‘Disregard rumors, I am very strong’ – Tinubu; Nigeria to evacuate students from Sudan amid crisis starting Tuesday | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

  • Disregard rumors, I am very strong’ – Tinubu
  • Nigeria to evacuate students from Sudan amid crisis starting Tuesday
  • Otedola confirms acquisition of 5.52% stake in Transcorp
  • Buhari to attend Gulf of Guinea Summit in Ghana
  • Ohanaeze warns against omitting Igbo from Tinubu transition committee

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

‘Disregard rumors, I am very strong’ – Tinubu

Bola Tinubu, Nigeria’s President-elect, has dispelled rumors surrounding his health and readiness for office, following his return to the country on Monday after spending a month abroad. Upon his arrival at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, Tinubu was received by a jubilant crowd of supporters.

Earlier this year, Tinubu’s trip to Paris, Saudi Arabia, and subsequent absence from the country had led to speculation about his health, but he addressed the issue and reassured Nigerians of his readiness for the task ahead.

Speaking through his media aide, Tunde Rahman, Tinubu said, “Forget about what the rumour mill may have told you. I’m strong, very strong. I’m happy to be back. I have rested, I’m refreshed, and I’m ready for the task ahead.”

Tinubu also disclosed that he has been consulting widely on setting up a strong team ahead of his inauguration on May 29, where he would take over from President Muhammadu Buhari, who has completed his two-term of eight years.

In a statement by Rahman, the President-elect reiterated his commitment to delivering good governance to Nigerians.

“I appreciate your fervent prayers and support throughout the electioneering period. We have a lot to do in Nigeria, but with your support, I am confident that together, we will build a Nigeria that works for all,” Tinubu said.

Nigeria to evacuate students from Sudan amid crisis starting Tuesday

The Nigerian government has requested a safe corridor for the evacuation of thousands of Nigerian students trapped in Sudan due to the ongoing conflict between the military and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the chairperson of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), confirmed that the evacuation process would commence on Tuesday, after receiving permission from both sides of the conflict.

Dabiri-Erewa explained that the students would be transported by buses to the borders of Egypt, where they would be airlifted to Nigeria. The process had been delayed due to the need to ensure the safety and security of the students during the evacuation process.

Speaking to BBC Africa, Dabiri-Erewa stated that the government had been in contact with the National Association of Nigerian Students, who had initially attempted to help evacuate the students but had to abort due to safety concerns. She also urged Nigerians to continue to pray for the safe return of the students.

“Our ministry of foreign affairs has contacted both sides of the divide and we have asked for a safe corridor for our students and that means to give us security,” Dabiri-Erewa said. “We want to assure Nigerians that they will be back home safely, but we need their prayers and we need them to bear with us.”

Otedola confirms acquisition of 5.52% stake in Transcorp

Billionaire businessman Femi Otedola has confirmed his acquisition of a 5.52% stake in Transcorp Plc, making him the second largest shareholder in the company. The acquisition reportedly took place between an entity owned by Otedola and the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON). Otedola’s latest acquisition has further placed him above Tony Elumelu, the chairman of Transcorp, who owns a 2.06% stake (direct and indirect) in the company as of December 31, 2022.

In a tweet on Monday, Otedola confirmed the completion of the deal, expressing his excitement to work with the Transcorp board and management to take the company to greater heights. He wrote: “Following this acquisition I look forward to working with the board and management of Transcorp to realise the amazing future potential of the corporation.”

As of December 31, 2022, the only other shareholder with over a 5% ownership of the company is the United Bank for Africa (UBA) nominees, which owns about 9.25% of the company. Transcorp’s latest audited results revealed that the company had generated N60.2 billion ($146.5 million) in revenue in 2021, representing an increase of 32% from the previous year.

In a statement signed by Funmi Olofintuyi, the company secretary, Transcorp welcomed Otedola’s investment and expressed its commitment to remain resolute in executing its group’s strategy of making strategic investments in key sectors within the Nigerian economy, its transformation agenda and its ability to contribute positively towards building prosperity for all. The statement reads: “As noted in our previous communication, the company welcomes this expression of confidence in its leadership and management as we continue our unwavering commitment to superior stakeholders’ returns, anchored in our ideology of Africapitalism.”

This is not the first time Otedola has made a major investment in a Nigerian company. Last year, he acquired an additional 2.5% stake in FBN Holdings Plc, making him the single largest shareholder in the company with a total share of 7.5%. Otedola is the founder and former chairman of Forte Oil Plc, a leading player in Nigeria’s downstream petroleum industry. He is also the father of Nigerian disc jockey and musician DJ Cuppy, who has made a name for herself in the entertainment industry.

Buhari to attend Gulf of Guinea Summit in Ghana

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari is set to depart from Abuja to Accra, Ghana, on Tuesday, April 25, to attend the 3rd Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Gulf of Guinea Commission. As per a statement by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, the President is slated to participate in high-level discussions on the strategies to reinforce peace and security in the region in the face of maritime-related crimes.

Buhari, who served as the immediate past Chair of the Assembly, has been at the forefront of efforts by the region’s Member States, the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Gulf of Guinea Commission (GGC), and their associates to combat and prevent piracy.

“In June 2019, Nigeria’s National Assembly passed the Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences Act, 2019 (POMO Act), which aims to prevent and suppress piracy, armed robbery, and other unlawful acts against a ship,” the statement said.

The President will be accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; the National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj.-Gen Babagana Monguno (Rtd); the Director-General, National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ambassador Ahmed Rufai Abubakar, and other government officials.

“The President’s attendance at this summit underscores Nigeria’s support to the commission and its programmes, and the importance of collective action to enhance security in the Gulf of Guinea,” the statement read.

Furthermore, the summit is being held to assess the region’s current security challenges and to develop a comprehensive plan to combat maritime crime, including piracy, in the Gulf of Guinea. It is also expected to develop a strategic action plan to enhance inter-state collaboration, law enforcement, and intelligence-sharing among the Gulf of Guinea countries to improve maritime safety and security in the region.

President Buhari’s participation in this summit is expected to help promote the nation’s maritime security goals and strengthen its diplomatic ties with its neighbors.

Ohanaeze warns against omitting Igbo from Tinubu transition committee

The exclusion of Igbo from the transition committee list of President-elect Bola Tinubu has been criticized by the Ohanaeze Ndigbo socio-cultural organization.

The list, which was submitted to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, did not include any representatives from the Southeast.

In response to the omission, Isiguzoro, a spokesperson for Ohanaeze Ndigbo, called for Tinubu to integrate Igbos at the federal level and create a government of national unity.

In an interview with DAILY POST, Isiguzoro stated, “Ndigbo will give total support to Tinubu and we are emphasizing that he should integrate the Southeast properly into the center and ensure he creates a government of national unity.”

He added, “We are shocked that among the people enlisted by the president-elect that there was no Igbo person in the transition committee forwarded by Asiwaju. This portends danger. We want to believe that those who assisted Asiwaju made a great mistake. For such a mistake to come at this hour, it portends danger to the unity of the country.”

Isiguzoro further urged Tinubu to integrate individuals from the opposition who paid the supreme price by ensuring a smooth transition of power from the North to the South into the government of national unity. He listed the names of individuals such as Wike, Chimaroke Nnamani, Ikpeazu, Ortom, and Ugwanyi. The spokesperson emphasized that Tinubu must ensure a proper representation of all regions in the country to foster unity and ensure a smooth transition of power.

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