TOP 10 NEWS MAKING THE ROUNDS IN NIGERIA TODAY, SATURDAY
Exclude Public Officials If Nigeria Can Afford Pay Hike
Aren’t political and public officeholders in Nigeria the luckiest? At a time when labour unions in other climes are agitating and demonstrating for wage indexation against rising inflation, Nigerian officials are poking the bear at home. South Africa’s Public Servants Association (PSA) has announced its intention to embark on strike by Wednesday after rejecting a 3 percent wage offer from the government. The government’s offer to public servants included a once-off cash payment of 1,000 rands ($55), but the unions say that does not materially improve their income. Most unions in the country’s largest labour federation COSATU have also rejected the government’s wage offer and are demanding a 10 percent increase.
Across Europe, workers and their trade unions have been pushing for wage increases that will compensate for the soaring energy bills and the rising cost of living. In Belgium, unions are fighting against employers and right-wing parties to avoid a suspension of the raise that upholds their purchasing power. In Luxembourg, unions have just managed to reverse a decision by Parliament to cancel indexation in 2022 and 2023. The main unions in Spain are demanding an increase in wages across the board in response to spiraling inflation that has made many people’s salaries to have fallen in real terms. The story is the same in Austria where metal industry workers are demanding 10.6 percent pay rise.
Months after the purchasing power of Tunisians got eroded amid rising prices, high unemployment and widespread poverty, Tunisia’s government and the country’s main labour union (UGTT) recently struck a pay deal that involves a five percent annual hike to public sector wages every year until 2025. The agreement between both parties came after arduous negotiations and a general strike that shut down the North African country in June. It is unconscionable that despite the wave of agitations by workers elsewhere for wages to match inflation and the rising cost of living, all the Nigerian authorities can think of is to increase the emoluments of the already gorged public officials.
Security Alert: Buhari Tells Nigerians Not To Panic
Following his return to Abuja from his six days visit to Seoul, the South Korean capital, President Muhammadu Buhari has told Nigerians not to panic over the security alert from the United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK).
According to the President, the U.S. and U.K warnings to their citizens in Nigeria should not destabilise the country because the nation’s security operatives are on top of the situation.
President Buhari, in a statement signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, urged Nigerians and the various security agencies to be vigilant and security conscious.
Recall that the US Department of State had on Sunday issued a travel advisory to warn its citizens to avoid travelling to some parts of Nigeria, especially the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), noting the possible terror attacks.
This has caused panic in most areas of the FCT and even Nigeria at large, as some businesses and activities have been hindered and closed.
Some individuals have even called for the suspension of campaigns by political parties all to avoid possible terror attacks on the lives of innocent Nigerians.
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Appeal Court Suspends Judgement Ordering FG To Release Nnamdi Kanu
On Friday, the Appeal Court suspended the execution of its judgment that ordered President Muhammadu Buhari’s government to release the embattled leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
In its previous ruling, the appellate court had ordered the Federal Government to release the Biafra agitator.
The court in a unanimous decision by a three-man panel led by Justice Haruna Tsanami, granted the application Buhari’s government brought for a stay of execution of the judgment pending the hearing and determination of the appeal it lodged before the Supreme Court.
However, amid anxieties, the appellate court today ordered FG to, within seven days, transmit the record of the appeal and its verdict on the matter to the apex court to enable speedy determination of the case.
Recall that last Monday, the court had reserved its ruling on the application FG filed for the judgement that quashed the 15-count terrorism charge it preferred against Kanu not to be executed, pending the determination of an appeal it has lodged before the Supreme Court.
Investigations Reveal 15 Fake Prophecies By Popular Church Prophets
Nigerian investigative journalist Fisayo Soyombo and his colleagues have uncovered fake prophetic declarations by clerics of a Cherubim and Seraphim (C&S) church in Lagos.
After seven months of receiving separate prophetic declarations about their lives, the journalists concluded that the prophecies were fake and deluding.
The Foundation for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) in a series of reports released online today said it embarked on an investigative mission in February 2022 and that C&S was its targetted church.
FIJ revealed in its reports that fifteen prophecies were given by clerics of the Eternal Sacred Order of C&S in Pearse Street, Yaba, Lagos.
The investigative team had disguised itself as some persons seeking divine help and decided to approach the church branch in February 2022.
Describing his arrival at the church, the team leader, Soyombo, said, “It is unclear why the gatekeepers at ‘national headquarters of the Eternal Sacred Order of Cherubim and Seraphim on Pearse Street, Yaba, Lagos, are so unwelcoming when we arrive in the morning of the second day after the famous Valentine’s Day, but one of them parks us grudgingly, anyway. Madu Chiboka, the prophet we had been conversing with, tells us on the phone that a “senior prophet” would attend to us in a matter of minutes. The wait for him inside the church gifts me a few minutes to run my eyes through the auditorium.”
Sharing the view of the said Church, Soyombo said: “It is not the biggest church you’ll ever see. But I count deep brown pews studiously arranged in 13 rows and four columns, meaning that the ground floor can sit at least 312 congregants per time if six occupy a pew. There are three more pews at the rear but they are not arranged to fit into the rows; my hunch is that they’re reserved for in-service protocol officials.”
DSS Opens Up On Reported Joint Operation With American Troops In Abuja
The Department of State Services (DSS) has denied viral reports that its operatives and some American soldiers carried out a raid against terrorists in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city.
The spokesperson of the DSS, Peter Afunanya who made the denial said what was widely reported in the media is false.
Afunanya, however, went ahead to confirm a sting operation in an Abuja estate by the DSS but denied the involvement of American or other foreign security forces.
According to him the DSS operation in Abuja was carried out in collaboration with other Nigerian security agencies.
PR Nigeria quoted Afunanya as saying: “I can categorically tell you that we did not carry out any joint operation with American Soldiers as being widely reported in the media.
“Though we carried out an operation in an Abuja Estate with sister agencies, no foreign troops were involved.”
Buhari Returns To Abuja After World Bio Summit In South Korea
President Muhammadu Buhari returned to Abuja on Friday morning after attending the first edition of the World Bio Summit in Seoul, the capital of South Korea.
President Buhari, who arrived at the Presidential Wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, at about 6am, was received by two governors, senior government officials, and security chiefs.
Among those at the airport to receive the President were the Governors of Katsina and Niger States; Aminu Bello Masari and Abubakar Sani Bello respectively; the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mohammed Musa Bello, and the Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari.
Others were the Inspector-General of Police (IPG), Usman Alkali Baba; the Director-General of the Department of State Service (DSS), Yusuf Magaji Bichi and some other senior military and other security officials.
While in Seoul, President Buhari delivered a statement to the Summit, held a number of high-powered consultations and bilateral/diplomatic meetings with the South Korean President, Yoon Suk-yeol, the Speaker of the country’s National Assembly, Kim Jin-Pyo, and former United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon.
Ministry Of Finance Denies Knowledge Of New Naira Notes, Warns CBN Of Consequences
Barely 48 hours after Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele announced plans to redesign naira notes, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has revealed that she or her ministry knows nothing about the recent decision of the apex bank.
Ahmed, who made this disclosure while responding to a question by Senator Opeyemi Bamidele of Ekiti Central at the 2023 budget defence session with the Senate Committee on Finance, cautioned the CBN of the repercussion of its action.
According to her, she and her Ministry were not aware of the policy or foretold about it, adding that she only heard about it from the media just like everyone.
She said “Distinguished Senators, we were not consulted at the Ministry of Finance by CBN on the planned Naira redesigning and cannot comment on it as regards merits or otherwise.
“However as a Nigerian privileged to be at the top of Nigeria’s fiscal management, the policy as rolled out at this time portends serious consequences on the value of the Naira to other foreign currencies.
“I will however appeal to this committee to invite the CBN Governor for required explanations as regards merits of the planned policy and rightness or otherwise of its implementation now.”
2023: INEC Says It Has No Power To Force Candidates To Attend Debates
The Chairman of the Independent National Election Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has revealed that it is out of the commission’s jurisdiction to mandate electoral candidates to partake in debates.
According to the INEC boss, even though the electoral body doesn’t have any power to force electoral candidates to attend debates, there are “unspoken consequences” for candidates who failed to attend.
Naija News reports that Yakubu, who said this at the quarterly consultative meeting with media executives in Abuja noted that debates are democratic rights and cannot be forced on any candidate.
Yakubu pointed out that even in advanced countries, electoral candidates are not compelled to partake in debates because it is a democratic dispensation.
He remarked that debate just like voting is a democratic right meant to better inform the voters, adding that he is aware some candidates always avoid debating to prevent making mistakes to discourage voters.
Appeal Court Reverses Umahi’s Sack Over Defection To PDP
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja on Friday reversed the March 8 judgment by a Federal High Court that sacked the Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, and his deputy for defecting from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
According to a three-member panel of the appellate court in a judgment today, the nation’s Constitution did not provide any punishment for a Governor or Deputy Governor who defects from the party on which platform he/she got to the office.
Justice Haruna Tsanami, of the appellate court on this premise noted that the only option the aggrieved political party can explore is to work with the impeachment option provided in the Constitution.
Justice Tsanami said that was the only way the PDP can deal with the governor and his deputy who defected from its platform.
It was however reported that the Appeal Court’s judgment in Abuja was in line with the judgment of the court’s Enugu division on the same matter.
2023: Real Reason Atiku Travelled To The USA Revealed
The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar is in the United States for some high-level engagements.
He is in the United States along with some senior members of the PDP presidential campaign council, personal aides, and other members of the PDP.
He arrived on Thursday, 27th October 2022.
Confirming the present location of Atiku and his mission in America, the media adviser to the former Vice President, Paul Ibe in a statement made available to our newsroom on Friday said Atiku is in the US for a working visit.
He added that the aim of the visit and engagements by Atiku is to set a framework for a more secure Nigeria and an economically stable country.
During his time, he would share his thoughts with the business communities, young Nigerians, and other professionals living in America as well as, Ibe confirmed.
The statement reads: “The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party and former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar on Thursday arrived in Washington DC, United States on a working visit.
The visit will afford the PDP presidential candidate the opportunity of high-level engagements aimed at setting the pace for building an economically stronger and more secure Nigeria.”