The Big 5: Doctors threaten strike, Obasanjo’s movement adopts political party and other top stories

These are the top stories you should be monitoring today.

Medical doctors, under the umbrella body of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), warned of impending strike should the Federal Government accede to some of the demands of striking health workers – Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU), which has been extended to the states and local councils.

The NMA stated in a statement yesterday that it “painfully wishes to inform the Federal Government that any award to the non-medically qualified health professionals that violates the January and July agreements of 2014 shall result in the resumption of the suspended withdrawal of service. Please take this as a notice sir.”

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja yesterday nullified the suspension of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, declaring it unconstitutional.

Justice Nnamdi Dimbga while delivering judgment in the suit filed by Omo-Agege (Delta Central) challenging his suspension, held that the reason given by the Senate and Senate President Bukola Saraki for suspending Omo-Agege was unconstitutional.

Justice Dimgba also ordered the Senate to pay Omo-Agege outstanding salaries or allowances which were due to him during the period of the suspension.

The Senate has, however, filed a notice of appeal and a stay of execution on a High Court judgement nullifying the suspension of Omo-Agege.

The Senate said the suspension was not because of Omo-Agege’s comments on the election re-order but for his move of approaching the court over the matter.

Access to court is a constitutional right which cannot be taken away,” Dimgba said.

The Coalition of Nigeria Movement (CNM) formed by former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has adopted a political party.

Obasanjo announced at a press conference on Thursday that the movement had adopted “a renewed and reinvigorated African Democratic Congress, ADC.”

He, however, announced that he would not be a member of the ADC.

The governor of Imo and chairman of the All Progressives Congress Governor’s Forum, Rochas Okorocha, has said his party has derailed and now practises “Peoples Democratic Party kind of politics.”

Okorocha was at an event to show his support for the former governor of Edo, Adams Oshiomole, and endorse his declaration to run for office of national chairman of the party.

Okorocha said he believes in Oshiomhole’s capacity to address some issues in the party.

Another thing I think Oshiomole will address is that our party has begun to play the same kind of politics like PDP. All of a sudden we have started derailing and playing the PDP kind of politics.”

The Federal Ministry of Health has declared the Lassa fever outbreak ravaging the country over.

The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, in Abuja on Thursday said the announcement follows the epidemiological review by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

He said the emergency phase of the Lassa fever outbreak is over.

This is coming after four and half months of the country combating the disease in 22 states.

And… stories from around the world.

The US has imposed sanctions on six people and three companies it says have ties to Iran‘s elite military force, the Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the penalties targeted those who had funnelled millions of dollars to the group, funding its “malign activity”.

Iran’s central bank helped the IRGC to access US dollars via “a large-scale currency exchange network,” he said.

The Treasury Department said all six individuals were Iranian.

At least 41 people have died after heavy rains caused a dam to burst in Kenya, sweeping away homes across a vast area of farmland.

The breach happened on Wednesday near the town of Solai, 190km (120 miles) north-west of the capital, Nairobi.

The dead are thought to include children and women trapped in mud.

The Pulitzer prize board has said it will launch an independent review of the misconduct allegations against Junot Díaz, and that the author will relinquish the role of chairman of the board.

The board said in a statement on Thursday that Díaz, a Pulitzer prize-winning author and creative writing professor, had asked to relinquish the chairman role, to which he was elected in April on the basis of seniority.

An MP from Japan’s governing party has said women should have multiple children and warned those who preferred to remain single that they would become a burden on the state later in life.

Kanji Kato, a member of prime minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic party, told a party faction meeting that when he is asked to give speeches at wedding receptions, he encourages the bride and groom to produce “at least three children”.

When he encounters young women who say they do not intend to marry, Kato, who has six children and eight grandchildren, said: “I tell them that if they don’t get married then they won’t be able to have children, and that they’ll end up in a care home paid for with the taxes of other people’s children.”

A 19-year-old Sudanese woman has been condemned to death by a court in Omdurman for stabbing to death the husband to whom she was forcibly married, who she says raped her with assistance of his family.

The death penalty for Noura Hussein was confirmed by a judge on Thursday after her husband’s family rejected the possibility of financial compensation and instead asked for her to be executed.

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