TOP 10 NEWS MAKING THE ROUNDS IN NIGERIA TODAY, SATURDAY
Buhari Govt’s 2023 Budget Of Deficit
President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday signed into law his government’s eighth and final appropriation bill, despite unreconciled and frivolous estimates transmitted to him by the National Assembly. Although the parliament jacked up the budget by a whopping N1.32 trillion (or 6.1 percent) to N21.83 trillion, the President still appended his signature, hoping that the parliament would “cooperate” with his Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, in reconciling the discrepancies. Perhaps, what the federal government cared about was its commitment to the January to December budget cycle.
Nigeria may just not have a budget for the 2023 fiscal year if revelations from Wednesday’s public presentation and breakdown of the highlights of the 2023 Appropriation Act are anything to go by. The framework for funding the budget essentially does not exist! For starters, the Director General of the Debt Management Office (DMO), Patience Oniha disclosed in the forum that the administration taking over on May 29 would inherit about N77 trillion in debt. It is sobering that none of the presidential candidates in this year’s general election who were on the soapbox when this disclosure was made didn’t think it wise to weigh in on the matter or proffer practical solutions to the cul-de-sac which the country has been led into.
As it were, what the Buhari administration has done with the 2023 budget is to continue digging when the country is already in a deep hole. It is within this context that the dismissal of the budget as hopeless by former World Bank Vice President, Oby Ezekwesili can be better appreciated. Her tweet read partly, “Total Expenditure is N21.83 Trillion. Total Revenue N9.73 Trillion — the Budget has a Deficit larger than Revenue by almost N12.00 Trillion! Tragic.” What the erstwhile minister of education said is quite reflective in view of contradictions that top government functionaries could not clarify while giving a breakdown of the budget. They all but made it clear that what awaits the next administration is an empty treasury. The humongous debt burden notwithstanding, the Finance minister says the federal government was not considering debt restructuring.
Atiku Reacts As Oyo PDP Supporters Shout His Name During Wike’s Speech At G5 Rally
The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar has reacted to the chants of his name during Thursday’s speech in Ibadan by Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State.
Taking to his Twitter account on Friday, Atiku said it is a vote of confidence in his candidacy and appreciated the supporters for the open endorsement.
The aggrieved Governors of the PDP popularly called the G5 got a bit of a shocker from party supporters in Ibadan, Oyo State during their campaign rally in the State on Thursday.
The G5 Governors; Nyesom Wike (Rivers State), Seyi Makinde (Oyo State), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia State), Samuel Ortom (Benue State), and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu State) were in Oyo State for the flag-off of the campaign of their member, Seyi Makinde who is seeking re-election as the state governor.
During the rally held at Mapo Hall, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state while addressing the crowd, told them to vote for Makinde and other PDP candidates in the forthcoming election but for the presidency, he said the Governor would address the crowd.
Top Northern Governor Speaks On 11 APC Governors Dumping Tinubu For PDP’s Atiku
Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State has dismissed reports that 11 Northern All Progressives Congress (APC) governors were secretly meeting with the Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar.
Speaking during a meeting with the state party officials, members of his campaign council, as well as elected and appointed government officials, at the Government House in Lafia, the state capital, Sule revealed why APC northern governors agreed that President Muhammadu Buhari’s successor should come from the South.
He accused the opposition and parasites in government of spreading false information about governors meeting with Atiku.
According to the Nasarawa State governor, there was no reason for any APC governor from the North to meet with Atiku, considering the fact that the APC governors from the region strongly insisted that the next president should come from the South.
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Atiku vs Wike: ‘Tinubu Met G-5 In London, Rejected Their Demands’
The spokesman of the Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Council, Daniel Bwala has insisted that the G-5 governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) met with the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, in London.
Bola Tinubu had denied holding a meeting with Governors Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Seyi Makinde (Oyo) and Samuel Ortom (Benue) ahead of the presidential election.
But speaking during an Arise TV morning programme, Bwala revealed that Tinubu met with the five aggrieved PDP governors but turned down the demand of the governors.
Asked about the meeting, Bwala said, “They met here in Kensington in London but the meeting deadlocked.
“One of the reasons that the meeting in London did not pull through is their alleged demand; the demand that the G-5 came with could not be accommodated given the fact that the damage that they thought they were capable of doing had not happened after five months. Atiku is still considered as leading.
“Now we have made concerted efforts to reconcile and the doors are still open. There is no part of the structure of this party that has not engaged with Wike and his group in a bid to reconcile. One of their demands is for Ayu to resign and we have gone through this path, why we think it can’t happen. Nobody can ask him to resign unless he chooses to resign; he was elected by the party and there are constitutional provisions and guidelines that led to his emergence as national chairman.”
Kano Rally: The People And The Gods Have Rejected Tinubu – Atiku
The Atiku-Okowa-led Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign has slammed the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, over his continuous gaffes during his campaign rallies.
The Special Assistant, Public Communication to Atiku Abubakar, Phrank Shaibu, in a statement accused Tinubu of lacking capacity.
He stated that Tinubu’s Kano outing further proves the APC candidate “has nothing to offer”, adding that after spending so much money to organise the rally Tinubu could not even deliver an inspiring speech to the crowd of supporters who gathered to listen to him speak.
He said, “In a bid to conceal his inability to deliver a coherent speech, the APC candidate said rather than speak, he would dance instead. ‘Today, I have come home to Kano. All I want to do is dance. I want music.‘
“Unfortunately, Tinubu’s dance moves proved to be as uncoordinated as his unintelligible speech. The people and the gods rejected him.
“But this would not be the first time that he would be doing such. In Bénin on Thursday, It was a mixture of ‘Bala blu’ and concoction as he mumbled: ‘I will turn the so-called Yahoo Boys to experts in manufacturing and creation of chips and datjfgfdfgxfvvf.”
Release Nnamdi Kanu Or Face Judgement From God And UN – IPOB Leader’s Int’l Lawyer Writes Buhari
The International Counsel for the detained Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra( IPOB), Bruce Fein has demanded for his immediate and unconditional release.
Fein in an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari dated January 6, expressed shock that it’s been about six months after the United Nations’ (UN) opinion was offered to the Nigerian Government to release the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu but he is yet to comply.
It was learned that Kanu’s international lawyer requested President Buhari to comply with the opinion of the United Nations Human Rights Council Working Group on Arbitrary Detention which recommended the immediate release of Kanu.
Fein submitted that either President Buhari release Kanu without further delay or prepare for the impending sanctions from UN as well as God’s judgment.
Below is the full details of the letter as sighted by Vanguard.
“Re: Compliance with Decree of the United Nations Human Rights Council Working Group on Arbitrary Detention to release Nnamdi Kanu immediately based on deprivation of liberty in violation of sixteen (16) international human rights covenants.
Afe Babalola Reveals Why He Endorsed Peter Obi For President
Labour Party presidential candidate Peter Obi is the most qualified candidate to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari, according to the founder and chancellor of Afe Babalola University in Ado Ekiti, chief Afe Babalola (SAN).
Chief Afe Babalola claimed that only those responsible for the nation’s current state of underdevelopment are opposing the candidacy of Peter Obi.
This year, Babalola, a lawyer who has been admitted to the bar for 60 years, said he and Obi share a passion for high-quality education. Thus, he invited the LP presidential candidate to attend his 60th call to bar anniversary.
He said: “Unless you are part of the old system that has brought us to where we are, there is no way you will oppose a young man like Mr. Peter Obi, an untainted, young, educated man with ideas from being the president of Nigeria.
“We have a common ground, and that common ground is that he will give education a rightful place in his administration. Unlike all of you, I never had a conventional education, I never went to secondary school or university but due to determination and courage, I endured. I studied privately through correspondence and obtained my A Level by correspondence, passing the entrance into university by correspondence.
“But without education, I would not be where I am today and that is why by the grace of God after a successful practice, I am what I am today. I will celebrate 60 years of my call to Bar this year and by the grace of god, peter obi will be there. He is the most qualified to lead this country”.
PVC Collection Centres In Lagos Mainland
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has commenced issuing of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) to citizens ahead of the 2023 general elections.
The electoral body announced earlier that collection of the PVCs at registration areas/wards across Nigerian states would begin on Friday, January 6, 2023.
The announcement was contained in a statement issued earlier on Thursday by the INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of the Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye.
While urging citizens to immediately get their PVCs collected ahead of the polls, Okoye noted yesterday in Abuja that collection at the ward level would end on Jan. 15.
NFIU Fixes Date To Effect Ban On Cash Withdrawals Of All Government Accounts
The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) has fixed date to effect the ban of cash withdrawals from all federal, state and local government accounts.
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday in Abuja, NFIU Director-General, Modibo Tukur, said the ban of cash withdrawals would take effect on March 1, 2023.
Tukur disclosed that any public officials engaged in cash transactions from public accounts from March will be investigated by the unit in collaboration with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), and the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).
He said the country’s money laundering laws as well as other anti-graft laws will be fully applied on erring government officials, adding that the directive of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to go cashless will help to curb corruption in public offices.
Tukur, consequently, said all financial institutions have been directed to stop cash withdrawals from government accounts from the given date, stressing that defaulters will be prosecuted alongside their accomplices.
Plateau PDP State Assembly Candidate, Akawu Is Dead
Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for Pengana Constituency in Plateau State House of Assembly, Mathew Akawu, has reportedly died.
Reports revealed that the politician passed away at a hospital on Friday morning after battling an undisclosed illness, briefly.
The PUNCH quoted a relative of the deceased saying the politician and the former school principal died a few hours after returning from a traditional festival in his Bassa Local Government Area of the state.
“It’s true that we lost the PDP candidate this Friday morning.
“He went for their traditional festival in Bassa and came back. But shortly afterwards, he fell sick and complained of chest pain.
“He was then rushed to the hospital and early this morning on Friday, he just died,” the source reportedly said.
Confirming the sad development, Akawu’s political associate and the lawmaker representing Jos South Constituency in the state House of Assembly, Fom Gwottson, described the PDP candidate’s death as shocking