By Ishaq Dan-Imam, Lokoja
In an effort to speed up the public response to the collection of the permanent voters cards (PVCs) by registered voters in kogi state, north central Nigeria, kogi state office of the Independent national electoral commission (INEC) has extended the period for the collection of the permanent voters cards from December 12th to January 22nd.
This follows the low rate of PVCs collection in the state despite INEC’s persistent calls on the citizens to come forward for the PVCs, few months to the general elections.
About 250,000 permanent voters cards (PVCs) have been issued to voters in the local government offices of INEC in kogi state still waiting to be collected by the registrants who are yet to turn up for their PVCs.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner, (REC) in Kogi State, Dr Hale Gabriel Longpet indicated that the Commission is worried by the poor rate of PVC collection in the state as about 160,966 uncollected Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCS) are still with the state INEC.
Dr Longpet told a meeting of Media and civil society stakeholders in Lokoja on Thursday that Kogi State, which has about 1.9million registered voters, has not improved significantly in PVC registration and rate of collection ratios based on INEC’S data on the voters cards distribution and collection figure.
He said as at 2nd of December 2022, out of 154,984 voters cards which were produced for voters who registered in 2019, only 13,689 were collected while 141, 295 have not collected their 2019 voters card.
For the fresh registration between 2021 and June 2022, Longpet said the commission expected 38,505 people to come and collect their permanent voters card, but unfortunately, 18,924 voters have collected their PVCs while 19,671 is yet to be uncollected.
The REC said “I have always used every opportunity to express my displeasure over the poor collection of PVCs in Kogi State. We have 32,508 people who transferred their PVC’s from one polling unit to another. But so far, we have seen only 5,977 who have come to collect those transferred PVCs. And You will agree with me that it is not an encouraging figure.”
The Resident Electoral Commissioner implored the media and CSOs in the state to take the message of INEC to the public on the need for improved turnout for collection of the PVCs in all nooks and crannies.
“We have started sensitizing people, engaging Civil Society Organization, Media to start helping people to come and collect their PVCs,” he added.
Dr Longpet said, “while we hope for improvement in the rate PVCs collection in the state, we beg the good people of Kogi state who have not yet collected, to please come out in large number to collect their PVCs without further delay within the period of extension in our collective interest for participatory democracy, free and credible elections which is dependent on use of our PVCs.”
He assured Nigerians that the Commission is prepared to deliver transparent, free and fair elections devoid of electoral manipulation as the introduction of BVAS by INEC aimed at putting an end to electoral malpractice.
EU reports: LP says FG is feebly adopting face saving measures
***EU only hit the nail on the head
The leadership of the Labour Party has countered the Federal Government of Nigeria for discrediting the European Union’s conclusion on the 2023 General Election wherein it faulted the modalities by which the conclusion was reached.
It reiterated what it believed as the accurate testament of the European Union’s conclusion on the 2023 general elections which merely hit the nail on the head.
A statement by the National Publicity Secretary Obiora Ifoh said,
“Eropean Union’s Conclusion on the 2023 general elections are nit Jaundiced but accurate Testament of the outcome of the FG and INEC alliance to change the will of the electorate.”
“We see this face-saving measure by the Federal Government which is coming days after the submission of the report as feeble and medicine after death.
“It will interest the government to note that the European Union’s report is only one out of numerous submissions by other international Observers who have described the outcome of the election as a sham and an exercise that did not reflect the will of the majority of Nigerians.
“Labour Party stands by the position of the EU observation mission. We have always said that this election was massively rigged in favour of the APC and their candidate.
“What the FG is saying is just an afterthought and a shameless effort to mask the obvious. Even the blind can see, the deaf can hear and they know this election was manipulated.
“Huge pieces of evidence abound for even the deaf and the blind to hear and feel. We are only hoping that the judiciary will dispense justice without fear or favour in the interest of the nation and posterity.
“Nigerians already know the true winner of the 2023 presidential election and no amount of slandering, denial, or rebuttal can change the fact that the party in power has no mandate of the electorate.
“We must also note that whatever position the INEC has taken is with active connivance with the Federal Government to deny the electorate and it clearly shows that INEC is not in any way independent.
“The Commission’s action is at the whims and caprices of the government and we know it. But Nigerians looking to the Judiciary for justice. That’s where we stand.”
FG tackles EU over report on 2023 general elections
The Federal Government has countered the European Union’s report on the 2023 general elections, describing the conclusions therein as “jaundiced”.
The Special Adviser to President Bola Tinubu on Special Duties, Communications and Strategy gave the indication in a statement on Sunday.
“We urge the EU and other foreign interests to be objective in all their assessments of the internal affairs of our country and allow Nigeria to breathe,”
According to him, the February 25, 2023 presidential election was “clearly and fairly” won by Tinubu, the then candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC).
He also advised that the EU allow Nigeria to breathe and not meddle in the affairs of the country.
“We find it preposterous and unconscionable that in this day and age, any foreign organisation of whatever hue can continue to insist on its own yardstick and assessment as the only way to determine the credibility and transparency of our elections,” he said.
He said the presidency was not unaware of the “machinations of the European Union to sustain its, largely, unfounded bias and claims on the election outcomes”.
Alake further stated that there is no substantial evidence provided by the EU or any foreign and local organisation that is viable enough to impeach the integrity of the 2023 election outcomes.
“We would like to know and even ask EU, how it reached the conclusions in the submitted final report with the very limited coverage of the elections by their observers who, without doubt, relied more on rumours, hearsay, cocktails of prejudiced and uninformed social media commentaries and opposition talking heads,” he stated.
“We have many reasons to believe the jaundiced report, based on the views of fewer than 50 observers, was to merely sustain the same premature denunciatory stance contained in EU’s preliminary report released in March.
“We strongly reject, in its entirety, any notion and idea from any organisation, group and individual remotely suggesting that the 2023 election was fraudulent.”
The media aide said Nigeria has put the elections behind, and Tinubu is facing the task of nation-building.
“As a country, we have put the elections behind us. President Tinubu is facing the arduous task of nation-building, while those who have reasons to challenge the process continue to do so through the courts.”
On June 27, 2023, the EU presented its report on the 2023 elections in Nigeria to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The EU said the election exposed enduring systemic weaknesses and therefore signaled a need for further legal and operational reforms to enhance transparency, inclusiveness and accountability.
The EU also identified six areas for improvement in Nigeria’s electoral process moving forward.
Some of the key areas listed by the Mission are ambiguities in the law, the establishment of a publicly accountable process for the selection of the INEC members, ensuring real-time publication of results as well as access to election results.
It also highlighted the need for protection for media practitioners while decrying the discrimination against women in elective and appointed positions as well as impunity regarding electoral offences.
Okumagba expresses confidence in Tinubu to initiate inclusive national reconciliation
***Says, the president has capacity to confront insecurity with reforms
***Applauds his agenda poised to bringing about a dawn of a new era
Prominent leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Delta State, Olorogun Bernard Okumagba has expressed the confidence in the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s newly inaugurated government to bring about lasting peace and prosperity to Nigeria through an inclusive national reconciliation process.
Okumagba who is also a member of the Governing Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), said the president has the capacity to remarkably focus on confronting insecurity through a reform of the sector; growing the economy; and tackling multi-dimensional poverty, which would boost Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)
By so doing, he said the new government will create a robust middle class that will drive our Country’s economic rebound under his watch.
In a Press Statement, Olorogun Okumagba, a former Delta State Commissioner for Finance, also reckoned that the new President who has an established reputation as a bridge builder, a true progressive, an astute believer in true federalism, and who has over the years sacrificed to ensure the sustenance of democracy in the country, will bring these remarkable skills and attributes to bear in renewing the hopes of Nigerians for a more prosperous nation.
These were contained in a statement he issued to congratulate President Bola Tinubu (GCFR) and Vice President Kashim Shettima (GCON) on their momentous inauguration as the 16th President, and Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He wished them every success in guiding our country towards stability, true democratic governance and economic development.
Reacting to President Tinubu’s inaugural address, aptly captioned “THE NIGERIAN IDEAL”, shortly after being sworn-in by the Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, Olorogun Okumagba eulogised the President for his firm and unequivocal commitment to “progressive good governance in furtherance of the Nigerian ideal” succintly captured in his five governance principles.
The principles that will guide his administration as outlined by President Tinubu include “governing according to the constitution and the rule of law; to defend the nation from terror and all forms of criminality that threaten the peace and stability of our country; and to remodel our economy to bring about growth and development through job creation, food security and an end of extreme poverty.”
Okumagba also applauded President Tinubu’s promise to address the nation’s economic problems and his directive to the monetary authorities to make monetary policy to be more business friendly and work towards a unified exchange rate.
Okumagba stated his deep appreciation of the significant role President Tinubu has played in seeking solutions to the political and economic challenges assailing our nation. Olorogun Okumagba recalls that President Tinubu’s remarkable transformation of Lagos State as Governor between 1999 and 2007, and the sustenance of a succession pipeline has since made Lagos the state of choice to live in, work, and play.
In tune with the mood of the nation for “renewed hope” of a more prosperous and united nation, Olorogun Okumagba re-affirmed his best wishes for the success of the important work that lies ahead.
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