Jega criticises bread, sachet water production in Nigerian universities.

The former Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Attahiru Jega, has criticised the trend where universities engage in bread and sachet water production to generate funds.

Mr. Jega, who is the Pro-Chancellor, Plateau State University, Bokkos, expressed displeasure over the trend at the opening of the three-day 2016 Nigerian Higher Education Summit on Monday in Abuja.

Organised by the Association/Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (AVCNU/CVC) and TrustAfrica, Dakar, Senegal, the summit has “Exploiting Diversity, Differentiation and Quality Assurance in Revitalising the Nigerian Higher Education System” as its theme.

According to Mr. Jega, the crisis of funding in Nigerian universities is acute but the primary responsibility of funding universities is that of government.

He said that “putting universities in such a dire situation where they have to be doing things like producing and selling sachet water is sad; frankly, it is not the business of universities.

“We want young unemployed youths to be involved in such entrepreneurial activities to generate income for themselves and to build businesses.

“For a university to become in dire and desperate need for money as to bake bread and produce sachet water is unwholesome and needs to be discouraged.

“Government needs to provide sufficient funding to universities,” Mr. Jega, former President of Academic Staff Union of Universities, said.

The don said universities were in the business of knowledge production and should strive to produce patents or prototypes which they could engage Nigerian industries to manufacture.

He added that the problem was not that government lacked money but for it to re-arrange its priorities so that it recognised the importance of education and provide commensurate funding to universities.

The former INEC boss said there was also the need for the management of Nigerian universities to have an inclusive and transparent process of managing resources.

According to him, it is unhealthy for universities to be struggling to generate funds to carry out their mandates.

He said that for strikes to be avoided, there should be mutual respect between the Federal Government and the unions.

“It is important for government to bend over backwards and it is important for unions to be realistic in their demands in order to find solutions,” he said.

On his part, Michael Faborode, the Secretary-General, AVCNU/CVC, said a lot had been achieved by Nigerian universities despite the numerous challenges.

He said that out of 22 centres of excellence in Africa, 10 were in Nigeria, noting that this was worth celebrating.

“The fight against Ebola virus spread was led by the Centre for Infectious Diseases in Redeemers’ University, Osun State and they have some of their products here to display.

“Let us bring all these into the fore; it is not all about mourning the Nigerian university system all the time; we need to celebrate the successes,” he added.

In a keynote address, Benedict Oramah, the President, African Export Bank, said there was need for Africa to move away from the colonial-style education it inherited.

Represented by Stephen Keuma, the Director, Human Resources, AFREXIM, Mr. Oramah said the way forward was to refocus on technical education that would equip the continent for manufacturing.

Barry Eneji Yakub: Of Governor Bello’s Bulldozers and Mahmud Jega’s Buried Amulets

The recent demolition by the Kogi State government of some landmarks in Lokoja, the state capital has caused not a little stir among the general public. From the media reportage of the demolitions of the former Paparanda Square; Lugard, Lokoja City, NTA and Government House Roundabouts, one is inclined to think or believe that the Yahaya Bello administration had perpetrated a Taliban or ISIS-styled destruction of UNESCO World Heritage sites in Kogi State.

Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Governor Yahaya Bello during his inaugural address on January 27, 2016 at the Confluence Stadium, Lokoja had stated his administration’s resolve to, among others; reposition Kogi State as a tourist destination of choice, tapping into her unique and strategic position as a gateway to the Northern, Eastern and Western parts of Nigeria. The rich colonial history of Lokoja as the first administrative base of the British colonialists in Northern Nigeria is added boon to the latent tourism potentials of Kogi State. These, more than anything else, must have informed the decision of the Kogi State government to immediately begin the task of rebranding Lokoja by getting rid of, to be quite honest, the monstrous architectural eyesores that passed for city landmarks, and that had over the years serve to reinforce popular opinion of Lokoja as the dirtiest State Capital in Nigeria.

It is worth noting that contrary to widespread reports in the media, none of the 5 demolished landmarks quite fit the billing of a ‘monument’. Governor Yahaya Bello administration committed as it is, to repositioning Kogi State as a tourist hub, could not have at the same time, destroyed monuments that are major draws for potential tourists and visitors to the State.

Kogi State is renowned for its diverse tourist attractions. Lokoja on its own, can boast of historical monuments such as the official residence and office of Lord Frederick Lugard, the first colonial Governor General of Nigeria; the Iron of Liberty, European Cemetery, Confluence of the Rivers Niger and Benue, Mount Patti, the first Primary School in Northern Nigeria, Holy Trinity Primary School founded by the famous Bishop Ajayi Crowther amongst others. None of these UNESCO World Heritage designation-worthy monuments were demolished by the State government during the recent exercise.

The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Kingsley Fanwo in a press release on the issue said that the demolitions were the beginning of a process to make Lokoja more attractive. “The nodal status of Lokoja as the gateway to the North, East and West is supposed to be an attractive state capital in order to meet the expectations of potential tourists. This is with the intention of replacing them with beautiful ones, befitting of its status,” Mr. Fanwo explained. He added further that there will be no stones left unturned by the Yahaya Bello’s administration in its resolve to fulfill its major policy objective of making Kogi State a tourism hub as a way of further diversifying the State’s economy and increasing her Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) base.

Sadly, these rational explanations from the State Government has had little effect on some commentators who since the demolitions, have gone to town with numerous rumours and false insinuations on the  reasons for the demolition of the 5 landmarks in Lokoja city. The most laughable is the one that His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello ordered the demolitions in order to remove the portent ‘jujus’ planted beneath these landmarks by his predecessor, Captain Idris Wada.

Ordinarily, one would have dismissed all these with a wave of hand as the handiwork of desperate political traducers but for the views expressed by Mahmud Jega, Managing Editor of Daily Trust Newspaper in his Monday Column titled ‘In Search of Buried Amulets’ published on February 29, 2016 where he all but implied that the fetish leaning of His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello was the real reason behind the demolition of the 5 landmarks. Coming from a respected and seasoned journalist of Mahmud Jega’s standing, it smacks of a willful attempt at impugning the character of Governor Yahaya Bello. It was most unfair and uncalled for.

In the said column, Mahmud Jega displayed a surprising lack of insight into the very issue he was writing about. Rather, he descended into a farcical narration of the demolitions and in a manner most unseemly, proceeded to recount a fantastical story based on rumours and hearsays of how Governor Yahaya Bello’s predecessor, Captain Idris Wada had buried amulets and human remains as juju sacrifices to ensure his victory in the November 21 Governorship election in the State and the demolitions were but Governor Yahaya Bello’s way of removing the fetish objects.

One expected Mr. Mahmud Jega, a widely respected columnist, to have sprinkled his decidedly bland fantasy broth with some tasty seasoning of objectivity. Alas, he quite literally jumped into the fray, dismissing the reasons advanced by the Kogi State Government for the demolition of the landmarks as in his words, they “hold no water because Yahaya Bello inherited a state in deep financial and labour crisis and it is difficult to believe that demolishing roundabouts and building more beautiful ones is his top priority.

Yes, Governor Yahaya Bello inherited a deeply troubled state; fiscally and infrastructure-wise, but to conclude that because of these problems Governor Yahaya Bello will be unable to focus on his stated mandate of delivering good governance and responsible leadership to the people of Kogi State is downright patronizing and an underestimation of the true measure of the man whom God has chosen to lead Kogi State in quite extraordinary circumstances. Governor Yahaya Bello is aware of the enormous challenges facing Kogi State and since taking the oath of office; he and his team have been working assiduously to bring Kogi State out of the present gloom into the sunshine of sustainable development and growth once again.

Some of his early actions such as the swift resolution of the industrial strike action embarked upon by Kogi workers over months of unpaid salaries by his predecessor, reinstatement of 15 illegally sacked Local Government Council Chairmen, abolition of State and Local Governments Joint Account, institution of voluntary environmental sanitation and immediate clean up of Lokoja, comprehensive staff audit to rid Kogi State Civil Service of the menace of ghost workers’ amongst others, has marked out this chartered accountant and astute businessman as one with a firm grasp of the issues bedevilling the state and also, the panaceas. There is nothing thus far to suggest that Governor Yahaya Bello is ill-equipped to handle the multifarious roles, or perform the countless socio-economic balancing acts required of a responsible government that seeks to provide strong, dynamic, focused and driven leadership to the people.

Governor Yahaya Bello does not believe in juju; terrestrial or subterranean. He therefore has no need to demolish any landmark in Lokoja or any part of the state to excavate buried amulets and other fantastical weavings of overactive imaginations. His belief is centred solely on God who has brought him “a young boy, fatherless while still a baby” through the vicissitudes of life to his present station as Governor of Kogi State and the lodestone of the aspirations of her 3-million odd inhabitants.

The forces against Governor Yahaya Bello are many and varied. It follows then that in their desperation they are hell-bent on using every policy and action of the administration, no matter how trivial or harmless; to justify their hollow narrative that he is a usurper to the Lugard House. Nevertheless, Governor Yahaya Bello will not be deterred from his administration’s core mission of “serving the superseding interests of the people of Kogi State to the very best of its capabilities.” In this regard, Governor Yahaya Bello waits upon none but the affirmation of God and the people of Kogi State.

Mahmud Jega was right on one score. “Bello’s bulldozers” are very busy in Kogi State, clearing and laying the foundations of a modern Kogi which shall arise from the rubbles of every demolished relics of the recent past when Kogi State was nothing more than a glorified farm centre. Governor Yahaya Bello is hard at work indeed.

Barry Eneji Yakub (BEY) is a member of the APC. He is a businessman, public affairs analyst and grassroot politician. He sent this piece from Eika-Adagu, Okehi Local Government Area of Kogi State.



Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

President Buhari Swears In New INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu

President Buhari has pledged to respect the independence of the electoral body – INEC, promising that he would not interfere with its functions.

The President made the pledge while swearing in the new Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, in the council chamber.

He observed that all Nigerians have a responsibility to safeguard the sanctity of democracy including transparent electoral process, free and fair elections.

The President said that a situation where people hide under technicalities to deny the citizens their rights is unacceptable. He called on state governments to make their electoral bodies to work for the benefit of all.

The President also decried a situation where elections are cancelled without investigations into what led to such cancellations so as to prosecute offenders. He stated that perpetrators of electoral violence should be made to face the full weight of the law.




Source – Channels Tv

2015 General Election Was Massively Rigged – Prof. Azinge

FORMER Director General of the of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies and Member of Commonwealth Arbitral  Tribunal, Prof.
Epiphany Azinge, SAN, has declared that the 2015 general elections in Nigeria was massively rigged by politicians.

Azinge made the declaration in his keynote address delivered at the opening ceremony of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA Warri Law Week held in Warri, Delta State yesterday.

In his words, “Let the truth be told, the last election was rigged as any other we have witnessed. The difference was that political parties rigged massively in their comfort zones.”

While noting that the immediate past President of Nigeria was globally applauded and commended for conceding defeat, he noted that, “politicians and political parties spent outlandishly to win elections. The law was honored more in the breach than observance with high cost of election, comes all sorts of electoral offences, bribery, undue influence, thuggery, violence and disorderly behaviour. We have now graduated to kidnapping, abduction and political assassination during election.”

Azinge who spoke on “Nigeria Enduring Democracy: The Challenge of Effective Electioneering and Independence of the Judiciary” noted that the 2015 electioneering campaigns was characterized by the desperation on the sides of the political parties who indulged in hate campaigns to succeed.

He blamed the Nigerian Media for playing ignoble role  in promotion of hate campaign,  indicating that all is fair in warfare, pointing out that derogatory statements were freely used during the electioneering campaigns.

Azinge posited that the police and the civil defence be used in election monitoring while the military be discarded.

According to him, “if need be, then we should train and equip our police to handle such delicate issue.”

He blamed the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC for failing to ensure compliance with constitutional limits for campaign expenditure.

He suggested better welfare conditions for Judges and
Judicial Staff in the country by evaluating the salary structure of judges and how safeguard they are and
examination of the process of appointment, discipline and removal of judges and to know if the other arms of government are capable of compromising the judiciary because of financial control or lack of autonomy.

Meanwhile,  the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA Warri Branch led by the Chairman, Mr. John Aikpokpo-Martins (Esq.) has demanded a probe of the administration of Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan for allegedly mortgaging the state into a debt profile of N637.22 billion.

Aikpokpo-Martins said, “It will not be acceptable to pretend that our common patrimony had not been rapaciously devoured by the past gatekeepers; doing things differently will not be enough. We
demand a probe because Deltans deserve to know.”

He also called on the Okowa led government to cancel the Bus Rapid Transit, BRT at Warri/Sapele road which was embarked upon by Uduaghan and restore same to its former state, noting that it poses great hazard to the lives, property and vehicular movement as well
as cause loss of man hours among others.

He also appealed to the governor to prevail on the
contractor handling the Warri High Court Complex Project to return to site and resume work with a view to completing the project.

Delta State Governor, Sen. Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa who was represented by the Commissioner for Housing, Arch. Joseph Ajiri Ogeh promised to tackle the menace the BRT is causing Deltans.

Culled from

INEC: Zakari Reconstitutes 14 Standing Committees

The acting chairperson of the Independent National Commission (INEC), Amina Bala Zakari, has approved the re-constitution of 14 Standing Committees of the electoral commission.

She however will serve as chairman of three committees namely Information Technology and Voter Registry, Finance and General Purpose Committee, and Security Committee.

According to a bulletin by INEC, the reconstitution was contained in a memo issued and signed by the secretary to the commission, Mrs Augusta C. Ogakwu. The committees are expected to commence operation from July 1, 2015.

The committees are; Appointment, Promotion and Disciplinary Committees (APDC); Amb. Lawrence Nwuruku, chairman; Amb M.A. Wali, member; Dr. Chris O. Iyimoga, member.

Planning, Monitoring and Strategy Committee (PM&SC); Dr. Chris O. Iyimoga, chairman; Prof. M.A. Salau, member; Amb. M.A. Wali, member.

Information and Voter Education/Outreach and Partnership Committee; Dr. Chris O. Iyimoga, chairman; Amb. M.A. Wali, member; Amb. Lawrence Nwuruku, member.

Health and Welfare Committee; Dr. S. Abdulkadir Oniyangi, chairman; Amb. M.A. Wali; Prof. M.A. Salau, members.

Operations and Logistics Committee; Dr. Chris O. Iyimoga, chairman; Amb. Lawrence Nwuruku, member; Amb. M.A. Wali.

Jega Denies Being Forced To Proceed On Leave Before 2015 Elections

Contrary to insinuations that former President Goodluck Jonathan threatened the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Atathiru Jega to proceed on terminal  leave or retire before the general elections, Jega has denied that noting of such happened.

He described the insinuations as the work of rumour mongers who did not want anything good for Nigeria. Speaking in Lagos at a programme tagged, ‘Afternoon Tea with Professor Attahiru Mohammed Jega’ by EbonyLife TV, Jega said he was  never threatened or asked to proceed on leave or retire by anybody or authority.

He stated that he never contemplated going on leave because he knew there was a job to be done. He, however, admitted that knowing the nature of the country, he was fully prepared  for the worst  to happen during the elections.

Read More: Thisday

“I Will Accept Any Government Appointment From Buhari” – Prof. Attahiru Jega

Outgoing Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega has expressed his willingness to take up any appointment handed to him in the new administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to reports, Jega made the revelation on Saturday, June 20, 2015 while fielding questions from a cross section of select young leaders of thought at an event tagged “Afternoon Tea with Professor Attahiru Muhammadu Jega” held at Wheatbaker Hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos.

The event, which was anchored by Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, was put together by EbonyLife TV, owned by media mogul, Mo’ Abudu.

When quizzed on his plans after his time at INEC expires, Jega said he would love to return to
lecturing but would take on any job assigned to him as he is willing to “serve the country until he stops breathing.”

When called upon to make an address, Jega said: “I am so thankful to the organisers of this event for this platform. I am very privileged to be called to serve the nation and I did that under strict circumstances. The challenges to keep doing good and living up to the expectations of Nigerians gave me sleepless nights.

“I believed that INEC should contribute to the reform process that has started. We have to do our best for the country. I am urging the young to be very optimistic to survive. They should try to engage themselves in positive development. I am also advising them to do the best they can no matter the circumstances.”
On the last election, Jega said:

“I will also like to commend INEC staff; they worked as a team; during the period of the election everybody was very accountable for hisher responsibility. We had a a lot of meeting during that election period and that actually helped us.”

“But I do not think that the staff were appreciated enough for what they did during the election period. Many people have complained about Zero pulling units. They were those units who because of one technical fault or the other their details were wiped off from the system and as result, they were asked to re-register, we do not intend to disqualify them.”

“We had serious challenge in the production of the PVCs because we do not have companies who can produce that. So we had to partner with some foreign companies. Electricity was also one of the major challenges we had during the election. Adequate time was not also for the registration and educating the staff.””
He also took time to dispel reports that he received death threats and then President Goodluck Jonathan had withdrawn his security aides when the election results’ collation was taking place. He also addressed the rumour peddled by the All Progressives Congress (APC) that he was asked to go on compulsory leave by Jonathan.

He said:

“All those stories were mere rumour, non of my security aides was withdrawn and nobody asked me to go on leave. It is inconsiderable for anybody to think of going on leave at that point in time when there was a lot of work to do. We were very prepared for everything during the election.””
He also availed that the result for about 90% of the polling units around the country were available and online at the INEC official website, adding that the report of the 2015 election would be ready by next week.

His words:

“We have done a lot to reform and strengthen INEC. Coming to the Local Government elections, I think adequate funds should be given to them to enable them run their affairs even in conducting their elections. Their autonomy should be strengthened.”

“I also want to use this opportunity to tell Nigerians that the report for the 2015 elections is in the making and should be out by next week. We have the draft already just to validate that.”

APC Warns Jega To Watch His Utterances

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has warned the outgoing Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to guard his utterances as it relates to the just concluded general elections in Rivers State.

The party was reacting to Jega’s comment suggesting that the massive electoral fraud perpetrated during the last general elections in Rivers State was not as huge as reported.

The party in a statement by the Publicity Secretary of the party in Rivers State, Chris Finebone said it was sad that Jega was trying to down play the atrocities committed by the INEC staff during the elections in the state.

The party accused Jega of trying to shore up his reputation before the eyes of the world with his comments.

Read MoreNigerianMonitor

Jega Used Card Reader To Finish Us- PDP Chieftain

Olorogun John Oguma, JP, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Delta State. In this interview with select journalists, he spoke on the 2015 elections and other issues of national interests.Excerpts:

What is your reaction to the outcome of the 2015 general election?

We in PDP abandoned ‘we’ and we were discussing ‘I’ and that is what has brought us now to this level. It is a bitter lesson that we must have to learn from and we are going to start again from the scratch.

Because we were busy fighting ourselves, APC was busy rigging the election two years back. This election was actually rigged two years back because we were busy fighting ourselves; this governor is not good, that governor is bad; so it is a bitter lesson to our leaders.

Secondly, far as I am concerned, the card reader was a bigger issue than the voting point. In the electoral act, the card reader is not there, but he forced Nigerians to accept it because he knew what he  planned.

Read More: vanguardngr

My Only Regret As INEC Boss- Jega

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Attahiru Jega on Monday reviewed his tenure as the head of the electoral body.

Jega, who spoke in Abuja during a retreat organised for electoral officers of the commission where the report of the 2015 elections was reviewed, said his only regret was his inability to create a separate salary structure for INEC workers.

He said apart from the special salary issue, the commission under his watch performed well. Jega noted that the 2015 general elections were better than those of 2011.

Jega’s tenure as the Chairman of the commission expires at the end of June.

Read MorePunch

Group Urges FG To Strengthen INEC

Dr Uloma Osuala, Deputy Country Director, International Foundation for Electoral System ( IFES), on Wednesday urged the Federal Government to strengthen the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to Improve on the nation’s electoral system.

She made the plea in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, adding that the electoral body should be made to ensure that registration of voters is continuous.

Osuala said that continuous improvement on the mandate and activities of INEC would deepen the democratic system of the country.

According to her, many Nigerians were not able to participate in the last electoral process because there was not enough time for voters’ registration and INEC could not capture many eligible Nigerians.

”IFES in collaboration with the European Union organised a project called `Mitigation of Violence in Election’ to evaluate the last general election.

”The project has an objective to strengthen capacity of stakeholders in Nigeria to prevent and remedy electoral violence and also provide constructive engagement.

”Even when it was said that the last general election was to some extent successful, we still noted some issues that could be improved upon, like the technical issues with the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).

“Many people did not get and could not vote.

”There is the need for a continuous voters’ registration, so that it becomes a continual process. We do not have to wait until it is a year to another election before you validate your PVC.

”On the card reader machine, there are few problems that must be fixed to strengthen the efficiency of the machine as well create awareness on the use.

”There should also be continuous training and retraining of INEC officials on the use of the card reader machines and results collation.

”Voter and civic education are part of the global improvement of the education of the people.

” Nigerians must be educated in this field of citizenship and the important role elections play in the democratic process, ” she said.

Osuala also urged the Federal Government to adequately fund INEC to enable it efficiently deliver on its mandate and prepare for future elections. (NAN)

Jega Admits 2015 Elections Were Not Perfect

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega has admitted that the just concluded 2015 general elections were not perfect. He noted that there is still room for improvement in subsequent elections.

Jega, who spoke in Abuja on Thursday when he played host to a delegation led by the Ambassador of Mexico in Nigeria, Marco Antonio Garcia Blanco, however, said the 2015 elections were far better than the 2011 elections.

He said some predictions suggesting that the outcome of the elections may lead to the end of the country, have proven to be false.

Read MoreNewTelegraph

Group Urges Nigeria To Learn From UK Election

A pressure group, the Informed Youth Political Forum (IYPF) has called on Nigeria to learn some lessons from the last general elections in the United Kingdom.

National Coordinator of IYPF, Mr. Tokunbo Olateru Olagbegi, who made the call yesterday while speaking to newsmen in Port Harcourt, stated that one good lesson from the election was the power of the people to choose their leaders.

Olagbegi, who was an international observer during the UK elections, said another lesson to be learnt was to conduct credible elections.

He said, ‘’Credible election, from what i observed in the UK, is not necessarily gotten from the electoral commission, but rather from the people. As a people, we should conduct ourselves in orderly manner to ensure credible, free and fair elections.’’

Olagbegi stated that on election day in the UK, he observed that there were no security at the polling stations as people came and cast their ballots and went home.

The IYPF coordinator said, ‘’What i observed was very simple and basic. The power of a credible election is in the people. In the UK , they trust that the people will do the right thing. Go to your polling station, identify yourself and go about your normal business.’’

He stated that the UK process can be done in Nigeria through civic education for the people and politicians to do the right thing, adding that in the UK polls, politicians did not use do or die approach in the conduct of the elections and that the will of the people prevailed throughout the election.

The coordinator said that Nigeria should use civic education approach to prepare for the 2019 election and ensure that the will of the people prevailed at all times.

Olagbegi, who disclosed that in the UK, they used the biro and paper to choose their candidates and still produced credible elections, said sincere and painstaking civic education could be applied in Nigeria to ensure that the people’s votes counted on election day.

He said, ‘’Nigerians hold the key to a successful election and it is possible to achieve this. As a people, Nigerians can learn some lessons from the UK elections. I think that slowly and surely, we will get there and Nigerians have the key to this success through civic education.’’

INEC Issues Certificate Of Return To Wrong Candidate In Abia

The winner of Umuahia South State Constituency in the Abia House of Assembly, Eastern Nigeria, Chijioke Nwachukwu, a candidate of All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), has called on the Independent National Electoral Commissioner, INEC, in the state to issue him his certificate of return without delay as it has issued his other 22 colleagues who also won the election.  P.M.NEWS reports:

Speaking to P.M.NEWS correspondent, shortly after the issuance ceremony, on Thursday evening in Umuahia, Nwachukwu wondered why INEC will make such a mistake of issuing his certificate of return to a wrong candidate, Mr. Jerry Uzosike, Peoples Democratic Party candidate who lost to him at the polls. Nwachukwu, noted that when the news got to him, he did not believe it, thinking that it was a joke but it regrettably turned to be an embarrassment and a shock to him.

Irked by this development, he further explained that he confronted the State Residential Electoral Commissioner but she showed him a list of those who won the election which she sent to their Abuja office. The worried member-elect pointed out that the REC says she has communicated to the Abuja office on the mistake and assured him that the error will be corrected.

Henoted that when he requested a letter to the effect that his certificate was issued to another candidate in error, she declined, advising him to write to the commission through his lawyer. To this end, the winner of the said election told our correspondent that he has written a complaint to that effect through his lawyer while copying the commissioner of Police, Umuahia, the Director of SSS, INEC Chairman, Abuja, his party Chairmen both at Umuahia and Abuja respectively.

Investigate N600m Bribe Allegation Offered To REC In Rivers, APC Asks Jega

The All Progressives Congress in Rivers State has appealed to the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, to investigate the Commission’s Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, in the State, Mrs. Gesila Khan. The APC is making the appeal over allegations that Khan received a N600 million bribe from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the state.

Chairman of the APC in Rivers State, Davies Ibiamu Ikeanya at a media briefing argued that the investigation would help INEC determine the level of rot Khan had superintended as INEC boss in Rivers State.

The party argued that the allegation alone was sufficient to disqualify the REC, Gesila Khan from holding such a sensitive public office, or, in fact, any other office of trust.

Read More: dailypost

Jega Sends 6 INEC Commissioners To Coordinate Imo Guber Re-Run

Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, has deployed six national electoral commissioners to Imo State for Saturday’s supplementary governorship election.

Resident Electoral Commissioner for the state, Dr. Gabriel Ada, at a news briefing yesterday stated that the deployment of the national electoral commissioners from Abuja was to strengthen the existing staff of the commission in the state to ensure that the conduct of the supplementary governorship poll was hitch-free.

He also said ad-hoc staff would not be used in the re-run election, adding that sensitive materials for the poll had arrived the state.

Read More: dailypost

Presidential Run-Off Would Have Sparked Violence In The Country – Jega

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega, said on Tuesday that a presidential run-off would have led to a crisis in the country.

His first public comment was on the March 28 and April elections, predicating his assertion on what he called many lacunas in the amended Electoral Act. He suggested during an interview with the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room in Abuja, an amendment to the electoral law since it provides for only seven days after the first election to hold a run-off.

He said the succeeding administration of Muhammadu Buhari should not wait till 2019 general elections before reviewing the Electoral Act. Jega disclosed that he was happy when the March 28 presidential poll produced a clear winner. He said there was no way that INEC could have successfully conducted a run-off election within seven days as provided for in both the 1999 Constitution and the Electoral Act.

The INEC boss said, “I heaved a heavy sigh of relief when the election did not result to a run-off. That would have occasioned a big constitutional crisis. “This is in view of the fact that the 1999 Constitution only made provision for seven days for such poll. You and I know that there was no way we would have been able to conduct a run-off within seven days”

The INEC boss revealed that there would be electoral reforms to strike a balance between decentralising and centralising the powers of the commission at the national headquarters.

He explained, “In future reforms to electoral legal framework this issue has to be looked at carefully. It’s a delicate balance: you have to balance whether you will give the chairman of INEC or the INEC at the headquarters a lot of powers which may be abused or whether you will want to localise the powers which may also be abused. So, it’s a tricky balance and the balance has to be struck.

Taraba Guber Re-run : Women Groups Threaten To Protest Nude

Ahead of the April 25th re-run election in Taraba State, groups under the aegis of The Ladies of Grace and Agape Sisters have threatened to mobilise hundreds of thousands of Nigerian women to protest nude if any official behaved funny.

The Coordinator of the groups, Ms. Jane Onuh disclosed this on Friday while addressing a press conference in Abuja, alleging that there were noticeable series of intimidations  exhibited by the opponent of Sen. Aisha Jummai Alhassan, which they said included  men, military, police as well as suspected electoral officials.

Onuh stated that the women would have remained quiet and neutral but for their disadvantaged background and the clamour to sustain the goals set for Nigerian women in the post Beijing conference over two decades ago.

Her words, “We dare warn of adverse consequences should the establishment or otherwise known as Taraba Cabal insist on intimidating a female contestant in the Taraba guber race.

“For the avoidance of doubt, we will mobilise hundreds of thousands of Nigerian women to protest nude on April 25th if any official behave funny.  We will be exposing the cabals and their cohorts who are still living in the stone age that the position of woman, no matter how eminently qualified, still resides in her kitchen”.

The women urged all the agencies to remain neutral during the re-run election, while also calling on Taraba women to ignore all kinds of intimidation and come out enmasse to vote for their own.


LEAKED: Foiled Plan To Kidnap Jega & Ruin Result Declaration- Report

As Muhammadu Buhari closed in on Nigeria’s presidency, an aide to election commission chairman Attahiru Jega sent a text message to an independent voting monitor, warning of an imminent threat to the electoral process.

The aide had unearthed a plot by supporters of President Goodluck Jonathan to disrupt the public announcement of the national election results and kidnap Jega in a bid to wreck the count, according to pro-democracy advocates and a Nigeria-based diplomat.

Central to the plan, they said, were Jega’s security detail and Godsday Orubebe, a former cabinet minister from Jonathan’s Niger Delta, an area whose leaders feared a change of power would mean an end to the perks it enjoyed under Jonathan’s presidency.

Orubebe’s role was to cause a disturbance at the headquarters of the commission as cover for the abduction of Jega. Orubebe did not respond to requests for comment on the details of the plot.

The commission, called INEC, also declined to comment and turned down requests for an interview with Jega, whom Reuters was unable to reach independently. Reuters found no evidence to suggest that Jonathan, who conceded defeat in the election, was involved. His spokesman and his party, the PDP, did not respond to requests for comment.

While the plot would likely not have changed the result, it could have unleashed fury among Buhari supporters in the north, where 800 people were killed in rioting after his last election defeat in 2011.

But the plot’s failure enabled Africa’s most populous country to complete its first credible vote since independence in 1960.

Read More: ekekeee

Jega Should Remain INEC Chairman – Senator-Elect

Alhaji Suleiman Nazif, the Senator-elect for Bauchi Northern Senatorial District, has appealed to the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Attahiru Jega, to remain in office beyond June in order to enable him perfect the use of the Card Reader in the country’s electoral process.

Nazif made the call in an interview with NAN on Thursday in Gamawa, headquarters of Gamawa Local Governmnet Area of the state.

Jega’s tenure is expected to expire in June this year.

“Jega has proven to Nigerians that he is a hero, he has done the right thing, and Jega means very well and Jega should be given an opportunity to improve upon the electoral process.

“The process needs to be improved upon, Jega must be commended, loudest ovation should be given to Jega for merely bringing this card readers which was partly responsible for giving the opposition victory because it checked the ruling party’s exccess.

“Jega has done well and we believe he should be given more time to improve upon the electoral process.”

In a separate interview with NAN, the incumbent senator representing the area, Sen. Garba Gamawa (PDP Bauchi Northern Senatorial District), also corroborated Nazif’s opinion.

“Nobody in the country will have thought that there could be a way out of our dirty electoral process,” he said.

Gamawa described Jega as “hero, he has shown that he is equal to the task of turning the electoral process into viable one that could be emulated by all the countries of the world earlier bedeviled by electoral fraud”.

Also, in another interview with NAN, Alhaji Ahmed Aliyu, a retired Comptroller-General of Customs, advised Jega to recind his decision to quit after the expiration of tenure in June, adding that he (Jega) should remain to perfect the new technology introduced into
the electoral process.

“I wish Jega will overlook other things and continue in office so that he will perfect the electoral process he had introduced, especially the card reader machine.

“He should perfect it in way that the machines could be use in courts and tribunals.

“INEC should insist on the use of the machines in trouble states like Rivers, Taraba, Imo, Delta and other states that have refused to use the machines during the last election to bring peace.”

Only PVC Holders Would Be Allowed To Vote Tomorrow -INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has released a statement ahead of the Governorship and State Assembly elections taking place on Saturday, 11th April, 2015 in Nigeria through the Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Kayode Robert Idowu on the false promises to the electorate by politicians that they can use their Temporary Voter Cards to vote.

Here is the statement,
“The Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) has received reports that some political leaders are asking members of the public to disregard its stated resolve to use Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) and Smart Card Readers (SCRs) for the April 11, 2015 Governorship and State Assembly elections.
A particular state governor in the North Central geo-political zone is reported to have assured voters in the state that they could come out to vote on Election day with Temporary Voter Cards (TVCs) if they do not have the PVC, and that INEC will not be allowed to insist on the use of SCRs for voter accreditation.
Members of the public are strongly advised to disregard false assurances that contradict the regulations INEC has outlined for the Governorship and State Assembly elections. The Commission reaffirms that only voters with genuine PVCs should come out to the polling units on Election Day and that guidelines issued on the use of SCRs for the April 11 elections will be strictly applied. Any action infringing these guidelines will be an electoral offence, and security agents will be on hand to apprehend offenders.
The Commission commends Nigerian voters for their peaceful conduct and examplary resilience, even in the face of minor challenges, during the Presidential and National Assembly elections on March, 28, 2015. It, however, considers it unfortunate that some leaders would misguide the public and thereby prepare grounds for needless disruptions to the polling process on April 11. INEC hereby warns that any obstruction to the processes it has put in place for the elections by any person, no matter how highly placed, will constitute an electoral offence punishable in law.
Meanwhile, the Commission has assigned the Resident Electoral Commissioner(REC) of Kogi State, Alhaji Hussaini Halilu Pai, to supervise the conduct of the Governorship and State Assembly elections in Kano State following the tragic demise of Alhaji Minkala Abdullahi lastweekend. Before his posting as FCT REC, Alhaji Pai was Ekiti State REC, who conducted the Governorship Election of June 21, 2014″

Era Of Winning Elections By Hook Or Crook Is Over – Prof. Jega

Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega says the era of politicians winning elections by hook or crook is over. Professor Jega stated this while addressing all Benue governorship candidates in Makurdi the Benue state capital today April 9th. Professor restated the commissions commitment to conduct a free and fair election come Saturday April 11th.

Akwa Ibom APC Writes Jega Again, Calls For Removal Of REC, Others

The All Progressives Congress in Akwa Ibom State has again petitioned the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Attahiru Jega, detailing how top officials of the commission aided massive rigging of the March 28 polls.

The party had on April 6, wrote to Mr, Jega, accusing Governor Godswill Akpabio, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Austin Okogie, the state Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Paul Ekpo and many others of rigging the presidential and National Assembly polls.

In that letter, the party had drawn attention to what it called “mass and highly choreographed irregularities”, including how compromised INEC officials handed over sensitive materials to Mr. Akpabio and his aides.

However, in its new letter on Wednesday, Mr. Attai said it has troubling revelations on how a three-pronged rigging plot involving INEC officials, top officials of the state and the Nigeria Police, was perpetrated.

Barely one week after it purportedly uncovered how the PDP allegedly rigged the election, the APC chieftain said recent findings indicate the web of the plot went deeper than what the party earlier presented.

“Though the rigging plot at INEC was anchored by the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Austin Okogie, his principle enablers were the Director of Operations, who also doubles as the Store Keeper, the Head of Computer Unit and the Head of Administration,” Mr. Attai wrote.

Read More: premiumtimesng

Edwin Clark Condemns Obama’s Certificate Of Commendation To Jega, Tells U.S To Leave Nigeria Alone

Former Federal Commissioner for Information and South South leader, Chief Edwin Clark yesterday condemned in very strong terms, the presentation of Certificate of Commendation by the President of the United States of America, President Barrack Obama to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega.

Speaking to Journalists yesterday in Abuja, Chief Clark stressed that the presentation of a ‘Certificate of Commendation’ to Jega over the conduct of the Presidential and National Assembly elections March 28th, 2015 with the Governorship and State Houses of Assembly polls yet to be conducted was too hasty.

Clark who urged the US to leave Nigeria alone, said that Nigeria remains an independent country capable of doing its things, its own way and not according to the dictates of the western world, adding, ” I was surprised that Barack Obama gave Professor Attahiru Jega an award when the elections are still on . Obama should be tactful in handling the affairs of Africa. US should leave us alone, Nigeria is an Independent country. They tried it Egypt, they should not try anything in Nigeria…”

Read MoreVanguard

Jega Gets ‘Certificate Of Commendation’ From President Barack Obama

The manner Prof Attahiru Jega white-washed Elder Godsday Orubebe at the collation centre for presidential poll in Abuja after he put up a rascally conducted has attracted international recognition.

President Barack Obama of the United States of America has commended the INEC chairman over the way the Presidential and National Assembly elections were credibly conducted on March 28.

Obama, who awarded the INEC boss with a “Certificate of Commendation” for his outstanding and sterling performance, said what the Professor of Political Science had done deserves replication by all.

President Obama was represented by the US Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle.

Jega speaks: I Wont Accept To Be INEC Chairman Again

The chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Attahiru Jega, has declared that he would not serve another term as chairman of the electoral body when his first tenure expires in June, even if he is asked to do so by the new government.

Speaking in an interview with the Hausa Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC Hausa) which was monitored in Abuja, Jega said having played his role in the political space for five years, it was time for another person to be given the chance to contribute his own quota.

In the words of Jega: “I am grateful to God. I was asked to come and contribute my own quota to the national development and I have done my bit to the best of my ability.

“Whatever assignment one will do for five years – just like this difficult one, to me if one is able to successfully accomplish the task, someone else should be given the opportunity, because for me I am not interested and if I am requested to serve again, I will not do it, by God’s grace.”

He noted that the introduction of the card reader device in the 2015 general elections had significantly helped to make the presidential election transparent, adding that there were few challenges that would be looked into in the forthcoming governorship/state assembly elections, including late coming attitude of electoral officials to polling centres.

Commenting on the allegations of bias against him by PDP chieftain, Mr Godsday Orubebe, at the National Collation Centre in Abuja on Tuesday, Jega said he was unperturbed because he knew he had nothing to hide.

“I maintained my calmness because I knew all the allegations were false. There is nothing that frightens me or disturbs me because, of all our actions, we have explanations for them,” he added.

Jega’s five-year tenure elapses in June 2015 year.

Rivers APC congratulates Buhari, Amaechi, INEC & Electorates for Saving Nigeria

The Rivers State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has congratulated the party’s presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd.), for defeating incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in last weekend’s presidential election. Rivers APC in a statement issued in Port Harcourt by the State Chairman, Dr. Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, described Buhari’s victory as expected and well deserved.

“31st March, 2015, will remain epochal and indelible in Nigeria’s history as it was the day on which Nigerians through their votes spoke with one voice against a clueless and misguided administration that would have completely grounded the country’s economy. With this change of guard, we wish to proclaim that the worst is over and it is a new dawn for our dear country, Nigeria,”
Ikanya said in the statement.

He, on behalf of Rivers APC, thanked General Buhari for making himself a tool for the emancipation and rebuilding of the country. “Buhari is a quintessential statesman with a proven record of integrity and performance. We urge him to hit the ground running as we have no time to waste in rebuilding our nation that has been badly bruised by the clueless administration of Dr. Jonathan. Nigerians expect so much from him and he should not condone any form of corruption, which is the hallmark of the PDP Administration that brought us to this sorry pass. We must improve on agriculture and use it as a tool for creating jobs for our teeming youths. Security and eradication of Boko Haram should also be top priorities,” Rivers APC said.

It assured the President-elect that it would continue to support him and do everything humanly possible to make sure that his administration is golden and one of the best ever in the annals of Nigeria.

Paying tribute to others who made Buhari’s victory possible, Rivers APC said: “We congratulate and commend Gov. Chibuike Amaechi, the Lion of Niger Delta Politics, for showing us the light in APC and proving that he has a lot to offer Nigerian politics. Amaechi did a yeoman’s job as Director-General of the Buhari Presidential Campaign Organisation. We are immensely proud of his sacrifices to ensure the emergence of General Buhari as part of his efforts to salvage our nation from doom. We urge him to continue to give his best to the nation as we continue to give him all the needed support to succeed.

“We equally congratulate Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Alhaji Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, Senator Bola Saraki, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu and our other great leaders for shaming our detractors and ensuring that we succeed in this project. We plead with them all to bury their differences and ensure that we give our best to this nation.”

Rivers APC extended its congratulations to Nigerians for a peaceful election and for believing in the change that APC preaches. It appealed to Nigerians to see the incoming APC Administration as their own and support it to give the nation the purposeful leadership it deserves.

On the conduct of the election, the party said: “By this election, INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega has proved that there is still a great future for this nation. We are grateful to him for not allowing some unpatriotic forces to force him to bring our democracy into disrepute. Yes, we had some lapses during the elections but we are convinced that with time we will get it right. We suffered immensely as a result of such lapses in the form of the daylight robbery that the State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mrs. Gesila Khan, and PDP guber candidate, Chief Nyesome Wike, executed in Rivers State to rob our people of their mandate for our candidate, General Buhari. We still insist that apart from giving us a new date for the National Assembly elections, Mrs. Khan should be immediately sacked for being a disgrace to the image of INEC and of womanhood.”

Dr Ikanya also condemned the unfortunate failed plot by PDP through Ex-Minister Godsday Orubebe to disrupt Collation of Presidential Results this morning at Abuja and commended Prof Jega for the maturity he exhibited in handling the evil plot that would have derailed and truncated our nascent democracy. We apologise to all Nigerians for this unfortunate and misguided act seeing that he came from our region. Nigerians can be assured that those of us from Niger Delta region does not behave in such a manner only that Elder Orubebe is suffering from the huge loses he will suffer from the change of guard at the centre. It is unfortunate that most of these misguided undemocratic minds will not allow the outgoing President Jonathan to leave the stage in peace as a Statesman after ruining his administration.

Rivers State APC condemn vehemently the plot by PDP to mobilize some dreadful hoodlums from Delta, Bayelsa to join members of Grassroot Development initiative (GDI) the armed unit of PDP to unleash mayhem and terror on chieftains and members of APC immediately after the formal announcement of the 2015 Presidential election of March 28th, 2015 by INEC declaring Buhari as winner as their own way of sympathizing with the outgoing President Jonathan.

As much as we condemn the resort to violence and killing of our members at any slight or no provocation, we will like to reiterate that Chief Wike and his supporters should be mindful of the fact that we all are Rivers State indigenes and causing harm or death to any of us does not do him or another person any good as history will surely judge all of us for all the parts we play or played in promoting violence in Rivers State.

We need to alert the world that Chief Nyesome Wike should be held responsible for any violence or deaths of any of our members, and also Chief Wike should be made to be mindful of ICC provisions.

APC Trashes PDP; Wins 64 Seats In The Senate

The emergence of General Muhammadu Buhari as the President-elect is throwing up a lot of firsts in the history of Nigerian politics. Again, this will be the first time a two-term Senate President will be returning to the Senate as an ordinary member and in the minority party.

The result of the National Assembly election declared by INEC on Tuesday has pushed the leading party, the All Progressives Congress, to the majority status in the 109 membership Senate.

Before the election, the Peoples Democratic Party enjoyed the majority status in the red chamber with 64 members while APC has 41. Other parties, like Labour, Accord and SDP shared the remaining 5.

But from May 29, APC will have 64 senators; the PDP 45; and the Labour Party, one.

This development will obviously alter the configuration of the Senate leadership in the 8th Senate which would be inaugurated in June this year, as the APC would constitute the principal officers.

For instance, the current Senate President, David Mark who is returning to the Senate for the fifth time, will lose his seat to an APC member while the change in gear will also affect other principal officers like the Deputy Senate President, Senate Leader, Deputy Senate Leader, Chief Whip; and Deputy Chief Whip.

Apart from Mark and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu who won the election to return to the Senate, other principal officers like the Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma -Egba; his deputy, Abdul Ningi; Chief Whip, Bello Gwarzo; and his deputy, Hosea Agboola, all lost their bid to return.

The current configuration is set to automatically transform the status of the APC members, especially the principal officers from minority to the majority.

For instance, the Minority Leader, Senator George Akume, according to sources, may likely emerge the new senate president, although some of his colleagues believed that another ranking senator should be elected since Mark, his kinsman from Benue, would be relinquishing the seat after eight years.

Professor Attahiru Jega: An Altruistic Democrat! By Muheez Busari

It is about 01.23 Wednesday 1st of April 2015, and I can barely find sleep as the events of the day keep reverberating in my head so much that I had to pen this piece in admiration and honour of the new hero of Nigeria’s democracy; Professor Attahiru Jega- INEC Chairman. Following the surprising interruption of result collation proceedings on Day 2 by an agent of the ruling PDP, a dismal show of shame on a national and international platform, Professor Jega’s composure and conduct in managing the intimidation and disruptive outburst from the supposed former Minister of the Federal Republic exudes professionalism and bespoke grooming. Such decorum and wisdom are character traits that define a leader, as well as well-meaning statesmen in the corridors of power. Had Professor Jega taken the bait and reacted, albeit irresponsibly, to the outburst of the PDP agent, I believe that chaos and public unrest would have ensued. An inevitable violence will be unleashed on a fragile polity that is threading on soft grounds at this critical time in her history. INEC under the stewardship of Professor Jega has had the unenviable responsibility of conducting a free and fair election in a volatile country like Nigeria where the leaders are mostly lawless, whip up tribal sentiments for political gain, uncouth and corrupt, and usually adopt the “do you know who I am” clout at every instance when called to order or reason. As tough as the last 72 hours or more has been for all Nigerians, and most especially INEC officials, the shameful hijack of a peaceful collation proceeding was highly unpatriotic and reeks of political grandstanding for personal aggrandisement (typical of political sycophants).

Given that the electioneering process is usually tedious, candidates and supporters are bound to be edgy (and rightly so) but this public display of aggression with intent to cause national chaos was appalling. The PDP agent’s ill-mannered behaviour and arrogant by-pass of structured protocols for election complaint and petition procedure(s) brings to fore the “do you know who I am” syndrome of those in positions of influence in the Nigerian society. To whom much is given, much is expected, as a former Minister and stalwart of the current ruling party, the PDP agent as encapsulated in Professor Jega’s reproach, does know better than to have acted like an inebriated political thug. An action which at best would have been perpetrated by a minnow and not someone of his supposed esteemed status. In a civil society, there are ways and procedures of seeking redress if one is wronged or perceived to have been wronged. The state security apparatus and law courts mostly serve this purpose in general, while with election complaints, INEC has laid down procedure(s) for political parties and civil society to report complaints and file petitions in an orderly and official manner for election tribunal proceedings to commence. This begs the question, why didn’t the PDP leaders advise its agent to follow due process of lodging complaints or grievance? And if the agent acted alone, did he not process the implications of his actions and possible outcome? This brings to mind the incident of the poorly designed butterfly ballots in the state of Florida during the 2000 U.S. presidential elections that cost the incumbent Vice President Al Gore (Democrat) vital votes which in turn saw George Bush Jnr. (Republican) become president. Despite the discrepancies and allegations of voter fraud, disenfranchisement and unclear ballots, both candidates and party supporters did not “throw tantrums” tantamount to causing anarchy in public. The integrity of the United States of America was upheld. The nation is bigger than any man, mission or entity. This unruly and thuggish attitude towards unfavourable election results cuts across political parties in Nigeria and should be eschewed for political sanity and national unity.
No doubt, INEC has experienced some glitches and challenges with logistics in the build up to the elections and on the day of election. Without cutting INEC any slack, I think the electoral commission has made tremendous improvement from the last national elections. The introduction of the card readers, among other great strategies, is revolutionary towards the organisation of credible, transparent, free and fair elections in the country. In addition, the issuance and distribution of about 75% permanent voters card (PVC) to registered voters is indeed laudable, more so if you are familiar with the apathy in logistics movement within and around Nigeria. Despite reports that some card readers malfunctioned in some places, the potential of the card reader for future elections is made manifest in this current election. In every process, there are always human and machine errors and ample room is given to accommodate and improve on minor setbacks. Thus, there is massive room for improvement on the malfunctioning card readers and inadequate logistics organisation before another major election. Overall, this is not a bad election debut for the card reading machines in Nigeria.
All INEC needs at this point in time is the overwhelming support of all political parties and Nigerians. The electoral commission has thrown all its expertise and dedication at this watershed election 2015. In the 2011 elections, the ruling party (PDP) retained power and said: “Jega conducted free, fair and credible elections”. So in 20015 (with an advanced technology- card reader), it is rather hypocritical for an agent of the ruling party, with imminent loss of political power in sight, to say: “Jega is Tribalistic”! Lest we forget, power is transient. Being powerful is often an illusion of grandeur. Reality check will definitely come knocking when you least expect. Politicians irrespective of party affiliation should endeavour to serve and legislate on the mandate of the people judiciously, at all times.
Meanwhile, to the man of the moment, in whom we should all be well pleased; Professor Attahiru Jega has shown a remarkable strength of character, resilience and poise in the face of superior intimidation and tasking national service. Professor Jega is experienced and capable in delivering public service as evidenced in achievements during his tenure as ASUU president under the stifling Ibrahim Babangida military regime, where he was able to negotiate good working conditions for academic staff and secure more funding for Nigerian universities. In 2005, he was appointed VC of Bayero University, kano (his alma mater). A position he held until his appointment to the electoral reforms committee in 2007. Assuming the mantle of leadership at INEC in 2010, he expedited the implementation of the proposed reform to the electoral process and 4 years of this painstaking task culminated in the transparent, free, fair and technologically-driven general elections of 2015. Hence, the ingenuity, endurance and sacrifice to enshrine true and fair democratic process in Nigeria should not be underscored by divisive political intimidation, shenanigans of sore losers and war mongers. It is the people, community leaders and politicians who should tow the patriotic line of Professor Jega, and dig deep to identify with the qualities that unite us, and make efforts towards forging a greater nation for all and sundry. The credibility and success of election 2015 is a badge of honour which Professor Attahiru Jega and the INEC team have earned the right to wear with pride.
Congratulations Nigerians! May this dawn bring TRUE change to nooks and crannies of the nation!

Muheez Busari (follow me on @m_careca5)

Governors Of Abia And Akwa Ibom States Win Senatorial Elections

Governor Godswill Akpabio of AkwaIbom state and his Abia state counterpart, Theodore Orji won their senatorial contests in Saturday’s election.

Gov Akpabio polled a total of 422,009 to defeat APC’s Inibehe Okorie who had 15, 152 votes. Gov Orji pulled a total of 46,070 votes to win Ahamdi Nweke of APGA who pulled 10,204 votes. While Governor Akpabio would represent Akwa Ibom north east senatorial district in the next Senate Assembly, Governor Orji would be representing Abia central Senatorial zone.


Source –

We Voted For APC Because PDP Government Can’t Pay Our Salaries – Benue Workers

Many civil servants in Benue State voted massively for the leading opposition All progressives Congress (APC) and other minor political parties because of the salaries owed them by the PDP government led by Governor Gabriel Suswan.
The state workers have insisted that there is no need voting for the PDP due to past experiences. They said the party had not paid them their salaries for several months.

During the presidential and National Assembly elections on Saturday, the visibly angry workers who formed the majority of the voting strength of the agrarian state, blatantly refused to vote for the PDP.

I Can’t Be Pressured To Declare Election Inconclusive – Jega

Urging all Nigerians to calm down and wait for the announcement of the genuine results, Prof Attahiru Jega has stated that the commission is not under pressure to declare the elections inconclusive.

Jega, who gave a situation report on the presidential and National Assembly elections at a press conference in Abuja, stressed that, “We are not under any pressure to declare inconclusive elections.”

He added that he would hope that politicians “want to be declared winner” of the election.

Jega also revealed that the commission had commenced investigation into the incidence of electoral violence, especially burning of its office in Rivers and the killing of INEC ad hoc workers in Gombe.The INEC chairman noted that the commissioned had received allegations of election rigging by its employees, stating that the commission had also started an enquiry into the matter.

Jega revealed that he had received a petition from the APC calling for the rescheduling of the elections in the state, and pledged that the commission would also do its best to investigate its merit.

He also announced that collation of results would commence by noon on Monday.

Expect Results Of Polls In 48 Hours – Jega

Going by the assurance from the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, results of the presidential and National assembly elections will be declared within 48 hours.

Jega who disclosed this Friday in Abuja during a joint press conference alongside the Director General of the National Youth Service Commission (NYSC), Brig-Gen. Johnson Olawumi noted that the commission has put a lot in place to ensure the 48hours target was met.

He said the commission is making all efforts to ensure that results are disclosed much earlier than in 2011.

Jega also denied the report making the rounds that the Commission’s database has been compromised.

INEC Boss in an apparent reaction to an allegation by the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Council that the master key was in possession of the APC, said only the producers of the data base infrastructure of INEC have the source code.

He further said that the company, Act Technologies Limited, was approved by Federal Executive Committee and was never blacklisted.

While also describing the allegations as baseless, Jega however regretted that it has the propensity to threaten the credibility of the election.

Defending the choice of the firm, Jega said it went through all the expected checks before it was awarded the contract to develop the database.

He said “it is regrettable that it is a pity that people can say all sorts of things and get away freely with it.  “it is a last minute attempt to undermine the credibility of the elections.”

Jega also cleared the air on his disagreement on the issue of voters having to wait after casting their ballot or go home as advised by the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Suleiman Abba.

Jega noted that his stand was not a sign of disagreement with the police but that voters should have the choice of waiting or staying after casting their votes.

Explaining further that the presence of voters during the counting of votes would enhance the credibility of the polls.

INEC Chairman also urged corp members drafted for the elections to take the assignment with all seriousness it deserves, noting that their security and welfare has been taken care of.

He hailed the role of Corps members in enhancing the electoral process.

On his part, the DG of the NYSC, urged the corp members to handle the assignment with high integrity.

He urged them to stay away from any temptation that may tarnish the image of the scheme, families and nation.

The DG also assured Corp members of their welfare and security, noting that while INEC has disbursed 100 percent for the corp members, the NYSC has disbursed 50 percent of that amount pending the completion of their assignment.

Why I’m Being Attacked Over Card Readers — Jega

Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega, Wednesday, said he has no regrets for insisting on deploying Smart Card Reader machines for the conduct of the general election, saying he knew that the decision would attract unwarranted attacks on his integrity as a person.

Would-be riggers the ones crying foul, says INEC boss
Jega, who stated this while unveiling the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room in Abuja yesterday,, maintained that it is only those that hitherto nurtured plans to fraudulently manipulate the outcome of the elections, that have been crying foul over the introduction of the technology which he said would only add credibility to the electoral process in the country.

He said that INEC had perfected all its strategies and put every apparatus in place with a view to
ensuring a hitch free poll that will reflect the summative choice of Nigerians.

“Let me use this opportunity to reassure Nigerians that we believe that we have done everything possible to ensure that the 2015 general election is successful. We are adequately prepared in terms of both logistics and manpower. Likewise, all the security agencies, especially the police which have a lead role to play in terms of providing security during elections, have assured us that they are ready.

“Beginning from today, we are commencing the rolling out of non-sensitive materials. Likewise, from Friday, all the sensitive materials will be retrieved from the vault of the Central Bank Nigeria by our officers, accompanied by security operatives and representatives of the political parties”.

He said that the materials would be distributed to states from where it would be taken to local government areas and subsequently to the ward level.

Jega further highlighted the fact that the commission has provided and reasonably equipped Registration Area Centers, RACs, “to ensure that both our staff in various states and security agents spend few hours of the night on Friday there to enable them to be ready to deploy the sensitive materials on the election morning”.

He assured that there will be remarkable reduction in the delays that were previously experienced in the commencement of elections, as well as retrieval of materials at the end of election.

However, the INEC boss said it was regrettable that the results of the election will not be electronically transmitted to the collation points. He said though INEC initially piloted the procedure at two previous elections in Cross River and Niger States, “we decided that we will not put the electronic transmission of results to use in 2015 in view of the controversies the procedure might likely generate from those who don’t see anything good in what we are doing as a commission.

“We can see the dust that the introduction of card readers raised. So we decided to keep piloting and improving on the system beyond 2015, hopefully, by 2019, the commission will introduce it for the general election”.

‘They know card readers ‘ll stop alteration of figures’
On the issue of the card readers, Jega, who stressed that the process will help address concerns about the alteration of election figures to fraudulently confer advantage on some candidates to the detriment of others, said no such thing would happen this time around.

“This is indeed why they have been attacking me because they know that the card reader machines will help us to address all those irregularities, starting from the accreditation of voters at all the polling units. How can they manipulate the election when all the information with regards to the number of voters that turned out at every polling unit is automatically captured and transmitted by the card reader machines?

‘We have made rigging impossible for them’
He continued; “We have made rigging impossible for them as there is no how the total number of votes cast at the polling unit could exceed the number of accredited persons. Such discrepancy in figures will be immediately spotted. This technology will further make it impossible for any corrupt electoral officer to connive with any politician to pad-up results”, he added.

Besides, Jega noted that in the past, dubious INEC officials usually delayed the entry of number of accredited voters until the end of voting so as to have the leeway to tamper with results, a problem he said would be obviated by the smart card readers.

He said that both the card readers and the result sheets would be taken to the ward levels, “once there is evidence of tampering, the information saved in the card reader will be retrieved.

I’ll Collapse If I See N5bn – Says REC Accused Of Taking Bribe

The Resident Electoral Commissioner in Akwa Ibom, Mr Austin Okojie, on Tuesday said he would collapse if N5billion was brought before him in cash.

Okojie said this while briefing accredited media professionals for the general elections in Uyo.

“I was welcomed to the state with a false report that I was given five billion naira to come and rig the election.”

He expressed displeasure over the report and urged journalists in the state to desist from reports capable of misrepresenting officials of the commission.

“Five days of my being posted to Akwa Ibom state, a newspaper published a report that I was given five billion naira to come and rig the election in favour of some candidates in the forthcoming elections.

“I was shocked to see such a report as I have worked in other states and I did not experience such a thing.

“I also worked as a journalist before proceeding to read law and I know the rules of the profession do not permit one to report falsehood.

“If I come across five billion naira now, I will collapse and perhaps I will not be here talking to you.

He said media professionals must uphold the ethics of the noble profession by reporting accurately without any form of bias.

“This is in view of the fact that the media plays immeasurable roles in the administration/management of elections.

He urged journalists to investigate stories before reporting.

He said INEC was ready to conduct free, fair and transparent elections in accordance with the electoral laws.

He said that over 95 percent of the Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) had been distributed in the state.

Jega Replies Police IG: You Can Wait And Protect Your Vote After Voting

The Inspector-General of Police, Suleiman Abba, and the Chairman of INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega, on Friday clashed over the police chief’s warning to Nigerians to “vote and go home.”
While the IGP had warned voters to go back to their homes immediately after casting their votes on election days, Jega said the electoral law did not state that voters could not or should not wait to watch and ensure that their votes are not manipulated.

The INEC chairman, who appeared as a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Friday, said there is no part of the Electoral Act that forbids voters from waiting around the polling booths.

However, the All Progressives Congress tackled the IGP over the “unlawful order.”
In a statement in Lagos by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party asked voters to rather listen to Jega and stayed behind to protect their votes after casting their ballots.

The statement read, “According to Jega, who appeared on Channels TV on Friday morning, the electoral law says anyone that has no business with the electoral process at the polling booths but desires to monitor events should stay at least some metres away from the polling agents and completely away from the ballot box after casting their votes.

“The INEC Chairman further clarified that all registered voters have businesses with the process and can therefore not be classified as people that don’t have businesses at polling units.

“Therefore, the IGP has no constitutional right or powers under the constitution or Police Act to rewrite the electoral law. The role of the police is to maintain law and order or such other assistance as may be sought from the police by INEC.”


PDP Chairman Confesses: We Can Not Have A Landslide Victory Again

The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu, has opened up that there’s no way his party will get a landslide victory in the forthcoming general elections.

Mu’azu, a former governor of Bauchi State, made the remark in an unusual statement he signed in Abuja on Thursday to try to shore up the party’s dwindling fortunes and refurbish his relationship with the President. He has recently declared he would rather resign his chairmanship than insult General Muhammadu Buhari, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress.

According to SR, he hinged the PDP’s hopes on wooing undecided voters as well as traditional rulers, whom Mr. Jonathan is known to have been offering large bribes.

“We are going around the country in search of undecided voters, who are the final battle ground where the election will be won or lost, he said, adding that the APC could continue to stir the rumour mills into believing that he and Mr. Jonathan are in disagreement, but that they are very serious about winning the presidential election.

Strangely, Mu’azu implicitly conceded that the party was doing very badly before the elections were postponed, thereby confirming popular speculation that that was why Jonathan worked so hard to force the postponement. After three weeks of town hall meetings, the National Chairman said, PDP was “inching its way to victory” in the presidential election, with that time-frame being the additional lifeline supposedly granted to it by the postponement.
According to him, “We shall continue this interactive engagement with Nigerians until 26th March when campaigns officially end before the March 28th Presidential elections, presenting our scorecard in government, our programme in the next four years to 2019, using the town hall format and meeting our revered traditional rulers…

“While I do not see a landslide victory coming, I am convinced that our party will perform creditably in the Southwest and the North of Nigeria and elsewhere in all the elections this year because the evidence is clear that despite our travails at the beginning, we have done very well over the past fifteen years of our nascent democracy since 1999 to record victory. Those who disbelieve our resilience will be surprised for victory is ours.’

Read Jega’s Stand on Rescheduling Elections

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Atahiru Jega, has stated that the commission is fully prepared for the 2015 elections. He stated that there will be no further postponement of the elections slated for March 28 and April 11. Jega disclosed this in Abuja on Wednesday at an election situation room dialogue session with over 60 civil society organisations.

While addressing some of the issues facing the commission, he  maintained that since the commission had achieved 90 percent distribution and collection of permanent voters’ cards (PVCs) in 11 states so far, there was no  reason for any postponement.

Read More: The Sun

INEC Seeks Partnership With Traditional Rulers For 2015 Elections

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has appealed to traditional rulers to support the commission in the forthcoming general elections.

During a sensitization visit to Nekede ancient kingdom in Owerri, Imo State, INEC officials led by the National Commissioner in charge of South East, Mrs Gladys Nwafor and the Resident Commissioner in Imo State, Gabriel Ada urged traditional rulers to use the opportunity of their closeness to the grassroots to assist the commission in conveying vital information on the need for rural dwellers to collect their permanent voter cards.

The team also took time to address a cross section of women in the community and also sensitize them on how they should vote on the day of the elections.

However, the paramount traditional ruler in Nekede ancient community, Stephen Agunmanu promised to support the commission in disseminating the necessary information to his people and ensure that elections in the area is violence free.

The post 2015 Elections: INEC Seeks Partnership With Traditional Rulers appeared first on Channels Television.

Jega Raises Fresh Concerns Over Elections

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega on Wednesday raised fresh concerns over the conduct of the rescheduled general elections. Jega noted that there are still some challenges that needed to be addressed with security agencies before the elections.

Jega, who spoke at a situation room dialogue session at Transcorp Hilton hotel in Abuja, said there are still a few security concerns hovering over the 2015 general elections. He stated that there are still concerns over the protection of ad-hoc officials for the elections.

The INEC Chairman had on Tuesday met with the President Goodluck Jonathan and service chiefs to brief them on the commission’s preparedness for the elections.

Read More:  The Cable

Jonathan Meets Jega, Security Chiefs In Decisive Meeting

President Goodluck Jonathan is locked in a decisive meeting with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chairman, Attahiru Jega and security chiefs at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Jega who said he would not resign in an interview yesterday is expected to brief the meeting of the Security Council on the latest in the commission’s preparation for the forthcoming general elections, the Punch Newspaper reported.

Security chiefs are also expected to brief the meeting on the success so far recorded in their anti-terrorism war and preparations for the elections also.

According to Punch, the meeting which started past 11 has in attendance Vice President Namadi Sambo; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Pius Anyim; Chief of Staff to the President, Gen. Jones Arogbofa (retd.); National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki; Attorney-General of the Federation, Muhammed Adoke (SAN); Minister of Police Affairs, Jelili Adesiyan; Minister of Interior, Mr. Aba Moro; and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Aminu Wali.

Others in attendance are Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh; Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Kenneth Minimah; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Usman Jibrin; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu; Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Suleiman Abba; as well as the heads of the Department of State Security and the National Intelligence Agency.

A definite pronouncement on the forthcoming elections is expected at the end of the meeting.

Now It Begins: OPC Factions Clash After Anti-Jega Protest

Following Monday’s protest by the Oodua Peoples’ Congress, OPC, factions within the group have risen up to dissociate themselves from the call for removal of Attahiru Jega, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

OPC/PDP/Nollywood anti-Jega protests in Lagos

The Gani Adams’ faction of the OPC, accompanied by members of the Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organization, took to the streets in Lagos to demand the removal of the INEC boss ahead of the March 28 general elections.

Mr. Adams said the rally was not partisan, but a call for Mr. Jega to be removed from office.

“What we protested for was the removal of Jega over the poor distribution of PVCs in the south, registration of underage in the north and creation of additional 30,000 polling units in the north,” Mr. Adams told PREMIUM TIMES after the protest.

The OPC members, armed with guns, pocket-knives, machetes, and charms marched from the Lagos-Ibadan expressway through Ikorodu road chanting anti-Jega songs.

Some of protesters harassed motorists and passers-by while others vandalized campaign posters of political parties, particularly those of the All Progressives Congress, APC.

Last Friday, the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, held similar protests across the South Eastern states of Anambra, Enugu, and Ebonyi where they accused Mr. Jega of incompetence.

On Sunday, the APC claimed it had uncovered a plot by the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, to use ethnic militias to protest for the removal of Mr. Jega.

But Mr. Adams accused the APC and Lai Mohammed, its National Publicity Secretary, of peddling falsehood, adding that Monday’s protest was peaceful.

“Nobody was attacked. Lai Muhammed should stop peddling lies against our members,” Mr. Adams said.

“Nobody touched their bill boards. It’s the most peaceful rally I have seen. Even they, APC, cannot hold a peaceful as successful rally ?as that. As a matter of fact, over 30 Nollywood stars took part in the rally including myself.”

“Against Yoruba interest”

Another faction of the OPC responded swiftly and angrily on Monday, accusing Mr. Adams of betraying the group and the Yoruba people.

“We, the members of the National Coordinating Council of the Oodua People’s Congress, OPC, the highest ruling body of the organization, wish to disassociate ourselves from the shameful, destructive, violent and reactionary activities of the Gani Adam-led team which occurred in Lagos today,” the group said in a statement.

“What was witnessed today in Lagos was the highest level of political violence sponsored and funded by certain elements in the Jonathan government.

“Gani Adams is on his own and does not enjoy the support of a large size of our membership spread across the country. He is working for the sponsors of violence against our people who want the March 28 elections not to hold. Unleashing terror on innocent citizens and killing them is not the way of democracy. It is not our idea of a people-oriented advocacy.”

In 2013, the Mr. Adams-led faction of the OPC secured a lucrative contract from the federal government to secure crude oil pipelines in the South West.

At the time, Mr. Adams justified the contract by claiming that President Jonathan had also awarded similar contracts to Niger Delta militants and that the OPC deserved its share.

“For a group that has been doing a lot of things for the society free of charge, it is not too much to apply for a security job,” Mr. Adams had said.

Monday’s meeting of the OPC faction was attended by Shina Akinpelu, Monsuru Akande, Sunday Adebayo, Kilanko Oladipupo, Kehinde Ogunyale, and Gbenga Eegunlusi.

In its statement, the faction accused Mr. Adams of being on “dubious project” and using the pipeline contract from the government as an excuse to recruit people to work for Mr. Jonathan and PDP in the South West.

“Gani Adams is acting against Yoruba interest. The compromises he has made amounts to selling the Yoruba to the present government for a piece of Pipeline contract to line his pockets,” the group said.

“OPC is not about pipeline contracts or any other contracts for that matter. The Yoruba interest is beyond contracts. We seek justice and fairness from the current government.”

The group called on Yoruba sons and daughters to join them in condemning Mr. Adams and his “anti-democratic tendencies.”

“We must renounce him and remind him he cannot sell the Yoruba race to Jonathan and PDP on the cheap. He also has no authority to speak on behalf of the Yoruba people,” they said.

“We pity those who rely on him to win votes. They will be sorely disappointed. Their investment is a bad one already. We reject today and always any attempt to use our organization and its members for narrow and selfish partisan purposes.

“We must remind them that the Yoruba people cannot be hoodwinked by sweeteners. No one should expect them to kow tow to an individual who is a Lilliputian in the political development and history of the Yoruba nation.”

While renouncing Mr. Adams and his activities, the group also renounced other Yoruba sons and daughters who are playing roles inimical to the welfare and interest of the South West.

“We call on our people to be vigilant politically at this time. Nigeria needs a new leadership, a new direction and a country that works.”

Source – sahara reporters

I’m Not Going Anywhere; I Will Conduct The Elections –Jega

Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, has dismisses all the pressures on him to resign from office.

The INEC boss said that protests and calls by some groups for his resignation would not deter him and his team from delivering free and fair elections to Nigerians.

He said, “I have heard of the several calls for me to be removed. In fact, I am aware that some groups have been protesting. Well, I have a job to do and I will do it… all of us at INEC are focused on ensuring that this election is free and fair.”

In a clear response to the Presidency-sponsored protest for his removal, Jega said “I have a job to do and it would be a disservice to Nigerians for me to resign.”

On issues of election day, he gave assurance that voters whose fingerprints might not be recognised by card readers would be allowed to vote after they must have filled incident forms.

Jega assured Nigerians that INEC had put in place, some stringent measures to prevent multiple voting in the elections.

He said the time lapse between the accreditation and voting exercise was aimed at restricting movement of voters from one polling unit to the other and ensuring that people did not vote more than once.

He said, “Multiple voting is unfortunately the factor that has bedevilled many voting exercises in Nigeria. This problem is posed by politicians who pay voters to vote many times or plan to snatch ballot boxes once the voting exercise starts.

“But the time lapse will ensure that voting takes place and ends in the various polling units at the same time and voters who want to engage in this fraudulent act will not be able to move around.”

Presidency Sponsors Anti-Jega Protests As The Plot To Remove INEC Chairman Thickens

An investigation by Sahara Reporters has revealed that President Goodluck Jonathan and his associates are masterminding a spike in protests against Attahiru Jega, the chairman of INEC. Numerous sources within the President’s circle disclosed that Jonathan has accepted the advice of hawkish members of his kitchen group to ask Professor Jega to proceed on terminal leave next week.

In order to prepare Nigerians and the international community for the imminent sack of Jega, Jonathan was said to have approved the distribution of N200million in each zone of the federation to mobilize protests against the henchman of the electoral body.

“Mr. President and his close advisers feel that Professor Attahiru Jega is now too stubborn to eliminate the use of permanent voter cards and electronic readers for the 2015 elections,” one source said.

The spate of orchestrated protests started last week on a small scale in Nigeria’s capital of Abuja, then moved to the southeast where members of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), staged several large-scale protests demanding Mr. Jega’s removal.

jega protest
One source at the Presidency told our correspondent that the Odua People’s Congress (OPC) staged a rally in collaboration with a pro-Jonathan group in Lagos today and a few more protests are planned for other southwest states at the urging of sponsors who are embedded in Aso Rock, Nigeria’s seat of power.

In addition, a group of ex-militants from the Niger Delta are expected to stage protests too against Jega.

Once the orchestrated demonstrations reach a crescendo with the ones in the Niger Delta, the Secretary to the Federal Government, Anyim Pius Anyim, is expected to write a letter to the INEC chairman ordering him to start his pre-retirement leave.

Our sources said the Jonathan administration has concluded that the removal of Mr. Jega from the electoral commission would present the only hope that the use of biometric voters card and electronic card readers would be abandoned.

Once Jega is sent on compulsory terminal leave, said our sources, Jonathan will replace him with one of the national commissioners who is open to the idea of doing away with electronic card readers.

Even though Jonathan has often listed the introduction of permanent voters cards (PVC) as part of his legacy, he and his closest associates have been pushing for weeks, covertly and overtly, to abandon the system. The president’s team has argued that too many voters were yet to collect their PVCs.

But INEC has countered that most of the PVCs have been picked up. In addition, Jega and members of civil society groups have defended the system, calling it a key to combating rigging and other malpractices that have plagued past elections in Nigeria.

Jega Says INEC Ready For Free, Fair, Credible Elections

The head of Nigeria’s electoral body said on Monday it was ready to conduct presidential and parliamentary elections in less than two weeks’ time, after the vote was delayed by security concerns.

Attahiru Jega told a meeting in the capital city Abuja that his Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had done “everything humanly possible” for a free, fair, credible and peaceful vote on March 28.

Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC,  Prof. Attahiru Jega

INEC has come under close scrutiny since last month when Jega was forced to postpone the February 14 general election on the grounds that troops could not provide adequate security on polling day.

Nigerian soldiers, backed by troops from Cameroon, Chad and Niger, are currently involved in a major offensive against Boko Haram, which has seized swathes of territory in Nigeria’s northeast.

The Islamist insurgency, which began in 2009, has killed more than 13,000 people and forced hundreds of thousands more to flee, raising the prospect that the displaced will be unable to vote.

Despite a series of claimed military successes, security fears remain over the safety of polling stations after an increase in bomb and suicide attacks in recent weeks.

Jega maintained that the election would be peaceful, despite the insurgency and election-linked violence, and said the six-week delay had given his organisation more time to prepare.

A week before February 14, INEC said that two-thirds (66.5 percent) of the 68.8 million registered voters had collected their ID cards, prompting claims that it was unprepared.

On Monday, Jega said 67.8 million cards had been produced and distributed to individual states, including to the internally displaced, who would be able to vote near camps in the north.

But he added: “The level of collection… nationwide is about 56 million out of these 68.8 million (81 percent).

“So, there are millions of cards out there that… people have not gone out and collected.”

President Goodluck Jonathan’s ruling party has raised concerns about the use of electronic card readers, claiming it is untested technology, as well as the rate of distribution of cards.

But Jega said the card readers, which scan fingerprints and record personal data against the electoral roll, will work and reduce the possibility of the persistent problem of fraud.

Cloned cards would not work, he said, adding that INEC had “cleaned” the electoral register since the last vote in 2011, removing over four million multiple registrations.

Jonathan is seeking a second term in office but has faced a strong challenge from the main opposition candidate Muhammadu Buhari, a former military ruler.

It Is An Election And Not War By Naufal Ahmad

A society that presumes a norm of violence and celebrates aggression, whether in the subway, on the football field, or in the conduct of its business, cannot help making celebrities of the people who would destroy it. Election is central to any democratic system, it allows ordinary citizens to choose who leads or represents them in governing their state, it also serves as a check on political leaders in the sense that they have to periodically seek the mandate of the people to either continue in office if the people are satisfied with them, or be voted out of office when the people are dissatisfied with their performances. It is through elections that they exercise their sovereign power, election is the yardstick for measuring the maturity of a democracy. A major cancer threatening our democracy is election violence. International Foundation For Electoral System (IFES) defined Electoral violence as “any act of threat of physical or psychological harm to a person or damage to property directly involved in an electoral process.” Political violence is one variant in the struggle for power in our democracy, since the return of democracy in Nigeria in 1999,the conduct of elections has been characterized by violence and wanton destruction of lives and properties,indeed electoral violence has caused division and stalemate in our developmental processes as a nation. _ If an election is characterized by violence it has the tendency of ushering a democracy into recession or eventual collapse, on the other hand a peaceful election enhances a democracy and consolidates a Nation.  Democracy in Nigeria is being threatened by violence along ethnoreligious lines, politicians desperate to stay  in power  stoke  the ethno-religious tension in Nigeria for political gains ahead of the 2015 elections. which poses a threat to Nigeria’s existence as a nation. Nigeria is one of the must ethnically and religious diverse places on earth with more than 300 tribes it’s therefore vulnerable to electoral and all other types of violence, we must therefore as politicians, as stakeholders, as citizens uphold the highest of virtues in our daily manifestation in order to maintain a peaceful atmosphere at this fragile stage of our democracy,we must learn from history,the case of South Sudan,the Hutu-Tutsi massacre, the Arab spring uprising, all these people are not half as diverse as Nigeria is if violence were to break it would bring double the damage it inflicted on those places aforementioned._ It has become clear that some politicians either due to sentiment of ignorance are trying so hard to force this country into violence either by action or by making dangerous statements around ethno-religios  lines,one governor was recorded referring to the opposition as “cockroaches”the word used by the Hutu against their Tutsi counterpart an incident that caused one of the worse massacres in human history claiming 800,000 lives, mostly innocent women and children._ One can’t help but notice the provocative actions taken by the incumbent PDP government to deliberately coerce Nigeria into violence  to achieve their political gains,the scandalous comments made by the vice president about the APC being an Islamic party would have caused mayhem in this country,desperation has caused them to use these emotive sentiments to mobilize votes the only time this “sentiments” become serious issues is when they want to stay in power it seizes to count as soon as the electoral process ends. Another fundamental issue that would have caused chaos was the unprecedented polls shift,an action seen by many as provocative,a deliberate attempt to coerce the country into violence in order to earn whatever legitimacy the government needed to declare a state of emergency that will permit them to stay in power, a plan that didn’t see the dawn of the day. In our present vigorous struggle for change, nothing  strikes so much fear into the heart of these cabals and their agents than that of the masses responding to the call to apply our final form of resistance, but we most do it positively and peacefully, we must weigh the pros and cons, taking in the end an informed decision that will liberate us safely. Nigeria has lost enough lives to insecurity, our valiant men and women of the military who died honorably defending us, and the over 13,000 innocent people mostly women and children whose lives were consumed by these bloodthirsty madmen called BokoHaram. As a country that went through a civil war, we all know the consequences of violence and what it inflicts to both the physical and mental state of a society. Beyond deaths and injuries, violence have serious lifelong scars physically and emotionally to the nation.  Nigeria cannot revert to violent struggle,we must exercise patience and stay vigilant of all the daily manifestations of our democracy, we must organize ourselves in preparation of the inevitable future of our beloved country. We all have roles to play in this  great quest of salvaging this great Nation,as individuals,as public office holders,as NGOs,CBOs,FBOs and community leaders as political parties.we must ensure an unconditional respect for the rule of law,ensure respect for the principle of transparency in the electoral processes by the electoral umpire,this impending election must be free and fair. engage in anti-violence campaigns aimed at educating the masses on the inevitable damage of violent activities in this fragile nation, sensitization of security agents involved in the electoral process too must be embarked upon. The future of this country depends solely on a peaceful and credible elections, injustice and peace cannot cohabit the same atmosphere, peace is in everyone’s best interest without peace there will be no country called Nigeria, without Nigeria there will be no country to call our own. Let peace reign

Naufal Ahmad


Views expressed are solely that of author and has no association with nor its associates

PDP Dissociates Self From Fayose’s Call To Sack Jega

The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party has dissociated itself from Fayose’s statement calling for the sack of INEC chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega.The party said the Ekiti state governor was just expressing his own opinion and not that of the party

Fayose had earlier called for the sacking of Jega, adding that if President Goodluck Jonathan decided to remove him, heaven would not fall.

The Deputy National Chairman of the Party, Prince Uche Sedondus told journalists in Abuja on Thursday.He said,

 “We are not fighting Jega. The opinion expressed by the governor of Ekiti State on the INEC chairman remains his own. He’s not speaking for the party .Never, nothing like that is even cooking. There is no plan to remove Jega. “He added that the party “has absolute confidence in INEC and its leadership.
“We won’t bribe voters to return the President into office. As a matter of fact, we have never bribed voters before, during or after elections,”

We Are Not Afraid Of Card Readers – PDP

The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday debunked insinuations that they were against the use of card readers for the forthcoming elections.

The party, however, insisted on adequate test runs of the card readers before deploying them for use, in order to avoid chaos.

The deputy national chairman of the PDP, Uche Secondus, who stated this yesterday while briefing newsmen, further boasted that the PDP would win the 2015 election comfortably.

Secondus, who said the PDP was ready for the 2015 elections, said it had decentralised its campaigns from the wards to the polling units, stressing that claims that it was afraid of the use of permanent voter cards (PVCs) and card readers were therefore propaganda by the APC.

While responding to allegations that the PDP was jittery over the use of card readers, Secondus said, “Not at all. You know this is the first time that the party is going to try this technology. I think that this misinformation by APC must be corrected. The PDP is not against card readers.

The PDP believes that INEC should test it and it should be in perfect condition, so that we don’t run into problems. So that on that day, we don’t have problems of it working in some areas and in other areas it won’t work. I mean these are human feelings acoss not just PDP, but the entire country.

“Since it is the first time we will adopt this technology, it should be in perfect condition so that people will not have cause to complain.

PDP’s Objection To Use Of Card Readers Confirms Intention To Rig Election – APC

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said that the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) objection to the use of card readers in this month’s rescheduled election confirms its accusations that the ruling party was doing all in its power to either prevent the election from holding or to rig it.

The party, in a statement issued in Lagos on Thursday by its national publicity secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, described as very curious the fact that the PDP, which had rushed to the press to deny the APC’s claims had turned around to confirm them.

APC said, ‘’At the press conference we addressed on Wednesday, which rattled the PDP and the Jonathan Administration so much, we listed the conditionalities of the PDP/Jonathan administration for holding the election: No PVCs, No Card Readers, No Jega and the fact that they want the military deployed to harass and intimidate voters.

“We mentioned ‘Card Readers’ at least three times during the press conference, and said they (PDP/Jonathan Administration) are doing everything possible to sabotage the machine and prevent its use.

“Both the spokesmen for the PDP and the Jonathan Campaign Organisation rushed to the press to deny any such ‘reprehensible’ plan. But a few hours later, the spokesman for the campaign organisation told an incredulous country that they would oppose the use of Card Reader, apparently after the spokesmen were overruled by their party.

“Obviously, these men are outsiders in their own party and it is now obvious that the opposition knows more about the inner workings of their party than they do.”

Four Parties Call for Jega to go on Terminal Leave

Four political parties have called for INEC Chairman, Attahiru Jega, to proceed on terminal leave. The group has warned that they will not participate in the March 28 and April 11 elections should the use of card readers not be suspended beforehand.

The group, comprising of the MEGA Progressive People’s Party, People’s Party of Nigeria, Alliance for Democracy and Advanced Congress for Democrats, has stated the reason for their decision being due to unprofessional behaviour and bad judgement exhibited on the part of Jega. The call comes just hours after an allegation made by the All Progressives Congress (APC) against the Government regarding the use of “satellite organs” from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to seek a fresh shift in elections.

It has been alleged that fifteen political parties and five presidential aspirants may pull out of the upcoming polls. The names of these have yet to be disclosed.

Read More: Naij

Reps Warn Against Jega’s Removal

The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a resolution warning the federal government of imminent danger that will lead to break down of law and order if the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega is removed from office before the March 28 presidential poll.

The House at plenary presided over by the Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, urged the federal government, political class and the security agencies not to interfere with the existing schedules of the general elections in the  interest of the nation.

The resolution was taken following a motion moved by the Chairman, House Committee on Justice, Ali Ahmad. Attempts by the PDP lawmakers in House to block the resolution was rebuffed by Tambuwal. When the motion was put to a voice vote by the Speaker, it was unanimously supported by members.

Read MorePunch

Anxiety as INEC Chairman, Attahiru Jega meets RECs on Wednesday

There were concerns in Abuja on Monday that some Resident Electoral Commissioners might pass a vote of no confidence in the Independent Electoral Commission Chairman, Attahiru Jega, on Wednesday.
Jega is expected meet with the RECs on the said date to assess the collection of Permanent Voter Cards by registered voters and the situation in communities recaptured from Boko Haram.
It was gathered that the   no confidence vote might be a prelude to Jega’s removal by the Federal Government.
A top member of the commission, who confided in our correspondent, said the RECs that are backing the plot to remove Jega are known government apologists.
“The meeting on Wednesday is most likely to be stormy. I say this because some resident commissioners are plotting to move against our chairman. They may pass a no confidence vote in him. But the chairman enjoys strong backing in the commission. Any plan to pass a vote of no

confidence in him will not work,” he said.

The PUNCH learnt on Monday that   Jega would demand from the resident commissioners   feedback on the rate of PVC collection in their states.
Our source   said INEC had noted the success recorded by the military in the North-East, particularly some communities recaptured from Boko Haram.
He said that some internally displaced persons in Borno and Adamawa states had started returning to their communities.
The source said that before the communities were recaptured, INEC had made provision for the IDPs to vote in their camps.
He explained that with some of them returning to their communities, the commission would reconsider its initial plan.
It was learnt that RECs from Adamawa and Borno states, would brief the meeting on the situation in the recaptured communities.
The source said, “Besides the reports we will get from security agencies, RECs from those areas will brief us on Wednesday on the situation in the communities. We will also get update on the collection of PVCs.”
Following the rescheduling of the   general elections, INEC on February 8 extended the deadline for collection of PVCs to March 8.
When contacted, the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman,   Kayode Idowu, said that Nigerians should be encouraged to collect their PVCs.
Idowu, who     declined to comment on the agenda of the Wednesday meeting, said that the number of those who had collected their PVCs had increased to 55,079,365.
“As of last weekend, the figure had risen to 55, 079,365. That is 80.02 per cent,” he explained.
The commission had on Friday said the total number of PVCs collected had risen to 54,327,747 (78.93 per cent)
When asked whether the meeting would discuss extension of the deadline for the PVCs collection, Idowu said registered voters should be encouraged to collect the PVCs.
On what INEC would do for people returning to recaptured communities, he said, “It is too early to say. The commission has planned to conduct voting for the IDPs in safer areas within their states. But if they are no longer displaced as we get closer to the election date, the commission will have to address that.”
Asked to comment on fears that the meeting might be used by pro-government RECs   to pass a vote of no confidence in his boss, Idowu replied,   “That is one conversation I will not get into please.”
Source: The Punch

No Plans to Remove Jega, Jonathan Reassures Nigerians

President Goodluck Jonathan has reassured Nigerians and the international community that he has no plan to sack the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Attahiru Jega, ahead of Nigeria’s general elections slated for March 28 and April 11.

Mr. Jonathan’s reassurance came amid speculation that the Federal Government, through the office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, is plotting to send Mr. Jega on terminal leave before the elections.

Mr. Jega’s tenure ends in June but there are cl?aims the administration plans to send him on a three-month pre-disengagement leave before the election.

The speculation were fuelled by allegations by the opposition All Progressives Congress and the anti-Jega posturing of the Peoples Democratic Party as well as groups and individuals rooting for Mr. Jonathan.

Read More: PremiumTimes

Why Jonathan & PDP Are Very Angry with Jega

There were revelations in Abuja on Monday on why President Goodluck Jonathan and the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, were angry with the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega.

A week-long investigation by PUNCH in Abuja showed that the President and his party are not happy with Jega over his insistence that the commission would use the Permanent Voter Cards for the election.

Apart from this, the President and the party were also angry that the commission was going ahead with its decision to use card readers.

The PVCs were used for the conduct of the governorship elections in both Ekiti and Osun states.

The commission has said that the card reader can only read PVC issued by INEC and that any person that shows up at the polling unit with a PVC not issued by INEC will not be able to vote.

It was learnt that the Presidency and the ruling party were not totally against the use of the PVCs, but they were not happy with the use of card readers.

A worker in the Presidency who spoke with PUNCH queried the insistence of INEC under the leadership of Jega to go ahead with the two items.

He said, “Now, what we are saying is that yes, the PVCs were used in both Ekiti and Osun governorship elections but the way and manner the PVCs are being distributed now is suspicious.

“Look at the figure of those who have collected from the northern part of the country and look at the figure from the southern part, where President Jonathan hails from.

“If the election is going to be by ethnic sentiment alone, you will know that our President has been defeated already. So, that’s the reason.

“Look at Ogun and Lagos states, which we all know are politically sophisticated. Why are the electorates not picking their PVCs? We are worried.”

In terms of PVCs collection, figures released by the commission indicated that Ogun State is lagging behind among all the states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory.

In the state, only 808,590 out of the 1,829,534 registered voters had collected their PVCs. This figure represents a mere 44.20 percent.

But the commission said that 1,387,401 PVCs had been delivered to the state.

Lagos State with 5,822,207 registered voters had recorded 63.44 percent of the PVCs collection. This shows that 3,693,355 of the cards had been picked by their owners.

But the commission said that 5,558,062 cards had been delivered for voters in the state.

This means that there are 1,864,707 PVCs yet to be picked by their owners in the state.

So, in all INEC is not to blame. People should go out and collect their PVCs. Simple!

Jega May Be Removed This Week?

There are indications that the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Attahiru Jega may be removed from office this week. Jega is expected to be prevailed upon to embark on a terminal leave prior to the end his tenure in June.

Jega’s removal is expected to open the door to appoint a new chairman, a national commisoner of INEC, Amina Bala Zakari, who would jettisoned the use of permanent voters cards and other anti-rigging technologies.

Jega’s removal is a major part of a strategy developed by President Jonathan’s team to ensure that they win the presidential and other elections at all cost.

Read More: Sahara Reporters

More Pressure Mounts On Presidency Over Jega

Pressure mounted, weekend, on the presidency not to compel Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega to proceed on pre-retirement leave as reportedly being canvassed by some concerned stakeholders in the polity.

The anti-Jega forces had been pushing the presidency to remove the chairman from office, a move that was last night described as dangerous by notable lawyers. The pressure came in the face of heightened tension in the commission over the alleged moves. The chairman’s five-year term comes to an end on June 30 and though he is qualified for re-appointment, the chances of such have become remote given recent allegations of bias against the chairman by campaign officials of President Goodluck Jonathan.

The mood at the headquarters of INEC, weekend, was that of resignation to fate, as most of the officials, adopted a ‘wait-and-see’ disposition over Jega’s fate following claims of surreptitious moves to force the chairman out of office ahead of the first of the national elections on March 28.

Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC,  Prof. Attahiru Jega

A top official of the commission told Vanguard, yesterday that they were still working with the hope that the elections would hold as rescheduled and that the chairman would be allowed to conduct it before going in June.

The tension followed claims by the All Progressives Congress, APC, Senate caucus of the discovery of a plot by the presidency to send Jega on pre-retirement leave as a way of clearing the way for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to emerge victorious in the forthcoming national elections.

PDP officials had in recent times kicked against the insistence of the commission to use the card reader and the Permanent Voter Cards, PVCs.

Among those who spoke against the alleged move to send Jega on pre-retirement leave were Prof. Itse Sagay, SAN, Mr Femi Falana, SAN, Chief Olisa Agbokoba, SAN, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN and Prince Orji Nwafor-Orizu. Chief Fredrick Fasheun, who is also a supporter of the second term aspiration of the president, also opposed any premature exit of Jega.

Constitutional lawyer, Professor Itse Sagay said that any attempt to remove Jega from office through what he called “political retirement” would set the country on fire.

In a telephone interview with Vanguard, Sagay said the INEC chairman cannot be removed from office at this time under the pretence of retirement on two grounds.

He said: “The appointment of Jega as INEC boss was ratified by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and his removal under the law must be ratified by two-third majority of the Senate.”

Besides, he opined that the appointment is political and that he is as such “not a typical civil servant who is expected to proceed on leave after spending 35 years in service or attained the mandatory retirement age. So any attempt to force him out of office through political means is an attempt to set the country on fire.”

APC Accuses Jonathan Of Planning To Remove Jega Next Week

?Chairman of INEC, Attahiru Jega, will be directed to proceed on terminal leave next week, APC senators caucus in the national assembly has said.

Speaking at a press conference at the national assembly complex in Abuja on Thursday, George Akume, former governor of Benue state and senate minority leader, who represents Benue west, said the APC have received information that the head of service would direct Jega to proceed on terminal leave next week.

The senators condemned the attempt to remove the INEC chairman under any guise, saying his removal would be tantamount to “subversion of the system”.

“Only dishonest politicians fear Jega as chairman of INEC. We have received information that next week Jega will be served a letter from the head of service directing him to proceed on terminal leave?. We wonder why the government wants to tamper with the current arrangement of INEC.”


The Secret Reason Why Jonathan Wants Jega To ‘Be Sacked’

The All Progressives Congress (APC) caucus in the Senate has raised the alarm over an alleged plot by the presidency to send the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Attahiru Jega, on terminal leave next week.

According to the leader of the caucus, Sen George Akume, the plan is aimed at ensuring that Jega will be removed to pave way for a more pliant person to take over so that the presidency can use him to achieve its agenda.

Speaking to Senate correspondents yesterday, Akume, who led other APC senators to a briefing in the National Assembly said, “we received information from very, very informed sources, very credible sources, that next week, the chairman of INEC will be served a letter by the office of the Head of Service directing him to proceed on terminal leave.

Whether the letter is from the Head of Service or the presidency, it doesn’t make sense”.

Noting that as a political appointee, Jega does not operate under civil service rules, the senators said the preparations for elections have gone too far for anyone to want to slow the process down with any unnecessary change.

“After bringing the issue of card readers, they are now trying to hang Jega. It won’t work”, the caucus stated, while adding that they will resist any attempt to undermine the credibility of the elections.”

Source – OsunDefender

76.15% of PVCs Now Collected –INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission has said that the number of people that have collected their Permanent Voter Cards has risen to 52,419,495.

The Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Mr. Kayode Idowu, who stated this in an interview with our correspondent in Abuja on Sunday, said the figure represented 76.15 per cent of 68,833,476 registered voters.

INEC had on Tuesday said that 52,275,367 people had collected their PVCs out of 68,833,476 registered voters.

Responding to questions from our correspondent, Idowu said, “The update I have with me now is for February 18 and it is 52,419,495 (76.15 percent).”

Idowu also stated that card readers would be deployed in 152,031 polling units across the country during the March 28 and April 11 elections, adding that INEC had procured 26,000 extra card readers.

“Card readers will be deployed at 152,031 voting points. But the Commission also has more than 26,000 spares,” he said.

According to him, ad hoc workers for the elections (excluding INEC members of staff and returning officers) are about 684,000.

He explained that the scheduled training for the ad hoc members of staff ended February 12 in readiness for February 14, the initial date for the presidential elections.

Idowu said because the elections had been rescheduled, there would be more extensive trainings, especially on the card readers.

According to the figures released by INEC on Tuesday,   Nasarawa State led other states in terms of the PVCs collection with 96.29 per cent of the 1,196,583 registered voters having their cards.

Coming second is Gombe State where 95.05 per cent of the 1,120, 023 voters had collected theirs.

Jigawa State came third with 93.20 per cent of the 1,831,276 voters receiving their PVCs as of Monday.

Jigawa and Katsina came fourth and fifth respectively.

While the percentage of the registered voters who have collected their PVCs in Jigawa stood at 93.20 per cent from 1,831,276 registered voters, that of Kastina was put at 92.68 per cent.

APC Writes Jega, Jonathan to Bar Soldiers From Security Supervision During Polls

APC wrote a letter to President Goodluck Jonathan and the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega asking him to give heed to the judgment barring the involvement of soldiers in elections.

In the letter, APC called the attention of the federal government to a judgment delivered on January 29, 2015 by Justice R.M. Aikawa of the Federal High Court, Sokoto and another by the Court of Appeal, Abuja, on February 16, 2015 which overruled the use of military in elections.

The letter read in parts, “I am sure all well-meaning Nigerians share your deep seated concern on the militarisation of our elections.

“It is therefore imperative your good office and commission ensure, henceforth, and until there is an enabling Act of the National Assembly, the court orders are obeyed and armed forces personnel are never again deployed in any form of security supervision of our elections.”

Read More:

Elections: No Guarantee on Election Date

Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, has said he can not guarantee the 2015 general elections will hold on the rescheduled dates in March and April.

Jega, who was before the Senate on Wednesday to explain the level of INEC’s preparedness for the elections, said only the service chiefs could guarantee the sanctity of the rescheduled polls in view of the security challenges facing the country.

Jega, who was grilled for about four hours by the Senate, said the security forces would be in a better position to answer the question on whether the elections would hold as re-scheduled or not. He said he could only give assurance on issues under his jurisdiction.

Read More: Punch

Election Postponement: Jega Says Any Further Delay is “Unconstitutional”

INEC head, Attahiru Jega, has said that any further postponement of Nigeria’s general elections beyond the rescheduled polling day of March 28 would be “unconstitutional”.

He said to the senate, “I don’t see how anybody can contemplate any extension beyond these six weeks because there is no constitutional grounds on which you can do that.” He further stated that, “Every Nigerian knows we want elections to hold… within a constitutional time frame.” adding that, “The security agencies are (made up of) patriotic Nigerians. Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt.”

But he added that a further delay “will only have to be unconstitutional and I don’t see how anybody can contemplate unconstitutional things”.

Read More:

Plot to Remove Jega Thickens

Reports say that there are ongoing plans to replace the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Attahiru Jega with a less independent-minded person.  Reports provides that the thinking in the Presidency is that Jega is too independent-minded and uncooperative despite being given the job on a platter of gold by the president’s men.

The plot is to forced Jega to comply with the civil service procedure by proceeding on his three months terminal leave with effect from March 1, this year since he is expected to retire on June 13.

Read More: Vanguard

Chief Edwin Clark, Others Demand Jega’s Resignation

Supporters of President Goodluck Jonathan have called for the resignation and arrest of the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega.

The Southern Nigeria Peoples Assembly, led by a one-time information minister, Chief Edwin Clark, made the demand at a press briefing in Abuja on Thursday.

Among those at the briefing were a former Minister of Information, Walter Ofonagoro; a former Governor of Anambra State, Dr. Chuwuemeka Ezeife; a former Commissioner in Bayelsa State, Chief Whisky Ayakeme; Dr. Cairo Ojugboh and Senator Femi Okunronmu.

Read More:

They are Trying to Remove Jega, Civil Group Alerts

A Coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) has alleged plots by government to sack the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega. The group also raised an alarm over plans to to have the elections shifted.

The plot according to the group is to declare INEC unfit to manage the elections, thereby leading to its postponement.

Saudatu Mahdi, who spoke on behalf of other members of the group, said those pushing for the postponement want to use the alleged lapse in the distribution of the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) as the reason why the elections should be shifted.

Read More:  The Nation

Card Readers Will Stop Impersonation At Feb 2015 Polls – INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has said the electoral body decided to introduce card readers for February elections in order to verify the rightful owners of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).

This was disclosed by Mr Abdulganiyu Bello, the Electoral Officer for Baruten Local Government Area of Kwara on Tuesday in Kosubosu at a meeting with stakeholders in the area.

He said the device would stop impersonation and voting by proxy during the general elections.

He called on the voting populace to cooperate with INEC officials in ensuring a hitch-free exercise.

“Let’s target peaceful electioneering; I want to urge politicians not to cause any disruption because you believe a particular place is a stronghold of opponents.

“The result in that place might be helpful in the eventual outcome,” he said.

Bello also said the commission would ensure that no polling unit had more than 750 registered voters.

Jega And Our Right To Vote By Femi Gbajabiamila

Human suffrage (the right to vote) is so fundamental and inalienable that it has found its way into many constitutions all over the world including ours. For hundreds of years, many and different classes of people, women, blacks etc. fought and died for this right. It is a proprietary and intellectual right as it is a medium of expression of political opinion and thought and it is all a citizen has that should never be taken away from him. Every citizen possesses that right to determine who he wants to govern or represent him. That freedom of expression can be found in Section 39 of the Nigerian constitution.

Mr. Chairman, I will take the liberty even at the risk of boring you to refer to several other provisions of the constitution which I believe you like me swore to defend and which is supreme to any law or guidelines the Independent National Electoral Commission may issue.

Mr. Chairman, it is common knowledge that the issuance of the Permanent Voter Cards for the 2015 elections has been at best shoddy. Many Nigerians stand the risk of not being able to exercise perhaps their most important civic responsibility. The old, young, male, female, rich and poor have cried out on their inability to collect their PVCs for various reasons none of which has anything to do with a failing or negligence on their part but on the part of INEC. It becomes illogical, illegal and even immoral for INEC by its guidelines to attempt to disenfranchise millions of Nigerians who are able, willing and determined to exercise their franchise. Mr. Chairman, all INEC has done is to inadvertently create room for suspicion. The Electoral Act in Section 16(1) states clearly that:

“The Commission shall design, cause to be printed and control the issuance of voters’ cards to voters whose names appear in the register” (emphasis mine).

In other words, the issuance of voter cards to registered voters is mandatory. Beyond the Act itself , let’s examine the provisions of the constitution as they relate to the right to vote. I do this, Sir, to underscore the point that INEC’s directive that only those with the PVCs will be allowed to vote can only pass constitutional muster if the PVCs are available and voters refuse to pick them up.

Section 77(2) of the constitution provides:

“Every citizen of Nigeria who has attained the age of eighteen years residing in Nigeria at the time of registration of voters for the purpose of election to a legislative house shall be entitled to be registered as a VOTER for that election.”

Section 132 (5) of the same constitution also provides:

“EVERY PERSON who is REGISTERED to vote at an election of a member of a legislative house, shall be ENTITLED to vote at an election to the office of PRESIDENT.” (emphasis mine)

I took the pains of regurgitating the provisions of the constitution of which you are all to familiar so as to drive home the simple point that no guideline of INEC can trump the provisions of the constitution as provided in section 1(3) of the constitution which says:

“If any law is inconsistent with the provisions of this constitution, this constitution SHALL prevail, and that other law SHALL to the extent of the inconsistency be void”

Therefore, Sir, I respectfully submit that your guidelines which seek to or have the potential of   disenfranchising many Nigerians due to no fault of their own remain void being inconsistent with our constitution. We must stop this incessant penchant of punishing Nigerians for the inefficiency or negligence of government. It happened during the fuel price hike and subsidy crisis and is happening now with the introduction of austerity measures due to economic mismanagement. We must not add this to the comedy of errors. Presently, there are over 30 million Nigerians yet to collect their PVCs, half of the registered number. Indeed, many communities and polling units actually have no records of registration of voters.

To make sure I am not misunderstood, Sir, I will stay just a little longer on the constitution by referring to Section 14 of the constitution which states:

(1)“The Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be a State based on the principles of DEMOCRACY and social justice

(2) It is hereby accordingly declared that

(a)      SOVEREIGNTY belongs to the PEOPLE of Nigeria from whom government through this constitution derives ALL its powers and authority;

(b)      The security…and

(c)      The participation of the people in their government SHALL be ensured in accordance with the provisions of this constitution”

Mr. Chairman, nothing can be clearer than the above provisions. Sovereignty belongs to the people not to the National Assembly, not to the Presidency and not to INEC. You MUST review your guidelines. Nigerians who want to vote must not be stopped but must be encouraged. Democracy in its classic dictionary definition is government of the people, for the people and by the people. This is echoed in Section 14 above. If we disenfranchise and stop people from voting, how can the resultant government be described as by the people and how can ours be described as a democracy?

Never before have we seen Nigerians so energised and eager to vote either for change or for continuity. The most commonly used electoral language today is every vote must count but pray tell how do you count the votes that have not been cast? Surely, the votes must be there before they can be counted.

For your information, I have since last year filed a matter in court for adjudication on the constitutionality and proprietary of your guidelines but I am not confident that the case will be determined before February 14. I have also successfully tabled and argued a motion just a few days ago on the floor of the House of Representatives for a review of your guidelines. However, so as to leave no stone unturned and so as to make assurances double sure, I have decided to appeal directly to your sense of duty and love of country, to do the needful to ensure all eligible Nigerians vote in February and determine whether or not they want change or they want continuity. Let Nigerians take their destiny into their own hands. If you insist on the PVCs, then ALL registered voters must collect their cards before February 14.

I plead passionately on behalf of my constituents, Lagosians and Nigerians and I believe from the little I know of you, I trust you will consider this plea with patriotic zeal and fervour.

– This Best Outside Opinion was written by Femi Gbajabiamila is the Leader of the Opposition, House of Representatives

Views expressed are solely that of the author and do not represent the views of nor its associates

INEC Approves 88 Election Observers For 2015 Polls

The Independent National Electoral Commission has approved 88 observer groups to participate in the 2015 general elections scheduled to begin on February 14 with the  Presidential and National Assembly polls.

The governorship and House of Assembly elections will hold on February 28, 2015).

INEC said  this was sequel to the compliance with the requirements and guidelines issued by the Commission for accreditation of observers.

It said in a statement on its website on Thursday night that groups were to obtain and complete form EPMC 02 for the elections from the Elections and Party Monitoring Department, INEC Headquarters, Maitama, Abuja, between 8am and 4pm from Monday to Friday, starting from January 15 to 26, 2015.

The commission added that in order to ensure prompt and efficient processing of ID cards, it called on all the accredited observer groups to compile the photographs of their members with the names and submit hard and soft copies to the commission before January 26.

“Please note that distribution of observer kits (including ID cards for individual observers) will be done by the EPM Desk officers at INEC state offices between February 10 and 13, 2015,’” the statement added.

Elections May not Hold in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe – Jega

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, may have soft pedaled on its insistence that elections will hold in the troubled states of the Northeast despite sustained state of insecurity in the region, as the Commission’s Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega has expressed fear that elections may eventually not hold in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states if the attacks on Permanent Voter Card (PVCs) centres are sustained by the insurgents.

This fear was expressed yesterday by Prof. Jega at a forum organized by the African Policy Research Institute at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.

The INEC boss stated that unless there is a significant improvement in the security situation in the North-East, the general elections may not hold in the area.

Read More:

Buhari’s Qualifications: Go To Court If You’re Not Satisfied, INEC Tells PDP

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has reacted to the claims of complicity levelled against it by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over the controversy surrounding the educational qualifications of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari, restating that the commission has no powers to disqualify any candidate sent to it by the political parties and has advised the PDP to challenge Buhari’s candidature in court.

INEC, which was responding to the allegations made by the PDP presidential campaign spokesman, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, said if the ruling party feels so strongly about the matter, “it knows what to do”.

Speaking on the issue on Sunday, INEC’s Director, Voter Education and Publicity, Mr. Wale Uzzi, and its Director, Legal Services, Mr. Ibrahim Bawa, stressed that the commission has no constitutional power to disqualify any candidate presented to it by the political parties.

According to Uzzi, “In line with Section 31 of the Electoral Act, the commission has no powers to disqualify any candidate whose name has been submitted to INEC.

“This is the power of the law and it is expected that a political party in the calibre of the PDP should know this aspect of the provision of the law.

“If the PDP feels strongly about this matter, it knows what to do. It should take him to court and that is the only option. If any political party is aggrieved and is serious about it, the only option available is the court.”

Read More:

Rescuing Nigerians From Cul-De-Sac By Olukoya Obafemi

Holistically, this article is a well-intentioned moralist polemics against the prejudice and stereotyped blanket assertions which discusses problems instead of seeking a structured solution to the identified problem. In that spirit, this article will evaluate the validity of the objective and consequently posit a remedial conclusion.
Therefore, here goes.
Like the biblical figure- David, who was the youngest of his siblings, God told Samuel to anoint him as the king of Israel, rather than the tall and handsome Saul. In a likewise vein, Gen Olusegun Obasanjo and “Co” chose to through their weights behind the acclaimed shoeless, humble looking man from Otueke, ignoring the tall and handsome giants of our contemporary politics. Ignoring antecedent, core values and never demanding credentials. However, the romantic notion that the shoeless man will step up to the plate did not last 100 day before the place of pedigree and nostalgic credentials in choosing a candidate started being the loud voice over the supposed decorum of Aso Rock. Nowadays, talking about the ineptitude that followed the crass perpetuated Obasanjo and co now grates the eardrums with so much insipidity. As it is now palpable to even the blind. Only hedonist whose remedial vision has been blurred by cynicism will hold a negative opinion to this truth. Hence, problem one is identified.
It is hardly surprising however, that history plays an irreducible role in perpetuating the canonicals by means of its narrative structure. It is the bridge which provides the synthesis between the formal and the later, without which “progress” will only pass for being called pseudo. That brings Musa Yar ‘Adua of blessed memory into this article. Despite the brutal cleft of the state of his health, he still gave his best while in office. This is Palpable by the omniscient arrest of the Niger Delta unrest and the reduction of fuel pump price- to mention a few. Our beloved incumbent president Goodluck Jonathan is the legatee of such legacies, but he has rather proven to be an imprudent tender. His first claptrap being the removal of subsidy which hiked the fuel price his predecessor reduced. Albeit demanding such Eldorado of him, he shouldn’t render such good legacies of his predecessor intransitive. Of course, no identity is ever complete in life however, it is only through fantasy that the lack can be covered and the illusion of fullness can be achieved, but GEJ never even articulated such transition. Therefore, problem two identified.
Still on the biblical figure David– the commander in chief of the armed forces, the only time he chose to circumvent his legitimate jurisdiction- duty of protecting the citizen- terror was brought upon Israel. This led to his most grievous sin- having an affair Bathsheba- the wife of one of his most loyal soldier. This allegorical moment graduated from being just an abstraction to becoming pivotal moment in the history of Israel. In the long-term, this dereliction of duty led to the division of the kingdom into Judah and Israel. However, history shows how its abstract system of construct links with empirical realities. Meanwhile, in our contemporary scenario, the command of the presidency has been streamlined into the constitution. It is simplified into the simple act of applying the constitution. They are no longer expected at war front, such prowess is no longer demanded of them. However, back to the context, President Jonathan has consistently circumvented the priori of his office- the protection of the citizen- as the commander in chief of the armed forces. This circumvention has led to the death of ‘thousands’ of innocent souls under this administration. Plebeians have being divided along ethnic and religious lines, living in the full realisation of their social, cultural and religious boundaries. Such ambivalent status of the government has colonised every available negative space in terms of division of the citizenry. Furthermore, problem three is identified.
Generally, if we will let epistemology be our methodology for critique, then we will realise the dire and grim facing Nigeria is more structural than being monotonous. The entire system needs purging but, the bulk of the culpability will always stop at the table of president. In the same manner a fish will never be forgiven for its ineptitude to swim; as much as tree-climbing prowess is not expected of it. These take this article to the point of scrutinizing the agenda president Jonathan promised when he was campaigning in 2011. For the power sector- he promised to make power stable by 2015, and reduce the use of generator by citizens to once in a week. Six years later today, has the agenda gone beyond verbal? As for the economy- he promised to create 1.5 million jobs in 2years, and transform the economy within 4years. This requires no further scrutiny; the job creation is visible to the blind and audible to the deaf. As for Transformation of the economy- of course, the transformation has now plummeted the economy to the lowest of nadir where Naira is now one of the most useless currencies in the world and poverty has won the struggle for the hegemony of universality. The other agenda he promised are available at Check and scrutinize the list before you plead brut as the seer across your brow. As Yoruba people will say “ka soro, ka babe ni iyi omo kunrin”. Consequently, problem four identified.
In the words of Joseph-Marie – “Every country has the government it deserves” and “In a democracy people get the leaders they deserve.” The Nigerian citizenry seem to give colossal credence to this creed, holistically. The passivity we the citizen are showing seems too gargantuan. Our agitations are always short lived or rather, intransitive. 20billion was missing, we were agitated, but where is the agitation today? Removal of fuel subsidy led to mass revolt, where is the revolt today? Over 200 Chibok girls were kidnapped, we gathered in masses, where is the gathering today? NHIS recruitment killed many young Nigerians, we were angered and took to the street demanding the removal of Abba Morro, where is the anger today? We treat situations with specificity and render the universality of the angst intransitive. There are 65million young people that can effect a change, but then: the tentativeness of our agitations and the amorphousness of our stand have brought us thus far. Furthermore, problem five is identified.
Conclusively, owing to the methodology of the article, without much garrulousness, this paragraph will posit some schemata which can rescue Nigeria from its palpable cul-de-sac. The array of problem identified here are just few of the epidemic struggling for supremacy in Nigeria. Moreover, the above problems are the ones I consider primary, with which every other problems including corruption and poverty are the centrifugal protégé. Therefore, now that Nigeria seems to have attained the cusp of cul-de-sac, the kernel of the rescue lays with us the citizens. It is high time we distorted the high pitch of our snoring and unsettle our perpetual slumber. Let’s pull every string that can restore our country back to its in situ. We should pick up our PVCs and vote a candidate whose credential is the voice over his/her silence. A candidate whose antecedent has proved he/she marshals his/her word. Let us vote with the phenomena which radiate how much we have suffered in the last years. Let’s vote a candidate that will not blame his woes on the opposition. Vote a candidate that will make protection of the citizen the priori of his office. Vote a candidate that can boast of sustainable schemes and projects, not the one that boasts of trains as 6 years’ achievements. Let’s rekindle the molten magma which is nearly a dead igneous in us. Let’s us realise the power within our capacity as stipulated in the constitution (Section 14, subsection (2) Article a), sovereignty belong to us- the people. Let’s contest every seizure of rationality and take a stand against every pseudo-cognitive. Not only to save us-the present, but also generations unborn.
By Olukoya Obafemi
Architect, Pragmatist, Egalitarian, Teacher
Follow @arcfemi on twitter

Articles on are solely authors opinion

We Won’t Postpone Feb Polls — INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, yesterday, rebuffed entreaties to postpone next month’s round of elections, saying it was financially and mentally set for the polls.

The commission, nevertheless, affirmed that the go-ahead for elections in the troubled Northeast would be given by security agencies. Also yesterday, the Inspector General of Police, Sulieman Abba, vowed to deal with errant politicians who heat up the polity through negative utterances, saying he would show to them that no one could be above the law.

The assertions at a workshop for the training of security agencies ahead of the general elections came as INEC said the conduct of election in the troubled Northeast would be determined by the counsel of security agencies. Chairman, INEC Electoral Training Institute, Dr Ishmaeal Igbani, who spoke on behalf of the commission in giving the readiness of the commission for the polls said the commission was comfortable with the fund it has at its disposal at the moment.

He said: “Anytime there is election in Nigeria, there is always some form of tension. I have been around for a while and I don’t think it is something new. I don’t think people should be afraid. But it is also essential that we get ready just in case.” Lagos pastor, Tunde Bakare had last Sunday called for the postponement of the elections for the purpose of allowing tension among political gladiators to ebb. According to him, “it is also very important that we have peaceful elections, it is also important that voters come out to vote without fear. It is also important that the personnel who will work for us and the environment itself is peaceful and for it to be peaceful, it is important for the security agencies to be alert and ensure that they do what they are supposed to do.”

He said a minimum of 50 personnel were being trained, adding: “We call this cascade training. After this training of trainers who will now go to their various security organisations to train others and so forth which will go down the line in that way. More will be trained in a more cheaper way.“


41 Days to Presidential Poll: Millions in South may not Vote

Shambling and shambolic!  Those are the words that best describe what has become of the distribution and collection of the Permanent Voter Cards, PVCs, which represents a very significant aspect of Nigeria’s electoral process.

Indeed, these are not the best of times for Professor Attahiru Jega, National Chairman of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

With just some 41 days to the most crucial in a series of elections, that is the presidential election, fresh facts emerging suggest that millions of Nigerians may be barred from participating in the process.

This is so because the sine qua non for voting, which is the PVC, is not in the hands of many Nigerians – without it, they cannot participate in the voting exercise for the different categories of election.

By the same token, a number of Nigerians have arrogated to themselves the role of loco parentis.

That is not all.What this means, strangely, is that whereas the Electoral Act and the guidelines provide that individuals are to collect their PVCs in person, duly signed for after due identification as the bonafide owners of the PVCs, some District Heads in some states of the North are being allowed to collect and warehouse PVCs on behalf of their wards in the district.

The real danger for Nigeria’s crucial electoral process is that Jega’s INEC, either through sheer incompetence, egregious design or just as a victim of the now too familiar but retrogressive malaise afflicting the nation known as the Nigerian factor, an exercise that should ordinarily bring Nigeria closer to electoral civilization, has been made to look like rocket science through the instrumentality of an unscrupulous engagement.

The data in possession of Sunday Vanguard shows that the PVCs’ collection, an exercise which the All Progressives Congress, APC, leadership alleged was being manipulated by Jega’s INEC and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as well as the Presidency, to achieve an expected end, has been orchestrated in such a way that, on balance, there are more PVCs in the hands of the electorate in the North than those in the South – as at today.

Sunday Vanguard learnt that the PVCs collection exercises across the country, an engagement that was fraught with inconsistencies, disorganization and confusion, did not meet the expectations of even the leadership at the Commission.

Although, after the public dramatization of the collection of PVCs, prospective voters, who did not get their PVCs, were expected to proceed to the local government offices of INEC to collect them, many have come back with tales of disappointment.

Done in phases, that aspect of the electoral process demonstrated to a large extent the level of unpreparedness of INEC for next month’s elections.

Sunday Vanguard’s usually dependable source at the INEC headquarters disclosed that one of the major problems, which have given rise to this present state of stasis, is Jega’s decision to constantly micro-manage the process.  Whereas Jega’s insistence of micro-management may be hinged on his intention to deliver free and fair elections, the enormity of the workload is such that cannot permit micro-management but delegation. And even in instances where Jega was said to have delegated, the individuals he has put in charge have almost always had an agenda allegedly hinged on sectional, primordial and prebendal considerations.

A clear indication of this played out when one of such individuals in the Commission came up with a sharing formula for 30,000 additional Polling Units, PUs, whereby the North got over 21,000 leaving the South with just a little over 8,000.

The consequence of the needless time, logistics and defence of the lopsided allocation of the PUs, is what has now come back to haunt Jega’s INEC with the shambles that the PVCs allocation has become.

Sunday Vanguard was informed that Jega has been having and is still having sleepless nights because of the developments surrounding the PVCs collection.

Though some officials of the Commission continue to put up a bold face, sometimes lying about the status of the percentage of collection so far, there is a glaring mismatch with reality.

The latest data as procured from INEC shows that with the round of PVCs collection at the PUs across the country, the collection status are as follows:

South East, 59.22 Collection

South South, 66.66 Collection

South West, 43.15 Collection

North Central, 69.89 Collection

North East, 81.09 Collection

North West, 80.18 Collection

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INEC To Train Security Operatives Before 2015 Elections — Jega

Ahead of the 2015 general elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said on Wednesday in Abuja it was working closely with security agencies to provide additional training of security officials on election duty.

Its Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the additional training became necessary because election duty “requires specialised training“.
Jega said the additional training would be on a train-the-trainer basis whereby officers trained would train other officers in their various organisations ahead of the 2015 general elections.
“In the Inter-agency Consultative Committee on Election Security, we have severally discussed the need to ensure that security agencies are well trained.
“A number of programme of activities has been designed for the training of security officials on election duty.
“Security officers are trained on their jobs of maintaining law and order but election duty also requires specialised training.
“As I speak with you, the Electoral Institute of INEC is working closely with many security agencies trying to organise what we call a training of trainers so that each organisation will send some people, who will be trained at our institute, so that they can go back and train others in their own organisations.
“So, I want to assure you that everybody – both INEC and the security agencies – have seen the need to provide additional training for security personnel who are going to be involved in elections.
“And a lot of measures are being put in place to ensure that is done before the 2015 general elections.“
The INEC chairman said the commission was working hard to see that the salaries and wages of staff members of the commission were improved and made commensurate with the “special“ and “risky“ nature of their jobs.
“Since we came in as a new commission, we have done our best to improve the welfare of our workers.
“The only thing we have not been able to do is to increase their salaries; and that one is difficult because salary and wage review is normally done at a higher systemic level.
“But we have been pushing and dialoging with government, trying to argue that INEC staff members discharge special, risky responsibilities and therefore deserve special salary scale.
“And we are doing our best; our hope is that sooner or later we will be able to have a separate salary structure for the staff members of the commission.
“But even before we are able to get that we have been doing everything possible to improve their welfare and their conditions of work.’’
He said the new INEC management had given some of the commission’s offices a facelift.
Jega said the headquarters of the commission had been decongested by renting offices nearby.
He said, “whatever we can do within the limit of our resources and permissible by law, we have been able to do and will keep on doing.
“The welfare of our workers is primary and whatever is possible within the law we will do so that they can be contented and motivated to give their best to the country.’’

Source – Daily times Ng

I Would End Boko Haram Insurgency If Elected, Rochas Okorocha Promises

Presidential aspirant on platform of All Progressives Congress, Gov. Rochas Okorocha of Imo, has promised to stop insurgency in north east if elected president of Nigeria in 2015.

Okorocha made the promise when he paid courtesy visit to the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) in Kaduna on Wednesday.

He added that he would tackle other problems in the area of education and youth unemployment. “These are responsible for the country’s insecurity

“I have the burning desire to change Nigeria for good; my intention to become the president of the country is for the benefit of the masses and not for personal gain.

“This is because God has blessed me”, he said.

He added that his mission was to solicit the support of the forum toward the success of his presidential ambition.

“My coming to the ACF is to reaffirm my relationship with the north because the people of the region gave me the platform to be educated.

“It is also to relate and make my intention known to the north that I will be running for the post of president in the country come 2015.

“Though ACF is not a political group, but I want you to see me as a son. My records in Imo state are such that can guarantee me a second term as a governor, but as a president, I will do more for the country at large.’’

– Source –

Jega Pledges for #VoteNotFight


INEC chairman, Attahiru Jega signs to pledge for #VoteNotFight. The hashtag meant to promote a non violent election in 2015 has been soliciting for support from well meaning Nigerians to sign in and pledge for #VoteNotFight.

Super star celebrity, Tu Face Idibia shared some photos of the Chairman’s signing and also revealed a new voter card reader, which will be used for the upcoming elections, with USAID Nigeria Misson Director, Mr. M. T. Harvey observing.

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