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The leadership of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) has said that denying the party its mandate in Kano state would lead to a crisis that would extend beyond Nigeria to other African countries.
The National Auditor of the NNPP, Ladipo Johnson, read a statement signed by the acting National Chairman of the party, Abba Kawu Ali, at the offices of the Economic Community of West African Commission (ECOWAS), European Union, American Embassy and British High Commission, on Wednesday to protest the verdicts of the Kano governorship election at the Tribunal and Appeal Court, said there are clandestine moves to truncate the will of the vast majority of the people of Kano State with respect to the Governor they elected on March 18, Abba Kabir Yusuf.
He said the atmosphere in Kano was already charged as the people already feel cheated by the 2019 general elections.
He said the party was not taking the developments with the certified true copy of the Appeal Court judgment lightly “and will do anything within the ambit of the law to take what the entire world knows is ours.
“While the NNPP has proceeded to the Supreme Court to seek redress, we are concerned with the peace and stability of Kano State in particular and Northern Nigeria, in general. We, therefore, urge the Supreme Court to embrace substantial justice by restoring the mandate of the people of Kano State and His Excellency, Abba Kabir Yusif.
“As we head towards this next level of adjudication, which of course is the final, there is palpable tension in Kano. The city’s atmosphere is enveloped in anger, with a sense of shock and agony pervading every discussion on the streets, offices and homes. To say that there is a combustible mix of provocation and betrayal welling up in the minds of the citizens of Kano is an understatement. The people are bitter, enraged, exasperated and fuming with fury. The security situation today in Kano State has become unprecedented,” he said.
“We hasten to put it on record this moment for global leaders that this is an ill-advised move which consequences will reverberate not only in Nigeria, but also in Africa and the whole world. The deliberate hijack of a people’s mandate in Kano will no doubt have consequences politically, economically, and socially especially in light of its humanitarian repercussions.”
The party also called on concerned stakeholders including but not limited to the Vice President, Kashim Shettima, Northern Governors Forum, Northern Senators Forum, Northern House of Representatives Forum, Northern Conference of Speakers, Northern Elders Forum, Northern Christian Association, and the Council of Ulamas from the 19 Northern States, to also draw the attention of the President and the Supreme Court to ensure substantial justice is delivered to NNPP and the Kano people.
Adekunle Gold has faced a barrage of criticism for his involvement in the soundtrack of Hollywood’s film, The Book of Clarence. The movie, directed by Jeymes Samuel and produced by Jay Z, will feature new music from Adekunle Gold, alongside other international artists. Despite sharing the news on his Instagram page, the announcement sparked backlash from netizens who labeled the project as blasphemous.
The criticism targeted Adekunle Gold for his role in the film, with some users expressing their disapproval of using a black man as Jesus in the movie’s portrayal. The backlash also extended to other celebrities such as Pretty Mike and Toyin Lawani, who had previously faced heavy criticism from the Christian community for their actions.
It seems that these recent controversies have reignited a sensitive issue, with some feeling that Christianity is being misrepresented and disrespected in the public eye. Time will tell whether these sentiments will have a lasting impact on the artists involved and their work.
On Wednesday, robbers killed the Director of Finance attached to the Ogun State Governor’s Office, Mr Taiwo Oyekanmi, while he was on official duty.
The deceased was said to have left a commercial bank located along the Omida-Ibara axis of Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, where he had gone to pick up some undisclosed cash on behalf of the state government.
The Nigerian Tribune learned that the robbers blocked the homemade bullion van in which the deceased and the driver were riding into the office on the Kuto flyover, shot at Oyekanmi, broke the door of the van with a sledgehammer, and went away with the money.
The gunmen said to be in the hood successfully carted away the money without any form of resistance from any quarters.
Oyekanmi was reported to have been rushed to the General Hospital, Ijaye, for medical attention, but lost the battle for survival.
It was gathered that the Secretary to the Ogun State Government, Tokunbo Talabi, paid a condolence visit to the family of the deceased.
When contacted, the State Police Commissioner of Police, CP Abiodun Alamatu, confirmed the incident.
The CP said the police escort attached to the deceased, it was learned, was not on duty, having taken permission to be absent from duty on the fateful day.
Alamutu said, “This afternoon, the accountant, the director of finance, the driver, and one other person left for Fidelity Bank to make some withdrawals; they went with a homemade bullion van.
“They were supposed to have a police escort, but for certain reasons, the person was permitted to travel to attend to some issues, so consequently, he was not part of the movement today.
“According to the story, after making the withdrawal and on their way to the bank, they were arrested.
“A vehicle blocked them on top of the bridge; five occupants of the vehicle came down, shot at the director, and from their vehicle brought out a sledgehammer to force the receptacle where the money was kept open, and they left with the money.
“As at that time, there was no information, the police escort was not with the team, and they sped off.
“The driver claimed to have trailed them to a point along the conference hotel where he lost contact with them.
“The director that was shot was thereafter taken to Ijaye Hospital, where he eventually gave up the ghost.
“For our investigation, I have directed the area commander to get to the bank and request the CCTV footage, which will give us insight into the vehicle in question and the possibility of identifying the culprits if they ever ventured to step out of the vehicle or maybe they just maintained their position in the vehicle.
“I have reached out to Lagos and everywhere in the command to block all the exits out of the state while we are trying to identify them because they said they were five and they used hoods.”
An operation by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Ogun Area one Command, has resulted in the interception of 975 rounds of red star live cartridges concealed within bags of foreign parboiled rice.
During a press briefing at the Command’s headquarters at Idiroko on Wednesday, the Acting Customs Area Controller, Ahmadu Shuaibu, revealed the development.
Shuaibu explained that the ammunition was discovered as part of a professional and intelligence-based operation aimed at uncovering the methods used by unscrupulous individuals to smuggle live ammunition through the Imeko axis of the State.
The Controller emphasized the Command’s determination to track down the culprits and ensure they face justice for their actions.
He recounted, “The suspicious nature of the sacks containing the rice, due to unusual threading and sewing, prompted our operatives to conduct a thorough examination at the Border station. This led to the discovery of approximately 975 rounds of red star live cartridges ingeniously concealed within the bags.”
“We are intensifying our efforts to apprehend those behind this illicit act and hold them accountable. We are fully aware of the grave threat posed by arms and ammunition trafficking, which endangers lives. Our commitment to combatting smuggling activities remains unwavering,” he added.
The Acting Area Controller expressed his satisfaction over his team’s successful prevention of “the malevolent intentions of those seeking to smuggle live ammunition into the country.”
He stressed, “Addressing this issue requires united and cooperative efforts from law-abiding citizens. Proactive intelligence plays a crucial role in this aspect. The cross-border nature of arms and ammunition smuggling exploits our society’s vulnerabilities.”
“Unchecked smuggling of arms and ammunition carries severe consequences, fueling the strength of criminal organizations, exacerbating crises, and posing a threat to national security,” he warned.
The late Shehu Othman, a former commissioner in the old Benue State, has passed away at the age of 91, as reported by his family. The family conveyed the news of his death, stating that the late statesman would be laid to rest on the same day after the Zuhur prayer at the National Mosque in Abuja.
The official family statement reads, “Inna lillahi wa ina ilaihir taki in. With a heavy heart, but in total submission to the will of Allah, the family of Alhaji Shehu Othman wishes to announce his demise today, 29th November 2023, aged 91, at the Trust Charitos Hospital in Jabi, Abuja, after a brief illness. May Allah rest and forgive the soul of the departed, and grant him Aljannah Firdaus, amen.”
The Janaza prayer, a funeral prayer in Islam, was scheduled to take place after the Zuhur prayer at 1:30 pm at the National Mosque in Abuja, followed by the burial ceremony at the Gudu Cemetery.
Alhaji Shehu Othman, who held the prestigious title of Magajin Garin Keana until his passing, was born on June 26, 1932, and served in various cabinet portfolios and held several Federal board appointments throughout his career.
Nigerian music sensation, Divine Ikubor, famously known as Rema, continues to make waves in the music industry as his hit track “Calm Down” secures the prestigious title of the most shazammed song of 2023 on a global scale, marking a historic achievement for African music.
Calm Down creates history by becoming the first African song to claim the top spot on the Global Shazam Year-End list, surpassing renowned tracks like Miley Cyrus’ Flowers and Lady Gaga’s Bloody Mary, which landed in second and third positions respectively.
Moreover, the remix version of Calm Down, featuring Selena Gomez has also soared in popularity, securing the 12th spot on the list of the most streamed songs worldwide on Apple Music for the year 2023. This remix’s international success speaks volumes about Rema’s growing global influence and appeal.
While the remix gained immense traction globally, the original Calm Down holds its ground in the United States, ranking as the 45th most-streamed song of 2023 on Apple Music. This dual success on both the global and U.S. charts signifies Rema’s ability to captivate diverse audiences across borders.
Adding to his remarkable achievements, Rema makes a significant mark on the 2023 Billboard Year-End Charts, securing an impressive 34 appearances. His consistent presence across various categories including artistes’ year-end charts, airplay, albums, and song chart entries reaffirms his position as a chart-topping force in the music industry.
Rema’s astounding success not only marks a personal milestone but also signals the rising prominence of African artists on the global music scene, setting new standards and breaking barriers with his captivating sounds and infectious melodies.
• Tinubu, others head to Dubai as stakeholders demand results
Nigeria and other African countries, especially those with fossil fuel-backed economies trooping to the United Arab Emirates for the 28th Conference of Parties may need to present a united front that would address the gaps in the global push for net-zero amidst rising geopolitical tension and an unjust transition to clean energy.
While Nigeria and other African countries are set to lose over 6.7 trillion hydrocarbon deposits to climate change, Africa accounts for 70 per cent of the global reserves of platinum, 52 per cent of cobalt and 48 per cent of manganese but the refining and the jobs in the renewable energy sector are controlled by Europe, America and Asia even as only two per cent of the current $3 trillion of global investments in renewable energy in the past two decades come to Nigeria and the rest of Africa.
Besides, top on the agenda at the 13-day summit is fossil fuels and carbon emissions. International funding to help countries adapt to climate change will also be debated as developing countries have been demanding more funding from the industrialised nations.
Many low- and middle-income developing nations in Africa are negotiating for possibilities to increase their output of fossil fuels in order to industrialize, with the goal of reinvesting the proceeds in renewable energy sources.
According to the argument, African nations should be given the opportunity to accelerate their own development and supply energy to the millions of people who lack it on the continent by using the same fuels—especially gas, which some believe to be less polluting—just as developed nations did by burning fossil fuels to build factories and generate wealth for future generations.
With President Bola Tinubu, almost half of his cabinet members, including the ministers in charge of petroleum and power, key government officials and other major players across sectors in Nigeria already in UAE as climate induced challenges undermine Nigeria’s economy, stakeholders yesterday insisted that unless Nigeria and other African countries present a compelling argument, prevailing challenges may persist.
The 28th Conference of Parties (COP28) is expected to open with Heads of State or Government, UN diplomats and politicians alike calling for more action – and ambition – to set out new commitments for curbing greenhouse emissions and adapting to the impacts of a warming planet.
An ambitious loss and damages fund agreed last year to support poorer nations to help manage the negative effects of climate change is yet to become a reality that helps deliver climate justice. World leaders agreed to the fund after COP27 last year, but they have failed to reach consensus on the modalities.
Over a century of fossil fuels burning and unsustainable energy and land use has already led to a global warming of 1.1°C above pre-industrial levels. Every increment of warming is likely to exacerbate the intensity and frequency of extreme weather events such as heat waves, flooding, storms and irreversible climate changes.
Energy economist at the University of Ibadan, Prof. Adeola Adenikinju said development, employment, poverty reduction, and human capital development, as well as the use of domestic energy resources endowment in a transitional mode towards net zero emissions are more critical for Nigeria and should remain a major focus for the continent.
“It is true that Africa can not ignore the global consensus on energy transition, as well as the manifest effect of climate change across the continent, yet it must remind the world that she is suffering the consequences of the development path of the advanced economies,” Adenikinju said.
According to him, Nigeria must be supported in its energy transition pathway, as well as allow a longer time to achieve the net zero emissions economy.
Rising heatwaves, projected to maintain worsening temperatures, flooding, drought and rising sea level are already threatening homes and pushing many into poverty in Nigeria even as Nigeria is expected to record about $460 billion loss yearly to climate change by 2050.
Senior Officer at the Natural Resources Governance Institute, Tengi George-Okoli noted Nigeria should present to the world a bankable climate change plan that can attract necessary funding.
Her suggestion also includes the need for sub-national government, especially within the oil region to present a pathway that can threaten them against the looming challenges from climate change.
George-Okoli said while the environmental issue in the region has been existing, climate change creates urgency in dealing with the issue.
She also advised the states to devise stronger economic measures as declining revenue from fossil fuel sources may drastically affect the states.
Nigeria had pledged an unconditional contribution of 20 per cent below business-as-usual by 2030 and a 47 per cent contribution conditional on international support to its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), which are the core of the Paris Agreement.
Finance and energy expert, Ademola Adigun said Nigeria must use the 28th COP to get the best deal based on the country’s resources and national determined contributions.
Adigun said Africa must ensure they have a voice at the conference and must obtain funding for transition.
Executive Director of Green Growth Africa, Dr. Adedoyin Adeleke said the effort to decarbonize the global economy is changing skill-industry relevance, hence, sectors and industries that have hitherto been the main drivers of the global economy are losing relevance.
According to him, the most important for Nigeria, Africa and developing countries in general is to leverage industries that have not been prominent but are now gaining accelerated prominence.
“Nigeria and other developing nations need to advocate delivery of the $500 billion yearly concessional finance, address the financial divide, global carbon taxation, and a new financing architecture responsive to Africa’s needs.
“Such funds should be invested in climate action initiatives that also increase social and economic capital as part of the transition to green growth,” Adedoyin said.
He disclosed that growing green and not just going green, Nigeria and other African countries should negotiate for climate action that meets the development needs of the country and the Africa region.
According to him, decarbonising the global economy is an opportunity for social equity and prosperity for all, and especially Africa, adding that Nigeria must insist on the implementation of the urgent call from the Nairobi Declaration.
“Moreover, Nigeria and Africa should advocate for global cooperation to jointly and simultaneously address climate and nature crises. In the past decade, oceans, plants, animals, and soil, mitigating global warming, absorbed 54 per cent of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. Thus, safeguarding ecosystems, like wetlands and coral reefs, is crucial. Conserving 30-50 per cent of Earth’s land, freshwater, and oceans is vital for biodiversity,” Adeleke said.
Energy scholar, Prof. Wunmi Iledare said as oil and gas producing countries, advancing petroleum, as an important component of global energy supply security remained a good strategy that must be pursued at the conference without denying climate change phenomenon.
“Advances in technology to cut emissions without reducing energy supply is doable and it is ongoing in the oil and gas industry.
“Carbon capture technology development is taking shape, investment in renewables are also in progress, energy evolution is usually more dynamic than static,” he noted.
Iledare said the conference must echo the fact that renewable energy technology sustainability is still stochastic and evolving and defunding petroleum development prematurely may create economic insecurity and energy in very many sovereign states.
According to him, there’re lessons to learn from Covid-19 and its consequences worldwide, adding that the mantra for a just energy transition strategy portrays no homogeneous target date for nor speed to net-zero emissions across the global regions.
UN Secretary General António Guterres, who has issued warnings on different fora, noted: “Humanity has opened the gates of hell. Horrendous heat is having a horrendous effect. Almost half of the world’s population lives in regions highly vulnerable to climate change.
“Specifically, COP28 is expected to be a turning point, where countries not only agree on stronger climate actions, but how to deliver them. It will also be measuring the progress towards achieving the Paris goals on mitigation, adaptation and climate finance and adapting existing plans is a key part of the puzzle, and this is why COP28 assumes more significance.”
Regrettably, the Catholic pontiff would not attend the event.
Vatican spokesperson Matteo Bruni, in a statement, said: “Although the Holy Father’s general clinical picture has improved with regard to his flu-like condition and inflammation of the respiratory tract, doctors have asked the Pope not to make the trip planned for the coming days to Dubai.
“Pope Francis accepted the doctors’ request with great regret and the trip was therefore cancelled.”
Nigeria is to advocate increased financial and technical support for developing nations, while reminding developed countries of their pledge to provide $100 billion yearly support to localise initiatives to address climate change-related challenges.
The delegation, led by President Bola Tinubu, would also establish newer and deeper partnerships to implement the country’s energy transition, Article 6 projects, Internationally Transferred Mitigation Outcomes (ITMOs), technology transfer, capacity building and methane mitigation.
Besides, President, African Development Bank Group, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, who spoke on Tuesday at The Guardian 40th anniversary lecture in Lagos, said the lender had launched a $25 billion African Adaptation Acceleration Programme to deliver greater financing for climate adaptation on the continent and amplify its voice and needs.
It had also insured 15 nations against extreme weather patterns through a $1 billion Africa Climate Risk Insurance Facility for Adaptation (ACRIFA).
“Climate change is devastating many parts of Africa. Drought and desertification across the Sahel, and in the Horn of Africa, and cyclones in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Madagascar, have had devastating effects. Africa’s wealth is being lost at a frenetic pace to climate change, with $7-15 billion in yearly losses. This is estimated to rise to $50 billion a year by 2030.
“While the developed world grew their economies, created massive wealth, jobs and raised living standards from the industrial revolution, they did so at the expense of the global common, the environment, by using 85 per cent of the global carbon budget,” he said.
According to him, Africa’s carbon emissions are dwarfed by the emissions of other continents. To put it in perspective, an average American or Australian emits as much CO2 in a month as an individual in Africa does in one year.
Adesina stated that global finance for climate is short-changing Africa, providing only $29 billion of the $653 billion in climate finance globally, adding, “Africa will gain respect when it can provide universal electricity access to all its people and drop the garb of being known as the ‘dark continent’.”
The state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr Hale Gabriel Longpet, in a statement, said the INEC state headquarters in Lokoja was besieged Wednesday morning by a mob that barricaded all entrances to the office and prevented officials’ access to carry out their routine duties.
“The siege also prevented Attorneys representing political parties involved in the recent off-cycle governorship elections from inspecting documents/materials used in the election”, he said.
The REC assured all the parties in the litigants that the state office of INEC is committed to granting unimpeded access to all materials to prosecute their petition.
Meanwhile, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) have continued to trade words on who “sponsored” the mob that laid siege on the ONEC office.
The SDP had alleged that thugs sponsored by the ruling party invaded the electoral umpire’s office to disrupt the ongoing examination of documents and materials used in the November 11 gubernatorial Elections.
The spokesman of Muri-Sam Governorship Campaign Council of the SDP, Faruk Adejoh-Audu said that the sponsored thugs wearing SDP T-shirts and posters have also been detailed to attack and sack the INEC office to ensure the materials needed for the party to prosecute its petition at the tribunal are compromised.
“They are chanting war slogans claiming they are “SDP members” who are against the movement of Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) Machines to Abuja for security reasons and the forensic examination of electoral documents”, he said.
However, the Spokesperson/Director of Media and Publicity of the APC campaign, Kingsley Femi Fanwo described the allegation as baseless.
“The laughable story of the SDP that the thugs were hired by our party is no deviation from their culture of terrible and senseless propaganda and strategy to blame everyone else for their actions.
“Today’s failed attack by supporters and thugs of the SDP to attack the State INEC Office in Lokoja has confirmed our recent alarm that the party is determined to destroy every relevant government institution just to maintain their false claim to popularity”, he said.
Consequently, the Kogi State Governorship Tribunal sitting in Lokoja has adjourned its sitting indefinitely, pending the completion of the inspection of the election materials as ordered by the tribunal.
Recall that in its last sitting, the tribunal had ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue certified copies of electoral materials of the off-cycle election in the state held on November 11 to the Social Democratic Party (SDP) within 48 hours.
The Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Ado Birnin-Kudu gave the order following two ex-parte motions filed on November 19 by the SDP and its governorship candidate, Muritala Ajaka.
At the resumed hearing on Wednesday, counsel to the petitioners, John Adele (SAN), reported that INEC was cooperating with the inspection of materials as granted by the order of the Tribunal, but sought for more time for the exercise.
The materials being inspected include the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System and result sheets for Adavi, Okene, Okehi, Ogori-Magongo, Ajaokuta, Lokoja, Kogi, and Bassa Local Government Areas.
The SDP and its candidate are challenging the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate, Usman Ododo at the election petition tribunal.
In the said gubernatorial election, the electoral umpire had declared Ododo the winner with 446,237 votes, while his closest rival, Ajaka received 259,052 votes.
The Rivers State political environment gets charged as the rivalry between former Governor of the state, Nyesom Wike and his estranged godson, Siminalayi Fubara intensifies.
On Friday, Wike, during an interview, opened up on the fight between him and his godson, stating that “let me tell you, I don’t like ingrates; I don’t like it.”
The former governor, who talked tough, signalled that the battle was yet to begin.
Both of them are not the first to engage in such a war of supremacy between a godfather and his political son.
However, DAILY POST reports that over the years, such fights between incumbent governors and godfathers always favoured the former.
Peter Obi vs Willie Obiano
Peter Obi and his successor, WIllie Obiano had a classic case of godfather/godson situation immediately after the election.
Obiano, who retired from Fidelity Bank, a bank that Obi has considerable interest in, had emerged as the candidate of APGA during the primary election in 2013. The party had earlier disqualified Oseloka Obaze.
Obi and Obiano were also schoolmates at the famous Christ the King College, CKC, Onitsha. Hence, it did not surprise many when Obi campaigned vigorously across the state for Obiano to succeed him.
However, the honeymoon period did not last for too long, as Obi left APGA and joined the PDP.
During the 2017 election, Obi had vowed to defeat his once godson.
“I will fight in this election aggressively. I will fight with the last drop of my blood. I will fight to win this election the way the PDP has not won any election before,” he said then.
However, Obi was defeated alongside the PDP candidate, Oseloka Obaze.
Akpabio vs Udom
In the buildup to the 2015 election, Godswill Akpabio, the then-governor of Akwa-Ibom State, single-handedly picked Emmanuel Udom as his successor in the state.
Like most political relationships, it did not last long, even though the two had stated that they would avoid banana peel which could cause a fight.
“What happens in Abuja that makes people to fight people in their states will not happen between Udom and I,” Akpabio said in 2017 during an event in Uyo.
One year later, the relationship between the two had deteriorated to the point that Akpabio had to leave the party and join the APC.
“I was shocked that Emmanuel whom I brought from Lagos and installed as a Governor even though he was not a member of the party on whose platform he stood for election and become Governor, could call a world press conference to insult me,” he said.
Udom won his re-election in 2019 and successfully transferred power to his preferred successor in 2023.
While Akpabio continued to enjoy national positions, as Minister and Senate President, however, he has not been able to regain control of the state.
Orji Uzor Kalu vs Theodore Orji
In 2007, Theodore Orji won his election as Governor of Abia State while he was in prison.
At the time of electioneering campaign, Orji was at the Kirikiri Maximum Prisons in Lagos awaiting trial for multiple count charges of alleged money laundering, fraud and conspiracy.
Orji won the election on the platform of the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA), the party his then godfather, Orji Uzor Kalu was the presidential candidate.
Theodore Orji served as Chief of Staff to Kalu, and later succeeded him. However, like most political relationships, it did not last long before the two got into a bitter rivalry.
For 16 years, Theodore Orji’s political family held on until it was recently swept away by the Obidient tsunami.
Kalu on the other side has been trying to make a comeback in the state, however, he has been restrained to Abia North.
Chimaroke Nnamani vs Sullivan Chime
Prior to the 2007 general election, Barr Sullivan Chime, who was the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Enugu State, was not considered by political observers as among the possible successors to the leader of the Ebeano political dynasty, Dr Chimaroke Nnamani.
However, Nnamani shocked all the political actors as he settled for Chime who he considered to be very quiet. However, as soon as Chime emerged governor after the election, his first decision was to ban the Ebeano group.
A battle between political father and son ensued, such that it was difficult for Nnamani to access the state even as a serving Senator. His bid to return to the senate in 2011 was also scuttled by Chime who threw up Senator Gilbert Nnaji.
The no love lost situation continued until Chime left office in 2015. Chime succeeded in installing Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi as his successor in 2015.
Kwankwaso vs Ganduje
Between 1999 to 2015, Rabiu Kwankwaso and Umar Ganduje were almost inseparable. In 2003, Ganduje was deputy to Kwankwaso, and when they lost the election, Kwankwaso was appointed the Minister of Defence by Olusegun Obasanjo, his deputy followed him to Abuja.
When Kwankwaso made a comeback in 2011, Ganduje was again the deputy.
Therefore, it came as no surprise in 2015 when Ganduje got the ticket of the APC. However, the fight between the two started immediately after the election.
According to Ganduje, his predecessor did not even attend his swearing-in ceremony. For years, the two have been engaging in a free-for-all fracas over the control of the political structure of the state.
In the course of the struggle, the former Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido, who is believed to be loyal to Kwankwaso, lost his throne. And Kwankwaso was forced to leave the APC for his former ally.
Kwankwaso and his followers have regained control of the political structure in the state after winning the 2023 election. However, there is uncertainty over the NNPP due to the ongoing court case.
It would be recalled that the Election Petition Tribunal and the Appeal Court sacked Yusuf Abba of the NNPP and declared Nasir Gawuna of the APC as the winner of the governorship election.
Adams Oshiomhole vs Godwin Obaseki
Adams Oshiomhole championed a tough political fight to pave the way for Godwin Obaseki to succeed him as the governor of Edo State.
Obaseki had served under Oshiomhole as the Chairman of the Edo State Economic Team.
Despite the relationship, the battle between the two was fierce. Oshiomhole, who was the National Chairman of the APC had used his influence over the party to disqualify Obaseki during the APC primaries. However, Obaseki moved to the PDP and won re-election.
Oshiomhole also lost his national chairmanship during the struggle as his ward suspended him.
While Oshiomhole remains relevant in Edo North, Obaseki controls the political structure of the state.
During the APC tsunami of 2015, then-Governor Aliyu Wamakko backed Aminu Tambuwal as the Governor of Sokoto State.
Wamakko, who had earlier fought against Attahiru Bafarawa for the political structure of the state, had already set his sights on becoming the de facto godfather of the state.
However, Tambuwal, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, had other things in mind. After a bit of battle, the former Speaker moved back to the PDP.
During the 2019 election, Tambuwal won the election by a slim margin to serve a second term. However, his party, the PDP lost the governorship election in 2023, allowing Wamakko to retain control of the state.
Tinubu vs Ambode
In 2014, Akinwunmi Ambode got the nod of the godfather of Lagos politics, Bola Tinubu to contest the 2015 governorship election.
As of 2015, Mr Tinubu had expanded his political tentacle to the whole of South-west and national politics.
For about three years, everything seemed perfect between Tinubu and his godson. However, weeks before the primary election, the story changed for Ambode. His feeble attempt to fight back was overwhelmed by the superstructure in Lagos.
Ambode quietly exited the political stage after losing the primaries to Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
The case of Lagos State presented a rare instance of when a godfather defeated an incumbent governor.
Imoke vs Ayade
Former Governor Liyel Imoke backed Ben Ayade during the primary election of 2014 against other governorship aspirants in the PDP.
Ayade, with the support of Imoke, became the governor of Cross Rivers State. However, in a similar twist, Ayade made efforts to expand his influence within the party and both fell out.
After years of tussle, Ayade left the PDP and joined the APC.
Akume vs Suswan
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume is believed to have played a major role in the election of everyone that has ever emerged as governor of Benue State since 2007.
Akume backed Gabriel Suswan to succeed him in 2007; however, the two had a fallout, forcing Akume out of the PDP to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).
The SGF got his pound of flesh in 2015 when he supported Samuel Ortom.
It would be recalled that Ortom later defected from the APC but could not perfect his succession plan as Hyacinth Alia became governor in 2023.
James Ibori, an ex-convict, held control of the political structure of the state since 1999.
His grip on the state was stopped by a godson, Ifeanyi Okowa, after a long battle.
At the primary election in May 2022, Ibori backed David Edevbie while Okowa supported Sheriff Oborevwori, the then speaker of the Delta House of Assembly.
In the end, Okowa prevailed despite suffering an embarrassing defeat during the presidential election. The former Delta State governor was the running mate to Atiku Abubakar.
The Supreme Court yesterday laid to rest anxiety over the lifespan of the old 200, 500 and 1,000 naira notes. It granted the Federal Government’s request to allow the bills circulate indefinitely.
They shall continue to be in force with either the new or redesigned notes indefinitely, a seven-man panel of the apex court, headed by Justice John Inyang Okoro, ruled yesterday.
The extension of the bills’ lifespan will subsist until necessary facilities are put in place for their replacement.
The ruling was on an application by the Federal Government, which was moved by the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), who was accompanied by the Acting Director, Civil Appeals, Federal Ministry of Justice, Tijani Gazali (SAN).
The court stepped down its March 3 order that the old notes will cease to exist from December 31, 2023.
In place of the earlier orders, the apex court directed that “the old versions of 200, 500, 1000 naira notes/currency shall continue to be legal tenders alongside the new or designed versions until the government decides to bring the circulation of the old versions to an end after its consultation with critical stakeholders and after putting all required structures in place.”
Although the extension of the old notes’ use is indefinite, it is at the discretion of the Federal Government.
The 10 plaintiff respondents in the matter did not oppose the Federal Government’s application to allow the circulation of old and new notes of N200, N500, N1,000.]
The 10 aggrieved states are: Kaduna, Kogi, Zamfara, Ondo, Ekiti, Katsina, Ogun, Cross River, Lagos and Sokoto.
On the defendant respondents’ side are: the Minister of Justice/Attorney-General of the Federation; the governments of Edo and Bayelsa states.
The Federal Government had asked the apex court to review its order that old versions of N200, N500 and N1, 000 should cease to be legal tender from December 31, 2023.
The federal government sought the following reliefs:
· An order of this Honourable Court reviewing or varying its consequential order contained in the judgment in Suit No. SC/ CV/162/2023 delivered on the 3rd day of March 2023 to the effect that the old 200, 500 and 1,000 Naira notes should be legal tender until 31st of December, 2023.
· An order of this Honourable Court varying its consequential order contained in the judgment in Suit No. SC/ CV/162/2023 delivered on the 3rd day of March 2023 to the effect that the old 200, 500 and 1,000 Naira notes should be legal tender until 31st of December, 2023.
· An order of this Honourable Court reviewing and or varying the said consequential order to read thus: “An order that the old versions of 200, 500, 1,000 notes/ currency shall continue to be Legal Tenders alongside the new or redesigned versions until the government decides to bring the circulation of the old versions to an end… after its consultation with critical stakeholders and after putting all required structures in place.
· And for such order or further orders as this Honourable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstances.
At the sitting, all the lawyers to the states, who addressed the court individually, said in the interest of justice and the nation’s economy, the Supreme Court should let the old notes to co-exist with the new notes.
The all-SANs lawyers, are: Mr. A. U. Mustapha, who is the lead counsel; Ondo State Attorney-General, Sir Charles Titiloye (KSM); Olasoji O. Olowolafe; Lukman Fagbemi; Kehinde Ogunwumiju; Cross River State Attorney-General, Mr. Tanko Ashang; Ahmed Raji; Emeka Etiaba; Damian Dodo and the attorneys-general of Katsina and Sokoto states.
A seven-man panel of the Supreme Court, headed by Justice Okoro, granted the reliefs of the Federal Government in a landmark constitutional matter.
Other members of the Supreme Court panel are: Justices Tijani Abubakar, Emmanuel Akomaye Agim, Ibrahim M. Saulawa, Uwani Musa Abba Aji, Adamu Jauro and Helen Ogunwumiju.
Justice Okoro read the apex court’s decision as follows: “An order that the old versions of 200, 500, 1,000 notes/currency shall continue to be Legal Tenders alongside the new or redesigned versions until the government decides to bring the circulation of the old versions to an end.”
The court, however, said the extension of the lifespan of the affected notes should be “after its consultation with critical stakeholders and after putting all required structures in place.”
Mustapha, who spoke with our correspondent, said: “All the counsel to the plaintiff respondents supported the motion of the Federal Government in the interest of justice and the nation’s economy. We don’t want Nigerians to suffer at all.”
• CBN directs issuance, acceptance of old, new bills
In a swift response to the Supreme Court vacation of its March three order, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) instructed all its branches to continue issuing and accepting all denominations of the banknotes (old and redesigned).
A statement from its Acting Director, Corporate Communications, Mrs. Sidi Ali Hakama, the CBN urged the public to continue accepting all naira banknotes (old or redesigned) for their daily transactions and to handle these banknotes with care to extend their lifespan.
The bank also encouraged members of the public to embrace alternative modes of payment, such as e-channels, to minimise the reliance on physical cash.
In a celebration of engineering innovation in Africa, two Nigerians – Adaeze Akpagbula and Tunde Adeyemi – are among 16 African engineering innovators shortlisted for the $60,000 Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation.
The prize will be shared among four finalists to emerge from the longlist.
A statement issued on Wednesday and signed by the Programme Manager of Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation at the Royal Academy of Engineering, Alice Radley, noted that by being shortlisted for the Africa Prize, innovators benefit from support including business incubation, mentoring, fundraising and communication with access to the Academy’s global network of high-profile engineering and business experts in the UK, Africa and beyond.
Mr Adeyemi’s innovation is named: ‘The Kitchen Box’, described as an affordable biogas digester technology which turns any type of organic waste into animal feed and organic fertiliser and generates clean energy for heating and cooking.
On her part, Ms Akpagbula’s innovation is named: “PenKeep,” a climate-smart remote sensing device that monitors and controls environmental conditions in poultry farms, ensuring optimal health and productivity of chickens.
According to the statement, the shortlisting of the engineers is part of the broader selection of 16 innovators from eight African countries, showcasing groundbreaking solutions ranging from eco-friendly roofing materials to solar-powered agricultural pest detection devices.
The final round of the award, which is scheduled to take place in Nairobi, Kenya, in June 2024, during the Africa Prize’s 10th anniversary, will see four finalists present their innovations and business plans.
The winner will receive a total prize of N26 million with three runners-up awarded an average of N10 million each.
The audience, which includes some 80 Africa Prize alumni from the last decade, will also have the opportunity to vote for the most impactful pitch, with the “One-to-Watch award carrying a N5 million prize.”
Sewu-Steve Tawia, one of the judges, said the 16 innovators shortlisted for this year’s award are contributing to key Sustainable Development Goals including no poverty, health and well-being, quality education, affordable and clean energy, reduced inequalities, and climate action.
He said: “What sets these 16 people apart is their determination to solve local challenges, contribute to job creation and seize the opportunity to scale their innovation across Africa. In its 10th year, the Africa Prize is proud to elevate these local changemakers to global engineering innovators.”
The other 14 shortlisted candidates include six from Kenya – Charles Oduk, Esther Kimani, Kevin Maina, Christopher Maara, Esther Mueni, Purity Gakuo – and the trio of Ivan Karugaba, Martin Tumusiime and Paul Soddo, from Uganda.
Others are Rory Assandey from Côte d’Ivoire, Evodius Rutta from Tanzania, Abubakari Imoro from Ghana, Léandre Berwa from Rwanda, and Ludo Ntshiwa from Botswana.
About the award
The Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation was founded by the UK’s Royal Academy of Engineering in 2014. It is one of Africa’s biggest prizes dedicated to supporting African innovators and helping them to maximise their impact. It gives commercialisation support to ambitious African innovators developing scalable engineering solutions to address local challenges, demonstrating the importance of engineering as an enabler of improved quality of life and economic development.
The innovators aim to address pan-African and international challenges, including adapting food and water systems for climate resilience, developing low-carbon energy and transport solutions, and improving telecommunications, education, financial services and healthcare.
Parents and family members of the prospective corps members from Akwa Ibom State, who were kidnapped on August 17, 2023 while travelling to orientation camp in Sokoto State are currently gripped with fear as the abductors demand that they pay N10 million each as ransom for the release of the victims.
One of the victim’s family member, Mr. Mfon Friday, who disclosed to Vanguard, yesterday, in Uyo so far, a total sum of N30.8million ransom has been paid to the abductors.
Friday who spoke angrily over the untold hardship the parents were currently facing as a result of their children’s abduction, recalled that the parents had initially paid the sum of N13.6 million and towards end of last month (October), another sum of N17.2 million was also paid, yet those children were not released.
He lamented: “As we speak, our children are still in Zamfara bush, including the driver of AKTC and it is over 100 days when they were kidnapped. When they called on Monday, the kidnappers said parents should pay another N70 million.
“Remember the first ransom the parents paid was over N13 million and it was paid collectively. But this time, they want the parents to pay N10 million each. Before end of October, N17 million was paid, making it about N30.8 million so far paid, yet they didn’t free those children.
“They only released one of the girls. And Monday this week, when they contacted us, they demanded N10 million from each family. How are we going to raise that kind of money? Those people failed to understand that those children are not from rich families.
“They even threatened to leave those children to die if the parents don’t pay the ransom very soon. I am very, very angry. Why can’t our government, the federal and state governments, do something to save the lives of those young graduates? In fact, when the parents heard that all the children were sick, you needed to see how they were crying, especially the mothers.
“They are not children of Policemen, the Army and politicians that is why they have been allowed to remain in kidnappers den till today? We are praying that nothing happens to them. And I am using this platform to appeal for urgent help from every well meaning citizens of this country, so that these children will not die in the kidnappers den.”
One of the victim’s sibling, who spoke to Vanguard in confidence after the affected families met in Uyo on Tuesday disclosed that the abductors were paid the N17.2million ransom before the released the female victims last month, who they gathered was seriously sick.
“In fact, I learned that the remaining seven have also fallen seriously sick and that is why the kidnappers are demanding this huge ransom and threatening that if we don’t pay very soon, those children will die. I am scared, I don’t want my sister to die. We are orphans, we struggled to go to school,” she lamented
•Fiscal document projects N9.92tn recurrent expenditure, N8.7tn capital expenditure
•N8.25tn for debt service, N9.18tn deficit
•To finance deficit with N7.83tn new borrowings
•Expects N298.49bn from privatisation proceeds, N1.05tn foreign loans
•Akpabio hints at plan to merge, unbundle MDAs
•Nigerians expect quick, sustainable solutions to economic hardship, Abass tells president
•PDP: Tinubu’s budget deceitful, strangulating, hopeless
•pposition party says fiscal plan has no mechanism for economic recovery
Chuks Okocha, Adedayo Akinwale, Sunday Aborisade and Juliet Akoje in Abuja
President Bola Tinubu, yesterday, presented to the National Assembly an aggregate expenditure plan of N27.5 trillion as the federal government’s appropriation bill for the 2024 fiscal year tagged, “Budget of Renewed Hope.”
Chairman of the National Assembly, who is also President of the Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio, and Speaker, House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abass, assured Tinubu that the appropriation bill would be accorded accelerated consideration and passage.
But the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) described the N27.5 trillion appropriation bill for 2024 as a huge disservice, which, if allowed to pass, would further asphyxiate Nigerians and plunge the nation into more economic depression and hopelessness.
Tinubu made the budget presentation to a joint session of the National Assembly, which also had in attendance top government functionaries and politicians. He proposed a non-debt recurrent expenditure of N9.92 trillion, N8.7 trillion as capital expenditure, and N8.25 trillion for debt service.
Tinubu said during the presentation, “Nigeria remains committed to meeting its debt obligations. Projected debt service is 45 per cent of the expected total revenue.
“Budget deficit is projected at N9.18 trillion in 2024 or 3.88 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product. This is lower than the N13.78 trillion deficit recorded in 2023, which represents 6.11 per cent of the GDP.
“The deficit will be financed by new borrowings totalling N7.83 trillion.”
The president said N298.49 billion was expected from privatisation proceeds and N1.05 trillion drawdown on multilateral and bilateral loans secured for specific development projects.
He stated, “After a careful review of developments in the world oil market and domestic conditions, we have adopted a conservative oil price benchmark of $77.96 per barrel and daily oil production estimate of 1.78 million barrels per day.
“We have also adopted a naira to US Dollar exchange rate of N750 per US Dollar for 2024.
“Our government remains committed to broad-based and shared economic prosperity. We are reviewing social investment programmes to enhance their implementation and effectiveness.
“In particular, the National Social Safety Net project will be expanded to provide targeted cash transfers to poor and vulnerable households.
“In addition, efforts will be made to graduate existing beneficiaries towards productive activities and employment.
“We are currently reviewing our tax and fiscal policies. Our target is to increase the ratio of revenue to GDP from less than 10 per cent currently to 18 per cent within the term of this administration.
“Government will make efforts to further contain financial leakages through effective implementation of key public financial management reforms.”
The president said the 2024 budgetary allocations and directives would set Nigeria on a transformative path towards sustainable development. He urged the National Assembly to ensure that only projects and programmes in line with the sectoral mandates of the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) were passed in the 2024 budget.
He commended the federal legislature for the swift consideration and passage of the 2023 Supplementary Appropriation Bills and the 2024-2026 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper.
The president noted that the legislature’s prompt action underscored their devotion to the economic development and the greater welfare of the people. It also highlights the legislature’s desire to work in close collaboration with the executive arm.
Tinubu expressed confidence that the National Assembly would continue to work closely with the executive to ensure that deliberations on the 2024 budget were thorough but also concluded with reasonable dispatch.
He said, “I am confident that these budgetary allocations and directives will set Nigeria on a transformative path towards a sustainable and resilient energy future, fostering economic growth, job creation, and environmental preservation.”
The president lamented that economic conditions remained challenging both abroad and at home. He said despite lingering post-COVID supply and production bottlenecks, armed conflict in various parts of the world, and restrictive monetary policies in major economies, global growth was expected to hover around three per cent in 2024.
The president noted that this relatively low growth rate had significant implications for the country’s economy due to current reliance on importation.
But he was quick to add that despite the global headwinds, the Nigerian economy had proven resilient, maintaining modest but positive growth over the past 12 months.
He added that inflation trended upward due to weak global conditions.
Tinubu stated that to contain rising domestic prices, the federal government would ensure effective coordination of fiscal and monetary policy measures, and collaborate with sub-national governments to address structural factors driving inflation in Nigeria.
He stressed that the 2024 budget proposal met his government’s goal of completing critical infrastructure projects, explaining that the projects would help address structural problems in the economy by lowering the cost of doing business for companies and the cost of living for the average citizen.
Reflecting on the 2023 budget performance, he said an aggregate revenue of N11.045 trillion was projected to fund the 2023 budget of N24.82 trillion, with a deficit of about 6.1 per cent of GDP.
Tinubu explained that as of September 30, the federal government’s actual aggregate revenue inflow was N8.65 trillion, approximately 96 percent of the targeted 8.28 trillion.
He stressed that the proposed budget sought to achieve job-rich economic growth, macro-economic stability, a better investment environment, enhanced human capital development, as well as poverty reduction and greater access to social security.
The president revealed that defence and internal security were accorded top priority, adding that the internal security architecture would be overhauled to enhance law enforcement capabilities and safeguard lives, property and investments across the country.
He added that to address long-standing issues in the education sector, a more sustainable model of funding tertiary education would be implemented, including the Student Loan Scheme scheduled to become operational by January 2024.
He said, “We expect the economy to grow by a minimum of 3.76 per cent, above the forecasted world average. Inflation is expected to moderate to 21.4 percent in 2024.”
Tinubu explained that the revised 2024-2026 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) set out the parameters for the 2024 budget.
He assured that his government remained committed to broad-based and shared economic prosperity, adding that they are reviewing social investment programmes to enhance their implementation and effectiveness.
Tinubu told the National Assembly members, “As you consider the 2024 budget estimates, we trust that the legislative review process will be conducted with a view to sustaining our desired return to a predictable January-December fiscal year.
“I have no doubt that you will be guided by the interest of all Nigerians. We must ensure that only projects and programmes with equitable benefits are allowed into the 2024 budget.
“Additionally, only projects and programmes, which are in line with the sectoral mandates of MDAs and which are capable of realising the vision of our government should be included in the budget.”
National Assembly Pledges Speedy Consideration, Aggressive Oversight
President of the Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio, and Speaker, House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abass, assured Tinubu that the 2024 Appropriation Bill would be accorded accelerated consideration and passage.
The two presiding officers of the federal legislature gave the assurance when Tinubu laid the 2024 national budget before a joint session of the National Assembly, which also had in attendance top government functionaries and politicians.
Akpabio and Abass urged the president to bar ministers and heads of federal government MDAs from embarking on foreign trips until the eventual passage of the bill, which they pledged would be done before the end of the year.
The duo expressed the hope that the executive arm would maximise the opportunity of the cordial relationship between it and the legislature by ensuring prompt appearances before the various legislative committees to defend their budgets whenever they were invited to do so.
Akpabio, specifically, said though the fiscal document would be attended to with dispatch, the National Assembly would still carry out its constitutional responsibilities on it.
He said, “The National Assembly bears a great responsibility in the task of reviewing and approving the budget. We fully understand the weight of this responsibility, and the impact our decisions will have on the lives and welfare of the Nigerian people.
“It is our duty to ensure that the budget reflects the principles of transparency, accountability and inclusiveness. Consequently, we will certainly conduct a thorough and meticulous review of the budget estimates.”
Akpabio expressed the determination of the two chambers to stem wastage and corruption in the system, hence its resolve to carry out legislative activities that would lead to the merger of some federal agencies and the unbundling of others.
He said, “Both the Senate and the House of Representatives have resolved to assist the executive to unbundle some agencies for effectiveness, and merge agencies of government, which job definitions or roles overlap, for greater effectiveness.
“We deem it necessary for our country to go back to agriculture as a way of stopping the overdependence on crude oil.
“A mono-economy is putting all our eggs in one basket. It is a risk we have taken for too long and we cannot continue to tempt providence.
“We also believe that education should be prioritised and something done to stop frequent closures.
“If we do not checkmate the brain drain, the drain will numb our brains. This is why we must open the door of education, because when you open the door of education you close the door of the prison.
“We also want to plead with the government to do all within its powers to reduce our high debt profile. We know that Mr. President inherited this worrisome burden. But then, the mark of a great leader is that he fixes the problems wherever they exist.”
On his part, Abass acknowledged the pains, agony and sufferings most Nigerians were currently experiencing as a result of the ongoing economic reforms embarked upon by the current administration and urged the president to lessen the misery.
Abass said, “Mr. President, it is a well-known fact that millions of our constituents are living through incredibly difficult times.
“For this reason, they also look to the Tinubu-led government to provide quick and sustainable solutions.
“The antecedents of the president and your track record in governance inspire a lot of hope in Nigerians. Mr. President, it is for this reason that we cannot afford to fail Nigerians.
“If anyone can change the rot and chart a new course for Nigeria, it is you. I have no doubt whatsoever that we can measure up to the expectations of Nigerians through your visionary leadership and the commitment of the National Assembly.”
The speaker urged his colleagues to ensure that the 2024 budget prioritised investment in education and healthcare, which he said was critical to human capital development and a more productive workforce.
He added, “Infrastructure development is another critical area of importance, which is crucial for economic growth. The biggest challenge, however, is balancing these priorities within the constraints of available resources.
“In view of this and the related challenge of a high level of public debt, the National Assembly will ensure that the 2024 budget includes concrete strategies for sustainable debt management.”
He said that would include measures to increase revenue and control expenditure.
Abass said, “Specifically, the focus should be on raising more revenue through tax reform, fiscal reform, subsidy reform, foreign exchange convergence, and centralised revenue collection.
“Going forward, Mr. President, we will also work to institutionalise pre-budget engagements with the executive to further improve and hasten the budget process.
“The House has already commenced interface with MDAs through the sectoral debates to understand the challenges facing government agencies and identify areas for legislative intervention.
“All of these efforts are geared towards ensuring that we provide the necessary legislative support to your administration’s Renewed Hope Agenda.”
Abass noted that an institutional framework was necessary to achieve a prefect budgetary system in the country.
He said, “For this reason, I propose enacting a Budget Act to strengthen the budget process and promote development outcomes.
“This is a well-established practice in democracies across the world.”
PDP: Tinubu’s 2024 Budget Proposal, Deceitful, Strangulating, Hopeless
PDP yesterday described the budget proposed by Tinubu for 2024 as a huge disservice that, if allowed to pass, would further suffocate Nigerians and plunge the country into more economic misery and bleakness.
PDP also dismissed the claim by Tinubu that the budget was a “Budget of Renewed Hope”, describing it as “conjured, unfounded and deceptive, as the budget is completely devoid of concrete mechanisms to revive the economy, create jobs, address the comatose manufacturing and productive sectors, human capital development deficiencies and depleting life expectancy of Nigeria citizens.”
A statement by National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Hon. Debo Ologunagba, said, “The 2024 budget is filled with heavily padded figures, duplicated items and several false statistics, including claims of global increase in inflation rate, as excuse for an impending excruciating increase in taxes and interest rate to the detriment of our productive sector.
“It is clear that the 2024 budget as proposed with its heavy provisions for luxury appetite of the Presidency and All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders, which is predicated and expected to be funded from multilateral and bilateral foreign loans and increased taxes on Nigerians, is designed to further mortgage our nation and strangulate the already impoverished Nigerians.”
The statement noted that the budget framework with respect to recurrent expenditure vote of N9.9 trillion, capital expenditure vote of N8.7 trillion, and N8.25 trillion for debt service was unsustainable and unrealisable in view of the stated outstanding debt and proposed borrowing, which was allegedly targeted mainly to finance consumption, luxury appetite, and debt service.
According to the PDP spokesperson, “The lack of concrete and verifiable action plans to revive the manufacturing, energy, agricultural and education sectors, which are the main drivers of any economy, is a pointer that the Tinubu-led APC government is bereft of ideas and completely disconnected from the reality of life being faced by Nigerians.
“It is of grave concern that the president in the budget speech stated that his government has ‘adopted a naira to US Dollar exchange rate of N750 per US Dollar for 2024’”.
PDP further stated that the budget estimates were “a clear admission of failure, incapacity and lack of direction by the APC administration to manage and grow the economy in such a way as to strengthen the national currency, productivity and competitiveness in the global market”.
Ologunagba explained that the budget further confirmed that the numerous promises by the president and officials of his government “have been a deceptive ploy, which is consistent with the APC in the past eight and half years”.
He stated, “By adopting a defeatist N750 per US Dollar exchange rate, President Tinubu has further plunged our economy into the abyss, weakened our productive sector, wrecked the purchasing power of Nigerians and the capacity of the youths to be creative, recognising that it will be almost impossible for small and medium enterprises as well as start-ups to access capital under such a suffocating budget.
“Every responsible leadership strives to work and defend its national currency. Unfortunately, the Tinubu-led government has surrendered our nation currency and pride to the whims and caprices of the so-called ‘market forces.’”
PDP insisted that with transparent, honest and innovative management of resources and economic potential of the country, “without inordinate pursuit of luxury consumption by a few individuals in leadership position, as being witnessed under the APC, the economy will witness a rapid turn-around and the Naira strengthened to its value of below N200 per US Dollar bequeathed by the PDP to the APC in 2015”.
According to Olohunagba, “This 2024 budget, as presented by President Tinubu, therefore, represents hopelessness for Nigerians. It is pathetic that the president, whose main duty is to provide for the security and welfare of Nigerians, as provided for in Section 14 (2) (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), could present a budget that is not geared towards the attainment of that constitutional duty imposed on him.”
PDP called on the National Assembly, “pursuant to its constitutional duty under Section 80, 81 and 82 of the 1999 Constitution, to reject the 2024 budget as presented and use its legislative powers to disassemble the budget and make provisions that are critical and pivotal to the growth of the economy and the welfare of Nigerians”.
A branch of the Celestial Church of Christ in Lagos State has come under fire for inviting Fuji singer, Pasuma, and street-hop artiste, Portable, to its praise night event.
The flyer for the event was posted on the church’s Facebook page on Wednesday, and netizens took to the comment section to slam the church for inviting secular artistes to its event.
A Facebook user, Bolanle Bamidele Adewuyi, wrote, “This is disheartening… Is this what you turn the Church of God to? It’s hilarious.”
Another commenter, Festus Olanrewaji Ojo wrote, “This is a shame! Shame and a very big shame.”
“This is totally nonsense,” BU KO LA commented.
Ayo Ife wrote, “The artists are not complete yet Una for kuku add Naira Marley. So that the soul winning can be complete!”
Edafe Oghenebrume said, “This is a sacrilege in the Celestial Church of Christ. It is disheartening, pathetic, shameful and disgraceful. I wonder about the spiritual orientation of your Shepherd-In-Charge and the congregation.”
Becky Wunmi Hassan Ayoade added, “There is nothing they will not turn celestial church to.”
However, some netizens noted that they would be present for the event.
Abike Ade said, “I will surely be there.”
Another Facebook user, Abike Garment, wrote, “I must be there make I come dance away my sorrow.”