Top newspaper headlines in Nigeria for today, Friday, 2nd December 2022
President Muhammadu Buhari slammed State Governors on Thursday over the corrupt practices surrounding the fund allocation for local councils’ administrations.
Truetells Nigeria gathered that the president has described the treatment of the administration at the local government level by governors as unfair.
According to him, it beats anyone’s imagination how some state governors would collect funds on behalf of local council areas in their various states and remit half to the council chairman, noting that such funds further deplete the remittance in further pilfering of public resources.
The President said this at an event hosted for members of the Senior Executive Course 44 (2022) of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He cited one of such instances he had witnessed involving an unnamed governor, adding that such corrupt practices perpetrated by some governors in dispensing resources meant for local councils’ administrations are disturbing.
The President said such instances can be related to a lack of integrity among many of those holding such offices, and are despicable and speak of the height of corruption in the country.
A stern warning has gone out to State Governors who utilize thugs and other elements to disrupt the political campaign activities of opposition parties in their various states.
Truetells Nigeria reports that the Federal Government cautioned governors involved in such activity should desist or there won’t be any hiding place for anyone who is caught.
The National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno (retd), gave the warning on Thursday in Abuja at the weekly Ministerial Briefing, organised by the Presidential Communication Team at the Villa said security agencies have been deployed to end this intolerance.
According to him, the trend is a manifestation of an inferiority complex in those guilty of the offence.
His reaction follows the recent trend of attacks targeted at the campaign structures of opposition politicians.
Monguno, while itemizing the programmes and achievements of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in the security sector warned the Governors to “call their Capo regime to order because when we move, there will be no hiding place.”
The Director-General of the Labour party’s Presidential Campaign Council, Doyin Okupe has been sacked by the Ogun State chapter of Labour Party over non-payment of membership dues.
Okupe, together with 10 others, was expelled from the party for violating its constitution.
Briefing newsmen on Thursday in Abeokuta, the Chairman of Labour Party in Ogun State, Michael Ashade, and the party’s secretary, Feyisola Michael, alleged that Okupe and others have in the last six months failed to pay their membership dues, despite several notifications.
Ashade also accused Okupe of being a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) mole trying to destabilize Labour Party in the state.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has shared his thoughts on the present situation in the country.
Obasanjo, while speaking at the official launch of The Letterman by the Editor-in-Chief of Premium Times, Musikilu Mojeed, in Abuja opined that God must be a Nigerian.
He explained that God allows Nigeria to get away with “stupid things.”
The former president argued that Nigeria should blame itself for failing to harness God’s given natural resources.
He, however, expressed hope that God will not run out of patience with Nigeria so the citizenry can continue to enjoy God’s mercy.
A senator representing Akwa Ibom North-East, Bassey Albert has been sentenced to 42 years in prison for corruption by a federal high court in the state.
Albert, before the landmark verdict was a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), when he won the election before defecting to the Young Progressives Party (YPP), in July, 2022, where he emerged as its governorship candidate.
In 2019, he was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a six-count charge of allegedly taking possession of six vehicles worth N204 million when he was finance commissioner in the state.
According to the anti-graft agency, he collected one of the vehicles from Jide Omokore, an associate of Diezani Alison-Madueke, former Minister of Petroleum.
Since the former petroleum minister, Alison-Madueke fled the country attempts by the EFCC to bring her to justice in Nigeria for alleged acts of corruption have failed.
But several of her allies have come under scrutiny with many facing fraud-related charges and prosecution in court.
According to the EFCC, Omokore reportedly had dealings with the state when he offered Bassey the vehicle.
While delivering the judgment on Thursday, the presiding judge, Agatha Okeke, found the senator guilty of all the offenses preferred against him.
He was subsequently sent to Ikot Ekpene prison to serve his jail term.
The Vice Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed has called out his counterpart in the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Kashim Shettima.
Speaking at a conference held in Abuja on Thursday, Baba-Ahmed said Shettima lacks public composure and discipline in communication.
He also accused the former Borno State Governor of being out of touch with reality.
Baba-Ahmed however sarcastically pointed out that Shettima’s dress sense (following his oversized suit and sneakers to the Nigeria Bar Association conference in Lagos back in August 2022) has improved.
The Labour Party running mate urged Shettima to stop making unguarded and uncultured statements against other personalities.
Governor Nyesom Wike has slammed the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba, for blaming state governors for the high rate of poverty in the country.
Truetells Nigeria earlier reported that the minister had accused governors of being responsible for the increase in poverty in the country, following the recently released MultiDimensional Poverty report.
Agba made the accusation this while briefing State House correspondents on Wednesday in Abuja on the outcome of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.
The minister accused state governors of constructing flyovers and airports and failing to construct roads linking the rural areas to the urban centers
He said the governors have abandoned the 72 percent of poor citizens living in the rural areas and focusing on the state capital and citizens living in urban centers.
Speaking at the inauguration of Rumuogho link roads in Emohua community on Thursday, Wike said the minister was wrong to have accused the governors of abandoning the rural areas and constructing infrastructure in the state capital.
Governor Wike accused Agba of being ignorant and cautioned the minister against making such a reckless statement in the future.
The Vice-presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed, has berated the flagbearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, over his recent comment on his principal, Peter Obi.
Recall that Tinubu, at a campaign rally in Delta State, had said it is a “disgrace” for him to mention the name of the former Governor of Anambra State.
Speaking on Thursday at a media briefing in Abuja, Baba-Ahmed said the comment made by the former Lagos governor against Obi was disrespectful and unpresidential”
The former Senator asserted that the APC and its presidential candidate have resorted to derogatory remarks because they have nothing substantial to campaign with.
Baba-Ahmed said the strategy of the ruling party against Obi is centred on promoting falsehood, in addition to empty and derogatory personal attacks.
He, however, said the 2023 general elections will be different as Nigerians are now aware of the dangers of ethnic and religious politics.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed has disclosed that Nigeria is not broke.
Truetells Nigeria reports that the minister noted that the country continues to disburse funds to the three tiers of government from the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC).
According to Ahmed, the Federal Government has since 2015 disbursed N5.04 trillion to state governments.
She made this revelation while speaking at the presentation of President Muhammadu Buhari Administration scorecard (2015-2023).
The minister said the non-oil sector drives the nation’s economy more than the oil sector owing to vandalism of the oil infrastructure.
Ahmed submitted that oil production is increasing, stressing that as of October 2022, it soared to 1.4 million barrels per day.
She further revealed that N1.7 trillion was released for this year’s capital projects as of September 2022, adding that Nigeria has not in any way defaulted in both domestic and foreign debt repayments.
The Chairman of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), Mohammed Shehu has disclosed that there are some categories of civil servants that earn higher pay than President Muhammadu Buhari.
Speaking on Thursday, the RMAFC boss disclosed that the President does not earn up to N1,300,000 on a monthly basis.
He however added that there are people in the private sector and public sector who earn up to four times President Buhari’s pay.
According to Shehu, some staff of certain government agencies such as the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) are part of the biggest earners in the country.
He however argued that no government worker should earn more than the President.