THE 'EAT' IS 'HON' ( aka The heat is on)
SO here is the latest development coming out of Nigeria as related to the Election. Some of it is from Tuesday Night courtesy Silverbird News and Rhythm 93.7 FM (SHAMELESS PLUG)
A GROUP OF OVER FIFTEEN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES IS CALLINGD FOR THE POSTPONEMENT OF SATURDAY’S PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. THE CALL FOR THE BOYCOTT IS CONTAINED IN A THREE POINT COMMUNIQUÉ ISSUED AFTER THE END OF THE GROUP’S MEETING LAST NIGHT IN ABUJA.
THE COMMUNIQUÉ ALSO DESCRIBED LAST WEEKEND’S ELECTION AS NOT FREE AND FAIR AS IT WAS CHARACTERISED BY MALPRACTICES AND VIOLENCE, AND SHOULD BE CANCELLED. IN THE COMMUNIQUE READ BY PROFESSOR PAT UTOMI OF THE ADC, THE GROUP WANTS INEC DISBANDED FOR NOT BEING TRULY INDEPENDENT OF THE RULING PARTY. LED BY THE FLAG-BEARER OF THE ALL NIGERIA PEOPLES PARTY, ANPP, GENERAL MOHAMMED BUHARI, THE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES HAD MET TO REVIEW LAST SATURDAY’S ELECTION AND TO FORM A COALITION TO PROVIDE A FORMIDABLE OPPOSITION TO THE RULING PARTY, PDP. VICE PRESIDENT ATIKU ABUBAKAR WHO WAS CONSPICUOUSLY ABSENT AT LAST WEEK’S MEETING WAS PRESENT YESTERDAY.
THE FORUM OF NATIONAL CHAIRMEN OF NIGERIAN POLITICAL PARTIES HAVE CALLED FOR THE IMMEDIATE DISBANDMENT OF THE INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION, INEC FOLLOWING WHAT THE GROUP DESCRIBES AS THE POOR CONDUCT OF LAST SATURDAY’S GOVERNORSHIP AND HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS.THE CHAIRMAN, LED BY CHIEF RALPH OBIORA OF JUSTICE PARTY, SAID LAST SATURDAY’S ELECTION WAS A TOTAL SHAM CHARACTERIZED BY MASSIVE IRREGULARITIES. THE FORUM WHICH ANNOUNCED ITS LOST OF CONFIDENCE IN INEC PREDICTED THAT THE PRESIDENTIAL AND NATIONAL ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS SLATED FOR APRIL TWENTY-ONE WILL SUFFER THE SAME FATE AS LAST WEEKEND’S ELECTION.
MEANWHILE, THE NIGERIAN BAR ASSOCIATION SAYS IRREGULARITIES AND VIOLENCE THAT CHARACTERIZED LAST SATURDAY’S ELECTION HAVE ERODED THE CONFIDENCE OF NIGERIANS IN THE ELECTORAL PROCESS. PRESENTING A PRELIMINARY REPORT ON THE GOVERNORSHIP AND HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS BY THE ELECTION WORKING GROUP OF THE NBA, FIRST VICE PRESIDENT OF THE ASSOCIATION AKURO GEORGE SAID THERE WAS PREVALENT INCIDENTS OF INADEQUATE ESSENTIAL ELECTORAL MATERIAL AND PERSONNEL. THE ASSOCIATION ALSO CONDEMNED THE INCIDENCE OF BALLOT BOX SNATCHING AND INTIMIDATION OF VOTERS.
THE INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION, INEC TUESDAY ANNOUNCED THAT IT WILL INCLUDE VICE PRESIDENT ATIKU ABUBAKAR ON THE BALLOT MATERIAL FOR SATURDAY’S PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. AT THE END OF A PROLONGED MEETING IN ABUJA INEC DISCLOSED THAT IT HAS CONTINGENCY PLANS TO INCLUDE ATIKU’S NAME ON THE BALLOT PAPERS.IT IS NOT YET CERTAIN IS WHETHER THE COMMISSION WILL PRINT NEW BALLOT PAPERS CARRYING ATIKU’S PHOTOGRAPH.
REACTIONS HAVE STARTED TRAILING MONDAY’S SUPREME COURT JUDGMENT WHICH NULLIFIED INEC’S DISQUALIFICATION OF VICE PRESIDENT ATIKU ABUBAKAR. SOME FAULTED THE VERDICT CLAIMING IT HAS RENDERED INEC INCONSEQUENTIAL. OTHERS INSIST THE RULING WAS A VICTORY FOR THE RULE OF LAW.
Soldiers have now been deployed to major roads in Kano state. This followed the violence within Kano metropolis yesterday as gunmen attacked a police station, killing at least thirteen policemen. Reports say the Divisional Police Office of the station and his wife were killed by the bandits who later razed the station. Violence preceded the governorship elections in Kano with the murder last Friday of an Islamic Cleric inside a mosque. In the meantime, the Police High Command has blamed the Kano violence in which at least thirteen policemen were killed on religious fundamentalists. Force spokesman HAZ IWENDI said in Abuja that intelligence reports showed that it was a fundamentalists’ act. He explained that the killing has no connection with politics.
HAZ IWENDI said a combined operation of all security agencies have commenced in Kano to fish out the killers.
ALL POLITICAL RALLIES HAVE BEEN BANNED IN NIGERIA UNTIL AFTER THE PRESIDENTIAL AND THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS. THIS INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE, SUNDAY EHINDERO WHO MADE THE ANNOUNCEMENT SAID THE BAN WAS TO PREVENT FURTHER VIOLENCE AROUND THE COUNTRY. HE SAID MISCHIEF MAKERS COULD TURN RALLIES AND POLITICAL GATHERINGS INTO AVENUES FOR POLITICAL UNREST. EHINDERO DIRECTED ALL STATE POLICE COMMISSIONERS TO ENFORCE THE BAN.
A MEMBER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, HONOURABLE ABIKE DABIRI SAYS SHE HAS UNCOVERED PLANS TO ABDUCT HER AHEAD OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY ELECTION THIS SATURDAY.
SHE MADE THIS ALLEGATION IN A LETTER TO THE LAGOS STATE POLICE COMMISSIONER.
ABIKE DABIRI WHO IS SEEKING ANOTHER TERM IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CLAIMED THAT SOME PDP MEMBERS WERE BEHIND THE PLOT. SHE DISCLOSED THAT THE PLOT WAS REVEALED TO HER BY ONE OF THE THREE PEOPLE CONTRACTED FOR THE JOB. SHE CALLED FOR EXTRA POLICE PROTECTION AND IMPROVED SECURITY IN HER CONSTITUENCY. THE ACTION CONGRESS AND ANPP GOVERNORSHIP CANDIDATES IN EKITI STATE HAVE JOINTLY REJECTED THE RESULTS OF ELECTIONS IN THAT STATE. ALLEGING THAT, THE ELECTIONS WERE NEITHER FREE NOR FAIR, THE CANDIDATES CALLED FOR ITS CANCELLATION. IN A JOINT PRESS CONFERENCE, THE CANDIDATES INSISTED THAT THE ELECTION WAS CHARACTERIZED BY MASSIVE RIGGING AND INTIMIDATION OF VOTERS. ACCUSING THE PDP OF MASTERMINDING THE IRREGULARITIES, THEY DECLARED THAT THEY WILL CHALLENGE THE RESULTS AT THE ELECTION TRIBUNAL.
THE GOVERNOR ELECT OF EKITI STATE ENGINEER SEGUN ONI IS EXTENDING THE OLIVE BRANCH TO MEMBERS OF THE OPPOSITION. IN AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH SILVERBIRD TELEVISION, THE GOVERNOR ELECT CHARGED ALL AGGRIEVED PARTIES IN THE GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION TO TEAM UP WITH HIS ADMINISTRATION IN MOVING THE STATE FORWARD.
Opposition political parties in the “Granite Alliance” have disagreed over the proposal that they boycott this Saturday’s presidential elections.
At a meeting in Abuja yesterday by the coalition of opposition parties convened by the ANPP presidential candidate, MUHAMMADU BUHARI, the proposal to boycott the polls met stiff opposition.
Our correspondent reports that a technical committee headed by ADC presidential candidate, Professor PAT UTOMI was set up to fashion out the way forward for the alliance.
The presidential candidate of the Action Congress, ATIKU ABUBAKAR, ADC, PAT UTOMI, DPP, ATTAHIRU BAFARAWA and two others attended the talks.
Nineteen other parties in the coalition sent in representatives.
The Minister of Information and Communication, FRANK NWEKE JUNIOR has condemned the Senate President, KEN NNAMANI for saying there were no elections in Enugu state last Saturday. NWEKE JUNIOR in a statement accused NNAMANI of propagating deliberate falsehood. The minister wondered why NNAMANI could say his father, Igwe FRANK NWEKE did not vote. NWEKE argued that the delay in the commencement of elections in Enugu on Saturday does not invalidate the process.
He said the polls in Enugu can not be invalidated because the Senate President chose to disenfranchise himself.
The U.S. government has expressed concern over reports of violence and electoral malpractice in last Saturday’s governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections in Nigeria. Acting White House Press Secretary, DANA PERINO told newsmen in Washington that the U.S. takes seriously reports of voting irregularities and election-related violence during the polls. PERINO said America is going to ask the Federal Government to correct the lapses ahead of the presidential and National Assembly elections on Saturday. Also speaking, U.S. government spokesman, SEAN Mc.CORMACK stated that the American government was awaiting reports of international monitors on the election.
The Police in Lagos say appropriate measures are in place to ensure residents of the safety of their lives and property during the presidential election scheduled for Saturday. State Police spokesman, OLUBODE OJAJINI said the four suspects arrested during the polls for snatching ballot boxes in Lagos Island would remain in police custody until after the general elections. OJAJUNI said the elections in Lagos were generally peaceful.
This report says sixty two people arrested by the police in Oyo state for alleged disruption of last Saturday’s elections have been remanded in prison custody by a magistrate court. Our correspondent reports that about one hundred persons were apprehended last weekend. The accused persons who were arraigned before a magistrate court yesterday were charged with offences ranging from illegal possession of guns and loitering during elections.
ELECTIONS: LOCAL MONITORS
Civil security groups and local observers of the elections held last Saturday have called for the cancellation of the polls in ten states. The group under the aegis of the Domestic Electoral Observation Coalition cited hoarding of result sheets by INEC, non- inclusion of candidates, various violence and lack of secrecy in voting.
INNOCENT CHUKWUMA of the Transition Monitoring Group told newsmen in Abuja that the results announced in Anambra, Adamawa, Delta, Edo, Enugu, Kogi, Nasarawa, Ogun and Rivers state did not reflect the works of the people in those areas.CHUKWUMA warned that Nigeria risks serious credibility problems should INEC uphold the disputed results.
NLC President ABDULWAHEED OMAR has threatened that the body would join protests trailing last Saturday’s elections in the country. OMAR who issued the threat in a chat with journalists in Abuja called on the federal government and INEC to address electoral malpractices in the polls. The NLC said INEC could not blame security agencies for the poor conduct of the elections. OMAR recalled that the commission set the stage for a failed electoral process through its illegal substitution of eligible candidates, poor preparation as well as complicity in electoral malpractices.
Meanwhile, INEC has announced that elections did not take place in four local governments during the governorship election in Imo state and Katsina. INEC Commissioner in Charge of Publicity, PHILIP UMEADI JUNIOR who made this known did not however name the councils. UMEADI JUNIOR said the comprehensive results of the governorship election would not be available until bye-elections are conducted in the four local councils. He said the bye-elections would be conducted on the twenty sixth of this month.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC says it is not true it was shopping for fifteen billion naira to procure fresh ballot papers in order to include Vice President ATIKU ABUBAKAR’s name for Saturday’s presidential elections.
INEC’s Commissioner in Charge of Information and Publicity, PHILIP UMEADI JUNIOR who made the denial said the claim was outrageous. UMEADI JUNIOR said he is not aware that INEC requires extra funds to prosecute the presidential elections whose date it fixed more than a year ago. The INEC Commissioner who was addressing a news conference in Abuja said the commission has made contingency plans to accommodate ATIKU in the presidential polls. On the fate of some candidates disqualified before the governorship elections last Saturday, UMEADI advised the candidates to explore the opportunity offered by the election petition tribunals. UMEADI added that all results announced so far by INEC are legal.
Self-acclaimed godfather of Anambra politics, CHRIS UBA has blamed his elder brother, the governor-elect of Anambra state, ANDY UBA for his arrest on the eve of last Saturday’s election. CHRIS UBA in an interview wondered why his brother was still afraid of him after hijacking the PDP in Anambra. According to him, the police did not tell him what offence he committed throughout his three-day stay in police detention in Abuja. CHRIS UBA insisted that he owns the political machinery with which ANDY UBA cruised to victory in the Anambra governorship election. In case you don’t know, CHRIS UBA was arrested in Enugu on Friday on the orders of his brother and was let off the hook only on Monday.
FOR ANY ONE WONDERING ABOUT THE WEATHER
Let’s find out what the weather has in store for the rest of the day.(LOL)
Our weather man reports that mild sunshine would prevail in most parts of the south this afternoon.
The north would remain sunny.
Temperature for three cities, Lagos, Abeokuta and Ilorin is put at thirty degrees Celsius with an envisaged low of twenty degrees Celsius.
Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory would have a temperature fluctuating between nineteen degrees and thirty two degrees Celsius.
That’s the weather forecast.
IN SPORTS :)
Kwara United is to trade tackles with Union Douala of Cameroun in their second-leg Confederation Cup encounter in Ilorin later today. Captain of the Camerounian side, NGAYAOU SERGIA has said they are in Nigeria to win to enable them advance to the group stage of the two thousand and seven Confederation Cup. The first-leg encounter in Cameroun ended one-one.
Popular musician, SUNNY NEJI has commended Nigerian Breweries for encouraging the return of live band through its annual musical talent hunt contest called Star Quest.
NEJI said the initiative would develop the growth of the music industry and reduce the incidence of what he called one-hit solo artistes.
SUNNY NEJI spoke during a visit to Star Fameland where thirty six contestants are battling to become the best band in the two thousand and seven Starquest contest.
IN ECONOMIC NEWS
A former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr. JOSEPH SANUSI wants a stronger agricultural sector in Nigeria. SANUSI said Nigeria can not achieve economic development if it cannot feed itself. Dr JOSEPH SANUSI expressed delight that steps are being taken to improve the fortunes of the nation’s agricultural sector.