Obi cannot win, all he will be is a Nollywood actor – El-Rufai; Pain caused by naira redesign temporary but necessary – FG | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

  • Obi cannot win, all he will be is a Nollywood actor – El-Rufai
  • Pain caused by naira redesign temporary but necessary – FG
  • Don’t use MC Oluomo to distribute Lagos election materials – Atiku warns INEC
  • CBN to prosecute sellers, abusers of naira
  • 19 rescued from collapsed Abuja shopping mall

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

Obi cannot win, all he will be is a Nollywood actor – El-Rufai

Governor of Kaduna Nasir el-Rufai has ridiculed Peter Obi’s prospects of winning the presidential election.

In an interview with TVC on Thursday, the governor of Kaduna stated that Obi, the Labour Party (LP) candidate, lacks the requisite backing to win the presidential election.

El-Rufai, who referred to the LP candidate as a “Nollywood actor,” stated that Obi can only anticipate strong support in the south-east and south-south, but not in the north or south-west.

“We are ahead. How can Peter Obi win any election? Peter Obi is polling one percent in Sokoto; two percent in Katsina; five percent in Kano. That’s where the votes are. All states are not equal,” he said.

“The fact that you’re doing 70 percent in Anambra state does not mean somebody doing 10 percent in Kano is not better than you. Kano is four million votes that actually happen. The number of votes in Anambra is the size of one local government area in Kaduna state. So, all states are not equal.

“If you poll states and you make them equal, yes, Peter Obi will sweep the south-eastern states; he will do well in south-south; where else? He’s not polling well in the southwest other than a drop in the ocean in Lagos. He’s polling in the Christian enclaves in the north — he’s polling well — but how many are they?

“Peter Obi cannot win the election. He doesn’t have the number of states; he doesn’t have 25 percent — the last time we checked — in more than 16 states. He can’t go anywhere.

“Peter Obi is a Nollywood actor and that’s all he will be. This election is between the APC and PDP because they have the footprint; they have the spread. Ethnicity and religious bigotry will not take you anywhere and that’s what the Labour Party campaign is about.

“We are the only party with a candidate with a broad-based support across Nigeria, and by the grace of God, we are going to win.”

Pain caused by naira redesign temporary but necessary – FG

Zainab Ahmed

Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning Zainab Ahmed has stated that President Muhammadu Buhari is not pleased with the hardships citizens are experiencing as a result of the naira redesign policy.

The minister made these remarks at a press conference held by the presidential communications team in Abuja on Thursday.

Originally, the January 31st deadline for using old notes had been set by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), but this has now been extended to February 10th.

The shortage of fresh naira notes has continued to cause long lines at banks and ATMs in Nigeria, even after the deadline was extended.

According to Ahmed, this is only a “temporary and transient” setback that needs to be endured so that the country’s economy may flourish.

“We are not happy that citizens have to queue and struggle at ATMs to be able to get their cash. But this is a temporary situation,” the minister said.

“Let me just give you an analogy. If you have a wound, for you to be able to heal that wound, you need to be dressed.

“And sometimes, when you go to the hospital, they put iodine on the wound and it is very painful. It is necessary to do that to be able to get the wound to heal.

“So, it’s not easy. Mr. President is not happy that citizens are suffering.

“But we are convinced that it is something that needs to be done at this time and also the Central Bank has been responsive in terms of providing some extension and also further explanation that it is not all over.

“There is still opportunity for citizens as provided for in the CBN Act, Section 20 subsection 3 to actually take the old currency to the central bank for redemption.”

Don’t use MC Oluomo to distribute Lagos election materials – Atiku warns INEC

Former Vice President and PDP presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar has reportedly advised INEC against relying on the Lagos State Parks Management Committee, which is headed by Musiliu Akinsanya alias MC Oluomo, to distribute election materials.

On Tuesday, INEC’s National Chairman, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, met with the executive committees of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and the Road Transport Employees Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), and they agreed to transport election officials and ballot papers to polling places on election day.

In a statement released by his Special Assistant for Public Communication, Phrank Shaibu, the ex-Vice President said that INEC should prevent the MC Oluomo-led group from mobilizing to move election materials in order to protect the integrity of the vote and prevent any possibility of electoral malpractice.

According to Shaibu, the NURTW was outlawed by Lagos State’s governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, after the union’s national leadership suspended MC Oluomo for misconduct.

He continued by saying that Sanwo-Olu had outlawed RTEAN and installed MC Oluomo as head of the Lagos State Parks Management Committee in order to consolidate power over the city’s entire public commercial transportation network.

The statement read “It has been brought to our attention that INEC will be using members of the NURTW, RTEAN, and other registered unions to transport election materials and electoral officials and corps members on election day. Unfortunately, in Lagos State, there is no NURTW or RTEAN as they have been proscribed by Governor Sanwo-Olu.

“Lagos is now operating a parks management committee led by MC Oluomo, who is a member of the Presidential Campaign Council. On October 9, 2022, he and his transport thugs held a march for Tinubu in several parts of Lagos State.

“To preserve the sanctity of this election and ensure that there is no room for electoral malpractice, INEC must ensure that MC Oluomo is not allowed access to ballot papers. INEC should not make use of the state’s park committee. Rather, the commission should reach out to the national leadership of the NURTW and or engage the services of any logistic company for the purpose of distributing sensitive electoral materials in Lagos State.”

CBN to prosecute sellers, abusers of naira

The Nigerian naira is “illegal” to sell, spray, or stamp, according to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The central bank issued a warning on Thursday, saying that the actions of people who sell the new notes and those who misuse the money by throwing handfuls of cash in the air at social occasions made it necessary.

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) nabbed a lady on Wednesday for allegedly peddling brand-new Nigerian naira notes on social media.

The CBN noted that there have been instances of banknote exchange involving unregistered individuals and non-bank officials.

“We wish to state unequivocally that, contrary to the practice of these unpatriotic persons, it is unlawful to sell the Naira, hurl (spray), or stamp on the currency under any circumstance whatsoever,” the statement signed by Osita Nwanisobi, CBN’s spokesperson, reads.

“For the avoidance of doubt, Section 21(3) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act 2007 (As amended) stipulates that “spraying of, dancing or matching on the Naira or any note issued by the Bank during social occasions or otherwise howsoever shall constitute an abuse and defacing of the Naira or such note and shall be punishable under the law by fines or imprisonment or both.

“Similarly, Section 21(4) states that “It shall also be an offence punishable under Sub-section (1) of this section for any person to hawk, sell or otherwise trade in the Naira notes, coins or any other note issued by the Bank.”

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said that it will begin working with other regulatory and law enforcement organizations to prosecute currency abusers.

19 rescued from collapsed Abuja shopping mall

Nineteen persons have been rescued from the rubble of a collapsed three-storey building under construction in Abuja.

Earlier on Thursday, after the building collapse, Ikharo Attah, the senior special assistant to the federal capital territory (FCT) minister on monitoring, inspection, and enforcement, said seven persons were rescued.

Attah had, however, said many persons were still feared trapped under the rubble of the building — a shopping mall under construction in the 7th avenue area of Gwarimpa in Abuja.

“As of 2:41pm on Thursday, we have rescued seven persons. Out of the seven, five looked stable while two have been taken to the hospital due to their unstable condition,” Attah said.

“So, many of them are still there. Many of them are still calling their relatives under the rubble.”

In a statement hours later, the FCT emergency management agency said a total of 19 persons had been rescued.

“A combined team of FEMA, NEMA, FRSC, Nigeria Police, Civil Defence Corps, and the Abuja Metropolitan Management Agency are at the scene of the incident to rescue the persons trapped in the rubble of the collapsed building,” a statement by Nkechi Isa, spokesperson of the agency, reads.

“Some construction companies with heavy-duty equipment were also part of the rescue efforts.”

Isa added that the victims have been taken to hospitals in Wuse, Gwarimpa, and Asokoro.”

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