There were numerous news items which attracted huge public reactions last week. Sexual assault allegation against Nollywood actor Baba Ijesha, the call for the removal of President Muhammadu Buhari from office by Rev Ejike Mbaka as well as the rift between Festus Keyamo and Eedris Abdulkareem were among the prominent stories. The Politico therefore highlights some of the top stories from last week.
Coronavirus cases exceeded 152million globally last week as India witnessed escalated infection rate. India recorded more than 400,000 new COVID-19 cases in a day for the first time last week as fatalities hit 211,853. The Asian country is currently witnessing a devastating second wave of the pandemic. Globally, death toll rose to 3,207,013 while recoveries increased to 130,122,721.
Workers Celebrated May Day
Workers across the world marked Workers’ Day, which is celebrated annually on May 1. The day is often used to celebrate the workers and draw the attention of employees to their welfare. The day was also marked in Nigeria as workers converged across state capitals and the Federal Capital Territory to celebrate. The Federal Government also declared May 3 as a public holiday to commemorate the day.
Mbaka Made U-Turn, Called for Buhari’s Removal
Popular Catholic priest, Rev Fr Ejike Mbaka, called for the resignation or impeachment of President Muhammadu Buhari over the deteriorating security challenge in the country. Fr Mbaka who supported Buhari in 2015 and 2019 general elections in an apparent U-turn from his earlier position said God was angry with Buhari and asked him to withdraw his (Mbaka) support. He also blessed the leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, for speaking for the Igbo. However, the Presidency in a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said Mbaka was angry with the President because he was not given a contract he requested for.
Baba Ijesha Sexual Assault Saga
The controversy surrounding the alleged sexual assault of a 14-year old girl by Nollywood actor, Olarenwaju James better known as Baba Ijesha continued last week as comedienne, Princess, whose foster daughter was allegedly assaulted, released a video where the actor pleaded for forgiveness. The incident which happened a week earlier appeared to have divided the Yoruba wing of Nollywood as it led to a public spat between actress Iyabo Ojo and actor Yomi Fabiyi. Fabiyi had defended Baba Ijesha which earned him knocks from Ojo, Femi Branch among others. Attempt to release Baba Ijesha on bail by Lagos Police Command was rebuffed by Ojo, Princess and many others.
INEC Announced 2023 Election Date
The Independent National Electoral Commission announced Saturday 18th February 2023 as the day for the next general election. The commission’s chairman, Mahmood Yakubu announced this at a one-day public hearing on the National Electoral Offences Commission (Establishment) Bill 2021, organised by the Senate Committee on INEC. Yakubu said the commission will release the time-table and schedule for the elections after Anambra Governorship poll slated for November 6.
NBC Sanctioned Channels TV
The National Broadcasting Commission sanctioned Channels Television for interviewing IPOB’s spokesperson Emma Powerful. The regulatory body said the Lagos-based station breached its code by allowing Powerful make Seccessionist comments and false claims against the Nigerian Army without caution or reprimand. The commission conveyed this in a letter sent to the Managing Director of Channels Television and signed by the Acting Director General of the regulatory body, Prof. Armstrong Idachaba. NBC however faced criticisms from the Nigeria Guild of Editors and Nigeria Union of Journalists as well many Nigerians on social media.
NAF Aircraft Accidentally Killed Over 20 Soldiers
An aircraft of the Nigeria Air Force reportedly fired on some ground troops accidentally, killing over 20 soldiers. The soldiers who were reinforced from Ngandu village were said to be on their way to Mainok, headquarters of the Kaga Local Government Area of Borno state which was under attack by militants. The incident elicited outrage while NAF said it would conduct investigation into the incident.
Keyamo/Eedris Abdulkareem Public Spat
There was a public spat between Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo (SAN) and veteran rapper, Eedris Abdulkareem over the latter’s latest song, “Jagajaga Reloaded.” Keyamo in a thread on Twitter said Abdulkareem criticised him in the song because he (Keyamo) did not lend him money and allow him join Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign for a fee in 2018. Abdulkareem said he thought Keyamo was still “a brother” when he approached him for assistance.
CBN Removed First Bank Chairman, Directors
The Central Bank of Nigeria announced the removal of the Chairman of First Bank Plc Mrs. Ibukun Awosika and Chairman of FBN Holdings, Mr. Oba Otudeko. CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele said the action was taken because the removed directors had “effected sweeping changes in executive management without engagement and/or prior notice to the regulatory authorities.” The apex bank reinstated Mr. Sola Adeduntan as the managing director/chief executive offcer (MD/CEO) while new directors were appointed.
Smart Adeyemi’s Outburst
Senator representing Kogi West in the National Assembly Smart Adeyemi lamented the deteriorating security situation in the country. Adeyemi who spoke on the floor of the Senate called on President Muhammadu Buhari to seek foreign assistance in the fight against insecurity. However, Mrs Oluremi Tinubu who represents Lagos Central in the Senate faced heavy criticism from Nigerians for tackling Adeyemi while making his submission.