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Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has registered a new political party, the Youth Party (YP). National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee of INEC, Festus Okoye, said this on Thursday in Abuja in a statement.

This development raised the number of registered political parties in the country to 19.

INEC had on 6 February 2020 deregistered 74 political parties for poor performance in the 2019 general elections and the subsequent re-run elections across the country.

INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, said that in addition to the extant provision for the registration of political parties, the Fourth Alteration to the Section 225(a) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, empowers the commission to deregister political parties.

During the 2019 general elections, 91 political parties participated in the exercise, while an additional party, Boot Party, was registered based on the order of a court after the election.

Okoye in the statement recalled that the Youth Party (YP) was registered on 16th August 2018 by virtue of the judgment of the Federal High Court delivered on 16th October 2017.

“Following the commission’s decision to deregister some parties in accordance with Section 225A of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), the Youth Party approached the Federal High Court and secured an order restraining the commission from deregistering it.

“On appeal by the commission, the Court of Appeal set aside the order of the Federal High Court and on further appeal by the party, the Supreme Court set aside the deregistration of the party,” he said.

The statement said that based on the judgment of the Supreme Court, INEC interfaced with officials of the YP on the modalities for its operation based on the Constitution, the Electoral Act 2022, and the Regulations and Guidelines of the Commission.

 

Daily Trust

WESTERN PERSPECTIVE

Russia bombs Ukraine ports, threatens ships, as Kyiv deploys cluster munitions

Russia jolted world grain markets with an escalation in the Black Sea, mounting a third straight night of air strikes on Ukrainian ports and issuing a threat against Ukraine-bound vessels to which Kyiv responded in kind.

At least 27 civilians were reported hurt in the air strikes on the ports, which set buildings ablaze and damaged China's consulate in Odesa.

The United States said Russia's warning to ships indicated Moscow might attack vessels at sea following Moscow's withdrawal on Monday from a U.N.-brokered deal to let Ukraine export grain. The signal that Russia was willing to use force to reimpose its blockade on one of the world's biggest food exporters set global prices soaring.

Moscow says it will not participate in the year-old grain deal without better terms for its own food and fertiliser sales.

The U.N. Security Council will meet on Friday over "the humanitarian consequences" of Russia's withdrawal, said Britain's U.N mission.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres strongly condemned the Russian attacks on Ukraine's Black Sea ports and warned the "destruction of civilian infrastructure may constitute a violation of international humanitarian law."

"These attacks are also having an impact well beyond Ukraine," said U.N. spokesperson Stephane Dujarric, adding higher wheat and corn prices hurt everyone, especially vulnerable people in the global south.

Kyiv is hoping to resume exports without Russia's participation. But no ships have sailed from its ports since Moscow pulled out of the deal, and insurers have had doubts about whether to underwrite policies for trade in a war zone.

Since quitting the deal, Moscow has rained missiles down nightly on Ukraine's two biggest port cities, Odesa and Mykolaiv. Thursday's strikes appeared to be the worst yet.

Odesa regional governor Oleh Kiper posted an image online of China's consulate building with broken windows. It is located in Odesa's city centre just across railway tracks from the port.

"The aggressor is deliberately hitting the port infrastructure - administrative and residential buildings nearby were damaged," Kiper said on Telegram.

The Chinese foreign ministry said the shock wave of the explosion "knocked down parts of the walls and window panes of the consulate."

In Mykolaiv, firefighters battled a huge blaze at a pink stucco residential building, blasted into a ruin. Several other residential buildings there were also damaged.

Moscow has described the port attacks as revenge for a Ukrainian strike on Russia's bridge to Crimea on Monday. It said on Thursday its retaliatory strikes were continuing and it had hit all its targets in Odesa and Mykolaiv.

In its most explicit threat yet, Russia's military announced it would deem all ships heading for Ukrainian waters from Thursday morning to be potentially carrying weapons, and their flag countries as parties to the war on the Ukrainian side. It said it was declaring parts of the Black Sea to be unsafe.

Kyiv responded on Thursday by announcing similar measures, saying it would consider vessels bound for Russia or Russian-occupied Ukrainian territory also to be carrying arms.

Washington called Russia's threat a signal that Moscow might attack civilian shipping. Russia's ambassador to Washington, Anatoly Antonov, said his country was not preparing to do so.

CLUSTER MUNITIONS

The Black Sea escalation comes as Kyiv reports a new attempt by Russia to return to the offensive in the northeast of Ukraine, where it says Moscow has massed 100,000 troops and hundreds of tanks.

U.S.-supplied cluster munitions are being deployed in the field as part of Kyiv's battle against Russia, White House national security spokesman John Kirby said.

"We have gotten some initial feedback from the Ukrainians, and they're using them quite effectively," Kirby said at a news briefing. He added the cluster munitions are having an impact on Russian defensive formations and maneuvering.

Ukraine has pledged to use the cluster bombs only to dislodge concentrations of Russian enemy soldiers. Many countries have banned the munitions, which contain scores of small bomblets that rain shrapnel over an area, as a potential danger to civilians.

Since last month, Ukrainian forces have been on the march in the east and the south, recapturing small amounts of territory in their first big counteroffensive since last year. But the going has been slow, and they are yet to take on Russia's main defensive lines.

The Black Sea escalation pushed U.S. wheat futures up on Thursday, after they jumped 8.5% on Wednesday, their fastest single-day rise since the initial days of Russia's invasion in February last year.

Major grain importers in the Middle East and North Africa have reacted calmly however to the end of the safe shipping corridor, European commodity traders said, and there was no panic buying.

 

RUSSIAN PERSPECTIVE

Russia launches more ‘retaliatory strikes’ on Ukraine – MOD

The Russian Defense Ministry has reported conducting “retaliatory strikes”on targets in Ukrainian port cities for a third consecutive day. It comes in response to a naval drone attack on the Crimean Bridge, which killed two civilians on Monday morning.

In its latest briefing on Thursday, the Russian ministry identified “manufacturing workshops and storage locations of naval drones” in the Black Sea port of Odessa and its satellite port of Ilyichevsk, which Ukraine calls Chornomorsk, as the targets of the latest attacks.

The Russian military also hit fuel infrastructure and ammunition depots in the city of Nikolaev, another major Ukrainian port, the statement added. The ministry said the strikes had achieved their intended goals.

Earlier in the day, the Ukrainian military claimed to have intercepted five cruise missiles and 13 kamikaze drones out of 19 missiles and an equal number of UAVs, which it claimed were launched by Russian forces at Odessa and Nikolaev. The Russian ministry offered few details about the munitions used, only stating that they were “precision naval-launched and air-launched weapons.”

Russia has been targeting Ukrainian port cities every night since Monday. Odessa Mayor Gennadiy Trukhanov described the barrage on Wednesday morning as the largest he had seen since hostilities between the two nations broke out in February last year.

The drone attack on the Crimean Bridge on Monday, which Russia called a Ukrainian terrorist attack, killed a couple and seriously injured their 14-year-old daughter, who was traveling in the same car. Investigators claim the key transport link was attacked by naval drones.

Ukrainian media cited government sources as confirming that the strike had been launched by Kiev. The SBU, the security service that allegedly co-organized the operation with the Ukrainian military, reacted by promising to release details about the incident after the conflict with Russia is over.

** Russian forces wipe out signal center, command post of two Ukrainian army brigades

Russian forces struck a signal center and a command post of two Ukrainian army brigades over the past day in the special military operation in Ukraine, Defense Ministry Spokesman Lieutenant-General Igor Konashenkov reported on Thursday.

"In areas near the settlements of Avdeyevka and Torskoye in the Donetsk People’s Republic, a signal center of the Ukrainian army’s 110th mechanized brigade and a command post of the Ukrainian army’s 63rd mechanized brigade were destroyed," the spokesman said.

** West to shift Ukraine weapons strategy

The US and its allies are pivoting from delivering more weapons to Ukraine to fixing Western hardware that has already been sent to Kiev and damaged during the conflict with Russia, Politico has reported.

Ukraine has been having problems with maintaining the “international hodgepodge of equipment” provided to it by the US, Germany, UK, Poland and many other countries since the start of the fighting in February 2022, the US news website noted in an article on Wednesday.

The ability to quickly fix the damaged hardware has become even more crucial since the launch of the counteroffensive in early June, which has proven “difficult” for Kiev’s forces and “led to some well-publicized losses of US-made Bradley fighting vehicles and hulking mine-resistant troop carriers, along with some damaged German Leopard tanks,” it said.

The Pentagon’s acquisition and sustainment chief, William LaPlante, told Politico that in order to assist Ukraine, the US and its allies are “setting up repair facilities in Europe, we’re translating [training and repair] manuals, we have to do much more together so there’s going to be more of a focus on that.”

Politico described LaPlante as leading a “22-nation working group, led by the US, Poland and the UK,” tasked with making sure that Western-supplied weapons remain in working order during Ukraine’s conflict with Russia.

“We have regular conversations” with Kiev, the Pentagon official said. “What more do they need? Are there more parts we can send? We’re actually tracking what’s called the availability rate of each one of these systems,” in near real-time.

The group has already assisted Ukraine in setting up a support effort to track over 4,000 supply lines for high-demand spare parts for foreign hardware, according to the report. The US has also translated into Ukrainian over 700 technical manuals for the weapons sent to Kiev, so that local technicians can fix them on the spot.

“We’re making sure that they [the Ukrainians] have everything that they need. And if the parts have to come from a country halfway around the world, we make sure we get it to them. So the sustainment is actually most of the work going on right now,” LaPlante said.

However, at the moment “much of the most serious repair work still needs to be shipped to places such as Poland or Czechia before making the long trip back to Ukraine,” Politico added.

Russia has repeatedly condemned Western arms deliveries to Ukraine, arguing that they will only prolong the fighting, but not prevent Moscow from achieving the goals of its military operation. The Kremlin argues that the provision of weapons, intelligence sharing, and training to Kiev’s troops already means that the US and its allies are de facto parties to the conflict.

 

Reuters/RT/Tass

There’s a trending video from nine years ago. If you watched it casually, you might in fact think that it was done yesterday. It was a clip of Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni, narrating what happened in 2014 when a delegation of African heads of state was asked by AU to mediate the Libyan crisis at the time.

Museveni’s account of the outcome of the assignment, which has so far not been denied by NATO, was a scandal – an African shame – on steroids. It’s surprising how the incident remained largely unreported until this video resurfaced again recently.

It wasn’t the usual anti-Western trope about colonialism, neo-colonialism or imperialism that caught my attention. It was what appeared, if Museveni were to be believed, to be the brazen, daylight interference of NATO in the peace mission of the African leaders and how they responded to it.

Museveni told a meeting of the Pan-African parliament in Midrand, South Africa, that a plane conveying six African heads of state to Tripoli, including his own minister who represented him, was asked not to proceed by NATO as the aircraft approached the Libyan airspace on its mission. 

“How can African leaders nominated by an African continental body, on African soil, be stopped by NATO from doing their duty,” he asked the parliament, pointing out that even the Mauritanian President, Mohammed Abdul Aziz, who was chair of that session of the parliament, was also on the trip. 

The Ugandan leader described the incident as a classic case of African elite betrayal. As the camera panned the helpless, forlorn look on the faces of the leaders present in the hall, you could almost hear a pin drop. 

I don’t know what Museveni might have done if he was on the plane on that day, and he didn’t say either. It however appears improbable to me that a man who had been in bed with the West for decades would have done anything other than what the delegation on that Tripoli mission did: meekly accepted his fate, like the rest, while the plane returned to base. How could Museveni not see that he was a part of the African elite betrayal story?

Helen Epstein wrote in her book, Another Fine Mess: America, Uganda And the War on Terror, that Museveni owes his longevity in power to billions of American dollars that have been used to train and buy equipment for his army and prop his government. Western aid to Uganda accounts for over 10 percent of that country’s GDP, and was, in fact, up to 42 percent of the budget in 2006. To put it politely, western pipers have always called Uganda’s tune.

Things only began to fall apart between Museveni and his sponsors after the homosexual rights wars broke out, worsened by his strong-arm tactics against the opposition in that country’s last general election. Not that he suddenly discovered the despicable history of western colonialism and exploitation in Africa or the treachery of the elite.

Since watching that video of Museveni’s blood boiling over what was apparently a latter-day moment of African epiphany, made after he had been in power for 28 years, I’ve been asking myself if NATO might have asked a plane conveying Nelson Mandela, Robert Mugabe and Olusegun Obasanjo on that kind of mission to make a mid-air return. Very unlikely. 

If the current crop of African leaders had not eaten the sour grapes of betrayal, it is improbable that NATO would treat them with such contempt. So, what would NATO have done if the airplane defied the return-to-base order? Shot down an aircraft carrying six African leaders on an AU peace mission in Africa? Sadly, the mission is a metaphor for the current state of leadership on the continent; they love life too much to dare. 

Interestingly, there was not even a word of protest from the AU after the aborted mission, allegedly directed by NATO in name only. The mastermind, obviously, was Barack Obama, the first Black American president, who would later unleash perhaps one of the most consequential destabilising forces on the Sahel after the brutal elimination of Moummar Ghaddafi. I’m not sure it was a moment that Obama would look back on with pride. Yet, for the AU, too busy with the politics of subservience to care, it was business as usual.

Another African leader has been talking lately, making statements that re-echo memories of Museveni’s bluster. William Ruto, Kenya’s president while addressing the Djibouti parliament in June, said something fairly radical. Why, he asked Djibouti, should that country or any other African country for that matter, conduct bilateral trade amongst themselves in US dollars?

Although Ruto said he was not opposed to settling accounts for trade with the US in dollars, his statement was the diplomatic equivalent of what should have been the appropriate response of that AU-Libya mission to NATO’s meddling: that the alliance had no business stopping the AU delegation from landing on the soil of an African country which, in any case, was not a member of NATO.

On the face of it, there’s really no reason intra-African trade should be settled in dollars. The EU, perhaps the largest single currency union, conducts intra-European trade in euros. So, why can’t AU, especially if the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), the continent’s financial provider, set up a payment and settlement mechanism to facilitate intra-African trade? As tempting as this option may be and in spite of the obvious advantages including reduction of transaction costs among others, the devil is in the detail. Ruto knows.

With 54 countries in Africa, it would be interesting to test a continental payment clearing house that is not even contemplating optimum currency area – a slightly different system that would have allowed trading in one or more frequently used regional currencies – but is instead thinking of dealing with 42 different currencies on the continent simultaneously. 

Given the current disastrously low volume of intra-African trade, which is about 18.2 percent or $169.7 billion in 2021, a common clearing house is hardly as important as removing the barriers to trade that have stunted the impact of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

Unnecessary restrictions and obstacles to the movement of people and goods, shambolic customs regulations and border policing — not to mention poor infrastructure and protectionist policies by countries that fear, not always irrationally, that their neighbours are conduits for cheap foreign products — have severely limited trade among African countries and denied citizens prosperity. 

These are not problems that can be solved by settling bank notes or making sound bites. Until African countries develop the capacity to go beyond being just primary commodity markets, always looking outside the continent to consume, in excess, what they cannot produce, Ruto’s wishes would remain what they are – wishes. 

Does Ruto know, for example, that a number of Francophone countries in West and Central Africa which are part of the CFA franc zone still maintain 50 percent of their reserves in the French Treasury in Paris? It isn’t a big secret that France torpedoed the attempt by ECOWAS to introduce the ‘ECO’ as a subregional currency three years ago. How will an African payment settlement system extricate Francophone West Africa from decades of French namby-pamby?

Also, when Britain announced recently, for example, that it was adding Nigeria’s naira to its list of pre-approved currencies, allowing it to provide financing for transactions with Nigerian businesses in the local currency, it was hardly an act of charity. It was, instead, that country’s calculated response to the new reality of its post-Brexit misery. 

African leaders may chew the microphone all they want in Midrand, South Africa or in Djibouti. Ruto and his colleagues would soon find, as the six African leaders on that aborted AU mission to Libya found many years ago, that the strong have the weak for lunch. 

When vested interests push back against the fancy idea of an African payment and settlement system, as they will, would the mission return to base? 

** Ishiekwene is Editor-In-Chief of LEADERSHIP

File this under 'That's not supposed to happen!': Scientists observed a metal healing itself, something never seen before. If this process can be fully understood and controlled, we could be at the start of a whole new era of engineering.

A team from Sandia National Laboratories and Texas A&M University was testing the resilience of the metal, using a specialized transmission electron microscope technique to pull the ends of the metal 200 times every second. They then observed the self-healing at ultra-small scales in a 40-nanometer-thick piece of platinum suspended in a vacuum.

Cracks caused by the kind of strain described above are known as fatigue damage: repeated stress and motion that causes microscopic breaks, eventually causing machines or structures to break. Amazingly, after about 40 minutes of observation, the crack in the platinum started to fuse back together and mend itself before starting again in a different direction.

"This was absolutely stunning to watch first-hand," says materials scientist Brad Boyce from Sandia National Laboratories. "We certainly weren't looking for it."

"What we have confirmed is that metals have their own intrinsic, natural ability to heal themselves, at least in the case of fatigue damage at the nanoscale."

These are exact conditions, and we don't know yet exactly how this is happening or how we can use it. However, if you think about the costs and effort required for repairing everything from bridges to engines to phones, there's no telling how much difference self-healing metals could make.

And while the observation is unprecedented, it's not wholly unexpected. In 2013, Texas A&M University materials scientist Michael Demkowicz worked on a study predicting that this kind of nanocrack healing could happen, driven by the tiny crystalline grains inside metals essentially shifting their boundaries in response to stress.

Demkowicz also worked on this latest study, using updated computer models to show that his decade-old theories about metal's self-healing behavior at the nanoscale matched what was happening here.

That the automatic mending process happened at room temperature is another promising aspect of the research. Metal usually requires lots of heat to shift its form, but the experiment was carried out in a vacuum; it remains to be seen whether the same process will happen in conventional metals in a typical environment.

A possible explanation involves a process known as cold welding, which occurs under ambient temperatures whenever metal surfaces come close enough together for their respective atoms to tangle together. Typically, thin layers of air or contaminants interfere with the process; in environments like the vacuum of space, pure metals can be forced close enough together to literally stick.

"My hope is that this finding will encourage materials researchers to consider that, under the right circumstances, materials can do things we never expected," says Demkowicz.

 

ScienceAlert

Years ago I had a boss who frequently screwed up our paychecks. We clocked in and out, but the system was wonky and supervisors needed to make corrections before submitting printouts to payroll. 

He would apologize, hurry off to correct the problem for the next paycheck, come back to confirm he had taken care of it, and apologize again. 

Frustrating? 

A little, but he was a pretty good supervisor and a reasonably good guy – as Mark Cuban says, being nice is an underrated superpower – so we found it more amusing than irritating. But then there was the time I learned he didn't pass on my request to be part of a high-visibility process improvement team. 

When I asked why, he said he didn't want to lose me for three months. "That could have been a great opportunity for me," I said. "Maybe I wouldn't have been chosen, but I at least wanted the chance." He pursed his lips, shrugged, and walked away.

Apologize? 

Not this time. I was surprised, but as it turns, out I shouldn't have been.

Research shows apologizing for certain kinds of mistakes, and not for others, is surprisingly – and unfortunately – common: a study published in Basic and Applied Social Psychology found the average leader is much more likely to apologize for task mistakes than for relationship mistakes.

Messing up our payroll? Whether it was because of faulty math, inattention, or laziness, that was a task mistake. While it wasn't a good look, hey: no one is perfect.

Deciding not to submit my request to be on a process improvement team? That was a relationship mistake, instead of indicating a lack of competence in one small aspect of his job, it showed a broader lack of professionalism and integrity.

Putting who he was as a leader, and as a person, in question.

As the researchers write:

We found that task mistakes are viewed by leaders as more specific and less personal, and that relationship mistakes are viewed as more global, describing the leader's stable characteristics rather than a specific event.

From these findings ... leaders are more likely to apologize for task mistakes and are more likely to justify their relationship mistakes rather than admit wrongdoing for them.

"I messed up your payroll" is relatively easy to admit, and apologize for. 

"I screwed you out of a potential opportunity" is a lot harder to admit. As a result, when relational mistakes occur, the study found that instead of apologizing, leaders are more likely to try to justify the mistake they made. (After all, if I wasn't wrong, I don't have to apologize.)

All of which leads to what the researchers call an apology mismatch. Most leaders are likely to apologize when they make a task – think unintentional – mistake. Yet we really need an apology when a leader (or anyone) makes a relational – think intentional – mistake.

And then the relationship falls apart. 

A task mistake can be irritating, but correcting those errors is usually easy, and even if you don't apologize, most people typically move on. (I didn't need an apology when my boss messed up my payroll. I just wanted him to fix it.)

A relational mistake, one that results in a negative outcome for an employee, is usually harder and sometimes impossible to correct. Get defensive? Try to justify your actions? You just make a bad situation worse. 

By all means, apologize when you make a task mistake. That's just common courtesy. But always apologize – sincerely, without justification, without rationalization, and without qualification – when you make a relational mistake.

Because while you should apologize for a task mistake, but you definitely need to apologize for a relational mistake. Granted, it still might not undo the damage caused, but apologizing at least gives you a chance to repair the damage to the relationship.

 

Inc

The naira has continued its downward spiral, falling to N860 per dollar at the parallel market on Wednesday.

The figure represents a N35 or 4.2 percent depreciation compared to the N825 it traded on Tuesday.

With the depreciation, the gap between the official and parallel market exchange rates is widening once again.

The naira has consistently experienced fluctuations since the government unified the exchange rate windows.

At the investors and exporters (I&E) window, the local currency appreciated by 6.58 percent against the dollar to close at N742.9 on Tuesday, according to FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange — platform that oversees foreign-exchange trading in Nigeria.

Bureaux De Change (BDC) operators in Lagos and Ogun who spoke to our correspondent on Wednesday said there is high demand for foreign currency in the parallel/street market.

The street traders, popularly known as ‘abokis’ put the buying price of the dollar at N840 and the selling price at N860, leaving a profit margin of N20.

When asked the reason for the decline of the naira against the dollar, Abubakar, a BDC operator in the Agbara area of Ogun state, said there has been increased demand for dollars amid a supply shortage in the market.

 

The Cable

The Supreme Court and the All Progressives Congress (APC) have denied social media posts on an alleged secret phone conversation between the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Olukayode Ariwoola, and President Bola Tinubu.

They denied the reports in separate statements on Tuesday and Wednesday.

They were reacting to a media report suggesting that the two men recently had a phone conversation focusing on how to pressurise the Presidential Election Petition Court in Abuja to rule in favour of Tinubu and his party, the APC.

Tinubu’s victory at the 25 February presidential election is being contested by two leading opposition party candidates – Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi.

There is also the third petition filed against Tinubu’s victory by the All Peoples Movement (APM).

The CJN wields enormous influence in presidential election cases, which will end up at the Supreme Court.

He can choose to appoint himself to head the seven-member panel that will give the final verdict on the cases. Whether he chooses to be on the panel or not, he has the prerogative to choose its members.

As the head of the Supreme Court, the CJN is also head of the entire Nigerian judiciary, who also oversees the National Judicial Council (NJC), the body responsible for the appointment and disciplining of judges across the country.

But reacting to reports over Ariwoola and Tinubu’s alleged phone conversation, Director of Press at the Supreme Court, Festus Akande, on Wednesday, said there was no such communication with either the president or anyone.

Akande also said, contrary to social media speculations, Ariwoola did not also have any phone call with the Director General of the State Security Service (SSS), Yusuf Bichi.

He said, “It is imperative to state clearly that there is no iota of truth in the narrative, as there was no such telephone conversation between the CJN and anyone.”

Akande said Nigerians “have been following the proceedings at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal with admirable enthusiasm,” urging that the public allow the suit to be determined “instead of relapsing into the realm of speculations and rumour peddling that will not do anyone any good.”

He warned that “falsehood and mudslinging” would stall Nigeria’s progress.

“The courts are statutorily established to serve the best interest of the masses, and we are ever poised to do that to the best of our ability,” Akande assured.

He further assured that the parties before the court over the disputed election would be treated without bias, adding that “The rule of law and supremacy of the Nigerian Constitution will always be upheld and applied in every matter that comes before the courts.”

“The public should be assured that justice will be done to all matters pending in the various courts across the country, irrespective of who is involved,” he added.

APC statement

The APC similarly denied the alleged phone conversation in a statement by Felix Morka, the party’s national publicity secretary, on Tuesday.

The party described the “speculations” as mischievous, adding that the Presidential Election Petition Court should be allowed to do its job.

“We have become aware of a decidedly mischievous and intentionally misleading tweet by Jackson Ude.

“He alleged that Tinubu had a telephone conversation with the CJN, in which the CJN purportedly told the president and the APC to prepare for a presidential election rerun,” Morka said.

He said it was disturbing and disgraceful for Ude to fabricate a falsehood of this kind on a matter of serious national importance that was actively under review by the PEPC.

He maintained that Tinubu and the APC won the last presidential election without a doubt.

Morka added that the party and Tinubu did not need to engage in side conversations with the CJN regarding pending petitions before the PEPC.

He said as the core democrat that he was, Tinubu respected the right of aggrieved candidates in the election to seek redress for any grievances they may have.

He noted that the Nigerian constitution and the Electoral Act provided effective guarantees of that right.

“The PEPC should be afforded the time and space to perform its important constitutional and statutory duty of adjudicating and delivering a verdict in the matter without needlessly calling the integrity of our Judges into question.

“Falsehood and conjecture by the likes of Ude only aim to inflame political passions, create doubt and panic, and preemptively undermine the verdict of the courts in this important matter.

“We are confident that Nigerians are smarter and more discerning than to be affected by this opposition brand of tasteless and crass mercenary expedition,” the APC said.‘Perceived secret relationship’

This is not the first media speculation about secret communications between Tinubu and Ariwoola since after the disputed 25 February presidential election.

In March, an online news platform, Peoples Gazette, reported that the CJN disguised in a wheelchair to meet with Tinubu.

Tinubu was then the president-elect, and by then, it was clear that his election was going to be challenged in court.

Both the Supreme Court and Tinubu’s presidential campaign team came out to deny any meeting between the two men as reported.

 

PT

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says the current price of a litre of petrol is “provocative” and that the product should not be sold for more than N150.

On Tuesday, oil marketers increased the pump price of petrol at retail outlets to N617 per litre in Abuja and N568 in Lagos.

The development elicited angry reactions from many Nigerians who held that the current price of the product will negatively impact a chunk of the country’s population.

Since the announcement of the removal of petrol subsidy by President Bola Tinubu on May 29, the price of the product has continued to rise.

The removal of subsidy on petrol means that the price of the product at filling stations will be determined by market forces.

Reacting in a statement on Tuesday, Debo Ologunagba, PDP spokesperson, said the price hike is “worsening the already suffocating economic situation” in the country under the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The party said Nigerians are losing their means of livelihood to the “badly planned and hurriedly executed” policies of the APC.

“The PDP is alarmed that with its ill-thought-out, badly planned, and hurriedly-executed policies, APC is running Nigeria’s economy aground with the value of naira rapidly plummeting, businesses and production shutting down,” the statement reads.

“The present dire situation comes as a consequence of APC’s insensitivity, seething corruption, scandalous cluelessness, and lack of capacity to effectively steady and manage the nation’s economy.

“The PDP dismisses APC’s insensitive and lame argument of market forces and comparison of price of fuel in Nigeria with those of other countries which have functional infrastructure, variety of affordable alternative transportation system and sources of energy.

“Our party insists that the N617 per liter of fuel is excessive, unacceptable, and cannot be justified under any guise. This is especially given the economic potential and prospects within our country.

“Even with the removal of subsidy on petroleum products, the PDP maintains that with a deft, transparent, and innovative management of resources, economic potentials, national comparative advantage, and expanded value chain in refining capacity, fuel should not sell for more than N150 per litre in Nigeria.”

In the build-up to the February 25 presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, PDP presidential candidate, vowed to end the petrol subsidy regime, while describing the scheme as a “fraud”.

 

The Cable

A Nigerian author and professor, Kole Omotoso, is dead.

He died at the age of 80 in South Africa where he had been ill for a while, a family source said.

Omotoso’s family is set to release a statement announcing his death later on.

Some of the works of fiction he authored include The Edifice and The Combat.

 

PT

Russian President Vladimir Putin will take part in the summit of BRICS leaders in South Africa via video link, spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said. The host nation announced earlier on Wednesday that the Russian leader will not attend the high-profile event in person.

Putin’s contribution to the gathering next month will be “comprehensive”despite its remote nature, Peskov told the Russian media on Wednesday. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will travel to Johannesburg in person to serve as Moscow’s representative, he added, confirming a previous statement by the South African government.

Earlier in the day, the office of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the two nations had agreed that Putin would not travel to the country, sending Lavrov instead.

South Africa is a member of the International Criminal Court (ICC), which in March charged Putin with “kidnaping” Ukrainian children. Moscow dismissed the accusation as politically motivated, baseless, and coming from a Western-compromised entity.

Due to its status, South Africa would technically be obliged to attempt to arrest Putin and hand him over to the ICC, if he were to arrive on its soil. Ramaphosa’s office earlier warned that such a move could lead to war with Russia.

Peskov denied on Wednesday that Moscow had issued any threats to that extent, but argued that there was “no need for any explanation” of the risk.

BRICS is a club of large non-Western economies which comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. In recent years, it has held virtual summits due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

Russia Today


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