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Anambra destroys Obi’s billboards, LP protests; ‘Vote APC… PDP’ – Atiku’s gaffe at the PDP rally in Kogi | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

  • Anambra destroys Obi’s billboards, LP protests
  • ‘Vote APC… PDP’ – Atiku’s gaffe at the PDP rally in Kogi
  • Catholic priest burnt to death in Minna
  • Buhari to receive award in Mauritania for promoting peace in Africa
  • Emefiele: Senior advocates write Malami to ensure DSS follows court order

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

Anambra destroys Obi’s billboards, LP protests

The Anambra State Signage and Advertisement Agency has dismantled the campaign billboard of the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi.

Obi’s big billboard located at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Temporary Site Flyover was pulled down on Saturday alongside that of the party’s candidate for the Anambra Central Senatorial District, Chief Victor Umeh.

In August 2022, the Anambra State Government had directed presidential candidates to pay N10m, senatorial candidates to pay N7m, House of Representatives candidates to pay N5m, and state House of Assembly candidates to pay N1m as campaign fees before mounting any billboard or pasting posters.

Speaking on the development on Sunday, the Managing Director of ANSAA, Mr. Tony Ujubuonu, said contrary to insinuations, the pulling down of the billboards had no political undertone, but that the affected candidates did not comply with the laid down procedures.

He partly said, “In August and October 2022, ANSAA sent out a letter to all the political parties in Anambra to obtain political campaign permits which would enable them to enjoy campaigns around the state and have access to rent available government outdoor media assets and public spaces.

“Before commencing enforcement in November 2022, ANSAA ran a one-week sensitisation paid adverts in the media in case someone missed the earlier formally communicated information.”

While reacting to the development, the state chairman of the Labour Party, Mr. Ugochukwu Emmanuel, on Sunday said the antagonism of the state government against Obi has been carried to a higher level.

Emmanuel partly said, “We paid in obedience to a government order. Our application to hoist mini billboards on the streetlight poles along the expressway was rejected but it is evident that the same billboards of other candidates of other parties are hoisted on the same poles.

When contacted, Christian Aburime, the Press Secretary to Soludo, said the state government was studying the development and will issue a press statement on the matter soon.

‘Vote APC… PDP’ –  Atiku’s gaffe at the PDP rally in Kogi

Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Saturday, experienced a slip of the tongue during the party’s campaign rally in Kogi state.

At the rally held at the confluence stadium in Lokoja, the Kogi capital, Abubakar asked the party supporters to “vote APC…”, before correcting himself and saying PDP.

“People of Kogi state, we are here not to deceive you. We are men and women of integrity. I want to appeal to you that if you want your next state government to benefit you, vote APC… PDP in the presidential election,” he said.

“You will see that by the time we come to conduct the governorship election, we will take over Kogi state and make sure we deliver good governance to all of you.”

The development comes weeks after Abubakar made a similar gaffe during the party’s campaign rally at the Rwang Pam Township Stadium in Jos, the Plateau capital.

While concluding his speech in Hausa, the PDP presidential candidate had said: “For God’s sake and for the value of this place, ensure that you vote for A… I mean PDP this time around”.

Abubakar, who had earlier defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC), rejoined the PDP in December 2017.

Catholic priest burnt to death in Minna

After bandits set fire to his parish rectory on Sunday in northern Nigeria, a Catholic priest perished in the flames.

According to the Catholic Diocese of Minna, Nigeria, Father Isaac Achi’s body was discovered on January 15 among the burnt parish structure of Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church.

At three in the morning, armed bandits broke into the priest’s home in the village of Kafin Koro, and he was killed. Father Collins Omeh, another rectory priest, managed to flee the structure but was shot and is currently receiving medical attention.

Alhaji Sani Bello Abubakar, the governor of the Nigerian state of Niger where the attack took place, described the attack as “ungodly and inhumane” and directed the local security agencies to pursue the attackers, according to reporters

“This is a sad moment, for a priest to be killed in such a manner means that we are not all safe, these terrorists have lost it, and drastic action is needed to end this ongoing carnage,” Bello said.

Achi served as the parish priest of Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church where he died. He was also the chairman of his local branch of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).

“May the soul of very Reverend Father Isaac Achi and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in perfect peace,” the Diocese of Minna said in a statement shared by the Nigeria Catholic Network.

Buhari to receive award in Mauritania for promoting peace in Africa

President Muhammadu Buhari has received recognition in Nouakchott, Islamic Republic of Mauritania, for his efforts to uphold peace on the African continent, particularly through frequent consultations and conciliation sessions.

The “African Award for Strengthening Peace” will be presented to him on Tuesday, January 17, 2023.

Buhari is scheduled to fly to Mauritania on Monday to accept the honor, according to a statement from the presidency’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.

According to the schedule, President Buhari is slated to receive the award from the Abu Dhabi Peace Forum.

The forum is a gathering of international leaders that was founded in 2014 to examine modern approaches to embracing inclusive citizenship, fostering enduring peace, and working toward a safer and more sustainable future for all.

Buhari will use this opportunity to participate in the Third Forum Programme of the African Conference for Peace.

It is believed that he would make a speech on the achievements and milestones of the African peace effort.

He will be joined by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, the Minister of Defence, Maj. Gen. Bashir Salihi Magashi, the National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Mohammed B. Monguno, and the Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, Amb. Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.

Emefiele: Senior advocates write Malami to ensure DSS follows court order

Adetokunbo Kayode, former attorney-general of the federation (AGF), and five other senior advocates of Nigeria (SAN) have asked Abubakar Malami to prevent the Department of State Services (DSS) from arresting Godwin Emefiele.

The other SANs, who wrote under the aegis of Incorporated Trustees of Forum for Accountability and Good Leadership, included Oba Maduabuchi, Emeka Ozoani, M.M Nurudeen, Abdul Mohammed, and Emeka Obegolu.

Following the announcement of the new cash withdrawal policy, there have been speculations over a plot to frame Emefiele, the CBN governor.

The DSS had recently filed an application before the federal high court sitting in Abuja, seeking a warrant to arrest Emefiele over allegations that he was involved in terrorism financing and economic crimes.

In declining the ex parte motion — usually filed by an applicant in the absence of the respondent — John Tsoho, the chief judge, said the secret police did not provide any concrete evidence to substantiate its claims.

Also, a federal capital territory (FCT) high court sitting in Maitama issued an order restraining the DSS from arresting the CBN governor.

In the letter dated January 6, the senior advocates urged Malami, the current AGF, to ensure the DSS abides by the court orders.

“In spite of these two categorical judicial decisions, we observe moves to still proceed and sidetrack and disobey the court decisions and unduly and unlawfully interfere with Mr. Emefiele’s fundamental rights,” the lawyers said

“In the circumstance, we wish to urge the Hon attorney-general of the federation to use his good offices to guarantee and ensure that the government, especially the security agencies, observe the rule of law as a foundation of a democratic society by complying with court decisions.

“The court, as the last hope of the citizen, has made a pronouncement on the legal rights and obligations of citizen Godwin Emefiele. It behoves on all agencies of government to obey the order of the court until such order is set aside by an appellate court.

“The constitutional role of the judiciary as the third arm of government includes to serve as a bulwark against oppression and intimidation. The judiciary remains available to both the government and the citizens in the ventilation of perceived grievances.

“Consequently, we respectfully urge the Hon. attorney-general, as chief law officer of the federation, to ensure adherence to the rule of law and advise the security agencies, especially the Department of State Security (DSS) to comply with the order of the court and not do anything that will cast this government in a very negative light In this circumstance.

“This is very important as it will signal to Nigerians and the international community that the government is committed to the rule of law as we proceed into this transition era.”

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