NIGERIA VOTES 2007 SHOWDOWN
Here is the latest Political News and happenings in Nigeria courtesy Rhythm FM and STV. Seems like this is the spot to get the latest Election Week News. Well stick with Addy on Saturday April 21st for Election Day Round 2 when the presidential election showdown will take place. Also ‘return-back’ on Sunday for the result update. This is a situation that Nigeria World cannot solve so see you here then (internet connection willing). Also don’t forget to join us on jumptv.com. For anyone who has time and money you can call and contribute your own ‘diasporan wisdom’ to the live program at 01-774-6766 (it ain’t that serious but no prank calls please). Alrighty here goes the news ....deen deen deen deeen (that was the NTA news music)
The federal government has declared tomorrow, Friday, April 20, as a public holiday. A statement issued by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, said the one-day holiday will enable eligible voters travel to their home States to vote during the presidential election this Saturday. However employees of banks and those on essential services are exempted from the public holiday. You would recall that the federal government last week set aside Thursday and Friday as public holidays to enable eligible voters travel home to vote in the just-concluded gubernatorial and State Houses of Assembly polls.
The PDP says it would head for the Election Petition Tribunal to challenge the loss of the party in Lagos, Abia, Kano and Bauchi States’ gubernatorial seats during last Saturday’s polls. The party’s National Secretary, OJO MADUEKWE, stated this in Abuja while reviewing the governorship and State Houses of Assembly polls. He warned party members against violence during this Saturday’s polls. Handing down the warning, OJO MADUEKWE said the party would not condone lawlessness and violence on the part of its members. MADUEKWE added that the PDP will come hard on party members found culpable in such acts including malpractices.
From Yobe comes a report that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in that State has confirmed receipt of materials for the Senate and House of Representatives elections this Saturday.
INEC’s Deputy Director of Public Affairs, MODU WAJARAN, however told newsmen that the electoral body was yet to receive materials for the presidential polls. WAJARAN said the State INEC was yet to receive instructions from the national authorities on how to handle the presidential election materials when received from Abuja.
The Lagos State Governor-elect, BABATUNDE FASHOLA, has been advised to run an open and all-inclusive government in the interest of Lagosians.
Former gubernatorial candidate of New Nigerian Peoples Party in the State, ERIC GAGA, made the call today in Ikeja on behalf of his colleagues in the NDP, PPP and the ANPP. GAGA who congratulated INEC on the conduct of the elections urged the candidates who lost out to brace up for another day.
The Action Congress has accused the ANPP of reneging on the earlier agreement with eighteen opposition parties to seek a postponement of the presidential and national assembly elections. The party in a statement said it will now participate fully in the exercise on Saturday. Signed by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, LAI MOHAMMED, described as unfortunate that General MUHAMMADU BUHARI who initiated the meeting has opted to jettison the resolution. The party also advised its members and supporters to vote massively for its presidential candidate, ATIKU ABUBAKAR, since the ANPP has breached the accord.
Away from politics, the Department of National Civic Registration, DNCR, says it is targeting between twenty and twenty five million Nigerians for registration under the scheme. The DNCR Director, WAHAB JIMOH, who stated this in Abuja, said thousands of cards produced are yet to be collected at the various offices of the DNCR nationwide.
Meanwhile, the Action Congress has described the holiday as a ploy to shift the Supreme Court’s ruling on whether ATIKU ABUBAKAR still remains the Vice President. The Court is to rule whether the federal government has power to declare the seat of the Vice-President vacant for dumping the PDP for the A.C. tomorrow. With this development, the ruling by the Supreme Court over the matter would suffer a set back.
In Kebbi State, the Police Command says it has arrested over twenty suspects for various electoral offences in last Saturday’s elections.
Confirming the arrest in Birnin-Kebbi, the State Deputy Commissioner of Police, SULEIMAN ABBA, said the suspects were arrested at various locations in the State. ABBA said ten of the suspects were apprehended near INEC headquarters in Birnin-Kebbi for burning tyres and attempting to disrupt peace and order in the State. Other suspects were arrested in connection with snatching of ballot boxes and thuggery across polling units in the State.
A coalition of student bodies of tertiary institutions in Lagos State, under the aegis of concerned students has called on members to shun planned protests on last week’s election results. Addressing newsmen in Ikeja, the Students Union President of Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, Ijanikin, OLAPADE OMOLAYO, said the call is baseless and unfair. OMOLAYO also said the Union would support security agencies in arresting students who may be involved in the protest. The coalition comprises of over ten tertiary institutions in the State.
The Labour Party in Lagos State has rejected the results of last Saturday’s gubernatorial polls. A statement signed by its State Chairman, OLARENWAJU DADA, said the polls were marred by unprecedented irregularities. According to the party, the twenty nine thousand eight hundred and thirty six votes recorded for its candidate, FEMI PEDRO, was fake, fraudulent and did not reflect the wishes of the majority of Lagosians. The party also pointed at deliberate removal of Labour Party symbol and photographs of some candidates on the ballot papers.
The Federal Government has set up a presidential committee to formulate a viable housing policy for the country. The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief UFOT EKAETTE, who performed the ceremony today in Abuja said the government is determined to address the poor state of housing development in Nigeria. He called on the committee to come up with options that will meet the increasing demand for affordable and decent houses.
Action aid International has called on INEC to review the results of elections in States where there were irregularities. The Country Director of the Organisation, DR. OTIVE IGBUZOR, made the call while presenting an interim report on the governorship and House of Assembly elections. DR. IGBUZOR said such review would ensure peace and justice.
He frowned at the activities of some policemen who were allegedly used to perpetrate electoral fraud. Dr. IGBUZOR also called for the prosecution of electoral offenders to serve as deterrent to others.
Following the collapse of the ANPP-AC alliance, the ANPP has said it will take part in Saturday’s presidential election and National Assembly elections. National Chairman and Vice-Presidential candidate of the party, Chief EDWIN UME-EZEOKE who announced this at a news briefing in Abuja, said ANPP will not join those calling for a boycott of the polls.UME-EZEOKE therefore called on eligible voters to come out in large number on Saturday to vote and defend their votes.
UME-EZEOKE described those who were killed last Saturday while defending their votes as heroes of democracy.
Eighteen people including students have been remanded in custody by an Osogbo Chief Magistrate’s court for allegedly disturbing public peace during the governorship and House of Assembly elections. The accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charges. The Police prosecutor opposed a bail application by the accused because of the prevailing political situation in the State. Several houses were burnt in Osun State following the announcement of the election results which A.C. claimed were fraudulently obtained.
President OLUSEGUN OBASANJO has extended the emergency rule in Ekiti State to May 29, 2007. Speaking on a national broadcast last night, President OBASANJO explained that the extension of emergency rule in Ekiti was informed by the need to avoid a breakdown of law and order following the governorship and State House of Assembly elections last Saturday. He said the ongoing election had made the National Assembly to embark on recess making it impossible to seek their endorsement before the expiration of the initial six months emergency rule today.
President OBASANJO accused a former governor and those he called disgruntled elements of being behind the fighting, saying the administrator, retired Brigadier-General TUNJI OLURIN will remain in charge. President OLUSEGUN OBASANJO declared a state of emergency in Ekiti State on October nineteen, two thousand and six.