These are the stories that drove conversation this week:
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, condemned the implementation of the tradermoni scheme by the Federal Government, explaining that distribution of cash to the public very close to general elections by public officials, no matter how noble the intent may be, amount to vote buying and inducement, which he described one of the highest forms of corruption
According to Dogara who made the remarks at a public hearing organised by the National Assembly Joint Committee on INEC and Political Parties Matters on Vote-buying and Improving the Electoral Processes in Nigeria, the act of inducing the public with cash in exchange for their votes is a fraud that is covered within section 124 (1)(a);(b);(c); Section(124)(2)(4)(5) and Section 130 of the Electoral Act.
The fourth meeting between the federal government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) ended on Monday night without an immediate resolution of the dispute and the meeting adjourned to December 17.
Similarly, the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) on Wednesday embarked on an indefinite nationwide strike, citing non-implementation of an agreement it signed with the government in 2009 and a memorandum of action in 2017.
Similarly, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) on Sunday withdrew its services to Osubi Airport, Warri, Gombe Airport and Murtala Muhammed Airport 2 (MMA2) over alleged indebtedness.
FAAN’s general manager for corporate communications, Henrietta Yakubu said the agency had given notices to the operators of the airports and affected state governments before the decision was reached.
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) through its President, Rev. Samson Ayokunle Monday advised Nigerians not to vote for any desperate presidential candidate in 2019.
Ayokunle gave the counsel while briefing reporters after meeting with presidential candidates of 14 political parties in Abuja on their plans for Nigerians and the church.
Presidential candidates from the various political parties gathered on Tuesday in Abuja, to pledge their commitment to a peaceful election in 2019 by signing a Peace Pact – an initiative of the Abdulsalami Abubakar National Peace Committee.
The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar and that of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Obiageli Ezekwesili however signed theirs in separate visits on Wednesday at the office of the National Peace Committee (NPC) in Abuja, after an earlier boycott of the ceremony which held on Tuesday.
Former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, in a statement on Sunday, through his media aide, Kehinde Akinyemi denied reports that he has decided not to support any candidate for the 2019 presidential elections, stressing that, “only a fool will sit on the fence or be neutral when his or her country is being destroyed with incompetence, corruption, lack of focus, insecurity, nepotism, brazen impunity and denial of the obvious.”
The Presidency however dismissed the statement credited to the former president, stating that whoever Obasanjo chooses to support at the 2019 elections is irrelevant, as the former president had publicly changed his mind on the matter so many times over the past few months alone, hence the Presidency has learnt not to take his utterances seriously anymore.
The Nigerian Police, Lagos Command described as misplaced, a tweet credited to the head of the Police Complaint Rapid Response Unit, Abayomi Sogunle, that having sex in a car is not a criminal offence.
In a rebuttal by its spokesperson, Chike Oti, the command noted it was an indecent act to have sex in a car in a public place not only in Lagos but in the entire country, adding that lovers who engaged in sexual activities in vehicles parked in public places, under Lagos laws, were liable to between two and three years’ imprisonment upon conviction.
The Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN) on Monday suspended its plans to commence shutdown of depots across the country from loading petroleum products, following the “the intervention of well-meaning Nigerians.”
According to a statement by the Executive Secretary of the association, Olufemi Adewole, who issued the suspension directive, “the association has acted in good faith to avoid unnecessary hardship which could befall Nigerians during the yuletide season and we hope that government would make good its promise to see that those issues are resolved by Friday, December 14, 2018, as promised.”
The Social Democratic Party (SDP) on Wednesday pulled out of the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) which recently endorsed the Presidential Candidate of People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar as its consensus candidate for February 16 election.
In a statement issued in Abuja by its National Publicity Secretary, Mohammed Alfa, the party noting that the decision was taken at the National Working Committee meeting of the party on Monday in Abuja, said the PDP “runs it as if others must shape in or ship out.”
The Presidential Candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), Omoyele Sowore, on Thursday protested against his non-inclusion in the forthcoming Presidential Debate organised by the Nigeria Elections Debate Group (NEDG) in collaboration with the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON), describing it as unfair.
The first leg of the debate – for the Vice Presidential candidates however went as scheduled on Friday without the inclusion of the AAC or its candidates despite the calls by Nigerians on social media and Presidential candidates of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN) and Young Progressive Party (YPP) for the inclusion of the party as well an explanation on why the AAC was not invited.
Read » Dogara says Tradermoni scheme is one of the highest forms of corruption; SDP abandons Atiku ahead of 2019, pulls out of CUPP I Other top stories this week on YNaija