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2023: 6.7million PVCs Uncollected In 17 States, INEC Targets Markets

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No fewer than 6.7 million Nigerians have yet to collect their permanent voter cards less than eigth weeks to the general elections.

Data obtained from the state offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission on Tuesday revealed that 6.7 m PVCs were locked up in INEC safes across 17 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

The INEC had announced that the collection window for PVCs will commence December 12, 2022 and end on January 22, 2023.

The INEC National Commissioner for Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye, disclosed in a statement that with effect from January 6 -15,2023  the collection of the PVCs will be devolved to the ward level after which collection would be moved to the local government areas.

Record shows that past elections were marred by voters’ apathy.

During the 2019 general elections, the INEC said it had about 82.3m registered voters, however only 28.6m voted in the polls which resulted in the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari who polled 15m to defeat his closest rival, Atiku Abubakar, who scored 11.2m votes.

During the Lagos governorship elections, less than 2m voted in the poll which was won by Babajide Sanwo-Olu of the APC. He garnered 739,445 votes to defeat Jimi Agbaje of the PDP who got 206,141 votes.

Data from the Lagos state INEC office revealed that as of December 29, a total of 1,693,963 PVCs remained uncollected. This was disclosed in a document tagged ‘INEC Lagos PVCs Reports.’

It stated, “Old PVCs received from headquarters – 6,570,291; old PVCs collected up till December 29, 2022 – 5,653,330. Total uncollected old PVCs – 916,961; New PVCs received from headquarters – 940,200; New PVCs collected as at December 29, 2022 – 163,198.

“Total uncollected New PVCs –777,022; Overall total PVCs received from headquarters- 7,510,491; Overall PVCs collected as at December 29, 2022 -5,816,528; Overall PVCs uncollected 1,693,963.’’

The INEC Director of Voter Education, Lagos State, Mrs Adenike Tadeshe, told The PUNCH that about 14,000 people collect their voter cards daily, noting that the commission would soon take the PVCs distribution to the wards.

She said, “I will not say we have a huge number of uncollected PVCs. Looking at the figures, as of December 29, 2022 we have given out 5,816,528 PVCs, so we are now left with 1,693,963 and we want to put in record that on a daily basis in Lagos State, we give out about 14,000 PVCs so the number will keep reducing.

‘’Now, by January 15 and 16, we will be taking the cards to all the 245 wards in Lagos State and from there to the local government areas, so this will bring the cards closer to the people for collection.”

Findings indicate that the FCT has 460,643 uncollected PVCs as of December 24.

A document obtained from INEC revealed that the Abuja Municipal Area Council had the highest number of uncollected PVCs in the FCT.

In Edo state, 661,783 voter cards have not been collected as of December 29 while

Ondo and Ekiti states had 300,000 and 205,127 cards, respectively, as of December 15.

INEC efforts

Rotimi Oyekanmi, INEC Chairman Spokesperson, said that the Commission was doing its best in sensitizing registered voters to collect their PVCs.

Oyekanmi said “We have consistently embarked on voter education awareness activities to encourage voters to collect their cards.

“Apart from advertorials and regular sharing of customized messages via our social media handles, each state office of the Commission also takes several slots in radio and television stations prominent in their respective domains to amplify voter education.

“We collaborate with religious leaders who pass voter education messages to their audiences in churches and mosques. We leverage on the authority of traditional rulers to reach out to their subjects in a way that nothing else can.

“We also take advantage of cultural events, like the Calabar Carnival, to reach out to voters. We go to major markets in many states on foot, using loud speakers to talk to the market women and leaders due to the influence that they also wield.

“We are grateful to our various development partners- the European Union, IFES, UNDP and others as well as the civil society organisations that are helping us to encourage voters to pick up their PVCs.”

Oyekanmi could not provide the total number of unclaimed PVCs nationwide, saying the figure PVCs kept reducing as eligible voters were collecting their cards daily.

‘’For instance, the figure of uncollected PVCs for Lagos as of 29th December 2022 will not be the same as of 31st December because more people would have collected their cards. The only time we can have the final figure of uncollected PVCs is when we stop the collection of the cards nationwide. The Commission will announce the total number of uncollected cards at that time,’’ he further explained.

Commenting, the Director, Centre for Democracy and Development, Idayat Hassan, blamed what she called ‘last-minute syndrome’ for the poor of the PVCs, describing the situation as recurring decimal.

Hassan said, “It is a recurring decimal. With every election, people do not often go forward to collect their PVCs or they leave it till the last minute. You will notice that maybe when it is one week to the end of the collection process, then Nigerians will troop to go collect their PVCs.

“Secondly, some owners of these PVCs, especially the old ones might be dead, relocated or anti-democracy Nigerians. We are advising the media and the civil society organizations to encourage registered voters to pick up their PVCs.”

The Executive Director, Yiaga Africa, Samson Itodo, attributed distance to collection centres and poor awareness for the high number of unclaimed voter cards.

Itodo observed, “The reason why people are not collecting their PVCs is because the PVC collection location is distant from the people. However, INEC will be decentralising the PVC collections at ward level from the 6-15 of January, 2023. We hope that people will make use of this opportunity because the ward level is closer to people.’’

 

Credit: The Punch

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JUST IN: FG Bans Production Of Movies Featuring Money Rituals

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The federal government has prohibited the production and distribution of any movies or cinematography that feature money rituals and glamourising vices.

Shaibu Husseini, CEO of the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) made this known at an event in Enugu State on Wednesday.

The event was organised by the NFVCB and Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA).

Movie producers, directors, actors from different parts of the country, and leaders of various guilds and associations in the Nigerian film industry were present at the event.

Husseini said, “Today, we are facing an industry emergency requiring bold and ambitious actions from all parents, guardians, and stakeholders. When my predecessor approached the former Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, on the need to make subsidiary legislation to curtail the display of smoking in Nigerian movies, he saw the need to include money rituals.

“Others included in the regulation are ritual killings and glamorising other crimes in order to further sanitise the film industry. Today, I am delighted to announce to you that the Minister of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, Hannatu Musawa, pursuant to section 65 of the NFVCB Act 2004, has approved the regulation.”

He added, “The minister has approved the ‘prohibition of money ritual, ritual killing, tobacco, tobacco products, nicotine product promotion and glamorisation display in movies, musical videos and skits regulations 2024’. We have also forwarded the approved copy to the Federal Ministry of Justice for Gazette.”

Mr Husseini said the sensitisation programme was to educate stakeholders on the danger inherent in smoking in Nigerian movies.

According to him, besides the health implications, glamorising smoking in films poses a negative influence on teens and young adults, who constitute the largest segment of Nigerian movie viewers.

He said the film board was set to undertake detailed enlightenment programmes in secondary schools, tertiary institutions, local communities, faith groups and other institutions.

The NFVCB boss said, “As you all know, the film industry occupies a central position in the entertainment and creative sector, and it is imperative that we continue to place the highest premium on the progress of the film industry.

“The NFVCB supports smoke-free movies and supports smoke-free Nollywood, and we therefore seek your collaboration to develop creative content that discourages smoking and promotes positive health messages.”

He noted that after a series of engagements, the NFVCB, in collaboration with the CAPPA, decided to make “subsidiary regulations” to address smoking in movies since this aspect was not expressly spelt out in the extant law.

(c) News Agency of Nigeria.

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President Tinubu Appoints Shehu Mohammed As FRSC Corps Marshal

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Nigeria’s President, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has appointed Shehu Mohammed as the corps marshal and the chief executive officer (CEO) of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC).

Segun Imohiosen, director of information in the office of the secretary to the government of the federation (AGF), announced the appointment in a statement on Wednesday.

Imohiosen said the appointment is for an initial period of four years with effect from May 20.

“President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, has approved the appointment of Assistant Corps Marshal Mohammed Shehu as the Corps Marshal/Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC),” the statement reads.

“President Tinubu tasks the appointee to bring his wealth of experience to bear in his new assignment.”

Mohammed will succeed Dauda Biu as the FRSC corps marshal.

In December 2022, former President Muhammadu Buhari appointed Biu as the substantive corps marshal of the FRSC.

Before the appointment, Biu was the acting corps marshal of the commission.

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JUST IN: Verydarkman Remanded In Police Custody For Cyberbullying, Hearing To Hold Next Wednesday

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The controversial social media critic Martin Otse, also known as VeryDarkMan, has been placed under arrest till his next hearing, which is scheduled for this Wednesday of next week.

Otse reportedly entered a not guilty plea to five counts of cyberstalking involving the Nigerian police, Nollywood actresses Iyabo Ojo and Tonto Dike, when he was arraigned at the Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday.

The police prosecuting team told Judge Mobolaji Olajuwon that they needed more time to react to his lawyer Deji Adeyanju’s bail plea, thus the court postponed the bail hearing to May 29.

The prosecution sought to have the blogger remanded in prison custody, but his lawyers successfully argued for his remand in police custody instead.

The court granted this request, and Verydarkman was subsequently taken to the National Cybercrime Centre.

The charges against him read, “1. Posting a video on October 29, 2023, on his Instagram handle ‘verydarkblackman’ that contained offensive, pornographic, or menacing information, falsely alleging that Iyabo Ojo had an indecent sexual relationship with her daughter, violating Section 24 (1)(a) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act, 2015.

“That you Martins Vincent Otse (A.K.A. VERYDARKBLACKMAN) ‘M’, 29 YRS of Supreme Court Estate Karu, Abuja on or about 29th October 2023, in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court knowingly and intentionally posted videos, by means of a computer system on your Instagram handles ‘verydarkblackman’, which video contained information that is grossly offensive, pornographic or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character wherein you stated that one Iyabo Ojo is having an indecent sexual relationship with her daughter knowing or having reasons to believe that the information in the video you posted on your Instagram handle is false and you thereby committed the offence of Cyberstalking contrary to and punishable under section 24 (1)(a) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) ACT, 2015.

2. Posting a video on January 19, 2024, on Instagram, falsely accusing King Tonto Dikeh of criminal conversion of crowdfunding proceeds and being behind the Gistlover blog, intending to cause annoyance, inconvenience, and other harm, in violation of Section 24 (1)(b) of the Cybercrime Act.

“COUNT 3 That you Martins Vincent Otse (A.K.A. VERYDARKBLACKMAN) ‘M’, 29 YRS of Supreme Court Estate Karu, Abuja on or about 19th January 2024, in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court knowingly and intentionally posted videos, by means of a computer system on your Instagram handles ‘verydarkblackman’ containing the information you know or had reasons believe to be false, wherein in the video you falsely published that King Tonto Dikeh is accused of criminal conversion of the proceeds of crowdfunding for Justice for Mohbad Movement, and being the person behind the gistlover blog, for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred, ill will or needless anxiety to the person of the said King Tonto Dike and you thereby committed the offence of Cyberstalking contrary to and punishable under section 24 (1)(b) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) ACT, 2015

3. Posting a video on March 19, 2024, alleging that senior police officers and lawmakers were involved in sexual activities with Bobrisky, intending to cause annoyance, inconvenience, and other harm, in violation of Section 24 (1)(b) of the Cybercrime Act.

“COUNT 4 That you, Martins Vincent Otse (A.K.A. VERYDARKBLACKMAN) ‘M’, 29 YRS of Supreme Court Estate Karu, Abuja, on or about 19th March 2024, in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court knowingly and intentionally posted videos, by means of computer system on your Instagram handle ‘verydarkblackman’, containing information which you know or had reasons to believe to be false, wherein you stated the following, ‘I put it to you say the DIGs of the Police dem dey knack Bobrisky. The senators for senate house dey knack Bobrisky…I dare the Nigeria Police, I said what I said, the DIGs are knacking him, the Lawmakers, the Senate are knacking him in the National Assembly’ which statement you made for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience, danger, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred, ill will or needless anxiety to the persons of the DIGs of the Nigeria Police Force and members of the National Assembly and you thereby committed the offence of Cyberstalking contrary to and punishable under section 24 (1)(b) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) ACT, 2015.

4. Posting another video on March 19, 2024, claiming that Bobrisky was pimping young boys to senators and senior police officers, intending to cause annoyance, inconvenience, and other harm, in violation of Section 24 (1)(b) of the Cybercrime Act.

“COUNT 5 That you Martins Vincent Otse (A.K.A. VERYDARKBLACKMAN) ‘M’, 29 YRS of Supreme Court Estate Karu, Abuja on or about 19th March, 2024, in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court knowingly and intentionally posted videos, by means of computer system on your Instagram handles ‘verydarkblackman’ containing information you know or had reasons to believe to be false, wherein you stated that Bobrisky is pimping young boys for Senators and Senior Police Officers to sleep with, which statement you made for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience, danger, insult, injury.”

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