Breaking: Presidential election postponed to Feb 23

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has postponed the presidential and national assembly elections till February 23.
The governorship and state assembly elections will now hold on March 9.
INEC Chairman Prof. Mahmood Yakubu announced this in the early hours of Saturday.
He said the decision was taken after a careful review of the plan for the exercise.
“Following a careful review of the implementation of its logistics and operational plan and the determination to conduct free, fair and credible elections, the commission came to the conclusion that proceeding with the elections as scheduled is no longer feasible,” he said.
“Consequently, the commission has decided to reschedule the Presidential and National Assembly Elections to Saturday, 23 February 2019.
“Furthermore, the Governorship, State House of Assembly and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Area Council Elections is rescheduled to Saturday 9th March 2019. This will afford the Commission the opportunity to address identified challenges in order to maintain the quality of our elections.
“This was a difficult decision for the Commission to take, but necessary for the successful delivery of the elections and the consolidation of our democracy.”
He announced that the commission will meet key stakeholders to update them on the development at 2pm on Saturday.
INEC had summoned stakeholders to an emergency meeting on Friday night following logistics problem in some states.

Buhari is planning to stop voters from Islamic Movement from voting -IMN

By Abdulmumin Giwa

Following recent threats on members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, the movement has expressed fears that the government is planning to stop its members from participating in the oncoming elections.

The Movement alleged that the government is going to use the security agents to clampdown on its members and stop them from casting their votes.

In a press statement signed by a spokesperson if the Resource Forum of the Movement, Ibrahim Gamawa and made available to pressmen on Friday, the Movement called on the stakeholders and observers as well as NGOs to intervene.

The statement in full is as follows:


In its bid to cling to power by all means, the government of President Muhammadu Buhari has employed a new strategy on the eight million voters of the members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria from voting on Saturday.

The government has resolved to use security operatives to harass and detain any person they suspect of being a member of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria in order to prevent them from voting. By this move, they seek to limit the number of votes to be casted against President Buhari. Such move has already started in some parts of Northern Nigeria. In Potiskum Yobe State, security operatives were seen at the vicinity of the Islamic Movement with the hope of scaring people from voting.

We call on election observers, both local and foreign and civil organisations to observe the situation and witness the discrimination we have been crying about. The very government that accused us of not voting in the past are now trying by every means to prevent us from voting.

The Islamic Movement in Nigeria has been peaceful in all its activities, more especially the Free Zakzaky Campaign. Since it has resolved to participate in the 2019 elections, many government coffers have panicked and have resorted to many strategies to prevent our 8 million voters from casting their votes, which they surely know that they will not go to the people that violated all our fundamental rights.

We reiterate our call to all civil organizations, local and foreign observers and the general public to to keep a watchful eye on the activities of government agents and security operatives so as to prevent any discrimination against our people and further infringement of our fundamental rights.

We wish all Nigerians well especially in this trying time and pray for a peaceful free and fair election.

Muhammad Ibrahim Gamawa
Member of the Resource Forum of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria.

Rejoinder: All Ja’afariyya Development Association distances self with RAAF

The recent advertorial by a Shiah organization called RAAF endorsing President Muhammad Buhari’s candidacy has ignited concerns among the adherents of the faith with one of the responses coming from the All Ja’afariyya Development Association.

The following is the full text of the statement signed by Abdullahi Hassan, Acting National Public Relations Officer

Re-Advertorial in some National Dailies of Friday, February, 8, 2019, calling by *Rasulul A’azam Foundation (RAAF)* for Shia faithful to vote President Muhammadu Buhari in the Presidential election on February 16, 2019.

The *All Ja’afariyya Development Association* is a Shi’a organisation in Nigeria with members across the states of the Nation. The Association has received with dismay, disbelief and shock, the unwholesome decision of the leadership of a Kano based Shia organization, Rasulul A’azam foundation to support the *APC* and the candidacy of Muhammadu Bahari in the forthcoming Presidential Election! This action totally negates the teachings and tenets of the role of faith based organizations worldwide. This extremely unpopular decision is solely motivated by crass greed, self-centeredness and arrogance from the purveyors of such insalubrious misstep.

As a major stake holders of the body of Shia Adherent in Nigeria, the *All Ja’afariyya Development Association*, after due considerations and consultations with other Shia entities, hereby, unequivocally denounces, rejects and disassociates on behalf of other highly politically informed and meaningful Shia followers in Nigeria, unanimously object and reject the rash decision to sell our franchise right to *APC* or any candidate as a result of a clandestine “horse-trading” and rapaciousness of some few self-imposed Shia leaders.

We hereby call on all Shia faithfuls nationwide to disregard this unpopular arbitrary decision of a few insensitive and wantonly parasitic desperate leaders and vote wisely for unity, national building and cohesion, equity, equality and a peaceful Nigeria, we strongly advocate for freedom and unfettered rights of all adherents to vote the person and party of their choice.
In this vein, we unambiguously and strongly call on all Shia faithfuls in Nigeria to guard their votes jealously, ignore any form of cajolement and intimidation in whatever guise by whatever mien, we earnestly enjoin all Shias to secure their votes and make sure that every vote count, and to eschew all forms of provocations before, during and after the elections.

We are also using this medium to call on all Muslims and Christian leaders and organizations in Nigeria to refrain from using any form of inflammatory statement that is capable of brewing disunity or any form of partisanship. We also call on all political parties and political positions contestants to play according to the “rule of the game” and embrace the spirit of sportsmanship.
It is our fervent hope and believe that the independent National Electoral Commission as the umpire, should live up to our expectations by conducting a free and fair election, all the security apparatus that are mandated by law to participate in the conduct of the elections should also assist in the conduct of a rancor free election.
Our organization is banking heavily on the media and international observers groups as we covet your immense contributions not only in voter’s awareness but also in enlightenment and dissemination of important electoral events as they unfold.

Army gets new spokesman

By Biola Adebayo

Col. Sagir Musa has been appointed as acting Director, Army Public Relations.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Musa replaces Brig.-Gen. Sani Usman, who voluntarily retired from the service on Thursday.
NAN also reports that Musa’s appointment is contained in a new redeployment of senior officers released by the Army Headquarters.
Until the appointment, Musa was the spokesman of 82 Division, Enugu.
Under the posting, Col. A.A. Yusuf, the Chief of Security in the Directorate of Army Public Relations was appointed Deputy Director Public Relations, 82 Division Nigerian army.
Col. A. D Isa is posted to Theatre Command Operation Lafiya Dole as Deputy Director Army Public Relations, while Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, who was the spokesman of the Theatre, moves to the Defence Headquarters, Abuja, as acting Director Defence Information.
Others affected by the posting are, Brig.-Gen. N.J. Okah, from Nigerian Army Institute of Technology and Environmental Studies to Army Headquarters Department of Army Logistics as Acting Director of Engineering Services.
Brig.-Gen. M.A. Masanawa from Army Headquarters, Department of Army Policy and Plans to ACADA as Commander; Brig.-Gen. H.T. Wesley, from Headquarters Nigerian Army Ordinance Corps to Army Headquarters Department of Army Logistics, as Director Clothing and Store.
Brig.-Gen. H.G. Tafida of Nigerian Army Central Workshop, Rigachukwu, to Army Headquarters Department of Army Logistics, as Director Engineering and Maintenance.
Brig.-General B.A. Ilori has been posted to Army Headquarters Department of Army Policy and Plans and appointed Deputy Director Equipment Procurement.
Also affected is Brig.-Gen. A.A. Adereti, to National Defence College as Directing Staff, while the new acting Corps Commander Nigerian Army Medical Corps is Col. S. Adama.
Others affected included Col. O.G. Olaniyi, from Nigerian Army School of Music to Nigerian Army Band Corps and appointed acting Director Army Band; Col. E.I. Okoro and Col. I.P. Bindul are posted to Army War College Nigeria as Directing Staff.

Brig Gen Kukasheka Retires

By Abdulmumin Giwa

The Director of Army Public Relations Brig. Gen. Sani Kukasheka Usman, has retired from service.

In a farewell message he signed personally on Thursday, February 7, Brig. Gen. Sani Kukasheka Usman said his voluntary retirement takes effect from February 8, Friday.

The outgoing Army Spokesman said although a new Director has not been appointed yet, he would be handing over to Colonel A. A. Yusuf, the Chief of Staff, Directorate of Army Public Relations

Full text of the message below…

1. With utmost gratitude to God, I wish to inform you, the wonderful Officers, Soldiers and Civilian Staff of the Directorate of Army Public Relations, that with effect from Friday 8 February 2019, I will be proceeding on Terminal Leave, thus marking the end of my exciting and fulfilling career in the Nigerian Army. I am therefore bidding you all goodbye in my capacity as Director, Army Public Relations.
2. I would like seize this opportunity to thank you all for your friendship, love, support, loyalty and encouragement over the years that tremendously assisted me personally and repositioning the Directorate to the enviable height attained, thus far. I also wish to thank the Nigerian nation and the Nigerian Army for the wonderful opportunity to serve the country and humanity in various capacities for over three decades.
3. I am leaving highly fulfilled after contributing my best to national development, the Nigerian Army, gaining great wealth of knowledge, experience, inestimable network of friends which I will treasure forever. I am thankful to the Nigerian Army for giving me wonderful opportunities and work exposure to practice Public Relations to the point of being a Fellow of the prestigious Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (FNIPR), Member of the National Institute (mni), among other honours, awards and qualifications, as well as attaining the highest level of command of the Directorate of Army Public Relations twice.
4. Although a new Director has not been appointed yet, I am handing over to Colonel AA Yusuf, the Chief of Staff, Directorate of Army Public Relations. As I exit this noble profession voluntarily, I wish you all continued fruitful years of service and God’s blessings, guidance and protection, amen. I will certainly miss you all and will continue to cherish the friendship and bond among us.
I enjoin you to continue to keep the flag flying and endeavour to contribute your best to further take the Directorate of Army Public Relations to greater heights.
5. Thank you and God bless you all.
Brigadier General
Outgoing Director Army Public Relations
7 February 2019

FGN, APC should dissociate from from threat statement -Sen Sani

By Abdulmumin Giwa

The Senator representing Kaduna Central Shehu Sani has called on the Federal Government and the ruling All Progressive Congress APC to dissociate from the statement threatening foreign observers of the coming elections.

Sani made the call on his twitter handle insisting that silence on such a crucial matter is consent.

“The Federal Government and the ruling party must unequivocally dissociate themselves and unambiguously denounce the threat to murder foreigners. Silence or neutrality on this dangerous and tragic statement is consent” Sani said.

He also called for travel ban and appropriate global sanctions on the perpetrator of the threat.

It would be recalled that the Kaduna state governor Nasiru Elrufai has recently stated that the foreigners who interfere in the elections will be returned in body bags.

His statement has raised a lot of eyebrow leading to the European Union responding and saying it had been observing elections in Nigeria since 1999 on invitation of the state and would not relent this time around.

It has also pushed the Peoples Democratic Party PDP into threatening to withdraw from the peace accord it signed earlier for a peaceful conduct of the elections.

Public pressure has forced Elrufai into clarifying what he meant with the statement he made that is seen as a threat to the lives of foreigners coming to observe elections.

Stop inciting security agencies against us – Islamic Movement in Nigeria tells DSS

By Abdulmumin Giwa

Following a circular issued by Department of State Services DSS and dispatched to security agencies calling on them to take measures on possible uprisings by the Islamic Movement in Nigeria in the days preceding to the elections, the Movement has issued a statement describing the move as inciting.

This is contained in a statement issued by the Movement and signed by the president of its Media Forum, Ibrahim Musa recently. Find details below.

Early last month, members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria got hold of a secret circular written by the Department of State Services (DSS) dated 1st January, 2019 which was dispatched to all Service Chiefs, Inspector General of Police and heads of other security agencies urging them to take aggressive stance against us.

The letter read in part: “Intelligence availed to this service revealed plans by the leadership of IMN to mobilise its membership in large numbers for a massive protest and other hostile activities, including the use of explosives and firearms in the days ahead. It was gathered that the group intends to besiege some major Northern cities and towns in Kano, Kaduna, Sokoto and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) for the planned attack.

“The planned attack is to be carried out in league with members of the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), some opposition elements and a section of human rights movement, with a view to providing massive violence and attracting the attention of the International Community ahead of the 2019 general election.”

We want to assure the general public and the international community that the allegation is malicious and unfounded, aimed at maligning the Movement with a view to painting it in bad light. There is no iota of truth in their claim, and it is just mere fabrication to justify the killing of members of the Movement ahead of February 16, Presidential election.

We have said it several times that our protests are peaceful and have demonstrated that on the streets. All protest staged by the Islamic Movement in Nigeria are peaceful including the Free Zakzaky protest in Kaduna, Kano and the Federal capital city, Abuja. It is the Nigerian army and police that turn some of these peaceful protests violent by their attacks with live ammunition and in some cases battlefield weapons on peaceful protesters. The comprehensive revelation by the New York Times video on the Abuja Shia Massacre by the Elite presidential guard is a pointer to this fact.

Not only that, it is on record that during the 2011 election violence, Sheikh Zakzaky and other members of the Islamic Movement did all they could to stop the violence and even gave refuge to victims of the senseless killings, as a demonstration of its peaceful nature and its belief in mutual understanding between people of different tribes, regions and religions.

For a secret security service to now accuse us of planning violence is the height of the rot in its intelligence gathering and manufacturing systems.

In view of the foregoing, we categorically reject the unprofessional, unintelligent and baseless allegations made by the DSS and confirm that we do not know the existence of or have any link what so ever with any group called Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) and we have no plan to besiege or attack any town, place or person. Hence Nigerians should disregard these frivolous claims by the DSS. Perhaps Buhari can feel the inevitable defeat coming his way, so the desperate attempt by the administration to cause chaos so that the elections will not hold, at the same time becloud its brutal and inhuman Saudi-sponsored Zaria genocide that resulted in the brutal death of 1000+ innocent children, women and men in Zaria in December 2015.

If the security agencies are jittery of our peaceful nationwide protests and want them stopped, then our main demand should be met. We demand nothing other than the unconditional release of our oppressed leader, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, his wife and others still in detention since 2015, as ordered by a high court in Abuja since 2016.