BBNaija Titans won’t distract Nigerian youths from voting – Ebuka; FG declares public holidays for Christmas, New Year celebrations | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

  • BBNaija Titans won’t distract Nigerian youths from voting – Ebuka
  • Why I didn’t perform in Ghana, Abidjan — Wizkid
  • If office attacks continue, INEC says it may not recover in time for elections
  • FG declares public holidays for Christmas, New Year celebrations
  • Simon Ekpa not our member, we’ll expose him – IPOB

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

BBNaija Titans won’t distract Nigerian youths from voting – Ebuka

Big Brother Naija reality show host and media personality, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu has cleared the air on recent criticisms of the Big Brother Titans show – some Nigerians argue that airing the show in January will distract youths from actively participating in the 2023 general election.

The BBNaija organisers recently shared their plans for a new season of the show tagged Big Brother Titans, which would be a combination of both Nigerian and South African housemates.

The show will last for three months as it is slated to begin on January 15 and end on April 2, 2023.

Nigerians have continued to express worries about youth involvement in the forthcoming 2023 elections slated between February and March, following the interest the reality television show often generates.

Addressing the issue, during the launch of Big Brother Titans, Ebuka stated that ”Nigerian youths are very capable of going out to vote and also coming back to watch whatever they want to watch.”

Unlike other editions, the BBTitans is to take place in South Africa and will also have two show hosts Ebuka Uchendu alongside South Africa’s Lawrence Maleka.

Why I didn’t perform in Ghana, Abidjan — Wizkid

Grammy award-winning singer Ayo Balogun popularly known as Wizkid has revealed why he didn’t honour the invitations to perform at a concert in Ghana and Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire respectively, blaming it on “safety and production issues.”

The Starboy spoke through his manager, Sunday Are, Wednesday, while being unveiled as the headliner of the forthcoming concert tagged “ Vibes on the Beach”, billed to hold at the Landmark Event Centre, Lagos, later this month.

Recall that Wizkid disappointed his fans in Ghana recently after failing to show up at a concert he was billed to perform. He also repeated the same in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire last Sunday, when he had his fans waiting for long hours to no avail.

But the organizers of ‘Vibes on the Beach’ ensured that Wizkid was confirmed to perform at the event, following inquiries from entertainment journalists who were curious about his showing up. 

The December 30th event is part of a three-day end of the year funfair being packaged by Toro Entertainment Company with the support of CIG Motor, Lontor, Gree, First Bank, Pepsi and Pillow.

The other two events are Eko 4 Show(Wave of Afrobeats) on December 29 and Vibes on the Beach( The DJ Rave), December 31 at the same venue.

The Chief Executive Officer of Toro Entertainment Company, Adetoro Fowoshere, said they decided to take the three-day show to LandMark Beach in Victoria Island, where maximum security and enough space for all invited artistes to express themselves would be guaranteed.

She said, “Good time is guaranteed. Technologically, we have one of the best teams in terms of production in Nigeria, partnering with local vendors to give the best of experience.”

The Toro CEO described the collaboration between her company and LandMark in hosting this year’s show as “a marriage made in heaven,” adding “We plan to continue the relationship for many years to come.”

Speaking further, Fowoshere said massive support was being expected from the Lagos State Government especially with the Eko 4 Show on December 29 which would celebrate and promote Lagos State.

On the lineup for the show include Tu Baba, Timaya and Awilo Longomba (a Congolese), Waje, among others.

One of the artists scheduled for performance, Cobhams Asuquo, expressed excitement for being part of the show.

“There is a lot of synergy among those involved in the show. You will have a standout experience from different artists that will be performing. Expect heavily detailed performance.

“You will see the artists perform not just on stage but their work well translated. It will be an emotional experience,” he said. He added that the event would provide an opportunity to present the best DJs in Nigeria and West Africa.

Senior Strategy Manager at Landmark, Utibe Bassey, said the company took pride in providing a relaxed ambience for its guests and has put in place measures for a safe environment.

“People come here to enjoy themselves. This show will not be an exception. In fact, we will have soldiers working with other security agents to keep the place secured,” he said.

If office attacks continue, INEC says it may not recover in time for elections

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says the conduct of the 2023 elections may be affected if the attacks on its offices continue.

Mahmood Yakubu, INEC chairman, spoke on Friday when he appeared before the house of representatives ad hoc committee investigating attacks on the facilities of the commission.

The INEC chairman said the commission has made efforts to replace election materials destroyed in its offices, but said if such attacks continue, it may affect the elections.

“The attacks have far-reaching implications on preparation for the general election. Firstly, the facilities that are destroyed, especially offices, would take time to rebuild,” he said.

“They are not like items of procurement that you can procure off the shelf. So, an alternative arrangement has to be made. So, in some of the states, in addition to these malicious attacks and other matters that have arisen as a result of fire and flooding, we would have to make alternative arrangements by renting.

“In some places, we can find facilities to rent. In some of the remote areas, we may not find facilities to rent. So, we have to look for alternatives for the damaged facilities. 

“Secondly, several materials lost would have to be replaced. In the recent attacks, some of the PVCs, for instance, were lost. But for the PVCs, we have instructed our state offices to send the voter identification numbers of the PVCs lost so we can reprint them. We can, from our database, quickly regenerate and reprint the cards so that citizens are not disenfranchised.  

“The commission and security agencies must also continue to provide safety around the facilities, and as I said earlier, it may be very challenging, because the security agencies are also protecting all of us and other national assets.

“Now, we have to rebuild the facilities and our funds are overstretched by a number of factors. We cannot continue to replace and rebuild. And what is even more worrisome for us is the attack in Izzi LGA of Ebonyi state.

“The building was first attacked on 18th May, 2021. We included the resources in our election project plan budget to rebuild the office, and we did so. We rebuilt the office and our staff moved in on Friday. That weekend, on Sunday, the office was burnt down again and there are five such offices nationwide where, in spite of our best efforts, the facility was attacked not only once, but twice. We have five offices and even after rebuilding or trying to rebuild, the offices were attacked again. 

“We are determined that we would continue with our preparations for the 2023 general election. So, all the facilities would be rebuilt or alternatives found and materials would be replaced.

“However, should such attacks continue at the pace at which they are happening at the moment, the commission may find it increasingly difficult to recover in good time for the election.

“If it is about stopping the attacks, yes, we can recover. But if the attacks continue, it would be very difficult for the commission to recover.”

The INEC boss added that “concerted efforts” must be made to stop the attacks on INEC offices, adding that he hopes that the committee’s hearing will also provide a solution.

FG declares public holidays for Christmas, New Year celebrations

he federal government has declared December 26 and 27 as well as January 2, 2023, as public holidays.

The ministry of interior announced the festive season holidays in a statement signed by Belgore Shuaib, the permanent secretary, on Friday.

The public holidays are to mark Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day celebrations respectively.

Rauf Aregbesola, the minister of interior, asked Christians to emulate the doctrines of Jesus, noting that “we must imbibe the life of Jesus Christ in His practice and teachings on humility, service, compassion, patience, peace and righteousness”.

The minister called on Christians to use the festive period to pray for the total eradication of the insecurity bedevilling Nigeria.

He said peace and security are two critical conditions for economic development and prosperity.

Aregbesola asked Nigerians not to be swayed by “criminal elements” who intend “to create anarchy in the country”.

“Moderately celebrate the festival, avoid the spread of fake news and be responsible,” he added.

The minister said the federal government has put in place measures to secure lives and property while he encouraged Nigerians to support security agencies by providing useful information.

He urged Nigerians to be security conscious and advised them to report suspicious activities through the N-Alert application on Android and IOS.

Simon Ekpa not our member, we’ll expose him – IPOB

The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has vowed to expose the secrets of a self-acclaimed disciple of its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, Simon Ekpa.

IPOB made the remark while stressing that the Finland-based Ekpa was not its member.

The Kanu-led group denied Ekpa against the backdrop of the five-day sit-at-home he declared across the South-East.

Emma Powerful, the spokesman of IPOB, said the sit-at-home order declared by Ekpa had exposed him as an enemy of the group.

A statement by Powerful said the order was aimed at destroying lives and properties in the South-East.

“IPOB will stop at nothing from exposing Simon Ekpa. We must expose him for clarity’s sake, and nobody should link him with IPOB. He is not our member and can never be an IPOB member,” the statement read.

The recent killings and destruction in the South-East have been linked to Ekpa.

The Finland-based Biafra agitator recently ordered a five-day sit-at-home which led to the destruction of lives and properties in the South-East.

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