Kogi West Senatorial Recall: Verification Holds October 14

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed Saturday 14, October 2017 for the conduct of verification of claims to recall the senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Senator Dino Melaye.

This was contained in a statement and timetable for the recall of the senator, issued yesterday by the Commission and signed by the Secretary to the Commission, Mrs Augusta C Ogakwu.

The statement read in parts. ‘Further to the statement by the Independent National Electoral Commission issued on 12th September 2017, the Commission today issued an amended timetable and schedule of activities pursuant to the petition for the recall of Senator Dino Melaye.

‘In fixing the timetable for the verification, sufficient time has been provided for the Senator to study the petition and accompanying materials to effectively prepare for the verification exercise in accordance with the order of the Federal High Court, Abuja.’

According to the timetable, activities related to the verification would commence with issuance of Notice of Verification on October 3rd, while Last Day for the Submission of Applications by Observers and; Publication of List of Accredited Observers were slated for October 5th and October 9th, 2017, respectively.

Stakeholder meetings to further sensitize and enlighten the citizenry on the procedures for the exercise were scheduled to hold at senatorial and Local Government Headquarters on October 10.

 The timetable also indicated October 12, 2017 as the last date for the member thought to be recalled to submit the names of polling agents he wish to deploy to for the exercise.

The verification exercise would hold in all the polling units across the constituency, while a minimum of more than 50% of total registered voters in the constituency was required to validate the claim.

Kogi West Senatorial Recall: INEC To Proceed With The Process

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said following the vacation of an order restraining it from conducting the Kogi West Senatorial recall, the Commission would now proceed with recall process.

This was contained in a statement issued yesterday by the Commission and signed by a national commissioner and member of the Information and Voter Education Committee of the Commission, Mallam Mohammed Kudu Haruna.

The statement added that the Commission would on Monday, today release a revised timetable and schedule of Activities for the recall.

‘All legal hurdles have now been cleared and the recall process can now proceed as envisaged by the Constitution, the Electoral Act and the extant INEC guidelines and regulations’ says the Commission.

Earlier, a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has quashed a petition filed before it by the Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Hon. Dino Melaye seeking to restrain INEC from further proceeding with the recall process.

According to law and extant guidelines, the recall process would commence with a verification exercise to authenticate the signatories to the petition.

The verification was expected to hold at polling unit level throughout the constituency, while a minimum of more than 50% of total registered voters in the constituency was required to validate the claim.

The law further provide that the Commission would no longer proceed to conduct referendum if the outcome of the verification fails to satisfy the minimum requirement.  

 

INEC To Strengthen Public Enlightenment Programmes Through Radio

As part of efforts to enhance stakeholders access to the electoral process, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has scheduled a special meeting of Heads of Voter Education & Publicity Department from the 36 states & the FCT in Ibadan, Oyo state.

The meeting which is scheduled for Monday 11, September 2017 will discuss among other things; “Modalities for the implementation of weekly Radio Programmes slated for October – December 2017 in some radio stations across the state nationwide .

A paper on “maximizing Radio & TV programmes for Voter Education” is expected to be delivered by the General Manager, Kwara Radio and TV Corporation, Adewale Adebowale; while the Director Voter Education and Publicity, Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, would present a talk on the “Expansion of Duties of Assistant Electoral Officers, Administration at LGAs to include Voter Education” and “Review of VEP messages towards 2019 general election”.

Dignitaries expected at the occasion include: the National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee (IVEC), Prince Adedeji Soyebi and Mohammed Haruna, also a National Commissioner and member IVEC.

The meeting is also expected to bring to the fold initiatives by INEC to strengthen public enlightenment programmes through radio with a view to ensuring voters across the country understand their civic and electoral rights. 

Rotary Club of Abuja CBD Collaborates With NPF, Unveils Billboard In Abuja

The Rotary Club of Abuja, CBD, led by the District Governor, District 9125 of the Rotary International, Engr. Nnoka Mbanefo, unveiled its billboard in Abuja recently. 

Rotary Club Abuja

Situated at the Ahmadu Bello WA y / Kur Mohammed intersection, Central Business District Abuja, the project, a collaborative effort of the Club and the Nigerian Police Force, displays a two-sided billboard which has the Public Complaint Rapid Response Unit – PCRRU, Nigeria Police Force (PCRRU) contact information and that of the club.

In his remarks, Mbanefo explained that it was necessary to have these billboards across the country to create awareness about Rotary.
“Many people are unaware of Rotary and what we do despite the fact that we have so many humanitarian projects we have done and a lot more yet to do. So far, we have sunk about 30 boreholes and laid foundations for about 5 community health centres out of our resources and raised by friends of Rotary. This is one of the signposts we want to commission to show the public that we exist in Abuja.”
He said the aim is to create awareness and have more people join Rotary in humanitarian service because the work is much and the labourers are few.”
He also commended the role the PCRRU is playing regarding police accountability.

Rotary Club Abuja

 

The Club’s President, Mrs Salome Garba said that by putting up the billboard, “our presence can be felt and collaborating with the PCRRU will bridge the gap between the police and members of the public while reinforcing the promise that the Police can be relied on 24/7 to assist. She also promised additional support of her club and collaboration with PCRRU.
She said that under the Club’s 3-year strategic plan, it had adopted a community called Gidan Gimba, in Nasarawa State and plans are underway to build a 2-room block of classrooms, a health facility as well as sinking boreholes for the community to have clean water.
The event was attended by the AIG, Ezekiel Zang and Head of PCRRU, ACP Abayomi Shogunle who extended the appreciation of the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Ibrahim K. Idris NPM mni to the Rotary Club of Abuja CBD for erecting the billboard at such a strategic location within the Abuja Central Business District.

INEC Urges Political Parties To Increase Women Participation During Electoral Contests

The Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, has reiterated the need for an all-inclusive and gender balance political space to encourage women participation in the electoral process.
 
Professor Mahmood, made the call today when he received the United Nations Women Country Representative in Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ms. Comfort Lamptey, at his office in Abuja.
 
He noted that the Commission in collaboration with gender-based organizations such as the UN women had been taking steps to encourage Political Parties to increase women participation during electoral contests.
 
The INEC Chairman noted with delight that the Commission’s consultations with Political Parties had been yielding positive results.
 
Speaking on the INEC Gender Policy which was launched in 2015, Professor Yakubu, said: “We have already launched the Policy and are committed to ensuring that we deepen its implementation as we move towards the 2019 general elections.”
 
As part of the Commissions efforts to ensure an all inclusive participation in the 2019 general elections, the INEC Chairman hinted that the Commission in collaboration with UN women and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) would be developing strategies aimed at making the number of women count in the elections. “It is beyond engaging with the Political Parties, we also need to engage with CSOs in that respect”, he said.
 
Earlier, the Commission’s guest, Ms. Comfort Lamptey, who recently assumed office as UN Women Country Representative in Nigeria, noted that the UN Women and INEC had been working towards increasing women’s participation in the electoral process but noted that there, was room improvement.
 
She pointed out that Nigerian women have the least representation in parliaments across Africa a position she said needed to be addressed especially as Nigeria was regarded as a leader in Africa. 
 
The envoy pledged the support of her organization in the implementation of the INEC Gender Policy as well as collaboration towards gender mainstreaming in the electoral process in Nigeria.
 

PMB Recorded Solid Achievements Under Difficult Situation – Lai Mohammed

Information and Culture minister Lai Mohammed has said no amount of hatred will obliterate the achievements recorded by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The minister made the observation at the opening of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC)’ Annual Lecture and 25th Anniversary of creation of the Commission.

Mohammed said that contrary to the impression being created by purveyors of hate speech and fake news, the Buhari Administration had, in a short time, recorded solid achievements under a most difficult situation.

He said despite operating with just 45 per cent of the funds available to the immediate past administration due largely to the fall in prices of oil, the Buhari government had achieved tremendously.

The minister said that it was as a result of the efficient leadership of Buhari that Nigeria had not witnessed economic and social crises like other oil dependent nations.

“A country that has consistently produced more oil than Nigeria, despite having about one sixth of the Nigerian population, is today embroiled in the worst economic crisis in its history.

“There is shortage of food, medicine and everything, and there is hyper-inflation.

“With Nigeria being affected by the same downturn in oil prices, coupled with years of monumental mismanagement of the country’s economy and the mindless and maddening looting of its treasury by rapacious public officials, why is Nigeria not in similar crisis as the country in question?

“My answer is simple: Because Nigeria has a President like Muhammadu Buhari!;’’ he said.

Specifically, the minister said that the Buhari government had brought transparency to governance, laying a solid foundation for the country’s economic recovery and growth through the Treasury Single Account (TSA) and other economic policies.

“Does anyone remember the scandalous fuel subsidies that failed to deliver fuel to filling stations? What about the fertiliser subsidies that never guaranteed the availability of fertiliser to farmers? Today, fuel queues are gone with the phantom fuel subsidies.

“Also, thanks to the resuscitation of 11 of the country’s moribund fertiliser blending plants, fertiliser is now available to farmers nationwide.

“In fact, 6 million bags of fertilisers have been delivered at 30 per cent below the market price, 50,000 jobs created and N50 billion saved with the stopping of fertiliser subsidy.

Mohammed said that despite paucity of funds, the Federal Government’s Social Investment Programmes were being implemented, creating jobs for youths and providing nutritious food for school children.

He said the Micro-credit scheme of the programmes was providing over a million Nigerians with small loans at very low rates through the Bank of Industry.

The minister said that despite the cowardly bombing of soft targets, Boko Haram insurgency was not in resurgence.

He said that the Nigerian troops were up to the task of ensuring that there was no resurgence of Boko Haram.

The minister said that the government is also delivering on critical infrastructure like roads and railways.

“Contractors are back to work on roads across the six geo-political zones, helping to recover lost jobs and put some money back in circulation, as part of government’s strategy to come out of this recession,’’ he said.

He solicited the support of all Nigerians to enable the country to assume its rightful place in the comity of nations and make life more bearable for every citizen.

(NAN)

 

Russians Ambassador To Sudan Found Dead In Swimming Pool 

Russia surprised at death of its ambassador to Sudan

 

Russia’s ambassador to Sudan, Mirgayas Shirinskiy, was found dead in the swimming pool at his home in Khartoum, the Sudanese police said.

 

Police spokesperson said the ambassador, who was known to have suffered from high blood pressure, is believed to have died of natural causes.

 

Sudan’s foreign ministry expressed its condolences to Russia in a statement, hailing Shirinskiy’s diplomatic efforts.

 

Agency Reports…

Buhari Had Meeting With My Father – Ojukwu’s Son

The first son of late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, Mr Emeka Ojukwu (Jr), has vindicated President Muhammadu Buhari on his reported discussions with his late father on the unity and indivisibility of Nigeria.

 

Ojukwu told journalists on Wednesday in Awka Anambra State, that Buhari’s position that he (Buhari) and his late father’s discussion was right.

 

The son to late Ikemba Nnewi told newsmen that he never granted any media interview or posted any message  on social media to disclaim Buhari’s discussions with his father.

 

“My late father actually held the said meeting with Buhari before his demise and all that Buhari said in his nationwide broadcast were true.

 

“It has been brought to my attention that there is an article making the rounds on social media attributed to me refuting the remarks of Mr. President concerning his relationship and discussions with my late father.

 

“Let me state the following categorically; firstly, that I made no such comments to anybody, and secondly that I am aware that His Excellency’s comments were indeed factual’’, he said.

 

Ojukwu said he has observed a disturbing trend in the social media whereby fake news is attributed to people on the social media.

 

According to him, “I don’t know who is behind this report attributed to me and what their motivation might be, any time I feel to comment on any matter, I do so publicly and not via some anonymous email’’.

 

Ojukwu Jr. urged members of the public to discountenance the stories in the social media or any media platform whatsoever credited to him.

 

He warned that such malicious and damaging publications would not be taken lightly should he track the source.

 

Ojukwu called on Mr President not to take such comments serious as it smacks of gutter and yellow media reportage aimed at overheating the polity.

NAN. …. ..

I’m Back To Office – Buhari To NASS

President Muhammadu Buhari has written the National Assembly, notifying it of his return to office.

The Nigerian leader returned to the country on 19 August, after spending 103 days in London on medical vacation.

In his letter dated August 21, 2017, he told the Senate as well as the House of Representatives, that he was resuming office.

The letter stated in part: “In compliance with Section 145 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), I write to intimate that I have resumed my functions as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with effect from Monday, 21st August, 2017, after my medical follow-up in the United Kingdom.”

President Buhari had left for London on May 7, 2017, and handed the reins of government to the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, who functioned as the Acting President.

Earlier today, President Buhari in a broadcast to Nigerians said he was pleased to return home.

I am pleased to be back home,’’ he said.

He however warned that he would not allow “irresponsible elements to start trouble’’ in Nigeria.

“When things get bad, these elements would run away and saddle others with the responsibility of bringing back order, if necessary with their blood”, he noted.

President Buhari said that he kept in touch with events in Nigeria during his stay in the United Kingdom and thanked Nigerians for their prayers.

He noted that Nigerians were robust and lively in discussing their affairs.

“But I was distressed to notice that some of the comments, especially in the social media have crossed our national red lines by daring to question our collective existence as a nation.

“This is a step too far.’’

Making an indirect reference to the call for secession of the South East, he said Nigeria’s unity was long settled.

`In 2003 after I joined partisan politics, the late Chief Emeka Ojukwu came and stayed as my guest in my hometown Daura.

“Over two days we discussed in great depth till late into the night and analyzed the problems of Nigeria. We both came to the conclusion that the country must remain one and united.

“Nigeria’s unity is settled and not negotiable.

He said that every Nigerian has the right to live and pursue his business anywhere in Nigeria without let or hindrance.

“This is not to deny that there are legitimate concerns. Every group has a grievance. But the beauty and attraction of a federation is that it allows different groups to air their grievances and work out a mode of co-existence.

“The National Assembly and the National Council of States are the legitimate and appropriate bodies for national discourse,’’ he said.

He said that there was the national consensus that it was better to live together than to live apart.

NAN… .

INEC Inaugurates Committee On Electronic Voting System

INEC INAUGURATES A 20 MEMBER INTER-AGENCY COMMITTEE ON ELECTRONIC VOTING SYSTEM
 
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has inaugurated a 20-member Inter-Agency Technical Committee to evaluate requirements for the successful deployment of indigenously developed e-voting solution offered by the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI).
 
The agency had in June 2017, paid a courtesy visit to the Commission led by the Honorable Minister for Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, for a demonstration of a proto-type e-voting machine developed by NASENI.
 
The INEC Chairman represented by National Commissioner, Okechukwu Ibeanu, while inaugurating the Committee which comprises of members from INEC, NASENI and the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, at the Commission’s Headquarters, Abuja, said it was out of that gratitude and excitement that the Commission proposed the setting up of the Technical Committee.
 
He reiterated the Commission’s commitment towards increasing the application of technology in the electoral process and expressed the gratitude that NASENI had gone that far in developing a machine that was not only going to help the process, but more importantly the Machine was indigenously developed.
 
The INEC Chairman noted that “there is no gainsaying the importance of electronic application of technology to the electoral process, particularly to the voting process. It not only increases the confidence of the electorate in the outcome, but also in many ways facilitates the work of the Commission”. 
 
He pointed out that “part of the challenges the Commission has had over the years is the undue delay in votes casting, collation and result declaration. As such, every means of cutting down the turnaround time in that process is highly appreciated”.
 
Professor Yakubu urged the committee to diligently carry out the assignment and assured them of the full support of the Commission. He said “the commission looks forward to the outcome of the work of this technical committee with excitement. The commission is hundred percent committed to improving on this”.
 
Responding on behalf of the Committee, Engr Abbas A. Gummi, assured that the Committee would live up to the expectations of the confidence reposed on it and would deliver a very good report. 
 
The Committee was given the following terms of reference: Determine the e-voting needs of INEC and present a compilation of requirements for INEC’s successful deployment of a suitable e-voting solution; evaluate the e-voting solution offered by NASENI in the light of the needs of INEC; assess the operational, technical and social issues associated with an e-voting system in Nigeria in the light of the NASENI solution; and consider the implications of extant electoral legal framework in nigeria for the introduction of –voting generally, and particularly the NASENI solution.
 
Others are to:  Evaluate the sustainability of the NASENI e-voting solution in the light of other available solutions; consider any other issue relevant to INEC’s choice and deployment of an e-voting solution and submit a comprehensive report for consideration by NASENI and INEC.
 
Members of the Committee are: INEC Director ICT, Engr.  Chidi Nwafor , (Chairman) ; INEC Director Voter Registry, Engr. Iro Gambo; INEC Director Voter Education & Publicity, Barr. Oluwole Osaze Uzzi; INEC Director of Electoral Operations, A. T Yusuf; INEC Director Planning & Monitoring, Okechukwu Ndeche; INEC Director Legal Services, Mrs. Oluwatosin Babalola; INEC Deputy Director ICT, Mr. Pascal Ukaenwe; INEC Deputy Director Voter Registry, Mr. Tony Nyema; and INEC Assistant Director ICT, Mr Moses Naiya.
 
Other members from NASENI and Federal Ministry of Science and Technology (FMST) are: Director (RCE) FMST, Engr. Abbas A. Gummi; Director (ICT) FMST, Mr. Leon Alibo; Director (TBO) NASENI, Mr. N. Pawa; MD (ELD) NASENI, Dr. P.I.Okwu; DD (EI) NASENI, Dr. Suleiman A. A; PTO/SA/ICT NASENI, Abdulkareem Umar; SPA NASENI, Samuel Kehinde; PA I NASENI,  Yakubu Aliyu Doma; and  SE NASENI, Mohammed Abdulazeez Aliyu, while Abimbola Oladunjoue and Anthonia E. Idemudia both of ICT department INEC would serve in the Committee’s secretariat.
 
SEVEN POLITICAL PARTIES TO CONTEST DUKKU NORTH STATE CONSTITUENCY BYE-ELECTION
 
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that seven Political Parties would field candidates for this Saturday’s Dukku State Constituency bye-election in Gombe.
 
According to a statement signed by the Acting Secretary to the Commission, John Irem, the Contesting parties are: the Action Alliance (AA) with Mohammed Ahmed Mohammed as its candidate; the Accord Party (A), sponsoring Abubakar Ibrahim Hashimu; the All Democratic Peoples Movement (APDM), fielding Yakubu Abubakar; and The All Progressives Peoples Congress (APC), which has Alhaji A. Inuwa as its candidate.
 
Others are: the Green Party of Nigeria (GPN), which has Muhammed Ahmed Hashidu as its candidate; the Labour Party (LP), with Sirajo Mahammed as its flag bearer; and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) fielding Sadiku Kawuwa Malala as its candidate.