A popular Russian model has died in the Dominican Republic. Natalia Borodina, 35, from Moscow, suffered fatal injuries during a car accident which involved her hanging out of the window on the passenger side while the driver recorded her on a mobile phone.
Natalia had taken her bikini off and was playing up to the camera, hauling her top half out of the car window while a friend was driving.
The shocking video sees the mother-of-one letting her upper body hang out of the window of the moving car, before she hits a lamp post.
The accident occurred when Natalia was on vacation in the Dominican Republic
Something remarkable happened on the morning of February 25, the day of the Nigerian presidential election. Many Nigerians went out to vote holding in their hearts a new sense of trust. Cautious trust, but still trust. Since the end of military rule in 1999, Nigerians have had little confidence in elections. To vote in a presidential election was to brace yourself for the inevitable aftermath: fraud.
Elections would be rigged because elections were always rigged; the question was how badly. Sometimes voting felt like an inconsequential gesture as predetermined “winners” were announced.
A law passed last year, the 2022 Electoral Act, changed everything. It gave legal backing to the electronic accreditation of voters and the electronic transmission of results, in a process determined by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The chair of the commission, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, assured Nigerians that votes would be counted in the presence of voters and recorded in a result sheet, and that a photo of the signed sheet would immediately be uploaded to a secure server. When rumors circulated about the commission not keeping its word, Yakubu firmly rebutted them. In a speech at Chatham House in London (a favorite influence-burnishing haunt of Nigerian politicians), he reiterated that the public would be able to view “polling-unit results as soon as they are finalized on election day.”
Nigerians applauded him. If results were uploaded right after voting was concluded, then the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), which has been in power since 2015, would have no opportunity for manipulation. Technology would redeem Nigerian democracy. Results would no longer feature more votes than voters. Nigerians would no longer have their leaders chosen for them. Elections would, finally, capture the true voice of the people. And so trust and hope were born.
By the evening of February 25, 2023, that trust had dissipated. Election workers had arrived hours late, or without basic election materials. There were reports of violence, of a shooting at a polling unit, and of political operatives stealing or destroying ballot boxes. Some law-enforcement officers seemed to have colluded in voter intimidation; in Lagos, a policeman stood idly by as an APC spokesperson threatened members of a particular ethnic group who he believed would vote for the opposition.
Most egregious of all, the electoral commission reneged on its assurance to Nigerians. The presidential results were not uploaded in real time. Voters, understandably suspicious, reacted; videos from polling stations show voters shouting that results be uploaded right away. Many took cellphone photos of the result sheets. Curiously, many polling units were able to upload the results of the House and Senate elections, but not the presidential election. A relative who voted in Lagos told me, “We refused to leave the polling unit until the INEC staff uploaded the presidential result. The poor guy kept trying and kept getting an ‘error’ message. There was no network problem. I had internet on my phone. My bank app was working. The Senate and House results were easily uploaded. So why couldn’t the presidential results be uploaded on the same system?” Some electoral workers in polling units claimed that they could not upload results because they didn’t have a password, an excuse that voters understood to be subterfuge. By the end of the day, it had become obvious that something was terribly amiss.
No one was surprised when, by the morning of the 26th, social media became flooded with evidence of irregularities. Result sheets were now slowly being uploaded on the INEC portal, and could be viewed by the public. Voters compared their cellphone photos with the uploaded photos and saw alterations: numbers crossed out and rewritten; some originally written in black ink had been rewritten in blue, some blunderingly whited-out with Tipp-Ex. The election had been not only rigged, but done in such a shoddy, shabby manner that it insulted the intelligence of Nigerians.
Nigerian democracy had long been a two-party structure—power alternating between the APC and the Peoples Democratic Party—until this year, when the Labour Party, led by Peter Obi, became a third force. Obi was different; he seemed honest and accessible, and his vision of anti-corruption and self-sufficiency gave rise to a movement of supporters who called themselves “Obi-dients.” Unusually large, enthusiastic crowds turned up for his rallies. The APC considered him an upstart who could not win, because his small party lacked traditional structures. It is ironic that many images of altered result sheets showed votes overwhelmingly being transferred from the Labour Party to the APC.
As vote counting began at INEC, representatives of different political parties—except for the APC—protested. The results being counted, they said, did not reflect what they had documented at the polling units. There were too many discrepancies.
“There is no point progressing in error, Mr. Chairman. We are racing to nowhere,” one party spokesperson said to Yakubu. “Let us get it right before we proceed with the collation.” But the INEC chair, opaque-faced and lordly, refused. The counting continued swiftly until, at 4:10 a.m. on March 1, the ruling party’s candidate, Bola Tinubu, was announced as president-elect.
A subterranean silence reigned across the country. Few people celebrated. Many Nigerians were in shock. “Why,” my young cousin asked me, “did INEC not do what it said it would do?”
It seemed truly perplexing that, in the context of a closely contested election in a low-trust society, the electoral commission would ignore so many glaring red flags in its rush to announce a winner. (It had the power to pause vote counting, to investigate irregularities—as it would do in the governorship elections two weeks later.)
Rage is brewing, especially among young people. The discontent, the despair, the tension in the air have not been this palpable in years.
How surprising then to see the U.S. State Department congratulate Tinubu on March 1. “We understand that many Nigerians and some of the parties have expressed frustration about the manner in which the process was conducted and the shortcomings of technical elements that were used for the first time in a presidential election cycle,” the spokesperson said. And yet the process was described as a “competitive election” that “represents a new period for Nigerian politics and democracy.”
American intelligence surely cannot be so inept. A little homework and they would know what is manifestly obvious to me and so many others: The process was imperiled not by technical shortcomings but by deliberate manipulation.
An editorial in The Washington Post echoed the State Department in intent if not in affect. In an oddly infantilizing tone, as though intended to mollify the simpleminded, we are told that “officials have asserted that technical glitches, not sabotage, were the issue,” that “much good” came from the Nigerian elections, which are worth celebrating because, among other things, “no one has blocked highways, as happened in Brazil after Jair Bolsonaro lost his reelection bid.” We are also told that “it is encouraging, first, that the losing candidates are pursuing their claims through the courts,” though any casual observer of Nigerian politics would know that courts are the usual recourse after any election.
The editorial has the imaginative poverty so characteristic of international coverage of African issues—no reading of the country’s mood, no nuance or texture. But its intellectual laziness, unusual in such a rigorous newspaper, is astonishing. Since when does a respected paper unequivocally ascribe to benign malfunction something that may very well be malignant—just because government officials say so? There is a kind of cordial condescension in both the State Department’s and The Washington Post’s responses to the election. That the bar for what is acceptable has been so lowered can only be read as contempt.
I hope, President Biden, that you do not personally share this cordial condescension. You have spoken of the importance of a “global community for democracy,” and the need to stand up for “justice and the rule of law.” A global community for democracy cannot thrive in the face of apathy from its most powerful member. Why would the United States, which prioritizes the rule of law, endorse a president-elect who has emerged from an unlawful process?
Compromised is a ubiquitous word in Nigeria’s political landscape—it is used to mean “bribed” but also “corrupted,” more generally. “They have been compromised,” Nigerians will say, to explain so much that is wrong, from infrastructure failures to unpaid pensions. Many believe that the INEC chair has been “compromised,” but there is no evidence of the astronomical U.S.-dollar amounts he is rumored to have received from the president-elect. The extremely wealthy Tinubu is himself known to be an enthusiastic participant in the art of “compromising”; some Nigerians call him a “drug baron” because, in 1993, he forfeited to the United States government $460,000 of his income that a Chicago court determined to be proceeds from heroin trafficking. Tinubu has strongly denied all charges of corruption.
I hope it will not surprise you, President Biden, if I argue that the American response to the Nigerian election also bears the faint taint of that word, compromised, because it is so removed from the actual situation in Nigeria as to be disingenuous. Has the United States once again decided that what matters in Africa is not democracy but stability? (Perhaps you could tell British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who quickly congratulated Tinubu, that an illegitimate government in a country full of frustrated young people does not portend stability.) Or is it about that ever-effulgent nemesis China, as so much of U.S. foreign policy now invariably seems to be? The battle for influence in Africa will not be won by supporting the same undemocratic processes for which China is criticized.
This Nigerian election was supposed to be different, and the U.S. response cannot—must not—be business as usual. The Nigerian youth, long politically quiescent, have awoken. About 70 percent of Nigerians are under 30 and many voted for the first time in this election. Nigerian politicians exhibit a stupefying ability to tell barefaced lies, so to participate in political life has long required a suspension of conscience. But young people have had enough. They want transparency and truth; they want basic necessities, minimal corruption, competent political leaders, and an environment that can foster their generation’s potential.
This election is also about the continent. Nigeria is a symbolic crucible of Africa’s future, and a transparent election will rouse millions of other young Africans who are watching, and who long, too, for the substance and not the hollow form of democracy. If people have confidence in the democratic process, it engenders hope, and nothing is more essential to the human spirit than hope.
Today, election results are still being uploaded on the INEC server. Bizarrely, many contradict the results announced by INEC. The opposition parties are challenging the election in court. But there is reason to worry about whether they will get a fair ruling. INEC has not fully complied with court orders to release election materials. The credibility of the Nigerian Supreme Court has been strained by its recent judgments in political cases, or so-called judicial coronations, such as one in which the court declared the winner of the election for governor of Imo State a candidate who had come in fourth place.
Lawlessness has consequences. Every day Nigerians are coming out into the streets to protest the election. APC, uneasy about its soiled “victory,” is sounding shrill and desperate, as though still in campaign mode. It has accused the opposition party of treason, an unintelligent smear easily disproved but disquieting nonetheless, because false accusations are often used to justify malicious state actions.
I supported Peter Obi, the Labour Party candidate, and hoped he would win, as polls predicted, but I was prepared to accept any result, because we had been assured that technology would guard the sanctity of votes. The smoldering disillusionment felt by many Nigerians is not so much because their candidate did not win as because the election they had dared to trust was, in the end, so unacceptably and unforgivably flawed.
Congratulating its outcome, President Biden, tarnishes America’s self-proclaimed commitment to democracy. Please do not give the sheen of legitimacy to an illegitimate process. The United States should be what it says it is.
NATION *Nigerians to pay more for chicken, fish *NIMASA generates over N108b revenue *Satellite to play key role in 5G rollout *‘Why most SMEs fail in three years’ *NETCO empowers youths *NALDA farm estate to empower 400 in Abia *AIB partners NCAT on manpower development *Notore grows turnover by 43% to N27b *PZ Cussons pays N992.6m dividend to shareholders *‘Digital assets can stimulate capital formation’ *Airtel Africa joins FTSE 100 *Sterling Bank holds awards for young tech founders *Wema Bank gets two new directors *Threats to Nigeria’s march to digital economy *Evolving railway connection and emerging opportunities *Boosting downstream with low-interest loans *Oyebanji, Kolawole: Who succeeds Fayemi? *February… A ruling party’s month of decisions *Typically NLNG *Ritualists on the prowl *Fuel subsidy sandstorm *Ritualists on the prowl *Fuel subsidy sandstorm *Nigeria and the hunger hotspots *Subsidy: triumph of reason *Abubakar’s stained hands *Tackling Nigeria’s cumulative leadership failure *Subsidy suspension; stale logic
LEADERSHIP *AFCON: Egypt Edge Out Morocco, Face Cameroon In Semi-final *Terrorists Flee, Abandon Trucks As Troops Clear Enclaves *11 Killed, Others Injured In Southern Kaduna Attack *Alleged Defamation: JAMB Spokesman Sues Human Rights Radio, Demands N6bn *Army Keeps Mum Over Attack On Soldiers In Rivers *APC Has A Flawed Reward System – Princewill *Manchester United Ban Greenwood Indefinitely Over Alleged Assault *NDLEA Arrests 3 Trans-border Traffickers With 48,000 Tramadol Tabs *Aborted Zamfara Trip: Presidency Explains Reasons, Blasts PDP *Employment: KWASU VC Urges Youths To Embrace ICT *We Want You To Defect To APC, Lawan Tells Akwa Ibom Gov
DAILY TRUST *I Was Denied My First Job Because Of Hijab – FOMWAN President *Edo Journalists To Benefit From Govt’s Health Insurance Scheme *Ekiti Gov’ship: Anger Over Outcomes Of APC, PDP Primaries *2023 Presidency: Age Not On Atiku’s Side – Bala Mohammed *I Joined PDP Because Of Political Mess In Kano – Suspended Anti-Graft Boss *2023: Tricky Storms Before Atiku *Transforming Skills Development In Nigeria *Professor Zulum And His ‘Empty Seat Of Power’ *Health Insurance: HMO Must Pay Hospitals *Witnessing The Remorse Of A Secessionist *Gender Inclusion For Uneducated Nigerian Woman Voter? *281 Nigerians Crypto Account Restricted On Security Concern *5G Rollout: NCAA Allays Fears On Flight Operations *How Navy Recovered N67bn Worth Of Crude, AGO In 2021 *Emefiele Flag Off 100 For 100 Policy On Production And Productivity Today *Fidelity Bank Rewards Customers In GAIM 5 Promo *NIMASA Paid N37.7bn To Federation Account In 2021 – Jamoh *Entrepreneurship Success: Contract Negotiations (II) *‘Nigeria Will Never Go Into Recession If Real Estate Sector Is Stabilised’ *Appeal Court Dismisses Case Against Owners Of Abuja Estate *Land Prices In Lekki, Ikoyi, Others Grow By 63% In 2 Years – Report *Royal Choice Inn Builds N1b Hotel For Visitors, Sabbatical Lecturers In UniJos *3-Year-Old Girl Abducted From Home In Kwara *Report Sexual Harassment By Staff, Students, Unijos VC Urges *Amosun Donates Food Items To Prisons, Orphanages
VANGUARD *The merits in power shift to Southern Nigeria *The plight of Nigerian workers [opinion] *Presidential election campaign researchers look at 2015 and 2019 *Obaseki’s former Chief of Staff declares for House of Representatives *If Nigeria were a democracy *Lawmakers as rigging addicts *Group educates Nigeria startup ecosystem on Nigeria startup bill *We ‘re committed to making Niger Delta region better-Tunji-Ojo *Law barring littering of polythene underway in Nasarawa — Commissioner *FG saves N124bn yearly from IPPIS, digitalisation — HoS *2023: Utomi, Na’Abba, Agbakoba’s mega party issues APC, PDP quit notice *Why LASTMA personnel are hated by many *Attacks on Adeleke can destroy Osun PDP — Party Chieftain warns *Senate Constitution Review Committee bows to Buhari, rejects State Police *Police arrest 5 suspects over killings, robbery in Osun *2023: APC not sellable —Ondo Senator *2023: Shun purported report on plans to replace Sanwo-Olu — Governance Council *Yobe govt debunks report of crisis, churches burning *PDP’s attack on Buhari over cancellation of Zamfara visit, shameful, disgraceful — Presidency *Gunmen burn 10 sleeping locals in Southern Kaduna
PUNCH *Sorrowful letter to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu (1) *Senate invites 62 revenue-generating agencies over low remittances *Refineries rehabilitation gulped N100bn in 2021, says NNPC *Ekiti APC primary didn’t hold, we’ll challenge outcome – Bamidele *Transport fares jump by 283% amid rising fuel subsidy – NBS report *Presidency: APC in dilemma over zoning, may throw race open *FG must justify fresh N3tn vote, others for fuel subsidy – Senate *Motorist seeks Lagos task force officers’ prosecution for perjury *NDLEA seizes 48,000 tramadol tabs, 22 UK, France, Portugal passports *Ogun police arrest three for vandalising telecoms mast
THISDAY *Ugwuanyi Reiterates Continuous Support for Security Agencies *NDLEA Arrests Nigeria-Cameroon Trans-border Drug Traffickers *2023: PDP Positioned to Win Ogun, Says Party Chieftain *SMEDAN Boss Laments Poor Reading Culture among Students *Ex-Bayelsa Commissioner Urges Kinsmen to Shun Criminality *Osinbajo: Masses, Not Legal Profession Own Nigeria’s Justice System *2023: Obaseki’s Ex-Chief of Staff, Akerele, to Contest for House’s Seat *Kogi Gov Restates Commitment to Education *Residents Urge IG to Fish Out Killers of Two Teenagers in… *Electoral Bill Pegs Presidential Campaign Spending at N5bn *Report: $9.2trn Annual Investment Needed to Achieve Net-zero By 2050 *Come and Work with Us, Lawan Begs Emmanuel to Join APC *Presidency to PDP: Don’t Trivialise Buhari’s Aborted Visit to Zamfara *Merchants of Hate Selling Purported Plan to Replace Sanwo-Olu, Declares GAC *PANDEMIC ENVIRONMENT AND SMALL BUSINESSES *NIGERIA AND THE SUBSIDY SANDSTORM *APC’s PresidentialTicket and the Early Risers *Rice Leads the Charge in Agric Revolution *Economics of Recovery and Recovery of Economics: A Peep into Nigeria *As BUA Boosts Nigeria’s Cement Production Capacity *Enterprise Asset Leasing to Boost Fleet Operations for Corporates, SMEs’ Funding *Why is Buhari Unusually Quiet on Promise to Inaugurate NDDC… *WACOT Rice to Complete Expansion of 120,000-ton Mill in 15 Months *Lafarge Wins 2021 IoD’s Corporate Governance Award *Edo to Set Up Investment Desks in Lagos, Abuja, Nigerian Embassies *Lekki Gardens Receives SON’s Quality Management Certification *Foundation Expands Blockchain Technology Operations to Ghana *Cyber Future Academy Partners NAS on ICT Week *Dana Air Reintroduces Early Flights from Abuja Feb 1 Chinedu Eze *Ibom Air Ranked Best Airline in Nigeria by Travellers Awards *Airtel Africa Joins FTSE100 January 31 *Interswitch Supports NITDA’s National Privacy Week, Promotes Data Protection *‘Accident Investigation Institute to Begins Operation in Q3 2022’ *Private Sector Stakeholders to Launch N62.1bn HIV Trust Fund *ANLCA Urges FG to Set-aside 3% Compensation for Licensed Agents *Majiyagbe: Nigerian Custodial Services in Conformity With Global Best Practice *NACCIMA Urges CBN to Postpone Implementation of e-Invoicing *MTN Delights Investors With Historic N400bn Profit *Insecurity, Forex Illiquidity Poses Threat to Nigeria’s Short-Term Growth IoD Warns *‘Insurance Will Grow When Government Shows Responsibility to Sector’ *Banks, Others Borrowing from CBN Drops by 26.5% in January on… *Sustained growth in revenue *FG: No Jetty Should Operate Without Authorisation *NIMASA Introduces Zero Import Duty on Brand New Vessels, Contributes N37bn… *10 Customers Win N10m In Fidelity Bank’s GAIM 5 Promo *Stephen Akintayo Foundation organises Upgrade Conference *FG to Save N120bn from Human Resources Data on IPPIS *Notore Sustains Growth Trajectory, Grow Revenue by 43% to N27bn *TROM Foundation Holds Inaugural Annual Lecture, launches Maiden Science Teachers Award *People Can Make Honest Money as Professional MCs, Says Talkademy CEO
THE SUN *Niger: Terrorists on rampage, kill 7 top JTF commanders, others *Ikpeazu commended on urban renewal programme *Mbadiwe hails Buhari over suspension of fuel subsidy removal *… President greets Onwenu at 70 *2023: Igbo group appeals to non-S’East indigenes to shelve ambition *Ekiti guber: APC primary was hijacked, compromised -Bamidele *2023: Desist from political prophecy, Kaigama tells religious leaders *Plateau: PDP’ll produce better govt in 2023 –Gyang *APC convention: Feb. 26 date threatened as CECPC mulls March option *N450m rice factory commences operation in Imo
General Officer Commanding (GOC) 81 Division, Major General Lawrence Fejokwu, *Bayelsa to commission over 20 projects on Diri’s 2nd anniversary *NAS warns against rising number of out-of-school children *EBSU students reject N250,000 levy *Uzodimma promises traders of reconstructed Owerri market compensation *… Commiserates with Nnadi, Editor Sunday Sun, on wife’s death *2023: Disquiet in Akwa Ibom as Udom presents Umo Eno as ‘God anointed’ candidate *Nat Convention must arrest drift destroying APC — Ex DG Govs Forum *Alleged contempt: Finance minister, others face committal trial today
GUARDIAN *Movement demands information on N3tr fuel subsidy *In fresh attacks, bandits kill dozens in Kaduna, Niger *SSANU gives FG February deadline to settle minimum wage, IPPIS *Lawan woos Emmanuel as influential council backs Sanwo-Olu on re-election *Concerns as cybercriminals unleash SMS-based Android malware on Nigerians *Lagos Police Command begins screening exercise for applicants *Ohanaeze warns of danger if North succeeds Buhari in 2023 *Obaseki extends street light-up project to Edo north *Jonathan, Jack-Rich urge oil firms to impact host Niger Delta communities *‘Soludo’s template will move Nigeria from crude politics’ *Police arrest three suspects for robbery in Yobe *Osun government intervenes on Ilesa cult clash, promises return to normalcy *Group condemns attack on ThisDay office in Abuja, seeks protection for media outfits *Chief of Naval Staff tasks youths on career in armed forces *Lawmaker seeks justice for murdered OAU PG student *Abia government seals bank premises, prosecutes levy, tax defaulters *Buhari commiserates with Innoson boss over mother’s death *Bamidele to challenge Ekiti APC guber primary outcome in court *Three rapists get life sentence in Jigawa
NIGERIAN TELEGRAPH *Ekiti primaries and defeat of the big guns *2023: South-East in strong push for power *As the Senate debates Abuja Monthly Rent Payment Bill *Ngige and the South East quest to lead Nigeria *JUST IN: Emmanuel settles on Pastor Umo Enoh for 2023 *Federer, Djokovic praise ‘great champion’ Nadal *Abuja Rice Pyramid smacks of deception –Ndeze *Abia is leveraging on SME for development, says Oseiza *Kano battling exports’ rejection, says Nasiru, Deputy Gov *2023: South-East in strong push for power *Bamidele vows to challenge Ekiti APC Gov Primary
A corps member identified as Princess Odume, was on Monday arrested by the Akwa Ibom police command for the murder of a yet-to-be-identified man.
The young woman, who is said to be a graduate of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, was stripped naked by neighbours of the victim who caught her trying to skip the fence with a machete.
The Akwa Ibom Police Public Relations Officer, Odiko Ogbeche-Macdon confirmed the victim was the alleged murderer’s lover. He also said, “The police are investigating. The police have her in custody, she committed the act, but as I speak, an investigation is ongoing as to how and why she did it.”
A House On The Rock pastor, Adeyinka Akinbami(61), lost his life to COVID-19 on Friday, the 8th of January, 2021.
The Senior Pastor, of the church, Paul Adefarasin, urged Nigerians to adhere to the COVID-19 protocols.
“Yesterday (Friday), I received the rude and shocking news of someone deeply dear to me and all of the HOTR family. The passing of Pastor Yinka Akinbami has become most painful because if there truly were good men, he was certainly one. To my brother, sleep well till we meet to part no more.
“Family, kindly allow me to solicit your intercession for his dear wife of over 30 years; Pastor Tolu, his children, his children-in-law, and grandchildren. We can only at best imagine how much pain they are feeling. We share the pain of his loss but they will feel it a lot more.
“It’s important to remind the community about the deadly nature of the COVID-19 and its mutant virus strains. Please do your part by following all the recommended precautions. That way, you are able to protect yourself and others who become proximal to you. God bless and keep us all”, Adefarasin Tweeted.