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No first lady captures Nigerians’ imagination like Aisha – Osinbajo

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Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo says Aisha, wife of President Muhammadu Buhari, has unwavering commitment towards uplifting the standard of the downtrodden.

He described her as an unusual person who had redefined the role of First Lady with the profound way she captured the imagination of Nigerians.

The Vice President spoke on Thursday in Abuja during the presentation of the book titled “Aisha Buhari: Being different” authored by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Administration and Women Affairs, Office of the First Lady, Dr Hajo Sani.

The event was chaired by the National leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu while billionaire entrepreneur, Mrs Folorunso Alakija, was the Special Guest of Honour.

Osinbajo noted that Aisha’s unusual approaches had endeared her to the public.

According to him, Mrs Buhari has regaled the Nigerian public with many firsts, including opening up her office through social media outlets and connecting with the public in real-time.

He said, “It’s unlikely that any First Lady in Nigeria’s history has, in such a few short years, captured the imagination of Nigerians as profoundly as Aisha Buhari.

“She’s, of course, the first First Lady to be on Twitter, on Instagram, and other social media platforms, getting her unfiltered views across to the Nigerian people and she’s probably the first to receive, in real time, the opinions of Nigerians on her views.

“With her views, forthright, crisp, truthful and once in a while controversial, she has established an ongoing conversation with the Nigerian people.

“The issues that concern them most, the issues that concern us the most; good governance, security, putting food on the table, the education of our children, prompt payment of pensions to army veterans, drug abuse, the violation and victimisation of women and every once in a while she airs her own personal struggles, her annoyance, in a manner, probably unprecedented in the role of the First Lady anywhere.

“There is no question that Aisha Buhari is different. Her difference has been empowering for the Nigerian people and there is never any question that her comments come from a good place, a place of genuine love and respect for the Nigerian people and our several concerns.

“But it’s unlikely that Aisha Buhari would ever be forgotten and even if there was a chance of this happening, this well written attempt to document her life and times and her contributions as First Lady to national life, through the causes that she has promoted, removes that possibility,” the Vice President said.

Reviewing the book, the VP said, Hajo Sanni’s book seeks to document the practical work she has done in the past five years, but it begins with a detailed and sensitive chronicle of childhood years and her growth as a woman, wife and mother.

“It also highlights her evolution from a silent supporter of her husband’s political adventures to an active mobilizer and campaigner that played a major role in selling him to the Nigerian electorate.

“Then we also read in the book, how as First Lady, she founded the ‘Future Assured’ initiative, promoting the welfare of women, youth and children and driven by the Aisha Buhari Foundation.”

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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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