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17 Feb 2019

See What US, UK Promise To Do To APC, PDP Bigwigs Over 2019 Elections

After Nigerians got the shocking news of the postponement of the elections on Friday (Some only got to know of it on Saturday) the international community have urged all concern to maintain the peace and prepare for the polls on the rescheduled date of Saturday, 23rd of February, 2019.

However, before that time, specifically early on Friday, the United States of America (USA) and the United Kingdom (UK) have expressed worry over some of the comment and actions of politicians during the campaign.

Some of the campaign rallies in the country have been marred by violence and unsavoury comments by Politicians and their supporters, several lives have been lost either directed or indirectly through the indiscretion of Politicians and Nigerians which has led to heightened tension in the polity.
Some politicians have also suffered direct attacks as a result of violent tendencies of their opponents, while some are self-inflicted. some months ago, the Ilorin resident of the Senate President was attacked by people suspected to be members of the opposition, while a few days later, what seems like a reprisal attack was launched at the opposition by persons believed to be supporters of the Senate President.

President Buhari was also a direct recipient of this treatment as well, at the party’s rally in Ogun State, supporter of the governor, Ibikunle Amosun who is opposed to the Party’s choice of governorship candidate pelted the leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) with stone and sachet water, nearly hitting the President in the process.

Also, it would be recalled that the governor of Kaduna, State, Nasir el-Rufai has stated that any foreign intervention in the country’s elections will be met with force. Though el-Rufai’s comment was met with condemnation from all quarters, the governor double-down on his comment claiming he was only trying to affirm Nigeria’s sovereignty. President Buhari has since distanced the Federal Government from the statement stressing that it did not reflect the official policy of his administration.

To this end, the USA and the UK have issued a stern warning to the Presidential campaign coordinators of both the APC and the PDP, Bola Tinubu and Bukola Saraki respective, and other top politicians in the country, particularly those in the two major political parties.

Speaking at the election situation room in Abuja, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, and the US ambassador to the country, Stuart Symington, revealed that both countries have mapped out plans to freeze the foreign assets of any politician who incites violence during the elections.

“We will apply this absolutely across the board, it won’t be directed at any particular party, so we are monitoring and looking out for hate speech.

“We are concerned with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) rally which has hate speech a lot and we will like to call that kind of thing out,” Laing said.

“Our two worries are on security not just on the role the police will play to ensure peace but about the role individuals will play by getting angry or militias being paid to disrupt elections. Then another worry is fake news, that is why we rely on CSOs and we will work with them to get information.

“It is hard work and you must do it to be proud of your achievement. Looking back from the last election, there is that improvement and INEC performance has been strengthened due to civil societies,” she added.

In his words, the American Ambassador stated that the time has come for the world to take note of happenings in Nigeria and be more interested in the country’s affairs since it occupies a strategic position in Africa and the world.

“The time has come for the outside world that cares so much about Nigeria to listen to the people of Nigeria and to see what each of them do and then forward the results to lift Nigeria up,” Stuart said.

Veteran Actor Aderupoko Reveals He Has Not Been Able To Live a Comfortable Life From Acting

Popular actor, Kayode Olaiya, aka Aderupoko, has definitely come a long way in the industry. From the days when the movie business was seen as a venture for unserious people and never-do-wells, to now when it commands more respect, Aderupoko has seen it all.

However, the actor believes that there is still a long way to go in the industry as regards remuneration of actors.

Olaiya admitted that though the entertainment industry had grown in leaps and bounds, musicians had better prospects than actors.
He told Sunday Scoop, “For most of my life, I have been in the movie industry and it is something I am very passionate about.

Truly, this job has opened a lot of doors for me but the pay still isn’t good enough. And one of the reasons for this is piracy because if producers have no guarantee of making profit on their investments, they wouldn’t pay actors well.

This has been an issue for so long and we have pleaded with the government but there has been no significant improvement.

“Right now, there is so much attention on the entertainment industry in Nigeria and I am happy about that but the truth is that musicians fare better than us.

Apart from selling their CDs, they are also invited for concerts and other engagements. They are paid handsomely to perform and people even spray them money while on stage.

“Ordinarily, filmmakers should be living like royalty but we are at the mercy of pirates and that’s not good at all.

It is very disheartening. People like us have invested so much in the industry and it is only fair for us to expect something in return, but some people just sit down somewhere and wickedly reap the fruits of our labour.”

Recalling how he got into the industry, Aderupoko said, “I started acting while I was in primary school; so, you can see what I mean when I say I have been doing this all my life.

In those days, we were propelled by the passion we had for the job, and not the pecuniary gains attached to it.

I will advise the younger generation to be focused, committed and hard working. If they set their sights on money, they might miss it. But if they are truly dedicated to what they do, good things will follow because there is a lot of goodwill that comes with being an actor.”

INEC Reacts To Calls For PVC Collection Extension Following Postponement

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says there is no more room for collection of the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) in spite of the postponement of elections dates by one week.

The Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, made the disclosure while fielding questions at the commission’s meeting with stakeholders, on Saturday in Abuja.

Yakubu said that the deadline for the collection of PVCs and elections campaign by political parties according to election timetable has passed.
“All the other process that remain in the main timetable remain closed including the collection of PVC, except the conduct of the elections,” he said.

On why the commission did not consult party leaders before adjusting the dates of the elections, Yakubu said that it was due to the urgency and that Section 36 of the Electoral Act empowered the commission to do so.

“We have to take a decision and communicate because polls were suppose to open at 8a.m. and we took the decision at 2a.m,” he said.

Yakubu while answering question on why the commission waited till about 3a.m on Saturday before postponing the elections, said that up till 2a.m the commission was still hopeful that elections would hold as scheduled.

On whether the commission has enough fund should the elections be postponed again, Yakubu said that INEC was not complaining, adding that the commission do not intend to postpone any of the elections again.

On request that INEC should compensate political parties for the change in dates, Yakubu said that INEC did not finance parties.

2019 General Elections: US, ECOWAS, Foreign Observers Agree On Postponement

The United States Embassy in Nigeria in a statement on Sunday said it fully supports the joint statement by the heads of the ECOWAS and other international election observation missions on the postponement of the February 16 and March 2 general elections.
The Independent National Electoral Commission early on Saturday morning shifted the elections to February 23 and March 9, citing bad weather and undelivered materials.

In a joint statement on Saturday, international election observers urged the INEC to adhere to the new dates it fixed for the poll conduct and ensure free and fair elections.

The US stated, “We join in encouraging all Nigerians to ensure a free, fair, peaceful, and credible election by supporting the Independent National Electoral Commission while it finalises electoral preparations this week and by voting in peace together on February 23.”

Man Fights IKEDC Official With Cutlass Over Power Disconnection In Lagos

A man has been captured on video fighting an Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company, IKEDC official, with cutlass over the latter’s attempt to disconnect power supply to his house.
In the video which has gone viral on Facebook, the man and the IKEDC official can be seen engaging in a serious fight before the resident rushed to his house to get a machete.

Despite being begged by residents to stop the fight, the young man descended on the official with the weapon.
In a similar incident just some few weeks ago, some residents of a particular apartment in Ikeja, Lagos also tested their powers fighting with IKEDC officials over disconnection of power supply into their home.

BUSTED! Politicians Allegedly Sponsor Dangerous Cultists To Kill 2, Burn INEC Buses In Akwa Ibom

Political thugs who have been identified as suspected cultists arrested by the police after burning INEC buses in Akwa Ibom State, have fingered some politicians in the state as their sponsors.

The political thugs set ablaze vehicles at the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC office in Obot Akara Local Government Area of the state on the eve of the rescheduled presidential election.

Upon interrogation, they indicted two members of the State Executive Council and a member of the House of Assembly, as their sponsors.
On Friday night, two persons were shot dead and about thirteen vehicles destroyed after some hoodlums attacked INEC office in Obot-Akara Local Government Council of Akwa Ibom State.

It was gathered that the victims died as a result of gun battle between the hoodlums and the security personnel on election duties at Nto Edino, the headquarters of Obot-Akara, during the distribution of sensitive materials for the postponed Presidential and National Assembly elections.

An eyewitness, who spoke to some journalists on condition of anonymity, said security has been beefed up in the area as fear and confusion had enveloped the community of Obot-Akara.

“As we speak, two persons have been killed and thirteen vehicles burnt down already in the Local Government headquarters.

The crisis started between the security personnel and some thugs when INEC staff were distributing sensitive materials for the elections,” the source said.

However, the senatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Dr Chris Ekpeyong, attributed the crisis to some All Progressives Congress stalwarts in the local government area who he alleged have been causing crisis in the local council for a long time now.

Ekpeyong, who hailed from Obot-Akara said he was in Uyo monitoring the distribution of the materials when news got to him that there was crisis going on in the local government and that two persons have been killed and buses destroyed already.

The PDP senatorial candidate who claimed he knew those who instigated the crisis said he had already made a formal complaint to the police authorities to pick them up in order to prevent future occurrence of the crisis.

According to him, “We know them and they are the same people who have been causing problem in the locality.

I made a formal complaint to the police for those people to be picked up and investigated because last time the same people did the same thing when they were recruiting ad-hoc officers.

“They went ahead to beat up the electoral officer because they wanted to force him to accept their own list for the ad-hoc staff.

The matter was reported to the police and nothing was done because they believed they have somebody who is behind them.

This is the kind of government we have at the centre, they want to take over Akwa Ibom State by force but I have told my people not to take a reprisal attack.”

Also, another political stalwart in the area, the Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Monday Ebong Uko, said he was privy to the report but must move down to the venue of the incident to ascertain the level of damage done in the area.

Meanwhile, the Public Relations Officer of Akwa Ibom State Police Command, Odiko Macdon, when contacted, said he and the commissioner of police, Bashir Makama, were on their way to the venue to confirm the veracity of the report.

Donald Duke Explains Why Postponement Of Presidential Election Is A Coup

The Social Democratic Party (SDP) Presidential Candidate, Mr Donald Etim Duke has described the postponement of the presidential election scheduled for Saturday, February 16th as a coup against Nigeria.

Speaking with newsmen in his resident in Calabar, Duke regretted the postponement, saying that the postponement was a national embarrassment and disgrace.

“The folks have come all over the world to observe and monitor our elections, Nigerians have travelled length and breadth to go and participate in the civic responsibilities, all of the sudden, our so-called Independence National Electoral Commission (INEC) postponed the elections, it is totally unheard of.
“You don’t postpone election like that, not even a week before the elections but four hours. Now, if you are a participant in this election, you have your agents spread throughout the length and breadth of this country, you financially empowered them because they are going to take money for accommodation, feedings and all sort of things, then last minutes, this happened, all that money is wasted, you got to start all over again.

“It is a trick, well scripted and it has been taken to the next level, this trick was to breed the opposition financially, PDP started this nonsense but this government has taken it to the next level, theirs was a week before the election but this guy has taken it to four hours into the election.

“We all know that the government in power has unlimited access to finance but the opposition does not, so by the time you get to election day, the opposition would be exhausted or barely able to go through the process again, they have only one week to raise funds, you are not talking about pittance here, we are talking about millions and billions of naira because we are talking about National elections” he said.

Mr Duke said, “It is impossible for INEC to do this without consultation with government, usually; government can even instigate them to do this for one reason or the other. It is sad, I just imagine, the way the rest of the world will look at us.

“There is nowhere that INEC could postpone the election without collaboration with the federation. The action was an international disgrace, we are a nation so compromised, our sycophancy has taken another form, we don’t speak the truth to power that be” he stated.

He attributed the postponement to the incompetence of the National Chairman, “People have travelled the bad road, security is questionable, all sort of things have happened, yet elections was postponed.

“INEC had four years to conduct election, they know that every four years, they have to conduct election, nothing new, they know this, they started asking for money last year, that is stupid, you waited to the last moment, they have no excuse whatsoever, if they can’t move the materials, there is aeroplane or helicopter, this is 21st century for goodness.

“This is where we find ourselves, regardless how well the election will be conducted, next week, if it happened at all, the result will not be accepted by all, because it has already been contaminated; if those that were smooth were not accepted then imagine what this will be.

On the outburst of Kaduna state governor regarding body bags, Mr Duke said, “Kaduna State Governor’s comment was a loose talk and that should not have come from the State Chief Executive and high ranking member of APC, he is a great friend of mine but he gets too emotional in his speech, he needs to be more cultured when addressing issues of those nature,” he said.

Postponement Of Elections: Fayose Expose President Buhari's Plot To Replace INEC Chairman With Zakari

Immediate past Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose has alleged that the All Progressives Congress, APC, led federal government was mounting pressure on the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, Prof Mahmood Yakubu to ensure that APC fields candidates in Zamfara State.

The former governor said President Muhammadu Buhari’s relation, Amina Zakari was already being positioned to replace Prof Mahmood should he refuse to “play ball on Zamfara.”Speaking through his Media Aide, Lere Olayinka, in a release issued on Saturday evening, Fayose said, “It is now getting clearer that APC desperation to have candidates in Zamfara State is one of the main reasons for the postponement.”
He said Nigerians should not forget the letter written to INEC by the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, directing the commission to postpone elections in Zamfara State so as to allow APC to field candidates.

Fayose added that, “Since Prof Mahmood has made it clear that the election coming up next Saturday, is not a fresh process and there will be no campaign, bringing in candidates that were not part of the election that should have held today will also negate the position of INEC.

“Putting pressure on the INEC Chairman and threatening him with sack just to force the commission to accept APC candidates for Zamfara state is evil and unacceptable.”

The former governor said rather than blame the INEC Chairman, President Buhari’s should be blamed for deliberately orchestrating the postponement of the elections, adding that “INEC don’t control the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Aviation agencies as well as security apparatus in Nigeria.

“If there is anyone to be blamed for this dying minutes postponement, it should be the President and if anyone needs to resign, it should be President Buhari.”

Nigeria Decides: Okonjo Iweala Hint INEC Necessary Steps To Carry Out Few Days To Election

Former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has expressed concern over the postponement of the presidential and National Assembly elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

It was reported that INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, while addressing reporters at the press centre of the commission’s headquarters in Abuja, the nation’s Capital said that the polls would not go on as planned due to some challenges encountered by the commission.
He explained that the decision to postpone the polls followed a careful review of the implementation of the logistics and operational plans put in place for the exercise.

But reacting on Twitter, the former minister alongside a picture of herself at her polling unit faulted the last minute postponement.

According to her, INEC should have informed Nigerians few days before Saturday in order to avoid wasted travel cost.

She tweeted, “At the Umuda Isingwu village Community Primary School polling station contemplating the last minute postponement of Nigeria’s presidential and legislative elections, children have taken back their primary school for early morning soccer.

“To put it mildly, there could have been a few days’ notice of postponement to enable people to plan and avoid wasted travel costs! Not easy for the pockets of ordinary Nigerians!”

Postponement Of Elections: What INEC Has Done To Buhari, Says Atiku

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has said that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has only made the defeat of President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress, APC, easy.

Atiku said the postponement of the Presidential polls from February 16 to 23 was not going to stop the defeat of President Buhari on the new date.

He said the electoral umpire only shifted the judgment day for Buhari and his party, the APC.
The former Vice President stated this in a statement made available on Saturday by his Special Adviser, SA, on Youth and Support Groups, Ambassador Aliyu Bin Abbas.

According to him, “INEC has once again proved to be unreliable and unrepentant.

“It took them 4 years to come to this charade and Nigerians are not fooled by this late night foolery.

“But we are undeterred and will remain focused and peaceful knowing that postponing the election is simply postponing Buhari’s exit which will ultimately come.

“No army in the world can stop an event whose time has come,” he said.

“He further appealed for calm and support of Nigerians in ensuring their massive support doesn’t wane on the new date.

“On behalf of His Excellency Atiku Abubakar GCON, our flagbearer and father of the nation, I wish to thank all Nigerian youths and our teeming support groups nationwide for your continued enthusiastic support and dedication,” he said.

Atiku Abubakar added that he has the momentum and Nigerians are ready to have a new lease of life.

“I urge you to be ready to cast your ballot next week and let’s send Buhari back to Daura,” he added.
 
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