Good morning Nigeria, welcome to Naija News roundup of top newspaper headlines in Nigeria for today Saturday, 13th August 2022.
When the Nigerian government lapsed into a financial fix, so much so that debt servicing surpassed revenue by N310bn, that was an indication that something had to give. According to the fiscal performance report for the first four months of 2022 released on July 21, the federal government’s total revenue for the period was N1.63trn while debt service gulped N1.94trn. A deficit of N3trn was recorded within the four months, even as N1.94trn was expended on fuel subsidy. It got worse with the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd heaving upon the federation the responsibility of funding petroleum subsidy. In the face of the ensuing cash crunch, it was only a matter of time before an uninventive government looked toward the easy means of sourcing cash, which unfortunately is at the expense of the Nigerian people.
The above contextualizes the report that was rife this week about the federal government declaring that there is “no going back on tariff hike on calls, data.” President Muhammadu Buhari had, in May 2022, approved the collection of 5 percent as excise duty on telephone recharge cards and vouchers, projected to raise at least N150bn. The charge comes as part of new items on the list of goods liable for excise duty on the Finance Act, 2020 in the country. The Act stipulates January 1, 2021, as statutory enactment, however, the excise duty on telecommunication services is yet to be implemented to date.
Train Attack: We Released The Terrorists’ Leader’s Wife And Children But They Didn’t Keep Their Promise – Presidency
The Federal Government has said that they met all the demands of the terrorists responsible for the Abuja-Kaduna train attack.
Naija News reports that the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu disclosed this during an interview with BBC Hausa service on Friday.
Shehu insisted that the presidency had done all it could within its power to meet the perpetrators’ demands and ensure the release of the abductees.
Shehu claimed that the leader of the terrorists demanded that his wife, newly born twins and seven other children who were in prison custody be released, which the government complied to.
However, he stated that the terrorists did not keep their side of the bargain.
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has denied filing a suit seeking the immediate removal of Atiku Abubakar as the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in next year’s general election.
This publication understands that the governor distanced himself from the suit hours after it was reported that the PDP Chieftain filed a suit challenging the outcome of the opposition party’s primary election.
Naija News earlier reported that in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/782/2022, Wike allegedly dragged the respondents to court over the conduct of the presidential primary that was held in Abuja on May 28 and May 29, 2022.
He filed the suit alongside a PDP chieftain, Newgent Ekamon, and listed PDP as the first respondent, while the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, is the 2nd respondent.
However, speaking in a chat with Track News Nigeria, Wike noted that he had no idea whatsoever about the purported suit nor know the lawyers who filed the suit at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
Wike further described the suit as the handiwork of mischief makers who merely want to use him to score cheap political points.
The verbal war between the camps of Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, refuses to end.
Naija News reports that Governor Wike’s camp has continued to accuse Atiku of paying lip service to reconciliation efforts and refusing to carry Wike along in the composition of the Campaign Council.
But reacting, loyalists of Atiku stated that the Rivers governor’s remarks and actions do not show someone who wants to be carried along by the party.
The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Vanguard: “Is Wike carrying himself along? The truth of the matter is that there have been extensive overtures to bring him on board and his behavior and actions have not been reflecting someone who wants to come on board.
“To that extent, the party cannot wait for him to come on board, and neither can the candidate wait for him. There seems to be a sense that everybody wants to move on. If and when he is ready to come on board, he (Wike) is welcome and if he thinks otherwise, so be it.”
The internal crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, does not seem to be ending anytime soon as Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has sued the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, Aminu Tambuwal; and the party over the conduct of the presidential primary that was held was in Abuja on May 28 and May 29, 2022.
Wike filed the suit alongside a PDP chieftain, Newgent Ekamon.
In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/782/2022, the PDP is listed as the first respondent while the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, is the 2nd respondent. Tambuwal and Atiku are listed as the 3rd and 4th respondents respectively while Wike and Ekamon are listed as the plaintiffs.
Naija News reports that during the PDP presidential primary, Tambuwal, while addressing the delegates had appealed for their votes but returned later to ask that they vote for Atiku.
At the primary, Atiku polled 371 votes while Wike and Bukola Saraki garnered 237 and 70 votes respectively.
In the suit, the plaintiffs are asking the court to determine eight issues which include whether the purported transfer of Tambuwal’s votes to Atiku by the PDP was illegal and void.
Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State visited the former governor of the state, Joshua Dariye, days after his release from Kuje Prison.
Naija News recalls that Dariye and former Taraba governor, Jolly Nyame were, on Monday released from prison three months after their pardon by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Council of State.
In a statement on Friday by his spokesman, Makut Simon Macham said the governor alongside his wife, federal lawmakers from the state and some members of the State Executive Council visited Dariye at his residence in Abuja on Thursday.
Governor Lalong said the entire state received the news of Dariye’s release with joy because they have been praying for him since his travails.
Lalong, however, appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari for granting Dariye a state pardon, after spending about four years in prison.
The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) on Friday threatened to embark on a nationwide strike following the lingering industrial action of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
NLC has expressed its grievances over the failure of the Federal Government to resolve the industrial strike of ASUU.
The President of NLC, Ayuba Wabba stated this during an interview on Arise TV on Friday.
Members of ASUU have been on strike since February 14 following the failure of the Federal Government to agree to its demand.
Wabba, while speaking on the outcome of the 3-day solidarity protest with ASUU, said the protest did not yield the desired results.
The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has mocked Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmakers threatening to impeach the President, Muhammadu Buhari.
Naija News recall that the minority lawmakers in the Senate had in July given Buhari six weeks to address the general insecurity in the country or risk impeachment.
Similarly, the PDP caucus in the House of Representatives also joined in the six-week ultimatum after a meeting of the party’s National Assembly caucus.
Reacting to this, Wike during the project commissioning in Rivers State on Friday, mocked the decision of the lawmakers.
According to the governor, the lawmakers lack the power to impeach the president, stating that they do not have the balls for such an act.
National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Iyorchia Ayu, has fingered the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) as those behind the suit challenging the victory of its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
Naija News reports that Ayu stated this on Friday at the International Commemoration of United Nations International Youths Day 2022 celebration of the PDP in Abuja, shortly after Governor Nyesom Wike distanced himself from the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/782/2022 filed on June 6, 2022, at the Federal High Abuja.
Wike had described the suit as the handiwork of mischief makers who merely want to use him to score cheap political points.
He said: “I don’t know anything about the so called suit. I did not ask anyone to file any suit for me. I don’t know the lawyers”.
Continuing, he said, “am I a kid to be filing a suit at this time. I had 14 days after the primary within which to have filed any suit. I didn’t do that then, is it two months after primary I will file a suit?”
Former Governor of Zamfara, Alhaji Mahmud Shinkafi says the Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, is the most prepared out of all the flag bearers.
Shinkafi said Tinubu’s track records and pedigree showed that he is ready for the top seat in the country and his emergence as the President would propel Nigeria to greatness.
He made this known on Friday in Abuja while accepting his appointment as Chairman, Board of Trustees of a political support group, Tinubu Vanguard.
2023: Why Tinubu Will Be Next President – Yoruba Elders
The former governor asserted that if elected, Tinubu will accelerate national growth and development, adding that his presidency will attract foreign investors.
“Considering what he has done for the country and going by his track records in pro- democracy advocacy and as governor of Lagos state, Tinubu is most prepared for the presidency.
“And from the feelers we are getting from across the country, he will win the election. We are determined to work for his success,” he said.