Press spotlights dismissal of alleged coup plot by Nigerian military, others

The dismissal of alleged coup plot by the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) as malicious propaganda by some “unscrupulous elements” that some…

The dismissal of alleged coup plot by the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) as malicious propaganda by some “unscrupulous elements” that some military officers plan to disrupt the forthcoming general elections is one of the trending stories in Nigerian newspapers on Monday.The Guardian reports that the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has dismissed as malicious propaganda, a report by some “unscrupulous elements” of plot by some military officers to disrupt the forthcoming general elections.

The Acting Director of Defence Information, Brig.-Gen. Tukur Gusau, who stated  this in a statement, on Saturday, in Abuja, said the Armed Forces of Nigeria was dismayed that even politically exposed persons had denigrated themselves by joining agents of destabilisation.

According to him, the elements claimed some military officers met with a presidential candidate with the aim of disrupting the elections and setting the country on fire.

He said: “It needs to be stated that the Armed Forces of Nigeria is a professional military that is loyal to the Constitution of the Federal Republic and will never be part of any evil plot against our democracy. Besides, the military remains apolitical and neutral in the current political process and will not engage in the alleged shenanigans.

“The Armed Forces of Nigeria will never be part of any ignoble plot to truncate our hard-earned democracy.”

Gusau said the military high command would ensure those who fabricated and spread the unfounded report are invited by appropriate law enforcement agencies to substantiate their claims.

“The general public is advised to disregard such information and go about their normal activities,” he added.

The newspaper says that the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) and a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Aliyu Waziri, have dismissed pre-election opinion polls giving the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi, the lead in the February 25, presidential election.

While faulting the polls, the chieftain described the former Anambra State governor as a ‘learner’ without the required structure to emerge victorious.

He stated this at a briefing on the public presentation and launching of a book on the leadership style of the APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, titled “Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu: Builder of Leaders” authored by an APC chieftain and political commentator, Aliyu Butu.

Recall that series of polls conducted by both local and international organisations put Obi ahead of Tinubu, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP).

Reacting, Waziri, the co-chairman of the organising committee for the event, said though Obi is a good team player, he cannot win the presidential race based on realities on the ground.

He stated: “Projections are just projections. Obi is a good team player but he is learning. We are working day and night to ensure Tinubu emerge victorious. We are having about 21 governors on our side and almost 99 per cent of the grassroots support. The pedigree of our candidate is what matter. Just Look at what he has done in Lagos. He made Lagos the largest economy in West Africa and I am sure he will replicate that all over the country when elected as president”.

 “I want to show the whole world who Asiwaju is and how he has helped to build leaders in Nigeria from different religions and ethnic backgrounds. From the Vice president, speaker of the House of Representatives, governors, and lawmakers, indeed, Asiwaju has built a lot of people.

“When Buhari was being frustrated by military elites and political capitalists, it was Tinubu who assisted him through a hard time and ensure that he emerged president. I believe Asiwaju has the capacity to turn things around and we will continue to support him”.

Spokesperson of the NNPP, Agbor Major, on his part said most of the polls were giving misleading results designed to promote certain candidates as leading contenders.

He said: “More worrisome is that most media houses have fallen for this joke that has many far-reaching implications to the credibility of the elections and the security of the country. One cannot blame the Media for reporting these fake opinion polls, however, the fourth realm of the estate needs to be wary to celebrate these falsehoods in their reportage.

The so-called groups conducting these fake polls may be doing so in order to: “Connive with some candidates to deceive the public and confer undue advantage on some preferred candidates.

“Deceive the undecided voters to move their attention to a dubiously acclaimed winning candidate. Discourage supporters of other candidates so as to sway their support to the fraudulently acclaimed leading candidate.

“Set up a booby trap for potential crisis if the criminally promoted candidate does not win by crying rigging.”

The Punch reports that the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria has said that the Central Bank of Nigeria’s processes of allocating foreign exchange have its members in a dire situation.

The association said that the manufacturing business was becoming an endangered sector due to challenges ranging from forex storage to many other issues.

The Director-General of the association, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, stated this during an interactive session with journalists in Lagos.

According to him, the government must deliberately address the issue of prioritising the allocation of scarce forex.

Ajayi-Kadir, who emphasised the importance of forex, said misplaced priority on the part of the government had caused the manufacturing sector to suffer the most with regard to the allocation of foreign exchange.

He said, “When we do exports and repatriate our profits, it goes through the CBN. So, they know every kobo that is coming into your account. When they get it, you can only get your money back at the official rate.

“The painful thing is that once you are subjected through all these processes and have gotten your money at the official rate including the little encouragement they give if you bring it through the I and E window, when you now want to import raw materials or spare parts or machines to produce again.

“You go to the money deposit banks, the ones that they are able to give you, if you are lucky, are about five per cent of what you want. You would now have to go to Bureau De Change, and we know their rates. So, we are shortchanged and this is why the sector’s performance is decreasing.”

The newspaper says that Nigerian Export Promotion Council has expressed its commitment to ensure that in 2023, Nigeria makes more than $4.82bn it generated from non-oil export business in 2022.

Ekiti State Coordinator, NEPC, Mrs Iyabode Abe, said that the Council under the leadership of the Chief Executive Officer, Yakussak Ezra, “Will continue to promote the development of non-oil export in other to safeguard the nation’s economy.”

Abe spoke in Ado Ekiti at a-one day technical and training session on product packaging for exporters and Small and Medium Enterprises in Ekiti State.

“Over $4.82bn was generated from the non-oil export business in the year 2022 as a result of the Council’s effort in promoting non-oil export which jacked up the Gross Domestic Product economy of the country by 15 per cent,” she said

The event was organised by NEPC where the Council donated two packaging machines to be domiciled at the Technical Incubation Centre in the capital city for use by SMEs in the state to package their products.

She said that the Council was committed to stepping up efforts to promote non-export through training programmes, “That will expose SMEs to some technicalities of export business for them to have clear competitive edge in the global market.”

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