BREAKING: 2023 elections may be cancelled due to insecurity, INEC warns – Newstrends
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BREAKING: 2023 elections may be cancelled due to insecurity, INEC warns

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Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu

Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has raised fresh alarms, warning that the forthcoming general elections face a serious threat of cancellation if the insecurity situation across the country does not improve.

INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, who expressed the concerns, also warned that the cancellation/postponement of elections in some constituencies due to the situation would not only hinder the declaration of elections results but also precipitate constitutional crisis.

Yakubu, who was represented by the Chairman, Board of Electoral Institute (BEI), Abdullahi Abdu Zuru, at the validation of election security training resources in Abuja on Monday, however said the commission was not leaving anything to chance in ensuring adequate security for election personnel, materials and processes.

He said, “We all appreciate the fact that election security is vital to democratic consolidation through provision of enabling environment for the conduct of free, fair, credible and inclusive elections and thus strengthening the electoral process.

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“Consequently, in preparation for the 2023 general elections, the commission is not leaving anything to chance in ensuring that intensive and extensive security are provided for election personnel, materials and processes.

“This is particularly significant to the commission given the current insecurity challenges in various parts the country and the fact that the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members constitute the core of the Polling Unit Election officials.

“Moreover, if the insecurity is not monitored and dealt with decisively, it could ultimately culminate in the cancellation and/or postponement of elections in sufficient constituencies to hinder declaration of elections results and precipitate constitutional crisis. This must not be allowed to happen and shall not be allowed to happen.

“Therefore, security personnel in particular and all election officials in general must be security conscious and alert to unusual activities in their environment and must be fully equipped to deal with any challenge at all times,” he charged.

Speaking further, he said, “To this end, the National Security Adviser, Gen. Mohammed Babagana Monguno, and the Chairman, INEC have jointly assured the nation that conducive environment will be provided for successful conduct of the 2023 general Election.

“Similarly, the Inspector General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, has conducted Election Security Management Workshops across the Six Geopolitical Zones. On its part the commission, through The Electoral Institute, has institutionalised the development and implementation of a cascaded training mechanism for security personnel as a critical component of its training plan.

“We are also aware that there is a new Electoral Legal Framework that will guide the 2023 as a result of the enactment of the Electoral Act 2022 which prompted the review of the INEC Regulations and Guidelines for Conduct of Elections 2022.

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“In particular, Sections 47(2), 60(1, 2 & 5), 62(1), 64(4a & 4b) and 64(5) of the Electoral Act 2022, which confers INEC with the power to use any technological device to transmit or transfer election results electronically are instructive in this regard.

“Emboldened by these legal protections, the commission introduced new innovative technologies and procedures and made commitments to the Nigeria People that (a) Continuous Verification, Accreditation and Voting will be conducted at the Polling Units using the Bimodal Verification and Accreditation System (BVAS) and (b) Real-Time Polling Unit-level results will be uploaded on to the INEC Results Viewing (IReV) Portal using the same BVAS.

“These commitments require innovative security strategies and deployments for protection of voters, election personnel, materials, equipment, the electoral processes as well as the general public and infrastructure.”

Commenting further, the commission said, “These innovative systems and processes minimize human errors and delays in results collation and improves the accuracy, transparency, and credibility of the results collation process thereby ensuring credibility of the process.

“They were tested during the Ekiti and Osun Governorship elections, held on June 18, 2022 and July 16, 2022, respectively. The Hon. Chairman INEC has severally assured the nation that the BVAS and IReV will be deployed during the 2023 General Elections.

“Reports on the conduct of security operatives during the elections conducted by the Commission specifically stand-alone Governorship Elections in Ekiti and Osun States have shown progressive and commendable improvement in their disposition to electoral training and professionalism on election duties.”

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In his goodwill message, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), noted that the training of security personnel to be deployed for the poll is the antidote to peaceful elections.
In a speech delivered by the Country Director, Seray Jah, IFES said that; “managing security threats in the electioneering process is a tall order for INEC, which has the responsibility, together with Nigerian security agencies, of preventing, mitigating, and resolving electoral violence.

“To effectively do this, security personnel deployed during the elections would need adequate training on their roles and responsibilities during the election. The validation workshop with key stakeholders in elections security presents an opportunity to ratify the quality resources developed to train the security personnel as they prepare to deploy for the 2023 general elections. IFES commends TEI and INEC for putting the workshop.

“I want to use this opportunity once again to restate IFES’ commitment to continue partnering with INEC and its members in building a sustainable democracy in Nigeria. “INEC can count on our readiness to continually partner with the commission in achieving its mission of serving as an independent and effective Election Management Body committed to conducting free, fair, and credible elections for sustainable democracy in Nigeria.”

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PDP bigwigs plot Gov Adeleke’s removal, dump party for APC (Massive crowd photos)

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PDP bigwigs plot Gov Adeleke’s removal, dump party for APC (Massive crowd photos)

Prominent leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun State including its ex-National deputy Chairman Shuiab Oyedokun and governorship aspirant Prince Dotun Babayemi, have crossed over to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The defectors with their supporters were formally welcomed into the APC fold at the party’s Secretariat by national leaders, including Minister of Marine and Blue Economy Adegboyega Oyetola, and National Secretary, Senator Ajibola Basiru.

Speaking at the event, Oyetola emphasized the APC’s track record of governance success.

He said, “APC has done so well. People are starting to see that when it comes to governance, the progressives know how to.”

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He highlighted the significance of veteran politician Baba Shuiab’s defection to the APC, noting that it signalled the diminishing influence of the PDP in Osun.

Oyetola expressed confidence in the APC’s prospects for victory in the 2026 governorship election, citing growing support and the influx of political heavyweights into the party.

Echoing Oyetola’s sentiments, Senator Basiru called for seamless integration of the new APC members into the party’s structure without discrimination.

He said, “Baba Shuiab and Prince Dotun Babayemi were members of the APC in the past. They’ve seen things. They’ve seen the difference between progressive and conservative, and they are back into the party.”

In his address, Babayemi highlighted the end of good governance in Osun following Oyetola’s departure as governor but expressed optimism that with his presence in the APC, the party would reclaim power in 2026.

Governor Ademola Adeleke of PDP came to power in Osun after defeating the APC under Oyetola in 2022.

Adeleke is serving his first term in office.

PDP bigwigs plot Gov Adeleke’s removal, dump party for APC (Massive crowd photos)

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Only my party can stop me from contesting 2027 presidential election – Atiku

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former Vice President Atiku Abubakar

Only my party can stop me from contesting 2027 presidential election – Atiku

Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has hinted of his plans to contest again in 2027 for the president of Nigeria.

He however said he would withdraw from the race should his party zone the position to another region of the country.

He confirmed that an alliance of major political parties and influential politicians was in the works ahead of the 2027 presidential election.

Atiku, who was the presidential candidate for the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 general elections, disclosed that his recent meeting with the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, was a sign of positive things to come.

He said the meeting could be a launchpad for the possible alliance in the build-up to the 2027 general elections.

Atiku met with Obi; former Senate President Bukola Saraki, and former Governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido, in separate visits earlier last week.

He also  dismissed the assertions that their alliance would be unable to produce a consensus candidate.

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He also said he would happily back a presidential candidate of the South-East extraction should the PDP zone its presidential ticket to the region.

Obi is from the South-East and, with the speculation of his imminent return to the PDP following his meeting with Atiku and other bigwigs of the party likely, he might clinch the ticket.

“I’ve made it clear since last elections that if our party members had a consensus that southeast should produce the candidate, we would all agree. And if our parties also had a similar agreement, then so be it,’’ Atiku said.

Last week, Paul Ibe, media adviser to Atiku Abubakar, former vice-president, says Nyesom Wike, minister of the federal capital territory (FCT), frustrated and sabotaged plans by the PDP to zone its presidential ticket to the South-East for the 2023 election.

He said the move effectively led to Obi’s exit from the party.

Only my party can stop me from contesting 2027 presidential election – Atiku

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Six political parties plot against APC, meet in Kaduna

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Six political parties plot against APC, meet in Kaduna

Six political parties converged in Kaduna State on Thursday in preparation to dislodge the governing All Progressives Congress, APC, ahead of the 2027 general elections.

The summit, with the theme, ‘Solid political party structure critical to the sustainability of the democratic process,’ was convened by the African Democratic Congress.

In attendance were the New Nigeria People’s Party, the People’s Redemption Party, the All Progressives Grand Alliance, the Social Democratic Party, the KOWA Party, as well as the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), and the Coalition of United Political Parties.

Lawal Nalado, chairman of the summit, decried what he described as “unbearable hardship” faced by Nigerians across the country, saying that the gathering was all about discussing the nation’s barrage of problems and ways to move forward.

He refuted insinuations in some quarters that the summit was convened to form a merger or a coalition amongst parties.

He added that the opposition parties needed to mobilize voters at the grassroots by way of reaching out to the downtrodden with political enlightenment messages, capable of changing their mindset that politics should not be about money, religion or ethnicity but voting for the right candidates to uplift the social and economic status of the society.

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The National Chairman of PRP, Falalu Bello, while speaking, stressed the need for effective mobilisation of the electorates by opposition parties, stressing that fielding credible candidates was not enough to win elections but mass mobilization.

Represented by Prof. Sule Muhammad, Bello listed inadequate resources, lack of internal democracy, decayed transparency, and interference by the ruling party among others as problems bedevilling opposition parties in the country.

Also, Ahmed Tujjani, the chairman of ADC and IPAC Kaduna State, opined that the summit was aimed to chart a course to address socio-economic and political parties’ problems with the motive of proffering realistic solutions.

According to him, “This is not a gathering for a merger or forming a coalition ahead of 2027 but rather a summit to discuss our common problems and suggest solutions of addressing them.

“We will call you again by tomorrow to read out our communique which will be a summary and possibly a mini-working document of solving our problems ahead of 2027.”

Six political parties plot against APC, meet in Kaduna

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