The Independent National Electoral Commission will not be able to end voter registration by 30 June 2022. Following the hearing of an argument on motion ex parte by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, Justice Mobolaji Olajuwon of the Federal High Court in Abuja gave an order of temporary injunction on Monday. SERAP and 185 concerned Nigerians filed the lawsuit, asking the court to declare the electoral body’s failure to extend the voter registration deadline to allow eligible Nigerians to exercise their rights unconstitutional, illegitimate, and incompatible with international standards. SERAP had asked the court in the suit for “an order restraining INEC, its agents, privies, assigns, or any other person(s) claiming through it from discontinuing the continuous voters’ registration exercise from the 30th of June 2022 or any other date pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.” The case has been adjourned for hearing on the Motion on Notice for Interlocutory Injunction on 29 June. The lawsuit followed INEC’s decision to extend the deadline for political parties to hold primaries by six days, from 3 June to 9 June. The commission, however, did not prolong the online pre-registration period, which concluded on 30 May, or the Continuous Voter Registration period, which ended on 30 June. SERAP also requested the court “an order of mandamus to direct and compel INEC to extend voter registration by at least three months and take effective measures to ensure that eligible Nigerians are able to register to vote in the general elections in 2023.”
According to the 2022 Global Peace Index, Nigeria is now the 143rd most peaceful country out of 163 independent nations and territories. Ahead of the most populous African country is Mauritius, ranked 28th, followed by Ghana 40th, The Gambia 45th, Sierra Leone 50th, Equatorial Guinea 59th, Malawi 65th, Senegal 70th, Morocco 74th, Rwanda 72nd, Liberia 75th, Gabon 75th, Angola 78th, Lesotho 100th, Madagascar 8th, Mozambique 122nd, and Namibia 68th. Zambia 56, Tunisia 85, Tanzania 86, Niger 140, Burundi 131, Benin Republic 105, Botswana 48, Republic of Congo 111, Ivory Coast 108, Cameroon 142, Djibouti 113, Algeria 109, South Africa 118, Egypt 126, Eritrea 132, Guinea Bissau 110, Chad 136, Togo 102, Uganda 121, and Zimbabwe 127 are among the others. The least ranked countries in Africa are Mali 150, Libya 151, Burkina Faso 146, Democratic Republic of Congo 158, Central African Republic 155, Ethiopia 149, Sudan 154, Somalia 156, and South Sudan 159. Iceland was named the world’s most peaceful country. New Zealand came in second, Ireland third, Denmark fourth, Austria fifth, Portugal sixth, Slovenia seventh, Czechia eighth, Singapore ninth, and Japan tenth on the list of the world’s ten most peaceful countries. Afghanistan is ranked 163rd in the world, followed by Yemen (162), Syria (161), Russia (161), and South Sudan (159). Level of perceived criminality in society; number of internal security officers and police per 100,000 people; number of homicides per 100,000 people; number of jailed population per 100,000 people; ease of access to small arms and light weapons; level of organised conflict (internal) and terrorist activities, among others, are some of the indicators used in the ranking.
Long queues of vehicles returned to many fuel stations across Nigeria’s commercial hub, Lagos, on Monday due to a shortage of petrol. This is the second time in six months that the largest African economy has experienced product scarcity. According to the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, some of its members have ceased operations because they can no longer bear the ongoing losses associated with operating in hostile conditions. Akin Akinrinade, the chairman of IPMAN, Lagos Satellite Depot, Ejigbo, confirmed the development. He said while the government had set ₦165 per litre as the pump price of petrol, current market realities indicated that the product should be sold at a minimum of ₦180 per litre at fuel stations. According to the union’s top official, the current scarcity in Lagos is due to the majority of petrol stations in the state owned by IPMAN members who are finding it difficult to operate in a hostile environment. Akinrinade stated that IPMAN members should be receiving supplies from the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company and that they have paid over ₦1 billion since October 2021. The products, he added, had yet to be delivered, forcing members to rely on private depots for products while also servicing bank loans for their money with PPMC. “Now, these private depot owners have raised the ex-depot price of PMS from ₦148.17 to ₦162 per litre,” said IPMAN’s CEO. That is the price they are asking for us. Contrary to reports from various sources, the IPMAN chairman assured that members of the union are not out to sabotage the government’s efforts because the rise in petroleum product prices is not unique to Nigeria. He believes that the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has disrupted the supply chain, and that the Nigerian government is doing everything possible to mitigate the impact. The products, he added, had yet to be delivered, forcing members to rely on private depots for products while also servicing bank loans for their money with PPMC. “Now, these private depot owners have raised the ex-depot price of PMS from ₦148.17 to ₦162 per litre,” said IPMAN’s CEO. That is the price they are asking for us. Contrary to reports from various sources, the IPMAN chairman assured that members of the union are not out to sabotage the government’s efforts because the rise in petroleum product prices is not unique to Nigeria. According to him, the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has disrupted the supply chain, and the Nigerian government is doing everything possible to mitigate the impact on our country. Akinrinade urged the government to direct private depots to revert to the old ex-depot price for PMS or deregulate the downstream sector to allow market forces to determine the price while speeding up the rehabilitation of the country’s refineries to increase domestic refining capacity as part of the solution.
Witnesses in Ethiopia said Sunday that more than 200 people, mostly ethnic Amhara, were killed in an attack in the country’s Oromia region and are blaming a rebel group, which denies it. It is one of the deadliest such attacks in recent memory as ethnic tensions continue in Africa’s second most populous country. “I have counted 230 bodies. I am afraid this is the deadliest attack against civilians we have seen in our lifetime,” Abdul-Seid Tahir, a resident of Gimbi county, told The Associated Press after barely escaping the attack on Saturday. “We are burying them in mass graves, and we are still collecting bodies. Federal army units have now arrived, but we fear that the attacks could continue if they leave.” Another witness, who gave only his first name, Shambel, over fears for his safety, said the local Amhara community is now desperately seeking to be relocated somewhere else “before another round of mass killings happen.” He said ethnic Amhara that settled in the area about 30 years ago in resettlement programs are now being “killed like chickens.” Both witnesses blamed the Oromo Liberation Army for the attacks. In a statement, the Oromia regional government also blamed the OLA, saying the rebels attacked “after being unable to resist the operations launched by (federal) security forces.” An OLA spokesman, Odaa Tarbii, denied the allegations. “The attack you are referring to was committed by the regime’s military and local militia as they retreated from their camp in Gimbi following our recent offensive,” he said in a message to the AP. “They escaped to an area called Tole, where they attacked the local population and destroyed their property as retaliation for their perceived support for the OLA. Our fighters had not even reached that area when the attacks took place.” Ethiopia is experiencing widespread ethnic tensions in several regions, most of them over historical grievances and political tensions. The Amhara people, the second-largest ethnic group among Ethiopia’s more than 110 million population, have been targeted frequently in regions like Oromia. The government-appointed Ethiopian Human Rights Commission on Sunday called on the federal government to find a “lasting solution” to the killing of civilians and protect them from such attacks.