The Big 5: Oby Ezekwesili calls Buhari’s Independence speech ‘divisive;’ EU releases €20m to Niger Delta; and other top stories

Good morning.

Here are the top 5 stories you should be monitoring today:

Former education minister Oby Ezekwesili has criticised President Muhammadu Buhari’s Independence day speech, calling it “divisive and uninspiring.”

“So I read OUR President @MBuhari ‘s #NigeriaAt57 Speech and wondered how OUR Leader could be so DIVISIVE & UNINSPIRING on a DAY LIKE THAT,” she wrote in a tweet.

She wrote in another tweet, “As one who need not wave my #IAmAProudNigerian banner on the faces of HONEST people, I wish Pres @MBuhari had GIVEN A LEADER’S SPEECH.”

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Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has warned that electricity consumers who bypass their meters will be forced to pay up to N450,000 as fine.

Financial sanctions ranging from N50,000 to N450,000 for metre bypass by power consumers have been endorsed by the 11 electricity distribution companies operating in the country and also endorsed by the Federal Government.

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Meanwhile, in Lagos, Covenant Christian Centre hosted several notable Nigerians at its annual flagship program The Platform to speak and share ideas on the topic of governance in Nigeria.

The speakers included Segun Adeniyi, Roman Osaghele, Segun Odegbami, Professor Osaghae Eghosa, Professor Pat Utomi, Dr Okey Enemalah, and Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, speaking on topics ranging from sports to national identity.

Here’s a rundown of the key points from the speakers.

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The European Union has released €20 million to the Niger Delta to promote socio-economic activities and peace in the region through increased access to safe and sustainable water supply.

UNICEF Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) specialist, Engr. Moustapha Niang, said during a media dialogue in Akwa Ibom, “In Nigeria, only about 57.48 percent of the total population have access to improved water supply and of this percentage, the Niger Delta region make up of only 16.57 percent (32 million) of the population (190 million) with access to improved water supply.”

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The United States of America is still recovering from the shock of the mass shooting in Las Vegas yesterday which left 50 people dead and over 500 injured. However, there has been no shortage of criticism for the Trump administration.

Citing the several upheavals within the White House barely nine months into President Trump’s presidency and the recent allegations against cabinet members, critics and prominent political figures are wondering whether the administration could be the worst in history.

Bruce Bartlett, economic historian and former adviser to President Ronald Reagan, suggested through Twitter that Trump’s cabinet picks may end up being viewed as the worst ever.

“Every member of Trump’s cabinet may go down in history as the worst secretary of that department in history. Price & DeVos already are,” he tweeted.

Here’s how other political figures reacted.

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