TOP 10 NEWS MAKING THE ROUNDS IN NIGERIA TODAY, SATURDAY
1. Taking Nigerians For A Ride To Niger Republic In N1.14bn SUVs
“I can tell you that Nigeria is broke. There is no money to fund capital projects next year. As you can see, the dollar that has been hovering around N500 and N600 is now above N700. The truth is that there is no money anywhere… So, the situation calls for patriotism from all Nigerians. The lack of money to fund capital projects would have implications on the capacity to create jobs. If jobs are not created, poverty will increase in the country.” This was the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, speaking last week on why the federal government has been unable to resolve the industrial crisis that has crippled activities in the country’s public universities since February 14, 2022. It would be expected that a government in such dire straits will not just be circumspect in its spending but also the public perception of its priority. This is one of the contexts to situate the spleen being vented by Nigerians since learning of the questionable generosity of President Muhammadu Buhari to the Nigerien government.
How can Ngige call for patriotism from citizens when the action of the number-one citizen is giving room for Nigerians to think his patriotism and loyalty lie elsewhere? When an investigative journalist, David Hundeyin, revealed that Buhari approved N1,145,000,000 for the purchase and supply of 10 Toyota Land Cruiser vehicles to the Niger Republic on February 28, 2022, his claim was considered too far-fetched and outlandish, hence did not elicit much reaction. This is despite him attaching a picture of a document obtained from Nigeria’s Budget Office, which read in part, “Being release of funds in the sum of N1,145,000,000 to the office of the Accountant General of the Federation IFO Kaura Motors Nig. Limited for supply of 10 numbers Toyota Land Cruiser V8 Vehicles to the Republic of Niger vide Mr. President approval on page 83 dated 28/02/2022.”
2. Trouble For AGF Malami As EFCC Grills Aide Over Assets Sale
Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has grilled the Head of Asset Recovery and Management Unit, Ministry of Justice, Ladidi Mohammed, over allegations of fraud.
The EFCC had detained and questioned Mohammed, who is a close ally of the Attorney-general and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, for days over allegations of fraudulent sale of recovered assets running into billions.
Mohammed, who was granted administrative bail on Thursday, was back at the anti-graft commission on Friday for further questioning.
Sources told The Cable that Mohammed had told operatives of the EFCC that she acted under ministerial instructions in disposing of some assets which were forfeited to the federal government by persons undergoing corruption trials, but she could not tender any documented evidence to back her claims.
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3. Strike: Nigerians Should Beg ASUU, FG Can’t Borrow To Pay Them – Keyamo
The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo has accused the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) of being unrealistic with their demands.
He stated on Friday that the government can’t borrow money to pay the striking members of ASUU amidst cash shortages when other sectors of the economy also need attention.
According to Keyamo, ASUU should be begged to shelf their strike so the members can return to work, students can resume studies and the nation’s public universities can be re-opened.
He made the call on during an appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today.
4. Details Of Atiku, Wike’s Meeting To Resolve PDP Crisis Emerges
The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, and Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, have agreed to set up a joint consultation committee to iron out issues.
This was the outcome of their first face-to-face meeting held on Thursday at the private residence of Professor Jerry Gana, a member of the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT).
A source disclosed that Atiku and Wike agreed to set up a joint consultation committee of equal persons to address the issues.
According to the source, this should be done between now and next week, after which they are expected to brief the various organs of the party.
“This is the first step towards the setting up of our Presidential Campaign Council.
“Very, very soon, all these challenges will be behind us, and the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, will know their time in office is up for good,” the source told Vanguard.
5. 2023: Questions Wike Asked Atiku During Reconciliation Meeting Surfaces
Some questions the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike reportedly asked the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, have surfaced.
The two party chieftains have been at loggerheads since the unveiling of Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa as Atiku’s running mate in the 2023 elections.
In a bid to resolve the crisis, Atiku and Wike met yesterday in Abuja at the instance of the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT), led by Senator Walid Jibrin.
Despite all efforts, a source told Daily Post that the meeting did not lead to a truce.
At the meeting hosted at the residence of former Information and Culture Minister Prof. Jerry Gana, Atiku reportedly boasted that PDP can win next year’s election without many votes from Rivers State.
The presidential hopeful reportedly said there was no cause for alarm if Wike did not want to support him in the coming elections.
6. Peter Obi Presidential Ambition Gets A Boost As 15 Political Parties Support Him
The 15 political parties which were deregistered by the Independent National Electoral Commission, under the aegis of Coalition for Good Governance, have pledged allegiance to Labour party presidential candidate, Peter Obi.
The organization insisted Peter Obi is the only presidential candidate who can stop Nigeria from falling apart.
The CGG in a statement released on Friday by its national chairman, Okey Chikwendu, and Publicity Secretary, Don Anthony Harmattan, said the party took the decision to back Obi after carefully studying each presidential candidate to know the most reliable and credible among them.
The statement read, “We have earlier stated that the outcome of the political parties primaries for the presidential ticket and selection of the vice presidential tickets will determine which party we, the Coalition for Good Governance comprising of 15 deregistered political parties and some former presidential candidates would endorse and support for the 2023 presidential election.
7. INEC Reveals Why It Can Not Extend Voters Registration
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has revealed why it can not extend voter registration ahead of the 2023 general elections.
According to INEC, the exercise was suspended to enable it to begin other processes to weed out all multiple registrants.
Recall that the electoral body suspended the Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) on Sunday.
The Akwa Ibom State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mike Igini, revealed this while speaking on Channels TV on Friday.
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8. BON Slams NBC Over N5m Fine Imposed On Trust TV, Others
The Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON) has condemned the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) over a N5 million fine imposed on Trust Television Network (Trust TV).
The NBC had fined the television station over the broadcast of the documentary titled “Nigeria’s Banditry: The Inside Story”, which was aired by the station on the 5th of March, 2022.
The NBC also imposed a fine of N5 million each on MultiChoice Nigeria Limited, owners of DSTV, NTA-Startimes Limited and TelCom Satellite Limited (TSTV).
Reacting in a letter dated August 4, 2022, and addressed to the DG of NBC, signed by its Executive Secretary, Dr. Yemise Bamgbose, BON described the imposition of the fine as a violation of the NBC codes.
9. Why Lalong Was Appointed As Tinubu’s Campaign Council DG – Adamu
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Abdullahi Adamu, has revealed why Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State was appointed as the Director-General of the Bola Tinubu Presidential Campaign Council.
The APC chairman had announced Lalong as the head of the presidential campaign council during a chat with State House correspondents on Thursday.
Adamu had earlier presented Lalong to President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja as the DG of Tinubu’s presidential campaign council.
In a chat with reporters on Thursday, Adamu said that the choice of Lalong was based on his ability to do the work required to ensure victory for the party in the 2023 presidential election.
2023: Peter Obi Is Better, More Experienced Than Atiku – Keyamo
The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, who also doubles as the spokesperson for the Bola Tinubu presidential campaign team, has submitted that Atiku Abubakar does not have enough leadership experience to be the next President of Nigeria.
Keyamo who spoke on Friday during a TV interview submitted that the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi has more experience in making the final call in government, which makes him a better candidate than the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate.
While praising Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the most qualified of all the frontline presidential aspirants for 2023, Keyamo said Atiku though is the major contender against Tinubu, has not shown the capacity to make final decisions.
He argued that Atiku has only been the Vice President but the Vice President doesn’t have the final say in making decisions in government while both Obi and Tinubu are former Governors who have occupied positions where they can make final decisions.