Mr Osareti Imahiyereobo, INEC’s Head of Voters Education and Publicity in Plateau State, made this disclosure in his goodwill message during a Town Hall Meeting organised by Search For Common Ground, a Non-Governmental Organisation.
“The closure of all our borders has greatly affected the economic growth of the nation as all businesses are also always on standstill till after elections.
“This very action is mainly due to the lack of trust among us Nigerians and which is not good for us as a nation given its negative effects on our economy because businesses are always closed down.
“In some other nations like Zambia, borders and business premises are left open while some sensitive materials like ballot papers are always sent out to voters week before elections and their elections were not affected in any way.
”But that kind of trust and understanding can’t happen here because we as Nigerians do not trust ourselves,” he said.
The INEC official also called on residents of Plateau to accept in good faith whatever may be the outcome at being Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in the state.
“There is need for us to support those who have been elected to represent us at whatever level and capacity so that we can enjoy the dividends of democracy,” he said.
Earlier, Mrs Niri Goyit, the Project Coordinator for Search for Common Ground, had said that the purpose for the town hall meeting was to give room for stakeholders to assess the general elections.
“We are so happy that the civil society groups, including journalists, collaborated with us on the education and sensitisation of voters and politicians on the need for peaceful conduct before, during and after the elections,” she said.
Goyit said that the town hall meeting was aimed at sifting the views of stakeholders on the conduct of politicians, voters, security operatives and INEC so as to come out with a communique that would help chart a new course for the conduct of elections in Nigeria.
I’m not scared of kidnappers – Senate Deputy Majority Leader speaks on running from constituency
Reacting to a media report suggesting that he no longer visit or travel to his constituency, the lawmaker said he has been regular to his hometown in Ondo State now than before.
“The said media report is utterly misleading as it did not reflect the crux, essence and meaning of what I said when I visited the Akure residence of Pa Reuben Fasoranti whose daughter was killed by gunmen.
“The misleading report seems more like offside interpretation and off-key inference.”
Speaking with DAILY POST in Abuja, he said he has scheduled programmes in his home this weekend, while promised to honour all.
“I visited my hometown recently and I will visit my hometown by this weekend and next week to attend scheduled political engagements and community activities”.
“The suggestion that I can no longer travel to my hometown does not represent the truth.”
Meanwhile, it should be noted that when Senator Ajayi Boroffice spoke with reporters in Akure, he emphasized the enormity of security challenges and made reference to a spot near Oba Akoko which is said to be regular operational base of gunmen.
During the engagement with reporters, the senator also said government will find sustainable solutions to the menace.
He called for synergy among security agencies and advised security agencies to work closely with space agencies to ensure accurate mapping of possible locations and hideouts of criminals in Ondo State and Nigeria in general.
Nigeria Immigration to capture foreign Fulani in migrant e-registration
Speaking in Calabar during breakfast meeting with newsmen on Monday, he said, “Fulani who are non-Nigerian and other entities who are not Nigerians, but residing in Nigeria will be captured”.
Ezugwu said the Service began e-registration of all migrants in the entire 18 local government areas of Cross River State, explaining that the e-registration was not to find out “Whether the person has a mission or not but to know that he or she is here”.
The Comptroller said the profiling of migrants was even more imperative because Cross River State, being a border state, was a haven for foreigners.
“We are commencing the registration of migrants in all the eighteen local government areas of the state. Every migrant must be captured and profiled so that we can be held responsible. It helps in planning and enhances our productivity, securitywise.
“Cross River State occupies a strategic place when it comes to boundary issues. Our peculiar situation makes it imperative to account for every foreigner in the state,” the Comptroller said.
Ezugwu however said that: “The essence of profiling is not to find out whether he or she (immigrant) has a mission or not, but to know that such person is here. It is not a medium to find out who has overstayed or find out one’s status, but to know where you are.”
He pointed out that there were two categories of immigrants: those who were required to register and those who were exempted from registering.
“There are two categories of immigrants: those who are expected to register and those who are exempted from registration. Those who are to register include visitors staying for more than ninety days; residents who are non-Nigerians and ECOWAS Nationals.
“Those who are exempted are: persons under the age of 18; persons enjoying diplomatic immunity and immigrants staying in Nigeria for less than ninety days,” he said.
Ezugwu maintained that registration was free and appealed to landlords in the state to assist in identifying foreigners living in their houses in order for the registration to succeed.
Pa Adebanjo reacts to Obasanjo’s letter
Obasanjo had enumerated the huge security challenges in the land, proposed some solutions and asked Buhari to act now so that Nigeria can remain one.
But the letter activated a fresh wave of controversy, with notable personalities taking various positions.
However, Adebanjo in a statement yesterday, advised President Buhari to act immediately on the Obasanjo’s message to demonstrate his commitment to keeping the country together.
Adebanjo said: “I endorse what he (Obasanjo) has said hundred per cent. The situation in the country has got to a critical point that needs immediate attention. It is not a question of we shall do this or we are doing this. The thing has got to a boiling point.
“The situation in the country has got to a position where we have to decide two things: are we going to do restructuring now or we are going to do de-amalgamation? It has come to that stage. We are talking of restructuring because we believe under restructuring we can take care of our security if we do it properly then we can stay together. Anything that is not immediate now is just praying for time.
“Mr. President must do something positive immediately to show that he wants to keep the country together and all the complaints he sees to it. They are killing us right, left and centre; kidnapping us; no arrest has been made, not to talk of prosecution. You want to beat us and ask us not to cry?”
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