NPC Commends Nigerian Police On Conduct During Polls

Police The National Peace Committee (NPC) has commended the Nigerian Police for its conduct during the 2015 presidential and National Assembly elections.

The commendation was made at the Nigerian Police Headquarters in Abuja, the nation’s capital as members of the committee led by its Chairman, General Abdulsalam Abubakar (rtd), embarked on a ‘thank you visit’ to key actors in the just concluded presidential and parliamentary elections.

The committee noted that the Police remained neutral even in the face of the tension before and after the elections.

The committee further urged the Police to ensure that the conduct is replicated during the governorship and House of Assembly elections.

Similarly, General Abdulsalam urged Nigerians to support the Police in the next round of polls.

The Inspector-General of Police, Suleiman Abba, who expressed gratitude for the commendation, however, promised that the same conduct would be replicated during the governorship polls and beyond.

The Police have received several commendations from not only Nigerians, but the international community for its conduct during the polls.

They have been commended particularly for their arrest of some persons in possession of registration materials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Ona Ara Local Government Area of Oyo State.

They have also been lauded for the deployment of over 6,000 police officers to monitor Saturday’s presidential elections across the 27 Local Government Areas in Imo State.

The Police in different states across the country had, prior to Saturday’s election, given assurances of their readiness for the election.

The Imo State Police Command Headquarters in Owerri, said that the command was fully ready and prepared for the elections, urging residents not to panic as they go about their lawful duties.

The Zamfara State Police Command also assured indigenes of the readiness of the Nigeria Police and other relevant security agencies, to provide effective security and ensure smooth and orderly conduct of the election.

Police Arrest Man With INEC Registration Materials In Oyo

ArrestPolice have arrested some persons in possession of registration materials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Ona Ara Local Government Area of Oyo State.

The Oyo State Police Commissioner, Mohammed Katsina, said that the arrests were made following some intelligent tip-off.

Mr Katsina said that the arrest would serve as a stern warning that the command meant business and would not hesitate to bring any culprit to book.

The suspect, an elderly man, was caught with in possession of the INEC Permanent Voter Cards and registers.

He was arrested around Olorunsogo area in Ona Ara Local Government.

The suspect admitted that the registers were given to him on Friday morning by a party member.

The Oyo State Police boss said investigations would continue into the matter.

Meanwhile sensitive and non-sensitive materials have been distributed by the INEC to all the 33 Local Government Areas of the state, while accreditation for all election monitors and observers have been concluded.

Over 700 observers have arrived the state for Saturday’s election.

The Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, said that he was satisfied with the level of preparedness with INEC and state of security in the state even as the police read riot acts to transport unions in the state.

Governor Ajimobi expressed satisfaction at the level of Permanent Voters Card distribution and expressed confidence in the joint effort of security chiefs to ensure violence-free and credible elections.

After a meeting with youth across the state on the need for credible polls and zero violence, Governor Ajimobi expressed satisfaction at the level of preparedness and security in the state.

The Oyo State Police Commissioner had earlier held a crucial meeting with members of the Nigerian Union of Road Transport Workers on the need for peace to reign.

At the meeting the Police boss listed the rules of engagement in the elections.

The transport union on their part also assured the Police of their commitment to violence-free polls.

Jega Says Voters’ Presence After Voting Makes Process Transparent

Professor Attahiru Jega on Voters presence The electoral body in Nigeria says voters can wait after casting their votes, saying voters presence makes the process more transparent.

The Independent National Electoral Commissions’ statement is contrary to an advice by the Nigeria Police, which said voters should go home after voting.

Addressing reporters on Friday, the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Professor Attahiru Jega, said the commission believed that the electoral process would be more transparent if voters stayed behind after voting.

Professor Jega also said the commission had not received any indication that the security for the card readers had been compromised.

The Inspector General of Police, Suleiman Abba, on Tuesday advised voters not to remain at the polling centers after casting their votes on Saturday.

Mr Abba told a gathering in Abuja, in very clear terms, that the security operatives expect everyone to vote and go.

The IGP made the pronouncement during the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC stakeholders’ meeting.

Card Reader Test: PDP Accuses APC Of Cloning PVCs

card readerThe leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of cloning Permanent Voters Cards (PVC) ahead of the general elections.

At a news conference in Abuja on Tuesday, the national deputy chairman of the ruling party, Mr Uche Secondus, said that the rejected PVCs during last weekend’s mock card reader’s exercise had substantiated what the Department of State Services (DSS) said about the APC cloning of voter cards in Lagos State, Nigeria’s commercial city in the south-west.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had detected some cloned PVCs which failed to pass the card reader test during last week’s exercise in Port Harcourt and Osun State.

The INEC had subjected the card reader machines, which it planned to use in the forthcoming elections, to test to see if the device could be trusted during the elections.

While the INEC was yet to officially announce its position on whether to go ahead with the use of the device, several political pressure groups, including the PDP are insisting that the errors recorded during the card readers’ test are too huge to be neglected.

But the APC is not keeping quiet over the accusation either, as the spokesman for the party, Mr Lai Mohammed, said the allegations were inanities and that the party would not respond to such claims.

The APC National Publicity Secretary, in a statement on Tuesday evening said, “As a government in waiting, we are busy investing our time and energy finding solutions to the myriad of problems and hardship occasioned by six years of President Jonathan’s failed administration.”

He advised Nigerians not to listen to PDP governors as most of them, according to him, have nothing to offer the country again.

DSS Raid

The Department of State Services (DSS) had raided the APC’s office in Lagos, taking away materials which it later said findings showed that there was an elaborate plan by the APC to inflate its membership data ahead of the February 2015 general elections.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) dismissed, as hogwash, the findings of the DSS  presented to the media.

The opposition party said that the findings were  great disservice to Nigeria and an embarrassment to all intelligence-gathering organisations around the world.

In a statement issued in Abuja on January 7 by Mr Lai Mohammed, the party also described the timing of the release of the ‘findings’ as a plot orchestrated in collusion with the PDP to distract the APC from its ongoing campaigns for the general elections.

It described as disingenuous, flimsy, premeditated, partisan and an irritant the conclusion that the APC had an “articulated plan to inflate the party’s membership data as well as hack into INEC’s voter registration database through the creation of party membership forms and cards to match INEC’s voters register across the country”.

PDP Explains Position On Card Readers For Polls

PDP- Card-ReadersThe Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus, has clarified the party’s position on the use of card readers during the forthcoming general elections.

According to him, the PDP is not against the use of the electronic device, provided they are tested and trusted before the election date.

He also maintained that the party’s confidence for victory in the forthcoming elections does not depend on the use of the card readers, expressing that it depends on the party structures across the country which, according to him, the opposition lacks.

Meanwhile, the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation and some political Parties had rejected the use of card readers during the general elections, that had been shifted to March 28 and April 11.

In an interview with the media in Abuja on Wednesday, the Spokesman for the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode, said that the ruling party would resist moves to go ahead with the use of card readers during the elections.

At a separate news conference, representatives of some political parties also expressed their opposition to the use of card readers for the elections as they said it had not been tested and as such could not be trusted.

According to the group, the use of card readers is a ploy to disenfranchise citizens in the coming elections.

The representatives of 15 political parties threatened to boycott the elections and take legal action if the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) insisted on the use of card readers during the elections.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) had also earlier opposed a suit challenging the decision by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the use of the electronic Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) in the general elections.

The suit was filed by the Society for Advancement and Protection of Public Rights (SAPPR) and it came up for mention at the Federal High Court in Abuja, on Monday.

The INEC, through the National Director in charge of Information and Voter Education, Dr Chris Iyimoga, noted that the commission would conduct a field testing of the card readers, which would be deployed for the accreditation of voters in the forthcoming general elections to reduce electoral frauds.

The Commission, which said it had satisfactorily tested the card readers before the re-scheduling of the elections, had set aside March 7, to rigorously test the card readers technology in two states of each geo-political zone, to ensure its mastery before the elections.

PDP, Others Oppose Use Of Card Readers For Polls

Card Readers For Election in NigeriaThe Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Organisation and some political Parties have rejected the use of card readers during the forthcoming general elections, that had been shifted to March 28 and April 11.

In an interview with media in Abuja on Wednesday, the spokesman for the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode, said the ruling party would resist moves to go ahead with the use of card readers during the elections.

At a separate news conference, representatives of some political Parties also expressed their opposition to the use of card readers for the elections as they said it had not been tested and as such could not be trusted.

According to the group, the use of card readers is a ploy to disenfranchise citizens in the coming elections.

Mr Fani-Kayode said that the position of the PDP on the issue was not different, stressing that the ruling party would resist the use of card readers during the elections.

“Our position remains that the machine has not been tested in any election and there are basis for joining concerns over the use of the for the first time in a crucial election of this magnitude.

“We are aware of plots by the APC to use the card readers to frustrate accreditation in some part of the country while not enforcing strict use of the machine in other parts,” he said.

At first, it was the representatives of 15 political parties that threatened to boycott the elections and take legal action if the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) insisted on the use of card readers during the elections.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) had earlier opposed a suit challenging the decision by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the use of the electronic Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) in the general elections.

The suit was filed by the Society for Advancement and Protection of Public Rights (SAPPR) and it came up for mention at the Federal High Court in Abuja, on Monday.

It is challenging the power of the INEC to use of the electronic voting system without legislation by the National Assembly.

But the PDP now kicks against the use of the card reader.

The INEC, through the National Director in charge of Information and Voter Education, Dr Chris Iyimoga, noted that the commission would conduct a field testing of the card readers, which would be deployed for the accreditation of voters in the forthcoming general elections to reduce electoral frauds.

The Commission, which said it had satisfactorily tested the card readers before the re-scheduling of the elections, had set aside March 7, to rigorously test the card readers technology in two states of each geo-political zone, to ensure its mastery before the elections.

 

INEC To Test-run Smart Card Reader On March 7

Smart Card ReaderThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Nigeria has revealed its intention to further conduct field testing of the functionality of the Smart Card Readers (SCR) to be deployed for the accreditation of voters during the general elections.

In a statement on Monday, the commission said it decided to take advantage of the six weeks period of extension from the previous schedule to test-run the SCR to be used in various Polling Units (PU) across the country.

The general elections were re-scheduled from an earlier date of February 14 and 28 to March 28 and April 11.

“The Field Testing”

“The field testing will take place in two states of each of the six geopolitical zones of the federation. It will take place simultaneously on Saturday, 7 March 2015,” the INEC said, quoting a Decision Extract issued on 26 February 2015 and signed by the Director of the Commission’s Secretariat, Ishiaku A. Gali.

According to the commission, the states selected for the exercise are: Ekiti and Lagos, South West; Anambra and Ebonyi, South East; Delta and Rivers, South South; Kano and Kebbi, North West; Bauchi and Taraba, North East; Niger and Nasarawa, North Central.

The Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) of the selected states are tasked on  Selecting one Registration Area with full complement of the PVCs and with appreciable distribution level of such PVCs for undertaking the field test.

They are to also ensure that the Register of Voters in respect of all PUs in the selected Registration Area is printed for the conduct of the exercise.

Another duty of the RECs is to carry out engagements with key stakeholders at the state level, and in particular, stakeholders in the selected Registration Area where exercise would be conducted to ensure massive participation by registered voters.

In the Decision Extract, the INEC further directed that National Commissioners should supervise the conduct of the exercise in their zones.

It added that the RECs, who are not selected for the exercise, should observe the conduct of the exercise in their zones in conjunction with the National Commissioners.

Smart Card Reader Configured To Work At Particular Polling Unit – INEC

Akin_OrebiyiThe electoral body in Nigeria says the smart card readers it will use in the general election had been configured for specific polling units, a strategy it had adopted to guard against attempts by individuals to rig the election.

The Independent National Electoral Commission’s Resident Electoral Commissioner in Lagos State, Mr Akin Orebiyi, told Channels Television on Friday that the commission had put every strategy in place to ensure that packs of cards that some politicians may have collected or bought from voters would not be used in other polling units.

It is less than 16 days to the commencement of the election and the commission in Lagos had only been able to distribute about 2.4 million of the four million Permanent Voters Cards (PVC)which is 60 per cent of the PVCs.

He said that Nigerians had not come out to collect the cards, but expressed optimism that 80 to 85 per cent of the cards would be collected before the deadline.

No deadline had been set for the collection of the PVC, but it is expected to end few days before February 14, slated for the presidential election.

“The smart card has certain features and benefits that will deter another person from using somebody else’s card.

“When you insert your card, it will authenticate to be sure it is an INEC’s card and whether the owner of the card is the person bearing it.

“The individual will put his thumb on the smart card reader and it will bring out the individual’s features.

“The card reader is configured to be used in one particular polling unit. It cannot be used in two places.

“People that are yet to come to terms with that, thinking that they will buy packs of cards and use on polling day, should know that it won’t work like that.

“It will be a more valid process that will not allow the integrity of the electoral process to be undermined,” he said.

With over 40 per cent of the voters cards still lying uncollected at INEC’s collection offices, more cards are coming in.

“We are expecting 5.9 million cards in Lagos and about five vans came in last night with some of the PVCs. Most of the cards will be that of people who registered late last year.

Card_Reader_For_Election-in-Nigeria
INEC ad-hoc staff testing the use of the smart card reader during one of its trainings.

“We are distributing at the 24 ward centres across the state.

“There is no cause for alarm. We are not scared, as to the course of the election.

“We are not expecting anything close to 90 per cent collection, but if we record 80 to 85 collection, we are good to go ahead with the elections.

“Every aspect of preparations have been taken into consideration except the PVC distribution,” Mr Orebiyi said.

He also said that the commission was not anticipating any delay in the process of the election, despite insinuations that the process of using the card reader would delay the voting.

“We do not anticipate that there will be a delay. Accreditation will take place between 8:00am and 1:00pm and that is an additional one hour.”

According to him, adequate training had been given to the ad-hoc staff of the commission on how to use the smart card reader, with demonstration in form of a mock election.

Group Expresses Satisfaction With Electoral Reforms

Osun_Election_Police-BigA coalition of civil society and advocacy groups in Abuja has expressed satisfaction with the recent electoral reforms of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

At the a a meeting with INEC’s officials, the groups said that the recent elections in Ekiti and Osun States showed that the electoral body had the capability to conduct credible elections in 2015.

They commended the electoral commission for steps it had taken in recent times, including the continuous voters’ registration exercise and the issuance of the Permanent Voters Cards for the elections.

They, however, expressed concerns over the conducts of politicians during political rallies and the insecurity in some parts of the country, saying these are the greatest challenge ahead of the 2015 general elections.

Eliminate Rigging

The meeting was held to assess INEC’s issuance of permanent voters cards and the level of citizen’s awareness ahead of the elections in 2015.

Conveners of the meeting hope to adopt strategies that will encourage greater voters awareness and participation during the polls.

During its presentation, the electoral commission demonstrated how the new voter’s card technology would help eliminate rigging during the polls.

According to the commission, electorates who are unable to collect their permanent voters cards from the designated centres could pick them up at their local government head quarters before the 2015 general elections in February.

Osun Election: Obanikoro Defends Heavy Presence Of Military

Osun_Election_Police-BigThe Minister of State for Defence, Mr Musiliu Obanikoro, says the heavy presence of the military in Osun State deployed for the governorship election is necessary to avoid chaos even as he debunks the claim of his presence in Osun.

While addressing journalists in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital on Saturday, Mr Obanikoro reiterated that President Goodluck Jonathan remained committed to ensuring that all elections in Nigeria were free, fair and rancour free.

He said that the essence of having the security personnel was to ensure that the outcome of the Osun governorship election equalled previous elections in Edo and Ekiti States and to guard against sharp practices.

The Minister of State for Defence denied being a part of the ongoing election in Osun even as he accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of invading Oshogbo, the Osun State capital, with thugs to intimidate members of the Peoples Democratic Party.

Mr Obanikoro stressed that the security agents would do their best to ensure no one was denied the right to vote, insisting that every vote must count.

The Minister also appealed to residents of Osun to remain calm and vigilant during and after elections.Osun_Election_2014_2

The APC, the party of the incumbent governor, Rauf Aregbesola, who is also seeking a second term in office, had gone to court to contest the deployment of the huge security personnel in the state ahead of the election, insisting that their presence would create an artificial and apprehensive situation that would not favour the electorates.

But President Jonathan, at a rally of the PDP held to support the candidate of the party vying for the position of the governor, said that the security personnel were deployed to guard against possible snatching of ballot boxes.

Voting has been concluded in the Saturday’s election and counting has started.

 

Click here to view more photos from the different voting centres in Osun.