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Edo Governorship Election : Fear Of Rigging Rises

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images 26 2 Edo Governorship Election : Fear Of Rigging Rises

The perception that Nigerian elections are usually rigged, has for long been a subject of general consensus. It would therefore be unfair to blame those who are apprehensive that the Edo election scheduled for next Saturday would be rigged.
Interestingly, even if the contest turns out to be free and fair, many would still see it as a miracle bearing in mind the posture of the present Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC towards the deployment of technology for elections.
Any analyst who has watched our elections since 2015 must have been left to ponder over what the commission understands to be today’s global best practices in the conduct of elections.
With only 6 days to the Edo polls, it is surprising that the priority of INEC is the deployment of several national and resident electoral commissioners to the state as if a state requires more than one commissioner.
While it is bad if INEC is unaware that the problem on ground cannot be solved at the level of commissioners, it is worse if she knows but seeks to engage in circumlocution.
The issue on ground is institutional integrity and credibility of our election umpire. How for instance, has INEC dealt with the revelation that the resident electoral commissioner in the same Edo state is a politician?
When the allegation was first made public, some people assumed it was false hence INEC ignored it. Rather than the expectation of denial of the allegation, the official spokesman of the commission said on national television last Thursday that the matter is not for INEC to handle because electoral commissioners are appointed not by the electoral body but by the President and the Senate.
In other words, INEC would accommodate any person whether a devil or indeed a dead person provided the appointment was made by the appropriate authority.
We believe, however, that the commission should have first doused public apprehension by deploying the affected person from an active location while drawing official attention to the anomaly. If not, how can the public be confident that INEC commissioners most of whom people felt were of impeccable character are not similarly tainted?
Painfully, INEC also shifted blame to the public for allegedly not raising objections to the appointment during screening and confirmation. The argument is weak because whether people objected or not, a person with a partisan background can never be seen as a credible referee.
At whatever point an alarm is raised, steps ought to be taken to recuse the appointee from the impartial team which the public sees as Caesar’s wife that is above board.
The sentimental calls for the redeployment of an otherwise innocent Amina Zakari during the 2019 elections was supported by many only for the sake of electoral credibility.
Again, public participation in the clearance of appointees for office, is not encouraged because our Senate has since placed the subject on an instant ‘bow and go’ system. Thus, many appointees in Nigeria carry along with them to their offices, ample legal disability which should never happen to an electoral commission.
Perhaps a more objectionable phenomenon is lack of credibility of operations. Although Nigerians have consistently pleaded with our election managers to do what is done elsewhere to take us out of the cycle of failed elections, they seem obliged to repeatedly do the same thing while assuring the public of better days ahead.
When INEC announced plans to introduce what it called Z-pad and election viewing portal to enhance the credibility of elections, many including this columnist applauded her. While the Z-pad would enhance voter biometrics, the portal would display results at every unit making subsequent alteration almost impossible.
The new frustrating position is that INEC has withdrawn the Z-pad for Edo election thereby returning us to the old situation where politicians used unclaimed PVCs to record fake votes for themselves.
claim by INEC that the portal will still be deployed is bogus because she knows full well that the portal cannot identify fictitious votes but would accurately display ALL votes. Without the Z-pad, the portal is a smokescreen.
The withdraw of the Z-pad, makes it the second time since 2015, that INEC would dash hopes by putting aside technology which she made the nation invest huge sums into for both the procurement of materials and training of officials.
What our people anxiously desire now is an open system and not the old hide and seek game in which the commission allows election malpractices to occur behind the scenes, before coming out openly to read the resultant convoluted figures in front of television cameras. This mischief was probably why former President Goodluck Jonathan called for e-voting in Africa last week.
Politicians who argue that Nigerians are not advanced enough for the reform didn’t make same claims when e-passport was introduced to stop fake travellers, or when e-salary system was adopted to stop ghost workers.

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Buhari ‘ s Eight Years Is A Passing Phase ; Nigerians Should Endure – Kola Ologbondiyan

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images 69 2 Buhari ' s Eight Years Is A Passing Phase ; Nigerians Should Endure - Kola Ologbondiyan

Kola Ologbondiyan, National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in this interview , speaks on the just concluded Edo governorship election, Nigeria at 60, restructuring and other issues. Excerpts:
Your party, the PDP just secured victory in the just concluded governorship election in Edo state. How do you feel?
I feel so elated for a hard battle won. It is a collective victory for all of us. Like I said on my social media page, this victory is historic, the aroma is sweet and its lesson for political godfathers will last a lifetime. The people’s power will always prevail. Once again, congratulations to Governor Obaseki, his deputy, Phillip Shaibu and the good people of Edo state.
Nigeria will be celebrating 60 years of independence as a sovereign nation on October 1st, how far do you think we have come as a nation?
I think we might not have been able to reach the expectations of our founding fathers. However, prior to the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, I think we were progressing as a people. Painfully however, the last five years has expanded the divisive tendencies in our nationhood. It is shocking that under a watch of our President that served the Nigerian Army and rose to the position of Major-General, our nation can become so divided to an extent that ethnic demands have overridden the bands of unity.
I don’t know how the Buhari administration will want to manage this and take us back to a united country. But like eminent Nigerians have said in the last few weeks, we have become much more divided than we have ever been in the last 60 years of our nation.
The Presidency, through Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on Media said the division in the country did not start under this government and that Nigeria has always been divided. What is your take on that?
I think Femi Adesina’s argument is far misplaced or maybe he did not understand the context of the question he was responding to. What Nigerians are saying is that there can be conflicts and divisions, but we have not had a President whose policy direction and approach to national cohesion has been this divisive. We have never had a President whose policies have demonstrated a huge division in our nation like President Buhari. We are not saying there have never been grounds for people disagreeing or have challenges; after all, we have had a civil war. But what we are saying is that we have never had a leader, a President whose actions and policy direction has demonstrated a huge division in our nation like President Buhari. That is the question Femi Adesina ought to have responded to. It is disgusting and painful that a government that came into office on a mantra of change, saying that things were not going well under the previous administration and that if elected, they will come and repair the crisis area in our nation, to have allowed itself by the manner of the leadership it is providing for the nation. It is worthy of note that this division is affecting their policies.
How do you mean?
For instance, President Buhari said agriculture is the main focus of his policies. He also said that the youths should go back to the farm. But today, if you go and plant, Fulani herdsmen will come in and destroy your farmland. No matter what you do, you cannot get justice. We even have a situation where the Presidency said we should go and live with our neighbours. So, these are the tendencies that have become worrisome in the lives of our nation. We have never had a President whose policies is driven on the basis of where he comes from; a president whose policies of his administration can be manifestly seen that he taking side with a particular region of the country. Will that encourage unity in our country? Will that foster the spirit of togetherness? All these actions have failed to enable us more than ever before to see ourselves as one Nigerian. Part of the legacy President Buhari must work towards leaving behind is that of a united Nigeria because no matter how Femi Adesina wants Nigerians to believe that the country has always been divided, it has never been this divided in the history of our nation.
Do you agree with former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s position on the state of affairs of the nation under President Buhari?
There is no Nigerian that has the love of this country that will not speak in the manner Baba (Olusegun) Obasanjo, Prof. Wole Soyinka and other eminent Nigerians have spoken. In whatever way you look at it or in whichever manner you want to ascribe the blame of our crisis, what Nigerians are saying is that we have never had it this worse under this administration. When the presidency was attacking Obasanjo, our party counseled President Buhari to listen to the voice of wisdom. His approach to governance is to say the least, very disappointing. Those who packaged Buhari in 2015 gave Nigerians the impression that he was coming to make the difference and be the Messiah that Nigerians have been waiting for. Can any of them now in their clear conscience say they have been justified given what has happened in the last five years? They cannot, because the performance of the administration has been a disappointing one.
One major issue that has continued to dominate the political space is the restructuring of the country. The APC-led federal government has refused to implement the reports of the 2014 national conference but rather set up the El-Rufai committee on True Federalism which has already submitted the report. Why do you think the party has not done anything in that regard?
For us in the PDP, we did not for one day took the El-Rufai committee on restructuring serious. Part of the campaign that was made by the APC in 2015 was restructuring. They have not by any effort come close to their own promise. In whatever way you look at the administration, it has manifestly failed. If you make a promises, even if you can’t fulfill all, you can still walk around part of the promises and provide hope that even after you have left office, any office that is coming after you will be able to do part of what you have left behind. The reality is that this APC government is not prepared for restructuring. They cannot deal with it and they cannot fulfill any promise. In a tenure of eight years, we have had this government for five years. By next year, politics will begin in full swing while governance will take the backseat. So, what is left for them to do.
The APC recently said Nigerians should calm down that restructuring has already begun. Are you saying the party is not sincere?
When you talk about restructuring, it appears to different people from different angle. There are those who believe in devolution of power as restructuring. To these ones, to restructure Nigeria, power must be taken from the centre and given to the states and local governments. There are others who believe that the 36 states and FCT is not working and as such, we must go back to regionalism; that is also restructuring. There are those who believed that a bicameral legislature is too expensive and that we should go back to a unicameral legislature; that is also restructuring. There are those who believe that the states should be allowed to have their own police while there are others who believe that even the local councils should have their own police; it is still restructuring. There are those who believe that the traditional rulers should be given roles in the constitution in such a manner that they can look over their domains; it is also restructuring.
There are those who also believe that each state should be allowed to manage its resources and return a percentage of those resources to the centre, in order to enable the centre run its affairs. That is also restructuring. So, there are various ways of restructuring that Nigerians have expectations. In all these angles of restructuring that I have explained, which one can you point to that the Buhari administration has attempted to implement? None! So, as far as we are concerned in the PDP, we have seen the eight years of President Buhari as a passer-by years. We do not know in concrete terms what Nigerians will be able to point to after the eight years of his administration.

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Obaseki & Shaibu Get Certificates Of Return, Set For Inauguration In November

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images 57 1 Obaseki & Shaibu Get Certificates Of Return, Set For Inauguration In November

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has presented certificates of return to the re-elected Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, and his deputy Philip Shaibu.
With the certificates of return, Obaseki and Shaibu have fulfilled the requirements of the Electoral Act to be inaugurated on November 12, 2020 in Benin City for their second term in office.

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Edo Billionaire , Capt . Hosa Congratulates Obaseki On His Re – Election

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images 52 2 Edo Billionaire , Capt . Hosa Congratulates Obaseki On His Re - Election

Edo-born billionaire oil magnate, Captain (Dr.) Hosa Wells Okunbo, has congratulated Governor Godwin Obaseki on his victory at the just concluded September 19 Edo State Governorship election.
Okunbo openly supported Osagie Ize-Iyamu, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) against Obaseki, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate and former ally.
In a statement he personally signed and forwarded in Monday, Okunbo said, “It is incumbent upon me as a protagonist for the candidate of the APC candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, to now issue a statement in my personal capacity as a private citizen as I did at various times during the campaign.”
The Chairman, Ocean Marine Solutions Limited, also congratulated the people of Edo “who took the civic responsibility with a sense of urgency and trooped out to express themselves.”
While wishing Governor Obaseki the best of luck, Okunbo prayed that the next four years of his administration will take Edo State to the ‘promised land’.
He beckoned on all Edo indigenes home and abroad to join hands with the Governor to “build a vibrant democracy and a vibrant economy where the youths can find gainful employment in an atmosphere of peace and security.”

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