These were the stories that drove the conversation this week:
Nigeria’s first Executive President, Alhaji Shehu Usman Shagari, passed on at the age of 93.
The information was made known by Bello Shagari, grandson to the late statesman, who said he died late Friday at the National Hospital, Abuja after a brief illness.
Two suspects have been arrested in connection with the murder of a former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh.
The suspects are the man who reportedly hired the assailants and the one who is said to have pulled the trigger that led to Badeh’s death on the Keffi-Abuja road following the information that he had some cash on him to pay for an additional farmland.
While the list had a number of predictable names, the surprise however for most Nigerians was the inclusion of Billionaires, Aliko Dangote and Femi Otedola in a list of seven named as Special Advisory Committee to Mr. President.
The party also flagged-off its Presidential campaign same day at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo, Akwa Ibom despite initial concerns raised by the state government over the potential damage to the facility and the humongous repair cost it will incur after the event.
After vehemently denying the report, the Nigerian Police on Thursday dismissed 121 of at least 167 police officers who left their duty from a counter terrorism training facility to avoid deployment against Boko Haram insurgents last week.
According to Premium Times, the 121 officers of the police rank-and-file were accused of committing mutiny and desertion, prompting Inspector-General Ibrahim Idris to order their dismissal with immediate effect.
The Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, on Monday said that he did not call Seun Sakaba, Lt. Col Ibrahim Sakaba, wife of one of the 44 soldiers killed by Boko Haram insurgents during an attack on 157 Task Force Battalion in Metele, Borno in November.
As contained in a statement issued on behalf of the former Vice President, following efforts to get the contact of his widow to enable him express his condolences over the loss of the fallen hero, he was over the weekend availed with phone numbers of Mrs. Sakaba and Maryam, younger sister of the late soldier, in the alternative but was only able to contact Maryam during which he expressed his deepest condolences to the family, after unsucessful attempts at reaching the widow of the deceased on Sunday.
President Buhari on Tuesday blamed the Nigerian system for his administration’s slow pace of fighting corruption.
The president while playing host to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) community, who paid him Christmas homage at his official residence in Abuja, said “It’s not Baba (Buhari) that is slow but it is the system. So, I am going by this system and I hope we will make it.”
Presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar, however berated President Muhammadu Buhari over the statement as he stressed that President Buhari’s admittance that his administration is slow shows failure of his administration in tackling corruption, adding that though “the system has challenges, where there is political will, the system can make progress.
Similarly, President Muhammadu Buhari has reacted to an allegation by his wife, Aisha Buhari that his government has been hijacked by two powerful elements who are behind the slow pace of development in the country under his administration, describing it as baseless and “her business.”
The President who disclosed this during a recent interview with the Hausa service of Voice of America (VOA) as seen in a clip shared on Twitter by a Nigerian journalist with the service, Saleh Shehu Ashaka, insisted there was no cabal running his government and asked his critics to name one decision taken by the cabal.
Former Governor of Ekiti, Ayodele Fayose on Wednesday, accused President Muhammadu Buhari and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) of plotting to hide under the killings by bandits in Zamfara to impose emergency rule on the state, as he advised the federal government to admit its failure and apologise to the people of the State, who were left at the mercy of bandits.
In a statement he personally signed Fayose said: “With the emergency rule, there will only be Presidential and National Assembly elections in the state in February next year while governorship and state House of Assembly elections will be postponed till May,” stressing that the alleged plot by the federal government was aimed at paving the way for a fresh electoral process in the state so that APC can field candidates.
The People’s Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Organisation (PPCO) has declared that President Muhammadu Buhari no longer has the moral standing to seek re-election until he directly answers to the allegation that he has soiled his hands in the alleged corrupt acquisition of Etisalat Nigeria and Keystone Bank PLC, as revealed by its Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
Presidential Media aide, Garba Shehu, in a statement on Wednesday however said the PDP neither have the strength and support to fight President Buhari nor records of accomplishments in infrastructure, hence the reason they are dragging the President’s wife into their politics.
Socio-political groups; Afenifere, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, The PDP and the African Action Congress (AAC) on Sunday, faulted a statement credited to Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo that the victory of President Buhari in the 2019 presidential election would guarantee South-West Presidency in 2023.
While Ohanaeze Ndigbo said Nigeria would continue to wallow in “abject socio-political, economic and developmental blindness until an Igbo man becomes the President,” Afenifere through its spokesperson, Yinka Odumakin wondered what the Yoruba people had gained since Osinbajo became Vice-President.
The PDP Presidential Campaign Council in his criticism of the VP said, “giving out two promises has exposed the insincerity and dubious intention of the Buhari-led Federal Government with the people of the South-East and South-West geopolitical zones with empty promises of bequeathing power to the two zones at the same time in 2023.”
Temidayo Taiwo-Sidiq is a Political Journalist, Analyst and Social Change Advocate with major interest in Nigerian Politics, Governance and Sports.