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The Big 5: Rumours about me being cloned are not surprising – Buhari, Obiano denies supporting Buhari and Atiku for Presidency | Other top stories

The Big 5: Rumours about me being cloned are not surprising – Buhari, Obiano denies supporting Buhari and Atiku for Presidency | Other top stories

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These are the stories you should be monitoring today:

President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday said the “ignorant rumors” that he was dead and the occupant of his seat is a clone (a certain Jibrin from Sudan) are not surprising, noting that while he was on medical vacation last year a lot of people hoped he was dead.

The President who addressed the widespread speculation about him being cloned for the first time, was responding to a question from a Nigerian who wanted to know if he was the real Buhari, at a town hall meeting with the Nigerian Community in Krakow, Poland.

“Poor Osinbajo, even he had to deal with the rumours — Some people reached out to him to consider them to be his Vice President because they assumed I was dead. That embarrassed him a lot; we discussed it when he visited me while I was convalescing,” he added.

Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra on Sunday, dismissed reports that he was supporting the 2019 presidential bids of President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), describing such stories as “wishful thinking.”

The governor who refuted the reports in a statement by his Commissioner for Information, noted that unlike in two previous elections in the country, when APGA had no presidential candidates and was constrained to form an alliance with a ruling party, APGA has a credible presidential candidate for the 2019 general election, Gen. John Gbor, whose ambition he is committed to.

“Governor Obiano is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the All Progressive Grand Alliance. He is also the APGA National Leader. These positions place heavy responsibilities on his shoulders. Therefore, any talk about him endorsing the presidential candidate of another party, let alone joining another party, is wishful thinking,” the statement added.

The Nigerian Army says it is yet to get $1 billion approved by the National Economic Council (NEC) in 2017, to be withdrawn from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) to fight insurgency and other security challenges in the country.

Army Spokesman, Sani Usman, who disclosed this over the weekend at a programme on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), said the money is still being processed, adding however that the arms and ammunition  procured over the last two to three years is being used judiciously by the armed forces.

“People should understand also that this is a democratic system in which procurement and of course funding of defense related issues takes such a long time,” he said.

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has said its members are not intimidated by the directive from the Federal Government to Vice-Chancellors of Public Universities and Inter-Varsity Centres to enforce the no-work-no-pay rule against the lecturers who are on strike, stressing that the government has always been predictable in their handling of negotiations. 

ASUU President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, who stated this in an interview with Punch on Sunday, hinted that significant progress wasn’t made at the meeting it had with the government, noting however that the union is looking forward to its next meeting with the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, and other government officials had been scheduled for Tuesday.

Ogunyemi said, “It is not a big issue really. We are not losing sleep over such a directive. This has been a recurring threat since the military era. We are making sacrifices for our children and for our children’s children. This struggle, for us, is not about bread and butter. If they want to sack us, we encourage them to go ahead and they will have the consequences,” he added.

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo has criticised the position of the National Working Committee (NWC) of his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), that aggrieved members should not seek redress in court else they face disciplinary measures, describing it as “totally flawed,” while advising the NWC to seek proper legal advice on the subject before taking actions that would further muddle the waters.

Akeredolu, who stated this on Sunday in Akure, said that the position of the President, an acknowledged veteran in court disputation (who has expressed support for the aggrieved members to go to court if they so wish) cannot be faulted, adding that in most cases, the court will be obligated to inquire into whether or not there was opportunity for exploring the domestic fora for settlement in accordance with the Party constitution.

“What our NWC members are canvassing against the President’s position is anarchy; an invitation to infringe on the constitutional rights of our members in a democracy by using the provision of the Party constitution in issue as a sword. “This will certainly not stand the test of time,” he added.

And stories from around the world:

Israeli police on Sunday said they had found enough evidence for bribery and fraud charges to be brought against Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife in a third corruption case against the Israeli prime minister. (Reuters)

The UK faces a “constitutional crisis” if Theresa May does not publish the full legal advice on her Brexit deal on Monday, Labour has warned.

The PM says the advice is confidential. but some MPs think ministers do not want to admit it says the UK could be indefinitely tied to EU customs rules. (BBC)

French President Emmanuel Macron has ordered his prime minister to hold talks with political leaders and “yellow vest” demonstrators to end nationwide protests after rioters turned central Paris into a battle zone. (Al Jazeera)

Donald Trump wants North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to know that he likes him and will fulfill his wishes, South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in said on Sunday, a day after meeting the U.S. president at an economic summit in Argentina. (Reuters)

China has agreed to scale back tariffs on imported US cars, President Donald Trump said Sunday, one day after agreeing with Xi Jinping to a ceasefire in the trade war between the world’s top two economies. (France 24)


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