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Electoral Act: Senators Melaye, Kadiri ask NASS to disregard, ignore Buhari

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Two former senators from Kogi State, Dino Melaye and senator Alex Kadiri have asked the National Assembly to ignore President Muhammadu Buhari over his new battle cry on the already signed electoral act.


Melaye represented Kogi West in the 8th senate and briefly in the 9th Senate while Kadiri represented Kogi East from 1999 to 2003.

Senator melaye asked the national Assembly to disregard the president on his suggedtions

“My take is that the National assembly should disregard the suggestion of the president. If after they have amended the act to sooth the Presideny and they do it the second time again that means the national Aseembly has confirmed itself as a department of the presidency. 
Senator Kadiri on his part said the lawmakers should ignore President Buhari and continue their work.

“I think he has signed what they wanted, they should just ignore him and continue with what they are doing.,”

Section 84(12) which spoke to the non eligibility of a political Appointee as a Voting Delegate or Aspirant may not have gone down well with the president 

The section of the legislation directly affect some members of his cabinet, especially those that could play crucial roles during the APC national convention

Section 84(12) of the act states that No political appointee at any level shall be a voting delegate or be voted for at the Convention or Congress of any political party for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election.

While raising the red flag on the section the President said, “This provision has introduced qualification and disqualification criteria that ultra vires the Constitution by way of importing blanket restriction and disqualification to serving political office holders of which they are constitutionally accorded protection.”

The President noted that it would amount to “stretching things beyond the constitutional limit to import extraneous restriction into the constitution on account of practical application of section 84(12) of the bill, where political parties’ conventions and congresses were to hold earlier than 30 days to the election.”

However, senator Melaye said, “There is nothing wrong with the section and the President is not supposed to raise any red flag because ministers and political appointees are not elected. 

“All the delegates to convention and congresses are elected, local government delegates are elected, chairmen of local Government are elected, party officials are elected, National Assembly members who go to the convention and congresses are elected.

On the other hand he said, “Ministers and political appointees are not elected and this is a democratic space so the national assembly did the right thing by excusing ministers and political appointees from participating in primaries and conventions and so there is nothing wrong with it and it will not be democratic to bring people who are not democratic to come and participate in a democratic process. 

“If these ministers and political appointees want to be delegates to either convention or congresses or primaries then they should go and participate in the democratic process that will throw up the delegates at their various grassroots. 

“Some of them cannot win election to be counsellors and they want to be delegates to primaries, conventions and congresses. If they want to participate they should ho back and become local Government delegates to all elections and not just expecting manners to fall from heaven. 

“The days of mannas falling from heaven is the old testament but the new testament said he that refused to labour should not eat”

“If the national Assembly carry out this second amendment recommended by the president after doing the first one to sooth him, then the National Assembly must have have confirmed that it is an appendage of the Presidential Villa and not an independent arm of Government.

He expressed the confidence that the electoral act will definitely enhance the electoral process as it will increase transparency, give credibility to the process.

On whether the 2023 election will go with out hitches based on the electoral act in terms of the faulty BVAS machines as experienced during the FCT LG election he said having conducted the election in Anambra State and the FCT council polls it is enough ground for.them to correct the anomalies and then bridge the gap before the 2023 election. 

“They now know where the technical hitches are, where the problems are and I expect that it should be perfected before the 2023 election. But definitely BVAS is giving credibility to entire process.

On whether he believes that the electoral act will go a long way to making 2023 to be free and fair without hitches he said it will minimize the process if we have the commitment if (INEC ) will sharpen the process definitely it will enhance the process especially the electronic transmission of results

Continuing senator Kadiri said the electoral act is an improvement on what the country had before. 

“I will only urge the security agencies and the thugs to allow Nigerians decide who to be their governors, chairmen, their president and chairman. 

“Because I am an active participant in the electoral process and I know what I am talking about. Beautiful law, signed act, very good but will those in power allow the context of this law signed to be put into effect for the good of the people?

“An appointee can not be a delegate, it is absurd that I will Governor of a State, I appoint 20 commissioners, 30 advisers, 30 special assistants and during an election they will come and vote, they have no mandate except the mandate of the man who appointed them. 

“He can not be allowed or be permitted to multiply himself. If the president for example allows all his political appointees, the president has over 500 political appointees any election they participate in they are likely to determine who wins. That is not democracy.”

On what, he wants National assembly to do he said he thinks he has signed what they wanted, they should just ignore him and continue with what they are doing.

On whether he thinks that the National Assembly will have the courage to ignore him he said, “We should wait and see, there are some of us who are not in the national Assembly but we talk to them on regular basis. The institution of the national assembly is being tested. 

“Those of us who have been there before and those who are there now, we are of equal stakes in the integrity of the national assembly. It is my prayer that after our individual intervention they will just allow sleeping dogs to lie. 

“The president’s or the Governor’s or the chairman’s appointees can not be delegates to any elective office, it is wrong.”

According to him, any bill or any law can be effective for any election provided those in authority allow the context of the law to supersede their individual interests.

“This act that has been signed in to law will improve our electoral fortunes in this country provided those in power allow the election to be free and fair but when the police and thugs and military are used to circumvent the process, whereby making the will of the people useless, is a tragedy, that is what has been happening. 

“I have watched elections in this country, I have watch my party snatched ballot boxes in election we did not win. 

“Nigerians dont care about positive legacies but I hope Buhari at his advanced age like me would want a positive legacy to be attached to his name. 

“That positive legacy should be one that would make people to pray and wish that Buhari were around. He should not dabble into anything orchestrated by his inner circles they are not elected human beings, they are just friends and appointees, he should listen to those of us who conducted elections to bring him to power. 

“We are happy with this electoral law that has been signed, we are happy if it should be implemented, we are not happy if the canals surrounding Buhari, whether friends or relations and appointees try to change the will of the people.”

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Discordant tunes as Obi/LP clash over purported endorsement of Abure

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***Obi says he did not endorse any leadership, as LP counters him

The Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party(LP) in the 2023 General election Peter Obi may be embarking on a collision course with the party over his motif for the visit to the secretariat of the party on Tuesday along with his supporters.

Apparently piqued by how his visit was portrayed to be an endorsement of the Julius Abure-led leadership, Obi on Wednesday morning clarified that his visit to the Party’s secretariat on Tuesday was not to endorse the leadership but to engender reconciliation.
A statement by Peter Obi Media Relations (POMR) spokesperson Dr Yunusa Tanko indicated that the visit was more of reconciliation not an endorsement of any leadership as it was being portrayed.
In a swift reaction, the LP national publicity Secretary Obiorah Ifoh in a counter statement described Obi’s new statement as a twist of the well intentioned visit of the Labour Party’s presidential candidate to the leadership of the party.
He said Obi and Abure are on the same page over reconciliation in LP as he warned against any attempt to twist well intentioned visit.
Obi’s spokesperson statement reads,
“Obi’s visit to Labour Party yesterday was not to endorse anybody, but occassioned by his reconcilliatory move. Julius Abure in his speech stated clearly how Obi came to the office, and Obi in his speech clarified same, while preaching peace, and his mantra ‘pursuit of better Nigeria for the poor’

“Leadership of NLC/TUC Political Arm Commorades Titus Amba and Chris Uyot who were informed of Obi travelling out today, hence will honour thier invitation, also met with him, and extensively discussed same peace move with them.

“Obi had repeatedly maintained that his interest was to carry everybody along into one strong family, and not to support one against the other.

“In all his meetings with with all stakeholders, he has always maintained peace, and urge not to lose purpose which is to free Nigeria suffering and pain.

“The LP standards bearer plans to continue meeting with critical stakeholders, and groups to achieve all-inclusive political family with a common dream of rescuing Nigeria.

Ifoh statement reads,

“The attention of the leadership of the Labour Party has been called to a statement issued by the spokesperson to our National Leader, Peter Obi titled, ‘Obi visits to LP, Reconciliatory, not endorsement…’ Dr. Tanko Yinusa wherein he tried to twist the well intentioned visit of the Labour Party’s presidential candidate on the leadership of the party.

“As a party we are pleased that our leader has chosen to reconcile all aggrieved members and stakeholders of the party. “This noble step taken by Mr. Obi is in line with the call made by the Labour Party’s National Chairman, Barrister Julius Abure during his maiden press conference last week titled ‘Triumphant Resumption of Abure led NWC’ wherein he pleaded with all the warring parties including the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to sheath their swords and join in the rebuilding process in the party.

“Peter Obi’s visit and speech on Tuesday during the FCT solidarity rally has been variedly described in some quarters as an endorsement on the Abure leadership being his very first visit after the successful National Convention of the party held in March. But to us as a party we cherish this visit on whatever nomenclature as a positive wind blowing on the party.
“We believe that very soon, the reconciliatory efforts will be consummated and metamorphose into a political force that will usher in a government that will liberate Nigerians from the shackles of maladministration we are presently facing in the country.

“Finally, we urge the NLC and its Political Commission to understand that we are not the foe, and to see us as an ally in the battle to rescue Nigeria.
“They should emulate the Trade Union Congress, (TUC) which has shown greater understanding and willingness to partner with the Labour Party in our efforts to make a new Nigeria possible.”

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Okonkwo accuses Abure-led LP of being equally yoked by corruption as APC

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***Says he is suspending his association with the party

Nollywood actor turned politician, Kenneth Okonkwo, has alleged that the national convention organized by Julius Abure which returned him as Labour Party (LP) national chairman is nothing but criminality and corruption.

He stated this when he announced he was suspending his relationship with the Julius Abure-led National Working Committee of the LP.

According him, a new Nigeria is the priority, adding that he prefers to lose doing the right thing than win doing the wrong thing.

Okonkwo, who was the spokesperson for the Labour Party Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Council in the 2023 election, in a post via his verified X account on Tuesday, said the current Abure-led National Working Committee of the Labour Party is another incompetent and corrupt association, just like the All Progressives Congress (APC) he left before.

The post reads: “I am suspending my relationship in all ramifications with the purported Abure-led National Working Committee of Labour Party.

For me, it’s either a new Nigeria or nothing. I prefer to lose doing the right thing than winning doing the wrong thing.

Nothing can wash out the criminality, corruption, and incompetence with which the purported National Convention was purportedly organised by Abure.

I did not leave the comfort of a ruling party APC because I believe that they are incompetent and dishonest only to come and join another incompetent and corrupt association, which is the current Abure led National Working Committee of Labour Party.”

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Obi, Otti, LP Lawmakers to storm Akure for Ondo guber election campaigns

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***Party Receives Boost From Aggrieved Aspirants from APC and PDP

The Chairman of Labour Party (LP) Governorship Primaries in Ondo State, Mr Olusola Ayodele has declared the resolve of Party to take back Ondo State in the forthcoming coming Governorship elections of the state billed for November 2024 by the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC)
A statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Obiora Ifoh, quoted Olusola Ayodele to have made the declaration when he Addressed the Southwest Leadership of the Party on Friday in Ibadan, Oyo State capital.

Ayodele who conducted the Ondo State Governorship Primaries of the LP in Akure a fortnight earlier stated that all preparations by the Leadership of the party to win the Ondo Governorship elections have been concluded with the formation of a proposed Southwest Task Force on the Ondo Governorship elections .

According to him, the Task Force being put together comprises key leaders of the party in the Southwest, who have been charged to mobilise a high-powered National Campaign Team of the Party for the Governorship elections to reenact the LP – Mimiko victory and 8 years good governance of Ondo State

He said, “To lead the Ondo National campaign committee is Mr Peter Obi, Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party and Mr Alex Oti, Governor of Abia State. They are to be supported by all LP Senators, Reps Members, State Lawmakers and other key leaders of the Party in the country with formidable solidarity from key members of the Obidient Movement in diaspora.”

While clarifying the rumour about the possibility of the party conducting a substitution primaries for the Governorship candidacy of the party, Ayodele said “this would only happen, if the current governorship candidate of the party decides to withdraw from the race during the substitution window created by INEC and if the National Working Committee, NWC of the Party also finds governorship aspirants who have the required competence and capacity as possible replacement to fly the governorship ticket of a mega party like the Labour Party, especially, a party which has ruled Ondo State for 8 years before”

Ayodele said although some aggrieved frontline governorship aspirants, especially from the APC and PDP are already discussing the possibility of crossing to Labour Party with the Committee, it is only the National Working Committee of the Party that can sanction such discussion before the close of the substitution window of INEC. He however applauded the youths, students and the masses of the people in Ondo State for remaining steadfast with the Party.

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