Reps Mandate INEC To Extend Voter’s Registration By 7 Days

house_of_repsThe House of Representatives has directed the Independent National Electoral Commission to extend the duration for the continuous voter’s registration for another 7 days to enable all eligible voters register properly.

This was following a motion raised by a Lawmaker, Hassan Saleh, on tuesday, under matters of urgent national importance.

Mr Saleh said many persons, who had previously registered in different states, did not find their names in their registers at the points of collection.

Mr Saleh representing Ado/Okpokwu Federal Constituency of Benue State also noted that machines deployed for the exercise failed to work in many units making it impossible for many voters to meet up with the last extension of June 3 given by the electoral commission.

INEC Extends Voter Registration In 10 States By Two Days

inec_ogutaThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Nigeria has extended the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) taking place in 10 states by two days.

In a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman,  Kayode Robert Idowu, the commission said the extension was in view of the huge turnout of prospective registrants, and it is intended to give a fair chance to all eligible persons.

The exercise, which was originally scheduled to end on Sunday, June 1, will now run till June 3 in Taraba, Gombe, Zamfara, Kebbi, Benue, Kogi, Abia, Enugu, Akwa-Ibom and Bayelsa.

INEC called on eligible persons in the states that were yet to register as voters to use the opportunity of the extension to do so.

The Commission reiterated, however, that the CVR was for only persons who turned 18 years after the last registration, persons who were 18 years at the time but did not present themselves for registration and persons whose data were not adequately captured previously and for whom PVCs were not produced in the last distribution exercise.

It further clarified that the exercise was not for everyone, including people wishing to transfer their registration data from where they previously registered.

The commission warned that it would amount to double or multiple registration, which is an offence punishable under Nigerian law, for anyone who was duly registered previously to present himself/herself for registration during the CVR.


Fulani Herdsmen Seek Collaboration With Government To Tackle Menace

Fulani fightsFulani cattle herdsmen across the country have resolved to work closely with the Federal Government and other relevant authorities in finding solutions to the incessant cattle rustling and killings in the northern part of Nigeria, at the same time preaching message of peace in their localities.

The resolution was reached on Saturday after a meeting in Kaduna on Saturday.

Their resolve stems from continuous cattle rustlings and gruesome killing of innocent people by gunmen and alleged involvement of Fulani herdsmen in deadly attacks in some states like Benue, Taraba and Kaduna, amongst others where many lives and property worth millions of Naira have been lost.

Cattle herdsmen have been in the news for the wrong reasons, with several accusing fingers pointed in their direction as being responsible for causing mayhem in different communities across the country.

Uncomfortable with the development they said had marred their image, they have called for the meeting. To ensure that no form of casualty was recorded in this gathering, routine searches were carried out on the members before the meeting commenced to ensure they were not in possession of dangerous weapons

Although they insist they are peace loving and law abiding people, the cattle herdsmen say they are fully prepared to partner with the government in tackling the menace of cattle rustling and deadly attacks on rural communities across the country.

This position of theirs is supported by natives of Southern Kaduna who have at different times had altercations with them.

The essence is to make sure that they first of all purge themselves of all the allegations levelled against them over the years, and at the same time come up with practicable recommendations that will assist the government in tackling the menace of cattle rustling and deadly attacks allegedly perpetrated by cattle herdsmen.

Therefore, with their readiness to partner with the government to find a lasting solution to the problem, many believe such decision will go a long way in stemming the tide.

Jonathan Meets With Security Chiefs, Governors

FEC_nigeriaThe President’s meeting with security chiefs and PDP governors has ended at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

The meeting examined recent security events and developments in the country.

Although, the outcome of the meeting was not made public, those present include the governors of Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Benue, Delta, Abia, Enugu, Anambra and Jigawa states.

Others were the Plateau, Kogi, Bauchi, Ebonyi, Kaduna, Gombe, Katsina and Niger State governors as well as Taraba State’s Acting Governor, and the deputy governors of Bayelsa and Kebbi states.

They were joined by Vice President Namadi Sambo, the Minister of Defence, Lt.-Gen Aliyu Gusau, the National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (Rtd.), the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, the Service Chiefs, the Inspector-General of Police, the Director-General of the State Security Services and the Director-General Of National Intelligence Agency.

Also present was the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, the Minister of Police Affairs, and the Minister for the Interior.

No APC governor was present at the expanded meeting.

However, another Security Council meeting would hold next Wednesday with all governors, irrespective of political party expected to attend.

Power Sector Owners Yet To Invest For Better Performance – Barth Nnaji

Barth NnajiA former Minister of Power, Barth Nnaji, on Wednesday called on investors in Nigeria’s power sector to start investing, to improve the quality of service and deliver better power supply to the citizens as that was the reason the government sold the infrastructure to them.

According to Mr Nnaji, one of the keynote speakers at the 7th Lagos Economic Summit (EHINGBETI 2014) said the new owners “invested to purchase but they haven’t invested to improve.” He said this while appearing on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily.

Mr Nnaji mentioned that rapid investment is one key issue and the companies that purchased the distribution and generation companies must invest quickly because “that’s the whole essence of the privatization.”

He added that the privatization process would be meaningless unless those companies actually deliver on what they signed on to, which is, “they must invest to improve efficiency of collection and the network for distribution companies. Those who purchased generation companies must invest to lift the generation figures. ”

The Federal Government had assured Nigerians that the reforms made in the power sector would put an end to epileptic power supply experienced in many parts of the country but many still complain of poor service.

On this Nnaji said the performance growth in the sector should have been incremental and that the investors would need to replace a lot of dilapidated transformers, lines as well as install connection systems, prepaid meters to satisfy the demand for electricity.

He said, the time it would take citizens to feel the impact of the privatization process would vary depending on the area, noting that it would take about a year for those in Lagos to feel the changes.

He disclosed that there were generating plants in Lagos which only require gas to deliver power as quickly as possible. He mentioned that vandalism was playing a huge role on the unavailability of gas and that the infrastructure needs more investment and monitoring systems to ensure better delivery.

When asked about the possibilities of hydro power, Nnaji said “Hydro has a limit. After Mambilla and Zungaru (power plants), there’s really no other big hydro that we are working on so we have to understand that as a country.

Nnaji, who said that the success of Nigeria’s power sector would have to come from gas fired plants and coal fired plants, noted that there were large deposits of coal in Enugu, Benue, Kogi and Gombe States.

He mentioned that the large economies of the world including America and China were using coal-fired plants to generate up to 60 percent of their power despite the negative implications to the environment.

“So people can’t tell Nigeria, you should be very clean and be tree-huggers here, while they are powering their economy with coal. It’s just unacceptable. I think (in) Nigeria, we have to willfully go about this and invest in coal-fired plants.”

He defended his position on Nigeria using coal despite the implications to environmental health, stating that the coal quality in Nigeria is better that in many other countries. The coal has no sulfur and has high calorific value and so not “great pollutants” to the environment.

Major Military Operations Begin In Benue, Nasarawa And Plateau

Troops of 7 Division Nigerian Army advancing for the operation
Troops of 7 Division Nigerian Army advancing for an operation

The Nigerian Army, on Sunday, commenced a major operation to put an end to the activities of all armed men and criminal gangs who have been engaging in wanton killing and destruction of lives and property in 3 states of North Central part of Nigeria.

According to a statement by the Director Defence Information, Major-General Chris Olukolade, troops have already been deployed for a major offensive which is covering Benue, Nassarawa and Plateau States.

The Internal Security Operations is meant to capture and neutralize all the enclaves of criminal gangs.

The Nigerian Air Force, Police and other security agencies are also participating in the operation designed to restore peace in the affected states.

Law abiding citizens are enjoined to cooperate by providing timely and useful information to facilitate the operation as it affects their localities.

NEC Calls For Seperation Of Excess Crude Accounts, Stop Incessant Conflicts

Godswill AkpabioThe National Economic Council has called for the separation of the excess crude accounts from the Sure-P account for easy accountability. This was one of the decisions taken at the first meeting of the council in the New Year in the presidential villa.

Briefing state house correspondents after the meeting, Akwa Ibom state governor Godswill Akpabio said that council was worried at the litigation following the excess crude accounts that action be expedited to enable the account to be put into proper use.

The decision of council follows a briefing by the Minister of Finance and the coordinating Minister for the Economy, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala stating that the excess crude account now stands at 3.5 billion dollars after the removal of the Sure-P money.

Also the council set up a ten man committee to fast track recommendations on the management of the incessant conflicts between crop farmers and herdsmen across the country.

The governor of Benue state has been drafted into the committee which also comprises the Minister of Agriculture, Environment, Science and Technology, Interior, Water Resources and National Planning.

Other members include the National Security Adviser, Director General, National Orientation Agency and representatives of each state of the federation

NEC identified that 17 states have so far been affected by the conflict and expressed worry that the conflict is spreading like wild fire.

Jang-Led NGF Condemn Killings In North, Support National Conference

Mimiko_ngfThe Jonah Jang – led Nigerian Governors’ Forum has condemned recent killings of innocent Nigerians in some parts of the north.

This was contained in a communique issued by the forum at the end of its meeting in Abuja last night.

In the communique read by the governor of Ondo State, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, the forum strongly condemned what it called senseless killing in Benue, Katsina, Kaduna and other Northern states and sympathised with the government and people of the affected states.

Mimiko noted that “the forum deliberated on the security situation in the country and strongly condemned the killings in Benue, Katsina, Kaduna and some of the North-East states and sympathise with the governors and people of these states.

The forum commended President Jonathan for convening the ongoing National Conference and urged all Nigerians to support it.

“The forum commend Mr. President for convening the National Conference and called on all Nigerians to give it the needed support and encouragement” Mimiko said.

While welcoming the new governor of Anambra state, Mr Willie Obiano to the forum, the body also felicitated with its chairman and Plateau state governor, Jonah Jang on his 70th birthday.

“The forum welcomes his excellency, Dr Willy Obiano, the newly elected governor of Anambra state to the forum. The forum also congratulate the Chairman of the forum and Governor of Plateau state, His Excellency, Dr. Jonah Jang on his 70th birthday, we wish him many more years ahead” he said

The meeting ended in the early hours of today (Thursday).

Nigeria To Establish Grazing Reserves To End Clashes

grazing_reservesDisturbed by the ugly clashes between cattle grazers and farmers in various parts of the country, Nigerian  government on Monday approved the constitution of a committee to work out modalities for establishing grazing reserves across the country.

Consequently, a meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC) made up of governors of the 36 states of the federation and some ministers has been set for Thursday, this week to give teeth to the proposed policy aimed at finding a lasting solution to the clashes that had led to the death of over 50 persons since the beginning of 2014.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, who disclosed this at the Presidential Villa, after a  meeting chaired byVice President Namadi Sambo,  cited recent communal clashes between Fulani cattle grazers and farmers in Benue, Nasarawa, Plateau States and other parts of the country, noting that government has resolved to address the issue head-on.

He disclosed that the grazing reserve would also help to check the smuggling of arms and ammunition across the Nigerian borders by foreigners who come into the country disguised as cattle grazers

Dr Adesina announced that the government had put in place short term measure including the creation of new functional grazing reserves, deployment of satellite imagery, remote sensing and GPS maps to track movement of animals across the country.

Middle Belt Articulate Position For National Conference

Chairman, Middle Belt Forum, Professor Jerry Gana

Leaders from the middle belt region including minority group representatives from the North East have gathered to articulate the region’s position in the forthcoming National Conference.

Opinion leaders from the middle belt states of Plateau, Kwara, Kogi, Benue, and Nassarawa as well as representatives from minority groups of North East states of Gombe, Taraba, Yobe, Borno and Adamawa gathered in Jos, North Central Nigeria to discuss the region’s position and presentation with the theme, ‘Strategic Partnerships for the National Conference’.

Chairman of the Middle Belt Forum, Professor Jerry Gana, stressed the importance of the national dialogue and challenged the delegates to be critical in the deliberations on issues ranging from insecurity, economic downturn, poor leadership and poor governance among others.

Setting the tone for deliberations, he urged the delegates to consider the various topics for discussions with all seriousness for onward presentation to the conference.

Former Secretary to The Government of the Federation, Chief Olu Falae and former Governor of Anambra State, Chukwuemeka Ezeife, in their contributions at the meeting noted that the proposed National Conference should be taken seriously for a better country.

Addressing the gathering, the Plateau State Governor, Jonah Jang also reinstated the non-negotiable unity of the country at the proposed national dialogue.

The delegates were in different syndicate groups with topical issues on fiscal federalism, creation of states and local governments, systems of government, legislative powers, citizenship, citizenship rights and social safety nets for minorities, electoral systems and political party systems among others.

The conference was attended by prominent sons and daughters of the region including retired military officers, technocrats, as well as politicians and the academia.

Shema Charges South West PDP To Sheathe Their Swords

Chairman of the South West Reconciliation Committee of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and governor of Katsina state, Ibrahim Shema has advised members of the party in the south west to sheathe their sword and work for the progress of the party in the zone ahead of the 2015 general elections.

Governor of Katsina State, Ibrahim Shema

Addressing an inaugural reconciliation meeting of members of the party from the south west in Abuja, Governor Shema advised them to eschew bitterness and work for the progress of the party in the south west.

Governor of Delta state, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan who is also a member of the five-man committee, advised members of the party to embrace the reconciliation process as the committee is prepared to reconcile all aggrieved members of the party.

The five-man committee is made up of Governor Ibrahim Shema as chairman with the governors ofas members.

Red Cross International to raise N34m for flood victims in Nigeria

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies have launched an Emergency Appeal Fund to help the Nigerian Red Cross assist 10,000 people affected by the flood as part of efforts to cushion the effects of the flood ravaging some parts of the country.

Addressing a news conference in Abuja, the Disaster Management Coordinator of the Nigerian Red Cross, Mr Umarabdu-Mairiga says the sum of N34, 000,000 (Thity Four million naira) raised by the international arm of the humanitarian foundation will be used to assist victims in Adamawa, Taraba, Kogi, Plateau, Katsina, Cross River, Jigawa, Kogi, Benue and Edo states.

He added that the flood has claimed 148 lives and displaced 64, 000 persons in 21 states.

Also speaking at the occasion, the who described the flood situation as a disaster says the funds being raised by the federation will be used to support the ongoing relief efforts of the Nigerian Red Cross Society.