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INEC withdraws 25 certificates of return

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has withdrawn 25 certificates of return issued to some candidates who partook in the 2019 general election.

Speaking at a media forum in Enugu state on Monday, Festus Okoye, INEC’s national commissioner for information and voter education, said the commission took the action based on court orders.

Okoye said 20 of the 25 certificates were withdrawn from members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and given to other APC members while two were withdrawn from members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and issued to other PDP members.

He said the other three were withdrawn from both the APC and PDP and given to other political parties.

“Before we left INEC national headquarters on Friday, the commission has withdrawn 25 certificates-of-return from the first owners to their new owners following court orders to do that,” he said.

Okoye lauded the media for its openness and “robust engagement” with the commission before, during and after the election, adding that the media had become critical stakeholders for the success of future elections.

He said the media had become the first line of reach of the masses as well as a platform for the explanation of INEC political and electoral decisions.

Okoye called on the media and its practitioners to dig deep into the electoral act to ensure that the import of the recently amended sections is made known to the public.

“The media should also center on the aspect of using Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to resolve electoral issues especially at the party levels instead of going to the court,” Okoye said.

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Tribunal Sacks Dino Melaye, Orders Fresh Election

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The National Assembly/State Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Lokoja on Friday sacked Senator Dino Melaye as the Senator for Kogi West.

In its judgement, the tribunal ordered that fresh elections should be held in the senatorial district.

More details soon.

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Saraki? No more godfatherism in Kwara, says Gov AbdulRazaq

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Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has said that the dislodgement of Saraki dynasty in the last general elections put an end to godfatherism in the state’s politics.

The governor said this in Ilorin at a national youth summit organised by the Youths Assembly of Nigeria (YAN). The theme of the summit is ‘reforming education.’ The governor added that “the godfathers still want to remain as godfathers anywhere in the world. Thank God we have destroyed godfather in Kwara state politics. And never will godfathers come to the state again.”

Represented by his Deputy Kayode Alabi, Mallam AbdulRazaq urged the youths in Nigeria to take over the reins of power through their permanent voter’s cards (PVCs). Said he: “The old men and women will never hand over power voluntarily to the youths.

There are so many things around power that will never allow them to hand over power to you. You have to take it not violently but through your voter’s cards. The guys that came up with the slogan ‘otoge’ were between the ages of 30 and 35. When I listened to the proposal and heard ‘otoge’ a sweetness welled up in my belly as I was sure that the ‘Otoge’ slogan would win the election.

“We used the slogan to educate the people. Our opponents spent money but we did not spend money. The ‘otoge slogan went into the mindset of the people and did the wonders. We won the election because the youths woke up in Kwara and decided to take their destinies into their own hands.

There is nothing like godfather. There is only one God the Almighty. Let nobody intimidate you. But you and I allow godfathers to survive. “The people listened to the slogan of otoge and came out massively with God on our side voted for us to win the last election.

It is time for the youths in this country to say no to old order.” He disclosed that “our pact with the people of Kwara state is to deliver qualitative and quantitative education under conducive environment. There is no going back on that as you shall see in the next few years.

There is a nexus between education, employment opportunities, youth empowerment and crime rate. The society has two options to either empower and guide young people to the right path or spend resources fighting crimes. We choose the former. We will key into all the development agenda to help our youths become responsible.

We will also show good example for young people to emulate. We will continue to identify and partner with you.” Speaking, YAN vehemently opposed the called for revolution in the country by the publisher of online newspaper Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore.

Rather the youths urged their members to revolt against the old order through the use of their permanent voter’s cards (PVCs) in subsequent elections in the country. National Speaker and Kwara state Ambassador of YAN Samuel Godstime and Musbau Esinrogunjo told reporters on the sideline of the summit. Said Godstime:

“Nigerian youth are opposed to any form of revolution. Therefore, we are appealing to all the youths in the country to revolt against the old order by using their voter’s cards not buy force of arm. “Let us use our PVCs and ensure that the youth take over the leadership of this country not by trying to cause mayhem in any part of the country.

“The youth should use their PVCs in the next elections for the so-called revolution. We have discovered that the youths in the country constitute about 65 percent of the electorate. We are saying no to revolution. Let us use what we have, which is our PVCs, to get what we want in the next general elections.

The unity of Nigeria is paramount and non negotiable.” Esinrogunjo, a former senatorial aspirant in the state said “It is even strange that somebody that contested for the presidency of the country and lost would be the one instigating the youths to revolt against the government. We say no to that. We don’t want bloodshed in Nigeria.”

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New Twist In Edo Saga As Obaseki Pays Oshiomole, Surprise Visit

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The Governor of Edo State, Governor Godwin Obaseki appears to have set aside the alleged rift between his administration and his predecessor, Comrade Adams Oshiomole when he called on the Iyanmoh residence of the latter in celebration of Eid al Adha.
 
In his special Sallah message to the Muslim community last week, the governor had enjoined all citizens to eschew bitterness and rancour and work for the development of all of Edo State.
 
The Governor demonstrated the virtues of the season with his visit to the Party Chairman and his mother, Hajia Aishetu Oshiomole, in spite of the rumoured differences between both men.
 
During the visit, Governor Godwin Obaseki expressed his delight at the incredible support he received from the Muslim community and reiterated his commitment to the transformation of Edo State and the empowerment of all its people.
 
In response, the Otaru of Auchi commended the governor for his uncommon leadership and advised him not to succumb to the forces of darkness preaching division in Edo State. He encouraged the Governor to remain prayerful and continue to strive in the interest of the people.
 
Speaking after the visit, the Special Adviser to the Governor on media and communications, Mr. Crusoe Osagie congratulated the Muslim community and lauded the Governor for his demonstration of exemplary leadership. He suggested that the visit would likely unnerve a tiny fraction of the people of the state.
 
“The notion that these two men are adversaries is being propagated by morally and financially insolvent people seeking to profit off of the challenges they have been working so hard to foment. You cannot blame such people really. Their talents and abilities are severely limited, so it is in their collective interest to stoke tension and drive division, but I can tell you that they have already failed” he posited.
 
“It is not in their interests for Edo State to peacefully progress, so they will try to mis-categorise this visit. This is what they’ve always done and it’s their stock in trade”.
 
“True leaders understand that they represent the people in whose interests they must serve. This is why His Excellency has always said that the resources of the state, are for the people only, and not for a negligible minority and nothing can ever change this” he concluded.

Asked whether this means that a new proclamation of the State House of Assembly will be issued by the Governor in conformity with the directives of the National Assembly, Osagie was unequivocal. “I cannot speak on this matter as it is sub-judice. But I think the whole world knows that the Edo State House of Assembly has already been inaugurated. No person or group of persons or institution other than the judiciary can order a state governor to do anything on a matter that is presently before courts of competent jurisdiction.We are a nation of Laws and by the special grace of God, will all be alive to witness the law run its full course” he concluded.

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