TOP 10 NEWS MAKING THE ROUNDS IN NIGERIA TODAY, FRIDAY
1. He Wants To Rob People Of Their Jobs – FG Blasts Atiku Over Recent Comment On Nigerian Borders
The Federal Government has berated the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar for saying he would reopen all Nigerian borders if elected into power in 2023.
Atiku during his campaign on Tuesday in Katsina stated that he would reopen all borders if elected President.
However, reacting to Atiku’s statement during the 15th edition of the ‘PMB Administration Scorecard Series (2015-2023)’ on Thursday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said that the former vice president was trying to say that he would reverse the efforts made by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to attain self-sufficiency in rice production.
Mohammed argued that Atiku has indirectly informed farmers that they would soon lose their job when foreign rice floods the market.
2. 2023: Wike Picks Date To Reveal Presidential Candidate He Is Supporting
The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has declared that those in suspense about the presidential candidate he is supporting for 2023 will have to wait a little longer.
Speaking on Thursday during the commissioning of a flyover located in the Obio-Akpor Local Government Area of the state, Wike said by January 2023, he would reveal his preferred presidential candidate.
He added that not only would he reveal the candidate, but he would also campaign for him and tell the people to vote for him.
Governor Wike belongs to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), he has vowed not to work for the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar due to grievances about internal happenings in the party.
In the wake of Atiku’s emergence as the PDP presidential candidate, Wike and some other Governors now known as the G5 have complained about the concentration of party leadership positions in the north.
They added that in the spirit of fairness and justice, since the party’s presidential candidate is from the north, Iyorchia Ayu needs to step down as the PDP national chairman and be replaced by a southerner.
They maintained that Ayu’s resignation and replacement is the only condition for them to support Atiku who is the PDP presidential flagbearer for 2023.
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3. Senate Postpones Budget Passage Till After Christmas
The Senate has postponed the passage of the 2023 budget and Finance Bill until Wednesday, December 28th, 2022, after the Christmas celebrations.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan disclosed the development during plenary on Thursday.
According to Lawan, the postponement was necessary because the appropriations committee is faced with some challenges in presenting the report on the 2023 budget to the Senate.
He noted that the appropriations bill came to the National Assembly from the executive with some problems, therefore when the committee tried reconciling the figures, the challenge became obvious and difficult to tackle.
The senate president submitted that the Senate appropriations committee commenced a process of engagement with the executive in an attempt to clean up the 2023 budget.
But the process, he said was concluded on Wednesday, December 21st and the Committee couldn’t conclude on putting together the report for submission on Thursday.
4. Christmas/New Year: FG Declares Public Holidays
The federal government of Nigeria has announced public holidays to mark the 2022 Christmas celebrations and the 2023 new year.
The government through the Ministry of Interior announced Monday 26th, and Tuesday 27th of December 2022 as public holidays to mark this year’s Christmas and Boxing Day celebration.
It also announced Monday, 2nd January 2023 as a public holiday to mark the New Year’s Day celebrations.
The dates were announced by the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola on behalf of the Federal Government in a statement on Thursday signed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Shuaib M.L. Belgore.
The Minister urged Christians to emulate Jesus Christ in deeds and follow his teachings on faith, hope and love even as they celebrate.
5. CBN Reveals Pieces Of New Notes Printed
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Thursday revealed pieces of the redesigned notes printed.
The Deputy Governor of CBN in charge of Financial Stability, Aisha Ahmad while addressing lawmakers in the House of Representatives disclosed that the apex bank ordered for the printing of 500 million pieces of the redesigned notes.
Ahmad when asked the quantities of the redesigned naira notes printed said she does not have the exact figure.
A lawmaker, Sada Soli, in the course of grilling the CBN deputy governor, had raised concerns over the non-availability of the new notes days after it was released to the public and asked her to disclose the quantities of new notes printed.
However, in the course of the briefing, the CBN Deputy Governor revealed that 500 million pieces of the redesigned notes were ordered for printing.
According to Ahmad, the cashless policy and naira redesign by the CBN is not politically motivated. Ahmad stated this when a lawmaker, Chinedu Obidigwe asked if the policy has anything to do with the 2023 general elections.
6. Akintoye Steps Down As Yoruba Nation Leader
The leader of the Ilana Omo Odua worldwide, Prof. Banji Akintoye, has stepped down from his position.
The elite who had been leading the Yoruba self-determination group announced his resignation following an alleged misunderstanding among members of the Yoruba Nation group.
Akintoye has now handed the position to his former Deputy, Prof. Wale Adeniran. A statement made available to newsmen on Thursday morning by the group’s General Secretary, Tunde Amusat, claimed Akintoye stepped down, citing old age and a weakened body system as his reasons.
According to Amusat, the worldwide congress of Ilana Omo Oodua held on December 17th, 2022, accepted Akintoye’s resignation and affirmed Adeniran as the group’s new leader.
He added that the proposed amendment to the constitution affirming Adeniran’s position as Chairman would be tabled at the next worldwide congress before the year-end for ratification by registered members.
7. Atiku Reveals What He’ll Do If He Loses 2023 Presidential Election
The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar has submitted that after the 2023 election, he may not run for political office again regardless of the outcome.
The former Vice President who has already made five unsuccessful attempts at the presidency, is making a sixth attempt in the 2023 race.
Atiku in a recent article published by Financial Times was quoted to have said in Lagos after a campaign rally that he would continue to pursue the ambition of becoming Nigeria’s president as long as he is alive and healthy.
“It is a life-long ambition and as long as I’m alive and strong and healthy, I will continue pursuing it,” he was quoted to have said.
The PDP candidate however dropped another contrary hint shortly after, stating that 2023 may be his last shot at the presidency.
“I’ve come to the last stage now. I don’t think after this I will run again,” he said.
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8. 2023: APC Speaks On Lawan Supporting Atiku
The presidential campaign council of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has distanced the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan from the claim that he is supporting the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar.
The campaign council of the ruling party on Thursday passed a vote of confidence in Lawan, noting that he can not betray APC.
Recall that Bashir Machina Campaign Council had on Wednesday condemned the alleged statements made by Lawan’s supporters against the APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu.
Machina’s campaign council in a statement released by the Director of Media and Publicity, BSM Campaign Council, Husaini Isa claimed that the anti-party utterances were made by Lawan’s supporters at the rally held in Nguru town based on video evidence.
Isa further stated that the supporters of the Senate President openly endorsed Atiku Abubakar and the PDP.
But the spokesman for Tinubu-Shettima presidential campaign council, Festus Keyamo, in his reaction to the earlier claim dismissed the report, saying Lawan is a trusted party member.
Keyamo also expressed doubt that Machina supporters would stoop low to accuse the Senate president of working against his party.
9. Tanko Reveals When Peter Obi, LP Will Name Okupe’s Replacement
The Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Council spokesperson, Yunusa Tanko, has revealed that the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, is likely to announce a new campaign Director-General to replace embattled Doyin Okupe before the week ends.
Okupe resigned from the position on Tuesday, following a Federal High Court ruling in Abuja that convicted him of violating the money laundering Act.
In a letter personally addressed to Obi, Okupe noted that he is still in full support of his presidential ambition despite all odds.
Speaking on Okupe’s replacement as the party proceeds with its campaign rally across states, Tanko told The PUNCH today that the new DG would be announced within the next 48 hours.
He, however, noted that the choice of a new campaign DG is a collective decision and not an individual preference as alleged in some quarters.
Tanko said a meeting is ongoing and decisions are being taken at the highest level of the campaign council.
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10. Court Affirms Sani Abacha As Kano PDP Gov Candidate
Mohammad Sani Abacha has been affirmed as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) standard gubernatorial candidate in Kano State.
On Thursday, December 22, a Federal High Court sitting in Kano, presided by Justice A.M Liman, nullified the party’s primary election that produced Sadik Aminu Wali as Kano PDP governorship candidate and ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to expunge his name for Sani Abacha.
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The judgment, which was virtually-delivered, was earlier scheduled for 12:00 noon on Thursday but was later deferred to 4.00 pm.
The court granted all the prayers of the plaintiff in the suit.