These are the stories that drove the conversation today:
Justice Must Prevail Party (JMPP) has revealed plans to construct perimeter fence around Nigeria, change the name of the country and its currency, if elected into power in 2019.
This information was made known at a news conference in Abuja on Thursday by the Acting National Chairman of the Party, Dr Olusegun Ijagbemi, who said that the need to change the name of the country from Nigeria to Pisonia and its currency from Naira to Pison was divinely revealed to the leadership of the party and is in line with the 14th pillar of the party, as these changes were important for Nigeria to make progress.
Ijagbemi, said that promotion of citizens’ welfare and security of lives and property would be one of the major concerns of the party, if elected.
“This party is going to fence Nigeria and create only regulated route for people to come in and go out of the country. “You can no longer move boys or girls across the border with trailer and then say you have captured or recovered them,” it added.
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to clear the air over allegations of corruption that reportedly pervaded the fine recently imposed on telecommunications provider, MTN.
The PDP says President Buhari and his administration have a lot of questions to answer on how the initial fine of N1.04 trillion imposed by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on MTN Nigeria for not complying with government’s rule on deactivation of unregistered SIM cards was reduced to N330 billion.
It added that it is in the face of allegations that certain interests in the Presidential villa, “close to President Buhari”, allegedly took a bribe of N500 million before the reduction was approved.
“It is, to say the least, disgusting that while this allegation of bribery at the Villa has remained uncleared by the Presidency, President Buhari, the same African Union (AU) Anti-Corruption Champion, on Wednesday, approved the frittering of another N500 million from the same fund, under controversial claims of professional fees to unnamed persons for unspecified services,” the party said.
The Socio-Economic Right and Accountability Project (SERAP) said the setting up of a National Hall of Shame would restore sanity into Nigeria’s public administration and restore the country’s value system.
Following calls by Professor Wole Soyinka, on Tuesday for a National Hall of Shame, the SERAP Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, said, “I believe that as we have incorporated honours for those who have done us proud. We should also have a Hall of Shame where it will be documented that some persons have looted our treasury blindly. The call of Soyinka to me is very timely and it makes a whole lot of national sense.”
Ebonyi Governor, David Umahi on Thursday suspended the state Commissioner for Solid Minerals Development, Chief Francis Orji, indefinitely for gross misconduct.
Disclosing this to newsmen during a joint press briefing with other state Executive Council (EXCO) members on Thursday, Sen. Emmanuel Onwe, the Commissioner for Information and State Orientation, said that Orji committed acts embarrassing to the state government.
The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has announced the death of a Deputy Comptroller General of Immigration, DCG Raymond Tonye Akra Jaja in charge of the Directorate of Border management at the service headquarters in Abuja.
In a statement on Thursday by spokesman of the service, Sunday James, DCG Jaja died on the 9th of this month after a brief illness, at the age of 58.
“The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Muhammed Babandede said late DCG Jaja would be remembered for his high sense of discipline and uncommon loyalty to constituted authorities.
And stories from around the world:
The 2018 World Cup opened in spectacular fashion as Russia defied their recent poor form to smash five past Saudi Arabia and record the biggest win by the host nation in the opening game of a World Cup since 1934.
The team had not won in their past seven matches and had been criticised from all sides, including a series of barbed comments from Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Iury Gazinsky’s header in the 12th minute opened scoring for Stanislav Cherchesov’s men, while Denis Cheryshev added a second just before halftime. On resumption of the second half, substitute, Artem Dzyuba got the third in the 71st minute before Cheryshev netted a brace to make it four.
Man of the match, Golovin who had previously provided two assists curled in a superb free-kick in injury time to complete the demolition of the Saudi Arabian team.
Sources close to the Russian military said on Thursday that Russian naval forces in the Black Sea had been put on heightened alert to discourage Ukraine from trying to disrupt the soccer World Cup as the tournament got underway.
While the Defence Ministry itself dismissed the reports, saying in a statement: “The forces of the Black Sea Fleet are working in routine mode. No measures to put (them) on high combat alert have taken place,” Three sources said Russia’s forces around the Black Sea Crimea peninsula had been put on a state of high combat readiness. Two of them said it was linked to the tournament.
“Because of the World Cup and expectations of possible provocations by Ukraine around the Crimean coast, commanders took the decision to increase the fleet’s level of military preparedness,” said one of the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media about operational plans. (Reuters)
The Attorney General of New York state sued the Donald J Trump charitable foundation, President Trump and three of his children on Thursday for violating state charity laws, alleging that the Trumps used charitable assets as “little more than a checkbook for payments to not-for-profits from Mr Trump” and his companies.
Foundation assets, acquired through tax-deductible donations, were used to settle legal claims against one of Trump’s golf clubs and to buy a painting of Trump to be displayed at another club, the suit alleges.
The lawsuit, filed by the attorney general, Barbara Underwood, on the morning of Trump’s 72nd birthday, seeks $2.8m in restitution and penalties from Trump and asks for the distribution of $1m in assets to other charities. (The Guardian, UK)
Lawmakers in Argentina cast a historic vote on Thursday to legalize abortion during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy, a measure that now awaits Senate approval.
Thousands of abortion rights activists cheered and hugged outside the Congress as the lower house Chamber of Deputies passed the bill by 129 votes to 125.
Argentina’s bishops lamented the result, saying: “As Argentines, this decision hurts us.” (AFP)
A major rift has opened up between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her interior minister over migrant policy, threatening her coalition government.
The minister, Horst Seehofer of the Christian Social Union (CSU), wants police to have the power to turn away undocumented migrants at the border.
Mrs Merkel has held emergency talks with her Christian Democrat (CDU) MPs. (BBC)
Temidayo Taiwo-Sidiq is a Political Journalist, Analyst and Social Change Advocate with major interest in Nigerian Politics, Governance and Sports.