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Nigeria Today

Senate: Don’t confirm partisan electoral commissioners

Coalition asks NASS to revisit probe of $195m maritime security contract to foreign firm,HLSI

An electoral commission is a body charged with the management of elections in a community. Although how it is composed is not necessarily uniform everywhere,ample effort is usually made in all cases by the body as soon it is inaugurated to guarantee fairness in the conduct of elections. The common trend is for the entity to consists of persons who have no partisan political inclinations and can thus be regarded as likely to be impartial in the handling of all matters relating to elections. In some jurisdictions however, the body is made up of representatives of political parties such that each of them has its interest guaranteed. Nigeria operates the former in which the body is seen as an impartial umpire, whose members may not be easily persuaded to support one group of actors against the other. In fact, Section 156 of our constitution prohibits a member of a political party from becoming a member of the electoral body, known in Nigeria as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

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Ward, Delta, REC, INEC

Bayelsa/Kogi elections: INEC’s needless alarm

Governorship elections in Bayelsa and Kogi states fixed for November 16, 2019 are less than two weeks away. On the same day, voting will also take place to elect a senator to represent Kogi West Senatorial District in the National Assembly. Bearing in mind the popular categorization of both Bayelsa and Kogi as violence-prone states, some Nigerians are justifiably scared of political ferocity during the polls. History would stop us from blaming those who are apprehensive. For instance, at the height of political tension during the last Presidential and National Assembly elections earlier this year, the Nigerian Army in Yenagoa claimed to have arrested 15 armed thugs. operating at Ikebiri 1 in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa.

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slaves

Let’s stop mundane appointments

These days, whenever, a Nigerian citizen is appointed into a public office, the first reaction is usually not about the proven competence of the appointee for the job, rather it is an immediate call for the reversal of the appointment on grounds of the political affiliation of the appointee. This is a very disturbing trend which if not quickly addressed may postpone the rapid development which our nation eagerly desires. The trend happens across the nation, but it is understandably more noticed at the federal level because everyone has an interest in the big level government at the centre. It is important to admonish our politicians and indeed, their youths to desist from the mundane inclination. All over the world, the fine difference between party and government is clear. Before an election, a candidate may be heard talking about his party; but as soon as he wins the election, he is obliged to see the bigger picture of the task ahead which is societal development. He is not expected to continue to wear the toga of a party; instead be becomes the President of the people.

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P&ID, Nigeria, China

Which of two wrongs is right?

Some two weeks ago, the United States Embassy in Abuja announced an increased visa fee to be paid by Nigerians wishing to travel to that country. Considering that the old fee was already quite high for an average traveller, some commentators, fiercely criticised the Embassy for the development. Many were shocked to later learn that the Americans were merely retaliating the posture of Nigeria in fixing same high figure for Americans seeking to obtain Nigerian visas. Indeed, the US Embassy appropriately blamed the Nigerian government when it disclosed the pains it had taken severally to ask Nigeria to reduce its own fee. The US could not be said to be wrong because international diplomacy is premised on the principle of reciprocity, known in Nigerian parlance as ‘You do me, I do you.’ If so, it means every country is entitled to retaliating any policy towards her by another country. This policy of equality was what first occurred to me when media reports from Johannesburg, confirmed the killing of Nigerians in South Africa. All over Nigeria, the subject was the matter of the moment, provoking heated debate here and there.

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