By Dipo Olowookere
President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed shock and sadness over the death of several football fans in Calabar, Cross River State yesterday while watching a match at a viewing centre.
Mr Buhari, in a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, said he was not happy “to learn of the tragic event that took the lives of several Nigerians” at the football viewing centre on Thursday night.
“The President commiserates with the government and people of Cross River State, and football fans nationwide over the unfortunate incident,” the statement said.
It said further that “President Buhari commends the state government for the prompt action in setting up a commission of inquiry into the incident, and its offer of assistance to the victims and their families.”
Mr Shehu stated that, “The President offers his deepest condolences to the family and friends of the mostly young victims, whose sudden demise is a big blow not only to their families, but also to the football-loving nation.”
“He prays that God Almighty will grant the souls of the departed eternal rest and comfort all who mourn their irreparable loss,” the statement concludes.
Osun Tribunal Sacks Adeleke as Governor
By Dipo Olowookere
The Osun State Election Petition Tribunal has removed Mr Ademola Adeleke as Governor of the state.
The tribunal chaired by Justice Tertse Kume sacked the former Senator via a judgement delivered on Friday in Osogbo, the state capital.
Two of the three judges of the tribunal said Mr Adegboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was the winner of the governorship election held last year.
They held that the Certificate of Return should be withdrawn from Mr Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and issued to Mr Oyetola.
According to the judges, the APC was able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Mr Adeleke won the poll through irregularities, including over-voting in some polling units.
Justice Kume, who read the judgement, said Mr Oyetola scored the majority lawful votes of 314,931 against the 219,666 votes garnered by Mr Adeleke.
In a terse reaction, the state government, via a post on the Osun State Government Facebook post, hinted that the judgement would be appealed at the appellate court.
“No cause for alarm. Appeal is the destination.
“There are two judgements given by the tribunal, one favours PDP and the other u favour if the petitioner. The next battle moves to appeal court by both parties. Status quo remains as Governor Ademola Jackson Nurudeen Adeleke remains in office,” the post said.
LASEMA Battles to Curtail Fire Outbreak at Balogun Market
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) has said it was working tirelessly with other agencies to put out the fire at 3/5 Gbajumo Street, Balogun, Lagos Island.
In a statement issued on Thursday, the organisation said it received a distress call from concerned persons in the wee hours of today over the unfortunate incident.
It was gathered that a 5-storey building at the Balogun Market was gutted by fire, destroying properties worth millions of Naira.
Giving an update on the situation, LASEMA said the joint teams, which rushed to the scene of the inferno, were having a constraint preventing the fire trucks from having direct access to the source of the fire, which are the shops constructed on the road blocking all routes.
“The agency received a distress call around 12:30 am today, Thursday, January 26, 2023, regarding a fire outbreak at No 3/5 Gbagumo street Balogun market, Lagos Island, which prompted the immediate activation of the Emergency Response Team to the scene of the incident.
“Consequent upon arrival at the scene of the incident, information gathered revealed that some shops (rubber shoes and clothes are stored) on the first floor of a 5-storey building was gutted by fire. However, the cause of the fire could not be ascertained.
“Fortunately, there is no loss of life or casualty involved in the incident.
“Collaborative efforts to put out the fire are ongoing by the agency’s Response Team and its fire unit, alongside Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service, Federal Fire Service, Police Force, CBD, LASAMBUS, LNSC and NEMA.
“However, the joint teams have a constraint which is preventing the fire trucks from having direct access to the source of the fire, which are the shops constructed on the road blocking all routes.
“Efforts are still ongoing to prevent the spread of the fire to nearby buildings. Operations are also still ongoing,” the statement said.
Tinubu Never Blamed Buhari for Fuel Scarcity, Others—Onanuga
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The Director of Media and Publicity of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council (PCC), Mr Bayo Onanuga, has said the party’s presidential candidate, Mr Bola Tinubu, did not blame President Muhammadu Buhari for the current challenges in the country.
On Wednesday, during his campaign in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Mr Tinubu accused some powerful persons were behind the current scarcity of petrol in Nigeria, as well as the scarcity of the new Naira notes.
President Buhari is the Minister of Petroleum Resources, and fuel scarcity has remained for months under his watch. He also approved the redesigning of the Naira when Mr Godwin Emefiele, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), brought the proposal to him.
But while speaking yesterday, Mr Tinubu said, “We will use our PVCs to take over government from them. If they like, let them create a fuel crisis; even if they say there is no fuel, we will trek to vote.
“They are full of mischief, they could say there is no fuel. They have been scheming to create a fuel crisis but forget about it. Relax, I, Asiwaju, have told you that the issue of fuel supply will be permanently addressed,” he said at the campaign rally.
“Whoever wants to eat the honey embedded in a mountain won’t worry about the axe. Is that not so? And if you want to eat palm kernel, you would bring a stone and use it to break it; then the kernel will come out. It’s not easy to…
“Let them increase the price of fuel, let them continue to hoard fuel, only them know where they have hoarded fuel, they hoarded money, they hoarded naira; we will go and vote, and we will win even if they changed the ink on Naira notes. Whatever their plans, it will come to nought,” he added.
His comments generated mixed reactions, with some commentators saying he was indirectly indicting Mr Buhari for the crisis facing the country.
But Mr Onanuga rebuffed this, saying the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was plotting to “create a wedge between our presidential candidate and President Muhammadu Buhari.”
According to him, the former Governor of Lagos State was only empathising “with the Nigerian people facing the dual crises of fuel and new Naira notes scarcity.”
“For the records, Asiwaju Tinubu, during the APC campaign rally at Abeokuta on Wednesday, in his statement, did not mention, blame or accuse President Muhammadu Buhari for the current challenges in the country.
“Asiwaju Tinubu was only adverting the government’s attention to the sabotage being carried out by some Fifth Columnists in the system, possibly working in cahoots with the PDP.
“The CBN officials, including Governor Godwin Emefiele, have said many times that enough new Naira notes have been supplied to the banks, yet our people complain that they have not been able to get the new notes.
“In recent days, many ATMs are either not working, or when working, they are dispensing the old notes, just a few days to the January 31 deadline.
“Similarly, Asiwaju Tinubu is aware of the salutary efforts by President Buhari to end the fuel queues by chairing a 14-man panel. Yet the queues and agony continue.
“For a presidential candidate, who cares about the suffering of our people, he has a duty to warn the government that its efforts to make life better for Nigerians are being sabotaged on several fronts.
“Our presidential candidate only re-echoed what is well known and acknowledged, even by President Buhari himself, at different fora: That there are Fifth Columnists in and outside of government who often throw spanners in the works against good intentions and programmes of the government.
“How does an advisory genuinely made by Asiwaju Tinubu to protect and create goodwill for the government of his party become an attack? It can only be so in the jaundiced view of the PDP,” a part of the statement issued on Thursday said.
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