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Top 10 stories of Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Top 10
  1. DAVID MARK’S PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN KICKS OFF IN BENUE STATE

Ahead of the 2019 general elections, a youth group in Benue State has kicked off campaign for David Mark’s presidential campaign in Makurdi, Benue State. This is coming barely two weeks after a group under the auspices of Middle Belt Volunteers presented the ex-Senate President for president. Members of the new youth group, who stormed the PDP secretariat in Makurdi on Tuesday, were seen displaying placards bearing various inscriptions in support of David Mark for president.

One of the youth leaders, Otse Samuel described Mark as the only one who was capable of bringing the desired change to Nigeria. Samuel, however, called on Nigerian youths to support Mark for president in

2019.

“Mark remains our best choice. He is the only person who can bring the desired change. This change is a scam. We are calling on all Nigerians to support Mark for the task agead,” he said.

Meanwhile, James Oche, the coordinator of Mark campaign organisation, Door to Door, has said though the ongoing campaigns were not sponsored by Mark,‎ it was a clear indication that Nigerians were yearning for a change.

He had said, “It is a testimony of his eight years of unblemished leadership he gave to Nigerians in the Senate.”

 

  1. OSINBAJO REDEPLOYS ICPC CHAIRMAN, EKPO NTA

Nigeria’s Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has redeployed the chairman of Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) Ekpo Nta to the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission. He replaced him with Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, who was part of the Prof. Itse Sagay-led Presidential Committee on Anti-Corruption.

He also appointed as members of the ICPC, Dr. Grace N. Chinda, Okolo Titus M., Barr. Obiora Igwedebia, Mrs. Olubukola Balogun, Group Capt.

Sam Ewang (retd.), Justice Adamu Bello, Hannatu Mohammed and Abdullahi Maikano Saidu. Others are Dr. Sa’ad Alanamu, Yahaya Umar Daud, Khamis Ahmed Mailantarki, Maimuna Aliyu while Prof. Musa Usman Abubakar would serve as secretary.

 

  1. OSINBAJO RECEIVES GHANAIAN PRESIDENT AT PRESIDENTIAL VILLA

The Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has received visiting Ghanaian President, Nana Akufo-Addo, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

President Akufo-Addo was welcomed at the Villa by Professor Osinbajo, who ushered him into his office. The visit lasted for about five minutes as the Ghanaian leader proceeded immediately to the National

Defence College to deliver a lecture.

Both leaders did not speak to the press on the outcome of their discussion but President Akufo-Addo was in Nigeria last June where he held bilateral talks with the Acting President.

 

  1. NGOZI OKONJO IWEALA DENIES ATTACKING PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI

Nigeria’s former Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has denied reports of uttering negative words on the Muhammadu Buhari led-administration. Recent reports have it that she blamed the country’s recession on President Buhari’s unguarded rhetoric and uncultured body language.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, she said the reports were false.

“My attention has been drawn to a spurious and nefarious story circulating on the internet. The story makes false claims of utterances against President Buhari.

“I had earlier debunked the same fake news on Jan 5, 2017, but it is obviously in some people’s interest to see this falsehood circulate again.

“Kindly ignore this. These junk news outlets are hereby warned to cease and desist.”

 

  1. BOKO HARAM IN TROUBLE AS BURUTAI, OTHER SERVICE CHIEFS ARRIVE MAIDUGURI

Boko Haram terrorists set to be degraded permanently as some service chiefs have arrived in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital in line with the directive of the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo. The

Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, was the first to arrive in Maiduguri among the service chiefs early on Tuesday.

Acting President Osinbajo, had last week, directed military service chiefs to move back to the Command Centre in Maiduguri, Borno State. This was the outcome of a meeting the Acting president held with the service chiefs, at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja.

It was also decided that the military should get more surveillance devices and cameras that would be able to see distant attackers.

 

  1. PRESIDENTIAL JET ALLEGEDLY LEAVES LONDON

One of Nigeria’s Presidential jets which was parked in London since President Muhammadu Buhari left for medical treatment is said to have departed from London.  It was reported that the plane left London on

Tuesday, August 1. Although the destination of the jet is unknown the media house wrote, “as at the time of filing this report late Tuesday night, there was no confirmation to the effect that the presidential aircraft had left London and there was no movement within the Presidential Villa to support the rumour.”

Presidential aides, Femi Adesina and Garba Lawal have denied the departure of the jet. Adesina who denied knowledge of the development said: “BBC also called me and said the president’s aircraft had taken off, I should confirm it. I said the tradition is that if the president is coming, we will be asked to issue a statement but there has been no such instruction.”

 

  1. HOODLUMS STORM KOGI ASSEMBLY, ATTACK LAWMAKERS

Hoodlums invaded the Kogi State Assembly on Tuesday, disrupted plenary and beat up lawmakers.  It was also reported that vehicles belonging to the lawmakers were also vandalised within the Assembly complex.

Speaker of the Assembly, Umar Imam escaped being beating, Friday Sani, (Igalamela-Odolu), was unlucky as he was injured. Oluwatoyin Lawal (APC-Yagba West), escaped being hit by one of the big chairs hauled from the gallery into the chamber while some journalists covering the sitting were also attacked and beaten as they scampered for safety.

Kogi state Governor, Yahaya Bello has condemned the attack. The governor, who spoke through director-general, media and publicity, Kingsley Fanwo said his administration would not condone any act of rascality adding “anybody that breaks the law will face the law”.

 

  1. SARAKI EXPLAINS WHY SENATE SLASHED LAGOS – IBADAN ROAD BUDGET

Senate President, Bukola Saraki on Tuesday explained reasons for the slashing of the Lagos-Ibadan highway budget. Saraki who spoke in Abuja said that there was the need to allow private sector participation in a road as important as the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

“Government alone cannot reduce infrastructure deficit,” he said.

“We are really pushing the idea of, particularly, the Lagos-Ibadan road, that appropriating that project from the budget does not show seriousness.

“This is a road that is very viable; that is centre of the commercial activity and we should see how private sector can participate.”

According to the Senate President, even if the N30 billion was provided, it will not be enough because that road needs about N100billion to be completed.

“So, the point I’m making, which I want to emphasize, is that it is the kind of laws and policies that we pass that will encourage private sector that will make the infrastructure deficit to reduce,” he added.

Minister of Works, Power and Housing Babatunde Fashola had raised the alarm that the National Assembly slashed N11 billion off the N31 billion approved in the 2017 budget.

 

  1. NO NATIONAL IDENTIFICATION NUMBER, NO NIGERIAN PASSPORT

The Nigeria Immigration Service has announced that from January 1, 2018, the National Identification Number, issued by the National Identity Management Commission, will be a criteria for the procurement

of a Nigerian passport.  Comptroller-General of the NIS, Mr. Mohammed Babandede, disclosed this to State House correspondents after a meeting of database harmonization committee at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Tuesday.

He said, “The biggest problem we are facing is that everybody is deploying his own technology; but harmonization of data will solve that. We have agreed that from January 1, 2018, anybody who is going to apply for the Nigerian passport, whether renewal or fresh application, must first have a National Identity Number.

“Why we are doing this is that we want to ease process of doing business in Nigeria. There is no need for you to go and have your biometrics captured by the NIMC and then you come and capture again with the Nigeria Immigration Service.

“Once you give us your NIN, we will collect the biometrics from the NIMC and produce your passport.”

 

  1. SARAKI ASKS KWARA STATE TO STOP PAYING HIM PENSION, URGES OTHERS TO DO SAME

After many complaints that former governors who are currently senators or ministers were still receiving pension and salary in their new jobs, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, said he has stopped collecting pension in Kwara state as a former governor. Saraki said that he wrote a letter to the state government to stop the payment of the pension after the complaints arose. Some of the outcry emanated from a civil society organisation known as Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), which accused the former governors of receiving double pay illegally.

Saraki said: “No, I’m not collecting pension; the moment I saw that allegation, I wrote to my state to stop my pension.

“So, I speak for myself on that part; I’m not doing that, I am not receiving pension from my state.”

According to reports, when he was asked about other senators affected, he said: “I think I will leave everybody to their individual decision but I advice others to follow my path, as I have just done.”

He also said there were a lot of complaints that budgetary allocation to health and education was too low, attributing it to the fact that much money was being invested in infrastructure development.

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