Labour Party Tsunami has put pressure on Sanwo-Olu, Makinde, Okowa, Ikpeazu, and El-Rufai among others.
NewsOnline reports that following the defeat suffered by the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party in some of their strongholds during the February 25 presidential and National Assembly elections, some governors whose parties failed to win the presidential poll in their states are under intense pressure to win their re-elections bids and install anointed successors, and have begun moves to secure their seats.
Findings by NewsOnline Nigeria indicated that in Lagos State, where the APC lost to the Labour Party in the presidential election, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu had been meeting with different groups, residents associations, and communities to seek their support for his re-election. Similarly, in Oyo State, where the APC defeated the governing PDP, Governor Seyi Makinde and his supporters were said to be making renewed efforts to woo voters.
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Meanwhile, some outgoing governors who lost their states in the presidential election but are desirous of putting their trusted lieutenants in power to succeed them, have also become apprehensive over the possibility of losing their states.
The states include Benue, Abia, Cross River, Enugu, Delta, Kano, Kaduna, Plateau, Katsina and Gombe.
In the presidential poll, Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, described by many as one of the power brokers in the ruling APC, lost the state to the PDP, with the fate of his preferred successor, Uba Sani, now hanging precariously in the balance.
Aware of the possibility of losing the state to an opposition party, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had to make a passionate plea to the residents of Kaduna to vote for Sani, whom he described as a hard working and courageous leader.
NewsOnline Nigeria gathered that the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, had shifted his focus to the re-election of his protégé, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who is seeking a second term in office as the governor of Lagos State.
In the presidential election, Tinubu was defeated by Obi in Lagos, the first time his party would lose an important election in the state since the return to democracy in 1999.
There are talks of an alliance between the PDP and the LP to unseat Sanwo-Olu. The governor has formidable challengers in Olajide Adediran of the PDP and Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour of the LP.
But the governor has not given up and has been meeting various stakeholder groups in last-minute efforts to win the poll. He is scheduled to meet residents of various communities from Monday.
On Saturday, traditional rulers and community leaders in the 62 communities in the Eti-Osa Local Government Area of the state appealed to residents to support Sanwo-Olu’s re-election bid.
The Chairman of the Baales in the local government area, Wasiu Alli-Balogun, stated this during a press briefing held at Ikota Primary School, Lagos.
He said, “We want to appeal to those that were annoyed with the last elections, that they should forget what happened. Let us forget the past and face the future.
“Governor Sanwo-Olu means peace. He wants progress for Eti-Osa and Lagos as a whole. We need to support him and give him votes so that he can be able to complete the work he has started.”
Also, the Convener of Pro-Nigeria Group, Mr Lai Omotola, at an event on Saturday, said Lagos as the nation’s economic hub and major African financial centre plays a pivotal role in the country’s economy.
“We have realised concerted efforts by mischief makers to derail the development path of Lagos State. They have provided minnows as alternatives to progressive government. They are asking for a change of government not rooted in any genuine facts,” he said.
Earlier, when the presidential results were announced on Wednesday, the APC National Youth Leader, Dayo Israel, in two separate tweets (now deleted) charged party members to focus on door-to-door campaign.
He tweeted, “Nobody should do any one million march (nonsense) again. Focus on a door-to-door. Party excos, youth leaders, councillors, leaders, we have 10 days to #SanwoAgain. Go and engage your neighbours, #deliveryourstreet, be humble, get off your high horse. Ise wa o (there is work to be done).
“Any appointee in Lagos who doesn’t deliver his ward on the 11th of March should not bother coming to Alausa on the 13th. Everyone should drop their tinted car and start walking the street. Knock on your neighbour’s doors, beg those you need to beg, make peace. Deliver for #Sanwo-Olu,” he wrote.
In a bid to win the confidence of the electorate in the state, Sanwo-Olu had dispatched his men to interface with the voters.
In one of such outings, the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr Tayo Ayinde, was at Badagry on Saturday where he promised that his principal would not take the people of the town for granted when he succeeds in his second term bid.
Ayinde, who is also Director-General of Tinubu/Sanwo-Olu Independent Campaign Council, gave the assurance during his thank you visit to the town for their support during the presidential election.
“We have come to thank you for your support and dedication to the All Progressives Congress and Senator Bola Tinubu, the President-elect,” he said.
He thanked Badagry electorate, various groups, traditional rulers, religious bodies, youths, students, trade unions, and associations for voting for Tinubu and other candidates in the recent elections.
The DG urged Badagry voters to double their efforts in the upcoming elections to ensure a more resounding victory for Sanwo-Olu and the two state House of Assembly candidates from the area.
Meanwhile, the Lagos State APC has expressed confidence that Sanwo-Olu will emerge victorious in Saturday’s governorship election.
The spokesman for the party in the state, Mr Seye Oladejo, stated this during a telephone interview with Sunday PUNCH, describing the victory of the Labour Party in the presidential election as “pyrrhic.”
Oladejo said, “The victory recorded by the LP last Saturday was a pyrrhic one. Some circumstances engendered that victory, but those circumstances will not play up anymore.
“It was more of a protest against the naira redesign that inflicted hardship on a lot of people, which was taken care of by the Supreme Court yesterday (Friday) and a whole lot of factors. All of these will not play up this Saturday and I can assure you that we will win the election convincingly.”
He added that among the strength of the party in the state were its achievements in more than 23 years.
However, the LP in the state expressed confidence that its candidate, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, will win the governorship election.
Speaking in an interview with Sunday PUNCH, the LP spokesman in the state, Olubunmi Odesanya, said, “We are very confident. Our candidate is well positioned to win the election and we are very confident as the Labour Party.
“And of course, from the performance of last Saturday, you can see that we were quite favoured by the electorate and by the grace of God, we will win Lagos again.”
The Publicity Secretary of the Lagos PDP, Mr Hakeem Amode, told one of our correspondents, “Dr Abdul-Azeez Olajide Adediran has put himself out to the people of Lagos as a better choice by physically visiting the nooks and crannies of strategic voting areas and meeting with community leaders, who determined how people vote. When you consider the fact that people’s choices have shifted and the thoroughness of Jandor’s campaign, then you will know that he is the next governor.
“With the issue of youth displeasure with the current government over the #EndSARS protest in Lagos and the attitude of the present government towards youth development, you can know that they stand no chance in this governorship election.”
Governor Seyi Makinde succeeded in the 2019 poll on the platform of the PDP and immediately won for himself an army of admirers when he voluntarily declared his assets worth N49bn.
There are divergent views on whether he has done enough to warrant another shot at the office or not. In what appeared a smart move, Makinde commenced the inauguration of some projects barely a week to the poll.
For the better part of the last quarter of 2022 till the presidential poll, Makinde teamed up with his colleagues from Rivers, Abia, Enugu and Benue states to rebel against the Iyorchia Ayu-led National Working Committee of the PDP on the one hand and Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the party, on the other.
Makinde’s main challenger will be the candidate of the APC, Senator Teslim Folarin, whose party won the three senatorial seats in the state and eight out of the 10 House of Representatives seats so far declared. The election of the other two candidates was declared inconclusive. The Accord Party candidate, Adebayo Adelabu, is also a strong contender.
Meanwhile, the PDP in the state has restated confidence in its chances on Saturday and explained that the APC presidential candidate, Tinubu, was voted for by most of the residents of the state based on ethnicity and the internal wrangling in the PDP.
The Publicity Secretary, Oyo PDP, Akeem Olatunji, expressed confidence that the state would witness Makinde’s tsunami in the governorship poll.
Olatunji added that the strength of the party was based on excellent performance of Makinde in the last four years.
He said, “The difference and margin in the governorship contest between Governor Makinde and whoever is facing him is not going to be less than 450,000. It’s going to be a tsunami; just the way we had the Tinubu tsunami, we are going to have the Makinde tsunami in the state.
“As far as we are concerned in the Oyo PDP, we have tried our possible best, but the major thing is that the electorate have key into what the governor said as a performer and a straightforward person. Even before that election, most of the Obas in Oyo State endorsed both the Tinubu and Makinde. And there are a lot of Tinubu support groups who have also endorsed Makinde based on his monumental achievements.”
The party image maker, who also identified internal crises within the party for its poor performance in the presidential and National Assembly polls, said, “As far as we are concerned in the Oyo PDP, we really tried our possible best, but they did not carry the governor along in the activities of the presidential campaign; so that’s why he has to fold his arms and since people did not hear from him, because he is the main man our people are looking forward to know who to vote for, and that’s why they voted for Tinubu. So, expect the PDP tsunami in this Saturday.”
The governor gave reasons why Tinubu won in the state in the presidential election, saying he was happy to be part of the process that “redrew the electoral map of Nigeria.”
Makinde, who spoke on Saturday when he s featured on Splash FM’s State Affairs programme, said he stood for equity and fairness.
“I supported fairness, justice and equity. I supported a united Nigeria, a Nigeria that gives opportunity to every part of this country,” Makinde said.
When he was told that he delivered his ward to Tinubu, Makinde said, “He (Tinubu) defeated me out there. How do you deliver your ward?”
He said democracy was about people expressing themselves through the ballot, adding that a lot of people in Oyo State voted who they wanted.
“You know, you allow people to express themselves. A lot of our people that is what they decided to do. They decided that look, after eight years of presidency in the North, they want it to come to the South and this place being the South-West, one of theirs was a candidate, so they supported one of their own.”
“I am glad that I am a part of a process that redrew the electoral map of Nigeria. That arrogance, I believe with the result of last Saturday’s election, is basically behind us. Now, we know that people will have to seek alignment. If you want to rule this country, you are not just going to say oh, because I am from a certain part of this country, then that is the only qualification I require to rule this country. Now, you have to build bridges, reach out to others.”
However, the Oyo State APC spokesman, Olawale Sadare, faulted Makinde’s four-year administration, adding that the state could not afford to retain him.
He said, “Makinde came out to say he doesn’t believe in local government autonomy and he has no plan to replace a known thug who has been disturbing the people of the state. Someone who failed in the aspect of governance, so what has he done well in Oyo State? He has not performed at all. Is it in the aspect of security, health care delivery or in the area of heap of refuse on our major streets?
“We were here when Bola Ige was the governor of the state, and during the times of Lam Adesina, Rasheed Ladoja, Adebayo Alao-Akala and Abiola Ajimobi, we saw the tangible things they did. Makinde has never brought anything new to the governance of the state, no creativity, innovation, nothing!
“Look at the bus terminal, which was just an avenue to mismanage the scarce resources of the state. If you are patriotic and a man with conscience, you will know that Makinde has done nothing but more harm to the state than good and we cannot afford to retain him.”
Uguanyi was a key member of the Integrity Group. He lost his state in the presidential election to the Labour Party, whose candidate is Peter Obi.
There is apprehension in the state currently that the voting pattern in the presidential poll may work against the governor’s anointed candidate on the platform of the PDP, Peter Mbah.
Mbah faces a tough contest with the All Progressives Grand Alliance and LP fielding strong candidates in Frank Nweje Jnr and Chijioke Edeoga, respectively.
A key member of the Integrity Group which cost Atiku valuable votes, Benue state Governor, Samuel Ortom, lost the state in the presidential election to a George Akume-inspired APC.
Weeks before the poll, Ortom publicly endorsed the LP candidate, Obi, vowing never to support a Fulani man succeeding another Fulani after 8 unbroken years in Aso Rock. His bid to represent the Benue North-West Senatorial District came crashing after losing to his former appointee, Tutus Zam, of the APC. His predecessor, Gabriel Suswam, also lost to the APC candidate, Emmanuel Udende. Only Senator Abba Moro of the PDP retained his seat.
For the House of Representatives, the APC swept 10 of the seats, leaving the PDP with just one.
Ortom’s political fortunes appear to have taken a downturn and the PDP governorship candidate, Titus Uba, will have reasons to be worried as the APC candidate, Rev Fr Hyacinth Alia, is quite popular and will be riding on the victory of his party in the presidential poll.
But the Publicity Secretary of the PDP in the state, Bemgba Iortyom, said the presidential election should not be used as yardstick for the governorship poll.
Iortyom, who expressed confidence in his party winning the governorship election, argued that the PDP was hinging its confidence in its track records of social economic development of the state since 2019 and the present administration’s efforts to tackle insecurity.
He said, “We are confident of winning; the emphasis on the forthcoming election is different from the last presidential election. We are addressing issues of security and the economy.
“We are looking at our track records having been in power in the state since 1999 with a brief break between 2015 and 2018. We are responsible for more than 90 per cent of development in the state; we are not introducing ourselves but to renew our mandate and our past records in area of security, infrastructure and social amenities.”
However, the Publicity Secretary of the APC in the state, Daniel Ihomou, said that the party would sustain the victory recorded during the presidential election and added that the people of the state were yearning for a better future where workers’ salaries and pension would be paid as at when due and where the state could rub shoulders with other states in terms of development.
Ihomou said, “Our party parades a governorship candidate who has no stain in his career; everyone loves him and see in him someone who is capable of moving the state forward.
“You should know the abysmal performance of the PDP under this administration in all spheres of life, the socio economy of the state is in a shambles, workers are owed several months of salary arrears and pensioners are not paid their entitlements and allowances.
“So, the people of the state are ready to come out en masse and vote for our party to have a state they will be boast of.”
The Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa, failed to deliver his state to the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, whom he ran alongside as the running mate. Obi of the Labour Party won convincingly in the state.
The APC won two Senate seats in the state, while the PDP managed to clinch the other seat.
On Saturday, Okowa’s anointed candidate, Sheriff Oborevwori, will be up against the Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege of the APC and Chief Great Ogboru of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, among others.
The governor has, however, urged residents of the state not to lose hope in the PDP in view of the outcome of the February 25 presidential election.
Speaking through his Commissioner for Information, Charles Aniagwu, the governor urged Deltans to turnout en masse on Saturday and cast their votes for the PDP candidates in the governorship and state House of Assembly polls.
According to him, following the outcome of the presidential poll, it is important for the state government to focus on ensuring that the PDP retains power.
Aniagwu said, “We want to urge our people not to lose hope in our democracy. The challenge of the last presidential election is a different ball game. We equally know that our people are not happy with the outcome of that election, but we must sustain and consolidate on our achievements in the state.
“So, we want to appeal to our people to put the experience behind them, while our principals are taking steps to recover the mandate we believe was stolen.”
The commissioner called on the people of the state to keep faith with what he called the “developmental trajectory” of the Okowa administration in the state in the past seven and half years.
He said the state government was quite convinced that the best way to sustain such development was for the people to vote for Oborevwori on Saturday.
According to him, any other ticket as far as the governorship election in the state is concerned may not be in the interest of the people of Delta.
Aniagwu used the medium to refute allegations that the Okowa administration was planning to access another loan facility.
The Governor of Cross River State, Prof Ben Ayade, was left licking his wounds after losing the presidential election to the LP. His bid to represent the Cross River North Senatorial District on the platform of the APC was shattered by the incumbent lawmaker, Agom Jarigbe of the PDP.
The senatorial candidates of the APC, Eteng Jones Williams and Asuquo Ekpenyong Jr. defeated their closest rivals from the PDP.
For seats in the House of Representatives, the APC won six, while the PDP had two seats.
For the governorship election, the battle will be fought by Senator Bassey Otu of the APC, Prof Sandy Onor of the PDP and Ernest Obasse of the LP.
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of the PDP lost his state to the LP just as the former Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe of APGA beat him to the Abia South Senatorial District seat.
The LP won one senatorial and six House of Representatives seats. Senator Orji Kalu of the APC retained his seat, while the PDP won one House of Representatives seat.
Ikpeazu’s preferred governorship candidate, Okey Ahiwe, will battle it out with Ikechi Emenike of the APC and Dr Alex Otti of the LP.
Prior to the presidential poll, Governor Dave Umahi appeared to have locked Ebonyi State for the APC candidate, Tinubu. He, however, lost to the LP.
Both the PDP and LP, on Saturday, expressed confidence that they would record massive political victory in the governorship and House of Assembly polls in the state.
The major contenders for the governorship position are Francis Nwifuru of the APC, Chief Ifeanyi Odii of the PDP and Edward Nkwegu of the LP.
They stressed that the APC was massively rejected by Ebonyi indigenes at the presidential and National Assembly elections, because of its style of leadership.
The Director of Media and Publicity, Ebonyi PDP Governorship Campaign Council, Chief Abia Onyike, said given a transparent exercise, his party would come out victorious at the polls.
He said, “We have always been very confident that in every open and transparent election, the PDP will win in Ebonyi State. And this was what transpired in the last election. We won in every ward in the state, but at the last minute Governor David Umahi, in connivance with some INEC officials, manipulated the elections, including his senatorial election, which he woefully failed.
“For instance, the Senatorial District where he comes from is Ebonyi South and it has three federal constituencies – the Afikpo South/Afikpo North Constituency was won by Hon. Idu Igariwey of the PDP; while the Ohaozara/Onichi/Ivo Constituency was won by Dr. Nkemkama Kama of the Labour Party. So where is the basis of Governor Umahi’s claim that he won the senatorial seat in Ebonyi South? Towards the close of polls, it was already obvious that he lost in his own polling unit. And in the entire five local government areas that make up the Ebonyi South, he lost out entirely.
“So,we are confident that the PDP will sweep the governorship seat and all the state constituencies on Saturday, provided that the sort of manipulation that happened last Saturday is not allowed to happen this time.
“It’s going to be a landslide victory for the PDP. The governorship candidate of the party is a man of the people. He’s now regarded as one individual who can spearhead the current struggle for the liberation of Ebonyi State. For the past eight years, Ebonyi people have suffered because of the anti-democratic leadership in the state and the atrocities committed against the people by Umahi. The people are currently looking for a leader who can change the narrative and that leader is Dr Ifeanyi Odii.”
The LP House of Representatives candidate for the Ebonyi/Ohaukwu Federal Constituency, Prince Chibueze Agbo, corroborated Onyike, saying the APC was put to shame in the last election.
But the Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and Strategy, Chooks Okoh, disagreed and said his principal’s party would emerge successful on Saturday.
According to him, the governor has worked very hard to ensure that none of the APC candidates loses in the forthcoming polls.
“Clearly, the APC has worked for a landslide victory and they will get it by the grace of God. Moreover, the candidates are a product of equity and fairness, and as such, will elicit massive votes from all people with conscience,” he stated.
The Chairman of the APC in the state, Chief Stanley Emegha, claimed that the presidential and National Assembly election results were manipulated.
According to him, the party lost to manipulation and other forms of irregularities by the opposition elements.
He said, “You cannot say that a child who won N200m lottery, for instance, does not need such money because he is 11 years old.
“The number of goals scored in a football league is important despite the garnered points; so we need all our legitimate votes.
“We will not abandon our mandate, especially at Afikpo North and South Federal Constituencies, because the governor won the senatorial seat.”
The ruling PDP lost seven House of Representatives seats to the LP in Enugu State, while Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi did not succeed in his bid to represent the Enugu North Senatorial District as he lost to the LP candidate, Chief Okey Ezea.
The result for the Enugu West Senatorial District is still being hotly contested although INEC declared the candidate of the PDP as the winner, while a fresh election for the Enugu East Senatorial District will be held on Saturday following the assassination of the candidate of the LP, Chief Oyibo Chukuwu.
The main contenders for the governor’s seat are Uche Nnaji of the APC, Peter Mbah of the PDP and Chijioke Edeoga of the LP.
It was gathered that the PDP had been holding marathon meetings with stakeholders to ensure that it regained ground in the next election as the members could not believe the outcome of the presidential and National Assembly polls.
The Chairman of the LP in the state, Mr Casmir Agbo, expressed optimism that Saturday’s governorship and House of Assembly elections would follow the same pattern.
He said the ruling party was now in disarray, while thanking the electorate for having confidence in a new emerging political party like the LP.
He said a vote for the LP was a vote for liberation and a new Enugu State where impunity and political assassination, cultism and deprivation of people’s property would no longer rear its ugly head again.
The Director of Communications/ Spokesperson, Enugu PDP Campaign Council, Nana Ogbodo, while reacting to accusations that his party was planning to rig the next elections, said, “Those in other political parties will ultimately return to the umbrella after their crushing defeat on March 11.”
Ogbodo insisted that next elections would be based on integrity, competency and capacity to deliver, adding, “Our candidate, Peter Mbah, has it in quantum. Peter Obi is not going to be in the next ballot and the election is going to be between our people. There’s no outsider, so those who are thinking otherwise are in daydream.”
In Kano, the ruling APC has its work cut out. Its quest to install Nasir Yusuf Gawuna as Governor Abdullahi Ganduje’s successor will be seriously challenged by the candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party, Abba Yusuf, and Sadiq Wali of the PDP.
In the presidential and National Assembly elections, the NNPP took the state by storm as its presidential candidate, Rabiu Kwankwaso, won convincingly, while the party also won the three senatorial seats and most of the House of Representatives seat.
Sunday PUNCH gathered that in order to salvage the situation, the governor, his aides and officials of the APC had embarked on door-to-door mobilisation of voters for Saturday’s polls.
Against expectation, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), could not secure victory for his party’s candidate in his home state as the PDP defeated the APC.
The APC, however, won the three senatorial seats as well as nine out of the 15 House of Representatives seats in the state. The PDP won the remaining six House of Representatives seats.
The battle to succeed Governor Aminu Masari will be hotly contested by the APC candidate, Dr Umar Dikko Radda, and candidate of the PDP, Senator Lado Yakubu Darmake, Nura Khalil of the NNPP, Imrana Jino of the People’s Redemption Party and Ibrahim Zakkari of the Social Democratic Party.
The electorate will determine Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s successor among the APC candidate, Uba Sani, Isa Ashiru of the PDP, and Jonathan Asake of the LP.
The PDP won the presidential poll and three senatorial seats in the state and emerged victorious in 10 out of the 16 federal constituencies.
Jolted by its showing, the APC in the state and El-Rufai have been reaching out to the voters, while the President made a special appeal to the electorate to vote for Sani and other candidates of the party for the state House of Assembly and begged for forgiveness over the hardship caused by his administration’s naira redesign policy.
The LP won the presidential election in Plateau State and dealt a blow to Governor Simon Lalong, who is the Director-General of the APC candidate’s presidential campaign council. The PDP won two senatorial seats, while the third was declared inconclusive. The party also won two out of the four federal constituencies so far declared.
The governorship candidate of the APC, Dr. Nentawe Yilwatda, will slug it out against the PDP candidate, Caleb Mutfwang and Dr Patrick Dakum of the LP.
INEC admits hitches
The Independent National Electoral Commission has admitted that there were hitches in the presidential and National Assembly elections conducted on February 25 across the country.
This was disclosed by the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, on Saturday at a meeting with the Resident Electoral Commissioners in Abuja.
Yakubu told the RECs that it was imperative for the commission to review performances from the elections.
He noted that the elections were painstakingly done but came with issues ranging from technology, delay by election officials and attitudes of political parties agents, among others.
The INEC chairman stated that a lot of lessons had been learnt from the presidential and National Assembly elections ahead of the governorship and state assembly polls.
Yakubu explained, “No doubt, last week’s national elections raised a number of issues that require immediate, medium and long-term solutions. The planning for the election was painstakingly done. However, its implementation came with challenges, some of them unforeseen. The issues of logistics, election technology, behaviour of some election personnel at different levels, attitude of some party agents and supporters added to the extremely challenging environment in which elections are usually held in Nigeria.
“We appreciate the sacrifice and doggedness of Nigerians and the dignity and maturity displayed by political leaders even in the context of divergent views about the election. A lot of lessons have been learnt. Of immediate concern to the commission is how the identified challenges can be addressed as we approach the concluding phase of the general election involving the largest number of constituencies i.e. 28 state governorship elections and 993 state Houses of Assembly seats.”
Concerning the National Assembly election, Yakubu stated that the APC won with 57 seats in the Senate and 162 in the House of Representatives.
He said that the 2023 National Assembly election was the most diverse since 1999.
The INEC Chairman noted, “In last Saturday’s elections, winners have also been declared for 423 national legislative seats, while supplementary elections will be held in 46 constituencies. In the Senate, 98 out of 109 seats have been declared. So far, seven political parties have won senatorial seats, while in the House of Representatives, 325 out of 360 seats have been won by eight political parties.
“In terms of party representation, this is the most diverse National Assembly since 1999 as can be seen from the tabular summary.”
Yakubu added that Nigerians would accept nothing else in the governorship and state assembly elections than a free and fair elections, adding that the commission would punish its officials, including ad hoc or collation personnel, who might have been found wanting in the conduct of the presidential and National Assembly elections.
He said the Bimodal Voter Authentication System machines would be deployed for the March 11 elections, assuring that that the BVAS would work without hitches.
The INEC chairman noted “As we approach the governorship and state assembly elections, we must work harder to overcome the challenges experienced in the last election. Nothing else will be acceptable to Nigerians. All staff found to be negligent, whether they are regular or ad hoc officials, including collation and returning officers, must not be involved in forthcoming elections. RECs must also immediately initiate disciplinary action where prima facie evidence of wrongdoing has been established.
“Election Day logistics must be finalised days before the election and handled by the electoral officers at local government level. This has been our standard practice. Centralising the process as was done in some States resulted in delayed deployment of personnel and materials and late commencement of polls.
“RECs will be held responsible for any tardy arrangement or the failure to deploy electric power generators to collation centres or polling units where such facilities are needed. The commission has enough facilities in all the states of the federation. Failure to deploy them is simply inexcusable.
“Refresher training must be conducted for ad hoc staff that participated in the last election. Where they are replaced for good reason, they must be properly trained so that processes are not delayed or compromised at any stage.
“On Election Day technology, the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System will once again be deployed for voter accreditation and result management. The deployment of BVAS has gone a long way to sanitise voter accreditation as can be seen from the result of recent elections.
“Since last week, the commission has intensified the review of the technology to ensure that glitches experienced, particularly with the upload of results are rectified. We are confident that going forward the system will run optimally.”
Regarding the petitions from political parties, Yakubu said, “Arising from last week’s election, the commission has received reports from our state offices well as complaints and petitions from political parties and candidates. Where infractions of any kind are proven, there will be redress. I must add that any action taken by the commission is without prejudice to the rights of parties and candidates to seek further remedy as provided by law.”