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Why millions may not vote in 2019

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Why millions may not vote in 2019

IPDs in Borno, Benue, Nasaraswa top list

 

There are strong indications that millions of Nigerians of voting age might be disfranchised in next year’s general elections because their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) have either been lost or damaged. Majority of these people are currently in various internally displaced persons (IDPs) camps, especially in Northern and North Central parts of the country. Some have relocated because of insecurity in their area.

In Borno and Yobe states, millions of Nigerians are in IDP camps due to the activities of the Boko Haram insurgents. And in the North Central states of Plateau, Benue, Nasarawa and Niger, Fulani herdsmen have sacked people from their homes and burnt their houses, forcing them to them to also take refuge in camps.

Down South, Ebonyi State has also witnessed herdsmen attacks and communal clashes. Apart from loss of property and other personal belongings, some (if not most) of these people have also lost their PVCs. In all intent and purposes, they have been disenfranchised from voting in next year’s general elections.

 

Early last year, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Administrative Secretary in Maiduguri, Borno State, Abdulhamid Buba said the commission has over 73, 000 unclaimed PVCs. He believed the owners might be victims of Boko Haram attacks who might have relocated to IDP camps. On a happy note, however, Abdulhamid disclosed that 8, 105 persons whose PVCs have either been lost or damaged, have had their cards replaced while 731 who applied for transfer, had their requests granted.

INEC has said a voter whose PVC was lost or damaged can apply in person to the electoral office, at least, 30 days before an election and a new one would be issued to him/her.

In 2015, the commission created special centres in the three North East states affected by insurgency, which enabled those in camps to cast their votes.

In Benue, which has eight IDP camps with over 170,000 people, most of whom are of voting age, they are not likely to vote as some of them said having been displaced, they have lost their PVCs. Expectedly, for them, security is more important for now that they are battling to stay live than voting.

Our correspondent reports that as at last week, no effort had been made by the INEC to provide these people with new PVCs as replacement or register those who recently reached 18 and provide them with the voters’ cards.

 

Borno State, with 32 official camps, has over two million IDPs. The ballot papers and voting centres were created based on the wards and units in their respective communities before the attacks.

 

Though, there is no IDP camp in Plateau State, over 200 persons have lost their PVCs in Riyom Local Government as a result of herdsmen attacks. Mostly affected was Shong village, which has been taken over by the invaders, forcing the villagers to relocate to neighbouring communities.

 

Community leader of Shong village, Mr. Dachollom DaNyam said the only primary school in the locality, which also serves as polling unit during elections, has been destroyed.

But while those who lost their PVCs during the attack, according to aNyam, have approached INEC office at the local government for replacement, their voting in 2019 still depends on the return of peace in the community.

The community leader said: “We don’t have IDP camps now because most of the people are staying with their relatives in neighbouring communities.”

 

Meanwhile, Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, reacting, said those who have lost their PVCs can apply for a re-issue while those in the IDP camps who registered can also collect their cards at designated places.

Oyekanmi, however, insisted that no polling units will be created at IDP camps to enable people there to cast their votes.

 

Since 2015, PVCs have become the only ‘passport’ that allows Nigerians of voting age to take part in any election. Thus, anybody who has not registered, relocated from the place where he/she had registered or whose card has either been lost or damaged, has been disenfranchised from the voting process except such is remedied, at least, 30 days before the election.

INEC has since last year, commenced Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise, for those who have attained the age of 18 since the 2015 general elections, and those who missed the previous registration exercises. This exercise is however, not for those whose PVC has been lost, damaged or who have relocated. As a matter of fact, INEC said it is an offence to register more than once.

However, besides the voters, there is also the issue of the safety of the INEC officials and others associated with the proper conduct of elections.

Despite assurances from the military and even the presidency that Boko Haram has been “technically defeated” the terrorist group, along with the antics of the herdsmen, means there are still many areas that are still too dangerous for the exercise to go ahead.

 

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Knowledge, innovations, tools for Nigeria’s economic growth, says Minister

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inister for Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonaya Onu has said that the country is in a situation where the economy is gradually moving from total dependent on commodities or resources to knowledge and innovation.

He therefore encouraged youths especially students not to be discouraged by what they are seeing in the nation today but added that Nigeria will truly be a great nation.

The Minister said this at the maiden edition of musical festival/award night of Caleb Group of Schools held at the Caleb British International School, Abijo GRA, Lekki, recently.

He added that Nigeria will forever be grateful to the founder of the school, Dr Ola Adebogun.

 

Former Head of State, Gen Yakubu Gowon, who was the Chairman at the event, urged the management of the school to continue following the Lord as Caleb in the Bible.

Gowon, who was represented at the event by his former Chief Press Secretary, Ambassador Moses Ihande, said soon the university will be the best and the first choice in the country if the management continues to follow God.

Wife of the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG Pastor (Mrs) Folu Adeboye, who was one of the awardees, also congratulated the school’s management for organising such an event which she described as needed by the country to encourage the spirit of healthy competition for excellent performance among staff and students.

 

Speaking on the significance of the event, the Director of Caleb Group of Schools, Dr. Ola Adebogun, said the Musical Festival and Award Night underscores the school’s commitment to Christian values, grooming of highly-educated and skilled students, and rewarding of excellent performance and behaviour.

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Show God some gratitude, Adenowo charges Nigerians

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he Resident Pastor of the Royal Chapel, London, in the United Kingdom Pastor Moses Kayode Adenowo, has asked Nigerians to down play the economic hardship in the country and show God some gratitude.

 

Adenowo, who was the Guest Speaker at the 21st anniversary/thanksgiving of the Fadeyi, Lagos branch of the Christ Healing Evangelical Church, urged the citizens to appreciate God’s grace, no matter how little or big.

He said that it is necessary for God to turn the country’s fortunes around, and make the nation most economically and socially vibrant again.

 

In his sermon titled “The 10 Lepers, the London-based preacher reminded his listeners that Jesus healed 10 lepers pointing out that only one returned to appreciate Jesus for his healing.

He explained that the show of appreciate made Jesus to pronounced greater blessing on the lepers and commanded that his healing was permanent.

 

On that premise, the Guest Preacher decreed permanent and all-found solutions to the problems plaguing the society.

He also charged the Christian faithful be good role models for others to emulate.

The church’s General Overseer, Pastor Samuel Babatunde Ogunfowokan, reiterated the need for the entire members and the leaders, to renew their strides to drive the church to an enviable height.

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Our lives under threat, family cries out in Ekiti

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69-year-old resident of Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, Mrs. Eunice Oladosu, has cried out that her life and that of her family is in danger as unknown persons suspected to be cultists from Ikorodu, Lagos, invaded her home recently.

Oladosu alleged that the assailants, who shot severally into the air, gained access into her bedroom and continuously asked for the whereabouts of her son in-law, Olufemi Shoyoye and his wife Mojisola, while beating her and her daughter-in-law Bukola Oladosu at the same time, inflicting injuries on them in the process.

The aged mother and the daughter-in-law living with her are currently receiving treatment in an undisclosed hospital for fear of being revisited by these men of the underworld.

Shoyoye’s and his family’s lives have been under serious threat and several failed attempted assassination since 2001 when the head of the deadly cult group wanted to force the wife (Mrs. Mojisola Shoyoye into marriage in Mushin, Lagos State.

The alleged threat to life and failed assassination made the couple to flee to an undisclosed location with their three children for fear of being killed.

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HMO to FG: Make health insurance mandatory

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anaging Director, Clearline HMO, Dr. Babatunde Ladele has enjoined the Federal Government to demonstrate more political will in ensuring adequate funding of healthcare as well as make health insurance scheme mandatory for all Nigerians.

Dr. Ladele, who made the call recently in an interview, also said that all tiers of government should adopt health insurance scheme which aligns with the best global practices.

Also, he said that there is the need for the government to adopt a blueprint for the nation’s healthcare system and health issue come into national discourse.

This according to him would make all stakeholders work assiduously in order to facilitate the desired growth for the nation’s healthcare.

Ladele called for concerted efforts to rescues the nation’s health care sector as the penetration of health insurance is still very low in the country.

“The health insurance is nascent in Nigeria and this should be worked on by all and sundry,” he said.

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JOHESU/AHPA to Buhari: Concession of health institutions, invitation to mortality

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he Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU)/Assembly of Healthcare Professionals Associations (AHPA) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to stop the concessioning and privatisation of federal health facilities, which it said was being promoted by greedy and selfish entrepreneurs.

JOHESU and AHPA in an open letter to Buhari signed by Comrade Bio Joy Josiah, Chairman of JOHESU and                 Olumide Akintayo who is an Executive Member of AHPA, said it had become necessary to alert the President of some selfish entrepreneurs in healthcare bent on facilitating concessioning and privatisation of major health facilities at the federal level to themselves and their greedy cronies.

JOHESU/AHPA appealed to the president to be decisive in taking a position that the profiteers, concessionaires, greedy entrepreneurs and their collaborators in government jostling to take over the Federal Health Institutions (FHIs) should be responsible enough to build their own world class health facilities like their counterparts in the global arena.

The group lamented that the first leg of the unwholesome agenda, aided by major players at the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) between 2015 and May, 2019, had been won with the recent approval for concessioning of 22 FHIs by Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC).

It said the propaganda machine was activated even at the highly prestigious National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Nigeria (NIPSS) where a recent NIPSS study tour advocated the need to attain Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Nigeria using the Lagos example.

“We firmly assert the need for UHC as canvassed by members of the Senior Executive Course (SEC) 41 of the NIPSS. What is, however, unacceptable is hinging the workability of the UHC on the exaggerated success story of a manipulated Public Private Partnership, which is portrayed as an innovative strategy for financing UHC in Lagos and a dead-on-arrival Lagos State Health Scheme (LSHS),” they said.

JOHSU/AHPA contended that privatisation symbolises a total sale or transfer of the public or government assets to private investors or company with a sole motive of making profit (profiteering).

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Total stresses commitment in lifting host communities

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il giant, Total E&P Nigeria Limited, has declared its readiness to support the people of its host communities of Oil Mining Licence (OML) 58 in Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State, in a bid to make them accomplish their goals and objectives.

 

 

The company’s Deputy Managing Director, Deep Water District, Engr. Ahmadu Musa Kida, who stated this after being conferred with a chieftaincy title by the Eze Egi of Ogbaland, HRM Prof. Anele Nwokoma in Egi, noted that the host communities will continue to get Total’s support in line with its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) agenda.

 

 

He said that what is good for its host communities is good for Total, noting that the company will improve on what it has achieved in its host communities as both sides continue to grow together.

Kida bagged the chieftaincy alongside Engr. Joel Hervochon, a French citizen, and the Executive Director, Deep Waters of Total; Sir Blessing Nwaerema and Dr. Ifeanyi Obulor who are both indigenes of Egi Kingdom.

Musa-Kida stated that Total sees itself as a citizen of Egiland, and that whatever affects the people affects the oil firm.

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We’ve ended era of irregular academic calendar –OAU VC

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Vice Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede yesterday affirmed that, henceforth, the institution’s academic calendar would be regular and its students would be graduating the year they are supposed to graduate.

 

The Vice Chancellor maintained that, no more injury time in the academic calendar of the institution and that the era of irregular academic programmes are over in OAU.

Speaking at a press conference in preparation for the 44th Convocation of the university, Professor Ogunbodede, pointed out that, gone are those days when the slogans about the academic calendar of the institution was: “You only know your year of admission, but you can’t determine your year of graduation”.

 

 

“Now, if a student enters the university now and you are to spend Four years for your course, it will not exceed the year as all stakeholders of the institution came together to resolve that henceforth, irregular academic programmes must be brought to an end in OAU not only to enhance international ranking but to ensure credibility.”

 

 

Professor Ogunbodede, who revealed that 7,209 degrees from both undergraduate and post graduate programmes will be awarded during the convocation ceremonies, said 5,292 of them are for first degrees while 1,917 are for post graduate degrees.

 

“Of this, 4,756 are classified bachelor degrees: while the rest 536 are unclassified.

“Furthermore, 124 of the graduands have First Class Honours : 1,795 have Second Class Honours, (Upper Division), 2,256 have Second Class, (Lower Division) 542 and 39 are graduating with Third Class Honours and Pass respectively.”

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Street Trading: LAGESC officers stabbed, hospitalized after bloody clash in Ikoyi

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Barely a week after an officer of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LSMA) was stoned to death; six officers of the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps (LAGESC) were allegedly stabbed and injured by the staff and touts working around the Federal High Court, Ikoyi.

 

Sunday Telegraph learnt that the officers were attacked while trying to arrest street traders and confiscate goods and items that allegedly displayed and sell on the walkways in front of the court along Queens Drive in Ikoyi in compliance with the governor’s directive on street trading.

 

It was gathered that during the exercise, staff of the Federal High Court, who were known to patronise the street traders, allegedly prevented the officers from arresting the traders which led to the bloody clash between the staff of the Federal High Court and other touts said to be working near the premises.

 

 

Speaking on the mayhem, the Deputy Corps Marshal in Charge of Operations Mr. Ganiu Kazeem, explained that the team arrived at the scene of the incident at about 1:45 pm but were attacked by staff of the Federal High Court with the support of private security personnel, hurling stones, iron rods, broken bottles and cutlasses and leaving members of the enforcement team injured.

According to him, the operation had nothing to do with the staff of the Court but it was discovered that the hawkers were paying rent to the private security of the Court thereby necessitating the intervention by court personnel.

The Deputy Corp Marshal confirmed that some of suspects were arrested during the fracas, while the case was also immediately reported at the Ikoyi Police Station for further investigation, advising Lagosians to comply with the laws on street trading as the government would no longer tolerate the slightest attack on any enforcement personnel.

 

The injured enforcement officers include; Oyedokun Samson (driver), Iwatan Oluwa Seun, Riwatan Oluwatobi and Shipeolu Babatunde and are currently receiving treatment while one of them who was stabbed in the neck is still in critical condition.

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‘Northern Youths commence unification of Nigeria’

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veteran journalist and former staffer of the defunct East Central State Broadcasting Service (ECBS), Chief Oliver Okpala, has said that youths in the northern part of Nigeria operating under the umbrella of Arewa Youth Council have commenced the process of real unification of the country hence their counterparts in the southern part should emulate them to ensure a more united nation where each citizen would have a sense of oneness, fairness and equity.

 

 

Okpala  said this  when he was honoured  by the Arewa Youth Council with the “2019  Sir Ahmadu Bello Sarduana Platinum Leadership  Veteran Journalist of The Year Award”  in Abuja at the weekend for his positive contributions to the journalism profession.

 

In a statement, Chief Okpala said:  “For the entire Northern youths to honour an Igboman with such an award of leadership lends credence to the fact that our journey towards ensuring the unity and corporate existence of Nigeria in all parts of the country has begun in reality.”

 

 

He stated further:  “With this award I feel that the north has started a germane race for the unification of the country and for this I am proud of the north and northern youths and thank them”

 

 

Chief Okpala advised youths from other parts of the country including the south-south, south-west and south-east to borrow from this kind nationalistic move of the entire northern youths since the Arewa Youth Council stands as the umbrella of most northern youth organisations.”

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NAMA Director, Umar, bags National Order of Merit Award

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n recognition of his immense contributions towards the improvement of Communication, Navigation and Surveillance (CNS) facilities to ensure safe and efficient air traffic services in the Nigerian airspace, President Muhammadu Buhari has conferred the National Productivity Order of Merit (NPOM) Award on the Director of Safety Electronics and Engineering Services, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Engr. Farouk Ahmed Umar.

 

 

Engr. Farouk on Thursday made the list of 25 notable Nigerians and 7 organisations, who received the prestigious award at the NAF Conference Centre, Abuja at the 18th National Productivity Day Celebration and Conferment of National Productivity Order of Merit Award with the theme: ‘Productivity for National Re-engineering, Security and Growth’, organised by the National Productivity Centre, Abuja.

 

 

Represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, President Muhammadu Buhari said his administration was committed to the promotion of the ideals of a productive nation, given the significant role of productivity in wealth creation, employment generation, social progress and improved standard of living hence the need to entrench the culture of productivity and excellence in the psyche of all Nigerians. He tasked the awardees redouble their efforts towards making Nigeria a better and more productive country.

 

In his remarks after receiving the award, Engr. Farouk said the recognition by the President would galvanize him to work harder for the development of the nation, even as he expressed optimism that Nigeria was on the right trajectory towards growth and development given the efforts of the present administration.

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