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The Late 5: Northern elders begin consultation for 2019, Frenchman wins Lagos City Marathon and other stories

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These are the stories that drove conversation today.

Some politicians and elders from the northern part of the country have started consultations with other geo-political zones ahead of the 2019 elections.

The politicians and elders, who converged on Abuja on Saturday, under the aegis of Northern Elders and Stakeholders Conversation, said stakeholders have agreed that the north will produce the president in the 2019 election.

The meeting was co-convened by Bello Mohammed, a former minister of defence; Ibrahim Mantu, a former deputy senate president; and Paul Wampana, a former senator.

The publicity secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bolaji Abdullahi says the party set up a restructuring committee so it could emerge victorious in the 2019 election.

Speaking during an interview on The Osasu Show, Abdullahi said since restructuring was part of the party’s manifesto in the electioneering campaign of 2015, it will not be able to ask Nigerians to re-elect it if it failed to fulfil its promise to restructure the country.

A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kaduna, Alhaji Hussain Jallo, has called on the party leadership to avoid impunity and imposition of candidates or be prepared to face worst defeat in 2019 elections.

Jallo handed the warning, when some national and Kaduna State executives visited him at his residence in Rigachikun, in Kaduna on Saturday.

Taraba Epidemiologist, Dr. Aketemo Udi, on Saturday confirmed that one person has so far died of Lassa fever in the state, contrary to some reports that three persons died of the epidemic in the state.

Udi explained that two other deaths recorded were from suspected cases of the disease and not confirmed Lassa fever cases.

Frenchman Abraham Kiprotich has won the third edition of the 2018 Access Bank  Lagos City Marathon 42km race.

The Kenyan-born 32-year-old finished in 2:13:04hrs to emerge the winner on Saturday, carting away the grand prize of $50,000.

Abraham’s time set a new Lagos Marathon record, three minutes better than the record set by his fellow compatriot, Abraham Kiptum in the second edition of tourney held last year.

In the female category, it was a clean sweep by Ethiopia as the trio of Alemenesh Herpha Guta, Tigst Girma Getayechew and Ayelu Abebe Hordofa came first, second and third.

And stories from around the world…

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un has invited South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in to Pyongyang.

It would be the first summit in more than a decade between Korean leaders.

Moon said the Koreas should “make it happen” and encouraged the north to return to negotiations with the US.

A speechwriter has become the second White House aide this week to resign amid allegations of domestic abuse.

David Sorensen denies his former wife’s allegations he was violent and emotionally abusive.

His departure comes just days after another Trump official, Rob Porter, quit over allegations of abuse from two ex-wives, something he denies.

US President Donald Trump blasted “THE SWAMP” over a New York Times story that revealed American intelligence officials paid $100,000 in an attempt to retrieve stolen NSA cyberweapons from a Russian who also claimed to have “compromising material on President Trump.”

The Israeli military says it has inflicted huge damage on Syrian air defences after one of its fighter jets was shot down during a raid over Syria.

The response was the “most significant attack” of its kind against Syria since the 1982 Lebanon war, said senior Israeli air force general Tomer Bar.

The F-16 jet was hit during operations that followed an Iranian drone launch into Israeli territory, Israel says.

A lawyer for President Donald Trump criticized Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee Friday, over leaked text messages that show Warner attempted to contact the author of a 2016 dossier alleging illicit ties between Trump and the Kremlin.

The comments by Jay Sekulow, a personal attorney to Trump, marked the latest stage in an ongoing conservative assault on congressional and law enforcement officials investigating possible Kremlin influence over Trump’s presidential campaign.

Idris Elba seems to have got into the Valentine’s Day spirit early.

The actor has reportedly popped the question to his girlfriend Sabrina Dhowre during a screening of his new film.

The Rio Cinema in Dalston was hosting a screening of Idris’s directorial debut Yardie when the 42-year-old got on stage to propose to his beauty queen girlfriend.

Read » The Late 5: Northern elders begin consultation for 2019, Frenchman wins Lagos City Marathon and other stories on YNaija

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