The Big 5: Buhari begs youths not to contest against him, House of Reps rejects electronic voting and other top stories

These are the stories you should be monitoring today:

President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to the youths not to run against him in the 2019 general elections.

Buhari made the appeal on a light note while giving assent to the #NotTooYoungToRun bill at the Council Chambers,  State House, Abuja on Thursday.

 “I am confident each one of you will transform Nigeria in your own way – whether through media, agricultural enterprise, economists, engineers, or as lawmakers in your States or at Federal levels, or as State Governors – and even someday, as President. Why not?

“But please, can I ask you to postpone your campaigns till after the 2019 elections”. he said.

He further congratulated the youths on the feat, which he described as a “formidable legacy.”


The House of Representatives, on Thursday, rejected the use of electronic voting system in the forthcoming 2019 general elections.

At a Committee of the Whole, the house in amending provisions of the Electoral Act, approved the use of smart card readers for accreditation before elections are conducted in any polling unit across the country.

The lawmakers, however, removed the amendment in the bill which seeks to introduce the use of electronic voting into the Electoral Act, and resolved that while an electronic instrument; the card reader, will be used only for accreditation, the voting will be strictly done manually.


The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, has asked banks to provide a list of unscrupulous customers ahead of the 2019 general elections.

EFCC Spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday in Lagos during an interactive session with the Association of Chief Compliance Officers of Banks in Nigeria, adding that the commission was ready to assist the banks in recovering bad loans.

“I know there are questions you can’t ask, particularly if it involves some individuals, but if you give us information on such people, we will move in. If there are fundamental issues that can affect your banks, you can give us the information, especially as another election season approaches.

“I don’t want to be charging banks alongside suspected criminals because doing so can wreak havoc on the economy. It will even discourage investors from coming to the country,” he said.


The Gwandu Local Government Area of Kebbi says suspected robbers have stolen over N9m meant for the payment of April salary of workers of its health and agriculture departments.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Chairman of the council, Alhaji Shehu Bagudu, on Thursday in Gwandu said the incident happened on May 24. after the cashier, Alhaji Bashir Gwandu, encountered robbers on his way home from the bank who attacked him, snatched his car with money inside and drove away.

The council chairman who also dispelled the rumour that he was shielding the cashier, his son in-law, said he could not stop the police from conducting investigation into the case.


The Senate on Thursday rejected a nominee of President Muhammadu Buhari for the position of Non-Execitive Director of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Presenting the report of the Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, chairman of the committee, Rafiu Ibrahim, said the nominee, Abdu Abubakar, failed integrity test, lacks honesty and failed to answer questions put to him.

The Senate, however, approved the nomination of four nominees as Non-Executive Directors of the Board of the apex bank. They include: Ummu Jalingo (North East), Justina Nnabuko (South East), Mike Obadan (South South) and Adeola Adetunji (South West).

In his contribution, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, called on the committee to take a second look at the rejected nominee, saying the petition against the nominee should be scrutinised.


And from around the world:

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Pyongyang on Thursday invited North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to visit Russia, Moscow said, during the first meeting between the head of the reclusive state and a Russian official.

“Come to Russia, we’ll be very happy to see you,” Lavrov told Kim in remarks released by the Russian foreign ministry.

Lavrov passed greetings from Russian President Vladimir Putin to Kim, saying he wished him success in the “major undertakings that have been initiated on the Korean peninsula”, the ministry said in a statement.


A senior North Korean official will pay a rare visit to the White House on Friday as the two sides try to put a derailed summit meeting back on track.

Kim Yong Chol, a close aide of Kim Jong Un would be leading the delegation to hand over a letter to United States President, Donald Trump who is hoping to pressure Kim to give up his nuclear weapons  at the Summit in Singapore on June 12.

Trump however conceded on Thursday that it might require more rounds of direct negotiations: “I’d like to see it done in one meeting, but often times that’s not the way deals work. There’s a very good chance that it won’t be done in one meeting or two meetings or three meetings. But it’ll get done at some point,”  Trump told Reuters.


Lenín Moreno, the President of Ecuador, has said Julian Assange’s asylum status in the country’s London embassy is not under threat – provided he complies with the conditions of his stay and avoids voicing his political opinions on Twitter.

However, in an interview with Deutsche Welle on Wednesday, Moreno said his government would “take a decision” if Assange didn’t comply with the restrictions.

“Let’s not forget the conditions of his asylum prevent him from speaking about politics or intervening in the politics of other countries. That’s why we cut his communication,” he said.


The UN Security Council has given South Sudan’s warring sides a month to reach a peace deal, or face new sanctions.

South Sudan’s defence minister Kuol Manyang Juk and five other officials could have their assets frozen and face a travel ban if the factions do not comply.

The US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said the US, which pushed for the resolution, had lost patience.


Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has warned US-backed Kurdish forces he would not hesitate to use force to retake the third of the country they control.

“The only problem left in Syria is the SDF,” Assad told Russia Today in an interview aired Thursday, referring to the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces which has spearheaded battles against Islamic State group jihadists.

“We’re going to deal with it by two options, the first one: we started now opening doors for negotiations. Because the majority of them are Syrians, supposedly they like their country, they don’t like to be puppets to any foreigners,” Assad said in English.

“We have one option, to live with each other as Syrians. If not, we’re going to resort… to liberating those areas by force,” he added.

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