The 2014 elections fever may have subsided following the postponement of the polls but a lot is still going on in the polity. And with five more weeks to the March 28 and April 11, 2015 elections, ENCOMIUM Weekly recorded happenstances all through the week.
With fingers pointing at supporters of President Jonathan’s wife, the ruling PDP also blamed the opposition APC led by Governor Rotimi Amaechi in the state for the bloody rally…
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2014: BOMB EXPLOSION ROCKS APC RALLY IN OKRIKA, RIVERS STATE
The week began on a sad note with bomb explosions and gunshots rocking the All Progressives Congress campaign rally in Okrika, Rivers State. The hometown of the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan dominated national discourse as violence claimed the life of a policeman, leaving about 50 others wounded.
WEDNESAY, FEBRUARY 18:
JEGA APPEARS BEFORE THE SENATE
On Wednesday, February 18, 2015, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was summoned by the Senate to explain why the February 14 elections were postponed. Jega has also briefed the National Assembly on the commission’s preparations.
By the time the embattled electoral umpire exited the hallowed chambers, he left no distinguished senators in doubts he would be ready to conduct elections on March 28 and April 11, 2015, if other conditions necessary for a smooth poll are in place.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2015:
INEC ATTAINS 73 PERCENT
PVC DISTRIBUTION RATIO
Also from INEC came the cheery report that over 50 million Nigerians now have their Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC). This figure according to INEC spokesman, Mr. Kayode Idowu represents, 73 percent of the 68 million registered voters.
ENCOMIUM Weekly learnt the electoral body achieved this feat on Friday, February 13, 2015. Analysts said INEC would hit over 90 percent before March 28, though some one million PVCs are still not fully produced.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2015: BUHARI FINALLY JETS OUT FOR UK WORKING VISIT
The Presidential candidate of APC, General Muhammadu Buhari jetted out of the country on Thursday, February 19, 2015.
According to the spokesman of the APC Presidential Campaign Organization, Mr. Garba Shehu, Buhari would while on the tour, hold meeting with key members of the British political establishment and some global institutions with stakeholder interest in the affairs of Nigeria. The former head of state is also expected to give a talk at the prestigious foreign policy hub, The Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatom House, London.
Expectedly, Buhari’s official trip is general seen as a ploy to take time out to attend to his fragile heatlth. PDP chieftain and Ekiti state governor, Mr. Ayo Fayose, President Jonathan’s campaign organization spokesman, Chef Femi Fani-Kayode have all alleged that the APC presidential flagbearer is one a medical trip in the UK.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2015: YORUBA
ELDERS ENDORSE JONATHAN
President Jonathan on this day recorded a major breakthrough in his quest to return to power by getting support of the South-West. Though the region is obviously under the firm grip of the opposition APC, GEJ reportedly reached out to key Yoruba elders, first class monarchs, the political elite and other critical stakeholders.
At the end of the marathon meetings, we were told that the West, are now behind GEJ, whom they gave conditions of supporting him at the March 28, 2015 election.
OBJ OVER UNCOMPLIMENTARY COMMENTS
Basking in the euphoria of his political stride in the South-West, President Jonathan, while confessing that former president Olusegun Obasanjo is his father in politics, however berated him for his recent outbursts.
Jonathan warned politicians to resist from statements capable of truncating Nigeria’s democracy and jeopardizing the economy. Obasanjo had alleged days back that Jonathan was hell bent at winning the forthcoming elections by hook or crook. He also claimed he was rooting for tenure elongation.
The next day (Monday, February 16, 2015) OBJ tore his PDP membership card in pulbic and finally called it quits with the ruling party.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2015: BUHARI HEALTHEIR THAN GEJ, SAYS KWANKWASO
Still on the controversy over Buhari’s state of health, APC bigwig and governor of Kano state, Dr. Musa Kwankwaso has given him a clean bill of health. He claimed that the very popular septuagenarian politician is even healthier than more youthful President Jonathan.
“By my judgment, since we finished our party’s primary elections, he is sound, hale and fit to rule this country. In fact, I feel he is healthier than the incumbent occupier of the seat because he went to all the state on campaigns in addition to other engagements.”
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2015:
FORMER ANAMBRA GOVERNOR, MBADINUJU JOINS APC
Former governor of Anambra state, Chief Chinuoke Mbadinuju dumped the PDP on Monday, February 23, 2015. Addressing a press conference in Abuja, the former PDP chieftain said he is joining APC to ensure the victory of its presidential candidate, Buhari.
He also blamed the state of the nation on plenty of injustice being promoted by the PDP. Mbadinuju has however been dismissed as an out-of-favour politican who no longer has electoral value.