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De-register more political parties – APC tells INEC

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De-register more political parties – APC tells INE

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to de-register more political parties to sanitise Nigeria’s electoral system.

Mr Nwachukwu Eze, the Chairman of Ebonyi Chapter of APC made the call in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abakaliki.

Eze said that the de-registration process should continue until the country has a maximum of six political parties to ensure that the electoral space was not ‘unnecessarily congested’.

“We applaud INEC for doing the needful as such de-registration had been overdue.

“We had a situation where few individuals or family members put-up papers and register with INEC but do not exist in states or anywhere in the country.

“They do not have offices, membership bases, structures and one person in most cases, is the chairman, secretary and other members of the executive.

“INEC has presently decided to sanitise the system and this can be likened to the deleting of unwanted files in a computer for it to have enough storage space,” he said.

The chairman said that such de-registration would sanitise the electoral process, especially by eliminating complexities recorded during voting.

“This decision will make logos of political parties appear bold on ballot papers and make voters have enough space to thumb-print.

“When we have over 90 political parties on a ballot paper, the illiterate voters would be confused on how to thumbprint,” he said.

He urged INEC not to be distracted by complaints over the de-registration, advising it to ‘shut its ears’.

“There is no case of victimisation in the decision as the affected parties know they are not in existence.

“A situation where some parties will poll over 10 million votes in a general election, while others will not have up to 1, 000 votes in a country of over 120 million people is appalling.

“INEC has an assemblage of the best lawyers in the country either as staff or consultants and its reputation will make it shun acts that will be subjudice before the court.

“There is no order restraining INEC from implementing the decision and it is only when such is obtained that the issue of subjudice will arise,” he said.

NAN reports that the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, had on Thursday announced de-registration of 74 political parties for failing to meet Constitutional requirements for them to exist as political parties in the country.

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JUST IN: One feared dead in Sagamu As Youths Protest Killing Of Footballer By SARS Officials

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There is currently tension in Sagamu, one of the biggest cities in Ogun State, after angry young men and women took to the streets on Monday to register their displeasure over the killing of a footballer by operatives of Special Anti-Robbery Squad.

The footballer with Remo Stars Football Club known as Tiyamiyu Kazeem was said to have been pushed from a SARS van on motion and onto an oncoming speeding car that eventually killed him.

This was shortly after SARS operatives allegedly seized him from his car and labelled him an Internet fraudster (Yahoo boy).

Media Officer of the football club, Dimeji Oshode, in a statement confirmed that the incident occurred on Saturday.

However, angered by the situation, youths in Sagamu have now taken to the streets to register their frustration.

In videos making the rounds on the Internet, young men and women could be seen chanting various songs and calling for the abolition of SARS.

One person is currently feared dead as a result of the protest and there are concerns more damage could be witnessed if the situation persists.

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Recent attacks by Boko Haram are signs of frustration – Buhari

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Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari

 

…President says his administration has weakened the terrorist’s capacity

President Muhammadu Buhari has claimed that his government has weakened the capacity and strength of Boko Haram sect.

Speaking through his special adviser, Garba Shehu, Buhari said the sect was now restricted to attacking soft spots.

There has been an increase in Boko Haram attacks in the Northern part of the country in recent times.

On Friday, the insurgents reportedly broke into a town in Adamawa State around 7pm, shooting sporadically.

The insurgents succeeded in burning down several houses during the raid.

President Buhari said, “These attacks on soft targets by terrorists are obvious signs of frustration because my administration has significantly weakened Boko Haram’s military capability to invade and hold Nigerian territory unchallenged.

“Our gallant forces deserve our appreciation for repelling the attackers but they must go beyond this point.

“They have our full support to go after the terrorists and have them pay a huge price. I want to assure the country that terrorists will continue to face the combined power of our military until they give up their mistaken ways.”

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Governors worried over Excess Crude Account depletion, insecurity

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State Governors are worried about the depletion of the Excess Crude Account (ECA) and the resurgence of insecurity especially the upsurge of Boko Haram attacks, it was learnt at the weekend.

Also of concern to the states helmsmen is the reluctance of the Federal Government to tinker with the revenue allocation formula which they believe is desirable.

The governors expressed shock that they were neither consulted nor informed as stakeholders on what warranted the withdrawal from the ECA, which was suddenly depleted from $325million to $70million in one month.

The ECA matter and the deepening insecurity will be part of the agenda of the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting on Thursday.

In the last two weeks, Boko Haram insurgents have renewed attacks on parts of the Northeast —Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states.

It was not clear if the governors will stick to their position that President Muhammadu Buhari should rejig the security architecture or adopt the President’s decision to retain the Service Chiefs.

A governor, who spoke in confidence, said: “The governors are going to the NEC meeting with three issues bordering on security, ECA and reconciliation of oil revenue and allocation.

“Most of the governors are in favour of the change of guards in the military to allow for fresh ideas. But the President seems to have some intelligence at his disposal which has made him to retain the Service chiefs.

“The governors have been very careful in their position on the continuous stay in office of Service Chiefs but said “the reality is that things (strategies) are not working”.

“We are ready to go to NEC with new ideas on how to address the increasing security challenges at hand. The President is not bound by our advice but we do not want the situation to get worse.

“Being a sensitive matter, we will discreetly make our recommendations to the President on the way forward. It is indisputable that we need fresh ideas in managing our security architecture.”

On ECA cash, another governor said: “Certainly, we want NEC to address this depletion of ECA Account from $325million to $70million in one month because we were not consulted.

“We will expect the Federal Government to lay the cards on the table at the NEC session. There is no way the Federal Government can withdraw from ECA without the permission of stakeholders, especially states.

“We want to know why they depleted the account and what went wrong. Some commentators have started blaming state governors without knowing that we were not aware of the huge depletion within a month.

“The NEC is expected to reconcile oil receipts and allocations to states by the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC). The reconciliation is necessary in order to ascertain that what is given to the states is their statutory shares.”

There were indications at the weekend that the much-awaited new revenue allocation formula might not be in place soon.

It was gathered that the Federal Government “has been slowing down” in its approach to the new formula because of cash crunch.

The Federal Government is not keen because its oil revenue forecast for the year is not in line with its target.”

Another source said: “Governors are aware that the Federal Government is not keen any way. The Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) is doing the paper work but the economic realities do not support any new formula now.

“The attitude of the Federal Government is not surprising because it is in a challenging situation. The estimation/ forecast of oil revenue is bad.”

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2002 invoked an Executive Order to allocate the revenue as follows: Federal Government (54.68%), states (24.72%) and local governments (20.60%).

In March 2004, the then Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, issued a letter modifying that the Executive Order had increased states allocation to 26.72% and reduced Federal Government’s share to 52.68%.

RMAFC in September 2004 submitted a new formula to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, who forwarded it to the National Assembly for consideration in line with Section 162(2) of the 1999 Constitution.

The proposal with the National Assembly made the following recommendations:

Federal Government (53.69%); states (31.10%); and local government areas (15.21 %.).

Out of the Federal Government’s allocation, 6.5% is reserved for Special Funds, leaving the FG with 47.19%

The breakdown of the 6.5% is as follows: Ecological Fund (1.50%); Solid Mineral Fund (1.75%), National Reserve Fund (1.50%) and Agricultural Development Fund (1.75%).

The revenue allocation formula currently in use is: Federal Government (52%); States (26.72%); and the 770 local government areas (20.60%).

In anticipation of a review, the governors raised a six-man committee, headed by Babatunde Fashola, then the governor of Lagos State.

Other members of the committee are ex-governors Murtala Nyako; Sullivan Chime; Babangida Aliyu; Rotimi Amaechi; and Aliyu Wamakko.

The panel recommended a new formula as follows: FG (35%); States (42%); and LGAs (23%).

It was learnt that the committee’s recommendation is still subsisting although no action has been taken.

The Nation

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