Saraki set to launch presidential bid

Despite the spirited moves aimed at stalling the defection of Senate President Bukola Saraki and members of the Reformed All Progressives Congress (R-APC) to the rival Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) indications have emerged that the President of the Senate is set to launch his presidential aspiration for the 2019 race.

Sources in the polity said that since Saraki is of the view that the ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has already been ceded to President Muhammadu Buhari, the next available sport is the coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) which will be fielding candidates on the ticket of the PDP.

It was confirmed that notwithstanding the offers that might be placed on the table by President Muhammadu Buhari and the leadership of the APC at a meeting to be held in the presidential Villa later on Sunday, the R-APC has concluded on the need for defection.

Sources said that by listening to the President and members of the APC, the R-APC leaders were only showing courtesy to the office of the President.

“We don’t want to be seen as greedy lots and that is why all the juicy offers cannot sway the defection plans,” said a leader of the R-APC who claimed not to be named.

A source further said that the R-APC was aware that the leaders of the APC would come after its members with carrot and stick and that the aggrieved members were prepared for the worst case scenario.

“We have taken the legal option early enough to preserve our members and we are taking steps to ensure all needed agreements are signed with a coalition of opposition parties. It is a meticulous plan to rescue Nigeria,” another R-APC leader said.

Sources said that Saraki was already perfecting the launch of his presidential bid with some whistle stop trips around different states of the federation since his victory at the Supreme Court.

It was also gathered that Saraki might have secured some international backing for his ambition, following his recent invitation to the United States Congress, where he was said to have held parliamentary talks as well as political discussions.

“I can assure you that notwithstanding the outcome of the meetings being orchestrated by leaders of the APC and the juicy offers being placed on the table, the Senate President and a number of bigwigs in the R-APC have signed out of the ruling party. It is just a matter of days.

“For them, the issue is not really about personal gains but good governance that would propel Nigeria to greatness in the comity of nations,” the source said, adding that the APC has failed to show the desired leadership in the last three years.

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BREAKING: Boko Haram kills 18, abducts 10 in Lake Chad

At least 3,000 villagers have been forced to leave their homes in the Lake Chad region after a Boko Haram attack on a village near Chad’s border with Niger left at least 18 people dead.

Lake Chad governor, Mohammed Aba Salah, told Al Jazeera on Sunday that the fighters also kidnapped 10 women.

“Boko Haram fighters slit the throats of two [people] and shot the other 16,” he said. “One of the 10 women abducted by Boko Haram managed to escape and return home.”

Aba Salah also said that the evacuation following the attack was “a precautionary measure”.

Boko Haram is in control of the area across Lake Chad’s borders with both Niger and Nigeria, he said.
Humanitarian crisis

The group has devastated the region since it took up arms in 2009 in Nigeria, leaving at least 20,000 people dead, displacing more than two million others and triggering a humanitarian crisis.

Chad, Cameroon and Niger have all joined the military effort by Nigeria against Boko Haram.

Chad has seen a recent increase in attacks by the group.

In May, six people were killed, including four government officials and a soldier, in a Boko Haram attack on a Chadian army checkpoint on an island in Lake Chad.

Niger’s army said on Saturday it killed “10 terrorists” after one of its military positions in the southwest of the country was attacked by Boko Haram.

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Osun 2018: In tight contest, Adeleke emerges PDP candidate

Ademola Adeleke, the senator representing Osun West District, has been elected candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party for the September 22 governorship election.

The result of the primary, which was announced late Saturday night, saw Mr Adeleke scoring 1, 569, beating his closest rival, Akin Ogunbiyi, by only seven votes.

Mr Ogunbiyi polled 1, 562 votes, Fatai Akinbade, 52 votes and Nathaniel Oke, three votes, just as a total of 56 votes were voided.

A demand for a recount was turned down by the chairman of the election and Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson, saying there was no need for a recount since he had announced the results.

Mr Adeleke only defected to the party from the All Progressives Congress only last year when he sought the south west senatorial seat occupied by his late brother, Isiaka Adeleke.

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Sales rep in court for allegedly stealing employer’s N2.1m

A salesman, Samuel Adewale, 33, who allegedly stole his employer’s N2.1million was on Wednesday docked at an Ikeja Chief Magistrates’ Court.

The accused sales representative, who resides at 118, Muyibi St., Apapa, Lagos, is being tried for stealing.

The prosecutor, Insp. Raji Akeem told the court that the accused committed the offence between April and June 2018 at the University Press PLC., Surulere, Lagos.

Akeem said the accused supplied books to some of his employer’s clients, collected the money but did not remit it into the company’s account.

“The company discovered the fraud while auditing its account.

“When the company asked the accused to explain how N2.1 million got missing, he could not account for it.

“The company reported the case to the police station and the accused was arrested, “he said.

The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The chief magistrate, Mrs Jadesola Adeyemi-Ajayi, granted the accused to a bail of N200,000 with two sureties in like sum.

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Osun APC exco, aspirants reject gov primary

Osun State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday held its primary election to elect the party’s flag bearer for the September 22 governorship poll amidst sharp division within the leadership of the party in the state.

The direct voting system that had been recommended by the State Working Committee and approved by the National Working Committee as announced by the National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, last Monday at the national headquarters in Abuja was used for the election.

This was in defiance of the plethora of criticisms and protests that had dogged the approval of the voting system, as it was said to be cumbersome and intended to favour a particular government’s anointed candidate.

Few hours to the exercise yesterday, some of the aspirants withdrew from the race. Among them is Moshood Adeoti.

A statement by the Director of Media and Publicity of his Campaign Organization, Mr Kayode Agbaje, in Osogbo indicated that his withdrawal was based on his resolve to abide by the resolution of the Osun West Senatorial District where he hails from, to dissociate himself from the exercise.

The statement also quoted the aspirant who is the current Secretary to the State Government as alleging that the process was faulty as it had already been designed to favour an anointed aspirant. Alhaji Adeoti however informed his teeming supporters that he is still very much in the race to contest and win the governorship election come September 22, 2018.

Another aspirant, Peter Babalola, has also withdrawn from the race according to a release he personally ahead of the election on Friday.

He cited compromise of the process as his reason for the withdrawal, alleging that it had already been schemed to favour a government-anointed candidate.

Adebayo said, his next line of action would be taken in due course.

Also, Senator Babajide Omoworare withdrew from the race.

He said this in a statement issued by Comrade Tunde Dairo, his Director of Communications. “In view of obvious political realities which are beyond our control, Senator Babajide Omoworare will not present his ward agents, mobilise his supporters or deploy resources for the APC governorship primary election of July 20th, 2018.”

Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s Chief of Staff, Gboyega Oyetola who participated was being hailed in most of the wards visited. In Osogbo, the state capital, Iragbiji, the home town of Oyetola and other towns like Ilesa, Ilobu,Ikirun, Ogbaagba, there was large turnout of voters.

However, the exercise was marred by late arrival of electoral materials and absence of electoral officials. The APC Electoral Committee had scheduled voting to begin in all the 332 wards across the state at 8 am in the 30 local government areas including the Area Office, Modakeke. But our correspondent who monitored the election in Ayedaade and Irewole local government areas discovered that as at 10:20 am, scores of electorate were still found waiting for materials and electoral officers.

Also, at Ward 4, Otun Olufi Secondary school, Gbongan, voters were seeing waiting for electoral materials and electoral officers.

It was the same situation at Ward 9, AUD Primary School, Atile Ikire.

There was also voter apathy because the turn out of the electorate remained unimpressive as at 11:a.m.

Hours before the commencement of the exercise, one of the electoral officials was attacked with machete cut on the head before the intervention of the police.

The incident happened at ward 1 at Laro area, Osogbo.

Meanwhile,11 of the 16 members of the State Working Committee of the in Osun State have faulted the direct method.

Addressing newsmen in Ilesa, Osun State, the acting Chairman of the party, Alhaji Isa Azeez Adesiji said that the state working committee of the party rejected the governorship primary declaring the exercise as null and void.

He argued that direct primary was contrary to the expected democratic norms and may eventually spell doom for the party.

According to him, “we wish to bring to your notice that before the direct primary, all state apparatuses were made available to the ‘anointed’ candidate, therefore depriving others of a level playing field.

“In view of all the reasons stated earlier and for record purposes, we all hereby counsel against the adoption of the direct primary being used for July 20th 2018 primary election while we dissociate ourselves from whatever the outcome of governorship primary.”

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3-year-old baby missing in Anambra

A 3-year-old baby, Nmachukwu Ebiowu, has been declared missing in Okoti, Ogbauru local government area of Anambra State.

The victim was said to have left home in the company of her mother one Juliana Ebiowu for the graduation ceremony in their school, The light International School Okoti.

Nigerian Tribune gathered that the mother of the missing baby had noticed her disappearance while the ceremony went on, but all efforts to find her proved abortive.

She was said to be fair in complexion, spoke Igbo fluently and without a tribal mark.

Confirming the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, SP Haruna Mohammed, said the matter was reported at Ogbauru Division by the father, one Jude Ebiowu.

He regretted the spate of missing children in Anambra Schools, describing the development as an emergent trend.

While urging parents and guardians to be “extra vigilant” of their children’s whereabouts, Mohammed enjoined school proprietors to take extra security measures to protect their pupils.

“The command also urged the public to be on the lookout and avail the police with useful information that could help to trace the missing persons or any other relevant information to the nearest Police Station,” he added.

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