The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, has lamented that the country is currently breeding poverty, hunger and insecurity due to bad leadership.
He stated this at his presidential campaign rally which was held on Thursday at the Hockey Pitch of the Abubakar Tafawa Bewa Stadium, Bauchi State.
He recalled the efforts of Nigeria’s former Prime Minister, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, and Nnamdi Azikiwe, in uniting the country and ensuring justice, peace and fairness during their leadership.
Obi, a former Anambra State Governor, lamented the huge debt burden of the country, promising that under his leadership, things would be different.
“Whenever I’m in Bauchi, I’m reminded that once there was a united and peaceful Nigeria. Nigeria was on the path of greatness from a revered leader from Bauchi and that is Tafawa Balewa. I come from Anambra State and I live in Onitsha where a man who believed in the unity of Nigeria, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, was from.
“Nigeria is breeding poverty, people are poor in Nigeria, people are hungry, people are insecure. All the money that we have borrowed, if we had used it the way Tafawa Balewa used the money he borrowed, Nigeria would have been heaven today.
“On June 19, 1974, Tafawa Balewa applied to the World Bank to give him $82million to build the Kainji Dam to generate power. Today, Kainji Dam is still there, it was supposed to generate 750 megawatts. Today, the equivalent of that money is supposed to be about $1.250 billion. Today, Nigeria is owing N77 trillion. If you divide it by the value of what Tafawa Balewa borrowed then, we would have had 150 Kainji Dams and Nigeria would have been exporting power to other countries today.
“This is a city (Bauchi) where someone who wanted to build a new Nigeria comes from and we are here saying that we want to build one Nigeria. A new Nigeria is possible, a Nigeria where you have jobs, a Nigeria with economic growth, a Nigeria that is peaceful, a Nigeria that is secure, that is what we want to build,” he said.
He urged Nigerian voters not to vote based on ethnicity or religion, pointing out that people from all the zones of the country were currently living in hunger.
“They’ve told you lies, you voted for them, today, you’re hungry. Elections that are coming, don’t allow anybody to tell you to vote based on tribe or religion because people from the north and south are hungry, they didn’t give you food. People from the north don’t go to school because they didn’t provide schools,” he said.
He promised to teach almajiri and all students and pupils in Islamiyya schools who are learning the Quran, skills as a way of empowering them to be self-reliant.
Obi, who also promised to create jobs for Nigeria’s teeming unemployed youths, assured the people of Bauchi that the newly found oil in the state would be used to develop the state.
He said: “I’ll ensure that you have jobs, I’ll ensure that you are secure, that is what Datti and I will do. Vote for us because all the people coming here to campaign for you; you voted for the APC and the broom swept you into hunger. You voted for the PDP but the umbrella leaked and today, you’re hungry. But we want you to vote for man, wife and child.
“We want the oil that has been discovered in Bauchi to be used to develop Bauchi and the north, to give you jobs and to ensure that things are working, and not for people to steal the money and everybody is hungry.”
Also speaking, the vice presidential candidate, Datti Baba-Ahmed, said that 18 political parties filed candidates, but 15 had become weak and drew back while the remaining three had not positioned and arranged themselves in a way that they could win election, “so one is remaining and that is Peter Obi of the Labour Party.”
He stated that he and Obi had done it before and were not afraid like the other candidates to tell people to go and verify what they did before and was being said about their integrity.
“Peter Obi was governor of Anambra for eight years and didn’t borrow money in his state. When he was leaving office, he left N75 billion in the state’s account for his successor.
“When the PDP announced its vice presidential candidate, the party split. When the APC announced its vice presidential candidate, the whole country became divided. The day Peter Obi made his announcement, everyone hailed his choice as a good one. Obi is a lover of Muslims and also the north. Those who know me know that no corruption has ever been planned with me and it never will.
“The day you hear that Peter Obi is the President of Nigeria, from that day, the end of insecurity has begun and healing has commenced. From that day, the economy has returned to the path of prosperity. From that day, corruption has begun ending. I assure you that under us, there will be peace and happiness in the land; respect for one another in the land, only a few days are left,” he promised.
If today there is one thing that is profoundly certain, it is the incontrovertible fact that our country, Nigeria, has been besieged by anarchism, and has therefore become divisively dysfunctional and a dangerous enclave to dwell in. Our country is infested with the deadly disease of anarchism; a system of existence that is in direct opposition and complete conflict to the established order of things. An order that has continually become a blight, an affliction, and a scourge to its people, the state, its institutions and the foundations, destroying the ideals and ideologies that created, sustained, supported and glorified these institutions.
Anarchism in the simplest sense of it, is a sort of political philosophy or movement that is skeptical of all justifications and expectations for authority, and that which seeks to abolish the inherent institutions. Anarchy, derived from a Greek word that means “have no ruler”, panders to a system that rejects governmental authority in favour of self-governing; being synonymous for chaos, disorder, and the breakdown of civil order. These prescriptive definitions and variables, and more, are the state of anarchism besieging Nigeria today, revealing the moral nuances of the violence, that never reconciles with our existence.
On a daily basis, if not on an hourly rate, anywhere one turns, one is besieged by this anarchism. The form of this anarchism that has taken center stage in our land, is violence; a gross orgy of ugly carnage that churns one’s stomach enough to make one with even the strongest stomach, retch and throw up every single meal in the body. Our established order has been destroyed, creating unbelievable levels of human spontaneity that negates all sensibilities and sensitivities. Everything today points to a society of wickedness, of wanton lack of empathy; a people of ineptitude, of corruption, and of a rapid and declining value for life, for the sanctity of existence and humanity, and of knowing what is right and inimically refusing to do them.
You may call what is plaguing us; social, economic, political or religious anarchism, but its prevalence and portentousness have become enduring or perduring to the point of becoming impediments to our society. These abnormalities are about to destroy everything we are made of. There is not one day, that one does not pick up an item of news, be it from mainline news or social media news, that one is not confronted with misery, with the sad and gory news of wanton and savagery deaths of innocent Nigerians under the most bizarre circumstances and awkward situations.
An argument judiciously used, will point and trace the historical emergence of this anarchist trend to many periods and factors, both from within and without. This point however, looks and feels less contemptible only if one remembers that the origin of disorder and anarchy can be traced beyond and up to the period when bloodletting befell some of us from 1966 to 1970.
However, the emergence of the anarchy that has matured into a sustained national phenomenon today began right from the pogrom and massacre of the Easterners, predominantly the Igbo in the North and in other parts of the country from 1966 to 1970. Once the war ended in January of 1970, and Nigeria failed in properly reconciling the warring factions, and in rehabilitating the vanquished, leaving the Igbo and others adversely affected by that rancid war in desolation, despair and abandonment, the period and process of anarchism set in.
Anarchism was accelerated in the land, when the government of the day, and the Nigeria people invented, cultivated and executed the “scorched earth” doctrine against the losers of that war, and in so doing, got the better of their fellow citizens by refusing to be bound by the laws of reason and common sense, or by the immutable laws of nature. From this point, the Igbo and the others who suffered injustice from that war, began to express themselves in what one may term in a constipated manner; as a people refusing to be subjugated into slavery and struggling to gain dignity in an existence that should portray them as human beings.
Today, the known source of anarchism in Nigeria that can be traced logically to the sordid events of the civil war and its aftermaths, has left no stone unturned, and no area untouched in the challenge of all known norms producing harderned criminal elements both in the political and other spectrums of our lives. This has inherently, defied all standards of morality and decency in our land.
In my undergraduate years, we were taught in our Political Philosophy classes, and I was somewhat convinced, that violence through anarchism was a necessary tool needed in overcoming the obstacles erected by our political systems, and that it was beneficial for our institutional growth, stability and advancement. We were taught that some form of anarchy was needed by individuals and citizens to correct the ills in our society as it provides some form of release of energies for persons to realize the level of powers at their disposal. In other words, that anarchism is good for our society as it makes it possible for transition and fluidity of power to thrive in the instance where “the commander of yesterday can become a subordinate of tomorrow”.
This “Good Anarchy” prompted us university students in the 1970s to take the laws into our hands in enforcing what was deemed by us to be right in correcting the ills of our society. We caused real anarchy – the type that sought to change our society for the good. However, this is not the form of anarchism that we are witnessing in our land today. What reigns supreme today, is anarchism of rape, blind murder, kidnapping, and willful anachronism, causing us to drown in our own tears.
Let it be noted, incidentally, that Nigeria prior to our period of independence from Britain, maintained a relatively peaceful political atmosphere. The audacious criminality that prevails today is a result of the abhorrent ways the country has treated its citizens and the Easterners, especially the Igbo and executed that war in a manifestly ignoble manner and disdainful ways. To belabour these known facts may be an inexcusable burden on this part of our history. Therefore, as we must learn to move on from this somewhat otiose but hapless issue, we must also ponder the advent of the problems in our land and seek solutions.
As I write this difficult essay, I see my job not only as a historian (which I am not), but whose job it may be to trace the chronicles of our problem, and in so doing, give a voice to the oppressed, the vanquished, and feel the past in ways that will genuinely liken its disturbing occurrences to our present uncomfortable lives.
It is glaringly evident that the evil that now besets our land flows from the past and present men’s purposes, desires and beliefs, and derives also from some fundamental wickedness and ignorance. The killings, the rape, the beheading, the kidnapping, the burning, the looting and all the senseless destruction – all occurring simultaneously all over our country, are clear signs of anarchism.
I am tempted to list a few of the anarchisms in our country, but where can one start and where can one end? Is it the case of the Chibok school children who were kidnapped and extinguished, the many innocent citizens in their hundreds of thousands who have lost their lives to senseless murderous anarchists, criminals and vandals, or the vandalization and sacking of prisons, churches, mosques, schools, markets? What about the kidnapping and beheading of a member of the Anambra State House of Assembly? They cut off his head, hoisted it on a pole and paraded it on the streets of this man’s hometown. What about the revered Head of The Methodist Church who was kidnapped or rather captured, as it appears that we are at war? They took the man of God into the jungle, tortured and humiliated him while extorting huge amount of money from his congregation. Again, what about the absolutely horrific recent incident of Catholic priest, Father Isaac Achi, who was burnt to death in his rectory – the sanctuary of God? These frightening occurrences are anarchisms of the highest order and dire consequences.
The most scary thing about this issue, is that government is helpless and hopeless. There are myths and there are dogmas, and there are so many other reconstructed views and contrasts about these ugly occurrences, but what is abundantly clear is that we are all in trouble. It appears that there is not a single answer to the catastrophe, and that no amount of any ingenious attempt of those who lead us now can resolve these problems of cataclysmic bloodshed and destruction.
Today, a groundswell of discontent and anarchy has become the prevailing norm of our life – it is now a moment of shame for every one of us as we stand at a crossroad, and witness a moment of great challenge. Our country is at war, a battle of lugubrious licentiousness, our economy is in turmoil, our planners are in peril, and anarchism rules the land.
An honest confrontation and reflection with our past history, I believe will liberate us, at least if from nothing, from the moral burden that should free us from the shackles of our many national tragic stories in order that we might create ourselves anew. Specifically, the senseless killing of Ahmadu Bello, Tafawa Balewa, Samuel Akintola, Okotie Ebo and other politicians in the January 15, 1966 military coup signaled one of the early waves of our deleterious and repulsive bloodletting. Then entered another perniciously and cowardly marked period in our bloody history; the gruesome assassination of Aguiyi Ironsi, Adekunle Fajuyi and scores of other military officers of mainly Igbo extraction and of Eastern Nigeria origin.
As if these killings were not enough, the entire North from Makurdi to Jos, Sokoto to Maiduguri, Kano to Katsina, Zaria to Zangon Kataf, Kaduna to Kafanchan, Bauchi to Malunfashi, performed the worst kind of holocaust in the history of mankind when the people from these zones conducted the pogrom against the Igbo and other Easterners maiming and killing hundreds of thousands mostly children and women – even pregnant ones and their unborn babies. What followed these sordid events became even more gruesome; the Biafra war, where the blood of over 3 million innocent people were used to irrigate the fertile land of Eastern Nigeria.
The rehashing of these tragic histories, should not be a recriminatory one, but should serve as a trace of the beginning of anarchism in our land, and should question if Nigeria is ready, or need to pursue the opportunity to shatter the myths and denials that seek to secure our innocence or guilt from these sins and evilness. In doing so, I reckon that we must all repudiate the injustices of the past, and face the consequences of our ignoble actions, otherwise we will all remain impaled on an unseemly history of deadly anarchism.
Try as I may to tell a different, better story about how we arrived at where we are today, we must exorcise the ghosts that will never leave us alone, because we have not atoned for our sins, and have refused to admit to, and confront our problems directly by working hard for a better Nigeria and by putting aside our old hate, our tired fears and the histories that justify them.
Our government’s infestation with cronyism, ineptitude and corruption encapsulate its error-proneness and its congenital incapacity, or its reluctance, one may think, to deal or cope decisively with these problems and the exogenous awe and shocks these anarchisms present. Averse to these tendencies that aggravate our vulnerabilities, our leaders hem in their ignorance and their overbearing inflexibilities in dealing with these repulsively grotesque killings and anarchy that have bludgeoned us into total submission.
Similarly, the impetuous inclination by our politicians to ride on the crest of these anarchists in furtherance of their mindless political agendas, has become part of these chronic instabilities. After all, we have been told that the deadly Boko Haram terrorist group was the creation of certain known politicians who are now, inconveniently, riding in the bilious bellies of the vicious tigers they created.
As I write about these inconvenient truths, I am sure that many, due to premodial reasons do not see any value or sense in my essay. Even for those who do not see the sickening evilness and vileness that have befallen us, can they not at least appreciate the catharsis my pacifist positions bring to our sepulchral situation in a country overtaken by anarchism?
Admittedly, there is statistical evidence to prove that our country has become a dystopian nightmare. We have lived to legitimize anarchy and treated this demonstrable destabilization of our fractured land like they are worthy of the same consideration as normalcy.
What is clear, is that after over 50 years of our consistent pharaonic decline, the Nigerian people earnestly yearn to recapture the civilizational glories of our past. But what is not clear, is who in our political landscape would do this revival, the reconstruction and the recapturing?
Nevertheless, my interpretive gaze at this situation, provides a perspectival shift that acknowledges that we have made our beds full of thorns and scorpions, but that our redemption may only come from our collective voice of conscience speaking from a universal point that is motivated and driven by love and kindness towards one another.
A 28-year-old man, Folorunsho Olaniyan, has been caught while allegedly trying to steal a generator belonging to a customary court in the Ado-Odo Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State.
PUNCH Metro gathered that Olaniyan, a native of Ota, was caught by the court registrar, Kareem Tolulope.
A source said the suspect, on Tuesday, January 24, broke into the office where the generator was kept by unscrewing the lock to the building.
The source said the suspect took advantage of the public holiday declared by the state government for the collection of Permanent Voter Cards to commit the crime.
An official of the Local Government Service Commission, Mercy Ajewole, also confirmed the arrest of the suspect.
She said Olaniyan confessed to have entered the secretariat by jumping the fence, adding that he was handed over to the police.
“Items found on him were two screwdrivers and a bag,” she added.
The Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Abimbola Oyeyemi, could not be reached for comment as of press time.
Leading presidential candidates in the February 26, 2023 election have unveiled what they intend to accomplish in the first 100 days in office, if elected.
The candidates are Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP), Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP), Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP) and Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
They spoke yesterday at the 20th Daily Trust Dialogue in Abuja.
Obi Promises To Lead Nigeria By Consensus
In his presentation, Obi said that he will lead Nigeria by consensus if elected president in 2023.
Obi, who spoke via recorded video, said one of the first steps he would take if elected president is to secure the country.
He added that if the issue of security is dealt with, farmers can go back to farm and produce more so that Nigeria can feed itself.
He said, “I will ensure that Nigeria is united. I will govern by consensus. My number one priority today in Nigeria is the issue of security, because it has become an existential issue. You can’t talk about being a country until you are secure.
“This is an existential issue that must be dealt with head-on and decisively. If you deal with security, you can solve inflation. If you secure the country, you are indirectly dealing with pressing inflation; farmers will go back and produce more and food inflation will go down.”
Atiku: I Will Reinvent Principle Of Government Of National Unity
In the same vein, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, said the first direction that his administration will take is to reinvent the principle of government of national unity, which will make his administration address the peculiar agitations of Nigerians.
He said, “For me, therefore, the upcoming election is not a-winner-takes-all exercise; to the contrary, it shall be a winner-with-all because I shall make a deliberate attempt to win the trust of all Nigerians.
“When we create an atmosphere that makes all Nigerians take ownership of government and governance, the drive to achieve national unity becomes easier, and with our unity restored, it becomes easier to approach the other challenges of security, economy, education, and devolution of powers.”
We Will Feed Your Children, Tinubu Assures Nigerians
APC’s Asiwaju Tinubu has assured parents that if elected president in 2023, there would be enough food for their children.
He said, “We seek a Nigerian where no parent is compelled to send a child to bed hungry, worried whether tomorrow shall bring food. We assure you that there will be plenty of food to feed your children.
“We will make affordable health care, education and housing accessible for all and, importantly, we’ll lead and deliver bold and assertive security measures to enable a strong, yet adaptive national security architecture that will obliterate kidnapping, banditry and violent crimes from the face of our nation”.
We Will Fight Insecurity With Technology – Kwankwaso
NNPP presidential candidate, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, said if elected into office, his administration would deploy technology to fight insecurity.
He said, “As it stands today, we have more issues of security, even in other parts of the country, especially in the northwest and even northeast. That’s why we are increasing the number of the military and that’s why we are going to provide special training, special equipment, relevant technology and so on to fight the situation, the insecurity of 2023 and upwards.
“And we believe that Nigeria has the numbers; they have the capacity and are determined to ensure peace in this country and that’s exactly what we’ll do.”
At the event, the United States government, Catholic Archbishop Emeritus of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, and other eminent Nigerians renewed their call for free, fair and credible conduct of the forthcoming 2023 general elections.
US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, said the United States has confidence in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct elections that will reflect the will of the people in peaceful process..
The ambassador added that the US government would not favour any candidate but supports credible and transparent elections.
According to Leonard, 2023 offers the opportunity for Nigeria to claim its place as the democratic leader in Africa, to consolidate the foundation of democracy and legitimate transfer of power.
The dialogue, which interrogated the 2023 presidential agenda, presented eminent Nigerians with an opportunity to dissect presidential candidates’ manifestos.
Cardinal Onaiyekan said free, fair and credible elections remain the only way from which will emerge – at all levels of government – men and women ready to serve the nation with dedication, sincerity, honesty and integrity.
Speaking at the dialogue, director of publicity and advocacy of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, said Nigerians will not accept any leadership unless it is democratically elected under free, fair and credible elections.
A former director in the presidential campaign council of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Naja’atu Muhammad, has recalled how a notorious terrorist kingpin, Kabiru Sokoto, was arrested at the house of former Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima.
Recall that Naja’atu dumped the APC last weekend after resigning from her position as the Director of the Civil Society directorate of the party.
The Kano State-based politician declared her allegiance with the opposition Peoples Democratic (PDP) and has since been pointing accusing fingers at her former party.
Speaking during her session with Arise News morning show, Naja’atu said Nigerians must not forget so soon how Sokoto was arrested about a decade ago at the Borno State Governor’s Lodge by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS).
Naija News reports that Shettima was a sitting Governor in Borno State at the time Sokoto was apprehended.
Speaking today about the forthcoming 2023 elections, Naja’atu said it is worrisome that someone who a terrorist was found in his care is picked to run a Muslim-Muslim ticket alongside former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
She lamented the spate of insecurity under the APC administration which she had just left.
She said: “Concerning security, you must have an enabling environment to do anything. So you cannot take someone that is virtually senile and another person that has been associated on several occasions with funding terrorism, Kashim Shettima.”
Naja’atu warned Nigerians not to forget that Kabiru Sokoto was one of the most wanted terrorists, and he was found and arrested in Shettima’s house.
Naja’atu said: “Let us understand and not forget that this terrorism, banditry, is a multi-million dollar industry because it takes a lot of money on the defence budget.
“It has a lot to do with the sales of drugs, mining and illegal bunkering and illicit mining. And look at the areas that are generally affected by this. Take the Northeast, for instance. In the Northeast, you have the Blue Diamond, a strategic mineral.
“You have oil in the Chad basin that is being explored now but illegally. You have Zamfara; if you go to Zamfara, the state has more gold than Ghana.
“Zamfara’s gold is traded in Dubai and other parts of the country. There is a market called Nigerian Gold in Dubai. So who is doing this mining? most times they are the governors, the people in power; they do it with foreign machinery.
“She alleged further that every container that comes from China ends up in Zamfara. “You know why? because in Zamfara, the soil in the state has all the strategic minerals you can think of.
“So they need to displace the people to allow them to continue their mining. These people have been severely accused of harbouring terrorists, even recently.
“Why should Shettima be visiting, along with his governance and making solidarity with a police officer that has been tried for drug trafficking? why?”
Naja’atu stressed that Nigerians must retrieve their country in 2023 and stop these things from happening.
Watch her interview on Arise News below:
Some traders and businesses within Lagos and Ogun State axis have started rejecting the old N200, N500 and N1000 denominations for transactions, five days ahead of the January 31st deadline for them to cease to be legal tender.
The traders and business owners are insisting on receiving the new redesigned notes, which are still low in supply across the country, LEADERSHIP checks have shown.
This is as the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) yesterday aligned to the position of the Nigerian Senate, calling for an extension of the deadline for collection of the old naira notes.
The senate had earlier this week asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to extend the deadline for the exchange of old naira notes to May 31, 2023.
The apex bank is however adamant insisting there is no going back on the deadline.
But the NLC national president, Comrade Ayuba Wabba said the policy will have adverse on the country’s economy and the residents in rural areas.
Comrade Wabba who made the congress position known in Abuja while speaking with journalists, stressed that even though the policy maybe targeted at the rich, but Nigerian workers and the poor masses are more likely to suffer the consequences of the new rule.
The labour leader declared that the congress was in full support of the senate’s position on the matter.
Wabba said, “I have tried to respond by writing officially to the CBN governor, we also wrote to the president , to say that this new policy of changing our Naira noted needs to be revisited.
We align ourselves fully with the position taken by the senate, we call for this policy to be reviewed and to give extension so that all the old notes can then be mopped up by the banks and we call on CBN to go to those hard to reach areas.”
“You are pushing people to the walls and very soon, people will react. If you go to the rural areas, and see the chaotic nature of how people coming with theirs monies to change is becoming a problem. No policy should be made to hunt people like what is happening now
We have called on the government to look at this issue very carefully before it snow balls into a major crisis. In fact, in rural areas it is worst because most of our rural areas do not have banks”, he added.
Meanwhile, LEADERSHIP checks showed that although, with some persuasion, some of them finally collected the old notes, they insisted that they will start outright rejection by today and Saturday
This is even as banks seeming to have run out of the new notes, are leaving many Automated Tellers Machines (ATMs) across Lagos metropolis empty, causing huge queues at the few ATM points that are dispensing. However, in the banking hall, banks were still paying customers with old notes as January 31st, 2023 deadline to stop using of old notes draws nearer.
LEADERSHIP correspondents, who combed some major parts of Lagos State and the outskirts of Ogun State noticed some traders and businesses who render services rejecting old notes as payment for their services, while others informed their customers they will stop accepting old currency by Saturday, despite low circulation of new notes.
As at yesterday, many ATMs visited around Lagos and Ogun States were not dispensing cash and those that had cash were only paid the old N500 and N1,000 notes, thus the scarcity of the N200 note which is mostly used by petty traders.
In Ota, Ogun State, traders, POS and filling stations have set Monday 30th January, 2023 as a deadline for the collection of old naira notes. They have inscriptions around their business premises where they informed customers ahead of the deadline. However, banks were still paying customers with old notes when they withdraw over the counter. One of the banks visited paid customers who rejected the old notes in N100 denomination.
Festus, a customer who rejected the old notes while making a withdrawal inside the banking hall, said: “I don’t want to hold too much cash because of the deadline but I need small cash for running around. When I rejected the old note they gave me N2000 in new notes and N8,000 in N100 notes. I prefer it that way.”
However, at Supermarket and malls, customers were paying in old notes and cashiers were still giving change in old notes unless where they have new ones.
Meanwhile, some businesses premises, who are still collecting the old notes, have inscriptions around their business premises where they informed customers ahead of the January 31st deadline.
According to Gabriel Obadina, business man, “people are still collecting the old notes because I used it to pay transport fares to the office, and more, conductors do not have the new notes, so they collect them and give them to others as change.”
Similarly, a Chinese who spoke to LEADERSHIP said: “I am confused on what to do, I have paid old notes into the bank, but now I don’t have access to new ones, what should I do now?”
LEADERSHIP had earlier reported that traders in Lagos had said they will begin rejecting the old N200, N500 and N1,000 notes by this weekend ahead of the January 31, 2023 deadline set by the Central Bank of Nigeria even as the apex bank said it will intensify efforts to push out the N200 notes.
However, the CBN has also said, it will begin an audit of banks alongside the on site monitoring to know those who are dispensing the new notes and those who are not will be appropriately sanctioned. It had earlier noted that banks will be fined N1 million per day.
Speaking during a sensitisation on the new naira notes by the CBN at the Asejere market in Makoko area of Lagos, the assistant Iyaloja of the market, Memud Iyabo Ajoke, noted that, traders in the market have been informed of the redesign of the currency and have been told to start rejecting the old notes from Saturday, January 28, 2023, three days to the deadline.
She explained that this is to ensure that they do not have the old notes with them by Tuesday, January 31 which is the deadline.
Addressing journalists during the sensitization, deputy director, Banking Services department at the CBN, Josephine Ajala, noted that, all efforts have been made to dispense the new notes.
To him, “so surely, by the 31st, there cannot be any ATM machine that will dispense old notes.
“We just realized that probably people just want to be, collecting or getting N1000 notes. The banks have been instructed that all the denominations that were given must be dispensed. We are doing a lot of audits on them.
“We are following up seriously on them to trace and ensure that whatever we give them most reach the grassroots. So, all the denominations will get to the ATM and they should be in the ATM.”
Ajala who noted that the old notes should not be rejected until the date of the deadline, said: “we are going to be doing a lot of sensitization, we are going to encourage people more to get away from cash.
“We are introducing a lot of cashless platforms, incentives, and more. So the central bank ideally wants to reduce the amount of cash that we use. If you go to countries like some other African countries, they don’t have a lot of cash, most of them are digital in little denominations like 200 they would go digital.
“So, we are putting in a lot of effort to get everybody on board. The new era is now cashless, though it is going to be gradual but that is the focus.”
A video capturing the moment traders without Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC) were denied access into Alaba International Market, Ojo, Lagos has surfaced on social media.
Naija News reports that Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had stated that, the last batch of PVC will be available for collection at INEC Local Government Offices across the country from Wednesday, 25th January to Sunday 29th January 2023.
In a bid to ensure all traders obtained their PVCs, the leaders of the electrical dealers association at the market stationed at the entrance of the market stopped traders without voter’s card from gaining access.
According to the background voice in the video, the officers are positioned to ensure that the traders obtain their PVC before the deadline elapses.
Watch the video below;
The presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has again accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of sabotaging fuel supply in the country to blackmail the federal government.
DAILY POST reports that Tinubu had while speaking during the APC presidential campaign held at the MKO Abiola stadium, Kuto, Abeokuta, Ogun State said the lingering fuel crisis and naira redesign by the Central Bank of Nigeria as part of the plot to scuttle the poll and his expected victory.
“They don’t want this election to hold. They want to scuttle it. Will you allow them? They have started coming up with the issue of ‘no fuel’. Don’t worry, if there is no fuel, we will trek to cast the vote. If you like, increase the price of fuel, hide the fuel or change the ink on the naira notes, we will win the election…Let the price of fuel continue to increase, they are the ones that know where they are hoarding it. They are hoarding naira notes, they are hoarding fuel, we will vote and we will win. If you like, change the ink in the naira note, we will win the election, the opposition will be defeated,” Tinubu had said.
However, the Atiku/Okowa Campaign Organization said Tinubu was lamenting over Naira redesign because the policy has frustrated his plots to use slush funds for vote buying and manipulative schemes.
But speaking on Wednesday in Makurdi, Benue State capital, at the APC presidential campaign rally, Tinubu said that while in power, PDP administration gave fuel retail licenses to their supporters and sympathisers.
Tinubu in a statement issued Wednesday by his Media Office and signed by Abdulaziz Abdulaziz emphasised that PDP’s supporters and sympathisers are now hoarding fuel to create long queues across the country and making Nigerians suffer.
Tinubu said: “They met good oil prices for 16 good years, they didn’t remember gas pipelines, they are what I called saboteurs yesterday. They gave PMS license to their supporters and sympathisers. They are the ones who started creating fake queues. PDP, enough is enough.”
Taking further jabs at Atiku Abubakar, APC Presidential candidate noted that the PDP candidate didn’t know that he broke the civil service rule in Nigeria when he said he was doing transport business when he was in Customs Service.
“They asked him, you are so rich, where did you get your money from, and he said from doing transport business. He didn’t know that was an offence. The only thing you are allowed to do as a civil servant is farming.”
A senior official of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State on Thursday said its Organising Secretary, Ayodele Adewale will be punished over his statement on two bullion vans that entered the residence of Bola Tinubu in 2019.
Naija News had earlier reported that Adewale during an interview on Arise TV said the bullion vans missed their way to Tinubu’s Bourdillon home.
He said, “On the bullion van or no bullion van and all of that, I think that matter has been put to rest. There was no money in the bullion van. The bullion vans that even came missed their way to have come there.
“I was in that house on that very day and it was not on an election day. The bullion vans missed their way to have come there.”
The APC official who spoke with Daily Independent on condition of anonymity said Adewale was not authorized to speak by the party.
He further said Adewale a former chairman of Amuwo-Odofin Local Government will be sanctioned for the interview.
The APC official said, “The Lagos APC never asked him to represent us at any interview. He only went there to embarrass himself and not our party. Everything he said during the interview was his personal opinion. He neither spoke for Asiwaju Bola Tinubu nor for the party.
“Asiwaju Tinubu had already addressed the issue of the bullion vans and that settles it. Adewale is not his media aide or the spokesman of the party. He just wanted to be in the spotlight and for the wrong reasons.
“I’m certain disciplinary action will be taken against him because there is a directive from the leadership of the party to avoid granting interviews to Arise TV due to their hostile attitude to our presidential candidate. Adewale wilfully ignored that directives and he will pay for it. I think he just made the greatest mistake of his political life.”
Gbenga, the husband of the late Lagos lawyer, Omobolanle Raheem, has narrated how his wife struggled to survive as three hospitals denied her treatment.
WITHIN NIGERIA recalls that Omobolanle was shot to death on Christmas Day by an Assistant Superintendent of Police, Drambi Vandi, in the Ajah area of Lagos.
The victim’s husband told a Lagos State High Court sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square on Thursday that his late wife received the Toyota Venza in which she was shot as a gift on Friday, December 23, 2022, two days to her death.
A property developer she worked for was said to have given her the car as reward for meeting her target.
Gbenga, who was led in evidence-in-chief by the Attorney General of Lagos State and Commissioner for Justice, Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN, stated that they got married 10 years ago and on Christmas Day, the family woke up to surprise gifts she bought the night before and placed under the pillows of members of the family.
The witness, who testified before Justice Ibironke Harrison, narrated that he also gave his wife jewellery as a Christmas gift.
“Though she was pregnant, we had an intimate moment that morning and she was really glad. After that, we had a light breakfast and we went to a nearby church with the new car gifted to her.
“We stay at Ajah and on Sunday we normally go to the Redeemed Christian Church of God at Ikoyi. But on that particular Sunday, our church had a general programme we call ‘Let’s go a fishing’ at Surulere.
“So, we decided to go to The Word Assembly Church where we got married 10 years ago, because my wife was very close to the founder of the church because they brought her up spiritually while she was growing up.
“They had also lost a son, so we went to greet them after service. When she finished greeting them, my wife said it would be nice if we could get everyone pizza.
“So, we went to get ice cream and yogurt at Domino’s Pizza near Ajah under bridge. We then went towards Ajah under bridge to make a U-turn to come back towards Abraham Adesanya, because our house is a few bus stops before Abraham Adesanya.
“As I did the U-turn, I saw police officers ahead and the car in front of me slowed down. I overtook the car and there was an officer on my left that said I should park.
“While he was still saying that I should park because he was following me, all of a sudden, I heard a sound on my wife by the passenger’s seat window; the window was smashed. I saw blood gushing out of her chest.
“I quickly parked and ran out with my sister-in-law, Titi, because the children were in the car and she was seating directly behind my wife. She was the one that had the four children in the car; we just had one daughter,” he said.
The witness explained that after they got out of the car, his wife’s sister held the defendant and he pointed his gun at her that he would shoot her.
He said, “I held my head; I was devastated. It was a bad dream and my life was just going blank. Then, some guys said we should block the road and raise the alarm so that people could see what the police had done.
“My sister-in-law pushed the defendant in front of the car and said, ‘You shot my sister, you killed my sister’; my wife was still conscious. I sped off and left my sister-in-law to take my wife to a hospital.”
He said the first medical facility, Bodu Hospital, referred him to Doren Hospital.
“The defendant was following me but I didn’t know how he stopped when we went to Doren Hospital. I was crying and shouting that the doctor should help me to save my wife; I said she was pregnant, save her life.
“They brought an oxygen can and put it in her nose and a needle in her hand and cotton wool to try and absolve the blood.
“She tried to pray and the doctor told her not to talk; she said I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe and after a while, the doctor said we need to take her to Granville Hospital at VGC.
“When they took the oxygen cylinder away, I knelt and pleaded with them to save my wife. I went to pick my phone from the car and showed them my account balance. I said expense was not the issue.
“So, when they said we needed to take her to Granville Hospital at VGC, they went to get the ambulance; when they came back, they said the driver was not around.
“I told them to give me the key so that I could drive it; they went inside and came back in a few minutes and said the driver went with the key. I now noticed that my wife was getting weak.
“I begged the doctor to follow us; at that time, they had started pressing her chest. So, when the doctor didn’t want to follow me, I said please give me the nurse, because the doctor said he couldn’t leave the hospital as he was the only one around.
“As I was about to leave, I saw a police van and told them that they said we should go to Granville Hospital; they followed me.
“When I got to Granville, I ran inside and started shouting, ‘Please help me, my wife has been shot.’
“Then, a female doctor came out; I thought that they would have taken her in, but she started checking her pulse and then said she had passed on.
“I was shattered; I couldn’t speak again. The police picked her and put her in their van, and I just looked at my wife’s lifeless body and I was like my wife is gone. It took me a while to put myself together because everything was over,” he added.
The deceased’s sister, Mrs Titilayo Enema, in her evidence, corroborated Gbenga’s statement.
She said she saw Vandi with a gun and when she heard the gunshot, she thought the defendant only hit the windscreen.
“I just heard my sister say, ‘Gbenga, bullet has entered my chest’; she repeated it the second time. Immediately, her neck just dropped, her tongue was out, then her eyes closed.
“I shouted, ‘Mummy Semilore!’ I ran out of the vehicle and held the police officer and said, ‘You just shot my sister now’. The defendant pointed his gun at me and said, ‘I will shoot you.’
“When I held him because of what he did, I was scared later until I saw two boys who came out and said I should hold him; I then became bold.
“Then I said, ‘Oga, it is either you shoot and kill me just the way you have done to my sister; I will not leave you’. I dragged him and said, ‘You will sit down near my sister that you just shot’.
“Then I saw my brother-in-law and thought he would join me, but he was rolling on the ground. I noticed that the defendant wanted to enter the patrol van; I dragged him down. He saw a mini-bus and wanted to enter, I also dragged him down.
“I went to Ajiwe Police Station and started shouting that I wanted to see the Divisional Police Officer, but they kept telling me that he was not around.”
During cross-examination, the witness insisted on seeing the defendant with the gun.
The case was adjourned till February 1 and 2 for continuation of trial.