…Insists Party Is Home For Everyone
…Says Youths Using Ex-Anambra Gov As Symbol
A former Governor of Kaduna State, Ahmed Makarfi, has asked Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi; and his New Nigeria Peoples Party’s counterpart, Rabiu Kwankwaso to swallow their personal ambition and return to the Peoples Democratic Party just as the Senator representing Kano Central, Ibrahim Shekarau, left the New Nigeria Peoples Party and rejoined the Peoples Democratic Party.
Makarfi, a former PDP chairman, was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast show, Sunrise Daily, where he made this remark on Tuesday.
According to the 66-year-old statesman, there are only two parties in Nigeria – the PDP and the All Progressives Congress.
He also said frustrated youths are using Obi, a former Anambra State governor, as a symbol, adding that youths should not make decisions on the presidential candidate to vote for in anger. Obi had left the PDP in May and emerged as the Labour Party’s presidential candidate.
Channels Television had reported that Shekarau, also a former Kano governor, from 2003 to 2011, dumped the NNPP after a rift with the party’s presidential candidate, Rabiu Kwankwaso. Shekarau was received in the PDP on Monday by the party’s chairman, Iyorchia Ayu; its flagbearer, Atiku Abubakar; amongst other PDP heavyweights in the north.
Speaking on the development during the programme on Tuesday, Makarfi said Shekarau’s move to the PDP was based on conviction and not personal ambition, noting that the new defector has abandoned his senatorial ambition for 2023 in the NNPP.
Shekarau had in May left the APC after a fallout with Governor Abdullahi Ganduje. Shekarau joined the NNPP but barely three months later, he dumped the NNPP for the PDP. The founding member of the APC in 2013 was also a PDP member in 2014.
He said, “Nigerian politics is a bit funny especially politics of the opposition. Before APC captured power, the opposition came together but unfortunately, we have a situation in Nigeria where the opposition wakes up and everyone tries to capture power.
“I want to make a plea to other opposition parties that let them think about Nigeria first and what is good for Nigeria; let us do what APC did – come together, talk amongst ourselves and arrive at something that all of us will agree to and bring positive change to this country.
“Peter Obi, personally, he respects me, I respect him. Kwankwaso still is my friend, I respect him but the issue is that we should all swallow personal ambition for the sake of this country and bring positive change by changing the government that is in power today.
“About the fears of the youths, I am not blaming them but when you are frustrated when you are angry, you may take a decision that will worsen your situation.
“I call on other opposition parties to actually come together, especially Peter Obi, I know he respects our presidential candidate (Atiku) a lot and many of us. PDP will be home to him, PDP will be home to his supporters, and Kwankwaso, we all started PDP together, let us come back home and do the needful for the sake of this country.”
Meanwhile, Makarfi, says “frustrated youths” are using Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, as a “symbol.
“Peter Obi, it is my personal opinion that even if he was frustrated out of PDP, that one must have come from where come from not from any other parts of this country, and it is this politics of edging this person out, edging that person out, and politics is like that.”
“What is happening now in my opinion is not so much about Peter Obi but the frustration of the youths and they are using him as a symbol. Let’s agree that was the case, any decision based on anger will not produce anything positive. We accept the frustration but the only rational way forward is to go the way of PDP,” he said.
744 total views, 3 views today
Naira Hoarding: Sterling Bank In Fresh Trouble, Faults ICPC’s Arrest Of 2 Staff
Few days after Sterling Bank defended allegation of hoarding new N200 notes in the vault of its Ekiti branch office, the bank on the evening of Tuesday February 8, 2023, faced similar ‘charges’ at its Abuja regional office and other Federal Capital Territory branches.
Sterling Bank, in a communication, admitted that ICPC invited two of its staff for questioning in respect of the naira hoarding allegation.
The new allegation, this time coming from the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), hinted of the bank deliberately withholding new naira notes from customers, two days away from the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) February 10 deadline for return of old notes.
ICPC had, on Tuesday evening, tweeted that it discovered millions of new naira notes in Sterling Bank’s Abuja offices, an allegation the bank denied in a statement.
Sterling Bank Respond ICPC’s Allegations
But the bank in a carefully crafted response to the naira hoarding allegation early Wednesday evening, said it complied with all complied with all guidelines on distribution of redesigned notes from inception to date.
What the bank is saying:
OUR ABUJA REGIONAL OFFICE
This report is developed for the purpose of providing the true representation of events to the narrative as expressed by the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) in a tweet late on Tuesday, February 7, 2023.
- A regulatory monitoring team visited our Abuja Central Business District (CBD) Complex on February 3, 2023.
- The monitoring team, in the company of the branch service manager and other staﬀ, inspected and observed the following꞉
- The branch’s ATMs were dispensing all denominations of the newly designed notes.
- The branch was in full compliance with the regulator’s recommendations on Over ‑ The‑Counter (OTC) disbursements.
During the inspection, the monitoring team made inquiries about the details of the cash observed in the vaults. To which the team responded with details of the branch’s ATM and OTC cash disbursement processes.
To our knowledge, all responses provided were satisfactory as no further queries were raised.
The monitoring team promptly left the premises upon concluding the inspection.
- Approximately one hour later, oﬃcials of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), accompanied by the monitoring team, returned to the branch and removed two of the branch’s staﬀ for further questioning at the ICPC headquarters in Abuja.
- The Sterling staﬀ were held at the ICPC oﬃce and were later released withoutany charges levied against them by the close of the business day on February 3, 2023.
About the visit to Sterling Bank, CBD, Abuja
- The Sterling branch at the Central Business District, Abuja, is a regional headquartersand serves as a hub for 5 Sterling branches and 15 ATM terminals within the region.
- During the visit, members of the monitoring team inspected the vault of the branchand observed the sum of N258,000,000 in N1000, N500 and N200 denominations.
- The distribution records from the CBD branch to other locations served within the region were presented for the evaluation of the monitoring team.
- The monitoring team proceeded to visit two branches in Utako and Wuye as both locations receive their cash disbursements from the regional headquarters ofSterling in CBD.
- Upon their visits to the Utako and Wuye branches, the monitoring team reviewed the records submitted for the movement of cash from the CBD branch to other branches served within the region. It is important to state that cash was being paid over the counter at both branches, and the ATM terminals were dispensing the newly designed denominations during the monitoring exercise.
Sterling deems it necessary to point out the following꞉
- Members of the regulatory monitoring team were informed of the sums contained in the branch’s vault prior to the inspection. These sums were conﬁrmed with are view of the records as presented by representatives of the Bank.
The assertion of a “discovery”, as presented in the narrative, is inaccurate and grossly misleading.
- All cash observed in the vault of the CBD branch was earmarked for distribution to other branches in the region for disbursement to customers of the bank and the public.
- The sum of N5,000,000 each as contained in the monitoring team’s report,represents the cash moved to augment the vault balances of the Utako, Wuye, Seda Close and Kotangora branches (in line with the bank’s daily routine of cash management) and also for disbursement to the public via their ATM terminals.
- All balances in our vaults are reported daily to the Central Bank of Nigeria and form the basis for the allocation of new notes in an eﬃcient manner; it is therefore,untrue that such monies are ‘stashed’ or ‘hoarded.’
Sterling’s Distribution of New Notes
From the commencement of the distribution of the re‑designed denominations, the CBD branch has received the total sum of N1,543,000,000 from the apex bankand paid to customers as summarized below꞉
- The sum of N892,700,000 paid out in about 104,821 transactions across 15ATM terminals between January 6 to February 6, 2023.
- The sum of N78,600,000 paid out in approximately 3,892 over‑the‑counter transactions across all 6 branches in the Abuja region between February 2, 2023 to February 6, 2023.
This was commenced upon receipt of the directive from the regulator to disburse the new notes over the counter ‑ subject to a limit of N20,000 per transaction.
- The sum of N1,000,000,000 in a combination of old and new notes, wasdisbursed to customers over the counter in about 2,124 transactions betweenDecember 15, 2022 and January 5, 2023.
The current balances across the 6 branches in Abuja as at the close of business on February 7, 2023 stood at N178,670,000.
The average vault balances currently held in the six locations is N30m per branch; well below our historical vault balances.
- The representatives of the bank duly informed the regulatory monitoring team and oﬃcials of the ICPC of the sums in the vault, stating the purpose as intended for distribution to other branches.
- It must be noted that no cash was “stashed” in the vault of the regional oﬃce.
For emphasis, we wish to state that Sterling Bank has complied with all the guidelines on the distribution of redesigned notes from inception to date,” the bank said regarding the naira hoarding allegation.
633 total views, 633 views today
MC Oluomo: Remove Lagos REC, Now, Atiku Tells INEC
The Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to remove the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Lagos, Olusegun Agbaje, for his partisanship and compromise.
In a statement by his Special Assistant on Public Communication, Phrank Shaibu, said it was curious that Agbaje had insisted on using the Lagos State Park and Garage Management Committee led by transport kingpin, Musiliu Akinsanya aka MC Oluomo, who is a member of the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council.
Shaibu described as watery Agbaje’s excuse that INEC would not be able to use the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and the Road Transport Employees Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) because they had been barred in Lagos State.
He stated, “The law is clear that only a court has the power to proscribe an organisation. That was why the Federal Government had to go to court to proscribe the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN).
“What Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu did in Lagos State was to arbitrarily announce a ban on the activities of the NURTW because the organisation suspended MC Oluomo, the APC’s henchman. INEC must not promote illegality by working with a partisan organisation which is filled with APC members that are working for Bola Tinubu.
“How could such people be given sensitive materials to be distributed across Lagos on election day? This has already undermined the possibility of a free and fair election. INEC must sanction Mr. Agbaje for insisting on using MC Oluomo’s committee despite protests from members of the public.”
Shaibu recalled that Agbaje was the REC who superintended over the fraudulent 2018 governorship election rerun in Osun State which even the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union discredited.
He added, “Recall that it was Mr. Agbaje who superintended over the fraudulent and violent Osun governorship rerun which produced Gboyega Oyetola as governor. US Consul General, John Bray was spot on when he stated, ‘We witnessed what appeared to be incidents of interference and intimidation of voters and heard reports of harassment or party monitors, journalists and domestic observers.”
Shaibu noted that even election monitoring groups like the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) dismissed the Osun rerun as “fraudulent and anti-democratic”.
He added, “Unfortunately, it is the same Agbaje, who could not effectively supervise a rerun in a few polling units that has been given the task of superintending the election in Nigeria’s largest state with over seven million registered voters. The election is doomed to fail if INEC doesn’t do the right thing by removing him.
“We remind the INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmoud Yakubu, that this will be his last general election before the end of his tenure. We ask him to protect his legacy by removing Mr. Segun Agbaje if he insists that MC Oluomo must be the one to handle sensitive INEC materials. This election must not only be fair but it must be seen to be fair as well.”
Shaibu noted that as of Wednesday morning, over 17,000 Nigerians had signed a petition on Change.Org titled, ‘Remove Olusegun Agbaje as the Lagos INEC Commissioner for Incompetence and Bigotry’.
Agbaje has been under fire for the last one week following his comments over the inability of a large number of non-indigenes in Lagos to vote. While explaining the development on Channels Television, Agbaje, who was visibly disgusted, stated that people of the southeast migrated to Lagos and engaged in double registration hence their inability to get their Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVC).
Responding to the development, Shaibu stated, “It is disheartening that the Lagos REC, Mr Segun Agbaje, has begun to show open partisanship. We find it curious that it is the local governments considered as opposition strongholds that were unable to get their PVCs.
He stated, “Historians and analysts have described this 2023 general election as a watershed. The destiny of over 200 million people is at stake. INEC says it is ready to deliver a credible and free election but one weak link in the chain of command can undermine the entire process.
“We call on Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu to remove the Lagos REC, Mr. Agbaje, as his credibility is seriously in doubt. Again, we call on INEC not to use the MC Oluomo-led partisan organisation to distribute ballot papers on election day.”
2,221 total views, 2,221 views today
“Do Not Use Me To Insult My Uncle, Seun Kuti, We Stay United As Family”, Made Kuti Slams Peter Okoye Over Ongoing Drama
Afrobeats singer, Made Kuti has issued a warning to singer, Peter Okoye following his clash with his uncle, Seun Kuti.
Recall that for hours now, Seun Kuti and Peter Okoye have been slamming each other on social media over Peter Obi.
Seun had described the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, had an opportunitist. Peter Okoye, who is a proud supporter of Peter Obi and has been campaigning for him had slammed Seun for his opinion and a fight ensued on social media.
Dragging his nephew, Made Kuti into the drama, Peter Okoye told Seun to learn from Made because he is well guided and clean.
He wrote, “Dude, I understand your frustration. But realize that the sky is big enough for all birds to fly @burnaboy and other great artistes have climbed on our great Fela’s ladder to blow. Comport yourself and pray to your God. My God has blessed my destiny & I’ll 4ever remain thankful. I’ll surely keep you in my prayers. Learn from your nephew @Madekuti cos he is well guided and clean”.
Reacting to the shade, Made Kuti told Peter Okoye to keep his name out of his mouth.
He warned the father of two to stop using his name as a tool to slight, insult or badmouth his uncle.
Throwing a shade at Peter, he stated that the Kuti’s aren’t like the Okoyes and stay united as a family and intend to keep it that way.
“Good afternoon, Please do not use me as a tool to slight, insult or badmouth my Uncle… I’m not sure how we are perceived so I should clarify we stay united as a family and we intend on keeping it that way. Thank you”.
2,614 total views, 2,614 views today
- Naira Hoarding: Sterling Bank In Fresh Trouble, Faults ICPC’s Arrest Of 2 Staff
- MC Oluomo: Remove Lagos REC, Now, Atiku Tells INEC
- ‘Nigerians Please Hire Who You Can Fire’ Okon Lagos Advises
- “Stop Posting Cars, Houses, Help Those In The Trenches”, Singer Portable Tells Wizkid, Davido, Burna Boy, Others
- “Do Not Use Me To Insult My Uncle, Seun Kuti, We Stay United As Family”, Made Kuti Slams Peter Okoye Over Ongoing Drama
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