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INEC Expresses Concern as 241,715 Voters in Bayelsa, Kogi, and Imo Fail to Collect PVCs

Among these, 107,715 PVCs await collection in Kogi, while Imo State has over 134,000 unclaimed cards. The exact number of unclaimed PVCs in Bayelsa is currently unavailable.

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With just two weeks remaining before the October 9, 2023 deadline set by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the collection of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) ahead of the November 11 governorship elections in Bayelsa, Kogi, and Imo states, more than 241,715 voters in these states have not yet claimed their PVCs.

Among these, 107,715 PVCs await collection in Kogi, while Imo State has over 134,000 unclaimed cards. The exact number of unclaimed PVCs in Bayelsa is currently unavailable.

INEC officials have firmly stated that there will be no extension of the PVC collection period and have urged registered voters not to wait until the last minute to pick up their cards.

The governorship elections in these states are scheduled for November 11, with 18 political parties fielding candidates in Kogi, 17 in Imo, and 16 in Bayelsa.

INEC had approved the final list of candidates for these off-cycle elections on June 6, and the list was made available through various channels, including the INEC website and social media platforms. The list also showed that two political parties are fielding female candidates in Kogi and Bayelsa, while none are doing so in Imo.

Notably, Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State and Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State are seeking re-election, with Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State supporting the All Progressives Congress candidate, Usman Ododo.

INEC emphasized that the ongoing PVC collection exercise is exclusively for registered voters in these three states who were unable to collect their PVCs before the suspension of the exercise on February 5, 2023. Both INEC’s Chief Press Secretary and the Kogi State Resident Electoral Commissioner stressed the importance of collecting PVCs promptly to avoid undue pressure on state offices.

While encouraging people to collect their PVCs, INEC also noted that it has translated messages into various local languages to reach a wider audience.

In Imo State, PVC issuance resumed on September 11 and will continue until October 9. INEC has revealed that approximately 134,000 PVCs remain uncollected in Imo, distributed across the state’s 27 local government council secretariats.

The electoral commission has also taken steps to contact PVC owners in Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi through bulk SMS messages. INEC assured that it is fully prepared for the upcoming elections, with all non-sensitive materials already received and ready for distribution. The Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security is coordinating security measures for the exercise.

In Bayelsa State, the specific number of unclaimed PVCs was not disclosed by the INEC office when contacted.

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Stop cursing your leaders – Sanwo-Olu tells Nigerians

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Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State urged citizens to refrain from criticizing Nigeria and instead pray for its improvement.

Speaking at the 2024 Eid-el-Fitr celebration, themed “Allah will not Change the Way of the People until they Change What is in their Hearts,” held at the Lagos House, Ikeja, Sanwo-Olu, represented by his Deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, emphasized the need for Nigerians to adopt a positive outlook towards the country.

He stressed that divine intervention would only occur when people change their mindset and stop speaking negatively about Nigeria.

Sanwo-Olu encouraged Nigerians to have faith in their current leaders and pray for the nation’s progress, emphasizing the importance of collective prayer and positive thoughts for national development.

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Nigeria’s Onyeka reacts as he scores first premier league for Brentford

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Frank Onyeka is ecstatic after netting his debut Premier League goal for Brentford.

Onyeka swiftly made an impact for the Bees, entering as a late substitute during their 2-0 triumph against Sheffield United at the Gtech Community Stadium last Saturday.

The defensive midfielder found the back of the net in stoppage time, securing a crucial 2-0 victory for the home side.

This win marked Thomas Frank’s team’s first victory in their previous nine Premier League matches.

Onyeka took to social media to share his joy about the win and his goal, stating, “Crucial 3 points secured and thrilled to contribute with a goal ⚽️.” Brentford’s win alleviated concerns about relegation, propelling them to 14th place in the standings.

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Ondo Monarch dies months after ascending throne

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Julius Omomo, the Olojoda of Oda kingdom, passed away at the age of 83.

Ade Adelakun, a family source, confirmed the monarch’s demise on Sunday, stating that he died on Saturday after a brief illness.

Adelakun described Omomo as a humble, decent, and down-to-earth monarch, noting that his reign brought peace and development to the monarch’s domain.

Omomo ascended to the throne on May 30, 2023, and was formally crowned in December of the same year, albeit amid controversy.

Despite challenges to his nomination, including claims of an illegal installation by members of the ruling house, the state government proceeded with his installation, stating that no court injunction had been served against it.

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UNIBEN begins investigation following alleged student ‘assault’ on Akpata

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Olumide Akpata, the Labour Party’s gubernatorial candidate in Edo state, claims he was assaulted by certain University of Benin (UNIBEN) students.

During an interactive session at the senior staff club, Oshodin pavilion in UNIBEN, Akpata stated that he was “attacked by some students” who felt excluded from the meeting with the university’s senior staff.

In a widely circulated video, a UNIBEN student alleged being shot in the leg by one of Akpata’s security personnel. However, Akpata refuted the claim in a video response, asserting that he was actually the victim of the chaos.

Akpata further explained that the students disrupted the meeting, barricaded the gates, and caused a lecturer to sustain injuries.

He emphasized that the incident was an attempt by the present Edo government to disrupt the upcoming election in September.

Meanwhile, UNIBEN has announced the formation of a committee to investigate the “violent incident,” condemning the reported violence during Akpata’s visit.

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Matawalle slams Northern elders over anti-Tinubu comments

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The recent remarks made by the Northern Elders Forum regarding Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s presidency have sparked controversy.

The NEF expressed regret for their support of Tinubu in the 2023 general election, stating a preference for a candidate who is perceived as more inclusive and aligned with the interests of all regions.

In response, Minister of State for Defence, Bello Matawalle, criticized the NEF, calling their actions a political burden on the North and emphasizing that they lack the authority to speak for the entire region.

Matawalle defended Tinubu’s presidency, highlighting his victory in the 2023 election and the positive impact of his government on the Northern region.

He urged the NEF to prioritize unity and cooperation within the North and to support Tinubu’s presidency for the country’s progress.

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85% of Nigerians still enjoying electricity subsidy – FG

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The Federal Government has announced that despite the removal of electricity subsidy for Band A consumers, approximately 85% of Nigerians still benefit from the subsidy under the new electricity supply regime.

This revelation comes amid ongoing public outcry over the recent tariff hike by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, highlighted that the subsidy withdrawal, expected to save over N1 trillion, will be reinvested to enhance power supply and social services.

He also underscored the need for equitable distribution, noting that a significant portion of the subsidy was previously enjoyed by affluent individuals and industrial clusters.

Furthermore, he emphasized the strengthened governance structure of the NERC under the new Electricity Act, enabling the agency to impose stringent penalties on electricity distribution companies for billing and supply-related infractions.

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