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INEC Suspends Physical Registration Of Voters In Anambra

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INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has suspended physical registration of voters in Anambra, though online pre-registration of voters in the state would still continue.

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this at the commission’s 3rd quarterly meeting with leaders of political parties on Monday, in Abuja.

He said that the decision was to enable the commission to prepare for the state governorship election scheduled for Nov. 6.

This is just as he disclosed that 717, 947 Nigerians had so far participated in the nationwide physical registration at INEC state and local government offices, beginning from July 26.

“Today, it is exactly two months (or 60 days) to the election. As you are aware, the commission devolved the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) to the 326 Registration Areas, in addition to the 21 Local Government offices and the State office of the Commission.

“The physical exercise was suspended yesterday, i.e. 60 days to the election, as required by Section 9 (5) of the Electoral Act 2010, as amended.

“However, the online pre-registration option will continue to be available, but no appointment for completion of registration can be scheduled until after the election.

“The commission will use the next few weeks to compile the register of voters for claims and objections, clean up the data, print the PVCs for collection by registrants and compile the register for each of the 5,720 polling units in the state”, he said.

Yakubu assured that every newly registered voter in the state, including those who applied to transfer from within and outside the state, or for the replacement of damaged or lost Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), would have their cards printed and made available to them before the election.

He said each political party fielding candidates in the election would be given a copy of the voters’ register on Oct. 7.

On the weekly updates for week 11 of the nationwide CVR, Yakubu said as at 7am on Monday, Sept. 6, a total of 2,729,819 fresh voters had completed their pre-registration online.

On the nationwide physical registration at INEC state and local government offices, which began on July 26, Yakubu said so far 717,947 Nigerians had completed their registration at the designated centres.

“With the benefit of technology, we have also been providing detailed information on the cumulative distribution of registered voters by age, occupation, gender and disability on weekly basis.

“By doing so, we hope leaders of political parties will use the information in articulating their manifestos and planning their campaigns to target the concerns of specific categories of citizens.

“For instance, in terms of age, young Nigerians between the ages of 18 and 34 constitute 65 per cent of new registrants and 72 per cent of completed registrations so far.

“In terms of occupation, students constitute 32 per cent of the new registrants and 42 per cent of completed registrations and remain the largest category since the exercise began 11 weeks ago.”

Yakubu said that the latest detailed statistics had been uploaded on the commission’s website and social media platforms, adding that as the commission continued working on the register of voters, it had also been innovating on how to strengthen the credibility of voter accreditation and result management during elections in Nigeria.

He described the introduction of the machine-readable PVC, combined with the Smart Card Reader (SCR), as well as the uploading of polling unit results in real-time on election day, as important innovations.

“The reality is that technology always advances with the passage of time.

“Consequently, the commission must keep pace with the ever-changing world of global information and communication technology. We are at one such crossroad at the moment”, he added.

The INEC Chairman also disclosed that the commission had now introduced a Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) for voter verification on election day, in reaction to calls by stakeholders for INEC to strengthen the voter accreditation process during elections.

He said this was especially with reference to the use of incident form, where the SCR fails to authenticate the fingerprints of a voter, stressing that such concern was legitimate given the fact that the SCR successfully verifies any card that belongs to the polling unit for which it was configured, irrespective of who presented it.

Yakubu recalled that their apprehension was that by using the incident form to cover those whose fingerprints were not authenticated by the SCR, a voter may be able to use another person’s PVC to vote during an election.

“To address this concern, the commission attempted to introduce the facial biometric authentication during accreditation of the voters using the Z-Pad tablet to complement the fingerprint process, through the card reader, before the Edo Governorship election in September 2020.

“However, the commission was not entirely satisfied with the pilot held in the Nasarawa Central state constituency bye-election a month earlier in August 2020.

“We, therefore, suspended the idea to enable us to do some more work. Over the last one year, we reviewed the situation and we think we have found the appropriate technology to address it.

“The Z-pad was, therefore, only used to upload Polling Unit results to the IReV portal during elections, the functionality of the Z-pad has now been integrated into the IVED currently used for voter registration.

”On election day, the same device will be used for the BVAS for fingerprint authentication during accreditation and where it fails for facial authentication of the BVAS.

“We believe that this multi-layer process will eliminate the possibility of voting by identity theft, using another person’s PVC.

“Where the voter fails both the fingerprint and facial authentication, he/she will not be allowed to vote. In other words, no electronic authentication, no voting”, he said

Yakubu explained that the commission was convinced that the new machine was robust enough to further guarantee the credibility of voter authentication and transparent management of results during elections.

“Accordingly, the Commission intends to carry out a pilot exercise, using the new device in Delta State at the Isoko South 1 State assembly constituency bye-election holding on Saturday, Sept. 11.

“The BVAS will now perform the functions of both the SCR and Z-Pad in the bye-election. Thereafter, it will be deployed in the Anambra Governorship election in November” he explained.

Crystal News learnt that there was a presentation of the new device and a practical demonstration of its functions to the political parties at the meeting.

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The Untold Story Of Degeneration Of Osun APC Crisis By Aladelola Adisa

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APC

The crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the State of Osun might not have festered to date if fairness, unity and collective purpose wasn’t jettisoned by the current administration in the State, investigations have revealed.

Due to controversies surrounding the emergence and eventual assumption of office of Governor Oyetola, efforts were not spared to unite members of the APC political family in Osun.

Findings revealed that rather than the Governor and his loyalists strengthening and rejuvenating the party for the consolidation of progressive legacies in the state, it began an unprecedented politics of segregation and exclusivity against members of the party that brought him to power in 2018.

A source who is close to the two camps told journalists that party members who wanted to ensure that the crisis did not degenerate, at its earlier stage, formed The Osun Progressives (TOP), a caucus of the party in a bid to right the wrongs of the factional party chairman, Gboyega Famodun and by extension, the Governor’s camp.

A top party chieftain in the state who prayed not to be named because of the height of the crisis said Governor Oyetola’s strong position not to associate with anyone who believed in his predecessor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola’s administration was the first in the series of strokes he used to further divide the party.

The party leader explained further: “Since the creation of Osun in August 27, 1991, Osun has been democratically governed with Osun West Senatorial District taking the first shot but ruling for just less than 24 months; Osun East Senatorial District ruling for eight years; Osun Central Senatorial District where Governor Oyetola hails from would have ruled for 15 and half years by the end of his tenure.

With three Governors: Chief Bisi Akande, four years; Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, seven and half years; and Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola who would have spent four years at the end of his first term by 2022 being from the same Ifelodun/Boripe/Odo-Otin Federal Constituency as Oyinlola.

“In 2018, the agitation for the Osun West Senatorial District to produce the next Governor was fierce and huge. It was so fierce that all party leaders, starting from the elders, Agba Osun caucus of APC, majority of the State Executive Council, and virtually all organs of the party were hell-bent on “WEST LOKAN AGENDA.

“In spite of this clamour, the then Chief of Staff, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, was produced as the APC candidate for the State Gubernatorial Election.

“That decision alone fragmented the party such that a section of the party decamped to the ADP, costing APC at least 49,000 votes in the 2018 election. Eventually, the election was declared Inconclusive and a Rerun was ordered, with Alhaji Oyetola eventually winning with a slim margin.

“Although, many factors were responsible for the declaration of the election being Inconclusive, among which was the decamping of aggrieved section of APC members to the ADP – costing APC over 49,000 votes, the unpopularity of the APC candidate as well as the general clamour for OSUN WEST DISTRICT to field the next Governor were the driving factors for APC’s unusually slim victory in the 2018 guber elections”.

Speaking further, and digging deeper into the unpopularity of the candidate, the source posited, “If we compare the results of Alhaji Isiaka Gboyega Oyetola in his home local governments and that of his closest rival, the PDP candidate in his home local governments, we will discover the huge difference of 21,525 votes in favour of the PDP candidate. This is significant, considering the fact that, PDP could only lead APC after the first ballot by only 353 votes.

“Instead of considering the above factors as the main factors responsible for the declaration of the election Inconclusive, Governor Oyetola, from the inception of his administration embarked on a campaign of calumny and politics of division within the party. Under the Oyetola administration, whoever is perceived to be associated with or harbour any interest in the legacy of immediate past administration or commitment to his predecessor is alienated from the party and government regardless of their contribution to the success of the party.”

Another albatross, the APC chieftain remarked hanging on the neck of Oyetola and his IleriOluwa camp, was the reversal of the major policies of the Aregbesola administration spitefully. They noted that since the start of his administration, the Governor had publicly shown his disdain for the Minister which Ogbeni was aware of but kept mum in the spirit of party cohesion and political maturity.

“For example, when the Muslim Community in Osun was planning to honour Ogbeni with the title of WAZIRI’L MUMINEEN of the State of Osun, the Governor and his team bluntly showed disdain for the event. Despite the fact that Governor Oyetola was the one that picked the date for the programme, he directed that major functionaries of his government should not attend the programme, while also travelling out of the country himself. The only Local Government Chairman who took active role in the programme, Hon Akeem Olaoye, then Chairman of Osogbo South LCDA was suspended from office for six months. Till today, the unbridled castigation of APC Party stalwarts by members of Oyetola’s administration is the order the day.”

He said while all these were going on, some concerned members of the party approached the Governor to have a rethink about his actions and inactions against APC stalwarts including the former Governor, but the Governor did not yield.

The APC leader noted, “The issues were brought to the attention of Baba Bisi Akande, the former Governor of Osun, for resolutions, though this effort did not produce a decisive resolution. Thereafter, in December 2020, Asiwaju intervened at a meeting held at the Ila Orangun residence of Baba Bisi Akande, with Baba Akande, Governor Oyetola and Ogbeni in attendance where resolutions were agreed. However, the resolutions taken at that meeting were jettisoned and the leaders have not since then raised a finger.

“When there was no solution in sight, genuine party leaders who love the party and majority of people who suffered before we could restore the progressive party back to power in Osun 12 years ago, came together to form The Osun Progressives (TOP), in order to reorganize the party for future elections.

“Immediately The Osun Progressives (TOP) was formed, the Government started castigating leaders of the group and its members. Though this attack has continued unabated, however on a daily basis, members of TOP have kept increasing.

“Immediately the timetable for Ward Congress was released by the National Secretariat of the APC, the leadership of TOP announced to the whole world that they were ready for the Congress but the Governor’s group, said they were not ready for a Congress rather they settled for Consensus. While TOP went for real Congress, the Governor’s group went for a dubious ‘CONSENSUS’.

“The Governor used his position as a member of the Caretaker Extraordinary and Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) of the APC with the support of Senator Iyiola Omisore, to influence the Chairman of the Osun Convention Planning Committee, Hon. Elegbeleye to declare the Governor’s group consensus list as duly elected ward Executives; TOP then petitioned the National Secretariat in the form of an Appeal and eventually the Appeal Committee came, they were equally compromised by the Governor, using his influence as a member of CECPC. But one significant thing about the Appeal was during its sitting, known thugs from the Governor’s group came to disrupt the proceedings.

“However, seven leaders of TOP were arraigned before the Magistrate Court instead of arresting and prosecuting thugs. The case was eventually dismissed.

As the crisis continued, especially in relation to the party Congress, numerous party leaders have intervened without any clear resolution in sight.

“On January 8, 2022, the APC National Reconciliation Committee arrives Osun, met with Governor Oyetola’s APC factions, who urged the National Reconciliation Committee to disregard the petitions forwarded to it by TOP.”

While expressing optimism for an end in sight to the crisis, the party chieftain called for a genuine, equitable and fair reconciliation as the chieftain posited, “if with a united party in 2018, the current Governor barely won the election, how will the party perform with a divided house as we approach the coming Guber election”.

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APC To Hold National Convention February 26

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APC Congress: Lagos Will Adopt Consensus Candidate, Says GAC-Crystal News

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has officially set February 26, 2022, to hold its national convention.

Chairman, Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, and Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni confirmed the date to newsmen on Tuesday while speaking at the Progressives Women Congress held in Abuja.

However, Buni failed to state the venue for the convention.

He said, “You remain the best mobilizers of support to any political party and its candidates. You have always been there in the queue on election days to determine the fate of candidates. With this, we are confident of winning the 2023 general with huge success.

“Let me assure you that the party shall not forget this gesture by supporting women and youths for their political aspirations. And to realise their political dreams. We look forward to having more women contesting in the forthcoming National Convention of the party on February 26th, 2022, and the general elections.”

“Now, as we approach the convention and move closer to the next general election, l wish to remind you of your progressive role in supporting progressive-minded leaders,” he added.

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2023: Tinubu Begins Presidential Campaign

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Tinubu

The National Leader of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has commenced his 2023 presidential campaign on Twitter.

The former governor of Lagos launched his campaign hashtag #BAT2023 on the microblogging platform on Thursday (today) while commending the Federal Government for lifting the ban on the bird app seven months after it was prohibited in the country.

According to Tinubu, Twitter just like every other social media is useful to citizens as they are a means of communication and an avenue that enables economic and social empowerment for Nigerians.

Tinubu tweeted: “Social media – indeed all media – including Twitter, are a means for us to all communicate, report, share and engage with stories and each other; to enable economic and social empowerment for Nigerians. But sometimes & sometimes are misused.

“I commend the FG for recognizing these aspects and most importantly, concluding negotiations for the safe return of access to Twitter to the millions of Nigerians who use it, daily. Welcome back one and all! -Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu Media Office #BAT2023 @ekometa”.

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