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Buhari’s Boys Deliver Ondo, Target Ekiti and Osun Next



  • Buhari’s Boys Deliver Ondo, Target Ekiti and Osun Next
Local Govt
Ondo West
Akoko North East
Ondo East
Akure North
Akoko South East
Akoko South West
Akoko North West
Akure South
 In a carefully executed plan, loyalists of President Muhammadu Buhari in the All Progressives Congress (APC), some of whom are cabinet members, yesterdaysuccessfully delivered on their first political assignment in the lead up to the 2019 elections, with the election of Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) as the Ondo State governor-elect.

Akeredolu was declared winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), after polling 244,842 votes while his closest rival, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede (SAN) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with 150,380 votes came second. Coming third was Mr. Olusola Oke of the Alliance for Democracy (AD), who polled 126,889 votes.

Saturday’s election in Ondo State was, however, indicative of the power tussle within the ranks of the APC for the South-west geopolitical zone, with loyalists of the president, on the one side, and those loyal to a National Leader of the party, Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on the other.

Tinubu, who backed Dr. Olusegun Abraham to secure the ticket of the APC to contest in the Ondo poll, had opposed Akeredolu’s emergence as candidate of the party, alleging irregularities during the party’s primary.

Those believed to have taken part in the execution of the plan to deliver the state and are now regarded as “Buhari’s Boys” are the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN); the governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir el-Rufai; and his Ogun State counterpart, Senator Ibikunle Amosun.

Ironically, most of those who have now aligned with the president were once loyalists of Tinubu, but are believed to have fallen out of favour with him.

Party sources who spoke on the issue said they were spurred by political expediency to show strength and capacity by mobilising all the resources at their disposal to ensure that the candidate of the president, Akeredolu, who was openly rejected by Tinubu won the election in the hotly contested race in Ondo.

The only APC governor believed not to have taken sides in the ongoing power tussle is the Oyo State governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, while the Osun and Lagos State governors, Rauf Aregbesola and Akinwunmi Ambode, remain staunchly in the Tinubu camp.

Curiously, Akeredolu too, who is now in the opposing camp to Tinubu was his (Tinubu’s) candidate in the 2012 governorship election in Ondo State, but in which he came a distant third.

According to sources, with a majority of Tinubu’s former allies executing a brilliant campaign against their erstwhile principal, the stage has now been set to deliver Ekiti and Osun States to the president in 2018.

The goal, explained one source, is to ensure that the alliance between the North and South-west, which catapulted Buhari to victory in the 2015 general election, is maintained.

“The Buhari boys left nothing to chance, including using pawns such as Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim, a businessman, and Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, a former governor of Borno State, who both held the PDP by the jugular by ensuring that the party was unable to go to the election in one piece.

“Team Buhari was not oblivious to the fact that had they lost the Ondo election, the president would have been subjected to gross embarrassment, the very reason they deployed everything at their disposal to ensure that Akeredolu won, including mobilising everything and everyone who mattered to the grand finale campaign rally held in Akure, the Ondo State capital, a few days to the election.

“Although it is believed that Buhari’s boys have nothing against Tinubu, their goal, however, is to reenact the alliance that existed between the North and the South-west that was used to snatch victory from the PDP during the 2015 general election.

“So, with Edo and Ondo now comfortably in the kitty, the next port of call for Buhari’s Boys are Ekiti and Osun States, where elections are in 2018,” the source revealed.

But while those loyal to the president are said to be preparing for the two South-west states, and how best to retain their winning streak, they are not likely to bother about Lagos State, which Tinubu has held firmly in his grasp since 1999.

From all indications, what seems to be coming up in 2019 in the APC is a reenactment of the 2003 tsunami, which swept off all the AD states with the exception of Lagos under former President Olusegun Obasanjo, a situation that gave the PDP considerable leverage during its 16-year reign in power.

But the difference between 2003 and 2019 is that while the former was an external aggression orchestrated by the former president into AD-controlled territory, this is no less an internal insurrection, also by the presidency, to wrest control of the South-west from Tinubu and ultimately pave the path for Buhari’s re-election bid in 2019.

Also, the outcome of Saturday’selection is bound to stoke a bitter rivalry within the party, whichever way it goes.

Sources hinted that some of the unreported outcomes of two separate meetings of the South-west governors held in the run up to the Ondo election showed that the cracks might be deeper than thought, as the governors in the region have already taken sides.

At the Ibadan meeting, for instance, one of the governors loyal to Tinubu was said to have called Tinubu on the phone for him to thank the Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose, a PDP governor, “for staying the course”.

Indeed, when Tinubu answered the call, he was said to have profusely thanked Fayose for his interventions and described him as “Omoluabi”, the Yoruba term for a child who has done well in a particular assignment and shown to be of proper upbringing and behaviour.

But that camaraderie at the meeting only lasted till the time other APC members suggested that Fayose should chair the meeting.

Amosun, however, was said to have rejected the suggestion, saying since there were two PDP governors present at the meeting, against four of them from the APC, a governor from the ruling party should chair the meeting. It was on this basis that the meeting was chaired by a governor from the APC.

The Ibadan meeting, nonetheless, was not as heated as the Abeokuta meeting, where Aregbesola and Amosun were said to have engaged in a heated exchange.

In fact, Aregbesola, a source disclosed, was said to have claimed Amosun was threatening him because the meeting was held in his house.

The cause of the exchange occurred because Aregbesola and others accused Amosun of betrayal, as they had reached an understanding earlier that they would not attend Akeredolu’s grand finale rally in Akure.

But Amosun was said to have objected, saying they were the ones who played anti-party politics by disobeying and disrespecting the president, who was said to have personally called everyone and urged them to attend the rally. Amosun, the source said, accused them of ignoring Buhari’s pleas and embarrassing him and the party by not attending.

The meeting was said to have been so heated that Aregbesola and Ajimobi refused to eat after the meeting. But while Aregbesola refused to eat because he claimed Amosun had threatened him, Ajimobi felt it was improper to eat since the matter had not been resolved.

However, a former chairman of the party, Chief Bisi Akande had a hearty meal, showing maturity and neutrality over the contending issues.

Aregbesola, who believed that their candidate, Oke, might win the Ondo election was also said to have suspended further discussions until after the election.

Had Oke won the election, Tinubu, sources said, would have returned today into the arms of scores of supporters who would have been mobilised to receive him at the airport.

But with the outcome of the election, it is unlikely he would return anytime soon as planned and might spend more time abroad before returning home.

Despite Tinubu’s disenchantment with the APC primary that threw up Akeredolu, leading to his eventual victory, the party’s national leader yesterday congratulated the new governor-elect.

Tinubu asked party members to close ranks “for the good of our party and its progressive ideals”.

In a statement from his media office, he said: “Following the announcement by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) with regard to the governorship elections in Ondo State, I extend congratulations to Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN) on the outcome of the election and for his perseverance and persistence in seeking that office.

“I must also congratulate the people of Ondo State for their generally exemplary conduct on election day and for demonstrating their will to shun the regressive politics of yesterday by returning to the progressive brand of politics that has been the trademark of the people of that state.

“I congratulate all party members in the state, particularly the party leadership in the South-west.

“Finally, I must express profound congratulations to President Muhammadu Buhari, the national leader of the party, whose stature and dignity helped guide the APC to another victory that should advance the progressive aims of the party and the people.

“To all the people and parties in Ondo, your election has been had and held. Now is the time that all must work for the continued development, prosperity and peace of your state and our beloved country.”

He appealed to all party members including those who have been disaffected from the primary to come together for the good of the APC and its progressive ideals.

Akeredolu is Governor-elect

But as the internal wrangling within the South-west zone of the APC continues, INEC’s Returning Officer for the Ondo governorship election, Prof. Abdulganiyu Amballi yesterday declared Akeredolu as the winner of the poll, having polled 244,842 votes to defeat Jegede of the PDP who scored 150,380 votes. Oke scored 126,889 votes to come third while the Social Democratic Party (SDP) candidate, Dr. Olu Agunloye, came fourth with 10,149 votes.

Amballi, who is the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, said the winner had satisfied the requirements and was therefore declared the winner of the poll. The margin of victory, he said, was 94,462 votes.
He said the election was conducted in a free and fair manner, and under a peaceful atmosphere.

The results released by INEC showed that the Akeredolu won in 14 local government areas, while the Oke won in two – Ilaje and Okitipupa Local Government Areas, just as PDP came top in the two local governments of Ondo East and Ondo West.

Surprisingly, Jegede marginally lost the election in his own local government area, Akure South to Akeredolu, scoring 25,005 as against 25,797 scored by the APC candidate.

Other local governments won by APC were Akure North, Ile Oluji/Oke-Igbo, Ifedore, Ose, Akoko South West, Akoko South East, Akoko North East, Akoko North West, Owo, Idanre, Irele, Ese-Odo and Odigbo.

While agents of the parties that contested the election signed the result sheets, the agent of the SDP, whose candidate came a distant fourth, refused to sign the result sheets.

With his declaration as the winner of the election, there was jubilation in many parts of Akure and Owo, the hometown of Akeredolu, as the governor-elect and his supporters trooped out to celebrate his victory.

The APC members who armed themselves with brooms danced round major streets in the towns, chanting solidarity and pro-Akeredolu songs.

A good number of APC members also converged on the party’s secretariat along Oba Adesida Road and at his campaign office on Oyemekun Road, where they sang and danced in celebration of the victory of the party in the election.

Speaking on his victory at his country home, Akeredolu promised not to fail the people of the state who elected him and dedicated his success at the poll to God.

He commended the president, the National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and members of the party National Working Committee (NWC) of the party.

“I wish to express my profound gratitude, first, to the Almighty God whose infinite grace has allowed us to see this day.

“This victory is of God through the people. It is not for me or the APC alone, it is a victory for the people of Ondo State irrespective of which side of the divide you stood during the election. For me it is a challenge to perform. It is a call to rescue our state and reverse its fortunes.

“I thank the people of my dear state for their steadfastness. I have heard their messages throughout the campaign in all the nooks and crannies of the state. Today, you have spoken with one voice. You have walked the talk. You have voted for me as your governor for the next four years.

“Today, change has come. I hereby make a solemn pledge that this collective mandate shall address all issues with keen determination. The welfare of our people alone shall be the directive policy of the government.

“Today’s victory is a confirmation of the willingness and readiness of the people of Ondo State to change and seek a better life. I thank you for your faith and confidence in me. I thank all those whose uncommon sacrifice contributed in no small measure to the success of the exercise.

“A special show of gratitude must be extended to our security agents for their patriotic duty.

“I shall in a few months be saddled with the task of providing responsible leadership, a leadership that would take our people from poverty and stagnation to productivity and prosperity, from pains and lamentation to joy and laughter,” he said.

Buhari, APC Congratulate Akeredolu

Also reacting, Buhari congratulated the governor-elect on his “well-deserved victory” in the Saturday, November 26 governorship election in the state.

Buhari, in a statement by his media aide, Mr. Femi Adesina also congratulated Oyegun, the Chairman of the Campaign Committee, Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State, and all party faithful who put in their best and braved the odds to ensure a successful outing for the flag bearer of the APC.

The president advised Akeredolu to put behind whatever acrimonies might have arisen from the electioneering and reach out to all well-meaning people in the state and beyond, to implement his vision.

The president rejoiced with the good people of Ondo State, who aligned with his own belief that Akeredolu, with his pedigree, possessed the qualities to transform the state into the Ondo of their dreams.
“From the beginning, this election set out to be a different kind of election. The unity and resilience of the party was tested. I am happy we came out of this victorious.

“This is a huge win. The mood today is against corruption, insecurity and for the restoration of the economy and the creation of jobs. This is where the party stands and I am happy that the electorate has read the situation correctly,” said the president.

Buhari called on other contestants in the election to see the triumph of Akeredolu as the wish of God and enjoined them to work together with him to make the state a truly progressive and economically prosperous one for all.

The president also commended INEC, the security agencies and the voters for the peaceful and successful conduct of the elections.

Similarly, Oyegun congratulated Akeredolu and his running mate, Hon. Agboola Ajayi, on their election victory.

In a message issued yesterday on behalf of the NWC of APC, Oyegun expressed gratitude to the good people of Ondo State for their impressive turnout and peaceful conduct during the election exercise. He also thanked the Ondo electorate for voting for the party.

He equally thanked Buhari and other party leaders for their invaluable support towards winning the governorship election. He called for calm and appealed to the opposition parties and their candidates to accept defeat in good faith.

Also, the APC Publicity Secretary in Ondo State, Mr. Adesanya, congratulated INEC for the conduct of the poll, stating that there was prompt arrival and delivery of electoral materials to the 3,009 polling units across the state.

He applauded the simultaneous accreditation and voting system adopted by INEC as a landmark achievement, saying that it was largely responsible for the absence of electoral malpractices and violence.

Adesanya said that the election was unprecedentedly peaceful, free and fair in the history of the state.

The publicity secretary also commended residents in Ondo State for the peaceful conduct before, during and after the election.

According to him, the electorate remained calm in the face of provocation, intimidation, harassment and the clamour for the repeat of the 1983 violence in the state, where scores of people were killed.
He also praised the professionalism of all security agencies before, during and after the poll.

PDP Protests Result

However, the PDP refused to accept the outcome of the election, alleging that the exercise was rigged before it was conducted.

The Publicity Director of the party in the state, Ayodele Fadaka, who spoke yesterday in Akure, claimed INEC connived with some powerful persons in the country to rig the election.

“In spite of the national orientation of the federal government, buying voters is the highest form of corruption that this government portends to be fighting day in day out and we see that corruption is getting entrenched by the day more and more.

“The PDP failed this election simply because INEC and some other interest groups decided it will fail,” Fadaka said.

He alleged that the processes that led to the election amounted to rigging, insisting that INEC should not have held the election when it knew that the name of the PDP candidate was unjustifiably removed from the list of candidates.

According to him, INEC had up till January to hold the election, and should have postponed it, but chose to go ahead with it because it planned to ensure the PDP failed in the election.

“I will say that powerful interests in this country, working hand in gloves with INEC decided to do us in this election, they decided and desired and they have achieved their aim to hand over our party to APC,” he said.
Asked if his party accepted the results,” Mr. Fadaka said: ” My answer is neither here nor there,” stressing that the election was conducted hastily despite the travails of the party in court.

Meanwhile, the PDP governorship candidate, Jegede, said yesterday that it was too early to decide after his loss in the election.

Jegede, who spoke with journalists in Akure, said he was still studying the conduct of the election.

“It is too early to decide on what to do as a person. My party, the PDP, will decide what to do. We are still consulting with those that matter so as to know the next line of action,” he said.

He added: “I know we have won the heart of the people and I should thank our people for standing by us and for their show of love and their steadfastness.

“We are studying the situation and in the fullness of time you will
know what the position of the party is.”

He stated further that the events that led to the election were known to everyone.

“We had 48 hours to prepare for the election. I was cleared by the court on Wednesday and had only Thursday to campaign and on Saturday I had to go for the election.

“Our request for postponement of the election was denied by INEC for reasons that we are yet to fathom and these are the things in the next few days we will have to review.”

Similarly, the state Chairman of the PDP, Mr. Clement Faboyede, said the party would meet today with all the stakeholders and their decision will be made public.

“We thank God for the litigation processes and for the way we came out victorious and our heart’s desire candidate for PDP was cleared to contest the election a few days to the poll when there was no time for campaign,” he said.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Oyo Begins Training of 3,300 Youths in Agribusiness



Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State

The Oyo State Government has signed a memorandum of understanding with the CSS Global Integrated Farms in Nasarawa State to train 3,300 youths from the state on agriculture and agribusiness.

The state governor, Seyi Makinde, made this disclosure at the Stakeholders Consultative Meeting on the 2022 Budget, noting that the move is part of measures being taken by his administration to address the challenges of youth unrest and youth unemployment.

He equally explained that the state government’s decision to reconstruct the Oyo-Iseyin federal road was borne out of the need to prevent the state’s investments in the Fashola Agribusiness Hub from becoming a waste as a result of lack of road access.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr Taiwo Adisa, quoted him as explaining that the training will have 150 participants per batch and that the first batch is to begin training this week.

“I am happy to tell you that we just signed an MoU with CSS Farms in Nasarawa State to assist us in training 3,300 youths in agriculture and agribusiness.

“The training will last two weeks. The first set will start on August 1, and there will be 150 participants for every batch. By the end of August, we would have trained 600 of them.”

Governor Makinde, who stated that his administration will do everything to ensure that youths in the state are meaningfully engaged, said he has also instructed the local governments to set up Direct Labour Agencies, which would absorb the youths to engage in minor construction and other works.

He said: “Our youths have to be meaningfully engaged and we will continue to strive. What I asked them to do in each local government is to set up a Direct Labour Agency, in which a certain amount of money will be earmarked for them every month.

“They will be the ones to be doing culverts, fixing street lights, channelisation of drainages and we have an arrangement with the local government chairmen. As soon as we put the new cabinet in place, I assure you that whoever becomes the new Commissioner for local government matters will drive the process.”

The governor equally said that his administration has been investing heavily in sports development in order to take youths off the streets, saying the investments in the Lekan Salami Stadium and other sporting facilities will soon pay off.

“Some of us have talked about our troublesome youths who are disturbing the peace of our environments because they have nothing doing. This is why the Oyo State Government has committed resources of about N6bn to remodel the Lekan Salami Stadium, not only for football but for other sporting activities.

“We have to be patient with the government so that we don’t lose focus. What you are doing at the community level and what we are doing at the state level, what we need to do is to consolidate, which is the only way we can develop the talents in our communities. We should not relent.

“So, I also want to urge our local government chairmen and chairpersons to develop their programmes to ensure they utilise the sports facilities we have put in place.”

While stating that the state is set to flag off the Oyo-Iseyin Road once it obtains the written approval, Governor Makinde said: “I went to Abuja to meet with the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola. We are hell-bent on the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Oyo-Iseyin road even though it is a federal road.

“This is because we are investing a lot of money in the Fashola farm estate there. If we don’t fix that road, all of that money will go to waste.

“I am happy to report that the Minister was gracious and has given his verbal go-ahead. He asked us to come with the document and it will be signed.”

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US Congress Puts On Hold Proposed Arms Sales, Pressures Biden to Reassess US-Nigeria Relations Over Human Rights Record




United States lawmakers have begun to mount pressure on President Joe Biden over concerns about Nigeria’s human rights records.

Already, a proposed sale of 12 attack aircraft and 28 helicopter engines worth $857 million has been put on hold.

Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee have delayed clearing a proposed sale of 12 AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters and accompanying defence systems to the Nigerian military, pausing a deal worth some $875 million, according to U.S. officials and congressional aides familiar with the matter.

In addition to the helicopters, the proposed sale included 28 helicopter engines produced by GE Aviation, 14 military-grade aircraft navigation systems made by Honeywell, and 2,000 advanced precision kill weapon systems—laser-guided rocket munitions, according to information sent by the State Department to Congress and reviewed by Foreign Policy, a US-based magazine.

It said the behind-the-scenes controversy over the proposed arms sale illustrated a broader debate among Washington policymakers over how to balance national security with human rights objectives.

It said the hold on the sale also showcased how powerfully the US lawmakers wanted to push the Biden administration to rethink the country’s relations with Africa’s most populous nation amid overarching concerns that Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari was drifting towards authoritarianism as his government has been besieged by multiple security challenges, including a jihadist insurgency.

Foreign policy observed that Western governments and international human rights organisations had ramped up their criticisms of the Nigerian government, particularly, in the wake of its ban on Twitter, systemic corruption issues, and the Nigerian military’s role in deadly crackdowns on protesters after widespread demonstrations against police brutality last year.

Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Bob Menendez, called for a “fundamental rethink of the framework of our overall engagement” with Nigeria during a Senate hearing with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in June.

Both Menendez and Senator Jim Risch, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, have therefore placed a hold on the proposed arms sale, according to multiple U.S. officials and congressional aides familiar with the matter, who spoke to Foreign Policy on the condition of anonymity.

The details on the proposed sale were first sent by the US State Department to Congress in January before then former US Vice President Joe Biden was inaugurated as president, according to officials familiar with the matter.

Nigeria has relied on US arms sales in the past to help address multiple security challenges, including the 12-year insurgency by Boko Haram militants in the country’s northeast, a spate of high-profile kidnapping-for-ransom campaigns targeting schoolchildren in the country’s North-west, and deadly clashes between the country’s semi-nomadic herders and farmers fueled by climate change and environmental degradation of the country’s arable land.

The State Department, it was said, described the US-Nigeria relationship as “among the most important in sub-Saharan Africa” and had provided limited funding for various military training and education programmes.

Some experts said the United States should hit the pause button on major defence sales until it could make a broader assessment of the extent to which corruption and mismanagement hobble the Nigerian military and whether the military was doing enough to minimise civilian casualties in its campaign against Boko Haram and other violent insurrectionists.

“There doesn’t have to be a reason why we don’t provide weapons or equipment to the Nigerian military,” said Judd Devermont, Director of the Africa programme at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think tank.

Continuing, he added, “But it has to be done with an assessment of how it will actually, one, change the direction of conflict in Nigeria, and, two, that they will use it consistent with our laws. In both cases, it’s either a question mark or a fail. There is a culture of impunity that exists around abuses by the military,” said Anietie Ewang, the Nigeria researcher at Human Rights Watch.

Ewang cited the Nigerian military’s killing of unarmed protesters during the country’s massive #EndSARS demonstrations against police corruption and brutality last year as well as cases documented by human rights organisations of abuses in the military’s campaign against Boko Haram.

“I’m sure it’s a difficult situation. There are so many conflicts springing up across the country now. The authorities, I presume, are trying to do the best they can to save lives and properties. But this must be done in accordance with human rights standards. You can’t throw one out just to be able to achieve the other.”

Nigerian Embassy in Washington did not, however, return a request for comment, foreign policy claimed.

In the past, the Nigerian military had dismissed reports of human rights abuses by its soldiers as baseless and accused human rights groups of undermining the military’s resolve to combat terrorism.

But the United States had scrubbed proposed arms sales to Nigeria in the past on a case-by-case basis.

Former US President Barack Obama’s administration cut back arms sales to Nigeria over concerns about civilian casualties and human rights abuses, including blocking a 2014 sale of Cobra helicopters by Israel to Nigeria.

During that time, US officials reportedly voiced concerns that Boko Haram had infiltrated the Nigerian military—an accusation that provoked indignation from the Nigerian government.

These moves severely strained US-Nigeria relations, with Buhari accusing Obama of having unintentionally “aided and abetted” extremist groups by refusing to expand military cooperation and arms sales.

In late 2017, then US President Donald Trump’s administration agreed to sell the Nigerian government 12 A-29 Super Tucano warplanes, resurrecting a proposed sale the Obama administration froze after the Nigerian Air Force bombed a refugee camp that January.

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Over 1M Nigerians Have Completed Online Voters Card Pre-Registration – INEC



INEC-PVC- Investors King

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) affirmed that over 1 million additional voters have completed their online pre-registration for the ongoing nationwide Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) within the last four weeks across the country.

INEC’s national commissioner, and chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, said this through a statement released in Abuja on Monday.

Of the 1 million new eligible voters, 259,450 people have completed their registration in Osun State and it is currently been followed by Edo state with 98,286 new voters.

These two states were closely followed by Anambra state with 65,014, followed by Bayelsa with 63,250, and later Lagos State with 61,991, this came as Yobe with 1,893, followed by Sokoto State with 2,453, Jigawa 2,593, and Zamfara with 2,769 were some of the least stare registered.

The state’s distribution of the online fresh registration released by INEC in Abuja on Monday showed the weekly update provided by INEC for week four which also reveals that the commission received 1,135,395 applications.

The figure of the total applications received includes those for voter transfer, requests for replacement of Permanent Voter Cards, and update of voter information record, etc.

According to the commission, the distribution of the 1,135,395 total applications by age group showed that 740,063 of them were youths between the ages of 18 to 34 years.

The applications from the middle-aged of between 35 to 49 years old were 278,042; the elderly from 50 to 69 years were 102,578; while the old from 70 years and above were 14,712

The distribution by occupation indicated that artisan constituted 75,877 of the total applications; farming/fishing – 81,096; public servants -25,298; business -230,551; house wives -25,816; students 355,227; civil servants 44,093; traders 97,624; others/not specified 199,813.

Also, the distribution by gender showed that females constituted 492,449 of the received applications while males were 642,946 as well as showed that 12,274 of the applicants indicated to be persons living with disabilities.

Okoye, providing an update on the online pre-registration which started nationwide on June 28, disclosed that the commission, also on Monday, commenced physical registration at its 811 state and local government area offices nationwide.

According to the statement, “As of 7 am today, Monday, July 26, the number of new registrants has risen to 1,006,661. The detailed distribution of the registrants by age, State/FCT, gender, occupation, and disability for week four of the exercise has been uploaded on the commission’s website and social media platforms.

“However, the distribution by age still shows that 740,063 (or 73.5 percent) are young Nigerians between the ages of 18 and 34. As earlier announced by the commission, physical or in-person registration begins today, Monday, July 26 at our 811 state and local government area offices nationwide.

“The exact locations of the designated centers have already been uploaded to our website and social media platforms. For further details, citizens are encouraged to contact our state offices through the dedicated telephone numbers provided in the uploaded publication.

“‘Nigerians who pre-registered online can now complete their registration at those centers based on scheduled appointments. In addition, other Nigerians who prefer to register physically/in person can now do so at those centers.

“Both online pre-registration and physical/in-person registration will continue simultaneously until the suspension of the CVR exercise on June 30, 2022, to enable the commission to clean up the data and compile the voters’ register for the 2023 General Election.”

Okoye appealed to all citizens who wished to register to approach any of INEC’s state or local government area offices nationwide to do so, as the commission entered the next phase of the CVR exercise.

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