Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has suspended the election in Enugu East Senatorial District.
Push News 24 International understands that INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu made this known at a media briefing on Friday in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.
According to him, the election in the senatorial district earlier slated for Saturday, February 25, 2023, has been moved to March 11, 2023.
Yakubu said the postponement in the district which covers four local government areas became necessary with the murder of the Labour Party (LP)’s senatorial candidate for the district, Oyibo Chukwu.
He said the Labour Party reached out to the electoral body to convey its intention to provide a replacement and go ahead with the poll at the new date.
Chukwu and his personal assistant were assassinated on Wednesday when hoodlums attacked them and set their vehicle ablaze in the Eke-Otu Amechi-Awkunanaw area of Enugu.
Nigeria holds presidential, legislative election Saturday Candidate for Senate killed in southeastern Enugu State Police say attackers also targeted other parties Race for presidency is tightest in recent history Biden calls for peaceful, transparent election
Recall that Push News 24 International reported that a Nigerian senatorial candidate from one opposition party and the driver of a campaign minibus belonging to another were killed in a series of coordinated attacks in southeastern Enugu State ahead of an election on Saturday, police said on Thursday.
Nigerians are due to elect their next president and lawmakers on Saturday against a chaotic backdrop of armed conflict in the northeast, high levels of crime and shortages of cash, fuel and electricity.
Enugu State police said suspected members of two Biafran separatist groups that have been banned by Nigerian authorities targeted vehicles from three political parties in simultaneous incidents at separate locations late on Wednesday.
They confirmed the death of Labour Party senatorial candidate Oyibo Chukwu, earlier reported by his party, and said the driver of a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) campaign minibus had also been killed in a separate attack.
In both cases, the attackers set vehicles ablaze with petrol bombs, burning to death their occupants, police said. Chukwu’s driver was also killed.
Police said a similar attempted attack on the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) party’s gubernatorial candidate in Enugu had been repelled.
The Enugu State police commissioner, Ahmed Ammani, in a statement urged citizens “not to succumb to the cowardly antics of the hoodlums, which is aimed at creating fear and to disrupt the electoral process”.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed Saturday 4th February for the mock accreditation exercise at which some of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System Machines (BVAS) procured for the 2023 General Election will be tested. The Commission has also commended Nigerians for showing enthusiasm to collect their Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVC).
Speaking at the Commission’s meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) which began today in Abuja, the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu said that having taken delivery of and tested the BVAS machines procured for the general election, the next step “is to conduct field tests across the country involving actual voters in readiness for nationwide deployment.” The Commission conducted a similar mock accreditation exercise ahead of the Ekiti and Osun State governorship elections.
According to Prof. Yakubu, 12 polling units have been designated in each State of the Federation and four in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on the equality of the country’s 109 Senatorial Districts for the exercise. A comprehensive list of the polling units, including their names, PU Code numbers and distribution by State, Senatorial District, Local Government and Registration Area (Ward) will subsequently be uploaded to the Commission’s website.
The INEC Chairman appealed to registered voters in the designated polling units to appear on the scheduled date with their PVCs for the mock exercise. He explained: “Doing so will help to reassure the public of the robustness of our system and to strengthen our processes ahead of the General Election. Civil society organisations, the media and the general public are welcome to observe the process. At the end of the exercise, the 436 BVAS machines involved will be reconfigured before they are deployed for the General Election.”
On PVC collection, Prof Yakubu said the Commission was encouraged by the determination of Nigerians to collect their cards. However, he also acknowledged a few issues to be addressed.
His words: “The Commission is encouraged by the determination of registered voters nationwide to collect their PVCs and the actual level of collection so far. For instance, in Lagos State, which has the highest number of registered voters in the country, the Commission delivered 940,200 PVCs from the recent voter registration exercise (June 2021 to July 2022) for both new registrants and requests for transfer and replacement of cards.
“As of yesterday Thursday 26th January 2023, 839,720 PVCs have been collected, representing 89.3% of the total figure. This meeting with RECs will consider reports from other States of the Federation and the Commission will not hesitate to consider additional measures to ensure that all citizens have ample opportunity to collect their PVCs ahead of the General Election. We wish to assure Nigerians that the Commission will always be responsive to the needs of the electorate.”
With exactly four weeks to the general election on 25th February 2023, Prof. Yakubu also affirmed the Commission’s readiness for the polls. His words: “I am glad to report that movement of materials for the election to various locations nationwide is being concluded. Training of officials will commence shortly. Ongoing consultations with stakeholders will be intensified. Airlifting and delivery of sensitive materials to States of the Federation has gone far. Accreditation of national and international observers and the media is being finalised. Critical service providers in the area of transportation have reassured us of their commitment to efficient logistics for the movement of materials and personnel to various locations while the security agencies have reaffirmed their readiness for the election.”
AMUWO 2023 : LABOUR PARTY HAS NO HOUSE OF REPS CANDIDATE, INEC INSIST AT PARLEY . Ahead of the 2023 general elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Amuwo Odofin Federal Constituency on Monday, November 12, 2022, insisted that the Labour Party does not have any House of Representative Candidate for Amuwo Odofin Federal Constituency that has been cleared by the electoral body to contest the 2023 general elections.
The position of the Agency was may public by the Electoral Officer during a stakeholders’ meeting with political parties and party candidates organized at INEC Office in Amuwo Odofin, Lagos State.
“This meeting is organized to solicit stakeholders’ co-operation in PVC collections, voters mobilization and sensitization for the conduct of the 2023 general election and for the records Labour party has no House of Representative candidate for 2023″ he said.
The INEC Officer who confirmed the receipt of some documents on behalf of the Agency from some interested parties stated categorically that untill the Agency is properly served by a competent Court to the effect and all court judgments determined only the candidates published on the Agency sites have been dully cleared. He however said that any meaningful adjustments can only be made before the Agency goes to press otherwise the statusquo remains.
Push News 24 International reported earlier the non inclusion of Labour Party on the INEC site, and with this position, the various conflicting information flying around over the number of candidates contesting for the House of Representatives in Amuwo Odofin Federal Constituency will be put to rest untill otherwise stated by the electoral body.
Meanwhile, the Labour Party have been circulating a Court judgment purportedly mandating INEC to list 15 of Labour Party candidates on the Agency website.
Speaking further the Electoral Officer stressed that “The INEC is at the peak of activities and preparations for conduct of free, fair and credible elections. “In the light of this task, a constant critical stakeholders’ forum is a ladder through which the INEC will always deliver on the democratic process. “We, therefore, sincerely appreciate your participation in today’s meeting, and encourage you to continue collaborating with the INEC to achieve our desired goal,” he said.
The general election is less than 75 days from today.
“Following the statutory period for the display of the register of voters for claims and objections, the commission has published timetable for collection of Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs).
“INEC appreciates the patience and understanding of Amuwo Odofin Federal Constituency residents, especially those who registered as voters or applied for transfer or replacement of their cards from January to July 2022. “In making the cards available for collection, the commission is also working to ensure that the process is hitch-free. “The Commission has fixed Monday, December 12, 2022 to Sunday, January 22, 2023 as dates for the collection of PVCs.
It is the wish of the commission to continue to pursue all violators of the Electoral Act to ensure their prosecution.
“The INEC will start the dispatch of non-sensitive materials to states sooner than wr think.. “A proactive arrangement is already in place for hitch-free distribution and deployment of election officials and materials to our various LGA offices. “INEC at all levels is aware of the security situation in the country. “We will continue to meet with heads of security agencies under the auspices of the Inter-Agency consultative committee on Election Security (ICCES). “We call on community leaders and traditional institutions including the Town Union PGs to assist security agents in their to ensure the protection of lives and property. “This effort will instill public confidence for voters turnout in this state. “INEC is at the top of voter education and sensitization campaign. “The campaign and sensitization for PVCs collection by PVCs ambassadors and other civil society groups is expected to take over public spaces. “We further call on the media to take up aggressive reportage and dissemination of information about ‘No PVC, No Vote’,” said the Electoral Officer
Explaining further steps taken by the Commission to mainstream marginalized groups in the electoral process, the OPC Chairman said, “You will agree with me that in time past the Commission made it a priority to deliver free, fair and credible elections. I am not saying that we have fully succeeded in that, but after making some incremental improvements on that, we have also tried to address the issue of marginalized groups and we have taken concrete steps to mainstream gender and marginalized groups”.
“Based on this effort we were able to articulate a policy on Gender and this policy has been reviewed and is due for implementation. We have also articulated a framework for relating with youths – the Youth Engagement Strategy (YES). we have also articulated a framework for training and engaging with Persons with Disabilities (PWDs).”
Political parties present commended the efforts of INEC in Amuwo Odofin for their transparency and inclusiveness.
All Progressives Congress (APC) House of Representative Candidate, Prince Lanre A. Sanusi (PLS) while addressing the gathering at a stakeholders’ meeting, said that the commission should painstakingly listen to stakeholders across board, who emphasized transparency, inclusivity, and credibility of the electoral deliverables, as well as security and peaceful conduct of the exercise.
The security agencies urged politicians, particularly those in the race to play by the rules of the game, and also warned youths to shun the politics of thuggery, capable of disrupting the peaceful atmosphere in the LGA.
The stakeholders meeting was attended by all accredited political parties in Amuwo odofin who sponsored candidates, the Police, Civil Defense, DSS, amongst others.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday clarified a video circulating on various social media platforms where its staff were harvesting details of Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs).
In a statement, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, said it was not for any malicious reason, but to ease the process of collection of PVCs.
Okoye said that INEC had become aware of a video circulating on various social media platforms.
The video clip shows INEC staff at its FESTAC Town, Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area Office, Lagos, extracting Voter Identification Numbers (VINs) from PVCs and entering same into their cellphones.
Okoye said that the makers of the video insinuated that they were doing that for the purpose of undermining the 2023 General Election.
“The commission wishes to state categorically that this is far from the truth.
“Actually, the video shows staff of the Commission harvesting VINs from PVCs, but only as part of an inventory of uncollected cards, provided for in the new Guidelines for the Management and Collection of PVCs, approved by the commission for implementation nationwide.
“In its determination to enhance the rate of collection of PVCs, the commission decided to establish a PVC collection process that includes an online component.
“The procedure entails that registered voters with access to the Internet could go to a dedicated portal to ascertain whether their PVCs are ready and to find their locations for subsequent collection.”
Okoye explained that all they were required to do was to provide their details such as name, date of birth, state of registration or the last six digits of the VINs that they provided/received during registration, to locate their cards.
This, according to him, will improve the PVC collection process, but without prejudice to those who wish to go directly to the collection centres.
Okoye said that for the newer PVCs, mainly those from the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) that took place between January and July, the VINs were harvested automatically and made available online.
“However, for the older uncollected PVCs that predated the new guidelines, their VINs must be harvested manually and painstakingly for upload to the PVC collection portal (www.voters.inecnigeria.org).
“The portal will also improve the records of the Commission regarding collected and uncollected PVCs.”
Okoye said INEC appreciated the vigilance of Nigerians and their determination to see the conduct of free, fair, credible and inclusive elections in 2023.
He said it was, however, exceedingly important that information such as contained in the video was verified before sharing it with the public.
“A major threat to the upcoming general election comes from fake news and disinformation.
“The Commission appeals to Nigerians to remain conscious of this, even if the prior intention is worthy.”
The national commissioner reminded Nigerians that all uncollected PVCs would be available for collection at INEC 774 Local Government offices nationwide from Dec. 12 to Jan. 5, 2023.
He added that from Jan. 6 to Jan. 15, 2023, the cards would be made available for collection at the 8809 Registration Areas/Wards across the country in order to bring them closer to their owners.
“Subsequently, from Jan. 16 to Jan. 22, 2023, collection shall revert to our Local Government offices.
“Meanwhile, the online facility will be available throughout the exercise to assist registered voters in locating their PVCs for collection.”
Okoye thanked Nigerians for their continued support to the work of the commission.(NAN)