The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is set to announce Governor Godwin Obaseki of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of the Saturday 19th September, 2020 Edo governorship election.
According to the results from 17 Local Government Areas confirmed by INEC so far, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate is leading with over 82,000 votes.
As it stands after results from 17 LGAs:
As of the time of filing this report, there is only one local government area left to collate.
However, the total number of voters in Ovia South-West is 73,909.
This is lesser than the margin between Obaseki and Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who is his closest rival.
When election is afoot, it is the right time to contemplate voter’s education especially in our rural areas. Elections into political offices in Nigeria are often fiercely contested with its attendant challenges. So there is always the air of apprehension and anxieties whenever elections are schedule to hold.
The reasons to educate the electorates and voters in other to prepare them on the right ways to conduct themselves before and after election are critical.
Voter’s education is imperative and cannot be wished away or over emphasizes in quest to strengthen our democracy. The 2019 general election was an interesting exercise that exposed all the intrigues and political gimmick of politicians, posing to us the relevance of voter’s education.
Indeed, voter’s education is associated with insight and knowledge of voter’s rights in electioneering process.
Therefore, little wonder that in developed democracy like US and Britain, voters during election are more informed on candidates, political parties and guidelines of the election.In this, move voters education has positive implication on emergence of political leaders out of election contest.
Fortunately for us, voter’s education would strengthen our democratic process as well as reduce any electoral fraud during the forthcoming governorship election Edo and Ondo state respectively.
This is therefore important to our democracy and national development. Indeed, this has come to the heart of our observations.
The supreme task of voter’s education is paramount to the rural and urban electorates many whom have showed interest on who governed them. This may sound surprising but the current reality of change has reawakened every citizens of this country.
Obviously, has resident and indigene of both Edo and Ondo state prepare for the governorship elections comes in a matter of weeks, to our village people in the rural areas as we refer to them are in need of voter’s education, even though most of them are politically conscious of their socio-political environment.
We hope that voter’s education in its strict sense is to empower the electorates and it is a must that relevant stakeholders would undertake.
Concretely what this voters education means and how it is to be done is simply on the basis of non partisanship, respect for the electorates and devoid of sentiment (religion or ethnic) or hate speeches.
This is possible because voters need to be prepare more than before to avoid their votes been wrongly cast, the right to vote been denial and their fundamental human right not abuse.
We want to the election result to reflect the wish of the electorates, while we desire our voters to cast their vote with informed knowledge of their right to choose who they best trust. Stand and know your right as voters and follow up the result of your votes as good citizens. In all be able to hold the elected official accountable.
By: Adefolarin Olamilekan, Political Economist and Development Researcher, Email:firstname.lastname@example.org-Abuja.
Recently there is a growing yearning and demand among young Nigerians about the need to use the only mechanism or option left in the hands of voters after electing a person into either the State House of Assembly, House of Representatives or the Senate, where there is lack of confidence.
This to me is the only weapon left in the hands of the electorate that ensure that an elected person or representative in any legislative house, remain answerable to his constituent throughout the period of his assignment as their representative.
In an attempt to provide what may look like a guide to the electorates in this regard, let me quickly consider the relevant provisions of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As Amended), especially from section 69, 110, 68 and 109. Which are the sections directly connected to recall in our constitution.
Given effect to these provisions of the constitution will go a long way in reshaping our democracy and in enhancing our political culture in Nigeria going forward.
Step One: Where and how to start the recall process?
The starting point is the same whether it relate to a member of the National Assembly (House of Representatives or Senate) or a member of the House of Assembly, Section 69 of the 1999 Constitution provide in respect of the recall of a member of the National Assembly (Senate or House of Representatives) thus: “A member of the Senate or of the House Representatives may be recalled as such a member if –
(a) there is presented to the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission a petition in that behalf signed by more than one-half of the persons registered to vote in that member’s constituency alleging their loss of confidence in that member and which signatures are duly verified by the Independent National Electoral Commission; and
(b) the petition is thereafter, in a referendum conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission within ninety days of the date of receipt of the petition, approved by a simple majority of the votes of the persons registered to vote in that member’s constituency.”
While in respect of a member of the State House of Assembly section 110 provide in the same vain thus: “A member of the House of Assembly may be recalled as such a member if –
(a) there is presented to the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission a petition in that behalf signed by more than one-half of the persons registered to vote in that members’ constituency alleging their loss of confidence in that member and which signatures are duly verified by the Independent Electoral Commission; and
(b) the petition is thereafter, in a referendum conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission within ninety days of the date of the receipt of the petition, approved by a simple majority of the votes of the persons registered to vote in that member’s constituency.”
Step Two: What happens when the recall process is concluded by the INEC?
Where all the laid down procedures and requirements of recall are made, if it is in respect of a member of the National Assembly, section 68 provides thus:
“(1) A member of the Senate or of the House of Representatives shall vacate his seat in the House of which he is a member if –
(h) the President of the Senate or, as the case may be, the Speaker of the House of Representatives receives a certificate under the hand of the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission stating that the provisions of section 69 of this Constitution have been complied with in respect of the recall of that member.
2) The President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of Representatives, as the case may be, shall give effect to the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, so however that the President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of Representatives or a member shall first present evidence satisfactory to the House concerned that any of the provisions of that subsection has become applicable in respect of that member.”
The same thing shall applied to a member of the House of Assembly, as section 109 also provides thus:
“(1) A member of a House of Assembly shall vacate his seat in the House if –
(h) the Speaker of the House of Assembly receives a certificate under the hand of the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission stating that the provisions of section 110 of this Constitution have been complied with in respect of the recall of the member.
(2) The Speaker of the House of Assembly shall give effect to subsection (1) of this section, so however that the Speaker or a member shall first present evidence satisfactory to the House that any of the provisions of that subsection has become applicable in respect of the member.”
The procedure if followed will go a long way in putting all elected officials in check from the legislature down to the executive, because, where the members of the legislature became conscious of the power of the members of their Constituencies to recall them, they will refuse to allow the members of the executives from using them at the detriment of the people they supposed to represent and only then, they will be bold enough to activate their power to impeach the members of the executives if need be. Only then democracy will be a government of the people.
The former Chairman, Independence National Electoral Commission (INEC) and former Vice Chancellor (VC) Bayero University Kano, and as well as a major stakeholder in the ranks of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), Prof. Attahiru M. Jega, calls for action within the rank of the party, where he said:
“I have joined the PRP as an ordinary member, trying to contribute in any way possible to make it a credible alternative party for governance throughout the Nigerian federation.”
The Professor Jega further said:
“The party is being reorganized and strengthened, in terms of structures and ideological clarity, to meet the challenges of the contemporary era.
Efforts have also commenced for membership recruitment to ensure effective national presence. As many people as possible, who have integrity, patriotism and competence and who are currently sitting on the fence, or doing “siddon look”, or burying their heads in the relatively cozy environment of the Ivory Towers, need to come on board to galvanize this effort towards success.”
“We must remove bandits and kleptocrats from the sphere of governance at federal and state levels to reposition Nigeria for desirable democratic development.” Jega concluded.
INEC: THE FEDERAL HIGH COURT HAS AFFIRMED THE DEREGISTRATION OF 32 POLITICAL PARTIES.
Report from the Federal High Court Abuja, in a judgment delivered by Justice Anwuli Chikere dismissed the suit filed by the parties against the powers of the Independent National Electoral Commission to deregister them.
The court held that the commission rightly deregistered the parties in line with the provision of section 225(a) of the Nigerian Constitution.
The political parties were among the 74 that were deregistered by the INEC on February 6, 2020, on the grounds of poor performance at the 2019 general elections.
The parties had filed their suit last year to restrain INEC from carrying out the exercise when they got wind of the commission’s plan.
The judge had earlier on February 17, this year, issued an order restraining INEC from acting on the notice deregistering the 32 political parties, pending the determination of the suit.
But with the Thursday’s judgment by the court, the said order is now discharged by validating the commission’s earlier action.
Some of the affected 32 political parties are Advanced Congress of Democrats (ACD), Advanced Nigeria Democratic Party (ANDP), All Blending Party (ABP), All Grand Alliance Party (AGAP), Better Nigeria Progressive Party (BNPP), Democratic People’s Congress (DPC), Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), and Green Party of Nigeria (GPN).
Daily Watch Press is not aware of any move by the deregistered parties to appeal the said Judgment at the time of filling this report.