Reason INEC receives 25 applications for new political parties registration
Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has announced that the 25 political associations have applied to be registered as political parties ahead of the 2027 general elections.
National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee of INEC, Mr Sam Olumekun disclosed this while representing the INEC Chairman at the Public Presentation of the ‘NEEDS Assessment of Political Parties in Nigeria’ organised by the Kukah Centre and the European Union (EU).
Despite harsh criticism that INEC has passed through, especially in the last couple of months, we have the National Assembly that emerged from the political parties. There was a time we had many political parties before they were pruned down by legal requirements to 19.
“As at today we have about 25 political associations that have applied that they want to register as political parties. If political parties are not functioning well, why are groups coming up to seek registration as political parties?”
It’ll cost $2bn to lay fibre cables across Nigeria — Bosun Tijani, Minister of communication
Minister of Communications, Innovations and Digital Economy, Bosun Tijani has disclosed that laying fibre cables across Nigeria will cost $2bn.
Bosun who revealed this while appearing on a Channels Television program on Tuesday, December 5, also disclosed that the Fifth-Generation (5G) network, exists in Nigeria.
He also said that the infrastructure that supports the advanced technology is not everywhere in the country.
The minister said;
“The infrastructure that drives 5G is not something that is across the nation. So, if you are subscribe to 5G and you move into locations where the infrastructure cannot support it, of course, the quality will drop. 5G exists in Nigeria and there are telcos with the licence.”
The minister also said the federal government is doing everything possible to increase the kilometre of fibre optics cables in Nigeria. He added;
“We are about 35 to 40 kilometres right now and the goal is to go to 95,000 km. It’s going to cost us roughly about $1.5bn to $2bn to wire the entire of Nigeria.”
Bosun further disclosed that the ministry he heads would in the first four years of the President Bola Tinubu administration, achieve the aspiration of wiring Nigeria.
Nine Nigerian Stowaways Captured At Gambia Sea Return To Lagos
Nine Nigerian stowaways who attempted to travel to Europe through The Gambia have been received by the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) in Lagos.
The stowaways, who are between the ages of 21 and 30, were discovered by the captain of the ship they were hiding on and were handed over to the Gambian immigration authorities. They were then repatriated to Nigeria through Asky Airlines.
The Comptroller of NIS, MMIA Command, Mrs. Adesola Adesokan, warned Nigerians against embarking on such dangerous journeys, saying that they are “a deathtrap waiting to happen.”
She also appealed to them to follow the proper channels for travelling abroad.
She said: “We need to change our mentality. When they get there illegally, the first thing is they will begin to hide and when they are caught, they will be deported. Even when they are not caught, they go there to do odd jobs that they cannot be proud of doing to their friends and family members.
“They should look before they leap. Most of the time, it may be a journey of no return. I am not saying you can’t travel abroad, but, go there legally, read your books, apply it in the right way, apply to travel and go and showcase Nigeria as a very intelligent nation in the comity of nations.”
One of the stowaways, Abdul Yakubu, said that he was lured into the trip by a friend who promised him that he would be in Europe within five days. He said that he lost N70,000 (approximately US$150) to the person who arranged the trip.
Another stowaway, Daniel Vincent, said that he was shocked to learn that he had not even left the coast of Africa when he was discovered by the ship’s crew.
He said that the experience was “very regrettable” and that he would not encourage anyone else to try it.
SPORTS: Lionel Messi named TIME’s 2023 Athlete of Year
Messi helped Inter Miami win North America’s Leagues Cup in August, then secured his record-extending 8th Ballon d’Or award
Inter Miami’s Argentine superstar Lionel Messi was named TIME’s 2023 Athlete of the Year on Tuesday, the US news magazine confirmed on X.
Messi was honored by TIME after his move to the Major League Soccer (MLS) club Inter Miami from French powerhouse Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in July.
In August, the 36-year-old led Inter Miami to North America’s Leagues Cup triumph, which was the US club’s first title in history.
He scored 10 goals in seven Leagues Cup matches for Inter Miami to make a big impact on US soccer in a short time.
Then in October, Messi took his record-extending eighth Ballon d’Or award after guiding Argentina to the 2022 FIFA World Cup title. It was Argentina’s first World Cup victory since 1986.
Messi, who played for Barcelona for more than a decade, scored 672 goals in 778 appearances to be the Spanish club’s all-time top scorer.
He won numerous titles at Barcelona, including 10 Spanish La Liga titles and four UEFA Champions League titles.
During his football career, Messi won 44 trophies including the 2021 Copa America and 2022 World Cup with Argentina.
Named the TIME’s 2023 Athlete of the Year, Messi joined world-famous US athletes Simone Biles (Gymnastics) and LeBron James (Basketball), and the US women’s national soccer team, as well as New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (Baseball), who won this award in 2022.
INSECURITY IN SOUTH EAST: Negotiation is the key element to end it—– kashim Shettima
ABUJA –VICE President Kashim Shettima, on Tuesday said the best option to end the insecurity in Southeast is a non-kinetic approach except the country wants to engage in an endless war of attrition.
Senator Shettima said the most atrocious of wars are at the end of the day sorted out on the negotiation table.
Recall that the Southeast has been battling with separatist agitation by the Mazi Nnamdi Kanu-led Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, which has a militant group, Eastern Security Network, ESN.
IPOB has been agitating against the alleged marginalization of the Southeast especially by former President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
The Vice President stated this when he received a delegation led by the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Kalu, on a courtesy visit to the Presidential Villa.
The delegation under the auspices of the Peace In South East Project (PISE-P) visited the VP to present the initiative and invite him for the launch of the project that proposes a non-kinetic solution to the crisis in the South East region.
Speaking after a brief introduction of the new initiative, the Vice President endorsed the concept, noting that the “approach is the most beautiful I have seen so far.
“We need to build bridges, there is a need for a handshake, that way, those that have not been radicalized can be captured,” he added.
VP Shettima further explained the wisdom of adopting a non-kinetic approach in addressing the security situation in the South East, saying it would save the region from endless war.
He stated: “Unless we want to engage in an endless war of attrition, a non-kinetic solution to the crisis in the South East must be explored and deployed. The most atrocious of wars are at the end of the day sorted out on the negotiation table.
“It is how you build bridges that will determine how far you go as a people and society. We have to reach out to the youths; we have to empower them. Once we empower them, the crisis, the agitation and insecurity will vanish”.
Earlier in his address, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Kalu, reiterated the call for a non-kinetic approach to addressing the security challenges facing the South East region.
“We understand that many zones in the country face similar security challenges,” he said. “However, PISE-P proposes a non-kinetic approach to address these issues that have impacted the economy of the South East and Nigeria,” he said.
He stressed the urgency of finding solutions, just as he said, “We cannot ignore these challenges; we must face them head-on. The current situation has severely affected our lives and our sense of unity.”
Kalu expressed optimism that the Peace in South East Project could bring hope to the region, similar to how other parts of the country have seen improvement.
He emphasized the need for new solutions, acknowledging that past approaches have not yielded the desired results.
Kalu highlighted the importance of addressing the sociological factors contributing to the unrest, expressing the belief that a non-kinetic approach, focusing on changing the narrative and reorienting the minds of the people, can be more effective.
“We want to start a conversation that helps change the perception and mindset in the South East,” he explained, adding that “this cannot be achieved through guns and violence.”
The Deputy Speaker emphasized the need for initiatives that foster a sense of belonging and inclusion, even as he acknowledged the government’s limitations and stressed the importance of collaborating with development partners under the Peace in South East Project.
Members of the delegation included Hin. Leko Gambo, member representing Dass/Bogoro/Tafawa Balewa Federal Constituency of Bauchi State; Hon. Jonathan Ajirioghene Ukodhiko, member representing Isoko North/South Federal Constituency of Delta State; Hon. Ibori-Suenu Erhiatake, member representing Ethiope East/Ethiope West Federal Constituency of Delta State; Hon. Bukar Talba, member representing Ethiope East/Ethiope West Federal Constituency of Delta State; Hon. Bukar Talba, member representing the Monguno / Nganzai /Marte Federal Constituency of Borno State; Hon Emeka Wogu, former Minister of Labour and Productivity; Hon. Toby Okechukwu, the Chief of Staff to the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives and Mr Elton Onwu.
Kaduna accidental bombing deeply regrettable – President Tinubu
The unintentional explosion that happened at the Tudun Biri community in Kaduna state has caused President Bola Tinubu to express regret, the incident was deemed highly regretful by the president.
In order to express his condolences to the state’s administration and populace, he also dispatched a mission headed by Bello Matawalle, Minister of Defense for State.
Brig. Gen. Tukur Gusau, the Director of Defense Information, made this announcement on Tuesday evening.
It read, “In response to the regrettable incident at Tudun Biri community in Kaduna state, President Bola Tinubu, has swiftly dispatched a high-level delegation to convey heartfelt condolences to the government and people of Kaduna.
“Led by the Honourable Minister of State for Defence, Dr Bello Matawalle, the delegation met with Deputy Governor Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, members of Kaduna state security committee, and religious leaders to express solidarity and empathy during this challenging time.”
While reassuring the Federal Government’s resolve to prevent such incidents in the future, he said a thorough investigation would be conducted to determine the circumstances leading to the incident.
” Matawalle emphasized the need for a thorough investigation to determine the facts surrounding the incident.
He assured the public that the findings would be transparently communicated, reaffirming the federal government’s commitment to preventing future occurrences.
The Minister appealed for cooperation, calm, and continued support for the Armed Forces of Nigeria.
“Matawalle extended prayers for the souls of the departed and wished a speedy recovery to the injured.
He urged religious leaders to enlighten their followers, emphasizing that the incident was an operational error deeply regretted by the Armed Forces of Nigeria, which remains unwavering in its mandate to secure every part of the country, ” the statement added.
Hadiza Balarabe, the deputy governor of Kaduna state, responded by thanking President Tinubu for the timely delegation visit.
She emphasized the state government’s ongoing efforts to keep the impacted community and religious leaders informed in order to reduce tensions and preserve peace.
In order to send their well wishes to the injured, the group also went to the Kaduna Nursing Home.
Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja, Chief of Army Staff; General Christopher Gwabin Musa, Chief of Defense Staff; and Dr. Ibrahim Abubakar Kana, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defense, were among the notable guests in the delegation.
Federal Government Seeks ₦35 Billion To Revive Ajaokuta Steel Company
The Minister of Steel Development, Shuaibu Audu, has requested N35bn funding from financial institutions to revive the moribund Ajaokuta Steel Company.
Audu said the collaboration with financial institutions was to seek the best financing options to re-start the light Steel Mill in Ajaokuta and kick-start iron rod production.
The ministry’s Chief Information Officer, Tine-Iulun Maureen, in a statement, said the minister revealed this when he received a delegation from Stanbic IBTC Bank, on Tuesday in Abuja.
The statement read, “It has become imperative to seek funding of about N35bn to enable the re-start of the Light Mill Section of the Ajaokuta Steel Plant for the production of iron rod to achieve the agenda of the current administration to revive Ajaokuta in phases in accordance with its set timelines and benchmark.
“This is in furtherance of achieving its mandate of reviving the steel sector, improving industrialisation in the country, diversifying the economy, providing jobs for the teeming youths and growing the Gross Domestic Product, is collaborating with Financial Institutions, for best financing options to re-start the light Steel Mill in Ajaokuta.”
Speaking further, Audu disclosed that the ministry has an existing agreement with the Works Ministry to be off-takers of the rod produced as well as with the Ministry of Defence to build a Military Complex in Ajaokuta, adding, “We have huge opportunities in Ajaokuta and potentially a lot can be achieved.”
Earlier, the CEO, Stanbic Bank, Wole Adeniyi, who was represented by the Head of Industrials, Debola Seriki, expressed the bank’s willingness to partner with the Ministry, while requesting further details for their consideration towards realising the project.
In the same vein, the statement added that the minister met with top management of United Bank of Africa and Voda Infrastructure Management Ltd with a view to ensuring that funds are raised for the immediate take-off of the project for sustainable development of the Steel Sector.
come to terms with how grievous the problem is to society. You hear of alarming rates of kidnapping, armed robbery, rape, terrorism, disrespecting parents, truancy. All are because of the influence of drugs.
“Parents should pay more attention to their children rather than putting all their concentration on their careers and businesses. All parents should come back home because if our future is gone, we may no longer have a future to hold on to”, she said.
She advised parents not to buy phones for under-age children.
Meanwhile, the Kwara State Government, in collaboration with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has said that it is set to begin sensitisation in every part of the state to curb drugs and substance abuse.
The Supervising Commissioner of the Ministry of Youths Development, Hon Usman Yunusa-Lade disclosed on Tuesday in his office during a meeting with officers of the NDLEA in the State.
Lade noted that the collaborative initiative was aimed at kickstarting a comprehensive and far-reaching campaign with robust sensitization programmes designed to tackle the root causes of drug abuse and raise awareness about its detrimental effects in society.
According to him, the strategic meeting between the Kwara State Ministry of Youths Development and the NDLEA is a significant milestone in the concerted effort to combat drug abuse in the State.
“What makes this endeavour particularly commendable is the staunch backing it has received from the Executive Governor of Kwara State, Mallam Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq”, he said.
Obi: FG Plans To Use 3000 Professors Annual Pay For Vice President’s Houses
Peter Obi:“Even as I am still studying the 2024 fiscal budget as presented to the National Assembly last week, I cannot wait as I am compelled to ask : what is exactly wrong with us as a country?“
“I ask this question because it is hard for me to understand some of the recent happenings in our nation, in these critical times. The recent news about a budget provision of N15 billion for the construction of a new residence for the Vice President is both shocking and disheartening, considering the many important challenges facing our nation.
“Just recently in the Supplementary Budget, the sum of N2.5 billion was included for the renovation of the Vice President’s residence in Abuja, which means that he already has a residence. Again, during the budget presentation, I heard the sum of N3 billion was allocated for the renovation of the Vice President’s residence in Lagos. If we total all these sums, we would have budgeted the sum of N20.5 billion for the housing of the Vice President.. “
“..at this critical time when we are not just the world’s poverty capital, but more people are falling into poverty, with so many Nigerians not knowing where their next meal will come from.Our health facilities have collapsed, and unemployment is skyrocketing. I am convinced that 99.9% of Nigerians can only dream of living in the current residence of the Vice President. Several people employed in the universities are not being paid.”
“Just to give an example, the salary of a professor in a Nigerian university is about N400,000, which without removing tax is about N5 million a year. What we have budgeted for the housing of the Vice President who is already luxuriously housed is, therefore, the annual salary of about 3000 professors! This is the finance needed to develop the much-needed human capital.”
“The budget of N5 billion for student loans, which is yet to be disbursed is only a tiny percentage of the cost of the Vice President’s new home.We are projecting to use four times the amount for educating ALL Nigerian indigent students to house the Vice President, and we are being told there is nothing wrong with us.I am sure the major teaching hospitals in Nsukka, Lagos, Ibadan, and Zaria did not receive this much capital vote in the budget this year. We have had leaders that were exemplary in the past.”
“Most Nigerians may not know that the popular 1004 flats in Lagos, was a land allocated for the building of a Presidential Mansion for the then Head of State, General Murtala Mohammed. He sternly turned down the offer and instructed that the land should be used to build blocks of flats for civil servants. That is the kind of sacrificial leadership worth emulating. Our leaders must therefore stop the recklessness and insensitivity to the plight of the masses.”
“We need leaders who show compassion and are willing to sacrifice for common progress and development. Such compassionate and frugal leaders are critical in our journey to the New Nigeria.”-PO
President Tinubu Faces Another Legal Battle In Supreme Court Over 2023 Presidential Poll
“It is on record that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in recognition of the doctrine of Lis Pendens and the existing suits on the issue of usurpation of mandate between Owuru and Buhari, joined the ongoing proceedings then in Court of Appeal on the 18th of May 2023 before his purported inauguration over the 2023 presidential electoral debacle.
” He is bound to await the outcome of the proceedings in the already existing issue of usurpation of constitutional mandate and entitlement to serve out the same by Owuru.
“The implication of this, by law is that the 2023 presidential election and its outcome which Tinubu was aware of before joining the suit, is subsumed and dependent on the outcome of the existing legal proceedings on the subject of the already adjudged and yet to be served constitutional mandate of Owuru to serve out the term of office of the President of Nigeria as required by law.
“Our laws in this regard concerning the doctrine of Lis pendens has been well affirmed by the Supreme Court in the case of Peter Obi vs Ngige (Supra) as parties are to maintain and strictly observe the fact of the existence of pending suits and efficacy and potency of undermining the court’s jurisdiction and engaging in act of self-help and a brazen usurpation of candidate, parties mandate, subject matter in the pending case.
“There is no doubt that this act of the present All Progressives Congress (APC) led central government in practical terms are clear acts of usurpation.
“As law-abiding citizens, we urge that Nigerians exercise patience in the due and early resolution of these outstanding issues to know who truly is the authentic Nigerian President.
Owuru who claimed to be adjudged Constitutional winner of the 2019 presidential election predicted his grouse against the inauguration of Tinubu or anybody else as successor to Buhari on the ground that he is the constitutionally adjudged winner of the 2019 election and has not spent his four-year tenure as required by law.
Among others, Owuru had insisted then that Buhari was usurping his tenure of office since 2019 because the Supreme Court has not determined his petition filed in 2019 in which he challenged the purported declaration of Buhari as the election winner.
His first suit was dismissed by Justice Inyang Edem Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja on January 30, 2023, prompting his movement to the Court of Appeal.
The Court of Appeal in Abuja on its part on May 25 in a judgment by Justice Jamil Tukur who led a 3-man panel had refused to stop the May 29 inauguration of Tinubu.
Justice Tukur had held that Owuru engaged in gross abuse of court processes by filing a frivolous, vexatious and irritating suit to provoke the respondents