These 10 top stories from Nigerian newspapers will make your Monday morning, December 23, 2019.
1. US WATCH LIST: No policy in Nigeria promotes one religion against another —Presidency
The Presidency said Sunday the United States’ decision to place Nigeria on its watch list did not make Nigeria a country of concern on religious freedom. The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, who disclosed this in a chat with journalists, said Nigeria and the US would deliberate on the matter early next year. He said the US government’s decision carries no immediate implication for Nigeria.
2. Why the elites hate Buhari —Presidency
The Presidency on Sunday dismissed claims by some analysts, that the current administration has been hijacked by a power-hungry cabal, saying no leader can operate without having a team of close confidants. The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, stated this at a dinner organized by the Press Corps of the All Progressives Congress (APC). He said in other climes, every president has a “kitchen cabinet,” adding that in Nigeria, government critics would prefer to refer to such collection of self-sacrificing individuals as cabal
3. ‘This nonsense from Wike must stop’, Gov Dickson raises hell
Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, has accused his Rivers State counterpart, Nyesom Wike, of promoting “wicked clandestine ethnic supremacist agenda” in the politics of Rivers. In a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Fidelis Soriwei and made available to reporters on Sunday, the Bayelsa governor also knocked Wike for accusing him of inciting ethnic disharmony in Ijaw land. According to him, Wike was using the disputed oil wells between the two states as a subterfuge to create disunity and cover up his deliberate policy to under-develop Ijaw communities.
4. PDP to INEC: Withdraw Edo lawmakers-elect certificates of return
The Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw certificates of return from 14 members-elect of the Edo State House of Assembly. According to the party, the refusal of the affected persons to subscribe to the oath of membership/allegiance for the affected constituencies throughout the Assembly’s first session and first quarter amounted to abdication of office. The 14 persons in question who were elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) were not sworn in with their colleagues due to a political crisis in the state chapter of the party.
5. Being on same page with executive doesn’t mean we’re a rubber stamp assembly — Gbajabiamila
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has described criticism that the 9th Assembly was a rubber stamp to the executive as unfair. He insisted that the 9th National Assembly was irrevocably committed to protecting the interests of the people through diligent discharge of its legislative duties. The speaker said the fact that the legislature was on the same page with the executive on issues of national interest did not make it a rubber stamp.
6. Kogi govt admits worsening insecurity
The Kogi State Government has blamed the rising wave of armed robbery and kidnapping in the state on some criminal elements who infiltrated the state. In a statement in Lokoja over the weekend, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Information and Communications Strategy, Kingsley Fanwo, said the government had tightened the noose on the bandits and it would be difficult for them to disturb the peace of the state anymore.
7. ’Fear not and speak truth to power’, Fani-Kayode tells TY Danjuma
Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, has again tackled the former Minister of Defence, Lt.-Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (retd.), over a recent statement. Danjuma had last Thursday, while commenting on the state of the country’s affairs, said Nigerians would no longer sleep if he revealed what was happening in the country. “In Yorubaland, everybody seems to have lost their voice, scared. And people appear not to care about what is happening. If I tell you what I know that is happening in Nigeria today, you will no longer sleep,” he had said. Danjuma also added that, “We are in a big hole as a nation. And people who put us in this hole have continued today. So, we’ve to wake up. Only we can save ourselves.” In his initial reaction, Fani-Kayode had called on Danjuma to give details of whatever he knew about Nigeria before it was too late.
8. Army extends deadline for exercise Atilogwu Udo I in South-East, others
The Nigerian Army has announced the extension of exercise Atilogwu Udo 1 in the South-East region of the country from December 23, 2019 to January 7, 2020. Also extended to the same date were exercises Ayem Akpatuma 2 in the North Central and Crocodile Smile in the South-South. The Nigerian Army had on September 25, 2019, announced the commencement of those exercises in the different regions of Nigeria. It is scheduled to conduct all the exercise concurrently from October 7, 2019, to December 23, 2019.
9. Police promote 623 senior officers (SEE LIST)
The Police Service Commission (PSC) on Sunday approved the promotion of 623 senior police officers to their next ranks. Those promoted include 40 Deputy Commissioners of Police (DCPs) who were elevated to the position of Commissioners of Police; 98 Assistant Commissioners of Police (ACPs) who were promoted to Deputy Commissioners and 150 Chief Superintendents of Police (CSPs) who were promoted to Assistant Commissioners of Police. The PSC also endorsed the promotion of 335 Superintendents of Police (SPs) to Chief Superintendents of Police. A statement issued by the Press and Public Relations Officer of PSC, Ikechukwu Ani, said the promotions were strictly based on seniority, merit, availability of vacancies and clean record of service.
10. Police arrest suspected kidnappers of varsity worker in Anambra
The Anambra State Police Command has arrested three suspected kidnappers of staff of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Emeka Chiagbana at Agulu, Aniocha Local Government Area of the state. Chiagbana, an engineer, was abducted from his home in Nibo on October 25. Confirming their arrest, the spokesman of the state police command, Haruna Mohammed, in a statement on Sunday, said the suspects were arrested during a gun duel with the police.