Independent National Electoral Commission
The Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) has fixed March 23, 2019 for supplementary elections in Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Kano, Plateau and Rivers state, where according to the commission elections were declared inconclusive.
But with the Osun state governsotrship elections still fresh in the minds of Nigerians, the electorate now interprete inconclusive elections to mean the installing of political office holders through other methods except the ballot.
The electorate lament the state of anarchy atmosphere, elections took place, while insisting that those who emerge from elections characterized by desperation, violence, killings, cover ups and rigging would never be able to ensure good governance since they would always be haunted by the process that facilitated their emergence.
Surprisingly, the powers that be still believe that Nigerians are gullible, which, if unfolding events are anything to go by, is no longer the case.
From the Presidential and National Assembly elections to the Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections, all has not been well, the coming days and weeks shall give flesh this assertion.
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Nigerians will on Saturday go to their various polling units to vote for candidates of their choice in the Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections.
Although the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) and the security agencies have assured Nigerians that the elections would be free, fair, credible, devoid of violence and killings, as was the case in the Presidential and National Assembly elections, the electorate are taking this assurance with a pinch of salt, just as they rest their hopes on God.
In this interview with Federationews2day, the Founder, Spiritual Head and Grand Imam of Shafaudeen-in-Islam Worldwide, Prof, Sabitu Olagoke appeals to INEC and the security agencies not to subvert the electoral process, while asserting that voters should be given the free will to vote for candidates of their choice without regard to any overbearing influence. Excerpts :
What are your words to the electorate as they prepare to vote for candidates of their choice in the Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections on Saturday ?
Firstly, let's talk about the lessons that have been learnt from the outcome of the Presidential and National Assembly elections, which serves as a warning to the politicians in general and those elected into various offices to serve, that performance matters most, most especially in the area of service to humanity, which places emphasis on the electorate and the environment.
The failure to recognize this fact and meditate on it, was majorly responsible for the fall of some erstwhile political giants and their political parties at the polls. For example, after eight years in office, some state Governors fell by the way side, in their bid to get to the Senate. Those who did not fall, have been seen to be unpopular among the people.
For the Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections, two episodes will play out, some will be voted for, by virtue of their credentials of credibility, even when the party is not liked and some will be voted for through party leanings, even when the substance of credibility is lacking in the candidates. Whatever way it occurs, Nigerians must be very careful not to lose their heads out of unnecessary passion.
So, we must not turn the situation into that of violence, because according to Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar(rtd) Nigerians must embrace peace.
It should be noted that none of the politicians, the electorate will vote for, including their children would be affected, if the unexpected happens; rather the masses who constitute the majority of the electorate, would kill themselves, without any hope for compensation.
Nigeria must not play the fool of the tower of Babel, which was built with rigour and vigour, but got destroyed without the completion of the project, due to skirmishes, a fall out of disorganized information system and communication lag.
The Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) must not be bought over for posterity sake, while the commission must retain its role as a credible umpire.
The issue of logistics and functionality of the Smart Card Readers(SCR)ought to have been resolved before the day of election, which is March 9, 2019.
In the case of the Observers, local and international, on ground for the election, Nigerians should take care not to wash their dirty linens in the open glare of the international community.
For the security agents who will protect the electorate, INEC staff and Ad Hoc staff, they must display a high level of maturity and professionalism.
They must be able to disarm trouble makers without the use of firearms. They must be able to provide adequate security at the various polling units, while also ensuring the safety of electoral materials and the offices of INEC.
Politicians have continually embarrassed their followers and supporters through the buying and selling of votes.
The implication of this ugly practice, is that our children may now imbibe pilfering as a culture, while also embracing examination malpractice as a way of life.
We must not forget that the mirror image of the society, which we are bastardizing through ungodly acts is a fall out of our attitudinal challenges, which is already having a direct effect on the psyche of the youth !
Is it not paradoxically funny that the political scientists continue to remain as fathers of politics in the Ivory Towers, even though they have failed to produce exceptional politicians for the society.
This is a direct challenge to the functionality of our educational status.
Above all, voters must not be harassed, intimidate, threatened or misled into voting against their conscience.
What should be of paramount importance to Nigerians today, is credible leadership and good governance, which can only emerge through voting according to the dictates of the voters' conscience and the fact that the votes must count.
My appeal therefore to Nigerians, is to give peace a chance, so that we can turn our various communities into environments of peace, where justice, equity peace and development shall be paramount in the minds of the emerging leaders for the states, whose activities in government shall be people oriented.
- By solomon2day
- On 04/03/2019
The March 9, Governorship and House of Assembly elections will definitely not have the credibility it deserves when the credibility and acceptability of the February 23 Presidential and National Assembly elections still hangs in the balance.
Indeed, most Nigerians are continually speaking out, that the results of the elections does not represent their will.
Sadly, the President Muhammadu Buhari led Government is determined to impose its desire on Nigerians, which is the basis of the confusion in most parts of the country.
Indeed, if the experience, credentials and leadership qualities of candidates, some unseen faces are vigorously making efforts to impose on the people in a number of states are anything to go by, the conclusion will be that the electorate must be careful on their choice of Governorship and state House of Assembly candidates.
Without doubt, candidates who possess the ability to deliver, are the flag bearers of the lesser known parties, while those who openly display the fact that they have the financial muscle to buy 'power' are in the so called 'big' Political Parties.
It is definite, that the people are making all efforts to free themselves from years of bondage, that is why caution can be the only word to guide them as they vote in another election to be conducted by the same Independent National Electoral Commssion(INEC), whose inability to conduct, free, fair and credible elections is now in the open
Re-Election of President Buhari Divine, But A Lot Still Has to Be Done-Grand Imam Shafaudeen-in-Islam
Nigerians woke up on Monday morning to receive the news that the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) Prof. Mahmood Yakubu had declared President Muhammadu Buhari the candidate of the All Progressives Congress(APC)the winner of Nigeria's presidential election, a few minutes to 4.00 AM, while they were still in bed.However, the timing of the declaration, saved the country of widespread protests, as Nigerians continue to insist that the electoral process was not free, fair and credible, in addition they lamented that the whole process had been compromised long before the elections.Already, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has rejected the results and vowed to challenge the results in the law court, just as he promised to reclaim his mandate.In this interview with People, the Founder, Spiritual Head and Grand Imam of Shafuadeen-in-Islam Worldwide, Prof. Sabitu Olgaoke says the re-election of President Buhari is purely divine, even though a lot still has to be done. Excerpts :What is your reaction to the victory of the incumbent President at the just concluded presidential elections ?The battle for the prestigious and sensitive position of the President among the 73 presidential candidates has come and gone. But the real battle was between President Muhammadu Buhari and former Vice President Abubakar Atiku.Ideally, President Buhari was not supposed to have any problem, but an easy sail to victory, if his state Governors had performed up to expectation in their various states, where the ruling APC was supposed to have very close contact with the people, which would have resulted in a resounding impact on their lives.Sadly,contrary was the case and this could be seen in the outstanding performance of the PDP, in a number of states, including Oyo and Ondo states.In these two states particularly, people have been hurt and irredeemable damage inflicted on them by their expected saviour- the APC government in the states.Besides this , employment was toyed with by the APC government at all levels.The APC victory was based on the political passion and sentiments of the people for President Buhari, who was daily insulted by the opposition and whose party , the APC, was bedeviled by intrigues and pockets of civilian coup de Grace, if only the APC had lived up to expectation there would not have been any chance for the PDP to rise again to the level of wrestling power from the ruling party.The re-election of President Buhari is purely divine, because according to our yearly predictions from Shafaudeen-in-Islam Worldwide, it was revealed that the party and some of its big names would fall by the wayside, despite the efforts they might put up to save their faces, but President Buhari would be re-elected against all odds, the Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and other retired Generals factors notwithstanding.The prediction went on further to state that the former Vice President, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku would be deceived by some of his home men to play him out, his spending power notwithstanding.Besides all these, the campaign messages of the two parties influenced the pattern of voting.For example President Buhari said that he would continue to hunt for treasury looters, although Nigerians are not all that impressed with the anti-corruption fight.On the other hand the former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku declared that he would grant amnesty to treasury looters caught so far and that the NNPC would be sold, which brought back the memory of the privatization saga and the Halliburton scandal.Also, Former President Obasanjo's book ''My Watch'' which outlined the corrupt tendencies of the Former Vice President has not helped matters.Nigerians were therefore left to choose from the two. This ultimately resulted in the present situation, despite the fact that the electoral process was fraught with anomalies, which Prof. Yakubu considered not to be significant enough to declare the election inconclusive or null and void.What is most important now, is for INEC to perfect the shortcomings in logistics, the malfunction of the Smart Card Readers as well as the very major area of security, which must be strengthened for the Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections, for it to be peaceful and without any hitch.The spirit of sportsmanship must be imbibed by all parties to give peace a chance.Equally important is for the emerging government to avoid party dictates that may be offensive to the possible formation of a strong government that would walk the talk.The winner takes all syndrome must be rejected because the functions and responsibilities of governance are in need of people who are serious, patriotic, disciplined and who have zero tolerance for corruption.Such people must be skill based, but unfortunately, no single party has a monopoly of these vital elements. These elements cut across party lines and also transcends political parties.This is the only way by which all congratulatory messages to Mr. President elect could be meaningfully justified in the next political dispensation.
Before the February 23, 2019 Presidential and National Assembly elections, President Muhammadu Buhari had directed the Military and the Police to deal ruthlessly with ballot box snatchers, who were caught in the act.
Security experts insist that this paved the way for all that happened during the elections. According to them since ballot box snatching is a security issue, President Buhari ought to have addressed the issue professionally.
The security experts argue that the President's directive is not within the purview of all that has been said and done about leadership by example.
Interestingly, there were several cases of ballot box snatching across the country, with a number of the snatchers meeting their untimely death.
Nigerians insist that the ballot box snatchers were acting on the directive of the political class who cut across party lines. Most of them met their sudden end, while some made good their escape.
Without doubt, the President's directive has affected the outcome of the general elections in several ways.
In this interview with Federationews2day, the Founder, Spiritual Head and Grand Imam of Shafaudeen-in-Islam Worldwide, Prof. Sabitu Olagoke asserts that Nigeria urgently needs the favour of God for the emergence of individuals who shall offer positive leadership by example. Excerpts :
What are your views on the President's directive to the Military and Police on ballot box snatchers ?
The problem with Nigeria as of this moment, is that of people who are already lost in the wilderness of politics.
In Nigeria, politicians wrestle and struggle for power, rather than competing through the spirit of sportsmanship, based on evidence of developmental programmes.
President Buhari could never have meant that ballot box snatchers should be killed because the victims could also be from his party, though without his direct involvement.
Ballot box snatching is as grievous as felony, hence it has to be prevented at all costs.
The President might have considered the huge amount spent so far, on the conduct of the elections as well as the security effect on ground, hence the statement that ballot box snatchers could be playing with their lives. However, the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) expectedly, turned against him and interpreted his directive to mean ''kill at sight''.
Only those people with the intention to rig will catch cold over the President's directive.
However, the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) has been explicit enough on the code of conduct expected during the elections, a violation of which should be expected to be in line with the dictates of the laws of any decent society.
The security operatives should therefore avoid accidental discharge and stray bllet syndrome before, during and after the period of the elections.
The 2019 general elections must not be allowed to be hijacked by the enemies of Nigeria, who believe in taking advantage of any crisis to carry out heinous acts that could lead to the unthinkable.
This is the very time Nigeria and Nigerians need the favour of God to choose for us, because consideration for amnesty for treasury looters or pursuit of zero tolerance to corruption with kid gloves, for those who dance to the tune of plea bargain, may not necessarily help the nation.
What we need are people that will offer leadership by example through sacrifice and sense of direction and purpose, for Nigeria to become a strong institution with a well informed citizenry who will enjoy visible care from their government.
The 2019 general elections must be committed to the good hands of God, through Nigerians' determination to look and vote for credible people with verified track record of love, discipline and passion for the people.
THE 2019 general elections will determine the pace at which Nigeria will move forward, that is if we allow the voice of wisdom to prevail at every level of the strata of Nigeria's hierarchy.
Nigerians should think well before reacting to issues in the polity, as a step towards avoiding hate speech and ambiguous words, so as to prevent hoodlums from hijacking the polity.
- By solomon2day
- On 20/02/2019
The Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) has raised the alarm over the Oyo state Government's use of intimidation, threats and harrassment on the leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) in the state to cow it to compromise the electoral process.
The PDP made this revelation on Wednesday, through its Presidential Campaign Coordinator in Oyo state, Dr. Nureni Adeniran at a Press Conference in Ibadan, Nigeria.
'' It has been brought to our attention that the ruling party, APC has been threatening, intimidating and pressurizing the top echelon of the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) to do their unlawful bidding. APC through the Governor, was alleged to have approached the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Oyo state, Barr. Mutiu Agboke, to do their bidding and was harrassed and threatened that if he does not do their bidding, he would ensure that he is transferred out of Oyo state''
''Contrary to the directve that sensitive election materials should be returned to CBN, the Governor insisted it should be returned to Government House. Although it was resisted by the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Barr. Mutiu Agboke. The fact that the effort was made by the Governor makes it bad enough for our Democracy at this auspicious time''.
''At the instance of APC and their cohorts, the smart card readers that were supposed to be configured at INEC office in Ibadan, concerted efforts were made to get it configured at the Agodi Government House, Ibadan through coercion''.
''Allegations of outright thumb printing at the Government House leveled against the Governor since last week, has not been refuted up till now. We demand investigation into this allegation since our campaign council was inundated with calls from different quarters'', Dr. Addeniran stated.
The PDP also called on staff of INEC and other agencies that would play roles in the general elections, not to ''succumb to pressure from the ruling party or anyone at all to carry out any illegal and untoward practices that could change the will of the people which can truncate our fledging Democracy''.
''We don't want a situation where they would subvert the will of the people. We should cry out on time so that the people of Oyo state will know what is going on'', he concluded
The Resident Electoral Commissioner(REC) in Oyo state, Mr. Mutiu Agboke h has assured the electorate that the Commission would not act in anyway that would compromise the Permanent Voters Cards(PVC) still in its custody.
Mr. Agboke gave this assurance on Tuesday during a Media Briefing at the Commission's office in Ibadan, Nigeria.
''There is no pressure that would make me to compromise your results, there is no pressure that would make me compromise your Permanent Voters Cards. Nobody has put gun in my ears, I am not going to sell your PVCs. Nothing will happen to your PVCs. We are going to harmonize the PVCs and those not collected would be put in the custody of the Central Bank of Nigeria'', he stated.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner also dislosed that the commission was taking the issue of security before, during and after the elections seriously, saying'' the commission is leaving no stone unturned in the area of security of both men and electoral materials on the day of election''.
''That is why the Inter Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security(ICCES), chaired by the Commissioner of Police and co-Chaired by me has been meeting regularly to identify grey areas and flashpoints in the state in collaboration with respective Electoral officers. Security is to be beefed up at both state and local government offices of INEC, inorder to forestall any security threats during election periods'', Mr. Agoke concluded.
The Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC)
A former Governor of Oyo state, who is also the governsorship candidate of the Action Democratic Party in the state, Otunba(Dr.)Christopher Adebayo Alao-Akala has expressed worry over the covert moves by some personnel of the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) and the All Progressives Congress(APC) in the state to move eligible voters from their Local Governments to different ones to facilitate a new dimension of rigging.
Otunba Alao-Akala made this disclosure on Tuesday, in an address he delivered at the Official presentation of the ADP governorship candidate, his deputy and other candidates for the 2019 Gubernatorial Elections in Ibadan, Nigeria.
''May I use this occasion to inform the stakeholders in the Nigerian electoral system and the world at large that information reaching us from competent sources is that some bad elecments in the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) are conniving with the ruling APC to disenfranchise thousands of voters across the state and weakening the leading oppositiom candidates in their strongholds by engaging in state-wide illegal relocation of voters from their units/Local Government of origins to other units/LGAs''.
The former Governor called on the INEC Chairman Prof. Mahmud Yakub and the security agencies to ''put a stop to this advanced rigging method''.
He assured the people of the state that candidates of the ADP were passionate about delivering results that shall impact positively on them, adding ''I must say that the re-election of the present administration was an aberration that came by way of the bandwagon effect that followed the election of President Muhammadu Buhari''.
''Regardless of the sinister moves of other parties, our campaign shall be issue-based, violence free and intellectually stimulating, resting on the renewed 13-point agenda drawn from our party's hallmarks; all these clothed in peace and tranquility'', Otunba Alao-Akala stated.