Buhari Receives Support Group, Calls For Increased Voter Education

Buhari Receives Support Group, Calls For Increased Voter Education
President Muhammadu Buhari with members of the Buhari Support Group Centre (BSGC) at the State House in Abuja on July 20, 2018.


President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday called for increased voter education across the country as Nigeria prepares for the forthcoming general election.

With less than 211 days to the polls, the President believes the awareness would encourage the citizens to appreciate the importance of obtaining their Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVC).

The President said this when he received members of the Buhari Support Group Centre who visited him at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

He thanked the group for its support and sacrifice over the years and pledged to continue to work towards consolidating on the achievements of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

“I thank you very much for the sacrifice you have been making. I am happy to use this opportunity to meet you and thank you for the sacrifices and steadfastness.

“I don’t think I can thank you enough because by identifying yourself as a group for all these years and getting nothing for it visibly, I think its worthy of commendation,” President Buhari said.

In his remarks, the Coordinator of the BSGC, Umaru Dembo, said “through thick and thin, rain or sunshine, hot or cold, we are here to assure Mr President that since 2014 we have been working, expanding and helping to explain the new life that your government has ushered in for the good people of Nigeria.”

Dembo said the BSGC had initiated the documentation of the President’s achievements in a book authored by Dr Sani Bichi and himself.

He also assured the President of a bottom-up process of mobilising more supporters for the administration, while appreciating him for reversing the trend of impunity, corruption and lawlessness that existed before 2015.

The BSGC coordinator said the group is an umbrella organisation encompassing Women for Buhari and Osinbajo, A Kasaa Tsare, Northern Youth Assembly, and Buhari Renewal Mandate, among others in support of good governance in the country.

Cash Recovery Claim Shows Police Desperate To Impress – Rivers Govt.

nyesom-wike-governor-of-rivers-state-on-panel-probeThe Rivers state government has described as false, the claims by the Police that it has recovered the sum of 111 million Naira from electoral officers allegedly bribed by the government to manipulate the Rivers rerun election.

The Commissioner for Information and Communication, Dr Austin Tam-George in a statement described the allegations of the Police as “shameful, defamatory and reckless in the extreme”.

He expressed belief that “the police panel is part of a bitter, politically-driven smear campaign launched by the Federal Government against Governor Nyesom Wike, and the people of Rivers State”.

In another statement signed by the Special Assistant to the Rivers State Governor on Electronic Media, Simeon Nwakaudu, the government challenged the Police to provide proof that the accused officials had been in possession of the large sum of money displayed before they were paraded.

The statement reads: “Our attention has been drawn to a press conference addressed by the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Investigative Panel on Rivers Rerun wherein the panel claimed that the Rivers State Government spent N360million to ensure that the rerun legislative elections of December 10, 2016 were rigged in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP).

“The statement is patently false, politically motivated and cooked by the Nigerian Police to justify the violence they visited on the people of Rivers State during the rerun.

“This Inspector General of Police and his team are neck deep crime. This statement credited to the Police High Command is aimed at diverting attention from its loss of credibility, after its attempt to assassinate Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike failed woefully.

“The Press Conference addressed by the IGP Investigative Panel headed by Mr Damian Okoro and the IGP Ibrahim Idris is yet another fictional account by a Police Force that has lost its moral base as it is intent on reinventing itself through falsehood.

“The Press Conference by the Police High Command is a hasty desperate attempt to circumvent the judicial process as Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has already challenged the legality of the IGP Investigative Panel at the Federal High Court.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, did not spend N360million to rig the Rerun legislative elections of December 10, 2016.

“The people of Rivers State overwhelmingly voted the PDP across the state because of the outstanding performance of Governor Wike since May 29, 2015.

“The drama at the Press Conference convened by the IGP Investigative Panel and the IGP reveals the script being acted by the Police High Command, which is now obviously an arm of the Ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

“Damian Okoro claimed that three INEC Officials who allegedly met with Governor Wike would be interviewed by journalists at the event. The IGP hatchet man after his false press statement refused to allow the promised interview to take place because he knew that the truth would be revealed.

“The Nigerian Police played an inglorious role during the December 10, 2016, helping the All Progressives Congress (APC) to rig elections in the few constituencies were they were declared winner.

“Video evidence in the public domain proved that the police killed, maimed, snatched result sheets and ballot boxes as they assisted the APC all through the ill-fated rerun elections.

“On December 12, 2016, the Rivers SARS Commander, Mr Akin Fakorede was caught on camera manhandling electoral officials as he sought to rig the Rivers East Senatorial District in favour of the APC at the Rivers East Senatorial District Collation Center.

“Prior to the rerun legislative elections, the Rivers State APC fake INEC result sheets printing syndicate was busted and the lead printer, Atonyesia Peterside arrested.

“The Nigerian Police has since swept the matter under the carpet, even though majority of the fake result sheets were used on December 10, 2016 by APC and pliant INEC Officials under police protection.

“Even in concocting falsehood, the Police High Command failed to display intelligence.

“A simple poser to the Police High Command: Where did the so-called electoral officials save the monies that they displayed before journalists two months after they allegedly received bribe? How come no funds where spent by the said officials under the present circumstances?

“This entire drama is aimed at helping the Rivers APC at the Election Tribunal as the Police High Command did during the Rivers State Governorship Election Tribunal at Abuja.

“Nigerians are not deceived by the Security Arm of the APC. The Police High Command as presently constituted will not escape the long arm of the law as they are complicit in the violence unleashed on Rivers people during the rerun legislative elections.

“Countless false press conferences and false press statements will not improve the damaged image of the Nigerian Police in relation to their ignoble role during the rerun legislative elections of December 10, 2016.

“A final poser to the Police High Command: Why did the Police refuse to tell the world about the persons who killed DSP Alkali?”

Rivers Rerun: Police Recover Alleged 111m Naira From Electoral Officers

Rivers Rerun: Police Recover Over 111m Naira From Electoral OfficersThe Police claims it has recovered 111 million Naira from some of the electoral officers who conducted the Rivers rerun election.

Releasing the report of the investigative panel on Monday, the Police showed cash evidence allegedly recovered from 23 suspects.

The recovered cash was displayed at a news conference where the panel submitted its report to the Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris.

Receiving the report, the Inspector General vowed to end the culture of political violence perpetrated by politicians.

He promised that all those indicted by the panel’s report, including six dismissed Police officers would be prosecuted to serve as a deterrent to others who see elections as a do or die affair.

Reacting to the report of the panel, the Director, Voter Education and Publicity‎ of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, pledged to cooperate with the Police authorities in prosecuting indicted officials.

There has been a lot of controversies since the conduct of the re-run election leading to allegations of bribery and intimidation.

When the panel was set up by the Police, the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, openly criticized the composition of the investigative committee, saying he had no confidence in it.

He also set up his own committee to look into the complaints and allegation of fraud during the Rivers re-run election.

Buhari Votes In Katsina

Muhammadu Buhari votingThe Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) General Muhammadu Buhari has cast his vote at his hometown, Daura in Katsina State.

General Buhari was earlier accredited at the same polling unit early in the morning when accreditation started.

He is the strong opposition to the incumbent President and the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Goodluck Jonathan.

After voting, the APC Presidential candidate did not speak with reporters.

Earlier, President Jonathan voted at his home town, Otuoke in Bayelsa State.

President Jonathan and his wife, Patience, were among the first voters to cast their votes in the state after voting started at about past 3:00pm.

He told reporters that he was hopeful.

Addressing reporters after casting his vote, President Jonathan urged Nigerians to be patient with the electoral body despite the issues with the card reader reported at some polling units.

After voting, President Jonathan said: “Let me again use this unique opportunity to congratulate our dear country Nigeria and everyone in Nigeria.

“We appreciate the patience of everyone.

“INEC wants to use the card reader to make sure that electoral process is credible and acceptable by international electoral observers. I believe that at the end of the day we all will be happy,” he said.

Sambo Commends Voting Process

Namadi Sambo VotingThe Vice President, Namadi Sambo has commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for reversing to the use of manual accreditation of voters following the challenges associated with the use of the card reader.

The Vice President made the remark after he and his wife, Amina, voted at their Police College polling unit in Kaduna.

He, however, urged the commission to make changes whenever required to ensure that no eligible voter would be disenfranchised.

The Vice President alongside his wife was accredited at about 11:20am local time, after which he described the process as successful and expressed optimism that the election would be free and fair.

After monitoring field reports in the accreditation process, the INEC said it had to adjust the guidelines to ensure that persons at polling units where card readers had failed would be accredited and allowed to vote.

“Whereas the process has gone well in several places, in some others it has encountered some challenges, especially with the use of card readers.

“Consequently, accreditation has been slow in many places and has not commenced at all in some others.

“Even though the guidelines for the conduct of the 2015 general elections provide that where card readers fail to work and cannot be replaced, elections in such polling units will be postponed to the following day, the scale of the challenge we have observed today, necessitated a reconsideration of this provision of the guideline,” the INEC said.

At Least 11 Killed In Gombe, Yobe Attacks

Gunmen-2At least 11 people have been reported killed by unidentified gunmen in Gombe State and Yobe States, North-East Nigeria.

The incident is reported to have stalled voting in Dukku as well as Shole.

Suspected terrorists in cars and motorcycles were reported to have started shooting sporadically in the areas.

In Dukku the attackers were said to have burnt a police station and a bank, causing voters to desert the areas.

Three people were also reported to have been killed in Yobe State, also in Nigeria’s northeast, while voting was going on.

Earlier in Enugu, tragedy was averted after a Honda car driven by yet to be identified persons and conveying items suspected to be Improvised Explosive Devices (IED), exploded shattering the said vehicle on the road behind the WTC polling station at the Ogui area of Enugu.

It was gathered that due to the heavy presence of security operatives at the venue, the drivers of the vehicle could not gain access to the polling area but had to park the vehicle and left before the blast occurred.

Full Text: INEC Amends Election Guidelines

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)  has been monitoring field reports on the accreditation process since the commencement of the poll this morning.

Whereas the process has gone well in several places, in some others it has encountered some challenges, especially with the use of card readers.

Consequently, accreditation has been slow in many places and has not commenced at all in some others.

Even though the guidelines for the conduct of the 2015 general elections provide that where card readers fail to work and cannot be replaced, elections in such polling units will be postponed to the following day, the scale of the challenge we have observed today, necessitated a reconsideration of this provision of the guideline.

The commission has therefore, decided, as part of the guidelines for the conduct of the 2015 general elections, that in polling units where card readers have failed to work, the presiding officer shall manually accredit voters by marking the register of voters, upon being satisfied that the person presenting a permanent Voter Card (PVC) is a legitimate holder of the card.

The above not withstanding, in polling units where accreditation was suspended to the following day in accordance with the existing guidelines, arrangements will be made for voters to vote tomorrow, subject to the provision of the electoral act 2010 (as amended).

The commission reassures the voting public that it will thoroughly investigate what happened, while it remains committed to the delivery of free, fair and credible elections in spite of the challenges.


Obasanjo Confident Of Nigeria’s Unity And Future

Olusegun ObasanjoA former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has expressed confidence in the unity and future of Nigeria despite the many challenges slowing down its development.

After casting his vote in Ward 11 in his home town, Abeokuta in Ogun State, the former President said that the outcome of the elections could shape the nation’s democracy and democratic process.

The exercise in Abeokuta, the state capital, was peaceful despite the initial challenges experienced.

Accreditation of eligible voters commenced behind schedule in some polling units, as officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and materials came in late.

However, when the accreditation got underway, the exercise was hitch free, and orderly.

At other poling units, especially Ward 11 Totoro, Polling Unit 21, no INEC official was seen around, a situation the resident electoral commissioner said had been addressed

Leading the State Commissioner of Police and other security chiefs during the exercise, the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of the south-west, Ashimu Argungu, commended the peaceful conduct of the election in the state.

INEC/NOA Kicks Off Voter Education In Yobe

inec-Voter EducationThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in collaboration with the National Orientation Agency (NOA) have commenced voter education for electorates of Gujba Local Government Area of Yobe State, North-east Nigeria.

The Desk Officer of NOA in the State, Danlami Mohammed, said in a session with journalists on Wednesday, that the voter education exercise was aimed at introducing electorates to the card readers among other legitimate ways of voting, to ensure a successful 2015 election in Yobe state.

The exercise according to him, drew participants from Gujba Local Government Area which had been displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency.

Mohammed stressed that the exercise has helped tremendously in educating voters ahead of the election, calling on other Local Governments to partner INEC/NOA for similar exercise in their areas.

He also noted that the voter education had in attendance traditional rulers, politicians, religious leaders among others and thanked the Chairman of Gujba Local Government for his contribution to the success of the exercise.

While commending the military operation going on within Gujba and environs, he called on the Federal Government to come to the help of the people of Gujba and Gulani to enable them go back to their homes.

Channels Television correspondent, Jonathan Gopep, reports that electorates across the state are set for the 2015 general election as most people had gotten their PVCs.