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INEC Announces New Dates For 2023 General Elections

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Why Anambra Election Is Different - INEC
INEC Chairman Mahmood Yakubu

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Saturday announced new dates for the 2023 general elections.

The commission had earlier announced February 18, 2023 for the presidential election.

On Saturday, the commission’s chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, told journalists that new dates had been fixed for the elections.

Presidential and National Assembly elections have been slated for February 25, 2023 while governorship and state assembly elections will now be held on March 11, 2023.

The INEC chairman said the new dates followed the signing of the amendments to the Electoral Bill by President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday.

He said the commission was waiting for the president’s decision on the bill before releasing its schedule of activities for the 2023 poll.

The bill was signed into law on Friday by President Muhammadu Buhari.

He had rejected the same bill five times, citing reasons such as drafting errors to proximity to the date of elections, insecurity, cost of executing of its provisions among others.

In his address to journalists at an emergency meeting held at the commission’s headquarters, Mr Mahmood said the new dates are in conformity with the INEC’s aim of ensuring certainty in its electoral calendar.

READ ALSO: INEC Registers Over Five Million New Voters Ahead Of 2023

“Therefore, the Electoral Act 2022, together with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), form the legal basis for conducting all elections in Nigeria. In particular, the Electoral Act provides strict timelines for the implementation of electoral activities based on the date of the General Election. One of the significant timelines is the publication of Notice of Election not later than 360 days before the day appointed for holding an election which has now lapsed for the 2023 General Election.

“Consequently, the Commission has decided to adjust the dates of the 2023 General Election to ensure compliance with the provisions of the new law. Accordingly, the Presidential and National Assembly elections will now hold on Saturday 25th February 2023 while the Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections will hold two weeks later on Saturday 11th March 2023. With this adjustment, the 2023 General Election is now 363 days away,” he said.

Before the new dates, both the Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections were slated for March 4, 2023.

With the new law, the INEC at the meeting, announced a new timetable and schedule of activities ahead of the polls.

In his address, Mr Mahmood said the commission will publish the notice of election across its offices in the country on February 28 while political parties have from April 4 to June 3, 2022 to conduct their primaries and ensure resolution of disputes from the exercise.

For the Presidential and National Assembly elections, political parties and candidates are to submit their nomination forms to the INEC via its online portal between “9.00am on Friday 10th June 2022 and 6.00pm on Friday 17th June 2022” while those contesting for Governorship and State Assembly elections should follow the same process between “9.00am on Friday 1st July 2022 and 6.00pm on Friday 15th July 2022.”

“Commencement of Campaign by political parties for Presidential and National Assembly election – Wednesday 28th September 2022.

“Commencement of Campaign by political parties for Governorship and State Assembly elections – Wednesday 12th October 2022.

“Last day of campaign by political parties for Presidential and National Assembly elections – midnight on Thursday 23rd February 2023.

“Last day of campaign by political parties for Governorship and State Assembly elections – midnight on Thursday 9th March 2023,” the INEC chairman said.

Mr Yakubu threatened to take on any of the participating political parties who fail to adhere to the released schedule of activities and timetable.

In his response to the concerns raised by journalists at the event over the dysfunctional state of the BVAS as observed in the previously held elections, Mr Mahmood said the glitches had been worked upon.

He tasked the journalists in attendance to observe the performance of the machines in the ongoing bye-elections across four states on Friday February 26.

READ ALSO: Why We Won’t Release 2023 Election Timetable Now – INEC Chair

Residents of Ondo, Plateau, Imo And Cross-Rivers states are currently voting in bye-elections.

In Ondo State, the bye-election was held in Akure North/Akure South Federal Constituency.

Plateau residents in Pankshin South State Constituency and Jos North/Bass Federal Constituency also decided who would represent them in the House of Representatives.

Elections were also done in Ogoja/Yala Federal Constituency and Akpabuyo State Constituency of Cross River State and Ngor Okpala State Constituency in Imo State.

“Therefore, the Electoral Act 2022, together with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), form the legal basis for conducting all elections in Nigeria. In particular, the Electoral Act provides strict timelines for the implementation of electoral activities based on the date of the General Election. One of the significant timelines is the publication of Notice of Election not later than 360 days before the day appointed for holding an election which has now lapsed for the 2023 General Election.

 

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Shekarau Defects From APC To NNPP

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Shekarau Defects From APC To NNPP

Former Kano State Governor Ibrahim Shekarau has defected from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) .

The former Director General of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s Support Group AbdulMumin Jibrin, disclosed this on his Twitter handle.

The tweet reads, “BREAKING- Sen Ibrahim Shekarau joins NNPP. Details later.”

Later, the party tweeted photographs of the visit of NNPP leader, Rabiu Kwankwaso, to Shekarau’s home.

READ ALSO: Sylva Withdraws From Presidential Race, Retains Ministry

“His Excellency Engr Dr Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso paid a congratulatory visit today to former Gov (Sen) Ibrahim Shekarau after he decamped to NNPP,” the party posted.

Shekarau represents Kano Central in the Senate.The 66 year-old senator was a former Nigerian minister of education and two-term Governor of Kano State in Nigeria.

He was elected in April 2003 and reelected in April 2007.

He was one of the candidates who aspired to become president in the Nigerian general elections of 2011.

 

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Sylva Withdraws From Presidential Race, Retains Ministry

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Sylva Withdraws From Presidential Race, Retains Ministry

Minister of State for Petroleum Timipre Sylva on Monday withdrew from the presidential race in the All Progressives Congress (APC) and returned to his office.

The Northern Solidarity Group had on May 9, presented the APC’s Expression of Interest and Nomination form to the minister to enable him to contest the party’s 2023 presidential primaries.

An official at the ministry who chose to remain anonymous said Sylva withdrew from the race to support President Muhammadu Buhari in his quest to achieve a robust oil sector.

“He promised to consult the leader of the country and his political leaders the day he was presented with the form.

READ ALSO: Sylva, Kyari Sabotaging Refineries’ Investigation – Reps

“He believes that concentrating on his work will attract more investments for the oil and gas sector.He has consulted and he believes that the challenges at the ministry and oil and gas sector are enough issues for him to begin to deal with now than going to pursue presidential ambition at the expense of the nation.

“The oil and gas sector is the mainstay of the economy and it is not like any other ministry somebody can just come in and take over.

“It requires some measures of time for the person to understand what is happening in the system.

“For the interest of the industry and the nation, he has decided to wave that personal ambition to see what he can contribute in the remaining part of President Buhari’s administration.

“The implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021 is very critical and he wants to continue to make his own contribution to the day-to-day running of the country and support Mr President for robust achievements,” the official said.

Meanwhile, Mr Horatious Egua, Senior Special Assistant to the minister on media, when contacted, confirmed to NAN that the minister was back to work.

 

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Amaechi’s My Friend, Buhari’s Loyalist – El- Rufai

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Amaechi's My Friend, Buhari's Loyalist - El- Rufai

Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai has said that a presidential aspirant in the All Progressives Congress ( APC), Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, is his friend and President Muhammadu Buhari’s loyalist.

El-Rufai narrated how his friendship with Amaechi was strengthened through different circumstances.

“There was a time I was in the opposition, the DSS was looking for me, they wanted to arrest me. Amaechi told me where to go and wait for him. I waited and he drove me to the DSS himself and insisted that I should be questioned and released to him same day and that was what happened. So, who is my friend? Who is my confidant?” El-Rufai said.

El-Rufai’s statement came barely two days days after he and Kaduna delegates to the APC national convention endorsed Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the Murtala Square, Kaduna.

Rotimi Amaechi was in Kaduna yesterday and told APC delegates he was prepared to be the President in 2023.

READ ALSO: Obi For President, Zulum For Vice President

” I am young and the most experienced of all the presidential aspirants. The presidency requires agility of a young man, the elderly people should go home and rest,” he said.

Governor El-Rufai described Amaechi as his own friend and confidant of President Muhammadu Buhari, adding that the former minister won  Buhari’s heart in 2011 when as a PDP governor of Rivers State, he funded the convention of Buhari’s Congress for Progressive Change (CPC).

He said:  “Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu was here two days ago and you promised him support, today, here is my friend, my confidant, what are you going to say?

“Many people contesting election always say delegates will hardly make heaven, because they don’t keep to promise, but I always say Kaduna delegates are different. You were in a hurry and didn’t listen to what other aspirants will tell you.

”Amaechi is here and I told you that, the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo is also coming after him, Governor Kayode Fayemi is also coming. Also, my big brother who took CPC, Pastor Tunde Bakari, is also coming. As a result of that, you should be prepared and know what to tell them.

“Let me tell you people something, in 2011 when we were in CPC, we were to go to convention and we didn’t have money. Amaechi then was governor of Rivers State under the PDP, I don’t know how he got to know, then he asked how much was needed to hold the convention, and he gave the money. It was the money we used to organise the 2011 convention.

“Since then, President Muhammadu Buhari asked me to continue talking to him. When they were meeting, thinking of defecting to APC, we used to meet with the seven governors before two chickened out.

”Amaechi turned his back against his own neighbour, Goodluck Jonathan and said he was going to follow Buhari. He held on to that trust, that is why Daura Emirate gave him that title of Dan Amanan Daura.

“We are followers of Buhari. It is what he tells us that we do. So, here is my friend and Buhari’s loyalist, what are you going to do? You should know, after today’s discussion, there are going to be discussions.

“Others will come too, but who is your friend? Who is your loyalist? Your friend and your loyalist is someone who remembers  you when you had nothing and nobody with you. Governor Amaechi gave that support, he did it for Buhari and he did it for me.

“There was a time I was in the opposition, the DSS was looking for me, they wanted to arrest me. Amaechi told me where to go and wait for him. I waited and he drove me to  DSS himself and he insisted that I should be questioned and released to him same day and that was what happened. So, who is my friend? Who is my confidant?”

“Now, I am going to ask you people two questions, one you can answer the other you can choose not to answer. Have we agreed that it is justice that presidency should go back to the south? The delegates replied him yes.

“The second one is, Asiwaju came on Thursday, now Amaechi is here, what are you going to say, or are you going to tell me later?”

Amaechi had earlier told the delegates that he would be resigning as the Minister of Transport today. He said he was one of the youngest of all the presidential aspirants in his party the APC, saying ” our elders should go home and rest…I governed a state that was ravaged at the time with insecurity but I  was  able to successfully tame the situation.

” If elected President, I will do same in Nigeria, I will continue with President Buhari’s agricultural transformation to address hunger, the administration of President Buhari inherited poverty but has been able to change the situation positively.

“You need to vote for a candidate that will protect and provide for all regardless of region, religion and tribe and that is what am promising you.

“As speaker of Rivers State House of Assembly, I was elected chairman of Nigerian speakers twice and as governor, I was also elected Chairman Nigeria Governors forum twice. It shows I have what it takes to govern.
I am asking you not to waste Kaduna votes, please give me your votes and I will come back to Kaduna to thank you.”

 

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