TOP 10 NEWS IN NIGERIA TODAY, MONDAY
1. 2023: Buhari Didn’t Back Southern Presidency – Garba Shehu
The Presidency has denied media reports that President Muhammadu Buhari directed the zoning of the presidential ticket of the ruling All Progressives Congress to the South.
Several reports emerged on Saturday night that the President had supported the rotation of power to the South in the 2023 general elections.
It was learned that Buhari stated this while speaking in at a dinner with All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential aspirants at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
However, in a chat with BBC on Sunday, Presidential Spokesman, Garba Shehu described the reports that Buhari had asked party leaders to choose a Southern aspirant as the party’s consensus candidate as false.
The presidential spokesman also refuted reports that the Nigerian leader said he would only back a southern candidate as his successor.
Shehu said the president only asked all the aspirants to seek a consensus amongst themselves ahead of the party’s presidential primary election slated for June 6th to 9th.
He added that Buhari said he would back anyone chosen during consensus talks, notwithstanding the aspirant’s region.
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2. Many Feared Dead As Gunmen Attack Catholic Church In Gov Akeredolu’s Hometown
There was pandemonium on Sunday when herdsmen attacked a church in Owo, Ondo state killing over 50 people.
Speaking on the incident, a source explained that some gunmen suspected to be herdsmen invaded the church during service, opened fire on the members of the church and killed no fewer than 50 people, adding that the congregation were caught unaware.
The source stated the casualty might be more as some worshippers who were taken to the hospital have given up.
He added that the herdsmen also used some explosives within the compound of the church but said most of the people were hit with gunshots.
The perpetrators were said to have fled the scene immediately after they carried out the killing, leaving many people dead.
3. Shettima Apologizes To Osinbajo For Liking Him To A Gala, Ice Cream Seller
Former Governor of Borno State, Kassim Shettima on Sunday apologised to the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo for liking him to an ice cream seller for contesting against the national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu.
Shettima while speaking on his earlier statement said it was not to claim that Osinbajo and Lawan are not worthy of the presidency.
He said his comment was to clarify that they are non-threatening contenders” to Bola Tinubu, under the ruling party.
The former governor had stated that the character can’t earn him the Presidency but should be selling Gala and popcorn.
Shettima title reacting to his earlier comment released a statement titled: “My Channels TV Interview Taken Out of Context” reads partly: “When I appeared on Channels TV last Thursday amidst the tension rippling through our political arena, it was to underline the promise Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s presidential bid held for those yet to establish the certainty of the hurdle ahead of the APC. I never set out to denigrate the personality of any aspirant and not that of my dear friends and allies.
4. President Buhari Reacts To Ondo Catholic Church Attack, Says Only Demons From Hell Could Have Done It
The President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari has likened the attackers of worshippers in a catholic church in Ondo State to evil spirits from hell.
Buhari made the submission in a statement on Sunday by his special adviser on media and publicity, Femi Adesina in which he reacted to the attack on St Francis Catholic Church, Owa-luwa Street, Owo Kingdom, in Ondo state.
It will be recalled that unknown gunmen on Sunday, attacked the catholic church located in the Owo Local Government Area of Ondo State and killed many worshippers just as the service was nearing its conclusion.
The gunmen were said to have detonated explosives before firing at the worshippers.
Reacting, President Buhari mourned with the families of those affected and wished the survivors a quick recovery.
He vowed that darkness would not overcome light in Nigeria and none of the wicked persons will go unpunished.
5. 2023: Oyo Deputy Governor, Olaniyan Dumps PDP for APC
The Deputy Governor of Oyo State, Rauf Olaniyan, has dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Olaniyan made this known in an interview with reporters on Sunday at his private office in Ojoo, Ibadan, the state capital.
Olaniyan’s defection to the APC confirms the speculations about his estranged relationship with the State Governor, Seyi Makinde.
This development comes days after the deputy governor had said that only God will determine his political move in 2023.
Olaniyan while addressing newsmen at his residence in Ibadan confirmed that he remains a member of the PDP, adding that anything can happen in the next 24 hours.
He further stated that the fact that he was not with his principal when he obtained his nomination form does not mean that Makinde would drop him as a running mate.
Olaniyan, however, disclosed that there is no rift between him and Makinde.
6. Akeredolu Breaks Silence On Deadly Owo Catholic Church Attack
The Government of Ondo State has vowed to hunt down terrorists who attacked worshippers at St Francis Catholic Church, Owa-Iuwa Street, on Sunday.
Ondo Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu in a statement on Sunday expressed sadness over the unprovoked attack and killing of innocent people of Owo, describing the incident as satanic and “unexpected”
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Ondo State, Richard Olatunde, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday where he stated that the attack is a calculated assault on the peace-loving people of the Owo Kingdom ” who have enjoyed relative peace over the years.”
The statement partly reads: “I have spoken to the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Ondo, Most Reverend Jude Arogundade, who is presently on his way to Owo. Similarly, I have had to cut short my party’s national assignment in Abuja and visit Owo immediately.
“This is an unexpected development. I am shocked, to say the least. Nevertheless, We shall commit every available resource to hunt down these assailants and make them pay. We shall never bow to the machinations of heartless elements in our resolves to rid our state of criminals.
7. 2023: Lawan, Yahaya Bello Asked To Step Down For Tinubu
Senate President Ahmad Lawan and Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello have been told to step down their 2023 presidential ambition for former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
The call was made in a statement by the Bola Tinubu campaign organisation through its spokesperson, Bayo Onanuga.
The statement also commended the Jigawa State Governor, Abubakar Badaru for his decision to step down from contesting the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential ticket.
This is coming after ten northern governors under the platform of the ruling party asked President Buhari to back a southerner for the party’s presidential ticket.
The northern governors in a communique also advised northern presidential aspirants to withdraw from the race, ahead of the party presidential primary fixed for the 6th of June.
The governors advised president Buhari to pick his preferred presidential aspirant from the region.
The governors that made the call include, Aminu Bello Masari, Abubakar Sani Bello, Abdullahi Sule, Babagana Zulum, Nasir El-Rufai, Muhammad Yahaya, Bello Matawalle, Simon Lalong, former Governor of Sokoto State, Aliyu Wamakko, Abdullahi Ganduje, Abubakar Atiku.
Reacting, the Tinubu campaign organization urged all northern aspirants in the race for the APC ticket to step down their ambitions in the interest of fairness and justice.
8. 2023: Osinbajo Speaks On Stepping Down Ahead Of APC Primary
Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo on Sunday debunked the report that he has stepped down for a presidential aspirant under the All Progressives Congress, ahead of the presidential primary of the party.
The campaign council of the vice president cleared the air in a statement released through its chairman, Richard Akinnola II.
Akinnola noted the people behind the fake news are “afraid of the huge political support base of the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.”
The campaign council further stated that the VP is ready for the presidential primary of the ruling party scheduled for June 8-9.
The council also welcomed all delegates who are coming for APC primary election at the Federal Capital Territory.
9. 2023: Wike Calls For Support For PDP Despite Losing Presidential Ticket
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has called on his supporters to continue supporting the Peoples Democratic Party.
The presidential aspirant made the call a week after losing out to the former vice president, Atiku Abubakar at the presidential primary of the main opposition party.
Wike who was represented by his deputy, Ipalibo Harry-Banigo stated this at the thanksgiving service of the PDP in Rivers State on Sunday for successful primaries.
He called on members of the party to continue supporting PDP to enable it to win the upcoming general elections, adding that the PDP is ready to rescue Nigeria.
10. CAN Sends Message To Buhari Over Ondo Church Attack
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to stop the recycling of criminals in the name of de-radicalising terrorists.
The association asked the Buhari government to stop the deradicalisation programme and called for a total overhauling of the security architecture.
CAN made this known while reacting to the killing of worshipers at St Francis Catholic Church at Owa-luwa Street, Owo in Ondo State by unknown gunmen.
As earlier reported, unknown gunmen on Sunday attacked the catholic church and killed many worshippers just as the service was nearing its conclusion.
It was gathered that the gunmen detonated explosives before firing at the worshippers including women and children.
Reacting in a statement issued by Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, Spokesman for the CAN President, Rev Dr Samson Ayokunle, condemned the unprovoked attacks and killing of several innocent worshippers at the church.
The association described the hideous attack as outrageous, unacceptable, and satanic, stating that the gruesome attack was raw persecution.
CAN commiserated with the families of the victims, the Catholic Church and the government, and the people of Ondo State over the incident.
It, however, called on the security agencies to apprehend the perpetrators of the dastardly criminality and bring them to book.