With Ekiti experience, we may not participate in 2019 elections, PDP says
Olusola Fabiyi, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party has threatened that it may not participate in the 2019 general elections unless it gets assurance that what happened in Ekiti State governorship election would not be repeated.
National chairman of the party, Uche Secondus, spoke in Abuja on Thursday when he granted audience to joint delegation of International Republican Institute and National Democratic Institute at the party’s national headquarters.
Secondus accused the Independent National Electoral Commission and security agencies of being partial during the conduct of the Ekiti governorship election.
He said the main opposition party did not contest against the All Progressives Congress or any other political party in the state, but contested against the commission and security agencies.
He said, “Our opinion is that INEC and security agents are directly involved in this manipulation.
“As a matter of fact, we did not contest against the APC; we contested against the security agencies and INEC.
“Nigerians and the international community are aware of this fact because of what happened in the state.”
He disclosed that the party was consulting whether to participate in the 2019 general elections or not, “because you are participating against security agencies and INEC who have colluded to alter the figures even after you have voted. So, we are in a dilemma.”
According to him, if noting is done to restore the confidence of ordinary Nigerians and other political parties, it might be difficult to accept the result of 2019 general election, no matter what the outcome might be, noting that such may a recipe for crisis.
He alleged that Ekiti State was militarised before and during the election, adding that PDP leaders were harassed and arrested and detained in the state.
He said, “Our members were harassed, arrested and detained overnight. All of these things were happening in the suburbs.
“In the city, it was like a roadshow and it was like nothing was happening; but it was at the local government that they carried out their activities and most people were scared and didn’t come out to vote.
“The second thing was that they came out with federal might, with money, with everything to entice the voters.
“Even at that, we won the election but it was manipulated.”
Naira rain, federal might, ‘Pastor’ Fayose and other highlights of Ekiti poll
By Jamilah Nasir
Four years ago, there was jubilation in Aso Rock over the outcome of the governorship election in Ekiti state. Four years after, there is jubilation in Aso Rock over the outcome the another governorship election. It was PDP that celebrated in 2014; it is now the turn of APC.
The victory of Kayode Fayemi couldn’t have come at a better time for the ruling APC. With the PDP regrouping for the 2019 general election, a win in Ekiti would have put a spring in their steps and a spanner in the works of APC.
Here are the five things to remember about the July 14 governorship election in Ekiti.
1. FEDERAL MIGHT — AGAIN
All hands on the broom
The 2014 and 2018 elections had a lot of things in common and one of these is the influence of the party controlling the centre. While in control of government at federal level, PDP deployed tools that helped Ayodele Fayose to defeat Fayemi. Human and material resources were not lacking. APC big guns were blocked from entering the state on election eve.
Fast forward to four years later. The APC government also gave massive support to Fayemi. Buhari conveyed meetings at Aso Rock and gave his party charge to deliver Ekiti. He also led a delegation to the state to campaign for his former minister. PDP even complained that they were contesting against the security agencies.
The mega rally of the APC provided another avenue for the Ekiti governor-elect to intimidate his opponents. Ministers, governors, senators, house of reps members and influential personalities stormed the rally.
Yahaya Bello, governor of Kogi state, promised to be in Ekiti during the election. It’s unclear if he fulfilled the promise.
The power of incumbency at the state level could not save Fayose and his candidate.
2. CASH FOR VOTES
TheCable’s eagle-eyed reporter caught this voter counting the money he got from one of the political parties
It’s no news that the two leading parties used money to sway votes in their favour. Although agents and supporters of PDP and APC tried to conceal the act initially, reports later spread across town. People were given between N3,000 and N5,000 in exchange of their votes.
“Stomach infrastructure” was one of the reasons given for the loss of Fayemi in the last election. People said while Fayemi was investing in infrastructure, Fayose focused on the people’s stomach. This time around the APC matched the PDP naira for naira, kobo for kobo. Bags of rice, sachets of salt were in circulation.
It was so brazen that when after casting his ballot at the polling unit 1, St. David Primary School, Afao, Fayose told journalists about it.
“What they call see and buy money politics is thriving everywhere (in Ekiti) with the police and civil defence giving signs to people sharing the money so that they can pay the voters,” he had said.
Shortly after he said that, a voter in Ikere confessed to TheCable that he got N3,000 from the PDP for voting.
In Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, police arrested some persons distributing money for votes.
This is a major highlight of every election in Nigeria, though.
3. ‘ONDO EXPERIENCE’
All for Fayemi
In 2016, when the PDP defeated APC in a governorship election just like it has done in Ekiti, Fayemi, then a member of the federal cabinet, played a major role. He was on ground all through the election period, strategising and looking out for the way to deliver Ondo for the ruling party.
Before 2016, Ondo had been under the control of the opposition for over 12 years. The last time it belonged to a political bloc of the south-west was the era of the late Adebayo Adefarati. All attempts to bring the state into the mainstream fold in the region were counterproductive.
But it took the intervention of Fayemi and some APC chieftains to deliver Ondo for the APC. Being a neighbouring state with Ekiti and sharing a lot of things in common, Fayemi would have mastered the art knowing that it would be useful for him.
4. OLUSOLA’S POLITICAL CLOUT
Being a former governor and minister, Fayemi appears well experienced than his opponent. The perception that his candidacy was strongly backed by the federal government posed an intimidation to his opponent, who had just Fayose.
Until his emergence as deputy governor of Ekiti, Olusola was no actor on the political stage.
However, Fayemi had governed the state between 2010 and 2014. He also served as minister of solid minerals development. Also, Fayemi, has achievements from when he had previously ruled the state, with which he campaigned, unlike Olusola who only sought to consolidate on the works of Fayose.
He was seen not to have the charisma, and the boldness to make and stand by his own decisions. To some, this was evident in most of the campaign billboards screaming ‘continuity’ where the picture of Fayose appeared bolder than that of Olusola, the candidate.
The video released on the election eve also did damage to the PDP candidate. Fayose is known for his hardline stance on a wide range of issues. Although a practising Christian, clutching a Bible few hours to election and asking your preferred successor to kneel before you indirectly sent signal to a lot of people.
The Fayose people know is not an ordained pastor. He could have organised prayers for his deputy but asking him to kneel down while he laid his hand on the governorship hopeful left tongues wagging. If that move was meant to attract voters, it did exactly the opposite.
5. WELFARE OF WORKERS
Fayose the emperor
Presently, civil servants in Ekiti are being owed for at least six months. Many live from hand to mouth and repeated assurances did not end the way they thought. In a state where many depend on salaries, no excuse, not even the construction of the first of its kind bridge in Nigeria – apologies for ex-President Goodlucj Jonathan – would make the people stand on your side.
The non-payment of workers salaries worked against candidacy of Olusola. A hungry man is an angry man. Some who would ordinarily have thumbed it for Olusola did otherwise when they get to their polling units.
Afterall, Adams Oshiomhole, national chairman of the APC, told Ekiti people that Fayemi would clear the backlog. Yes, people find it difficult politicians but they might have just decided to try someone else.
INEC to suspend Continuous Voter Registration on Aug. 17
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said on Friday that it would suspend the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) on Aug. 17 until after the 2019 general elections.
The commission disclosed this in a statement issued by Prince Solomon Soyebi, National Commissioner and Chairman, information and Voter Education Committee, in Abuja.
Soyebi, however, said that the collection of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) would continue until a week to the commencement of general elections, Feb. 16, 2019.
The decision, according to him, was taken following consultative meetings the commission had with major stakeholders in Nigeria in the electoral process.
INEC has within the week met with leaders of Political Parties, the media, Civil Society Organisations and Security Agencies.
He said that the stakeholders stressed the need to comply with statutory timelines and unanimously agreed that sufficient time be given between the capture of data, its processing and the production of the PVCs.
“Given the activities necessary for this, the commission, acting on the recommendation of the stakeholders has decided to suspend the ongoing CVR at 3p.m on Friday, August 17, until after the general elections.
“The collection of PVCs will, however, continue until a week to the commencement of general elections on Feb. 16, 2019,” he added.
He said that the Commission would overhaul and intensify its publicity initiatives to ensure that all qualified Nigerians who wish to register were able to do so and collect their PVCs before the general elections.
This, according to him, was in consonance with INEC policy and advice of all the stakeholders.
The commissioner appealed to all citizens for cooperation and understanding.
“The stakeholders enjoined INEC to continue to do more to ensure free, fair and credible elections,” he said.
Soyebi noted that some of the issues discussed during the consultative meetings include matters arising from the collection and alleged cloning of PVCs.
He explained that other issue discussed was INEC’s preparations for Ekiti and Osun Governorship Elections as well as for the 2019 general elections.
Cambridge Analytica’s Role In Nigeria’s 2007 Election
The parent company of Cambridge Analytica interfered in Nigeria’s 2007 elections, regarded as the worst election till date, which the late President Umaru Yar’Adua also deplored as unfair and his successor Goodluck Jonathan described as a huge embarrassment.
Electoral commission head Maurice Iwu declared Yar’Adua of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) the winner with 24.6 million votes, far ahead of his closest rival, Muhammadu Buhari, with 6.6 million.
Then candidate Muhammadu Buhari challenged the ‘blatantly rigged’ election in the court, with the judges arriving at a split verdict. Buhari also called for the impeachment of President Olusegun Obasanjo, who appeared to have organised the charade in cahoot with Iwu.
The BBC reported today that the parent of the infamous company, SCL Elections boasted about interfering in foreign elections, according to documents seen by the news organisation.
The BBC said the company claimed in its brochure that it organised rallies in Nigeria to weaken support for the opposition in 2007.
The brochure outlines how SCL Elections had apparently organised “anti-election rallies” to dissuade opposition supporters from voting in the Nigerian presidential election in 2007.
The 2007 election was described by EU monitors as one of the least credible they had observed.
Cambridge Analytica is embroiled in a storm over claims it exploited the data of millions of Facebook users. The company was also hired by the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2015 elections.
The UK Foreign Office said it was unaware of this alleged activity before SCL was awarded British government contracts in 2008.
Cambridge Analytica says it is looking into the allegations about SCL.
In the document, SCL Elections claimed potential clients could contact the company through “any British High Commission or Embassy”.
It also claims SCL received “List X” accreditation from the UK’s Ministry of Defence which provided “Government endorsed clearance to handle information protectively marked as ‘confidential’ and above”.
The document claims SCL Elections deliberately exploited ethnic tensions in Latvia in the 2006 national elections in order to help their client.
SCL also claims that ahead of the elections in Trinidad and Tobago in 2010, it orchestrated an “ambitious campaign of political graffiti” that “ostensibly came from the youth” so the client party could “claim credit for listening to a ‘united youth’”.
Most of the examples detailed in the brochure took place before the British government entered into at least six contracts with SCL.
The former Labour Foreign Office Minister and Cabinet minister Lord Hain has tabled a written question in the House of Lords on Monday for urgent clarification on the matter of Embassy endorsement.
He told the BBC’s Sunday Politics show that the SCL case was “lifting the lid on a potential horror story” of other companies using data to manipulate voters.
The Ministry of Defence has confirmed SLC were given a provisional List X accreditation but had not had it since 2013.
A Foreign Office spokesperson said: “It is not now nor ever has been the case that enquiries for SCL ‘can be directed through any British High Commission or Embassy’.”
“Our understanding is that, at the time of the signing of the contract for project work in 2008/9, the FCO was not aware of SCL’s reported activity during the 2006 Latvian election or 2007 Nigerian election.”
In a statement, the acting CEO of Cambridge Analytica, Dr Alexander Tayler, said “Cambridge Analytica was formed in 2013, out of a much older company called SCL Elections.
“We take the disturbing recent allegations of unethical practices in our non-US political business very seriously. The board has launched a full and independent investigation into SCL Elections’ past practices, and its findings will be made available in due course.”
Abuja – The Independent National Commission (INEC) has solicited the collaboration of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and telecommunications operators for deployment of electronic devices in the conduct of 2019 general elections.
￼ INEC National Chairman, Mahamood Yakubu addressing pressmen on new release of 2019 Election Time Table and Schedule of Activities for 2019 Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Area Council Elections while at INEC Office Abuja. Photo by Gbemiga Olamikan.
Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, made the appeal when he led management of the commission on a visit to NCC Executive Vice-Chairman, Prof. Umar Dambatta, on Tuesday in Abuja. Yakubu said that INEC was planning full deployment for e-collation and transmission of Ekiti and Osun governorship elections later in the year, and for the 2019 general polls.
He said that time had come to electronically collate and transmit election results from polling units to collation and declaration centres, explaining that doing so would enable results to be transmitted faster and more accurately.
Yakubu said that while the commission had the software and hardware to do the transmission, it needed to rely on telecommunications operators for the transmission of figures and scanned images of result sheets.
Towards these, he appealed to NCC, as the the industry regulator, to facilitate a meeting between INEC and telecommunications operators in the country to finalise preparations for the elections.
He said that the meeting would provide INEC with the combined network coverage map for all operators nationwide, including network strength that could help the commission to deploy e-collation system successfully.
“Since we shall also be transmitting scanned copies of result sheets, it is imperative to ascertain areas covered by 3Gand 4G networks and by which operator(s) across the country.
“The objective is also to discuss data security in the course of transmission of results in order to further safeguard the security of the process.
“The meeting is also imperative to discuss the provision, registration and exclusive use of SIM Cards with special numbers for use in its Smart Card Readers.
“These numbers should be registered in the name of INEC instead of the current practices of using cards sourced from the open market registered in the personal names of our officials.
“This will help in the management of database and dataset of the allocated numbers.
“Doing so will also enable the encryption of information thereby providing additional security in the course of transmitting both data and images,’’ he said.
Yakubu also called on NCC to facilitate discussion with the operators on ways to enhance cooperate social responsibility to Nigeria electoral process, especially on voter education and publicity.
“Towards the 2019 general elections, we would like the operators, in collaboration with INEC, to send bulk SMS on imperative of peaceful elections, the collection of Permanent Voter Cards by registered voters.”
He also called for synergy on directional information on the location of Polling Units for easy access to voters.
In his response, Dambatta expressed NCC’s reediness to be at the forefront of driving innovations that would improve the electoral process in the country.
He said that the commission was committed to ensuring and promoting free, fair and credible elections in the country, especially from 2019.
Dambatta added with ICT there was no need to be at election venue before election could be monitored, saying that today’s telecommunications had made nonsense of distance.
He assured that there was availability of telecom infrastructure, including 3G networks that would facilitates e-collation and transmission of election results.
“We will bring to bear our wealth of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and telecoms expertise in 2019 general elections to meet the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians.
“This is what we can achieve in 2019,’’ he said, adding that coming together by INEC, NCC and telecom companies to discuss would help to overcome some of the envisaged challenges.”
He added that there was no better time than now to commence voter education and publicity ahead of the 2019 elections. (NAN)
I went into coma when Jonathan called in 2015 – Buhari
By Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja
… I was reckless in military uniform – President
President Muhammadu Buhari said on Thursday night that he went temporarily into coma when former President Goodluck Jonathan called to congratulate him on his victory in the 2015 presidential election.
The President stated this when he hosted All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders to a dinner at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He also recounted his experiences in the Nigerian electoral processes and his eventual victory in the 2015 presidential election.
He said: “The PVCs worked well in 2015. That was why when the former President rang me, I went temporarily into a coma. I will never forget the time. It was quartet after 5:00 p.m. and he said he called to congratulate me and that he has conceded defeat. He asked if I heard him and I said yes and I thanked him for his statesmanship.
“The truth is after being a deputy governor, a governor, Vice-president and President for six years, and he took that decision is great. He could have caused some problems. He had stayed long enough to cause problems.
He said: “I am the only politician that ended up three times in the Supreme Court and still virtually refused to give up.
“There is one thing that disabused my mind in a dispassionate way about ethnicity and religion across the country. You know that tribunal for presidential election started at High Court of Appeal. The President was my classmate. I missed only four of the court sittings.
“For that first phase in 2003, we were in court for 30 months. My legal leader was Chief Ahamba (SAN), an Igbo man. He asked the panel of judges to direct INEC to produce the voters register to prove to you that the election was done underground.
“When they came to write the judgment, they completely omitted that. Another Igbo man, a Roman Catholic, in the panel of judges wrote a minority report.
“I went to the Supreme Court. Who was the Chief Justice? An Hausa Fulani, a Muslim from Zaria. After 27 months, Ahamba presented our case for two hours and 45 minutes. The Chief Justice got up and said they were going on break and when they return the following day, they will deliver the judgment. They went away for three months. That was what made it 30 months.
“And when they came back, they discussed my case within 45 minutes. In 2007, who was the Chief Justice? A Muslim from Niger State.
“The third one, who was the Chief Justice? My neighbour from Jigawa State. The same religion and the same tribe.
“Finally, the determination of our people and technology: the Permanent Voters Cards made it possible for us to be here.
“Voters’ education is important. Let people be educated that it is their right to choose leaders of their choice.
“There is something that hit me very hard and I am happy I hit it back at somebody. Seven states of the North are only represented in my cabinet by junior ministers, ministers of state. In South East, I got 198,000 votes but I have four substantive ministers and seven junior ministers from there.
“You are closer to the people than myself, now that I have been locked up here, don’t allow anybody to talk of ethnicity. It is not true.
“I felt I should invite you and eat together and to tell you that as I am sitting here, I am very much aware of the problems in this country and that I will always reflect on the historical antecedents before I arrived here.
“I keep telling people that while I was in uniform, quite reckless and young, I got all the ministers and governors, and put them in Kirikiri. I said they were guilty until they could prove their innocence. I was also detained too.
“I decided to drop the uniform and come back. Eventually, I am here. So really, I have gone through it over and over again. This is why I am not in a hurry virtually to do anything. I will sit and reflect and continue with my clear conscience.
“I thank you for honouring my invitation and I am telling you that if I don’t ring you or call you, it is not because I ever forgot how you supported me at one stage or the other over the years from 2003 till now.”
The APC National Chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun, said “I was very touched by what you said. I hope it is understood in the proper perspective.
“It indicates quite clearly that you have listened to what people are saying. It has been such a terrible misrepresentation. You have seized this opportunity to say that you are not what people are saying.
“There are so much misconceptions. Look at the example you have given that those who stood by you through the periods of problems and struggles are not people of the same religious persuasion.
“You have said it that you are not an ethnic jingoist. I know this because I have known you for a very long time.
“For some of us, when these things are said, we find it painful but I hope there will be proper rendition of what you said today and it will start clearing the air.”
Source: The Nation