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If APC Is Voted Out In This Election, I Will Accept It – Tinubu |The Republican News

                                           Bola Ahmed Tinubu

The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, has said that he would accept the result of the presidential election even if it did not go the way of the party.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Tinubu spoke with journalists after voting at Polling Unit 047, Ward 3, Ikeja at 11:20 a.m.

He said that the will of the electorate must be respected, adding that as a true democrat, free and fair elections must be protected.

Tinubu was, however, upbeat about his party’s chances of winning the elections.

“If my party is voted out in this election, I will accept it because it is the people’s verdict, that is their decision. Any democrat that cannot accept a result from a free and fair election is not worthy of that name.

“As a true democrat, you must be able to accept the results of a free and fair election.

“My hope and determination of my party are that we are winning this election because we have the support of the masses and if you look at our rallies, it is an indication of our party’s popularity.

“We are not talking about the elites or those that are rich, but the poor masses, farmers, traders, artisans and the common man who seek for continuity,” he said.

Tinubu, however, rated the conduct of the elections as successful so far, adding that though elections were expensive, yet it remained the best way of choosing leaders.

“The election has been successful so far, so good. It has demonstrated the resilience of the people and like the President has said; we have chosen the best way in a difficult way.

“Democracy is the toughest way of selecting a leader but the best system. With the resilience of the people and strong determination we are getting there,” Tinubu said.(NAN)

 

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Elections: FG Declares Friday Public Holiday, Excludes Bankers, Others |RN

                   Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (retd.)

Adelani Adepegba, Abuja

 

The Federal Government has declared Friday, February 22, 2019, as a public holiday, in preparation for the February 23 Presidential and National Assembly elections.

Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. Bello Dambazau (retd), made the declaration in Abuja on Wednesday.

The Ministry of Interior in a statement on Wednesday night by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Georgina Ehuriah, however, excluded bankers and those offering essential services across the nation.

It said, “The Federal Government declares Friday, February 22, 2019, as work-free day. Those providing essential duties and bankers are excluded.

“The work-free day is to enable citizens return to their polling units for the reschedule Presidential and National Assembly elections.”

“Security agencies have been directed to ensure safety of lives and property before, during and after the general election,” the statement added.    (Punch)

 

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Ballot Snatching: President Buhari Sanctions Extrajudicial Killing |RN

Buhari-security-statement

Muhammadu Buhari

By Ike A. Offor, Editor

 

 

It has been a week of topsy-turvy political debates following the statement by President Buhari during his party, APC Caucus meeting after the election postponement by INEC.

The president trying to send a very strong statement to would-be political thugs whose intentions would be to snatch ballot boxes during the upcoming elections, gave out a very strong words that is creating euphoria in the polity. But it appears the statement is one perhaps too strong to have come from the president himself, who primary job is to protect lives and the constitution.

The president in the very statement that has created a lot of euphoria said that he has given order to the security agents to deal ruthlessly with anyone who snatches ballot box during the election.

In his own words:

“I really gave the military and police order to be ruthless. Anybody who thinks he has enough influence in his locality to lead a body of thugs to snatch ballot boxes or disturbs the voting system, will do so at the expense of his own life”.

A lot of nerves have clearly been bruised by the INEC action of not agreeing to staggered elections, a process the opposition considered a plan by the ruling party to rig itself back into power.

Though, this accusation of staggered election, where INEC reportedly would conduct the election in 26 states, which are mainly the considered strong states of APC, leaving states considered strongholds of the opposition.

So many, speculations have been flying around to buttress this purported plans of the ruling party, APC. But many still remain meer speculations or conspiracy theory.

So, this frustration may have given rise to statement by the president ordering the security agents to shoot at sight any ballot box snatchers, whose intention is to influence the outcome of the election in any polling booth. Though this statement did not single out any specific political party, many sees it as a pretence to tell the security forces to kill the opposition and frame them as ballot snatchers. Other said that there are electoral laws and they should be the guiding light for electoral offenses and not extrajudicial killing.

Another argument is the legality of such dictatorial or sanctioning of extrajudicial killing. And for the fact that this statement is coming from the president made many furious. Many lawyers, senior advocate of the Nigeria, SAN, and others have totally condemned the order by Buhari that has no regard for the constitution of the country.

But one of the senior advocates of Nigeria, who is also the Spokesman for the Buhari Campaign Organisation Mr Festus Keyamo, has said that Buhari is right and within the ambit of the constitution. But fell short to telling the public whether death sentence is passed by the president or by the honourable court after due process.

Mr Festus Keyamo said that “ballot box snatching is armed robbery and its penalty is death by firing squad”. This has angered many lawyers and lawmakers like Senator Dino Melaye, who was in the television studio debate “The Verdict” against Festus Keyamo.

It was a heated debate where the lawmaker accused Keyamo of supporting extrajudicial killing despite the fact that he is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.

Since making this statement there have been barrages of criticisms and a lot of arguments in support of the statement from Mr President. Some are supporting Buhari while many seem to go against it but obviousy the president is not withdrawing his words, which means that those found this may end up dead.

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DSS Withdraws The Invitation For INEC Commissioner In Charge Of Logistics, Others |RN

dssoperatives1

DSS Officers

 

The Department of State Security Services, DSS has withdrawn its invitation to the National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in charge of logistics, Okechukwu Ibeanu.

It was earlier reported that Ibeanu alongside Chidi Nwafor, the director of ICT; Ken Ukeagu, director of procurement; Osaze Uzzi, director of voter education and publicity; and Bimbo Oladunjoye, the assistant director of ICT were asked to report at DSS offices in Abuja by 2 pm on Tuesday.

It’s unclear why the agency would drop its decision but sources hinted that some prominent Nigerians intervened because of the “timing”.

This invitation was initially believed to be related to the fiasco that led to the postponement of the general election by one week.

Mahmood Yakubu, a professor and INEC chairman, had blamed the postponement on sabotage and logistical issues.  (Nairaland)

 

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Mahmood To Buhari: “You Are Wrong, Mr President, There Is Electoral Law” |RN

Romanus Ugwu, Abuja

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, has said that contrary to the directive President Muhammadu Buhari gave to the police and the military to shoot ballot box snatchers, culprits of electoral violence would be punished in accordance to the Electoral Act.

Although Part VIII, Section 129 (sub IV) of the Electoral Act stipulates that anybody who snatches or destroys any election material shall be liable on conviction to 24 months imprisonment, President Muhammadu Buhari had revealed during an emergency national caucus meeting that he had ordered security agents to shoot on sight anyone caught in the act.

However, reacting to the directive during a media parley to update Nigerians on the progress made by the commission ahead of this weekend’s poll, the electoral INEC boss said: “The position on the shoot-on-sight order is that the violators of the Electoral Act should be punished according to the provisions of the Electoral Act.”

Yakubu had equally reacted to the trending speculation on the invitation of the commission’s officials by the Department of State Services (DSS), the INEC chairman dismissed such arrest.

“No commissioner of the commission was picked up by any security agency. No house of any commissioner of the commission was raided. No commissioner of INEC has been picked up by the security agents. The particular commissioner you are referring to as mentioned in the social media is, as we speak, in his office in the commission. Similarly, no director was picked up by any security agency,” he insisted.

While giving an update on the readiness of the commission for the poll, he said: “Let me, therefore, present to you the level of implementation so far achieved. By Monday evening, all issues relating to the delivery of the materials were identified and virtually addressed. Ballot papers, result sheets and a host of non-sensitive materials are now in location across the 37 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (PCT).

“Our state offices commenced the process of inviting stakeholders to the Central Bank of Nigeria to examine the retrieved materials deployed last week and to witness the dispatching of materials according to local government areas (LGAs). This is ongoing at the moment and is expected to be completed today Tuesday, February 19, 2019.

“The movement of materials to LGAs for batching according towards and polling units shall take place on Wednesday and Thursday, February 21, 2019. A11 Registration Area Centres (RACs) are to be activated by 9.00am on Friday, February 22, 2019. Personnel and materials should be at the RACs by mid-day on Friday, February 22, 2019.

“Refresher training for ad hoc personnel should take place at the RACs on Friday, February 22, 2019. Personnel and materials must arrive at the polling units latest 7 am on Saturday, February 23, 2019. The opening of polls nationwide will take place at 8 am on Saturday, February 23, 2019.

“You would recall that in my address to stakeholders, I mentioned that we intended to reschedule the elections for just 24 hours to enable us to deliver the final batch of sensitive materials for the elections. However, our ICT team notified us that it would require more time to reconfigure the Smart Card Readers (SCRs) in time for the elections.

“Let me explain why. The SCRs are configured to only open for use at 8 am on election day, and to automatically shut down by 10 pm. This is designed to forestall any illegal use of the SCRs before the appointed time of elections. There are roughly 180,000 SCRs to be deployed for the elections and the ICT team said that they would require 5-6 days to complete the configuration. 1’m glad to say that as at today, about 98 per cent of the SCRs have been reconfigured and we are confident that by tomorrow all would be ready, which is a day earlier than scheduled,” he said.  (The Sun)

 

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BREAKING: N5bn Loot In DSS By Buhari’s Relatives Bursted, Whistblower Goes Public |RN

DSS-Corruption5

By Ike A. Offor,  Editor

This is a grand scale corruption that has been busted in the DSS, the Department of State Secret Service.  The five-men gang, also known as the Aso Rock cabal are involved in the looting of N5bn, which was initially slated to be double the amount until the unfortunate sacking of DSS Chief, Lawan Daura by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

The name of the whistleblower is Mr Jackson Ude, who is not in Nigeria and now wanted by the DSS to secretly come into the country to investigate the DSS treasury without going public to avoid them being exposed in this critical time of the election.

 

According to Mr Ude, the DSS want him to fly into Nigeria any day or anytime and he would be given unfettered access to the DSS account department to scrutinise their finances .

The four family members of President Buhari who are involved in this grand case of corruption are the ex-Chief of DSS, Mr Lawan Daura,  Babagana Kingibe, Abba Kyari and Isa Funtua and Mamma Daura.

 

According to Mr Jackson Ude, these five men have also vowed to make sure that Buhari is returned back to power in this next Saturday election. This obviously is to help them be in charge and permit them more time and years to loot more.

They do not want the whistleblower to go public citing obvious national security but Mr Ude has refused bluntly and wants to drop the ball on them.

According to Mr Ude, he has been called thrice in a day by the DSS and he said that they are panicking because they know that he has detailed information about the scandal in the agency and they obviously do not want him to go public with his facts.

At some point the DSS via the Director of Operations want to know who is paying him to expose them. The DSS claimed that he is jeopardising the national security and heating up the polity especially now during the elections.

Few months before the former DSS Chief was sacked by the Acting President, he had prepared the budget for the DSS and he created a special package for the operation of the secret police for the 2019 general elections.  Perhaps, a ploy to embezzle this said amount using a false secret police operation unit.

 

Lawan Daura requested  for N10 billion to be spent by the DSS for the elections. Initally, Mr Lawan wanted N7bn but Alhaji Babagana Kingibe, Isa Funtua asked him to inflate it to N10bn. He did inflate it to amount they requested and the N10bn budget was approved.

Not long after the budget was approved, Mr Lawan and DSS incident of invasion of the Senate caused the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo to axe him.  This created a problem for the five-men gang, who now have a problem on how to extricate their loot from the accounts of the agency.

 

 

The sacking of Mr Lawan by Yemi Osinbajo got the cabal very angry because this has made it difficult for them to remove their loot from the DSS budget as previously planned.  Also, if someone else who is not the original clique to the plan takes over the leader of the DSS, it will be impossible for them to take the money out.

When the Bayelsa-born Matthew Sayeifa was appointed, the cabal never wanted him to last in that position because they had their eyes on the N10bn loot. So, they did everything to get him sacked as soon a Buhari, who was on medical vacation in London returned back to Aso Rock.

Few weeks back, Mr Lawan Daura launched a plan and made a move to get a cut from the N10bn and he made the request to the current DSS DG Bichi and was rebuffed. He then went to the trio Abba Kyari, Babagana Kingibe, Isa Funtua who then summoned Bichi and demanded for the loot.

DSS Boss, Bichi still put up a resistance but Babagana Kingibe, Isa Funtua and Lawan Daura and exerted more pressure on him. Helpless Bichi finally agreed to offer them N2bn. The trio refused bluntly rather asked for N5bn. Mr Bichi caved in and directed the release of N5 billion to the cabal. They smiled away with N5bn meant for the election budget for the DSS.

DSS-Corruption4

 

Abba Kyari, Babagana Kingibe, Isa Funtua and Lawan Daura have all shared the N5 billion leaving the entire DSS with only N5 billion for election operations.

The current DSS boss, Mr Bichi is threatening to resign due to this scandal. The rank and file of the agency are all grumbling .

The top officers are doing their best to suppress the story to avoid destroying the morale of the DSS officers.

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IPOB: Election Boycott Call Off Forced INEC Into Late Polls Cancellation |RN

Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha

 

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has alleged that the late called-off of the election boycott declared by its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, forced the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Federal government to postpone the scheduled election.

Kanu, had on Thursday night called-off the boycott order he declared, calling on IPOB member and people of South East and parts of South-South zones to go out to cast their votes.

A statement by the Media and Publicity Secretary of IPOB, Emma Powerful, said that the late call-off of the election boycott forced INEC to postpone the election for one week because according to him, the move destabilised the planned rigging of the election by the ruling party.

He alleged that the postponement of the election was to give the electoral umpire time to strategise since the planned use of IPOB boycott to rig the election failed through the sudden suspension of the boycott.

Powerful said: “Events surrounding the postponement of the Nigerian presidential election previously scheduled for February 16, 2019, are a confirmation that IPOB’s decision to lift the boycott was a masterstroke that took the cabal by surprise.

“The move by IPOB apex leadership to call off the boycott made it virtually impossible for the APC administration to proceed to rig the elections on the account that IPOB would boycott the polls. It is now clear for the world to see that some nefarious elements within the corridors of power in Aso Rock wanted so desperately use IPOB to boycott these elections in order to justify their already perfected script that our boycott would have made it possible for them to emerge victorious.

“By calling off the boycott, Buhari and his cabal lost the initiative and were headed straight for defeat. Our leader, Kanu, is light years ahead of the intrigues and machinations that characterise politics in Nigeria. Had the leadership of our great movement, IPOB, not called off the boycott, the sham elections would have proceeded as rigged, with Buhari announced as the winner on account that IPOB boycotted the exercise.

“Anybody who is still in doubt about the potency of IPOB will undoubtedly have a rethink after this. Quite obviously, the IPOB boycott call off took the Nigerian corrupt establishment unawares. A simple statement from our leader has exposed voting in Nigeria as a huge joke. Let the riggers go back and plan how to rig well. What a country, what a contraption!

“In effect, our leader calling off the boycott was a huge shock they were unable to manage. Lt. Gen. Tukur Burarai’s threat and orchestrated army violence against peaceful IPOB in the run up to February 16 were all designed to maximise the impact of the intended boycott because that was the outcome they desired.

“This plan fell apart as soon as soon as IPOB called off the boycott. Therefore, they had no choice than to postpone the elections. That Nigeria is not voting today is due to what some people have called the IPOB effect.

“IPOB’s late announcement of the lifting of the boycott was what led to this last minute postponement by INEC, because they had ample time throughout the week to postpone the elections but failed to do so. The fear of IPOB is the beginning of wisdom, only fools pretend otherwise,” Powerful stated.    (The Sun)

 

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