Atiku recants, begs Buhari, CBN to order the return of N500, N1,000 old notes
In a dramatic volte face, Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has joined in pleading with the Federal Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to allow commercial banks to accept deposits of the old naira notes, just few days after offering staunch support for the both to remain resolute in carrying the monetary policy through.
On all fours with the policy, Atiku had on February 1, urged the apex bank not to extend the February 10 deadline for ending the lives of the old N200, N500 and N1,000 notes, saying: “I am totally in support of building a cashless economy and reducing the amount of cash in our economy.”
On the other hand, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, his All Progressives Congress (APC), opponent, who seems to believe that the policy was targetted at him, has been crying out and kicked against it.
The former Governor of Lagos State, had during an outing in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital on January 26, said: “They have started coming up with the issue of ‘no fuel’. Don’t worry, if there is no fuel, we will trek to cast the vote. If you like, increase the price of fuel, hide the fuel or change the ink on the naira notes, we will win the election. We will use our PVCs (permanent voter cards) to take over the government from them.
“If they like, let them say there is no fuel, we will trek there. They are full of mischief, they want to create a fuel crisis, they have started creating a fuel crisis, but, forget about it, put your mind at rest, I’m assuring you. I, Asiwaju will end fuel scarcity.
“Let the price of fuel continue to increase, they are the ones that know where they are hoarding it. They are hoarding naira notes, they are hoarding fuel, we will vote and we will win. If you like, change the ink in the naira note, we will win the election, the oppositi
On Sunday, however, Atiku, pleading urgency over the matter, he said, would ease the suffering of the masses in getting access to their “legitimately earned money,” said: “The apex bank should, as a matter of urgency, allow commercial banks to join the CBN in the collection of the deposits of old N500 and N1000 notes.”
Using his Twitter handle, the former Vice President, added: “The new currency should be immediately made available in sufficient quantities to alleviate the suffering of the masses.
“I assure you that when we come to power by the mandate of your votes, the PDP administration will not allow any Nigerian who legitimately earned their money to lose a single kobo of it. You can take that promise to the bank because our aim is to create prosperity and not to impoverish our people.”
BREAKING: Tribunal to Atiku: Our court, not a stadium for entertainment! Nails live broadcast
Justice Haruna Tsammani, on Monday killed the attempt by Atiku Abubakar and the Peoples Democratic (PDP) and Peter Obi, his Labour Party (LP) counterpart, both presidential candidates, respectively in the February 25 election to get Nigerians watch the proceedings at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, currently sitting in Abuja, live.
The court court, ruling on the plea that originated from the former Vice President, who had argued that it would give integrity to the process and was later joined by Obi, in a unanimous ruling, held that the application was without merit, adding that televising court proceedings is not provided for in any extant law in the country.
Tsammani, Chairman of the five-man panel of Court of Appeal Justices, sitting as PEPT, who read the lead ruling, while adopting the arguments of Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, his All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which declared him winner of the election and which also railed against the move, agreed that it would not make the outcome of their decisions any cleaner.
To him, the court sitting in public did not mean that it should sit in a stadium or in marketplace and that there was no way televising the proceedings could advance the interest of fair hearing for parties or advance the interest of the petitioners in relation to issues raised in their petition, adding that granting the request by Atiku and the PDP could trivialise the serious business of the court.
BREAKING: Kalu’s Senate presidency quest runs into trouble, suffers APC hammer
Orji Uzor Kalu, former Governor of Abia State and current Chief Whip of the Senate, may be kissing his quest to lead the National Assembly in Nigeria by becoming 10th session Senate President goodbye, if the attempt to strip him of his All Progressives Congress (APC) identity succeeds.
Kalu, seen as one of the front runners for the nation’s number three citizen, was among the party stalwarts suspended by the ruling party on Thursday, alongside Ken Nnamani, former Senate President, Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Sullivan Chime, former Governor of Enugu State.
Alongside former Speaker of Enugu state House of Assembly, Hon Eugene Odo; Director General Voice of Nigeria, Osita Okechukwu and former Commissioner in Enugu state, Joe Mammel, the APC bigwigs, who had earlier been slammed with their fate shortly after the 2023 general elections, had their suspension sustained by the party’s South East caucus.
The ratification of the suspension of the chieftains from Enugu and Abia States, who were initially slammed for allegedly engaging in anti-party activities, according to the APC Zonal Secretariat came after South East Executive Meeting on April 16, 2023.
Ijeomah Arodiogbu, National Vice Chairman (South East), who gave the reason for the action, as the need to enforce discipline in the party, in order to strengthen APC in the zone, listed other names to include: SA to Minister of Foreign Affairs, Flavour Eze, former chairman of the party in the state, Ben Nwoye; former deputy state chairman, A. C. Udeh; Obodoeze Ocho; Chukwudi Igwe; Kingsley Uduji; former Military Governor of the state, Joe Orji; Maduka Arum (A.K.A Mama) and Chidera Obed.
Others suspended alongside Kalu in Abia, included Sam Nkeire, Uche Sampson Ogah, former Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Senator Nkechi Nworgu, amongst others.
Ezeanyawu Michael, spokesman of the party in Enugu State, while stating that it was the right thing to do, said: “I want to further use this opportunity to call on the APC leadership, at both the state and national levels, not to relent in its efforts to rid the party of saboteurs.”
Senate Presidency race: Akpabio visits Buhari, says my track record speaks for me
Former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio, on Monday emerged from a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Rock villa in Abuja, with a definite message to Nigerians – I will introduce something new, if elected as the new Senate President.
Akpabio, who left as the Minority Leader after losing his return bid in 2019 to take up appointment as Minister of Niger Delta, flaunted his credentials as governor, where he claimed to have made significant contributions to infrastructure, stating that he would be an “uncommon transformer” as the head of the nation’s legislature.
He told State House Correspondents after the meeting: “It is well known that Akpabio is a results-driven individual. You will remember that when I was a governor, I made significant contributions to infrastructure, education, social issues, and human empowerment.
“I intend to bring a lot of reforms into the senate, in the ways and manners we do business, to assist the next administration to succeed. We will be very thorough in doing everything; we’ll bring about loyalty to the constitution.
“The restiveness that we are seeing across the nation, we’ll do our best to make good laws and to assist the administration to bring about policies that will empower the youths of the country. I made that promise even on the convention day that being a man who used to turn boys into men and who still does, that I will like to work with the incoming president, who has also shown that example in Lagos state as a governor and thereafter as a leader of the APC in Nigeria.
“So, the youths are in for a very good time, in terms of empowerment, there will be no time for slacking and we’ll restrict a lot of them from being lured into criminality, into brigandage and all that.”