Emmanuel Adeyemi, Lokoja
The Independent National Electoral Commission has said the Social Democratic party (SDP) has no valid governorship candidates for both Bayelsa and Kogi states in the November 16 election.
The INEC commissioner of Information and Voter education, Festus Okoye stated this on Wednesday in Lokoja during a training programme for working journalists in Kogi State ahead of the election.
He said both the governorship candidate of the party in Bayelsa and his running mate were under age while that of the running mate to the governorship candidate in Kogi state was also under age stressing that by virtue of sect 187 (1,2), the party can no longer field any other candidate for the election.
Okoye said INEC gave enough to all the political parties to submit names of their candidates before 6 pm on September 9, but expressed surprise that four other parties came few minutes after the stipulated time which he said automatically disqualified them from fielding candidates for the election.
Earlier in his keynote address, the INEC boss urged Journalists to shun fake news and work within the rules of the profession to ensure successful conduct of the November 16 election in the state.
The training workshop which bordered on Legal and Procedural Issues on the governorship election was held at Confluence Hotel, Adankolo, Lokoja.
He said that hate speech and fake news are becoming very divisive forces in the society, adding that journalists should do all the necessary checks in order not to incite violence during elections.
The Commissioner states: “This has since become a threat in our democratic system, as such we should always discourage the spread of all news that will distract our peace and unity in the country. You should be conscious of what will be the consequence when you disseminate the wrong information.
“As we are getting closer to the November 16 governorship election in Kogi State, journalists have to adhere by the code of conduct and the ethics of the profession.
Most politicians during elections are into fake news and hate speech; if you don’t assist them, they will go nowhere”, he further said.
Okoye then pledged more support to working journalists in the state to enable them discharge their responsibilities more professionally during the election, saying that his doors will always be opened for inquiries.
APC Inaugurates Campaign Team In Lokoja
The Lokoja Local Government chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has inaugurated its campaign council for victory of the party in the November governorship election.
Inaugurating the Council yesterday in Lokoja, the leader, Kogi West deputy Director-General of Bello-Onoja Campaign Council, Haruna Isah called on the council to work hard for the victory of the party.
He said the council and the committee members were carefully selected across the 10 Wards of the local government area, adding that APC was ready to win the governorship election overwhelmingly.
He added that if all members work above board, the party would emerge victorious at all levels in the 2019 general election.
In his remarks, the Lokoja local government Director-General of Bello-Onoja campaign Council, Mr. Jimoh Fancy Tiamiyu thanked the party leaders for the confidence reposed in them and pledged to work hard for the victory of the party.
He called on the people of the state to understand that the victory of the party is for the development of the state and not that of the APC alone.
Tiamiyu solicited for support, advice and prayers of party members to enable them discharge their responsibilities effectively.
He assured Governor Yahaya Bello and all APC supporters that the council will do its best to ensure total victory for the party.
Highlights of the ceremony include official commissioning of a befitting Bello-Onoja Campaign office donated by the Lokoja local government Director-General of Bello-Onoja Campaign Council, Mr. Jimoh Fancy Tiamiyu at Rahman Plaza along Murtala Muhammed Way, Lokoja.
Top dignitaries that graced the occasion include the Administrator, Lokoja local government area, Muhammed Dan’asabe Muhammed, APC state chairman, Abdullahi Bello, Special Adviser to Kogi State Governor on Job Creation, Danladi Aguye, Special Adviser on Ethnics and Cultural Integration, Lawal Shiru, among others.
Wada not match for Bello
The Special Adviser to Kogi State Governor on Job Creation and SMEs, Danladi Sulaiman Aguye, has said the Peoples Democratic party’ s candidate, Musa Wada is no match for Governor Yahaya Bello and will suffer a bloodied nose in next month’s election.
Addressing journalists shortly after the inauguration of Lokoja local government Bello-Onoja Campaign Council yesterday, Aguye said while the governor had used his position in and out of office to better the lives of people, Wada had not impacted lives outside his immediate circle.
He said: “In this race (November 2019), there is only one gladiator and that gladiator is the current governor. So, there is no contender. (Wada) by saying this is the toughest election in the history of Kogi, yes toughest for him, certainly not for the governor.
“As far as I’m concerned, this will be the easiest election in the history of Kogi; he (Wada) will not even win Dekina much less Ankpa or Idah and then come to Bassa. We will ensure we do whatever we can, this will be the first and last Wada’s outing and he will suffer a bloodied nose by the grace of God.”
According to him, Bello has done more than previous administrations within three years.
“He has been able to block all loopholes through which workers salaries are being siphoned by few people”, he stressed.
Aguye lamented that the state’s resources were squandered by former PDP administrations.
“All incomes generated by revenue officers, were not saved for the rainy day by the previous PDP government.
“But, under Bello, the state revenue base has increased drastically,” he added
NGOs deploy Over 200 persons living with disabilities to serve as observers
No fewer than 200 Persons Living with Disabilities will be deployed as election observers in the November, 16 governorship election.
The Deputy country director, National Democratic Institute (NDI), Raymond Esebagbon stated this yesterday, when the Challenge Parenthood Initiative paid the Secretary to the Kogi State Government, Mrs Folashade Arike Ayoade an advocacy visit on the need to stop violence against women in election and to ensure more women participation in the polls.
Esebagbon in his remarks noted that, this will be accomplished in collaboration with other NGOs which include National Democratic Institute (NDI), Inclusive Friends Associate (IFA), Challenge Parenthood Initiative (CPI),
and Center for Democracy, USAID and Development (CDD).
The country director while noting that his organization has over the years continued to support good governance in the country, stressed that, the injection of people with disabilities into the election process will promote inclusiveness in the system.
Esebagbon maintained that, one of the goals of the organisation is to ensure that more women and youths participate in politics just as he emphasised that the non governmental organization is committed to support issues- based campaign and combat fake news before, during and after the polls.
According to him, as part of efforts to drive home this campaign towards achieving a violence-free election in the state, a veteran musician 2Face will be in the state next week to sensitize the electorate on the need for a hitch-free election.
According to him, about seven states including Kaduna, Kano, Jigawa, Adamawa, Lagos, Anambra and Enugu have keyed into the campaign to stop violence against women in election.
Esebagbon who commended the Kogi State governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello for appointing more women in his cabinet since the state was created 28 years ago said the campaign will not yield fruit if the government failed to throw in their support.
He however listed health, education, Job creation, public and civil service reform, infrastructural development as some of the primary thematic area that the government should look into if it must succeed in the state.
In her response, the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs Folashade Arike Ayoade while describing the state as a confluence of opportunities noted that, the present administration is determined to leave a legacy that will not be forgotten in the country.
She reminded her visitors that, the present administration inherited ghost workers who have been milking the state of its funds.
Don’t sell your vote– GDPN
The Grassroots Development Party of Nigeria has urged the electorate in Kogi State not to be carried away with the cash from any governorship candidate but the services he has the capacity to offer the people.
Speaking with newsmen in Lokoja, the deputy governorship candidate of the party, Alh Suleiman Mohammed who said he was speaking for the party’s flag bearer, Chief Dele Bello said the ruling party only succeeded in spreading hunger and starvation to the people in the last three years.
He said that inspite of the huge allocations collected from the Federation account and the bail-out and Paris club refund given the state government, the people of the state remained pauperised as there is no single project executed or commissioned.
Mohammed further stressed that all motorable roads in the state are in a state of disrepair and are death traps to motorists while the people suffer an unprecedented hardship never witnessed since the creation of the state.
He therefore urged the electorate to vote for a neutral party like GDPN which, he said, has the genuine interest of the people and programmes that can transform the state.
According to him , if GDPN is elected by November 16, the issue of non payment of salaries for workers and pension will be a thing of the past while quality and compulsory education and comprehensive healthcare will be top priority of their administration.
Journalists told not to promote electoral violence
Search for Common Ground, an International NGO working on peace building and conflict transformation has urged journalists covering the election to always avoid sensational reports that may trigger electoral violence.
The NGO which organised a two-day training for 30 working journalists from influential media houses and some bloggers stressed that careless use of words and headline writing including unverified reports have in the time past ignited or contributed to electoral violence.
The NGO also urged journalists not to announce any result during or after the election unless it emanates from INEC which has the constitutional right to do so saying such is capable of generating violence.
While reminding journalists that it was their social responsibility to give voice to the voiceless and hear all sides of dispute before publication, the NGO said the governorship election must be peaceful.
The two days training had the objective of mainstreaming conflict sensitivity in media reportage, support journalists to constructively report on the elections without contributing to the drivers of electoral violence and agree on modalities for commemorating the State Media peace day ahead of the elections in Kogi State.
Highlights of the training were presentations and brainstorming sessions on media in conflict reporting, mainstream media, social media, giving voice to marginalized groups and responsible media coverage of elections.
Other sessions of the training featured hate speech trends and how to curb it, development of peace messages, early warning towards preventing electoral violence and building media synergies.
The common ground Journalism training was facilitated by Temisan Etietsola, Search’s Media Manager, Joy Baiye, Media and Outreach Coordinator, Omolola Mamedu, Early Warning Coordinator and Gift Omoniwa, State Project Coordinator.