The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has extended the deadline for the collection of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) until 29 January 2023. The electoral umpire had earlier fixed the collection deadline as 22 January. But following a meeting on Thursday, INEC said it has pushed the deadline by eight days. “The Commission is determined to ensure that registered voters have ample opportunity to collect their PVCs ahead of the forthcoming election. For this reason, the timeframe for the collection of PVCs is extended by eight days,” INEC National Commissioner Festus Okoye said in a statement. This comes as Nigerian printers under the Chartered Institute of Professional Printers of Nigeria have threatened to sue INEC for allegedly printing a large chunk of its electoral materials overseas. The agency said this was illegal and a violation of the CIPPON Act 24 of 2007. The council is charged with the duty of regulating, controlling, managing and administration of printers, the business of printing and other printing related-matters in Nigeria. CIPPON President Olugbemi Malomo told the Punch that though the electoral body had been awarding printing jobs to local printers, but he insisted that outsourcing contracting printing contracts to foreign firms was a violation of the law. He cited Section 23b of the CIPPON Act, which states, “In regulating the registration of printing practitioners, the council ensures that no firm or partnership shall practise as printers in Nigeria unless it is registered by the council.’’
Senate President Ahmad Lawan has hinted that the 9th Senate would expend the remaining six months of its lifespan to review or renegotiate some waivers, tax holidays and concessions granted to investors and businesses by the FG. Dropping the indication yesterday at an occasion to mark his 64 birthday in Abuja, Lawan stressed that the review was to generate extra funds for the government and minimise borrowing. He said the move has become expedient and instructive due to leakages in tax collection and remittances amid revenue shortfalls and high debt profile. “The government cannot continue to go borrowing because it is not sustainable. We have to look inward and generate more money to execute landmark projects and fund infrastructure,” he stated.
Gunmen on Thursday killed four vigilantes on duty and set five buildings ablaze in Ihiala, the headquarters of Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State. According to a statement by the police spokesperson in the state, Tochukwu Ikenga, the attackers beheaded one of the victims. He said they set the five buildings on fire using improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The police spokesperson, however, said the police and military operatives in Ihiala neutralised one of the attackers after responding to a distress call at about 2:55 am on Thursday. He said the joint force operatives also recovered two locally made IED launchers, seven undetonated IEDs, 40 pieces of live cartridges, 15 live 7.62MM AK-47 ammunition, knives, charms, and other dangerous weapons. DSP Ikenga also said the joint force operatives’ engagement with the arsonists obstructed them from causing further damages, while some escaped with bullet wounds. He added that the bodies of the victims were recovered and joint operations are still ongoing. The incident happened just after four persons were killed on Tuesday in the Eziani community of the same council area.
Nine people were killed when suspected jihadists attacked a mosque in northeastern Burkina Faso, local sources said on Thursday. The attack happened at around nightfall on Wednesday in the village of Goulgountou in Burkina’s Sahel region, when assailants arrived on motorbikes and herded worshippers inside the mosque, a witness said. “They separated out the women, children and elderly and then made sermons to try to convince worshipers to abandon” their form of faith, the source said. “A discussion even started up with the Imam, and because he refused, he was executed,” the source said. “They tried to cut his throat, but he fought back, saying he wanted to die standing up, so the terrorists shot him in the head,” a local resident said, adding that he had attended the victims’ funeral on Thursday. “Eight other worshippers, mainly community leaders, were shot dead in the same way.”