2023: INEC Not Doing Enough On Voter Registration, PVC – Pat Utomi

A Professor of Political Economy and management expert, Pat Utomi, speaks during an interview on Channels Television.

 

Ahead of the 2023 general election, a political economist, Professor Pat Utomi has charged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to step up its efforts on voter registration and the issuance of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).

Utomi, who was a guest on Newsnight, a pre-recorded show on Channels Television, claimed the electoral body was not doing enough.

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“I don’t like the fact that voter registration is not continuing, I think that is an invasion of the democratic rights of the citizens,” he said.

“INEC likes to put bureaucracy above democracy. I think that all efforts need to be made to ensure that people are getting their PVC after registration. I don’t think they are doing enough; I think more needs to be done.”

He re-echoed claims that INEC can never be a fair umpire as it is perceived to be used by the ruling class. Expressing his displeasure over the situation, Utomi said he will keep pushing the Commission do to the needful in the interest of Nigeria’s democracy.

He also spoke on the nation’s security challenges as Nigerians prepare to go to the polls in February 2023.

The political economist, also a chieftain of the Labour Party, asked the Federal Government to nip insecurity in the bud so that next year’s polls will not be threatened.

He wants the President Muhammadu Buhari administration as well as the security agencies to ensure that some security threats are being tackled. The LP chieftain said Nigeria’s current security situation is the result of not taking heed of warnings issued in that regard from as far as back as the run-up to the 1999 transition to democracy.

He added, “We must do everything to contain as much of it as possible to make a democratic process work next year

“Nothing about this state of insecurity is a surprise. Just at a time, the civilian government was coming in in 1999, an American predicted what we are going through.”

Watch the full interview at 9 pm on Monday on Channels Television. Watch on DSTV:420 | Sky UK: 518 | Live Stream: www.channelstv.com/live

2023: Collect Your PVCs, Former INEC Commissioner Urges Nigerians


 

Former National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Lai Olurode has called on registered voters to collect their Permanent Voter Cards ahead of the 2023 general elections.

“People obtain the cards for other uses, not primarily for the purpose of elections. I think for those who are interested voters, by now they should have known if their cards are ready,” Olurode said on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme on Wednesday.

“INEC is complaining that people are not coming out to collect their cards. People should go out there, collect their cards, and take elections more seriously. We can’t be lamenting all year round but the majority of the elite won’t go out there,” he added.

The former INEC commissioner addressed the decision by the commission to forego incident forms, previously introduced by the Attahiru Jega administration of INEC as a means of documenting instances of technological challenges during an election.

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He cited the possibility of the forms being abused as a likely reason for its removal from the election process.

“I’m sure INEC will have its backup plans to accommodate instances that could not have been foreseen. But I think it is important to stress that when the voters’ list is displayed, people should go, observe and be sure that their names are on the register,” Olurode stated.

“You cannot go there on the day of election and begin to complain that ‘my name is not there.’ We have to take it very seriously and I think INEC can be more active in providing enough education for people.”

Labour Party Supporters In Ondo, Enugu Hold Solidarity March For Obi 

 

As the 2023 general elections draw closer, supporters of the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi, have held a solidarity march in Enugu and Ondo states. 

The supporters, who were largely young people, held the march on Saturday as they rally more Nigerians to back the former Anambra State governor’s presidential bid.

In Enugu State, the youths embarked on what they called a “One Million-Man March” to show their solidarity for Obi. The supporters, who are known as “Obidients”,  took off from Mike Opara Square in Enugu, and marched through the major streets in the town.

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Peter Obi’s supporters during a rally in Enugu on September 10th, 2022. [email protected]

 

They called on residents of the town to get their Permanent Voters Card (PVC) so as to vote for a “new Nigeria” and “take back their country”.

[email protected]_weyimi

 

It was also a similar scenario in the Ondo State capital, Akure, as the supporters, dressed in branded T-shirts, called on residents to throw their support behind Obi.

Just like in Enugu, they marched through the major streets in Akure, chanting solidarity songs and carrying placards bearing different inscriptions.

The supporters, who are also mainly youths, said they came out to support Peter Obi because they are tired of the state of the nation. According to them, their action was not influenced by money or other material things but by a push for the country to “move to a new direction”.

Some of them said while they have never had much interest in the country’s political activities, this has changed since Obi emerged as a presidential candidate for next year’s poll.

Peter Obi’s supporters during a rally in Enugu on September 10th, 2022. [email protected]

 

Meanwhile, in Ebonyi State, the Peter Obi Movement arrived at the capital, Abakaliki, on Saturday.

The Movement with the theme, “Charity Begins at Home, comprised youths, state and national leaders of the Labour Party. They called on the resident of Ebonyi State to vote for a credible candidate in the person of Obi and his running mate, Yusuf Baba-Ahmed.

Leaders of the Movement also called on the southeast to embrace what they believe will bring the much-needed transformation needed in Nigeria.

PVC Collection: Tambuwal Declares Thursday And Friday Work Free

A photo combination of Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal and a map of Sokoto State.
A photo combination of Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal and a map of Sokoto State.

 

Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State has declared Thursday and Friday, July 28 and 29, 2022, as work free days.

This is in order to allow members of the public and public servants in the the state to fully participate in the ongoing voters registration exercise across the country.

Equally, the break is also to allow local government chairmen and their councilors as well as the teeming workers to go out for the mobilization and sensitization of eligible voters to go out and register as well as collect their Personal Voters Card (PVC) in the state in order to be part of the upcoming General Elections in the country.

Governor Tambuwal in a short staement on Wednesday appealed to all citizens in the state to be orderly in the course of the exercise.


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Similarly,  Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi state has approved Thursday and Friday this week as work free days to enable civil servants participate in the ongoing voters’ card registration before the deadline of 31st July, 2022

A statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Abubakar Mu’azu Dakingari quotes the Head of the Civil Service, Alhaji Sufiyanu Garba Bena as saying, this is part of the state government’s effort to play an encouraging role to enable civil servants partake fully in the exercise, in preparation for the forth coming general election in February, 2023.

Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu therefore appealed to all and sundry, especially people in the rural areas to turn-out en-masse to ensure massive participation.

The governor directed local and state government officials and other stakeholders to encourage and embark on voter education and sensitization enlightenment awareness to motivate eligible voters to acquire the permanent voters card (PVC).

Voter Registration: Kaduna Govt Declares Three-Day Holiday

A file photo of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.

 

The Kaduna State Government has declared a three-day public holiday to enable more citizens to complete their voter registration.

This was contained in a statement by the Special Adviser to Governor Nasir El-Rufai on Media and Communication, Muyiwa Adekeye, on Tuesday, saying the holiday is from July 27 to 29th.

He said the move is necessary so that more Kaduna electorates will be able to obtain their Permanent Voter Cards and participate in the 2023 general elections.

READ ALSO: NLC Holds Nationwide Protest Over University Unions Strike

While urging all eligible residents of the state to seize this window to register to vote and to therefore be in a position to exercise their right to vote, Adekeye disclosed that the government requests all employers to actively support their staff to register before INEC closes voter registration on July 31.

Meanwhile, university students in the state have joined the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) in a solidarity protest with the University Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

ASUU on February 14 embarked on industrial action to press home their demands for better welfare of members, revamping of the nation’s education sector, and implementation of the 2009 agreement among several others.

However, the labour unions decided to embark on a solidarity protest nationwide on Tuesday to compel the Federal Government to address the issues raised by the striking lecturers.

READ ALSO: University Strike: Three Days National Warning Strike Next If FG Fails To Act – NLC

Over 40 affiliate unions of the NLC including student unions joined in the peaceful protest held in the Kaduna state capital amid tight security.

Most university students sang solidarity songs and carried placards with various inscriptions like ‘Universities is a shame, sign the draft agreement to end the strike,’ ‘End ASUU strike now,’ ‘Better condition of service is necessary, a pay rise is long overdue,’ etc.

See the full statement issued by the state government below:

Voter Registration: KDSG declares public holiday 27-29 July 2022

The Kaduna State Government has appealed to residents of the state to register to vote before 31st July 2022.

The state government has also declared 27th – 29th July 2022 as public holiday to enable more citizens to complete their voter registration.

A statement from Sir Kashim Ibrahim House urged all eligible residents of the State to seize this window to register to vote,  and to therefore be in a position to exercise their right to vote.

The statement disclosed that the government requests all employers to actively support their staff to register before INEC closes voter registration on 31st July 2022.

Signed

Muyiwa Adekeye

Special Adviser to the Governor (Media & Communication)

26th July 2022

 

Northern Youths Worry Over Low Registration Of PVC

 

Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has expressed worry over low turnout of young people for the registration, revalidation and collection of their Permanent Voters Registration (PVC).

The Director, Strategic Communications of the Coalition, Samaila Musa, disclosed this concern while speaking with journalists during a Sensitization Walk which held in Minna, titled ‘Get Your PVC to Rescue and Rebuild Nigeria’.

Musa urged youths in the country to desist from all forms of social media abuses, adding that the youths should express their anger by getting their PVC and vote for credible leaders during the 2023 general elections.


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He emphasized that the youths owned the country considering its population strength and should resist the hijack of the nation hence must ensure the change of narratives politically.

The Group Director on Political Affairs, Comrade Mohammed Mohammed said Niger state is third lowest ranking in the online and registration with over 20,000 unclaimed PVCs, a development which he described as worrisome.

Mohammed noted that the sensitization became necessary because to change anything within the political system the citizens must be armed with their PVC to effect a change by voting for a great leaders of their choice.

Osun Election: PDP Accuses APC Of Rigging Plots, Scheme To Bribe INEC

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says it has uncovered an orchestrated plot by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to derail the nation’s democracy by compromising the integrity and sabotaging the will and desire of the people for a free, fair, transparent and credible electoral process in the Saturday July 16, 2022 governorship election in Osun State.

Spokesman for the PDP, Hon. Debo Ologunagba, in a statement on Friday said the APC has accentuated its rigging programme by deploying billions of naira to compromise some security and electoral officers to intimidate voters, manipulate electoral process and inordinately favour the APC Candidate, Governor Gboyega Oyetola, against the will of the people.

The PDP said it has been made aware of how huge sums of money have been funneled to certain compromised security and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials to execute this ignoble scheme.


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“The said INEC and security officials are reported to have been bought over to among other things, criminally assist and provide cover for APC agents to prosecute a well-oiled vote buying and violence-triggering scheme.

“Our Party has information on how two prominent APC Governors from the South West, a former APC National Chairman from the South South, certain federal Minister and a particular member of the House of Assembly from Lagos State are coordinating the release of billions of naira to bribe electoral and security officials as well as fund heavily armed thugs imported from Lagos, Ondo, Ogun and other South West States to unleash violence and help the APC to rig the election.

“The PDP alerts of a leaked report of how the APC released N20 million and N15 million respectively to two top police officers; N10 million to four Assistant Inspector General of Police, N5 million each to four Commissioners of Police, N3 million each to 15 Deputy Commissioners of Police, N2million each to 30 Assistant Commissioners of Police to compromise the electoral process.

“Our Party also has further reports of how the APC released the sum of N10 million per Local Government Area for INEC officials in all the 30 Local Government Areas in Osun Steta, N7million to thugs masquerading as Amotekun officials and a huge sum of money for propaganda to a certain compromised media outfit.

“The PDP has however been made aware that some patriotic INEC and Police officials vehemently rejected the poisonous offer by the APC. Our Party salutes the courage and patriotism of such officers who resisted the APC for the love of our country.

“The PDP calls on the Inspector General of Police and the Chairman of INEC, Prof Mahmood Yakubu to take immediate decisive steps to check the activities of police and INEC officials deployed to Osun State so as to avert a breakdown of Law and Order, especially given the manifest determination of the people of Osun State to resist the APC on its evil scheme,” Hon Ologunagba enunciated.

The PDP demanded that the Police and INEC immediately rejig their formations in Osun State as a step to assuage, reassure the electorate and prevent an impending crisis in the state.

The opposition party further urged the people of Osun to remain undeterred and focused in their determination to free their State from the “misrule” of the APC.

Osun Election: INEC Extends PVC Collection To July 14

An elderly man displays his voter’s card.

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission has extended the collection of Permanent Voter Cards to July 14 for those interested in exercising their francise in the Osun governorship election.

The election is slated for July 16.

“Extending the last date for the collection of PVCs to Thursday14th July 2022 i.e. 24 hours to the election,” INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, said in a statement via the commission’s verified Twitter page.

READ ALSO: INEC Promises Transparent Osun Election, Says Electorate Will Decide Winner

“I appeal to all registered voters that are yet to collect their PVCs to seize the opportunity of the additional measures to do so.

“Many of the PVCs have already been collected by citizens. Of the 1,955,657 registered voters in Osun State, 1,479,595 (or 76%) have collected their cards as at Sunday 10th July 2022.”

Voter Registration: New Registrants Now 10.4m, Says INEC

A man displays his voter's card on September 19, 2020. Photo credit: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television.
In this file photo, a man displays his voter’s card on September 19, 2020. Photo credit: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television.

 

Over 10 million new voters have registered in the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise across the country.

This is according to the update for Week 11 in the Fourth Quarter released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday.

A breakdown of the figure showed that while fresh registrants hit 10,487,972, completed registration was pegged at 8,631,696.

Online registration as of 7 am, Monday 27th June 2022 was pegged at 3,250,449, and physical registration, at 5,381,247.

Furthermore, the update noted that the fresh registrants are made up of 4,292,690 males; females: 4,339,006; Persons Living with Disabilities (PWDs): 67,171 and youths: 6,081,456.


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Before now, the electoral body has said extending the voters’ registration was now inevitable following a surge in interest and calls by Nigerians for the exercise to be extended.

INEC National Commissioner Festus Okoye said this on Friday as the June 30th deadline draws closer.

He said INEC “is disposed towards extending the date for the CVR”.

“We are convinced that after we make our arguments, the court will be convinced on why we cannot extend the CVR beyond a certain period,” Mr Okoye added.

“But we are convinced, given the enthusiasm of Nigerians, given the new resolve of Nigerians to register, that an extension is inevitable.

“The Commission is disposed towards extending the period for the CVR but not up to the period that some people are canvassing.”

As part of moves to get Nigerians registered, the European Union and YIAGA Africa, a civil organisation, recently organised concerts in Lagos and Abuja.

Tagged ‘Youth Vote Count’, the mega concerts have top Nigerian artists performing to a teeming crowd. Registrations were also done at the events.

Religious organisations and other bodies have also ramped up efforts to get eligible Nigerians enrolled.

Bauchi Govt Declares June 27 Public Holiday For PVC Registration

Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed speaks at the Government House in Bauchi State.

 

The Bauchi State Government has declared Monday, June 27 as a public holiday to enable eligible voters who are yet to register for their Permanent Voters Card to participate in the ongoing registration exercise.

This is contained in a press statement issued by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Governor, Mukhtar Gidado.

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According to Gidado, the state-wide public holiday is to “enable citizens of the state who attained the age of 18 years after the 2019 general elections or lost their permanent voters card or even changed their location to take advantage of the ongoing INEC continuous voters registration exercise and obtain their Permanent Voters Card (PVCs).”

Governor Mohammed is also worried about the low participation of eligible voters for the exercise and he is directing all political appointees and other public office holders to mobilize registrants in their respective electoral wards for the exercise.

“Governor Bala Mohammed equally expressed serious concern on the low turn-out of eligible voters and therefore directed all hon. commissioners, special advisers, senior special assistants, board chairmen, directors-general, executive secretaries, permanent secretaries, and other public office holders, to proceed to their respective electoral wards to mobilize eligible registrants to come out en-mass and register.”

Election Shift: PVC Collection, Campaigns ‘Remain Closed’ – INEC Chairman

Election Shift: PVC Collection, Campaigns 'Remain Closed' – INEC Chairman
Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmoud Yakubu, with other officials at a briefing in the early hours of Saturday, just before the Commission announced the postponement of the general elections. Photo: ChannelsTV/ Sodiq Adelakun

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says there is no going back on its decision on electioneering campaigns in the country.

This is according to the INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, who spoke at a stakeholders’ meeting on the general elections in Abuja.

The electoral umpire called the meeting to address political parties and others following the postponement of the polls initially scheduled to commence on Saturday.

Will campaign resume? Campaigns closed at midnight of Thursday last week and for the period that remains, campaigns will remain closed,” Professor Yabuku said in response to a question about whether campaigns would resume or not.

READ ALSO: Oshiomhole Queries Timing Of INEC’s Decision On Election Postponement

He explained that in addition to the issues of campaigns, there is no plan to resume the collection of Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) for the electorate.

According to the INEC boss, all the other processes as provided for in the main timetable and schedule of activities will remain in force.

 

He further responded to a question from a party chairman who asked why the commission refused to apologise to Nigerians who had waited patiently for the elections.

Professor Yabuku noted that he had done this “in the last paragraph of my statement”, although he did not use “exactly the same adjective”.

He said the staff of the electoral body under his leadership were public officers accountable to the Nigerian people.

The INEC boss said their first responsibility was to protect the interest of the public and vowed that they would take the responsibility seriously.

On my behalf as chairman and on behalf of the commissioners, we regret what happened yesterday, or early this morning,” he pleaded.

On why they waited until the early hours of Saturday before announcing the shift, Professor Mahmood explained that INEC was confident that the polls would go on as scheduled.

“For three days, since Wednesday, many of the commissioners, including myself have virtually been sleeping in Abuja Airport,” he lamented.

We mobilised all national assets to ensure that we deliver what remains of electoral logistics to locations and to conduct the elections,” he said.

PDP Urges INEC To Be Unbiased In Sharing Of PVC

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has urged Nigerians who are yet to collect their Permanent Voters Cards (PVC) to take advantage of the extension of the deadline for collection by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to get their cards ahead of next Saturday’s crucial presidential election.

The party also urged INEC field officers not to pitch themselves against Nigerians with any action that could portray them as deliberately refusing to issue the PVCs to registered voters.

In a statement by PDP spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the opposition party said the collection of PVCs is of utmost national importance to Nigerians.

READ ALSO: INEC Extends Deadline For PVC Collection

Ologbondiyan in his statement on Friday, said Nigerians are so eager for the election that anything which appears to be in the way of their aspiration could lead to unpalatable reactions with very dire consequences.

He asked INEC officials charged with the responsibility of distributing the PVCs to conduct themselves in a manner that is not only neutral but also publicly seen to be neutral and transparent.

“Such INEC officers should note that Nigerians have become so politically aware that they could easily identify acts that tend to compromise the credibility of the electoral process,” the PDP spokesman noted.