June 29, 2022

[GIST] Court Releases Nigerian Comedian, Broda Mike, Illegally Detained By Secret Police, DSS Over Comedy Skits

[GIST] Court Releases Nigerian Comedian, Broda Mike, Illegally Detained By Secret Police, DSS Over Comedy Skits

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The Edo State High Court sitting in Benin, the state capital has granted bail to the comedian and vlogger, Chukwu Michael Emeka, arrested by Nigeria’s secret police, Department of State Services (DSS).

His lawyer, Matthew Osa-Oghogho, confirmed that the comedian, popularly known as Broda Mike, had been released in a post on his Facebook page on Tuesday, saying, “Today, the High Court of justice sitting in Benin released Comedian Emeka Chukwu Aka #BrotherMike to bail. He was arrested by the Department of State Services and accused of inciting the Public.

"The court agreed with our submission that the application for the remand of Mr. Chukwu is unmeritorious and therefore admitted him to bail. We stand for justice always and at all times!”

The lawyer also posted a picture of himself and the comedian.

The DSS arrested the comedian on June 14, 2022, accusing him of inciting the public. The comedian had been using comedy skits to talk about issues affecting Nigerians including poor governance and insecurity.

Reacting to his release, human rights activist and presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, Omoyele Sowore, tweeted, “BREAKING #BrodaMike granted bail: Glad to announce that lawless DSS was handed defeated in court today as I’ve argued, yesterday they were grandstanding that they have a valid detention order to keep #BrodaMike detained.

“It was all a ruse and a court in Edo state (presumably the court they obtained the fraudulent order from) has reversed itself and granted #BrodaMike bail.

“A lawyer Matthew Osa-oghogho handled this case brilliantly. It is another day that gladdens the spirit of relentless struggle for social justice in Nigeria and a defeat of tyranny. #Welcome Back #BrodaMike.

“Great job @Matthew Osa-Oghogho.”

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June 28, 2022

Audiomack Signs Licensing Agreement with Universal Music Group to Expand Global Footprint in Africa

Audiomack Signs Licensing Agreement with Universal Music Group to Expand Global Footprint in Africa

Audiomack, the artist-first music streaming and discovery platform, and Universal Music Group (UMG), the world-leader in music-based entertainment,  announced a new licensing agreement to make UMG content available to Audiomack subscribers across Africa, the United Kingdom and Canada. This expands on a previously signed licensing agreement between Audiomack and UMG for the U.S.

With this new expansive agreement, a curated selection of UMG content is now available for Audiomack users in 16 African countries (Algeria, Benin, Cameroon, Congo, Egypt, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe), as well as the U.K. and Canada. UMG will also provide Audiomack a full catalog offering for its premium subscribers in Africa.

The Co-Founder, Audiomack, Dave Macli, said: “Millions of listeners across Africa, the UK, and Canada use Audiomack every day. Our expanded partnership with UMG helps artists in these regions better connect with their local fans and helps artists around the globe tap into a new audience of discovery-focused music fans.”

The CEO, Universal Music South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, Sipho Dlamini, noted, “We are excited for more fans across Africa and beyond to have greater access to some of Africa’s most exciting musical talent, as well as UMG’s unrivalled catalog of international superstars and releases. We welcome Audiomack as a partner and look forward to working with them to help strengthen the entire streaming ecosystem in Africa.”

The Managing Director, Universal Music Africa, Frank Kacou, stated, “Working with Audiomack will enable our artists from across the continent to reach wider across both French-speaking Africa and beyond, as well as to build their audiences across Canada, the UK and US. We are excited for the future development of streaming across the continent and to finding great new ways to collaborate together with the team at Audiomack.”

[GIST] UPDATE: Nigerian Soldiers Begin Search For Divisional Police Officer Abducted By Terrorists In Kaduna

[GIST] UPDATE: Nigerian Soldiers Begin Search For Divisional Police Officer Abducted By Terrorists In Kaduna

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Troops of the Nigerian Army have launched a search-and-rescue mission for a Divisional Police Officer, Gyadi Gyadi, in Pambegua, Kubau Local Government Area of Kaduna State, who was abducted by terrorists.

SaharaReporters had reported that the Chief Superintendent of Police was kidnapped on Monday morning along Kaduna-Birnin Gwari Road.

He was said to have run into the gunmen in a community “called Korna Ruwa and was whisked away to an unknown location.”

Military sources on Monday night told SaharaReporters that soldiers were combing the area and would leave no stone unturned to rescue the senior police officer.

“Our guys are in the bush now looking to see maybe he can be rescued. We got a distress call that a man going to Birnin Gwari was abducted by gunmen, it was when we arrived at where his car was parked that we realised he is a senior police officer,” a top army officer told SaharaReporters.

Gyadi’s abduction comes a few days after the Divisional Police Officer in charge of Nasarawa Eggon Local Government of Nasarawa State, CSP Haruna Abdulmalik, was abducted by terrorists.

In recent months, Kaduna has witnessed a spate of violent attacks which has led to killings and abduction of residents.

On March 28, a Kaduna-bound train was attacked by gunmen, which led to the death of eight people and the abduction of several others.

Some of the abducted people are currently in the custody of the gunmen.

Days after the train attack, 11 soldiers were killed in an attack by gunmen on a military base in Birnin Gwari LGA of Kaduna State.

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[GIST] Sterling Bank Worker Allegedly Flees In Delta After Using Several Customers’ Savings For 'Business'

[GIST] Sterling Bank Worker Allegedly Flees In Delta After Using Several Customers’ Savings For 'Business'

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The police in Delta State are investigating a staff of Sterling bank Effurun branch, identified as Mrs. Favour Fame-Eruagbere, who allegedly defrauded customers of the bank of the sum of N300million.

The female bank worker was said to have approached some account owners to grant her permission to be using their money for business, while she would be giving the customer a certain percentage every month.

It was discovered last week by one of the customers, that the woman stopped coming to work and an attempt to reach her on phone was not successful as her lines were switched off.

On getting to her house around Living Faith Church at water resources, Effurun, where she lived, it was alleged that she had also absconded.

One of the bank workers and Favour’s colleagues, who spoke with SaharaReporters, said the female banker did business with customers' money with their consent.

"The whole thing backfired when many people she gave money to, refused to pay back. I think the lady didn't run away with the money, but she is only being owed by those she gave the money to.

"She is nowhere to be find, nobody knows her whereabouts, whether she has travelled out, dead or still alive.

"In fact, the office is in crisis, as many people might be sanctioned because of the issue especially the operators who carried out the transactions for her," the source said.

SaharaReporters learnt that the police operatives at the 'A' division in Warri were the ones investigating the matter, and the husband of the banker had been invited for questioning.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, in the State, DSP Bright Edafe confirmed the incident.

The Police spokesman said the suspect had not been declared wanted, because there was a process for declaring someone wanted.

"Investigation is ongoing," he said.

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[GIST] Fulani Herdsmen Kill Three Residents, Kidnap Two Others In Enugu Community After Police Commissioner, Army Chief Visited, Made ‘Empty Promises’

[GIST] Fulani Herdsmen Kill Three Residents, Kidnap Two Others In Enugu Community After Police Commissioner, Army Chief Visited, Made ‘Empty Promises’

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Displaced residents of Ogbete-Mgbuji Community in Eha-Amufu, Isi-Uzo Local Government Area of Enugu State have raised the alarm that Fulani militia continued to unleash terror on the community despite promises from the heads of security agencies in the state.
The residents told SaharaReporters that barely 11 days after the Commissioner of Police, alongside other heads of security agencies visited the community, three more people were killed while two others were kidnapped for ransom.

Lamenting that the Fulani militias had made life miserable for them, the residents, noted that they had been denied access to their farms, even to harvest their cassava and other crops.

SaharaReporters had reported that Fulani herdsmen had been invading the community since late last year, killing people and kidnapping for ransom.
Early this month, the bandits killed no fewer than eight residents in their houses, burnt hundreds of houses and sacked 14 farm settlements with over 3000 inhabitants who are now displaced.
Following SaharaReporters’ stories, the heads of security agencies in the state had on Friday, June 17, 2022 visited the troubled community where they promised to provide adequate security for them having had firsthand information about the situation.
However, 11 days after security was promised to the troubled community, herdsmen were still having a field day with their terror attacks.
The spokesman of the community, Elder Kingly Ogenyi, told SaharaReporters on Monday that since the visit of the security Chiefs, three more people had been killed while two were kidnapped which the community paid millions to secure their release.
Ogenyi said, "On Friday, the State Commissioner of Police, CP Abubakar Lawal, alongside the State Director, Department of State Services (DSS), H. M. Daluwa; the Commander, 82 Division Garrison Command of the Nigerian Army Enugu, Brig. Gen. M. K. Ibrahim; Commander, 553 Services Base Group of the Nigerian Air Force Enugu, Air Commodore I. A. Taiwo, and other Senior Police Officers visited our community.
"While addressing our community the Police Commissioner, told our people that they (security agencies) now understood the situation and they were going to take action immediately. That the governor had given them a matching order to bring everything they have to make sure the killings stopped.
"He promised that they are going to bring their men and equipment the following day being Saturday, 18th of June, 2022. That they are going to mount checkpoints in the settlements. That they are going to bring machines to monitor all the settlements to ensure that nothing happened again, that the end had come.
"Regrettably, as I am talking to you nothing has happened. No single security personnel in our community. As I am talking to no single person living in the settlements, they have abandoned everything including food, no chance to harvest cassava; let alone cultivating new crops."
"The security chiefs just came for show. About two days after their visit, they (Fulani militias) kidnapped people which we paid ransom before they were released. The worst is that nobody goes to the settlement again to farm or even harvest cassava. The displaced people are selling their clothes to eat. There was no form of assistance from anywhere. The situation of our people is terrible."

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[GIST] Nigerian Cadets Sent To Philippines For Training Write NIMASA, Lament Poor Accommodation, Financial Challenges Due To Rising Inflation In Asian Country

[GIST] Nigerian Cadets Sent To Philippines For Training Write NIMASA, Lament Poor Accommodation, Financial Challenges Due To Rising Inflation In Asian Country

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Some cadets of the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP) have written to the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to solicit financial assistance amid the economic challenges in the Philippines, where they have been mobilised for training.

In the letter obtained by SaharaReporters, the cadets under the memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the LERUS Maritime Academy Ukraine said they arrived in the Philippines in batches on April 11, 2022 and May 15, 2022, respectively for training and courses towards achieving the career's licensed certificate of competence (COC).

They lamented the lack of proper accommodation noting that the rooms are congested with no study facility which makes it difficult to partake in online classes.

They further lamented challenges with regards to finance, procuring their visas and registration of more courses to be able to compete globally.

The letter addressed to the Director-General of NIMASA reads, “Greetings from the NIMASA-NSDP Cadets under the memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the LERUS Maritime Academy Ukraine, we arrived in two batches to the Philippines on 11th April 2022 and May 15th 2022 for our training and courses towards achieving the career's licensed certificate of competence (COC) which will help us to properly navigate into the chosen professions as qualified international seafarers.

“We humbly wish to inform you that we arrived safely and have started our training and also bring to your notice, some pressing issues which ordinarily we as cadets, cannot afford in a highly inflated economy currently in the Philippines.

“Therefore, we urgently appeal to you to come to our aid as our sponsors and principal. Below are the respective issues we are currently facing:

“1. Accommodation: It is very important to be in a conducive environment where one can be able to concentrate and focus in whatsoever he wants to achieve especially when it's academics, but our current condition and situation right now is a mere bed space.

“We neither study well nor focus where we are currently staying simply because it's not suitable for studies especially, our keen interests to fly a green color in the coming examination.

“The rooms are overcrowded, packed tight and congested; our luggage cannot be arranged as there are no spaces, no wardrobe, no study facility like, chairs, table etc making online classes difficult, we cannot properly arrange things leading to unnecessary fatigue and mental stress which may further affect our upcoming COC license exams.

“Sir, with due regards, we don't want to cause any misunderstanding between the LERUS or the dormitory managements or the NIMASA, but we plead that this place can serve as transition accommodation for one month as it is not convenient to stay here for the whole of six months as there are more affordable and more convenient dorms we can get if the same accommodation fund is given to us as in the first group of cadets lest we become affected mentally. Hence we are appealing to you as our sponsor to intervene.

“2. Finance: The Lerus management disbursed eight hundred and sixty four ($864) dollar to the first four cadets, and one thousand one hundred and four ($1,104) dollars to seventeen cadets each of this batch which he termed as feeding allowance to last us for 72 days for the first four cadets, and 90 days for the seventeen cadets respectively.

“Sir, we wish to inform you that we catered for all visa and travelling logistics such as visa fee, health insurance, PCR test, police character certificate, transportation and accommodation while processing our visa, transport from the airport to accommodation, quarantined expenses of the first four cadets upon our arrival to the Philippines, when we arrived in the Philippines, we had to hire buses that conveyed us to the dormitory.

“This took a lot from us that we had to even use part of the said feeding stipend, we tried to cut cost by cooking but have to eat outside the dormitory because we were asked to pay one thousand pesos each for a cooking ration before we could use the cooking facilities in the designated place of the dormitory, we transport to and from our training centers during some class days and practical, we have to subscribe at least five/six dollars($5/6) daily to the internet to enhance and access our online classes as the dormitory WiFi is unreliable, all these modalities are from the above feeding stipends from the Lerus management.

“3. Maritime Courses: the Lerus management only registered four courses which are; Basic safety training (mandatory courses), Advanced fire fighting ( AFF), Proficiency in Survival Craft and Rescue Boat (PSCRB) and Medical First Aid(MEFA) which may qualify us to participate in the forthcoming license examination.

“But we have learned that we still have mandatory courses and training which are the requirements  to qualify us to be issued the Certificate of Competency (COC) such as the Global Maritime Distress and Safety Signals, (GMDSS/GOC) Engine-room Resource Management (ERM), Bridge Resource Management (BRM), Electronic Chart Display System(ECDIS), Dynamic position (DP) High voltage and Hydrogen sulfide (H2S).

“We also wish to arrange for ourselves other courses which will also help to propel us farther and be marketable in the competitive global profession,

“Visa: Another major factor is that of our visas, the duration of our courses and training towards achieving the COC is approximately five/six months, but currently, our visa reads fifty nine days.

“The visa of the first four cadets who arrived earlier will be expiring by June 9th 2022, and that of the second batch will be on or before the end of  July 2022.

“We have to ensure we apply for visa extension before the period elapses and things become worse, which will cost us financial penalty if we fail to renew on time meanwhile, the Lerus management has refused to take up the responsibility for the renewal of the visas, which means we will have to do it by ourselves.

“With these, we hereby request that: 1) We will stay here for one month and then money for accommodation for other months be given to us to get convenient and affordable place.

“2) We suggest that, the Lerus Batch four cadets or subsequent batches should use this same dormitory as transition and familiarization center for one month until any upfront payment finishes if already paid for.

”3) We will unforgettably appreciate if NIMASA as our sponsor really considers these and helps with something tangible in addition to the already promised allowance for us.

"Upon estimation, we realised that it will cost between the sum of $6,000 to $6,500 to be able to actualise all these especially knowing that the maritime courses are cheaper in the Philippines than any other place in the world.

"We would humbly be grateful if our request can be kindly considered as we look forward to hearing a favorable response from you."

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[GIST] PDP Party Abandoned Me In Hospital After Assassins Shot, Made Me Bedridden – Enugu House Of Assembly Aspirant Laments

[GIST] PDP Party Abandoned Me In Hospital After Assassins Shot, Made Me Bedridden – Enugu House Of Assembly Aspirant Laments

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A former aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party in the May 24, 2022 House of Assembly primaries in Enugu State, Mr Akaolisa Ogbe, has narrated how he survived an assassination attempt on his life by suspected political rivals.

Ogbe, who battled for his life for 38 days in the hospital, had bought forms to contest the ticket of the party for the Enugu South Rural State Constituency but he didn’t participate in the exercise because of his situation.

He regretted that not even the party he sought its platform to represent his people cared or asked about him.

He told Signature TV that only the grace of God saved him from the assassin’s bullets and the experience would be permanently engraved in his life.

The aspirant from Amechi Awkunawnaw in Enugu South Local Government Area of the state, said that the incident occurred on April 16, 2022, during one of his routine ward visitations.

According to him, he had completed the visitation of nine wards in his constituency and proceeded to purchase fuel in one of the petrol stations in the area.

“I was attacked while buying fuel in Amechi. It was a calculated assassination attempt but to the glory of God, I escaped with gun wounds and gunshots pelted all over my car.

“I was bleeding profusely but managed to drive to a military checkpoint. By the time I got there, I was already weak and had to stop.

“The military men took me to Niger Foundation Hospital, Enugu, where I had the first surgery to stop the bleeding,” he said.

While in the hospital, Ogbe said he underwent several surgeries due to the seriousness of the injuries he sustained from the gunshots.

He, however, said that it was sad that in spite of the deadly attack on him, the leadership of the PDP in the state had not shown any form of concern over the incident.

“My annoyance is that I spent more than 38 days in the hospital and the party did not care about me, their aspirant.

“If the party could treat me like this, what more the common man? I could not participate in the primaries because I was on hospital admission,” he said.

Ogbe said that in spite of the disappointing treatment he got from the party, “I still remain a member of the PDP and will work for the success of the party in the 2023 general elections.”

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[GIST] How High Costs Of Nomination Forms Exclude Women, People With Disabilities From Contesting Elections In Nigeria

[GIST] How High Costs Of Nomination Forms Exclude Women, People With Disabilities From Contesting Elections In Nigeria

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Accountability Lab, a global trans-local network championing good governance in countries, has said the high costs of nomination forms by political parties have continued to discourage women and people with disabilities from participating in the electoral process in Nigeria.
In a statement sent to SaharaReporters on Monday by Kibo Ngowi, its global marketing and communications officer, the group listed measures it is putting in place to protect the civic rights of people across several African countries including Nigeria.

According to the statement, "much remains to be done at the level of protecting civic space in Liberia, Nigeria, Guinea-Bissau, Mali and Niger and West Africa as a whole."

The group said in Nigeria, it is fighting for greater electoral inclusion to encourage women and people with disabilities to participate more in governance.
The group said Nigeria ranks among the worst countries on the 2021 World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report.
The statement reads, "In January 2021, just 10.3% of ministerial positions were held by women in (three out of 29) and just 5.8% of parliamentary seats were held by women- thus ranking Nigeria 149th (out of 155 countries) on political empowerment on the 2021 World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report.
"A lack of equal representation in decision-making structures is a common problem throughout West Africa and the global south for various reasons, but AL Nigeria has identified one crucial reason this status quo remains entrenched in Africa’s most populous country.
"The high cost of obtaining party nomination forms keeps underrepresented groups such as women, youth and people with disabilities from contesting elections. The AL Nigeria team’s Gov-Her-Nance program is aimed at promoting women’s civic participation and inclusive gender-sensitive policy-making at both local and national levels.
"As part of this programme, the team hosted a series of radio programmes where members of the public shared their perspectives on what can be done to achieve greater levels of inclusion.
"One of the most interesting pieces of feedback from these engagements was the insight that many of the policies hindering the representation and participation of marginalised groups in the Nigerian governance structures have been instituted by political parties.
"Recently, some political parties have set the price of their nomination forms for the upcoming 2023 elections at millions of naira, politically excluding thousands of Nigerian citizens.
"In a similar vein, the Nigerian Senate approved an increase in election campaign spending across the board - up to 400% in some cases - allowing spending of up to 5 billion naira for presidential candidates and 1 billion naira for Governorship aspirants.
"This systemically casts women, youths and PWDs, who are already at a financially disadvantaged position, further from representation and participation in decision-making processes. One of the solutions suggested was the formation of political pressure groups by marginalized citizens to make their voices heard."
Explaining how the group is trying to bridge the gap, Prince Chiramoke, AL Nigeria communications Officer, said, “From the communications end, we are developing content around the forthcoming elections for our social media platforms to inspire citizens to get their Permanent Voters Card, vote for a credible candidate, “vote not fight” and “don't sell your vote” among other election themes.
“Beyond this, we are working with Well-Versed to begin a monthly music challenge to get young music artists to develop music around election themes and support the winners to come into the studio to produce the selected song for the month. The produced songs will be shared online on music streaming platforms and with some of our radio partners.”
Shiiwua Mnenga, AL Nigeria Project Officer, added, “We are currently running a project which focuses on inclusion and gender and we have been having sessions on access to public buildings by PWDs in line with the provisions of the Prohibition Against Persons with Disabilities Act in Nigeria. We have also been supporting the passage of the Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill before the National Assembly.”
AL said other of its activities outside Nigeria include galvanising youth to advocate for peace in Liberia, advocating for the inclusion of women in decision-making processes in Guinea-Bissau, strengthening trust between citizens and local authorities in Mali, and using the courts to hold power holders to account in Niger Republic.

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[GIST] Get Your PVC: Your Weapon Is Your Votes, By Matthew Ma

[GIST] Get Your PVC: Your Weapon Is Your Votes, By Matthew Ma

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“If you do not vote, someone else will decide for you. Your vote is your power. And that power begins with collecting your PVC. With your PVC, you can either vote someone in or kick someone out.” 

One of the most critical ways that people can influence decision-making is through voting. Voting is a formal expression of choosing a preferred candidate for an office. In a democracy, the right to vote is one of the ways citizens can influence the decisions about how political leaders govern their countries. Citizens exercise their right to vote when the government decides to hold elections. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted unanimously by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948, recognizes the integral role that transparent and open elections play in ensuring the fundamental right to participatory governance. 

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Article 21 states: Everybody has the right to participate in an election through direct or indirect voting. Everyone has the right to equal access to public service in his country. The will of the people shall be the basis of the election. It shall periodically express in genuine elections, which shall be by universal and equal suffrage. Hence, it shall take place by secret ballot or equivalent free voting procedures.

To vote is one of the political exercises bestowed on every citizen in a democracy. In a perfect democracy, the logistics of voting would be quick and easy for all citizens. Yet, unfortunately, this idea has never been the case in Nigeria. It has always been a demanding exercise, even more so today with the Permanent Voter Card (PVC). Now, more than ever, we face increased difficulties in voting presented by violence at voting centers, vote-buying, election fraud, rigging, prevalent insecurity, snatching of ballot boxes, ceaseless postponement of elections, poor planning, and clumsy voting process. The reality is overcoming these roadblocks can be a time-demanding process when parties are benching on ruling either by force or by deception. Besides, for many of our communities, the logistics and preparation leading to voting are made so impossible that people are not ready to sacrifice their time to exercise their rights as Nigerian citizens. For the elderly, the risk of voting is so high that going out to collect their PVC jeopardizes their safety despite being elderly and part of high-risk groups. This notion has always led to significant shortages of votes in every election. 

An American human rights activist once said voting is not only our right but also our power. As evident as this idea may be, people across Nigeria seem to have given up on voting as a catalyst for a positive change. Nigeria has an estimated population of over 200 million, yet these numbers have not been an actual representation of the voting population. Since Nigeria became a democratic country in 1999, there has been an increase in voter apathy. In 2015, 15.3 % of the Nigerian population determined the result of the Presidential election. That is 42.4% of the registered voters. While in 2019, 18% of the population (about 35% of registered voters) voted in the Presidential election. This estimate means fewer than four people determined who won in 2019 for every ten eligible voters. The 2019 elections recorded the lowest election turnout Nigeria has recorded since independence for a presidential election. The big question is, what number will determine the upcoming 2023 general elections?

Inarguably, we must participate actively in the election process and change the narrative as we countdown to 2023. We must be proactive about the Nigeria of our dreams and constantly work at it. As citizens, it is our civic responsibility to collect your PVC. Remember, no one can vote in any election without your PVC. Luckily, technology has now made the process easier. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has made the registration for a Permanent Voter Card (PVC) easy through its online registration portal. So, make use of this advantage to collect your PVC. Also, apart from getting our PVCs, volunteerism is helping people worldwide get involved in the conversation around democracy and elections. And there is no doubt that it is continually helping to strengthen national democracy by contributing to the increasing awareness and education on pertinent issues on governance.

We are encouraged to use this enormous potential to mobilize and accelerate the electoral process. For example, we can develop and launch a #Go and Get Your PVC project. The project could aim at educating and empowering Nigerians to collect their PVCs to be ready to participate in the forthcoming general elections. We also call on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to simplify the entire electoral process and make the electoral process more responsive and usable to Nigerians by acting as an information point for different categories of voters.

We understand how important this election is in Nigeria today. Why we try to join parties to change the dynamics of the election in Nigeria, we appeal to the youth to go and get their PVC. For young people to be represented adequately in political institutions, processes, and decision-making (particularly in elections), they must get involved. The first critical step is to collect a voter’s card that enables them to become participants, decision-makers, and influencers. Criticizing from the sidelines or on social media would not make much difference. If you do not vote, someone else will decide for you. And once he decides, it may not be about your interest. This anomaly must change if we want to build a great country that will compete among the comity of nation-states in this 21st century. The real power is in your one vote. Your vote is your power, and that power begins with collecting your PVC. With your PVC, you can vote someone in or kick somebody out of the office.

Dear Nigerian youth, remember that every nation determines its election by the people who participate. It is time to get involved and use the power of numbers to sustain our democracy. So, get your PVC today!

Rev. Ma, S.J, is a Jesuit priest and doctoral student in public and social policy at St. Louis University in the state of Missouri, USA.

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June 27, 2022

[GIST] Group Accuses Nigerian Minister Of Water Resources, Adamu, Of Covering Up Corruption, Stealing Of Funds In Ministry

[GIST] Group Accuses Nigerian Minister Of Water Resources, Adamu, Of Covering Up Corruption, Stealing Of Funds In Ministry

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The Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Hussein Adamu has been accused of covering up for the Managing Director of Lower Niger River Basin, Dr Aremu Saheed who has been accused of corruption and misappropriation of funds.


A group seeking to improve agricultural development in Nigeria, Agric Watch, has accused the minister of sharing proceeds of corruption with Saheed.

It also expressed its displeasure with the alleged nonchalant attitude of the minister towards the allegations against Saheed.


The group made this known in a letter obtained by SaharaReporters, addressed to the Minister of Water Resources and jointly signed by the group Coordinator and its scribe, Alhassan T. Mohammed and Bode Seun respectively.


In the letter, the group claimed the minister sent a team headed by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry to the organisation, to either intimidate or financially induce the staff union -Nigeria Union of Agric and Allied Employees, to drop their stance and allegations against their managing director.


It called for the removal of Saheed over allegations bordering on corruption, misappropriation of funds and budgetary allocations and maladministration.


The letter reads in part, "Our organisation saw the several publications of the Agriculture Union on several media forum on the call for the removal of the Managing Director of Lower Niger River Basin Development Authority, one Dr Saheed Aremu over allegations bordering on corruption, misappropriation of funds and budgetary allocations and maladministration.


"We decided to set up a team of private investigators to proceed to Kwara state to investigate the allegations by visiting the project sites and even to the Auditor General's office to enquire about the authenticity of the Auditors report that damningly indicts the Managing Director.


"Honourable Minister sir, our organisation which is made up of professionals and stakeholders in the Agric sector, including Agro media advocates across Nigeria saddled with the mandate of ensuring transparency and justice in the Agricultural sector and reputed for tracking Budgetary allocations has its searchlight specifically on the ministries of Agriculture and that of Water Resources.


"Having observed the efforts of President Mohammed Buhari, GCFR, in pumping funds to the sector but with minimal effect due to various corrupt practices of the ministry officers and the Chief Executives of the Agencies and Parastatals, we are poised to ensure justice by exposing the culprits and bringing them to book through all legal means and the Anti-corruption agencies.


"Honourable Ministers sir, we are displeased with your nonchalant attitude towards the allegations and the character of the Managing Director, rather, you sent your high-powered ministerial team headed by the Permanent Secretary to the organisation, to either intimidate and financially induce the Staff Union -Nigeria Union of Agric and Allied Employees, to drop their stance and claims against their Managing Director.


"This your action is regrettably inimical to the anti-corruption stance of this administration and federal constitution which you swore to uphold. These your action is giving credence to insinuations that Dr Aremu Saheed, the Managing Director of Lower Niger River Basin has been sharing the proceeds of his corruption with you.


"We are likewise disappointed in the Staff Union for falling for your inducement and harassment wherein they dropped their noble cause of embarking on the threat of Labour action to press home her demands for justice.


"Honourable Minister sir, by our investigation we have therefore concluded to advise as follows:


"We demand a thorough investigation of the activities of the entire River Basins Developments across Nigeria, to see if funds provided over the period of this administration are spent justifiably in consonance with the administration’s policy of transparency


“That Dr Saheed Aremu lacks the moral right to continue in office based on the said Auditors report and other allegations.


"That Dr Saheed Aremu must be excused from executing this year’s budgetary allocation.


"That the appropriate anti-corruption agencies should be invited for further investigation be prosecuted and monies recovered and plunged back to the sector.”


"That the ministry should overhaul the activities of River Basins Development Authorities in Nigeria for effective service, according to its mandate.


"Honourable Minister sir, If necessary action is not taken as advised above, we shall be compelled to approach the court as taxpayers and law-abiding patriotic citizens of Nigeria," the letter added.


Scandal News AddThis :  Original Author :  Saharareporters, new York Disable advertisements :