.Jamaican opposition leader Peter Phillips on Friday announced his resignation, after preliminary results gave Prime Minister Andrew Holness a landslide victory in legislative elections, according to daily newspaper The Gleaner. Phillips said he had written to the Chairman of his People’s National Party (PNP) and asked for arrangements to be made to select a new head, according to the daily. Holness’ Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) scored 49 of the 63 parliamentary seats up for grabs in Thursday’s elections, with the preliminary count almost complete, the electoral commission said late on Thursday. The PNP lagged far behind, with only 14 seats. The result would give Holness another five-year term in office. The Gleaner called it “a shocking defeat for the PNP, which saw a surprising upset for several of its top stalwarts and popular names.” About 1.9 million people were eligible to elect members of the House of Representatives on the largest island in the English-speaking Caribbean. Voter turnout was given as 37 per cent, down from 48.4 per cent in 2016. Campaign rallies and door-to-door campaigning had been restricted after the number of new coronavirus cases surged. Jamaica has recorded nearly 3,000 infections and almost 30 deaths from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. The incumbent was nevertheless seen as having done a relatively good job in handling the pandemic, including by quickly closing the borders in March. The government has also received praise for its economic policies, with unemployment falling to a historic low of 7 per cent in October 2019, according to World Bank figures. But the pandemic left hundreds of thousands of Jamaicans without jobs or with low incomes, leading to the government reopening the tourism-reliant island’s borders in mid-June. The opposition criticised Holness for calling elections during the pandemic, accused the government of corruption, and pointed to high crime levels. The elections took place under safety measures, including temperature checks and wearing of face masks.

 By Adesina Wahab

As Jamaica, popularly known as the “Land of Reggae Music” marks her 60th independence anniversary, Nigeria will during the celebration, display her rich cultural heritage in form of drama, poems, dance and others.

Disclosing this, Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Jamaica, HE Dame Maureen Tamuno, said Nigeria’s particiaparion in the event, tagged ” Emancipation Jubilee”, is to also expose the rich cultural heritage of the country to the outside world, and cement the excellent relationship between the two nations.

Some of Nigerian cultural heritage to be performed include: Ada Ada – (a cultural performance depicting the Igbo traditional marriage), “Spoken word on “Motherland” – (by a Jamaican student in a high school in Calabar), Unity Dance – (a cultural performance showcasing the major ethnic groups in Nigeria), Nigerian Solo Highlife song – to be performed by a Nigerian doctor, cultural performance – by Seki Cultural Troupe from Rivers State in Nigeria and Nigerian contemporary dance.

The celebration runs from July 31 to August 7, this year.

‘’Jamaica is a good ally of Nigeria, we are fully involved as we celebrate this very important occasion with them, while our talents as well as cultures will be on display to the world. This is the first time Nigeria will be taking active part in Jamaica’s independence anniversary so we must make it grand and worthwhile,” she added.

Speaking further, Tamuno disclosed that the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, is scheduled to represent Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, on the occasion.

As part of the celebration, the Nigeria High Commission is collaborating with the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports of Jamaica to showcase the rich culture of the Nigerian people at the emancipation vigil in Seville Heritage Park, St. Ann Parish.

Also the Minister will make a statement at the Assembly of the 27th session of the International Seabed Authority on the Commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the adoption and opening for signature of the Convention.

Similarly,Onyeama will be a guest at the coronation of Jamaica’s 60th Miss Festival  Queen Coronation on Monday 1st August, 2022,  at JA 60 Festival Village in Kingston.

The Minister will present trophy to one of the winners. The beauty queens will be dressed mostly in Nigerian adire fabrics from  House  of Oduduwa, Ile Ife, Nigeria done by Princess Ronke Ademiluyi .

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