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Jonathan urges Africa to strengthen democracy




  • Buhari, others hail him at 63


President Muhammadu Buhari, Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and Senator Ike Ekweremadu have hailed rejoiced with former President Goodluck Jonathan on the occasion of his 63rd birthday anniversary on Friday.

This came as the former president made a case for the consolidation of democracy in Africa, describing it as a leverage that could ensure that the continent’s future would be better than its past.

Jonathan noted that democracy might have its flaws but pointed out that various academic studies had demonstrated that the system of government “yields better economies, better health for its citizens and better respect for human rights.”




Buhari, in his congratulatory message, said Jonathan’s life of service has brought honour and goodwill to the country.


This is coming as Jonathan has made a case for the consolidation of democracy in Africa, describing it as a leverage that could ensure that the continent’s future would be better than its past.


The president’s spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina, said Buhari expressed appreciation to the former president for his dedication to service following his astronomical rise to the highest level of service and eventual emergence as ECOWAS envoy in recent times.


The president prayed God to grant Jonathan long life, wsdom and good health so that he can continue to serve humanity.


The statement read: “On behalf of the federal government and Nigerians in general, President Muhammadu Buhari warmly felicitates with former President Goodluck Jonathan on his 63rd birthday, November 20, 2020, congratulating him for a life of service that has brought honour and goodwill to the country.


“The President notes with appreciation the peculiar and remarkable climb of the former president on Nigeria’s political ladder, and dedication that has kept him working most recently as ECOWAS envoy to bring peace to the Republic of Mali.


“As the former Nigerian President turns 63, President Buhari prays that the Almighty God will grant Dr Jonathan longer life, good health and more wisdom to keep serving the nation and humanity.”

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has also congratulated Jonathan, as he clocks 63 years today, saying his efforts at promoting democracy particularly in Africa are impactful and commendable.

The former president’s “unique statesmanship and graceful disposition to issues” has also endeared him to democrats globally, Okowa said through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Olisa Ifeajika.

He said that Jonathan’s bourgeoning role in entrenching democracy across Africa through his observer-mission activities was impactful and laudable.

Okowa also noted that the former president’s role in the peace process in Mali, describing it as “truly statesmanlike”.

Ekweremadu has also hailed Jonathan, for his democratic temperament and selfless leadership.

Ekweremadu commended the former President for not only the electoral reforms recorded under his administration, but also for providing the right democratic atmosphere to ensure that the reforms were implemented by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other relevant agencies and stakeholders.

Jonathan in his keynote speech at a virtual conference organised by the Kofi Annan Foundation which focused on ‘Democracy in East Africa in the age of COVID- 19: challenges and opportunities’.

Jonathan further affirmed that it was no coincidence that the countries with the best human development index scores are all democracies, while the worst performers are not.

He said, “We have made enormous strides in Africa in terms of democracy. According to Freedom House, there were only two democracies in Africa in 1980; now there are no fewer than forty.”

Stressing that not all of these democracies meet the required standards, the former President however emphasised that they are mostly big improvements on what came before.

Comparing democracies to dictatorships, Jonathan stated that dictatorships around the world tend to underperform “because they are subjected to little or no accountability, either from a free press, an independent judiciary or a vibrant opposition.”

Jonathan noted that democracy “is fundamentally a competitive system, and competition keeps people, even politicians, on their toes”, adding that they are meant to be in power to serve their people and their countries, not themselves.

He said although democracy has its challenges in many countries, the aspiration to democracy has taken root, especially among our youth.

“From Washington to Abuja to Nairobi, democracy is always a work in progress, everywhere: each generation has to address the challenges left by its elders.”



2027 election: INEC receives application from 25 new political parties



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

2027 election: INEC receives application from 25 new political parties

In Nigeria, 25 political associations have requested to be recognized as political parties ahead of the general elections in 2027.

Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), revealed this on Tuesday in Abuja at the Public Presentation of the ‘NEEDS Assessment of Political Parties in Nigeria’, which was organized by the Kukah Centre and the European Union (EU).

Sam Olumekun, a National Commissioner and Chairman of the Information and Voter Education Committee, represented INEC.


He said: “Despite harsh criticism that INEC has passed through, especially in the last couple of months, we have the National Assembly that emerged from the political parties. There was a time we had many political parties before they were pruned down by legal requirements to 19.

“As at today we have about 25 political associations that have applied that they want to register as political parties. If political parties are not functioning well, why are groups coming up to seek registration as political parties?” Olumekun queried.

Also, Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio, represented by the Senator from Anambra Central Senatorial District, Chief Victor Umeh, said that since the return to democracy in 1999, Nigeria’s political landscape had witnessed significant transformation, which can be attributed to the relentless efforts of various stakeholders and institutions, including Nigerians and political parties.

2027 election: INEC receives application from 25 new political parties

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Save Ondo from being driven into abyss, transmit power to your deputy – PDP urges Akeredolu



Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu and Deputy Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa

Save Ondo from being driven into abyss, transmit power your deputy – PDP urges Akeredolu

The opposition Peoples Democratic Party in Ondo State, on Tuesday, said the state has been grounded economically by an alleged cabal, which hijacked the government of ailing Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.

It, therefore, demanded that Akeredolu should transmit power to his deputy, Mr Lucky Aiyedatiwa, for governance to save the state from being driven into the abyss.

The state chairman of the PDP, Mr Fatai Adams, who spoke in Akure, claimed that people within and outside of government were taking advantage of Akeredolu’s prolonged absence and were stealing government resources.

However, the state Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Mr Ade Adetimehin, rubbished the claim, challenging the PDP to name members of the said cabal.

But lamenting Akeredolu’s prolonged absence, the opposition leader said, “We are deeply concerned about the ruinous cost the health challenge of the governor has bestowed upon the state, the most obvious is the emergence of a cabal, largely informal, that has seized every initiative, mindlessly driving our state into penury.

“As we speak, there is no clear leader of government business; the governor remains on his sickbed, the deputy governor is still battling for his political survival, irrespective of President Bola Tinubu’s much-proclaimed intervention and our state continues to wander in darkness. Most disturbing, however, is that our finances are suffering as hard-earned resources of the state are being pilfered by interest groups within and outside government, this is to the detriment of our development and wellbeing.”


Reiterating the call for transmission of power to the deputy governor, the PDP chairman urged Akeredolu to adopt the advice he gave late former President Umar Yar’Adua and transmit the power, so he could concentrate on taking care of his health.

“Much as we know, our governor is sick or at best recuperating, thus he remains missing in action and our state deserves every attention. This is why the Constitution made provisions for a period like this.

“We wish to remind Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of his admonition to (the late) President Umaru Yar‘Adua when he was ill. He (Akeredolu) said and we quote, ‘No matter how much you love your country, it should not be at the detriment of your health. It is not your party or your wife that will determine whether you are capable of handling state matters; it is only your doctors.’

“It is now crystal clear that Akeredolu’s doctors have since instructed him to stay away from his office and state, this certainly underscores the fact that he is currently not fit to handle state matters. We urge Mr Governor to please use his then advice to the late President Yar’Adua and again transmit power to the deputy governor in the interest of our dear state.”

In a swift reaction, the Ondo APC chairman, Adetimehin, described the PDP as a drowning party, adding that the allegation was baseless.

 Adetimehin said, “Adams is my friend but it is always painful to be in the opposition. I could understand his feeling, that is why he is talking for talking sake. Who is the cabal? He should be bold enough to mention them if he knows what he is saying or give evidence. It is mischievous to say the absence of Akeredolu has grounded the state, that a cabal has taken over. I want to tell you that there is no cabal anywhere.


“Their party is drowning and many of their members have openly decamped to the APC; so he is just talking to be noticed, seeking attention that is not there.”

Also reacting, the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Charles Titiloye, said, “This is a lie from politicians to blackmail this government. I can say this government I am serving in, there is no cabal anywhere and if they know one, they should tell the general public, rather than blackmailing the government.”

The PUNCH reports that Akeredolu has been away from the state for months. In June, the governor went abroad for medical treatment. Though he wrote to the state Assembly that he would only be away for 21 days, he later sought an extension and did not return to the country until September – three months later.

Since his return to the country, he has not been in Ondo but in his residence in Ibadan, Oyo State. Amid worry over his absence, the deputy governor battled political survival as the Assembly pushed to remove him from office, following a breakdown in the relationship between the governor and the deputy governor, who was accused of gross misconduct.

Save Ondo from being driven into abyss, transmit power your deputy – PDP urges Akeredolu

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S’Court fines Ozekhome N40m for revisiting 2019 Imo gov suit



S’Court fines Ozekhome N40m for revisiting 2019 Imo gov suit

The Supreme Court on Tuesday slammed N40m fine on constitutional lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome.
He was fined for filing a ‘frivolous, vexatious and irritating motion’ before the court with respect to Imo State governorship tussle that was decided in 2019.

Ozekhome, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria SAN, called to the Nigerian Bar over 42 years ago and was fined a huge amount for bringing a motion before the Apex Court seeking to revalidate the suit that removed Emeka Ihedioha as Governor of Imo State in 2019.

The Senior lawyer was ordered in a ruling by Justice Tijani Abubakar to personally pay the N40M fine to four respondents he dragged before the Court.

Those to be paid are the Action People’s Party, APP, Uche Nnadi, Uche Nwosu and the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC.

In the motion considered to be frivolous by the Court, Ozekhome had asked the Court for a consequential order to compel INEC to issue a fresh Certificate of Return to Ihedioha to enable him spend a four-year tenure as Imo Governor.

His grouse was that the incumbent governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma unlawfully spent the four years that Ihedioha ought to spend.

Among others, Ozekhome in the motion claimed that the All Progressives Congress APC had no candidate in the 2019 Imo Governorship election, hence, Uzodinmma ought not to have been made governor on the platform of APC.

However, the Apex Court dismissed the motion on the ground that it has no jurisdiction to entertain such a motion.

Justice Abubakar held in the ruling that the request was strange, frivolous, baseless, unwarranted, vexatious and irritating.

He further held that the motion was a calculated design to demonize the Supreme Court.

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