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INEC Holds Mock Elections In Rivers, 11 Others, ’Morrow …Creates 35,000 Polling Units

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Barring last minutes
change, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will tomorrow conduct mock voting sessions in 12 states of the federation to test-run the use of smart card readers, ahead of the March 28 and April 11 elections.
To this effect, the INEC chairman, Prof Attahiru Jega, has deployed all National Commissioners and Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) in 12 states for the mock elections.
Two states in each of the six geo-political zones of the country have been selected for the experimental voting exercise.  They are: Ekiti and Lagos (South-West); Anambra and Ebonyi (South-East), Delta and Rivers (South-South); Kano and Kebbi (North-West); Bauchi and Taraba (North-East) and Niger and Nasarawa (North-Central).
Reports from INEC indicate that in each of the states selected for the mock election, some electoral wards with sizeable registered voters would be considered for the trial voting.
The essence of the mock elections, according to INEC,  is to enable the commission ascertain the functionality of the card readers, with a view to making necessary adjustments before the March 28 Presidential and National Assembly elections.
It will be recalled that the use of the card readers has been vehemently opposed by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on the excuse that the device violates the nation’s electoral act which forbids electronic voting in the country.
A statement signed by the Head, Protocol and Publicity of INEC in Rivers State, Anthonia Nwobi, stated that the Registration Area Ward 1 Oromineke/Ezimgbu of Port Harcourt City Local Government Area (PHALGA) in Rivers State will be used for the conduct of the mock elections in the state.
Nwobi also disclosed that the trial voting will take place in all the 23 units of ward 1 and the 19 voting points.
She urged all the registered voters in ward 1 of PHALGA to come our enmasse for the field test exercise.
“The planned exercise, which has been slated for Saturday, March 7, 2015 will start from 8.00am and would be carried our by 188 trianed INEC staff. This clarification process will be the replica of election day where smart card readers and permanent voters cards are expected to be used for the accreditation exercise,” she said.
Meanwhile, INEC has created additional 35,000 polling units ahead of the rescheduled general elections, it was learnt yesterday.
There are 120,000 polling units in the country. Attempt by the commission to increase it to 150,000 was received with mixed reactions, forcing it to drop the idea initially.
The Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee of INEC, Dr Chris Iyimoga, who broke the news of additional polling points, argued that the essence was to allow for ease of voting process.

 

Boye Salau / Iragunima Benice / Midred Jaja

APC governorship candidate in Rivers State, Dr. Dakuku Peterside (right), addressing party supporters in Finima Community, during his ward rally in Bonny Local Government Area.

APC governorship candidate in Rivers State, Dr. Dakuku Peterside (right), addressing party supporters in Finima Community, during his ward rally in Bonny Local Government Area.

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Ayade Orders Recruitment Into Civil Service

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Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State has ordered immediate recruitment into the state civil service to fill the vacuum that may occur due to workers’ retirements.
The new Head of Service (HoS), Mr Timothy Akwaji, disclosed this on Wednesday during his maiden meeting with permanent secretaries on Wednesday in Calabar.
Akwaji said the creation of AkwaIbom from Cross River in 1987 caused a mass exodus of civil servants to the new state, leading to mass recruitment by the state government to fill the attendant vacant positions.
“Most of these workers will be exiting the service, having completed their mandatory 35 years in service and this may create a bureaucratic vacuum if there is no mentoring of those who may be left behind to keep the service running.
“The governor has, therefore, given approval for the recruitment of workers to cushion the effect of the impending mass retirement from the state civil service.”
The Head of Service stressed the need for the permanent secretaries to mentor their subordinates, as directors and for other civil servants to look up to them as role models.
He said mentorship in the service had become necessary to enable civil servants discharge their responsibilities effectively.

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APC Releases Timetable For Nat’l Convention

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The All Progressives Congress has said it will begin the sale of forms for aspirants vying for its national positions ahead of the National Convention from February 14.
National Secretary, APC Caretaker and Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee, Senator John Akpanudoedehe, announced this in a statement he issued on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said, “The APC CECPC at its 19th regular meeting on Wednesday, January 19, 2022, at the party’s National Secretariat considered and adopted the timetable/schedule of activities for the February 26, APC National Convention.”
According to him, the schedule of activities ahead of the party’s national convention is as seen below:
“Receiving of the interim report of the National Reconciliation Committee, January 31, 2022.
“Consideration and adoption of Reports of State Congresses February 2, 2022.
“Inauguration of the State Executives February 03, 2022.
“Sale of forms to all aspirants vying for National Offices at the APC National Secretariat, February 14, 2022.
“Submission of completed forms and accompanying documents at the APC National Secretariat on or before February 19, 2022.
“Publication of Sub-Committees February 19, 2022.
“Screening of all aspirants vying for National Offices February 20 February 22.
“Screening Appeals to hear and resolve complaints arising from the screening exercise February 23, 2022.
“Accreditation of all statutory and elected delegates to the National Convention – February 24 to February 25, 2022.
“National Convention to elect National Officers to the National Executive Committee February 26, 2022.
“National Convention Appeal to hear and resolve complaints arising from the National Convention February 28, 2022.”
The APC scribe, at an interaction with newsmen at the party’s National Secretariat, had earlier described as fake, reports that the party’s leadership had zoned its national chairmanship position to a particular zone.
Akpankudohede said the report should be disregarded, adding that there was no decision on that.

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INEC Dismisses Tinubu’s Comment On PVCs

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) have not expired.
The commission said this while responding to the comment credited to Senator Bola Tinubu, National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Speaking while addressing the women leaders of the party who paid him a visit recently, Tinubu asked voters to obtain new PVCs.
Earlier in the month, after so much speculations, Tinubu formally announced his intention to contest for the 2023 presidency.
“In case they do not announce to you on time, the PVC you have has expired,” Tinubu said.
“Take one family member, two family members, knock on all doors and make sure that the new registration… Because they may not announce to you on time. The PVCs you have have expired. Yes!
“You need to spread it to various local government and wards at each levels. No matter how difficult it is. To me, I look at it closely and you look at other elections being held, you will see that it’s diminishing because those cards (is) expired. It’s mandatory that you go and register to vote and achieve your aspirations. May God bless you and bless Nigeria.”
But reacting, the Chief Technical Adviser to the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Bolade Eyinla, said those who have registered for election do not need to do so again because their cards are valid for future elections.
“This information is not correct. The PVC issued to all previously registered voters remains valid. This kind of statement will certainly push eligible voters to register more than once thereby creating the problem of double and multiple registrations,” he said.
In the same vein, the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Rotimi Lawrence Oyekanmi, said that Nigerians who already have their PVCs do not need to register again.
He warned, “In fact, double registration is an offence under our laws. Eligible Nigerians are entitled to register only once.”

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