Category Archives: Elections

All elections in Nigeria from local to state and national receive coverage from our team of reporters and correspondents nationwide

Nnamani complicates governorship quest by Nkanu

Analysts wonder how Nkanu East/West will monopolize both PDP governorship and the senate positions shared by entire Enugu East District.

Senator Chimaroke Nnamani complicates governorship quest for Nkanu East by purchasing forms to return to the Senate in 2023.

The former governor, undaunted, made a grand appearance before the Peoples Democratic Party’s screening committee today in Enugu.

The party screened a number of National Assembly aspirants today 27 April.

Dozens of supporters drummed, danced and sang as they accompanied him to the venue.

Party chair, Chief Augustine Nnamani (no relation), warmly welcomed him to the screening venue.

Making a grand entrance

How Nnamani complicates Nkanu Governorship Quest

The Governor’s planned return to the Senate complicates the quest for governorship for aspirants from Nkanu East and West.

Enugu District has three federal constituencies – Enugu North/South, Enugu East/Isi-Uzor, and Nkanu East/West.

The former Governor, from Nkanu West favours Mr. Peter Mbah (Nkanu East), his former Chief of Staff, to succeed Governor Ugwuanyi.

Similarly, majority of aspirants who bought forms to contest the governorship are also from Nkanu East/West Federal Constituency

Analysts however wonder how Nkanu East/West will monopolize both PDP governorship and the senate positions shared by Enugu East District.

A politician from Enugu East noted that two of the three constituencies in the Enugu East District have produced the governors and senators since 1999.

“In contrast, Enugu East/Isi-Uzo have not been allowed to nominate a governor or Senator since 1999.

“Clearly Enugu East/Isi-Uzor federal constituency are the whipping boys of Nkanu politics,” the embittered stakeholder told Enugu Metro.

“Our Senator tends to be selfish and inconsiderate. He governed Enugu for eight years and will serve in the Senate for 12 years or more.

“Enugu North/South Constituency produced Senators for 12 years, between brothers from same town, Chief Jim Nwobodo and Chief Ken Nnamani.

“If the former governor is sincere, he will yield the Senate position to either Enugu East or Isi-Uzor. Or support an aspirant from these two local governments to rule.

His position on zoning

The former governor made his position known on the zoning controversy through a statement he released and personally signed on 20 February.

He insisted that political leaders “must respect existing zoning formula” for the governorship seat in 2023.

This, he said, is in the interest of justice and fair play. 

He also claimed that the zoning formula has been in place since 1999 and has ensured peace and harmony and given everyone a sense of belonging.

His successor, Gov. Sullivan Chime, however discredited the claim, saying that Enugu does not operate a formalized zoning arrangement.

Update & Correction

15:03 P.M. 28 April 2022. By Editor

The claims made by our source in respect of Enugu East/Isi-Uzor federal constituency is not accurate.

This is because Senator Gilbert Nnaji is from Enugu East/ Isiuzo Constituency and served in the Senate for eight years (2011 – 2019).

His younger brother, Rep. Cornelius Nnaji, also currently represents Enugu East/Isiuzo federal constituency in the House of Representatives.

The errors are inadvertent. – Editor

Kalu bemoans hypocrisy of Southern Nigeria politicians

Senator Orji Uzor Kalu bemoans hypocrisy of Southern politicians other than Southeasterners angling to become president of Nigeria in 2023.

He labelled their ambition as “inordinate” and asked that they consider the justice and fairness of their quest.

In a well-articulated essay, the Senate Chief Whip lashed out at Southwest and South-South politicians aspiring to rule in 2023.

He warned that their declarations will ultimately work against the South and give advantage to the north which has the stronger voting strength.

“The two regions that are yet to produce a President are South East and North East.

“If this means anything to Nigerians, the APC and PDP should be fair enough to prioritize these regions.

“If power should come to the South and not the South East or North and not the North East, the essence for which the six geopolitical zones were created is long dead,” he warned.

Read the full essay here:

Kalu bemoans hypocrisy of Southern politicians

The Fairness I Know for the 2023 Presidency

In The Fairness I Know for the 2023 Presidency, Senator Kalu examines the odds of zoning the presidency to Southeast.

By Orji Uzor Kalu

It is my desire and intention to run for the Presidency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I am committed to this pursuit, but I can’t make an official declaration to this regard without the full support of other regions. Everywhere in the world, politics is situational and that of Nigeria is exceptionally situational.

Continue reading The Fairness I Know for the 2023 Presidency

How to prepare for the 2023 elections

Bishop Godfrey Onah asks Nigerians to prepare for the 2023 elections by resisting efforts to impose corrupt men to rule Nigeria.

While preparing for election, let us all rise, register to vote, come out to vote, and protect our vote. We should choose our leaders. These evil men are now busy meeting. They are already planning which Barabbas, a corrupt thief like themselves, to impose on us through INEC (as Pilate). We must resist them.

Bishop Godfrey Onah

By Bishop Godfrey Onah

Jesus courageously and happily went into Jerusalem to embrace his mission and his destiny, because the hour had come. Now the hour has come for all Christians and all persons of good will in Nigeria to stand up. Walk into the society and the various aspects of governance and life in Nigeria. And embrace our mission and our destiny for a better Nigeria.

We should not allow ourselves to be led sheepishly by some selfish, bigoted, corrupt religious and political leaders. They will ignore our wish and impose on us injustice and perpetration of corruption.

While preparing for election, let us all rise, register to vote, come out to vote, and protect our vote. We should choose our leaders. These evil men are now busy meeting. They are already planning which Barabbas, a corrupt thief like themselves, to impose on us through INEC (as Pilate). We must resist them.

We want an honest, hardworking Nigerian who has shown capacity for governance and transparence, irrespective of where he is coming from and support him to lead us. We reject Barabbas. We choose Jesus. We reject corrupt leaders. We choose honest men and women. This is the time.

Whether they are caucuses or whether they are stakeholders, we know that they are corrupt, selfish, evil men, most of them. If you (the politician) say you’re not one of them and you find yourself there, be the Joseph of Arimathea, and speak out.

Nigerians have suffered enough. We have suffered enough. And the time for real change is now. Our destiny is in our hands and nobody can claim or pretend not to be concerned. God is still with us and he needs us to go into the city. He needs us to go into the streets. He needs us to transform our lives.

His Lordship Godfrey Igwebuike Onah is the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria.

Nigerians should prepare for the 2023 elections by resisting efforts to impose corrupt men

The choices we make in 2023

To survive as a nation after May 2023 requires us to weight the choices we make to elect capable candidates.

Oftentimes, we blame Nigerian voters for allowing political pirates seize our ship of state at every election cycle. It shouldn’t be about who allowed pirates into the ship. Instead, we need to focus on what makes it possible for pirates to navigate freely in our political ocean. The challenge as I see it is with our constitution and the serially-amended electoral laws. They rob citizens of their power to choose good candidates and the desire to vote for the clearly incapable.

Our Constitution and the electoral laws are concerning for Nigerian voters. With them there is no confidence that Nigeria will get a President the country needs in 2023. Our reservations escalate as we watch various presidential aspirants waddling into the arena of contest. Our sense of foreboding persists despite knowing that a number of capable citizens are among the lot.

The widespread fears arise from recent experiences with leadership selection, our familiarity with inadequate election laws, and voter apathy. There’s very little to do about leadership selection and the laws. But there’s a lot to do to redress voter apathy and give Nigeria a fighting chance at survival beyond 2023.

Which brings us to the question: What must we do to elect a President with capacity to navigate us out of the dire socio-economic straits that Nigeria finds itself? A useful first step is to recognize that voters face challenges. A second step is to think out of the box on how to help voters overcome the challenges.

Major Voter Challenges

When good candidates do not emerge from the dominant parties, voter choice becomes a challenge. We know why good candidates fail to make the cut during party primaries. Their integrity is haram to parties where money, religion, and ethnic affiliations overwhelm the selection process. They come with capacity and professionalism that become handicaps in spaces where the latent goal is to raid public treasuries. Nigerian politicos prefer to deal with those ready to play ball. They have little time for those with skills to create and redistribute wealth.

A second challenge is the laws that disallow independent candidacy. In our country, one must enroll in a political party to qualify to run for elections. Enrolling in a party automatically subjects one to a party primaries process for selection as candidate. Our politicos are clever. They correctly guessed that a voter revolt is possible in Nigeria if independent candidacy is allowed. Independent candidacy could trigger disgruntled citizens, particularly the youths, to organize and overthrow pirates that seized and hold the ship hostage. Legislators therefore faithfully resist every pressure to have independent candidacy accommodated in our electoral laws.

Our third and most serious challenge is voter apathy. Less than 30 percent of eligible voters register to vote and less than 20 percent of registered voters actually vote. Voter apathy reflects voter helplessness. The less sophisticated among the voters believe that their votes no longer count. Consequently, these unsophisticated voters succumb to politicians’ seasonal bribes of cash, wrappers, and foodstuffs to vote for the wrong candidates. But a greater majority stay home on election day.

A window of opportunity

There is a window of opportunity to help good captains get into the ship, in the event that dominant parties fail to select the right candidates. This window opens into a world of possibilities that give Nigeria a fighting chance at surviving beyond 2023. And it is a relatively simple process that involves stepping up citizen action to solve the challenge of voter apathy among the youth in Nigeria. Youth apathy accounts for most of what we know as low voter registration and poor election turnouts.

For this voter drive to succeed, the youths need to connect important dots about elections. Our youths bear a disproportionate burden of Nigeria’s economic problems at this moment. Their reaction to this burden is a yoke that the country bears as a mark of shame. Think of youth unemployment and how this reflects on issues of economic migration and slavery, yahoo-yahoo, banditry and kidnapping, ethno-religious insurgency, and political thuggery.

We often ascribe these youth challenges to the issue of leadership. Bad leadership is however not a cause but a consequence. Bad leaders are products of the choices we make during each election cycle. They do not elect themselves; we elect and install them in various government houses where they showcase their poor capacities.

Our angry youths need to establish this direct link between staying aloof during voting and the economic discomforts they suffer. We sustain this national embarrassment by refusing to vote. Or voting for religious and ethnic platforms. And by not looking beyond the dominant parties when they do not present capable candidates.

The choices we make in 2023

Nigerian youths urgently need to launch a get-out-the-vote (GOTV) drive. Low voter turnout is a product of voter apathy, voter helplessness, and poor appreciation of voting power. Youths however need appreciate the power of their vote. It is true that they will not participate in choosing the candidates for elections. But when youths arm themselves with vote cards, they will elect capable leaders languishing in fringe parties to save our nation. It no longer matters that the dominant parties throw up the best of the worst. To put the matter baldly, if the likes of Peter Obi and Yemi Osinbajo do not emerge from the dominant parties, why shouldn’t we choose between Kingsley Muoghalu and Omoyele Sowore?       

When we reach a critical mass of registered voters willing to turn up and vote, we are guaranteed revolutionary outcomes. Another #EndSARS-type movement led by Nigerian youths can lead to attainment of this critical mass. A successful get-out-the-vote campaign that garners an extra 20 – 50 million votes is enough to accomplish the task. With this number, Nigerians can elect a capable candidate from a mushroom party – if the dominant parties fail to pick any of the good candidates each of us sees now. The movement focuses on those who seek reelection and others seeking new mandates. And everyone commits to choose only those fit for purpose as the the goal of the choices we make for 2023.

Is this revolution possible?

This is how I summarized the choices we make for 2023 on my Facebook page last week:

Nigerians on Facebook can change Nigeria. As Nigerians living in Nigeria, this is the most important moment of our lives. Here is another golden opportunity to shape the country the way we want it to be. Are we ready and willing to do this? Or are we going to pretend we are busy and allow the politicos bribe and con their way back into power? By the time they finish, we will gather again to restart the social lamentations and head shaking.

What can each of us do?

One: Go get your voter’s card and vote for the righteous to get to the throne.

Two: Persuade just one friend to do the same and carry this forward.

Facebook Nigerians can raise an army that will bring the change we want through a competent and righteous man on the throne. Here is statistics that speak to this possibility:

There are 31.86 million Nigerians on Facebook. Less than 30 million Nigerians voted in 2019 and President Buhari won with 15.19 million votes. Nigerians on Facebook alone can therefore change Nigeria.

The best way to start is to launch something like Naija Get-Out-the-Vote drive for the 2023 Presidential Elections. And to thereafter escalate it to off-season governorship elections in some states.

The choices we make in 2023

Ondo Governor’s wife joins Senate race in Imo State

Ondo Governor’s wife, Mrs Betty Akeredolu, joins the 2023 race in Imo East Senatorial District under the APC platform.

The Ondo First Lady told newsmen that she wants to direct the leadership conversation for people of the Senatorial district.

She said successive administrators and legislators had greatly neglected the area where she was born.

This neglect makes the district “remote and helpless” she said. In particular she mentioned poor refuse disposal system and preventable deaths arising from lack of standard medical care.

“I have a deep interest in human capital development and a deep-seated desire to improve the lives of my people.

Mrs Akeredolu said she had always used her influence to attract projects to help them.

“I demonstrated this ability to handle the position with the many development projects I had attracted to my community.

“I ensured that my development projects, as the wife of a sitting governor, are extended to my state of origin.

She mentioned the “construction of a N1.6 billion, 10.5km road from Niger Delta Development Commission” as one of the projects.

“It is currently under construction,” she said.

She also spoke of hundreds of girls sponsored for tech training.

Mrs. Akeredolu pleaded with delegates to give her the mandate. However, she pledged to abide by the party decision is a consensus candidate emerges from the process,

About Mrs. Betty Akeredolu

Born Betty Anyanwu in 1953, she is daughter to Chief BUB and Dora Anyanwu of Emeabiam in Owerri-West, Imo State.

She married Chief Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, a senior advocate and current governor of Ondo State.

She read Zoology at the  University of Nigeria, Nsukka (1977). This was followed up with a master degree in fisheries, majoring in aquaculture, from the University of the Philippines.

The aquaculturist has an abiding interest in gender activism and health philanthropy.

A breast cancer survivor, she went on to found the Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria.

Ondo Governor’s wife joins Imo Senate race

What’s wrong with a group purchasing forms for aspirants?

What’s wrong with groups purchasing forms for their choice aspirants? asks Tai Emeka Obasi

My straight answer is no.

Yesterday, I was at Onitsha to witness the handing over of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP expression of interest and nomination forms to HE Peter Obi. Of course, those were for the Presidential Race.

The forms were purchased a day earlier from the PDP National Secretariat in Wadada Plaza Abuja by a group known as Like Minds For Peter Obi. They’re a collection of young professionals from all fields of endeavour across the country.

Led by Daniel Wilbert, who hails from Warri, Delta State and practising in the energy sector, the group said it was their strong belief that Obi, based on proven records of performance while he was a governor and evident positive antecedents, has all the necessary abilities to positively turn our sinking country around, that pushed them to rally round him in full support for the journey to Aso Rock.

Receiving the forms, the man we also call Okwute expressed gratitude to the group for their belief in him to go as far as purchasing the very expensive forms, assuring that he will prove to them and other Nigerians that such level of trust they place on him is not misplaced.

“My formal declaration is coming in a few days, where I will roll out my manifesto and I will promise before hand that I will not say a word I won’t fullfil if given the chance. I have so much interest in the future of the youths of this country. I will also assure you straightaway that I am coming with a blueprint that will turnaround this country.”

Based on voices, particularly those of the former president, HE Olusegun Obasanjo, being quoted as kicking against aspirants that groups, particularly youths, purchase presidential nomination forms for, it has become necessary to look deeper into such gesture by Like Minds For Peter Obi.

If I got it right, the former president was accusing the aspirants of purchasing the forms via these various groups to hoodwink the people into belief of popular acceptance.

In response to OBJ, the Peter Obi I know is too polished to get involved in that low-level trick to deceive.

I don’t know if any of the aspirants played such debasing pranks and I lack proof to assume any did but if they’re all on the honest path, there’s absolutely nothing wrong in coming together, or even individually, to support their choice aspirants/candidates.

However, I will concentrate on the man, who I have 100% certainty that his first agenda for this project is honesty at all levels. Peter Gregory Obi is not a man who will lie to the nation, whatever the stakes.

President Barrack Obama came to power via public donations. It is permitted in any democracy and Nigeria’s is no exception. It reduces the money such aspirants/candidates will spend while campaigning and a conscientious man like Okwute will know that it is a clear act of bondage to the people to reciprocate with desired performance.

Based on his national acceptance from the moment he declared, I am very certain that many more groups will selflessly support his ambition to the very end.

Nigerians have seen a man of genuine ability. Definitely, most wouldn’t wish to miss this chance.

What’s wrong with purchasing forms for aspirants?

Electoral Act: Court restrains Buhari on amendment

An Abuja High Court today restrains President Buhari from going ahead to amend the new Electoral Act.

The Court asked the National Assembly to halt the amendment process until issues of due process are clarified in court.

The opposition PDP sued President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly to prevent them from amending the Act.

The President signed the new Electoral Act only 11 days ago on 25 February 2022.

The opposition Party said in court filings that the President cannot use the National Assembly to amend the Act.

Consequently, the Court agreed to urgently temporarily restrain the President and National Assembly from continuing with the amendment.

Justice Inyang Ekwo granted PDP’s urgent application because the President cannot tamper with the Act outside due process.

Additionally, Justice Inyang agreed that the proper place to challenge validity of any existing law is in a court of law.

PDP’s counsel James Onoja, a senior advocate, said in court filings that only the courts can initiate amendments to a valid law.

Offending section

Meanwhile, the President on 1 March sent letters to leaders of the National Assembly to alter or strike out Section 84(2) of the Act.

The section reads as follows:

“No political appointee at any level shall be voting delegate or be voted for at the Convention or Congress of any political party for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election”.

Initially, the President complained about the sub-section when he signed the Act into law on 25 February this year.

Buhari expressed the view that it disenfranchises public officers and is also against constitutional rights of participation in electoral process.

The President asked lawmakers to public officers one month to resign in order to participle in the electoral process.

Analysts said today that the struggle between the two dominant parties is the advantage the law denied public officers.

There were complaints that public officers used their position to give advantages or secure the positions they intended to contest.

The National Assembly voted to exclude public officers from interfering in the process.

Electoral Act: Court restrains Buhari on amendment

INEC adjusts 2023 Election dates to conform with law

INEC, the Independent National Electoral Commission, adjusts its 2023 election dates to conform with new electoral act.

INEC announced today that the Presidential and National Assembly election will hold on February 25, 2023.

Two years ago, the Commission scheduled 18 February 2023 for both elections.

Enugu Metro predicted yesterday that INEC might amend the timetable to conform with the law signed by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Specifically, Section 3(3) of the Act mandates the Commission to release funds for general elections at least one year before the election.

As we speculated, “Going by this law, the Presidency has already defaulted by eight days to give INEC the funds it needs to conduct Elections 2023.

“Alternatively, INEC could shift its announced election date backwards to accommodate the law,” we said yesterday.

INEC’s action presupposes that it has received funding for the elections as well.

INEC adjusts 2023 Election dates to conform with law

Highlights of new Electoral Act signed into law today

There are 10 highlights of the new Nigerian Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2022 signed today in Abuja by President Muhammadu Buhari.

President Muhamnadu Buhari today in Abuja signed a new electoral act that governs the conduct of 2023 elections.

He described the amended legislation as “revolutionary” and a legacy that he is proud to leave behind.

He specifically mentioned some of the sections he was happy with.

” Worthy of note include the democratic efficacy of … Sections 3, 9(2), 34, 41, 47, 84(9), (10) and (11)…”

Leaders of the legislature joined the President, his Vice and Cabinet members to witness the signing ceremony at Aso Villa.

Top on the list of highlights is electronic transmission of election results. Consequently, INEC is legally empowered to deploy smart card readers and other voter accreditation technology to capture and transmit votes.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) already fixed the elections to hold on Saturday 18th February 2023, exactly 358 days from today 25 February.

10 top highlights of the Act

Here are the highlights of the new electoral act signed into law today by the President:

  1. The President must release funds for general elections must be released at least one year before the election (Clause 3(3). Going by this law, the Presidency has already defaulted by eight days to give INEC the funds it needs to conduct Ekections 2023. Alternatively, INEC could shift its announced election date backwards to accommodate the law
  2. The law mandates parties to conduct primaries and submit list of candidates at least 180 days before the general elections (Clause 29(1). For 2023 elections, this means primaries must be completed by 23 August 2022.
  3. Political parties are now empowered to conduct a primary election to replace a candidate who dies during an election (Clause 34). The law aims to remove the confusion and uncertainty that attended the death of one-time APC Kogi State candidate, Alhaji Abubakar Audu.
  4. INEC now has legal backing to deploy smart card readers and any other voter accreditation technology for elections (Clause 47).
  5. INEC now has the legal backing to electronically transmit election results (Clause 50). This was the plank of the challenge mounted by Vice President Atiku Abubakar on the 2019 election results.
  6. Election Tribunals will use the total number of accredited voters to determe whether there is over-voting at an election (Clause 51). The law will make it difficult to have another Imo scenario where votes can be manufactured from the air and be accepted by the courts.
  7. INEC is mandated to provide for people with disabilities and special needs to vote (Clause 54(2))
  8. INEC will not automatically accept results if it was obtained under duress (Clause 65). Thie law empowers INEC to review results declared under duress.
  9. Public officers who want to contest an election must resign their offices before they are eligible to do so (Clause 84). Those affected include ministers, commissioners, special advisers and others. By participation, this means aspiring to become either a delegate or a candidate
  10. The campaign season is now fixed at 149 days (Clause 94). This allows for early commencement of electioneering. The law mandates the campaign season to start 150 days to election day and end 24 hours before the election.

What Buhari didn’t like

President Buhari took exception to the provision in Section 84(2) of the Bill and said he signed it on the condition that the National Assembly will ammend it.

The section reads thusly:

“No political appointee at any level shall be voting delegate or be voted for at the Convention or Congress of any political party for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election”.

He reminded the lawmakers that this is contrary to what the Constitution provides.

Thus, public and civil servants wanting to participate in the process only need to retire, withdraw or resign their appointments 30 days to when they want to stand for elections.

The provision therefore import “blanket restriction and disqualification to serving political office holders” which is unconstitutional.

Its progressive, says Ekweremadu

Highlights of new electoral act
Sen Ekweremadu

Former Deputy President of the Senate, Dr. Ike Ekweremadu counted two important breakthroughs from the act.

He said Nigerian elections will never be the same again with electronic transmission of votes and other additions to the Act.

He also expressed confidence that “more Nigerians will be encouraged to exercise their franchise, knowing that their votes will count.”

Here’s the statement he released and personally signed today:

“I commended the signing into law of the Electoral Act Repeal and Re-enactment Bill by His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari .

“I’ve been part of the nation’s electoral reform for over the past 10 years, but I must confess that the journey to the new Electoral Act was by far the most frustrating.

“After the major electoral reform of 2010 that also involved amendments to the 1999 Constitution to, among others, open the doors to technology in our electoral system, check some executive excesses, manipulations by political parties, and strengten the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) through financial and administrative autonomy, our expectation after amendments to the Electoral Act in 2015 was that the new administration would support the National Assembly to further straighten our electoral laws and system.

“Unfortunately, four times, the amendments were turned down in the 8th National Assembly, apparently thwarted by narrow, partisan interests and ambitions.

“The efforts in the current National Assembly also faced similar challenges, but it is heart-warming that it has finally materialised with the presidential assent.

“Certainly, we didn’t get all we pushed for in the new law, but it is nevertheless a quantum leap for our electoral system and I congratulate all, who played a part in it, notably the civil society, media, and all Nigerians, who stood up for the nation’s democracy.

“With the electronic transmission of election results, early primary elections, and adequate time for INEC to prepare for elections, among other breakthroughs, our elections will never be the same again and more Nigerians will be encouraged to exercise their franchise, knowing that their votes will count.”

Highlights of new electoral act