TOP 10 NEWS MAKING THE ROUNDS IN NIGERIA TODAY, WEDNESDAY
1. Bolanle Raheem: Take Strongest Action Against Errant Police Officer, Buhari Tells IGP
President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, to take “the strongest possible action” against the policeman who killed a pregnant lawyer, Bolanle Raheem.
Raheem was killed by Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Drambi Vandi who shot at a vehicle conveying the female lawyer and her family on Christmas Day.
She was said to be returning from church in the company of her husband when she was shot and killed by the officer attached to Ajiwe Police Station.
In a statement on Tuesday by Garba Shehu, his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, President Buhari condemned the “heinous and senseless” killing of the member of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).
The President, who expressed shock and sadness over the brutal killing of Raheem, said the sad incident is a stark reminder of the recurring menace of the mishandling of weapon by security personnel.
Buhari stated that the latest incident is a wakeup call to the Police and all law enforcement agencies to ensure the full implementation of reforms instituted by the administration on the subject of weapons handling as well as the protection of the rights of citizens.
The Nigerian leader, therefore, said the nation stands in solidarity with the bereaved family and the NBA, assuring them that justice will be served.
2. Osuntokun Replaces Okupe As DG For Labour Party Presidential Campaign Council
A former presidential aide Akin Osuntokun has been named the new Director-General (DG) of the Labour Party Presidential Campaign Council (PCC).
Osuntokun is the choice of the party to replace Doyin Okupe who resigned as the director-general of the campaign council for the party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi.
Hitherto to his new position, Osuntokun was the Zonal Coordinator (South) of the campaign council, and a former Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), who served as Political Adviser to former President Olusegun Obasanjo and as Director of the Presidential campaign of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in 2011.
Okupe resigned on his own accord last week after he was sentenced to jail by Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of a Federal High Court in Abuja on December 19, 2022, for violating the Money Laundering Act.
The court said Okupe was guilty of receiving over N200 million cash from former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki.
3. A Newspaper Decided To Make Mischief Of The Situation – Akintoye Announces He Is Still The Leader Of Yoruba Nation
Leader of the Yoruba Nation, Prof Banji Akintoye has reacted to reports of him stepping down from his role as the leader of the group.
Speaking at a recent meeting with seasoned journalists, the elder statesman said that he only stepped down from the role of chairman for Ilana Omo Oodua.
The agitator explained that he simply withdrew from the day-to-day activities of the group as his involvement is becoming disruptive because most people rely solely on him.
He said: “What happened was very simple, which is to withdraw from the day-to-day involvement in the affairs of the large and prestigious organisation Ilana Omo Odudua, because involvement in that mighty organisation, is becoming disruptive, adding too much weight on my load in the general self-determination struggle and YSDM activities around the world, where everybody abroad believes the person they can call is Prof. Akintoye.
4. Peter Obi Loses To Tinubu, Atiku In THISDAY 2023 Election Centre Projections
The presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, emerged third behind candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, in a THISDAY 2023 Election Centre Projection recently made available to the public.
According to the poll analysis, with the 2023 general elections less than two months now, there are tendencies that there would be a presidential run-off.
The stats by the THISDAY 2023 Election Centre showed the candidate of the PDP coming clear with massive votes in 21 states with the APC flagbearer also hopeful of garnering massive votes from 20 states.
The stats also showed the presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Rabiu Kwankwaso, coming fourth behind Obi.
With insignificant postings in many states to satisfy the constitutional requirement of 25 per cent of votes cast in 24 states, the stat is predicting an inconclusive election.
The stats according to the election projection centre were gathered based on the presence of the candidates in each of the states, their structures and support base, capacity to mobilise, the contents of their respective manifestos, ethnic sentiments, their popularity and name recognition, as well as a financial war chest.
5. 2023: Tension In PDP As G5 Governors Hold London Meeting, Narrow Down Preferred Presidential Candidate To Two
The five aggrieved Governors within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) popularly known as the G5 are set to take a final decision on the presidential candidate to support for the 2023 elections.
To this end, the Governors are said to have taken their meeting to London, United Kingdom where they are expected to conclude on a preferred candidate before making their choice public in January 2023.
The Governors; Nyesom Wike (Rivers State), Seyi Makinde (Oyo State), Samuel Ortom (Benue State), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia State) and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu State) took a stand against supporting the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
They insisted on the resignation of the PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu from office and his replacement with a southerner as the only condition to support Atiku’s 2023 bid.
However, despite several meetings and entreaties on how to resolve the disagreement, Ayu has refused to step down and the Governors have also not changed their position.
Information has it that as the Governors hold a strategic meeting in London, they might have totally ruled out any chances of supporting the PDP and Atiku.
A source added that the G5 Governors are set to choose between the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Bola Tinubu, or the Labour Party (LP) flagbearer, Peter Obi.
While the Governors are said to be focused on supporting a southern candidate, they also want to choose a candidate that would defeat Atiku so they won’t become a subject of mockery after the 2023 polls.
The source said a final decision is set to be made at the London meeting as the G5 governors may kick off campaign on January 5.
6. Kukah’s Message: Nigeria’s Insecurity Didn’t Begin With Buhari – Faskari
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Kabir Faskari, has faulted critics of President Muhammadu Buhari over the current security situation of the country.
Faskari who was live on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Monday acknowledged that certain challenges have overwhelmed the incumbent administration. He, however, noted that the issue of insecurity was exacerbated under Buhari’s regime.
According to the APC chieftain, the challenges of insecurity did not begin with the incumbent government. Faskari said that the President only required some understanding from Nigerians as he has achieved some things in the office.
“Sympathetically, we can say that there are problems in Nigeria. The problems are overwhelming the current administration. The President is crying about it but it doesn’t mean we cannot get out of it.
“He has achieved certain things in certain areas. The typical Nigerian now is looking inwards to be able to do something in Nigeria,” Faskari said.
The APC chieftain noted these in reaction to the Christmas message of the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Mathew Kukah.
7. FG Reveals Buhari, Lawan’s Salaries, Says No Political Office-holder Earns Jumbo Pay
The Chairman of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), Mohammed Bello Shehu, has revealed that there is no political office-holder or judicial officer in Nigeria that earns a jumbo salary.
The RMAFC is an agency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that oversees revenues accruing to the government and their disbursement from the Federation Account.
The agency also ensures that there is conformity and equity in the nation’s revenue allocation formula.
The commission is equally responsible for fixing and determining the salary of the president, senate president and other political office-holders.
Speaking in an interview with The Sun, Shehu revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari does not earn more than N1.2 million a month, while the Senate President doesn’t take home more than N1 million.
On salary disparities in government-owned agencies, the RMAFC chairman disclosed that there are about 17 different salary categories.
8. Dump Atiku, End Your Political Career – Dino Melaye Warns Wike, Ortom, Makinde, Others
The spokesman for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Council, Senator Dino Melaye has warned the five aggrieved governors about the fate that would await them should they dump Atiku Abubakar for an opposition candidate.
The G5 governors, who have resolved not to back the presidential candidate of their party, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, are currently out of the country to meet and decide who to support between Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP).
The G5 governors comprise of Governors Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Samuel Ortom (Benue) and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu states and some political heavyweights from the South – known as the Integrity Group.
Speaking to The PUNCH, Dino Melaye warned that the political careers of the five aggrieved governors and their allies would come to an end should they ditch the candidate of their party.
9. Suspected Hoodlums Set Ablaze Ebonyi APC Chairman’s House
Suspected hoodlums have burnt down the country home of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Chairman in Ebonyi State, Stanley Okoro-Emegha.
An eyewitness who pleaded anonymity confided in Punch that the APC chieftain’s house located at Ekoli Edda, in the Afikpo South Local Government Area of the state was razed down by suspected hoodlums at 10.18 pm, on Monday night.
It was however learnt from another source that hitherto to the fire incident, on December 24, loyalists of the immediate past chairman of the Afikpo South LGA, Eni China attacked the Ebonyi APC chairman because of his refusal to support the election of a youth group in the community led by China.
The source told Punch that Okoro-Emegha was displeased with the election and reported to the new council area chairman, Chima Ekumankama, who eventually cancelled the election and disbanded the said youth group.
This platform understands that it was following this incident that transpired that led to an attack on the APC chieftain by hoodlums who were reported to have opened fire on him and his Ebubeagu orderlies.
The incident as narrated by the source evolved into a gun duel where the hoodlums and Okoro-Emegha men opened fire on each other, an incident that led to him fleeing to Abakaliki, the capital of Ebonyi State.
10. PDP Crisis: Ortom Rejects Atiku’s Request As General Gusau Wades In
A request by the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, to meet with Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State was rejected, Naija News understands.
Recall that Ortom, Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Ifeanyi Uguanyi (Enugu) and Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), all known as the G-5 governors have refused to back Atiku’s presidential bid, demanding the resignation or removal of the PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu.
It was learnt that a former National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Aliyu Gusau (retd), has waded into the crisis between Atiku and the G-5 governors.
According to Tribune, the Zamfara State-born politician invited Ortom to his Abuja residence for a meeting over the crisis and subsequently spoke to Atiku on phone.
It was gathered that Atiku, who was contacted while he was about to depart Owerri on his recent campaign trip to Imo State, had requested Ortom to wait for him at Gusau’s residence, a request Ortom was said to have rejected.