TOP 10 NEWS MAKING THE ROUNDS IN NIGERIA TODAY, WEDNESDAY
1. President Buhari Signs 2023 Budget
The President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari has signed the 2023 appropriation bill into law.
The bill was signed into law at a ceremony held at the council chamber of the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja on Tuesday morning.
Some of the personalities present at the signing are Senate President Ahmad Lawan; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha; and Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari.
Speaking at the event, President Buhari said his administration would continue to focus on critical infrastructure projects nationwide even as it gradually winds down its tenure ahead of the May 29, 2023 hand over date.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan had previously disclosed that President Buhari will sign the 2023 appropriation bill on Tuesday.
The National Assembly had passed the Appropriation Bill in December 2022 after raising the N20.51 trillion proposed budget presented by President Buhari by N1.32 trillion to N21.82 trillion.
2. Presidency Lied, I Had No Disagreement With Obasanjo Over 2nd Niger Bridge – Obi Of Onitsha
The Obi of Onitsha, Nnaemeka Achebe has denied any form of altercation with former President Olusegun Obasanjo over the construction of the second Niger Bridge.
The foremost traditional ruler said the submission by the presidency that he and Obasanjo had a disagreement over issues about the bridge construction is factually not correct.
The monarch’s position was made known in a statement on Tuesday by the chief of staff to the Onitsha traditional council, Chinyelugo Anionwu.
The statement comes as a direct reaction to a claim by the presidency in a statement on Monday by the senior special assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on media and publicity, Garba Shehu said Obasanjo deceived the south-east during the flag-off for the construction of the Second Niger Bridge, adding that the Obi of Onitsha had some altercation with the former president.
However, the Obi in his reaction said the claim by the presidency is not correct.
The traditional ruler clarified that he wasn’t involved in any sod-turning ceremony for the second Niger bridge during Obasanjo’s first tenure and while he doesn’t want to join issues with the two leaders of the country, it is important to set the records straight.
3. Fresh Trouble For Tinubu As Top Northern Politician Dumps APC Presidential Campaign Council
A former Niger State Deputy Governor, Musa Ibeto has resigned his membership of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Ibeto who is a member of the APC Presidential Campaign Committee and the Assistant Secretary of the Northcentral Directorate of Mobilisation also dumped the council.
He announced his resignation on Tuesday via a letter addressed to the Chairman of APC in Ibelu Central Ward in Magama.
The former Nigerian Ambassador to South Africa cited internal conflicts, unending litigations, and lack of commitment from members as some of the reasons for his resignation.
4. Senate Considering Buhari’s N22tn Loan Restructuring Request — Lawan
The National Assembly is reconsidering President Muhammadu Buhari’s proposal to restructure the Federal Government’s outstanding Ways and Means of balance at the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan disclosed this on Tuesday after President Buhari signed into law the 2023 Budget of N21.83tn along with the 2022 Supplementary Appropriation Bill.
Lawan, however, stated that lawmakers will only consider the loan if its committees are presented with adequate information.
The Senate President speaking on Buhari’s request to securitize the Ways and Means advance said, “we are already considering that but let me tell you where the problem is.
“While we are trying to consider and pass the request, we will insist on getting the right documents for our committees to ensure that whatever they advise us to do in the two chambers are based on information and knowledge and not just passing ways and means without knowing what it is.”
Lawan also noted that implementing the 2023 budget would require considerable internal resource mobilization in the next five months.
Therefore, the legislature will revisit all existing tax waivers and vet the eligibility of all beneficiaries.
5. 2023 Election: Clark Endorses Peter Obi For Presidency
The Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, has received the endorsement of former Federal Commissioner for Information and South-South Leader, Chief Edwin Clark, to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari come 2023.
The presidential election is scheduled for February 25. Less than two months to the poll day, Clark on Tuesday declared his support for the former governor of Anambra State.
Clark made the declaration while addressing journalists at his Asokoro Residence in Abuja today. According to him, Obi will unite and restructure the country when given the opportunity.
He furthered that one who must be the next President of the country must be educated and experienced, just as he said that South East should be allowed to produce the next President because the zone has resourced and educated people to govern the country.
6. Ohakim Attack: Gov. Uzodinma Meets Buhari, Discloses Details Of Meeting
The Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma on Tuesday met with President Muhammadu Buhari behind closed doors at the Presidential Villa.
The visit is coming barely 24 hours after a former governor of the South East state, Ikedi Ohakim, escaped attacks from gunmen in Mbano.
The attack led to the death of four police officers who were in the convoy of the ex-governor.
According to the Uzodinma, the meeting centered on the provision of critical infrastructures that would boost security in the state.
The meeting also afforded the Imo State Governor an opportunity to secure presidential approval for some security surveillance equipment and modern technologies for the state.
7. Peter Obi: I Would Have Led The Campaign Myself – Ortom Backs Obasanjo’s Endorsement
The Governor of Benue state, Samuel Ortom has praised former President Olusegun Obasanjo over his endorsement of the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi.
The Governor, in a statement issued by his Special Adviser, Media & Publicity, Terver Akase, on Tuesday, stated that he would have personally led the campaign of the former Anambra Governor if her were not a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“Governor Ortom strongly recommended Peter Obi to Nigerians as the man who can effectively tackle the economic, security and other challenges facing the country,”
Akase explained that his principal is convinced that Obi possess qualities which would guarantee fairness, equity, and justice if he becomes the next president in the country.
He opined that the bad leadership, consequences of heightened poverty insecurity with banditry, kidnappings and other acts of terrorism has placed the country on the verge of collapse.
Ortom commended Obasanjo for displaying objectivity, truth and patriotism in his choice.
8. What Buhari Told National Assembly During Signing Of 2023 Budget
President Muhammdu Buhari has appealed the National Assembly to reconsider its position on the proposal to securitise the federal government’s outstanding Ways and Means balance at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The President made the appeal while speaking at the signing ceremony of the 2023 budget held in the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Tuesday.
Recall that President Buhari had asked the National Assembly to approve the sum of N23.7 trillion provided by the CBN through loans for “emergencies” in the space of 10 years.
During the plenary last week, the Red Chamber suspended the President’s request after some lawmakers engaged in heated arguments on the floor of the Senate.
Some Senators argued that the request was not constitutional and they demanded that the senate must have the details of what the funds were spent on before the request can be approved.
Speaking during the signing of the 2023 budget, President Buhari said it will cost the federal government N1.8 trillion in interest if the national assembly fails to approve the apex bank’s emergency loans.
9. Peter Obi: I Prayed For Obasanjo To Keep Quiet – Wike Expresses Concern Over Atiku’s Candidacy
The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike has said that his statement over Olusegun Obasanjo’s endorsement of Labour Party’s Peter Obi was not made to mock the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
He insisted that he made the statement out of concern as he is worried about the political well-being of the PDP.
The governor stated this while flagging off a new road project in Obio Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State on Tuesday.
Wike said his comments about Obi’s endorsement by Obasanjo were taken out of context.
According to Wike, he prayed that Obasanjo would keep quiet and not endorse anyone because anything contrary would affect the PDP.
10. Three Boko Haram Commanders, 27 Others Killed During Airstrikes In Borno
The Nigeria Air Force (NAF) has killed three Boko Haram commanders and 27 other terrorists in fresh airstrikes in Borno State.
The insurgents were killed during an aerial bombardment of four of their camps located in Bula Jitoye, Halka Kojoye, Halka Alai, and Bulamaye in the Bama Local Government Area of the state.
According to a counter-insurgency expert in the Lake Chad region, Zagazola Makama, the operation was conducted on Sunday, January 1, around the Sambisa forest.
He said the coordinated joint air and ground offensive by the Nigerian military came barely hours after Boko Haram fighters and the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) had deadly clashes.
Makama quoted a source as saying that one of the commanders killed in the air force onslaught on Bula Jitoye is popularly called ‘Captain’ or ‘Doctor’.
According to the source, the two other commanders were said to have been killed in Halka Kojoye and Halka Alai.