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Governorship/ State Assembly Elections -INEC deploys back-up Card Readers to LGAs in Gombe State




The Independent National Electoral Comission (INEC) has deployed 10 to 15 additional Smart card readers to each Local Government Area in Gombe State as a backup.

Alhaji Umar Ibrahim, Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, disclosed this in Gombe on Friday while briefing newsmen.

“We have made adequate arrangements to cater for eventualities of smart card readers.

“About 10 to 15 back-up card readers have been deployed to each local government, depending on their size.

Ibrahim said each Registration Area is being manned by one Registration Area Technical Support Personnel, to deal with any issue arising from the card reader.

He called on the electorate to ensure that the smart card reader is used for accreditation in all Polling Units, so as not to render their efforts futile,”he said.

He further said eligible voters must note that,non use of the Smart Card Reader for accreditation is zero score for the unit.

The REC also said that they had renewed their commitment with the NURTW and received from them assurance of early deployment of election materials and personnel to polling units.




Ondo 2020: Group endorses Kekemeke for APC governorship primaries



Liberal Movement, a political group within the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State, has endorsed Isaacs Kekemeke as its candidate in the July 20 governorship primaries of the party.

The Chairman of the Group, Mr Demola Ijabiyi, made this known on Tuesday at a news conference in Akure.

Ijabiyi said the group reached the unanimous agreement to adopt Kekemeke as its candidate for APC in the coming primary election after a critical assessment of all the aspirants.

“It took us sometime to zero in on Kekemeke; we carried out a painstaking assessment of each of them.

“At the end of it all, we have no difficulty at all in arriving at the conclusion that Kekemeke is the best,” the group said.

According to him, Liberal Movement comprises of highly placed and upwardly mobile personalities across political parties and the professions in and outside Ondo State.

The group said that “Ondo State needs a person who is experienced in governance and in party politics and Kekemeke is that person.

“Kekemeke was a member of the House óf Assembly, chairman of a major national parastatal, Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Commissioner for Works, Lands, Housing and Transport as well as Secretary to the State Government.

“At party level, he was pioneer State Secretary of the PDP, pioneer State Chairman of APC.

“Kekemeke is, therefore, an experienced government man and party chieftain. No other aspirant has this kind of intimidating pre-election credential,” the group said.

Ijabiyi described Kekemeke as “a man of great competence with ability to combine pragmatism with intellectualism to plan, execute and deliver.

“A man imbued with clear-headedness, deep thinking, creative mind, a moral and spiritual icon, a no-nonsence disciplinarian and dogged fighter, calculating and methodical. That man is Isaac Kekemeke.”

The group said that Ondo State has a long tradition and understanding of geopolitical rotation, adding that Kekemeke from Southern Senatorial District would win the October 10 governorship poll for APC.

“Our direct opponent is PDP. To defeat the party, we must field our best man, a man that carries no public liabilities or controversies, a man that can attract the votes of the people and that man is Kekemeke,” the group said.

Ijabiyi said that the group would agressively work for Kekemeke’s victory at the primary election and spare nothing to see him through at the October 10 governorship poll.

Edited By: Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Edo Governorship: ALGON kicks against direct primaries



The Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), Edo chapter on Sunday said that holding a direct primary election amid the COVID-19 pandemic would put the lives of Edo people in grave danger.

The Chairman of ALGON in Edo, Mr Jerkins Osunde, who was represented by Osi Akhigbe, Etsako central chairman in a news briefing said the process would undermine all efforts at containing the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Edo governorship election holds on Sep. 19.

NAN also reports that the National Working Committee of the ruling All Progressives Congress  (APC), had proposed direct primaries for the Edo governorship election.

Osunde, however, described indirect primaries as the safest option, the most humane and healthy alternative for the Edo APC governorship primaries.

“As local government Chairmen, we have been working very closely with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), and the state’s task force on the pandemic.

“We are aware of the health dangers the virus portends for the people in our communities if the measures put in place are not strictly adhered to.

“We are also aware of the corrosive blight that the virus can inflict on our people if we fail to follow the NCDC guidelines.

“We cannot in good conscience, support a political exercise that will put the health of our people in grave danger,” he said.

Osunde expressed shock that anyone with genuine concern for the lives of Edo people will at this point be proposing a massive gathering of people.

He said that negates the global best practices prescription of physical distancing as measure for containing the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC), timetable, the conduct of primary elections and resolution of disputes arising from primaries would be between June 2 to June 27.

INEC stated that the campaign proper could start on June 21.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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Ize-Iyamu submits nomination form ahead of Edo governorship primary



A leading governorship aspirant in Edo, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu has submitted his nomination form to the national secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja, ahead of the party’s governorship primary on June 22.

This is contained in a statement signed by Mr John Mayaki, Director of Communication and Media, Ize-Iyamu Campaign Organisation, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Benin.

Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu has submitted his form earlier today at the party headquarter in Abuja and was accompanied by the Secretary, Edo State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress, Engr. Lawrence Okah.

 “It is another attestation to the fact that Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu is ready for the party primary where members of the APC in Edo state will get to decide who will fly the party’s flag in the governorship election.”

NAN recalls that Ize-Iyamu, who was earlier endorsed by other aspirants, will face incumbent Gov. Godwin Obaseki for the party’s governorship ticket during the June 22 primaries.

Edited By: Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)

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Edo governorship election: Ize-Iyamu picks form under APC



Mr Osagie Ize-Iyamu, an All Progressives Congress (APC) aspirant for Edo governorship, has picked the expression of interest and nomination forms to enable him to contest in the primary scheduled for June 22.

Ize-Iyamu who bought the forms at the cost of N22.5 million at the party’s National Secretariat Abuja, on Wednesday, promised to address the insecurity and slow pace of development in Edo, if elected.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed Sept. 19, for the conduct of governorship election in the state.

The aspirant added that if elected governor, he would implement an articulated roadmap which he called “Simple Agenda.”

“I have sat down with experts and we have articulated the roadmap which I call the “Simple Agenda.”

“It is a realistic document and by the grace of God, the moment we enter office, we will begin to implement it,” he said.

Ize-Iyamu said that seven aspirants had resolved to choose and support him after the intervention of the party elders in the state.

“In this election that is coming up, many of them wanted to contest; many of them were prevailed upon to contest because of existing situations.

“But thank God for elders amongst us who also reasoned that it will not make sense for us all to collect the form,” he said.

According to him, that process of having a concensus aspirant among them has been on for quite a while.

The aspirant said that some people had even thought that agreement could not work, but added that because of the caliber of those involved, it had worked.

“Some days ago, we had our last meeting and the remaining seven of us resolved that before picking the form we should agree on one person to support.

“So, we decided to put money together to support whoever we chose. I am happy to announce that at the end of the day, I was chosen amongst this formidable group.

“Some of them are here but one or two had to leave because of other engagements,” he said.

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Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Ejike Obeta (NAN)

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Heed NCDC guidelines on Edo, Ondo governorship polls, Group urges INEC



An interest group, Governors Mandate Network (GMN), has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to closely monitor political parties, ahead of Edo and Ondo elections, to ensure compliance with the COVID-19 prevention protocols.
The Chairman of GMN, Mr Osaro Onaiwu, made the call in a statement issued on Tuesday in Abuja.
He stressed the need for political parties to ensure strict compliance with the protocols established by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to prevent further spread of coronavirus before and during the governorship elections in the two states.
According to him, the COVID-19 pandemic is still very active in the country, adding that political parties and politicians must not be careless in their activities so as not to endanger the lives of Nigerians under the guise of electioneering.
Onaiwu said that the world was watching INEC on the way and manner it wanted to go about the governorship elections scheduled for September and October in Edo and Ondo states respectively.
“Anything short of a modest election process that will ensure minimum mass gathering will not be acceptable to health-conscious people,” he said.

Edited By: Francis Onyeukwu and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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Okunomo, Ondo PDP governorship aspirant, felicitate Muslims on Eld-El Fitri



Mr Banji Okunomo, a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirant in Ondo State, has congratulated Muslim faithful on this year’s Eid-El-Fitri celebrations.
Okunomo, in his congratulatory message made available to newsmen on Sunday in Okitipupa, said that the Ramadan period as a difficult time, owing to the coronavirus pandemic.
While urging the Muslims to keep hope alive, he said that their prayers against the pandemic had been answered, assuring that the difficult time would soon be a thing of the past.
Okunomo, also a former Publicity Secretary of the party in the state, urged Muslims to give thanks to God for the grace of witnessing and celebrating the Eid-El Fitri amid the pandemic.
“I felicitate Muslims in our dear state, as they join the rest of the world in celebrating the Eld-El-Fitr amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is indeed a difficult time but your prayers have been answered. So keep hope alive, because the difficult time will soon be over,” the aspirant said.
Okunomo, who sought for the cooperation of Muslims in the state, promised that their marginalisation would be over, if given the mandate as the PDP flag bearer and he eventually became governor of the state.

Edited By: Chinyere Nwachukwu and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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Ondo 2020: Group endorses Oke for APC governorship primaries



The Akoko Renewal Group, on Friday, endorsed Olusola Oke as the consensus candidate of the Unity Forum faction of Ondo State APC in the forthcoming governorship primaries.
The group’s position was made known in a statement issued by its Secretary, Mr Olatunbosun Awe, in Akure.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Unity Forum, headed by a former Deputy Governor of the state, Ali Olanusi, is an umbrella body of aggrieved APC governorship aspirants and party stalwarts in the state.
The group commended leaders of the forum for putting the state above their personal interests.
It also acknowledged what it called the sterling qualities of the governorship aspirant.
The group called on other aspirants to join hands with Oke to ensure his eventual emergence as the candidate of APC in the forthcoming gubernatorial primaries.
NAN recalls that Oke emerged as the preferred candidate on May 12, after being voted for by four out of the seven members of the governorship candidate selection committee, constituted by the forum.
NAN also reports that Oke’s candidature was announced after the committee, headed by Sen. Yele Omogunwa, with Prof. Sola ehindero as Secretary, had submitted its report.

Edited By: Chidinma Agu and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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I’m gunning for governorship, not deputy – Ondo PDP aspirant



Mr Banji Okunomo, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirant in Ondo State, says his ultimate aim is to become governor of the state rather than deputy governor.
Okunomo, a former PDP Publicity Secretary in the state, stated this while speaking with journalists in Okitipupa on Friday.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the aspirant was reacting to insinuations that he would, at the end of the day, settle for the position of deputy governor.
Okunomo, also a former Chairman of Ilaje Local Government council, said that he had worked more than any other aspirant to guarantee his success at the party’s primaries and the governorship election scheduled for Oct. 10.
“Let no one, therefore, live under the illusion that I will trade my ambition for any other post, as I am in the race to become the governor of Ondo State, and not deputy governor,” he said.
He added that through his efforts, he had gained the support of delegates for the yet-to-be fixed primaries of the party.
”I have personally visited all the 18 local government areas in the state to meet with PDP stakeholders and seek their support ahead of the primaries.
”I have put in a lot of resources, time and energy to guarantee my success at the PDP primaries and the real governorship election.
“I am eminently qualified to become the governor of Ondo state by virtue of my academic qualifications, age, vibrancy and political experience.
“My acceptability and popularity transcend the PDP and my supporters are already banking on me to take the state to the next level,” he said.
NAN reports that the PDP in Ilaje council area had, in the one last week, embroiled in crisis over the adoption of Okunomo as the consensus aspirant by the council and ward executives in the area.
NAN also reports that other aspirants, such as Chief Olusola Ebiseni, Prince John Ola-Mafo and Chief Godday Erewa, had kicked against Okunomo’s endorsement, saying it was not in line with the party’s guidelines.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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Ondo, Edo governorship polls:  INEC to work out modalities for resumption of stakeholders engagement



The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), said it would work out  modalities for resuming engagements with political parties, civil society groups and other stakeholders in relation to the Edo and Ondo Governorship elections.


The commission disclosed this in a statement issued by Mr Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman,  Information and Voter Education Committee, in Abuja on Thursday.


Okoye said the commission met on Thursday and deliberated on the step-by-step protocol for its resumption of activities and operations.

He said that it deliberated on preparations for the conduct of the two states  governorship elections and other pending senatorial and state assembly bye elections.

“The commission will work out modalities for the ramping up of activities in two of the states where it has governorship elections (Edo and Ondo).”

INEC said it will liaise with security agencies and health authorities on resumption of work in the two states as soon as possible.

 “The commission will resume engagement with political parties, civil society groups and organisations, the media and other stakeholders in relation to the Edo and Ondo governorship elections.

“The modalities for these engagements will be worked out and considered at its next meeting on May 14, 2020.” he said.

The commission according to Okoye, however, directed  directors and other designated staff of the various departments to resume work at the INEC National Headquarters on Wednesday May 13.

He stated that guidelines would be issued for the phase of resumption for the staff members.

He noted that only staff below 58 years of age  with no serious underlying health issues would resume.

He said that pregnant women, nursing mothers and all other staff with underlying health conditions should remain at home for the time being.

He said  the commission resolved to carry out comprehensive decontamination of its national headquarters, annex at  Blantyre Street, the Electoral Institute and its Area 10 office housing its staff clinic.

Okoye said parts of the commission’s resolution at the meeting was “to follow the Federal Government Guidelines on resumption protocols and procedure”.

They include providing infrared thermometers, soap and water at entrances and installing hand sanitiser dispensers at strategic points in the commission.

Others are: “to train its staff, particularly the cleaners and office assistants on cleaning protocols and strict compliance with federal government guidelines as well as its own specific protocols for resumption.

“To issue comprehensive guidelines for the first phase of its resumption in compliance with the directives of the federal government and health authorities.

“These guidelines will be posted on its notice boards and uploaded on the website of the commission on Monday May 11.

“Directors and other designated Staff of the various departments will resume at the national headquarters on Wednesday May 13, after the decontamination of the premises and provision of necessary amenities.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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