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2023 general election one of the best planned polls in history – INEC

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The 2023 general election was one of the best organised in history, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has claimed.

 

In a report released on Friday on the 2023 general election, INEC said leveraging on well-set practices in place since the 1999 general election, it started planning for the 2023 polls in earnest in 2019.

 

“The 2023 General Election was one of the, if not the best, planned election in the history of the Commission,” the report reads.

 

“Drawing on the EMSC’s three monitoring zones – Green, Amber and Red – planning for 2023 began immediately after 2019 through the implementation of some of the monitoring mechanisms such as process reviews and stakeholder engagements, electoral materials audit, identification and sorting of reusable election materials, assessment of storage facilities, assessment of electoral materials requirements for the 2023 General Election, the review and formulation of planning documents, and the review of regulations/guidelines/manuals and related operational documents for elections.”

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The commission said the legal framework for the 2023 general election played a significant role in ensuring the integrity, transparency, and credibility of the process.

 

“Passed into law on the 25th of February 2022, the Electoral Act 2022, not only provided an enhanced electoral legal framework for conduct of election in Nigeria, but also sought to address several lingering challenges to the management of the entire electoral process identified by the Commission and other stakeholders,” the report added.

 

“The New Act introduced about 80 new provisions addressing wide ranging issues such as the independence of the Commission, the time-frame for the publication of notice of elections, the conduct and management of political party primaries and campaigns, the development and management of electronic databases for the register of voters as well as for election results, the power of reviewing election results and declarations by the Commission, clarification of the meaning of over-voting, the involvement of political appointees in partisan politics, the death of candidates in the middle of an election, the deployment of election technology, as well as the management of results, to mention but a few.

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“To appreciate the far-reaching contributions of the 2022 Act, it is important to briefly recount the 2010 legal framework and some of its constraints.

 

“The Electoral Act of 2010 was the governing law for elections in Nigeria from 2010 to 2022. It was a significant piece of legislation that introduced several reforms into the electoral process, including provisions on funding, independence of the Commission, conduct of political party nomination processes and election campaigns amongst others.

 

“The 2010 Electoral Act was amended about five times by the 6th National Assembly to enable the Commission to conduct a fresh voter registration exercise as well as the General Election in February and March of 2011.

 

“However, since the 2011 General Election, the Commission and other stakeholders in the political and electoral processes have identified several gaps and challenges in the 2010 Act that needed to be addressed to enhance the credibility, transparency, and inclusivity of elections.

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“The Commission then made comprehensive submissions to both the 7th and 8th National Assemblies for the reform of the legal framework.

 

“These reforms were not effected during the 2011-2015 and 2015-2019 Electoral Cycles. It was only during the 2019-2023 Electoral Cycle that some of these suggestions for reform were incorporated into the existing legal framework as the new 2022 Electoral Act.”

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Nigeria’s problems bigger than crises in Labour Party, says Peter Obi 

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The presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 elections, Peter Obi, says Nigeria’s problems are far bigger than the crises in his party.

 

The LP has been embroiled in crises — ranging from allegations of misappropriation of funds, and leadership tussle, to calls for the resignation of the party’s national chairman.

 

On March 27, the LP conducted a national convention in Anambra state where Julius Abure was re-elected as its national chairman.

 

Obi did not attend the convention, fuelling speculations that he may be mulling over ditching the LP for another platform.

Speaking during an appearance on HaveYourSay247, an interactive online session hosted by Rudolf Okonkwo over the weekend, Obi said he is confident that the crises rocking the LP will soon be resolved amicably.

 

“Whatever is happening in the Labour Party is so minute compared to what is happening in the country,” Obi said.

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“So, for me, it is something we will resolve amicably, and it is not anything to worry about. Let us worry about the country.

 

“Let us worry about how the average Nigerian would be able to have a means of livelihood to be able to eat, that should be our worry.”

Obi said he has no interest in being the party’s leader but only to make sure things are done properly.

 

“I don’t see what I do in politics as being the leader of any place or not. My position is that just like I always say, I am not desperate to be president of Nigeria, I am desperate to see Nigeria work because I know it can work,” he added.

 

“We have a more desperate situation. Parties are just a means to be able to contest elections. What is important is that being a leader of a party does not reduce the price of food.

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“What I want to see is that the average Nigerian lives in a society where things are moving properly, with access to education, access to healthcare and a means of livelihood.”

 

The former Anambra governor further said he has moved on from the final decision of the supreme court on last year’s presidential election, even though he does not agree with the decision of the apex court.

 

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Kano APC annuls Ganduje’s suspension, sanctions ward excos

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The state working committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kano has nullified the suspension of Abdullahi Ganduje, national chairman of the party.

 

The APC executives in Dawakin ward under Tofa LGA of Kano had on Monday suspended Ganduje over the allegations of corruption leveled against him.

 

Halliru Gwanzo, legal adviser of the ward, said the suspension would subsist until the former governor is cleared of the allegations.

 

However, Abdullahi Abbas, chairman of the APC in Kano, alleged that the ward executives who suspended Ganduje were working with the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).

 

Abbas said the ward executives have now been suspended for six months.

 

“We have evidence of meetings between the state government officials and those that suspended the national chairman, and the state working committee has agreed to sanction them for six months and they stand suspended,” the chairman told journalists.

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Last week, the Kano high court ruled that Ganduje should appear before it on April 17 on charges bordering on bribery, diversion, and misappropriation of public funds.

 

The former governor of Kano is to be arraigned alongside his wife and son.

 

In 2018, Daily Nigerian, an online newspaper, published a video of Ganduje allegedly receiving bundles of dollars from contractors, which he stuffed into his “babanriga”, a traditional outfit.

 

The newspaper said Ganduje requested $5 million as bribe from the contractors who recorded the video.

 

In 2023, the Kano state Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission (PCACC) invited Ganduje for questioning over the video.

 

Ganduje did not honour the invitation and instead instituted a suit against the agency.

 

In March, a federal high court in Kano stopped the agency from inviting or questioning Ganduje over the bribery allegations.

 

The court held that the agency lacks power to probe the former governor over the allegation.

READ  INEC declares Tinubu winner in Ekiti, adjourns collation till 11am Monday

 

 

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‘Those with integrity are with us’: Fubara salutes Odili for declaring him Rivers political leader

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Rivers state governor, Siminalayi Fubara, has described Peter Odili, ex-governor of the state, as someone with integrity.

 

On April 11, Odili publicly announced his support for Fubara and declared the governor as the political leader of the state.

 

“Our people said I should tell you to stand with the president and align with his positive policies and link the people of Rivers state with the centre,” Odili said.

 

“They have asked me to tell you that you are the political leader of Rivers state. Rivers people say where you go, they will go with you.”

 

While speqking at the inauguration of a healthcare facility in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni LGA, Odili’s hometown, Fubara said he is happy to have the support of the former governor.

 

Fubara said Odili’s backing has triggered “people high blood pressure”, adding that his detractors are now “restless, granting all sorts of media interviews.”

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“I’ve said it before, and I’m saying it again. It doesn’t matter the number of people that stand with you. Even if you’re standing alone, no matter the side you’re standing on, provided you are standing on the right side, maintain your stand. We are happy to stand with him (Odili),” Fubara said.

 

“We are also happy that he is standing with us. Even his person alone is giving people high blood pressure. They are restless, granting all sorts of media interviews. Why are they doing it? It is because the people that matter, the people that have what they claimed they have; integrity, are with us. That is the truth.

 

“So, if we have one person who has integrity and character, is it not better than having 1,000 persons with questionable character? So, we are happy to identify with him.”

 

Since taking office in May 2023, Fubara has been locked in a struggle for control of Rivers political structure with Nyesom Wike, his successor and minister of the federal capital territory (FCT).

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Earlier this month, Wike criticised some leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers for lacking integrity and declaring support for Fubara.

 

He described them as “expired politicians” who are not worthy of being called “elder statesmen”.

 

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