Wednesday Update: A Peace Tour, New EFCC Boss And Rising Inflation

Solomon Elusoji  
Updated February 17, 2021

Good morning.

We are covering a peace tour by Northern Governors, the appointment of a new EFCC boss, and the underlying factors driving inflation in Nigeria.

Four Northern Governors met with Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, on February 15, 2021.

Northern Governors Continue Southwest Tour

The four Northern Governors – Bello Matawalle (Zamfara), Abubakar Bagudu (Kebbi), Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), and Abubakar Bello (Niger) – who were in Oyo State on Monday attended a farmer-herders stakeholder meeting in Ogun State on Tuesday.

The Governors are seeking ways to douse tensions between the country’s South and North.

“We have to take some drastic measures,” Governor Ganduje said at the meeting, which was also attended by Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun. “Otherwise we are just scratching the problem on the back.”

Traditional and religious rulers from Ogun and Ondo States, representatives of farmers and herders, as well as heads of security operatives in Ogun State attended the meeting.

Context: Tensions have escalated between farmers and cattle herders in the South recently. Many Southerners believe herders, mostly from the North, have taken control of forests, farmlands and are involved in violent crimes such as kidnapping and rape. But the herders say they are also victims of an increasingly volatile security environment.

Simon Lalong: The Plateau State Governor and Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, after a security meeting in Kaduna, said the North is seeking “matured ways” to resolve the issue.

Femi Gbajabiamila: The House of Representatives Speaker has asked people with large followership to be more circumspect about the information they share and the language used in sharing it.

Related: The Senate is seeking to pass legislation that will impose stiffer punishments for the illegal possession of firearms in the country.

A file photo of the new EFCC boss, Abdulrasheed Bawa.

The EFCC Gets a New General

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday publicly nominated 40-Year-Old Abdulrasheed Bawa as the substantive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The nomination appeared to put a nail to the hopes of ex-EFCC boss Ibrahim Magu of being recalled. Mr. Magu was suspended in July 2020 over allegations of gross misconduct.

His lawyer, Tosin Ajaomo, told Channels Television that Mr. Bawa’s appointment came as a shock.

What Next: Mr. Bawa, who joined the EFCC in 2004, is expected to scale through a Senate confirmation, a feat Mr. Magu couldn’t achieve. Meanwhile, Mr. Magu’s fate remains uncertain.

Clarification: The EFCC, in a statement on Tuesday, said Mr. Bawa has no corruption record.

A file photo of a resident at a market in Akure, Ondo State. Photo: Sodiq Adelakun
A file photo of a resident at a market in Akure, Ondo State. Photo: Sodiq Adelakun

Inflation Goes Through The Roof

The National Bureau of Statistics said the Consumer Price Index, which measures inflation, stood at 16.47% in January, from 15.75% in December.

The January figure is the highest since April 2017.

But Bolanle Agbaje, a research analyst at Financial Derivatives Company is positive the figure could start to decline in the coming months.

“Month-on-month inflation has declined, which is good news in the sense that inflation is moving to a point where it would reach a particular peak and most likely start coming down,” she said.

Meanwhile, food inflation crossed the 20% mark and stood at 20.57% in January from 19.56% in December.

According to Ms. Agbaje, the farmer-herders conflict was a likely contributor to the rising prices of food.

Core Inflation stood at 11.85% in January, from 11.37% in December.

Bitcoin: The cryptocurrency hit new highs on Tuesday as institutional investors catch the FOMO fever.

What else is happening?

Foreign Affairs: President Muhammadu Buhari has inducted 94 new ambassadors and charged them to go out and serve Nigeria with utmost dedication and pride.

Zamfara Explosion: Seven teenagers were feared dead after they picked up an explosive device during their search for firewood in the bush, the State Government said on Tuesday.

PDP: Former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, said Goodluck Jonathan will not defect from the party. Saraki, along with other members of the PDP Reconciliation Committee, met with the former President at his Maitama residence in Abuja on Tuesday.

Lekki Toll Gate: Some rehabilitation work has begun at the site, days after a protest against its reopening was quashed by the Nigerian police.

IGP: A Federal High Court in Abuja has declined to grant an interim injunction that would restrain Mr. Mohammed Adamu from parading himself as the Inspector-General of Police.

The court said that such an injunction can only be considered after the suit challenging the elongation of the IGP’s tenure by President Muhammadu Buhari has been settled.

NIN: The Federal Government has already shifted the deadline for registration twice. But it might have to do so again as Nigerians continue to contend with the limitations of the exercise.

NCDC: Nigeria recorded 1,368 new cases of the coronavirus and 16 deaths on Tuesday, according to the disease control agency.

And that’s it for this briefing. Join me tomorrow.

P.S. Remember Obinwanne Okeke? He has been sentenced to 10 years in prison by a US court for wire fraud,