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Prof Yakubu Issues directive to parties to Submit membership registers

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To comply with the new Electoral Act 2022, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has directed all registered political parties to submit copies of their membership register to the commission, 30 days before their primary elections.

The Chairman of the commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, gave the directive at the second regular quarterly meeting of Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) in Abuja, on Thursday.

Yakubu indicated that the new Electoral Act made it mandatory for political parties to submit their registered members to the commission 30 days before their primaries.

“Let me also seize this opportunity to remind political parties that by the provision of Section 77 of the Electoral Act 2022; each party is required to maintain a membership register in hard and soft copy and to make such register available to the Commission not later than 30 days before the date fixed for primaries, congresses and conventions.

“So far, only one political party has complied. It is a mandatory requirement of the law and all parties are required to comply.

“Doing otherwise is like going into an election without the register of voters. There can be no credible primary or general election without a credible register of voters,” Yakubu said.

Yakubu also admonished RECs to thoroughly study the new Electoral Act, saying a credible election is anchored on the law.

“As you are aware, the Electoral Act, together with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and our Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Elections, constitute the electoral legal framework for elections.

“As election managers, it is incumbent upon us to familiarise ourselves with the legal framework.”

Yakubu said that a total of 2,673 centres had been activated nationwide for the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR)

According to him, in the last one week of the exercise, 405,587 eligible Nigerians had completed the registration at the various centres.

This, he said represents about 31 per cent increase on the average figure of 125,000 weekly registrations since the exercise commenced in June 2021.

Yakubu indicated that INEC is expecting a surge in new registrations as it approached its June 30 deadline, adding that it was prepared for it.

He, however, said that INEC was concerned about the safety of prospective registrants, INEC personnel, equipment and materials, including the printed Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) made available for collection by registered voters.

Yakubu, who said that recent incidents involving INEC staff and facilities were worrisome, recalled that following the unfortunate attack on INEC staff in Imo State last week, the Commission suspended the CVR in all the 54 additional centres in the State.

“The exercise is now restricted to our State and Local Government offices except Ihitte Uboma, Njaba and Osu where the exercise had been suspended for the time being.

“Similarly, based on the urgency of the situation in Anambra State, the CVR has been suspended in all the 42 additional centres and confined to our State and Local Government offices except Nnewi South and Ogbaru LGAs where the exercise had also been temporarily suspended.

“Furthermore, in Kaduna State, the exercise had been suspended in Jema’a and Kaura as well as large areas of Birnin Gwari and Giwa on account of insecurity in the four LGAs.

“ In addition, two of our staff were abducted by bandits but later released in Isa LGA of Sokoto state while on voter registration duty.”

Yakubu said that the commission would keep monitoring and reviewing the situation nationwide, always bearing in mind the imperatives of ensuring the safety and security of INEC staff and registrants.

However, he said that in spite of the security challenges, INEC remained resolute in its determination to conduct the 2023 General Election as scheduled.

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Politics

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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