Election News Trend May 2021

SourceDateStory TitleSummary of ReportsSubject/CategoryPage No./Weblink
The Guardian NewspaperThursday, May 6, 2021Southern Governors Convene Emergency Meeting Over InsecurityThe Southern Nigeria Governors' Forum convened an emergency meeting to discuss the state of the nation. The umbrella body of the 17 State Chief Executives in the southern part of the country, The Guardian learnt, met virtually on Tuesday, May 4, at the instance of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, Ifeanyi Okowa and David Umahi of Ondo, Delta and Ebonyi States, respectively. The conveners are chairmen of South West, South South and South East Governors’ Forums. Fifteen 15 of the 17 governors participated. They included Ekiti State Governor and Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Okowa (Delta), Umahi (Ebonyi), Godwin Obaseki (Edo), and Lolo Cecilia Ezeilo (Deputy Governor of Enugu representing her principal). Others were Douye Diri (Bayelsa), Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Hope Uzodimma (Imo), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Gboyega Oyetola (Osun), Seyi Makinde (Oyo) and Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos). The governors, while canvassing commitment and unity in addressing issues that affect the country, particularly Southern Nigeria, stressed the need to put the nation first in these trying times. Though the full outcome of the meeting was sketchy at press time, it was, however, gathered that they resolved to meet in Asaba next week to harmonise positions with a view to dousing the tension in the land.Southern Governors, Emergency Meeting, Insecurityhttps://guardian.ng/news/southern-governors-convene-emergency-meeting-over-insecurity/
The Guardian NewspaperThursday, May 6, 2021NLC Rejects Planned Reduction in Salaries of WorkersNigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has rejected the Federal Government’s plan of downward review of salaries and emoluments of workers. President of the Congress, Ayuba Wabba, in a statement in Abuja, on Wednesay, May 5, decried the statement credited to the Minister of Finance and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, that the Federal Government was working to reduce the high cost of governance by cutting down on the salaries of Nigerian workers. Labour was also irked by the minister’s directive to the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC) to immediately review the salaries of civil servants, as well as the number of federal agencies in the country. NLC stated that it was almost unthinkable that the government would be contemplating unilaterally slashing salaries of Nigerian workers at this time. According to Wabba, “The question to ask is: which salary is the government planning to slash? It certainly cannot be the meagre national minimum wage of N30,000, which, right now, cannot even buy a bag of rice!" NLC observed that the devaluation of the Naira and the rising inflation have put Nigerian workers’ lives at risk, which seems not grave enough to bother the government across board. It added that the call for salary slash by Ahmed “is tantamount to a mass suicide” wish for Nigerian workers," adding: “It is most uncharitable, most insensitive, most dehumanising and most barbaric. Nigerian workers demand an immediate retraction and apology by the Minister of Finance.” NLC urged President Muhammadu Buhari to caution the minister now before she sets Nigeria on fire with her “careless” statements. “If there is any salary that needs serious slashing, it is the humungous remuneration and allowances pocketed by political office holders in Nigeria who do very little but collect so much!"Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Salarieshttps://guardian.ng/news/nlc-rejects-planned-reduction-in-salaries-of-workers/
DailyTrust OnlineThursday, May 6, 2021Bayelsa APC Splits, As Faction Opens Parallel SecretariatThe crisis rocking the Bayelsa State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) deepened on Wednesday, May 5, as a faction led by the Ebierien Fala Itubor-led opened a parallel secretariat in Yenagoa. According to the Deputy Chairman of the faction, Ogeibiri Orubebe, the Amos Jothan-led executive of the party was first suspended from office before they were sacked by the directive of the President last year. The faction also accused the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, who is also the leader of the party in the State of allegedly failing in his leadership role. The parallel secretariat, which is located at Dimrose junction, occupies a building used by former Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, during the 2019 governorship election. Chief Timipre Sylva and Senator Heineken Lokpobiri who were political allies fell apart in the build-up to the last governorship election in the State, when Sylva supported Chief David Lyon instead of Lokpobiri. The State Publicity Secretary of APC, Mr Doifie Buokoribo, stated that those claiming to be new executives of the party in Bayelsa were impostors and desperate politicians who wanted to score cheap political points.Bayelsa State, All Progressives Congress (APC) https://dailytrust.com/bayelsa-apc-splits-as-faction-opens-parallel-secretariat
The Guardian NewspaperThursday, May 6, 2021Nigerian Media at Risk for Holding Government Accountable, Says NUJPresident of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Chris Isiguzo, has decried the risk journalists face in their professional duties.
Isiguzo, during a virtual event organised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in Kano, to mark the World Press Freedom Day, stated that Nigerian media are still operating under the threat of intimidation. The 2021 celebration came when the global community is still battling with the dreaded Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), he said, lamenting that hundreds of Nigerian journalists had lost their jobs. The NUJ President expressed concern that despite the challenges the media face, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) was still frustrating the broadcasting industry with stiff regulations. He explained that the Nigerian media remained an integral part of democracy, maintaining that the country’s “survival relies on free press” devoid of intimidation. In his contribution, Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), CP Frank Mba, insisted that the media and police were partners in ensuring a peaceful society. Mba appealed to the media to support the police in de-escalating misinformation in the interest of the public. The FPRO reassured the media that the police would continue to protect their rights to ensure conducive working environment for journalists in the country.
Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ)https://guardian.ng/news/nigerian-media-at-risk-for-holding-govt-accountable-says-nuj/
The Guardian NewspaperThursday, May 6, 2021Ogun Fixes Council Elections for July 24The Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission (OGSIEC) has fixed Saturday, July 24, 2021 as the date for the much-awaited Local Council elections in the 20 Council Areas of the State. OGSIEC Chairman, Mr. Babatunde Osibodu, who disclosed this on Wedneday, May 5 during a stakeholders’ meeting to flag off political activities for the poll, held at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Abeokuta, stated that an adjustment had been made to the recently-released timetable, to among other things, enable political parties and other interest groups have ample time to prepare for the forthcoming poll.Ogun State, Local Government Electionshttps://guardian.ng/news/ogun-fixes-council-election-for-july-24/
ThisDayLive OnlineWednesday, May 5, 2021INEC Begins Verification of New Polling CentresThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Tuesday, May 4, commenced a nationwide verification exercise for centres designated as voting units to be converted to polling units across the country. The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this when he visited some of the proposed centres and existing polling units in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and Nasarawa State. Yakubu, while speaking with journalists at the commission’s Local Government office in Karu, Nasarawa State, during the tour, stated that the purpose of the verification exercise was to ensure that the right thing is done in the conversion of the voting points to polling units. According to him, “All the National Commissioners are out visiting the states of the Federation to verify the work of converting the voting points to polling units. So, we decided from the headquarters to visit some of the polling units and voting points in the FCT and also in the Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa State. We have done that of FCT. We are now in Karu. You will recall that as part of our engagement with stakeholders, we showed images of one of the congested polling units in the country from Karu. So, I have to verify that the right thing is done in converting those voting points to polling units and relocating them in line with the commission’s guidelines. So far, it is work in progress. At the end of the exercise, we will address the media.” The INEC chairman also stated that he had been informed that 395 voting points were being converted to polling units in Karu LGA.INEC, Polling Units, Voting Points, Conversionhttps://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2021/05/05/inec-begins-verification-of-new-polling-centres/
ThisDayLive OnlineWednesday, May 5, 2021President Orders Review of FG’s Payrolls to Cut CostsThe Federal Government has initiated a raft of measures to cut the cost of governance in the face of dwindling revenue occasioned by the headwinds of the COVID-19 pandemic and the attendant global economic tailspin. Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, stated on Tuesday, May 4 in Abuja, that the measures were targeted at reducing recurrent expenditure, which is projected to gulp about 41.5 per cent of the total provisions of N13.588 trillion in the 2021 budget, amounting to N5.64 trillion. She stated that President Muhammadu Buhari had directed the Salaries and Wages Committee to review the payroll of public servants, as well as consider the merger of some agencies. Furthermore, the government will also remove some unnecessary items from the budget as a move to cut the cost of governance. Ahmed spoke at a policy dialogue on ‘Corruption and Cost of Governance in Nigeria,’ organised by the Independent Corrupt Practice and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC). Also at the occasion, the Director-General, Budget Office, Mr. Ben Akabueze, proposed a constitutional amendment to pave the way for the restructuring of the country into six regions instead of the present 36 states structure. This, he said, would help to reduce the rising cost of governance. Ahmed stated that the proposed cost-saving measures were aimed at streamlining government expenditure with revenue.
Federal Government, Cost of Governancehttps://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2021/05/05/president-orders-review-of-fgs-payrolls-to-cut-costs/
ThisDayLive OnlineWednesday, May 5, 2021Presidency Accuses Religious, Political Leaders of Plot to Overthrow BuhariThe Presidency on Tuesday, May 4, accused some religious and political leaders of plotting to forcibly remove President Muhammadu Buhari from office, warning that it would thwart the moves and ruffle some unruly feathers in the process. The Presidency, however, came under heavy criticism as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); the pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere; the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), in separate reactions dismissed the allegation. The main opposition party, PDP described the allegation as a resort to blackmail in the face of the failure of the Buhari administration. The party added that rather than live up to the responsibilities of office by taking charge and securing the nation, the Presidency was engaging in frivolous allegations against Nigerians. Afenifere said Buhari had lost control of the country’s leadership, adding that nobody needs to pass a vote of no confidence in him before the world knows that he has failed Nigerians. The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said in a statement that available evidence indicated that some disgruntled religious and past political leaders are poised to throw the country into a tailspin, which would compel an undemocratic change of leadership. Adesina’s statement came a day after the Department of State Services (DSS) alleged that some “misguided elements” were threatening Nigeria’s unity and peaceful co-existence. DSS spokesman, Dr. Peter Afunanya, in a statement on Monday, May 3 had said that among those threatening the Federal Government and Nigeria’s unity are “some religious and past political leaders who have either called for a forceful change of government or mass action against it.” The Presidency in a reaction to the DSS on Tuesday, May 4, said there is proof that the disruptive elements are now recruiting the leadership of some ethnic groups and politicians round the country, with the intention of convening some sort of a conference, where a vote of no confidence would be passed on the President, thus throwing the land into turmoil. Presidency, Religious and Political Leadershttps://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2021/05/05/presidency-accuses-religious-political-leaders-of-plot-to-overthrow-buhari/
ThisDayLive OnlineWednesday, May 5, 2021Senate Committee Gives CCT Chairman Two Weeks to Respond to Assault AllegationThe Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, on Tuesday, May 4, gave the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), Mr. Danladi Umar, two weeks to respond to a petition levelled against him over alleged assault of one Mr. Clement Sagwak, a security guard. Sagwak had petitioned the Senate, alleging that he was assaulted by Umar and a policeman attached to him after he informed him (Umar) that his car was wrongly parked at Banex Plaza, Wuse 2, Abuja, on March 29. He stated that the CCT Chairman slapped him severally and forced him to kneel down while undergoing his lawful activities. The CCT chairman, however, claimed that the video in circulation did not reveal the true situation of what happened. He argued that the video captured only an aspect of the incident and left out the part where he was molested. Umar, who appeared before the Senate Committee on Tuesday, May 4, asked the panel to give him one week to study the petition, which he said was just served on him. This, he said, was to enable him respond appropriately. Chairman of the Committee, Senator Ayo Akinyelure, asked the CCT chairman to reappear before the panel in two weeks’ time. Akinyelure stated that even though the Senate would proceed on a two- weeks break on Thursday, May 6, the Committee was prepared to reconvene during the break to hear Umar.Danladi Umar, Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitionshttps://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2021/05/05/senate-committee-gives-cct-chairman-two-weeks-to-respond-to-assault-allegation/
The Guardian NewspaperWednesday, May 5, 2021Lagos Assembly Suspends Three Council ChairmenLagos State House of Assembly, on Tuesday, May 4, suspended three Local Government Chairmen over alleged disregard for the guidelines governing their activities. The affected chairmen are Mr. Ogidan Mukandasi Olaitan of Lekki Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Suleiman Jelili of Alimosho Local Council and Tajudeen Ajide of Surulere Local Council. The House said it could no longer continue to watch while the Chairmen flout the State’s Council guidelines. Their suspension was unanimously approved by members of the House in a voice-vote with no opposition shortly after Bisi Yusuff, representing Alimosho Consituency I, raised a complaint against Olaitan. Yusuff, who is the Chairman of the House Committee on Commerce and Industry, told the Assembly that the suspended Lekki LCDA Chairman arrogantly told some lawmakers that they were ignorant of their jobs while they (the lawmakers) were carrying out an oversight function on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in relation to the issue that arose from a resettlement programme in Lekki.Lagos State House of Assembly, Council Chairmenhttps://guardian.ng/news/lagos-assembly-suspends-three-council-chairmen/
ThisDayLive OnlineTuesday, May 4, 2021FG Moves to Curb Small Arms Influx, Establishes Control CentreThe Federal Government on Monday, May 4, intensified its efforts to curb the rising influx of small arms and light weapons into the country, a phenomenon believed to be responsible for the worsening insecurity in the polity. It established the National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons. A statement on the same day by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) and signed by Head, Strategic Communication, Mr. Zachari Usman, said the centre would be headed by Maj. Gen. A.M. Dikko (rtd) as pioneer coordinator. The new centre which will be domiciled in the Office of the National Security Adviser, would replace the defunct Presidential Committee on Small Arms and Light Weapons and serve as the institutional mechanism for policy guidance, research and monitoring of all aspects of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) in Nigeria. As part of efforts to finetune strategy at combating insecurity, the National Security Council (NSC), headed by President Muhammadu Buhari, will reconvene today in Abuja to proffer lasting solutions to the security challenges facing the country.National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons, Office of the National Security Adviser https://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2021/05/04/fg-moves-to-curb-small-arms-influx-establishes-control-centre/
ThisDayLive OnlineTuesday, May 4, 2021PDP Demands State Police, Power Devolution, Border Protection CouncilThe Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday, May 4 advocated the creation of state police, border protection council and devolution of powers to address the spike in insecurity in the country. In a speech titled: ‘Nigeria must not fail,’ read at a world press conference in Abuja, the National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, stated that the main opposition party also recommended the immediate upscaling of the personnel strength of the military and paramilitary organisations, as well as the provisions of the kinetic instruments of war and law enforcement. He stated thus: “Our armed forces should be adequately equipped and their welfare a top priority.” The party stated that efforts should be made towards partnering foreign governments and miscellaneous entities to help Nigeria combat insecurity. Prince Secondus further stated that, “The situation in our country is not normal and exceptional steps should be taken to restore it to normalcy. The PDP, as a body, is willing to give a helping hand in this direction.” The PDP called for the establishment of state police, as well as the deployment of technology in the fight against terror, banditry, and other crimes. The party also demanded that all culprits should be brought to book, stressing that the apparent failure of intelligence to track attacks by bandits and follow up on them was a clear failure of the intelligence community. It recommended that the states where matters of national security challenges originated or exists should be invited to the National Security Council meeting for deliberation and problem-solving interactions.PDP, World Press Conferencehttps://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2021/05/04/pdp-demands-state-police-power-devolution-border-protection-council/
ThisDayLive OnlineTuesday, May 4, 2021Saraki: PDP will Mount Pressure on Buhari to Rescue Nigeria from InsecurityA former Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has stated that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would put pressure on the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to rescue the country from insecurity. Addressing a press conference at the PDP national secretariat in Abuja on Monday, May 4, Saraki stated that the opposition party would continue to proffer solutions to insecurity and other challenges confronting the country. The former Senate President stated that pressure, through constitutional means, would yield results that the citizens yearn for. According to Saraki, “We, the opposition party, will continue to play our own role in letting the government be aware of lapses and continue to put pressure through constitutional means in telling them what they need to do. So, we will not get tired. When you see changes in the world, it has gone through constitutional means. It might look like a long journey but the truth will prevail and the right thing will be done. When we talk about security, it is not about political parties. It affects all Nigerians. That responsibility of government is to all of us as Nigerians.”Bukola Saraki, PDP, Insecurityhttps://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2021/05/04/saraki-pdp-will-mount-pressure-on-buhari-to-rescue-nigeria-from-insecurity/
ThisDayLive OnlineTuesday, May 4, 2021FG Extends NIN-SIM Linkage to June 30, as Enrolment Hits 54mThe Federal Government has approved the extension of the deadline for National Identity Number (NIN)-SIM data verification from May 6 to June 30, 2021. The decision to extend the deadline was reached at a virtual meeting chaired by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami, which was attended by the Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Adeolu Akande; the Executive Vice-Chairman/CEO of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Dambatta; and the Director-General/CEO of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Aliyu Azeez. The recent extension, which is the sixth since December 2020, when the directive for NIN-SIM integration exercise was first issued, was based on the request by stakeholders for an extension till June 30 in order to make it easier for all citizens and legal residents to register for their NIN and link same with their registered SIM cards. The Director, Public Affairs at NCC, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, and the Head, Corporate Communications at NIMC, Mr. Kayode Adegoke, who announced the recent extension in a joint statement signed by both of them, also announced that almost 54 million people have enrolled for NIN.National Identity Number (NIN)-SIM Data Verificationhttps://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2021/05/04/fg-extends-nin-sim-linkage-to-june-30-as-enrolment-hits-54m/
The Guardian NewspaperTuesday, May 4, 2021INEC Begins CVR Training for Staff in 18 StatesThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday, May 3, commenced Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) training for 36 members of staff from 18 States of the Federation, in Benin City, Edo State. Participants were drawn from the South West, South East, South-South and Benue State and are expected to undergo a three-day training at a workshop supported by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) under the tutelage of officials from INEC headquarters in Abuja. Edo State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr. Johnson Sinikiem, who declared the workshop open, stated that the CVR would commence on June 28, 2021, hence the need to train their staff for the crucial task ahead. According to him, “It is expected that this workshop will identify gray areas during the last exercise in view of resolving them, proffer solutions to technical problems encountered in the field, propose effective logistics towards achieving our goals, staff training and an efficient system." He also stated that, “The Voters Registry Department should ensure that the core values of the commission - transparency, integrity, excellence and professionalism are observed when the exercise begins.” On his part, Chief Technical Adviser to INEC Chairman, Prof. Bolade Ayinla, stated that the commission was committed to designing an improved registration system through the deployment of an online portal where eligible voters could commence registration. He added that the training was aimed at expanding voter access to polling units, as well as introducing new voter registration technology and equipment. He noted that the workshop was part of the preparations toward ensuring a seamless and conducive environment for the successful take off and conduct of the CVR exercise.
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Continuous Voters Registration (CVR)https://guardian.ng/news/inec-begins-cvr-training-for-staff-in-18-states/