These are the stories that drove the conversation this week:
Following the state of insecurity in Zamfara, especially after the reported killings of 18 persons in the state on New Year day, Governor Abdulaziz Yari, has said that he is ready to vacate office if that is what is required to restore peace and security to Zamfara.
Yari said this on Thursday while speaking with State House correspondents after a closed meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.
President Buhari on Friday held a closed door meeting and the Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Idris. Although officially the IGP’s tenure was supposed to end January 3, the details of the meeting has been kept a secret.
The Presidency on Friday reacted to criticisms about the choice of Hajiya Amina Zakari, an alleged niece to President Muhammadu Buhari and National Commissioner in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) by the Chairman of the electoral body, Mahmood Yakubu to head the National Collation Center Committee for the 2019 Presidential election.
In a statement it issued, the Presidency stressed that President Buhari and Commissioner Amina Zakari do not share blood relationship, noting that “the PDP in their desperation forget that its government appointed her in the first place judging her by her own merit and so they keep lying, as they have been caught doing on so many issues.”
Following a mission late Wednesday at about 7:45 pm, by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) to provide close air support to troops of 145 Battalion at Damasak in Northern Borno, it lost 5 crew members on board a Mi-35M attack helicopter in combat.
According to a statement on Thursday by NAF’s Director of Public Relations and Information, Ibikunle Daramola, the mission was part of the ongoing counter-insurgency operations in the North East, the remains of the deceased personnel were recovered to Maiduguri.
Delivering his customary New Year message, Spiritual Director of the Adoration Catholic Prayer Ministry, Enugu, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka called on Nigerians to brace themselves and pray fervently against ‘impending unimaginable difficulty’ in 2019.
The clergyman also endorsed President Buhari’s second term reelection bid. “Among all the Presidential aspirants, Buhari stands in the best position in winning the presidential election.” he said.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Wednesday refuted a claim that the federal government had on December 31, 2018 released N15.9 billion to universities, saying that it has not been briefed on alleged payment.
The Nigerian Army on Wednesday reacted to a “Global Campaign To Provide Food For Nigerian Soldiers Fighting Boko Haram” by one Doctor Perry Brimah, a Nigerian in diaspora, describing it as fraudulent and declared him wanted.
In a statement by the Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Sani Kukasheka Usman, the army stated that “Nigerian soldiers deployed in the North East or elsewhere, neither lack logistics nor food as the fraudster wants unsuspecting members of the public to believe,” adding that there has never been complaints of lack of food by soldiers talk-less of starvation.
Similarly, Following the inability of the Federal Government to urgently transmit the bill on the new national minimum wage to the National Assembly, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has set Jan. 8 as date for the commencement of an indefinite nationwide strike. NLC President Comrade Ayuba Wabba said the strike would be inevitable if nothing happened before the set date.
He appealed to workers across the nation to support the action to succeed in the interest of their social and economic prosperity. Wabba called on Federal Government to urgently transmit the bill on the new national minimum wage to the National Assembly for a speedy passage.
Ahead of the February 16 Presidential election, Wife of the President, Aisha Buhari was inaugurated as the chairperson of the All Progressive Congress (APC) Women and Youth Presidential Campaign team.
Appointed as co-chairperson is wife of the Vice President Dolapo Osinbajo, with the main objective of the appointment listed as facilitating and campaigning for the reelection of Buhari and Osinbajo in February.
Eight days after the siege on his Abuja residence by men of the Nigeria Police, the Senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye finally surrendered himself to the police for investigation, from where he was subsequently, taken to the Police hospital, Abuja for medical attention and has been declared to be in stable condition.
The embattled lawmaker who has been accused of Criminal Conspiracy and attempted Culpable Homicide, committed on 19th July, 2018, when he and armed thugs allegedly attacked a police personnel; Sgt. Danjuma Saliu, attached to 37 Police Mobile Force (PMF), shot and wounded him during a stop and search duty along Aiyetoro Gbede, Mopa Road in Kogi.
Temidayo Taiwo-Sidiq is a Political Journalist, Analyst and Social Change Advocate with major interest in Nigerian Politics, Governance and Sports.