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Independent Observers Call for Prosecution of Electoral Offenders

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From Mike Tayese, Yenagoa

A coalition of Independent Observers in the November 11 off-circle governorship election in Bayelsa state, has raised a  deep concern over certain incidents of violence, particularly in Brass Local Government Area (LGA), during the election.

The group said, they condemned the acts unequivocally, as they undermine the democratic process and endanger the lives of citizens, saying in the light of this, they call for a thorough investigation and prosecution of all individuals involved in electoral violence, irrespective of their political affiliations.

Addressing a press conference in Yenagoa, the spokesman of the coalition of Independent Observers and the Executive Director Sustainable Initiative for Nurturing Growth (SING), Olufemi Lawson, said they express their dismay over the alleged involvement of the deputy governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr.

Joshua Maciver, in instigating violence in Brass Local Government.

He said, “If these allegations are substantiated, we call for the immediate prosecution of Mr. Maciver in accordance with the law. Such actions should not go unpunished, as they set a dangerous precedent and erode public trust in the electoral process”.

“As we commend the successes of the election, we also urge relevant authorities to take swift and decisive action to address any shortcomings and to ensure that the electoral process in Bayelsa State continues to improve in subsequent elections”.

In company of the SING Director was comrade Obu Deborah of Women and Youth Empowerment for Global Initiative, Comrade Francis Eli of New Nation Foundation for Global Development, Amb. Phil. Badaki of Total Care for Peace and Development Initiative.

Others include; Comrade Sunny Elekwa of Citizens Right for Peace and Good Leadership Initiative, Comrade Ndubuisi of Initiative for Rapid Development of Nigeria, Comrade Jude of Initiative for Youth Transformation for Positive Change, Comrade Angela of Women Right and Peace Protection for initiative for African, HRMEF Foundation, Peace Advocate and Voice for the Common Man and First Massive Literati Foundation.

The group believed that the election was marked by a high level of professionalism, dedication, and adherence to electoral guidelines by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials, and  applauded their commitment to upholding the principles of democracy. “The smooth conduct of the election is a testament to the strides made in improving the electoral process in Nigeria.”

“We would also like to extend our congratulations to Governor Duoye Diri on his victory in the governorship election. We believe that his success is a reflection of the will of the people of Bayelsa State, as expressed through their votes”.

“We remain committed to promoting and fostering democracy in Nigeria, and we will continue to monitor and engage with the electoral process to contribute to the consolidation of democratic values in the country”.

NEWS

Tinubu Mourns Ex-Minister, Ogbonnaya Onu

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President Bola Tinubu has extended his deepest condolences to the Onu family over the passing of Chief Ogbonnaya Onu, a former Minister of Science and Technology in the Buhari administration.

Chief Onu passed away on Thursday at the age of 72.

“The President mourns a luminous star in Nigeria’s political firmament.

The first civilian governor of Abia State; former minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, a principal draughtsman in the founding of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and a valiant partner in the victory of the party in the 2015 elections.
 

“Most importantly, the President celebrates the life of an accomplished scholar, first-class engineer; a man of proven integrity; defiant to indiscipline, but ever yielding to the highest standards of rectitude,” a statement by Chief Ajuri Ngelale, Presidential spokesman quoted the President to have said.

The statement said Tinubu affirmed that the late Onu epitomized Nigeria in concord; in wholeness, as the late statesman believed in and defended Nigeria’s unity, advocated peace, and promoted fellowship across the Niger.

The President also condoled with the friends and associates of Chief Onu, Ebonyi and Abia State Governments, and all Nigerians grieving this gaping loss.

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POLITICS

PDP Appoints Chinda as Chairman for Ondo LG Congress, Ahead of Primaries

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has appointed Rep. Kingsley Chinda as the Chairman, Local Government Congress Electoral Committee for Ondo, ahead of Saturday’s governorship primaries.

The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr Debo Ologunagba said this in a statement on Friday in Abuja.

Ologunagba said that the constitution of the committee was approved by the National Working Committee (NEC) of the party.

“The committee members are to serve on the local government Congress Electoral Committee to conduct National Delegates Congress for the purpose of electing one national delegate per local government area in Ondo,” he said.

Ologunagba said that the congress would hold at the Collation Center of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in each of the local government areas of the state.

Ologunagba advised all the governorship aspirants, leaders, critical stakeholders and members in Ondo to take note and be guided accordingly.(NAN)

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POLITICS

Gov. Idris Cautions Against Using Pulpit for Political, Personal Interest

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Gov. Nasir Idris of Kebbi has urged Islamic scholars to stop using the pulpit to advance their political and selfish interest.

Idris gave the advice when he received the Emir of Gwandu, Alhaji Muhammad Bashir, who paid him Sallah homage at the Government House in Birnin Kebbi on Thursday.

“It is glaring that some Ulama mount the pulpit or use Tafsir sessions to castigate leaders and cast aspersions on their persons for smear campaign or self fulfilment.

“I am also not immuned from such acts; such unholy attitude must cease, to safeguard the sanctity of religion and protect the dignity of leaders,” the governor said.

The Ulama, he emphasised, should uphold their value as moulders of good character and morality and stop soiling the faith because of their personal aggrandisement.

Idris, who holds the traditional title of Kauran Gwandu, acknowledged the support and cooperation of Gwandu Emirate Council to his administration.

He urged the traditional institution in the state to sustain prayers for peace and prosperity in the country.

The governor also expressed happiness with the resuscitation of the annual Durbar,  which was suspended for many years.

“For a long time, Durbar has not been staged by the Gwandu Emirate Council until now while I am the governor of the state.

“Being my first observance of the Eid-el Fitr as sitting Chief Executive, I am highly impressed with the colourful event,” he said.

Idris assured people of the state that his administration would pursue ongoing reforms aimed at economic growth and development of infrastructure in the state.

Earlier, the Emir, reprsented by Alhaji Abdullahi Umar, the Wazirin Gwandu, pledged the support and loyalty of the emirate council to the state government.

He commended the governor for the remarkable achievements being recorded across the state, including turning the state capital to a modern city.

The emir led an enchanting durbar procession from the palace to the government house, watched by thousands of residents.

(NAN)

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