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Multiplicity of parties is good for democracy says rights activist

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Multiplicity of parties is good for democracy says rights activist

The multiplicity of political parties is a good development not a waste the Executive Director Centre for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution (CHRCR), Comrade Idris Miliki Abdul has said.

He cited the election of the ADC candidate for Yagba Federal Constituency who won while the PDP candidate Senator Dino Melaye wofor the Senate.

“So if the opportunity was not given to people who might have been cheated in one party to try another party where he can have his or her mandate.
“First and foremost you have to be a candidate before you can stand election. If there are two or three political parties the opportunity would have been limited.”
H said what is left for the parties to do is to know their interest and strenght area. “Everybody cannot be a Governor, so in Kogi State for instance, why not go into alliances like those in business and the banking sector, banks are merging and if the banks can do that, can’t political parties also merge?
“Let’s say for Governorship election five parties come together to support either one of the parties or candidate but unfortunately many of the parties don’t have genuine members.
“Like in Kogi west senatorial district there were 91 candidates, why can’t they support one party? So it is the merger we should advocate for rather than limit the number of political parties.
“It would help against violating the principle of democracy and allow for inclusiveness. One fundamental thing we have witnessed is the impunity of political parties.
“People just think because their party is registered they can carry gun and kill anybody, that is frustrating. They go to the air and say all sorts of nonsense and they are not ready to learn.
“Go to political party offices, they don’t have manifesto, party constitutions are not availlable, they don’t have staff.

“They realised so much during the party primaries and what do they do with the money? They dont enlighten the citizens and they are the primary beneficiaries and they never take that serious.
They push everything to INEC, we think INEC must do everything,
“INEC has provided a level playing field by putting up rules and regulations. All we need to do as political parties is to identify our own rules.”
Abdul said they discovered in the level of ignorance of citizens on electoral process.
“A lot of citizens think that election is a one day affair. But electoral process has its own layout it is left for us as citizens to play our individual and collective part.
“For instance INEC has a very functional website but a lot of Nigerians on their own don’t care to go these website just to have knowledge on what is to be done and what not to be done.
He said many Nigerians don’t know what is rerun or by election, who is a collation officer or a returning officer?
He said the primaries that were conducted by political parties those who are not members of the party are not even allowed by law to observe because it is an internal affair of the party.
“These are the build up that snowballed into malpractice during elections.”

The executive director said there was bottled up anger from the conduct of the primary by the various political parties.
He added that unless those ones are addresseandd internal democracy is encourage among political parties there is still a long way to go.
Herakles about sone documents that are being produced for the media, security, INEC staff and Civil Society groups who want to be observers, he asked how many of them make use of the opportunity?
“I think we need to take more interest on process of election activities than the election day activities.
“We should begin to challenge political parties that the impunity they are currently practicing is not allowed. They should follow the rule of the game because election is a contest, there is a rule guiding it and when you subvert the rule there would be anarchy.” We are all participants we should all contribute our quotas to making process credible.

On the whether the refusal to assent to the electoral act by the president was the problem he said it was not true
“It is out of ignorance, we should also ask why it took the national Assembly this long? “They are politicians, they want us to reason like them and they always want to pass the blame. The first thing is that they were contesting election, when was the bill passed?
“There is an African chatter that says you cannot sign any new law 90 days to election, people don’t even know this. No country in Africa can sign any new law 60 days or 75 days to election
“That was the main thing the president hung on to, to decline assent which is legally right.
“Secondly, it is the attitude of individuals, no amount of law put in place, that will deter somebody who is determined that he must win the election, he will go and carry ballot box. “The Government officials who carry fake policemen, uniform men and women on election day, will the electoral act stop them?
“The IG said no security officer should escort Government officials on election day, was the rule followed? It was flaunted all over the country. “All the Government officials that carried ballot boxes were assisted by security officials across the Federation, does that have anything to do with electoral act?”
He explained that the opportunity to have electoral reforms must commence with the new national assembly and the Presidency immediately. “We cannot continue to complain, but there are hitches that ought to have been corrected that were not corrected.
“Even the national Assembly ought to have passed the electoral act earlier but the period it was passed into law was the problem hence it was not assented to.
“I don’t belong to the school of thought that if the electoral act had been passed the level of violence would have been minimized.
“It is the conduct of the politicians who are desperate and want to win at all cost. During the presidential election the desperation was minimal compared to the house of Assembly election across the 36 States.
“Why did they became more desperate, it is not the issue of the electoral act?
He said what needs to be done is as soon as the election is over all the stakeholders should commence the electoral reform process so that it does not become a fire brigade approach when it is six months to election before such laws are being signed.
“Look at the constitutional ammendment we have been spending Billions of Naira on, what is the outcome?
“The international community has engaged various stakeholders to support the National Assembly to pass new laws but they were there playing politics.
“Look at the budget that has been sent to the National Assembly since September 2018, it has not been approved.”
On whether the 5 elections can be held in one day he said it would be difficult.
“As observers that stayed long at the polling units some of the voters do not recognize the party logo they want to vote for, if you give them 5 ballot papers, they would be confused.
“We have not developed to that extent. There is nothing wrong with staggered election, for me it is the best for now and I believe in multi party democracy.
“It is about enlightenment, in South Africa they have more than 100 parties. The difficulty in the ballot papers is because the parties refused to educate the people.”

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PDP expresses dismay that Buhari will blame the dead for his failure

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PDP expresses dismay that Buhari will blame the dead for his failure

**Says remark is an open support for insurgency

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday expressed dismay that a President would blame the dead fir his cluelessness.

The major opposition party in Nigeria described as weird, reprehensible and repulsive that the Buhari Presidency now seeks to turn itself into a mouthpiece of terrorists by its subtle attempt to rationalize the killing of innocent and hard working Nigerians.
The party said it is shocked that the Buhari Presidency has graduated from making bogus claims of having degraded terrorism to the embarrassing point of blaming unprotected and helpless Nigerians for falling victims of terrorist attacks.

It said; “This, to say the least, is the height of leadership failure of the lazy, lethargic and incompetent Buhari administration”.
It stressed that it is alarmed by the reckless and bizarre attempt by the Buhari Presidency to rationalize the gruesome beheading of 43 innocent Nigerians by insurgents in Zabarmari, Borno state.
The PDP particularly said that it is outraged by the Buhari Presidency’s claims that the farmers were killed because they failed to get clearance before going to their farms.
The Party in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, said that the statement by the Presidency is also an admission that the Buhari administration has been overwhelmed by terrorists and can no longer guarantee Nigerians and other citizens a normal life.

The statement reads, “This unpatriotic stance smacks of support for acts of terrorism and mindless killing of our compatriots by a government whose Commander-in-Chief had promised Nigerians to lead the battle against insurgents from the front.
“Our party is forced to hold that attitudes such as the unpatriotic remark of the Buhari Presidency embolden insurgents in their ceaseless attacks in our country.
“Such also provides further insights into the escalation of acts of terrorism in our country in the last five years.
“It is therefore insensitive for the Buhari Presidency to have shown this huge lack of empathy, which amounts to a spat on the grave of the slain as well as an unpardonable slap on the faces of the generality of mourning Nigerians.

“Perhaps this also informs why their party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), has not deemed it fit to have a word of lamentation for the death nor consolation for the bereaved.
The party therefore chalkenged President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately withdraw the offensive statement by his Presidency and apologize to Nigerians, particularly the people of Borno state.
The PDP also restated its call to President Buhari to heed the demands by Nigerians to rejig the nation’s security architecture as well as replace his Service Chiefs with more competent hands in the interest of the nation.

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Prof Yakubu harps on electoral act ammendment to allow over 1 million adhoc staff to vote

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Prof Yakubu harps on electoral act ammendment to allow over 1 million adhoc staff to vote

The provisions of the Nigeria’s electoral law may be disenfranchising over 1 million over one million Nigerians of voting age, the chairmanship nominee of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmood Yakubu, has observed
Speaking on Thursday at his confirmation hearing organized by the Senate Committee on INEC, Yakubu noted that the current law allows voters to vote only where they have registered.

He said this has denied INEC staff and ad hoc ones deployed for election duties, journalists and election observers the opportunity to exercise their civic duty during elections.
“We engaged about one million ad hoc staff during the last general elections. This means that the staff and others deployed for election duties did not vote,” he said.
He said until the law is amended to allow voters to cast their ballots wherever they are, millions of registered voters would continue to be denied voting rights.
Prof Yakubu also said the Commission needs to construct strong rooms in all the 36 states of the federation and FCT to store smart card readers and other election materials.
This, he said, was to prevent them from burning in case of fire incident.

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Senator Abbo vows to unseat Fintiri using APC platform

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Senator Abbo vows to unseat Fintiri using APC platform

Senator Ishaku Abbo (Adamawa North) has debunked insinuations that he was overwhelmed by tirades of attacks from his Governor hence he left the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Speaking to senate press Corps after officially announcing his exit he said left the party to be able to square it up with the Governor in 2023
Senator Abbo had announced his defection to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in a letter addressed to the Senate President Ahmad Lawan and read during plenary on Wednesday. 

The lawmaker said though he fought for Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri’s victory in 2019, the governor chased him out of PDP due to his alleged mismanagement of the party, which, Abbo said, had led to polarization. 

Senator expressed optimism that he will defeat the state governor in 2023. 

He said: “I’m not overwhelmed by Governor Fintiri. I fought to bring him to power. 

“The governor did not defeat me. The governor chased me out (of PDP). I actually gave way so I will go and take his seat from him.”

With his defection, APC now has 60 senators, while PDP 42. The ninth Senate has six vacant seats.

Abbo announced his defection in a letter addressed to the House, read by Senate President Ahmad Lawan during Wednesday’s plenary session.

In the letter, Abbo stated that his decision to defect to the APC is because of the mismanagement of the PDP in Adamawa state by Governor Umaru Fintiri.

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