Kogi Guber: Withdraw case against  Gov Bello, ex-candidate begs Natasha

…INEC recruits 81 physically-challenged persons for poll


A former chairman of the Nigeria Peoples Congress (NPC), Mohammed Aliyu, has appealed to the governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Natasha Akpoti to withdraw her suit against Governor Yahaya Bello of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from an Abuja Federal High Court.
Akpoti is challenging the eligibility of Bello to contest the November 16 Kogi State governorship election, alleging double registration.
Mohammed, who recently, pulled out of the governorship election, made the appeal in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday.
He said, “While I take exception to the way and manner INEC disqualified Akpoti, I like to state that, the governorship contest as it is now, is beyond Bello. It is now a project of the Ebira nation and Bello is just the symbol of that project.
“I recognise that Akpoti’s disqualification left a sour taste in the mouth but she should realise that if for any reason, Bello is disqualified (God forbid), due to her court action, it will be a great pain to the Ebira nation.
“Those she assumes to be her ardent supporters from Kogi Central will be first to rise against her,” he said.
Mohammed said though he withdrew as chairman and governorship candidate of NPC, due to inadequacies associated with party politics in Nigeria, that had not vitiated his interest in which zone of the senatorial districts should produce the governor.
This he said became necessary in the interest of equity, justice and fair play.
“Akpoti should make this great sacrifice for Ebira nation by withdrawing her court suit. By so doing, she will be contributing to continued peace in Ebira nation, and her name will be written in gold,” he said.
Mohammed, who is a management consultant, described Akpoti as a young lady, energetic, full of potential and still in a position to represent Ebira nation in positions of higher responsibilities in the near future.

…INEC recruits 81 physically-challenged persons for poll

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said that 81 persons with disabilities were among ad-hoc staff it had recruited for the November 16 governorship election in Kogi State.
The Director of Voter Education and Publicity, INEC office, Lokoja, Ahmed Biambo, disclosed this on Wednesday on the sideline of a one- day sensitisation forum organised by the commission for persons living with disabilities.
Biambo said that the 81 physically challenged persons were recruited to work as Presiding Officers and Assistant Presiding Officers.
He said the recruited ad hoc staff will be deployed to polling units across the 21 local government areas of the state.
The official, however, said the state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) had ordered that they be posted to non-volatile areas, saying that they will be trained on the use of Braille ballot guide among others.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the state Chapter of the Joint National Association of Persons Living with Disabilities (JONAPWD), Solomon Yahaya, confirmed the recruitment of his members as ad-hoc staff by INEC.
He thanked the commission for the inclusion of physically challenged people in the electoral process, saying that it has given them a sense of belonging.
Yahaya charged members of the association to come out on election day to vote for a candidate of their choice and advised those recruited as ad hoc staff to give a good account of themselves.
Earlier, while declaring the forum open, the state Resident Electoral Commissioner, James Apam, said the commission was determined to ensure that all persons living with disabilities exercise their franchise on election day.
Apam, said persons with disabilities will be given access to polling unit unhindered saying that they will also be accorded priority to vote first before others.
The REC further explained that security agents had been properly briefed on how to treat person with disabilities on election day, urging all of them to come out and vote.
The Deputy Director, Civil Society Organisations Division at the INEC headquarters, Dorothy Bello, said the forum was organised to intimate members of JONAPWD on the preparations towards ensuring a free, fair and credible election.
Bello said INEC had taken steps to make the election all-inclusive by organising roundtable meetings to mainstream persons living with disabilities in the political party structures, activities and leadership positions.
She said INEC had also procured and deployed magnifying glasses to aid the albinos in making informed choices during voting.
She also stated that the visually impaired/blind among them will be given transcribed voter education materials in Braille to further enhance their participation in the election.

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