DECEMBER 21st- 31, 2013 RECORDS

December 21, 2013

The All Progressives Congress (APC) today got a rare endorsement from former President Olusegun Obasanjo when he hailed the party as being on course in enhancing democracy in the country. He said the party had taken the right step in salvaging the political outlook of the country. Chief Obasanjo openly threw his weight behind APC at his Abeokuta residence when a high-powered delegation of the opposition party visited him. The meeting had in presence all APC governors, national chieftains of the party, former senators of the APC as well as Chairman of the new PDP, Kawu Baraje who led some of his members to the meeting.


This war won’t end; I only hope they won’t tear this country apart this way. They are calling for unification and development of the nation but they are not demonstrating it. The Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party, Lagos State Chapter, Mr. Adetunji Shelle alleged the All Progressives Congress of wanting to be in power and they want to go through the back door. “Can you believe that they organised a seminar on how to impeach Mr. President. It is very sad. There are rules and regulations for impeachment; they must have the two-third majority in the House (National Assembly). The point is that, if they don’t meet on the conditions on ground, there is no way they can impeach the President. Mr. President has been working hard to ensure that this country moves forward. He has a transformation agenda and he is focused on it. All these things they (APC) are doing are a source of distraction. I believe that it’s a question of time.” Then time will tell, why the worry then.  Shelle claimed the APC has no structure yet. The only structure they have is Lai Mohammed, their spokesman (Interim National Publicity Secretary). By the time they get involved in forming a structure, there will be infighting; there will be implosion and, fortunately, there will be a flow back to the PDP, he prophesized. “Those people (defectors) will then realise that they (APC) are a fake. People in the APC are strange bedfellows. There is no how they will not fight. That is why they cannot form their party structure, either at the national, state or local council level. By the time they do that, they will expose themselves.” He however described the moves of the 5 governors and 37 legislators that defected to APC as a challenge, not a threat. He said the defectors could have caused more damage, if they remained in the PDP. “Good riddance to bad rubbish. Let them go. They will create more problems for the APC. They will be liabilities for the APC when they are sharing power (political offices). They will want to be factored and those ones (APC chiefs) will not hand over powers to them. It is better to leave the party than to stay inside and continue to cause more damage and distraction. The PDP is steadfast; we are focused. The defection by the 37 House of Reps members is just politics. Some of them will run back because they can’t leave certainty for uncertainty,” he was so sure.


December 22, 2013

The clash of the missive had just begun. He has remained silent to garner time and wordings to reply the 18-page stinker of ex-president Obasanjo. Unlike Obasanjo’s letter which was dated December 2 but leaked to the press on December 11, Jonathan’s letter was made available to the press and public immediately it was crafted. In the letter entitled: “Re: Before it is too late”, an obviously angry Jonathan said the former president did him grave injustice with the open letter in which he was accused of deceit, deception, dishonesty, incompetence, divisiveness and insincerity among other ills. Giving 10 reasons why he replied, he said Obasanjo’s letter to him was full of lies.


December 23, 2013

In a recent disclosure made available to the public, the House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts accused the FG of spending about N4.7trn from 2004 to 2012 from the Service-wide Vote without the approval of the National Assembly as stipulated in section 80 of the 1999 Constitution as amended. While reviewing the proposed 2014 budget, the revelations were surprisingly present as usual. In a country we could not boast of a national carrier, the FG votes N1.56b for 11th presidential plane! The Presidency would spend N14.5m on two wild animals for the villa zoo.

Nigeria Football Federation President, Aminu Maigari, said that the body was conceiving a strategy that would ensure befitting outings for national teams in 2014. The strategy, he said was aimed at ensuring that national teams remained consistent and progressive with their performances. The football achiever disclosed that NFF had directed the Super Eagles’ technical crew to submit its action plan for 2014. “There is no doubt that this has been a remarkable year for us, but we do not want it to end just there. It must be continuous,” he said. “We have developed short, medium and long term plans in order to achieve our objectives, not only for the Super Eagles but for all our national teams.” Further that the NFF was doing its best to ensure that Super Eagles would play some ‘Grade A’ friendly matches before the 2014 World Cup. “We have advanced in many ways with our teams, and we will do well as a body to take the country’s football to its pinnacle in the nearest future,” he said. More power to your elbow.


December 24, 2013

All for Christmas as leaders preached peace in their messages around the globe. President Goodluck Jonathan launched a sales drive for the national conference – its controversial pill for Nigeria’s numerous ailments. The President said, “My administration will do all within its powers and abilities to ensure that when the representatives of our people assemble for the forthcoming national conference next year, they will have every opportunity and encouragement to make very significant contributions towards forging the required consensus for sustained national peace, unity and progress.”



December 25, 2013

Going spiritual might solve Nigeria’s problem. Pope Francis celebrated his first Christmas Eve Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, prayed for Nigeria and other countries contending with terrorists’ attacks. In his Christmas message, the Pope specifically asked God to defend Nigeria’s innocent and defenseless people. He said, “Prince of Peace, every place turn hearts aside from violence and inspire them to lay down arms and undertake the path of dialogue. Look upon Nigeria, rent by constant attacks which do not spare the innocent and defenseless”. Aaaamen!

The nation’s external reserves have dropped to the $43.9bn  mark. According to statistics on the Central Bank of Nigeria’s website, the latest drop occurred on December 23, 2013.The reserves had fallen to a record one-year low of $44.1bn, according to the CBN data. The Central bank statistics also indicated that the reserves had fallen by $3bn between August 14 and December 17. It fell from the peak of $47.1bn on August 14 to $44.1bn on December 17, 2013, indicating a $3bn drop within the period. Also, between September 6 and November 25, the reserves fell by $2bn from $46.77bn to $44.66bn. Some analysts are of the opinion that the amount the CBN has been offering for sale on its Retail Dutch Auction System was fast depleting the external reserves. Reserves or no reserves, we kuku no dey feel the dividends.


December 26, 2013

The Federal Government said it had expended the sum of N104.1bn on projects of the Subisdy Reinvestment and Empowerment Program (SURE-P). The amount was spent within the first eighteen months of the programme covered January 2012 to July 2013. The figure was contained in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper of the FG covering the 2014-2016 fiscal periods. SURE-P was set up in January 2012, to pacify angry Nigerians in the wake of the partial removal of government’s subsidy on local consumption of petroleum products.

If na u nko? The 2013 Africa Nations Cup star, Sunday Mba quitted Championship for African Nations for French club Bastia, coach Stephen Keshi said. Keshi said in Abuja that Mba, was on his way to France to join Bastia, the French side which first indicated interest in him after Nigeria’s Nations Cup triumph last February in South Africa. The Eagles manager said the early departure plan has forced the coaching crew not to include the player in the team for the friendly match in Port Harcourt against a Rivers selected side. “We have resigned ourselves to fate and working hard to discover those who can fill Mba’s shoes, as he seems to have nicked a deal with Bastia and may not be part of CHAN tourney. We just have to pray and wish him the best because it’s a career thing,” Eagles assistant coach Dan Amokachi said. Best of luck jare Mba, have a successful career.

NFF President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari (L) in a warm handshake with coach Stephen Keshi of Nigeria during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Match between Nigeria and Ethiopia on 16th November, 2013 at U.J. Esuene Stadium, Calabar, Nigeria
Norbert Okolie/BackpagePix


December 27, 2013

Though the media called it a “Fresh war”, but it was the same old one just a new approach as the Presidency likened the controversial chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, to a drunken man in a China shop, what a ridicule. If it were to be from a commoner, it would be a criminal offence, but since it was from the Presidency, it was just a “war” or ‘clash of interest’. Over the allegations that President Goodluck Jonathan was training snipers and keeping 1,000 people on a watch list, Amaechi opined that he was the number one person on the President’s watch list and further claimed that he had evidence to support his assertion. The Presidency took an offence, which was normal anyway and quickly decided to put him ‘in his place’ by saying the governor was like a drunken man in a China shop who was only interested in bringing down everybody with him.


December 28, 2013

If not for God, another governor would have been recorded on the list of governors that were involved in fatal accidents. Anyway, glory be to the Most High that the Comrade Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, who was on his way back to Benin from his village, Iyamho, survived a motor accident near Ewu village along the Benin-Auchi road, at about 9:45am. Though the governor escaped unhurt but the car in which he was driven was badly damaged. “The governor’s car was badly affected but no injuries were sustained by any of the occupants in both the Peugeot J5 bus and the governor’s vehicle. The Peugeot J5 bus was following a truck descending the Ewu slope when it suddenly veered into the governor’s lane from the opposite direction and directly impacted on the governor’s vehicle, apparently because of brake failure”, Special Adviser to the governor on Media and Public Affairs, Mr Kassim Afegbua said.


December 29, 2013

The cold hand of death visited the Soyinka family. The family, friends and the nation were thus thrown into grief, ‘a very sad occurrence’ people said. Iyetade, a daughter of Nobel Laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka died while receiving treatment at the University College Hospital, Ibadan the Oyo State capital. The mother of two children was described as an “affable, intelligent and sometimes capricious,” lady, who struggled with her health during her last years. She greeted everyday with a smile and doted on her two children. She took ill quite suddenly and passed away while being treated at UCH, Ibadan.


December 30, 2013

The Presidency, unlike its usual direct confrontation today mounted pressure on the leadership of the Senate to persuade aggrieved PDP senators not to carry out their plan to dump the ruling party for APC. Before now, the Presidency and PDP leaders cared less about who left and who stayed, but now, it had become a sensitive issue which required sensitive approach. Sources said the Senate President, David Mark, had personally held series of meetings with some of the aggrieved senators with a view to making them have a rethink.


December 31, 2013

Members of All Progressives Congress in the House of Representatives shared out the leadership positions in the House to its members as part of plans to assume full control of the legislature in the New Year. The APC formerly in the minority outgrew the majority strength of the Peoples Democratic Party after 37 PDP lawmakers defected to it on December 18. The development gave the country’s main opposition party a slim majority advantage of members over PDP in the House. Information made available indicated that the APC members collectively resolved that the Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal, would continue to lead the House until he decides to dump the PDP for the APC; see permutation. And the year which began with politics ended with politics.


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