Connect with us

Politics

INEC GEARS UP FOR ELECTIONS IN N’EAST, DEPLOYS BVAS

Published

on

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu

The Independent National Electoral Commission has finally begun the distribution of Bimodal Voter Accreditation System facilities to the remaining parts of the country, including the North-East and South-East states, which hitherto had yet to get the vital election equipment.

It was learnt on Wednesday that the agency had resumed the airlift of BVAS to states amid security concerns over the safety of the electoral equipment.

On the social media handles of INEC, it was reported that the Chairman of INEC, Mahmood Yakubu, supervised the airlift at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, on Wednesday.

INEC had confirmed exclusively to The PUNCH in early November that the North-East and South-East zones were yet to receive BVAS.

The North-East states affected include Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba, and Yobe; while the states in the South-East are Imo, Anambra, Abia, Enugu and Ebonyi.

The PUNCH had in October reported that the electoral commission had distributed BVAS to over 23 states across the federation.

An online report (not The PUNCH) had blamed insecurity for the delay of deployment of BVAS in the South-East.

Responding exclusively to The PUNCH, the National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, INEC, Festus Okoye, explained in November that the non-delivery and non-receipt of the BVAS by the two zones had nothing to do with insecurity.

He explained “The commission has planned and will continue to plan all the activities relating to the conduct of the 2023 general election. The procurement of sensitive and non-sensitive materials, their delivery and deployment have been carefully designed and planned by the commission.

“The Bimodal Voter Accreditation System was designed in-house by the commission’s engineers and is being fabricated outside the country. The manufacturers have kept faith with the timelines and schedules of production and delivery as handed over to them by the commission. The commission has started receiving the deliveries from the designated airports and for designated states; and these have equally been delivered to some of the states of the federation.

“Presently, the consignments meant for the North-East and South-East have not been received by the commission and could not have been delivered to the states.

He added, “The manufacturers are following the timeliness and schedules given by the Commission. The non-delivery and non-receipt of the BVAS by the states in the Northeast and Southeast has absolutely nothing to do with insecurity and the activities of gunmen or bandits.

“The commission is following its timelines and all the consignments meant for all the states of the federation will be delivered in 2022. The commission will carry out mock accreditation in all the states of the federation and this will take place simultaneously in all the states of the federation.

“The commission is meticulously following its own timelines and we have procured enough BVAS to service the 176,846 polling units in the country and there will be sufficient redundancies for the 8,809 registration areas. We have also procured additional ones for purposes of training of our Registration Area Technical Support Staff.”

NAF begins airlift

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Air Force has also confirmed that it has begun the airlift of election materials for INEC ahead of the 2023 polls.

NAF spokesperson, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet,  said, “We are assisting INEC in airlifting of electoral materials for now. However, we can’t provide aerial support to all INEC offices nationwide at the same time.”

DHQ pledges support

The Director, Defence Information, Maj. Gen. Jimmy Akpor, has said the military will ensure support for the police and other civil authorities whenever it is called upon especially during the elections

In an interview with our correspondent, Akpor said, “The military would do everything to support the civil authority in ensuring that the country’s political and social space is protected for socioeconomic activities and the forthcoming elections to go on peacefully.

“However, it should be noted that election security is the duty of the Nigeria Police Force. It is the job of the Police, and we’ll support the police, as a civil authority on election matters and internal security, whenever we’re called upon.

“We’ll support the police. We’ll not hold back any support whenever we’re called upon. However, the current situation is not beyond the police, and contingencies are being updated to improve the situation, and we’ll give whatever support they need.

North-East gets BVAS

Meanwhile, findings by The PUNCH on Wednesday showed some of the North-East and South-East states received some batches of their BVAS a few weeks ago.

 The Borno State office of INEC confirmed receipt of the BVAS to The PUNCH on Wednesday.

“We received BVAS about a month ago,” Head of Voter Education and Publicity of the office, Shuaibu Ibrahim, affirmed in a telephone interview. These are sensitive materials; so we are not supposed to speak to the public about them,” he concluded, declining to respond to further questions.

Checks also revealed that 2,988 BVAS had been shipped to Gombe State. A source explained that 2,988 is the exact number of polling units in the state.

She said, “We have received 2,988 BVAS at the moment; backup will arrive later.’’

The new Resident Electoral Commissioner for Adamawa State, Mr. Hudu Ari, said the state had taken delivery of 4,104 BVAS which would be deployed for election in all the 40 constituencies in the state.

Ari said, “In terms of our preparedness, we had engagements with a good number of stakeholders in the state and we are still engaging with more. Amongst the groups we engaged are the political parties, security agencies, civil society organisations, media, PWDs, faith-based organisations, community-based organisations, youth organisations, women groups, MDAs, etc. We also intend in the coming weeks ahead to engage with traditional rulers and other critical stakeholders.

Similarly, the INEC Public Relations Officer in Kaduna State, Mrs. Rukaya lmam disclosed that they received the BVAS about a month ago.

But the INEC spokesman in Anambra State, Dr Kingsley Agwu, said the office had yet to receive the BVAS machines in the state.

However, checks indicate that the BVAS would soon be dispatched to the states in the South-East region in the coming weeks.

In a related development, no fewer than 1,993 ballot boxes, 399 voting cubicles, 22 electric power generators and thousands of uncollected PVCs had been destroyed in various attacks carried out on INEC facilities across the states.

The INEC Chairman, Yakubu, disclosed this at the induction retreat for new Resident Electoral Commissioners in Lagos.

Yakubu said the attacks were carried out in four months on five local government areas offices of the Commission by unknown people.

He said, “I wish to once again touch on the troubling issue of attacks on our facilities and the destruction of critical electoral assets in the country. In the last four months, five local government area offices of the commission were attacked by yet unknown persons.

“In these mindless attacks, a total of 1,993 ballot boxes, 399 voting cubicles, 22 electric power generators and thousands of uncollected PVCs were, among other materials, destroyed. These attacks must stop and the perpetrators apprehended and prosecuted.”

Reps probes attacks

The House of Representatives has set up an ad hoc committee to investigate the attacks on offices and facilities belonging to the INEC.

Furthermore, the House resolved to set up an ad hoc committee to “investigate the remote and immediate cause of the incessant inferno at INEC offices in different parts of the country and report back within three weeks for further legislative action.”

For news and events coverage, photo features, contributions and adverts contact us via:
Phone: +2348029115783
WhatsApp: +2347037611903
Follow us via:
Facebook: @Words and Shots
Instagram: @words_and_shots
Twitter: @wordsandshots
Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Politics

HOW POWERFUL FORCES TRIED TO STOP TINUBU CANDIDACY – APC VICE CHAIR

Published

on

APC Presidential Candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu

The National Vice Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (North-West), Mallam Salihu Lukman, on Tuesday, said some forces outside the APC made attempts to use former President Goodluck Jonathan and Governor of the Central Bank, Dr Godwin Emefiele, to prevent Bola Tinubu from being chosen as the APC presidential candidate.

According to Lukman, it took the combined efforts of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), the National Working Committee and the resilience of the APC governors to abort the move.

Lukman, who is a member of the APC National Working Committee, made the claim in a statement titled, “Electoral contests and public expectations: Matching hopes with realities.”

Tinubu polled 1,271 votes to defeat former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; Vice President Yemi Osibanjo and 12 others to win the APC presidential primary last year June.

According to Lukman, when it became obvious that the kites of Jonathan and Emefiele would not fly, the masterminds of the plot, who were not card-carrying members of the APC, positioned the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, for Buhari to anoint as the party’s consensus candidate.

He said, “It may also be important to note that the emergence of Asiwaju Tinubu as APC presidential candidate was the product of strong internal contest. There may be temptation to narrow the contest to the dynamics around the question of whether there will be an anointed aspirant who would have been crowned as the consensus candidate, which wouldn’t have been Asiwaju Tinubu.

“Many had their preferred candidates for the position of national chairman. Some of the presidential aspirants were able to expand their lobbies to some of the influential people around the President and perhaps succeeded to convince President Buhari to nominate Senator Abdullahi Adamu for the position. And shortly after the election of Adamu as the National Chairman of the APC, negotiation for the emergence of a so-called consensus presidential candidate was activated.

“It may also be important to remind Nigerians that the scheming around emergence of a so-called consensus candidate was ridiculously stretched beyond the APC to include people like former President Goodluck Jonathan and Mr Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria. These were never members of the APC. But with the active collaboration of some influential people outside the APC, some sophisticated mobilisation of so-called ‘hundred eminent businessmen, political, media and civil society leaders, including 14 current governors, 13 former governors as well as three former senate presidents’ commenced around April 2022.

“Gradually, this scheming shifted and was entrenched within the APC. By May 2023, when the party began to sell its nomination forms to aspiring candidates, forms were purchased by some APC leaders for former President Goodluck Jonathan and Mr Godwin Emefiele.  Eventually, when these schemers couldn’t succeed in popularising both former Jonathan and Emefiele as possible contenders to emerge as consensus presidential candidates for the APC, the Senate President, Senator Ahmed Lawan was recruited and promoted. It is on record that Adamu, on the eve of the convention that birthed Asiwaju Tinubu as the presidential flag bearer, announced to NWC members that Lawan was their consensus candidate of the party.”

Continuing, the Kaduna-based politician explained that aggrieved members of the NWC along with some progressive governors rose against the move.

Lukman disclosed that part of the plan promoted within the APC to attempt to popularise the choice of Lawan, as a consensus candidate, became the focal point after the opposition Peoples Democratic Party elected Atiku Abubakar, a fellow northerner as presidential candidate.

“This is completely inconsiderate of the popular agitation for power shift in the country. It is also insensitive of the potential instability that the choice of another northerner emerging as President of the country could cause. Ahead of the APC National Convention, APC governors from the North had already declared their opposition against a northerner emerging as APC presidential candidate.

“Combinations of all of these in so many ways contributed towards tilting support of many APC leaders towards Asiwaju Tinubu. Certainly, Asiwaju Tinubu’s personal quality, given his track records both as a businessman, politician, and elected Governor of Lagos State between 1999 and 2007 were also there. He has over the years proven himself as a fighter for democracy. This is one characteristic that has defined him and perhaps strengthened him to survive many personal attacks on his person and his integrity. The administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo investigated him on many of the issues that are being used to smear his name such drugs. Renown radical lawyer and human rights activists, the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi, challenged his academic credentials unsuccessfully in courts. Many journalists and activists questioned his integrity but were not able to establish any proof.

“Again, thanks to President Buhari, the contest for the presidential candidate of APC was thrown open and Asiwaju won with a wide merging,” he stated.

When asked to react to the revelation, the Publicity Director of the APC, Bala Ibrahim, told our correspondent that the party had moved on and wouldn’t like to delve into an issue that could reopen old wounds.

“Whatever happened before the emergence of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as the candidate of the APC is something that should left in book of history. Now, he is the candidate of the party and it is the collective will of the same party. Everybody is putting his hands in the deck to see to it that Tinubu is successful,” he said.

For news and events coverage, photo features, contributions and adverts contact us via:
Phone: +2348029115783
WhatsApp: +2347037611903
Follow us via:
Facebook: @Words and Shots
Instagram: @words_and_shots
Twitter: @wordsandshots
Continue Reading

Politics

ONLY MENTALLY-CHALLENGED PEOPLE WILL VOTE APC – AYU

Published

on

PDP National Chairman, Dr Iyorchia Ayu

The Peoples Democratic Party National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, on Monday, urged Nigerians not to waste their votes by voting for the ruling All Progressives Congress.

Speaking on Monday during the PDP presidential campaign rally in Benue State, the main opposition party chairman claimed that only people with mental problems will vote for the APC.

Ayu said, “All of you know that you have suffered in this country in the last eight years APC, only somebody who has a mental problem will vote for APC. Do not waste your vote.”

Speaking on the PDP internal crisis, Ayu said reconciliation moves were ongoing and that the PDP leadership was in talks with aggrieved party members.

“The party is not divided. There are a few members who have grievances. We are talking to them. We want to make sure they come back and work with us fully. One week is enough to change everything. This thing has been going on and I want to assure you that we’ll receive everybody back,” he said.

He also appealed to Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, to join the PDP campaign train and participate in activities that would guarantee PDP’s victory during the presidential election.

“I am appealing to my younger brother, Gov. Ortom to come back and join us so that we will fight to rescue Nigeria. Gov. Ortom has nowhere to go, his only house is the PDP and anytime that he comes, we shall be more than happy to receive him land all the PDP governors.

“We want all our candidates, all our governors to be with us because if you allow APC to win this election, you will regret it.”

Ortom and other four aggrieved PDP governors have been calling for the resignation of Ayu after the party’s presidential primary last year.

For news and events coverage, photo features, contributions and adverts contact us via:
Phone: +2348029115783
WhatsApp: +2347037611903
Follow us via:
Facebook: @Words and Shots
Instagram: @words_and_shots
Twitter: @wordsandshots
Continue Reading

Politics

ORTOM SHUNS ATIKU CAMPAIGN, AYU SLAMS GOV

Published

on

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, his deputy, Benson Abounu, commissioners, aides and the 22 local government chairmen of the state were absent at the campaign rally of the presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

Benue is being controlled by PDP with the national chairman of the party, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, hailing from the state.

Leading the campaign rally for Atiku in the state are former governor of the state, Senator Gabriel Suswam, former president of the Senate, David Mark, and the three senators representing Zone A, B and C; Suswam, Orker Jev and Abba Moro, were in attendance.

Also, the party governorship candidate and his deputy, Titus Uba and John Ngbede, respectively, and some state working committee members attended the rally.

Speaking at the rally, Ayu appealed to Ortom, who had not shown support for Atiku, to join hands with the party to be able to rescue the country.

Ayu said that he met with one of the G-5 governors, the Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, two days ago and also urged him to work with them.

According to the PDP chairman, there is no division in the party.

Ayu said, “What we have is some of our members who are aggrieved but we are appealing to Governor Ortom to come back and join us to rescue the country. Governor Ortom has nowhere to go. We have already resolved our issue with Governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu. I was with him two days ago and he has agreed to work for the success of our party.”

Atiku, while speaking with the mammoth crowd at the rally, promised to ensure that the crisis between the people of the state and Fulani herders would be resolved if voted into office.

He said, “I am the umbrella of Tiv people worldwide. If you vote for me, I will make sure peace return to Benue State. I will come to the state and make sure Fulani signs a peace pact with the people of the state.”

Atiku also promised that the $10m promised in his blueprint would be injected into the economy to create jobs for the youth.

He further assured the people of Benue State that he would fix the federal roads that pass through the state, just as he promised to reopen the railway line that passed through the state and ensure that the Academic Staff Union of Universities no longer embarks on strike.

For news and events coverage, photo features, contributions and adverts contact us via:
Phone: +2348029115783
WhatsApp: +2347037611903
Follow us via:
Facebook: @Words and Shots
Instagram: @words_and_shots
Twitter: @wordsandshots
Continue Reading

Trending