The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Friday said it will end Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) for the 2023 election on July 31.
INEC national commissioner Festus Okoye in a statement said the commission’s extension of voter registration to mid-July has been extended till the end of July for all voter registration in the country.
Okoye explained that INEC “met in an extraordinary session today, Friday 15th July 2022, and discussed among other things, the suspension of the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR).
“This followed the judgement delivered by the Federal High Court on Wednesday 13th July 2022 in which it dismissed the suit filed by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) which is seeking an extension of the exercise beyond 30th June 2022.
The Court has affirmed that INEC is at liberty to appoint a date of its choice to suspend the CVR, provided it is not later than 90 days before the date fixed for the General Election as provided in Sec. 9(6) of the Electoral Act 2022.”
Okoye said INEC complied with the interim injunction of the Court pending the determination of the substantive suit to enable more Nigerians to register for voters cards beyond 30th June 2022.
For this reason, the CVR has already been extended beyond 30th June 2022 for a period of 15 days,” Okoye said.
“With the judgement of the Federal High Court, all legal encumbrances have now been removed. Accordingly, the Commission has taken the following decisions:
“The CVR is hereby extended for another two weeks until Sunday 31st July 2022, thereby bringing the total duration of the extension to 31 days (1st – 31st July 2022).
“The exercise has also been extended to eight hours daily from 9.00am – 5.00pm instead of the current duration of six hours (9.00am – 3.00pm) daily;
“The exercise is also extended to include weekends (Saturdays and Sundays) as against only weekdays.”
Okoye explained there is a lot that the Commission is required to do under the electoral legal framework in relation to voter registration and compilation of the register that will require time to accomplish.
This includes; “clean-up of the register to remove multiple registrants using the Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS);
“Consolidate the national register of voters (existing voters and new registrants) and display same on Polling Unit basis for each of the 8,809 Registration Areas (Wards) across the 774 Local Government Areas nationwide for public scrutiny. This lasts for a period of one week. On the basis of a new projection of 95 million voters, on the basis of 10 voters per page, the Commission has to print 9,500,000 pages for the display;
“Print millions of Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) for all fresh registrants and applicants for transfer and replacement of lost or damaged PVCs;
“Ensure that there is ample time for voters to collect their PVCs ahead of the 2023 General Election;
“Print the final register of voters in triplicate for the 2023 General Election involving a projected 28,500,000 pages for accreditation and display at 176,846 polling units for national elections (Presidential and National Assembly) on 25th February 2023 and State elections (Governorship and State Assembly) on 11th March 2023; and
“Make copies of the updated national register of voters available to political parties not later than 30 days to the date fixed for the General Election.”
The INEC commissioner appealed “for the patience and understanding of all Nigerians as we conclude the exercise which will resume after the 2023 General Election.”
Gov Adeleke’s First Day In Office Off To A Violent Start
On Monday morning, hoodlums unleashed indiscriminate attacks on various auto parks throughout the metropolis, terrifying residents of Osogbo, the capital of Osun state.
Fidel Info reports that Members of the transport unions were attacked at the parks in a coordinated attack that began at 8 a.m. at Oke-Baale, Old-Garage, Ilesa Garage, and Aregbe Garage.
Leaders who supported the state government, which was governed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and just finished its term, dominated the parks.
Gunshots could be heard throughout the area as union members at Old-Garage were pursued from the park toward Ayetoro.
One of the union members managed to flee from Ayetoro with matchstick cuts, but his car caught fire.
In an effort to stop the attacks from spreading, business owners quickly closed their doors.
At Oke-Baale, Aregbe Garage, and Ilesa Garage, union members were also the targets of attacks.
In the meantime, Governor Ademola Adeleke issued a directive to union leaders to uphold peace in all parks and issued a warning against violence in a statement through his spokesperson, Olawale Rasheed.
“The Governor, Senator Ademola Adeleke has warned against violence among transport workers’ unions in the State, directing security agencies to maintain status quo across the motor parks.
“All union leaders and their supporters are, hereby, directed to remain calm and bring any grievances to the dtate government for resolution.”
“Security agencies are consequently directly to maintain law and order,” it reads.”
Meanwhile policemen have been stationed at strategic areas in the state, including the motor parks.
NIS Instructs Passport Offices To Work On Saturdays
The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has ordered passport offices all across the nation to open on Saturdays in order to process the backlog of passport applications.
Fidel Info reports that This information may be found in a statement that the Service’s Public Relations Officer, Mr. Tony Akuneme, made accessible in Abuja on Saturday.
According to Akuneme, the Comptroller-General, Mr. Isa Jere, who issued the direction, also gave his approval for the transfer of the Ondo Passport Controller to the NIS Zonal Office in Ibadan and the deployment of the Ekiti Passport Controller to Jigawa.
According to the NIS spokeswoman, for forward, the CG will hold passport officers responsible for any acts of indiscretion committed by officers working under their supervision.
The directive, he said, was intended to help the Service lessen the backlog brought on by the lengthy lockdown that would occur in 2020 and 2021 owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The C-G has directed that Passport offices across the country with high volume of pending applications to work on Saturdays.
“The period for this exercise is expected to be every Saturday commrencing from Dec. 3, 2022 to Jan. 28, 2023 between the period of 10 am to 2 pm.”
“This is to enhance our service delivery to out esteemed clients.”
“The Saturday proceding the Christmas and New Year holidays are exempted, ” he said.
The spokesman said passport offices that fall within this category should contact him by Monday for further details.
Akuneme reiterated the resolve of the C-G to make passport services available and stress free to the traveling public, especially during the festive season.
Biden’s Granddaughter Weds At White House
Trailed by a lengthy, flowing veil, President Joe Biden’s granddaughter Naomi Biden walked across the South Lawn of the White House on Saturday toward an altar of shrubs and flowers to marry her longtime boyfriend Peter Neal in a rare wedding on the grounds.
Fidel Info reports that Theirs was just the 19th wedding in 200-plus years of White House history.
Under a sunny, blue sky paired with unseasonably crisp 40-degree temperatures, the bride and groom, both dressed by American fashion designer Ralph Lauren, exchanged “I do’s” as 250 family members and friends watched as they were united in a nearly hourlong ceremony.
Naomi Biden, 28, wore a long-sleeved, high-neck gown and veil covering hair that had been styled behind her head. Neal, 25, chose a navy blue, three-piece suit with a double-breasted vest.
President Biden and first lady Jill Biden hosted the wedding of their eldest grandchild.
“It has been a joy to watch Naomi grow, discover who she is, and carve out such an incredible life for herself,” they said in a statement announcing the marriage of Naomi King Biden and Peter George Heermann Neal.
“Now, we are filled with pride to see her choose Peter as her husband and we are honored to welcome him to our family,” they said. “We wish them days full of laughter and a love that grows deeper with every passing year.”
The south side of the White House, facing the lawn and Washington Monument, was decorated with wreaths and garland bearing white flowers. The bride walked down an aisle that led from the Diplomatic Reception Room to the altar of shrubs and white flowers.
Guests began arriving at the security checkpoint hours before the ceremony, including women in open-toed shoes despite the chill. Some guests were given hand warmers. Most wore coats, and some topped off with hats and scarves.
It is the first White House wedding with a president’s granddaughter as the bride, and the first one ever on the South Lawn.
Pennsylvania Avenue was closed to ordinary pedestrians before and during the ceremony, as was a sidewalk bordering the Ellipse, the park just south of the White House.
After the ceremony, the newlyweds, their families and the wedding party had lunch in the White House. A reception with dessert and dancing was planned for later Saturday. President Biden went to church in Washington in between events.
Unlike some past White House weddings, Naomi Biden and Neal barred journalists, although the ceremony was outdoors on the grounds of what the president and first lady call the “people’s house.” The White House released a photo, and others were posted on the wedding planner’s social media account.
Naomi Biden is a lawyer in Washington. She is the daughter of Hunter Biden and his first wife, Kathleen Buhle.
Neal, of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, recently graduated from the University of Pennsylvania law school. He works at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington. His parents are Drs. Mary C. and William “Bill” C. Neal of Jackson Hole.
The couple, who have been living at the White House, was set up by a mutual friend about four years ago in New York City and have been together ever since, the White House said. Neal proposed in September 2021 near his childhood home in Jackson Hole with a ring that repurposed the band of his grandmother’s engagement ring, according to the White House.
The White House has released few other details about the wedding, citing the couple’s desire for privacy. The Biden family will pay for all wedding activities, officials have said.
“Naomi and Peter have asked that their wedding be closed to the media and we are respecting their wishes,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Friday.
White House weddings are rare. There have been 18 documented weddings in the 200-plus-year history of the White House. Nine involved a president’s daughter, most recently Richard Nixon’s daughter Tricia in 1971 and Lyndon Johnson’s daughter Lynda in 1967.
But nieces, a grandniece, a son and first ladies’ siblings have also gotten married there. One president, Grover Cleveland, tied the knot at the White House, too, while in office.
Some of the weddings were open to coverage by the news media, while others weren’t at all.
Journalists were allowed into Tricia Nixon’s wedding to Ed Cox, the first wedding held in the Rose Garden. Her wedding planner — a three-ring black binder in the offices of the White House Historical Association — includes extensive notes on the media plan.
But the May 1994 wedding of a brother of then-first lady Hillary Clinton and the daughter of then-U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer — the first since Tricia Nixon’s marriage — was closed to the press. Clinton’s spokesperson commented afterward and the White House released a photo.
It was the same for the October 2013 wedding of Pete Souza, President Barack Obama’s official photographer, and his longtime partner, Patti Lease. The White House announced the wedding in a statement following the small, private wedding in the Rose Garden.
The White House Correspondents Association, which advocates for press access to the White House and the president, said it was “deeply disappointed” that the White House declined its request for press coverage of Naomi Biden’s wedding.
“White House weddings have been covered by the press throughout history and the first family’s wish for privacy must be balanced against the public’s interest in an event occurring at the People’s House with the president as a participant,” the WHCA board said in a statement.
Stewart McLaurin, president of the White House Historical Association, said it’s important to remember that first families are families first.
“Their privacy should be respected, their wishes should be respected,” he said.
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