The Gambia: ECOWAS Leaders Meet On Saturday To Break Impasse

The Presidency said yesterday the discussion by leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), to persuade The Gambia’s President, Yahya Jammeh, to respect the wish of the people will continue in Abuja on Saturday.

Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, in a statement, said the current Chairperson of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS, President Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia, disclosed that discussions on The Gambian impasse would continue, as ECOWAS leaders would meet in Abuja on Saturday.

According to the statement, the coalition of seven political parties that produced Adama Barrow, the President-elect, said they earnestly look up to President Muhammadu Buhari to deploy his vast experience, alongside other African leaders, to resolve the political logjam in the tiny West African country.

Adesina quoted Hamad Bah, one of the coalition members, who spoke with the media during the high-level ECOWAS /AU/UN Joint Mission to The Gambia, who said,  “We need the experience of President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria in many ways. Like President Jammeh, he is a former military officer, so, he knows how the military thinks, and would be able to talk to him appropriately.

Reacting to the logjam, Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, has described Buhari’s involvement in the meeting as an aberration.

The governor said former President Goodluck

Jonathan, President John Mahama of Ghana and others who have lost elections and conceded defeat were in the best position to intervene in The Gambia’s election impasse.

According to his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, Governor Fayose said, “with what happened in Rivers State last weekend, it is certain that votes of Nigerians will no longer be allowed to count as the All Progressives Congress (APC) cabal has now assumed the role of INEC, allocating votes to their party and using security agents to force their will on the people.”

Fayose asked; “Did President Buhari face Jammeh and advise him to accept defeat the way he (Buhari) conceded defeat in 2003, 2007 and 2011.”


Conducting Ondo election on Saturday will violate the law – Jegede

The Peoples Democratic Party candidate for the Ondo Stare governorship election, Eyitayo Jegede, has appealed to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to postpone Saturday’s election for at least 30 days.

He said this would allow the party to submit a list of its agents in good time before the election as provided for in the Electoral Act 2010.

The Act stipulates that each party should make their party agents available to the commission, 14 days before the day of election.

The Biyi Poroye faction of the PDP had submitted a list of party agents to the commission before the expiration of the deadline for Jimoh Ibrahim, who was removed by Wednesday’s Appeal Court judgment.

Mr. Jegede, who led a protest to the INEC state headquarters at Alagbaka, in Akure on Thursday, told the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Olusegun Agbaje, that the postponement was necessary in order not to be in breach of the Electoral Act.

He also submitted a letter he addressed to the Chairman of the Commission, Mahmood Yahkoob, demanding the postponement of the election.

“It follows from the foregoing that any list of agents purportedly forwarded by one Poroye and his fellow pretenders who had been illegally parading themselves as the state executive members of the PDP, Ondo State cannot be regarded as authentic,” the letter read in part.

“As it is, the peoples democratic party has not forwarded the list of its agents to the commission.

“Whichever way one may look at the situation on ground, the governorship election of Ondo state slated for 26th November, if conducted, will undoubtedly be in breach of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended.

“It is in light of the foregoing that I request you to differ the governorship election for Ondo State for at least 30 days so as not to conduct the election in flagrant violation of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended.”

But Mr. Agbaje said INEC had gone past the issue of postponement, given that it had distributed sensitive materials to all the local governments already for the elections.

He insisted that the commission was prepared for the election come Saturday.

“We can no longer talk about postponement of the election right now,” he said. “The matter is an internal dispute within the PDP and so we cannot be talking about postponement.

“If we postpone the election, we will be losing billions of naira knowing that we have already deployed sensitive and non-sensitive materials to all the local government areas of the state.”

He said the list of party agents would be received from the Mr. Jegede and the former one would be discarded.

The materials which were supplied directly from the vault of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, in Akure include ballot papers, result sheets and other forms that would be used to collate the results.

Mr. Agbaje said adequate security had been provided to escort the materials to the respective local government areas.

Why Buhari Will Visit Sokoto On Saturday

President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to pay a one-day working visit Tito Sokoto State on Saturday.

The Spokesman of Governor Aminu Tambuwal, Imam Imam, said on Friday that the President would be in the state to inspect and inaugurate some developmental projects.

Imam said that among the projects earmarked for inauguration by the president is the 500-housing estate at Kalambaina-Sokoto.

The project was initiated by former Governor Aliyu Wamakko and completed by Tambuwal.

The houses will be sold to civil servants in the state, to further reduce housing deficit in the state.

Imam also said President Buhari would witness the 3000-horses Durban organised as part of the 10th Year Anniversay of the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar 111

The events marking the historic anniversary have been going on smoothly since Nov. 2.

He said, ”The state government is appreciative of the laudable support and cooperation of the generality of the people of the state.

“We are however imploring them to sustain the tempo, as well as intensify their fervent prayers for peace, unity and socioeconomic prosperity of Nigeria.”

Speaking on the durbar, a Senior Counsellor in the Sultanate Council of Sokoto, Alhaji Hassan Danbaba, said, “The Emir of Kano and the Etsu Nupe had brought 500 horses each, while the Emir of Argungu brought 700.

“Some of the horses were brought from Katsina, parts of Sokoto and other Emirates in the country.”

Danbaba, who is also the Magajin Garin Sokoto, added that arrangements had been concluded to make the event hitch-free and memorable.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had on Thursday in Sokoto declared open an International Symposium on the Sokoto Caliphate.

The Speakers at the Symposium included a Professor Emeritus from the University College, London, Prof. Murray Last.

Credit: NAN

INEC: Election Reruns To Hold In Eight States On Saturday

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will on Saturday conduct 22 court-ordered rerun elections across eight states of the federation.

These will be among the first set of the 80 court-ordered elections that the commission is scheduled to conduct from January to March.
In a statement by the commission wednesday, it gave a breakdown of these elections to include four senatorial elections, three federal constituency elections, and 15 state constituency elections.

“With preparations in top gear to ensure a hitch-free mini general election, INEC will conduct senatorial, federal constituency and state constituency elections across eight states, namely:  Benue, Kaduna, Plateau, Niger, Nasarawa, Kogi, Taraba and Imo,” INEC said.
According to the statement, senatorial elections would be conducted in Benue South, Imo North, Kogi Central, and Kogi East Senatorial Districts.

Federal constituency elections will also hold in Okene/Ogori Magongo constituency of Kogi State; Lafia/Obi constituency of Nasarawa State; and Kurmi/Sardauna constituency of Taraba State.

The 15 state constituency elections will be conducted across Imo, Kaduna, Kogi, Plateau, Niger and Taraba States. The constituencies are Imo – Isiala Mbano, Oru East, and Owerri West; Kaduna – Lere West; Kogi – Ofu Sc, Ankpa 1, Idah, Dekina 1 and Dekina II (Okura); Niger – Suleja; and Plateau – Langtang South, Pankshin South and Pankshin NorthTaraba-Ardo Kola and Mbamga.

Credit: ThisDay

BVN: Over 20.8 Million Customers Enroll 40 Million Bank Accounts, Ends Saturday

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, said on Thursday that 20,833,635 bank customers enrolled over 40 million accounts in various banks in the country under the Bank Verification Number, BVN, registration exercise as at October 25, 2015.

The BVN registration introduced by the CBN on February 14, 2014 is scheduled to end on Saturday, October 31, 2015 across the country.

Implemented in collaboration with the Bankers’ Committee of the CBN, the BVN was initiated to provide unique identities for all bank customers and other users of financial services in the country.

The unique identity is established by the use of the customers’ biometrics as means of identification in all transactions undertaken with the banks.

At the expiration of the initial estimated 18 months period for the registration after the launch, there was huge apathy among bank customers, who were reluctant to register.

The poor appreciation of the benefits of the BVN resulted in last minute rush in most banking halls across the country towards the end of the June 30, 2015 deadline set by the CBN for enrolment by all customers.

The CBN extended the deadline by four months, till October 31, 2015, to allow more people register.

Credit: PremiumTimes

We Are Ready For This Round, PDP Vows To Win More States Come Saturday

The Peoples Democratic Party has said it is poised to win more states on Saturday despite losing the presidential election, as its governorship and House of Assembly candidates are very popular and widely accepted in their respective states and constituencies.

The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, in a statement on Thursday said the party had fully mobilized its members and supporters across Nigeria and would not allow a repeat of the irregularities that shaped the outcome of the March 28 elections. “We restate that we are ready for this round of elections and we will do everything humanly possible within the tenets of democracy to protect our votes and resist any form of irregularity including underage voting and selective malfunctioning of card readers,” Mr. Metuh said.

Read More: premiumtimesng