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XRAYING THE 2023 GENERAL ELECTIONS AS A VOTER AND AN OBSERVER

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Buhari Reveals Why He Chose Tinubu, Read His Dull Farewell Speech 

XRAYING THE 2023 GENERAL ELECTIONS AS A VOTER AND AN OBSERVER

 

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2023 ELECTIONS– As Nigerians and the rest of the world await the swearing into office of the President-elect Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his vice Presidential candidate Distinguish Senator Kashim Shettima and other elected representatives following the fair, successful and credible conduct of the 2023 general elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), save for inconclusive elections in some constituencies of which supplementary elections have been scheduled for 15th of May 2023, it becomes imperative for Nigerians who were active participants in the process to state their own side of the story in order to debunk the litany of lies, falsehood and misinformation against the election from expected quarters and which must not be allowed to go unchallenged.

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As a Nigerian who played a double role as a voter and an INEC accredited observer, one owes it to posterity to document his or her experience in the 2023 general elections as a reference for the future.

 

 

 

 

 

On the 25th of February 2023, Nigerians in their millions trooped out to the polls to elect the President, his Vice, Senators and members of the House of Representatives across 176, 606 polling stations nationwide. Same scenario repeated itself in the Governorship and states House of Assembly elections on the 18th of March 2023. As expected, the elections went on smoothly in some places, while in some other places, there were skirmishes which resulted in disruptions of polls. That this election was fiercely contested by the parties is not a new thing to our democracy because this has been the trend also in previous republics before 1999 when we birthed this republic. That there were disruptions of elections in some places is also not a new thing, as we have become accustomed to anti-democratic elements baring their fangs on Election Day in various forms, which is condemnable and unacceptable.

 

XRAYING THE 2023 GENERAL ELECTIONS AS A VOTER AND AN OBSERVER

 

 

 

 

An indisputable fact of the 25th February 2023 Presidential and national assembly elections was that logistics challenge reared its ugly head again as INEC personnel arrived late at polling stations resulting in polls not commencing at the official time of 8.30am in some polling stations, though it did commence at official starting time in some other places. The truth of the matter is that because of this logistics challenge, polling in some constituencies were extended till Sunday the 26th February 2023 and we also had the issue of rescheduling of elections in some polling stations to the following day because of security challenge, (e.g. 141 units in Bayelsa state, some units in Lagos state and other states).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 18th March 2023 gubernatorial and house of assembly elections witnessed remarkable improvements in logistics issues nationwide which could be attributed to the outcry of Nigerians which might have forced the electoral umpire to sit up. But sadly, some interest(s) who are always on the lookout for our dark side, seeing this logistics improvements by INEC, resorted to attempt to blackmail the election on the grounds of electoral violence without providing statistical data of instances to substantiate how the successful and credible conduct of the election has been marred by what they profess, which is pure mischief.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So for the hasty generalization that the election was marred by logistics challenge to be tenable in this age of science, such a person, group or organization must be asked to substantiate the blanket statement with a data of the mention of the particulars of the polling units affected out of 176, 606 polling stations, 8,809 wards and 774 local governments council areas nationwide. For the allegation of malpractice against the 2023 general elections to withstand scrutiny, we need to ask those parroting it, to identify and mention at what levels did the malpractice take place and with facts, they should mention the names/codes of the polling stations, RA/Wards, local governments and states?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

According to section 63(1) of the 2022 electoral Act, The Presiding Officer must count the votes at the polling unit and enter the votes scored by each candidate into the form prescribed by INEC.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Section 63(2) states that, subsequently, this form must be signed and stamped by the Presiding Officers and counter-signed by candidates or their polling agents if they are at the polling unit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Section 63(3) states that, thereafter, a copy of the forms must be given to the polling agents and the police by the Presiding Officer. This process is applicable to result forms completed at the ward, local government, state and national level – Section 74.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

According to section 63(4), the Presiding Officer must count and announce the result at the polling unit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Section 64 states that, in certain instances after the counting of votes, a candidate or a polling agent may request that the Presiding Officer recount the votes. In such cases, the Presiding Officer should do so, but only once.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Section 65 states that, after the recording and announcement of the result, the Presiding Officer has a duty to deliver the result along with election materials under security accompanied by the candidate or their polling agents to a person that has been prescribed by INEC.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition, Article 38(I) of INEC revised rules and guidelines states that, “On completion of all the polling unit voting and results procedures, the Presiding Officer shall: (1) Electronically transmit OR transfer the result of the Polling Unit, direct to the collation system as prescribed by the commission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(II) Use the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) to upload a scanned copy of the EC8A to the INEC Result Viewing Portal (IReV), as prescribed by the Commission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(III) Take the BVAS and the original copy of each of the forms in tamper evident envelope to the Registration Area/Ward Collation Officer, in the company of the security agents. The Polling Agents may accompany the Presiding Officer to the RA/Ward Collation Centre”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the narrations of the electoral act 2022 and INEC rules and guidelines as cited above, one can see and read very clearly what the law says about procedures of vote counting and collation of election results which passes through several stages from the polling station, to the ward, local government, state and national level. At every stage save for the polling unit where the voters are present, every other stage accommodates all the other stakeholders and even makes it compulsory for the party agents if they are present, to be witness who must counter-sign and be given copies of result sheets as well as the security agencies in order to confer legitimacy on the process.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

According to both the 2022 electoral act and INEC rules and guidelines, the emphasis is on, as prescribed by the Commission. We must also take special notice of Article 38(I) of INEC rules and guidelines which states, …..Electronically transmit OR transfer the result of the Polling Unit direct to the collation system as prescribed by the Commission. So one wonders the source of authority of claimants of stolen mandate on the basis of non-uploading of polling station results on IReV? We must ask them to provide proof of provisions in the electoral act, where this action translates to electoral malpractice?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the successful and credible conduct of the 2023 general elections so far, no political party or candidate has been bold enough to come out publicly and provide with evidence, where in any stage of the process, in any part of the country, the above mentioned provisions of the electoral law were violated by INEC. Rather, some candidates and their supporters have been fouling the public space with emotional outburst of rigging, malpractice and stolen mandate just to incite and threaten national security.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Infact, a particular candidate, party and supporters have hinged their cries of electoral malpractice of the 2023 general elections on the grounds that the results were not uploaded on the IRev viewing portal, which is mischievous and laughable. Nigerians should ask such people if the non-uploading of polling units results on the IRev portal invalidates the counter signed polling station results sheets given to their party agents by the Presiding Officer and of which a copy was also given to security officials? We should ask them to provide copies of the results collated at the ward, local government and state levels as attested to and counter-signed by their party agents in order to expose their mischief and fraud.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An undeniable truth of the 2023 general elections is that it was successfully and creditably conducted by INEC in substantial compliance with the provisions of the electoral law as stipulated which is commendable. Any candidate or party which feels otherwise, is hereby advised to seek the judicial option rather than the mischief, lies, falsehood, misinformation and emotional outcry of malpractice and stolen mandate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nigerians should reject any attempt to take them for a ride and ridicule by person(s), groups and organizations whether local or international who are crying wolf over the 2023 general elections only on the basis of emotions and political bias and not facts. We should demand and remind those who are alledging electoral malpractice to stop insulting our collective intelligence in the public space, but that they should gather their evidence to establish their case in court as prescribed by the law, enough is enough of this political shenanigan and incitement.

 

 

 

 

God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Thanks.

Yours Sincerely,

Nelson Ekujumi,

Director, media and mobilization,

Voters Awareness Initiative (VAI), INEC accredited observer organization for the 2023 general elections.

nelekujumi@gmail.com

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PUBLIC NOTICE: URGENT APPEAL FOR PEACE AND SECURITY IN RIVERS STATE: A CALL TO ACTION FOR THE PRESIDENT*

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**PUBLIC NOTICE: URGENT APPEAL FOR PEACE AND SECURITY IN RIVERS STATE: A CALL TO ACTION FOR THE PRESIDENT**

Dear Esteemed Citizens of Nigeria,

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As concerned citizens and representatives of the Dwellers of Coastal and Waterways Communities of Africa (DCWCA), our hearts weigh heavy with concern for the safety and security of our beloved nation, particularly in Rivers State. Recent developments have seen allover the internet news online a troubling plot that threatens to undermine the peace and stability painstakingly built by our coastal communities.

We are gravely disturbed by reports indicating a sinister scheme aimed at disrupting the commendable efforts of Royal Fouchee Security Limited, spearheaded by the esteemed Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo Asari. It pains us deeply to learn that the very guardians of our security, the Nigeria Security Agencies, are allegedly orchestrating an assault on the dedicated workers of Royal Fouchee Security Agency and other private security entities in Rivers State.

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In this hour of uncertainty, we turn our eyes to the highest office of the land, the esteemed President of Nigeria, with an impassioned plea for intervention. Mr. President, we beseech you to heed our call and use your authority to halt any actions that may endanger the lives and well-being of our coastal citizens. Your decisive action is imperative in preventing further escalation of tensions and preserving the peace that is the lifeblood of our coastal communities.

While we cannot definitively prove the political undertones behind these alarming developments, the whispers of suspicion linger in the air. It is incumbent upon our leaders to rise above partisan interests and prioritize the safety and security of every Nigerian, particularly those in our coastal regions who are vulnerable to various challenges.

Let us not forget the lessons of our past, where political differences were allowed to sow seeds of discord and division among our coastal brethren. Instead, let us unite in solidarity, transcending political boundaries to safeguard the sanctity of our democracy and the welfare of our coastal people.

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Mr. President, we implore you to intervene swiftly and decisively, sending a clear message that the security and well-being of every coastal Nigerian is non-negotiable. Your actions today will shape the destiny of our nation and reaffirm our collective commitment to peace, unity, and progress.

With unwavering hope and trust in your leadership,

Dwellers of Coastal and Waterways Communities of Africa (DCWCA)
[Tom Inko-Tariah ACI arb
President/CEO]

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Edi Abali Group Raises Alarm Over Security Threat to Ancestral Home, Assets of Alhaji Mujahid Abubakr Dokubo-Asari

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Edi Abali Group Raises Alarm Over Security Threat to Ancestral Home, Assets of Alhaji Mujahid Abubakr Dokubo-Asari

Edi Abali Group Raises Alarm Over Security Threat to Ancestral Home, Assets of Alhaji Mujahid Abubakr Dokubo-Asari

 

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by The Army

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Sahara Weekly Reports That The Edi Abali Group has raised an alarm concerning a security threat to the ancestral home and assets of Alhaji Mujahid Abubakr Dokubo-Asari, the Paramount Ruler of Edi Abali Group of War Canoe and Chieftaincy Houses in the Kalabari Kingdom of Rivers State, by the military.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edi Abali Group Raises Alarm Over Security Threat to Ancestral Home, Assets of Alhaji Mujahid Abubakr Dokubo-Asari

 

 

 

 

 

In a public notice issued by the Edi Abali Group it states that credible intelligence has revealed plans by elements within the 103 Battalion of the Nigerian Army in Obuama to provoke a confrontation and disrupt the peace in the area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

According to the notice, the plot specifically targets Alhaji Mujahid Abubakr Dokubo-Asari, who is currently out of the country. The army allegedly plans to exploit his absence in order to create a crisis that could be wrongly attribited to the community members, resulting in attacks on innocent individuals. The Edi Abali Group clarifies that there are no issues between their community, the army, and Alhaji Mujahid Abubakr Dokubo-Asari or his company, Royal Fouche Services Limited.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The notice highlights that the tensions arose after Alhaji Mujahid Abubakr Dokubo-Asari spoke out about the involvement of some elements of the Nigerian Army in oil bunkering activities in the Niger Delta. These activities reportedly deprived the government of the much-needed revenue, leading to displeasure among these elements. The group believes that they are deliberately instigating a crisis involving the personnel of Royal Fouche Services to justify an attack on innocent indigenes of the Kalabari communities, particularly in Obuama where Alhaji Mujahid Abubakr Dokubo-Asari is based, as well as the 103 Battalion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr Mpakaboari Pankin Braide said,

 

 

“The army in Obuama is aware of his absence from the country and plans to exploit this to create a crisis, which will be wrongly attributed to community members, leading to attacks on innocent individuals.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Edi Abali Group calls upon the Nigerian Army to be aware of this plot and to ensure that they are not manipulated into compromising peace and security in the area. They also highlight the proven record of collaboration between Alhaji Mujahid Abubakr Dokubo-Asari and Royal Fouche Services Limited with security agencies in combating terrorism, kidnapping, and insurgency.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The group aims to inform the public, as well as the people of Kalabari and Rivers State, about this planned provocation targeting innocent individuals, including Alhaji Mujahid Abubakr Dokubo-Asari. They emphasize his commitment to supporting President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led Federal Government and Governor Sim Fubara-led Rivers State Governments in ensuring the safety and security of all Nigerians.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Said Mr Mpakaboari Pankin Braide

Secretary Edi Abali Group Of War Canoe and Chieftaincy Houses,

 

 

 

 

 

 

“We want the public, people of Kalabari and Rivers State to be aware of this planned provocation targeting innocent individuals, including Alhaji Mujahid Abubakr Dokubo-Asari, who remains committed to supporting the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led Federal Government and Governor Sim Fubara-led Rivers State Governments in ensuring safety and security for all Nigerians.”

 

 

 

 

 

Released and signed by;

Mr Mpakaboari Pankin Braide

Secretary Edi Abali Group Of War Canoe and Chieftaincy Houses

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Nigeria: The Changing Governance Story

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Nigeria: The Changing Governance Story

Today, however, Nigeria is home to the largest single-train refinery in the world, with the capacity to process 650,000 barrels of crude per day

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Nigeria: The Changing Governance Story

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Temitope Ajayi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sahara Weekly Reports That Tracking many stories of remarkable progress currently taking place in Nigeria can be a challenging task. This is so because these important stories are lost to some who daily indulge in the cacophony of adverse reports. These negative news often dominates the headlines.

 

 

 

 

Nigeria: The Changing Governance Story

 

 

 

 

 

With a 24-hour news cycle that tends to focus mainly on distasteful narratives, several Nigerians have been made to accept the view that nothing good is happening in their country.

Those who rely on the mainstream media and social media as the only sources of news and information they consume are the worst hit by the cycle of misinformation that portrays our country as descending rapidly to the edge of the precipice. However, the reality is different: the country is making progress in leaps and bounds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Late Swedish physician and Professor of International Health at Karolinska Institute, Hans Rosling, his son, Ola Rosling, and daughter-in-law, Anna Rosling, extensively dwell on this subject in “Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think,” a book published in 2018. In the book, the authors demonstrate that most people are made to hold the wrong notion about the state of the world because the media project data, analyse trends and select stories to make people assume that things are getting worse around them. The authors assert that a majority of people view the world as poorer, less healthy, and a more dangerous place to live in than it actually is. In other words, many people believe they are living in a worse period in the history of mankind because of misinformation.

 

The same situation the Roslings describe in their book is at play in Nigeria, where individuals, interest groups, activists, analysts, self-serving politicians, and opposition elements constantly project and amplify negative stories.

It is as if we are in a race with those who can say the most horrible things about our country. Yet, we have an abundance of good stories to tell the world. We seem so numb to the good news that we are dismissive of breakthroughs and innovative trends. For instance, we downplay the significance of Dangote Petroleum Refinery and its possibilities to reflate the economy.

 

Many people forgot so soon that we had been importing petroleum products for over three decades because the state-owned refineries are moribund. Our national economy bled, and the country was in a fiscal cul-de-sac for those years as a result of subsidy payments on petroleum products.

 

Today, however, Nigeria is home to the largest single-train refinery in the world, with the capacity to process 650,000 barrels of crude per day. Cynics do not see this as a breakthrough.

 

Nigerians who are 60 years old and below started seeing modern rail infrastructure in 2016 when the All Progressives Congress-led administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari commissioned the standard gauge rail system, beginning with the Abuja-Kaduna route, later Lagos-Ibadan and then the Warri-Itakpe.

 

The national rail modernisation project is progressing with Kano-Katsina-Maradi and Kano-Kaduna standard gauge rail projects at different stages of completion. The contractor working on the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri narrow gauge recently announced the completion of the Port Harcourt-Aba section. While the Federal Government is rallying stakeholders to promote economic integration across the country, the Lagos State Government recently launched two metro rail lines -Blue and Red Rail lines – as part of the state’s elaborate master plan to build a modern and efficient megacity. Like Lagos State, there are visible signs of remarkable, quantifiable progress in several other states, including Kaduna, Kano, Akwa-Ibom, Rivers, Kebbi, Borno, Gombe, Oyo, Ekiti and Ogun, among others.

 

A few weeks ago, the President Bola Tinubu-led administration embarked on the construction of the 700 kilometres Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway that will connect nine coastal states in another bold move to bolster economic growth further and open up the country to productive economic activities.

 

While it may be very easy for critics and other armchair analysts to ignore these developments and their significance to remaking Nigeria, there is no gainsaying that these projects and many more that are ongoing or about to be instituted across critical sectors are the core of President Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda. Indeed, it is hard to process why the so-called critics and cynics can not see the Lagos-Calabar Highway project as a clear demonstration of the President’s commitment to harnessing the potential of our renascent Blue Economy.

 

Despite what is bandied by the most vociferous critics

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