Tuesday, 11 January 2011

News Release: The Enough is Enough Nigeria coalition Says "Register, Vote, Protect Your Votes"

The Enough is Enough (EiE) Nigeria coalition today had a press briefing at the Place Lounge, N0 45 Isaac John Street GRA Lagos to launch the RSVP Campaign ahead of the voter registration exercise. The four letters represent four key activities that young people need to complete successfully in order to have a positive impact on the 2011 general elections and guarantee their place at the table in determining Nigeria’s future.

These are:
1.Register to vote
2.Select credible candidates (having scrutinized the options)
4.Protect their votes.

EiE Nigeria is a coalition of young professionals and youth organizations committed to instituting a culture of good governance and public accountability in Nigeria through advocacy, activism and the mobilization
of the youth population as responsible citizens.  We are non-partisan For the purpose of the elections, we believe that young Nigerians should be educated, motivated and mobilized to actively and positively participate in the 2011 elections and beyond.

Hence the need for the press briefing, Ahead of the January 15th to 29th voter registration exercises. The coalition calls on all Nigerians, especially within the 18 to 35 age bloc, to turn up at all the polling station close to their location and register. Their ability to be part of the registration process, will give them an opportunity to elect leaders of choice and thereby allow Nigerians decide on whom to govern them.

As part of our line-up activities to mobilize young Nigerians, the group is organizing a "celebrity walk", where young Nigerians will meet up celebrities at designated locations within their locale and they will all walk to registration units, where they can be registered alongside the celebrities.

In the course of the voter registration exercise, Nigerians are going to be asked to send in reports on the registration via e-mails, sms and the social networking sites twitter, facebook.  Also a hotline has been set up
to respond to calls from persons who have problems registering in their polling booths so we can engage the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC to sort out registration challenges.

These are some of the other things lined up for the project:
•For voter Registration: Face to face forums: Campaign messages will be customized for certain youth constituencies. Through Campus Hall and Town Hall Meetings (THMs), hustings and get-out-the-voters, messages will be communicated. This voter education is funded by INEC, and we will be covering the six geo-political zones, and online blackout.
•For selecting candidates, Traditional Media: candidates will be profiled using the strengths of coalition members, live presidential debate on Channels television. TV adverts and radio jingles to be aired around the
country to reach a wider audience in a short time.
•Votes, people will have to vote, report and monitor the process alongside.
•Protecting the votes, equip volunteers with citizen reporting tools. Currently, EiE Nigeria runs an active social networking sites via twitter facebook and youtube where we reach over (380.000) three hundred and eighty thousand followers talking about the 2011 elections. The RSVP tag trends daily in Lagos and Abuja keep the youths abreast of latest happenings concerning the elections.

They commend government’s decision to shut down primary and secondary schools ahead of the voter’s registration exercise. EiE also call on government to close down tertiary institutions in order to allow for
university students an opportunity to take part in the process.

In line with EiE’s RSVP Slogan, young Nigerians have been urged to register, select candidate of choice, vote wisely and protect their votes.

Abang Mercy
Communications Cordinator
Enough is Enough Nigeria

News Report: Chief Obafemi Awolowo Was Ungrateful To Igbos, Says Nigerian First Republic Minister

Chief Mbazuluike Amaechi(On Microphone)
A member of Nigeria's first republic Federal cabinet, Chief Mbazuluike Amaechi have accused the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo of ingratitude to the Igbos immediately after the Nigerian civil war.

In an interview granted to a Nigerian national weekly, "The Nation On Sunday" and monitored by chidi opara reports, Chief Amaechi recounted how Igbo leaders immediately after the civil war sent a delegation to Chief Awolowo, who was the Minister of Finance and Vice-chairman of the Federal Executive Council, to help the Igbos recover their landed properties seized by the Federal government in Port Harcourt and other major townships.

The reason for sending the delegation, according to the 81-year-old first republic Minister of Aviation was that when Chief Awolowo was sent to prison in Calabar, which was part of Eastern Nigeria by the Federal administration of Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa in 1962, the Eastern Nigerian government led by Dr. M.I Okpara, an Igbo, in collaboration with other Igbo leaders persuaded an Igbo landed property owner to vacate his property near the Calabar prisons for the imprisoned politician. Chief Awolowo, according to Chief Amaechi stayed in the prison in daytime and in the property at night.. The ex-zikist also revealed that the Eastern Nigerian government placed Chief Awolowo's wife on a Minister's salary, allowances and other benefits.

"So we thought he would remember these things, a delegation was sent to him because he was in charge of Finance and Vice-chairman of the Federal Executive Council", Chief Amaechi told the weekly. The former anti-colonial activist continued, "he said, you know I am a lawyer. I have a chamber at Apapa. If you want me to help you in the matter, go and pay a sum of two million pounds into my chamber at Apapa and bring the receipt to me". "And the Igbos who were given only twenty pounds, where would they collect and assemble two million pounds at that time in 1970?", the elder statesman queried.

Chief Mbazuluike Amaechi revealed further that in frustration, the delegation left. He described Chief Obafemi Awolowo's action as "the height of ingratitude to a people who gave him succour at his crisis period."