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2019 election timetable: Senate blows hot, warns INEC

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Senate wants N200 to dollar rate

The Senate on Monday admonished the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, against undermining the powers of the National Assembly in the amendment to the Electoral Act 2010.

President of the senate, Bukola Saraki issued the warning while making reference to the controversy generated by the recent amendment to Section 25 of the Electoral Act, which seeks to re-order the sequence of elections during the 2019 elections.

Saraki spoke while declaring open a public hearing on the bill seeking to establish the National Electoral Offences Commission, which was conducted by the Senate’s Joint Committee on INEC, Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters.

The senate President said the National Assembly reserved the powers to legislate over the electoral body and other agencies of government.

Represented by the Deputy Majority Leader, Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah, Saraki noted that lawmakers could not be involved in any legislation that would violate the constitution.

He said, “Of recent, there have been arguments on who has power to do what.”

“INEC should be cautious of who it is listening to. We would not sit anywhere this constitution will be violated. It is necessary we caution ourselves. We need this country, we love this country,” Saraki said.

He also lamented that some political aspirants and parties were already campaigning when INEC had yet to declare electioneering open.

“The Senate in particular would be very worried, if INEC begins to condone the actions of some political parties. You have not declared campaigns open, and some are already campaigning,” he said.

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Politics

Oshiomhole’s only opponent withdraws from APC chairmanship race

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Clement Ebri, an aspirant for the position of national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has withdrawn from the race.
Ebri withdrew less than 72 hours to the party’s elective national convention scheduled for Saturday.
In a letter he wrote to the party, the aspirant said he decided to pull out of the race following “deep consultations” with family, friends, party leaders and other stakeholders.
“I have reached the decision to withdraw my candidacy from the race for the national chairmanship of the APC. This decision has been taken in what I consider to be the overall interests of the party,” he said in the letter.
He said what happens in the leadership of the APC affects the party’s ability to deliver on its promises.
Ebri explained that it was on that basis he declared his candidacy to run for office of national chairman.
“My gratitude goes to everyone who believed in me sufficiently to invest their time, energy and resources in that process,” he said.
“I enjoin them, as faithful party loyalists, to transfer their support they had hitherto reserved for my candidacy to our aspirations for peace in the party and endorse Mr Adams Oshiomhole as national chairman of APC.”
He added that he would join hands with Adams Oshiomhole, former Edo governor, who is favoured for the position, to make the APC an “inclusive organisation where every voice counts”.
Ebri is a former governor of Cross River.

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Jonathan: PDP is coming back in 2019

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Former President Goodluck Jonathan says the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is getting stronger and poised to take over power come 2019.
Jonathan said this on Wednesday when he hosted Atiku Abubakar, former vice-president, in his house in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state capital.
Jonathan, who lost to President Muhammadu Buhari, in 2015 is optimistic that his party is now in a better position to regain its ruling status.
“I believe PDP is coming back and getting stronger,” he said.
“Yes, we had some issues in 2015. But as you know politics is a very dynamic business. Even though we are in the opposition with fewer governors, PDP is still the strongest and largest party.”
Abubakar, in a similar manner, also said there is no other party that has the structure and strength like the PDP.
The former number two citizen who lost in the APC primary election that produced Buhari, has since defected to the PDP and he is aspiring to run under the platform in 2019.
“It is actually the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that has the strength and structure to get back to Aso Rock,” he said, adding that “without PDP, APC should not have been in Aso Rock.”
He also expressed his disappointment with the current administration.
“Have we ever had this rate of unemployment and poverty in Nigeria? Have we ever had five sets of exchange rate before in this country? Have we ever had so much insecurity like this before? No! Have we ever been this divided before in this country? No!”

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Politics

2019: Atiku meets Goodluck Jonathan in Bayelsa

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As the 2019 election gets closer, former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar on Wednesday met with former president, Goodluck Jonathan.
They met in Bayelsa home of the former president.
However, details of their meeting were not disclosed as at the time of filing this report.
Before now, both men have always been on opposite sides politically until Atiku made his move to join PDP last year.
Meanwhile, Atiku is set to compete with two times Senator, Ahmed Makarfi for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, nomination form ahead of the 2019 presidential election.

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