**The federal government has declared Monday 26th, Tuesday 27th December 2022 and Monday, 2nd January 2023 as public holidays to mark Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day celebrations respectively. Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, made the declaration on behalf of the federal government through a statement Thursday in Abuja. He felicitated with Christians and all Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora on this year’s Christmas and New Year celebrations. Ogbeni Aregbesola enjoined Christians to emulate Jesus Christ in deeds and follow his teachings, especially on faith, hope and love.

**The Lagos State Government has unveiled plans to divert traffic at Second Rainbow Bus stop along the Apapa/Oworonshoki Expressway from Saturday, December 24, 2022, to January 5, 2023. A statement by Dr. Frederic Oladeinde, the Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Lagos State said that the diversion was necessitated by the launching of beams at that part of the state. Oladeinde hinted that this was also necessary in a bid to prevent vehicular interference and ensure the safety of motorists and other road users. The commissioner advised motorists on the Apapa bound lane from Cele Bus stop heading inwards Mile 2 axis to utilise the Festac link road at Second Rainbow and make a left turn, after which they are to follow traffic signs to continue their journeys. He also urged motorists on the Oshodi bound lane towards the Cele bus stop to make a right turn at the Second Rainbow bus stop and proceed to their desired destinations. Oladeinde further assured that the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) would be deployed along the axis to ensure a smooth flow of traffic, noting that diversion signs had also been placed along the affected corridor to guide and minimize inconveniences for Motorists. He further assured that the current administration would deliver on its promises to the citizenry.

**The former President of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, has shared some insights about his discussion with the former Governor of Anambra State and the presidential candidate of Labour Party, LP, Mr Peter Obi. Recall that the former Nigerian leader and the Labour Party presidential candidate held a closed-door meeting at the residence of the ex-president in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State on Friday. The former president in a signed statement released via his Twitter handle said he stressed the need to keep Nigeria united during the closed-door meeting with the ex-governor. “Today I received in audience members of the Presidential Campaign Council of the Labour Party led by its presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi. I reiterated that to move Nigeria forward, we all must see it as our own country and believe in the unity of the nation. Whoever becomes the next president must work towards uniting the nation,” he wrote.

**The Labour Party on Friday said the 12 million Nigerians who recently completed online and in-person registration to obtain Personal Voters Cards (PVC) so as to vote in the 2023 general elections are members of the Obidient movement, who are rooting for Peter Obi to become president. Chief Spokesperson of the Labour Party Presidential Campaign Council (LP-PCC), Dr Yunusa Tanko who spoke in an interview with Akelicious also described as a fallacy the claim by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) that President Muhammadu Buhari already has 12 million guaranteed voters in the North which will be inherited by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. He said given the woeful performance of President Buhari and the APC, there is no way the Northerners will give their votes to the party again in 2023. He said “How can you say you have 12 million voters already with a deficit of trust, failed promises and insecurity in Nigeria? INEC recently said 12 million Nigerians have registered to vote in the 2023 general elections”. “The 12 million Nigerian youths that just registered to vote have been clearly earmarked as members of the Obidient movement. That is the reason why they are doing everything possible to manipulate the election”. “They are saying they already have 12 million voters in the North. These people have forgotten that in that region, there is Atiku Abubakar of PDP and Rabiu Kwankwaso of NNPP. These people will divide the votes and the Labour Party will coast to victory.” Northerners have lost faith in President Buhari because of the myriads of challenges in the region. Insecurity, economic crisis, poverty, lack of education and so on. The National Bureau of Statistics recently said 133 million Nigerians are in abject poverty, four states in the North are listed in these poverty-ridden states. So, where will the 12 million votes come from” “These people don’t believe in credible elections. This was stated recently by the APC presidential candidate, Tinubu himself in a restaurant in London when he was talking about ballot snatching, harassment and manipulation of votes. The APC national chairman also came out to say that they don’t believe that BVAS machines will work because there is no network”. “These are bunch of people who want to manipulate and circumvent the will of the people and also trample on the rule of law but Nigerians will resist them with their votes”.

**It is no longer news that the forthcoming 2023 General elections is only few days away as we gradually step into the election year.Political parties have been running their campaigns across the country in a bid to Lure Nigerians to vote for them in the election that will determine Nigeria’s new crop of leaders. However, Senator Ben Obi, the chairman of the PDP presidential campaign committee in Anambra State, has disclosed that himself and other prominent members of People Democratic Party urged Peter Obi to run for the president in these forthcoming election on the platform of PDP. He claimed in an interview that he and other PDP members wanted him to become the party’s presidential candidate but, regrettably, he ended up joining the Labour Party. He went on to say that due to the crucial positions they held within the PDP, they were unable to join Peter Obi in Labour Party. He said: “In the PDP, some of us were the ones that insisted that Peter Obi should run. We were the ones who said he should run, and we supported him. When he said that he was going to the Labour Party, most of us said look, we are members of the BOT, we can’t see ourselves jumping out of the PDP and going to Labour.”

**The deputy director, subcommittee on support groups and member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) national campaign council, Evang. Mike Ikoku, has condemned sponsored attacks targeted at the leadership of the Imo state presidential campaign management committee. He described the sponsored media attacks and protests as rantings from failed “coup’ plotters.” Ihedioha. Ex-governor Ihedioha has been accused of destabilizing Imo PDP presidential campaign council. Photo credit: Imo PDP Source: Facebook Addressing a section of the media at the Atiku-Okowa Campaign Office in Owerri, he identified those behind the stage-managed protests and sponsored media attacks against the Director General of Imo PDP Presidential Campaign Council, Hon Greg Egu. A visibly unhappy Ikoku said engineers of such ‘unruly behaviour’ are hell-bent on creating crisis in the party in their desperate bid to portray Hon. Egu in a bad light.

**Tinubu also vowed to tackle the difficult security situation in the country upon entering office. APC Presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
He said he would stop the scheme no matter how long Nigerians protest against its removal. Tinubu said this while speaking at the business luncheon with business owners titled “Business Forward”, at the Wings, Victoria Island, Lagos on Thursday, December 22, 2022. In a subsequent statement from his media office, Tinubu said, “How can we be subsidising fuel consumption of Cameroon, of Niger, of Benin Republic. No matter how long you protest, we are going to remove subsidy.” The former Governor of Lagos State promised “to take bold decisions that would turn the economy around and one of such will be a firm decision on fuel subsidy”. On security, Tinubu vowed to tackle the difficult security situation in the country upon entering office. He said, “First, the primary responsibility of government is to protect the lives, properties, and prosperity of its citizens. “As Governor of Lagos, fixing the difficult security situation I inherited was the first item on my list. Only after we secured the state and changed its reputation for the better, could we embark on the economic reforms that have ultimately produced the vibrant and active megacity of today. “I am committed to securing Nigerians from violence and the fear of such violence. Terror, kidnapping and banditry have no place in the society I envision. Upon entering office, we will move to implement several measures,” Tinubu said. He added that his administration would increase the number of our military and non-military security forces with the establishment of specialist anti-terrorist battalions and integrated special forces units.

**Social media users have reacted to a trending video that has the labor party presidential aspirant, Peter Gregory Obi walking the streets of Port Harcourt with the crowd. It would be recalled that the former governor of Anambra state was in Rivers State on Thursday for his presidential rally. The rally went down at the liberation stadium and a mammoth crowd was registered at the event. However, a video of the labor party presidential aspirant trekking has got many wondering why he decided to abandon bullet proof vehicles and chose to walk. This is because the Rivers State Governor, Nyesome Ezenwa Wike promised him logistics which he fulfilled by offering him sophisticated bulletproof vehicles. Furthermore, it was also gathered that he provided him with adequate security

**As the race for the presidency continues to intensify ahead of the 2023 general elections, renowned political activist, Dele Farotimi has come out to lampoon a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Ogenyi Okpoku for aiming a jab at the Labour Party presidential flag bearer, Peter Gregory Obi. While appearing during an interview on CHANNELS TV’s ‘Politics Today’ with Seun Akinbaloye on Thursday night, Okpoku, who is a member of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, opined that the Labour Party has made more mistakes in its campaigns than the ruling party because Obi is surrounded by persons who can be considered as failures. He said; “The Labour Party and the PDP have even made more mistakes than the APC. For example, the first point of call for Mr. Peter Obi is a failure. He is patronizing failures. If you check the people that surround his campaign, they are failures. People that are unable to take responsibility for their actions. I don’t want to even go to the aspect of his campaign Director-General who has just been convicted. The governors that surround his party, the same governors who Obi goes to patronize every day, are the people who have failed their states.” Reacting to Mr. Okpoku’s scathing remarks, Dele Farotimi, who is a spokesman for the Labour Party Presidential Campaign Organization, described the APC chieftain’s claim that Obi is surrounded by failures as ‘laughable’. According to the renowned political activist, if any party is to be described as failures, then it should be the ruling APC. “It is actually quite amazing when somebody who is even remotely associated with the APC, talkless of one who speaks on its behalf, presumes to point at someone else and label them a failure. The very definition of failure is the All Progressives Congress. It takes some serious guts for a man to look at Peter Obi and those who are surrounding him and propelling his campaign, the likes of Emmanuel Ijewereh, Pat Utomi, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, and a host of others. People who have been in the private sector, people who have added value to this nation, and who are hoping to rescue it from itself and the damage that has been done in the last seven years under the APC. And then somebody comes and calls Obi and Labour Party failures. The very definition of failure is the APC itself,” he said.

**After the rally, Obi decided to march again through the streets of PH. How do I explain the massive out-pouring of emotions of joy and anger? The emotion of joy on remembering that Obi is coming was palpable. The emotion of anger of what bad leadership has turned our country into was also evident. The marching reminds me of an oriental sage who was asked to explain yoga. Consumed by the immensity of yoga, he said that only through yoga mighty yoga be known. I cannot explain what we witnessed on the streets; you need to be there. The presidential candidate of the Labour Party Peter Obi has urged his supporters to collect the money offered to them by opposition political parties and still vote for him. The Labour Party candidate made the call on Thursday at the Labour Party presidential rally in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. According to Obi, the money belongs to Nigeria but was “stolen” by those in government. He said: “Let me tell you, that money they are giving you is your money, collect it, eat it and vote for me. The money that I will give to you is that you will be employed, you will have healthcare, you will get education, I will make society work and you will become rich. I want to build a society where everybody is secure where a child of nobody will be able to become president of this country.” Obi also expressed his intention to unite Nigeria and move it from consumption to production. He urged Nigerians to hold him accountable while promising to revive the country, the same way he had “revived dead companies” in the past.

**The spokesperson for the Peter Obi and Daati presidential campaign council, Dele Farotimi has lamented over the likely threats towards those supporting the labour party where he opined that those driving buses in Lagos are afraid to voice out that they are supporting the Peter Obi’s presidency. The lawyer who expressed worry over the build up of the presidential election further opined that one of the reasons why there are undecided voters in places like Lagos is because of the fear of what those against them may do. Farotimi who made the revelation while speaking on channels television stressed that the labour party has been victims to this level of fear in Lagos, due to the party in power, and that one should inquiry what then will happen to the buses of these respective drivers if they openly state their intentions to vote the former Anambra governor, Peter Obi. He said… “Why do you think we have so many undecided voters who can’t tell you who they are they going to vote for, they are afraid, especially in places like Lagos, they are scared. You want a bus driver in Lagos to tell you he is going to vote for Peter Obi, what do you think will happen to his bus, so that is the situation, he is not going to tell you”

**Many members of the paramilitary organisation of the Indigenous People of Biafra have been killed during joint operations by security agencies in Ebonyi and Enugu States. The security operatives, consisting of men from the Department of State Security Services, the Police, the Air Force, and the Nigerian Army, were said to have engaged members of the group in a gun battle during the raid on their camps in the two states. A statement by the Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General, Onyema Nwachukwu, on Wednesday said some members of the group were killed while others fled with gunshot injuries. He listed pump-action guns, grenades, military camouflage, and police uniform, among others, as items recovered after the operation in Ebonyi. The statement partly read, “Troops of 82 Division, in conjunction with the Nigerian Air Force, Nigeria Police, and Department of State Services on Exercise Golden Dawn II on December 19, 2022, conducted joint raid operations at an IPOB/ESN camp located at Amagu village, Nkalaha community, Ishielu LGA of Ebonyi State.

**The Ogun State Police Command has recently traced arrested a man named, Adeyemi Babatunde, who has been on the run after he killed a man with his car. According to the details of the report, that was released by the Public Relations Officer Of the Ogun State Police Command, Abimbola Oyeyemi, the 26 year old suspect, Adeyemi killed the 46 year old victim (Obafunsho Ismail) on the 8th of December, 2022 and had been hiding since then. It was said that on the day of the incident, around 8pm, the suspect hit the victim’s car from behind, but he refused to come out of his car to settle the issue. The victim sat on his bonnet to prevent him from leaving, but he threatened to crush him with his car if he does not come down. The suspect (Adeyemi) then entered his drove with speed, which made Ismail fall off the car and he ran over him. The victim would have survived the incident, but the suspect reversed the car and ran over him again, before leaving the scene. On 20th December, 2022, the suspect was later traced to his father’s house in Kemta Idi-aba in Abeokuta, Ogun State, where he was arrested and the car he used to kill the victim was ceased, and taken to a police station. The suspect was also transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department for more investigation.

**The Governor of Anambra state, Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo has declared that he is going to end the ongoing compulsory stay-at-home on Mondays after the Christmas holidays. Governor Soludo who made the declaration while addressing Anambra workers at the Secretariat complex, Awka, recently, said other geopolitical zones in Nigeria have five working days but it is only the Southeast geopolitical zone that people work just for four days because some disgruntled elements imposed a mandatory illegitimate Sit-At-Home on Mondays which he said is adversely affecting the economy of the zone. Soludo said there is absolutely no cogent reason for Anambra people to Sit-At-Home on mondays being the first working day of the week because somebody somewhere in Finland said so; describing it as sheer absurdity. The governor said, ” What I promised Ndi-Anambra is to create a liveable and prosperous homeland. That is the mission. When we came in, 8 local governments were totally taken over by the criminals. But we said we must take back Anambra from the criminals. And I think so far the criminals know something is happening. We are giving them hot chase in the bushes and forests where they camp. And recently someone in Finland said he declared 5 days Sit-At-Home in Southeast; it is only in Anambra state that there was no Sit-At-Home. And if you return from the Christmas holidays, we will stop that Monday Sit-At-Home. We can’t continue that way. We lose one day in a week, productivity is down and so on and so forth. I know that several people have become used to working for only four days and they are happy about it but no, we will get back to work full scale; working five days in a week. We must take back Anambra. We can not build Anambra to be that very prosperous homeland when we work for four days and when our children go to school for only four days. Other parts of the country go to school for five days while we go for only four days. We can not deliver the same thing when we have a public service that works for only four days. We must take back our state. Otherwise we are losing 20% each week. You can calculate what it means for the rest of the year. We will take Anambra back because security, law and order must come back fully in Anambra state. The criminals must give way. They are nothing but kidnappers, kidnapping for ransom. They are not agitators. 100% of those arrested so far are Igbo people. It is Igbo people unleashing terror and mayhem on Igbo people but that must end in Anambra state.“

**The leadership of Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) on Friday urged the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, to ensure true federalism in Nigeria if elected as president in 2023. PANDEF made the call at a meeting held in Yenagoa when Obi visited Bayelsa State for his presidential campaign. The former Anambra State governor had also been endorsed by the pan Yoruba social political group, Afenifere, and its Igbo counterpart, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, for the presidency next year. In a statement jointly signed by PANDEF National Chairman, Senator Emmanuel Ibok Essien, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Dr. Godknows Igali, the group charged Obi to be committed to a true federal structure as Nigeria’s president. The statement read: “When you win you have to protect our interest because the Niger Delta is the region that produces over 80 percent of the revenue for the country and we cannot be taken for granted. “We are asking you to consider structural adjustment/devolution of power with more resources to the sub-nationals. This will help the regions to develop at their own pace and will help the country to grow. “We also want you to look at the restructuring of NDDC, which was established to help the Niger Delta region and ensure that the policies implemented including the regional master plan which was made but has not been implemented. Also, projects like railway within the South-South, referral hospitals, agricultural value chain plants, and the East-West road which for over 20 years has not been completed. “The immediate reactivation of all sea ports in the South-South and creation of new ports to encourage the movement of goods and services from the South-South through the South-East and North-Central to the North-East. “This will also boost economic and employment opportunities for our young people. We are demanding the relocation of the Headquarters of International Oil Companies (IOCs) to their areas of operation in the Niger Delta.”

**Suspected killers of the US-based Ogbomoso-born hotelier, Mr Gbenga Owolabi have been paraded at the Oyo State Police Command Headquarters Eleyele Ibadan. They were paraded alongside others suspected criminals for their alleged involvement in various criminal cases such as kidnapping for ransom, and armed robbery, among others within the state. The state police Commissioner, CP. Adebowale Williams in his address maintained that the existing ban on the purchase and sales of fireworks remains valid in Oyo State and defaulters would be heavily sanctioned when caught. He also stressed that the suspects were arrested based on credible information provided by one of their victims.

**Nigerians should engage with issues that are pertinent to the survival of the nation rather than ethnicity and religion while casting their votes. The forthcoming general election is a make-or-break kind of election as it presents an opportunity to make amends as a nation. Nigerians have a duty to take seriously this coming election. We must engage ourselves with the issues that are pertinent to the survival of this nation. We can’t be doing the same thing, year in, year out, and expect a different outcome. We must break free from what we’ve been fed with over the years and do something different. When they come to their campaigns, listen very closely to what the politicians have to say. Ensure that they are not just repeating the same old things that they use to say, going the same route that they are used to. Taking people for a ride and completely neglecting them. We must show interest in the ongoing political activities. We must listen to what they intend to do and how to go about it in order to ensure peace returns to the nation. Many of them are just repeating the old promises. We must listen to how they want to ensure insecurity is overturned and peace returns to Nigeria. If we have a leadership that gives everybody a sense of belonging wherever they are, we won’t be where we are. Nigerians are under severe pressure from different angles, security, economic, and social. Indeed, we are at a very strong serious crossroad in our nation, and, there, we expect that those who intend to occupy political positions in our country should be aware of what are the real issues that Nigerians are facing. They should not only be aware but also have solutions to these problems that Nigerians are facing. When they are campaigning, it is important for them to tell us exactly how they intend to solve these problems. Economic problems are there. What kind of texts are they going to take to solve the problem? And which kind of people are they going to recruit in order to resolve this problem. Security issues are there, too. They need to tell us exactly what they are going to do. For the voters, I think it is important to remind ourselves that the voter’s cards that we have are the powers that we have to make a difference. Therefore, anyone who agrees to sell his or her voter’s card, is obviously mortgaging, not only his own future, but the future of his children and generations to come. In any case, if you sell your card, it means that you have no right to complain if the politicians don’t do what is good for us. I also want to encourage people to go and collect their cards. I was looking at the newspapers and there are millions of voter’s cards that are yet to be collected. So our people should pick their cards and be ready for when the elections come, and simply to ensure that you do not allow a bag of rice, or a can of oil, to be the determinant of who we vote for. Let us vote for people who truly have plans in salvaging this country. Please, let us do what is necessary to get our voters cards ready so that we can join and do what is necessary. Yes, we may not have the kind of federal republic that we have now. We want a new structure, but this is what we have now; I ask that we should not allow anything to stop us from doing the needful as far as elections are concerned.

**The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi has spent the past couple of days rallying in the South-South region of Nigeria. He visited Akwa Ibom State on Tuesday, Cross River on Wednesday, and Rivers State on Thursday. However, the absence of Obi’s vice presidential candidate, Yusuf Datti Baba Ahmed has stirred lots of reactions as fans expressed concerns over his safety and whereabouts. In a recent tweet, Hakeem Baba Ahmed, the spokesman of the Northern Elders Forum and elder brother to Yusuf Datti has revealed why Datti might have been absent from Obi’s recent rallies in the South-South. He revealed in the tweet that Datti is spending some time with his family and would soon be back in public. He said this while replying a Twitter user who asked him of Datti’s whereabouts.

**Former Wike aide Opunabo Inko-Tariah has raised alarm about what Tinubu and his wife have said so far as the election next year approaches. When discussing the states considered to be hotspots for violent elections, Opunabo brought up the subject. In response to the issue, Opunabo stated, “I am concerned by the comments made so far by the APC presidential candidate. We currently have desperate politicians.” It seems to be a make-or-break situation for him. Despite being provoked, Peter Obi has maintained his composure and has continued his campaign with dignity. His flawless and gracious demeanor acts as a coat for him. Atiku has also shown a great deal of composure by dodging numerous attacks. “Tinubu has already made utterances that may be controversial before to the convention. I am reminded of an ethnic group in Lagos State’s struggles ahead of the election in 2019. These events are worrisome. According to the Daily Trust, Lagos State has been named as one of the key flashpoints building up to the election in 2019.

**The Minister of Finance, Budget and Economic Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, yesterday appeared before the Senate Committee on Finance to defend the amendments proposed in the 2022 Finance Act which was recently sent to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari. The amendments to the Finance Act are expected to be passed with the 2023 Appropriation Bill which is expected to be considered and passed next week.The Finance Bill, is the fourth in the series that seeks to complement the budget cycle of January to December, that was re-established with the 2020 Appropriation Act by the 9” National Assembly. Briefing the panel, the minister highlighted the key provisions in the Finance Act 2022 to include the change of the name of the Federal Inland Revenue service (FIRS) to the Nigeria Revenue Service (NRS). She said, “It also included the reorganisation of the board of the FIRS by separating the executive management from the board“The Chairman of the agency will now be referred to as Commissioner General.“It also proposed the 35 per cent on electronic money transfer levy receipt to be paid to local government as against the initial 15 per cent to the federal government and 85 per cent to state. “It proposes 50 per cent tax increase from the 30 per cent to companies involved in gas flaring among others.”The Chairman of the Senate panel, Senator Solomon Adeola, while welcoming the minister, explained that the bill generally seeks to review and possibly amend sections of existing legislations on revenue for the nation. He said, “The intent of these amendments is not only for generating increased revenue for the government, but also providing clarity, removing ambiguities, providing succor for deserving persons and sectors as well as bringing our laws up to speed with global best practices. “Let me restate that in our nation’s legislative development, the way forward at present is not much about enacting new laws as much as amendments of old laws to take care of new realities and reform observed shortcomings in the implementation of existing laws.“Such new realities include the development of new technologies and its implications for revenue/income generation by individuals, corporate bodies and government agencies. “This among other realities and observed challenges are the rationale for the yearly amendments contained in proposed Finance Bill.“In the bill referred to the Committee, a total of 10 existing Acts are proposed for amendments namely: Capital Gains Tax Act, Companies Income Tax Act, Customs, Exercise Tarrif, etc (Consolation) Act, Federal Revenue Service Establishment Act e Personal Income Tax, Petroleum Profits Tax Act, Stamp Duties Act, Value Added Tax Act, Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Act, Public Procurement Act. “In all, 34 Sections of the various Acts are in the bill before us for consideration and possible amendments. We are to understand that our economy is facing serious challenges occasioned by many factors including crude oil theft, armed insurgency and banditry as well as spiraling inflation rate that are being tackled by the government.“The expectation is that at the possible passage of these amendments and its faithful implementation, our country can be propelled toward appreciable economic outlook.”

**American based legal luminary and communication guru, Attorney Dr Charles Chibuike Onyirimba has joined the gubermatorial race for Imo State biggest political seat in the Douglas House. Dr Charles Onyirimba is from Ehime Mbano Local Government Area in Okigwe Senatorial Zone. He is running under Nigeria’s fastest growing political party, the Labour Party. Declaring his intention to run for governorship In 2023 at the state secretariat of the Labour Party in Owerri, Dr Onyirimba informed the crowd of party stalwarts present at the declaration Hall that he has come to effect extraordinary transformation in the political administration of Imo State, the Eastern Heartland. Charles Onyirimba said: “when I look at the faces of suffering citizens of Imo State, I feel the pains of the youths seeking hope from their present hopeless conditions, I feel the pains of parents, who are confronted by the excruciating agonies of raising their children in highly devastating situations, I feel the pains of able young men and our youths, who are anxious to work but are forced by the political system to embrace vicious unemployment in Nigeria. For this and many more maladies in our current political environment, I have decided to come back to transform our land, believing God, who has brought out Mr Peter Obi to save Nigeria from further political deterioration.” The legal luminary continued: ” I have left the comfort of my prestigious job, my position, environmental serenity and the beautiful country of America to join in the pains of my People, just to deploy my experience, capacity, exposure, skills, knowledge and hard earned resources to bring about unprecedented industrialisation in Imo State. As God has destined Peter Obi to come out at this auspicious moment in the political history of Nigeria to restore hope, God has also positioned Charles Chibuike Onyirimba strategically in Imo State to restore peace and tranquility in the Heartland of Igbo nation” Onyirimba told members of Labour Party to be watchful and careful in selecting the person that will eventually become the flag bearer of the Labour Party in the 2023 Governorship election in Imo State.

**Officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) have grilled top directors of the Central Bank of Nigeria over their roles in the N2 billion loan given to the National President of the National Cotton Association of Nigeria (NACOTAN), Anibe Achimugu. Achimugu is also the Managing Director of Arewa Cotton and Allied Products Limited. It was reported that the CBN directors were grilled for hours by EFCC investigators over the loan during the week. They were asked to explain why an individual could get such a multi-billion-naira loan from the apex bank. According to a top EFCC official, the apex bank directors denied knowing when the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele approved the loan for Achimugu, adding that it wasn’t discussed during any of their meetings. They also tagged the approval of such a loan as illegal. “The President of National Cotton Association of Nigeria (NACOTAN) and managing director of Arewa Cotton, Mr Anibe Achimugu was given N2 billion by Emefiele,” one of the sources said. “Our (EFCC) investigators invited top CBN directors to explain how an individual could get such a personal loan from the apex bank, they were interrogated for hours and they denied knowing when Emefiele approved such a loan. They said they were not aware he gave out such an amount to Achimugu. “We discovered that the whole association, NACOTAN, was earlier given N24 billion intervention funds approved by Buhari to grow and harvest cotton. But only N10 billion was recovered as the group claimed bandits didn’t allow them to harvest their cotton. “Yet, Emefiele through the back door approved N2 billion for the President of this same association. The investigation also showed that Emefiele collected back part of the N24 billion initially given to the association as kickbacks. This is the reason why he doesn’t care about it being paid back or not.” Recently, Nigeria’s secret police, the Department of State Services, moved to arrest and detain Emefiele over alleged terrorism financing. A Federal High Court in Abuja however declined an application for an arrest warrant by the secret police to make the arrest.

**The General Overseer of The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor E.A Adeboye while teaching on a topic theme “In My Father’s House” reveals that he so much like the Igbos because each time there is a festive season to unite with their families, like Christmas season, they would return back to their root and origin which is their villages to celebrate with their families. Daddy Adeboye said the house in his sermon “In My Father’s House” does not mean a ordinary house, but a family, root and origin where one belongs, or where one comes from. Daddy Adeboye added ” I so much like my Igbo brothers and friends because, when it is Christmas season, they leave their businesses, assets and mansion in the city and go back to their villages, they go back to their source, their origin and when you ask them, they will boldly tell you that they are going to their house”.

**According to the Vanguard,Francis Chukwu, the General Manager of Owerri Capital Development Authority, OCDA, was allegedly ambushed by gun wielding assailants strongly believed to be gunmen near Ishinweke in the Ihitte Uboma local government area LGA of the state. Following the information obtained by news reporters,a source revealed that the incident took place on Wednesday evening,21st December 2022 at approximately 6:25 p.m,whereby the armed attackers opened fire intermittently for almost an hour in the region. Although,there is no concrete reason to suggest why the ambush was perpetrated; nevertheless, one of the sources within the region disclosed that it was an effort to kidnap the general manager of the OCDA, Chukwu,while other eyewitnesses made mentioned and suggested that,it has to be as a result of the general upcoming general elections in 2023. Narratively,as a result of the onslaught, an estimated sum of five people were hurt, causing them varying degrees, coupled with the fact that two Hilux vehicles that is owned by the state’s security authorities were the target of the assailants,who destroyed the vehicles after setting it on fire. In the meantime, at the time that this sad occurrence got to the media, there were claims that the whereabouts of some people within the escorting convoy are yet to be ascertained and that many others incurred serious bullet wounds as a result of the chaotic situation in which the surviving ones fled and ran away for their lives in other not to become victims of the unknown. In the meantime,when reached,Michael Abbattam, who serves as the state’s Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), stated that he is yet to receive such report about the occurence but assured to get back to the press after being properly informed, adding that appropriate measures are being taken to investigate the case as well as knowing those they’re up against.

**Nigerian comedian, Bright Okpocha popularly known by his stage name Basketmouth has ended his marriage to his wife, Elsie Uzoma Okpocha. The 44 -year -old comedian on Thursday, announced the breakup with Elsie in a statement posted on his Instagram page. He said, “As much as it pains me to bring my personnel life to the public space, this is an unavoidable situation. “After much deliberations, my wife and I have made the difficult decision to end our marriage. “As we move forward separately, we will continue to work together to give our beautiful children all the care, love guidenace and support they need. “We humbly ask that you respect our privacy as we navigate through these times. “Thank you.” Basketmouth married his wife in 2010 and they have three children together, Janelle, Jason, and Maya Okpocha

**Controversial movie star, Nkechi Blessing opens up on how she has inspired others to believe in love again as she urges celebrities to find their better half. She took to her Instagram page to reveal that many people have drawn inspiration from her on giving love a second chance The Nollywood diva who is in a relationship with her younger man said that people shouldn’t mistake her constant loved up posts for show off. Nkechi urged her fellow celebrities to come off their high horses and find someone to love;

**German officials have handed over 20 artifacts known as Benin Bronzes to Nigeria, marking a major restitution of art that could lead to further restitution by other countries. The restitution of the artifacts was announced in a news release by the German Foreign Office, which returned the historic objects in a ceremony held in Abuja on Tuesday. The Kingdom of Benin, which has no connection to the modern country of Benin, is now the Edo state in Nigeria. The Benin Bronzes were largely looted by the British colonial military forces during a punitive campaign against Benin City in 1897, led by British Navy forces and members of the Niger Coast Protectorate.

**Nathan Ake’s header proved decisive as Manchester City knocked holders Liverpool out of the League Cup in a dramatic 3-2 win at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday.

**Argentina’s Central Bank is reportedly plotting to put Lionel Messi’s image on their 1000 peso banknote. Recall that Messi led Argentina to the final of the World Cup, which they won, beating France 4-2 on penalties, throwing the Latin American nation into celebration. Messi’s starring role in the recently concluded tournament has attracted a lot of praise, with some acclaiming him as the Greatest of All Time (GOAT). According to reports by an Argentina newspaper, El Financiero, claimed that the Central Bank of the Republic of Argentina is eager to commemorate the national team’s historic win in Qatar.

**Paris Saint-Germain chiefs are concerned about Lionel Messi’s request to display the World Cup trophy in front of their fans. They are afraid it may spark ugly scenes from the club’s fans. Messi led Argentina to winning the trophy on Sunday, scoring twice as they beat France on penalties. However, tensions have been growing amid Emiliano Martinez’s feud with Kylian Mbappe and with some fans burning a cardboard grave with Mbappe’s name on. Those tensions could be heightened when Messi returns to PSG. According to GOAL, Messi has asked to be allowed to present the World Cup trophy at the Parc des Princes. It has become tradition for players to present personal accolades ahead of their first game back after winning them. Unfortunately for Messi though, the Ligue 1 champions fear the home crowd may find it “very hard” to digest Messi presenting the trophy, as he beat their national team in the final. The “provocations” from some Argentina players towards France and Mbappe could cause “overflow” of emotion.

**A member of Oman’s parliament, Ahmed Al Barwani, has offered Argentina’s World Cup-winning captain Lionel Messi $1 million for the bisht which the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, gifted him following his team’s victory over France at the finals on Sunday in Doha. The bisht is an Arabic robe traditionally worn for special or ceremonial occasions such as Weddings or religious festivals. The Qatar Emir decorated the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner with the bisht as he was about to lift the coveted trophy.

May our day be divinely connected and fulfilled

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