2019: PDP Urges INEC To Conduct Free And Fair Election

National Chairman of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, has charged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), not to compromise the 2019 general elections.

Secondus spoke in Ilorin  during the Northcentral presidential rally of the PDP candidate Atiku Abubakar.

His words: “Let us warn the INEC chair that he should not cause crisis in Nigeria by rigging 2019 elections. If INEC wants peace in Nigeria, elections must be free and fair. If INEC likes, it should ignore the card reader, manipulate the machines to do whatsoever INEC wants it to do but Nigerians will not accept rigged elections. So, you better be warned.

“And we salute the courage of the patriotic security agencies. Our Army is the best in Africa. Our police, some of them are very good, but this time around in 2019, the police and the Army cannot be used. As all voters are Army and Police. So, you must police your votes and be by the side to make sure that your materials are not carried away.”

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2019: INEC Assures Person With Disabilities Of Full Participation

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has pledged to enhance greater participation of persons living with disabilities in the 2019 general elections.

Dr Adekunle Ogunmola, the INEC’s National Commissioner in charge of Outreach and Partnership Committee made the pledge on Monday in Lokoja at the opening of a two-day strategic meeting on Access and Participation of Persons with Disabilities in 2019 general elections.

He said that the commission was desirous of deepening the democratic process in Nigeria, saying that part of the strategies was to ensure the participation of the marginalized and the disadvantaged groups across the country.

Ogunmola, who was represented by the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Kogi, Prof. James Akpam said that the INEC had introduced some innovations to reduce all forms of barriers experienced by people living with disabilities in all aspects of electoral process.

“It has also provided assistive and materials such as magnifying glasses at the polling units during elections, transcriptions of voter education materials to Braille and others to ensure their full and effective participation in the electoral process,” he said.

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2019: INEC Warns Parties Against Breach Of Electoral Regulations

Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has warned against any contravention of the Electoral Act and its election regulations, vowing to strictly monitor campaigns by political parties.

Yakubu, at a meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja, urged political parties to ensure strict compliance with the extant rules guiding the election.

“The commission is committed to closely monitor the campaigns pursuant to our statutory mandate and to ensure compliance with the extant laws and regulations,” he said.

Continuing Yakubu said, “We are pleased that the focus in the last few days, since the commencement of the campaigns has been on policies rather than personalities. We sincerely hope it remains this way.”

Multiple sections of the electoral law regulate the conduct of campaign by political parties and politicians, who are enjoined to keep the polity safe from injurious statements.

Specifically, Section 95 of the Electoral Act (2010) prohibits certain conduct at political campaigns, with subsection (1) saying that “no political campaign or slogan shall be tainted with abusive language directly or indirectly likely to injure religious, ethnic, tribal or sectional feelings.’’

Subsection 2 of the section is more emphatic, “Abusive intemperate, slanderous or base language or insinuations or innuendoes, designed or likely to provoke violent reactions or emotions shall not be employed or used in political campaigns,” while subsection (3) says, “Places designated for religious worship, police station, and public offices shall not be used for political campaigns, rallies and processions; or to promote, propagate or attack political parties, candidates or their programmes or ideologies.”

The law also prohibits the abuse of culture for political purposes.
For instance, Section 95 (4) says, “Masquerades shall not be employed or used by any political party, candidate or person during political campaigns or for any other political purpose,” while Subsection (5) says, “No political party or member of a political party shall retain, organise, train or equip any person or group of persons for the purpose of enabling them to be employed for the use or display of physical force or coercion in promoting any political objective or interest or in such manner as to arouse reasonable apprehension that they are organised, trained or equipped for that purpose.”

Subsection (6) also says, “No political party, person or candidate shall keep or use private security organisation, vanguard or any other group or individual by whatever name called for the purpose of providing security assisting or aiding the political party or candidate in whatever manner during campaigns, rallies, processions or elections.”
On the consequences of the breach of the Act, Subsection 7 stipulates penalties for infringement as N1million or 12 months imprisonment for individuals and N2million in the first instance and N1million for subsequent offence for a political party; while subsection (8) says aiding and abetting of contravention of subsection (5) by any person shall warrant N500,000 fine or three years imprisonment or both.

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Don’t Repeat Mistake Of 2015 In 2019 General Elections, Jonathan Warns INEC

Former President Goodluck Jonathan, on Tuesday, warned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), against the selective use of card reader in the forthcoming general elections.

The former president stated this in his book, ‘My Transition Hours,’ which he presented to the public at in Abuja.

According to him, any attempt to repeat the misuse of the electoral tool in the forthcoming 2019 presidential poll would be risky, also noting that the selective use of the innovative machine as it occurred in the previous election might not be acceptable.

Jonathan, in his book, criticised ‘’how the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials in the Southern Nigeria insisted on the use of card readers, while in the Northern part of the country, the decision to use card readers had been de-emphasised,’’ and warned that it would be ‘’too risky’’ if what happened in 2015 is repeated in 2019.

Among those who attend the launch were former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo; former Heads of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd) and Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar (rtd); former vice presidents, Mr. Namadi Sambo and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who is also the PDP presidential candidate for next year’s election.

President Muhammadu Buhari sent the Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, to represent him.

West African sub-region leaders that came to honour Jonathan were former presidents, Mr. John Mahama (Ghana), Mr. Ernest Koroma (Sierra Leone) and Mr. Boni Yayi (Benin).

Also in attendance were President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki; Speaker Yakubu Dogara; and Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu.

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2019: We Are Committed To Free, Fair And Credible Elections, Says INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it is committed to a free fair, transparent and credible elections in 2019.

INEC’s National Commissioner supervising Benue, Anambra and Enugu states, Festus Okoye, stated this at an interface with the media and Civil Society Organisations, in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, at the weekend.

“We want to ensure that, at the end of the elections, the votes of the people count.”

He further said INEC had set up a special committee that would fashion out  legal, registration and voting frameworks for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) across Nigeria, including Benue State.

While stating that the measure would guarantee their participation and protection in the 2019 general elections, the INEC commissioner said the step became necessary to make sure all those who were displaced from their original homes, as a result of one crisis or the others, including flooding, were not disenfranchised.

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INEC Honours 77 Staffs In Ebonyi, Pledges Commitment To Credible 2019 Polls

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has honoured 77 of its staff in Ebonyi for outstanding performance and excellent service, pledging commitment to conduct credible 2019 general elections.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event took place at the commission’s multi-purpose pavilion on Thursday in Abakaliki.

The 77 staff were given certificates of excellence in recognition of their commendable contributions to the commission.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), INEC Ebonyi, Prof Godswill Obioma, in a keynote address said that the award was in recognition of outstanding performances between 2017 and 2018.

He said that “The event holding today was founded on deep process of selection, covering a wider range of categories and coming after 15 months of my stay as the REC in Ebonyi.

“It is our hope and desire that this award of excellence for staff will be sustained and made an annual event to spur and encourage staff to greater productivity.

“The excellence award is an initiative of INEC, Ebonyi aimed at identifying those who have distinguished themselves with invaluable services to the commission in order to reward and motivate them for increased productivity and continued job performances.’’

NAN reports that outstanding and long service awards went to senior and junior workers, cleaners, gardeners, drivers and security guards drawn from the state and local government area offices of the commission.

Obioma charged the awardees to leverage on the recognition to put in their best in the service of the commission.

“You should grow from good to best and never be carried away by the encomiums of today to relapse.

“Those of you who are not celebrated today, you should strive to be winners tomorrow so as to keep the flag of the commission’s productivity in top mast,’’ he said.

Three of the awardees, Messrs Ifeanyi Nnaji, Lazarus Ogodo and Mrs Elizabeth Okoro in their separate remarks described the award as a driving force to spur them to greater productivity.

NAN reports that Mr Sunday Ebenyi received most outstanding staff award, with 60 out of the 77 recipients being men and 17 women.

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Over 1.5m PVCs Collected In Edo – INEC

A of total of 1,519,350 Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) have been collected by registered voters in Edo ahead of the 2019 general elections.

Mr Emmanuel Alex-Hart, he Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Mr Emmanuel Alex-Hart, disclosed this to newsmen in Benin.

Alex-Hart said that the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) office in Benin received 1,992,826 PVCs from the commission’s headquarters for registered voters in the state.

He said that the figure received from the commission’s headquarters represented the total registered number of voters in the state from 2011 to date.

The REC however said 473,476 PVCs had yet to be collected by their owners in the state.

According to him, the continued voter education and sensitisation by INEC was yielding results in the state, adding that registered voters’ turnout for PVC collection was impressive.

Alex–Hart further said that the commission had also commenced the sensitisation of eligible voters and all the stakeholders against vote buying.

”To achieve this, we have started sanitising the electorate through the churches, motor parks and worship centres among others.

”The commission has also given the responsibility to apprehend and prosecute whoever that is caught buying votes during elections,” he said.

NAN

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INEC To Political Parties: No Extension Of Deadline For Submission Of List Of Candidates

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said it would not extend the deadline for submission of list of candidates’ names by political parties for next year’s general elections.

Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Mr. Rotimi Oyekanmi, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), yesterday in Abuja, that the Commission had scheduled the submission of candidates’ names for the Presidential and National Assembly elections between October 10 and 18, and Governorship and State Assemblies election for November 2, and there is no extension.

“The Commission is following its timetable and schedule of activities for 2019 general elections. No extension of deadline for submission.”

Oyekanmi, who was unable to give the precise number of political parties that met the deadline as at the time of filing this report, said: “Over 80 political parties made it, but I am still waiting for the precise number.”

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2019: INEC Vows To Improve Conduct Of Elections

Ahead of the 2019 general elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has said it would improve conduct of the electoral process.

Sam Olumekun, the Lagos Resident Electoral Commissioner disclosed this at a workshop on “Lagos State Election Security Strategic Plan for 2019 Elections.”

The workshop was organised by Nigeria Policing Programme, NPP, in collaboration with INEC in Lagos State.

Adelani Asade, the Administrative Secretary of the commission delivered Olumekun’s speech at the workshop.

Olumekun also mentioned that 6, 609, 115 eligible Nigerians registered to vote during the 2019 general elections in the state.

“It is crucial to say that with 91 political parties and about 74 million voters geared to take informed decision and action at the general elections in 2019, the security of election officials, materials, and the electorate is of utmost importance to the commission.

“Indeed, security is key to the conduct of credible elections. INEC in Lagos is truly proud of partnering with NPP at this most auspicious time in the electoral cycle, ” Olumekun said.

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Kaduna Central Senate Primary: Court Restrains APC, INEC From Conducting Election

The Kaduna High Court has restrained the APC from conducting the primary to select the party’s candidate for the Kaduna South Senatorial District

Ruling on an ex-parte motion in a suit filed by Uba Sani, a senatorial aspirant, the court ordered the APC, its chairman Adams Oshiomhole, INEC and Shehu Sani to maintain the status-quo prior o 2ndOctober 2018, when the APC national chairman unlawfully excluded Uba Sani and other aspirants from the contest in favour of one aspirant.

In a motion brought pursuant to Order 15(1) andOrder 36 of the High Court Cvil Procedure Rules of Kaduna State, the Court granted leave to issue and serve the writ of summons on the the defendants.

Uba Sani’s lawyer, Sule Shuaibu Esq., explained that his client took this step to protect his democratic rights after exhausting the internal party grievance-redressprocessesUpon becoming aware of his unlawful exclusion, Uba Sani wrote and submitted a letter of complaint to the national chairman, urging him to reverse the decision. He followed up with a letter to the Appeal Committee, stating clearly that having fulfilled all the conditions for contesting the primary electionhis unlawful exclusion should be set aside and he  be allowed to contest the primary election.

Given the imminence of the INEC deadline for the conclusion of primaries, Uba Sani cannot sit on his right and allow the effluxion of time to extinguish his cause of action.

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Osun: INEC Has Shown It’s Readiness For 2019 – CTA

Election observer group, the Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA) has said with the tremendous improvement shown by the Independent National Electoral Commission in Saturday’s governorship election, the Commission has proved it is now well prepared  for the 2019 general polls.

Addressing journalists in Oshogbo on its preliminary report of the election, CTA executive director, Dr Chima Amadi described as satisfactory the overall improvement of INEC in the Osun Governorship Election by being proactive and innovative.

According to him, the 120 observers deployed by his group observed that INEC for the first time deployed men and materials to various polling booths before 8 am.

He said the 100 % deployment achievement by INEC is a remarkable improvement in Election management, stressing that this time, INEC officials and materials were waiting for voters unlike in time past when the reverse was the case.

Dr Chima also described the voter turnout as impressive, both in the urban, semi urban and rural areas, adding that the election was largely peaceful.

He said, “For the first time in Nigeria, INEC introduced the use of tactile ballot for the visually impaired voters to enable the blind vote unaided. INEC also introduced the use of magnifying glasses to assist the visually impaired and those with cases of albinism. This promotes inclusion and for every bonafide voter to have a say in the election of his or her candidate of choice.

“Equally, INEC introduced an electronic App that citizens can download from Apple store and report issues directly from the field for immediate action by INEC.”

The CTA boss said the ongoing campaign to curb vote buying and selling may have yielded some positive results as it was not so brazen as it was in the case of Ekiti.

He said, “our observers noted that Politicians and voters have evolved different clandestine means of vote buying and selling. Party agents continue to entice voters and strategically monitor voters and the thumb printed ballot papers. The efforts at eradicating vote buying and selling will have to keep up with the evolving new methods of voter enticement in order for vote buying to be effectively addressed.”

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Why We Halt Continuous Voters’ Registration Exercise – INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has said the commission ended the Continuous Voters’ Registration (CVR) exercise to prepare ahead of the 2019 general elections.

INEC National Commissioner, Solomon Soyebi, while responding to questions from Channels television, said that the commission has 150 days stipulated by the law to embark on post-registration activities ahead of the 2019 general elections.

His words: “We don’t have the time. This registration has been going on now for the past 16 months now and we have given lots of efforts to ensure that a lot of people come on board.”

Soyebi added: “We need nothing less than 150 days to do the duplication, production of the cards, the integration and signing of the register before the elections in 2019.

“We listened to the public outcry and extended by two weeks. You recall that we extended it on August 17 this year, that was even the time when we embarked on the 2019 elections by giving out a notice for the process.”

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