Nigeria Decides 2019 Politics Top Stories

#NigeriaDecides2019: By the minute, all details as Nigerians go to the polls

#NigeriaDecides2019: By the minute, all details as Nigerians go to the polls

Opposition parties ignore INEC, tell members to resume campaign for Atiku

Buhari’s mental fitness raise concerns after embarrassing mistakes at Delta APC rally

Opposition political parties under the aegis of Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), has instructed its members to ignore the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and resume campaigns for Atiku Abubakar.

INEC chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, had during an interactive session with stakeholders in Abuja on Saturday asked political parties not to resume campaigns not minding the postponement of the presidential election earlier scheduled for February 16.

But CUPP first national spokesman, Imo Ugochinyere, in a statement on Sunday asked all members of the coalition to resume campaigns for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

Ugochinyere argued that the INEC chairman’s position was unconstitutional.

“In view of the provisions of the Section 99 of the Electoral Act, the over 51 member parties of the Coalition of United Political Parties hereby direct all members to return to the campaigns fields and recommence campaigns and end by midnight of Thursday, February 21, 2019 as required by law.

“Section 99 ( 1 ) of the Electoral Act provides that public campaigns shall end 24 hours prior to the day of polling . “It is, therefore, wrong to expect that political parties will stop campaigns on February 14 for polls that will open on February 23 . “It is unlawful and statutorily wrong to curtail the clear intendment of this section of the Electoral Act which is clear and unambiguous.

“Campaigning until 24 hours prior to the day of polling is a statutory right of parties and cannot be taken away , curtailed or abridged by any executive fiat. “INEC cannot, on its own accord, limit the period of campaigns as it is regulated by law .

“Member parties are hereby directed to continue campaigns from today ( Sunday ) and focus on voter remobilisation and ensure that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is elected and declared winner of the presidential election,” Ugochinyere said.


SERAP to sue Buhari, Nat’l Assembly after postponed elections

National Assembly declares full war against Buhari

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked Nigerians to “hold successive governments since the return of democracy in 1999 and the leadership of the National Assembly responsible for the patently unlawful postponement of the 2019 general elections scheduled to hold yesterday but now to hold on Saturday.”

The organization said: “Given the increasing tendency to postpone elections and the cumulative failures and corruption over the years, SERAP would, after the elections, pursue appropriate legal action against the government in power and the National Assembly leadership for the catalogue of breaches of constitutional and international obligations, and seek effective remedies for the citizens.”

In a statement on Sunday signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization said: “The postponement of Nigeria’s elections since 2007 shows a systemic failure of leadership at the highest level of government, and suggests that our electoral process is deliberately skewed in favour of politicians’ interests, who continue to profit from the corruption and impunity that have characterised the process since 1999, and against those of the citizens.”

According to the organization: “Calling for the resignation of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu rather than addressing the root causes of persistent postponement of elections is a blatant attempt by politicians to scapegoat the electoral commission.”

The statement read in part: “While the INEC leadership ought to proactively push for reform of the electoral system, successive governments and leadership of the National Assembly that have the legal responsibility but have remained largely impervious to revolutionary change of the electoral system, should be held to account for this fundamental breach of public trust.

“Foisting outdated electoral system on Nigerians, and spending huge public funds to sustain it, seems in uneasy tension with constitutional provisions and Nigeria’s international obligations including under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance to which Nigeria is a state party.

“Rather than prioritising genuine and comprehensive reforms of the electoral system that would upgrade and modernize our voting processes, successive governments and leadership of the National Assembly would seem to prefer the status quo, presumably to undermine citizens’ right to participation and to continue to profit from the corruption and impunity that the current system and processes breed.

“It is clear that the current electoral process is vulnerable to corruption but politicians would seem to have little incentive to comprehensively reform, upgrade and modernise it. It is unlikely that either the federal government or the National Assembly would take the steps necessary to sort out our electoral system, and improve transparency, accountability and integrity of the electoral process.

“We urge Nigerians to take more active role in the fight against corruption, including by putting pressure on the authorities at the federal and state levels and the National Assembly to comprehensively reform, upgrade and modernize our electoral system and processes. Otherwise, citizens’ right to participate in the governance system will remain a ‘hollow right’.

“Given that the right to vote is considered a part of an individual’s fundamental right to political participation, persistent postponement of elections in the country raises serious questions about the legitimacy and integrity of Nigeria’s fledgling democracy.

“Persistent failure to upgrade and modernize the electoral system has effectively relegated the right of participation to paper tiger status, undermining the ability of citizens to genuinely participate in the fight against corruption and to hold their leaders to account. Yet, a transparent, accountable and modernized electoral process is a prerequisite to the effective exercise of citizenship in a democratic society.

“No right is more precious in a democratic country than that of having a voice in the election of those who represent us. That voice is not lost when the electoral process is skewed in favour of politicians’ interests and against the Nigerian voters. Other rights, even the most basic, are illusory if the right to vote is undermined by the collective failure to upgrade and modernize the country’s electoral processes

“It is time to push for revolutionary changes in how Nigeria conducts its elections. The changes should effectively deploy modern technology, which has been successfully used in the business and other sectors in the country. Such changes may include the introduction of a national system of Internet voting, to innovative ideas on how to adapt the election systems to facilitate participation by different sectors of the population, to conform with twenty-first century elections.

“The postponement is the by-product of a systemic and collective failure by successive governments and National Assembly leadership to provide Nigerians with reliable, efficient and secured electoral system, which has continued to undermine public confidence in elections as well as the public’s right to vote and participate in their own government.

“SERAP would also deploy the Freedom of Information Act to seek information on details of spending by INEC since 1999, as part of our initiatives to improve transparency and accountability of governmental operations and promote respect for citizens’ right to participate in the processes of government and governance in the country.

“SERAP notes that postponement of general elections has become a recurring feature of the country’s electoral process. For example, the 2007 general elections witnessed late arrival of election materials from South Africa in April of that year, contributing to denying millions of voters their right to political participation.

“SERAP also notes that the 2011 general election suffered the same organizational lapses, with the elections postponed for two days after it had commenced. In 2015, the government of former president Goodluck Jonathan postponed the election for six weeks on the pretext that it needed time to reclaim the local governments reportedly taken over by the Boko Haram terrorist group.

“The INEC on the morning of the elections shifted presidential and National Assembly elections to 23rd February, 2019. The Governorship, State House of Assembly and the FCT Area Council Elections are to hold on 9th March, 2019.”


POLLS POSTPONEMENT: TI questions safety, integrity of electoral materials

The 2019 Dilemma and The Story of Another Bitter Alternative

Transparency International (TI) has questioned the safety and integrity of election materials that were already distributed before the postponement of the 2019 general elections on Saturday by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

TI, which expressed disappointment with the postponement on Saturday, said in a statement by its Nigeria head, Musa Rafsanjani, that the group is worried over the “security of elections materials which had been distributed across the country”.

Rafsanjani, who is also Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, called on the National Assembly to constitute a committee to investigate the sudden postponement of the polls.

According to him, there was a systemic conflict of interests and questionable procurement process in the electoral commission, adding that the postponement had caused the country, civil societies and international community a lot in terms of financial and human resources.

He said: “While we express our disappointment over the poor preparatory processes by the electoral body that hampered adequate deployment of electoral materials to many parts of the country, we condemn the decision (postponement) informed by a deliberate abuse of independent power.

“Given a large presence of youth deployment for anchoring electoral processes and international electoral observation missions across the country, the postponement is a huge setback for the nation’s democracy which may breed electoral apathy and distrust at all levels.

“With the new electoral dates, we are as well worried about the safety and integrity and security of the elections materials which have been distributed across the country.

“We demand adequate security for both materials and human resources deployed by the commission so far to the field to avert susceptibility to violations and attacks by unpatriotic individuals or groups. We call on the commission to tender unreserved apologies to Nigerian and international observers, who are committed their time, presence and financial resources to monitor the electoral process.”


Election postponement cost Nigeria over N140bn

Election postponement cost Nigeria over N140bn

The President, National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTs) Mr Ken Ukaoha has said that the postponement of the commencement of the 2019 general elections has cost the country over N140 billion.

Ukaoha stated this in Abuja on Saturday while speaking with reporters, insisting that the postponement would affect the trading sector adversely.

Ukaoha also noted that the postponement would affect the economy adversely in terms of money that the government, political parties and ordinary Nigerians had already expended on logistics and otherwise.

Describing the postponement as appalling and unfortunate, Ukaoha said the development could make the nation become a laughing-stock in among comity of nations.

The NANTs president said: “I am not talking of the manufacturing sector, transporters and the farmers; even workers were asked not to go to work.

“We need to be adequately prepared for elections.

“The loss is monumental if you look at the economic consequences, essentially if you look at the trade, Nigeria depends so much on daily turning of fund through distribution and redistribution of goods and commodity.

“I am telling you that with this calculation I have just done here, we are losing nothing less than 140 billion naira, because all got this information so late.

“If you go round now you will see that the shops are close, so we are losing chunk of money just for this incident.

“We are not talking about the manufacturers and the industrialists because they have all sent their workers away to go and perform their civic duty.

“Farmers did not go to their farms because they want to exercise their franchise. If you do the computation your guess is as good as mine in terms of what the nation is losing, we should learn.”


ELECTION POSTPONEMENT: INEC blames fire incidents, late court judgements

ELECTION POSTPONEMENT: INEC blames fire incidents, late court judgements

The Independent National Electoral Commission shed light on what led to the postponement of the 2019 general elections few hours before commencement of voting.

The Chairman of the electoral body, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, while addressing stakeholders at a meeting in Abuja on Saturday, pointed at fire incidents that ravaged it offices in Abia, Anambra and Plateau States as one of the reasons the elections were postponed.

Prof Yakubu also blamed some late court judgements that altered its preparation for the elections, adding that the judgements ordered the commission to add some parties on ballot papers that were already printed.

According to him, the commission was able to address some of the unforeseen challenges but they had a negative effect on the overall planning of the polls.

Yakubu added: “There have been delays in delivering ballot papers and result sheets for the elections which are not unusual. However, one must emphasise that all the ballot papers and result sheets were ready before the elections despite the very tight legal timeframe for the nomination of candidates and dealing with the spate of legal challenges that accompany it.

“In this regard, the commission has been sued or joined in over 640 court cases arising from the nomination of candidates. As of today, there are 40 different court orders against the commission on whether to add or drop candidates.

“The net effect of these is that there is usually roughly a one-month window for the commission to print ballot papers and result sheets and either fly or transport them to several destinations until they finally get to each polling unit.

“Unfortunately, in the last one week flights within the country have been adversely affected by bad weather. For instance, three days ago, we were unable to deliver materials to some locations due to bad weather.
“We therefore had to rely on slow-moving long haulage vehicles to locations that can be serviced by air in spite of the fact that we created five zonal airport hubs in Abuja (North Central), Port Harcourt (South South and South East). Kano (North West), Maiduguri and Yale (North-East) and Lagos (South-West) to facilitate the delivery of electoral logistics.

“Apart from these logistical challenges, we also faced what may well be attempts to sabotage our preparations. In a space of two weeks, we had to deal with serious fire incidents in three of our offices in Isiala Ngwa South Local Government Area of Abia State, Qu’an Pan Local Government Area of Plateau State and our Anambra State Office at Awka.

“In all three cases, serious disruptions were occasioned by the fire, further diverting our attention from regular preparations to recovery from the impact of the incidents. In Isiala Ngwa South, hundreds of PVCs were burnt, necessitating the recompiling of the affected cards and reprinting in time to ensure that the affected voters are not disenfranchised. I am glad that all the cards were quickly reprinted and made available for collection by their owners.

“In Qu’an Pan Local Government Area, our entire office was razed, destroying all the materials prepared for the elections printed register of voters, ballot boxes, voting cubicles and several electricity generating sets. ll Registration Areas and over I00 polling units were affected by the tire. We recovered quickly and have since replaced everything destroyed. In addition, we secured a suitable building from which to conduct the elections.

“Perhaps the most serious was the fire incident in our Anambra State Office at Awka, which destroyed over 4,600 Smart Card Readers being prepared for the elections. These Card Readers take at least six months to procure. Despite this setback, we have practically recovered from this by mopping up every available card reader.”


Local and Int’l observers meet in Abuja after postponement of election

MEDDLING ALLEGATIONS: Sirleaf's behaviour constitutes sabotage, party says after expulsion

Observers of commonwealth, AU, EU and ECOWAS met on Saturday, at Transcorp Hilton hotel, Abuja for a meeting after the decision made by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to postpone the general election till 23rd of February.

The meeting which was held inside the Plateau ballroom of the hotel started at 11.am.

The former president of Liberia, Mrs Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in her response to correspondents about the purpose of the meeting, stated that details will be revealed in the long run.

”I cannot say anything now. We are still on talks. I will brief you later,” she said.

Meanwhile, many international and local observers had previously met concerning the assessment of the country’s polls shortly before the INEC chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu announced the decision to shift presidential and national assembly elections to February 23 as well as the governorship and state houses of assembly polls to March 9 as against the agreed which was earlier slated for March 2.

The meeting which lasted for an hour included the Director, Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) Ms. Idayat Hassan, the convener of Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room Mr. Clement Nwankwo, the executive director for YIAGA ARICA Mr Samson Itodo and the executive director, Civil Society legislative advocacy centre (CISLAC) Mr Auwal Musa-Rafsanjani.


Opposition parties react to Buhari’s take on election posponement

2019 ELECTION: Editors warn politicians, security agents

The Coalition of United Political Parties, CUPP, has revealed why President Muhammadu Buhari is disappointed with the postponement of the 2019 general elections.

CUPP, in a statement by its spokesman, Imo Ugochinyere, on Saturday, while faulting President Buhari’s reaction to the Independent National Electoral Commission’s decision to postpone elections, said the President was not sincere in his claim that he was disappointed by the electoral body’s decision.

Ugochinyere said Buhari who is the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress was only pained by the decision because the INEC did not resort to conducting staggered elections as desired by the Presidency.

“You are pained because you didn’t get staggered election which was why your government security forces sabotaged election materials distribution,” he said.

Continuing, the coalition said: “Your Air Force called off pilots midair into distribution of election materials.

“Your Central Bank locked strong rooms midway into distribution. Your security forces aided bandits to steal supplied materials.

“Your security forces looked the other way while your supporters burnt INEC offices and card readers.

“Despite the mayhem your government and security forces unleashed on INEC, you wanted the election to hold with only 50% state ready and thinking that INEC will give you staggered elections.”

According to Ugochinyere, although the INEC failed Nigerians, the commission disappointed the President more by refusing staggered elections.


POLLS POSTPONEMENT: We take full responsibility, we’re sorry —INEC boss Yakubu

'Factor responsible for rising cost of elections in Nigeria'

The chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Mahmoud Yakubu has taken full responsibility for the cancellation and shift of the elections meant to hold today (Saturday).

He also apologized to Nigerians for the inconveniences and embarrassment it has caused the nation.

Yakubu stated this while speaking at a world press conference in Abuja on Saturday.

The commission refuted anxieties that it succumbed to political influence in postponing the elections.

He hinged the reasons for the shift in the poll to bad weather and logistics issue.

According to the chairman, campaigns and collection of Permanent Voter Cards remained closed.

“until close to 2 (this morning), we were still confident elections would hold,” he added.


Poll postponement hatched inside Presidency, PDP claims

Campaign distractions caused killing of Nigerian soldiers - PDP

The decision by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to postpone the presidential and National Assembly polls by a week was hatched inside the Presidency, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has claimed.

Mr Kola Ologbondiyan the National Publicity Secretary of the party, made the claim while reacting to the postponement of the election during an ongoing press briefing in Abuja, the Federal capital.

According to Ologbondiyan, the idea to shift the polls came from the Presidency, but warned that President Muhammadu Buhari’s defeat was merely a few days away.

The PDP also alleged that the Presidency was allegedly still planning to put some obstacles in the way of INEC to ensure that the election will be observed beyond one day.

The allegation by the PDP comes hours after the party rejected the postponement of the polls by INEC.

According to a statement by the National Chairman of the party, Prince Secondus, signed by his media officer Ike Abonyi, the decision clearly exposed INEC as a failure and called on its chairman to resign immediately.

The PDP leader warned that the party will not accept “anything short of a well organised electoral process devoid of manipulation, harassment and intimidation of voters and the opposition particularly members of the PDP.”

Secondus added, “Having failed in all their nefarious options to enable them cling on to power, the APC and the INEC came up with the idea of shifting election, an action that is dangerous to our democracy and is therefore unacceptable.”

Secondus however noted that the APC in connivance with the INEC “have been trying all options including but not limited to burning down INEC offices in some states and destroying of electoral materials to create artificial problems upon which to stand for their dubious act.”

“For the avoidance of doubt the PDP sees this action as wicked and we are also aware of other dubious designs like the deployment of hooded security operatives who would be ruthless on the people ostensibly to scare them away.”

He said that by this action, the President had allegedly further demonstrated his “insensitivity costing the huge cost after Nigerians including those who came home from abroad have all mobilised to their various constituencies.”


Lagos CP orders continued patrol to maintain law, order

Lagos CP orders continued patrol to maintain law, order

To forestall any possible fall-out due to the postponement of the presidential and National Assembly polls, an order to sustain patrols and surveillance across the state to maintain law and order has been issued by the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Zubairu Muazu.

The Lagos CP who said the sustained patrol was to ensure safety of citizens in the state, made that much information known via a statement signed by the state command’s spokesperson, CSP Chike Oti.

“Lagos State Police Command has intensified patrols in all the streets of Lagos to ensure the safety of the good people of the state.

“The Commissioner of Police, CP Zubairu Muazu mni, has therefore called on residents to go about their lawful duties without any fear.

“The command wishes to thank the people of Lagos State for maintaining peace and urges them to keep availing the command with credible and timely information to enable it sustain the peace currently enjoyed in the state.

“The command uses this opportunity to warn hoodlums and persons with criminal intent that the command will not entertain any act capable of breaching the peace of the state,’’ the statement read.


2019 ELECTION POSTPONEMENT: Buhari group calls for INEC chairman’s resignation

Opposition parties say Buhari has hatched a coup against the judiciary, want him impeached

The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has accused chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmud Yakubu, of dereliction of duty and asked for his resignation.

It said Yakubu should resign because of the tardiness that led to the postponement of the presidential and National Assembly elections in alleged collusion with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

BMO said in a statement signed by its chairman, Niyi Akinsiju, and secretary, Cassidy Madueke, that it was disappointed that the INEC chairman allowed the commission to be infiltrated by opposition elements.

“The INEC chairman did not give indications of any problem before now and is known to have consistently said the commission was prepared and that was because President Muhammadu Buhari made sure that it got the required funding in spite of the delay in budget passage orchestrated by the leadership of the National Assembly.

“Because of Professor Yakubu’s assurances, we would have been right to assume that nothing short of an act of God would have prevented the election from holding but we are disappointed that he had the temerity to use the excuse of logistic challenge to defer the election by one week”, the group said.

The pro-Buhari group also recalled that it once drew attention to possible infiltration of the commission by opposition elements through a former INEC chairman but it was not aware that the commission did not do much to arrest the situation.

It said, “Long before now, BMO raised the alarm on PDP’s recruitment of a former INEC chairman who presided over one of the worst elections in Nigeria’s recent history as a technical consultant.

“So if Professor Mahmud is blaming his inability to go ahead with the election on operational difficulties, then he should be looking inward at internal sabotage by INEC operatives who still owe allegiance to the former Commission chairman.

“If indeed electoral materials were not stacked in CBN offices in states like was done for previous elections, what happened? And why would materials meant for some states be sent to other states?

“The obvious sabotage could also be seen in the way members of the National Youth Service Corps who were recruited as adhoc electoral staff were abandoned to their fate in many states of the federation.

“So the question is-what happened to funds made available for the welfare of the corps members?”

As for opposition elements blaming the Presidency for INEC’s tardiness, BMO maintained that the postponement hurts President Buhari more than his main challenger in the election.


Election postponement a travesty, familiar nightmare, Sowore fumes

MINIMUM WAGE: Sowore dismisses ‘Facebook Economists’, offers salary calculator

Omoyele Sowore, the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, has lent his voice to the postponement of the polls by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Sowore in a statement by the Director-General of Sowore 2019 Campaign Organisation, Dr. Malcolm Fabiyi, on Saturday described the decision by INEC as a familiar nightmare and a travesty.

He condemned the postponement of the presidential and National Assembly polls saying the decision meant that President Muhammdau Buhari’s All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party, “are both two sides of the same bad coin.”

The AAC presidential flagbearer however urged the electorate to “stay the course, re-energise their engagements in their communities, and help to ensure an even bigger turnout for freedom next week.”

He said, “Nigerians awoke to a familiar nightmare – the sudden cancellation of elections that both the government and its electoral agencies had four years to prepare for.

“The failure to successfully hold elections whose dates were known four years in advance speaks to the complete ineptitude and lack of transparency of the Buhari regime.

“We have seen this script before. In 2011 and 2015, our electoral process was similarly thrown into chaos by last-minute shifts in the election dates under the (Goodluck) Jonathan-led PDP government.

“By repeating the same failures, Buhari’s APC government has now demonstrated to Nigerians that there is no difference in values between itself and the former PDP administration.

“This is yet another example of the fact that the two establishment parties, APC and PDP, are both two sides of the same bad coin.

“Nigerians must not become numb to this travesty. No one would tolerate such ineptitude in their own personal affairs.

“Millions of Nigerians travelled to ensure that they were in place to participate in the elections. Businesses and commercial activities have been disrupted, and the sacrifices of tens of millions of Nigerians who had readied themselves to go to the polls and effect a positive change in the trajectory of the nation has been dashed – albeit temporarily.

“The complicity of Buhari’s APC government in this last-minute shift in the electoral process is clear for all to see. If this administration had no hand in this callous postponement, their condemnation would have been swift and their denunciation of INEC’s actions would have been screamed from every mountain top.

“The APC was quick to denounce similar actions taken by the Jonathan-led PDP administration in 2015. Their silence on this occasion is deafening.

“The AAC, our presidential candidate, Omoyele Sowore, and the Nigerian people are not deterred.

“Positive change and true transformation are coming to Nigeria, and whether it happens on the 16th or on the 23rd of February, it will happen.

“We ask all of our supporters and party members to stay the course, re-energise their engagements in their communities, and help to ensure an even bigger turnout for freedom next week.”


ATIKU: I’m shocked by election postponement but no cause for alarm if…

Buhari is a joke, a parody of the 21st century —Atiku

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar, has said although he was shocked that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) postponed the Presidential election, he remained calm if the materials were kept is safe custody.

Atiku made this note while speaking at his residence in Yola, Adamawa State on Saturday.

Atiku said, “I am shocked with the postponement of the election. You don’t postpone an election few hours to its conduct.

“I am going to Abuja to attend an emergency meeting of the PDP and decide the next step. I am not dampened by the postponement.

“As long as the sensitive materials that have been distributed already are kept in a safe place, there is no cause for alarm.

“I am appealing to Nigerians to please come out and vote and to please be patient. Whatever the stakeholders decide at the meeting in Abuja will be communicated to Nigerians.”


TMG encourages Nigerians over election postponement

TMG encourages Nigerians over election postponement

Transition Monitoring Group, (TMG) and Human and Environmental Development Agenda, (HEDA) have expressed disappointment on the last minute cancellation of the presidential and National Assembly elections previously scheduled by the (INEC) to take place this Saturday (today).

The groups urged Nigerians not to allow the development discourage them in exercising their civic responsibility to elect the leaders of their choice to various political offices.

INEC had few hours to the election announced it was postponing the presidential and National Assembly elections to February 23, and governorship and state House of Assembly polls March 2 to 9.

It claimed the cancellation was due to logistics issues.

But in a statement by Dr. Abiola Akiode-Afolabi, chairperson for TMG, the group said, “TMG and HEDA were looking forward to a successful observation of the elections as we had committed scarce resources into our planned election observation as our own contribution to national development.

“We however, hope that INEC would resolve its logistics issues before the newly scheduled dates for the elections as we urge Nigerians not to be discouraged in exercising their civic responsibility to elect the leaders of their choice to various political offices. We cannot continue with the template of poor management of Logistics as a reason for the postponement.”

“TMG and HEDA will keep you updated on our next line of action with regards to the elections as event unfolds.”


POLLS POSTPONEMENT: Buhari warns INEC

POLLS POSTPONEMENT: Buhari warns INEC

President Muhammadu Buhari has called on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure that ensure “that materials already distributed are safe and do not get into wrong hands”.

The president also called on the electoral umpire to ensure “everything is done to avoid the lapses that resulted in this unfortunate postponement, and ensure a free and fair election”.

Buhari state’s this in a statement he personally signed, in reaction to the postponement of the Presidential and National Assembly polls that were to hold on Saturday.

The president also stated that In was disappointing for INEC to exhibit a level of unpreparedness given the resources and time at its disposal to conduct a credible exercise.

buhari said “I am deeply disappointed that despite the long notice given and our preparations both locally and internationally, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) postponed the Presidential and National Assembly elections within hours of its commencement.

“Many Nigerians have traveled to various locations to exercise their right to vote, and international observers are gathered.

“INEC themselves have given assurances, day after day and almost hour after hour that they are in complete readiness for the elections. We and all our citizens believed them.

“This administration has ensured that we do not interfere in any way with the work of INEC except to ensure that all funds were released to the commission.

“We now urge INEC to ensure not only that materials already distributed are safe and do not get into wrong hands, but that everything is done to avoid the lapses that resulted in this unfortunate postponement, and ensure a free and fair election on the rescheduled dates.

“While I reaffirm my strong commitment to the independence, neutrality of the electoral umpire and the sanctity of the electoral process and ballot, I urge all political stakeholders and Nigerians to continue to rally round INEC at this trying national moment in our democratic journey.

“I, therefore, appeal to all Nigerians to refrain from all civil disorder and remain peaceful, patriotic and united to ensure that no force or conspiracy derail our democratic development.

I have decided to move back to Abuja to ensure that the 14.00 hrs meeting called by INEC with all stakeholders is successful”.


INEC returns election materials to CBN after election shift

Aspirant threatens INEC with court suit if it fails to disqualify all APC candidates

The decision by the National Electoral Commission (INEC) to postpone presidential and National Assembly elections by one week has forced the return of sensitive materials earlier distributed to the sixteen Local Government Areas in Kwara back to the Ilorin branch of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

That much information was made known by INEC Public Relations officer in the state, Jacob Ayanda who revealed that materials such as ballot papers, election results sheets, ink pads and other materials were loaded in trucks, buses and cars and brought to the CBN office for safe keeping.

Ayanda said; “Since the election has been postponed till next week, we have to take care of the materials to ensure that they are safe and intact wherever we keep them and CBN is the best and safest place to keep them”.

The move was made hours after the Inter-Party Advisory Commission (IPAC) in Oyo called on INEC to ensure that all electoral materials distributed across Nigeria before the election was postponed earlier are secured.

IPAC made the call through its Chairman, Mr Waheed Oyewole during his reaction to the decision to postpone the elections till next weekend due to logistic reasons.


Fela Durotoye blasts INEC, says election shift a global disgrace

2019: Durotoye commends Ezekwesili, seeks coalition with Sowore, Moghalu

The 47-year-old presidential candidate of the of Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), Mr Fela Durotoye has blasted the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for postponing elections by one week.

Speaking on Saturday during a broadcast on Instagram Television, popularly known as IGTV, Fela Durotoye described the decision by INEC to shift the polls as a global disgrace.

“We are so disappointed with the announcement of the postponement of the elections. It (the elections) should have happened today (Saturday). Today was a day that history was supposed to be made,” he said.

The ANN presidential flagbearer who said it was baffling how after having four years to prepare, INEC is still not adequately ready for the elections, however called on the electorate to be calm following the postponement.

“They can only delay the elections, they can’t delay our destiny, which is to have a new Nigeria where promises are kept.

“We don’t need this national embarrassment. This is a national disappointment and embarrassment. It is a global disgrace,” he added.

Durotoye argued that there were brilliant people in the country who could have organised the elections without logistics problem due to their expertise in project management.

He said, “Everywhere across the world, people set dates. For four years, they knew we were going to have elections. How do we postpone elections at 3:am on the day of elections?

“People had left their homes because the system did not work, they couldn’t transfer their Permanent Voter Cards, so they traveled. People left their children at home to travel to vote to deliver a new Nigeria. Some came in from abroad.”


MOGHALU: Polls postponement, signpost of recycling of failure under PDP, APC

2019: After losing to Durotoye, Moghalu refuses to honour PACT, insists on contesting

The presidential candidate of the Young Progressives Party (YPP) Kingsley Moghalu has added his voice to the decision by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to postpone the general elections.

While speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Moghalu said the postponement by INEC is a signpost of the recycling failure under the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Describing the decision by INEC as burdensome with serious implications, Moghalu however called on Nigerians to remain calm and resolute to vote for a new kind of leadership next weekend.

He said; “School children will now face further disruptions to the school calendar. Economic activities will suffer further setbacks.

“And Nigerians who have traveled to various parts of the country to vote or monitor the elections that would have held today now face logistical nightmares.

Moghalu also used the opportunity to thank his teeming volunteers and campaign supporters for their continued supports while restating his commitment to serve if voted into power.

“I would like to thank the teeming volunteers of my campaign and supporters of our party, the YPP, for their service to our country. Let us ensure this election is a watershed for the liberation of our country from the vice-like grip of incompetence and lack of vision.

“I remain committed to providing our country the needed visionary and competent leadership,” Mr Moghalu said.


Nigeria re-opens its borders after election postponement

‘This year, we have retrieved over 700 voter cards from non-Nigerians’ – Immigration

The Federal Government has announced the re-opening of land borders which were earlier shut due to the Presidential and National Assembly elections which have now been postponed by a week.

That much information was revealed by Muhammad Babandede, the Comptroller-General of Immigration who revealed in a statement on Saturday that the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, gave the directive following INEC’s decision to postpone the polls.

It said, “Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (retd.), has ordered the re-opening of all the land borders earlier closed due to the postponement of the elections earlier scheduled for February 16, 2019.

“Nigeria Immigration Officers will continue their normal border control and patrol duties to ensure that all persons crossing our land, air and sea borders travel with a valid and genuine document and also pass through recognised routes.”

According to reports, the Immigration Service had deployed over 10,000 members of its rapid response squad and other personnel to man land borders and the hinterland as part of measures to prevent possible infiltration of the country by foreigners during the elections.


Hard knocks for INEC on Twitter over shift in polls

INEC discloses number of registered voters for 2019 election

The decision by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to postpone the 2019 elections has sparked a wave of criticisms by Nigerians on social media platform Twitter.

Scores of disgruntled Nigerians took to their social media accounts on the platform to express their displeasure over the decision made by INEC Chairman, Mahmoud Yakubu earlier today.

Rising from a stakeholders meeting which lasted for hours, the electoral body early on Saturday said it could no longer go ahead with the election, citing logistics and operational plans as reasons for the postponement.

INEC later informed that the presidential and National Assembly elections have been shifted by a week and will now hold on February 23 while state elections will hold on March 9.

That announcement by INEC has now caused a frenzy on Twitter as Nigerians have decided to vent their spleen on INEC Chairman Yakubu as his decision may have spoilt private plans for another week.

Hard knocks for INEC on Twitter over shift in polls Hard knocks for INEC on Twitter over shift in polls Hard knocks for INEC on Twitter over shift in polls Hard knocks for INEC on Twitter over shift in polls


IPAC counsels INEC over distributed electoral materials

IPAC counsels INEC over distributed electoral materials

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been called upon to ensure that all electoral materials distributed across Nigeria before the election was postponed earlier today are secured.

The call to INEC was made by Inter-Party Advisory Commission (IPAC) in Oyo State, through its Chairman, Mr Waheed Oyewole during his reaction to the decision to postpone the elections till next weekend due to logistic reasons.

According to Mr Oyewole, the postponement was unfortunate but also noted that “it is better than to conduct a shoddy election that would be full of flaws.

“Imagine that INEC conduct election that many polling units receive sensitive materials very late or incomplete materials.

“The commission took a wise decision, but my worry is how the materials that have been distributed to some local government areas will not be tampered with.

“Let the commission in collaboration with the security agencies provide adequate security for the materials so that some unscrupulous politicians do not highjack the materials,” Oyewole added.


Election shift is truly disappointing —Osinbajo

More controversies as NNPC contradicts Osinbajo, says govt pays for fuel subsidy

Vice-President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo has faulted the postponement of the 2019 elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for another one week.

He describes the decision as “truly disappointing” but maintained that the “march to the Next Level continues”.

The spokesperson of the Vice-President, Laolu Akanbi in an early Saturday morning tweet, said “Mr. President was already in Daura in Katsina State and the VP already in Lagos to vote this morning before the postponement just announced by INEC.

“This is truly disappointing, but the march to the Next Level continues. Nigeria will prevail.”

INEC Chairman, Prof Yakubu Mahmood had earlier announced the postponement of the elections by one week over logistics and operational issues.


INEC broadcast that shook Nigeria (Video)

ANALYSIS... The fire consuming INEC may be burning out hope of credible elections

On Saturday morning, while Nigerians slumbered In preparation for the presidential and National Assembly elections, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Prof Mahmoud Yakubu told the nation the exercise would no longer hold.

Watch his broadcast that brought years of preparation to a screeching halt:


POLL SHIFT: Hand of Esau, voice of Jacob —Atiku

Atiku criticizes Buhari for asking Zamfara people to eat well so they can make trouble

The Presidential flagbearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar has called for calm and restraint among Nigerians following the postponement of the presidential and National Assembly elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Reacting to the decision announced by the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, in a statement personally signed by him, Atiku said it is rather unfortunate that President Muhammadu Buhari failed to properly use the time he had to organise a hitch-free elections.

He also went further to liken the decision by INEC to the Biblical hand of Esau but the voice of Jacob.

Atiku said, “As you know, the Independent National Electoral Commission has announced a postponement of the elections until 23 February and 9 March respectively.

“The Buhari administration has had more than enough time and money to prepare for these elections and the Nigerian people were poised and ready to perform their civic responsibility by voting in the elections earlier scheduled for Saturday, 16 February, 2019.

“This postponement is obviously a case of the hand of Esau but the voice of Jacob. By instigating this postponement, the Buhari administration hopes to disenfranchise the Nigerian electorate in order to ensure that turn out is low on the rescheduled date. Nigerians must frustrate their plans by coming out in even greater numbers on Saturday, 23 February and Saturday, 9 March respectively.

“Knowing that the Nigerian people are determined to reject them, they are desperate and will do anything in their power to avoid their rejection by the Nigerian people.

“Their plan is to provoke the public, hoping for a negative reaction, and then use that as an excuse for further anti-democratic acts.

“As such, I call on all Nigerians to be patient. We have tolerated the maladministration of this government for four years. We can extend our tolerance a few more days and give them our verdict via our votes.”

He called on Nigerians to defy whatever disappointment that may have risen due to the unexpected postponement and ensure to maintain peace and still endure to come out to vote on the new dates.

The former VP said, “Maintain the peace and be law abiding. Do not react to this provocation with anger, violence or any action that might be exploited by those who do not want this election to hold. Remain calm. We will overcome this. You can postpone an election, but you cannot postpone destiny.

“Please come out to vote on Saturday, 23 February and Saturday, 9 March respectively. Frustrate those who do not want this election to hold by coming out in very large numbers. That is the best antidote to their plans.


Keyamo suspects INEC colluded with PDP to shift polls

Spokesman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council, Festus Keyamo (SAN), has condemned the cancelation of dates for the general elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The party, asking its supporters to remain patient and determined, said it hopes that INEC will remain “neutral and impartial” as there are suggestions that “this postponement has been orchestrated in collusion with the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)”.

INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood, had early Saturday morning, few hours before the commencement of the presidential and National Assembly election, announced the postponement of the election to February 23, while the governorship and House of Assembly poll scheduled earlier for March 2, is now to hold on March 9.

But reacting in a statement by Keyamo, the ruling party said, “We condemn the postponement of the elections but urge our teeming supporters to be patient and determined.

“We have just received with great disappointment and disillusionment the announcement by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of its decision to postpone the Presidential/National Assembly and Gubernatorial/House of Assembly Elections to Saturday, February 23, 2019, and Saturday, March 9, 2019, respectively.

“We condemn and deprecate this tardiness of the electoral umpire in the strongest terms possible. President Muhammadu Buhari had since cooperated fully with INEC by ensuring everything it demanded to conduct free and fair elections were promptly made available to it. This news is, therefore, a huge disappointment to us and to our teeming supporters nationwide and around the world, many of whom have come into the country to exercise their franchise.

“We do hope that INEC will remain neutral and impartial in this process as the rumour mill is agog with the suggestion that this postponement has been orchestrated in collusion with the main opposition, the PDP,  that was never ready for this election. We note that all the major credible demographic projections have predicted a defeat of the PDP and it seriously needed this breather to orchestrate more devious strategies to try and halt President Buhari’s momentum. It did the same as the ruling Party in 2015, when it realized the game was up, by orchestrating the postponement of the 2015 elections by six weeks.

“Now, it may be up to its old trick again. We have earlier raised the alarm that the PDP is bent on discrediting this process the moment it realized it cannot make up the numbers to win this election. We are only urging INEC not collude with the PDP on this.

“We are truly worried because as early as Friday morning, some known PDP Social Media influencers unwittingly announced this postponement, but quickly deleted the message and apologized to the public that it was fake news. We do not want to be forced to a situation of announcing our total loss of confidence in INEC, because we know where that would leave our democracy.

“It is in the light of the above that we wish to appeal to Nigerians and our supporters to be patient, calm and resolute despite this temporary setback. Let us not give anyone, especially the PDP, the opportunity to plunge this nation into crises, which is what they earnestly desire. Its imminent defeat is just a few days away.

“Lastly, we wish to draw the attention of INEC and the world to observe that the PDP has clearly and openly said it plans to announce parallel results through some funny device it has procured or developed.

“We wish to re-iterate that it is only INEC that is legally and constitutionally empowered to declare results and it constitutes an offence for anyone to do so. We urge INEC to speak up now and warn the PDP to desist from this ignoble act that is capable of plunging the nation into a crisis of immeasurable proportions.”


Election postponement Buhari’s agenda, PDP says, calls for INEC chair resignation

2019: PDP leadership kicks as INEC dumps its Ogun candidates list for Kashamu’s

The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected the new dates announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the conduct of the general elections.

It accused President Muhammadu Buhari of masterminding the postponement and called for the immediate resignation of the INEC chairman for the embarrassing development.

INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood, had early Saturday morning, few hours before the commencement of the presidential and National Assembly election, announced the postponement of the election to February 23, while the governorship and House of Assembly poll scheduled earlier for March 2, to hold on March 9.

But reacting to the development, PDP claimed the “trashy” arrangements for the elections by the INEC was a deliberate agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari to cling on to power even when “it was obvious to him that Nigerians wanted him out.”

PDP national chairman, Prince Secondus, who stated this soon after the shift in election announcement, further alleged that the postponement was part of a grand design by the ruling APC to thwart the will of Nigerians at all cost.

He also argued that the action had clearly exposed INEC as a failure and called on its chairman to resign immediately.

He warned that PDP will not take “anything short of a well organised electoral process devoid of manipulation, harassment and intimidation of voters and the opposition particularly members of the PDP.”


ELECTION POSTPONEMENT: Now, I’m vindicated —Fayose

They're not mine! Fayose claims EFCC sealing houses belonging to 'innocent' people in Ekiti

Former governor Ayodele Fasoye of Ekiti state has said his initial claims that the government was planning a postponement of the election was true.

He said the Presidency was aware of the looming defeat and could not stand the shame, hence, the shift in the day of election.

Fasoye had, on his Twitter handle two days ago, written, “Leadership of APC now in crucial meeting. They are considering postponement of Saturday’s elections till 2nd week of March, using burning of INEC offices in Anambra, Abia & Plateau States as well as insecurity in some States as reasons.”

However, in a fresh tweet on Saturday morning, Fayose said Nigerians could now believe what he said.

He twitted, “Two days ago, I told Nigerians that the Presidency cabal were considering postponement of the elections because they knew that they can’t win.

“Now I’m vindicated. With this, they have only succeeded in making their situation worse. Nigerians will defeat this tyranny ultimately.”


INEC working for PDP, Wike in Rivers, Amaechi claims

Amaechi renews bid to sack Gov Wike

The Minister for Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has alleged that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is working in the interest of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the governor of the state, Nyesome Wike.

Amaechi was reacting to earlier claims by Wike that he (Amaechi) was planning to disrupt the election in the state having realised that a court ruling had restricted the All Progressives Congress (APC) from fielding candidates in the state.

Amaechi who spoke to journalists in his country home in Port Harcourt on Thursday said INEC did not obey the stay of execution order by the court of Appeal which only indicated that the electoral umpire had interest in the victory of thr PDP.

Amaechi, a former governor of the state recalled a comment by the National chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole also alleging the commission of working for the ruling party in the state.

He said, “An example that INEC is working for the PDP is a fact that there is a stay of execution granted by the Court of Appeal.

“Just because the INEC Chairman was Director of TETFUND under Wike as Minister of State for Education, he now chooses the court order to implement and the one not to implement.”


‘Voter data by Nigeria’s INEC statistically impossible’

SHOCKER! Zamfara APC won’t take part in 2019 elections —INEC

United Kingdom based newspaper, UK Guardian, is suspicious there are moves to massively rig the Nigerian general elections.

The international media platform said that the voter registration documents it got access to in the United Kingdom on February 15, a day to the earlier slated date for Nigeria’s presidential election, raises fears of mass rigging.

INEC had slated February 16, for presidential and National Assembly poll and March 2, for governorship and state House of Assembly election. It however announced Friday night, few hours to the presidential election, postponement of the exercise to February 23 and March 9, respectively.

The UK Guardian raised concerns over the number of new voters registered in Nigeria since January 2018, which has increased by almost exactly the same percentage in each of its states.

After analysing the voter data, the paper said the document raises fears that the results of the coming general elections could be open to mass rigging.

Incumbent Muhammadu Buhari of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), and major opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Atiku Abubakar, are major contenders in the race that has over 70 candidates vying for Nigeria’s presidency seat.

The report by the UK Guardian noted that since the last presidential election in 2015, many more people have become eligible to vote, and many others have registered to take part in the polls for the first time.

About 10 million new voters signed up between January 2018 and early 2019 – according to data released by the Independent National Electoral Commission– twice the number that signed up in the first nine months of registration, between April 2017 and January 2018.

But analysis of the data for each of the country’s 36 states and its capital shows that INEC has increased the number of new registered voters by almost exactly the same percentage across all states. The correlation is a “statistical impossibility” and does not reflect Nigeria’s demographic changes, according to data analysts working with the Guardian.

Additional data seen by the Guardian also shows irregularities in registration for the 2015 election, until now considered to have been free and fair.

On average, voter registration in each state increased by 2.2 per cent between April 2017 and January 2018, and by 7.7 per cent for the whole registration period ahead of Saturday’s election.

According to the paper, plotted on a scatter line graph, there is a 0.99 correlation across all the states, without a single outlier. According to three separate data analysts, the parity cannot be a coincidence.

“Only God works that closely,” one analyst said. If some of the new voters registered are fake, it would imply meddling at the electoral commission, though it is unclear whether it would be the ruling party or the opposition that would stand to benefit.


ELECTION POSTPONEMENT: Buhari has merely shifted judgement day —Opposition parties

Buhari’s mental fitness raise concerns after embarrassing mistakes at Delta APC rally

Opposition parties have described the eleventh hour postponement of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as a shift in the day of reckoning for President Muhammadu Buhari.

The group, Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), in a statement by its spokesman on Saturday morning, Imo Ugochinyere said the shift in the days of the elections by one week showed the desperacy of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to win the election at all cost.

The group, however, saluted the courage by INEC’s chairman, Prof Yakubu Mahmood for shifting the election to avert a national bloodshed.

He said, “In their bid to once again foist an unpopular government on Nigerians, they threw caution to the winds and started setting electoral materials on fire in states that are well known to be strongholds of opposition.

“These acts of sabotage, no doubt, ruined the preparations of the Independent National Electoral Commission for the elections.

“We have raised the alarm many times that agents of the government were working hard to ensure that elections are not held or are declared inconclusive in areas they know that the All Progressives Congress will never win. We have been vindicated.

“We blame the international embarrassment this last minute postponement has caused the nation on the President, the desperate leaders of his party, APC, and the nation’s security agencies who failed woefully in their duties to protect electoral materials and INEC offices from attacks by these enemies of the nation.”

“President Buhari’s judgement day with the people has just been shifted.”

He added that this rescheduling had averted a “national bloodshed because we are aware that APC wanted to proceed with election after compromising distribution and destroying materials in over 15 states.”


For once, PDP, APC on same page, condemn INEC 2019 election postponement

For once, PDP, APC on same page condemn INEC 2019 election postponement

The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected the new dates announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the conduct of the general elections.

Also, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has condemned the late minute action by the Nigeria electoral body.

INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, had early Saturday morning, few hours before the commencement of the presidential and National Assembly election, announced the postponement of the election to February 23, while the governorship and House of Assembly poll scheduled earlier for March 2, is now to hold on March 9.

But reacting to the development, PDP claimed the “trashy” arrangements for the elections by INEC was a deliberate agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari to cling on to power even when “it was obvious to him that Nigerians wanted him out.”

PDP national chairman, Prince Secondus, who said this, further alleged that the postponement was part of a grand design by the ruling APC to thwart the will of Nigerians at all cost.

He added that the action had clearly exposed INEC as a failure and called on its chairman to resign immediately.

He warned that PDP will not take “anything short of a well organised electoral process devoid of manipulation, harassment and intimidation of voters and the opposition particularly members of the PDP.”

Meanwhile, the APC has condemned the action of INEC but asked its supporters to remain patient and determined.

The APC response was contained in a statement by the spokesperson of its Presidential Campaign Council, Festus Keyamo.

The statement read: “We condemn the postponement of the elections but urge our teeming supporters to be patient and determined.

“We have just received with great disappointment and disillusionment the announcement by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of its decision to postpone the Presidential/National Assembly and Gubernatorial/House of Assembly Elections to Saturday, February 23, 2019, and Saturday, March 9, 2019, respectively.

“We condemn and deprecate this tardiness of the electoral umpire in the strongest terms possible. President Muhammadu Buhari had since cooperated fully with INEC by ensuring everything it demanded to conduct free and fair elections were promptly made available to it. This news is, therefore, a huge disappointment to us and to our teeming supporters nationwide and around the world, many of whom have come into the country to exercise their franchise.

“We do hope that INEC will remain neutral and impartial in this process as the rumour mill is agog with the suggestion that this postponement has been orchestrated in collusion with the main opposition, the PDP, that was never ready for this election. We note that all the major credible demographic projections have predicted a defeat of the PDP and it seriously needed this breather to orchestrate more devious strategies to try and halt President Buhari’s momentum. It did the same as the ruling Party in 2015, when it realized the game was up, by orchestrating the postponement of the 2015 elections by six weeks.

“Now, it may be up to its old trick again. We have earlier raised the alarm that the PDP is bent on discrediting this process the moment it realized it cannot make up the numbers to win this election. We are only urging INEC not collude with the PDP on this.

“We are truly worried because as early as Friday morning, some known PDP Social Media influencers unwittingly announced this postponement, but quickly deleted the message and apologized to the public that it was fake news. We do not want to be forced to a situation of announcing our total loss of confidence in INEC, because we know where that would leave our democracy.

“It is in the light of the above that we wish to appeal to Nigerians and our supporters to be patient, calm and resolute despite this temporary setback. Let us not give anyone, especially the PDP, the opportunity to plunge this nation into a crises, which is what they earnestly desire. Its imminent defeat is just a few days away.

“Lastly, we wish to draw the attention of INEC and the world to observe that the PDP has clearly and openly said it plans to announce parallel results through some funny device it has procured or developed.

“We wish to re-iterate that it is only INEC that is legally and constitutionally empowered to declare results and it constitutes an offence for anyone to do so. We urge INEC to speak up now and warn the PDP to desist from this ignoble act that is capable of plunging the nation into a crisis of immeasurable proportions.”


CONFIRMED: INEC postpones elections

OSUN GUBER: INEC, PDP disagree over alleged creation of illegal polling units

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has now officially announced the postponement of the 2019 elections.

Following a marathon meeting that stretched into the early hours of Saturday, INEC confirmed sepculations that the elections would not be held as earlier scheduled.

With the new arrangement, the presidential and National Assembly elections will now hold on February 23, while governorship elections will hold March 9.

INEC chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, cited need for better logistic and operational preparedness for the postponement.

Announcing the decision, he said, “Following a careful review of the implementation of its logistics and operational plan, and the determination to conduct free, fair, and credible elections, the commission came to the conclusion that proceeding with the elections as scheduled is no longer feasible”.


Reports of likely postponement as INEC holds emergency meeting

Aspirant threatens INEC with court suit if it fails to disqualify all APC candidates

There are reports that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is considering a postponement of the 2019 presidential and National Assembly elections.

Officials of the commission are currently in an emergency meeting in Abuja.

The reports claim the consideration for postponement is linked to the commission’s unsolved logistics challenges in some states even as late as the eve of the elections.

Earlier on Friday, INEC’s REC in Niger State confirmed to newsmen that ballot papers for Niger East and North are missing.

There have also been some reports emerging from other states like Ekiti claiming incomplete election materials.

There have, however, been no official confirmation from INEC yet on whether or not any postponement would be allowed.


Atiku raises fresh rigging allegation

CUPP member parties deny endorsing Atiku

Hours to the presidential election, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, says Mr. Mohammed Sani Musa, the Managing Director of the firms producing Permanent Voter Cards and the machines used in printing the cards is also the Niger-East senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress.

In a statement signed by his Special Assistant on Public Communication, Mr. Phrank Shuaibu, the PDP candidate called on Nigerians and the international community to take note of the fact that Musa is the MD of Act and Activate Technologies, the companies given contracts by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

The PDP candidate noted that Musa had even bragged about being the supplier of PVCs on his LinkedIn profile.

He said a search at the Corporate Affairs Commission showed that Musa is the MD of Act Technologies which supplied the machines used in printing PVCs while Activate Technologies, which is located in the same compound as Act Technologies and has the same directors, does the actual printing of the cards

Atiku noted that both Act and Activate Technologies are sister companies located in the Maitama area of Abuja.

The statement read in part, “It is public knowledge that Sani Musa, popularly known as Sani 313 is a card-carrying member of the APC and a close associate of several stalwarts of the party, including President Muhammadu Buhari who apparently pushed his nomination.

“Shockingly, the APC senatorial candidate for Zone B of Niger State, Mr. Sani Musa, has a contract with INEC to supply key voting materials in an election he is participating in, which is a clear conflict of interest and raises questions of probity and oversight in the issuing of INEC contracts.”

He said investigations had shown that the INEC contract which included the ‘upgrade’ consisted of pre-programming the card readers to accept fake replica PVCs (copies of genuine PVCs) that the firm printed in Nigeria.

Atiku said these two activities were undertaken so that the APC could boost its vote tally in its strongholds or force votes in Polling Units at PDP strongholds to be null and void by over-voting .

He said an employee of the firm was also caught on camera at the Abuja Airport Domestic Departure Lounge on December 29, 2018 opening an official INEC envelope and then handling multiple ballot forms which he was checking off against his mobile phone.

The PDP Presidential Candidate said while Alhaji Sani Musa has the right to hold any public office in spite of his line of business, it is morally unjustifiable to allow a well-known supplier of sensitive INEC materials to partake in an election in which the key materials to be used for the poll were supplied by him.

The statement added, “It is public knowledge that Sani Musa, popularly known as Sani 313 is a card carrying member of the APC and a close associate of several stalwarts of the party, including President Muhammadu Buhari who apparently pushed his nomination. But shockingly, the APC Senatorial candidate for Zone B of Niger State,Mr. Mohammed Musa, has a contract with INEC to supply key voting materials in an election he is participating in, which is a clear conflict of interest and raises questions of probity and oversight in the issuing of INEC contracts.”

In a related development, it was reported earlier Friday by the INEC REC for Niger State that ballot papers for Niger East and North are missing.


#NigeriaDecides: INEC’s failure to reveal PVC collection data part of rigging plot- CUPP

ONNOGHEN'S SUSPENSION: Opposition parties run to UN, AU to rebuke Buhari

The Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) has described the non-disclosure by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of the number of collected Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) ahead of Saturday’s election as part of a rigging plot.

The coalition’s spokesman, Ugo Ugochinyere, made the allegation in a statement made available to journalists on Thursday in Abuja.

Ugochinyere said, “This shocking development is to keep opposition parties in the dark and enable the falsification of the polling units results by the APC working with some compromised INEC officials.

“The refusal to release the polling unit PVC collection information will give room for perfection of over-voting frauds in areas APC has planned to rig election.

“This will lead to massive cancellation of polling units’ results under the guise that it was above the total number of PVCs collected and this is going to be easy since the opposition parties don’t have the figures of PVCs collected on polling unit basis.

“We call on INEC to ensure it keeps to its earlier promise to release the polling unit PVCs collection figures and avoid destroying the credibility of the election even before voting starts,”

Ugochinyere claimed that the coalition has also obtained information of an alleged directive from the Presidency that security details of the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, be switched with special agents loyal to a former Director-General of the Department of State Services.

“The strategy is to hold the INEC chairman hostage and force him to do their bidding,” he said.

Ugochinyere said another strategy being adopted is to ensure that elections are declared inconclusive in places known to the strongholds of opposition.

He added, “We are aware that Adamawa and some South East, South South, North Central and North West states have been supplied with election materials that are not enough.


Likely postponement as REC reveals Niger East, North ballot papers missing

#NigeriaDecides: Likely postponement as REC reveals Niger East, North ballot papers missing

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Niger State on Friday said that elections for the senatorial positions of Niger East and Niger North may not hold on Saturday as the ballot papers meant for the zone are missing.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Samuel Egwu, made the declaration while interacting with journalists in Minna, the state capital.

“The issue has been reported to the INEC’s Headquarters in Abuja for urgent attention.

“The officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria saddled with the responsibility of securing the electoral sensitive materials have gone to Abuja for the last batch of the sensitive materials for Saturday’s elections in the state, so we are waiting,’’ he said.

Mr Egwu said that 85 per cent of the needed facilities for the conduct of free and fair elections in the state had been provided with the non-sensitive materials already moved to various destinations across the 25 local government areas of the state.

He said that the commission trained 23,000 ad hoc staff for the elections in the state.

The REC also said that 2,181,400 eligible voters would participate during the general elections in the state.


22 children, 12 women, others killed in Kaduna election eve massacre

KADUNA: Three lecturers abducted

A total of 66 persons have been murdered by unidentified men in Kajuru local government area of Kaduna State.

A statement by the state government confirmed that the incident occurred at Maro Gida and Iri axis; nine settlements were attacked.

The statement, released by the spokesman to the governor of Kaduna State, Samuel Aruwan, on Friday said the killings were being investigated.

Without giving further details of the killing, the state government warned against reprisal attack.

The statement read in part, “the settlements affected include Ruga Bahago, Ruga Daku, Ruga Ori, Ruga Haruna, Ruga Yukka Abubakar, Ruga Duni Kadiri, Ruga Shewuka and Ruga Shuaibu Yau.

“Among the victims were 22 children and 12 women. Four wounded persons rescued by the security agencies are now receiving medical attention.

“Government condemns the attacks and commiserates with the families of the victims. Security agencies have been deployed to the area and arrests have been made. Government urges community, traditional and religious leaders in the area to encourage residents to avoid any reprisal attacks and to leave the matter in the hands of the security and law enforcement agencies.


‘Flee Nigeria? Impossible!’ I’m here to vote my conscience- Obasanjo

‘My son in whom I am well pleased’, Obasanjo endorses ADC candidate for Ogun guber

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has denied reports he has fled Nigeria ahead of Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly elections.

He said he remains in Nigeria to perform his civic responsibility of voting according to the dictate of his heart on Saturday and on March 2, governorship and house of assembly elections.

A Facebook user, one Gbenga Lawal had posted, “Breaking: Obasanjo jets out of Nigeria. He can’t even wait for the thief he is imposing on Nigerians.”

But speaking with journalists at his Presidential Library, Abeokuta, Obasanjo described the post as “fake news,” wondering why he should travel out of the country before the elections of February 16 and March 2.

He said, “Why should I travel out of the country before the election? If not for anything, I believe I should be here to perform my civic responsibility, which is to vote according to the dictate of my heart tomorrow and on the second of March.

“Those who are carrying that type of rumour or fake news; I leave them in the hands of God; I am used to that kind of thing.

“In Yoruba land, if your head is hard, you don’t have to worry yourself.

“Let anybody tell lies against you, let anybody issue fake news against you, let anybody abuse you, God will deal with them rightly and appropriately.”

Obasanjo had in several letters and comments branded President Muhammadu Buhari an incompetent leader deserving no reelection.

He has since endorsed the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, as his preferred candidate to succeed Buhari.

Atiku served as Vice President to Obasanjo between 1999 and 2007. The two have been political enemies since, but Obasanjo forgave Atiku towards the ending of last year.

Ripples Nigeria

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Ripples Nigeria

We are an online newspaper, very passionate about Nigerian politics, business and their leaders. We dig deeper, without borders and without fears.
www.ripplesnigeria.com

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