- Barrow Wins Gambian Presidential Election, as Jammeh Concedes Defeat
The Gambia’s opposition candidate, Adama Barrow, yesterday pulled off a stunning victory, comfortably winning a presidential election and putting an end to the 22-year rule of President Yahya Jammeh.
Jammeh, who has ruled The Gambia for 22 years, has conceded defeat to Barrow, the chairman of the country’s Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said yesterday.
This follows the precedent set in African presidential elections by Nigeria’s former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, who conceded defeat to and congratulated current President Muhammadu Buhari in last year’s elections, even before the formal announcement of the full results of the make of mar election, thereby pulling the country from the brink.
“It’s really unique that someone who has been ruling this country for so long has accepted defeat,” Alieu Momar Njie told reporters in Banjul ahead of the release of the results of Thursday’s presidential election.
Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said, as Gambians began to take to the streets to celebrate the biggest upset in the West African country since Jammeh seized power in a 1994 coup.
His campaign manager, Yankuba Colley, said he was not aware of the electoral commission chairman’s statement but said he believed the President would step down if the Gambian people wanted it.
Barrow won 54.54 per cent (263,515 votes), while Jammeh took 36.66 per cent (212,099) and third party candidate, Mama Kandeh, secured 102,969 votes (17.80 per cent) in the poll, which witnessed around 65 per cent turnout, the IEC said.
Jammeh, who was running for a fifth term, once said he would govern for a billion years if God willed it, was attempting to win a fifth term with his Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC).
On the streets of Bakau, a district on the outskirts of Banjul, Gambians began an impromptu street party, drumming, dancing and honking car horns.
“This man (Jammeh) beat and oppressed us,” a young man, who gave his name as Jawara told AFP, adding: “We didn’t have our freedom, but definitely Barrow will give it to us.”
Gambian state television told AFP that Jammeh would make a statement later in the day to congratulate 51-year-old Barrow, a previously unknown estate agent and former economic migrant to Britain, who was chosen as the opposition flag-bearer by a group of political parties that had joined forces for the first time, whipping up unprecedented popular support.
Barrow told AFP before the vote was announced that he was “certain” he had won.
He would likely serve a three-year term at the head of a transition reform government in the tiny former British colony that occupies a narrow sliver of land surrounded by French-speaking Senegal and pristine Atlantic Ocean beaches beloved by tourists.
Security forces had been deployed heavily in Banjul earlier yesterday amid nervousness over whether Jammeh would accept a ballot box defeat.
Before dawn broke, military and police, some covering their faces, set up checkpoints every few hundred metres on the outskirts of the capital, while citizens remained inside sleeping or watching the results come in.
“Power belongs to the people. You cannot stop us and you cannot stop them,” Barrow said at his final rally this week, while Jammeh predicted the biggest landslide of his political career and warned that protests over the election result would not be tolerated, saying The Gambia “does not allow” demonstrations.
A deeply devout Muslim, Jammeh was born in the western village of Kanilai in 1965, the year that The Gambia gained independence from Britain.
Jammeh joined the army in 1984 and 10 years later, mounted a coup with fellow army officers against then President Dawda Jawara, who had ruled the country since independence, pledging to root out corruption and hold elections.
After giving up his rank of colonel to allow him to contest elections as a civilian, Jammeh swept the vote in 1996, 2001, 2006 and 2011, following a 2002 constitutional amendment removing presidential term limits.
Over 1M Nigerians Have Completed Online Voters Card Pre-Registration – INEC
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) affirmed that over 1 million additional voters have completed their online pre-registration for the ongoing nationwide Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) within the last four weeks across the country.
INEC’s national commissioner, and chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, said this through a statement released in Abuja on Monday.
Of the 1 million new eligible voters, 259,450 people have completed their registration in Osun State and it is currently been followed by Edo state with 98,286 new voters.
These two states were closely followed by Anambra state with 65,014, followed by Bayelsa with 63,250, and later Lagos State with 61,991, this came as Yobe with 1,893, followed by Sokoto State with 2,453, Jigawa 2,593, and Zamfara with 2,769 were some of the least stare registered.
The state’s distribution of the online fresh registration released by INEC in Abuja on Monday showed the weekly update provided by INEC for week four which also reveals that the commission received 1,135,395 applications.
The figure of the total applications received includes those for voter transfer, requests for replacement of Permanent Voter Cards, and update of voter information record, etc.
According to the commission, the distribution of the 1,135,395 total applications by age group showed that 740,063 of them were youths between the ages of 18 to 34 years.
The applications from the middle-aged of between 35 to 49 years old were 278,042; the elderly from 50 to 69 years were 102,578; while the old from 70 years and above were 14,712
The distribution by occupation indicated that artisan constituted 75,877 of the total applications; farming/fishing – 81,096; public servants -25,298; business -230,551; house wives -25,816; students 355,227; civil servants 44,093; traders 97,624; others/not specified 199,813.
Also, the distribution by gender showed that females constituted 492,449 of the received applications while males were 642,946 as well as showed that 12,274 of the applicants indicated to be persons living with disabilities.
Okoye, providing an update on the online pre-registration which started nationwide on June 28, disclosed that the commission, also on Monday, commenced physical registration at its 811 state and local government area offices nationwide.
According to the statement, “As of 7 am today, Monday, July 26, the number of new registrants has risen to 1,006,661. The detailed distribution of the registrants by age, State/FCT, gender, occupation, and disability for week four of the exercise has been uploaded on the commission’s website and social media platforms.
“However, the distribution by age still shows that 740,063 (or 73.5 percent) are young Nigerians between the ages of 18 and 34. As earlier announced by the commission, physical or in-person registration begins today, Monday, July 26 at our 811 state and local government area offices nationwide.
“The exact locations of the designated centers have already been uploaded to our website and social media platforms. For further details, citizens are encouraged to contact our state offices through the dedicated telephone numbers provided in the uploaded publication.
“‘Nigerians who pre-registered online can now complete their registration at those centers based on scheduled appointments. In addition, other Nigerians who prefer to register physically/in person can now do so at those centers.
“Both online pre-registration and physical/in-person registration will continue simultaneously until the suspension of the CVR exercise on June 30, 2022, to enable the commission to clean up the data and compile the voters’ register for the 2023 General Election.”
Okoye appealed to all citizens who wished to register to approach any of INEC’s state or local government area offices nationwide to do so, as the commission entered the next phase of the CVR exercise.
Oyo State Budgets N330M Monthly To Support Community Policing In LGAs
Oyo State Governor, Seye Makinde has said that the state has set aside a monthly budget of N330 million to be spent on security across the 33 local governments in the state.
The governor who disclosed this in Ibadan said each local government in the state is expected to spend N10 million to support the security of lives and property in their domain.
He said part of the measures was the instruction to local government chairmen to involve traditional rulers as well as other voluntary residents in policing their areas.
Each local government is to spend N10 million monthly on this security arrangement.
Makinde explained that the initiative amounts to spending N330 million in the 33 local government areas, besides other efforts the state government had put in place to tighten security.
“We said each local government should set up a security committee, which should include traditional rulers and voluntary people willing to police their areas.
“I encouraged them to budget N10 million to service the committee every month. For the entire state, that’s N330 million per month by all local governments, excluding what we are doing generally at the state level,” the governor told a group on a visit to him during the recent Muslim festival.
“On security, most of the data in the past months shows that things are now improving. The Igangan incident, some days ago, was only falsified by some people who were saying that Fulani herdsmen had invaded Igangan again. The truth is actually about the NCS and smugglers. They know each other.
“Customs officials were accused to have entered Igangan, which is not a border town. But we are working with Federal authorities and they have arrested most of them.
“The gun that was collected is still with us. I said I won’t release it until I get the attention of the Federal authorities.
“In the Constitution of Nigeria, Oyo State is a federating unit. We are not saying Federal agencies should not carry out their operations here. But they must tell us; they must inform us. They may not disclose the details of the operation to us, but we must know about it.
“If we had known about the operation, we would have pre-informed the security detail in the town and those who died could have been alive. The Amotekun Coordinator that died in Igboora would have still been alive today.
“How can you go operating in an unidentified vehicle in a town where the security tactics have been heightened? As they wanted to enter the town, they were confronted because we have heightened security in all of those places.
“So, we will keep appealing to them and to our people that false information won’t help anybody. Nobody will profit politically from the security issues we are faced with. It is our collective responsibility. The people will play their part and the government will play its own part,” Makinde said.
Security Operatives Arrest Sunday Igboho in Cotonou, Benin Republic
The security operatives in Cotonou, Benin Republic have arrested Yoruba freedom fighter, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho.
An anonymous source privy to the arrest disclosed on Tuesday morning.
According to the source, Sunday Igboho was arrested in Cotonou while trying to travel to Germany from the West African nation.
President Buhari-led administration is now working with the Benin government to repatriate him to Nigeria.
The source said, “Sunday Igboho has been arrested in Cotonou. He was arrested about an hour ago.
“He was supposed to travel to Germany through Cotonou this night. He wanted to leave Africa through Cotonou. He was arrested by security operatives in Cotonou.
“They are planning to bring him back to Nigeria.”
It would be recalled that the Department of State Services had declared Igboho wanted after its operatives carried out a bloody midnight raid on his residence in the Soka area of Ibadan, Oyo State.
DSS Public Relations Officer, Peter Afunnaya, had advised Igboho to turn himself in to the nearest security.
“Those cheering and eulogizing him may appeal to or advice him to do the needful,” Afunnaya said. “He should surrender himself to the appropriate authorities. He or anyone can never be above the law.”
Pelumi Olajengbesi, one of the lawyers representing Igboho and others arrested in his House, told SaharaReporters he had not confirmed the news of Igboho’s arrest in Cotonou.
“I will contact Yomi Aliu (SAN) to verify the news,” he said.
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