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Party Primaries: Irreversible On APC Zamfara Decision, INEC Chairman Insists |RN

“On Zamfara, nothing has changed. We had earlier issued a statement on the position of things and that still remains our position.” – Yakubu

Romanus Ugwu, Abuja

The chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, insists that the All Progressives Congress (APC) will not nominate any candidate for elective offices in Zamfara State for the 2019 general elections.

The electoral body had earlier written the APC, notifying the ruling party of its inability to conduct primaries for the 2019 polls in accordance with the Commission’s approved dateline of October 7, noting that the party had denied itself the opportunity to participate in elections in the state.

However, the APC in its reply to the Commission, noted that it could not conduct primary elections in Zamfara because the party settled for a consensus candidate.

Speaking Monday at the sidelines of the ongoing three-day ‘Validation Workshop Study On The Cost Of Elections In The ECOWAS Region’, the INEC boss insisted that nothing had changed from the Commission’s earlier decision.

“On Zamfara, nothing has changed. We have said it and we had earlier issued a statement on the position of things and that still remains our position.”

He specifically appealed to Electoral Commissions in the ECOWAS region to map out ways of funding elections in such a manner as to make the process more cost-effective.

“At a bilateral level, countries within the region have also provided material and technical assistance to one another to support the conduct of credible elections,” Yakubu stated.

“The latest example is Nigeria’s support for the ongoing voter registration exercise in Guinea-Bissau. Even when an election is a sovereign national responsibility, multilateral agencies such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the European Union (EU), working together with other development partners, have, in some cases, provided support through the donor basket to fund certain electoral expenditure.

“While this is most commendable, it is imperative for Electoral Commissions in the ECOWAS region to rethink the way elections are funded in such a manner as to make the electoral process more cost-effective but yet free, fair and credible.

“This is because of the contending expenditure of government on other aspects of national development.

“An expensive election that ushers in a government that lacks the resources to fulfill its campaign promises to citizens may, in the long run, erode public confidence in elections in particular, and the democratic process in general.

“​The obvious first step is to conduct a study on why elections cost so much. From such a study, we can then determine what can be done to reduce the cost.

“Mindful of the different jurisdictions within the ECOWAS region, we selected six countries for the study, consisting of two countries from each of the three official linguistic blocs: Nigeria and Liberia (Anglophone), Benin Republic and Senegal (Francophone) and Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau (Lusophone).

“The three experts that anchored the study were drawn from Nigeria (Prof. Adele Jinadu), Benin Republic (Francis Laleye) and Cape Verde (Jose Cabral Sanchez). On behalf of ECONEC, I would like to thank them for deploying their experience and expertise in undertaking the study in spite of the short period of time available and limited resources,” he stated.  (The Sun)

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Marafa Backs INEC, Says APC Has No Candidate In Zamfara |The Republican News

                                          Senator Kabiru Marafa

Leke Baiyewu, Abuja

 

The lawmaker representing Zamfara-Central Senatorial District, Senator Kabiru Marafa, has expressed his support for the position of the Independent National Electoral Commission that his party, the All Progressives Congress, does not have candidates for the 2019 general election in Zamfara State.

Marafa, who is a governorship aspirant on the platform of the APC, stated that no primary was held and there was no consensus arrangement reached among the party’s aspirants in the state.

Fielding questions from journalists in Abuja on Thursday, Marafa said, “I read the letter from INEC where they quoted sections of the law that influenced their position. I also read the response made by the APC National Chairman (Adams Oshiomhole). I want to believe the chairman has been misled by the APC’s electoral committee that went to Zamfara. But as a stakeholder who was present and witnessed the whole process that happened, there was no election in Zamfara on Saturday, October 7, 2018.

“Also, there was no consensus from anybody or by anybody. So, the election committee reported in the contrary. I think that was absolutely wrong. I always stand by the side of the truth. I want to say the truth even if it is against me.”

Marafa, whose running battle with Governor Abdulaziz Yari led to the polarisation of the APC in Zamfara, stated that he was still a member of the ruling party but that if the party did anything wrong, he would not hesitate to point it out.

He said, “I’m an APC member to the core, and I’m still with the APC, notwithstanding that the chances are becoming bleak, maybe for me as a politician. But I believe in the party. If the party does anything wrong, I should have the courage to say this thing is wrong. If the party has any way within the law to fill in any candidate, I will be happy, but not when the issues are based on a wrong foundation. So, let us address the issues the way they are.

“We are going into elections and the desire of every party is to win and win without any litigation, divert attention and waste resources. I would not want to see one happening to me. So, by and large, the only thing I saw wrong in the letter is the assertion that there was a consensus.  There was no consensus. We are governorship aspirants but some people stepped down.

“For the remaining five aspirants, there was no consensus till the end of the exercise. The truth of the matter is that the APC electoral committee tried to achieve a consensus among the aspirants for the governorship and senatorial aspirants, but the two factions of the party could not agree.

“If you force any consensus or you claim there was one, there is going to be a revolt that there was no consensus, and anybody and some have the right to go to court. But if under the law, the APC has the right to field candidates, they can go ahead to do it without recourse to either election or consensus. Let us get one thing clear and correct. That there was no election, no consensus.”  (Punch)

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Air Force Begins Bombardment Of Zamfara Bandits |The Republican News

Nigerian-Air-Force1

 

The Nigerian Air Force commenced aerial bombardments on Monday, in a joint military offensive to end the banditry in Zamfara communities.

The Commander of the 207 Quick Response Group of the Air Force, Group Capt. Caleb Olayera, disclosed this while speaking with newsmen in Gusau.

He spoke after taking delivery of two aeroplanes deployed for the operation.

Olayera described the operation as part of a joint military operation involving the Air Force, Army, Police and civil defence to flush out the bandits.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Zamfara in Nigeria’s northwest has seen intense banditry in recent times that has left hundreds dead and displaced thousands in various communities.

The Federal Government has since been battling the jihadist Boko Haram group in Nigeria’s northeast in a low-intensity war that has claimed thousands of lives and displaced millions since 2009.

Olayera said that two helipads had already been constructed by the Air Force for the Zamfara security operation.

“We told you that the helipads will be used as the base for our fighter jets to neutralise any group of criminals and their hideouts.

He assured that peace would soon return to troubled communities in Zamfara with the commencement of the military operation.

The governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, in an apparent frustration over the banditry in the state, recently renounced his position as chief security officer of the state.

He cited his inability to take charge of security agencies in the state to end the banditry.

(NAN)

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Bring Perpetrators Of Zamfara Mass Killings To Book, Buhari Tells Security Operatives

By Anule Emmanuel and Onyekachi Eze

 BuharisickinAsoRock
  • Bring perpetrators to book, President tells security operatives

 

…we alerted them 24 hrs before gunmen struck – Gov Yari

President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned in strong terms Thursday’s massacre of innocent persons in Birane village, Zurmi Local Government Area of Zamfara State. Similarly, former Vice- President Atiku Abubakar has called on Nigerians to be vigilant in the wake of spate of killings by gunmen in many parts of the country. President Buhari in a message of commiseration with families of victims of the attacks on defenceless citizens, described the killings as heinous and inhuman, especially when the incident left many injured and several others losing their lives.

The President, therefore, directed the Minister of Defence, Brigadier-General Mansur Dan Ali (rtd), to proceed immediately to the state to undertake an onthe- spot assessment of the situation and report back. In addition, he also directed security agencies to immediately mobilise and deploy their members in the vulnerable areas of the state, and ensure that the perpetrators are brought to face the full wrath of the law. He assured the Zamfara State government, victims of the mayhem and residents of the state, that the Federal Government would continue do all it takes to support security agencies to secure lives and property, not only in the affected state but all parts of the country.

President Buhari restated his administration’s determination to put an end to the spate of senseless spilling of innocent blood in parts of the country, and called for restraint to allow the nation’s security apparatus to stem the undesirable trend. Meanwhile, Atiku, while also calling on the Federal Government and its agencies to ensure “stricter enforcement of ban on the proliferation of small arms and other deadly weapons in the hands of criminals”, urged Nigerians to be watchful and vigilant.

In a statement yesterday by his media office, the former vice president condemned the Thursday’s massacre in Zamfara State in which scores of innocent people were forced out of their vehicles and brutally killed by unknown bandits. He noted that in January, he spoke out against the killings in Rivers, Kaduna, Benue States, adding that he was appalled by the continued large scale destruction of human lives by criminal groups. Atiku Abubakar stated that he was concerned about the frequency of these heinous attacks by criminal gangs.

The former Vice President said the ease with which criminal groups have access to dangerous weapons in the country was worrisome and disturbing. He said: “When human beings are falling like flies repeatedly, ambushed by savage mass murderers and killed in cold blood, I wonder what becomes of the sanctity of life. “Apart from identifying, arresting and prosecuting arms suppliers, there should be an intensification of efforts by our security personnel.” He extended his condolences and prayers to the Government of Zamfara State and families of the victims.   (New Telegraph)

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