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YIAGA urges Nigerians to participate in the Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) exercise




The Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement (YIAGA-Africa) has called on Nigerians, especially those who just became 18, to seize the golden opportunity provided by Independent National Electoral Commission INEC to register in the Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) exercise.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the CVR begins nationwide on Monday,  with the online pre-registration process as the first phase.

The Director of Programmes, the YIAGA-Africa, Cynthia Mbamalu in a statement on Monday in Abuja said that the call became imperative because the  anticipated CVR remains a critical exercise in the electoral process as it is the first determinant of who gets to vote in Nigeria.

She added that the  right to vote which, gave  the people a voice through the ballot, required citizens to first register as voters.

She said that it  guaranteed the free exercise of the right of citizens to choose their leaders and decide electoral outcomes.

“This CVR exercise presents an opportunity for Nigerians, especially young Nigerians, to exercise their power as the sovereign in a democracy by first registering to vote to harness the people’s power during elections.

“The CVR is a prerequisite for participating in elections in Nigeria because only registered voters will be issued the Permanent Voter Card (PVC) to vote.

“Registering to vote is both a fundamental human rights issue and a civic responsibility issue.

“The CVR  provides an opportunity to transition from any form of agitation or protest to action, as the election remains the legitimate means of transition of political power in a democracy.’’

Mbamalu said that to inspire citizens to register as voters, the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) introduced the pre-enrolment via INEC’s CVR online portal from June 28, 2021.

She explained that this would  be the first time in Nigeria’s electoral process where citizens could commence their voter’s registration from their individual spaces of comfort.

She said that citizens who completed their pre-enrollment in the online portal would choose an appointment date for their biometric physical capture, which would commence from July 19  2021 at INEC offices in the States and Local Government Areas (LGAs).

She enlightened that with the proposals for more technology to be deployed in Nigeria’s election, the CVR process presented an opportunity for the accurate capture of voters’ data and biometrics.

Mbamalu said that it also created an opportunity for more eligible voters to commence their registration with ease and hopefully reduce the pressure at the physical centres.

She added that with the introduction of the online pre-registration process, registration centres would be less congested and the CVR process would be  faster and seamless, especially in the COVID-19 pandemic.

She expressed hope that more eligible voters, especially young Nigerians, would take advantage of the opportunity to register as voters.

She explained that the CRV  exercise was for citizens who just turned 18 years old or above 18 but had not registered to vote.

She added that it was also for registered voters who lost their Permanent Voters Card(PVC) or whose PVC’s got damaged to apply for replacement .

Mbamalu said that it was also for voters who had issues during accreditation  on election day in previous elections, registered voters who wanted to transfer their voter’s registration to their current location and voters who wished to correct their details in the voter’s register.

She advised that registered voters who were yet to collect their PVCs could also visit the INEC offices to collect their PVCs.

“We commend Nigerians for remaining patient and waiting for the CVR process to resume.

“We congratulate Nigeria’s youth for staying resilient and committed to building Nigeria’s democracy.’’(NAN)

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Buhari Pledge to Rescue Kaduna Train Attack Hostages



President Muhammadu Buhari


President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday assured to rescue 31 hostages taken in a train attack and return them “safe and unhurt”, his office said, five months after their abduction.

Gangs of bandits with no ideological or religious motives are known to kidnap for ransom in northwest and central Nigeria.

On March 28, armed men blew up a train travelling between Abuja and Kaduna and opened fire, killing eight people, wounding 26, and taking an unspecified number of passengers hostage.

A week later, they freed one hostage — a top bank executive — as a goodwill gesture for Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting, because of his “advanced age”.

Dozens of hostages have already been freed following negotiations, but 31 remain in the kidnappers den.

“I have been informed that at last count, there remain about 31 people in the hands of the kidnappers,” Buhari told representatives of the families of the hostages in Abuja on Thursday.

He said his government would ensure the safe return of the remaining hostages to their families.

“My primary concern is to get everyone released safe and unhurt,” he assured.
The president commended the security forces on recent successes against kidnappers and “terrorists”.

“In the past couple of days, you must have heard about the number of terrorists neutralised by the military, and a number of hostages freed. These efforts will not stop, or reduce,” he said.

“We must take the fight to the terrorists and demonstrate that there is no hiding place for them within the borders of our country,” he said.

“Each one of them will be hunted, and pursued and spoken to in the language that they understand,” he added.

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Five Guards Brigade Killed By Bandits Buried In Abuja



Five Guards Brigade Killed By Bandits Buried In Abuja


The Nigerian Army on Thursday buried five members of the Guards Brigade killed by bandits during a clearance operation in the Federal Capital Territory recently.

The soldiers were laid to rest at the Guards Brigade Cemetery, Maitama , Abuja, according to a statement by Guards Brigade spokesperson, Captain Godfrey Anebi Abakpa

Among the deceased was Captain Attah Samuel.

“Until their demise, the gallant soldiers were serving with 7 Guards Battalion, Lungi Barracks Maitama and 176 Guards Battalion Gwagwalada in the Federal Capital Territory Abuja respectively,” the statement said.

“While reading the funeral oration of the deceased officer and soldiers, the Commanding Officers of 7 Guards Battalion Lt Col Salim Yusuf Hassan and Commanding Officer 176 Guards Battalion, Lt Col Joshuah Kolowale Adisa described the late Captain and Soldiers as thoroughly bred Infantrymen who were genuinely committed to their duties in defence of Nigeria and whose contribution and services would be greatly missed.

“They asked God to console the families left behind stressing that while the Brigade and the Nigerian Army mourns, the families should take solace in the fact that they have fought a just fight and their souls shall continue to rest with the lord till the resurrection morning.

“Highpoint of the event was the presentation of accoutrements by the representative of the Chief of Army Staff, Maj Gen James Alilu Ataguba to the next of kins of the deceased personnel and lowering of the remains of the fallen heroes.

There was also the blowing of the last post and gun salute to bid the departed heroes fair well

“The burial process started with Christian wake keep and funeral service held in honour of the fallen heroes at St John’s Military Church (Protestant) before the final Internment at the Guards Brigade Cemetery Maitama Abuja.

“The solemn ceremony was witnessed by senior officers of the Nigerian Army, Commanding Officers, Staff Officers of the Brigade, Bwari Area Council Chairman, Hon John Gabaya as well as family members and the barracks community.”

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Two More ISWAP Terrorists Linked To Owo Church Attack Arrested – DHQ



Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor


Two more Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists linked to the attack on St Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo state, have been arrested.

Gunmen had on June 5 stormed the Catholic church, killing over 40 worshippers and injuring others.

The incident drew widespread condemnation, with President Muhammadu Buhari ordering security agencies to arrest the attackers.

On June 9, the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, blamed the attack on ISWAP, but the claim was countered by Ondo state Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu.

Just yesterday, the Chief of Defence Staff, Lucky Irabor, announced that the gunmen behind the attack on the church have been arrested.

But in a statement on Wednesday, the Director of Defence Information, Jimmy Akpor, said the two suspected ISWAP fighters were arrested through the collaborative effort of the military and the Department of State Services (DSS).

“Recall that the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor, during his parley with media executives and editors yesterday, Tuesday 9 August 2022, informed of the arrest of 4 terrorists among those who carried out the attack on St Francis Catholic Church, Owo on 5 June 2022,” Akpor said.

“They were arrested through a combined operation by military and DSS personnel at Eika, Okehi LGA, Kogi State on 1 August 2022.

“Those arrested include Idris Abdulmalik Omeiza (a.k.a Bin Malik), Momoh Otohu Abubakar, Aliyu Yusuf Itopa and Auwal Ishaq Onimisi.

“Barely few hours after the disclosure by the CDS of the arrest of 4 of the Owo Catholic Church attackers, 2 additional ISWAP terrorists, who were also connected to the attack on the church were apprehended at Omialafara (Omulafa), Ose LGA, Ondo State yesterday, 9 August 2022.

“The arrests were made through the collaborative effort by military and DSS personnel. The suspects are Al-Qasim Idris and Abdulhaleem Idris.

“It is instructive to note that Abdulhaleem, alongside other high profile ISWAP commanders, had also previously coordinated attacks on military targets in Okene, Okene LGA, Kogi State resulting in casualties.”

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