The Big 5: I never issued Israel any ultimatum – Lai Mohammed; APC spokesman reveals story behind Shehu Sani’s exit | More stories

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Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, on Wednesday debunked reports crediting a statement to him that he issued an ultimatum to Israel to return the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, to Nigeria or expect missiles.

The Minister who refuted the claims after the Federal Executive Council at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said he was outside the country and was not in a position to issue a statement on the matter when the news of Kanu’s reappearance in Israel broke.

“I just laughed. It speaks to what we are talking about fake news because it is probably the biggest threat in the run-up to the elections. At the appropriate time, the various authorities will make a statement about the issue of Kanu.,” he added.

The National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Lanre Issa-Onilu on Wednesday disclosed the power play that led to the exit of the Senator representing Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani from the party, stressing that it was the outcome of the primary, properly conducted.

Speaking in an interview with journalists, he said the party tried to protect its members in the National Assembly to ensure that it had a grip on the legislative arm of government owing to the carrots dangled at them by the opposition PDP but that it didn’t get the blessings of the party members in Kaduna.

“If they say no, there is nothing the party can do. It is within their right to say we must go to the field. The primaries were eventually conducted, Senator Shehu Sani opted out, he relied on the earlier decision. It was democracy that prevailed in Kaduna,” he explained.

Similarly, on the post-primary crisis in Ogun and the recent allegations of the Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, the APC spokesman said the actions of the Governor were simply aimed at getting validation for his self-help when he and his state executive bypassed the party’s guidelines and conducted their own primary to throw up the Governor’s preferred candidate.

“Whatever the governor did was self-help and there is no provision for self help in the party’s constitution.”

“He needs to self appraise, look at the actions he has taken and come to that conclusions that he’s taking the wrong route,” Onilu maintained.

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) yesterday approved  a budget estimate of N8.73 trillion for the 2019 fiscal year in the 2019-2021 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP).

Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udoma who spoke on the development said the document would be transmitted to the National Assembly for legislative approval.

He further explained that the MTEF/FSP is specifically designed to translate the strategic development objectives of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) into an implementable budget framework for the medium term

The House of Representatives has passed the Electoral Act Amendment Bill which was refused assent by President Muhammadu Buhari, over constitutional and drafting issues.

At it’s plenary on Wednesday, the House adopted the report by a Joint Committee of the Senate and House of Representatives on the bill, presented by Hon. Aishatu Dukku who explained that the bill will provide for the use of card readers and any other technological devices in conducting elections.

“The bill is meant to identify criteria for substitution of candidates, limits of campaign expenses as well as addressing problems related to the omission of names of candidates or logo of political parties,” she added.


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