Atiku cancels Rivers rally, cites insecurity; Banks, fuel stations reject old notes, disobey S’Court ruling | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

  • Atiku cancels Rivers rally, cites insecurity
  • Banks, fuel stations reject old notes, disobey S’Court ruling
  • Fani-Kayode to be questioned again by DSS over coup tweet
  • My government will invest $10 billion in education, youth – Atiku
  • RUGA is the only way to end farmer-herder clashes – Ganduje

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

Atiku cancels Rivers rally, cites insecurity

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Council, Rivers State has called off its proposed rally for the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, in the state, citing insecurity as the major reason.

Spokesman for the Council, Senator Lee Maeba, alleged, yesterday, the decision followed Governor  Nyesom Wike‘s desire to scuttle the rally.

Maeba said: “Recall that because Atiku did not choose Wike as his vice presidential candidate, which he lobbied for, it resulted in his forming and leading a rebel group, known as G-5 or integrity group, purposely working against the candidate of the party.”

He listed attacks allegedly carried out by Wike against Atiku’s supporters since he failed to clinch his desired political positions.

Some of the attacks, according to him, include the sealing of a filling station belonging to Chinyere Igwe and the hospitality business premises of Jones Ogbonda and Ike Chinda.

“On February 5, 2023, 31 members of the Atiku Support Group were arrested during their meeting in Port Harcourt, arraigned, and remanded at the Correctional Centre in Port Harcourt on trumped-up charges of unlawful assembly, conspiracy, and cultism. They have been given March 23, 2023, as the return date, to keep them out of the election,” he said.

He added, “In the light of the above submission, we, the state Campaign Council, in total constructive engagement with the National Presidential Campaign Council, the candidate, and the party, having seen and evaluated the bodily harm and hurt and potential death, believes no loss of human life can be tolerated or accepted before, during and after the election and agreed with our principals on the need to shelve and or cancel the rally to avoid any danger.

Banks, fuel stations reject old notes, disobey S’Court ruling

Some commercial banks and filling stations have stopped accepting old naira notes from customers, despite the Supreme Court’s judgment barring the Federal Government from enforcing the February 10 deadline set by the apex bank for the currency swap.

According to reports from Monday, banks refused to take the old N1,000, N500, and N200 notes from depositors and point-of-service workers who swarmed the bank to deposit their cash.

Point-of-sale operators and other bank clients whose old naira notes were rejected panicked as bank personnel remained resolute, citing a direction from the Central Bank of Nigeria.

In addition, attorneys and litigants in high courts in Lagos State were unable to file court documents using the old naira notes.

As the naira situation deteriorates, CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele met with President Major General Muhammadu Buhari (ret.) on Monday in the Presidential Villa.

Emefiele, who has met with the President about six times since the naira crisis began, allegedly departed the residence by a side entry without addressing the press.

The governments of Kaduna, Kogi, and Zamfara states successfully petitioned the supreme court on February 8 to extend the CBN’s deadline for using the old banknotes beyond last Friday.

A seven-member panel of the supreme court, chaired by Justice John Okoro, ordered that the deadline be postponed until Wednesday, when the proceedings will resume, despite the fact that additional states have sought to join the lawsuit.

Fani-Kayode to be questioned again by DSS over coup tweet

A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Femi Fani-Kayode will on Wednesday return to the Department of State Services, DSS, over his coup tweet.

The former Minister of Aviation disclosed he was on Monday questioned by the operatives for about five hours.

Fani-Kayode had alleged that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar met with some military officers.

The Director of Special Projects and New Media in the APC Presidential Campaign Council, PCC, suggested they might be planning a coup ahead of the general elections.

Speaking with reporters at the APC national secretariat in Abuja, Fani-Kayode confirmed the grilling is continuing.

The former presidential aide has been asked to report to the security service once a week till the conclusion of the investigation.

Fani-Kayode said the investigators were inquisitive, polite, and professional in their approach, adding that he wasn’t oppressed.

FFK admitted he regrets some of the things in the Twitter post that made the PDP and the former Vice President demand his probe.

“I spent about five hours. I was subjected to thorough grilling and asked to come back on Wednesday. If I were to do it a second time, I won’t tweet this same way,” he added.

My government will invest $10 billion in education, youth – Atiku

Former Vice President of Nigeria and presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has assured that his government will allocate ten billion dollars towards youth empowerment and their education.

He stated this at UJ Esuene Stadium Calabar when he addressed a mass rally of PDP supporters and members ahead of the presidential election.

He said, if voted into power, security and the two items will be the priority of his government.

Atiku said, “We’ll allocate $ 10 billion for the education of our youths and empower them with skills thereby eliminating poverty and criminality. With this, jobs shall be created and insecurity in the country shall reduce drastically.”

He said it was becoming a reality that the country would not move forward with the current political situation.

Atiku, therefore, promises his government will certainly restructure the country, adding that this would be treated as a major policy thrust of his administration.

“We shall move to restructure the country as a major policy of the incoming PDP government by reducing the powers of the federal government and giving them to the states and local governments so that we will hold all our leaders from all tiers of government responsible for development.

“This will make the Federal Government less powerful and then greater powers and resources will be deployed to the state for the good of our people,” he stated.

“Let me also assure you that with the PDP in charge, your agricultural produce shall have value with road network to ready markets will be a priority, and Nigeria and the people of Cross River State shall smile again.”

He noted that Nigerians have suffered for eight years now owing to the incompetence of the ruling party.

Speaking earlier, the National Chairman of the party, Iyorchia Ayu, called on the people of the state to vote for PDP in order to reclaim their “stolen” mandate.

RUGA is the only way to end farmer-herder clashes – Ganduje

Abdullahi Ganduje, governor of Kano state, says RUGA — an acronym for rural grazing areas — is the only option to mitigate clashes between herders and farmers.

In 2019, the idea of establishing RUGAs across the country was met with stiff resistance by some governors.

At the time, David Umahi, governor of Ebonyi and chairman of the South-East Governors Forum, said no area in the geo-political zone would be given for the establishment of such settlements.

The National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP), which promotes ranching, appeared to be accepted by a majority of the governors but there has not been much in terms of implementation.

Speaking at the National Conference on Livestock Reforms and Mitigation of Associated Conflicts in Abuja on Monday, Ganduje said RUGA would afford herders land to graze their livestock and prevent them from going into farmlands

“The RUGA or ranching, which has been deliberately politicised, remains the only option that would go a long way in mitigating existential problems, as pastoralists would have lands to graze without cattle encroaching on people’s farmlands,” the governor said.

“Because herders need fodder for their cattle and promote alternative means of producing feedstock, which reduces the need for grazing land.

“We have gone far in the establishment of RUGA settlement in Kano. Already, 25 housing units out of the projected 500, situated on 4, 413 hectares of land at Dansoshiya Forest in Kiru local government have been completed and handed over to the herders. The replica of the houses will be displayed during an exhibition planned as part of this conference.

“Modernising the livestock sector is not only key to resolving the herder-farmer conflict but was envisaged that this economic investment pillar will support and strengthen the development of market-driven ranches for improved livestock production through breed improvement and pasture production.”

Ganduje said there is a need to educate the herders about the development of grazing reserves in order to curb conflicts between them and farmers.

“It is also very important that we must also avoid the dangers of allowing these conflicts to harden to religious or ethnic conflicts,” he said.

“This is the responsibility of political, religious, and all other parts of our leadership elite in Nigeria.”

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