Peter Obi Questions APC on Choosing Tinubu Over Osinbajo for Presidency; INEC, Tinubu Object to Request for Televised Proceedings of Tribunal | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

  • Peter Obi Questions APC on Choosing Tinubu Over Osinbajo for Presidency
  • Doguwa, Makki, Raheem Withdraw from Speakership Race, Endorse Abbas
  • INEC, Tinubu Object to Request for Televised Proceedings of Tribunal
  • Atiku Expresses Disbelief as Blinken’s Call to Tinubu Contradicts US Position
  • Ministry of Aviation Renamed by FG

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

Peter Obi Questions APC on Choosing Tinubu Over Osinbajo for Presidency

Speaking at the 63rd birthday celebration of Dele Momodu, publisher of the Ovation magazine in London, presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, expressed his concerns about the choice of Bola Tinubu as the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) over Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.

Obi stated, “I am interested to see Nigeria work, I don’t hide it any day, anytime. I even confronted APC, asking why didn’t you bring Osinbajo, let’s have the place working for everybody, so that we have people who want to work for the country and are healthy and good.”

Bola Tinubu emerged as the winner of the APC presidential primary election in June 2022, defeating 13 other contenders, including Vice-President Osinbajo. Tinubu secured 1,271 votes, while Osinbajo received 235 votes.

On March 1, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced Bola Tinubu as the winner of the presidential election, with 8,794,726 votes. However, Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) contested the result, claiming that he had won the election and vowing to explore all legal avenues to regain his mandate.

Doguwa, Makki, Raheem Withdraw from Speakership Race, Endorse Abbas

Ado Doguwa, the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, has made the surprising decision to withdraw from the race for the 10th House and throw his support behind Tajudeen Abbas. Doguwa, along with two other aspirants, Abubakar Makki and Tunji Oluwuyi, announced their withdrawal during a meeting organized by the joint task group.

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) had endorsed Abbas and Ben Kalu for the positions of speaker and deputy speaker, respectively. This decision sparked protests among other aspirants who felt aggrieved by the party’s choice.

Initially, Doguwa had joined a coalition of aspirants seeking to challenge Abbas. However, in an unexpected turn of events, he has now opted to step back from the race.

During his speech, Doguwa emphasized his loyalty to the party and stated that he cannot go against its wishes. His decision to withdraw and endorse Abbas reflects a commitment to party unity and adherence to its directives.

This development adds a new dimension to the House leadership contest and sets the stage for a potentially intense battle for the positions of speaker and deputy speaker.

INEC, Tinubu Object to Request for Televised Proceedings of Tribunal

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has opposed the application made by the Labour Party (LP) and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, to televise the proceedings of the presidential election petition court (PEPC). INEC’s objection was raised during the tribunal’s pre-hearing session on Wednesday.

Levy Ozoukwu, the counsel representing Obi and LP, expressed surprise at INEC’s stance, criticizing the public institution for denying the people the opportunity to witness the proceedings through live streaming. Ozoukwu questioned INEC’s motives and suggested that they might be hiding something by opposing the live broadcast.

He further highlighted that other parties involved in the case did not complain about the lack of access to documents, emphasizing that it was only the petitioners who had not been provided with the required materials. This led Ozoukwu to question INEC’s intentions and actions.

In response to a separate application by the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, for a live broadcast of the proceedings, Bola Tinubu and Kashim Shettima opposed the request. They argued that the application was an abuse of the court process and should be dismissed. Their legal team, led by Wole Olanipekun, stated that the relief sought by the applicants was beyond the court’s jurisdiction. They emphasized that the court was not a platform for public entertainment but a forum for the resolution of legal matters.

Tinubu and Shettima also contended that the application touched on matters of policy formulation and the powers vested in the President of the Court of Appeal, which fell outside the scope of the current tribunal. They urged the court to dismiss the application, describing it as academic, unnecessary, and time-wasting.

They emphasized that the petitioners should be focused on an expeditious trial of their petition in the interest of justice.

Obi and the LP filed a petition contesting the victory of Bola Tinubu, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in the presidential election. They alleged that Tinubu was not duly elected and made other claims, including double nomination by Kashim Shettima, the vice-president-elect, which they believed violated the electoral act. The petitioners are seeking a declaration of Obi as the winner or, alternatively, a fresh election conducted by INEC.

The tribunal has adjourned the matter to May 19 for further proceedings.

Atiku Expresses Disbelief as Blinken’s Call to Tinubu Contradicts US Position

Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has expressed his disbelief over the phone call made by Anthony Blinken, the US Secretary of State, to President-elect Bola Tinubu. In a tweet on Wednesday, Abubakar stated that Blinken’s call contradicted the publicly stated position of the US on Nigeria’s 2023 presidential election.

Abubakar highlighted that the US, being a bastion of democracy, was well aware of the widely criticized nature of the February 25th election. He found it inconceivable that the US would give legitimacy to what he deemed a fraudulent election, considering the importance placed on democracy and the sanctity of the ballot.

As the second-place candidate, Abubakar is contesting the election outcome in court, challenging Tinubu’s victory declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Blinken’s phone call to Tinubu conveyed the US’s commitment to partnering with the incoming administration and emphasized the importance of the US-Nigeria partnership based on shared interests and strong people-to-people ties. However, Abubakar’s reaction reflects his concerns regarding the US’s stance on the election and its potential impact on citizens who have placed their trust in democracy and the integrity of the electoral process.

Ministry of Aviation Renamed by FG

The Federal Ministry of Aviation has undergone a name change and is now officially known as the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace of Nigeria, according to an announcement by the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika. The decision was made during the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.

Senator Sirika explained that the renaming was necessary due to the exclusive nature of the aviation sector. He emphasized that the future of aviation is closely intertwined with the aerospace industry, and Nigeria must proactively align its policies with these advancements. The establishment of the African Aerospace and Aviation University in Abuja was cited as a driving factor behind the decision.

Furthermore, the FEC approved the concessioning of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja and the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport in Kano. The Abuja airport will be concessioned for 20 years, while the Kano airport will be concessioned for 30 years.

In another development, the resumption of on-street parking, also known as Park and Pay, was approved by the FEC. Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, stated that the FCT minister had sought an amendment to the laws, which has now received ratification. On-street parking had been discontinued in 2012 after a court ruling declared it illegal, but with the recent approval, it will immediately recommence.

Minister Mohammed also announced that the Second Niger Bridge is set to be commissioned on May 20, nine days ahead of the official handover.

Additionally, the FEC approved $4.7 billion for the development of the Ondo Multi-Purpose Port in Ilaje, Snake Island in Lagos, and Burutu in Delta State. These projects will be executed through public-private partnership arrangements, with no cost to the Federal Government.

The private developers will invest $1.48 billion in the Ondo port, which will be concessioned for 50 years. The expected accruals to the concessionaire and the Federal Government are estimated to be $50 billion and $2.6 billion, respectively, over the concession period, as stated by the Minister of State for Transportation, Prince Ademola Adegoroye.

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