News recap: Buhari’s extended leave, Fayose’s ambition and the prices of food
First things first: let me remind you readers that President Buhari is yet to return to the country. But a coterie of people in power – read Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara – have told us that Baba is fine and dandy. Let’s not forget those pictures of him with two APC leaders released during the week.
That’s all the Presidency could offer for now beside the usual reminders that Baba is in no danger. But His spokesman told us at the beginning of this week that he did not know Baba’s exact state of health.
These stories and more make our news recap for this week.
If you are reading this for the first time, news recap is an amalgamation (that word hated by a lot of Nigerians) of our top stories of the week. Read on!
We waited for his plane to touch down at Abuja airport. We looked forward to hearing from him – maybe he could tell us what made him prefer to see Oyinbo doctors instead of the ones we have here. But at the last minutes, President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesman, Femi Adesina, said he would not be returning to the country. When would he return to the country? He didn’t know. We don’t know.
Another thing Femi Adesina did not know, at least during the week, was the exact state of Buhari's health. As bad as that sounded then (and still does), we can excuse him because of the confidentiality of doctor-patient interactions. But why the secrecy about the president's health? The government does not have an answer yet.
While it is not certain that Buhari will seek reelection in 2019, it is, however, possible that a certain Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State would throw his hat into the ring. According to him, “It is according to God’s will that I will one day become the president of Nigeria.”
2019 is still relatively far away. Over 700 days. So it is not something that occupies minds of Nigerians these days. But skyrocketing prices of food items do. And the federal government has blamed the army, customs and police for that. To me, that sounded like a mind-numbing self-indictment!
What is also mind-numbing is the discovery of $9.8 million dollars (note, not naira) and £74, 000 (again, not naira) in the home of a former group managing director of the NNPC, Andrew Yakubu. Yakubu has admitted to the ownership of the money but claimed it was a gift from unknown persons.
Away from politics to some sports.
Though he's retired from the game that brought him global acclaims and wealth, Austin JJ Okocha is still very much revered. In a recently released survey the celebrated football magazine, FourFourTwo, the former Nigerian midfielder was ranked 33rd on the list of top 100 best foreign players to feature in the English Premier League. And he played in the EPL for only four seasons. Wasn't he so good they named him twice?
To another list. Business, this time.
First Bank of Nigeria has been named as the most valuable banking brand in Nigeria in the Top 500 Banking Brands of The Banker magazine of the Financial Times and Brand Finance, London, United Kingdom for the sixth consecutive time. Cheerful news for the bank.
Another cheerful news, especially if you are pregnant and want to prevent miscarriage.
Scientists said in a new study that eating nuts, kale and avocado could help protect women from suffering a miscarriage. Being deficient in vitamin E starves an embryo of vital energy and nutrients it needs to grow, they said.
And finally...remember that huge haul of weapons seized by the Nigerian Customs Service recently? The 49 boxes containing 661 pump action rifles were allegedly imported from China. In his article published by The Guardian on Friday, Anthony Cardinal Okogie asked a very big question: "Who are those behind [the] unlawful importation of arms into Nigeria and what are their intentions?"
I hope that question would be answered by the Customs soon.
That's all I have for news recap this week. Adios!