Punch Newspaper Review

Punch Newspaper Headlines (Friday, 22 January, 2021 Edition)

Governor Yahaya Bello

Good Morning Nigeria! Hope you all are doing your part to help stop the spread of COVID-19!

Here’s our picks on today’s top buzzy stories on Punch Newspaper. We prepare it as a quick-read for our visitors who also enjoys Punch News.

It’s North-Central’s turn to produce President – Niger Assembly

The Niger State House of Assembly, on Thursday, said the successor to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), should come from the North-Central zone.

The lawmakers also endorsed the presidential bid of the Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello. The assembly took the decision when 25 lawmakers from Kogi State under the leadership of the Speaker, Mathew Olusola, paid an advocacy visit to solicit support for Bello.

The Niger State lawmakers noted that it was time for the zone to come together to support Bello’s ambition, noting that “as a young and vibrant governor, and with the ‘not too young to run bill’ already assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari, he (Bello) remains the best candidate for the number one position in 2023.”

Calls for restructuring: Go to National Assembly, Presidency tells ACF, Nwodo, Adebanjo as agitation spreads

Prominent Nigerians, including the immediate past President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nwodo; a chieftain of Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo and the Chairman of the Arewa Consultative Forum, Chief Audu Ogbeh, on Thursday said there was an urgent need to restructure Nigeria for it to attain its full potential.

They made the call at the 18th Daily Trust Dialogue with the theme: ‘Restructuring in Nigeria: Why? How? When?’ The prominent Nigerians suggested that the country should be restructured to make Nigeria work for all citizens.

But in an interview with The PUNCH, the President’s Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said it was only the National Assembly that was empowered to restructure the country. He, therefore, advised proponents of restructuring to approach the legislature.

NGF distances govs from Bello’s comments on COVID-19

The Nigeria Governors Forum has dissociated itself from a statement by a member and Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, about coronavirus conspiracy theories.

It also set up a committee of experts headed by Prof. Oyewole Tomori to advise members on the procurement and administration of coronavirus vaccines expected to arrive in Nigeria in February.

The decision was taken after the NGF received briefings from three medical experts, including Tomori, a leading virologist and former Vice Chancellor of Redeemer’s University of Nigeria; Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Faisal Shuaib, and the founder/Managing Director of Synlab Nigeria, Dr Pamela Ajayi, among others.

South-West govs should employ laws to cage killer herdsmen – Monarchs

The Ondo State Council of Obas, on Thursday, called on the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) to caution his aides who comment on security of the country.

The traditional rulers, who reacted over the comments made by some aides of the President on the order of Akeredolu ejecting the herdsmen from all the forest reserves in the state, said the move was not to chase out the Fulani in the state but to save it from the activities of the bandits. This was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of meeting of the monarchs in Akure, which was read by a former Chairman of the council and the Olukare of Ikareland, Oba Akadiri Momoh.

The monarchs said, “We are calling on President Buhari to show to the world that he is a father of all irrespective of ethnic affiliation as well as cautioned his aides to exercise restraints on issues that borders on insecurity in the country.” The obas urged “the governors in the South-West region, the South-West caucus in the National Assembly and state Houses of Assembly to use constitutional means to rein the rampaging criminals masquerading as herdsmen across the region.”

Court jails Ondo pastor for lying against church founder

The Ondo State High Court sitting in Akure, the state capital, on Thursday sentenced a pastor, John Abiodun, to two years’ imprisonment for false allegation against a church founder.

Abiodun was arrested in 2019 for lying against the founder of Promiseland Prophetic Ministry, Akure, Pastor Gbenga Akinbiyi, that seven placentas were planted on the church’s altar. The church is located in the Shasha area of Akure.

The convict, who was a former member of the church, swore an affidavit before the commissioner for oaths on the matter. Abiodun and a lecturer of the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Prof. Lanre Olu-Adeyemi, were later arraigned on eight counts bordering on conspiracy, publication of false information, perjury, impersonation, threatening violence, among others.

Matawalle threatens crackdown on politicians as Zamfara

Fifteen people were killed, while 11 others were kidnapped in Zamfara State when a security meeting between Governor Bello Matawalle, traditional rulers, security agents and religious leaders was being held at the Government House on Thursday.

Addressing the participants, Matawalle said he received phone calls that the bandits have killed 13 people and kidnapped 11 others in Bingi and Nahuche towns of Bungudu local government. Matawalle also said two Fulani herdsmen were also slaughtered by the Yansakai in Maradun local government area.

“As I am speaking to you right now, I received text messages that, 13 people were killed in Bingi and 11 others were kidnapped in Nahuche, all in the Bungudu Local Government Area. I also received another message just now that, some people are staging a demonstration between Anka and Jangebe. Another report reaching me right now indicated that the Yansakai have slaughtered two Fulani herdsmen in Maradun local government. I wonder what is happening, but I am not surprised because I know that there are some politicians who are always happy to hear that some people are killed in Zamfara. Let me send a strong warning to them, that as from today, I will take a very drastic action against those politicians who are sabotaging our security efforts.”

Ondo forests: Presidency elevates herdsmen above law, says SMBF

The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum on Thursday expressed concern over the perceived sympathy of the Federal Government for herdsmen following the ban on grazing by Ondo State government in its forest reserves.

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu had given Fulani herdsmen notice to quit Ondo forests, which drew the ire of the Presidency. According to the SMBLF, the Federal Government’s action was a continuation of the obsessive attachment to the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria.

The SMBLF in a statement by Yinka Odumakin (South West), Chief Guy Ikoku (South East), Senator Bassey Henshaw (South South) and Dr. Isuwa Dogo (Middle Belt), therefore asked the Federal Government to “withdraw the unjust diktat and allow Ondo to enforce the law.”

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