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Community Initiative for Enhanced Peace and Development (CIEPD)

Tuesday, 18 August 2020 13:29

Obaseki importing thugs, APC alleges

The Media Campaign Council of the All Progressives Congress(APC) for Edo State governorship election has accused Governor Godwin Obaseki of importing thugs to cause violence.

The opposition party feared the thugs may be armed to attack innocent people.

APC alleged the Governor was moving with thugs during campaigns, urging security agents to call him to order.

A statement by the Chairman of the Media Campaign Council, John Mayaki, asked security agents to rise to the occasion to prevent the proliferation of arms in Edo.

But, the Governor’s media aide, Crusoe Osagie, denied the allegation, saying that it was unfounded and baseless.

Mayaki said: “In a new development that further stretches the tyrannical reach of Mr. Godwin Obaseki, the embattled Edo State has been importing thugs to the state.

“A reliable source in the Government House revealed that Obaseki had gone ahead to employ a band of rascals whose only work is to shout themselves to riches, soak a state in conflict, and escort the governor to campaign venues.

“First, the PDP and Mr. Godwin Obaseki sought to rationalize and justify the presence and appearance of the blood-sucking band of men.

“Insecurity in Edo State has worsened and the Governor, rather than invest the security votes he jacked up to 7.5 billion naira annually, chose to hide the funds and pursue selfish ambitions with it.

“It also begs the question: “why is the PDP, of all the contesting political parties and their ongoing campaigns, being the only one assaulted and experiencing violent response from the communities?

“Attempts to answer this question only unmasks the face of Obaseki’s incompetent and inept leadership, his unpopularity and rejection by the people of Edo State, both of which facts agreed to by neutrals and secretly upheld by his fellow partymen who are now holding him to ransom to get their own cut of his accumulated loot before the curtain is drawn in November.

“Why is the PDP, out of over 10 contesting political parties, being the one filing reports for imagined attacks on their convoy?

“Where did Obaseki, the governor who failed to win over the agitating Association of Resident Doctors, get the money to fund the unnecessary stock-up of gubernatorial armory, dangerously arming boys that will return home to roost someday?

“We demand an explanation from both the executive government of Edo State, on how and why and what qualifies Edo State government for the procurement of arms and weapons.

“Is it because we are at war, or that the visionary organ of the government foresaw an impending future of war, and is now obligated to react proactively in preparation of this imagined and conceived time?”

“Investigation should be launched into the process of procuring these weapons. They should, without pardon, be subjected under thorough examination, and utterly urged to account for the financial behavior and pattern seen to have rooted itself, lately, in Edo State.”

“Video footage exists of these new Obaseki boys touting the guns and weapons procured for them by the shameless governor, shooting bullets here and there into the thin air, choreographing a horrible display of “clearing road” for the power-drunkard.”

Source: The Nation

Egondu Esinwoke Ogablor, the Executive Director of Community Initiative for Enhanced Peace and Development (CIEPD), will be a guest speaker for High - Level Political Forum on Sustaianble Development and will speak on the role of CSOs in accelerating SDGs implementation in the midst of a global crisis.

 

To be part of this event, see the e-flyer below for more details.

Wednesday, 08 July 2020 13:45

Volunteer Advert for Edo and Ondo Elections

Part-Time Volunteering Opportunity – Community Initiative for Enhanced Peace and Development (CIEPD)

 

Are you over 18yrs old, resident in Edo/Ondo, looking for opportunity to contribute to violence free election in Edo/Ondo State?

 

IReport Conflict Watch Centre (CWC) can provide you with a platform to realise your dream.

 

CIEPD is a registered Non Profit Organization offering you the opportunity to help build a fairer, more peaceful state for all.  During our last outing in Bayelsa Governorship election we worked with peace loving individual, CBOs, NGO to contribute our quota to the Election Day zero death record in Bayelsa state.

 

We are looking for Volunteers to get involved in tracking electoral violence incidence with our vision camera app.

 

If you are interested kindly contact us. on: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or +234(0) 905 645 4523.

 

To fill our volunteer form, click here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/JQNRRML

This report by Community Initiative for Enhanced Peace and Development (CIEPD) is a real-time record of real-time events, a combination of eye-witness reports, verified incidents, individual opinion of reports and allegations among other things of Bayelsa Election. Unconfirmed reports were challenged, and debunked were necessary.

 

To keep this report as original as it can be, most typographical errors, “pidgin English” and colloquial slangs were not corrected. As such, you would encounter such grammatical mistakes as you read reports. It is first of its kind in electoral conflict management. 

 

This report is our second outing, and we recorded a lot of improvement from our first which is the general election.

 

Warning: This report contains violent/disturbing images.

 

Click this link to Download Report

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Saturday said COVID-19 pandemic would not truncate Nigeria’s democracy and the electoral process.

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said this in Abuja in his remarks at the commission’s first virtual meeting with the Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs).  Yakubu said that like it did to every other national institution, the COVID-19 pandemic had disrupted INEC activities. 

ActionAid decries poor relocation of almajiri, comatose health facilities, others “For instance, further engagements with the National Assembly and stakeholders on electoral reform and the conduct of some off-season elections have to be suspended because of the global health emergency.

“Happily, the PTF has issued guidelines on protective measures for the gradual restoration of normalcy nationwide. ”On that basis, the commission recently released its own policy on conducting elections in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. “The commission is convinced that electoral activities can resume, but in full compliance with the advisory issued by health authorities.

“Consequently, the Governorship elections in Edo and Ondo States scheduled for Sept. 19 and Oct. 10 respectively, will proceed as planned,” he said. Yakubu said that some political parties had notified the commission of the dates for their primaries which would lead to the nomination of their candidates for the elections.

According to him, while the commission takes the COVID-19 pandemic seriously, the democratic and electoral processes cannot be truncated because of it. He said that this was because health authorities had advised on measures to protect the public from the virus, including all those involved in elections. Yakubu said INEC was determined to hold some bye-elections ahead of Edo and Ondo state governorship to enable it to test-run and fine-tune its modified processes in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The INEC chairman said that already, the commission had directed the RECs for the nine states where the bye-elections would hold to begin preparations in earnest. He said INEC was studying reports of recent elections conducted under COVID-19 pandemic, especially in Mali and South Korea, for lessons that would strengthen the processes and protect all those involved. Yakubu said that in addition to the two governorship elections, the commission was also making preparations to conduct nine legislative bye-elections.

He said that the Senate President had declared four vacancies in the senate for Bayelsa Central Bayelsa East, Imo North, and Plateau South seats. The INEC boss also said that the Speaker of the Nasarawa State House of Assembly had declared vacant, the seat for Nasarawa Central State Constituency. He said that the commission also had been informed of vacancies for the Cross River North Senatorial District, Borno’s Nganzai and Bayo Constituencies, and Katsina State’s Bakori Constituency.

Yakubu said the Edo and Ondo governorship elections, the five senatorial and four state assembly bye-elections across nine states would involve 62 Local Government Areas (LGAs), 687 Registration Areas (RAs), 9,149 Polling Units (PUs) and 6,454,950 registered voters. He remarked that the number of the registered voters for the elections was equivalent to the number that would be involved in holding the general election in Liberia, Guinea Bissau, Sierra Leone, and Cape Verde put together.  

He said INEC would receive the input of its RECs to the new policy with particular reference to its implementation in the areas of recruitment, training of ad hoc staff, logistics for the deployment of personnel and materials, among others.

Source: Vanguard

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Monday, unveiled possible on conducting elections under the current ravaging novel Coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic ahead of Edo and Ondo governorship elections.

The document which was made available to Vanguard was signed by the Chairman of INEC, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, where the Commission explained that the purpose of the policy is to enable officials and staff of the Commission to understand and respond adequately to the challenges of conducting elections in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and its health and financial implications, and to provide a guide for engagement with stakeholders during elections.

 Official According to the policy document Section 160 (1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) empowers INEC to by rules or otherwise, regulate its own procedure or confer powers and impose duties on any officer or authority for the purpose of discharging its functions. The Commission is also empowered by Section 153 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) to issue regulations, guidelines, and manuals for the purpose of giving effect to the provisions of the Act.

It further stated that the policy shall apply to all elections and electoral activities of the Commission during the COVID-19 pandemic. It reads in part, “The COVID-19 pandemic has had an extensive impact on the electoral process in Nigeria. Not only has it led to far-reaching disruptions in the electoral system, but it has also specifically led to the postponement of elections and created uncertainties about scheduled ones. “The Commission, cognizant of the profound impact of the pandemic on the electoral process, extensively deliberated on how best to respond to the impact of the pandemic on election administration.

The situation is made worse by the global economic impact of the pandemic and its knock-on effect on the Nigerian economy, which has seen a decline in funding for government activities.’ On health issues the Commission allayed fears of electorates about the rampaging virus in the states the elections and assured that will hold disclosed that Infrared thermometers will be supplied and used at the Registration Area Collation Centres, the Local Government Area Collation Centres and the State Collation Centres including the use of face masks will be mandatory for all involved in the election process and must be worn at all election locations as well as sanitizers.

“The most immediate challenge that COVID-19 poses to the electoral process is health-related. In order to protect voters, election officials and other stakeholders in the electoral process, the Commission shall implement the following: Infrared thermometers will be supplied and used at the Registration Area Collation Centres, the Local Government Area Collation Centres and the State Collation Centres; The use of face masks is mandatory for all involved in the election process and must be worn at all election locations; The Commission shall provide face masks for all election officials. “Alcohol-based hand sanitizers will be provided for election officials at the polling units. Methylated Spirit and cotton wool will be provided for the disinfection of the Smart Card Readers (SCRs) after the fingerprint of each voter are read; The rules of physical distancing shall be enforced at all election activities including stakeholder engagements, training, queuing at Polling Units, etc.

“All protocols issued by the NCDC, Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, State Committees on COVID-19 and other relevant health authorities shall be observed by election officials and all stakeholders; The Commission shall work with the PTF and health authorities to have in place a system of voluntary COVID-19 testing for INEC staff before and after deploying for elections.

“Voters and Election Officials Showing Symptoms of COVID – 19; The Commission shall work with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and health authorities in the States having elections to develop a protocol for dealing with persons who show symptoms of COVID-19 at election venues. “Where an election official, a voter or any other person present at an election venue shows symptoms of COVID-19: the prevailing protocol shall be observed; the person must be isolated.” The Commission also noted that “Expectedly, this trend will also affect the work of the Commission. Conducting elections in a pandemic such as COVID-19 is yet uncharted waters. Only very few jurisdictions have any experience with this.”

However, the Commission assured the electorates of its commitment to conducting the elections despite the pandemic. “That notwithstanding, the Commission is committed to conducting all elections that are due within the extant legal framework. However, in so doing it will put a premium on public safety and mitigation of health risks from COVID-19. Citizens must be assured that they will be safe while participating as voters, candidates, and officials.

“The Commission remains committed to raising public confidence in the electoral process in spite of the challenges posed by the pandemic and to regularly communicate its actions and challenges to the public. This would from time to time occasion alterations in its procedures, rules, and regulations, as is the case with the present policy. “The broad objective of this policy framework is, therefore, to prepare the Commission to respond to the effects on the electoral process of the twin challenges of COVID-19 pandemic and looming cuts in government spending and to communicate these to its stakeholders”, it added.

On adequate planning towards the successful conduct of the elections the policy statement from the Commission made it known that it has taken into full consideration and cognizance of the raging COVID-19 pandemic as measures are put in place to tackle it.

“Reflect and take full cognizance of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on election service delivery. All election activities shall be evaluated on the extent to which they recognize the likely effects of the pandemic on their timely and successful execution.

“Update and strictly implement an Electoral checklist of indicators that mainstreams COVID-19 for use in monitoring and tracking performance over time and space; Undertake strategic consultation and consensus-building with stakeholders on key changes in its procedures due to the COVID-19 crisis; Respond to the growing demand for deepening the use of technology in the electoral processes including the introduction of electronic voting. “Develop a new election budget template to reflect the likely impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the funding profile of electoral activities; Constantly re-evaluate planned electoral activities in the light of COVID-19 and the health risks it poses for voters, stakeholders and staff during elections, and implement mitigating measures in consultation with health authorities; Integrate its various planning and monitoring tools – Election Risk Management (ERM), Election Management System (EMS) and Electoral Operations Support Centre (EOSC) into a robust system for delivering electoral services during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. “Undertake risk mitigation strategies, including innovative ways of conducting election activities that will mitigate risk to health and safety of voters and election officials; Continuously update election readiness assessments and regularly share information from them with stakeholders”, it added.

On the use of Information and Communication Technology, ICT, the Commission explained that there will be a commitment in that regards in order to conduct a free and fair election. “The Commission recognizes the critical role that ICT will play in an electoral process that is being vastly reshaped by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the growing demands by Nigerians for the deepening of the use of technology in our elections. Consequently, the Commission shall continue to apply relevant, value-for-money technology in all aspects of the electoral process and election management. “Regularly validate and clean up the biometric Register of Voters by removing multiple registrants and deceased persons.

Suspend the Continuous Registration of Voters (CVR) for the time being to prevent the health risks associated with it in the context of COVID-19. “Continue to make available its electronic channels for voters to check their registration status. And pilot the use of Electronic Voting Machines at the earliest possible time (not Edo and Ondo), but work towards the full introduction of electronic voting in major elections starting from 2021”, it explained.

 

Source: Vanguard


The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has asked Political Parties desirous of using the direct primary election method ahead of the forthcoming Governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states to avail it of their membership register or delegate list should they be considering using the indirect method.

This was as the commission again decried the rising cost of conducting bye-elections in the country, describing such elections as diversionary and distracting it from improving on the electoral process. INEC had last week unveiled a policy document in which it said it would be working with relevant stakeholders to see how political parties can be asked to nominate replacements for deceased lawmakers rather than conducting bye-elections to fill the void.

Speaking at the first virtual consultative meeting with leaders of political parties on Monday, Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu warned the parties against political thuggery as they go into their prinaries. He said; “Based on experience, it is also important to draw your attention to the necessity for rancour-free primaries. Party primaries form the foundation for the secondary election conducted by the Commission.

“You must, therefore, avoid acts of thuggery, brigandage, vote-buying and other sundry violations of the Electoral Act. As we monitor the conduct of party primaries, we will pay particular attention to your compliance with the law and to consider sanctions so that the unruly behaviour of some party supporters is not carried forward to the main election. “At the same time, I wish to appeal to political parties that opt for direct primaries to avail us with the register of members to be used for the election from Ward to Local Government and State levels for the effective discharge of our monitoring responsibilities under the law. “Those that opt for indirect primaries should similarly make available to the Commission the list of delegates for the election.

Doing otherwise will amount to going into an election without the voters’ register. “The Commission makes available to each political party the complete register of voters before every major election. We expect political parties to reciprocate for their primaries”, he stated. Yakubu recalled that INEC had since 6th February released the timetable and schedule of activities for both elections, warning political parties to adhere strictly to the schedule as there won’t be any extension of its deadlines. He said; “Party primaries for the nomination of candidates for the Edo Governorship election begin tomorrow.

“Already, some political parties have invited the Commission to monitor their primaries which must be conducted from 2nd to 27th June 2020. ALSO READ: COVID-19 won’t truncate Nigeria’s electoral process – INEC “This time around, the submission of nomination forms will be done online for which a dedicated portal has been set up. “Let me, therefore, warn political parties that intend to field candidates for the election to strictly adhere to these dates as well as the new online procedure for filing of nominations.

“Any party that operates outside these dates will only have itself to blame. The portal will automatically shut down on the scheduled date and at the fixed hour. “The Legal Department and ICT will brief this meeting on the new procedure”. The INEC boss also restated his earlier position on the need for a national conversation on the frequency of bye-elections in the country. He said; “In addition to the Governorship elections in Edo and Ondo States, the Commission is also making preparations to conduct nine bye-elections. The details have already been made public.

“However, as we were preparing for this meeting, our office in Zamfara State informed us that a Member of the State House of Assembly for Bakura Constituency passed on yesterday. “As we await the declaration of vacancy from the Speaker of the State Assembly, the number of bye-elections has increased. “The Commission mourns the loss of all our National and State legislators and extend our condolences to their families and constituents. “At the same time, there is a need for a national conversation around the frequency of bye-elections in Nigeria.

In the month of May 2020 alone, five members of State Houses of Assembly passed on. “Since December 2019, a period of six months, twelve members of the National and State Houses of Assembly have similarly passed on. “This is in addition to the resignation of two Senators from Bayelsa who have since been sworn-in as Governor and Deputy Governor of the State. “The cost of conducting these bye-elections to the Commission, the security agencies, political parties and candidates, election observers, the media, litigations (both pre-election and post-election), and disruption of activities as a result of the restriction of movement on Election Day is enormous. READ ALSO: COVID-19: INEC to pilot e-Voting in 2021, seeks cancellation of Bye-Elections “There is no election season in Nigeria any longer.

The Commission is busy conducting elections all-year-round between one General Election and another. “This often diverts our attention away from reform, innovation, peer learning and planning for the consolidation of our electoral process. “The Commission is going to open a discussion with stakeholders and the National Assembly for necessary reforms towards more cost-effective and democratic options”.

Interim National Chairman of the Inter-Party Advisory Council IPAC and National Chairman of African Action Congress AAC, Dr Leonard Nzenwa hailed the electoral umpire for its decision to pilot the use of electronic voting as from 2021. He said; “The parties are also excited that the Commission has opted to take the bull by the horns to deepen the use of technology in the electoral process with its planned introduction of electronic voting machine in the 2021 polls on a pilot scheme.

“The body of political parties have long canvassed for full introduction of electronic voting in all elections and restate that it is a welcome development”. IPAC which noted that organising elections in a pandemic era is an uphill task, also commended INEC for the bold steps it has taken to come up early with a well-heeled Policy on Conducting Elections in the Context of Covid-19 Pandemic.

The council however called on INEC to be ready, and willing to review some aspects of the Policy Document “that relate with concerned misgivings by stakeholders who strongly feel that some of its provisions might not be feasible when it is lifted from paper for implementation”.

Source: Vanguard News Nigeria.


In the wake of lifestyle changes occasioned by the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC has said it would be using more technological tools in discharging its mandate, disclosing of its resolve to pioneer electronic voting in the country by 2021.

This was as the electoral umpire decried the rising cost of elections in the country, saying it would be liaising with the National Assembly to see how political parties can nominate replacements for dead representatives in line with a Supreme Court judgment that votes belong to the parties and not individuals.

INEC disclosed this in a 17-page document released Monday in Abuja which was tagged, “Policy on Conducting Elections in the Context of the Covid-19 Pandemic”, and signed by its Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu.

The commission also added that voters without face masks would be disallowed from voting in the forthcoming governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states. While the ruling All Progressives Congress APC said it would study the policy to come up with an appropriate reaction, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria SAN, Chief Mike Ahamba said while the policy on bye-elections could reduce costs, it could, however, assume a dangerous dimension if not well handled.

A former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Obong Victor Attah however kicked against it, saying the electorate vote for individuals and not just parties, adding that the development could create vagabonds in power.

Cost of Bye-Elections INEC said its records showed that it is only in 10 percent of all bye-elections conducted since 2015 that the party which originally won the election went ahead to lose, saying it would engage federal lawmakers and other stakehokders to explore ways of defraying the costs associated with bye-elections.

“As already announced by the Commission, the dates for the Governorship elections in Edo and Ondo States remain 19th September 2020 and 10th October 2020 respectively. Dates for the four postponed bye-elections in Bayelsa, Imo and Plateau States, as well as other bye-elections that become due during the COVID-19 pandemic will be announced by the Commission following its established procedures.

“The Commission will engage with the legislature and other stakeholders to explore ways of responding to the rising cost of conducting frequent bye-elections, especially in consideration of the Supreme Court position that votes belong primarily to political parties, as well as the Commission’s records, which show that only in 10% of all bye-elections since 2015 did the party that won originally lose the election.

“The Commission will engage relevant authorities, including the legislature, to designate election as an essential service to enable the Commission function effectively in times of national emergency”, INEC said in the policy. e-Voting in 2021 The Commission stated that it would suspend the Continuous Voter Registration CVR due to the Covid-19 pandemic while by 2021, it would pilot the use of electronic voting in the country.

The policy states that INEC shall; “Suspend the Continuous Voter Registration CVR for the time being to prevent the health risks associated with it in the context of COVID-19. Continue to make available its electronic channels for voters to check their registration status. “Pilot the use of Electronic Voting Machines at the earliest possible time (not Edo and Ondo), but work towards the full introduction of electronic voting in major elections starting from 2021”.

No voting without face masks INEC also announced far-reaching changes to the voting process, saying, among other things, that voters would not be allowed to exercise their franchise without face masks. It said; “In order to accommodate additional activities in setting up the PU due to COVID-19, polls shall now commence at 8.30 am and close at 2.30 pm. Anybody on the outer queue by 2.30 pm shall be allowed to vote, in line with the Commission’s regulations.

“Prior to the commencement of polls, the Presiding Officer or Assistant Presiding Officer (VP) shall ensure that the contents of the Voter Code of Conduct (VCC) are read out loudly to voters and that the VCC Poster is pasted at the Polling Unit. “Face masks shall be mandatory at Polling Units and all election locations.

Any voter without a face mask shall be turned away from the Polling Unit. However, the Assistant Presiding Officer (APO) II in checking the Register of Voters may request removal of mask to prevent voter impersonation. “There shall be periodic disinfection of chairs, tables and work areas, as well as adequate ventilation at the Polling Units. The SCR shall be cleaned with the prescribed disinfectant after each voter’s fingerprint is read. “Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other safety materials shall be provided for polling staff.

At the close of polls, polling unit staff shall ensure that materials are properly disinfected, carefully packaged and that used PPE are hygienically packaged or disposed of. “Reduce the number of accredited Observer Groups based on past performance and compliance with the Commission’s guidelines for election observation. This is to reduce crowding and therefore health risks at election venues”.

In the policy, INEC noted that the most immediate challenge that COVID-19 poses to the electoral process is health-related, adding that it has taken these steps in order to protect voters, election officials and other stakeholders in the electoral process. While all protocols of the Presidential Taskforce PTF on Covid-19 would be adhered to, INEC said Methylated Spirit and cotton wool will be provided for the disinfection of the Smart Card Readers (SCRs) after the fingerprint of each voter is read.

Those who show symptoms of Covid-19 at election venues shall be evacuated immediately. We are studying the situation -APC When contacted, National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu said the party would take time to study the new policy once it is in the public domain before coming up with a response. “I will not respond immediately. I do not have to jump into that. We will study it very well and then respond”, he said. It’s good but dangerous – Ahamba Chief Ahamba said the policy is good but should not be implemented without wide consultations.

According to him, in the United States of America, when a lawmaker dies, it is the governor of the state who would have the responsibility of nominating a replacement. He said; “The party that sends a wrong or unqualified person should suffer for it. They should scrutinize their own list. I remember when I was in NPN, we made very strong scrutiny of every candidate that came to contest elections under NPN. The irony of the fact is that those we disqualified in the NPN eventually got to the House through the NPP.

Let them (INEC) be very careful. When they do it, they should expose it to a thorough debate. “If INEC does well in the first election, there will hardly be a bye-election except in case of death. In the US, if such a vacancy occurs, what happens is that the governor of the state from which the person has come will nominate a replacement. You know they are more gentlemanly, they will nominate somebody from a party that has lost its representative. He is not bound to so do, but so far, they have done so.

But here, if you do it in Nigeria, they (governors) will nominate somebody from their own party even if they lost the earlier elections. If you allow it here, they will kill the other person and take over. For example, I used to support Independent Candidature when there was decency and manliness in politics. My father went to the House in 1961 as an Independent Candidate.

Today, if you allow it, you would find 10 presidential independent candidates in the area of the likely person to win, just to reduce his votes. We have lost a lot of honour in the way we play politics. So, when you make a law, you have to take certain things into consideration and not all these copy and paste. “So, we have to be very careful because we have this penchant of converting what was meant to bring order into disorder. That is our problem. So, before they make any of such changes, they have to be very careful.

But that can be a good way out, let the party that produced the last candidate send a replacement since the Supreme Court has held that votes belong to the party. It is a good idea”. It creates Vagabonds in power -Attah Attah on his part disagreed with the plan, saying the people should be allowed to vote in those to represent them during bye-elections. 

According to him, if INEC and the National Assembly would saddle the parties with such roles, they should as well disallow contestants during elections so that the electorate would vote only for political parties who would, in turn, appoint those they want to occupy such seats.

“The issue of representation, you do not transfer it to the party. You send people to represent you. The more I think about this, the more reason I have for supporting the Parliamentary System because it is the people that are being represented and they must be people that they can look at and send to go and represent them. “I have heard people say, ‘ah, if that party brings a wrong candidate, we won’t vote for him’.

A candidate is the issue because the party can go and bring a vagabond just because we have voted for them. It has to be the person because people have to support who they want and not the party. If a party brings up a wrong candidate, the people should be able to reject that person. “If we want the parties to nominate replacements, then why do we have to even name candidates? We should just list the parties and tell the people to vote whichever party they want and when we finish, the parties would name anybody to such positions. That is not the issue. Representation is about the person. The important thing is to ensure that elections are conducted properly”, Attah added.

 

Source: Vanguard News Nigeria


The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced the postponement of bye-elections for senatorial districts in Bayelsa, Imo, and Plateau states because of coronavirus.

The affected districts in Bayelsa, according to a statement from INEC on Thursday, are Bayelsa Central and Bayelsa West which their seats in the Senate became vacant following the election of their former occupants, Diri Duoye and Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, as governor and deputy governor of the state respectively.

The seat for the Imo North District, Imo State, became vacant following the death of its senator, Benjamin Uwajumogu, the same with Plateau South District whose senator, Longjan Datong, passed on.

INEC said the postponement of the bye-elections became necessary because of the “health emergency occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic”.

Section 26 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) empowers the election commission to postpone any election in the event of an emergency or national disaster, INEC spokesperson, Festus Okoye, said in the statement.

“The Commission is compelled to take this step in recognition of the fact that all major activities in the electoral process involve large gathering of people. These include the conduct of party primaries, campaigns, stakeholder meetings, training, and deployment of election and security personnel, movement of accredited observers and journalists, congregation of voters and other stakeholders at polling units, as well as the collation centres.

“While the Commission acknowledges the rights and desire of citizens for effective representation, there is an over-riding public interest in ensuring the health, safety and well-being of all stakeholders,” the statement said.

INEC said the timetable and schedule of activities for the postponed bye-elections would be released as soon as the coronavirus is contend.

The governorship elections in Edo and Ondo, scheduled for September and October this year respectively, are, however, not affected by the postponement, INEC said.

 

Source: PremiumTimes

My Dear Good People of Rivers State,

  1. In the last two months we have implemented several calculated measures in response to the outbreak of the coronavirus in our State.

  2. Some of these measures were severe, but necessary, including the total lockdown of Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt Local Government Areas, which are, without doubt, the social and economic never-centres of our State.

  3. Arguably, these measures and your sacrifices have enabled us so far, to contain and limit the spread of this virus to 4 out of the 23 local government areas of the State.

  4. Also, the pattern of infection remains predictable, as there is yet, any evidence of serious community transmission, although this cannot be ruled out with the increasing number of positive cases; the majority of which, are connected with contacts with oil company workers who imported the disease into the State.

  5. And so, while we should all still be concerned, since our set goals in the battle against the virus are not yet achieved, there is no need to fear.

  6. We are totally in control, working hard every day and believing that the worst will soon be behind us.

  7. In continuation of our struggle against the spread of covid-19 in our State, we had planned to resume the total lockdown on Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt Local Government Areas from Wednesday 27th May 2020.

  8. However, after a comprehensive review of the measures we have taken and further considerations placed before us by well-meaning members of the public, the State Security Council has decided to cancel the proposed lockdown on Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt Local Government Areas of the State.

  9. In essence, no part of Rivers State is or will be under any lockdown from this moment and this will be so, except where it becomes necessary again.

  10. As we all know, the regular washing of hands, religious wearing of face masks, keeping effective physical and social distance of between 1.5 to 2 meters from other people, completely avoiding touching of faces with unwashed hands, and cleaning of surfaces we regularly touch have been identified as some of the most effective measures against contracting this virus in the absence of vaccine.

  11. These are not difficult measures that should warrant any excuses for negligence, non or ineffective compliance.

  12. Consequently, we wish to re-enforce our decision on the continuous implementation of the following measures throughout the State to mitigate the spread of this virus:

(i) All land borders, including all exit and entry routes into Rivers State shall remain closed to human and vehicular traffic, except those on essential services and duly exempted.

(ii) All residents must wear face masks or covering into any public space, including our roads, banks, shopping malls, shops, hotels and in any lawful social gathering.

(iii) The State task force and the security agencies have been directed to arrest and summarily prosecute any person seen on our streets or any other public place without wearing face masks.

(iv) All banks, motor parks, hotels, restaurants, shops, business centres, shopping malls, and offices must maintain social distancing and enforce the wearing of face masks in their premises.

(v) The State task force and security agencies have been directed to seal up, prosecute and confiscate to the State any bank, shopping mall, restaurant, shop, business place or office that fails to enforce social distancing and the wearing of face masks in its premises.

(vi) In addition to providing daily guest list to the Police and the Department of State Security, hoteliers must not host large gatherings, including parties and receptions. Defaulting hotels will be sealed-up and the owners summarily prosecuted.

(vii) All bars, beer palours, or drinking joints, night-clubs, viewing centres, open markets and cinemas shall remain closed until further notice;

(viii) Oil mill market in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area shall remain closed until further notice;

(ix) Oginigba Slaughter market in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area shall similarly remain closed until further notice.

(x) Mbiama market in Ahoada West Local Government Area shall also remain closed until further notice;

(xi) All public weddings, burials and large social gatherings shall remain banned.

(xii) Churches and other religious gatherings should continue to comply with the existing advisory on social distancing, initiate temperature checks and enforce the wearing of face masks during their activities;

(xiii) Dealers in Ikoku Spare Parts markets are warned for the last time to stop converting public roads to mechanic workshops or risk final closure.

(xiv) Similarly, no mechanic workshop should be found along Ikwerre road as Government will prosecute defaulters and confiscate any vehicle being repaired on any public road.

(xv) Private and commercial vehicles, including tricycles must continue to limit their passengers to the number earlier established and enforce the wearing of face masks by all passengers. Defaulters will be prosecuted and their vehicles confiscated by the Task force.

  1. We have taken these measures at in the best interest of our State, to protect our lives, businesses, and jobs as well as, to prevent our troubled economy from suffering irreparable damage.

  2. This also means that, residents now bear much greater responsibility to stop and prevent our State from suffering the exponential and potentially devasting spread of the virus being experienced across the country.

  3. As I have stated earlier, there is nothing to worry about the increasing number of positive cases as such is not unexpected in the light of the intensification of contact- tracing and increased testing of suspected cases.

  4. As 60% of the positive cases recorded in the State are connected with oil company workers, we have initiated a meeting with all the major oil companies to work out strategies on how we can stop this trend and stop the risk this category of workers now pose to the State.

  5. Furthermore, Government is investigating the rumored or suspected outbreak of the virus at Bonny Island.

  6. Our team of medical personnel led by the Commissioner for Health has visited Bonny Island and collected samples from suspected cases for analysis and immediate intervention should the results indicate the outbreak of the virus in the area.

  7. Finally, our intelligence has intercepted a clandestine plan by some criminal elements led by Bobosky to cause security breaches in the State by instigating violence and burning down churches in Khana, Eleme, Gokana, Tai and Oyigbo Local Government Areas of the State.

  8. We want to assure all residents that the State Government is fully ready and prepared to deal with the situation and continue to guarantee the protection of lives and property throughout the State.

  9. We implore all residents to be vigilant and report all suspicious characters and movements in their neighbourhoods to security agencies.

  10. As a further security measure, we have decided to impose a nighttime curfew on all the 23 Local Government Areas of the State from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. starting from the 2nd of June 2020 until further notice.

  11. Leaders and vigilante groups in our communities are to work with the security agencies to enforce the curfew in their localities and arrest and prosecute anyone that violates the curfew order.

  12. As a government, we are doing our best and will continue to spare no efforts to protect our State and advance the best interest of our people. Nothing can scare, deter or derail us from this path.

  13. And so, we urge our people to stop the fake news on social media; stop the baseless bickering, the needless blame game, and the seditious rumours that does no good to our image or provide any solution to the common challenges that we face.

  14. Rather, we should all come together, put our fate in our own hands and work for the common good of all, whether as individuals, families or as communities.

    1. This is the only way to spare our State, our people and our economy from the devastating effects of the corona pandemic at this time.
  15. We cannot stop appreciating our health workers who have continued to put their lives at risk in the forefront of this battle so the rest of us can be safe and secure. We cannot thank you enough. Only God can reward you in his fulness.

  16. We call on all residents to continue to support the Government and pray for God’s gracious intervention in the affairs of the State.

  17. Thank you and God bless you all.

Nigeria's COVID -19 Stats

62371
Confirmed
58095
Recovered
1139
Deaths

ciepd wikipedia covid 19

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