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2019 Elections: Monitor Politicians Spending – INEC to EFCC

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The Independent National Electoral Commission has called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to monitor the sources of funding of political parties’ campaigns as the 2019 general elections approach.

The Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said this when the acting EFCC Chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja on Thursday.

According to the Electoral Act, no presidential candidate can spend over N1bn, no governorship candidate can spend over N200m and no senatorial candidate can spend above N40m.

The law also limits the amount of money that a person or association can donate to a political campaign.

However, the INEC chairman said most political parties and politicians had no regard for the law. He therefore called on the EFCC to assist INEC in curbing corruption.

Yakubu said, “The Electoral Act places limits on the amount that each individual can spend in an election and also the amount that friends of candidates and parties can contribute in the election.

“We want the EFCC which has the mandate and capacity to track and trace sources of funds to work closely with us so that we can trace within the limits of the law. Our democracy should never be on sale and I believe by working closely with the EFCC, we can achieve that.”

The INEC chairman said the anti-graft agency should also help the electoral body to tackle the issue of bribing voters at polling units.

He said, “As we approach the 2019 general elections, we will require your support essentially in two ways. Number one, INEC is worried by the recent trend of vote buying at open polling stations. Candidates and parties go to polling stations with sacks of money to induce voters.

“Only the votes of citizens should determine who wins an election. Our democracy must never be for sale on the open market. It is the will of the people that should determine who wins.

“Open vote buying will not be tolerated by the commission and we don’t want the 2019 general election to be determined by the amount of money that people have.”

Yakubu thanked the EFCC for helping the commission to expose corrupt officials, many of whom, he said, were facing prosecution in several courts.

The INEC boss said over 200 officials had been sacked or suspended for alleged corrupt practices. He, however, maintained that most INEC officials were hard-working and honest.

He said at least 85 officials died due to stress last year, adding that their work for the commission must be appreciated.

Yakubu added, “We interdicted a total of 205 officials. I also wish to say that among the staff of the commission are some of the conscientious and most hard-working Nigerians and it is for that reason that last year, the commission promoted 7,330 staff members.

“I also wish to say that we are one of the agencies in the country working under extreme pressure with time limits. Everything we do has a time limit under the law. In January, we conducted elections in three states and we have another one in Katsina this Saturday and thereafter, we have another one in Taraba.”

“As a result of the tremendous pressure on the staff, it may interest you to know that we lost 85 employees of INEC, many of them were as a result of stress-related illnesses. In fact, as we speak, one of our officials had a stroke yesterday and is in hospital. “

Earlier, the acting EFCC chairman had said most of the problems plaguing Nigeria were caused by corruption.

He added that even cancer could be traced to corruption.

Magu called on Nigerians to assist the anti-graft agency to tackle corruption, adding that the EFCC could not do it alone.

He also commended INEC for helping to tackle corruption.

The EFCC boss said, “Everyone must join in the fight against corruption. Corruption is a disaster, it has done too much damage in this country and I believe INEC is fighting corruption indirectly. They may not be fighting corruption the way we are fighting it. That is why I said fight corruption whichever way you want to fight it.”

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POLITICS

Akpabio Campaign Media Committee Fires Back at Udoma Ekarika, describes Outburst as Infantile

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The Media Committee of the Senator Godswill Akpabio Campaign Organisation has reacted to the verbal outburst of Dr. Udoma Ekarika during an interview on Comfort FM.

In a statement obtained by Akwa Ibom INFO, the media committee described Udoma’s vituperations as “moral condescension, infantile behavior and pettiness of some persons who posture as leaders in our society”.

Read Full Press Statement below:

PRESS STATEMENT

DR. UDOMA EKARIKA’S INFANTILE AND PROVOCATIVE ONSLAUGHT AGAINST DISTINGUISHED SENATOR GODSWILL OBOT AKPABIO, CON

The Godswill Akpabio Campaign Organization is concerned about the moral condescension, infantile behavior and pettiness of some persons who posture as leaders in our society.

The latest of such moral aberration among others is their lending of selves as hirelings to government sponsored programmes on the electronic media to mount orchestrated vituperations against perceived enemies of government, the PDP and Governor Udom Emmanuel.

Because of the filthy lucre that accrues to this reprehensible undertaking, these morally decrepit characters throw caution to the wind in the wanton bid to impress their paymaster being Governor Udom Emmanuel.

Governor Emmanuel’s latest infamous generosity has also given fillip to the destruction of the moral fabric of our once revered Elders and Leaders as they today fall over one another to be chosen to play the despicable role of government LIAR.

This was the obvious scenario in the case of Dr. Udoma Bob Ekarika, who once served in two respective Ministries in the State as Commissioner and proceeded therefrom to aspire to the exalted office of the executive governor of the State where he was roundly rejected by the people in preference to His Excellency, Senator Godswill Akpabio, during the primaries.

Dr. Udoma Ekarika was on a government sponsored radio programme, “Dakkada Akwa Ibom”, for his lucre but decided to use the platform to hurl unwarranted attacks on Senator Akpabio.

It is sad and most unfortunate that after his defeat by Senator Godswill Akpabio in the primaries of December 14, 2006, Ekarika, an Elder of a church still carries his hate for Akpabio as a trophy of pride and shamelessly advertises this moral weakness in a medium like radio.

It is also sad to note that the axiom that it is God that gives power to whoever He pleases does not cut any ice with him, even as an Elder of the church and has prevented him from acknowledging that Akpabio’s ascension as Governor was an Act of God, not man, otherwise the advantage of his relationship with the then sitting Governor as his Father in-law, was sufficient to grant him the throne. But God’s ways are not man’s ways.

It is the considered belief of Godswill Akpabio Campaign Organization that if Udoma Ekarika were a faithful Christian, he would have appreciated God in this context, swallowed the bitter pill of defeat and proceed to live with his brother, Senator Akpabio in peace. That way, he would have freed himself from harbouring the laughable assumption that he can beat Godswill Akpabio any day in an election.

Aristotle once noted that “high-minded men do not bear grudges”. This instructive message does not apply to Dr. Udoma Ekarika, who still smarting from the defeat at the 2006 primaries obviously harbours deep-seated- hatred,animosity and resentment towards the Distinguished Senator and latches unto any opportunity to vent his anger and behaving like a petulant child that lost a wrestling bout in the village square.

It is this inherent weakness that has not allowed him to see anything good in Godswill Akpabio and the administration he presided over which recorded unprecedented strides that placed the State on National and Global orbit until recently nor make him realize that our Principal is way above his league.

The Godswill Akpabio Campaign Organization takes exception to Dr Udoma’s unwarranted vituperations, calumniation and senseless characterization of Senator Akpabio as evil on radio and wishes to warn that any such indiscretion against the Distinguished Senator shall not be taken lightly. What is more evil than constantly beating a spouse to stupor at the least or no provocation; an infamous ‘hobby’ of Dr. Udoma Ekarika?

The Campaign Organization wishes to inform supporters of His Excellency, Mr. Udom Emmanuel that since Senator Godswill Akpabio is not on the governorship ballot but only supporting a candidate as his inalienable right, he should not be the butt of their attacks as such would not enhance the already dwindling electoral fortunes of their Principal.

We wish to state that the lining up of cheap hirelings like John Asikpo, Anny Asikpo, Enefiok Ekefre, Sampson Akpan and Dr. Udoma Ekarika on various government sponsored radio programmes to daily cast aspersions and impugn the character of Senator Akpabio would remain a counter-productive venture as the personality in question had long acquitted himself creditably before Akwa Ibom and the Nigerian people.

Furthermore, we wish to note that the fly by night Elders and Leaders who make themselves available for hire for the kind of despicable role the aforementioned are playing would only succeed in bringing odium upon themselves like the ones above and history would record them as the real enemies of the people.

We wish to urge that the ongoing campaigns be made issue based and those who wish to lend themselves to hire should dwell on selling the governor’s achievements rather than engage in the hurling of barbaric invectives on distinguished personalities

We call on all and sundry to know that election is a contest that must produce a winner and a loser with Akwa Ibom remaining our collective heritage. Let the upcoming election not break our bond of brotherhood. We appeal to everyone to ensure peaceful campaigns and conduct during the elections while upholding the conviction that a better and peaceful Akwa Ibom is what we all deserve.

Signed:
MEDIA/PUBLICITY COMMITTEE
GODSWILL AKPABIO CAMPAIGN ORGANIZATION

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POLITICS

Defection: Over 1,000 Enoidem supporters dump PDP for APC in Etim Ekpo

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Over 1,000 supporters of former commissioner and PDP National Legal Adviser, Barr. Emmanuel Enoidem in the People’s Democratic Party, Etim Ekpo Ward 1, have dumped the party for the All Progressives Congress, APC at a rally held at the ward centre.

Former Etim Ekpo Transition Committee Chairman and renowned women leader, Obongawan Obonodo Uko accused PDP leaders in the area of making efforts to stop them from defecting to APC, said the decampees decided to dump the PDP because the party under Udom Emmanuel has failed to provide purposeful governance to the people of the state.

Reacting to the recent insults hurled at Senator Godswill Akpabio and his wife by Emmanuel Enoidem, she added: “Today is not a day for much talk, I am here to plead with Etim Ekpo elders to forgive Emmanuel Enoidem for insulting Mrs Unoama Akpabio. It was Unoama who convinced Senator Godswill Akpabio to upgrade and buy a car for Enoidem to replace the old 504 given to him by Inibehe Okori. Enoidem spoke with the influence of tramadol and cocaine”.

She welcomed the APC flagbearer and Member Representing Abak/Etim Ekpo/Ika Federal Constituency, Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Ekon and other leaders of the party to the area and reiterated that Ward 1 will be the first ward in Etim Ekpo that will return APC.

Receiving the former PDP members, Etim Ekpo APC Chapter Chairman, Pastor Edidiong Idio stated that the people of Ward 1 have nothing to show adding that the Etim Ekpo has suffered under the leadership of Emmanuel Enoidem. “During the administration of Senator Godswill Akpabio, Enoidem pocketted monies meant for compensation of owners of structures along Afaha Obong-Etim Ekpo Road. Today marks the end of one man politics and political usurping in Etim Ekpo”.

Member Representing Etim Ekpo/Ika State Constituency, Rt. Hon. Gabriel Toby commended the former decampees for their courage to dump the PDP and assured of a level playing field for all members and noted that their defection to APC marks APC’s victory in the 2019 general elections.

Also speaking, APC flagbearer for Etim Ekpo/Ika State Constituency, Barr. Chris Okorie described their defection as the “final crack down” of PDP in Ward 1, promising that “we will show the world that we own Etim Ekpo” in the coming elections.

Responding, Ekon expressed confidence that the wind of change had reached Etim Ekpo Ward 1 will end the reign of Keke Napep politics and vowed that APC will sweep Etim Ekpo in the coming elections.

“I did not come for campaign, I came to receive defectors but let me put it on record that Governor Udom Emmanuel should stop believing that Emmanuel Enoidem will deliver Etim Ekpo for him in the forthcoming elections. Even if the Governor gives Enoidem N1Billion, Udom will loose in Etim Ekpo.”

He vowed that Etim Ekpo will be rescued from those he described as ‘selfish godfathers and council of elders’ in 2019 and urged the people to support APC stressing that the party is set for a total transformation of the state from bad governance by the PDP.

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POLITICS

PDP Nat’l Legal Adviser, Enoidem Sponsoring Armed Thugs for Elections

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Residents of Etim Ekpo Local Government Area have alleged that former Commissioner and PDP National Legal Adviser, Barr. Emmanuel Enoidem is secretly regrouping criminals and other militants as well as acquiring weapons for political purposes.

Sensing a woeful outcome in the forthcoming elections, Enoidem is said to have convinced Governor Udom Emmanuel to grant amnesty to the killers that terrorised Ukanafun and Etim Ekpo area with discreet intention to use them as political thugs for the Governor’s re-election.

One of the repentant militants who confided in our reporter, gave shocking details of how Governor Udom Emmanuel released the sum of N300Million to Enoidem for the botched exercise which he described as a political scam. He however warned that the latest antics will not augur well for him (Enoidem), the government and Akwa Ibom people.

“The Governor released 300million for the amnesty exercise to Enoidem. We accepted the amnesty because we thought that government had good intentions for us but from what we’ve seen, Enoidem is only out to use and dump us like he did in 2015.”

“The amnesty exercise is a fraud, after giving us N50,000 each, they asked us to go back to our villages and declare support for PDP instead of proper rehabilitation, empowerment and reintegration.

“The truth is that we’re Enoidem’s boys, we worked for him in 2015 but only resorted to criminality when he dumped us after the elections. We were in the forest for three years, now we’re important because of political ambition, we care about our future and will resist him this time around”.

Another leader of the repentant killers who spoke on anonymity made startling revelations of Enoidem’s links with the boys. “Even the dreaded ‘Iso Akpafid’ was a known ally of Enoidem, yet he denied and brainwashed the Governor to frustrate genuine efforts that were made to provide a lasting solution to the crisis. Just yesterday, he sponsored and attended Overcomer’s thanksgiving service. Where is Enoidem’s integrity? He queried”.

Recall that DIG Udom Ekpoudom (Rtd), had prior to the 2015 elections warned politicians from Etim Ekpo severally on the need to avoid engaging cultists and arming young people for the purpose of winning elections. “The havoc in Etim Ekpo that snowballed into senseless killings, kidnappings, rape and destruction of residential houses and market stalls is an offshoot of the actions of misguided politicians”.

The security expert recently corroborated that the amnesty was a cover up to “re-engage the boys politicians in the Peoples Democratic Party are planning to use to prosecute the 2019 general election in the state”.

He added, “the number and caliber of arms returned by the benefiting militants were mere dane guns, while sophisticated weapons used to cause mayhem are kept for the coming elections”. This claim has not been refuted till now.

Meanwhile a security report has revealed that aside from regrouping repentant killers, Enoidem is recruiting boys from neighbouring states to come to Akwa Ibom.

“Apart from the militants that have been granted amnesty, information at our disposal shows that he has gone to Ogoni to recruit external militants for the forthcoming polls as well as acquiring weapons to match”.

Our reporter reliably learnt that there is palpable tension over Enoidem’s latest romance and plot with killers, fearing that it could lead to a resurgence of killings within communities that are now enjoying relative peace.

In a related development, the PDP Campaign train to Etim Ekpo Ward 8 led by Enoidem, Chris Ekpenyong, Aniekan Umanah, Mfon Idung and others, were chased away by irate youths on Saturday.

The youths were reportedly irked over the alleged involvement of PDP leaders in the recent killings that rocked the area for almost three years.

Efforts to reach Enoidem for comments were unsuccessful prior to the publication of this story.

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Etim Ekpo Ward 10 APC Excos Intact – Ward Chairman

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• Passes vote of confidence on Emmanuel  Ekon

Etim Ekpo Ward 10 Chapter Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Mr. Inyene Akpan Ekon has disclosed that no ward exco of the party defected to the PDP, which he described as a sinking party.

The ward Chairman made the assertion during a meeting between Chairman, House Committee on Local Content and Member Representing Abak/Etim Ekpo/Ika Federal Constituency, Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Ekon and Ward 10 APC leaders and stakeholders at his residence.

 

Describing the recent purported defection as a fraud arranged by PDP Nat’l Adviser, Barr. Emmanuel Enoidem and his boys, he said “there is no such thing as defection in Etim Ekpo Ward 10 APC. They arranged PDP members and fake list under the guise of defection to further show working and defraud the Governor but we will resist them”.

Mr. Godwin Otu, Ward Organising Secretary corroborated the claims and noted that “all the party structures in the ward are intact and impenetrable”.

When asked whether stories of defection, he responded: “Which defection? As you can see, all the ward Excos are here and we are committed to voting en-masse for all APC candidates in the forthcoming elections”.

Also speaking, an Elder of the party, Emmanuel Benson Idungafa maintained that the defection story was practically cooked by agents of blackmail and destruction, noting that such an act of propaganda was a familiar posture of the PDP which was aimed at scoring goal.

Mrs. Patience Ngalanga, Chapter Women Leader described the story as outright lies and arranged drama of having members of the PDP play their crafty script. “We are fed up with their tricks, come 2019 we will end the era of use and dump politics”.

Responding, the Honourable member, Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Ekon thanked the leadership of the party at the ward level for being steadfast with the party and called for cohesion and confidence in the party as the election approaches.

The lawmaker however advised the party to shed off complacency, buckle up and resist desperate politicians who are out to use youths of the area as political tools.

The Ward Excos then passed an overwhelming vote of confidence on the member citing his commitment to youth empowerment and life-touching projects, while resolving to stand by him and the party in future political aspirations”, they said.

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