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INEC commences procurement of materials for Kogi, Bayelsa polls

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has commenced the production and procurement of materials for the forthcoming Kogi and Bayelsa governorship elections.

This was disclosed by the Acting Chairman of the commission, Mrs Amina Zakari, on Friday in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital.

She spoke during the opening of a one-day stakeholders’ forum on the elections.

Represented by Secretary of the commission, Mrs Augusta Ogakwu, Zakari said that training of personnel for the conduct of the polls had also begun.

She said that Continuous Voter Registration for persons who just attained 18 years and those who missed the last exercise would be conducted before the elections.

She reiterated that only those who had permanent voter card would be eligible to vote in the elections, and urged political parties and other stakeholders to mobilize the people to come out for the exercise.

“The commission will be fair, impartial and transparent and provide a level playing field to all contestants,” Zakari assured.

In his presentation, INEC ‘s Director of ICT, Mr Chidi Nwafor, said that collation of results of the election would be done electronically as part of efforts to enhance the election process.

He said that application of e-software system would make it possible for collation of results right from the polling units.

He said that the software was being deployed for the first time in the country with the coming polls in both states.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Mr Halilu Pai, disclosed that 221 units of data-capturing machines had been deployed to headquarters of the 21 local government areas in Kogi for voter registration.

He also said that 42 staff of the commission, who would participate in the exercise had been trained, adding that card readers would be used for the election.

Pai restated the readiness of INEC to conduct a free and fair election, and urged other stakeholders in the state to join hands the commission to achieve a credible poll whose result would be acceptable to all contestants.

In his peach at the event, the Attah of Igala, Idakwo Ameh Oboni, said that democracy remained the best form of government as it gave citizens the best opportunity to secure their freedom from poverty, misrule and corruption.

He, therefore, urged INEC not to relent in its efforts at bringing sanity into the polity and urged political parties and other stakeholders to partner the electoral umpire to achieve that.
While pledging to use his position to mobilize his subjects to participate in the continuous voter registration and the election, Oboni advised political parties and their candidates to eschew chaos and money politics.

 

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POLITICS

2023 Presidency: El-Rufai opens up on why Buhari loves Amaechi

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Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has disclosed why President Muhammadu Buhari loves Rotimi Amaechi, the outgone Minister of Transportation.

Rufai disclosed that Buhari loves Amaechi due to his decision to defect from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the All Progressives Congress, APC, during the era of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

He disclosed this when Amaechi met with APC delegates from Kaduna ahead of the party’s national convention.

El-Rufai recalled wooing Amaechi and some other governors into the APC during the PDP administration.

“Let me tell you my history with Amaechi. When we started discussing with the G-7, the seven governors that wanted to defect to the APC, I was holding nocturnal meetings with Amaechi and Governor Nyako of Adamawa State until we got five of them to move to our party, and that was the game-changer.

“And for you to understand how difficult it is, imagine Amaechi of Rivers State from the same South-South with incumbent President Jonathan.

“He made the sacrifice to move to our party. It was a game-changer. This is part of the reason President Buhari loves Minister Amaechi till tomorrow,” El-Rufai said.

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2023: Amosun denies stepping down for Tinubu

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Amosun denies stepping down for Bola Tinubu

Former Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun has denied stepping down from the 2023 presidential election for the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu.

Amosun stated that he is not in the presidential race to align with Tinubu or any other aspirant of the APC.

Amosun also denied obtaining the APC senatorial form, saying he did not attend the screening exercise organised for APC senatorial aspirants, as being peddled by some individuals.

There were rumours over the weekend that Amosun had agreed to step down for Tinubu, having been screened and cleared for the Ogun Central senatorial race.

But, in a swift reaction, Amosun debunked the rumour spreading on social media, saying the “two news stories are false.”

According to a statement signed by his media aide, Bola Adeyemi, he said that the Ogun Central Senator “procured only the forms for the presidential ticket of the APC and did not attend the screening exercise for Senatorial aspirants because he is not one.”

While urging Nigerians to dismiss the “false news”, Adeyemi maintained that “Amosun is in the race for the presidential ticket of the APC and has no plans to align with any politician in the race.”

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Women affairs Minister, Pauline Tallen withdraws from senatorial race

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Dame Pauline Tallen, Minister of Women Affairs, has dropped her senatorial ambition.

Tallen made this known in a statement she issued on Monday.

The minister had purchased the All Progressives Congress (APC) form to contest the Plateau South Senatorial election.

According to her, after consultations with her constituents, she has decided to withdraw from the race.

The statement read in part: “I remain resolute as I continue to relish the opportunity to serve Nigerian Women in my capacity as Minister of Women Affairs under the able leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“Consequently, I wish to inform you all that following broad-based consultations and interventions from critical stakeholders, I have decided to withdraw from running for the senatorial seat, mindful of our accomplishments and the notable progress we have recorded under my stewardship at the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs.”

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