Good Morning Nigeria! Hope you had an awesome weekend! Here’s what you need to know this Monday morning 🙂. Enjoy!
1. Prof. Ango Abdullahi, the spokesman for the Northern Elders Forum, reportedly held a meeting last week with former President Olusegun Obasanjo at his home in Abeokuta, Ogun State, over the forthcoming 2019 general election. According to reports, the meeting between Abdullahi and Obasanjo was meant to agree on a possible consensus candidate. “Ango Abdullahi actually visited Obasanjo in Abeokuta along with two other men. Their discussion, as you rightly guessed, bordered on the 2019 elections and the need to field a dynamic candidate who would be acceptable to the North and other regions of the country because the North is no longer comfortable with the current leadership,” an undisclosed source told Punch.
2. Chief Olabode George, a former Deputy National Chairman (South-West) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in a statement on Sunday when he visited former President Olusegun Obasanjo at his Presidential library residence in Abeokuta said that Obasanjo remains his leader forever. OBJ had visited Bode George last week. Consequently, Mr. George yesterday went with 10 of his top loyalist to say thank you to the former Nigerian leader. “I have come to say thank you for visiting me last week. Only a few can do that, mind you. What happened between us is the handiwork of the devil and the devil has been shamed. It is a solid reunion and I am very happy about it,” he allegedly said.
3. Rawana Goni, a former Commander of the Boko Haram terrorist group, has appealed to the Nigerian military authorities to allow him call the leader of the deadly terror group, Abubakar Shekau, and other 137 terrorists on phone and convince them to surrender. Goni, 32, an indigene of Bama in Borno State, who surrendered to the Nigerian military 8 months ago after escaping from Sambisa Forest, said he was Boko Haram Chief Officer of Dispute Resolution and has held several other positions in 10 different cells of Boko Haram in Sambisa. “I rescued people sentenced to death and minimized punishment of those who committed crimes. I was one of the most influential persons in the group and they always listened and abided by what I said,” Goni noted.
4. Following refusal by President Muhammadu Buhari to meet the aggrieved members of the new Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP) bloc of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), the group in a statement on Sunday has announced that its members would make their positions known this week. This was stated by the leader of the group, Alhaji Kawu Baraje, in Abuja on Sunday. Members of the group had complained of marginalization by the APC even after their efforts in ensuring that the party emerged into power in 2015. They had already met with the leadership of the party and also Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. Their next plan was to meet President Buhari. But Mr. President had however noted that he had nothing to discuss with the group. One of the top member of the group, former Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, now a senator under the APC platform, ignored the recent APC National Convention and went visiting former Vice President Atiku Abubakar who is a presidential aspirant under the opposition Peoples Democratic Party.
5. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has raised an alarm over the attempts by unscrupulous elements to clone Permanent Voter Cards. This was revealed in a statement by Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, the Director of Voter Education and Publicity, of the commission on Sunday. “INEC has received reports of attempts to clone Permanent Voter Cards and sell them online. We wish to assure the public that the commission had anticipated these and proactively taken measures to preserve and further secure our electoral materials. Several security features and secret source codes are contained in the smart card readers which enable them to read only PVCs duly issued by the commission,” he said.
6. The Pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, in a recent statement said that they must see proof of restructuring before it endorses any presidential aspirant. This was stated by Chief Sehinde Arogbofa, the Secretary General of Afenifere. He further noted that the group hasn’t endorsed any aspirant yet because none has approached it yet. “We will look at them critically. We know those with military background, who will want to use that to cajole us. The aspirants are still coming up. It is when they all come out that we will sit down and choose one, but for now, the association has not taken any decision,” he said. “Before we can support anybody, there must be concrete evidence that such aspirant will do restructuring when he gets to power,” he added.