TOP 10 NEWS MAKING THE ROUNDS IN NIGERIA TODAY, THURSDAY
1. 2023 Election: I’ll Only Take Instructions From INEC – Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari has on Wednesday stated that he would be taking instructions from Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the 2023 election.
Buhari stated this while speaking with the chairman of INEC, Prof Mahmoud Yakubu, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, over the forthcoming elections.
The unscheduled meeting, according to Buhari, was at the instance of Yakubu, insisting that it was all part of the efforts for the elections to hold successfully.
The president also hinted about the meeting while explaining his few minutes of lateness to the commissioning and handover of security equipment valued at over N12bn to the military and Nigeria Police Force.
“I am being grounded by INEC. You know next Saturday is a great day for us, and I take instructions from INEC so that I make sure there will be no excuses for the successful election,” Buhari told his guests.
2. Naira Crisis: Supreme Court Fixes Judgement For March 3
Judgment for the suit filed by some States against the naira swap policy of the Federal Government has been scheduled for 3 March.
A nine-member panel led by Justice John Okoro announced the date after taking final arguments from lawyers to parties in the cases.
This platform reported earlier that the Supreme Court has resumed hearing on the naira redesign case filed by the state governments of Kaduna, Kogi, Zamfara, and several others against the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The states are urging the Supreme Court to compel President Muhammadu Buhari, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, CBN, and commercial banks to recirculate the old N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes as Nigeria’s legal tender.
Kogi, Zamfara and Kaduna had also filed contempt proceeding against CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, and Malami for their failure to comply with the Supreme Court order extending the deadline for the use of old N200, N500 and N1,000 notes.
3. Buhari Present As Atiku, Tinubu, Obi, Others Sign Peace Accord
President Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday, witnessed the signing of a peace accord by candidates participating in the presidential election scheduled for Saturday.
The signing of the peace accord was held at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, and organized by the National Peace Committee, led by former Nigerian leader, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd).
Also, members of the committee such as Yakubu Gowon, and the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Mathew Hassan Kukah, were present at the signing of the peace accord.
Candidates present at the event were Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP), Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and Omoyele Sowore of the African Action Congress (AAC), among others.
The peace accord signing is meant to commit the presidential hopefuls to ensure violent free conduct of their campaigns ahead of the polls.
4. 2023: No Postponement, We Are Ready For Election – INEC Declares
The chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu says the presidential and National Assembly elections will hold on Saturday, 23rd February as scheduled.
The INEC chairman gave the assurance on Wednesday in Abuja at the signing of the national peace accord by presidential candidates
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According to Prof. Yakubu, the electoral umpire is ready to conduct a free and fair election and Nigerians should be rest assured that their votes will count.
The INEC boss further gave assurances that the commission is neutral and has no preferred candidate in the forthcoming general elections.
5. Presidential Election Will Hold As Scheduled – Security Council
President Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday, presided over the National Security Council (NSC) meeting ahead of the 2023 general elections.
According to the security council, the Presidential and National Assembly elections fixed for Saturday, February 25, 2023, will hold.
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, as well as the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Usman Alkali Baba, addressed the State House correspondents at the end of the meeting.
The maiden council meeting in 2023 was held at the Council Chambers of the State House, Abuja.
According to Malami, the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, the three service chiefs, the IGP, and heads of other security agencies briefed the council about their readiness to provide the necessary security for elections on Saturday.
Malami noted that based on their statements, the council gave a marching order that the February 25 election should hold as planned.
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6. Insecurity: Four Borno LGAs To Vote In Super Camps
Super camps have been provisioned in four local government areas in Borno State to enable the residents to exercise their civic rights in Saturday’s Presidential, Senate and House of Representatives elections.
There are twenty-seven (27) local government areas in the state, but due to insecurity, elections would not be possible in some parts of the state.
While eligible voters go out this weekend to vote for their preferred candidates for all contested positions, Guzamala, Marte, Abadam and Kukawa LGAs in Borno will vote at the established super camps.
Voters from Guzamala are to vote at Gajiram and Nganzai LGAs while their counterparts from Marte LGAvare to assemble at the local government headquarters, Monguno LGA, for the exercise.
Voters from Abadam LGA are to exercise their franchise at Damasak and Mobbar LGAs, while their counterparts from Kukawa LGA also gather at Monguno to cast their votes.
The Borno State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Ibrahim Magaji Mohammed, confirmed the development to newsmen today in Maiduguri, the state capital.
He said the super camps would be cleared for them in schools or government buildings.
Mohammed said that security agencies had made adequate preparations ahead of the exercise at flashpoints across the state.
7. Peter Obi Has No Pathway To Become Next President – APC Campaign
The All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council (APC PCC) has said the flagbearer of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, does not have a pathway to become the next President.
The Director of Media and Strategic Communication of the APC PCC, Dele Alake, stated this while speaking at a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday.
He said opinion polls such as ANAP/NOI and Nextier which predicted Obi as the winner or preferred candidate to win the presidential election are creating grounds for unrest, and giving the LP flagbearer false hope.
Alake noted that the presidential election is between his principal, Bola Tinubu, and the standard bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar.
The APC chieftain maintained that even though the presidential race is between Tinubu and Atiku, the PDP candidate will be roundly defeated on Saturday at the polls.
8. 2023: No Sit-At-Home On Election Day – MASSOB Declares
The Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) has declared there won’t be any sit-at-home on election day in the South-East region of the country.
The group called on its members to go out on election day and vote for candidates of their choice because there won’t be anything such as an election boycott on that day.
According to MASSOB, even though it would continue to push for the restoration of the Independent State of Biafra, pending the actualization of the dream, the South-East region would not be in a vacuum.
The group in a statement signed by its National Director of Information, Samuel Edeson on Wednesday urged Ndigbo to ignore any such calls as sit at home and come out en masse on election day and vote for their preferred candidates who won’t sell out Ndigbo for their pecuniary interest.
MASSOB observed that it was the only way to avoid a repeat of the Imo State debacle, where, according to it, a governor was imposed against the will of the people.
9. Peter Obi: Nigerians Are Not Ready For Igbo President – Kalu
The Chief Whip of the Senate, Orji Uzor Kalu says he is not sure Nigerians are ready to vote for an Igbo president in the 2023 general elections.
The former Abia State Governor stated on Wednesday that based on information available to him, 2023 is not the best time for the southeast to push for an Igbo president.
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He made the submission on Wednesday during an appearance on The 2023 Verdict, a Channels Television programme on the 2023 elections.
According to him, the South-East needs the support of the other five regions in the country to win the presidency but as of now, the region is not playing practical politics.
“It is not the best outing for us (Igbo people) because for you to become the President of Nigeria, you need other regions,” Kalu said.
The Labour Party (LP) candidate, Peter Obi who is of Igbo extraction, is one of the 18 presidential candidates in the 2023 contest and he is viewed as one of the major contenders.
However, Kalu who is a senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Abia North Senatorial District by his submission, has dismissed the chances of Obi.
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He argued that to clinch the presidency, Igbos must move away from emotional politics to practical politics.
10. Four Major Political Parties Collapse Structure For Tinubu In South-West
Ahead of Saturday’s presidential election, political parties in four states in the South-West have collapsed their structures to work for the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
The political parties, Allied Peoples Movement (APM), Young Progressives Party (YPP), Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), and Action Democratic Party (ADP), who are members of the South-West Alliance of Registered Political Parties said they decided to collapse their political parties’ structures to ensure Tinubu’s victory in Saturday’s election.
The decision of the political parties to work for Tinubu’s victory was announced by the Lagos State Chairman of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), Mobolaji Olusegun of YPP during the Lagos Youth Stakeholders Parley organised by the Office of the Lagos APC Youth Leader at Ikeja on Wednesday.
He was accompanied by Osun State IPAC Chairman, Simon Adebayo of APM; his Ogun State counterpart, Samson Okusanya of PRP and IPAC Chairman in Oyo State, Apostle Dare Ojo of ADP, who also expressed their party’s decision to collapse their structures and support Tinubu to be the next President of Nigeria.
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The Lagos IPAC Chairman, while speaking on behalf of his colleagues, said the political parties resolved to support and work for Tinubu’s victory in Saturday’s presidential poll because they believed he is the best candidate.