Newspaper Review: Why President Buhari, Jonathan Held Closed-door Meeting


The major issues of focus today Tuesday, November 3, in the Nigerian daily newspapers are on the immediate past President Goodluck Jonathan’s visit to President Muhammadu Buhari, the naming of committee heads in the Senate, imminent fuel scarcity and the blockade of bank accounts over the non-registration of Bank Verification Number (BVN).

Although the major headline on the front page of Vanguard newspaper is on the tension in the Senate as president of the hallowed chambers, Bukola Saraki, is set to name the heads of the various committees, but the bigger picture is the visit Goodluck Jonathan made to President Buhari.

Many are asking questions to know why the erstwhile president had visit the president and held a less than 10 minutes closed-door meeting.

It was the second time Jonathan visited the presidential villa since he left office in May.

President Buhari and Jonathan

Vanguard front page, Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Vanguard reports that although the reason for Jonathan’s visit was not disclosed but many believe that he visited to brief the president on the outcome of the Tanzania election in which he played a role as the leader of Commonwealth Election Observer Group to observe the conduct of the election.

But contrary to that backdrop, there are, however, feelers that the former president went to seek an understanding with the present government to halt the criticism against his government.

Another major issue on the national dailies today is the blockade on bank accounts over the default on the part of account owners in registering for their Bank Verification Number (BVN).

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The Guardian reports with its headline: Politicians, Others Evade BVN, that for fear of being identified as owners of huge deposits in banks, amid acclaimed success in the BVN, some politically exposed persons and top officers in the public service seem to have evaded the scheme.

The reports says that a competent source in the banking sector disclosed that the deposits belonging to such groups, which are still in the system, are so enormous that none of the banks associated with the lodgements would want to miss them.

The source added that the proceeds were earlier trapped in the banking sector with the sudden policy to refuse dollar deposits and non-transfer outside the country without verifiable details of the transactions.

President Buhari

The Guardian front page, Tuesday, November 3, 2015

However, in line with the extension of the timeline to January 31, 2016, by the Central Bank of Nigeria for banks’ customers in the diaspora to enrol for their BVN,The Punch reports (as it carried the BVN issue as its major headline) that at least five million bank accounts were deactivated by Deposit Money Banks operating in the country on Saturday night following the October 31, 2015 deadline set by the CBN for bank customers to register and obtain their BVN.

The affected customers were, among other things, barred from withdrawing cash and transferring funds through Automated Teller Machines, Internet banking platforms and over-the-counter in the banking halls.

The Daily Sun has its major headline on the panic over fuel scarcity. It reports that fuel queues reappeared in major parts of Lagos yesterday, November 2.

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This is an indication that the debts owed fuel marketers were already taking a toll on the petroleum supply chain even as the Department of Petroleum Resouces gave stern warning to Akwa Ibom petrol marketers to revert back to N87 fuel pump price or risk being sanctioned.

The report says that from Egbeda to Lagos- Abeokuta Expressway, fuel stations refused to dispense fuel even as motorists queued in anticipation that they would resume sales.

The situation was chaotic at the Conoil station at National Bus Stop, close to the local airport, while long queue of cars compounded the traffic situation, extending to Ikeja under the bridge.

front page, Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Daily Sun front page, Tuesday, November 3, 2015

For The Nation, the major headline is the Disquiet in Afenifere over the exit of its leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti.

The leasder of the pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group was said to have resigned on Sunday, November 1.

Its shocked leaders were weighing the options on the way forward for the group, which polarisation a few years ago led to the formation of Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG).

front page, Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Nation front page, Tuesday, November 3, 2015

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