The main headlines from mainstream Nigerian newspapers today, Friday, February 16, are focused on the declaration by the secretary to the government of the federation that President Buhari will continue in office in 2019; the explanation given by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo as to why the Buhari government has not yet delivered on its promises; the killings in Zamfara and the admission by the federal government that fraudulent activities took place in its social investments programme.
The Nation is focused on the statement made by the secretary to the government of the federation, Boss Mustapha, that President Muhammadu Buhari would continue as the nations' leader in 2019.
According to the publication, Mustapha stated that at the moment, there is no better alternative to the president.
The SGF made his comments via Gideon Sammani, senior special assistant to the president on political matters; at a rally organised by the Democratic Youth Congress (DYC) to drum support for a second term for the president.
In his words: “We don’t have an alternative to President Buhari for now. He will continue. The politics of this nation is no more the politics of money or do-or-die.
“Anybody who wants to lead this nation must make sacrifices. Buhari has already transformed and changed the image of leadership and that of our leaders in this country both locally and internationally."
Vanguard reports that VP Yemi Osinbajo stated that an absence of the rule of law and lack of state capacity to maintain law and order was the reason why the Buhari-led federal government had not yet delivered on its promises.
He made his comments as the bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Fr Mathew Hassan Kukah, said the problems plaguing the nation’s democracy will not disappear with the removal of President Buhari from office.
Osinbajo lamented over the fact that due to the manipulative tendencies of the elite class, the anti-graft agencies have been unable to secure convictions for the many suspects brought before the courts for corruption.
The VP noted that despite convictions being secured against individuals accused of corrupt activities, people expected those charged with governance to deliver on their promises.
The Guardian is reporting that the federal government has admitted that there had been fraud in its Social Investments Programme (SIP), and that the development prompted an investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The disclosure was made by Maryam Uwais, the special adviser on SIP, as she briefed newsmen on the implementation of the scheme on Thursday, February 15.
According to Uwais, in various states, the SIP had been plagued by fraudulent practices like short-changing, racketeering, harassment of beneficiaries and exploitation of the vulnerable.
This Day is however focused on the killing of 41 individuals by bandits in Birane village, Zurmi LGA, Zamfara state.
The unfortunate incident was confirmed by the spokesman for the state’s police command, DSP Muhammad Shehu, who described it as a conflict between hunters, local vigilantes and the bandits.
The publication notes that the incident coincided with the federal government’s decision to deploy troops in states troubled by armed herdsmen and other bandits.
On the other hand, Punch is reporting that statistics obtained from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) showed that the northwest geopolitical zone has the highest number of registered voters in the country with a total of 18,505,984 voters.
According to the statistics, in second position is the southwest zone, with 14,626,800 registered voters. The southeast zone comes in at the bottom of the list, with 8,293,093 registered voters.
The publication further reported that on a state-by-state basis, Lagos leads the pack, with 6,048,156 registered voters, with Kano taking second place with 5,149,070 voters.
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