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Bayelsa Gov and Deputy’s Seats Declared Vacant By Senate

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The Senate has declared vacant the seats of Bayelsa State governor, Senator Diri Douye and his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpom,.

Already, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that it had received official communication of the Senate to that effect.

The Senate President, Senator Ahmad Lawan’s communication declaring the seats for Bayelsa Central and Bayelsa West Senatorial Districts vacant, has prompted INEC to meet in order to determine the dates for bye-elections for the slots.

At his first meeting of the year 2020 with the resident electoral commissioners (RECs) in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said that they were still waiting for more announcements of vacant seats from the National Assembly.

“In compliance with the orders of the Supreme Court, the commission has presented certificates of return in respect of the governorship elections in Imo and Bayelsa States. In the case of Bayelsa State, both the governor and the deputy governor were serving senators.

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“Consequently, the commission yesterday (Thursday) 20th February 2020 received two communications from the Senate President declaring the seats for Bayelsa Central and Bayelsa West Senatorial Districts vacant. The commission will soon meet to determine the dates for bye-elections in the two senatorial districts,” Yakubu said.

On the Edo and Ondo States’ gubernatorial elections coming up later this year, Yakubu said that “given recent experience with some governorship elections, political parties need to do more to avoid the conduct of acrimonious primaries or failure to observe due diligence in the screening of their candidates, resulting in protracted litigations and eventual determination of the outcome of elections by orders of court.

“I wish to draw the attention of political parties to two critical dates in the timetable released by the commission a few weeks ago. Party primaries for the democratic election and nomination of candidates for the governorship election in Edo State must be held from 2nd to 27th June, 2020.

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“The date for Ondo State is 2nd to 25th July, 2020. The commission will not extend the dates. We will also rigorously monitor the primaries and where necessary, apply sanctions as provided by law.

“At the same time, the personal particulars of all the candidates nominated by political parties for the Edo and Ondo governorship elections, including their academic qualifications, will be displayed in our offices in the two states as required by law. This will enable the citizens to scrutinise them and take legal action against any candidate who provides false information to the commission.

“The personal particulars of candidates will be displayed on 6th July, 2020 in Edo State and on 4th August, 2020 in Ondo State. I wish to appeal to the citizens to note the dates and to seize the opportunity to scrutinise the information provided on oath by the candidates in the interest of our democracy and good governance,” Yakubu said.

He said that ahead of the Edo and Ondo governorship elections, critical changes would be introduced to strengthen the commission’s processes and procedures.

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Yakubu further said that “the commission, jointly with the security agencies, is reviewing deployment during elections. Already, the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) has set up a committee in this respect. The inaugural meeting of the committee is holding on Wednesday next week.” .

On the judgmentd of the courts arising from the recent elections they conducted, Yakubu said that INEC was studying them.

“For our part, the commission has been studying the judgments of courts arising from the conduct of recent elections. We have also been reviewing the reports from accredited observers as well as internal reports from our state offices. We will continue to keep an eye on the conduct of our officials and apply appropriate sanctions on erring staff, both regular and ad-hoc,” Yakubu said.

He warned the members of staff against complacency, stressing that they were being monitored.

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2023: Even If Jonathan Joins APC, No Automatic Presidential Ticket – APC

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2023: Even If Jonathan Joins APC, No Automatic Presidential Ticket - APC
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2023: Even If Jonathan Joins APC, No Automatic Presidential Ticket – APC

The All Progressives Congress (APC) says former president, Goodluck Jonathan, will not be handed an automatic ticket to contest in 2023 if he joins the party.

The former president has been rumoured once again this week to be close to joining the party that defeated him in the 2015 presidential election.

He has denied the rumours of his possible defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), but the APC has fueled speculations by throwing him an open invitation to join, with a promise to waive restrictions on his qualification to instantly run for office.

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The party’s spokesperson, John Akpanudoedehe, further clarified the party’s position in a statement on Friday, September 17, 2021 that the offer does not include an automatic ticket for Jonathan or other new members.

2023: Even If Jonathan Joins APC, No Automatic Presidential Ticket – APC

“Coming into the party gives no one special status of being an automatic party candidate in any election.

“All aspirants must undergo the nomination processes outlined by the APC constitution,” he said.

Jonathan was elected vice president in 2007, and later became president in 2010 following the death of President Musa Yar’Adua.

He won the 2011 election for his first proper term in office, but failed in his bid for a second term in 2015, losing to President Muhammadu Buhari who went on to win his own second term in 2019.

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With the incumbent president set to leave in 2023, there have been constant rumours that Jonathan is being tapped to replace him.

The PDP has lost three serving governors and numerous lawmakers and officials to the APC since last November, handing the ruling party momentum ahead of what’s expected to be keenly-contested 2023 elections.

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God Directed Me To Join APC – Fani-kayode

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God Directed Me To Join APC - Fani-kayode
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God Directed Me To Join APC – Fani-kayode

Fani-Kayode once vowed that over his dead body, until Jesus comes, he would never join the APC.

Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, who once said he’d rather die than join the All Progressives Congress (APC), says God has led him back to the political party he once labelled Almajiri Peoples Congress.

“A lot has changed over the last six years and it is important that we make the right choices and the right decisions at the right time, precisely if we feel as if we are being led by God to make those choices,” Fani-Kayode said, moments after his unveiling as an APC signing by President Buhari at the Presidential Villa on Thursday, September 16, 2021.

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Fani-Kayode once described the APC as a “filthy, rat-infested sinking ship” and a “bloodthirsty, blood-lusting, accursed political association of Boko Haramists and Fulani herdsmen, genocidal maniacs, ethnic cleansers and mass murderers.”

God Directed Me To Join APC – Fani-kayode

He had also said: “The PDP is my party, I would never leave the party. Until Kingdom comes, until Jesus returns, I will never join the APC.”

In recent times, Fani-Kayode had also gone on air to heavily criticize Buhari and call the president unprintable names.

Buhari, Fani-Kayode had said, “locked people up, he crated people, he killed people, carried people from the streets of London, turned Nigeria into a pariah nation…a man that looted PTF (Petroleum Trust Fund)…Buhari is very corrupt, he is a man that committed so many atrocities. This man destroyed the lives of so many people.”

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On what he now thinks of President Buhari and the APC after his defection on Thursday, Fani-Kayode said: “I spoke against Buhari from the outside, now I know him from the inside. I am not saying he is an angel or a demon.

“The APC I was talking about that time is not same today. Let’s focus on unity, peace and togetherness.

“There is a time to condemn and criticize people. There is also a time to come together, work together to achieve unity.”

Responding to a question on his remark that he would rather die than join the APC, the lawyer said: “Joining APC now is the away forward, despite what people may think about it.

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“APC is a liberal party. A lot has happened in APC over the years. The party has changed and the president has accommodated the change. Had the APC leadership not changed I wouldn’t have joined them.

“I am doing the right thing based on conviction and understanding. This is the right decision for me, love me or hate me, it will not take anything away from me.”

Fani-Kayode, who was the spokesperson of the PDP presidential campaign council in 2015, was led into the president’s office by the Caretaker Chairman of the APC and Governor of Yobe, Mai-Mala Buni, as well as Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara.

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Biafra

Anambra Guber: IPOB sit-at-home disrupting poll preparations – REC

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Anambra Guber: IPOB sit-at-home disrupting poll preparations – REC

The Independent National Electoral Commission has expressed concern over the sit-at-home order given by the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra.

It noted that the development was adversely affecting its preparations for the Anambra State governorship election slated for November 6.

The Anambra State INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr Nwachukwu Orji, said this during the commissions ‘s Monitoring and Support Centre EMBER Zone Implementer Workshop, held in Awka, on Thursday.

He said, “Our preparations are on course, even with all the challenges we are facing, such as the attack on our state office on May 23rd and the sit-at-home which are eating into our preparation time, but we are doing our best.

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“Ad hoc staff are already being recruited online and we are interacting with the stakeholders and we are happy with where we are now and we are confident that come November 6, we will have a successful election.”

He said the commission would recruit no fewer than 25,000 ad hoc workers for the poll.

He insisted that sensitive materials for the election would be brought in from Owerri, Imo State, because of the destruction of the Awka office of INEC

Anambra Guber: IPOB sit-at-home disrupting poll preparations – REC

Stakeholders had expressed reservations over INEC’s plan to import electoral materials from Owerri for the simple reason that the chairman of the All Progressives Congress National Campaign Council for the election is Governor Hope Uzodinma.

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In response, the REC said, “You know that the Anambra State INEC office was attacked on May 23rd and that led to the destruction of our store. Since that incident, we had to fall back on the INEC zonal store.

“INEC has zonal offices and for the South East, the zonal office is in Owerri and that is where we have been trying to remobilise for the election.”

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