The Big 5: INEC says it is under no threat in conducting Ekiti Governorship election, Northern Governors pledge to end killings and other stories

These are the stories you should be monitoring today:

The Governors of the North-western states of Nigeria have risen from a meeting of the zone, assuring that they will work hard to put an end to the killings and destruction in the area. 

Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina, who disclosed this at after the marathon meeting of the North-West governors in Kaduna which focused on economic development, agriculture, and education said efforts are also on to integrate the zone into one viable economic entity.

Masari said the governors believe that tackling the issue of education squarely would stop the spate of killings in the zone and other parts of the country.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that it is not under any form of threat in Ekiti ahead of the state’s governorship election on Saturday.

Speaking to newsmen at the end of a quarterly consultative meeting with security agencies, Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Abdulganiu Raji said INEC is good to go as far as the Ekiti election is concerned, adding that there is no room for rigging in the election considering the structure that has been put in place by the commission.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has described Nigerian health sector as one of the worst health indices in the world, lamenting that the sector is underfunded by the government.

Obasanjo who disclosed this at the Launching/Endowment for expansion of new site for the Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta  decried poor budget allocation to the sector, claiming that majority of budgeted amount were spent on personnel salaries and emolument.

He further disclosed that the poor state of health has made the country lose almost N175 billion annually on medical tourism.

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), has suspended its planned protest march scheduled for July 11 due to some circumstances beyond its control.

In a statement signed by his Special Assistant on Media and Communication, President of the association, Rev. Samson Ayokunle however stressed that the declared three-day prayer and fasting against the killings across the country, would hold as scheduled from July 9 to 11, 2018 in all churches and state chapters of CAN.

The association  said the decision was hinged on the wilful and persistent killings of fellow citizens in general and Christians in particular, mostly in Plateau and Benue states where mass burial has become the norm, as it said CAN is worried, disturbed and disappointed that despite all the clarion calls on President Muhammadu Buhari to re-organise his security team by replacing all  the security chiefs, he has consistently not responded to such calls.”

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it is yet to conduct a bye-election in Plateau Central Senatorial District, as it is awaiting communication from the National Assembly.

INEC’s head of Voter Education and Publicity, Osaretin Imahiyereobo, explained that the commission does not have power to conduct a by-election until the National Assembly declares the seat vacant and communicate same officially to the commission.

Plateau Central has since June 12 been without a representative at the upper chamber of the National Assembly following the imprisonment of  Joshua Dariye, who represented the district but was found guilty of diverting N1.162 billion state ecological funds while he was governor between 1999 and 2007.

And from around the world:

Flooding and landslides have killed at least 60 people and left dozens missing in western areas of Japan.

Most of the deaths have occurred in Hiroshima prefecture, which has been hit by torrential rain since Thursday.

Hundreds of homes have been damaged, with about 1.5 million people ordered to leave their homes and three million more advised to do so.

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