The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has sought the support of the media for a peaceful conduct of the November 11 governorship election in Imo State.
The National Commissioner and Member, Information and Voter Education Committee (IVEC), Mohammed Haruna, made the call at an engagement with media executives in Owerri, ahead of the poll.
“The Media remains one of our critical stakeholders. In reporting activities of the commission, pre-election, election, and post-election activities, we plead with the media to be factual, objective, and professional in their reportage”, Haruna said.
The National Commissioner urged the media, as citizens, “to be part of the discussion for the overall improvement of our electoral process based on your field observations”.
He disclosed that the commission had implemented eight of the 13 schedule of activities published for the conduct of governorship elections in Kogi, Bayelsa and Imo States.
“We are now entering the period of submission of names of polling agents by political parties, publication of official register of voters by the commission and the notice of poll.
“The last two activities are closing of campaign by political parties and the climax, which is the elections day proper”, he said.
Haruna disclosed that all non-sensitive materials had been delivered to the three states in required quantities and good quality.
“The production of sensitive materials has been completed and ready for delivery to the three states while the Registration Area Center (RAC) and Collation Center assessment is completed.
“We are seeking the support of the media to create and promote awareness of the PVC collection exercise to boost the number of eligible Nigerians who will come out and vote on election day”, he stressed.
He said the commission had provided braille ballot for visually impaired voters, made available magnifying glass for people with albinism and introduced enlarged posters for voters with hearing impairment.
He said the commission had gone further to integrate into the voting procedure, a process that accorded priority voting for persons with disabilities, vulnerable people like the elderly, pregnant and nursing mothers.
Haruna, who also expressed concern over violence during campaigns in Kogi and Imo, appealed to politicians to allow peace to prevail.
He also assured voters that the commission would not have glitches with the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) during the governorship poll.
Earlier, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Imo, Prof. Sylvia Agu, said the engagement was packaged to enlighten media executives on the guidelines, processes and procedures ahead of the governorship election.
“The commission holds the media in high esteem as great partners in progress, and has therefore packaged this program to enhance the awareness and participation of voters in the state.
“In telling of stories, I urge you all to emphasise the gains of participation and the need to protect our democracy”, Agu said.
In his remarks, the State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr Ifeanyi Nwanguma, said the media would continue to support INEC to ensure free, fair and credible Imo governorship election.
Nwanguma, however, appealed to security agencies to see journalists as partners in progress during and after the governorship election in the state.
“I strongly believe that together, we can achieve violence-free and credible governorship election come November 11”, he stated.
Nine Passengers Burnt In Oyo Auto Crash – FRSC
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has said nine passengers have sustained varying degree of burns in an auto crash on Ogbomoso-Oyo Expressway.
The Sector Commander in the state, Joshua Adekanye, confirmed the incident in an interview with The Tide’s source in Ibadan yesterday.
He said the accident, which occurred on Saturday, involved a trailer and a truck at Sekona area along Ogbomoso – Oyo Expressway.
Adekanye said nine out of the total 13 people involved in the accident got burnt while four others escaped unhurt.
“The accident happened around 3:30 a.m. on Saturday, and the truck vehicle caught fire while the trailer collided with it.
“The actual cause of the fire in the truck could not be ascertain because it happened at night”, he said.
He, however, said the likely cause of the trailer colliding with the truck might be speeding and wrongful overtaking.
According to him, the burnt victims are being referred to the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital for treatment, adding that the RS11.31 Ogbomoso and RS11.312 Oolo Commands conducted rescue operation.
“Other agency that carried out the rescue operation are the Fire Service and Odo-Oba Police Division”, he said.
Adekanye called on motorists to shun night travelling, wrongful overtaking and dangerous driving to ensure safety on the road.
Association Lauds Gov Over E-Ticket Revenue Collection
Enugu State Governor, Barr Peter Mbah, has been commended for introducing E-Ticket system of revenue collection, which is aimed at increasing Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state.
The President, Enugu State Markets Amalgamated Traders Association (ESMATA), Chief Stephen Aniagu, who made the commendation in a chat with newsmen in Enugu, expressed happiness that the system has already started yielding fruitful results.
Urging traders in all the markets in the State to cooperate with government by embracing the innovation, Chief Aniagu also expressed satisfaction with the announcement by the State Government that its IGR had increased tremendously from what it used to be before the introduction of the system.
According to him, traders in Ogbete Main Market have already identified themselves with the system, with a view to encouraging the State Government’s efforts at increasing its IGR.
On programmes and projects mapped out for execution by the Governor Mbah-led administration, Chief Aniagu said, “we have already started feeling the impacts of these projects.
“From all indications, Governor Mbah has plans to make Enugu State a role model. We are cooperating very well with the State Government. The relationship between the Governor and traders in the State is very cordial.
“Ogbete traders are fully involved as they have started paying their taxes as and when due. I urge all the traders to key in by ensuring that government revenue goes directly into government Coffers instead of private pockets”.
Continuing, Chief Aniagu further said: “The Governor has always carried along traders in Ogbete and other markets in the State in his programmes.
Fielding questions from newsmen on the level of peace in Ogbete, Chief Aniagu stated that there was relative peace in the market, adding that traders were fully supporting and cooperating with his administration.
He, however, advised traders in Ogbete and other markets in the State not to cheat their customers in any manner, noting that “the importance of carrying out you businesses with the fear of God cannot be over emphasized”.
By: Canice Amadi Enugu
EFCC Boss Vows To Fight Corruption
The Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ola Olukoyede, has pledged to refocus the anti-corruption war by adopting modalities capable of stimulating economic growth and development.
He gave the assurance while addressing members of staff of Ilorin Zonal Command of EFCC, at the Commission’s Office, GRA, Ilorin.
Olukoyede promised a paradigm shift in the agency’s approach to anti-graft war, to make it more proactive and result oriented.
“There is need for us to refocus our attention in EFCC. We need to define our scope of mandate with a view to stimulate the economy of the country.
“The era of stifling and crippling of businesses with unwarranted PNDs is gone.
“We must be able to separate proceeds of crime from legitimate funds and use the instrumentality of our mandate to create wealth and jobs for people.
“We will also use the instrumentality of our mandate to create conducive environment for businesses to thrive for a sustainable economic growth”, he said.
The EFCC boss also pledged to prioritise staff welfare, stressing that he was already in talks with the government for necessary support.
“We have done it before and we are going to do it again”, he assured.
Olukoyede asked officers of the commission to be above board and avoid acts of compromise in their line of duty, stressing, “We owe our nation the sacred duty of making this country free of corruption and crimes”.
He urged members of staff to work together for a good course and see themselves as officers having the same rights and privileges as encapsulated in Section 8 (5) of the EFCC Establishment Act, 2004.
The TIde’s source reports that the executive Chairman had earlier visited the palace of Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Zulu Gambari, where he called on traditional rulers to deepen their partnership with EFCC.
He called for more cooperation in order to reduce corruption through adequate promotion of ethics, values and behavioral change among their subjects.
“Our royal fathers have a crucial role to play by using your good offices to champion the crusade against corruption among your subjects.
Responding, the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Zulu Gambari pledged to continue supporting EFCC and other law enforcement agencies in stamping out corruption and other form of criminalities in the State.
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