Elections: Panic as senate set to probe INEC

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THERE are indications that the Senate on resumption next week after the governorship and house of assembly elections, will probe the reason behind the shift of presidential and national assembly elections from February 16 to February 23. Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chairman Mahmood Yakubu addresses the audience on February 25, 2019 in Abuja during the presidential elections announcement. – Muhammadu Buhari got off to a winning start in his bid for re-election as Nigeria’s president, as the first result was announced today from weekend polls.

The 76-year-old former military ruler won 219,231 votes in the southwestern state of Ekiti, while his main opponent, Atiku Abubakar, got 154,032, the electoral commission announced. (Photo AFP) Chairman Senate Committee on Works, Senator Kabiru Gaya dropped the hint, weekend, while speaking with State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa. Senator Gaya who had on Thursday night after leading a delegation from Kano state to the office of the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, told journalists that the mandate his people gave to him was to go to senate and protect President Buhari, also expressed happiness that the state gave the highest number of votes to the President.

Though he said that the nation’s upper legislative chamber will investigate the postponement of the Presidential and National Assembly elections from 16 to 23rd February, he, however said that he was happy the elections were shifted. On why he was at the State House, he said, “First of all, we thank almighty Allah for given us the life, the strength and the ability to give President Muhammadu Buhari the opportunity to contest for a second term and to win the election with a very good wide margin. “I remember, when I was inspecting one of the roads in Nigeria here, at that time, President Buhari was abroad, I said President Buhari will, insha Allah, commission that road in his first time and also in second term, he will do the second part of the road. “People doubted me, but thank God, God has done it – President Buhari has ran for election and he has won the election.

“I am not surprise for him winning the election because he has done so much for this country. Take example, in therms of road, I am the Chairman, Senate Committee on Works, so I know that the budget for the 2014 before President Buhari came in was N22 billion. “But when Buhari came into office the budget moved up to N220 billion and you can see that now the budget is between N300 billion to N400 billion in 2019. Therefore, the roads that were neglected for nineteen years are now motorable. “Also in agriculture, the importation of rice has dropped from 100 percent to only five percent. “So I could say that I am happy President Buhari is back and the election was peaceful and Kano State has delivered even though the turnout was very low.” He atttributed the low turnout in the Presidential and National Assembly elections to the shift of date, adding that people had also thought that the February 23 date given by INEC was not going to be realisable.

According to him, “I believe most of the problem was that INEC shifted the elections and people thought that the election would be shifted again and they couldn’t come out to vote. “We had just about 30-40 percent turnout all over the country. But be that, Kano has delivered, we had the highest number of votes and I think we could say that we are part of the determining factors for President Muhammadu Buhari’s reelection because he has really done so much for us – the dualisation of Kano-Abuja road and the railway project and so on. Ekiti PDP Assembly candidate withdraws, says he has lost confidence in INEC,

“We are very happy that president Buhari has done that and we believe we will do better. We from the National Assembly, I assure you, I am coming in as a senator for the forth term – 16 years I am one of the few ranking senators in the senate and I thank God for being in the senate. “Therefore, we will give President Buhari all the cooperation that is needed so that we can have a smooth ride, a smooth process, a smooth passage of the budget, a smooth oversight and a relation between the executive and the legislature. We hope by God’s grace we will give him that support.” When asked the kind of senate that will be expected in the Ninth Assembly, Senator Gaya said, “a humble senate, a vibrant senate and a senate that will work with Mr President.”

Further asked on his assessment of the performance of the electoral umpire at the Presidential and National Assembly elections, he said, “I was happy at the day one when they shifted the elections and I said still after shifting the election we will still call them and we will investigate the INEC for shifting the election because it caused a poor turnout. “We will find out the reason. If it is funding, we gave them enough fund, if it was issue of security, the security agencies were ready. So why should INEC shift the elections? We are going to investigate that when we come back after the governorship election. But certainly, generally they did what they could do, I could say, it is a pass mark.” Vanguard

 

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