2023 Elections: Collect Your PVCs And Vote, EU Charges Nigerians

A logo for the European Union

 

Ahead of the 2023 general elections, the European Union has charged Nigerians to get their Permanent Voter Cards, register and vote on the election day.

The EU gave the charge on Tuesday via a statement issued by its press officer, Modestus Chukwulaka, pledging to support the mobilisation of voters to fully participate in the polls.

The EU delegation said it will embark on the “Youth Vote Count Campaign 2.0, organised in collaboration with INEC, YIAGA and other civil society organisations in the framework of EU Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN).”

READ ALSO: Two Senators Defect From APC To PDP

“As Nigeria will go to the polls for its seventh general elections since the return to civilian rule, the EU Delegation encourages eligible voters, and youth in particular, to register and collect their PVCs (Permanent Voter Card) and to turn out on election day!” the statement partly read.

It said a mega-concert will take place on Saturday 25th June in Abuja with the participation of celebrities and influencers to encourage voters’ participation, following one of such which was held in Lagos on 11th June.

On the Ekiti election, the union congratulated all stakeholders and the people of the state on a largely peaceful poll.

This is even as it commended Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on improved logistics, including early deployment of personnel and essential materials in the majority of the polling units, better functioning of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and efficient electronic transmission of polling unit results to INEC’s results viewing portal.

While noting that the improvement augurs well for the 2023 general elections, the EU encouraged voters, and in particular the youth and women, to sustain their participation beyond the elections by holding candidates accountable for their campaign promises.

Ekiti Election: Oyebanji’s Victory Shows APC Is Accepted By Nigerians – Buhari

 

 

President Muhammadu Buhari is of the opinion that the victory of Biodun Oyebanji at the just concluded governorship race in Ekiti State, is a signal that Nigerians accept the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Oyebanji was declared winner of the election within the early hours of Sunday, having polled  a total of 187,057 votes to defeat his two closest challengers – Segun Oni of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and Bisi Kolawole of the People’s Democratic Party.

Reacting to the win, President Buhari congratulated the governor-elect via a statement, noting that the victory is well deserved considering Oyebanji’s contributions to the development of the State and the party, before his nomination as the standard bearer.


READ ALSO: Ekiti Election: Prosecute Vote-Buyers Or Face Legal Action, SERAP Tells INEC


Buhari further urged him, however, to be magnanimous in victory in the interest of the people of the State.

The president also rejoiced with the APC chairman, Abdulahi Adamu, and the National Working Committee for the victory, which is the first under the tenure of the newly elected executives of the party.

“This is a good beginning for you and your team. The APC is getting stronger and more united. The victory of our party in Ekiti is an indication of the confidence of Nigerians in the ability of our great party to deliver quality governance to all,” said the President.

He charged all APC members across and outside the country to see this as a good omen for the 2023 general elections and work assiduously to ensure the party’s victory, continuing the trend with Osun State next month July.

President Buhari also felicitated with the people of Ekiti State for the smooth conduct of the election, affirming that they are the real victors as they have been able to freely choose their leader for the next four years.

He lauded the Independent National Electoral Commission and the law enforcement agencies for the preparations put in place, urging them to keep the momentum for upcoming elections.

We’ll Continue To Defend Interests Of All Our Law-Abiding Citizens Abroad – Buhari

File photo of President Muhammadu Buhari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday said his administration will continue to defend the interest of law-abiding Nigerians abroad.

He stated this during a meeting with Nigerians living in Spain on the sidelines of his official visit, pledging that Nigeria will continue to defend the interests of its nationals living abroad.

READ ALSO: FG Directs NNPC To Implement ECOWAS-Morocco-Europe Gas Pipeline

“Some of you are engaged in other businesses that have enhanced your socio-economic status, both here and at home. More importantly, through your commitment to your various callings, you have enhanced the name and image of our country, thereby, earning Nigeria respect in Spain,” Buhari was quoted as saying in a statement issued by his media aide, Femi Adesina.

“Many of you are here for different reasons, some for a fulfilling career in sports, especially in football from where you earn respectable incomes to sustain yourselves as well as maintain your extended families in Nigeria including investments back home.

“I have also been informed of how law-abiding you are here in Spain. I wish to encourage you to continue to be role models for our youth back home as well as sustain the image of being excellent Ambassadors of Nigeria in Spain and live peacefully in the various communities in which you reside here.”

The Diaspora team, which met with the President included John Bosco, President of the association, his deputy, Richard Omoregbe; Super Eagles player who plies his trade with Leganes FC, Madrid, Kenneth Omeruo; Obinna Okafor, a football agent, Mohammed Bashir; a student of Aviation, Segun Adedoyin, studying Global Affairs, and Bright Omorodion, a businessman.

President Buhari told the Nigerians, whom he described as ambassadors of the country in Spain that “some of you are engaged in other businesses that have enhanced your socio-economic status, both here and at home. More importantly, through your commitment to your various callings, you have enhanced the name and image of our country, thereby, earning Nigeria’s respect in Spain”.

Senior government officials with the President at the event, apart from NIDCOM Chairman, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, were Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare, Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Spain, Ademola Seriki, and Special Assistant to the President on Sports, Daniel Amokachie.

Omeruo presented President Buhari with a football and jersey in appreciation of the Nigerian leader’s support for sports, especially the Super Eagles.

Electoral Act: Our Message Is To Convince Nigerians That Their Votes Will Count – Omo-Agege

 

The Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, on Tuesday said the passage of the Electoral Act by the National Assembly is to pass a message, convincing Nigerians that their votes will count.

The Deputy Senate President, who is also an All Progressives Congress’ governorship aspirant, addressed his supporters in Ughelli North of Delta State, where he insisted that the act was enacted by the National Assembly and duly assented to by President Buhari.

According to him, people have been misinformed about the Act, stating that the introduction of a bimodal system of voting would foster transparency as well as ensure a fair and credible electoral process for the forthcoming 2023 general elections.

READ ALSO: Zoning: Avoid Self-Inflicted Crises Before General Elections, Akeredolu Tells APC

“In the course of my remarks, I did try to give assurances to our people that because of the new electoral regime that has been enthroned with the passage of the new Electoral Act, the way and manner we have been cheated in the past will no longer be the case because based on the provisions of the Electoral Act,” he said.

“We are now pretty much guaranteed a fair level of transparency in the process to the extent that most of the toxic votes that have emanated from a lot of places including but not limited to the local government of the sitting governor – Ika North East – a local government that has produced about 65,000, sometimes 73,000 votes in the past when we know that the actual voters there are not any more than 25,000.

“We are celebrating the passage of the Electoral Act because going forward, no vote will count unless that vote is a product of accreditation using the new advanced technology. And that was the message we tried to convey to our people that this time that their votes will count.”

The National Assembly on January 31 transmitted the bill to President Muhammadu Buhari who signed it into law on February 25.

2023: N100m Nomination Form Fee With Minimum Wage At N30k Is ‘Immoral’ – Falana

 

Human rights lawyer Femi Falana has faulted the N100m presidential nomination form fee set by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), describing it as “immoral” since the country’s minimum is N30,000.

Falana made the comment on Thursday, days after the APC fixed the prices for nomination forms for those vying for seats in the 2023 elections. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) also pegged its presidential form fee at N40m.

“Those outrageous nomination fees are immoral, insensitive, and illegal,” he said during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today. 

“The immorality of it is that we have over 90 million Nigerians that have been classified poor. In a country where the minimum wage is about N30,000 and it is not paid by some states, you can’t say you are collecting N100 million or N40 million to purchase a form,” he explained.

According to him, the move violates the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the Nigerian constitution.

READ ALSO[VIDEO] Why Jonathan Can’t Run For Presidency – Falana

“Again, section 42 of the Nigerian constitution provides that nobody shall be subjected to any restriction or discrimination on the basis of class, fortune, sex, or whatever,” the constitutional lawyer added.

“If these parties are saying they want to exclude unserious people, that if you cannot mobilise N100 million or N40 million, you cannot attain some positions in your country. That is discriminatory and illegal.

“No restriction can be erected to prevent you from participating in the politics of the country. You are now saying that the politics of the country is for moneybags or fat cats. That is against the spirit and the letters of the constitution.”

‘Not For The Rich’

Falana’s comment comes on the heels of debates about the prices for nomination forms by the APC.

But the party’s spokesman Felix Morka says the criticisms about the fees are not justified.

According to him, no economy anywhere else in the world is perfect and despite that, “there are people who still live opulent lives ad make legitimate money” in Nigeria.

“Our party is not for the rich,” he stated. “The party came to a decision that the value placed on these forms are justified”.

2023: I’m Contesting In Order Not To Betray Nigerians – Osinbajo

 

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Monday said it will be a betrayal to Nigeria if he doesn’t contest the presidency in the 2023 general elections.

Speaking during a visit to Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu and stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Osinbajo said aside from his current position, having served as acting president for months has also given him the needed experience to lead Nigeria.

READ ALSO: 2023: Amaechi Visits Ondo Traditional Ruler, Pledges To Construct Railways If Elected President

“Many people are dying for the country every day. If with all that has been given to me by the grace of God — all the experience — I now retire to Lagos or Ikenne to go and write my memoir, it would be a great injustice to this country,” the Vice President said.

“Now the opportunity has come, with the experience that I have, the connection and contacts that I have both locally and internationally, it will be a betrayal to the country not to accept to serve the country.

“Nobody can be anything without the endorsement of God. I declare my intention based on the fact that I have served for over seven months as acting president. I was given very serious responsibility as an acting president.”

On his part, Akeredolu said the delegates from the state love and respect him but said it is God that enthrones.

Since Osinbajo announced his intention to run for president on April 11, he has been travelling round the country to seek support for his ambition.

Fuel Scarcity: Lawyer Sues Buhari Over Hardship Experienced By Nigerians

Alleged Bribery: Witness Testifies As Rickey Tarfa’s Trial Continues
File photo

 

A Lagos-based legal practitioner, Festus Ogun on Monday filed a lawsuit against President Muhammadu Buhari at the Federal High Court in Lagos over the excessive pain, hardship and agony Nigerians went through as a result of the fuel scarcity experienced earlier this year.

The legal practitioner said he solemnly believed that the gross inefficiency and mismanagement in the Petroleum Sector that led to the fuel scarcity was avoidable if the President was not holding the dual position of Petroleum Minister in violation of Section 138 of the 1999 Constitution.

He also contended that the President’s continuous service as Petroleum Minister is not only illegal and unconstitutional.

READ ALSO: Murder Charge: Trial Of Chidinma To Continue Tuesday

“It is inimical to our economic growth and likely to occasion future scarcity and inefficiency that will affect the country and its good people,” Ogun said.

“I make bold to say that it is practically and legally impossible for the President to hold his elected position that comes with enormous responsibilities, contemporaneously with the position of Petroleum Minister. It has no basis in law, logic and politics.”

“If Nigerians suffered that heavily during the fuel scarcity, the President must be answerable for it. There must be consequences. And as a citizen of this country, I believe we must avert a reoccurrence; whether under this regime or in future administrations.”

The case is yet to be assigned to any judge.

Easter: Gbajabiamila Congratulates Christians, Calls For Unity

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila

 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has congratulated Christians on Easter, calling for unity and peace among Nigerians.

He made the call on Sunday via a statement issued by his media aide, Lanre Lasisi, to commemorate the resurrection of Christ from the dead.

Gbajabiamila, who noted the period calls for sober reflection and dedication to nationhood, urged Christians to be their brothers’ keepers at all times.

The Speaker also asked all citizens to support the government in its efforts to tackle the insecurity in the country.

Specifically, he called for concerted efforts to contain insecurity across the country, noting that as a nation, Nigeria is currently facing one of its most daunting challenges.

He stated that in the spirit of Easter, Nigerians should continue to live peacefully with one another, irrespective of any perceived differences.

PHOTOS: 162 Stranded Nigerians Return From Libya

This photo shows the returnees waiting in a queue shortly after their arrival at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Ikeja, Lagos on March 15, 2022.

 

One hundred and sixty-two Nigerians stranded in Libya have returned to the country.

The returnees arrived at the Cargo Wing of Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Ikeja, Lagos at about 3:56pm on Tuesday aboard Boeing 737-800 Al Buraq Air with registration number 5A-DMG.

According to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), 41 of the 162 returnees are female adults, five are girls, six are female infants, 96 are adult males, nine are boys and five are male infants.

It added that of the returnees brought back to the country by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), three male adults have minor medical issues.

NEMA said it was the 91st flight to convey Nigerians stranded in Libya back to the country since April 2017, while at least 24,000 people have since returned to Nigeria.

Other agencies whose officials were on the ground with NEMA include the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), and the police, among others.

The arrival of the returnees are captured in the photos below:

Russia-Ukraine War: Third Batch Of Nigerian Evacuees Arrive From Hungary

The third batch of Nigerian evacuees following the Russia-Ukraine war arrived in Abuja late last night.

They were evacuated from Hungary and landed at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja at 11:25 pm on Friday.

According to the official figure from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the number of evacuees from Hungary was 174 in number and they were brought aboard Air Peace.

Earlier yesterday, the second batch of Nigerian evacuees from Ukraine arrived via an Air Peace flight carrying the 183 evacuees.

These evacuations follow the attack by Russia on Ukraine which has left scores of people killed and many displaced.

Over 5,000 Nigerians, the majority of whom are students studying in Ukraine have been caught up in the conflict.

Many of them have reportedly fled to neighbouring countries to Ukraine including Hungary, Poland, and Romania.

Also on Friday, the first batch of Nigerian evacuees, numbering 416 arrived in the country from Romania, aboard Max Air.

Nigerians evacuated from Hungary during their arrival at Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport on Friday, March 4, 2022.

 

Meanwhile, as the country ramps up efforts to evacuate citizens stranded after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed to continue to defend the interest of Nigerians wherever they may be.

“On our part as a Government, we shall continue to defend the interests of all Nigerians wherever they may be. We have demonstrated this over time, as we have had cause to evacuate our citizens in harm’s way abroad,” the President said.

“We did it in Libya, South Africa and we have just commenced doing the same in Ukraine, where thousands of our citizens, especially students, are trapped by the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine,”  the President was quoted to have said in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media, Femi Adesina.

Over 2,000 Nigerian Evacuees Arrive At Hungarian Embassy, Others From Ukraine – FG

A photo showing some Nigerians who had just arrived in Budapest, Hungary. On hand to receive them at the border was the Nigerian Ambassador to Hungary, Mrs Modupe Irele. Source: NIDCOM

 

About 2,090 Nigerians have arrived at the Hungarian, Polish, Romanian and Slovakian embassies from Ukrain as they prepare to be evacuated back to Nigeria following the Russian invasion.

Nigeria’s Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Gabriel Aduda, disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday.

“So far, we have the following records of evacuees received by Nigerian embassies at: Hungary (650 persons), Poland (350 persons), Romania (940 persons) and Slovakia (150 persons),” the statement read in part.

“The capacity and route of the airlines are as follows: Max Air to Romania 560 persons, Air Peace to Poland, 364 persons and Air Peace to Hungary 360 persons”.

Read Also: First Batch Of Evacuees From Ukraine Expected To Arrive In Nigeria On Thursday

According to Aduda, the first batch of Nigerian evacuees from Ukraine is expected to arrive in the country on Thursday.

He also gave an assurance that the government is working round the clock to see that citizens are brought back home safely.

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier in the day approved $8.5m dollars to the ministries of Foreign Affairs and Humanitarian, Disaster Management, and Social Development, towards the evacuation of over 5,000 (registered and unregistered) Nigerians stranded in Ukraine.

Ukraine: FG To Begin Evacuation Of Nigerians From Wednesday – Onyeama

 

Air Peace and Max Air may begin the evacuation of Nigerians from Ukraine on Wednesday, the Federal Government has announced.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, stated this on Monday during a meeting with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.

Onyeama said the evacuation will be done following the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari.

READ ALSO: Parents Of Nigerian Students In Ukraine Protest At Russian Embassy

With Ukraine still at war with Russia and a no-fly zone effective across the country, the evacuation is expected to take place from neighbouring countries.

Earlier on Monday the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said hundreds of Nigerians have been received in Poland, Hungary and Romania by Nigerian embassies in those countries.

Nigerians have continued to flee Ukraine after Russia invaded the East European nation last week.

Talks commenced between both parties on Monday but fighting has continued in Ukrainian cities.

Evacuation efforts

Many Nigerian students in Ukraine have called for help in leaving the conflict hotspot.

The nation’s embassy in Ukraine initially asked citizens to take responsibility for their own security but have since reversed course.

On Monday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said 130 Nigerians have been received by the country’s embassy in Romania.

In a statement, the ministry explained that it has also provided accommodation for them while arrangements are being made to take them back home.

“Also, officials at Budapest, Hungary have received and accommodated 74 Nigerians safely, where they are being documented for subsequent travel arrangements back to Nigeria,” the statement, signed by the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Ambassador Gabriel Aduda, read.

According to him, another batch of about 200 Nigerians is expected in Budapest later in the day. He also said 52 persons have been received in Warsaw, Poland. Of the number, 23 are being processed at the Polish Government Reception Point at Hala Kijowska.

“The camp is well organised with beds and beddings, food, heating, clothing, and medicals for evacuees,” the statement added.

“We assure Nigerians that all hands are on deck and arrangements are being put in place to effectively evacuate our citizens, in safety and dignity.”

The Federal Government’s recent move was a sequel to the Russian invasion of Ukraine about five days ago. On Sunday, the ministry said the Hungarian and Romanian governments have approved visa-free access to Nigerians coming from the Eastern European nation.

“For now, movement to the Hungarian Zahony border and Romanian Suceava, Tulcea, Satu Mare County & Maramures borders is advised, as they have approved visa-free access to all Nigerians coming from Ukraine and arrangements for accommodation and feeding before evacuation is arranged,” Aduda said.