Good Morning Nigeria! Here are a few of what you need to know this Thursday morning ????. Enjoy!
1.Dr. Mrs. Obiageli Ezekwesili, the Presidential Candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), has expressed doubt over President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to ensure a peaceful free and fair election in 2019. She warned that the use if security operatives to compromise the 2019 general election may lead to danger in the country. “The President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Offices must take due cognisance and avert the danger that the military and police establishments have become to our democracy as was evident in the Osun and Ekiti governorship elections. The security forces must be pulled out of the co-opted involvement in our elections, which in those two gubernatorial elections disenfranchised many voters. Nigerians want a new direction and the President must avoid actions that suggest he wishes to suppress the aspiration of the people in the 2019 elections,” she said during a meeting with delegation from the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute on a joint elections observer mission.
2. Report has it that between November 25 and December 19, about $1.68billion was withdrawn from the Excess Crude Account. On November 25 when the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) held a meeting, the balance in the ECA was at $2.319billion. The balance in the ECA account has however dropped to $631million as of Monday as revealed by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Mahmoud Dutse. “The balance in the ECA is $631m. The final payment for the Paris Club Refund to states was made and the figure was deducted and that’s what accounts for the difference,” Mr. Dutse told journalists.
3. There was drama on Wednesday at the National House of Assembly when President Muhammadu Buhari appeared before the lawmakers to present the 2019 budget. Buhari after concluding his speech was whisked away by security operatives after the session turned rowdy. APC lawmakers were chanting ‘four more years’, while PDP lawmakers were screaming ‘no more years’. Senate President Bukola Saraki and House Speaker Yakubu Dogara were unable to present their own speech as the Presidential Guards Brigade band suddenly played the National Anthem to mark the end of the session.
4. The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has resolved to probe Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State and Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State for their anti-party activities in their various states. The decision was agreed by the APC National Working Committee in Abuja after the party’s national leadership dissolved the state, LGA and ward executive committees in the 2 states. Okorocha and his Ogun State counterpart had following the outcome of the primaries held in their states vowed to work against the governorship candidates of their party.
5. The family members of the murdered Ex-Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh (rtd), may reportedly miss his burial as they still remain on the watch list of the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Nigeria Immigration Service. His wife, Mary Iya Badeh, and his two (2) sons, Alex (jnr) and Kam have been in the United States since 2016 following prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).