- Obasanjo endorses Peter Obi for president
- Nigerians moved from frying pan to fire under APC – Obasanjo laments
- El-Rufai pardons 11 convicts
- Fulfill 2015 promise, rescue remaining Chibok girls – Parents write Buhari
- Thugs attack Tambuwal’s convoy in Sokoto
Across Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, these are the five top Nigerian news stories you shouldn’t miss:
Obasanjo endorses Peter Obi for president
The former Nigerian president, Olusegun Obasanjo, has endorsed Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, as his preferred choice for president in next month’s election.
Mr. Obasanjo gave his endorsement in an open letter to young Nigerians on Sunday.
“None of the contestants is a saint but when one compares their character, antecedent, their understanding, knowledge, discipline, and vitality that they can bring to bear and the great efforts required to stay focused on the job, particularly looking at where the country is today and with the experience on the job that I personally had, Peter Obi as a mentee has an edge. Others like all of us have what they can contribute to the new dispensation to liberation, restoration, and salvaging of Nigeria collectively.
“One other important point to make about Peter is that he is a needle with thread attached to it from North and South and he may not get lost,” he wrote.
Mr. Obi is one of the presidential candidates who had sought the support of the former president.
Nigerians moved from frying pan to fire under APC – Obasanjo laments
Former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has lamented that Nigerians, under the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), have moved from frying pan to fire.
Obasanjo said the past seven and a half years of the APC government had been stressful years for many Nigerians
“We have moved from frying pan to fire and from mountain top to the valley,” Obasanjo said.
The Balogun Owu maintained that “our leaders have done their best,” stating, however, that their best is not the best for Nigeria.
“For most Nigerians, it was hell on earth,” he cried out.
The ex-President said this in a New Year letter he said he was constrained to write to all Nigerians, especially youths.
Obasanjo said, “those of us who are alive should thank God for His mercies, brace ourselves for the remaining few months of this administration and pray and work very hard for an immediate better future – future of liberation, restoration, and great hope and expectation.”
El-Rufai pardons 11 convicts
In an act of kindness on New Year’s Day, Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai granted the release of 11 prisoners and thanked the locals for their support over the years.
According to a statement from Sir Kashim Ibrahim House, the governor freed the prisoners on New Year’s Day after acting on the advice of the State Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy.
“It is customary to extend a gesture of compassion on New Year’s day, by granting pardon to deserving prisoners within the jurisdiction of Kaduna state,” the statement added.
Musa John, Yakubu Abdullahi, and Habu Usman’s immediate release as well as the granting of amnesty were earlier recommendations made by the Kaduna State Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy.
Shamsu Usman, Abdullahi Abdulmumuni, and Mahadi Abdullahi were among the prisoners that were freed, along with Futune Mabuke, Abdullahi Lawal, Sunday Iliya, Mohammed Anas, and Kayode Gabriel Adenji.
The statement noted that “Kaduna State Advisory Council on the Prerogative of Mercy based its recommendations on convicts serving sentences of three years or more who have six months or fewer to serve, long-term prisoners who have served ten years or more of their sentence with good conduct, and convicts suffering from ill health likely to terminate in death. The committee also considered private submissions for clemency made to the governor.”
Governor El Rufai had earlier thanked the people of Kaduna State for the opportunity to serve them and for their understanding and support over the years.
“The governor who spoke at the Kaduna 2023 countdown celebrations that was organized by Kaduna Capital Territory Authority(KCTA), wished the people a happy new year and appealed for optimism despite tough times.’’
“El Rufai also asked them for continued commitment to peace and prosperity, hoping that the hard work done since 2015 to make the state better and improve lives will continue with the next government.’’
“He told the teeming crowd at the remodeled Murtala Mohammed Square that the 2023 countdown will be his last as governor of Kaduna state and seized the opportunity to say goodbye.”
Fulfill 2015 promise, rescue remaining Chibok girls – Parents write Buhari
Parents of the kidnapped Chibok girls and other Chibok community members have pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari to free the captive children still alive.
This was stated in a New Year’s open letter that Yana Galang and Zanna Lawan signed and addressed to the President.
The memo reminded Buhari of his commitment to seeing that the hostages taken over nine years ago are freed.
276 female pupils from the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State, were abducted by Boko Haram in April 2014.
While 96 are still missing, a total of 180 people have been located at various points, some of them with children.
The parents recalled President Buhari’s words during his inaugural speech on May 29, 2015, when he said: “But we cannot claim to have defeated Boko Haram without rescuing the Chibok girls and all other innocent persons held hostage by insurgents, this government will do all it can to rescue them alive.”
They also reminded him of his vow on April 14, 2019, five years after the abduction, that made headlines globally, when he said: “We will not rest until all the remaining girls are back and reunited with their families. I made this promise when I became president, and I will keep it.”
The parents said months before the end of his tenure, 96 of their daughters “remain in Boko Haram captivity, subjected to the unimaginable ordeal and abuse at the hands of their captors.”
The community added that they hoped the eighth-year remembrance in 2022 would be the last.
“Eight years is too long for a child to be denied the love and care of her family. We demand that you make true your promise and bring joy back to our lives, as you hand over to another President,” the letter concluded.
Thugs attack Tambuwal’s convoy in Sokoto
Aminu Tambuwal, the governor of Sokoto State, was attacked by hoodlums on Sunday.
According to reports, the incident happened on Sunday when Tambuwal and other government representatives were traveling home after participating in the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) statewide electioneering campaign in the Sokoto State local governments of Silame and Wamakko.
According to a source who requested anonymity, the attackers threw stones at the convoy’s moving vehicles, damaging the SUV driven by the governor’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity’s front glass.
He continued by saying that the stones also damaged the rear screen of the SUV driven by the Governor’s Permanent Secretary (Protocol).
However, it was discovered that none of the PDP bigwigs in the state who were in the convoy—including Governor Tambuwal, his deputy, Hon. Manir Muhammad Dan Iya, PDP candidate Saidu Umar, his running mate, Hon. Sagiru Bafarawa—were hurt.