Some youth groups on Sunday called for youth inclusiveness in the nation’s polity to drive the desired progress and development.
Mr Nonso Orakwe, Convener, Vote Not Fight, South East Region, who spoke on behalf of the groups, made the call while addressing newsmen in Awka, to make the 2022 International Youth Day. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that International Youth Day is marked every Aug. 12 to bring youth issues to the attention of the international community.
The theme for the 2022 commemoration is “Intergenerational solidarity: Creating a world for all ages”.
Orakwe said that the collaboration of youth innovation and the experience of the older generation could give Nigeria the stability it needed.
“Nigeria needs to break the cycle of ageism for the voices of the youth to be heard.
Intergenerational solidarity means bringing youth to the table.
“It is the surest path to Nigeria’s much desired development,” he said.
Orakwe, also the Executive Director Catch Them Young Community Initiative, called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the judiciary to ensure a free, fair and credible election in 2023. “As the 2023 general elections approach, let us reflect on our journey as a country and support young candidates.
“We call on INEC to conduct free, fair and credible elections to give hard working young candidates a real chance.
“The judiciary must play their part to ensure that elections that are not credible are annulled.
This will give youth and other demographics an opportunity to reclaim subverted mandates.
“As youth, we are mobilising our peers to vote enmasse and do so without violence.
We must realise that our objectives to do well in the electoral process lies with working closely with allies from the older generation,” he said.
He commended youth groups for their campaigns to strengthen Nigeria’s democratic institutions and processes.
“The Vote Not Fight: Election No Be War and National Youth Agenda campaigns have been in the forefront of promoting peaceful elections in Nigeria.
“The Not Too Young To Run movement helped remove constitutional age benchmarks which has created an opportunity for more inclusive governance processes in Nigeria.
“The young and old must make personal commitments and take steps to overcome ageism, insecurity, electoral violence, youth unemployment and declining standards of education in the country.
“We call on the government at all levels to take immediate steps to address these challenges, especially the lingering strike action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU),” he said.
Orakwe appreciated the National Democratic Institute, the United States Agency for International Development and the Federal Commonwealth and Development Office for their support to youth programmes.
The Peter Mbah Support Group (PMSG), Abuja Chapter, a pressure group, said it was satisfied with the interest and turn out of the youth in the just concluded voter registration in different parts of the country.
Chief Jude Aninta, its said this in a release issued in Abuja on Sunday.
PMSG is a coalition of leaders and stakeholders of Enugu State working for the victory of Mr Peter Mbah (PDP) in the 2023 governorship election in Enugu State.
Aninta, however, urged the youth to embrace the available chance now to visit the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) offices nearest to their voting units to collect their Permanent Voter cards (PVCs).
He lauded the turnout of Enugu youths in transferring their voting points home from different parts of the country to elect Mbah for credible leadership and grassroots development of their state.
“I commend your demonstration of political awareness but your possession of your PVCs is the only thing that can guarantee attainment of your political vision in our state,” he said.
The PMSG coordinator said that there was no better alternative to Mbah’s candidacy because of “his track record as an accomplished lawyer, seasoned technocrat and astute politician.
“He is a grassroots man, youth friendly, investment and security conscious, focused, with integrity to tackle the challenges of the state in the next dispensation.
“Enugu is in safe hands with Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and will be better with Mbah in the saddle,” Aninta added.
He thanked the leadership of the Enugu Indigenes Association, Abuja, for partnering PMSG in its programmes.
He also gave the assurance that the Mbah victory in the 2023 governorship poll would bring rapid development to Enugu State and reaffirm its status as the investment haven of South East zone.
Mr Yohanna Margif, the governorship candidate of the Labour Party(LP) in Plateau, has dismissed claims that he had withdrawn from the race.
Margif affirmed his candidature in a letter by his counsel, Munir Abdullahi, addressed to the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The letter made available to the News Agency of Nigeria on Saturday in Jos, described as “a sham and illegal”, a recent primary election allegedly held in Jos where his purported replacement emerged.
He maintained that he was the authentic candidate of the party ahead of the 2023 polls and distant himself from a primary election that produced Dr Patrick Dakum as his replacement.
NAN reports that on June 9, the party conducted a primary election at Retnan Hotel and Event Centre, Bukuru, Jos, where Margif emerged as its candidate.
But with the electoral law requiring him to withdraw his candidature before a replacement is sought, Margif declared that he had not written any letter to that effect.
According to him, he has not withdrawn from the race and has not authorised any person or group of persons to do that on his behalf.
He explained that after the primaries that produced him, a certificate of return was issued to him by the national chairman of the party which confirmed him as the authentic LP standard bearer in Plateau.
”We are, by this letter, notifying your commission that our client has not written any withdrawal letter or authorised any person to withdraw or substitute his name as candidate of the LP for Plateau 2023 governorship election in line with section 33 of the electoral Act 2022.”We, therefore, wish to state that, having published the name of our client as the governorship candidate of the LP in Plateau for the 2023 general election, there is need for the party to strictly comply with provision of the Electoral Act 2022.”In the event the party fails or neglect to comply with the provision of the Electoral Act 2022, we will have no option than to seek legal redress with its attendant cost,” the letter said.
NAN reports that Margif, in a recent press conference, declared that his emergence as the candidate had endeared many people into the LP, adding that a lot of people had defected to the party from other political parties.
He added that the alleged primary election held to produce another candidate was a waste of time and called on residents of Plateau to disregard it.
”I wish to state clearly that I have not, in any way, contemplated withdrawing from the 2023 governorship election and I will not withdraw from the race.
”I am in the contest to win and give Plateau people good governance that will enthrone development.
”I am not in the contest to withdraw, and the ticket of LP is not for sale.
Those clamouring for it merely want to mislead gullible Plateau people and Nigerians because the slot is not vacant.
”The candidate alleged that there were threats to his life, saying that people desperate for the ticket had been after him.
Margif urged his supporters to disregard moves to substitute him, and disclosed that he would soon announce his campaign structures.
The National Orientation Agency (NOA), Nasarawa State directorate on Friday, organised sensitisation to create awareness on the new trend of the insecurity; child soldiers’ recruitment by terrorists in the north eastern and other parts of the country.
Speaking at a sensitisation organised for stakeholders in Lafia, Dr Priscilla Gondoaluor, Director, NOA, Nasarawa State, said that the agency had the mandate to sensitise people, so that they could engage in activities that would hurt the trend.
According to her, the sensitisation of the stakeholders in the state became necessary to enable them to monitor the movement and the company they children keep so as to secure their future.
Gondoaluor said that the terrorists had taken advantage of the economy situation in the country to lure and recruit young boys who were mostly uninformed and naive into their gang at tender age and raised them as terrorists.
“These young ones are brain-washed and made to accept the ways of life of the terrorists and bandits, grow up to enlarge that group, it shows that they future is in jeopardy and it poses a great dangers to the society.
“To support the activities of the state government under the leadership of Gov. Abdullahi Sule who is doing everything to stem the tide of insecurity in Nasarawa state, we are sensitising stakeholders: traditional rulers, religious leaders, parents and youths leader.
“We are speaking with them; and also hear from them to get commitment on how this incidence of child-soldiers can be stemmed,” she said.
Speaking at the event, the Emir of Lafia, retired Justice Sidi Bage, represented by Aliyu Sanda, Gayam Lafia, commended the Agency for the sensitisation.
He noted that the traditional rulers would work relevant authorities to ensure that the unfortunate did not get to state.
“As parents, we should keep eyes on our children, be observant as well as monitoring their companies, we cannot afford to jeopardise the relative peace we are enjoying in the state,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the sensitisation had in attendance the traditional rulers, religious leaders, Department of State Service, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence, Road Safety Corps, National Union of Road and Transport Workers, National Youths Council of Nigeria and Independent National Electoral Commission.
Dr Ifeanyi Odii, the governorship candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ebonyi on Thursday in Abakiliki said the party would emerge victorious in the 2023 polls.
Odii said this during a solidarity visit to his office by Tricycle Riders Support Group.
Odii said he would run all inclusive government if elected governor.
“I thank you, the tricycle riders for the support.
Let me tell you, Ebonyi is growing to be at the top.
“We are going to ensure by the special grace of God, we shall be in that office in 2023. The support I am getting is already giving signal for our victory.
“My government will be for all Ebonyi people and we shall move the state forward for the interest of the future of our children,” Odii said.
He called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to take necessary steps to forestall any attempt to the rig the 2023 elections, adding that that would guarantee PDP victory.
“Say no to rigging because ours is going to be total winning.
On that day ensure that you have your Permanent Voter Cards to cast your votes.
“There is good future coming for our people and we are not going to mortgage it.
When you cast your vote ensure that it counts,” he added.
Mr Stephen Akpu, chairman of the State Tricycle Riders Support Group for Anyichuks, commended Odii on his victory at the primary election and pledged their support for him, come 2023. Akpu described the gubernatorial candidate as having the capacity to govern very well and prayed for his winning in the general elections.
“We, the `keke’ riders from the 13 Local Government Areas of the state are here today to tell you that we are solidly behind you because Ebonyi needs a capable governor and we believe you are the one,” he said.
The group who presented a Bible gift to Odii said that it would serve as `a weapon’ to guide and pave ways for his victory in 2023. “We are here to endorse you as our sole candidate ahead of the elections.
This is based on your selfless service to humanity and gestures that our people have enjoyed from you,” he said.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has denied alleged doctoring of documents to accommodate Sen. Ahmed Lawan and Godswill Akpabio to run for Yobe North and Akwa Ibom North West senatorial districts respectively in 2023. The commission gave the denial in a statement by its National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr Festus Okoye in Abuja on Tuesday.
Okoye said that not for the first time, INEC’s attention had been drawn to a story published by an online medium that the commission had doctored, backdated and certified documents to accommodate the nominations of Lawan and Akpabio, from Yobe and Akwa-Ibom respectively.
Okoye said that nothing could be further from the truth.
He said that as evidence of the alleged role played by the commission, a certified true copy of Form 9C uploaded by the duo candidates’ political party and received by INEC on June 17 when the nomination portal closed was presented.
Okoye said that for clarity, the Form EC9 (submission of names of candidates by political parties) was the form uploaded by parties on the INEC nomination portal.
He said that was clearly indicated on the title of the form which was received on June 17 when the portal closed.
“What follows is the publication of the personal particulars of nominated candidates which was done a week later.
“The forms of the two personalities in question were not published by the commission.
“The decision of the commission triggered legal action which are still ongoing.
“It, therefore, defies logic and common sense to go around and submit doctored documents purportedly recognising the duo as candidates when the matter is clearly sub-judice.
” Okoye said that as part of the ongoing case in Court, a law firm requested for a Certified True Copy (CTC) of the Form EC9 submitted by the All Progressives Congress (APC) as its candidate for Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District which INEC was duty bound to oblige them under the law.
He explained that the form was certified on July 15, 2022. “If minimum care has been exercised by the promoters of the story, they would have seen the two stamps of the commission bearing different dates on the form.
“It is this form that is now misconstrued as INEC’ s endorsement.
“For the record, the commission has not recognised any of the two personalities as senatorial candidates.
” Okoye called for responsible reportage as against the unwarranted attack on the INEC and its officials over a matter than could be easily fact checked.
Correspondents Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Edo on Tuesday trained members on use of technologies to counter misinformation and fake news ahead of 2023 general elections.
Declaring the training open, Mr Fetus Alenkhe, Edo NUJ Chairman, commended the leadership of chapel for its wisdom in organising the workshop.
He described the training as `timely and apt’, as it would arm members on how to debunk information disorder that always characterised election period in the country.
Alenkhe, however, called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to train journalists ahead of the general poll, particularly regarding verification of results.
Earlier, in her address, Mrs Nefishetu Yakubu, Chairman of the Correspondents, said the leadership intent was to build the capacity of members to be able to counter misinformation that were pervasive on the social media platforms.
“There is no doubt that opportunities are now available in technological innovations, hence these can be used to verify and counter fake news, during electoral process.
Studies have shown that in recent time, technologies have helped to unravel the truth behind some controversial issues in Nigeria’s political space.
“Just a few weeks ago, news about the purported two months extension of the Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) made rounds the major newspapers, including platforms that have built their reputation and credibility over the years.
“The report was, however, later found to be untrue.
Unfortunately, no matter how close it is and how “credible” the platform that reported it is, as far as it’s untrue, it is tagged as fake news,” she said.
Yakubu noted that election periods were usually engulfed with fake and unconfirmed news reports, which had the tendency of jeopardising the processes.
She cited scenarios where individuals and groups used their social media platforms to peddle fake news around electoral processes, malpractices, electoral violence and even fake election results, thereby undermining the process.
According to her, every member will be expected to begin to take additional steps to verify the veracity of information at his disposal, using various fact-checking tools.
The facilitator, Mr Dare Akogun, who is a 2021 Fellow of Dubawa Fack-Checking, tutored the participants on open sourcing and various ways viral information can be verified to either confirm or debunk.
The National Chairman of Labour Party, Mr Julius Abure and a top member of the party, Mr Yohanna Margif, are at loggerheads on who is the party’s governorship candidate in Plateau.
While Margif said he had not withdrawn his candidature as the “authentic flag bearer of the party in the state”, Abere said that a fresh primaries had produced “Dr Patrick Dakum as the flag bearer of the party in the state”.
But Margif said in Jos when he briefed newsmen on the reported conduct of a fresh governorship primaries that produced Dakum that he did not recognise the primary and its outcome.
“To put the records straight, some individuals had approached me requesting that I relinquish the hard earned ticket to them.
“But I felt it will be unwise to toy with the party mandate and the peoples trust, hence my refusal to grant their wishes.
“Surprisingly, my attention was drawn to a primary election by some political elements.
“The elements disguised themselves as members of Labour Party in Plateau and produced Dakum as my replacement”, he alleged.
But Abure insisted that Margif had been expelled from the party in a reaction to Margif claims.
He said that the expulsion followed various investigated petitions forwarded to the party’s national headquarters shortly Margif won the initial primary election of the party.
“This party, as a responsible political platform, has called him severally but he declined to show up; the National Working Committee of the party has, therefore, expelled him,” he said.
Abure also said that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) headquarters had been notified of the development.
“The substitutionary primaries had since been conducted and Dakum was chosen as the governorship candidate of the party in Plateau”, he said.
Mr Christopher Maikalangu, the Chairman of Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), says he will appeal the FCT Election Tribunal judgment nullifying his emergence as winner of the Feb. 12 area council elections.
In a statement issued in Abuja, he called on his supporters to remain calm for the needful to be done.
The statement, jointly signed by Ephraim Audu and Kingsley Madaki, his Chief Press Secretary and Senior Special Assistant on Media was issued on Friday night in Abuja.
“Following the judgment at the FCT election tribunal, the leadership of Abuja Municipal Area Council has renounced the judgment that was passed in favour of the All Progressive Congress (APC).
The chairman therefore, called on his supporters to remain calm and not take laws into their hands as his legal team had already appealed the matter at a competent court.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Maikalangu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was declared winner of Feb. 12 AMAC chairmanship election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He polled 19,302 votes to defeat Murtala Usman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who scored 13,240 votes.
Chief Rommy Okoli, a chieftain of the Labour Party has called on the Nigerian electorate to focus on electing candidates that can give them the future they want and avoid distractions from divisive elements.
Okoli, a former governorship aspirant in Anambra on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) gave the advice while speaking to newsmen Awka on Friday.
The former chairman of Nnewi South Local Government Area condemned deliberate attempts by politicians and their media handlers to divert attention from issues of national importance to attacks on peoples and ethnic nationalities.
Okoli said Peter Obi had the experience, capacity, discipline, integrity, humility and managerial skills to turn things around in Nigeria.
According to him, Obi has economic ideas, he is in a better position to manage Nigeria’s economy with the vice presidential candidate, Sen. Yusuff Datti Ahmed; therefore I urge Nigerians to support him.
“It is sad that instead of dwelling on the state of the nation and type of leaders we need to address these challenges, paid agents are busy stoking the embers of hatred, ethnicity, religion and division.
“Even if opinions are free they say, they should be within the limits of decency, objectivity and respect for one another with national unity, safety and peace in mind.
“It is only when a politician doesn’t have any programme or manifesto that he will mobilise hirelings to be attacking opponents; thank God, Nigerians don’t fall for such antics anymore,” he said.
Okoli, who is popularly known as apostle, thanked Nigerians for their massive participation in the just concluded Continuous Voters Registration which drove the number of prospective voters to an all time high of over 90 million.
He said the surge in the number of voters was as a result of improved confidence in the electoral system and their desire to have a say in who would become their next president.
“I wanted to thank the Independent National Electoral Commission for a job well done, to capture as much people as wanted to register or regularise their voting status, it was a huge success.
“My advice is that people should endeavour to get their permanent voter cards and make sure they vote for their preferred candidate in February next year, not just the presidential election but all the contested positions,” he said.
Okoli expressed worries about the security situation in the country especially the terrorism scare in Abuja, the federal capital territory and urged security chiefs to act on the directive of Mr President to rid Nigeria of all form criminality.
He said the country should be secured to ensure that the election took place as scheduled without problems.