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2023: We’ll Bar Parties That Violate Electoral Law – INEC

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Prof Yakubu Mahmood, INEC Chairman

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said any party that violates the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022 will not have its candidates on the ballot for the 2023 general elections.

National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee of the commission, Festus Okoye, said this on Tuesday in a statement.

The commission had on February 26, released the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2023 General Election, which provides the details, including the conduct of primaries and nomination of candidates by political parties.

“The commission wishes to reiterate that parties must adhere strictly to the principles of internal democracy, drawing from their constitutions, guidelines, the electoral act and other regulations and guidelines issued by the commission.

 “Their candidates for the 1,491 constituencies for which elections will be conducted in 2023 must emerge from democratic, transparent and valid primaries, in line with the provisions of sections 29 and 84 of the Electoral Act 2022.

“Where a political party fails to comply with the provisions of the Act in the conduct of its primaries, its candidate shall not be included in the election for the particular position in issue,” he said.

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Okoye said all the activities are in line with the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and the Electoral Act 2022.

“So far, two out of the 14 activities in the Timetable and Schedule of Activities have been successfully accomplished. The Notice of Election was published on 28th February 2022, while nomination forms have been made available on the commission’s website since 1st March for political parties to download and issue to their candidates.

“The next activity is the conduct of primaries by political parties in line with the dictates of Section 84 of the Electoral Act for which the Timetable and Schedule of Activities provides a period of 61 days (4th April to 3rd June 2022),” he said.

Okoye said as required by law, the commission shall monitor the primaries of each political party that provides the required legal notice in line with sections 82 (1) and (5) of the Electoral Act.

He also warned that failure of a political party to notify the commission of any convention or congress convened for the purpose of nominating candidates for any of the elective offices specified in the Act shall render the convention or congress invalid.

“Primaries must be conducted in the various constituencies as provided in Section 84 of the Electoral Act as it is a violation of the law to conduct primaries outside the constituencies for which parties are nominating candidates. The commission will not monitor such primaries and their outcome will not be accepted.

“Political parties are enjoined to avoid acrimonious primaries that could result in unnecessary litigations that may lead to failure to nominate and field candidates for elections in some constituencies,” he said.

DAILY TRUST

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Atiku, Obi, Kwankwaso In Attendance As Tinubu Shuns Arise TV Town Hall Meeting

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Tinubu, Atiku, Kwankwaso and Obi

For the second time, the Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has shunned the Town Hall meeting organised by Arise Television.

However, the presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar; Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP), and Rabiu Musa Kwakwanso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), were in attendance.

Recall that the spokesperson of the APC Campaign Council, Bayo Onanuga, had in a statement issued on Saturday, reiterated that Tinubu would not be attending Arise TV town hall meeting.

Onanuga also took a swipe at the media outlet over its constant broadcast of an advertisement about its scheduled town hall meeting which Tinubu had already declined participation.

The statement reads: “We find it shocking and downright anomalous that Arise News continues to broadcast the participation of All Progressives Congress Presidential Candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in its Presidential Town Hall meeting scheduled to hold on 4 December 2022 despite our earlier statement that our candidate will not be available.

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“We noticed that Arise News has also been running a campaign on the so-called constitutional duty of the presidential candidates to participate in its debate by dubiously citing section 22 of the Constitution of Nigeria on the obligation of the Mass Media.

While it is the right that the media has a clear constitutional duty to hold public office holders accountable to the citizens and its role as the watchdog of the society, there is no part of the Constitution and section 22 that says a presidential candidate of any political party and least of all, Tinubu must participate in Arise News Town Hall event or any media organized event at all.

“The same Constitution grants all citizens of Nigeria including, Asiwaju Tinubu the right and freedom of choice and association. The APC Presidential candidate has a right to decide where he goes and what events to participate in as he seeks the mandate of Nigerians to be elected as the next President of our country.

“We want to make it abundantly clear again that Asiwaju Tinubu will not participate and will not attend the Arise News Town Hall meeting slated for Sunday, 4 December 2022 and any other ones it may plan before the February 2023 presidential election.

“The APC Presidential candidate has its schedule of campaign activities and other engagements within and outside Nigeria. One of such event is scheduled for Monday, December 5, 2022, at Chatham House in London where he will speak on Security, Economy and Foreign Policy.”

Onanuga reiterated that for the umpteenth time, no amount of blackmail, bullying and media bullying, and innuendos by the owner and management of Arise News will change the position the party’s campaign had taken on attending town hall meetings.

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After criticising APC Tinubu/Shettima ticket, Dogara named Atiku campaign member

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  • He’s running from pillar to post, says LP

A former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has finally decamped from the All Progressives Congress to the Peoples Democratic Party and will now be in the campaign train of the Atiku Abubakar, the PDP presidential candidate.

Indeed, Dogara was on Sunday appointed a member of the PDP presidential campaign council (PCC).

Aminu Tambuwal, director general of the PDP PCC and governor of Sokoto State, announced Dogara’s appointment in a statement on Sunday.

In a reaction to the development, the Labour Party has said the movement showed Dogara as a man still living in the past and is only running from pillar to post.

Dogara’s appointment came two days after he declared support for Atiku.

The Northern Leaders Consultative Forum, which Dogara is a part of, had endorsed Atiku and described him as “the best.”

As a member of the APC, the former speaker of the house of representatives, who is one of the party’s leaders of the Christian faith, kicked against the Muslim-Muslim ticket adopted by the party.

Bola Tinubu, APC presidential candidate and Kashim Shettima, his running mate are both Muslims.

Members of a group of northern Christians in the APC had also expressed reservations over the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the APC, and said it would adopt a consensus candidate.

Babachir Lawal, former secretary to the government of the federation (SGF) and leader of the group, had said Obi would be the group’s choice.

Dogara, however, alongside other members of the group, distanced themselves from Lawal’s endorsement.

In 2018, the former speaker of the house of representatives, had defected from the PDP to the APC because of “failure of governance” in Bauchi, where he hails from.

While Dogara has not made an official statement on his new appointment as at the time of this report, his new role is expected to start immediately.

Meanwhile, the campaign office of Peter Obi and Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed, presidential and vice-presidential candidates of the Labour Party (LP), says Yakubu Dogara, made a grave error in endorsing Atiku Abubakar.

The Obi-Datti campaign, in a statement, said Dogara had the right to support whomever he wants but trying to do that based on his selfish interest won’t augur well for him.

“Clearly, the former Speaker knows that he is swimming against the tide by his unpopular decision which amounts to running from frying pan to fire; from one injustice to another and claiming to be acting on behalf his people whose anger for the two wrongs of the two main political parties are glaring,” the statement read.

“Hon Dogara knows as a fact that his position does not reflect the heart and mind of majority of Nigerian populace who are already on the moving train to take back the country from the primeval political thinkers like him.”

The campaign said Dogara’s stand showed his double standard when he refused to support same faith ticket of his party but pitched his tent with the PDP that does not respect fairness.

“At his level as the Ex-leader of the national parliament, Hon. Dogara should have been privileged to read the hand writing on the wall vividly to know that where the pendulum swings today: the talk is not about political party, but about character, competence and capacity, because where the country precariously stands today requires nothing short to save it,” the campaign further said.

“Hon. Dogara as the Speaker of the House of Representatives successfully ran a parliament literally in the opposition to the Executive and heaven did not fall, yet he feels that a pragmatic President like Peter Obi would not be able to maneuver or steer the ship of state.”

The campaign added that it was obvious that the former speaker was still living in the past of the old politics that brought the country to its knees.

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2023: Obi Unveils Manifesto, Lists 7 Priority Areas

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Peter Obi

The Presidential candidate of Labour Party (LP) Peter Obi has finally unveiled his manifesto titled “Obi/Baba-Ahmed Pact with Nigerians.”

The National Publicity Secretary of the Labour Party, Abayomi Aranbambi, confirmed the development of Daily Trust on Saturday night.

The Manifesto sited by Daily Trust however promises seven key priority areas that were needed to jump start the economy and move the country from Consumption to production.

Some of the priority areas according to the pact includes to secure the country, end banditry and insurgency; and unite the country in such a way “that no one is left behind.”

Obi also promised to “Shift emphasis from consumption to production by running a production-centered economy that is driven by an agrarian revolution and export-oriented industrialization.

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” Restructure the polity through effective legal and institutional civil service. Leapfrog Nigeria into the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR), through the application of scientific and technological innovations to create reforms to entrench the rule of law, aggressively fight corruption, reduce cost of governance, and establish an honest and efficient a digital economy.

“Build expansive and world-class infrastructure for efficient power scholarship and research, quality healthcare, and entrepreneurship
global competitiveness through investment in world-class supply, rail, road and air transportation, and pipeline network, entrepreneurial public sector governance.”

Others, according to the document promises, are enhancing the human capital of Nigerian youths for productivity and through integrated public-private partnerships and education.

The Labour Party presidential candidate also promised to conduct “an afro-centric diplomacy that protects the rights of Nigerian citizens abroad and advance the economic interests of Nigerians and Nigerian businesses in a changing world.”

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