On Wednesday, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) met with its electoral officers and transport unions to review logistics deployment and other critical issues on the conduct of the 2023 general elections.
The INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, in his remarks at the opening of the meeting in Abuja, described logistics deployment as a key component of every election.
Prof. Yakubu said the commission considered it appropriate to interface with its field officers and transport service providers to review logistic arrangements during the 2023 general polls.
The transport unions, according to him, include the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) and the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN).
Stating that the election’s success depended on the ability to deploy materials and personnel, Prof. Yakubu said the deployment had been more challenging with issues of infrastructure and insecurity.
He said the meeting would provide an opportunity to interact on 10 critical areas highlighted for discussion, including the general state of preparedness for the general election, the voters’ registration process and the associated issues, clean-up of the voter register, and Permanent Voter Cards collection.
He noted that others included recruitment, training, deployment and remuneration of ad hoc staff; matters arising from expanding voter access to polling units and receipt and deployment of election materials.
Technology deployed for elections; election security; election day processes; forward and reverse logistics and movement of personnel; retrieval of field assets; inventory of election materials; and physical storage conditions and other immovable facilities.
Prof. Yakubu said that in line with INEC’s policy, a comprehensive report would be prepared after the review engagements.
He urged the electoral officers and the union leaders to lend their wealth of experience to the discussions to identify strengths and weaknesses.
The INEC chair said this was important for immediate improvement in elections, especially the forthcoming governorship elections in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi States scheduled for November 11.
He assured Nigerians that in the next two weeks, INEC would hold more engagements with internal and external stakeholders, including political parties, civil society organisations, the media and security agencies.
The chairman, Planning, Monitoring and Strategic Committee (PMSC) of INEC, Rhoda Gumus, said the decision to organise the meeting became imperative after the successful conduct of the 2023 general elections.
According to her, the meeting would answer “how far and how well” INEC, the electoral officers, and transport unions performed their respective duties during the elections.
Ex-Women Affairs Minister, Tallen Felicitates Tinubu’s Wife @ 63
Former Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Dame Pauline Tallen, has felicitated First Lady, Sen. Remi Tinubu on the occasion of her 63rd birthday.
Tallen, who congratulated the President’s wife in a statement on Friday in Abuja, eulogised the First Lady, who she described as “a rare gem and rare gift to the nation.”
She prayed for more years of God’s exceeding grace on Mrs Tinubu, describing her as extremely humane, an epitome of humility and an indispensable strong pillar of support to her husband.
Tallen said, “Your Excellency, on this milestone and auspicious occasion of your 63rd birthday, I join millions of your well-wishers across the globe, especially the womenfolk, to celebrate with you, while thanking God for His exceeding grace upon you, while wishing you the best that life can offer in the many decades ahead.
“As a wife, mother, fervent preacher of the gospel, as well as an iconic political leader, who exemplifies the struggle for women in politics, you will remain a veritable source of inspiration and pride for women for generations yet unborn.
“Indeed, we could not have asked God for a better First Lady at this time, considering your rare track record of achievements, as your life has been a gift, not just to Nigerian women after your breaking of many barriers for women and setting a perfect example for young girls over the years.”
The former Deputy Governor of Plateau and one-time Minister of State, Science and Technology, said that the people of Plateau would remain eternally grateful to Mrs Tinubu, particularly for her recent visit to the state and donation of a whooping sum of N500 million to families of crisis victims in the state.
She said that through her Renewed Hope Initiative, as Nigeria’s First Lady, Mrs Tinubu has demonstrated her empathy, humanity and philanthropic gesture by pursuing the well-being of others with unquantifiable compassion and zeal to help the less privileged, the challenged and those in need.
Tallen, therefore, prayed for long life, good health, increased grace and wisdom for the First Lady and her entire family.
Tani Olorun Not Against Out-Of-Court Settlement, Says Lawyer
The legal team of embattled Isese advocate in Ilorin, Kwara State, Abdulazeez Adegbola, alias Tani Olorun, has said they are open to an out-of-court settlement of the case of criminal defamation brought against him by the police.
Tani Olorun’s lead counsel, Ademola Bank, disclosed this in an interview with The Tide source.
Tani Olorun is standing trial on five counts of alleged criminal conspiracy, inciting public disturbance, disturbance of public peace, criminal defamation of character, and intentional insult before a Kwara Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Ilorin.
In a separate case, he is also standing trial before the Kwara Upper Area Court sitting in Ilorin, alongside the Oluwo Nla of Tede, Chief Ademola Olawoore.
The offence, according to the prosecution, was contrary to sections 97, 210, 392, and 114 of the Penal Code Law of Nigeria.
Speaking in an interview with our source in Ilorin on Saturday, Tani Olorun’s lead counsel, Bank, said, “If an agreement for an out-of-court settlement comes up, why are we not to agree? The court allows it, the law allows it, and wisdom allows it. The law does not frown on it, the court does not frown on it, and wisdom does not frown on it. Parties can agree to an out-of-court settlement at any time. If it comes, so be it, if the situation allows it.”
He was, however, silent on whether the agreement for an out-of-court settlement would come from the defendant, saying, “It is the situation that dictates it. If it comes from the parties, we will not stand against it. The lawyer will not stand against it. No lawyer will oppose any bid for settlement by parties; it is for peace to reign.”
I’m Not Afraid Of Appeal – Gawuna
The All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the March 18 governorship election in Kano State, Nasir Yusuf Gawuna, has said he is unafraid of the appeal challenging his victory at the tribunal.
The Kano Governorship Election Petition Tribunal had, last Wednesday, declared the APC candidate winner of the election and sacked Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf.
The three-man panel ordered a certificate of return to be issued to Gawuna and the withdrawal of a certificate of return presented to Yusuf.
The court noted that ballot papers of 165,663 votes were not stamped or signed and, therefore, were invalid and deducted the 165,663 votes from Yusuf’s total.
Speaking with BBC Hausa in an interview while commenting on the tribunal judgment, Gawuna said, “I am grateful to Allah for our victory in the Kano State election, which was affirmed by the court today (Wednesday). I thank Him for His will, which chose us to lead. I also thank our lawyers and the general public for their prayers and support.”
He noted that the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) was initially declared the winner of the election but believed that Allah had already decided the outcome, saying they had the right to challenge the results in court, and they did so.
Gawuna said that anyone who believes that nothing happens without Allah’s will will never worry or take governance as a do-or-die affair, stressing that whatever happens to them, they believe it is the will of Allah.
According to him, “We are not intimidated or afraid, because we know that whatever happens is for the best. Allah never makes mistakes.”
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