Expedite Passage of Electoral Reform Laws – INEC Chairman Urges National Assembly

The Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu has called on the National Assembly to expedite action on the passage of the relevant legislation guiding the conduct of elections in the country to give  the Commission ample  time to prepare for the 2019 general elections.

The Chairman noted that that the next general election was only 470 days away and stressed that early passage of the legal framework for the conduct of elections in the country would assist the Commission in planning for the elections.

Professor Yakubu made the call when members of the Steering Committee of the Nigerian Institute of Legislative Studies (NILS), led by its Chairman, Hon. Aminu Shehu Shagari, visited him at the Commission, Yesterday, in Abuja.

 The INEC Chairman also spoke on the budget for the 2019 general elections which he hinted that clear picture of the estimated budget would be gotten by next week, when the Commission validates and approves its Election Project Plan.  He said: “the validation and approval of the Strategic Plan 2017 – 2021 and Strategic Programme of Action will give us a clear idea of how much it will cost this nation to conduct the 2019 general elections”.

Professor Yakubu commended the NILS as a non-partisan organ of the Legislature for its provision of technical assistance in the democratic process and maintained that developing greater ties in the area of capacity building and trainings for Political Parties would greatly help the work of INEC.

He pledged that the Commission would continue to partner with institutions such as the NILS who are geared towards deepening democracy by adding value to the electoral process.

Earlier, the leader of the visiting team, Hon. Aminu Shagari, who is also a Member of the House Committee on Electoral Matters, said the visit was to seek the cooperation of the Commission in building a viral democratic institution in Nigeria through sustainable capacity building.

Hon. Shagari disclosed that the NILS was manning a Postgraduate and Masters Degree programme in Elections and Political Party Management which would be an affiliation of the University of Benin and implored the Commission to enrol its staff into the institute’s postgraduate programmes.

He called for collaboration in terms of capacity building for Political Parties and other stakeholders in the electoral process.

 

Malu Was A Committed  Professional – Gov Jibrilla Bindow

The governor of Adamawa state, Sen Mohammed Umaru Jibrilla Bindow, has described the death of former Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff as a great loss to the nation.

In a condolence message to the immediate family, people and government of Benue state, Sen Jbrilla Bindow described the late General as a core professional who was committed to his military calling and unity of the country.

” The demise of late Victor Malu is sad and inauspicious, but we all know the inevitability of death”, the Governor said.

He prayed God to give his family the strength to bea the pains and eternal rest for late General Victor Malu who died Monday morning in Cairo, Egypt at the age of 70.

 

Macauley Hunohashi

SA Media and publicity

hashinomics@gmail.com

Anambra Governorship Election: INEC Trains Staff On Violence Mitigation

As the November 18, 2017 Anambra Governorship draws nearer; the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has commenced the training of officers of the Commission on the application of Election Mitigation and Advocacy Tool (EVMAT), in Awka, Anambra State.

The Training which was organized by the Electoral Institute of the Commission and supervised by the Acting Director-General of the Institute, Dr. Sa’ad Umar Idris was aimed at developing the capacity of the participants to deploy violence reduction mechanisms to minimize electoral risks.

Speaking at the opening of the training, Dr Saad said theworkshop was geared towards equipping the participants with the necessary skills to effectively administer the Election Violence Mitigation and Advocacy Tool (EVMAT) in their respective Local Government Areas (LGAs).

He said ‘the standardized (EVMAT) tool offers unique opportunities for all stakeholders in the electoral process to effectively prevent and mitigate election violence. The instrument possesses higher predictive power that can help appreciate main risk factors through early warning that may inform proactive response.

‘INEC in recent past has deployed the EVMAT instrument in a bid to test the pulse of various players in order to accurately predict and advise on actions to be taken by those responsible for securing elections. The effective application of this instrument, will determine the level of accuracy of report and risk factor mapping emanating therefrom.

‘Participants have been carefully selected to receive proper training before being deployed to the various LGAs to administer the instruments which will be analyzed and coded by a data analyst. Successful risk mapping can only be achieved using accurate data.’ he explained.

 

AVM Mohammed Was An Exemplary Nigerian- Gov Jibrilla

Governor of Adamawa state, Sen Mohammed Umaru Jibrilla, has described the late Military Administrator of Kaduna State  and Chairman, Freedom Radio Kano, retired Air Vice Marshall Mukhtari Mohammed, as a quintessential Nigerian who was blessed with uncommon principles.
In a statement signed by his SA media and publicity, Macauley Hunohashi, the Governor said the late Air officer “was also an illustrious Nigerian who exhibited exemplary life of service to his fatherland”.
He noted that it was the combination of passion, principles and love for his people that contributed significantly to the creation of the present Jigawa state out of Kano.
Sen Umaru Jibrilla prayed Allah to grant the late Air Vice Marshall  paradise, while extending his condolences to the family, government and people of Jigawa state.
Macauley Hunohashi
SA Media and publicity,
Adamawa state governor
hashinomics@gmail.comAVM Mohammed was an examplary Nigerian- Gov Jibrilla

Kogi West Senatorial: Dino Frustrating INEC Recall Process

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), said the refusal by the Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Dino Melaye to be served was frustrating the efforts of the Commission at continuing with the recall process sought by members of his constituency.

 

This was contained in a statement issued by the Commission, on Tuesday and signed by the National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Prince Adedeji S Soyebi.

The statement said ‘all efforts to serve the Senator have been futile, as he has made himself unavailable’.

The statement further said, ‘The Bailiff of the High Court accompanied by INEC officials have visited the office of the Senator at the National Assembly and his residence on six occasions but found the office locked, while they were not able to gain access to him at his residence. On resumption of the Senate after its recess, the Senator refused to accept service of the documents. This was in the presence of journalists and was widely reported.

‘The Commission approached the Court for substituted service but was directed to make further attempts to serve the Senator. When this failed again, the Commission returned to Court to pursue the request for substituted service but the Court declined jurisdiction as the appeal by the Senator had been entered in the Court of Appeal.

 ‘As a result of Senator Dino Melaye’s refusal to accept service of the petition, the Commission has not been able to proceed with the process as earlier scheduled, as service has become a condition for precedent to continuing with the exercise. It has therefore decided, that in line with its usual practice and in deference to the rule of law, it will await the outcome of the decision of the Appeal filed by the Senator’, the Statement said.

The Commission, however, assured Nigerians of its commitment to the faithful discharge of its constitutional duties, adding that it ‘does not have any interest in the outcome of the Kogi West petition for the recall. Its interest is limited to ensuring all electoral activities are undertaken in line with due process and without fear or favour.’

 

ANOTHER DEVELOPMENT 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed Saturday 28, October 2017 for the conduct of the bye-election in Kware/Wamakko Federal Constituency of Sokoto State.

This was contained in the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the Bye-Election released yesterday by the Commission, in Abuja,

According to the Timetable, political parties wishing to field candidates for the elections are required to conclude their primary elections on or before October 14, 2017, while the last day for submission of names of party agents to the electoral officers of the affected constituency was fixed for October 20th.

The Commission said, Notice of Election would be placed in the Constituency on October 6th, adding that submission of nomination forms at the INEC Headquarters will close on October 17th; while campaigns end on 26thOctober 2017.

 

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.