Good morning Nigeria, welcome to the Naija News roundup of top newspaper headlines in Nigeria for today, Sunday, 25th December 2022.
The substantive Managing Director (MD) of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello-Koko has accused some faceless Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) of desperately trying to defame and extort him.
In a lengthy statement released to newsmen on Saturday, December 24th, the NPA MD said the groups have resorted to blackmail, using the instrumentality of a section of online media to push through their mischief and blackmail.
According to him, having failed in their desperation to dent or hurt his integrity, they resorted to a very cruel campaign of calumny against him and his family.
“Because they are faceless, I don’t have the opportunity to seek redress in court on the grounds of their rehashed and rehearsed lies,” he said.
“I need to reiterate that for all of my years as a banker and a public officer up till today, I have never been indicted or convicted by any court. And this fact is in the public domain.
“I’m also certain that my integrity as well as dedication and fidelity to the rules of public administration must have influenced the decision by the Federal Government of Nigeria to promote me from the rank of Executive Director (Finance and Administration) to Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Ports Authority.”
Bello-Koko stated that the faceless individuals wrote to the UK Government seeking visa cancellation and forfeiture of assets belonging to his wife and him, descring it as not only malicious but also cruel and wicked.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday released his last Christmas message as President to Nigerians.
The President in the statement rejoiced with Christians in the country as they celebrate this year’s Christmas.
He noted that this Christmas would be his last as President as he is expected to hand over to another administration in the next Twenty-two weeks.
The full statement reads, “I heartily rejoice with our Christian brothers and sisters on the occasion of this year’s Christmas.
“Many of us look forward to this festive season as a time to travel, share gifts, spend quality time with family and friends, attend special carols and events, and generally relive the good moments of the year.
“In whatever circumstances we find ourselves, Christmas is a period when we come together to rejoice and set aside our differences.
“For me and my family, this year’s celebration is unique. It is my last as your elected President. Twenty-two weeks from now, this administration will hand over to another.”
The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has challenged the All Progressives Congress (APC) flagbearer, Bola Tinubu, to face off with him in a national debate.
Speaking through his campaign spokesperson on Friday, Kola Ologbondiyan, Atiku asked Tinubu to stop running away from public debates ahead of the 2023 general election.
He told Saturday Tribune that the APC presidential candidate should come out to debate with him on all issues, including governance, policies, programmes and their past.
Ologbondiyan said: “We challenge Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu to an unscripted debate with Atiku Abubakar because Tinubu has been dodging debates and even interviews with the media.
“He has been organising private sessions with groups which our campaign believes are all choreographed in his favour. At most of these platforms, he either reads a pre- pared script or speaks through proxies who respond to questions on his invitation.
“It is perceptible that the presidential candidate of the APC is not prepared to answer questions arising from the litany of allegations surrounding his past.
“But Nigerians deserve to hear from him as a candidate that desires to govern them. He should prepare himself to respond to their questions and make himself available for interviews in the public space. Atiku Abubakar has had several engagements like these, having prepared himself for leadership roles.”
President Muhammadu Buhari whose tenure would be ending in a few months has expressed delight that he has tried his best for Nigeria.
Buhari, however, admitted that he believes his best is not good enough for Nigeria.
President Buhari stated this in a documentary shown on Friday night at a private dinner in Abuja organised by his family and associates to celebrate his 80th birthday.
The event was tagged “Celebrating A Patriot, a Leader, an Elder Statesman.”
Buhari in the documentary said, “I think I’m being harassed. I believe I’m trying my best but still, my best is not good enough.”
The President also noted that he would not miss the office of the president much when his tenure ends.
Buhari said, “I wonder if I am going to miss much.”
President Muhammadu Buhari has reacted to the report that he was dead and had been replaced with a Jibrin of Sudan.
Buhari speaking in a documentary shown on Friday night at a private dinner in Abuja organised by his family and associates to celebrate his 80th birthday said he does not find the rumour funny.
The event was tagged “Celebrating A Patriot, a Leader, an Elder Statesman.”
He further stated that many Nigerians believed the rumour that he was dead.
Speaking in the documentary, Buhari said, “Yes! People said I am somebody from Sudan. I didn’t bother with the name. Nigerians have mischievous ways of explaining themselves.”
The President when asked if he found the rumour funny said, “No. It’s not funny. Because those who made those statements, they just want to be cheeky. They want to distract attention from the main issue.”
President Muhammadu Buhari has opened up about losing two of his children to sickle cell.
This publication understands that Buhari recounted his ordeal in a documentary played at a private dinner on Friday, December 23, 2022.
Family members and close associates of the president organized a private dinner at the State House Banquet Hall on Friday night, to mark his 80th birthday.
Speaking on his personal life, the President revealed he lost two of his children from his late wife, Safinatu, to sickle cell anaemia.
Buhari noted that at the time he wanted to remarry, he insisted his second wife must be AA genotype so that his children would not inherit the S from his AS genotype.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Council has reacted to the sealing of the campaign secretariat of its candidate, Atiku Abubakar, in Rivers State.
Naija News earlier reported that the River State Governor, Nyesom Wike sealed off the campaign office of Atiku Abubakar in GRA Port Harcourt on Friday, using a court order.
According to Wike’s spokesman, Kelvin Ebiri, the sealing of the campaign office was in line with the directive of his principal that campaign offices should not be located in residential areas.
Reacting to the incident, the spokesman for the PCC in Rivers State, Leloonu Nwibubassa, in an interview with PUNCH said Wike’s action was an attempt to suppress and oppress other political rivals.
Leloonu described the sealing of the campaign office as an act of lawlessness stressing that Wike has misused his power as governor of the state.
The State PDP PCC spokesman further said it was sad that Wike by his actions did not appreciate what he benefited from, in the present democracy, having been a two-time chairman of a local government in 1999, and also became a Chief of Staff.
The Chairman of the Osun State Chieftaincy Affairs Review Committee, Rev Samuel Bunmi Jenyo, has noted that the Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke obtained his degree in 24 days.
Jenyo who claimed to be a personal assistant to Adeleke said the Osun State Governor obtained his Diploma Certificate in Penn Foster High School on 16th July 2021.
He further stated the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governor obtained a degree from Atlanta Metropolitan College on the 9th of August 2021.
Jenyo revealed this on Friday while testifying before Justice Tertsea Kume-led tribunal.
The former Governor of Osun State, Gboyega Oyetola and the All Progressives Congress (APC) had filed a petition against the declaration of Ademola Adeleke as the governor of the State.
Oyetola and the APC are challenging the declaration of Adeleke as Governor on two grounds: over-voting and eligibility to run in view of alleged inconsistencies in his certificates.
Rev. Jenyo tendered Adeleke’s certificates, bearing Penn Foster High School and Atlanta Metropolitan State College.
The Osun state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has reacted to claims that the erstwhile Governor of Osun State, Adegboyega Oyetola carted away vehicles worth N2.9 billion.
Naija News recalls that the Osun state government had earlier demanded that Oyetola, his wife, Kafayat and others return vehicles which they used while in power.
Speaking via a statement, signed by the Osun APC Director of Media, Kola Olabisi, the party described the allegations as laughable adding that the PDP was seeking ways to mitigate the effect of their embarrassing outing at the Osun Election Petition Tribunal.
At the resumed seating of the Tribunal on Thursday, INEC acknowledged that they were incidents of over-voting during the July 16, 2022, gubernatorial election in the state.
A former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus on Friday stated that nobody can impose a presidential candidate on voters in Rivers State.
This is coming days after the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike said that he would announce the presidential candidate he would support in January.
Wike while also campaigning for the Governorship candidate of the party in November had said he would soon tell the people of Rivers State the presidential candidate to vote for.
Secondus, in his reaction to Governor Wike’s statement, said the people of Rivers State had always voted for the PDP.
He further stated that voters in the state can not be forced into voting for any unfamiliar political party in the forthcoming presidential election.
Governor Wike and some aggrieved members of the party had formed the Integrity Group calling for the resignation of the National Chairman of the party, Iyorchia Ayu as a ticket to support the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
Members of the group had insisted that they would only work for Atiku if Ayu steps down for a southerner.