The Conference of Northern States Civil Society Networks has said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) performed below expectation in the last presidential and National Assembly elections across the country.
KANO FOCUS reports that they tasked the electoral umpire to brace up to the challenges and perform better during Saturday’s governorship and state Assembly elections in Nigeria.
The Conference regretted that most Nigerians were not satisfied after the conduct of February 25 elections by INEC.
Addressing Journalists at Tahir Guest Palace, Kano, Chairman of the Conference, Ambassador Ibrahim A. Waiya stated that, “the presidential and National Assembly elections conducted on the 25th February by INEC has fallen short of the standard of all elections practices and ethics.”
According to him, “INEC has raised so much credibility question on its name and created doubt on the minds of Nigerians regarding INEC preparedness to conduct free, fair, credible and acceptable elections in Nigeria.”
He, however, expressed happiness that, “timely distribution of electoral materials especially to LGAs offices were really commendable. Quick responses to BVAS issues on the election day were also impressive. The Election was on a general assessment peaceful.
“The Nigerian security agencies like EFCC, DSS, NDLEA, NSCDC, Nigeria Police Force had performed wonderfully well in ensuring peaceful polls during presidential and national Assembly elections, and that they would continue with the work in the next elections.”
Waiya said it was unfortunate that, “the elections were highly polarized along religion and ethnicity.”
The Conference noted that, “compliance with the provisions of Electoral Act 2022 must be observed to ensure electoral credibility in Nigeria.
“Electoral offenders of any kind must be punished under the laws of the country to discourage others from perpetrating electoral offences again in Nigeria.
“Those found in the act of intimidating and suppressing voters at polling units must be made to face the wrath of the law no matter how highly placed they are.
“The impunity of the state governors during elections must be addressed to checkmate their overbearing interference in elections.
“It is imperative for INEC to review all evidence of electoral malpractices presented before the commission in the interest of peace and security as political party and party processes must be reformed to tackle issues of money bags and Godfatherism in Nigeria’s politics. Where the political parties fail to get it right, it is absolutely impossible for Nigeria to get its general election right.
“Issue-based campaigns must be encouraged rather than identity sentiment along religion and ethnicity
EFCC should continue with their good work to reduce the commercialization of the electoral process through vote buying and selling.”
Waiya regretted that, “the conduct of the 2023 Presidential and National Assembly elections were poor, especially with the attitude of the commission to ditch result transmission from polling units across the country.
“This singular act has given room for suspicion of human interference and manipulation of results and could prune the will of the people as freely expressed at the poll.”
Further speaking during the Press Conference entitled: “The Conduct of Elections and the question of integrity,” Waiya said: “The 25th February, 2023 Presidential and National Assembly elections had keenly generated a lot of attention from within and outside the country.
“However, this may not be unconnected on how Nigeria is strategically positioned as the largest democracy in Africa.
“Many organizations both local and international had passionately observed the conduct of the elections, especially the local organizations who have been on ground and have been following the trend since the release of the elections timetable.
“Many civil society organizations had observed the conduct of the elections across the 774 Local Government Areas in the country.
“While in some states there were other complementary efforts such as hosting of the election situation room which were focused on data collation and analysis, as well as quick response mechanism to address emerging issues such as what was obtained in Kano State
“Although there were many assurances from the Independent National Electoral Commission before the conduct of the elections, on its preparedness to conduct free, fair, credible and transparent elections.
“Unfortunately, what was witnessed during the conduct of the presidential elections on the 25th Feb. fell below the high expectation of the Nigerians, who had have the high hope more than before, to witness a historic elections in the country. This could be evidently justified by the number of Nigerians that registered as voters numbering to more than eighty five million, all as eligible voters who could participate in the elections.
“It is however unfortunate that, the number of Nigerians that participated in the last elections of 25th Feb. were apparently not happy with the outcome of the elections especially as the elections were massively characterized by many irregularities. Although some of the shortcomings that marred the conduct of the elections, could be summarized into pre, during and post elections.
“The undemocratic tendencies played out during the pre-election phase, which bordered on lack of internal democracy in the political parties processes that produced the candidates of major parties, had an over spelling effects on the conduct of the general election.
“For instance, the commercialization of the party elections that produced candidates at the primaries, had institutionalized vote-buying which eventually translated and resurfaced in the general election. In addition to the above, the violence that also accompanied the campaign activities which were turned bloody in some states, such as Kano, and some other parts of the country.
“These ugly practices therefore transcended into mass electoral violence in a number of places during the presidential election.”
Gov Yusuf rejects tribunal judgement, heads to appeal court
Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim
The Kano State Governor, Abba Kabir Yusuf, has vowed to appeal the judgement of the governorship election tribunal which nullified his election and declared the APC candidate, Nasiru Yusuf Gawauna as the winner.
KANO FOCUS reports that Yusuf made the declaration on Wednesday night, while making a broadcast to the people of the state.
He said his legal team had been directed to appeal the judgement at the court of appeal in order to reclaim the mandate given to him by the people of the State.
He, therefore, Called on the good people of the state to remain calm and continue to be law abiding as security agents have been directed to ensure the safety of lives and property of the citizens.
“Let me assure you that the this government would continue to work for the development of the people of the state as the judgement will never dampen our spirit or discourage us from the good work we have started.” he said.
The Governor, who thanked the people of the state for their continued support and cooperation, urged them to go about with normal activities.
Kano records 5,800 cases of Diphtheria – UNICEF
Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), on Tuesday, said that Kano State has recorded 5,800 suspected cases of Diphtheria from January to date.
KANO FOCUS reports that the Head, UNICEF Field Office, Kano, Mr Rahama Mohammned-Farah, stated this in Kano during a one-day media orientation on Diphtheria outbreak.
The UN Agency said the cases were recorded in 39 local government areas of the state.
According to him, Kano State has the highest number of recorded cases in the country, adding that Diphtheria was a highly contagious and infectious disease that could cause death.
Mohammned-Farah stressed that proactive measures were necessary to stem the outbreak.
“Recently, we have seen a surge in the number of reported Diphtheria cases in Nigeria, and Nigeria is currently facing an outbreak that needs to be stopped and prevented.
“As of July, Diphtheria cases have been on the rise. As of last week, over 400 suspected cases with 11 deaths have been reported in Kano.
“Out of the 39 LGAs affected, eight are the most affected, including Ungogo with 2,651 cases; Dala 989, Fagge 943, Gwale 714, Kumbotso 713, Nasarawa 538, Kano Municipal 506 and Tarauni 269,” he said.
He said that 60.8 per cent of the suspected cases had been reported in children not vaccinated, which reinforced the critical need to address the issue of zero doses, especially in Kano State.
“UNICEF delivered 1.2 million vaccines to the Kano State Government in our continuing support to the government response to Diphtheria outbreak.
“Diphtheria outbreak is a threat to child survival, health and the wellbeing of children. UNICEF is collaborating with government and partners to respond to the emergency to save the lives of children affected.
“In Kano state, UNICEF supported Tetanus-Diphtheria reactive vaccination campaigns in February, April and August, vaccinating 23,200 children in round one.
“While 277,796 children vaccinated in round two and 29,500 others in round-3 of the exercise.
“We engaged 150 traditional leaders on Diphtheria outbreak and distribution of Diphtheria IEC materials, and deployed 1,500 VCMs to the worst affected LGAs to conduct house-to-house sensitisations and referral of suspected cases to health facilities.
“Media has a key role to play particularly in infection prevention, and risk communication and community engagement,” he said.
Also speaking, Dr Muhammad Nasir-Mahmoud, the Director-General, Kano State Primary Healthcare Management Board, said the state government had adopted drastic measures to curtail spread of the disease.
“We are committed towards educating the public about what is happening and the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) has promised that Kano will be accorded priority in terms of vaccine distribution,” he said.
While describing the media as partners in the fight against Diphtheria, Nasir-Mahmoud urged them to support the campaign against the disease.
IPAC appeals to Kano governorship tribunal to be impartial
Mukhtar Yahya Usman
The Interparty Advisory Council of Nigeria (IPAC) has urged the judges of the Kano election petition tribunal court to discharge its duties with utmost integrity and impartiality.
KANO FOCUS reports that this was contained in a statement issued by the organization secretary Kano chapter Nuhu Idris on Tuesday.
IPAC also called upon the tribunal to consider each case diligently and ensure that all the parties involved are given equal opportunities to present their argument and evidence.
It could be recalled that the election tribunal has fixed Wednesday 20th September 2023 to deliver judgment on APC’s petition against Abba Kabir Yusuf.
A hearing notice issued by the Secretary of the election petition tribunal on Monday said the judgment would be delivered at 9.00 a.m., at the High Court of Miller Road in Kano.
Mr Idris said the organization has acknowledged the importance of the electoral process in a democratic society, where the voice and choice of the people are paramount.
He said the ongoing legal proceedings before the tribunal are a testament to the vibrancy of democracy and the resolve of citizens to seek redress through legal means.
“IPAC firmly believes that justice must not only be done but must also be seen to be done.
“We, Therefore, implore the tribunal to maintain transparency in its proceedings allowing the public and all concerned parties to have confidence in the outcome of the legal process, the statement said.
He added that it is essential that the tribunal’s decisions are guided by the rule of law and the facts presented, rather than any external influence.
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