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CSO, INEC Move To Increase PVC Collection, Registration In 15 States



NESSACTION, a Civil Society Organisation, in collaboration with the Independent National Electoral Commission on Tuesday launched Continuous Voter Registration and Permanent Voters’ Cards collection drive in 15 states.

The NESSACTION Executive Director, Eniola  Cole, said this at the launch of the project on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said the exercise was also in collaboration with Yiaga Africa and the United Nations Development Project.

Cole said the measure was taken because the group discovered that there was low registration of CVR and collection of PVC, according to INEC’s data released.

He the situation prompted the decision to tackle the challenge  ahead of the 2023 General Election.

She said that the CVR and PVC Collection Drive project sought to render support to INEC on inclusivity safeguards campaign in the CVR and PVC collection process.

She added that it would also strengthen INEC’s civic and voter education awareness campaigns and push for increased voter turnout at the 2023 elections.

Cole added: “To do this, we have developed resources with support from Yiaga Africa and UNDP.

“This is to train 45 INEC registration area officers and community mobilisation officers in part of FCT and Nasarawa states on the CPCD project implementation strategies and the offline registration process.

“We will also be making logistical provisions through a bus transportation scheme in each LGA of Nasarawa and AMAC and Kwali Area councils, FCT.

“These community buses will be deployed to areas of need identified by INEC officials to get those with uncollected PVCs to INEC offices for collection of their PVCs along with those with incomplete registration process.”

Cole said that the bus scheme was being deployed in recognition of the current economic trends to encourage those in difficult terrains to take advantage and go to the LGA offices to collect or register their PVC.

She added that NESSACTION deployed 150,000 voter education materials for community outreaches and engagements at the grassroots, to raise awareness on the CVR and PVC exercise.

She said this was to also get people to know their mobilisation officers and capture data on incomplete registration while addressing issues they faced through the link

In his remarks, the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Yahaya Bello, commended NESSACTION for the initiative.

Bello said that the commission had a 30-day period to end the CVR process.

He said: “Our hands are already starting to get very full right now.

“In front of the FCT office, there are more than 300 people who are struggling to go in and get registered.

“This initiative by NESSACTION could not have come at a better time than now any time.

“We have a very able partner.

“So this will reduce our own burden and ensure that people are very much aware of the CVR  programme and also participate.”

Bello urged Nigerians to take advantage of the initiative to get registered for CVR and collect their PVCs as well to participate in the election.

Mohammed Haruna, INEC’s National Commissioner in Charge of the FCT, Nasarawa, Kaduna and Plateau States, said that the NESSACTION’s initiative was very much needed in times like this.

Haruna said that the initiative would make PVC collection very high and urged Nigerians not to wait till last minute rush to collect it .

He called on NESSACTION to also help INEC to decongest the over crowded polling units by encouraging voters to change their polling units to the new units created by the Commission.

He said this would reduce zero votes in those polling units as recorded during the just concluded FCT Area Council Elections.

Michael Agada, Senior Programme Officer, Yiaga Africa, said the collaboration with NESSACTION was in line with the organisation’s effort to increase the number of registered voters by 60 per cent.

Agada said that the #60percentofus project sought to change the mindset of voters that their votes mattered and that if 60 per cent of voters registered to vote, then Nigeria would attain 60 per cent turnout in the 2023 elections.


PDP, NNPP, 5 other parties form coalition



On Wednesday, a new coalition consisting of seven opposition political parties was formed with the aim of enhancing democracy in the country. The Coalition of Concerned Political Parties was officially established in Abuja during a meeting of political party leaders held at the National Secretariat of the Social Democratic Party (SDP). The parties involved in the coalition are the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), African Democratic Congress (ADC), Social Democratic Party (SDP), Peoples Allied Movement (PAM), New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Young Progressives Party (YPP), and Zenith Labour Party (ZLP).

The formation of this coalition follows concerns raised by Atiku Abubakar, the PDP presidential candidate, who, during a meeting with the Inter-party Advisory Council (IPAC) in November, expressed worry about the country heading towards a one-party state. The opposition leaders recognized the need for unity in response to these concerns.

The coalition, while addressing the prevailing insecurity in the country, urged the judiciary to safeguard Nigeria’s democracy and maintain its independence from political and governmental influence. Shehu Gabam, the national chairman of SDP, emphasized the importance of a robust judiciary as the last hope for the common man and called for caution in the face of recent developments in states like Zamfara, Nasarawa, Kano, and Plateau.

Gabam clarified that the coalition is not advocating for a merger and expressed opposition to IPAC. Setonji Koshoedo, the acting national secretary of PDP, representing the party’s acting national chairman, Umar Damagum, highlighted that the coalition aims to provide a strong opposition. Chief Ralph Nwosu, the national chairman of ADC, stressed that the coalition’s objective is to strengthen democracy, citing instances of government officials attempting to stifle viable opposition.

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AA sympathises with Kaduna govt, victims of drone attack



The Action Alliance (AA) has conveyed its astonishment regarding the military drone attack resulting in casualties and injuries in Tudun Biri, Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State. In a statement on Tuesday, the National Chairman of AA, Dr. Adekunle Rufai Omo-Aje, extended condolences to Governor Uba Sani and the residents of the state.

Expressing deep sadness over the incident, Omo-Aje highlighted the party’s concern about the accidental bombing that claimed the lives of innocent civilians and caused severe injuries to others. He emphasized the need for measures to prevent such incidents in the future, particularly regarding the safety and well-being of civilians in conflict zones.

Omo-Aje urged for a comprehensive investigation into the occurrence, echoing the sentiments of other Nigerians. Additionally, he commended Governor Uba Sani for his swift response to the unfortunate incident, acknowledging the governor’s efforts in addressing the aftermath of the military operation.

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Why I won’t suspend Wike, others – PDP Chairman, Damagum



Umar Damagum, the Acting Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has stated that the National Working Committee (NWC) under his leadership will refrain from suspending or dismissing any ‘disloyal’ member. This statement follows recent calls from some PDP stakeholders urging Damagum to take action against individuals, including former Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, for alleged anti-party activities during the recent general elections.

Addressing the PDP Mobilisers Group in Abuja, Damagum dismissed the calls for sanctions and revealed that the NWC had approved the establishment of a committee to review and reconcile all aggrieved members. He emphasized the party’s focus on reconciliation and expanding its membership rather than punishing alleged anti-party activities that could harm the party.

Damagum clarified, “They are always telling you these people are not doing the right thing. But when you are in a position of leadership, you are bound by a set of rules, and these rules, even though they are itching you, you don’t apply them—not because of anything, but so that you don’t destroy the house.”

He also described the 2023 presidential election defeat as “most painful” and cautioned party members against engaging in a blame game. Damagum highlighted the party’s commitment to a thorough review of the 2023 elections and reconciliation efforts, expressing his belief in the strength of the PDP.

Acknowledging that some members were involved in anti-party activities at various levels, Damagum stated, “If I said we should start suspension, I will end up suspending many people because they were involved in anti-party activities. So, please bear with us. We intend to keep this party together and to manage it. This is my mandate.”

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