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PDP Chairmanship: Fresh crisis looms over zoning, members demand open contest

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PDP Chairmanship: Fresh crisis looms over zoning, members demand open contest
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PDP Chairmanship: Fresh crisis looms over zoning, members demand open contest

There are fresh agitations over the zoning formula proposed by the Governor Ifeanyi Ugwanyi-led Peoples Democratic Party Zoning Committee.

The PUNCH gathered in Abuja, on Sunday, that while party members in the north are yet to agree on which part of the zone should produce the next national chairman, the predominant opinion favours the north central.

It was also gathered that party members from the south are not comfortable with the decision to zone the chairmanship to the north.

A member of the party’s National Executive Committee who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution confirmed this development.

The source said, “There are protests over the zoning arrangement recommended by the Ugwanyi committee.

“There are various levels of agitations within the party which the NEC will have to revisit.

“There are people who are of the opinion that the party ought to have left open the contest for the position of National Chairmanship, Secretary and Presidential ticket while other offices should be allowed to remain where they were.

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“There are all kinds of agitations. There are those who are of the opinion that taking the national chairmanship to the north amounts to giving the north an equal opportunity to field a presidential candidate.

PDP Chairmanship: Fresh crisis looms over zoning, members demand open contest

“It is not written anywhere that once the chairmanship comes from the north, the presidential flag bearer cannot come from the north, nothing is cast in stone, even on the issue of zoning, is still generating heat.”

Another top-ranking party source who also spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on the matter said, “Even in the north, some tendencies within the zone are insisting that the contest be left open instead of the move to micro zone it to the north central.

“Some members of the party from the South East are also not happy that the office of the National Organizing Secretary is being taken away from them.

“Those in this school of thought argue that zoning the office of the National Chairman and that of the NOS to the north was political brinkmanship aimed at putting the entire south at a disadvantage.”

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However, party leaders from the North Central have started consultations ahead of the National Executive Committee meeting of the party slated for Thursday.

Usually, reliable party sources who confirmed this development told our correspondent that the zone is considering a number of persons should the National Executive Committee ratify the decision of the zoning committee.

One of the party leaders who also spoke on condition of anonymity so as not “to preempt Thursday’s NEC meeting, said, “Those being considered include: Former Senate President, David Mark, Senator Tunde Ogbeha, former governors of Kogi State, Idris Wada and Ibrahim Idris, Prof. Jerry Gana, and former Niger State Governor, Babangida Aliyu.”

The source further said, “There is also a challenge. If you say a Wada or Idris should take the position of chairman for example, where are you going to get the secretary from?

“This is because in the PDP, aside from regional balancing, we also respect religious balancing. Are you going to the South West where you have a sizable number of muslims to pick a Christian as national secretary? If so, who are you considering?

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“The South West is also insisting that they be given the Chairmanship first, if they get the Presidential ticket, they will relinquish the chairmanship.

“There are also agitations that the Senator Bala Mohammed Committee should also be considered along with the Ugwuanyi committee report for balance. The NEC has a lot of work to do on Thursday but consultations are still ongoing.”

When contacted, Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the party, Diran Odeyemi said, “Unlike other political parties, the PDP is not owned by any Nigerian, all Nigerians own this party.

“What is happening in our party today if proof that our internal conflict resolution mechanism is working. We remain grateful to our governors, elders and members of the NEC for rising to the occasion.

“The suspension of our National Chairman, Uche Secondus by an order of Court, has not affected the smooth running of our party. When the time comes, our party will present to Nigerians a new national chairman and a presidential candidate they will gladly associate with.”

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APC appeal com’tt okay Niger Congress, says no petition, complaint received

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APC appeal com'tt okay Niger Congress, says no petition, complaint received
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APC appeal com’tt okay Niger Congress, says no petition, complaint received

The Chairman of the State Congress Appeal Committee in Niger state, Chief Ray Morphy, has said that his committee did not recieve petition or complaint regarding the recently conducted state congress of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Niger state.

Chief Morphy declared that the appeal committee’s exercise was open, inclusive and democratic.

The national secretariat of APC had set up appeal panel for each state to hear the grievances of aggrieved party members over the recently conducted congresses.

In a statement released to newsmen Wednesday in Abuja, Chief Morphy said: “From ward congresses through local government, up to state level, the APC congresses in Niger were splendid. The state adopted the option of consensus in which every interest group was represented and carried along.

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“As the chairman of the Appeal Committee for the three levels of Congress, I can confirm that we received no petition or complaint.

“My committee was on ground in Minna at the Party Secretariat and no one showed with either a written or oral petition. We had several stakeholders meeting and all we were getting was commendation for the democratic and inclusive nature of the process in Niger state.”

The APC chieftain also dismissed media reports claiming that some persons could not submit their petitions to the Appeal Committee in Niger state.

“I am therefore surprised that anyone can claim that he or she sought to submit a petition and was denied.

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“That in my view is a figment of such a person’s imagination because the congresses were done in the open and witnessed by all relevant agencies that are empowered to do so.

“Our sittings as an Appeal Committee was also in the open. No one showed up to complain.”

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Anambra guber: INEC says inconclusive poll can’t be ruled out

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Anambra guber: INEC says inconclusive poll can’t be ruled out
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Anambra guber: INEC says inconclusive poll can’t be ruled out

The Independent National Electoral Commission says an inconclusive election cannot be ruled out in Anambra State governorship poll next week.

INEC’s National Commissioner for Voter Education and Publicity, Mr. Festus Okoye, said this on a live programme on Nigeria Info 95.1fm Abuja on Tuesday which was monitored by one of our correspondents.

Okoye, while responding to questions from callers regarding inconclusive elections, stated that the Electoral Act and the constitution state conditions for electoral victory.

He argued that as long as no candidate meets the requirement, another election would be conducted.

Okoye added, “The issue of inconclusive elections is embedded in our electoral framework. For instance, in Anambra State, constitutionally, before you can be declared as having won the governorship election, you must score a quarter of the votes cast in two thirds of all the local government areas of Anambra State and you must score a majority of all votes.

Anambra guber: INEC says inconclusive poll can’t be ruled out

“If no candidate in the election scores against this geographical spread and also scores majority of lawful votes cast in the election, you will have an inconclusive election and you must go back to organise a second election in order to get the person who has won. So, the issue of inconclusive election is embedded in our electoral framework.”

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He argued that based on the insecurity in the state, if elections are cancelled in any particular local government in Anambra and it is discovered that such cancellation could affect the outcome of the poll, then the exercise would be deemed inconclusive.

“Moreover, if for instance, on account of insecurity, we are unable to deploy to five local government areas for instance and the votes from all other local governments are assembled, if the total number of registered voters in these five local government where we did not conduct election has the capacity to affect the outcome of the elections where we have already conducted elections, we will declare it inconclusive until we have conducted election in all these other five local governments where we didn’t conduct elections,” the INEC commissioner added.

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Okoye argued that declaring inconclusive elections under circumstances are based on the constitution, the Electoral Act and its guidelines.

“So there is nothing untoward or obscene about it and nothing odious in what we are doing in relation to the election,” he said.

The INEC commissioner stated that the pavilion and collation centre of the commission which were burnt earlier in the year had been reconstructed as well as all stores housing their materials.

Meanwhile, INEC has said new 81,778 Permanent Voter Cards had been printed and would be delivered to its office on October 28.

Okoye said this in a statement on Tuesday after the commission’s meeting in Abuja to review preparations for the Anambra election.

According to him, a total of 138,802 Nigerians completed the registration during the Continuous Voter Registration exercise in the State.

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Okoye said after a thorough cleaning up of the data, it was discovered that the number of multiple registrants was 62,698 forcing valid registrants to drop to 76,104.

“During the same period, there were 5,674 requests for transfers, update of voter information and replacement of lost or damaged cards, giving a cumulative total of 81,778 PVCs. These cards have been printed and will be delivered to our office in Anambra State on Thursday October 28, 2021”, he said.

Okoye said the commission would work out the most efficient means of ensuring that the voters concerned collect their PVCs in earnest, adding that “fortunately, the commission has the telephone numbers and e-mail addresses of all the new registrants. They will be contacted to make the collection seamless.”

He assured the people of the commission’s determination to proceed with the conduct of the election while appealing to all the critical stakeholders and citizens to cooperate with the commission for a successful exercise.

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Anambra Guber: 81,778 PVCs Ready For Collection – INEC

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Anambra Guber: 81,778 PVCs Ready For Collection - INEC
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Anambra Guber: 81,778 PVCs Ready For Collection – INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Tuesday said that 81,778 newly printed Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) were ready for collection in Anambra State.

INEC disclosed this in a statement titled “ Update on Preparations for the Anambra State Governorship Election”, signed by Festus Okoye, National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, on Tuesday in Abuja.

Okoye said that the new printed PVCs included newly registered voters and those who applied for replacement or transfer of their cards in the state during the just concluded first phase of the Continuous Voter Registration in the state.

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He said that the cards had been printed and would be delivered to the INEC office in Anambra State on Thursday.

“In our previous update, the Commission informed the public that a total of 138,802 Nigerians completed the registration in Anambra State.

“After a thorough cleaning up of the data, it was discovered that the number of multiple registrants was 62,698.

Anambra Guber: 81,778 PVCs Ready For Collection – INEC

“Consequently, the number of valid registrants dropped to 76,104.

“During the same period, there were 5,674 requests for transfers, update of voter information and replacement of lost or damaged cards, giving a cumulative total of 81,778 PVCs.

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“These cards have been printed and will be delivered to our office in Anambra State on Thursday, Oct. 28.

“The Resident Electoral Commissioner for Anambra State and his staff shall work out the most efficient means of ensuring that the voters concerned collect their PVCs in earnest.

“Fortunately, the Commission has the telephone numbers and e-mail addresses of all the new registrants. They will be contacted to make the collection seamless,” Okoye said.

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