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7.8 million Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) yet to be collected – INEC

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The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, has confirmed that there are still 7.8 million Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) uncollected from the last elections.The INEC chairman revealed this on Monday during INEC’s quarterly consultative meeting with the media, held at the Commission’s Headquarters, Abuja.

Yakubu disclosed that as part of the Commission’s drive to ensure these cards were picked up by the owners, “we have done an audit of all the uncollected PVCs and in one of our meetings with the Resident Electoral Commissioners and Administrative Secretaries, we have given them marching orders to begin to distribute but that should be handled by our own staff in a manner that the cards don’t get into the wrong hands”.

He also explained that the Commission’s reason for the early release of the dates for the 2019 general elections was to enable the Commission and stakeholders plan properly as well as to avoid uncertainty.

He said: “we did it basically in order to plan properly. We cannot continue to be masters of the last minute. We cannot continue to be masters of the fire brigade. As our democracy matures, we should be moving from uncertainty to certainty and once the dates for the next general elections are fixed, it is easier for all of us to plan. The Electoral Commission requires time to plan, the media and all other stakeholders also require time to plan”.

He further explained that “when there is certainty, you can plan, Political Parties can do their conventions, congresses, primaries and meetings and INEC as the registrar and regulator of Political Parties in Nigeria is supposed to monitor all these activities and we need time to do proper monitoring of these activities. So for that reason we decided to fix the dates as we did”.

Professor Yakubu lauded the contribution of the media to the electoral process. He maintained that the media played a focal role in the successes achieved so far. Said he: “We consider the media as a very important partner in the management of our electoral process and the consolidation of our democracy”.

The INEC Chairman used the opportunity to address a range of issues such as issuance of Certificates of Return based on Court orders, conflicting court judgments, cleaning up of the Voters’ Register, the nationwide Continuous Voter Registration exercise, Party Monitoring and the Anambra Central Senatorial Election.

He said that the Commission, as a law abiding organization had complied with court orders in the last one year and had so far issued almost 30 Certificates of Return to the rightful candidates based on court orders. “We have also issued almost 30 certificates of return on the basis of court order. A number of them are from post election mitigation through election petition tribunals and appeal but there were others we issued as pre election matters based on judgments of regular courts. Each time we were served with a valid court order and it was very clear, we abided by that judgment, if a superior court overturns it, we will also comply accordingly”.

On the Anambra Central Senatorial District election, the INEC Chairman explained that “the election was nullified as part of the 80 elections nullified in 2015 and INEC was ordered to conduct a re-run election and we mobilized for the election but there was a hitch. It has been a standard practice of the Commission that where an election is conducted but nullified by the court on account of candidate disqualification, the disqualified candidate cannot participate in the re-run election and the party of the disqualified candidate cannot also nominate a replacement simply because the period of nomination of candidate is over and it is 60 days to the last election and then a candidate cannot be replaced because the period for nomination by law is 40 days to the last election. And that is the principle we applied”.

He explained further that the Commission stood its ground on the principle applied and the case was being heard in various courts. He however expressed optimism that the issues in court would soon be sorted out and the Commission could then conduct the re-run election to fill the vacant Anambra Central Senatorial seat. “Our hope is that very soon we can resolve all these outstanding court issues so we can conduct the Anambra Central Senatorial rerun election,” he said.

In his response, the President of Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Waheed Odusile, commended the initiative to constantly consult with the Media by the Commission. He appreciated the INEC Chairman’s acknowledgment of the distinct role of the media and urged that the media be seen as partners in progress. He implored the Commission to always make information available to the Media.

Source : ( Punch Newspaper)

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Petrol Subsidy Not Completely Gone, Says Minister

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Petrol Subsidy Not Completely Gone, Says Minister

Timipre Slyva

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva has stated that contrary to popular belief, the federal government has not completely removed petrol subsidy.

Speaking on Channels’ Politics Today, the minister said: “We are still trying to manage this bumpy start. We have not been able to get to that 100 percent removal of subsidy from the foreign exchange end.

“If we were to take it out completely and allow people to access foreign exchange from the parallel market and allow people to import the product, the price of the pump will even be more.

Also Read: Petrol Price Will Increase When Oil Goes Up – Sylva

“The Federal Government, knowing the impact it will have on the people, decided that they are still going to manage this situation.”

Speaking on the importation of petrol from Niger, the Minister expressed that the importation of fuel from the Niger Republic is not something Nigerians should be embarrassed about.

He expressed that Nigerians should be proud that the Federal Government is set to resume the importation of petroleum products from its neighbour.

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‘Your Report On Lekki Capable Of Setting Nigeria On Fire’ — Lai Writes CNN

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JustLai MohammedMinister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has expressed that the CNN report on the Lekki Tollgate shooting of October 20 2020 is capable of setting the country on fire.

Recall that CNN had published an investigative report titled, ‘How a bloody night of bullets and brutality quashed a young protest movement in Nigeria,’ claiming soldiers fired live ammunition directly at protesters at the Lekki toll gate.

But Nigeria’s Minister for Information denied the report of the US-based cable television, calling for a sanction on CNN over the report, adding that the report on the Lekki tollgate incident was highly irresponsible.

Also Read: Lai Mohammed Condemns CNN Investigation On Lekki Shooting

Reacting in another story titled, ‘Nigeria threatens CNN with sanctions but provides no evidence Lekki toll gate investigation is inaccurate’, CNN maintained that it stood by its earlier report on the Lekki tollgate incident.

In a petition dated November 23 and addressed to Mr. Jonathan Hawkins VP, Communications, CNN Centre Atlanta, Georgia U.S, the federal government demanded “an immediate and exhaustive investigation into its report on the Lekki Toll Gate incident to determine its authenticity and conformity to basic standards of journalism.”

Lai Mohammed, who signed the petition, said if the US-based media organisation failed to carry out its demand, the Nigerian government will “take any action within its laws’’ to prevent CNN from aggravating the End SARS crisis.

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Amaechi Apologises For Abuja-Kaduna Train Breakdown

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Amaechi Apologises For Abuja-Kaduna Train Breakdown

Rotimi Amaechi

Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has apologised to Nigerians for the breakdown at the Abuja-Kaduna railway which occurred between November 18 and November 20.

The former Governor of Rivers State stated this at the Moniya rail station on Monday while inspecting the ongoing rail project in Ibadan.

Amaechi pointed out that the Chinese have been called to attend to the problem as the federal government does not expect any mechanical fault at this early stage.

Also Read: $656m Needed To Complete Lagos-Ibadan Railway – Amaechi

Ameachi said, “I want to apologise to Nigerians over what happened at the Abuja-Kaduna rail station.”

“We now have new locomotives, and we’ve called the Chinese because we never expected the mechanical fault at this early stage.”

“On behalf of the Federal Government, the ministry and the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), we apologise to Nigerians, and I’ve instructed the NRC to fix it or invite the Chinese.”

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