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The Late 5: 2019 elections will likely be postponed – Prof Pat Utomi; Governor Umahi says N30,000 wage will lead to inflation | Other top stories

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These are the stories that drove the conversation today:

Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, his wife, and son escaped an assassination attempt early Tuesday after an unidentified gunman invaded his residence in Abuja, his spokesman Uche Anichukwu has disclosed.

According to the statement released by the aide, “One of the armed men discreetly evaded the security at Ekweremadu’s Apo Quarters residence, to gain entry into his house, took hold of his son and commanded him to lead them the Senator’s bedroom.

The statement added that “it was at the Senator’s bedroom that a struggle ensued, leading to the arrest of one of the assailants with dangerous weapons and housebreaking devices, while the rest managed to escape.”

A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Professor of Political Economy, Prof. Pat Utomi has said there was a possibility that the 2019 general elections may not hold, citing the outcome of primaries across parties as pointers to his prediction.

As reported by The Nation, the Delta APC governorship aspirant who stated this on Tuesday in Ibadan at the 70th anniversary of the Students Christian Movement (SCM) of University of Ibadan, also lamented that the public sphere is paralysed and the public culture, deeply anti-intellectual.

“Can you take seriously any of the primaries that have taken place? We are going to have all kinds of troubles. People within parties will try to sabotage one another. This will spill over. The development might lead to postponement of the elections. The signs are not the best for our democracy,” he pointed out.

Ebonyi Governor, David Umahi has said the newly proposed N30,000 minimum wage will cause inflation in the country, as he urged civil servants to look beyond the minimum wage.

The governor who made this known on Monday in Abakaliki after inaugurating his re-election campaign team, expressed belief that if the resources of the country were properly harnessed, it will be enough to take care of the workers, health and education sectors among others.

“Civil servants should look beyond minimum wage; even the minimum wage of N30,000 cannot solve their basic needs,” he added.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has reacted to criticisms against its inaction on the allegation of bribery leveled against Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano, whose name it it forwarded to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Thursday as its Governorship candidate in the 2019 election.

Spokesman of the party, Lanre Issa-Onilu, who spoke to The Guardian on Monday said the APC could not take a stand on the matter since the House of Assembly was yet to present its findings on the issue.

“The APC is a law abiding party, it believes in due process. The Kano House of Assembly is already probing the issue. We have to wait to see how it goes. You don’t expect the party to rush into taking action based on a video clip on the social media whose authenticity is being disputed,” Issa-Onilu said.

The Federal Government says it has saved over N17 billion from foreign trips, sitting allowances and souvenir gifts usually shared during events, through its introduction of an efficiency unit in the Ministry of Finance to ensure that the resources of government were not frittered on trivialised grants.

Information Minister, Lai Mohammed, who disclosed this at the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) forum on Tuesday in Abuja, listed the gains from the fight against corruption to include recoveries of N13.8 billion in tax evassion; N7.8 billion, 378 million dollars; 27,200 pounds from public officials who have been targeted by the whistle blowing policy.

“Our score card in corruption must not be looked at just from the view point of how many people have been arrested; how many have been prosecuted and how many have been jailed, stressing that what is most important for the main time is the efforts this government has put in place to ensure that there is transparency in governance,” he said.

And stories from around the world:

A Turkish security source has told Al Jazeera CIA Director Gina Haspel has seen all the evidence related to Khashoggi’s killing.

The evidence proves the operation was carried out on orders from the highest level of leadership in Saudi Arabia, the source added. (Al Jazeera)

Iran said on Tuesday it had so far been able to sell as much oil as it needs despite U.S. pressure, but it urged European countries opposed to U.S. sanctions to do more to shield Iran, as Russia and Turkey also voiced their objections. (Reuters)

Six people have been arrested in France on suspicion of planning to carry out a “violent” attack on President Emmanuel Macron, officials say. (BBC)

A Brexit deal is close but not yet done due to differences over the Irish border, Britain and the European Union said on Tuesday as sterling see-sawed on contrasting perceptions of how hard it will be for Prime Minister Theresa May to clinch an agreement. (Reuters)

China on Tuesday once again rejected criticism of its treatment of ethnic Muslims, telling the United Nations that accusations of rights abuses from some countries were “politically driven.” (Associated Press)


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