Obi denies receiving British govt apology for detention; There will be ‘No Dulling’ once Tinubu returns – APC | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

  • Obi denies receiving British govt apology for detention
  • N50bn poverty reduction program benefited 1.8m Nigerians, says FG
  • Tinubu brands Atiku a serial loser in court
  • Plateau workers protest 45 months of unpaid salaries
  • There will be ‘No Dulling’ once Tinubu returns – APC

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

Obi denies receiving British govt apology for detention

According to a recent news report, the British government has tendered an apology to Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), over his detention by immigration officials at Heathrow Airport in London.

However, in a statement issued by Diran Onifade, Head of Media and Communications of the Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Council, the report has been refuted, and it has been stated that the campaign team is not aware of any such apology.

“We would like to state emphatically that we are not aware of any such apology and have not issued any statement whatsoever, in that regard,” Onifade said.

He also added, “While we continue to examine any dubious or political motive on the part of the perpetrators of the identity theft, we have every confidence in the ability of the British authorities to resolve the matter to a conclusion.”

Obi’s detention was reportedly due to alleged impersonation, but the LP candidate’s team denies any wrongdoing on their part. The statement from Onifade has made it clear that the team will continue to investigate the matter and will rely on the British authorities to bring it to a satisfactory resolution.

N50bn poverty reduction program benefited 1.8m Nigerians, says FG

The Nigerian government has stated that approximately 1.8 million vulnerable Nigerians have benefited from projects and programs initiated under the National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy (NPRGS).

The 2022 report of the NPRGS was presented at a meeting chaired by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, which revealed the completion of 100 programs under the Agriculture for Food and Jobs Plan (AFJP) and the construction of rural roads. These initiatives have provided employment opportunities, training, and support for millions of Nigerians.

According to Laolu Akande, the spokesperson to Osinbajo, the Agriculture for Jobs plan has impacted 1.6 million smallholder farmers, while over 13,000 youths have been trained under a technical and vocational education program in six states, with plans to extend the training to more beneficiaries in Edo state.

Similarly, over 8,000 Nigerians were employed in rural roads construction under the rural roads program, building 40 rural roads in 120 communities, covering about 57.3 km across Nigeria.

The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba, confirmed that the programs have directly impacted 1.8 million vulnerable Nigerians, providing employment for over 9,527 citizens so far. The committee has also approved the sum of N250 billion for the execution of projects for the year 2023, including the provision of 100,000 homes for low-income earners, creating one million jobs directly and indirectly.

Furthermore, the government plans to expand energy access by providing 1,200 solar street lights in rural communities and six mini-grids for high-capacity productive farming under the Solar Naija Programme.

There are also plans to create 4.5 million direct and indirect jobs through the rural roads program, connecting about 750 rural markets, and providing N9 billion in support for over 1.6 million vulnerable smallholder farmers for the 2023 wet season farming under the agriculture for jobs plan.

Additionally, the expansion of the National Social Register with an additional three million households will be prioritized.

Tinubu brands Atiku a serial loser in court

According to a recent report, the President-Elect, Bola Tinubu, has responded to the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Atiku Abubakar, before the Presidential Election Petition Court.

In the response, Tinubu dismissed the PDP’s claims, stating that Atiku has always lost his bid to lead the country since 1993. He urged Atiku not to see his loss in the last election as strange, arguing that it would have been a miracle for the PDP and its candidate to win, considering the crisis that rocked the party before and during the elections.

Tinubu further stated that Atiku’s lack of a stable political platform and his habit of jumping from one political party to another have resulted in him losing the majority of his key supporters. Tinubu also pointed out that Atiku’s emergence as PDP’s candidate fueled the crisis in the party, resulting in five of its sitting governors resolving to work against him and ensure he lost.

In response to the PDP’s petition, Tinubu’s team of lawyers led by Wole Olanipekun described it as not only frivolous but also an abuse of the court process. Tinubu argued that the PDP cannot maintain two cases on the same issue in different courts at the same time, as it had earlier filed a suit at the Supreme Court, through some of its governors, demanding the cancellation of the election. He also faulted the competence of the petition on the grounds that Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) and Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) were excluded, even though the petitioners were contesting the results from the states won by the LP and NNPP.

Tinubu’s response further stated that he cannot be made to defend an infraction allegedly committed in any of the states listed in the PDP’s petition. The response ended with a query on why Atiku’s petition did not include the results of elections in all the states where he and Peter Obi won, including Adamawa, Bauchi, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Gombe, Yobe, Sokoto, Osun, Kebbi, and Katsina states.

Tinubu also pointed out that, under Section 133(2) of the Electoral Act, 2022, a party whose election is being challenged shall be made a respondent.

Plateau workers protest 45 months of unpaid salaries

Ad hoc workers at the Plateau State College of Health Technology in the Pankshin Local Government Area of the state have staged a protest over unpaid salaries.

The workers barricaded the main gate of the institution, displaying placards with inscriptions about their plight.

Their leader, identified as Mr. Wambutda, said, “The reason for the protest is the non-confirmation/absorption, ongoing replacement of workers, and the non-payment of our stipend for 45 months.”

The protesters said they would continue with their action until their demands are met. However, there was no official comment on the development as the Provost of the College, Dr. Fwangje, did not respond to calls at the time of the report.

According to Mr. Wambutda, it is unjust that despite their predicament, there are ongoing replacements of staff in vacant positions without the ad hoc staff being given any attention.

He said, “The protest is an opportunity to bring the attention of the government and other relevant agencies to the injustice and unfair treatment that we have suffered in the institution for the past years.”

The Registrar, Paul Rabo, said he was unaware of the reason for the protest. “Let me find out, I will get back to you; or perhaps, you can come to Pankshin and I will speak with you face-to-face,” he said.

Meanwhile, the State Ministry of Higher Education could not comment on the situation as the Ministry has no commissioner and the Permanent Secretary, who is the acting head, could not be reached at the time of the report.

There will be ‘No Dulling’ once Tinubu returns – APC

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said that President-elect Bola Tinubu will hit the ground running as soon as he returns from his visit to Europe. The party also disclosed that Tinubu will soon be back in the country ahead of his inauguration on May 29, 2023. Felix Morka, APC National Publicity Secretary, made this known during an appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today program on Thursday.

Morka explained that the President-Elect could not have taken a deserved rest if he had remained in Nigeria after the polls, due to the many lobbyists vying for his attention. The APC chieftain added that the President-Elect is working even during his visit abroad, as he is constantly meeting with heads of government and other levels of leadership of other countries that are vital to his new government’s agenda.

“It is working rest because even in his rest, he is also taking the time to reach out to heads of government and other levels of leadership of other countries that are vital to the agenda that he is bringing in his new government,” Morka stated.

According to reports, Tinubu won the February 25 poll and was declared the President-Elect by the electoral umpire. After controversy surrounded his whereabouts, Tinubu’s spokesman, Tunde Rahman, said his principal travelled to Paris in France to rest and observe the lesser hajj. No photo of the President-Elect has been made public since his post-electoral victory appearances in February.

However, Tinubu’s absence has raised concerns, with some people wondering about the state of his health. In 2021, Tinubu was away in the United Kingdom for over three months, where he underwent surgery and therapy for a knee injury. He subsequently travelled to the UK and Paris a few times in 2022. Despite this, Morka assured Nigerians that Tinubu is in good health and is committed to delivering on his promises.

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