political war with former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2006.

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He later dumped PPA but his attempt to return to the PDP in 2014 was vigorously resisted by his erstwhile political ally and successor, Senator Theodore Orji.

He later defected to APC before the 2015 election when he contested for the Abia North Senatorial seat but lost to Senator Mao Ohuabunwa of the PDP.

Kalu however re-contested in 2019 when he eventually was declared winner of the contest amid controversy.

But the Abia PDP chieftain, Isaac Nkole, in a statement issued to journalists in Umuahia, on Saturday, while warning the party leadership, claimed that Senator Orji Kalu is in a desperate move to return to the PDP has discovered that his days in the All Progressive Congress (APC) are numbered.

He stated that the Senate Chief Whip has been reaching out to key stakeholders in PDP both at the state and national levels, in a bid to return to the former ruling party.

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PDP Doesn’t Need Orji Kalu, He Is A Political Liability – Abia Chieftain

The stalwart described the Abia senator as a political liability, arguing that the latter’s return to the PDP is not in the best interest of the party.

He reiterated that the leadership of the PDP, both in Abia and the national level, to be careful not to allow Senator Orji Uzor Kalu to return to our great party because his return will destroy PDP.

Nkole further stated, “I’m raising this alarm because we heard that he is making contacts with the party bigwigs begging for the door to be opened for him to come back.

“He knows he is already at the end of the road in APC as the party’s structure is off his grip. His political fate is not the one recognized by Abuja. Knowing the implications for him and others in 2023, that’s why he’s making desperate efforts to return to PDP but we don’t need people like him to infest our party. The Senate Chief Whip is not the only APC chieftain from the southeast itching to return to the PDP”.

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Continuing, Nkole, revealed that Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State, who this year joined the All Progressive Congress, was also allegedly making moves to return to the PDP.

The Abia chieftain further said, “We heard that Governor David Umahi also wants to return to the PDP. They have all discovered by joining APC in the first place. That’s why they all want to return but PDP is tired of political liabilities and desperados without ideology.”

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