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Three die in EKiti by-election, INEC suspends exercise

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Three people have been confirmed dead in Saturday’s House of Assembly by-election in Ekiti State and two electoral officers sustain gunshot injuries in attacks by hoodlums on some polling booths.

This has prompted the Independent National Electoral Commission to suspend the election

Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC in Ekiti State, Dr Tella Adeniran, announced the suspesion in a statement issued in Ado Ekiti on Saturday.

The statement read in part, “The Ekiti East State Constituency I by-election which started at 8.30am today witnessed 100 per cent opening of polls at 8.30am.

“The exercise commenced on a good note in a peaceful and orderly manner.

“However, at about 10.00am, there were reported cases of violence: in two polling units of Ward 09 (Obadore IV); Polling Unit 8 (Baba Egbe/Odouro /Odoule) and Polling Unit 9 (Beside Baba Egbe/Odouru/Odoule I), Polling Unit 07 (Aro street/Aro) of Ward 07 (Obadore lI).

“In PU 07, Ward 07, three voters were shot dead while a youth corps member, a police woman and an INEC staff sustained gunshot wounds.

“Under this circumstance, the safety of electoral officials, security personnel and election materials as well as the credibility of the process cannot be guaranteed. “The State Commissioner of Police is fully aware of the situation.”

Adeniran said it was unfortunate despite the effort of the commission in giving Nigerians free, fair, credible and inclusive election, some people determined to frustrate the electoral process.

He said INEC took the decision when it found the environment was no longer conducive for further electoral activity at the polling units and the collation centres.

Meanwhile, a former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, has described the killing in Omuo Ekiti by suspected political thugs as “clear evidence of terrorism against citizens, who have rejected the party in government.” The former governor said killing innocent people just because of a five wards House of Assembly by-election was barbaric and shameful.

He said, “What was witnessed today in Omuo Ekiti is nothing but terrorism against the people of Ekiti, knowing that time has caught up with them and they are no longer popular.

“This will remain guilt in the conscience of the perpetrators and their sponsors perpetually for killing their own people just because of a mere House of Assembly by-election.

“Most importantly, everything that goes round in life comes round. The perpetrators of this despicable act should therefore remember that there will be consequences for all actions because the blood of the dead will surely speak and fight back.”

 

Politics

PDP governors meet in Ibadan, insist on ranching, state police

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Peoples’ Democratic Party governors rose from a meeting on Monday in Ibadan, Oyo State, insistng that ranching be adopted as a permanent solution to the herder-farmer clashes in the country.
The meeting was presided over by the Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum and Sokoto State governor, Aminu Tambuwal, and attended by 10 of his colleagues as well as the Zamfara State Deputy Governor, Mahdi Gusau.
They also urged the National Assembly to immediately amend the constitution to give effect to devolution of powers and state police.
A communique read by Tambuwal stated, “The meeting supports the earlier position taken by the Nigeria Governors Forum, Northern Governors Forum and recently by the Southern Governors Forum to adopt ranching as the most viable solution to the herders/farmers clashes in Nigeria.”
The PDP governors also called for the restructuring of the Nigerian federation to devolve more powers and functions to states, “and reform of various civil institutions to achieve efficiency and equity for all sections of Nigeria.”
On devolution of powers and state police, “the meeting called on the President as the Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria and Commander in Chief of Nigerian Armed Forces to immediately send an Executive Bill to the National Assembly to amend the Nigerian Constitution to devolve more powers to the States with respect to security arrangements culminating in some form of State Policing and the general security architecture.”

It also stated, “In the interim, Mr President should summon an immediate meeting of the Nigerian Police Council, which comprises Mr President and all State Governors and other critical stakeholders to evolve and implement strategies to combat the present threats to our union, especially with respect to policing.”
According to the governors, “the Police Force still remains the appropriate institution to secure our democracy and should not be subjected to personal attacks. The welfare, training, equipment, funding of all security agencies should be given priority.”
The meeting enjoined all Nigerians to work together to achieve peace and harmony with one another, devoid of discrimination based on ethnicity, religion and other cleavages.
It called on the APC Government “to take bold and deliberate steps to de-escalate and lower tensions in our country, and concentrate on projects and policies that will enhance and promote national unity and cohesion.”
The meeting called on “the National Assembly to expedite action on the passage of the Electoral Act that will ensure a free and fair election, including provisions for electronic accreditation and electronic transmission of votes.”
Governors at the meeting are Sokoto state governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, Governor of Bayelsa, Senator Douye Diri, Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, Governor of Adamawa, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, Enugu state Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, Akwa Ibom, Udoh Emmanuel, Rivers State Governor, Nyesome Wike, Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki and Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State.

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Zamfara State was represented by the deputy governor, Mahdi Gusau. States not represented are Abia, Cross River and Taraba.

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Osinbajo: I’ve not declared interest in 2023 presidential race

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Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo says he has not declared any interest to run for the President of Nigeria in 2023.
A statement on Monday by his spokesman, Laolu Akande, said that the Office of the Vice President had no connection with an online attempt to rally support for Osinbajo.
It stated, “The attention of the Office of the Vice President has been drawn to a website: supportosinbajo.ng that is calling on Nigerians to join a volunteer group mobilising support for Osinbajo ahead of the 2023 presidential election.
“Details of this website and the solicitation of the group are currently trending on WhatsApp with a suggestion that Osinbajo has ‘quietly’ declared interest in the 2023 election.
“The Office of the Vice President is not in any way connected to this website or the group behind it and considers such an enterprise an unnecessary distraction.
“Osinbajo has not declared any interest whatsoever in the 2023 election; but he is rather focused on working in his capacity as vice president in the current administration to address all the compelling issues in the country and concerns of Nigerians, including finding effective and lasting solutions to the security challenges.
“Therefore, we ask that people desist from such unhelpful permutations while we all deal together with the challenges confronting us as Nigerians, and resolve them for the benefit of our people, peace, and prosperity in the land.”

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Governors have limited power to tackle insecurity, says Lalong

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Simon Lalong, governor of Plateau, says there are limits to what state governors can do about insecurity in the country.

He lamented that governors don’t have full authority over the security operatives in their states.

Lalong spoke on Friday during the Good Morning Nigeria programme on Nigeria Television Authority (NTA).

He said even though the constitution makes the governors the chief security officers of their states, there is a limit to the orders they can give security personnel.

Lalong called on the national assembly to intervene, adding that the federal lawmakers have a role to play in ensuring that governors are empowered to tackle insecurity.

“We have also cried and said the constitution provides that we (the governors) are chief security officers in our state,” he said.

“But there are limits to what we can do, the command that we do. If I am the general officer commanding, I should be the general officer commanding. Not the general officer that will command, and the person you command will say I need to get command from somewhere. All these are very important.”

Lalong said it is time for the federal government to address security issues and to implement all the security reports that have been drafted and submitted.

“We can’t be talking unless we address these issues. Let us be addressing these issues, not only talk-shop, because by the time we continue to talk without coming back to implement, we will still be talking of the same issue,” he added.

 

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