NPC Commends Nigerian Police On Conduct During Polls

Police The National Peace Committee (NPC) has commended the Nigerian Police for its conduct during the 2015 presidential and National Assembly elections.

The commendation was made at the Nigerian Police Headquarters in Abuja, the nation’s capital as members of the committee led by its Chairman, General Abdulsalam Abubakar (rtd), embarked on a ‘thank you visit’ to key actors in the just concluded presidential and parliamentary elections.

The committee noted that the Police remained neutral even in the face of the tension before and after the elections.

The committee further urged the Police to ensure that the conduct is replicated during the governorship and House of Assembly elections.

Similarly, General Abdulsalam urged Nigerians to support the Police in the next round of polls.

The Inspector-General of Police, Suleiman Abba, who expressed gratitude for the commendation, however, promised that the same conduct would be replicated during the governorship polls and beyond.

The Police have received several commendations from not only Nigerians, but the international community for its conduct during the polls.

They have been commended particularly for their arrest of some persons in possession of registration materials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Ona Ara Local Government Area of Oyo State.

They have also been lauded for the deployment of over 6,000 police officers to monitor Saturday’s presidential elections across the 27 Local Government Areas in Imo State.

The Police in different states across the country had, prior to Saturday’s election, given assurances of their readiness for the election.

The Imo State Police Command Headquarters in Owerri, said that the command was fully ready and prepared for the elections, urging residents not to panic as they go about their lawful duties.

The Zamfara State Police Command also assured indigenes of the readiness of the Nigeria Police and other relevant security agencies, to provide effective security and ensure smooth and orderly conduct of the 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.

Police Arrest Man With INEC Registration Materials In Oyo

ArrestPolice have arrested some persons in possession of registration materials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Ona Ara Local Government Area of Oyo State.

The Oyo State Police Commissioner, Mohammed Katsina, said that the arrests were made following some intelligent tip-off.

Mr Katsina said that the arrest would serve as a stern warning that the command meant business and would not hesitate to bring any culprit to book.

The suspect, an elderly man, was caught with in possession of the INEC Permanent Voter Cards and registers.

He was arrested around Olorunsogo area in Ona Ara Local Government.

The suspect admitted that the registers were given to him on Friday morning by a party member.

The Oyo State Police boss said investigations would continue into the matter.

Meanwhile sensitive and non-sensitive materials have been distributed by the INEC to all the 33 Local Government Areas of the state, while accreditation for all election monitors and observers have been concluded.

Over 700 observers have arrived the state for Saturday’s election.

The Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, said that he was satisfied with the level of preparedness with INEC and state of security in the state even as the police read riot acts to transport unions in the state.

Governor Ajimobi expressed satisfaction at the level of Permanent Voters Card distribution and expressed confidence in the joint effort of security chiefs to ensure violence-free and credible elections.

After a meeting with youth across the state on the need for credible polls and zero violence, Governor Ajimobi expressed satisfaction at the level of preparedness and security in the state.

The Oyo State Police Commissioner had earlier held a crucial meeting with members of the Nigerian Union of Road Transport Workers on the need for peace to reign.

At the meeting the Police boss listed the rules of engagement in the elections.

The transport union on their part also assured the Police of their commitment to violence-free polls.

Jega Says Voters’ Presence After Voting Makes Process Transparent

Professor Attahiru Jega on Voters presence The electoral body in Nigeria says voters can wait after casting their votes, saying voters presence makes the process more transparent.

The Independent National Electoral Commissions’ statement is contrary to an advice by the Nigeria Police, which said voters should go home after voting.

Addressing reporters on Friday, the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Professor Attahiru Jega, said the commission believed that the electoral process would be more transparent if voters stayed behind after voting.

Professor Jega also said the commission had not received any indication that the security for the card readers had been compromised.

The Inspector General of Police, Suleiman Abba, on Tuesday advised voters not to remain at the polling centers after casting their votes on Saturday.

Mr Abba told a gathering in Abuja, in very clear terms, that the security operatives expect everyone to vote and go.

The IGP made the pronouncement during the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC stakeholders’ meeting.