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IGP assures INEC of adequate security for Kogi, Bayelsa elections

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The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr Solomon Arase, has assured the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of the preparedness of the Police to provide adequate security during the Kogi and Bayelsa governorship elections.

This is contained in a statement issued by the Force Public Relations Officer, Acting ACP Olabisi Kolawole in Abuja on Wednesday.

The statement said Arase gave the assurance during a courtesy visit on the Acting Chairperson of INEC, Mrs Amina Zakari in Abuja.

It said the visit was aimed at cementing the existing relationship between the police and the commission in ensuring the actualisation of its mandate.

The statement further said that the IGP had directed Police Commissioners nationwide to ensure adequate security at INEC offices and election tribunal sittings.

In her remark, Zakari reiterated the commision’s readiness to work with the police in ensuring successes at the upcoming elections in Kogi and Bayelsa.

In another development, the IGP has given State Commissioners of Police a one-week ultimatum to report on their compliance to withdrawal of Policemen attached to unauthorised persons.

It also directed them to give a report on the compliance to the reduction of Police personnel to political office holders within same period.

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POLITICS

Presidential Primaries: Disquiet as PDP loses Eagle Square to APC

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may now be forced to use the MKO Abiola Stadium in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, for its May 28 presidential primary according to new developments.

The APC was said to have used the influence of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Muhammed Musa Bello, to quickly reserve the Eagles Square for its presidential primary scheduled to hold between May 30 and June 1.

The PDP had during its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting ratified the conduct of the presidential primary (special national convention) to elect its presidential candidate on Saturday, May 28 to Sunday, May 29, 2022 in Abuja.
The venue, has, however, become an issue as the APC had already fixed the venue of its convention at Eagle Square, Abuja, where PDP had its special convention to elect its national officers in October, last year.
In its letter to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the PDP, it was learnt, stated that it will hold its convention at the MKO Stadium, Abuja.
The venue, some stakeholders of the party, who do not want their names mentioned, said the place is too small for where the presidential primary should take place.
It was noted that the party is expecting about 3,700 delegates with about 10,000 supporters and staff, while the capacity of the facility, where the primary will take place at the MKO Stadium, is about 7,000.
The party stakeholders have expressed sadness that the venue will not be able to accommodate the delegates, supporters and friends of aspirants.
Of more concern, the stakeholders said is that, according to the schedule of PDP activities, the party was supposed to publish the names of delegates on Tuesday and that has not been done.

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POLITICS

Shekarau dumps APC for NNPP

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Ibrahim Shekarau

Sen. Ibrahim Shekarau, a former Kano State Governor, has officially dumped the All Progressives Congress (APC) and joined the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).

This was confirmed on Tuesday via a terse statement on the official Twitter account of the NNPP.

The statement, which reads: “Finally: Sen Ibrahim Shekarau Join Us”, was shared alongside a photo of Senator Shekarau and Senator Ibrahim Kwankwaso.

Recall that there had been some back and forth about Shekarau’s planned defection to the NNPP, with some power brokers in the APC said to be negotiating with the former governor not to leave the ‘broom party.’

However, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso has been at the helm of the vanguard, working to ensure Shekarau’s defection from the APC to the NNPP.

On Sunday, Kwankwaso stormed the residence of Shekarau in Kano to work out details of the defection.

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INEC gives APC, PDP, others deadlines

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INEC

Ahead of primaries, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has given deadlines to political parties on nomination and withdrawal of candidates.

The electoral commission also foreclosed the adjustment of election timetable.

In line with its guidelines, INEC has directed the parties to submit lists of delegates for elective offices to it, seven days to the date of the primary.

Both the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) submitted designated centres for their national conventions to INEC yesterday.

APC opted for the Eagle Square while the PDP chose the Velodrome at the Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja.

It was learnt that unlike in the past, the commission decline to bend the rules so as not to distort the timelines for the 2023 poll.

The commission has fixed the last day for withdrawal of candidate(s) and the replacement of withdrawn candidate(s) for July 15 (Presidential and National Assembly) and August 12 for governorship and Houses of Assembly.

Also, while the last day for submission of nomination forms for presidential and National Assembly election is August 8, the curtains will be drawn for governorship and Houses of Assembly on August 18.

The publication of final list of nominated candidates will be on September 20 (Presidential and National Assembly elections) and October 4 for other strands.

But the public campaign for the presidential and National Assembly elections will kick off on September 28 and that of the governorship and Houses of Assembly is from October 4.

According to a top official of INEC, the parties have been notified of the timelines for appropriate guidance.

The guidelines read in part: “In compliance with Article 4.5.1 of the INEC Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Political Party Primaries, a political party that adopts the indirect primary mode, shall make available to the commission not later than seven days to the date of the primary, the list of persons that will form the delegates that are eligible to vote for nomination of the party candidate to contest every elective position. “

“The list of delegates shall be accompanied with the list of aspirants and the list of the party Electoral panel conducting the primary.

“In compliance with Section 84(9-11) of the Electoral Act 2022, a political party that adopts the Consensus Primary mode shall make available to the commission copies of the written consent of all aspirants cleared for the position indicating their endorsement of the consensus candidate who shall then be ratified by a special congress or convention

“In compliance with Section 84 of the Electoral Act 2022, primaries and voting by members or delegates of a political party to nominate candidates for elective positions shall hold at designated centres within the respective national, state, senatorial, federal and state constituencies.

“Primaries held outside designated constituencies shall accordingly be invalid.”

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