The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)has planned to publish the final list of candidates for Presidential, Senate and House of Representatives seats on 20 September ahead of the 2023 poll.
INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, said this on Thursday in Abuja at the ”Expert Meeting on Conducting Nigeria’s 2023 General Elections in Volatile Security Environment”.
The event was organised by the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) in conjunction with INEC.
Mr Yakubu said the publication of the final list was in line with Section 32(1) of the Electoral Act, 2022 and the Timetable and Schedule of Activities released by the commission.
“This will be followed on October 4 by the publication of the final list of candidates for state elections (Governorship and State Houses of Assembly).
”Campaign in public by political parties will officially commence on September 28 as provided for by Section 94(1) of the Electoral Act, 2022.
”As campaigns commence, we appeal to all political parties and candidates to focus on issue-based campaigns.
“This is the best way to complement our efforts to ensure transparent elections in which only the votes cast by citizens determine the winner,” he said.
Mr Yakubu said activities for the 2023 General Elections would enter critical stages this month from the next 19 days onward.
“The commission welcomes this initiative and as Co-Chairman of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES), there is no doubt that the security agencies also welcome ideas and citizens’ support towards peaceful elections,” he said.
The Director, CDD, Idayat Hassan, said the meeting was being held against the background of security challenges plaguing the country.
Ms Hassan said the idea was to start talking about how to de-escalate the tension and how to secure the environment, such that INEC would be able to assess all parts of the country to conduct a peaceful and legitimate election come 2023.
” I think one for this election, the security of election materials, the security of personnel, the security of voters are in context and there is actually a problem in INEC assessing all areas.
“We should note that this is not just an INEC problem, this is a stakeholder’s problem, and insecurity is already prevailing.
“The challenge we are having is how do we conduct election against the background of this prevailing insecurity? It will behold on the federal government and other stakeholders to come in.”
Mr Chris Pycroft, the Development Director, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), said the office was delighted to be partnering with CDD and providing funding for the event and related activity to promote peaceful and secure elections in 2023.
According to Mr Pycroft, this is a top priority for the UK in Nigeria over the coming six months, and one of the multiple initiatives in partnership with Nigerian and international stakeholders.
”The stakes have never felt higher. Nigeria is facing more challenges than ever before in its democratic history in running a peaceful and secure election.
“These elections are profoundly important not only for Nigeria but also for the African continent and democracy across the world, “he said.
Mr Pycroft said there was more at stake in terms of the unity and peaceful co-existence of Nigeria’s diverse religious, ethnic and cultural communities.
Adebayo Olukoshi, a professor and election expert at CDD, said Nigeria was challenged with several security challenges and there was a need to seek ways to curb them before the election.
Mr Olukoshi said there was also the need to understand the various conflicts being faced with a view to developing a topology that would best address them.
Don’t Get Carried Away By Opposition’s Rhetorics-Gov AbdulRazaq
Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq at the weekend urged the people of the State not to be deceived by the antics of the opposition parties to take over power from his progressive administration at all cost.
Fidel Info reports that He said the achievements recorded by the APC-led government in the state are visible and verifiable, dismissing the PDP and other opposition parties for deploying falsehoods to achieve their mission.
The Governor was speaking in Babanloma (Ifelodun LG) on Sunday at the inauguration of Campaign Council and 5th Constituency Empowerment of APC House of Assembly Member and candidate for Share/Oke-Ode Constituency, Hon. Owolabi Olatunde Razaq.
“This is about evidence of good governance and physical projects that have direct bearing on the lives of the people. It is not about lies and propaganda which the oppositions are known for. Don’t let them deceive you,” the Governor said.
“The PDP government that could not pay salaries, I wonder what they are coming back to do. For instance, when talking about the track records of the performance of Hon Owolabi they are visible to all. There is impact. That is what the APC party stands for.”
AbdulRazaq commended Hon. Owolabi for evenly distributing dividends of democracy to his constituents through various empowerment programmes, adding that the lawmaker is one of the best lawmakers who prioritise the welfare of the people of his constituency.
“What Hon. Owolabi has achieved in the last three and a half years is so unique that we regard him as Mr. Empowerment. It is so far, so good. I urge you all to support him and other APC candidates, including our Presidential candidate Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the polls,” he added.
He described Hon. Owolabi as an achiever, given his impactful projects and programmes that cut across the Share/Oke Ode constituency which the lawmaker represents, and vowed to work for the success of his political ambition.
He urged the newly inaugurated Campaign Council to move from door to door to canvass for votes for Hon. Owolabi to enable him complete his good works.
The ceremony was attended by some cabinet members and other government officials; House of Assembly Service Commission Chairman Hon. Femi Yusuf; APC leaders and stalwarts; House of Assembly candidates for Ilorin East and South Constituencies under APC, Hon. Fatima Arinola Lawal and Hon. Mariam Yusuf Aladi; Prince Adeniran Johnson; women groups led by Hon. Nike Jibola; youths and beneficiaries of the empowerment programme, among others.
Hon Owolabi, for his part, said his empowerment programmes were in fulfillment of his campaign promises to the people of the constituency.
He urged the people of the constituency to vote en masse for all the candidates of APC, adding that APC remains the party to beat.
He said he was able to record great success in his legislative responsibility because of the existing good working relationship between the Executive and Legislative Arms of government in the State.
He commended the leadership qualities of Governor AbdulRazaq and Speaker of the House, Engr Yakubu Salihu Danladi.
Ba’asofin of Babanloma, Chief Olarewaju Falola, thanked AbdulRazaq for the construction of a 7km road project within the town, and for appointing Deborah Lawal, one of their daughters, as Special Assistant on SDGs for Ifelodun LGA.
Chief Falola said Babanloma community is one of the communities that benefited from this administration in many ways and will actively partake in the electoral process to give AbdulRazaq another mandate.
APC elders such as Elder Nicholar Agboola, Engr Buraimoh Job, and Mr Benjamin Ayansola, in their separate remarks, said the critics of the AbdulRazaq administration are those who believe in the sharing of Kwarans’ common patrimony at the expense of the masses.
They appreciated the excellent performance of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq through his people-oriented policies and programmes, saying that gave birth to developmental projects across the nooks and crannies of the state.
Highlight of the occasion was the inauguration of a 67-member Campaign and Mobilisation Council for the re-election of Hon. Owolabi Olatunde Razaaq, as performed by Lawyer Danmegoro Ismail Ibrahim.
Again, Saraki Thugs Vandalise Campaign Posters In Kwara
Thugs loyal to the Kwara State People’s Democratic Party (PDP) have vandalised campaign posters belonging to candidates of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ode Alausa, Ilorin, the state capital.
Fidel Info reports that the thugs who went on rampage were said to be sponsored by two PDP chieftains Dr Giwa Lukman and one other simply identified as Alhaji Uthman.
Both of them are loyalists of former Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki who is the leader of the party in Kwara.
The thugs razed down all the APC billboards and pounced on passersby and innocent residents, leaving many people with varying degrees of injuries.
Our sources told us that many of the victims are hospitalised after suffering damages to their bodies.
Meanwhile, this is not the first time hooligans loyal to the opposition PDP in the state would be destroying billboards belonging to the APC.
They also orchestrated the destruction of APC billboards in Ubandawaki in Ilorin few months ago.
People have attributed these developments to acceptance of defeat by the opposition who are overwhelmed by the popularity of APC in the state.
They condemned PDP for resorting to violence which they said is a characteristic of their era, urging security agencies to step up their game in containing these notorious elements that want to destabilise the peace and harmony of the state.
Kwara 2023:Scores Join APC In Oke-Ero LG
Hundreds of defectors across opposition parties in Kwara State have joined the ruling All Progressives Congress in Oke-Ero Local Government Area of the state.
Fidel Info Reports That The massive defections happened today on an open field during the local government APC General Ward Meeting in Idofin Igbana community.
The decampees claimed that, what is happening in other political parties are nothing to hold by but Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq’s APC has done so much for them in the local government and in the state at large.
Speaking for the Hausa Community, Mallam Abila Danlami said himself and his people residing in Oke-Ero has never had it so good and has no choice than to join APC and support Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq’s reelection for their personal and general benefits.
Welcoming the decampees into the APC fold, the Commissioner for Finance, Hon. Oyeyemi Olasunbo Florence, said the defectors are from all the 10 wards of the local government having witnessed different developmental projects in their various localities.
The Commissioner who is a daughter of the soil also said several groups were represented such as, Fulani Community, Hausa Community including the plantation farmers from Ado-Ashe, all from Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Social Democratic Party (SDP) and other opposition parties in the state.
According to the Commissioner, the defectors realized, Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has the excellence and has proven the worth, so the people see it as a must to join hands with him and ensure victory of the party from the Presidency down to the House of Assembly levels.
She said all wards in the local government are fully represented to throw weight behind the governor’s reelection bid and charge the environment while showing strong support.
She however thanked the governor for counting the local government worthy of the massive development it has experienced since the beginning of his administration.
Also, the Commissioner for Youth Development, Hon. George Olabode Towoju hailed the governor for the recognition and support he is giving the indigenes and residents of the local government.
Hon. Towoju said there is hardly any ward in the local government that you won’t see at least one political office holder or the other. He revealed that, Oke-Ero is one of the few local governments in the state that produce two commissioners.
He said with the feat, “our people are totally committed to Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq’s project for him to win his reelection come 2023 for the continuity of the good governance Kwarans have always been yearning for.
Some of the achievements of the governor in the local government are as follows;
*Construction of four class rooms at Iloffa Grammar School with three offices.
*Construction of 3 blocks of classroom with two offices at St Pete Primary School, Iloffa.
*ICT Centre at St. John Primary School Iloffa.
*Construction of 3 classrooms at Jamat Primary School Iloffa.
*Reconstruction and rehabilitation of Oko – Idofin Igbana Road to Odo-Ashe ongoing
*Reconstruction and rehabilitation of blocks 10 classroom at St. Paul Primary School, Idofin-Igbana Ward l
*Reconstruction and rehabilitation of blocks of 4 classrooms at Idofin High School, Idofin Ward II
*Rehabilitation and refurbishment of Model Health Centres at Omi-Egun Road, Idofin Ward II.
*Construction of Oko – Idofin Igbana – Odo Ashe Road.
*Construction of Omi Ayin Bridge along Idofin Ayekale Road.
Building of two blocks of classroom at United Primary School, Ekan and rehabilitation of Obaji Comprehensive Secondary School, Ekan.
Building of six blocks of class room in Odo Ashe.
Construction of two new classrooms and renovation of another 4 classrooms with furniture at Muslim Primary School, Ayedun.
Construction of two blocks of classroom at Imode/Egosi Ward and many more projects yet to be captured.
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