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Boko Haram terrorists: Fulfil promises to Borno others, US tells President Jonathan.


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THE United States has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to fulfil his promises to implement developmental projects in the troubled states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa in order to curb Boko Haram insurgency in the region.

The three states have been under the emergency rule since May.

US Permanent Representatives to the United Nations, Samantha Power, who said this in her opening remarks at a meeting with some civil society organisations in Abuja on Wednesday, also expressed worry about what she called uncoordinated security crackdown on Boko Haram members.

This, she noted, had resulted in loss of lives of many innocent people.

She said, “The United States is concerned by some of the stories we hear of inhumane detention practices in Nigeria, and I have discussed this with officials here.

Security crackdowns that do not discriminate between legitimate targets and innocent civilians are both counterproductive and wrong.

“We know how hard it is to fight insurgency and terrorism, but we have also seen how much more effective we are when we put the welfare of the local population at the heart of our efforts.”

The envoy, who regretted that the US and Nigeria had been targets of terrorists, said the Nigerian government must implement policies that would help lay a foundation for longer term progress.

“I was pleased to hear President Jonathan’s announcement earlier this month of his development plan for the North-East. Efforts to fight poverty, create jobs, and respect the dignity and rights of all people would help lay a foundation for longer term progress. My government will be urging President Jonathan to fulfil his commitment to implement his plan as soon as possible,” she said.

Power said the meeting was called to have a candid conversation with civil society organisations to know the challenges confronting them in promoting free, fair, and transparent elections, fighting corruption, advancing responsible, effective, and rights-respecting approaches to insecurity.

She observed that the US and Nigeria shared much in common because they “both have vibrant civil societies, whose promotion of civic engagement was key to advancing important reforms and making government accountable to its citizens.

Power said, “In Nigeria, civil society organisations like yours have tirelessly advocated for increasing the credibility of elections and citizens’ participation in the electoral process, which is so vital for any democracy. You all have also worked to highlight the impact of poor governance and public corruption on the average Nigerian citizen who wants to contribute meaningfully to society.

“Tragically, we have both been targeted by terrorists. The brutality of the attacks against your people is shocking. In responding to these attacks, it is essential that we do so consistent with the most fundamental of international human rights norms.”

She said efforts of the civil society could help Nigeria to empower women, create new opportunities for young people, expose and curb corruption, strengthen democratic institutions, and ensure that the electoral process became free and fair.

Expressing the US concern over the irregularities in last month’s governorship election in Anambra State, Power said her country would follow closely the next governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states.

“The 2015 election will draw global attention and can – if you push hard enough – prove a model for all of Africa, if they are free, fair, and transparent,” she added.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Mandela, Obasanjo, And Jonathan By Okey Ndibe.


 

Columnist:

Okey Ndibe

From the outset, I must offer an apology for the grave moral offense of seeming to bracket the late sage, Nelson Mandela, with Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan. In a way, the decision was not mine, but Mr. Obasanjo’s.

Last week, the former Nigerian president apparently leaked a letter he had written to President Jonathan. The timing of the leak was in bad form: the same week that South Africans and the world were mourning – celebrating – Madiba Mandela, a man who came to define extraordinary grace and a deeply human vision for our time. Like the rest of the world, Nigerians were engaged in the lofty business of honoring a truly elegant man when Mr. Obasanjo’s letter made its rude interjection. The letter seemed calculated to force Nigerians to abandon a sublime purpose – the extolling of a man who epitomized greatness – in order to obsess over a certified hypocrite’s delusions of moral authority.

Stripped of its verbosity, Mr. Obasanjo’s letter boiled down to this: that Mr. Jonathan was incompetent, dishonest, in thrall to clannish (Ijaw) interests, and deadly. Some of the former president’s specific accusations are that Nigeria’s incumbent president was running a political shop rife with corruption; that, beyond the deployment of troops, Mr. Jonathan had failed to come up with a broad plan for containing the festering scourge of Boko Haram terrorism; that Mr. Jonathan was trying to sidestep an ostensible pact not to seek a second term as president; that, in pursuit of said second term, Mr. Jonathan had kindled the embers of Ijaw militancy and groomed killer squads to take out perceived and real enemies; that Mr. Jonathan, though propelled into office by the Peoples Democratic Party, had brought nothing but misfortune to the ruling party, often working against the PDP’s interests by secretly boosting candidates of rival parties in several elections, including the recent governorship election in Anambra; that, instead of bringing together different factions within the PDP, Mr. Jonathan had compounded the fissures within the party; and that Mr. Jonathan seemed bent on sacrificing democratic norms to his selfish political interests.

Mr. Obasanjo’s letter invoked Thomas Paine, Chinua Achebe and others. It played up the words honor and trust, which he accused Mr. Jonathan of lacking, implying that the incumbent was versed in duplicity and deception.

Being no reader of minds, I don’t feel up to the task of revealing the former president’s motive. Was he seized by envy on witnessing the global gushing of (richly deserved) adulation for Mandela? The former president titled his letter, “Before It Is Too Late”. Was the title self-referential, in other words, did it express Mr. Obasanjo’s rising anxiety that time was running out for him to project himself as something of a midget-Mandela, a miniaturized, Nigerian-made version of the real Madiba? With newspapers and people around the world quoting some of Mandela’s memorable speeches, did Obasanjo, in an access of grandeur, imagine that his letter could have the same fascinating effect on (at least) Nigerians? Was it something even baser, a realization, say, that he and his acolytes had lost out in the internecine battle for the benighted soul of the PDP?

Only Mr. Obasanjo can tell the inmost reason that nudged him to write the leaked letter. But I’m willing to guess, based on Mr. Obasanjo’s all-too recent record, that he was not actuated by a desire to promote good governance or deepen democratic values.

Yet, we must give the former president his due. Some of the particulars in his charge sheet are right on target. President Jonathan has been unable to contain the threat of Boko Haram terrorism. He has not developed a good, much less a bold, program for tackling Nigeria’s myriad crises, including a scary healthcare sector, a collapsed educational system, and wretched infrastructure. He’s just another confounded resident of Aso Rock, a man occupying the space of president and commander-in-chief, without being able to rise nobly to the challenge of the office.

That conceded, it ought to be pointed out that there is not – there should not be – a feud between Mr. Jonathan and former President Obasanjo. As I argued in a column a few months ago, the former is the latter’s worthy successor. Reading the former president’s lengthy public letter, one often had the sensation of reading an autobiographical account of Mr. Obasanjo’s years at Aso Rock Villa.

Obasanjo’s Presidency was so thoroughly committed to the promotion of criminality that I nicknamed the man mischief-maker-in-chief. Lest we forget, Mr. Obasanjo was a callous president. In 2002, more than 1000 people perished when explosions rocked the Ikeja military cantonment. When the grief-stricken victims demanded a decisive response from Mr. Obasanjo, the then president insensitively told them off. “I’m not supposed to be here,” he told the hapless, shell-shocked survivors.

Mr. Obasanjo was a model of cynicism as president. In the early days of his Presidency, he started what he called a so-called “poverty alleviation” program, putting Tony Anenih in charge of disbursing billions of naira. When critics pointed out that the fund had not alleviated poverty in any way, Mr. Obasanjo then increased the funds significantly and launched a “poverty eradication” scheme. Nobody knows where all the cash went.

Lest we forget, Mr. Obasanjo was the president who authorized the wholesale massacres of the people of Odi in Bayelsa State and Zaki Biam in Benue State.

Let’s not forget too soon that Mr. Obasanjo empowered Lamidi Adedibu to operate like a parallel (and more powerful) “Governor” of Oyo State. When Governor Rasheed Ladoja refused to surrender some cash to Mr. Adedibu, the latter – whom Obasanjo flattered as “commander” – mobilized police officers and invaded Government House. Governor Ladoja was to scamper away to safety.

Let’s not forget, too, that Mr. Obasanjo also looked the other way as some two hundred police officers stormed Anambra State and abducted then Governor Chris Ngige. Incidentally, Mr. Obasanjo’s ruling had used rigging to impose Ngige as governor. Why, then, the desperation to sack the governor? Mr. Ngige incurred the president’s wrath by refusing to do the bidding of a coterie close to Mr. Obasanjo. Many Nigerian groups voiced outrage at the use of police officers to commit a serious crime. They insisted that the abductors and their sponsors be prosecuted. But Mr. Obasanjo characterized the felonious act as a mere quarrel within the family, case closed! A few months later, police officers escorted lorry loads of hired hoodlums as they swept through Anambra State burning any state government-owned property in sight. The plan was to instigate a bloodbath in order to offer Mr. Obasanjo the perfect pretext to declare a state of emergency and remove the obstinate governor.

Mr. Obasanjo promised Nigerians, on his honor, to bring to an end the days of incessant electric power outages. He set a promise-delivery date of December 31, 2001, and set up a technical task force to effectuate his pledge. He poured between $10 and $16 billion into what was, in effect, a scam. Once the deadline arrived, Nigerians realized that they had been conned. If anything, power failures have worsened.

Have Nigerians forgotten how Mr. Obasanjo tried to change the Nigerian constitution in order to grant himself perpetual tenancy as president? When that illicit plan was thwarted, the former president virtually imposed the late Umaru Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan as the ruling party’s candidates. Mr. Yar’Adua was deathly sick, but Mr. Obasanjo insisted he was a picture of vibrant health. Mr. Jonathan had had a nondescript run as governor of Bayelsa State. Yet, the former president advertised the tag team of Yar’Adua-Jonathan as the only ones in Nigeria’s political universe worthy of succeeding him, continuing his legacy as a self-styled “father of modern Nigeria.” Declaring the 2011 elections a “do-or-die” affair, he did everything to compel Nigerians, like it or not, to accept his anointed successors.

One member of the tag team spent more time tending to his health woes than to the affairs of state, and soon died. The other, Jonathan, is clearly overwhelmed by the demands of statecraft. And here we have Obasanjo, a shameless manipulator if ever there was one, the manufacturer of the defective goods, strutting about the stage denouncing the mess he chiefly authored.

Somebody ought to shoo Mr. Obasanjo off the stage. He must leave us in peace to focus on a true leader – Madiba Nelson Mandela – a while longer!

Please follow me on twitter @ okeyndibe

(okeyndibe@gmail.com)

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

Ngige Rebuts Biafrans stopped him and APC in Anambra, Avers FG gave Obi N8bn for the Poll.


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Senator Chris Ngige, who was the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate  in the November 16 Anambra State governorship election, has  alleged that the federal government gave Governor Peter Obi of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) N8billion to prosecute the election won by the APGA candidate Chief Willie Obiano .Ngige claimed that the money given to Obi by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-controlled federal government under the guise of ecological fund was to ensure APGA’s victory at all cost, adding that the N8billion was not part of the N4billion public funds spent by Governor Obi before and during the election.He spoke in Owerri yesterday during the meeting of the chieftains of APC from the South-East geo-political zone.

Ngige also alleged that the federal government placed security agencies at the beck and call of Governor Obi. “Even the army and the Police were biased against the APC.They were arresting every vehicle with the APC logo. Some of our members were arrested in Enugu, Ebonyi and Imo states just to stop them from coming to Anambra,” Ngige said.In a swift reaction, Governor Obi described Senator Ngige as a bad loser, and advised him to congratulate the governor-elect, rather than make unsubstantiated allegations against him and the government of Anambra State.Obi who spoke through his chief press secretary, Mike Udah, said it was unthinkable for the federal government to direct a governor to use funds meant for ecological redemption to prosecute an election, adding that no reasonable person would take Ngige and his remarks seriously.

“The allegation does not make sense to any reasonable person and no reasonable person will take that remarks and the author seriously.“Ngige has an exaggerated opinion of his political stature, but that is not enough reason for him to make wild and unsubstantiated allegations,” he said.Dr. Ogbonaya Onu, former national chairman of the defunct All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) who also spoke at the meeting, congratulated APC members for their support during the Anambra election.“The federal government was afraid of APC, and so they ensured that the party came out third to stop us from going to the tribunal, but we have disappointed them and we will continue until the election is cancelled,” Onu stated.The host governor Rochas Okorocha who also doubles as chairman of Progressive Governors’ Forum, urged APC members to always remain peaceful. By Radio Biafra.

Islamic agent of Igboland Gov Okorocha PDP has no plan for Igbos.


Governor-Rochas-Okorocha-03

Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State recently held a media chat with some journalists in the state. He shed light on many state and national issues. Excerpts:

What would be your next political ambition come 2015, are ypou going for re-election as governor or aspiring for the presidency?
Let me make this point clear that I’m a member of All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA); that is my party there is no controversy about it. APGA still remains my cultural party because for an Igbo man, APGA represents a way of life, but it is not a national political party. If you may recall APGA became divided. One APGA looked towards the side of PDP and the other that I was a member looked towards APC. I was in APGA as political party but now I am in APC and for one reason if you may recall Action Congress of Nigeria ACN, Congress for Progressive Change CPC, All Nigeria Peoples Party ANPP were a regional party, and all these parties came together to form a national party to challenge PDP.
So it would sound very phony to have APGA as a regional party when others have merged for a common purpose. So the wisest thing do was to merge with

APC and the remaining APGA are in PDP.
For me APC is good for the South East because from the way political equation is structured in Nigeria, it doesn’t appear to me that PDP has any plan for Ndi Igbo. For instance, none of the positions of the President, Vice President, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, was allotted to the South East by the PDP. As I said earlier, the best thing is to join the APC to remedy the imbalance in future. It is only wise to say that South East is better off in APC because there’s no way the positions would elude the zone if APC finds itself in government. Again PDP has never had any stiff opposition. This is the only time we have a formidable opposition in the country. And I am confident that come 2015 APC will take the day.
Asking for my political ambition in 2015, you may wish to recollect that I was once a presidential aspirant and came second in the primary that produced the late President Umaru Musa Yar’dua. So I am not a new person in the presidential race of this country. Actually I need your advice on what to do.
Today, among all presidential aspirants, I am still a force to be reckoned with. I have a strong passion for my Imo people and my vision is of a national capacity.
Why are still not a registered member of APC, have you been refused your formal registration?
I am one of the founding members of the APC and it is not true that I have been refused registration in a party that I am a leader. It is mere speculation. Chief Mike Ahamba (SAN) who is one of those saying that I have not been registered with the APC was a member of merging parties. But the issue is that we in APC have not started registration yet but that may commence before the end of the year because. For now all the structures for registration are in place.
Since your party has not yet zoned the presidency to any region in the country, what does it portend for the Igbos?
Let me again say that our party APC has not zoned the presidency to anybody and does not believe in zoning; we believe that anybody that has something upstairs irrespective of zone rules this country because zoning does not rule a country. Zoning has rather produced mediocrity.
I think we have come of age when men must be elected into offices purely on their individual merits instead of laying undue emphasis on where they come from.
Since the committee that probed your predecessor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim submitted its report nothing has been heard of it. Does it mean that your government has abandoned the project?
That is something that Nigerians should ask questions about. I have made my report to EFCC to inform them about the N67 billion in question which is missing in the state coffers. But it looks like people who are assumed to be having relationship with the presidency cannot be probed. There have been so many cases of such bordering on many individuals in the country but because of their relationship with the presidency both the EFCC and the ICPC have to stay clear.
There is no reason my predecessor should not have been called to question on how he used the state funds. I can authoritatively state that there is no single structure anywhere in this state which my immediate predecessor will say that he did with tax payers’ money. But even at this the EFCC has continued to harass officials of my administration with invitations to answer one allegations that are baseless. I think we have done our job and what is left now is to take it to the people’s court. I do not have the organ to prosecute anybody and it is as a result of this that we have established our own organ known as Imo State Economic and Financial Crimes Commission which of course is in the pipelines and when we have it, we will be able to act.
Very soon, the nation would be celebrating her Centenary following the 1914 historic amalgamation of the then Northern and Southern protectorates. What is your reaction?
Our strength lies in our market and in our population. I do not support isolated calls for division or disintegration because to me, this is a “no go area” whether Nigeria should be or not to be. I congratulate Nigerians on the forth coming Centenary celebration.
Every nation on earth has its problems and so Nigeria cannot be in isolation. Therefore the call for disintegration is neither here nor there. We are building something here in the state in commemoration of the 2014 Centenary.
What is your reaction to the just conducted Anambra State governorship election?
It is a monumental shock to Nigerians because even a goat noticed the glaring irregularities that trailed the polls and which even INEC shamelessly admitted. The elections in Anambra and Delta states are eye openers because this nation should not be ran in this manner at all. INEC officials were arrested and locked up in Imo. The police, INEC and the PDP all combined to perpetrate unprecedented electoral fraud and the slogan has always been “get the result, write it and announce it and let them go to court”. Look at what happened in the Oguta re run election in the state.
With the defeat of the APC in Anambra, there are speculations that you might abandon the APC for another party?
I am not a respecter of party but a respecter of vision. I have critically examined the structure of the PDP and I want to let us know that in the next 20 years Nigeria will be in bondage if PDP retains power. If I am given the opportunity to rule this country I will transform it in just two years. My journey to APC is because of the way PDP is structured and no young man will ever survive in PDP.
Everybody is tired of PDP and the APC is the only way to go and I will stand for justice and fairness wherever I go.

 Source: Radio Biafra.

Ohanaeze seeks closer S-East, S-South cooperation.


South-South-Southeast

AWKA—Apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has called for a closer cooperation between the South East and South South geo-political zones for the purpose of improving the economic base of the two zones.
Anambra State chairman of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Dr. Chris Eluomunoh, at a news conference in Awka, urged the two zones not to succumb to the antics of other sections of Nigeria who preferred that the two zones, which cooperated well in the defunct Eastern

Region, be made to remain antagonistic to each other.
According to him, it is the people of the two zones that are losing out in the face of lack of cooperation between them.
He said: “This is the right time for these two zones to evolve ways of enhancing the welfare of their people and economy of their states.

“The campaign of divide and rule being championed by some people in the zone should be put behind. It is in the best interest of the Igbos, the Ijaws and other tribes in the two zones to work together as this will fast track development in the area.

“The first opportunity to begin this cooperation will be offered by the proposed national conference. The two zones must work together and bring to the front burner issues that will be of great benefit to their people during the national conference.”

Eluomunoh also debunked the argument in some quarters that President Goodluck Jonathan had not done much for the people of the South East, noting that it was only the present administration that had appointed Igbos into sensitive positions hitherto considered no-go areas for them.

He argued that the Jonathan administration had completed a number of important projects in the zone, including Enugu International airport, Onitsha seaport and set a machinery in motion for the construction of the second Niger bridge and the rehabilitation of federal roads in the zone.

The Ohanaeze boss also spoke on the recently-concluded Anambra State governorship election, calling on those who vied for the position to join the winner, Chief Willie Obiano, in moving the state forward.

He said further: “The election has come and gone and Ohanaeze is satisfied with its conduct and our advice is that anybody who is not satisfied with the outcome of the election should approach the court for redress.

“We believe that the voting pattern is the wish of the people and if the election is contested again, the voting pattern will not change.”

By Vincent Ujumadu

Source: Radio Biafra.

Igbo Political Prostitute Joe Igbokwe of Islamic party APC, Intellectuals must overthrow political traders in Igboland.


Joe-Igbokwe

It is the duty of intellectuals in every society to set agenda for leaders so that they do not derail. They set agenda so that services will be delivered as at when due. Intellectuals do not exhibit intellectual dishonesty; they speak the truth to power always not minding whose ox is gored. When any society goes astray it is simply because the intellectuals went to sleep or they have been bought over. But the real intellectuals do not subscribe to the politics of the stomach.

The real intellectuals prefer to die of hunger than to sell their hard earned dignity. Understanding the dynamics of Nigerian politics has been the biggest problem of the Igbo in Nigeria. The Igbo, yes my Igbo don’t seem to place a neat handle on Nigeria’s intricate politics and how well it can be harnessed to improve the lots of the race. The annulment of June 12, 1993 presidential elections provided an opportunity for Igbo to join other Nigerians to defend democracy and rule of law but only a handful of Igbo stood with the Yoruba to defend June 12. The majority rather chose to be seduced by traders and illiterates to term the struggle a Yoruba struggle. The struggle for June 12 lasted for five years and the rest is now history. But Yoruba was not defeated. Presidency was ceded to them for 8 years.

Leadership failure since 1999 has presented another opportunity for Igbo to work with other Nigerians to rescue Nigeria from rudderless and inept leadership PDP has foisted on the country. The Hausa/Fulani sacrificed ANPP and CPC to join APC.

Yoruba moved from AD to AC, ACN and then APC. Instead of my people joining other stakeholders in the project Nigeria, they tagged the APC as Boko Haram party, Yoruba party, and Hausa party. They rather decided to tag slavishly along the despised and failed PDP and even when a mass exodus has hit the PDP, some Igbo traders and dancers of fortune feel it is their duty to warm the bed with a dead child. They eagerly received a dead child like the PDP which in 15 years have destroyed the Igbo leg of the Nigerian three-legged structure. From being the one of the three legs of Nigeria before the coming of PDP, the Igbo are today not even considered one of the sixth legs of a wobbling Nigeria yet some Igbo mercantilists propped by their bulging stomach and led in the nose by traders are serving as cannon fodders to the PDP. This they do, either as direct members of PDP or as hidden enablers of PDP. APGA has today been turned over to the PDP to be raped and exploited to its pleasure while the rest of the country moves to salvage the crumbling nation from the deadly virus the PDP has become.

The worst is that some so-called intellectuals who should know and direct the race aright have allowed the rumblings of their stomachs to make them intellectual pall bearers. They have allowed themselves to be dragged by barely literate traders and political harlots to serve at the meal table of the dying PDP, not minding the odious stenches. They are the most fanatic in defence of the means and odd ways of the PDP just because such action promises to keep morsels on their tables. It is a shame!

Igbo nation cannot live in isolation, Igbo nation cannot be an island unto itself. Igbo need to work with others, network, interface, negotiate, inter-relate, synergize, strategize, engage, dialogue and coordinate to make progress. Until Igbo show that they can be trusted by other Nigerians who are not Igbo the chances of ruling Nigeria may be remote. Igbo must love the people they want to rule. If you read ethnic meaning into any project in Nigeria it may lead to mistrust. To tag APC, Boko Haram party, Hausa party or Yoruba party is not a good strategy. It is at best a self defeatist ploy by die hard reactionaries to keep Igbo in perpetual chains and continue benefiting from the overflowing table of rot the PDP has employed to wreck and crumble this country for the past 14 years. These Amaziahs of the Igbo nation are in a desperate mission to keep Igbo in perpetual bondage where they will never rise again. They have been dominant in the Igbo nation since after the civil war and have been the sole beneficiaries of the decreasing fortunes of the Igbo nation. It does not show tact, it does not show intelligence, it does not show commitment or deep understanding of the dynamics of Nigerian politics.

Political Traders are still choking the development of politics in Igboland. They still use money to confuse our people. They have nothing to give Igboland except filling their personal pockets. If they have anything for Igbo, why is it that in the last fourteen years, no Igbo man is located within the first six top positions in the country? Why is it that out people still have no federal investment in Igboland? Why is it that out people still spend days to cross the sole bridge over the River Niger? Why is it that we have the worst federal roads in Igboland? During election time, those that employ them as internal colonial masters give them money, give them police to come and manipulate results. After each election, they smile to the bank and Ala Igbo continues to wallow in pitch darkness. They buy up votes and electoral materials just to be relevant. We have suffered mediocrity in the name of leadership. These are the fraudsters that bought and diverted electoral materials in Anambra. The recent electoral fraud in Anambra can be traced to this factor (the menace of political traders) Intellectuals must reclaim Igboland and cause our people to rise above clannish behavior, selfish politics, primordial sentiments, ethnic preoccupation to join others to reclaim Nigeria.

For the masses of Igboland, if after 15 years, we are yet to articulate what we gained from the same PDP these traders are dragging us to, when will we start reaping the benefits of the slavish fidelity some political profiteers have led us to pledge for a dying PDP? If a writer is silent, he is lying. A school of thought says a story that must be told never forgives silence. I concur!

Source: Radio Biafra.

Ngige and APC (Hausa/Yoruba Party) Once Again Crushed In Anambra State Governorship Supplementary election.


Willie ObianoThe Labour Party candidate, Mr. Ifeanyi Ubah, came fourth with 37,495.
The formal declaration was made by the Chief Returning Officer, Prof. James Epoke, who is also the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calabar around 1 am on Sunday.
The declaration of the winner brought to an end a long-running and controversial process of electing a new governor for Anambra State.
The entire process of electing the new governor was dogged by controversy as three of the major political parties that fielded candidates called for its cancellation and vowed to boycott the supplementary election.
The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega, who admitted the errors committed in the election, apologised to the nation but said the errors were not substantial enough to warrant the cancellation of the entire exercise.
The supplementary election was eventually held on Saturday but was characterised by low turnout. The Agbaja Polling Unit 22 in Abatete, Idemili North Local Government Area, which has a voting population of 739, for instance, had only 24 candidates accredited and 20 of them voting in the supplementary election.
The main election, which held on November 16, could not be concluded on the same day and INEC announced that election in 65 polling units in Obosi ward in Idemili North Local Government Area would be repeated.
The Chief Returning Officer said the voting population in the areas where election did not take place was large enough to make the second or third person defeat the leading candidate. He, therefore, declared the election inconclusive.
Following the development, INEC  declared  that supplementary election would in 210 polling units, where 113,113 voters could not vote on November 16. The areas affected  cut across 15 local government areas and most of them (160)were in Idemili North.
Epoke said the Electoral Act required that for a winner to be declared in an election, the difference in the total voting population of the areas where election was cancelled should be less than the difference between the votes scored by the candidate with the highest votes and the votes of the candidate with the second highest votes.
The returning officer had reported that the total voting population in the areas where election was cancelled was 113,113, which was higher than the 79,754 difference between the leading candidate’s votes and the second highest candidate’s votes, saying the commission had no choice but to declare the election inconclusive.
“The rule guiding this election is that for a winner to emerge, he must have majority of votes cast and the required spread of 25 per cent of votes in two thirds of the local government areas.
“We observed that due to many reasons, there were a lot of cancelled votes that made it difficult for a winner to emerge,” Epoke said.
He said the winner of the election would be declared only after election has been conducted in areas where the election was cancelled.
In declaring Obiano winner, Epoke said the APGA candidate did not only win the majority of the votes cast, but also fulfilled the requirement that the winner should score 25 per cent of the total votes cast in two thirds of the local governments in the state, in Anambra’s case 14 local government areas.
Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission Resident Commissioner in Rivers State, Mr Aniedi Ikoiwak, has commended the people of Anambra for coming out to vote in Saturday’s supplementary governorship election.
The electoral commissioner, who supervised the election in Onitsha South and Onitsha North council areas, spoke at Okija hall, where voting took place in four polling units.
“The important thing here is that for so many places where I have visited, the party agents were  there, especially those of the major parties.
“It is a clear indication that there had not been any boycott of the election by any of the parties.
“The people were interested in completing this exercise so that at the end of the day, their governor would be announced to them,’’ he said.
Ikoiwak said NEC directed its poll officers to display the Form 60E on the day of the exercise, which would show that the election had been completed peacefully.
“You cannot display that form if you do not have a conducive environment.
“And that form would display the result in each unit for members of the public to copy and know what happened in the unit,’’ he said.
Source: Radio Biafra.

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