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Several operators of PoS terminals in Lagos have resorted to buying Naira notes from unusual sources to remain in business following the scarcity of Naira in the country. Some PoS operators in the suburb of Ikeja metropolis, int6eracting with National Daily, explained the reason for the exorbitant charges on their customers who make withdrawals.

One of the PoS operators at Ogba told National Daily that the scarcity of Naira notes now forced them to buy Naira from petrol stations. He mentioned some of the petrol stations selling Naira notes to them to include Mobil, Oando, etc.

In the course of inquiry, National Daily found that some of the PoS operators charge N200 per N1,000 withdrawal. A customer was charged N1,000 cost for withdrawal of N5,000 which previously cost N100. For a withdrawal of N2,000, the customer pays N400 to the operator.

The Naira trading is also being done in old Naira notes, not the redesigned new notes.

A bank customer who went to his bank to withdraw N10,000 told National Daily that the bank could only give him N7,000 in N100 denomination. He said that the manager of the bank told him that they don’t have cash to dispense; meanwhile, he signed a cheque for N10,000, noting that N3,000 is still outstanding at the bank.

At a PoS terminal on Allen Avenue, Ikeja, a customer paid the operator N5,000 to withdraw N20,000, all in old notes.

The crisis of the Naira redesign and swapping of the old notes has caused unprecedented difficulties for many Nigerians, including businesses. Many PoS operators do not have cash to dispense and have, therefore, suspended businesses, except those who unlawfully buy from banks, petrol stations and other sources.

It is expected that the new directive of the Central Bank of Nigeria to banks to pay limited cash to customers on the counters, and other measures the government may be adopting henceforth, could bring relief to Nigerians.

 [NationalDaily]

City FM is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Programme: CITY TALKS WITH REUBEN ABATI

Time: 12:00pm

Guest: Professor Abiodun Adeniyi (Department of Mass Communication, BAZE University, Abuja)

Topic: New Naira Note scarcity and the lingering fuel crisis

Date: February 4, 2023
                         
Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/92877141732?pwd=VEJWb29OL2VVekZUTHRpdWYxK0xxZz09

Meeting ID: 928 7714 1732
Passcode: 600206

Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde has announced the deployment of free Omituntun transport buses to ease the pains of the people of the state from the twin crisis of naira and fuel scarcity that have been the lot of Nigerians in recent weeks.

On Friday, some aggrieved residents on a violence protest besieged the Oyo state secretariat protesting over scarcity of naira notes and petrol.


Following that Makinde postponed his reelection campaign indefinitely saying he could not be campaigning as the people are faced with undue hardship.

Governor Makinde, announced in a statewide broadcast aired on the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State (BCOS) on Friday night, said that the state government was ready to do whatever it can to alleviate the suffering of the masses.

On Saturday morning, the governor in a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, indicated that the governor also put all the security agencies operating in the state on high alert to avert any breakdown of law and order.


The statement also quoted the governor as urging the people to ensure they use their Permanent Voters Cards to usher in a responsible government in the forthcoming general election, adding that resort to violence breeds other problems.

According to him, the Omituntun Mass Transit Buses would be deployed to more routes within the state for free, in order to ameliorate the suffering of the people.

The governor also said that the state was also working with Chairmen of local governments to provide immediate palliatives for the vulnerable people in order to alleviate the hardships that the twin scarcity of naira and fuel have brought upon them.

He urged all law-abiding citizens and residents of the state to go about their lawful activities peacefully.

The governor said: “I have always maintained that peaceful protests are fine. When things are not going how we want them to go, we have a right and even a responsibility to protest.

“In response to this, I have suspended all campaign activities forthwith. I have also met with the heads of security agencies in Oyo State to restore calm and maintain the peace in our dear state.

“As a palliative measure, I have directed that the Omituntun Mass Transit Buses should be deployed to more routes within the state for free. “We are also working with Local Government Chairmen to see what immediate palliatives we can make available to the most vulnerable amongst us to alleviate the hardships that the twin scarcity of fuel and the naira have brought upon our people.”

Suspected SS3 students of Government Secondary School (GSS) Tse-Agberagba in Konshisha Local Government Area of Benue State, have set the school ablaze.

The angry students were said to have carried out the action in protest of the failure of the school to register their 2020/2021 WAEC examinations.

 

Consequently, the Executive Secretary, Benue State Teaching Service Board, Dr. Frank Kyungun, has ordered the immediate suspension of the school principal, Mr Aliba Stephen for financial misconduct.

The Executive Secretary who announced this during his visit to the school, equally named Mr. Iorja Agber Joseph for a replacement to also report on schools’ resumption.

 

Until his appointment, Mr. Agber was the Vice Principal Academics, GSS Wanune, and was known for his hardwork, dedication and commitment to duty.

 

The Executive Secretary frowned at the level of destruction carried out by the aggrieved students, said the traditional rulers, PTA, community leaders and the Management of the school must be blamed for their inability to protect facilities provided by Government in their domain.

He urged Principals of schools to allow school bursars take charge of monies while they (Principals) only give approvals.

He sued for total cooperation of the community and staff of the school to enable the new principal to deliver effectively and requested PTA to renovate affected blocks which includes Administrative block and library, while assuring that the affected candidates will be communicated on when their monies would be refunded back to them.

Responding, the suspended principal Mr. Aliba who is also under investigation blamed the incident on a PTA (Casual) staff who was in charge of ICT in the school, explained that receipts were presented to him with the believe that the exams were duly registered with WAEC not knowing the receipts were fake.

According to him, about 75 candidates were affected while properties destroyed during the crisis includes: Certificates of WAEC & NECO that were yet to be collected, Certificate of Occupancy, school dossiers, sports equipment, chemistry and physics equipments, terminal exams results, MOCK & BECE results, furniture, school receipts, library books among many others.

 

The Chairman Konshisha LGA, Hon. James Jirgba, represented by the Council protocol Officer, Mr Kaseve Celestine, thanked the TSB boss for his proactive steps, said decisions taken so far will definitely give hope to the upcoming children.

Also speaking, Ter IKyor, HRH, Chief Jam Gbinde, represented by District Head of Mbatem Tse- Agberagba, Zaki Uda, District head of Mbakaaka/Tse-Agberagba Township, Zaki Liambee Adi, Chairman PTA, Mr Anthony Ker Terhemba, all pleaded with the government not to withdraw the school from the community promised to be vigilant, promised to call the suspected members of the crime to order.

In his remarks, the DPO, Konshisha LGA, SP, Markus Amos said the investigation is ongoing to bring the perpetrators to book.

Government Secondary School

 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Friday expressed worry over the difficulties being faced by Nigerians in swapping their old naira notes and getting the redesigned Naira notes.

Naija News reports that Osinbajo expressed worry when he met with some FinTech investors and ecosystem players.

This was made known in a statement made available to journalists by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande.


Osinabjo urged regulators and the banks to deploy more FinTechs and money agents to the hinterlands to address the worrying situation.

He said: “You need cash to pay for transport. For instance, in Abuja how do you take ‘drop or along’ or use a Keke NAPEP without cash, or buy foodstuff on the road or in canteens, or even buying recharge cards?


“Parents with kids in public schools give money daily to their children for lunch, most commerce is informal, so you need cash for most things,” Prof. Osinbajo pointed out.”

The Vice President said that the Central Bank of Nigeria and the commercial banks should work with all FinTechs that have mobile money agents, not just some of them, in order to reach the farthest places in the country.

According to him, “it seems to me that banks must engage their mobile money operators – FinTechs with mobile money licenses and many of them have micro-finance bank licenses now and already have a network of mobile money agents or human banks or human ATMs (as they are sometimes called) who are responsible to them and they can supervise by themselves. They can do currency swaps and open bank accounts.”

Speaking further about some of the concerns arising from the redesign of the new naira notes, Osinbajo stated that “more disturbing is the fact that after depositing your old notes, there are no new notes, so people everywhere in the urban areas and rural areas simply have no money.”


The Vice President acknowledged that “there are logistical challenges that have to be addressed by the CBN and the banks, especially from the point of view of the average Nigerian and those in the hinterland who hardly use any electronic platforms.”

He also observed that while there has always been a certain failure rate in online banking and money transactions, they have become even more difficult now with the increase in the number of transactions congesting the system.

His words: “so where in the past you used POS or any of the electronic platforms, you had maybe 20%-30% failure rate, now because everyone is trying to get on those platforms, obviously, the failure rate is much more and the problems are much more pronounced.”

A spokesperson for the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Council, Mr Daniel Bwala, has said that the Governor of Rivers State and leader of the aggrieved G-5 PDP governors, Nyesom Wike, was deceiving his four colleagues over the presidential candidate they would collectively support.

Bwala alleged that Wike was supporting the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, but that he could not make it public because he had given his colleagues the impression that he was supporting the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi.

The four governors are Samuel Ortom of Benue State; Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State; Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, and Seyi Makinde of Oyo State. The governors had vowed not to support the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, unless the national chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, stepped aside.

In an interview with Saturday PUNCH, Bwala described Wike as inconsequential, noting that he reneged on his promise to announce the G-5 and Integrity Group’s preferred candidate for fear of outright expulsion by the party. He said open support for another party’s candidate would be a proven anti-party activity against him.

He said, “He is dishonest and inconsequential. You recall that he promised to announce their preferred candidate in January. When a BBC correspondent reminded him of the pledge, he responded that January had not ended. Now that January is over, he said he never revealed to anyone the methodology of disclosure of their preferred candidate. He is now saying he has told his people who to vote for.

“He can’t announce his candidate because he knows the consequences. The party can expel him outright for gross misconduct and anti-party activities. He made them (his colleagues) believe that he was behind Peter Obi. So, he can’t openly come out now to declare support for the APC candidate because the other four governors do not want Tinubu.”

Rivers State governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has claimed a cabal in the Presidency was backing the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

This is as he advised President Muhammadu Buhari to reconsider the manner in which the currency redesign policy is being implemented so far because it is anti-people.

Wike spoke on Friday at Comprehensive Secondary School field, Ibaka Town, Okrika Island during the Rivers State PDP campaign rally flag-off for Okrika local government area of the State.

The governor said recent events have vindicated him over his initial public statement that the PDP presidential candidate and his supporters boasted that they do not need the G-5 governors to win election because they had been assured of victory by a cabal in the presidency.

He said: “I said they have been given assurance, but this election is not going to be based on that cabal assurance. It is on the people’s assurance.”

Wike, who insisted that PDP will still need Rivers State to win, said: “Whether you like it or not, you must need Rivers State. If you don’t need Rivers State, you must fail. If you say you don’t want us, you’ll fail. There is no two ways about it.”

Speaking on the Naira swap, the governor maintained that those who recommended what he called an apparently anti-people monetary policy do not love the President Buhari and were bent of tarnishing his legacy.

He urged President Buhari to take a critical look at the socioeconomic chaos and hardship that the exercise has caused, and revisit the policy in order to curb the pains of Nigerians.

Wike said: “This policy is anti-people. The new Naira note is not there. Even though I have money in my account, I cannot get N10,000. I cannot go and buy fuel. Who is losing? Is it not the masses? Is it not the people?”

The governor, who suggested that the President should stop listening to those who advise him on the monetary policy under the guise that it will curb vote buying, said those advisors do not mean well for Nigerians and cannot feel their sufferings.

He also dismissed the claim that the policy was being implemented to fight politicians and corruption, and wondered if such goals can be achieved within the barely four months left for the President Buhari administration.

Wike said: “You’re merely fighting against the poor people. Mr President, I know the pressure, but please since two of us are going the same time, this policy, it has nothing to fight corruption at all. It has nothing to fight politicians.

“This policy is aimed to suffer the people who elected us to govern over them. Our business is not to make the people to suffer. We all know how to fight corruption. We all know how to fight politicians. This particular one , it does not come in at all.”

The governor expressed dismay that people are now prevented from accessing money lodged in their bank accounts and small scale commercial activities grounded for lack of cash.

He stated that there is reduced cash flow in circulation and even the redesigned Naira notes were hardly available to the citizenry.

Wike said: “I know Mr President has good intention, but there are these people who believe they know more than everybody, they go and put the country in total chaos and that is what we are suffering now.”

The governor stressed the futility of presenting credit cards to pay for food items bought from an elderly woman who depends on daily sales to raise money in the rural areas with prevailing illiteracy.

He stated that there is nowhere in the world where such currency change has been done conclusively within six months.

Wike said: “I have never seen anywhere in this world where you change money within six months and say no more use of old money. It doesn’t work. It takes time and you have to prepare. Look at our economy, look at the rural areas, the level of illiteracy in the country.”

The governor, therefore, urged the President to endeavour to avert aggravating the security challenge across the country and pushing Nigerians deeper into economic hardship.

He said: “Can you imagine the problem you’re causing for us. As we are here, the level of insecurity will increase. We can’t get security agencies money any longer for them to use and pay those who are in the field.

“Even the CIA they carry cash for operation. Even NIA, they carry cash for operation. But here, we can’t even give our security N1million.”

International air passengers are dumping Nigerian airports for Cotonou, Ghana airports to connect international flights due to the exhobitant airfare by foreign airlines operating in Nigeria.

Speaking to journalists, on Friday, in a press conference over the unjustifiable profiteering by foreign carriers, the National president, National Association of Nigeria Travel Agents (NANTA), Susan Akporiaye, said Nigerians are traveling across the borders in droves to connect cheaper flights to their destinations.


NANTA disclosed that it lost between $450 million to $500 million revenue in one year as a result of the drop in ticket sales.

Airfares have risen to almost 400 per cent to all international destinations as foreign airlines operating in Nigeria blocked all low ticket inventories on their websites and have since continued to sell the highest inventories, making it difficult for passengers to buy affordable tickets.


The airlines also stopped travel agents in Nigeria from issuing tickets emanating from other countries into Nigeria in a bid to reduce the amount of money that would be trapped in Nigeria.

LEADERSHIP reports that foreign airlines have shut their lower inventories against Nigerians due to their $550 million trapped fund with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The closure of the lower inventories by the foreign airlines have made Nigerians pay a whooping N3 million on a one-way economy ticket and N1.8 million to change ticket date.


According to her, the lower inventories that are shut against Nigerians are opened in other neighboring countries, thereby, forcing Nigerians to seek cheaper flights in those countries.

She, however, said even though they have reached out to the foreign airline operators, their response are unconvincing, saying the fares are selfish, unreasonable and exploitative.

She said, “the trade rules are obnoxious, not consistent with global best practices and the fares are unjustifiably high, all in reaction to trapped funds. We at this stage have reasons to believe there is more to it. The fares and practices are strangulating and our Nigerian regulations is not deployed. No power of authority in Nigeria is presently holding back the rampaging practices of airlines and we regret to say NANTA members are not protected by government in this circumstances, neither is the Nigerian public.”

“The implication of Nigerians crossing the borders to join international flights is obvious. We lose business because the sales won’t be attributed to any traveling agency. The government will lose as well because the government will lose the five per cent Nigeria taxes on the ticket. Definitely, it will come down to ripple effect of loses to the industry.”

Akporiaye however, stated that the foreign airlines haven’t increased fare, rather, they shutdown lower inventories against Nigerians and travel agents.

“The fare hasn’t increased. Just that the lower inventories have been taken out from Nigeria market but they existed in those other countries. The N300,000 fare that we can’t get in Nigeria, they are getting it in neighboring countries. Now, let’s do the mathematics, N300,000 to N3 million. They won’t mind going to other neighboring countries to fly out especially if it’s not too far and it won’t cost them much.


“We are selling our opportunities to other countries and that’s not fair because we can’t continue to give out our benefits, we are selling our rights to neighboring countries,” she lamented.

“To put this in perspective, all low-fare inventories of the Airlines have been deliberately blocked to our members and to this market. Airlines, even after various engagements as partners, have seem not to take such relationship or business history with NANTA into consideration, rather haye gone ahead to make the market extremely difficult for members and in effect expensive for travelers.

“This now means, Nigeria is at a disadvantage since the airlines seems to have mastered the art of exploiting the FOREX issue to their advantage. Agencies are now forced to fold, leave the country or try to use other neighboring countries to sell to their customers, Nigeria travel market continues to be at the losing end with the airlines being indifferent to the plight of travelers and as a body we are left with no option than to call on the government to be more strategic, deliberate and direct in resolving this Multifaceted dilemma.

“Just to be clear, in the aviation downstream sector, businesses are currently folding up and more will follow suite, this will add to the unemployment challenge that the Federal government is wrestling with, if, urgent and precise actions are not taken to nip this development in the bud before it is too late.”

Also speaking, the former national financial secretary, NANTA, Daisi Olotu, disclosed that Nigerians are taking scarce dollars across the borders to purchase tickets in neighboring countries.

According to him, Nigerian government is losing money while the government of neighboring countries are making money from ticket sales and foreign exchange.


He said, “Nigerians buys tickets in dollars in Cotonou and fly out from their. All the airlines flying out of Cotonou are in Nigeria but they shut their low inventories against us in Nigeria and have it opened in Cotonou.

People fly from Lagos to Ghana, buy tickets and fly out from their.

“Nigerian government is losing money and Cotonou government are making huge money from the activities of foreign airlines against Nigerians and our country.”

ormer Secretary of All Progressives Congress in Delta State, Chief Nick Ovuakporie, who recently defected to the Peoples Democratic Party, tells DELE OGUNYEMI the reason for his action

What exactly motivated your defection to the Peoples Democratic Party?

My defection to the PDP was on principle. It was for patriotic reasons, not for pecuniary interests. And if you have a copy of my letter of resignation, you will vividly see some of the reasons I gave for throwing in the towel. You will recall that there was a presidential primary in the the APC. And I have always made good governance my first priority in politics; I am not here for the mere sake of politicking. I have always taken Nigeria first before pecuniary interests. That has been my guiding principles in taking decisions. And that was why with my then party, the APC, my choice of presidential candidate was Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, the Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. And why did I choose him? I saw in him a man with capacity, with the needed potential to govern Nigeria. Now, that was at the level of intra-party politics.

Having gone through that stage, I saw compelling reasons why I should continue to put Nigeria first before any other interests and I saw that if we must redefine the Nigeria of our dream, the combination of His Excellency, the Governor of Delta State, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, and the Turakin Adamawa, His Excellency, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, is the next greater thing that would allow that vision of a greater Nigeria, which, was the same thing that propelled me to support Prof. Yemi Osinbajo before be lost the APC primary.

 


As Secretary of the APC in Delta State you severally criticised and accused Governor Okowa of profligacy and plunging the state into debt but today you said you’re supporting him to be Nigeria’s Vice President. What has changed?

For me, as a former state secretary, while I was in the APC, I did not join in the bandwagon of unwarranted attacks on the person of His Excellency, the Governor of Delta State and by the grace of God, the next Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, because I found nothing wrong in the policies of his government. So, I never joined the bandwagon and I will never join the bandwagon. I know the difficulties of governance. Governance is not easy. So, we cannot be playing opposition game by throwing tantrums at the man in the saddle of leadership just because you want to take over governance. I don’t play such politics because such is politics of bitterness. And that is not how I was wired. Mind you, some of the issues you alluded to were also mainly propaganda based. That is the word, I think, best describes the tantrums thrown by my ex-party, APC, against the ruling PDP in Delta State. And I urge Deltans not to fall for their game, which is simply propaganda.

Haven’t you lost some of your followers for dumping the APC for the PDP?


My decision to join the PDP was based on patriotism, not pecuniary reasons. It is mainly because of entrenched marginalisation. Let me use this opportunity to quote partly from my resignation letter. I said in the letter that, “as state secretary, it behoves me to represent and protect the political and class economic interests of the Isoko people, the Itsekiri and the Ijaw of Delta South Senatorial District, whose interests I swore to protect at all times, before performing my enshrined duties in the APC constitution.”

The other reasons informing my resignation include the deliberate denial of appointments to deserving Isoko sons and daughters in the APC-led administration; zero impact of the APC administration in the infrastructural development projects in the Delta South Senatorial District, particularly in Isoko nation; the deliberate hijack of Isoko slots by foreign invaders in the recently awarded NNPC pipeline surveillance contract, thereby portraying the Isoko people as a weak and conquered ethnic nationality, with no qualified or competent man or woman to handle such surveillance contract.


The main reason I left the APC was not for pecuniary reason. It was a decision based on patriotism for the Isoko nation. And I have the support of my people.

How would you assess the chances of the PDP in Delta in the forthcoming general elections?

Very bright because the PDP has actually done very well, particularly this governor. In fact, one of the things that attracted me to the PDP, in addition to the patriotic reasons I have earlier mentioned, is the blueprint of legacy projects of His Excellency, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa. Indeed, the man is a development Czar. There is hardly any road in the state capital today that is not tarred. There are legacy projects across the state today. No wonder, the Vice President to be and the incoming President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, have been going round the state capital inaugurating landmark projects.

Sincerely speaking, the finesse of Dr Ifeanyi Okowa in executing developmental projects has always made me to admire him, even while I was in the APC.

Do you honestly believe that the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku, can defeat the APC, which has the power of incumbency?


Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the Turakin Adamawa and former Vice President of this country, is the type of President Nigeria needs at this time. He has what it takes to salvage the country from its current challenges. He is the man with the requisite knowledge to fix the economy, having served as the head of the Economic Council while he was the Vice President of Nigeria. He knows what to do. He is not someone who is coming in to learn on the job. He is already well-equipped and his chances of winning are very bright. All parts of the country currently are clamouring for a complete and holistic transformation of the Nigerian state. And the man to beat is Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

There is the question of equity, with many saying another northern Fulani should not succeed the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), who is a northern Fulani. Don’t you think that this will count for something and shape the outcome of the election?

That does not bother me because what matters most is good governance and the issue of competence. Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is a Nigerian. The Nigerian constitution does not create room for stereotype personality for Presidency and there is nothing like Fulani man, Isoko man, Calabar man. A Nigerian is a Nigerian. With what the constitution provides for regarding who can run as President of Nigeria, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has got the prerequisite qualifications to become the President of the country. The issue of sentiment or propaganda from the opposition should be jettisoned. Nigeria should not be bogged down by these unnecessary sentiments and propaganda. They are mere distractions. Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is eminently qualified to reshape this country and rescue it from its current comatose state.

If Nigerians are tired of suffering; if Nigerians are tired of buying fuel for N400/N500 per litre, they should vote for the PDP because the PDP is the only option to rescue Nigeria from the present bad shape it is in. My message for Nigerians is to vote in His Excellency, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar for President and His Excellency, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, as the Vice President, come February 25, 2023. Nigerians should, in addition, rise up gallantly and protect their votes.

A former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir David Lawal, has said President Muhammadu Buhari is no longer in charge of his government.

Speaking on Channels Television’s “The Verdict 2023”, on Friday night, Lawal said governance has been taken from Buhari’s hand.

While stating that every government has its inner caucus, the former SGF noted that those in the present regime who had the ears of the President refused to carry out the expectations of the President or the public.

According to him, Buhari before his election in 2015 had shown a remarkable sense of leadership, while he previously held positions as governor of Borno State, Minister of Petroleum, and military Head of State.

Babachir Lawal said: “Things are out of his hands, there’s no running away from that fact. There are people that do not take the orders they are given. As soon as they leave where the order is given, they go and do different things. There is nothing like cabal. There is no government that does not have an inner caucus. There’s no government.


“There are people who have the ears of the President, to whom the President by functionality, their functions in government, ought to do things, but they are not doing what the President tells them to do, or what the President expects them to do, or what society itself expects them to do.

“I can tell you this, I know President Buhari very well, even long before he became President, and most Nigerians also knew him. And the expectation was that based on his antecedents as former governor of Borno State, former Minister of Petroleum, and then President, he had shown a remarkable sense of ability to rule.


“By 2015, we were almost at the same level where we are this time around; people were fed up. But when he got in, I think the President had issues with his lieutenants, about who executes the orders he gives, and who executes the policies that he makes. And that is really my own side of things.”

Speaking further, Lawal defended his decision to dump the ruling All Progressives Congress and join the Labour Party which has Peter Obi as its presidential candidate.

He apologised to Nigerians for supporting the APC, adding that he has now seen the light and Peter Obi is the light.

Babachir said: “I’ve seen the light; you can repent when you see the light. I’ve seen the light, I saw the light and I repented, I’m sorry. I did that before. The light is Peter Obi. The darkness is the old system that used to govern us, which is represented by both the PDP and the APC. No change. The same people, the same agbada, the same red face cap. The same people. So Nigerians have seen the light, not only me.”

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