The Big 5: Buhari is healthier than 80 percent of Nigerians – Ngige; PDP to NASS: Override President on amended Electoral Act | More stories

These are the stories you should be monitoring today:

Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, has said President Muhammadu Buhari is mentally fit and healthy to govern the country, irrespective of age.

Ngige who disclosed this while speaking with journalists in Awka, Anambra, said the two indices and experience of the President could not be found on those who were eyeing the presidential seat in the 2019 general elections, adding that Malaysia had to beckon on a 93-year-old, Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad, to lead it as a prime minister when it was in trouble politically and economically.

“I can tell you authoritatively as a medical doctor of over three decades standing that Mr President is physically and mentally healthy. He is healthier than 80 per cent of Nigerians,” he said.

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has urged the National Assembly to stand with Nigerians in the quest for credible elections by immediately overriding President Buhari on the veto of the Electoral Act 2010 (Amendment) Bill.

As contained in a statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, in Abuja on Monday, the PDP said Buhari’s veto did not come as a surprise, alleging that his commitment to a free and fair 2019 election was mere lip service.

“The clerical and drafting arguments put forward by President Buhari could not in anyway outweigh the importance of amendments meant to engender free, fair, credible and transparent elections in 2019,” he said.

The Acting Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Mathew Seiyefa, has reportedly recalled officers he earlier transferred out of the agency’s headquarters on assumption of office on August 1.

As reported by Punch, the decision of the Acting DSS boss to recall the officers followed the open directive given to him by the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, who was said to have scolded him for carrying out reorganisation in the agency without clearance from the Villa.

Some of the affected persons were the Director of Operations, Bassey Eteng as well as another Director,  Grace Kentebe, both of whom were among those the Chief of Staff asked Seiyefa to return to their duty posts.

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday appointed the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, to head its 85-member campaign committee for the September 22 Osun governorship election.

National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus, who disclosed this at the national campaign office in Abuja, said the PDP will not tolerate Osun being rigged like Ekiti, adding that the performance of the failed APC government in the state had given his party an opportunity to win the election.

The Senate President expressed confidence that the PDP will win Osun to prove that it is the home ground of the party, as he called on the leadership of the PDP to capitalise on the disunity in the APC to win the election.

“The APC is already no more popular in Osun. I hope that President Muhammad Buhari will live up to his promise to world leaders that elections will be free and fair in Nigeria,” Saraki added.

The European Union on Monday released €138 million to help communities in Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon affected by violence, insecurity and environmental degradation.

According to a post on the EU Commission website, at a conference on the Lake Chad Region in Berlin, the EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, said that the new funding will enable EU boost existing programmes in North-east Nigeria by strengthening girls’ education, as part of  an overall EU aid package for the Chad Basin worth €232 million.

Of the funds allocated to the four countries in the region, Nigeria got €47 million for humanitarian assistance and €74.5 million for development assistance.

And stories from around the world:

Brazilian President, Michel Temer says the government is seeking funding from companies and banks to help rebuild the National Museum in Rio de Janeiro after it was destroyed by fire. (BBC)

U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his allies Iran and Russia not to “recklessly attack” Syria’s rebel-held Idlib province, warning that hundreds of thousands of people could be killed. (Reuters)

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday revoked amnesty given to an opposition senator involved in a failed coup 15 years ago and ordered his arrest, in what would be the second detainment of a senator critical of the president. (Reuters)

Yemen’s warring parties meet in Geneva Thursday for a new round of peace talks with little hope of a breakthrough in an “ugly war” between the Saudi-backed government and rebels linked to Iran. (AFP)

Jacinda Ardern has defended making an air force Boeing 757 take an extra trip to the Pacific island of Nauru so she can minimise time away from her infant daughter(The Guardian)

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