Nigeria News

Jonathan: 2015 Elections Will be Free, Fair, Credible, Transparent

President Goodluck Jonathan has assured that 2015 elections would be free, fair, credible and transparent.

He equally noted the global community would marvel at its conduct.
Jonathan gave the assurance when he broke Ramadan fast with diplomatic corps and senators at the Presidential Villa.

The president said, "I know that one thing that is dear to your hearts is what the elections in this country will look like next year.

"But let me use this unique opportunity to reassure you and I'm conveying this to my brothers, your heads of government, that our elections next year will be free and fair.

"It will be very peaceful in nature that will even surprise the whole world."
He however called on Muslim faithful to pray for the country in the holy month of Ramadan.

"Let us take the opportunity of this season to ask Allah to forgive them and guide them back to the path of righteousness and holiness.

"I wish to call on Your Excellencies and all Muslims who are praying during this period, especially during the night of Majesty, to pray for peace and security to reign.
"Let us also pray for Allah to guide the leaders as well as the followers and give them wisdom, wisdom to work for the development of their respective countries.

"Our nations, especially nations facing civil strife, political instability, militancy, terrorism and financial crisis.

"As a nation with a large Muslim population, Nigeria joins the rest of the Muslim world to celebrate this season with fraternal solidarity and prayers for peace and security throughout the world.

"It is prayers that Allah will imbue the people of the world with compassion and forgiveness to enable them to surmount the challenges of conflicts and wars in order to achieve global peace and harmony" Jonathan added.

In his remark, Dean of Diplomatic Corps and High Commissioner of Cameroon to Nigeria, Mohammed Salladeen, gave kudos to Jonathan for joining Muslims in observing fast.

"May Allah grant you all the guidance necessary to do your job, to save Nigeria in order to save Africa and to save the world.

"We want to assure you that the international community will be with Nigeria, to bring our knowledge and all we can do to help your country get out of the challenges’’ Salladeen noted.

Caption: INEC logo
Ekiti : INEC Won't Sabotage Parties at Tribunal, Says REC
Toba Suleiman
The Independent   National Electoral Commission has assured that it won’t sabotage the efforts of any party in the prosecution at the ongoing Election Petition Tribunal in Ekiti State.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner of Ekiti State, Alhaji Halilu Pai, who spoke with journalists on Friday, assured that all the materials used for the conduct of the election would be safeguarded   for all parties to have access to them to advance their cases.

The All Progressives Congress is challenging the victory of the Governor-elect and Peoples Democratic Party Governorship candidate, Mr Ayodele Fayose  over the incumbent Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi in the June 21 poll.

Shortly after the commencement of the trial, the Justice Mohammed Sirajo-chaired Tribunal gave an order empowering the APC to inspect all materials used for the election, following which the PDP had kicked, urging the commission to protect the materials from being tinkered with.

But INEC boss in Ekiti, who foreclosed the possibility of those materials being tampered with by the Petitioner, said he had contacted the security agencies and that the INEC ware house was now under police surveillance.

Pai said, “There is no cause for alarm. Immediately we got wind of the petition filed by APC, we contacted the Police and the State Security Service to beef up security around our warehouse.

“And I want to tell you now that the place is under serious security watch. There is no reason to fear whether those materials will be tampered with.

“We are going to protect them and ensure that we make them  available to all parties as directed by the Tribunal  as the trial progresses .We have demonstrated non-partisanship in our dealings with all political parties and we will continue to maintain this”.

INEC, however, affirmed that the results that were declared across the 177 wards by the staff of the commission on the day of the election were true representations of the wishes of Ekiti electorate.

Pai added that the Commission had no reason to take sides in the conduct of any election, since it was not an annexure of any political party, but a statutory   body primarily established to be an unbiased umpire in the conduct of election.

He, however, told Nigerians, particularly politicians  to continue to have implicit confidence in INEC as truly unbiased umpire and desist from making comments that could denigrate the Commission.

Caption: PDP logo
Adamawa Council Chairmen, Area Administrators Return to PDP
Daji Sani
All the 21 Local Government Chairmen and 36 Areas Administrators across Adamawa State, on Friday, returned to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) .

The Council Chairmen and Area Administrators had defected from the PDP with former Governor Murtala Nyako, to join the All Progressives Congress last year, due to the lingering crisis in the PDP involving Nyako and the former PDP chairman Alhaji Bamanga Tukur.

The Chairmen and Administrators publicly renounced their APC membership at the PDP secretariat in Yola, promising to support the PDP as they believe that the party was the winning party in the state.
Speaking at the PDP secretariat, the chairman of Michika Local Government Area, Hon Vandi Favanza who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, pledged to support the party and were willing to meet every condition given to them.

“We are not strangers in the PDP because we came into power on the platform of the party but we left the party with former governor Nyako to the APC to secure our positions, if not the powers that be would have booted some of out of our seats, therefore we promise to work for the interest of the party in the forth coming election” he said.

In the same vein the Gombi local government chairman Hon Rufai Umar expressed fear  that the PDP executives at their local government level may not accept them due to sentimental reasons that may have been existing between them.

He however pleaded with the state exco to set up a reconciliation committee that will harmonise them at the local level so as have good working relationship with the local government.

While receiving  the council Chairmen and Administrators, the state chairman of the PDP, Chief Joel Madaki said that PDP was willing to accept them if they could follow due process and appreciate the tenets of party .

Madaki advised the local government chairmen and the area administrators to go back to their individual wards and re-validate their PDP membership card so as to avoid future crisis in their wards.

He further reiterated that they should publicly renounce their APC membership on the media so that constitutional lapses would be averted in case of any eventuality.

Madaki rejected the plea saying that there was no need to form any committee but they would intervene when the need arose.

In another development All Progressives Congress (APC) in Adamawa has berated the state House of Assembly for continued delay in communicating to Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) the house resolution that removed Murtala Nyako as Governor.

The party Publicity Secretary, Rev Phineas Padio, who spoke to Journalists in Yola, said that the assembly’s action was a deliberate act and it pointed out clearly, the house selfish agenda to simply remove Nyako and his deputy so as siphoned the state funds.

"The lawmakers who are now major beneficiaries of removal of the governor and his deputy are very busy maximising the opportunity they have to loot the treasury the way they want.

"You can see how immediately after taking power they scrapped the state human development programmes put in place by Nyako so as to divert all the money budgeted for the programmes", Padio said.

Also speaking on the delay in communicating to INEC, a lawyer, Sunday Wugira, who threatened to drag the assembly to court if it failed to notify INEC by Monday said the delay by the assembly was unfortunate.

"It is serious dereliction of duty on the side of the assembly" Wugira said

Wugira said he had just submitted  letter to the assembly asking for the certified true copy of the proceedings of that day so that in the event the state assembly failed to perform its function to communicate to INEC he would do it as a concerned citizen.

"As a responsible citizen, it is our duty to do that. By the time we fold our arms and allow irresponsibility to continue, we will be the greatest casualty of the irresponsibility", Wugira said.

Responding on the allegation, the Chairman Adamawa assembly house committee on information, Mr Adamu Kamale, said the house would soon communicate to INEC.

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