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2.2 million voters pick Anambra gov today

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Over two million voters will be participating in today’s election in Anambra State, according to the Independent National Electoral Commission. The INEC boss, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, has said it is the first time in the history of the state that 2,158, 171 people collected their PVCs and are ready to vote in an election, while assuring that the electoral body would give all political parties and their candidates equal treatment.

Speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting, Yakubu said: “With 37 political parties fielding candidates, this is the first governorship election with the largest number of political parties in the history of Nigeria. Secondly, with 2,158,171 voters, it is the election with the largest number of voters in the history of Anambra State.”

Though the dramatis personae in the election will largely remain the same, the circumstances and conditions of the election vary. For example, while a former governor, Mr. Peter Obi, would be playing a serious part in the election, he will not be doing so as a sitting governor as he did in the election that produced the incumbent, Willy Obiano.

Another serious difference that the election will witness is that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which had always been a serious opposition party in the state and which has now been led for over 10 years by the APGA would not be so much of a force to reckon with, as the All Progressives Congress (APC) has poached most of its members to its fold.

Based on this, statistics have shown that the battle for the exalted position would be a fight between the incumbent goveror, Willie Obiano of All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Oseloka Obaze of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Tony Nwoye of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Osita Chidoka of the United Peoples Party (UPP), and Godwin Ezeemo of the Progressive People Alliance (PPA) among others.

As a matter of fact, leadership of the political parties in the race with their aspirants have openly sworn to take over governance from Obiano as his first term in office is coming to an end by March 17 But from experience, it is clear that some of these people are political gladiators who are only acting scripts written by their political godfathers with the aim of confusing the electorate by heating up the polity for personal aggrandisement.

Those ones are not taken seriously. They are just like the Biblical seeds that fell on the rock. By the end of the day, the big masquerade would have taken over the centre stage as Anambra people would have chosen who their leader would be in the next four years. The battle for the Agu- Awka seat of power has for the few weeks the campaign lasted been one of fierce competition laced with smear campaigns.

Though the candidates have campaigned as much as they could to sell their manifesto to the electorate, there is an air of fear that the election may be ‘tailored’ in favour of the party at the centre, APC. Meanwhile, an aspirant into the office of National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Barr. Mohammed Kabir Usman, has accused INEC of conniving with the APC to rig the election.

Usman who stressed that there might be no elections in Anambra State since Nigerians have no confidence in the integrity of the polls accused top officials of the INEC of working closely with the APC to ensure that a predetermined outcome is achieved.

“Strong controversies have always trailed any election conducted by Amina Zakari and in a decent society, no umpire in an election should reside in the same location with a frontline candidate who has an interest in the election”.

Similarly, the Women Situation Room Nigeria (WSRN), a group which has observed elections in different states from a gender perspective and within the human rights framework has called upon voters and electoral official to ensure that the forthcoming Anambra State guber election is conducted in a peaceful environment. The message of peaceful elections and zero tolerance for violence was reinforce by Joy Onyesoh, WSRN, National Coordinator during the press briefing in Awka yesterday.

IPOB threat

There is also the fear of IPOB threat for people to stay away from going out to vote. This threat had led to an influx of security personnel in the state as part of measures to forestall any problem that may arise. The security personnel billed to cover the election include, 26,000 policemen, 11,000 soldiers, 326 patrol vehicles among others.

This outrageous number of security in one state has became a scare crow to the supposed voters who may out of fear of molestation choose to stay away from the pooling booths, thereby leading to apathy.

In neighbouring Abia State, the police have urged all indigenes and visitors to go about their lawful businesses without fear. Addressing newsmen after a joint military/police patrol in Aba, the Area Commander in charge of Aba, ACP Peter Okpara said the police would not fail to deal with anyone found claiming to be a member of the proscribed IPOB in accordance with the laws and urged all businessmen and women within the city not to panic as the police are proactive enough to stop any law defaulter. “As long as Abia State is concerned, we are not going on any public holiday. Election in Anambra cannot affect our businesses here in Abia. Everybody should go out and do their normal businesses tomorrow. Police is on the ground and any IPOB member caught harassing people will be arrested and prosecuted according to law because IPOB is already by Nigerian law an illegal organization. I have interacted with market leaders in Ariaria and they have assured me that markets will open.

Willie Obiano -APGA

From the political campaigns, the incumbent governor has presented himself as one with a diehard spirit. Despite the stumps and opposition fire, Obiano has continuously said that the election will be a work over for his party because he improved on the developmental strides of former Governor Peter Obi.

Though Obiano is catching in on his incumbent power as well as the good security he brought to the state, his opponents are giants that also wield some kind of power that may play a stumbling block to his winning.

No doubt, he has managed to tear the PDP into two like Obi did during his second bid, political analysts are of the view that the PDP bigwigs in the camp of Obiano are only there for all the money they can milk from the incumbent governor, not necessarily to support him with their votes.

There is also the fear of APC using the federal might to draw the red carpet from the governor’s feet even while he is standing

Oseloka Obaze -PDP

He is described as the only candidate with the pedigree and all it takes to be the governor of Anambra State. But Obaze’s stumbling block has continued to revolve around the acclaimed enemies of his former boss, Peter Obi. According to an APGA stalwart in an interview some time ago, he said that Obaze stands out and would make a good governor “His only problem is that he is identifying with Peter Obi. Peter hurt a lot of people during his time as the governor of the state. He failed in his promises and he mostly turned his back on the people that worked to ensure he becomes governor.”

Apart from Obi’s issue, there is also the issue of people not trusting in his promise to serve only one term and step aside. The opposition party, APGA has even used it as a campaign tool.

Tony Nwoye -APC

He is seen as no neophyte when it comes to the political wrestling in the state having worked as a party chairman under the PDP. Nwoye is seen as one that may spring up surprise in this contest as he not only has the federal might behind him, he also has the massive supports of Anambra youths to his side in overwhelming number. But, he appears not to have the support of the elites who see him as unripe for the number position.

Among the factors working for Nwoye is the support he got from notable Nigerians, including President Muhammed Buhari, who had on Wednesday endorsed Nwoye while addressing APC faithful at the party’s rally in Awka. Nwoye also has the support of a former governor of the state, Dr. Chris Ngige and first son of the late Igbo leader, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu. Ngige, said:

“If you are governor, your reward will come from the people when you perform well. The roads I built more than 14 years ago are standing, why the ones they built just yesterday are in bad shape. “My position here today is to sign a surety on behalf of the Nwoye and Ikedife,that the two will not fail our people if voted into office”, he said in support of Nwoye.

Osita Chidoka- UPP

He came on board as a contestant and broke even by winning the UPP primary election to the admiration all. Though he was counted as a number in the beginning, he gradually but steadily crawled up the ladder, overtaking many that started the journey before him.

Chidoka at the party’s grand finale campagn said that he is in the contest to win but, at the moment, he appears to be the second best in the line up. He has been adjudged a good speaker and an articulate individual but the state appears not ready for him yet. He wields both the support of the elites as well as the youths.

Godwin Ezeemo -PPA

He is not tasting the waters as he has at several times swam with the sharks but the pendulum still appears not to be swinging in his direction. He is a self-made entrepreneur who people believe would improve the state’s status of Anambra State if he wins because he would devote his time to work for the benefit of the state.

He is a beautiful bride who different political big wigs have approached to join their bigger platform but he has remained resolute in his own ways. As Anambrarians go to the polls to vote, the question is, who will wear the crown?

Bomb scare in Onitsha

The commercial city of Onitsha was rattled with the news of a bomb scare planted at Awada police station. According to a source who spoke to Saturday Telegraph, the bomb was planted in two buckets with wires and placed behind the cell block.

The source said that the bomb was discovered by some policemen in the course of their regular patrol within the station premises. He said that the policemen tried to disconnect the wire and the wire mistakenly fell into the gutter and they all took to their heels.

The news of the bomb scare however reached people living close to the Awada police station and people started running for their lives. The anti bomb disposal unit was immediately contacted and on arrival disconnected the bomb and left with it. When the Police Public Relations, PPRO, Nkeiru Nwode was contacted for confirmation, she said she was not aware of it.

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Dapchi Girls: Full list of Kidnapped girls

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The chairman, forum of parents of missing Dapchi girls, Bashir Manzo, on Saturday said 105 students were abducted from Government Girls’ Science Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe state.

Here’s the full list obtained by The Nation.

  1. Fatima Bashir
  2. Aisha Kachalla
  3. Zainab Abubakar
  4. Falmata Wakil
  5. Fatima Isa
  6. Fatima Musa
  7. Aisha Usman
  8. Aisha Adamu
  9. Fatima Isa
  10. Hauwa A. Mohammed Idriss
  11. Maryam Mohammed
  12. Fatima Mohammed II
  13. Hauwa Salisu
  14. Hassana Gambo
  15. Aisha Adamu
  16. Adama Garba
  17. Zara Grema
  18. Maryam Daamkontoma
  19. Zainab Bama
  20. Fatsuma Abdullahi
  21. Fatima Yahaya Tarbutu
  22. Amina Yahaya Tarbutu
  23. Amina Adamu
  24. Hajara Ali
  25. Fatima Abdullahi
  26. Fatsuma Ali
  27. Zara’U Mohammed
  28. Salamatu Garba
  29. Falmata Alh. Inuwa
  30. Falmata Alh. Ali
  31. Aisha B. Danjuma
  32. Maryam Bashir
  33. Maryam Aliyu Mabu
  34. Fatima Modu Bamba
  35. Aisha Modu Bamba
  36. Hafsat Haruna
  37. Rabi Alh. Nasiru
  38. Hadiza Moh’D
  39. Fatima Aji Hassan
  40. Falmata Wakil
  41. Aisha Wakil
  42. Falmata A. Audu
  43. Aisha Maina
  44. Aisha Mohammed
  45. Aisha Mamuda
  46. Name missing on list
    47.Zainab Usman
  47. Hadiza Mohammed Taiduma
  48. Maryam Ibrahim
  49. Fatima M. Gira
  50. Hafsat Ibrahim Gira
  51. Maryam Ibrahim
  52. Zara Tijjani
  53. Amina Haruna
  54. Fatima Adamu
  55. Khadija Mai Sale
  56. Khadija Ali
  57. Habiba Musa Jakana
    59 Fatima Bukar
  58. Hajara Gidado
  59. Maryam Basiru
  60. Fatima Usman
  61. Maryam Ibrahim
  62. Leah Sherubu
  63. Aisha Alh. Deri
  64. Fatima Hassan Mustapha
  65. Zainab Manu
  66. Zara Tijjani
  67. Zainab Bukar Abba
  68. Hauwa Saidu Abubakar
  69. Karima Inusa
  70. Amina A. Abubakar
  71. Yakura Sani
  72. Rabi Yahaya Tela
  73. Hajara Yahaya Tela
  74. Marya Mustapha
  75. Aisha Abdullahi
  76. Maryam Adamu Mohammed
  77. Bintu Usman
  78. Fatsuma Mohammed
  79. Salamatu Isiyaku
  80. Hauwa Lawan
  81. Aisha B. Danjuma
  82. Aisha Moh’D Jakusko
  83. Hauwa Bulama
  84. Fatima Abubakar Jambo
  85. Walida Adamu
  86. Fanna Mohammed
  87. Aisha M. Bukar
  88. Maryam Usman
  89. Aisha Abba Aji
  90. Maryam Usman
  91. Maimuna A. Hassan
  92. Zara Musa
  93. Maryam Mohammed Kaku
  94. Khadija Suleiman
  95. Habiba Nuhu Dan Inu
  96. Fatima Isiyaku Aliyu
  97. Sahura Jibir Mohammed
  98. Khadija Grema Dabuwa
  99. Zara Grema Dabuwa
  100. Zara Mohammed Lawan
  101. Fatima Mohammed
  102. Fati Modu Aisami
  103. Fatsuma Alli.

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Kano LG Election: It was ‘mago mago’ election – Kwankwaso

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Senator  Rabiu Kwankwaso says the alleged underage voting in the state’s local government polls could only have happened because “only one party” contested the election.

Kwankwaso said it would be impossible to rig an election if several political parties are involved.

 

In an  interview with Osasu Igbinedion on The Osasu Show, Kwankwaso said it was the first time he would see a group of children queuing up to vote.

According to him, if such happens in the 2019 elections, other political parties would ask the underage voter to “get out of this place”.

“In all elections, there should be more than one party contesting. If you have more than one party, then party A will not Allow part B to do any form of mago mago, especially the issue of people who are below 18,” Kwankwaso said.

“In 2019, if you go there, no child will go close to any ballot box because if you are coming to vote for A, B will say get out of this place.

“But those ones, I think they were invited to go and thumbprint because the real people were not there, the Kwakwansiya and the PDP weren’t there.

“This is the first time I can see only children on the line or queue trying to vote I am seeing the type of thing that is happening.

Asked to score the performance of the APC-led federal government, the ex-Kano governor said: “So far so good, the administration is doing its best, so also the party.

“But I hope the government and our party should do much more than what we have seen in the last three years so that by 2019, the good people of this country can come out again and vote for our candidates from the councillorship up to the position of president under the party.

“This last one year is very crucial for the party, the government and the country.”

Kwankwaso says he has not decided if he will seek any political position in 2019, nor is he mulling any plan to decamp from the APC.

“The issue of decamping or leaving APC is not on the table now. We are looking at how the various stakeholders in our party will look at the situation, not only in Kano but there are many other places that something should be done,” he said.

“People who understand democracy go into politics first and foremost as politicians. From 1991 to date, I contested 16 elections and won 14 and lost two.

“Even the two are important to me because anybody who is in this age of politics who has never contested an election, or contested and only won or lost, to us is not yet complete. We can’t call him a complete politician.

“When the time comes, we look at ourselves, if we realise there is need to contest, we contest. Now I am a senator, I am a very happy and contented politician.”

Images of ineligible voters had surfaced on social media after the February 10 election which was overwhelmingly won by the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Reacting, Mohammed Garba, the state commissioner for information, had said the videos and pictures were captured during the 2015 polls.

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2019: Sanusi, Ooni, Dein, others for Southern, Northern Young Leaders’ Conference

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*Event to hold in Enugu, Kano

Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi Lamido, Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, and Dein of Agbor, Benjamin Ikechukwu would be among those attending the Southern and Northern Young Leaders Conference.

The conference is being convened by the Nigerian Young Professionals Forum (NYPF) to address the need for the inclusion of young people in Nigeria’s political process and to redefine the future of young people leading to the 2019 general election.

It would also serve as an avenue to reawaken the consciousness of young leaders on how best to make alignments and affiliations that would guarantee a better representation of young people in Nigeria’s political configuration.

Titled: Political and Economic Consciousness, it is believed that the timing of the gathering is very auspicious considering the growing calls from someone like former President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo for a movement that would bring about a paradigm shift in leadership.

It is scheduled to hold in Southern Nigeria on March 3, 2018, in Enugu and 10th of March in Northern Nigeria in Kano respectively and it would serve as an avenue to deliberate on the non-inclusion of young people in the political process with a view to finding a solution.

A statement by the organisers said the event which would be attended by over Ten Thousand notable young leaders from different professional backgrounds, would have the presence of student union leaders from all parts of the country.

The statement reads: “The serious need to galvanize the political and socio-economical consciousness of young leaders across the country is long overdue. More so, this has become more imperative given the unfortunate tide of political developments in our collective history as a people.

“One of the cardinal objectives of this both conferences is to primarily create a citadel where young Nigerian Political leaders will converge to intellectually brainstorm, evaluate and affirm their position on the current economic and political realities in Nigeria, with a view to fashioning out strategic plan and commitment.

”Amongst other things, the Southern/Northern Young Leaders Conference would serve as a conglomerate of collective reasoning on the need for every eligible young Nigerian to be registered as a member of a political party to be determined at the end of the conference.

”Furthermore, this conference would ensure that every young Nigerian duly acquires his or her Permanent Voters Card (PVC) as the only way to define a roadmap for the Nigerian state ahead of 2019.

On the agenda of the conference which will enhance the collective aspirations of the Nigerian People, with a deliberate intention to bring about political reform in an emerging democracy and how intellectual re-orientation would be explored as an alternative to creating the very much needed platform for good and inclusive governance.

“Participants in this conference would not be limited to young political leaders only. The composition would cut across all young political aspirants, student union leaders from tertiary institutions in Nigeria, young opinion leaders, leading young professionals of industry and other establishments known for youth advocacy.”

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