Stakeholders Task Muslims On Voters’ Education

By Shina Abubakar

Stakeholders in the Muslim Community have been tasked to make voters education a point of duty among Muslims, with a view to ensuring their effective participation in politics and governance.

They spoke at a colloquium, organised by a socio-religious group, Muslim Political Awareness Front (MUPAF) with the theme: “Muslim Ummah, Partisan Politics and Voters’ Education” in Osogbo.

The guest lecturer, Professor Abdul-Afeez Oladosu of the Department of Islamic Studies, University of Ibadan said Muslim must not just be followers, but they must be proactive in determining who comes to power in any election.

According to him, the only way this could be achieved is by ensuring that Muslims are well enlightened politically, hence there is the need for political education.

He said Muslims must ensure that they obtain their voters’ card, which is the only power they have to determine who leads them.

The Islamic scholar identified lack of central leadership as the major challenge causing disunity among Muslims all over the world.

In his own, one of the discussants, Professor Muib Opeloye of the Department of Religious Studies, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife said, there are leaders of Muslims, but with not well defined leadership, saying, there is still a long way to go to put things in order.

The Coordinator of MUPAF, Mallam Lukman Obenbe told the gathering that the mission of the group was to create political awareness among Muslims, sensitise them on leadership matters and engage political office holders when necessary.

According to him, the basis for this was to encourage Muslims to go into politics and be active players in determining those to be elected into power, as well as orientating Muslims on how to manage the public resources and property with fear of God.


Hope For Election In Nigeria

By Nofisat Marindoti

Elections in Nigeria has surprisingly taken a new turn over the years. Going by history, election in the recent Nigeria had always been a rowdy, highly manipulated one.

Apart from the 1993 Presidential Election which has been internationally adjudged as the most free and fairest election; subsequent elections in the country have been critically assessed and sometimes not anything to write about them.

The 1993 election was the first since the 1983 military coup that toppled the government of Alhaji Shehu Shagari and the result was a victory for Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola of the Social Democratic Party, who defeated Bashir Tofa of the National Republican Convention.

However, the elections were later annulled by the then military ruler, General Ibrahim Babangida, leading to a crisis that ended with Sani Abacha, also military general to assumed the power as the Head of State.

In the wake of return to civilian rule in 1999, the people’s agitation at that was for a change from military rule to civilian rule. Considering the circumstance at which the winner of 1993 presidential election died and subsequent demise of the Sani Abacha, Yoruba nation was on the frontburner as possible consideration for the presidential seat.

General Olusegun Obasanjo who happened to be in the prison at the time he was chosen as the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party while Alliance for Democracy settled for Chief Olu Falae another Yoruba man.

Though Chief Olu Falae whose party lost the election to the candidate of Peoples’ Democratic Party, claimed that there the elections were flawed with lot of manipulations from the electoral umpire to favour the eventual winner of the election.

The situation was however, not different in 2003 as President Muhammadu Buhari contested with the incumbent Olusegun Obasanjo and the latter emerged the winner of the election. But not without litigations alleging rigging and manipulation by the incumbent government.

Observers from the European Union described the 2007 elections, which brought Umaru Yar’Adua, a Muslim from northern Nigeria, to power, as among the worst they had witnessed anywhere in the world. Human Rights Watch estimated that at least 300 people were killed in violence linked to the 2007 elections.

Another election that leaves a clear picture in one’s mind is the 2011 presidential election when many lives were lost and properties destroyed.

“The April elections were heralded as among the fairest in Nigeria’s history but they also were among the bloodiest,” said Corinne Dufka, senior West Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch.”

Deadly election-related and communal violence in northern Nigeria following the April 2011 presidential voting left more than 800 people dead. The victims were killed in three days of rioting in 12 northern states.

The violence began with widespread protests by supporters of the main opposition candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, a northern Muslim from the Congress for Progressive Change, following the re-election of incumbent Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian from the Niger Delta in the south, who was the candidate for the ruling People’s Democratic Party.

The protests degenerated into violent riots or sectarian killings in the northern states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Niger, Sokoto, Yobe, and Zamfara. Relief officials estimated that more than 65,000 people have been displaced.

Human Rights Watch estimated that in northern Kaduna State, at least 180 people and possibly more, were killed in the cities of Kaduna and Zaria and their surrounding suburbs. According to media reports and journalists interviewed by Human Rights Watch, dozens of people were also killed during riots in the other northern states.

The elections conducted in 1999, 2003 and especially 2007 were characterized by widespread malpractices such as violence, corruption and falsification of results. After the 2007 election, there was widespread disenchantment with the electoral process.

The elections held in 2003 and 2007 were preceded by widespread intra-party and inter-party violence that continued on the polling days. In a report released in 2004, the Human Rights Watch observed that:

“Both Nigeria’s federal and state elections in 2003 and local government elections 2004 were marred by serious incidents of violence, which left scores dead and many others injured … In April and May 2003, at least one hundred people were killed and many more injured.

“Majority of serious abuses were perpetrated by members or supporters of the ruling party, the people’s Democratic Party (PDP). In a number of locations, elections simply did not take place as groups of armed thugs linked to political parties and candidates intimidated and threatened voters in order to falsify results … One year later, local government elections took place across Nigeria on March 27, 2004. These elections too were characterized by serious violence and intimidation, as well as widespread fraud and rigging. There were reports of dozens of people killed before, during and after the local government elections.”

However, in recent times, there is the rising hope for free, fair and transparent elections in Nigeria with the resounding success in the last few elections starting from the 2015 presidential election when the incumbent President, Muhammadu Buhari won the race over former President Goodluck Jonathan.

The State of Osun Governorship election in 2014 that produced the incumbent Ogbeni Rauf Argebesola and that of the recent Anambra state guber election are shining examples too.

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had declared the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, and incumbent Governor, Willie Obiano, as the winner of the November 18, 2017 governorship election in Anambra state.

The success of Anambra election which is the most recently conducted election in the country has shown that the Nigerian electoral system is actually getting better.

It is a reassurance that Nigeria might still have the kind of 1993 election when all Nigerians shared the spirit of brotherhood, know what they wanted and come out en mass, peacefully, to vote for what they wanted.

In the final analysis, the possibility of transiting from the third world to the first where sanctity of fairest election is predicated on the resolve of the country’s political leadership to galvanize the people so that they can buy into the rescue programme devised by their leaders. The disconnect between the leaders and the rest of the population would need to be corrected before the prospects for socio-economic and political transformation can become so much enhanced.

Nigeria is, undoubtedly, poised for great electoral accomplishments in the years ahead, given its incredible endowments in both human and material resources. However, it needs be emphasized that greatness is not to be conjured into existence but a product of painstaking and dogged pursuit of well-thought out electioneering process.

INEC Registers 73.2 Million Voters For Elections In 2019

According to The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), 73.2 million voters have been registered for the 2019 general elections while the exercise continues. The commission which gave the figure as what it realised in April this year said it projected to register over 80 million voters for the polls, and promised to ensure that the 2019 general elections are better than those of 2015.


INEC also revealed that about eight million Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) are yet to be collected by their owners. Addressing a delegation of European Union Electoral Follow-up Mission to Nigeria, civil society organisations and other stakeholders during a roundtable organised by the European Union Delegation to Nigeria and West Africa, Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu said the credibility of elections depends on the credibility of the voter register.


He said although the commission was facing some challenges, it was tackling them. “We started in April and as at last week, 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 voters’ register will probably be over 80 million by 2019.”


Top on the agenda was some 30 recommendations handed to INEC by the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU-EOM) after the 2015 general elections, for which the EU had dispatched its Electoral Follow-Up Mission to Nigeria, led by Mr Santiago Fisas to ascertain what has happened since then.


Yakubu said: “The most important thing for us as we plan towards 2019 is the effectiveness of our plan. We have a Strategic Plan 2017-2021 and we have along with that, a strategic programme of action. We have just completed the draft Election Project Plan for 2019. Hopefully next week, we will come up with a figure of what it will cost this nation to conduct the 2019 general elections.”


He also told the delegation that INEC had benefitted from the numerous elections it had conducted. “We have conducted elections into 172 constituencies since the 2015 general elections. The last election was three weeks ago in Gombe, the next election is in eight days in Sokoto, followed by the Anambra governorship election. We have issued the timetable for Ekiti and Osun (governorship elections).”


On simultaneous accreditation and voting, he said: “In Bayelsa in January 2016, we combined accreditation and voting and it was well received. Now, you can only vote at the polling unit where you are registered. You cannot vote elsewhere. It’s going on very well.” On the Anambra governorship election scheduled for November 18, Yakubu said: “We are combining the governorship election with the Idemili North state constituency election. There will be two ballot boxes and voters will receive two ballot papers. All the other arrangements – logistics, staff training, and security are in place. We are killing two birds with one stone. And for the first time in the history of elections in Nigeria, 37 political parties are contesting in the Anambra election. Out of the 14 activities lined up, we have executed nine.”


On the fear by some stakeholders that security agencies could postpone the election at the last minute, the chairman observed that although the responsibility of securing the environment before, during and after elections is not within the commission’s jurisdiction, INEC maintains a close relationship with all security agencies through the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES).


“That is why we have also decided, as a commission, to issue the timetable and schedule of activities well ahead of all 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, and 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 4th August, 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. But we’ll continue to talk to them,” Yakubu said.


The INEC chairman also spoke on the low participation of women in politics, explaining that INEC has in recent times intensified engagements with political parties on the need for them to accommodate more women. “But the caveat is the constitutional provision which says that individuals aspiring for political offices must be sponsored by a political party. But we have a gender policy in place.”



OSIEC Issues 90-day LG Election Notice

The Osun State Independent Electoral Commission (OSIEC) has announced Saturday, January 27, 2018 for the conduct of election into the 68 Local Governments, Local Council Development Areas, and Administrative offices in the state. Local government election was last conducted in December 2007 during the administration of Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola which was invalidated three years after by the Supreme Court for non -compliance with the 180 days mandatory notice.


OSIEC Chairman, Otunba Segun Oladitan announced the date at a press briefing on Wednesday at the commission headquarters in Osogbo, the State Capital after consultation with the 36 political parties that already registered with the commission to participate in the election. He said the commission has resolved all the legal impediments restraining the conduct of the election and urged the stakeholders to cooperate with the commission for the smooth conduct of the poll.


Oladitan at the press briefing said “following wide consultation and agreement with political parties, the commission hereby announced 90 days mandatory notice for the conduct of the local government election today October 18, 2017.

“With this declaration, all registered political parties, interested aspirants, security agencies and other stakeholders are hereby put on notice as required by electoral law.


The chairman explained that the commission is at the final stage of ward and local government delineations as empowered by the 2015 Local Government administration law and will make the new delineated area public after the ratification of the State House of Assembly. According to him with the creation of the new council areas, Osun East Senatorial District now has 22 council areas, 106 wards with proposed additional 13 wards making 119 wards and Osun Central has 23 council areas, 116 existing wards and additional 15 wards making 131 wards, while Osun West has 23 council areas, 110 existing wards and 18 additional wards making 118.


Oladitan said the commission is adopting the parliamentary system by conducting an election for the councillorship positions in the 378 wards and promised to be fair to all parties, adding that the commission will continue to carry along the public throughout the process.


“As I have promised earlier that the process will be all-inclusive and transparent, we still stand by our promises as you can see today, by allowing the major stakeholders who are political parties to collectively choose election date within the confine of the law and fact available; we have started well and we are so confident of the success of the process, we have nothing to hide as a commission and we seek the cooperation of the public”.


He also announced that the nomination form for the party candidates will be free, while the participating political parties will only pay administrative charges that will be bearable and reasonable. It would be recalled that the commission conducted a referendum in 2014 ratified by the state house of assembly for the completion of the creation of the new LCDA and administrative offices.

Merkel in Poll Setback Before Tough Coalition Talks

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives lost a closely-watched state poll Sunday, weakening her hand as she embarks on complex coalition talks following a disappointing showing at last month’s general election.

Martin Schulz’s Social Democrats (SPD) came out ahead with 37 to 37.5 percent of votes in the western state of Lower Saxony, home to scandal-tainted Volkswagen, according to estimates released by public broadcasters ARD and ZDF.

Merkel’s CDU party clinched 35 percent, followed by the Greens with 8-8.5 percent, and the liberal and pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) with 7 to 7.5 percent.

The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), fresh from winning its first seats in the national parliament, scored 5.5 percent, giving it a presence in 14 of Germany’s 16 states.

The SPD victory will come as a relief to former European Parliament chief Schulz, who has gone into opposition after being humiliated in last month’s general election and who oversaw three regional election losses this year.

The Lower Saxony vote took on outsized significance as it came just three weeks after a general election that handed Merkel’s conservative bloc its worst result in decades, while marking a breakthrough for the far-right AfD.

Merkel still won a fourth term but in order to form a government she must now forge an alliance with the Greens and the FDP, a political poker game that could drag on well into 2018.

Commentators had warned that a setback in Lower Saxony would weaken Merkel’s bargaining position as she begins the negotiations in Berlin on Wednesday.

‘Catch-up race’
Lower Saxony was forced into a snap vote after the ruling coalition of SPD and the Greens collapsed when it lost its wafer-thin majority due to the defection of a lawmaker to the CDU.

Opinion polls had given the CDU a clear lead early on, but that advantage evaporated in the final stretch.

The SPD’s state premier Stephan Weil hailed the poll win as a “roaring success” after a “catch-up race”.

Schulz was equally effusive, hailing an “unprecedented election battle” and praising voters for giving the SPD “a tail wind” as the party heads to the opposition benches in Berlin.

After campaigning for the CDU in Lower Saxony, Merkel must now turn her attention back to cobbling together a coalition with two very different partners — an alliance that is untested at the national level.

If they fail to reach an agreement, Merkel will have to call fresh elections.

Little mood for concessions
The unlikely grouping has been dubbed “Jamaica” because the parties’ colours match those of the Caribbean country’s flag — black for the conservatives, yellow for the FDP, and green.

In the coming weeks, their leaders will haggle not just about ministerial posts but also red-line policy issues that are sometimes diametrically opposed.

Among flashpoint topics will be questions surrounding the more than one million asylum seekers who arrived in Germany since 2015.

The CDU’s Bavarian allies, the CSU, have signalled a tough stance on immigration to win back voters who have drifted to the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD).

They would find an ally in Christian Lindner, the leader of the FDP, who made a comeback after a dismal previous governing stint in the shadow of Merkel.

Lindner on Friday insisted that there must be a “clear time limit for the residency of war refugees in Germany”.

“On war refugees, the aim is not integration in Germany, but their return to their homeland after the end of the war to help rebuild it,” he told regional newspaper group Suedwest Presse.

But the Greens are more welcoming towards refugees and also proponents of European “solidarity” — while the FDP has said it will not accept German taxpayers footing the bill for any attempts at shoring up the EU.

The Greens will push issues like fighting climate change and promoting renewable energy, likely to be opposed by the more pro-business parties.

All players are highly reluctant to make major concessions, said Oskar Niedermayer of Berlin’s Free University: the FDP because it has previously wilted in Merkel’s shadow, the Greens because they face their environmentalist base and the CSU because it must win Bavarian elections next year.

“So, I’m still very, very sceptical,” said Niedermayer.

“But of course it is also clear that all sides are under great pressure. Because the alternatives — a minority government or fresh elections — are something the German people do not want.”


Kenya Election Violence Leaves Scores Dead

The protest that followed the announcement if the election results in Kenya has lead to the death of at least 37 people, including three children. Kenyan police fired teargas and shots in the air on Monday as hundreds of demonstrators marched through the capital Nairobi to protest against proposed legal changes that would make it harder for the Supreme Court to annul an election.

Some of the deaths were caused by “police using live bullets” while others were killed by police “bludgeoning using clubs”, Kenya National Commission on Human Rights said in a report on Monday.

According to reports, among the dead was a six-month-old baby girl who was “clobbered by armed security agents whilst under the care of its mother in Kisumu County”.

Almost all the victims of the violence were killed in opposition strongholds in the slums of the capital, Nairobi, or the western part of the country.

In August, Fred Matiangi, acting interior minister, denied security services used live bullets or excessive force in dealing with protesters and blamed the violence on “criminal elements”.

“I’m not aware of anyone who has been killed by a live bullet fired by a police officer anywhere in this country,” Matiangi said.

The protests started after the electoral body announced incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta as the winner of the August 8 election.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga said the election was rigged and claimed he won the vote.

Recall that last month, the country’s Supreme Court declared the election results “invalid, null and void”. The Nairobi-based court said the electoral board committed “irregularities and illegalities” during the vote, harming the integrity of the election.


Members Free To Contest Eletions On Any Platform- PDP

The National Caretaker Committee of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said state chapters of the party were free to consider platform appropriate for members to contest pending elections in the meantime.
In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Dayo Adeyeye, on Tuesday in Abuja, the committee said that the clarification was necessary in view of confusion in some states.

It said that it was untrue that the committee had instructed PDP members to use the platform of a newly-registered party to contest local government elections in Lagos and other states.

It stated that the committee was constrained to make the clarification in view of the misconception and unease which the issue had raised.

It said that while the party awaited Supreme Court’s verdict on its leadership tussle, the committee was confronted with pending councils’, National and State Assembly bye-elections in many states.

According to it, the committee recognises the anxiety of members since the platform of the PDP is currently in dispute.

It explained that the decision was to avoid a repeat of Edo and Ondo gubernatorial polls’ experience where “Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff and his co-travellers tried to scuttle the chances of PDP members’’.

The statement claimed that in the elections, Sheriff’s group fielded All Progressives Congress (APC) “lackeys and surrogates as alternative candidates to disturb, distract and dissipate the energy of PDP genuine candidates’’.

“It is indisputable that this was the main reason for our defeat, particularly in the Ondo governorship election.

“That was why we deliberately decided not to run parallel congresses in Anambra State in order not to subject our party members in that state to the agony of a disputed platform.

“It is also important to state at this point that Sheriff and his cohorts have been creating factional chapters in different states of the federation in order to compromise our chances in the councils’ elections.

“In the circumstances and with no hope of the Sheriff problem abating before the Supreme Court judgement, we are left with no choice than to consider ways by which our members will not be disenfranchised in these elections.

“However, our position is not to choose a platform for any state where true PDP candidates are denied the opportunity to stand for the elections.

“State Chapters are allowed to take any decision they consider appropriate,’’ the statement said.

It added that the committee was working with all the organs of PDP and other relevant bodies to pursue the issues plaguing the party to a logical conclusion.

“We have a good case and our ground of Appeal is solid.

“We believe ultimately that justice will be served on the leadership issues in our party and we are also confident that the judiciary will continue to remain independent, unbiased and neutral.’’

It added that the committee would continue to pray for a positive outcome in the judgment of the Supreme Court so that the agony and pain of recent times may be finally put behind.

You Are Nigeria’s next President By Olagunju Isaac

There is a reason I stopped commenting on Nigeriana, I have a very big problem trying to explain every now and then to the Nigerian youth that Saraki is Tinubu, Fayose is El Rufai, Buhari is Jonathan and APC is PDP.

My job is even made more difficult when I have contended with young internet warriors, who are about my age and sometimes even younger than I am, and whose source of livelihood is from the two hundred thousand naira crumb they are paid on a monthly basis to defend those very crooks who ate their future.

These guys are good at their job so please don’t blame me for giving up, if only you have encountered them, then you will understand me better. They are online twenty-four seven and they are always quick to tell you how Buhari is fighting corruption, how the last administration stole Nigeria blind, how all Nigerians would have died of hunger if not for the divine intervention of the new administration and sometimes even remind you that; you should be thankful that God gave us Buhari at this point in time. But if you are dealing with the opposition internet warrior, he will not fail to remind you of GEJ’s success, how he made Nigeria the largest economy in Nigeria, how the TSA and other policies are GEJ’s economy teaFacebookal ideas, how he’s Nigeria fifth republic best democrat, with his decision to concede defeat and also warn his supporters and loyalist that his presidential ambition is not worth the life of any Nigerian.

A bunch of these guys are in their late twenties, early thirties, late thirties and some very few in their early forties and it has never occurred to them that they have all it takes to be the next commissioner, governor of their states, senator, ministers, and even Nigeria’s next president. It has never occurred to them that the same team have been in power from 1999 till date, they do not even understand that they are the ones that always decides who gets elected as the next whatever in this country, they are blind to the fact that there’s strength in their numbers if only they can come together, unite and take their country back.

The average Nigerian youth needs a brain reset, whatever happened to critical thinking. They need their minds to be restored to factory settings. The Nigerian youth needs mental detoxification. Some youth even fight over politicians, looters, and their oppressors when they should rather fight against them. While others are carrying the destiny of their nations, you are carrying the bags of politicians.

Some of them are merely contented with knowing someone in the presidency.

You should be ashamed of yourself, do you not know that the greatness of a nation lies in unleashing the potential of its youths. Rather than defend APC or PDP, can you not think of how to dethrone them. For those of you that have been complaining about the recycling of past leaders. You complain that young people are never given a chance. Do you not know that power is grabbed. Power is not earned. It is not a right neither is it a privilege. It is not served on a silver or gold platter. You must struggle for it. Drop that entitlement mentality. You need to pay the price for power to get it. It involves sacrifice and a lot of hard work. Mr young man, Miss young woman, it is time to force your way to relevance. It is time to take responsibility for the future because the future will not be inherited it will be earned”.

Instead of fighting each other online, why don’t you channel all of your energy and strength on the fire of revolution that is to spread across Nigeria? They have succeeded in dividing you along ethnic and religious lines, they are better united than you are, but now you must do the unbelievable, you must proof your critics wrong, now is the time all youths must unite, we need a critical mass.

We must stop complaining and do something. We need to do something about electricity. Our brains are still fresh. Now is the time to ask questions, go further by seeking answers. Rather, be the answer. As you talk about the challenges, go further by seeking solutions. Rather, be the solution. Does it not bother you that once you’re above 40 years, you have lesser years to spend as you arrive at the departure lounge of life? Should you not be thinking about the future more than the present? For instance, by 2050 Nigeria will hit the 1b population mark. Thirty-three years before 2050, we are still stuck in subsistence farming. We can’t feed 170m people now so how can we feed 1b people? We can’t provide housing for 170m people now, so how can we provide housing for 1b people?

As young people, the survival of Nigeria lies not on the shoulders of APC or PDP but in our hand. Rather than agonize, we must begin to strategize. We must not just think outside the box but throw away the box. We have the numbers, it’s time we use them to force a real change. What does it take to win an election: numbers! We can register a new political party. Or form a critical mass or pressure groups in an existing one. Set up accountability groups across local governments and states. Participate actively in the political process. Identify some young outliers and rally round them so as to get them to political office”. There’s so much we can do with our numbers.

This statistics will make you marvel:
APC won Nassarawa with 392,000 votes- Nassarawa has a population of about 2m people
APC won Lagos State with 811,944 votes- Lagos has a population of close to 20m people.
APC – 327,310- Oyo State- Oyo has a population of about 6m people.
PDP – 289,867 – Ebonyi State- Ebonyi has a population of about 2.1m people
Now let us zero in on Lagos state alone, and let me consider the tertiary institutions alone outside of the clusters where one usually find the youth:
UNILAG has 49,192 students.
LASU has 90,000 students.
Yabatech has 15,000 students.

Lagos State Polytechnic is also an existing school but the number of students cannot be ascertained. Ditto for Lagos City Polytechnic, Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, Nigerian Institute of Journalism and Federal College of Education Technical, Akoka.

Now just imagine the kind of impact we will make if these numbers can be mobilized and come together as a critical mass, then we will be on the road to change. What is needed to win an election is numbers and money is a subset of number. As at today in Nigeria, no Nigerian political party has students wings- even when they claim to have youth leaders who are in their 50s and 60s. ANC was very successful because it had students/youth wings. Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki and Julius Malema were former leaders of the ANC Youth League. Greatest Nigeria students, angered Nigeria youths, hapless Nigeria graduates, I challenge you to look at people who were turning 18 and coming of voting age. ‘Who is talking to them?’
Get angry for the right reason’s, I am not your enemy, neither are you mine. Together we must destroy our common enemy. Which is why I am pleading with you to join this association, the Association of Nigerian Graduate Against Unemployment. (Search for “ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIAN GRADUATES AGAINST UNEMPLOYMENT” on Facebook and like the page). We have been consulting with other groups across Nigeria and together we shall all change the World order. We need your fresh brain as much as you need us.

Just like the Facebook page and please invite others to do same.

Stop merely existing. It’s time to start living. Let your life be a contribution to humanity and not a contamination to humanity”.
Together We Can!

INEC Fixes Anambra Governorship Poll For November 18

He said that the 1999 Constitution as amended, and the Electoral Act, had stipulated that the earliest day for the conduct of the election shall be October 18, while latest date for the election shall be February 14, 2018.

It also stipulated that the tenure of the state governor would expire on March 16, 2018.

According to INEC timetable for the election, campaigns by political parties will start on August 18 and close by Noember. 16, while primaries will be held between July 22 and September 2.

The national commissioner said that the commission received the report of the Joint Police/DSS Special Investigation Panel on Rivers Re-Run elections of December 10, 2016.

He added that “from the report, we gathered that the police have concluded their investigations and 25 INEC staff who were indicted will be prosecuted. The commission has resolved to co-operate with police in the process.

Soyebi added that the commission had also considered the report of its Administrative Inquiry into the same election in which 28 staff were indicted of misconduct.

He explained that the commission accepted the report’s recommendations that all the 28 indicted staff should face internal disciplinary action for gross misconduct, dereliction of duty and negligence.

“The commission also accepted the recommendation to commend a number of ad hoc and permanent staff, as well as security officials who performed exceptionally well under very difficult circumstances of the elections,” he said.

Those to be commended were Prof. Ralph Echebiri and Prof. Oji Ekemankama, both of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, who served in Rivers West and East Senatorial Districts respectively.

He added that INEC would also offer automatic employment to two National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members; Aguna Isaac and Ademola Oluwatoba who served as Presiding Officers during the election.

He said that the decision was to reward them for their professional conduct during the election.

He noted that arising from the lessons learnt, the commission would carry out major overhaul of its entire Rivers office/


Ekiti, Osun Elections Will be Credible – INEC

The National Independent Electoral Commission has pledged to conduct credible elections in Ekiti and Osun in 2018.

The INEC National Commissioner for South West Zone, Mr. Adedeji Soyebi, made the pledge while speaking with newsmen on Wednesday at the Zonal Strategic Plan Retreat for field officers of the commission in Ibadan.

Soyebi said the previous polls had been successful, adding that “any election conducted this year or other time will not be an exception.’’

He said, “It will be based on the principle we have used in conducting elections.

“INEC will build on its various achievements in the conduct of free, fair and credible elections and make sure that there is tremendous improvement in the future elections.”

The commissioner said the Zonal Strategic Plan was aimed at generating ideas and inputs from electoral officers on the field before embarking on any national plan in readiness for the 2019 elections.

He said, “At the end of the retreat, a synthetic report will be ready which the commission will present at a national stakeholders meeting involving political parties, civil society organisations, security apparatus and other stakeholders in the conduct of elections.”

Soyebi urged the participants to make meaningful contributions that would play vital roles in assisting the commission to be more effective.

Earlier in his address of welcome, Mr. Ariyo Ayoola, the Acting Administrative Secretary of INEC in Oyo State, said the commission would develop a new strategic plan.

According to Ariyo, the plan is expected to lead the nation to another successful general election in 2019.

He commended the commission for taking the retreat to the states to elicit local content, noting that the move was an attempt at ensuring collective ownership of the final copy of the strategic plan.

Ariyo, who said the shared experiences of the participants would enrich the outcome of the 2017-2021 strategic Plan, urged participants to make rich inputs.

Participants were drawn from staff of INEC in all the South West states