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‘Financial inducement bane of our electoral process’

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‘Financial inducement bane of our electoral process’

By John Akubo, Lokoja  

The bane of cash for votes in electioneering process in Nigeria re-echoed in Lokoja, capital of Kogi State at the gathering of members of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), when the party state secretariat was inaugurated.
Incidents of money exchanging hands for votes characterised the Edo State governorship election last month, with two major parties – All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) accused of being the main culprits.
“We started on time but the only hitch we had were some APC agents inducing voters with N3000 and standing right beside the ballot box compelling them to show them their thumbprint ballot paper as a confirmation that they voted for them. We have raised alarm and we cried out and the security agents are up to the task,” a complainant alleged on the Edo election.
This challenge in the electoral process has been attributed largely to the ignorance on the part of the electorate resulting in disloyalty and sale of members right through the voters’ cards.
The resultant effect is the failure to deepen democracy in Nigeria as democratic tenets have increasingly become difficult to entrench in the country.
This was the view of the APGA candidate for last November governorship election in Kogi, Goodman Akwu who lamented the negative impact of financial inducement in elections.
According to him, the problem is rooted in ignorance resulting in disloyalty among members of the party.
He claimed that his party lost the election not because it was not popular but because the electorates were not well informed.
Akwu warned the electorate against selling of their votes citing the instance of Edo State, where money changed hands for voters’ cards.
“The pictures are there, they bought permanent voters’ cards (PVC) up to N15, 000 to N20, 000. They should stop selling their voters’ cards to those economic terrorists that wear the toga of politicians,” he stated.
He advised the electorate to ensure that they always vote with their conscience and not use their voters’ cards as ATM (automated teller machine), as it was wrong to use the PVC to withdraw money from the moneybags.
The former governorship candidate advised his party members and supporters to be loyal to the party always; to be loyal to the country, the State and the authority in place at the moment in time as that was the only way to move the state forward.
He explained that the Lokoja Office of the party was being inaugurated to usher in good governance in Kogi State.
He said this would be achieved through the cooperation of everyone and the newly constituted Central Working Committee (CWC) of the Party installed by him.
Akwu admonished the members to see themselves as the vehicle that would take the party to all nooks and crannies of the State.
The CWC has Comrade Danjuma M. Lawal as chairman with Pastor Emmanuel Idakwo serving as the clerk. Other members are: Funke Alabi, Comrade Oceni Adams, Lawal D. Jibril, M.D. Yusuf, Samuel Olori Able Abel Monday, Abdulkareem Shaibu, Ibrahim Suleiman Fatima Binta Ibrahim and Joseph Achema.
He charged them to be loyal to the Constitution of Nigeria as well as to the Constitution and manifesto of APGA.
Besides, Akwu used the occasion to debunk speculations in the public domain that he was persuaded to keep off the Supreme Court over the alleged missing Logo of his party during the November election.
He said he did not go to court over any missing logo, stressing: “On the party logo, it sounds so strange to me because I ran in the election, I cast my vote. If my logo was missing on the ballot paper I couldn’t have voted.
“The case we took to court was about the way and manner somebody was brought in which we felt was against the extant law that border on election. I never took the case of missing logo to court.”
“If that was my case no judge or court would have been able to stop it. To clear all doubts today and finally, the case I took to court was not about missing logo because our logo was not missing.”
However, he advised the state government to be responsive to the feelings of the people particularly by addressing the hunger and starvation confronting the people.
In addition, he criticized what he described as the endless screening of state workers, saying “Government is not doing any favor when it pays salary. There should be a time lag for screening, you don’t start a Government with screening and end with screening.”

Akwu admonished governor Yahaya Bello to stop the screening for now and pay the workers their money, noting that thereafter the government can continue with the screening and even prosecute those found wanting.
He said that the onus was on the people to vote for APGA in the next election and see what is meant to enjoy dividends of democracy as is obtaining presently in Anambra state.
“Anambra State is the only State that is presently governed by APGA and it is the only State with benchmark for good governance and development,” he maintained.

http://guardian.ng/features/financial-inducement-bane-of-our-electoral-process/

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FCT police debunks insinuation, Hausas looted Southerners in viral video

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**Urges residents to report all suspicious movement 

The Federal Capital Territory Police Command has debunked ital video of looting on social media insinuating that ‘’Hausas were looting Southerners at Arab Road, Kubwa-Abuja”.

A statement isued in Abuja on Friday by the Police Public Relations Officer of the command ASP Yusuf Mariam, said, contrary to the insinuatikn preliminary investigation has revealed that, the Development Control of the Federal Capital Territory earlier conducted a demolition exercise on Thursday 6th May,2021 at Arab Road, Kubwa, however, some yet to be identified residents seized the opportunity to loot items from the demolition sites. 

Mariam said “Nonetheless, Police Operatives from Kubwa Division swiftly moved to the scene upon receiving the information to restore calm within the Area and arrest the suspects. 

“Consequently, the Commissioner of Police CP. Bala Ciroma has ordered a discreet investigation into the incident and appeals to residents to remain calm and law-abiding.

She implored residents to report all suspicious movements, emergency or distress, through these numbers: 08032003913, 08061581938, 07057337653,08028940883, and to report the conduct of Police Officers, call the Public Complaint Bureau (PCB) number :09022222352

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Buhari returns to Nigeria after weeks of medical trip to the UK

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Buhari returns to Nigeria after weeks of medical trip to the UK

Nigerian president Muhammadu Buharihas returned to Abuja after weeks on medical trip in London.
This was according to a statement from the presidency on Thursday.
The president had been heavily criticized for his perchance for medical expedition inspite huge budgetary allocation to the Presdential Villa clinic.
His critics also blamed him for embarking on such trip even when resident doctors in his country were on industrial action.
The presidential aircraft that brought Buhari and some of his aides touched down at the Presidential Wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja at about 4.45 p.m.
Dignitaries at the airport to welcome the president included the Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Muhammed Bello, and the National Security Adviser to the President, Babagana Monguno.
Others were the service chiefs, acting Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali, the Director-General, National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Rufa’i, the Director General of the State Securitt Services, Yusuf Bichi and other presidential aides.
President Buhari, after a brief welcoming ceremony at the airport, boarded a presidentrtial helicopter that conveyed him to the Presidential Villa.

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Participants urge Kogi to key into Open Government Partnership

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Participants urge Kogi to key into Open Government Partnership

By Friday Idachaba

Participants at a one-day stakeholders strategic meeting on Open Governance Partnership have called on Kogi government to urgently key into the global concept to promote transparency, accountability and good governance.

The participants made the call in a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting organised by Conscience For Human Rights and Conflict Resolution (CHRCR) in partnership with African Centre For Leadership Strategies And Development (Centre LSD) on Tuesday in Lokoja.

The News Agency of Nigeria NAN reports that the Communiqué was signed by Mr Idris Miliki, Executive Director of Kogi-based CHRCR and made available to newsmen in Lokoja.

The Communiqué said that in view of the importance of the global OGP concept with potentials to check corruption and enhance good governance, 16 states in Nigeria had presently signed up.

It however revealed that Kogi State was yet to key into the global concept and urged the state to, as a matter of urgency, sign up for the state to derive inherent benefits of the partnership.

Objective of the meeting in line with the OGP concept, according to the Communiqué, is to encourage accountability, transparency and reduce corruption in Kogi State.

It is also to build on the existing Networks on Anti-Corruption, Transparency and Accountability (NATA), to mobilize Media institutions and professionals in reporting activities on OGP in Kogi State.

The participants however, urged multi-lateral financial institutions particular the World Bank to begin to hold State Governments accountable by verifying the situations of implementations on ground before rating them on financed projects.

The Communiqué reiterated that there should be no rivalry but rather, a broad based relationship and partnerships between the state government and the Civil Society Organizations as both work for and in the interest of the citizens.

The Communiqué said there was need for the current House of Assembly members to live up to their constitutional responsibilities by performing their oversight functions on all institutions of the state, “particularly the local government councils.”

It also called on Media Professionals to take more interest in OGP issues and partner more with the Civil Society Organisations in particular and other relevant institutions to drive the OGP Concept.

“The Civil Society Organizations needs to do more in raising awareness and sensitization of the general public on the OGP and with the Government to get the OGP.

“There is need for the development partners to continue to work with the Civil Society Organizations in the state to promote the OGP process”, the Communiqué added. (NAN)

FDJ/

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