Good morning Nigeria, welcome to Naija News roundup of top newspaper headlines in Nigeria for today, Thursday, 18th May 2023
President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the attack on the officials of the United State Embassy in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State.
Naija News reported on Tuesday that unknown gunmen attacked a US Embassy convoy and killed two officials and two policemen during the vicious attack.
In a statement on Wednesday, the presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, said Buhari is saddened by the killings of the police officers and the staff of the US Embassy in Nigeria and condoled with the families of the victims.
Buhari also expressed sadness over the gruesome deaths of villagers in communities in Plateau and Benue States, adding that the security agencies are committed to bringing the perpetrators to justice.
The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the just-concluded polls, Atiku Abubakar, has expressed disbelief that the United States Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, decided to call President-elect Bola Tinubu.
Naija News gathered that Bliken phoned Tinubu on Tuesday after announcing the imposition of visa restrictions on specific individuals who undermined the democratic process during the 2023 elections.
In a statement released by the Spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State, Matthew Miller, Blinken told Tinubu that the Joe Biden administration is committed to strengthening ties with Nigeria.
The US Secretary stated that the U.S.-Nigeria partnership is built on shared interests and strong people-to-people ties and that those links should continue strengthening under Tinubu’s tenure.
Miller added that Bliken and Tinubu discussed the importance of inclusive leadership that represents all Nigerians and reforms to support the economic growth of Nigeria.
Reacting in a statement via his Twitter handle on Wednesday, Atiku said Blinken’s call to Tinubu contradicts the public position of the US on Nigeria’s election.
The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has inaugurated two post election committees to review and document activities of the 2023 general election.
Naija News learnt that the electoral commission took to its Twitter handle on Wednesday to disclose the development.
According to the commission, the two internal committees, which are more like report-writing ones, have the mandate to conduct post-election reviews of the 2023 polls.
It would however be recounted that the INEC boss had on March 1 declared the presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu as the President-elect and winner of the 2023 presidential election.
While the INEC chairman announced Tinubu as the winner of the election, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar and his counterpart in the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi were announced as second and third respectively.
However, the declaration by the commission has been challenged by some aggrieved candidates who contested the presidential election.
The lawmaker representing Borno South Senatorial District, Senator Ali Ndume has expressed his intention to contest the $800 million loan requested by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
President Buhari had sought approval from the Senate for the loan, which would be used to fund the National Social Safety Network Programme.
The loan, obtained from the World Bank, aims to provide assistance to the most vulnerable individuals in society following the removal of petrol subsidies.
However, in an interview on Trust TV’s Daily Politics, Ndume argued that the loan is “unconstitutional and unfair.”Ndume further emphasized the unfairness of randomly distributing 4,000 to Nigerians, highlighting that such an approach would be unconstitutional, as discrimination is not permitted according to Nigeria’s constitution.
Expressing his concerns, Ndume criticized the administration for potentially misleading President Buhari and suggested that their focus is on personal gain rather than the welfare of Nigerians.
Embattled factional National Chairman of the Labour Party (LP), Basiru Lamidi Apapa, has commented on the humiliation meted on him on Wednesday at the premises of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal by the Julius Abure faction of the party.
Naija News reported earlier that Apapa was embarrassed out of the court after an argument ensued between him, members of his faction and those from the other faction fighting for the allegedly stolen mandate of LP presidential candidate, Peter Obi.
Apapa had attempted to address journalists outside the court earlier but was booed till he entered his car and drove away.
Speaking, however, in an organized media briefing attended by the Deputy National Chairman of the party in the North, Mike Ayuba Auta, National Publicity Secretary, Olufemi Abayomi Arabambi and one of the women leaders Mrs Rukayat Salihu Umar, Apapa said what happened at the Presidential tribunal in which fracas broke out in the presence of Peter Obi, was disgraceful and a test to Obi’s leadership quality.
He maintained that Obi’s lack of respect for the rule of law was responsible for the leadership crisis rocking the party.
While demanding that Obi should be unbiased to get the disputed chairmanship tussle resolved, Apapa said the crisis would not have happened if Obi had withdrawn recognition from the suspended National Chairman of the party, Mr Julius Abure based on the order of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory.
He asked the former governor of Anambra to wade into the dispute objectively to amicably resolve the lingering crisis.
President Muhammadu Buhari will on Friday inaugurate the multi-billion dollar VIP wing of the Medical Centre inside the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
A statement on Wednesday by the State House Director of Information, Abiodun Oladunjoye, said the Presidential medical centre will coexist with the State House Medical Centre, located in Asokoro, Abuja.
According to the statement, the legacy project is a demonstration of the Buhari administration’s commitment to advancing healthcare management in the country.
It said spanning an impressive total floor area of 2,485 square meters on a suspended floor with a basement, the hospital, which serves as a specialized Intensive Care Centre, caters for the President, Vice President, their immediate families, and VIPs; incorporates state-of-the-art medical technology.
The Presidential/VIP Wing houses several specialised departments, to be staffed by a team of medical professionals, featuring five consultation rooms dedicated to various specialties, including respiratory, cardiology, ophthalmology, ENT, and general consultation.
The 2023 Presidential Election Tribunal has adjourned sitting in the case involving the Labour Party candidate, Peter Obi the President-elect, Bola Tinubu who contested on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Obi is challenging the electoral victory of Tinubu in the February 25, 2023 polls as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Naija News reports the tribunal adjourned the case till Friday, May 19th for the continuation of pre-hearing.
The court headed by Justice Haruna Tsammani fixed the date, following the failure of parties in the petition to agree on documents among other reasons.
It would be recalled that during the sitting on Wednesday, the legal team of the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi led by Livy Uzoukwu accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of failing to provide what they need to prosecute their case.
The legal team told the court at the resumed hearing of the 2023 presidential election tribunal in Abuja that INEC refused to give them 70% of the evidence which they are required to give by law.
The team said specifically in Rivers State, they were not given anything.
However, counsel for INEC, Abubakar Mahmoud, disagreed with the allegations.
He argued that the Labour Party team did not show up for the meeting as agreed, and walked out of the rescheduled meeting.
The INEC lawyer added that the documents for Rivers and Sokoto states, where indeed provided, but the Labour Party refused to pay the sum of 1.5million naira for Sokoto State, and the Form EC8A for Rivers State, have not been given to them.
The Governor of Cross River State, Ben Ayade, has said he deserves commendation for the payment of salaries and pensions of civil servants and pensioners in the state.
Ayade also claimed that he had paid 36 months of salaries and arrears inherited from the previous administration.
Speaking during an appearance on Arise TV on Wednesday, the governor said payment of salaries and pensions is an achievement for his government and far more critical than any other project.
The governor stated that he is a superhero for his achievements in the last eight years, adding that the people of Cross Rivers celebrate him for his works.
Ayade said despite Cross River receiving the least in terms of federal allocation, his government ranks number one in the commitment and payment of salaries and pensions to workers.
The Director General of the Labour Party Presidential Campaign Council, Akin Osuntokun, has wished the presidential candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), Rabiu Kwankwaso well with any engagement with the President-elect, Bola Tinubu.
This is as Osuntokun said he would have been happy if Kwankwaso can join the Labour Party.
Naija News reports that his submission is coming after hours after reports of a meeting between Tinubu and Kwankwaso emerged.
The Labour Party chieftain said he respects Kwankwaso’s decision to pitch his tent with Tinubu.
Osuntokun, while featuring on an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Wednesday said “I wish them well, “Kwankwaso is not responsible to me. I will be happy if he comes to us to work together.
“If that is his choice, I respect his choice. I don’t see anything wrong in what he has done. He makes his own choice.”
The Federal Government has acknowledged that the Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle is exercising his freedom of expression by suggesting that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) extend its investigation to the presidency and outgoing ministers.
Naija News had earlier reported that Governor Matawalle challenged the EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, to focus on President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet members instead of criticizing governors, emphasizing the need for a comprehensive investigation that is not selective.
In his statement, Governor Matawalle stated, “The investigation must be wholistic and not selective. It is in this respect that the recent invitations and pronouncement by the EFCC Chair is imbalance, incomplete, hypocritical, and unnecessarily skewed.
“I demand that the EFCC chair extend similar invitations to officers of the Presidency and members of the Federal Executive Council, which is the highest tier of government in the country.”
However, the Federal Government, represented by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, responded by affirming that the governor’s remarks reflect his personal opinion and right to make suggestions.
When asked about Governor Matawalle’s comments, Minister Mohammed stated, “The governor has the right to make suggestions; that is his own opinion.”
Those are the top Nigerian newspaper headlines for today. Read more Nigerian news on Naija News. See you again tomorrow.
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