Voter Registration: New Registrants Now 10.4m, Says INEC

A man displays his voter's card on September 19, 2020. Photo credit: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television.
In this file photo, a man displays his voter’s card on September 19, 2020. Photo credit: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television.

 

Over 10 million new voters have registered in the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise across the country.

This is according to the update for Week 11 in the Fourth Quarter released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday.

A breakdown of the figure showed that while fresh registrants hit 10,487,972, completed registration was pegged at 8,631,696.

Online registration as of 7 am, Monday 27th June 2022 was pegged at 3,250,449, and physical registration, at 5,381,247.

Furthermore, the update noted that the fresh registrants are made up of 4,292,690 males; females: 4,339,006; Persons Living with Disabilities (PWDs): 67,171 and youths: 6,081,456.


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Before now, the electoral body has said extending the voters’ registration was now inevitable following a surge in interest and calls by Nigerians for the exercise to be extended.

INEC National Commissioner Festus Okoye said this on Friday as the June 30th deadline draws closer.

He said INEC “is disposed towards extending the date for the CVR”.

“We are convinced that after we make our arguments, the court will be convinced on why we cannot extend the CVR beyond a certain period,” Mr Okoye added.

“But we are convinced, given the enthusiasm of Nigerians, given the new resolve of Nigerians to register, that an extension is inevitable.

“The Commission is disposed towards extending the period for the CVR but not up to the period that some people are canvassing.”

As part of moves to get Nigerians registered, the European Union and YIAGA Africa, a civil organisation, recently organised concerts in Lagos and Abuja.

Tagged ‘Youth Vote Count’, the mega concerts have top Nigerian artists performing to a teeming crowd. Registrations were also done at the events.

Religious organisations and other bodies have also ramped up efforts to get eligible Nigerians enrolled.

Cech Quits Role As Chelsea’s Technical And Performance Advisor 

A file photo of Peter Cech in action for Chelsea.

 

Petr Cech became the latest member of Chelsea’s senior management team to leave the club on Monday following a change in ownership.

Long-serving chairman Bruce Buck and director Marina Granovskaia also departed Stamford Bridge last week in the wake of a takeover from American Todd Boehly’s consortium.

Cech, who won 13 major honours with Chelsea during his playing career as a goalkeeper, became the club’s technical and performance advisor when he retired in 2019.

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“It has been a huge privilege to perform this role at Chelsea for the past three years,” Cech said in a club statement.

“With the club under new ownership, I feel now is the right time for me to step aside.

“I am pleased that the club is now in an excellent position with the new owners, and I am confident of its future success both on and off the pitch.”

Boehly has been installed as Chelsea’s new chairman and taken over as interim sporting director.

“Petr is an important member of the Chelsea family,” said Boehly.

“We understand his decision to step away and thank him for his contributions as an advisor and his commitment to the club and to our community.”

Cech’s departure puts Boehly under even more scrutiny during what is expected to be a hectic transfer window for the Blues.

Chelsea, who finished third in the Premier League last season, have been linked with moves for Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt, Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling and Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele.

The club’s record signing, Romelu Lukaku, is reportedly set to rejoin Inter Milan on loan just one year after making a move in the opposite direction for £98 million ($120 million).

AFP

Ecuador To Cut Fuel Prices That Sparked Weeks Of Protests

A file photo of Ecuador President Guillermo Lasso

 

President Guillermo Lasso announced Sunday that Ecuador will cut fuel prices, which had sparked weeks of demonstrations, though not by as much as protesters have demanded.

“I have decided to reduce the price of gasoline by 10 cents per gallon and diesel also by 10 cents per gallon,” he said in a television and radio address.

The powerful Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie), which since June 13 has been blocking roads and occupying oil wells in different parts of the country, had demanded a reduction in prices by an additional 30 cents and 35 cents, respectively.

Earlier on Sunday, the country’s energy ministry warned that oil production had reached a “critical” level and could be halted entirely within 48 hours if the protests and roadblocks continued.

READ ALSO: Moscow Says Strikes Hit Ukraine Military Training Centres

The protests, which are also against rising living costs, have crippled transportation in Ecuador, with roadblocks set up in 19 of the oil-rich country’s 24 provinces.

“Oil production is at a critical level,” the ministry said in a statement.

“If this situation continues, the country’s oil production will be suspended in less than 48 hours as vandalism, the seizure of oil wells and road closures have prevented the transport of equipment and diesel needed to keep operations going.”

“Today, the figures show a decrease of more than 50 percent” in production, which was at roughly 520,000 barrels per day before the protests, it said.

Ecuador’s economy is highly dependent on oil revenues, with 65 percent of output exported in the first four months of 2022.

 Impeachment Debate 

Late on Sunday, the country’s parliament suspended seven hours of debate over whether to impeach Lasso, with proceedings set to resume on Tuesday. At least 20 members of parliament are still due to speak.

The president’s impeachment would require 92 of the 137 possible votes in the National Assembly, where the opposition holds a fragmented majority. MPs will have a maximum of 72 hours to vote following the end of the debate.

An estimated 14,000 protesters have taken part in the nationwide demonstrations, most of them in Quito.

Shortages are already being reported in the capital, where prices have soared.

Violence between police and demonstrators has reportedly left five dead, while about 500 people have been injured.

Earlier in the day, Production Minister Julio Jose Prado said that public-private economic losses from the protests totaled $500 million.

“Each additional day of downtime represents $40 to $50 million lost,” he said on Sunday.

Overall losses since the protests began include 8.5 million liters of milk worth $13 million as well as $90 million in agricultural goods and livestock.

The tourism industry has seen cancellations rise to 80 percent, with losses amounting to at least $50 million.

Additionally, “in the flower farm sector, 12 days of shutdown resulted in $30 million in losses and damage to trucks and farms,” Prado said.

AFP

Ivory Coast To Spend $430m In Anti-Jihadism Campaign

Ivory Coast Map

 

Ivory Coast said Monday it would spend around $430 million in a three-year campaign to support young people in border regions at risk from Sahel jihadists.

“As part of the fight against vulnerability in northern areas, particularly the six regions bordering Burkina Faso and Mali, the government has launched an ambitious programme of integration and infrastructure for education and health,” Youth Minister Mamadou Toure told AFP.

The cost amounts to “405 million euros,” he said.

The Gulf of Guinea country has suffered sporadic cross-border attacks over the past two years.

Armed incursions have also affected neighbouring Ghana, Togo, and Benin, strengthening fears of a southward push from the Sahel towards the coast.

Under the new plan, the government will earmark 33 billion CFA francs ($53 million) to provide 60,000 young people with professional training, apprenticeships, and startup financing.

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“Along with the military response, we want… to develop an ambitious social programme to… give young people prospects to prevent them from becoming easy targets for jihadist movements,” Toure said.

“Many young people sometimes have difficulty integrating after attending madrassas,” or Koranic schools, he added.

AFP

Russia Adds 43 Canadians To Blacklist, Canada Hits Back

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with members of the Russian government via teleconference in Moscow on March 10, 2022. Mikhail Klimentyev / SPUTNIK / AFP
In this file photo, Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with members of the Russian government via teleconference in Moscow on March 10, 2022. Mikhail Klimentyev / SPUTNIK / AFP

 

Russia on Monday banned 43 more Canadians from entering its territory, in response to sanctions imposed by Ottawa over Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine.

Canada then hit back with another round of sanctions against six Russians and 46 companies linked to the country’s defence sector.

The new blacklist published by the Russian foreign ministry includes Suzanne Cowan, leader of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party, and Mark Carney, former governor of the Canadian and British central banks.

Senior civil servants, political advisers, and members of civil society are also penalised.

READ ALSO: Moscow Says Strikes Hit Ukraine Military Training Centres

The foreign ministry in Moscow criticised the “belligerent Russophobia” of Trudeau’s government.

It said the new bans were in retaliation for Canada’s introduction in May of new sanctions targeting the heads of Russian companies and members of their families.

Trudeau, in Germany for G7 talks, has also signalled Ottawa’s intention to roll out measures “to counter the Kremlin’s disinformation” and ban exports of technologies such as quantum computers and advanced manufacturing equipment that it says could be used in Russian defence manufacturing.

Since the start of its offensive in Ukraine, Russia has banned more than 700 Canadians from entering its territory, including those announced on Monday.

In May, the Kremlin closed down the Moscow office of Canadian national public broadcaster CBC/Radio-Canada and cancelled its journalists’ visas and accreditation passes.

The move was in retaliation for Canada’s decision in March to ban Russian state media outlet RT.

The latest measures announced by Trudeau bring to more than 1,070 the total number of individuals and entities in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus that Canada has sanctioned since Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine started on February 24.

AFP

Lumumba’s Remains Arrive In DR Congo 


A portrait of slain Congolese independence leader Patrice Lumumba is carried as his remains leave for Shilatembo where the leader was killed along with two of his compatriots, at the airport in Lubumbashi on June 26, 2022.  Guerchom Ndebo / AFP

 

Slain Congolese independence hero Patrice Lumumba’s only surviving remains, a single tooth, arrived in Kinshasa on Monday where it is due to be laid to rest later this week.

The nationalist politician became an anti-colonial icon when he delivered a fiery speech against racism on June 30, 1960, when his native central African country proclaimed independence from Belgium.

But Lumumba, the country’s first post-independence prime minister, was overthrown that September.

Separatists from the southern region of Katanga and Belgian mercenaries then executed him and two close supporters in January 1961.

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His body was dissolved in acid after he was killed, but a Belgian police officer kept the tooth as a trophy. Belgian authorities in 2016 seized the relic from his daughter.

On June 20, Belgium finally returned the tooth to Lumumba’s family members during a ceremony in Brussels.

Lumumba’s remains were then transported to his native Democratic Republic of Congo, for a tour of the vast nation that included the southeastern region where he was assassinated.

On Monday, the independence hero’s tooth arrived in the capital Kinshasa for the final leg of the tour, in a coffin draped in the Congolese flag.

Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi received the remains at Kinshasa’s international airport, where he bowed before the coffin.

Lumumba’s tooth is due to be laid to rest in a ceremony in Kinshasa on Thursday — the 62nd anniversary of independence from Belgium and his historic speech.

AFP

NDLEA Seizes 1.3 Tonnes Of Drug Exhibits, Arrests Over 500 Traffickers In Katsina

A file photo of an official of the NDLEA backing the camera.

 

The Katsina State Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has seized 1,310.3184kg of drug exhibits amounting to about 1.3 tons in the state.

The exhibits, comprising 1,294.131kg of Cannabis Sativa, 16.1874kg of Psychotropic Substances, and 105 litres of Codeine, were seized in the past few months.

In the process of seizing them, over 500 suspected drug dealers and traffickers were also arrested by the command.

The Commander of Narcotics and State Commander of the NDLEA, Mohammed Bashir Ibrahim, stated this on Monday during a grand finale of the United Nations International Day Against Drug Abuse And Illicit Trafficking held at the Katsina Local Government Service Commission.

He said at least three hundred and eighty-eight (388) substance users have also been counseled and rehabilitated within the period, adding that nineteen (19) are still undergoing rehabilitation in the command’s facility.


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According to Ibrahim, the command secured fifteen (15) convictions of drug dealers, who were sentenced to various jail terms years, maintaining that the command in conjunction with NDLEA formation in other states arrested ten (10) drug dealers whose consignments were intercepted in other states but were destined for Katsina.

He, however, expressed worry that over 90% of the arrested suspects and counseled clients are between the age bracket of 15-40 years.

“The command has taken the War Against Drug Abuse to the grass root
where traditional rulers have been mobilized to serve as ambassadors, hence advocating for a drug-free society. The schools and public places e.g Motor packs and markets were not left out in our sensitization programs,” he added.

On his part, the Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari, represented by the State Commissioner for Health, Engineer Yakubu Nuhu Danja, described drug abuse as mostly the major cause of banditry, kidnapping, and other related evils.

According to Danja, the state government has been supportive of the state command of the NDLEA by establishing a drug rehabilitation centre where medical and psychological treatment are being provided for drug dependency and addiction in the center.

The United Nations International Day Against Drug Abuse And Illicit Trafficking is set aside to review the efforts of the NDLEA in the drug war, strengthen its activities, and cooperate in achieving a world free of drug abuse.

This year’s theme is “Addressing Drug Challenges in Health and Humanitarian
Crises”.

EFCC Prosecutors Rotimi Oyedepo, Shittu Among 129 Lawyers For SAN Rank

 

Foremost prosecutors of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Wahab Shittu and Rotimi Oyedepo were among the 129 lawyers shortlisted by the Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee (LPPC) for the conferment of the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) in 2022.

The list which was published pursuant to paragraph 12 subsection 2 and 20 of the legal practitioners’ privileges committee guidelines of 2018 has 73 practicing lawyers and 56 academic applicants.

Other names on the list are, the son of the First Republic Senate President, Orji Nwafor-Orizu; son of former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Ikani Kanu Agabi among others.

A statement accompanying the list made by the chief registrar of the Supreme Court, who doubles as the Secretary of the LPPC, Hajo Sarki-Bello said the shortlist comprised candidates who passed through the advocate filtration stages and academic pre-qualification exercise.

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The statement further says “the general public is at liberty to comment on the integrity, reputation, and competence of the above applicants”.

“However, any complaint(s) presented to the legal practitioners’ privileges committee must be accompanied with a verifying affidavit deposed to before a court of record in Nigeria.”

Sarki-Bello asked members of the public who have any such comments on any of the candidates to make the same before 4 pm on July 18 with 20 copies of such complaints in line with the guidelines.

Those Doubting Tinubu’s Credentials Should Go To Court – Farouk Aliyu

A file photo of the APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu.

 

Farouk Aliyu has told those doubting the credentials of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, to seek redress in court. 

The former Minority Leader of the House of Representatives made the comment on Sunday amid claims that Tinubu falsified his academic qualifications.

“We have gone through this a very long time ago. Asiwaju Tinubu was governor in Lagos, a two-time governor. These issues have come up. What haven’t they said about Tinubu? What hasn’t he proved to the people? And look, that is the beauty of democracy,” he said during an interview on Channels Television Sunday Politics. 

“If anybody feels strongly that our candidate has no qualification to be president, he is entitled to go to court and challenge that.”

READ ALSO[2023] I’m Still Searching For My Running Mate – Tinubu

Search For Running Mate

In this file photo, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and a former Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Honourable Farouk Adamu Aliyu, speaks during an interview on Channels Television’s Newsnight on May 10, 2021.

 

Aliyu, who also spoke about the search for a running mate to the former Lagos State governor, said the decision lies with Tinubu. He stated that the APC is still consulting and reiterated that competence, not religion, will be the major determinant.

“So, if our party comes out with a Muslim candidate, so be it. We are going to make sure we win the election,” he maintained.

“And if in the wisdom of our candidate, he brings a Christian candidate, we are also going to make sure we win the election because, as I said before, it is not about the religion or where you come from. It is about competence.”

His remarks came hours after Tinubu said he is still in search of a running mate ahead of the general elections.

He spoke on Sunday during his keynote address at a book launch to mark the 60th birthday of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.

“I could see a Deputy (Wase) sitting down there too, you are very good symbols of unity, dependability, and honesty, thank you. Thank you for both of you, you’ve not rocked the boat. I will need to learn from both of you, how you made the pair work because I’m still searching for my running mate,” Tinubu said at the event held in Abuja.

“What you did during my primary (APC presidential election) is a story for another day. I’ve spent more time, too many times and people might be bored, they might be envious too, they might be jealous. I won a landslide, I thank you.

“Femi, with your determination, and reach, you are a contributor to our democratic growth, thank you. It is about charting a path to success, you’ve done a good job and I say thank you, thank you.”

Kwankwaso Cannot Be A Running Mate To Peter Obi – Jibrin

A photo combination of Rabiu Kwankwaso and Peter Obi.

 

A former member of the House of Representatives Abdulmumin Jibrin has ruled out speculations that Rabiu Kwankwaso will be a running mate to Peter Obi. 

He said this during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics amid reports that the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) presidential candidate is in talks with Obi over a planned merger.

“Very clearly, Kwankwaso will not be the running mate to Peter Obi. By every standard, Kwankwaso should be the presidential candidate,” the NNPP chieftain said during the show.

“Kwankwaso has more political exposure and experience. He has a bigger profile when it comes to that (political exposure). He has more experience politically on how to win the election.

“At the end of the day, when you look at the equity contribution in terms of votes, it will be a ratio of about 70 to 30 percent. We are looking at bringing 70 percent of the contributions. Even if it is business – Peter Obi is experienced in business –  he knows that whoever is bringing the larger percentage of the equity is expected to stay on board.”

READ ALSO: [2023] I’m Still Searching For My Running Mate – Tinubu

‘The Best Opportunity’

He claimed that Kwankwaso is the only politician in the northern part of Nigeria that commands huge followership like President Muhammadu Buhari, stressing that aside from Obi, the NNPP is also looking at other options.

“We are working on getting a presidential running mate,” he said, calling on the southeast region to back the NNPP.

Jubrin believes the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have betrayed the region. For this, he argues that the southeast should drum support for the NNPP.

“The southeast has been seriously backstabbed by the APC and they have been ‘front stabbed’ by the PDP. They have worked so much for the PDP. The PDP and APC have thrown away the southeast, they have said to them, ‘we don’t need you people,'” he said.

“The last time the southeast has been on the table to discuss the presidency of this country was Alex Ekwueme (Nigeria’s first elected Vice President who served from 1979 to 1983). The first opportunity they have now is with Kwankwaso. They have to think very clearly not to waste their votes. They should come and take up the running mate. This is the best opportunity for them.”

“The southeast should think clearly and rally around Kwankwaso,” Jubrin added.

Rivers United Win First Nigerian League Title

Rivers United line up for a game. [email protected]__

 

Rivers United were crowned Nigerian league champions on Sunday after closest rivals Plateau United lost 2-1 at Akwa United to give the Port Harcourt side an unassailable lead with three rounds of matches still to play.

Rivers United, who play away at Nasarawa United later Sunday, have 71 points from 34 matches, 10 points clear of Plateau United, who have played 35 matches, while Remo Stars are a distant third on 53 points.

Winning the league earns United a place in next season’s CAF Champions League.

It is the first major honour for Rivers United since they were formed following a merger of Port Harcourt’s two top clubs – Dolphins and Sharks – in 2016

They are owned by the oil-rich Rivers State Government, who have made them one of the best-run clubs in Nigeria.

The club nicknamed “The Pride of Rivers” feature the league’s joint leading scorer Chijoke Akuneto, who has 16 goals, and winger Ishaq Kayode, who has netted 15 goals.

Last season, Rivers United were runners-up to another club financed by an oil-rich government, Akwa United.

AFP

Nigeria’s Flamingos Drawn Against Germany At U-17 Women’s World Cup

flamingos 2020
In this file photo, the Flamingos line up before their match against Guinea in a 2020 U-17 World Cup qualifier held in Conakry. Photo: [email protected]

 

Nigeria’s Flamingos have been paired alongside Germany in Group B of the 2022 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. 

The draw was held on Friday with Chile and New Zealand completing the group for Coach Bankole Olowookere’s side.

READ ALSO: FG Reverses Ban On International Basketball

The Nigerian girls had a brilliant run in the qualification series for the competition. They overcame Egypt, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Ethiopia en route to the tournament.

They scored 15 goals and conceded none in the process with Opeyemi Ajakaye striking six times as Nigeria sealed a ticket to India.

Africa’s other representatives, Tanzania and Morocco are in Group D and A respectively.

Morocco will also battle hosts India, the USA, and Brazil in the same group while Japan, Canada, and France complete Tanzania’s group.

The competition will run from 11th to 30th October. It was supposed to hold in 2020 but was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Spain won the last edition in 2018. They are grouped alongside Colombia, Mexico, and China.

Groups and Teams For U-17  Women’s World Cup 

Below are the groups and teams for the U-17 Women’s World Cup 2022: 

Group A: India, USA, Morocco, Brazil

Group B: Germany, Nigeria, New Zealand, Chile

Group C: Spain, Colombia, Mexico, China

Group D: Japan, Tanzania, Canada, France