Former Manchester United centre-back, Rio Ferdinand, has said that the Red Devils can only become title contenders if they sign either Victor Osimhen or Harry Kane in the next summer transfer window.

The Nigerian and Napoli striker, Osimhen, scored in Napoli’s 2-0 victory at Eintracht Frankfurt on Tuesday night to take his total goals tally so far this season to 20.

Ferdinand insisted that with Osimhen at just 24 years making such massive impact in Europe, he would rather prefer the Nigerian rather than going for Kane who is nearing his retirement at 29 years.

“I think if I was talking about investing and looking after my money, I’d probably go for Osimhen,” Ferdinand told BT Sport yesterday. “There’s resale value with his age at 24 years old. It’s gonna be a huge outlay.”

However, the Reds legend did admit that he would be happy with either front-man arriving at Old Trafford, suggesting that they can transform Ten Hag’s side into title challengers.

Osimhen was named in both the UEFA Champions League Team of the Week and also Team of Round of 16 first-leg, yesterday.

football facts and statistics website, named the red-hot Osimhen in the two lists yesterday and was dully announced on its social media handles.

He took his tally for the season to 20 in 24 games in all competitions for the Serie A leaders.

Osimhen alongside three of his Napoli teammates and Real Madrid’s quartet of  Karim Benzema, Eder Militao, Vinicius Junior and Luka Modric, all made the Team of the Week.

While for the Team of first-leg Round of 16, Osimhen was included with the same Madrid players and also three of his Napoli teammates.

Manchester United have been impressive in recent months and are the only side in England still competing on four fronts.

The Reds currently sit third in the Premier League table and face Newcastle United in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday afternoon.

However, while Marcus Rashford has been in scintillating form – registering 24 goals and nine assists in 36 appearances – United‘s other forwards have struggled for goals this term.

French striker Anthony Martial has scored just six goals, while loan attacker Wout Weghorst has only found the back of the net on one occasion.

On 27th May 2022, I took a most important decision in my life to join great and patriotic Nigerians in Labour Party to rescue our dear country Nigeria from litany of leadership and governance failures. Later, I was most graciously elected as the Presidential Candidate to lead the crusade for a New Nigeria! I sincerely thank the members and leadership of Labour Party and other committed Nigerians like Professor Pat Utomi that made it possible. On deep reflection, I am eternally grateful to God for the decision to join Labour Party and to offer myself to serve and lead a New Nigeria!

As we campaigned across states, cities, towns and villages of our dear Nation, my heart was filled with great concern but also with joy and hope. We experienced genuine love and we felt overwhelmed by abundant and immeasurable blessings of God, on every part of our beloved country Nigeria. We felt the unparalleled zeal and energy for survival and the desire for a productive economy across the 36 states of Nigeria. I was equally very sad and most concerned! Sad as the above opportunities are being lost principally due to bad leadership and governance in a country of immense potential.

We saw real and multi-dimensional poverty, undeserving unemployment and living conditions; decaying and unavailable basic infrastructure; avoidable crises, accidents, deaths and unchecked criminality. Even with the lamentable state of our people, society and economy, we are most encouraged by the love, unity, patriotism, energy and productivity embedded in all parts of Nigeria waiting to be properly harnessed to create a secure, united and productive New Nigeria!
As we end the campaigns, Datti Baba-Ahmed and I fully reiterate our pledge and deep commitment to lead a New Nigeria where unity, peace, love and prosperity will reign. We sincerely thank all Nigerians particularly the “Obedients” and all our supporters across the country for their abiding faith in us. We commit and pledge to pursue and exceed all your expectations for a New Nigeria.

We console and pray for the repose of the souls of Nigerians particularly our supporters that died or were killed in our struggle for a New Nigeria. Notable among them are Mallam Lawal Garba, our Zonal Party Chairman in Kaduna that died in ghastly motor accident in October 2022, Mrs Victoria Chimtex, the Labour Party Women Leader in Kaduna State, who was murdered in Kaura, Kaduna State in November 2022 and Mr Christopher Elehu, Labour Party’s candidate for Onuimo Local Government Area constituency, Imo State House of Assembly that was killed in December 2022. Mr Isaac Dauda, our Labour Leader in Mangu Local Government Area, Plateau State that died in January 2023. May God accept their souls and perpetual light shine upon them!

We have also witnessed with great concern the unwarranted and uncivilized attacks on our supporters. We sympathize and pray for their quick recovery and again totally condemn such attacks that has unfortunately led to the amputation of one of our supporters in Lagos. We strongly and unequivocally demand that security agencies work round the clock to prevent any further attacks and bring the perpetrators to book. We equally call on INEC to conduct the elections with utmost professionalism and impartiality. Election materials must be delivered on time and conducted strictly in line with agreed guidelines. The choice of Nigerians must be respected and allowed to prevail! The elections must be free and fair and conducted in an atmosphere of peace.

Labour Party through Datti Baba-Ahmed and I represent the New Nigeria we all want. The overwhelming support we have received from all parts of Nigeria is evident that we represent the new energy and intellect needed for a New, United, Secured and Prosperous Nigeria. While the other candidates are free to contest, we believe that the task of engineering a new Nigeria requires a complete change in attitude, approach and style. Commitment, hard work and innovation are needed to move Nigeria to a position of relevance and power in the comity of nations. Our vision is a Nigeria that every citizen will be proud of and the one that works for all.

We implore all Nigerians of good will to troop out on Saturday 25th of February to cast and protect their votes for Labour Party (LP- Mama, Papa, Pikin) to birth a New Nigeria. Our desire is a New Nigeria where our versed arable lands particularly in the North, our cocoa in the South-West, coal in South-East and oil and gas in the South-South, our regional linkage location, the entrepreneurial spirit of Obafemi in Ibadan, Abubakar in Kano and Nnamdi in Aba, the unquenchable desire for human capital development, a just and moral oriented society of Mrs Seember in Makurdi are all harnessed, developed and sustained.

It will be a New Nigeria with the environment for high quality goats and rice of Alhaji Bagudu in Kebbi, the desire of Mallam Haruna in Gilani, Yobe State to harness their abundant Kaolin and gypsum and Mr Pwajok to develop Potato and rice plantations in Shendam Plateau State and Adani, Enugu State respectively are fully supported.

With a New Nigeria, both local and foreign investors will be attracted to build a power plant using our coal, gas, water and sun. MTN and Shell Plc excited to re- locate their technical support office for North Central to Jalingo, and our commercial banks inspired and secured to host their Annual general meetings in Maiduguri, Gusau or Damaturu. Kayode Omojawa from Ondo State and Helen Bassey from Ogoja, Cross-River State will be motivated to convince their parents to allow them to school in Offa, Kwara State due to the excellent infrastructure and secured Nigeria.

We will build agricultural dams and support every state in Nigeria to plant 10, million economic trees to generate additional N300,000,000,000 (Three Hundred Billion Naira) per state every year to eradicate poverty and enhance the human capital development of our children and youths.

Let me reiterate, securing and uniting Nigeria will be our number one priority and we will do whatever is required to achieve it. We will lead and task security agencies to locate and rescue all Nigerians still being held captive by bandits and criminals including Leah Sharibu, remaining Chibok girls and others. Our farmers must return to their farms to feed Nigeria. That is the New Nigeria that Datti Baba-Ahmed and I offer to provide and lead. With our soul, mind, and body, we pledge and deeply commit to A New Secured, United and Prosperous Nigeria! So, help us God!

The governorship candidate of the Action Alliance (AA) in Rivers State, Dr. Dawari George, and his campaign organisation, the Bridge Campaign Organisation (BCO), have endorsed the  presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr. Peter Obi, for the February 25 election. 

In a statement co-signed by George and Prof. Kiikpoye Aaron, in Port Harcourt Wednesday, the campaign director-general noted that prior to reaching the decision, a lot of issues were thrown up.

The BCO equally noted that it weighed the capacities of the leading candidates in the upcoming presidential election and the clarity of each candidate’s plans for the country.

The campaign organisation said: “Mr Peter Obi is distinguished as an experienced leader who has demonstrated his ability to create positive change in the lives of Nigerians.

“Ethnicity, religion and power rotation have topped the issues under consideration. Whether we consider ourselves, logical/rational or emotional/sentimental, these issues have occupied our thinking spaces significantly. Consequently, whatever we decide is informed by what these issues portend for us.

“For us in Rivers State, the decision on the direction we should go is impacted partly by these issues and by our understanding of equity and justice for our people. We believe that the concept of power rotation is an equitable and justifiable means of guaranteeing the inclusion of all parts of our country in determining the leadership of our nation.

“We also believe that by virtue of the multi-religious nature of the Nigerian society, political inclusion ought to accommodate members of different faiths in a relationship of mutual trust and singleness of purpose.

“Against the backdrop of these considerations, deciding who to support in Saturday’s presidential election, in the best interest of Nigeria and Rivers State becomes less ponderous. Having regard to the issues above, we are irresistibly and attractively drawn to Mr. Peter Obi for president. Consequently, we are endorsing his candidacy for president in the 2023 Nigerian general election. 

“We do not deny that the other candidates boast experience. However, Mr. Peter Obi is distinguished as an experienced leader who has demonstrated his ability to create positive change in the lives of Nigerians.

“As Governor of Anambra State, he made significant strides in improving healthcare, education and infrastructure at reasonable costs. He communicates his plans with clarity, and boasts a demonstrable track record of putting the needs of the people first. Most importantly he ticks the equity and justice ticket with a balanced running mate that is both humane and urbane.

“As Rivers people, we have a great opportunity to support Mr. Peter Obi. We, therefore, strongly urge you to go to elections and vote for Mr. Peter Obi for president.

“We strongly believe that Peter Obi is the right candidate to lead Nigeria to a brighter future. We urge you to join us in supporting his candidacy, and let us work together to build a stronger, more prosperous Nigeria.

“The Bridge Campaign Organization therefore supports Peter Obi for President, Dr. Dawari George for Governor, and all AA National and state Assembly candidates.”

Ahead of Saturday’s presidential election, kinsmen of former President Goodluck Jonathan, have again called on Nigerians to vote for a Southern President to ensure a balance.

The kinsmen who are members of 

Citizens Network For Peace and Development in Nigeria (CNPDN), in a press statement signed by the National Secretary, Chief, Francis Okereke Wainwei, said Bola Ahmed Tinubu is the right fit the position. 

He said the victory of Tinubu will strengthen and foster national unity and cohesion. He said their support is premised on track-record and capacity to prioritise the interests of Nigerians above his personal and sectional interests.

“Tinubu recently demonstrated this fact by standing on the side of the masses with respect to the current Naira scarcity being experienced nationwide,” the statement read.

Ir continued: “While the other frontline presidential candidates are hailing the Federal Government for the hardship Nigerians are experiencing, as a result of the cash crunch because they feel that the policy is targeted at Tinubu, irrespective of the fact that it’s the masses that are suffering and dying as a result of the cash crunch.

“This attitude of the other frontline Presidential candidates is showing clearly that they are not interested in the welfare and plight of the masses but just their unbridled selfish ambitions to be President.

“They have no sympathy for the plight of the masses and don’t care what happens to the masses.As far as they are concerned, it’s their presidential ambitions that matter but in contrast, Tinubu stood up for the masses against the Federal Government formed by his party.

“This is characteristic of Tinubu as he is known to have always fought for the masses.Tinubu is the only presidential candidate among the current candidates that has always fought on the side of the masses.He is the only presidential candidate among the current ones that fought for the emergence of the current democratic dispensation.

“Tinubu is the only presidential candidate among the current ones that can unify the country and bring to pass the position of the Northern All Progressives Governors’ forum and that of the Southern Governors’Forum on power shift to Southern Nigeria. 

“Power shift to Southern Nigeria is the consensus of the majority of Nigerians,who believe in the future of this country because they believe that it is the best means of strengthening our national unity and cohesion.

“It’s therefore,our clarion call for all patriotic Nigerians to support power shift to Southern Nigeria by massively voting for ALHAJI Bola Ahmed Tinubu , the only presidential candidate from the South that has structures across the country with the requisite political experience and competence to enthrone accelerated development of the country.

“As patriotic citizens under the auspices of the Citizens Network For Peace and Development in Nigeria , we believe strongly that a united,peaceful and prosperous nation should be the ultimate interest of all patriotic and well-meaning Nigerians. Therefore, supporting power shift to Southern Nigeria and voting massively for Tinubu to win is a patriotic call for the peace and prosperity of this country.

“We consider it as very important and necessary to make this patriotic call because Nigeria needs a truly visionary,competent and detribalized leader to enthrone a more united,peaceful and prosperous nation.

“As patriotic citizens we feel obliged to take some proactive measures to ensure that the right president is elected,come Saturday 25th of February,2023 by providing proper information and guidance that will enable Nigerians elect the right candidate as president.

“We therefore, took it upon ourselves to do thorough investigations,opinion sampling and interviewing of major stakeholders from across the country to know the exact mood of the nation ,to enable the electorate make the right choice for the 2023 presidential election.

“We also took into consideration the declarations of both the APC Northern Governors’ forum and that of the Southern Nigeria Governors’ forum ,with respect to which part of the country that should produce the next president in 2023.

“The both groups declared that power should shift to Southern Nigeria for the purpose of promoting equity,justice and fairness ,which they argued would strengthen the unity of the country.

“After a proper analysis of the declarations and opinions of various groups and stakeholders across the country, we came to the conclusion that for the peace,unity and progress of this country,a competent and experienced presidential candidate from Southern Nigeria be elected as president, come Saturday 25th February, 2023.

“This is to strengthen the fragile unity we are experiencing at the moment, as a nation. It will appease some groups and individuals agitating against the political domination of others by any one part of the country.

“We went further to examine the capacity,competence,political experience and nation-wide acceptability of the presidential candidates from Southern Nigeria ,and we discovered that Alh.Bola Ahmed Tinubu , the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress tops the other candidates.

“We are therefore,using this medium to call on all patriotic Nigerians to support and vote massively for Alh.Bola Ahmed Tinubu as president on Saturday,25th of February, 2023,i that is the best interest for Nigeria at the moment.

“Furthermore,our choice of Bola Tinubu is strongly premised on his wealth of political experience, intellectual sagacity, a knack for identifying and recruiting competent people and the capacity to mobilize human and material resources for the accelerated and holistic development of the country.

“We believe strongly that the next president of this country should be someone who firmly believes in the philosophy of “building the people, to build the nation”, he should be a people-oriented president.

“Tinubu fits perfectly for the kind of president Nigeria needs in the next dispensation.He has the capacity and the wealth of political experience to replicate the success story of Lagos State engineered by him, for both the economic and political stability of this country. He is a national patriot and a detribalized leader that has the visionary mindset to build a prosperous,strong, peaceful and united Nigeria.”

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire has said Nigeria would liaise with doctors acquiring more skills and cutting-edge technology abroad to tackle the dearth of skilled medical personnel in the country.

He made this known at the Healthcare Federation of Nigeria 2023 Annual Conference and General Meeting from February 3rd to 4th in Lagos on the theme, “Building the Healthcare of Our Future”.

Ehanire said: “Brain drain bothers all citizens and there are many things Nigeria is going to do. First is to improve the condition of services as much as possible.”

The minister outlined plans to try to utilise those who have left, “The country to go abroad to acquire more skills and more cutting-edge technology to also be able to relate with Nigeria”.

With key health stakeholders including those delivering services, procuring medical equipment and also manufacturing, Ehanire commended HFN, describing the conference as a good opportunity to meet with stakeholders and bring them to par on what the government is doing. 

Speaking on the need for the conference, the President of HFN, Dr Pamela Ajayi said they decided to focus on creating solutions to the main problems facing the nation’s healthcare sector.  

She outlined the discourse which highlighted fiscal policies and its issues, training and retraining of personnel, brain drain and way out, healthcare financing and investments, and investing in people.

Other issues addressed included health insurance and the new National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) act, the human resources crisis, solutions that work for Nigeria, solutions from people in the diaspora, and utilising technology. 

Ajayi admitted: “It is difficult to stop people from leaving, but how can we get more people to return? If they cannot return physically, can we get their brain power back here?

The president also suggested another area, which is leveraging technology systems and structures. Adding to it that, “We have a lot on our table but this is just the beginning.  It is a building block.  We are trying to build the healthcare we want to see in our future”.

With the election gathering momentum, the HFN president assured newsmen that the organisation is here to work with whichever government comes into power. 

She added: “We will be happy to work with them in transition and throughout that is what we are here for and we know that the private sector has a lot to offer.

“We want to urge whichever government comes in to recognise the private sector and work with them to build the healthcare system that all Nigerians will be proud of.”

Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) has arrived in Lagos State, Nigeria’s economic center, to attend the final leg of the All Progressives Congress presidential campaign rally.

The Leonardo AW139 helicopter transporting Buhari from Murtala Muhammed International Airport landed at the National Stadium at 2:35 p.m., after which he was transported to the 25,000-seater Teslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere, the rally’s venue.

Buhari is in Lagos to campaign for APC presidential candidate Bola Tinubu and running mate Kashim Shettima.

Tinubu, who served as Governor of Lagos from 1999 to 2007, was elected as the APC presidential candidate after receiving the most votes among 23 aspirants in the Party’s primary elections in June 2022.

A month later, he named Kashim Shettima, a former governor of Borno State in northeast Nigeria, as his running mate.

Buhari will make his tenth appearance since the APC campaign kicked off in Plateau State on November 15, 2022.

He has so far visited the states of Sokoto, Katsina, Imo, Nasarawa, Adamawa, Bauchi, Yobe, Gombe, Plateau, and Lagos.

The rally on Tuesday comes one day before the deadline set by the Independent National Electoral Commission for all candidates to end their campaigns.

It also occurs four days before the Presidential and National Assembly elections, which will take place on Saturday, February 25, 2023.

For Saturday’s election, there will be 18 presidential candidates on the ballot.

However, only four of those candidates are recognized by the majority of Nigerians.

Bola Tinubu of the APC, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party, Peter Obi of the Labour Party, and Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party are among those running.

Throughout the 96-day campaign, all four candidates have stated their intention to win the presidency and lead Africa’s most populous state.

Given the issues that have dominated the Nigerian psyche, Tinubu, Atiku, Obi, and Kwankwaso have all promised to revive the country’s struggling economy, combat widespread insecurity, and root out endemic corruption.

The Central Bank of Nigeria has threatened to investigate, arrest, and prosecute anyone spreading false information about the new naira policy.
This threat was contained in a statement issued on Tuesday by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Deputy Governor, Corporate Services, Edward Adamu, and Director, Corporate Communications, Osita Nwanisobi.
In response to a purported press release shared on the First Lady’s Instagram page, Aisha Buhari, that said the old N500 and N1000 notes would remain legal tender for the next 70 days, until May 1, 2023, the CBN vowed to track down the source of the release.

The apex bank stressed in the statement that it would only follow the directive of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd. ), to re-issue old N200 notes as legal tender until April 10, 2023.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria’s attention has been drawn to an FAKE PRESS RELEASE purported to have emanated from the Bank to the effect that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the reissuance and release of old N500 and N1000 notes as legal tender in the country,” the statement said.
To avoid confusion, the Central Bank of Nigeria reiterates that, in accordance with Mr. President’s directives, only N200 old notes will be reissued and circulated alongside the new notes.

As a result, members of the public are advised to disregard this fake news.
“The Bank is working with the law enforcement agencies to investigate, apprehend and prosecute the purveyors of this fake news. Please follow my instructions.”

Contrary to a recent comment by the Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Mr. Festus Keyamo in which he had faulted President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive that the old N200 be recirculated until April 10, 2023, while the old N500 and N1,000 cease to be legal tender, the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, who is also a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), at the weekend argued that the directive of the president was not a direct affront to Supreme Court that had temporarily halted the move to ban the old currencies by February 10, 2023.

Speaking on Television Continental, the former Lagos State governor maintained that the president only took the step to help ameliorate the pains of Nigerians who were becoming the unintended victims of the policy.

Keyamo, who is spokesperson for the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council, had in an interview on Channels Television, said the president was wrongly advised to make the pronouncement in a nationwide broadcast.
According to Keyamo, although Buhari had good intentions for the naira redesign policy, he was wrongly advised. He had also said he would have advised the president to comply with the Supreme Court order, which was to recirculate all the old notes until they decide on the matter.
“My view is that the president acted honestly, without intention to slight the Supreme Court, but he may have acted on wrong advice. I did not give that advice, it’s not my responsibility. I do not know who gave that advice.

“In his speech, he acknowledged that there were certain matters in court. So, he thought he was playing safe by saying okay, before you decide these matters in court, may I just provide some middle ground, so that the country is burning, there are riots everywhere, so let me just try and provide some succour for people, whilst acknowledging the matters are in court.
“Now, if I were to advise him, I would have advised differently. I would have advised him to comply with the terms of the order of the Supreme Court. All the notes should circulate for now, all the notes. All the old notes should circulate side by side with the new notes for now, because that is the order of the Supreme Court,” he had said.

According to him, the matter was not discussed at the Federal Executive Council.
The comments by Fashola came just as a viral video of some residents of Ogun State were being bribed ahead of Saturday’s election with the old N1,000 notes. Those who received the money in white envelopes with the logo of the state government, however, expressed concerns that commercial banks were no longer accepting the currency. But someone suspected to be a government official, who spoke in Yoruba, was heard assuring the beneficiaries that they should go ahead and spend the money, adding that the government had vowed to ensure that banks in the state collect the old banknotes.

However, President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday, reflected on the current hardship faced by Nigerians in the wake of the naira redesign project of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and pledged to put an end to the pains the programme had inflicted on the citizenry.
But former vice president and presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, described as comical the reaction of the ruling APC and its governors to recent developments around the naira redesign project.

Weighing in also on the debate around the currency policy, the presidential candidate of New Nigerian People Party (NNPP), Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, knocked the APC governors who criticised Buhari over the naira policy, saying the governors’ loots are now useless.
The Supreme Court had temporarily halted a February 10 deadline to phase out the use of some old banknotes. But a day after the court adjourned the suit filed by some APC states and Sokoto in a move to stop the federal government from banning the use of old N1, 000, N500 and N200, Buhari in a nationwide broadcast, directed that the N200 should be returned as legal tender, while the N1,000 and N500 should be phased out.

The broadcast by the president generated reactions, with nine APC states and Sokoto State now asking the Supreme Court to void Buhari’s directive. Some senior lawyers had also argued that the directive by the president was a clear contempt of the court in a pending matter.
Fashola claimed that the recent nationwide broadcast by Buhari on the ongoing naira redesign policy was not a direct affront to the Supreme Court.
He stated that although the naira swap policy needed to be reviewed, the president took the decision because he had seen the suffering many Nigerians were facing and not to spite the apex court.

Fashola explained, “Let me say that in a democracy where there is a right to speak freely, there’s bound to be divergence of views, as you have had. But I think that the principle about respecting and awaiting the outcome of a court decision sometimes has been stretched, if I may use that word.
“There is also a lot of jurisprudence and scholarship about the boundaries of contempt in actions done and in things said. If I shut the door on your finger, and you went to court to say that the court should direct me to remove or open the door, do I say let’s wait for the outcome of court decision when you are in pain, and people are in pain?

“The question to ask is if I attempt to open that door, would you, the person in pain, say I was acting in contempt or would you gladly have me open the door and then go back to the court and say the matter we have resolved it?
“And that is another angle to look at this thing because I think that whatever interventions the president sought to make were interventions in response to the very palpable pain and I think he said that much in his speech about the unintended consequences of the policy.

Noting that his argument should not be misunderstood for misbehaviour while a case was pending in court, Fashola stated that the conversation around the matter had helped enrich Nigeria’s democracy. He explained that it had also shown the APC presidential candidate, Tinubu, and others that had spoken up as people of courage who would not sit in their comfort zones when the people were suffering.

Fashola said the fact that recent central bank governors in Nigeria tended to get into trouble close to elections should spur a review of the system to look at how political the apex bank had become. He stressed that although the central bank had a right to implement the current naira redesign policy, some of the reasons adduced by the bank were outside the law.

“So the question to then ask is, has a law been used for a policy seeking to achieve an objective that is not within the law? And this is an invitation to parliament and I think this is the time to step up and say, has our politics left our central banking-related laws behind?”

The minister argued that what happened was a mop-up of Nigeria’s currency and not a swap, arguing that the central bank may not have expected the outcome.
“It seems to me that the central bank does not intend or contemplate a mop-up policy, it actually contemplates in my view, a swap of notes,” he added, pointing out that the central bank may have overreached itself.

Fashola said Nigeria changed notes some 15 years ago, stressing that it did not cause this much pain, but wondered why the present case was causing untold hardship. He stated that the current development might negatively affect the banking system in Nigeria. He said everyone must work together to ensure that the effect on the banks were mitigated.

Buhari Vows to End Hardship Faced by Nigerians Over Naira Scarcity

In the message he sent home from Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, where he was attending the annual summit of the African Union (AU), Buhari said he was fully aware of the hardship some policies of government, “which are meant to bring overall improvement to the country,” had caused. He appealed for further patience, saying the government is taking appropriate measures to ease the suffering.
Buhari, according to a statement issued yesterday by his spokesperson, Mallam Garba Shehu, also expressed gratitude to Nigerians for electing him president for two terms. He urged the citizens to vote for the APC presidential candidate, Tinubu, in the forthcoming election, saying, “He is reliable and I know he will build on our achievements.”

In a video recording to shore up support for Tinubu in the election coming up in a few days, Buhari, according to a statement issued yesterday by Shehu, expressed gratitude to Nigerians for electing him president for two terms. He urged the electorate to vote for the APC presidential candidate.
The president emphasised that Tinubu had demonstrated commitment to the development of the country and the well-being of its people.
In the campaign message to voters, Buhari called on “our traditional rulers, religious leaders and parents to warn their followers and wards alike, to not allow themselves to be used by a few to foment trouble”.

The president stated, “I want to assure you that the government has taken adequate security measures to allow everyone to come out and cast their votes. I am, therefore, appealing to everyone to give them the necessary support.
“Fellow Nigerians, I want to use this opportunity to once again thank you for electing me to be your president on two occasions.
“I am not a contestant in this election, but my party, the APC, has a candidate in the person of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. As I mentioned before, Tinubu is a true believer in Nigeria, who loves the people and the development of our country.

“I am calling on all of you to vote for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. He is reliable and I trust he will build on our achievements.
“Finally, I want to once again assure you that I am fully aware of the current hardship you are facing as a result of some policies of the government which are meant to bring overall improvement to the country.
“I am appealing to you to exercise further patience as we take appropriate measures to ease these hardships. God willing, there will be light at the end of the tunnel.”

Atiku: APC Governors’ Reaction to New Policy Comical

Atiku described as comical the reaction of the APC governors to the naira design project. In an email message he sent to out yesterday, Atiku stated, “In the last weeks of the campaign, it is comical to see the ruling APC in open disagreement about how their party has taken the country aback.
“The good part of it is that the APC governing elite has by itself admitted that the party has only brought pains and hardship on the country.
“But while the APC continues with their rumblings, I am very proud of the work that we have done together in bringing the Recover Nigeria message to every doorstep across the country.

“It is the determination and commitment by folks like you in pushing the campaign that gives me the confidence that we shall achieve victory on Saturday. In these final days, we have to do even more!
“We still have ample time to push harder in ensuring, first, that everyone around you with their PVCs comes out to vote.
“Secondly, we must rally our base by convincing our friends, colleagues, families, and spouses to vote for the safe choice, which the PDP represents. Governor Okowa and I are exceptionally proud of your terrific work and we both believe that you shall deliver your polling units for the PDP on Saturday.”

Your Loot Now Completely Useless, Kwankwaso Taunts APC Governors

Kwankwaso knocked the APC governors criticising Buhari over the naira redesign policy. The former Kano State governor said he was shocked that APC governors could act in that manner.
Kwankwaso said at an NNPP function, “In each state, you have branches of banks and in some states, you have even the national headquarters of those banks, on one hand we thought they (governors) would take all the billions from government houses and so on to banks.
“But we realised these same governors were abusing their leaders, insulting them, I was shocked. I never thought some of them could abuse Buhari to that level.
“On one hand, I was surprised that facts were coming out and we began to wonder what is wrong with them? Maybe the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was right that some governors are keeping billions of naira in their compounds across the country.

“Now the policy has made that looted money completely useless, I think that is why they are angry. So we are so happy with the federal government on that, the money they have collected is completely zero, it has expired.
“And I think all agencies should keep their eyes on that and I want to assure you that our party is going to assist the federal government, especially on election day, please tell all members of NNPP to join EFCC, to join the police and other security agencies that wherever they see them trying to buy votes, please stop them.”

Dogara Hails Buhari’s Move to Curb Vote-buying

Former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, commended Buhari’s efforts aimed at curbing vote-buying ahead of the 2023 general election.
Dogara said he was also affected by the hardship caused by the naira redesign and currency scarcity, but pleaded with Nigerians to endure this for a few weeks and see it as a sacrifice for free, fair and credible elections.

He spoke at the weekend in Kaltungo, Gombe State, at the gathering of over 15,000 Christian youth under the auspices of Evangelical Churches Winning All (ECWA) International Youth Conference, where he was honoured with the award of service to the youths, the church and humanity.
Dogara stated, “For those critising the president on the issue of timing, I want to remind them in the words of Dr King Jnr that time is eternally neutral and the time is always ripe to do right.

“Let me end by calling on the CBN to ensure the redesigned notes are made available to our people but even if the CBN failed to do so, my plea to all Nigerians is to endure the pains for few more weeks for our votes to count and for us to elect a president we truly deserve.
“Let me emphatically say that the president has the sole constitutional powers over currency matters and all those busy running their mouths because they have been denied the opportunity to deploy the ill- gotten naira they have stashed to buy votes, they are committing treason,” he stated.

The former speaker added, “The president is absolutely right not to have given in to the greed of the few against the needs of the many.  While the president is right to have acted on what he knows and in the best interest of the country, his traducers are petty, unpatriotic, treacherous and grossly irresponsible.
“I want to specifically commend President Buhari over the initiative to curb vote buying in the forthcoming general elections.  I am not uninformed of nor unaffected by the hardship caused by the naira redesign and swap policy, but I want to plead with Nigerians to endure it for these few weeks as sacrifice for a free, fair and credible election.”

The former speaker stressed that Nigeria needed a steady hand, not one that must always be steadied. He emphasised, “We need a hand on which nothing dies not the hand that spills everything that is placed on it if we do not want our collective national destiny to be spilled.
“We need a grounded leader not a feckless pretender who has become a perfect gift to every level of comedy both local and internationally. By our votes, let us send a strong and clear message to those who want to foist this tasteless joke on us that Nigeria is no comedy cellar or Viva Blackpool.”
Dogara urged Nigerians to vote for Atiku.

Kaigama Condemns Attack on Banks, Urges Free, Fair Election

Catholic Archbishop of the Abuja Metropolitan Archdiocese, Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama, condemned what he described as unruly acts of rioting in some parts of the country that saw protesters attacking bank ATMs, beating up bank staff, and destroying their property.
Regarding Saturday’s presidential election, the archbishop said his prayer was for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the security agents, and the judiciary not to bow to pressure from any quarter and compromise their work so that only true winners would emerge in the elections.
While delivering sermons at St. Augustine’s Catholic Church Parish, Dutse-Sangbagyi, in Abuja, yesterday, Kaigama said notwithstanding the hardship in the land, persons opposed to certain government policies should react in an enlightened manner.

He said, “The recent bank policy has plunged many Nigerians into untold hardship, because of very limited access to physical cash. However, when we are not comfortable with certain decisions, we should react in an enlightened manner.

“The unruly acts of rioting in some parts of the nation that attacked bank ATMs, beat up some bank staff, vandalised banks and destroyed bank properties, blocked streets, forcing businesses to close, etc., are not signs of maturity.”

Commenting on Saturday’s presidential election, Kaigama said Nigerians must play their role in creating a better country by participating in the exercise.
He stated, “This time we want an election of credible and competent candidate and not an election marred by manipulation or violence that scares away voters.
“Our earnest prayer is that INEC, the security agents and the judiciary will not bow to pressure from any quarters and compromise their work so that only true winners in the elections, who, as Philippians 4:8 says, are honourable, just, pure, lovely, can emerge and free Nigerians from the bondage of economic hardship, criminality and needless division based on tribe and religion.”
Quoting the communique given at the just concluded first plenary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), Kaigama echoed the call on leaders to love the people they lead through good governance.

He said at the meeting that the bishops had decried the worsening insecurity caused by so-called unknown gunmen, and urged the government to do more to safeguard the lives and property of citizens. He emphasised the need for the government to improve the economy of the country and arrest the skyrocketing cost of goods and services.

President Muhammadu Buhari has reflected on the current hardship faced by Nigerians in the wake of the currency exchange policy and pledged to put an end to the pains the programme has inflicted on the citizenry.

He has, therefore, sent a message home from Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, where he is attending the annual summit of the African Union (AU), saying he is fully aware of the hardship some policies of government, “which are meant to bring overall improvement to the country” had caused and appealed for further patience as the government takes appropriate measures to ease them.

In a video recording to shore up support for Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in next Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly elections, the president, according to a release issued on Sunday by his spokesperson, Mallam Garba Shehu, expressed gratitude to Nigerians for electing him to be president for two terms, and urged them to vote for the APC flag bearer because “he is reliable and I know he will build on our achievements”.

The president emphasized that the APC presidential candidate has demonstrated his commitment to the development of the country and the well-being of its people.

In the campaign message to voters,  President Buhari specifically called on “our traditional rulers, religious leaders and parents to warn their followers and wards alike, to not allow themselves to be used by a few to foment trouble.

“I want to assure you that the government has taken adequate security measures to allow everyone to come out and cast their votes. I am therefore appealing to everyone to give them the necessary support.

“Fellow Nigerians, I want to use this opportunity to once again thank you for electing me to be your president on two occasions.

 “I am not a contestant in this election, but my party, the All Progressives Congress, has a candidate in the person of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. As I mentioned before, Tinubu is a true believer in Nigeria, who loves the people and the development of our country.

“I am calling on all of you to vote for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. He is reliable and I trust he will build on our achievements.

“Finally, I want to once again assure you that I am fully aware of the current hardship you are facing as a result of some policies of the government which are meant to bring overall improvement to the country.

“I am appealing to you to exercise further patience as we take appropriate measures to ease these hardships. God willing, there will be light at the end of the tunnel”.

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