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The Big 5: Northern Elders Forum says ‘June 12 declaration’ not enough, W.H.O warns of possible cholera spread and other stories

You can barely recognise ‘Waiting to Exhale’ star, Lela Rochon in this photo

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These are the stories you should be monitoring today:

The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has expressed reservations on President Buhari’s declaration of June 12 as Democracy day and award of posthumous national honour on Chief M.K.O Abiola

Chairman of the forum, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, who spoke in an interview with Punch Newspapers, said Buhari was taking Nigerians for zombies by hiding his real motives behind the award of national honours for Abiola. Kingibe and Fawehinmi, adding that the declaration was to polish his ambition for the 2019 elections, as the President never uttered any word of sympathy or support for Abiola’s cause since the annulled 1993 elections.

Yakassai further described it as political gimmickry, noting that it is not about giving money or titles or awards, but that the President direct the Independent National Electoral Commission to look for the figures of the 1993 elections and formally announce the results and the winner according to the wish of Abiola, Kingibe and their supporters.

The NEF spokesperson, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, on Saturday, also described the posthumous national honour given to Abiola by Buhari as “belated opportunism.”

The Oyo Government has declared Tuesday, June 12 as public holiday throughout the state.

According to the State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Toye Arulogun, the declaration by government was to commemorate the anniversary of June 12 1993 election generally and widely believed to have been won by Late business mogul, MKO Abiola, adding that it lauded the decision to make June 12 as the Democracy Day in recognition and honour of the martyrdom of Abiola and others who fought for the actualization of democracy in Nigeria.

In Ondo, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu said the day will be marked in Akure, the capital, with a a town hall assembly at the International Culture and Events Centre (The Dome).

The State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Yemi Olowolabi, made this known in a signed statement on Saturday in Akure, adding that promises to be a riveting event with extensive focus on June 12: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”.

The World Health Organisation (WHO), has warned of a possible spread of cholera from parts of Adamawa to other areas across the borders including Cameroon.

The organisation on its Twitter Handle @WHONigeria on Saturday, said that a month into the outbreak, it has recorded 1,168 cases and 20 deaths in Mubi North and Mubi South Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.

WHO however assured that it was leaving ‘no stone unturned’ to ensure that the outbreak does not spread beyond the immediate vicinities of the two councils,to curtail what may be a major public health threat.

The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, has hinted at a 2019 deadline for teachers to get necessary qualifications and get registered or face ejection from the classroom.

Adamu gave the warning while monitoring the 2018 Batch A Teacher Professional Qualifying Examination (PQE) in Abuja on Saturday, where no fewer than 22,000 would-be teachers sat for the Computer Based Teachers PQE nationwide.

Represented by Sonny Echono, the Permanent Secretary, stressed that if teachers were not qualified and properly equipped, the products who are the students would also fall short and ultimately the country will suffer, maintaining that  the standards must be raised for Nigeria to become like other countries of the world.

And stories from around the world:

United States President, Donald Trump has retracted his endorsement of the joint communique issued at the end of the G7 summit, accusing Canada of “dishonesty” after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vowed to press ahead with retaliatory tariffs against U.S on 1 July.”

He said that other countries were imposing “massive tariffs” on the US.

The joint communique, advocating a “rules-based trading system”, was reached despite tension over US tariffs on steel and aluminium imports.

The European Union said it would stick to the joint communique despite Mr Trump’s decision. (BBC)

Canada says it plans to provide $2.9bn (£2.2bn; €2.5bn) with the help of its G7 partners to fund education for the world’s poorest girls and women.

The money will help fund equal access to education and learning opportunities in countries across the globe, a government statement said.

The announcement on Saturday was delayed as contributors including Germany, Japan, the UK, the EU and the World Bank, continued to commit funds. (BBC)

Despite repeatedly embarrassing the British prime minister at a politically bruising G7 summit in Quebec, Donald Trump’s controversial visit to the UK next month would still appear to be on.

Theresa May insisted that she had exchanged warm greetings with the US president and he had said how much he was “looking forward” to his visit.

“We work closely with President Trump, and the UK has a very good relationship with the United States,” she said, defending his decision to leave early in order to prepare for his summit with Kim Jong-un.

“He’s going to Singapore to sit down and discuss the denuclearisation of North Korea … that is in the interests of all of us across the world.” (The Guardian, UK)

Pope Francis has told oil company chiefs that the world must switch to clean energy because climate change risks destroying humanity.

“We know that the challenges facing us are interconnected. If we are to eliminate poverty and hunger … the more than 1 billion people without electricity today need to gain access to it,” Francis told them at a Vatican conference held behind closed doors at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

“But that energy should also be clean, by a reduction in the systematic use of fossil fuels. Our desire to ensure energy for all must not lead to the undesired effect of a spiral of extreme climate changes due to a catastrophic rise in global temperatures, harsher environments and increased levels of poverty,” he said. (The Guardian, UK)

Iraq has extradited a 20-year-old Iraqi suspected of raping and killing a 14-year-old girl in Germany last month, German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said on Saturday.

Police in the Kurdistan region of Iraq said on Saturday the Iraqi suspect had admitted to the murder of 14-year-old Susanna Feldman in Germany, where the case has stoked the immigration debate.

The Jewish teenager from Mainz near Frankfurt was found dead on Wednesday in a wooded area in Wiesbaden, near a refugee center where the alleged attacker had lived, German police said. (Reuters)

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