The Niger Delta Youth Coalition for Peace and Progress (NDYCPP), on Sunday, appealed to losers in the just concluded Bayelsa governorship primaries to accept the outcome of the exercise in good faith.
The National President of NDYCPP, Pastor Olayinka Tiedor, who made the appeal in a statement in Yenagoa, urged the political leaders from the state to put the outcome of the primaries behind them by calming frayed nerves.
Nigeria News Agency reports that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) elected Sen. Douye Diri, while the All Progressives Congress (APC) elected David Lyon, as the candidates in the forthcoming governorship election scheduled for Nov. 16.
The group noted that the intervention of the leaders of the two dominant political parties by way of extending hand of fellowship to aggrieved political leaders was imperative for maintaining peace in the state.
“We are appealing to both Chief Timi Alaibe and Sen. Heinekin Lokpobiri, to exhibit a very high sense of statesmanship on the outcome of the primaries, in spite genuine concerns raised on how things went.
“We are also appealing to the leadership of both PDP and APC to be magnanimous in victory by reaching out quickly to their aggrieved leaders and members.
“They command huge followership and have expended enormous resources from the onset and only to lose out of the primaries.
“The winner takes it all syndrome would not augur well for the system, it has always breed acrimony and rancour in our chequered political culture.
“We are also appealing to all aggrieved members of both parties, PDP and APC to shield their swords and toe the path of harmonious engagements and dialogue to resolve whatever grievances they have,” Tiedor said.
Tiedor, however, urged the winners in all political parties to spread the message of peace and non-violence in their campaigns ahead of the Nov. 16, governorship poll. (NAN)
Edited by Yahaya Isah/Felix Ajide
COVID-19: NCDC announces 221 new cases, total infections rise to 56,956
The NCDC made this known on its official twitter handle on Friday.
According to it, the new cases are confirmed from 18 states in the country.
The new infections brought the total number of confirmed cases to 56,956 in Nigeria.
The public health agency said that Lagos had 59, the highest number of cases, followed by Abia with 46 cases and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), 22.
Among others were; Rivers, 11, Bauchi, 7, Benue, Ekiti and Imo, 6 each, Kaduna, Kwara and Ondo, 4 each, Ogun and Osun, 3 each, Bayelsa, Edo and Kano, 1 each.
According to it, those discharged on Friday include 100 community recoveries managed in Oyo State in line with new case management guidelines.
The health agency sadly recorded one more death, which brought the national death toll to 1,094.
It noted that a multi-sectoral national emergency operations centre (EOC) activated at Level 3 had continued to coordinate the national response activities across the country.
It cautioned that the risk of getting infected with COVID-19 was higher when people did not wear face mask in public places.
“Wear your face mask properly at all times. Adhere to all non-pharmaceutical preventive measures of COVID-19,” it urged Nigerians.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that as the people of Edo State prepared to vote their preferred candidates at the governorship election on Saturday, Sept. 19, NCDC urged all to observe the COVID-19 guidelines recently released.
It noted that relevant stakeholders must take actions that would reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 during the election.
“Ensure there is hand hygiene and temperature checks at the campaign ground, polling stations; providing additional polling stations or booths to ensure physical distancing, with clearly marked floors to enforce spacing on queues.
”Mandating the use of face mask for everyone, regular cleaning of polling stations, tables and other surfaces highly essential because those are the areas that are easy to contract the virus.
”Multiply hand-washing points or alcohol-based hand sanitiser, while staff at the polling units should practice hand hygiene frequently,.”
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu
Edo Election: Yiaga Africa to adopt PVT methodology to check credibility of election results
Yiaga Africa, a civil society organisation says it plans to deploy its Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) methodology to assess the credibility of the Sept. 19, Edo Governorship poll.
Mr Samson Itodo, Executive Director, Yiaga Africa said this in a statement on Friday in Abuja.
He said the group through its Watching The Vote citizens movement, would also deploy 500 observers to monitor the election.
According to Itodo, the PVT is an advanced election observation methodology that employs well-established statistical principles and sophisticated information technology in providing timely and accurate information on conduct of elections.
He added that the process will monitor accreditation, voting, and counting, and it will independently verify the official governorship results as announced by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“The PVTs are not opinion polls; Yiaga Africa citizen observers do not ask voters for whom they cast their ballot; PVT relies solely on official results from polling units.
“This tested and proven election observation methodology has been deployed in over 50 countries worldwide, including Nigeria.
“Yiaga Africa deployed the PVT in the November 2019 Kogi and Bayelsa governorship election where it detected fraud and manipulation of results collation and declined to verify the official results declared by INEC.
“In a statement jointly signed by the Chair of Yiaga Africa election observation mission for Edo, Dr Aisha Abdullahi, Nigeria’s and Yiaga Africa Executive Director, Samson Itodo, the organisation said it would deploy 500 stationary observers.
Itodo said that the observers would monitor the conduct of the process and provide systematic, accurate and timely information on the Election Day process.
He said specifically that Yiaga Africa would provide accurate information on the quality of the Election Day process and ascertain if the official results announced by INEC reflected the total votes cast.
Itodo explained that since the PVT was based on official results from a representative random sample of polling units, Yiaga Africa would estimate the state-wide results for the governorship election within a narrow range based on well-established statistical principles.
He said that if INEC’s official results fall within Yiaga Africa’s estimated range, then the public, political parties and candidates would have confidence that the official results reflected the ballots cast at polling units.
Itodo, however, said that if the announced results have been manipulated and do not match the polling units’ results, Yiaga Africa would oppose it.
He said that the PVT was a component of Yiaga Africa’s comprehensive election observation methodology spanning the electoral cycle.
“Therefore, in assessing whether the 2020 Edo governorship satisfies the electoral integrity test, Yiaga Africa will consider a range of issues such as shortcomings in the pre-election period.
“The quality of election day processes and the scale and scope of critical incidents.’’
Itodo said that on Election Day, Yiaga Africa would receive 4,500 text messages containing approximately 56,000 individual pieces of information about the election.
He added that the messages would be reviewed and analysed to ensure that the information was complete, authentic and accurate before dissemination.
Itodo said that after poll, Yiaga Africa would issue its estimated projections based on its preliminary data.
He added that on Sunday, Sept. 20, the group would share its preliminary Watching The Vote findings on the conduct of setup, accreditation, voting and counting.
Itodo said that immediately INEC announce the official results for the election, Yiaga Africa would hold its news conference and issue its statement on the election result.
“Yiaga Africa Watching the Vote is “Driven by Data for All Nigerians Beholden to None!”
Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Ali Baba-Inuwa
Edo Election: NSCDC deploys 13, 311 personnel for security operations
The Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), says no fewer than 13, 311 of its personnel from across 10 states were deployed to Edo for Saturday governorship election.
Deputy Commandant General (DCG), Madu Kelechi, in charge of operations disclosed this in Benin on Friday while briefing newsmen on the corps preparedness for the Edo election.
Madu said that of the figure, about 7,331 personnel would be fully involved in the election while the others would be posted to protect critical national assets and infrastructure across the state.
He explained that the core mandate of the NSCDC was disaster management and the protection of critical national assets and infrastructure.
He added that the corps could not afford to leave the critical national assets in the state vulnerable to saboteurs because of the election, hence the deployment of some personnel to man the assets.
The DCG further disclosed that the corps would be working in synergy with the police as the lead security agency for the election as well as other sister security agencies.
He maintained that the corps was prepared, adding that after the preparation, some personnel like those from the counter terrorism and the intelligence units were deployed upfront for the election.
He also said that the personnel deployed have been trained at the corps headquarters in Abuja as well as by the NCDC on what to do as the election would be conducted in line with the COVID-19 principles.
He further said that the corps had sensitised the personnel on behavior as well as how to handle situation especially vote buying.
Madu listed the states from which the personnel were drawn from to include Edo, Delta, Bayelsa, Anambra, Kogi, Imo, Ondo, Ogun, Lagos and Ekiti.
Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Ismail Abdulaziz
Visa Ban: Kogi government writes United States
The Kogi State Government has petitioned the United States on its visa restrictions for unnamed individuals responsible for undermining the Nigerian democratic process or for organising election-related violence.
The state government letter, /25/, dated Sept. 16, signed by Mrs Folashade Ayoade, the Secretary to the Government of Kogi State, was addressed to the United States Ambassador to Nigeria.
Ayoade’s acknowledged copy of the letter received by the Embassy on Sept. 17, was made available to newsmen in Abuja on Friday, saying the letter was directed by the state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello.
The United States government had issued notice of visa restrictions to unnamed individuals responsible for undermining the Nigerian democratic process or for organising election-related violence.
The United States government said the visa restriction covered from the 2019 general elections in Nigeria through the off-cycle Nov. 2019 gubernatorial elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states to the upcoming governorship elections in Edo and Ondo.
The United States Department of State emphasised that the fresh actions announced were specific to certain individuals and not directed at the Nigerian people.
It stated that the decision reflected the Department of State’s commitment to working with the Nigerian government to realise its expressed commitment to end corruption and strengthen democracy, accountability and respect for human rights.
However, Ayoade in the letter said: “Please note that for the purposes of this protest letter, we are only interested in the citations to the extent that they are referable to Kogi State and her citizens.
“For the most part, we concede that elections in Nigeria are complex affairs which will continue to require improvements for the foreseeable future.
“The 2019 Kogi State Gubernatorial Election was also not without its challenges.
“However, it is also crystal clear from critical and composite analyses of the records (official, media, observers, etc) of the Nov. 16, 2019 polls that regrettable incidents were limited to a few polling units.’’
The Kogi government, however, said that the overwhelmingly larger portions of the ballot were free, fair and credible.
“Further, and in line with Nigerian law, the few political parties and individuals who alleged widespread electoral malpractice had free rein to contest the outcome in court.
“They vigorously litigated their claims over a gruelling nine-month period, through a three-step hierarchy of courts, to the inescapable conclusion at the Supreme Court of Nigeria that the said elections satisfactorily complied with the Nigerian Constitution and the Electoral Act.”
Ayoade said the concern of Kogi government was not the prerogative of the United States to impose entry restrictions on anyone, for any or no reason.
She said that United States government’s concern was the misinformation which the timing and the mention of the Kogi election had created in the state, especially on the second term mandate freely bestowed on Bello by the people of the state.
“For instance, a United States-based blog, saharareporters.com, has made inflammatory publications in which it named Bello of Kogi State, among others, as a definite recipient of your visa restriction.
“Although you have named no names, accuracy is of no moment to them, just base political expediency, and they quote unnamed United States State Department sources to give credibility to what is otherwise unproven.”
Ayoade added that other players in the Kogi political space, including candidates and officials of opposition political parties which lost the elections and at the court now hold on to the United States reference to Kogi election.
This, according to her, had made the government’s usual post-election duty of reconciliation harder.
She concluded that Kogi government believed that the US with her commanding heights and much longer experience as the bastion of democracy in the world, ought to accord greater empathy and more civility to nascent democracies.
Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Donald Ugwu