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The Big 5: President Buhari says “We have been able to do our best”; Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un to meet in May and other top stories

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These are the stories you should be monitoring today.

The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu on the floor of the Senate said: “The problem in Nigeria is that our democracy is receding. Who says army cannot take over. Let us not joke with our democracy; that is the issue,” and has drawn ire but the Defence Headquarters urged Nigerians to disregard the apprehension created by the statement.

It assured the international community, democratic institutions and the public of the unalloyed loyalty of the Armed Forces to the President and Commander-in-Chief.

President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday, restated his commitment to ending the cycle of violence in parts of the country.

He also enjoined traditional rulers to pick up the responsibility of peace keeping.

Speaking at a Town Hall meeting in Jos, the President said: “I was in Taraba earlier this week to see what is going on there. I was made to understand that the same people fighting themselves today have lived peacefully together for at least 300 years. And if that is the case, we have to trace where things went wrong so as to find the appropriate solution and restore peaceful coexistence that had been existing before now. This is where the traditional rulers are very key. We the politicians will soon go away, but the traditional rulers have been there and they still remain there till death.

In Taraba, Benue, Plateau, the problem is the same, herdsmen, farmers clash and I think the solution will be the same, our traditional rulers should get down to work and find out what went wrong and why. We must just find solution to these clashes.”

A week after the House of Representatives passed a vote of no confidence on the Minister of Mines and Steel, Kayode Fayemi, the minister has replied saying he was only implementing an approved law.

Fayemi, at a press conference, however said he was working on the concessioning of Ajaokuta because it was so approved in the 2017 budget. He also reiterated that he had notified the lawmakers he would not be present at the forum organised by the lawmakers to debate the way forward on the Ajaokuta Steel Complex, Nigeria’s largest steel firm.

President Buhari on Thursday, in Abuja, said Nigerians in the areas affected by Boko Haram insurgency are in the best position to provide correct assessments of the changes that have taken place since he assumed office in 2015.

Receiving a delegation from King Salman of Saudi Arabia at the Presidential Villa, President Buhari said his administration was mindful of the three-pronged promises made to Nigerians before the 2015 elections, assuring that he remained undeterred and focused on securing the lives and properties of all Nigerians.

From the very time we came until now, we have been able to do our best, and we remain focused on delivering on our promises,’’ he said.

Former militants in Ondo have issued a fresh 21 days ultimatum to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu to get them included in the expanded Amnesty Programme or pay them the sum of N500 million to enable them to return to the creeks to continue with  militancy.

We use this medium to call on the federal government, state government and Amnesty International to do the needful within 21 days to properly document each general by giving him or her the expected slots,” the former militants said in a statement according to Sahara Reporters.

The militants lamented that they have been neglected after surrendering their arms and ammunition at the creek of Arogbo in Ese Odo Local Government Area of the state in November last year.

But they asked the state government to be prepared for another period of militancy in the creek, except it fulfils promises made to convince them to lay down their arms.

And stories from around the world…

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has invited US President Donald Trump to meet him.

The White House has confirmed that Trump “will accept the invitation to meet with Kim Jong Un at a place and time to be determined,” Sarah Sanders said in a statement. “We look forward to the denuclearisation of North Korea. In the meantime, all sanctions and maximum pressure must remain.”

The shock announcement that a meeting could take place as early as May was made by South Korean officials in Washington.

They passed a verbal message from Kim to Trump and said North Korea’s leader is “committed to denuclearisation“.

South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in said it was “a milestone for peace”.

Doctors and rescue workers in the besieged Syrian region of eastern Ghouta have said are struggling to cope with another intense bout of what they described as “insane” violence, in which more than 90 people were killed overnight, according to war monitors.

The airstrikes and shelling of the enclave near Damascus led to the postponement of aid deliveries to more than 300,000 people under siege, amid military advances by forces loyal to the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

The New York police department is ready to make an arrest in the sexual assault case against Harvey Weinstein.

New York City’s chief of detectives, Robert Boyce, said on March 7 that police have gathered considerable evidence in the investigation, but it is up to the district attorney to decide whether, and when, the disgraced film producer gets indicted.

However, the Daily Beast quoted a police official with direct knowledge of the case as saying: “We’re ready to go with an arrest.”

Talks are underway between Barack Obama and Netflix (NFLX), according to CNN.

CNN says the source characterised it as a “production partnership” and said the deal has not been finalised yet.

If it happens, both the former president and his wife, Michelle, will be involved in a series of shows for Netflix.

Steelworkers union Unite hit out after Trump signed off a 25 per cent tariff on foreign steel imported to the U.S.

Britain’s largest union said the levy was ‘misguided’ and would further hasten the decline of an industry already hit hard by cheap Chinese imports.

Unite spokesman Tony Brady called on Prime Minister Theresa May to act, saying: “US tariffs on UK steel would be devastating for the British steel industry and the thousands of workers who have battled for its survival, alongside their trade unions.

“Any tariffs imposed on UK steel by President Trump on a scale that is being mooted would be misguided and deprive US manufacturers of some of the most specialist steel in the world.

“The dumping of cheap Chinese steel into the UK took our world class British steel industry to the precipice because of the British government’s inaction.

“Government ministers and Theresa May must back Britain’s steelworkers and manufacturing communities by securing assurances from President Trump that they will not be caught up in a global tariff war between the US and countries such as China.”

Read » The Big 5: President Buhari says “We have been able to do our best”; Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un to meet in May and other top stories on YNaija

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