Governor El-Rufai To Commence Verification Of Kaduna Civil Servants

Governor El-Rufai To Commence Verification Of Kaduna Civil ServantsKaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has announced the commencement of biometric verification of all civil servants in the state’s workforce from Wednesday.

The exercise was signed and announced on Sunday by the Head of Service to Kaduna State Governor, Mrs Alisabatu Dada-Onazi.

Mrs Dada-Onazi said that the verification exercise was designed to provide the State Government with accurate and reliable record of its personnel and clean-up its payroll.

According to the statement issued to all Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government, data collected from the exercise would enable the government to determine whether the billions of Naira spent monthly on staff salaries were paid to identifiable and verifiable civil servants or not.

It further explained that the biometric registration exercise would be conducted simultaneously across the three senatorial zones which are Kaduna, Kafanchan and Zaria.

The civil servants, in the statement, were advised to bring their letter of appointment, letter of last promotion and means of identification which could be their National Identity Card, Driver’s License, Permanent Voter Card or International Passport.

The Head of Service also directed the workers to physically appear before the verification team for screening and collection of their salary cheques for the month of June 2015.

The biometric verification exercise would be completed on Wednesday July 8.

The Kaduna State Government had in the previous week, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with United Bank for Africa and Zenith Bank, to partner in updating the Civil Service Payroll.

Court Asked To Stop Nigeria’s General Elections

Voters confirming their names
Voters confirming their names

A Federal High court in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, has been asked to stop the February 2015 general elections.

The plaintiffs in the suit, Asogo Torkuma Venatius, Ola Solomon Oluwasanmi, Sunday Attah and Philip Agbese are seeking the nod of the court to postpone the elections until all eligible voters have collected their Permanent Voters Card (PVC).

In the suit, filed through their counsel, Mr Amobi Nzelu, they are also asking the court to order the use of Temporary Voters Card for those who are unable to collect their PVC.

In the statement of claim, the plaintiffs said that contrary to the announcement by the electoral body in 2014 that they would issue all eligible voters with PVC for the February 2015 election, about half of eligible voters are yet to collect their PVC.

On January 22, the National Security Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan, Sambo Dasuki, advised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to delay the elections scheduled for February in order to allow for proper preparations and distribution of the PVC.

He gave the advice during a discourse at London think-tank, Chatham House, where he stated that it would be advantageous if the upcoming elections were postponed.

He said that so far, INEC had distributed 30 million cards and would need to distribute more, noting that it would be the first time Nigerian voters would use a biometric card to prevent rigging of the elections.

According to him, since there were still another 30 million people yet to collect their PVCs, it would cost INEC nothing to change the dates of the elections.

The INEC had continued to assure Nigerians of its readiness to conduct the polls on the scheduled days.

Few days ago, it announced an extension of the the deadline for collection of the PVC from January 31 to February 8.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner in Lagos State, Mr Akin Orebiyi, told Channels Television on Friday 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.

Sultan Of Sokoto Not Sure Of Voting

sultanofsokotoThe Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, has expressed fears he may not vote in next month’s general elections as he is yet to collect his Permanent Voter Card (PVC).

In a meeting with the Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, on Monday, the Sultan stressed the need for the electoral body and the government to work together to ensure that no Nigerian was disenfranchised.

President Jonathan was in Sokoto State in continuation of the Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential campaign, when he visited the monarch.

The Sultan called on the Federal Government to do everything within its powers to ensure that no Nigerian of eligible age was disenfranchised in the crucial election.

The challenges that the electoral body is facing in distribution of the PVC had led to the National Assembly advising the electoral body to consider allowing individuals with their old Temporary Voters Card to vote in the elections that will begin in few weeks.

The Independent National Electoral Commission had insisted that only voters with the PVC would be allowed to vote. But distribution had not reached 90 per cent.

At the meeting, the traditional ruler further expressed concerns that campaigns ahead of the general elections were taking religious colouration instead of being issue-based and urged all candidates to embrace peace.

He also urged the political parties to caution their supporters against violence.

The Sultan stressed the need for the government to work hard to end insecurity in parts of the country.

He said: “As the leader of the Muslims faithful I will not fail to intimate the President and his government with the problems Muslims face in this country”.

CVR, PVC Distribution: Ogun Citizens Condemn Exercise, Seek Extension

OgunA day after the official closing of the registration of  voters in Ogun State, thousands of eligible citizens still remain unregistered by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC,

Residents have therefore requested to have an extension of the exercise to allow more people to be part of the registration in preparation for the 2015 general elections.

Investigations revealed thousands of eligible voters may have been disenfranchised despite the fact that they made efforts to get their voters cards and register.

In reaction to the large complaints that greeted the two exercises, the Ogun State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Sam Olumekun, said that the various challenges and complaints are being studied by the commission.

Meanwhile, former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, while receiving his Permanent Voters Card, has advised INEC to find a way out of the challenges encountered during the collection of the Permanent Voters Card and the Continuous Voters Registration exercise.


Amosun Urges Cabinet On Public Sensitisation Of PVC Exercise

AmosunOgun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun has charged members of his cabinet to embark on aggressive public sensitisation on the Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) exercise.

He gave the charge at an extended Executive Committee Meeting in Abeokuta, where he spoke on the exercise.

The Governor explained that the voters registration is aimed at registering those who were not registered before, due to one hitch or the other, noting that, with more public awareness the CVR exercise will gain more accelerated success.

The Governor therefore urged his cabinet members to enlighten the public more,  on the importance of voter registration.

Apena Absolves Jonathan Of Guilt In Nigeria’s Security Challenges

apenaThe Deputy Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party in Lagos, Shakiru Apena on Thursday absolved President Goodluck Jonathan of any guilt concerning Nigeria’s security challenges.

The President had been criticised by members of the opposition party, APC, for declaring his interest in running for a second term 24 hours after a suicide bomber caused the death of several school students in Potiskum, Yobe State.

However, Apena insisted that it was the duty of the “security and intelligence community to protect the country and not the duty of the president of the country”.

This was his reaction to comments making the rounds by the opposition party All Progressives Congress (APC) that the President’s second term declaration rally came too close, after an attack on the school.

“The opposition party could have gone to Chibok by themselves. It’s easier said than done. Mr. President will not buckle to blackmail and pressure from an opposition that is desperate to get into power”, he said, noting that the issue of Boko Haram is a national tragedy which did not start from this administration but in the 80’s.

Commenting on the issues surrounding the Permanent Voters Card distribution (PVC), he said that Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) needed more staff to help in the distribution, adding that the issues concerning shifting of dates was partly because of logistic problems and inadequate staff.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr. Apena scored the distribution process average and further stated that people who cannot get the chance to collect their PVC can still get it from the local governments.

“The reason I scored INEC average is because the day I went to get my PVC there were just five people on the line which took me about 5mins to get mine, while others will like to wait till the last hour,” he noted.

LASG Provides Free Toll Lines For PVCs

Parmanent Voters CardThe Lagos State Government on Wednesday advised eligible and registered voters who are yet to pick up their Permanent Voters Card (PVC) in the 11 Local Governments where the distribution took place over the weekend, to do so in the offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) located at the Local Government offices.

The 11 Local Governments where distribution of Permanent Voters Card took place were Agege, Ajeromi-Ifelodun, Ifako-Ijaiye, Ikeja, Mushin, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland, Ibeju-Lekki, Ikorodu, Kosofe and Ojo.

Free toll lines were also activated on the same day regarding problems experienced in the recent Permanent Voters Card (PVC) distribution.

Members of the public who have any complaint or seek information concerning the Permanent Voters’ Card were asked to communicate such complaints by text only.

In a Press Statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Lateef Ibirogba, said the lines have become expedient following numerous anomalies arising from the distribution of the Card in 11 out of 20 Local Government Areas of the state, adding that they would serve as avenues for public enlightenment.

He said the numbers, which according to him, would be publicized on the Government’s website and Social Media, would open a channel of interaction between Government and members of the public over the Permanent Voters’ Card.

He also noted that the interaction would enable the government to explain and give useful information to the electorates and enable them obtain their PVC successfully.

INEC PVC Distribution ‘Abysmal’ – Ahmed

Ismail AhmedA youth leader in an opposition party in Nigeria, the All Progressives Congress, Ismail Ahmed, on Wednesday, described INEC’s distribution of the Permanent Voters Card  (PVC) as “abysmal”, noting that “there’s a general feeling that there is a deliberate attempt to sabotage this effort”.

“I think it was a very poor distribution exercise,” he said while giving his opinion on the PVC distribution on Sunrise Daily, a Channels Television’s programme.

He stated that some other states asides Lagos had experienced poor service from the electoral umpire.

“Of about the 484 wards we have in Kano, I don’t think there’s been distribution in up to about 200 wards (which is very low),” he said.

He noted that there were all kinds of excuses by INEC officials concerning the delay in distribution, including cases of stolen and burnt voter cards.

“If a bank can give you an ATM card and cash at the same time. You can use an ATM card to withdraw within specific days after it was issued. Why can’t a government institution like INEC, with all the resources at its disposal, do it in four year?” he questioned.

He highlighted that the constitution permits every Nigerian that is up to 18 years and above to vote, noting that since INEC is aware of the legal implications of the issues, it should allow voters with either temporary or permanent voters cards to carry out their civic duty.

“If INEC knows they are going to have a problem with these Permanent Voters Card, I think the best way to go about it is to allow anybody (whether with the temporary card – because they issue the temporary cards) or the Permanent Voters Card to vote on election day

“Then we can take care of the Permanent Voters Card (issue) as and when due; But you cannot have it from 2010 to 2014 and it’s still at this abysmal level.

He was not hopeful about INECs ability to deliver within four days, insisting that the agency had not performed so well in four years.

INEC Postpones PVC Distribution Exercise In Nasarawa

voters card The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has postponed the distribution of permanent voter cards exercise in Nasarawa State due to short supply of the materials, to avoid mass protests similar to what took place in Lagos State over the conduct of same exercise.

This is according to the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Nasarawa state; Mr. Ahmed Makamma who confirmed the postponement of the exercise.

Mr. Ahmed Makamma spoke to Channels Television, stating that Nasarawa state received only 30% of the Permanent Voters Card (PVCs) out of the over 1.2 million registered voters, a situation he said was likely to cause dispute within the state hence the postponement.

Reacting to the new development, Governor Tanko Al-Makura and other political stakeholders from the state embraced it, saying it was a right step in the right direction as posits the state well to step up sensitization ahead of the new date.

After Mr. Ahmed Makamma announced the postponement which he explained will allow for time to serve the people better with more public enlightenment and voter education message in a meeting with traditional rulers and other stakeholder, he announced a new date for the exercise which is now billed for the 28th-30th of November 2014.


Tinubu Accuses INEC Of Colluding With Presidency To Rig Lagos

TinubuThe National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Saturday condemned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the shoddy manner it is handling the distribution of Permanent Voters Cards in Lagos State, describing it as a ploy to rig the forthcoming 2015 election in collusion with the Presidency.

Asiwaju Tinubu, who spoke at a Press Conference alongside State leaders of the party at the State Secretariat of the APC at Acme Road, Ogba, urged registered voters to be vigilant as the development unfolds.

He affirmed that the exercise, which is in its second day, had failed because in many of the Wards of the 11 Local Governments, people are not locating their names while in some instances names of residents in a particular local governments have been swapped with that of another council.

Tinubu wondered why INEC could not get the process right in almost four years after it organized the last general elections maintaining that the de-listing of several eligible voters, the hitches and the seeming failures were deliberate plans to pave way for the rigging of the election in favour of the opposition party in Lagos.

The former Governor who was flanked by the Chairman of APC in Lagos State, Henry Ajomale and other members of the party in Lagos said,”This Permanent Voters Collection exercise has failed and it is not acceptable. We will consider it as a rigging exercise being practiced. INEC has colluded with the Presidency, the opposing party to rig this election from the database to the end.

“For four years you are unable to provide the Permanent Voters Card for those who are already in the record, and you are at this last minute, few months to the election still not ready with the voters cards in these 20 local government areas, you have not published the figures of those who were left out of the system as a result of one fault or the other and no disclosures on them.

“You have not been able to rectify the anomalies and irregularities that might have been involved. You have not been able by now to even start the exercise for those who are 18 years and above that should be captured and be given the right to vote. If you have four years for this exercise and four to five months to this election you are still giving excuse, you have failed,” he said.

Tinubu, who queried the decision of INEC to reduce the number of registered voters in Lagos from over 6million to 4.8 million challenged the electoral body to publish the names of all those who allegedly took part in multiple registration, adding that the electoral umpire has no powers to disqualify anybody on the basis that he registered twice, saying it is only the court of law that can make pronouncements on that.

According to him, “INEC must publish the names of close to 2 million voters excluded from the voters list, INEC is not the court of law, and you cannot exclude Nigerians from exercising their franchise. You cannot automatically without the court of law pronouncing it, disqualify them. If you fail to publish it and give reasons, you are also violating their constitutional rights.”

The APC national leader described the exercise as a colossal failure adding that it has eroded his confidence in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to be able to midwife a successful 2015 elections.

He said that the State chapter of the party would report the deliberate inadequacies of INEC to the national body of the party and may resort to several actions to protest the deliberate attempt to disenfranchise eligible voters in the state if the need arises and set the stage for manipulation of the polls.

While reading the position of the party, the APC Publicity Secretary Lagos State, Mr. Joe Igbokwe, said, “INEC has failed in the ongoing distribution of Permanent Voter Card (PVC) and that poling units whose registered voters have been reduced to zero are on the increase with the number now as high 1,801.

“The question INEC needs to answer is how did all these names get wiped down to zero? It boggles the mind that in a densely populated and politically active state such as Lagos, there can be so many units with no registered voters at all,” Mr Igbokwe stressed.

The State chapter of the party asked to know why INEC could not stop the exercise until it is ready to conduct the distribution in all the 20 Local Government Areas, stating that it suspects that INEC was working with the ruling party to deliberately bungle the exercise in order to favour the opposition party in the state.

Mr Joe Igbokwe said that the PVC for the 11 Local Governments Areas being distributed was below 20 percent of the total registered voters in Lagos State.

Also speaking on observations made from field reports, the State Chairman of the Party said that in many wards of the 11 Local Governments, the cards distribution has not started and that the names of residents of a particular local government area were taken to different Local Government areas.

Also present at the briefing were the Vice Chairman, Funsho Ologunde, State Women leader of the party, Mrs Kemi Nelson and Murphy Adetoro.

Protests Greet Distribution Of PVC In Ogun

PVCThe Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, has called for an extension of time for the distribution of the Permanent Voters Card (PVC) which has been marred by many challenges across the 20 Local Government Areas of the state.

He made this call while addressing residents of Sagamu Local Government during a peaceful protest held in the town.

The protesters, armed with various inscriptions stormed the streets of Sagamu to protest their inability to to get their PVC in its second day of the distribution exercise.

They alleged that no official of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had visited their areas for the exercise.

According to Governor Amosun, the current situation whereby less that 10% of the eligible voters have been able to get their cards, a day to the expiration of the official closing of the exercise, was unacceptable.

The Governor and his entourage then took their case to the state headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission located at the Presidential Boulevard in the state capital.

An argument reportedly ensued between the Governor and the National Commissioner in charge of Oyo, Ogun and Ekiti states, Prof Lati Olurode.

However, the electoral commission admitted that there were indeed challenges but was quick to give assurances that all eligible voters would be given the opportunity to collect their PVC with a probable extension of the exercise.

Although tension seemed to be rising among the people as a result of the challenges and obstacles, the Governor has appealed to Ogun State residents not to take the law into their hands.

Amaechi Encourages Rivers Residents To Participate In PVC Exercise

amaechi-rotimi 1Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Amaechi, has called on Rivers State residents across political divides to fully participate in the Permanent Voters Card collection and continuous registration exercise in the state.

The governor stated this in a meeting with journalists in Port Harcourt.

According to him, the exercise presents an opportunity for the people to arm themselves and ventilate their grievances or show their support for their party of choice as the case may be.

Governor Amaechi however said even when he was a member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), he had always refused to follow the norm, which according to him was against his conscience.