A former Governor of Lagos State, Senator Bola Tinubu, has alleged that the Peoples Democratic Party and the Independent National Electoral Commission have “merged” to ensure that his party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, does not retain power in Lagos next year.
Tinubu noted that just as three legacy parties merged to form the APC and become a more formidable opponent of the PDP, the INEC had also joined forces with the PDP to ensure that the ruling party maintains its hold on power in 2015.
Tinubu made this position known at a press conference to address the “shoddy” Permanent Voter Card distribution in Lagos on Saturday.
The APC national leader, who berated INEC over the manner it conducted the PVC distribution, said the commission had no excuse for failing to put its house in order.
He said, “Just as we (APC) merged to form a formidable opposition party, they have merged with Jonathan to form a formidable rigging machine.
“This exercise is a colossal failure. INEC has the responsibility to give us a date when the exercise would start which they did. They were the ones that picked the date. On the eve of the exercise, they announced they could only carry out the exercise in 11 Local Government Areas out of the 20 recognised by the Federal Government.
“Rather than outright boycott, we endured the frustration and appealed to the public to participate. Our field report and personal experiences indicated that the exercise in those 11 LGAs failed and it is unacceptable. In some instances, you didn’t find INEC and then in some, they did not start on time”.
The former governor said if four months to the election, INEC had yet to put its house in order, it was safe to conclude that it could not conduct a free and fair election next year.
He insisted that INEC must explain in full detail why it reduced the number of registered voters in Lagos from 6.2 million in 2011 to 4.8 million in 2014.
He argued that INEC’s excuse that it reduced the figure because there were many cases of double registration in 2011 was not tenable. He, therefore, questioned the commission’s right to “disenfranchise 1.4 million Lagosians without recourse to a court of law”.
He said, “You cannot automatically, without a court of law, disqualify them, you can only suspend them and give them another opportunity to register. To me, this exercise has failed, it is not acceptable, and we consider it as a rigging exercise. INEC has colluded with the presidency and the opposing party to rig the election from the data to the end”.
He warned that the APC would embark on protests across the state if things were not corrected and urged INEC to publish the names of those who were removed from the voter register.
He also advised INEC to return to the drawing board and start the exercise afresh.
Reacting to the APC chieftain’s allegation, the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC chairman, Kayode Idowu, said there was no reason for the commission to merge with the ruling party.
“INEC has not filed any paper with the country’s Corporate Affairs Commission to be merged with the PDP. It is not a political party”, Idowu said.
He added, “I don’t understand what he meant by INEC merging with the PDP. The Permanent Voter Cards exercise is being conducted without any political colouration. And this exercise is not being conducted in PDP-controlled states alone”.
Akeredolu Sacks Ondo Attorney-General, Olawoye
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has sacked the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Kola Olawoye.
This was made known in a statement on Monday by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Segun Ajiboye.
Akeredolu immediately appointed a human rights lawyer, Mr. Charles Titiloye, as the new Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice.
According to the statement, the Ondo State governor would forward Titiloye’s name to the State House of Assembly for confirmation.
Akeredolu also expressed his appreciation to the sacked commissioner for services rendered to the state.
Focus On Reducing Poverty, Not 2023 Elections – Peter Obi
Former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, has called on his fellow politicians to put issues of 2023 aside and focus on how to rescue the country from the current economic crisis.
Obi said that solving the economic problems of Nigeria was more important than political permutations geared towards the next general elections.
The former Anambra State Governor stated during an appearance on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.
He expressed that the next election has no impact on people’s current livelihoods.
Obi also blamed President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration for not adequately preparing Nigerians for the impact of COVID-19, stating the monies borrowed by this government were not properly put to use.
“Every other country is discussing the recession and how to pull their people out of poverty.
“So what we should do now is to concentrate on the monetary and fiscal policies to start pulling people out of poverty,” Obi said.
Recession: Nigeria Is Broke, Can’t Afford 2021 Budget – Atiku
Former Vice-President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar has expressed that the Federal Government should reconsider the 2021 budget owing to the recession.
Nigeria officially entered into its worst economic recession in 33 years after the nation recorded a GDP contraction of 3.62 percent in the third quarter of 2020.
He stated that Nigeria is broke and cannot afford the luxurious items in the N13.08 trillion budget proposal.
Atiku in a Twitter thread on Sunday stated that COVID-19 only complicated an existing economic problem.
Atiu went on to express that had President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration listened to advice, the recession could have been avoided.
“We could have avoided this fate by a disciplined and prudent management of our economy.”
“This could have been avoided had this administration taken heed to the patriotic counsel given by myself and other well-meaning Nigerians on cutting the cost of governance, saving for a rainy day, and avoiding profligate borrowing,” Atiku said.
He further said that now is not the time to trade blames but to focus on ways to manage the situation and called on Buhari’s government to “swallow its pride, and accept its limitations, so that they can open their minds to ideas, without caring who the messenger is.”
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