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Bye-elections: Police restrict movements in 36 LGAs of 11 states

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The Nigeria Police Force has issued warnings to members of the public restricting movements in 36 local government areas where bye-elections will be held today 5th of December, 2020 by the Independent National Electoral Commission in 11 states across the country.

The affected states are Bayelsa, Borno, Bauchi, Cross River, Enugu, Imo, Katsina, Kogi, Lagos, Plateau and Zamfara.

This is coming amid conflicting court verdicts over party candidates for the election and conflict in some states.

The Police Public Relations Officer in Lagos State, Muyiwa Adejobi, released a statement titled ‘Lagos East Senatorial and Kosofe Constituency II bye-elections: Police declare restriction order, sue for peaceful conduct’.

He also announced on Twitter the restriction of movements from 6am to 6pm in Somolu, Kosofe, Epe, Ikorodu and Ibeju-Lekki LGAs in the state.

The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, added that the restriction was in place to ensure free, fair and credible elections.

The statement said the command had deployed a reasonable number of police personnel and other security agents to cover and provide security at the 1,928 polling units in the areas.

The commissioner of police reiterated that there would not be both vehicular and pedestrian movements in and out of the affected local government areas during the elections except those on election duties, essential services and accredited domestic and foreign election observers.

The police boss, however, warned the electorate and political gladiators to play the game according to the rules and provisions of the Electoral Acts, 2010.

He also warned that no police aides or security agents would be allowed to escort their principals or any Very Important Personalities to the polling units.

According to a statement on the website of INEC, about 151 candidates will take part in the elections to fill vacancies in the 11 states occasioned mostly by deaths and resignation to contest higher offices.

A breakdown of the candidates in the bye-elections indicates that while Bayelsa Central Senatorial District has 11 candidates, Bayelsa West Senatorial District has 13.

Others are Nganzai and Bayo constituencies in Borno State ( 14); Dass State Constituency in Bauchi (10); Cross River North Senatorial District (9); Obudu Constituency in Cross River (6); and Isu-Uzo State Constituency in Enugu (9).

There are also Imo North Senatorial District (14); Bakori State Constituency in Katsina State (13); Ibaji State Constituency in Kogi State (8); Lagos East Senatorial District (12); Kosofe II Constituency in Lagos State (8); Plateau South Senatorial District (10) and Bakura State Constituency in Zamfara State (14).

While the election is taking place, reports show that there is crisis in Cross River North Senatorial District in the race to replace Senator Rose Okoh, who died early this year.

This is because two courts of equal jurisdictions had Wednesday in Abuja and Calabar issued conflicting orders.

But in the final list released by INEC, the name of Dr. Stephen Odey is recognised as the authentic candidate.

For the Imo North Senatorial election, though the name of Ifeanyi Ararume is released by INEC in the final list, a Court of Appeal has ruled directing the name of Frank Ibezim should replace that of Ararume.

However, a federal high court in Abuja disqualified Ibezim as candidate of the APC in the bye-election for making false declaration in the documents he submitted to INEC.

The court directed INEC to expunge Ibezim’s name from the list of candidates for the bye-election.

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Why northern governors opposed Jonathan’s second term bid – Babangida Aliyu

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Former governor of Niger State, Dr Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, has said northern governors rose against former President Goodluck Jonathan’s second term bid in 2015 because of the perceived threat of his victory to the North.

Aliyu said in Minna on Friday that the northern governors felt at the time that their part of the country stood in a disadvantaged position and would be shortchanged should Jonathan win a re-election.

He claimed that Jonathan had earlier reached an agreement with the north to complete what was left of the tenure of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua and then run for only one term.

He said the ex-president’s insistence on going for another term in 2015 was against the agreement he had with the northern governors.

“Following the sudden passage of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua on May 5, 2010, the leadership of the then governing Peoples Democratic Party along with the state governors under the flagship of the party had series of meetings on the presidency and the future of our great party,” he said.

The ex-governor also said, “All the governors in the North under the PDP supported the then Vice President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to complete the remaining years of Yar’Adua’s tenure and to contest the next presidential election as a sole candidate of our great party.

“However, midway, President Goodluck Jonathan insisted to run for the office in 2015 against the grain of our earlier agreement.

“Since this was against the grain of our earlier agreement in the party, and which we the governors in the north felt the North would have been shortchanged if Jonathan had succeeded, we rose stoutly to insist on the agreement we all had.

“On that premise, we opposed Jonathan. But all along, Goodluck Jonathan had enjoyed every support from the governors in the north and the entire region.”

The former governor said it was wrong for anyone to say that he opposed Goodluck Jonathan.

He added that as the chairman of the Northern Governors Forum then, it was his responsibility to tell the people about the stand of the governors.

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Makinde’s candidate, Arapaja, emerges PDP South-West chairman

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Former Oyo State Deputy Governor, Taofeek Arapaja, has been declared the South-West chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

He was pronounced winner of the hotly contested poll by chairman of the region’s congress and Benue Deputy Governor, Benson Abounu.

Arapaja, backed by Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde, polled 343 votes to defeat Dr Eddy Olafeso, who scored 330.

Olafeso is of the camp of former Ekiti Governor Ago Fayose.

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743 PDP delegates to vote in today’s South-West congress

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National Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party has approved 743 delegates to elect the party’s South-West zonal leaders at region’s conference holding in Oshogbo, Osun State today (Monday).

Already, the NWC has also released the list of members of the Election Committee and the Election Appeal Committee.

A statement containing the delegates’ list signed by the National Organising Secretary of the party, Col Austin Akobundu (retd), showed that Oyo State has a total of 171 delegates, while Ogun State has 114; Osun State, 130; Ekiti State, 115; and Lagos State, 101.

Akobundu named the Benue State governor, Dr Samuel Ortom, as chairman of the election committee, while Senator Sandy Onoh, Ogun Otemabore and Ireruoke Edward will serve as members. Senator Samuel Anyanwu will serve as secretary.

The party also appointed an election appeal committee headed by Chief Okey Ezenwa who will serve as chairman, Mr. Roland Najomoh, secretary, while Clement Okaredir will serve as a member.

Due to the supremacy battle between Oyo State Governor, Mr Seyi Makinde, and a former governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayo Fayose, the venue for the election was changed from Ibadan to Osogbo to ensure fairness and avoid giving any advantage to either of the two leaders of the party in the region.

While Makinde is said to be sponsoring Mr Taofeek Arapaja, a former deputy governor of Oyo State, Fayose is said to be backing Mr Eddy Olafeso, a former governorship aspirant in Ondo State and the immediate past chairman of the party in the zone.

The feud between Makinde and Fayose was responsible for the delay in the conduct of the party’s congress in the South-West zone.

The NWC had intervened severally to ensure a consensus candidate for the chairmanship position to no avail.

Already, Arapaja and Olafeso have been cleared to contest the party’s top post in the region.

Also cleared are Mr Rahman Olokaniron and Mr Jenvo Bunni for the position of zonal secretary.

For the office of zonal treasurer, those cleared are Mr Ogunje Samson and Mr Ojo Michael, while the candidates for the zonal organising secretary are Mr Amuwa Adegbenro and Mr Faisu Adewele.

Those contesting for zonal publicity secretary are Mr Olusanya Adefarari and Mr. Fadaka Ayodele, while Mr Adewoyin Babatunde and Mr Philip Okubode were cleared to contest for the position of zonal financial secretary.

Babatunde Samuel and Muniru Kukouye were cleared to contest for the office of zonal legal adviser, while those cleared for the zonal auditor are Dominic Adegbola, Balogun Ayuba and Adeolu Adewunmi.

For the office of zonal woman leader, Ms Modinat Adedibu and Ms Abimbola Balogun were cleared.

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