Lagos Records Highest Candidates For NCEE – NECO

necoThe National Examination Council (NECO) has said that Lagos State recorded the highest number of candidates sitting for the 2015 National Common Entrance Examination (NCEE) with 25,437 pupils, while Borno State had the least with 55 candidates.

The low number of candidates in Borno may be connected with insecurity in the state.

Some 200 girls writing their final year examinations in a Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok were abducted by members of the Boko Haram sect on April 14, 2014.

The girls are still missing.

But the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Mr MacJohn Nwaobiala, said adequate arrangements were made for candidates in states like Borno, Adamawa and Yobe where there are security challenges.

Mr Nwaobiala added that candidates in states where supplementary elections took place were moved to other centers that are not affected by the poll.

The examination took place in 420 centers across Nigeria and the results are expected to be released on Wednesday April 29, 2015.

Mr Nwaobiala stated that about 24,072 candidates would be offered admission into the Unity Schools based on their present carrying capacity.

Over 86,000 students sat for this year’s NCEE examination and they stand a chance of gaining admission into the 104 Federal Government Unity Colleges across the federation.

Clerics Commend INEC, Others For Peaceful Conduct Of Polls

election-Poll-updateClerics in Imo State under the aegis of Nigeria Baptist Convention has commended the Independent National Electoral commission (INEC) and security operatives, for the peaceful conduct of the March 28 and April 11 general elections.

Addressing a news conference in Owerri, the Imo State capital, on the state of the nation, the President of the Nigerian Baptist Convention, Dr. Samson Ayokunle, said the huge success of the 2015 polls have proved the world wrong on the issue that Nigeria would break up in the year 2015.

He noted that the conduct of the polls throughout the federation was coupled with the spirit of sportsmanship shown by the two frontrunners, President Goodluck Jonathan and President-Elect General Muhammadu Buhari.

Mr Ayokunle also urged INEC to ensure that the re-scheduled elections in Imo State and other states with similar issues should be conducted transparently and peacefully for the good of all Nigerians.

He also added that, this period, being the 102 annual session of the Nigeria Baptist Convention, they would endeavour to pray for peace and progress of the nation as well as the insecurity issue facing the country, especially insurgency in the North east.

He further urged INEC, security operatives, political leaders and other stakeholders to make sure that all complaints about electoral malpractices are well addressed.

He however added that the supplementary elections in Imo State and other parts of the country should be conducted transparently and peacefully for the good of all, in order to maintain the record of the March 28 and April 11 polls.

Obiano Rejects NASS Election Result

obianoThe Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, has condemned the results of the National Assembly election, saying it was hijacked at the collation stage by elements of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) extraction.

Governor Obiano, who is a member of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), while speaking with journalists in Aguleri, Anambra East Local Government Area, said that the seeming victory of the PDP in the National Assembly elections would be challenged in court.

Mr Obiano, while reminding the people of the April 11 elections, assured the people of Anambra that the mandate of APGA candidates would be reclaimed.

The Governor also commended President Jonathan for his statesmanship and humble acceptance of the outcome of the Presidential election, also congratulating the President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari for his victory at the polls.

Governor Obiano had expressed his concerns on the election day. In an interview on Channels Television’s special election programme, Nigeria 2015, he called the overall performance of the card reader device in the state ‘a disaster’, noting that his fingerprints could not be captured despite several attempts. “It was in my opinion a disaster at the early stages”, Obiano said.

The Governor also listed other issues recorded in the state, including nonavailability of result sheets at some polling units as well as cases of thuggery.

Manual accreditation was eventually applied in the state. Nevertheless, issues and complaints continued to trail the polls.

The leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC), led by the Senator representing Anambra Central and a leader of the party in the state, Senator Chris Ngige, on Monday condemned the election and called for its cancellation.

In a press briefing, Senator Ngige, demanded that another election should be conducted. He cited challenges with the use of card readers and the issue of party members being held hostage in some parts of the state.

INEC Restores Hacked Website

INEC Website HackedThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Nigeria has restored its hacked website, hours after it was struck by “Nigerian Cyber Army”.

The website was hacked in the morning on Saturday, hours after the accreditation of voters started.

“Sorry xD Your Site has been STAMPED by Team Nigerian Cyber Army. FEEL SOME SHAME ADMIN!!,” a message on the INEC website read.

In a tweet on its twitter handle the commission said “it is aware of the recent hack of its website and it is currently investigating the incident”.

After the website was hacked, the INEC dropped the content added to the website by the hacker and wrote: “We will be back soon! Sorry for the inconvenience but we are performing some maintenance at the moment. We will be back online shortly! Site should be back up soon”.

The spokesman for the commission told Channels Television that engineers of the commission restored the website, assuring Nigerians that there was nothing to worry about.

 

Jega Confident Logistic Challenges Will Be Cut Off During Polls

jegaThe Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, has expressed confidence that the decentralisation of distribution of election materials for the 2015 elections would cut off logistic challenges at the forthcoming polls.

Professor Jega said this at a meeting with the former President of Liberia and head of the AU delegation, Professor Amos Sawyer.

Professor Jega told the African Union (AU) election observers in Abuja that this method was not used during the 2011 general elections, hence the late commencement of accreditation and voting at polling units across the country.

The issue of logistics had always posed a major challenge at the polls.

Professor Jega admitted that there were challenges in the methodology of distribution which spiraled into widespread agitations from the electorate.

He added that the electoral body was still growing and would plug all loop holes in future elections.

Jega also urged election officials to ensure that counting of ballot papers after the voting process is done transparently in the presence of local and international observers. He has also warned security personnel against any form of intimidation.

Professor Jega received a letter from the Chairperson of the AU Commission, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, who promised full support to the nation at this time.

INEC has almost concluded the distribution process nationwide less than 48hours to the polls.

2015 Elections: Academics, Others Call For Peaceful Polls

ElectionsAppeals have continued to come from different quotas for peaceful polls in the rescheduled March 28 and April 11 general elections.

‎The University of Port-Harcourt Alumni Association, members of the civil society and other concerned individuals on Thursday, asked Nigerians to come out en mass to vote without causing trouble.

They also appealed to security operatives to be on the alert.

‎Acknowledging the transformation agenda of the present administration, the group advised voters not to be intimidated by tension in the atmosphere, noting that they have the freedom to make their choice by going to the polls.

The Nigerian Chief of Army Staff had on the previous day, warned that any one who threatens violence, no matter his position, would be met with organised violence by the Nigerian Army.

Lieutenant-General Kenneth Minimah stated that the Armed Forces, the Police and other security agencies have made adequate arrangements for security, ahead of the general elections commencing on Saturday.

He urged Nigerians to turn out en masse and vote candidates of their choice without fear for their safety.

Patience Jonathan Takes Campaign To Oyo State

patience jonathan- OyoAs campaigns wind to a halt across the country, Nigeria’s First Lady, Mrs Patience Jonathan, has called on women and youths in Oyo State to leverage on Federal Government’s programmes to enhance their living standard and improve productivity.

Addressing the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members on Wednesday at the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, during the national women rally of the PDP, Patience Jonathan went down memory lane, stating that there were incontrovertible evidence that President Jonathan remains the most gender friendly president in the history of the country.

Describing Saturday’s election as a vote for freedom, she noted that thousands of young men and women have benefited from the YouWin Project, which has led to many women being empowered.

Citing different infrastructural development projects across the country, Patience Jonathan sought the support of Oyo State citizens for PDP in the coming elections, to enable the President do more as he promised.

The PDP governorship candidate in the state, Teslim Folarin and the Minister of State FCT, Jumoke Akinjide, both expressed optimism that President Jonathan would get massive votes in the south-west.

Mrs Jonathan had also at a rally in Lagos, reeled out other achievements of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration including youth empowerment, agricultural innovations, education transformation amongst others.

She called on all women to ensure they show their appreciation by voting PDP for continuation.

The rally, which held at the National Stadium in Lagos, witnessed a large turnout of the party’s leadership and supporters.

The First Lady has been touring Nigerian cities seeking support for her husband, President Goodluck Jonathan, ahead of the 2015 presidential elections scheduled to take place on March 28.

DSS Tasks Voters On Security During Polls

dss_officersThe Department of State Services (DSS) has advised all registered voters to be law abiding and security conscious while exercising their franchise.

In a statement signed by the Spokesperson of the service, Marilyn Ogar, the DSS gave assurances of guaranteed security while asking voters to abide by all stipulated guidelines to ensure peaceful conduct.

A part of the statement reads: “The task of nation building is our collective responsibility; therefore, let us all play our parts and shun violence.

“Voters are advised to be weary of persons in loose or bulky midriff clothing, which are inappropriate for the weather, look out for unattended baggage, strange containers and other suspicious items.

“Similarly, all vehicles, motorcycles, tricycles and bicycles must be parked far away from the polling stations. Suspicious persons, activities and movements should be promptly reported to security agents.”

The DSS had last month in a statement, urged Nigerians to remain calm ahead of the postponed 2015 general elections. This was on the back of information it received that people were relocating to their states of origin in anticipation of violence during the forthcoming general elections in the country.

They gave an assurance to the public that adequate security is guaranteed for all citizens before, during and after the elections, wherever they reside.

The DSS also cautioned “those who spread falsehood or rumours of violence to desist from such acts. Those who intend to foment trouble are hereby warned that there will be no hiding place, as the long arm of the law will fish them out”.

Nigeria’s presidential elections is expected to hold on Saturday, March 28, after it had been postponed by INEC due to security challenges in some parts of the country.

Amosun Tasks Nigerians On Saturday’s Elections

AmosunOgun State Governor has advised Nigerians not to allow the ongoing deployment of soldiers deter them from casting their votes on Saturday (March 28).

Governor Ibikunle Amosun, in a statement in Abeokuta, the state capital, said although it was abnormal to deploy armed soldiers for supervision of civil acts like the voting process, the soldiers, like other security agents, can only help to maintain peace and security during the elections.

In his statement, Amosun said “those desperate politicians who think they can use the deployment of soldiers to intimidate and scare our people away from fulfilling their constitutional obligations will fail.

“They will fail because, one, our people are determined to use their votes to effect positive change and nothing will stop them. Two, our military men are also citizens of Nigeria.

“They are experiencing all the hardship that have resulted from the bad governance and they also desire change. In any case, the military are there to protect the people.”

The Governor further appealed to soldiers not to allow any politician use them to wreak violence on the people, urging them to demonstrate strict compliance with military ethics and provision of the electoral law in the cause of performing their duties during the election period.

Amosun urged Nigerians to conduct themselves in peaceful manner and ensure that they do not give any opportunity to ill-motivated politicians who obviously have no respect for the rights of the people to freely choose their leaders.

He advised all eligible voters in the state who were yet to collect their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) to go for it, pointing that every vote would count in the coming elections.

He therefore, urged the people to ignore the antics of dubious politicians who continue to pester them to surrender their PVC.

“Their plan is to either destroy the PVCs or make it invalid so as to reduce the number of votes that will be certainly cast against them.

He appealed to Ogun State residents and Nigerians in general to vote for all candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the forthcoming elections.

Sambo Assures 2million Votes for PDP In Kaduna

SamboNigeria’s Vice President has assured to deliver over two million votes for his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in Kaduna State, noting that the people of the state are in full support of the party.

Vice President Namadi Sambo, an indigene of Kaduna State and running mate to the PDP presidential candidate, said President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration has performed well in all sectors of the economy to deserve the votes of Nigerians.

He also added that with the overwhelming support that the PDP currently enjoys in Kaduna State and the north-west zone, he is expecting an over overwhelming victory for the party on Saturday.

Although the All Progressive Congress (APC) Presidential Candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari is from Katsina State also in the north-west zone.

The Vice President, who spoke through his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mr Umar Sani, at a youth empowerment programme in Kaduna, maintained that the zone is up for grab by the PDP, having achieved similar feat in the 2011 elections.

Sambo has literately relocated his office to his home state where he has been meeting with different groups across the state.

The purpose according to Sani, is to woo electorates to vote for the PDP in the coming election, stressing that the Vice President does not want to lose anything to chance in securing victory for President Jonathan and PDP.

One of such strategies is the distribution of cars, tricycles, sewing machines, wrappers and cash to PDP members in the state by his aide.

This is aimed at boosting the morale of party men and women and to reassure them of President Jonathan’s commitment to alleviate the sufferings of Nigerians if voted into office for another term.

However, as Nigerians go to the polls this Saturday to elect their next president, political pundits are watching to see how the different strategies adopted by politicians will translate to victory, especially with the amount of resources so far deployed for the exercise.

INEC Accredits 107 Observers To Monitor Polls

inec-4The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has accredited 107 domestic and international observers to monitor the general elections slated for March 28 and April 11, 2015.

Among the observers accredited on Tuesday were embassies of 11 foreign nations of the United States of America, Switzerland, Britain, Germany, France, Japan, Canada, Ireland, Australia, Ghana and the Republic of Korea.

The commission also listed 14 international and regional organisations as part of the accredited observers, while the remaining 82 observers are domestic groups.

The international and regional organisations include: National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, Commonwealth Observers Mission, International Republican Institute, Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, Kenya, Africa Students Association of Ireland, ECOWAS Mission, among others.

Similarly, the 82 domestic observers accredited for the election were: Police Service Commission, Justice Development and Peace Commission (Catholic Caritas Foundation of Nigeria), Centre for Strategic Conflict Management, Election Monitor, Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution, among others.

Going by the plans of the Electoral umpire (INEC), ballot papers for Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly elections are to be moved from the vaults of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Wednesday.

The Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Mr Kayode Idowu said all the non-sensitive materials had already been distributed to the appropriate destinations.

The INEC spokesman emphasised, the ballot papers for the different positions and locations had been customised in such a way that it would be difficult to be faked.

However, this is in line with preparations for the forthcoming general elections slated for March 28 and April 11, 2015.

Chief Of Army Staff Warns Against Election Violence

kenneth-minimah-ArmyNigerian Chief of Army Staff has warned that any one who threatens violence, no matter his position, will be met with organised violence by the Nigerian Army.

Lieutenant General Kenneth Minimah said on Wednesday, that the Armed Forces, the police and other security agencies have made adequate arrangements for security, ahead of the general elections commencing on Saturday.

He thus, urged Nigerians to turn out en masse and vote candidates of their choice without fear for their safety.

Minimah noted that some politicians would want to disrupt peace during the elections, he does not envisage any problems.

The Chief of Army Staff had last week, given an assurance of victory against the Boko Haram sect in the north-east, at the first quarterly conference of the Nigerian Army for 2015.

He note in the meeting, when he was called to do stocktaking of the Nigerian Army’s operations in the north-east, and help prepare for the coming elections, should their services be required as proscribed by law, that the military would continue to adopt new strategies that will help end insurgency in the north-east.

Minimah further stated, that the military would continue to change strategies and restructure its plans as the operation demands to ensure  total victory  against the sect.

He however, attributed the recent victory in the north-east to the resilience of the Nigerian soldiers and  improvement in their equipment, welfare and training.