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Nigerians to Experience a New Normal as INEC Prepares to Kick Start Voters Registration in Q1 of 2021

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Voters’ Registration to Commence 18 Months Ahead of 2023 General Election

It is the new normal in Nigeria as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu informed the media about the commission’s plan to commence voters’ registration in the first quarter of 2021.

This was stated on Wednesday in Abuja after Prof. Mhamoodu appeared before the Senate Committee led by Senator Kabiru Gaya, APC Kano south, to defend the commission’s budget for 2021.

For continuous voter registration, the commission will resume voter registration in the first quarter of 2021”, Prof. Yakubu affirmed.

He said “Once we resume, it will be continuous for one and a half years, at least until six months to the next general election. In other words, the commission is not going to resume voters registration for a week, two weeks or a month but we are working out the details.

The commission chairman, Prof. Yakubu is also advocating for diaspora voting, he employed the national Assembly to amend the Electoral Act to accommodate Nigerians in diaspora and adopt early voting system.

The commission is desirous of giving Nigerians living abroad the right to vote, after all, all our neighboring countries do so. But it requires the amendment to the constitution and the Electoral Act for that to happen.

“We have already worked out the document. Once the law is amended today, we can roll out. We are ready. We have had several meetings with the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, NIDCOM, but we can’t go beyond what the law provides,” Prof Yakubu stated.

He also called the attention of the committee to the inability of some groups to vote. He believed that an amendment to the Electoral Act should allow the group such as security personnel, INEC staff, journalist and others the right to vote even as they carry out their job activities during the election period.

Prof. Yakubu said the amendment should allow Nigerians with Permanent Voter’s Card the right to vote irrespective of their location within the country at the time of the election.

He said, “It’s not just those in the armed services, the police involved in election duty, journalists, INEC adhoc staff and some INEC staff don’t vote. The reason is that you are posted for election duty to places other than where you are registered, and the law says you vote where are registered”.

“So, if you pass some amendments to the Electoral Act to enable people to vote, two solution perhaps, early voting, so that those involved in election duty can vote early or major reform of electoral legal framework to allow people to vote wherever they are,” he added.

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Sport Business

Usyk Claims Victory Over Fury in Historic Bout, Becomes Undisputed Heavyweight Champion

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Oleksandr Usyk emerged victorious over Tyson Fury to claim the title of undisputed heavyweight champion.

The highly anticipated bout, held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, showcased the remarkable skill and determination of both fighters, culminating in a split-decision victory for Usyk.

From the opening bell, the tension was palpable as Fury, the reigning WBC champion, and Usyk, the unified cruiserweight champion, squared off in the ring.

Fury, known for his towering stature and formidable punching power, sought to impose his will early on, using his reach advantage to keep Usyk at bay.

However, Usyk, undeterred by the size disparity, showcased his superior footwork and technical prowess, darting in and out of Fury’s range to land precise counterpunches.

As the rounds progressed, the momentum shifted back and forth between the two fighters, with each landing significant blows and demonstrating their resilience in the face of adversity.

Fury’s powerful punches tested Usyk’s chin, while Usyk’s speed and agility kept Fury on the defensive.

In the pivotal moments of the fight, Usyk delivered a masterful performance in the later rounds, capitalizing on Fury’s fatigue to unleash a barrage of punches that rocked the defending champion.

Despite Fury’s valiant efforts to rally back, Usyk’s relentless pressure and pinpoint accuracy earned him the judges’ favor, securing a split-decision victory and etching his name in the annals of boxing history.

With this triumph, Usyk joins the ranks of legendary heavyweight champions, becoming the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis more than two decades ago.

His victory not only cements his status as one of the sport’s elite athletes but also signals a new era in the heavyweight division, characterized by fierce competition and unparalleled skill.

As the boxing world reels from the electrifying showdown, fans and pundits alike eagerly await the prospect of a rematch between Usyk and Fury. With both fighters showcasing their championship pedigree, the stage is set for another epic clash that promises to captivate audiences worldwide.

In the aftermath of his victory, Usyk expressed gratitude to his team, his country, and his faith, attributing his success to hard work and dedication.

Meanwhile, Fury, while disappointed with the outcome, vowed to bounce back stronger and reclaim his title in the anticipated rematch.

As the boxing world celebrates Usyk’s historic achievement, his victory serves as a testament to the enduring spirit of sportsmanship and the unyielding pursuit of excellence in the noble art of boxing.

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JAMB Releases 36,540 Withheld UTME Results, Dismisses Cyber Breach Claims

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The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has quelled concerns over the integrity of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) results by releasing an additional 36,540 previously withheld scores.

This move follows earlier revelations of withheld results and assertions of a cyber security breach.

Fabian Benjamin, the spokesperson for JAMB, confirmed the release of these results in a statement issued late Tuesday in Abuja.

This latest batch of released scores, when combined with the 531 previously unveiled, brings the total number of results made public to 1,879,437.

Benjamin took the opportunity to address circulating rumors regarding the security of the UTME results.

He categorically dismissed claims of a cyber security breach, saying that the examination outcomes remain intact and securely stored.

He stressed that the results are not stored in any cloud system and thus cannot be compromised by external entities.

At the time of the UTME release, JAMB had disclosed that certain results were withheld pending further investigation.

Subsequently, 531 of these results were recently unveiled with the remainder still under scrutiny.

Benjamin explained that any candidates implicated in examination malpractice are undergoing thorough investigation.

The examination board intends to meticulously review footage from CCTV cameras installed across all accredited centers to ascertain each candidate’s involvement.

Benjamin urged the public to remain vigilant against misinformation originating from sources not affiliated with JAMB.

He attributed the discrepancies in minimum admissible scores to variations among tertiary institutions. Some institutions, he noted, proposed lower minimum scores than others, resulting in varying benchmarks.

Benjamin clarified that these benchmarks are determined collectively by all Heads of Institutions during the annual Policy Meeting on Admissions, ensuring uniformity across the country.

Also, Benjamin cautioned religious organizations against overstepping their designated roles.

He warned against the dissemination of false information to governmental bodies for personal gain.

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Travel

British Airways Owner IAG Prepares for Summer Surge Amid High Travel Demand

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As the world gradually emerges from the grip of the pandemic, the travel industry is witnessing a resurgence in demand with British Airways owner IAG SA gearing up for a busy summer season.

Despite lingering challenges, the airline conglomerate remains optimistic about the outlook, citing strong demand for travel within Europe and across the Atlantic.

In a recent stock exchange filing, IAG disclosed an adjusted operating profit of €68 million ($73.3 million) for the three months ending March.

According to Chief Executive Officer Luis Gallego, the group’s core markets, including the North Atlantic, South Atlantic, and intra-Europe routes, have shown robust performance, positioning them well for the upcoming peak travel period.

With vaccination rates increasing and travel restrictions easing in many parts of the world, consumers are eager to resume travel plans, fueling the surge in demand.

However, the road ahead is not without its challenges. While travel within Europe and across the Atlantic remains strong, other regions present a more complex operating environment.

The ongoing conflict in the Middle East has dampened demand for certain destinations, while airspace restrictions resulting from geopolitical tensions, such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine, have disrupted flight routes to East Asia.

Despite these hurdles, IAG remains resilient, banking on the strength of its core markets and the performance of its brands to weather the storm.

The company’s strategic positioning and proactive measures to adapt to changing circumstances have positioned it to capitalize on the rebound in travel demand.

As the summer season approaches, IAG is focused on ensuring operational readiness to meet the surge in passenger numbers.

With travelers eager to reconnect with loved ones, explore new destinations, and embark on long-awaited vacations, the airline group stands ready to facilitate safe and seamless travel experiences.

As vaccination campaigns progress and travel sentiment rebounds, IAG’s proactive approach and strategic investments position it as a key player in the aviation industry’s recovery journey. With optimism on the horizon, the company remains committed to delivering exceptional service and fostering a seamless travel experience for passengers worldwide.

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