The major headlines in mainstream newspapers today, Friday, February 15, are focused on the reaction of the APC to the PDP's plan to collate results during the presidential election, President Buhari's message as well as that of the US to Nigerians ahead of the exercise, FG's directive that land borders be shut for the polls and the president's assurance of safety for foreign observers.
The Nation takes the lead today, reporting that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Thursday, February 14, set the stage for a dispute - according to the federal government - with its plan to collate results of the presidential election taking place on Saturday, February 16.
The opposition party reportedly disclosed that it had put in place, a Parallel Voting Tabulation (PVT) system, to collate results and would be deploying 40 million of its members for the job.
Speaking at a news conference in Abuja, the nations' capital, the PDP’s campaign spokesman and chairman of its Strategy Committee, Osita Chidoka, described PVT as a “scientifically proven and a best-practice technique” designed to keep umpires on their toes.
However, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) said it was all a plot to rig the election.
The publication notes that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is the only authority for the collation and announcement of results.
Moving on to The Guardian and the publication is focused on the message from the United States to Nigerians, ahead of Saturday's elections.
The US reportedly advised Nigerians to shun every act of violence that may mar the conduct of peaceful, credible and fair polls.
The message was given by it consul general in Lagos, John Bray, on Thursday, February 16, during an interview with BBC Pidgin.
He cautioned: “Election is not war, vote not fight.”
Bray, admonished citizens to come out en masse on Saturday with their Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVC) to elect credible people-oriented candidates that would effectively represent them and improve their lot.
Still on the issue of the elections, Vanguard reports that President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday assured Nigerians of adequate security and urged them to turn out en masse for the general elections, beginning with the presidential and National Assembly elections.
Buhari, who is seeking re-election on the platform of the APC, gave the charge in a 52-point broadcast to the nation that lasted 21 minutes.
He told Nigerian youths not to allow themselves to be used as willing tools in the hands of desperate politicians that would want to incite them to discredit the elections, alleging that such desperate people were afraid of losing the elections.
The president also assured the international community, especially diplomats and foreign observers, that the government will do everything possible to ensure their safety during the polls.
Mirroring the report of the previous publication, This Day reports that President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday dissociated his government from threats of death and intimidation against international observers from some individuals in the country, saying such acts did not represent the position of the federal government.
The publication recalls that Governor Nasir El-Rufai had recently threatened that international observers who dared to interfere in Nigeria’s elections would return to their countries in body bags.
In his nationwide broadcast, Buhari, however, promised to ensure the safety of foreign observers during the elections and restated his promise to ensure that the 2019 general elections would be free, fair and peaceful.
The president recalled how he had himself been a beneficiary of free polls by the Goodluck Jonathan administration and further appealed to Nigerians to turn out very well during the elections and cast their votes.
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Rounding things off for today's review, Punch reports that the federal government has ordered the closure of all land borders with effect from 12pm on Friday, February 15 to Sunday, February 17, in preparations for the presidential and National Assembly elections,.
The minister of interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, in a statement released on Thursday, said this was to restrict movements across the borders during the election.
He asked the public to take note and also directed security agencies to ensure compliance.
The publication also reports that the acting inspector general of police, Mohammed Adamu, has ordered the restriction of vehicular movement from 6am to 6pm on Saturday.
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