CSOs Calls on Eligible Voters for INEC Registration

Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have called on eligible voters in Anambra to register with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) before the end of the current phase of the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR).
The groups made the call in Awka during a one-day sensitisation workshop on Electoral Participation for youths on Sunday.

Mrs Chioma Okeke, Coordinator, Shoulder for Gender Support and Development Initiative, decried the level of political apathy in Anambra and the South-East.

Okeke called on the participants, mostly youths, to avail themselves with the window provided by the ongoing CVR and register.

She said some of the identified challenges in registration of voters in Anambra include: absence of INEC registration officials at advertised venues, alleged extortion of those wishing to register by officials and non collection of Permanent Voter Cards(PVCs)

“INEC has to do more to cover eligible voters in the ongoing registration process, while in some places, efforts are made to register people even up to going to their houses, here people go to designated places and the officials are not there,” she said.

Read More: Is our PVC enough for the change we desire?

On his part, Mr Chukwuma Chukwura, Coordinator of Kingsfaith Development and Youth Empowerment Initiative, expressed concern that people could not take time off their daily routine to register or collect their PVCs at INEC office.

He said the number of eligible voters said to have registered in Anambra was a far cry from the population of voters in the state.

“It is a serious source of worry for us how our youths behave when it comes to politics.

“They are very active on social media , posting all sort of things about Nigeria and some individuals but in practice, they are not doing anything; common registering to vote, they will not, for those that manage to register, go and get your PVC, no way.

“Worse still, on the day of election you see them playing football and drinking at joints because they feel it is not their business, that is why very small per cent of them voted in the last governorship election in Anambra.

“What we are saying is that INEC, the political class and communities should encourage those who have not registered to do so before the time is up,” he said.

Addressing the participants, Mr Leo Nkedife, Head, Public Relations Department of INEC in Anambra , corroborated the CSOs’ observation that the turnout of people in the state for the CVR was poor.

Nkedife urged the people to take advantage of the exercise to register, saying that registration was free.

He urged the people to report any of the commission’s official(s) who demanded money before registering them.

Nkedife disclosed that only 22 per cent of the 2.15 million voters in Anambra participated in the Nov. 18, 2107 governorship election, and that over 142,000 PVCs were still awaiting collection at the INEC office in the state.

He said INEC had greatly improved in the conduct of elections as people’s votes now count.

Prof Collins Okafor of the Department of Political Science, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, blamed the political apathy among the people on lack of confidence in the Nigerian electoral process.

Okafor said apathy include; refusal to register, refusal to belong to a political party, refusal to vote and refusal to protest against rigging and other electoral malpractice.

He said those who did not participate in politics contributed more to the political and economic crisis in the country.

Anambra Youths Protest Move To Scrap SARS

Following the call by some groups to scrap the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), more than 2,000 youths on Monday took to the major roads in Awka, Anambra State capital, in a peaceful protest.

The group, under the aegis of Concerned Anambra Citizens and Non-Indigenes, drawn from various parts of the state, converged at the entrance gate of the SARS office in Awkuzu, Oyi Local Government Area of the state.

The protesters displayed placards with various inscriptions which read, “Removal of SARS, an invitation to kidnapping, robbery”, “We want crime-free Christmas and New Year”, “Let SARS be”, etc.

Addressing newsmen, the convener, and the Special Assistant to the state Governor on Political Matters, Okafor Emeka, said the protest was embarked on to drive home their demands on the consequences of scrapping the security unit.

While stating that any attempt to scrap SARS would amount to return of all forms of crimes and criminality in the state, he attributed the relative peace existing in the state to the active and aggressive operations of that arm of the police force.

On his part, the Police Community Relations Committee, Chief Francis Ezenwankwo said those calling for the scraping of the unit had selfish and ulterior motives, and called on them to have a rethink.

He however acknowledged that the officials of the unit might have their shortcomings, but insisted that rather than scrap the unit, they should be reformed and repositioned for better service delivery.

His words: “We have a system where erring officers are disciplined, including redeployment, training and retraining to bring out the best from them.”

The Governor’s aide, who later handed over the letter written to the Inspector General of Police by the group to the state Commissioner of Police, Garba Umar, pleaded with the IGP to use his good offices to ensure that SARS remained in the state.

According to him, refusal to heed their call would compel the group to carry the protest to the police headquarters in Abuja.

In his response, the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Chris Owolabi, who represented by the Commissioner of Police, commended the group for their peaceful conduct, promising that their message would be delivered appropriately

Cholera Outbreak Hits Anambra

At least eleven people have been hospitalized in Inoma community in Anambra West Local Government Area of the state following a cholera outbreak and the State’s Ministry of Health has deployed a rapid response team to assess reported cases.

The State Commissioner of Health, Dr Joseph Akabuike, in a statement issued in Awka said, “The team was dispatched by the Commissioner for Health and its led by the State Disease Surveillance Officer Adaora Ejikeme, accompanied by the State UNICEF Consultant, Didien Gbofemi. The team was tasked to stem the spread as well as recommend measures at containing any replication. Eleven patients, five boys and six girls within the age bracket of one to 10years old, had since been admitted into a health facility in the area.  The patients, our correspondent gathered, showed symptoms of excessive stooling, vomiting, acute dehydration and malnutrition”.

As part of the intervention to control the outbreak, the team supplied antimicrobial medicines such as Doxycycline tablets, flagyl infusions, flagly tablets, ciprofloxacin tabs, ciprotabinfussions, ceptraxone injections among others. They also gave out sets of water guard, needles and syringes and bags of water to the Inoma Health facility. The team later paid a courtesy visit to the traditional ruler of Inoma Community, Igwe Emmanuel Oluta to sensitise him and his cabinet and other members of the community on the prevention and control measures for cholera. A preliminary report released by the Rapid Response Team, showed that the main source of drinking water for the community was a contaminated stream”.


President Buhari Commences 2-Day Official Visit To Ebonyi, Anambra

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday arrived in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi state capital on a two-day working visit to the state and Anambra state.

Buhari was earlier received at the Enugu airport by governors of Enugu, Abia and Ebonyi as well as top security officials.

Buhari, however, did not inspect the Guard of Honour mounted in his honour by soldiers of the Nkwoagu Military Cantonment, Abakaliki.

It will be recalled that the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, threatened to assassinate him should he step foot on the South East.

According to the press release by IPOB’s spokesperson, Emma Powerful on Monday warned that “today will be recorded in history as a very bloody day should that Jubril masquerading as Buhari attempt to land on Biafran soil.”

Jonathan Behind My Defeat In 2013 Anambra Guber Polls – Tony Nwoye

The All Progressives Congress, APC candidate for the governorship election in Anambra state, Tony Nwoye, has said former President Goodluck Jonathan was behind his electoral loss to incumbent governor, Willie Obiano during the 2013 governorship election in the state.

Nwoye, who currently represents Anambra East/West Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, made the allegation on Wednesday when he appeared on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

He said: “Jonathan sold me out, which he later apologised anyway.

“I lost the election before because the then President Jonathan gave all the support to them – to Peter Obi who installed Obiano and that was why they kept me in court.”

“His men assisted people that I contested primaries with, and they kept me in court; I only campaigned for less than 10 days,” he added.

But he was confident that he would win the election, saying he would rely on his party’s support to defeat his co-contenders.

He said: “APGA is afraid of me, that is why they have been manufacturing propaganda. APGA is a strong party to beat but we believe that when we get the support of my people we are going to beat them.”

On the primary election that led to his emergence as the APC flag-bearer, he regretted that Senator Andy Uba was the only aggrieved person, despite his relationship with the senator.

“Nobody is aggrieved, the only person who is aggrieved is Dr Andy Uba. He was my then boss; he is the only person that was aggrieved, he is still aggrieved.

“I went severally (to meet with him), he refused to see me; I made phone calls, he refused to see me. What would you want me to do?” he questioned.

INEC Expects 10m More Voters by 2019

The number of registered voters in Nigeria by year 2019 is expected to increase by abut 1 million more voters, bringing the total to about 80 million voters.

The Chairman of INEC, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, made the prediction at a roundtable organised by the European Union Electoral Follow-up Mission to Nigeria and West Africa, held in Abuja.

Yakubu speaking on the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) said that no fewer than 3.2 million Nigerians had been register in addition to the 70 million registered voters for the 2015 general elections.

According to him, “We started in April and as at last week, and we have registered 3.2 million Nigerians on top of the 70 million registered voters for the 2015 general elections that we had before. Our projection is that the Voter Register will probably be over 80 million by 2019…

“We haven’t made much progress in the last two years, but we have made elaborate arrangements with the states to ensure that the cards are collected. We have just completed the draft Election Project Plan for 2019,” he said.

“The last election was three weeks ago in Gombe, the next election will come up in eight days time in Sokoto, followed by the Anambra governorship elections.

“We have issued the timetable for Ekiti and Osun governorship elections. In Anambra, we issued the timetable in February for an election that will take place in November. We have done the same for Ekiti and Osun. We have taken care, in both cases, to avoid party politics, national festivals and students’ examinations.

“The last (governorship) election in Ekiti took place on June 14, but June next year is likely to coincide with the fasting period and Salah.

“Since the law says that we should conduct the election at least 30 days to the end of the tenure (of the incumbent), we shifted it to July when there is no festival or examination.

“The same for Osun – instead of August 4, we’ll conduct the election in September.

“Interestingly in Osun’s case, we have given a one-year notice and we have always made copies of the timetable and schedule of activities available to the security agencies,” he said.

Police Kills Two Suspected Kidnappers, Rescues Victim

The Police Command in Anambra said it has killed two suspected kidnappers and rescued a victim.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, Mrs Nkeiru Nwode, made this disclosure on Saturday in Awka while addressing newsmen.

Nwode, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), said the victim, simply identified as Nnamdi, was kidnapped on Oct. 11, in a filling station at Obosi, near Onitsha, by four armed hoodlums.

According to her, N20 million was demanded as ransom but the detectives attached to Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the command trailed them as they were coming to collect the ransom on Oct. 13.

“As the hoodlums got to know that they were being trailed, they started attacking the police but two of the kidnappers were killed, while others escaped with bullet wounds,” Nwode said.

She said exhibits recovered from the suspects included one locally made pistol with two live cartridges, one cut to size single barrel gun, one unregistered Q-link motorcycle and a cell phone.

Nwode assured members of the public of the relentless efforts of the police in securing lives and property in the state.

Obi To Obiano: Stop Your Blackmail, Tell Anambra People How You Spent N75bn I Left Behind

Former Anambra State governor, Mr. Peter Obi has taken a lash at Governor Willie Obiano over his alleged claim that he (Obi) demanded N7bn from him, adding that it is a tactic by Obiano to divert people’s attention from his gross incompetence.

Obi who frowned at Obiano’s blackmailing slush urged him to tell the people of An­ambra State what he has done for them in almost four years of his administration instead of muddling up issues with sole aim of currying favour from electorate.

Reacting through his Special Adviser, Mr. Valentine Obi­enyem, in a statement made available to the press, the ex-governor said that now is campaign time and that rather than tell the people of the State what he has done for them, he is busy sponsoring people on different media to say he demanded N7bn from him, which was entirely false.

According to Obi, he should go ahead and tell Anambra people what he used their money to do, bearing in mind that major projects in the state such as roads, Awka and Nne­wi malls as well as Onitsha and Agulu Hotels, among oth­ers remain abandoned.

“We know the Governor has many questions to answer and cannot run away from them through blackmail. For in­stance, on the issue of the 75 Billion Naira Obi left for him, he tried to deny it by saying he met ‘near cash’, we went on and published the banks and account numbers where the money were and the bank cer­tified statement of accounts, but they tactically kept quiet.

“To refresh our minds, Obi left N2,139,951,400 Bil­lion in First Bank (Acc no. 2018779464) for Oko erosion; N4,909,576,925.98 Billion in Sure-P Diamond account (0026290200); 1,782,568,032 Billion in UBEC 1 Dia­mond account(0023484282); N2,101,864,766 Billion Ubec 2 Diamond Account (0031151473); over 4 Bil­lion Naira in many MDG ac­counts one of which was the N3,048,355,196 Billion in Fidelity Bank(5030047097); over 35 Billion Naira cash (set aside funds added) in all the banks.

“Obi also left 156 Million Dollars in Fidelity Bank ($56 Million Dollars); Diamond Bank ($50 Million Dollars); and Access Bank ($50 Million Dollars).

“If left as Anambra’s Future Growth Funds as conceived by Obi, the money with inter­est and accruals would have been about 200 Billion Naira, but Gov. Obiano has sold all of them. In fact, it was one of the disagreements about the sale that led Mr. Oseloka Obaze to resign. Obiano should be busy telling us the status of these moneys rather than his current blackmail.”

The statement further said: “Now is also the time for Obiano to justify before An­ambra people why he takes 1.2 Billion Naira as security votes, which is biggest in Ni­geria relative to income.” The statement said that what was curious was that within his first 6 months in office, he vired all the money in MDG account, with which schools and hospitals get monetary and development support to his security vote.”

Further according to Obi, now was the time for Obiano to clear so many lies his ad­ministration has been dish­ing out to the people of the State, with the phantom 5 Million Dollars ugu export as an example. “As a seasonal vegetable, at least ugu would be exported once every year, but now, going to two years, we do not hear about it again.

“He recently told us that Anambra got the order to export 10 million tubers of yam, maybe he did not even realize that over 80% of yam consumed in Anambra State come from Benue and Taraba States. He also said that An­ambra is now producing over 200 metric tons of rice, when even Stines company source rice from Ebonyi State,’’ it stated.

Anambra 2017: Ubah Heads To Court Over PDP Primaries

Barely three weeks af­ter the Peoples Dem­ocratic Party (PDP) conducted its governor­ship primary in Anambra State, one of the aspirants, Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah, yesterday ques­tioned the credibility of the primary and vowed to achieve justice in the court of law.

Addressing newsmen in Abuja, Ubah accused the leaders of the party of using fake delegates’ list to conduct the primary, adding that the certified copy of the list he got from Independent Na­tional Electoral Commission (INEC) was different from what was used at the primary.

Kicking against the pri­mary, the Chairman of Cap­ital oil described it as a show of shame, adding that Os­eloka Obaze, who was de­clared winner, was never given a waiver by the party National Executive Com­mittee (NEC).

Ubah, who said that he has exhausted all internal mechanism of the party, add­ed that “I think it is the court that can address the situation now. We are going to court and if the party comes back to address the situation that will be fine.

“In the quest for justice, I submit myself to fight this il­legality and injustice for my sake as well as that of anyone who aspires to contest un­der the party’s platform and I hope that justice will prevail in the end.”

He said that the primary conducted on August 28th,

2017 “was all but a show of shame as it was marred by obvious irregularities, leaving little to be desired and more questions than answers from the relevant authorities and party officials.

“At best, to any discern­ing mind, the primary elec­tion was a perfection of a pre­conceived orchestrated plot by His Excellency, the Gov­ernor of Rivers State and His Excellency, the former gov­ernor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, alongside selected cabal members of the sever­al committees for this elec­tion set up by PDP to rob well-meaning Anambrari­ans off their earnest yearning for a candidate and eventual governor with a robust ped­igree and a time-tested proof of love for the people.”

Ubah said that though the primary was duly monitored by INEC and other relevant agencies, but the list of dele­gates were hoarded, starving aspirants of the most impor­tant tool needed for the cam­paign to commence, adding that all the aspirants com­plained against this develop­ment except Obaze.

“In view of this, all the aspirants but Mr. Oseloka Obaze condemned the entire process and requested that the primary election be stepped down as the party was clear­ly not ready owing to the time the list was made available to aspirants which was the night of Saturday, 26th of August 2017 for an election scheduled to be conducted on Monday, 28th of August, 201, giving aspirants less than 48 hours to tour round Anambra State canvassing for votes.

“In spite of the misgiv­ings expressed about the pro­cess leading to the election, the Governor Dave Umahi-led committee, acting true to type, threw caution to the wind, completely ignored the calls for the primary election to be stepped down and de­cided to go ahead with the ex­ercise which eventually ended up on a dramatic note.

“As a result, four aspirants including Prince John Emeka, Mr. Akolisa Ofodile, Sen. Stel­la Oduah and Linda Ikpeazu withdrew from the race on ac­count of an alleged plot to im­pose a particular candidate on the vast majority of party loy­alists in Anambra State.

“On Sunday, 27th of Au­gust, 2017, when the list was published, it was totally dif­ferent from the list INEC had certified and made available to me. Unfortunately, there was no-one to complain to,” he said.

Speaking further, Ubah said that “It was discovered that the list provided by Gov­ernor Nyesom Wike and his committee members through Governor Dave Umahi was totally different from the list certified by INEC. This list was also different from the list which was pasted and given to the aspirants by PDP.

“Following this flawed process, there were many complaints of accredited del­egates being sidelined, re­placing them with a new set of delegates. This glaring rack­et caused by the Dave Umahi-led committee saw a majori­ty of the accredited delegates tear gassed and thrown into a state of confusion as well as disenfranchised.

“This sinister move caused a heavy distraction in the pro­cess and allowed those who were not in the INEC certi­fied delegate list be smuggled in and manipulated to vote for an aspirant who was imposed on them by Peter Obi.”

The Capital oil boss also pointed out that there were ir­regularities in the votes count.

Speaking on why Obaze should not be declared win­ner of the primary, Ubah said, “It is also pertinent to state that Mr. Oseloka Obaze is not qualified to contest in the An­ambra State governorship pri­mary election as he did not get the requisite waiver from the party owing to the fact that he had just been in the party for four months as against the mandatory requirement of be­ing a party member for at least two years as enshrined in the PDP Constitution.”

APC NWC Clears Nwoye For Anambra Guber Poll

The coast is now clear for Tony Nwoye, as the All Progressives Congress, APC, on Monday confirmed him as the party’s standard bearer for the November 18 governorship election.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the party’s National Working Committee, held at the APC National Secretariat in Abuja.

The John Odigie-Oyegun-led NWC considered the report of the Dr. Hassan Lawal-led appeal panel, which investigated a petition filed by Senator Andy Uba, who alleged that irregularities marred the conduct of the primary.

The APC NWC dismissed his appeal, stating that it was satisfied with Nwoye’s emergence.

It declared that the primary committee conducted a free, fair and transparent primary.

“We scrutinised the petition and considered the report of our Appeal Committee. We also watched tapes, studied the processes, including accreditation and voting.

Recall that the committee that conducted the primary submitted its report to the party on Sunday.

Headed by Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, the committee stated that none of the 12 contestants questioned the integrity of all processes before, during and after the August 26 primaries which held in Awka.

INEC: Anambra Guber Poll To Hold As Scheduled

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday assured Nigerians that the Nov. 18 governorship election in Anambra would hold as scheduled.

Chief Adedeji Soyebi, INEC National Commissioner in charge of Oyo, Osun and Ekiti, gave the assurance in Ibadan after declaring open a one –day Implementing Meeting on INEC Weekly Radio Programme.

He said the threat by a group over the conduct of the election should be seen as a mere security challenge which the security apparatus was taking good care of.

“We are ahead of time, continuous voter registration in Anambra have been concluded and in three or four weeks’ time, all the registered voters must have collected their voter cards.

“We are going to conduct the election by law, so the threat is just a security challenge and I am sure the security apparatus have strategised on how to take good care of it.

“The election will be one of the best elections they have ever witnessed. “So, Anambra people should expect a peaceful, free, fair and credible poll,’’ the INEC commissioner stated

Earlier, the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, had enjoined all INEC staff, especially participants, to step up effective voters’ education and publicity to ensure all stakeholders were fully informed about electoral processes and activities.

Represented by Soyebi at the meeting, Yakubu said that the current national socio-economic challenges have a profound impact on voters’ attitude to electoral activities.

“Voter disinterest and apathy is pervasive in our electoral terrain, so we are constantly required to encourage and motivate the people to participate.

“The onus is on us to continuously remind them of the positive effect their participation can have on the polity,’’ the chairman said. He said that the commission had received approval for weekly enlightenment programmes on radio stations in all the states and FCT.

According to him, the radio is recognised as a powerful channel to reach the citizenry. He said the meeting was therefore an avenue to discuss modalities for the implementation of the weekly radio programme.

Yakubu implored the participants to continue to play effective part in sensitising the public to their civic duty of participation in the electoral process through regular education, exposure and positive influences.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that heads of Voter Education Units of INEC across the 36 states of the federation and FCT attended the meeting.