The Big 5: FG declares June 15 and 18 public holidays, June 12 Electoral Umpire, Nwosu writes FG and other stories


These are the stories you should be monitoring today:

The Federal Government has declared Friday, June 15 and Monday, June 18 as public holidays to celebrate the 2018 Eid-el Fitr.

The Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd.) made the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government in a statement by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Dr. M. Umar in Abuja on Monday.

He congratulated the Muslim faithful on a successful completion of the Ramadan and enjoined all Nigerians to use the occasion of the celebration to pray for the peace, unity, prosperity and stability of the nation.

The Chairman of the defunct National Electoral Commission, Prof. Humphrey Nwosu, has announced that he will not be able to attend the posthumous investiture of  the late Chief MKO Abiola by the Federal Government.

In a letter addressed to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, he commended President Muhammadu Buhari for recognising June 12 as the country’s Democracy Day and for honouring Abiola, but  regretted that he would not be able to attend the event because he was outside the country, adding that the honour would rekindle the national consciousness of all Nigerians for a better nation.

Chief MKO Abiola, the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election and his running mate Babagana Kingibe.  are due to be awarded the national honour of Grand Commander of the Federal Republic and Grand Commander of the Order of Niger respectively this Tuesday.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has asked the Federal Government to identify fully with the ideals and lessons of June 12 by removing all obstacles to free, fair and credible elections in the country.

In a statement on Monday by the President of the Congress, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, the workers advised the government to erect a cenotaph in honour of Nigerians and foreigners alike who participated in the June 12 struggle.

The House of Representatives has said on Monday that there is no plan to step down a proposed bill seeking to amend the Electricity Power Sector Reforms Act, to criminalise estimated billing by electricity distribution companies (Discos) in the country.

At the conclusion of  a public hearing on the bill last week, many Discos opposed the bill and threatened mass disconnection of power to premises should the law come into effect, raising complaints, including the high cost of meters and alleged energy theft by consumers as some of the challenges they want to be addressed by the authorities urgently.

In reaction to the threats on Monday, House Leader, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila noted that the  opposition of the Discos to the bill was a bid to distract the House from its aim of ending estimated billing, arguing that no matter the excuses given by the Discos, the most basic question they had refused to answer was whether it was fair to bill customers for services not rendered.

The Nigerian National Team ,Super Eagles have arrived in Russia to commence their 2018 FIFA World Cup campaign.

The players and their officials landed in their Essentuki base late Monday at about 11pm (Nigerian time), ahead of their first training session on Tuesday.

Their opening Group D fixture would be against Croatia on Saturday at the Kaliningrad Stadium.

And stories from around the world:

Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un have become the first sitting United States President and North Korean leader to meet, an unprecedented development after a year of exchanging threats.

The pair shook hands at a luxury hotel in Singapore’s Sentosa island before proceeding to talks.

At the end of the summit the leaders signed a “comprehensive” document but did not explain what they had agreed. (BBC)

As the historic first meeting between a sitting US president and North Korean leader began in Singapore on Tuesday, South Koreans erupted in applause, in what local media billed as the “talks of the century.”

“We hope the summit will be a success and bring us a complete denuclearisation, peace and a new era” in relations between the two Koreas and the United States, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said, smiling and applauing alongside his cabinet ministers as they watched live-streamed scenes from the summit at the Presidential Blue House.

He has spent “a sleepless night” with excitement ahead of the meeting, his office said. (AFP)

The United States unveiled a new $256 million representative office in Taiwan’s capital on Tuesday, a de facto embassy that underscores Washington’s strategic ties with the democratic, self-ruled island as it faces escalating tensions with China.

Taiwan President, Tsai Ing-wen said the new complex was a reaffirmation of both sides commitment to a “vital relationship.”

Marie Royce, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, said at a ceremony to mark the unveiling that the complex was a symbol of the strength and vibrancy of the U.S.-Taiwan partnership. (Reuters)

Spain’s Prime minister has said the country will take in a rescue ship stranded in the Mediterranean, to help avoid a humanitarian disaster.

Pedro Sánchez said he would give “safe harbour” to the Aquarius and the 629 people on board, after Italy and Malta both refused to let the ship dock.

The Council of Europe welcomed Spain’s move, with the organisation’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatovic, tweeting: “Saving lives at sea is an obligation that states must always uphold.” (BBC)

The United Arab Emirates has given the UN less than 48 hours to try to negotiate a Houthi ceasefire at the strategic Red Sea port of Hodeidah before it mounts an attack on the port through which the bulk of food, medicine and gas to the rest of Yemen is distributed.

Urgent British-led efforts at the UN were under way to dissuade the United Arab Emirates and the Saudis from pressing ahead with the attack – or at least to give undertakings that it will not seek to starve Hodeidah into submission. Aid agencies have warned that an attack would have catastrophic consequences.

The UN security council met behind closed doors on Monday at the request of Britain to be briefed on the situation after heavy fighting erupted near the city on Friday and Saturday. (The Guardian, UK)

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