Connect with us


2023 General Elections: LASG, INEC open schedules for massive capturing of physically challenged



…Calls out PWD to seize opportunity for capturing, revalidation

…Over 10m already captured in INEC’s record across Nigeria

By Moses Adeniyi

The Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) has joined the bid of Lagos State Government (LASG) to give ample inclusion for Persons With Disabilities (PWD) to participate meaningfully in electoral process as the 2023 General Elections draw close.

The Lagos State Government believes such political inclusion was essential to ensure physically challenged persons are integrated significantly in the affairs of governing the State.

The State Government through its Office for Disability Affairs (LASODA) disclosed on Friday its arrangements and collaboration with INEC which has culminated into the scheduling of designated centres to ensure physically challenged persons are given the opportunity of a two-day window in the State for registration and revalidation in INEC voters’ database.

The General Manager, Lagos State Office for Disability Affairs (LASODA), Mr. Oluwadamilare Ogundairo, at a press briefing on Friday, at the State Capital, Ikeja, to intimate PWDs about the process, disclosed that the centres scheduled for the two-day exercise slated for Monday, 25th, and Tuesday, 26th, July, 2022, have been strategically chosen across the five divisions of the State.

The location of the centres, according to him, include: Ikorodu Central Local Government, Ikorodu; Ability and Disability Economic Empowerment Initiative Centre, Badagry; Old Secretariat, Ikeja; Polling Unit Centre, Lagos Island; Sport Recreation Centre, Epe; Idi-araba, Idi-araba Correctional Centre (Special Centre), Idi-araba; Teslim Balogun National Stadium, Surulere; Oko-Baba Centre, Ebutemeta, Oyingbo.

He mentioned the special centres are fortified with extra facilities to capture PWDs who may not be able to have their registration done with the normal biometric process.

According to him, the process was essential for mobilisation and proper inclusion of PWDs in the electoral process.

He said LASODA has been working closely with INEC to make registration and revalidatiom procedure flexible to accommodate PWDs.

According to him, the proactive response of the engagement with INEC bore the response to make the special arrangement for same across the scheduled centres.

He said: “Another critical aspect is the understanding of the fact that lack of political participation could also endear the community of PWD to exclusion, discrimination and poverty also.”

This, he said, underscores why the Government took it essential “to create special centres across the State for persons with disabilities to get registered, revalidate their details in the INEC voters database.”

According to him, the office has been engaging seriously with INEC “to ensure the electoral process in Nigeria is inclusive and conducive for people with disabilities.”

Mentioning that all logistics and INEC officials are already set on ground to commence the process, he called on all PWDs to take advantage of the window to get enrolled, which according to him, would avail them participation in the electoral process towards the forth coming General Elections.

According to him, the challenges of poverty among PWDs which records have shown 80percent of chronic cases of poverty are people with disabilities, are largely borne not by the DNA of these categories of persons but because of social exclusion.

“The world must move on to understand the fact that the challenges with People with Disabilities, is not disability itself, but the failure of society to provide adequately for them to function effectively and productively,” he said.

He noted that as a critical part of inclusion, lack of political participation can worsen poverty, and other challenges of PWDs.

He mentioned that given the fact that 15 to 20 percent of the population of every society entails PWD, if the goal of eradicating poverty must be achieved, critical attention must be given to persons under this category.

INEC representative, the Head, Voters Registry, Information Communication Technology, INEC, Muyiwa Yusuf, said the two-day schedule was set aside at the instance of a request from LASODA.

He noted the commission has put into consideration several classes of PWDs on its registration portal, which he said, was “distinct” for elaborate capturing and inclusion.

He disclosed that as at Monday, 18, July 2022, the completed registration of PWDs into the INEC database across the Country had hit over 10million (10,139,247).

He said the Commission is willing to do more registration, calling on PWDs to maximise the two day window opportunity to optimise the benefits “to achieve the essence of the exercise.”

He lamented the deficts in unclaimed permanent voters card (PVC).

According to him, of the 6,722,394 persons registered in Lagos, over a million persons enrolled for the registration have not yet collected their PVCs as at the time of filing this report on Friday.

He warned Nigerians to avoid multiple registration which could disqualify them from exercising their franchise.

According to him, issues of damaged and card loss, change of polling units, among other changes, could be handled through revalidation rather than fresh enrollment, which would, according to him, amount to multiple registration.

The Senior Special Assisant to the Lagos State Governor on Persons with Disability, Adenike Oyetunde, called on PWDs to take optimum advantage of the short time for the registration.


Nigeria committed to ensure security, peace in West Africa – Akpabio



The President of the Senate, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, has restated Nigeria’s commitment to ensuring peace and security in West Africa.

Akpabio said this on Thursday in Abuja at the opening of the international roundtable on Parliamentary Security Sector Governance.

The roundtable was organised by National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) in collaboration with Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS).

The roundtable drew lawmakers from Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana.

Represented by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Navy, Sen. Daniel Gbenga, Akpabio recommend synergy among countries in the sub-region to address insecurity.

“Nigeria is a country that is willing and determined to ensure that the West Africa sub- region enjoys peace, security, shared prosperity in our developmental goals.

“In order to mitigate the challenges already identified, it is important to properly address insecurity in the West African sub region.

“This can be done through deep cooperation and deliberate policies and laws by our parliament, as well as empower the parliament to assume full legislative powers,” he said.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Tajudeen Abbas, said the security sector plays a pivotal role in ensuring peace, stability, and development within any nation.

Represented by the Deputy Speaker, Rep. Benjamin Kalu, Abbas said effective governance and reform of the security sector were essential for upholding the rule of law, protecting human rights, and safeguarding democratic principles.

“In this regard, the role of parliament is indispensable as it serves as a key institution for oversight, legislation, and budgetary control over the security sector.

“I urge all stakeholders present to consider practical strategies for enhancing parliamentary engagement in security sector governance.

“This may involve developing specialised training programs for parliamentarians on security related matters, establishing robust mechanisms for information sharing between security agencies and parliamentary committees.

“Also for fostering a culture of dialogue and cooperation between the executive and legislative branches on security policy formulation,” he said.

The Director-General, NILDS, Prof. Abubakar Sulaiman said that in recent times, West Africa faced a scourge of terrorism, insurgency, and transnational crime.

He said that the menace presented formidable threats to the collective peace and stability of the region.

According to him, security issues, including illicit trafficking and the movement of armed groups, further compound the complexities.

“We must confront these urgently; internal conflicts, driven by various factors, pose additional challenges that require our immediate attention.

“More recently, the series of military coups that have taken place in and around our region which remains a threat to peace, the rule of law and democratic stability within the region.

“As legislators, you stand at the forefront of crafting responses to these challenges.

“The laws and policies you shape must not only address the immediate threats but also lay the foundation for sustainable security sector governance and reform,” he said.

Sulaiman said the roundtable provided an opportunity to pool insights, share best practices, and develop legislative frameworks that are responsive to the unique security dynamics of West Africa.

Peran said that there has been a spread of terrorism and violent extremism with terrorist groups becoming more and more sophisticated.

“Wave to try to understand better why the security situation is so complex and what can be done to improve it in a sustainable fashion said the Resident Rep of KAS, Ms Marija Peran.

According to her, security sector reforms and governance plays a vital role in stabilising the region.

She said they had also been recognised as an essential precondition not only for conflict prevention, post-conflict reconstruction and peace-building but in general for good governance.

“Security sector reforms, repurposing of security institutions and agencies, improved interagency cooperation and effective oversight of the security sector are critical enablers to create the peaceful and secure Africa,” she said.

Continue Reading


Senate threatens to step down NCoS budget over insufficient information



The Senate has threatened to step down consideration on the 2024 budget of the Nigerian Correctional Services (NCoS) over insufficient information

Sen. Adams Oshiomhole, the Chairman,Senate Committee on Interior, Sen.Adams Oshiomole, said this said this at the 2024 budget defence of the National Assembly Joint Committee on Interior on Thursday in Abuja.

Oshiomole said he was unhappy with the services being rendered to inmates by the NCoS.

“Your organisation has transformed from Nigeria Prison Service to Nigerian Correctional Service but you have yet to change in your attitudes toward inmates.

“It’s not just your fault because the government appropriates little money for you, it is either you don’t feed the inmates or you feed them only once and even at that, very miserable food.

“This is why they have completely emaciated and some can never live a decent life again even when they did not commit an offence.

“You all know the price of food items in the market, so how can you look us eye to eye and tell us that you feed a man in Nigeria with N750 a day, how much is a bottle of water,” he said.

He said that the committee would not be in a haste to approve any budget for the service until it received satisfactory answers.

He requested for a breakdown of the number of inmates and security dogs at the correctional centers and how they were fed daily.

“I would like to see a breakdown of how you feed the inmates. If you say you feed inmates three times a day with N250 each.

“How many dogs do you have and how much does it cost to feed them daily,” he said.

Responding, the NCS Comptroller General, Alhaji Haliru Nababa, said the service had a total of 81,358 inmates nationwide, saying that 53,362 of the inmates were awaiting trial.

“We feed each inmate with N750 daily and they are fed three times daily (N250 for each square meal).

“We have 900 security dogs and to feed a dog each day we spend N800,” he said.

Continue Reading


Army Chief tasks NASS on funding



Lt.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, the Chief of Army Staff, has appealed to the National Assembly to review the current envelope budgeting system of the Federal Government to ensure adequate funding for the Nigerian Army.

Lagbaja said this when he appeared before the National Assembly Joint Committee on Nigerian Army on Thursday in Abuja.

He said that the envelope system had led to inadequate funding for the Nigerian Army, especially its anti terrorism operation and other operations across the country.
Lagbaja also called on the national assembly to expedite action on the passage of the Armed Forces Support Trust Fund Bill, saying that the passage would enhance the operations of the Armed Forces, through improved funding.
The Chairman, of the Joint Committee, Sen. Abdulaziz Yar’ adua assured of transparency in the handling of the Nigerian Army 2024 budget.

He comended Lagbaja for taking responsibility for the bombing of Kaduna villagers and taking steps to investigate the matter.

Continue Reading