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2019: SDP expresses doubt over INEC’s preparedness for general elections

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2019: SDP expresses doubt over INEC’s preparedness for general elections

With about four months to the 2019 general elections, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) has expressed doubts in the preparedness of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct free and fair elections.

The National Secretary of the party, Shehu Gabam, stated the fears to a team of PREMIUM TIMES editors when he led some officials of the party on a visit Wednesday in Abuja.

“INEC is clearly not prepared for the election” he said.

He said alleged militarisation of Nigeria’s civic space, infraction between police and INEC, the challenge of deployment of materials and the uncertainty around the budget of the electoral body, all cast a pall on the expectation of elections that can support and deepen Nigeria’s democracy.

Mr Gabam said in the light of all these factors, “this election cannot hold, INEC is not prepared”.

The commission’s chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, sometime last month said the lack of discrepancy between the figure of N189.2 billion the commission submitted to the executive and what the National Assembly appropriated shows everything was fine.

Mr Yakubu said the commission does not foresee any form of difficulties in meeting the requirements to conduct the elections.

However, making reference to recent elections in Ekiti, Osun, Bauchi and Katsina states, the SDP scribe said they hint at INEC’s unpreparedness.

“If you look at the recent by-elections we had, in Ekiti and Osun states (governorship) and part of Bauchi and other places, you can see clearly they are not prepared for this election.

“If you look at the way some of the by-elections have been militarised, and the excessive money that was used, you know that they haven’t done their job in terms of sensitisation. The National Orientation Agency, I can’t remember when last I heard of them to sensitise Nigerians on some of these things.

“It is a collective responsibility and also if you look at the conflict and the infractions between what the INEC says and what the police say, who is to report who is guilty, who has committed an offence, you will know that the institution is still suffering from a lot of deficiencies.

“And if you look at the budget itself, vis a vis what INEC has said, that if they have not gotten the resources six months to the election, it is going to affect whatever they are doing today.

“This is a national election, it is not just one or two states that you deploy thousands police and I wonder if the Nigerian government is going to apply to the UN or ECOWAS to deploy troops to Nigeria to monitor this election. Our security agencies are overstretched because of crisis all over the country and I haven’t seen anything on ground to suggest that this election will be conducted under free and fair atmosphere.”

Mr Gabam said there is need for all to come together to face the reality as nothing shows INEC is ready for a free and fair election.

“So for me I will love to encourage INEC to be forthcoming, to be honest, to be transparent. All of us can put heads together, particularly the political parties, to find a way to rescue the situation. So far, they are making us to believe that they will conduct the election, that they are ready for the election, so we will keep on monitoring.”

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Why 36 Governors will work for Buhari`s re-election

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Zamfara Governor speaks on controversial APC primaries, blames party headquarters

Governor Abdul’aziz Yari of Zamfara State has said the 36 state governors of the federation, would for many reasons work to ensure the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari in the coming election.

Mr Yari, who is the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) stated this on Tuesday in Abuja at the inauguration of the Forward With Buhari Grassroots Mobilisers Goodwill Ambassadors.

He said the organisation was being sponsored by the NGF, and that it was its brain child.

According to him, governors across the federation will rather vote for Mr Buhari even if they belong to opposition political parties.

This, he said, was especially so because Mr Buhari had done a lot for the governors irrespective of party affiliation.

Mr Yari said one of such things was the bailout fund which was paid to all state governors to off-set workers’ salaries and outstanding arrears.

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The NGF chairman said this was paid across board, adding that the fund went a long way in improving the lot of people in the states.

He further said the Buhari’s administration had also embarked on infrastructural development across states, saying that this was another reason the governors were working to ensure his re-election.

He, however, tasked governors especially those in All Progressives Congress (APC) controlled states, to coordinate door-to-door campaigns across their states.

Mr Yari said this was critical to ensuring a landslide victory for Mr Buhari and all APC candidates in the coming elections.

“As governors, the responsibility is on us to work for the actualisation of President Buhari`s re-election come February 16,” he said.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who was represented at the event by the Minister of Youths and Sports, Solomon Dalung, expressed happiness at the inauguration of the organisation.

Mr Osinbajo, however, noted that a lot needed to be done to sensitise the people at the grassroots on the achievements of the Buhari-led Federal Government across all sectors of the country`s economy and why he should be re-elected.

He stressed that the task ahead of the organisation was enormous considering the number of parties on the ballot paper and the need to guide the electorate to vote.

The vice president maintained that under the Buhari administration, the country`s economy was growing stronger while infrastructural development had continued across the country.

Earlier, Lawal Shuaibu, coordinator of the organisation, said it was established to give visibility, with sustained momentum, to the achievements of the Buhari-led administration.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the inauguration was attended by youths from across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

(NAN)

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Major shake up in Nigeria Air Force, 72 senior officers redeployed

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Major shake up in Nigeria Air Force, 72 senior officers redeployed

The Nigeria Air Force has redeployed a total of 72 senior officers comprising 27 Air Vice Marshalls, 30 Air Commodores, eight Group Captains, four Wing Commanders and three Squadron Leaders for operational efficiency and effectiveness.

NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Ibikunle Daramola, announced this in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.

Mr Daramola, an air commodore, said prominent among those affected by the new postings are: AVM Emmanuel Anebi who is now the Chief of Policy and Plans Headquarters NAF (HQ NAF) and AVM Nurudeen Balogun, who has been appointed as the Chief of Defence Policy and Plans at the Defence Headquarters (DHQ).

He listed others to include, AVM Charles Otegbade who has been appointed as the College Secretary, National Defence College, while AVM Rufus Ojuawo who is taking over as the Chairman Air Expo and International Liaison Secretariat.

“Other appointments include those of AVM Napoleon Bali as the new Air Officer Commanding (AOC), Special Operations Command, Yenagoa, AVM Oladayo Amao as the new Chief of Training and Operations at HQ NAF”, he said.

He said AVM Abdulganiyu Olabisi as the new AOC Logistics Command, Ikeja and AVM John Baba as the new AOC Tactical Air Command.

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Mr Daramola further said AVM Mahmoud Ahmed has been redeployed as the Air Secretary HQ NAF and AVM Remigus Ekeh appointed as the new Chief of Standards and Evaluation at HQ NAF,

He also said AVM Ibukun Ojeyemi becomes the new Director of Policy at HQ NAF.

Furthermore, AVM Musibau Olatunji is now the Director of Air Engineering at HQ NAF, while AVM Peter Uzezi has been appointed as the new AOC Mobility Command.

“Also appointed are AVM Dahiru Sanda, who is now a Directing Staff at National Institute of Policy and Strategic studies, and AVM Ismaila Yahaya as the new Director of Training at HQ NAF, AVM Idi Lubo as Director NAF Transformation at HQ NAF,” he said.

Also redeployed was AVM Mohammed Yakubu, redeployed as the Chief of Logistics HQ NAF and AVM Emmanuel Wonah as the new Director of Sports at DHQ.

Mr Daramola also announced that AVM Paul Jemitola has been appointed as the new Director Research and Development at HQ NAF, AVM Anderson Kassimu as Director Civil Military Relations at DHQ and AVM Ibrahim Ali as the new Deputy Commandant, Air Force Institute of Technology, Kaduna.

“Meanwhile, AVM Musa Tanko is to take over as Director of Space Utilization at DHQ while AVM Musa Muktar has been redeployed as the new Chief of Aircraft Engineering at HQ NAF.

“In addition, AVM Maxwell Nnaji has been appointed as the new Chief of Communication Information Systems at HQ NAF,” it said.

He further said AVM Emmanuel Chukwu is now the new Director Earth Observation at Defence Space Administration and AVM Aliyu Bello as the new Chief of Staff at Headquarters Special Operations Command.

Mr Daramola said AVM Olusegun Philip is to take over as the new Director of Evaluation at HQ NAF, while Air Commodore Abraham Adole has been appointed as the Principal Air Staff Officer to the Chief of the Air Staff.

Air Commodore Ayodele Laoye is now Director of Procurement and Group Captain Jika Sanda is the Director of Legal Services HQ NAF.

He said the newly posted and redeployed senior officers were expected to take over their new offices not later than January 25.

(NAN)

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Minimum Wage: ULC, TUC, NLC reject N27,000; hold crucial meetings

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Minimum Wage: ULC, TUC, NLC reject N27,000; hold crucial meetings

The National Council of State adopted the N27,000 on Tuesday.

The post Minimum Wage: ULC, TUC, NLC reject N27,000; hold crucial meetings appeared first on Premium Times Nigeria.

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