The Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth, and Advancement (YIAGA) has condemned what it described as the low turnout of voters in Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly elections.
The election observer group said based on its estimates and projections, the 2019 elections held on February 23, 2019 experienced less turnout of voters than in 2015.
While the group’s preliminary report on the polls in Abuja, the board chairman of YIAGA, Dr. Hussaini Abdu, noted that Nigeria missed the opportunity to improve on the feat achieved in the 2015 elections.
YIAGA attributed this development to what it said was significant incidents of vote buying, ballot box snatching, interference by party agents and late arrival of the Independent National Electoral Commission officials and election materials to polling units.
The group promised that it would verify the accuracy of the results when they are ultimately declared by INEC.
Abdu said, “Political party agents deployed to the polling units should remain through the voting and counting processes and should continue to conduct themselves in a professional manner.”
YIAGA commended Nigerians for their resilience and commitment to vote in the elections, urging them to remain peaceful and vigilant to ensure their votes count.
After an intriguing period of political drama and campaigning, heralded by defections and war of words, Nigerians will today to decide who will lead the country for the next four years and elect lawmakers to fill the 469 national legislative seats up for grabs.
The photos below highlight the situation across the country as citizens exercise their franchise.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has warned underage voters to stay away from the general elections, warning that anyone less than 18 years who is caught being accredited will be arrested.
INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, stated this on Friday while briefing stakeholders in Abuja, the nation’s capital about the Commission’s preparedness for tomorrow’s exercise.
“Under-aged voting is illegality because there is a statutory age for eligibility for registration as a voter. But what you should do is that if on election day, you find anyone that is apparently under-aged, or conclusively so, kindly report this to any official of the Commission or the security agencies,” he stated.
According to the INEC boss, the Commission is working with the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to effectively identify areas that might disrupt the voting process.
According to Professor Yakubu, it is only Nigerians who have been registered for the elections that can exercise their franchise.
“Any underage person caught trying to be accredited or voting on the election day will be arrested. Voting is only open to Nigerian citizens who are above the statutory age of 18 (years).”
As for those planning to sponsor minors to vote, the INEC Chairman warned, “Let me use this opportunity to warn those who may want to sponsor underage persons to vote on election day that they will be arrested.”
Yakubu explained that no report of underage voters was made in the previous elections INEC conducted in about 195 constituencies in Kogi State in 2015 and that of Osun last year.
With the Presidential and National Assembly elections to take place in less than 12 hours, the electoral umpire is reiterating its commitment to conducting free, fair and credible polls.
The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, says the commission has expunged over 1000 Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) discovered from illegal aliens in the country.
Yakubu stated this during an interview with on Channels Television where he spoke on the INEC’s preparedness to properly clean up the voter register ahead of the February 16 presidential election.
“We have liaised with the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS ) and they have done a fantastic job in confiscating cards where there are PVCs from aliens who registered. Remember the law says it is only Nigerians who are entitled to register and vote in our elections.
“I think now we have well over a thousand cards. The last batch submitted was well over 600 cards of aliens who registered and we have registered those from the register.”
The INEC boss explained that the commission has established a good relationship with the Immigration to identify foreigners who may want to disguise as citizens to vote during the elections.
Speaking on the voter register, Yakubu stated that he had sent the complete copy of the national register of voters.
As campaigns intensify across the country ahead of February’s general elections, the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Oyo State, Mutiu Agboke, says sensitisation of voters has become necessary and is ongoing in the state.
According to him, this would help to ensure ballots are properly cast to avoid void votes.
Agboke said this on Thursday while addressing journalists at the end of a security meeting at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office in Ibadan.
He also added that interactions are ongoing between INEC and security agencies to ensure a smooth, credible and violence-free election in February.
According to him, better strategies are being put in place to contain any breach of peace, especially in identified flashpoints.
The REC also called on residents of the state to do their best to ensure a rancour-free exercise.
He also warned that no one should be tempted to sell their PVCs for any reason.
Ahead of the general elections next month, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it will publish the list of registered voters on Monday, January 6.
The INEC Director of Voter Education, Mr Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi revealed this on Wednesday during an interview on the maiden edition of Channels Television’s Lunchtime Politics.
“On January 7 (next week Monday), we will issue the register of voters as required by law to certify them for use in the general elections and publish the register,” he said.
Osaze-Uzzi also dismissed some allegations of the rumoured attempt by some politicians to buy uncollected voter cards.
He explained that the commission is fully prepared for the polls by constant training and retraining of its staff.
When asked about the impact of the current strike embarked by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on the INEC’s preparedness for the elections, Osaze-Uzzi stated that the commission was working on some other plans.
Although he admitted that some tertiary education students were hired for the exercise, he, however, stated that it was only considered in states where there is a shortage of some corps members.
“We are going to meet with the leadership of ASUU. We hope that the discussions will be fruitful and we can reach some kind of understanding in terms of Returning Officers. It’s a challenge but it is not surmountable,” he stated.
Residents of Oke Ero/Irepodun/Isin and Ekiti federal constituency have commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over the smooth conduct of the bye-election in Kwara State.
The bye-election was conducted on Saturday to fill the vacuum left by the lawmaker representing the constituency, Mrs. Funke Adedoyin in the Federal House of Representatives who died on September 28 at the age of 54, while the National Assembly was on a break.
Among the voters is the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr. Lai Mohammed, who was impressed with the process and described it as peaceful.
According to the minister, there was no reported case of violence in all the four local governments where the bye-election took place.
125,964 voters were accredited for the exercise in 330 polling units.
David Beckham was celebrating in South Florida on Tuesday after his dream of building a team in Major League Soccer took a notable step forward.
The former England captain’s push to bring a franchise to Miami has been hamstrung for close to five years with a suitable venue for a new stadium extremely difficult to find.
But voters in Miami on Tuesday came out in favour of a change in regulations that will allow his ownership group — Miami Freedom Park Group LLC — to negotiate a 99-year lease for the latest target: city-owned land at the Melreese Country Club, the city’s only municipal golf course, near Miami airport.
The measure voted on Tuesday, which allows for a no-bid process in negotiations, had a 60 per cent lead with 88 per cent of precincts reporting.
The 73-acre site is the fifth location put forward by Beckham, whose investment group consists of Jorge Mas and his brother Jose, owners of local infrastructure company MasTec, as well as Sprint chairman Marcelo Claure and SoftBank chief executive Masayoshi Son.
The saga has stretched on since February 2014, when Beckham first announced his intentions to own a franchise.
There’s much more work to do, yet the 43-year-old Londoner was delighted to have cleared the latest hurdle in what has been a torturous process so far.
“I need to say a big thanks to the fans who have stuck by us,” the former Manchester United, Real Madrid and LA Galaxy star told AFP after speaking emotionally in front of an excitable crowd in Coral Gables, many of whom were decked out in Inter Miami FC colours.
“Today is an exciting day,” Beckham said. “We have had a dream of bringing a team to this great city. We want to create a legacy, something our children will aspire to.
“But we also want to win. I am not coming here just to have a pretty team. Winning championships are important to me.”
The next step, however, is far from straightforward.
Beckham’s group must now earn approval from four of the five city commissioners. Two of them — Manolo Reyes, a staunch critic of the plans, and Willy Gort, whose district includes Melreese — opposed the referendum earlier this year.
Furthermore, with the Melreese site built on a toxic waste dump which could cost upwards of $35 million to clean up, doubters have suggested the plans will encounter many more roadblocks before building permits are granted, something which must happen by November 2019 according to the previously agreed MLS expansion agreement.
Critics fear the clean-up costs could spiral and leave the taxpayers footing the bill — a daunting prospect after the uproar caused after baseball’s Miami Marlins Stadium fiasco left locals with a tab which has almost reached $3 billion.
Beckham’s lavish $1 billion, privately financed project will include a stadium complex as well as a huge shopping mall, a 750 room hotel, office space and a 58-acre public park.
Locals were encouraged to vote ‘yes’ to ensure jobs and other benefits for Miami including $20 million to help reinvigorate other public parks in the area.
MLS stress the team will begin playing in 2020 although it will have to be at a temporary venue, potentially at the Hard Rock Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins, or the Marlins baseball stadium.