The Nigerian Senate has said that it would reduce the number of political parties participating in elections in the country from the current 91 to five through legislation.
The upper chamber stated this on Wednesday, October 9, at a meeting with the leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) led by its chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu.
The Senate further expressed dissatisfaction over the huge number of political parties fielding candidates in the forthcoming governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states.
While speaking at the meeting, former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu (PDP Enugu West), said the number of political parties contesting the elections was a contravention of the amended Electoral Act.
He said that by virtue of the Electoral Act, political parties, which failed to win a seat in the general elections should be deregistered.
On his part, chairman of the Senate committee on INEC, Senator Kabiru Gaya (APC Kano South) said: “Those parties that didn’t perform shouldn’t be on the ballot. The existing electoral act as amended has precluded the participation of parties that didn’t perform in the last elections.
“We need to amend the act to reduce the political parties to a maximum of five. This committee is really committed to reducing the number of political parties to save taxpayers money.”
Responding, the INEC chairman said that the commission was in a dilemma to take decisive action to deregister political parties as a result of pending electoral litigations which could alter its judgement.
“The commission had systematically deregistered many parties under the electoral act. But the parties insisted that the electoral act is inferior to the constitution,” Professor Yakubu told the senators.
2023: PDP Will Zone Presidency To North — Ex-Benue Gov Suswam
Former Governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam has explained why the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would allegedly be zoning its 2023 presidential ticket to the North.
He gave the explanation in an interview published by Sunday Sun.
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Power noted that the party zoned the presidency to the north in 2019 and the PDP candidate did not emerge president.
Based on this, he said, the former arrangement remains until the north is able to produce the president on the party’s ticket.
Asked if the PDP would zone the presidency to the north in 2023, Suswam said, “Of course, the PDP will maintain zoning. We have not realised it, so the zoning still remains in the North in the PDP. In PDP, we zoned the Presidency to the North and have we realised it? No. So, the zoning still remains in the North for 2023. Presidency is not micro-zoned. Once you say North, every person in the North is entitled to contest and the best person wins.”
Suswam also dismissed insinuations that the Ahmed Lawan-led Ninth Senate is a rubber-stamp to the Executive arm.
He said, “Well, I wouldn’t say that the current Senate is rubber stamp. The leadership of the National Assembly decided that unlike what happened previously, we are all elected whether on the executive side or legislative side, with a common objective which is to serve Nigerians. And the only way that can be feasible is for us to cooperate among ourselves even though the doctrine of separation of power exists.
“That doctrine of separation of power in principle presumes that there will be inter-independence. It’s not that you can take actions that are totally opposed to the other.
“We have to collaborate for us to move forward. And so I think what the Senate has done, given the experience of Nigerians in the previous Senate when nothing was working – budget was not passed and even if it was passed, it was passed mid-year. So, it was impossible for any activity of government to continue. So, we said let us depart from that. That doesn’t make us rubber stamp. We just feel that we should cooperate.”
There Is No Crisis In APC, Tinubu Says
The APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on Thursday night declared that there was no differences to be sorted out in the party.
Tinubu, also said, “there is no crisis in the party, hence, no fight to reconcile.”
He made the declaration shortly after a closed door meeting with Gov. Mai Mala Buni, Chairman of the APC Caretaker Committee and other members at his Bourdillon Residence in Ikoyi, Lagos.
Buni, also Governor of Yobe, led other members of the APC National Caretaker Committee to the Lagos meeting with Tinubu.
”We have no differences to be sorted out in the APC; we just had consultation and it is how our party, the APC, would continue to be a progressive party,” he said.
According to him, the committee is a consultation and not reconciliation committee since nobody is fighting anybody.
”There are instances when you disagree, but it doesn’t mean that you cannot discuss it over and be a good example in leadership and politics,” Tinubu said.
The former Lagos State governor also said that politics without seeming media crisis would be less interesting.
”But the question is, are we committed to building this party and Nigeria? That is what we are all about.
”We are steering the ship of our nation and our party in the right direction,” Tinubu said.
He said that the party leadership had trust and respect for the chairman of the caretaker committee and would support him to succeed for the party to continue in its progressive governance of the country.
The committee chairman, who led other members to the meeting, said that the meeting was part of the consultation the committee was making.
”You know the task before us is daunting, and we need guidance, experience and prayers from our leaders,” Buni said.
The host Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, expressed his pleasure to have his colleagues in the state.
”It’s been a very fruitful discussion we have had here this evening,” Sanwo-Olu said.
Other members of the committee in attendance included the Chairman of Progressive Governor’s Forum, Gov. Abubakar Atiku Bagudu; Secretary of Caretaker Committee, APC, Sen. James Akpan Udo-Edehe and Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Bello.
Why Supreme Court May Disqualify Obaseki — Erhahon
A former Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress in Edo State, Godwin Erhahon, has said the Supreme Court may eventually disqualify Governor Godwin Obaseki, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the forthcoming governorship election in Edo State on the grounds that he contested in the primaries of two different political parties.
Erhahon, who spoke to Daily Post in Benin-City, said what happened to Uche Nwosu, the governorship candidate of the Action Alliance, would also happen to him since, like Nwosu, he contested primaries in two different political parties, the APC and PDP.
Erhahon also said Obaseki and his deputy, Philip Shaibu, are wasting their time because they have failed to learn from history, adding that what happened to Nwosu should have served as a lesson to them.
According to him a Supreme Court judgment that sacked Nwosu as the governorship candidate of the AA in the 2019 election should have guided the governor’s decision to participate in the Peoples Democratic Party’s primary after undergoing screening in APC.
“The apex court crafted the judgment so explicitly as if it was meant for the duo of the governor and his deputy to understand what fate awaits them in the state.
“The Supreme court nullified Uche Nwosu nomination in AA on the account that he had contested for nomination under APC.
“As if to explain itself further to the outgoing Governor, the Supreme Court elaborated on how the relevant law nullifies the PDP candidacy for their understanding when it elaborated thus:
“The spirit of the law forbids anyone to contest for nomination under two or more parties in the same election or even start the process of being nominated by procuring the nomination form. How does Governor Obaseki hope to escape the last clause?” Erhahon maintained.
Erhahon also said the governor currently possesses a counterfeit PDP governorship ticket, since he obtained the APC nomination form, filled it and returned same, and even attended the party’s screening and was disqualified.
He said based on that clause, the apex Court seems to have told Obaseki to stop wasting his time and resources.
“So also does it sound a warning to Obaseki’s supporters that they are about burying themselves along with a dead body because they are blinded by temporary pecuniary sentiments.
“Whoever is being deceived by his neighbour may survive but whoever deceives himself is on a suicide mission. Let’s watch and see where desperation, cantankerousness and sadism are leading Governor Obaseki to. Like the Benin elders would say, ‘Hasty wrestling and fatal fall go together’,” he averred.
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