2023 Elections: Collect Your PVCs And Vote, EU Charges Nigerians

A logo for the European Union

 

Ahead of the 2023 general elections, the European Union has charged Nigerians to get their Permanent Voter Cards, register and vote on the election day.

The EU gave the charge on Tuesday via a statement issued by its press officer, Modestus Chukwulaka, pledging to support the mobilisation of voters to fully participate in the polls.

The EU delegation said it will embark on the “Youth Vote Count Campaign 2.0, organised in collaboration with INEC, YIAGA and other civil society organisations in the framework of EU Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN).”

READ ALSO: Two Senators Defect From APC To PDP

“As Nigeria will go to the polls for its seventh general elections since the return to civilian rule, the EU Delegation encourages eligible voters, and youth in particular, to register and collect their PVCs (Permanent Voter Card) and to turn out on election day!” the statement partly read.

It said a mega-concert will take place on Saturday 25th June in Abuja with the participation of celebrities and influencers to encourage voters’ participation, following one of such which was held in Lagos on 11th June.

On the Ekiti election, the union congratulated all stakeholders and the people of the state on a largely peaceful poll.

This is even as it commended Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on improved logistics, including early deployment of personnel and essential materials in the majority of the polling units, better functioning of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and efficient electronic transmission of polling unit results to INEC’s results viewing portal.

While noting that the improvement augurs well for the 2023 general elections, the EU encouraged voters, and in particular the youth and women, to sustain their participation beyond the elections by holding candidates accountable for their campaign promises.

Russia Warns Lithuania, Pushes Into Ukraine’s Donbas

In this file photo, Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting on aviation via a video link at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow on March 31, 2022.
Mikhail KLIMENTYEV / SPUTNIK / AFP

 

Moscow on Tuesday warned Lithuania of “serious” consequences over its restriction of rail traffic to Russia’s Kaliningrad exclave, as Kremlin forces made gains in Ukraine’s strategic Donbas region.

The row over Lithuania, the arrival of sophisticated German weaponry in Ukraine’s arsenal, and an imminent decision on Kyiv’s candidacy to join the EU threaten to further ratchet up tensions between the West and Moscow.

Kremlin troops were meanwhile gaining ground in the Donbas, causing “catastrophic destruction” in Lysychansk, an industrial city at the forefront of recent clashes, the region’s governor said. Ukraine confirmed Russia had taken the frontline village of Toshkivka.

Ukrainian troop move by tanks on a road of the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas on June 21, 2022, as Ukraine says Russian shelling has caused “catastrophic destruction” in the eastern industrial city of Lysychansk, which lies just across a river from Severodonetsk where Russian and Ukrainian troops have been locked in battle for weeks. Anatolii Stepanov / AFP

 

Governor Sergiy Gaiday said “every town and village” in Ukrainian hands in the Lugansk region was “under almost non-stop fire”.

Since being repelled from Kyiv and other parts of Ukraine following its invasion in February, Moscow has been focusing its offensive on the Donbas region.

In the eastern city of Sloviansk, which could become a flashpoint as Russian troops advance from the north, local people were preparing to withstand attacks and the authorities said the community would defend itself.

“We believe they’ll beat the Russian scum,” resident Valentina, 63, said of local Ukrainian forces.

‘Serious’ consequences

Russia’s war of words with EU member Lithuania escalated on Tuesday, with Moscow vowing “serious” consequences over Vilnius’ restrictions on rail traffic to the exclave of Kaliningrad that borders Lithuania and Poland.

Lithuania says it is simply adhering to EU-wide sanctions on Moscow but Russia countered, accusing Brussels of “escalation”.

Moscow summoned the EU’s ambassador to Russia. Its foreign ministry said Lithuania’s actions “violate the relevant legal and political obligations of the European Union”.

“Russia will certainly respond to such hostile actions,” security council chief Nikolai Patrushev said at a regional security meeting in Kaliningrad.

Ukraine’s Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikov tweeted that powerful German-made Panzerhaubitze 2000 howizter artillery pieces had reached his country’s forces.

Russia said Tuesday it had repelled a Ukrainian attempt to re-take the symbolic Snake Island, a small territory in the Black Sea captured by Russian forces on the first day of the invasion.

‘Significant losses’

In addition to Toshkivka, Ukraine said it had lost control of the eastern village of Metyolkine, a settlement adjacent to Severodonetsk, which has been a focus of fighting for weeks and is now largely under Russian control.

A chemical plant in Severodonetsk where hundreds of civilians are said to be sheltering was being shelled constantly, Ukraine warned.

But defence ministry spokesman Oleksandr Motuzyanyk told Ukrainian television that Russian forces had suffered “significant losses in the area of Severodonetsk”.

Ukraine on Tuesday said it struck a Black Sea oil drilling platform off the Crimea peninsula because Russia was using it as a military installation.

The rig had Russian garrisons and equipment for air defence, radar warfare and reconnaissance, Sergiy Bratchuk of Odessa’s regional military administration told an online briefing.

Crimea’s Moscow-backed leader Sergey Aksyonov had said three people were injured and seven more were missing after the first reported strike against offshore energy infrastructure in the Russian-annexed peninsula since the war began.

Russian shelling killed 15 people including an eight-year-old in eastern Ukraine’s Kharkiv region on Tuesday, its governor said.

On the maritime front, Russia’s navy is blockading ports, which Ukraine says is preventing millions of tonnes of grain from being shipped to world markets, contributing to soaring food prices.

Prior to the war, Ukraine was a major exporter of wheat, corn and sunflower oil.

With European officials due to gather this week at a summit expected to approve Ukraine’s candidacy to join the EU, Brussels foreign policy chief Josep Borrell called the Russians’ port blockade “a real war crime”.

Moscow denies responsibility for the disruption to deliveries and, following Borrell’s comments, blamed the West’s “destructive” position for surging grain prices.

Turkish media reported that Russian, Ukrainian and UN officials would meet in Istanbul next week to try to unblock Black Sea grain exports.

$100-million medal

In New York, Dmitry Muratov, the Russian editor-in-chief of the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, auctioned off his Nobel Peace Prize gold medal for $103.5 million to benefit children displaced by the war.

It was sold to an unidentified phone bidder.

Muratov won the prize in 2021 alongside journalist Maria Ressa of the Philippines.

With US-Russia tensions soaring, the US State Department on Tuesday confirmed a second American, 52-year-old Stephen Zabielski, was killed fighting for Ukraine.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov earlier told NBC News that two Americans captured in Ukraine while fighting with Kyiv’s military were “endangering” Russian soldiers and should be “held accountable for those crimes”.

On the ground, the police chief of the Kyiv region said victims of the Russian attempt to seize Ukraine’s capital continued to be found.

So far, the bodies of 1,333 civilians have been discovered and 300 people remain missing.

US Attorney General Merrick Garland visited Ukraine on Tuesday to discuss prosecution of individuals involved in war crimes.

“There is no place to hide,” Garland said, vowing to hold to account those responsible for “atrocities” and war crimes.

Spain said one of its citizens fighting for Ukraine had been killed, without giving further detail.

Denmark and Sweden meanwhile became the latest European countries to warn of potential gas supply problems. Their energy agencies issued early warnings, due to uncertainty over hydrocarbon imports from Russia.

Ukraine has called the reasons given for Russia’s reduction of gas supply to European customers “far-fetched” and “illegal”.

 

AFP

US Says NATO Commitment To Lithuania ‘Ironclad’ After Russia Threat

US President Joe Biden speaks about supporting Ukrainians defending their country against Russia, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on April 28, 2022.  Jim WATSON / AFP

 

The United States said Tuesday it stood firmly behind Lithuania and NATO commitments to defend it after Russia warned its neighbor over restrictions on rail transit.

“We stand by our NATO allies and we stand by Lithuania,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.

“Specifically our commitment to NATO’s Article Five — the premise that an attack on one would constitute an attack on all — that commitment on the part of the United States is ironclad,” he said.

READ ALSO: Russia Warns Lithuania, Pushes Into Ukraine’s Donbas

Lithuania, a former Soviet republic both in NATO and the European Union, has been among the most outspoken nations in opposing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Lithuania said that it would restrict the rail transit of goods sanctioned by the EU into Kaliningrad, an isolated Russian enclave on the Baltic Sea sandwiched between Lithuania and Poland.

Russia warned that it would “certainly respond” to the “hostile actions.”

Price said that the United States welcomed the “unprecedented economic measures” taken by Lithuania and other nations against Russia over its invasion.

Asked about Russia’s statements, Price said, “We aren’t going to speculate on Russian saber-rattling or Russian bluster and don’t even want to give it additional airtime.”

AFP

Reps To Investigate Quality of Toilet Disinfectants In Nigeria

A file photo of members of the House of Representatives attend a plenary at the lower chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja on November 24, 2020.

 

The House of Representatives on Tuesday called on the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission to appear before it over the poor quality of toilet clean disinfectants used in Nigeria.

The motion was raised by Hon. Sergius Ose Ogun.

The House noted that Sections 88 (1) and (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) empowers the National Assembly to investigate the activities of any authority executing or administering laws made by the National Assembly.

READ ALSO: I Receive N697,911 Monthly Salary, Federal Lawmaker Shows Credit Alert

It also said it was aware that Section 17(e) of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission Act, 2018 empowers the Commission to carry out investigations considered necessary or desirable in connection with
matters within the purview of the Act.

The House said it was concerned that toilet cleaning disinfectants such as haptic and hypo used in most households in Nigeria are ineffective, poor quality and leave much to be desired.

It said that despite the poor quality of these toilet cleaning disinfectants, there are several television-sponsored advertisements that are misleading unsuspecting members of the public who rely on such adverts
product information to make purchases/

Alarmed that most Nigerians utilize these disinfectants in cleaning their homes, offices, hospitals, churches and mosques without getting the value for money spent in purchasing such products, the House urged the Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission to appear before the Committee on Commerce to justify the presence of hapic and hypo, and other non-effective cleaning disinfectants in the market or otherwise.

It also mandated the Committees on Commerce and Legislative Compliance to ensure compliance and report back within four weeks for further legislative action.

Why Nigeria Has Not Removed Fuel Subsidy – Buhari

A file photo of an attendant filling the fuel tank of a car.

 

President Muhamamdu Buhari has defended the federal government’s decision to keep paying fuel subsidies.

In a response to Bloomberg, the President said the effects of removing fuel subsidies would have been too harsh on the Nigerian people.

He said the government is working on boosting local capacity in order to stem the inflationary pressures that are likely to be triggered by a removal of subsidies.

“Most western countries are today implementing fuel subsidies. Why would we remove ours now?” What is good for the goose is good for the gander!” The President said.

“What our western allies are learning the hard way is what looks good on paper and the human consequences are two different things.

READ ALSO: Buhari Asks US, UK, Others To Ban IPOB

“My government set in motion plans to remove the subsidy late last year. After further consultation with stakeholders, and as events unfolded this year, such a move became increasingly untenable.

“Boosting internal production for refined products shall also help. Capacity is due to step up markedly later this year and next, as private players and modular refineries (Dangote Refinery, BUA Group Refinery, Waltersmith Refinery) come on board.

“The exchange rate is still susceptible to external shocks that can suddenly and severely affect Nigerian citizens. As we step up domestic production – both in fuel (enabled by PIA) and food (agricultural policies) – the inflationary threat shall diminish, and we can move toward unification.”

The President’s comment comes as parts of the country, including commercial nerve centre Lagos, battle an acute shortage of fuel.

Online voter registration remains suspended, INEC tells Nigerians

Following weeks of complaints about hitches experienced in the online registration of voters, the Independent National Electoral Commission on Tuesday announced that the portal has been shut. The clarification was made by the Resident Electoral Commissioner of Federal Capital Territory, Yahaya Bello, at a briefing in Abuja ahead of the Youth Vote Count Mega Music

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Immigration issued 625,000 passports in five months, says Aregbesola

The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola has said the Nigeria Immigration Service received over 750, 000 applications out of which a total of 625,000 passports have been issued to Nigerians since the beginning of the year. He added that many of those yet to get their passports were a result of the failure of applicants

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Senate bill on workplace safety scales first reading

Concerned with the poor state of environmental safety standards in the country, most especially at workplaces, a bill to regulate and control the training, basic skills development, registration and practice of environment and safety management in Nigeria, passed the first reading at the Senate. The bill which was sponsored by the Senate Chief Whip, Orji

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Designate IPOB as terrorist organisation, Buhari urges international allies

The Nigerian President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has urged the country’s international allies to designate the Nnamdi Kanu-led Indigenous People of Biafra as a terrorist organisation. Buhari made this call in an interview with Bloomberg on Tuesday. Fielding questions on the country’s security problems, Buhari stated that his administration acquired fighter jets from the

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Mane Poses In Bayern Shirt During Munich Medical Check

Sadio Mane posed in a Bayern Munich shirt to sign autographs on June 21, 2022.

 

Sadio Mane signed autographs wearing a Bayern Munich shirt Tuesday after flying to Germany for a medical check before the Liverpool forward completes a move to the Bundesliga champions.

Broadcaster Sky showed footage of the 30-year-old touching down at Munich airport before being taken to a hospital in the city centre for a medical exam by Bayern’s team doctor.

During a break in the medical test, Mane appeared in a red Bayern training shirt and signed autographs for waiting fans.

According to media reports, Mane’s transfer will cost Bayern around 41 million euros (£35 million, $43 million).

“I am happy he has landed,” Thomas Mueller said while attending a golf tournament in Munich on Tuesday.

Bayern’s German international forward joked that he soon hopes to see Mane hit “lots of birdies” on the city’s courses.

The Senegal forward is expected to sign a three-year contract and is set to hold his first Bayern press conference Wednesday.

Mane would be a replacement for wantaway Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski, who has been linked to a Barcelona transfer, or winger Serge Gnabry, who is stalling over a contract extension.

 

AFP