THE TOP STORIES:Diphtheria outbreak: NCDC records 216 diphtheria cases, 40 deaths.Adunni Adetola
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says it has recorded 216 cases of diphtheria and 40 deaths in the country.
Diphtheria is a bacterial infection caused by the corynebacterium species that affect the nose, throat, and sometimes, skin of an individual.
Some symptoms of diphtheria include fever, runny nose, sore throat, cough, red eyes, neck swelling, and difficulty in breathing.
The NCDC in its latest diphtheria situation report said 189 new suspected cases were reported from three states – Kano: 172, Katsina: 9, and Lagos: 8.
It said the confirmed cases were all from nine LGAs in Kano state.
“Cumulatively, a total of 523 suspected cases were reported – Kano: 396, Yobe: 78, Katsina: 34, Lagos: 14 and Osun: 1 states have been recorded,” the report reads.
Of the 523 suspected cases reported, 216 (41.3%) were confirmed, 80 (15.3%) were discarded, 106 (20.3%) are pending classification while 121 (23.2%) were unknown.
“Majority (184 [85.2%]) of the confirmed cases occurred among cases aged 2 – 14 years.
“A total of 40 deaths were recorded among all confirmed cases.
“Only 27 out of 216 confirmed cases were fully vaccinated with a diphtheria toxin-containing vaccine.”
He said response efforts by the NCDC against the current outbreak include “development and dissemination of surveillance tools across the country, sensitisation/training of clinical and surveillance officers on the presentation, prevention, and surveillance for diphtheria and harmonisation of surveillance and laboratory data from across states and labs”.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has urged Nigerians to disregard a report that its chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, may agree to election postponement over the naira crisis in the country.
In a tweet titled ‘Fake News Alert’ yesterday, the INEC said: “Our attention has been drawn to a fake report circulating on the social media with the title: ‘INEC May Postpone Feb 25 Election by a week or two’.
The commission will not and is not contemplating postponing the 2023 general elections. Nigerians should disregard it.”
A report had also quoted the INEC chairman as saying the commission was affected by the cash shortage and that a postponement of the election would be in the best interest of Nigerians.
Reacting, the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, described the claim as false.
He said: “It is not true. INEC will not, and is not even contemplating postponing the 2023 general election.
“To be sure, the presidential and National Assembly elections will take place on 25th February, while the governorship/state assembly election will hold on 11th March 2023.”
Source Daily Trust.
Elections: Tinubu Denies Mopping Up New Naira Notes
The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu has denied the allegations by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that he was mopping up new naira notes ahead of the polls.
Tinubu, in a statement issued yesterday, by his Media Office and by the Special Adviser, Media and Public Affairs, Mahmud Jega, described the allegation as simply ludicrous, spurious and a desperate attempt to divert public attention from the anti-people posturing of the PDP candidate, Atiku Abubakar after he and Labour Party candidate, Peter Obi, had asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) not to extend the deadline for the use of old naira notes.
The presidential candidate stressed that both took the position despite the pains Nigerians were experiencing, saying they actively promoted the sanctity of the deadline in the calculated hope of reaping political windfall from the people’s suffering.
Tinubu said: “Our attention has been drawn to the irresponsible and infantile allegation by Atiku Abubakar’s Peoples Democratic Party, claiming that our presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is mopping up new naira notes to buy votes.
“We are not surprised that the PDP made a volte face to conjure a completely unfounded allegation against Tinubu. Having realised that Atiku’s selfish, uncaring position has generated popular anger and resentment against him, it came up with this absurd claim that our candidate is mopping up new currency notes.”
Tinubu assured Nigerians that the claim was utterly false.
The APC presidential candidate maintained that there was no iota of truth in the claim which he argued was concocted for mischievous and devilish purposes by these PDP agents.
He said: “Our candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, being always the voice of the voiceless and champion of the underprivileged, at numerous rallies and campaign stops, identified with our people and boldly called on CBN to extend the deadline and end the public suffering.
“Also spurious, devilish and unconscionable is the claim by two UK-based Nigerians, one Bulama Bukarta and one Jafar Jafar, that the currency change was made because Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu stockpiled billions of naira in every state with the intention of vote buying.
“The duo claimed they “heard” the “information” from “knowledgeable sources.” These “sources” clearly exist only in the partisan imagination of Bulama Bukarti and Jafar Jafar.”
Tinubu stressed that they made the serious allegation recklessly without a shred of evidence, believing that by living in the UK, they were beyond the reach of Nigerian laws of defamation.
He, therefore, urged all Nigerians to disregard the allegations being peddled by the PDP and its surrogates, Bukarti and Jafar and continue to exercise patience and to exhibit love, support and determination until the Tinubu/Kashim Shettima ticket is delivered at the polls with a landslide.
Meanwhile, the former Lagos state governor has said while the country was faced with myriad of problems, he expressed optimism that the challenges were surmountable.
He stated this Sunday night at an event tagged, “Meet the Mentor Dinner,” organised in his honour by the Progressive Sisters Network (PSN).
Tinubu expressed optimism that with unity and determination of all to pull through the country could overcome all the challenges confronting the nation.
“As a nation, we are facing some challenges, but we can overcome these challenges. We can find our ways in situations where it seems there is no way. Please let’s work together to build the Nigeria of our dreams together.
“I know it is difficult not to look for the easy way in today’s Nigeria, but together with our faith in one another and our nation, we can solve our problems,” he stressed.
Earlier, the National Coordinator of the group, Rinsola Abiola, said after a critical assessment of all the presidential candidates, Tinubu tower far above all.
She said it was against this background that they resolved to campaign for him among the women folks in the country.
Rinsola, who is the daughter of the acclaimed winner of June 12, 1993, presidential election expressed optimism that having done it in Lagos State, when he served as governor for two terms, Tinubu could do it again at the national level if given the opportunity.
She made it clear to any Nigerian woman who was still in doubt, that Tinubu was the candidate that deserved her vote.
Abiola stated: “Tinubu understands that tackling the issue of women’s under-representation in all spheres of life is something that must be done from different angles: political inclusion, economic empowerment, and girl-child education.”
She maintained that a man who had demonstrated equity in his own home would deal with Nigerian women equitably when elected as president
Abiola added: “Lagos, the state which Tinubu once governed and is being managed by his blueprint, also leads the way in legal protection for women.
“With an agency dedicated to diligently prosecuting all forms of domestic and sexual abuse, Lagos has signaled that there will be zero tolerance for the oppression and violation of women.
“It is also key to note that it was Tinubu who appointed the first female Chief Judge in Lagos State: Justice Ibilola Sotuminu now retired.
“His wife, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, has also shattered records as the first woman in history to serve for three terms in the Nigerian Senate,” Abiola said.
2023: Labour Party Supporters Attacked, Cars Destroyed As Peter Obi’s Presidential Rally Holds In Lagos.
Supporters of the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) Peter Obi, were on Saturday attacked, beaten and harassed on their way to their campaign rally.
The supporters took to major roads in the city to march in support of the former Anambra governor following the presidential rally scheduled to hold today at the Tafewa Belawa Square.
Obi’s supporters were assembled at different locations in the cities before heading out in accord to the stadium for the campaign rally.
However, viral videos that surfaced on social media captured some supporters donning the Labour party attire who were harassed and beaten by thugs with their vehicles destroyed in the process.
Some of the supporters had their clothing torn to shreds, while others sustained various degrees of injuries during the incident.
Biafra: Our Peaceful Protest Won’t Be Guaranteed If Anything Happens To Nnamdi Kanu – IPOB Threatens.
The Indigenous People of Biafra ( IPOB) has threatened that its protest toward Biafra independence might no longer be a peaceful one if anything happens to its leader, Nnamdi Kanu in the custody of the Department of State Service (DSS).
The separatist group insists that the health of its leader keeps deteriorating daily inside DSS solitary confinement, yet the agency claims he is fine.
It maintained that if anything happens to Kanu in DSS custody, it will “be a tit for tat” towards anybody behind the kidnap and extraordinary rendition of its leader from Kenya to Nigeria.
The warning was contained in a statement issued on Saturday by the spokesman of IPOB, Emma Powerful.
According to the group, it has so far maintained a peaceful and nonviolent stance in its movement and struggles to restore Biafra, but the narrative might change in case anything happens to Kanu.
The IPOB reiterated that Kanu’s medical needs can’t be met in DSS custody while alleging that the DSS lied about his health because it has not improved while in custody.
2023: Peter Obi Has One Condition To Win Presidential Election – Kwankwaso.
Thirteen days before the commencement of the 2023 general elections, the presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Rabiu Kwankwaso, watered down the possibility of his counterpart from the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, winning the presidential election.
The former Governor of Kano State was live on Friday evening on Channels Television’s ‘The 2023 Verdict’ when he declared that Obi’s chances of winning the presidential election depend on a merger with him.
Kwankwaso stated this in reaction to a series of independent pre-election polls projecting the former Governor of Anambra State as the winner of the 2023 election.
“You see, I can tell you, and I’ve said it here on this chair when we were about to come together, and I said it that the only opportunity they (Labour Party) had was for us to come together,” Kwankwaso said.
Earlier this month, the presidential candidate of the NNPP said there was no truth to reports claiming that he is planning a merger with other leading candidates.
ECWA Pastor, Wife Kidnapped In Kaduna.
Terrorists have reportedly kidnapped a pastor of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) in Kaduna State.
Reports obtained on Saturday morning revealed that the cleric, Nasamu and his wife were whisked away from their residence when the assailants raided Maro, a village in the Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State, on Friday night.
During the same attack, the terrorists reportedly killed a farmer whose name is identified only as Namiji.
SaharaReporters quoted a community leader, Simon John, who confirmed the incident and said that the bandits arrived in the community in the evening hour riding motorcycles.
They were reportedly passing through a lonely part to their destination when they saw the farmer tilling, clearing his farmland, and killing him.
2023: Obi Thank Nigerians As LP Ends State Campaign Rally In Lagos.
The Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi, has thanked Nigerians for their activeness during his campaign rallies across the 36 states of the federation.
Obi sent his appreciation to Nigerians this morning while confirming that the party’s state-to-state campaign will end in Lagos State on Saturday (yesterday).
Obi, his running mate, Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed, and top party stakeholders stormed the commercial and market hub city today to woo electorates ahead of the forthcoming election.
Taking to his verified Twitter page on Saturday morning, Obi said his trip around the Nigerian states was a whirlwind and value-added experience.
He reiterated on the Obi-Datti’s mission to salvage Nigeria from its current state. The former Governor of Anambra State tweeted: “Today, the LP and Obidient Family will conclude the State rallies in Lagos. It’s been a whirlwind and a very value-added experience across the 36 States. Thank you, Nigerians, for engaging constructively. The Mission to take back Nigeria is real, and the core objective is in sight.
“Let’s make it happen. Saving Nigeria is Now or Never.”
CBN Clears The Air On Naira Notes After False Claims Emerged.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has dismissed reports in some quarters claiming that the apex bank is incapable of printing new naira notes.
Recall that there were reports that the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele had noted that the apex bank cannot print adequate naira notes to replace the old N200, N500 and 1,000 notes because the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Plc (The Mint) is suffering from capacity constraints.
The reports claimed that Emefiele made the disclosure on Friday when he briefed former Nigerian leaders at the emergency meeting of the National Council of State.
A source that spoke with Premium Times disclosed that the Mint had received CBN’s request to print 70 million copies of the new notes.
The source added that the new notes, totaling N126 billion to be pumped into circulation by today.
However, the request of the CBN could not be met because “the Mint doesn’t have the capacity.”
Atiku’s Camp Exposes 10 Lies Of Tinubu Campaign, Says 1000 More To Come.
The Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has exposed 10 lies told by the Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu Presidential campaign against the PDP in one week.
Atiku’s Special Assistant on Public Communications, Mr. Phrank Shaibu, exposed the alleged lies in a statement on Saturday.
Shaibu said in the statement that Tinubu’s campaign will unleash at least 1,000 lies ahead of the Presidential election on February 25.
According to him, four of such lies were busted in Sokoto where the All Progressives Congress (APC) claimed 11 commissioners and the deputy governor had decamped to the APC all in a bid to attract loyalists of the PDP to its rally.
Shaibu said the fake photo of the Sokoto rally that was posted by the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo; and NiDCOM boss, Abike Dabiri-Erewa on social media was part of the grand plot to deceive Nigerians ahead of the polls.
Machina vs Lawan: Don’t Mistake Our Silence For Weakness – Supreme Court Knocks Critics.
The Supreme Court has lambasted some Nigerians who have come out to tackle the apex court over recent judgments it made.
The Supreme Court had come under fire for affirming a former Governor of the Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio, and Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, senatorial candidates of the All Progressives Congress in the February 25 elections.
In a statement on Saturday by the Director of Press And Information in Supreme Court, Dr. Festus Akande, the Supreme Court warned purveyors of such attacks on the judiciary and Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, especially the United States-based Professor, Farooq Kperogi and Progressive Minds Forum, to desist and channel such energies to political parties which “fail to organize themselves well.”
Akande, in the statement titled “Be mindful of unwarranted attacks on judicial officers,” said over 600 cases have so far gone to court from just party primaries which were conducted by political parties without any encumbrance or interference from any external bodies.
Naira Redesign: Bello Drags Federal Govt, CBN To Supreme Court.
The Niger State Government has dragged the Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to the Supreme Court over the naira redesign policy introduced by the Godwin Emefiele-led Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
This was made known in a statement on Saturday by Nasara Danmallam, the Niger State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, in Minna, the State capital.
He disclosed that the case with suit number SC/CV/210/2023, was filed on February 10, with the Niger State Government as the plaintiff.
According to Danmallam, the state government was seeking for an extension of the timeframe given by the CBN for the currency swap and withdrawal from circulation of old N200, N500 and N1,000 amongst other reliefs.
He noted that the three months given by the federal government for the withdrawal of old currency across the country was not reasonable and in violation of section 13, 14 (2) (b), 17 (1) (c) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
Who Is He?’ – Ango Abdullahi Questions El-Rufai For Saying North Will Support Tinubu
The convener of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Ango Abdullahi has reacted to the statement of the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai that the All Progressives Congress (APC) will win in the North in the February 25th, 2023 presidential election.
El-Rufai a few weeks ago had said the North will support the presidential candidate of the APC, Bola Tinubu and power shift to the South.
Abdullahi during an interview with Tribune said APC having more Governors in the north does not translate to more votes for the ruling party.
Segun Showunmi Calls For Bode George’s Arrest Over ‘Weighty Allegations’ Against Atiku.
A former spokesperson to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, Segun Showunmi has accused a former PDP Deputy National Chairman, Chief Bode George of making weighty and unsubstantiated allegations against Atiku.
According to him, George was barking up the wrong tree and should rather focus his anger and frustrations on the right quarters.
Sowounmi, therefore, called for the arrest of George by security agencies over his submissions against the PDP candidate.
Showunmi made the call against the backdrop of George lambasting Atiku and the party’s National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, over their alleged silence on the plights of Nigerians following the naira scarcity and fuel shortage caused by the ill-thought policies of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
George also berated the silence maintained by Atiku’s Campaign Director-General, Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal.
But Sowunmi in his reaction has accused Chief George of playing dangerous politics with his submission, challenging the PDP chieftain to produce evidence for his claims.
The former aide to Atiku blamed the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the administration of President Muhammdu Buhari for the predicament facing Nigeria.
Chrisland Schools Speaks On Death Of 12-Year-Old Student.
The management of Chrisland schools has broken silence following the death of a 12-year-old student, Whitney Adeniran, who died on Thursday, during the school’s inter-house sports activities at Agege Stadium, Lagos State.
Michael Adeniran, the father of the deceased took to social media on Saturday night, to call on the Lagos State Government and Police to probe the incident resulting in the death of his daughter.
According to him, his daughter had no health condition or sickness as of the time the school bus picked her up for the sporting event.
This is not the first time the school has been involved in controversial issues regarding the well-being of students and many people have demanded that justice be served on the matter.
In a statement on Sunday, Chrisland Schools expressed sadness over the incident, describing the death as painful and the institution is heartbroken and depressed.
The school refuted the claims that Whitney participated in sports activities during the inter-house sports, stressing she did not give any reason for her refusal.
They recalled that Whitney complained of health issues in January and the parents were contacted before her father came to the school to take her home.
The school said the deceased slumped in public view and not under any hidden circumstances and was rushed to the nearest medical facility for first aid.
Chrisland, however, appealed to the Adeniran family to establish a scientific verification of the underlying cause of their daughter’s death before her burial.
North Has Chosen Its Preferred Presidential Candidate — Ango Abdulahi.
The convener of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Ango Abdullahi in a recent interview spoke on important areas about the 2023 presidential election.
Abdullahi speaking ahead of the February 25th, 2023 presidential election said the forum has chosen its preferred presidential candidate.
He, however, did not reveal the identity of the presidential candidate, adding that NEF and Ohanaeze are meeting on the candidate to support in the forthcoming election.
Abdullahi in an interview with Tribune said after the meeting with Ohanaeze and other stakeholders that are interested in the election, the preferred candidate would be revealed.
A Governor In Northwest Has 22 Billion Old Naira Notes Stacked In His House – Buba Galadima.
A chieftain of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), Buba Galadima has alleged that a serving governor in the Northwest stashed N22 billion old naira notes in his home.
The former National Secretary of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, made this known during an interview on Trust TV’s Daily Politics.
Galadima while answering a question on the controversial Naira redesign policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN stated that the Naira redesign deadline should be done within six months.
The statesman further explained that the government approved the policy because many individuals had amassed the currency in their houses.
Galadima said the agencies might be looking the other way because “maybe they belong to the same club or they are protecting him”.
The politician added that the trap is for the governor to go change the cash “accumulated through corruption”.
AIG Jimeta Is Dead
The Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) in charge of Zone 5, comprising Edo, Delta and Bayelsa states, AIG Lawan Jimeta, is dead.
He died Sunday morning at the Benin Teaching Hospital, Edo State after a brief illness.
Jimeta’s death was confirmed in a WhatsApp message on Sunday by the Police Public Relations Officer, Bauchi State Command, SP Ahmed Wakil.
AIG Jimeta, who was appointed AIG Zone 5, on January 13, 2022, is a graduate of English Language from the University of Maiduguri and also a Masters holder in Peace and Conflict Studies from the National Open University.
Naira Swap: Nigeria At Risk Of CBN-Induced Recession – NGF.
The Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) on Saturday said Nigeria is at risk of recession due to the redesigned naira policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
It was learnt that the governors stated this in a statement released on Saturday at the end of their meeting.
The Chairman of the forum, Aminu Tambuwal condemned the apex bank over the handling of the naira redesign.
The governors’ forum further stated that the cash scarcity is causing hardship.
The statement reads, “The argument by the CBN for what it describes as the astronomical increase in the currency in circulation as the basis for this policy is not supported by its own data.
“According to the CBN, the currency in circulation increased from N1.4 trillion in 2015 to N3.23 trillion in October 2022. The Bank appears not to have taken into consideration the increase in the size of the country’s nominal GDP over this period, the doubling of consumer prices, the rising population and the impact of the humongous Ways & Means advances to the federal government by the Central Bank of Nigeria over this period.
“In the circumstances, it is safe to draw either of two conclusions – the CBN data may be incomplete or in fact, Nigerians may have done exceptionally well in the transition to a cashless economy.
Naira Redesign: Again, APC Governor Drags Buhari Govt, CBN To Supreme Court.
The Governor Biodun Oyebanji-led Ekiti State Government has officially applied to join as co-plaintiff in a suit against the Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government at the Supreme Court on the Naira redesign policy and the deadline set by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
This was made known in a statement on Sunday by the Special Adviser to Oyebanji, Yinka Oyebode.
The application for joinder was filed in the suit, with the number SC/CV/162/2023, on Friday at the Supreme Court by the Ekiti Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Dayo Apata (SAN) seeking three reliefs.
The statement had Attorneys General of Kaduna State, Kogi State and Zamfara State as Plaintiffs, while the Attorney General of the Federation as the defendant.
The reliefs being sought by the Attorney General of Ekiti included leave of the court to join the applicants as a co-plaintiff.
Naming grounds to join the suit, the Ekiti State Government stated the acute shortage in the supply of Naira notes in the state since the announcement of the policy by the Federal Government through the CBN.
2023 Election: There Is No G5, What We Have Now Is One G – Rivers Presidential Campaign Council.
The Presidential Campaign Council of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State says the G5 group has collapsed and Governor Nyesom Wike is now on his own.
The spokesperson of the council, Leloonu Nwibubasa stated this in a recent interview.
According to Nwibubasa, there is nothing like G5 again and Wike is only playing mind games by insisting there is an existence of any G5 or integrity group.
It would be recalled that the G5, also known as the Integrity Group, includes Governor Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Governor Samuel Ortom (Benue), Governor Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Governor Seyi Makinde (Oyo), and Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu).
The aggrieved governors have been at loggerheads with the PDP national leadership and have vowed to boycott the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar except Iyorchia Ayu resigns his position as the party’s National Chairman and is replaced by a southerner.
But the Rivers State PDP presidential campaign spokesperson in a recent interview with Punch said the other Governors have all dumped Wike and the Rivers Governor is now alone.
Nwibubasa maintained that the Governors and other leaders of the integrity group are now back in the PDP mainstream and campaigning for Atiku.
INEC Chairman, Yakubu Speaks On Adopting A Presidential Candidate.
The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu has denied the report that the electoral body has preferred candidates in the 2023 general election.
It was learnt that Yakubu, stated this when he addressed Supervisory Presiding Officers (SPOs) in Abuja.
The INEC Chairman called on them to be committed to their oath of neutrality and allegiance to Nigeria.
Yakubu in his word advised them not to see their job as a service to the electoral body but to the country as a whole in which they were equal stakeholders.
The INEC Chairman noted that the work of the SPOs is critical to the success of the forthcoming election, urging them to uphold the integrity of the process.