AFTER weeks of intensive tension-soaked electioneering campaigns, the 2015 election is finally here.
ENCOMIUM Weekly reviews the last days to the commencement of the 2015 general elections.
MONDAY, MARCH 16, 2015
INEC BOSS, JEGA SAYS HE WON’T GO ON TERMINAL LEAVE
Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega has assured Nigerians he won’t be forced to go on terminal leave as being speculated. He also said the March 28, 2015 election would not be shifted again.
Jega made this known while addressing a town hall meeting in Abuja. Giving an update on the Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) collection across the states, the INEC chairman disclosed that 68.8 million people registered with the electoral commission, while 67.8 million of the cards produced have been taken to states for distribution.
He further stated that only about 56 million people have collected their PVCs while the commission would deliver about 700,000 cards still being produced on Saturday (March 22). Jega also backed the deployment of card readers and military for the general elections.
OPC MARCH FOR JONATHAN
Members of Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) trooped out en masse on Monday, March 16 to support President Goodluck Jonathan. And marching along Ikorodu Road, Lagos, they reportedly destroyed posters and billboards of APC candidates, while calling on the INEC chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega to resign.
ICC TO TRY PATIENCE JONATHAN, OTHERS AIDING VIOLENCE
On Monday, March 16, the prosecutor, International Criminal Court (ICC), Fatou Bensouda assured he would prosecute politicians or groups petitioned in respect of embarking on hate campaigns capable of causing election violence. Though the ICC prosecutor didn’t mention names, it is on record that the opposition, APC, days back reported the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan to the ICC.
TUESDAY, MARCH 17, 2015 ELECTION MAY NOT HOLD IN SOME LIBERATED TOWNS IN NORTH EAST
On this day, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Kenneth Minimah hinted that elections may not hold in some of the North East communities recently liberated from Boko Haram insurgents.
Minimah disclosed this after a security council meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan.
He, however, said that INEC needed to reassess the situation in the communities before a final stand could be taken on elections.
The INEC boss also told security chiefs and the president they are adequately prepared for the elections.
JONATHAN WOOS VOTERS WITH 50 PER CENT ELECTRICITY TARIFF CUT
The Federal Government also on Tuesday reduced the cost of electricity by 50 per cent.
Many see as highly political, the tariff cut, which Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission claimed is the beginning of Transitional Electricity Market.
ELECTION MUST HOLD MARCH 28 – NPAN
The Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN) says there must be election on Saturday, March 28, 2015. NPAN also advised candidates to accept the result of the election.
The body made this known in a communiqué issued at the end of its extraordinary meeting in Abuja.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 18, 2015APC TO DRAG JONATHAN TO ICC
The All Progressives Congress Presidential Organisation has said it would send a petition against President Goodluck Jonathan to the International Criminal Court, at The Hague, the Netherlands.
The crux of the petition is the protest by armed pro-Jonathan groups in Lagos on Monday, March 16, 2015, which the party considers a foretaste of the violence they plan to unleash on election days.
It would be recalled that the ICC had stated on Monday, March 16 that those encouraging violence in Nigeria would be prosecuted.
The APC believes that the rally organized by OPC on Monday was capable of causing election violence.
FEC APPROVES NATIONAL CONFAB REPORT
The Federal Executive Council has in yet another move to win the support of the electorate, approved the recommendations of the National Conference.
While expressing its readiness to implement the recommendations of the Confab, issues that are constitutional would be referred to the National Assembly.
IG RESTORES TAMBUWAL’S SECURITY
The Speaker of the House of Reps, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal now has full security protection provided by the police and the Department of State Security.
Tambuwal had his security withdrawn after he decamped to the opposition APC.
THURSDAY, MARCH 19, 2015 BUHARI RETURNS TO LAGOS
APC presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari was in Lagos on Thursday, March 19 for a town hall meeting. Buhari met with technicians and artisans at LTV 8, Lagos, while regretting the collapse of infrastructure which is killing their business, the APC candidate pledged to address their challenges.
BUHARI’S WIFE INTENSIFIES CAMPAIGN FOR APC
Hajia Aishat Buhari, wife of APC presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari has intensified campaign for her husband. Like President Jonathan’s wife, Patience, Hajia Aishat is on campaign tour of the geo-political zones drumming support for APC candidates.
She also assured Nigerians not to be afraid of being jailed if Buhari emerges president. She particularly addressed the First Lady who said she was not ready to take food to her husband in prison.
FRIDAY, MARCH 20, 2015
JONATHAN CONFIDENT OF DEFEATING BUHARI
President Goodluck Jonathan has expressed that he would win this Saturday’s presidential election.
“I will surely win. I will surely win it…My party is still the strongest party,” he boasted in an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
ELECTION VIOLENCE ERUPTS IN PORT HARCOURT
Another pre-election violence erupted in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on Friday, March 20.
Reports say gunmen killed two members of the PDP in Aluu community, Ikwerre LGA. Relatedly, the leader of the APC in Rumueprikom, Tasie Wike was also shot when thugs attacked the ward-to-ward campaign of the governorship candidate of the party, Dr. Dakuku Peterside in Obio/Akpor Local Government of the state.
Rivers State is one of the flashpoints in the forthcoming elections.
JONATHAN RAISES N170M AT BOOK LAUNCH
The PDP presidential candidate, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan cornered more funds for his campaign on Friday.
The president made over N170 million at a book launched in his support. Entitled, The People’s Choice: The Story of President Goodluck Jonathan, it was written by one Rev. Fr. Charles Imokhai. The book was presented at the old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa.
President Jonathan used the occasion to advise political office seekers not to be desperate but willing and ready to serve.
ATIKU EXPLAINS ABSENCE AT APC CAMPAIGNS
Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar has explained why he has not been attending the campaigns of the APC presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari. He told BBC on Friday he had not been invited to the APC presidential campaign rallies.
He, however, denied reports he was planning to return to the PDP.
– UCHE OLEHI