TOP 10 NEWS MAKING THE ROUNDS IN NIGERIA TODAY, FRIDAY
1. Buhari Establishes 2023 Transition Council
A few months before his tenure expiration, President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday, approved the establishment of a presidential transition council to oversee the 2023 transition programme.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, was appointed to lead the council.
The development was confirmed in a statement made available to newsmen today by the Director of Information, Office of the SGF, Willie Bassey.
President Buhari also signed the Executive Order No. 14 of 2023 on the Facilitation and Management of Presidential Transitions. A key feature of the Presidential Executive Order No. 14 of 2023 is the institutionalization of a legal framework that would enable a seamless transition of power from one presidential administration to another.
The statement noted that the SGF would inaugurate the Council on Tuesday, February 14, 2023.
2. INEC Speaks On Extending PVC Collection
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Thursday stated that the collection of Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) will not be extended.
The electoral body dismissed the possibility of extending the date of PVC collection with the presidential election coming up in 15 days.
The INEC National Commissioner for Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye speaking on Channels TV said while the commission does not want to disenfranchise any Nigerian, it is impossible to extend the period for PVC collection.
Okoye said with the presidential election in sight, INEC has to move its staff from the responsibility of PVC distribution to focus on preparations for the election.
3. NUC Gives New Directives To Nigerian Universities Over 2023 Elections
Ahead of the 2023 elections, the National Universities Commission has ordered the closure of universities across the country to enable students to participate in the poll.
The regulatory agency for universities in Nigeria made the disclosure on Thursday in a letter addressed to vice-chancellors of all universities and directors of inter-university centers.
Recall that there have been calls from the public for the closure of tertiary institutions to enable students to vote during the 2023 elections, especially as data from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) reveals that over 26 million students are currently registered.
The NUC in the letter to various institutions noted that the order was based on the directive of the minister of education, Adamu Adamu, stating that all schools and academic activities be suspended between February 22 and March 14, 2023.
NUC added that the closer was also necessary for the security of staff, students, and properties of various institutions.
4. ‘Calls For IGP’s Sack Baseless, Mischievous’ – Police Appeal Industrial Court Ruling
The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) on Thursday described the call for the sack and imprisonment of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) by some retired police officers, who received a judgment for their reinstatement into the Force, as baseless and mischievous.
Some retired police officers received a favourable judgment after they had approached the National Industrial Court in April 2022 to challenge their retirement.
But the Police authorities had filed an appeal in suit number: NICN/AB/21M/2023 on Wednesday 8th February, 2023, and are currently in court awaiting a hearing and subsequent judgment on the appeal.
In a statement to newsmen, Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Muyiwa Adejobi, said stated that the Nigeria Police Force has filed a motion for a stay of execution while the appeal is slated for hearing at the Court’s convenience.
Adejobi urged members of the public to discountenance publications that were widely circulated in the news, calling for the sack of the IGP on the above grounds as they are “baseless, malicious, and mischievous.”
5. Extend Usage Of Old Naira Notes By One Year – APC PCC Begs Buhari
The Agro commodities Directorate of the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council (APC PCC) has appealed for an extension of the deadline for the use of old naira notes by at least one year.
The appeal was made to President Muhammadu Buhari in a statement on Thursday by the Director and Secretary of the directorate, Alhaji Abubakar Udulu Bello and Comrade Retson Tedheke respectively.
The directorate explained that farmers in the country are negatively affected by the policy but an extension will help them survive the hard times.
The statement lamented that the naira redesign policy “is killing the fortune of farmers in rural Nigeria” as they are forced to sell off their produce below production cost due to naira scarcity.
The statement urged the President to consider a gradual withdrawal of the old notes and replacement with new ones so as to avoid a looming food crisis as the farmers may not be able to plant next season if they don’t recoup their investment this season.
6. Threatening Us With Breakup Of Nigeria If Peter Obi Doesn’t Win Is Unbecoming- Shehu Sani Fires Adebanjo
Human rights activist and former lawmaker, Shehu Sani, has condemned the statement of the leader of the pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, Pa Ayo Adebanjo urging Nigerians to be prepared for a post-election crisis if the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi does not win the 2023 election.
Adebanjo while speaking at the celebration of the life and times of the late President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Prof. George Obiozor, in Lagos on Wednesday, said there will be nothing like united Nigeria if Obi’s presidential bid fails this year.
Adebanjo, who adopted Obi as his preferred presidential candidate in 2022, maintained that Obi remains the best candidate.
He insisted that Obi is not only competent but should be voted by Nigerians as their next president for the sake of equity and fairness, and to keep Nigeria united.
Reacting to the statement, Shehu Sani, in a post, shared on Twitter on Thursday said that pan-Yoruba leader can market his candidate without threatening a breakup of the country.
He further maintained that even the former Anambra State governor will not subscribe to such a narrative.
7. Plot To Humiliate Buhari Exposed As APC Govs, Tinubu Allegedly Angry With President
Some governors and chieftains in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) are allegedly plotting to go against President Muhammadu Buhari over current policies that they perceive to be targeted against the party.
The Buhari-led Federal Government had backed the Naira redesign and cash swap policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The deadline set by the apex bank for the cash swap has resulted in panic among Nigerians as they scramble to get the new notes before the old ones cease to be legal tender.
The scarcity of the naira notes and fuel has led to widespread protests, with government properties and banks being attacked by angry Nigerians.
The presidential candidate of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has been highly condemned by Nigerians over the crisis caused by his party.
Following the hardship caused by the scarcities, many believe that Tinubu’s presidential bid is at risk of failure.
According to The Whistler, there is a plan among elements within the ruling party to undermine the authority of the president following what is perceived as Buhari’s lack of enthusiasm and cold attitude toward the presidential campaign of the party.
8. INEC Chairman Speaks On Election Holding As Scheduled, Meets University VCs
The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu on Thursday affirmed that the 2023 general elections will hold as scheduled.
Yakubu stated this in a meeting with vice-chancellors of federal universities.
Yakubu speaking on preparation for the 2023 elections, called on vice-chancellors to do a proper background check on their staff to avoid enlisting staff affiliated with political parties.
INEC Chairman also charged the vice-chancellors not to send names of staff with any history of partisanship to the commission.
According to the electoral body, it will embark on its own investigation of names forwarded by the universities for the election.
Yakubu during the meeting allayed the fears of some of the vice-chancellors over insecurity.
He assured the vice-chancellors that comprehensive security plans have been put in place for the safety of all staff, media, youth corps members, and everyone who comes out to vote.
9. Sokoto Deputy Governor Speaks On Dumping PDP
The Deputy Governor of Sokoto State, Manir Muhammad Dan Iya has denied dumping the ruling party in the state, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
This is coming after a viral letter was spotted online on Thursday which Iya allegedly addressed to his ward chairperson that he has resigned from the PDP.
In the letter, Iya appreciated the PDP for the opportunities given to him while in the ruling party.
The resignation letter reads, “I write to notify you of the withdrawal of my membership from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with effect from 8th February 2023.
“I appreciate the opportunities given to me, which made me serve in various capacities under the PDP.
“Accept my best regards.”
However, hours after the letter was spotted online, the director of the press to the Sokoto State Deputy Governor, Aminu Abubakar in a chat with TheCable claimed that his principal is still a member of the PDP.
10. Drama As Atiku Avoids Endorsing PDP Governorship Candidate In Kano
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar was in Kano State on Thursday for his campaign rally.
Atiku during the rally reiterated his plans to reopen the borders, restore peace, ensure agriculture and industrial revolutions if elected president in the February 25th, 2023 election.
During the event on Thursday Atiku and the leadership of the party failed to endorse either of party’s two parallel gubernatorial candidates.
PDP in Kano State has been battling with leadership crisis which has seen the party produce two governorship candidates, Mohammad Abacha and Sadiq Wali.
The electoral umpire acknowledged Wali, the son of former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Aminu Wali, while a court recognised the son of former Head of State, General Sani Abacha.
Atiku during the presidential campaign rally of PDP at the Sani Abacha stadium failed to recognise either of the candidates who were together with him on the stage.
The former vice president also did not raise the hand of either of them while addressing the crowd.
A source among the party’s hierarchy, who spoke with DailyTrust said the party is being careful with the Supreme Court expected to rule on the issue on Friday.