**Nigerians have been reacting to the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Kukah’s damning verdict that President Muhammadu Buhari would be leaving Nigeria in a worse state than he met it. An elder statesman in the North, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, agreed with Kukah but noted that his comment was coming rather too late into Buhari’s administration. He stressed that rather than focus on the past, Nigerians should be conscious of electing a better candidate in 2023. Yakassai stated that Nigerians have suffered through seven years of the Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) government, insisting that they would still survive the remaining five months. “Whatever Kukah is saying now is coming too late. We have survived Buhari for seven years, so what will the few remaining months cost us? This is no time for regrets. What we should be focused on is who our incoming president would be, and ensuring that we elect someone that is competent because complaining about Buhari is a waste of time,” he said. For the National Publicity Secretary of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Alex Ogbonnia, it is very clear that Buhari was leaving Nigeria worse than he met. “Buhari even knows that he is leaving Nigeria worse than he met it. He is a devout Muslim, and as such he has conscience with critical values of ability to say the truth at all times. So, to that extent, he knows that he is leaving Nigeria worse than he met it,” he added. He stressed that in all areas of life, the current administration has more than doubled the country’s woes. “Where do we start? Is it insecurity, the value of our Naira, unemployment, corruption or what? What is that area of life that is not worse today than Buhari met it in 2015? It is a fact that is not even debatable. Anybody who says anything to the contrary is dodging the truth and Ohanaeze Ndigbo is known for truth. So, that is the position,” he submitted.
**In anticipation of the 2023 presidential election, Chief Willy Ezugwu, Secretary General of the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties, believes that the two major parties are now afraid of Peter Obi’s Labour Party. He revealed that the same party that many of them had formerly despised had grown to pose a serious electoral threat to both the PDP and APC. Although he thought the party would do well in the presidential election, he lacks the qualifications needed to win elections for governor at the state level. “Well, the party has shown potential,” he added, explaining that it had grown from being perceived as a small group of people tweeting from a room to a significant force that was first led by Nigerian youth. In its current state. The fear of the Labour Party has actually crippled all of Nigeria’s major political parties. The Labour Party’s run for the presidency in 2023 will be fascinating to watch, but the party might not do well in elections for state governors.
**Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has explained that those who embarked on double registration for Permanent Voters Card will not be disenfranchised. The National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye disclosed this on Sunday. Okoye explained that double registrants are not entitled to new PVCs, noting that the commission did not print their cards. He stated that the commission decided to retain their previous valid registration in order not to completely disenfranchise them.
**Ahead of the 2023 general election, anti-corruption crusader Maj-Gen. Ola Ishola-Williams says that the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, is an alternative to be chosen after the presidential candidate of the Labor Party, but as for the presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress, nobody should vote for him. He further stated that I want Peter obi to win the forthcoming presidential election in 2023 for the sake of dignity and justice in the country. “However, I see you, Atiku Abubakar, as an alternative for the people of the south east, because of the promise he has made, ensuring that one of its sons takes over after him,” he said. According to him, allowing Atiku Abubakar to take the seat after President Buhari is not a bad idea, because I am sure that he is an alternative for the people of the south-east and that he will also do well for the country, he said.
**Reuben Abati, a well-known reporter and co-anchor of the Arise TV Morning Show, made jokes about His Excellency Peter Obi, a former governor of Anambra State and a contender for president of the Labour Party, that made him laugh out loud. However, Abati made the comment in reaction to the debate over the pension law, which is being framed as a question of whether or not past governors should continue to get benefits after leaving office. When the pension law debate broke out, Reuben Abati said to Peter Obi, “I understood the secret of your looking nice and comfortable, so you have been receiving pensions, perks, and allowances even though you are out of government.” When Peter Obi, the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, heard these statements, he and Ojy Okpe, another host of the Arise TV morning show who was in the room with them, both broke out in uncontrollable laughter.
**President Muhammadu Buhari says he will live very close to Niger Republic after bowing out of office next year. Buhari said the move is to ensure he is fully safe. “I have promised a lot of my colleagues that I will try to be as far away as possible from Abuja when I leave office, so that nobody can create any problem for me anymore. “I will be in Daura, which is on the border with Niger Republic and I think in spite of technology, I will be safe enough there, ” he said. The President stated this when he received leadership of the Federal Capital Territory and representatives of the FCT community, who paid him Christmas homage at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Sunday. He lauded FCT Minister, Mohammed Bello for exhibiting the virtues of transparency, honesty and integrity while managing the affairs of the nation’s capital territory. According to the Nigerian leader, he deliberately appointed Bello as FCT minister, and refused to deploy him because of his good character. He said Bello had proven to be better manager of both financial and human resources. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the president was reacting to an earlier testimony by Sen. Smart Adeyemi, Chairman Senate Committee on FCT, who described the FCT Minister as the most transparent and honest Minister in the history of the FCT. President Buhari said he was not surprised to hear such comments on the FCT Minister, thanking Bello for not disappointing him. ‘He said: ‘The Minister has restored sanity into allocation of plots in the FCT. People were used to selling allocated plots instead of developing them as stipulated by the FCT laws. ”Others also apply for land only for them to resale and get quick money for marrying additional wives.” On the Christmas homage, the president appreciated Nigerians for trusting and giving him the opportunity to serve as their leader. He told the delegation, led by the FCT Minister that while campaigning for President in 2003, he took his time to visit the 774 Local Government Areas of the country and he got overwhelming support from the people. The leader of the delegation and FCT minister had earlier told the president that the Christmas homage had become mandatory in view of the fact that he is the Governor General of the FCT.
**Senator Dino Melaye, Spokesperson, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Management Committee, has said the sealed campaign office of the party’s flag-bearer, Atiku Abubakar, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has been reopened. Melaye disclosed this during a recent interview on Arise TV, “Our own supporters and the leadership of the presidential campaign council went there, unsealed it, and moved in “They’ve been operating from there since Saturday,” Melaye said. Recall that Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike on Friday took his disagreement with his party, the PDP, to another level when he shut the campaign office of Atiku. This happened just a few days after the South-south Zonal office of the Presidential Campaign Council in the state was sealed on December 20, 2022. It was learned that the Rivers State government sealed off the campaign office based on Executive Orders 21 and 22. The office was shut down for allegedly producing noisy political activities in residential areas without approval from the state government.
**Anambra Deputy Governor, Dr Onyekachi Ibezim, has ordered the dismantling of a roadblock set up by soldiers in the state. The incident happened on Christmas Eve when the roadblock manned by the soldiers caused long traffic on the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway, causing inconveniences to road users who were travelling home for the Christmas holiday. A video circulating online showed when the deputy governor alighted from his vehicle after witnessing the long traffic, to confront the soldiers, while ordering his security men to dismantle the roadblock for all road users to pass by. The deputy governor also took time to control traffic, urging drivers to move fast and avoid unnecessary delays on the road. In the video, the deputy governor was seen cautioning the soldiers while insisting that – “We cannot continue like this in this country. This was not what the army used to be, you must stop this.” Since the problem of insecurity started in the South East, road users have suffered traffic congestion, with security agencies conducting stop-and-search operations. Some road users who spoke to our correspondent commended Dr Ibezim for his action. A driver, Mr Joshua Mba said: “Is the deputy governor the only big man passing through this road? Others will come with their convoy, and soldiers will stop everyone for them to pass, and they will not care about the poor masses. But the deputy governor came, and even though he can pass without trouble, he felt the plight of poor masses who are being exploited by soldiers, and he insisted by stoping to know what was wrong.” Others said the soldiers had turned the checkpoint into a cash point, insisting that places where insecurity was rife, abound in the hinterlands and not in towns, where security operatives set up checkpoints just to make money.
**The Eha Amufu town in Izi Uzo’s local government area in Enugu state is now being regarded as a ghost town after the recent killings in the area. According to the reports, communities are totally under siege, with market being locked up and houses being abandoned as people seek refugees in IDP camps. The Leader of the Eha Amufu peoples forum, Dr. Ifeanyichukwu Casmir has lamented over the ethnic cleansing in the town by Herdsmen who come through the borders of Benue state. Dr. Casmir alleged that this is a killing that started as far back as in 2020 and that complaints have been made to the government with no single response. He argued that only the present of the military could stop this consistent killings. He said, ”There is no Christmas today in Eha Amufu and there will be no Christmas for any true born of Eha Amufu. Our people are scattered across Ebonyi road with no shelter. The town is a ghost town, all the schools in town were hurriedly shut down because the town has become inhabitable. This recent killing started on the 18th of December but the killing properly started sometime in 2020. One of the painful stories is how an Anglican priest was hanged and his members were wounded by herdsmen during a service. In someday, you will take about 51 dead bodies in one single community.”
**The Eha-Amufu community in Enugu State has been decrying the killings of hundreds of people in the community since the year 2020 by some unknown gunmen. The Chairman of the Eha-Amufu Forum, Dr. Ifeanyichukwu Casmir, has disclosed that the killings which has been going on since 2020 was because of the discovery of uranium in the commAccording to Casmir, the people of Eha-Amufu has been living peacefully with their neighbours at the boundary between Enugu State and Benue State. However, things took a different turn in 2020 when the unknown militia started killing innocent people and displacing thousands of people in the process. According to Casmir, between 1966 and 1970, there was a discovery of a huge uranium deposit in five communities. Casmir explained that after the discovery of the uranium, the people of Benue State started adjusting the boundary between Enugu State and Benue State. Casmir explained that the dubious adjustment of the boundary by people of Benue State was done because they had interest in the discovered Uranium.
**Some presidential candidates and their teams from various political parties are currently busy campaigning across the country ahead of the general elections in 2023. These candidates are running for office. On the other hand, in a recent video that is currently making waves across a number of social media platforms, a large number of Nigerians were seen lighting their brooms on fire as the presidential candidate of the All Progressive Party, (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, drove through the crowd in Kastina State for a campaign event. It was also reported that the throng was chanting the name Atiku Abubakar.
**human rights organisation, the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety), on Sunday, warned the Nigerian government that Nnamdi Kanu must not die in custody. Kanu, who is the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has been in solitary confinement at the detention facility of the Department of State Services (DSS) since June 2021. Addressing a press conference in Enugu on Sunday, the group warned that if Kanu dies in custody, there will be trouble. Flanked by the principal officers and members of the Governing Board of Intersociety, the Board Chair, Chief Emeka Umeagbalasi, advised the federal government that instead of holding Kanu in perpetuity, it should start reconciling with aggrieve citizens of the country to douse tension in the country. The group also called for the release of all other pro-Biafra agitators held in various detention facilities without trial. It said, “Nnamdi Kanu must not die in detention. The DSS has the capacity to give medical treatment either in Nigeria or outside Nigeria. The consequences of dying in detention will be far-reaching. “The federal government should also release all other pro-Biafra agitators held in various detention centres across the country. As a government that will soon wind up, it should start making amends and use a political solution in addressing the issue of pro-Biafra agitation.”
**The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) says it has killed over 100 terrorists including some of their leaders in an airstrike on 20 December, in Borno. This is contained in a statement issued on Sunday in Abuja by the Director Public Relations and Information, NAF Headquarters, Edward Gabkwet. He said that the interdiction mission was conducted by the Air Component of Operation Hadin Kai (OPHK) at Mantari village in Gezuwa general area, Bama Local Government Area of Borno. The director said that among those neutralised were terrorist kingpins Khalid Tukur, Maimusari, and Bakura Jega. Mr Gabkwet, an air commodore, said that the attack followed intelligence report that a Boko Haram terrorist commander, known as Ikirima, had moved to Mantari village with his gun trucks, and was joined by terrorists on motorcycles from other locations. “Subsequently, the authorisation for an air strike was given leading to the elimination of several of the terrorists and structures in the area. “After the first wave of air strikes, some surviving terrorists found their way back to the same location to evacuate the bodies of those neutralised in the air strike. “This provided an opportunity for a follow-up strike on the same location which has been confirmed very successful as over 100 terrorists were neutralised with dozens said to be in critical condition.“
**Some civil society organisations (CSOs) have warned the National Assembly against taking any form of financial inducement to scuttle an ongoing probe into the activities of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele. Rrecalls that Emefiele has been facing heavy backlash over recent monetary policies including Cash withdrawal limits put in place by the Apex Bank. The CBN had directed all banks and other financial institutions to ensure that over-the-counter cash withdrawals by individuals and corporate entities do not exceed N100, 000 and N500,000, respectively, per week. The development was met with severe criticisms from several quarters which ultimately spurred the National Assembly, early December, to summon Emefiele to explain the reasons for the new restrictions on cash withdrawals. He has since failed to appear stating that he was ‘ill’ and attending to his health issues abroad. However, in a joint statement on Saturday, the Improve Nigeria Project (INP) and the Anti-Corruption Stakeholders of Nigeria(ACSN) revealed that they have uncovered a plot to scuttle all efforts to investigate Emefiele. The CSOs alleged that a N4 billion bribe has been disbursed to lawmakers to shut down the ongoing probe. “We have on good authority discovered that certain allies of the CBN Governor have been meeting lawmakers to explore possible ways to shut down the ongoing investigation.” “We also have on good authority that N4 billion has been earmarked and disbursed to effect this sinister plan.” “We call on the Presidency, EFCC and other relevant security agencies to investigate and possibly prosecute any lawmaker involved in this”, the statement read in part.
**Three notorious Boko Haram terrorists, Khaids Abbah Tukur, Maimusari, and Bakura Jega, have been killed by by joint military operations involving air and ground components, PRNigeria reports.
This is just as the Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Lt. Gen. Faruq Yahaya, and his counterpart, the Chief of Air Staff, CAS, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, arrived Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, on Sunday morning, to celebrate the Yuletide with frontline troops.
The three wanted insurgents were eliminated at Mantari in Gezuwa area of Bama local government area of Borno State, alongside their colleague-terrorists, numbering over 75, a credible defence intelligence source told PRNigeria.
According to the source, the operation which resulted in the killing of Jega, Maimusari and Tukur, alongside other Boko Haram terrorists, was conducted last Tuesday.
“The airstrikes by our NAF aircraft was authorized after it was revealed that a Boko Haram terrorist Commander, simply known as Ikirima, had stationed his fighters and gun trucks at Mantari village, alongside other terrorists from other locations who had converged at the same location, on motorcycles and bicycles.
“Subsequently, the authorization for an air strike was given, leading to the elimination of several terrorists and structures in the area,” he said.
The military intelligence source, while speaking further, told PRNigeria that after the first wave of their airstrikes, some surviving terrorists found their way back to the same location to evacuate the bodies of terrorists neutralized.
“This thus provided an opportunity for a follow-up strike on the same location which has been confirmed very successful as over 200 terrorists were neutralized with dozens said to be in critical condition,” he added.
Meanwhile, a reliable Civil Joint Task Force, CJTF, source also confirmed that ISWAP and Boko Haram elements had perfected plans to resume active hostilities in the wake of the yuletide and forthcoming general elections.
He said: “The timely intelligence received on their plans, especially their attempt to attack soft targets in Bama LGA thus helped in the successful air strike which has reduced their will to regroup and attack innocent citizens”.
Lt. Gen. Yahaya and Air Marshal Amao have both commended the efforts of the air and ground troops, as well as other security agencies under Operation Hadin Kai for the tremendous achievement being recorded in the theatre.
According to them, there has been a lot of improvement in the security situation in the region due to the ongoing operation, and urged the troops to continue to give in their best towards ensuring that the North East is completely rid of all terrorists.
**Former Spain coach, Vicente del Bosque, has stated that Argentina captain Lionel Messi is the greatest player of all time (GOAT), ahead of Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo. Del Bosque, who led Spain to their maiden FIFA World Cup trophy back in 2010, also revealed that he tried to convince Messi to play for Spain on several occasions. He said he prefers the Paris Saint-Germain forward in the debate with Ronaldo. Del Bosque told Radio Marca, “the best player I have ever seen is Messi. Between Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi, I will take Messi.
**Liverpool legend, Jamie Carragher, has given a reason why he feels sorry for Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo for having to deal with repeated comparisons to Argentina captain Lionel Messi throughout his football career. It goes without saying that the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) debate between the two forwards has taken a different course following Argentina’s triumph at the recently concluded 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Messi, at the moment, not only has the edge but has solidified his stance as the GOAT.
May we divinely find favour and blessings today