PVC Collection: Low Turnout In Onopa Area Of Yenogoa

pA visit to the Onopa Permanent Voter Card (PVC) collection centre in Yenogoa, Bayelsa state, shows that many have not collected their PVCs.

It was discovered that if the electoral commission had not rescheduled the election dates, many people would have been disenfranchised for not having their PVC.

The postponement of the general election scheduled for February 14th and 28th, as stated by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), was triggered by security challenges in the country

INEC officials were at the venue for distribution of the PVCs, expecting people in the area to come in mass to pick their cards but the turnout was low as only few people came.

Some of the indigenes were able to get their cards, while some were given to them by friends. Others were told to come back at a latter date for theirs because it was not ready.

Preye Samuel, one of the victims who was told to come back reacted saying she cannot continue footing her transport expenses as it was the third time she had to come for her PVC.

The problem facing most Nigerians on PVC collection also ranges from; misplaced Temporary Voter Cards, others have issues with their location as they have relocated from states where they initially registered for the PVC, many have misplaced their cards, but they all want to exercise their franchise.


Abati Hopeful Patriotic Nigerians Will Re-elect President Jonathan

president jonathanA Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Media an Publicity, Reuben Abati, is optimistic that “patriotic Nigerians and not foreign opinion writers” will re-elect President Jonathan for the second term in office.

Contents of a press statement by Mr Abati listed the achievements of the incumbent president of Nigeria. Transportation, improvement of the economy and quality education were some of the achievements listed.

In the statement Mr Abati said: “We have noted with surprise, The Economist’s tongue-in-cheek endorsement of General Muhammadu Buhari in the run-up to Nigeria’s general elections and the international magazine’s baseless, jaundiced and rather malicious vilification of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan who retains the trust and confidence of majority of Nigerians as the outcome of the Presidential elections will undoubtedly show.

The Least Awful

“We are sure that many Nigerians and other readers of the usually urbane, thoughtful and well-reasoned editorial opinions of the Economist will be shocked that the magazine has taken the very ill-considered decision to throw its weight behind a candidate who, as a former military dictator, curtailed freedom of speech, ordered the kidnapping of opponents and jailing of journalists, and is accused of incitement to violence and grave human rights violations in Nigeria’s current democratic dispensation.

“The Economist may feign ignorance of President Jonathan’s remarkable achievements as leader of his country in the past six years, but Nigerians who, unlike the magazine’s opinion writers, will actually vote in the country’s forthcoming presidential elections, know that President Jonathan has worked very hard to fulfill all the major promises he made to them on assumption of office.

“Nigerians know that President Jonathan has developed our economy and created more jobs, they know that he has given policy support to the real sector of the economy, so that Small and Medium Enterprises can thrive, they know that he has encouraged locally owned enterprises to take advantage of our resources in growing the domestic economy and they also know that he has successfully attracted greater foreign direct investment to the country.

Unlike the clearly poorly informed and distant authors of the Economist Opinion titled “The Least Awful”, appreciative Nigerians are also aware that President Jonathan has worked tirelessly to improve power supply across the nation, rebuild and expand national infrastructure, improve public transportation and provide greater access to quality education for all Nigerian youth”.

The President’s spokesman further said that President Jonathan had significantly improved health-care services, revolutionised agriculture, promoted gender equality and women empowerment, and done his very best to stem corruption in government.

he said that contrary to the Economist’s assertions, Nigeria, under President Jonathan had made very considerable progress.

“In spite of the significant challenges of terrorism and insurgency the nation faces today,President Jonathan has ensured that Nigeria has become a more vibrant democracy with free media, an independent judiciary, free, fair and credible elections, and greater respect for human rights.

The Economist is entitled to its erroneous opinion on who represents the best leadership option for Nigeria in the coming elections, but happily for the country, it is not the magazine’s lead writers, but more knowledgeable and patriotic Nigerians who actually work and live in the country, that will vote and re-elect President Jonathan for a second term in office.

They will do so, because unlike the Economist’s opinion writers, they understand that a Buhari Presidency will, for their beloved country, represent a stark setback and retrogression from the tremendous ongoing positive transformation of Nigeria under President Jonathan’s leadership,” Mr Abati said.

Olisa Metuh Raises Concerns Over Distribution Of PVC In Lagos

olisaThe Spokesman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh, has raised concerns over reports that non-indigenes are being prevented from collecting their Permanent Voter Cards in Lagos State and other All Progressives Congress (APC) led states.

Metuh, the National Publicity Secretary to the PDP, who was speaking in Abuja said that the issue was not an issue to be taken with levity and should be addressed as quickly as possible for the success of the general elections.

The party spokesperson said that majority of this group of voters yet to collect their PVC were members of the ruling PDP and they should not be disenfranchised.

“While we restate our commitment to peaceful and credible elections come February 14, 2015, we will not accept any attempt to scheme us out in any state or states controlled by the APC,” Metuh said.

The PDP Spokesman had earlier stated that APC “has been jittery over the increasing popularity of President Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP governorship candidate in the state, Jimi Agbaje and now seeks to compromise the electoral process by manipulating the distribution of the PVCs.”

Stating that INEC has refused to check the trend despite repeated concerns raised by its state chapter and other well meaning Nigerians, PDP said that the onus “now lies on the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega and the leadership of the commission to prove their innocence by immediately intervening and ensuring that all eligible voters in the state received their PVCs accordingly.”

In its reaction, the INEC Spokesperson, Kayode Idowu, dismissed the allegation raised by Olisa Metuh as unfounded.

Arewa Consultative Forum, Itsekiri Leaders Criticise Call For Polls Shift

pollsThe Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) and Itsekiri Leaders of Thought met in Kaduna on Wednesday, with a resolution that the 2015 elections must hold on February 14 as earlier scheduled by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), detesting the alleged plot to shift polls.

ACF Chairman, Ibrahim Coomasie and the Chairman of Itsekiri Leaders of Thought, Mr Isaac Jemide, led their members to the meeting.

The two regional groups also resolved to work together to push  Nigerians call upon INEC and other stakeholders that under no circumstance should it contemplate shifting the February polls.

In a closed door meeting held at the ACF national secretariat in Kaduna, Mr Coomasie, who spoke on behalf of the two groups, said that the implication of shifting polls would be too far, as it may create constitutional crisis, loss of confidence by the people in the system, social crises as well as general insecurity.

While reaffirming the group’s belief in one Nigeria and confidence in the role elections play in a democracy, the ACF Chairman warned that all stakeholder should not tamper with the democratic system or shift the February polls.

Similarly, Northern delegates to last year’s National Constitutional Conference have also criticised calls for the postponement of the 2015 general elections.

In a statement issued by the chairman of the Northern Delegates Forum, Mr Ibrahim Coomasie, the group stated that the issue of postponing the forthcoming election was not part of the deliberations at the conference.

He also expressed disappointment with some delegates to the conference who are now claiming that the conference endorsed shifting the February polls.

“Such position is not the opinion of the conference and I wonder why some selfish Nigerians should be pushing for the postponement of the elections when the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has given assurance of its readiness to conduct the election as scheduled,” he said.

Mr Coomasie also cited assurances by the nation’s security forces that they are fully ready for the election, insisting that the elections should be held as scheduled.