TOP 10 NEWS MAKING THE ROUNDS IN NIGERIA TODAY, THURSDAY
1. Buhari Extends Tenure Of IGP Baba Ahead Of Elections
President Muhammadu Buhari has extended the tenure of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba by four years.
The Minister of Police Affairs, Mohammed Dingyadi, disclosed this to State House Correspondents after the first Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting of 2023.
He also stated that the police boss would not be retiring midway into the general elections, stressing that he has already gotten a letter of extension.
The minister explained the Police Act 2020 has changed the rules for an IGP’s retirement, adding that the new law makes the tenure of the Police boss a four-year period.
2. 2023: If The President Wants A Fair Election, It Will Happen – Kwankwaso
The presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Rabiu Kwankwaso has appealed to all relevant stakeholders to ensure a free and fair 2023 elections in Nigeria.
Particularly, Kwankwaso called on President Muhammadu Buhari to leave a legacy of free elections by ensuring a credible 2023 poll.
The former Kano State Governor pointed out that if the president wants an election to be free and fair, nothing can stop it from happening.
The NNPP presidential candidate said this during his speech on Wednesday at the Chatham House in London.
In his words, “My 30 years in elections have taught me that free and fair elections require the contributions of different stakeholders, especially the president, if the president wants a fair election, it will happen.
“I want to appeal to the Nigerian president to leave a legacy of free elections, as a serial victim of electoral fraud, and as the first beneficiary of free and fair elections in Nigeria.”
3. ‘Baseless Distraction’ – Atiku Finally Speaks On Corruption Allegations By Former Aide
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar has described the corruption allegation against him by his former aide, Michael Achimugu, as “baseless distraction and blackmail”.
Recall, Achimugu had urged Nigerians not to vote for Atiku for the sake of their children and grandchildren, after leaking an alleged recorded phone conversation between him and former vice president, where the PDP candidate was heard admitting to using “special purpose vehicles (phony companies)” for diversion of public funds during his tenure as vice president under the Olusegun Obasanjo administration from 1999-2007.
In the first of a series of videos released on his YouTube channel, Achimugu revealed Atiku’s explanation for the N100 million allegedly paid into his account by former Plateau State Governor Joshua Dariye.
He explained that the PDP’s flag bearer’s explanation, during a conversation they had, that he had committed corruption indirectly was shocking to him.
He claimed that the Waziri admitted to him that the former Plateau State Governor, Joshua Dariye, paid money into the account of Marine Float, set up and controlled by Atiku or his cronies.
Achimugu also revealed how one of Atiku’s friends appropriated a media company he set up with billions of naira.
Speaking on Atiku’s behalf during an Arise TV interview on Wednesday, the spokesperson for the PDP campaign council, Daniel Bwala said that his principal will not glorify Achimugu and his alleged sponsors by responding to the allegation.
4. After 30 Years, Obasanjo States Why MKO Abiola Didn’t Become Nigeria’s President
After twenty-five years of his demise, former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, stated on Wednesday why the late Chief Moshood Abiola (MKO Abiola) could not become Nigeria’s president.
MKO Abiola was named the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993, Presidential election.
However, the publisher, businessman and politician was denied the position and later was assassinated in Abuja on 7 July 1998.
Delivering a speech on Wednesday at a lecture titled “Eyin Ni Iwe Wa: You Are Our Epistle,” in Ogun State, Obasanjo said MKO Abiola could not be Nigeria’s president three decades ago due to the actions of some ‘bad belle’ – (bad people).
5. Ezekwesili: “Peter Obi’s Project Is A Third-term Agenda For Obasanjo” – Atiku’s Spokesperson
The spokesperson for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential campaign council, Daniel Bwala has alleged that former President Olusegun Obasanjo is trying to fulfill his third term agenda through Peter Obi.
He made the allegation on Wednesday during an interview appearance on Arise Television’s morning show but warned that their plans for a third term can’t succeed.
According to him, Obasanjo and many members of his former cabinet are all working towards actualizing a third-term agenda by supporting the Labour Party candidate, Peter Obi but trying to paint a neutral picture for members of the public.
Bwala spoke against the backdrop of the recent exchange between a former Minister of Education, under the former President Olusegun Obasanjo administration, Oby Ezekwesili and the former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar who is now the 2023 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Oby and Atiku had been dragging issues about the leadership of the economic management team.
Bwala on Wednesday dragged Peter Obi’s 2023 ambition into the mix of the exchanges.
He alleged that most of those who worked with the Obasanjo government are also endorsing Obi’s ambition because they see it as a third-term project.
The campaign spokesperson claimed it is common knowledge that the Vice President is always the head of the economic management team and all their recommendations have to pass through him before getting to the President.
He, therefore, called on Oby and others to stop hiding behind a finger and come out to openly support Peter Obi and campaign for him.
6. Emefiele Summoned Over $53m Paris Club Refund Debt
The embattled Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has been summoned by a Federal High Court in Abuja, over a $53 million judgement debt arising from the Pars Club refund.
The presiding judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo, gave the order on October 20, 2022, following an application for garnishee filed by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Joe Agi.
The court granted the application and ordered Emefiele to appear in court on Wednesday, January 18.
However, at the court session on Wednesday, the apex bank chief was not present in the court and the case was adjourned to March 20.
7. Vote Out My Husband If He Fails To Perform After Four Years – Remi Tinubu
The wife of All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential candidate, Oluremi Tinubu, has asked Nigerians not to vote her husband, Bola Tinubu, for a second term if he is elected and fail to deliver on his campaign promises.
The Lagos Senator made the call at the South-East women rally for Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign in Owerri, Imo State capital on Tuesday.
Mrs Tinubu said Nigeria’s election should not be about faith but about voting a candidate who has the fear of God.
Tinubu, who noted that she had served Nigeria as a governor’s wife and senator, assured the women that they would form a major percentage of the Tinubu/shettima administration.
8. Boko Haram: What I Told Donald Trump When He Asked Me Why Christians Are Being Killed In Nigeria – Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari has recalled a private meeting in which former United States President, Donald Trump asked him why Christians are being killed in Nigeria.
According to Buhari, Trump had asked him then as the US President during a meeting between both leaders why Christians are getting killed in Nigeria.
“Why are you killing Christians in Nigeria? Buhari recalled Trump asking him during their meeting.
The Nigerian leader replied that contrary to what some people believe, Christians are not being killed in Nigeria but some criminal elements hiding under the guise of religion are the ones carrying out killings for their selfish interest.
He emphasized the need for continuous education so that the larger populace would not be hoodwinked.
Buhari made the disclosure while speaking at Nouakchott, Mauritania on Tuesday, during a meeting with United States Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, Rashad Hussain.
The Nigerian President was quoted in a statement by his spokesperson, Femi Adesina to have explained that the killings are not religious but only that some persons promoting Boko Haram and other terrorist interests in Nigeria are hiding under the canopy of religion to advance their selfish agenda.
9. I’m A Ph.D. Holder, Not A Trader – Kwankwaso Hits Peter Obi Of Labour Party
The presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Rabiu Kwankwaso on Wednesday highlighted some criteria that qualify him to be elected as the next President of Nigeria.
Speaking at the Chatham House in London, Kwankwaso took a swipe at the Labour Party (LP) candidate, Peter Obi when he stated that he is a Ph.D. holder and not a trader.
The NNPP candidate said he has more experience to handle the presidency having been in the system for over 30 years.
The former Kano State Governor boasted that he was in the civil service for 17 years, deputy speaker of the house in 1992; and also a Senator.
He said he is ready to engage any other candidate that has better qualifications than him, arguing that competence and not sentiment should be used in choosing the next President of Nigeria.
10. Tinubu: You Have Fallen Into The Pit You Dug For Atiku, Explain How You Stole N20 Billion From Lagos – PDP
The Atiku-Okowa Presidential Campaign Organisation has asked the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign to apologise over its failed attempts to tarnish the reputation of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar.
The spokesperson of the Atiku-Okowa Presidential Campaign Organization, Kola Ologbondiyan, made the demand at a press conference in Abuja, on Wednesday.
According to him, the presidential candidate of the APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu has shot himself in the leg by allegedly hiring the former aide of Atiku to make false allegations.
Ologbondiyan insisted that Achimugu’s allegations has led to the unraveling of Tinubu’s involvement in the use of “Special Purpose Vehicles” especially the Alpha Beta Company to fleece Lagos State under the guise of tax collection.
He went on to describe Tinubu as an artful dodger who was trying to create a diversion from his crimes by carrying out character assassination on Atiku.