2023 elections: Peter Obi suspends campaign; Avoid trips to Nigeria, Australia warns citizens | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

  • 2023 elections: Peter Obi suspends campaign
  • The Nigeria startup Bill will stop security agencies’ constant harassment of young people using laptops – Isa Pantami
  • Ekiti Speaker dies of cardiac arrest, gov mourns
  • NANS condemns attack on Nigerian students in India
  • Avoid trips to Nigeria, Australia warns citizens

Across Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, these are the five top Nigerian news stories you shouldn’t miss:

2023 elections: Peter Obi suspends campaign

Peter Obi, the Labour Party’s candidate for president in 2023, has paused his campaign.

This was said by the former governor of Anambra when he went to Abuja on Wednesday to see the governor of Benue State.

His decision was based on the plight of people who were hurt by the floods that hit several places in the country last week and caused a lot of damage.

Obi also asked Atiku Abubakar and Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidates for the Peoples Democratic Party and the party in power, the All Progressives Congress, to do the same.

He said that if the candidates can pay millions of Naira for their nomination forms, they should be able to help the people who lost their homes in the flooding.

He said, “I personally stopped and told my people no more campaign, until we are able to visit some of the sites, at least sympathize with those going through problems.

“I came to take permission and ask him (Ortom) that I want to visit some of the sites in Benue as I am going to do in one or two other states.

“I am also calling other presidential candidates to stop campaigning and see what we can do.

“If we can buy our forms for millions of naira, we should have some little thing to go, now that people are suffering, and at least show sympathy with them and then we can continue.”

The Nigeria startup Bill will stop security agencies’ constant harassment of young people using laptops – Isa Pantami

The Nigeria Startups Bills were signed into law by President Muhammadu on Wednesday.

This is due to the government’s establishment of a N10 billion investment fund for young inventors as well as the inclusion of tax breaks and incentive programs to support homegrown innovators.

Isa Pantami, the minister of communication and the digital economy, said this while briefing reporters from the State House at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

He said that Microsoft had chosen to train roughly five million Nigerians in highly in-demand skills focused on job development as recognition for the government of Nigeria’s efforts in information and communication technology (ICT).

According to him, the ICT sector generated 18.42% of the GDP this year alone, compared to 40% of the communication and digital economy as a whole.

Using the assistance of the Minister of Communication and the Office of the Chief of Staff to the President, he revealed that the new Act was an Executive Bill that President Buhari had drafted.

The Act, he added, offers the legal and strategic framework for the innovators to make their contributions to the nation. He claimed that young innovators from the six geopolitical zones of the country were involved before the bill was passed.

Five of the seven unicorns in Africa are from Nigeria; each unicorn’s market value is $1 billion.

He defined a unicorn as a privately held startup company with a value of more than $1 billion USD.

According to the Minister, the President would serve as the head of the Presidential Council on Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship, with the Deputy President serving as vice chairman.

He added that members of the Council would come from the public and private sectors, as well as from academia.

According to Pantami, the Council presided over by the President, would work to stop the security agencies’ constant harassment of young people using laptop computers and referred to as “yahoo yahoo guys.”

Ekiti Speaker dies of cardiac arrest, gov mourns

Funminiyi Afuye, the speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, has passed away.

“Afuye died Wednesday evening at the Ekiti State Teaching Hospital, Ado Ekiti, where he was undergoing treatment after having a heart arrest,” said Yinka Oyebode, the chief press secretary to the state governor.

“The late Afuye, 66, was a former Commissioner, Ekiti State Ministry of Information and a two-time member of the State Assembly. He was inaugurated Speaker of the sixth Assembly on June 6, 2019.”

“This is shocking”, a member of the Assembly told journalists over the phone. 

“We are devastated by Funminiyi Afuye’s passing because he was present at the House of Assembly yesterday (Tuesday). It is an unpleasant awakening.

“We were informed that he suddenly experienced issues on Wednesday and was taken to the hospital, where he passed away.”

Afuye presided over the Assembly’s plenary session on Tuesday after attending the new governor, Biodun Oyebanji’s thanksgiving service.

NANS condemns attack on Nigerian students in India

The recent attack on Nigerian students in Delhi, India, has been denounced by the National Association of Nigerian Students.

This was revealed in a statement released on Wednesday by Babatunde Akinteye, National Vice President, External, of NANS.

The lives and well-being of Nigerian students abroad should be safeguarded, according to Akinteye, who referred to the incident as “racist.”

He said, “My attention has been drawn to an ongoing racist attack in the city of Delhi, India, where some Nigerian citizens currently studying in Delhi were attacked by some Indian students.

“After a painstaking investigation, it was found that the tension erupted as a result of some Nigerian Muslim faithful who said their prayers on a football field instead of an allocated room, which prompted some Hindu students to attack Nigerian students on the campus.

“While we do not wish to cause mayhem or public disturbance, we must make it clear that the safety and well-being of every Nigerian student studying in the diaspora and at home must be protected at all costs.”

Akinteye pleaded with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Major General Chris Eze (retired), Nigeria’s High Commissioner to India, to take action and end violence against Nigerian students abroad.

He said, “I am using this medium to appeal to the Honourable High Commissioner of Nigeria to India, Major General Chris S. Eze (retd.) to please swing into action to curb any further unseen circumstances or crisis. In the same vein, we urge the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs to intervene on this issue and rise to discharge their duties immediately.

“Due to the situation at hand, the national executives of NANS will visit the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs for more facts and to proffer practical solutions and also to ensure the safety of our fellow students schooling in Delhi, India.”

Akinteye urges Nigerian students in India to keep calm and maintain their safety in these perilous times.

Avoid trips to Nigeria, Australia warns citizens

The recent flooding that has wreaked havoc in some areas of Nigeria has prompted the Australian government to issue a travel advisory to its people.

On Wednesday, the consulate posted a list of over 20 states for Australians to stay away from, including Abuja, the capital of the country.

The nation has advised its citizens to think twice before traveling to the nation with the most population in Africa due to terrorism, kidnapping, and other criminal activities.

However, it cautioned its citizens that if their journeys to Nigeria are significant, they should do a detailed analysis of the routes to take and seek competent security assistance.

It stated, “Severe flooding has resulted in substantial casualties and considerable infrastructure damage. There could be a disruption in crucial services. Pay attention to local authorities’ advise and news reports for updates.

“The potential for terrorism, kidnapping, crime and civil unrest remains high throughout Nigeria. If, despite our advice, you undertake travel within Nigeria, research routes and get professional security advice and support before departing.

“Reconsider your need to travel to Nigeria overall, including the capital Abuja and surrounding areas, due to high threats of terrorist attack and kidnapping, the volatile security situation, possible violent civil unrest and high levels of violent crime.

“Do not travel to Adamawa, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Borno, Cross Rivers, Delta, Gombe, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe and Zamfara States.”

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