The average retail price for refilling a 5kg cylinder of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (cooking gas) increased by 105 per cent within the last twelve months, findings by The PUNCH have revealed.
This follows an increase from N2200 in August 2021 to N4500 in August 2022, indicating a 105 per cent increase over the period.
The exponential increase in the price of cooking gas also follows a similar trend with other deregulated petroleum products such as kerosene and diesel, which have also recorded significant spikes this year.
The PUNCH had reported that the price of kerosene used by several families have jumped to N800 per litre just as the market is beginning to adjust to the newly increased petrol and gas prices.
A market survey conducted by our correspondent showed that one litre of cooking kerosene, which sold earlier for N700, now sells for between N800 and N850 in urban parts of Lagos State, while the price has hit as high as N1000 per litre in suburb areas at filling stations.
In the same vein, the price of diesel continues to maintain an all-time high of between N750 to N800.
According to the all items index of the latest Commodity Price Index (inflation report), the highest increases were recorded in prices of gas, followed by liquid fuel, solid fuel, garments, passenger transport by road, cleaning, repair and hire of clothing as well as passenger travel by air.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with our correspondent, an energy expert, Bala Zakka, blamed the sharp increase in the price of cooking gas on poor decision-making on the part of policy makers.
He said, “The reason is very simple and straightforward. The model the Nigerian leaders, in this case our economic and political leaders, are using for the downstream sector of the Nigerian oil and gas industry is very wrong. It is a wrong model. That is the simple reason. The answers are not far-fetched. Why is cooking gas not this expensive and inaccessible in other OPEC member countries and other gas exporting fora (Gas Exporting Countries Forum)?
“From natural gas, you can always get cooking gas, by the time you treat it. When you refine crude oil, the first product that will come out is LPG. In all the OPEC member countries that produce crude oil and have functional refineries, they are not complaining about cooking gas. It’s not part of their problem. The only countries that are complaining today are countries that do not have oil and gas.”
According to him, under ideal circumstances, the price of a kilo of cooking gas in Nigeria should not exceed N100, as was obtainable in other countries with abundance of oil and gas deposits.
“In Nigeria, the government does not believe that it is supposed to provide goods and services to the people at a reasonable rate. The government inserted a clause in the Petroleum Industry Bill that they want to deregulate. How can you deregulate the price of a sensitive product like refined petroleum products? How can you deregulate the price of products that do not have substitutes? Had it been cooking gas or kerosene had alternatives, then people would not bother. Now, everybody is feeling the demonic effect of what deregulation is all about. The price of kerosene has been deregulated and we are seeing the consequence. The price of diesel is deregulated and we are seeing the consequence on strategic industrial and commercial sectors.”
Also speaking, an Associate Professor of Economics at the Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos, Olalekan Aworinde, said the continuous increase in the price of cooking gas would push the product, which is a basic necessity, beyond the reach of many. He added that the resultant effect would be increased poverty across the country.
Aworinde said, “If you look at it critically, for people who run restaurants, their cost of production would have increased because they use gas to cook. So, they are likely going to reduce the quality and the quantity of the food that they serve people, and that tells you that the standard of living is likely going to drop. We are also likely going to see a higher level of poverty. You discover that people that were managing to buy cooking gas may not be able to afford it, and at the end of the day, some are likely going to go back to old norms. Using kerosene is not cheap right now.”
A businessman dealing in gas, who identified himself as Victor, told our correspondent that despite the high cost of the product, profit margins were higher than when cooking gas sold for N300 per kilo.
He said, “Every time we go to refill, the price goes up. I was selling for N850 per kilo before, but when I went to refill just today, the price went up again. So, I’m now selling for N900 per kilo.”
The Spokesperson for the Atiku Abubakar Campaign Organisation, Senator Dino Melaye has said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is not a violent party.
Melaye was reacting to a warning sent by the Nigeria Police Force to all the presidential candidates to caution their supporters ahead of the start of campaigns.
The Police Spokesman, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, had asked the candidates to caution their supporters against violence and other unlawful practices.
He also advised all politicians to eschew violence and stop threatening voices of dissent and opposition in the run-up to 2023 general polls.
The police spokesman pointed out that the Electoral Act is clear on the appropriate punishment prescribed for election-related crimes. He stressed that the police would not take lightly the violation of the provisions of the Electoral Act.
Speaking to The Punch over the weekend, Melaye advised the Police to arrest anybody found fomenting trouble, saying that the PDP is a peaceful party.
The former lawmaker said the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, is a man of peace and the party will also continue to main peace ahead of the elections.
He said, “The question of whether there should be peace should be channelled to those who make trouble. Everyone knows we are not a violent party. We and you know those who brought violence to the political laboratory of Nigeria.
“We will continue to maintain peace. Atiku as a man of peace will have to tow that line. The quest for peace should be channelled to those who are violent.”
When on October 10, 2008 the American citizens were on the fast track to their national elections with the world waiting in anticipation of who would spring a surprise and take over from the George W. Bush administration as the 44th United States President, in a rally at Lakeville, Minnesota, the then-Republican presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain came to a direct confrontation and probably one of the clashes that would continue to gain global traction with some of his supporters.
In the town-hall meeting, a woman; apparently a staunch apologist of McCain’s presidential ambition, had told the Arizona senator she had trust issues with his arch-rival and then Democratic presidential candidate, Mr. Barack Obama and his potential presidency. The woman had emphatically told McCain, “I can’t trust Obama. I read about him, and he is not, um, he’s an Arab.”
As the world watched the unfolding drama, McCain grabbed the microphone from her before thousands of other supporters, cutting the Minnesota woman off from further speech as he shook his head in disagreement with his horde of fanatic followers. “No, ma’am” he said in disappointment. “He [Obama] is a decent family man and citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues, and that’s what this campaign is all about,” McCain called their bluff. A middle aged man had earlier spoken on behalf of other supporters expressing their worries about an Obama presidency. “Frankly we are scared of an Obama presidency,” he told McCain. One would have expected him to reinforce his agitation and stir up suspicions against his main rival. He refused. “First of all, I wanna be president of United States and obviously, I do not want Senator Obama to be, but I have to tell you, he’s a decent person and a person that you do not have to be scared of as president of United States,” McCain audaciously cut in. That day’s outing muted the strident racial conspiracies against Obama and other candidates vying against the Republican party. McCain understood that democracy is encapsulated in freedom of speech and information and the right of other qualified citizens to pursue political ambitions and hold political opinions without fear of any threat from others.
The recent experiences in the Nigeria political space have witnessed a mob of gangsters peddling fake news and misinformation, hurling invectives, hate speech and vitriolic assassination of characters of dissenting opinions. This is a radical departure from political civility and what democracy stands for. While many are agitating for America’s model of democracy which John McCain embodied, the same set of people are averse to divergent opinions that sharply contradicted their argument. They constitute the court, appoint themselves judges and brazenly descend into the arena of justice; passing a mob judgment and executing same. This is them taking Nigeria back to the junta days of despotism and intolerance, yet they’re advocating a new Nigeria driven by dictatorial mentality.
Obviously, democracy is enfolded in fundamental freedom of others to air their views, hold political opinions, support their choice candidates, however unpopular others may think of such decision. It’s a matter of fundamental rights enshrined not only in the country’s legal code but something that’s phenomenally natural and inalienable that transcends the embodiment of our constitution or written laws. A new Nigeria is only possible when people’s liberty is recognized as fundamental even when such is offensive to our creed or in disagreement to our projection. The Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti once ridiculed people with this bigoted, narrow-minded and allergic mentality when he underscored their understanding of fundamental human rights and how they should be protected. As Fela rightly insisted, these people boisterously parading themselves as holier-than-thou are in no way fit to preach how to live our life since they’re the harbingers of Nigeria problems. It’s within the people’s ambit to express themselves and raise concerns about disturbing issues, and it’s also the right of others to reply to these issues, however, in the most civilized manner acceptable by all rational standards. A balance of equity must be struck in-between freedom of expression and right to reply in our society.
It’s instructive to appreciate that freedom of speech cannot be separated from the right to hold divergent political opinions without threats, cyber-stalking, cyber-bullying and assault. The celebrated author of 1984 and the Animal Farm, George Orwell, expounding on the trite establishment of freedom, insisted that if liberty means anything at all, it should be the right to tell people what they do not want to hear. However, like the Oslo translator, Jess Scott would write, hypocrites get offended by the truth. The truth, no doubt, hurts people with anomic mentality whose incurable maladies are resultant of self-deception and decoy from temporary escape from the world of reality to utopic, extreme boulevard of illusion. A way of helping them from this escape should be our primary concern today.
Those pontificating, rather haughtily on the altar of self-righteous political movement and sainthood should thread with caution against the dangerous precedent they’re presently laying. It’s a landmine that would, in no distance time, haunt them. Nigeria political space is replete with traumatizing history repeating itself. Instance would be adduced subsequently. When Article 19 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations provides that, “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”, and further bolstered by section 39 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, the contemplation of today’s frenzied, belligerent, predatory and untamed carnival of aggression by some online urchins was a perfect target.
In every ideal democratic political system which Nigeria is priding itself, individuals should be allowed to make their choices with a reasonable interrogation of aspiring political officeholders without fear of intimidation. The striking opposite, however, is the case today with the advent of some few but violent gang that named themselves “Obidients” or followers of Mr. Peter Obi, the Labour Party’s presidential candidate for the 2023 general elections. This set of social media delinquents have engaged in vitriolic, resentful diatribes launching both verbal assaults and threatening grievous bodily injuries on people with different political opinions. Sharply contrasting the America’s Republican McCain is the Nigeria’s Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Gregory Obi who has been glossing over the hurling acerbic vilification of Nigerians by his violent fanatic supporters. Obi has shown by his character that he is in full support of violence against the opposition, especially Nigerians with a different ideology on how best to rescue the country. Make no mistake, I’ve no begrudging issues against Mr. Obi or his ambition. He’s a good man.
Every political discourse should attract intellectual pathway and proffer alternative means to achieving fundamental issues bothering our nation. Delivering and raining curses, or threatening fire and brimstone is the most primitive and barbaric approach to ideological pursuit. Issues should be treated objectively and based on merit rather than descending on individuals. In ad hominem and ad baculum discourses, people tend to commit the blunder of blackmailing dissenters by way of force and untamed civility. The world has moved beyond this anachronistic behavior to an era where ideas rule. Rational engagement should be encouraged. Peter Obi and other candidates that have subtly incited their supporters must own up and apologize to Nigerians with immediate effect.
In 2015 the political space was literally awash with a cult of gangsters called the Buharists who were as vicious in thought and in acts as today’s savage infinitesimal “Obidients”. They were extreme in political orientation and close-minded in assumption. Dissenters were taught lessons and ruthlessly bashed from corners. Eyebrows against their extremism were resistibly met with a consign of mantras: corruption is fighting back; change is imminent; a new dawn is possible; a new Nigeria is on the way, etcetera. The APC promised a safe haven for Nigerians in 2015 just like Mr. Obi and his Labour Party are presently belabouring themselves. The APC promised it had the magic wand to a new Nigeria which would replace the old Nigeria. They even promised a new people in the new Nigeria. In the book of Apocalypse 21: they quoted; “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband…”
According to them, Buhari was the long foretold messiah to come. He was packaged by the media, and to worsen issues, the British-Iranian journalist and television host at the Cable News Network (CNN), Christiane Amanpour, in the wake of the election, invited Mr. Buhari where he was further laundered as unblemished in character and in principle. He won. Be the judge. Hellfire! Where are the Buharists today? Disillusioned. There goes again the same CNN extending invitation to Mr. Obi through the backdoor to sell him to Nigerians as another messiah after the first one it sold to Nigerians proved dystopic. Nigerians are wiser today and must reject their lies and gullibility.
Recognizing the place of freedoms of expression, information and assembly should serve as our major navigatory compass to attaining a healthy political environment and a viable democratic order. A free society depends on the free exchange of ideas which must not be stampeded. The true pillar of democracy does not lie in intolerance or extremism, it lies on the ballot. Let the noises be converted into electoral strength which is doubtful most of these cultivated anomic vendors barking on the media possess the instrumentality of effecting electoral victory via voter’s card. On the elections day, in as much as my polling unit is concerned, it’ll be delivered with ease to my candidates. We’re grassroots mobilizers and we’re all out to deliver a fatal blow to political deception in Nigeria. All thanks to the BIVAS! Stop the political terror and engage in issues and ideas.
Prince Ejeh Josh, a lawyer and strategist, writes from Presidential Road, Enugu.
A group in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has claimed that a Bola Tinubu presidency would amount to giving President Muhammadu Buhari a third term in office.
The group, PDP ACTION 2023, said electing the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, in 2023 means an extension of the Muhammadu Buhari government.
In a statement by its chairman, Hon. Rufus Omeire, the group declared that APC represented an existential threat to Nigeria in all critical areas of nationhood.
The PDP group also berated former APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, for trying to distance Tinubu from the present government.
It said Tinubu has given crucial support to the Buhari government and repeatedly publicly praised the policies and direction of the APC government.
The statement reads: “The APC presidential ticket for 2023 general elections is an attempt to give President Muhammadu Buhari a third term in office.
“Recently, a former APC chairman and ex-Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, sought to distance Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, the APC presidential candidate, from the disastrous government of the incumbent president, General Muhammadu Buhari. This is most disingenuous for many reasons.
“In the first place, by the provisions of the constitution of Nigeria, it is a political party that sponsors a candidate for presidential election. In this case, the ruling APC is sponsoring Tinubu.
“Secondly, for practical reasons, it is the name of the political party that will be on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) ballot paper during elections and so, APC will be on the ballot, not even Tinubu.
“Thirdly, Tinubu is the acknowledged and recognised National Leader of the APC, a position he shares with President Buhari. Indeed, by Tinubu’s own admission, he was largely instrumental in foisting President Buhari on Nigeria.
“He has given crucial support to the APC government of President Buhari and repeatedly publicly praised the policies and direction of the APC government. He is the philosopher king of APC’s misrule in Nigeria.
“Fourthly, during the APC primaries, he was massively endorsed by the party to continue from where Buhari will stop. The word in the APC is continuity. The fulcrum of the APC campaign has been a firm promise to replicate the sterling performance of the APC government of Buhari, if Tinubu happens to win in 2023.
“Make no mistake about it, a Tinubu presidency would be just another term for Buhari. Note that Tinubu and Buhari have the same divisive streak, the same arrogance and contempt for peoples’ views and feelings.
“Tinubu is even a worse version, as Buhari at least, resisted the divisive Muslim-Muslim ticket in 2015. Notwithstanding, they subscribe to the same policies and programmes. Tinubu is Buhari and Buhari is Tinubu.”
Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi has said after failing to deliver its electoral promises, Nigerians should be ready to kick out both the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the major opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 general elections.
Obi made the statement at the weekend when he featured in an interview on news central tv.
Speaking on the lack of electricity across the country, Obi said it is shameful that both the APC and PDP despite being in power collectively for 24 years, could not move Nigeria’s power generation up from 4,000 to 5,000.
“The simple thing for Nigerians to ask themselves is, we have been in this business for 24 years, are we on the right road? If you have been in a situation for 24 years, people have been promising and not delivering,” he said.
“Look at the two parties, have they delivered what they promised? In 24 years, Nigeria could not increase its power generation from 4,000 to 5,000 or 6,000. Ask yourself the question, are we going to continue with this? So, are you going to continue on the wrong road or turn and say ‘listen, we have to do the right thing’”.
Obi said his track record as Anambra state governor for eight years eminently qualifies him to lead Nigeria out of her present situation which the two parties have plunged it into due to bad governance.
“Every section of Nigeria wants to have uninterrupted electricity, don’t they? Every part of Nigeria wants to see good roads. Every part of Nigeria wants to see the prices of food come down. Is there anywhere you buy bread cheaper? If you do the right thing, people will follow you.
“The level of divisiveness is because you have not come to bring people together. I will engage everybody constructively. I will sit down and discuss with every group. We will dialogue with them; we will bring everybody together in love. There are so many things you can solve by dialoguing and through discussion.
” I will tour every state of Nigeria. In Anambra, I did a tour of every local government once every three months and I slept in every local government.
“If you know Anambra state very well, you will know how chaotic and disorganised it was before I got there. For eight years, people were wondering, what is happening here? If the leader is determined, he can do a lot.
“People say Anambra state is not Nigeria. How do you measure unhired people? You take their track records. I wasn’t a banker. I have never worked in a bank but I’ve chaired a bank. I was just a trader in the market and a MD of a bank said to me ‘Peter, everytime I come to market, what you say is sensible. Can you come and be our Director? After being director for two years, everybody in the Board said this man should be our chairman. And I took the smallest bank in Nigeria to become a N25bn bank,” he said.
Former beauty queen, Precious Chikwendu has taken to social media to share photos of herself and her children beaming with joy as they spend time together.
This is the first time, Precious is been allowed to spend time with her children at her home after a messy custody battle following their marriage split in 2022.
Precious captioned the photos: “First night at mama’s house. A beautiful weekend it has been.”
The former minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode also shared the moments on his social media page stating that his children are having a swell time with their mother.
He wrote: “My princes are spending the first weekend at their mother’s place! They are having a swell time and so is mama Aragorn. Thanks be to God. God bless and be with them all. @snowhiteey well don”
Update On Reconciling With Fani-Kayode
A few months ago, Precious in a social media post, revealed that she can now spend time with her sons after being ostracized from them for a very long time.
According to precious she and FFK were working towards shared custody.
She stated further that she can now have long talks with her former husband for as long as two hours and still settle their differences amicably.
She wrote: “Gratitude and appreciation post. To everyone who shed a tear or two, to everyone who believed in me, to everyone who couldn’t sleep thinking of me. Words fail me!!! It isn’t perfect yet but it is beautiful. I am not in custody yet but we are negotiating terms for shared custody and end of a pending cases. Hopefully soon. Beautiful to be at peace with God, myself and others. Beautiful to kiss my boys once again, look into their eyes and make them giggle in pride, have Ikenna flash his gap tooth in excitement. Jidenna trying to bully me with his size, my Tobenna kiss me like he always does with so much admiration and love making me feel like chocolates in the hands of kids, my Lotanna leading and playing fixer or conflict resolver using the wisdom of King Solomon.
Beautiful because I also got to that point where I could sit with their father for hours, speak about the past 2 years, have intense arguments and disagreements but still find closure without bitterness, resolving to forge on separately without bad blood, putting these 4 young men above all wrongs given or received and Co-parenting peacefully. I can’t thank you all enough. Mentioning names would be shooting myself on the legs but I would be reaching out individually”.
A 19-year-old Lagos-based comedian, Eyinatayo Iluyomade, has landed in prison for playing pranks by dropping a threat note of robbery at the counter of FirstBank, in Ondo town, Ondo State.
Iluyomade was charged to court by the police on three count-charge bordering on conspiracy, threat and manner likely to pose a security threat.
The Police prosecutor, Akao Moremi, told the court that the defendant dropped the note at the bank indicating that by 1 pm on the same date, his armed robbery gang members would come to rob the bank.
Moremi said the note posed a security threat to the FirstBank’s Sabo branch, in Ondo town and also caused all banks operating in Ondo to shut down for the whole day.
The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge against him.
But the defence counsel, Hawkins Akinnugba, applied for the bail of the defendant in most liberal terms.
The bail application was, however, opposed by the police prosecutor on the ground that the defendant would temper with the cause of investigation of the matter as there were other criminal elements behind the threat.
The trial Magistrate, Mosunmola Ikujuni, refused the bail application pending the apprehension of other members of the criminal gangs.
Ikujuni said “if on the next adjournment date, the prosecution is yet to apprehend all other criminals involved in the matter, then the court will do the needful.
She, therefore, adjourned the case for ruling on the bail application.
The defendant, however, told the court that he is a comedian and that the note that he dropped at the FirstBank was a prank, adding that he has been doing this in Lagos until he relocated to Ondo town.
According to him, “this is the first time am playing the prank in Ondo.
He said “ there is no other gang that wanted to rob the bank as it was written in the note
Iluyomade, therefore, pleaded with the court to forgive him and promised not to play such a prank again.
The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, on Sunday, attended the Methodist Church Conference 2022, in Benue State.
The announcer at the conference, while introducing the former Governor of Anambra State, described him as a great Nigerian with integrity per excellence.
He further stated that Obi is a man of noble character, as the audience received him with great cheer and a standing ovation.
Obi, who was sitting with members of the church, was brought to the altar, while the instrumentalist played ‘stand up, stand up for the champion, stand up.
The presidential candidate was charged to say ‘worthy, worthy is the lamb’ as a member of Methodist, which he said.
The outgoing Prelate of Methodist Church Nigeria, Samuel Chukwuemeka Uche prayed for the Labour Party presidential candidate.
Naija News reports that this is coming days after Obi attended the 70th annual convention of the Redeemed Christian Church of God.
The former Governor of Anambra State was at the Redemption City for the first time.
The introduction of the presidential candidate was greeted with loud cheers from the audience at the convention.
Recall that former Governor has also met with the General Overseer of the Living Faith Church, popularly known as Winners Chapel.
Obi, a few weeks back, also attended the vigil at the Dunamis Centre.
Watch the video below:
Two-time President, Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick, says he hasn’t made up his mind to seek reelection for a third term as head of the country’s football federation, adding that he will make his decision known this week.
The FIFA Council member, who is winding down his second term in office, is reportedly seeking a third term in office, ahead of the NFF elections in September.
Last week, several reports quoted the football administrator saying he had received several calls from “very influential Nigerians” to seek re-election.
“I had initially decided not to vie, but I have been receiving several calls from very influential Nigerians as well as genuine lovers of the sport urging me to seek another term. It is within the law and I will decide about it when the right time comes,” Pinnick was quoted as saying.
“I’m yet to talk to my family and my business associates though, but there are people who want me to continue,” Pinnick added.
However, Pinnick, in an exclusive chat with The PUNCH, admitted that there had been pressure on him to contest in the forthcoming elections, but added that he was yet to decide on whether to vie or not.
The NFF boss was in Arusha, Tanzania last week for the Confederation of Africa Football’s 44th General Assembly.
“I’m not going to grant any interviews in Nigeria. The interview I granted was in Kenya and does not mean I have agreed or I will agree to contest for the third term or not. I said this in Kenya and I’m not going to grant any interview in Nigeria,” Pinnick told The PUNCH.
“A lot of Nigerians in Kenya want me to contest, but it does not mean I have accepted. I have not said that I’m going to contest, but I must respect the fact that many meaningful Nigerians want me to continue.
“I’m going to grant an interview this week, but at the moment, my position stands. Amaju Pinnick is not contesting for a third term election,” Pinnick said.
The NFF president’s latest comments are contrary to his stand in April, after the Super Eagles crashed out of World Cup qualification.
While refusing to bow to pressure to resign then, following the team’s failure to qualify for Qatar 2022, Pinnick stated he won’t run for a third term.
“Some people say, ‘oh, take responsibility and resign.’ I’m a soldier, I’ll stay till the end of my tenure.
“I’m eligible to run (for a third term) based on the status. Do I want to run? It’s a no no, my family is very key to me, they said it’s taking its toll on me and the family. They believe that I’ve done my best and it’s time to move on. It’s a regrettable decision, but it’s the best,” Pinnick told Arise TV.
In another interview with TopSport on Top Radio, Pinnick stated, “At the moment, my family is completely against it. I’ve done my best, posterity will judge whether I did my best or I was good enough or not. I’m still an integral part of football as a member of the FIFA Council, I’m not a peripheral member, I’m also a member of the CAF Emergency Committee, I’m also the vice president of the AFCON committee, so I’m still very deep in football but I believe there’s time for everything.”
Pinnick took over the leadership of the NFF from Aminu Maigari in 2014 and is the only person to have served two terms in office as head of the football body.
About four months after President Muhammadu Buhari directed the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to refund the nomination fees to all aspirants who stepped down for the party’s consensus arrangement at the party’s March 26 National Convention, the party is yet to heed the directive.
Recalls that in order to achieve a consensus arrangement ahead of the party’s convention, Buhari at a meeting on the 23rd of March with eight National Chairmanship aspirants, held at the Villa, persuaded them to step down for a consensus candidate, with a promise of a refund of their nomination fee.
Each of the aspirants for various party offices paid between N2.5 and N20 million for the expression of interest and nomination forms.
The party raked in over N700 million from about 170 persons who obtained nomination forms to contest for various party positions.
However, the aggrieved aspirants have been complaining about the non-compliance with the Presidential directive since March.
An aggrieved aspirant from one of the North-west states who pleaded anonymity decried the non-compliance with Buhari’s directive.
He said: “When the President gave the order on March 23rd, one will think, the first assignment of the beneficiaries of the consensus arrangement, that is the NWC members, was to effect an immediate refund of our nomination fees, having asked us to write our bank details for refund.
“The party is buoyant. The governor Buni-led Caretaker Committee left money, the NWC equally realised a huge sum of money running to billions of Naira. What excuse will the NWC give for this delay? The NWC has since paid their allowances.
“Individually, we applied for a refund and we have collectively sent a formal letter through the Forum of National Convention Aspirants but all have gone unattended to by the party.”
However, in spite of the billions of Naira realised from the sale of expression of interest and nomination forms for both party offices and various elective positions, the ruling party appears to be finding it hard to meet her financial obligations.
The party, it was gathered, generated over N3 billion from members who purchased the party’s expression of interest and nomination forms to contest for the party’s tickets ahead of the 2023 general election.
Responding, APC National Vice Chairman (North West), Dr. Salihu Lukman regretted the delay in payment and said that the matter is being looked into.
His words, “It is part of the unfortunate internal challenges. Administratively, this should have been resolved long ago. For instance, in my case, about four people stepped down for me and they have been talking to me. I have been drawing the attention of the party and I think now it is clear that the party has to resolve it as quickly as possible. I can assure you that is going to happen.”