Political Figures of the Week

Shefiu Muib
By Muib Shefiu 6 Min Read

This week, several Nigerian political figures have been at the forefront of significant actions and controversies.

From international agreements to educational scholarships, aviation advancements, accountability in government spending, and election candidacies, these leaders have captured public attention.

Here is a detailed look at their activities and the public reactions they have elicited.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the Samoa Agreement Controversy

Image source: Wikipedia 

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has found himself at the center of media criticism following the signing of the Samoa Agreement by the Federal Government. The controversy stems from allegations that the agreement includes terms related to LGBT rights, which many claim Nigeria has implicitly accepted to secure a loan. These claims have sparked a heated debate, with numerous media outlets and citizens raising moral concerns.

In response, the Federal Government has firmly denied these allegations, clarifying that the agreement contains no clauses pertaining to LGBT rights.

According to official statements, there is no mention of LGBT issues in the agreement, and the government remains committed to its current stance on these matters. This clarification aims to dispel the misconceptions and ease the tensions surrounding the agreement.

Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri

Image source: Wikipedia 

In a commendable move for gender equality and education, Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri of Adamawa State directed the State’s Scholarship Board to select female students who have qualified for this year’s scholarship.

Governor Fintiri emphasized his administration’s dedication to the education of female students, announcing that any female student in the state with nine credits or above would receive a scholarship to further their studies.

The governor assured that the scholarship program would be continuous, providing equal opportunities for all deserving individuals regardless of their background.

Parents of the beneficiaries expressed their gratitude and praised Governor Fintiri for his efforts in advancing the state’s educational development.

This initiative highlights the importance of educating the girl child and ensuring equal opportunities for all.

 Mrs. Ngozi Obichukwu

Image source: Daily Post

Mrs. Ngozi Obichukwu, the Ebonyi State Commissioner for Aviation and Transport Technology, has announced significant developments in the state’s aviation sector.

The state government has concluded plans to purchase four aircraft to facilitate the take-off of the Chuba Okadigbo International Airport in Onueke, Ezza South Local Government Area.

This move is part of a broader strategy to float a state-owned airline and boost the economic base of Ebonyi State.

 Sadiya Umar Farouq

Former Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Sadiya Umar Farouq, is under scrutiny following a federal high court ruling in Lagos. The court has ordered Farouq to account for the payments of N729 billion to 24.3 million vulnerable Nigerians.

The ruling, delivered by Justice Deinde Dipeolu, mandates Farouq to provide detailed information on the beneficiaries, the logistics of the payments, and the mechanisms used.

This court order follows a Freedom of Information request by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP). The ruling requires Farouq to clarify how the beneficiaries were selected, the number of states covered, and the payment methods.

This move towards transparency is crucial in ensuring that public funds are appropriately utilized and that the intended recipients receive the support.

In December, Farouq was also invited by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) regarding alleged laundering of N37 billion by a contractor associated with her ministry. This ongoing investigation further underscores the need for accountability in government operations.

Dr. Asue Ighodalo

Image source: Wikipedia

Dr. Asue Ighodalo, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for the September 21, 2024, Edo State governorship election, remains validly in the race despite interpretative media reports suggesting otherwise.

The PDP has clarified that the Federal High Court in Abuja did not nullify the primary election that selected Ighodalo as the party’s candidate.

A statement from the PDP’s National Publicity Secretary affirmed that the congresses and the governorship primary were conducted in strict compliance with the party’s Constitution, Electoral Guidelines, and the Electoral Act, 2022.

The process was transparent, with all eligible delegates participating, and was monitored by officials from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and relevant security agencies. The event was also broadcasted live on national TV and social media platforms.

The PDP also emphasized that under Section 84 (14) of the Electoral Act, 2022, the plaintiffs have no legal standing to challenge the primary election’s outcome as they were not aspirants in the exercise. This statement aims to reassure party members and supporters of the legitimacy of Ighodalo’s candidacy.

Conclusion

This week has highlighted the diverse roles and responsibilities of Nigerian political figures, from navigating international agreements to promoting education, advancing aviation development, ensuring transparency in spending, and maintaining electoral integrity.

While President Tinubu addresses international criticisms, Governor Fintiri advances female education, Mrs. Obichukwu drives aviation development, former Minister Farouq faces calls for accountability, and Dr. Ighodalo continues his gubernatorial campaign amidst legal challenges. These developments reflect the dynamic and multifaceted nature of governance in Nigeria.

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