Top Nigerian Newspaper Headlines For Today, Sunday, 26th March, 2023
Good morning Nigeria, welcome to the Naija News roundup of top newspaper headlines in Nigeria for today, Sunday, 26th March 2023.
Our Silence Not Cowardice, No One Can Stop Bola Tinubu’s Inauguration – Keyamo
The Minister of State, Labour, and Employment, Festus Keyamo (SAN), has slammed those saying Nigeria’s President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, should not be sworn in to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari on May 29th.
In a statement on Saturday, Keyamo, who is the Director, Public Affairs of the President-Elect, stated that the silence of the All Progressives Congress (APC) shouldn’t be mistaken for cowardice.
According to the Minister, by being declared winners of the February 25th presidential election, Tinubu and Senator Kashim Shettima are legally entitled to be inaugurated into office as provided by law.
Keyamo noted that it is perplexing to see that those contesting the results of the presidential election want to be in the courts and on the streets simultaneously.
Why I Was Against Soludo’s Gov Ambition – Obasanjo
A former President, Olusegun Obasanjo on Saturday revealed why he was against the governorship ambition of the Anambra State Governor, Chukwuma Soludo at a time.
Obasanjo disclosed that he had reservations when his former Chief Economic Adviser informed him of his governorship ambition.
The ex-president stated this while speaking at an event to mark the one-year anniversary of Soludo as the governor of the state.
He noted that he saw Soludo as someone better at something international or national and not as Anambra governor.
Obasanjo said, “Because of my experience with Chukwuma, I earmarked him for something greater in my mind until one day he came to me and said he was going to contest election as governor of Anambra. I did not disguise my anger against him.
“And I said, ‘Chukwuma, governor of Anambra, no, I see you for something national or international.’
Crisis Hits PDP As NWC Members Divided Over Ortom, Fayose, Anyim, Others Sanction
The 16-member National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has become divided over the decision of the Senator Iyorchia Ayu-led Party to suspend those it called ‘dissidents group’ and anti-party elements.
Recall that the main opposition party suspended former governors Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State, Ibrahim Shema of Katsina State, and a former Senate President, Anyim Pius Anyim, last Thursday. Also suspended were Prof. Dennis Ityavyar from Benue State and Dr. Aslam Aliyu from Zamfara State.
The PDP leadership also dragged Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom before its National Disciplinary Committee over alleged anti-party activities.
The PDP statement added: “The NWC has, after a very extensive review of the affairs of our party in the country and pursuant to the provisions of the PDP Constitution (as amended in 2017), referred the Governor of Benue State, Dr. Samuel Ortom, to the National Disciplinary Committee over his reported involvement in anti-party activities.”
But according to The Guardian, at the meeting, which preceded the suspension slammed on Fayose and Ibrahim Shema, some NWC members had argued that the post-election season should be an opportunity for the party to initiate an internal reconciliation mechanism among its warring members. Those who took that position were said to have equally noted that as party leaders, they must avoid using their positions to settle personal scores.
Despite Supreme Court Ruling, APGA Crisis Continues As Oye, Njoku Clash
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Victor Oye, has dismissed claims that the Supreme Court has reaffirmed Edozie Njoku as the authentic chairman of the party.
Recall that the apex court had reportedly re-affirmed Chief Edozie Njoku as the authentic National Chairman of the APGA on Friday in a judgment on an application by Njoku.
Njoku had sought the regularization of the amended judgment of Justice Mary Peter Odili, delivered on May 9, 2022.
This is following a letter from the Supreme Court to him on January 19, 2023, wherein it had addressed him as the National Chairman of APGA and advised him to approach the Court by way of a motion to correct the slip.
The accidental slip, which the Supreme Court corrected, has restored Njoku as the actual National Chairman of APGA, who was wrongfully removed by a Jigawa High Court in Suit No: JDU/022/2021 between Alhaji Garba Aliyu and Chief Jude Okeke & 2 Ors.
But addressing journalists, Oye, who the Independent National Electoral Commission recognizes as APGA National Chairman, described Njoku as a man unknown to APGA, stressing that there was no judgment by the Supreme Court on Friday, contrary to reports in the media.
INEC Under Pressure To Review Kaduna, Ogun, Enugu Guber Election Results
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is under pressure to review the results of some state governorship elections held on March 18, 2023.
Three Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the country have asked INEC to review the results of states such as Ogun, Kaduna, Enugu, and others where evidence of malpractice has been established.
The CSOs are Transition Monitoring Group (TMG), Transparency International (TI), and the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC).
In a report released on Thursday by their leader, Awwal Musa Rafsanjani, the CSOs said INEC should review elections in states where allegations of violence, voter suppression, and vote buying were presented to it.
The organisations said the 2023 general elections turned out to be one of the most violence-ridden elections in the recent history of the country.
Igbophobia: Obasanjo Says Okonjo-Iweala And Soludo Were His Best Appointees
Former president of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has described his appointment of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Charles Soludo as his best appointees, as he speaks on what he described as Igbophobia.
Naija News recalls that Obasanjo was the president of Nigeria between 1999 and 2007. During that period, he appointed Charles Soludo as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor and also appointed Okonjo-Iweala as the finance minister both from Igbo extraction.
Note that Soludo is currently the governor of Anambra state while Okonjo-Iweala is currently the Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
While speaking at a ceremony organized to mark Governor Soludo’s one year in office on Saturday, Obasanjo said the appointments of Okonjo-Iweala and Soludo were “probably the best of the appointments that I made when I was president”.
The former president who openly supported the candidacy of Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party on February 25, frowned at how the Igbos are persistently discriminated against in Nigeria.
To explain what he meant by one being an Igbophobian, the 85-year-old former president recounted how an unnamed close associate reacted when he made Soludo and Okonjo-Iweala CBN governor and finance minister respectively.
Imo Labour Party Governorship Aspirant Found Dead
A governorship aspirant of the Labour Party (LP) in Imo State, Humphrey Anumudu has been found dead in his house.
It was reported that Anumudu who had plans of contesting in the governorship primaries of LP died in his house in Lagos after he had returned from the party’s meeting at the party national headquarters in Abuja on Friday.
According to Tribune, Anumudu who is from Mbieri Ancient Kingdom in Mbaitoli Local Government Area of Imo state was reportedly found dead in his house in what family sources described as a “spiritual attack.”
Anumudu a multi-billionaire businessman cum politician has been contesting for the governorship seat of the state since 1998.
He was said to be the true winner of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship primary in the state in 1998 before the ticket was ceded to Achike Udenwa who went on to rule the state between 1999 and 2007.
INEC Speaks On Prosecution Of Electoral Offenders, Sponsors
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has promised to prosecute perpetrators of electoral violence in the just-concluded 2023 general elections.
Naija News reports that the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, stated this on Friday in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
In a chat with The Punch, Oyekanmi said the prosecution of electoral offenders and their sponsors will curb the prevalence of violence in the nation’s elections.
He also called for the need for the establishment of the Electoral Offences Commission and Tribunal to prosecute such offenders and their sponsors.
The INEC boss spokesman noted that if the new commission was established, electoral offenders and their sponsors would reconsider their actions.
Oyekanmi, however, said the Commission has succeeded in prosecuting a few electoral offenders, but their sponsors have been largely untouched.
Orji Kalu, Akpabio, Others Take Battle For NASS Leadership To APC NWC
Ahead of the June 13, 2023, inauguration of the 10th National Assembly, campaigns and lobbying for leadership positions are now taking place at the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Working Committee (NWC).
Naija News reports that highly contested positions are the President of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Deputy President of the Senate, and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives.
A total of seven political parties won senatorial seats, with the ruling APC topping the chart with 57 seats.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won 29 seats; Labour Party won seven; New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP) won two; Social Democratic Party (SDP) had two, while the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and Young Peoples Party (YPP) won one each.
According to Saturday Sun, the battle for who would emerge leaders of the 10th National Assembly and where the leaders would come from has shifted to the National Working Committee (NWC) of APC, where Abdullahi Adamu holds sway as National Chairman.
While many members of the APC NWC favour the zoning of the various positions, others are pushing for the positions to be thrown open to ranking party members.
CBN Speaks On Suspending OPAY, PALMPAY Accounts
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has debunked the reports making rounds that it has suspended accounts of some Fintech companies like OPAY and PALMPAY.
The apex bank in reaction to the reports described it as fake news.
The Acting Director, of Corporate Communications of CBN, Isa AbdulMumin, on Friday, March 24, 2023, in Abuja described the viral news as “simply fake’’.
The report which was credited to AbdulMumin claimed that the CBN was about to suspend accounts of the Fintech companies because they were being used to perpetrate fraud.
The viral news partly read, “Please if you are using OPAY, PALMPAY or any of these CHINA APPs or their POS, stop keeping much money in the account or stop using it.
“The CBN is about suspending their accounts because these apps are being used to perpetrate fraud.”
Similarly, OPAY and PALMPAY had in separate social media messages denied being under the radar of the CBN.