The Big 5: Gombe Gov, Dankwambo joins Presidential race, PDP is a dead party – Wamakko I More stories

These are the stories you should be monitoring today:

Gombe Governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo has declared his interest in running for the presidency at next year’s general election.

Dankwambo, who expressed his interest on Saturday during a meeting with delegates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the north-east, said he decided to vie for the ticket after numerous calls and wide consultations with various stakeholders from the zone.

“There have been calls for me across the country to contest for the presidency in 2019, however I feel it is pertinent to seek the consent of you the delegates from my zone before I throw my hat into the contest.

“Therefore, I have shown interest and counting on your support, I will contest for the PDP presidential ticket come 2019,” he added.

Former Governor of Sokoto, Aliyu Wamakko on Saturday said defectors to Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other political parties from All Progressives Congress (APC) will surely regret their actions, noting that the PDP was a dead political party.

Wamakko who stated this on Saturday at a massive rally in support of President Muhammadu Buhari and APC organised by their loyalists, following the recent defection of Governor Aminu Tambuwal to the opposition PDP from the ruling APC

The Senator representing Sokoto North, equally ruled out Tambuwal’s exit as a threat to APC’s hold on the state, adding that the Sokoto APC still has two senators, seven members of the Federal House of Representatives and 12 state assembly members, beside the high percentage of political elders, youths, women and others in the state.

Following concerns raised by leaders of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), on the accommodation of interests and new alignments, the party has assured its members of a level playing ground at every level of political engagement and aspirations ahead of the 2019 general elections.

National Publicity Secretary of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, who disclosed this in a statement on Saturday, said the PDP appreciates and values such concerns, adding that the national leadership of the party has envisaged the challenges of an enlarged family and has since made adequate arrangements that would effectively cover all interests for the task ahead.

“The repositioned PDP has amply learned from the past,” part of the statement added.

The Nigerian Air Force has bombed two buildings erected and used as regular meeting spot by Boko Haram terrorists in the Daban Masara area on the Lake Chad in Borno, with scores of the terrorists believed to have been killed in the operation.

NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, who confirmed the air attacks on Saturday, said the operation was carried out by Alpha Jet aircraft and an Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance platform by the Air Task Force of Operation Lafiya Dole on Friday when the terrorists were sighted holding a meeting in green-roofed buildings in the area.

The Nigerian Military said it had killed several armed bandits destroyed their camps, and set free many of their captives in its on-going Operation Sharan Daji in Zamfara.

Force Information Officer, Operation Sharam Daji, Col. Muhammad Dole, disclosed in a statement on Saturday that during the clearance operation along Mashema, Kwadi, kalage, Gambiru and Kagara axis, a heavy fight ensued between troops and bandits, leading to a neutralisation of a reasonable number of bandits and their camps set ablaze, due to the overwhelming military fire power.

And stories from around the world:

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said Saturday he escaped an “assassination” attempt using an explosive-laden drone, after a live broadcast showed him looking confused when a bang went off during a Caracas military parade and dozens of soldiers scuttling for safety. (AFP)

North Korea and the United States on Saturday sparred over an agreement reached at a landmark summit in June for the Asian country to end its nuclear program, as Washington called for maintaining sanctions pressure against Pyongyang, which in turn said it was alarmed by U.S. intentions. (Reuters)

Former Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva has been nominated to run for office again in October’s elections despite currently being in jail on a 12-year sentence for corruption.

Some 2,000 members of his Workers Party declared him their candidate by a show of hands in Sao Paulo. (BBC)

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Saturday it had made U.S. actor Steven Seagal its special representative for Russian-U.S. humanitarian ties, a role it said was meant to deepen cultural, art and youth ties between the two countries. (Reuters)

The US First Lady, Melania Trump, said she would be open to visiting the NBA superstar LeBron James’s new public school, the day after her husband questioned the Los Angeles Lakers player’s intelligence.

“It looks like LeBron James is working to do good things on behalf of our next generation and just as she always has, the First Lady encourages everyone to have an open dialogue about issues facing children today,” a statement provided by her spokeswoman on Saturday said.  (The Guardian, UK)

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