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Top 10 stories of Monday, July 31, 2017

1. BOKO HARAM BATTLE IS NOT YET OVER – FAYOSE TELLS FG
Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has said that the battle with Boko Haram terrorists is not yet over, debunking claims by President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government that it has defeated the group. The governor in a press release issued on Sunday by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Idowu Adelusi, argued that Boko Haram had yet to be defeated and had not even been degraded.

He stated that the brutal killings by Boko Haram all over the place contradicted the lie by the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government that it had won the battle against insurgency.

“The battle is not over yet. In fact, it is raging fiercer than ever before. The gory killing of the oil workers confirms this.

“Like the ostrich, this government is trying hard to cover what cannot be covered. Boko Haram ambushes and kills soldiers at will.
2. FASHOLA SET TO BEGIN WORK ON 44 FEDERAL HIGHWAYS AND 63 ROADS
Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola has unveiled Federal Government’s plans to build road and bridge networks across the country as well as the order of priorities in which they would be built through a revolving plan in the next three years 2017- 2019.

Fashola reiterated that the intention was to connect states, drive economy, move fuel, food and import and export of goods.

The Minister said in addition to the plan for 44 Federal Highways’ construction contained in the 2017 Budget, government has also identified 63 roads in the First Quarter of the year that were identified and prepared for emergency intervention across the country ahead of the rainy season to give relief to Nigerians, subject to appropriation.

According to the Minister, the 63 roads were identified and prepared for intervention during the inspection tour of roads in 34 states of the Federation by the Ministry which he personally led.
3. OSINBAJO PANEL RECOMMENDS SACK OF BABACHIR LAWAL, OKE
The presidential panel that investigated the suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir David Lawal and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ayo Oke, has recommended that the duo be replaced.

The Acting President Yemi Osinbajo-led committee was said to have recommended that the suspended government official and the nation’s top spy master be disengaged and replaced.

Other members of the investigation panel are the National Security Adviser, General Babagana Monguno (rtd) and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.

A source, who pleaded anonymity, said Acting President cannot sack the duo; doing so would be repugnant to natural justice since he himself headed the probe panel.
4. EL-RUFAI CONDEMNS ATTACK ON SHEHU SANI, JOURNALISTS
Governor Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai has said that nobody will be allowed to stifle freedom of expression. In a message to the Kaduna State Council of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, the government condemned the mob action by hoodlums at the premises of the NUJ on Sunday, following the attack on senator representing Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani who was also attacked during a press conference.

Having been briefed on the situation, the governor expressed sympathy with The NUJ and the persons that were harassed by the hoodlums.

The Governor directed that the security agencies should investigate and take necessary action against the hoodlums. The Governor also directed security agencies to beef up security at the NUJ secretariat to protect journalists doing their duty.
5. SARAKI, DOGARA EAGER TO VISIT BUHARI IN LONDON
The President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, are ready to visit President Muhammadu Buhari, if invited by the presidency.

A source said that the two National Assembly leaders did not make any request before their previous visit to Buhari in London, United Kingdom.

“Only the Presidency can determine who sees the President. Saraki and Dogara can only be invited; they won’t lobby to see the President,” the source said.

It was gathered that some top leaders of the National Assembly had tried to visit the President, but it was unsuccessful.

Following the recent visits to the President in London, some of them have been hopeful that they might be invited to see Buhari.
6. PDP TO FG – STOP LYING ABOUT BOKO HARAM
The Peoples Democratic Party has warned the Federal Government to stop lying to Nigerians about Boko Haram.

Spokesperson for the National Caretaker Committee of the PDP, Mr. Dayo Adeyeye, said, “The celebration of the alleged defeat of Boko Haram was premature. There was no need for that celebration. It was based on false information and distortion of facts.

“Now, we have seen the result that Boko Haram was not defeated and that is why the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, ordered the Army chief to relocate to Maiduguri.

“This is a grand deception; you can see that. It has been a complete disaster. Of course, we can have challenges fighting Boko Haram, but they should not deceive Nigerians. That is very important.

“They (the government) went to start the oil exploration in order to deceive Nigerians and the international community that Boko Haram has been defeated. They will claim that after all, we are now there and exploring oil. It is all deceit.”
7. OSINBAJO REACTS TO FRESH ATTACKS ON BORNO
The Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on Sunday assured Nigerians of Federal Government’s efforts and capacity in stemming the tide of terrorism anywhere in the country.

This is as he condemned the ambush, attack and abduction of soldiers, and civilians who were carrying out legitimate duties in the Lake Chad Basin Frontier Exploration.

In a press statement released on Sunday, which was signed by Laolu Akande, the Senior Special Assistant to the Acting President on Media and Publicity, Osinbajo commiserated with the families, relatives, and associates of those who lost their lives in the attacks, and prayed for quick recovery of the injured.
8. 50 RENOUNCE MEMBERSHIP OF CULT GROUPS IN AKURE
No fewer than fifty cultists have renounced their membership of various cult groups at the palace of the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladelusi Ogunlade in Ondo state. The renunciation was coordinated by the coalition of Akure youth which declared cult clashes in the city as unacceptable.

The president, Akure youth, Oluwatuyi Adekanmbi, said those who renounced their membership have promised to cooperate with the coalition to identify and fish out any cultist. He added that the coalition is providing the opportunity for renunciation because those involved in the act are youths that can be useful to the society.
9. GOVERNOR ISHAKU RENAMES TARABA AIRPORT AFTER SUNTAI
Taraba state governor, Darius Ishaku has renamed the state airport after late Dambaba Suntai. This is as he also approved Saturday, August 19, 2017, as the burial date for the deceased late governor.

Ishaku described the late Suntai as a renowned leader that impacted positively on Taraba people, therefore deserving great honour. He said renaming the state airport after Suntai, was one of the steps to appreciate him.
10. INEC SHOULD BE CONDUCTING COUNCIL POLLS – PDP EX-SECRETARY
Former national secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Prof. Wale Oladipo says local government elections will only count if it’s conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission. Oladipo made this known in his hometown Ile Ife, Osun state after a thanksgiving service marking the end of his 4-year tenure as PDP national scribe.

He described the election conducted by state Independent Electoral Commissions as mere charade and mockery of democracy. The former PDP scribe also threw his weight behind restructuring saying this is the time to allow each region to grow independently.

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