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Bad ‘belle’ stopped Abiola from becoming Nigeria’s president – Obasanjo

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Sunday said ‘bad belle’ (hatred) led to the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election and denied the presumed winner, the late business mogul, Moshood Kashimawo Abiola, from becoming Nigeria’s president.

Obasanjo, who spoke at the 46th President Party of Abeokuta Club, held in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, during his investiture as a trustee of the Abeokuta Club, said the annulment robbed Egbaland and Ogun State the rare privilege of having three of its prominent sons occupying the number one leadership position in the country since  Independence.

Apart from him, the Head of Interim National Government, Ernest Shonekan, is also from the state.

He said Abiola would have become the third, if 1993 poll was not annulled.

Obasanjo described Abiola, who was also awarded a posthumous award as vice patron of the club, as his school mate at the Baptist Boys High School, Abeokuta.

According him, Abiola richly deserved the award bestowed on him by the club.

Obasanjo said “I want to thank the (Abeokuta) club for this honour being bestowed on me and the honour being bestowed on my school mate MKO Abiola which he richly deserved.

“Kabiyesi, the Alake (of Egbaland) alluded to it. Normally when you win a cup three times, you keep that cup. Isn’t it? If not for bad belle, Abeokuta would have produced President of Nigeria three times, in which case we should have kept it permanently.

“But be that as it may, we have a great heritage and we should be proud of our heritage.”

Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo,  while presenting the plague to Obasanjo, described Obasanjo and MKO Abiola as proud sons of Abeokuta.

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JUST IN: Old naira: IMF asks FG, CBN to extend February 10 deadline

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has called for the extension of the February 10 deadline to phase out the old naira notes.

The International monetary body made the call just after the Supreme Court had restrained the Federal Government and Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) from enforcing the deadline.

The IMF, in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday by Laraba Bonet, said the plea was on the hardship Nigerians were exposed to over the issue.

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It said: “in light of hardships caused by disruptions to trade and payments due to the shortage of new bank notes available to the public, in spite of measures introduced by the CBN to mitigate the challenges in the banknote swap process, the IMF encourages the CBN to consider extending the deadline should problems persist  in the next few days leading up to the February 10, 2023 deadline”.

The IMF is the first international financial organisation to openly call for extension of the deadline for the deposit of old Naira notes.

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Cash crunch: Protesters defy police in Abeokuta, make bonfires on major roads

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Residents of Abeokuta, Ogun State, took to the streets on Tuesday protesting the scarcity of cash and the attendant pains.

Major streets affected by the protests are Aladesanmi, Fajol and Somorin in Obantoko area of Abeokuta as the protesters made bonfires and chanted anti-CBN songs
The Sapon branch of First Bank was also vandalised and the protesters tried to set it ablaze.
Ogun Police spokesman, Abimbola Oyeyemi, confirmed the protest, saying police officers were on the ground to monitor the situation and prevent the destruction of property and loss of lives.
He said some group of boys were involved in the crisis.
The police later came to disperse the protesters but they regrouped as soon as the operatives withdrew from the scene.
The situation affected vehicular movement as motorists and pedestrians ran in different directions to avert being caught up in the chaotic situation.

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Court frees Diezani associate Omokore of $1.6bn fraud

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An Abuja federal high court on Tuesday discharged and acquitted Jide Omokore, chairman of Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Nigeria Limited, of $1.6bn fraud allegations.

Omokore, an associate of former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) with Victor Briggs, Abiye Membere, and David Mbanefo on a 15-count charge on July 4, 2016.

They were accused of fraudulently diverting the $1.6bn said to be part of proceeds of sales of petroleum products belonging to the Federal Government.

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