1. Nigerian Catholic Bishops’ Conference statement on eve of elections


Nigerian Catholic Bishops Conference has issued a statement exhorting the Nigerian populace to be more prudential in their choice of government in the upcoming elections. “This is now the time to reject evil, greater or lesser, and wisely choose good and capable candidates at all levels. Our votes are precious; we must use them well. we encourage all eligible citizens to come out en masse to vote for God-fearing, honest, vibrant, and transparent leaders for a better Nigeria”, they said. in their plenary meeting of the bishops, held from 11 to 17 February, the bishops highlighted that the upcoming elections on 25 February, requires Nigerians to be more involved in key public decision-making structures for the realization of the common good, while highlighting the Catechism, which says “responsible citizenship is a virtue and participation in the political process is a moral obligation. One of the potent instruments of participation in the political life of a country is the choice of its leaders. In the face of the daunting challenges facing our nation, we should not give in to hopelessness and despair, or compromise our values in such a manner as to come up with leaders who are neither intended by God nor truly elected by the people. We, as citizens, must learn to make the right choices for good governance to thrive and be sustained. Increased insecurity has continued to haunt our nation. The Boko Haram insurgents, herdsmen militia, bandits, and the so-called unknown gunmen have continued to unleash terror in different parts of the country. Some communities have been sacked and their inhabitants displaced as a result of the activities of some criminals and some government security agents. Hundreds of lives have been lost in very brutal circumstances and many more have been maimed. Kidnapping for ransom is on the increase such that nowhere seems safe. Highways, homes, and even the sacred precincts of worshipping centers are not spared,” the bishops lamented. in a response to the panic currently being felt in the country with the introduction of new Naira notes, they said the policy has added to the decline in the economy, and therefore, the lives of ordinary citizens was being made difficult. “Our crumbling national economy has continued to make life difficult and hard for our people. As the value of the Naira continues to decline, the high cost of goods and services, including food items, continues to soar. Still more, the flawed implementation of the cash swap policy, which resulted in a cash crunch, has added to the ordeal, hunger, anger, and frustration of the people. Again, on account of the persisting fuel scarcity, our people spend many hours in long queues under harsh conditions trying to buy fuel at exorbitant prices. As a result of high unemployment and hard-biting economic conditions, many of our brothers and sisters wallow in abject poverty, and many either flee the nation in search of better living conditions or resort to crime and begging to survive,” they said. The Federal government should “immediately increase the circulation of new Naira notes and make and implement adequate monetary and other relevant policies that will reduce the suffering and hardship experienced by our people, and those who collaborate in hoarding the new currency and petroleum products to desist from such a dastardly act. We urge the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and its officials to ensure that their conducts in the entire electoral process are transparent, honest, and beyond reproach. We continue to enjoin the Commission to make sure that the newly adopted technologies for accreditation, transmission, and collation, are transparently and sincerely deployed and not manipulated to give false results. We equally call on the law enforcement agents, whose primary duty is to enforce law and order and ensure the protection of persons and materials during the elections, to efficiently and professionally carry out their responsibilities without fear, favour, or partiality.” https://cisanewsafrica.com/nigeriabishops-decry-worsening-insecurity-crumbling-economy-call-on-voters-to-choose-goodgovernance-in-first-plenary/


2. Civil Liberties Organization: Election is Nigeria’s last chance


The Civil Liberties Organization, in the south east zone of Nigeria, have rung the alarm that this weekend’s elections are Nigeria’s last chance to get on the right governance track, otherwise it could end up in uncertain times. They said this at a media conference in Enugu, where they highlighted critical areas and issues that are most likely to disrupt the presidential elections and will push Nigeria into post-election uncertainties, with far-reaching consequences and social control systems breaking down soon after. Chairman of the CLO, Emeka Uneagbalasi, has stated that unless the next president is from the south east, stability in the region, indeed in the whole country, is in question. However, he said the incoming president, if he is indeed from the south east, should work hard to ensure equitable distribution of political and security power among the six geopolitical regions of Nigeria. Umeagbalasi says there is a fear of a youth uprising, and fake Biafran agitators taking control and causing destruction if the south eastern presidency attempts are blocked. Like in the 2019 elections, the Nigerian military should be watched closely, and prevented from aggravating voters. Similarly, so should the judiciary be closely monitored to prevent the tumultuous events of 2019, when the Supreme Court’s decision had to be challenged? The CLO has identified Lagos and northern Nigeria as especially dangerous

2 places for Igbos to vote, urging for an increase in security forces in those areas to protect voters. They also identified Imo and Ebonyi states and dangerous for independent candidates. https://www.sunnewsonline.com/2023-last-chance-for-getting-nigeria-back-on-track-easternrights-coalition/



3. Imo State Police Commissioner’s house attacked


In the early hours of Thursday last, gunmen attacked the country home of Imo State Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Emeka Okoronkwo by unknown gunmen. the country home of Imo State University former dean of the faculty of law, Nnamdi Obiaraeri, who had also previously served as Commissioner for Information, Youths and Sports as well as Land and Urban Planning, during the administrations of former state governors, Ikedi Ohakim and Rochas Okorocha. Also burnt was the home of retired director in the department of Security forces, Emeka Ngwu. Unfortunately, in the fire at Mr. Ngwus home, an old woman was trapped in the house and perished in the blaze. Two other houses belonging to prominent men were also burnt. This happened at Amagu Ihube community, Okigwe Local Government Area in Imo State. The spokesperson for the state police command, Henry Okoye, confirmed the attacks and said all the investigations are still on going. These recent happenings come on the heels of a series of arson attacks, including the burning of the homes of Labour party candidate for the Okigwe Local Government Area, Nnaemeka Obiaraeri, and the director general of the Labour party campaign, Okey Unam. https://punchng.com/gunmen-burn-woman-in-imo-raze-five-houses/



4. Police in Anambra accured of atrocities


The Nigerian Police Command has said it has commenced an investigation into extrajudicial killings, corruption, and unfair treatments, levelled against some police officers in the Zone 13 command, Ukpo-Dunokofia, in Anambra state. This is according to Police Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, on Twitter. According to him, the investigator in charge has begun on-site assessments, while also admitting that those officers accused of misconduct have not been arrested nor detained. “The Special Investigation Panel investigating

3 the allegations of extrajudicial killings, extortion, unprofessionalism, and highhandedness against Police officers of Anambra State Command and Zone 13 Ukpo-Dunukofia has commenced a full scale investigation into the allegations as investigators have moved to scenes and sites for on-the-spot-assessment. the team has however been tasked to harness all available means and spread its tentacles towards ensuring that all information received via the channels made available to the public is properly examined to assist the investigations, subsequent report of findings, and recommendations. The Nigeria Police Force wishes to disabuse the minds of well-meaning members of the public and all interested stakeholders that the panel comprising respected and thoroughbred officers including officers of the IGP Monitoring Unit, reports directly to the Inspector-General of Police, and shall discharge the responsibility professionally and ensure justice. The NPF also reassures that the Anambra RRS, Awkuzu, will definitely be reorganized and sanitized to suit the present ideologies and administrative styles of the Force leadership in conformity with international best practices. This sanitization will be equally extended to other tactical squads across the NPF. Furthermore, it is imperative to clear the air that the officers fingered in the trending allegation were never arrested or detained.” https://punchng.com/anambra-killings-police-begin-full-scaleinvestigations/

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