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​Kogi East Re-run Polls Yield to Predictions

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​Kogi East Re-run Polls Yield to Predictions

The result declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission in the re-run polls for the Kogi East senatorial district and two state House of Assembly seats held at the weekend was just as predicted. 
Yekini Jimoh reports
The people of Kogi East senatorial district of Kogi State on Saturday, July 23 filed out again to elect their Senator and state House of Assembly representatives. There had been a series of appeals from stakeholders in Kogi East, asking the National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to come forward and conduct the pending re-run elections. One of such group was the Igala/Bassa Consultative Forum, which noted that one year into the life of the present administration they were yet to have representatives in the Senate and two House of Assembly seats.
According to the group, the people were already getting agitated, restive and apprehensive. But after series of legal tussles, a former Senator from Kogi East, Senator Attai Aidoko of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was disqualified from contesting the coming re-run election by the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja and confirmed Air Marshal Isac Alfa as the authentic candidate of the PDP.
 

Challenging irregularities such as ballot scattering and the disruption of counting process during the PDP primary on December 7, 2014 at Idah in which Senator Attai Aidoko was purportedly issued with a certificate of return, Alfa approached the Federal High Court in Abuja, and asked that the court declare him winner of the primary election, having polled the highest number of votes.
Thus, in his judgment delivered on May 2016, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba declared Alfa as the winner of the PDP senatorial primary for Kogi East held on December 7, 2014. By the judgment, therefore, Alfa became the PDP candidate in the rerun poll and by implication, to enjoy the votes cast in favour of the PDP in the first rerun election held in February, 2016. Indeed, Alfa went on to win the polls as predicted by political observers as there was literally nothing standing in his way.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) on the other hand did not participate in the election following the disqualification of its candidate, Alhaji Abubakar Muhammed by a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja. During the Senatorial election, Muhammed won the election but was challenged by Senator Attai Aidoko at the Federal High Court, which led to his disqualification as Senator-elect from Kogi East.
With this development, the PDP had already looked set to win the re-run election as other political parties such as Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), KOWA Party, Labour Party (LP), Mega Progressive Peoples Party (MPPP) and United Progressive Party (UPP) were not positioned to defeat the PDP in the election as many have observed and their prediction came to pass. INEC declared Alfa winner of the election.
INEC, on its part too, had also worked round the clock to ensure that the election was successful as no fewer than 1,390 ad hoc members of staff were prepared for the elections.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Samuel Usman, who disclosed this while briefing newsmen noted had that after due consultations with relevant stakeholders both at the state and national levels on the conditions precedent to the peaceful election in the zone, and based on the outcome of these meetings/consultations, July 23, 2016 had been fixed for the elections.
According to him, local government areas involved in the elections were Ankpa, Bassa, Dekina, Ibaji and Idah, Igalamela/Odolu, Ofu and Olamaboro, stressing that the state constituency re-run elections would be conducted in 1 Polling Unit out of 89 (PU 003) in Idah while in Ofu, election would be conducted in 79 Polling Units out of 129.

The REC, however, assured the electorate that the lessons learnt from the previous exercises would be used in raising the bar during this Saturday’s elections, saying he would also continue to encourage participation in the electoral process as the present Commission was poised to meet the global best practices. He warned that no permanent voters cards (PVCs), no voting, saying anybody who had no business with the process should steer clear of the Polling and Collation Centers.
“Security agencies have collectively vowed to secure the election and would deal decisively with hoodlums, who would disrupt the process,” he warned.
He also called for the cooperation and appealed that members of the public should be highly informed to conduct themselves before, during and after this exercise and take precautions in order to avoid a repetition of violence and disruption of the process.
In order to have violence-free elections, the REC also appealed to traditional rulers and other stakeholders in the area to preach the message of peace to their subjects before, during and after the poll. He said he would appeal to His Royal Majesty, Attah Igala to mediate between the contenders and their supporters in order to achieve a hitch-free poll.
“We intend to pay a courtesy call to His Royal Majesty, Attah Igala to solicit his fatherly support and to speak with his subjects and if possible, appeal to the contestants to comport themselves in order to conclude the election peacefully,” he said.
On the matter of PDP’s authentic candidate, he declared that the rightful candidate of the PDP was Alfa. REC Samuel Madaki said INEC would rely on the last court judgment, which recognised Alfa unless the commission was instructed otherwise by another court of competent jurisdiction.
‪He disclosed that there had been various cases in which INEC had to substitute candidates of some parties on the order of court even when elections were very close, saying INEC as a creation of the law would not violate any court ruling.
“INEC is guided by the latest court judgment. The person that the court directed us to recognise on the platform of the PDP is AVM Isaac Alfa. He is the candidate for the PDP unless otherwise,” he stressed.

And, at the end of the day, Alfa, who flew the PDP flag, won the election, expectedly with the other big guns cleared off his way. Of course, the fringe parties were just on the ballot to fulfill all righteousness as all indications had shown that Alfa, having reaped the votes cast for the PDP in the previous rerun, was in a vantage position to emerge Kogi East Senator.
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With this development, the PDP had already looked set to win the re-run election as other political parties such as Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), KOWA Party, Labour Party (LP), Mega Progressive Peoples Party (MPPP) and United Progressive Party (UPP) were not positioned to defeat the PDP in the election as many have observed and their prediction came to pass. INEC declared Alfa winner of the election

Kogi East Re-run Polls Yield to Predictions

 

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Yueltide: FMWH reopens closed section of Murtala Muhammed Bridge in Kogi

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Yueltide: FMWH reopens closed section of Murtala Muhammed Bridge in Kogi

By Friday Idachaba

The Federal Ministry of Works and Housing has reopened the closed section of the Murtala Muhammad Bridge, Jamata on Abuja-Lokoja highway to ease movement of traffic movement during the Christmas and New Year festivities.

Engr. Kajogbola Jimoh, Federal Controller of Works in Kogi State disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Lokoja.

Kajogbola said that though the rehabilitation work on the dual carriage bridge was yet to be completed, a substantial part of it on Lokoja-bound portion had been done and could be reopened to traffic to address heavy vehicular movement during the festivities.

According to him, what remains for the Lokoja bound bridge to be completed is to change the damaged expansion joints which have to be ordered from abroad adding that the contractor has some constraints in this area.

“Presently, all other works are completed and we have asked him to cover the edges of the old expansion joints so that when the new ones arrive, he will simply remove the old ones and replace them with new ones.

“If the closed section is not opened, Nigerians will suffer during this festive period and that is why we are insisting that they should open it for now till when the contractor is able to get the new expansion joints”, he said.

Kajogbola said he collaborated with Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Corridors Commander, Sector Commander and other officials to remove the barricades and redirect the traffic all in the presence of the contractor’s representative.

He pointed out that the reopening was an interim arrangement saying, “This is just temporary reopening, the work is for two years and the contractor has not spent up to a year.

“So, it’s just to let Nigerians know that the Federal Government cares for them and that we are working and to tell them what stage we are on the project.

NAN reports that the bridge which is currently under rehabilitatinon/ maintenance work, being handled by Hallekem Ltd., had only one functional 2-lane carriageway in use before this reopening.

The Controller appealed to motorists to be patient, resist temptation to drive against traffic and to keep their vehicles in good condition to avoid break down. (NAN)

FDJ/

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Senator Opeyemi lampoons Buhari over refusal to sack service chiefs

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Senator Opeyemi lampoons Buhari over refusal to sack service chief

The senator representing Ekiti Central Micheal Opeyemi Bamidele has asked President Muhamadu Buhari to respect the resolution of the National Assembly that he should sack the service chiefs without further delay.
The senator while contributing to the motion on the beheading of 67 farmers in Borno, by Bokoharam insurgents: Need for Urgent, Decisive action pleaded with the service chiefs to voluntarily resign based on national interest.
He said they can then wait to be appointed as Presidential Advisory Panel on security.
“For me the number one resolution that I will like to reemphasize on this floor of the senate is for the President to allow the service chiefs to go, they have done their best, they have worked so hard, the best anybody can give is his best.
“You cannot give what you do not have and if the President believes so much in these service chiefs he should remove them as service chiefs and constitute them as Presidential advisory committee on security matters and they will still be there to be advising him and let the younger ones take over as service chiefs to move the country forward.
He said, “It is yet another moment when we run the risk of Nigerians looking at us as a group of elected representatives who sit in the red chamber to shed crocodile tears but we know that is not what we do.
“We are victims of certain circumstances that make it look like that. There is probably nothing any of us could say here today that has not been said, the only thing that is new is that more people have been killed in most barbaric manner. Yet we have to say something as representatives of the people.
“We are unhappy about what happened in Borno, Katsina and Niger States and some Northern parts of the country. Even in the South South, south East and south west where people are being kidnapped, there are some forms of insurgency.
“In Ondo State just last week a paramount ruler was killed. My own contribution is this, let us stand on existing resolution, in addition of course to the prayers that the mover of this motion made clear to us.
“Fighting Bokoharam cannot be something we do by habit, it cannot become part of our national life, it cannot become what we budget for year in year out as a routine.”
He lamented that the war was becoming a routine adding that there is a need to bring it to an end as lives are being lost on a daily bases.
He also made refrence to a constitutional provision in section 14(1)b which defines the primary purpose of Government to be the welfare and security of the people.
“We all agree that this is not being fulfilled and where a Government is deemed to be in breach of section 14(1)b the Government is also automatically seen to have breached section 32 and 34 of our constitution which provides for the right to life, right for personal liberty, and life against torture.
“These are things that goes together once you fail to fulfill the provision of section 14(1)b so what are we talking about let these service chiefs go.
“If the President would not remove them we call on these service chiefs in the interests of the public to resign and look forward to being appointed as members of Presidential committee on security. So this is one contribution that I really want to make.”
He also made reference to the budget of over N800b set aside for all of the armed forces, whereby more than 60% of it is specifically tailored towards prosecuting the war against insurgency.
“I believe before this budget is passed it is either the president come to address this parliament on the way forward on how to address the security matter or we hold a joint session and do a public hearing and allow Nigerians an opportunity to also speak to this issue.
“I dont think it should be a question of us sitting down to pass this budget it should not be business unusual.”

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Buhari tells mothers to admonish their wards on need for dialogue over #EndSARS

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Buhari tells mothers to admonish their wards on need for dialogue over #EndSARS

 
Apparently piqued by the growing youth restiveness which engulfed parts of the country in the last few weeks,
President Muhammadu Buhari has urged women to engage with children and youths on the need for dialogue that would yield better understanding.

The President spoke on Thursday while hosting the representatives of women at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He said Nigeria remained committed to ending violence against women and girls in Nigeria and the rest of the world.

According to him, although the country had not achieved the 35 percent affirmation on the participation of women in governance, the current administration intended to exceed the benchmark.

“I want to assure you that this administration remains resolute to not only meet the 35 percent National Gender Policy, but to exceed it across key decision-making role in government,” he said.

He restated his commitment to end child marriage and boost girl child education in all parts of the country.
The Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, earlier appealed to President Buhari to ensure that the issues responsible for the ongoing strike by university lecturers were resolved amicably, to enable universities reopen and students go back to school

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