Road Accident Claims Four Persons in Ogun
Let’s Work Together to Make Oyo Better, Makinde Tells Folarin, Adelabu
Boris Johnson, Sanwo-Olu to Address 16th Anyiam-Osigwe Lecture in Lagos
Pro-Atiku, Tinubu Groups Clash over Poll Results at INEC’s Office
•18 CSOs, SaMBA demand Yakubu’s resignation
•NOA urges parties to rein-in supporters to avert post-election crisis
•Use of dogs at polling units violates Electoral Act, police warn
•NNPP denies Kwankwaso congratulated Tinubu, says poll flawed
Kingsley Nwezeh, Adedayo Akinwale, Sunday Aborisade and Juliet Akoje in Abuja
As the dust generated by the outcome of the presidential election of February 25, won by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, was yet to settle, some pro-Atiku Abubakar and Tinubu groups, yesterday, clashed at the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Abuja.
While the pro Atiku group under the umbrella of coalition of Civil Society Organisations demanded the resignation of INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the pro Tinubu protesters under the umbrella of Tinubu Support Groups (TSG) told the commission not to be intimidated by rag-tag Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party (LP).
Relatedly, a coalition of 18 CSOs organisations, has insisted that Nigerians would not accept the foisting of a compromised election result on the nation.
This is as the Southern and Middle Belt Alliance (SaMBA), has asked Yakubu, to resign if he could not guarantee a free, fair and credible elections this Saturday, when the governorship and house of assembly polls would hold.
But the National Orientation Agency (NOA), has called on political parties and major political stakeholders to rein-in their supporters in order to avert post-election violence.
This, nonetheless, the police, yesterday, said the use of dogs at the polling unit was prohibited, warning that those planning to use dogs to prevent ballot box snatching would be considered as having violated the electoral law.
However, while the pro-Atiku group under the umbrella of coalition of Civil Society Organisations, demanded the resignation of the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the pro-Tinubu protesters under the umbrella of Tinubu Support Groups (TSG), told the commission not to be intimidated by rag-tag Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party (LP).
Addressing journalists, the Secretary, Support Group Coordination, Tinubu-Shettima Presidential Campaign Council, Tosin Adeyanju, said they staged a solidarity walk in defence of democracy and the mandate given to the president-elect by Nigerians.
He said: “We came to commend you for the good job you did in the last presidential election. You have done a good job. Nigerian youths are with you, Nigerian women are with you. Do not be intimidated by the rag-tag PDP and Labour Party.
“We are here to protect the mandate freely given by Nigerians to Asiwaju. He won overwhelmingly across the country. He will be president for all.”
18 CSOs, SaMBA Demand Yakubu’s Resignation
A coalition comprising 18 CSOs organisations, yesterday, insisted that Nigerians would not accept the foisting of a compromised election result on the nation.
The protesters were armed with placards with various inscriptions like: “INEC is a wing of APC”; “Yakubu must go”; “2023 elections is a fraud”; “Nigerians demand cancellation of INEC results now”; “We reject INEC’s appropriation of results to APC”; and “Yakubu is bias”, among others.
Addressing journalists during the protest, convener of the coalition, Dada Olayinka, said prior to the election, INEC promised that their staff were well-trained, motivated and psychologically prepared for the task.
He stressed that commission also assured Nigerians that election results would be transmitted electronically to their server from the polling units across the 176, 846.
The coalition, however, said events during and after the elections would later prove that INEC performed below expectations and pulled the wool over the eyes of Nigerians.
SaMBA to Yakubu: Resign If You Won’t Conduct Credible Poll on Saturday
The Southern and Middle Belt Alliance (SaMBA) has asked the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Mahmoud Yakubu, to resign if he could not guarantee a free, fair and credible election on Saturday
SaMBA, which handed down the threat in a statement by its spokesperson, Rwang Pam Jnr, also asked the Inspector General of Police, Director of the Department of State Service (DSS) and members of the various Election Tribunals, to reassure Nigerians that they would ensure transparent polls or quit their jobs honourably.
The group lamented that the failure of INEC, Police and DSS to competently perform their constitutional duties during the presidential and national assembly elections “has not only brought international disgrace to Nigeria but equally failed to protect the mandate of millions of Nigerians.”
He said, “Nigerians need commitment that transcends verbal promises. The countless instances of bullying, intimidation of voters and snatching and destruction electoral materials in various polling units across the country in the presence of security agencies indicates gross incompetence on the part of the Nigeria Police, whose primary responsibility is to protect lives and property.
“After a week of such daylight destruction and intimidation, neither the NPF nor the DSS has paraded any of the political thugs or their sponsors as a demonstration of their commitment towards defending the integrity of the electoral process. Consequently, millions of Nigerian taxpayers and the international community are fast losing confidence in the sincerity of these security agencies,” SaMBA said.
It berated INEC Chairman and his commissioners “who either by omission or commission or both have conducted an election that has been unanimously rejected as not being free, fair or credible by international observers and local observers as well as majority of Nigerians.”
NOA Urges Parties to Rein-in Supporters to Avert Post-Poll Crisis
The National Orientation Agency (NOA), has called on political parties and major political stakeholders to rein-in their supporters to avert post-election violence.
The Director General of NOA, Garba Abari, made the call yesterday in Abuja, during a media interaction with journalists, saying caustic and insulting narratives that characterised the campaigns must cease on all sides
He said the interaction became imperative as the country tried to manage the post-election situation that has a lot of implication for the stability and peace of the country.
Giving summary of the agency’s observation during the elections, Abari said cases of violence as feared before the election were not wide spread, but that such was not to say that there were no cases of violence across country, citing states like Lagos, Rivers, Imo and Borno that witnessed flashes of violence.
According to him, “The point here is that unlike previous elections, incidents of violence were not wide spread across states. The few cases of violence did not significantly affect the outcome of the election and indeed, where violent disruption were recorded, INEC promptly cancelled the election.
Abari noted that aftermath of the declaration of results, the agency has noticed measures of disagreement with the outcome of the elections, stressing that some of the political parties that felt that they, rather than the declared candidate, won the presidential elections, have headed to court, and that their decision to vent their disagreement through legal laid down channels was commendable.
Use of Dogs at Polling Units Violates Electoral Act, Police Warn
The Police, yesterday, said the use of dogs at the polling unit was prohibited, and that, those planning to use dogs to prevent ballot box snatching would be considered as having violated the electoral law.
There has been a groundswell of opinion amongst the young electorate that the best way to prevent thugs from snatching the ballot box on election day was to unleash dogs on them.
Pictures of supposed voters monitoring election with dogs had trended on social media.
But the police high command warned against use of dogs at the polling units, saying it violated the electoral act.
A statement issued by the Force Public Relations Officer and Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), Olumuyiwa Adejobi, said use of dogs around voting centers would be viewed by police as an offensive weapon and intimidation of voters.
“The Nigeria Police Force has deemed it necessary to educate and caution Nigerians on the use of pets, especially, dogs, at the polling units on election day, as such act runs contrary to the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022, as amended.
“The provision of Section 126 (1) of the Electoral Act. 2022, explains clearly those actions exhibited by electorate that constitute electoral breaches and are punishable under the law, and paragraph (f) mentions possession of weapons calculated to intimidate voters and electoral officers. Dogs could be classed as offensive weapons as their owners/handlers can use them to intimidate, harass and cause assault and bodily harm to others.
“The Dogs Act, CAP 55 Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1958 as domesticated in various states, and other Criminal Laws in Nigeria are trite. The conceived ideas and plans by certain individuals, electorate, and groups of people to go to the polls accompanied by pets are unacceptable, stand discouraged, and remain an act of electoral infraction as it will cause harassment and intimidation,” it said.
The force Headquarters, therefore, warned “those who intend to display their pets, dogs specifically, for whatever purpose, at the polling units, to desist as such constitutes a violation of the Electoral Act, 2022, as amended, and other extant laws.”
NNPP: Kwankwaso Didn’t Congratulate Tinubu, Poll Flawed
The leadership of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), has said denied reports that its Presidential candidate, Rabiu Kwankwaso, congratulated the President-elect Bola Tinubu, saying the election that produced the winner was grossly flawed, contentious and disputed.
In a statement by NNPP’s National Publicity Secretary, Dr Agbo Major, the party said, “The report that Engr. Kwankwaso congratulated Tinubu was a figment of the fertile imagination of anti-democrats, political hirelings and fifth columnists, leveraging on the popularity of the party’s presidential flag bearer.
“NNPP rejects the outcome of the February 25, 2023 presidential election as it did not reflect the will, wish and mandate of the Nigerians, who trooped out to vote but were disappointed by the failure of INEC to conduct credible and transparent election and fulfill its promise to upload the Polling Units results to its portals, which would have guaranteed the authenticity of the results and declaration of the winner of the presidential election.
“Sadly, the presidential poll turned out to be a charade as it failed to meet the expectation of Nigerians and the international community. NNPP was a target of these electoral robbers, who want the status quo to remain, in place of the new and better Nigeria the party promised if voted into office.
“It is unthinkable that Engr. Kwankwaso would hastily congratulate Asiwaju Tinubu on his questionable mandate, which other candidates also claimed they won and had approached the court to seek redress.”
Furthermore, NNPP added that, “All lovers of democracy, due process and rule of law will wait for the determination of the election petitions in court. Until the court decides them one way or the other, it will be preposterous for NNPP that was rigged out in most of its strongholds across the country to concede defeat and congratulate INEC’s imposed “winner”
“The mood of the nation since the electoral body mischievously declared Tinubu the ‘winner’ of the election clearly showed that it was justice juxtaposed, absolutely unacceptable to majority of Nigerians, who desire and deserve a new Nigeria, which only the NNPP can usher in,” the party said.