LG Elections – Yar'Adua to Meet Governors

No Comments » December 18th, 2007 posted by // Categories: Electoral Reform Project



 

THIS DAY

LG Elections: Yar�Adua to Meet Governors
From Juliana Taiwo in Abuja, 12.18.2007

As a result of the violence, fraud and rigging that marred the just-concluded local government elections in many states, President Umaru Musa Yar�Adua has decided to meet governors of the 36 states of the Federation immediately after the Eid-El-Kabir and Christmas holidays.

Addressing State House Correspondents yesterday, the Special Adviser to the President on Communications, Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi, said the President was concerned about allegations of violence, fraud and vote rigging in elections, hence the need for the meeting.

Expected at the meeting, Adeniyi said, were the chairmen and national secretaries of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Action Congress (AC), Peoples Progressive Alliance (PPA), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and other high-ranking political office holders and security chiefs.

�In keeping with his pledge to the nation at his inauguration, President Yar�Adua remains fully committed to the reformation of the country�s electoral processes which he sees as critical to the development of democracy in Nigeria.

�Having already initiated the promised reform process by constituting and inaugurating a national electoral reform committee, the President expects that rather than carrying on as before, all members of the country�s political class, irrespective of their party affiliations, should join hands with his administration to ensure that the process is carried through to a successful conclusion.

�President Yar�Adua wishes to reiterate his call for a positive change in the attitudes and values of our political class which is essential for the successful reformation of the country�s electoral system.

�He believes that reforming the electoral process is clearly in the best interest of all Nigerians, including the political class and is therefore saddened by reports of last Saturday�s elections which seem to indicate that many of those associated with the process do not yet appreciate the imperatives for an electoral process anchored on due process, transparency and the rule of law.

�President Yar�Adua will make it clear at his meeting with the governors that as head of state, leader of the country�s ruling party and true democrat, he will never condone the willful subversion of the will of the people or their right to express their will in free and fair elections at any level of governance,� he said.

Asked whether the meeting might call for the cancellation of the election, Adeniyi stressed that the President had no constitutional powers to cancel the elections.

�The constitution stipulates that the local government elections should be handled by the states, but he is worried about the outcome of these elections. So, decisions will have to be taken at that meeting with all the relevant stakeholders�.

He said the meeting would have to wait till the first week in January because many of the governors were away to South Arabia for the Hajj and so the meeting would hold after the Sallah and Christmas holidays.

On whether the meeting would address the continuous stay in office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Professor Maurice Iwu, he said: �These elections were not conducted by INEC, but conducted by the State�s Independent Electoral Commission. The meeting is to address the concerns of the elections. You have been reading the reports in the papers about the violence and the fraud.

“We cannot continue like this. That is why the President initiated the electoral reform process in the first place. And if you have to reform the electoral process, the political class will have to reform itself. We cannot continue with the attitude of the past if we want to move to the future.�

Protests had greeted the elections as the PDP won almost all the seats in the declared results of four states — Edo, Enugu, Osun and Oyo.
Soldiers from the 4th Infantry Brigade were deployed in Edo State to maintain the peace following the violence that trailed the election.
In Enugu, Osun and Oyo states, there were calls for the cancellation of the elections following reports of ballot box stuffing, multiple voting and apathy on the part of the voters.

Also fielding questions on the purported endorsement of the United States-backed African Command (AFRICOM) by President Yar�Adua in the US, Adeniyi said, �The issue of AFRICOM is very interesting because I don�t understand what the controversy is all about. The President was very clear and unambiguous. One thing people forget is that AFRICOM already exists and is based in Germany.

“The United States wants to take the base to Africa and most African leaders led by Nigeria and South Africa are saying if your interest is security and peace in Africa, American soldiers don�t have to be here. African Union is proposing African Standby Force where African countries will send troops, and if you want to support Africa you can do so by way of funding logistics, training.

“We don�t mind that, but not that American soldiers will come on African soil and that is the position. The position of Nigeria has not changed. That was the position the President expressed to the National Council of State when they had a meeting in Abuja. That decision was not even that of the Council of State as reported but the position of the President in which he informed the Council and this position has not changed.”

When the President said the country did not mind partnering AFRICOM, Adeniyi said, he was expressing the views of the AU leaders.

Acording to him, “If you want to support security in Africa and if your interest is to protect Africa, then we don�t mind that. But you can support an African Standby Force which will be put in place where the troops will be Africans. That is what the President is saying.

“I have read all kinds of comments including the one by the AC. Many people have not even read the statement of the President before making their criticism which is unfortunate. But the position of Nigeria remains the same, which is he will not allow AFRICOM in Nigeria.�

—-

THE NATION

Yar’Adua summons governors over council polls         18/12/2007
      

From Vincent Ikuomola,
Abuja

President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua is to meet with governors over the allegations of violence, fraud and rigging that marred last Saturday’s local government elections.

In the elections, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ran against itself as opposition parties boycotted the polls.

But, despite the allegations, he would not cancel the elections as he does not have the power to so do.

The chairmen and national secretaries of PDP, Action Congress (AC), Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) and All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP) as well as other high-ranking political office holders and security chiefs are also expected to be at the meeting.

The meeting is likely to take place early January, probably in the first week.

Briefing State House correspondents yesterday in Abuja, Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi, Special Adviser to the President (Communications), said Yar’Adua called the meeting to restate his stand on the electoral process.

He noted that the president is saddened by the report that trailed last weekend’s local government elections.

According to the President, the political class seems not to have embraced the new principle of transparency, due process and rule of law.

At the meeting, Adeniyi said, the President will restate his stand not to condone wilful subversion of the will of the people or their right to express their will in free and fair elections at any level of governance.

Adeniyi said: “President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua has noted with great concern the serious allegations of violence, fraud and vote-rigging in recent local government elections and will meet with the governors of the 36 states immediately after the Eid-El-Kabir and Christmas holidays to address issues related to the conduct of the elections.

The President expects that rather than carrying on as before, “all members of the country’s political class, irrespective of their party affiliations, should join hands with his administration to ensure that the process is carried through to a successful conclusion.

“President Yar’Adua will make it clear at his meeting with the governors that as Head of State, leader of the country’s ruling party and true democrat, he will never condone the wilful subversion of the will of the people or their right to express their will in free and fair elections at any level of governance”.

This stand of the President, Adeniyi said, is in line with his pledge at his inauguration to remain fully committed to the reformation of the country’s electoral processes which, according to him, is critical to the development of democracy.

The President has already initiated the promised reform process by constituting and inaugurating a National Electoral Reforms Committee.

He believes that reforming the electoral process is clearly in the best interest of all Nigerians, including the political class.

The President, according to Adeniyi, “is, therefore, saddened by reports on last Saturday’s elections which seem to indicate that many of those associated with the process do not yet appreciate the imperatives for an electoral process anchored on due process, transparency and the rule of law”.

The meeting could not be held immediately as “many of the governors are in South Arabia for the Hajj and so the meeting will hold after the Sallah and Christmas holidays”

On calls for the cancellation of the elections, Adeniyi said the President had no constitutional power to do so.

“The President has no constitutional powers to cancel the elections. The constitution stipulates that the local government elections should be handled by the states but he is worried about the outcome of these elections. So, a decision would have to be taken at that meeting with all the relevant stakeholders,” he said.

Asked if the meeting will be considering the fate of Prof. Maurice Iwu, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the President’s spokesman said: “These elections were not conducted by INEC but by the states Independent Electoral Commissions”.

On the African Command (AFRICOM), Adeniyi does not understand the controversy surrounding the President’s stand.

He said: “The President was very clear and unambiguous. One thing people forget is that AFRICOM already exists and is based in Germany and United States wants to take the base to Africa and most African leaders, led by Nigeria and South Africa, are saying ‘if your interest is security and peace in Africa, American soldiers don’t have to be here’.

“African Union is proposing an African Standby Force where African countries will send troops, and if you want to support Africa, you can do so by way of funding logistics, training. We don’t mind that but not that American soldiers will come on African soil and that is the position.

“The position of Nigeria has not changed. That was the position the President expressed to the National Council of State when they had a meeting in Abuja. That decision was not even that of the Council of State as reported but the position of the President in which he informed the Council and this position has not changed.”

—-

TRIBUNE

 Yar’Adua angry over LG polls – Invites govs to Aso Rock

Clement Idoko, Abuja- 18.12.2007

PRESIDENT Umaru Yar’Adua is to meet with the governors of the 36 states over allegations of violence, fraud and vote rigging during last Saturday’s local government elections.

The chairmen and national secretaries of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Action Congress (AC), Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) and All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) as well as some other political office holders and security chiefs are also expected to be in attendance at the meeting. The meeting is expected to hold early in January.

A statement by the Special Adviser to the President (Communications), Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi, said that the president was calling for the meeting to impress it on the governors where he stood on electoral process in the country.

“President Yar’Adua will make it clear at his meeting with the governors that as head of state, leader of the country’s ruling party and a true democrat, he will never condone the wilful subversion of the will of the people or their right to express their will in free and fair elections at any level of governance,” he said.

He noted that the president was saddened by the report that trailed last weekend’s local government elections.

According to the president, the political class seemed not to have bought into the new principle of transparency, due process and rule of law.

According to Adeniyi, “President Umaru Yar’Adua has noted, with great concern, the serious allegations of violence, fraud and vote rigging in recent local government elections in the country and will meet with the governors of the 36 states of the federation immediately after the Eid-el-Kabir and Christmas holidays to address issues related to the conduct of the elections.”

He said the president expected that rather than carrying on as before, “all members of the country’s political class, irrespective of their party affiliations, should join hands with his administration to ensure that the process is carried through to a successful conclusion.”

This stand of the president, Adeniyi further said, was in line with his pledge at his inauguration to remain fully committed to the reformation of the country’s electoral processes, which, according to him, was critical to the development of democracy in the country.

The president, according to Adeniyi, “is, therefore, saddened by reports on last Saturday’s elections which seem to indicate that many of those associated with the process do not yet appreciate the imperatives for an electoral process anchored on due process, transparency and the rule of law.”

He reiterated his call for a positive change in the attitudes and values of the political class, which he said was essential for the successful reformation of the country’s electoral system.

Meanwhile, Mr. Adeniyi has said that contrary to the expectations of the people who are calling on the president to cancel the election, the idea of cancelling the election should better be forgotten as the President had no constitutional power to do so.

“The president has no constitutional powers to cancel the elections. The constitution stipulates that the local government elections should be handled by the states but he is worried about the outcome of these elections. So decision would have to be taken at that meeting with all the relevant people. You have been reading the reports in the papers about the violence and the fraud,” he said.

On the issue of African Command (AFRICOM), Adeniyi said he did not understand the controversy surrounding the president’s stand.

He said: “It is very interesting because I don’t understand what the controversy is all about. The president was very clear and unambiguous. One thing people forget is that AFRICOM already exists and is based in Germany and United States wants to take the base to Africa and most African leaders led by Nigeria and South Africa are saying if your interest is security and peace in Africa, American soldiers don’t have to be here.

“African Union is proposing African Standby Force where African countries will send troops, and if you want to support Africa, you can do so by way of funding logistics, training. We don’t mind that but not that American soldiers will come on African soil and that is the position.”

 

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