Atiku flees to France for medical treatment.

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Atiku Abubakar, the People’s Democratic Party’s presidential candidate, has reportedly travelled out of the nation to France to attend to his health difficulties.

According to reports, Atiku left the nation for France shortly after his Kaduna rally on Monday to attend a medical checkup.

On Monday, Tinubu and the PDP’s presidential candidate met at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, where Tinubu asked him where he was going.

He claimed to have just arrived from Kaduna. Atiku was reportedly on his way out of the country at the time.

According to a top source in the Atiku Campaign Organization, Atiku left the nation on Monday night for France, according to the Western Post.

According to the source, his doctors were waiting for him, and he had to leave soon after the rally in Kaduna due to an urgent need to attend to his health.

According to the insider, Atiku has a health issue that he is managing and he has to be in excellent shape as the party moves deeper into the campaign season.

According to the insider, his handlers felt he should respond to pending and normal medical issues as the campaign season became increasingly demanding and took a toll on him.

 

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Breaking: Nnamdi Kanu is exonerated by the Appeal Court, which also dismisses the FG’s accusation.

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The Court of Appeal in Abuja, on Thursday, quashed the terrorism charge the Federal Government preferred against the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu.

It discharged and acquitted him of the seven-count charge pending against him before the Federal High Court in Abuja.

The appellate court, in a decision by a three-man panel led by Justice Jummai Hanatu, said it was satisfied that FG flagrantly violated the law, when it forcefully rendered Kanu from Kenya to the country for the continuation of his trial.

It held that such extra-ordinary rendition, without adherence to due process of the law, was a gross violation of all international conventions, protocols and guidelines that Nigeria is signatory to, as well as a breach of the Appellant’s fundamental human rights.

The appellate court noted that FG failed to refute the allegation that the IPOB leader was in Kenya and that he was abducted and brought back to the country without any extradition proceeding.

It held that FG was “ominously silent on the issue” which it described as very pivotal in determining whether the trial court would still have the jurisdiction to continue with the criminal proceeding before it.

“In law, that is a costly failure and such failure is an admittance by the Respondent.

“Where a party fails to controvert a deposition by an opponent, the issue not contested is deemed conceded”, the court held, adding that the onus was on FG to prove the legality of the Appellant’s arrest and return from Kenya.

More so, the court noted that Nigeria is a signatory to OAU Convention which it ratified on April 28, 2022, as well as the Charter of Human and Peoples Rights, which it said prescribed how a wanted person could be transferred from one country to the other.

It held that any extradition request must be in writing, with a statement indicating offences for which a person is wanted.

The appellate court held that FG’s action tainted the entire proceeding it initiated against Kanu and amounted to “an abuse of criminal prosecution in general”.

“The court will never shy away from calling the Executive to order when it tilts towards Executive recklessness”, the Appellate court held, even as it accused FG of engaging in “serious abuse of power”.

Nevertheless, the appellate court said it would be pre-judicial for it to make an order on the proscription of IPOB since the issue is still on appeal.

It held that the proscription order by the lower court would subsist until it is set-aside

 

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Donald Trump: Ex-US president suing CNN as he claims defamation – and seeks $475m in damages, says court filing

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Donald Trump has filed a defamation lawsuit against CNN, seeking $475 million (£420 million) in punitive damages on the grounds that the network engaged in a “campaign of libel and slander” against him.

In his lawsuit, the former president of the United States, age 76, claims that CNN used its considerable influence as a leading news organisation to defeat him politically.

 

According to the Reuters news agency, the company declined to comment on the case.

 

Mr. Trump alleges in his 29-page lawsuit that CNN has a long history of criticising him, but has intensified its attacks in recent months out of fear that he will run for president again in 2024.

 

As part of a concerted effort to tilt the political balance to the left, CNN allegedly attempted to tarnish the plaintiff with a series of increasingly scandalous, false, and defamatory labels, including ‘racist,’ ‘Russian lackey,’ ‘insurrectionist,’ and ultimately ‘Hitler.’

 

Also included is a January 2022 special report by host Fareed Zakaria that included footage of the German dictator.

 

The Republican, who lost his re-election bid in 2020 to Democrat Joe Biden, has not stated whether he will run again.

 

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, comes as the Justice Department investigates the former president for keeping government records at his Mar-a-Lago estate in the southern state after he leaves office in January 2021.

 

Mr. Trump and three of his children were served with a lawsuit last month, alleging “years of bank, tax, and insurance fraud.”

 

Letitia James, the attorney general of New York, is suing the former president, his family, and the Trump Organization.

 

If successful, it could prevent Mr. Trump from conducting business in the state for years, and includes a referral for potential federal prosecution.

 

Ms. James stated that the penalties could amount to a “death penalty” for his organisation.

 

A congressional committee is investigating the assault on the US Capitol by Trump supporters on 6 January 2021, with a focus on the former president’s role in the attack.

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Her Majesty queen Elizabeth II dies aged 96, Buckingham Palace announces

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Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the longest reigning monarch in British history, has died aged 96, Buckingham Palace has announced.

The Queen died on Thursday afternoon at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, the palace said.

“The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow,” a statement from Buckingham Palace said.

This is a breaking news story, more to follow ..

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38,000 doctors support Obi’s presidential ambitions and pledge 25 million votes

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No fewer than 38,000 medical doctors and other health workers have thrown their weight behind the presidential bid of Mr Peter Obi, the standard bearer of the Labour Party.

They also promised to mobilise 25 million votes for the former governor of Anambra state through free nationwide medical outreach programmes at the grassroots level under the aegis of Docs and Medics for Peter Obi.

This is even as the National Woman Leader of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Ada Orji Nwanyanwu, dumped the party and led other women politicians across the country to the Labour Party.

Speaking during the presentation of working tools by three support groups to the Labour Party’s campaign council at the party’s headquarters in Abuja on Monday, the convener of Docs and Medics for Peter Obi, Dr Uche Uzoukwu, explained how the group plans to deliver the 25 million votes in 2023.

He stated: “Nurses, doctors and pharmacists are coming together under the name docs and medics for Peter Obi. Politics is a game of numbers and everyone is important. Therefore, 11,000 doctors, 27,000 medics have come together and have formed even state groups.

“We are reaching out to the local governments and have moved down to the wards and leaders have been inaugurated. We are moving down to the polling units and have 500,000 to grow and encourage them to get in touch with 50 people as the attend to patients. With this, we can have 25 million votes.

“We want to deliver 25 million votes, by giving right to life and to be well, the votes can be gathered. Medical outreaches have been in place and is still being used. Community members at the outreaches are encouraged to vote Peter Obi with a promise that the exercise will continue once Labour Party wins,” he said.

Lamenting the poor state of the nation’s health sector, Uzoukwu said Obi has the capacity to tackle brain drain; stressing that the doctors and the medics would stay behind after the 2023 elections to develop the sector.

He recalled that during the window period of PVC registration, the group had paid for logistics for persons without voter cards to be registered by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), noting that such was done in 26 states and 52 different locations where thousands were registered.

Earlier, the National Chairman of Labour Party, Barrister Julius Abure, said the country has never experienced democracy since 1999, but will however begin on its course come 2023 when the former Anambra governor is voted in as president.

He stated that the ruling All Peoples Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party were never owned by the people but by those who funded it, adding that he who blows the piper, dictates the tune of the music.

Abure also lampooned that persons who had claimed that the party is without structure, saying such narrative owing have been buried due to the rising popularity of the party.

The event also coincided with the defection of the National Woman Leader of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Ada Orji Nwanyanwu and other women politicians to the LP.

According to Nwanyanwu, she was leaving APGA because “Peter Obi has the answer to the challenges facing Nigeria.”

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Tinubu and his campaign staff disapprove of Soyinka’s response to the Pyrates Confraternity’s gyration video.

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The APC candidate and members of his team are upset that Soyinka “systematically revealed that Tinubu got Parkinson’s disease.

The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2023 general election, Bola Tinubu, and members of his campaign team are not happy with the statement made by Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, condemning a viral video showing members of the Pyrates Confraternity mocking the former Lagos State Governor, a source told SaharaReporters on Monday night.

In the video, members of the Confraternity during a procession gyrated to an anti-Tinubu song and poked fun at Tinubu for a speech he made in June in Abeokuta, Ogun State, where he asked that power should be handed over to him.

The members of the Pyrates Confraternity sang, “Hand dey shake, leg dey shake, Baba wey no well, e de shout emi lo kan (Hands are shaking, legs are shaking. A sick old man is shouting ‘it’s my turn’).

“Emi lo kan (2ce), Baba wey no well, him dey shout emi lokan (It’s my turn (2ce), a sick old man is shouting ‘it’s my turn’”.

Tinubu, who seemed desperate during the speech had said, ‘Emi lo kan’, meaning ‘It’s my turn’.

He narrated how he consoled President Muhammadu Buhari after he had failed three times to become Nigeria’s President. Eventually, a political alliance spearheaded by Tinubu ensured Buhari won the presidential election in 2015.

However, Soyinka who founded Pyrates Confraternity as a university student in Ibadan, Nigeria, described making a mockery of Tinubu due to his ill-health as distasteful.

“I have listened to the lyrics of the chant intently and I am frankly appalled. I find it distasteful. I belong to a culture where we do not mock physical afflictions or disabilities. Very much the contrary. The Yoruba religion indeed designate a deity, Obatala, as the divine protector of the afflicted, no matter the nature of such affliction. This sensibility is engrained in us from childhood and remains with us all our lives. It operates on the principle of mortal frailty to which all humanity remains vulnerable,” Soyinka earlier said in a statement.

“One of my favorite authors, about whom, by a coincidence, I had cause to write quite recently, was CLR James, author of The Black Jacobins, Beyond A Boundary etc. etc. I called him my ideological uncle. He suffered from Parkinson’s Disease, but remained alert, lucid and combative for decades after the onset of the disease. We interacted politically at the Tanzanian pan-African Congress, the Dakar Festival of Negro Arts and a number of other cultural and political fora.

“We met frequently in his lifetime, dined together in restaurants, despite his challenge. it would be unthinkable, and a desecration of his memory to be part of any activity that mocked his affliction. A further statement will be issued when I have made further enquiries into this strange, uncharacteristic outing of the association.”

However, a close source to Tinubu has told SaharaReporters that the APC candidate and members of his team are upset that Soyinka “systematically revealed that Tinubu got Parkinson’s disease, thereby confirming that he’s an invalid candidate.”

“They are angry that Prof. (Professor Soyinka) revealed too much about Bola Tinubu’s health condition,” he added.

History Of Tinubu’s Recent Medical Tourism

In 2021 alone, Tinubu spent over 80 days patronising hospitals in France, the United States and the United Kingdom where he underwent surgeries leaving behind the poorly equipped hospitals in Nigeria led by the APC government.

He was flown out of the country some days before Christmas in 2020 to Paris, France.

There were speculations that he tested positive for COVID-19 but his media aide later denied such reports.

The APC leader returned to Nigeria on January 24, 2021, after a month’s absence from Nigeria.

He then went for a medical check-up on Thursday, June 10, 2021, to France and was conspicuously absent from the one-day working visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to Lagos State.

“Tinubu is in Paris, France for a medical checkup. His health is deteriorating due to old age,” a top source had told SaharaReporters.

Tinubu, amid death rumours, was forced to return to the country on Tuesday, June 15, 2021.

SaharaReporters also reported that Tinubu was hospitalised in Maryland, the United States in July 2021 where he had knee surgery.

“Tinubu is hospitalised in Maryland, US. His health is failing. He couldn’t participate in launching his Arewa library, and he couldn’t participate in the Local Government Area elections last week. He could not attend today’s APC congress due to health reasons.

“He had a surgery last week,” an authoritative source had disclosed at the time.

On August 9, 2021, Tinubu had another knee surgery at the John Hopkins University Hospital in Maryland, the United States.

The APC chieftain, it was learnt, left the US for the United Kingdom on crutches, a few days after the surgery.

Sources close to Tinubu had told SaharaReporters that he wanted the surgery in Paris, France but changed his plan over rumours of his death.

“Tinubu had his second surgery at John Hopkins University in Maryland recently. He was accompanied by a popular Nigerian doctor in Chicago. He had wanted the surgery in Paris but when rumour was rife about his death, he hurriedly left for Nigeria and went to John Hopkins,” one of the sources had said.

“He left the US for the UK on crutches,” another source had revealed.

In 2021, the President paid a visit to Tinubu in London and the latter was seen with a walking stick during Buhari’s visit, confirming SaharaReporters’ story that he underwent a second surgery in the United States.

Tinubu currently toes the path of President Buhari, who himself has spent hundreds of days on medical leave in the United Kingdom since he assumed office in 2015.

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Peter Obi movement shuts down Kebbi, targets over 50million votes

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The presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi on Monday held a town hall meeting in Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi state to woo voters in the state and further strengthen the campaign of Obi/Datti movement.

The gathering with a huge number of followers across tribes and religions was attended by the National Secretary of LP, Umar Faruk Ibrahim, officials of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Kebbi state, youth movements for Obi and candidates of Labour Party and their executives.

Speaking at the occasion, the chief host who is the state chairman of NLC Kebbi state said that, the party has come to rescue Nigerians from the current state of the nation, as he added that LP belongs to NLC.

He also stated that since the party belongs to organised labour, it, therefore, knows no religion and tribe.

While welcoming the national leaders of the party, comrade Umar Halidu assured them of his chapter’s support and the Obi/Datti movement in Kebbi state.

In his speech, Ibrahim said that they were in Kebbi to sensitise the people of the state on the need for them to vote for the right candidate noting that what is happening in the country knows no religion or tribe “so people should close ranks and vote the right person not minding his religion or tribe ” we are happy with the reception we received in Kebbi and it shows Labour Party is alive in Kebbi, we saw Igbos, Hausas and other tribes.

On what Peter Obi will do differently, the LP national scribe said Obi government if elected will, first of all, stabilise the country and ensure there is a responsible government in place for all Nigerians devoid of nepotism, saying when that is achieved everything will settle including the economy, security and all other sectors in the country will breathe in life.

He explained that out of the 89million votes expected, LP will take at least 70% to 80℅ which means victory “we need a country where every citizen will sleep with his eyes open, a country where every child will go to school rich or poor families.”

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Deji Adeyanju, a bigot, said that millions of youths were paid to march for Peter Obi at the ‘Obidients rally in Nasarawa, which drew a massive crowd.

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A mammoth crowd trooped out to stage a one million march in support of the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi and his running mate, Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed in Nasarawa state capital, Lafia on Saturday ahead of the 2023 general elections.

The State chairman of the party, Alexander Emmanuel said the one-million-man march was to sensitise the people of the state on the necessity to vote for credible leaders in next year’s elections as well as send a signal to other political parties who claimed the Labour Party does not have a structure.

Speaking on the march, Obi said it was a symbol of an unwavering obligation of Nigerian youths to rescue Nigeria from bad governance.

Obi expressed this on his verified Twitter page on Sunday, while commending the traders, commuters, artisans and other Nigerians that came out for the march.

He said: “I am sincerely encouraged by the unwavering commitment of Nigerian youths to the OBIdient movement, aimed at rescuing the nation from bad governance.

“The recent 1 million march, recently embarked on by OBIdients in Nasarawa State is very well appreciated by the OBIdient family. It’s a great step towards taking back our country.

“Just like them, I deeply appreciate every Nigerian who has continued to labour in our country, for the good of the nation. I assure you that our labour will never be in vain.”

Meanwhile, human rights activist, Deji Adeyanju has reacted to the march saying Obi cannot win one-half of a local government area in the presidential election scheduled for Saturday, February 25, 2023.

Adeyanju, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) who has said he will not support any presidential flagbearer also claimed Nigerians that took to the streets for the march were paid.

He said this on his verified Twitter handle on Sunday.

Adeyanju tweeted: “Sorry to break your hearts guys but Peter Obi won’t still win even half of an LGA in Nasarawa after the rally yesterday. You will be shocked that 90% of those who came out to protest yesterday did so because someone paid them and they won’t vote for him. Vawulence dropped, bye.”

The convener of Concerned Nigerians has always advocated for the collaboration of other presidential parties against APC and PDP.

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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2023: Can Peter Obi pull the Barack Obama phenomenon?

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Read Time:9 Minute, 55 Second

It’s no longer news that tested political heavyweights; Atiku Abubakar, Peter Obi, and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu are the respective presidential candidates of Peoples Democratic Party, Labour Party and All Progressives Congress.

But the unprecedented scramble by Nigerians to register and get their Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) is a new development.

While some activists and civil society groups have floated various initiatives to ramp up the PVC registration and collection campaign, others including clerics have deployed some mobilisation drives many perceive as strange.

 Last week, the viral video of a Catholic priest who stopped parishioners without their PVCs from entering and observing the mass in his parish, emerged on social media and got tongues wagging.

“If you don’t have your PVC, don’t bother coming. 

Because there is no way you have Christians filling up the church but only a handful of them go to vote during elections. So, it means our population and numbers mean nothing. So, we want Christians to take their responsibilities and roles seriously,” the priest could be heard saying in the video.

While nudging one’s disciples to take their civic responsibilities seriously and participate in the electoral process could be a patriotic act, some observers fear that in spite of the advocacies, there is no guarantee that the efforts will translate to anything on election day.

Motivation

Nonetheless, millions of Nigerians who have had a taste of the anguish that visited the country in the past seven years believe that the 2023 election is a divine opportunity to change the fortunes of the nation through the ballot.

Driven by one disaffection or the other, these citizens make up a huge chunk of the potential voters hustling in droves to collect the PVCs in belief that it is their power to hire good leaders to run the affairs of the nation after President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure next year.

But dethroning the All Progressives Congress (APC) and blocking the return of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to power in 2023 does not look possible to those who are visualising victory at the 2023 presidential poll from the old prism.

Paradigm shift 

On the contrary, there is a paradigm shift in the political consciousness of the youth which appears to find expression in the Peter Obi ‘phenomenon’ that is steadily sweeping through the country.

Obi, a former governor of Anambra state, commands a large fan base of young people which is growing exponentially. Some observers believe that if Peter Obi’s campaign is well harnessed, he could pull the Barack Obama effect of 2008 and shock Nigerians with the support of the youth.

When Obama first ran for president, Facebook and Twitter were less than five years in existence, relatively new, and considered “a thing for jobless youth” but his campaign properly harnessed the social media for youth mobilisation.

Many youths in the country, especially those under 30s who took part in the #EndSARS protests that reportedly claimed many lives in 2020, are not slowing down the PVC registration and collection drive.

‘Kingmakers’

These youths are said to be at least 65 per cent of Nigeria’s population, analysts argue that any serious presidential candidate in 2023 must find a way to connect with the youth in order to leverage their large number to victory at the polls.

According to data obtained from the UNDP, an estimated 4.5-5 million Nigerians turn 18 (the constitutional age of electoral franchise) each year, which translates to between 18-20 million potential ‘new voters’ from the 2019 general elections to the 2023 general elections.

This increase in the level of first-time voters also provides an opportunity for young people to determine the next set of leaders for the country through their participation in active citizenship.

The UNDP Nigeria Resident Representative, Mohamed Yahya, told Saturday Vanguard in Abuja: “Young Nigerians and women play a critical role in democracy as they can act as catalysts for social change and good governance simply by participating in the election process.

“Their enthusiasm, resilience, and creativity, however, needs to be harnessed, paired with the right platforms and opportunities for engagement, to help catalyze important changes in Nigeria’s political system.”

Missed opportunity in 2019

Although young people between the ages of 18-35 make up 51.1% of registered voters, it is nonetheless regrettable that more than half of these voters (54%) did not turn out to vote in the 2019 elections.

However, this missed opportunity for young people to shape governance in Nigeria can be reversed with a political mobilization strategy premised on innovation, inclusion, collaboration, consistency, and context-specific interventions.

“Nigerian youths have the numbers to determine elections, and more importantly, they can vote for good governance,” Samson Itodo, Executive Director of Yiaga Africa also told Saturday Vanguard.

He also said that his organisation is one of the civil groups that have floated a project tagged #SixtyPercentOfUs, with a view to mobilising at least 60% of eligible young voters to register, collect their PVCs and actually vote in the 2023 elections.

“Our desire is not just to push for huge numbers of young people to come out and vote, but to also vote for issues and for candidates that will deliver the good governance they yearn for,” Itodo added.

The ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise ends by 30th June 2022. This will enable the Commission to clean up the registration data, print the Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) and compile the register ahead of the 2023 General Elections.

In the course of the exercise, INEC is also addressing requests for transfer and replacement of lost or mutilated PVCs. Also, previously registered voters who had yet to collect their PVCs have the opportunities to do so. 

Facts and figures 

Data released by INEC indicate that some 10.2 million additional registrants have been captured in the ongoing CVR exercise. This brought the total number of registrants from 84,004,084 as of May 30, 2021 to about 94,200,000 one year on.

According to INEC, the student population on the Voter Register is about 24.6 million which translates to about 26.57 per cent and is the highest. Concomitantly, youths (18 – 34 years) constitutes 54,480,276 of the register and form the largest voting bloc of about 58 per cent.

The implication of this figure is that the Nigerian youths will decide the fate of new set of leaders to be voted into power come February 25, 2022.

Challenges 

Unfortunately, should the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) fail to call off its ongoing strike before the Election Day and call students back to campus, voter turnout on campuses and around places where students live off campus will be very low.

Moreover, over 20 million uncollected PVCs are stashed in INEC’s vault awaiting pickup by their owners.

Beyond the figures, there has been a serious challenge with the collection of the PVCs as many who registered have yet to turn up for the collection of their cards.

Some reasons advanced for this development include the fact that the PVCs were not immediately printed after the registration coupled with the fact that collection is being done at the INEC Local Government Offices which are not close to where some of the registrants are domiciled.

To ease the pressure, the commission decentralised collection to the Registration Area level while some civil society groups have also introduced logistical interventions.

For instance, WeVote, a not-for-profit organisation, will be providing free bus services to convey people in parts of the FCT, Ogun and Ondo States to INEC offices to register and collect their PVC’s

Mr. Obinna Osisiogu, the convener of WeVote, said that the PVC Bus Drive Project will support at least 60 percent of eligible young voters to register, collect their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) and vote in the 2023 elections.

“The project was initiated to eliminate the logistical barriers hindering some Nigerians, particularly those residing in rural areas from participating in the ongoing continuous voters’ registration exercise and collecting their PVCs thereafter.

“Why must the youths collect their PVC? Because that is their only visa to vote. No PVC, no vote. Non-collection shows young people are not serious about changing the nation,” Osisiogu told Saturday Vanguard.

Votes not social media posts matter

But many Nigerians, especially the youths are considered in some quarters as prayer warriors and social media activists who like to indulge in armchair criticisms but not carrying out their civil duties like voting on election days. They are vociferous social commentators good enough for lamentations about the deplorable state of things in the country.

In an interview with Our Correspondent in Abuja, INEC’s Deputy Director, Voter Education, Mrs Mary Nkem, stated that what these social media critics and prayer warriors do not know or choose to ignore is that INEC will not count their verbal exchanges, Facebook tirades, tweets or prayer points.

According to her, INEC will only count the votes. Thus, it is in their enlightened best interest to organise to participate in the electoral process than to continuously agonise.

“If the youths in this country would come out en masse to cast their votes, we will no longer be recording 15 or 20 percent voter turnout in our elections, because we know that the population of the youths alone can make a difference.

“The youths no longer visit social media, they basically live there today. Therefore, when you want to reach out to them, you must go to where you will meet them – social media.

However, I would like to say that INEC does not conduct an election on social media nor do we count ballots on Twitter or Instagram.

“Our ballots are counted in the ballot box. It is only the ballot paper that enters into the ballot box that the Commission counts.

So, what does that mean? It means that on election day people must go out to cast their votes. For you to be able to do so, you must be a registered voter and in possession of a PVC,” she said.

Insecurity 

Quite unfortunately, while some of stakeholders are still persuading registered voters to go and collect their PVCs, some unscrupulous arsonists LGA offices in the Southeast have decided to burn down structures including INEC offices where unclaimed PVCs are kept.

This ugly development has more or less disenfranchised owners of these yet-to-be-collected PVCs unless there is any official intervention before the election.

In the same vein, the failure of some INEC officials to report in their offices, especially in some South-East states and the reports that some staff of the electoral umpire in Anambra state are charging  N1,000 for voter registration, has set some Nigerians thinking that maybe someone wants to disenfranchise the them from participating in the 2023 general election.

INEC needs to urgently address this development, to correct the insinuations in some quarters that there is a plan to disenfranchise voters in some regions of Nigeria by making PVCS unavailable to them.

Extension of CVR exercise

Against this backdrop, the Coalition for Peter Obi, a public action committee for presidential candidate Peter Obi of Labour Party, sensing that INEC may not be able to cope with the demands of the registration before the election commences, is asking INEC  to extend the registration period.

The Electoral body should do everything possible to cater for thousands that are currently stranded trying to register in the various locations or in the alternative, expand its logistics and extend the deadline by six months. “Nigerians must be given the opportunity to freely express their civic rights at this critical time of our nation’s history what it calls a continuous voter registration. The more citizens that can be dragged into the voters’ dragnet, the more democracy shall be served,” Marcel Ngogbehei, the chairman of group, stated.

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Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Resignation is not enough’ – EFCC told to arrest ex-CJN, Tanko Muhammad immediately

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Read Time:1 Minute, 33 Second

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has been told to arrest former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Muhammad immediately.

This was after Muhammad resigned as the CJN on Monday, citing health issues.

Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, said the resignation of Muhammad was not enough to clear him of corruption allegations levelled against him by the 14 justices of the Supreme Court.

In a statement signed by Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, HURIWA’s national coordinator, the group reminded Nigerians that 14 Supreme Court justices had recently petitioned Tanko and alleged diversion of their welfare funds.

Before his resignation, Tanko denied the allegations, but HURIWA, which had earlier asked the National Judicial Council and the Code of Conduct Tribunal to probe him over the weighty allegations by the justices, maintained that the retired CJN must not be allowed to walk away freely.

President Muhammadu Buhari has since sworn in Justice Olukayode Ariwoola as the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria.

And reacting to the development, HURIWA’s Onwubiko applauded the swift action of the President to have sworn in Ariwoola as the acting CJN.

He, however, said, “The resignation of Justice Tanko Muhammad as the Chief Justice of Nigeria is not enough; the EFCC and the ICPC must swing into action, investigate, then if a cause of acton is ascertained, then arrest and prosecute him over the corruption allegations levelled against him by the 14 justices of the Supreme Court if a prima facie evidence exists.

“Jistice Tanko must be prosecuted just as his predecessor, Walter Onnoghen, who was probed and later removed on a controversial note following some allegations against him which was probed by both the NJC and the CCT.

“The investigation and probable prosecution of Tanko, if indicted, will set a precedent that Buhari’s anti-corruption crusade is not a joke unless it is a joke.”

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