The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has refuted reports that its ad-hoc staff resigned over threats by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner in Anambra State, Nwachukwu Orji, said the commission is still recruiting ad-hoc staff members.
This is as the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba has ordered the deployment of two DIGs, five AIGs, 14 commissioners of police, 31 deputy commissioners of police and 48 assistant commissioners of police to the state to ensure adequate security for the conduct of the poll.
The police deployments are coming as INEC said that 81,778 newly printed Permanent Voter Cards were ready for collection in Anambra State.
Reports had it that ad-hoc staff of INEC terminated their appointment en mass over IPOB-linked threats ahead of the governorship election in the state.
However, Orji described such reports as false and without substance.
Speaking with newsmen, Orji said: “INEC is still in the process of recruiting the ad-hoc workers, in fact we just finished the ad-hoc training before this false report.
“As the head of the commission in Anambra, I am telling you authoritatively that we have more than enough manpower for the conduct of the forthcoming governorship election in Anambra,” he said.
Anambra 2021 Governorship election is slated for November 6.
However, the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba has ordered a major overhauling of the security landscape in Anambra State ahead of the November 6 governorship election in the state.
Two Deputy Inspectors General of Police (DIGs) and other strategic commanders have been deployed to the state for effective supervision of security personnel and operations in the governorship election.
Other strategic commanders deployed to Anambra State include five Assistant Inspectors General of Police (AIGs), 14 Commissioners of Police (CPs), 31 Deputy Commissioners of Police (DCPs) and 48 Assistant Commissioners of Police (ACPs).
Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), Mr. Joseph Egbunike, has been deployed to Anambra State as the coordinator of the security component for the election.
Egbunike would be assisted by the DIG in-charge of Operations, Acting DIG Zaki Ahmed.
DIG Egbunike is saddled with the responsibility of overseeing the implementation of the Operation Order evolved from the Election Security Threat Assessment; to ensure a peaceful environment devoid of violence and conducive enough to guarantee that law abiding citizens freely perform their civic responsibilities without molestation or intimidation.
In a statement, yesterday, Force Public Relations Officer, CP Frank Mba, said the senior officers are to coordinate human and other operational deployments in the three senatorial districts, 21 local government areas and the 5,720 polling units in Anambra State.
The IGP reassured the nation that the Force was adequately prepared for the gubernatorial election in Anambra State come November 6, 2021.
He reiterated that the Force would do everything within its powers to work with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and all stakeholders to protect democratic values, provide level playing field for all political actors, ensure adequate protection of voters, INEC personnel and equipment, accredited observers and other key players in Anambra State.
The IGP called on citizens in Anambra State to come out en masse and exercise their franchise as adequate security has been emplaced to protect them before, during and after the elections.
Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission, yesterday, said that 81,778 newly printed Permanent Voter Cards were ready for collection in Anambra State.
The commission disclosed this in a statement titled, ‘Update on Preparations for the Anambra State Governorship Election’ signed by the National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, yesterday in Abuja.
Okoye said that the new printed PVCs included for newly registered voters and those who applied for replacement or transfer of their cards in the state during the just concluded first phase of the Continuous Voter Registration in the state.
He said that the cards had been printed and would be delivered to INEC office in Anambra State tomorrow.
“In our previous update, the commission informed the public that a total of 138,802 Nigerians completed the registration in Anambra State.
“After a thorough cleaning up of the data, it was discovered that the number of multiple registrants was 62,698.
“Consequently, the number of valid registrants dropped to 76,104.
“During the same period, there were 5,674 requests for transfers, update of voter information and replacement of lost or damaged cards, giving a cumulative total of 81,778 PVCs.
“These cards have been printed and will be delivered to our office in Anambra State on Thursday, October 28.”
The released summary of polling unit agents released by INEC indicated that details of 6,068 agents were expected to be uploaded on INEC dedicated portal from each of the 17 parties participating in the election.
The summary showed that the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Social Democratic Party and Zenith Labour Party were the parties that uploaded details of that expected number of agents.
It showed that the All Progressives Congress uploaded details of its 6,012 agents, the Peoples Democratic Party 6,003, Young Progressives Congress 6,071, and Action Alliance 6,067 while Boot Party did not upload any details.
Okoye assured the people of Anambra State of INEC’s determination to proceed with the conduct of the election.
The commissioner appealed to all the critical stakeholders and citizens in the state to cooperate with the commission for a successful exercise.
Buhari Seeks Return To Family Values In Rebuilding Nigeria …Wike, Tambuwal, Other Govs Attend Ikpeazu’s Son’s Wedding
Buhari said this, yesterday, at the wedding of Mr. Jachimike Ikpeazu, son of Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu at the International Conference Centre in Umuahia, Abia State.
At the event, the groom wedded his heartbeat, Miss Thelma Chidinma.
The wedding was also attended by the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, Sokoto State Governor, Hon. Aminu Tanbuwal, and several other dignitaries.
Others present at the wedding service that was conducted by the Seventh Day Adventist Church were Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel; Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki; Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri; Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed; Ebonyi State Governor, Engr. David Umahi; and Enugu State Governor, Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.
Also at the event were the immediate past governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi; and National Secretary-elect of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Sam Anyanwu.
Buhari, who was represented at the occasion by the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Uche Ogah, decried the situation where parents and guardians who should have paid greater attention in inculcating good character in their wards, have abdicated that responsibility.
He sued for a collective effort across tribes and regions towards restoring family values and giving it its rightful place.
“Marriage is family value, character. The reasons why there are issues in the society, today, is because families are broken. When values are enshrined in families, the entire society will be good.”
Buhari charged the couple to build their family on the word of God, have a regular family altar of prayers, and give good attention to building enduring character.
Wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, who was represented by wife of the Ebonyi State Governor, Mrs. Rachael Umahi, told the couple to know that marriage is where love is celebrated.
She urged them to continue in the training given to them by their parents, and learn to love themselves more so that their home can be a blessing and impact positively on others around them.
In his sermon, Pastor B. E. O. Udoh, admonished the couple not to allow their love for each other to diminish.
He further urged them to be tolerant, support each other to become their best, build and cultivate goodly character.
In his remarks, Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu said it was delightful to watch his son take a wife to himself, and prayed God to make their union fruitful.
Ikpeazu expressed gratitude to Buhari and his wife, his brother governors, political associates and friends who attended the event, for honouring him with their presence.
Insurgents Planning To Attack Military Bases, DSS Alerts
In a letter signed by the State Director of Security, Ogun State Command, M.B. Abdullahi, DSS warned that it has intelligence that the insurgents were plotting to attack military bases in border towns.
The DSS also advised customs and other security agencies in the country to put counter-measures in place to frustrate the plot by the insurgents.
The letter titled, ‘Plans by insurgents to launch attacks on military bases in various border communities’ read, “Available intelligence indicates plans by insurgents and criminal elements to carry out simultaneous attacks on military posts and bases in various border communities across the nation anytime from now.
“In view of the foregoing and the likelihood such attacks not limited to the military personnel only, all law enforcement and security agencies with operational bases at border communities are advised to take note of the above threat and emplace countermeasures with emphasis on personal security of operatives to frustrate the planned attack.”
PAP Partners NNPC To Sustain Peace In N’Delta
The agreement was reached when PAP’s Interim Administrator, Col. Milland Dixon Dikio (rtd) led a delegation to visit the Group Managing Director, NNPC, Mr Mele Kyari, in Abuja, over the weekend.
In a statement signed by the Special Adviser on Media to the Acting Administrator, Mr Neotaobase Egbe, PAP said the meeting was strategic and in line with the objective of programme to partner with all relevant stakeholders for the full implementation of the amnesty programme.
He said PAP was courting willing partners to have robust synergy to drive the Niger Delta Recovery Plan (NDRP) to fruition.
The statement noted that though PAP was executing its own role in reintegrating 30,000 ex-agitators captured by the Presidency, there was a need to strengthen partnership between sister agencies of government for the sustainable development of the Niger Delta.
He said the NNPC like other institutions of government had roles to play in oil assets redistribution, infrastructural development and environmental remediation.
Dikio said that there was a need to control disruptions in oil production, saying destructive energies could be channelled into productive ventures through re-orientation and sustained advocacy.
He also said that PAP had made efforts to cut down irrelevant trainings and had become intentional about successfully empowering its delegates.
He said trainings over the years had become contractor-driven and were not meeting the beneficiaries’ needs.
Dikio maintained that the PAP was targeting functional businesses that had the capacity to train, employ and mentor delegates into becoming successful business owners.
He said: “For instance, if we have someone that has a commercial poultry farm and we partner with them to train our delegates, they will be employed after their training. In the course of two years and five months they will be taken through the ropes of poultry farming before they are sent out to start their own poultry.
“It is a win-win for everybody. We did the research and we discovered that the cassava plant in Bayelsa needs about 20,000 metric tons of cassava daily, so there is ample opportunity for our delegates to go into that kind of business.
“Again, palm oil when sold in international markets is above $1,000 a ton, and here, we are in the region only focusing on oil and gas”.
Dikio further said there were arrays of businesses the PAP was looking to inject delegates into, adding that exceptional graduates under the PAP scholarship scheme had more opportunities for employment.
In his remarks, the NNPC GMD, Mele Kyari, commended Dikio for the efforts to ensure peace in the Niger Delta, and emphasised the need to sustain the peace through accommodation and inclusiveness of Niger Delta youths.
He bemoaned the inability of the oil industry to fulfil its obligations to the region over the years, saying that it was one of the reasons the amnesty programme had prolonged.
He said: “As we speak today, we have seen a number of increasing incidents of unrest; cases that remind us of the past we don’t want to recollect again.
“Therefore, everything you have said points to the fact that inclusion, support and empowerment for young people particularly in the Niger Delta will bring peace and development to the Niger Delta. No amount of resources available to you will give you peace except there is alignment with the respective players in the space”.
Kyari said the award of licences to investors to begin production on about 57 marginal oil fields within Niger Delta in 2022 was designed to support businesses that originated from the region because most of the beneficiaries from the marginal field programme were indigenes of the Niger Delta.
He said working together would bring lasting peace to the region, explaining that the number of experienced technical people produced from the programme, would easily fill employment opportunities.
He said: “Once you create opportunities and investments return, more employment opportunities will come. I think it is a good thing that we work together, both the amnesty programme and all other actors in this space to bring the lasting peace to the Niger Delta and across our country, where people can benefit because ultimately if we cannot give, there will be nothing to show in another five to ten years, that is the reality that we are in.”
By: Akujobi Amadi
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