Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, on Thursday, assured the Nigeria Institution of Surveyors (NIS) that his administration would continue to patronise its members in the state.
He gave the assurance in Akure at the opening of the maiden edition of Surveyor’s Week, with the theme, “Geospatial Technologies for National Security”.
Akeredolu, represented by his Deputy, Mr Agboola Ajayi, noted that since the inception of his administration, concerted and deliberate efforts had been made to engender robust relationship and collaboration between the government and NIS.
“Our administration has, since inception, put necessary machinery in place to ensure speedy approval of survey plan produced by private surveyors for processing of Certificates of Occupancy (C of O) and building drawings.
“I want to assure you that our government will not rest on its oars in ensuring the sustenance of this development.
“Our administration will continue to do its best in creating conducive environment for the profession to thrive in the state, while surveyors are also expected to play their roles effectively.
“Let me use this medium to implore our people to pay their taxes as and when due. They should also effect correct payments of their beacons fees into government coffers and ensure that all levies due to government are promptly paid.
“When these are accomplished, government will be buoyant enough to execute more development projects for the well-being of all.
“Government will equally be better placed to upgrade the Department of Survey and Mapping in the Ministry of Lands and Housing, in accordance with the yearnings of some stakeholders in the state,” he said.
In his address, the state NIS Chairman, Mr Johnson Olofinte, appreciated the government for partnering with its members on various projects.
“We appreciate the government for allowing us to partner with it in the Irese road land regularisation. We appeal to the government to assist in the areas of publicity, sensitisation and mobilisation.
“We also want to appeal to the state government to upgrade the Survey and Mapping Department in the Ministry of Land and Housing into extra- ministerial status, as obtained in Ekiti, Lagos, Oyo, Osun and several other states in the country.
“The benefits accruable from this are numerous,” Olofinte said.
Edited by ‘Wale Sadeeq
Vote Buying: CSOS urge NASS to expedite passage of Electoral Offences Commission Bill
Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room on Monday called on the National Assembly to expedite the passage of the Electoral Offences Commission bill to curb vote buying in elections.
Mr Clement Nwankwo, Convener of the coalition of civil society organisations, made the call at a news conference on the just-concluded Edo governorship election.
Nwankwo said that the call became imperative to check the menace of vote trading, which include buying and selling, in Nigeria’s elections.
“Politicians are increasingly investing monies to buy votes, with voters appearing to be willing to sell their votes.
“In Edo election, this practice was widespread with all the major political parties engaging in this infringement.
“The incidence of vote buying during this election was high, Situation Room calls for a more effective enforcement of election laws that prohibit vote buying and other election offences.
“Situation Room calls on National Assembly to move quickly and urgently proceed with legislative action to ensure the passage of the Electoral Offences Commission Bill that creates a body to enforce respect for election laws.’
Nwankwo said the group also called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to deepen and expand the use of its Electoral Result Viewing portal in order to increase the transparency of Nigeria’s elections.
He said that the group commended INEC for conducting a much improved governorship election in Edo.
The convener said that the group also urged the commission to ensure that the progress made with improvements in its conduct of the election were deepened and sustained during the Ondo governorship election.
Nwankwo said that overall, the Edo governorship election was violence-free to the relief of stakeholders who had feared that the violence-laden rhetoric of the election participants could pose a threat to peaceful elections.
“It is noteworthy that efforts at mediating peace and reducing political tension mounted by INEC, the police, the National Peace Committee, the Benin monarch and civil society groups paid off.
“These peace efforts commend themselves to future elections.
“Situation Room also commends INEC for introducing the COVID-19 protocols to address the public health concerns caused by the crisis of COVID-19 and urges a greater effort at enforcing the protocols ahead of future elections. ‘’he said
Nwankwo said that the administration of Edo election appeared to have been a marked improvement on previous elections, as INEC’s process appeared to operate smoothly.
He said that logistic issues of distribution of materials, deployment of staff and challenges in the voter’s register were significantly reduced, adding that security personnel acted professionally.
Nwankwo said that the issues of logistics and challenges of overbearing security presence was less of an issue in the Edo election.
He noted that the election showed that Nigeria could learn from previous setbacks in its electoral process and take steps toward achieving credible elections.
Nwankwo said that there was an improved use of smart card readers in the election, as they were widely deployed and utilised across the state.
He said that the voter turnout was low compared to number of collected voter cards registered for the election.
This, he said, may have been caused by the rhetoric of violence perpetrated by candidates.
He said that there might also have been a reduction in voter turnout due to the prevailing public health concern of COVID-19.
Nwankwo said that this was the first major election conducted in Nigeria since the outbreak of the pandemic, and the Situation Room acknowledged the safety tools provided.
He, however, said that the compliance with their use and general COVID-19 protocols were unsatisfactory as safety measures were haphazardly implemented in some areas and ignored in some, especially as it related to social distancing.
Nwankwo said the group wanted INEC and the Nigerian election stakeholders to ensure improved compliance with health protocols as provided by the electoral body and relevant health authorities, especially ahead of the Ondo election.
Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Oluwole Sogunle
Nsukka residents laud INEC on credible election in Edo
Some residents of Nsukka town in Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State have commended INEC for conducting a credible, free and fair governorship election in Edo, on Saturday.
The residents spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria in Nsukka on Monday.
They attributed what they described as violence-free election to the fact that INEC operated as a neutral umpire and gave all the political parties that fielded candidates level-playing playing field during the exercise.
Dr Ifeanyichukwu Abada, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Political Science, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, said that INEC deserved commendation for presiding over a credible, free, fair and violence-free governorship election in Edo.
Abada, the immediate past head of the department, said that what INEC did in Edo had restored the confidence of many Nigerians in the commission, urging it to do same in the October 10 governorship election in Ondo State.
“I commend INEC for conducting a credible, free and fair governorship election in Edo. I urge the commission to do same in Ondo State during the October 10 governorship election.
“The result of Saturday’s election in Edo has shown that power indeed belongs to the people and that the era of godfatherism in that state is over.
“I urge the APC governorship candidate to show maturity and spirit of sportsmanship by accepting the outcome of the election, as the people of the state have spoken,” he said.
Mr Fabian Onah, the chairman of People Democratic Party (PDP) in Nsukka Local Government area, commended the people of Edo for trooping out in their numbers to vote for the candidates of their choice.
“The victory of Gov. Godwin Obaseki in the governorship election on Saturday reflected the voice of Edo people.
“I commend INEC and security agencies for providing a conducive environment that ensure the success of the election. I want to urge them to keep it up.
“I also urge Obaseki to be magnanimous in victory and Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the APC candidate, to show a spirit of sportsmanship by accepting the outcome of the election,’’ he said.
“The Edo election should be a lesson to politicians in the country, especially those who see themselves as political godfathers, that only God crowns a king,” he said.
Mr Anthony Ozioko, an APC chieftain in Nsukka, hailed the exercise, saying that the electorate came out to vote without any molestation or intimidation.
Ozioko attributed the loss of the governorship election by APC to what he called the misunderstanding between Obaseki and a former APC National Chairman, Mr Adams Oshiomhole, which resulted in the former leaving APC to join PDP.
Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye and
Source: NAN‘Wale Sadeeq
Ekiti PDP congratulates Obaseki
The Ekiti State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday congratulated Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo on his victory at the polls.
The party, in a statement signed by its Publicity Secretary, Sanya Adesua, in Ado-Ekiti, described Obaseki’s victory as well deserved.
According to the statement, the State Working Committee, under the leadership of Mr Kehinde Odebunmi, expresses the joy of Ekiti PDP and its members for the outstanding victory.
The party commended voters in Edo, PDP members in particular, for their doggedness and fighting spirit in ensuring the desired victory.
It encouraged its members to take a cue from the ruggedness, determination and sincerity of Obaseki, PDP members and Edo people across political divides, for not allowing politics of money bags to thrive in the state.
The party charged its members to maintain the tempo and fighting spirit in order to ensure the party’s victory in subsequent elections, especially those of Ondo and Ekiti states.
“This is a timely warning to those still acting God in our democracy to have a rethink and respect the power of the people.
“Obaseki neither compromised the victory of the party nor was he involved in underhand tricks against the party.
“They were transparent and sincere to the party; and here is the reward today.
“Ekiti State PDP also commends our courageous leaders led by Governor(s) Nyesom Wike of River; Seyi Makinde of Oyo state; Okowa of Delta and other leaders for ensuring the desired victory.
“As we continue to celebrate the victory of Godwin Obaseki, we must be on guard that it is not yet Uhuru until PDP removes all the anti-people rickety structures from the North to the South.
“That is the only hope of restoration for the Nigerian people; the next victory being Ondo state governorship election of Eyitayo Jegede, on Oct. 10, 2020,” the statement added.
Edited By: Moses Solanke/Donald Ugwu
Babatope congratulates Obaseki, praises Buhari for free and fair polls
A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), Chief Ebenezer Babatope, has congratulated Gov Godwin Obaseki on his emergence as winner of Saturday’s governorship election in Edo.
Babatope told the News Agency of Nigeria on telephone that the outcome of Saturday’s governorship election was not only victory for Obaseki and PDP but also for the people of Edo.
“I am excited that Obaseki and the PDP won the election; I am so happy at the outcome and I congratulate Gov.Obaseki and our great party for this sweet victory.
“I also congratulate the good people of Edo state for speaking through their votes .They went to the polls to vote their preferred candidate.
“The conduct of Edo elections is big victory for democracy; It has proven the fact that power truly resides with the people,” he said.
Babatope said that the free and credible conduct of the election was also victory for INEC and the administration of President Mohammadu Buhari.
According to him, Buhari has enriched his democratic credentials by ensuring the votes of Edo people counted in the election.
“I commend President Muhammadu Buhari for ensuring that the election in Edo was peaceful, free and fair.
“The election in Edo has inspired hope that elections can actually be done without blood letting or acrimony.The president deserves credit.
“I want the president to do all he can to ensure subsequent elections in Nigeria are peaceful and credible. Once again I commend Buhari.He is also a winner,” he said.
Babatope advised INEC to ensure the forthcoming governorship election in Ondo State was also peaceful and credible
Edited By: Wale Ojetimi