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Bayelsa guber polls holds tomorrow, ANPP seeks new date

NBA cautions against violence, sends 573 monitors

THE expectations and the stakes are high over tomorrow’s governorship election in Bayelsa State.

Last minutes activities leading to the polls by both the electoral umpire, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the participating political parties and other stakeholders have reached a peak. The only unexpected action came from the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), which demanded that the election be shifted to allow its candidate enlisted as directed by the court. The party made the demand after a meeting in Abuja yesterday.

But the Chief Press Secretary to INEC chairman, Mr. Kayode Idowu, told The Guardian yesterday that the commission was not aware of the party’s demand.

Idowu said the proper thing for the party to do was to present its request to INEC but as “I am talking to you, such presentation has not been made to the commission.”

This came as the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) yesterday urged all stakeholders in the contest to desist from acts capable of threatening the fragile security situation in the country during the polls.

The election is at the instance of the ruling of the Supreme Court last month, which affirmed that the tenure of the former governors of Adamawa, Bayelsa, Cross River, Kogi and Sokoto states, which began on May 29, 2007, terminated on May 28, 2011, being four years allowed by the 1999 Constitution.

In a statement, the NBA Election Working Group (EWG) Chairman, Mr. Dafe Akpedeye (SAN) and Alternate Chairman, Mr. Festus Okoye, said: “The association’s Election Working Group (NBA EWG) notes that there have been adverse reports relating to the security situation in the state as a result of conflicting political interests.

“The state has also witnessed heightened and unguarded utterances from the key players in the politics of the state with the capacity of sending wrong signals to their supporters.

“We counsel that Nigeria is going through challenging times and the political leaders in Bayelsa State have the additional responsibility of maintaining civility and showing good electoral example to other states of the federation, considering the fact that the President is from the state.”

The NBA appealed to security agencies to co-ordinate properly and reign in troublesome politicians and their supporters to prevent their mischief from having a negative effect on the election and its outcome.

Already, 573 observers have being accredited to monitor the polls.

Akpedeye, who is the first co-chair of the facilitators, Project Swift Count (PSC), a coalition of four organisations, Federation of Muslim Women’s Association in Nigeria (FOMWON), Justice, Development Peace/Caritas (JDPC), Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and Transition Monitoring Group (TMG), said: “PSC will deploy a total of 573 observers to observe the election. Of this figure, 550 will be deployed randomly to pre-selected polling units spread across the eight local councils while the remaining 23 will rove the state. The observers have been duly accredited by INEC for this exercise having met the commission’s conditions.”

He said the training of the observers “was organised in order to ensure that the governorship election is adequately observed in line with the PSC’s mission of building the confidence of voters in the election and promoting free, fair, peaceful and credible elections in Nigeria.”

And citing a Federal High Court in Abuja order on INEC to include the name of its candidate, Chief Ebi Lloyd Alamene, for the election, the National Secretariat of the ANPP has urged the commission to postpone the polls to a later date.

The party’s National Chairman, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, who made the call while reacting to the court order, told the ANPP National Executive Committee (NEC) in Abuja that the call for the postponement had become necessary to give the party the time to campaign for the elections.

Meanwhile, the ANPP NEC has ratified the appointment of Alhaji Tijani Musa Tumsa, a former chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Yobe State, as the new National Secretary of the party to replace Alhaji Lawan Shettima, who was recently appointed Works Commissioner in Yobe State.

His appointment was ratified via a motion moved by Chief Vitalis Ajumbe, the Imo State chairman of the party, seconded by his counterpart from Taraba State, Honourable Hamisu Suleiman, in line with Article 23 (9) of the party.

Also, the NEC approved a Governorship Campaign Committee for the February 18 election in Sokoto State headed by the Governor of Yobe State and Chairman of the ANPP Governors’ Forum, Alhaji Ibrahim Gaidam. The committee also has other members such as two former governors of Yobe and Kano states now senators, Bukar Abba Ibrahim and Kabiru Ibrahim Gaya.

-Guardian

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Posted by on Feb 9 2012. Filed under All Nigerian Peoples' Party (ANPP), Bayelsa, Headlines, INEC Politics, Party Politics, State News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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