The Big 5: Osinbajo meets with IGP behind close doors over Police protests, Health Minister calls for review of population policy and other stories

These are the stories you should be monitoring today:

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has met with the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, behind closed doors at the Presidential Villa.

At the end of the meeting which took place on Monday, there was no official communication from the presidency or the IGP on the purpose of the visit, but there are speculations that the meeting is connected with the protests by some policemen in Maiduguri, Borno State capital earlier in the day over the alleged non-payment of allowances and other basic needs.

Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, has however issued a statement dismissing media report of the protest, as he claimed that the said policemen only made inquiries on their allowances and salaries before returning to their duty posts.

The statement also added that the delay in payment is occassioned by the late passage of the 2018 budget, adding that with its assent by President Buhari, the issue will soon be addressed.

Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has called on state governments to review their population policy and implementation approaches with a view to making families embrace moderate size.

The minister who was speaking at the inaugural Prof. Babatunde Osotimehin Annual Memorial Lecture on Monday in Abuja, noted that with over 190 million people, and still counting, vigorous awareness creation about the essence of moderate family size, especially in rural areas. has become necessary.

Adewole said with the current annual growth rate of 3.2 percent, it was projected that Nigeria would be the 3rd most populous country in the world by 2020, with the population doubling by 2030, adding that Nigeria needed to invest about $652 million over the next five years on high-impact family planning.

According to the minister, the rapid population growth rate can be attributed to the high Tomainlytal Fertility Rate (TFR) of 5.5 children per woman and low contraceptive prevalence rate of 15 percent based on the 2013 Demographic and Health Survey (2013 NDHS) pregnancies.

Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has disclosed that soldiers would not be deployed for the July 14 governorship election in Ekiti.

Yakubu, who stated this in an interaction with newsmen in Lagos, said the police remain the lead security agency in the country, and not the army, adding that “each of the polling units will have a minimum of four INEC staff and three security personnel.”

He assured that “INEC is determined to protect the integrity of our elections, and people should discountenance anybody beating the drumbeats of war,” as the commission was working to provide adequate security for the voters, our staff, and election materials in the over 2,100 polling units.

“Already, all non-sensitive materials have been delivered to Ekiti, as part of our preparedness for the election, while the sensitive materials are in the vault of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and ready to be moved to the CBN branch in Ado-Ekiti,” he said.

The apex Fulani social-cultural organisation, Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, has rejected calls for the sacking of the service chiefs.

Secretary-General of the organisation, Saleh Al-Hassan, who was guest during an interview on Sunrise Daily, a Channels Television programme, on Monday, said those calling for the sack of the service chiefs “are corrupt politicians,” adding that the solution to the herders-farmers crisis remains ranching which must be partly funded by the government and supported by all Nigerians.

In explaining his point, Al-Hassan said “We have documented 411 innocent pastoralists killed just in southern Kaduna for nothing. We have documented all the crises but because we want peace and want to promote the culture of peace and forgiveness hoping that our neighbours will continue to allow us to do our business.

“But the issue of arms and light weapons is a security one. I believe they (security agencies) are on top of it. With the arrests they are making, we must acknowledge the efforts security agencies have put in trying to contain criminality in this country.

“That is why people calling for the removal of service chiefs are either the corrupt politicians or the ones working for them. We should not fall for that gambit.”

The Federal University Lokoja was on Monday reportedly heavily guarded at strategic locations by security men.

The development is said to be in response to a protest that engulfed the school following the expulsion of 13 students for examination malpractices which has pitched some members of staff and students against the school management as well as a perceived security breach by Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU), who were protesting against lopsidedness in the financial administration of the school.

One of the students purportedly expelled by the school, Lydia Lawal, took to her Facebook account to call on human rights activists and lawyers to come to her aid and that of 12 others.

Narrating her ordeal in a series of posts, Lydia said she was rusticated by the school over leaked examination paper which she knew nothing about, but was roped in as the President of her departmental association, noting that the Vice Chancellor claimed “as long as you were invited to the exam malpractice committee, then it was enough reason to believe one is involved.”

And…..stories from around the world:

The Red Devils of Belgium battled from 2-0 goals down to defeat a resilient Japan team 3-2 with a late goal from Nacer Chadli to score the winner to ensure victory and take the quarter-final berth against Brazil at the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Belgium showed incredible team character and quality to forge ahead. Nacer Chadli came off the bench to convert a deadly counter-attacking move from Belgium in the 93rd minute.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will leave for North Korea on Thursday seeking agreement on a plan for the country’s denuclearization, despite mounting doubts about Pyongyang’s willingness to abandon a weapons program that threatens the United States and its allies. (Reuters)

Mexican president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Monday he had spoken with US President Donald Trump on the phone and offered to reduce US-bound migration in exchange for American assistance.

“I received a phone call from Donald Trump and we spoke for half an hour,” the fiery leftist wrote on Twitter, in one of his first messages after winning a landslide victory on Sunday.

“I proposed exploring a universal deal (involving) development projects that would create jobs in Mexico and, by doing so, reduce migration and improve security,” he added. (Aljazeera)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has reached a deal on immigration to end a row that threatened to break up her four-month-old coalition government.

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has now dropped his threat to resign after hours of talks, as Mrs Merkel agreed to tighten controls at the Austrian border to stop people who have applied for asylum in other EU countries from entering Germany.

Transit centres will be set up to hold them until they can be sent back.

Mrs Merkel described the deal as a good compromise after tough negotiation. (BBC)

A new shipwreck off the Libyan coast has left 63 people missing in the latest disaster to hit migrants seeking to cross the Mediterranean.

The group are feared drowned after the inflatable boat they were on sank, a spokesman for Libya’s navy General Ayoub Kacem told AFP, citing eyewitness accounts from survivors.

Kacem said that 41 people wearing life jackets were rescued.

“The coast guards did not find bodies in the area,” he said.

According to survivors, there were 104 people on board the vessel, which sank off Garaboulli, east of Tripoli. (AFP)

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