Today's Headlines: Fresh Crisis Looms as APC Fills Vacant NWC, Zonal Leader Positions; Niger Plane Crash: Pilot Buried In Zaria

Fresh Crisis Looms as APC Fills Vacant NWC, Zonal Leader Positions

An atmosphere of apprehension enveloped the All Progressives Congress (APC) headquarters as the announcement of candidates to fill vacant positions in the National Working Committee (NWC) and zonal leadership positions of the party took place yesterday.

During a media briefing following the NWC meeting, the party’s National Secretary, Ajibola Basiru, unveiled the list of candidates. Ali Bukar Dalori (Borno State) was revealed as the deputy national chairman, North (North East Zone), to succeed the outgoing Minister of Agriculture, Abubakar Kyari. Meanwhile, Garba Datti Muhammad (Kaduna State) was announced to replace Salihu Moh Lukman as national vice chairman, North West (North West).

Basiru further revealed that Abdul Karim Abubakar Kana (Nasarawa State) had been selected by the NWC for the position of national legal adviser (North Central Zone), succeeding the previous incumbent who resigned. Donatus Nwankpa (Abia State) was introduced as the new national welfare secretary (South East Zone), succeeding the late Friday Nwosu, while Mary Alile Idele from Edo State was unveiled as the national women leader (South South).

Duro Meseko (Kogi State) was chosen as the new deputy national publicity secretary (North Central Zone), replacing Yakubu Ajaka. Additionally, Ikani Shuaibu Okolo (Kogi State) was named as the zonal organizing secretary (North Central).

However, the announcements for Abia, Kogi, and Cross River led to controversy, with allegations of party leaders and chieftains losing out to other candidates. In Abia State, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Benjamin Kalu, and State Chairman, Ikechi Emenike, reportedly saw their recommended candidates defeated by the candidate supported by Governor Hope Uzodimma.

The former woman leader, Beta Edu, arrived at the national secretariat shortly after the announcement to protest the removal of her candidate, who had already begun working. She departed about 45 minutes later after voicing her concerns.

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Niger Plane Crash: Pilot Buried in Zaria

The burial of Flight Lieutenant Ibrahim Adamu Abubakar, the pilot of the Nigerian Air Force MI-171 Jet that crashed in Niger State, took place on Tuesday. His final resting place was in Zaria, Kaduna State, following a prayer conducted at Haruna Danja Jumma’at Mosque in Tudun Wada, Zaria.

The prayer service was led by Sheikh Muhammad Sani Gumi, the Chief Imam of the mosque, and was attended by family members and a large number of mourners. Prior to this, the family of the late pilot had performed a proxy funeral prayer (Salatul Gha’ib) for him at Tudun Jukun, Zaria, as they had been unable to receive the corpse earlier.

Abubakar Adamu, the elder brother of the deceased, explained that since the remains had now been found, it was necessary to perform another funeral prayer for him. Despite the profound shock and grief experienced by the family, they found solace in the belief that the late pilot had attained Shahada, which could lead him to Aljanna (heaven) in the afterlife, as he had sacrificed his life for the liberation of his people and the nation.

Hajiya A’ishatu Adams, the mother of the deceased, described her son as a “Hafiz” (one who memorized the Holy Qur’an) who possessed a calm and quiet demeanor. She expressed her prayer for Allah’s mercy upon him and for his soul to find repose in Jannatul Firdausi.

Senator Adopts Children of Aide Allegedly Killed by Rogue Soldiers in Lagos, Associates Raise N55m

Family members, friends, and colleagues gathered on Wednesday to lay to rest Adeniyi Sanni, an aide to Senator Solomon Adeola. The funeral service took place at the Redeemed Camp vault in Mowe, along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, where Sanni’s widow, children, relatives, and sympathizers paid their respects and shed tears as his remains were interred.

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Adeniyi Sanni was tragically murdered on August 5, 2023, in Lagos. According to Kayode Odunaro, the senator’s Media Adviser, Sanni was stopped by security agents at a checkpoint in Ojodu while on his way home to Isheri, Lagos. He provided the required car documents through his wife, who sent them to his phone WhatsApp. Shortly after, his wife could not reach him on the phone, prompting a search party to be mobilized.

Passersby later contacted Sanni’s wife through the phone number on his driver’s license, informing her that his body had been found near Toyota Bus Stop in Oshodi, Lagos, with gunshot wounds. Senator Adeola alleged that his aide was killed by a syndicate of soldiers operating under the newly-deployed Commander of 9 Brigade, Ikeja Cantonment of the Nigeria Army, Brigadier General Nsikan Edet, through checkpoint robberies.

After the funeral service, Babatunde Raji-Label, Director General of Senator Adeola’s Campaign Organisation, revealed that the senator had adopted the deceased’s children and raised over N55 million to support his family. Adeola also decided to provide a monthly salary for life to the deceased’s mother. Raji-Label expressed hope that Sanni’s killers would be apprehended and justice served.

In another statement issued on Wednesday, Senator Adeola described his slain aide as irreplaceable. During the funeral service, Gbenga Odunowo, Pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Rhema Chapel (Young Adult and Youth Church), highlighted the positive impacts that Sanni made while he was alive.

Naira Tumbles to 900/$, CBN Vows BDC tors Clampdown

The naira experienced a decline against the United States dollar at the parallel market on Wednesday, closing at 900/dollar. This drop occurred just two weeks after the local currency was traded at 960/dollar in the black market. Despite recent gains, the naira’s value resumed a downward trajectory due to a renewed scarcity of the greenback in the black market.

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Earlier this week, the local currency had been trading between 850/dollar and 880/dollar. However, on Wednesday, the naira faced further depreciation at the parallel market. It also weakened on the Investor & Exporter window, closing at 773.42/$. The naira had previously closed at 757.10/$ at the I&E Window on Tuesday.

Bureau De Change operators in Lagos, Kano, Abuja, and at airports reported the dollar’s exchange rate ranging between 895/dollar and 905/dollar on Wednesday. Sanusi Ibrahim, a BDC operator at Lagos airport, shared, “We bought and sold the naira today at 890/$ and N900/$.”

In the Central Business District of Abuja, Yusuf Kareem, another BDC operator, stated, “The dollar is still scarce. We sold it for N900 today.” Similarly, Alhaji Gambo Aliu, a currency dealer at Allen Avenue Ikeja, Lagos, mentioned he sold the greenback at 905/dollar.

As the naira continues to resist efforts to stabilize its value, the Central Bank of Nigeria has issued a warning of revoking operating licenses for BDCs that breach its regulations. Aminu Gwadabe, the President of the Association of Bureau De Change tors of Nigeria, confirmed this stance following a sensitization session with BDC operators.

On August 17, 2023, the apex bank outlined the operational mechanism for BDCs to trade foreign currencies at rates similar to those observed on the Investor & Exporter forex window. This directive was communicated in a circular titled ‘tional Mechanism for Bureau de Change tions in Nigeria.’

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