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[PRESS STATEMENT] Why Accusatory Tactics Won't Help Matawalle And Other Governors On The EFCC Watch ListWritten by Admin
Says the Choice Of Akpabio Is For National Stability, Unity, And Competence
The Vice President-elect, Senator Kashim Shettima has thrown his weight behind Senators Godswill Akpabio and Jibrin Barau for the positions of Senate President and Deputy Senate President in the yet-to-be-inaugurated 10th Senate.
Addressing the over 70 Senators-Elect, who are members of the Stability Group rooting for the emergence of Akpabio and Barau as Senate President and Deputy, led by Senator Ali Ndume, APC, Borno South at his campaign office in Abuja, Senator Shettima described the choice of Akpabio as the number three citizen in the country as the best decision made by the leadership of the All Progressives Congress, APC and the President-elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the interest of a stable polity based on competence.
The Vice President-elect said, “Politics shouldn’t be a means of disuniting our people. It should rather be a means of uniting us. The President-elect and the vice-president-elect are both Muslims. It is in the interest of the stability and unity of this country that the next position be given to the Christian faith, if not, it would further validate the alleged Islamisation agenda of the APC-led administration. It would be perceived as a gratuitous insult to our Christian brothers and sisters who stuck out their necks to support us.
” That was why I was quite pleased with the choice of the party leadership that my uncommon brother and leader in the person of Senator Godswill Akpabio should be the number three citizen of this country. The stability of this nation is much more important than whatever political considerations we may think of. We need to have a stable and united nation before we can talk about politics and positions. This is what our leader could do to unite this country in the current circumstances”.
On Senator Akpabio, he said, ” he has the exposure, competence and experience to occupy the office of the Senate President in the 10th Senate, ditto Senator Barau, his deputy. Apart from the need for religious balancing, competence and experience also came into play in our choices.
“Senator Abdulaziz Yari, is my brother and friend. We became governors together from 2011-2019 on the same political platform, but the nation is superior to other personal considerations. I am quite happy with what I see here today. It is a reflection of those who crave for the stability and unity of this country in a bipartisan manner.”
Shettima who thanked Governors Nyesom Wike and David Umahi of Rivers and Ebonyi states respectively, for their contributions and support for the party, said, “The Governor-General of the South-South, is a man of honour and integrity, whatever you see is what you get as far as Wike is concerned. These are people that have contributed immensely to the stability of this country. Umahi is the best-performing Governor in the South East. He’s a man of honour and integrity. He wanted to contest for the Senate Leadership but he had to drop it in reverence to the party’s decision.”
The Vice President-elect who promised to get in touch with APC Senators-Elect, who are yet to come on board with the choices of the party, said, “I have seen the names of those who are yet to join us. Be rest assured that we will positively engage them and make them see the reasons why they have to come on board. My principal, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is a veteran politician. He knows how to go about bringing them into the fold before the inauguration of the National Assembly.”
In his response, Akpabio, on behalf of the Solidarity Group congratulated the Vice President-elect on his election and described his choice as the incoming Vice President as the right step in the right direction saying,” your choice is putting a square peg in a square hole”. He also thanked the Vice President-Elect for hosting the group in his campaign office.
The former Senate Minority Leader told Shettima that members of the Group were drawn from all political parties who have decided to come together to produce the leadership for the 10th Senate in order to stabilize NIGERIA, not on the basis of a political party, religion or tribe but on the basis of conviction based on integrity.
Akpabio who noted that the Stability Group believed that the success of the Tinubu- Shettima administration would be the success of Nigeria, said, “We know very well that once somebody crosses the door into the Red Chambers, you are no longer a Senator of a political party but a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The Stability Group members are going to work with the incoming administration to evaluate the policies and ensure the stability of the country.
“We are not here because the party zoned the position to the most ranked Senator from the South-South, Senator Godswll Akpabio. We came together to ensure national cohesion and the stability of the polity and to ensure that NIGERIA moves forward in the right direction.”
A woman has alleged that late Nollywood actor, Murphy Afolabi is owing her the sum of N1.4 million.
The revelation was made by the businesswoman during the Firdau Prayer held in honor of the late actor on Monday, May 22nd, 2023, in Lagos State.
As the event unfolded, the woman courageously stepped forward and informed the Islamic clerics in attendance about her business dealings with the deceased actor.
She stated that she had engaged in a business transaction with Murphy Afolabi involving the said amount which he had failed to pay before his passing.
When asked about her intentions and how she sought resolution, the woman revealed that a committee had already been established to recover the owed funds from the late actor’s family.
The video serves as evidence of her claim and has garnered attention and discussion among Nollywood enthusiasts and the wider public.
It remains to be seen how the committee established to address the issue will proceed with the recovery of the owed funds and negotiate a resolution with the late actor’s family.
The Governor of Lagos State, Samuel Ortom, has taken a swipe at President Muhammadu Buhari over the his comment that he will run to Niger Republic if anyone comes for him after his tenure ends, telling the president he has been forgiven of his wrongdoings.
Ortom who spoke on Arise TV on Wednesday has been a strong critic of the president, whom he said failed to protect his state from relentless attacks from Fulani herdsmen.
Benue has remained an epicentre of herdsmen attacks with tens of thousands killed and displaced, and camped at internally displaced camps.
Just last week, over 30 were killed when attackers hit the IDP camp.
Ortom was responding to what Buhari said on Tuesday during the commissioning of the new corporate headquarters of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, in Abuja.
The president had said, “When I became the President, my first visit was to Niger, Chad and Cameroon because, based on personal and national issues, the neighbourhood is very important.
“So it is very good that I established a relationship with my neighbours. I said these few things about my personal belief because I have only six more days to go. And I try to plan to be as far away from Abuja as possible.
‘’Thank goodness, I come from an area which is far away from Abuja. I said if anybody forces me, I have a good relationship with my neighbours, Niger people will defend me.”
But Ortom replied saying, “For me, as a born again Christian, I have forgiven President Mohammadu Buhari. He has taken us from top to bottom but that does not mean we should continue to hold it on him. Thank God the constitution provides four years, after four years, you can go in for a second term and then another person will come.
“So, we hope that the incoming administration will provide succour, will provide security for our people and provide economic development and peace for our people. We have suffered for 8 years.
“For me, I have forgiven him. He doesn’t need to go to Niger, he should stay here with us and all of us should stay here and work with the incoming administration that God will put in place and by the grace of God, we shall move again from bottom to top,” Ortom said.
The governor also made excuses on why he was defeated during the senatorial election of February 25, saying, “I know how much that was given to Benue state to ensure that I lose the election; fine and good. God has permitted it and I have accepted it and I have accepted to move on.
“’I have also accepted that if another person comes, I should support that person. If they need my support, I will always be there and if they don’t need it, I will go back to my farm and my business and I can even be a freelance journalist,” Ortom added.
He still took a swipe at Buhari, whom he said presided over the government that “seem to be complicit” in the manner the herdsmen are killing the people of Benue.
“But it is unfortunate and that is what I have been saying since 2016 when I came in as the governor of Benue state that the federal government seem to be complicit in the manner the herdsmen are killing our people.
“I have interfaced with the federal authorities, Mr. president, I had sat with him and I brought these things before him, but his thinking is different from the way I thought we should have been able to handle this matter because the truth is that when you allow the Fulani herdsmen to carry AK47 and then allow the local people and even the community volunteer guard, I think the least they have is a pump action.
“But you know a one hundred community volunteer guard can not confront two people from the Fulani herdsmen with AK47.
“That was what led me to apply to the president and the federal government to also permit us to at least allow the community volunteer guards to be armed with automatic weapons so that they can truly confront these herdsmen who are creating terror and pain in our people.
“But unfortunately, when we applied, we were told that those weapons are prohibited for citizens to carry. They cannot allow us license to have them.
“But the challenge I have with the federal government response to my request to automatic weapons for my community volunteer guards is that why are they allowing Fulani herdsmen to carry these weapons? Where have they arrested these Fulani men, taken them to court and prosecuted them? That is the challenge I have”
The outgoing governor however sounded coy when asked if he would defect, pledging to support the incoming government of Bola Tinubu.
Responding to the question on if he would affect, Ortom said, “That is not on my table, I’m in PDP, and I worked for the Southern presidency, which Tinubu and Obi were part of. Defecting is not on my table now.
“If Tinubu is sworn in, I will continue to pray and support him to succeed.
“I remain the leader of PDP in Benue State but will continue to work for equity and justice in Nigeria.”
Nigeria’s economy has declined by 2.31 per cent in the first quarter of 2023, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The NBS disclosed this on Wednesday in its Gross Domestic Product Report for the first quarter of 2023.
The Bureau said GDP declined from the 3.11 per cent in Q1 2022 to 2.31 per cent year-on-year.
Nigeria’s economy also declined by 1.21 per cent to 3.52 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2022.
The NBS said, “This growth rate declined from 3.11 per cent recorded in the first quarter of 2022, and 3.52 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2022, the reduction in growth is attributed to the adverse effects of the cash crunch experienced during the quarter.”
On a sector basis, NBS however, noted that the GDP performance in the first quarter was driven mainly by the services sector, which recorded a growth of 4.35 per cent and contributed 57.29 per cent to the aggregate GDP.
The report also indicated that the agriculture sector and the industry sector contributed less to the aggregate GDP in the quarter under review compared to the first quarter of 2022.
Further breakdown of the report, showed that agriculture fell by -0.90 per cent, lower than the growth of 3.16 per cent recorded in the first quarter of 2022.
However, it noted that the growth of the industry sector improved to 0.31 per cent compared to – 6.81 per cent recorded in the first quarter of 2022.
The oil sector fell –4.21 per cent on a year-on-year basis in Q1 2023, indicating an improvement of 21.83 per cent relative to the rate recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2022 at -26.04 per cent.
The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) in the FCT has promised that no cow will be seen loitering the streets of Abuja, during the Presidential inauguration on May 29.
This is contained in a statement issued by Mrs Janet Peni, the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) Deputy Director information on Wednesday in Abuja.
The Chairman of MACBAN, FCT chapter, Alhaji Usman Muhammad said “we will help to ensure that no cow is seen loitering the city Centre before the big day.
“It is our culture to receive a visitor in a very clean and tidy environment and in this case, the in-coming Government is the visitor.
“We promise to clear and clean the city for a government that we elected”.
Muhammad said the meeting is not only timely but it is strategic because it provided the opportunity for their concerns to be brought to the attention of the FCT Minister Malam Muhammad Bello.
He recalled that they held a meeting with the FCT Minister and some investors from Dubai, that showed interest on investing in improved cattle rearing in the FCT for greater profit.
According to him, this portends potential for generating revenues for both the FCT Administration and the local cattle rearers and also to introduce herders to modern methods of cattle rearing.
He expressed optimism to get a feedback from the FCT Administration on the way forward.
The chairman appealed to the incoming government to come to their aid, as cattle rustling remains a big threat, stating that over 300 cows were stolen from his blood brother recently.
Also speaking, Alhaji Adamu Rabo, chairman of the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) branch of the association promised to immediately take the message to every herder in his domain on the need to cooperate with the Government to ensure that the inauguration is peacefully and successfully done, in a tidy and neat environment.
He assured that a message would be convened to herders not to allow their cows graze on the streets of FCT.
Rabo appealed to the FCT minister to urgently provide grazing areas to herders in the FCT where they can immediately relocate their cows to, for a lasting solution.
In his opening remarks, Director AEPB, Mr Osi Braimah, stated that the meeting was meant to rob minds with leaders of Miyetti Allah cattle breeder’s association, FCT Chapter on finding a lasting solution to the intractable problem of cattle grazing in the FCT.
“As we all know that cattle grazing in the FCT is against the law, and in a bid to resolve the problem, quarterly meetings are held to address the matter.
“It is more pressing now, because soonest the entire world will be focused on not just Nigeria, but on Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, the venue of the inauguration of Nigeria’s President-elect.
“The inauguration which will host over 47 Presidents and heads of states and other important dignitaries across the globe, hence the need to keep the city very clean and to ensure that no cow is seen grazing in the FCT and its environs,” Braimah noted.
He said that they have all arrived at a resolution and gotten the assurances of both the chairman of the FCT chapter and the chairman of AMAC branch of the association not to loiter the FCT with cows.
He also warned that any herder seen flouting the law would be arrested with their cattle by a combined team of AEPB enforcement officers and law enforcement agencies like the Police and the rest, already on ground.
The AEPB director revealed that AEPB is doing its best to keep the city very clean in preparation for the inauguration and beyond, keeping to the very high standards it has set for itself and justifying the tremendous support given to it by the FCT Minister.
Nyesom Wike, Rivers State governor, has endorsed Godswill Akpabio, former Akwa Ibom State governor, and the immediate past minister of Niger Delta affairs, for the position of senate president.
The outgoing governor declared his support for Akpabio during a visit by the aspirant and a group of senators-elect supporting him, on Tuesday.
The stability group comprising senators-elect was led by Ali Ndume, representing Borno south.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) had nominated Akpabio and Barau Jibrin to be senate president and deputy respectively, but the decision has been opposed by other aspirants, notably Orji Uzor Kalu and Abdulaziz Yari.
A statement by the Akpabio campaign media office quoted Wike as saying he would support the former minister because he was there for him when he wanted to be Rivers governor.
“This is the time for me to support him because he supported me when I wanted to be the governor of Rivers State,” Wike was quoted as saying.
“If truly we want this country to move forward from where we are today, I see nothing wrong in the ruling party picking who it thinks can work with the President-elect as the senate president of the 10th assembly.
“On this Akpabio and Barau project, we are together to make sure they win.
“Akpabio supported me during my governorship ambition. He stood by me all through and ensured that I won. I don’t pay back good with evil.
“This is pay back time for him. I will stand by him until he emerges as the next senate president. Our team would soon meet to take a position on your aspiration.”
Wike urged Akpabio not to be worried noting that the opposition to his ambition is a normal occurrence in politics.
“Don’t be worried or disturbed by the contending forces against your aspiration, it is normal in politics. Power is not given on a platter of gold, you fight for it,” Wike said.
“I am impressed that despite your endorsement by your party and the President-elect, you are still consulting your colleagues. That is the way it should be.
“Let us be fair to this country. If we continue this way, Nigeria will not succeed. Don’t waiver, stay firm and you will win at the end of the day.”
Responding, Akpabio thanked Wike for his support and congratulated him on his tenure as governor.
“You have done well for your people and Nigerians. History would be kind to you as you exit office in the next few days,” Akpabio said.
“You believe in justice, equity and fairness and that is what Nigerians know you for.”
The Central Bank of Nigeria has surprisingly raised Nigeria’s benchmark interest rate to 18.5 per cent as inflation threatens the country’s economy.
The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele made the announcement on Wednesday at the Monetary Policy Committee meeting held on Wednesday.
Nigeria’s economic output declined by 2.31 per cent on cash scarcity caused by the CBN cash redesign policy.
The committee noted the uptick in Nigeria’s inflation to 22.2 per cent in April 2022 despite raising the MPR to 18 per cent.
According to Emefiele, the broad outlook for recovery suggests the economy will continue with moderate recovery due to security and other legacy challenges.
The Committee considered inflation as a major challenge, adding that the drivers of inflation are outside its control including Premium Motor Spirit supply.
He tasked the Ministry of Finance to expand tax net as this will enhance the government’s revenue which would lead to debt reduction and its impact on inflation.
Emefiele said inflation would have risen to 30 per cent if the MPC did not raise its MPR in its last meeting.
He said the MPC considered that holding the rate would reverse the success achieved in taming inflation.
Emefiele also noted that reducing the MPR would hike inflation in the country, adding that members took a unanimous decision to raise the interest rate.
Retain the asymmetric corridor of +100/-700 basis points around the MPR;
Retain the CRR at 32.5 per cent; and
Retain the Liquidity Ratio at 30 per cent.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday urged the Senate to approve a request to pay judgment debt in the sum of $566,754,584.31, £98,526,012.00 and N226billion being judgement debt owed by the Federal Government through the issuance of promissory notes.
Buhari’s letter of request was read at plenary by Senate President Ahmad Lawan.
he Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) said the Federal Government has agreed to halt further deductions from State Governments’ accounts “to meet Local Government Councils London/Paris Club obligations.”
The NGF Chairman, Governor Aminu Tambuwal disclosed this while briefing members at the forum’s meeting held on Tuesday.
He said the Finance Minister also promised to ensure the refund of what had been deducted before now.
According to the communique, the meeting also effected changes in the forum’s leadership with the Kwara State Governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq emerging as the new Chairman, with Oyo State’s Governor Seyi Makinde as Vice Chairman.
The communique reads: “Members were briefed by the Chairman of the forum that the Hon. Minister of Finance has granted the request of the forum to immediately stop further deductions from the accounts of States to meet Local Government Councils London Paris Club obligations and the monies so far deducted be paid back to the States.
“On the leadership of the forum, the Governor of Kwara State, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, emerged the new Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum through a consensus, and the Governor of Oyo State Seyi Makinde is now the Vice-Chairman.
“Members expressed satisfaction with the success of the just concluded Induction for new and returning Governors that took place between 14 and 19 of May, 2023. Members committed to sustained collaboration among the states through enhanced peer review, learning at the sub-national level and deepening the relationship with the Federal Government and other institutions.”
The issue of Paris Club obligations and deductions have been a major cause of dispute between the Fed Govt and state governments in recent time.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has said in one year of April 2022 and April 2023, National Household Kerosene (kerosene) average price rose by 96.7% from N589.82 to N1,16.0.67.
In its “National Household Kerosene Price Watch (April 2023),” NBS said on month-month basis, the price soared by 1.59% from N1,142.46 recorded in March 2023.
The document said: “The average retail price per litre of Household Kerosene (HHK) paid by consumers in April 2023 was N1,160.67, indicating an increase of 1.59% compared to N1,142.46 recorded in March 2023.
“On a year-on-year basis, the average retail price per litre of the product rose by 96.79% from N589.82 in April 2022.”
On state profile analysis, according to NBS, the highest average price per litre in April 2023 was recorded in Adamawa with N1,600.00, followed by Abuja with N1,382.10 and Bauchi with N1,320.50.
It added that the lowest price was recorded in Jigawa with N925.25, followed by Kaduna with N950.50 and Edo with N965.85.
NBS also said analysis by zone showed that the North-East recorded the highest average retail price per litre of Household Kerosene with N1,273.53, followed by the South-East with N1,265.71 while North-West recorded the lowest with N1,014.19.
The Bureau noted that the average retail price per gallon of Household Kerosene paid by consumers in April 2023 was N4,166.94, showing an increase of 1.50% from N4,105.25 in March 2023.
It said on a year-on-year basis, this increased by 95.03% from N2,136.52 in April 2022.
Singer Banky W has recalled how he once prayed never to marry someone in the entertainment industry.
Banky W stated this in a post on his Instagram page while celebrating his wife, Adesua Etomi’s birthday.
He wrote: “When I was ready for a wife, I specifically told God I didn’t want someone in the Entertainment business because my life was unstable enough.
I wanted a 9 to 5 career lady in Banking, Telecomms, Aviation, and Oil & Gas. I didn’t want someone with a career as crazy as mine.
“And when Susu prayed for her husband, she specifically told God she didn’t want a Musician, a Politician and Pastor. Lol. But here we are, almost six years into our marriage, and it’s crystal clear that God’s plans were much better than anything we could have dreamt for ourselves.”
A coalition of 150 civil society organizations, under the aegis of Advocates of Truth and Justice (ATJ), has berated the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) over what it termed unnecessary and fraudulent involvement in politics.
The Coalition, in a statement signed by its Executive Director, Dr. Anthony Ujah, accused top officials of the Scheme of conniving with highly-placed politicians to destroy the reputation of others in the name of forged NYSC certificates.
Recall that the NYSC DG, Brig Gen Yusha’u Ahmed, alleged that it never issued a discharge certificate to Enugu State Governor-elect, Dr. Peter Mbah.
Mbah consequently obtained a court order barring the NYSC from further disclaiming his certificate.
The governor-elect sued the NYSC for N20 billion at the Federal High Court, Abuja, for alleged conspiracy, deceit, and misrepresentation of facts.
However, despite the court order, the NYSC DG engaged the media to again disclaim the certificate, denying knowledge of the lawsuit and consequent court order, acting in clear contempt of the court.
Ujah said the NYSC leadership has derailed from its mandate and is now a tool in the hands of desperate politicians to frustrate perceived rivals.
The Coalition wondered why Mbah will forge a certificate he didn’t have to pay for and did not need to write any exam to earn.
“After our investigation, we discovered that the Governor-Elect of Enugu, Barrister Peter Mbah was dully mobilized by the NYSC, issued a call-up letter, assigned to a place of primary assignment, and carried out all duties and responsibilities assigned to him, including participating in the passing out parade and was issued a discharge certificate by the NYSC,” Ujah said.
“One now wonders how at the end of all these exercises, the NYSC could make a bold face by telling the world that the Governor-elect didn’t participate in the exercise. This is not only scandalous but ridiculous, to say the least.
“The NYSC discharge certificates are printed by the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company PLC. They have security features such as watermarks and serial numbers denoting the batches. The NYSC should back its claim by producing any other certificate in the series of Mbah’s certificate that has the same serial number”.
The Coalition, therefore, vowed to embark on a massive protest at the NYSC secretariat to call for the total investigation of the Scheme and her staff by the National Assembly as soon as possible.
Ujah said after this mass action, the incoming administration would be left with no other option but to reform or outrightly abolish the compromised Scheme.