Tinubu to foreign media: Ignore opposition, APC won; Lagos indigenes criticize Eyo portrayal in Gangs of Lagos movie | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

  • Tinubu to foreign media: Ignore opposition, APC won
  • Lagos indigenes criticize Eyo portrayal in Gangs of Lagos movie
  • Buhari’s aide mocks Peter Obi’s UK arrest treatment
  • Seven-story building collapses in Banana Island
  • NAF kills fleeing bandits in Kaduna air raid

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

Tinubu to foreign media: Ignore opposition, APC won

Representatives of President-Elect Asiwaju Bola Tinubu recently held a press conference for international media, asserting that the All Progressives Congress (APC) won the February 25th polls, contrary to the claims of opposition parties like the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party (LP).

Led by Festus Keyamo, Chief Spokesperson of the Tinubu Campaign and Minister of State for Labour, the team also included Minister of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare, and Assistant Principal Spokesperson, Ajuri Ngelale. They stated that the 2023 polls were free and fair, and that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration ensured a level playing field with no interference.

The team claimed that the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) did not fail on Election Day, but rather recorded an 88% success rate. They added that opposition parties accepted the results of senatorial and House of Representatives elections held on the same day, which they won, but chose to contest the presidential election results, which they lost.

The representatives insisted that Tinubu won the polls and met the constitutional requirement to be declared president-elect, despite incidents of violence and irregularities recorded in a few polling units, which they said were not significant enough to affect the overall outcome of the election. They added that the opposition parties should desist from spreading false tales, having gone to court to challenge the results.

According to the results announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the APC had 8,794,726 votes (36.61%), PDP had 6,984,520 votes (29.07%), LP had 6,101,533 votes (25.40%), and NNPP had 1,496,687 votes (6.23%).

The representatives also highlighted the efforts made by the out-going President Muhammadu Buhari to improve Nigeria’s electoral process by signing into law a bill that introduced technology for accrediting voters at polling units, known as the Electoral Act of 2022. They further stated that state institutions did not interfere in the political process, and that there were no reports of the deployment of security agents or state apparatus in support of the candidate of the ruling party.

Despite well-published reports that the President was not in support of the candidate of his own party, the representatives of the President-Elect maintained that the opposition and international observers hailed the President for his non-interference in the electoral process.

Lagos indigenes criticize Eyo portrayal in Gangs of Lagos movie

The Isale Eko Descendants’ Union has expressed its disappointment with the recent depiction of the Eyo masquerade in the movie “Gangs of Lagos.” The union, which represents the community where the Eyo masquerade originates, criticized the film for portraying the masquerade as a tool used by criminals and gangsters.

According to the union’s statement, “The movie brought the Eyo masquerade and the people of Isale Eko into disrepute, who are now deemed criminally-minded in the eyes of right-thinking members of society.” The statement also noted that the Eyo masquerade has been a cherished part of the Isale Eko community’s cultural heritage for over 179 years and is meant to be a symbol of celebration, not criminality.

The Isale Eko Descendants’ Union has taken action against the movie’s portrayal of the Eyo masquerade. The union has reportedly lodged a complaint with the National Film and Censors Board and is considering legal action for the alleged damage done to the culture, tradition, and image of the Eko community and the Eyo masquerade.

The filmmakers, Jade Osiberu and Kemi Akindoju, have not yet responded to the criticism from the Isale Eko Descendants’ Union. However, it remains to be seen how the controversy will impact the public’s perception of the movie and the filmmakers involved.

Buhari’s aide mocks Peter Obi’s UK arrest treatment

Bashir Ahmad, President Muhammadu Buhari’s Special Assistant on Digital Communication, has made mocking comments over the recent detention of Peter Obi, the former vice-presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 general elections.

Mr. Obi was reportedly detained by UK Immigration officials upon his arrival at Heathrow Airport, London. The presidential aide, who took to his Twitter handle to comment on the issue, condemned the action taken by the UK Immigration officials, describing it as unacceptable.

In his tweet, Ahmad said: “A whole former presidential candidate treated like a common criminal, unacceptable. Haba. The UK should kindly tell us what they know about the numerous Peter Obis roaming around. His detention got me really disturbed.”

The presidential aide also questioned whether it was the real Peter Obi or an imposter that was detained.

It should be noted that reports suggest that Mr. Obi was detained for several hours and interrogated over alleged impersonation. The former vice-presidential candidate has not yet released an official statement about the incident. However, the matter has sparked reactions from Nigerians, with many expressing their concerns over the alleged mistreatment of Mr. Obi by UK Immigration officials.

Seven-story building collapses in Banana Island

Another building collapse has been reported in Lagos, Nigeria, adding to the recurring trend of such incidents in the state. On Wednesday evening, a seven-storey building under construction collapsed in the Banana Island area of Lagos, with workers reportedly trapped.

Confirming the incident yesterday, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in Lagos released a statement saying, “We are mobilising to respond.”

Over the past few years, Lagos has witnessed several building collapses, with the latest incident coming less than two months after the collapse of a seven-storey building in the Lekki area of the state.

In November 2021, a 21-storey building collapsed in Ikoyi, which was being developed by Fourscore Homes. The incident resulted in the death of 46 persons, while 15 others were rescued. The owner of Fourscore Homes, Femi Osibona, was also among those who died in the collapsed building.

In February 2022, a three-storey building collapsed in the Onike area of Yaba, leading to several casualties. In May 2022, a three-storey building collapsed in the Ebute-Meta area of Lagos, claiming at least eight lives.

Reacting to the latest incident, the Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development assured the public that only a few people sustained injuries and that there were no fatalities.

Mukaila Sanusi, the ministry’s deputy director of Public Affairs, said in a statement, “The commissioner for physical planning and urban development, Engr. Tayo Bamgbose-Martins was immediately on site to assess the situation and flag off the investigation. We ask members of the public to remain calm and expect further information from the ministry as we know more.”

NAF kills fleeing bandits in Kaduna air raid

On Wednesday, the Nigerian Air Force’s Operation Whirl Punch air component conducted an aerial bombardment that resulted in the death of scores of bandits in Sabon Layi village, Birinin Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State, according to the state Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan.

The military operation was initiated around 9:44 am when the ministry received a distressed call that Sabon Layi village was under heavy attack by bandits. The air component of Operation Whirl Punch was immediately contacted for action, and the unit responded promptly to the location. Scores of the fleeing hoodlums were neutralised by the airstrikes during the military operation.

Aruwan stated that the bandits had been committing numerous crimes such as shooting, rustling cattle, looting properties, and creating panic among residents. He added, “On arrival at Sabon Layi, a thorough scan revealed normal human activities at the reported location. However, about four kilometers north of Sabon Layi village, the bandits were sighted fleeing for cover from the aircraft. They were engaged and neutralised in several passes.”

Governor Nasir El-Rufai hailed the gallantry of the military in successfully neutralising the bandits during the operation, according to the commissioner.

“While the government awaits a formal report on the initial attack in Sabon Layi village, Governor Nasir El-Rufai has praised the air component for the prompt action, and conveyed his gratitude to the military for neutralising the fleeing bandits,” he added.

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