TOP STORIES: Supplementary polls: Voting begins in Rivers, Kebbi, Adamawa, others.

Voting has commenced in Rivers, Kebbi, Adamawa among other states where supplementary elections were scheduled by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to hold today (Saturday).

According to INEC, supplementary elections hold today (Saturday) in 2,660 polling units in 185 Local Government Areas (LGAs) across 24 states of the Federation.

NUPENG Cautions FG, Says “No Functioning Refineries, No Subsidy Removal”.

In light of the socioeconomic effects on businesses and Nigerians, the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, or NUPENG, has cautioned the Federal Government against considering eliminating the petrol subsidy without local refining capacity.

The removal of the subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit, or PMS, is not opposed by members of the union, according to the union, but the federal government must make sure that our local refineries are fully operational before such a significant policy choice is made in the interest of Nigerians generally.

This was included in a statement made by NUPENG officials following a meeting of the union’s National Executive Council, or NEC, in Lagos.

The NEC had discussed the state of the country, particularly in light of the next general elections in 2023 and the rising number of statements from Nigerians expressing support for the Federal Government’s decision to abolish the PMS subsidy programme, among other things.

Prince Williams Akporeha, President of NUPENP, and Afolabi Olawale, General Secretary of NUPENP, respectively, both signed the communiqué. NUPENP, Stated that “NEC-in-Council also examined the recurrent discussions for the removal of subsidy from the Petroleum Motor Spirit, PMS, and expresses deep concerns over the failure of the Federal Government to do the needful as advised by Organised Labour that deregulation of the PMS should not be predicated on importation of the product because of all the obvious negative impacts on the socio-economic life of the people and nation in general.

“The Council-in-session expressed disappointment in the failure of the government to deliver on its promises of making the three national refineries work before contemplating the removal of the subsidy on this very important economic item in view of the enormous implication and the impact on the economic activities and considering the socio-economic importance of PMS to ordinary Nigerians.

“The NEC-in-session reaffirms that in as much as our Union is not averse to the removal of PMS subsidy, the Federal Government must ensure that our local refineries are put into full operation before a such major policy decision is taken in the interest of the generality of Nigerians.” NUPENG promised to oppose any attempt to impose an interim or undemocratic government on Nigeria after May 29 in response to the recently finished general elections.

In the run-up to and following the conduct of the general elections in 2023, it expressed concern over the rising and unceasing spread of hate, ethnic and religious bigotry by politicians, religious leaders, elites, and the youth. This was done at the expense of the peace, unity, and coexistence of the Nigerian people.

The Union stated in its communiqué that the “Council-in-Session unanimously agreed that although the election may not have been perfect or produced the results that some people had in mind, there must always be winners and losers in every game, and that there are numerous avenues available under the country’s electoral laws for any party who feels wronged to seek redress rather than inflaming the political climate and dividing the nation.

“All harmed parties and individuals should follow the standard democratic behaviour of conceding defeat, congratulating the victor, or going to court to seek remedy.

Ododo, Yahaya Bello’s preferred candidate, wins APC Party Ticket in Kogi.

Kogi State’s Auditor General, Alhaji Ahmed Usman-Ododo, appeared to be the man to beat in the direct primary of the APC held across the state after some of his opponents stepped down for him. Usman-Ododo is the anointed candidate of Governor Yahaya Bello who met with all the party’s aspirants on Thursday.

Those who stepped down for him were Deputy Governor Edward Onoja , the governor’s Chief of Staff, Mohammed Abdulkareem Asuku, Mr David Adebanji-Jimoh, a former Commissioner for Finance, Asiwaju Ashiru-Idris, Okala Yakubu and Momoh Jubril.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has declared the Auditor-General for Local Government, Usman Ahmed Ododo, as winner of the April 14 primary election in Kogi.

According to the secretary of the primary election committee, Patrick Obahiagbon, Ododo, who is the anointed candidate of Governor Yahaya Bello, scored 78,704 votes to beat his rivals. Shaibu Abubakar Audu got 763 votes, Stephen Ikani Ocheni scored 532 votes, Sanusi Ohaire polled 424 votes while Senator Smart Adeyemi got 311 votes.
The result was declared around 1.30am on Saturday. According to the breakdown, 83,419 party members were accredited for the election.

Chairman of the primary election committee, Gov. Mohammed Bello-Matawale of Zamfara State, said after Thursday’s meeting that “all other aspirants who have not withdrawn from the race are free to participate in Friday’s direct primary election to be held across the state.

“The gentlemanly agreement was reached and announced at a stakeholders meeting of the party held on Thursday in Lokoja,’’ he said.
Governor Bello described the primary election as very peaceful, orderly and successful.

Bello, in a statement by his Chief Press secretary, Onogwu Mohammed, said: “We are so glad that we haven’t received any report of violence or any crisis from Kogi East, Kogi Central and Kogi West Senatorial Districts.
“This has been our prayer from day one that the primary election of our great party this time be devoid of any crisis or violence to reflect the people’s will and aspiration.

Bello asked members and supporters of APC to respect the outcome of the election soon to be announced by the Zamfara Governor led primary election committee.

He called on all and sundry especially party members to respect the outcome of the primary so as to move forward and obtain victory at the November 11 governorship election in the state. However, the name of Muritala Yakubu Ajaka, one of the contestants, was missing from the result sheet. This may not be unconnected with the earlier report, which quoted chairman of the APC screening committee, Mohammed Bello Matawale, to have said Ajaka, a member of the APC National Working Committee, was barred from the election.  A source stated that Ajaka left the state for Abuja on Friday to lodge his grievances against the election.
Meanwhile, Governor Yahaya Bello has said the primary election across the 239 wards of the state was peaceful and orderly.

Uzodinma wins, APC guber primary in Imo.

Imo State Governor Hope Uzodimma will fly the flag of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the November 11, 2023 off-season governorship election in the state.

Uzodimma polled 63,618 votes to emerge winner in yesterday’s special congress in Owerri in which he was the sole candidate.

Uzodinma, in his post-nomination speech, said he would cherish his victory in for “a  long time to come.”
He described it as a “mark of confidence from the members of our great party and the entire Imo people at large.”

He added: “God does not make mistakes. For a long time we have been praying for God to change our situation in Imo State and I think God answered the prayers.

“We have no other state than Imo State; we cherish democracy, we borrowed from our past mistakes and past experiences. Before I came out I first prayed to God and since I have done that, God has not disappointed me.

“We had our challenges, man-made problems and obstacles but God in His wisdom handled it in his way. You would agree with me that where we met Imo State when we came and where it is today, there is huge difference. And if that was what touched your hearts to challenge me to continue, what you have just told me is to do more work.”

He pledged to do “my best not to betray” the trust placed in him.

He prayed that God might give him the courage, wisdom, knowledge and resources to “take Imo State to its destination,” especially in fighting insecurity.

He said: “This Imo State you see today would have been three times better if not for the huge money we spent fighting insecurity but God Almighty has intervened.

“So fear not, for God is with us. They may harass you and call you all sorts of names, even kill you, but don’t be afraid. By November, God will intervene.
Chairman of the party in the state, MacDonald Ebere, said the governor has performed well in his first time to deserve a fresh mandate.

The chairman of the Governorship Primary Election Committee, Rear Admiral William Kayode (rtd) said that the committee conducted the primary election in line with the provisions of the party constitution, electoral act and the 1999 constitution as amended through direct primaries in all the 305 wards in the 27 local government areas.

“This exercise has been very hitch free, peaceful and with the support of the governor, it has been rancour free.”

Sylva, Lyon in tight contest in Bayelsa.

it was a straight fight in Bayelsa State between the immediate past minister of petroleum resources, Chief Timipre Sylva and the party’s governorship candidate in the 2019 election, David Lyon.

Six aspirants entered for the APC governorship race in Bayelsa State but the two front runners were the immediate past minister of petroleum resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, and the party’s governorship candidate in the 2019 election, David Lyon.

Chairman of the party`s  Primary Election Committee, Retired Maj.-Gen. A.T Jubrin, told reporters in Yenagoa after a stakeholders meeting yesterday that  Mr Ogbomade Isikima, Prof. Maureen  Etebu, Mr Festus Daumiebi and Joshua Maciver were also on the ballot.

Jubrin said that the committee had put all necessary measures in place to ensure a rancour free exercise.
He said election would take place in all the 105 wards in the state through option A4.
The chairman said that all members of the party, whose names were on the party’s register, would queue behind their preferred candidates.

‘Only Buhari Can Judge Me’ – Femi Adesina Sends Message As He Prepares To Leave Office.

The Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina has expressed his feelings days before leaving office when the tenure of his principal expires on May 29, 2023.

Adesina in an article titled ‘the final gallop home’ which was shared on his Facebook page, sent a message to two sets of people.
He said there are those who are gleefully counting down for him to leave office; those ones he said are low. despicable people who are deserving of pity.

According to him, those types of people particularly exist on social media as they use the anonymity of that platform, and their own lack of good upbringing, to spew all sorts of bile.
The presidential media aide pointed out that a second category exists who are those who truly wish him well and have expressed how much they’ll miss him in the public domain.

Adesina however submitted in the article that he is not moved by what people think about him because he is only responsible to President Buhari and only his principal can judge his performance.

How We Were Lured, Bribe With N1 Million To Suspend Iyorchia Ayu – PDP Chieftain Reveals.

Fresh details have emerged concerning the suspension of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, from his Igyoruv Ward.
Recall that Ayu was suspended on March 26th by his Igyorov Ward in the Gboko Local Government Area of Benue State.

Ayu was subsequently forced to step aside and replaced in an acting capacity by the party’s Deputy National Chairman (North), Ambassador Umar Damagum, following an order of a Benue High Court restraining him from parading himself as PDP National Chairman.

The Benue High Court had also fixed April 17 for a hearing in the case against Ayu. Speaking to The Guardian a member of Ayu’s Igyoruv ward Executive Council of the party disclosed how the Philip Msughve-led exco was allegedly lured into bringing him down from the lofty position.

He stated that the exco was invited to the state secretariat of the party in Makurdi for post election report of the ward during the governorship and state Assembly elections.

Election Result: National Assembly Will Need More Money – Lawan.

Senate President Ahmad Lawan has submitted that the fact that many experienced lawmakers didn’t win their re-election bid in the 2023 election will mean the National Assembly will need more money for capacity building.

He said this becomes necessary because many experienced hands won’t be returning as legislators for the 10th National Assembly, hence the need to spend on capacity building so the new lawmakers can hit the ground running.
Lawan made the submission on Thursday when he received the 2020, 2021 and 2022 annual reports of the activities of the National Assembly Service Commission in Abuja.

The Senate President stated that the high turnover of experienced lawmakers at every session of the parliament is very costly for the legislature and the nation.
It is understood that of the 426 members-elect, 306 are new lawmakers; while 120 were re-elected. Winners are yet to be declared for the remaining 43 seats.

A further breakdown shows that only 28 of the 109 senators were re-elected; while 73 are new members. Eight seats are still vacant.
Chibok Schoolgirls: Buhari Gov’t Reveals Agenda As Victims Mark 9th Year In Boko Haram Den.

After nine years of a historic attack and abduction in northern Nigeria, over ninety students whisked away from Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, are still with the deadly Boko Haram terrorists.
With pity, Nigerians and the world at large watch as another anniversary of the Chibok girls’ abduction pass. Recall that the abduction was carried out on April 14, 2014.

The Nigerian military has recovered some abducted students in recent years, of which the federal government had decided to take care of their welfare and education.
However, amid lost hope for the recovery of the remaining students, President Muhammadu Buhari’s led government said it would not give up until its last day in office.
A new administration will be sworn in on May 29, 2023.

Rescue Workers Recover One Body From Banana Island Collapsed Building.

The Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) has recovered one body from the rubble of the collapsed seven-storey building in Banana Island, Ikoyi.

The high-rise building located at 1st Avenue, Banana Island, came down on Wednesday afternoon and trapped several workers under the rubble. Emergency responders had earlier rescued 25 victims from the wreckage of the collapsed building.

The state Commissioner for Information and Strategy Gbenga Omotosho, who confirmed the development in a statement on Friday, identified the victim as an adult male whose details were still sketchy.

The statement read: “The excavation of the site, using the architectural designs, continues. The site has been divided into quadrants for a painstaking search and rescue operation.

“Quadrants two and three have been levelled to ground zero, with the search operation completed. Quadrant four is ongoing.
“When a roll call was done by the site supervisors, everyone was accounted for. Nobody could ascertain whether the victim whose body was found this morning was on the site as of the time the roll call was taken.”

FG Gives Oba Of Benin Approval To Keep Repatriated Artefacts.

The Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II has been given a gazette for the recognition of ownership and custody of the repatriated Benin artefacts by the Federal Government.

The Federal Government decided the dispute between the Edo State Government and the monarch over the rightful custodian of the artefacts.
A Government Notice No. 25 in Federal Republic of Nigeria Official gazatte No. 57, Volume 110 dated March 28, 2023, and titled, “Notice of Presidential Declaration – on the Recognition of Ownership, and an order vesting custody and Management of Repatriated looted Benin Artefacts in the Oba of Benin kingdom,” ordered that the “ownership of artefacts looted from the ancient Palace of the Oba and other parts of Benin Kingdom be and is vested in the Oba.”

It was also ordered that the custody of the repatriated artefacts, shall, from wherever and whenever they are brought into Nigeria, be handed over to the Oba as the original owner and custodian of the culture, heritage and tradition of the people of Benin Kingdom in the Edo State.It also mentioned that the “repatriated artefacts may be kept within the Palace of the Oba or such other locations within Benin City, or another place that the Oba and the Federal Government of Nigeria may consider secure and safe.”

It further ordered that the “Oba shall be responsible for the management of all places where the repatriated artefacts are domiciled or located.”

I Am Here, Nobody Can Force Me Out Of Nigeria – Peter Obi.

The presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the just-concluded elections, Peter Obi, has insisted that nobody can force him to flee Nigeria.

Recall that Obi had accused some unnamed individuals of trying to mount pressure on him to leave the country or face arrest for treason.
Speaking at the Onitsha Holiday Resort, Onitsha, on Thursday, the former Anambra State Governor said the Labour Party is committed to creating a new Nigeria.

According to him, there are too many “thieves” who are inflicting suffering on the masses.
He vowed that his party is committed to purging the country’s political system of such thieves, stressing that he would not give up until they are shown the way out of political offices in the country.

APC Campaign Director Returns N2.4m To Party, Submits Expenses Report.

The Director of the Diaspora Directorate of the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council (APC PCC), Prince Ade Omole, has returned N2.4m back into the coffers of the council.

In a statement issued in Abuja on Friday, Omole said the fund was the balance of the initial N10m campaign fund disbursed to the diaspora team in the build-up to the 2023 presidential election. He stated that his directorate also submitted an eight-page expenditure report showing a breakdown of the expenses incurred as well as a 22-page campaign report to the Deputy Secretary of the Presidential Campaign Council, Christopher Tarka.

Omole added that the documentation detailed their activities during the campaign season and in the build-up to the 2023 general election.
The APC chieftain, therefore, thanked the leadership of the PCC on behalf of the diaspora directorate for the opportunity to serve the ‘party and country.’

North Korea launches new type of ballistic missile.

North Korea oun Thursday fired a new model of a long-range ballistic missile, according to South Korea. Scared residents of northern Japan were told to take cover, although there was no danger.

A South Korean military official said the missile appeared to be a new weapon displayed at recent North Korean military parades and may have used solid fuel. South Korea’s military said the missile flew about 1,000 kilometres (620 miles), calling it a “grave provocation.”

According to the official, the missile’s maximum altitude was less than 6,000 km, the apogee of some of last year’s record-breaking tests.

“So far we assess that they fired a new type of ballistic missile with an intermediate or intercontinental range,” the official said. “We’re still analysing details like the trajectory, altitude and range, with the possibility that it carried a solid-fuel propellant.”

The South Korean military said it was on high alert and coordinating closely with its main ally, the United States, which “strongly condemned” what it called a long-range ballistic missile test in a statement.

The missile was fired at 7:23 a.m. (2223 GMT on Wednesday) from near Pyongyang, the South’s military said. Japan’s coast guard said it had landed by 8:19am.

$460,000 Drug Money: You Can’t Outrun Your Past – Atiku’s Aide Fires Tinubu, Keyamo

The Special Assistant on Public Communication to Atiku Abubakar, Phrank Shaibu has lambasted the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, for trying to present the $460,000 forfeiture case as one relating to tax evasion and not drug charges.

Shaibu said in a statement that after the lies told by Tinubu and his surrogates, the truth had finally been unravelled through the processes filed by the APC at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.

Shaibu said Keyamo’s lack of understanding of the legal proceedings was one of the reasons he failed as a prosecutor with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Atiku’s aide, however, knocked Tinubu for claiming that he was not under investigation, but only the funds in his bank accounts were under probe.
He asked Tinubu to explain to Nigerians how he was able to deposit millions of dollars one year after opening bank accounts while earning a salary of $2,500 at Mobil.

Gangs Of Lagos: Lagos Govt Condemns Movie.

The Lagos State Government has condemned the promoters of the Gangs of Lagos film over what it described as “cultural misrepresentation” as well the movie making a mockery of the Heritage of Lagos.

The Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, in a statement on Wednesday, expressed her disappointment for portraying the Eyo Masquerade as a gun-wielding villain while adorning the full traditional regalia.

She maintained that the Adamu Orisha, popularly known as the Eyo Festival, is rarely observed and only comes up as a traditional rite of passage for Obas, revered Chiefs and eminent Lagosians, adding that the Eyo Masquerade is equally used as a symbol of honor for remarkable historical events.

According to her, it signifies a sweeping renewal, a purification ritual to usher in a new beginning, a beckoning of new light, acknowledging the blessings of the ancestors of Lagosians. In an earlier reaction via statement, Lagos prince Uthman Shodipe-Dosunmu demanded immediate withdrawal of the ‘Gangs of Lagos’.

Shodipe-Dosunmu described the movie as an ugly, hate filled mockery of the Lagosian heritage, adding that it is not only a distortion of Lagosians culture, but ethnic profiling of the people as criminals and murderers.

‘We Have Moved On’ – LP Denies Receiving British Govt Apology Over Peter Obi’s Detention.

The Media Office of the Labour Party Presidential Campaign Council (LPPC), has denied receiving any apology from the British government over the embarrassing detention of its Presidential candidate, Peter Obi.
Recall that Peter Obi was last week Friday detained at the Heathrow Airport by Immigration officials over a case of duplicated identity.

Reports had emerged today claiming that the British government had tendered an apology to the former Anambra State Governor for the detention. But in a statement to journalists, the Head, Obi-Datti Media, Diran Onifade, called on the UK government to resolve the matter around the eembarrassment of Peter Obi.

He said the party has not received any apology over the incident, adding that the Labour Party has gone past the incident.

Gov Ortom Asks FG To Suspend 2023 Census.

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, on Thursday, appealed to the Federal Government to suspend the conduct of the 2023 National Population Census.
Recall that the federal government had scheduled the exercise to hold in May 2023.

Ortom, however, while playing host to a delegation from the Middle Belt Forum led by its President, Dr Bitrus Pogu, at Government House in Makurdi today said many people of the state were in the IDP camps and would not be counted because they need to be in their localities before they can participate in the exercise.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain said before any census is conducted, the federal government must ensure adequate security for the IDPs in Benue and elsewhere in the country to go back to their homes to be counted.

Ortom alleged there was so much injustice, bias and tribalism ongoing in the country, adding that both the leaders and the people were expected to correct it before Nigeria could move forward.

While decrying the sustained attacks on Benue communities by herdsmen over the years in which he said more than six thousand people have died and property worth billions of naira destroyed, Governor Ortom regretted that the apex government had done little to help.

Federal Gov’t Denies Bailing Peter Obi Out Of Detention In UK.

The Federal Government of Nigeria has debunked the reports of facilitating the release of Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi, in the United Kingdom.
It was earlier reported that the former governor of Anambra state was last week Friday, detained at Hearthrow Airport in London in a case of mistaken identity during his trip to celebrate Easter in the UK.

A former presidential aspirant of the All Progressives Congress, (APC) Adamu Garba, shared a photoshopped image showing the executive chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, seated in an office alongside Peter Obi and a UK law enforcement officer.

Adamu claimed that the APC-led government through Abike Dabiri facilitated the release of Peter Obi from detention.

However, the spokesperson and head of the Media, Public Relations, and Protocol Unit of NiDCOM, Abdur-Rahman Balogun, has denied facilitating the release of Peter Obi, describing the viral photo as a media stunt.

He said the NiDCOM boss, Dabiri-Erewa, was not in the UK and not in a position to secure the release of any Nigerian suspected to be under UK interrogation.

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