TOP 10 NEWS MAKING THE ROUNDS IN NIGERIA TODAY, FRIDAY
1. What Buhari Told Emefiele During Meeting In Aso Rock
President Muhammadu Buhari has welcomed the embattled Central Bank Governor (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, back from his annual leave.
The Nigerian leader welcomed the apex bank chief to the country after spending his leave in the United States of America (USA) and the United Kingdom (UK) during a meeting with a delegation of the Arab Bank for Economic Development led by its Director General, Dr Sidi Ould Tah.
While observing the protocols before his remarks, Buhari said he is grateful that he was well received back to the country at the Nnamdi Azikwe Airport, Abuja.
He said, “The Central Bank Governor, you are welcome back. I am grateful you are well received.”
Hours later, the President held a private meeting with the CBN boss. After the meeting, Emefiele declined to speak with State House correspondents on the issues discussed with the President.
This is Emefiele’s first meeting with the President since he resumed duty on January 16.
Emefiele left the country last December following the investigation of several allegations against him, including corruption and terror financing.
Weeks before his trip abroad, the Department of State Services (DSS) had sought a court order to arrest him Emefiele but the request was rejected by the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.
2. IGP Alkali Usman: FG Didn’t Extend His Tenure – Minister
The Federal Government of Nigeria did not extend the tenure of the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Alkali Usman, contrary to reports.
The Police Affairs Minister, Dr. Muhammed Maigari Dingyadi, made this clarification through a statement issued by his media aide, Osaigbovo Ehisienmen, on Thursday.
In the statement, Dingyadi quoted Sections 7(3) and 7(6) of the Police Act, 2020 which states that the appointment and tenure of an IGP will last for four years.
President Muhammadu Buhari appointed Alkali Usman as the IGP in 2021 and most Nigerians assumed that his tenure will end with the current government this year.
But to the dismay of many, reports went viral that the president has extended the IGP’s tenure ahead of the 2023 general elections. The report originated from Dingyadi’s chat with State House Correspondents on Wednesday, hence, the minister had to clarify the status of the IGP.
3. Makinde Shuns Atiku As PDP Takes Presidential Rally To Oyo State
The Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde on Thursday failed to make an appearance at the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential campaign rally in Ibadan.
The PDP candidate, Atiku Abubakar had stormed Oyo State along with many chieftains of the party but Makinde was conspicuously missing at the rally held at the Mapo Hall.
Some party chieftains in the former Vice President’s entourage were Governors Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto); Ademola Adeleke (Osun); Godwin Obaseki (Edo) and Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom).
As earlier reported by Naija News, Atiku, his running mate, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, and others were received in Ibadan by party chieftains in the state, all styled in green attires stamped with the PDP logo.
Shortly after touching down at the PaceSetter State, Atiku and Okowa visited the Olubadan, Oba Moshood Lekan Balogun, who he described as his friend and political associate before proceeding to the campaign ground.
However, Makinde who is also a PDP member and running for a second term on the platform of the party did not make any appearance.
This may not be unconnected to his membership in a group of aggrieved Governors in the party popularly known as the G5.
4. PDP Crisis: There Is A Reason G-5 Has Not Taken Any Action Yet – Ortom Speaks
The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) should blame itself if reconciliation with G-5 Governors fails.
He insisted that the reason for the delay in resolving the crisis was due to arrogance, mischief, and impunity on the part of the party leadership.
According to Vanguard, Ortom, who is a leading member of the G-5 governors, said this in an interview, on Thursday.
The Governor explained that the G-5 are not confused as to their next steps but are simply leaving room for genuine reconciliation as they are loyal party men, hence the reason for their silence.
Speaking on his preferred presidential candidate, Ortom stated that he would have personally led the campaign of the candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi.
He explained that although Obi, like most human beings, was not perfect, he possess the qualities of the kind of leader Nigeria needs at this point in our history.
5. Unemployment: FG To Launch Labour Statistics System – Ngige Reveals
The Federal Government has disclosed that plans are underway to launch a labour statistics system as a means of tackling unemployment in the country.
The Labour and Employment Minister, Chris Ngige, made the revelation in Abuja on Wednesday when he told pressmen that the system was a means to link unemployed Nigerians at home and abroad to employers on the same platform.
Ngige explained that the move is a way of tackling the unemployment rate in the country, noting that just like in the United States (U.S.) where the Department of Labour issues statistics to tackle unemployment, the Nigerian government too would do the same.
The minister in a statement signed by the Head of Press and Public Relations, Olajide Oshundun disclosed that the system would be ready for launching in a month or two.
6. Alot Of Things Are Happening – CBN Speaks On New Naira Notes
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said on Thursday (today) that some things have been happening since it began the circulation of the new Naira Notes across commercial banks.
The apex bank refused to elaborate on the happenings but noted that in a bid to checkmate the undisclosed events, it stopped the withdrawal of new naira notes over the counter at banks.
According to the CBN, halting the issuance of the new naira notes over the counter will ensure an even circulation as the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) cannot distinguish some very important persons who will ordinarily walk into the bank and cart away bulk of notes.
The apex bank, however, lamented the lackadaisical attitude of some banks who have refused to adhere to its order, noting that it has been begging commercial banks to pick up the new Naira notes.
At a sensitization programme in Lagos, Head of legal department of the apex bank, Kofo Salam-Alada, said the CBN would go tough on banks that continue to fill their ATM machines with old naira notes as the deadline to phase out the notes nears.
7. Shettima Reacts To Attacks On INEC Facilities, Calls Out IPOB
The Vice Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Kashim Shetima, has condemned the plethora of attacks on facilities of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) across the country.
Speaking in Birnin Kebbi at the palace of the Emir of Gwandu, Muhammadu Iliyasu-Bashar, on Wednesday, the former Governor of Borno State described the attacks on INEC offices as “acts of terrorism”.
Recall that the electoral commission had said its facilities have been attacked more than 50 times across 15 states in the country in the last three years.
Following the latest attacks on INEC facilities in Imo and Enugu States on January 15 and 16, Shettima called on all Nigerians to condemn the act of vandalism of government property.
He argued that the sit-at-home order in the South East is also a pathway to anarchy and insanity, adding that the activities of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) are not in tandem with modern democratic practice.
The former Borno governor added that nobody in the country can force himself into power through threats, intimidation, and blackmail.
8. You Lack Knowledge Of Basic Economics – BMO Attacks Peter Obi For Saying Buhari Wasted Loans Obtained By His Government
The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has accused the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi of displaying ignorance over his recent comment about loans taken by the Muhammadu Buhari administration.
The organization said Obi just displayed his lack of knowledge about the economy with his comments on the Buhari government.
According to BMO in a statement on Thursday by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, Obi’s claim that all monies borrowed since 2015 were wasted shows his tendency to play to the gallery with claims that have no basis in fact.
Obi during his speech at Chatham House in London accused the Buhari government of adding to the nation’s huge debt profile with unnecessary loans and squandering all the funds.
The BMO however replied the LP candidate saying his comments on the economy, and the nation’s debt profile are a public display of ignorance of economic matters.
It added that all the projects the loans taken by the Buhari administration were used for are clearly displayed on the website of the Debt Management Office (DMO).
9. FG To Begin Gradual Petrol Subsidy Removal In April – Minister Confirms
President Muhammadu Buhari’s government has announced it will begin the gradual removal of the petrol subsidy in the second quarter of 2023.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, revealed this in her report, highlighting the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
The federal government’s initial plan was to commence the subsidy removal in June following an 18-months extension. Ahmed noted that the petrol subsidy removal will now begin April 2023, about three months ahead of the initial plan to effect a complete stop to the expenditure head.
According to her, subsidy removal appears to be the position of all presidential candidates seeking to succeed the incumbent government.
10. Peter Obi: God Would Have Punished Me If I Did Not Do It – Obasanjo Sends Fresh Message To Nigerians
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has once again called on Nigerians to vote the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate Peter Obi into power in the 2023 presidential polls.
Obasanjo stated that it is only unpatriotic Nigerians that would vote for Obi’s counterparts.
Speaking on Thursday at the interactive session organized by the Experiential Leadership in Africa (TEL-Africa) in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, Obasanjo explained that he would be punished by God if he refused to do the right thing.
Calling on Nigerians to pledge their allegiance to Obi, the former nation’s leader explained that the LP flag bearer possesses good characteristics, which his fellow contestants lack.
Explaining the reason for picking Obi instead of Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Obasanjo said “I will be punished by God if I know what is right and I did not put it where it should be.”
He clarified that he mentioned in his letter that Obi has an edge, taking everything together; stating that “I take character, I take track record, I take vision and I take what you see in this man as a child of God.