TOP 10 NEWS MAKING THE ROUNDS IN NIGERIA TODAY, TUESDAY
1. FG Insists Buhari Has Made Nigeria Better Than He Met It In 2015
The Federal Government claims that Nigeria has greatly improved since President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress took over from the People’s Democratic Party in 2015.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, made this declaration about the government of Buhari on Monday during a live interview on the NTA program “Good Morning Nigeria.”
The minister asserted that the Buhari government has upheld the expectations of the people and carried out its mandate given the timeframe and circumstances.
The minister asserted that efforts to de-market the government and, by implication, the entire country were being driven by a vocal minority and fanatical detractors.
The minister stated that in 2015 the entire North East region was inaccessible and that Boko Haram extremists controlled 20 of Borno’s 27 Local Government Areas.
According to him, no area in Nigeria is now occupied by or ruled by insurgents.
The minister recalled that despite being the leading importer of rice from Thailand in 2015, Nigeria is now self-sufficient in both the staple food and other goods in general due to the administration’s agriculture policies and programs.
2. Atiku Reveals How He Stopped Obasanjo’s Third Term Agenda
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, has disclosed how he stopped the third-term bid of former President, Olusegun Obasanjo.
Atiku disclosed this at an event with the party’s National Assembly candidates on Sunday night in Abuja.
The PDP flagbearer said he developed a very intimate relationship with members of the National Assembly during his tenure as vice president.
According to Atiku, his relationship with the National Assembly enabled them to stop the third-term agenda of Obasanjo.
He noted that he is looking forward to re-engaging with the National Assembly when elected as president to further deepen the democratic development and progress of the nation.
While lamenting the current security and economic predicament of the country, Atiku said the country is divided because of the activities and policies of the current activities and policies of the All Progressives Congress (APC) government.
3. Wike Takes Stand On Dumping PDP For APC Over Zoning
Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has made his stand known again on speculations that he will dump the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) before the 2023 general election.
Wike is leading a group of five aggrieved PDP governors (G5), including himself, to wage war against their party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar and the party’s national leadership over zoning of the presidency to the Southern part of the country.
The G5 governors are also against having Iyorchia Ayu, a northerner, remain the party’s national chairman. The PDP chieftain has, on several occasions, shown alignment with the presidential candidate of the APC, Bola Tinubu.
Wike’s moves have since stirred speculations that he may join the ruling party in the face of the 2023 election.
However, on Monday, at the 114th quarterly general meeting of the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers in Port Harcourt, Wike reiterated that he would not join the ruling party despite its stance on zoning the presidency to the south.
Wike described the insinuations of his proposed defection as speculative, reiterating that he remained an unrepentant member of the PDP.
The Rivers State Governor informed the council ahead of Saturday’s presidential election that he would be voting for only the candidate that could guarantee the country’s unity.
4. Buhari Meets Ethiopian Airlines Board Over Take-Off Of Nigeria Air
While in Ethiopia for the 36th Africa Union summit, President Muhammadu Buhari met with the owners of Ethiopian Airlines to discuss the take-off of Nigeria’s new national airline.
Those who were at the meeting with Buhari in Addis Abeba over the weekend, include the board chairman of Ethiopian Airlines, Girma Wake, the group CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, Mesfin Tasswe, and the group vice president for strategic planning and alliances, Daniel Abebe.
According to a statement from Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, the President stressed that the Nigerian government’s decision to re-launch a national carrier was a “weighty decision.”
During the meeting with Buhari, Girma Wake requested that the legal issue blocking Ethiopian Airlines’ 49 percent-owned Nigeria Air from commencing operations be addressed.
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He also demanded the repatriation of airline funds that had been kept in the country because of problems with foreign exchange.
5. PSC Removes Tinubu’s Critic, Naja’atu From Election Duty
The Police Service Commission (PSC) has revoked the appointment of Hajiya Naja’atu Mohammed, as one of those who will supervise the conduct of police officers during the 2023 general elections.
The Commission had earlier assigned Naja’atu as one of the coordinators who would supervise the conduct of police officers’ affairs in the coming election.
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) immediately protested her inclusion among 45 coordinators who will monitor the conduct of the police officers on election duty.
In a statement on Monday, the Director of Public Affairs and Spokesman of the APC campaign council, Festus Keyamo, described Naja’atu’s appointment as callous and insensitive, urging PSC to withdraw her appointment immediately.
Keyamo further stated that the appointment was openly confrontational and consequently unacceptable by the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council.
A few hours after APC’s reaction, the PSC announced that it had asked a former Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Bawa Lawal (rtd), who is from the same geopolitical zone as Commissioner Najatu, to take over the coordination of the monitoring of Police Conduct in the zone.
The spokesman of the commission, Ikechukwu Ani, confirmed the development to newsmen on Monday evening stating that “the commission will always be sensitive to the wishes of Nigerians and will continue to contribute its quota to the sustenance of the nation’s democracy.”
6. Atiku Is North’s Endorsed Candidate – ACF Chieftain
A chieftain of the Arewa Consultative Forum, Muhammad Yakubu has said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar is the endorsed candidate of the north.
Yakubu’s claim is coming five days to the presidential election, scheduled for the 25th of February, 2023.
ACF in a statement released through its Secretary-General, Murtala Aliyu had directed Nigerians to vote for the candidate of their choice.
The forum called on Nigerians to vote for a presidential candidate with clear and objective party manifestos and the character and track records of the candidates.
Yakubu, however, while addressing a press conference at the 11A Sokoto road Secretariat of the ACF in Kaduna on Monday, said from recent statements by notable northern elders such as Zango Daura, Ango Abdullahi, among others, the region has adopted Atiku.
He claimed that the region is supporting Atiku not because he is a northerner but because he had the capacity and experience to take the country to the promised land.
7. Naira Scarcity: APC Chairman, El-Rufai, Two Other Govs Meet AGF Malami
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adamu Abdullahi, on Monday met with the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, ahead of the Supreme Court’s hearing on Wednesday.
Others at the meeting held at the APC National Secretariat include Governors Nasir El-Rufai, Yahaya Bello and Bello Matawalle of Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara States, respectively.
The governors had dragged the Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to the Supreme Court over the naira swap policy introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
This newspaper gathered that the APC refused to disclose what they discussed or even give a hint on the agenda of their meeting.
“They won’t tell you anything. The national chairman has told them to ignore you people,” a source at the secretariat told The PUNCH.
He also expressed the belief that it is not unconnected with the position taken by the governors and Adamu-led APC against the FG.
8. Court Bars INEC From Using MC Oluomo Committee To Distribute Electoral Materials
The Federal High Court in Lagos has restricted the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from employing the services of the Lagos State Parks and Garages Committee to distribute election materials.
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The Committee is headed by Musliu Akinsanya, also known as MC Oluomo, a known supporter of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Recall that the Labour Party (LP) and five others had sought an interlocutory injunction barring the committee from participating in the distribution of electoral materials, citing concerns over his alleged association with political violence and thuggery.
During the hearing of the suit on Monday, Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke barred INEC from employing the services of the MC Oluomo-led Committee to distribute election materials in Lagos.
The judge ruled that the order stands pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.
9. Three Gunmen Killed As Police Foil Attack On Anambra Station
Police operatives in Anambra have killed three gunmen during an attempted attack on Awada Police station near the Obosi area of the State.
In a statement on Monday issued by Christian Aburime, Chief Press Secretary to Governor Chukwuma Soludo, the incident happened in the early hours of today (Monday).
Aburime added that the three gunmen were killed and repealed by the police during an attempt to set the station ablaze, adding that two AK 47 vehicles used for the failed operation were recovered.
The statement reads: “Again, in the early hours of today 20/02/23 these evil people, arsonists,s and murderers (UGM), made another deadly attempt to burn down Awada Police Station, near Obosi, Anambra State.
“They were repelled by gallant security personnel with 3 members of the gang taken down after an exchange of gun battle
“Two AK 47 were recovered with the vehicles used for the failed operation by the gang.”
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10. APC Suspends National Vice Chairman For Associating With PDP Governor
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has announced the suspension of its National Vice Chairman (North-east), Comrade Mustapha Salihu over alleged anti-party activities.
Salihu was accused of hobnobbing with the Adamawa State Governor, Ahmadu Fintiri who is a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The APC chieftain was suspended for six months by Rumde Ward of Yola North local government area in Adamawa State over allegations of “gross abuse of office, conspiracy and acts typical of anti-party.”
The suspension letter from the ward executives, addressed to the National Chairman of the party through the acting state chairman and the chairman APC Yola North local government area was jointly signed by the ward’s vice chairman, the secretary, and 16 other executive members of the party in the ward.
They called on the higher party authorities to affirm their suspension of Salihu.