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[COMMENTS AND ISSUES] Are Nigerias enthusiastic about retrieving Nigeria? - Andrew A. Erakhrumen
Primate Elijah Ayodele, the leader of INRI Evangelical Spiritual Church, has issued new warning for the three top contenders for president of Nigeria: Peter Obi, Atiku Abubakar, and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Primate Ayodele discussed the concerns they would be experiencing prior to the election and how they could overcome the difficulties in a press statement released by his media assistant, Osho Oluwatosin.
Primate Ayodele counseled Peter Obi that because the majority of young people will not be able to vote for him, he should focus more of his efforts in the north and educate his supporters about PVC collection.
He indicated that while some veteran politicians would back him, he would get into trouble if he became enamored with the crowd and forgot to make sure they received PVC.
“Peter Obi still needs to work well in the northern area, he should not be carried away by the crowd. He will gain the support of old politicians towards the election but some in the business world will work against him. Majority of the youths clamouring for him will not come out to vote, he should still work very well on those that have PVC and can vote for him. Let him sensitize them well on the PVC otherwise not all the youths following him will vote for him.’’
Abubakar Atiku, the PDP candidate, would have the backing of the northern elders but will also face scandals, according to Primate Ayodele.
‘’Atiku will still be rocked by blackmailing. He must do the final touches so he won’t be disappointed by people he trusts so much. The northern elders will support him for the election.’’
Primate Ayodele stated that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the APC candidate, will lead the cabals in the existing administration to split and that his ambition will be blocked in the state’s north, south-east, and south-south regions. But he advised him to put in lots of effort.
‘’The cabals will be divided because of Tinubu, there is still so much for him to do because his chances will be fought in the north, south east and south-south. He should still work very hard. Emirs will give him support.’’
Primate Ayodele further exhorted Nigerians to place the election in God’s hands because there might be a crisis following the declaration of the winner. He said that the country should pray for peace and that INEC’s credibility will be questioned.
‘’Let us commit the election in prayers, no one will want to believe in INEC, if anybody wins among these candidates there will still be problems. We need to take care and commit the election in God’s end so we can see peace.’’
President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday, in Daura approved the Central Bank of Nigeria’s request to extend the deadline for swapping of old naira notes with the redesigned notes from January 31, 2023, to February 10 2023.
Buhari also approved a seven-day grace period which runs from February 10 to February 17 2023, to allow Nigerians to deposit their old notes at the CBN after which the old notes cease to be Legal Tender.
The CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, disclosed these to State House correspondents shortly after he met the President in his country home in Daura, Katsina State, on Sunday.
He disclosed that 75 per cent of the N2.7tn held outside the banking system had been recovered.
The governor said, “We are happy that so far, the exercise has achieved a success rate of over 75 per cent of the N2.7tn held outside the banking system. Nigerians in the rural areas, villages, the aged and vulnerable have had the opportunity to swap their old notes; leveraging the Agent Naira Swap initiative as well as the CBN senior staff nationwide sensitisation team exercise.
“Aside from those holding illicit/stolen naira in their homes for speculative purposes, we do aim to give all Nigerians that have naira legitimately earned and trapped, the opportunity to deposit their legitimately trapped monies at the CBN for exchange.
“Based on the foregoing, we have sought and obtained Mr President’s approval for the following: 10-day extension of the deadline from January 31, 2023, to February 10, 2023; to legitimately held by Nigerians and achieve more success in cash swap in our rural communities after which all old notes outside the CBN losses their Legal tender Status.
“Our CBN staff currently on mass mobilisation and monitoring together with officials of the EFCC and ICPC will work together to achieve these objectives. A seven-day grace period, beginning on February 10 to February 17,2023, in compliance with Sections 20(3) and 22 of the CBN Act allowing Nigerians to deposit their old notes at the CBN after the February deadline when the old currency would have lost its Legal Tender status.
“We therefore appeal to all Nigerians to work with the Central Bank of Nigeria to ensure a hitch free the implementation of this very important process for program.”
Emefiele also vowed that Nigerians found selling, abusing or spraying the new naira notes at public functions will be “sanctioned” by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
He said with each note having a unique number, abused currencies can now be tracked to their users.
“For those involved in this, even if they are CBN staff members, they will be sanctioned. We will track them. Luckily, those new naira notes have trackers, we have their numbers because they have been issued.
“Once we see these numbers, we will track them and we will make public those that are involved in this business of selling new naira. Whereas, there are people who are suffering in the villages that need those new notes, we will deal with them.
“We have passed on a few videos to the EFCC and they are going to track these people. It’s not about the CBN tracking them. It’s about the EFCC or the ICPC and independent enforcement institutions to go after them,” he said.
In order to support the nation’s economic transition, the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Ilorin office in Kwara State gave people assurances on Saturday that no one would be denied access to the new naira notes.
The apex bank, however, said that it had given the state’s commercial banks enough brand-new naira notes to be issued to their ATM locations for use by state residents.
When the branch management began its monitoring activities at various banks in the state, they made this statement in Ilorin, the state capital, according to CBN branch controller Mr. Lamidi Najim.
UBA, Zenith, and Access were three of the banks being watched.
Najim, however, said that the CBN has put all measures on the ground that would assist the residents of the state to have access to the new banknotes.
“The newly redesigned naira notes were introduced by the CBN to control the amount of money in circulation, check counterfeiting, lower inflation rate and discourage ransom payment.
Ex-ANAN chief berates banks over new naira notes
“Apart from exchanging the new notes in banks, the apex bank says it has also made available cash swap to allow those in the rural communities swap their old currency for new ones,” Najim stated.
Meanwhile, the residents of the state have appealed for an extension of the policy so as to assist them to have access to the new naira notes.
Some of the residents who spoke with journalists over the weekend expressed concern over their plights at various banks and ATM points of getting the new notes.
Some of the banks limited withdrawal at ATM point to N10,000 while others who did cash swap in the banks were allowed to exchange up to N20,000 per person.
The residents said that it was not easy for them to get the new naira notes as the deadline is moving to an end.
No fewer than ten people have been reportedly killed when a luxury bus, popularly called Marco Polo bursts into flames after colliding with a truck in Ore, Ondo State.
According to SaharaReporters, a source said the luxury bus and truck collided on Sunday morning because one of the drivers engaged in wrong-way driving.
The source said, “Auto accident involving a truck and a Marco polo bus with the bus burning totally.
“Over 15 people reportedly died in a car crash between a Marco Polo bus and a trailer in a one-way drive (sic).”
Ondo Amotekun arrests four herdsmen who allegedly destroyed 30 hectares cassava farm
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The area is notorious for fatal accidents that have recorded hundreds of casualties in recent years.
Recall that four persons lost their lives in an auto crash along Ondo/Ore Road in the Odigbo council area of Ondo State on January 9, 2023.
Press Statement by Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, on Progress of Implementation of New Redesigned Currency by the Central Bank of NigeriaWritten by Admin
- Good afternoon, ladies and Gentlemen. As you can see, I've just ended a meeting with Mr. President. The purpose of the meeting is to provide Mr. President with updates about the implementation status of the CBN currency redesign program currently going on across the Federation.
- First, I'd like to continue to thank Mr. President for giving the CBN the approval to embark on this ambitious program because, as I had said in the past, the Central Bank of Nigeria hasn't had the opportunity to embark on such currency redesign program in last 19 years and indeed, let me emphasize that only An incorruptible leader of the President's stature can give such approval to the CBN.
- Ladies and Gentlemen, from the onset of this currency redesign program, we made it clear that for 19 years, the CBN hasn't been able to conduct this important aspect of its mandate, whereas this should normally have been done within a 5-8 years window.
- Our aim is mainly to make our Monetary Policy Decisions more efficacious and like you can see; we've started to see inflation trending downwards and exchange rates relatively stable. Secondly, we aim to support the efforts of our Security agencies in combating Banditry and Ransom taking in Nigeria through this program and we can see that the Military is making good progress in this important task in Nigeria.
- Ladies and Gentlemen, available data at the Central Bank of Nigeria have shown that in 2015, Currency -in-currency in circulation had risen to N3.23 trillion; out of which only N500 billion was within the Banking Industry and N2.7 trillion held permanently in people's homes. Ordinarily, when CBN releases currency into circulation, it is meant to be used and after the effluxion of Central Bank of Nigeria time, it returns to the CBN thereby keeping the volume of currency in circulation under the firm control of the CBN.
- So far and since the commencement of this program, we have collected about N1.9 trillion; leaving us with about N900 billion (N500b + N1.9trillion). To achieve effective distribution, of the new currency the CBN has taken the following steps :
- We held several meetings with our Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) arid provided them with Guidance Notes on processes they must adopt in the collection of old notes and distribution of the New Notes to all Nigerians. These include specific directives to DMBs to load new notes into their ATMs nationwide to ensure an equitable/transparent mechanism for the distribution of the new notes to all Nigerians.
- We commenced a nationwide sensitization through Print and electronic media to create awareness of the redesigned notes to Nigerians including collaboration with the National Orientation agency to reach all Nigerians across multiple channels.
- We deployed 30,000 Super Agents nationwide to assist in our Cash Swap initiative in the
Hinterlands, rural areas, and regions underserved by banks in the Country to ensure that the weak and vulnerable ones amongst us can swap/ exchange their old notes.
- We deployed all our staff, particularly the Assistant Directors, Deputy Directors and Directors in Abuja to proceed to all CBN branches Nationwide to join the mass mobilization campaign and monitoring programs, working with the Deposit Money Banks, agents and our Branch controllers across the 36 states of the Federation.
This is meant to ensure compliance with all our guidelines already issued for smooth
Implementation of the program. Although we have received some reports of breaches by some bank branches, we have agreed with the Executive Chairmen of the EFCC and ICPC to assist us, by sending their staff to all CBN and DMB branches Central Bank of Nigeria nationwide to join in monitoring the implementation of these guidelines. The aim is to ensure compliance with the laid down guidelines.
- We are happy that so far, the exercise has achieved a success rate of over 75 percent of the N2.7 trillion held outside the banking system. Nigerians in the rural areas, villages, the aged and vulnerable have had the opportunity to swap their old notes; leveraging the Agent Naira Swap initiative as well as the CBN Senior staff nationwide sensitization team exercise.
- Aside from those holding illicit/ stolen Naira in their homes for speculative purposes, we do aim to give all Nigerians that have Naira legitimately earned and trapped, the opportunity to deposit their legitimately trapped monies at the CBN for exchange.
- Based on the foregoing, we have sought and obtained Mr Presidents approval for the following:
- A 10-day extension of the deadline from January 31, 2023, to February 10, 2023; to allow for collection of more old notes Central Bank of Nigeria legitimately held by Nigerians and achieve more success in cash swap in our rural communities after which all old notes outside the CBN losses their Legal tender Status. Our CBN staff currently on mass mobilization and monitoring together with officials of the EFCC and ICPC will work together to achieve these objectives.
- A 7-day grace period, beginning on February10 to February 17,2023, in compliance with Sections 20(3) and 22 of the CBN Act allowing Nigerians to deposit their old notes at the CBN after the February deadline when the old currency would have lost its Legal Tender status.
We therefore appeal to all Nigerians to work with the Central Bank of Nigeria to ensure a hitch free process for the implementation of this very important program.
Central Bank Of Nigeria
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Friday, adjourned the hearing on the suit filed by the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) seeking a referendum to determine the fate of Biafra and other self-determination agitations to March 30, 2023.
It would be recalled that the CNG, in June 2021, dragged the National Assembly and the Attorney-General of the Federation to court, asking it to compel the defendants to halt the ongoing constitutional review exercise and in its place, conduct a referendum to ascertain “what determines Nigeria and who populates it.”
The case was adjourned after the court presided over by Justice Inyang Ekwo could not sit as scheduled.
Counsel to CNG, Sufiyanu Gambo Idris, said: “The case is slated for March 30, 2023, even though they informed us, right from the time, that the court is not going to seat, but as we are not informed of any day, I decided to come down to ensure that I take the date. But, even before I arrived, the date was already slated”.
In his remarks, the counsel to the Ibom Nation People Movement, Adesina Oke, said: “We are here, having realised there is a suit, which has to do with the issue of self-determination. We felt the best thing to do is to ensure we join in the suit for determination of what we have been asking for.
“The Ibom people have been there for many years and is one of the ethnic groups that has such a history. It is important that they can see that the court can determine whether that self-determination is something that could be granted to us or not.
“The application is before the court and the court is here to determine the joining of the Ibom People’s Movement in the suite that is at present constituted. But, we are hoping that by the time we are being added, just like any other application from other ethnic nationality, we are going to have a bite of the cherry for this issue that is pending before the court.
“A lot of ethical nationalities are also asking for a referendum to seek self-determination and have unhindered access to their resources.
“You can always imagine that a lot of resources are within the confines of Ibom, Akwa Ibom people of over nine million, but a few of them are integrated into the Nigerian system.
Also speaking, the Coordinator, Akwa Ibom Human Rights Community, Clifford Effiong Thomas, said Nigeria has embedded in her all the resources required to function effectively as a people.
He lamented the current structure of Nigeria, adding that what the nation needed was “true federalism and a central government on the basis of the country’s comparative advantage.”
He said: “As a member of Ibom nation, I want to say very clearly that Ibom nation is not just confined to Akwa Ibom, but we have spread to Rivers and elsewhere.
“We are not quarrelling with Nigeria as an entity, but as a nation and ethnic nationality we are saying that the laws, should give us the right to live independently. We have the right to negotiate with our neighbours to say we are interested in living together as a country.”
However, another member of Ibom Nation People’s Movement, Edemma Udoh, said: “The right of self-determination is not something that we should beg for because it is something that Nigeria is a signatory to, if you look around what is happening in Nigeria, every election in the country is about ethnicity and religion.”
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele on Saturday insisted that the January 31st 2023 deadline for the exchange of old Naira notes for new notes still stands.
The apex bank in a post on its Twitter account revealed that the timeline given for mopping up old naira notes of N1, 000, N500 and N200 will not be shifted.
However, there are reports that some powerful Nigerians have mounted pressure on the Federal Government to compel CBN to extend the January 31st deadline to allow Nigerians to exchange their old notes.
A source that spoke with The Nation said Emirs, religious leaders and several others have reached out to the federal government on the issue.
The source said, “Powerful and influential Nigerians have mounted pressure on the government to compel the CBN to extend the January 31 deadline for the old naira notes to cease to be a legal tender.
“Among those who have made their positions known to the government and called for an extension of the deadline are top Emirs, royal fathers, spiritual leaders and elder statesmen.
“Their concern is the serious consequences the CBN stance will have on the economy and the attendant loss of goodwill by the government.
“Some of them were worried that there was anxiety over the scarcity of the new notes which may lead to protests and strikes against the government.
“They said as of Friday, many banks were still dispensing the old notes. To complicate matters, many traders and departmental stores were rejecting the old notes.”
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has insisted that the deadline for the old naira notes to remain valid is January 31.
The CBN said this in posts on its social media pages on Saturday.
“Deadline for the return of old series of 200, 500 and 1000 naira notes remains January 31 2023,” the post reads.
The post was accompanied by a video of Godwin Emefiele, governor of the CBN, in which he said there are no plans to shift the deadline.
The video was from a media briefing held on January 24, after the bank’s monetary policy committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja.
“I must say here that unfortunately, I don’t have good news for those who feel that we should shift the deadline,” Emefiele had said.
“My apologies. The reason is because just as the president has said on more than two occasions, and even to people privately, that for us, 90 days — in fact, we feel it’s 100 days — is enough for anybody who has the old currency to deposit the money in the banks.
“And we took every measure to ensure that all the banks were open or remain still open to receive all old currencies; 100 days, we believe is more than adequate.
“We called on the banks and said ‘not only are we requesting you to increase your banking hours so you can receive old currency, but we are also asking you to keep your doors open on Saturdays.
“The banks did not have any reason to even keep their banking halls open on Saturdays, neither did they see the kind of rush that they anticipated. There were normal people who came to deposit money into the banks.
“We do not see any reason to begin to talk about a shift because people could not deposit their old monies into their banks.”
Meanwhile, individuals and groups have called on the CBN to extend the deadline over the unavailability of the new naira notes.
But in a statement earlier on Saturday, President Muhammadu Buhari had said the government is aware of reports of long queues at banks, adding that “a number of initiatives by the Central Bank and all commercial banks are underway to speed up distribution of the new notes and do all that is necessary to forestall cash squeeze and chaos”.
Osun Election Petition Tribunal has said that the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate in the July 16 governorship election, Adegboyega Oyetola, were able to prove a case of forgery against Governor Ademola Adeleke.
The tribunal, however, held that the forgery case was not enough to disqualify him from contesting the election, adding that the PDP candidate had acquired additional qualifications.
Delivering the majority judgement, the tribunal, led by Justice Tertsea Kume, noted that the petitioners were able to prove a forgery case against Adeleke as EC9, which is the affidavit in support of personal particulars about the governor told “a lie about itself.”
Interestingly, the only member of the tribunal, Justice B.A. Ogbuli, who gave a dissenting ruling on the judgement, aligned with the position of the majority judgement on the issue of disqualification.
The tribunal held: “Respondent through Mrs Joan Arabs produced FILE D which was tendered in evidence. The said exhibit FILE D is in respect of the election conducted by the 1st respondent in 2018.
“Exhibit EC9, as earlier indicated, is the affidavit in support of the personal particulars of the 2nd respondent which he presented to the 1st respondent for the election of the 16th of July, 2022.
“On page two of exhibit EC9, the 2nd respondent (Adeleke), in his handwriting, wrote under (1) School Attended (Educational qualification with dates: Thus: 2. Secondary Ede Muslim Grammar School, Eede – attended 1976 – 1981, Penn Foster High School Diploma -2021
“3. Higher Atlanta Metropolitan State College – BSC Criminal Justice 2021.
“On page 4, of exhibit EC9, there is a letter of attestation from Ede Muslim High School dated 22nd of May, 2016.
“Learned counsel for the petitioners, as earlier stated, referred to the different names in the schools reproduced above and the evidence admitted by RW2 under cross-examination, that Osun State was created in 1991, and as such, any evidence that a qualifying certificate or document stating that it was from Osun State in 1981 is a forgery”.
Meanwhile, the PDP, yesterday, alleged that the tribunal judgement that sacked Governor Ademola Adeleke was way billed by the APC.
Addressing journalists in Osogbo, the party leadership, led by the State Caretaker Chairman, Dr Adekunle Akindele, said the judge abandoned legal arguments and submissions to dwell on the trivial as the foundation for his pronouncement.
Citing many examples of bias and personal hatred for Adeleke by the Tribunal Chairman, the party accused the Benue-born judge of serving as the mouthpiece of the petitioners during the hearing and of personal attacks on the governor in the ruling, citing the reference to Buga dance in the judgement.
“Even if the judgement was way billed to him as we suspected by his petitioner collaborators, he should have disguised and exercised some restraints by expunging the foul languages obviously written for him in local parlance of Buga lyrics to disrespect an elected governor. He shouldn’t have gone so low, low, low!,” Akindele said.
“This is more so, when he’s expected not to be too carried away or in the least, to be aware that his warped position was a mere starting point in the legal tussle in this context as provided in our extant laws.
“For us as a party, we understand the desperation of those behind the jankara judgement. We understand the trap they tried to set against the BVAS innovation in our electoral system. We understand the desperation goes beyond the Osun election or Governor Ademola Jackson Nurudeen Adeleke.
“The evil plot is ultimately against the coming general election where in their usual fraudulent habit, millions of voter cards have either been cloned, registered with ghost names and are being made ready to be deployed especially for the presidential election, in which they could smell their total rejection far ahead of time.”
The Lagos State Chapter of the All Progressive Congress has said that the absence of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo in Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s will not have any effect on the party.
It said the party was not structured around individuals, adding that victory would be delivered for the party at the 2023 poll even without his participation in the party’s campaign.
Sunday PUNCH had earlier reported that some members of the party, including the VP had been aloof with the campaign activities of their party since they lost to Tinubu at the Presidential Primaries.
Although the APC Presidential Campaign Council spokesman, Festus Keyamo, had said the Vice President was acting on the directive of the President to concentrate on governance, there are concerns that the VP would have been active in the campaign if he had emerged as the APC presidential candidate.
Speaking in an interview with our correspondent, the APC spokesperson in Lagos State, Seyi Oladejo, said the absence of the VP would not affect Tinubu’s victory at the poll.
“We are not bothered; we have an enduring structure to deliver for the election. Remember we have never lost the state since the advent of this democracy and everything points to our victory,” he said.
The Independent National Electoral Commission has extended the collection of the Permanent Voter Cards by one week.
This was disclosed by the National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, on Saturday.
This is the second time the commission is extending the collection of PVCs due to the progress recorded so far.
The statement read, “The commission met today, Saturday, January 28, 2023, a day after its meeting with the Resident Electoral Commissioners from the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, and deliberated on a number of issues, including the reports from RECs on the ongoing collection of Permanent Voters Cards in its 774 local government offices nationwide.
“Having reviewed reports from all the states of the federation, the commission is encouraged by the progress made so far as more Nigerians troop out daily to collect their PVCs.
“Arising from reports from the various states and discussions with Resident Electoral Commissioners, the commission has decided to further extend PVC collection in all its local government offices nationwide by an additional one week.
“The ongoing collection of PVCs nationwide will therefore continue and end on February 5, 2023. This is the second time the commission is extending PVC collection nationwide and this will be the last extension of the exercise. Collection period has further been extended by an additional two hours and will start at 9am and end at 5pm daily including Saturdays and Sundays.
“Those that engaged in double and multiple registrations should not bother visiting any of the commission’s offices as the commission did not print their PVCs.”
After months of uncertainty over what the Dr. Iyorchia Ayu-led National Working Committee intends to do with recalcitrant party members aligned with Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and four of his colleagues, the party may have decided to begin a crackdown.
Wike and his G5 colleagues-Samuel Ortom (Benue), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu) – have had a running battle with the party leadership since the party’s presidential primary which saw Alhaji Atiku Abubakar defeating Wike, among others, to emerge as the standard bearer.
Sunday Vanguard reports that over the course of the last one week, the party leadership has dissolved the entire Ekiti State Chapter executive and suspended several party loyalists in Ekiti, Enugu, Imo and Ebonyi who are known acolytes of the G5.
The leadership of the Ekiti Chapter of the party, which was hitherto populated by loyalists of former Governor Ayo Fayose (an associate of the G5 governors), was sent packing penultimate Friday.
Exactly seven days later, the PDP NWC suspended the Ebonyi State Chairman of the party, Okorie Tochukwu Okoroafor, for alleged anti-party activities.
Party insiders, who spoke to Sunday Vanguard on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, revealed that Governor Okezie Ikpeazu could be on the “firing line” within the next two weeks.
One of the sources said, “It is unfortunate that we lost our candidate in Abia State, Prof. Uche Ikonne, who, until his death, was the handpicked successor of Ikpeazu.
“Now, Governor Ikpeazu invited Governor Wike to perform the function of handing over the party flag to Ikonne, a function which ordinarily was reserved for the National Chairman or a party official he assigns to perform such a function on his behalf.
“There will be a governorship primary and it is only the National Chairman and Secretary that can write INEC, it is the Ayu-led NWC that has the constitutional responsibility to conduct this primary.
“Ikpeazu will be fighting the political battle of his life to handpick another successor because there are many interests within and outside Abia now at play.
“The party leadership bent over backwards to accommodate his interests, and gave him all the support but what did we get in return?
“Like it or not, the party leadership and our presidential candidate and his team will be interested in who becomes the candidate because the party’s overall interest is at stake. The next couple of weeks will be interesting.”
With her appearances at the ObiDatti movement campaigns marked by trendy dance moves and crowd-moving eloquence, no one needs to be told that Aisha Yesufu means business in her quest for good governance.
As a civil rights activist, Yesufu’s support for any government, according to her, is usually based on competence with good governance as the end result. This explains her involvement in the ObiDatti campaign train. Her choice of candidate she noted, is based on the fact that she wants someone in “office who will not allow those that will use tear gas on us when we go out to protest”.
And so, for her, of all the presidential candidates contesting in this year election, “Peter Obi is the most competent of all the other ones”, she said, stressing that if Obi wasn’t, “I’ll definitely not be in his camp.”
During a time out with Charles Aniagolu on Arise TV’s Prime Time show, during the week, Yesufu declared that her focus wasn’t even about whether the person is going to win, “It’s about the most competent.
I would do whatever Nigeria needs to get out of the situation it is right now. It’s like every other thing I’ve always done. For me it’s all about what you are bringing in; you know your value. The biggest job I do very well on Peter Obi’s campaign is the fact that I criticise him and I check what he does. I’m sure that Nigerians have noticed in the past few months he has really come up. He is always learning and ready to learn and always willing to be criticised. So that’s the reason why we work so well together and we’re still working together”.
Surprisingly, she revealed that they sort of irritate each other sometimes adding however that “that’s the way it should be. I’m not there to do your excellency thing. You need to just get the work done, and that’s what I’m doing. The moment he gets into office by the grace of God, I’m on the streets making demands on him every day and if he doesn’t give us the things we need, we’ll be on the streets protesting”.
Asked whether her being in the campaign train of Peter Obi will give him votes, she said, “I hope so, and I believe so. I’ve seen a lot of people who say to me that wherever you are we’ll go. That gives them confidence but puts a lot of pressure on me. But I think I do bring a lot of value to it. Beyond that, Peter Obi is such an easy sell, honestly. It’s not really about even bringing anybody, it’s just about the fact that he is good. He is competent, he cares, he is passionate about Nigeria, he is patriotic, and he wants to serve. And those are the qualities that make him competent.”
She however pointed out that it is not possible for every Nigerian to believe Obi is competent, stressing that “the good thing is that many more Nigerians believe he is. I would say in my own opinion, 80-90% of Nigerians believe that. When it comes to issues of competence, character, capacity, there’s no contest; Peter Obi has it”.
For the “Bring Back Our Girls” campaigner, the number one campaigner for Peter Obi is President Buhari. According to her, Buhari “has given Nigeria so much bad governance that people have gotten sense. So, they know it is no longer about, ‘is he a northerner, or Muslim? But people are looking for one who is competent. We’ve had the corruption, the insecurity that has increased over time under Buhari which have ensured that people no longer look the way they would have four years ago but now focused on who would come in and make their life better.
“The beauty about the ObiDatti movement is that a lot of people who are in other parties especially the so called two major parties, who say they are PDP or APC, when it comes to presidential candidate, they’re going with Peter Obi”.
Presently, Aisha Yesufu has been accused by people in the opposition camps of abandoning her activism and suddenly engaging in partisan politics but she explained that she has always been into partisan politics and so didn’t start with peter Obi. “I’ve always been into partisan politics right from 2015. I supported Muhammadu Buhari in February 2015 and a lot of people in his camp were happy. But that didn’t stop me from holding him accountable and criticising him and saying the fact that we had an issue, we had a government at that time that was failing: unprecedented failure. “Unfortunately for us, we brought in someone that we thought at least would do better but ended up worse.
They are actually making the last administration (President Jonathan’s) to look as if it was good; even though it’s better than this one, it was never good at that time. It’s also the reason we are saying to Nigerians today that if they vote anyhow, it will get to a time when people would actually say Buhari’s tenure was actually good. I voted for Buhari reluctantly because I knew the two candidates, I didn’t know the other participants during the 2015 election”.
In 2019 she recalled, “I was on the campaign train of Dr Oby Ezekwesili. That’s why I’m surprised that you people are talking as if this the first time I’m into partisan politics”.
On whether her activism is only inclined towards politics, Yesufu said “I don’t have a career in activism. I’ve never been paid a dime in activism even my own NGO is self-funded. I’ve never called myself an activist and I don’t still see myself as an activist. I’m a trader and I build houses and I sell houses…so I’m an active citizen; one who got tired of just sitting down and watching the country being run by all sorts of charlatans. And we got to a place where we couldn’t even recognize our country anymore and I decided to no longer be a passive citizen.
“Just to let people know, on my 40th birthday, I realised that I was also a problem of Nigeria; my silence was a problem and I decided I would no longer be silent. I said if God gives me another 40 years, I will devote it to Nigeria and we’re on the ninth year.
“What is happening in Nigeria today is phenomenal. For the first time Nigerian youths are saying they want to be in charge. I’m so proud of what they are doing”.
Regarding the level of acceptance the ObiDatti candidacy has received from the north, she said Obi’s running mate, Sen. Yusuf Ahmed Datti has been doing a great job though not very vocal about it. She further disclosed that some Islamic groups endorsed Peter Obi during the week.
”We’ve reached a place where people have realised that this is not about religion but competence,” she intoned.
Reacting to the allegations of drug dealing, money laundering and corruption that the APC and PDP are levelling against each other’s presidential candidates, Yesufu said “they are saying the fact about each other, and I think Nigerians should listen to them, believe them and don’t make excuses for them”, emphasising that this is not time for us to be led by such characters.
”For us at the campaign, we focus on the issues; the insecurity, out-of-school children, economy, unemployment etc.
”There are so many issues and we don’t want to be carried away. Nigerians must never forget that where we are now is as a result of bad governance both from PDP and APC. And now, APC has thrown the country to where it is now.
”We have the ruling party giving us someone that Buhari is more mentally and physically fit than. That’s the insult of the highest order and Nigerians shouldn’t take that lightly. We also have APC giving us what they want to give us. Its time for us to know that this is within our power, we have the power in this country and we must be the deciders of who gets elected, not parties
An Ugandan court had ordered a woman to pay back a total of 9.4 million shillings ($2,550; £2,060) to her ex-fiancé for failing to marry him after four years of marital relationship.
Magistrate Asanasio Mukobi of the court in Kanungu gave the verdict on Thursday saying the woman, Fortunate Kyarikunda broke her promise to Richard Tumwine.
Read also: Court dissolves 10-year-old marriage over childlessness
Mukobi said the amount was what Tumwine paid for Kyarikunda’s law studies and legal fees as financial damages for causing him psychological anguish, BBC said.
Kyarikunda had said her parents did not give consent to the marriage because Tumwine was older than her.
Ruling, the court said it was “unreasonable, a misrepresentation and a fraud” for the defendant to argue that her parents told her not to marry an older man.
The magistrate said she “had all the opportunity to reject the plaintiff’s love requests at the earliest point possible and avoid interfering with his financial obligations.”
Reports, however, said it was not certain if Kyarikunda will appeal against the judgment as verdict was flawed because an engagement, unlike a marriage, should not be legally binding.