The OurMumuDonDo group led by popular musician, Charles Oputa a.k.a. Charly Boy, and other civil rights groups have protested against the registration of underage voters in northern Nigeria, particularly in Kano State.
The groups, therefore, called on the Independent National Electoral Commission to ensure that children are not allowed to vote in 2019.
The call came amid pictures trending on the social media showing children between the ages of eight and 15 voting during the recently concluded local government election in Kano State.
The coalition also called on INEC to ensure that the process of registration and collection of Permanent Voter Cards were not cumbersome.
Mr. Deji Adeyanju, who read a statement at the headquarters of INEC in Abuja on Monday, said if the process of registration was too difficult, many Nigerians would be discouraged and ultimately might not vote in 2019.
The letter, which was received by the Assistant Director in charge of security, Mr. J. Musa, was signed by Charly Boy, Deji Adeyanju (Concerned Nigerians); Ariyo Atoye (Coalition in Defence Of Nigerian Democracy), Bako Usman (Campaign For Democracy) and Moses Paul (MAD Connect).
The coalition also said it was interested in working with INEC to address voter apathy and disenfranchisement “as a result of the long time practice of rigidity in the electoral process.”
The group highlighted the issue of electronic voting and the challenges of documentation and population of eligible voters, which it said needed public engagement.
“We humbly request a strategic engagement with INEC to discuss the issues identified above and other likely developments obstructing the electoral process and how we can equally be of significant help as stakeholders,” the letter read in part.
The movement stated that if necessary actions were not taken to remedy the deficiencies plaguing the electoral process, “it will be difficult to eradicate voter apathy and disenfranchisement, and even more difficult to sustain our democracy.”
However, the Kano State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Prof. Riskuwa Shehu, said INEC did not organise local government elections and so could not be blamed for any cases of underage voting.
Shehu said the voter register used for the local government election was different from the one used by INEC and promised that children would not be allowed to vote in Kano State in 2019.
He referred one of our correspondents to the Chairman of the Kano State Independent Electoral Commission, Prof. Garba Sheka, for more comment.
Efforts to speak with Sheka, however, proved abortive as he did not respond to repeated telephone calls.
Meanwhile, the Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, has enjoined students in tertiary institutions in the state that are 18 years and above to ensure that they have a PVC by making themselves available for voter registration at the INEC office nearest to them if they have not registered before.
Okowa gave the advice on Monday at the College of Education, Agbor during a one-day sensitisation/awareness on voter education in tertiary institutions which was organised by the Directorate of Orientation, Governor’s Office in collaboration with the COE, Agbor.
The governor, who was represented by the Information Commissioner, Mr. Patrick Ukah, disclosed that the advice had become necessary as it would enable them to make a well-informed decision on who represents them at the various levels of government.
“We will be failing in our duties if we fail to tell you of the power that you have as eligible voters; you have enormous electoral power to elect any candidate of your choice but you can only do this if you have your PVC,” Okowa stated.
While thanking the Directorate of Orientation and the COE, Agbor, for collaborating to organise the sensitisation/awareness programme on voter education, the governor implored students to put what they were taught into practice by actively exercising their franchise in a responsible manner.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Executive Assistant to the Governor on Orientation, Eugene Uzum, said the import of the sensitisation programme was to adequately enlighten students in tertiary institutions of learning about the need to have a PVC.
Uzum disclosed that the sensitisation/awareness on voter education would take place in all the tertiary institutions of learning in the state, adding that voter education was an essential ingredient needed to stimulate students’ interest in the electoral process.
Buhari/Osinbajo Ticket As The Best Option In 2019, Says Group
The Patriotic Conscience for New Nigeria, a civil society organization, has lauded the performance of vice president Yemi Osinbajo at the Vice Presidential debate which held in Abuja yesterday.
In a statement made available to newsmen and signed by its national coordinator, Salisu Mohammed Sani, it stated that the Buhari/Osinbajo ticket remains the best option for Nigeria given the myriads of achievements the present administration has recorded in the past three years.
“From the performance of the vice president, it becomes obvious that Nigeria is indeed on the path to greatness when compared to the 16 inglorious years of PDP misrule that indeed set the country back donkey years.”
The statement further stated that for the PDP vice presidential candidate to state that “Nigeria is in the current situation because of lack of jobs, and Atiku Abubakar is a man that could deliver on this and bring Nigeria out of the misery if elected” is most uncharitable and a clear indication that Peter Obi is either ignorant of the ignoble role Atiku Abubakar played in ruining the economy of Nigeria between 1999 – 2007 while he was vice president and head of the economic management team”
“For Peter Obi to assume that Atiku Abubakar can deliver and bring Nigeria out of its economic misery is nothing but an indication that history is indeed in short supply and how gullible he thinks Nigerians are. This is on the heels that Nigerians are in the know of the atrocities committed against Nigeria by Atiku Abubakar who as head of the Economic management team enriched his pocket and that of his cronies.”
“Peter Obi would want to tell Nigerians why former president Olusegun Obasanjo fell out with Atiku Abubakar between 2003 and 2007 when he, Obasanjo realized how Atiku Abubakar abused the trust reposed on him by engaging in acts inimical to the progress of Nigeria. Perhaps the recent statement by former president Olusegun Obasanjo that “If I support Atiku for a political office other than the one I supported him in the past when I did not know him, maybe, but not now that I know him, God will not forgive me.”
“To, therefore, imagine that the same man who is renowned for questionable means and was in power for eight years in now suddenly the messiah that Nigeria needs beats common sense. It goes further to corroborate the fact the Atiku/Obi ticket is not in tandem with present realities either by omission or commission which the true enemies of Nigeria are. This debate has indeed confirmed the true motives of the agents of the PDP that sees Nigeria as their cash cow that must be milked to death, to say the least.”
The Patriotic Conscience for New Nigeria reiterated the need for Nigerians to look beyond the deceitful product that the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is trying to sell to members of the unsuspecting public.
“A leopard cannot change its skin. The worst years in the annals Nigeria were from 1999 to 2015, and this much can be verified by the discerning mind and those that have the interest of the country at heart.”
“Since 2015, when President Muhammadu Buhari assumed leadership of the country, Nigeria has witnessed phenomenal growth and development. This much was corroborated by the brilliant outing of vice president Yemi Osinbajo in the vice presidential debate where he reeled out the numerous achievements of the Muhammadu Buhari led administration. For instance, Nigeria’s SMEs have grown consistently since the administration came on board, with several policies specifically targeted at SMEs at several institutions currently underway.”
“We are therefore not surprised with the illogical postulations of Peter Obi whose history is akin to that of a salesman who would go the extra mile to sell a product to members of the unsuspecting public to make ends meet not minding whose ox is gored. But Nigerians are wiser and not fooled by the antics of “businessmen” who see things from the prism of their selfish interest.”
“The Patriotic Conscience for New Nigeria is of the opinion that the Buhari/Osinbajo ticket is in the interest of Nigeria and capable of leading Nigeria to the promised land and the best option for 2019.”
Buhari Appoints Suleiman Minister Of Environment
President Buhari has approved the appointment of Surveyor Suleiman Hassan as the Minister of Environment, following the resignation of the Minister of State, Ibrahim Usman Jibril.
A press statement issued by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity) in Abuja on Thursday night recalled that Jibril resigned to ascend the throne of his forefathers as the Emir of Nasarawa, in Nasarawa State.
It said the President announced the succession at the Ministry of Environment at the end of the meeting of the Federal Executive Council on Wednesday.
No further details were given.
Osinbajo To Chair Extended NEC Meeting
Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, will chair an extended National Economic Council(NEC) meeting scheduled for Dec. 14 at the Old Banquet Hall, State House.
A statement by the Office of the Vice President, on Thursday in Abuja, said that the extended NEC was in line with the Buhari administration’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) for inclusive growth and human capital development.
“The extended NEC comprising governors of all the states of the federation and Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN), will focus on the Human Capital Development Programme of this administration hinged on investment in the people.
“The Human Capital Development Programme is focused on three main thematic areas– Health and Nutrition, Education and Labour Force Participation.
“The programme has identified seven outcome areas and a considerable number of interventions designed to drive change nationwide.”
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