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INEC Shifts Bayelsa, Kogi Gov Polls by Two Weeks

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The Independent National Electoral Commission has postponed the governorship elections in Bayelsa and Kogi states, earlier fixed for November  2 by two weeks.

While announcing November 16 as the new date for the elections, the commission said the timelines for all other activities leading to the elections had also been adjusted to align with the new date.

“The run-off election to the office of governor of a state (if any)will be held within 21 days after the announcement of result of the election in accordance with Section 179 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended – 4th Alteration).

“This timetable and schedule of activities supersede the one issued on April 9 2019,” the electoral body said in a notice signed by its Secretary, Rose Oriaran-Anthony, and made available to journalists on Thursday.

The decision to change the date of the elections came barely 48 hours after the Bayelsa State Deputy Governor, John Jonah, led stakeholders from the state on a courtesy visit to the Chairman of INEC, Prof Mahmoud Yakubu, demanding an adjustment in date of the election.

Jonah had hinged the demand for adjustment in the date on the fact that the date early fixed for the election clashed with the state annual thanksgiving day.

A statement by INEC National Commissioner and chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, said the decision was taken “after a careful consideration of the appeals” during the commission’s regular weekly meeting held on Thursday.

He said, “It will be recalled that on April 9, 2019, the Independent National Electoral Commission released the timetable and schedule of activities for the Kogi and Bayelsa governorship elections. The commission fixed November 2 for the elections to hold in both states.

“However, the commission has received several appeals from the government, state Assembly, elders, religious leaders, traditional rulers and other critical stakeholders in Bayelsa State that the election date coincides with the state’s annual thanksgiving day which is backed by the Bayelsa State Thanksgiving Day Law 2012.

“After careful consideration of the appeals. the commission at its regular weekly meeting held on Thursday, May 16 decided to shift the governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states to Saturday, November 16, 2017.

“The timelines for all other activities leading to the elections have also been adjusted to align with the new date.”

The PUNCH reported that the tenure of the governor of Kogi State would elapse on January 26, 2020 , while the tenure of the governor of Bayelsa State would expire on February 13, 2020.

INEC said, “Pursuant to the provision of Section 178(1) and (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and Section 25 (7) and (8) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended), the earliest date for the election into the office of governor, Kogi State shall be August 31, 2019, and the latest date for election shall be December 28 2019.

“For Bayelsa State, the earliest date for election to the office of governor shall be September 17 2019, while the latest date shall be January 15 2020. By virtue of Section 178(2) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and Section 25 (8) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended), election into the office of a state governor shall hold not later than 150 days and not later than 30 days before the expiration of the term of office of the last holder.

“The commission is, by virtue of Section 30(1) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended), expected to issue notice for the election not later than 90 days before the date of the election.”

According to Oriaran-Anthony, the notice of election and collection of Forms CF001, CF002 by political parties has been fixed for August 17 and 18, 2019, at INEC headquarters.

Similarly, the conduct of party primaries, including resolution of disputes arising from the primaries would take place between August 18 and September 5, 2019, to enable political parties to nominate their candidates for the election.

The campaigns by political parties would commence on August 18 in line with Section 99(1)of the Electoral Act, 2010, which provides 90 days before Election Day.

While September 9 is the last day for the submission of Forms CF001 and CF002, the publication of particulars of candidates (CF001) and the list of candidates has been fixed for September 16.

The last day of withdrawal by candidate(s)/replacement of withdrawn candidate(s) by political parties will be September 23, while October 2 is the last day for the submission of nomination forms by political parties.

Also, the publication of official register of voters will be on October 3, while the final list of nominated candidates would be published on October 17.

Also, on November 2, INEC will publish the notice of election while same day will be last day for the submission of names of polling agents for the election to the electoral officer.

The commission also fixed November 14 as the last day for campaigns by political parties.

The Punch

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Nnamdi Kanu Still Our Leader, Not Replaced – IPOB

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The Indigenous People of Biafra has said that it has not replaced the currently detained Nnamdi Kanu as its leader.

The Biafra group asked its followers to ignore the reports making the rounds that IPOB has replaced Kanu, describing it as “fabricated media propaganda”.

These were made known in a statement by the group’s Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, on Tuesday.

According to Powerful, Mazi Chika Edoziem is the head of the IPOB Directorate of State and not IPOB Acting Leader.

The statement read in part, “We, the global movement and family of IPOB under the command and leadership of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, condemn the useless and fabricated media propaganda and blackmail from some media houses that IPOB has another or acting leader replacing our indefatigable liberator and prophet Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.

“Those peddling this kind of lies are those criminals who zoo gutter media are publishing this to confuse the weak-minded people.

“We want everybody to bear in mind that Mazi Chika Edoziem is the head of IPOB Directorate of State and not IPOB Acting Leader.

“The said statement was the handiwork of mischievous elements bent on causing confusion in IPOB.

“It is unfortunate that some mischievous elements twisted an unambiguous statement by IPOB where we clarified that in the meantime that our Leader is in detention, the Head of DOS, Mazi Edoziem, will be providing direction on the day-to-day activities of IPOB. We never said that Edoziem had become the Acting Leader of IPOB.

“For the avoidance of doubts, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu remains the leader of IPOB. The entire IPOB family all over the world is loyal to him. IPOB has no Acting Leader. Chika Edoziem is only the Head of DOS of IPOB not the Leader.

“We, therefore, urge our family members, supporters, friends, and members of the public to ignore the misleading and mischievous media report.”

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Terrorists Responsible for Owo Church Massacre in Our Custody – General Irabor

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Eric Elezuo

The Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, has said that the military has arrested the terrorists behind the attack on St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State.

General Lucky Irabor according to news monitored on SolaceBase, made the revelation on Tuesday, during a parley with media executives at the Defence Headquarters, Abuja.

Appreciating the collaboration with sister security agencies, which helped in the arrests of the criminals, Irabor recalled that about 40 person’s were brutally murdered when heavily armed men invaded their worship centre on June 5, 2022.

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My Invitation to Rivers to Commission Projects Demonstration of Politics Without Bitterness – Sanwo-Olu

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By Eric Elezuo

The Lagos State governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said that his invitation by the Rivers State governor, Mr Nyesom Wike, to commission a project in Rivers State, is a clear demonstration of politics without bitterness. This is noting that the Lagos State governor is a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) while Wike is a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (APC).

On Monday, Sanwo-Olu was a guest of the Rives governor to commission the Orochiri-Worokwu (Waterlines) Flyover delivered by the state government.

In his remarks, Sanwo-Olu commended Governor Wike for his strong commitment to the delivery of physical infrastructure in Rivers State.

“I would like to specially commend my brother, Governor Wike, for his strong commitment to the delivery of physical infrastructure in Rivers State.

“A commitment that has been recognized by all and sundry, and which has earned him the appellation of “Mr. Projects” within and outside Rivers State,” he said.

Sanwo-Olu said though himself and governor Wike belong to different political persuasions, the invitation extended to him sends a very strong message that politicians and political leaders, can come together across political and ideological divides, for the good of the people.

“There is also a strong message being made today about expanding our capacity to play politics without bitterness. This symbolic gesture by my friend and brother is one that should become standard practice across Nigeria.

“There is also a lot that we can learn from one another, and experience that we can translate from one part of the country to the other,” Sanwo-Olu stated.

It will recalled that Wike is in the habit of inviting notable politicians across parties as guests of honour during the unveiling of any of his projects. The likes of governor of Ekiti State, who is also an APC member and Sports Minister, Mr. Sunday Dare were once invited to commission projects in the state.

Governor Wike had explained that the invitation of the Lagos State governor was not the first time persons of other political parties were invited to inaugurate projects in Rivers State, pointing to the overall benefits such invitations have on governance because it served as peer review for them.

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