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.

6,000 Policemen To Monitor Elections In Imo State

police-3The Nigeria Police has deployed over 6,000 officers to monitor Saturday’s presidential elections across the 27 Local Government Areas in Imo State.

Briefing reporter on Friday at the Imo State Police Command Headquarters in Owerri, the state’s capital, a spokesman for the Police, Andrew Enwerem, said the command was fully ready and prepared for the elections.

He explained that the Police had put in place necessary security measures to monitor the 305 wards of the Independent National Electoral Commission in the state and 3,525 polling units across the state.

Mr Enwerem, however, advised the residents of the state to adhere strictly to the directives on the restriction of persons and vehicles in the state within the hours of 7:00am and 6:00pm local time on Saturday.

He said the command was committed to ensuring credible, free and fair elections in the state.

The Police spokesman urged all politicians in the state to advise their supporters not to cause mayhem or electoral violence, stressing that the command will deal ruthlessly with any group or persons found guilty no matter his position in the society.

The Inspector General of Police, Sulieman Abba, had earlier told Channels Television that the Police were prepared to safeguard lives and property during the election.

He said that the police would work with other security agencies in Nigeria to raise enough manpower to cover the polling units across the state.

Nigerian Forces Show Readiness To Provide Adequate Security During Elections

NIGERIA-ELECTIONS security forces show of forceThe One Division of Nigerian Army and other security agencies in Kaduna State held a ‘Show of Force’ on Sunday, displaying their readiness for Saturday’s Presidential election.

The security personnel comprising Policemen, Army, Navy, Air Force and other paramilitary agents patrolled major roads and streets in the state capital with patrol vans and Armoured Personnel Carriers to demonstrate their combat readiness ahead of the elections.

The General Officer Commanding One Division of Nigerian Army, Major General Kenneth Osuji, explained that the combined Show of Force was to test their capability and preparedness ahead of the elections, assuring Nigerians that they are ready to contain any situation the during elections.

The blaring of siren by the security personnel took residents of the area by surprise, as some of them initially mistook their presence for a distress response to an emergency situation.

They patrolled along violence prone areas – Tudun Wada, Gonin Gora, Rigasa, Ungwan Rimi and Sabon Tasha areas among others. Most of them were placed on strategic areas, showing how they would be positioned during the elections to ensure they nip in the bud any possible violent situation during the polls.

The security agents are to increase surveillance of all flashpoints, entrance and exit points around the state before, during and after the elections.

Major General Kenneth Osuji also warned that the security agents would deal with anybody who may want to cause trouble before, during and after the election.

He said that the officials were prepared for the elections.

Kaduna was among the states in Nigeria that witnessed post-election violence in 2011.

It is just six days to the commencement of the general elections and the combatant readiness of the security forces, residents are hoping to witness a violent free polls.

FG Reassures Nigerians Of Adequate Security During Election

Police official addressing a voter. Security during elections
A police official addressing a voter.

The Nigerian government has reassured Nigerians of adequate security for all persons, including electoral officers during the general elections to ensure the conduct of peaceful elections. 

Addressing politicians on Sunday in Abuja at a forum organised by the Association of Local Government of Nigeria, (ALGON), the Minister of Special Duties, Mr Saminu Turaki, urged Nigerians to troop out en masse and exercise their civic right by electing leaders of their choice without fear or favour.

The Minister’s call is coming six days to the general elections that will begin on March 28.

Also speaking at the occasion, the National Chairman of ALGON, Mr Micah Jiba, expressed optimism that the general elections would be devoid of violence across the country.

Ahead of the elections candidates of different political parties had signed peace accord at different times, committing to a violence-free election.

The focus is to ensure that the post-election violence experienced in some northern states will not recur before, during and after the elections.

Earlier on Sunday in Kaduna, the One Division of Nigerian Army and other security agencies held a ‘show of force’, as a sign of their readiness for Saturday’s Presidential election.

The security personnel comprising Policemen, Army, Navy, Air Force and other paramilitary agents patrolled major roads and streets in the state capital with patrol vans and Armoured Personnel Carriers to demonstrate their combat readiness ahead of the elections.

Buhari Urges Nigerians To Go Out En Masse And Vote

Muhammadu Buhari APC Presidential candidateThe presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari, has urged Nigerians to go out en masse and vote in the forthcoming general elections.

General Buhari made the demand at the APC grand rally for the north-central zone held in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital.

Also at the event, Nigerians were reassured that the APC’s presidential candidate would not Islamise Nigeria, but would rather, if elected, create jobs and provide enabling environment for the nation’s economy to thrive.

“By the grace of God, if APC wins the election next week, we will fulfill our election promises.

“Every one of you should prepare, no matter the frustrations, to go and make sure you vote,” General Buhari said.

The Governor of the state, Tanko Al-makura, expressed optimism that the APC’s presidential candidate had bright chances of winning throughout the north-central zone.

“General Muhammadu Buhari has had a track record. He has a pedigree, the kind of pedigree and values that this country needs to move forward,” Governor Al-makura said.

Another leader of the party, Audu Ogbeh, told the supporters that General Buhari had Christians working for him and that they were doing so because “he is not a fanatic”.

The party also held a grand rally in Yobe State and had a large turnout of the party’s supporters.

2015 Elections: Naval Officers Tasked On Political Stability

Nigeria Navy on ElectionsOfficials of the Nigerian Navy have been asked to guard against aligning with politicians to avoid being used as tools of political instability during the general elections that are few days away.

The demand was made on Saturday by the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, at the passing out parade of Direct Short Service Commission Course 22 Cadets into the Navy at the Nigerian Naval College Onne.

Air Chief Marshal Badeh reviewed the officers at the passing out parade which had the full complement of senior officers of the Nigerian Navy led by the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Usman Jibrin.

The Chief of Defence Staff told the officers to stay committed to the call to uphold the ideals of national security, especially as the nation prepares for elections.

Other persons at the event were family and friends of the newly admitted naval officers and guests.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Navy has expressed its commitment to ensuring adequate security of lives and properties of Nigerians travelling by sea, to exercise their franchise during the elections.

The Navy gave the assurance, just as the Eastern Naval Command embarked on a show of force along the Calabar water ways, in preparation to support the Independent National Electoral Commission in handling and distribution of electoral materials.

Speaking to reporters after the seven kilometre exercise on the high sea, the representative of the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Rear Admiral Atiku Abubakar, said, the essence of the trip before the elections was to allow personnel practice the act of providing security in the nation’s waters.

 

Group Seeks Minimum Of University Degree For Presidential Candidates

Ben_NwabuezeA group in Nigeria is seeking a review of the qualification of any Presidential candidate, as contained in the Electoral Act, requesting that it should be a minimum of first degree or its equivalent.

The group, Project Nigeria movement, led by a legal luminary, Professor Ben Nwabueze, gave its position on Tuesday on the 2015 general elections and expectations after.

According to the group, it would be unfair for any Nigerian to be disenfranchised from the coming elections owing to possible hiccups from the card reader.

The group also faulted the current Electoral Act, saying that the minimum qualification one should have before vying for the office of the President of the country should be first degree or its equivalent.

Professor Nwabueze further recommended a consideration of a coalition government.

“We need to experiment on a coalition government, otherwise called unity government. Whereby whoever wins the Presidential election will constitute his government with members drawn from all the parties that contested the presidential election in a manner to be agreed under a formal accord.

“Without prejudice to the provisions of the constitution, an effective presidential leadership requires a president with a good and sound qualification in a particular good education up to a minimum level of a university first degree or its equivalent with the academic knowledge, intellectual insights and mental orientation, ideas and perceptions in parts.

“He should have an ability to combine ideas and power intellectualism and politics,” he said.

Professor Nwabueze said that the implementation of the decisions of the national conference should be something that anyone that eventually emerges the president after the election must implement.

General Elections: NBC Tells Broadcast Houses To Adhere To Codes

Emeka Mba Of NBCThe National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) in Nigeria has threatened to revoke the licence of any station which violates the broadcast codes ahead of the 2015 general elections.

The Director General of the commission, Mr Emeka Mba, gave the warning at a forum for media chief executives in Abuja on Tuesday.

Mr Mba advised the media houses to show responsibility in the broadcast industry and avoid issues that promote violence.

“Whatever material you put out, who to blame is not the political party or the politician it is the broadcaster. We will act. Trust me, I am not afraid to bring about the full weight of sanctions on any station, including  suspension of licences  and revocation of licence,” he said.

General elections in Nigeria has always been a turbulent affair, beginning with the campaigns in various medium to provocative statements against opponents.

Only a month to the 2015 general elections, the political landscape has apparently heated up, with divided opinions across board, including the media.

The challenges for the media might be enormous, but Professor Umar Pate of Mass Communications Department, University of Maiduguri, at the forum drew attention to investigative and unbiased journalism which he said was key to upholding the tenets of broadcasting, especially ahead of the elections.

Other media executives also lent a voice to the debate of how to bridge the disconnect between professionalism and actuality.

National Assembly Tasked On Stabilising Nigeria’s Democracy

National-Assembly-NigeriaThe leadership of the National Assembly in Nigeria has been asked to ensure the nation’s democracy is not truncated with the postponement of the general elections.

Senator Bukola Saraki, representing Kwara Central at the National Assembly, made the call on Friday, after a meeting of members of the All Progressives Congress in Kwara State.

The party members had held a close door meeting, with focus on the coming elections that had been postponed by the electoral body.

Dr Saraki stressed that the nation could not afford constitutional crisis, as a result of the shift in election date.

He urged the leadership of National Assembly to provide means of stabilising the democracy.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on February 7, shifted the elections from February 14 and 28 to March 28 and April 11.

The electoral body said the decision was taken after ‘wide-reaching consultations’ with stakeholders.

Security agencies’ heads in the nation had advised the INEC to shift the election to enable the security agencies secure communities in the north-east that were under the control of the Boko Haram terrorist group.

Last week, the military reclaimed Monguno and some communities around from the terrorist group, in its intensified counter-terrorism efforts.

Chart Of PVC Distribution As At February 16, 2015

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had put the current total number of registered voters in Nigeria at 68,833,476 and going by INEC’s claim that it had achieved 73 per cent PVC distribution, about 50. 2 million cards have been collected by registered voters while 18.6 million cards are still uncollected.

The electoral body had said that it would achieve at least 85 per cent distribution of the PVC before the elections.

The PVC distribution achieved so far and the outstanding are contained in the chart below.

 

 

 

Al-makura Commissions More Projects In Nasarawa

NIGERIA-LIFESTYLE-CULTURE-FASHION-HATS,FEATUREGovernor Tanko Al-makura of Nasarawa State, in northern Nigeria, who decamped to the All Progressives Congress from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party is determined to see the mantle of leadership remain with his new party after the  April 11 election.

Al-makura’s stance was once again emphasised during the APC governorship campaign train stopover at Nasarawa Egon, an area regarded as a stronghold of the opposition in the state.

As part of his re-election campaign activities in the area, the incumbent governor commissioned a four kilometer township road .

‘Seeing is Believing’

Mr Al-makura whose campaign slogan is “Seeing is Believing” has also embarked on actively engaging the electorate on the basis of his performance, urging them to give him another term in office to complete ongoing projects.

Thereafter, the campaign train proceeded to the Wuse and Akiri communities of the state, where the governor paid a courtesy visit to the Emir of Wuse.

The high point of Governor Al-makura’s visit to the Palace was the handing over of the staff of office to the Monarch. He then took time out to list key projects his administration would embark on if voted back into office .

The governor went further to stress the importance of electing credible men and women into office.

“By the rousing welcome you have given me and my party , I am convinced of your support and I assure you that we will consolidate on projects on ground and ensure that we all enjoy the gains of democracy.”

PDP Pained By Election Postponement – Fani-Kayode

Femi-fani-kayodeThe Director of Media for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Organisation, Femi Fani-Kayode, says the election postponement was a painful news for the party, but commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for taking the right step.

Addressing reporters in Abuja on Sunday, Mr Fani-Kayode said the extra six weeks provided by the shift in election date would enable the commission solve some of the challenges still confronting the commission.

“It was very clear to us that there were issues and those issues have not been fully addressed and one of the them is the Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) issue.

“We listed some of them in the text here.

“There were all kinds of issues and clearly, the INEC still has quite a lot to do to get its house in order to ensure that it can conduct a free and fair election on that day,” Mr Fani-Kayode.

‘Wide-reaching Consultations’

The campaign spokesman said that the PVCs issues and the security challenges in the north-eastern part of the oil rich nation needed to be resolved before the elections.

“When you marry the PVC issues to the security concerns that our security agencies have, to postpone the election by six weeks was the right and proper thing to do.

“Even though it is painful for all of us, we wanted to go on February 14. It would have been a day of love and a day of voting for Goodluck Jonathan. Unfortunately we have been denied that ,” he said.

Mr Fani-Kayode further said that the campaign office and the party was ready to continue with its campaign and would also help in increasing advocacy on the collection of PVCs.

INEC-Elections-Jega
The chairman of the INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega, said that the electoral body was not forced into prostponing the elections

Addressing reporters on Saturday, the INEC chairman, professor Attahiru Jega, said that the election was postponed after ‘wide-reaching consultations’.

Professor Jega said that security operatives had advised the commission to postpone the election for six weeks, as they could not guaranty the security of lives and property in the volatile north-east during the elections.

The leading opposition party, the All Progressives Congress, had accused the PDP administration of coercing the INEC into postponing the election.

However, a spokesman for President Goodluck Jonathan, Dr Doyin Okupe, said the government had no right to force the electoral body to change the date of the election, addressing insinuations that the presidency was pushing for the postponement of the elections.

“The Federal Government is not exerting pressure on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to shift the election dates,” he said.

According to him, the government was only asking the electoral umpire to ensure that all eligible voters got their Permanent Voters Cards (PVC) before the election.

Dr. Okupe said that the President could not in good conscience endorse an electoral arrangement where people from a section of the country would be excluded from the electoral process due to no fault of theirs or by virtue of just being unfortunate residents of an area under siege of terrorism.