United Kingdom and the United States government released a statement after the postponement of elections by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
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By 3am the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) in a press briefing announced the postponement of the 2019 elections stating it was logistics problem. The 2019 Elections are now to hold on 23rd February 2019 for Presidential and National Assembly while the Governorship, State House of Assembly and the FCT Area Council Elections is to hold on 9th March 2019.
After this the People Democratic party in a statement by party chairman Uche Secondus stated;
The Peoples Democratic Party, rejects shift in election date. The postponement of the Presidential and National Assembly elections by INEC is an agenda by President Buhari to cling to power. I hereby call on INEC Chairman to resign immediately.
The shoddy arrangement for this election by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC is a deliberate predetermined agenda of President Buhari to cling on to power even when it’s obvious to him that Nigerians want him out.
The postponement which is part of a grand design by the All Progressives Congress, APC, to thwart the will of Nigerians at all cost, clearly exposes INEC as a failure and I call on the Chairman of the Commission, Prof Mahmood Yakubu to resign immediately.
I want to warn that the party, PDP, will not accept anything short of a well organized electoral process devoid of manipulation, harassment and intimidation of voters and the opposition particularly members of the PDP. Having failed in all their nefarious options to enable them cling on to power, the APC and the INEC came up with the idea of shifting election, an action that is dangerous to our democracy and unacceptable.
The APC in connivance with the INEC have been trying all options including but not limited to burning down INEC offices in some states and destroying of electoral materials to create artificial problems upon which to stand for their dubious act. The party is privy to all the pressures from the APC and the federal government to arm twist the INEC to dance to their new strategy after their earlier ones failed.
With several of their rigging options failing, they have to force INEC to agree to a shift in the election or a staggered election with flimsy excuses pre-manufactured for the purpose. For the avoidance of doubt the PDP sees this action as wicked and we are also aware of other dubious designs like the deployment of hooded security operatives who would be ruthless on the people ostensibly to scare them away
By this action of President Buhari. he has further demonstrated his insensitivity costing the huge cost after Nigerians including those who came home from abroad have all mobilized to their various constituencies. The PDP had earlier alerted Nigerians that the APC was coming up with lined up rigging strategies including burning down of INEC offices and engineering crisis in PDP strong hold areas to scare away the people.
We condemn and deprecate this tardiness of the electoral umpire in the strongest terms possible. President Muhammadu Buhari had since cooperated fully with INEC by ensuring EVERYTHING it demanded to conduct free and fair elections were promptly made available to it. This news is therefore a huge disappointment to us and to our teeming supporters nationwide and around the world, many of whom have come into the country to exercise their franchise.
We do hope that INEC will remain neutral and impartial in this process as the rumor mill is agog with the suggestion that this postponement has been orchestrated in collusion with the main opposition, the PDP, that was NEVER ready for this election. We note that all the major credible demographic projections have predicted a defeat of the PDP and it seriously needed this breather to orchestrate more devious strategies to try and halt President Buhari’s momentum. It did the same as the ruling Party in 2015, when it realized the game was up, by orchestrating the postponement of the 2015 elections by six weeks. Now, it may be up to its old trick again.
We have earlier raised the alarm that the PDP is bent on discrediting this process the moment it realized it cannot make up the numbers to win this election. We are only urging INEC not collude with the PDP on this. We are truly worried because as early as Friday morning, some known PDP Social Media influencers unwittingly announced this postponement, but quickly deleted the message and apologized to the public that it was fake news. We do not want to be forced to a situation of announcing our total loss of confidence in INEC, because we know where that would leave our democracy.
It is in the light of the above that we wish to appeal to Nigerians and our supporters to be patient, calm and resolute despite this temporary setback. Let us not give anyone, especially the PDP, the opportunity to plunge this nation into a crises, which is what they earnestly desire. Its imminent defeat is just a few days away.
Lastly, we wish to draw the attention of INEC and the world to observe that the PDP has clearly and openly said it plans to announce parallel results through some funny device it has procured or developed. We wish to re-iterate that it is ONLY INEC that is legally and constitutionally empowered to declare results and it constitutes an offence for anyone to do so. We urge INEC to SPEAK UP NOW and warn the PDP to desist from this ignoble act that is capable of plunging the nation into a crises of immeasurable proportions.
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has added his voice on having a peaceful election, he advised the people of Rivers State to shun violence and vote wisely.
On Election Eve in Kaduna State Government about 66 persons were confirmed to have been killed in Kajuru Local Government Area of the state.
The government condemned the killing and warned all communities against instigating attacks or reprisals.
A government statement signed by Samuel Aruwan, the spokesperson of Governor Nasir El-Rufai, on Friday said that security agencies have been deployed to the area, while arrests have been made.
Mr Aruwan did not state if the violence is election-related. He, however, said investigations have commenced.
See statement below.
“Security agencies today reported the recovery of 66 bodies that were killed in attacks by criminal elements on various dispersed hamlets in the Maro Gida and Iri axis of Kajuru LGA. The settlements affected include Ruga Bahago, Ruga Daku, Ruga Ori, Ruga Haruna, Ruga Yukka Abubakar, Ruga Duni Kadiri, Ruga Shewuka and Ruga Shuaibu Yau.
“Among the victims were 22 children and 12 women. Four wounded persons rescued by the security agencies are now receiving medical attention.
“Government condemns the attacks and commiserates with the families of the victims. Security agencies have been deployed to the area and arrests have been made.
Government urges community, traditional and religious leaders in the area to encourage residents to avoid any reprisal attacks and to leave the matter in the hands of the security and law enforcement agencies. The killings are being investigated and residents are assured that indicted persons will be prosecuted.
“Residents of Kaduna State are enjoined to uphold peace and harmony, shun violence and allow the elections to be held in an atmosphere of calm. Any suspicious activity should be reported to the security agencies in person or through the following lines: 09034000060 and 08170189999.”
We present to you the review on Bate vs Arsenal and analysis on Malmo vs Chelsea
Bate vs Arsenal
Stanislav Dragun headed in the only goal of the game as Arsenal had Alexandre Lacazette sent off in a shock defeat in Belarus.
Arsenal have work to do if they are to reach the last 16 of the Europa League after slipping to a surprise 1-0 first-leg defeat to BATE in Belarus.
Unai Emery’s side were caught cold in sub-zero temperatures on the stroke of half-time, Stanislav Dragun’s header ending their run of five successive clean sheets in the competition.
Alexandre Lacazette had a potential equaliser ruled out for offside before he was shown a straight red card for throwing an elbow at Aleksandar Filipovic in the closing minutes.
Even when they had 11 men, the Premier League side struggled to capitalise on their territorial dominance, leaving them with a deficit to overturn in the return fixture next Thursday.
Considering the freezing conditions, Arsenal unsurprisingly took their time to warm to the task at hand.
The visitors’ only chance of note in the opening half saw an unmarked Lacazette carelessly head over the top after being picked out by Sead Kolasinac’s inviting cross to the back post.
Dragun did not make the same mistake at the opposite end when getting on the end of a free-kick from captain Igor Stasevich, though, giving BATE the lead with an impressive header that curved over Petr Cech.
The Gunners had been spared from conceding earlier in the game by the woodwork, Nemanja Milic flicking the ball against a post from point-blank range when trying to provide the finishing touch to Maksim Skavysh’s dangerous low delivery.
Lacazette did locate the net from another Kolasinac delivery from Arsenal’s left soon after the break, only for the referee’s assistant to correctly raise his flag against the over-eager Frenchman.
The former Lyon star also found the target when flinging his arm back into the face of Filipovic when under pressure from the defender, forcing his side to finish a frustrating evening a man down.
Malmo vs chelsea
Chelsea recovered some pride after their 6-0 thrashing away to Manchester City with a 2-1 Europa League last-32 victory at Malmo.
Ross Barkley and Olivier Giroud scored as Chelsea earned a 2-1 win away to Malmo in the first leg of their Europa League last-32 meeting.
Chelsea had lost their past four straight away games in all competitions without scoring, a run that had its nadir in Sunday’s 6-0 humiliation at the hands of Premier League champions Manchester City.
Against more modest opposition at Swedbank Stadion on Thursday, Chelsea took a 2-0 lead thanks to goals either side of the break by Barkley and Giroud.
But although Maurizio Sarri’s men appeared to be cruising to a morale-boosting win, Malmo will travel to London with hope after Anders Christiansen’s excellent late reply.
Pedro floated in a cross from the right channel and, after defender Lasse Nielsen slipped, Barkley collected the ball and stabbed it past goalkeeper Johan Dahlin.
Arnor Ingvi Traustason fired wide at the end of a goalmouth scramble as a series of set-pieces caused Chelsea problems before the break, but Malmo’s wasted openings were punished in the 58th minute.
Brazil winger Willian raided down the left and fed Giroud, who cleverly beat Dahlin with an improvised close-range finish to score in his fourth consecutive European appearance.
Dahlin made a great save to deny Barkley his second of the game but, after the introduction of Eden Hazard as a substitute, Chelsea were caught on the counter.
Christiansen burst on to a perfectly played throughball by Markus Rosenberg and beat Kepa Arrizabalaga with a placed finish to cut the Swedish side’s deficit ahead of next week’s Stamford Bridge return.