Friends criticising me lobbied for vice-president slot – Tinubu; FG disagrees as court stops Nigeria Air deal | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

  • Friends criticising me lobbied for vice-president slot – Tinubu
  • Drama in Senate as ad hoc committee members on oil theft disown report
  • ‘Drunk’ soldier kills Nigerian Army General
  • Abel Amadi elected New General Superintendent Assemblies of God Nigeria
  • FG disagrees as court stops Nigeria Air deal

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

Friends criticising me lobbied for vice-president slot – Tinubu

The Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, on Wednesday said those criticising him over his choice of Kashim Shettima as his running mate in the 2023 polls had approached him for the position.

He said most of them were close to him, adding that they had indicated interest to become his running mate, an overture he claimed he bluntly turned down.

Tinubu spoke during an interactive session with the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria in Abuja, led by Archbishop Daniel Ukoh.

The APC standard bearer’s choice of Shettima, a fellow Muslim and former Borno State governor had generated a groundswell of opposition and criticisms from many Nigerians, including the leadership of CAN.

Among the critics of the Muslim-Muslim ticket was Babachir Lawal, a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation and close ally of Tinubu, who described the decision as “a disastrous error.’’

Also, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, who was opposed to the idea, asked Christians in Nigeria not to waste their votes on the APC candidate in the 2023 election.

A prominent Christian leader and Bishop of the Diocese of Sokoto, Fr. Mathew Kukah, said the ruling party was insensitive to settle for same faith ticket despite squandering power and misallocating opportunities given to them in 2015.

But addressing Christian leaders at the Ecumenical Centre in Abuja, the former Lagos State governor dismissed the claims that he planned to Islamise Nigeria with his choice of Shettima as the Vice-Presidential candidate.

He said, “People have reacted harshly to my selection. They are because they are my friends, they lobbied me and wanted to be my running mate but I bluntly rejected them. The rumour that this is some plot to suppress the Christian community is untrue and unfortunate. I don’t have that kind of agenda. The bucks stop on my table, not on the vice- president’s table unless so delegated. He cannot even forgive convicted inmates if I don’t delegate the power to him. What is the vice- president?

‘’I can no more suppress the Christians of this nation than I can suppress the Christians in my own household, my very family. I dare not contest the presidential position in my house because I will lose, they are all Christians. If I did not Islamise my family, I cannot Islamise Nigeria. It is awful to hear such allegations. We cannot make progress if we continue to follow that path in the country. Religions will not help us. It won’t do any good to us.“

Drama in Senate as ad hoc committee members on oil theft disown report

The Senate on Wednesday refused to consider the report of its Adhoc Committee on Oil Lifting, Theft and the Impact on Petroleum Production and Oil Revenues as some members of the probe panel disowned the report presented by the chairman, Senator Akpan Bassey (YPP Akwa Ibom North East)

The upper legislative chamber had, on April 14, 2022, constituted a 13-member ad-hoc committee under the chairmanship of Senator Bassey, who, incidentally, is the chairman, the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Upstream).

Seven months after the assignment, the committee presented its report for the senate’s consideration and adoption in plenary on Wednesday but ran into troubled waters.

First to make an observation on non-signing of the report was the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, who presided over plenary, by saying only six out of 13 members signed the report presented to him.

Omo-Agege’s observation triggered open confessions by some committee members who outrightly disowned the report.

Specifically, Senator Sani Musa (APC Niger East), openly told the Senate that the six signatures attached to the report were taken from the attendance list at the committee’s first sitting in April.

“Mr. President and Distinguished Colleagues, only three and not six members of the committee signed the report.

“As a member, I attended the first meeting along with five other senators whose signatures were attached to the report.

“After the first meeting, I was not invited for any other meeting and I did not attend any, making this report before us today, a very strange one to me,” he said.

Also disowning the report, another member of the Committee, Senator Kashim Shettima (APC Borno Central), said as a member of the committee, he was never invited to any meeting and cannot say anything on the report being presented to the Senate for consideration and approval.

Irked by the submissions, the Deputy Senate President called Senator George Sekibo as a committee member to give way out of the problem.

Sekibo suggested that the report should be withdrawn for consensus among committee members between now and Monday next week for re-presentation on Tuesday in plenary.

Omo-Agege consequently suggested voicing votes, with a majority of the Senators concurring with it.

Members of the committee as constituted in April were Senators Akpan Bassey (chairman), Yusuf A. Yusuf, Solomon Adeola, Kabiru Gaya, Mohammed Aliero, George Sekibo, Gabriel Suswam, Kashim Shettima, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, Ali Ndume, Stella Oduah, Sani Musa and Ibrahim Gobir.

‘Drunk’ soldier kills Nigerian Army General

Brigadier General O.A. James, one of Nigeria’s greatest officers and the director of finance for the Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement Centre (NAFRC), has died.

According to individuals familiar with the incident, the top army officer died on Tuesday night from injuries incurred when a car driven by a corporal named Abayomi Ebun, who is suspected of being intoxicated, struck him.

Brigadier General James was on his way to his apartment inside the NAFRC barracks in Lagos on Tuesday night at 10:30 p.m. when the incident occurred

The army corporal has been detained by NAFRC provost marshals who are investigating the event.

Nigeria’s army has yet to respond to the event. 

Brigadier General James was the head of the Nigerian Army Finance Corps until his death. He had bachelor’s, master’s, and MBA degrees in accounting, as well as an M.B.A. in Finance.

He was a member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation (ACTI), the National Institute of Management (NIM), the Nigerian Institute of Directors (MIoD), and the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN)

Brigadier General James worked at the Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement Centre until his death. It is a tri-service facility tasked with preparing military soldiers for retirement into civil life by teaching them one or more vocations.

The Center’s purpose, according to the defense headquarters, is to make it simpler for military retirees to move into civilian life. The Nigerian Army Resettlement Center was the center’s original name. A name change became necessary because other sibling military forces began engaging in its activities and services.

Abel Amadi elected New General Superintendent Assemblies of God Nigeria

Rev. Dr. Abel Amadi has been elected as the new General Superintendent, Assemblies of God Nigeria.

Until his election early Thursday morning, Rev. Amadi was the District Superintendent of Owerri East District of Assemblies of God Nigeria.

Amadi, a member of the now dissolved Executive Committee, was elected at the 4th Elective ballot at the ongoing 37th General council meeting of Assemblies of God Church holding at Evangel Camp Okpoto.

The election, which commenced early on Wednesday, stretched into the night.

Announcing the results, the Chairman of the Council Meeting, Rev. Isaac Mpamugo said Rev. Dr. Abel Amadi polled 3233 as against the current General Secretary of the Church, Rev. Dr. Godwin Amaowoh who polled 1208 to come a distant second.

Rev Amadi, from Owerri in Imo State, will now take over from Rev. Pst Ejikeme Ejim who is now retired after reaching the mandatory 70 years retirement age.

Election into the Offices of Assistant General Superintendent, General Secretary, Treasurer and members of the Executive Committee resumes today, Thursday.

FG disagrees as court stops Nigeria Air deal

The Federal High Court, Lagos Judicial Division, on Tuesday, issued an order of interim injunction restraining the Federal Government from executing the proposed establishment of the national carrier – Nigeria Air.

But the Federal Government, through its Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, declared on Tuesday that no law in Nigeria could stop the national carrier project.

On their part, domestic airlines alleged that the sale of shares of the proposed airline violated the Companies and Allied Matters Act, as well as that of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The document containing the FHC’s order of interim injunction, with reference: FHC/L/CS/219/2022, indicated that the registered trustees of the Airline Operators of Nigeria were the plaintiff in the suit.

It named the four defendants to include Nigeria Air Limited – first defendant; Ethiopian Airlines – second defendant; Senator Hadi Sirika (aviation minister) – third defendant; and the Attorney-General of the Federation (Abubakar Malami) – fourth defendant.

It was reported on Monday that the national carrier project might be stopped by the court as domestic airlines had taken the Federal Government and its foreign technical partner and majority shareholders to court.

The report stated that about eight local airlines and their association took the government to court on Friday, listing Nigerian Air, Ethiopian Airlines, Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, as defendants.

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