Following the controversy trailing the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2021 by the National Assembly, Senator representing Anambra South Senatorial District, Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, has said that he championed the recommendation for the usage of electronic transmission of results during elections in the country by the Senate Commitee on Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC
In a statement, titled: “Setting the records straight on electronic transmission of election results: My standpoint”, he denied “the spreading misinformation” that he was absent at the plenary during the consideration of the committee’s report on the bill, saying he was at the emergency meeting held earlier at Room 223 alongside some commitee members on INEC nominees before they proceeded to the chamber for the day’s plenary.
The lawmaker emphasized that he “supported the proposed amendment of the Electoral Act to allow for the electronic transmission of results by INEC” as a member of the committee that recommended that reviewed amendment bill.
Senator Ubah, who is the candidate of the Young Progressives Party, YPP in the November 6 Anambra State governorship election, informed that he walked out of the Red Chamber during consideration of the committee report after the Senate President Dr Ahmad Lawan ruled him out of order to make a personal explanation in support of the electronic transmission of votes by the INEC.
“In line with parliamentary practice, I walked out of the Senate Chambers in protest to register my displeasure; hence my absence during the voting session. Before walking out of the Senate Chambers, I didn’t fail to tell the Senate President how disappointed I was by his action.
“It is my earnest belief that the use of technology in elections can significantly improve the efficiency and transparency of electoral conducts in Nigeria.
“Undoubtedly, the adoption of electronic transmission of electoral results can serve as an effective/viable solution to the chaotic, manipulative and violently disruptive process that has characterized manual collation of votes in Nigeria,” he stressed.
The governorship hopeful noted that electronic transmission of results directly from the polling units to INEC’s central server, which he said he had always advocated for, “will significantly reduce rigging and brazen manipulation of electoral results at collation centers.”
He, however, reassured his constituents and Nigerians at large of his unwavering commitment to deepening the nation’s democracy through the instrumentality of the legislature, stressing that he would continue to support and fashion out legislative interventions that will consolidate the democratic gains recorded so far in Nigeria’s electoral process.
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President Buhari’s government revamping power sector-APC group
The President Muhammadu Buhari administration in Nigeria is revamping the power sector in Nigeria by completing abandoned projects, Promoting off-grid/renewable initiatives and ensuring robust consumer protection for on-grid electricity consumers.
APC Legacy Awareness and Campaign group, a group in Nigeria’s governing party, the All Progressives Congress, said this in a press statement signed by its leaders; the APC national youths leader, Ismael Ahmed, Director General of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) Salihu Lukman, a former APC National Publicity Secretary Mr. Lanre Issa-Onilu and a presidential media aide Tolu Ogunlesi.
Amongst the efforts to improve power supply in Nigeria, the Legacy group said is the completion of one of the biggest power plants in the country – the Zungeru Hydropower Plant by the end of 2021.
According to the APC group, some of the inherited abandoned projects that have been completed in 2020 are the 40MW Kashimbila Dam and Hydropower Plant; the 10MW Katsina Wind Farm; and the 30MW Gurara Hydroelectric Power Plant.
Among the new projects started by the Buhari Administration are; ” the private-sector-led Azura Power Plant in Edo State (460MW), for which the financial close was facilitated in 2015/2016, and which was completed in the first quarter of 2018, several months ahead of schedule. The Buhari Administration also built the Afam Three Fast Power Plant, with a capacity to generate 240MW of electricity.”
The group said the new plant has been sold, alongside the neighbouring Afam Power Plc (966MW installed capacity), to Transcorp Plc.
Other projects include the National Mass Metering Programme which was launched in August 2020, the Solar Power Naija launched in April 2021 to deliver 5 million off-grid solar connections to Nigerian households and the Presidential Power Initiative (PPI), also known as The Siemens Power Programme.
The group also pointed out that the government is also working on supplying clean and reliable energy (Solar and Gas) to Federal Universities and Federal Teaching Hospitals across the country, and it has succeeded in 4 universities across Nigeria ; BUK (Kano), FUNAI (Ebonyi), ATBU (Bauchi) and FUPRE (Delta).
The APC group noted that the government is also carrying out several financial interventions in form of grants, electricity pricing reform and other programmes.
Policies to improve the sector has not been left out in the reform, according to the APC Legacy Campaign group, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) is more actively rising up to its regulatory responsibilities.
“In 2019 it issued an Order capping estimated billing by DisCos. Most recently (July 2021) it has issued a Consultation paper on the Review of Customer Protection Regulations in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry, and is inviting the input of citizens and stakeholders as it works to strengthen these consumer protection frameworks” the group said.
The APC group noted that the Buhari Administration is laying a solid foundation for uninterrupted power supply in every part of the country in the near future.
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Court Victory: President Buhari Congratulates Governor Akeredolu
President Muhammadu Buhari has joined members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in felicitating with Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State over the Supreme Court’s judgement, which upheld his re-election in the October 10, 2020 polls.
The President therefore, urged the Governor, and all elected leaders of the governing party, to always place the people first in their consideration of development programmes and projects.
He affirmed that the popularity of the APC would continue to depend on performance and acceptance by the electorate.
President Buhari extolled the Ondo State Governor for assiduously working for the development of the state, with reforms that continue to attract the goodwill of investors, and insistence that education, health and security take priority.
The President noted that the Supreme Court’s Judgement preceded by that of the Court of Appeal, further bolsters the strength and reach of the APC, and its bright chances of consolidation in coming elections.
President Buhari called on the opposition to sheathe the sword, work for the development of Ondo State, and wishes the government and people a prosperous future.
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Kwara APC set for ward congresses
Kwara State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) says it is set for its ward congresses across the sixteen local government areas of the state which is scheduled to commence on Saturday, 31st of July.
The State APC caretaker Committee Chairman, Alhaji Abdullahi Samari disclosed this while addressing newsmen in Ilorin, the state capital at the newly acquired party Secretariat.
The party also added that all security arrangements have been put in place to ensure a hitch free congress and warned against any form of disruption of the exercise.
He called on its members to conduct themselves in a peaceful manner during and after the exercise.
Alhaji Samari used the occasion to introduce members of Ward Congress Committee from the National Secretariat of the party led by its chairman, Alhaji Shuaib Umar and formally received them at the party Secretariat.
According to him, the APC will be organizing its congress in accordance with the Caretaker/ Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee of the Party under Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State.
Alhaji Samari added that the party’s guidelines would be strictly enforced in the State to ensure open, credible and fair participation by all members who can vote and be voted for thereby reflecting the sanctity of internal democracy of the party.
Responding to questions from newsmen, the secretary of the ward congress committee from the National Secretariat of the party, Mr Yusuf AbdulRahman said the committee is prepared for the assignment and therefore urged members of the party to come out and participate fully in the exercise.
Mr Yusuf also encouraged all interested contestants to obtain forms from the party secretariat in the state.
VON gathered that the ward congresses shall consist of all registered members of the party in the wards while newly registered members from the updated 2021 party membership register are eligible to participate in the ward congress.
All aspirants to party positions shall pay specified fees for the party nomination form as the position of the ward chairman will attract the sum of N10, 000.00, ward party vice chairman, secretary and treasurer, N5,000.00, other offices, N2,000.00 while all delegates will pay N1,000.
Progressive Governors Forum calls for reorientation of Nigerians
The Progressives Governors Forum has called for re-orientation by the Nigerian Government to the public in a bid to finding solutions to the country’s challenges rather than complaining or blaming leaders.
The Director General of the PGF, Mr. Salihu Lukman who said this in a press Statement noted that both leaders and the led need such orientation.
Mr. Lukman explained that getting Nigerians to take responsibility in their different fields of endeavours in responding to challenges facing the country would help sustain initiatives of government.
Mr. Lukman said Nigerian leaders must be people who are solution providers and problem solvers rather than complainers.
Using the challenge of insecurity as an example, the PGF DG said that focus shouldn’t solely be on the government addressing the challenge alone, he said the society needs to be educated on the role to play in addressing insecurity.
“Equally important is also how Nigerians across all strata of social life are being mobilised to take responsibility in restoring order and guaranteeing security of life and property in every part of the country.”
The PGF DG also proposed a total overhaul of the National Orientation Agency for it to be able to carry out a strong and sustainable public mobilisation campaign with the aim of educating and changing the mindset of Nigerians.
“One of the things that need to be done is to completely re-organise the NOA”, Lukman said, adding that “it may be necessary to be moved out of the Ministry of Information and make it a specialise agency of the Federal Government directly under the Presidency.”
He said being under the Presidency will strengthen its powers and enable it to engage all agencies of government at all levels.
According to Mr. Lukman, failure to develop a strong mobilisation programme will continue to create gaps that will make the voices of political opposition louder in the country which would continue to promote divisive politics based on misinformation and falsehood.
He also appealed to APC members and the President to consider these proposals which he said will strengthen the capacity of the party and the APC governments in mobilizing Nigerians.
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Borno state APC agrees on consensus congress
The Borno State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has unanimously agreed to adopt the consensus method in choosing its party leaders across the state at its forthcoming congress.
The decision was adopted after a stakeholders meeting which took place at the multipurpose hall of the Government house in Maiduguri.
After series of deliberation by the members of the ruling party, a unanimous agreement was reached.
The State acting Chairman of the party, Hon. Ali Bukar Dalori said the party decision was not surprising as it’s a clear manifestation of good and transparent leadership.
The immediate past governor of Borno State, Senator Kashim Shetima said the party’s unanimous decision was a testimony of a transparent leadership taking place in the state party.
Similarly, Senator Maina Ma’aji Lawan who is also a former Governor of the State said, ” what transpired at the meeting was a laying foundation for a united, strong and purposeful party and congresses. It is very clear or whatsoever on the part of the governor to not have any interest of imposing any candidate against the will of the party members.”
Likewise Senator Ali Ndume representing Borno South also said the party’s decision was the right step towards the right direction which is in accordance with the party constitution, and it is also a sign of a good leadership.
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